Thursday, October 22, 2020

Caught up!

So I finally caught up with my session note write-ups.  From this week on, I'll be going back to one posting a week of session notes.  That said, I'm going to use Thursdays for supplemental posts related to the current campaign.  This will include posting things the players generate, like the bylaws for their guild [which will post next Thursday, October 29th] or Hero System write-ups for the monsters/creatures the group faces that are unique to my campaign.  So I won't include the shadows as they came out of the Bestiary, but the effigies and various skeleton types will make appearances here.


I'm not certain about publishing the maps of the places the Delvers explore.  If you have any interest in seeing those, please make a comment on this post.  I'd love to get some feedback.


Later!






Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Delvers Guild – Session 24 – Applicants and Treasure

[November 11th-16th – Vorgand is approached by applicants for the guild and the group decides to make a grab at the behir treasure.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened September 28, 2020.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University

Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again

Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts, and Guildmaster of the Delvers Guild

Via Roll20

Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer

Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University


Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wytheford

Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo



November 11th through 14th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

During the week, a number of people approached Vorgand and inquired about joining the Delvers Guild.  Most of these were students of the various learning centers in the city, but not all.  Vorgand made note of the ones that made an impression for one reason or another.

Those that asked smart questions [requirements, cost to apply, loot shares, if there was a way to start above torchbearer status]:

  • Marlan Tracehands
  • Yngvar Copperarrow
  • Stefan the Wanderer
  • Leopard

Those that could fight (or at least claimed they could):

  • Victor Yakovovich
  • Bellinus Dragonkiller [smug and dressed in shiny armor, Vorgand really wants to fight this guy]
  • Kettle the Pike
  • Fadeyka the Saber

Those that stuck out for other reasons:

  • Gilda Greenstick – a spellcaster
  • Crow and Bear Neriansson – brothers, Bear fights and Crow “does things needing doing”
  • Bork Hedinson – his name really is Bork, but he seems earnest
  • Erian Eldergold – a pretty boy, possibly with some elf blood in his family
  • Lukyan of Rylsk – already had leather worn armor and sword
  • Tamara Greenshield – a temple acolyte

Vorgand explained that the guild was still organizing and would be taking applications in a week or so.

Vorgand also checked up on her glowing bones experiment in the basement of the guildhall.  After a week, half the rope suspending the blanket and femurs was now glowing blue and showing odd signs of burning.  She prepped the bones, blanket, and now rope for travel.  It clearly was not safe to leave them in the guildhall.

During the same time, Nick asked around the docks, looking for his little brother, Les [if you think of Speed Racer looking for Sprital, you won’t be far off].  Nick eventually tracked down one of Les’ friends, Berooz.  Berooz said he had helped Les pack up stuff “to go on adventure” and suspected Les was going to sneak onto a ship.  As a result, Nick went to the harbormaster’s office to get a list of ships that left the day Les disappeared.  Some of these were local transports and some were longer distance trade ships.  Nick tracked down those ships that were back in port again to see if they had found a stowaway.  None had.


Freysday, November 15th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

Dawn

The Delvers assembled on the docks to catch the morning ferry across Dragon Bay to Little Wytheford.  The weather was cold and windy, so they and the other passengers stayed below decks for the trip.

During the trip the Delvers discussed their exploration options.  Based on the amount of gold that Vorgand and Jala saw in the behir lair, they decided to make a try for some of it.  The reports of the blue dragon-like creature on Arkoi suggested that at least one of the behir was no longer at the desert ruins, greatly increasing their odds at success.

Vorgand also discussed her first impressions of those applying to join the guild.  She plans on sparring with all of the fighter-types to get a feel for their actual skill level.  This seemed fair to the rest of the Delvers, although they did not have ways to test any of the other applicants yet.


Noon

The ferry arrived at Little Wytheford’s River Docks and all debarked.  The Delvers walked over to the Stalwart family warehouse to find Konrad and get the vardo and requested supplies.  Orm was there with his oxen, but they were not yet hooked up to the vardo.  Orm was seen passing some coins over to Konrad when the Delvers showed up.  Konrad told Nick that all the requested supplies were in the vardo and Nick thanked him.

Once the oxen were hooked up, the Delvers climbed into the vardo and settled in for the trip to the Moon Manor ruins.


Sunset

The vardo arrived at the Moon Manor ruins.  The Torchbearers [Torsten, Fish, and Harek] waved at them as they approached.  Orm parked the vardo just outside the entry to the ruins and everyone helped move the supplies from the vardo to the old chapel.  The Torchbearers had spent the last two weeks using the supplies brought the previous trip to patch the walls and roof of the old chapel, sealing it against the elements.  They used the wood scraps to build a cover for the entrance into the areas under the manor to keep the weather out.

