Friday, June 30, 2017

A Tunnel Bends to the Left

Engelhart finds that there is a tunnel, ten feet wide, rough hewn, that bend to the left.  This is more or less what he can see from his location; the nearby floor of the tunnel is slippery, but since he has room to recover from a short jump, there's no chance of his falling.  He's succeeded in skipping his way over the rocks.

In Other News...

Working towards sorting out Pandred's unarmed combat amateur skill, I've finally created some wiki rules for grappling.  Have a look.  The rules there apply to both player characters, regardless of sage knowledge, and can also be employed by enemy monsters attacking the party.  Some monsters are best kept at weapon range.

If I let some creatures, like bears and large cats, move in and properly maul/rake, it could get very nasty ...

It's Only a Frog ~ Round 2

The frog makes another attack against Embla, apparently too stupid to realize the assassin is too big to be grabbed with its tongue.  It rolls a 10, hitting AC 8; Embla is AC 7 and is missed.

Engelhart's spell is cast; it will take 1 AP to discharge. Pandred is holding Embla's javelin ~ and, for all reasonable purposes, the fighter's axe is probably gone. It is somewhere under water, around 0612.

If Embla wants to use the javelin, Pandred has to spend 1 AP to throw it to her; Embla should roll a dex check to see if it uses 1 AP to catch it (success) or 2 AP to snag it out of the water (failure).

Lothar's arrow is nocked and ready.  Fjall has completed the second round of loading the crossbow.

Go ahead and act.

Very well, having killed the frog, here are the x.p. earned this time around:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Frog! ~ Round 1

The image shows the position of the party as a giant frog rises in hex 0511.  I have added a dotted line across the water to show where the cave ends and the ten foot high passage begins (see cross-section).

With the initiative, the frog attacks Embla.  It rolls a 14, hitting AC 4 . . . Embla feels a wet, sticky tongue slap against her mid-section, causing only 2 damage as it thuds into her; but it both sticks and grips, the flesh squeezing together around her waist.

Embla is too heavy, however, and though the tongue pulls her into the water of 0507, it snaps free from her body and springs back into the frog's mouth.

The water is three feet deep, like described.  Embla is not stunned.  Using the fight while immersed rules I wrote last week, Embla's adjusted encumbrance is adjusted by a 25% loss of weight (she's up to her waist in water):  here's the altered table for your movement when partially immersed:

The party can act; do you need another image indicating that Embla is in 0507?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Embla Moves to the Water


Here is a view of the whole water cave, and a detailed view of the party.  Embla, you've reached the water line.  What do you wish to do?  You can hear the lapping water against the rocks in the pool, but otherwise your senses are as they were before.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Wet Cavern

The removal of the shafts quickly reveals, as Engelhart suspected, a sharp drop.  It is not as severe as a precipice, but it is about 70-degrees.  And as the shafts will testify as they're pulled out, the area beyond is damp; the shafts on the far side are slicked with water, as is the slope.

The roof of the cavern is even with the top of the storeroom chamber that you occupy.  The ceiling is 7 feet above the floor of the storeroom.  Shining the lantern over the edge gets some benefit form the wet ceiling, which reflects on the scene below.  The floor of the storeroom is about 20 feet above the bottom of the cave (the bottom that you can see).

The cave floor is filled with free standing water.  The cavern's size is perhaps 30 feet across, at the ceiling ~ however, across from where you are, there is a slot about twenty feet wide, the roof of which is about ten feet above the waterline.

There seem to be a number of rocks that emerge above the surface of the water, but the water itself is black in color and you have no way to determine how deep it is.  There is moss growing on the lower walls.

You don't see anything moving.
As always, 5 feet per hex

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Front Storeroom

Embla, I presume you are using some kind of light source, beyond the open hole above you.  For now, that hole will dimly light the environment you're in; forgive me for moving you five feet from the bottom of the 20 foot slope, but where you are you're safe; and you'll need to make room for Engelhart when you give the signal.

[if this is too dim, I'll brighten the picture]

You can see that they've collected 8 barrels of something from the outside world.  There is human blood on some of the barrels, dried; two of the barrels are sitting on a bench, which is slightly bowed from the weight ~ so without touching them, you can see those barrels are full.  The room is made of stone that has been mined out; except the furthest edge of 0405, which has a line of wooden posts, about four inches thick, forming a wall from floor to ceiling.  They're ten feet away at the moment, and you haven't named a light source, so you can't see how they're fixed in place, but there seems to be no door.

Nor can you see clearly into the cubbyhole with six barrels in it.  Not until you approach it with a light source.  Being around the corner, half that corner is in very dim shadow.

Your heightened sense of smell suggests that there is some form of fermented drink in the barrels, but it smells . . . off.  Like they've done something to beer.

Condition Poor

Hello.  I had said I was going to get a little playing in today, but I've been temporarily laid up. There is something wrong with my back ~ a slipped disc, most likely.  I have experienced this before, but not as bad as this; and because I needed the money, I went and worked last night, coming home in very bad shape.

Just not, I'm dull with drugs and fresh from a very hot bath, and feeling up to sitting at a computer chair.  I have called in sick today and don't know if I will repair enough to work tomorrow.  I have about 26 hours before then.  In the meantime, I don't know if I'm up to making the map I need for the dungeon you're playing in (right now, it is entirely in my head), but I'm going to experiment a little because, with laying on my back, I'm bored out of my freaking mind.

Do not worry.  I am carefully pain-managing the situation; it isn't an injury; this began mysteriously on Friday afternoon, a day I was off, as a mild annoyance.  It has gotten worse since then but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with me.  It is just an age thing.  The disc will find its way back home and I'll be fine.

So.  I'm a little disappointed that I didn't hear from Engelhart regarding the demi-god post.

