Monday 26 February 2024

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 57 (Machodor #29); Goblins and oil don't mix

 




Timekeeping


This session took place on 01/02/2024, and the PCs adventured for 4 days. 

Player Characters Present


Lance Errant (Level 1 Paladin of Minas Mandalf, E)
Felangolol  (Level 2/2 Elf Magic-User/Thief , )
Larrinod "Larry" Blackmantle (Level 1 Magic User/Cleric, bastard son of an elf, E)
Comfort Rod (Level 1 Cleric, E ) 
Ignatius the Smiter (Level 1 Cleric of Minas Mandalf, E)
Elijah Blackwood (Level 1 Monk of TBA, E)

Session Report


Winter storms had cleared to a merely windy day when the party, augmented by some new members, set off by barge to the River Dungeon in the Bandit Mountains. They made it past Gnomesville without issue; but, as the river turned south the wind was in their faces, which slow the barge to a crawl. Late in the day something was sighted in the air approaching them, as they were still in an inhabited area this did not cause undue alarm, and soon enough the figures could recognised as a Pegasus Corps patrol. The magnificent creatures circled over head and then dropped a rock, steadied by a parachute, down onto the barge. A piece of paper was wrapped around the rock, and its message read, "Bears sighted moving north from the mountains."

Still being winter this was an unusual sighting, but as they were used to the idea of potentially dangerous wildlife in the area, the report had no impact on their plans. The first night and next day passed uneventfully; but, in the deep night that followed, Elijah, who was on watch, his first ever watch actually, saw something strange. Three huge bears crashed through the light woods to the west of the river, and rushed up to the water about 100 yards up stream from where they camped on the barge. He woke the rest of the party just as a pair of shrieking roars shattered the relative quiet and would have done the job for him. They peered about and could not yet see what made the noise, but what they could see was that the "bears" were transforming into humans and starting to swim across the river.




In pursuit of the bear-men were two White Dragons, large, but not yet grown to adult hood. As the party watched, one of the creatures breathed its icy breath over its quarry as the other, slightly younger, made to follow. The wounded were-creatures kept on swimming. As yet it appeared that neither hunter nor hunted had noticed the party, what to do?

In previous sessions there have been no dangerous encounters on the way to the River Dungeon, so I think this one caught the players off guard. If it had been their stronger characters they would have gone all in I'm sure; but, with mostly first levels, did they even have a chance against two white dragons? Who knowns, maybe? Ignatius was keen to do something, which prompted a discussion that led the question: are were-creatures all evil, or could some kinds be good?

But there was little time for philosophy and they soon decided to up anchor and row for their lives, which, although it was probably the percentage play, left Lance the Paladin with a sinking feeling in his alignment.

The next day, having started closer than usual thanks to moving in the night, they soon made it to the river dock and from there the sheer walls of the mountains closed about them and they reached their usual beach spot near the entrance to the River Dungeon.


River Dungeon Session #4



Because they had been here before they were able to quickly move about the dungeon at five times speed, in theory. In actuality, the first room had been restocked; with treasure! A huge chest stood before them in the far corner, and that wasn't something they were going to go past. As anyone who's read these River Dungeon sessions reports might expect, the treasure was trapped with contact poison; fortunately sniffed out by Felangolol. They carefully lifted the lid without touching the handle and then tipped out the contents; one thousand silver pieces. Having satisfied themselves that there were no hidden compartments or further traps, they refilled the chest and carried it out to their usual hiding place on the beach; then began again.

They continued west and into the familiar "Tapestry" room; but, what was this? The floor, wet at the best of times, was actually covered in oil! At the exact moment of this discovery ten goblins came charging and yelling down the corridor to western exit of the room. Half of these were holding torches, and half carrying oil flasks.

Dungeon floor, would you have spotted the oil?



The goblins in the dungeon have been working for weeks to counter the strong armour and divine protection of the adventurers who have been plaguing them, and this was their cunning plan. Unfortunately for them, their execution left a little bit to be desired.

