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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Faily's Avatar

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    Default Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Seems like it's one again time for a Red Hand of Doom campaign journal around here.

    I played Red Hand of Doom a few years ago myself, and greatly enjoyed it as a player and I considered running it myself for other players at some point. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to set it to Mystara, as I've grown fond of the setting myself due to us running our Pathfinder game in Mystara. Though adapting the scenario to Mystara was far easier than adapting the game to Pathfinder, which was the preparation that took up most of my time.

    Spoiler: Red Hand of Doom in Mystara
    Show

    Map of Norwold
    Norwold is an ideal place for Red Hand of Doom's scenario, as it has a mixture of being the new frontier of Alphatia as well as having remains of those who came before. Large sections of it aren't that detailed, so it makes it easy to place down the Elsir Vale. Due to the Elsir Vale already having something called the Wyrmsmoke Mountains, the Wyrmteeth Range became a natural replacement, and the Elsir Vale has been placed southwest of the Dragon Spur Hills.
    Fluff-wise, the history of the Vale remains mostly the same, only with changing the local language to Heldanic and having the kingdom of Rhest be an old Heldanic Kingdom. Amary Vraath is also changed to be a Heldanic noble. Lord Jarmaath of Brindol is a vassal of King Ericall of Norwold.
    In addition to the changes to Tiamat (see below), the Greyhawk Gods of the original module have been replaced with Mystara Immortals.
    Pelor has been replaced with Ixion.
    Heironeous has been replaced with Forsetta.
    Wee Jas has been replaced with Nyx.

    Due to the close proximity of Alpha and the Kingdom of Oceansend, I decided to feature the last chromatic opponent off-screen to keep reinforcements busy until the ritual is complete.

    Now Tiamat is not an Immortal in Mystara, and though I wondered if I should find a suitable replacement, I opted instead for the solution of making Tiamat a Demon Overlord who is currently on the Path of Entropy to become an Entropy Immortal with the backing of Thanatos. Waging war, destruction, slaughter... all these will help with completing a ritual that will bring forth a destructive aspect of Tiamat, and place her one step further to becoming an Immortal of the Sphere of Entropy.


    So, by letting our GM get a break from running adventures in Pathfinder Mystara, I took over the weekly gaming session from now on to run this module. While I have GMed before, I've never actually ran a pure D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder game as I tend to run Legend of the Five Rings games, and even while I am the most rules&mechanics-savvy member in our group, I noticed there were suddenly a lot more about the rules I had to pay attention to now.

    Without further ado, I allowed the group access to a majority of Pathfinder books. No 3rd party material allowed, and Advanced Class Guide was not allowed either (as we don't have the book). I disallowed the Favored Class options presented in Advanced Race Guide and kept it to only +1HP or +1 Skill point (as I felt some of the options were either too powerful or too weak). One change we made, after one player pleading and begging, was to allow Vital Strike and its chain to be used for Spring Attack and Ride By Attack (and also Flyby Attack). I reminded the players that if they were allowed this option, it would be used for the enemies too, but since they agreed that was fine, it was so decided (little do they know what they will meet. Mwuahaha). I let the players have a session together to make their characters, as they would start at level 6 and I said that it was fair if they already knew eachother and could build accordingly as well as talk strategy. Some amusement was had that almost all 4 players, whom are male, opted to play female characters. As this left only one male PC, jokes already started early about "Guiseppe's Angels" or "Guiseppe's Harem".

    So, as we begin our adventure, the party consists of:
    - Lady Vivienne Monteyeur, level 6 Human, Cavalier of the Order of the Dragon. [Party-tank, super-charger]
    - Lirielle aka Little Rabbit, level 6 Elf, Rogue. [Skill-monkey, scout, trapspotter. Claims to be the servant of Vivienne]
    - Guiseppe Serano, level 6 Human, Oracle of Ixion with Flame Mystery but cursed with a haunting. [Only male PC, blaster and healer]
    - Ylissa Wenterås, level 6 Human, Dreamspun Sorcerer. [Caster with random spells and random feats, opting for a "so chaotic, no focus"-style, also Party-face]


    Chapter I: Cue the scrolling yellow text...
    (I will occassionally throw in links to soundtrack used for the scenes)

    Spoiler: I love the smell of bat guano in the morning
    Show

    It is a bright and sunny day as the group travels on the Dawn Way towards the village of Drellin's Ferry. They had long left the (seemingly) last bit of civilization at Brindol as they were making their way on the Dawn Way, hoping to seek out treasure in the ancient Vraath-keep to refill their almost empty adventurer-pockets. Forlorn castles, excitement, possible ghosts, and gold... these are the things adventurers live for, they say.
    It seems to be a normal day like any other... until the armor of hobgoblins stick out like sore thumbs with neon lights up ahead, as they rolled a 1 on their Stealth, and with the poor modifier of that group, even Ylissa and Guiseppe (who compete for the lowest Perception in the party) quickly catch on. Ensue battle, where no one is surprised.
    The PCs ace their Initiative rolls and Vivienne is quick to charge into the first rabble of hobgoblins, and is awarded with a dead hobgoblin skewered on her lance. As she has Rideby-Attack, she sails past the rest of the hobgoblins to avoid being surrounded by them. Still, some of them try to follow after, but don't have much luck with hurting her, though some manage no nick her a little bit. The one that does manage to hurt her is the first Hellhound that comes charging out of the old farmerhouse and gives her a face full of flaming breath (the horse on the other hand, has Improved Evasion and obviously turned around so his rider could protect him from the fire). A Fireball from Guiseppe mops up the first wave of Hobgoblins, and a Lightning Bolt from Ylissa removes the ones who had a little bit of HP left along with a Hellhound.
    The second wave arrives on the field and the Hobgoblin Cleric's Command makes Vivienne drop her lance. She is surrounded by most of the new Hobgoblins, but they don't have much luck either and she moves away with another Rideby Attack... leaving the poor Little Rabbit in the frontline now, and ripe for taking at the hads of the Hobgoblin Bladebearer who leads the band. A critical hit leaves the situation a little dire looking for the poor Rogue, but when the Cavalier returns on the next turn, she is able to return the favor by shoving a Sneak Attack up between his ribs.
    Meanwhile, Ylissa and Guiseppe toss out more Fireballs and Lightning Bolts, downing the Cleric, the second Hellhound and almost all of the remaining Hobgoblins. One is left standing and makes a mad dash for the hills. Only to be stopped dead in his track from a knife in the back from the Little Rabbit.

