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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Ok, I'm back, sorry for the delay. The last session happened quite bit ago, but thankfully I keep some notes. That said, it wasn't all that dramatic. Most of the sessions focused on interviewing potential units and building the PCs army (The players preferred to leave it to the session instead to do it through emails) and then we had one battle in their march to Drezen. So not that much going on, but hopefully you'll enjoy just the same. We tried to roleplay it as much as possible.

    Session 8, part 1- The making of an army!

    Putting this again, if it helps Our homebrew tactical mass combat rules

    The set up was that the party had 300 BP from the queen to "purchase" units for their army (It was an allocation of resources, since the units they didn't "purchase" stayed to protect Kenabres). I had 9 units who were a bit more experienced who sought to be in the PCs army, and the PCs could also use the building points to upgrade the units with equipment and resources, to make them more formidable.

    Each Unit also had a representative to speak for the unit, which was my way of "putting a face" on the unit, and thus make it more of an NPC than a bunch of stats. The party decided they wanted to interview the units, and so we started. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the forumists, who may recognize some of the units as their suggestions (made in one of the side "asking for advice" threads).

    The party also needed to allocate the commanders for the units, which could be themselves, or Arabeth, Commander John and Lann from their forces (More on that later). They also had Anevia as a front Scout, and Aravash and Nurah (The queen's advisor, a bard who joined them) as support casters. So there was a bit to handle.

    The Queen's Knights (100 mounted human cavalier 4. Cost: 54 BP)
    The Queen's Knights traveled with the Queen, and she offered their servie to the PCs. They were highly trained professional soldiers. The module gives the party a unit of 100 paladin knights, and this was my version of them. Statistics wide- they were probably the best unit- fast, good defense, good offense. But they were also the most expensive.

    Their representative is Camilo Dann (A name taken fro ma very minor NPC later in the module). She seemed a bit surprised to be taken from the Queen's direct command, but accepted it. The general impression was tht though she accepted the PCs command, she was unsure of them, and didn't trust them enough. The party gathered they may have to earn her trust.

    Surprisingly, it was Julian who conducted the majority of the interviews, despite being the newest one in the group. (You can take the face out of the party, but not of the player). She had the same sort of questions for all the troops:
    1) What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?
    2) How best can we use your force in battle?
    3) Your experience at fighting demons? At fighting a siege? (This question was due to the party suspecting they will have to siege Drezen)
    4) If you were ordered to fight alongside tieflings, how would you respond? (There was a captive tiefling unit, which we'll get to later. However the question was mostly used to the obedience and discipline)

    Camilo answered that their main strength was their speed. They were used to intercept, or to flank demons. They struck fast, and hard. They had little experience of dealing with magic though. Camilo did not like the possibility of fighting alongside "demonic traitors", but would accept it, which was on the whole, the general answer they got to this questions from most units. I kept calling Julian "Sir" (Still thinking of the player as playign Andrew" which was a bit humorous.

    The party decided to move to the next unit.

    Spoiler: The Queen's Knights
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    The main idea here was for the party to deal with a highly professional military unit roleplay wise, and a strong unit stat wise.


    Eagles of Kenabres (200 lvl 2 fighters, poorly equipped. Cost: 34 BP)
    The next unit was actually the remains of Kenabres' Eagle watch, Arabeth's unit in the city, as well as the other troops that fought for the PCs in the previous module, providing them the needed distraction to infiltrate the Gray Garrison. Their representative was Sergent Tam, a fairly young man, who was eager to fight under the PCs banner, which his entire unit viewed as great heroes.

    They comprised a large unit (2 squares instead of one on the battle grid), which was an advantage and disadvantage at the same time. They were eager, but fairly inexperienced, and other than short range capability and cold iron weapons, didn't have much support. The party whoever was mostly concerned of their speed (20 feet base), which meant that tking them will slow down the entire march (7 days with all units mounted, 10 days with a speed of 30 ft, 14 days with a speed of 20 ft). The party wished to move fast, and so debated whether to take them and supply them with mounts (24 BP for 200 people) or leave them behind.