Torsten related that when the storm blew in they had to herd the goats and chickens down into the chambers under the ruins for a couple days.  One of the golems down there had walked off with one of the goats before they could do anything.  They barricaded the door until the storm blew over and then moved the livestock back up to the surface.  It took the golems several hours to clean up after the animals after the door was unbarricaded.


Yggsday, November 16th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

Morning

After breakfast, the Delvers started their leisurely way down through the under-ruins of the Moon Manor.  They were in no hurry as the portal to the moon cannot be opened until after 9:00 am, when the moon is high enough in the sky.

On the upper lever of the under-ruins, the Delvers located the missing goat.  It was on a shelf in one of the storerooms, bleating for food.  They made a quick U-turn and took the goat back to the surface to graze before resuming their trip down.  In the shaft of stairs, Zarek asked The Torchbearers if there was enough wood to make a wooden patch to the missing set of steps.  Torsten said there was not in the scraps, but something could be done if the Delvers brought in more timber.  He also said it would be safer if the water leaking into the stair shaft and running down the steps was stopped or diverted.

Once down at the portal room, the group discussed how they wanted to deal with the behir.  They set the portal coordinates to the moon and retrieved the couch stored there before closing the portal again.  By this point the Delvers had decided to make a quick raid of the desert ruins with the goal of defeating the single remaining behir or at least stealing some of the behir treasure.  Zarek modified his attack spell so that it spat stone shards instead of lightning and stacked a delayed version of the spell that would trigger when he cast his attack spell a second time.  He also put his Stoney Skin spell on himself and Ricky.  Clarence cast Shield of Faith on himself and Vorgand and Nick cast Wave Breaker [a force field-based spell] on himself.  Jala was very unhappy about not having a defensive magic spell cast on her until Vorgand pointed out it was her job was to steal gold while everyone else fought the behir.  This mollified Jala somewhat.

Like all great plans, this one did not last long.  Vorgand set the portal to the coordinates for the desert ruins and opened the portal.  Zarek flew through the portal and went high to scout…which is when the waiting behir, sitting on the roof of the adjacent building and watching the portal area, saw him and spoke to him in the common tongue, “You.  Me.  Talk now.”

[This is when the players realized that maybe the group scout should have had a pair of earrings of communication.]

Zarek agreed to talk.  The behir was looking for its mate and knew Zarek had something to do with it.  Zarek allowed that he might know where the behir’s mate was, but needed to get a power stone to open the portal there from this side.  [This was a lie – Zarek personally carried all the control cubes and power stones the group had and were not in use.  Luckily, behir are not terribly smart.]  The behir accepted his explanation and allowed him to go back through the portal to get what he needed.

Back in the under-ruins, Zarek quickly explained the situation and that he needed someone better with words to come back with him.  Clarence and Ricky agreed to go.  Ricky told the group to give them an hour before reopening the portal – Vorgand said, “You have 10 minutes.”

Zarek, Clarence, and Ricky went through the portal and the behir came down from the roof to observe more closely.  Vorgand closed the gate from the Moon manor side.  Zarek cleared off the control cabinet, set the portal coordinates to the Moon Manor Ruins, and activated the portal to prove to the behir that he could.  The away team (Zarek, Clarence, and Ricky) waved at the rest of the Delvers and then closed the portal again.

Zarek then set the coordinates for the portal area on Arkoi and opened it.  They could see the stony ground and sparse ruins on the island through the gate.  The behir, suspicious, insisted Zarek go through first.  He did so, followed by Ricky and Clarence.  The behir then followed them through the portal to the other side and looked around.  The behir then let out a full-throated roar and listened for a response.  It did this twice more before a responding roar emanated from one of the nearby wooded areas.

The behir seemed pleased and told Zarek to wait at the portal.  When Zarek agreed to do so, the behir headed towards the wooded area.  Zarek estimated it would take the behir at least 20 minutes to get to the woods and would be mostly out of view after 10 minutes.  He turned to Ricky and said, “Go back through to the ruins and tell them they have 8 minutes to go to the desert and grab as much as they can before you have to reopen the portal to here.”  [This last part was crucial as there was no control cabinet at the Arkoi portal and Zarek and Clarence would be trapped with the behir otherwise.]

Ricky darted back through the portal, reset the control cubes to the Moon Manor, stepped through to there, and blurted out, “We have 8 minutes to grab all the treasure we can before the behir comes back!”

Ricky, Vorgand, Jala, and Nick all darted through the open portal to the desert ruins.  The Torchbearers asked if they should come as well, but Vorgand told them to stay in the portal room in case anything happened.  Jala did take a torch with her in case one was needed to create shadows for her to jump or see through.  The group raced to get to the behir treasure room, Jala and Nick teleporting to locations on the second floor near it they knew of while Ricky and Vorgand used the second floor window on the side of the building [that the Torchbearers had fled out of the last time they were here].  When the group arrived at the second floor room with a hole in the floor, Jala dropped the torch down the hole to light up the treasure room and provide shadows for her.  She pulled down her veil to peer through the shadows into the treasure room and realized all the treasure was gone!

