Adventure Narrative: I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City



Jun 24, 2004 14:45:07
I'm running an updated version of I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City, and writing up the session in the same sort of narrative format as an "Example of Play". I'll be posting the advetures of Nasaldromus, Bruti, Daniel, Theala, Olaf Peacock, and Hieroman (the original tournament characters of the module) in this thread.


This thread describes play in I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City, and reading it will give away as much as playing in that Module, so if you intend to play that module, don't read this thread.


Jun 24, 2004 14:51:08
Dungeon Module I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City

The Trade City of Waterdam has a problem. Located on the border of Hepmonaland, it relies on caravan trade through the Pelisso Swamp that brings exotic spices from the cities that rise within the southern jungles. Recently, however, fewer and fewer Caravans have been getting through. One successful Caravan captained by a stout dwarf by the name of Bruti only barely made it through the swamp back to Waterdam, after having fought off Bugbear raiders led by snake-like aberrations. Traveling with the Caravan was Theala, an Itinerant Monk from the South who recognized the abhorrent attackers. She believed they came from the Forbidden City, an ancient ruin of great evil hidden within a crevasse atop a jungle hill. Theala and her temple brethren believed the Forbidden City to be long abandoned, but evidence now suggests it has somehow been re-occupied.
The Prince of Waterdam is committed to ending the threat to his Caravans, and has commissioned a group of spies to travel to the Forbidden City, enter it, determine the composition of its inhabitants, and the strength of its militia. Most importantly, the Prince requires maps of entrances to the City through which he can lead an army.
Four of the Prince’s trusted advisors volunteered for the dangerous mission. Together with Theala and Bruti they set out for the Forbidden City, forming an adventuring party consisting of:

Nasaldromus Court Magician; Male Human Wiz 5; Medium Humanoid; HD 5d4+5; hp 15; Init +1; Spd 20 ft.; AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12; Base Atk +2; Grp +2; Atk +3 ranged (1D8/19-20x2 light crossbow) or +2 melee (1D6/x2 staff); Full Atk +3 ranged (1D8/19-20x2 light crossbow) or +3 melee (1D6/x2 staff); SA: Staff of Frost; AL NG; SV +2 Fort, +2 Reflex, +4 Will; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 15
Skills and Feats: Concentration +9, Craft +8, Decipher Script +7, Knowledge Arcana +11, Profession Court Magician +4, Ride +5, Spellcraft +12, Scribe Scroll, Combat Casting, Spell Focus: Evocation, Spell Penetration, Extend Spell
Details: Staff of Frost 4 Charges: 1 Charge for Ice Storm, 1 Charge for Wall of Ice, 2 Charges for Cone of Cold
Wizard Spells Prepared (4/4/3/2; save DC 14 + spell level): 0—Resistance, Detect Magic, Flare*, Light; 1st—Mage Armor, Sleep, Magic Missile (2); 2nd—Web, Scare, Shield (Extended); 3rd—Fireball*, Summon Monster III
*Spell Focus Evocation; +1 DC
Spellbook: 1st—Mage Armor, Protection from Evil, Shield, Identify, True Strike, Sleep, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon; 2nd—Web, Scorching Ray, Mirror Image, Scare; 3rd—Fireball, Summon Monster III, Fly
Possessions: Ring of Protection +2; Staff of Frost (4 Charges); Scroll of Fly; Scroll of Fireball (2); Scroll of Summon Monster III; Scroll of Polymorph Self; Light Crossbow; 20 bolts; 20 silver bolts; Backpack; Bedroll; Flint and Steel; Ink; Ink Pen; Torch; Waterskin; Spell Components; Spellbook; 5 Days Trail Rations; Traveler’s Outfit

