Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 The Lower Levels of the Temple

RECAP from 10/19/2012 Averlorn Session

We started off by searching the area around the first secret door that we had found previously.  We found spy holes looking out over entry area, rotted ropes and levers that did nothing when pulled.  Ragnar the Thugee War Wizard and Skeorn the Thugee Cleric got a rash from a yellow mold like substance that they touched while searching rubble in the corner.  We also found large stone feet on the steps outside above where the destroyed statue used to be.

The group then opened the secret door and found stairs that led to a platform over the giant stone face in the large room beyond the entry corridor where we had fought the natives in the previous session.  Skeorn pulled a lever and fire shot out of the mouth and set the firepit alight again!  While searching below the stairs, Skeorn fell into a trap door and took some damage.  He was in a room full of statues - four on two walls and two on another wall with a passage leading out of the room.  While searching the statues, Ragnar disturbed a group of four deadly poisonous cobras!  Unfortunately, three of the four bit him and he failed all three saving throws!  (he rolled a 2, a 2 and a 3)  It was only a matter of time before he died but Skorn had memorized Delay Poison and cast it on him to buy him some time.  We got back into the canoes and paddled back to the village of Mantru across the lake to see if there was anything that the villagers could do for him but all the village shaman could do was cast delay poison again which bought him another four hours and then he died.  We gave him a proper Viking funeral and put him in a canoe piled with wood, set it alight and sent it adrift into the lake to burn up and eventually sink to the bottom, so that he could rest in Valhalla with the good graces of Odin.

There was another Thugee barbarian warrior that had recently arrived at the village from the ship and he joined the group in Ragnar’s place.  So we headed back to Taboo Island in our canoes and resumed our search of the Temple of the Gods.  Several party members climbed back down into the room below the trap door and resumed the search.  Amul the Monk used his speak with animals ability to talk to the cobras and asked them if it was OK if we searched the statues and they said it was OK as long as we didn't bother them.  Besides, they said we were too big to eat and they were sorry they killed our friend but that he had startled them and they were merely acting in self defense. 

So after searching the room, one of the elves found a secret door in one corner of the room but we didn't open it right away.  Also, Skeorn had set off a pressure plate or something that caused a portcullis to fall over the only other portal out of the room.  The fighter types combined their strength to try to lift it but couldn't get it to budge.  Skeorn opened up a door in another corner that had a puddle of water on the floor around it and sure enough, just like we feared, the room quickly filled up with water which flooded down the hallway past the portcullis and we were forced to wade in waist deep water from that point on since the entire floor was now flooded.

So we opened up the secret door and came out into a hallway at a three way intersection.  This entire area was now flooded as well.  We traveled down one of the branches of the hallway with Skeorn the Thugee War priest and our new barbarian comrade in the lead.  The corridor went on for a ways and then we went up a short flight of stairs to a landing and down a short flight of stairs to a continuation of the hallway.  Once he got to the other side of the hallway beyond the second set of steps, he felt something brush up against his leg and then was attacked by three normal sized crocodiles!  After a brief melee, the three reptiles were killed by the two warriors with some help from the monk and one of the elves wielding spears and afterwards we resumed our search.  At the end of the long hallway was another flooded room in which there was a very wicked looking mace hanging on the wall!  Skeorn picked it up and kept it since it was even more wicked looking than the one he had and looked like the kind of weapon that would suit a Thugee War priest of Odin!

The group searched the room and the barbarian found a small purse with some gold coins in it and a couple of small coral statues that appeared to be worth a decent amount of money!  Aside from these items though, there was nothing else in the room.  We resumed our search and back tracked back to the three way intersection and went down another passageway.  This hallway was lined with a group of cell blocks on both sides with wrought iron bars from floor to ceiling and locked gates designed to keep prisoners in, though it had long ago been abandoned.  At the end of the hallway we found a torture chamber that was similarly abandoned and there were old decayed and rusty implements of torture lying about.  So we went back out into the hallway and down at one end there was a door that Skeorn opened. 

Beyond was another flooded room but this one was very large being some seventy feet square.  As Skeorn waded out into the water, he realized that he was on a landing that had stairs off of it going down deeper into the water!  Realizing that the water was very deep, the Thugee cleric and the barbarian stripped off their armor so they could swim and left their armor hanging on the statues back in the first room to keep it from sitting in the murky water and rusting away. Skeorn swam across to the other side of the room.  There he found a wide passageway in the middle of the one wall with a 20’ wide set of stairs leading up.  Unfortunately, the stairs were blocked with rubble from a cave in, and it looked like the entire staircase area had suffered a cave in long ago and collapsed.  So he couldn’t go up that way.  He swam across to the other side opposite the original landing and ended up at a shallower area which appeared to be a another set of semi circular steps in the water below, leading up to a quarter round dais landing at the highest point before finally reaching another portal that led out of the room.  