Elijah elected to use his monkly speed to charge the goblins, Lance and Rowan the man-at-arms chose the same action (all be it more slowly) while the others sprang for parts of the room that were not covered by oil. 

It started well for the goblins when they won initiative. As the distance between the two groups was about 50' and the goblins were moving at 6" (not charging, they were "closing to engage" at 10' for throwing range), I placed them at G and E (see below), and allowed their missile attacks to go first:

a narrow channel of oil connected the area between the
goblins and the main room, simply waiting to be lit.


The goblins threw their oil and torches at Elijah who, having AC 10 (though I allowed that he was within Lance's Protection from Evil aura) was about to find out why rushing into combat as a level 1 monk might not be the best idea; except for this helpful class ability:

Monks make saving throws on the table used by thieves, but they gain certain advantages: Non-magical missiles (arrows, bolts, bullets, thrown daggers, thrown javelins, thrown spears, etc.) which would normally hit can be dodged or knocked aside if the monk is able to make his or her saving throw against petrification for each such potential hit. -- PHB p30

After rolling, Elijah was only hit by one flask and one torch and I ruled that the above rule applies to such things.  He was unable to avoid the flask, which broke and covered him with oil, but thanks to deflecting the torch the oil did no damage (yet). Now, all was not lost for the goblins, since direct hits with the oil wasn't really their plan, they wanted to catch the party with their splash damage. 

dmg p64

But here is where things really fell apart for the goblins; though some went long and would splash the party, the majority of flasks landed nearer to them. Torches landed all over and set every bit of loose oil alight; Lance and Elijah and Rowan were in the splash range, but Elijah dodged it all (fortunate, since otherwise the oil already on him would catch fire), and the other two received just a point of two of damage. The rest of the party were safety out of the oil covered area of the room.

The final cost of that round for the goblins' attacks were: nine of their own dead and one injured. All of this had happened in the missile fire part of the round and, since the PCs were charging with spears ready; I allowed Lance to skid to a stop and throw it rather than continue running into flaming oil, which he opted to do and then proceeded to impale the last goblin. So, a singularly ineffective tactic from the goblins, this time, but since none survived to report back, there is no reason the next lot may not try it again, right?

The party now regrouped and separated the fried goblins from their silver pieces. After checking the "Pallet" room and using the straw packaging to wipe off most of the oil from Elijah, they lit new torches and went south down the eastern most exit, which led to a long corridor only partially explored previously. After a time the way opened up to a 20' square alcove. Chained to a blindside corner of the alcove was a lone, but huge, Shrieker, which did its thing as soon as the the light of the party's torches fell on it.

The PCs set about trying to destroy the creature, but they heard the approach of many little feet from the southern exit, obviously attracted by the noise of the shrieker. Lance and Rowan took up position in the archway while the others dispatched the Shrieker, which thankfully had stopped shrieking even though it was still alive. Ahead appeared a dozen, foot long centipedes moving their way. Now, do centipedes charge? The little buggers are fast enough already, so I ruled that they moved at base speed to engage, given the party the round to prepare.

Unfortunately none of the spell casters could use this time profitably except for Ignatius, who got off a Bless spell before the front rank had engaged. At only 1 foot long, I allowed 10 of the centipedes to engage the front line (though in hindsight, since they are not nearly that wide, I could have let all 12 do so)  Half went for Lance and half Rowan, the former with his high AC was not damaged, but the man-at-arms was hit three times. The NPC made his saving throws vs poison, once I remembered to add the +4 bonus.




They are aggressive and rush forth to bite their prey, injecting poison into the wound, but in many cases this poison is weak and not fatal (add 4 to saving throw die roll). -- MM p. 14

I think the "weak and not fatal" description is fully covered by the +4 saving throw bonus, so watch out if you still fail it.

Next round two centipedes were killed while the shrieker was put out of its misery, freeing up the rest of the party to help. Then things turned chaotic as, realising that holding the entry was in effect reducing the number of friendlies who could attack while the enemy used their full force, the decision was made to pull back to let others have a go; but this resulted in one non-engaged centipede going right past everyone and attacking Felangolol.