    This led to a small discussion whether to take fewer units, but upgrade them better, or more units, and use numbers to their advantage...

    As this discussion went on, the party moved on to the next unit.

    Spoiler: Eagles of Kenabres
    Show
    I wanted to have some continuity with the former module, and though that continuing to fight alongside their fellow defenders-of-Kenaberes might be interesting. Mechanically wise they had great moral, and were a large unit, which was unique amongst the units. But this also meant that upgrading them cost more.


    The first descendants (100 Mongrelfolk, 1st level rogues. Cost: 28 BP)
    The mongrelfolk established themselves somewhat apart from the rest of the city's inhabitants. While the Eagles of Kenabres accepted them, most others still had suspicions about them, so they decided to separate themselves. As the party approached they saw Lann (Now a 2nd level fighter) supervising an urban guerrilla fight drill amongst his forces. As they approached he put his hands on Sena's shoulders. "Welcome Spirit, what brought you here today?" This surprised the party, who have just learned that Sena earned new name amongst the mongrelfolk- Spirit.

    Lann answered Julian's questions. The mongrelfolk were used to fight from hiding, from ambush, and with stealth, and so their tactics focused upon that. Plus, they could see at night, which was an important advantage. Lann however commented that "While you and the eagels respect us, I'm afraid most others won't..." Lann however seemed uncomfortable in command, and Sena/ Spirit noticed that, but kept quiet. They too weren't happy to fight alongside tielfings, but "You gave us a chance, we'll give them one, though we'll keep our eyes open". Julian had one more question though: "suppose we capture our objective, suppose we get to hold it. What then? What is your long term goal?" Lann answered this simply "We wish to prove ourselves to your people. Perhaps then we'll "earn" our place amongst them. I but seek a place where my people could leave as equals, without fear." The party liked that.

    Equipment wise they too were poorly equipped, but Sena (Who wished to lead them, as part of a roleplay opportunity) hoped he could upgrade them sufficiently enough.

    As the pry moved on to other units, Sena departed. "I'll meet you later, I have some other business to attend to."

    Spoiler: The first ascendents
    Show
    Again, I wanted to have some continuity with the past, and I thought the mongrelfolk presented much of a roleplay opportunity. They also brought some conflict to the army, as most units didn't trust them. Mechanics wise they were a stealth and ambush unit (Though not the only one) Lann could also be made a commander, though he fared much better with commanding the mongrelfolk than the other units.


    Bartlet's hounds (50 halflings mounted on war dogs, 4th level rangers, long range capability. Cost :29 BP)

    THe party moved outside of Kenabres, to where the units not native of Kenabres, who rode to help when the trouble started, were stationed. They came upon a great archery range, with halflings riding dogs and far away targets. A halfling in rich clothing, a cigar at his mouth and an open bottle of strong liquor approached them. "So you are the heroes! Damn glad to meet you! Me and me boys are ready to go demon hunting, just point us the way!"

    Bartlet's hounds were a small, fast moving, stealthy unit with long range capabilities. They were great for scouting and archery support, but were extremely vulnerable, which caused quite a discussion with in the group. As to fighting beside tieflings? Bartlet spat and cursed the "backstabbing, wretched, thieving, scheming, murderous, treacherous scum!" He pleaded with Julian to not hire them, but agreed (Quite grudgingly) to obey a commander's command if it came to that. Which seemed to satisfy the party on that point.

    Spoiler: Bartlet's hounds
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    This unit requires quit a skill to use right, due to all that's mentioned above. I also quite liked the idea of non traditional halflings with a "let me at them!" attitude!


    Dunklehelm's mercenary company (100 dawrves, 3rd level fighters, well equipped including an engineer support. Cost: 43 BP)

    The second most expensive unit after the Queen's Knights, and for a good reason- experienced, disciplined, and with good equipment, including an engineering support. Dunklehelm himself, the company's leader/ treasurer was found in his tent. Surprinslgy enough the dwarf proved to be some what of a philosopher-warrior though also quite a practical one. The party worried about the mercenary aspect, but Dunklehelm assured that while they were working under a contract, they will see it through, and that they don't work for devils.

