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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    I finally got a group together to try (yet again, longggggg story) to run my "Night below" campaign. Night Below was

    originally a 2nd edition module which I've put a good amount of work into making 3.5 friendly. It is set loosely in the

    dalelands region of the Forgotten Realms.

    It usually starts at 1st level but since two of the five players have been through it at least once (or at least, the first

    few chapters) I let everyone start at level three. The party is as follows (Character name (if I can remmeber it), player name, class, general idea to the build):

    Vicious (Giles) dwarf swordsage 3. Took the fleet of foot feat to have a +10 speed at level one. Is looking at going monk and then shadow sun ninja.

    Janas (Kyle) human Cleric 3 of the neutral aligned FR sea diety (can't remember the name). No idea where this character is going. If I remember correctly, this cleric was handed to him at the last moment (he put off making a character even with two weeks notice) and was originally designed to go into the 'Stormlord' prestige. We'll see if he follows that or does something else.

    ?? (Chris) human variant sorcerer 3 (the name on this guy is so unspeakably fantasy mish mash that I didnt even try). I'm letting him use a slightly modified 'ultimate sorcerer' he linked me to on the web. So far, no complaints.

    Angus Mckillington (Ray) human factotum 3. He took some Font of Inspirations to fuel his factotum abilities. He's looking at going Master of Masks dip (hello, Haberdash!) and then from there he's mostly stated he will ride Factotum. Possibly picking up Knowledge Devotion at 6th (he didnt know about it and pretty much had a joy-gasm when I showed it to him)

    Hild SkarrasDottir (Ambre) Mystic Ranger 3. This is the build I know the most about as she is my girlfriend after all. The plan so far is mystic ranger 4/scout 1 (to use swift hunter to buff her archery) and then Stalker of Karash 2. From there into Lion of Talesid for the cool ranger/druid abilities and flavor. I'm letting her 'animal cohort' feat count for the 'animal companion' requirement for when she finally goes into lion.


    The swordsage and Sorc travel together and have adventured in the past. They flag down a messenger in the colors of the local leadership and hear that there is a meeting at the town up the road. Bad things are happening. Being in need of cash and a bit of glory, they hoof their way to town. The crowd of concerned citizens outside the town hall part to let the local count through, and not ones to waste an opening, they follow right in behind him like they own the place. Unknownst to them, the Factotum (with some nice hide and move silent checks) comes in right on their heels as if he's with them the whole time.

    Inside, the Janas and Hild are already watching the pow wow of local mayors, wizards and clerics. Janas (through some quick off the cuff roleplay from Vicious) is revealed as a former adventuring buddy. Hild is actually a native of the region, born in Shadowdale to adventuring parents. She has been sent to let the locals know that Shadowdale too, has experienced similar
    troubles to the local area.

    These troubles consist of many people who have gone mysteriouly missing in the last few months. The local rangers (once five in number, now down to three from losses) have sighted increasingly large and well organized groups of orcs and on at least one occasion, Clerics of Cyric. The Swordsage and Sorc graciously offer their assistance. The count addresses them as 'You
    three look like solid enough fellows' at which point they both in character do doubletakes and go 'three?'. Only then do they realize the Factotum has been standing there the whole time.

    The cleric is brought along as a former companion, the Factotum basically fast talks his way into coming along, and Hild is included as a representative of local interests. One of the local rangers, Cooper (ranger 6) volunteers to escort them to the first of the suspicious sites the Count wants checked out; the ruins of his former families keep. Just before they leave, the
    Factotum artfully brings up the idea of compensation, and arranges some gold for their trouble.

    The trip to the keep is uneventful. The party carefully scout the outside from the slightly overgrown cleearing around it and notice that for an abandoned keep, it is in remarkably good repair... including what looks to be am all but new wooden gate.

    They manage to spot what might be a man moving carefully in the single watchtower, hard to say from over a hundred yards off in fading light.

    They have a brief encounter with the mysterious local druid, flanked by her pair of huge wolves. Some tense negotiations follow and they acquire a little more information; mainly, an idea of how many people their facing and that a cleric of Cyric is quite possibly present. They creep forward toward the gate, the Mystic Ranger in a 'Camouflage' spell. At random, I had the sentry at the gate open up the peephole and peer out. He didn't actually see the party in the dim light, but the Swordsage decided their cover was blown and charge forward, using Shadow Jaunt to get inside the gate with the guard.

