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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Demidos's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Just saying...I would trade any or all of my christmas presents for another chapter.
    My Homebrew:
    WIP
    The Fortunar Base Class: A Fortuneteller wielding a minor Deck of Many Things. Mid T3.

    Completed Classes
    The Grandmaster : A master of animated stattuettes and tactical magic. High tier 3.
    The Hidden Word: An infiltrator with a wide range of abilities that works best in small teams. Tier 2-3
    Web-Spinner: A martial class based around using webs. Mid T3.
    The True Warrior: A swift mundane martial combat class that can dodge and slice their way to victory. Low Tier 3.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Reverent-One's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaveman26 View Post
    It's definitely overkill. But it fits with the overall backstory of the mega dungeon. It's also a really cool visual and strange application of that creatures particular abilities.
    Oh, totally, that wasn't meant as a criticism.
    Thanks to Elrond for the Vash avatar.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Laserlight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Kaveman is back. EPIC YES.

    He comes bearing updates. MOAR EPIC YES.

    He's got a Half-Dragon Beholder. SO MUCH YES.
    Quoted for Truth.
    Junior, half orc paladin of the Order of #3 St Dale the Intimidator: "Ah reckon y'all need to repent."

    I'm a spell!

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Session Four Part 1: One does not simply walk into Moo-Dor

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    When next we meet the gang has assembled a new plan of attack…and by plan of attack they are going to tactically withdraw to the safest area of the dungeon possible while gathering information on the unknown creature they encountered. The twins and Seraphim want to replenish their undead ranks and have a full cadre of minions along with utility spells before they press forward against the minotaurs or Canticle.

    Skalagrim: We think the safest course of action right now is to avoid hallways as much as possible.

    Until we know more about the floating electrical dragon head we stick to rooms with sealable doors as much as possible. Chomper being best suited to recon should take point and be first in the hallway.

    Chomper: Heck no. Ill feed myself to my own mount before stepping outside a room solo.
    Seraphim: Someone has to be the first one out. If not the stealthiest, then the most stalwart?
    Dis Pater: Why not the most diplomatic? Perhaps you can reason with the severed head?
    Pluto: Why not the dinosaurs? They are stalwart…they are expendable…and they don’t have a vote in party matters. We might even be able to grace them with undeath should the circumstances line up.

    Neither Chomper nor Skalagrim is eager to serve up their mounts/companions as potential offerings.
    They ultimately decide on what they feel is the most reasonable course of action.

    Skalagrim: Alright Reggie….time to earn your keep. You are small and should draw little attention. Pop your head out and tell us where the next closest room is at.

    Reggie: Didn’t I stick my neck out enough for you guys the other night? You know, lying to the people that wanted to send you back to your graves.

    Seraphim: Yes..you performed admirably. We appreciated your conviction to our cause so much that we are entrusting this next to you as well.

    And so it was that the maruding horde of necromantic raiders was reduced to shoving their press ganged gnome bard into the hallway first so they could scurry room to room like a bad mockery of a Scooby Doo chase scene.

    Every round’s worth of actions is bogged down as they all calculate exact routes and procedure to ensure no ends their turn while still in a hallway. They are seriously acting like four years olds pretending that anything without carpet is lava. It is all I can do to stop from laughing.
    After about five rounds of high level paranoid scurrying they inadvertently corral themselves down a new path that is previously unexplored. They initially wanted to hightail it back to safer/explored territory and recapture some of the undead they cut loose on their backtrail. Instead…as they strive to avoid staying in the halls, they have pushed deeper into minotaur controlled territory. I realized that I had overtuned the minotaurs to compensate for their group synergy and had placed some “tester” encounters to better gauge their power level.

    One of these tester encounters resulted in some remarkably unexpected change in events.
    They stumble into a room that opens into a completely different layout and structure than what they have experienced in the 15 days since entering the mega dungeon. Heavily peppered with glowing crystals and more cavern than “room” there is a lone minotaur sentry who seems to be moving from crystal to crystal and tapping them with a tuning fork. The U.C. are on super high paranoid alert and having gotten reamed by the minotaurs the day before panic dictates their actions. For lack of a better tactical description they swarm the lone minotaur and throw the kitchen sink at it.

    In the span of ten seconds they kill it three times over and instantly reorganize themselves into a ready position to prepare for more attackers. Having lost their herd and most of their provisions, they are eager to butcher the slain bull humanoid and harvest some needed rations. They also don’t want to draw the attention of multiple minotaurs while being distracted. Ultimately the prospect of weighing themselves down with the body persuades them to have Chomper take as much usable flesh possible, after which they will animate the minotaur as a skeleton and figure out a means to backtrack.
    Past experience has trained them to recognize any item as being future viable…so they also pack up the tuning fork. All goes to script until Hades animates the minotaur and has to battle for control.

    Hades: What the frick? Only intelligent undead require battle of wills. Just wanted a basic skeleton.
    DM: It is intelligent…and not keen on being controlled.

    Hades does take control of the creature and discovers that it has retained it’s memories and will.*This makes them a bit leerier of whole scale “drop them and rise them” hijinks. It also means they have a reluctant source of intel. The minotaur (they name him T-Bones or just T for short) is less than thrilled at his current role, but is willing to accommodate his newfound masters. Attitude wise he is curt and antagonistic but not treasonous. From T-Bones they manage to uncover the following expository tidbits…

    *There are nearly 100 minotaurs…an entire colony housed within the megadungeon. Their perception of time has been skewed, T thinks there has been nearly 7 generations born and raised within the structure. They don’t recall the origin of their clan.

    *The crystals emit a low level psionic radiation…extended exposure to the crystals has imbued them with psionic gifts.

    *Some crystals react when struck with the tuning fork. These are “non depleted” crystals and their clan sages have devised a means in which to liquefy and consume the crystals properties. The process is lethal 1 of 5 times applied and extremely painful, but the weak who would be cast out or perish are willing to attempt the concoction if it means they may acquire an essential ability.

    *T has no knowledge of the floating head and thinks Chomper was seeing things. He has no previous knowledge of the electrical discharge or illuminated runes.

    The information gained from their conversation with T focuses their attention on the minotaur clan and away from the grigs/Canticle. T basically informs them that the clan organizes raiding parties in a consistent and methodical manner. They strike out in a preset pattern to scavenge for food, and other resources. The U.C. utilize that pattern to place themselves away from the raid focal points and they resume room hopping to what they surmise will be a safer area to plan an assault against any isolated minotaurs.

    They encounter very little else that day and end up setting up a camp for the night inside a spacious open room. The door is heavily secured. In what is certainly a social mis-step, they begin cooking the butchered flesh of T-Bones. As the meat roasts upon a magical fire it emits a strange crackling and soft glow.

    T-Bones: Good luck to whoever eats that…I think the radiation soaked into my muscles and blood.

    Not to be dissuaded from a beef dinner they tentatively feed some to the anklosaur first. At first the dinosaur seems unfazed…then it keels over twitching and convulsing.

    Chomper: Think the meat’s gone bad.

    As they deliberate whether to pitch the minotaur roasts, the anklo wobbles to it’s feet and begins to cough violently, after the third or fourth wracking spasm a field of energy pops up around it…like a mower struggling to start the coughs activate a new found psionic ability…Inertial Armor.

    Skalagrim: Did my dinosaur just become psionic?

    The paranoid scurrying that has prevailed their thoughts instantly gives way to an impromptu feast as they all gorge on roasted radioactive minotaur steaks. To their great dismay no one suddenly develops the ability to shoot mind bullets…

    Dis Pater: Perhaps we waited too long? Has to be fresher?
    Seraphim: Definitely merits further experiments.
    Skalagrim: So…are we just going to charge into Cow Town? See how many we can kill and then run?
    Seraphim: “One does not simply walk into Mordor”
    Pluto: More like Moo-Dor *snicker*

    So begins a tidal wave of horrificly groan worthy puns…



    *This was an idea I had tossed around that psionic imbued creatures would have a chance of retaining their intelligence/abilities upon death. Just an added wrinkle I wanted to manipulate and play around with. It ended up being a poetic fit based on the group.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Honest Tiefling's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    I can only wish my evil campaigns went like this. I think your players deserve a lot of credit for being cohesive and interesting with their evil. And your skills in rolling with it seem pretty legendary. Especially with the psionic radiation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oko and Qailee View Post
    Man, I like this tiefling.
    For all of your completely and utterly honest needs. Zaydos made, Tiefling approved.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lord_Burch's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    That was awesome! I'm so glad you're continuing this journal.

    Out of curiosity, what would've happened if one of the PC's had eaten the meat first?
    Amazing Jaune Arc avatar made by the talented artist Comissar. Thanks a lot!

    Playing as the Kingdom of Gleiss in Empire! 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemental View Post
    A ravenous, numberless horde of immortal, undying goats cursed with unceasing hunger would actually be a very disturbing apocalypse.

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Honest Tiefling View Post
    I can only wish my evil campaigns went like this. I think your players deserve a lot of credit for being cohesive and interesting with their evil. And your skills in rolling with it seem pretty legendary. Especially with the psionic radiation.
    They worked together well for a little while. They are more than capable of backstabbing and treachery on a grand scale.

    As for whether a PC ate first I would have given 20 percent chance of gaining a power. I made the Dino automatic....cause it was fun to see them squirm.
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  8. - Top - End - #128
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    This campaign is genius and I am very glad it is updating again. Also the dynamic between the gnome and the party is hilarious.

  9. - Top - End - #129
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Psionic...dinosaur...

    *head asplodes from the awesomeness*
    Campaign Log (updated May 12, 2016)! http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...d-other-tales)

  10. - Top - End - #130
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Alex12's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by turbo164 View Post
    Psionic...dinosaur...