Bruti Captain of the Caravan Guard; Male Dwarf Ftr 6; Medium Humanoid; HD 6D10+18; hp 42; Init +0; Spd 20 ft.; AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +6; Grp +6; Atk +13 melee (1D6+8/x2 magical axe) or +8 ranged (1D6+8/x2 magical axe); Full Atk +13 melee (1D6+8/x2 magical axe) or +8 ranged (1D6/x2 magical axe); SQ darkvision 60 ft.; AL CG; SV Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +1; Str 18, Dex 11, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 7
Skills and Feats: Climb +4, Jump +4, Listen +2, Search +3, Spot +2, Swim –1, Power Attack, Cleave, Quick Draw, Lightning Reflexes, Great Cleave, Weapon Focus: Throwing Axe, Weapon Specialization: Throwing Axe
Posessions: Chainmail +1, Heavy Shield +2, Throwing Axe +2, Potion of Levitation, Backpack, Bedroll, Crowbar, Flint and Steel, Grappling Hook, Hammer, 10 Pitons, Silk Rope, Shovel, Torch, Waterskin, 10 Days Trail Rations

Daniel Military Chaplain; Male Human Clr 6; Medium Humanoid; HD 6D8; hp 30; Init +2; Spd 20 ft.; AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 21; Base Atk +4; Grp +4; Atk +7 melee (1D8+3/x2 Heavy Mace +2) or +6 ranged (1D8/19-20x2 Light Crossbow); Full Atk +7 melee (1D8+3/x2 Heavy Mace +2) or +6 ranged (1D8/19-20x2 Light Crossbow); SA turn undead 5/day and greater turning 1/day; SQ Turn Undead +1 Level; AL LG; SV Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +9; Str 13, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 9, Wis 18, Cha 16
Skills and Feats: Concentration +4, Heal +8, Knowledge Religion +3, Spellcraft +3, Combat Casting, Improved Turning, Power Attack, Cleave
Cleric Spells Prepared (5/3/3/2; save DC 14 + spell level): 0—Light, Purify Food and Drink, Resistance (2), Detect Magic; 1st—Bless, Cause Fear, Comprehend Languages, Divine Favor, Cure Light Wnds*; 2nd—Align Weapon, Bull’s Strength (2), Hold Person, Cure Moderate Wnds*; 3rd—Dispel Magic, Searing Light (3)*
*Domain spell. Domains: Healing (cast healing spells at +1 caster level), Sun (greater turning 1/day).
Posessions: Plate Mail +1, Heavy Mace +2, Scroll of Cure Light Wnds, Potion of Cure Serious Wnds (2), Heavy Shield, Light Crossbow, 20 Bolts, Backpack, Bedroll, Flint and Steel, Mirror, 5 Days Trail Rations, Torch, 2 Flasks Holy Water, Silver Holy Symbol of Pelor, Spell Components.

Theala Itinerant Monk, Female Human Mnk 5; Medium Humanoid; HD 5D8; hp 18; Init +6; Spd 40 ft.; AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 13; Base Atk +4; Grp +4; Atk +8 melee (1D8+2/x2 unarmed strike) or +10 ranged (1D8/19-20x2 light crossbow +2); Full Atk +6/+6 melee (1D8+2/x2 unarmed strike) or +10 ranged (1D8/19-20x2 light crossbow +2); SA flurry of blows, ki stike +1; SQ evasion, purity of body, slow fall 20 ft., still mind; AL LN; SV Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +7; Str 15, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 12.
Skills and Feats: Balance +7, Climb +4, Diplomacy +3, Heal +6, Hide +9, Move Silently +9, Spot +5, Tumble +9, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Initiative, Stunning Fist, Rapid Reload, Deflect Arrows, Weapon Finesse
Possessions: Light Crossbow +2, Ring of Free Action, 40 bolts, Backpack, Bedroll, Caltrops, Flint and Steel, 10 Days Trail Rations, Torch, Healer’s Kit, Monk’s Outfit.

