View Full Version : [D&D 3.5 E6] The Last Tango in Newhaven - A Campaign Journal

Vin Robinson
2010-09-17, 01:10 AM
Hello playground. I thought I'd start a campaign journal. It will give me something to do while I'm at work.

First a little bit about the campaign. My DM is very tough but fair, and believes in low-powered, slow leveling, gritty games. We have the standard array for stats (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8) and we are using the races and skill system from Pathfinder. Also using the at-will cantrips from Pathfinder. He also said it's going to be E6, and when we get there we get to make our own custom capstone feat. We're also using some variant where if you ever get hit for more damage than your current constitution score, you need to make a fortitude save equal to 15+ the damage dealt / 5 or be reduced to bleeding at -1 hitpoints. For books we have whatever is on the SRD, plus any three other books. (The party actually talked the DM up from 1)

The setting is a large coastal city with foggy, crappy weather (think England or Seattle) The DM does a great job of setting the mood for us, plus all that fog makes for lots of fun with concealment! The cities' name is Newhaven. Okay. Now to the party.

Silus Beaumont. My character I have fluffed as a Thieve's guild footpad and enforcer, and I didn't really like the whole "master thief" vibe that a Rogue has, so I instead wanted a Thug variant fighter. After clearing it with my DM, I also talked him into letting me take Dungeoncrasher from Dungeonscape, and Zhentarim Fighter from Champions of Valor. So I guess that makes me a Dungeoncrashing Zhentarim Thug? Quite a mouthful. I also think I only get one fighter bonus feat in my six levels. My DM is letting me take my capstone as the "intimidate as a swift action" ability. It should be mentioned that I'm human. Silus is tall, all flat hard muscle, dirty, and hairy.

Lulie Peronell. Woo boy, this one is a doozy. She's being played by our best roleplayer, who is an aspiring writer, never metagames, and is just downright -creepy.- She literally scares me a lot of the time. She is playing a Gray Jester, and taking levels in the monster class set out on these very forums. She had a long complicated novel of a backstory set out for us, and it almost made me cry. After her four levels of Gray Jester, she plans on going Binder, and her capstone is going to be an improved improved binding, or something. She looks like your standard Gray Jester. (She really just grey-scaled some old fan art of Harle from Chrono-Cross)

Glitch. A Warforged with low mental stats, Glitch is a monk who just wants to hug things to death. I have been unable to figure out this player's motivations, but it seems like he has fun. Glitch's backstory is that he was Baron's nursemaid when he was a child. Also talks like HK-47.

Baron Hyland. Sorceror. He likes having relations with NPCs and flashy spells. Just because of the optimization level here, he's actually our hardest hitter most of the time. He also comes from old money, and is a noble in the city we're starting in. He described himself as very pretty, well dressed, naive, and arrogant.

Session I
The first evening was mostly about character creation. Lulie was already done, so her and the DM played through some backstory stuff while the rest of us made characters.

Lulie was staying in a tavern outside of the major city, and when she went to return the butcher's knife to the kitchen after black widowing some traveler (Erm.. Seduced, Charisma Damaged, Executed) she overheard a noble talking to a trusted friend of his in the common room. Apparently the noble was a deposed duke whose brother had exiled him. The noble also had no way to prove he was who he said he was, because the way their family bloodline was verified was through possession of a large, fist-sized gem, and the noble's brother had them both. He we on talking about what a bastard his brother Monty was, and him and the trusted friend (also the inn keeper) talked about a plan to get into the estate, slaughter everyone inside, and take back his family jewels. The noble was to give the signal of putting out a torch in a certain sconce, and then the innkeeper who worked in the kitchen sometimes would open a side-door for him.

Lulie then waited very patiently for the noble to come back up, blackjacked him, dragged him back to her room with the cooling corpse, and spent a good half an hour arranging the place so it looked like a lovers quarrel gone awry. All the while singing a diddy about "the gray lady" and how she eats children. All very creepy.

She took the information to her fence who is a member of the Crimson Hand, one of the many thieve's guild in Newhaven. She said she wanted some muscle for a "special job" and if the fence knew of anyone. I of course, was conveniently not doing anything at the moment, and was hired to go with her, for a cut of 20% of whatever she pulled in. Fair enough. I'm just a sword, anyway.

She sang me a song about the job as we were walking around the city. I made some good gather information checks to figure out where the estate was, and as soon as it hit dark we headed off in that direction. Lulie actually made some good perform checks to earn a little extra coin while we waited. Of course, she completely ignored the money and I was left to scoop it all up.