The magic-user had Sleep & Burning Hands available, but didn't use the former when it could have taken out the whole centipede swarm. He did managed to use the latter to burn one down while the rest of the party bashed and slashed their way through more. Sadly, Rowan got bitten once more and this time failed his save version poison. Larry stepped up to fill the breach and Comfort Rod, who had spent two rounds retrieving an oil flask, now threw it right into melee, deliberated trying to target the centipedes with splash damage. This somewhat dubious tactic managed to get one of the enemy while Lance and Larry dodged any damage themselves (there were some words exchanged about this on the beach later while I was AFK) and the remaining beasties were slashed, bashed, and punched to death. 

Some centipede bodies were collected on a hunch that they may be able to work out if they were the source of the goblins' poison making.

In the end, due to random encounters and restocking rolls, only one new dungeon room was explored today before the party returned home somewhat worse for wear.



Trollopulous Adjusted Session 57 (Machodor #29)

Monetary Treasure

1093 sp

Treasure Total: 53GP 13 SP

Items

10 (somewhat singed) goblin ears

Total:  10 GP

Monsters

10 Goblins 160 XP
12 Giant Centipedes 396 XP
1 Shrieker 25 XP

Monsters Total: 581 XP



XP & GP Assignment 

Lance Errant (Level 1, E)   106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Felangolol  (Level 2/2, S)  106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Larrinod (Level 1/1 , E)    106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Comfort Rod (Level 1, S) 106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Ignatius the Smiter (Level 1, E) 106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP
Elijah Blackwood (Level 1, E) 106 XP & 10 GP 12 SP

Graveyard


Rowan the Rower (0 Level man-at-arms), poisoned by a giant centipede in the River Dungeon in session #57. Last words to Lance, "Kill some more goblins for...me..."

Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28); Ogres in the morning, Catapults in the evening

      





Timekeeping


This session took place on 26/01/2024, and the PCs adventured for 1 day (before continuing in downtime)

Player Characters Present


Giuseppe (Level 6 Paladin of Rome, Brovenloft, E) with two henchmen
Sever (Level 6 Pegasus Corps Ranger of Machodor, E)
Deltacron (Level Dwarf 1 Fighter/Thief, E ) 
Godleve (Level 5 Cleric of Machodor, E )
Sheamus (Level 6 Irish Fighter from Brovenloft, E ) 
Bumblebore (Level 3 Magic User, E ) 
Gurt (Level 1 Paladin of Machodor, E)
Slippery Pete (Level 4 Thief, E+)


Introduction 


This report is a bit delayed due to illness.

Downtime



The harsh winter conditions saw two dozen griffins take to harassing the inhabitants around Castle Irish, including the evacuees from Gimmelwald; making aerial travel in particular hazardous. After Sever tried various methods of dealing with the creatures, they were finally scared off by some strange weather and lights in the night. Having dealt with the griffin is issue, Sever brought the orc battle wagons (captured in session #4) with supplies from Schloss Ragnar to Castle Irish. The leader of Gimmelwald floated the idea of using the wagons to help retake his town.

Sever then went to check on Gimmelwald and was surprised to find the place was now occupied by a large family of Fire Giants.

Sheamus worked around the clock constructing a tavern and gym near Castle Irish, while Slippery Pete went off the radar and was replaced by a certain Joe the Fighter.


Session Report


Having used the all important resource of session time to catch and interrogate a dragon cultist and wring from him the location of a nearby shrine, the guards that had been posted there in downtime had captured a travelling merchant leaving the area. After interrogating questioning this worthy, a man named Kenlin, he dropped some bits of information that may or may not have been relevant to the party's interests.

Would the PCs now finally take decisive steps against the Dragon Cult? Not at this time, instead they decided to clear the Fire Giants and try to retake Gimmelwald. When it was established that it would take a day to ready the troops and pack the civilians and supplies in the wagons, and then a further two days for this force to reach the town; the party decided to make use of its greater mobility and check the place over ahead of time.