    *head asplodes from the awesomeness*
    Psionic undead dinosaur. Like in Dresden Files.
    Quote Originally Posted by Time Blossom View Post
    And then you wrote about it on your livejournal, dyed your hair black and started taking warlock levels.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Inevitability's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex12 View Post
    Psionic undead dinosaur. Like in Dresden Files.
    This is the second time I'm posting this in a little over a day, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    I just found another reason to go read those books.
    Last edited by Inevitability; 2015-01-11 at 10:48 AM.
    Gold: the color of lawful neutrality.

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  12. - Top - End - #132
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Echobeats's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    So, blacklight101 necros the Cattle-Driving Necromancer thread, and... it actually comes back to life.

    How very fitting.
    Last edited by Echobeats; 2015-01-11 at 05:36 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Kaveman is back! Long live the Kaveman!
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    Yohalles, the Wanderer
    Lonel, Gentleman Luck
    Jongo, God of Sea-Life

  14. - Top - End - #134
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Echobeats View Post
    So, blacklight101 necros the Cattle-Driving Necromancer thread, and... it actually comes back to life.

    How very fitting.
    I had been missing the process of writing for a while, and it definately served as a jump start to start typing again. If people still wanted it back after months (i think a full year maybe) it must be worth sharing.
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  15. - Top - End - #135
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaveman26 View Post
    I had been missing the process of writing for a while, and it definately served as a jump start to start typing again. If people still wanted it back after months (i think a full year maybe) it must be worth sharing.
    I'm glad you are still sharing your campaigns. I've read all your logs and they are an absolute blast to read. Amazing stories and well written. Thank you for the updates, and for writing in general.

  16. - Top - End - #136
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Thank you for keeping this thread "alive", so to speak.
    Amazing log, my hat is off for you and your group.
    "If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance."

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Echobeats View Post
    So, blacklight101 necros the Cattle-Driving Necromancer thread, and... it actually comes back to life.

    How very fitting.
    At least my necromancy didnt turn into a near-tpk this time.
    My opinion and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee at the 7/11, most others want the dollar too :P

    Steam ID: blacklight101

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    At an observation deck at Port Wander, seeing his ship for the first time and being introduced to the bridge crew/away team that he hired before arriving.

  18. - Top - End - #138
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Echobeats's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Have now read the two recent updates. Seeing the U.C. brought into line is oddly satisfying.
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    The Search for the Sky (D&D 4E) • Dvergula IC OOC
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Always happy to read a Kaveman story!
    Roll for it
    5e Houserules and Homebrew
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  20. - Top - End - #140
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Dr_Dinosaur's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaveman26 View Post
    I had been missing the process of writing for a while, and it definitely served as a jump start to start typing again. If people still wanted it back after months (i think a full year maybe) it must be worth sharing.
    It is good to see such a wonderful journal necro'd brought to true life after its death temporary repose.

  21. - Top - End - #141
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    The Rib-Eye of Sauron

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    The U.C. continue to slowly delve into minotaur controlled territory and the change in architecture is growing more and more pronounced. Everything becomes jagged and straight lines are non-existent. Crystalized protusions and clusters just out from unidentifiable material in the walls. Forward progress is stilted by their paranoia and constant pauses to harvest viable crystal from the walls. Seraphim somewhat puts two and two together and places the cognizance crystals found in the gnoll vault against a large crystal formation and in short order it seems to soak up some of the radiation. A few hours into the search T-Bones begins acting oddly and Skalagrim picks up on some strange tells.

    Skalagrim: He expecting something in particular? Keeps glancing down hallways and if he still had hair it would be standing on end.

    The skeletal minotaur is not eager to share anything but a command from Hades pulls the reasoning for his mood.

    T-Bones: We run a tight schedule. I would be seen as overdue by now. A search party should be dispatched any time.

    Chomper: Think we can throw a hood on him and act like his prisoners? Make it look like he took us captive?

    Seraphim: He is considerably altered from his living state. Not sure we can conceal losing several hundred pounds of flesh and muscle with a hoodie.

    Chomper: Anyone prepare spells that alter appearance? Or give illusion of his still being a minotaur?

    Nope.

    Dis Pater: Just leave him on point like we are captives, and when the search party shows up just have T tell them it’s a new ability to conceal his appearance but he can’t quite control it yet.

    Chomper: That will literally buy us what? Ten seconds? They will see through that in no time.
    Dis Pater: If it buys us six seconds…that is all we really need *grin*

    They establish an exhaustive list of specific instructions to avoid immediate tip offs and decide to roll with the whole “Im not actually a skeleton I just sneezed and accidentally psionically made myself look like one and coincendentally I captured these six heavily armed/armored dinosaur riding miscreants” ruse

    Almost as if on cue, a search party of four minotaurs all armed to the horns and glowing with unnatural light turn the twisted corner of a narrower corridor. They immediately see T-Bones leading a pack of “bound” adventurers. Their leader calls for a halt as T-Bones addresses them in their own language. Not for even one second do they “buy” the deception. But the oddity of the situation slows them down enough to parley with their former brother. After a few minutes back and forth the leader sends off one of his four and the remaining three all stand ready and on guard.

