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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
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    Dec 2007
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    Default [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's PoV)

    Well, seeing that I'm participating in a low-magic game right now and those seem to be rarely run in D&D 3.5, I figured I'd write a little journal about the campaign and our exploits. Now, it's already been three sessions, but I'm going to try and write a recap of what's happened and will be updating after each session. Some things will be lost in translation, but c'est la vie. Hopefully it won't be an obstacle for reading this though!

    First, introducing our cast (started at level 3, now level 9):
    Spoiler
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    Peter Chuckson - TN Human Sublime Way Ranger Archer/Swordsman/Poisoner (my character)

    Edmund Carcassonne - CN Human Rogue Crossbow Archer/Swashbuckler/Trapmaker

    "Nightshade" - ??? Human Fighter (as far as I can tell) and DMPC; we don't know his true name yet and all I've seen him do is get his and fight with a Guisarme

    The whole bunch was limited to Human and created on 32pb with level 3 wealth.


    And a quick look at relevant houserules:
    Spoiler
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    - +6 extra skillpoints each level for all classes.
    - Money value changes: one silver is the equivalent of an old gold piece and the change ratio is 100 so one gold = 100 silvers.
    - Feats are gained at the rate of 1/2 levels, and on level 1 (so 1, 2, 4, 6...)
    - Every character starts with a free Regional feat.
    - Every 4 levels, you get 3 bonus points to spread between 2 stats.
    - HP has been scrapped for a slightly modified Vitality Point/Wound Point system [Unearthed Arcana has the basis].
    - We're working on a variation on the poison rules; seeing that my character uses them, this is notably important, but has yet to be implemented.
    - No PC character has access to magic or any kinds of magical (Su) abilities - we're going to refluff some of the Falling Star I'm using and remove other halves.
    - TWF feats have been fixed by combining them - that said, no character uses them presently so it's trivial.
    - Craft: Alchemy doesn't require caster levels.

    All I can think of off the top of my head. We're still doing some minor tweaks here and there but by and large, things are set.


    And a few words of the world:
    Spoiler
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    Humans are heavily dominating the world. Indeed, some humans don't even believe in the existence of the other intelligent races. While your average peasant is still as superstitious as ever, most scholars believe that magic doesn't exist. "Magical" creatures aren't really in the general awareness of men beyond fairy tales, so most of the "powers" in the world are humans. Some great wilderness beasts such as the Dire creatures and some Plant creatures are rather common though, but e.g. Dragons aren't believed to exist at all.

    Few humans have and do interact with the other races, but they're usually isolated from other humans and such things are usually kept in secret; the world is rather xenophobic. Also, there are old buildings built by non-Humans, but they're by and large abandoned and have been for aeons. Heads of the gnomes carry high prices amidst the nobility; they're considered luxury items. As a consequence, gnomes are usually killed on sight.

    Otherwise, much your average medieval world (technology level pretty much what PHB assumes) where peasants are tools and nobles are bastards. Money speaks, streets are filthy, people die. The world uses the Greyhawk Pantheon for the sake of simplicity; the DM states there's enough to make up without worrying about religion.

    A word or two about the country too - while Dramadan has a king, it's more of a collection of city states than an actual country. The individual cities are free to do as they please in pretty much any regard - the only time the king truly leads the country is in the times of war when every city is forced to surrender their military forces to the command of the king and failure to do so is considered treason. A part of each city's military is stationed under the king's command at all times. Other than that though, even inter-city wars go unpunished as long as it doesn't disturb the peace in the rest of the kingdom.



    Sessions thus far:
    Session 1 - How It All Started
    Session 2 - There And Not Back Yet
    Session 3 - The Outpost
    Session 4 - Enter The City...or Dragon...or...whatever!
    Session 5 - A Tournament, A Wrf And A Bloody, Gory Gnome (or two)
    Session 6 - Historia Arcana: Magic and Past Haunting
    Session 7 - Reckoning
    Session 8 - Back In Business
    Session 9 - Tons Of Nothing
    Session 10 - Playing With Fire
    Session 11 - Turning The Tables
    Session 12 - Who, me?!
    Session 13 - Angry And Vengeful Lady Luck
    Session 14 - Ninjas?
    Session 15 - Dead Man Dying
    Session 16 - What To Do, What To Do?
    Session 17 - Life, Universe And Everything
    Session 18 - Breaking Brains
    Session 19 - Looks Like You Rewrote Reality
    Session 20 - Almost Bodyless
    Session 21 - Hunting What Now?
    Session 22 - Boom Goes the Saloon!
    Session 23 - In A War, People Die
    Session 24 - Screaming Mountains
    Session 25 - Jack Mustache, Batman's Bruce Wayne Identity
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2014-03-07 at 07:16 PM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    Tier System For Classes & Why Each Class Is In Its Tier - Obligatory Reads Before Balance Discussions

    My apologies if I leave a discussion unfinished. Feel free to PM me anything.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Finland
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World)

    Session 1

    The game:
    Spoiler
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    A lot of paperwork is done on the characters along with setting up a computer and such tools for the DM (especially relevant since I had forgotten to bring our dice and thus we were forced to roll on computer, and I didn't have a paper sheet so I needed my Myth-Weavers page open to doublecheck everything).

    This takes place in the land of Dramadan on the year 2546 RF. As the story begins, our two protagonists are sitting in the commons-room of a roadside inn called "Night Breeze", having just simultaneously emptied their tankards. Before they have a chance to order a refill, they find a very different contents in their cups - instead of drinks, Peter & Edmund are staring at a gold coin each and a mysterious man who invited himself to the table...and was most welcome with that kind of entry fee. As the coins land, the man adds "Come with me and you'll see a lot more of these."

    Day 1
    The coins suddenly make the duo very agreeable and not prone to excessive questioning, and a few words and Diplomacy-rolls later the mysterious man has introduced himself as "Nightshade", Peter & Edmund are aware of an ancient outpost of supposedly elven making located five days' ride away by the rarely used northern road, and of a well-paid task of retrieving a golden chalice that is supposedly very valuable to a collector. It's also revealed that they've got a mysterious employer they know nothing about, and that they're now involved in some manner of competition to get the chalice first as the group to return the chalice is the group that will be given more confidential jobs in the future with obviously a much better pay. Apparently "Nightshade" mostly needs Peter & Edmund for hired muscle. The two don't really mind though, still intensely staring at their newly earned gold.


    Fast forward a couple of minutes, the trio has left the inn and the trip is started. The first order of business was of course to get to the northern road. The quickest route is straight through a forest named "Black Forest" - the name doesn't promise good, but since Peter is at home in woods, the group decides to try and win a little time and takes the shortcut. Of course, this means they'll have to walk as the forest is too dense to ride, but the crossroads is quite the way to the south so this is a minor matter.

    Turns out walking isn't such a bad thing after all - shortly after leaving the city, Nightshade's decision to hire help becomes vindicated as the group notices a trio of people moving the woods looking quite like bandits. As it becomes obvious the bandits haven't noticed out heroes yet, Peter decided to literally take the higher ground, tying the horses and climbing a tree armed with a bow. The whole party hides. As Peter's challenge "Who goes there?" sees the bandits drawing a mix of swords and bows, the group lets loose a hail of arrows. Roll for Initiative. Range of encounter: 60'.


    As Peter & Edmund had both already strung their bows, a surprise round of an arrow each took place. Peter hit while Edmund missed, still fixing his aim.

    As the battle was joined, Peter rained death with Rapid Shot and Edmund managed to land a Sneak Attack on the first round before moving to hide behind higher ground. Two bandits fire bows and approach, while the third approaches with a sword drawn. Nightshade moves into melee range and criticals, one-shotting a bandit! At this point, the two of us were at least impressed (and annoyed that he took the kill) by our employer.

    Peter continues to puncture the same bandit he hit earlier, dropping this in short order while Edmund switches to two-weapon Rapier/Hand Crossbow style entering melee. The bandits focus their fire on Peter, managing to scratch him, but not much beyond that. Nightshade cuts down a second one and the third one is slain by Peter. Looting them, I say we take the bows and swords. Edmund also decides to take their leather armors and then he starts talking about taking their clothes. To avoid him doing anything stupid, we burn the bodies and call it a day. So a quick pyre and loot later, we end the session; the opening hassle cost us time.


    Next time: There and back again! A Ranger's tale.


    Notes and experiences:
    Spoiler
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    - Nightshade is awesome. Him stealing the kills is not.
    - We messed up some parts of the system as we were all still getting used to WPs and VPs. For example, we still doubled the critical damage Nightshade dealt in addition to applying it to WPs directly. Also, they died much sooner than they should have
    - Forgetting dice and playing off electronic dice rollers in an offline game sucks. We also missed miniatures since the DM had hidden them on top of one of his closets and insistently claimed that they're at my place.
    - Edmund's character is just...eww. The mindset of "kill 'em, take everything and go home" is really, really frustrating. He also suggested firing upon the bandits before we even knew they were bandits. Just getting started here though.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-10-08 at 09:25 PM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    Tier System For Classes & Why Each Class Is In Its Tier - Obligatory Reads Before Balance Discussions

    My apologies if I leave a discussion unfinished. Feel free to PM me anything.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World)

    Session 2

    The trip to the Outpost:
    Spoiler
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    The opening hassle is shorter this time as we've got the dice, the characters are ready and all that.

    We start where we left off. We've slain the bandits, stolen their goods and torched their bodies for good measure. In short, the bandits are as gone as they'll ever be. After that, Peter patched up whatever wounds we had taken and we were good to go. We aren't just done with this little sidetrack though.

    Peter is a proficient tracker. Therefore, with some "tipse, tipse, nudge, nudge" from the DM, we're backtracking the bandits to their hideout (taking our horses along, obviously). Surprisingly enough, this goes as planned and soon enough we find ourselves looking at some manner of a natural-seeming cavern.

    Again, we tie up our horses. Nightshade stays back to guard them while Peter and Edmund enter the cave. Edmund sneaks ahead while Peter lights up a Sunrod and the search is on. Turns out the cavern contains exactly one intersection with two "rooms" at the ends. It also seems like the three bandits form the whole of the local bandit population as we don't run across any more of their kind.

    We take the right turn first and see that the bunch has been surprisingly successful considering how poorly they fared in the combat. There are some rugs worth quite a bit hung around the place to go with valuables, coin and things of that nature. We also find three bedrolls which we consider a pretty good confirmation that we won't be running to any more of their friends any time soon. Since this was pretty boring, we had to do something dumb to keep things interesting so we complied: Once we're done collecting the valuables, for whatever reason, Edmund decided to torch their bedrolls and all the flammable items not worth enough to bother with!

    I suppose the rationale was something along the lines of "stopping future bandits from making themselves at home" or something of that nature - unfortunately we somehow managed to skimp over the "rational thinking" part. Best of all, we somehow managed to forget that there was the other area in the cavern we hadn't yet even explored! The aftermath of this was that we rigged some kind of a rug to partially cover the entrance to the treasury so as to avoid having to breathe smoke for the rest of our stay there, ran to the other room (which turned out to have been used as a kitchen area of sorts), took whatever worth carrying we could pick up and ran before we suffocated. All in all, we made our stay all too exciting for some really, really twisted up logic. Nightshade was a bit startled by the smoke at first, but got a good laugh at us once we told him the major points of the story.


    Anyhow, after the Stupidity Exhibition, we resumed our course towards the northern road. After covering some ground, we (or more accurately, Peter) set up a camp for the night. We had 4-hour watches each but surprisingly enough, nothing happened overnight! Miracle in and of itself, but I guess there was nobody on our tales.

    Day 2
    Day two, we managed to reach the road. Well, a road in name at any rate - without many travelers or upkeep, the "road" had mostly disappeared. Luckily what remained of the road was ridable anyways, so we set off. The second day was fairly uneventful save for some howling of some wild beasts - we didn't meet a soul all day, helpful or otherwise. The day's ride got us to the edge of a small forest where we (read: Peter) set up a camp again. We set up watches and go to sleep.

    This night, on Edmund's watch, he hears a voice calling "Edmund..." from the forest. As this happens and he ensures neither of us are awake and fooling with him, he wakes me up to investigate - Nightshade stays back to guard the camp while we're gone. We follow the voice and end up at the edges of a river where we see something which appears to be a naked woman. We hear the calls so we decide that I stay back hiding in the treeline while Edmund goes to see what this is all about. As soon as Edmund approaches her, she turns and it seems like he falls under some kind of trance. I roll Knowledge and roll poorly - I draw my bow regardless and rustle a bit in the bushes and realizing they aren't alone, she makes the swiftest departure I've ever seen, moving far quicker than a Human ever could - we have no chance of catching her so we just decide to push the disturbing events past us.

    When we get back to the camp and ask Nightshade and realize our mistake as he feeds us a mouthful of cryptic mumbo-jumbo again. Apparently there are reports of people disappearing in these parts, and those...creatures are apparently to blame. Combined with what I got out of my Knowledge-check, we piece together that those things lure males to breed with and after...well, sufficient to say, the said males are never seen again.

    Day 3
    Nothing else of interest happens over the rest of the night and we depart glad to put some distance between us and the river as soon as possible. The third day's ride is also rather uneventful. Like the second day, we don't meet a soul and only catch glimpses of some creatures in the edge of the forest area. We take the opportunity to discuss random stuff regarding our job, magic, creatures of the wilds, yesterday's events, elves and so on. Basically, it turns out Peter believes everything, Edmund believes nothing and Nightshade says nothing.

    After we've stopped for the night though, just as Peter is starting to put the camp together, we hear rustle in the bushes. We draw our weapons. A friggin' Dire Wolf jumps at us. Roll for initiative - range: around 30'.

    As the fight starts, we all open with salvos on it and mostly ineffectually bounce off it or deal minor damage. My Knowledge-check lets us know everything about it; not that there were much to know beyond it using Trip-attack like all Wolves. I decide not to use the drow poison simply because the Wolf is more like to resist it than not. When it moves in to attack, it manages to hit and trip Nightshade and things aren't looking good for him. At this point though, Peter moves in drawing his Greatsword in the process. He realizes the damn thing needs to die right now and Power Attacking for full, initiates Rabid Wolf Strike. Roll - Critical! Roll - 7; that just confirms! Just as the wolf trips Nightshade, Peter moves in from behind and brings his sword down in a mighty arc decapitating the beast in one hit! (24 damage straight to wound points tends to be lethal; we accidentially doubled it up here for 40 points [Rabid extra dice aren't multiplied] as we forgot the WP crit non-confirmation but it didn't end up mattering)

    After that, no other distractions bother the group and as the camp is made, the rest of the night flies smoothly. We each take to our nightly activities on our turn - Peter fletches arrows, Nightshade parks the Wolf-skin, Edmund does Emund-stuff. Funny how we trust Nightshade with our lives every night, we still know nothing of him. I guess we're gullible fools when it comes to gold.

