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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    This is it, then. After a long contemplation and preparation, I have finally decided to run this incredible adventure for the first time AND make a journal out of too.

    The Set-Up

    The DM
    Spoiler
    Show
    I'm the DM. My DMing style is rather live-and-let-die. I don't railroad, I don't suggest, I advise only when asked to or when the game doesn't flow forward and my poker face is made from adamantine. I'm going to run this campaign very true to the original, except that I'm going to tune it to be a little less monty haul and more down to earth (low-fantasy-ish).


    The players
    Spoiler
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    5+2 players. 5 players are tentatively committed to the game, 2 are joining the game later on or maybe not at all. Some players have some experience in D&D. They all have played RPGs before, one has DMed 4e and at least one has extensive LARP experience. They seem prepared enough. I have provided all the rules for them beforehand. I have explained them that this campaign is das Scheiße and they have all fully understood that.


    The schedule
    Spoiler
    Show
    Once a week; from early June until the end of August.


    The first session - preview
    Next week we are going to meet for the first time. I have asked the players whether we should agree on the house rules together and apparently a half of the players want this. I'm going to have a voting on the house rules and other details in a quick fashion and then move on to the character creation. Everyone will be starting at the 4th level, because there will be so many PCs (APL of six 4th level PCs = APL of four 5th level PCs). Characters can be made before the first meet-up with 25 point point buy. If the abilities are rolled (in front of the DM), then all the modifiers must be +5 or more in total.

    In my next post I'm going to tell about the voting, how the character creation went and what will the main cast look like! Stay tuned... Most likely the actual adventure will start within the next two weeks. Remember: Mercy is for the weak and you must roll well to survive. Always.

    To quote one of the players:
    This might be the most epic table-top RPG where I've ever been in. I'm already gutted that it's going to last less than 3 months.
    Note: My players are invited to this thread so no spoilers, please!
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-09-05 at 10:54 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    We had the character creation this evening. 3 out 7 players showed up. Not bad. Before the the actual character creation, we had a voting about several aspects of the game, including the house rules.

    - If a player is not present, his or her character disappears for any reasonable or unreasonable reason. When the player returns, so will the PC.
    - The campaign will be set in a dark quasi-Medieval world, with a sufficient amount of bigotry and draconian laws to be true to its spirit. Things like blasphemy, necromancy, sodomy and insulting nobility are outright banned under the pain of death.
    - The use of deadly poison is not Evil.
    - No magic marts, no easy access to spells and spellcasting.
    - High intelligence doesn't give you extra languages, but makes it easier to learn new ones during the game.
    - Psionics are included.
    - All optional class abilities that replace familiars are allowed, from any source.
    - A ban list? The DM can decide on it freely.
    - Critical threats must be confirmed.
    - Genders don't have any game-mechanical differences.
    - Learning new things from scratch or taking levels in a new character class must entail a reasonable level of training.
    - Dwarven women have beards.
    Edit: - Fumbles and critical hit tables are used.

    The characters so far, without names. NOTE: My players are not allowed to look into this! Stay away!
    Spoiler: My players, don't click here! Updated 1st of July
    Show

    Ardal Amberdriller, Chaotic Good Male Dwarf Barbarian 4 (deity: Moradin)
    Veronica, Neutral Good Female Human Ranger (Archer, Shapechanger Slayer) 4†
    Mithrillion, Chaotic Good Male Grey Elf Diviner 4†
    Jiub, Lawful Evil Male Drow Necromancer 4 (Uses a hat of disguise, looks human) INACTIVE
    (Neutral Evil Genderless Dromite Kinetist 4) Not with the group
    Aslak, Lawful Evil Male Arctic Dwarf Monk 4
    Gideon, Lawful Good Male Human Cleric of Heironeous 4† + a mercenary/servant Tobias†
    Mack, Neutral Evil Male Human Fighter 4


    On our next session we will actually start playing the game. The absentees should create their characters at home.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2017-04-22 at 07:31 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Perth, West Australia
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Bookmarked, and watching with interest as always!

    (Jon_Dahl's players, whoever they are: kindly do not click on the relevant link in my sig. Just don't do that. )

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #1, 9th of June.

    Most of the session was spent with character creation. The character sheets were a mystery to at least half of the players, and there were total of 6 players – a crowd!

    Please note that the info behind the spoiler tag “My players, don't click here!” has been updated.

    The story began with seven (yes, seven!) travelers heading south on the Dawn Way. They had already been introduced and told each other what they could do, and it seemed that at least six of them had decent abilities to defend themselves on that lonely road through the hot wilderness.

    Two of them led the way. Gideon, a righteous man and a cleric of Heironeous, and his loyal servant Tobias, who had some readiness to fight with his spear (but not much). Right behind Tobias and Gideon was small grey elf Mithrillon, a smart fellow in a wizard’s robe. In the middle of the group were heavily armored warrior Mack and Jiub, a singing troubadour who played a lute. The rear was guarded by Veronica, the group’s only female and a capable ranger, who went alongside with her horse, accompanied by dwarven monk Aslak, whose hairy and bare chest drew a lot of attention. Everyone except Mithrillon and Aslak were humans. Not including Mack and Gideon everyone seemed lightly armed and armored.

    Their destination was Drellin’s Ferry, located about 3 miles to west along the Dawn Way. They all had their reasons why to get there and they needed each other for protection, some even for friendship and company. They all had stories about their past great deeds, whether true or not.

    Gideon and Jiub spotted two nasty-looking creatures lying in ambush and the travelers had a little chitchat about the situation. The creatures attacked! Six hobgoblins with composite longbows!

    Mithrillon summoned a celestial monkey to harass the archers while Jiub and Veronica fired upon them. Aslak and Mack clambered the road’s escarpment to reach the archers in mêlée. The fight was over quickly. Jiub with his hand crossbow and Mack with his scimitar were particularly efficient in slaying their enemies.

    As they talked about the situation, the hobgoblins’ reinforcements arrived: two hobgoblins and a big dog in spiked chain barding. The leading hobgoblin with two shortswords gave a good fight against the group while other hobgoblin cast something and disappeared. Aslak threw an incredible punch straight to the hobgoblins face and Mack severely injured its leg, sending the goblinoid onto the ground. The dog gave hell to the group but a flaming sphere, conjured by Mithrillon, killed it. Soon it was revealed that the remaining hobgoblin had stayed invisible, but had failed to capitalize on its advantage. It fought fiercely against an overwhelming numbers until it fell, barely conscious, and promised death and destruction. He surrendered and Mack slayed him on the spot.

    They looked through the bodies. There wasn’t anything obviously valuable, but Veronica suggested that Mithrillon could cast Detect Magic. Mithrillon flatly refused by saying:
    “I will only cast Detect Magic on magic items!”
    Nevertheless, they took the banded mail of the “hobgoblin shaman” (as he was named by the group).

    Then they all moved on the hobgoblin’s alleged hideout: a destroyed farmhouse not far from the road.

    In the ruined building, there were some mutilated human (?) bodies and bedrolls. Jiub carefully extracted some samples of flesh for unknown reasons, while Mithrillon looked for some sort of basement to no avail. Mack searched the corpses carefully and found a pouch of gold (355 gold pieces) which he hid away in his armor without telling anyone.

    The travel continues…

    (Feel free to comment)
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2016-06-03 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Mithrillion => Mithrillon

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Jun 2012

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl View Post
    The dog gave hell to the group but a flaming sphere, conjured by Mithrillion, killed it.
    Speaking vaguely so as not to spoil anything (since you didn't identify what this was)... why was this creature killed by flaming sphere? Did you change what monster this is, or did you not notice it had the (Fire) subtype, and thus is immune to fire?

    “I will only cast Detect Magic on magic items!”
    Hahahahaa. That's not going to end well... As a DM that kind of stance would tempt me to replace all obviously "magic items" in the adventure with things that could be mistaken for mundane gear. No scrolls or wands; just weapons, rings, and mundane-looking wondrous items. Put all potions in water skins, etc.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by ksbsnowowl View Post
    Speaking vaguely so as not to spoil anything (since you didn't identify what this was)... why was this creature killed by flaming sphere? Did you change what monster this is, or did you not notice it had the (Fire) subtype, and thus is immune to fire?
    A couple of points:
    1. "and a big dog in (a) spiked chain barding." This actually means a big dog. No joke!
    2. In the OP I have mentioned (indirectly) that this is going to be a bit more low-fantasy version of RHoD. What you have just witnessed is just that, and it's not going to end there. This will be a reoccurring theme in this game. I hope this will not stray too far from the original campaign...?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Jun 2012

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl View Post
    A couple of points:
    1. "and a big dog in (a) spiked chain barding." This actually means a big dog. No joke!
    2. In the OP I have mentioned (indirectly) that this is going to be a bit more low-fantasy version of RHoD. What you have just witnessed is just that, and it's not going to end there. This will be a reoccurring theme in this game. I hope this will not stray too far from the original campaign...?
    Okay, cool. I had missed (or forgotten) that you mentioned that in the first post. Very good. I think the campaign will handle the change well. The framework for Red Hand of Doom is fantastic, and you can sub out monsters pretty easily, and the whole thing still works. I ran RHoD for a viking-themed game, and subbed out every single monster for something different, but filling a similar monster niche, and it worked splendidly.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jul 2014

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Subbed, I hope to run RHoD at some point myself.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl View Post
    A couple of points:
    1. "and a big dog in (a) spiked chain barding." This actually means a big dog. No joke!


    It was a big. Dog.

    2. In the OP I have mentioned (indirectly) that this is going to be a bit more low-fantasy version of RHoD. What you have just witnessed is just that, and it's not going to end there. This will be a reoccurring theme in this game. I hope this will not stray too far from the original campaign...?
    Spoiler: Players stay out
    Show
    Probably the most 'magic heavy' part of the campaign comes down to the Ghostlord's chambers (and a few devils and whatnot in the Fane of Tiamat). I'll be watching this with keen interest: if it's a low-magic setting and the players get wind of seriously undead-heavy areas, it has some promise of making them more cautious and less likely to turn around and fight someone like the Ghostlord who's very obviously a powerful caster. Also amps up the threat and majesty of the dragons, too, I'd guess.

