Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Actual Play Report 1-6-13

Here's a cut/paste of the summary I typed up for the players in my Labyrinth Lord sandbox campaign who missed out on this Sunday's live game. I typed this directly into a Facebook comment box, so forgive the poor writing.

TL;DR: The group killed a giant toad, some dogs, and some stirges, but lost three hirelings including a trusted henchman. Everyone gets 230 XP, 50 gold, and 185 silver. Details below:

Our cast of characters: 
Burr: Trueborn marksman, seeking adventure alongside his friend Edmund. (Jason)
Clyde: One-armed dwarf cleric, still mourning the loss of his twin brother. (Laura)
Doc: Dwarven amnesiac with an axe. Took a “Bad At” without a “Good At.” (Tere)
Himeriax: Arcane explorer, dog handler, and sexual deviant of loose morals. (Miguel)
Malapan: Musclebound gambler and self-professed ladies’ gnome. (Hildy)
Tezl: Lanky cleric and self-defense instructor who lacks confidence. (Leigh)

Determined to return to the tomb of Erastus the Mischievous with greater numbers, the group went out in search of reinforcements. First, they visited Redwall's famous dog breeder and handler, Syrio Milan, to look into acquiring a few more war dogs to join Himeriax and Clyde’s two surviving dogs, Otto and Chula. Four new canines were acquired: a pair of Bluenose pit bull siblings named Mackie and Malinda; Rye, an agile dog who can snatch arrows from the air; and Mariquita, who looks and acts much like an oversized raccoon. That’s six dogs in total, equaling the number of adventurers.

The group also paid a town crier to aid them in enlisting three new hirelings: Ephesta, a shrouded woman of pale, ghoulish countenance on a mission to collect rare skulls for her collection; Vera, a fiery-haired, axe-swinging, heavily-scarred warrior woman of the north on a quest for redemption; and Manse “the Mighty,” a flawless, statuesque figure of a man of such strength and beauty as none in the group had ever seen. 

Manse spent the night training in the martial arts with Tezl, and proved to be a quick study after a night of instruction, though he strangely didn’t sweat so much as ‘glisten.’

Vera and Malapan also spent the night together after she lost all her silver to him at craps. We didn't need to go into any details.

Ephesta suggested that they make a quick stop in Redwall’s northernmost cemetery on their way to the tomb, as she believed that a certain mausoleum contained a secret basement where treasure and a rare skull could be found. The group begrudgingly agreed (despite Clyde’s displeasure) and upon arriving at their destination, they encountered a pack of feral dogs.

It was a dog-eat-dog fight, and Vera the warrior-maiden was determined to prove her mettle in combat. Sadly, she was struck in the head from behind by Burr, who recklessly fired into the melee with his sling. Bleeding from a gushing head wound, poor Vera was then torn apart by the dogs. Her last words were a curse upon the traitorous party who saw fit to bring her out of town only to shoot her from behind and loot her corpse. Whoops.

Malapan didn’t express much sorrow over her death, for whatever it’s worth. Manse claimed her battle axe. 

The wild dogs were quickly put down, though Manse “the Mighty” proved to be embarrassingly ineffectual in battle. The group quickly buried Vera, then investigated the mausoleum, finding two sarcophagi decorated with strange eagle-headed gargoyles, each with one feathery wing and one leathery wing. By pulling the leathery wings (using lengths of rope from twenty feet away), the group revealed a hidden staircase leading to an underground burial chamber. 

In this hidden crypt, the group found skeletal remains around a bejeweled coffin decorated with ancient script and a slender man’s face. The coffin glowed with an evil radiance when examined by Clyde’s Detect Evil spell. The group found the prize that Ephesta was looking for: a wererat skull, as well as a silver longsword, a silver dagger, a suit of chain armor, a backpack full of silver coinage, a handful of gold coins, a gothy velvet-lined cape, a pair of golden urns, and a few small gems. Manse was given the chain armor. The group decided not to open the coffin or to mess with the mysterious set of double doors (eerie stonework hands were carved all around the archway) on the far side of the room, choosing instead to continue to Erastus’s Tomb.

