Sunday, October 22, 2023

Playtest Session #5

Action-packed session today, which was nice after two kind of flat ones in a row. Back at full strength, the group ventured back into the Perlammo Salt Mines first to get done well-deserved revenge upon the best of stink bugs who had almost wiped them out the week before, and then to take on the encampment of goblins who were the only significant encounter area remaining on the first level. 

Cast of characters:

Kronk - Gnome Cleric 2 (Boreon)

Grain Tobblefoot -Gnome Thief 2

Thron Hammersmash - Half-orc Fighter 1

Tares - Elf Cleric 1 (Boreon)

Elden - Human Magic-user 1

Thorn - Half-elf Ranger 1

The two players who’d missed last session were forced to roll on the Character Catch-up table in Midkemia Press’s Cities to determine what befell them during their downtime, and it was nothing good: both were mugged and lost their cash on hand, Thorn was also scammed and lost 1/3 of his banked money and Elden learned that his father had died but was too broke to travel to attend his funeral. So, facing desperate financial straits, they decided to rejoin their adventuring companions. 

Scouting around the goblin hideout they managed to keep the goblins’ wolves quiet, used a sleep spell to eliminate the first set of guards, made quick work of another set, barricaded the door through which reinforcements were approaching, got into a bloody but ultimately successful brawl against the goblin bosses, and ended up finishing off the last of them in a two-front battle. 28 goblins in all were sent screaming to the Nine Hells. 

Looting the boss’s chamber they recovered some minor treasures and a mysterious and very heavy wizard-locked iron chest. They also found four cowering non-combatant goblin cooks who they interrogated and then dispatched, which inspired two of the party to change their alignment to Chaotic Neutral.  

Thorn the ranger convinced his companions to fire the captive wolves and led them out of the dungeon and then, heavily laden with treasure, they made their way back to town. 

Alas, the combat XP and bulky but not-especially-valuable treasure wasn’t enough to bring them up to 2nd level (with Elden the magic-user painfully coming up 18 XP short). However, they had recovered a letter from the goblin boss that they were unable to decipher (though they did determine in was in the Chaotic Evil alignment language) and decided it was worth paying Geromini, their NPC magic-user friend in town, to cast Comprehend Languages on it. Once translated, the letter gave them the password to open the chest, which was filled with 50 gold ingots, intended as a bribe from the Goblin King of the Palm March to the chieftain of the Blue Goblins of Melonath Falls, and the value of this haul turned a break-even expedition into a major victory, worth enough XP to level up not just Elden but also Thron, Tares, and Kronk (to 3rd). Only Thorn the ranger still fell a bit shy.

Next session is on November 5th. Having effectively cleaned out the first level of the mines we’ll see where they decide to go next - whether to the lower levels of the mine or one of the several other areas nearby they’ve gathered rumors about. 

Edit: Fun addendum - while we were playing one of the players got a text from her sister who was attending GsmeHoleCon (in Madison, WI) that she was at that same moment playing in a game run by Luke Gygax (5E, I assume, but still pretty neat). Alas, their story didn’t have the same happy ending ours did: their party got TPKd. 

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Another session report

The group was down two players this session compared to last one so they decided to proceed cautiously. To start with they paid a visit to the Grand Casino of Boreon hoping to gather some intel about the mysterious fox-people who they’ve heard about but not yet actually encountered. Coming up mostly empty and failing to win big at the slots (and realizing they’re not nearly well enough equipped to knock the place over) they returned to Salt Mine dungeon and once again bribed their way past the ogre guarding the back entrance. 

They’ve now got a nearly-complete map of the top level and were feeling pretty confident after dispatching some ghouls and giant rats but disaster almost struck when they decided to attack a nest of giant stink bugs: half the party (the thief and of the clerics) was rendered unconscious and the gnome cleric had to leave his pack and maul behind in order to drag his comatose companion to safety. Venturing back to retrieve the lost pack only a well-placed Sanctuary spell saved the remaining two from disaster and probable TPK. When you're low level and outnumbered AC4 and a 1d6 bite adds up quickly.

A few sacks of silver pieces was a visibly disappointing haul but was just enough to allow the thief to hit 2nd level. She also pocketed a nice-looking coral necklace that a jeweler in town offered her a cool thousand GP for but she decided not to sell, suspecting it might be magical. 

Next session (set for 10/22) they’re hoping to be back to full strength, which is good because their options are narrowing - taking on the goblins or armed men they avoided this time around, venturing back down to one of the lower levels (which they’re still very afraid of), or leaving this dungeon altogether to follow up on one of the rumors they picked up at the casino - such as the mysterious goings on in the village of Veirona a day’s travel upriver, near the famous Melonath Falls. 

[Fun OOC note: when they were in the casino hearing about Veirona with its lumber mill and seedy reputation and the nearby Melonath Falls, one of the players said "I'm starting to get a kind of Twin Peaks-y vibe about this area" which I appreciated because it's 100% intentional but she's the first person who's ever noticed (or at least who mentioned it out loud to me)]