    But then again, if he wanted us dead, he's had plenty of chances so we have no reason to distrust him, especially since he still needs our help with this task.

    Day 4
    Over the fourth day of travel, minor things of a country formerly inhabited by Elves begin to show - the woods is more lively, the forests fare better and all in all, it becomes apparent that some have spent a great deal of energy caring for this place. We still meet no humanoids beyond each other, but the wildlife is more varied and numerous around here. While we aren't here to marvel the scenery, we notice quite a few animals of various kinds here and there.

    We were running out of interesting topics to discuss beyond the new ones brought up by yesterday, such as the taste of Dire Wolf meat, what to do with the skin, etc. Mostly we just rode silently as we were nearing our destination.

    The fourth night had Peter finally employ Edmund in the creation of the camp too. Or more appropriately, Edmund was to trap the area surrounding the camp - that Dire Wolf attack last night and the knowledge that other groups after the same Chalice as us (and that we're getting close to the place where we all are pretty much bound to be bunched up) has us decide that the likelihood of an attack is large enough to warrant protecting our camp a bit better than usual. We dig some small pitfalls (ones you can actually dig without spending the whole night at it) and place some caltrops and snares
    around the campsite and ensure we're aware of their general location with some markers (near the tent-line - ones you can easily see looking from the fire, but are more difficult to notice looking from the outside).

    Our efforts aren't wasted - the night sees us alarmed by Nightshade. We're being attacked by animals. More appropriately, we're being attacked by friggin' Bears! Roll for initiative.

    Two rabid black bears charge our camp as if driven by the devil. One of them steps into a pitfall and tumbles over, but the other manages to avoid our trappings entirely. As we climb out of our tents, we're armed with ranged weapons to utilize the traps to our advantage but after one volley, we're really too near to get any meaningful edge out of them so to take down the one bear, Peter switches to Greatsword and Edmund wields his Rapier/Hand Crossbow combo. As ever, Nightshade wields his trusty Guisarme.

    Due to the one bear being out for a round or two due to the pitfall, we are able to gang up on the other bear, taking it out relatively easily before the other one is able to join it. As a free bonus, the other bear manages to jump straight on a snare once it's managed to get up! We swiftly finish it off with bows and Nightshade's Guisarme. We begin to guess why bears would attack us like this - Peter's blaming magic, Edmund's blaming a poison, Nightshade is shutting up. The rest of the night goes fine with each of us returning to our usual activities and no calamity befalls us 'ere dawn. We're really close to the Outpost now.

    Day 5
    As we set off for the day, we're soothed by the knowledge that we're almost there. However, we're unsettled by the knowledge that there are very likely people out there who are, among others, responsible for that bear attack. I'm especially worried as I believe it's about magic and I have great respect for the ancient powers I've never witnessed first-hand and thus I'm both, excited at the prospect and fearful of what will happen.

    As we reach the base of the hill atop which the Outpost (or what's left of it) still stands, we call it a day.


    Next time: The Elven Outpost, the Golden Chalice and The Rabid Bears!


    Notes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    - Edmund did nothing annoying this session. Probably mostly because we didn't face any Humanoids save for that maneater, which Edmund was in no position to do anything disgusting about.
    - Long days of riding are kind of dull. Luckily we have this "Fast Forward" button for them, and a lot of stuff to discuss about.
    - It's amazing how more happens over nights than during the day. Then again, mounted, moving people are harder to bother than resting, still ones.
    - Seriously, every night had something. And exactly one event. Sucks to be the unlucky guard.
    - Peter & Edmund are idiots. Seriously. Must be that Wis 8 - even though they have Int 14, they obviously lack any semblance of common sense. Also, Nightshade is probably laughing to his beard whenever they argue 'cause he always shuts up.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-10-08 at 09:24 PM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    Tier System For Classes & Why Each Class Is In Its Tier - Obligatory Reads Before Balance Discussions

    My apologies if I leave a discussion unfinished. Feel free to PM me anything.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Session 3

    Ah yes, the Outpost:
    Spoiler
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    So, standing on the bottom of the Outpost Hill, our course of action is obvious - try to hide the horses to some not-so-damn-obvious place (we'd rather not walk away), climb up the hill and get busy. And that's exactly what we do. After we're rid of the not-so-useful-now mounts (some small hollow in the side of the hill), we set off to scale the hill. Thanks to our skill system revamp, we actually do have enough points in Climb (and everyone's got a Climber's Kit) to scale the hill with little effort. Better yet, we don't even run into Any Generic Us-Killers on our trip up so we get there unscathed.

    So, we enter the Elven Outpost! Ancient structure and quite the marvel, at least in its heyday - as it stood, the entrance hall had collapsed and the stairs leading up to the second floor had suffered a similar fate (along with most of the second floor). Quick scan through the first floor revealed little else other than some hidden door and stairs leading down in the area that seems to have been a kitchen of sorts. Well, actually, we found a trapped door, and behind that the stairs. The door was rigged to collapse the roof upon entering, but apparently the maker of the trap hadn't really put his mind to it as anything short of a drunken Orc could see it with his bare eyes. That could also explain why nobody had triggered it over the years - it's too easy to bypass to bother. We still made the effort just in case we need to leave quick.


    So, enter the dungeon. Now, since we know there are others out here after the same thing, we decide that Peter stays back at the doorway keeping a watch while Edmund & Nightshade scout the basement and try to find and acquire the chalice with Edmund sneaking in shadows while Nightshade holds a torch. In the meanwhile, Peter leaves the door slightly ajar and hides in the shadows of the stairs leading downstairs.

    First, the basement. A corridor maybe 30' long leads to a rather large room with bars in the middle. Obviously, the chalice we're after is on the other side. There's a door in the bars, but it's obviously locked. After a quick search, it becomes obvious that it's also trapped. Be it superstition, the obscurity of the Outpost's location or whatever else that has kept it safe all these years, it doesn't seem like anyone has been in the basement yet. Hell, may be our employer has arranged for the chalice to be placed there as a test. At any rate, Edmund quickly gets to work and starts disarming the trap. The first attempt goes awry and he almost manages set it off, but escapes with his life. Second one goes more smoothly and he manages to disable the trigger. Next up is the lock which he quickly disarms and then lightly treads to the chalice, grabs it and gets out of there before he sets off any other obvious traps.


    In the meanwhile, Peter's seemingly useless vigil proves rather useful after all as he hears footsteps closing in on his location (those of someone trying to remain hidden, no less). Soon he sees the figure of a man in white robes "sneaking" in. Someone should have told him white isn't the color for that. And what's up with all these damn robes? Anyways, Peter figures the only other people who could possibly happen on this location are the competing groups and thus doesn't waste time asking questions. Surprise round, a poisoned (Drow Poison) arrow flies and strikes true (Destiny Shot reducing 3 points of damage for accuracy), but the man fails to collapse. Roll for initiative! Range: Point Blank.

    The man goes first and uses some kind of a Blowpipe to fire a dart. Turns out the dart is also poisoned; Poisoners' Duel! Peter rolls and just barely makes the save. He's still standing with something unpleasant up his veins. How swell! Anyways, Peter takes a second shot and this time the poison has the desired effect; the man falls unconscious and the party now has someone to question on these "other parties". Of course, as a macho, Peter refuses to drink an antidote or even treat his poison and decides to just let his immune system deal with whatever he's got flowing inside.

    Peter maintains his position, but no other surprises show up and soon the group is reunited with the Chalice, a prisoner and a long trip ahead. There's little else of interest in the Outpost save for some silvers (which Edmund promptly picks up; apparently he's got kleptomania or something) so soon the group is climbing down the hill back to their horses. Of course, this man wouldn't be dumb enough to come all the way alone. Cue ambush!


    As the trio (plus the white-robed man squarely on Nightshade's shoulders; must suck while climbing, eh?) descends and reaches ground, they're greeted by a hail of arrows! So much for bargaining through the prisoner, eh? Roll for initiative. Range: Undetermined.

    After receiving the the initial hail of arrows, Peter & Edmund quickly reach the ground and count 2 archers firing upon them. Solution? Return fire! After some skirmishing in the woods, tactical hiding & trading of shots, the two ambushers are pincushioned, one to death, the other to unconsciousness. At this point, Nightshade sees fit to finally get down. About the damn time, man. So, this makes for two prisoners; Peter fixes up the pincushioned, living one so he doesn't bleed out. We decide to wait until one of them comes to so we can question them.

    Interrogations and the trip back:
    Spoiler
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    Surprisingly enough, the two wake up at about the same time. We give them an incentive to answer honestly (Nightshade can be very scary when he chooses to), and get quite a bit out of them. First of all, the poisoner had indeed drugged the two Bears that hit us last night. So much for Peter's "magic"-theory. Also, as suspected, they're from another group hunting for the Chalice. They've also been well provisioned for the trip; they offer us to show us their most recent campsite and give us their possessions in exchange for their lives. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to know their employer - apparently, there had been some middle-hand involved in getting them on this gig. We agree and they lead us on. Surprisingly enough, they don't even lead us to an ambush! I was almost disappointed at this point, but I guess Nightshade had made his point. And there were no more of them, which might also affect it.

    Imagine our surprise when we find friggin' platinum pieces in their possession! Now, if you skimped over the economy renovation, one platinum piece is worth the equivalent of 10000 old goldpieces! That means that one of the platinums is worth more than our entire gear! The kicker? They've got 5 of them. Apparently they had sacked some rather wealthy place to fund their job. At any rate, we don't mind. At this point, Edmund starts talking about killing them. Peter wants to let them go. Nightshade shuts up. The final compromise is that we let them go, but unarmed with little more than their clothes. Peter protests that that's just as good as killing them with all wild beasts around, but Edmund states that if Peter gives them weapons, he kills them. So that's that.

    At this point, with the whole hassle behind us, we set off to ride back, first to the inn and then the city of Waterdawn (named after how morning sun glistens on the waters of the river by the city there), where the person whose mission this was in the first place resides. So, we set off. And camp. End day 5. After an uneventful night, we wake up to continue the ride.

    Day 6
    The ride is completely uneventful. Nothing happens all day and we start to hope we'd have gotten rid of most of the competition by now (or that they would've just killed each other). The fact that we've got the chalice makes us targets for all the other groups. How quaint. Anyhow, bigger surprise than the uneventful day is the uneventful night; nothing happens again! Considering this is the second night over all our travels this took place, we're wary and surprised. But as the sun shines, we're still all alive, to our surprise. Apparently we didn't fail Your Generic Awareness Check after all.

    Day 7
    The ride remains completely uneventful! It rains somewhere along the line. Meh, sucks to ride wet, but what can we do? The night seems unexciting, except...on Edmund's watch, he goes nudge Peter. Apparently, he's seen a wolf at the edge of the campfire. Peter being a Ranger and all, Edmund figured he'd have a way with wild animals other than the oft-touted swordplomacy.

    Of course, as Peter wakes up and looks around, the wolf is gone. Peter accuses Edmund of waking him up for nothing and the two get into something of a quarrel. In the morning though, Peter checks the campsite and finds the wolf's footprints and is thus pissed that he, the friggin' woodsman, was the one to miss it. Can't win 'em all.

    Day 8
    The ride is precisely as interesting as Day 7. Night sees the same wolf showing up, but on Nightshade's watch. Of course he wakes up Peter and of course the damn wolf is gone again. Peter's getting progressively more agitated by the thing.

    Day 9
    Still no daylight sign of the wolf. Still nothing else of interest in daylight. In the night, the wolf again appears on Edmund's watch and he can confirm that it at least looks like the same. Again, Peter is woken up and again the wolf is gone. Peter is about to rip his shorts. Fcking stalker wolves. It's the topic of all our traveling discussions too.

    Day 10-11
    As the party decided to take the roads this time, the ride takes a whole longer than the ride to the Outpost. As we're running short on time with the play session, we just fast forward to the city. The wolf fails to appear on the following nights and nothing else of interest happens before we reach the city. Of course, we can't get there too easily: Cue the ambush!

    So, as we're riding to the city - last day of riding too - we're greeted by arrows. ****ing "Nightshade", him being somewhat famous is constantly about to get us killed (of course, it may just be some people ordered to ambush anyone coming from the north or some such, but it's still damn annoying to get greeted by arrows, not words, constantly). We count three archers as we roll for the initiative.

    As none of us are all that good in mounted combat, we decide to take the time to dismount and hope our horses (we've all got Warhorses though, so they should be ok) don't just run off. We get off our horses, draw our melee weapons and approach. Bandits retreat and shoot one more volley before switching to swords themselves. We close up and the fight is on. We fare very well otherwise (taking only minute VP hits), but as we've taken the first bandit down, one of them confirms a critical on Nightshade (sword through armor)! He's quickly down (though not out) and not looking too well. Luckily the bandits are more interested in staying alive than killing so they don't go coup de grace him. The two of us clean up, leaving none alive, and Peter patches up Nightshade as well as he can. After the fight is over, we call it a day here and end the game.


    Observations:
    Spoiler
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    - Recurring Anything can be really, really confusing especially if it doesn't have an obvious reason to be there. The wolf was so WTF specifically because it was completely random and didn't seem to be doing anything, and yet showed up 3 nights in a row.
    - Score 1 for science; drugs, not magic, were used to drive the bears mad.
    - First WP damage to the party. Surprising it's taken this long, but then again, we haven't been fighting all that much. It'll take us quite a while to get Nightshade back in full strength again. Getting into the city should help us though.
    - After this task, we'll actually be able to interact with Mr. Boss ourselves! Yey!
    - The adventure should get more varied from now on. Although we've been having fun thus far, it hasn't exactly been the most interesting story to write.

    - Planning our advancements here, Peter might be looking at Pious Templar of Ehlonna-route (obviously without spells); he's quite devout even if it hasn't been in the forefront here.

    Edmund might look at Combat Trapsmith, which could be a really interesting twist to the way combat works here. Obviously we'd need to homebrew a bunch of traps that aren't just "spell by a different name" as the class isn't that well supported, but yeah...

    No idea about Nightshade as I don't even know his class.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-10-08 at 09:24 PM.
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    Session 4

    And now, for something different... First, entering the city:
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    So, at the start of this session, our heroes stand at the gates of Waterdawn. First things first: We've got a wounded man and we need to enter the city. After Edmund does a little talking (and some Diplomacy-rolls) and the guardsman is convinced that we aren't carrying anything too explosive, we get in just fine. Having a wounded man does lend some credibility to our claims of "needing to get in fast". The guards were satisfied with a mention of "bandits"; luckily they didn't go into specifics as none of us are too good at bluffing and we don't want the whole damn town to know we've got an ancient artifact in our possession.

