Dwimmermount Campaign Restart - The Village People

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jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05
Dwimmermount Campaign Restart - The Village People

I'm going to try out a campaign blog. After my son went to college, I ended his ACKs Dwimmermount campaign I ran with he and his friends.  I also put our long lasting 5E campaign (which started in C&C) on hiatus.  I had run many of the the players from the 5E campaign in a series of recurring one shots using ACKs and Dwimmermount (in the same continuity as my son and his friends).  Once my son was offf to college, we decided to 'restart' the ACKs campaign.  Instead of wiping out the history, we picked up where the one shots and my son's campign ended.

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Prior to the restart of the campaign, there were two groups of PC adventurers adventuring in Dwimmermount; ‘Rufus’s Raiders’ and ‘The Village People’.  They had overlapping excursions and had cleared most of the 1st level. 

Prologue 1 – Rufus’s Raiders

Several forays into the dungeon for the Raiders left them relatively unscathed (although several NPS were dead).  They also had recovered the scarab of death, finished off Guran and the kobolds, and driven the orcs from the 1st level (and extorting Seger to give up his chest of treasure in exchange for a truce).  Two of the Raiders (a Barbarian and Thief) had joined the “Dock Boys’ a criminal syndicate out of Adamas that had settled into Muntburg, and the Assassin had joined the Scarlet Brotherhood, an assassin’s guild out of Adamas.  They had also managed to provide thousands of gold in donations to the churches of Tyche and Zeus (Typhon) and into the coffers of local taverns (building up their reserve xp). 

The Raiders had almost spent as much time out of the dungeon as in.  They travelled to Yethlyreom to sell magic items and to Adamas several time to obtain supplies, identify and sell magic items, and train.  The fighter (gladiator) of the party became enamored with Emilisse Faith of Tyche, which played out over several sessions.

The Raiders never hired any traditional henchmen.  When they started the campaign, I gave them 2 NPC members which joined their band, a thug fighter (who died) and factotum venturer named Isaac Stocker.  They did rescue the dwarf Balfar, who joined their band before dying in combat.  They did have several dogs and horses however.

I normally despise the very concept of a GM NPC, however Isaac served a very specific purpose.  He was there to help the Raiders recognize their ability to shape the world.  He also introduced them to the economic possibilities in the campaign world. Isaac had a goal – to discover the famous Moon Pool of Dwimmermount, and sell it’s magical water to the world, thereby becoming rich.  He also provided the party with discounts and the benefits of a larger market in Muntburg.  While the other party members spent their gold on their xp reserve, Isaac bought a townhouse in town.  He asked the party to join him in a mercantile venture, which they did, resulting in profit for all. 

Isaac was mostly silent in the dungeon.  He had precise shooting, and was given to a PC to run during combats.  When my son went to college and the Raiders campaign ended, Isaac was to become a catalyst to help restart the Village People campaign. 

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Prologue 2 – The Village People

The Village People campaign was basically a series of recurring one shots.  The initial session resulted in the 1st meeting between a party and a rival NPC band of adventurers.  The Delvers were victims of the PCs.  They were sure to explain that ‘what happens in the dungeon, stays in the dungeon”.  Their disappearance is still an unsolved mystery in Muntburg. 

They lost several PC characters during several forays. Using ACKs templates it was incredibly easy to roll up new characters and have the PCs playing as soon as they returned to Muntburg.   One of the original PCs was an assassin ‘Cult Deathbringer’, which we defined as a Termaxian cultist.  The party met the NPC party the Fists of Zeus (Typhon) in Muntburg.  The PC decided to retire that character by having him join the Fists in an attempt to assassinate them.  As a result I decided that he succeeded in killing Heloys the fighter while the Fists were in combat with some eldritch bones on level 2b.  The Fists killed him soon after.  The five remaining members of the ‘Fists’ became known henceforth as the five fingers of the newly named “Fist of Zeus”

Their last foray was wildly successful.  3 PCs rolled up new characters: two clerics (Hermit and Undead Slayer) and a mage (Necromancer).  That made for a total of 3 mages in the party.  The clerics included a cleric of Hera (Anesidora - Hermit template) and a cleric of Death (Donn – Undead Slayer template) armed with a silver scythe.   The remaining party member was a Thief – Cat Burglar.  The combination of a lucky pick locks roll, a good turning roll, magic missile, and the silver scythe made short work of the Vault of Spoils and its guardian wight.  The one shot ended with quick trips to Adamas and Yethlyreom to sell the +1 sword, and the rest of the spoils, resulting in lots of gold and levelling for all.  

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

1st Session – Part 1 (4 hrs)

All of the PCs were given the option of keeping their prior PCs or rolling up new ones.  Only one PC choose to retire their character – a cowardly, but effective mage.  He re-rolled an assassin – Bravo.  I allowed the Player to start with 2,000 XP (from a total of 3500 GP).  The PCs are as follows:

Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 2 Mage-Necromancer – Spells – Choking Grasp (skeletal hand)  & Summon Berserkers (4 undead minions, leaving a skull shaped smoke cloud as they disappear)

Eduardo – Lvl 3 Thief-Cat Burglar (Note: 5 CON) Wears leather

Dave Carrin – Lvl 3 Cleric-Hermit of Hera – Wears plate + large shield (+2 AC and enc.) (Note: 7 DEX and CHA)

Jace – Lvl 2 Mage-Elementalist – Spells – Burning Hands (Breathes fire), Magic Missile (Shoots Flames), Detect Magic – has wand of magic missiles

Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 2 Assassin-Bravo – Wears leather

The campaign restarted 5 weeks after the last foray into the dungeon.  Here is a quick list of the changes:

  • Castellan Thevenin Verodart of Muntburg now requires that every person must buy an annual license to enter Dwimmermount at a cost of 100 GP.
  • NPC Isaac Stocker had built a warehouse and has obtained from Castellan Verodart the sole right to draw water out of the moon pool.  He offered the party a deal.  He gave them a map to the 1st level (from the scroll case recovered by the Raiders) and promised 1000 GP if the party could rid the 1st level of the Spawn of Arach-Nacha.

 

  • The treasure map from the vault of spoils was replaced with a treasure map to the secret treasure room on lvl 4.  I had decided that the Vault of Spoils, the secret treasury on lvl 2A and the secret treasury on lvl 4 were the spoils of the IXth Thulian Legion.  The general killed by Turms in the secret history, was the general of this legion, headquartered in Dwimmermount.  As most of the Imperial command joined the Termaxians in hope of becoming immortal, the IXth Legion sought to sneak the spoils out bit by bit and leave.  The map also provides a clue to a secret treasury in the armory on lvl 2A.  It was written by Primus Centurian Cheron, the Great-Great Grandfather of Despot Cheron of Adamas, who left for ‘Fort Adamas’ before Dwimmermount was sealed. 

After a brief refresher on what was going on, the party quickly adjusted to the spirit of ACKs play:

  • Dave spent 2500 GP to build for a temple to Hera in Muntburg. He had permission from Revered Mother Hanna of the Adamas Temple of Hera (the highest level cleric of Hera around). He also purchased a donkey. 
  • Eduardo bought a war dog and hired Ukla the Quick, a spear and net using 1st lvl Barbarian-Pit Fighter as a henchman.  He also bought one of the townhouses in town for 1000 GP. 
  • Tariq  hired Barnabus Bannon, a 1st lvl Fighter-Corsair, as a henchman.

Both Eduardo and Illyrio were given the chance to start as a member of one of the area criminal syndicates:

  • The “Dock Boys” – Organized Crime family based in Adamas, Muntburg, and Gloris – Muntburg crew is run by Boss Drake Horner. 
  • The Adamas Theives Guild – Largest syndicate in and around Adamas, (not in Muntburg or Gloris). 
  • The Scarlet Brotherhood – Assassin’s guild out of Adamas.  Looking to expand to Muntburg.
  • The Nightblades are a small guild of elven assassins based in Adamas, so although the PCs are aware of it’s existence, they are not eligible for membership. 

Eduardo and Illyrio decided to remain free agents. 

The party decided the easiest way to reach the area of the caverns with the Spawn of Arach-Nacha was to go through the front door.  They stopped to ask the face a few questions, but since all of the questions were about the Spawn the only answer was ’I don’t know. Go away; I shall not answer you again today’.  They entered a few rooms and avoided a strange dark cylinder and ghost soldiers playing Zatriko.  They entered the main western hallway.  They saw the blood stains from prior combats between the Raiders and the orcs.  They opened a circular room with skeletal remains being picked over by giant centipedes. There was also a 5’ roughly carved corridor leading north from the room.  Unfortunately, they had rolled a wandering monster check the turn before and a group of eldritch bones had been following them. 

Ukla’s pit training and sharpened reflexes paid off; he was the only one not to be surprised.  The front line of bones tried to overrun instead of attacking. They were unsuccessful. Ukla used his net to ensnare one, allowing him to control it. The next round, the party managed to shut the door to the centipede room and focus on the eldritch bones (EBs).  Dave was unable to turn them but the combination of cleaving and poor initiative rolls by the bones provided for a quick recovery and they started to grind down the EBs.

Unfortunately the centipedes started coming out from under the door.  The sound from the combat resulted in a wandering monster check which resulted in not one but two encounters: fire beetles (which had killed two characters previously) and NPC party the ‘Fist of Zeus’.  A quick truce was made and the two partys made short work of the monsters. However Jace ended up ill from a centipede bite.  Illyrio, tripped and fell during combat with the fire beetles (after rolling a 1 and failing a save vs. paralysis)A fire beetle swarmed on top of him.  His arm was severely injured, becoming useless (Dave the hermit’s laying on hands and a roll on the mortality table later). 

While they were tending to the wounds, another wandering monster roll resulted in a gelatinous cube coming from the east, forcing them away from it.  Both parties decided that discretion was the greater part of valor. They went through a separate set of rooms.  That led them right into 2 squads of goblins that had been watching them warily (from the warband that had moved into these rooms of the dungeon – the creators of the passageways).  A series of bad rolls by the goblins resulted in a one-sided fight where Tariq’s undead berserkers and cleaving by the wardog, henchman, and multiple fighters proved too much.  They broke morale and ran. 

Three goblins, unable to run, surrendered.  Yurain the dwarven vaultguard from the Fists killed one of the goblins.  A second goblin promised it would lead the parties to safety if released.  Once he was released, he ran as fast as he could, escaping into the darkness. 

The last surviving goblin, Redfang, led the group out of the dungeon.  Jehan of Zeus, the leader of the  Fists rightfully accused Tariq of necromancy.  Tariq was able to convince him otherwise, stating that it was just a trick to make his summoned berserkers more frightening.  It helped that Genovese of the Fists supported him. 

The party returned to Muntburg to lick their wounds, allowing Illyrio to become healthy enough for the trip to Adamas to find someone to cast Restore Life and Limb.  During this time Dave the Hermit provided miracles for the peasants in Muntburg.

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

The Village People:

  • Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 2 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healing, Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. Spells – Choking Grasp (skeletal hand)  & Summon Berserkers (4 undead minions, leaving a skull shaped smoke cloud as they disappear) Extremely short necromancer
    • Barnabus Bannon – Lvl 1 Fighter (Corsair)–Swashbuckling, Seafaring – STR +1, INT -2, WIS -2, DEX -1 – scimitar & dagger wielding ne’er do well.
  • Eduardo – Lvl 3 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, - DEX +2, CON +1, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather
    • Ukla the Quick – Lvl 1 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.
    • Boy – War dog
  • Dave ‘the Hermit’ Carrin – Lvl 3 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears plate + large shield (+2 AC and enc.)  Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.
  • Jace – Lvl 2 Mage (Elementalist) – Elemenatlism, Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. Spells – Burning Hands (Breathes fire), Magic Missile (Shoots Flames), Detect Magic – has wand of magic missiles.  Quiet pyromaniac.
  • Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 2 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather

The Village People waited in Muntburg for Illyrio to recover from his injuries.  Both Ukla and Barnabus received major wounds.  Their employers had different responses; Eduardo using an expensive healing potion while Tariq chuckled to himself.  Retention rolls resulted in fanatic loyalty for Ukla (morale +2) and Barnabus not happy, but with no other jobs around he decided to stay where with Tariq.

Dave the Hermit began providing miracles for the citizens and visitors of Muntburg.  The new Chapel of Hera (costing 2500 GP) was also opened in Muntburg.  As a result, his congregation grew from nothing to 12 souls.  Before he left for Muntburg, he hired a peasant caretaker to watch over the new church.  The temples of Zeus (upgrades) and Tyche (adding a casino) were under expansion due in large part to the large prior donations of the Raiders (to build up their XP bank).  Jace was able to trade with Genovese of the fists, obtaining charm person in return for magic missile (which he was able to add to his repertoire after 1 week). Tariq was able to obtain a copy as well.

Eduardo wanted masterwork thieves tools (+1 to rolls, can add Dex bonus to pick locks) but was unable to find them as he was not a member of any criminal guilds.  He turned to Isaac Stocker, who was able to provide them for a extra 20% fee and 2 weeks’ time. 

The travel to Adamas and back was without incident.  In Adamas, the Revered Mother Hanna of Hera agreed to cast restore life and limb on Illyrio’s arm for 500 GP.  There were no ill effects. Jace agreed to cover the costs. While in Adamas, Dave the Hermit began to look for a 0 lvl peasant to learn the ways of Hera.  Trusting his intuition, he looked for someone wise and charismatic.  He hit the jackpot with Julia, a gifted healer and daughter of a herdsman.  She joined him as a henchman, recognizing Hera’s hand on his shoulder.   

The party realized that they knew little about the Spawn of Arach-Nacha, but were unwilling to hire a sage to find out any more.  They grabbed some oil and holy water and figured they were good. They entered the dungeon using the dwarven stairs (which they previously from the dead dwarven character of one of the PCs). 

The party worked their way through the caverns.  They noticed that all of the prior fallen dwarven statues were no longer in the dwarven cemetery.  They did find the rough misshapen piles they recognized as dead kobolds.  They moved cautiously when they got to the part of the map marked by Isaac.  Tariq summoned his undead beserkers and they took on some guardian crab spiders.  Tariq was briefly enticed by the idea of ‘spider powers and strange red and blue tinted magical clothes’, but the party ignored the threats and promises of the spider demon.  Despite summoned spiders and several poision bites, the combination of  flaming oil to burn the webs, multiple berserker spells, and Eduardo and Illyrio backstabs, the party made quick work of the spiders. 

They quickly left after finding the treasure and the stony remains of the kobolds and their leader (the work of the Raiders).  They recognized the cross and circle symbol from some impassible doors they had come upon earlier.  They decided that discretion and 1000 GP was more important, so they cut off the head of the spawn and left the dungeon (avoiding any wandering rolls).  Upon return to Muntburg, they gave the head to Isaac in return for 1000 GP.  Eduardo bought a home near the tavern (1000 GP) and Tariq bought an old warehouse north of town (1500 GP).  Jace moved in with him, planning a joint alchemy lab in Muntburg. 

Isaac was going back in the morning with a group of mercenary solders to secure the cavern of the moon pool.  The party went with them.  Dave the Hermit decided to bring Julia with the party, just in case they found any treasure (to get her to 1st level).  They travelled through many rooms they had previously seen, coming to the impassible doors.  Pressing the circle/cross symbol onto the symbol on the wall, the doors opened.  They came to another set of locked doors in a circular column.  Experimentation resulted in figuring out how to open the doors, revealing a shaft.  By casting light on a rock and counting they were able to estimate the shaft went 200 to 300 ft down and an unknown distance up.  They decided to come back later. 

*** SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE IN A DWIMMERMOUNT CAMPAIGN ***

The map they found in the vault of spoils mentioned the possibility of a secret vault in the armory on the laboratory level.  They decided to find it.  Finding the stairs on the map, they carefully followed a fading blood trail down the stairs.  Eduardo scouted ahead, finding a dimly lit chamber filled with orcs.  They hailed the orcs coming down. 

The group had previously made a deal with the orcs, however there was only one character who was there when the deal was made.  They did not know the pass phrase, but since the orcs had been decimated by adventurers, a intimidation went a long way.  The orcs agreed to take the group to their king. 

After a long series of negotiations, shows of force, and lots of lucky rolling, Segur, ‘king’ of the orcs, agreed to take them to a nearby armory for a 50/50 split (he know that the orcs would probably win the fight, but that he and many orcs would also probably die ).  He also got a promise to fight the gnolls from the party).  Eduardo, Illyro, and Ukla went with Segur and 2 orcs to look for the vault.  The rest of the party remained as hostages. 

After 20 minutes of playing with stuff in the room, Illyrio managed to describe actions resulting in the door opening.  They found an old desk, a coin counting device, and treasure.  The orcs wanted 4000 SP and a valuable jeweled broach, the party taking the rest.  Suspecting a ring was magical, they made sure NOT to put it on, just in case they wanted to sell it for the gold and XP.