    The Mystic Ranger swings wide, thinking to climb the tower to get a view of the courtyard. The NPC ranger stays back at the tree line and snipes with his bow. The others crowd the gateway. Inside, a brief tussle ends with the Swordsage using a Setting sun maneuver to catapult the poor squeeling guard over the gate like a sack of bricks. He lands outside directly in front of the Factotum who Coup De Graces.

    The Mystic Ranger continues her circle around to the watchtower. The rest of the party follow the Swordsage after he unbars the gate. The Factotum hits the Swordsage with a UMD'd 'enlarge person' wand as two nearby doors open and guards start looking to see what the racket is. Instead of a stealthy picking off of a few outlying rooms before the place wakes up, the
    party finds themselves in a long, drawn out fight against the entire force inside.

    The Sorc keeps chipping away with low level spell like abilities (one of the key points of this alt version), doing small but steady amounts of damage. The Enlarged Swordsage goes on a minor rampage of manuevers, essentially 'tanking' the fight. The Cleric and Factotum chip in where they can, giving support. The Mystic ranger is still circling and climbing. Luckily for her, the Ranger in the treeline manages to pick off the guard in the tower.

    Multiple low level fighters, rogues, and war-dogs later, the party has ground their way through the cannon fodder. The Swordsage has expended all his moves and all the charges on his healing belt. A door at the end of the courtyard opens, but no one comes out. The factotum tries an amazingly brazen bluff. With no more warning to the cleric then 'play along' he knocks her to her knees and puts a dagger to her throat, and tries to convince the bad guys that he's joining up. Too bad he rolled a '2' on that bluff check...

    Eventually the Swordsage takes the bait and goes through the door, getting attacks of oppurtunity from the two higher level rogue leaders inside and flanking the door. They spot multiple zombies as well. The Cleric pushes inside and manages to wrest control of two of the undead, then fails a check trying to vault onto the large table and goes prone.

    The things get ugly. The Cyric cleric drops his invisibility (trickery domain spell) and tries to Hold Person Janas, who makes a save. The Mystic Ranger slips down from the roof to try and get some shots in. Zombies and rogues try to take down the Swordsage but he's surviving admirably.

    The Cyric cleric hits Janas with a Cause Serious... and she fails the save. She goes down in a heap (-6). Outside, hearing the fight turn desperate, the Mystic Ranger preps a Hunter's Mercy spell. The Factotum manages to wing the cleric with a Targetting Ray.

    The swordsage shrugs off attacks of oppurtunity to get close enough to threaten if anyone tries to finish Janas off. The Mystic Ranger five foot steps into the doorway and **just** makes the shot, exactly matching the evil clerics AC. Automatic critical and the cleric is hurt bad. He tries to cast defensively for a Domain Spontaneous Invisibility... and fails. The Swordsage simply smiles as he scythes the poor bastard down.

    They mop up the remaining opposition and we call game for the night. I think I gave them a decent challenge: the swordsage used every single move he had and his healing belt, the factotum ran out of inspiration points, and the cleric was slammed down into negatives. Two weeks from now they'll go into the lower levels for a little trap busting, looting, and more clues as to why so many people are being kidnapped.

    The party, through the sheer number of people they slammed through and bonus exp for roleplaying actually level to four. Swordsage picks up a Monk level, the others all focus on their previous classes.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfell View Post
    Janas (Kyle) human Cleric 3 of the neutral aligned FR sea diety (can't remember the name). No idea where this character is going. If I remember correctly, this cleric was handed to him at the last moment (he put off making a character even with two weeks notice) and was originally designed to go into the 'Stormlord' prestige. We'll see if he follows that or does something else.
    In order to qualify for Stormlord, you'd have to be a worshipper of Talos. He's distinctly not "neutral" — he's CE. I suppose a cleric could be CN, but the whole point of the faith of Talos is destruction — often the random kind. Not entirely out of keeping with being an adventurer, I suppose, but not necessarily conducive to a long-term campaign like Night Below.

