Thursday, May 17, 2018


It is Tuesday afternoon, still the 10th of May.

As you settle into some food, talking to the Overseer, let's say that the general story is told.  The Overseer will explain that when the called for clean up crew showed up, he sent them home, saying the problem had been sorted.  You're the official clean-up crew now ... and the Overseer does want to know for sure that you're going to do your jobs.

Given that there is legitimacy, from your story, and the look of your wounded comrades, that there is danger, he lets you know that the fee for cleaning up a situation like this is typically 300 g.p., plus plunder.

"When are you going back in?" He'll ask.  "I can help a little with supplies, but I'm afraid beyond a few tools and food, there's not much I can offer up front.  I can probably set you up enough that you don't have to seek out supplies in Stavanger."

The Stone Block

The party turns a corner and hears the spattering of water on rock; it is not long after that they come to a place where the stream drops in a series of little water falls, a fall of about seven feet.  The path on left side of the stream continues as a shelf-like path, hanging over the shallow crevice of the stream.  The crevice goes on out of sight, deepening the path of the cavern as it cuts its way further into the subterranean.

The path on the right ends, with a large stone-carved block, about ten feet deep and six feet high.  It is not possible to outwardly identify its purpose, only to say that it is definitely not natural.  It was clearly worked and smoothed, though not perfectly so, into a rectangular piece of stone.  On inspection, you see that it is inscribed with further writing.

Mikael's ability to comprehend languages is quickly running out.  He has only two or three minutes left before he will have to wait until the next day, to cast the spell again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Way Down

I'm going to forego making a map.

Through the west entrance, past the shrieker room, Engelhart will find that a short tunnel, but fifteen feet long, opens into a sloped shaft, about 30 feet wide and 15 feet tall, like an elongated letter box slot that drops diagonally into the deep.  At his feet, a switchback path, four feet wide, will start off towards the right, make a hairpin turn and descend to the left, at a 30-40 degree angle downwards. There's no railing, but a fall would be along a steep slope to the path below as it switched back again; perhaps 4d6 in damage.

The stone floor of the path is dry, cut from the natural stone, but has cut stone tiles placed along the outer edge of the path, to make the path level to the edge.

There's a slight breeze, cool, drifting up from below, which makes but a faint impression on your face as you feel it.  Certainly nothing to make a descent difficult.

It is painfully quiet, particularly after the shouting match of the fight.

Round 16 ~ Two Left

The zombrat in 0912 attacks Pandred.  It rolls a 19 and causes 6 damage.

The other remaining zombrat attacks Engelhart.  It misses with a 12.

The players can act.  No one is stunned.

The rats die in the players' move.  Here is the FINAL x.p.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Round 15 - The Party Forges On

The zombrats above attack Rob and Valda.

Against Rob, the zombrat rolls a 17.  This will cause 7 damage, mauling rob and driving him back into hex 1113.

The rat against Valda hits AC 5, with a 14 ... the zombrat will cause 2 damage.  Valda lives, but it stuns and leaves her in 1011.

I'll remember to mark them this round.  Neither rat will advance.

The players can act now.

After the player's moves, the positions are as follows:

And the experience so far.

Round 14 - More Zombrats

The last two rat bodies tranform into zombrats, like before.

The one zombrat attacks Mikael, rolling a 12 and hitting AC 8.  Unless I miss my guess, Mikael's dexterity is 16, giving him an AC of 8, having no armor options.  That should hit.  Being a zombie, it does more potential damage than a giant rat: but I roll 3 damage.

The monster in front of Embla and Rob vanishes.  It simply ceases to be in the room.

The players may act.

After the players move, the positions are as follows:

And the experience:

Round 13 ~ The Party is Fine

The zombrat in 12ll attacks Valda, rolling a natural 1.  Followed by another natural 1.  Because the zombrat isn't using a weapon, it impales itself on the end of Valda's sword.  Turns out, Valda was combat effective; just by standing there, she was something the zombrat could kill itself on.

The other zombrat rolls a 6 and misses Mikael.

Bad, bad round for DMs.  Hmpf.  Round 13.

The slime-feces creature is stunned and takes no action.

