View Full Version : Journal Campaign Journal

Eric Mac
2013-11-20, 03:36 AM
Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and have been out of the game for awhile. Recently some of my friends expressed an interest in playing D&D 3.5, and since I was the only one (eek) who had played before I was elected DM. So I crafted a world from scratch (for pictures of maps and such just send me a message) and set about creating a few adventures, also working some premade adventures into the game. I'm going to keep a journal here so you guys can give me feedback and tell me what I'm doing wrong (or right). Thanks!

The World- The continents on which the campaign takes place are very familiar, 365 days a year, twelve months, temperate climate ranging to cold in the north and warmer in the south. I wanted to keep it as familiar as possible since no one else has played before.

History- The story of the world in its current state begins with the story of Darien Marlis. He became Darien IV, King of Marlis when his father died in battle against Arjaden troops. As the soldiers from the neighboring city state closed in around the capitol, young King Darien rallied his private guard and dealt a series of crushing defeats to the Arjaden attackers. They harried the defeated army, and when they arrived in Arjaden Darien commanded a thousand Arjaden prisoners executed at one time in front of the city gates. He continued to spread his power, and within thirty years had every city state on Istendal paying him homage. He declared himself Emperor Darien Marlis on his 45th birthday.
While the "dark races" were never completely conquered, they were kept on the defensive for the next three hundred years. There was a golden age of learning in magic, science, and the arts. However, in 347 AD (After the reign of Darien), a demon army was summoned to the fields around Marlis. The troops rallied but Marlis and then Arjaden fell to the demon army. Emperor Stavin Marlis II was killed and put on display. The cities were eventually retaken, but all over the western side of Istendal cities began to fall to armies of goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs. As the empire collapsed around him, Emperor Stavin III turned to the most powerful sorcerer in the land, the evil Morgan. Morgan, through unknown pacts with dark gods, split the continent in half. The falling western side was left to the teeming hordes. The eastern half, once the far-flung borders of the empire, became mankind's new hope. Now, almost 500 years after The Divide, the races of man have regained much power. However, they lack a strong leader and political infighting prevents much progress towards reclaiming the lands and treasures of the old empire. A single emperor has been replaced by the Council of Nine, and people are hesitant to fight a war against the armies of the west. However, groups of brave souls have begun to tread the lost western half of Istendal hoping for gold and glory to be found beneath the trampled cities.

Eric Mac
2013-11-20, 03:38 AM
Re: My New (Mostly) Homebrew Campaign Journal
The Players and their Characters

Since no one had ever played D&D before, I initially limited classes to those found in the 3.5 PHB.

Evelyn- Played by Summer, my girlfriend's daughter. Evelyn is a halfling bard with a vicious streak.

Norgretor- Played by John, a local LARPer who I met at the second session. Norg is a gnome wizard, and definately plays the role of the thoughtful adventurer well.

Idrel- Played by Jessie, John's girlfriend. Idrel is a half-elf rogue with a mind for tactics and a somewhat greedy nature.

Oden- Played by my cousin, also named Eric. Oden is a dwarf paladin with absolutely no tolerance for evil, who possesses quite a mean streak of his own.

Inw- Played by Eric's girlfriend Morgan. Inw is an elven Druid who tends to use her spells offensively and is accompanied by a wolf companion.

There are also rumors that my friend Lucas will be playing a half-Orc fighter once school lets out for winter break, but we will see.

Eric Mac
2013-11-20, 03:40 AM
The First and Second Session-

The characters were traveling from the center of the empire along a well-known trade route to the edges of the empire proper, to seek adventure in the Wyvern's Teeth mountains around Lahodem, a small mining community along the trade route. To get the players warmed up to the combat system, I had some nasty surprises for them along the way. The first session involved Oden, Inw, Evelyn, and Idril.

