Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Phandelver. part 6ish, 7ish and 8!

Oh, how the time flies!

They somehow managed to con the hobgoblins into them going inside to check on the king, while the PC's walked calmly, then jogged, then ran like mad away!

They managed to get the dwarf, Rockseeker (IIRC) back to town, where after resting overnight he immediately started insisting they get to wave echo cave.

The PC's did indeed make their way there - and apart from anti climactic stirge encounters (nothing like encountering them in pathfinder!), they opened a door with an illusion across it of the rest of the room...to trick a wight inside that no one had opened the door - after discovering the rooms occupant, they quickly moved on...to speak to a spectator and tried to convince him out of something that magic forces him to do (guard a location) and...the warlock seemed to ignore that you could bypass him if you simply twisted the words of his contract.

From that powerful foe they...then ran into a flaming skull, who'd been set to oversee the area. And managed to convince it that the dwarf noble amongst them was one of the owners of the ancient dwarven mining complex - DESPITE the nobles best efforts to screw this up by saying count comments!

They kicked open the barred doors of bugbears - then ran away, thinking the bugbears would chase them right into the flaming skull. The bugbears promptly boarded up their door again - having boarded it incase the flame skull had come their way - they knew about it, all right! Fair plan, otherwise!

Then an excellent ghoul encounter occured, where the party went and split itself most wonderfully! Lucian the warlock walks in to examine some tables, then the rest of the party in the corridor see him look to his right, look shocked and run left! Malcer the ranger (newer player, so fair enough!) runs after him...but then the fairly beaten up fighter Murden (bugbears did it!) decides not to draw the attention of six ghouls by running in front of them all! Ander instead shoots his short bow at one, drawing the attention of two!

After some zanyness and readied actions which confused initiative order for me! Players are like 'hey, didn't the fighter just have a go?' and because I'm tired and just did all the monsters moves, I say yeah - but actually it's because he readied his action to attack as a ghoul approached. So he goes just before them, and perchance of initiative rolls, he went right after them as well!

Anyway, they thought they were doomed, but with some nat 20's from Malcer and some sensible fighting, they did alright!

The final battle was while exploring a new room with just a handful of ghouls in it - a mere three this time! But Lucian decides to fall back while fighting - and this is the ideal time for the ochre jelly, that had seen them in their previous exploration and was following them, to attack! And it got in one good slap of it's pseudopod too - eventually Lucian retreated back to the party who had finished the ghouls. They all braced for the jelly to come at them...braced and...nothing happened. As far as the module informed me, the jelly picks it's fights - it doesn't come at superior numbers. Making the jelly smarter than some PC's, at times!

And so having beaten the ghouls and feeling hurt, they decide to rest in the room with the ghouls - using their bodies as blocks against the doors as best they can.

Whether they will short rest for an hour or attempt a long rest here, who knows?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Phandelver ( Part 5 and some 6 )

Castle Cragmore was kind of quick in the end - the party burst in on a group of hobgoblins, one of which dashed away while the others faught. However, party members chased after and slayed him before he could open the door to...well, what was the door to that the hobgoblin so needed to open?

Well, they burst in and find a bugbear and a drow talking at a table, with an unconcious dwarf in the corner. Heh - I stuffed up here - because I kept looking at the stats of the 'drow' who was actually a doppleganger, I gave away what it was by accident! Saying 'The doppleganger attacks!'. I'm not even sure why it was a doppleganger to begin with - but anyway! Also I forgot the wolf that aught to be present - but the party got a little hammered by blows before taking the bugbear, king Grol, down as well as the doppler!

Great! So they revive the dwarf, find the map and that was the end of one session.

Next they explored a bit, with a new player in tow playing an archer - as usual a player turns up and no real question of that was made (since it happens so often), so ended up making a reason for it latter on that they found him as a prisoner alongside the Gundren the dwarf. Ah, the things I do out of sequence!

So they explore a bit - lifted the bar on a door, heard a giant monster inside roar and...though they won initiative, nobody put the bar back! The owlbear clawed up the fighter a bit (like, to 1 HP!), but they toughed it out and won.

The thing is when they go outside, they ran into a group of hobgoblins coming back.

The warlock starts his smooth talker routine to try and talk them down (mostly because the fighter was down and we only had four PC's this session), essentially saying 'all those dead bodies - it was like that when we got here!'

Then someone else says something that ruins his speel a bit and he tries to give up and sneak away (fails!).

I'm thinking of a new house rule in future of basically individual diplomacy rather than group. How it works is if one PC says something to offend the NPC, the NPC's don't automatically target all PC's. The other PC's can step back if they want (or join in the defence of that PC, if they want). But they aren't dragged into the battle because of someone saying the wrong thing.

I'm considering that, because in combat one PC doing something inept doesn't doom the whole party. So I think for talking it would do well to be the same.

Anyway, did they get out of it? Mr TORGUE knows the answer to that! MAYBE!!!!1!

http://philosophergamer.blogspot.com/2015/08/phandelver-part-6ish-7ish-and-8.html



Friday, August 7, 2015

D&D Bonus Story #3

Jibso Flagons poked around in the Tresendar manor ruins, entering its basement. After a tunnel or two he found a room with sarcophagi and shattered skeletons laying around - and amongst these, a ring!

Which he immediately took back to town to pawn!

However, you see where he came from and declare that you put the better part of the work into that. After fondling his dagger thoughtfully for awhile while contemplating this, Jibso decides to split some of the earnings with you!