    Chomper: So much for coaxing a surprise round.

    The leader after several long minutes lets out a big snort and speaks in common to the group. He identifies himself as Lane.

    Lane: I send a runner to the tribe requesting additional warriors. Soon many will return. Far more than needed to kill your measly pack. That is always the easiest way. Our lord may have use for your alive. I leave you the option. Walk to our leader alive…or be carried dead.

    Dis Pater: We could kill the three of you and walk out the way we came.
    Lane: You could try.

    An impromptu huddle occurs and the group consensus is to follow the cattle to their base. The trek to Moo-Dor central is without consequence and serves as a major eye opener to the party. The minotaur’s lair or stronghold is quite immense. There are heavy fortifications, housing structures, barracks, even a functioning smithy. Everything is derived from the crystals and any discarded material found. Pieces of armor and weapons, even bone that been hardened and bleached is used to create function. Nothing seems to go to waste in this place. T-Bones estimate of 100 minotaurs is more accurately “100 minotaurs of fighting age and ability” the real number is closer to 250.

    The coolest feature of the place is their fountain. An ornate and extremely bizarre in appearance water fountain sits at the center of their lair. It seems to spring water from nothingness.** By and large I have not pressed them too hard on water needs as they have clerics capable of creating water and they literally have two members capable of drinking blood and the rest are hardly opposed to the idea.

    Lane takes them to a crude stairwell that descends beneath the stronghold and leads them to the minotaur’s chieftain. The chieftain does not sit upon a throne, he instead walks through an underground meadow. At first glance the chieftain resembles a massive centaur, but closer examination reveals the upper body not of a man, but of a two headed burly humanoid. Their chief is a centaur-ettin (Centtin?). The crystals that trace the entire minotaur compound glow a different color in the meadow and trees that seem blended from wood and stone emerge from the ground all around him.

    Chieftain:Why does our meal walk into my domain Lane? Is it not customary to slaughter the sheep first?

    Lane:Indeed Lord Dion, you did however encourage us to utilize all that is around us to the fullest potential. These creatures killed one of our brethren and put his spirit back into his very bones, casting aside his flesh. Perhaps they can be of benefit to us beyond the cookpot.

    Dion fully appraises the U.C. and a strange smirk twists his face.

    Dion: Necromancers. A fine gift for a place such as this.
    Hades: The finest gift one could aspire to attain.

    Dion: You have taken one of my scions. It will take much convincing to avoid our cauldrons.

    Seraphim: I of all people can certainly appreciate the benefits of a well cooked adversary. Only a few weeks ago I skinned and boiled a sorcerer to gain his spells. You are welcome to take the Halfling as a token of our esteem, and a gesture of our willingness to parley.

    Reggie seems genuinely shocked despite the vast evidence demonstrated that he is expendable. He whimpers softly and tries to find words of salvation.

    Dion: Halfling’s taste ill to my tongues.
    Pluto: Well what is more to your liking? You took our cattle and horses.
    Dion: Man flesh is what I seek. The girl has the scent of human upon her…but it is strangely tainted.
    Seraphim: Alas I have elvish blood spoiling my flavor Lord Dion. I do think we can arrange a banquet fit for your clan…

    Dion: oh?

    Seraphim: Indeed. It just so happens that a band of humans was engaged against us in conflict when your scions acquired our herd of cattle. You are welcome to their flesh…all we desire is the return of their bones. In return we would happily form an alliance. From this alliance we can provide human flesh in great quantity.

    Dion: A band of six is hardly a banquet. For my sons that is the barest morsel.
    Seraphim: Of course. May I have a moment to confer with my comrades? I hate to be rude…
    Dion: With my leave elf child.

    The U.C. all pull together an impromptu huddle. From behind the screen it is clear they are talking in loose code and from the grins and snickers I doubt it bodes well for the future control of events.

    Seraphim: I think it’s round up time.
    Chomper: Already? We still got almost two full weeks.
    Seraphim: For allies like this and a stronghold where we can potentially store much greater stockpiles? I think it’s worth it.
    Skalagrim: So we are going with “Round Up”? (the quotation marks are used by Skala at the table)
    Seraphim: Just about. I think we can make the Canticle pull double duty and be the fall guys too. Just need to convince one of them to play along.
    Pluto: I got that covered. I have a strong suspicion their cleric will see things our way.
    Dis Pater: The one that feels we are a walking heresy?
    Pluto: Yes…he is due for a change in heart.

    The U.C. turn back to the Centtin chief and Seraphim gives her most playful innocent smile imagineable.

    Seraphim: May we borrow some sleds?

