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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Red Hand of Doom (FR setting) Campaign Journal

    Started Red Hand of Doom for the first time tonight! Woohoo!! Going with my usual Forgotten Realms setting, placing Elsir Vale near the Shining South.


    Party as of first session (player name and character):

    Jim V, 1/2 orc (? dont remember/forgot to ask lol) Fighter 3/knight 3. Yeah, I know odd levels of fighter are bad, but he's a very very solid player who wanted to play a tactically focused tank/melee guy as a change from his usual. Bastard sword and shield

    Chris T. dwarf Homebrew ToB -esque class 6. Basically mix equal parts kensai and swordsage. This is the third time I believe that this character concept is being run as a test of how balanced it is. So far it has no trouble keeping up with the knight as both a damage dealer and tank. Crit fishing with a falchion

    Ray M. human Cleric 5 (Red Knight)/combat medic 1. Another very very experienced player, who for reasons that completely elude me., has decided to purposefully turn his character into an uber-healbot. So far the party has been overpowering encounters so well that he's been doing more buffing and smashing, rather then healing.

    Dan F. human Sorceror 6. Player who hasn't played for quite some time. Blaster/battlefield control with the Storm Bolt reserve feat and the dungeonscape ACF "spell shield".

    Sam A. halfing Bard 6. Loves bards, so far is content to Song of Courage support and skill monkey.


    The party rolls the initial encounter "Marauder attack" with no problems whatsoever, even with augmented hellhounds (draconic with multi attack instead of track). The swordsage uses "Step of the wind" stance to get around the heavy brush and close quickly. The Knight purposefully draws both hellhounds onto himself and with a lucky string of criticals, downs them swiftly. The sorcerer secures four survivors as captives with a well placed web. Some intimidate and other manipulation later gets some basic information from them. The party drags the captives with them to Drellin's Ferry.

    Good roleplay as the party uses their captives (an obvious sign of fighting the raiders and winning) and the Bard's diplomacy skills to get in good with the leaders of Drellin's Ferry. They sell what loot they can (the town has a very limited cash amount, so it's not a whole lot) and donate much of the extra mundane items to the local militia. Having slain the Redhand cleric and finding his Holy Symbol of Tiamat, they advise the town speaker that his troubles might be more menacing then a simple string of raids by hobgoblin raiders. The party is hired on by the town to scout the local area and see how bad the trouble is. The barter for payment, and recieve a promise of 500 GP each, along with being supplied horses and a decent map of the area.

    The captain of the town guard advises them to seek Jorr (a local shady character) in the swamps. While tracking down Jorr, the party encounters a hydra waiting in ambush near a mossy old bridge. The two least observant party members (knight and cleric) actually spot the hydra hiding with some ridiculously lucky rolls, while the other party members who actually have some ranks in Spot fail to see it for quite some time.

    The party advances cautiously and the two tanks eventually draw the creature out of the water. The swordsage takes a single nip, but soon after the knight takes three almost maximum damage bites, dealing severe damage but he strikes back hard as well. The Sorcerer pours in some ranged fire support (Melf's and Magic Missile), and just before the hydra would have a chance to move away and do some healing, the Swordsage rushes in and lands a brutal Mountain Hammer Strike to bring it down.

    A good bit of roleplay later (and the knight using his handle animals skill) gets them a friendly Jorr to guide them through the swamp and help them find and eliminate goblins and Hobgoblins. We wrap for the night.


    observations:

    The two tank characters (knight and swordsage) got a ridiculous number of criticals this session, even taking into account that the swordsage has a 15-20 crit with his falchion. Both of them also have an Armor Class in the low twenties (full plate plus dex and/or minor protective items that stack) and only a really good string of lucky rolls allowed even the hydra to do any serious damage.

    Also, the Swordsage's "step of the wind" has allowed him to completely ignore the difficult terrain the module seems fond of using to slow down the party. His ability to close with Red Hand grunts and one shot them has sped up the encounters immensely for the party.


    Plans:

    I will definitely beef up the forces at Vraath Keep. Koth's spells will be better chosen, he'll have the Spell Shield ACF, and his minotaur sub commander will be a boar totem barbarian with some armor. I'm debating some sort of lower level bard and/or marshal leader type to help the HobGoblin grunts have some chance in melee.
    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

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Red Hand of Doom (FR setting) Campaign Journal

    Session Two: Clear the Keep


    Delean, 1/2 orc (? dont remember/forgot to ask lol) Fighter 3/knight 3.

    Tellendril dwarf Homebrew ToB -esque class 6. I refer to this character as a 'swordsage' but he's really a mixture of a

    swordsage-ish character and a kensai in one.

    Sir Gilliam, human Cleric 5 (Red Knight)/combat medic 1.

    Roswen, human Sorceror 6.

    Togen, halfing Bard 6.

    Vincent, Gnome illusion/master specialist etc total of level 6 (this guy says he's going into shadowcraft mage, I'm probably

    going to tell him no, we'll see how effective he is)




    The party, with Jorr in the lead scouting for danger, heads for Vraath keep. On the way, they rescue a gnome from a pair of worg

    riding goblins (Giles, a new player with a gnome illusionist). One rider and worg go down, and then the second rider. The last

    worg takes off at full speed trying to warn the keep, and gets taken out by a ridiculously lucky longbow shot by the sword-sage

    character.