    So I'm not sure who the "neutral aligned FR sea deity" would be.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    dsmiles's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnVan View Post
    So I'm not sure who the "neutral aligned FR sea deity" would be.
    Valkur is the god of sailors. And allows any non-evil for clerics. Close enough?
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    the actual name (now that I'm awake enough to search out where it is), is 'Istishia' true neutral God with the portfolio of 'Elemental water, purification' and the listed domains of Destruction, ocean, storm, travel and water. He's the water elemental version of the FR fire elemental diety, Kossuth.

    Page 98 of Faiths and Pantheons. Also mentioned in the few pages that list FR gods in the FRCS (which I apparently left at the gaming location ). Looking over the Stormlord Prestige in Com. Divine, it doesnt mention an alignment requirement. So if he really wants to, I could see letting him try it out. I've never gamed with him before, but he went out of his way to tell me I ran a great game.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    dsmiles's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfell View Post
    the actual name (now that I'm awake enough to search out where it is), is 'Istishia' true neutral God with the portfolio of 'Elemental water, purification' and the listed domains of Destruction, ocean, storm, travel and water. He's the water elemental version of the FR fire elemental diety, Kossuth.

    Page 98 of Faiths and Pantheons. Also mentioned in the few pages that list FR gods in the FRCS (which I apparently left at the gaming location ). Looking over the Stormlord Prestige in Com. Divine, it doesnt mention an alignment requirement. So if he really wants to, I could see letting him try it out. I've never gamed with him before, but he went out of his way to tell me I ran a great game.
    Yeah, the one in CD is just a little different from the original FR Stormlord. And I came across that deity as well, and thought about it, but you said "the sea," and Valkur or Umberlee were the obvious choices on that one. I just went with the less evil choice.

    EDIT: By the way, I'm updating this campaign for 4e. YAY! It's one of my favorite published campaigns. Right next to ToEE and Undermountain.
    Last edited by dsmiles; 2010-08-30 at 09:48 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
    Awesomesauce Doctor WhOotS-atar by Ceika!

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    Valkur is the god of sailors. And allows any non-evil for clerics. Close enough?
    Istishia had come to mind, but, like you, the "sea" thing threw me, along with Stormlord.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfell View Post
    *snip*
    Looking over the Stormlord Prestige in Com. Divine, it doesnt mention an alignment requirement. So if he really wants to, I could see letting him try it out. I've never gamed with him before, but he went out of his way to tell me I ran a great game.
    But it does require the PC to have Talos as a patron god, unless you're playing in a game where he doesn't exist. Since you're in the Realms...

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    That's the kind of requirement a nice DM tends to waive off, or refluff. Especially since it needs two subpar and one useless feats.

    Easy enough with a deity with storm in his portfolio.

    Keep going, campaign journal are a cool read

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Pretty much what I thought. "Close enough for government work". Keeping him neutral keeps him in the party (I generally disallow any evil characters or poorly played CN's) and lets him do something cool.

    edit: sadly, next session isn't until sept 10th... we're playing every **other** (edit) friday for the time being.
    Last edited by Greyfell; 2010-08-30 at 08:06 PM. Reason: did I mention my syntax sucks when I'm tired?

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanReiv View Post
    That's the kind of requirement a nice DM tends to waive off, or refluff. Especially since it needs two subpar and one useless feats.

    Easy enough with a deity with storm in his portfolio.
    I can roll with a refluff, although, it should be noted that Istishia doesn't have storms or destruction in his portfolio. Faith & Avatars does, however, include the Church of the Magnificent Storm among the sects of the Istishian faith:

    "The Church of the Magnificent Storm believes in the cleansing power of Istishia. In its eyes, Istishia washes away the impurities of both the land and sea and purifies the air. “Stormers,” as they are known, always try to be present during thunderstorms and other severe weather." p.79

    The role-playing question should be obvious for this campaign — why would a person who apparently finds thunderstorms to be among the most fascinating things in life choose to spend a significant period of time underground, where he can't experience them?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanReiv View Post
    Keep going, campaign journal are a cool read
    Concurred. Particularly for Night Below.
    Last edited by CapnVan; 2010-08-31 at 03:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Perhaps he's a stormy missionary? Here to bring the glory of thunderstorms to a land that's never experienced them?
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    Thumbs up Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    I have fond memories of DMing this waaay back when in our 2E days. We only ever got halfway through, unfortunately. My group absolutely loved this module.