    That said, most of the crucial fights and challenges in this game come down to lightly-buffed melee rather than arcane rocket tag (although the players shouldn't underestimate those melee challenges -- I've seen a fair proportion of parties wipe entirely at Rhest when they try frontal assaults). Colour me intrigued on how this all turns out.

    One caveat, though, which I'm sure you've accounted for: if it's a low-magic campaign, without ready access to spells or spellcasting, the cleric becomes arguably more powerful than he would in a standard "magic mart" setting, since he's got all his magic options available all the time. It doesn't take a Divine Metamagic cleric to kick doors and take names in RHOD (or anywhere else) -- in mine, DMM was not used once and the party clerics still were the most likely to be standing at the end of a fight, and then with their swords buried in someone else's chest. I'm assuming you're denying access to the more powerful spells or something, but it might be worth bearing that it mind.

    One other one, which I thought of: this campaign is very short on the Monty Haul as it is. Many of the fights have very little to no treasure in them; by explicit design on the makers' part, the vault of Vraath Keep is about the biggest single treasure that's given to the party until you get to the Fane of Tiamat.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post



    Spoiler: Players stay out
    Show
    Probably the most 'magic heavy' part of the campaign comes down to the Ghostlord's chambers (and a few devils and whatnot in the Fane of Tiamat). I'll be watching this with keen interest: if it's a low-magic setting and the players get wind of seriously undead-heavy areas, it has some promise of making them more cautious and less likely to turn around and fight someone like the Ghostlord who's very obviously a powerful caster. Also amps up the threat and majesty of the dragons, too, I'd guess.

    That said, most of the crucial fights and challenges in this game come down to lightly-buffed melee rather than arcane rocket tag (although the players shouldn't underestimate those melee challenges -- I've seen a fair proportion of parties wipe entirely at Rhest when they try frontal assaults). Colour me intrigued on how this all turns out.

    One caveat, though, which I'm sure you've accounted for: if it's a low-magic campaign, without ready access to spells or spellcasting, the cleric becomes arguably more powerful than he would in a standard "magic mart" setting, since he's got all his magic options available all the time. It doesn't take a Divine Metamagic cleric to kick doors and take names in RHOD (or anywhere else) -- in mine, DMM was not used once and the party clerics still were the most likely to be standing at the end of a fight, and then with their swords buried in someone else's chest. I'm assuming you're denying access to the more powerful spells or something, but it might be worth bearing that it mind.

    One other one, which I thought of: this campaign is very short on the Monty Haul as it is. Many of the fights have very little to no treasure in them; by explicit design on the makers' part, the vault of Vraath Keep is about the biggest single treasure that's given to the party until you get to the Fane of Tiamat.
    Thank you for the input, I have thought about the same things. The decision to run the game with very little buyable magic and spells will have its implications, certainly.

    And OHHH! I have forgot to mention one important detail!
    The game is set in the world of Greyhawk. Everything happens in the island of Thalios (aka Thalos). Please see the map, far west: http://www.greyhawkonline.com/duicarthan/oerth.jpg
    This is all the information that we have about Thalos, and in my campaign, this information is badly outdated: http://canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Thalos

    Edit: The map of Thalios.

    Elsir Vale... Self-explanatory.
    The decadent Gnomish Empire.
    Hobgoblin pirates are out of control and prevent ships from leaving to or coming from the east.
    The human confederacy is full of everything, petty kingdoms, random freeholds and a republic. Nothing major, though.
    The Sacred Freehold of the Twin Cities is a zealous theocracy of Stern Alia. Not a nice place to be.

    I have drawn a map of the Elsir Vale, but since it's not in English, it's not worth showing.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-06-12 at 03:52 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #2, 16th of June.

    The weary travelers arrived in a small town in the evening. A group of four armed men were blockading the road leading to the town. The man in charge hollered: "Halt and state your business, strangers!"

    Mack stated bluntly that he wanted to enter the place and that's it. That was fine with the man in charge and as the group passed by Gideon said a few kind words to him and his men.

    They were, indeed, in Drellin's Ferry. Mack wanted to find a healer, but the local priest of Pelor only attended to the faithful of the Sun Father, which didn't fit Mack's profile, so he got himself a traditional healer with non-magical hands-on approach. In the meanwhile, Juib faded into the shadows and no one knew where he had went. The rest of them went to the Old Bridge Inn where they felt welcomed by the innkeeper Kellin. They spent the evening rolling dice, cleaning their garments and selling loot. Gideon gave Kellin a wooden trinket to bring him luck, which he gladly accepted.

    As the evening drew to a close, an important-looking man in his fifties and a high-ranking female soldier came to the inn. Kellin was doing his things at the moment, and the only ones downstairs were Aslak, Veronica and Mithrillon. The man introduced himself as Wiston, the Town Speaker, and he wanted to get the armed and fit-looking strangers to end the goblin menace of the Dawn Way. Aslak wanted gold, and he managed to get 500 gold pieces to each of them if the Dawn Way were cleared from threats. Veronica asked if there had been scouting expeditions to the area, but the sole attempt had ended up with twelve shredded soldiers. Attempts to get more gold failed. Soranne, the guard captain, tipped the adventurers off about a guide in the Witchwood called Jorr who could help them in their quest.

    The next morning they crossed the river and left for the west. They decided to take the Witch Trail. The crossed a creek which wasn't easy for everyone. By noon, they had reached Jorr's cabin that was guarded by three lean and mean dogs, but Veronica pacified them with her words.

    Jorr came out and was mildly impressed with Veronica's feat. As he heard the word "goblins" he was already getting his longbow and was ready to shoot any goblin they might encounter. Jorr explained that the goblins most likely came from the Wyrmsmoke Mountains, and they probably had some activity at the Skull Gorge Bridge or somewhere there. They took off to north where the bridge lay.

    They had to sleep over the night in a tent. Moving around with two heavily armored men, Gideon and Mack, who had no mounts, was time-consuming. Mack and Aslak had no food, so Mithrillon sold Mack some of his rations and Aslak ate some unknown plants that he had found near the camp.

    The next morning they saw a huge decrepit effigy. Mithrillon wanted to find out more about the effigy and who or what was behind it, but Jorr said that it would be better to see the bridge. Jorr had little interest finding out more about effigy because he didn't think that the goblinoids were behind it. After a brief discussion they continued to the Skull Gorge Bridge.

    The bridge was an impressive structure that crossed over a dangerous gorge. The bridge had towers - four of them! - and it was made from stone. Before they got close, Jorr pointed out a red-eyed fiendish dog, two humanoid silhouettes in the towers, a camp and a green dragon the size of big human. Needless to say, he was shaken by the sight.

    Jorr had them all retreat a bit so that they could talk in peace. Jorr said that he could defend himself if attacked upon but he had no interest in challenging a green dragon just because it was there. They went through some tactics and then Mack rushed at the red dog. Gideon, Tobias and Aslak followed him. Veronica wanted to shoot from the woods and Mithrillon had some tricks up his sleeve.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2016-04-08 at 08:21 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl View Post
    A couple of points:
    2. In the OP I have mentioned (indirectly) that this is going to be a bit more low-fantasy version of RHoD. What you have just witnessed is just that, and it's not going to end there. This will be a reoccurring theme in this game. I hope this will not stray too far from the original campaign...?
    I ran RHoD scaled up to start at 10th level, with all manner of exotic cultures and nations from my homebrew setting, an altered cosmology, and deep tie-ins to previous campaign events from my homemade games. The module is really very flexible and adaptable; it ran beautifully and my players loved the game. I think you'll do well.
    Subclasses for 5E: magus of blades, shadowcraft assassin, spellthief, void disciple
    Guides for 5E: Practical fiend-binding

    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Most popular: monk and fighter.


  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #3, 23rd of June.

    The battle music

    The battle of Skull Gorge Bridge! Aslak, Mack, Gideon and his loyal henchman Tobias rushed out of the woods at the red guard dog. Two unknown humanoids raised the alarm and fired upon the quartet from the towers as the dog closed in and... breathed fire on Mack! Mack did some slick moves and avoided the worst burns. Aslak ran to one of the nearest towers while his comrades tried to put down the dog. Jorr realized that the opponents spoke goblin, and he began running towards the fight.

    The dog was severely wounded by Mack's scimitar. Aslak did not succeed in climbing at all, which was more due to the smooth surface than his lack of skill. Veronica fired from the woods with very little accuracy. Four hobgoblins came from the camp near the edge of the gorge on the other side. They got ready to fire with their bows. Jorr obviously hated goblins passionately as he challenged the hobgoblin to an archery contest from the edge of the forest.

    The green dragon observed the situation from the air. It was incredibly fast but a slow turner. It seemed to want Jorr's blood, but no one knew that for sure.

    Mithrillon ran to the tower - not to the one where Aslak was at - and dazzled its archer with a spell. Then he cast a flaming sphere to the other side of the gorge that tormented one of the archers. The hobgoblin tried to avoid the ball with his slow reflexes, but he failed miserably. He failed so bad that he burnt away his bow and damaged his gear.

    The wounded dog tried to withdraw back to the bridge, but Mack, Gideon and Tobias pressed on. Then Aslak tried to make a dash for it and run across the bridge. The archers, all eight of them, took him as a target and Aslak became a pincushion within seconds. Then he turned around and ran back to the woods without a word.

    The archers had wounded Jorr a couple of times, but now one of the hobgoblin fired an incredibly lucky shot. It was the greatest shot anyone had ever seen. It pierced Jorr's abdomen and spine, and it would've killed many men outright, including Mithrillon. It was too much for the wounded old man too, and he was dead before hitting the ground. Jorr had lost the archery contest but not because he was outnumbered, but because his studded leather armor was nothing compared to the heavy and almost arrowproof armors of the hobgoblins.

    Gideon failed to heal Mack, and Veronica's attempt to approach Jorr was rendered unnecessary by his death. The green dragon flew over Veronica and breathed acid on her creating a large stinking hole in the forest. Veronica took its full damage, which wasn't that bad after all.