    Guiseppe: "Beautiful work as always, my ladies."

    The party don't wait long to begin looting the hobgoblins, and I make some stabilization rolls for those who only hit the negatives without dying, as well as some Perception checks for the party. Guiseppe recognizes the symbol of the Demon Lord Tiamat on the cleric. They notice that at least one of the Hobgoblins is alive.

    Viv: "We should bring him with us and hand him over to the proper authorities."
    Guiseppe: "Well, I don't really see the point in that. After all, it would be troublesome for us, and he would only be killed as punishement for robbing and killing travelers anyway."
    Viv: "Ah, right... good point. We should just kill him here."
    Ylissa: "We could question him?
    Guiseppe: "Now that is a mucher better idea."

    After much reluctance in healing the hobgoblin enough to make him conscious enough to talk, the party first checks out the abandoned farmhouse and discovers the unfortunate victims of the Hobgoblins earlier murdering. Eventually, they heal their prisoner to question him. The Red Hand Hobgoblins are described as being very fanatical in their belief in their leader and cause, so I decided to stick with that, even when giving out helpful information to the party if they managed their roll. They opted to go for the Intimidation-route, which was the best case scenario for the Hobgoblin as the morale of the Red Hand's Horde gives them a bonus. Though, Ylissa still got a very good roll on her check, and they were to be given useful answers... from a fanatic follower. For a moment the group was worried she wouldn't be able to effectively interrogate the prisoner, as she didn't speak Goblin, but she gave it a chance anyway in Heldanic... and as that is the Common for the area, she was in luck.

    Ylissa: "Why did you attack us?"
    Hobgoblin: "You were just some of the first. Soon, many more will die, and the Vale will be bathed in blood."
    Ylissa: "Exactly how many are there of you?"
    Hobgoblin: "Oho! We're hundreds, thousands! More than enough to overrun you humans."
    Guiseppe: "Yeah, right. He's just making that up." *rolls Sense Motive* [The Hobgoblin seems sincere in his belief, but you're not sure you believe that number]
    Ylissa: "Why did your priest carry a symbol of a demon-something?"
    Hobgoblin: "Tiamat has blessed us with our greatest champion, Azar-Kul, and her blood runs in his veins. He will lead us to a glorious victory, and we shall rule over your bones!"
    Viv: "I think we've heard enough. This isn't getting anywhere." *stabs Hobgoblin, it's super-effective*
    Rabbit: "I wonder if Azar-kul means anything in Goblin?" [Little Rabbit knows Goblin, but it has no meaning that she is aware of. I ask if she knows Draconic, which she does not.]

    After they finish looting and picking up magical items, the party debates for a while if they should take the time to bury the bodies of the dead they found in the farmhouse, or to bring them along to Drellin's Ferry and see about getting them a proper service there. As the entire party have horses, they settle on taking the bodies with them, hoping that they will find someone who knows the deceased or at least give them a proper funeral.


    Spoiler: Brindol's Ferry
    Show

    Dusk falls on Brindol's Ferry as the group arrives. As they tell Harsk and his guards that they fought and killed Hobgoblins, the demeanor towards the party is very positive and Harsk tells them how the Hobgoblins have troubled the village of late.
    Harsk: "They've always been trouble though, but this time, it seems like some big tribe has moved down from the Wyrmsteeth Mountains and it's affecting our lives here in the vale."
    Harsk and his men direct the party to the shrine to Ixion to see to the dead, and recommend the Old Bridge Inn to them out of the two inns in Brindol's Ferry. First things first, Guiseppe heads to the shrine to Ixion. When he explains to Brother Derny that he is a priest of Ixion, he is warmly welcoed by the old windbag, and is further approved of when he explains the situation with the bodies he brought with him. Another gold star in the book when Guiseppe hands over the pouch of gold they found on the deceased to Brother Derny and asks him to return it to the family of the deceased.

    Guiseppe: "They were travelling merchants, so they probably had family back home somewhere who need this money more than we do."

    Guiseppe's Angels head over to the Old Bridge Inn, where they are greeted by friendly and eager-to-please hobbits... errr... halflings. The Inn's little clan of hobbitses/halflings serve the party well as they paid almost double up-front for the rooms, and they're given lamb-stew with freshly baked brea for dinner, warm applepie for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream on the side, and servings of applecider and wheat-ale. Vivienne, having a sweet tooth, snacks to her great delight on the desserts. No wonder those hobbitses are so rotund with food this good!
    As the party turns in for the evening, they're visited by the village-speaker, Norro, and guard-captain Soranna (both of whom heard great praise from Harsk and Derny about these newly arrived adventurers). Norro begins his script of trying to persuade the travelling heroes to aid their village in their time of need (hopefully for free), and the party more or less jumps on the case without asking for anything in return and eagerly volunteers to help. They offer at least to provide them with some food from the Inn to have on tomorrow's journey, and also offer the services of Brother Derny and Sertieren - the only magic-users in town - by giving the party 600gp worth of store-credit to use for scrolls and potions. It's deduced that the Hobgoblins mostly seem to come from the Witchwood, and Soranna advices the party to seek out Jorr to be their guide.
    The next morning, the party sells off some hobgoblin-loot to the village-smith and trades in for a magical sword from the smithy. They browse the selection of scrolls and potions available and only pick up potions of invisibility... without using the store-credit at all (man, it's like these guys are being Good Guys or something!).
    All stocked up, and quite full from a hobbit-style breakfast, the party sets out to find Jorr.


    Spoiler: A hunting we will go!
    Show

    Arriving at Jorr's cabin, the party is first met by the ranger's dogs who start barking at the approaching group. At least Vivienne has enough in Animal Handling to know that it is a bad idea to approach any further as they seem to not be attacking yet, and she attempts to put them in their place with a skill roll. The dogs back away a few feet, but continue their growling and barking, until Jorr whistles a command for them to return. As the dogs run back, the cabin door swings open and the manliest trappin' man steps out with a large hunting knife strapped to his thigh.