Following the party's move, the positions are:

And the experience:

Round 12 ~ Didn't We Just Kill Those?

Mikael should have been moved to 1311 last round.  Please treat him as existing in that hex.

The creature now seems to be sweating wet, watery defecation out of its skin. It swings with its fist at Lothar, and rolls a 2. Again.

And for no explicable reason, the dead rat bodies in 1111, 1109 and 0710 suddenly animate into creatures of undead flesh.  They cannot attack at this time.

The players can act (sorry, forgot to remove the lines from the previous round's move).

After the players have moved, and stumbled over one another and the DM's bad bookkeeping, the map looks like this:

And experience so far:

Round 11 ~ It Jumps

Once again, the jelly is stunned; and when stunned, it shrinks, and causes no incidental damage.

[It's worth noting that the combat system has to be flexible to manage a multitude of creatures.  While a stunned elephant would stumble and swing around, perfectly able to cause incidental damage, a jelly that responds to stunning shrinks and does not swing around.  In the same way, an elephant, or a single-unit jelly can be stunned; while a pudding or an ooze, which flows like a liquid and is not bound together with tendrils, cannot be stunned, no matter how much damage is done.  On some level, each monster demands a case by case basis to explain its behaviour and effect.

[This can seem like I'm changing the rules at a whim ... but rather, I'm trying to establish precedents for weird cases.  I expect players to say, "That jelly you had us fight before did this and this ... therefore this jelly today should also act like that."  And I agree.  D&D is complicated; memory and precedent is the only thing that binds it together].

Whatever the creature is that was in 0411 is now in 1312.  It attacks Valda, rolling a 2.  Valda, shocked, manages to dodge the half-hearted attempt of the creature to hit her.

She sees that it's skin is covered with slowly flowing green-brownish mud; and that it gives off a smothering, putrid odor, like a shut outhouse in sweltering summer weather.  The smell has no mechanical effects, but it is suffocating.

The players can act.

After their move, the positions look like:

And experience thus far:

Round 10 ~ Breathing Room

The jelly withdraws following Pandred's hit, the blow undulating through it's body.  Because of the withdrawal, no incidental damage is caused. The creature does not attack.

At the same time, the rat attacks Englehart's flank, rolling a modified 17 and nipping the cleric for another 1 point of damage.

The remaining rats flee the room.

The party is free to act.

Mikael has finished casting his spell; Rob is free of his back pack.  Valda will slowly crawl to her feet in 1212.

Following the player's move, the map looks like this:

And experience:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Round 9 ~ Valda Takes the Heat

The rats have initiative.  They keep their ground, except one that annoyingly rushes in and nips Engelhart from behind.  It hits AC4 with a modified 17, causing 2 more damage.  I see I've forgotten the 1 damage I did to Engelhart before. That has been fixed, and will show on the next XP table.  The cleric isn't stunned.

That's the only rat attack.

The jelly causes 1 damage to both Engelhart and Valda.  No one else is close enough.

Then the jelly uses this round to attack Valda.  It rolls a 16, which hits; Valda takes 9 damage.  This reduces her to -3 hit points.  At -4, she would be dead.  She fails her wisdom check, staggers into Lothar's hex and collapses, unconscious.

The players can act.

Following the players' move, here is the position:

And the amount of experience thus far:

Round 8 ~ The Jelly Makes Itself Known

The rats win initiative against the jelly and proceed to scatter.  One doesn't move, but watches the jelly.  All except for two, next to Engelhart.  One tries to press past the cleric and succeeds; it attacks Pandred, rolling an 8 and missing.

The other attacks the cleric and hits with an 18, causing 1 damage.

Meanwhile, the jelly simply rolls over the stunned rat, sucking it up into its body.  It flows unexpectedly quickly towards Lothar, and as it does, it forms a pseudopod with the front of its body like a lifted club, swinging at the ranger.  And it rolls a natural 20.  Some days the dice are good to me.

It causes 3d4 damage on such a hit; Lothar takes 16 damage, the blow breaking the skin across the bone of Lothar's knee.  The ranger falls back into 1111.

That is my action.  The players can move now.

Following the player's actions, here are the positions.

And the gain in experience: