Joined: 01 Nov 2009
|Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:13 pm Post subject: [Tome] 3e Adventure Path
|Episode 01: Surprised To Be Dead
So I had been running Temple of Elemental Evil, but the more we got into it, the more we sorta got just plain old bored with using BECMI style rules (which, if you're not familiar with them, are roughly the same as ADnD 1e sorts of rules). I considered using ADnD 2e for a bit, but when my players looked at the character options they were about as bland. So instead we switched back to Tome rules, and so I pulled out a 3e adventure. I've run The Sunless Citadel like 4 times now, and didn't want to do it again, so we went right to The Forge of Fury.
Guy Lang - Feytouched Fire Mage
Sarventes - Hobgoblin Samurai (spiked chain)
Akaz - Tiefling Totemist (Int based, and gadgeteer themed)
Quigley Hamsteak - Forest Gnome Dragonfire Adept
GM: So, you guys wake up in a cave, after a weird fever-dream of being these dungeon crashers in the middle of some sort of weird temple, where you were fighting a cult or something. And then, as you were leaving the temple at one point one of your party peed in a brazier and it shot out this deadly smoke that engulfed all of you, and you woke up in this cave. And there were a bunch of dead bodies all around you, some of which had useful equipment that you took, and you guys wandered up out of the cave, and you were just a little ways up a hill, at the cave mouth. You looked around, and saw a town nearby. You can go towards the town, or do whatever else, but there's the four of you. Right now you guys aren't covered in blood, but some of your equipment is covered in blood, so you may want to consider washing it off at some point.
Akaz: Oh, very well. Wouldn't be the first time.
GM: Also, all of you apparently have different bodies than what you had in your weird dream.
Guy Lang: Oh, no, I'm just the same guy but i'm on fire now.
Akaz: You're like, "strange, in that dream I wasn't on fire!"
Guy Lang: And now I am.
Akaz: What a peculiar dream, to not be on fire.
Guy Lang: I test out my powers by moving away from the others, and then using Burst of Flame or whatever, and that's how I clean the blood off my gear.
GM: That burns it up pretty well. These fire powers are all pretty flameful... you're happy. You're compelled to use these fires.
Guy Lang: Yes, indeed.
Well the rest decide to use plain old water to wash off their gear. There's a river near the town. Lots of humans, elves, and halflings all about. Dwarfs too. The villagers don't pay the party much mind; the area is well traveled and there's lots of people coming and going every which way.
There's a sign that says "Blasingdell" on an arch over one of the major roads into town. There's no proper town wall or anything, but it's a cheery sign to put on an archway. The sign also says "Population: 2000".
Akaz: Okay, we find a place to stay, and then we'll figure out what all just happened.
Guy Lang: Okay.
Akaz: Well, we do that.
GM: How exactly would you propose to do that?
Guy Lang: I gather information.
Sarventes: What skill would you even use to do that with?
Guy Lang: Let me see, hmm, well it says here "Gather Information", I think that's the one.
The party inquires about a place to stay within town. There's some high class, middle class, and low class places to stay. Looking at their coinage amount, they decide to go for mid-grade accommodations. They stay at the Green Drake. It's a nice place, the first floor is a big tavern and the barkeep rents out rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors. They pay 1 silver a day, then the PHB was checked and it was seen that they should have paid 5 silver a day at least. They get the discount this time, on account of the fire mage being so firey.
Akaz: Okay, so now... we woke up in a cave. We don't necessarily remember things. We might remember things? Question mark?
GM: You remember things from the last campaign as though they were a weird dream experience, but you don't remember any previous experiences in these bodies.
Akaz: Extraordinary. Hmm. I think the question is then, how exactly we got here, and who we have to blame, and how badly we have to beat them up.
Guy Lang: Yeah, okay.
GM: Well, you got here on foot, from the cave, and that's your fault, and you shouldn't beat yourself up much, you think.
Akaz: I'm still deciding on that.
Guy Lang: Do I remember the last thing that happened in the "Dream", with air quotes around it? Just the peeing thing?
GM: Yeah, there was, well he pissed in a brazier, and you had seen smoke come out of it, like defensive smoke come out of it before, only that was when it was like being shaken a bit. And then when it got peed in the smoke came out extra fast and engulfed you all before you could react.
Guy Lang: Alright.
Akaz: Meh. If I see 'em again I'll punch 'em. Regardless of that, hmm. Surely there must be something interesting to do in this village. There's 2,000 people.
GM: There are 2,000 people.
Akaz: I quickly grow bored of this room, and head downstairs.
Downstairs there is an orcish bard, playing somewhat badly on the lute. He's strumming a bit, and singing a song, but it's in orcish, so no one in the group understands it. Mostly they just kinda hear sounds, growling and stuff. No idea what the song is about. There appear to be no other orcs in the room, so the group isn't sure why he chose to give an orcish performance exactly, but that's what he's going on about. There's a dwarf at one table, talking to a second dwarf. Some humans. A halfling is serving drinks. They approach the dwarfs.