*** SPOILER ALERT OVER  ***

When they got back to Muntburg, Jace was able to cast Detect Magic and determine that the ring was magical.  He was able to identify it with magical engineering – a ring of protection +1 (valued at 25,000 GP).   The party quickly decided to get it to Adamas for sale through Isaac’s company.  Julia became a 1st lvl priestess of Hera setting up shop in the chapel (Dave the Hermit made his loyalty roll, thanking Hera for the fellowship spell).  

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

2nd Session – Part 1

The Village People:

·        Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 2 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healing, Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. Spells – Choking Grasp (skeletal hand), Identify (skull in bag tells him details), Charm Person (blows a kiss and a spirit enters body of target)  & Summon Berserkers (4 undead minions, leaving a skull shaped smoke cloud as they disappear) - Extremely short necromancer

o   Barnabus Bannon – Lvl 1 Fighter (Corsair)–Swashbuckling, Seafaring – STR +1, INT -2, WIS -2, DEX -1 – scimitar & dagger wielding ne’er do well.

·        Eduardo – Lvl 3 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, - DEX +2, CON +1, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather

o   Ukla the Quick – Lvl 1 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.

o   Boy – War dog

·        Dave ‘the Hermit’ Carrin – Lvl 3 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears plate + large shield (+2 AC and enc.)  Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.

o   Julia Feny – Lvl 1 Preistess (Medican) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Healing x2 – WIS +1, CON +1, CHA +2 ambitious, charismatic novice with a good heart

·        Jace – Lvl 2 Mage (Elementalist) – Elemenatlism, Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. Spells – Burning Hands (Breathes fire), Magic Missile (Shoots mini-dragon head shaped flames), Detect Magic (flames of varying colors dance on magic items), Charm Person – has wand of magic missiles.  Quiet pyromaniac.

·        Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 2 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather

And featuring a guest PC from Rufus’ Raiders (son visiting home from college)

·        Dante – Lvl3 Assassin (Assassin-For-Hire) – Precise Shooting, Bargaining, Fighting Style (two weapons), Weapon Finesse, Intimidation – STR +1, INT +2 WIS -2, DEX +3, CON -1

o   War dog, Hunting dog, armed wit short sword and +1 war hammer.

We started with a lot of paperwork.  I presented the players with a map of Muntburg showing their property and a list of the value (in gold and xp) of historical facts from Dwimmermount.  I had previously determined that the Fist of Zeus party had adventured in Dwimmermount during the time they were travelling and had cleared out some of level 2b, resulting in 1 party member being mortally wounded, and leveling for most.  The PCs rolled and it was the leader Jehan, losing both of his legs (to the slayer of adventurers; the dreaded fire beetle).  He was taken to the temple of Zeus in Adamas and had his legs restored, however he ended up a female.  Enjorran, a member of the “Fist” (a female in my campaign) had taken a liking to a cursed broach.  The combination of the curse and Jehan’s sex change resulted in her losing faith in the gods, her cleric status, and her resulting retirement from adventuring.  Symon Cato, from the Temple of Zeus in Muntburg, took her spot on the “Fist”.

In Adamas, the party sold the recovered jewelry (rolling for each piece and achieving 60-70% of value) and some potions.  They deposited the ring of protection +1 with Isaac Stocker’s henchman Murray to sell it (10% roll failed for August).  Dante and Illyrio bought the two guard wolves available for sale in a class II market and Tariq bought a trained hawk. Dante bought a slave, looking for the biggest and dumbest one for 150% of the cost (I let him roll one up with best 3 of 4d6 for STR and he ended up with a 17 STR).   Dave the Hermit used this time to earn 25 GP per day doing miracles in Adamas.  Eduardo made it clear that to the world he was to be called “Kaiser Souse’”, to protect his identity.  Hera’s congregation in Muntburg continued to grow (aided by Julia’s daily free miracles).

Upon return to Muntburg, Illyrio looked to find out which syndicate was involved in the brothel (if any).  He met with Madam Selena Cooper, who offered to make him a silent partner if he wanted to invest.  She refused to identify her other ‘partners’, but it wass clear it was an organized group (probably the “Dock Boys” from Adamas. 

The party had heard of ‘Vareze’ from Segur the king of the orcs.  They planned on killing him to keep their word with the orcs.  They entered the dungeon, stopping by the face to ask about how the water from the moon pool was collected. (They had previously determined that the magic of true water would quickly fade once removed from the moon pool.  They knew that Isaac was looking for a way to transport the water out).  The face told them that true water would only remain pure in flasks of pure adamantium, purified vitreum, or coated in solid azoth.  They made it to the stairway to level 2a, stopping to kill some centipedes feasting on the shells of fire beetles. 

SPOILER

Before they went down the stairs, they took the time use lamp oil to clear the floor and burn off a blood trail from a fleeing orc (from Rufus's Raiders).  Eduardo identified a yellow mold and they were careful not to disturb it, hoping it would remain a trap for the unwary. 

END SPOILER

They met the orcs at the bottom of the stairs, calling out ‘hail Segur’.  The orcs allowed them to clear the newly made barricade enough to get by.  The orcs managed to give them some basic instructions how to reach the ‘pool of life’ so they could kill “Vareeze’. They stopped to investigate a room with metal shelves and some alchemical mixtures and a strange metal fixture.  There were 8 liquids of various colors.  Between Jace and Tariq they were able to identify 1 healing potion and 3 potions of gaseous form.  There were two other colors they were not able to identify.  Tariq tried one and it tasted terrible.  Jace tried the remaining one, started choking, and died.  Although Illyrio and Dante were happy to end up with a poison potion each, the party had to collect the body and haul it out of the dungeon.

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

2nd Session – Part 2

The metal fixture was box shaped on one end, tapering to a tube with a rubber stopper.  There was an empty flask coated with a silvery substance on the shelf next to it.  The party figured out that this might be used with a machine they had seen on the 1st level.   They decided to check it out on the way out.  They made it to the room with the machines on the first level, after finding out that the orcs had avoided the room with the shelves when an orc had died tasting something. 

The metal fixture fit into the slots on the ends of the machine.  When they pushed the button, the steamy metallic mist filed the flask, coating it with a thin layer of material.  They added a second coat on that flask, and used another empty flask to give it a single coat.  The noise attracted a group of dwarves that Isaac had hired to excavate/fortify the area around the moon pool.  (A group of orcs following the party also came close but when quickly fled when the party heard them).  One of the dwarves fetched Sgt. Fabricio Nino, henchman to Isaac and leader of the mercenary force.  The party explained they may have figured out how to get the true water out off the moon pool (Illyrio rolled 11 on the reaction (+1 for CHA making it a 12)), so Fabricio was so elated that he agreed to have some men carry Jace’s body and escort the party back to Muntburg.  They only stopped long enough to fill the two flasks with water from the moon pool. 

When they got back to town, Tariq tried the true water in the double coated flask and it had an effect!  There was a terrible metallic taste, so the party figured that they should’ve have let it set before filling with water.  A single coat was not enough.  Isaac and the Village People struck a deal; the device for a partnership and a 40% interest in the moon pool operation.  They told Isaac to have the local lawyer (Adryen Hernan) have a contract ready by the time they came back from Adamas. 

The party left the henchmen and animals in Muntburg, threw the body on a horse, and travelled lightly and quickly to Adamas.  Jace was brought back at the temple of Hera in Adamas, only slightly worse for wear, his confidence shaken (-10% XP until next level).  A quick sale of 2 of the gaseous form potions resulted in levels for most.  While the party waited two weeks for Jace to recover and train, another month passed.  A roll for sale of the ring of protection (now 20%) barely failed; however a roll for Dante’s prior parties sale of the Scarab of Death was successful, pushing him (and Isaac) to lvl 4.  He celebrated by taking part in a gladiatorial contest.  The entire party decided to watch, betting 100 gp at 1.5:1 odds. 

Dante entered as a traditional 2 weapon fighter, with 2 short swords and a dagger.  He faced a traditional ‘pursuer’ gladiator (18 hp, STR +1, CON +1, combat reflexes) armed with a short sword, shield, dagger, and heavy helmet.  Dante easily won initiative, crossing the sand and striking a viscous slash as his opponent blocked one sword with his shield, while the other slashed open his thigh (causing 12 hp damage).  Dropping to one knee in pain, he quickly responded by smashing Dante’s ear and cheek with his shield, stunning him sufficiently to allow Dante to be run through, killing him (the gladiator crit, with a natural 20, doing 15 damage).  Dante’s body was dragged from the arena and thrown onto the pile of dead for the day.

The party was not only out their hard won gold, they were in a quandary.  Dante had always told everyone he didn’t want to be raised from the dead.  He was a worshiper of death (having previously donated several thousand gp to the temple in Adamas) and often talked of how death was a gift that ended pain.  The player said that he didn’t want to be raised (although weakly).  The party decided “Oh, well.  Let’s take the body to the temple of Death and let them decide”.  Mother Riana of Death (speaking through a male cleric) recognized Dante.  She decided to case restore life and limb for free, relying on Death to decide (all on the roll).  Dante rolled well enough to be raised, speaking with the God of Death before coming back.  He came back marked by death, with a grey pallor and black and red eyes (black sclera, red iris, white pupil)  (-2 to reaction, +1 to intimidation). 

The party remained in Adamas for the 2 weeks Dante needed to heal. By the time the party returned to Muntburg it was October.  During that time the congregation of Hera in Muntburg grew to 38.  While the party was gone several people had come to the Temple of Hera:

o   Louys Hereint, Curate of Zeus,

o   Emilisse Faith, Priestess of Tyche, and

o   Some thugs asking for protection money.

Illyrio spoke to Madam Selena about the threats to the church, while Dante watched from the rooftops.  She indirectly admitted working with the ‘Dock Boys’, explaining that they wouldn’t dare extort the church (the ‘Don’ would never allow it).  Illyrio tried to seduce her w/o success but after some coin, she agreed to have the ‘Boss’ of the crew talk to him next time he was in Muntburg. 

Dave the Hermit spoke to Emilisse of Tyche, who welcomed Hera to the church family with a coupon for the casino.  She valued the aid in delivering miracles to the people.  Louys of Zeus was less gracious, reminding Dave of Hera’s position in the church hierarchy.  The party also took care of other business before a final expedition to the dungeon:

o   Dante freed Murphy, taking him on as a henchman.

o   Eduardo AKA ‘Kaiser Souse’ bought a 40% share (the most allowed by Maycot Felippe) in the Flask and Scroll Tavern for 1000 gp.  To seal the deal, he had to agree to take on Maycot’s eldest son as an apprentice adventurer.  

o   Jace and Tariq built a 2000 gp value library and 2000 gp value laboratory in Tariq’s warehouse.

o   Dave the hermit hired a master sculptor and a team of apprentices to build a 1500 gp statute of Hera in front of the temple. He also planned on commissioning a head of Hera to place on the ‘Termax-Hera’ statute in Dwimmermount.

o   Illyrio began talks of building an orphanage (read ‘assassin training ground’) with Dave in Muntburg.

o   They signed a formal agreement with Stocker Goods re: the moon pool.

o   Tariq let Barnubus go, paying him an extra month’s pay and throwing him a 500 gp retirement party (going to his xp bank)

The next day, the village people traveled to Dwimmermount in search of ‘Vareeze’ and the pool of life. The expedition included 9 men, 6 dogs/wolves, a hawk, and a donkey.

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

2nd Session – Part 3

The search for ‘Vareeze’ and the pool of life.

The Village People:

  • Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 3 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healing, Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. Spells – Necromantic Potence – (Covered w/ spectral bony armor) - Extremely short necromancer
    • Trained Hawk
  • Eduardo – Lvl 4 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, - DEX +2, CON +1, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather
    • Ukla the Quick – Lvl 1 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.
    • ‘Shemp’ Fellippe – Lvl 0 (carouser apprentice) – Labor (cook), Craft (brewer), Eavesdropping – WIS +1, DEX +3, CON -1, CHA +1
    • Boy – War dog
    • Girl – War dog
  • Dave ‘the Hermit’ Carrin – Lvl 3 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears plate + large shield (+2 AC and enc.)  Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.
    • Julia Feny – Lvl 1 Preistess (Medican) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Healing x2 – WIS +1, CON +1, CHA +2 ambitious, charismatic novice with a good heart
  • Jace – Lvl 3 Mage (Elementalist) – Elemenatlism, Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. Spells – Mirror Image (smoke resulting in copies) – has wand of magic missiles.  Quiet pyromaniac.
  • Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 3 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather
    • Guard Wolf – white w/ blue eyes.

And featuring a guest PC from Rufus’ Raiders (son visiting home from college)

  • Dante – Lvl 4 Assassin (Assassin-For-Hire) – Precise Shooting, Bargaining, Fighting Style (two weapons), Weapon Finesse, Intimidation – STR +1, INT +2 WIS -2, DEX +3, CON -1, wearing plate, custom helmet, short sword and war hammer +1.
    • War dog, Hunting dog, Guard Wolf
    • Murphy – 0 lvl freed slave – Labor, (others TBD), STR +2, WIS -2, CON +1

On their way to the 2nd level the party ignored what was probably another adventuring party they sighted in the distance.  Dante and Jace investigated a room with giant tanks of liquid while the rest of the party stood watch in the hallway.  They noticed a floating dagger surrounded by a green haze approaching in the torchlight.  Tariq sent his hawk to grab the dagger and watched in horror as it smacked right into a gelatinous cube.  At the same time Dante ordered Murphy to open a special tank -  releasing a giant ooze, which hit Murphy.  Murphy choose to sunder his shield, allowing him to ignore the hit.  During the fight the party found out that the ooze was immune to magic fire, several weapons were destroyed, Dante wasted a poison arrow to a high rolling ooze, and everyone realized that a cube was no match for 4 berserk undead minions. 

They party managed to find a room with unhealthy roses (the ones nearest the door seeming to perk up when Dante pricked his finger and dropped blood on one).  Eduardo scouted ahead and was able to sneak up on a human male working at a strange metal box, while 5 gnolls stood guard near a pool filled with white ectoplasm.  The party started by parlaying, discovering that this was the old leader of the orcs - “Var-eeze”.  He had a strange accent and a pompous air.  The party and he were unable to reach an accord and combat broke out.  Winning initiative they were able to wipe out the gnolls and subdue the mage. 

During the fight the mage managed to cause a gnoll warrior to form and crawl out of the ectoplasmic pool by manipulating controls on the machine.  They party forced Varazes (his real name) to explain how he did so.  He showed them how, creating a gnoll (which the party slew).  Jace and Tariq paid careful attention and took notes.  He also explained that the ectoplasmic pool was known as the ‘Pool of Life’ due to its wonderous properties.   Varazes said he was unsure if it would bring the dead back to life. Not waiting, Dante slit his throat and pushed the body into the pool (before Illyrio could react to stop him).  Varazes crawled, choking out of the pit, initially disoriented, brought back to life!

The party began to plan what to do next, and the session ended in the dungeon.  

Party loot from Varazes included:

Fear wand ('cretin' command word), ring of protection +2 (another trinket for sale in Adamas), and a strange metal symbol, identified as a 'Termaxian passkey' by Varazes.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I love the spell signatures you or your players have come up with. I've only had one player ever really use the spell signature rules, even though I would write them up for my NPCs.

 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

I love the spell signatures you or your players have come up with. I've only had one player ever really use the spell signature rules, even though I would write them up for my NPCs.

 


-Alex

Spell signatures are one of the coolest parts of the ACKs magic system.  Along with the templates in the Player's Companion, it really helps to differentiate between mages.  I think there are 2 main reasons they continue to come up with them:

  1. The mages are played by brothers, and there is a sense of competition to see who can come up with the best one.
  2. Before they can cast the spell for the first time, I make them explain what the signature is.  The whole table pauses until we figure it out as a group.  Play does not continue until we do.

The pcs also know that they will be able to use the signature creatively to their advantage - kind of like 'special effects' of the Hero/Champions system.  The fire mages magic missiles can catch things on fire.  The spectral armor of the necromancer's Necromantic Potence may help scare some peasants, etc.  It also causes add'l complications - the necromancer has to explain to the town militia that he shouldn't be burned at the stake when he summons undead berserkers. 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

The party began the session in the dungeon.  They wanted to take out the orcs, and came up with several alternative plans, all of which included turning Varazes over to the orcs and throwing him in the pool of life if he was killed.  After several minutes the decision was made to just have Tariq summon some berserkers and wing it. 

They returned to some orc guards rebuilding their barricade.  They stated they were coming to see Segur (the orc leader) and one of them ran ahead.  The party pushed past to the door of Segur’s makeshift throne room, finding the door barred from the other side.  After several minutes of pounding the door opened. 

The orcs were lined up in formation in the room, with Segur on his throne and a shield wall of orcs with swords in the front line and a row of orcs w/ spears directly behind.  There were 6 orc archers in the back of the room.  Segur was wearing the platinum earrings, and jeweled broach from the treasures of the IX legion. Most of the party couldn’t fit in the room, so the zombie berserkers, Illyrio, Dave, and Tariq went in the room. Negotiations for treasure in return for Varazes began in earnest.  During negotiations, Tariq lost his patience and began casting, and combat broke out.