    Soon enough, we're en route on the city streets and looking for a place to stay. Tending to the wounds is hardly an issue for us, but a clean, safe place would certainly help. As we arrive at the central town square, we run into some gathering with some weird speaker in the center. Apparently he's preaching peasant rights or some nonsense like that. The kicker? The whole mob is actually pretty fanatical! We knock the shoulders of some folks in the edge who still seem somewhat sane and get directions to the best inn in town and the speaker's name. Apparently, the man is named "Decor". We'd be hearing more of him later. Right now though, we've got other matters to attend to.


    So, first order of business, we make our way to the Blue Dragon Inn in the high-class district. We put our horses to the stables, buy a room, remind the innkeeper - a man named Hector - to give us the damn key and leave Nightshade here to lick his wounds. He gives us the instructions to the manor of our employer, a man named Prego Domor, and the password to enter. With that, we set off to return the chalice and to collect our reward.

    Of course, we can't go anywhere without at least one ambush. After turning to a smaller alley (we need to go through to get to the manor), cue Spot-check. Edmund rolls well and the aftermath is that he notices our chalice being stolen, yells at me and draws a weapon trying to hit the thief. He misses: That's with the surprise, roll for initiative! Range: 0'!


    The battle is a really, really quick affair. Basically, nobody rolls over 5 for initiative resulting in Edmund - Peter - Thieves. Edmund misses, but Peter moves up drawing his Greatsword in the process and knocks one bandit unconscious in one hit! The other one makes a run for it, but Peter catches him (while Edmund stays back to relieve the unconscious one of the chalice and his wallet) in short order and seeing how his friend ended up, surrenders.

    We tie up the two, tend to the unconscious one's wounds and discuss what to do with them. First we intend on taking them to the local police force, but seeing that we really have no proof of the theft, we decide that's a bad idea. Instead, we play the "Pretend to be their wronged friends willing to forgive"-act to dig some info out of them. In short, we try to ensure them that they'd be really much better off on our good side and that we're willing to give them a second chance. With die showing 20 for Edmund's Diplomacy, the two are extremely agreeable giving us, among others, the name of their employer (someone named Draxor - apparently an acquaintance of Nightshade's), their task, the fact that there are eyes at the gate who saw Nightshade enter the city in our company and thus triggered this attack, and so on.

    Then it's revealed that they know the true name of Nightshade, but apparently they fear him even more than us so they refuse to tell us. Peter suggests a discrete solution, Edmund leans towards Shotgun Diplomacy. More precisely, he takes his Hand Crossbow, places it on top of the healthy guy's leg and asks for the name. They refuse to tell, so he shoots the leg and reloads the Crossbow. This is repeated for every one of the poor man's limbs and then his friend, at which point Peter stops him asking if they haven't suffered enough already.

    Now we can't let them go 'cause then we would have the whole police force of the city after us and we can't really leave them like this either. Peter suggests burning the bodies, but Edmund reminds him that effectively the whole city is wooden. In the end, the two just decide on execution, and placing the bodies in some junkpiles (the city has no sewers so they are plentiful in the back alleys). Edmund suggests slicing up the bodies into multiple parts to make them harder to identify or something, Peter stops him mid-sentence and there's no more discussion on that. What a messy affair - at this point, Peter is really, really frustrated by how messy Edmund makes everything, and the completely unnecessary pain inflicted upon others.


    The best part is that the duo is very smelly (after the junkdiving) and has stained, blooded clothes. They quickly make their way back to the in, toss an extra coin to the innkeeper to avoid questions, wash their clothes and themselves and switch to other outfits. So much for that easy evening relaxing. Luckily Nightshade shuts up as he's usually wont to.

    Anyways, after this little excursion is done with, the two set off towards Mr. Domor's house again. No more surprises bother the two anymore and they reach Domor's Manor quickly enough. A servant opens the frontgate as they state their business and the password, and the two find themselves inside a vast building, one of the few stone buildings in the whole city. They're shown to the second floor and mr. Domor's door, cataloguing the value of the place all the way. Behind a heavily decorated door, they find a room that looks like a library, with an elderly man sitting in front of a fire. 1+1=2 and the man is Mr. Domor.


    P&E walk up to Mr. Domor and wait for him to raise his eyes from the parchment he's presently reading. Sure enough, the man spares them a glance soon enough and as they state their business and being associates of "Nightshade", Mr. Domor asks them to follow him to another room. This room is laden with maps of all kinds; apparently the rich have a variety of hobbies. At any rate, he first asks for the Chalice, which the two are finally happy to get rid of (less ambushes!). Mr. Domor appraises the item, praising it to be just as magnificent as he expected with all semblances of the fine handiwork of the Fair Folk. With that, he asks: "So, there are two things to do now. You've earned your reward, and I have an additional task for you. Which should we go for first?"

    With the unanimous response of "The reward!", Mr. Domor beckons a servant to come in, carrying a pouch of exactly 100 gold pieces. After a short work to ensure their genuinity, the party asks about the next job. A quick description reveals it to involve an old temple, apparently of Cyric, in a northern mountain range. Mr. Domor points out the area and the believed location of the temple off his maps. Apparently there's some item of potentially otherworldly potency there that's somehow mystically warded. The task is to find the item and find out what we can about the wards. If we can return with the item, we'll get a bonus.

    The task excites the perennial mysticist, Peter, and the hefty reward easily persuades Edmund to come along so the two quickly accept and agree to leave as soon as Nightshade has recovered from his wound. With that and Mr. Domor's fondest wishes to Nightshade, the two take their leave and head to the center - next up a Gather Information-check for someone with maps of the northern mountain range (of course the damnable Domor couldn't bear to give us his) and we get a name: "Mapper Jack". Quick trip to his place later and after exchanging some coin, we have maps both, for the area between Waterdawn and the mountain range, and for what he'd drawn of the mountain range itself (poor map as few people visit there, but it's something). After this, it's time to return to the inn.

    Of course, because journeys cannot occur without randoms butting in, some weird robed figure runs past the duo and throws them with a scroll of some kind. Peter nimbly catches the scroll mid flight, but doesn't give chase to someone who so clearly doesn't want to discuss with us in the open.


    The scroll turns out to be an invitation to a tavern named "Mermaid" in the dock, at midnight, to discuss business. The two decide to go, but first decide to return the inn. They give a rather full account of the day's events (save for the questionings they tried to make for Nightshade's real name) to Nightshade save for the tavern meeting and excuse themselves for a "night out".

    In the tavern, they taste the worst watered-down beer they've ever had and filthy tables along with two "peasant rights activist" peasants that invite themselves to P&Es' table and start to talk ****, but when Edmund throws them a copper, they roll on the ground fighting over it, freeing up the two chairs. Soon enough, a husky-voiced man, seemingly the same pile of robes they saw on the city, joins them. He introduces himself as "Dengo" (what is it with people and fake names here) and has an interesting proposition for the two, acting as a sort of a spokesman for the city's nobility.

    He wants to know how Decor manages to control the masses; apparently just two weeks ago, he was still a nobody, but then suddenly burst into a position of power. The two quickly agree with the promise of some exotic metal as a reward; Peter is as intrigued by the man's capabilities to control masses as the nobility is, and Edmund is intrigued by the reward. The two are briefed on relevant knowledge: they find out about a woman named Shandra who has been accompanying Decor all the way up until yesterday,m and the location of Shandra's house, and the manor Decor moved to recently. Dengo gives the pair a week to find out how Decor is controlling the masses and with that, leaves. The two drink their crap and take their own leave, heading back to the inn for a good night's rest before starting the investigations.

    The hunt for Shandra:
    Spoiler
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    Day 12
    Well, the most obvious place to start is Decor's house. Edmund & Peter approach the house and are stopped by some guards. The guards ask if they have reserved time and as the answer is "no", they agree to reserve one for the evening (earliest convenience).

    With the day to wait, the duo heads towards the house Shandra is supposed to live in. A knock is responded to by an elderly woman much older than what Shandra was described to be, wondering what some strangers are doing at her doorsteps. As they ask for Shandra, she tells them that Shandra hasn't been around for few days and that she'd really appreciate any news from her so the woman asks for Peter & Edmund to look into her disappearance. The two agree as it coincides with their goals, and ask who could know more about her whereabouts. Turns out she has a brother named Ben who lives nearby, so P&E decide to pay him a visit first.

    A quick visit at Ben's reveals that Shandra came by her house yesterday, obviously frightened, then she heard some sound that made her run. A Gather Information-check reveals that Decor usually holds his speeches in the central town square at midday; could be useful to go listen to one of those. A second Gather Information check reveals that the street posts know nothing (a roll of 1) and we decide we need a different approach. Knowing that Shandra lives in the harbor, we decide to try the taverns open at this hour to see if we would happen to hear useful gossip.

    First tavern we try, we toss the bartender two coppers each for a word and a beer. First one had something to do with some hooker (it was disturbing enough to make us steer clear of those waters in this city) while the second one happened to just concern what we were after: Shandra had been seen going to Decor's house yesterday. A silver and a diplomacy check more bought us the name and the place of a person who...has ways of knowing what happens on the streets. Apparently this man is apparently named Derro in spite of him being perfectly human and we begin to wonder if his mother didn't like him or something.


    Apparently mr. Derro sleeps in the upstairs of a tavern over daylight, but sees visitors for business as long as the pay is right. A knock later, the three are discussing business and a silver later, Derro shares a bit of information: Shandra was taken by Decor's men and is being held in the basement of his house as we speka. Wonderfully enough, a second silver buys the information of this whole deal: Decor has just moved to the house and doesn't know of a secret passage that just happens to lead to inside a closet in the basement! Cuts our work in half.

    That's enough for P&E to work off. Next up, it's time to arrange a rescue attempt! First order of business: purchasing some disguise kits from the appropriate stores. Second: map the surroundings of Decor's manor. Third: it's long and hard work to disguise as some of Decor's servants (amazing how much following some friggin' peasant rights activist has accumulated, but that works to our advantage here). Unfortunately, Decor's speech is in the middle of this disguise project and thus the two decide that Peter leaves to see what's up there while Edmund finishes his disguise.

    The central square is already filled by the time Peter arrives there, so he takes a place at the edge of the crowd. Peter and Edmund also made a deal - Peter leaves about halfway through the speech just to ensure that nothing funny happens. Turns out it was a welcome precaution...

    The speech starts: Decor's words feel dull and he certainly doesn't feel like the kind of a speaker who could fire up crowds like this. But of course, all is not as it seems. As a few minutes pass, his words start to feel much, much more drawing: Roll a Will-save! As this was a low-magic campaign, I had not really minded the whole Will-save and this is most unwelcome surprise.

    A 6 later, Peter is completely enthralled by Decor's words and decides he's the greatest guy on the planet. Luckily for Peter, he's still made the deal with Edmund and he is a man of his word so he rips himself from the captivating words and returns to Edmund to praise the man they know to be a kidnapper now!

    In the meanwhile, Edmund has finished his disguise. As Peter comes back and starts to speak crap about Decor, Edmund & Nightshade (this is in the inn room) decide that he's lost it. Still, they've got business to attend to so Edmund helps Peter make his Disguise and the two are ready for a basement visit.


    Nothing major happens during their trip. Turns out people are actually avoiding them dressed up as they are. Interesting, definitely something to remember. As they reach Decor's house, they quickly jump into the bush the secret hatch is supposed to be located in (with appropriate Hide and Move Silently-checks). Edmund makes a brief check for traps and as it turns out negative, it's time to enter the dungeon!

    The two leave the hatch open for a moment (it's pretty well covered by the bush so chances of a random happening upon it are slim) to provide them with an inkling of light and sneak through the corridor. As they find the door at the other end, Peter closes the hatch while they first try to listen to see what's going on inside. They only hear the whimper of a woman.

    They get out of the closet and find themselves in an empty warehouse room with one other door. There seems to be oil in here; both pick up one can just to seem like they were running errands if someone unwelcome happens to see them. The two sneak on out of the only door that leads out of the room and happen upon a dimly lit room with a woman matching Shandra's description in manacles, apparently a bit beat up but otherwise alright. The two manage to actually sneak in without her noticing and as Peter silences her, Edmund quickly opens up the locks. As she realizes what's going on, Shandra quickly complies to their requests to remain quiet, and they sneak out the way they came in.


    As soon as they get a turn away from the house, the trio makes haste towards the Blue Dragon; quickly enough, they hear a yell somewhere behind, but no chase seems to take place and as the common folk makes it a point to stay out of their way, the way back goes with little trouble. In the party's room, they commence a quick questioning of Shandra: Turns out Decor & Shandra had been searching through some family archives of Decor's when they found an amulet. Apparently the said amulet allows you to influence those weak of will and there's really no defense beyond strength of your own.

    Decor is drunk with power and decided that peasants would be the perfect tool to cement his position in the city with; makes sense, I suppose, seeing that it's not like the nobility would just slaughter all the peasants and starve to death. Shandra herself had been along with Decor until she said something Decor didn't like which lead her to...well, where she ended up at. Hearing all this allows Peter to break his enchantment too, and he's back in the books of the sane. Apparently Shandra also has relatives out of town up the river, so the party arranges her a disguise (and gets rid of their own; the innkeeper wonders if he should start charging them extra for all the water they're spending) while Nightshade pulls some strings to arrange a private boat with as little ruckus as possible to get her out of there.


    Shortly thereafter, Peter & Edmund see Shandra to the boat and hopefully out of town in one piece. Now it's time for the last order of the day: the meeting with Decor. While they technically found out how Decor controls the masses, they want a confirmation before relaying the information forward. So they cook up a story: They're people from the neighbouring village of Dalsera, interested in what's happening here in Waterdawn. They'd like to know if Decor could help them arrange a similar peasant uprising in Dalsera, in person or just give them help with the "how"s; preferably to lure Decor out of town where he won't be surrounded by quite the army he is now, and hopefully to get him to spill the beans on his secrets, or at least screw up something bad enough to show his true colors.

    Having removed their disguises, they just hope nobody associated them with the prisoner's departure. But then again, few would expect people who arranged such an escape to come back to the same place again. Still, the two are prepared for nasty business if it comes down to that; Peter has some Insanity Mist cooked up to let in the are if needing to knock some brutes out along with some doses of Drow Poison, and Edmund has concealed Hand Crossbow & Dagger.


    So, the two set off to Decor's house. They've got their time reservation and are thus let in with little more than a nod. As they arrive inside they are escorted to a room where Decor sits behind a desk. On the other chairs, they see a bunch of large men - apparently some kind of a personal guard or something.

    And thus, the exchange is on.
    "Please sit down", Decor starts as the two introduce themselves and ask:
    "We know you, but could you introduce your companions?"
    Decor's answer is simple: "Don't worry about them", which pretty much confirms them as thugs of some kind.
    So, the two start feeding Decor their story accompanied by some Bluff-checks. Turns out it works: Decor's buying it! First Decor starts to explain ins and outs of finding a charismatic speaker and preparing your speeches (stuff he obviously never bothers with himself) and so on. It seems to stroke his ego to be worshiped like this, but he still refuses to leave stating "You couldn't imagine how much work I still have to do. I'll have to stay here."