    Mack killed the fire-breathing dog and Gideon withdrew with Tobias. Mithrillon summoned one more flaming sphere to harass the hobgoblins and - to everyone's amazement - another hobgoblin at the other side of the gorge slipped and burnt away his longbow on the flaming sphere! Two out of four of the hobgoblins of the camp had destroyed their bows through their own sloppiness. All four retreated back to the camp.

    The dragon flew forward a little bit and blocked Gideon's withdrawal. Gideon tried to smash it with his morningstar but to no avail. Mack took cover behind a tower and used the battlefield brilliantly to evade the archers who were obviously frustrated. Then Mack flanked the dragon and tried to hit it but it was very difficult to penetrate its thick hide with a mere scimitar.

    The group seemed to retreat a bit by bit: Veronica was already on her horse in the woods and preparing to leave, Aslak was hiding in the woods and doing nothing, and Mithrillon had cast Expeditious Retreat. Mack, Gideon and Tobias exchanged a few blows with the dragon and then ran to the woods - they weren't followed. (The player of Gideon was actually injured IRL, since she had some sort of painful cramp out of the blue.)

    The adventurers rested in the Witchwood far away from the bridge. Veronica tried to sleep mounted, but she wasn't good enough to do that and didn't feel rested the next morning like the rest of the gang.

    The next morning was spent healing and hunting in the woods. Aslak and Veronica managed to hunt and gather food and water for everyone, including for themselves.

    They slept another night in the woods. The next morning, their third in the woods and second after the battle, they returned back to the bridge. Things seemed calm enough. Aslak went to scout Jorr's remains and to the shock of his companions, he was dreadful trying to move hidden in the woods. His dwarven bottom was clearly visible and shaking around with every step he took in the bushes. The hobgoblins and the dragon were distracted by the sunny morning and they didn't see him. Jorr's body was gone. Obviously the hobgoblins had looted the body and disposed of it.

    Now they are planning to snipe the dragon from the woods and then retreat.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-06-25 at 05:39 AM. Reason: Two wrong pronouns

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Out of curiosity, how long are your game sessions typically?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by ComaVision View Post
    Out of curiosity, how long are your game sessions typically?
    The intended length is about five hours, but due to the players' sporadic arrival and the fact that players have left early this and previous session, I think we are looking at 3 hours per session, maybe 3½ hours at best. I'm still intending to have that 5 hour session some day soon.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #4, 30th of June.

    A quiet day at Skull Gorge Bridge, as usual. Being a green dragon on these hot, sunny days and sitting on a top of tower was just marvelous. Then all of a sudden a bolt, an arrow and magic missiles flew out of nowhere and struck the dragon, who obviously had imagined that his enemies had been driven off for good.

    The dragon flew to receive his ambushers while the hobgoblins in the towers raised the alarm and rained arrows. The dragon, as noted before, was very fast and seemed like the adventurers were moving in slow motion under water in comparison. It breathed acid on Mithrillon, Gideon and Tobias, and a pile of fuming bones was all that was left off the elf and the servant-fighter. Gideon seemed dead and burnt, and the forest now had a new hole in it.

    Veronica withdrew and fired at the dragon while Aslak rushed through the forest to check Gideon. Mack originally had tried to spread out, but now he too came to Gideon's aid. Meanwhile the dragon had slowly turned, and now hovered and observed the intruders.

    Aslak managed to give some first aid to the poor Gideon, and then an arrow pierced his chest* and he was left unconscious in the bushes.

    The dragon swooped over his opponents and breathed acid, but this time no one died. Mack decided that the feces had hit the windmill so badly that there was no hope, and he slowly lumbered deeper into the woods.

    The fight cooled down. The dragon flew away and the hobgoblins had neither targets nor will to pursue anyone. Veronica tried to save her companions by sneakily pulling them away, but the hobgoblins had an excellent day at sharpshooting** and this almost cost Veronica her life. She managed to save Aslak and then they all retreated. Gideon and Mithrillon's and Tobias's remains were left behind.

    The survivors camped. They spent the next day trying to reach Drellin, but they had to camp for one night. At midnight, five goblins riding with worgs stumbled upon the campers while Veronica was having her guard duty. She mounted her horse while Aslak retreated and Mack was undecided. The goblins' first attempts to smack Veronica proved highly worthwhile as she lost her consciousness but was not unsaddled. The horse was pulled down by the worgs that proceeded to swarm it. Aslak and Mack fled. They didn't sleep at all before reaching Drellin.

    In Drellin, Speaker Wiston with his entourage spoke with Mack in the Old Bridge. He wanted to know what had happened and if the road had been cleared. He listened carefully Mack's stories about dragons and wolves, but mostly his main concern was to have Mack and Aslak succeed in clearing the way, at least in their second try. He promised to find a new member or two to replace the fallen.

    Still bloodied and looking gruesome, the pair strolled around the village to buy some provisions and equipment from Jarett's general store. Mack flirted with the woman and she was willing to see Mack in the tavern later that evening.

    Aslak and Mack spent the day drinking and resting. Later that evening Jarett came to talk with Mack. The Old Bridge was quiet at the time and Kellin was doing other things, so Mack and Jarett had a lot of privacy. The woman was impressed by Mack's natural-born ability to create mayhem and slaughter, and they mostly talked about it, although Mack had some carnal pleasures in mind. The woman suggested that there were only those who slaughter and those get slaughtered, but she was yet to see a proof of this from Mack. Instead of sleeping with the man, she told him to bring a proof that he's a genuine slaughterer. Then she winked and left.

    As Aslak and Mack were both drunk and ready to get some sleep, Wiston arrived with a dwarf whose greataxe rested on his shoulder. This was Ardal Amberdriller, a dwarven adventurer, who was assigned to help the two. Wiston then left, and Aslak and Mack got to know their new companion.

    The next day was spent resting too, but on their third morning in Drellin they decided to leave and see Jorr's cabin.

    It took a half a day's trip to reach the cabin. Mack unceremoniously kicked the door in got the angry dogs on him. Ardal had been certain that a piece of raw meat and his skill in handling animals would have more than sufficient to calm down the three trained guard dogs that were guarding their master's home and were stressed by the breaking of the door, but to his great surprise the dogs actually attacked.

    It was a difficult fight since Mack was blocking the door from his comrades and the alpha of the dogs was blocking it too from his pack, but Mack stepped away from the door and let Ardal handle the situation. Afterwards Mack concluded that the Ardal had "passed his first test". Aslak spent the entire fight searching for a backdoor and then trying to make one with an axe.

    They looked around and saw nothing interesting in the cabin. They slept over the night there and relaxed. It's a new morning and so the 10th day of the adventure begins.

    Spoiler: *
    Show
    Attack roll: Natural 20, confirm roll: another natural 20, Damage roll: 8+2 (crit x3)

    Spoiler: **
    Show
    Another confirmed critical with heaps of damage.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-08-27 at 09:58 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Spoiler: Off-game developments
    Show
    In last month, there were nine (yes, 9) players who made preliminary commitments via Google Doc to play in the campaign from June until August, and in yesterday's session I had just two players.

    Summary:
    2 no-shows with no characters. The other one is running another game.
    1 player who made a character and never showed up again.
    1 player played once and then quit because we had an idea of another game to divide the group that was getting too big.
    1 player played a few times, then declared the game too hardcore for her and opted for another game.
    2 players have missed a game, and the other one didn't tell about his absence beforehand.

    2 players have been active and coming each time.

    It seems that the game will continue with 4 players, but surprise no-shows might happen.


    Session #5, 7th of July.

    A thick black beard was the most distinctive characteristics of a man called Salus, a pirate who had decided to try his luck in the inland of Thalios. He arrived in the village of Drellin whose denizens were in shock. Last night a group of hobgoblins, wolf-riding goblins and a fire-breathing red dog had attacked the village. Such attack was unheard of, especially at this scale. Soranna and her men had tried to intervene, but a hobgoblin mage had unleashed two lightning bolts on Soranna, almost killing her. What was surprising was that such a powerful group had merely wanted to put a few buildings on fire and then they had left, regardless of the fact they easily overpowered Soranna (which was no laughing matter).

    In the Old Bridge, Salus got acquainted with Kellin and Dimona Pico (Pih-soh), about a fifty-year-old priestess of Fharlanghn, who took Salus's blatant misogyny and lack of manners to her stride. She heard that an adventurous-looking group of men had gone to visit Jorr's cabin and she wanted to meet them. She did not intend to stay in this village for days, or in any place for that matter. Grudgingly Salus agreed and they left right after lunch.

    At the cabin, Aslak had contracted dysentery and Mack's wounds had been severely infected. Both were completely helpless and suffering, so Ardal received the visitors who had knocked on Jorr's cabin's door. The dwarf didn't do a very good job explaining the butchered dogs whose blood and intestines decorated the cabins walls, but the visitors didn't care that much. They decided to see more of the Dawn Way. So far everyone, Salus and Dimona included, had only taken the Witchtrail, but no one knew what the Dawn Way was like on this side of the Elsir River. The sick were left on their own in Jorr's cabin. Ardal and Dimona had horses, but they chose not to ride them.

    They hadn't walked that far until they reached a flooded part of the woods, a swamp of sorts. It had a wooden causeway that reached over the weed-choked swamp and a creek. Before they went over the creek, Salus noticed a snake's head in the creek close to the causeway. The decided to fire upon it. Ardal had a composite longbow like any self-respecting adventurer, but Salus had brought something new to the table: a black-power pistol (and a great many of them, actually). They wounded the snake and it retreated a bit. Then it came back. Sometimes its head went under the water for a brief moment and it wounds healed very quickly. Ardal decided to walk over the causeway while the snake was further away. Then Salus tried the same thing, but the snake's head was closer this time and it raised from the water. Its neck was long and thick like a giant's arm! It bit Salus and did some bad damage, and then Salus rushed away from it to the other side with Ardal*. The monster went back to the water to wait a new prey. At this point the had noticed a half-buried wagon in the creek, which was on this side.

    After seeing all this, Dimona refused to continue and expose herself to the monster. Salus and Ardal told her to go back and she did. The pair continued north.