As he started walking up the stairs through the continually decreasing depth of water over them, he was attacked by two very large giant crabs that swam up out of the depth of the water of the room and tried to maul him with their four giant pincers!  So Skeorn had no armored protection aside from his shield and during the fight, they managed to cut him up a little, but fortunately, he had help from the archers and wizards across the room on the landing on the other side who pin-cushioned the giant crustaceans with arrows while the two wizards hit them with magical missiles.  We managed to kill one and hurt the other badly enough that Skeorn was able to finish it off with his mace.

Once the crabs were defeated, he was joined by the barbarian, the Monk Amul and Lorinar the Elvish wizard and the four swam across the room after him searching the deep water briefly.  While swimming across the water the barbarian spotted what looked to be a giant dead crab on the bottom but didn’t think anything of it so the three continued across to join Skeorn in the hallway on the other side.  With Skeorn leading the way, the group made its way past some apparent rat tunnels in the walls and to another door at the end of the hallway.  Skeorn entered the room with the barbarian and it appeared to be empty so he started heading to the door on the other side of the room. 

As he was walking through the waist deep water, he stepped over a tripwire and suddenly a gout of burning oil gushed out of an opening in the wall into the room and the hallway beyond burning the four characters with an oily substance that stuck to their skin!  (kind of like Napalm!)  As the four retreated to get away from the burning oil floating on top of the water, they continued getting burned until Lorinar realized that going under the water actually helped to put the fire out.  So the four party members were burned a little but not too badly.  After a few healing spells were cast, the group resumed their search.  This time Skeorn swam over the trip wire to get to the door beyond and didn’t set off the trap again.  When he opened the door, all of the water that had recently flooded the hallway and the other areas beyond rushed out and flooded out into the hall knocking Skeorn off of his feet, and he was pushed into an iron portcullis 10’ down the hall beyond.  He was a little bruised and battered but otherwise all right.

After the water drained out of the hallway we could see that beyond the portcullis was a stair leading down and another door on the left at the top of the landing.  We could also clearly see the trip wire on the floor that set off the burning oil trap which we could now simply step over.  He opened up the door and in the hallway beyond was what appeared to be a well going down further into the earth with gouts of heat and steam billowing up from it!  Whatever was down there was boiling and hot and best to be avoided.  The barbarian easily jumped across the well and Skeorn carefully went around it hugging the walls.  Beyond the well was another really long passageway which the two followed until they came to the other portcullis at the other end in the first room with the statues in it!  So they retrieved their armor and put it back on and went back around to the rest of the group that was still waiting in the larger room above the large flooded room that the others had previously swam accross.

While the other characters were waiting for the four to explore the area beyond the deep water in the large room, and after the water had receded quite a bit when it drained down the stair case, they noticed that what we had previously though was a dead crab in the middle of the room was in fact a very large clam!  At this point we realized that we had most likely found the location of the fabled giant black pearl that we were sent to retrieve – it was likely to be found within the shell of the giant clam!  So Skeorn and the barbarian showed the rest of the group how to circumvent the deep water by going down the other hallway without having to swim and the group descended the stair case beyond the second portcullis at the landing.  When we got to the bottom we noticed it was very hot and steamy due to all of the water running down the staircase into the heat of the room below.  We surmised that there was some sort of natural heat source down here like lava or boiling geysers or something.  So we decided to go back up the stairs for a bit until the steam went away or diminished a bit and our allow our Monk to attempt to extricate the giant black pearl from the maw of the giant clam…


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 The Monks Finest Hour: Fists of Fury!

RECAP from 10/13/2012 Averlorn Session

I have to say that was the most enjoyable battle we've had since switching over to AD&D - it was very cool. I was thinking about it a bit today and Amul really made the difference in that fight - first, he rolled a 20 to catch an arrow in mid air and knocked another one out of the air away from him while still in the entry tunnel after the two fighters had charged up the stairs to the left of the tunnel to engage the archers. After realizing that the arrows were poisoned, he fired the one that he caught from his bow and hit one of the tribal leaders that was charging towards the rest of the group at the tunnel entrance. This warrior failed his save and his eyes rolled up inside of his head and he started frothing at the mouth and dropped to the floor twitching and spasming in convulsions. Shortly afterwards, Amul finally turned invisible from the potion of invisibility he had taken previously, and ran up the stair with Narsil the Elf and Tobin's Ranger heading towards the archers on the balcony above. Before the two armored fighters even made it up the stairs they got swarmed by the warriors on the floor from below and had to turn around and fight them to fend them off. Since Amul had finally turned invisible when the natives reached the stair, he managed to quickly slip away from the fight up the stair past the two fighters onto the middle of the balcony overlooking the large room below. He fired his bow and managed to kill one or two of the archers on the balcony and became visible while the rest of the archers repositioned themselves further down the balcony and around the corner so they could get shots at the rest of the group and at the monk. 