Clearly, in the two weeks since the Delvers had been here, the behir had moved all the treasure to a different hiding place.  Ricky looked around for a trail to follow.  [I rolled to see how well the behir had hidden its trail at this point and rolled an 18 on 3d6 – complete failure.]  Ricky realized that there was an easy trail to follow.  The behir had hauled the treasure out, dropping the occasional coin along the way and had done nothing to hide its tracks.  The trail eventually led to the nearby amphitheater and down into the “backstage” area.  The entrance to the area had a large stone placed in front of it, but Jala found a spot where the group could still squeeze in.  In the room behind the stone they found all the behir treasure piled haphazardly, along with some empty chests the behir had used to haul the treasure.

It still took nearly 2 minutes to follow the trail, so they were running out of time.  As a result, each Delver prioritized what they grabbed.  Vorgand prioritized jewelry cases then coins, hoping that amongst the jewelry would be at least one pair of earrings of communication.  Nick stuffed valuable looking items into an available chest before filling in the empty spaces with coins.  Jala went with gems, jewelry, and anything that looked like a magic item [nothing fit this description].  Ricky went after anything that looked like a magic item, books or scrolls, and then coins [with no books or obviously magic items, he spent most of his time stuffing his backpack and sacks with coins].

After four minutes of frantic stuffing of loot into packs, sack, and chests, Vorgand called time to go.  The group each drank a dose of the potion of speed and sprinted back to the portal, heavily laden with treasure.  Once through the portal, Vorgand took Ricky’s backpack and loot sacks [now noticeably full] from him.  Ricky stepped back through the portal, closed it, and reopened it to Arkoi.  He stepped back through to where Clarence and Zarek were waiting for the behir to return, panting and grinning like a fool.  Zarek suggested he work at getting that smile under control before the behir returned and asked about it.

Meanwhile, back at the portal room under Moon Manor, Jala, Nick, and Vorgand hid all the stolen treasure behind the moon couch so it would not be visible to the behir if they looked through the open portal later.  They too were grinning widely and not hiding their excitement at all.  The Torchbearers were impressed with all the loot.

About ten minutes after Ricky had returned to Arkoi, the behir they had been talking to returned to the portal from the woods.  She stated her name was Queen and she and her mate now owned both places, the desert ruins and this island.  Queen demanded control stones to open the portal.  Zarek convinced Queen that he had to go and get one to give her, but Ricky and Clarence would stay until he returned.  Queen accepted this.

Zarek went through the portal to the desert ruins.  He closed the portal and waited a minute or two, pulling one of the “dead” power gems from his pack.  [“Dead” means unpowered in this context.]  He then reopened the portal to Arkoi and delivered the unpowered crystal to Queen, who accepted it.  Queen then said, “Leave now and never return to our places or we will eat you.”  Clarence, Ricky, and Zarek quickly stepped through the portal, back to the desert ruins, where they closed the portal to Arkoi.

Ricky then reopened the portal to the portal room under the Moon Manor ruins and the trio returned.  Clarence and Zarek were brought up to speed on the loot taken and they explained what they had done with the behir.  As the portal stones on Arkoi did not have a control cabinet anymore, they were confident that the behir were now trapped on Arkoi and they could all go back to the desert ruins and take the rest of the behir treasure at their leisure.  They all agreed now was the time to do this.

With the portal still open, Ricky went through first and deactivated it from the desert ruins side.  Vorgand reactivated the portal from the Moon Manor side, allowing the retrieval of the power gem and three control cubes from the desert ruins side.  The Delvers spent the next thirty minutes removing the remaining behir treasure from the amphitheater.

Once that was done, Vorgand redirected the portal to “Burning Hell” [the site where they fought the three effigies] and stashed the glowing femurs, blanket, and rope there, where the glow would not bother the Delvers.  She then closed the portal to that location.

End of Session


[Detailing the treasure happened the following session as I had not rolled it up yet when this session happened.  They were not disappointed.  More on that at the end of the next session notes.]



Delvers Guild

Session A, Character Creation Part 1

Session B, Character Creation Part 2

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23


Session 25 [Not Yet Posted]



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Delvers Guild – Session 23 – Between Expeditions

[November 4th-8th – The players receive experience points and spend them while in town.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened September 14, 2020.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University

Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again

Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts, and Guildmaster of the Delvers Guild

Via Roll20

Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer

Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University


Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wytheford

Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo


November 4th through 6th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

The Delvers attended classes at their various centers of learning in Aegea City.  Each picked up new aspects of their education [read: spent experience points].  The story of fighting the blue not-dragon was told several times to other students over drinks at The Library.