    They had walked for about an hour when they heard some creatures, most likely hobgoblins, speaking in goblin and walked at their direction. They tried to hide in the woods, but with the horse, it was extremely difficult. There were twelve hobgoblins and they fired at Ardal and Salus as they ran to the woods. Since they weren't followed, they came back after a half an hour and continued on.

    This time Ardal and Salus encountered five hobgoblins that had two large dogs in spiked light-weight chain barding. Again, they tried to hide with the horse, which was evident to the hobgoblins. This time Salus kept his calm and stayed in hidden, and apparently he was hidden since the dogs rushed towards Ardal who had to leave his horse behind, because leading the horse into the thick woods while running was too difficult. The dogs didn't run that close to Salus to get a sniff of him, so future seemed bright for the 35-year-old pirate.

    The dogs caught up on Ardal, who slew one with his axe, but then he started to feel out of breath and couldn't kill the other dog despite wounding it severely. The dog tripped him and then three hobgoblins flanked him and beat him mercilessly until he was dead.

    Salus tried to sneak attack the two archers, who were just enjoying the show, and but he missed. Then he escaped to the woods, while the hobgoblins were finishing of Ardal. Salus made such a racket in the woods that despite the 100 ft. distance, the dog was still able to hear him and it followed the "attack!" command that was given to her.

    Deep inside the woods, Salus and the almost-dead dog battled. Salus tried to hit the dog half a minute straight, but his cutlass cut through the air five times without touching the dog. The dog was able to evade every hit and didn't even need the protection of its metal barding. The hobgoblins arrived, but they didn't manage to put up a fight before the dog had already killed the man. The last thing Salus was able to hear was in goblin, so he couldn't understand these words:
    "By an elven **nt, what in the Nine Hells was this! A running dwarf! A running human! Everybody *ucking runs these days, I guess they've learned it from those elven buggerers. Those bastards, they even spoil our enemies..."

    Dimona arrives in Drellin's Ferry with the sick adventurers, who feel a little better. It's been 11 days since Aslak and Mack first arrived here. The sunset is beautiful, as always...

    Spoiler: *
    Show
    There was some confusion about the rules here, because Salus's player is well-versed in 4e. She thought that the action (moving over the causeway) was interrupted because of the AoO, thus taking away her second move action too, and all this caused a chain of events that ended up with the hydra killing Salus. However, in 3.5 actions are not usually interrupted by a successful AoO and certainly you will always have another action left, if you've just used a move action or a standard action. Very interesting. We had to backtrack the whole thing, I went over the rules, and then we continued. This was all need in good spirit.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-07-14 at 12:11 AM. Reason: Less "even"

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #6, 14th of July.

    It was already late when two adventurers stepped inside the Old Bridge inn. A muscular man, almost six and a half feet tall, was lightly equipped but the heavy crossbow on his back looked dangerous. The woman was a different story as she had a good selection of weapons, thick hide armor and animal skull tokens.

    Dimona encouraged Aslak to speak with the strangers. Aslak was feeling all right although he had been suffering from a bout of dysentery just a few hours ago. Now he was so powerful that he even diseases couldn't touch him. Mack, on the other hand, was still having high fever and trying to eat.

    Aslak had an uneventful conversation with Rafael and Serene, and it may have been that the four adventurers found some common chemistry. As they were talking, Wiston came in and explained that a chimera had attacked the village earlier that day and killed 21 villagers. Aslak and Mack had already heard something of the sort when had arrived. Wiston wanted to hold a counsel that he had already delayed twice that day just to have Dimona there. Dimona however declined to participate, much to Wiston's dismay, and demanded that the "next generation" Aslak, Serene, Rafael and Mack were the right people to handle this. Wiston agreed, but he wanted to speak with Dimona alone for a moment. Dimona accepted this and they exchanged a few words outside the tavern.

    The four adventurers went to the meeting at the speaker's house. Wiston, badly burnt Soranna, Kellin, Iormel and Delora were there already waiting for them. Iormel, a tall man, and Delora, a serious-looking woman, were new to the adventurers. Both were senior villagers.
    Wiston explained the agenda: The village was being attacked on a daily basis, which was beyond unprecedented and if the situation continued like this, many more would die. What to should they do? Run? Fight? Or what?

    Aslak, Mack and Rafael wanted to fight, especially Rafael. Aslak questioned Soranna's ability to defend the peasants. Kellin wanted to more or less bribe the hobgoblins, but this idea was quickly shot down. Iormel supported the adventurers' idea of fighting. Soranna didn't vote and Wiston was persuaded by Iormel and the adventurers to stand up and fight. Wiston gave the adventurers an official but vague title "defenders of the village" which gave them a certain level of authority. The counsel was over and everyone went sleeping. It was already night. The adventurers planned their tactics before going to sleep and Dimona told them what Wiston had told her earlier:

    "When we were in the woods, before the chimera attack, one of the lions of Brindon - elite soldiers of that city - had briefly visited here. Her reconnaissance troop was nearly killed to the last man in the North. Wiston was convinced that the goblinoids in the Witchwood and in the north had something to do with the wizard Cromar.

    Cromar had been like a father figure to Wiston when he was a child and the wizard had played a decisive role last time the goblinoids had attacked the vale 15 years ago. He demanded that I'd go to meet Cromar, but I'm not interested. If you are, I guess you could go and meet the him. They say that there are none more powerful than Cromar. But now... Good night!"

    The next morning the new protectors of the village went to see Soranna, who was not delighted to see them. They asked her for some men-at-arms, and she gave them the village's reserve warriors as the main front-line warriors were needed for guard duties. The four men-at-arms were a bit older men. Soranna armed them with bows requested) and the men were placed on the brewery's roof on the western side of the village fairly close to the Witchwood. Aslak decided to become a bouncer in Kellin's inn, which delighted the halfling. Rafael climbed to a tree in the forest close to Jendar's warehouse. Mack and Serene stayed with the archers, but on the ground as the archers were on the roof.

    Later, in the afternoon, there were fires in Witchwood. There weren't many of them, but the were at least one in every corner of the forest. The whole horizon over the forest had red blur and distant pillars of smoke. The ground shook. It didn't shake much, but it shook in a way that was very odd. People on the western side of the river came out of their houses to wonder what was going on. Worg riders loomed in the woods. A glimpse of a gigantic pate was seen. From the sun's direction, several flying creatures were coming towards the village, one which was a large red dragon.

    The sense of doom was in the air.

    The archers withdrew from the posts and they were terrified. The villagers decided to evacuate using the ferry. The Mack and Serene went to join them. Mack decided to push into the crowd to make sure that he had a place in the ferry. This caused panic and some of the villagers were pushed into the river by the mass of people.

    Aslak and the villagers around him had been clueless of all this so far, but now they noticed the evacuees and Witchwood's fires. Panic flared.

    Aslak, Mack and the villagers managed to took a ferry and rescue themselves, but Serene stayed to help the people who were waterbound. Arrows started to rain. Serene shielded the people with a magical fog cloud and went to operate the horse-drawn ferry because no one was getting ferry back to save the two people who were left behind. Aslak and the villagers got the other side safely. Serene used her skills to push the animals beyond their strength to get the empty ferry back to the western side as quickly as possible. She was fired upon every second.

    Wiston wanted to know what Mack and Aslak wanted to do now. They said that there were planning to leave the village, and then everyone did just that. Rafael, Serene and two young villagers were left behind.

    A nasty-looking flying creature sprayed spikes from its tail on Serene as she managed to get the ferry to the two villagers. She yelled them to hold on to raft while floating in water. They did as ordered. She put the horses push the ferry back to the other side and then she jumped in the river. A red dragon flew over her but it wasn't that interested in her. A few arrows rained and hundreds of enemies took over the western bank.

    The monster with a spiked tail flew to eat one of the youngsters that were holding on to the ferry. Serene teased it a little bit with a lightning bolt and then surfaced at the eastern bank. The flying monster spared the young boy because it wanted to kill Serene. Serene took a couple of hobgoblin arrows on her back. She jumped to the river and swam east, while holding her breath underwater. She could've drown, but she didn't. She escaped safely.

    Mack and Aslak bid their time and chose a quiet moment to raid the speaker's house. They got away with the silverware. Then they joined up with the rest of the refugees.

    Rafael had stayed in the tree on the western side the whole time. Now a few hundred enemies made a camp in and around the forest and there were so many of them that the village seemed small. Rafael decided to jump to another tree. The closest firm branch that could support his over 200-pound body was 10 feet away from where he was crouching. He jumped and missed it. He fell to the round but landed on his feet. The noise of small branches cracking and a very large man thudding on the ground drew attention. Rafael hid and avoided the patrols of hobgoblins and worg riders. The he tried to sneak to the river, but a half a dozen guards that were looking at his direction and they spotted him. They raised an alarm but it was rather lazily responded to. Rafael ran to the river. While he was swimming to the other side, a handful of hobgoblins gathered to receive him on both banks.

    He ran past the hobgoblins on the eastern bank and they couldn't hit him. A voice behind the hobgoblins demanded Rafael to surrender. He started to run through the whole village while hundreds of hobgoblins gathered their forces. They tried to grapple, hit and shoot him, and Rafael took a few magic missiles as well, but he made it out of the village. Then a red dragon came and breathed fire on him.

    Rafael woke up tied up to a chair. The torturers asked him to tell everything he knew and he did, but they tortured him anyway. He was made a slave, and just to make sure that he and a few other captives behaved well, the boy that Serene had tried to save was tortured to death in the worst way imaginable before their eyes. Rafael wasn't sure how many hours or days had gone by, but suddenly the village was almost empty and there was nothing but two or three companies left. That morning they continued their journey, leaving a couple of dozen hobgoblins behind. Rafael and the other prisoners were manacled and the manacles were connected to the wagon with a chain. From the sound of it, it seemed that there were some things stored under the seat of the driver. The driver, two other hobgoblins and a goblin riding on a worg stopped to raid an abandoned farmhouse. The rest of the group moved on. The hobgoblins stayed in the farm for a while and the worg ate a cow carcass that was already half eaten. The hobgoblins got away with some unusually potent moonshine and got drunk fast. Rafael observed all this quietly. Later on the hobgoblins were punished for their disorderliness to make sure that anything like that would never happen again.