    Julian asked them about their long term plans- what will happen if they capture Drezen? "Well, that will have to be negotiated at that point, under those conditions." The party didn't quite like it. Julian wanted people loyal to the cause, and not just the money. (She also didn't relish needing to pay him over and over again) But as the others in the party mentioned- they were an excellent fighting unit... Tough choice.

    Spoiler: Dunklehelm's mercenary company
    Show
    The idea was to introduce professionals, who were not instantly loyal to the crusade. A more experienced voice, but also one with more gray morals.


    Meanwhile, Sena and the Queen

    in order not to dry out the player while the others interviewed the units, I turned to him. He approached the Queen at her command post in the cathedral. "My Queen, you know of Lann, the leader of the mongrelfolk. He feel that leadership was thrust upon him unprepared. This has put doubts in the leaders of his people and I fear- also in himself as well. I wish to strengthen his resolve, his confidence in himself." The Queen nodded. "I Agree, but I feel you do not come for advice, but with a plan?" Sena nodded, and went on. "I think that a simple ceremony, a word from authority, and perhaps a symbol of legitimacy can go a long way." Sena steadied himself, and went with his request. "My Queen, if I can arrange for a gathering of Lann and his community's leaders, might you perform a small ceremony, strengthening his position? Perhaps offering some symbol of your trust?" The queen sighed. "I wish people wouldn't put so much into these things, but if you think this is important, we'll arrange something. I would not want to send him to battle with such doubts. Arrange for them to come to the cathedral as the sun sets. We'll perform something quick, but which hopefully do the job. Will that suffice?" Sena nodded, and showed his respect again. As he was about to leave he just added one small thing "This did not come from me. I was never here!" To which the Queen just shooed him away.

    Sena went to Opoli, and informed her that the Queen requested the presence of Lann and the community leaders. "What for?" asked Opoli suspiciously, but Sena ws just as surprised as she was...

    Sena's player likes the mongrelfolk angle, and thinks it has a LOT of roleply potential. I'm trying to work with him on that.

    Lions of Sarkori (100 humans. 3rd level barbarians. Moral support. Cost: 34 BP)
    As the party approached their tents they could hear quite a lot of chanting, hymns, and a high spirited ceremony. They saw some priest, with some green coloring and clothes blessing the warriors. But as the party approached he made place to them. The priest, Jester Helton of the Green Faith (A character from the 3rd module which I thought should start appearing now) approached them, and answered their questions. The Sarkori were the original people from the land now occupied by the Worldwound. These were refugees, remnants that sought to revenge and bring battle on the demons. Quite high spirited, and eager for battle, they were in a way exactly opposite of the Knights of the Order of Sarenrae- they were wild, focused on strong offense, and fast moving (Barbarian's fast movement). They had drummers and such to lend moral support, and Mad Dog quickly liked their spirit, saying he'll command them.

    They had pretty much the same approach to the tieflings s the Bartlet hounds. No love lost.

    Spoiler: Lions of Sarkori
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    Roleplay wise, I wanted to bring the story of the people who had their land ruined. The 3rd module mentions them quite a bit more, so I thought to make an appearance here. Plus- barbarians can lead to all kind of interesting stuff.

    Mechanically, This unit was designed to be Mad Dog's unit in mind- simple enough to use, and fitting his general method. I wanted to not complicate the player too much.


    The Silver Banner (50 elderly humans, mounted. 5th level fighters. Well equipped Cost: 30 BP)

    The party was about to go and see the tieflings, but a troop of riders approached them quickly. The Queen's representative rolled his eyes seeing them approach. "Not again!" The riders' armor seemed to have seen lots of battles, as did their weapons, and the riders themselves. But... they were a bit... elderly. The average age was around 60-65, but it didn't seem to deter the old knights. There was fire in their eyes!