    However, he does ask the party to follow him to a backroom of sorts. And follow they do. Now would be the perfect time to put him cold, but that's not what they were hired to do, so instead the duo listens to his proposal. Finally, here's the confirmation: Decor tells them about his amulet and how he's been able to sway people to his will ever since acquiring it. He also says he knows how to manufacture them and even has the tools. All he needs is measly 1000gp (remember the way money works? That's 100k old gp right there); something that would immediately get the operation underway in Dalsara.

    Now, this is an intriguing prospect. The party already has ~600gp worth of funds (5 of those being the platinum coins that will need to be converted, obviously). In a world like this, there are really no limits to what one could achieve with an item like that. Careful not to blow their cover though, they answer: "We would take you up on your offer had we the money to pay. Sadly, we don't. However, maybe we could see what we could collectively raise in Dalsera; allow us to return and give us a few weeks and we'll come back if we can put together what you want."

    Decor agrees! He gives the party 1 month to raise the money. This works perfectly: the party has the time to see about the artifacts in the mountains and return for their reward, which should be enough to purchase one of those. And when they have an amulet of their own, fun can really start. In a magicless world, the one with even an inkling is in a position of power.

    This is where we end of the day and where we stand right now.


    Observations:
    Spoiler
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    - Lots of roleplaying this time, the way we like it! Combat-light campaign thus far, but it's a-ok.
    - Never woulda thought I'd run into a Will-save in a low-magic world. Eww.
    - It's hard to translate name-based humor to English. "Nightshade" translated to Finnish is the same word we use for "eggplant", which is what we've taken to calling the NPC as.

    There's also certain verse about "homo Peter" which my character is constantly reminded of. Kinda annoying how I can't really share this stuff beyond the "notes"-box.
    - It's funny how our characters have the same name as the protagonists in Narnia, even though we named them completely unaware of each other.
    - Yes, we mostly use English names even though we otherwise play in Finnish. Makes it easier to keep characters apart from real people and so on.
    - "Derro" was DM's brainfart; he didn't know it is a creature in Monster Manual. Hilarity was to be hard.
    - Will be interesting to see how we decide to deal with Decor. Just going in there and stabbing him would get us killed, but poison is much more subtle...



    Next up: No idea yet. Probably Relic-hunting!
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-04-08 at 02:27 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    This seems to be an awesome campaign, and I really liked reading the journal! Keep them comming
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Heh, one person actually read all of this! Wow. I think I'll keep on the diary just for that; unfortunately we've been having trouble scheduling a subsequent game with trips and studies for the whole bunch over the summer messing up the schedule.

    I'll be writing more once this continues though.
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  8. - Top - End - #8

    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    I enjoy your take on gnomes.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    I take it your DM is a gnome hater? ...And why does everyone in town's name start with a D? Still, sounds like a fun campaign. I might take some ideas from it when I find some players around here.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Sounds like an absolutely splendid campaign! I like the friction between Peter and Edmund (sounds like Edmund is drinking the Chaotic Stupid sauce a bit too heavily) and Nightshade seems like a great NPC.

    I'm glad you're detailing the Vitality and Wound Point rules - I really like the concept, but have never seen it implemented!

    Looking forward to updates to the campaign journal!
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallis View Post
    I take it your DM is a gnome hater? ...And why does everyone in town's name start with a D? Still, sounds like a fun campaign. I might take some ideas from it when I find some players around here.
    To your first question, none of the 3 remaining players in our group (others have moved even further away) cares very much for Gnomes so we figured, a world where they are considered pests could be interesting (and considering how...insane they can be deciphered as, it's not even farfetched) and so decided to give it a whirl.

    Of course, since it's also a very Human-centric world, it may be a while until we get a chance to familiarize ourselves with that half of the world (Humans are giving us plenty of headache already).


    As to your second question, our DM has admitted that he's horrible at coming up with names so he just takes the first somewhat rational-sounding combination of letters he comes up with; apparently he's been thinking of "d" a lot when making the names (he has previously told me to name his characters for certain games).

    Quote Originally Posted by OverdrivePrime View Post
    Sounds like an absolutely splendid campaign! I like the friction between Peter and Edmund (sounds like Edmund is drinking the Chaotic Stupid sauce a bit too heavily) and Nightshade seems like a great NPC.

    I'm glad you're detailing the Vitality and Wound Point rules - I really like the concept, but have never seen it implemented!

    Looking forward to updates to the campaign journal!
    Exactly my thoughts on Edmund, but he plays him as he plays him; I'll cope as long as he doesn't get us killed. And yeah, I've been quite enjoying this campaign too.

    We've also been tinkering with some further alterations to the VP/WP system (to increase the grittiness), but none have yet been implemented. Glad to hear all that writing wasn't for nothing :)


    And yeah, I'll be writing the next chapter...once we play the game. Considering I'll be in Portugal for a week and then at a Convention for a weekend, it's unlikely we'll have the time before end of July, but we'll see after that.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    cocoa beach, fl
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    Male

    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Gnomes as pests could be interesting. Personally I don't have a problem with gnomes, but they're portrayed a bit more seriously in my games. No incompetent tinkergnomes and not much in the way of practical jokers.
    I've had halflings as a slave race in my world, that went pretty well.
    DMs don't cheat, they just change the rules.

    "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't" -Margaret Thatcher

    "Celebacy is no match for a natural 20!" -RandomNPC

    "If you're so goth, where were YOU when we sacked Rome?" -Swordguy

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Mushroom Ninja's Avatar

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    Mar 2008

    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Cool Campaign -- I'm enjoying this journal a lot!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Finland
    Gender
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    First, few things. Lack of updates has been due to computer failure on our "remote player"'s part, and a variety of trips and such over the summer. The game should continue at a faster pace from now on.

    Second, we're implementing some additional WP-related rules in near future, though they weren't in use over this session yet. Basically, we'll make VP damage count you as fatigued, full VP damage count you as exhausted and each WP damage have a chance of causing limb injury; tables still on prototype level though.


    Session 5

    Another Journey:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Day 13
    Our heroes have the task of figuring out the whatever artifact is located to the temple in the north. They have also told Decor they would go south to their hometown and put together money to acquire another of those amulets. As such, the party (complete with now healed-up Nightshade) sets off: they leave through the southern gate, travel south for a few miles and circles through the forest on foot with Peter doing what he can to confound and cover their tracks.


    The trip passes uneventfully with the party reasonably sure they aren't being followed, they quickly reach the northern road. There are some other travelers en route to Nakmar so the road is surprisingly lively. No meaningful interaction takes place between any outsiders over the first day of travel though until the party's ears catch someone screaming for help. After an extremely swift conference, the party decides to investigate. Well, more precisely, Peter & Edmund decide to investigate and leave Nightshade with the horses since they want to approach stealthily and Nightshade's Fullplate isn't conductive to stealth.

    The duo sneaks towards the source of the sound, pretty competently I might add, and manages to reach the scene undetected. Before them opens a view of a wagon with a woman and a child, and in front of them a man grasping a sword with shaking hands. Staring down the man? A Dire Boar. Knowing the man is completely outmatched, Peter and Edmund quickly decide on their course of actions: The bow and the crossbow sing in unison, forming a chorus of arrows that puts a close to the surprise round, and surprisingly enough the entire fight.

    Edmund finds the creature's lung with his arrow (in other words, scores a critical) and the beast botches its save vs. being stunned, and is in shock, unable to act. Cue a pair of coup de graces (from Rapier and Greatsword, respectively) and a very dead Boar. Interestingly enough, the flustered man opens up the dialogue by asking "Who are you?" before realizing what just happened and thanking the two for saving his life, and that of his family. He's but a poor man though and has but a silver to offer for the group's trouble. The two graciously accept (while Nightshade has finally arrived at the scene, figuring that stealth would no longer be necessary). At this point, the following exchange takes place, outside the others' ears:
    Edmund: "Let's kill them and loot the rest of their money!"
    Peter: "But they hardly have anything! Hell, they probably just gave us half their total wealth!"
    Edmund: "What, aren't we gonna be bandits?"
    Peter: "I think there are better ways to make a living than leaving a trail of bodies behind us."
    Edmund: "Then let's burn the Wagon!"
    Peter: "..." Along with awkward gazes, chatter about the party's previous pyromancy exploits (see the cave, the bodies and...well, when anything needed to be disposed of) and what exactly "Chaotic Neutral" stands for.


    Anyway, the party bids their farewells to the family (involving 0 stabbery/pyromancy/thievery-related moves) and the family hurries to get to the town's safety before nightfall. The party, on the other hand, still has a long way to go and sets off, continuing their journey towards Nakmar (the last real town in the north). No other relevant incidents happen over their trip, and the group sets up a camp by the roadside, with the already routinated tasks of Peter finding the location and setting up the camp for best defensibility, Edmund laying some easily settable traps in the surroundings and Nightshade...being there. Cue night, with the guard order being Peter/Edmund/Nightshade.

    Of course, can't have uneventful nights! On Peter's guard about two hours into it, he hears footsteps near the camp. Curiously enough, they sound Human to him. He quickly awakens the other two, but it sounds like the steps turn away. Peter decides to investigate, taking Edmund with him and lighting a Torch due to the darkness of a clouded autumn night in a forest. Of course, this makes any sneak attempts on his part futile, but Edmund stays a bit further back just in case. Nightshade stays to guard the camp. Peter and Edmund never reach the source of the footsteps though as the sound just...vanishes.

    Confused, Peter locates the tracks and follows them to a point where the tracks too simply vanish. Even more confused, Peter and Edmund search high and low for any possible signs of where the person might have disappeared, but all they find, even with a dozen minutes burned on taking 20, is a silver coin in a stock. Interestingly enough, this silver coin is not the modern currency; neither P nor E can identify it (after thorough search to ensure that there is nothing more to the coin; all they notice is a small notch in it), followed by Peter deciding the person walking here must have turned into a coin and is thus now his prisoner (promptly putting the coin into his pocket).

    After returning to the camp and letting Nightshade take a look at it, he concludes that it's a couple of hundred years old, from the era when the northern mountains were still mined and when the temple was built. Puzzled, the party goes to sleep with Peter still convinced he just captured the unwanted visitor. The rest of the night involves a deer appearing on Edmund's watch and promptly eating a Crossbow bolt in the face, causing it to run away in panic, and not much else. The DM makes an ominous note on how that deer was a test and how taking the shot will be relevant in the future.


    Day 14
    The second day of the travel involves no surprises as the party reaches a half-way inn named "Galloping Horse". There's also a Hunter's Hut in the same area, along with some woodcutters but there's nothing else making it more of a group of buildings than a hamlet. As soon as the party arrives, a strongly-built hunter approaches the party saying "the bear chases the deer", to which Nightshade immediately answers "the deer chases the bear" and just walks away on the party. Edmund yells "Where are you going?!" and earns a "None of your business." I can't believe they just ditched us like that! A quick conference reveals that the party figures Nightshade won't probably be terribly happy if they follow him, and he's probably more than adequately prepared to cover his back so the party chooses to instead head into the inn.
    Peter: "Let's go to the inn and ask around. Maybe we could learn something about Nightshade too."
    Edmund: "No. Not asking about Nightshade."
    DM: Don't you remember? Good things happen whenever you ask after Nightshade!"
    Peter: *flashback of the two guys we had to kill and dispose of in the city after asking after Nightshade* "...you've got a point."

    Peter and Edmund settle for local gossip and whatever a beer or two can buy, learning about a tournament in two days in the town of Nakmar to the north. It just so happens that it's right en route to the northern mountains and it's about two days from the inn to Nakmar so the two decide to compete. It also turns out the beer here is excellent compared to what the two have been used to in Waterdawn and they quite thoroughly enjoy this and themselves. The inn itself is a round building, with stairs to the rooms, and door to the kitchen both to the immediate right from the main door and rest of the floor reserved for tables.

    Around half an hour into the tavern session, Nightshade shows up from the kitchen door (WTF, right?) and walks over to the party. Edmund asks "Where were you?" and this time, Nightshade is a bit more open. He explains he was asking after news from the north.

    Turns out an Ogre has banded together with a couple of Gnomes and is causing all sorts of havoc north of Nakmar; a problem the party will probably have to look into. Turns out Tara Forge is willing to pay gold for its head. Nightshade also tells a bit of his friend, apparently a man named Martin Greaves, and the air is cleared up a bit. The party decides to stay at the inn for the night and thus the whole lot drinks quite a bit. Into the evening, Peter feels like singing and with a mighty "10" out of "Perform: Drunken Singing", manages to even get some applause! Of course, after a singing session on top of a table, he manages to slip and fall down after his singing, but with some acrobatics, manages to avoid pain. Edmund decides to try something he's actually good at and does a tumbling show, rolling a "1" on the die for a total of 11, also getting some applause but ending up on his head after the show. Happy with their accomplishments for the day, the party heads for bed early to set out in the morning.


    Day 15
    Fresh off their night in an inn, the party heads off towards Nakmar and the tournament they're looking forward to. The ride starts off uneventfully, but couple of hours in, the group sees a slew of corpses. More accurately, there's one dead man, apparently a warrior of some kind judging from his Breastplate and Greatsword, and two dead Wolves. Peter tells the other two to stay back as he searches the ground for clues as to what exactly happened.

    Due to some pretty good rolls, he can find the tracks of five-six distinct wolves, and figures the man was alone and not mounted. A quick inspection of his equipment reveals that he had few silvers and the Breastplate is ordinary, but his sword is special. None of the group, not even Nightshade, can identify the metal it's made of and there were strange burn marks on the dead wolves. Edmund gives it a thorough search to find some oil injection or something to explain the marks, but none are forthcoming.

    Peter tests it for a swing or two, finding it to be at least as well balanced as his sword and then tries to hit one of the dead wolves, noticing that sparks do indeed fly when the weapon hits, and whatever is being hit gets scorched. It doesn't take long for Peter to figure out that given the warrior no longer has a use for this, he's now got a new sword. Edmund decides he wants the Breastplate along, and thanks to the various interlocking pieces, manages to cram it into his saddlebags. Peter is a bit worried about the ferocity of the wolves (since he wasn't able to find anything abnormal about the tracks), given they attacked and slew a hardened warrior, but at least during the group's trip, the wolves leave them alone.

    The rest of the day passes uneventfully and the party camps, cursing how they have to camp in the open. Watches are the same Peter/Edmund/Nightshade, but nothing happens over night so it's quite trivial. Everyone does what they've done thus far with Nightshade parking skin, Peter fletching arrows or brewing poisons and Edmund being Edmund.