In the following round, Amul realized that the shaman on the bottom of the stairs was about to cast something really nasty on the two fighters (Tony told us later it was hold person which could have been game over for those two guys if they had failed their saves since they were being swarmed by warriors) so he picked up a quiver of the poisoned arrows from the archer he had just dropped and fired two of them at the Shaman! The first one missed but the second one hit its mark before the spell was completed, and all of a sudden the shaman went all glassy eyed and dropped onto the stair with white froth coming out of his mouth and started twitching convulsively! Meanwhile, the battle below raged on with the two clerics in plate mail holding the hallway against a large group of warriors with Lorinar the Elvish Wizard behind them. Lorinar managed to cast his sleep spell and dropped all of the natives on the floor outside of the tunnel (including Skeorn, our Thuggee Cleric), except for the ones that charged our guide Quoyoga who suddenly turned visible in the middle of the room next to the central firepit as he was trying to cast sleep on the rest of the archers on the balcony! 

As if Amul hadn't already done enough to swing the battle in our favor, he was left with a stark choice - go through one of the doors off of the balcony to get out of site of the remaining ten or so archers on the railing, and effectively withdraw from the battle, climb down to the floor and risk being peppered by poisoned puffer fish venom arrows, or engage the remaining archers on the balcony in hand to hand by himself so they couldn't shoot him with their poisoned arrows! And wisely, he chose the latter option and luckily for him initiative was tied on that round! So instead of his usual two attacks with his fists of doom, since his weapon speed was 1 and their weapon speed was 4 (they were using clubs) he got to make four attacks in the round against the four guys around him! (when there is an initiative tie in AD&D you use the difference between the two weapon speeds - in this case it was 4 - 1 = 3 which meant that his attacks were three times faster than the clubs so he got two extra attacks!). And of course, one was a crit so he did damage and rolled his stunning attack and stunned one guy right before killing him, and the other three hits resulted in three more archers going down! It was like Bruce Lee just opened up a can of whoopass on a bunch of mooks and they were dropping like flies! 

Meanwhile, Rollo joined the fray on the stairs after charging the mob of natives there that were attacking the fighters and kept them from fleeing while the two fighters kept pounding on them from above on the steps. Narsil and the Ranger eventually managed to slay their leader after a fierce melee - Tony said he was a 7th level fighter after the battle! Meanwhile, Amul, I mean Bruce Lee, started Karate chopping the rest of the archers on the balcony and a few more went down and the rest started climbing down the large demon head statue at the end of the balcony to the floor below to get away from his fists of fury. Prior to that, the guys that had ganged up on Quoyoga had him outnumbered five to one and managed to drop him since he became visible in the center of the room before he could get his sleep spell off (he was lightly armored like our opponents). Seeing his plight, our Thugee War priest Skeorn, who Lorinar had awakened, single handedly charged them to try to save our guide. Two engaged him in melee and the other three started climbing up the rope to try to make it out through the hole in the ceiling along with some of the archers that had climbed down to the floor by this point.

Lorinar fired a few times with his bow and missed but Amul decided he was going to try to bring the lot of them down in one shot and aimed for the rope! It was a thick rope so it wasn't an impossible shot (Tony gave it an AC of 2) and he managed to hit it with one of his arrows! Then Tony figured out the rope's hit points after it failed an item saving throw to see if it actually took enough damage to break, and Allen rolled maximum damage or close to it and it did! Then Tony rolled to see how many guys took a d6 damage from the fall (they probably had less than six hit points) and he rolled a six! So one guy sprained his ankle and the rest of them were killed in the fall! Afterwards it was mop up time and Lorinar managed to kill one of the guys fleeing down the face of the statue with his bow and finally, the rest of them, seeing the futility of the situation surrendered! All of their leaders were gone, their children had managed to escape up the rope but the remaining archers, women combatants and warriors (only about 15 left out of 40 initially) had had enough and laid down their weapons seeing that they could not prevail. 

After the battle we found a +1 spear and a +2 longsword amongst them and a bunch of gems, a potion of flying and a nugget of Corbitimite around the leader's neck on a string! We asked the survivors where they had found that and they said that only the leaders knew where the corbitumite vein was located but if we could find it and successfully mine it, we would all be rich! Corbitumite is the fuel that powers the fires that drive the Dragonships and is a very valuable commodity. So we brought our prisoners back to the island and the villagers of Mantru were astonished that not only were their enemies not demons like they believed (they were all wearing scary demon masks), but they were in fact humans like themselves, and they were even more amazed that we managed to prevail against them and bring what remained of the tribe to them for judgement! So after they debated their fate, they had the remaining evil men amongst their enemies summarily executed (they were evil cannibals after all) and kept the women as slaves. We went back to the island afterwards and searched the big central room which served as their lair and found a couple of secret doors. Also, there was a tunnel leading through the big statue's head in the main chamber opposite the entry hallway that went straight for a ways and then turned to the right but since it was late we called the session there.

