Monday 26 February 2024

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



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


10 (somewhat singed) goblin ears

Total:  10 GP


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


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"

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

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