Upon arriving at Erastus’s Tomb, they found that the entrance had once again been sealed and barred. Hitching Burr’s donkey outside, they reopened the doors and made their way into a mossy, unexplored chamber with an open air view where the eastern wall should have been. Inside, they found a corpse in platemail armor, its blood being drained by flying vermin that looked like small, winged anteaters with hooked claws. These pests flew toward the party to attack, but were put to sleep by Himeriax’s spell. The group quickly stomped them to death and Tezl put on the plate armor, which fit nicely.

Further exploration led the group past a secret door, propped open by the corpse of a goblin with a dart stuck in its back, holding a sack containing a pair of shears and a leather strap. Down the hall, they found a smallish alcove with a strange boulder sitting smack-dab in the middle. Burr’s stalwart companion Edmund chose to climb over the boulder, which turned out to be a giant frog, angrily awoken from its slumber! 

Edmund was promptly chomped in half and swallowed before Manse was able to deliver the killing blow. Burr grieved openly over the loss of his lifelong companion. The toad was cut open so that Ephesta could claim its skull, and its innards unveiled a silver bracelet; the only valuable remains of its previous victims.

The group decided to press on despite losing yet another valued friend, this time opening a door leading to a chamber littered with gnawed bones. “Fuck that,” was said, and the group closed the door and decided to explore elsewhere. 

This led them to a door where conversation could be heard, likely from goblins. The party concocted an elaborate plan to leave the previously encountered goblin corpse in the hall (in plain view), to send Manse to knock, and then lie in wait, ready to ambush the goblins once they came out to investigate. 

Manse knocked, he ran back, and the door opened, but the goblins weren’t gullible enough to investigate. Having alerted them to their presence, the party decided (despite the inherent danger) to charge into the room by force. Bad things would soon happen.

Doc and one of the dogs charged into the room, where he slipped and fell on some oil. The goblins, a group of six, had two wooden barricades erected and immediately perforated the dwarf with crossbow bolts. He would survive this volley, but wouldn’t fare so well once one of the goblins dropped a lit torch onto the oil.

Manse would be the next to fall, taking a perfectly-aimed crossbow bolt to the heart and another to the neck. The group was stunned, believing their newest ally to be unkillable. 

Tezl, who miraculously decided to come to the dungeon prepared with a Create Water spell memorized (has this ever happened in this history of D&D? I think not.), and doused the flames burning up Doc and the dog. The party was preparing to beat a hasty retreat before suffering additional casualties when Himeriax ended the fight by successfully casting Charm Person on one of the goblins, who called off the assault on his “friends.” 

The goblin, who goes by the name of Rak-Chak, shared some pantomimed information with Himeriax, a bro-hug, and bid the group farewell as they made their way back to the surface to call it a night.

Doc would survive, though his body is now covered in horrible burn scars and he’ll probably never grow a beard (or hair) again.

After safely returning to Redwall, the group sold the silver bracelet (100 gp), the two golden urns (50 gp each), and the three gems (25 gp each). Each adventurer receives 50 gp. In addition, the group enjoys a split of 185 silver. 

FYI: Your coin pouch can hold 100 coins. Every 500 coins after that takes up one inventory space.

I also need one ration ticked off for each dog in the group. So that’s two for Himeriax’s dogs, two for Clyde’s, one for Burr, and one for Malapan. I have to remember that you guys need to feed and water your dogs.

Experience: I’m awarding discovery and quest XP for completing Ephesta’s task, and some exploration XP for mapping more of the Tomb of Erastus. Every surviving adventurer receives 230 experience points. Humans, remember to add 10% (253 total XP).

Let me know if you want to spend some of your hard-earned gold for more XP: options include carousing, gourmandising, ostentation, philanthropy, and research. I’d be happy to explain more if you’re interested.

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