    Day 16
    The last day of the travels passes without incidents. We fastforward to Nakmar to get to business; sufficient to say, the road has others heading towards the same tournament but not much that catches the eye. We stay overnight in Nakmar and prepare for the big day.

    Nakmar and the Tournament; A Die God I Am:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Day 17
    Edmund and Peter sign up for the tournament, to compete as a team in the combat scenarios and solo in the others. It's 5 coppers per head to enter, so "pathetically cheap" would be quite the understatement. After registrations, we quickly get to the first part of the tournament; man vs. beast.

    First Event - Man versus Beast
    There are three levels of monsters the warriors get to face. As Peter and Edmund entered as a team, it's 2v2; two monsters, one per man. The arena is much too small for any skirmishing tactics; it's a 30' rectangle with each contestant at an edge of the area. The wolves are pretty quick; Peter wins initiative, Rabid Wolf Strikes and the Wolf dies in spite of a "2" on the To Hit die. The second one attacks Edmund once, and hits for 2 damage but loses the Trip-check, gets clobbered by Edmund and then dies on Peter's turn.

    The second round is Worgs. The fight was much the same; the Worgs won initiative and charged the two. They both missed, Peter KOd his with full PA Rabid Wolf Strike (rolling a 6 which was just sufficient) and moved to flank the other one and Edmund critted its brains out.

    The last monster was scary: Dire Wolves. Luckily for him, Peter won the initiative and readied an action to Rabid Wolf Strike the wolf once it comes within reach. Edmund sniped his with Hand Crossbow and the Wolves came. They charged, Peter hit his hard with the full PA Rabid Wolf Strike and then the Wolf-attacks came. Peter defended with Wall of Blades; good decision as the Wolf would've hit easily otherwise which might've ended the fight right there. 17 on the die roll though meant, Peter's effective AC of 25 was too much for the Wolf to overcome. Edmund's Wolf missed him.

    The second turn, Peter cursed how the Wolves were 10' apart (in spite of Peter & Edmund being right next to each other; they hit the corner squares on both sides) denying him Steel Wind, and he resolved to just do a normal full PA attack on his wolf, dropping it. He moved to flank Edmund's wolf. Edmund hit his for some damage, but it was still standing. The wolf hit Edmund right back, catching him bad dealing some 16 points of damage and tripping Edmund, putting him into a very precarious position.

    Luckily, Peter was able to cut the twice Sneak Attacked wolf on his next turn and the fight was over; Wolves hit hard. I daresay, had it not been for the Wall of Blades, the Wolves would've probably won the fight; Peter would've been pretty FUBAR'd after getting tripped and the Wolves would've lunched on us.

    Second Event - Archery
    Next sport was archery, which was a solo event. I planned on using Destiny Shot to get some damn good hits in, but DM had figured I might and stated the competition would be performed through base die rolls. Of course, Peter proceeded to prove that maneuvers or not, he's Just That Damn Good and rolled the following series for his five hits:
    16
    11
    14
    20
    20

    Sufficient to say, he won.

    Third Event - Balance
    Next was another lighter event, balancing. The DM hadn't thought of much for this, so it was a simple slew of balance checks; kinda dull, but then again, kinda interesting and finally some use out of those obligatory 5 ranks I put into the skill. First was some plank, DC 10 Balance-check. Then a rope, another DC 10 and finally some third DC 10 I forget about. Both of us passed them with flying colors. Then came couple of DC 15s, and Edmund failed the first one. Peter? Well, he proceeded to roll the following:
    11
    14
    Something (didn't remember to write the third up)
    19
    20
    13
    13

    Sufficient to say, after completing the whole track including the two DC 20s in the end, he won this one too.

    Last Event - Team Duel
    This was the end; the best-performing teams now fought for the trophy. On one side was the dynamic duo, Peter & Edmund and standing against them was Jack the Slasher and some less memorable name, who will henceforth be called The Nameless Pharaoh (due to his way with luck, among others... Read on). The Nameless Pharaoh had with a Guisarme while Jack had some melee weapon; I never really figured out which one since I didn't understand to ask and he never really got to use it.

    Fight starts, Peter wins initiative. Unlike in the previous fights, Peter chose Guisarme as his opening weapon here; there was talk that the fight would be fought dealing non-lethal damage so a tripping weapon seemed more beneficial. Of course, that quickly flew out of the window as nobody else was dealing non-lethal but there you go.

    Peter moved next to Edmund to cover him and readied a non-lethal Rabid Wolf Strike for whoever approached first. Edmund took the round 0 Sneak Attack snipe on Jack, hitting him for a lot and removing any hopes of a non-lethal combat. The Nameless Pharaoh approached first, eating the readied attack from Peter that failed to connect due to the nonlethal penalty (and a 6 on the die).

    Nameless Pharaoh tried to hit Peter back but likewise missed, and Jack was forced to approach provoking an AoO from Peter which he used to trip Jack successfully. On his next turn, Peter figured he's in perfect position and used Steel Wind, first attempting to trip the Nameless Pharaoh but botching his Trip-result and dropping his Guisarme to avoid countertrip, then taking 5' step and drawing his Greatsword to take the second attack on Jack...which was a hit. Edmund moved to flanking position behind the Nameless Pharaoh and manages a miss on him too.

    At this point, the Nameless Pharaoh 5' steps next to Edmund enabling him to reach Peter again and attacks, but Peter manages a 20 on Wall of Blades blocking him; good thing too since the DM shows that the Nameless Pharaoh had rolled a 19 which is, by WP rules, in the crit range for Guisarme. Jack inefficiently fumbles around with his weapon in the ground, too afraid to raise with Peter next to him (in other words, the -4 causes him to miss. Shocker, right?). Peter 5' steps in and tries to again hit Nameless Pharaoh, inefficiently, followed by Edmund being equally inefficient. At this point, the Nameless Pharaoh manages a critical threat. And this time, Peter doesn't have a counter to save his ass. In fact, Nameless Pharaoh just rolled a 20 (DM reveals the result). And 17 on his Critical Confirmation.

    So Peter eats a Guisarme to the gut and just barely makes the DC 17 Fortitude-save to not get stunned (12 damage + 5 base difficulty - he rolls 12 and has +5 to Fort-saves), with Nameless Pharaoh rolling Double 4 on his damage dice. Ouch. He's at 2 WP now. He's also at various penalties for having taken Wound Point damage. In the meanwhile, Jack again fumbles around rolling a 15 which isn't enough to hit 'cause he's still at -4 from being prone. Now Peter is pissed. And now it's Peter's turn. Full Power Attack hit on the Nameless Pharaoh. 19. That's a critical threat. 18 on confirmation. That's a confirmed critical. 6, 5, 4 (Fire) on the damage dice, plus 11 damage bonus from Str and PA (counting -2 Str from Fatigue). That's a dead man, gentlemen. No, he did not roll 20 on his Fort-save. Well, technically dying; of course we had no intention of killing anyone here. Then, Peter deals "non-lethal" to Jack, manages to accidentally roll a critical and the fight is over; Edmund took one more miss in the meanwhile.


    So, Peter and Edmund win the tournament. The people come to cheer for them. Even Nightshade offers them a gruff "Well, I never thought you were quite that good warriors" from the mass. Peter wouldn't mind a chance to fix up his gut, but that's denied for him right now. Then the victorious duo is called before the tournament organizers, to receive their prize. It is, indeed, a very real Mithril Chain Shirt. A brief discussion of who wears it occurs; Peter figures he should receive it by rights of deeds. Edmund's player, OOC, wonders if he should shoot Peter in the head now that he's not prepared and is quite hurt. IC, Peter decides to let Edmund wear it for the time being, due to having just gotten his new sword himself to balance it out

    Afterwards, Peter manages to get enough breathing room for himself to bandage his own "skin punctures" and the party gets to the celebration as the heroes of the day. Free room in the finest (only) inn in town, lots of free food, congratulating people and awesome time was to be had by all. In the evening, Peter withdraws to his room and summons a healer. Edmund and Nightshade hit their respective beds and the day is over.


    Days 18-19
    Nightshade and Edmund enjoy the festivities while Peter enjoys bedrest; with the healer and full bedrest, the wounds are healed in a couple of days. Edmund thinks if he should rob the city and misuse his status as a local hero.

    Peter manages talks him out of it and points out how this is but a small town compared to Waterdawn, where robbery would be far more productive. Given that the party does have a schedule to stick to, they'd rather not waste any more time than they have to so Peter just chooses the quickest way to get fixed up.

    Onwards to the Gnomes and the Mountains!:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Day 20
    With the festivities somewhat subsiding and Peter completely functional again, the party decides to head off. They're greeted by a jolly autumn rain that is both, cold and wet. Things are made a bit better by the masses cheering for them as they ride north, braving the weather under their somewhat protective raincoats from their explorers' suits. There's some forest around again and if it weren't so bloody wet, the trip could be kind of interesting. The first day of travel is rather uneventful, probably thanks to the constant rain.

    The party is very happy to set up a camp and get into tents as the tents are quite a bit drier than the outdoors. As a true woodsman, Peter manages to make a fire in spite of the horrible downpour and the night gets underway. Nothing much happens and the party is very thankful to awaken into hearing not a drop of water.


    Day 21
    Indeed, the rain rained itself out the day before and now all that remains is a heavy mist, effectively limiting vision to 30'. The trip starts off uneventfully, but a bit into the day, the party hears some very heavy footsteps, a loud voice saying "Boris wants medicine", some really highpitched voice answering "but it's not time for Boris's medicine yet" and overall, weird stuff.

    Peter and Edmund decide Nightshade best do the talking and quickly flee into the woods on both sides, tying their horses a bit further to hide them in the mist, then staying 30' to both sides of the road just barely maintaining vision, waiting in ambush. Nightshade, in the meanwhile, stands in the middle of the road and as the huge shadow of a humanoid twice the size of a large human shows up, calls out: "Who goes there?"

    At first, there's no response, so he calls out again, louder "Who goes there?!" The creature approaches a bit closer and indeed, Peter and his 32 in Knowledge: Nature identifies the creature as an Ogre. It's drawing a wagon with two creatures identified as Gnomes. The Gnomes quickly yell "Kill that man and Boris gets his medicine!" The Ogre's eyes light with wild fury and it charges with the wagon tied to it, causing the gnomes to fly around; cue initiative. Edmund and Nightshade act first followed by the monsters and then Peter.

    Nightshade takes a few steps behind an readies an action to hit whoever comes within his reach. Edmund readies an action to shoot whoever he sees first. Ogre charges Nightshade, eats up SA from Edmund's Heavy Crossbow (he has both, a Heavy Crossbow for sniping and a Hand Crossbow for combined Rapier/Hand Crossbow combat) and Nightshade's Guisarme, then hits Nightshade for Massive Damage (seriously, it rolled 8 and 7 for its 2d8! This after Snake Eyes on Nightshade's damage dice).

    The Gnomes yell some gibberish nonsense ("AIEEEE!"-type stuff) going wild by the ogre getting beat up so bad and throw some really scary explosive bottles but thanks to Edmund's evasion, he avoids the one thrown at him and the one thrown at Nightshade was aimed really, really poorly. Peter's turn, he Rapid Shots the Ogre 18 points and then it eats up some more hits from Nightshade and Edmund (who snuck into the fog and returned at a different position for a new sneak attack), finally going down to Edmund's sneak attack. The gnomes go absolutely crazy at the Ogre going down, and pick up some other potions and throw them both at Edmund, missing horribly and we hear some actually groundshaking explosions and the sound of a tree falling, being very thankful the Gnomes have a poor aim.

    A Rapid Shot from Peter followed by Nightshade's Guisarme and Edmund's new Sneak Attack drop one Gnome, and the second one is looking in a bad way when he drinks a potion, and drops down apparently dead. Peter cuts his head off execution-style to be sure, and indeed, the party proceeds to generate three trophies (and wraps them in one of the Arabian Carpets they got from the bandit cave so long ago, having nothing else to wrap them in); the Ogre's head to collect their reward from Tara and the Gnome-heads for status symbols (and to probably sell to nobility).

    An interesting exchange occurs when discussing what to do with the gnome potions. Edmund says he'll just cram them into his saddlebags, to which Peter objects by saying Edmund is free to blow himself up if he so desires, but as long as he rides with Peter, those potions stay right where they are. The next considered option is burning the wagon, until the party finally decides they'll just take the whole damn Wagon along with the Arabian Carpet to dampen any possible explosions. And Edmund's horse is in the middle. The party decides that now that they have a wagon, they hang the trophies from the sides. So now the wagon is decorated by an ogre head and two gnome heads. And the trip continues.


    As the party fools around with the wagons, the mist is dissipating and as they set off, the visibility is actually quite good. The trip starts of peacefully until they arrive at a curve, behind which they hear some really weird kind of "explosive" sounds, whistling and all sorts of odd noises. The party decides to utilize the forest and sneak up to the source. Well, more precisely, Edmund and Peter will sneak; Nightshade is too loud for that (at this point, we tell the DM to get Nightshade some ranks in Hide & Move Silently).

    We sneak through the short patch of forest with Nightshade staying behind with the horses and the wagon, and spy a weird bearded, short man with some really weird metal concoction making noises and releasing smoke. Peter tells Edmund to go ahead and talk while he stands at a ready with bow just in case. After a quick exchange, we figure that Edmund is the better speaker so yes, he does go. And lo and behold, the man is actually quite amiable (if a bit absent-minded; it takes quite a few yells to get his attention). I wonder whether he'd be a non-Human, but the discussion takes so many turns that I quickly forget about that minor detail.

    He quickly explains that he's working on a machine that channels steam to move and believes it might actually be stronger than horses. Then he explains us the basis of his "Steam Locomotive" and the problems he's dealing with, most precisely how to regulate the amounts of steam released. At this point, Edmund's player says "Ever heard of a vent?", I say "OOC knowledge much?" and then we ponder on it a while, until it turns out he's actually got a rank in Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering.

    A roll of 15 later, he's explaining vents to the weird bearded dude IC and suddenly the two of them are working out how to make it function while Peter is rolling 4 and 2 on his aid another, so mostly being extremely disruptive and not one bit useful for the conversation, even though he is quite bright (I chalk this up to him being more of a woodsman). Nightshade also shows up and...well, keeps Peter company. Both of them are pretty WTF while Edmund and Ye Olde Bearded Dude discuss the machine.

    At this point Mr. Wrf, as his name turns out, invites us (especially Edmund) to his workshop so they can work out the changes in practice and Edmund, knowing good business when he sees one, is quick to accept. The rest of us have not much against it (besides the lost time) and we follow.

    They work out how exactly to make the machine work over the rest of the evening and we stay overnight at the workshop.