    I'll be keeping an interested eye on this thread.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    I'm hoping I can keep this going. This is actually the third or fourth attempt at running this for me. I've yet to have anyone make it to the end of book two (the kua toa city) of the three.

    I keep having parties whose players have serious out of game issues that sort of evaporate our player strength...

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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    I have fond memories of DMing this waaay back when in our 2E days. We only ever got halfway through, unfortunately. My group absolutely loved this module.

    I'll be keeping an interested eye on this thread.
    If you're interested, I'll let you know when I finish my 4e conversion.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-to-effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Session Two: Loot phase enabled!

    The party cleans up the debris from the last fight and starts to loot the bodies. Careful exploration of the downstairs levels of the keep finds a desecrated altar/prayer room to Tyr, a small cell block with one very scared acolyte of Lathander, and a hidden room with a treasure chest. The factotum manages to avoid several glyphs, a poison needle on the lock.... and then flings the chest open and gets hit by a cold damage blast glyph.

    A brief side jaunt finds a garbage pit with a carrion crawler ( huge, huge props to the Factotum player here for not meta gaming. Having run this module with me before, he KNEW it was there... and his character walked right up with a torch and peered into the garbage pit/well to see what was there. No metagaming at all. ) The factotum gets paralyzed, but the swordsage/monk and mystic ranger managed to dispatch the critter swiftly after the ambush. Who knew even a dwarf swordsage could grapple and throw even a large abberration?

    A very, very careful search finally finds another secret door. Inside are the clerics quarters, lavishly furnished in silks, wild animal furs and stocked with expensive booze. The furnishings are worth a LOT but very very bulky. They get left behind for the time being. What interests them more is the glyph trapped (sword sage ate another cold glyph pulling it out) flat chest under the bed. Gold, expensive jewelry, a very expensive looking key wrapped in silk, and two vials with strange glyphs on them that smell nasty and fishy when opened.

    There's a door leading down into the underdark off the bedroom, but the party after a LOT of arguing decides to pull back to town, rest, sell some loot and pick up some spells etc. A lot of checking and expensive divination spells later, they know that the glyphs on the fishy vials are aboleth writing, praising something that roughly translates to 'Our great bloody mother of the oceans'.

    They make their way back to the keep... the ranger finds fresh tracks outside leading in. In the bedroom, the giant bed and other furnishings they barricaded the door with have been shoved aside and some of the pelts and silks taken. Someone has obviously been through. The party goes down the stairs into the upperdark. Miles of trudging later, they come across a huge cavern, with a massive (40' high) set of double bronze doors at one end.

    Things almost get messy here. The Factotum knocks and tries some insane bluffing to try to convince whatevers inside to let them in. The replies are in orcish, and the Dwarf sword-monk starts getting hot under the collar. He has a serious hatred for orcs. He starts calling them out in orcish, gnashing his teeth, clanging his short sword on the thick bronze. Eventually the party drags him off, muddling the back trail to keep pursuit off them.

    The sorcerer notices there are two keyholes, one for each door, and that the large key from the keep would most likely fit. But they only have one key....

    They find the other end of the passages and the sword monk sneaks up to investigate voices heard ahead. He sees one heavily armed and armored figure discussing something about 'shipments' and 'passing them off to the orcs'. Assuming this is the next group of slavers, he immediately retreats and tries to urge the party to attack.

    The factototum argues (in character, these two are like a violent Laurel and Hardy I swear...) that he's jumping to conclusions. The ranger makes an insanely high, lucky spot check, and sees a small form skulking away from the meeting. The combat starts as the ranger snap shoots and pegs a fleeing halfling in leather armor.

    The party rush out of the tight confines of the cave. Their holding light sources and the enemy are not... so the first few rounds are them getting sniped from the darkness. Two halfling rogues slip out of the shadows and flank the sorcerer, who survives the sudden backstab attempts with miraculously minor damage.