    Jorr: "Ain't often I see such fancy folks aroun' these parts. Who are y'all?"
    *introductions are made*
    Jorr: "And lemme guess, you fancy folk need someone to help you through the forest, right? Well, you won't find anyone better than me. Five golds a day, or 10 if you plan to do something stupid and dangerous."
    Guiseppe: "Well, maybe some goblins..."
    Jorr: *spits* "Bah, goblins, hobgoblins. Filth all of them, I say. At least most of 'em got sense to stay away from my cabin here."
    Ylissa: "Do you know where the goblins are?"
    Jorr: "Beats me. Usually up in 'em mountains, but they've been around here lately. Probably holed up in the Vraath-fort, or at Skull Gorge Bridge. My bet is the bridge, but the fort is closer, I'll give ya that."
    Vivienne: "Well, we had planned to head to the Vraath-fort anyway. Take us there."
    Jorr: "Al'ight, m'lady. Though I suggest you follow my advice, and stay quiet most of the time. Still enough dangers here without 'em goblins running about."

    The forest around them is quiet, boggy, and misty and the group takes Jorr's advice in keeping quiet and the trip continues in silence without any chatter from the party.
    As they cross the Blackwater Causeway, Little Rabbit, who is walking right behind Jorr, spots something moving in the water next to the wreckage of a wagon. A serpentine head emerges from the water and glides stealthily through the dark swamp towards them. Still keeping quiet, the Little Rabbit taps Jorr on the shoulder and points out the approaching snake(?). Jorr's eyes widen and he nocks an arrow. Suddenly, five more heads rise from the water! It's a Hydra! Cue battle music!
    Little Rabbit uses her action in the surprise round to ready her crossbow. The hydra, unable to charge, moves in within range and is set to sink its six jaws into Vivienne next turn. Little did the Hydra know that Vivienne had beat his initiative, and she proceeds to hit him with a super-charge, almost killing him in one blow. Almost being the keyword with hydras. Luckily for the group, Ylissa manages her Knowledge-check and recalls that Hydras regenerate from seemingly lethal attacks, and she proceeds to hit him with a Lightning Bolt. As I don't remember the rules of aquatic combat and spells, I rule in the favor that the Lightning Bolt continues regardless of the surface of the water normally breaking line of effects (as the line of the Lightning Bolt would continue anyway). Little Rabbit plants a crossbow bolt in the Hydra for good measure. It's dead, Jim.
    My poor Hydra...

    The party checks out the wreckage and finds some coins and a few gems, as well as a magical suit of armor. After some identifying, the party rearranges their gear a bit (after cleaning the armor), and carry on.

    They catch the last glimpses of sunset as they spot the Vraath-keep.
    RHoD: Soah | SC: Green Sparrow | WotBS: Sheliya |RoW: Raani | SA: Ariste | IG: Hemali | RoA: Abelia | WftC: Elize | Zeitgeist: Rutile
    Mystara: Othariel | Vette | Scarlet

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Subscribed. I love these threads, just to see how every DM/party does it differently.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    (Un)Inspired's Avatar

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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    I never thought of begging to use vital attack to lure the DM into using it. That's pretty clever.
    amazing avatar of my favorite character, Gheera, by Pesimismrocks

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Faily's Avatar

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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Quote Originally Posted by (Un)Inspired View Post
    I never thought of begging to use vital attack to lure the DM into using it. That's pretty clever.
    Considering how greatly it benefits big flying Flyby-Attack enemies (which RHoD is ripe with), I thought it would be fun to allow it. It will benefit the bosses more than the party, I think, but it will be interesting to see how it goes.

    Personally, I don't see a problem with it operating that way normally for PCs, since it's rarely that Vital Strike is that good for regular characters. Still, since I'm the interim GM, we'll see if it will be something allowed in the future after this trial-run of that houserule.

    Though after one session, I'm tempted to burn Horsehoes of the Zephyr as our Cavalier has greatly benefitted from that one. Still, I give myself comfort in the fact there have only been two battles so far, and there are enough encounters to make things difficult even with those wondrous items.
    RHoD: Soah | SC: Green Sparrow | WotBS: Sheliya |RoW: Raani | SA: Ariste | IG: Hemali | RoA: Abelia | WftC: Elize | Zeitgeist: Rutile
    Mystara: Othariel | Vette | Scarlet

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    I'm in the early stages of running RHoD right now, actually. This should be interesting to follow.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Personally, I don't see a problem with it operating that way normally for PCs, since it's rarely that Vital Strike is that good for regular characters. Still, since I'm the interim GM, we'll see if it will be something allowed in the future after this trial-run of that houserule.
    You haven't seen my house ruled version of the Vital Strike chain.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Faily's Avatar

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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Another session done, and next one will be next week on wednesday (and hopefully I'll remember to get up a summary then too).

    Today, was a lot tougher for the party, thanks to a random encounter, and their lack of stealth alerting their enemies.


    The party:
    - Lady Vivienne Monteyeur, level 6 Human, Cavalier of the Order of the Dragon. [Party-tank, super-charger]
    - Lirielle aka Little Rabbit, level 6 Elf, Rogue. [Skill-monkey, scout, trapspotter. Claims to be the servant of Vivienne]
    - Guiseppe Serano, level 6 Human, Oracle of Ixion with Flame Mystery but cursed with a haunting. [Only male PC, blaster and healer]
    - Ylissa Wenterås, level 6 Human, Dreamspun Sorcerer. [Caster with random spells and random feats, opting for a "so chaotic, no focus"-style, also Party-face]

    Spoiler: A cuddly bear to snuggle up with on a chilly night
    Show

    The party looks up at the last light of day hitting the Vraath keep, and decide not to venture up there now that night is falling as it could be difficult to traverse up the steep paths that lead up to the keep. It's decided that they make camp in the Witchwood, and Jorr the Ranger agrees to take the third watch, while Lirielle takes the first watch and Vivienne takes the second.
    I make a check and a random encounter seems to be on the way (a 1d3 check decides that it happens on Viv's watch). Despite our Cavalier being very perceptive, she fails to notice the approach of two Owlbears... until one of them charges the only prey standing up, and proceeds to hug her closely for munchies.
    The rest of the party wakes up and Fireballs are already flying. Ylissa is also grabbed as a midnight-snack for the Owlbears. It looks pretty ugly but another Fireball and some lucky rolls from the rogue kills off the Owlbear hugging Viv, who proceeds to charge the remaining bugbear once she is free. The Owlbear tries to flee with its food, but is killed before it can finish its Take-away. The party survives, the random encounter does not.