There was just one problem with the plan, they could only take 6 on the Rocket Cycle with Sheamus, and with Sever on Convess someone would have to stay behind. In the end Godleve and Giuseppe's henchmen stayed to help with preparations and then travel with the caravan when it was ready. 

What should have been a journey of just few hours would turn out to be a bit more complicated.

While passing the mountains near the hidden passage that leads into the valley of Gimmelwald, Sever spied a group of large humanoids making their way up the steep incline. It looked like perhaps they were out hunting. Neither side were surprised, but the Ogres (you can't fool a ranger about this sort of thing) had no means of returning fire from the air, even if it was largely inaccurate fire, and they soon fled. However, their lair was only two rounds distance away, and they sped into a large hole in the mountain side.

Thrilled at the prospect of finding a lair and the loot that might be present, the party landed and immediately pursued their enemy inside; all except for Sheamus, who repeated his usual strategy of disabling the Rocket Cycle (it having nothing so convenient as a key) before following the others. 

As soon as Sever and Giuseppe went inside they saw two creatures even larger than Ogres, stepping out to meet them. The filthy creatures were carrying large rocks and were easily identified by the Ranger as Hill Giants; they unloaded their rocks and closed in.

The front lines clashed and Joe the Fighter (aka Slippery Pete) moved to get around the Giants; however he soon declared that instead of joining battle he should make sure the Ogres were not about to get away, so he followed them down a passage to the round cave that was their lair proper (and then, thief stuff happened). The largest Ogre, apparently the leader, was just getting them worked up to re-join the fight, so the thief hugged the wall and successfully avoided being spotted as they rushed back out.

By now Sheamus had taken his place in the line and along with Sever and Giuseppe they dealt great damage to the enemy while receiving significant blows in return, though most deflected off their superior armour.

Deltacron also kept a low profile and readied himself to sling darts at the enemy, while new player Gurt wisely took a position behind the front line and sought to disarm his opponents with his Spetum (or one of those other disarm type weapons).

The Ogres approached in four ranks of three, as they did so Bumblebore prepared himself to enter the fray. I was expecting a strafing run from his familiar O'Malfoy, instead he unfurled a scroll and cast Wall of Iron, targeting between the first and second ranks of Ogres. Now, as it happened, none of us were immediately sure how big such a wall would be; but, more importantly, we had to consult the rules for a level 3 magic user trying to use a level 5 scroll spell.

DMG p 128



This worked out as a 30% chance of failure; he was successful and the roughly 10' by 11' wall landed between the ranks of the Ogres. The second rank of Ogres ran right into the wall, knocking it forward onto the first rank, squashing two and nearly getting a third. This had some effect on morale since, having expected to join their bigger cousins, they were now not only fighting by themselves but had lost 25% of their number.

Another round passed with the Ogres getting the worst of it. Finally it was too much for them and they fled, only to be finished off in their cave lair. The party took stock of the situation as Slippery Pete, all pretence at disguise over, came forward with sacks bulging with coins and some minor gems he had found and acquired for "safe keeping".

A thorough search revealed no further treasure; but, another there was hidden exit, which led to a passage that doubled back on itself and terminated not far from the main entrance. The scouts returned and the party made to leave; but, beyond the exit could be seen the Ogre women and children that must have earlier used the hidden passage to avoid the fighting, the latter jumping up and down on the Rocket Cycle trying to get it to move, while the former were dragging a number of human slaves with them.

The situation proved to be no moral dilemma at all for the PCs, and soon both the human slaves and the ogres were ready to be reunited with their loved ones; all be it in a rather different manner for the latter.

