Sunday, May 16, 2010

Game Recap: Making a name

So, being all settled in from Disney World it was back to session 2. We left the party camped out on top of a giant burial mound/cairn in the bog, starting excavations when they heard moaning coming out of the swamp. We also added in a new player, a dwarven warrior whom we decided would take the role of one of the labourers. The warrior was thus armed with just an iron sledgehammer. Unable to determine the numbers, the local wizard/thief Guiseppe decides to somersault off his horse and land at the hill edge, shining his lantern into the darkness in a bit to impress the "princess" Anastasia. He fumbles and rolls down the hill, face to face with 8 "bog people" warriors, large wicker shields, iron javelins and crude iron cleavers.




Anastasia tries to rally the labourers into a defense force but fails, a point punctuated by a volley of bog people javelins that slay 4 of them. Silas the gypsy misses with a sling bullet. The new dwarf "Angus" gets a plan I hadn't thought off, pointing out its a cairn that it must therefore have large stones requiring all of these labourers to move, Angus makes a strength check (bolstered by his skill "Heavy Lifting" and rolls a boulder down the hill at the advancing column. The rock crushes and destroys all but one of the bog people and severely injures Guiseppe, digging deep into his body points and giving a bad penalty. Anastasia then manages to remove a "gently used" javelin and throw it back, injuring the bog person, while Guiseppe manages to dodge a blow. Silas makes a running leap and attempts a terribly dangerous leap attack to the bog person at the bottom of the hill. Silas makes the brutal strength and agility checks but misses the attack. The dwarf decides to slowly climb down while Guiseppe gets a lucky shot, dealing repeating damage to the undead and felling it.

The bog people were from a bronze age culture but they are armed with recent (and crude) weapons from bog iron. Silas follows their tracks and concludes they came from deeper into the bog and not from within the mound. Digging down through the roof, the dwarf is tied off and smashes into the mounds main hall. Finding it branches two ways he goes left and finds it runs to a well preserved sealed wooden door, going back the other way he finds it leads to a rotted out and crumbling door. The princess and the gypsy decide to come down and help out while Guiseppe stays up top. Breaking down the door with the ultimate thief tool (a sledgehammer) they use the wreckage to set off some traps. They move into a mass burial chamber of a handful of people adorned in simple silver jewellery which they promptly loot en Mass. Then they feel sleepy and must deal with a possession attempt from the angry ghosts, this used social combat mechanics.

As they had no real background yet I used the order of the "d30" random background generator for each of the "social attacks" to ask a background question, the answer being the defense statement against the ghosts attack. This quickly fleshed out some background as it turns out that Angus the dwarf wants his old job back because it monotonous but safe, even if it did give him a scar due to a work accident. Silas it turns out had a facial scar as well, from a beating his brother gave him when he failed to keep his sister safe and alive, thus he is disowned. Anastasia it was revealed was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and had beaten her rival in a great con.

Despite her mechanical advantage Anastasia continually got beaten buy her ghost and nearly lost her soul, thankfully Silas was able to defeat his ghost (and command it into the ether) and help Anastasia drive off her ghost.

Taking their silver jewelry they motioned for Guiseppe to come down and broke down the wall to the other chamber. Angus saw a skeletal figure holding a mud caked sword sitting in a large throne made of antlers, atop a stone slap, surrounded by clay pots and headed closer to investigate. Guiseppe decided to throw a stone at the sword from his sling (sensing an undead trap). It kind of worked. A spectral king stood up from the throne (leaving the corpse behind) wearing the physical crown and grabbed the sword, approaching Silas.

Anastasia attempted to parlay in ancient Greek but it was too late, Angus however seemed to have been bypassed, and decided to look in a pot. They were full of gold. A battle ensued with the ghost. Silas was unable to harm the ghost and when smashing the body failed to do anything Angus joined in to discover smashing the crown did nothing as well. Giuseppe set fire to the corpse and decided to retreat to the hole they dug, knowing the undead were damaged by the sun. Thankfully the king had fumbled and lost a round of combat. Unable to follow them into the light the king waited in the shadows. The labourers then dug the roof out from over top of the throne chamber and drop in a bonfire or two. By the time they clambered down there the king had fled through an escape passage with his sword, leaving the party with a whopping 290 gold coins (local exchange equivalent to $870,000).

Returning to town they discovered that as news of their wealth spread money grubbers came out of the woodwork. Deciding to try and find some spells for Giuseppe they hired the local hunter for a whopping 15 gold coins (price gouging) to take them to a druid circle in the southern woods. Here they found an idyllic glade and they offered some rare fungus and the spells found on the wooden log as an offering.

Entering the glade they found it empty, save for three standing stones each inscribed with a spell. View the Veil (detect magic), Bee Swarm (cone of effect spell) and Wall of Thorns (barrier spell). They also found a tree covered with many different types of fruit (peach, pear, apple, gooseberry) and a spring of clear water. Calling out to the woods (being unable to spot anyone hiding) revealed a robed woman who asked what they wanted.

A short (and botched) conversation later she told them to leave, had two elven guards step out and suggested they not return, but if they seek to find more secrets in the woods that there is an evil cult in the woods to the west, who meet on the full moon.

The party headed south to the village of Smithwald (8 houses, a smithy and a fest hall) and the princess got lodging with the local pagan knight, Sir Darnan "the bear" and agreed to have the priest disgraced in exchange for support and a token parcel of land. Finally they decided to head to the estate of Sir Liam, the remaining knight in the region (beyond the king and his household knights). Cutting through the applemarsh swamp they decided to try and hunt down the troll they heard rumours was harassing the area and with the help of their dog, they tracked it to its cave.

Using a brilliant trap of lamp oil, a wall of thorns and a caber toss they decided to ambush the troll as it arose for the night. When the troll awoke however, they discovered it was an earth elemental, as it turns out quite a nasty one. The creature was a bearded man 12 feet tall and covered in moss and roots.. Still, they set it on fire, hit it with a caber (read thrown tree) and finally had the dwarf leap from on high and crack it between the shoulders with an iron sledgehammer to slay it. Its corpse turned to stone and crumbled.

In its lair they found halfling (leprechaun) skeletons, old furniture, a bag of candy, an Iron bastard sword and some malnourished halfings in cages. The halfling's had left a white witches enchanted land to the north and tried to return home, only to find it flooded and be ambushed by the troll. Anastasia asked the import question in light of recent events "Do you have any plow experience?". Who else was going to work their new land?

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