Olaf Peacock Court Musician, Male Human Brd 7; Medium Humanoid; HD 7D6+7; hp 40; Init +4; Spd 30 ft.; AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16; Base Atk +5; Grp +5; Atk +8 melee (1D10+3/19-20x2 bastard sword +1) or +9 ranged (1D8+2/x3 composite longbow); Full Atk +8 melee (1D10+3/19-20x2 bastard sword +1) or +7/+7 ranged (1D8+2/x3 composite longbow); SQ bardic knowledge 8, countersong 7/day, fascinate 7/day, inspire courage 7/day, inspire competence 7/day, suggestion 7/day; AL LN; SV Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +7; Str 15, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 17.
Skills and Feats: Climb +4, Concentration +11, Hide +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +6, Perform +13, Spellcraft +11, Tumble +12, Use Magic Device +13, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword, Quickdraw
Bard Spells Known (4/4/3/1; save DC 13 + spell level): 0—Detect Magic, Flare, Know Direction, Light, Lullaby, Message; 1st—Charm Person, Cure Light Wnds, Sleep, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter; 2nd—Cat’s Grace, Cure Moderate Wnds, Hypnotic Pattern, Scare; 3rd—Deep Slumber, Haste.
Possessions: Elven Chain, Bastard Sword +1, Composite Longbow, 40 Arrows, Backpack, Bedroll, Caltrops, Chalk, Flint and Steel, Torch, 10 Days Trail Rations, Silk Rope, Masterwork Lute, Hourglass.

Heiroman Royal Game Warden, Female Half-Elf Drd 5; Medium Humanoid; HD 5D8+5; hp 25; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14; Base Atk +3; Grp +3; Atk +4 melee (1D6/18-20x2 scimitar) or +6 ranged (1D6 non-lethal + entangle, merciful net +1); Full Atk Atk +4 melee (1D6/18-20x2 scimitar) or +6 ranged (1D6 non-lethal + entangle, merciful net +1); SQ animal companion, link with companion, nature sense, resist nature’s lure, share spells, trackless step, wild empathy, wild shape (Small or Medium animal 1/day), woodland stride; AL N; SV Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +6; Str 12, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 18.
Skills and Feats: Concentration +5, Diplomacy +8, Handle Animal +12, Heal +6, Knowledge Nature +7, Listen +6, Spot +6, Swim +1, Survival +7, Spell Focus: Summoning, Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Net.
Animal Companion: This druid has an eagle animal companion. This creature is a loyal companion that accompanies the druid on adventures as appropriate for its kind. Its abilities and characteristics are summarized below.

Eagle Animal Companion, CR 1½, Small Animal; HD 3D8+3; hp 15; Init +2; Spd 10 ft, fly 80 ft (average); AC 16, touch 15, flat-footed 12; Base Atk +2; Grp +1; Atk +5 melee (1d3 Claw); Full Atk +5/+0 melee (1d3/1d4 Claw/Bite); AL N; SV Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4; Str 11, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
Skills and Feats: Listen +6, Spot +6, Weapon Finesse (Claws and Bite), Evasion
Tricks: attack, come, defend, down, fetch, heel, seek, track.

Druid Spells Prepared (5/4/3/1; save DC 12 + spell level): 0—Cure Minor Wnds (2), Guidance, Light, Resistance; 1st—Cure Light Wnds, Entangle (2), Goodberry; 2nd—Flame Blade, Gust of Wind, Resist Fire; 3rd—Call Lightning.
Possessions: Merciful Net +1, Potion of Heal, Leather Armor, Heavy Wooden Shield, Scimitar, Backpack, Healer’s Kit, Holly and Mistletoe, Spell Components.

(These are the original six Tournament Characters provided with the module, adapted from 1st Edition to 3.5e statistics).