Nick learned that his little brother, Les, has gone missing.  Nick starts looking into it after Les does not show up for dinner two days in a row.  In his spare time, Nick continued working on a spell to recharge wands.  He feels he is close, but could do better.

Jala moved into the new guildhall, selecting a room on one of the uppermost floors [her shadowjump spell makes stairs inconsequential].  She replaced the lock and knob on the door to a more complex one and contracted a carpenter to craft a raised bed platform so her bed will be up near the ceiling [but with enough room to sit up safely]. She also started shopping for a mattress and other furnishings to turn her room into a small apartment.  She continued taking lessons from Ricky on navigation until she had a solid grounding in it.  [She spent experience points to buy the skill.]  She tracked down teachers in the Dusk Academy to improve her appraisal and breaking and entering skills.

Clarence spent much of his time researching different kinds of undead and how to combat them.  He discovered notes on “elven glow skeletons” and the dangers of their contagious death aura.  If not stopped, the contagion can infect entire towns.  He warned Vorgand of this and she assured him she “has it under control”.

Vorgand tied the glowing femurs from the desert skeletons [and the now-glowing blanket she keeps them in] with a rope and suspended them from the ceiling of the basement in the guildhall.  Over several days she tracked the spread of the glow up the rope to determine the speed of the contagion.  She asked the other Delvers to research containment circles.  When not training at The Blooded [the military academy, where she learns Martial Escape this session], she spends time at The Library carousing with other students [increasing her Presence].

Zarek purchased iron from several smithies, enough that he felt he could make into a fox-sized golem.  He also dithered on learning some new magic, asking for opinions from the other Delvers.

Ricky developed a new spell that turns him invisible by sending his own shadow into the plane of shadows [the Tricky Ricky Shadow Eater spell].  When it works.  When it doesn’t work, it causes a small rift to the plane of shadows and shadow-stuff explodes into being around him, blocking all sight.  He is not displeased with this outcome.  Ricky also started outlining a space for a teleportation circle in the basement of the guildhall [away from Vorgand’s experiment].  His plan is to set up a standing gate between the guildhall and the Moon Manor, allowing rapid transit to the site instead of the day-long travel now required.


Cromsday, November 7th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

A winter storm rolled in late in the day.  As a result, the waters of Dragon Bay were dangerously choppy.  The evening ferry from Little Wytheford barely made it back into port.

While investigating the status of the ferry for the weekend’s expedition, Nick heard reports of recent attacks on the island of Arkoi by a “six-legged dragon”.  Arkoi is the site of one of the portal addresses the Delvers recently explored and is considered adjacent to the portal at the desert city ruins.  Arkoi not home to “six-legged dragons” and is small enough to be completely explored.  Nick kept this information to himself while at the docks but shared the reports with the other Delvers when they met at The Library that night.


Freysday, November 8th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

The winter storm was still blowing, making the waters of Dragon Bay dangerous to sail.  Ferry service to and from Little Wytheford was cancelled for the day.  The Delver expedition to Moon Manor this weekend was cancelled as a result.

End of Session


[This session was mostly the awarding and spending of experience points.  We also talked about what they were doing while in town and then I told them about the storm and the reports of a blue, dragon-like creature on Arkoi.  Les Stalwart is Nick’s DNPC and stole away on a boat to get back to the Moon Manor where Nick was adventuring.  Unfortunately, he stowed away on the wrong boat and is now in the eastern Opal Sea trying to earn his keep as a cabin boy and not get thrown into the brig.]


Delvers Guild

Session A, Character Creation Part 1

Session B, Character Creation Part 2

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22


Session 24 [Not Yet Posted]



Thursday, October 8, 2020

Delvers Guild – Session 22 – Return to “Burning Hell”

[Not ready to end the weekend’s expedition, the Delvers re-explore portal location 2-6.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened September 7, 2020.]

 

Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University

Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again

Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts, and Guildmaster of the Delvers Guild

Via Roll20

Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer

Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

 

Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wytheford

Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo

 

 

Yggsday, November 2nd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

3:30 PM

Safely back in the portal room underneath the Moon Manor Ruins, the Delvers let off some steam arguing over who nearly left who behind in the desert ruins [mostly Clarence’s player complaining and then arguing he wasn’t the one complaining] while Zarek took a nap in a corner.  One the argument died down and nerves calmed, the group started to discuss what to do next.  The three options seemed to be:

  1. Go back to the desert ruins immediately
  2. Wait before going back, including discussion as to how long they might need to wait
  3. Go to a different location, like the “Burning Hell” portal [the one with the effigies]

During this discussion, Vorgand noticed her skull ring was glowing brightly.  She opened her backpack and pulled out the blanket-wrapped femurs she had collected from the glow skeletons.  The 8 femurs still glowed light blue, but now the blanket did as well.  The damaging blue aura was spreading with contact!  Not wanting all her possessions to gain the deadly aura, she set the blanket and bundle of femurs in the same corner Zarek was snoozing in.  Zarek felt the uncomfortable heat emanating from the femurs and trotted over to a different corner before resuming his nap.