    The heavily armored one is a bastard sword/spiked shield fighter who starts hammering on anyone in reach. A little further back, a cleric of cyric and a cloaked mysterious figure manuever in a little closer. The cloaked figure suddenly breaths out a cone of cold type affect, which includes the allied rogues, the sorcerer and the swordsage.

    THe swordsage runs in close to the robe figure and the cleric. The factotum gets a faceful of charging bastard sword fighter, gets wounded but is stil up. The rogues continue to try and knife down the sorc. The party cleric Janus casts bless, then follows it up next round with a silence centered on... the swordsage. He even yells before hand, "Vicious! Trust me!"

    Suddenly the already dangerous swordsage is jamming up TWO enemy casters. I had to make a few judgement calls here considering the background of the two people in question. The swordsage watches in amazement as the robed form BACKS AWAY, hands up in a 'not me' gesture. He glances over to the cleric of Cyric, who is PISSED by this, trying to yell something and not being heard do to silence.

    The factotum withdraw action's away from the dangerous fighter. The cleric gets the next attack and gets roughed up but survives do to the new suit of full plate they scavanged off the last evil cleric they fought. The sword sage turns away from the robed figure and starts a massive grapple on the cyric cleric. The mystic ranger this whole time is plinking with her bow and throwing a spell here and there. Flare, Curse of the impending blades, etc.

    The enemy fighter shrugs off two charms, a doom spell and just keeps wailing into anyone in reach. The robed figure retreats back into the shadows. Ther cyric cleric is annihilated by the swordsage/monk in the grapple... especially after the factotum manages to 'enlarge' him again. The halfling rogues are cut down.

    The enemy fighter faces off with the swordsage and after **several rounds** of going toe to toe and the party chipping in to help their tank, finally goes down. The party breathes a sigh of relief. From the shadows a voice starts chanting the words to a 'stinking cloud' (sorc spellcrafted and ID'd it) which then STOPS in the middle of casting. A voice calls out, "I wish to negotiate."

    The party wearily starts to parlay with the robed figure who stands at the very edges of their torch light. She explains that she has been enslaved up to this point by the cleric of Cyric, forced by cursed magic bracelets that she wears to obey his orders. His spoken orders.... when the silence affect hit she saw her chance.

    IN exchange for freeing her, she'll give them the command word for an odd, house shaped magic item in the evil clerics pack. The party realizes she's a silver half-dragon, normally a good aligned creature.

    The party doesnt have access to the powerful magic they;ll need, but luckily the players atkle good notes and remember that in the beginning, there was a local cleric of Lathander who wanders the area checking on the local shrines. Some negotiations and smooth talking later, they've freed the half-dragon who gladly gives them the command words to the little hut statue. This is one of the more amusing items in the module, it can be turned into a full size cottage (20 X 30 or so) once per week for 9 hours, and things can be stored in it like a bag of holding with a smaller weight limit. Inside is the missing loot from the fight, kept safe until this point. THis includes another key which matches the one from the other enemy cleric... they've found the pair of keys needed for the bronze doors.

    The party, after some story award exp's and some bonuses for good roleplaying, are very close to 5th level. I design a fight off the cuff to get them there as I know that if they crack open those bronze doors right now, they'll likely get wiped out by the dozens upon dozens of orcs, spellcaster support and class level 'champions' waiting for them.

    The problem with this small skirmish is I picked a set of monsters that the party **could not hurt**. Yeth hounds. Three of the five party members run from the howling (Ranger, Sor, cleric). I decide that the running will only be for the minimum duration (2 rounds) as I really dont want to wipe the party. The swordsage climbs a tree to get a better look at the flying creatures, gets swarmed, and manages to grapple one and fall out of the tree with it.

    This is a messy, nasty fight. The swordsage manages to survive (with help of yet another, you guessed it, enlarge spell from the UMD using factotum) and even injure slightly, the hounds as the party shakes off the 'run away' vibe and starts sprinting back to aid them. The factotum also chucks in an ice knife spell to try and wear them down.