About two days into their four or five day travel, they were beset upon by tiny little lizard men, attacking with spear from the cover of the bushes (nine of them knew about kobolds). With an AC of 15, kobolds can be a lot harder than they appear, especially to a first level party, but they dealt with the problem and suffered only minor damage. They also learned an important rule about posting guards at night.
The next day, they were approached by a gnome in traveler's clothes, who had seen signs of the creatures along the path and thought it would be wise to find a party to travel with for safety. This was the wizard, Norgetor, who was traveling to Lahodem to see if he could locate a long abandoned monastery that may or may not contain arcane knowledge that he could pilfer.
That night, as they slept, they were attacked by a much larger group of kobolds, all wearing black cloths over the bottom part of their faces. Oden was taking first watch, and so was fully armored (he's currently rocking scale mail and a tower shield, so he has a decent AC for level one), but by the time he noticed the little buggers the party was fully surrounded. The kobolds (there were nine of them) descended on the party and attacked just as Oden started yelling his head off to wake his companions. Without a play by play, the kobolds were routed, and the last two were picked off with timely crossbow attacks as they fled the party.
In response, Oden (a paladin, mind you) decided to tie the dead kobolds to the trees as a warning to any others who may be following them. I'm not sure if this is a particularly "good" action or not, so I'd be curious to get some feedback about how to handle that particular situation in the future.
After that, the party proceeded to Lahodem without incident. Once there, they found a town under a light siege. Due to increased kobold activity in the last months, the miners had taken to traveling in small armed groups. Travelers have stopped coming to the town for the most part, and trade has tapered off.
The PCs settled in to town. They all bought rooms at the Wanderer's Rest, and Oden found some stonework that needed done to earn a couple gp. The bard also performed, and the party bolstered their barely sufficient funds and resupplied at the local shops. The owner of the Wanderer's Rest was a dwarf who had been on a few adventures of his own, and gave them some tips on fighting kobolds (I wanted to use traps an whatnot, but don't necessarily want to cause a TPK right off the bat). Inw took to the woods solo to see if she could find anything useful about the kobolds.
The next morning, the party discussed whether or not to take on the problem of the kobolds around Lahodem. Oden wanted to put them to rout, Norg felt that killing kobolds could lead to finding treasure. Evelyn was ambivalent about the situation, and Idril wasn't very keen on hunting kobolds (she had almost died after a failed sneak attack in the last encounter and was a little gun shy).
It was about that time that a man stumbled into the inn, leather armor slashed and gashed and breathing heavily. He had been a part of a caravan taking copper to Staal, the next major city along the route, when it was attacked by (surprise!) kobolds. He had come to enlist the help of the innkeeper, a known local adventurer, but he pawned the man off onto the PCs. Idril was still hesitant, but they agreed to talk to the mayor about the situation.
Mayor Ivril was grateful to receive some assistance. He was reluctant to send out the town militia, since that would leave the town vulnerable, and help had not yet arrived from the empire. He offered the PCs 200 gp apiece to return the captured townspeople and the wagon of copper ore. This was enough to sway Idril, and the PCs set out to save the day.
Led by the surviving miner, they are a day's travel from the scene of the attack. At the scene, two kobolds are feasting on a human leg, oblivious to the approaching party.
Norg- "I speak draconic. We could interrogate them"
Oden- "I attack with my war axe."
Norg- "Let's tie one up and talk to him."
Idril- "He'd just lie to us. Let's kill him."
Oden- "I kill him."
Luckily, the PCs are able to follow the wagon tracks to the mining caravan. They find two of the wagons sitting in the road, and are rightly suspicious. Evelyn slips around to scout the situation and ends up face to face with a kobold sorcerer, who surprises her with a daze attack. Oden rushes up to help, and another kobold steps from the roadside, this one wearing an ornate robe decorate with skulls and bones. He is waving his hands, and Oden realizes that he has a sudden fondness for their attackers. Torn between saving his friend and protecting the poor, weak kobolds, he loses a turn. Idril curses, and begins a series of amazing rolls with her crossbow. She almost single-handedly wipes out the attackers, and the party chases down the last wagon. Once approached, the kobolds leading the wagon leap on to horses and escape with the miners laid across the saddles. I don't know if kobolds can really ride horses, but these did, and they escaped, leaving the wagon behind.
Norg, luckily, had brought his donkey, which the PCs hooked to the cart of copper ore. They looted the bodies of all the kobolds, and made about thirty or so sp. Norg also gained a scroll with some first level spells, and a black and blue robe with skulls on it. They made it back to Lahodem, and returned the cart to the mayor for payment.
Mayor Ivest gave them their promised money, and the PCs felt rich. He asked them to return the next day for a meeting with the town council to relay their story and discuss the steps that would be taken against the kobolds of the black mask. The PCs agreed, and we ended the session there.

The PCs are still level one, but are very close to level two at this point. They have amassed a small amount of money, and can buy any mundane items they need in the small trade town. They have settled in to the idea that they will be called on to exterminate the kobolds. Have no fear, I am a huge fan of plot twists and this will not be a standard hire-the-characters to fight-the-monsters adventure ;). Stay tuned for more updates, and please let me know what you think so far. Like I said, for pictures of the maps (I make a LOT of maps) just message me and I will get them to you.

2013-11-20, 04:27 AM
First off: You posted in the right place.

Second: A good read! I'll keep an eye on this in the future.

Third: "Paladin Falling" mechanics are pretty awful. Considering how completely arbitrary some of this stuff is (let's not even get into what, exactly, constitutes "legitimate authority," I don't want this thread locked), and how nebulous and region-specific "acting with honor" can be, I suggest you talk with the player about what constitutes fall-worthy offenses. After all, it's his character, he of all people should know what he swore to.

Eric Mac
2013-11-20, 04:30 AM
Thanks for the advice on paladins! Hopefully we will meet again early next week and I will have more to post.

2013-11-20, 04:53 AM
No problem; I've had precisely one game die over a misunderstanding with a player over paladin-code. Since then, I've made a point of talking with my players about it should they desire to play characters like that.