    The leader, one Dumas Ardent went straight for Julian. "My lady! I beseech you to accept us, The Silver Banner, on this glooorious crusade, to skewer demons, slay the vile, and have one honorable, valiant and bloody charge to the enemy's ranks, slaughtering them in the beauty and glory of righteous battle!" Apparently these were all well seasoned fighters, who were retired after many years of fighting. Dumas however brought them together once more, once he herd another crusade, probably the last crusade, has started. Between aching joints, baldy or white haired heads, and other such ailments these knights were fierce to the battle and to the fight!

    The party were greatly amused by them, but also quite apprehensive. "Why do you want this? Don't you have families? Grandchildren and such?" The riders groaned, but Dumas surmised their feelings "What? And to die in the comfort of my fluffy bed? In the night? That is no way a warrior should die! A worthy death is with the enemies guts in one hand, and your own guts in the other, choking it's miserable life with it!" To which there was a general grunting of agreement.

    Again, the party was amused, but worried nonetheless about "grandpa's army". As to the tieflings? "who cares? So we fight?" The party tired to easily let them know they'll decide a bit later...

    Spoiler: The Silver Banner
    Show
    Roelplay wise, they re both an experienced voice, and a hoot to have around. They consider themselves as equal to the party, and won't accept their leadership that easily if opportunity for glorious battle presents itself. They are a sort of a tip of my hat to Terry Pratchet's Cohen the Barbarin and his SIlver Horde.

    Mechanics wise, they are the strongest offensively of all the units, but more vulnerable than if they were younger (less hit points)


    The Tieflings' horde (200 tieflings, 2nd level rogues, no equipment but sorceres support. Cost: Free!)

    Finally the party came to the tieflings. These were captives that somehow survived the destruction by the wardstone's lash of power, and were captured by the city defenders. They were supposed to be executed tomorrow, but their leader, one Qulis Long shadow, offered their servitude in return for their lives.

    Now, to say that the players didn't trust them would be an udnerstatement, but Andera's player was quite intrigued by them. So he wished to interview Qulin. The tiefling, who's shadow didn't quite fit the play of light, and seemed abnormally long, postured and grovelled at the feet of the PCs. "Our souls are lost, we seek to lvie longer, before goign to the Abyss, we shall fight for you, serve you, if you spare us oh Master!" The party didn't quite like the grovelling, but habits of living with powerful demons who would slay you without a thought were hard to break, so Qulin kept on acting submissive and belittling himself.

    Apparently, since they have failed in their goal, and even managed to live after their failure, their lives, and more than that- their souls were forsaken. They all faced great torment and punishment in the next world, so they sought to postpone that moment as much as they could. Not exactly the greatest motive to the opinions of some of the group. "How do we know you will not betray us to some other demon?" Qulin laughed mirthlessly. "Other demon? They won't see us worthy of the ash between their hoofs. We are forsaken, lost, worse then you are in their eyes. We are fully and totally lost, we wish to live longer." Julian though that they might be perhaps redemeed but Qulin explained "The worldwound tielfings put their souls to the Abyss, part of it is in demons' hands. We appreciate this suggestion, but it is hopeless, a mad thought. No, we are lost." Sena's plyer wondered- can their should might be found in the worldound perhaps? (Kching! Plot hook?! ) but Qulin seemed to have no hope.

    "We know that you don't trust us, fear us. But we have no other hope, no other opportunity. We shall serve you Master, be your tools, your weapons, we are yours oh great lord, we shall do s you wish, our lives are yours..." and so on and so on.... they were decent warriors, with darkvision, a darkness ability, and some sorcerer support. They didn't have any equipment though (Not even provisions, all of the other units had enough for 2 weeks), but they did come for free. (The queen didn't plan on using them to defend the city, She wished to execute them), so upgrading them shouldn't take too much, wouldn't it?