Surprisingly [at least to the GM], the group decided to go back to the “Burning Hell” of portal location 2.6.  Zarek and Nick adjusted their attack spells to be effective against the noncorporeal effigies [set their variable advantages to include Affect Desolid].  On top of that, protective spells were cast so all the Delvers had either an armor or force field spell on them [but not the Torchbearers].

With some trepidation, the portal was reopened to location 2.6.

Looking through the portal, the Delvers noticed some changes from their last visit.  The gate in the wall that blocked off the front part of the cave was burned open.  Additionally, the building to the left showed signs of having had a fire in it.  The group of adventurers and torchbearers cautiously went through the portal to the cavern.

In the cavern, Ricky cast a Nightvision spell on himself and Clarence cast Sense the Unholy.  Clarence saw no sign of the burning effigies and the building to the left still detected as unholy.  The group also could now see that the smallest building, the one they called the office, was now completely burned down.

With two of the three structures burned and destroyed [the second building was destroyed by the Delvers back in Session 12], the Delvers turned their attention to the remaining building.  Zarek attempted to toss a torch into the building through the front door and failed twice.  Vorgand picked up the torch after the second fail and gracefully threw it inside where it created shadows.  Jala peeked through the shadows to get a view of the inside of the building and reported burned bunks and chests.

As she was reporting this, she saw one of the shadows in the room move against the light and reported that.  Clarence moved so he could see through the burned down door of the building with Sense the Unholy.  He identified them as some sort of shadows.  [This turned out to incorrect as I mis-read the monster description, but it wasn’t far off.]

With a slight smirk on his lips, Zarek chained two explosive lightning spells that affect only the incorporeal and lobbed them into the building.  The ghostly lightning exploded out from his target space, covering a 22-meter diameter area, outlining the shadows…who were completely unaffected by the explosions.  These were crypt shades, formed from a swirl of bones, funeral shrouds, dust, and hate and they were corporeal undead.  The rest of the delvers immediately drank a dose of speed potion.

The fight was a series of frustrations for both sides.  The crypt shades had high defenses that few of the Delvers could get past, but the undead’s only attack was a suffocation attack that the magic ear rings protected from by providing air to breathe.  [The attack was an Attack Versus Limit Defense: Life Support and the ear rings provided the necessary Life Support, making the attack completely ineffective.]  The undead had no defense against Ricky’s Dark Leaching spell and Zarek’s lightning spell was strong enough to get past the shades’ defenses, and so the Delvers gradually destroyed them.

While Ricky and Zarek recovered from the heavy spell casting, Jala and Clarence searched the inside of the building.  Based on the furniture, Clarence identified the building as a barracks.  Jala found a perfectly clean and sharp broadsword, suggesting it was magical.  Zarek identified the sword as a Smiting Broadsword [magical and +2 OCV].  After discussing who could use it, Clarence ended up with it, although he can only wield it two-handed [his Strength is below the weapon’s Strength Minimum for wielding it one-handed].

Finished investigating the ruin of the small outpost, the group decided to investigate the cavern tunnel the outpost guarded against.  Ricky led the way, and an hour later they exited the cave into the ruins of a town.  The ruins are at the end of a canyon and snow can be seen on the edges of the canyon.  The air was crisp and cool.  The group took a rest allowing Ricky time to get an estimate of where they were.

[Originally, I told them they were far to the NORTH of Aegea City, but later, looking at my portal map, I realized they were in fact far to the WEST.  My mistake.  It is being ret-conned in this blog entry to avoid confusion later.]

Ricky said they were far to the west of Aegea city.  Based on his readings about elven ruins, he believed this was the ruins of the city of Antaset.  His research had suggested the ruins were heavily damaged and picked over, which matched what they could see.  The Delvers spent an hour searching the ruins and found pot shards with Ancient Elven script on them.  They also find some footprints burned into the ground, heading down the canyon.  The effigies came this way.

After not finding anything of value, the group went back into the cave and returned to the portal.

With some time still available, the group decided to attempt to re-open the portal to the desert ruins where the angry behir was.  There were several things that wanted to learn:

  • Would the portal open or had the behir damaged it?
  • Was the behir still rampaging?
  • Could they get at all that gold that Vorgand and Jala saw?

When they set the control cubes to the desert ruins, the portal actually opened, which was a good sign.  Looking through, there was no flickering light that suggested the portal was about to fail/blow up nor could they see the behir.  Clarence placed his defensive spell on Zarek, over Zarek’s Stoney Skin spell, and then Zarek went through the portal for a quick reconnoiter.