    Jorr is quick to advice the party to relocate, pointing out that if there are dangers in the keep, they would have been alerted now from the sound of battle and the bright flare of the Fireballs.

    Jorr: "So much for stealth."

    The party spends an hour of their nightly sleep to move camp away from the fort, and finally catch up on their beauty-sleep. The night continues without any further disturbances. They let Ylissa sleep in to catch up on her needed rest to recover the spells from the previous day, while the Oracle will regain his spells at noon (when Ixion's power is at its highest). For now, the group jokingly talks about ogling eachother during their morning-wash routines and offering to scrub eachothers backs. Meanwhile, the Little Rabbit goes out scouting with Jorr back to their previous camp and to check out the Vraath-keep. They discover wolf-tracks around the camp, and notice that the owlbears have most likely been a late-night meal for said wolves. Jorr suggest they go up the steep path leading up to the side of the keep, rather than going the long way around that would lead them to the front, and he takes point. Both of them manage their Climb checks with no problem and reach up to the broken south-wall of the keep, where they can spot the remains of a long-dead Giant, as well as the current state of the fort. As Koth and his crew were alerted to their presence last night none of the Hobgoblins are asleep and everyone is quiet, but on alert. Neither Jorr nor the Rabbit can spot any of them while they're scouting, and they decide not to enter within the keep's walls, they eventually return to the others to report of their findings. When the skeletal Giant is mentioned, the party is getting worried that they have to fight giant skeletons and similarly animated bodies. Jokes are passed around that at least a Giant skeleton isn't as dangerous as a Manticore*, so they should have nothing to fear. Little do they know...
    They decide not to wait for Guiseppe to regain his spells at noon and press on, though they decide to opt for the more stealthy entrance of sneaking up the same path as Jorr and Lirielle had. I remind them that they could take the long way around, as they wouldn't be able to get the horses up that narrow and steep path, but in they decide to stick with the attempt at stealth and leave the horses behind. Along with Jorr to look after them, and as a contingency that in case they don't return, he should warn Drellin's Ferry of what happened.


    *= in the other campaign, the player of Ylissa plays the Cleric Ranya. The party had been split up and Ranya encountered a Manticore when she was alone... when her level was twice its CR, and it nearly killed her, due to not being a combat-Cleric and lack of clever choices in the battle. From then on, it has been a running gag in the group to say "Well, at least it's not as dangerous as a *dramatic pause* Manticore" when talking about monsters.


    Spoiler: Crouching Rabbit, Stampeding Minotaur
    Show

    The group struggle a bit with the path up (DC 10 Climb), due to lack of strength on the casters and armor check penalty on the Cavalier, but they finally manage to get up after the Rogue throws down a rope (reducing the DC to 5). Even so, their entrance so far has been stealthy as none of the keep's residents have been alerted to their presence... yet. The party make their Stealth checks, and it's no surprise when Viv hits the lowest, at a whopping total of 0. Still, distance penalties and the thick walls count in their favor. They reach the same breach in the wall as Jorr and Lirielle had scouted out earlier, and Lirielle goes on ahead to check the gaping hole in the wall that leads to the barracks. She spots the empty beds, the smoke from a makeshift fireplace leaking out of the window in the room (which must've been the smoke she and Jorr had spotted earlier when approaching the keep), a poorly stuffed Owlbear (really poorly)... and of course the group of four Hobgoblins and a large Minotaur. Luckily for her, she beats the Minotaur's Perception check by 1(!), and she manages to slip back to the others and whisper what she has seen. Whatever planning they originally had was a bit derailed with the discussion of wether or not they should learn Sign Language (to which I say there isn't any in the setting, that is what we know as Sign Language) so that they can talk silently with eachother. After a while I end the derailement (as they don't have a Sign Language, even if it did exist, so it had no impact on the current scene anyway), and they refocus on what to do. In the end, they go for the usual murderhobo tactic, which is to kick down the door (figuratively speaking in this case) and drop some Fireballs. We roll Initiative and Viv delays until after Guiseppe so he can go first and carpet-bomb the room. Most of the Hobgoblins and the Minotaur makes their saves and they join the battle. Even if Viv gets to move infront of Guiseppe, the Hobgoblins and Minotaur make a strong start by hitting her hard in the start. A Lightning Bolt from Ylissa at least returns the favor, but none of them go down. At least the Manticore and the Worg Riders have been alerted to their presence now... as have Koth.
    Not long into the (long) battle, the Manticore makes his appearance, leading to much shock and awe from the party, and he rains down a volley of spikes on them, though only manage to hit Ylissa and Guiseppe. The Manticore at least have the advantage of higher ground, as he's on the rooftop of his lair. The group is now flanked by the Minotaur and his Hobgoblin Veterans on one side, and a Manticore on the other. Guiseppe takes a chance on a Sound Burst on the Minotaur; who fails his save against the Stun effect. This helps tremendously as it puts him out of the game for 1 round, leaving the Cavalier free to take him down without worrying about getting a greataxe in the face too soon. Little Rabbit the Rogue moves around and flanks those she can, and helps to take down the Minotaur. Meanwhile, Ylissa casts another Lightning Bolt, this time at the Manticore, but its not enough to bring him down and they get another round of spikes. The tide is finally turning for the party as the Hobgoblins start to go down too, until the Manticore jumps down and gets a bite of Oracle. The Cavalier tries to bring it down, but fails, so do the following Magic Missiles from the Sorcerer, and Viv barely survives taking a full attack from the dreaded Manticore. Now the cowardly Worg Riders, who had been hoping Karkilan the Minotaur had cleaned up these adventurers by now, make their appearance and Guiseppe readies his last Fireball to hit the riders when they are within Fireball range of the Manticore. The Manticore is brought down by Vivienne, and Ylissa gives the riders her last Lightning Bolt before they charge, Rider and Worg 1 manage their save, while Rider and Worg 2 fail. When they charge forward to attack, Guiseppe's readied action goes off, and the saves are reversed this time (Group 1 failing while Group 2 succeed)... leaving both groups equally dead. The party take in the silence around them and the smell of burned enemies. It seems they have taken the fort.