Eric Mac
2013-11-25, 02:37 PM
Session Two: Treachery Uncovered

At the beginning of this session, Inw, Idril, Norg, Evelyn and Oden were meeting with Mayor Ivres and the Lahodem town council to relay their exploits against the kobolds and to help devise a strategy to rid the town of these pests.
The town council consisted of a fighter type named Ragen, Mayor Ivres, a priest named Barba Duhn and a nobleman named Jessup Longley. The four men thanked the PCs, and promptly began arguing about the proper measures to take against the kobolds. Ragen wanted to rally the town militia and tak the fight to the kobolds. Barba Duhn pled to save the townspeople from possible death by waiting for help to come from the troops of the empire. Jessup had no strong opinion, and Mayor Ivres sympathized with Ragen but agreed with Barba Duhn's logic. The PCs, expecting to be sent after the kobolds, left the meeting a little confused about which course of action to take.
Oden, the paladin, wanted to eradicate the kobolds from the mountain entirely. Inw was inclined to leave the town, and let them sort out the problem when the empire's troops arrived. Idril wanted to wait and see what happened, and Norg sided with Oden. Evelyn didn't have a strong opinion. They decided to ignore the request of the town and go after the kobolds themselves. They suspected treachery from every single member of the town council, and didn't trust the mayor enough to tell him their plans. One more night of sleep would have them back to full hit points and spells.
That night, Oden woke up to an intruder inside his room at the inn. He tumbled out of bed, tangled up in blankets, and the intruder had time to make it out the window. Yelling for help (and mostly naked), the dwarf leaped out the window in pursuit of the thief. Surprisingly enough, he managed to catch the burglar when the former failed a dex check and skidded across the cobblestone street. Oden caught up to him, clamped a hand over his mouth and dragged him back to the inn.
At the inn, the PCs discovered that the thief had already stolen Norg's spell book. After a harsh interrogation (and several intimidation checks), they discovered that the man's name was Skrit, and he had been sent by Barba Duhn to prevent the PCs from pursuing the kobolds. They allowed the man to leave, but followed him out of town to make sure he was no longer going to be a threat.
Now the PCs had a dilemma. They couldn't take the story to the mayor with no evidence, but they were reluctant to face the priest directly for fear of reprisal from the town. They decided to send Evelyn and Idril to the temple, where Skrit was to meet Barba Duhn, and try to convince the priest that the PCs (minus the paladin) wanted in on whatever scheme he was concocting.
Trying to be somewhat circumspect, they were not happy when they opened the front door to the temple and chimes sounded. A priest appeared, wielding a staff, alarmed at the intruders. Not sure if the priests were all in on the plot, the PCs tried to reason with the man. Evelyn, having the highest charisma, was the parties mouth. She rolled a six. The priest attacked them and called for help.
Norg was the first one hit, and the priest rolled a critical with his staff. He did exactly enough damage to drop Norg to zero (seven to be exact). Evelyn stabbed the priest with her tiny dagger, enough to back him up into the hallway. Inw cast cure minor wounds on Norg, saving him from certain death. Idril, seeing that they had the priest safely outnumbered, ran down a hallway to see if anyone was responding to the priest's cries for assistance.
Meanwhile, Oden had crept through the back door (as much a a dwarf in scale mail and holding a tower shield and a war axe can creep, anyway). He popped the door with a strength check, and kicked open the first door that he saw. Inside was all the proof he needed to go full berserker mode.
Two corpses were strung up, flayed and partially skinned. There was a brazier of coals, pokers, a rack and several other implements of torture. Oden was livid; he was, after all, a paladin, and this was a church. War axe in hand, he turned to stalk down the hall in a fit of righteous rage.
Idril ran into another priest, on his way to the commotion. She bullrushes him back into his room and proceeds to wail on him without giving him the benefit of the doubt (for a rogue, she does pretty fair in face-to-face melee combat). Norg cast sleep on the priest who had almost killed him, and Evelyn finished him off with her dagger (by the way, what rules do you guys use for fighting incapacitated foes? One shot kills, or roll to hit and damage? We had a brief debate on this). And Oden, kicking oped door after door, found Barba Duhn, complete with three bound humans kidnapped by kobolds from the caravan.
A battle ensued (Barba Duhn was a level three cleric and wearing armor under his robes) but the PCs rolled well and took him out with no loss of life.
I found the PCs next step interesting. Keep in mind none of them have ever played Dungeons and Dragons before, and know nothing of the tendencies of other parties. Before they alerted authorities, before they even freed the prisoners, the looted the temple and Barba Duhn's house. Something about D&D turns mild mannered folks into pillaging barbarians. Effin awesome.
The session ended with the PCs freeing the prisoners, an preparing to take their findings to the mayor. Most of them leveled up at the end of the adventure, and I will try to get on later this week and update their characters before our next session. Thanks for reading, and I will be back soon.

Eric Mac
2013-11-25, 02:47 PM
By the way, I realize I posted the mayors name wrong in my first post. It is Mayor Ivres.