    Serene had swum a long while and she heading east in the wilderness. She found a small thorp with 40-something peasants. They liked the wet visitor, despite the fact that she looked so dangerous with her weapons. Later that evening a worg rider was spotted near the village, and no one felt secure with news like that. Serene tried to warn them, but her tongue got tied as she witnessed a birth of a billy goat. Serene was asked to name the newborn, but instead she went to sleep in the woods. She woke up the next morning to the sounds of massacre. A giant and some hobgoblins were killing the peasants, so Serene left quietly. She's going to head up north and see if she could find her new friends.

    Aslak and Mack were travelling with the refugees. The look on their faces was priceless when they found Rafael's identical twin brother: Leonard! He was sad to hear about her brother's death. Aslak and Mack have a plan: They want to find some profitable work and get rich. Mack would like to become a brigand, but Aslak would prefer other forms of employment. They are going to follow the refugees and wait for any opportunity that might come along.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-07-27 at 01:13 PM. Reason: A name correction: Leonard

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Spoiler: A week off
    Show
    Half of the players are LARPing, so instead I’m going to give you guys some information about the votes we’ve had and the PCs.


    Spoiler: The votes
    Show
    Gunpowder weapons exist.
    So far the criticals have been rolled by rolling the dice/die once and then multiplying it. Now we have agreed that we will do it by the standard rules. The players promised me that they will have the die for it. One of the PCs has a scythe, so her criticals will require EIGHT d4s. The players promised that this will not cause problems.


    Spoiler: The PCs (MY PLAYERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CLICK HERE!!
    Show
    Leonard, Lawful Good (?) Male Human Monk 5
    Serene, Neutral Good Female Human Druid 5 (MIA)
    Aslak, Lawful Evil Male Dwarf Monk 5
    Mack, Neutral Evil Male Human Fighter 5
    Bonus: Dimona Pico, Neutral Female Human Cleric of Fharlanghn 4 (DMPC, MIA)
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-07-27 at 01:14 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Wow. Jon, I love your thread, and I don't at all mean this as an insult to your players*, but I don't think I've ever seen or heard a recounting of a RHoD campaign where the players were failing this badly this early on. I didn't even think to put 2 and 2 together when you mentioned at the end of your July 7th post that it had been "11 days since Aslak and Mack first arrived." I should have looked to the timeline in the adventure; since I didn't, this recent unfolding of events was an unexpected surprise, much like I'm sure it was for your players

    Spoiler: Players don't look here
    Show
    They are going to be in a world of hurt from here on out, I think. They missed Vraath Keep, they got very little XP from Skullgorge Bridge, I imagine. Due to missing out on all of that, they are probably a level lower than they "should" be, and they will be hurting for useable party wealth throughout the adventure. I would not be at all surprised if this situation results in a complete and total TPK at some point. Then the question becomes, at what level do you bring in the new Party?

    I have not looked at the VP list yet, but I'm almost scared to do a quick mental audit of those possible, because the party may be reaching a point where they need nearly all those possibly remaining.

    FYI - Jon, if you want me to edit out any of this info for fear of your players reading it, just PM me, and I'll do it ASAP.


    * My current campaign through the 3.0 Sunless Citadel adventure path had the PC's utterly fail in The Standing Stone, and they are a good group of players. Sometimes it just happens.
    Last edited by ksbsnowowl; 2015-07-25 at 01:26 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by ksbsnowowl View Post
    Spoiler: Players don't look here
    Show
    They are going to be in a world of hurt from here on out, I think. They missed Vraath Keep, they got very little XP from Skullgorge Bridge, I imagine. Due to missing out on all of that, they are probably a level lower than they "should" be, and they will be hurting for useable party wealth throughout the adventure. I would not be at all surprised if this situation results in a complete and total TPK at some point. Then the question becomes, at what level do you bring in the new Party?

    I have not looked at the VP list yet, but I'm almost scared to do a quick mental audit of those possible, because the party may be reaching a point where they need nearly all those possibly remaining.
    Spoiler: Players stay out
    Show
    They don't. Of the points which are non-recoverable ahead of the Battle of Brindol, they've lost 7: destroying the bridge, convincing the village to evacuate, getting the Twistusks' aid, and killing Ozyrrandion. Koth is going to show up at Brindol, so they'll get another crack at his 2 points there. They have to hit 40 VP, and there's a total of 74 VP available. Even if they skipped either the Ghostlord or Rhest (but possibly not both), they still have a crack at hitting the 40 VP mark provided they do well during the Battle of Brindol, especially with all the Wyrmlords turning up for the final battle.

    As for party wealth, it's going to be a bit tougher without the cache at Vraath Keep, but it can be shoehorned back in by equivalent-value items placed at other locations. Most of the weaponry and treasure from Vraath Keep can be shifted to the northern blockades as gear taken from unlucky travellers, and the +1 frost bastard sword and indeed the Staff of Life can probably be put back in as part of Regiarix's treasure hoard at Rhest. The hardest item to shift is the Deed to Vraath Keep, and that's not really a combat-useful item as such. Even then it could be easily thrown into Reggie's treasyre hoard as a deed to some Rhestilorian holding up near the Blackfens.

    That said it's looking at this point that the time limit is going to be closer than most RHOD campaigns. If they're going to follow the refugees to Brindol that's a good week or so on the road moving at more or less a snail's pace, which doesn't leave a hell of a lot of time to get out to Rhest and the Thornwaste and back. But I agree with you: unless that druid knows what he's doing and their DMPC cleric is going to seriously help out, it's a seriously Tier Suck party: two monks and a fighter? On the other hand, they probably went for those classes knowing this is a very low-magic setting and all that...

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    (Thank you for the comments! All new PCs start from the 5th level for the time being)

    Session #7, 29th of July.

    The refugee convoy stopped briefly every now and then to warn locals and get them moving to Brindol. One area along the Dawn Way was filled with small farming communities, so the men and women who were escorting the convoy had to split up in order to quickly warn the locals and get back moving towards Brindol. Aslak went to speak with Tienmul, a dwarf who was the leader of his community and a known racist. Aslak was also a dwarf, so there was some hope to get Tienmul’s community evacuated.

    Mack went to warn about two dozen farmers who didn’t take him that seriously, so he made them give the farmer all their valuables and the shortspear of the only man who looked like he could defend himself, and then Mack returned back to the convoy. He said that the farmers simply hadn’t wanted to come back with him and that’s it. Leonard, on the other hand, had had success with his appointed community and it was now fully evacuated and travelling with the rest of the convoy. For some reason Aslak hadn’t returned. The humans of Tienmul’s community had joined the convoy and they told that the dwarves had had some problems, but they didn’t know what exactly. There was no time to wait so the journey continued.

    Later next evening, Serene caught up with the group. It was easy to spot: a few thousand people moving slowly towards east with several outriders. Serene saw her comrades and rejoined them.

    On the third day of travelling, they came to Nimon’s Gap. The villagers were evacuated quickly, but an old blind sage refused to go. He told the adventurers that he might leave only if they answered his riddle correctly. The riddle went like this: “I cross the chasm without moving. What am I?”
    The correct answer, which the adventurers knew, was “a bridge”. The old man not only came peacefully, but he also gave the group a magical scroll. Days later Serene identified it as a Scroll of Cure Critical Wounds.

    On the fourth day of the exodus, they saw a village being evacuated. They had already heard about the hobgoblin army, since people were riding straight to Brindol and warning people they had met. A shrine of Pelor was being evacuated. There were orphans and sick, and the adventurers went there to lend a hand. Mack and Leonard were stunned when they saw an amazingly beautiful woman come out of the shrine with her arm in a sling. They immediately stopped helping the people and went to impress the woman. Leonard gave the woman a healing potion and she loved the gift. She wanted to know who they were and if they had any more magical items. Leonard noticed that the woman was unusually interested in them and he was happy about it. The woman had injured herself a couple of days ago in an attempted rape, but she had sorcerous powers that saved her honor. Meanwhile Serene did all the hard work with the orphans.

    The woman called Miha joined the convoy and walked with Mack and Leonard. She asked many questions. Serene was around but spent most of her time hunting. That night she wanted to speak more privately with Leonard far away from others. They had a romantic moment watching at the full moon and holding hands. Miha explained that the recent attempt to take her virginity by force had left her very sensitive, and she wanted to cast a little spell to make sure that she could rely on Leonard, whom she already loved a lot. The monk tried to avoid this, but the Miha cast the spell anyway. Leonard fell hopelessly under the charm of the woman, both magically and naturally. Then she opened herself up: She explained, weeping, that while Leonard had answered the nature's call earlier that day, Mack had made her some nasty and threatening suggestions. She wanted Mack to pay for this. Leonard didn’t want to kill his friend and that was all right with Miha. Miha said that Leonard should hide in the bushes while she went to get Mack.

    Mack was in his tent and Miha implied that she was ready for some real action with a real man like Mack. Mack wanted to get going straightaway in his camp, but Miha didn’t want all that publicity that might happen if they did it in the middle of the refugee camp. She told Mack that she had an excellent spot for this a little farther away, so they went. Mack was eager as ever.

    Miha brought Mack straight to Leonard and the monk suddenly punched him in the kidneys out of nowhere. Mack protested and the monk was furious with Mack. Miha ran away back to the camp as the men battered each other the best they could. Leonard fell and then Serene came to the scene. She was shocked that Mack had killed their comrade and started casting a spell. Mack wasn’t able to stop her, and Serene made a magical suggestion to Mack. It sounded like an excellent idea that Serene would forget about the murder if she received Leonard’s and Mack’s magical items. Mack didn’t want to give his stuff, so Serene went to give first aid to Leonard and wanted Mack to note that she had saved Leonard and thus prevented Mack to become a murderer. Then she proceeded to loot Leonard. Mack found all this quite odd, but Serene said that she had had enough of this craziness, and she was entitled to some magical items before leaving. Mack changed his mind and wanted to fight with Serene, but Serene made another magical suggestion:
    “Why won't you leave me in peace here, please?”
    Mack left. He saw Serene in the camp and confronted her, but she didn’t know what in earth the fighter was talking about. They went to see the unconscious Leonard whose magical cloak was missing.