Zarek flew around the courtyard a bit and saw the sand there was greatly disturbed but there was no other sign of the behir.  Not wanting to push his luck, Zarek went back through the portal to the Moon Manor Ruins and reported what he saw.  The Delvers decided they were done for this expedition and closed the portal, retrieving the power gem and the three control cubes.  They then made their way back up to the surface.

Over dinner, they discussed what options they might take to optimize their trips to and from the Moon Manor to try and get more adventure time.  They discussed leaving their oversized vardo here and only bringing Orm and the team of oxen when they were done or wanted to move the vardo.  Horses were faster, but not a lot faster as there was no road to the Moon Manor and they were not certain they wanted one.  The difference in travel time was only going to be an hour [based on previous experience] and during the winter, that was not enough time saved.  On top of that, not using the vardo also limited the amount of supplies they could bring to the site.  In the end they decided to stick with their current procedure of riding in the vardo between Little Wytheford and the ruins.

That night, Jala started working on notes for a journal specifically of the monsters the group has faced over the past month and what their strengths and vulnerabilities were.  Ricky spent the night reading his Ancient Elven book on gated teleportation.


Sunday, November 3rd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

Early Morning

The Delvers packed up their camp gear into the vardo.  While Orm was hooking up the oxen, Vorgand asked the Torchbearers what supplies they needed brought back and made a list.  The Delvers climbed aboard the vardo for the ride back to Little Wytheford.  Jala asked Ricky to start teaching here the basics of navigation and they spent the trip in discussion.

Noon

The vardo arrived in Little Wytheford.  The Delvers barely had time to get unloaded and have the vardo stored before racing to catch the Noon ferry back to Aegea City.  On the trip to Aegea City, Ricky continued instructing Jala on navigation with Nick [experienced with water navigation] occasionally adding to the conversation.

Evening

The ferry arrived back at Aegea City.  The Delvers made their way to The Library for drinks and dinner, sharing stories with the other students drinking there.

End of Session


[This was a busy session with the Delvers returning to a couple locations to check their current status.  The players also arranged what extra things their characters would be doing over the week (in addition to attending classes): Zarek will cram on Golemancy, Clarence will research different types of undead, Nick started research on a spell to recharge wands, and Vorgand just attended classes, while Jala practiced her shadowjumping with others by randomly grabbing people about town and teleporting with them.  The city watch are now trying to find her for harassing the citizens of Aegea City.]


Delvers Guild

Session A, Character Creation Part 1

Session B, Character Creation Part 2

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21


Session 23



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Delvers Guild – Session 21 – Lightning in the Desert

[Smarting off to a huge reptile that spits lightning bolts turns out to be a bad idea.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened August 31, 2020.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University

Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again

Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts, and Guildmaster of the Delvers Guild

Via Roll20

Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer

Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University


Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now The Torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wythford

Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo



Yggsday, November 2nd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

3:30 PM

Standing in the doorway of a second-floor room in the ruined building the group was exploring, the head and neck of a huge blue reptile, crowned with horns, had risen through the hole in the floor from a lower room.  The delvers had just defeated three of the glowing skeletons, Zarek having taken out the last one with a Burst Lightning spell.  The monster challenged the group with a bellow of “You dare!?”

Several of the Delvers made quick quips to its declaration [which I sadly did not write down].  In response to this lack of deference, the monster released a line of lightning from its maw [Area of Effect: Line], striking at Vorgand, Clarence, and Nick.  Vorgand and Clarence were able to dive out of the way [abort to Dive for Cover], but Nick was slow to leap and was hit as he leapt [he failed the DEX roll necessary to get out of the way before the attack happened].  Nick was stunned by the lightning, but not quite knocked unconscious, and hit the floor.  His Wave Break spell [a force field spell] dropped as a result of being stunned.

The monster looked around for the source of the lightning spells that had awakened it.  Seeing a red fox floating in the air, it decided that Zarek was the most magical being it could see and must have been the source.  “You?  You dared use the sacred fire!?  DIE!” it bellowed.  It attacked Zarek by biting at him.  Eyes wide, Zarek attempted to dodge the bite but was caught anyway.  Luckily Zarek’s Stoney Skin spell [an Armor spell] kept the monster’s teeth at bay, but the force of the bite stunned Zarek, dropping his Flight spell and Zarek fell to the ground.

Jala pulled out her vial of speed potion and drank a dose, doing her best to appear non-threatening.  Ricky pulled his vial as well but took the opportunity to move deeper into the hallway and away from the monster so he was not as exposed to the its attacks.  The furious monster bit again at Zarek, but again did little due to Zarek’s Stoney Skin spell.