    They in essence strike a bargain with the minotaur clan. In exchange for safe passage (barring acts of aggression against the clan) through their territory and assistance transporting vast quantities of dead and butchered cattle they will provide at minimum 20 humans in edible form to the Chieftain. They also commit to providing a minimum of 10 per month each month after as means of maintaining their alliance. They also enter into extended parley for information about the structure and how he came to be there.

    *He has no formative memory of anything before the dungeon. No recollection beyond things we all take for granted. He has personally overseen the clan for just over one year. This is strangely against the notion of there being seven generations of minotaur within the structure. There is from his explanation a staggeringly quick maturation process brought on by the crystals and infants become adults within a matter of weeks. This rapid maturation strains their food supplies and causes excessively high mortality rates.

    *There is a gateway within their stronghold they are unable to open. Chomper can’t even find a lock or keyhole on the thing.

    *He too has no idea about the floating head thing.

    *T-Bones, Lane and 1 other minotaur Tarn are assigned to the U.C. as babysitters and liasons.

    *While Dion views his clan as “big dogs” of this area, he is very pragmatic and concerned with security and outside threats. Requests to mobilize en masse are rejected. Raids and harriers are organized and frequent but he is loathe to part with any sizeable force from their base of operations.

    The group takes a full day acquainting themselves with the clan and hoping that scouts will bring back word of the Canticle party. They are not disappointed when a raid group returns (no casualties but multiple wounds) after skirmishing with the righteous adventurers.

    Dis Pater: Target acquired. Let’s go get us some fall guys…

    *This was an idea I had tossed around that psionic imbued creatures would have a chance of retaining their intelligence/abilities upon death. Just an added wrinkle I wanted to manipulate and play around with. It ended up being a poetic fit based on the group.

    **The Decanter of Endless Water makes something of a cameo appearance
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  22. - Top - End - #142
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    I really do like the way it fits with the group, I couldnt think of a mechanic technically working better in this case, at least of the ones I know in 3.5 anyway. I love my group, but im still envious of how yours and a handful of others have such great chemistries. I can only hope to be half that good with my (now) players.
    My opinion and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee at the 7/11, most others want the dollar too :P

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  23. - Top - End - #143
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    Fable Wright's Avatar

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Just dropping by to say that this journal is awesome. I started reading it around the first necro, and had to go back and read your other journals after reading this one's start. Eagerly awaiting the next installment.
    Used to be DMofDarkness
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    Spoiler: Collection of Signature Quotes
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  24. - Top - End - #144
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    I am endlessly pleased that this picked back up
    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    ... "Mississippi." No one knows the origin of this strange term, but it appears written on the edges of a hexagon, two letters per side, with the last side left with only one letter. Some suspect it's Yuan-ti in origin, though the Yuan-ti have repeatedly denied it. Counting to six and uttering the word after each number will give a fairly accurate measure of the time it takes to cast a spell. Because the chanter has gone all the way around the hexagon, this interval is known as a "round."

  25. - Top - End - #145
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Mar 2014
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    Paris

    wink Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    You know how if you give a lollipop to a child just to steal it back right after, he will be far less happy than if you did nothing? And what he would feel if you waited long enough for him to lost hope and become serene again and only then give it back to him? That's what I'm feeling right now.

    Seen too much threads die and just fade slowly into oblivion.
    So happy to see you back.

    But, it's a necro, right?
    Fear the mods!
    Last edited by Synar; 2015-01-20 at 04:49 PM.
    Black is for nitpicking.
    Black is for sarcasm.
    Blue is for serious.

  26. - Top - End - #146
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Session Four Complete: Round Up!

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    The Necro-Ranchers gear up for an all out assault. No defensive or curative spells are prepared. Dis Pater and Skalagrim pull Reggie the gnome aside and basically have a heart to heart conversation.

    Dis Pater: No more simpering or whining. Today you earn your life. When we fight you fight as if every breath you draw is your last, because if you don’t and we survive your death will be long in the making and its aftermath will be a mockery of anything you ever held dear.

    Reggie: You were ready to feed me to the minotaurs! I thought we had bonded.

    Skalagrim: Offering you and actually cooking you for them are two different things. We could always feed you to the witch. She likes new spells…

    Reggie: I’m not much of a warrior.

    Dis Pater: We aren’t asking you to charge in and go toe to toe with their armored fighters. I just want you focusing on countersonging their bard. Trip him up with your whip, whatever you can do to help keep their caster occupied.

    Reggie: You got it.

    The actual fight against the Canticle is so remarkably one sided, I am going to mostly skip over it. Between having Reggie as an added secondary caster, Lane,T-Bones and Tarn as added muscle, and the Canticle’s cleric switching sides mid attack it’s a route. They keep the Canticle party members alive just on the off chance Dion and the minotaurs like very fresh meat. The turncoat cleric is fully revealed to the party and quick to make himself invaluable. He is introduced as Micko.