2013-11-25, 03:03 PM
a priest named Barba DuhnWhat's he a priest of, again? :smallconfused:

At the inn, the PCs discovered that the thief had already stolen Norg's spell book.And they recovered it safely? Just making sure.

Inw cast cure minor wounds on Norg, saving him from certain death.To be fair, at 0 you can still move around (slowly) or take actions. But a spell would be strenuous enough to put you into the negatives, yeah.

by the way, what rules do you guys use for fighting incapacitated foes? One shot kills, or roll to hit and damage? We had a brief debate on thisIt's been a while, but I believe the rule is that a coup de grace is treated like an automatic critical hit, so damage is still rolled.

Something about D&D turns mild mannered folks into pillaging barbarians. Effin awesome.I'm gonna be all kinds of amused when these folks get into Exalted. :smallamused:

Thanks for reading, and I will be back soon.No problem. :smallsmile:

2013-11-25, 05:28 PM
Looks like you're off to a good start! lol @ the immediate transformation into murderhobos :smallsmile:

For helpless opponents:

Eric Mac
2013-11-25, 05:37 PM
They did recover the spellbook, the thief had it on him. The Church in my game is similar to the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. There is only one church in the civilized world (although splinter factions and cults exist). They worship a god called God, and he is considered the highest and most supreme being. While it is ostensibly LG, many followers interpret the doctrine to suit their point of view, and all devout followers receive spells, regardless of alignment (God works in mysterious ways). Also, many demons and lords of the abyss and whatnot have followers in the world, although worship of them is a crime punishable by death within the empire. The God of the empire does not manifest himself on any plane in any form, He is instead the driving force behind the creation of the universes.

Eric Mac
2013-11-27, 01:57 AM
My players surprised me with an impromptu session to level up and get the adventure moving forward...

Into The Abandoned Monestary

After freeing the prisoners, the PCs took the former captives to the mayor to relay what had been going on at the temple. Mayor Ivres was horrified, and sent for the remaining two council members to see what was in the temple for themselves. He was saddened to learn the fate of his nephew, who had been sent to request help from the empire; his was one of the flayed corpses in the torture room. They thanked the PCs, decided on the spot to rally a militia to exterminate the kobolds from the area, and asked the PCs to help. The PCs agreed, and went back to the inn to heal and prepare.
Back at the Inn, a discussion was held. Idril was all for using townspeople as shields; she had no problem waiting for the town to rally. That was when Oden said:
"If the townspeople help us fight, we have to share any loot we find."
Norg- "Plus, the townspeople are not fighters. They could get hurt. We wouldn't want that."
Oden-"Uh, yeah, that too..."
So the PCs snuck out of town a day early, using Inw and her wolf to track the kobolds to their lair. This was the ruins of an abandoned monestary surprisingly close to the town. Finding an old staircase inside that led down into the depths of the earth, the PCs determined a marching order and headed down. Idril, paranoid of traps after I drilled the kobold's use of them into the PC's heads, searched for traps every step of the way. Luckily for the party random monster rolls came up nil.
The PCs encountered two dire weasels, pets of the kobolds, and had quite a fight with them in a large closet of a room. Finding no treasure beyond weasel droppings, they trundled on down the corridor, searching for traps.
Eventually, they came to a small kobold nesting room, with six males, two (apparently) females, and an egg. The PCs, not familiar yet with group combat tactics, stumbled over each other, eventually taking down the kobolds. Norg carried the kobold egg off as treasure, with visions of raising a baby kobold dancing in his head. The rest of the party divvied up a handful of coins, and we ended the session there. Inw now had enough xp to level up, so everyone will be level two in short order.

1) Do you allow wizards to have new spells automatically at level up? I do not, although I allowed the bard to learn two first level spells without being taught.
2) How useful is a pally with no points in ride? What is a good dwarf pally "build" strategy?
3) should the Druid be allowed to level up in the midst of the dungeon? Even just this once?

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your responses.

Eric Mac
2013-11-30, 04:08 PM
I got three new sourcebooks this week; I am greatly looking forward to incorporating these into my campaign.

2013-11-30, 06:38 PM
1) Do you allow wizards to have new spells automatically at level up? I do not, although I allowed the bard to learn two first level spells without being taught.That hardly seems fair; if I was going to allow or disallow something, I'd decide it across the board.

2) How useful is a pally with no points in ride? What is a good dwarf pally "build" strategy?Depends on how heavily they invest in the paladin mount and mounted combat in general. Charisma is generally the go-to stat for a Paladin in general, but since dwarves take a hit to their Charisma, it puts them at a bit of a disadvantage. Luckily, they can go at their full speed in the heaviest armor and under heavier encumbrance, so if you can get a speed boost for him, it's pretty nice.

3) should the Druid be allowed to level up in the midst of the dungeon? Even just this once?I don't see why not.