    The next morning Leonard woke up half-dead and tied up in Mack’s tent. They had a serious conversation and then Leonard was released. Mack had decided that they could have their own gang.

    Another day. Mack, Serene and Leonard went to warn the villagers of Mossly about the impending danger, but the village was already almost empty. The word of the approaching doom had already reached the villagers and now the rest of the left too. A sound of breaking glass drew the trio’s attention. Four thugs were looting the abandoned inn and the talks with them quickly escalated into a fight. Three of them were killed relatively easily but the fourth one escaped.

    They looked around and found a mansion that had obviously been abandoned longer than the village. It was surrounded by a tall stonewall, and behind it was a hungry bear with a pink collar that was resting close to a fountain. Serene melted the lock with a spell and then Mack kicked in the gates. He engaged the bear in mêlée by the gate, but the first smack on his face changed his mind. Everyone fled. After a short break, Leonard returned to the mansion, climbed over the wall, snuck to the building and broke the window. He jumped in before the bear could eat him. The house looked really empty, and the only noticeable thing he found was a pool of red goo on a pillow in the master bedroom. There were something under the blanket, but he didn’t check what it was. It was some big, maybe humanoid, lump. Leonard looted some gold and a mithral chainshirt, and he managed to sneak back to the wall and climb back over before the bear could notice him and react.

    Mack, Leonard and Serene went back to convoy and they were late and this had angered a few people. The journey continued.

    After a week they arrived in Brindol. The city couldn’t really handle that many refugees all at once, so women and children were taken in but the rest had to camp outside the walls. The adventurers camped near the gates but inside the walls just where the main gates were. Serene spent the night outdoors after checking things from the top of the wall. There was plenty of general confusion and not much was discussed with the city authorities.

    The next day everyone were invited – basically ordered – to the cathedral square. The Lord of Brindol, Kerden Jarmaath, came to address the worried crowd with a host of knights. We proclaimed that the city of Brindol would fight to the last man against the oncoming horde and all 16 to 60-year-old able-bodied male citizens were obligated to defend the city. This meant martial law and the whole city would be turned into a military base. Anyone who would stay in the city, starting from tomorrow, would be subjected under the command of the Defense Council. Jarmaath would temporarily transfer all his power to the Council starting from that day. The non-combatants would be evacuated as soon as possible.

    The group had a dilemma: Whether to stay and fight, which would be less autonomy for them, or just leave the city that happened to have the biggest walls they had ever seen and which could possibly stop the hobgoblin army. They decided to stay. The evacuation started.

    Spoiler: Don't click here if you are one of my players!
    Show
    I have to get some XP for my players, so.... Helping to evacuate (or looting) the villages got them XP, and the mansion is another story... I added it to the village of the Dirty Rotten Looters. The only son of a rich mercenary captain had been the owner of the mansion and he was the goo. His wife had left him for a rich merchant, and the mercenary's son had gone crazy because that. He had isolated himself from everyone and sent threatening letters to his ex-wife. The ex-wife hired an assassin to take care of him, who subtly infected him with slimy doom (the assassin was immune to diseases) and he didn't loot the man, because that was the deal. The man had died from the disease a week ago, and the bear was really hungry but had made all its starvation saves so far. The mithral chainshirt had belonged to the mercenary officer.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2016-06-03 at 10:11 AM. Reason: A correction: Serene only helped the orphans.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #8, 4th of August.

    Aslak arrived in the chaotic Brindol. Guards barely saw the dwarf who pushed himself through the masses of people. The attempt to organize the evacuation of nearly 10,000 people wasn’t an easy task and there was still a lot to do, but the city guard were doing the best they could.

    In the city, rationing was in effect. Mack, Serene and Leonard were getting adjusted with the military life even though they weren’t formally in the army. Everything was still very unclear.

    Serene had spent the morning trying to find woodsmen and she had found a few. She asked if any of them knew someone or something in the woods that might be useful for the city. They knew that there was a person called the Protector of the Woods that watched over the local forest. Serene then looked for the closest officer and asked him to assist in recruiting the Protector to the defense forces. He ordered Serene, her comrades and one the woodsmen called Netso to look for him.

    A little later, they were wandering in the woods and Netso was calling for the Protector. Then he stopped, because they had arrived close to the area of the woods where no one were allowed to enter. Serene magically interviewed a small bird that claimed that a uniformed human had spoken last night with the Protector and they had left. Netso, a very young scout of the militia, recognized his mentor from Serene’s translation.

    At the barracks Netso found the mentor (an army trainer) and she explained that she had warned the Protector of the hobgoblin horde and he had left. Not much else could be done since no one knew where he had left. They went to inform the lieutenant called Steisos that their mission had not been successful. One of the army scribes promised to relay the message.

    Leonard suggested that they would get themselves enlisted to the army and they did just that. That worked out quite well since they received an order to report to captain Ulverth the next morning.

    Early next morning they were all in the captain’s office. He was obviously busy and wanted to get over with the meeting as soon as possible, so he briefly told the mission specifics:
    Their duty was to take three chests and a sealed letter to a man called Getsum. He lived southwest from Brindol and with horses, it should take four days in total to get there and back. The army would provide them with horses if they lacked any (and they all did). Having been briefed adequately they left Brindol.

    Their first day through the plains filled with ghost towns was uneventful, but when they were close to their destination, things started to happen and they happened very fast. Four goblins and a two-headed giant ambushed them, but the defenders resistance overwhelmed them. Things looked bright until Mack attempted to kill the last surviving goblin. He tripped and almost cut off his own head with his scimitar, much to the goblin’s delight. Meanwhile the giant was almost dead, but suddenly it started to deliver deadly blows out of nowhere. Almost every hit it made was perfect in the deadliest way possible. Aslak saved Leonard’s life by quickly binding his wounds, but now he and Serene were both being killed by giant’s blows. Badly injured Mack rushed towards the giant, but the giant struck him so hard that his left ankle was shattered. The giant was ready to deliver a killing blow on Mack, but the man lunged from the ground and slew the giant. The battle was over.

    They continued to Getsum’s house that was well hidden in the wilderness. Getsum was a large quick-tempered man who wasn’t happy to see strangers. He had a wife and two children, and all were hulking figures like him. Getsum read the letter, checked the contents of the chests and told his wife that they had an urgent mission. With the exception of the youngest child, they all had to carry the chests to their final destination. Serene was able to persuade Getsum to reveal what that destination was. Getsum and his family had to deliver the chests full of gold as quickly as possible to the Helmbreaker clan so that the dwarves would come to Brindol's aid. Getsum and his family would have to climb the mountain and horses would just be a liability to them. Getsum agreed to hack off Mack’s gangrenous ankle with his greataxe and let everyone sleep in his house. Then he left with his wife and son, and all three had a heavy chest on their shoulder. Serene slept in the wilderness while others and Getsum's daughter slept in the house.

    Two days later, they were back in Brindol. Mack was a little better since Serene had used her nature magic to create him a wooden leg. They heard great news from the citizens: according to scouts, it would take at least two weeks until the horde would reach Brindol.

    The adventurers went to inform the captain of their successful mission and gave him a lion token that Getsum had given to them. They received their pay, as promised. They received a new mission from the captain. There was an elven tribe called Tiri Kitor in the North in a place called the Blackfens. With the official authorization of the city, the four adventurers were sent to negotiate a treaty with the elves. Captain Ulverth wasn’t able to give any reward for this mission, but Aslak managed to persuade him to make them all sergeants if they succeeded. The elves would be a valuable asset, not least for the giant owls on which the elves rode.

    On horseback, it took four days to reach the Blackfens. When they were already very close to Starsong Hill where the tribe resided when they saw a half-eaten giant owl. At that very moment, a large greenish dragonlike creature ran towards the heroes. It proved to be a surprisingly tough adversary and the heroes had to ride off before getting slaughtered by it. Serene cast a water-breathing spell and sank into a small pond. The dragon, which couldn’t fly despite its wings, continued eating the owl carcass.

    The heroes rode to the Starsong Hill, a large but low hill dominated by wigwams and trees with giant owl nests. They stated their business to the elves and quickly received an audience with Sellyria Starsinger. Sellyria was a very old elven woman who listened to their plea for help and the story of the draconic assailant. She had to decline their request. Apologetically she explained that the hobgoblin presence in the Blackfens kept her tribe on its guard and they weren’t available to send any soldiers or owls to Brindol. The adventurers wanted to hear about the hobgoblins. She explained that not far from their tribe, there were more of those creatures called harrowblades and hobgoblins, and they were led by a goblin. If something could be done about this problem, the elves would reconsider helping Brindol.

    The men had a brief conversation about the situation. They decided to kill the goblin leader and that would solve the situation. Meanwhile Serene is walking to Starsong Hill, since she rarely gets lost, even without a map.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-08-13 at 05:26 AM. Reason: Serere => Serene

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Dahl View Post

    - Dwarven women have beards.

    I had to register, and log in just to post that to you sir I say, Respect.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #9, 11th of August

    Just before morning, Serene arrived in Starsong Hill and they all rested well after the four-day ride. The next morning they went to see the ruins of Rhestilor where the hobgoblins and other monsters presumably resided.

    There were four of them but only two horses, so travelling was slow in the muddy marshland. Frogs and insects were everywhere and the moist heat was overwhelming. They arrived at the lake that was marked to be the location of the ruins. The lake was fairly large and it had a few almost submerged buildings, two of them being especially prominent approximately at the center of the lake. Mack, Serene and Leonard discussed what to do next while Aslak observed the lake. Soon he noticed a glint of steel from one of the buildings at the lake. It was a tower of a sort. He also noticed some lizardmen at the beaches.

    The four adventurers came up with a plan. Serene would give Mack the magical ability to breathe water for hours and he could walk to the tower. Serene and Leonard would swim to the tower. Aslak was kind of left out of the plan but he went to wander around the beaches.

