Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10/11 Actual Play

I posted this on our gaming group forum, and I'd like to do these more often. If I do them for any future games I'll cross post here.

No gaming on the 4th, but the 11th Jesse ran an evil one-shot. Do other groups have these as often as we do? I think I have played a monster race more than a player race.

Anyhow, in attendance were a Minotaur Cleric of Tiamat with an oversized mace, an Bugbear brutal Rogue called Hobo, an Undead infernal Warlock (Richard from Looking for Group?!), and a Goblin Wizard. We were tasked to lead the invasion of a keep built into a cliff. To prevent the Humans from taking what they could and burning the rest, a small advance party (us) was to sneak in and destroy the leadership, throwing the place into dissaray and allowing the Legion to claim the keep and it's spoils.

We skirmished with a handful of guards when we were about a day's march from the keep. While it was not a challenging fight, it did illustrate our ability to burn down the shrubbery surrounding our target and leave it unharmed. The cleric managed to club them into paste while the rogue buried his kukri elbow deep, saving us from a humiliating death.

We met a gnome who was supposed to help us get into the keep at this point.

After walking most of the night and into the morning the party spotted a cozy farmhouse and approached to see if they might spend the night inside, and away from the elements. Somehow a fire started in the wheat fields leading up to the house.

By somehow I mean the Warlock started a fire.

When we reached the main buildings we were able to kill a human who was fleeing the scene, and then cold nuke the barn to kill the rest of the population. A lovely meal of fresh human peasant was had by all (save the walking dead) and we were able to rest and recover.

As we continued towards the eventual goal we detected an approaching posse, and quickly moved to conceal ourselves. Most of us ran into some cornfields near the road and hid. The Minotaur, thinking on his hooves, grabbed some 'string' (a rope? he is big, but not THAT big) and hurriedly tied it to a tree and ran across the road, submerging himself in the river. Also, the pyromaniac started another fire, this time in some corn.

The approaching horses almost surely saw the huge cowboy pretending to be a shiny metal covered rock in the water, and were hesitant, but the shuffling dead bolted from the field and began to flee up the road. The leading two horsemen charged after him and at the right moment our Holy Cow pulled the rope up and tripped the horses, sending the men flying from the saddle and onto the ground. At this point, the seeming leader of the group sent one man back up the road towards the base and spurred the other two forward to fight.

What followed was a furious melee of clubbing, stabbing, and magic being tossed about, with notable events including:
- The minotaur basically standing there and smashing things dead without any sort of reprise or repercussion at all. He seemed invincible.
- Hobo delivering the final blow to the caster leading this patrol by eviscerating her while she sat on her horse. He carved the event in pictograms on her chest, for posterity.
- The gnome dissapearing.
- The wizard freezing one of them solid and leaving him in the cornfield.
- The warlock burning everything in sight, including the caster and a poor guard that didn't learn the lesson and kept hitting him to no avail.

We managed to obtain a horse and a dead body, and finished the bulk of our journey to the keep. Upon nearing our destination we saw a crowd gathering at the entrance, and surmised that they were gathering in response to the guard that got away. They were likely on their way to hunt us down and kill us in the countryside. It was pointed out that we now had less guards to fight, and the posse would probably be destroyed by the approaching Legion army.

Finally the gnome was useful and led us to his 'secret' entrance, a 100 ft vertical climb to a window in the face of this cliff. Unfortunately we did not kill him for being so stupid, and did not get the chance to later as he disappeared once we got inside. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Hobo climbed the face of the cliff with our climbing gear and some rope, setting pitons and making it possible for the rest of us to follow. When he reached the window he heard two guards conversing and clung there while he waited for one of them to leave. After some time he deduced that he would not ever be so lucky, and attempted a distraction by throwing a rock to make a noise. When one guard (whose name was Sam, and who stunk horribly) leaned out, Hobo grabbed his uniform and tossed him 100 ft down to his death (and our delight!). His friend soon followed, and we were able to follow our Rogue up and into the keep.

We wound our way down the stairs to a guard barracks in the heart of the keep. While the party waited, the Goblin Wizard (diguised as a human) entered the adjoining main chamber and convinced one of the guards to come and help him in the guard room. He was quickly murdered. Changing appearance to mach the now dead guard, the wizard was able to convince a more heavily armored guard (one with a helmet, something that the undead warlock greatly desired) to go into the room, where he was also murdered. This left only two guards in the main chamber. During the third attempt to lure the guards into the room, things went awry, and in an attempt to seal the deal, the zombie warlock poked his head from the room.