    While Guiseppe heals the ladies, Little Rabbit looks around in the Manticore nest, the stables and lastly the War Room. As she is the only one who speaks Goblin, she manages to read the notes on the map. Added bonus was that I had the hand-drawn version my GM made for his run of the game, so I was able to reuse it now for my own game. I knew saving it would come in handy! The group had a great laugh (in-character too, I think) reading the map and the little details. As they finished licking their wounds, they decide to explore the tower since they were still ready to go. And of course, like many other parties before it, Koth got in his own Lightning Bolt at the group the moment they open the door to his room. Or rather, the Rogue (going first) evaded that thing like it was child's play, the Cavalier got half-damage, so did the Oracle, and the Sorcerer was so out of the way she wasn't hit. Guiseppe is lucky with yet another Sound Burst which leaves Koth stunned for a round, though the group struggle a little with hitting him as he had fully buffed himself while they had been fighting the others. The Magic Missiles bounce off his Shield, and his magical defenses makes Viv miss her attack as well. At least Lirielle got in a Sneak Attack and thus a Bleed effect on him too from her Rogue Trick. As he comes to his senses after being stunned, Koth wants to cover his escape and drops a Glitterdust on the party, leaving two of them blinded... but sadly not Vivienne, who manages to down him before he flies away thanks to his Fly potion. At least they don't wonder too long this time if they should save him to be interrogated, and they stabilize him and stop his Bleed-damage. Of course, in true murderhobo fashion, they strip him down and take anything of value in the room before spending any resources healing him. They wonder for a moment if they should use the Elixirs of Truth on him, but opt not to on the reason that as a Spellcaster, he would have good Will save, and its best saved for a more Fighter-type leader.
    The party wakes him up and makes a good show of Intimidating him into talking. They ask about Azar-Kul, about how many there are in his army (this time they believe the answer it seems), and they learn that Azar-Kul is the chosen champion of Tiamat, a great hobgoblin leader who has united all the goblinoids of the mountains to overrun the Elsir Vale. Koth proudly announces that they have dragons on their side, and that there is no hope for the vale, and they learn that Ozyrrandion is one of the dragons he speaks of (as they knew the name from the map). They ask a bit about the day-numbers on the map and when it will start, and they are at least a little surprised when Koth tells them that it has already started and it will only be a couple of days until the Horde crosses the Skullgorge Bridge. The party realise that they'll have to take out a dragon before figuring out how to destroy a dwarven bridge. They decide not to ask Koth anymore questions and send him on his way to the afterlife (after exchanging some insults with the Ixion priest).

    Remembering that they were also seeking the Vraath-keep for treasure, they search the entire place and manage to find the hidden entrance to the Vraath-vault, and they happily gorge themselves on well-earned loot.

    In this part, I dropped the ramshackle shed outside the keep and it's trap-xp, and instead threw in that xp as a bonus for finding the hidden entrance to the Vault (DC30 Perception) and unlocking the treasure rooms in the vault (DC 30 Disable Device). Amery Vraath's Bastard Sword was changed to a Longsword, for the sake of convience, and because there are just too many Bastard Swords in this adventure as written.

    With the fort cleared, it was a good place to end for the day before they make their way to Skull-Gorge Bridge!
    RHoD: Soah | SC: Green Sparrow | WotBS: Sheliya |RoW: Raani | SA: Ariste | IG: Hemali | RoA: Abelia | WftC: Elize | Zeitgeist: Rutile
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Another fun session. It's relieving to play a D&D game I'm actually enjoying for a change, rather than just going through the motions to spend time with friends.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    The party inches further along the story, and it's time for another update. This was by far my favorite session.

    Spoiler: GM stuff
    Show

    As a young green dragon in Pathfinder, Ozzy is suddenly one size category bigger than he was in 3.5. Though his HP is reduced (as 3.5 Dragons had pretty insane amount of HD), he makes up for it in an increase of melee power. I wondered for a long time if I should shrink him down one age category, as a large dragon might be too much to handle for the PCs, but after two sessions of my enemies dying like punks, I felt the party was well enough up for the challenge. My dice were also hungry for the blood of player characters.


    And so, the party is still the same:
    - Lady Vivienne Monteyeur, level 6 Human, Cavalier of the Order of the Dragon. [Party-tank, super-charger]
    - Lirielle aka Little Rabbit, level 6 Elf, Rogue. [Skill-monkey, scout, trapspotter. Claims to be the servant of Vivienne]
    - Guiseppe Serano, level 6 Human, Oracle of Ixion with Flame Mystery but cursed with a haunting. [Only male PC, blaster and healer]
    - Ylissa Wenterås, level 6 Human, Dreamspun Sorcerer. [Caster with random spells and random feats, opting for a "so chaotic, no focus"-style, also Party-face]

    Spoiler: This isn't in the script
    Show

    After the party finished clearing out the Vraath-keep, they realised they should probably hustle post-haste towards the Skull-Gorge bridge. As Jorr had remained behind with the horses, they meet up with him and tell him what they learned from Koth's map (as Lirielle could read goblin, she at least could explain to the party the meaning of the scribbles) and interrogation. Jorr asks if they need a guide to the bridge, but the group decides that it's more important that Jorr warns Drellin's Ferry incase something goes bad. Viv hands over two potions of Cure Light Wounds to Jorr, warning him to be careful and to use these incase he gets hurt fighting goblins. Jorr, ever practical, says nothing on the matter and accepts the parting-gift before the party rides off through the forest, following the directions Jorr had given them.

    Now, at this point in the adventure, the PCs are supposed to meet Old Warklegnaw. Frankly, I found this encounter a bit... odd, and it was one my GM had dropped as well when I played through RHoD myself. I just didn't feel the logic with the PCs allying with a Giant, when the Red Hand have Giants in their army, and the humans in the Elsir Vale killed a lot of the giants in the vale (as per the history of the Vraath-keep). Still, I kept the old effigy in the forest and instead added a random encounter there with three Assassin Vines that had overrun the monument.

    The PCs spot the effigy on their way and decide to take a closer look. Both Guiseppe and Lirelle recognize the effigy as something built by giants of old, which must've held some sort of religious meaning and symbol to their tribe. As they look around a bit, the vines begin to move and lash out at the party. Only Lirielle was keen-eyed enough to notice, and was the only one not surprised.
    Viv is grappled before she can do anything. Ylissa tries a Lightning Bolt, but quickly discovers that the vines seemed immune to her attack, and she is soon grappled too. Lirielle's player, still thinking 3.5, attacks with a crossbow, thinking that she won't get any Sneak Attack (forgetting that plants are now susceptible to precision damage). Guiseppe goes last and see two of the ladies in a bind, literally, and whimpers a bit as he feels he almost has to damage the sacred effigy as well if he were to use Fireball... instead he opts for Burning Hands. Eventually Vivienne gets loose and the party proceeds to mop up the three vines without too much trouble. They search around for treasure afterwards, obviously overcome with greed from all the loot they found in the Vraath-keep. Alas, no loot from the vines except some old bones and broken pieces of armor and the like.