Keen to move on, but logistically unable to do so with their new passengers, the party quickly decided to send Sheamus back with them to Castle Irish, which would take two trips (making use of the cycle's booster for the return trips). In the meantime Sever would return to Gimmelwald to scout. He found the place much as before, with the Fire Giants having claimed the town square, but this time he found that they had leveraged catapults onto two of the four towers that formed the corners of the square (the remains of the original keep, the partially collapsed curtain walls of which ran from tower to tower). This development gave the Ranger pause, and so it became the subject of much discussion when he had returned to the Ogre lair and explained the situation.

Given the passage of time, it would still take three days before their little army would be in position, a strike on the catapults before nightfall seemed the best course of action for now. This they achieved with a combined surprise attack from Sever on Convess and O'Malfoy.


Second Battle of Grindlewald (resolved in downtime)

Good guy's forces


Here is what happened with the mass battle (played according to the method used previously here):

Spoilers: the giants were a random encounter that happened to be rolled up as a lair when Sever went to check on Gimmelwald, and I intuited from some further die rolling that their lair was Gimmelwald. But why, were they working with someone? I rolled up Pilgrims with, as it happened, a matching Lawful Evil alignment, and I was scratching my head as to why they might be working together when I read this in the Giants MM entry: "It is not unusual for giants to agree to share in an undertaking with a group of creatures of similar alignment to that of the giant, for these huge monsters are eager for treasure." So it actually made sense from that perspective.

After two days travel Krellard arrives and opts to attack under the cover of the approaching twilight and overcast conditions. He also opts to approach on one front only, passing through the west gate. The mounted troops pull ahead, with the foot troops following in their wake trying to catch up as fast as they can.

The horses reach bottom of the hill before the town without incident; given the conditions and the position of the Giants, it seems unlikely you have been detected. The light cavalry stop and Slippery Pete examines the invitingly open west gate, incidentally allowing time for the foot troops to catch up a little. 

"No traps guys!" he declares.

The medium cavalry take the lead and ride in. In the relatively narrow street they can ride 10 abreast, effectively in column formation. As you go you see the devastation visited upon the town by the Master of Winter and his army. More than this, strangely, there are sections of pulled up cobble stones and piles of dirt to be seen near some public buildings such as the church.

Again, Slippery Pete is called on to examine these for traps. "It's just dirt guys!"

The allies advance until the main square is in sight. The way widens here and through the gap in the ruined curtain wall, Giants can be seen casually throwing catapult missiles to each other; they don't seem to realise anyone is there. Krellard calls a halt to let the foot troops catch up. He wants the the archers and heavy foot in position at the front.

Sever's Ranger senses tingle, saving the army from being surprised when, suddenly, from out of the nearby buildings scores of strange figures, clad in red robes and bearing wicked looking daggers, along with a tremendous, fanatical fury, pour out and attack the army before the foot troops can deploy to the front.

It's on like Donkey Kong.

The battle starts with the allies in this formation:

Hvy Ft

Med Horse

Long Bow

Light Cav

Militia

Round 1

The enemy appears to number around 60, and they win initiative

Over the blood curdling shouts of the enemy you can hear the sounds of chanting, then you feel the negative effects of evil clerical magic blanketing the area. Those around Giuseppe feel some of his protection from evil.

Hold person spells rain down on the Heavy Foot, freezing one square in place, but it could have been worse as another somehow resists the effect!

Dagger wielding fanatics fall upon the held troops and find the gaps in their armour, taking out square 3 (Sheamus is in 2).

Another enemy square attacks the militia, hitting twice and destroying square 3 (Gurt and Deltacron are in other squares)

The longbowmen unit is hit for 3 hp, The Medium Horse unit is hit for 3hp, the Light Horse unit attacked but missed. Medium Horse are hit again for 1hp 

Return attacks: The broadswords of the heavy foot destroy the unit of fanatics facing them. The militia miss their enemy. Med horse kill three enemy squares, freeing up the longbowmen to use their bows next round.

The Light Horse injure one square. Longbow injure one square with the help of Bumblebore and O'Malfoy.

Round 2

The heavy foot and militia make their morale checks, while the enemy don't seem to care about their heavy losses.