Eric Mac
2013-12-01, 07:16 AM
My reasoning for allowing the bard new spells is that the sorcery magic seems to be a bit more innate, not necessarily something learned, and the wizard has the ability to gain spells (and has, from scrolls found in loot) often through the adventure. I don't feel it was unfair, but I have been wrong before...

2013-12-01, 07:09 PM
Norg here, I'm now worried about taking care of this egg since we have been through a pretty small part of this dungeon so far, haha.

2013-12-01, 07:38 PM
Good read, keep it up!

How big is the egg?

Eric Mac
2013-12-01, 08:10 PM
Thanks! There is no description of kobold eggs, so I said it was fairly big, like a ten inches tall. The gnome holds it with both hands pretty much lol. We will see how long he holds on to it once he has to cast a spell!

Eric Mac
2013-12-01, 08:25 PM
Actually, I'm going to have to revise that, right now. Kobolds are small, so their eggs are probably three or four times the size of a chicken egg. Still big for a gnome to carry about in his hands. Good thing I was forced to think about it before the PCs went anywhere with it!

2013-12-02, 12:16 AM
Oh geeze. I've already been carrying around the lantern like some party candlestick, now I have something else that requires my hands too. My vote is that the druid gets the lantern in the meantime, since she has a wolf to hit things for her. Hopefully we get another session in soon.

2013-12-02, 01:50 PM
To the DM/Spectators:

You should totally make weasel droppings a valuable trade commodity in the next town :P

1) Do you allow wizards to have new spells automatically at level up? I do not, although I allowed the bard to learn two first level spells without being taught.
2) How useful is a pally with no points in ride? What is a good dwarf pally "build" strategy?
3) should the Druid be allowed to level up in the midst of the dungeon? Even just this once?

1. http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/sorcererWizard.htm#wizard

A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from her prohibited school or schools, if any; see School Specialization, below) plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new wizard level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new wizard level) for her spellbook. At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizards spellbooks to her own.
Bards just have new spells pop into their heads as they level. Wizards basically do the same, but the flavor is more that they spent the previous level(s) scribbling ideas in their spellbooks, and Level 2 is when they cross out the "flim flam shalamazoo" and try "flim floom shalazaroom" and suddenly their Burning Hands spell works! And of course they can copy a already-perfected version from a scroll/spellbook.

2. A Dwarf's Lay on Hands and Smite will be a tad weaker than usual, so he'll probably want a Cloak of Charisma when he can afford it. Ride is nice, and can be used for "ubercharge" builds with a Lance and whatnot, but it's not essential. The Paladin is a decent fighter on foot, and some mounts are decent fighters while unmounted. I know you said it's mostly core so far, but there are also some Alternate Class Features that allow Paladins to replace their mount; http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20070209a http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a, and Charging Smite I think is in Player's Handbook 2.

3. Sure! Some DM's require their players to rest and train in a safe town or something to gain their level benefits, but I'm not a fan of that. It's totally fine for a fighter standing over the fresh corpse of a foe to realize he needs to change his stance for future fights, or for the wizard figure out his new spell after seeing the intricate patterns of blood oozing across the floor etc. If you do level up mid-dungeon though, make sure they don't give themselves a free heal/spell restore like you see in video games, or they might metagame into "saving" a levelup for halfway through a future dungeon. Just increase their current health by the same amount their max health went up, and any new spell slots they got can be filled after the 15 minute meditation or whatever (but spent spells are still spent until they sleep for the night).

Eric Mac
2013-12-04, 01:10 AM
Another night of adventuring went down. Norg decided to secure his egg in a blanket, safely tucked into his backpack, and the party resumed their trek through the abandoned monestary.
In the room where they left off, they discovered a door concealed to look like the rest of the stone wall. Behind this they found two elves and a human, two missing appendages and all three tortured to the point of idiocy. They decided to leave them in their chamber and return for them on their way to the surface.
Further down the hall, they discovered and cleared out another den of kobolds. These had opened a door and attempted to flee, but the rogue and the druid's pet wolf caught them and killed them. Continuing to search for traps, they proceeded down this new hallway.

Me- Do you just search, or take twenty?
Idril- I just search. I roll a... seven.
Me- You find a trap. The floor gives way underneath you and you plunge ten feet down into the darkness.