    The rest of the party manage to get back into range. The mystic ranger doesnt have clear bow shots but starts chipping away with every spell she can think of even if it's a minor one. The cleric runs in and does a Girallon Blessing on the already enlarged dwarf, giving him extra arms and claws. Even at large size, he'd been rolling lucky to hold the Yeth hounds in grapple... suddenly it wasn't a problem. The rend ability it grants also finally allows him to start pounding through the DR 10/silver. The sorc keeps chipping away sniper like with his magic missiles.

    The factotum stays out of the way. He's primarily an archer right now, and he has no silver arrows and not enough damage to punch through. The party eventually grinds the hounds down and wins. I pointedly tell the two archers (mystic ranger and factotum) that they really need to drop some of the pretty nice chunk of cash they've gotten so far on some silver, cold iron, etc arrows or even some +1 arrows for the future. Archery against DR is a bad idea.

    The party at end of session (I gave them just enough EXP to level the lowest total character (some are a little ahead because of 'good roleplaying' bonuses I give out):

    dwarf Sword sage 3/monk 2
    Human Mystic ranger 4/scout 1
    lesser asimar Sorcerer 5
    Human cleric 5
    Human Factotum 5

    Two weeks until the next update. I full expect they'll try to crash the entire orc cavern.... this may be a seriously gross dog fight if their not careful.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Session Three: Rise of the Orc-crusher

    The party fall back to town to regroup, rest and most importantly, rearm. Several characters upgrade their weaponry. The factotum, in preparation for next levels Master of Masks dip, starts collecting some of the less esoteric of his shopping list of wierd exotic weaponry: a net and lasso.

    The ranger gets a +1 bow to go with her 1d6 skirmish from her scout dip. She also picks up some more arrows to replace her expenditures, as well as some silver tipped ones just in case.

    The player of the cleric has dropped out, so everyone who can picks up healing belts and cure light wands to keep the party up on their healing. The Factotum also has Oppurtunistic Piety now, so healing is still fairly well covered.

    Rearmed and ready for the next battle, the descend to the giant brass doors. The two matching keys they found work, and the doors are unlocked. Vicious, once again enlarged by the Samuel's enlarge perosn wand and UMD, thrusts the doors open and leads the charge into the very dark room full of orcs. The swordmonk throws himself forward into the fray bravely and recklessly. The rest of the party try and sit back a ways and use the dwarf's glowing magic short sword as a beacon to shoot into the dark room.

    Orcs keeping pouring out of the stonework and darkness. Vicious pushes forward into the growing fight, trying to stop two wounded orcs who yell something about 'getting the chieftan'. He kills one but the other slips past. His darkvision shows the two main passages leading into the huge cavern.

    The mystic ranger wings a light spelled arrow into a dark corner and keeps pushing arrows down range as she shifts forward into skirmish range. The extra d6 for skirmish makes her positively lethal to these orc grunts, she almost never misses and 9 times out of ten, her targets are going down (orcs with 9 hp).

    The players wolf is from her 'animal cohort' feat so not as powerful as her usual druid companion. She'd ordered it to hide out at the beginning of the fight, but at the parties urging the ranger calls for her faithful companion, and Kara emerges from the shadow of the brass gates and starts to take her toll as well of the grunts.

    Two more waves come in from the side passages, one a mob of the same orc tribesmen they've been fighting, and the other a chieftan, along with an imposing fully armored figure on a large lizard, two spellcaster looking types and eight more better armored orcs. The Sorc has range and drops two web spells as fast as he can, bottlenecking them before they can break out into the main cavern and surround the valiant swordmonk in an orc sandwich of doom. This turns out to be the key move of the whole fight, turning what would have been a massive charge by 20+ orcs and leaders into dribs and drabs as they slowly break lose from the web spells.

    The chieftan rages and breaks free, charging the swordmonk. However, charging an enlarged **anything** with monk levels is never a good idea... the poor chieftan is grabbed, grappled, bearhugged for significant damage and then simply dropped prone at the swordmonks feet. The lizard rider breaks free and advances as well. The Factotum, Mystic ranger and her wolf start mopping up the grunts that weren't caught in any web spells.