Dante won initiative and quickly wiped out 4 orcs, cutting his was through to the line of archers. Illyrio was able to kill a few as well.  Then it was the orcs’ turn and the party realized why Segur was king.  He carved through 3 berserkers before hitting Illyrio with a natural ‘20’, doing 25 points of damage in a single blow and reducing him to zero HP (crits = max damage + weapon damage, re-roll all max rolls, weapon focus roll 1 more extra die).  Luckily Tariq hit Segur with a skeletal choking grasp, which didn’t really hurt him much but prevented him from reeking any more havoc. 

The hallway orc guards, and a large remaining group came around the corner to attack the party in the hallway.  After a few rounds of combat, Ukla, Jace, Eduardo, and the dogs managed to take them out.  A group of giant rats, attracted by the noise, was satisfied eating orc carcasses and were picked off one by one by Shemp.

Inside the throne room, Dave rushed to heal Illyrio.  He was alive, but had suffered severe head trauma and was a little adle-brained.  The orcs morale held strong, despite continuing losses, and Segur eventually broke free of the skeletal grasp.  He started to attack Dave, when Tariq unleashed the fear wand.

Dave, Dante, and Segur fled.  Dave and Dante were subdued by the other party members.  Segur had to force his way through the war dogs (made a successful overrun) to get away.  Tariq and Dante’s dogs followed after him.  Segur managed to have some of the guards still watching the halls delay the dogs long enough to run past the final guards.  The last surviving orcs poured oil on the floor and lit it on fire, doing some damage to Tariq and the dogs.  The dogs were unwilling to  chase the orcs through the fire and they returned without their prey. 

All in all the party had killed 26 orcs in the battle.  They began to pile up the bodies when Shemp and Eduardo noticed someone coming down the stairs to the guardroom.  It was the rival adventurer party the ‘Fist of Zeus’.  As they started their greetings, Tariq quickly killed Varazes to make sure he didn’t talk to them.  The party directed the Fist towards the pool of life.  The PCs burned all of the bodies and made it out of the dungeon and back to Muntburg without any further encounters.

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Session 3 part 2  - The Mayor of “Mudburg”

The party returned to Muntburg on Saturday, October 7th.  Eduardo made sure to give Peiru Danthan, the Corporal of the Watch who greeted visitors to Muntburg, a little cash to direct visitors to his tavern.  Illyrio was still under the effects of his head injury (-10% xp), and needed 2 weeks bed rest.  Unfortunately, he received notice from Madam Selena that the meeting with Boss Horner of the Dock Boys was scheduled within a week, before he was fully recovered. 

Illyrio, Dave the Hermit, Tariq came to the meeting in the brothel.  The caretaker of Hera’s temple, Jimmy, came along to see if he could identify the person who extorted the church.  Boss Drake Horner started by asking about Illyrio’s interest in part ownership of the brothel, explaining that Muntburg was an ‘open’ town, but that the Dock Boys were moving in and always had room for a new crew of ‘earners’.  It wouldn’t stay an open town for long.  Illyrio stated that the Boss must have misunderstood a simple interest in a business opportunity.

They were taken to a torture room in the basement of the brothel.  Two hooded men were strapped in heavy chairs.  Boss Horner removed their hoods, and Jimmy identified them as the men who extorted the church.  The Boss apologized profusely on behalf of ‘Don’ Othon LeFeyd, offering 500 gp worth of silver and gold candelabras for use in the Temple of Hera.  The two men, black and blue, later delivered the goods to the Temple of Hera.  Dave healed them, but failed to persuade them to join his congregation.

After Illyrio rested, the party traveled to Adamas.  Jace paid for Illyrio to be cured of his head injury resulting in him becoming infertile.  While they waited for Illyrio to be heathy enough to travel, Eduardo earned some money gambling, Dave earned some money providing miracles, and both Tariq and Jace both found hawks.  The mages also exchanged spells and wands. 

Before leaving Adamas, the party rolled well and Isaac’s man Murray was able to find a buyer for the Ring of Protection +1 for 30K GP.   Tariq sought, and found, a large henchman, an ex-legionnaire from Adamas named Lenny.  He wasn’t bright or wise, but was immensely strong and towered over him.  He equipped him with plate armor and commissioned a special backpack he could use to ride on his back.    David commissioned custom Plate mail and a shield with Hera embossed on them, and a staff with Hera’s face for his henchman Julia; Tariq commissioned expensive (with a cloak to cover the skulls on the shoulders) and an expensive staff. 

The XP helped everyone except the mages gain a level.  Luckily for them the party came across a 5 headed hydra on the way back from Adams.  There were able to surprise it while it was snacking on some cows, and it was no match for 4 sets of summoned berserkers. 

The party returned to Muntburg (with 2K GP each worth of lab and library materials for the mages being delivered). The henchmen were given raises and bonuses and remained with their employers.  The party gathered supplies for their next expedition to recover the treasures of the IXth Thulian Legion.

The fist of Zeus had been successful, bringing back thousands of GP worth of crystal.  There were also two additional adventuring parties in town, both from Adamas: the “Crimson Band’ and the “Seekers”.  The Village People did not have any contact with them prior to going into the dungeon.

Muntburg was outgrowing its original walls.  Illyrio arranged to meet with the Bailiff Lambert Cooper of Muntburg about obtaining land for the building of an orphanage outside of the walls.  He rolled poorly during his negotiations and the bailiff wouldn’t let him build a walled compound close to the walls unless he would be willing to have the entire party join the Muntburg militia. Illyrio became frustrated with the negotiations and left after making an enemy of the bailiff.  He moved outside of the gates into a neighborhood of mud huts outside of the town gates.  Illyrio promised that he would see Muntburg burn to the ground. 

Illyrio convinced Dave that the bailiff was corrupt and asked for something he couldn’t possibly deliver.  Dave reached out to meet with the Legate to discuss the issue, but was unable to meet prior to the next planned expedition. They left for Dwimmermount the morning of November 3rd

Hardrada
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2015-06-28 02:40
I _love_ how good reaction rolls are always "situation normal" while bad reaction rolls indicate some sort of corruption, defect, or nefarious purpose. This is true even when all rolls are in the open.
Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I hadn't noticed that, but that's hilarious.

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Session 3 Part 3 -Dwimmermount Expedition 3 - search for the spoils of the IXth legion

Village People:

  • Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 4 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healing, Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. New Spells – Magic missile – (Cackling skull of force) - Extremely short necromancer wearing expensive black robes with skull on the shoulders (covered by a cloak in town) – has wand of magic missiles.
    • Trained Hawk #2
    • Lenny Davos – Lvl 1 Fighter – (Legionary) – FS (Weapon +Shield), Siege Engineering – STR+2, INT -1, WIS -1, DEX +1, CON +1, CHA +1 – Heavily muscled former soldier from Adamas, wears Plate +Shield, fighting w/ spear or a silver short sword. 
  • Eduardo aka ‘Keyser Soze’ – Lvl 5 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, Precise Shooting, Lip Reading - DEX +2, CON -2, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather and armed with Imperial Legion X-Bow
    • Ukla the Quick – Lvl 2 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.
    • ‘Shemp’ Fellippe – Lvl 1 Thief (carouser apprentice) – Labor (cook), Craft (brewer), Eavesdropping – WIS +1, DEX +3, CON -1, CHA +1
    • Boy – War dog
    • Girl – War dog
  • Dave ‘the Hermit’ Carrin – Lvl 5 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism, Command – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears custom made plate (with symbol of Hera) + large shield with Embossing of Hera on the front (+2 AC and enc.)  Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.
    • Julia Feny – Lvl 2 Priestess (Medican) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Healing x2 – WIS +1, CON +1, CHA +2, ambitious, charismatic novice with a good heart (in town)
    • Jimmy Bakerson – lvl 0 Laborer – Endurance, Labor (janitor), Animal Husbandry, Labor (farmer), caretaker of the temple of Hera (in town)
  • Jace – Lvl 4 Mage (Elementalist) – Elementalism (fire), Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. Spells – New spell -  Mirror Image (smoke resulting in copies) – has wand of fear and wears flame red robes with a ruby tipped staff.  Quiet pyromaniac.
    • Red Hawk
  • Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 4 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation, Acrobatics – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather
    • ‘Ghost’ - Guard Wolf – white w/ blue eyes.

Armed with 500 ft. of rope, the party decided to tackle the elevator shaft in to find the remains of the spoils of the IXth Legion.  The party soon found out that although the treasure was good, the dangers were signiciantly increased in the Halls of Lesser Secrets.  

They made it to the elevator shaft without any problem.  Eduardo managed to scout at the base of the elevator before helping everyone except for Shemp and the donkey climb down.  They opened the door to find 3 giant tropical spiders approaching down a 20’ wide hallway.  They were able to dispatch them, but the noise attracted a minotaur patrol, who opened a nearby door and attacked.  The party took them down as well (Illyrio managing to successfully tumble behind one for a backstab), stopping to remove the minotaur horns.

The party hit a wall when they were unable to decipher the meaning of notes on the map near an area that turned out to be part of a teleportation maze/trap.  They backtracked and explored a corner of the level.  They discovered:

  • The frog like Ranine - Jace charmed one,  the party was scared  away by the threats of a Ranine Priest
  • Strange floating blue spheres
  •  A Termaxian mummy, the sight of which struck Eduardo and Ukla dumb with fear.  
  • A magically dark/lit  room with writing all over the walls.
  • Conufsion causing frescos - causing Illyrio to speak gibberish before attacking the party
  • shadows drawn by the sounds of intra-party conflict; a significant problem as they were immune to normal weapons.

Only the combination of Jace's desperate last stand with his fear wand and bad rolls by the shadows avoided a total team wipe.  They managed to get back to town with a decent haul (6K EP, +1 ring of protection, a treasure map, and a high quality shield), but with Ukla and Eduardo down for the count.  They also learned the extent of the face's knowledge, which should be helpful in crafting questions in the future.  

The Village People finally realized the importance of magical weapons.  The value of a skilled thief was also magnified when the mummy's curse took him away.  We ended the session as they walked into town.  

 

 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Yeah,bad rolls = omg unfair, good rolls = business as usual.  In this case the PC rolled.  In fairness to the pcs, they knew that it was fair, but Dave the Hermit is gullible, and Illyrio was exaggerating " in  character."

 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Interlude – Rufus’ Raiders Spring Break Mission

  • Rufus Hypnol– Lvl 3 Barbarian Death Dealer – Ambushing, Survival, Running, Armor Training STR +2, CHA -1, Switching to plate mail and armed with a two handed sword – Would be gangster
  • Dante – Lvl 4 Assassin (Assassin-For-Hire) – Precise Shooting, Bargaining, Fighting Style (two weapons), Weapon Finesse, Intimidation – STR +1, INT +2 WIS -2, DEX +3, CON -1, wearing custom skull helmet, Plate mail, short sword, war hammer +1, unearthly appearance (corpselike skin, black and red eyes) – death worshipping assassin.
    • War dog - Finn, Hunting dog - Scout, Guard Wolf - Balto
    • Murphy aka Telemachus – 1st lvl freed slave fighter – Labor, (others TBD), STR +2, WIS -2, CON +1
  • Lazarus Deathbrood – Lvl 1 Cleric Exorcist – Sensing Evil, and Intimidation, INT -1, WIS +1, DEX +2, CON +1 CHA +1 Wears Banded Plate under a black cassock, armed with shield and sickle or a scythe, Budding Cleric of Death.

The session began with character creation for a new player.  For the first time, both characters rolled by a player had over -3 or more total attribute bonuses.  I allowed him to re-roll.  He choose a cleric and rolled up the exorcist template. 

Since it had been a while since Rufus had played and Rufus had not yet received his share of the sale of a +1 ring of protection, we ret-conned what he had been doing.  Rufus met with Boss Horner of the Dock Boys, who praised him as a good earner.  Boss Horner agreed to talk to his Capo into allowing Rufus to invest 1800 gp in one of his casinos in Adamas (for a 200 gp ‘finder’s fee).  Rufus also spent some time in Adamas learning how to be a gangster (spent days towards learning Profession-Gangster).

Meanwhile Dante and Lazarus wanted to build a temple/fortress of Death in Muntburg.  They arranged a meeting with Bailiff Cooper with Corporal Peiru.  However Lazarus rolled a 3 on his reaction roll, and the Bailiff (probably tired of adventurers bugging him), immediately threw them out of his office.  Lazarus urged Dante to try to intimidate him, but Dante thought better of starting a fight with the entire town. 

The Raiders prepared to enter the mountain.  Isaac told them of a need to investigate a stairway near the moon pool operation, as there were undead coming up from below.  Despite Rufus and Dante having skills geared towards being lightly armored, they both decided to go into the dungeon heavily armored.  (Dante forgot he had a wolf, so the wolf remained outside.)

       The Raiders decided to use the main entrance into the mountain (to ask the stone head a question).  When they entered they found a mercenary company, the Crimson Band, led by the Chandler brothers (and their adventuring group).  Daniau Chandler demanded proof of a permit to enter the dungeon, which they provided.  They found out that the Crimson Band received their authorization from the Despot of Adamas, not the local legate from Muntburg.  The party tried to hire some additional men to travel with them, but the smallest group he would hire out (10 men and a member of the Crimson Band), were more meat shields then the party wanted to handle.  Additional questions from Daniau were cut short from a growling intimidation check from the red-eyed, death mask wearing Dante (total intimidation roll of 13). 

They travelled to the stone head and asked about the current residents of level 2b (by showing the head their map of the stairs).  The head replied that it didn’t know.  They made it to the unexplored portion of the 1st level without any wandering monsters.  They ended up at a door where they heard voices complaining about guard duty.  They opened the door to find spirit guards talking.  They ignored them and found their bones.   Lazarus left the bones instead of collecting them for burial. 

They entered the next room and found several marble pedestals. In front of each were metal plates.  There was also a stairway going down and many fire beetles. As combat ensued, it was clear what a difference a few levels make.   The one-time party killer beetles was merely a speed bump for the party.  After experimenting a little, they were able to figure out that the pedestals contained visions of the past, telling a story of the taking of Dwimmermount by the Thulians, later showing mages commanding armies and a group standing around a giant metal head of Terms Termax and speaking. 

The party found the stairs to the Reliquary (as the head called the level).  They found the scene of an old battle at the bottom of the stairs.  Lazarus used his sense evil power and sensed an evil presence WSW from their location.  The party agreed to head that way.  They travelled through a room filled with six columns, each covered with a letter or symbol and an abstract sculpture at the end.  Dante pressed the letters in sequence, spelling out a word.  As he pressed each letter, it lit up. As he completed the word he felt divine energy flow through his body.  Luckily, he was able to handle the energy (rolled a 17 on his save vs. spells) and found himself imbued with the power to cast detect magic 1x daily.  Lazarus tried the same and found himself with the ability to cast sanctuary 1x daily.  Rufus decided not to press his luck and didn’t touch anything. 

They entered an empty chamber with exits to the north, where they assumed the evil sensed by Lazarus was waiting behind a closed door, and the west.  They checked the passage to the west to clear it before battling the evil and found a room filled with many ruined books.  They spent several turns searching and found a book in surprisingly good condition on one of the shelves lining the wall.  Pulling on the book caused the entire bookshelf to open revealing a small room containing several ancient books and scrolls in good shape.  Dante used his newly found power and found that one of the books was magical; a book that explained a way to gain inner wisdom.  They snatched it up.  They decided that the remaining 300 lbs of books were valuable but decided to come back after they took care of whatever evil lay near. 

As they backtracked to face the evil to the north, several members of the party (other than the Rufus, whose barbarian instincts served him well) were surprised by 2 horse sized segmented worms.  They attacked, paralyzing Dante and Lazarus.  Rufus and the dogs attacked.  Murphy dragged Dante’s body to safety before attacking.  The worms moved on to Murphy and one of the dogs, paralyzing them as well.  Rufus briefly thought of fleeing (he was almost 4th level after all and didn’t want to start over) but changed his mind when he realized he would not be able to get past the worms.  Rufus and the last dog became paralyzed, but not before killing one of the worms.  Luckily Lazarus was able to beat the worm’s initiative roll and his paralysis wore off before the worm could ingest anyone.  Lazarus was able to survive long enough for Dante to awaken and they killed the last worm. 

Shaken but unhurt from the encounter, they rested for a turn before opening the door to the north to find a winged demonic statue on a large pedestal in the middle of the room.  As they approached the statue, it came to life (a gargoyle) and they attacked.  It was able to fly, making it difficult to fight.  They also found that it was unaffected by their missile weapons (they bounced off).  Dante had Murphy use his shield to boost his jump, leapt up, and attacked the monster with his magical hammer.  It worked, injuring the beast.  Unable to affect it with weapons, Rufus changed tactics as well.  He jumped up and grabbed the creature, throwing it to the ground.  After taking a few blows, he and Lazarus were able to hold it down for Dante to smash it with his magical hammer.  