    Rather than press on through the night to reach the bridge, the party decides it's better to rest when it get's dark so they will be fully loaded to take on the dragon they know is guarding the bridge.
    On the second watch, Guiseppe finds the mosquitos very bothersome. VERY bothersome when mosquitos (stirges) the size of housecats descends on the party. In a fit of panic, understandably, he shrieks like a little girl and drops an almost ground-zero (slightly elevated from the ground so not to hit sleeping party members) Fireball on himself and the eleven stirges who thought they would get an easy midnight snack. The party wakes up from the scream to see the air above them filled with fire... and crispy stirges dropping down on them harmlessly.
    Everyone laughs a bit at the Oracle's overreaction, especially when he almosts blasts a normal mosquito landing on him with a cantrip, and goes back to sleep. Guiseppe comforts himself with a wand of cure light wounds.


    Spoiler: A bridge too far
    Show

    As they approach the Skull-gorge bridge the next day, the party becomes aware of the forest thinning out and proceed cautiously. Vivienne, Ylissa and Guiseppe stay in cover of the forest while Lirielle sneaks up closer for a better look. She spots the four archers on each tower, the smoke from the camp on the other side of the bridge, and the two hellhounds guarding each side of the bridge. No dragon to be seen, but she notices a scent of something foul and rotten in the air. The little rabbit hops back and reports to the others. The party feel certain that the dragon is hiding somewhere nearby, as he is supposed to be guarding the bridge. They also discuss how they might possibly sabotage the bridge, but the discussion is quickly left as they focus instead on trying a stealthy approach again. There is a lot of time spent talking about the stairs leading up to the top of the towers that are on the outside (the doors to the towers are closed). Eventually they decide on Lirielle going invisible (thanks to a potion) and heading up to at least take out one tower. I remind the party of the hell-hound guarding the side of the bridge, and Guiseppe for passing his Knowledge earlier that Hellhounds do have Scent. Still, the stealth-idea seemed to be something they were so fond of doing, they go ahead with it anyway. Even after I roll randomly for wind-direction and it ends up blowing north-westward... in other words, wind at their backs.

    While no one could manage their Perception-checks to hear the Rogue approaching, the Hellhound catches her scent quickly enough and howls the alarm. The gig is up and battle begins. Lirielle is quick to start moving towards one of the towers after the Hellhound spends his turn sniffing her out. Vivienne do what Cavaliers do best, and charges the bejebus out of the poor Hellhound. Insta-kill. The hobgoblin archers sound the alarm for intruders, and seeing a warrior in full plate mounted on a war-horse in armor, they mean serious business alarm too. Ylissa and Guiseppe spend their first turn taking defensive measures (Ylissa casting Vanish and Guiseppe with Resist Energy: Acid). The other Hellhound charges Vivienne, but accomplishes little other than keeping her occupied in one spot for one turn as she puts the mangy mutt out of its misery. Lirielle reaches the top of the tower. The hobgoblins in the camp make their appearance and three of them join in raining arrows on Vivienne with the archers on top (one gets a hit, but that's it). The remaining ones prepare to set against charge. They all nearly die when Guiseppe sends a Fireball in their direction.
    Lirelle could hear faintly the sound of powerful wings on the wind, but as she casts her eyes about, she sees nothing of the dragon that might've caused it. The anticipation rises, but she says nothing to the party as she still wants to keep her element of surprise on the unsuspecting archer next to her.
    Little does the party know that Ozyrrandion is sitting on the side midway on the bridge, invisible thanks to his potion and assessing the situation. And of course, he can't resist swatting at the knigh in shining armor that provokes an attack of opportunity as she moves forward to position herself for a new charge. Unluckily for Vivienne, that was just the dragon's attack of opportunity and he is ready to take his full round before it's her turn again. Ylissa pops out of her Vanish as she targets a Lightning Bolt on Ozzy.

    Ozzy: "Gah! Puny human! I will dine on your flesh!" *turns to Vivenne* "But you're first!"

    One bite and two claws later, Viv is unconscious in the saddle. The wing-attacks and tail slap prove futile on the warhorse though. The horse, not trained to fight unnatural creatures, runs off and stops by Guiseppe, who proceeds to heal (rather meagerly) the Cavalier. The battle continues on the bridge as he heals her one more time. Lirelle ganks the unsuspecting archer, before leaping over to the other tower to begin a lengthy sword-duel with the other archer. Ozzy gives Ylissa a face full of acid (as he is unable to charge her), and she responds with another Lightning Bolt. When Viv feels fit enough to return to the battle now, Ozzy flies away under the bridge, out of sight of the party and its casters. Viv bemoans loudly how much she wanted to charge the dragon, but makes due with the severely wounded hobgoblins left on the bridge. The party proceeds to whittle away the remaining hobgoblins as Ozzy drinks down his remaining potions, and only one is left standing next to Vivienne as the dragon makes his comeback on the bridge and hits both Ylissa and Guiseppe with another breath of acid. Much to his dismay, neither of the casters go down. Lirielle hits the dragon with a crossbow bolt which does a piddly-amount of damage. Vivienne, obsessed with the need to charge dragon, decides to charge the dragon. Which provokes an attack of opportunity from the last hobgoblin she left behind... who manages to knock her back to unconscious. This time she falls out of the saddle and gets some more damage from the fall. Ylissa fires her last Lightning Bolt on Ozzy, but he keeps coming, but at last! With Ixion's sacred fires of Fireball, Ozzyrandion is defeated in a burst of flames. The remaining hobgoblin, knowing he won't be able to escape, decides to take at least one of these interlopers with him to the grave. The horse interested him little (besides, no one had managed to hurt the horse), but he had seen Vivienne recover from such a state earlier and despite a feeble attack of opportunity from the faithful warhorse, he stabs Vivienne in the neck and ends the life of one meddling kid.

    They defeated the dragon and its minions, but it is a bittersweet victory.