Theala led the adventuring party through the steaming tropical swamp and then up to higher ground beneath a rain-forest canopy. There the group reconnoitered with a peaceful tribe. The Chief and Shaman, both of whom respected Theala’s Order, told the group of the denizens of the Forbidden City: demon-men and their hateful minions, the tasloi. These bestial humanoids come from the forest, raiding and kidnapping. Those taken are never seen again. Only recently the Chief’s son was stolen. Recognizing that the party commanded great magic and physical prowess, the Chief offered a deal: he would provide scouts that would lead the party to the Forbidden City in return for the rescue of his son.
The land surrounding the Forbidden City is a dense, hilly, almost mountainous jungle. Trees grow 100 to 200 feet high and are draped with lianas, orchids, ferns and moss. More ferns and fungus grow heavily on the jungle floor. Streams cascade down the slopes to fill swampy areas in the valley. And it seems to be always raining, either in the form of a thick mist or in large pellets that fall from the sky like stones. It is through this dark and muddy terrain that the adventurers followed their guides…to the very rim of the Forbidden City, where our story begins.


Jun 25, 2004 12:33:56
DM: It has been a journey filled with mud and sweat. Merely keeping your armor clean, your weapons free of rust, and your books and maps clear of mold has been a Herculean effort. But now you have finally reached your objective. Suddenly the giant trees open to a magnificent but foreboding view: that of a large crevasse yawning some 400 feet below you like the mouth of some hungry beast. It’s teeth are the white stone ruins of ancient, crumbling architecture, its saliva the vines and ferns creeping over the rubble, trying to reclaim it for the forest, and its tongue the swamp that has flooded eastern portion of the ruined city, which slowly sinks into its muddy green waters. As you stare at the city, well-protected by the nearly vertical cliffs of the crevasse, and your eyes adjust to the birds-eye view, you begin to marvel at the architecture…spiral towers, pagodas, pyramids and temples arrayed in what must have been at one time a magnificent city. But now the place seems entirely deserted. You sense little movement but the occasional flight of birds. If the demon-men do, indeed, inhabit the City, they must be hiding deep within the ruins. Make a spot check. You can also add your Knowledge Nature bonus to the roll.
Nasaldromus: 18.
Bruti: 15.
Daniel: 11.
Theala: 7.
Olaf: 21.
Heiroman: 28.
DM: Okay, Heiroman, despite the city’s apparent desertion, your nature-sense immediately points your eyes toward strong evidence of recent workmanship – a wooden palisade surrounding a muddy island that rises from the flooded, swampy portion of the city to the east.
Heiroman: And where are we, exactly?
DM: Your on the Northern cliff-face, roughly of the fifty yard-line of the city.
Daniel: And what are the city’s dimensions?
DM: It’s about a mile from east to west, and about ¾ of a mile from north to south. By the way, your guides have quietly begun to unpack your belongings, tossing them unceremoniously toward you, too terrified to approach the edge of the crevasse.
Nasaldromus: Poor, superstitious bastards.
Daniel: Superstitious, maybe. Or wise.
DM: They’ve finished ridding themselves of your belongings and are turning quickly away.
Bruti: I command the cowards to halt!
Nasaldromus: Let them go. They’ve done their part.
DM: They ignore your command and quickly disappear into the forest.
Bruti: (to Nasaldromus) But we still have to find a way into the City.
Nasaldromus: I already know a way.
Bruti: You do? How?
Nasaldromus: Simple. We’re gonna fly. (to the DM) Here’s what we’re gonna do – we’re gonna make camp here tonight, so I can memorize Fly twice –
Heiroman: Let’s be sure to camp far enough from the cliff so that those within the crevasse can’t see our fire.
Nasaldromus: Sure, good idea. We set up camp about what, say fifty yards from the cliff? Anyway, I’m gonna memorize two Fly spells instead of Fireball and Monster Summoning III.
Daniel: But that’s only two people that can Fly. What are the rest of us gonna do?