I'm going to draw a little, see what comes out.  I'd like to create something a little more interesting that a straight hallway.  Keep an eye on the campaign if you can.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Tale of Augvald and Nor, Demi-Gods

King Augvald was the son of Rognvald, who was the son of Rugalf, who was the son of Gard Agde, who in turn was the son of Nor, who came from the island of Gotland.

Nor was the first descendant of the gods, having been born of a frost giant called Ymir and a cave giantess named Fenja, who, freed from sea-king Mysing, carried a millstone that could produce anything wished for.  Ymir wished for a son who could unite the kingdoms in the north and Fenja used the stone to grind out the half-giant Nor, who was said to stand eleven feet tall.

When Nor was in the prime of his power as a warrior, he came to the Norselands, where he found numerous petty kingdoms, made up of gnomes, halflings, humans and elves.  He brought these kingdoms together for but three seasons ~ yet in that time he scoured the stone giants of Jotunheimen from the surface world and rid the world of the dreaded Yringan, who had for a thousand years poisoned the land and divided the gentle races.  When these were sealed in their caves, caves that are now forgotten, Nor divided up the Norselands, giving the east to the elves, the north to the halflings, the west to the gnomes and the south to the humans.  Thereupon, he went in humility the to the stone giants, seeking them out in the lairs they built in the underworld, seeking their forgiveness as a giant.  Thereupon Nor became the king of the stone giants, whom he ruled for three hundred years before rising to Asgard.

Nor's son Gard Agde, who was smaller than his father, only ten feet tall, fought the Goths in the northern provinces of Germany before bringing back great riches and knowledge of fortifications.  Rugalf died in a naval battle against the sahuagin, who raided from the western seas, who were driven back by his son Rognvald, freeing the seas to allow Vikings to plunder the coastlands of Britain.

Finally Augvald, who was nearly 8 feet tall, the last demi-god of his line, went on Viking raids to foreign lands and acquired much wealth and standing.  He conquered Hordaland and Nordland, extended his power of Agder and Akershus, forced the gnomes of Lenglin and Buskrud to pay him tribute and for a time united the Norselands under one banner, as was foretold by the wish his ancestor Ymir had made.  But after a long life of magic and success, Augvald was called to Asgard by Nor, whereupon his kingdom fell apart and the lands were not united again for 150 years.

Today, the seat of Augvald's power is a small hamlet, still called Avaldnes, north of Treborg in the northeastern part of Rogaland.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Discovery

The now-dead frogling has nothing unusual on its body, except a hemp wristband and necklace and the thrown spear-head.  As before, the spear head is made of adamantite and weighs about 3.5 lbs.

There is nothing else moving around you; apparently, this one was left behind because it was considered too weak for the war party.  At the same time, however, you find a hole in the ground about five feet from where it was originally standing.

The hole leads underground by means of an interior sloped rock wall, similar to a climbing wall, except the hand-holds are made of carved stone.  They are also a little narrow for human fingers, but would serve a frogling's narrower fingers quite well.

The slope, about 80-degrees, is about twenty feet down.  The edge of the hole is made of carved stone blocks and was clearly not made in the last few days; it seems to have been "opened up" recently, suggesting there might be multiple entrances into multiple lairs, or perhaps all into a same single lair, stretching throughout an area surrounding the barrow.

At any case, Embla's heightened sense does not reach to the bottom of the sloping wall underground.

As I said, you know approximately where the barrow ought to be - over there, somewhere, towards the west.  The sun is getting lower - it is about half-past four, perhaps nearer to five, in the afternoon.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Edge of the Fire

It is still Thursday, the 5th of May, as the party tramps back towards Mimmarudla.  The wind has increased to a fresh breeze, coming out of the south, and skeins of clouds stream high in the sky, suggesting that something might be coming.  The temperature is yet brisk, 7C/44F, but this proves to be beneficial for the journey as you are all hot from the battle.

While Engelhart learned his spells, the party made a cold meal of at least two pounds each and ate it, including Oddsdrakken, Petar and Valda.  Then these three made their parting signs and set off towards the south, where Petar is sure he can find the hamlet where his cousin lives as a fisherman.  Now as you walk along, the cleric eats as he goes, having been too busy to eat while the others did.

You encounter no one, but there are signs everywhere of movement, cut out underbrush, felled trees and tramped down ground that the ranger cannot help noticing.  Finally, however, you come to the edge of the burned out area.  You stop about four hexes from the edge of the wood, so you can see.

The trees have been cleared and burnt, with heaps of them pulled together into piles of charcoal. The goal seems to have been to transform this part of the forest into fuel. Clearly, the trees were cut first, then burned, ten or twelve trees to the pile.  The piles are not burning, but smoke is curling up from the charcoal heaps, providing a certain amount of cover.

Without the trail you followed in, and the landscape being changed, you cannot be sure how far you are from Mimmarudla.  You would guess between a quarter and half a mile, but it would be easier if you could see the lake.  To your right, the ground slowly rises to a crest; from that crest, you remember, you can look down and see Store Stokka.

As you are spread out somewhat to be able to see around the nearest piles, Pandred spots something and passes it along the line.  There is a lone frogling sitting on a large log of charcoal, sharpening a sword and keeping a watch on the forest.  It seems to have no companions.

Taking Stock

Can you please look over the above details and correct anything that is in error.  Keep in mind that I could easily have been told something that did not lead to the above table being corrected.

Oh, regarding Bergthora's experience.

In keeping the ideas of this post about non-level training, I've decided that after 400 x.p., all further x.p. gained is divided by 10%, unless earned in the presence of someone with training experience.  This will allow Bergthora and others to steadily, painfully, gain on becoming first level, but it will take a long time without help.