    Although they have the Staff of Life, which the other players were all in agreement to use, Viv's player insisted on rolling up a new character (which is not unusual for this player, as it's time for a new "flavour of the month" :P)


    Spoiler: Damnit, Jim, I'm an adventurer, not an engineer!
    Show

    Devoid of their highest level spells, with no ranks in Knowledge: Architecture & Engineering, no tools to destroy a bridge (the hobgoblins didn't bring any for such a job either, since their job was to hold it so the army could cross), the three remaining PCs spend a lot of time discussing and theorizing how they can destroy the bridge. Thanks to Lirielle's good Perception, they manage to find the Weak Spot, but none of their spells left could do any damage to it worth talking about.
    They consider using Ozzy as a pump and spray his acid on the weak-spot, but they dismiss it as a silly idea. Thankfully, as I had no idea how that would even work.
    In the end, they give Ylissa the Gauntlets of Ogre Power that Viv picked up from the keep, and the masterwork Bastard Sword they looted from the Hobgoblin sergeant, tie their ropes together to make her a harness that would safely allow her to reach the Weak Spot and hack away at it using her Arcane Strike. With a 30% chance of even managing to do enough damage to bypass the Hardness 8, a good hour and a half later, Guiseppe, Ylissa and Lirelle stand triumphantly at the now broken Skull-gorge Bridge. Without having to share the exp with a fourth member for destroying the bridge.


    Out of the logs I've read so far, I've not yet to see any party take on Ozzy and his crew without at least one casualty. I was worried for a moment if Vivienne would just super-charge Ozzy to insta-death, but I felt I managed to play him smart yet cocky enough. Had he survived the last barrage of magical attacks, he would've made his escape and reprised his role in the final chapter.
    Last edited by Faily; 2015-01-15 at 12:37 AM.
    RHoD: Soah | SC: Green Sparrow | WotBS: Sheliya |RoW: Raani | SA: Ariste | IG: Hemali | RoA: Abelia | WftC: Elize | Zeitgeist: Rutile
    Mystara: Othariel | Vette | Scarlet

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Goodbye, Vivi, we hardly knew ye.
    Ah, well. Good session, even if my group is a master at wasting time doing nothing. It's not so bad when we spend time discussion non-game stuff, but how we continually get sidetracked in discussions and go off on tangents and worse say "let's do X" then waste several more minutes before anything happens....
    We aren't going to finish this campaign any time soon.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Well, last wednesday had another session. Some time was spent levelling the characters to level 7 and Viv's player decided to keep Viv after all and was given a Raise Dead.

    - Lady Vivienne Monteyeur, level 7 Human, Cavalier of the Order of the Dragon. [Party-tank, super-charger] (Still level 6 for not getting xp for the bridge. Leveled to 7 after the first encounter)
    - Lirielle aka Little Rabbit, level 7 Elf, Rogue. [Skill-monkey, scout, trapspotter. Claims to be the servant of Vivienne]
    - Guiseppe Serano, level 7 Human, Oracle of Ixion with Flame Mystery but cursed with a haunting. [Only male PC, blaster and healer]
    - Ylissa Wenterås, level 7 Human, Dreamspun Sorcerer. [Caster with random spells and random feats, opting for a "so chaotic, no focus"-style, also Party-face]


    Spoiler: That bridge is burned
    Show

    So, they finished last week with the party standing over the remains of the now broken bridge of Skull Gorge. They decide to use the charges on the Staff of Life to bring Viv back, and there was much rejoicing. As the party ruined the bridge before checking the area of Cinder Hill on the other side, they miss out on seeing with their own eyes the truth of the Red Hand horde (even if the place is on the map they were given, which the players have in physical form. Not much tactical thinking going on there most of the time).

    They decide it's best to head back to Drellins Ferry and warn them of the impending danger though and they get on their horses and decide to force-march their way back. As the encounter-rate goes up when the party travels with such rush in the Witchwood, they get lucky and only run into one random encounter on the way. As it's getting dark, they put the elf, Lirielle, in the front, as she leads the party safely through the forest. Luckily for them, it allows her to spot the spiderweb set up for them by an ettercap and his 3 monstrous spiders. Though the encounter only serves to mildly bother them and the arachnid antagonists are dispatched after a few rounds.

    Weary and dead-tired, our brave heroes arrive back at Drellin's Ferry nearing dusk on the next day, and Guiseppe and Ylissa head over to Townspeaker Norro's house to inform him of the danger. They give a rather brief summary, which does makes Norro worry enough to call in a town-council meeting... the next morning, allowing the group to eat, wash and rest. Vivienne inquires with the local temple if they're able to give her a Restoration to remove her negative levels, but Brother Derny sadly informs her that such magic is beyond his abilities.

    Next morning, they gather at Norro's house, along with the town council.


    Spoiler: Board Meeting - the game
    Show

    Norro still doesn't quite realise yet the dangers of the situation, and starts off the meeting. He asks the adventurers to once again recite their findings, and most of them are still a bit in disbelief of exactly how big of a threat the Horde is. At least Iormel doesn't believe them, and Kellin only thinks they're exaggerating as adventurers are bound to do from time to time. Delora is the only one who believes them 100%, while Soranna doesn't have much of an opinion, and Norro is just at his wits end of what he should do.

    Guiseppe: "There's like, a lot, of hobgoblins."

    Norro: "Yes, but only a couple of hundreds, at the most, yes?"

    Vivienne: "No, no, all the ones we've questioned so far say their number is over thousand. They also say they have dragons."

    Iormel: "Pfft, dragons. There haven't been any recorded dragons here for a long time."

    Norro: *obviously anxious* "But you can stop them, no?"

    Guiseppe: "Eeh... not like this, no. Even if all of them were so puny as the average soldiers we've fought, they'd still wear us down."

    Iormel: "Which is why we should fight them here, with the defensive position of this town. Everyone knows that having the defensive position is the superior advantage."

    Ylissa: "... Could we do that?"

    Vivienne: "Not really, even with the advantage of the river and if we were to put up wooden barricades, it wouldn't hold the moment a dragon swoops down and torches it all."

    Delora: "The city would be put to the torch, and the warriors to the sword. The women and children would probably be taken as slaves. I've seen such things happen in war before."

    Kellin: *ignoring Delora's pessismis* "We could perhaps try to negotiate with them. I mean, they probably want gold and riches. We could just pay a tribute and they'd leave us alone?"