    Pluto informs the U.C. of Micko’s affiliation not to righteousness and purity, but to deceit and ambition. Originally Micko was going to play much more of a behind the scenes role and the Canticle much more of a reoccurring presence. That plan went up in smoke. Instead I have Micko deliver some intelligence about the structure itself.

    Micko: By now you have realized certain elements of this place are not like anything previously witnessed. The architecture of the place is foreign. The biology and racial diversity of the inhabitants is unnatural. Sigils and runes of a language unknown are everywhere. My master is a rare individual. He beckoned me to this place to provide first hand confirmation of his suspicions. I don’t have the whole picture but enough pieces to get the gist.

    Seraphim: You have our rapt attention. Especially if you can explain the severed head that annihilated everything in it’s wake.

    Micko:My master told me that creatures like this once existed and that they were both fearsome and powerful. He called them Eye Tyrants and one of the few species he respected as peer. They were also a sign he told me to watch for to confirm his hunch.

    Dis Pater: Strange symbols, stranger monsters, and bizarre walls…it’s a massive underground dungeon those things are expected.

    Micko: That is where you are mistaken, this is not a dungeon. It’s a research vessel and an Ark. My master’s race left this place millennia ago and sought the stars. This place is a vessel of their once proud dominance. These halls and everything you seek is simply a observational deck. A place for them to watch the mice scurry and see them look for cheese. Only deeper will you find the true treasures.

    Skalagrim: We have a lead on a path further in. But no way to open the portal.

    Micko: I might be able to help there. I will have to get word to my master first. And that requires the doors opening. The merchants who hold the entrance will surely find my presence with you strange. Hopefully one of your party has a good explanation.

    *the whole party snickers at this comment*

    Seraphim laughs and shrugs.
    Seraphim: That won’t be an issue.

    The Cowboys take a few days to line up their ducks and pow-wow with the minotaur clan. On day 23 they begin massing their resources and structuring their “Round Up”. Based on the cache of dead bodies they keep stockpiling I have a gist of what they intend. My expectations are drastically exceeded.

    I fully expected them to attack any “exiting” parties. I did not expect them to attack the entire defensive merchant convoy. I had gone out of my way to establish them as well prepared, well armed, and with spell support. None of that made a difference.

    Quick lesson (refresher for some) on how Animate Dead functions. In essence using a standard action a necromancer can animate up to twice their level in HD of undead. With the feat Undead Master a cleric can animate as if they were four levels higher. So Hades and Pluto can animate as if they are 9th level…meaning 18HD of undead with one casting. However…if you animate in an area that is desecrated you can double that amount with a single casting. So Hades and Pluto can animate 36HD of undead with a single casting of animate Dead. They have 2 3rd level spells +1 domain spell (which happens to be animate dead for both). So they can cast animate dead 6 times between them.
    There is an added sub clause to Desecrate. Basically desecrate gives bonuses to the creation of the undead, and if you have a shrine, or fixture of a deity in the area desecrated, the bonuses double. Remember when way back they took out the dire lion enclosure? The first thing they did after was build a throne of skulls. A shrine to death. Yeah…they carried that up with them.

    Undead Minions:
    Witch:
    Via Bonethrall (5HD): Skeletal Unicorn
    Via Command Undead (5HD):Lion-Skeleton
    Undead Lord 1:
    Corpse Companion (5HD):Lion-Skeleton
    Command Undead (9HD):T-Bones, Blink Dog (skeleton)
    Via Animate Dead: (20HD):10 Horses (skeleton)
    Undead Lord 2:
    Corpse Companion (5HD):Lion-Skeleton
    Command Undead (9HD):Minotaur (Skeleton) Blink Dog (skeleton)
    Via Animate Dead (20HD):10 Horses (skeleton)

    In reserve (corpse form):
    20 Horses (2 HD each)
    6 ogres (4 HD each)
    2 dire lions (8HD each)
    20 gnolls (2HD each)
    4 Minotaur (6HD each)
    20 Orcs (1 HD each)
    8 Bison (5HD each)

    There are four merchant “rooms” which are basically stockpiles of adventuring supplies, arms, equipment, and potions. Two hallways are also used as checkpoints and “tollways”. The Cowboys reach the first checkpoint, one where a few weeks prior they paid a toll in the form of 10 potions to use that pathway. Without a word they unleash a wave of fury and attack the half dozen guards. The checkpoint is meant to allow for a fighting retreat and the outnumbered and outgunned guards use it accordingly. Skalagrim rages at them as they lay down caltrops and try to hold everyone at bay with pikes.

    Skalagrim: You warn everyone that we are coming. WE thirst for blood and crave flesh, all that which belongs to you will slack our hunger!

    The guards hightail it back to the central entrance and the second checkpoint’s garrison follows suit. The Cowboys then set up shop just around the bend leading to main room. The hallway is about 60 feet long and whilst dodging a hail of bowfire Chomper confirms that the guards are gearing up for battle and massing in the central room. Shields and spears at the front, archers and casters behind them in ranks form up.