Monday, June 12, 2017

On the Move

As you're trekking along, generally following the high ground with the lake, Store Stokka, on your left, you begin to hear a swell of movement coming up behind you.  At first, it sounds like a rustling, but this is soon supported by an occasional boom that Lothar first identifies as the sound of a large drum being struck.

After this, there is a distant cracking and tramping, of many things moving through the woods, perhaps as close as two hundred yards.  It is coming up faster than you are moving.  "We have to run," shouts Bergthora, but this seems desperate, given that you know that these creatures can move faster through running and hopping than you can.

The party looks around and sees only the thick forest, the clumps of shrubbery and fat pines, obscuring the inevitable that is coming . . .

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Forest Combat Aftermath

Here is the final count of experience for the party.

In addition, for objects found on the creatures, add 143 for Embla and Lothar, who don't receive an x.p. bonus, and 157 for Engelhart and Pandred.

This puts Embla and Engelhart both up a level.  I don't know if it gets Pandred there.  Lothar, I know, doesn't make it.

I'm going to work, but Embla should roll a d8 for hit points, as should Engelhart.  Engelhart, you gain a 2nd level spell at 3rd level, plus 2 bonus spells from your wisdom.  Therefore, you should choose three spells from this list.

This is all I have time for.  We'll sort out sage abilities when I get back.  I'm off work again tomorrow, so we have time to make sure everything is accounted for.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Froglings Retreat ~ Round 8

Following the players' last attack, the fighting strength of the froglings is reduced to one third of their total; the one Pandred hit (nominally, a pinch-hit), drops below zero and the froglings retreat.  The stunned one is helped by another into hex 0608, ending in the hex together (where they are -2 in armor class) and the third drops into 0708 and then to 0508.

The players may act.

I'm also adding this file to account for character details and information.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Froglings Hold Their Ground ~ Round 7

I'll start with the frogling in 0808.  It misses with its spear, rolling 4 against Oddsdrakken, then rolls a 7 at Pandred with its bite.  That is its round.

0807 attacks the up-and-coming Engelhart: rolling an 8 and missing with the bite, but hitting AC 3 with its spear.  Engelhart is AC 4, so that hits for 6 damage.  That should stun the cleric; but the foliage is heavy enough behind him that he does not fall back.

Finally, the one in 0809 will attack Embla until hitting her; it misses with its spear, but puts the bite on the assassin, causing 2 damage.

That leaves the present position:

Corrected for Embla

Following the player's move, the position is thus:

Present gained experience stands as follows:

Things Look Dire - Round 6

There are three froglings remaining.  These have Pandred and Lothar surrounded, unpleasantly.

The new interloper in 1008 hops to 0809, where it attacks Petar and Willa.  It hits AC 7 on Petar and AC 9 on Willa; for the bowmen, I'm fairly certain the attack on Petar hits.  If so, it will cause 4 damage, stunning him.  I'll draw the map that way, but we'll correct that too if need be.

The frogling in 0807 continues to attack Lothar, but gives signs of agitation for Engelhart and Fjall on its left.  I hit AC 6 twice against the ranger; that is two hits.  The ranger is torn by a bite for 3 damage and then hit with the spear for 2 more.  The 3 will not stun, but that will lower Lothar to 7 total and the two hit point hit will stun him.  He falls back into 1008.  The frogling will then face Engelhart.

The frogling in 0707 attacks Pandred.  It will roll a natural 20 [my second this morning, I rolled one on the other campaign) with its spear, but misses completely with the bite.  The spear causes 8 damage, stunning Pandred again, throwing her back into 0908.  The frogling will advance to 0808.

The unconscious frogling under Valda's feet is bleeding out, 1 hp per round.

Here's the layout as I see it:

Following the player's move, here are the positions:

And here is the x.p. distribution so far:

Add caption

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Sneakthief Appears ~ Round 5

The frogling in 1307 will suddenly emerge, having made its way stealthily through the bush.  I rolled 3d6 for this creature and miraculously (or demonishly, I suppose) rolled a 4.  With its level, this makes a 2 - so it isn't detected in 1307, and is free to emerge now and move into 1108, attacking Oddsdrakken.  It rolls a 15 against the halfling with its bite, causing 4 damage (stunning); because the halfling is so small, the frogling sweeps it aside into 1007.  It then progresses on Lothar and uses the spear to attack Lothar from behind: and I roll a natural 20.

I am sorry about that.

The second roll does not make it triple damage.  And I roll minimum damage, which is 4.  At this point, I'm not certain of Lothar's hit points, so please let me know if that stuns.

The arrow shows this surprise creature's full movement this round.  It moves 1 AP, hops 10 feet for 1 AP, attacks with bite (1 AP), moves forward 1 AP, then attacks Lothar (2 AP).  And yes, that is six total.

The frogling in 0807 attacks Fjall with the spear and then bites at Pandred ~ I roll two natural 18s.  Fjall will take 7 damage and Pandred, 1.  This will stun Fjall but Pandred is still active.  The follower falls backwards into the bush, in 1006.

Engelhart missed his target, so the frogling in 0607 will roll a 10 with the spear and a 15 with its bite.  Engelhart is AC 3 in banded mail and shield and is missed.

The last frogling, in 0710, was missed four times last round; it has bled a round from its wound but it is still active.  It swings at Embla with its spear and attacks Valda with its bite.  I hit AC 2 with the spear, before smacking its face against a tree instead of Valda.  It was a fumble, but the creature cannot drop its mouth; it does miss and it succeeds in not breaking its head.

Embla takes 6 damage from the spear.  That will stun her, tossing her into the bushes of 0909.

That's the creatures' round.  Here is how things stand:

Following the party's move, here are the positions:

And here is the x.p. updated:

The Froglings Falter ~ Round 4

The frogling in 0807 attacks Lothar again, but sadly rolling a 10 and a 7 for spear and bite.  The ranger is unscathed this round.