    Day 22
    This day is practically entirely spent with me making failed Aid Another-checks (eventually going outside to sulk at my own inadequacy), Edmund and Wrf dealing with the machine and Nightshade pointing out to me that "Did you notice he's not a human?" We conclude that he's a dwarf or a half-dwarf; he tells they're somewhat common around here and often into crazy machines like that. Also quite harmless if a bit...crazy.

    Peter starts to wonder if Edmund is one too, seeing how well they get along and how crazy Edmund is. Either way, over the day the changes to the machine reach a finish and it seems workable. A test of pitting 5 horses vs. the machine ends up with the machine trouncing the horses in raw power and Wrf is ecstatic; it's far more powerful than he could have ever imagined!

    Edmund truly knows a good business when he sees one and asks if Wrf could make another one for him; Edmund is smart but isn't very good of his hands so making one himself would be near-impossible for him. Wrf gives us about a week for it and we agree; we'll probably take at least a week in the mountains anyways, and we can afford to wait here if we somehow make it back faster. We also agree to pay any raw material costs and such associated; he agrees that the work is payment for Edmund's help with the machine.


    Day 23
    We set off for the mountains and reach the hamlet of Bandara at the roots of the mountain. It is a remnant of one of the mining villages here, last one that's really inhabited. It mostly functions as a base for people searching for minerals and doing other expeditions at the mountains, which gives some people there just enough income to make a living.


    At this point, we call it a day; it's getting late and this feels like a good place to stop at, especially since the DM says he hasn't really planned much further. We got much further than he expected; he expected for us to barely get to Nakmar and maybe do the tournament, but that we actually got beyond? Yeah, that was a surprise to us all. We also leveled up; I'll have to see what I'm picking up for my level 3 maneuver!


    Observations:
    Spoiler
    Show
    - Well, the combats in this session really showcased how awesome stealth can be. We basically eliminated a CR appropriate encounter in the boar without a fight thanks to the surprise.
    - The combats also showcased just how big luck is in the game. Had Peter not rolled obscenely well for the Wall of Blades, and over 11 for that Fort-save, we would probably have at the very least lost in the tournament. Twice. Also, the horrible rolls made it last much longer than the Man vs. Beast fights. That and the Human AC being much higher.
    - We really got to use a lot of "rare" skills. I was rolling Search, Balance, Survival & co. a lot while Edmund actually got use out of his Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering! We also had Perform: Drunken Singing and what-not. It was awesome!
    - Skill competitions are really bland as written; just rolling a bunch of dice is not interesting. There have to be better ways to implement them.
    - Peter really rocked the luck-based events. 81/100 for 5 die rolls, I mean WTF!
    - The WP system is awesome. I'm loving the versatility it provides for describing combat and the variance and the danger of it.
    - Edmund is the only WP virgin in the party now; Nightshade and Peter have both tasted the bittersweet taste of critical, though none of us has been hit to 0 VP yet.
    - Can't wait to put the new variations on the rules into practice!
    - Edmund was acting much more coherently this time; we definitely were more neutral than evil this time around! Success!
    - Finally a session! Woohoo!
    - I must say, the "Ogre + Gnomes"-encounter vividly made me think of Goblin Alchemist of Warcraft-fame. Partly due to this (and due to other similarities), we now keep mixing the words "Gnome" and "Goblin".



    That'll be all for now. Hopefully the next session won't take quite as long.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2009-10-03 at 10:25 PM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    Tier System For Classes & Why Each Class Is In Its Tier - Obligatory Reads Before Balance Discussions

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  15. - Top - End - #15

    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Your party evidently enjoys the more flammable aspects of life.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharaoh's Fist View Post
    Your party evidently enjoys the more flammable aspects of life.
    Mmm, indeed. We even ended up discussing the matter. We came to the conclusion that we like fire since fire is pure and the world is filthy; fire purifies. Then we realized that that pretty much makes us a 2-man inquisition - cue Monty's the Spanish Inquisition.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Have you ever gotten back to playing this game, Eldariel? The journal makes for a good read.
    3.5 Homebrew: Remixes to rebalance nearly every base class, all in the authentic flavor of the originals.
    Tier 1 casters breaking your game? Remix your magic with Philosopher's Stone, or try these flavorful mid-tier classes instead: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Have you ever gotten back to playing this game, Eldariel? The journal makes for a good read.
    Due to scheduling problems, haven't had sessions in a great while. The game is still "live" though.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    I don't think your characters are very neutral. Torturing thieves to death because they won't tell you something about one of your own party members seems pretty evil to me.

    Edit: Oh, I see you already knew that. Never mind, then.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by Yahzi View Post
    I don't think your characters are very neutral. Torturing thieves to death because they won't tell you something about one of your own party members seems pretty evil to me.

    Edit: Oh, I see you already knew that. Never mind, then.
    For what it's worth, Pete doesn't necessarily agree with the moral choices. Those two guys sorta died by accident; it was all very messy and confusing. Edmund tends towards...simplicity. If someone doesn't talk, he'll beat them until he does. When the guys fear whatever they don't talk about more than him...accidents happen. We never intended to kill them.

    That said, beating information out of your enemies is pretty par de course; that alone I wouldn't necessary consider a trip down the deep end of the alignment pool.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-03-13 at 05:15 AM.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Edmund tends towards...simplicity. If someone doesn't talk, he'll beat them until he does. When the guys fear whatever they don't talk about more than him...accidents happen. We never intended to kill them.
    Intention means nothing. Your characters still beated up defecenceless people to death. Those are kills that could have been perfectly avoided with some care, and thus evil.

    Actualy, with all due respect, your argument here sounds like something taken out of a villain's speech. "We're good people, really, but acidents happens when you're not smart with us. So, you're gonna talk or not? No? Shame. Keep hiting him."

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Intention means nothing. Your characters still beated up defecenceless people to death. Those are kills that could have been perfectly avoided with some care, and thus evil.

    Actualy, with all due respect, your argument here sounds like something taken out of a villain's speech. "We're good people, really, but acidents happens when you're not smart with us. So, you're gonna talk or not? No? Shame. Keep hiting him."
    No claiming anyone being good in here. It's a matter of neutral or evil. And yeah, the deaths coulda been avoided with some care, but there was never a point at which they were intended to be killed until it was really the only option (aside from getting ourselves imprisoned and potentially executed; note that this isn't a happy happy rainbow world and e.g. law enforcement is like to be corrupted). I sorta disagree with your take on alignment to; IMHO it's all about intent. A man isn't evil if he kills a dozen orcs (or men or elves or midget beard angels) to protect others, and he isn't good if he saves the country out of self-interest.

    Though ultimately, I don't think it matters. To us, alignment is something to give a rough outline in character creation of what type of behaviour to expect from a character, nothing more. What really matters is internal consistency of the actions.
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    I sorta disagree with your take on alignment to; IMHO it's all about intent. A man isn't evil if he kills a dozen orcs (or men or elves or midget beard angels) to protect others, and he isn't good if he saves the country out of self-interest.
    Nitpick, but the first example is a case of intent and action. If he's killing the humanoids that are preparing to storm his house, then yes, he's not evil, because he didn't have much of a choice anyway.

    Also somewhat off-topic, you never ended up telling me what you tought of my improved monster classes to replace RHD and LA.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2010-03-13 at 07:47 AM.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Hello I am DM of this campaign journals game

    Would like to comment some things about the game.

    I have seen that in this thread there has been some discussion about alignment of Peter and Edmund. I would say that it is thin line between chaotic neutral character and evil character (atleast in my books). But I wouldn't want to spend time we could be playing to arguing in which alignment character belongs. Also I will remeber their actions and if they are evil they have consequenses. Like lets say when Edmund tortured and killed those two thieves in the process of learning nightshades true name. I can promise it will have some consequenses maybe not instantly but some day some where .

    Also would like to comment that keeping Edmund in check isn't always most fun thing to do as a DM. I have many times thinked that I should let Edmund do what he wants and silence voice of reason (Peter). Maybe knock Peter unconscious . It would be double the fun watch them survive the consiquences of unchecked Edmund.

    Lastly I would like to state that I am probably worst person ever to discover names. It is problem for even in games as I can spend hours to think a name which satisfies me. Unfortunatly I don't have such time in the game as mostly I forgot put names in the characters then have to think fast for them. Actually I am suprised that worst mistake is naming somebody Derro . Also that explains why many names begin with same letter as it's easy for some reason to think names for that letter.

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    So, after about half a year, we finally had another session. Life is hard; we've talked about it so often and yet never seem to be able to make it fall in place. This time though, Edmund's player was actually right here in the south so we just couldn't pass upon the opportunity to organize a live session (normally he's joined us through Skype and a webcam).

    Session 6

    Pre-Session Session:
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    First, we start off with OOC stuff; both of us had only partially leveled-up our characters so we needed to finish that before the game. My biggest problem was picking the 3rd level maneuver; I didn't have access to the Falling Star-file at that point so I just looked through ToB before settling on Flesh Ripper that I didn't even end up preparing.

    Iron Heart Surge is a lot less impressive in a world devoid (or low) on magic and I don't have White Raven removing the two "obvious" options. I'm probably switching that for next session to something from Falling Star. This was also the first session we played with WP charts; every hit of WP damage has a chance of critically injuring a bodypart. It only came into play few times tho so not much comment on it in-play yet.

    Also, Edmund's player figured this world is technologically advanced enough to contain rudimentary explosives and positively jumped when the DM gave him an "Ok"; soon, waves of skillpoints were flying into "Craft: Bombmaking". We'll see how that turns out.

    Of Magic, Chalice and a Silver Coin:
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    Day 24

    Our intrepid heroes begin in the hamlet of Bandara. First order of business: Figuring out where exactly we are supposed to be headed. Some quick information gathering leads us to a pair of regular travelers of the mountains. Some roughspoken regards and quick exchanges later, we're pretty convinced they're honest folk as people on the edge of the world tend to be, and willing to sell us info for few silvers; cheap in a world where knowledge is the thing of most value. Edmund haggles the price down a bit, mostly out of principle, and we can confirm what we already know and figure out the general location of the temple northwest.

    Peter and Edmund also figure it's cold up there so some cold weather outfits, winter blankets and such are in order. Peter and Edmund also decide that as the Wagon removes most logistic problems (outside carrying the wagon itself), it's a good time to invest in a Toolkit of Mw. quality [crunch-wise smashed-together pile of all the tools in A&EG and PHB at Mw.] and pay a goodly sum of money for whatever tools the village has to offer. Some bartering brings the price down to couple of golds (of this world's currency) and that's that. Both also express desire to acquire adamantine tools for obvious reasons, but that will have to wait as the village lacks such supplies.

    Nightshade joins up and the trio begins the last ride towards the temple. The beginning of the trip is fairly uneventful. About two hours in, the first living creature shows itself; a middle-aged man with an impressive beard strides down the hill and does his best to ignore the party. The party sans Edmund returns the favor, while Edmund raises his hand in a gamely "Hi!", which gets likewise ignored. Rather anti-climatic for the first living thing we meet, but there you go. The trip continues and that man remains to be the only one we meet; we reach the snowline and the lack of the living things persists. It's actually raining at this point so traveling is slow and arduous; by nightfall we start looking for a decent place to camp at. Nightshade interrupted our seeking by mentioning that he actually knows a nearby cavern maintained as a cover for traveler use in these parts by the folks of the village. We take a small detour and find the said cavern and spend the night. An extremely uninteresting watch involving everyone using their Crafts each on their turns later, the day came to a close.

    Day 25

    The temple is only few hours' ride away from the campsite, so we set off in the sunrise seeking to close the distance in a few. Indeed, two hours later we see the temple in the distance. An interesting point of note, there's smoke coming out of the center of the building. We suspect some manner of ritualistic bonfire or something of the sort; wonder where they get the wood from. Anyways, we decide to leave our wagons behind for obvious reasons, with Nightshade watching over them as Peter and Edmund scout around a bit. Two cultists are spotted at the front entrance presumably at a guard duty with a gong between them, presumably for alarm. Peter and Edmund make sure to circle around. Some observations later, it's clear there are no patrols in the area allowing Peter and Edmund a free access to the walls. They search for an alternative entrance and to their surprise, find a hatch partially buried under snow. Apparently it hasn't been in use for a while.

    The duo quickly returns to Nightshade and they devise a plan: They'll observe the location from a distance for a while waiting for some manner of ritual service or something of the sort until noon. Once some such happens, or if it appears none is forthcoming, the three of them will circle out from a bit further away and enter through the side entrance they discovered.

    Turns out the cultists do indeed have some sort of midday ritual. At exactly midday, some gongs ring and the "heroes" (I do use the term loosely here) put their plan into motion. Some Search and an ungodly Disable Device later (there was some manner of explosive device in the door that would open the door and most likely the person trying to open it as well), the party is inside with a Bulls-eye Lantern showing the way. Edmund wanted to just bypass the trap until it was pointed out that that was our likely exist as well and if a patrol does show up, the tracks in snow would kinda betray us, trap or no. Inside, we hear Ominous Latin Chanting from the upstairs. The entrance is at a corner of the temple; immediately inside, there's a staircase up to the ground floor and two corridors, by the right and the front walls of the temple. We decide to take the path by the right wall first; going under the entrance is unlike to be in our interests, and neither is attending a service for Cyric.

    After a bit of walking, we find a door to the left. Unlocked and untrapped, quick scan reveals it to be a dry-food storage. We decide to leave that alone as our plan does not involve leaving a path of dead cultists in our wake. The next door to the left, on the other hand, is a large steel door where we do indeed find a trap, and it appears to be locked too. Edmund rolls for a quick Disable Device and gets the almighty "1" for his troubles; Spear springs from the wall and hits Edmund hard in the back - his Touch AC of 14 is quite inadequate. He does manage to roll with the hit a bit though so he only takes VP damage (it's not critical, that is). Good news is that the trap does not reset; I guess that's one way to clear it. Picking the lock is easy enough, but the door still fails to budge. Some more searching reveals there's a latch on the other side, but Edmund manages to fit a knife in and raises the latch for long enough for us to open the door.

    Inside, we see a corridor - search reveals two pressure plates - and a pedestal with some slightly shining item. We assume that's the Chalice we are after. Edmund figures the pressure plates are simply linked to an alarm, and are a bit too large for an ordinary human to jump over (DC 14 or so); luckily we are anything but ordinary. Still, as we aren't crazy about fighting the whole temple, we decide it's not worth risking it to try and disable them; we find some hooks in the ceiling, probably used for bypassing the traps by the cultists themselves. Of course, this makes life easy for us as Edmund has Use Rope and we have plenty of rope. Given Nightshade's heavy armor, he probably couldn't make it over otherwise, but with help from Peter and Edmund it's easy enough.