The rest of the party managed to move around the open pit, and lowered a rope down to Idril. While they were doing this, they were ambushed by a kobold sorcerer and his two apprentices. The party chopped the spellcasters down, and moved into the room.
Inside, two humans were strapped to a table, barely alive. They were partially skinned, and both had limbs amputated. One of them had a kobold arm crudely stitched were his forearm should have been. There was also a chest full of silver and some scrolls. The PCs carried the dying humans to the room with the other prisoners, set guards and alarm spells in the hallway, and set up a small camp to rest and heal their wounds. They had cleared the west wing of the dungeon, and nothing else happened down that direction.
Continuing on, they traced their steps back to the main intersection and moved further down the central hallway. There was a door that led to a natural cavern, with a stream and a sacrifice altar. A careful search of the room revealed a secret door, with two unguarded treasure chests. These contained a large quantity of gold, a suit of Mithril chain that fit the rogue, and a light flail+2. Oden claimed the flail, and they made note of the location on their map so they could return for the gold. Further inspection of the stream revealed a skeleton, which they decided Norg should inspect. They tied a rope to his waist and sent him down. The skeleton had a sealed scroll case with a water damaged map of the first level of the dungeon and the word "RAGNARAL" written in the bottom room along with a big "S." (yes, I stole this idea from the PHB. Most of them haven't read it. So sue me). They debated this for awhile, and finally decided that the "S" meant either South or Secret. RAGNARAL, they drew a blank on.
The party moved back into the dungeon proper, cleaning out a few more rooms of kobolds, including several sergeants and a level five lieutenant. The lieutenant, ostensibly a minor "level boss" so to speak, was dropped by one lucky swing of Oden's war axe. After the damage was rolled, I must have looked dismayed, because they kept asking me out of character if I was ok. I really had planned on that fight being tougher, but you'll have that sometimes. Evelyn gained a suit of gnomish workman's leather, and a buckler +2. The party slaughtered six unarmed kobold females with unblinking hesitation and moved back to the main hall.
There was an iron door at the end of the hallway, opened by a chain and pulley. Luckily, Idril suspected foul play, and noticed that the chain was coated with a sticky liquid. Norg used open doors to, ah, open the door, and the party aimed their lanterns inside.
At the far end of the room was a giant ruby on a pedestal. Some type of lush subteranean plants grew all over the walls and ceiling, filling the large room with tendril-like branches. The party cautiously ventured inside.
Of course, the plant attacked them. This was my own homebrew assassin vine, and the party actually had a much tougher time with this than they did with the kobold lieutenant or sorcerer. It managed to grab Evelyn and Norg up by the throats, survived an acid splash attack from one of the vials Oden carried with him, and took quite a bit of damage to kill. After it had stopped moving, the party cut all of the parts of it they could reach to shreds (which wasn't much, considering the tallest person in the party is a female half-elf).
Turning their attention to the ruby, they noticed scrape marks on the floor around the stand. Pushing and pulling on it, they realized that it turned and lifted from its base, revealing a set of stairs going deeper into the earth.
That's where we ended this session of our dungeon delve. So far I've been keeping the adventure pretty straightforward, so that the players can get a feel for their characters' roles in the group and the mechanics of the game. It's been going pretty well. They left treasure in three different rooms, marked on their map so they can return for it on their way back to the surface (along with the former prisoners, of course. They'd never do something so selfish as to carry off all the loot and forget about the tortured innocents left in the bowels of a deep, dark dungeon...)
They all gained enough xp to go up another level, with most of them going up in their base class. I believe Idril might take a level in fighter, which makes sense because she is pretty good at it anyway. They have started to develop some basic party tactics, like leaving a line of sight open for the ranged combatants and ganging up on one enemy at a time. As a group, they are really starting to gel.
Next time we get together: The Ruins of the Abandoned Monestary, Level Two!

Eric Mac
2013-12-04, 01:24 AM
As a side note, weasel droppings have an as yet undetermined value in the game. For my part I'd love to see them lugging around a backpack full of poo, leaving a pile of gold so they can carry more weasel leavings, but I'm not sure I'm cruel enough to suggest that they might be the component for some powerful, up to now unknown spell.

Eric Mac
2013-12-08, 03:53 AM
My players are all starting to get the hang of basic combat, spell casting and rules mechanics. At the next session I am going to hand out cheat sheets with a list of actions they can take during combat and whatnot that are character specific. I should have done this sooner, but I didn't think about it in time.

2013-12-08, 04:09 AM
You should know this. Kobold Eggs hatch in a week after they come out. Plus a baby Kobolds grow up fast being able to apprentice to older Kobolds at Age 3.

So after you decide when the egg was layed you should keep track of the days so it can hatch.

Eric Mac
2013-12-08, 11:29 AM
Awesome! Thanks. Where did you find this info? I researched all over to find out about kobold eggs but didn't see that.

2013-12-08, 03:31 PM
Awesome! Thanks. Where did you find this info? I researched all over to find out about kobold eggs but didn't see that.

Races of the Dragon. Contains a ton of info about Kobolds and other draconic races.

Edit:Also made a mistake it takes 60 days for the egg to hatch but the Kobold mother can lay an egg every 2 weeks if needed.

Here is part of the Paragraph on Kobold birth.
As reptiles, kobolds are hatched from hard-shelled eggs. Once a female kobold has been fertilized, she lays one egg within two weeks, with a 10% chance of laying two eggs. The egg must be incubated for 60 days, after which time it hatches into a kobold wyrmling that is able to walk and feed after only a few hours.

An average tribe has one egg and one child per ten kobold adults, while a particularly prosperous one might have double this number. Tribes with a scarcity of food have fewer young.