We make it to Monty's estate, stow away in a cart on it's way in, and wait for a few guard patrols to go by. We spot the sconce we were supposed to put out, and we climbed the Battlements and walk right into a guard.

We roll initiative, and the fight goes like this:

DM: Okay Lulie, you won initiative.
Lulie: I don't want him to yell out, so I guess I'm going to grapple him.
DM: Roll.
Rolls are made, Lulie successfully grapples him.
DM: Your turn Silus.
Me: I suppose I'll join in, and try to cover his mouth.
And another round of rolls.
We go on like this, him never escaping, mouth covered, slowly taking damage. The whole time, Lulie is whisper-singing in his ear. A new song, too. About a boy named Boval who fell in love with a certain gray lady...
I had to sit through three rounds of this.. Actual singing, mind you, Silus becoming more and more freaked out.

The guard finally passes out, and Lulie starts petting his face. I put on my sketched-out face, scoop up the guard, and dump him off the battlements onto the ground outside the estate.

We procceed along the wall to the section that's above the sconce we were supposed to put out.. And it was too far for us to reach and we would have to go down and all the way to round, through guards in order to get there.

What I did is kind of a shameful moment for me. I... urinated on it. I was really embarassed, but it seemed like the best idea I had at the time. We hadn't bothered with any adventuring gear because we are in a city.

The worst part is, the DM made me roll a dex check. >_<

The torch goes out, and a few minutes later we see a side door in the courtyard slide open. We make our way down to it, barely sneaking past some guards. (I threw a stone off into the distance to distract them.) and we steal inside.

The hallways in the castle were mostly dark, with the odd torch or guard with a lightsource. Lots of alcoves and side rooms. We stole through the kitchen to get some information from the inn keeper. He started screaming and making a ruckus, so.. I bullrushed him into a large, open oven. :)

Luckily we found his journal/diary in a servant's room off of the kitchen. Apparently noble1 had a wife, who is now Monty's beau, and still living in the castle, and not very happy about it.


So off we go, further into the castle. There was another courtyard outside the royal bedchambers, and we had to do some complicated Prince of Persia parkour stuff, but we are both pretty spry and it wasn't too much of a problem.

We go in through a window into absolute oppulence. A giant bedchamber that was filled with so much expensive looking crap that I wish I had brought a few more sacks. I giggle with glee (in character) and start greedy-grabbing everything I can. Lulie steels off further into the chamber. Half of a minute later I hear some yelling and loud crash, and Lulie with her 50 foot move speed comes hurdling by and goes out the window. I follow suit, seeing several guards start running towards me. I make it out the window onto the mini-balcony.. But pursuit was close on my heels.

Lulie was already climb/balancing her way across the face of the building, and most of the way there. I didn't really have a choice, So I just jumped.

It was 20 feet down, I passed my jump check to intentionally jump down and passed it and... Failed the tumble check. I take a fat 1D6 and ouch... Five points of damage. I'm suddenly running at half of my HP.

I start booking it, trying to stay to the shadows and avoid as many guards as I can, but the alarm is going up all around me, guards rushing my way at every turn. I duck into a bathroom and into the commode, tear up the toilet-hole thing, and down the chute I go.

This part scared me. I skittered and grabbed and groped and tried to slow my fall and ended up slamming down and taking a mean 2D6. The DM rolls the dice, and I hold my breath... Three. :-D

I dust my self off, and strut my way back to the base for a bath and to fence the stuff I still had in my sack. I just hope the smell will come out of my leathers.

On Lulie's end, she literally just outran everyone else and went out the front door with two nice big fist-sized gems in her mitts. She hid outside for awhile and waited to see if I showed up, then gave up and went back to her fence.

At this point it was getting late and Baron hadn't finished picking his spells, so we called it a night.

The DM said that we wouldn't be responsible for how Lulie and I know Baron and Glitch, so I think he has something cool planned. I don't know. We'll see.

More next week when we play again.

What do you guys think?

My build is kind of convoluted and silly, and having low stats kinda sucks.. So is there anything that might overcome this?

I'm going to pick up a heavy crossbow for an "ace in the hole" big damage weapon since theoretically anything more than 8-13 damage should just one-shot someone.. Which is a scary thought on my end.. I don't know.

Dungeoncrashing people in to things is going to be devastating and fun, and eventually I'll be able to intimidate a little.

Any other ideas about how to improve my build?

Sorry if this is a little incoherent. I'm writing this very late and I'm still really jazzed up over the campaign. I'll try to be more organized in the next one.

2010-09-17, 10:57 AM
See if you can take the Overpowering Attack feat from PHBII as your capstone, in place of Swift Demoralize; basically, it allows you to trade your extra iterative attack to make a full-round attack that deals double damage.