The guard yelled for help, and soon after that a handful of guards entered the room, followed by a guard leading a half dozen or more hounds. Interesting highlights from this fight:
- The thoroughly confused guard bonking our warlock on the head and him collapsing like a pile of bones (apt description?), and playing possum till he could stand up behind the guard and steal his soul.
- The wizard being confused what floor he was on and going from cockily triumphant to panicking in about 6 seconds.
- Hobo and the minotaur (buddy movie forthcoming) working out a plan to open the door and eviscerate the first guard that came by. This worked perfectly, and was followed by much smashing and slicing.
- The most clumsy guard ever falling twice into a trough. What made this even better was the minotaur falling in the trough, and the bugbear joining in for a menage a trois of blood and death in a water filled canal in the middle of this room.

Some of the guards had escaped up the stairs and we went to follow them, but were stymied by a stone door. After 5 minutes of searching around for something, and the imminent arrival of backup forces only being held off by a similar door on the floor below, we smashed through the stone and confronted our target. Secrets were revealed, the head of the guard turned traitor, and we were able to complete our objective.


Second level session, standard array or point buy, and a 3rd, 2nd, and 1st level magic item. The only requirement was no PHB races, MM races preferred.

OOC, I played the Doppelganger Wizard (disguised as a goblin most of the session), Dan was an Undead Warlock (a warforged skinned/ repurposed as undead), Josh was the bugbear rogue (incorrectly jotted down as "Hobo" on the initiative board during the first fight, and stuck with it after that, and Chris played the minotaur cleric. I am not certain why I personally had so much fun, but I guess it has something to do with the class/race and trying to roleplay it. And wizards are fun. Jesse brought in the Gnome (I'm guessing it was a warlock, but I don't really remember enough to say for sure, or to peg which pact). He had quite a lot of material for us, and unfortunately we were too few in number to really take advantage of it, since a lot of the adventure was to be intra-party intrigue and roleplay.

Crunchy bits:
The first fight was a wash for Dan and I, I missed most of my attacks and I remember he missed more than his share. Chris charged in and pretty much bashed everyone, Josh managed to get his sneak attack on every attack I think, and we didn't get hurt.

The farmhouse. . .by this time we were all pretty solidly in character and Dan (or entropy personified) decided to start the fields aflame as we approached our victims. We handily dispached the escapee and I used my wizards daily to flash freeze the innocents taking refuge in the barn (which then collapsed on them, nach).

The most hilarious moment for me was everyone running to hide, the guards are like 200 ft away, and Chris uses the time he has to set up this impromptu trap. Props to Jesse for saying "Yes, and..." and letting us get away with it. Somewhat dissapointingly for me, my encounter power dazes an opponent and being an orb wizard I can extend it so it lasts an extra round. Perfect for the party rogue. I think we only managed to pull it off in the first fight, because in the other fights it killed the guy outright. Ah well, Josh got to deliver the final blow to the mage. And took her horse. And Dan grabbed a corpse. In typical D&D fashion those both dissapeared as soon as we weren't thinking about them.

The cliff was also more entertaining than I can relay here, but Josh did fail a couple of checks and so his climb was not as. . .steady, as I glossed over that. Wrenching the guards from their window happened just like it sounded, and immediately after that Josh fell again. Good times.

The most fun I had was trying to convince guards to come back to the room. Admittedly selfish, I know. I rolled a natural 20 on one of the many bluff rolls though, so, whee! Once that started going south one of the guards sent the remaining one to go get someone, Dan attempted to visualize the threat i was espousing, and the guard started calling for help. I stayed in character as long as I could, and dan rushed the guard. When the backup burst through the door, I was happy to break character and nuke them (all arrayed in a square like that, how could I resist? Action point and blast them again.

We really did well considering we had no defender. All of our builds were pretty mobile or tough in other ways. This was the biggest fight and we handled it well. After beating them we had a D&D moment where we had to get through a door and spent too much in game time overthinking it, Dan had to go, so once we busted through it was curtains (though I feel like we were approaching the end anyhow).

This ended up long.


PS - I went through and cleaned it up. Hopefully it is a little clearer now.

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