Jala shadow-stepped to the lower room, thinking to attack the body of the creature [away from its mouth].  She discovered the creature had four sets of legs [eight legs total] and that there was a second creature like the first down in this room, listening to the fight above and waiting.  Jala immediately shadow-stepped back up to the second floor, out in the hallway, arriving next to Nick [who was back on his feet by now and at peeking into the room around the door jamb].  Jala immediately called out, “There is a second one downstairs!”  The other Delvers groaned at this piece of information.

Vorgand rolled to her feet and moved around behind the monster to strike.  Here rapier was a dragon slayer and should have easily pierced the creature’s hide, but it didn’t.  This meant the creature was not actually a dragon and she shared this information over the earrings of communication to Jala, Ricky, and Clarence.  The monster turned and bit at Vorgand [her attack had done no Body, but it had done Stun and so hurt].  It bit her arm and failed to harm her due to her defences [studded leather armor and a protective spell from Clarence].  Unfortunately, the bite yanked her slightly off balance and she fell through the hole in the floor to the lower room.  Clarence, still prone on the floor, pulled out his vial of speed potion and drank a dose.

Nick switched his Poseidon’s Fury spell from a lightning spell to a fire spell but failed to get the spell off [he made the Magic roll to change up the variable advantage but failed the roll when he went to actually cast it].  Clarence attempted to attack with his Holy Flame spell but missed completely, scorching the ceiling instead.  The monster did not like another spell caster and climbed further out of the hole, exposing six of its legs, and released another lightning bolt, hitting Nick and Clarence and blasting a hole in the hallway wall, into the courtyard.  Nick was [barely] knocked out, but Clarence was knocked deeply unconscious and out of the fight.  Zarek recast his Flight spell and drank from his vial of speed potion.

Vorgand rolled to her feet again and drew out her vial of speed potion.  She held off drinking it and instead went to attack the monster’s lower parts.  The second creature saw this and interrupted her attack [using a saved action], rapidly flowing forward on its eight legs and wrapping her up in its coils, crushing her [grab followed by a squeeze].  Vorgand’s defensive magic was gone due to Clarence being knocked out [he had cast the spell on her, so when he went unconscious, all his spells dropped], so the squeeze hurt, but it did not stop her from attacking and she hit the tail of first monster.

With two members unconscious and Vorgand trapped in the lower room, Zarek decided to try something different: make it angry and then lead it away on a chase.  He flew out across the hall and into the courtyard area, then turned and cast his Burst Lightning spell at the monster, hitting with all three blasts.  The physical effects were minimal, but it really angered the monster.

Vorgand finally drank from her vial of speed potion, but was still grabbed by the second monster.  It squeezed her again and Vorgand fell unconscious.  Upstairs, the first monster roared and charged at Zarek, using its sharp claws to grab into the building’s surface and cling to the walls to get closer to Zarek.  It failed to fully close the gap, much to Zarek’s relief.  Jala shadow-stepped back downstairs, appearing next to the unconscious [but recovering] Vorgand.  She grabbed Vorgand’s unconscious body and attempted to shadow-step back out of the room, pushing the spell to carry a second person.  She was successful…to a point.  She and Vorgand passed through the shadows, but reappeared outside the building and not back in the hallway like she wanted.  Still, away from the monsters was good.

Ricky used his shadow-step spell to leave the building, heading toward the portal back to the Moon Manor.  Nick woke back up and used the wand of wind to move the still unconscious Clarence to a safer nearby room, discovering the three Torchbearers [the NPCs] clambering out of a window in this room as they fled the area.  Zarek led the first monster away, flying for all he was worth as the monster chased him.  He ducked around a far corner of the building and into a nearby window, attempting to lose the monster, but the monster was too familiar with the building and followed him inside.  When Zarek popped out of the building right in front of the portal, Ricky waved him off, calling out that the others were still in the building.  Zarek sighed and then taunted the monster some more, continuing the chase.

The Torchbearers and Vorgand [who was now conscious again] ran for all they were worth back to the gate.  Jala shadow-stepped back inside the building, looking for Nick and Clarence.  She found them in a side room, Clarence still unconscious and Nick waiting for Clarence to awaken or someone to carry Clarence to safety.  Jala went to Clarence and pushed her magic again to shadow-step them as close to the gate as she could.  This freed up Nick to use the Escape Button to teleport himself to the gate, appearing right next to Ricky.

As the Delvers made it to and through the gate, Zarek nearly trapped himself inside the building by flying into a room with no other exits.  The monster was right behind him, but had not yet blocked the only door, so Zarek reversed course and squeezed past the monster and into the courtyard.  He then flew up and over the building with the monster following closely.  Seeing Ricky waving him to the gate before stepping through himself, Zarek sped directly there.  As he passed through the gate, Vorgand pulled the power crystal off the control panel, deactivating and closing the gate, preventing the monster from following.