    Once Leonard was about 500 feet from the half-sunken tower, the hobgoblins on top of it noticed him. The started firing their bows and Leonard tried to hide in the water. Serene was a slow swimmer, so she was just getting there. Mack, in the bottom of the lake, couldn’t see or hear anything, but that didn’t bother him one bit. He just kept on walking.

    Meanwhile Aslak had found an uninhabited mud hut. There was absolutely nothing in it, but there were canoes close the hut. He took one of them and went canoeing. Suddenly there was a powerful sounding of a horn! Aslak found himself to be one of the many who were canoeing towards the tower where the horn had been sounded.

    Serene and Leonard were waiting in the water and staying out of the bow-reach. Aslak didn’t get too close to the tower, but the other canoes - all filled with lizardmen - did. They received some instructions from one of the hobgoblins and then two of the canoes started approaching Serene and Leonard, and the lizardmen clearly didn’t have any good intentions. Serene swam to the closest algae and Leonard dived and went to meet the lizardmen. The lizardmen suddenly noticed that Aslak. They were furious that the dwarf was in a lizardman boat and paddled furiously to reach him. Aslak fired at them with his crossbow to no avail and then it all went to close quarters.

    The fight didn’t progress that much for a while. The lizardmen didn’t do much with their clubs and Aslak didn’t hit them. He merely fell off the canoe. Serene, her snake companion and Leonard came to help him and they routed the surviving lizardmen.

    Leonard and Aslak paddled to the tower and they were fired upon at on every stroke. Once they reached the tower, they climbed the wooden boardwalk to engage the archer hobgoblins. Serene was still swimming in the lake and progressing slowly.

    There were four hobgoblins: three had longswords and shields, one had double short swords. The hobgoblins managed to defeat Leonard who had been the spearhead of the attack and then they were about to get Aslak, when Serene rushed to his aid. She fell in battle, but Aslak jumped to water while dragging her down with him. In water, Aslak revived Serene with a healing potion and Serene healed them both, but her magical powers only got the job partially done. Serene cast a spell that gathered a hundreds of bats and bound them to serve her, then she got her snake with her, and then she and Aslak were ready to fight round two against the hobgoblins.

    The fighting was fierce and the bat swarm proved to be a powerful asset. In the end, only one woman was standing. Aslak could not be saved as he had been slain by akimbo short swords, but Leonard was still breathing. Serene used her healing magic to get him standing and then they took a canoe and retreated to the beach where Mack was waiting for them. Mack had walked to the tower, tried to climb and swim to the surface (the depth had been about 20 feet) but it hadn’t worked out, so he had returned. They decided to visit the other building that near the middle of the lake.

    When they got closer, they noticed that two ogres with large javelins were there waiting for them. The adventurers had a change of heart and they returned to the beach. As they pulled the canoe to the shore, they saw a goblin in glistening armor on top of the building they had just visited. He seemed to challenge them and Mack waved his hands to indicate that the challenge had been accepted. Serene and Leonard hid. Suddenly a black dragon appeared next to the goblin. The goblin mounted it and they flew towards Mack.

    The dragon wanted to kill Mack with its claws and bites while the goblin supported it with his small greatsword. Mack fought back and did well! His scimitar was sharp and attacks were precise. Leonard and Serene surrounded the dragon, who fought on the ground, and the dragon had enough of its punishment and tried to escape. It didn’t succeed. The goblin tried to fight all three alone, but he surrendered just before he died. Mack saw that his opponent was unarmed and yielded, so he tried to kill him. The goblin tried to pick his weapon but was killed.

    The dragon had had some leather bag around its neck and it had a wand inside it. The adventurers took it and returned to Starsong Hill.

    Once the elves heard that the goblin and the dragon – which they had thought to be only a rumor – had been slain, they rejoiced and sang songs of happiness and victory. The heroes were so badly wounded that the decided to rest the rest of the day.

    The next day, late afternoon, the adventurers were back at the lake. They took a canoe and investigated the tower. It was empty. They also noted that the lower parts of the tower were blockaded. They investigated the building where the ogres had been, but it was empty as well. Within 24 hours, the ruins had turned uninhabited.

    The adventurers returned to Starsong Hill and informed that the threat was gone. Sellyria was happy to hear that, but in order to get the help of tribe in defending Brindol, the humans would have impress three key elves: Battlehunter Killiar, High Singer Trellara and healer Ilian. She noted that a decent gift would go a long way to persuade the leaders.

    When the elves gathered to hear the adventurers out, Leonard gave them 500 gold pieces as a gift. Naturally such a sizeable donation delighted the elves and even took Sellyria by surprise. Then Serene explained the situation to the elves and pleaded to them for their help. Unfortunately, she wasn’t convincing at all and Serene knew that it was the worst speech she had ever given. The elves thanked the adventurers for their efforts but denied their help. The elves gave the gold back and that was that. The adventurers bought a semi-wild horse (the elves had a few) and started their journey back to Brindol.

    After a day’s ride, they noticed that the Elsir Vale was in flames. Serene was able avoid the burning villages and destruction by using alternate routes, although it made reaching Brindol take one extra day.

    When they were almost at Brindol, four hobgoblins rode at them. The adventurers and hobgoblins noticed each other the same time, and they all dismounted in order to fight each other in mêlée. The largest of the hobgoblins stayed behind and fired at Mack with his composite longbow. Serene hid behind Mack and Leonard went to sneak in the nearby woods. Mack, Serene and her snake took the three hobgoblins and Mack slew them all almost single-handedly. Leonard and the hobgoblin, who had switched from bow to bastard sword, dueled. The hobgoblin saw his team getting slaughtered, so he ran to his horse. Leonard followed him and stunned his horse with his fist. This made the hobgoblin yield. He dismounted with his hands up. Serene, Mack and Leonard surrounded him, and then Mack tried to kill him. The hobgoblin tried to remount his horse, but died before getting on his horse. After the battle, the adventurers took the horse.

    The journey continues… Everything is in flames, but Brindol is close.

    Spoiler: Picture
    Show

    Leonard's player's next character. She will have Leadership and most of the character sheets are for the followers and cohort.
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-08-17 at 09:20 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #10, 18th of August

    The men were ready. The city was ready. The adventurers were ready. Whatever the hobgoblins had to offer, there was a city called Brindol ready to face them and fight to the last man. The most noticeable change on the streets was the presence of dwarven soldiers, who seemed to be some kind of mercenaries.

    The adventurers wanted to report to captain Ulverth, but they got something better: an invitation to meet Lord Jarmaath himself!

    The next morning they were at Jarmaath's mansion. Since Mack and Serene had been the first ones to encounter the hobgoblin army, they were given a chance to attend a meeting of the Defense Council as advisors. The council members present were Lord Jarmaath, captain Ulverth, the high priestess of Stern Alia Tredora Goldenbrow and Lady Kaal.

    Serene and Leonard introduced themselves and made a great impression. Mack tried to introduce himself but the meeting moved on before he got to it. The first topic was where to have the main body of the forces. Serene managed to persuade Lady Kaal and Lord Jarmaath to employ their forces on the walls and not outside the city walls. Serene also insisted on bringing up the subject of possible breach on the walls. The very idea of failing at the walls horrified the council members, but they agreed to make contingency plans. Barricading the streets was given, but what the real question was what to do with the clerics of Stern Alia. It was decided that the majority of the clerics would be spread out all over the city and they could help on the streets and at the main battle. Furthermore, Lord Jarmaath was not surprised to hear that the elves hadn’t come to Brindol’s aid. The meeting was closed.

    The army was well funded both financially and magically, and Lord Jarmaath offered to fund the adventurers with 5,000 gold pieces in any way they wanted. Mack received a magical full plate from an old knight who was of his size, and Leonard got a magical cloak that made him better at evading hostile effects.

    A few days later Brindol was besieged. It all happened during night, so the adventurers could merely verify the situation from the walls. Far from the walls, there were so many tents, hobgoblins and monsters that the city suddenly seemed quite small.

    Everyone prepared themselves. Some were eager to spill blood, some had silently accepted the situation, and some just had to cry themselves to sleep.

    Two days passed.

    Then one night, gigantic bonehorns pealed through the air, and the ground shook and the men’s legs shook when the hobgoblins launched their assault. This was going to be largest battle the vale had seen in centuries.

    Four giants threw rocks at the main gate while the rest of the army waited. It was a matter of minutes until the gates would shatter. Leonard fired upon the giants with his crossbow, although he didn't even bother them. Gates broke down and a messenger came to tell that a another group of giants had attacked a section of the wall and it had collapsed.

    Meanwhile a large red dragon had flown to the city center and it was incinerating everything. Flames spread. The heroes rushed past the panicking soldiers who didn’t want to be anywhere near the dragon. Leonard shot it with his crossbow, but missed. The dragon’s hide was too thick for the crossbow. Mack turned around and went to Lord Jarmaath’s manor. Serene and Leonard followed.

    A young soldier and an old knight guarded the manor. The knight was disappointed that he had been left out of the combat, but Serene promised to guard the manor if he wanted to fight the hobgoblins. He left to face the horde. The young soldier didn’t even try to prevent Mack, Leonard and Serene breaking into the manor. Mack looted it and Serene looked for secret doors. Mack had luck, Serene didn’t.

    Brindol was in flames. The adventurers were wandering at the streets when the hobgoblin army invaded the city, and the two armies clashed at the numerous barricades that were blocking the streets. The adventurers were holding one of the barricades with a knight and some young levies, but the
    knight was severely wounded when two manticores attacked the barricades and he had to withdraw. The manticores left when four hobgoblins tried take over the barricade. They failed and fell in battle.

    Next wave consisted four bugbears who had ash all over their bodies and they were armed with large axes. The bugbears wailed eerily as they attacked the adventurers at the barricade. The bugbears were filled with rage and they managed to kill Serene’s snake companion and knock down Serene. She was revived by a healing potion as soon as Leonard had killed the last one of the bugbears, and then they decided to abandon the barricade.