    They give time for the guards to prepare and fortify, all while patiently dragging their corpses into place at the junction. The twins desecrate the ground and plant their thrones. They grin like madmen at the table while their characters lean back in their thrones, not a care in the world.

    Chomper: They look about settled, I think they may start to come out if we don’t go to them.

    The Necro-Ranchers all heft weapons and and check the straps on their mounts.

    Dis Pater: It’s on the twins now.

    Hades/Pluto/Seraphim: We are ordering every undead minion except T-Bones into a suicide attack…full charge to overrun the position and engage everything that fights back. T-Bones is shifting to Seraphim’s control. Repeat…every slot we control is in full attack except T-Bones.

    DM: Understood.

    Hades:Animating 36HD worth of horses…20 in my control, 8 of which will be commanded by Pluto, 8 of which will be commanded via feat by me.

    DM: That will cause you to lose control of all the undead you just sent into the meatgrinder.

    Hades: Yep…figure they are occupied enough with the stuff attacking them to worry about us.
    DM: Fair enough.

    Hades/Pluto:Once the next wave is fully attacking and engaged…we will repeat the process in the following waves.

    Wave 1: 20 Horses (40HD)+ 3 lions (15HD) + 2 Blink Dogs (6HD)
    Wave 2: 16 Horses (40HD)
    Wave 3: 16 Orcs (20HD) 10 Gnolls (20HD)
    Wave 4: 7 Bison (5HD each)
    Wave 5: 5 Ogres (18HD) 2 Dire Lions (16HD) 1 Horse (2HD)
    Wave 6: 4 Minotaurs (24HD) 6 Gnolls (12HD)

    Once Wave Six is fully away we are going to use domain abilities to make the dinosaurs benefit from negative healing along with Skala and Seraphim. Death Clerics can touch someone and make them benefit from negative healing.

    Within the span of about sixty seconds…the merchants are beset by the better part of 200HD worth of undead. With everything deteriorating in complete madness they are able to do nothing other than give ground and retreat into various rooms. Then comes the wedge of PC’s. Dis Pater at the forefront…Skalagrim in the rear, with a block of the twins and Seraphim at the center. The Gravewalker’s aura of desecration bolsters the DC of negative channeling and with the clerical domain ability negative channeling now heals every member of the party plus their dinosaur mounts for the next four turns. It also heals every single undead and harms the guards. They had to burn parts of their channeling from the command undead shenanigans but they still have 3 each.

    Chomper plays goalie and holds the hallway with his spinosaur for any guard that tries to make a break for it into the dungeon.

    Our battle map is a straight nightmare…the logistics of tracking everything are beyond migraine inducing and the head exploding blatant abuse generated by their synergy is enough to drive a normal man to drink.

    It’s also a hell of a good time…

    Chomper: That is a whole lot of skeletons.

    They rout the entire garrison. Chomper doesn’t have to raise a finger. As the guards become overwhelmed the U.C. pull back into the hallway and wait for the dust to settle before determining what undead are left and controlled/uncontrolled. It is a small consolation that they do have to guard against the ones they set free, it was an overwhelming display of force but it did require every 3rd level spell slot, a couple second level spells slots, every channeling per day, and most of their daily domain abilities to pull off.

    Butcher’s bill…
    78 Humans killed
    2 Half Elves
    2 Dwarves
    3 Elves
    4 Halflings
    Countless undead skeletons…

    At this juncture they in essence split their party. Some hold the entrance and sift through all the goods acquired, while others cart dead humans to the minotaurs as payment. The merchants had some very serviceable wheelbarrows and carts that the scant remaining skeletal horses lodge no objections to pulling. They drag the majority of trade goods to the minotaur stronghold as well for safekeeping. Taking for themselves coin, gem, potions and a few odds and ends. They fulfill their promise in delivering humans to eat (they actually had a dozen or so they stabilized before dying that are delivered still alive…to them it was good manners for their “hosts” not emotional torture and abuse)

    From their Perspective:
    *They have amassed a considerable stockpile of trade goods, replacement equipment, adventuring tack and consumables.

    *The entrance to the dungeon is in their control and they are free to ambush or murder any groups coming for the exit.

    *They have an “alibi” in the form of Micko who will back their story that the Illuminated Canticle were killers in disguise and they led the slaughter at the gate. Only the timely arrival of the U.C. allowed for the passage to be secured.

    *An alliance with a formidable dungeon force was been established and reinforced via human sacrifice.

    *Said alliance gives them a defacto secured stronghold within the dungeon interior along with control of the next potential passageway deeper in

    *Micko has provided them intelligence as to where the true wealth of the structure may preside.

    *Seraphim gorges herself on the slain casters amongst the murdered guards and picks up some added spells for her poppet. The dhampir half vampires even chide her for being something of a glutton.

    From My Perspective as DM:

    *Virtually every NPC introduced has been butchered (figuratively and literally) or subverted.