    The group advances on the Keep. Jorr reads the tracks going to and fro around the entrance, and confirms there are a lot of

    humanoids and a minotaur (by the tracks). The group creeps forward as stealthily as they can (several people are NOT built for

    this what so ever), and enter the southern gatehouse through the shattered front wall. It's going fairly smoothly... until

    Delean opens the door to the manticore's lair and starts a fight. He gets spiked several times (one a critical) but he shakes it

    off and moves in.

    Gilliam casts Elation, Vincent goes Haste, Togen begins Inspire courage. Terrendil and Delean concentrate their attacks on the

    manticore and take it down swiftly. It does managed to do some more damage to Delean even with his amazing armor and defenses

    (character has shield block, dodge, and often uses combat expertise as well). The fighting spreads as the swordsage runs through

    the opposite door... and straight into the minotaur and his escort of Hobgoblin veterans.

    Vincent creates a big, scary looking illusion of a white Dragon in the courtyard. He (speaking draconic) starts trying to

    intimidate the enemy and draw their attention. The minotaur rages and attacks Delean... and misses. Roswen is tagging along

    behind Delean and Terrendil and web's the entire room.

    Terrendil and Delean again combine on the now trapped minotaur and slaughter it in two rounds. Wyrmlord Koth sticks a torch

    through the partially opened door into the guard room, freeing his men but causing some damage to them as well. The party

    proceeds to completely dominate the hobgoblin veterans and worg riders with Web, Shadow Binding from the illusionist, and sheer

    melee damage. Koth stays in the tower room and decides that retreat is the better part of valor. He casts Mirror Image and gets

    out his potion of fly.

    Terrendil, Vincent and Roswen finally get into the tower and pursue the fleeing Bugbear. Terrendil orders him to surrender in

    Goblin, Koth basiclaly tells him to go jump in the abyss. Koth swigs his potion of fly and takes off. Vincent creates and

    illusion of "floating mines" for lack of better term, making it look like the Bugbear is boxed in by gnashing, floating little

    constructs. Roswen Lightning Bolts for the first time in entire campaign (he's been saving them to fuel his Storm Bolt reserve

    feat), but Koth makes his reflex save. The rest of the party bluff, intimidate, etc and the still entangled Worg Riders

    surrender.

    Convinced he's trapped, Koth turns and Stinking Clouds the top of the tower. Terrendill being a dwarf, shrugs it off, but both

    Vincent and Roswen succumb and begin retching violently. Vincent was using an illusion that required concentration, so suddenly

    the way to escape is 'clear' again and Koth once more flees.

    Terrendil takes out his bow, and he and Jorr keep shooting at the still Mirror Imaged and fleeing enemy. Gilliam uses a scroll

    of spiritual weapon as well, trying to keep the pressure on. Between his high Hit points and his Spell Shield ACF, Koth actually

    manages to break contact and ride off on his mount, badly wounded but alive. He did, however, leave behind his bag of holding

    with the invasion map behind.

    After battle, the group interrogates their prisoners as best as possible, clean up, and start searching extensively. They for

    the first time EVER (this module is popular locally but no one has ever hit the DC's to find this room) locate the secret

    door/hatch down into the base of the tower and loot the treasury. AFter a night of rest, the party Arcane Mark's the captives

    and tells them they may go, but if their found fighting again, they will be slain. The Goblins take off. Checking the map and

    consulting with Jorr, the group is convinced of the important of the bridge at Skull Gorge pass and heads out to see what can be

    done there.

    Upon arrival, Jorr slips forward to scout and comes back pale and shaken, reporting that a large green dragon and many Hobgoblins

    guard the bridge. The party begins to plan how they might tackle this possible fight, and we break for the night.


    Observations:

    The group continues to completely obliterate the lower level cannon fodder of the Red Hand with ease. I should have played Koth

    more aggressively, but I went by the book suggestions and by the time he came down out of his tower, half his troops were already

    dead or dying. Even with his improved spell selection, he still got wounded badly and had to make a very serious effort to

    escape the party.

    NO doubt about it, I must increase the threat level at the bridge. The Dragon will be large (advances one age category from CR 5

    to CR 8) and the Hobgoblins will have at least one higher level caster to try and help them out. I've decided that Koth used his

    scroll of mount and rode past the bridge, stopping briefly to inform the defenders of what to expect, before heading back to the

    main horde, so the caster at least will try and select some better spells. I'm also designing some sort of 'cheerleader' bard

    /marshall character to assist the low level horde members via buffs as well.

    The halfling bard has not really contributed to the fight other then singing...I and the more experienced party members continue to coach him on better play. Among other things he now has a bow and he's always had Glitterdust but has never used it.
    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

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Red Hand of Doom (FR setting) Campaign Journal

    bookmarked.. played it all the way thru and had to seriously beef for My party, so watching with interest...

    Bear

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Red Hand of Doom (FR setting) Campaign Journal

    bookmarked here, too. I ran this as my first proper campaign as a DM, did fairly well until after part 4, at which point my party basically mutinied on me(not strictly my fault, i'll explain later if you want me too.)

    I didn't need to buff the enemies, but most of my group were green as could be, so yeah.

    Edited for spelling.
    Last edited by Provengreil; 2011-10-26 at 08:04 PM.
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