The frogling in 0707 advances on Pandred and hits her again: the spear hits AC 6, the bite hits AC -1.  Pandred is at AC 3, in plate mail, but without having had time to strap on her shield; so I hit only with the bite.  And luckily for her, I cause only 1 damage.

That, apparently, is their round.  The map looks like this:

Following the party's move, here are your positions.  At this point, I can now give full disclosure: can you find Waldo?

And the experience earned by the party:

The Froglings Give a Beat Down ~ Round 3

The froglings in 0707 and 0807 atttack Lothar and Pandred, while the frogling in 0610 will leap and attack Valda with spear.  Each creature attacks with spear and teeth.

0707 is enormously successful, hitting AC 1 and AC 3 with Lothar.  The spear cuts Lothar's shoulder for 4 damage, while the creatures' teeth grab his sword and give his sword-arm a wrench, for 3 damage more.  Although the spear point is clearly made of stone, the blow felt like sharp metal to Lothar's skin.  Because the blows are treated independently, neither are enough to stun the ranger.

0807 does just as well against Pandred, this time hitting AC 3 and then AC 1 (I rolled exactly the reverse on both dice).  And then I rolled the precise same damage, causing 4 damage with the spear and 3 damage with its teeth.  This time, Pandred felt the creature's teeth on her knuckles, while she was hit with the butt-end of the spear.  Again, she isn't stunned.

0610 leaps from the tree, gaining +1 to hit attacking from above, and hits Valda twice also: AC 3 and AC 0.  Valda takes 6 damage from the creature's bite and then 2 more from its spear.  The first hit will clearly stun the follower.  She is thrown back into Bergthora's hex.

Here is the present position:

Willa and Petar would have loaded their bows last round.  Willa can't fire from 1 hex away, however, and she has nowhere to step back to.  So she must pull a weapon and attack, else she will have no armor class against the creature when it attacks again.  So, being an NPC, this is what she did.  Petar can fire from 2 hexes away.  Embla and Bergthora are engaged; Bergthora will pus Valda into 0711.

After the party has moved, here is the position:

And here is the earned experience, thus far:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Froglings Engage ~ Round 2

The froglings are not surprised; I have given the party the initiative, but the creatures are able to react fast and move ~ though the frog targeted by Willa and Lothar has fallen out of sight behind the log.

Froglings leap onto 0707, 0807 and 0906, the last one diving into the space low, to keep under the tree.  A frogling speeds down the path before leaping up into a tree above her, in 0510; the creature is about 8 feet above Valda.  The last one disappears into the bush; you're not even sure which side of the path it dives into, as you're distracted by frogs leaping at you.

None of these frogs are able to attack, however, as they are somewhat slowed by their spears (they'd have time to slash with a claw, but they're holding the weapons instead).

Here's their position:

Following the party's action, the map appears as this (two froglings unaccounted for):

And the experience so far earned:

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Patrol Wanders Along

You can see a group of bright blue frog-men moving towards you, carrying spears.  In keeping with the party's message (and Engelhart's encouragement to let them pass), I'm depicting them just now before the climb over the log in the middle of the trail.

There is a small chance that they will see you as they approach.  I'm discounting armor and weapons, but giving -3 for the forest and a bonus of -5 to the stealth distance on account of your cover.  That put you at -8 overall.

At the moment, they definitely don't see you, though they are clearly patrolling the path, checking left and right as they move along.

UPDATE:  From the lack of comments below, I'm going to assume now that the players have no intention of changing their positions or taking any other actions until the froglings (good, we'll call them that) get a lot closer.  Therefore, I'll post another image, hoping to get a response.

On the right, you'll see that the frogs have dropped into single file as they cross the log.  The lead frog moves up to 0507 [I'm sorry, some of these numbers are difficult to read, I'll see what I can do for the next image] and stops.  It turns, sniffs the air, and looks directly at the rock edge at 0707, which you'll remember is 7 feet high from the creature's perspective.  It is quite evident at that point, particularly to Embla, who is flat on her belly and looking straight at the creature, that the party's presence is, at the very least, firmly suspected.  The frogling leader looks back at its companions and raises an arm.

It is the player's move at that point; act, do nothing, let me know.

Oh and PLEASE, people, Read the Comments of Your Fellow Players when picking targets and entering hexes!!!

Atop the Rocks

As you discuss with Embla what her mission will be, without coming to a conclusion, you're standing near the ambush site you've chosen.  The party is back from the ledge outcropping, with is about SEVEN feet above the path below, so not very high.  Still, low enough to lay upon and be hidden.

The three hexes that are best for seeing the trail as it approaches from the top of the map (the direction of the fires), are 0709, 0707 and 0807, the latter two offering the best line of sight.  0808 can see the trail up to the log that is laying across it.

The trees are thick, but not so thick they can't be moved into.  I've depicted the party standing above the branches for ease of viewing.  I could hide you all under the branches, but that's not exactly desireable.

Please assume that any hex that is more than 1/3d hidden by trees will require 2 AP to enter.

Right now, Willa and Petar are watching the trail.  They will tell you right now that they've seen a creature coming, about ten feet beyond 0401, at the top of the map, just before the path turns into view (for the game's purposes, presume that any shot off the map is impractical].  You're not surprised.  Presume that you have initiative.  What do you want to do?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Scouting Ahead

It is still the afternoon of the 5th and the weather is still brisk, even a little less pleasant as it goes.  The sky is virtually clear, with just a wisp of cloud, and there is no rain, so you can be thankful for that.