    Around the corner, there were two green draconic creatures, the same kind they had met earlier at Blackfens. The monsters were so concentrated on eating a militia member that they didn’t even bother chasing the fleeing adventurers.

    The defenders of the city hadn’t been able to stop two ghost dire lions from passing through the barricades, so the adventurers took it upon themselves to stop these ghostly creatures. They managed to beat the ghosts, but the lions’ touch had sapped away Mack’s and Leonard’s strength.

    The adventurers were called to defend Stern Alia’s cathedral. There were a few dozen knights alongside with captain Ulverth, most of whom were wounded. A wave of hobgoblins supported by two giants were heading at the cathedral and battle was imminent. Captain Ulverth ordered the adventurers to guard the doors while they went to meet the enemy. The streets flowed with blood.

    Leonard and Serene did as Ulverth had told, but Mack left the cathedral and decided to flee the city. He stumbled upon a priest, who restored his strength and then headed to the cathedral while Mack continued fleeing.

    A lone bugbear, armed with a wand and a morningstar, broke through the battle. Leonard fired upon him with his crossbow while Serene climbed the cathedral walls using her magic. The bugbear used its wand to fire magic missiles which hurt Leonard quite badly, but when Serene summoned a bat swarm on the bugbear, it was swiftly slain.

    Almost immediately after this, the giants and a very large hobgoblin in a red full plate advanced towards the cathedral and the knights were no match to them. The hobgoblin gave some order to the giants, and they turned around to fight knights. The hobgoblin faced the adventurers alone.

    Serene and Leonard fired and fired with their ranged weapons, but dealt very little damage. Leonard was too fast for the hobgoblin, so the hobgoblin ignored him and continued to the cathedral doors. Only at the doors Serene and Leonard made their stand. Serene crashed on its head and Leonard came up to close to throw punches. The hobgoblin was armed with a heavy warpick, and its strikes inflicted horribly bleeding wounds. The adventurers were losing badly, but then Serene managed almost slice the hobgoblin in two with her scythe! It was a magnificent blow! In return, the hobgoblin struck Serene down. Leonard took some distance and fired at the hobgoblin with his crossbow. Frustrated and badly wounded, the hobgoblin ordered the giants to kill Leonard unless he fought like a man. Leonard escaped and hid. Serene bled to death. Much later on Leonard was caught by dozens of hobgoblins, who grappled him and a giant came to rip his head off.

    Mack had almost escaped the city, but there were almost 20 hobgoblins between him and freedom. A bugbear, covered in ash, challenged Mack and made some threat to the hobgoblins, who quietly continued looting the city. Mack and the bugbear fought long and hard, but in the end Mack fell.

    Brindol was destroyed, looted and its defenders were killed.

    Jarmaath and a small band of his servants are travelling to Dennovar, the easternmost city of the Elsir Vale. Jarmaath, the former lord of Brindol, is carried on a stretcher as they encounter some heroes along the Dawn Way...
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2018-11-15 at 04:05 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, West Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Well, I think that's about the first campaign I've seen where the party completely fails at defending Brindol. Let's see if their successors can get a bit of dignity back...

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    This has been... startling to read.

    What will you do now, mount a second defence at Dennovar? I hope that the new characters are a little higher level!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    I've posted in the handbook regarding changes made for the game (and just on the playstyle in general), and would love to hear from the DM if you have time. Even if it's not a game I would enjoy playing in myself, it's a good journal and well worth the read. Will check back later to see where it goes.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2015-08-24 at 05:27 AM.
    Attention Imgur Users! Imgur apparently doesn't like hosting images anymore and only works in certain places or for people who already have the image cached: No one can see your avatars or images!
    Also Photobucket users? Don't know if it's a bandwidth or region lock or something, but I'm seeing some avatars blurred out with a watermark that looks like the photobucket icon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sad place

    Default Re: NO SPOILERS! The doomest and red-handest of all RHoD Campaign Journals!

    Session #11, 25th of August

    A group of nine travelled quietly on the Dawn Way. Eight of them were able to walk and they looked like out-of-place courtiers. The ninth was clearly a nobleman and many would've easily recognized him as Lord Jarmaath, the ruler of Brindol. He was being carried on a stretcher and he seemed almost dead. The atmosphere was grim.

    The entourage saw two wagons, a warhorse and almost a dozen people approaching in the distance. The only one with any fighting experience, a halfling courtier called Rema, decided to speak with the travelers.

    "Hold!" He yelled, "Don't go to that direction. Brindol has been destroyed. Turn around."

    The travelers called themselves as the Shining Servants of Pelor, and their leader was a sorceress called Valthynia. Rema’s warning was taken seriously and so the two groups decided to continue together to Dennobar. It wasn't long until they met two travelers who were traveling on foot. With swords, shields and heavy armor they looked formidable fighters. The one that called himself Dianthe looked like a professional soldier with his stiff rigor. The other one went by the name “Sorrow-Eyes” and he seemed like a man of very few words.

    Before they got to know each other better, they were all summoned before Lord Jarmaath by Rema. Lord Jarmaath was extremely desperate and willing to give a vital mission to anyone present with at least some martial skills, so he was direct his request. All that mattered was whether they were able and willing to carry about Lord Jarmaath’s mission.

    Lord Jarmaath had three scrolls of teleportation. With those scrolls, they could instantly move almost a dozen people to Drellin, whereupon they would move - walking or riding - to Wyrmsmoke Mountains and destroy the supreme commander of the hobgoblin army. This commander was only known as the High Wyrmlord and nothing else was known about him. All this information had been gained by interrogating a few unfortunate nighttime assassins that had been sent to kill Jarmaath during the siege.

    Without further ado, Valtyria used all the teleportation scrolls to get herself, three of her retainers, Rema, Sorrow-Eyes and Dianthe to Drellin. Drellin was just a burnt ruin and nothing was standing. They crossed the river and so the journey through Witchwood to Wyrmsmoke Mountain began.

    After a few completely uneventful days, they were walking up to steep mountain trail. Suddenly they came to a ledge that had two distinguishing features: double-doors that obviously led to the mountain and a statue of a five-headed dragon. There was a cave above the ledge but it was virtually inaccessible since there was no way to get there barring climbing the steep mountainside. Valthyria sent her hawk to check the cave and it came back very fast. It had seen a blue dragon there that was just sitting still. Valthyria said that it had been a statue, and then they all went to the doors.

    Before they were able to open the doors, the dragon statue spoke:
    “Give a sacrifice to Tiamat and leave!”

    Dianthe gave one gold piece to the statue and then they tried to open the doors. In a blink of an eye, a large blue dragon flew from the cave to confront the adventurers. Before anyone had time to really react, it had breathed electricity on Keldor (the paladin retainer of Valthyria) and Sorrow-Eyes, injuring both of them severely. Rema, who had checked traps from the doors, opened one of them and rushed in. The retainers and Sorrow-Eyes followed in suit.

    Valthyria made a magical sound effect behind the dragon that sounded like marching men. It didn’t interest the dragon one bit. The dragon and Dianthe faced each other off while everyone except Sorrow-Eyes escaped the scene. They ran the stairs down but stopped when they saw another set of doors. The retainers stayed away from the battle. Sorrow-Eyes, on other hand, had merely wanted to heal himself and now went out to help Dianthe.

    Sorrow-Eyes immediately took a heavy barrage of claws and blows from the dragon and lost consciousness. Dianthe managed to turn Sorrow-Eyes so that the bleeding was stopped, but the dragon punished him with bites, claws, wing attacks and tail slaps.

    Valthyria almost came back to fight the dragon, but instead she just weakened it a little bit with a magical ray and then ran back to her retainers. Sun, a priest of Pelor, healed Keldor a bit and the gnome bard called “Stumbleduck” sang with his moderate talent.

    Rema was the first to quit hiding and he came back to fetch Sorrow-Eyes’s almost lifeless body. Meanwhile Dianthe was killed by the dragon. Valthyria made herself invisible and came to get Dianthe’s body, but she was already dead. The dragon wasn’t able to react quick enough to this, mostly because Valthyria had been invisible. Rema and Valthyria dragged Sorrow-Eyes and Dianthe downstairs where the retainers had been the whole time. Sun was able to get Sorrow-Eyes back to the world of living, but Dianthe was very much dead.

    They searched the mountain complex, because it was truly a complex of some sort. There were a hall with bright colors and dragonheads, hallways, doors, empty rooms, storages, a kitchen, locked doors… One could’ve housed a small army there, but there was no one to be found. At one point Rema sneaked off to open one of the doors with his lockpicks, and he found a luxurious little room, but it had nothing of value. It was just all about the looks.

    The corridors were dark and only Valthyria was able to see there. They didn’t have any light source with them, so everyone just followed Valthyria. Then, all of a sudden, they came to a room that seemed like military barracks. There were four draconic and almost minotaurlike creatures there, who brandished their scimitars and attacked the adventurers, although only Valthyria was able to see all this.

    When the fight started, the adventurers were in a tightly packed queue, so Valthyria moved aside to let everyone pass and she cast mirror image. Several mirror images appeared to confound the dragon soldiers. Keldor was the first to attack and also the first to die. While the dragon soldiers destroyed one mirror image at a time, Sorrow-Eyes entered the fray but he died too. Meanwhile the Sun and Rema had been listening to the screams and to Stumbleduck who played an inspiring song for his comrades.

    As Sorrow-Eyes fell, the draconic creatures were able to completely swarm Valthyria, who cast two fireballs. Even though the barrack was destroyed, the fireballs couldn’t stop the creatures from killing Valthynia. By the time Valthynia was killed, she had cast several spells while in mêlée, but she hadn’t been able to kill any of the opponents.

    Although none of the four creatures had been killed, they were still badly wounded. Sun and Stumbleduck were nevertheless no match for them, since they couldn’t see in the dark. They were slain too.

    Rema had run back to the fancy quarter he had seen a little while ago. He closed the door and waited for two hours. Then he made a run for it! He ran out of the complex and to his great surprise, it actually worked! He managed to escape in one piece and ran all the way back to Drellin. Now he’s trying to find new companions and try again…
    Last edited by Jon_Dahl; 2015-09-05 at 10:09 AM.

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