Finding no treasure, the party decided to get some help from Issac’s men near the moon pool to bring the books back to town.  They made it back up to the first level, but on the way through the hallways they barely escaped a falling patch of green slime.  They threw a flask of lit oil on it and turned away, making it safely through a series of rooms to Fabricio, the leader of Issac’s moon pool garrison.  He agreed to lend a few men to carry the books for a small fee.  They retrieved the books and made it back to Muntburg without any trouble. 

The Raiders took the books, along with the first season’s shipment of moon pool water and azoth lined flasks to Adamas for Issac’s henchman Murray to sell.  The sale of the recovered books resulted in enough XP for everyone to raise in level.  The party also decided to sell the magical book, which was valued at 25,000 gp, but they were not able to sell it the first month. 

 

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

(For the first 2 hours, all we did was non-combat, non-exploration, campaign activities.  I never imagined that the players and I would remain engaged, but it was awesome.  I must figure out how to better address multiple player interactions and include everyone. I might move some of the campaign stuff to email or forums.) 

Session 4 – Part 1

Village People:

  • Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 4 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healing, Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. Extremely short necromancer wearing expensive black robes with skull on the shoulders (covered by a cloak in town) – has wand of magic missiles. New Spell – Deathless Minion – (no spell signature yet)
    • Trained Hawk #2
    • Lenny Davos – Lvl 1 Fighter – (Legionary) – FS (Weapon +Shield), Siege Engineering – STR+2, INT -1, WIS -1, DEX +1, CON +1, CHA +1 – Heavily muscled former soldier from Adamas, wears Plate +Shield, fighting w/ spear or a silver short sword. 

 

  • Eduardo aka ‘Keyser Soze’ – Lvl 5 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, Precise Shooting, Lip Reading - DEX +2, CON -2, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather and armed with Imperial Legion X-Bow
    • Ukla the Quick – Lvl 2 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.
    • ‘Shemp’ Fellippe – Lvl 1 Thief (carouser apprentice) – Labor (cook), Craft (brewer), Eavesdropping – WIS +1, DEX +3, CON -1, CHA +1
    • Boy – War dog
    • Girl – War dog

 

  • Dave ‘the Hermit’ Carrin – Lvl 5 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism, Command – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears custom made plate (with symbol of Hera) + large shield with Embossing of Hera on the front (+2 AC and enc.)  Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.
    • Julia Feny – Lvl 2 Priestess (Medican) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Healing x2 – WIS +1, CON +1, CHA +2, ambitious, charismatic novice with a good heart (in town)
    • Jimmy Bakerson – lvl 0 Laborer – Endurance, Labor (janitor), Animal Husbandry, Labor (farmer), caretaker of the temple of Hera (in town)

 

  • Jace – Lvl 4 Mage (Elementalist) – Elementalism (fire), Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. has wand of fear and wears flame red robes with a ruby tipped staff.  Quiet pyromaniac. New Spell – Hands of Stone Strength (Ogre Power) – Target becomes imbued with the power of an earth elemental – Skin hardening and turning the color of polished granite and hands becoming stone.  
    • Red Hawk

 

  • Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 4 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation, Acrobatics – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather
    • ‘Ghost’ - Guard Wolf – white w/ blue eyes.

The Village People ended the last session with two of their members struck dumb with terror.  Their first priority was to travel to Adamas to return them to normal and spend their hard earned treasure. 

After planning how they were going to lead the dumbstruck Ukla and Eduardo to Adamas, they took it slow and sure.  After a quick trip to the Temple of Hera, both were returned to their senses.  Ukla briefly considered leaving Eduardo’s service, but he remained loyal. 

Eduardo’s first act was to look for a dwarven brewer to hire to improve his tavern’s business in Muntburg.  Lucky for him it was Dwarven Beerfest in Adamas (had him roll % to see how many dwarven brewmasters were in town.  He rolled in the 90s, hence Beerfest!).  He was able to secure a long time contract with a prominent Dwarven Brewing Clan from the dwarven city of Vol Darul  to the south.  This deal provides him with a permanent +10% to his profit roll every month! (a 3d6 roll).  He and Ukla spent most of their time gambling, although he did find out the potential cost of commissioning living panther statues with true seeing to serve as silent guardians for the tavern. 

The two mages had never studied after advancing to 4th level.  Jace went to the leader of his the Elemntalist College in Adamas, Mage Angelica Ancel.  After making arrangements to purchase additional books and lab materials for shipment to Muntburg, Tariq travelled with Lenny to Yethylreom to study with his teacher, a necromancer Enchanter.  

Dave was busy.  He had business back in Muntburg with Legate Verodart, but that wasn’t for a few weeks.  Before Dave left Muntburg, he had spoken with his henchperson Julia about expanding his church to the neighboring villages near Muntburg.  She travelled with him to Adamas to try to recruit 3 priests/priestesses of Hera to join his church.  She was successful, and 3 preistesses joined the growing church.  He also hired every free engineer in Adamas to quickly build small chapels in all 7 villages under the authority of the Legate of Muntburg.  He only had 3 weeks before the harvest festival of Hera.  He spent extra gold, but was able to have them finished in time.  The plan was that the 4 priestesses would rotate to cover the various chapels around the area. 

Meanwhile Illyrio decided to invest some money into a trading venture.  He did a little market research and decided to trade between Adamas and Yethlereom.  He spent 3 weeks finding merchants, renting barges/wagons, and travelling.  Making only approx. 150 gp profit, he decided to hire a smuggler, merchant, or venturer henchman before his next venture.

Dave travelled back to Muntburg to meet with the Legate on behalf of Illyrio.  He also brought back Julia and her 3 new henchwomen priestesses.   Legate Verodart welcomed Dave, thanked him for the free miracles for the town, and apologized for his Bailiff’s paranoia (‘it’s his job to be suspicious’).   He agreed to let Illyrio and Dave build their orphanage (AKA Illyrio’s school for wayward assassins) and they could have the land for free.  He had 2 conditions, 1) they had to agree to come to Muntburg’s defense if attacked, and 2) they had to pay 500 to 1000 gp towards improvements to the area outside of the gates, which he would match out of his personal funds.  The money would be used to pave roads, build wells, etc.  Dave agreed.    Finally, Dave arranged to provide plenty of food and drink for the harvest festival (using Eduardo’s tavern to cater the event).    He travelled back to Adamas to meet the rest of the party.

              The party had planned to give the (likely magical) shield to the Despot of Adamas as a gift to gain favor.  Unfortunately, they had no direct connection.   Illyrio spent a week and 80 gp (we did a single roll determining the time and the cost) and managed to get a spot in line while the despot was holding court.  Despot Cheron was attended by Bishop Saidon of Zeus and Mage General Renfred Fidlo. They presented not only a shield from the fabled IXth Legion, but also a Thulian crossbow.  The party (minus Tariq, who was still studying in Yethlrreom) made a favorable impression.  The despot was interested in their tale of the dungeon (although they left out the part about their treasure map).  As a result, they received payment for their gift (5,000 GP).   The despot told them of another party that had purchased the right to plunder the dungeon and form a mercenary company, the Crimson Band.  The party told them of Isaac’s deal with the Legate and the Despot made it clear that he approved the Village People’s exploration of the dungron and recognized Isaac’s deal with the Legate of Muntburg (both in writing). 

              Bishop Saidon spoke briefly of his days as an adventurer before asking about any spoons they may have found.  Brother Dave also talked to him of the friction between the church of Hera in Muntburg and Curate Louys of Zeus.  The bishop assured them that he would talk to the Curate and the party was invited to a royal feast later that night (at a table in the back of course). Eduardo managed to use his skill in reading lips to pick up some valuable information regarding an illicit affair between a (female) senator and another senator’s adult son.  Eduardo decidide to keep the secret in reserve to use at a later time. 

              The entire party managed to make it back to Muntburg in time for the harvest fest (Tariq having no encounters on the road).  The festival was a big success, except for a suspicious fire and a few fights that broke out.  The party prepared to head into the dungeon two days later. 

bobloblah
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters BackerLairs And Encounters ContributorBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16

I love how you've managed to really get the party embedded in the world around them - that's awesome! My own group has (sort of) two main parties, affectionately known as the A-team and the B-team (they're a creative lot). A-team was the first group chronologically, with the highest level characters as a result, and they've mostly been a wandering (often fleeing) band of deadly vagrants. Admittedly, they pissed off some pretty nasty people, which has required the ability to relocate on short notice, but I'm seeing the far newer B-team (which includes some new players) getting much more involved in the surrounding world, even going so far as trying to set up shop in a bandit stronghold they captured. There's something deeply satisfying about one's players buying in enough to put down roots, and your party appears to be doing so in spades...anyway, your campaign sounds great! Really enjoying the write-ups. Thanks for taking the time to post them.

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Really enjoying the write-ups. Thanks for taking the time to post them.


-bobloblah

Thanks.  I was inspired by the other campaign write-ups here (yours included).  It also helps to remember what happened if there is a gap between sessions (and in my attempts to weave all of the random stufff into some kind of narrative).

BTW are both your parties actually seperate groups of players, or the same core of players choosing to play a different group depending on who shows up that night?

bobloblah
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Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16
More the latter, although until recently there were players who were really only in one or the other. Unfortunately, the group has experienced a real-world rupture for a variety of reasons, so for the recent past it has basically been the same players. On the plus side, it means I'm recruiting again. :-)
jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Session 4 – Part 2

On their way out of town, Peiru Danthan of the watch told Eduardo that there was a white haired adventurer who came back from the mountain who had symptoms like Eduardo and Ukla had when they exited the dungeon.  The party entered the dungeon with their animals, Ukla, Lenny, and Shemp.  They entered the mountain through the front door and ran into the Crimson Band.  When confronted, they showed them the order from the Despot of Adamas.  They also offered to sell their map of the first level to the band once they got a chance to make a copy. 

They made it to the elevator without issue.  They used the key to lock the door after entereing, leaving the animals and Shemp to guard the door and went down the shaft.  They finally figured out the teleportation traps.  On the way to the hidden treasure room on the map they found a room filled with webs (avoided), a temple to death, and a room with a giant Terms statue.  Right before they reached their destination, Tariq waited at a door to see what happened if they waited in a teleporting trap room.  They were actually surprised when they were teleported to a strange room.  By amazing luck, they were all teleported to the same room (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  Not DM error, nope, just luck). 

They heard battle to the west.  They found minotaurs fighting a group of short sword wielding humans.  They choose to aid the humans.   During the fight, a summoned zombie struck a human figure, seemingly with no effect.  Fearing they made the wrong decision, they helped finish off the minotaurs anyway. 

After the fight, the party discovered that the leader of the group, Kriska, was willing to meet them and ask for assistance against the minotaurs.  They also found out that they could see in the dark and had lived their entire life in the dungeon.  A second group appeared, however they were ratmen!  The party realized that the ‘humans’ were actually wererats.  They told them they would meet later.  They waited for the teleportation room reset and ended up in 3 groups all over the level.  By tracking light sources, and yelling, they were able to meet.  As they neared  their goal, Ukla noticed a group approaching from a side hallway. (Despite raising chance of a random encounter to 3 in 6 and several rolls, the party eas lucky and had NO encounters during this perios).

There was a group of 2 armed men, a lightly armored woman in the back, and two men and a woman dressed in clothing in the middle (apparently mages). One of the fighters matched the description of the person Corpoal Danthan of the Muntburg Watch identified as the person struck dumb with terror.  A red headed female mage was the apparent leader, who introduced the group as the Heralds of the Silver Dawn.  With them was Shemp. 

Seeing Shemp, the party knew that their animals were unlikely to have survived.  The mage identified herself as Alina.  After some initial parley, she goaded her party to attack, but Shemp begged her not to fight.  As they settled down and agreed to go their separate ways, one of the mages suddenly cast a spell without making a sound!  (silent casting) The party was surprised and several members, including some casters, went down (I had decided at the beginning of the campaign to allow saves vs. sleep (-1 per lvl of caster) when the party cast it against monsters, so I used the same rules here).  Luckily Tariq made his save and managed to win initiative for the next round.  He summoned undead berserkers which kept the fighters from slaying the sleeping party members.   

The Heralds rolled incredibly badly (all in the open), and the party rolled well.  The party managed to awaken before anyone was slain.  Making things worse for the Heralds, Tariq was able to summon a ghostly spirit which possessed one of the mages (charm person spell).  The fighters were slain, Shemp was wrestled down, and the remaining 3 heralds fled (in the middle of the battle). 

The sounds of the battle attracted the attention of many frog men in a nearby room, who immediately attacked, surprising some.  The party handled those creatures relatively easily, as there were several elemental and undead berserkers remaining from the last fight.  Although Lenny was hit with a fear spell, the party ended up wounded but victorious with two shaman frogman prisoners.  (We ended the session there, but the next session immediately picked up the round after the frog-man fight).

bobloblah
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters BackerLairs And Encounters ContributorBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16

Interesting that you added a saving throw for Sleep. What made you decide to do so (other than it being the "tactical nuke" of old-school play)?

My own players are utterly terrified (and rightly so!) of that spell.

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Interesting that you added a saving throw for Sleep. What made you decide to do so (other than it being the "tactical nuke" of old-school play)?


-bobloblah

I ran ACKs as a series of one-shots.  There were 3 mages in the party.  At first it was for a sense of balance netween spells.  It was o.k. that 1st level spells had different strenths, but sleep was SO much more effective. (Spells based on templates or random rolls).   I felt bad for the mages who DIDN'T have sleep, so I decided to give it a save mechanic - save vs. spell - caster level. 

I figured that the most common foe that sleep was used on (1 hd creatures who save as fighters) had only a 10% chance of a save.  The players, coming from 5e and Castles and Crusades, didn't know any better.  Sleep still was a tactical nuke, but now maybe 1 foe would save.   It was the spell of choice, until one of the players managed to learn summon beserkers . . .

bobloblah
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Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16

Indeed! Kudos to Alex for coming up with a spell comparable to Sleep, i.e. Summon Berserkers (I actually think Charm Person is in the same ballpark).

GMJoe
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Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

I'm guessing making wererats immune to attacks in human form was to give the players an early tell that something was up?

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

I didn't remember exactly (I'm a little behind in my summaries) but I 'm pretty sure one of the mages intentionally had a berserker attack one of the 'humans' for one round, in case they decided to wipe everyone out.  

As for weapon immunity in human form, that's just a house rule (all lycanthropes have weapon immunity in human form).  The players assumed they were all undead until after the fight.  

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Session 5 – part 1

The session began with the party still in the dungeon.  After a round spent talking, Illyrio, Jace, and Ukla tried to head off the Heralds before they made it out of the dungeon, Jace taking Tariq’s wand.  They ran to the elevator, taking a different route than the path of the Herald’s retreat.  While they were gone, Tariq spoke to the charmed mage.  His name was Nantier, and he made it clear that there was no love lost between he and Alina, the leader of the Heralds that Illyrio was hunting.

Illyrio’s group made it to the elevator and could see 3 figures climbing up the rope; about 60 feet up.  The lead climber, the thief, had a hooded lantern hanging from her waist.  Alina was next and the remaining mage followed up the rear.  Jace targeted Alina, she was struck, and she fell.  (I used the climbing rules from Veins of the Earth).  She also caused Betan (the mage beneath her) have to roll.  He didn’t fall, but slid 10 feet down and was frozen in fear at 50 ft. up.  After initiative was rolled, before the party could act, Betan suddenly fell as the rope was cut by the thief, who managed to climb to safety in the dark (after dousing her lantern).  Rolling damage (1d6 x 1d10) for the fall for both mages resulted in vastly different results.  Alina landed on her head, her brains splattering all over the floor (48 damage), while Betan’s fall was cushioned by landing on the corpse of Alina (6 damage).  (this severly limited Illyrio’s plans to bring Alina back to life using the pool of life on the second level, only to repeatedly kill her for vengeance for his dead wolf).  Betan immediately surrendered.

The party tied up the mage, searched him, and striped Alina’s body.  They asked Betan what everything did, which matched Jace’s Magical Engineering rolls. The loot included a ring of protection, a cloak of protection, a magical demon headed dagger, and a potion of ESP.  They made it back to the party.

Meanwhile Tariq and Eduardo found out from Shemp and the charmed mage (Nantier) more about the Heralds and their equipment:

  • One of the fighters and the thief were just mercenaries, the other fighter was a true believer in the vision of Terms Termax. 
  • The merc fighter (Philippe) had a very strange broad sword without a point and a split in the middle.  Per Nantier it was apparently a magical sword called ‘Swordbreaker’ (which Illyrio claimed).
  • The fire in the church of Hera during the harvest festival was set by Alina.
  • They used magic to open the door to the elevator, put the animals to sleep, and killing the dogs, wolf and hawks. 
  • Nantier was looking for his opportunity to get rid of Alina anyway.
  • There were 2 magical shields (Dave got one), magical chain (Ukla), and Nantier’s scroll of Clairvoyance (which they let him keep).

The party went into the room where the frog men were, finding 4 pools of water.  The water was potable but tasted bad.