    Guiseppe: "I... don't think that would work. The ones we've fought so far have been rather zealous and seemed very intent on killing everyone. Can't reason with goblins."

    Lirielle: *produces map* "... It says on the map that they want to take halflings captive. Tyrgarun wants to eat them."

    Kellin: *looks visibly unnerved at the thought of being eaten*

    The exchange continues back and forth, with the party relaying the info from the map (none from Koth's notes, as none have so far picked up the right language or attempted a Linguistics roll again to decipher it after Lirielle's first failed attempt). Some in the party pass their Sense Motive checks and notice that Iormel only wants people to fight at Drellin's Ferry because he wants to protect what he has here, and that Norro seems completely clueless about what to do in the situation as he looks to the PCs to maybe make a decision for him. I eventually nudge the players if they are going to propose a solution, and they settle on Evacuation. They pass their Diplomacy checks, led by Ylissa, and it's decided that Drellin's Ferry will evacuate.

    They spend a lot of time following that trying to decide wether or not they should try to force-march the group of refugees, as it will probably move very slowly, and they're not sure how long it will take the Horde to find a replacement for the ruined bridge. It is briefly considered to hole up in the Vraath-keep, but they realise it would leave them surrounded and it would probably be safer to evacuate to Brindol by following the Dawn Way, as its pointed out by the NPCs that Brindol might at least have the fighting forces to defend the city if need be. Sertieren the Wise says he will send magical messages to his friends in Terrelton, Nimon's Gao and Talar, urging them to evacuate as well.

    After a lot of talk about various things, and small scenes of people bemoaning their loss of homes and favored things, Drellin's Ferry is evacuated. Guiseppe tries his best to keep spirits up with light-hearted jokes and stories, like telling the women that when they get back they can get that redecoration and the new kitchen they always wanted, because they're husbands won't have a reason to refuse them now!

    Not long after everyone has crossed the Elsir river, they hear the sounds of howling wolves.


    Spoiler: With the hounds of hell at their heels
    Show

    I launch the Goblin Raid-event that them as they leave Drellin's Ferry, replacing one of the Worgs with a Winter Wolf Worg to give them a bit more of a challenge. The hellhounds are still regular hellhounds though, but after this I am seriously considering replacing them with Nessian Hellhounds, as they've almost always gone down as punks in the battles so far. The hellhounds and Worg-riders don't give much of a resistance, though the Winter Wolf Worg goes put up quite a fight.

    Vivienne stands alone at the front after charging forward, while the casters are throwing out their Lightning Bolts and Fireballs. Ylissa starts the battle with a Haste, which gives a much needed boost to the party's movement considering the distances needed to cover this battle, as the Worg-riders started 200ft away (which made it possible for Viv to charge all the way after the Worgs had moved). The party did not expect the second wave of hobgoblins to have a Bladebearer and a Kulkor Zul War Adept though, and after a breath from the Winter Wolf, followed by a Lightning Bolt from the Adept almost knocks Viv unconscious (2 hp). The Bladebearer doesn't manage to do much, sadly, before he's super-charged by Vivienne before he can kill off Ylissa, which leaves her and Guiseppe free to deal with the Adept... whom is promptly blasted to kingdom come.

    Thus begins the long trek towards Brindol, and the end of Chapter 1.


    This session didn't have as much battle as previous ones, as there is a lot of talking to be done in the scenario of saving Drellin's Ferry. There was also a lot of chatting this time, plus time spent levelling up. Vivienne also ended up taking Leadership as her 7th level feat, so now I have to make a suitable Cohort for her. So far, I'm thinking a purely healing/buff-focused cleric, as that wouldn't be overshadowing any of the other classes.
    Last edited by Faily; 2015-01-24 at 06:40 PM.
    RHoD: Soah | SC: Green Sparrow | WotBS: Sheliya |RoW: Raani | SA: Ariste | IG: Hemali | RoA: Abelia | WftC: Elize | Zeitgeist: Rutile
    Mystara: Othariel | Vette | Scarlet

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    I have a feeling that replacing standard hellhounds with Nessian will result in a TPK unless the cavalier manages to supercharge them to death before they can do anything. The HHs have been targeted first so far and the cavalier's player rolls ridiculously well on initiative and always manages to go first.
    So far Fireball has been doing its job but I suspect it will stop being quite so good soon.

    I get a bit frustrated with how slowly my group works at times, but at the end of the day the most important reason we play is to hang out with friends, and that involves talking about stuff other than the game.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Over the Mountain
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Followed you here from my own RHoD journal. Looks like your players are doing fairly well so far!

    It's also been my experience that the hell hounds are mostly speed bumps, as are most of the hobgoblin troopers. This isn't necessarily a problem: as Saintheart mentioned in his guidebook, even the Vale folk have a history of beating the hobgoblins on their own. The mooks simply aren't meant to be a threat to high-level heroes. Enemy champions, on the other hand... >:D

    Also, regarding cohorts, there are several NPCs who would make excellent cohorts. You might consider letting the PCs befriend one of them. I've found that cohorts created from scratch tend to be very bland and get forgotten about during roleplay, whereas cohorts who joined the party organically are much more memorable.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    In case you hadn't noticed, this thread was last updated over a year ago. Short version, the forum ate her last update and she quit updating the journal. We finished it not too long after this update.

    We failed.
    Some bad choices and insisting on investigating everything and fighting everything before we met Azar Kul meant we were low on juice, some bad tactics (like leaving the erinyes alone far too long so they could spam unholy blights, etc.) and a poor choice of destination for a last-ditch teleport escape (to the dragon mount outside) resulted in a TPK.
    Since this game was set in my campaign I took over immediately after the TPK, spent 30 minutes beefing up Tiamat and let everybody bring in their original lvl 16 characters to fight her.
    An epic and grueling battle that saw 6 PC deaths (out of four PCs) resulted in Tiamat being defeated and much of the Elsir Vale being left in smoldering ruins. Every sentient being was exterminated and consumed and most of it was burnt, dissolved, frozen, exploded or all four.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Over the Mountain
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Red Hands bring Doom to Norwold (Red Hand of Doom campaign journal, Mystara)

    Oh, damn, I didn't see that. My apologies!

    Hell of a way to end a campaign, but I like your idea of segueing in with the next group of higher-level PCs.

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