All I have to say is that Allen had the game of his life playing the Monk who was in his element against numerous low level lightly armored foes. That situation was really the best kind of fight for a mid level monk who is fast and has multiple punch attacks. I'm pretty sure he single handedly killed or poisoned like 15 or more of them out of the 40 (poisoned leader down below with arrow, killed another archer on the balcony with his bow, poisoned the shaman, killed another six or so archers by himself on the balcony, shot the rope that killed another six!) and I may have missed one or two in the count - it was a really fun and eventful session... 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Averlorn Campaign - Adventure Module X1 The City of the Ancients

RECAP from 10/5/12 Averlorn Session

Note: this recap was mostly written by Allen who was playing Amul the Monk at the time with edits and supplements at the end during the combat with the natives.  He posted the original recap on the Battlebuddies RPG Forum which was created and is run by our GM Scadgrad.  Allen's original recap can be found at the forum here:

We camped at the base of the mountain. The party needed a day or two to process all of the meat we acquired from killing several elk during a hunt that occurred during the session before (our rations were low and we were supplementing our food by hunting - elk and Pterodactyl jerky needed to be made). The party was accosted by a dino-armadillo creature during the third watch that did some damage, but we were able to put it down in short order.

The following morning the party climbed the mountain using the rope of climbing - it was a near vertical climb!  After a brief encounter with some Pterodactyls while we were climbing (we batted them away) the crows reached the summit and found out that we were on top of a volcano!   The party spent the night in sub- 0 temperatures which resulted in frostbite damage for everyone - it was perhaps the coldest night we have ever spent!! In fact it was colder than......

The following day, we ascended into the Caldera valley.  Here it was very warm and tropical on the valley floor and the crows spotted a village on the floor of the valley below. We guessed it had about one hundred or so island natives as inhabitants.  The village was set up for fishing the large lake at the center of the volcano.  They seemed hostile at first, but after figuring out we were friendly they accepted us - and, I mean accepted us!  They had no concept of personal property - simply put, what they had was ours and what we had was theirs!  The characters were all assigned to live with different family groups and we were one with the community!

Amul mentioned to the village community that 'our sister' Paladin Sierra was an unmarried female (a nice military-style practical joke since she was a Paladin!)

People of note:

THE CHIEF - a small stone statue - (this might be a god idol), but we were to respect it and talk to it as if it was a real person.

Oo-lot - "the talking chief" seemed to be the leader and was very old, friendly, and scarred.

Fon-o – the Village Shaman was an old leader type who worshiped the "Sky God".

After staying for a while to rest up and replenish our nourishment and supplies, the group found it had been totally befriended by the village.  At this point the village elders asked us to destroy the "Devils" that lived on the island in the middle of the lake.  The island was called "Taboo Island".  According to the elders these devils regularly hunted, captured, and preyed on the villagers.  After agreeing to help them in this matter, the party set off across the lake to attack the “Devils”. Upon our arrival, we found some "ancient ruins" which was what we had been seeking - the fabled City of the Ancients!!!

We crossed the lake from the village to the island in the middle in canoes provide to us by the villagers for the assault.  After an initial investigation of the old temple face on the edge of the lake, we went up some steps and found a hallway leading into darkness.  The hallway was filled with rubble so we could only proceed single file.  The crows began the advance into the hallway and suddenly, the Paladin in front was attacked by five spear men.  They were defending the "choke point" at the end of the tunnel so we couldn't really bring all of our forces to bear - only two people could fight at a time including one with a spear behind the Paladin. These spear men then raised the alarm alerting their companions beyond the entry.  During the initial melee, three spear men were killed and then the guards fell back into what appeared to be a large room beyond the entry corridor.  More natives charged in to block our entrance into the room, but we beat them back and finally cleared the choke point and they left a rearguard of two natives behind to cover their retreat who were finally overcome.

During the melee we wounded one of their leaders (a spear guy) who took 17 hits and fell back with the rest of them.  When it was over, Sierra was up front with Narsil the Sun Elf behind her and Rollo the dwarf was behind him with the rest of the party following behind in single file.  The Paladin could see many more in the large room beyond including archers, and it looked like they were waiting for us to charge into the room in order to let loose with a volley of arrows and spears - and that's where we left it.  We also thought that these devils were nothing more than evil humans in 'devil' costumes.   No gold or items where found but we did find a nice village and what seems to be the "City of the Ancients" so it was a productive session.  The next session is looking like a scrum from the get go and should be exciting...