For players of my D&D game, this can be claimed up to 6 times (which conveniently is the maximum number of players), once per player.

You gain 6 gold!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Phandelver ( Part 4 to 5 ) Hello Lizzy

So what happened across two sessions, so as to catch up?

Well, they got to Thundertree, poked around fighting stirges and restless dead.

The druid Lucian, who has been rebuked by nature and become a warlock (he rebuilt his character) decides to look for the druids house from the highest point and rolls to find where that is. A natural one latter, they go to the tower on the hill.

This is where Pliskin the grappler rolls a nat 20 charisma check when talking with the dragon inside, and becomes its pet. Meanwhile other character get tongue tied and just kind of run away (particularly the noble dwarf, Murden - the player was right on the edge of losing another character)

Eventually they find the druid who knows the way to Cragmore castle and they rest in his shack...

The next morning the players/PC's sway gently in the breeze like restless dead themselves, as they wait for god/the GM to tell them where to go next as they have all forgotten about having any motivation to live - I'm really going to have to have something quite fatal lined up for this. If you have no motivation to live, then you'll soon die!

They journeyed to Cragmore, encountering elves that were none too pleased the PC's were trespassing...this MAY have been in because a player had built a high persuasion character and it was an experiment to see if he was aiming for a spotlight moment and what would seem to qualify as one. Anyway, the warlock (former druid) Lucian charms them and the PC's leave with the elves even wishing them well!

All is good until Pliskin ends up sliding down a hill by accident and waking up next to a giant constrictor snake! This MAY have been an experiment in a grappler on grappler battle - where I find creatures who auto grapple on a hit aren't that amazing. So they grapple their opponent - all that does is the opponent can't move away. If they don't plan to move away, then it's no biggie.

Hilarious is the number of javelins, rays, and splashes of acid (the spell) used against the snake as Pliskin grappled with it - which of course have no (by the rules) chance of hitting him.

Eventually he defeats it with some help (it takes the other players a round or two to arrive safely), and they make their way to the castle.

Everyone walks in the front door all casual - only the paladin doesn't get away with it and gets shot by the goblins behind the arrow slits (the goblins rolled poorly on their perception checks for everyone else!). Much battles inside until the initial goblin forces are quelled, with Pliskin knocking one out then straight faced telling the kill intent warlock (no wonder nature threw him out) that he'd killed him.

They battled a grick in the next room, who was too well hidden for familiars to see - so someone walked in, it dropped down and...missed entirely! Then the trap behind them got set off (okay, I forgot to set it off when they walked into the region, so I had it go off latter and affect two PC's at random). After some good bites, the grick gets quelled as well...and although keen to investigate statues which are not there, the party feels a bit beaten up at this point and needs to go rest!

I'm really thinking of having the penalty for resting being that you have to deal with a bunch of smaller encounters first before you can get to the main meat. It's like the further you go, the more profit you make - but if you rest then you reset - having to go through smaller profits for your time, getting back to the bigger ones. But I haven't scratched out a draft of mechanics for this.

They do rest and return, entering a room to the north of the grick where six goblins are waiting in ambush...though having waited eight hours, they are a little bored now!

Higher level now and the goblins not having anywhere to really run and hide once the PC's where behind the shrine the goblins hid behind), the goblins were soon destroyed!

And that's the quick summery of two sessions, with the next soon to come!
http://philosophergamer.blogspot.com/2015/08/phandelver-part-5-and-some-6.html

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Soylent E(ntertainment)

In ancient times, when we were all in tribes, if someone was bothering to entertain you (gossip with you/tell you a story, sing to you, cook food beyond mere practical necessity for you), it was something valuable in survival terms (and thus, valuable in general) because you were essentially interlinked with them - that they entertained you meant they were looking out for you (maybe one would say they entertained you so as to curry your favour, so you'd look out for them. But whatever - some amount of mutual looking out would occur, centered around entertainment)

But it's pretty clear the people who entertain you now...are nowhere near you. Maybe, at best, you go to a music concert and see them way, way over on the stage over there (with a line of burly, violent looking bouncers between you and them) and they shout 'How ya doing?'. And maybe you scream out. But they don't know, even though they act like they do.

Your TV - your movies, egregiously so given hollywoods distance from you.

But they thing is, they put the human in the entertainment. That's how they unlock the money from you - they need the human in it, not because the human somehow is the important thing itself (as it loves to sing as if it is). It's because the system still needs to make objects that have human in them, to get resources from humans. They need to feed you the human in order to get your money.

And you buy into it, because of your ancient instinct that entertainment is good. And it was good, back when the singer/storyteller was across the campfire from you and was watching for what might come up behind you.

Or else why gravitate towards working hours of your life and even the unrewarded pursuit of labour (for which to be lowly rewarded) to give over the proceeds of that for some sound waves and some flashing colours?

If someone was watching out for you when they did that, that'd make sense.

I say this as a potential writer myself, with around the 50k+ words needed, or more if I patched together my nanowremo effort (man, that was a bizzare month!). What would I be selling you anyway?

What would I be being, trying to sell - I can see the system using human to extract from human. I can't pretend I'm just naively writing books and hoping gosh darn the good people just lurve the books. I can see the money. I can see the exploitation, wraught from being entirely wrenched from the ecosystem that made entertainment have value to begin with.

So what up from here?

Meanwhile I haunt bitcoin faucets...