On rare occasions, a kobold female lays what kobolds call a dragonwrought egg (see the Dragonwrought feat, page 100). These eggs are spotted with the color of whichever true dragon influences the dragonwrought kobold within, with such mottles increasing in number and size as the wyrmling inside grows.

Kobold embryos are resilient and not easily disturbed when moved or transported. A kobold embryo rarely expires unless its egg is broken before the final 15 days of incubation. A kobold embryo inside an egg that is broken after that time suffers no ill effects, though the wyrmling may take a while longer to reach physical maturity.

Eric Mac
2013-12-11, 06:11 AM
Session got canceled due to someone in the group having a family issue. Three of the group are going to make one-time characters to run a side adventure aimed at getting the half Orc fighter to the point that he can join the party. Any good one-shot adventures that can take a group of four from level one to level three would be appreciated.

Eric Mac
2013-12-16, 02:24 AM
Oden and Inw couldn't make it tonight, but we had a side adventure introducing Lucas's character (a humongous half-Orc fighter who lucked out with a final strength of 20!) and I ran them through part of the Kill Bargle classic adventure. They got to level two, and I promised them I would reward their real characters for the adventure in some way. Any suggestions on how I can do this without metagaming? I'd really appreciate any ideas anybody may have.

2013-12-16, 11:02 AM
I don't know what all that adventure module encompasses but perhaps you could have some of the people they helped or their descendants since that session was a prequel send some supplies or something as thanks to the player characters who helped them out back then.

Eric Mac
2013-12-17, 01:13 PM
The sub-campaign is taking place almost simultaneously. The parties are only a couple days travel away from each other. I'm not sure an inheritance will work; it may have to be a totally unrelated award. I haven't really decided yet, but I have a few ideas. We're supposed to play the main game again tonight, so hopefully I have another post.

2013-12-18, 03:39 PM
Maybe the main party could intercept a group of rich-but-weak reinforcements/retreating monsters that were heading to/from the subplot group? :)

Eric Mac
2013-12-19, 10:59 AM
Work schedules delayed everything this week; hopefully Sunday we will have another update.

Eric Mac
2014-01-02, 01:20 PM
Ok, our first session of the new year was a short one, and it went down last night. The PCs found themselves looking at a staircase heading deeper into the bowels of the abandoned monestary. Leaving Evelyn behind to guard the rear (her player was absent), the PCs made their descent.

Oh, and they had leveled up at the end of the last session. Idril took a level in Fighter, while everyone else stuck with their base class. Poor Norg hasn't been anywhere to copy down second level spells yet, but it will be worth his wait when he finally gets to a reasonably sized town.

At the base of the stairway, the hallway branched out into three parts. Doorways stood to the east and west, with a long hallway heading south into the darkness. The doorway to the west was guarded by runes of inflict light wounds. At the urgings of the "noble" paladin, Oden, Idril set the runes off and took the damage. Luckily she made her saving throw. The room contained four chests, a statue of a man, and two cages to either side and above the doorway which contained chokers in stasis. Once the pcs entered the room, the chokers attacked from the cages with their long arms. Once dispatched, the PCs turned their attention to the chests. Upon opening the first one, the "statue" animated as well, and the third level party found themselves facing a clay golem.

One round was enough to convince them that discretion would be the better part of valor, and the PCs began fleeing the room one by one. Oden was quite distressed about leaving the chests in the room, and while he was not quite ready to face the golem alone, he did attempt to get Idril to sneak back into the room. Idril did not comply. Once the PCs had left the room, the golem stopped moving, but they barred the door shut anyway and turned their attention to the east door.

The east door was protected by two stone dragon heads, activated to breath flame upon activation by a pressure plate in the floor. Idril made both her search and disable device rolls, however, and so the clever trap was circumvented.

Behind the door, nine skeletons in chain mail stood in a row along the back wall. Hanging from the wall was a suit of magical chain mail and a glowing blue sword (elven chain +3, +3 Will Save, and a Longsword +2 with continual light). Of course, the skeletons were a bit livelier than skeletons are wont to be, but the PCs showed an increasing grasp of tactics, flanking, and protecting their own vulnerable spots, and took the skeletons out (although Inw was dropped and crawling by the end of the fight and her wolf was at two HP). There was also a chest and a lever. Idril took the elven armor, being the only one who could wear it, and the sword as well. The party agreed to make a brief camp and use spells and time to heal Inw and her wolf enough to continue the adventure. But before they did, they opened the chest.

Nine more skeletons were summoned to the center of the room. By the time the scattered party reacted to the new threat, Idril and Oden were surrounded, and everyone took significant damage by the time the skeletons were destroyed. The chest was full of gold and silver, which the PCs studiously counted and noted on their map, for removal on the way out of the dungeon. They agreed to rest and heal before they found out what the lever's function might be. And this ended the session.

Now the party is getting a bit more powerful. They are also learning to work together, and are getting an idea of how to play off of each other's strengths. Two or three of them have acquired magical weapons or armor, and if they manage to haul it all outside with them they stand to be reasonably wealthy at the end of this adventure. That is, the ones who make it out alive will be wealthy...