Akaz: Gentlemen, let me treat you to a drink and you tell me your stories.
GM: They have drinks of their own already, but then they hear "treat to a drink", and they happily order another pint each.
Dwarf: How old of a story do you want? Do you want stories from myth and legend? or stories that we've gone through ourselves?
Akaz: Stories you've gone through yourselves are the best.
GM: The dwarves begin to tell the story of the great mountain Khundrukar, the Stone Tooth, which can actually be seen from a window in the north wall. It's off about 30 miles away through the woods and hills.
Dwarf: When I was a young lad, maybe 100 years ago, not too long ago, I, and all my friends, we worked in Khundrukar. It was being managed by, uh, well, alright we'll admit it. The dwarf that was in charge, he had a little bit of a problem with orcs. He'd had some nasty run-ins in the past, and he was sorta running the place as a, you know, "manufacturing weapons in the fight against the orcs", and all that. We didn't really go in for that thing. We were just in it for the smithing, but, well, you know, the orcs heard that he had it out for them, so they decided to have it out for him, and one day, well we repelled a few invasions, but eventually the whole place got taken down. Most of us fled, those of us that couldn't flee of course were probably chopped up, like it happens.
Akaz: Like it happens indeed. And you say, Orcs?
Dwarf: Yeah, I dunno.
Akaz: Good at chopping, terrible at music.
Dwarf: Yes, well, you know, if you're gonna go around saying that your name is Durgeddin and you're out to smith weapons against the orcs, eventually the orcs are gonna be like "who's this Durgeddin fellow?" and they're gonna come after ya.
Akaz: True enough, true enough. You all fled the mountain then? Sounds terrible. Surely many must have been left behind.
Dwarf: Well, some were left behind. The attack started and we held them off for a few days. Many were able to escape through some secret passages. I think within the past 100 years they've been filled in, unfortunately. Sort've a river moved and diverted and flooded the whole area. But it wasn't that bad. Durgeddin and a few of his close followers decided to never back out of the situation, went down with the ship so to speak.
Akaz: Seems appropriate. A captain must at all times. 100 years ago you say? Is the place abandoned now? Sounds fascinating.
Dwarf: I don't know. I've heard that there's something living there. Probably more orcs, or maybe other dwarves have moved in? Never really been back. It's only a few days away from here, but, you know, what with it being dangerous and there being work in town here, it's not quite worth my bother.
Guy Lang: Sounds like it might be worth our bother.
Akaz: It might be.
Guy Lang: I gotta get out of here, gotta go to some place where I can start burning things. I don't feel like burning these people.
Akaz: Can they give us directions?
GM: So Khundrukar is a Lonely Mountain type deal, lots of flatland all around it, hard to lose track. It looks kinda like this:
Akaz: Gentlemen, we're going to check it out. We'll be sure to tell you about it when we get back.
Akaz: So about how far is it? I ask around.
GM: Well, it's about 30 miles off. That's about 3 days travel, through the rugged terrain, dense forest and so on.
Guy Lang: I can help with the dense forest!
Akaz: Only you can start forest fires!
They travel to the mountain. We chat about the dynamics of Fire Bolts vs Ignite, and what effect Piercing Flames has on the situation. It's determined that a single use of Ignite would at least totally singe up a live pine tree, even if it doesn't start a whole forest fire.
Guy Lang: Now I know my way back.
Sarventes: The least ecologically-friendly Hansel and Gretel ever.
Guy Lang: Birds eat bread! How am I supposed to get back if a bird eats the trail?
There's a clear trail up the mountain when they get there. Obvious orc tracks going up and down the path. There's some smoke coming from the mountain somewhere, but from this close the trees are obscuring where from.
Sarventes: Let me confirm first, am I the only frontline character? That's good, I guess there's no one else to get in the way.
GM: And no one else to count on! Yeah!
Guy Lang: I stand in the middleline, the line that is afraid of all other lines.
GM: Under the standard "fighter, mage, cleric, thief" system, you've got three mages and a fighter.
Guy Lang: Yes!
Sarventes: We're all gonna die! I'm glad I took a Healing Belt.
Sarventes goes first, and they head up the path. They see two Orcs.
Sarventes: We move aside as they go by. It's the one who goes up the mountain, right? That's supposed to yield.
GM: I think that's how it works, yeah.
Akaz: Yeah, we pull over to the side.
Guy Lang: I yell out to them, "do you speak common?" and then I yell out again in Draconic, "do you speak draconic?"
GM: When you shout in common, they look at you, and they shuffle a little bit. They shout back at you.
Wark: What yu wan? Yu here trade?
Guy Lang: Uhhhhhh, I guess? What do we got... uh, we're looking into some, you know, adventuring. Got any problems we can solve for ya?
Akaz: Yes, there's still dwarves down there, kill them all.
So the party gets a little closer and has a better look at the mountain entrance. There's a bit carved out entryway with some arrow slits, and three arrow slits above on the mountain face, giving the defenders a pretty good range of fire at anyone on the path or at the doorway. The door itself looks to be a big heavy stone sort of affair. Looks like a proper dwarven fortress. Everyone is naturally alert for magma. The orcs appear to speak common, so Guy Lang walks a little closer to them non-threateningly.