I'm going to try and do as much as I can without drawing a map; please, let's imagine that Embla is moving out ahead of the party, some two or three hundred yards ahead, then circling back and signalling all clear to Lothar.  Now and then Embla should come all the way back to the party to get information from Lothar on finding direction through the wilderness, so she doesn't get lost.  Lothar will then indicate forward movement to the party.  This takes the best advantage of Embla using her stealth and Lothar using his pathfinding skill.  Don't take this as my running the party's actions ~ you'll simply find this the best way to operate.

Rolling for Embla, I start with 3d6 for full daylight, -3 for heavy forest and -1 for her level.  She's wearing soft armor so she suffers a +1 penalty for that.  The roll indicates the number of hexes from another creature that she'll be detected, not that she detects.  Thus, if I make a judgement that she will be able to see a creature at 8 hexes, and the roll comes out above 8, then she will be detected before she discovers what is out there.

At the same time, this finally gives me a solid number for hear noise.  Because she should be able to hear a creature at a distance greater than what she can see . . . let's say +3 hexes/level above normal sight range in the open and +1 hex per level when listening through an intervening object, like a door.  If she were, at first level, standing behind a door, with her ear pressed to it, she could hear someone at 1st level that was within 5 feet of the door.  This is a loose reckoning, we can test it a little and tighten it up later.

For the moment, let's say that Embla will see a creature at 8 hexes in this forest (a reasonable reckoning), if that creature is not attempting to hide, and hear the creature at 11 hexes (which doesn't seem like much better, but consider how much better it will be when she is 7th level).

Without revealing my roll, Embla moves close enough, within 11 hexes, to where she can hear something moving out there.  She should not be sure that moving closer won't reveal her, but at the moment what she hears gives no indication that she has been discovered.

She can smell fire in the far distance, but it does not smell like a forest fire (she's from a forest culture so she would have smelled such a fire before).  This is more like fires she has smelled outside of forges and such.  She would guess, right now, that she is about two or three hundred yards from the nearest part of the "fire," judging by the smell and the amount of smoke in the air.

She can hear the movement of feet and legs moving through brush, about four or five she would guess.  They are making a steady progress from her left to her right.

What, Embla, do you do?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Return to Store Stokka

With no real change in the weather, it being still cool, and coincidentally also being May 5th like today as I write this, you begin to lead the Captain and his soldiers into the forest.  Engelhart, I expect, will keep a running conversation going with any of the Captain's questions and we don't need to go into that.  The party marches along, with the players taking note that the followers are, occasionally seen talking privately to soldiers as you're moving along [presuming we haven't reached the peak of your paranoia, yet].

About half a mile from the lake camp, you come to the top of a rise, with Store Stokka a mere hundred yards towards the right.  Reaching this point, you get a surprise.

Somewhere in the direction of Mimmarudla, you can see a great amount of smoke rising.  You would guess this is a part of the forest that is burning.  It is sending a long and thick plume that is skirting across the tops of the trees towards the lake, a distance of at least a mile, before the smoke dissipates.

As well, not far from where the lake camp would be, you can see a forty foot tower emerging to the tree-tops.  Even with a glass, it is difficult to see if there is anyone on watch.

Apart from this, you're not close enough to see anything else that is unusual.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Four Miles South of Stavanger

Come the 5th of May, a Thursday, the party heads out on a brisk, nearly cloudless day, with a fresh wind blowing hard out of the south and only high stratus clouds to be seen.  There is nary a sign of rain.  Moving south along the road out of Stavanger, the party sees some preparations to the defenses of the city, mounds of earth and ditches being built by labor gangs.  As they progress south, for the first two miles they encounter a spattering stream of refugees who are moving north along the road with their belongings, about thirty families altogether.  Then, nothing.

The road is empty by the second hour.  Steadily you near the crossroads between Hole and Verdelen, to the south (and beyond Verdelen, Egersund).  Reaching the crossroads, you find yourself facing a large number of guards who are commanding a gang of laborers to hastily construct a palisade surrounding a small post that is there.

Naturally, a group of three guards will see you moving south along the road and will lift themselves up from their rumps to come speak with you.  The largest one, apparently a commander in the King's army, raises a hand and says, "God be with you, travellers."

Friday, April 28, 2017

Meeting the Apothecary

Lothar, in answer to your knocking (you'll probably have to bang the door a bit, or call out, to get the apothecary's attention), the door opens and you'll see the fellow you spoke with a few days ago looking shabby, overwrought and apparently having not slept.  When he sees it is you, his eyes will widen.  "Jesus Christ," he will murmur, "it is you.  Come in, come in."

He will make room for you and Embla, and with some distraction and his insistence on one of you brewing some tea, he will sit down at a table in the apothecary's shop.  There are twenty open books on the table, surrounding the tome that you brought him.  He explains in a few words that he has been trying to translate the text ~ and that much of it horrifically coincides with the news he has been receiving through his business agent about what is going on around the town.

"You have woken something up," the apothecary, whose name is Gizur Aakur.  "This book was written by a wizard named Hgiggle, somewhere near abouts the time of Beowulf.  The humans were expanding through Sweden and Norway, pushing out the gnomes, the halflings and the stone giants and, apparently, a tribe called the Elba Pyarish; I've looked for a translation and find that it might mean 'evil frogs.'  Does that sound like something you've encountered?"

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Approached by the Followers

It is a new day, May the 4th, a Wednesday.  There is a very gentle breeze blowing out of the south, virtually no clouds in the sky and the weather is brisk.  That is to say, the sort of weather where you can feel the cold against your face, that it is bracing a bit, but certainly not "cold" and unpleasant.  An hour of casually standing around in such weather will start to make a person feel chilled, but it is extremely pleasant working weather, as a little bit of energy spent will bring the body up to room temperature.