*** Spoilers ahead *****

 They opened the secret door marked on their map and found the remains of the treasures of the IXth Legion. There were various trinkets, some chests with gold silver and copper, several empty chests, and a smaller coffer containing a humanoid reptilian skull.  When the box the opened, the skull turned in its velvet lined box to face Eduardo.   He immediately closed it and gave it to Jace. 

The party spoke to the frogmen shaman they had captured.  They spoke rough common.  They explained that the party had already met their leader.  The party released them, telling them to return to their group and let them know they would agree to non-aggression.  The larger shaman demanded some of the treasure in return.  The party gave them some silver in a small chest and they agreed to leave (their luck continued as rolls went their way and the ranine didn’t come back in force to take it all). 

Jace had to use up an elemental strength spell (ogre power) but the party managed to get the treasure to the elevator.  They had to figure out how to get it up the elevator shaft. (Forgot to mention in the past summary, the PCs found a secret room near the elevator with instructions in a strange language.  Unable to read them, they took some paper and charcoal to make a rubbing of the raised letters, planning to take it to Adamas for translation.)

*** End spoilers

Eduardo took his time and was able to climb back up without a problem.  Luckily most of the rope was still there at the top (another lucky roll).  One more spell later resulted in everyone getting up safely. 

In Muntburg, the party went to the local lawyer to draft a non-compete/peace accord between the Village People and Rufus’s Raiders.  They also met Richal, a member of the Seekers, one of the competing adventurer bands.  They asked him to translate the rubbing from the elevator.  He could not, but suggested that they take it to the Azure tower in Adamas, where they could find someone to cast read languages. Richal did ask about the dungeon and inquired about maps or other info.  Dave also asked a young mage working as a scribe to make a couple of copies of their map of the first level (one to sell to the crimson band and one to sell to the seekers).

The end of the month resulted end of month expenses and income.  They Village People each received their share of Isaac’s Moon Pool operation.  Eduardo had a lot of bonuses to his roll and rolled well.  The Dwarven ale contract with the paid off in a major way, as taverns and Inns on nearby towns of Gloris and Duros set up purchasing agreements for the basic dwarven ale, effectively doubling his investment value in the business.

Legate Verodart asked to meet with Dave.  He offered his thanks for the miracles provided by the church of Hera for free.  He also told of his appreciation for the Harvest festival.  As a result, the Legate offered the church of Hera a 25% share of the tithe from his personal lands.  Dave thanked the Legate for his generosity. 

Eduardo asked Madam Selena Cooper to set up a meeting with Boss Drake Horner of the Dock Boys.  One was set for Friday December 1st.  The party delivered the maps for a fine fee.  On Friday, Eduardo met with Boss Horner, agreeing that the Dock Boys would leave the inn alone in return for a valuable secret that Eduardo had learned in Adamas (one worth a fair amount of gold).  He agreed to give the Dock Boys any info in the future for a share of the return.  Boss Horner agreed. 

Jace and Tariq identified the magic items (100 gp gem, identify spell, and a roll), finding out that the skull was an ancient lizard man descendant imbued with the spirit of an ancestor.  It spoke an unknown tongue, but had knowledge of certain facts.  It also could indicate directions to a certain location.  The sword was “Swordbreaker”, a +2 sword that gave the user the sunder proficiency for free, and a bonus to break swords and daggers.

In Adamas, Illyrio interviewed Charles Waverman (aka Chucky Wave) a Venturer, but ended up hiring Leo Geotz, a merchant traveler Venturer instead.  Jace purchased a black furred guard wolf with custom barding named ‘Cinder’ and Tariq purchased yet another hawk.  Tariq took on Nantier as a henchman, and Tariq and Jace traded spells with him to obtain sleep (a gas) and knock (hands of force appear to force open check or door).  Tariq agreed to pay for the cost for Nantier to change his repitoire to add choking grasp.  

The party bought some horses and travelled to Adamas to resupply and sell their gains.  They met with the Despot in a much more relaxed setting of an office in his palace.  There they gave him the gifts of the IXth Legion they had recovered.  He paid them the value and invited them to a state dinner on Sunday.  The party attended, however Eduardo was unable to turn up any rumors. 

The Village People made it back to Muntburg.  The prepared for a trip back into the dungeon with the intent to get the elevator to work.

 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Moss Massacre

Session 5 Part 2 - Expedition 5

Village People:

  • Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 4 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healing, Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. Extremely short necromancer wearing expensive black robes with skull on the shoulders (covered by a cloak in town) – has wand of magic missiles. New Spell – Sleep – (shoot gas into area). Wears Ring of Protection +1.
    • Nantier – Lvl 3 mage – Quiet Magic, Collegiate Wizardry, Leadership – INT +1, CON +1, DEX +1.  Former member of the Heralds looking for power and prestige. 
    • Trained Hawk #3
    • Lenny Davos – Lvl 2 Fighter – (Legionary) – FS (Weapon +Shield), Siege Engineering – STR+2, INT -1, WIS -1, DEX +1, CON +1, CHA +1 – Heavily muscled former soldier from Adamas, wears Plate + Shield, fighting w/ spear or a silver short sword. 
  • Eduardo aka ‘Keyser Soze’ – Lvl 5 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, Precise Shooting, Lip Reading - DEX +2, CON -2, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather and armed with Imperial Legion X-Bow
    • Ukla the Quick – Lvl 2 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.
  • Dave ‘the Hermit’ Carrin – Lvl 5 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism, Command – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears custom made plate (with symbol of Hera) + large shield with Embossing of Hera on the front (+2 AC and enc.)  Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.
  • Jace – Lvl 4 Mage (Elementalist) – Elementalism (fire), Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. has wand of fear and wears flame red robes with a ruby tipped staff.  Quiet pyromaniac.
    • Cinder – Black guard wolf with custom red leather barding.
  • Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 4 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation, Acrobatics – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather
    • Leo Getz – Lvl 1 Venturer – Merchant Traveler – Animal Husbandry, Alertness, Riding. Budding tycoon looking for profit.

The Village People planned a quick trip into the mountain to get the elevator working.  All of the other henchman and hirelings were left in town.  (Shemp was busy with hijinks, Julia with performing miracles. Illyrio wanted to bring Leo into the dungeon to try to get him up to 2nd level ASAP). 

The party made it to the elevator without a problem.  They managed to use the translated rubbings from the metal plates near the elevator to make the elevator work.  After some experimentation they managed to take the elevator platform back up to the 1st level.  They decided to take it up from there.  Using their elevator key to open the strange circular doors, they were hit with a wave of damp fetid air.  The entire level was dimly lit from slowly blinking panels glowing with red light. 

The party reached a door.  Opening it, they found an oddly shaped room with patches of black moss.  The patch of moss nearest the door formed a humanoid shaped and pointed toward Lenny.  He suddenly charged into the room, drawing his weapon.  Ukla was also affected, standing still, speaking gibberish.  one of the mold patches formed a humanoid shape and cast a magic missile spell!  As combat ensued, the party contemplated just closing the door, but Tariq did not want to leave Lenny behind, so Dave and Illyrio entered the room. Ukla, confused, also moved in to attack.  The party found that the mold were easy to kill, but only made an effort to kill the patches near the door, fearful of being attacked and losing their mind.

That was a fatal error, as one of the patches formed a humanoid shape and cast a fireball, killing everyone except for Illyrio, Jace (who made his save), and Tariq (who rolled well on his mortal wounds chart and ended up with his genitals burned off, but with one HP).  They slammed the door.  Tariq and Jace summoned some berserkers who managed to go in, cleared out the room and collected the bodies.  In order to get everyone back to the elevator, Jace cast Elemental Strength on himself and Tariq, and the standing members of the party took the fallen members back to the elevator (except for poor Leo who was incinerated).  They took the time to use the elevator key to reseal the level as they left. Luckily they did not run into any wandering monsters on the way.

Getting back to the 1st floor, they managed to get help from the troops in the moon pool operation and managed to get back into Muntburg.  They quickly healed up at the temple of Hera, got a wagon, and headed over the snowy roads to Adamas.  There they headed to the temples for some quick restore life and limb spells.  Unfortunately, there were only 4 spells available, and they choose to wait a week to raise Nantier.   None of the risen party members were unscathed:

  • Ukla found that his sword arm was possessed with an evil spirit.
  • Eduardo needed a long recovery but awakened to find a small imp whispering dark secrets into his ear.
  • Lenny also needed a long recovery, and other noticed him speaking to an invisible friend (a mischievous sprite familiar).
  • Dave found that all of his hair (including body hair) turned stark white.  Whenever Dave speaks to someone, he inspires a feeling of discomfort as sentient beings feel shame for their past wrongs, hence the -2 to reaction roles.  As I ruled with Dante, there is also a corresponding +1 reaction roll in certain situations (dealing with those of pure heart (e.g. unicorns, virgins, true innocents, certain other members of the clergy, etc.)).
  • Nantier’s spirit did not respond to the call from the mortal plane.  Tariq decided not to try again. 

While they waited for Eduardo to heal, they received great news.  The Ring of Protection +2 for sale in Adamas finally sold on December 24th, 4th months after being offered for sale!  Most of the party leveled up and we ended the session there.

(I had initially ruled that Dave his ears covered with fine white hair (like a horse) and a long flowing mane (as a unicorn) resulting in a -2 to reaction rolls.  I also offered the chance for him to gain feathers around his eye (as an owl) and a slightly beaklike mouth.  He choose the horse option. As I was writing the summary I looked over the tampering with mortality chart and decided that the effect I originally ruled didn’t match the chart listing. I amended my ruling to match the chart and to ensure consistency between parties.)

bobloblah
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Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16
Ouch! It can all go so very wrong so very quickly - as my group discovered last night. I love the Mortal Wounds results! Should be very interesting.
jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Ouch! It can all go so very wrong so very quickly - as my group discovered last night. I love the Mortal Wounds results! Should be very interesting.

-bobloblah

After your last post I wasn't sure your party was going to get to a town to restore life and limb!

Almost every PC has contributed something to reserve XP, but I include every GP spent on getting drunk, charity, or just looking cool (custom armor or weapons) to add to reserve XP.

The worst part of the team wipe is that they had just started actually USING some magic items when I made them roll saves for hem after the fireball.  Eduardo lost a cloak of protection +1 and Tariq lost a ring of protection +1.  That was 50K XP gone right there.

They'd have been even worse off if they actually had gained any XP that delve, as my rule is that if you die in the dungeon you don't get XP from the delve unless you get back to town alive.

bobloblah
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Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16

I think the ACKS Core rule is that you don't get XP for an adventure if you die.

As for that session I posted, that was from around two years ago! We're still playing, so more to come, obviously...

BRUTAL on the loss of those items.

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

BRUTAL on the loss of those items.


-bobloblah

I had decided that the armor and weapons would not have to save (as they were made of metal that could stand high temps), but the cloak and the ring (made of cloth and gold/silver) would have to save vs. spells as a 9th lvl mage with +1 to the save, so they only needed a 9+.  They rolled REAL bad. They made the saves for their wands.

Plus I rolled WAY above average on the fireball damage, rolling 28 on 6d6.

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Got some catching up to do.  Here goes:

Rufus’ Raiders

We began the session describing the downtime activities the party was involved in from November 11th through December 24th (when the other party’s session ended).  

  • Rufus Hypnol– Lvl 4 Barbarian Death Dealer – Ambushing, Survival, Running, Armor Training, Profession – Gangster -  STR +2, CHA -1, Switching to plate mail and armed with a two handed sword – Would be gangster

 

  • Dante – Lvl 5 Assassin (Assassin-For-Hire) – Precise Shooting, Bargaining, Fighting Style (two weapons), Weapon Finesse, Intimidation, Gambling – STR +1, INT +2 WIS -2, DEX +3, CON -1, wearing custom skull helmet, Plate mail, short sword, war hammer +1, unearthly appearance (corpselike skin, black and red eyes) – death worshipping assassin granted the divine ability to detect magic 1x daily.
    • War dog - Finn, Hunting dog - Scout, Guard Wolf - Balto
    • Murphy aka Telemachus – 1st lvl freed slave fighter – Labor, (others TBD), STR +2, WIS -2, CON +1
  • Lazarus Deathbrood – Lvl 3 Cleric Exorcist – Sensing Evil, and Intimidation, INT -1, WIS +1, DEX +2, CON +1 CHA +1 Wears Banded Plate under a black cassock, armed with shield and sickle or a scythe, Budding Cleric of Death granted the daily ability to cast sanctuary 1x daily.

The Raiders last adventure was in early November.  The campaign calendar had advanced to December 24th (Yule eve).  During that time, the Raiders were in Adamas.  Dante was learning to gamble and Rufus continued his training with Boss Horner on how to become a gangster.  At the end of November, Rufus and Dante got their share of Isaac’s Moon Pool business.  Rufus also got a decent return from his investment in the Dock Boys gambling operations. 

In December, Dante received a boost of gold and XP from the sale of a ring of protection +2 by the Village people.  Dante decided to invest in the Dock Boys casino, and gave Rufus 5K gold to give to the Dock Boys to invest in their gambling operations.

Lazarus spoke to the Legate of Muntburg, who allowed him to build a temple to Death near the burial grounds outside the city.  He hired an engineer to help with the construction. 

Rufus completed his training with Boss Drake Horner (a total of 60 days), and learned a new proficiency – Profession – Gangster. He decided that he wanted to meet with the Don of the Dock Boys.  He approached Boss Horner, who set up a meeting with his CAPO, Phillipe Verodart, who ran a bar in the Upper Docks.  Rufus refused to tell anyone (DM and other players included) the purpose of the meeting.  Phillipe agreed to set up a meeting with the Don, based mostly on the good word of Boss Horner and his reputation as a good earner.  The next day, Rufus brought Dante to the meeting for backup. 

They were taken to a back room and found Don LeFayd, a wild looking female warrior, CAPO Verodart, a dwarven assassin and Boss Horner.  The woman was Magda ‘the fist’ Moreno, the Don’s personal enforcer.  The dwarf, Ruthan Underforge, had the same role for CAPO Verodart.  (Throughout the conversation I had the picture of the Don on the monitor/TV I use during play which included a list of his traits (Boundless, Honorable, Moralistic, Violent)).   The conversation went something like this: 

Don: Drake tells me you are a good earner for him.  So what do you have for me today?

Rufus: Does Boss Horner have to be here? (Dante looks over at Rufus in amazement).

Verodart: Yeah he does, he’s the one who vouched for you.

Horner:  This guy . . .

Rufus: Alright.  So I think I should run Muntburg, not him.

(silence for a heartbeat)

Don: (quizzically) Are you KIDDIN’ me?

Rufus: I think it’s time for, whaddya call, some new blood.

Horner: Watch what you say next kid.

Rufus: I think I can do better.

Don: (loudly) This man vouched for you, stuck his neck out for you, taught you everything you know, and YOU STAB HIM IN THE BACK!!!!!!

Verodart:  Don . . .

Rufus: (interrupting) well, I can fight him for it . . . (backhanded by Magda, leaving him with a bloodied lip).

Don: (angrily) What makes you think that I would even allow someone so disloyal even in the Dock Boys.  The only reason you’re here is because of Drake.  YOU’RE LUCKY I DON’T KILL YOU WHERE YOU F#&%ING STAND!!!

Horner: Boss, let me talk to him, he’s just a dumb savage.

Verodart: Don, give Drake a chance to talk to him.

Don: You got five minutes.

(Horner and Rufus leave the room to talk. Everyone stares quietly at Dante)

Dante: I’m just here to invest some money.

Don: (yelling) WAS ANYONE TALKING TO YOU?? WHO THE F*@% ARE YOU TO TALK TO ME??? GET THE F*@% OUT OF HERE!!!! (Magda moves forward and Ruthan raises his crossbow. Dante bows and leaves)

(Out in the hall – Rufus and Boss Horner talk).

Horner: (hurt) Kid, what are you doing? I brought you in, taught you the business, and now you try to steal from me?  From ME?  I treated you like family, like a son.  Why didn’t you come to me first.  C’mon, lets go in there and make it right.

Rufus: I’ll wrestle you for it. (Dante enters into the hall).

Horner:  You broke my heart. I WAS going to have you start running the crews in Muntburg, but now . . . If you ever darken my door again, I swear I’ll kill you.  Now get out of here before I change my mind and kill you where you stand.   

(Rufus looks at Dante, for a minute considering making a stand here and now.  Dante slowly shakes his head, “no way”, remembering where they are, in the home of CAPO Verodart, a place where everyone stops in silence in response to a single whistle.  They hastily exit the tavern together).

At this point it was clear that Dante and Rufus were not going to get their 6300 gp investment back.

The Raiders made it back to Muntburg and entered the dungeon. They made it to the 2nd level without incident and began exploring.  They found the signs of a recent battle, with several dead creatures believed to be hobgoblins.  They encountered some wooden statues, 2 of which came to live and attacked.  Despite their resistance to some of their weapons attacks, they were able to chop them up sufficiently. 

