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    Bugbear in the Playground
    SilverClawShift's Avatar

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    May 2007

    Default Horror Campaign (prev. Army of Commoners)

    I'm leaving the original post up in spoilers, cause it's be just silly to delete it ,but the thread's kind of no longer about what it was originally about. Now it's a bunch of updates about my groups halloween campaign, so, yeah, you don't need to advise on how to beat the kythons, we came through it with heavy losses, but survived.

    ...A.K.A. "Kython Storm".

    So, my group is playing a month long campaign intended to climax around halloween. Naturally, this campaign is heavy on the horror side of things. I won't ramble on about the main story-arch or the sub-archs we're currently smack dab in the middle of (at risk of turning this intoa 5 page thread).
    But we're currently a 6 person group of level 6 characters, and we're currently in deep dragon doodoo.

    We're on a large island/small continent which, aside from a noteable degree of isolation, is more or less like the nearby mainland. A little lighter on supplies and certainly no major cities or kingdoms, but not a bumpkin-ville. it's also been under a massive undead plague for a few weeks, of which we've been a part of.
    The undead are all mindless. Anyone who dies rises as some kind of undead creature, usually a zombie. The long dead are returning as skeletons and low-level homebrew ghost creatures (partially incorporeal, creepy suckers anyway). And it's not just humanoids, animals and even insects are simply not staying dead here.
    We were hell bent on figuring out why. We're starting to wonder if it'll be a better plan to just turn tail and try to convince some paladin organizations to rake over the place with holy rath.

    Except there's a few stubborn villages who simply refuse to give up their ancestral lands/homes. We're currently in one of those villages, which has managed to set up a few concentric rings of walls and trenches that keeps them relatively safe for a decent length of time.
    Enter problem two. There's a nest of Kythons that lived deep deep in a cave system, who mostly kept to slaughtering things under ground. The plague has affected them too, and while the kythons have been more successful at keeping their undead numbers down (mostly through brutal claw to claw shredding), the whole thing has them riled up enough that they've broken from their natural insitinctual cycles, and have come to the surface. They're moving across the island in a wave of carnage.

    For anyone who doesn't know what a kython is: They're from the book of vile darkness, and the fastest way to sum them up is that they're D&D "Aliens" (as in, chestburster, facehugger, queen alien aliens). They aren't LITERALLY aliens, they're more of a demon/aberration, but that's more or less how to sum it up fast.

    The Situation
    We're in a village of a about 7 dozen people. We're surrounded by undead humanoids, monstrous humanoids, and animals. They're mooks, we could wipe them out with some patience and a good battle strategy, but there's a bigger problem on the horizon. Our scrying and divinations have let us know that we've got about one week, give or take a day, to get ready for a wave of kythons to attack the town in an orgy of blood and fury.
    There's a LOT of them. A LOT of juveniles, a good number of broodlings and adults, and a single slaymaster (you have to know about the kythons for that to make sense). Worse, anything we kill will get up and fight us again, though probably weaker. WORSE WORSE, anything THEY kill will get up and fight us.

    I think our DM wanted us to quest for something to help us protect the town, but we threw a curveball at him, and suggested
    Us: "What if we taught the village how to fight?"
    DM: "In a week?"
    Us: "Better than nothing."

    In our games, 6th level means you're a downright famous member of your chosen class. Maybe not a world-shatterer, but a 6th level cleric is almost definately someone other clerics have heard of. A 6th level wizard is a respectable and admired arcanist. ect.
    Since we're considered "downright incredible" by 99% of the worlds population (99% of the worlds population being 1rst level NPC classes), and since our DM liked our suggestion so much, he's letting us go for it. We get to transform the NPCs into ready adventurers. The solid week of hands-on training will give them a (one-time only) jump to second level, and they loose their NPC classes, gaining real base classes instead.