    The dwarf looses his enlarge affect, and tries to move out of the fight for a quick breather. The lizard rider takes him down in one stroke, leaving him at -1 from a massive blow from an icy greatsword. The rider also tries to Tasha's laughter the Sorc, but his various feats and abilities (he's taken some of the fey heritage feats, including one that makes him really hard to hit with mind affecting stuff) let him shake it off easily.

    The factotum bravely dashes in and uses his Opp. Piety to heal the dwarf. Unfortunately, due to the init. order, the dwarf doesnt have a chance to stand up as the rider lines up on the factotum and starts to charge. The dwarf, prone, reaches out to grapple (we actually paused to make sure he could still do that while prone within reach of the path of the charge)... and somehow manages to grapple the large lizard, stopping the charge cold.

    The sorc uses his enlarge spell on the now revived dwarf and the battle really tips in the parties favor. The sorc follows up soon after with a burning hands spell into the web, taking down many of the still trapped orcs. The two adepts, finally free of the webs, go down fairly quickly, thoiugh they give the party a few scary moments with scorching ray, touch of fatigue, invisibility and mirror image.

    The fighting winds down, and the party start to loot. At least two of the orcs got away down a passage further into the underdark. They find a young dwarf captive nicknamed 'Snagger' who thanks them for freeing him from the orcs before they started up a batch of dwarf stew. He fills them in, letting them know that this is indeed where all the missing and kidnapped people have passed through, carried down further into the depths by Mind Flayers escorted by Kuo-toas.

    The party after lengthy debate, forts up in one of the side passages for a night of rest. During the middle watch, the swordmonk is surprised by the appearence of first one, and then almost a dozen deep gnomes. A brief session of pilote interrogation ensues as they try to feel out what the dwarf stands for and who or what he serves. Satisfied enough for the time being, they warn the dwarf that the illithids are two days away, before dissappearing into the gloom.

    the party rouses themselves the next morning and do a flying run back to town to sell off some loot and do some more euipment upgrades. The rescued dwarf doesn't go back to the caves with them, saying that he has clan business to take care of. He does ask them to look him up the next time their in town, to see if they can use a hand.

    On the way back to the caverns, they encounter a winter wolf leading five worgs. The mystic ranger is happy, she finally has some magical beasts to use her favorite enemy status on.

    This went swiftly as it was mostly just a quick pickup fight to get the party bumped up to 6th level in preperation for the mind flayer encounter to come. At the end of the fight we called the session and let the characters debate what to do with their new 6th level feats and options...

    Party as of now:

    Vicious, Dwarf Swordsage 3/monk 2/shadow sun ninja 1
    Samuel, Human Factotum 5/Master of Masks 1
    'Seph', lesser aasimar sorcerer (variant) 6
    Hild, human Mystic ranger 4/scout 1/Stalker of Kharash 1
    I play bards a LOT in 3/3.5... keep this in mind when I post answers to questions :)

    Running the Night Below (old 2nd edition module) adapted to 3.5, heres the journal:

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=166334 (game now defunct sadly)


    Now running, Red hand of Doom in Forgotten Realms
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219147

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Session Four: And then there were three....

    The party heads down to the cleared-out orc caverns to ready themselves for the arrival of the Illithid slaving squad. The party expresses some amused looks as I draw the cavern out and it really doesnt match what I drawed flor the last encounter (I drew it from memory for the previous session, and quite frankly, got it really wrong. This time I used a players laptop and made sure of my map).

    KNowing the enemy were coming at any time, the ranger used an 'Alarm' and 'Snare' spell to give them advance warning, targetting the area just outside the stairs that led further into the underdark. The party hid further back down the passage ways, trusting on the spells to give them notice of when to attack.

    The plan works, but unfortunately the first creature through is not an Illithid, but rather a Derro. The crossbow armed derro is snared up into the air, giggling maniacly. It's three friends stop and stare in wonder.