*** spoiler***

The party managed to find a room with twin statues of Ares and Athena, both heads replaced with that of Terms Termax.  There was a small magically locked coffer on a table between them.  The party figured that that if they could cast the right divine spell it would open.  Unfortunately they figured the right spell was bless and Lazarus wasn’t high enough level to cast it.  They vowed to come back when he learned the spell. 

*** end spoiler***

They found a room with several shelves and a white dagger, which Dante determined was magical.  They also managed to fight some shadows, and luckily Lazarus was able to ‘magic up’ Rufus’ blade and the party defeated them.  Unfortunately, Telemachus and Dante’s wolf were reduced to zero HP, and both were chopped up by Dante before either turned into a shadow. 

They ran into a magically locked door, which Rufus managed to chop down with his axe.  The noise attracted a group of zombies, which were easily turned and dispatched.  Unfortunately there were 2 wights behind the door.  Lazarus was unable to turn them.  Rufus’s blade was still enchanted by Lazaru’s spell.  Using his last spell slot, Lazarus enchanted his scythe.  Dante was struck by the cold claws of a wight and felt his lifeforce drain away (losing a level!).  The party finished off the undead and found several chests of treasure. 

Deciding to go back to town, they headed out of the dungeon.  Going back through the room with the dead hobgoblins, they found a larger, savage looking hobgoblin checking out the remains.  As it moved to attack, it shrugged off Dante’s slash, and slashed him back, paralyzing him! The party watched in fear as it’s wounds started to heal!  They finished the creature off, waited for Dante to recover, and made it safely back to town.

After a quick trip to Adamas and the sale of the magical dagger, Lazarus leveled up. He went to the temple of death in Adamas and interviewed several young priestesses of death.  He decided on a young noble woman who lost her parents to disease.  Returning to Muntburg, Dante, Lazarus, and the young priestess went back into the dungeon.  They ran into some hobgoblins in the same room they had dispateched the throgrin, which they quickly defeated.  They returned to the room with Area and Athena , cast the appropriate spell, opened the box and discovered a small gem.  They headed back to Muntburg without incident. 

(The PC Lazarus was complaining on how his character seemed underpowered compared to the Assassin and Barbarian.  WHen he talked about retireing him and starting over as a mage, they talked him into hiring a mage henchman instead.  Rolling well he found a 2nd lvl mage.  His ability to enchant weapons (a reskinning of sharpness only given to clerics of Death and Ares) was the only reason the party was able to defeat the shadows and the wights.  By the time he came back and obtained the magial gem from the dungeon, he started to realize that clerics are o.k. after all).

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Rufus’ Raiders - Expedition 2

  • Rufus Hypnol– Lvl 4 Barbarian Death Dealer – Ambushing, Survival, Running, Armor Training, Profession – Gangster -  STR +2, CHA -1, plate mail and armed with a two handed sword – former would be gangster
  • Dante – Lvl 5 Assassin (Assassin-For-Hire) – Precise Shooting, Bargaining, Fighting Style (two weapons), Weapon Finesse, Intimidation, Gambling – STR +1, INT +2 WIS -2, DEX +3, CON -1, wearing custom skull helmet, Plate mail, poison injecting short sword, war hammer +1, unearthly appearance (corpselike skin, black and red eyes) – death worshipping assassin.
    • War dog - Finn, Hunting dog - Scout
  • Lazarus Deathbrood – Lvl 4 Cleric Exorcist – Sensing Evil, and Intimidation, INT -1, WIS +1, DEX +2, CON +1 CHA +1 Wears Plate under a black cassock, armed with shield and sickle or a scythe, bloodthirsty Cleric of Death.
    • Tendo -  Lvl 2 Mage Soothsayer – Soothsaying, Performance (Storytelling), Theology Has Magic Mouth, Protection From Evil, Sleep (pulls out dandelion, blows seeds to cover an area causing sleep). Young mage seeking adventure and knowledge. 

The Raiders started in Adamas  on January 15th.  They had to pay two separate mages to identifiy the magical gem as a periapt of health (first attempt failed).  It prevents the holder from contracting any disease and was worth 25K gp on the open market.  They missed the roll for the book and the first roll for the gem.  Murray would try again in February. 

Lazarus had a special weapon made, a silver karisigama (chain sickle).  During this time, Dante worked on his gambling.  Once the weapon was completed, Dante worked on showing him how to use it (martial training proficiency).  They waited until the end of the month in Adamas before heading to Muntburg.  Isaac was able to double the number of moon pool water sales and Dante and Rufus got a good return on the first month of rentals from the townhouses they built in Muntburg (treated as a business investment roll). 

They headed over the snowy roads to Muntburg.  In Muntburg, they headed into the dungeon.  Entering through the old dwarven stairs, they made it to the stairs down to the reliquary with only a short delay while Dante sliced up some giant centipedes eating the remains of a goblin corpse.

They engaged in brief exploration, including the discovery of a former undead creature (12 foot spinal column attached to a skull), and a plundered storage room. They found another storage room full of 5 man sized burlap bags, all tied at the top.  Each were filled with a struggling mumbling figure.  Dante opened one, only to find a zombie who tried to bite him. Dante managed to kill it and Lazarus turned the rest.  AS they struggled to get away in their bags the party made short work  of them.

As the party started to search the room, they heard something in the hallway beyond.  Dante peered into the hall to see the edge of torch light.  He hid against the wall while and waited for the other party to reach them.  The rest of the party closed the door.  They discussed the issue and decide to rid themselves of their dungeon rivals once and for all. 

The Fist of Zeus opened the door, remaining in the hallway.  Lazarus and Rufus spoke to them inwork together greeting.  Jehanna (having been previously been turned female after having his legs restored in Adamas) happily greeted a fellow cleric (the clerics of death were quick to join followers of Zeus and Tyche against the Termaxians) and suggested that the parties work together.  The Raiders happily agreed to lead the way.  Dante continued to remain out of sight crouched against the wall.

As the Fist entered, Dante waited until the heavily armed front row passed and struck the mage Genevote.  The Fist were not surprised, so initiative was rolled.  Dante’s quick reflexes paid off and he managed to take down the mage with a quick strike. He was unable to wound the heavily armored cleric Jehanna of Zeus. Next to act was Tendo.  He cast sleep, managing to put Dante’s hunting dog and Jehanna to sleep.  Dante ordered his wardog to rip out Jehanna’s throat, killing her as she slept. 

The fighter of the fists, Justinian Ondart, struck at Dante, missing.  The remaining cleric of Zeus, Symon, cast hold person, freezing Dante in his tracks.  Rufus swung at the Fist’s heavily armored dwarf, Yurain Suregrip, as did Lazarus. The dwarf missed in his attack. 

Tendo was unengaged and managed to cast sleep in the second round.  Dante’s wardog made his save, however the fighter Justinian did not and the wardog tore out his throat.   Symon Cato, in his anger, moved to kill the paralyzed Dante, however Rufus moved past the dwarf, taking a slash from his axe, to engage Symon.  Rufus struck him with a mighty blow.  Symon Cato struck back.  Lazarus ran away from the dwarf, shrugging of a glancing blow from the dwarf, to reach Dante.

Lazarus managed to win initiative and poured a health potion down Dante’s throat, freeing him from the paralysis. Rufus finished off the cleric. The wardog engaged the dwarf.  Finding his compatriots all down, the dwarf tightened his resolve shouting curses at the treachery of the Raiders.  He eventually fell to the combined might of the party. 

The party revived the mage.  She responded “Why? What did we do to inspire such violence”.  Dante was all business, interrogating her on where their residence was in Muntburg.  After the interrogation, Rufus slit her throat.  Looking down at their carnage, Dante used his divinely given Detect Magic ability and they collected the magic items of the fallen.  They ended up with 2 magical shields, a potion of healing, a clerical scroll, and a magical Warhammer.  They put the bodies into the bloody bags formerly holding the zombies, tying up the ends and left them in the dungeon to rot.  They managed to leave the dungeon without incident.

Returning to Muntburg, Dante snuck into the Fist’s rented townhouse, using a key recovered from their bodies.  He found some gold and Genevote’s spell book, written in Ancient Thulian.  Tendo, unable to read the language, took the book anyway.  He began to spend all of his spare time trying to learn Antient Thulian.  After a quick trip back and forth to Adamas to sell some magic items taken from the Fist, the party went back in to the dungeon. 

Hardrada
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Um, wow. How'd you adjudicate Horner's reaction?
jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

Um, wow. How'd you adjudicate Horner's reaction?

-Hardrada

It was already established that Boss Drake Horner was judmental and outspoken, but wasn't a killer.  The first lesson he taught Rufus was, "You can't collect anything from a dead man; if you take a man's life you take what he has, but if you take a man's will, you take what he earns, and that's a lot more".  The Dock Boys are interested in income over violence.  Previously he beat and tortured some thugs who tried to extort the church of Hera (a big no no as the Don is very pious), but kept them around.  

Rufus had given Horner over 4K gp over 5 months in tribute previously, invested an additional 1800 gp, and brought an additional 5K gp in from Dante.  I had already decided that Boss Horner was going to turn over the syndicate in Muntburg to Rufus, and his new proficiency would allow him to do it.  Really all he did was ask the wrong person for the promotion; he didn't steal anything, didn't kill anyone, etc.  

Maybe I was a little soft on Rufus (the other PCs watched in horror as he RPed the situation).  But Boss Horner knew that if a fight was started it would be to the death and several thugs would die before the PCs were brought down.  The Dock Boys were content to keep the over 6K the party had invested in Dock Boys businesses and called it a day.  

Now the Don would killed him wthout hesitation.  Probably even gotten his own hands dirty in the process, but NOBODY crosses the Don and lives. 

As an aside, Boss Horner's decision paid off, sa a very successful mission (yet to be written up) resulted in Rufus giving 10K gp in order to get back in with the Dock Boys.  With that much cash, Horner leveled up and is in line for a promotion to a CAPO. 

Hardrada
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Sounds likeit was awesome to play through, and your experience underlines why judges should exercise caution in building money sinks. Players can come up with some good ones on all their own!
jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

The other party is buying up land and building houses like crazy. Part of me loves it, part of me wants to tell them they'll need that cash when they start clearing hexes.

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

I got behind on my adventure logs for the Raiders because a lot happened in a short time (my son is home from college and we had a couple sessions in a short time).  Lazarus, Dante, and Dante's henchman Barney came upon a hard to reach altar of law on level 2b of the dungeon, and they both converted to worship of the divine poower of law!  Lazarus became a cleric of Law (switching his weapoons and spells) and Dante and Barney became paladins! (the players companion version).   They also cleared out much of level 2b, recruited the hobgoblins on the level, paid the Crimson band to stop all other adventurers from coming into level 2b, found lakes of azoth, located a machine that converted raw azoth into magical compounds, and agreed to take the leader of the wererats out of the dungeon.  I am still working on those adventure logs for the campaign website (https://dwimmermountthevillagepeople.obsidianportal.com)

In the meantime I did manage to keep up (kinda) with the adventure logs of the village people.  They occurred after the missing adventure logs from the Raiders. (As E.G.G. always said (but I didn't fully appreciate until now) keeping accurate time records is vital to a campaign). 

 

 

jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

(Note there are two seperate sessions of the Raiders missing from the narrative)

Village People - Session 6

The Village people celebrated Yule in Adamas.  By the next time the VP played, the campaign calendar had advanced three months.  Each PC received their share of Isaacs’ Moon Pool operation and subtracted their monthly expenses.  A lot of campaign activities occurred via the campaign forum.  Each PC had something to do:

  • Tariq – Spent the first few weeks learning a 3rd level spell – Dismember.  He also bought more lab equipment to send to his home in Muntburg. He also:
    • Hired a shaman – snake healer,
    • considered creating potions or scrolls but realized he didn’t have the requisite monster parts, and
    • spent 60 days learning collegiate wizardry (which I have house ruled adds +1 to all spell research rolls, +2 at 7th level and +3 at 13th level).
  • Eduardo had a mixed bag of results of his various businesses.  His monthly rolls equaled normal profit, no profit, and a doubling of his investment of his tavern business as he ended up as the primary distributor of premium dwarven ale for most of the City State of Adamas (raising the value of his investment to 10,000 GP!).   He also:
    • hired a village witch,
    • hired a bard for his tavern,
    • considered buying a large number of gladiators in anticipation of building a Gladiatorial arena, and
    • spent 60 days learning bargaining. 
  • Dave –was summoned for a meeting with Revered Mother Hanna, leader of the temple of Hera.   At the meeting, she mentioned that she had heard that Dave had started receiving tithes from the Legate of Adamas.  She asked him to donate 50% of that tithe to the church in Adamas.  Dave readily agreed.  He also:
    • Hired a sage to research how to create sentient weapons. 
    • He had a head of Hera carved out of stone (to bring into the dungeon),
    • had a 500 gp medallion of Hera made,
    • hired a 3rd level Cleric of Hera henchman (he specified it HAD to be a female), and spent 60 days learning Leadership.  
    • Hired 10 bards, for 2 months.  They went into each of the 20 neighborhoods in Adamas to sing tales of ‘Dave the Pure’, the champion of Hera.
    • Hired a bard and a fighter (for protection) to travel to all of the taverns in the City State of Adamas telling tales of the valor and honor of the Village People. (Tariq actually tried to hire them, but they wanted Tariq to cover 50 gp each in monthly living expenses AND buy them both riding horses and tack up front, he refused, Dave agreed to do it at those prices).
    • Note: Under Juila’s leadership, her and her three priestess henchmen had grown Dave’s church to 300 souls spread over the various areas ruled over by the Legate of Muntburg.
    • Spent 60 days learning Leadership
  • Jace -  also spent the first few weeks learning a 3rd level spell, fireball.  He also:
    • Hired a sage to investigate Altrusian (ancient lizardman) culture and to allow him to study the language. 
    • Satisfied with her work, he hired her on as a henchman (a 4th level sage), although with the understanding that she could take outside work if she was not working on anything for him,
    • Purchased additional materials for his library to send to Tariq’s home in Muntburg, and
    • spent 60 days learning the ancient Altrusian language. 
  • Illyrio – Managed to work with Dave, the temples of Apollo and Hera to take in 10 orphans from Adamas and being them to his orphanage in Muntburg.  He also:
    • Hired a matron to take care of any orphans in his orphanage. 
    • hired a scribe to teach them to read and write multiple languages including common, high imperial, and the tribal language of the equatorial barbarians (separate from the tribal languages of the southern steppe and northern barbarians)
    • Hired a  3rd Lvl explorer – pathfinder henchman.  He sent her on a mission to scout a way to the Ruins of Loreac (the location of a treasure map the party discovered).  She asked him to pay for hiring two others to ensure her safety and he agreed to give her 100 gp for the mission, and
    • Spent 60 days learning the Endurance proficiency.

When the Village People returned to Muntburg, Eduardo (AKA Keyser) met with Legate Verodart.  The meeting began cordially.  Eduardo put forth his plan to purchase about 96 acres (about 16 hexes on the map of the area immediately around Muntburg) for 50 gp per acre.  The Legate needed to know more before he would allow him to purchase that much land within a mile of town.  He wanted to know what ‘Keyser’ was planning.  Keyser explained that he wanted a place for the businesses of Muntburg to expand, benefiting all.  ‘Keyser’ would provide security, allow businesses to build there, and would be willing to collect taxes for the Legate.  He would also aid with infrastructure costs.  All in all, it was a reasonable offer, especially if ‘Keyser’ would be willing to pledge fealty to the Legate . . . . and then the PC rolled snake eyes on the reaction roll. 

“I’ll let you build on the land for the same deal as before, an initial 20% fee for infrastructure, which I will match.   Let’s see how that works out for a few months before I let you have that much land” said the Legate in a forced air of politeness.  “I appreciate your offer for assistance, but I really do have to work”.  As ‘Keyser’ left he thought he heard the Legate mumble something about ‘uppity adventurers not knowing their place . . .’ and ‘Phillipe was right’.

Returning to the Scroll and Flask to mourn his sorrows over his missed opportunity, Eduardo received a message that a dwarven merchant was looking for him.  Intrigued, he agreed to meet with him.  Eduardo recognized Thoric Brewmaster, the dwarven merchant with whom he had struck the deal to have sole franchise rights for his clans quality ale.  With him was a grizzled and scarred Vaultguard he introduced as Azum Strongaxe. He stated by congratulating ‘Keyser’ on his recent financial successes as a result of his family’s ale.  “Now, didn’t you wonder how you got that lucky, more than doubling your investment in less than 6 months?  There is a reason I choose you.  I know about your trips under the mountain.  There is a favor I would ask of you so we can strengthen our bond.”  ‘Keyser’ agreed to hear his request.

Thoric explained that his family had faithfully sending several dwarven warriors each generation to protect the secrets of Dwimmermount.  After a period of 10 years they would return to the clan.  However, several dwarves were overdue, including his cousin, Borin.  If the Village People could find out what happened to him, and the other dwarves, he would be eternally grateful.  He would also provide a contract providing exclusive rights to sell a delightful Brewmaster Clan brandy in the North.  ‘Keyser’ accepted.  Thoric pulled out a bottle of his family’s trademark brandy and they spent the rest of the night drinking to their bargain. 