Guy Lang: We're looking for work basically, so you got any monsters you need to kill, or things to do?
Guy Lang: We like adventuring, we like breaking things, we can break things for you.
GM: Well, you certainly look like a cadre of misplaced demon creatures.
Akaz: Hey, I'm the only demon creature here!
GM: Okay, there's one demon creature, there's one hobgoblin, who the orcs kinda know might be okay to work with, there's one guy with like leaves for hair or something weird like that, and then there's a gnome.
Akaz: Leaves for hands.
GM: Yeah, leaves for hands.
Guy Lang: Which one was I?
GM: You're the guy with leaves for hands.
Guy Lang: Am I?
GM: I dunno, what's your weird thing? Feytouched all have a weird thing.
Guy Lang: My weird Feytouched thing is I look singed around the edges. Some of them look like really beautiful Humans. I'm like a really beautifully singed Human.
GM: Oh, so you're just cooked. You look like a burnt hotdog. Alright, so a hobgoblin, a demon, a burnt hotdog man, and a gnome. They look at you.
Thark: Hmmmmm. We ask da boz, you wait here.
GM: They go up the trail, and close the door.
Quigley: "The Gang Dies On Their First Mission".
They wait a bit, and eventually the door opens again. An ogre comes out, with two wolves in tow, and Wark and Thark in the back.
Orge: What are you here for? Wark and Thark say you're here to join us.
Guy Lang: I'm here for work. I just figured you guys look like you might have some work for us. There's a lot of monsters and stuff, we like fighting monsters for people. You guys look like you got a good operation going. (I Diplomacy at him for 16)
Ogre: We don't need nothin from you invader types... except... we got, mm, bit of a dragon problem, down in the deep parts.
Guy Lang: Sounds good to me.
Akaz: Dragon problem? Yeah.
Ogre: If you can fight the dragon, we'll give you...
GM: He looks at the orcs, and then begins to move his fingers like he's trying to do math, then he just holds up his hands in a big pile.
Ogre: This much gold.
GM: It looks like a sizable amount of gold coins.
Guy Lang: I like that. We got a deal.
I was expecting them to just go in for the murder, so I had to take a second to set up the second segment of the map. Didn't think I'd need it right away. The ogre walks them through the first area (past a gnome and elf prisoner, actually), and pushes them into a room while warning of "buzz bugs". He explains that they have to go down one layer, over, up one layer, over, and down again to get to the dragon zone. If they bring back proof that they killed the dragon, they'll give the party a big pile of gold.
The Buzz Bugs are Stirges of course. There's four of them, but the party dispatches them without any trouble. Down a well shaft leads them to a mostly natural cavern of some sort. Moving south, they deal with some more stirges, and come upon Troglodytes too. The trogs are not too dangerous. They keep going south and even make their way into the trog "nest" area, but dispatch them all and smash the troglodyte eggs as well. It quickly became pretty obvious that the Totemist/gadgeteer, Fire Mage, and Samurai were all playing on about even footing, but the Dragonfire Adept is a class that can easily rival CoDzilla. They were having fun though, so I didn't worry too much and just turned up the heat a bit.
Moving around, there was a guard lizard chained up by the trogs that they just set on fire from afar, and then took take the money that it guards. They made their way to a large open cavern with flecks of gemstone in the wall and weird mushrooms everywhere. There were some coffins up on a ledge, and a door to the west. They moved up to the west door to examine it. It was of course locked, but our heroes began to let loose with the fire blasting and all. Normally one might think that a thick stone door won't burn down easily, but Piercing Flames is a pretty strong "fuck you I'm going where I want" sort of ability.
The noise of all this door buring attracted some attention though. It was supposed to be 2 gricks, but I decided that, given the DfA and that a grick is kinda not too dangerous, that they could handle some more at once. Instead, there were 10 gricks. There were 5 on one 10ft-cliff above the path to the north, and 5 on another 10ft-cliff to the south of the path. The first thing the totemist did was run up the cliff (using chitin armor climb speed) and try to blast five of them with a holographic light show (Will save or Dazed for 1d2 rounds). Good plan really. However, I looked at the picture for the grick, and considered the anatomy of a tentacle snake with a beak. I decided that they didn't have eyes, instead having tremorsense, and that the light show would naturally not affect them. The monster manual says "Darkvision 60ft", but whatever.
Now, the grick has four tentacle attacks and a bite. Their attack bonus isn't particularly good, but that's still 5 attacks. Akaz got kinda injured, so he let loose a steam cloud and moved into the back. Sarventes began to whirl and spin and took down a number of them in the north group while Quigley and Guy Lang dealt with the group approaching from the south. Everyone got to pull off some cool tricks, and it was as good time. Then they burned through the door and made their way to the upward well shaft they were looking for.
Ends Of The Matrix (GitBook), After Sundown (Gitbook), Immobile Sun