    The Swordmonk rushes down the passage to engage. The Factotum sends his Dancing Lantern down to bullseye the stair case in bright light. Overall the party advances, the swordmonk in front, followed by the factotum. The Sorc and Mystic Ranger hang back and try to give ranged support, but do close the range somewhat (for one thing, the Mystic ranger now has +2d6 skirmish and needs to get to that 30ft sweet spot so she can pound in the damage)

    The swordmonk engages the hanging Derro. It's three friends shoot into melee and seem very amused (hey, their crazy!) by hitting their buddy instead of the twisting, evading dwarf. MOre figures appear at the head of the stairs, oddly shaped fish/frog men... (Kua Toa)

    The Sorc tries to spam his ever reliable magic missiles... and is for the first time, brought up short. Derro have Spell Resistance.. it's not much. But whenyour rolling really low on caster level checks, it's enough. The first several volleys fizzle on the hides of these unusual opponents. The Factotum and Ranger pop in arrows as best as possible.

    The swordmonk, realizing that the expected mind flayers must be following the grunts up the stairway, initiates a grapple on a Kua toa and then manhandles it down into its friends to plug the narrow staircase. Shortly after he uses a Swordsage manuever to bull rush through the startled fishmen and into the forward mind flayer.

    He's incredibly hard to hurt, almost as hard to affect with spells or Psionics.... and one flayer doesnt even try. Instead, it psionic Dimension Doors out to mess with the rest of the party.

    The opposing cannon fodder are just that, cannon fodder. The party rips into them pretty handily. THe Mind Flayer out in the passage way lets rip with a mind blast... and manages to stun the Mystic Ranger's Animal Cohort. The wolf stares into space, swaying slightly in place.

    Soon it's down to the two mind flayers. The one in the hall gets netted by a invisible Factotum (he tried to Blinding Color Surge the illithid, but couldnt beat it's SR. However, it still turns him invisible). In the next few rounds it also gets lasso'd showered with arrows, and eventually finished off with the Factotums +1 Frost great sword. The second is grappled by the desperate swordmonk (he wasnt enlarged so actually the flayer had a point better grapple mod, but he got lucky) and dragged out towards the rest of the party.

    He releases it in a corner, the theory being that he and the Factotum can beat it senseless and it won't easily slip past them. IT manages a mind Blast which stuns pretty much everyone except those two. THe fighters keep pounding. The flayer, low on HP and facing two dangerous opponents, aims an augmented Mind Thrust at the one it hasnt tried to hurt yet.... the Factotum (the dwarf had shrugged off SEVERAL powers already in the fight).

    He fails his Will save.

    I ask him "How many HP do you have?"

    The player looks me in the eye. "Don't pull the punch Jason."

    54 damage later, the Factotum was dead, dead, dead and the Illithid was torn apart by the Dwarf. Major props to the Factotum player for sticking to his guns. He's p[layed in campaigns with DM's who are highly, highly reluctant to kill a PC, hence his demand for me not to fudge the killing shot.

    The party loots and runs for town. The encounter the rescued dwarf, who introduces them to a new friend of his, Glangdin (I think thats it) a Dwarf Paladin (the factotum players new character, actually pal 5/crusader 1 going into Hammer of Moradin asap).

    (The paladin, having a free feat laying about, is conviced to take leadership and picks up the rescued dwarf, a fighter 4, as his new cohort).

    So at end of session (they didnt level this time, not even close) we have

    Monk/swordsage/shadowsun ninja
    Crusader/Paladin
    Sorceror
    Mystic ranger/scout/stalker of Karash and her Animal Cohort
    and the Dwarf fighter 4 as the Cohort to the paladin.
    I play bards a LOT in 3/3.5... keep this in mind when I post answers to questions :)

    Running the Night Below (old 2nd edition module) adapted to 3.5, heres the journal:

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=166334 (game now defunct sadly)


    Now running, Red hand of Doom in Forgotten Realms
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219147

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dust's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Canada, Eh!

    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfell View Post
    I ask him "How many HP do you have?"

    The player looks me in the eye. "Don't pull the punch Jason."
    *doublebumps fist to chest, extends it outward like a goofy-looking highschooler*
    Mad props indeed.

    Another humble request that you keep up the journal, this is awesome.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Campaign Journal: The 'Night Below' module.

    Just saw this, very interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi View Post

    DM says: WHY!? WHY!? WHY?!
    DM means: NO! NO! NO!!!
    Player hears: GOOD JOB PLAYER! DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN!
    Pokemon Y, friend code 0146-9846-5809

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