Eduardo woke up with a headache, a strange map, and a foot-long metallic rod, made from a strange metal.  He dimly remembered that he was to follow the map, taking the rod to an area on the map, opening a doorway to the dwarven area of Dwimmermount.  This was what dwarves from Vol Darul had been doing for centuries.  When he found out what happened to x, he was to find and speak to Azum in Adamas. 

Dave also had business to attend to in Muntburg.  Dave cast fellowship and met with Julia, who noticed that he was different.  All of Dave’s hair was now white, and when she met his eyes, she felt that he could see straight into her soul, baring all of her bad choices. (On her this added +1 to reaction rolls). 

“Julia, you have done very well. Hera smiles upon our church.  My recent brush with death has changed me and made me realize what is important.  As you know Hera requires that her followers marry and raise a family.  I have had this medallion of Hear made for you (500 gp).  It pales in comparison to your beauty and devotion, but please take it as a sign of my feelings for you.  I hope that you would consider getting to know me better.  Maybe eventually becoming my wife”.  

Julia sat in stunned silence (the result of the reaction roll, was uncertainty, even with +5 in bonuses (since it was marriage only a 12+ would be sufficient).  She began to blush, replying “Brother-Disciple Dave, I don’t know what to say.  I am honored, but . . . I never have considered you that way.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for you.  I have always been your humble student.  I never considered I could be seen by you as anything but a servant.  I will need some time to think on it.”  Dave looked into her eyes and said “I understand. Please know that whatever you decide, I will respect it as Hera’s will.”

Note: This would only be sexual harassment to modern eyes.  It did make me feel a little uncomfortable as we were playing it out. Thankfully he made sure not to put any pressure on her to comply.  Now if she said no, and Dave retaliated, this could cause a problem with Hera.  I did tell the player that Clerics/Priests of Hera needed to be married by 7th level (Mother or Father) so I guess he suspected he could get there soon. 

Dave also went to the temple of Zeus in Muntburg to talk to Vicar Louys Herint to mend fences.  Dave began diplomatically (and enhanced by fellowship) stating “My recent brush with death has made me see the world in a new light.  I want to put any bad blood behind us and work together to strengthen the bonds of our churches and the faith of the people. Muntburg is growing rapidly and needs our guidance.  Let’s work together”

Unfortunately, Dave’s new aura made Vicar Henrint feel shame for his actions in the past.  Dave’s bad luck with reaction rolls didn’t help. “At last you recognize that the Temple of Zeus is supreme.  If you are willing to act subservient to me, I will agree to recognize Hera’s role here in Muntburg.  Just remember your place”

Dave seethed quietly for a heartbeat before responding. “Hera and Zeus are equals.  Each has their role to play”.  Herint was not so measured.  “Don’t think I don’t know what you’ve done.  Stealing money from the Temple of Zeus by taking money from Legate Verodart designated for me.  You may have him fooled.  You may have even fooled Bishop Saidon, but not me.  I know those that you travel with.  They play with foul arcane magics and chaotic forces.”  He started to shake with rage as he spoke. “Where was Hera when the Termaxians befouled the minds of men and made slaves of us all?  Hiding, that’s where.  It was the Temple of Zeus that led us to freedom, and through Zeus that a new empire will rise!”

As Dave stormed out in anger, Herint screamed after him.  “A reckoning is coming!  The Inquisition will be here soon.  Nothing is hidden from their eyes. They will root out the corruption that is the Village People.  And then you will feel the full power of the Temple of Zeus!”

 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

The Village People were almost happy to get back to the relative serenity of the dungeon.  They decided to follow the dwarven map to find Borin.   

Village People Expedition:

  • Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 5 Mage (Necromancer) – Black Lore of Zahar, Alchemy (x2), Healingx2, Collegiate Wizardry,  Soothsaying – INT +3, CON -1, WIS +1, CHA +1. Extremely short necromancer wearing expensive black robes with skull on the shoulders (covered by a cloak in town) – has wand of magic missiles. New Spell – Dismember – shoots a bone needle from his fingertip that hits victim and rots the flesh of the victim it hits, causing limbs to rot away. 
    • Lenny Davos – Lvl 2 Fighter – (Legionary) – FS (Weapon +Shield), Siege Engineering – STR+2, INT -1, WIS -1, DEX +1, CON +1, CHA +1 – Heavily muscled former soldier from Adamas, wears Plate + Shield, fighting w/ spear or a silver short sword.  
      • Mysty – pixie familiar – Animal friendship, tracking.
    • Mycah Pyrus – Lvl 3 Shaman – (Snake Healer) – Divine Health, Laying on Hands, Healing – STR, DEX, CON -1, WIS +2 – Armed with a staff.
      • Reggie – small python – HD 2

 

  • Eduardo aka ‘Keyser Soze’ – Lvl 6 Thief (Cat Burglar) – Cat Burglary, Gambling, Precise Shooting, Lip Reading - DEX +2, CON -2, WIS +1, CHA +1 – Budding real estate tycoon and mastermind. Wears leather and armed with Imperial Legion X-Bow
    • Ukla the Quick – Lvl 3 Barbarian (Pit Fighter)–Running, Combat Reflexes, Gambling – STR +1, CON +2, CHA -1 – Ex-gladiator turned adventurer – fights with net and trident.
    • Onde Vrazic – Familiar imp – Mimicry x2, Arcane Dabbling, Alertness
    • Delwyn – Lvl 1 Village Witch – laying on hands, healing x2, familiar – Str -1 Int+1, WIS +1, DEX +@, CON -1, spell signatures based on potions, salves, balms, or foodstuffs.
      • Bernard – Familiar – golden lab – laying on hands, soothsaying (sniffs butt), animal husbandry

 

  • Dave ‘the Pure’ Carrin – Lvl 5 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera – Laying on Hands, Naturalism, Command – STR +1, DEX -1, INT -1 CON+1, WIS +1, CHA -1. Wears custom made plate (with symbol of Hera) + large shield with Embossing of Hera on the front (+2 AC and enc.)  Simple, uneducated, but intuitive.
    • Angela of Hera – Lvl 3 Cleric (proselytizer) – Divine Health, Diplomacy, INT -1, WIS +1, DEX +1, CON -1, wears Plate and armed with a billhook (polearm). 

 

  • Jace – Lvl 5 Mage (Elementalist) – Elementalism (fire), Naturalism, Alchemy, Magical Engineering – STR+1, DEX -1, INT +2. has wand of fear and wears flame red robes with a ruby tipped staff.  Quiet pyromaniac. New Spell – Fireball – opens a portal to the elemental plane of fire at a distant point, releasing an explosion of flame into the world.
    • Nakai – Altrusian (ancient lizardman) Elder Skull – Labor(culinary)x3, Labor (butcher), Knowledge (Gems), Knowledge (Altrusian Culture)

 

  • Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 5 Assassin (Bravo) – Fighting Style (two weapons), Intimidation, Acrobatics, Manual at Arms,  – STR +2, DEX +1, CON +2, CHA +1 - Wears leather
    • Tuccia Florio – Lvl 3 Explorer (pathfinder) – Tracking, Precise shot x2, DEX +2 – wears chain and armed with a crossbow and hand axe – sent to scout a path to the ruins of Lloreac.  She has with her two hirelings (potentially henchmen):
      • Shalla of Athena – Lvl 1 Bladedancer (Bringer of Mercy) – Laying on Hands, Healing, wears leather under robes, armed with curved swords and a x-bow.
      • Mala – Lvl 1 Barbarian (Death Dealer) – Ambushing, Climbing, Survival – DEX, CON +1, wears leather, armed with spear.  

(And a guest appearance from a member of the Raiders:)

  • Dante – Lvl 6 Paladin – wears Plate w/ Large Shield and armed with Dwimmersmite – an  intelligent talking +2 sword that hates elves and arcane spellcasters and can detect hidden and invisible people and things. 

The Party did load up on healing herbs (for a change[KC1] ).  They entered through the dwarven door and travelled through Issacs’ moon pool operation. They followed the map to the stairs to level 2B.  There they found a large number of Crimson Band mercenaries.  They would not allow them to go downstairs.  Illyrio confronted them, but they were told they had to talk to the Crimson Band to get permission. 

Dante, who travelled with Isaac into the dungeon, heard the commotion and met the party.  Illyrio, angered that the Crimson Band would ignore the despot’s orders, had to be talked out of fighting.  The Chandler brothers, retrieved by a merc, showed up.  The Village People and the Raiders agreed to sign a non-compete pact on the 1st level and level 2b (both of which had been relatively cleared).  They travelled to the Crimson Band’s fortified portion of the 1st level to sign an agreement. 

When they got to the front entry of the dungeon, a misty doorway magically appeared in a wall (which had never happened before).  The party ignored it and signed the agreement.  Dante agreed to join the party for their expedition (perhaps to make sure that he could make clear that the Azoth belonged to the Raiders).

On the way to the 3rd level, the village people stopped at a room with symbols on a series of pillars.  By pressing the symbols in the right order, Tariq , Jace, and Dave were hit with a surge of divine energy.  Jace (Remove Fear) and Tariq (Fellowship) were able to handle it and gained the ability to cast a divine spell.  Dave tried multiple times (being drained of HP until next level) but eventually was successful (Detect Danger).

The party made it through to the 3rd level (the reservoir).  They were amazed to see a working azoth fountain (although covered by a dome of clear material).  They entered a room with a worn mosaic showing a partial map.  The party followed the dwarven map to a room with a crack in the floor.  Suddenly 8 giant ticks entered the room from the crack. 

The party fought the ticks but found out that once they ticks bit someone, they became affixed to the victim.  Attempts to hit the tick resulted in Angela being struck by a party member.  Eventually Jace figured out that he could just grab one and pull it off (STR vs. STR roll), throwing it away from the victim.  The victim was hurt as the tick was pulled off.  They also figured out that they could strike any tick affixed on their own person very easy to hit.  As they were recovering, a final tick, almost twice as large as the others, came from the crack.  The party managed to kill the ‘tick king’. 

The party spent some time healing up before continuing to explore.  A wandering monster check ended up with 8 more ticks, who came up behind the party.  As battle ensued, 8 more ticks entered from the next room, attracted by the noise.  By the time the party was finished they had killed 23 giant ticks in under an hour. 

SPOILER ALERT

The party passed a statue of Vulcan (the god of craft, who appears as a dwarf) with his head replaced with Terms Termax.  They also discovered a room with an unaltered 9 ft tall Vulcan statue, columns, and a curtain to the south.  When they pulled back the curtain, revealing some stairs down, the statue animated.  Thinking quickly, Eduardo pulled out the rod given to him by Thoric and the statue went back to it’s pedestal. 

They next room held three doorways on a raised circular platform.  When Eduardo approached the doorway marked on the dwarven map with the rod, a shimmering misty doorway appeared (like the misty door that appeared on level 1).  The party entered the mist and found themselves in a small 20 by 20 foot room with the stone form of a dead dwarf. 

SPOILER ALERT OVER

They entered into a large open area covered with grey black metal and alchemist resin on the floor.  They saw a fight going on between two groups of dwarves, although one of the groups was outnumbered 6 to 3.  The party yelled at the battling dwarves and asked if they knew Borin. One of the 3 outnumbered dwarves claimed HE was Borin.  The party joined the combat to help out Borin’s group. 

As they joined in the combat they got a closer look at the dwarves they were fighting.  They were a little less stocky, with more angular faces and gray toned skin.  They turned out to be tough opponents, as they were both hard to kill and heavily armored.  The party turned the tide of battle, however one of the strange dwarves escaped, and one of them made it to a southern hallway, screaming for help before being killed. 

His dying cries were answered by a rampaging earth elemental and the sound of armored dwarves charging.  Jace started casting and a small portal opened to the elemental plane of fire, resulting in an explosion of flame that damaged the earth elemental (and killing several advancing evil dwarves).  Before the party could investigate the room they came from, they heard arcane chanting and the elemental was all of a sudden caught in heavy webbing, blocking the hallway to the south. 

Borin and his two dwarven allies thanked the party.  They explained that the other dwarves were evil copies of dwarves created by a group of Termaxians. Borin refused to give details of what happened, but the Termaxians were a problem in Dwimmermount.  When the party offered to help, that it was a dwarven problem.  The party asked him to return home, as requested by his cousin Thoric.  He refused to leave, saying his mission was not done, and that it was  a manner of honor. He did ask the party to take a message back to Thoric to “send reinforcements.  Tell him ‘Sparky’ sent you”. 

They found a small jeweled box left by the  Termaxian dwarves.  They also briefly explored the level and found:

  • 4 strange suits of clothing, each with a helmet of see through vitreum
  • A series of storage lockers containing
    • 2 apple sized metal spheres with a single button on its surface and
    • 24 metallic packets containing food.  Later experimentation revealed that eating them removes any fatigue and allows the eater to heal an additional 1d3 HP overnight
  • A hallway blocked purple colored mold (which the party ignored).
  • A large room with a large table and blank vitreum screens on the wall. 
  • Mold covered latrine with toilets.
  • Found quality crossbow bolts (later determined to be +2). 

The party fought another wandering earth elemental.  Tariq used his necromancy to fire a bone needle, which rotted away the legs of the creature, allowing the party to take it down.  The party went back to the closet, activated the portal, and returned to level 3b. 

Before returning to town, the party decided to check the other two mystic portals.   One led right to the 1st room of the dungeon (where the party had seen it before).   The other ended up in some caverns, which led to hallways carved from the stone.  The carving lacked the precision of other areas.  It led into hallways with statues of a being in strange armor. 

The hallways encircled a large chamber with a spiraling stairway down a large pit.  At the top were columns covered with a black vine material recognized as shadowstuff, full of negative energy.  At the bottom of the pit was a larger statue of the armored figure holding aloft a glowing lantern.  No one recognized him, but Dante drew Dwimmersmite.  The sword recognized the statue as being of ‘The Iron God’.  He was a champion of law who battled undead and became the leader of a small cult of followers.  The sword reminded Dante “don’t trust those spellcasters” as he was put away. 

Dante and Dave touched the glowing lantern and felt the divine power of law flowing through their body (healing Dave of his drained HP!).  They also touched the statue and felt as if they were protected from undead. 

When they came up from the pit, they decided to take the shadowvine (for Tariq).  It was dangerous to touch, so they put on the suits (which they believed were protective suits).  Although it wouldn’t cut with normal weapons, the party had magic weapons to cut it down and put it in some boxes they found in the level with the dwarves (level 6B).  (Of course, by using two of the suits, they could no longer sell them for XP!).

Using the misty portals, they made it out of the dungeon without issue.


 [KC1]

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

On the path to Lloreac

 Village People Expedition:

  • Tariq the Harvester – Lvl 5 Mage (Necromancer) –Extremely short necromancer wearing expensive black robes with skull on the shoulders (covered by a cloak in town) – has wand of magic missiles.
    • Lenny Davos – Lvl 2 Fighter – (Legionary) –Heavily muscled former soldier from Adamas, wears Plate + Shield, fighting w/ spear or a silver short sword. 
      • Mysty – pixie familiar – Animal friendship, tracking.
    • Mycah Pyrus – Lvl 3 Shaman – (Snake Healer) –– Armed with a staff.
      • Reggie – small python – HD 2

 

  • Eduardo aka ‘Keyser Soze’ – Lvl 5 Thief (Cat Burglar) – budding tycoon - Wears leather and armed with Imperial Legion X-Bow
    • Ukla the Quick – Lvl 3 Barbarian (Pit Fighter) – fights with net and trident.
      • Barnabus Bannon – Fighter 2(Corsair) – Searfaring, Swashbuckling, STR +1, INT,WIS,DEX -1 wears leather armed with dagger and shortsword.
      • Michael Thomas – Fighter 1 (guardsman) – Alertness, Signaling, , STR, DEX, CHA +1, INT -1 - wears plate mail and armed with a glaive
    • Onde Vrazic – Familiar imp – Mimicry x2, Arcane Dabbling, Alertness
    • Delwyn – Lvl 1 Village Witch – laying on hands, healing x2, familiar – Str -1 Int+1, WIS +1, DEX +@, CON -1, spell signatures based on potions, salves, balms, or foodstuffs.
      • Bernard – Familiar – golden lab – laying on hands, soothsaying (sniffs butt), animal husbandry

 

  • Dave ‘the Pure’ Carrin – Lvl 5 Cleric (Hermit) of Hera –Wears custom made plate (with symbol of Hera) + magical +1 shield
    • Angela of Hera – Lvl 3 Cleric (proselytizer) –wears Plate and armed with a billhook 

 

  • Jace – Lvl 5 Mage (Elementalist) – quiet pyromaniac, wears robes with flames.
    • Nakai – Altrusian (ancient lizardman) Elder Skull –

 

  • Illyrio Sicarus – Lvl 5 Assassin (Bravo) – Wears leather, armed with Swordbreaker - +2 sword
    • Tuccia Florio – Lvl 3 Explorer (pathfinder) –
      • Shalla of Athena – Lvl 1 Bladedancer (Bringer of Mercy)
      • Mala – Lvl 1 Barbarian (Death Dealer)
    • The Villagers – Lvl 2 Mob – Survival, Cap’n - Otto – Labor (butcher) – STR +1, WIS -1 - wears chainmail and armed with a variety of one handed weapons 

The village people travelled to Adamas to try to sell two of the environmental suits.  Keyser spoke with Azum Stormaxe about Borin, telling him what happened.  Tuccia also reported back from her scouting trip to Loreac.  Most of the city was flooded, and all of the stone gates were closed.  Entry was possible over some old docks leading into a lake rising out of the marshes, but that area was controlled by lizard men.  Another entrance (by canal) was controlled by ogres.  She managed to sneak into the city and found evidence of goblins, trolls, and what had to be a dragon flying overhead!  She also located an abandoned guard building about a ½ mile out of town bordering the lake which would be a perfect spot to hole up.