The followers ~ excepting Howell ~ will approach Embla and Lothar and express their desire to come clean about the barrow.  They're not saying they will quit if the party refuses, but they may feel a desire to excuse themselves from further service after their month is done.  They also express that they will not betray the party on their own, but this whole situation makes them very uncomfortable.

What do you intend to do today?  It is presently 9 am.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Plainer Tale of Violence

With the evening of May 3rd, the sky clears and the rain, at last, stops completely.  You hear that the prince and burghermeister finally did ride out this afternoon with a contingent, to head south.

You've had your dinner and all of you are lounging in the common room in a tavern near Engelhart's grandfather's, discussing matters and plans.  At this point a man will enter, looking haggard and worn. There is blood on his face from a cut on his forehead.  He is dirty and wet, apparently ~ from his appearance ~ gotten in the forest outside of the city.  You'd judge him to be in his late 40s.

He begins by speaking with the tap-master at the bar, but loud enough to be heard and very quickly afterwards the room grows silent.

"We were attacked," he explains.  "There were nine of us.  We had gone searching for five cows that had gone missing from the Sandvik farm ~ Evard Sandvik, his brother Tom, four hands of his farm and three hands from mine.  They came on us at a rush and none of us had proper weapons."

His hands begin to shake as a tap master puts an ale in his hand.  He gulps and then says, "I fought on the continent in '38, when we met goblins out of the Black Forest.  I've seen kobalds.  And once, near Augsburg, we went underground and I saw troglodytes.  But I've never seen these things, never heard of them."

He drinks some more.  "They were frogs, standing on their hind legs like men.  Couldn't have been more than a 110, 120 lbs each.  Starved, that's how they looked.  They fell on us like demons.  There must have been twenty, twenty-five of them, with razors for claws.  They came out of the air, leapin' at us like frogs, tearing us to pieces in less than a minute.

"I only survived because one of them knocked me on the head with a rock.  I fell, slid down the hillside and into a pond.  I could hear them screaming above me.  I swam to the shore and began running; I ran until I got to the Randaberg.  Then I came here."

"There's no guards outside of town," he explains.  Several people explain that the burghermeister took a lot of guards south.  "Well, there ought to be guards.  Ain't no wall in Stavanger.  There ought to be guards.  Whatever's out there, they took Sandvik's cattle and they attacked us.  There must be more of them.  I don't know where they've come from."

The tavern begins talking about the farms that were attacked, about the other rumors that have been heard.  The party learns that this attack took place near the north end of Store Stokka, just south of Randaberg, to the west.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Rain Lets Up

The rain continues to pour until midnight, but the wind begins to slack off after six p.m. on the 2nd.  A slow, light rain continues the rest of the night, so that early risers see that Stavanger is still being pelted with rain as they rise around 6 to 7 in the morning.  At 9 o'clock there are still moments when it drops a little rain in fits and stops, something that is still going on by noon.

The weather has warmed somewhat, however, so that it is no longer chilly but merely brisk, warm enough that you can go outside without feeling cold straight through.  Of all of you, the half-orc feels this a little worse than the others, having grown up in a warmer clime.  The wind is only a gentle breeze out of the west.

Engelhart can find a maul for 29 s.p.  It weighs 8 lbs.  Lead bullets are available from the blacksmith, at 6 s.p. each.

It is a Tuesday.

Stavanger & Environs, 2-Mile Hexes

Arvid Hagen

A bit about the organization of religion in Norway.  Norwegian Lutheranism is controlled by four bishops in Norway, located at Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Christiania (modern day Oslo). These bishops support the Monarchy in Copenhagen and Denmark regarding the strict practice of the ceremony, the distribution of tithes and the content that a pastor is allowed to address in sermons.  This has been so since a resolution was signed to this effect in 1605.  The goal was to suppress those religious leaders in Norway (as they had been in Denmark) from preaching predestination, the fall of humanity (natural sin), the doctrine of damnation for those not of the religion, the refusal to use wine in communion, the existence of saints and so on.  Inherent in this doctrine is that the monarchy is secondary to the church, and that the church should have the right to depose kings who do not adhere to the holy scripture, writings and teachings.  There have been many arrests of clerics who refuse to desist from preaching such things in Norwegian churches.

Arvid Hagen, the present-day Bishop of Bergen, is a follower of the party line but a nationalist who has written many pamphlets on the independence of the Norwegian church and the rightful independence of individual church leaders in their communities throughout Norway.  His argument is that the religious leaders of Norway should have the freedom to preach as they will, understanding that God will punish those who are wrong and promote those who are correct (a divine right at the level of the cleric, effectively).

Hagen has also written on paganism, explaining that the Christian god has prevailed over other religions because he is not merely an immortal figurehead, but is an esoteric spirit-being that occupies all the planes at the same time, the prime material, the ethereal, the astral and the outer planes.  Whereas a demi-god like Asmodeus has a residence, one does not travel to find God: God is everywhere.  All other gods exist in the universe as signposts to indicate the wicked and demonstrate the path of evil for those who are chosen by God to be righteous and saved.

Hagen preaches that there is little to learn from older faiths; whatever they once believed, this belief must be replaced by the word of God; the land must be clensed of their presence; their centres of power destroyed; the monsters of the wilderness not feared but overcome and brought down, so that God's light can be made to shine in every hollow, every burrow, every hole.

[I trust this is sufficient, and will give Engelhart some support for his own character's goals and ambitions].

Friday, April 14, 2017

Stormy Morning in Stavanger

May 2nd is a cold day, brisk certainly, with a near gale blowing out of the south.  It is strong enough to knock you off your feet today, so I'll have to rule that anyone resting can't go outside - the buffeting wind for just a 2 minute would be enough to cause physical trauma.  On top of that, there is a slashing rain, as three fingers of rain (width of three fingers) falls between 6 am and noon.  It is a truly awful day.