2010-09-17, 03:40 PM
hey i really liked this journal, i cant wait for more.

Vin Robinson
2010-09-20, 12:00 AM
See if you can take the Overpowering Attack feat from PHBII as your capstone, in place of Swift Demoralize; basically, it allows you to trade your extra iterative attack to make a full-round attack that deals double damage.

The one problem I would have with this is I don't know if I like the idea of giving up my move action to do this. I'm worried that if I sacrifice my mobility to do massive damage to stuff I'm going to get creamed myself. Plus, with Dungeoncrasher, all I have to do is bullrush someone into something to make a nice paste out of them.

hey i really liked this journal, i cant wait for more.

Thank you! :smallredface: I should have more up by tomorrow. We just had a session today.

2010-09-20, 12:40 AM
The one problem I would have with this is I don't know if I like the idea of giving up my move action to do this. I'm worried that if I sacrifice my mobility to do massive damage to stuff I'm going to get creamed myself. Plus, with Dungeoncrasher, all I have to do is bullrush someone into something to make a nice paste out of them.

Well, you have the option of doing either really. It just gives you the extra option of taking one powerful attack (which would be devastating in your campaign), if you feel like it. You can still bulldungeoncrash all you want.

By the way, you do have Improved Bull Rush and Shock Trooper, right?

Vin Robinson
2010-09-20, 02:23 AM
Well, you have the option of doing either really. It just gives you the extra option of taking one powerful attack (which would be devastating in your campaign), if you feel like it. You can still bulldungeoncrash all you want.

By the way, you do have Improved Bull Rush and Shock Trooper, right?

We started at level 1 and Thugs don't get a fighter bonus feat at first level, so I was only working with two. What I selected was Improved Initiative and Blindfighting. I do plan to eventually pick up the power attack / bullrush / shocktrooper line. There will be lots of feats down the road.

I just really like going first, and Blind-fighting seemed campaign appropriate.

Vin Robinson
2010-09-20, 03:48 AM
Part II

This evening we started out taking care of some of Baron and Glitch's backstory.

He gave up some of his substantial starting wealth to have been sneaking out and taking fencing lessons at a local underground fighting club run by the local theives guild.

The DM and Baron retroactively decided that I was the one teaching him to be good with his Rapier, and we simulated a few rounds of combat from a session past where I was showing him how to use it.

Baron got a free Weapon Proficiency out of it, I got some of the gold he forked up and now we have a way to know eachother.

Then Baron goes on to go out on some errands with Glitch. They pick up some basic adventuring gear and a nice painting. There was a small chase scene where a child pick pocketed Baron and they had to give chase. Then later it was Baron at a party diplomacy-ing and bluffing his way around the high society types. This didn't have much to do with me so I wasn't really paying much attention, so I may have missed something important.

We then got a long explanation of the makeup of Newhaven. The spot where the city lies was once simply a few mountains with a river running through it that met the ocean. The water from the river had over time eroded away some terrain on the mountain, making large flat platforms. The platforms had a few settlements on it, as it was an idea trading nexus. The city grew and eventually developed it's own system of government. The power defaulted to the magic users, able to sculpt out the stone into whatever form suited them. This developed into kind of a senate-like democracy, where everyone considered a "true citizen" was allowed a vote. What you needed for citizenship was a caster level of at least 3, (not explained in those terms but you get the idea) Human, At least 35 years old, and you have to be able to trace your lineage back to a powerful Wizard or Sorcerer that was also a citizen.

So there's been centuries of the rulers of the city padding their personal holdings for them and their family since they were in charge, and now all of the rulers are all very rich merchants in addition to being powerful and sometimes very, very old wizards.

The city itself is divided in half by the river, the rich end being to the north and the poorer secionds on the south. To the west the entire city is flanked by the Ocean, and to the East the river runs and goes off into the middle of the continent. Part of the mountain remains on the north side of the town, some of the more powerful wizards actually building towers that go up and.. tower above everyone else. The mountain is completely gone to the south and when the poor sections of the city taper off, it turns into some farm land for a ways and then back into wilderness.

In the dead center of the city is a section called "Oldhaven" which was the major part of the original city. There are whispers of some arcane catastrophy that forced the Citizens to seal off that part of the city, build high walls, and magically protect that part from intrusion. The whole place is a wild magic zone, spawning all sorts of abberations and strange magical beasts, and is also where they stick corpses and criminals to forget about them.

The whole area is often cloaked in fog (the concealment granting kind) and is kind of dark, dreary, and rainy all the time.