Jace talked to his Altrusian (ancient lizardman) skull.  It agreed to help them with the lizardmen.  The village people hired 20 marines, Illyrio recruited a mob henchman, and Keyser instructed Ukla to hire some fighter henchmen, one of which was Tariq’s old henchman Barnabus the ne’er-do-well corsair. 

During the few weeks of hiring everyone, we handled end of month expenses.  Keyser’s business made a fair amount of money and everyone profited from their share of Stocker’s Moon Pool business, granting campaign xp to the PCs.  Keyser decided to cut bait and increase good will by gifting his entire cottage business (worth about 18K) to the Legate of Muntburg in a gesture of good will (and to build up his XP bank in anticipation of starting another PC).  Tariq managed to determine the formula for making more of the nutrition packets, which require azoth to make.  Dave, who had purchased the formula for making healing potions from the temple of Hera in Adamas, was able to make 2 healing potions (failing his roll on 2 more). 

The party travelled to the city-state of Yarm. On the road they came upon Bishop Johann of Death, the fabled undead hunter, with his two henchmen.  He had heard of the Village People (Dave’s efforts to spread the word being successful) and asked them about undead in Dwimmermount.  He was on his way to Muntburg to investigate stories of people going missing, and a few bodies being found, bloodless.  The party wished him luck and he went on his way.

In Yarm, they bought a large barge, relying on the marines and Barnabus to guide it upstream to Lloreac.  They also purchased two oxen and hired a drover to assist with them to aid in pulling the barge upstream from the shore.  They travelled slowly upstream for a few days, passing by fields being cleared for planting.  On April 12th they were passing through lightly forested banks when a number of mounted armed men approached.  Claiming they were representatives of the law, their leader, Murray, demanded 100 gp tribute.  Illyrio, riding along the shore on horseback, countered with 75 gp, which the bandit accepted.  He ordered one of his men to take the gold, and they left the expedition alone.

That night, during the first watch, Ukla noticed a group approaching the camp.  He awakened the troops.  The camp was surrounded by a large number of men, approaching from all sides from out of the wooded area, archers on foot, and a few on horseback. Out of the middle was a small group of heavily armored men on warhorses.  One of the men stepped forward and asked what the group was doing on the land of the ‘Grim Band’.  Keyser quietly told his imp to take a quick invisible count of the total number of bandits.

Dave spoke up that they were the Village People.  A quick roll determined that the bandits had heard of them.  The horseman asked for more tribute.  When they asked for how much, the response was “Well, what do you think is fair?”  Illyrio challenged the horseman to a fight.  A deal was struck that each group would wager 100 gp in a one on one match.  The horseman had one of his men step up, pausing to take a sword from another horseman and fight Illyrio. 

Illyrio lost initiative.  The bandit took a swing with the sword, striking Illyrio, who failed a save and found himself paralyzed!  The bandit took the gold and returned to the group of horseman.  (At this point I decided that the bandits had a 35% chance of believing the stories of the VP to be exaggerations and demand everything or attack.  The party rolled a 15 on 1d100).  The spokesman demanded that they leave everything and march back to Yarm.  When they refused he ordered an attack!

The only secure side was the river.  A few marines remained on the barge, the rest prepared for battle.  The group of heavily armed horseman charged towards the camp.  The bowman at the edges began firing into the camp.  Before the horseman reached the camp, Jace (winning initiative for once) cast fireball, bringing down the warhorses and a few of the horseman.  Tariq summoned some zombie berserkers and sent them towards the right flank. Dave charged forward to remove paralysis by healing Illyrio.  The bandit archers managed to take down several marines, wounding the Villagers, and hurting some of the henchman. 

One of the charging horseman stood up and started carving through the marines and took down Mala.  Wielding the paralyzing sword, this was obviously the real leader of the bandits, Jack Grim.  Illyrio and Dave took him on in the middle while Tariq’s and Jace’s berserkers took the right flank and Michael Thomas and Barnabus and a few marines took on the left flank.  Keyser, Ukla, and the healers held the middle and assisted where they could.  The imp returned and gave Keyser the totals; about a hundred bandits.

A few of the mounted leaders on the left flank charged into the center and were taken on by the Villagers and Ukla.  After a pitched battle, the leader finally went down after taking down Illyrio, who lost his arm (again!).  Morale eventually broke and several of the gangs fled. When the fight was over, 70 bandits lay dead and one of the lieutenants was captured.  The bandit Murray, who had accepted the 75 gp earlier in the day, was among those who escaped. They interrogated the remaining bandit, who offered to take them to their camp, but pointed out that the survivors would immediately break camp.  After a brief discussion, the party decided to not follow them into the woods. They did manage to treat all of the fallen marines with spells, lay on hands, and the healing proficiency, and despite a few sever injuries, only one of the marines (and a few nameless members of the Villagers) died. 

The party took the barge in the morning back upstream to Yarm.  They took the body of the Bandit Leader Jack Grim back with them, receiving a 1000 gp reward.  Each of the Marines were given a 20 gp bonus for the battle.  A few members of the party took the injured Illyrio and the dead marine back to Adamas for healing.  Illyrio was restored and had no ill effects.  The marine retired, becoming an alcoholic. 

The party decided to have Murray sell the paralyzing sword.  They had a 10% chance to sell the sword for 60,000 gp.  They rolled an 11 on d100.  A representative of the legate was willing to buy the sword for 40,000 gp.  After a tie vote (Jace didn’t vote), a die roll resulted in the sword being sold.  As a result, most of the party and henchman levelled up.  Illyrio recruited another 10 marines and headed back to Yarm. 

The party left Yarm and made it to the Murklands on April 26th without any encounters.  They continued to slog upstream with the oxen pulling the barge upstream when they sighted something flying towards them. As it got closer they saw a large dark green/black dragon.  Everyone scattered into the marsh to hide, cutting the oxen free.  The large dragon landed on the barge, tearing open the deck cabin looking for any possible treasure.  Finding none, it grabbed one of the oxen in it’s huge claws and flew off.  

The incident repeated itself the next day, with the dragon taking the remaining ox.  Luckily, they arrived at the abandoned building discovered by Tuccia and managed to set up camp inside, within a short trip to the ruins of Lloreac.  They had a restless night, but no dragon came. 

The next morning the party took 3 canoes and approached the original docks of the city.  A group of lizardmen arose from the water.  Jace and the skull spoke to the lizardmen, who, it turned out, was a tribe that respected the Altrusian elders.  They agree to take the party to a sub-chieftain. 

On the way to meet with sub-chieftain, the party and the lizardmen patrol ran onto a group of 3 trolls and a troll champion.  Using good tactics, a fireball, a timely acrobatic backstab, and the chomping of Dave (who had ‘skin-changed’ into a tyrannosaurus rex), the party managed to defeat the trolls in the knee-deep water.  They pulled the bodies out of the water onto the raised porches of the remaining buildings and set them on fire, but not UNTIL Tariq had collected the troll’s blood. (The party had loaded up on military oil in anticipation of fighting trolls). 

The lizardmen, who had stayed back and watched the combat, were impressed.  They took the party directly to Chief Olassio.  The party was taken to a large warehouse on the docks once used to build ships.  Jace and the Altrusian skull convinced the tribe to allow them passage in return for some of the parties supplies. The party moved up their entire force to the lizrdmen area and we ended the session there. 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

WAY behind, but here goes:

The Village People into the Library

The next morning the lizardmen offered to act as guides to avoid the trolls.  Taking 4 canoes they took Ukla, Shalla, Mala, Lenny, Angela, and Tuccia; leaving the other henchmen to guard the barge.  During their approach they heard the sound of wings and scattered as they saw a black dragon fly overhead.  The dragon circled a few times before flying away into the swamp. 

The party and the lizardmen guides made it to the ruins of the library.  After debating which entrance to use, they ended up going up the stairs into the main entrance.   The light streamed through the tattered roof above the open foyer.  The party was scared away from an open office seen through a half-door by a patch of mold (remembering how they almost died from spell casting mold in Dwimmermount). 

Moving past the foyer stairs into rows of damp books, they were attacked by arcane cadavers (adherers from the old fiend folio).   After handling them, the party heard voices whisper “come on, let’s move the gold before they find us” from over heard.  Suspicious, they sent some summoned berserkers upstairs through closed doors.  After sounds of a struggle, 4 very quick emaciated creatures leapt from the balcony above and joined in combat.  These creatures were tough, hit hard, and as some blood spilt onto Lenny, he found himself losing points of wisdom!

During the fight a large bolt of silvery black energy blasted through the party, taking down most of the henchmen. Illyrio immediately tried to track it to it’s source.  He turned the corner to face a partially skeletal creature glowing with arcane power.  Tendrils of azoth flowed from it’s hands as it tried to wrap around his throat.  He made his saving throw, however, and battle was joined. 

Meanwhile Lenny eventually was reduced to 0 wisdom.  His visage changed, and he began to cry out in agony.  When he glanced up, the same strange silvery glow was in his eyes, as he moved to attack.  Luckily one of the party mages was able to summon some berserkers to assist Illyrio, while the rest of the party took on Lenny and the rest of the termaxian husks. 

After a pitched battle, the party was victorious.  They attended to the wounded.  Lenny was dead, but Dave cast Cure Disease immediately in an attempt to have him brought back to life.  Shalla was severely injured and Mala was scarred.  Many of the party’s healers were not with them, however, and most of the healing magic (potions, spells, skills, etc.) were used up.  The party moved into the open secret door disguised as a book shelf.  They found an alchemical lab, the personal chambers of the termaxian skeletal-mage, 10K gp worth of tomes for a magical library, and a fair amount of treasure.  On the body of the mage they found some fancy boots.  They also found a gallon of raw azoth, a spellbook, a scroll, and a giant bronze head of Terms Termax. 

After they closed up the secret door and prepared to search upstairs, they heard a large splash from outside.  They quickly moved to hide as the main doors burst open and the head of a black dragon peered inside.  After a few breathless moments of the dragon sniffing around, they saw it leave and heard it take flight. 

A search upstairs found a locked office.  A search revealed a hidden safe, which Eduardo opened.  They also discovered 4 adjoining rooms loaded with books.  Unlike the books downstairs these books were in good condition because of magical de-humidifiers in each of the rooms.  The party spent some time going through the books and discovered that each room covered a different subject – history/other worlds/astral theory, divine topics, animals/monster/natural world, and everything else.  They found books on all of the known worlds, and lots of special books as well.  Some highlights:

  • Mice of Gold – a book describing a lvl 8 arcane ritual that can turn mice into gold!
  • A book detailing the fall of Termagant and creation of the eld
  • Parts is Parts – with this book (and the right equipment) anyone can get special components from dead creatures (not constructs, extra planar, or dragons).
  • Draco’s Guide to Dragons – ‘nuff said including the formula for a potion of dragon control.

Of special interest was a book with the divine spell formulas for 2 new spells, Ox’s Health (18 CON (and resulting increase in HPs) + ADV on poison saves for 6 turns) and Owl’s Wisdom (18 WIS + ADV on spell saves).

While they were looking through the tomes they heard a cry of alarm from one of the henchman. The roof creaked as a large figure landed on the roof.  The head of a black dragon peered down from holes in the foyer roof.  A second, slightly smaller black dragon head came in through the main entrance!  This dragon spoke, demanding that the party show themselves, or the dragons would tear the library to the ground. 

Illyrio and Tariq spoke to the dragon in the doorway.  The dragon asked what happen to the Termaxian Berol Kral?  After a few nervous looks the party told the dragon they had killed him.  The dragon congratulated them on their victory and thanked them for their assistance in collecting some treasure for the dragons.  The dragon demanded that the party give them 10,000 GP worth of treasure and first pick of all of the magic items recovered.  The party agreed, but asked for one hour to get it ready.  The dragons agreed and both of them flew away.

The party went over their options.  They decided their only course was to comply.   The party quickly collected up enough treasure and put all of the suspected magical items together.   When the dragons came back (one on the roof, knocking a few support beams into the foyer) they brought some goblin servants who took the treasure.  The dragon choose the spellbook of the mage (and scroll).  Illyrio asked what the name of such magnificent and beautiful dragons were, rolling an 11 (+1 for CHA).  The dragon was more than happy to speak of the power of Onyx and Deathclaw and was pleased with the party’s deference to their betters. 

Illyrio took advantage of this good will.  He got Onyx to agree to have Deathclaw watch while the party removed the books out of the library in return for a promise that he would speak well of the dragons to the lizard men.  He also promised to bring several cattle in tribute the next time he visited Lloreac.   The party retrieved their remaining henchmen, the barge,  and the marines.  They spent 12 hours boxing up the majority of the valuable books.  Deathclaw watched with minor interest from the roof, keeping the trolls, ogres, and goblins away. 

The party also managed to salvage about 5K gp worth of lab equipment, all of the remaining treasure and the Bonze head.  Jace managed to figure out how to remove the de-humidifiers, only damaging one in the process.  They put them on the barge as well. 

The party shared some of the recovered trade good treasures with the lizard men.  Although they had some difficulty with weather, they made it back to civilization with their books and treasures intact.  After a quick trip upstream to Adamas, they paid for Shalla and Lenny to be risen.  Shalla was shaken and left the employ of Tuccia.  Lenny was shell shocked and started easily when ever confronted with a bright light or loud noise.  Lenny choose to retire and Tariq offered him (and his sprite familiar) a job as a gardener. 

A few PCs and henchmen leveled up.  Jace made plans to build a separate library in Muntburg near Illyrio’s orphanage.  Identify spells were cast (with a few redos due to poor rolls) and the boots were Boots of levitation (put up for sale).  The head was a Brazen Head, a device for communicating directly with Terms Termax and other brazen heads.  Unfortunately, it did not seem to work. 

Eduardo asked Ukla to let Barnabus go, but Ukla liked Barnabus, so he remained in Ukla’s employ.   After some time spent learning spells, the Village People returned home to Muntburg. 

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

Ooh, I want the rules for that Mice of Gold ritual.

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

 

Ooh, I want the rules for that Mice of Gold ritual.


-GMJoe

So basically it turns mice into an equal weight of gold.  Since a single mouse = approx. 1/2 an ounce it takes 32 mice to equal a pound.  Since 10 lbs of gold = 1000 gp,, 1 lbs = 100 gp.  You also need 1 lbs of refined azoth.  It's kind of a fools errand as you need about 32,000 mice to double your investment with a chance of failure.

 That's a whole lotta mice you have to breed and keep alive for several weeks.  I can only imagine the costs of henchmen, cages, food, separating males from females, a warehouse with shelves of mice, and finally finding a way to avoid local leadership from finding out the party is breeding enough mice to ruin a city to try to turn them into gold.  

Nothing like an unreasonable requirement to cause players to come up with crazy plans to fulfill them.  Truly a joy for a GM.

 

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

So, there's no limit on the number of mice that can be affected? What level is the ritual? (The figures you gave suggest first level. Is that right?) Does the ritual have a maximum range or require line of sight to each mouse, or could you cast in the middle of a town to play havok with the economy, causing countless people to find tiny gold mouse figurines in their homes? (Come to think of it, this spell could end plagues.)

How much is azoth worth?

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

It's a level 8 ritual. Refined azoth is 100 gp per ounce and basically unavailable for sale ( although one party has access to an unlimited amount).  The area of effect would be maybe a 50' radius.  The problem would be finding enough mice, although I could see animal growth or enlarge being used.  A single mouse is only worth 50 gp. 

I might put a limit on the total value.  My highest level mage from either party is 6th level so I have some time to mull it over.

 

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

Ah, looks like I miscalculated. Thanks for the correction.

Yeah, I can see how it'd be hard to make a profit with that ritual. Unless you came up with a cheap and permanent mouse-summoning spell, of course. Hmm...

Scott
Lairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2016-08-24 05:29

Now, if that ritual could turn smurfs into gold, that would be another matter entirely. You could build a whole campaign around that :-)

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I'm surprised at how well your players handled the dragons! My players would have attacked the dragons then party-wiped, then complained it wasn't level appropriate. Arrgh, new school has ruined them!

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