Oh boy, tied initiative, the fanatics are using daggers and so go first and get bonus attacks against the militia and light horse. Ok, do horses go even before the daggers? I'm going to say yes and some of the horses stamp the enemy near them.

The dagger wielding enemy attack was not coordinated with the Fire Giants, and so it takes a round before they notice what is going on. Then they use what ever is to hand, in this case catapult ammo. These smash into the Heavy Foot and destroy two squares, both Stafolo and Sheamus take 16hp damage and they move into the last remaining square.

The Irish start up their battle hymn (equivalent effect as a Chant Spell):

Armed for the battle

Kneel we before Thee,

Bless Thou our banners,

God of the brave

Ireland is living!

Shout we triumphant,

Ireland is waking!

Hands grasp the sword.

Who fights for Ireland

God guides his blows home,

Who dies for Ireland

God give him peace.

Knowing our cause just

March we victorious

Giving our heart’s blood

Ireland to free.


The spirit of freedom

Floats in the ether;

Souls of our heroes

March by our side,

Connor is our battle cry,

McGregor inspires us,

Those who for freedom fall

Never shall die.

Robed Guys breaking

Shout we exultant

Robed Guys beaten,

Ireland is free.

Charge for the old cause,

Down with the old foe,

Living or dying

Ireland to free.


Daggers miss the light horse and return hits smash the enemy square there. Daggers plunge down on the militia, but somehow the 3 remaining squares are undamaged and they return the attacks with interest, destroying the last enemy square with help from Gurt and Deltacron.

More Hold Person spells rain down from enemy spell casters in buildings; trapping the last Hvy foot, including Sheamus.

In the resulting chaos the Longbowmen fire at the giants and miss while the Medium Horse charge the Giants for 24 damage. Sever and Giuseppe combine with their lances and do 64 HP (scaled down to 6.4) damage.

Round 3


Fire Giant unit wins initiative and swings at the medium horse unit and misses! (A hit could have destroyed the whole unit). Again, the longbow fail to hit the giants at all. Medium horse riders get one  hit in for low damage.

Now the Medium horse mounts and Bonecrusher and even the grounded Convess get their attacks and these are devastating; there's not a giant foot that hasn't been stamped on.

Giuseppe rolls 1

Sever rolls 19, switching from lance to 2hs he does a modest 14 damage but that finishes the score for the Fire giants (running them as a unit didn't do them any favours at all in the end).

The light horse dismount and together with the militia commence clearing the buildings, but these are protected by glyphs, causing further casualties.

Finally the last of the enemy clerics are killed, they proved to be as fanatical as the dagger wielders. It seems they were digging holes around the town searching for something. Maybe more investigation is warranted? 

In any case the battered alliance, having retaken Gimmelwald, achieved their objective.


Treasure and XP



Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28)


Monsters

12 Ogres (and dependants) 



XP & GP Assignment N/A 

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 56 (Machodor #28)
Giuseppe (Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP
Sheamus(Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP 
Sever (Level 6, E ) 766 XP & 354 GP 
Dundermoose (Level 3, E ) 589 XP & 177 GP
Deltacron (Level 1/2, E ) 500   XP & 88 GP
Gurt (Level 1, E ) 471  XP & 59 GP
Slippery Pete/Joe the Fighter (Level 5, E+ ) 707 XP & 295 GP 


Graveyard


Jacques Ocular (Level 1 Magic User), a fat green worm burrowed into his head and turned him into a Son Of Kyuss in Brovenloft in Session #43

Pino (Dwarf Footman level 0), Killed by a Frost Giant axe in the head in session #39

Paro (Dwarf Fighter/Thief level 2/2) , Killed by Winter Wolves and frozen in session #39

Zabib (1/2 Elf Fighter/Magic User level 1/1), Killed by Frost Giant rocks in downtime prior to session #39

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 61 (Machodor #30);

        Foreshadowing Timekeeping This session took place on 29/02/2024, and the PCs adventured for 1 day. Player Characters Present Giusepp...