    *My hopes of a reoccurring antagonist in the form of the Canticle now fills a minotaur stew pot

    *My “sleeper agent” is now in alliance with the PC’s

    *The most formidable force within the first true section of the dungeon has every logical and practical reason to continue the alliance and mutual benefit garnered from the Necro-Ranchers.

    *The merchantile system meant to provide a heavy fee for replacing or acquiring needed equipment just became a jackpot for the undead army that massacred them.

    *Any exiting PC group will now be subject to making it past a team that has time to secure the area, desecrate the ground, establish shrines and bring in mass quantities of minions that shine in desecrated areas.

    *All of this has transpired in the first month of the dungeon crawl and has overall been a blast in terms of gameplay and organic storytelling. I feel like the characters for the most are developing nicely and each is standing out in their own way. The twins come off as aloof and somewhat unsettling, Seraphim is all sweetness and charm until the blade reachs your vitals, Dis Pater is harsh and sour, Skalagrim a bit more hot headed and blunt, Chomper is the closest thing to a level headed voice in the group and has developed more a “just roll with it” mentality.

    When the dust settles there are five days until the gate opens and the world outside discovers the genocide from within. The Cowboys are still unsure if they are exiting or remaining inside. A massive quantity of undead turnover has already occurred and they are leery of the well running dry if they remain inside. Exiting and restocking gives them more control, but also puts them outside for thirty days and in a position where they may have to answer some tough questions.

    If they remain inside any treasure they have accumulated can’t readily be spent, nor can they receive additional intelligence from Micko’s mysterious master. With a better grasp of what is inside they are also itching to restock certain potions and scrolls.

    (I am summarizing about an hour’s worth of back and forth into two paragraphs here)

    They ultimately decide to exit, and almost as an afterthought they make an attempt to locate Rusk and Gup. Rusk is located alive and none too thrilled to see them. In the midst of their undead juggling they lost track of the skeletal gnolls in his sub-command and nearly got him lynched by his own re-animated gnolls. Given the choice of bathing in the witch’s cauldron with some veggies and seasoning or exiting the place with them he accepts the latter. Gup is nowhere to be found.

    They resolve to expend all remaining undead minions prior to leaving the structure and use them liberally to assist in bushwhacking any exiting parties or party members that make their way out in the last few days. I had only a trickle of broken parties slated for leaving…so pickings are slim.

    On Day 30 the appointed hour arrives and the gates open with barely a sound. Calmly waiting from the inside is Seraphim on her undead unicorn (it somehow managed to survive virtually everything that transpired…reasonably certain it was an error on my part that she retained control of it…but she uses it more for show than substance so I didn’t press too hard) followed by the rest of the U.C. along with Micko, Reggie, Rusk, and T-Bones. Without a care in the world they lead their macabre processional through the exit and wait for the riot to come.

    Without being bidden they had already sought out directions to the camp’s security tent. At that place they calmly provided a pre-canned statement and testimony to the Canticle losing it and attacking the entrance. They scolded the military personnel in charge for their lack of interior oversight and gave hollow apologies to each of the merchants exterior counterparts.

    Several different authority figures press them for more details and further questioning, and they are firm on not providing more than what they have already done.

    Seraphim: We have spent a month in a place filled with murder and acts of horror. Frankly we trust each other and no one else at this point. So pardon our isolation…but we feel more secure this way.

    We end session with the entrance in complete disarray as merchants scramble for a Plan B and the 10 parties set to enter all second guessing themselves. Four of the ten change their minds and don’t enter. The U.C. become the epicenter of swarming parties and emissaries from other contingents looking for information about what they encountered and what they discovered. They advance to level six and we pack it in for the night.
    Campaign Logs:

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  27. - Top - End - #147
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    That was definitely an unexpected move, I may have to try some of those same shenanigans. That was quite amusing. Quite a good read as all the rest have been.
    My opinion and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee at the 7/11, most others want the dollar too :P

    Steam ID: blacklight101

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Where did you start yours?
    At an observation deck at Port Wander, seeing his ship for the first time and being introduced to the bridge crew/away team that he hired before arriving.

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Bwahaha. That was amazing. Thank you for keeping us updated and a thank you to whoever necro'd the thread!
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    But you, as DM, have to be prepared for the PCs to do something stupid and self-destructive, because they will. They can't help it. They're like adorable homicidal children with pennies near a light socket, except that the pennies are chainsaws and the light socket is your plot. Also, the chainsaws are on fire.

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Australia

    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Absolutely brilliant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    You could also go on an adventure for the magical strap-on, if you really want to make an adventure out of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Wizard View Post
    Come at me scrublord I'm ripped

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Aldurin's Avatar

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    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Cattle Driving Necromancers-Bizarre Campaign Journal

    Fairly impressive what they accomplish with their low-level, but it's also a testament to how much balancing is beaten and left on the side of the road when necromancy is properly utilized.

    Props for being a good DM about this stuff, I know that many people would freeze up and start saying "no you can't do that!" as soon as their plans started falling apart.

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