    The Army
    Our group is: Wizard, Archivist, Cleric, Rogue, Paladin, and a Dragon Shaman (very relevant of course).
    Our DM has agreed that, between the 6 of us, we know just enough to START anyone down any path they (we) choose. If someone wanted to become a spellthief, our wizard and rogue would know enough to turn them into one. If someone wanted to be a binder, our archivist would be able to tell them how to start looking into it. ect. So our options are "anything", and we've got a crapload of books.
    Not everyone can fight of course. Relevant numbers:
    29 males which we can count actually truly count on in a war (which is what this really is) with alightly above average stats from a life of farming and rough-housing (physically 10-13s with a few peaking at 14, the DM will give us exact numbers at our next session). Mentally a little less stellar, but we can still expect a few to peak up at 13 or 14.
    11 women who are hard-headed enough to join us on the battlefield and not freak out (our DM isn't sexist, this is just a slice of ye-olde-village life where not all of the women are ready to stab a zombie in the face untill they're cornered. Please please please don't turn this into a sexism-in-gaming thread, that's not going on, promise). One of the 11 women is a schoolmarm with 16 INT and some pre-cursory training with a rapier (gets proficiency and weapon focus with it as free feats, regardless of what classes we give her). She also has a +1 rapier that's been in her family for a long time, which is relevant because we're looking at mostly simple weapons and farming implements here. She won't let anyone else use the rapier though, unless it's an immediate situation where a weapon is needed.
    7 teens (5 male, 2 female) who aren't as physically able as the adults yet, but are still ready to fight. They're also collectivelly furious at the situation and ready to go down swinging, all of them.

    There's more people in the village, but they're either unwilling, or unable, to really fight with us. The elderly, the timid, ect. We've also established that at least another dozen of the women and a few more men will be willing to shoot arrows from the rooftops of barricaded buildings, but won't be willing to go into battle head on, and they'll retreat inside at the first sign of the rooftops being overrun by kythons (inevitable if they're too effective).
    The kythons will have trouble getting through some of the current defenses, and we have a week to make fortifications, simple traps, and anything else we can think of. If they can't overrun us all at once, they'll wind up attacking in waves, which will give us a chance to re-group and prepare for the next wave. And deal with any zombies in the town
    We've got a full map, but it's all pretty basic. Mostly one level buildings made of wood, a few second story buildings, we're going to use the schoolhouse as a base of operations (sturdy as heck, two levels, decent size) and the non-combatants will be inside when the carnage starts. We'll also try to persuade the DM to let us turn a few of the elderly into some kind of healers. That'll give us a chance to get our wounded patched up in between waves without wasting our resources.

    Our DM isn't afraid of telling us "You could have saved these people, but failed". We don't know if this is even possible, or if we're in a hopless situation. Our DM isn't the Devil, but he's not going to baby us, especially during a horror campaign.

    The Gear
    We each have a good collection of 'junk' gear like (scrolls, piddly wands, trap making material, potions ect), a few decents weapon, some armor, ect. Our wizard can craft wands, and both him and the archivist can make scrolls. Past that, we're basically SOL.
    Our DM will give us some leeway on what we can find laying around the village (if we go looking for a scythe, we'll probably find a farming implement that'll work for it, ect). We can also expect to be able to improvise some weaker armor and shields out of stuff that's in the town, and there are some real weapons and armor stuff around.
    While it's not literally gear, there's also the fact that our wizard knows Arcane Lock as a spell, and can spend the week giving a few strategic locations a +10 DC to be busted down by kythons. The basement to the school (one door only, no way out) will certainly have an arcane lock, plus mundane fortifications, for if the survivors have to fall back inside of it.

    But ultimately? I have no freaking clue what to do, and neither does our group. We all have some notes taken down about kythons (or DM is the only one with a book of vile darkness), stuff our Archivist 'told' us with some knowledge checks. I just keep thinking of our DMs reply when our wizard asked how many were coming. "Lots."

    We've thought, if worse came to worse, we could try to barricade the survivors in the basement of the school, with some heavy heavy duty physical supplies, and try to run our hides out of there to bring in help... but where we could find help on this island, wether or not the barricades would hold for the undetermined amount of time it could take us, and the downright GRUUSOME possibility that we might not realistically make it back in at all... Not a pretty option.

    So.... any suggestions? Any advice, out of the box solutions, sound battle plans, and suicidally insane backup plans are welcome. Downright game-breaking cheese isn't really what we're looking for here, but even that we'll take into consideration at this point. If it's a one time deal to shine like rockstars, our DM will probably let us slide on it.


    Forgot to mention. Our next session is tuesday night, and it'll be a long one. We'll have a few hours to hammer out the details of our army and our flash-forward weeks worth of fortification and training, while we sit around watching TV, playing video games, snacking, ect.
    After we (the group) feel we're ready, the DM will put on his evil smile and the carnage will begin.
    Last edited by SilverClawShift; 2007-10-21 at 11:08 PM.