Eric Mac
2014-01-07, 09:38 PM
Another session went down last night.

Evelyn rejoined the party, noticing that her supplies were low. In fact, the party was on it's sixth day underground, and the last of the food and water had been exhausted. Having healed a bit, they were ready to push forward with one more effort, then resolved to return to Lahodem for several days to rest, resupply and inform the mayor about their progress against the kobolds.

They pulled the lever. A great creaking, groaning, grinding noise issued from the hallway. Oden got sent out, once Norg reminded everyone that dwarves have darkvision. Oden went out into the hallway, one wary step at a time. He double-checked the door to the golem room, and saw no disturbance there. Seeing that there was nothing immediately threatening him, the other brave adventurers crept forth from their room and argued for a minute about the marching order. Idril's new sword shone with Continual Light, and this replaced their lanterns, which had used the last of their oil anyway.

Down the hallway, they saw the source of the noise. The lever had caused the lifting of a great portcullis, which would have been blocking their way.
Deciding that they had been repeatedly beaten up when they chose west-leading passages, the party opted to go east. Eventually, after traveling for many yards down a smooth, stone corridor, they came across a door.

Behind the door was a long-forgotten armory full of rusted swords and armor. Also, a great shambling mound of rotting flesh that had once worn the features of a six-foot tall goblin pod creature. Idril, standing at the door, was forced inside by the other PCs, who had crowded around behind her to look into the room. Forgetting their previously learned tactics, the party rushed pell-mell into the room, one at a time.

Evelyn: I use bardic knowledge to see what kind of creature it is. (Rolls a one.)
Me: It's a monster. And it's attacking the party.

The fight was much harder than I intended it to be. The bugbear zombie was only CR2, but he messed the party up pretty bad all by himself. Especially Oden, who was dropped to one HP. Idril, attempting to perform a trip while moving behind the zombie, rolled a one. She ended up face-first in the zombie's side with a mouthful of rotting flesh for her efforts.

At LONG last, the party dropped the zombie, about a turn after they realized it was not particularly phased by their slashing weapons.

Norg: Is it dead?
Me: It was dead in the first place.
Norg: Somebody check it...
Idril: I'm not touching it again!

Covered in bits of rotting flesh and coagulated blood, and low on HP, food, oil, and everything else necessary for survival, the PCs decided to split up the loot and head back to Lahodem, ostensibly to restock and return to the dungeon.

On the way out, Norg realized that they had forgotten all about the wounded captives in the kobold lair. Upon checking, the party found the captives dead. So much for a heroic rescue.

Back in town, the PCs decided to clean up before seeking out the mayor. Oden was reluctant to price the gems or their newfound magic items for fear they would be targeted by thieves or charged more at the inn and blacksmith. Everyone bought new clothes and resupplied.

Norg is summoning a familiar, I'm curious to see what animal he will choose. He is also going to try to transcribe his scrolls into his spellbook. As a low level wizard, he was chagrined when Oden pointed out that his role as the party lantern holder was irrelevant now that Idril had a glowing sword. Everyone had a good laugh at that.

Now they are set to tell the mayor where they've been, and that they've exterminated all of the kobolds that were holed up in the abandoned monestary. After a few days in town, they plan on heading back down into the dungeon to see what else awaits them on the second level.

2014-01-07, 11:00 PM
Not sure what the most useful familiar is, but I'm tempted to choose something just for flavor. Also, darn that sword. The designated lantern holder for the group was a cushy job :(

2014-01-08, 12:24 PM
Lol @ the lantern :smallbiggrin:

At LONG last, the party dropped the zombie, about a turn after they realized it was not particularly phased by their slashing weapons.

Another rules nitpick, but it looks like you got Damage Reduction and Damage Resistance confused (which is a very common mistake since the wording is so similar):

A zombie has damage reduction 5/slashing. Zombies are lumbering masses of flesh.


Damage Reduction

A creature with this special quality ignores damage from most weapons and natural attacks. Wounds heal immediately, or the weapon bounces off harmlessly (in either case, the opponent knows the attack was ineffective). The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. A certain kind of weapon can sometimes damage the creature normally, as noted below.

The entry indicates the amount of damage ignored (usually 5 to 15 points) and the type of weapon that negates the ability.

Resistance To Energy

A creature with resistance to energy has the ability (usually extraordinary) to ignore some damage of a certain type each round, but it does not have total immunity.

Each resistance ability is defined by what energy type it resists and how many points of damage are resisted.

So the best way to kill a zombie is to do what the players apparently tried and chop its rotting muscles off, rather than trying to bruise it or give it acupuncture :smallwink: Sounds like everyone had fun though!

Eric Mac
2014-01-08, 12:59 PM
Yep, I definitely had it backwards. Makes much more sense that way.. Sorry guys. If its any consolation, if I had known the right ruling the skeletons would probably have killed some people...