    So, after crossing over the two plates and reaching the pedestal, we make sure it's not trapped. To our surprise, we find exactly 0 traps between the pedestal and the Chalice itself. Also, we find no proof of the rumored barrier around the item. Peter and Nightshade both have nice Knowledge-rolls on the subject, but it falls on Nightshade's area of expertise and he figures it's some "relic from an era of magic" or something of the sort. He kinda figures how it works, but can't say anything beyond that. We decide to try and take it with us, where Edmund steps in. He has some stones along with "I wuz here" written in lipstick on them; he decides to leave one of them here with a Sleight of Hand to exchange the Chalice and the stone even though we specifically figured it's not trapped. I guess it's mostly a matter of style. Either way, when the Chalice was moved, things started happening. Really weird things.

    Peter and Edmund were seriously startled when all of the following happened at once: The room turned red and was filled by roar of thunder, Nightshade started chanting in some strange language in a trance and the Chalice itself began to shine light even brighter than the room, and heat. Peter identified the language Nightshade was speaking as some ancient language of magic, Edmund tried slapping Nightshade to get him back to his senses for a quick departure while Peter drew his Longbow. Nightshade didn't seem to notice the slapping and soon was effortlessly levitating couple of feet in air; all the while Eddie was burning his hand holding the Chalice and another with the Crossbow aimed at Nightshade, and Peter was keeping an aim at the door, both seriously freaked out. Then it all, the roar of thunder, the shine, the ominous Latin chanting from the upstairs and Nightshade's levitating ended at once and everything fell silent.

    Nightshade appeared tired to death, managing only a nod to Peter's asked "We're gone in -10 seconds, ready yet?" Quick trip back over the plates picking up the rope along the way (good silk rope is expensive!) later, the trio was racing towards the entrance. And just at that moment, two cultists appeared though they didn't even turn to look at us; they went straight towards the side entrance. Scheduled check? The party didn't wait to find out and Peter started things off with a bang: a critical Destiny Shot scoring a hit straight to the head (criticals affecting bodyparts). The cultist went down instantly. Edmund did only slightly worse with a non-critical Sneak Attack on the other guy. Initiative later, Peter's hail of arrows connected fully and the second cultist went about wasting away.

    Swift death meant they never had the chance to raise an alarm, so the party took a bit of time to check the bodies. Specifically, Edmund checked for loot while Peter checked what manner of people they actually are. Hoods off revealed something very disturbing, they have scaly horn-like appendages in the forehead and one of them had extra finger. Even more disturbing, they also had black burn-mark the shape of a sphere with horns in their chest. Even more disturbing, Edmund decided we need a copy of the burn-mark to figure out what the heck is going on here, and simply cut the whole mark off one of the guys, figuring Nightshade's expertise in tanning would enable it to be preserved. Yeah, not dwelling too much on that. Eddie also suggested we just set fire to the place; that got shot down relatively quickly. He did, however, pour oil on the two bodies and set those on fire just as we left, with Peter and Nightshade already well on their way out.

    A very quick exit and circling to the wagon and the horses, which had thankfully not been met with an accident while unguarded, later, we were quickly on our way out. Interestingly, the front guard seemed to be missing when the party made their way out, but the lot decided not to dwell on that as putting as much distance between them and a pack of very angry cultists as possible felt like a good idea at the time. Soon after, once he has recovered, Nightshade curiously stopped us and said something weird about the Chalice: He said we should fill it with salt, so "It doesn't do that", probably referring to the events at the Temple. While we don't have any idea what the heck is going on, we do have a decent supply of salt with us, mostly for preserving meat. We barely miss out on filling it entirely, but it's close enough to suspend it. Nightshade states we'll need to perform some strange alchemical ritual to truly "calm" it down, but that this will do for now.

    And Back Again:
    Spoiler
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    The group quickly departed and decided to ride into the night to reach Bandara without another night near the temple. The initial ride was highly uneventful and no chase was immediately forthcoming. So far so good. Of course, nothing good can last forever. Within sight of Bandara, we run into the same beard guy again and again we ignore him except for Edmund who greets him. He seems to be ignoring us too until right next to Edmund he draws a Longsword very quickly and stabs his horse critically leaving the poor animal with only few WP left and very much caught between bolting and being shocked. Saddle and Ed's Dex made the Ride-check to stay in the saddle easy though.

    Initiative was rolled and we were unarmed this time. Edmund dismounted and drew his weapon while circling behind the wagon to "hide". Nightshade likewise dismounted and drew his Guisarme while Peter stayed ahorse, drawing his Longbow and poisoning the arrow, firing a Destiny Shot with penalty of 3, but having it go wide. Identifying the immediate threat, the man tries to hit Nightshade but is deflected by his armor, while Edmund drops underneath the wagon drawing his Heavy Crossbow and, while being unable to Sneak Attack, does manage max damage Heavy Crossbow hit with his Dex and PBS. Nightshade follows that with almost max damage Guisarme strike which drops the man to WP; one failed Fort-save later he was stunned which gave us the opportunity to disarm and tie him for questioning (with Aid Another from both and Silk Rope, the Escape Artist DC wounded up at DC40).

    As he came to, we proceed with some rather harsh interrogation that revealed he had the same sign as the cultists and was serving a man named Martin Thompson, a collector of rare items like our employer and also living in Waterdawn, and that he had attacked us because we had something his master wanted. Didn't take much guess-work to figure out what. He didn't agree to disclose his own name, but we didn't really care. He also mentioned the reason for the burn-marks is some greater master his master serves who is going to magically bend the world to his dominion and bring darkness or something of the sort. Peter is greatly alarmed, while Edmund calls hogwash (while still trying to rationalize the events at the temple). We decide to spare this fool (my turn to choose!) and even untie him, though leaving him there. Of course, we did knock him out first. He should be able to make his way back to the village soon enough, but all the same, is in no condition to be a threat to us. As he talked so nicely, it felt more than fair.

    The visit in Bandara was basically a mere uneventful overnight stay, though we did buy Edmund a new horse and sold the old one; we didn't have time to wait until it heals.

    Day 26-27

    We depart as soon as we wake up, bidding our farewells to Bandara and making way for Mr. Wrf to pick up the steam engine. This time we run into no Ancient Egyptian Artifacts or Beard Samurai and safely get to Wrf's workshop. While it's only been 4 days, Wrf has gotten a lot done. As we fully intend to leave with the thing, we help him out for a day to finish it. He asks for 1 gold piece to cover the raw material costs; we decided to pay 3 for his troubles; we've kinda taken to liking the guy. He also teaches Edmund to ride, and at Peter's insistence, him too even though he wasn't initially really interested; he figured best if someone else knows how to operate it too when Edmund finally gets the arrow to the head he's been asking for for so long. It can actually move faster than a horse when burning lots of fuel and works with either wood or coal; a very impressive device. We depart in the afternoon of the second day and make our way towards Nakmar.

    The day's ride is uneventful, for a change. It's been shining since we came down from the mountains and overall, there have been few adversities besides, y'know, the whole "Yer horse got stabbed lol!"-part. As the trio departed late, they need to stay in the wilderness for the night before reaching Nakmar. Come nightfall, the camp was prepared as already was the routine; Edmund placed some traps in the surroundings (complete with some of the bombs the Gnomes had used to make sure we are alarmed of whatever hostile presence). Peter had the first watch. Now, remember that silver coin found in the tree trunk Session 5? It was still in his pocket.

    Suddenly, in the start of his watch, it started to get hot and as he took it out, shine. It was hot enough that he had to hold it on a piece of wood, which would obviously catch flame any time soon. He checked the Chalice thinking it was some manner of a reaction, but it wasn't doing anything at all. He quickly woke up Nightshade, the quickly-rising occult expert of the group whose eyes widened yelling for Edmund to wake up while reaching for his Guisarme. Seeing this, Peter quickly reacted stowing the coin to his money pouch (hoping that at least the metal wouldn't melt; while it would become unpleasantly hot real quick, at least the matter would maintain its shape for a while) and drawing his Greatsword.

    As soon as all that was said and done, four figures just appeared around Peter out of nowhere. Furthermore, they weren't human; their skin wasn't just ebon, it was pitch black and they looked almost more animal than human. They carry a red Greatsword of unknown metal each. Roll for initiative, Peter acts first and demands "Who are you and what is your business with us?" while readying to hit two of them if they attack (Steel Wind). Nightshade likewise readies to hit one on the same condition. Then the creatures act; they let out a bloodcurling howl and move to attack; at this point, Peter's readied action goes off and hits two of them bad. They both make their saves against stun, but Nightshade's attack drops one of them. After that, they attack Peter and in spite of the flank, between his Chain Shirt, dexterity and sword (Wall of Blades), the trio misses.

    Edmund wakes up prone, but manages an amazing feat of "getting things done" by standing up while picking up his weapons, 5' stepping to a flanking position from one of them and sticking Rapier into its back critically, easily dropping it after Peter had already hit it. Peter goes all-out on offense with a hard, feral swing (PA for 4 Rabid Wolf Strike) leaving his guard open completely eviscerating second-to-last one of them. Nightshade hits the last one, but it manages a hit on Peter after his defenses had lapsed; roll a Fort-save?! Luckily, 21 passes and Edmund moves to flank the last one, finishing it off.

    After the battle, Peter doesn't stop to wonder the hit or the weird bodies of the creature, quickly digs the damn coin out of his pocket and puts it on a stone. Nightshade knows some alchemy that might cool it down, involving mixing and boiling some chemicals (luckily Peter has plenty) and washing the coin in the steam. We decide to use the steam engine for the boiling, so Edmund starts that while Peter gets on with the chemicals and soon enough, the coin is...err...as good as new? Either way, it's no longer shining with eldritch energies or burning holes in pockets so Peter is happy, quickly stowing the coin back to from whence it came and vowing to do some heavy research on it back in Waterdawn.

    The second order of business involves the creatures and their swords. Some study reveals that they appear to be like the cultists, except further developed. They display some of the same features, but seems their whole humanity is gone and they're nothing but monsters anymore. Edmund decides to take the head off one to see if we can learn anything of it (again relying on Nightshade's tanning expertise) and also tests the swords; well, one of them anyways. It produces no discernable effects, so we decide we need to find out what it does to the living and yet, are somewhat unwilling to risk killing each other. Solution? Capture something the next day). Yeah, we did animal tests. Sue us.

    Day 28

    The next day, we (more precisely, Peter being the hunter, etc.) captured a deer, for use with the tests. It was knocked unconscious for ease of testing. It didn't show any effects after the first hit, but few stabs later it seemed to age rapidly. Though aging isn't really the right word; just its...life-force seemed to weaken (in metagame terms, -4 Con). Additional hits slew the creature with no real damage dealt. Peter immediately vowed never to wield one and all four swords were crammed into the wagon. Both, the deer's body and the...wights' (for the lack of better word) bodies were torched to be sure that they are dead for real (at Peter's suggestion, for the first time), and Edmund tried to figure out what chemical does what the swords do to which Peter simply gave a quick, grim reply: "None". Peter was pretty convinced the swords transmitted something like negative energy; of course, Edmund was having none of that and simply decided this was something Peter wasn't familiar with.

    Either way, after those incidents, the party made their way to Nakmar, hiding the grim contents of their wagon and being still greeted as the "winners of the tournament" with free lodgings and dinners all over the place.

    And on that note, we ended the session.


    Observations:
    Spoiler
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    - Yeah, apparently it took just as long at least to get this session done. We've been talking of playing the next Thursday though when Eddie's player is still in town so here's keeping my fingers crossed.
    - We didn't kill any humans (not counting the cultists as humans) this session. Hooray?
    - Lots happened. Also, things got way weirder. And we have a lot of extra work come Waterdawn.
    - Still trying to talk the DM for some extra skill points. At the rate we're picking up new Knowledges and Crafts, we'll barely have any left for the actual skills.
    - Did I say things are getting weird yet?
    - The bodypart crit-system is interesting. Still takes some fine-tuning though; the only time it really mattered was when Peter shot the one cultist in the downstairs, hitting squarely in the forehead with a hit that might not otherwise have been lethal. We'll keep working on it. Also, we're dreading the first time one of the PCs takes a crit to the face.
    - Did I mention no WP damage to the trio this time? Lucky...
    - So many encounters avoided in the temple. Overall, this whole "only fight when necessary and then as unfairly as possible"-thing works really well...at least as long as you don't run into Bearded Samurai.
    - Actually, we captured multiple deers and only later realized we forgot the rest of them. So we left a bunch of deers immobilized in the forest. Woops?
    - Craft: Taxidermy is one of the most-used skills in the party after Hide/Move Silently/Spot/listen
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-04-05 at 08:19 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    It returns! Huzzah!

    The body-part crit system sounds cool (though somewhat frightening). How exactly does it work?

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Quote Originally Posted by Mushroom Ninja View Post
    It returns! Huzzah!

    The body-part crit system sounds cool (though somewhat frightening). How exactly does it work?
    Well, the idea is simply that when WP damage occurs (critical or running outta VP), a d20 is rolled with the following effects:
    1-2 deals damage to the head
    3-6 deals damage to the right arm
    7-10 deals damage to the left arm
    11-13 deals damage to the right leg
    14-16 deals damage to the left leg
    17-20 deals damage to the torso


    We are still working on ironing out the results, but basically, headshot makes the Fort-save to avoid Stun/Dying harder (and applies penalty to spot/listen rolls), left arm...well, applies a penalty to anything involving the left arm (may just make the arm unusable, haven't worked out the details yet), right arm applies a penalty to anything involving the right arm, hit to either leg hampers mobility and again any effect involving said body parts (mostly skill checks like Jump and such), torso-hit means nothing special happens (aside from the normal Fort-save vs. Stun, Fatigue and so on, that is).

    So it's a normal d20 roll with the lower the result, the worse the effect (though legs vs. arms is arguable; it was simply for ease of remembering so it basically scales from the top of the body down). And the harder a body part is to hit, the smaller the hit area for that.

    Head has the smallest, obviously (people usually try to defend their heads), arms and torso have the largest (again, obviously; hardest parts to defend due to size or availability) and legs are in-between (harder to hit with conventional weapons, but harder to defend as well).


    Of course, that's mostly an abstraction anyways so it doesn't have to match perfectly; just well enough to make some sense (for ease of memory and verisimilitude) and to make things work. We're still rolling around with what size category the penalties should generally be, and whether the amount of damage dealt has any bearing on what exactly happens, and whether it takes only one hit or multiple hits to completely disable a bodypart (one idea was that each bodypart has a portion of the creature's total WP but that idea has the problem that WP pool is so small as a rule that it doesn't work).

    This was an experimental run and the hit to the head made the Fort-save pretty much unpassable (DM didn't even bother counting it, he just said "Ok, that's a headshot and he's down to 0 WP, he's pretty dead").