    Lann's ceremony

    We turned to the ceremony. Lann came with some leaders of the mongrelfolk ot the Cathedral. Sena and Commander John also attended. The Queen came, with some other officials, and some knigths to give it some more dignity. "We are at a time of war, and so I apologize, but this will need to be brief. Though I paid my respect, my appreciation for your people Lann, I did not pay my respect to you. Pelase come, and Kneel". The surprised and shocked Lann came forward and knelt. "You have done much for the city, more than most would have in your condition. And yet, depspite suspicion from our people, you and your valiant clans come to fight for us once more. I cannot leve the leadership of one of my forces to a simpleton, so I knight thee, Lann, a Knight of the realm, a protector of Mendev. "And she put the sword to his beweildered shoulders. "Rise lann". As the stunned mogrelfolk rose she continued. "Your people are ones of action, and so am I. If you are to go and be my arms in the war to come, than You'll need protection." The Queen undeed her arm braces, and put it on Lann's arms. "With these, you are acting in my name. Your hand as my hand. Go forth and lead your people to victory!"

    The ceremony seemed to have done the trick, at lest for the other mongrelfolk leaders if not necessarily Lann himself. Sena hugged Lann, and then him and John went to the order, leaving the mongrelfolk to celebrate. On the way Sena asked John of his curse, as the spirits haunting him (Oracle curse) seemed more ctive these last few days. John smiled and sighed. "It's just the tension I'm afraid. It's been a long time since I've been to the worldwound. I came to a teaching position for a reason." Sena stayed silent for a bit, but let it go. As they reached the order, Sena spoke out loud. "Tomorrow we go to battle, You brother John, wil lcommand the order, I will help guide another troop. We all have a purpose." And that seemed to have settled it.

    Final army composition
    The next part of the session included lot of discussions about which units to add, which not to add, who will command what, and what upgrades to acquire. Major points of discussion were as follows:
    1) To bring the tieflings along or not? Most of the group were certain that they'll betray the party at some point, but Andera wished to lead them. They were intrigued by the possibility of perhaps redeeming them, but it seemed unlikely.
    2) Other units that got some scrutiny were Bartlet's hounds (Aren't they too vulnerable?) Dunklehelm (Did't like their mercenary nature) and The Silver Horde (They were weary of leading the elderly to battle, plus thoughtthey might be TOO enthusiastic).
    3) Who will command what. Quite a few changes here.
    4) What upgrades to take, with first and foremost- who will take the siege weapons, and how many to take of those?
    5) How fast should the army be? All mounted for 4o ft? 30 ft? 20 ft? The party settled on a speed of 30 ft, which meant they'll reach Drezen (hopefully) in 10 days.

    In the end, it came up to the following troop composition:
    1) The Queen's Knights: Under Command of Arabeth. Upgraded with engineer support, and a small stock of CLW potions.
    2) Lions of Sarkoris: Under command of Mad Dog. Upgraded with better armor, and a small stock of CLW potions.
    3) The first ascendants: Under formal leadership of Lann, but with Sena advising and tutoring him (We're using Sena's stats of command). Andera put his spy expert scout under their command. Aravashnial also joined the troops for magical support.
    4) Knights of the Order of Sarenrae: Under command of Commander John, upgraded with short range weapons and the army's only siege engine (John is a siege specialist)
    5) Bartlet's hounds: Under command of Julian (The player served in similar elite scouting and targeting unit,s he liked the idea). Upgraded with better weapons and armor, to increase survivability, as well as a small stock of CLW potions. Harry didn't wish to command a troop (Thinking he'll be more of use as magical support) and initially joined the hounds as well.
    6) The Silver Banner: left to the command of Dumas! (He adds no command bonuses). Upgraded only with a small stock of CLW potions. That's the way to respect your elders?
    7) The tieflings' host: Last but not least, the party decided to bring them along. Not because they trusted them, but because Andera's player really wanted them, so they though to indulge him. Andera manged to get them cold iron weapons, short range capability, some better armor and provisions. They decided to add Nurah to their troop, both so she could boost their low moral, and also keep another eye on them. (But if you know Nurah's role in the campaign, you know what opportunities this might mean! )

    And so, after a long process, the party had their army- some experienced soldiers, some over zealous soldiers, the mongrelfolk and tieflings who weren't exactly trusted. What could possibly go wrong?
    --------------------------------
    Enough for now, I hope I get to update about the first battle soon enough. The party decided to drop the mock battle I originally planned for them to get to know the rules, and just head straight for the march.
    Next update!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-10-25 at 01:54 AM.

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