Given the weather, there is very little to hear as far as what is going on regarding the scene of the massacre.  You hear that the Swedish prince and the Stavanger Burghermeister were planning on riding south with fifty men to visit the scene, but that has been put off due to the weather.

Those who might want to do some shopping may want to reconsider.  The wind has been stiffening throughout the morning.  It would be an hour before noon just now and there is no sign of the rain letting up.

But, if you're not worried about healing, the shops will still be open.  The stockyard and the town market are closed, as those are open air markets, so you can't buy anything from those lists today.  They're closed.

In other news, I have this upgraded map to offer:

Treat the white areas as unexplored or ill-defined in your memories.  Hexes are still 6.67 miles in diameter.  The village to the south, near the barracks, should be named Verdalen.  The name got missed.

I had told Engelhart a couple days ago that I would rather not do the map if the party might not stay in the region, and then I went ahead and started doing it after thinking it would probably be useful.  I haven't used this generation scheme in so long I had to actually go back into my old posts to remember how it was done ~ and then I remembered how much fun it was to do this, so I got into it and now the map above exists.  I was thinking I might do a post on the subject as well.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


That evening, still May 1st, as you eat your meals at the inn where you are resting, you will overhear some news that is sweeping the town.  This will be for everyone, regardless of whether you are together or not.  I will allow, however, for you to each sit together by a fire in the same location, suspending the distance you will have to walk as short enough to not risk your healing for the day, so that you may communicate with each other.

A collection of three farmhouses, about three miles south of Stavanger, were attacked and burned at some time between nine a.m. and noon this morning.  Fourteen men, women and children were beaten to death with what seems to have been heavy weapons, probably made of stone judging by the skulls that were split open and the bones that were smashed and broken.  Each body was struck at least a dozen times.  Some were struck so often that the bodies came apart.

The attackers left no footprints, nothing that showed who and what they were.  The bodies were found by a delivery wagon that was there to bring thatch for the repair of one of the houses.  The inhabitants were landholders who owned their own land and were well respected in Stavanger: The Larsen Family, the Mathisen Family and the Rasmussen Family.  Lars Larsen, the eldest son of his family, had been to Christiania and come back as a trained physician three years ago and usually lived in Stavanger.  He was visiting his family last night.

Stavanger is shocked and confused tonight.

In answer to a question below, I've generated a rough map of the area around Stavanger.  One hex equals 6.67 miles.

Disregard the numbers.  They're just notes.

Sorry if it is difficult to read.  Some of the small labelling is in 5 point font.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Resting in Stavanger

Morning, May 1.  Wind, moderate breeze, from south southeast.

The poor weather continues through the night, but it does stop raining in the morning.  The party, tired, worn down, happy to be under a roof and in comparatively comfortable circumstances, just doesn't feel like waking up at the crack of dawn.  You have the rooms until noon, assuming you've paid for a single night (I know in some cases, such as a bedstead, you will probably want to find a more pleasant place to rest through the day).

Some of the party will want to rest, and therefore won't be going shopping.  We should settle on who.  The rest of you can purchase at the market or, if you wish to sell something, see to pricing the objects you've found.  Let me know which vendor on the market page you'd like to approach with that.

The day is comparatively dry up until noon, but the weather is still brisk, a few points above freezing.  Thankfully, you don't have to be outside more than a few minutes at a time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stokka Camp in the Rain

Let's put the party back at the camp.  You'll remember that Lothar did come back from Stavanger TODAY, the 30th of April, before your heading out to the dungeon.  It is about 4 in the afternoon when you return to camp ~ and it is raining again.  It is what you would just a moderate rain, more or less what you equate to a firm, steady and not unusual rain, much more than a drizzle or a trace.

We had established that 1 mm of rain per day would be enough to cause damage in the wilderness, from cold and general unpleasantness.  Since the temperature right now is 4 C/39 F, or "brisk," this makes travelling overland in Norway a real horror show.  As you're walking, you'll all take a point of damage on your way back to camp.

We also established that the rain will ensure that you won't get any rest so long as it rains to this degree, regardless of your tents.  I've been in many a tent in positively vile conditions in the Canadian Rockies and I can tell you from experience, it isn't restful.  Nor was that in a 17th century tent.

You might want to consider returning to Stavanger as a group.  You don't know how long the rain will last; it could be clear tomorrow or not.  You could get back to Stavanger tonight, with Lothar's help (4.5 hours travel), before the sun actually sets ~ but it will again be a thoroughly miserable trip through a wet forest, no doubt causing more damage (but not enough to kill anyone).  You could remain where you are and hope for the best, but cooking in this weather won't be any more pleasant and even if it is better tomorrow, everything will still be soaking wet until mid-day.  That will increase the chance of all of you catching a cold, if you're not in a very warm place before then.

And it could always get worse.

Fjall and Valda did not get any rest, nor hit points, today; but they haven't lost any yet, either.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Aftermath, First Chamber

Best to start with a new post, I think.

Lothar, you do roll a d8 for hit points.  Reroll any 1s, please.  I have updated the google drive with your new sage knowledge points.  All this climbing over rock and up and down hills has increased your mountaineering skill to amateur level.  You must have had some sort of breakthrough when you were rigging the cage to drop.

Pandred is right.  You've not plundered the statues yet.  They are still in their original places.

Engelhart, the bodies are lacking any sort of clothes or equipment.  These frog things seem to be wholly naked ~ though it is clear from the way they fought that they had intelligence, moved in a bipedal fashion and worked as a unit.

Embla, could you please roll a d6 for the 2nd javelin that you threw?  You did cast them both, rolled for only one of them.  I think the second one missed, yes?

Regarding the door, it seems secure.  The creature on the other side has grown quiet, but if either Embla or Lothar puts their ear to the door and others remain quiet, they can hear it breathing.