    This all carries the issue of non-humanoid foes though, particularly various aberrations and vermin, but I guess you can just quickly whip something up for them; beholder has 10 eyestalks + torso so that's pretty straight-forward, many Amorphous creatures can't be critted at all, Spider has a frigton of legs so maybe just work something from there, etc.

    We don't really need to worry about that much though; all the creatures we're running into pretty much fall into the same categories (though for animals, the arms generally just become front legs and have leg-penalties instead) so thus far we can roll with just this.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Cute_Riolu's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Wahoo! It's back! :D

    I've loved reading your journal, Eldariel. Keep it up!
    Formerly known as Cariyaga.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Glad to hear there are people reading this. Makes writing it feel somewhat more interesting when it's more than just a memory bank.

    Session 7

    Unfinished Business Vol. 1:
    Spoiler
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    Day 29

    Night in Nakmar was good. We were treated like heroes and thus quite enjoyed our stay. No detail necessary, we wake up very refreshed the day after. The next day we take care of the unfinished business here; a woman of some wealth named Tara Forge had offered a reward for ridding the area of the ogre and actually wanted the thing's head, so we saw to that. Amusingly, both Peter and Edmund manage to roll poor-enough Gather Information that we actually fail to figure out where she lives; Edmund was apparently still a bit drunk and mostly muttered gibberish while Peter spent most of his time translating (successful Aid Another-check). Nightshade got us the info though and thus we headed for Tara's house.

    Once we got there, we realized "house" is quite a bit of an understatement; it lay at the edge of the town and was very easy to recognize once we got there. Not quite a mansion but pretty close, it's quite possibly the largest private building in Nakmar and while not quite as impressive as the wealthy area of Waterdawn, it definitely stood out from the bunch. Knock on the door was answered by a young woman in a fine dress; once we explain our business, she invites us in and leads us to a first floor room in the back where we meet Tara; she looks like an older version of the person guiding us so we figure they're probably related. Both have very delicate features, blue eyes and raven black hair.

    Tara seems to have a strange taste in decorations as numerous Gnome-heads hang from the walls; though given the nature of the creatures in this world, that is sort of understandable. Either way, we get straight down to business; she asks to see the ogre's head and Edmund shows the ugly thing from the sac. Tara's estimate of the creature's looks is less-than-flattering and spot-on; then Edmund and Tara get down to the business of bargaining on the price. They end at 30 gold pieces (remember the currency we use; in standard D&D terms that's 3000 gp) which works fine. Then, when we are just about to leave, Tara asks if we are interested in another task; it's delivering a packet of unknown, but apparently legal and safe, content to a man named Dengo (who happens to be our old acquaintance). We have no reason to turn it down as that's where we are headed to at any rate, and we receive the packet and bid our farewells.

    On that note, we prepare to leave Nakmar. We do some business, selling some extra horses (now that we have the steam engine, we decide to just pull the wagon with it) and purchase a second wagon with lots of wood to fuel the thing. Other shopping is quite miniscule. With that, we set off for Waterdawn preparing for four days' trip.

    Dumbseen Guests (or "My Enemy Is...err, My Friend?"):
    Spoiler
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    Day 30

    First day of traveling is an uneventful, sunny trip with us mostly trying to withstand the noise the damn steam engine makes. We manage though and camp for the night. The night starts off calmly, but at the end of my watch, I hear a noise from behind the steam engine. I immediately wake up Edmund and we sneak from the sides of the machine to the back and see a person covered in black clothes. Peter demands "Who goes there?" to which the person jumps up and tries to run away. Edmund yells "Wake up!" to Nightshade & Peter tries to slow down the escape with Achilles' Heel only managing to deal damage though. Not good. Edmund misses and initiative is rolled, where Edmund wins and sneak attacks for lots. The person...disappears?! Yeah, no trace disappearance...again. Peter runs forward and sees him about 90' ahead (we decided that yes, he can run in a sparse forest, but only at 3/4th the maximum speed).

    Edmund's Fleet of Foot enables him to catch up with the person, who turns and attacks back, hitting Edmund hard with two Daggers that appeared in the person's hands. Peter takes a Destiny Shot (-5 damage, +5 to hit) with Knockout Poison (Drow Poison without Drow in the name) and lands a solid hit. The person fails this Fort-save and falls unconscious. We tie him up and carry him back to the camp, with Nightshade showing up few seconds later.

    As we stop down, turns out "him" is a "her". Our initial questioning (involving first Diplomacy then Intimidate after a friendly slap from Edmund) is met with "screw you" and various profanities. At this point, Edmund wants to torture her, while Peter opposes. This is cut short by a failed Spot-check and her somehow managing to use a strange glass-like spike in her sleeve to sting Peter with a poison, but a natural 20 on Fort-save later, Peter is mostly annoyed. She's knocked unconscious and subjected to Insanity Mist in an attempt to loosen her tongue. We also check her for any additional annoying surprises and find a coin much like the one Peter holds, a second stinger in her other pocket and some daggers along with a parchment, more of the stun poison, some lethal poison and 5 silvers. Edmund tries to Decipher Script the parchment but fails. As she comes to, the new Diplomacy actually succeeds and she explains us she was trying to acquire information on the machine. This is met by a long lecture from us about how she should have just asked.

    Apparently she didn't trust us or something and just isn't very good of her mouth what comes to her replies to our immediate Diplomacy-checks, but honestly, how could it possibly be a good idea to sneak into a camp midnight with guard around and run away when challenged on passage? That's like screaming "I'm here with bad intentions". Any other choice of actions outside plain attacking would've involved no combat whatsoever. We ask her why she attacked us, she says "in self-defense", which makes enough sense but since we didn't even try to harm her, only wanted to detain her to figure out if she was sabotaging the machine, this is just a case of everything going badly wrong.

    After further questioning, she explains that the coin in her pocket is the key to the disappearance trick she pulled; does it with a command word. She also explains she got the coin and learned the secret from a leader of the "Cult of the Black Flame" in a...well, one-sided discussion (much reminiscent of our interrogations), and that the parchment is joining instructions for the said cult, which provoked us to first ask if the black burnmark with horns is their sign, and the "yes" followed by "Don't join it, it's a bad idea because scales, extra fingers and so on"-speech from us...except she manages a "I'm not wanting to join myself, but I'm looking for my sister who's in it" before we really get going. Pity; we even rolled Craft: Disturbing Mental Image for that (and Edmund rolled really well).

    Anyways, after the whole mess is cleared up and she agrees not to run or try to kill us, we untie her. She sticks to her word; shocking. Oh yeah, and she actually tells us her name: Adriana. We buy the coin from her for a couple of gold pieces giving her gear back; Edmund gets on trying it with his machine. We find out it can indeed move even large objects, but that two wagons is too much; one of our wagons is cut in half. Whoops? Anyways, we request her to accompany us to the city to find out more about the coin we own while Edmund can satisfy her thirst for knowledge on the machine. And Peter is interested in trading some trade secrets on the field of poisons. She agrees and we settle in for the night; we try to figure out where she can sleep and she decides she doesn't trust us so she sleeps in Nightshade's tent for the night. Huh? Ooookay. Well, I guess trusting some strangers is easy.

    Rest of the night is uneventful and yeah, we wake up in the morning (we obviously stick to us three guarding as we'd rather not trust her blindly just yet).

    Day 32

    This day is...full of business. First, we do some more testing with the machine and some tree trunks to figure out that the teleportation is limited by mass. Second, we have to fix the wagon that was split in two by the first ill-fated teleportation attempt. So yeah, we don't get any traveling done; this day was spent playing the mechanic. Good thing we invested in that toolkit, eh?

    Night is quite uneventful. We don't even wake up with knife in our bellies (of course, we don't have Adriana watch either so there isn't much of a chance for that).

    Day 33

    We get going. Adriana travels in the steam engine (the cockpit is barely big enough for two people) as Edmund explains basically all about the machine to her. Other than that, it's still noisy and nothing much happens. We get to Galloping Horse and the Hunter's Hut at the end of the day and stay overnight there. We restock on firewood and get to sleep. Nightshade pays for Adriana's room. Nightshade the Slick?

    Day 34

    This day is mostly spent with Peter and Adriana chatting about the various poisons she carries; turns out they're sand scorpion's and sand cobra's poisons, respectively, and she got them in a city named "Baigur" in the south. That's where she got the glass spikes from too; some glassblower had uncovered some ancient secrets that enable manufacturing glass the strength of steel. Convenient.

    Anyways, other than that, the day is quite uneventful and the night is equally surprise-free. Weird.

    Day 35

    Well. Midday, Peter's horse steps into some manner of mole hole or something and breaks its leg. Peter bandages it to best of his ability, but that doesn't really help to get it moving so we throw some firewood away and place the whole damn horse in the wagon. We decide the trip is short enough to just carry it there.

    And then Adriana rides with Nightshade while Peter sits in the machine. After that, we manage until we arrive in Waterdawn.

    Unfinished Business Vol. 2:
    Spoiler
    Show
    We are treated by very freaked-out city guard when we park the steam engine in front of the gates. A Diplomacy-check and promises that it is not harmful and won't wreck the city end up obscenely high. So yeah, we get inside. And in the party Every. Single. Person. epic fails a Spot-check right inside the city.

    We start talking about where to park the damn thing when we find ourselves surrounded by tall men in shining plate armor with swords drawn. Uh, damn? This isn't the city guard. This is the equivalent to national guard; the city military. They order Peter and Edmund to stand down and surrender. Looking back, we see a row of men with Alchemist's Fires on the walls. We keep our cool, spend about two seconds thinking of options. Edmund wants to bolt with the machine, Peter wants to just go with them and figure out what's going on. We end up rolling Initiative to figure out who acts faster; Peter comes out on the top and gets out of the machine before Edmund tries to teleport and...fails? Yeah, it doesn't work. He tries again. Still nothing. Well, that's awkward. He ultimately agrees to surrender too. However, we do manage to slip the chalice and the packet to Nightshade so we'll get by with that.

    We are also disarmed but a hidden Dagger from Edmund remains unseen; they do find the thieves' tools he has hidden along with the Dagger on Peter's person. We both actually have the classic pile of weapons; both managed a pile of 10+ weapon-like pieces of equipment. At least it was impressive. Most of our equipment is We also get a permission to move the steam engine to some parking slot, but we don't escape; far as Peter is concerned, we cannot be charged with something we cannot deal with. See, here's an interesting thing. Peter is educated (has Education-feat) and Knowledge: Local, mostly for identifying humanoids. However, Knowledge: Local also covers local laws. So it just so happens, Peter is an expert on law. I never knew it before, my character is a lawyer. +12 K: Local means he knows basically everything there is to know. Rolling 16 on the check didn't hurt either.

    But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We are detained. We actually skip right through to some high security prison for our detainment; apparently they figure we are pretty dangerous. We also get two guards on our cell door. Then Edmund and Peter are each taken for questioning one at a time. It just so happens though, both know a language that isn't really spoken in these parts so they craft a story. We find out that we are charged with three charges: Two counts of murder in the first degree and smuggling of an artifact suspected to be magical into town. Best of all? Every single one of those carries the penalty of death.

    In private questionings, we are asked of the events of the day when we killed the two assailants who were after our Chalice. More precisely, a noble has expressed distress over the disappearance of two of his servants; apparently some charred body parts were found in some trashpiles. I don't even begin to figure how or why they were searched, but there you go. Edmund mostly remembers being incredibly drunk that day, while Peter mentions they returned the Chalice to Prego Domor. Edmund states they didn't know about the law on magical items (true, though Peter probably does, actually) while Peter states they didn't know the item was magical (also true; they aren't even sure magic exists). Well, not until very recently, at any rate. Both deny the mutilation of the bodies, while both admit to killing the two people (the Inn host had apparently been called for questioning which revealed that the two had returned bloody), but claim self-defense (true...in a way). The guard captain asks why they didn't report the fights, which is a question both admit they can't really explain; it was a combination of being drunk, being dumb and not wanting to deal with the whole messy affair they explain.

    Either way, Peter begins to return to his mind the laws of the land and the roll of 16 allows him to remember a small passage on magical artifacts; specifically, you're allowed to bring one to city for a noble as long as said noble announces it within a month. It's only been couple of weeks, so that's no problem and it's Prego's responsibility anyways. It's an ancient piece from two hundred years ago, but it'll bail the two out on that charge anyways.

    The bigger problem is the two counts of murder. Self-defense is a viable explanation, not to mention true, but what happened to the bodies is a bit harder to explain. We go through various options including sinking some money in the right pockets and blaming somebody the city really wants to get rid of like Decor. Which brings up the problem of how to go about proving we are not related to that. There are "reliable witnesses", which is curious since we didn't see anybody back during the whole affair. But yeah.


    Edmund suggests just breaking out, but Peter points out that that would mean being criminal forever here and being unable to go about our business. For now, our plan is to "win" the trial. And with Peter's lawyerism, and some friends in the nobility, that may just be possible.

    But since it's late, this seems like a nice cliffhanger to end the game at. So that's what we do.


    Observations:
    Spoiler
    Show
    - First mortal danger for the party (well, depending on if you count the gladiator match; it was supposed to be strictly nonlethal but eh, whenever people play with real weapons, there's a chance of very real lethality), and ironically one that won't have anything to do with combat. Heh.
    - We never did find out how the girl and Tara are related. And we forgot to even ask her name. Ah well, I guess it's not that important.
    - Most surprising benefit of Knowledge (Local) ranks ever.
    - First Decipher Script-roll. Whee?
    - That whole mess with Adriana was really...a mess. Her actions didn't really scream "innocent". How could it possibly be a good idea to sneak into a camp midnight and twiddle with a machine you want info on instead of just talking in broad daylight? And when the people demand who you are, why the heck would you swear back? I actually edited out a bit; in-game Edmund cut a toe off her trying to dig out information. He just isn't very good at that. And then Peter sewed it back on in the end (successful Heal-check). Yeah. You can probably understand why I cut that out. But my DM would bother me about it for the rest of the game if I didn't mention it 'cause "it shows Edmund's character". So I'm putting it here. In retrospect, Peter shoulda honestly grappled Edmund or something at that point. But we play with pretty strict "No PvP"-rules, so...
    - Lots of silly, weird and stupid jokes. Of buried horses & wagons, stuff related to tying, etc. And spilled coffee. Turns out shaky table + full cups isn't a good idea. We honestly spent a roll of paper or something.
    - Time to deal with our past actions, eh? If we survive this, chances are we'll have a bit less bloody future. Probably for the best, eh?
    - Notice the DM's post couple of posts back. Foreshadowing much?
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-04-09 at 10:13 AM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    Tier System For Classes & Why Each Class Is In Its Tier - Obligatory Reads Before Balance Discussions

    My apologies if I leave a discussion unfinished. Feel free to PM me anything.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Yorrin's Avatar

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    Default Re: [D&D 3.5] Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World (Low-Magic World, Player's

    Good read!

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