End of Session


[So this write-up was a little incoherent as I take terrible notes when I’m running an action sequence in order to keep things flowing.  I know I dropped a few things from the narrative because I could not remember exactly when they happened in relation to things I do remember.  Zarek being chased by the monster lasted longer and included Ricky waving Zarek off once because the rest of the group was not safe yet.  At one point Jala accidentally teleported outside the building before her attempt to rescue Vorgand.]

[To fix this problem, I’m now offering a small experience point bounty to players who turn in typed up session notes to me within two days of the game happening.  I’ll let you know how that plays out in practice.]

[And for those who are curious, the monsters in questions were behir that I translated over from Pathfinder.  They are blue and reptilian and if all you see is their head and neck they can easily be mistaken for a blue dragon, especially as both monsters use lightning breath weapons and live in deserts.]



Delvers Guild

Session A, Character Creation Part 1

Session B, Character Creation Part 2

Session 01

Session 10

...

Session 20


Session 22 [Not Yet Posted]



Thursday, October 1, 2020

Delvers Guild – Session 20 – Hunting Skeletons

[The Delvers Guild continues exploring the desert city ruins and hunting skeletons.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened August 24, 2020.]

 

Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University

Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again

Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts, and Guildmaster of the Delvers Guild

Via Roll20

Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer

Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University

 

Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wytheford

Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo

 

 

Yggsday, November 2nd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

2:30 PM

Jala had shadow-stepped into the far corner of the room with the second cluster of skeletons that glowed a soft blue.  This room was partly filled with sand, deeper where Jala stepped out of the shadows, shallower by the door the rest of the group was entering the room through.  Three large records cabinets had fallen over in the past, two from one wall, one from the other.  Where two had landed was a natural choke-point for movement in the room and Vorgand planted herself there to keep the skeletons from getting to the rest of the group [not including Jala, who was behind the skeletons at this point].  The group repeated the tactics that had worked on the previous batch of skeletons and took these down in under 12 seconds.

Due to damage done to the skeletons during the fight, Vorgand was only able to collect two intact femurs from this group of skeletons.  Zarek cast a burst-fire version of his lightning bolt spell during the fight and needed to pant in a corner for a while to recover from the drain of the spell [variable advantage set to Burst Fire and Armor Piercing, not reduced Endurance].  Ricky checked the cabinets and found only moldering scraps of paper and parchment.  The few readable pieces were in Ancient Elven.

Once everyone was ready, the group continued to search the ruins.  The next three rooms had a couple feet of sand in them.  One of these rooms included a doorway to the inner courtyard [blocked by debris] and a door to the outside [where all the sand was coming from].  When they made it to the corner of the building, they found another set of stone stairs up to the second floor.  Clarence could detect two more skeletons in the stairwell.  The group decided to attack.

Jala shadow-stepped into the stairs, appearing right next to one of the skeletons.  That skeleton attacked her.  Its claws failed to harm here through her armor, but the blue glow damaged her right through the armor.  Vorgand advanced into the stairwell to join Jala and attacked the skeletons.  The skeletons attacked the two women, missing Vorgand but harming Jala with their aura.  Jala retreated through the shadows as the other adventurers smashed the skeletons.  Vorgand secured another four glowing femurs from the remains.

After the fight, Vorgand lent her restorative rapier to Jala.  The rapier healed some of the damage from the harmful aura, but not all of it.  [Rules Note: Vorgand’s rapier has 1d6 Aid for recovering from Drains and the auras drain Body with a delayed recovery time.]  The group decided to go up to the second floor as that was where the largest remaining cluster of skeletons was, including the one Jala awoke when she originally shadow-stepped into the building.

The second floor had a very similar floor plan to the first floor’s plan.  The hallway the followed ended halfway down the building side at a doorway open to the central courtyard.  There was no obvious way to get past to the rest of the floor.  The Delvers looked around and realized that the original access to the other half of this floor was by way of the balcony, which was now collapsed to the ground and covered with debris and sand.  After some discussion and judicious use of the wand of wind, Nick was able to lift the members of the group who could not safely make their way from one second-floor doorway to the next.

The next door opened to the hallway connecting the rest of this side of the building.  The skeletons they were hunting were in a room across the hall.  Looking in, they discovered that the center of the room’s floor had long ago collapsed to the first floor.  The active glowing skeleton and two others were on the remaining floor.  The Delvers attacked the skeletons and quickly broke them up.  Zarek eliminated the last one with another burst-fired lightning bolt spell, tiring him out.

As he started panting heavily, a huge, blue reptilian head crowned with horns rose into view through the missing part of the floor.  The creature bellowed, “You dare!?”

End of Session

 

[Sense the Unholy only detects undead and demons/devils, not “evil”.  Important distinction.]

 

 

Delvers Guild

Session A, Character Creation Part 1

Session B, Character Creation Part 2

Session 01

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15

Session 16

Session 17

Session 18

Session 19

 

Session 21