The book has been picked up and then (I assumed at the time), dropped, as the players did not describe it in their hands.  What do you wish to do with it?

Only One Left ~ Round 8

The one remaining frog will being by slashing at Bergthora.  The frog misses.  And misses again with it's horn.  It has just 4 AP, because it was partly stunned last round, needing only 1 AP each for bodily attacks, so it has just enough to get to 1014, whereupon it faces Bergthora and Embla.

The party's move (comments below) kills the last of the creatures.  Here is the final tally of x.p.:

Saturday, March 25, 2017

All Goes Sideways ~ Round 7

The snuffling beast beyond the door lets out a snuffling roar, not as loud as before.  There's some pressing against the door, but it does not seem to be an attempt to throw its body against the door as the beast did once.

The frogs seem to have no feeling at all about their one dead companion or even the damage they've sustained. It is plain to the party now that these humanoids are rabid and will have to be put down to make them stop.

The one in 0908 is free to attack Lothar this round.  It hits AC 1 with the second, claw, causing 3 damage to the ranger, hardly coming close to stunning.  With it's horns, however, it does even better: hitting AC 0 and causing 5 damage.  This one will stun, as Lothar's hit points are reduced to 18 after the first hit: Lothar keeps his feet but falls back into 0910, somewhat bruised.

Being that the humanoid is a frog, it uses 2 AP to "hop" three hexes into 1011, the same move that was seen in an earlier round, engaging both Pandred and Embla.  Thankfully, it has no attacks left.

At the same time, the creature in 0811, again, attacks Engelhart.  It's first attack, a claw, strikes the Cleric (hitting AC 5), causing 2 damage.  By my count, Engelhart is down 6 hit points already from 19 (correct me, please, if I'm in error), and 2 points will not stun).  The creature screams in rage, missing with its other claw.  However, for once it hits Engelhart with its horn (also hitting AC 5), causing an ungodly six damage.  This tosses the cleric back into 1012, definitely stunned this time.

This creature has been trying to get into the hallway since the beginning of the combat: now it hops between Bergthora and Engelhart, ending in 1013 (it started from an non-melee hex, once it booted back the cleric).  It seems intent on running down the hall, towards the cage.  Bergthora is the only one conceivably able to hit it.

These changes produce this position, following the creature's round:

Following the party's movement:

And the x.p. earned so far:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nibbling at the Party's HP ~ Round 6

As the party can yet hear a lowered cry of pain and then snuffling against the door, suggesting something big enough to be heard sniffing against a double-reinforced door, the two active frogs continue, unrelenting, their previously poor attacks.

The first, in 0811, continues to attack Englehart.  The first claw hits AC 3 but the second claw misses very poorly, the thing rolling a natural 1 [eventually one of these fumbles is going to end in a broken arm for one of these creatures].  That is my third natural 1 rolled in this fight, which is definitely above average.

The first claw, at least, causes 2 damage.  Engelhart begins to get the impression that the frog is trying to get past him and into the hallway.

The other will clamber over the corner of the statue and into 1210, where it will attack Pandred.  It, too, strikes with only one claw, the second swing, also causing 2 damage.

At least it is something.  The party can act using the below positions.

Following the Party's move:

And x.p. thus far; as ever, please correct any mistakes I have made:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Strong Doors and Stumbling ~ Round 5

Behind the door, the party hears sounds of a beast in pain.  Apparently, the attempt to throw itself bodily against the door has hurt it.  The door is strong enough to keep the beast, whatever it is, at bay.

The frog in 1010 pushes its ally out of harm's way, back into 1109, then attacks Lothar with none of its murderous fury reduced.  Yet this time, it's hand slaps onto the flat of Lothar's long sword (I should update the image, hm?) and it recoils with a cry of pain.  It takes no damage, but counts as a fumble.  It recovers and screams in helpless fury.

[the problem with three attacks is that it increases the chance that one of them will be a natural 1].

The second one, 0811, concentrates on Engelhart . . . and damn it, I roll a 9, a 6 and a 9.  Bloody hell.  They'll never defend their dungeon this way!

Here is the position as the party takes their move:

Correcting for Lothar's position, only Lothar and Bergthora left to act:

The third map and FINISHED accounting for round 5:

And then the present x.p.  I have adjusted Bergthora's share, as she had 189 x.p. starting this fight, to keep with new ideas recently introduced on the main blog.  It causes her to steal all of 9 x.p. from the general party, 2.25 x.p. each!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Party Bears Up ~ Round 4

Again there is a roar, then something throws itself at the door.  The wood strains, there is the sound of wood cracking, the chains snap against their pegs ~ and the door holds.  An angry howl is heard . . .

The three remaining frogs continue to attack.  The first, in 0811, slashes at Engelhart with a first claw, hitting AC 6.  This causes 3 damage.  Engelhart's page says he has 13 hit points maximum, but it also says he is 1st level, so I don't think that stuns him.

[honest, I'm just lost with everyone's AC and hit points.  Could I please get a list of the following: what is your present hit points, what is your present armor class, what do you have in your left hand and what do you have in your right hand]

Assuming that Engelhart is not stunned, the frog slashes and horns Lothar.  Both of these attacks miss.

The second frog, in 1011, will pull back into 1010 and slash Lothar with one claw, it's only attack.  It hits AC 8, which I feel must miss Lothar.  [I'll roll damage after if I'm incorrect].

The third frog attacks Embla, first with both claws, missing.  Then with horn, hitting AC -1. Embla takes 5 damage from the horn and falls back into 1211.  The frog leaps over the statue and into 1110, engaging Pandred.

The position is as follows:

Following the players' move, the updated scene appears:

The updated experience is as follows (please correct any errors you see):