The poor section is very poor. The Citizens are extremely rich. There's a small middle class that are just normal mundane merchants.

Since I expressed an interest in the sewers and put them as my main mode of sketchy transportation in my backstory, the DM also noted that it's usually a 20 foot wide tunnel for the main parts, a 5 foot walkway on each side, and the channel in the middle. The smell isn't of a typical sewer. It's human waste mixed with an acrid chemical smell. The middle channel is filled with Acid to break down refuse. Crap. I also remember the DM mentioning how cool Acid-Bourn creatures from Dungeonscape were. Double crap. I guess since my character is going to be bullrushing stuff, it will end up being kind of fun. I hope.

Okay, back to the game.

Baron had been leching after the wife of some merchant noble, and the noble had challanged him to a duel. Refusing would have dishonored him in front of his mistress and the sub-community of spoiled rich kids, so he accepted. There's a law against a non-Citizen using magic inside of the city, so it was going to be a rapier duel.

The merchant noble was known to have quite a crew of swords as backup, so Baron went off to the Thieves guild to see his good friend Silus ( :] ) to see if he could hire some extra muscle. Lulie and I had just gotten done counting our coin from our last mission and we weren't doing anything else, so we both agreed. Baron also assured us that duels of this nature were perfectly legal.

We get to the site of the duel, and Baron goes over and grabs something out of Glitch's backpack, walks over to me and hands me a heavy crossbow and says "If it looks like I'm losing, shoot the other guy in the head." I smile and nod, and go off into an alleyway and climb up to the roof of a nearby building. ( I actually slipped and fell on my first climb check. =/ )

At this point a fog had set it, giving everyone concealment. I started to get worried that if a fight broke out it would be difficult not to hurt some of the crowd that had assembled, and that means guards. And guards mean jail. The fact that Lulie and I just knocked off a rich estate worried me as well. I think I look pretty generic but Lulie definitely is going to stand out.

Glitch simply stood on the outside edge of the circle that had formed around the combatants, and Lulie started to make her way through the crowd, singing softly to herself and trying to pinpoint all of the merchant noble's men.

The fight started, blows were traded, most missed. Baron finally gets in a good shot (A whole six damage with his rapier) and what the merchan noble did was some sort of improved trip-disarm combo, leaving Baron prone without a weapon.

Now, I had a readied action to fire if I saw Baron go down, and the DM decided that those circumstances had just been met. I make an attack roll and.. Natural 1. I fall off the roof and into the alleyway, but I make a successful tumble check to negate the damage. Unfortunately, the crossbow goes off, thunks into my shoulder painfully for a cruel 7 damage.

So, the merchant is about to start stabbing poor prone Baron, when he recognizes a face in the crowd: Lulie's. He screams angrily that that was the wench that stole his father's gems and his birthright, and screams for his men to kill her. Five other swords are drawn and advance from the crowd. Glitch's turn pops and she starts up a grapple with the merchant noble so Baron can dust himself off.

Lulie scampers off and scales a building at the opposite side of the square and draws a pair of shortswords while the goons advance on her. (She got a pretty good lead on them with her 50 foot land speed though, damn her.)

I stagger out of the alley and make an intimidate check to make the crowd move off, and it works.

Glitch starts hugging the noble to death. Baron takes advantage of this by running him through with his retrieved rapier and killing him.

Lulie on top of the building makes a running jump off of it and make to the middle of the square close to Glitch and Baron.

The goons all look frustrated and turn around and start to run back, spreading out more. (Just enough so we wouldn't be able to get past them without provoking at least 1 attack of oppurtunity.)

The crowd moves the rest of the way off, so it's basically just us left in the square.

It's my turn, so I move up beside Baron and draw my longsword, readying a two-handed headchop attack for the first goon that approaches us.

Glitch lumbers off and starts hugging someone to death. (It's gruesome but it always makes me smile)

Baron kind of surprises me by casting a sleep spell and catching three of the goons in it.

Lulie then darts up and stabity stabs the guy that Glitch is grappling. She misses due to the fog.

The last goon steps in to skewer Baron, and my readied action goes off. I manage to hit him, barely. Roll out damage and Bam, 9 damage. Skull successfully cleaved.

Lulie and Baron go over to slit the throats of the guys sleeping, but the one Glitch was hugging manages to get out of the death grip, and dissapears down and alleyway before we can catch up. Not even rat-quick Lulie could find him. Oh well.

This was Baron's first real battle, and enthralled with himself invited us back to his estate for refreshment and a rest.

We didn't have a lot of time to play this session, but we're going again tomorrow, so I'll have more then.