Nasaldromus: It’s actually three people. I’ve got a scroll, too. And Bruti’s got a Potion of Levitation so he can float down. Heiroman can Wild Shape into an eagle. And I’ve also got a Scroll of Monster Summoning III, so I can summon a Hippogriff.
Olaf: Oh, cool! Can I ride the Hippogriff?
Nasaldromus: It’s all yours.
Olaf: Awesome.
Bruti: (sarcastic) Terrific, you can be just like Harry Potter.
Olaf: A six-foot five Harry Potter with chainmail and a huge sword. I won’t just catch the snitch, I’ll rip it to shreds.
DM: Are you sure you want to do this, though? I mean, you’re blowing two scrolls and a potion before even starting the adventure, not to mention both your third-level spells.
Bruti: He’s got a point.
Nasaldromus: Nonsense. He’s just worried we’re gonna break his precious module right in the beginning.
DM: (shaking his head) This module is old-school. It’s unbreakable.
Nasaldromus: We’ll see.
DM: So are you all in agreement? (they all nod) All right, I assume you set up watches?
Bruti: One and a half hour watches. First Daniel, then me, then Theala, then Olaf.
Heiroman: Before I go to sleep I’m going to pick some berries and cast goodberry.
DM: Okay, roll for it.
Heiroman: 5.
DM: All right, you’ve got five goodberries. Add them to your equipment list -- they’ll last for five days. (rolls dice) The rest of you make it through the evening without incident, have a breakfast, and pack up your belongings.
Heiroman: I’m gonna cast goodberry again…you can never be too prepared.
DM: Okay, roll for it again.
Heiroman: 3.
DM: Okay, write down three more. For simplicity’s sake I’ll let you have all eight for the full five-day duration. (to the rest of the group) Now, tell me exactly what you’re going to do, in the exact sequence you do it.
Nasaldromus: Let’s see, the cliff is 400 feet, is that right?
DM: That’s what you estimate.
Nasaldromus: (explaining to the rest of the group while consulting PHB): Fly gives us 40 feet of movement, with descending at half that rate, so figure 20 feet per round. To get to the bottom, then, that will take about 20 rounds, or two minutes. The spell lasts for five minutes, so that gives us plenty of time.
Olaf: What about my Hippogriff?
Nasaldromus: That’s a bit dodgier, I’m afraid. Only lasts 5 rounds.
Olaf: I’ll never make it!
Nasaldromus: Sure you will, if you hurry. A Hippogriff flies at 100 feet a round, and can move double that when diving. So it’ll only take you about two rounds to reach bottom.
Olaf: But I have to get on the dumb beast and then off again!
Nasaldromus: You don’t have to get off; it’ll disappear when the spell runs out.
Olaf: (sarcastic) Terrific.
Bruti: Harry Potter never had a problem with it.
(Olaf glares at Bruti)
DM: So what are you guys doing?
Nasaldromus: Okay, first I’m gonna cast fly on Daniel.
DM: (writing) Round one.
Nasaldromus: Then I’m gonna cast fly on Theala.
Daniel: Um, I’m flying down.
DM: Before anyone else?
Daniel: Yeah, I don’t want to take any chances of this thing wearing off too soon.
DM: Okay, then, on round two, while Nasaldromus casts fly on Theala, Daniel zooms off over the edge of the cliff and disappears into the valley below. Anyone else want to do anything this round?
Bruti: What the hell. I get a running start and jump off the cliff.
DM: (taking pause) You guys sure you know what you’re doing?
Bruti: No, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m gonna try and clear at least fifteen feet.
DM: Okay roll.
Bruti: Natural 20! My Jump in armor is 4, but I’m –6 because I only move 20, so that’s an 18, I make it.
DM: Not that it matters, because you’re just free-falling anyway.
Bruti: Not for long. That’s my move action, and for my standard action I quaff my potion of levitation.
DM: And what does that do?
Bruti: (consulting PHB) Let’s me move down 20 feet per round. That’ll take me 20 rounds, or two minutes to hit bottom, and it’s duration is 3 minutes, so I should be good.
DM: Okay, same speed as the fly spell, so you and Daniel are at about the same altitude. Anyone else want to jump over the cliff?
Nasaldromus: Not yet.
DM: Round 3.
Nasaldromus: (to Olaf) Get ready to mount.
Olaf: I hold my action.
Nasaldromus: Okay, I cast Summon Monster III from my scroll and put the Hippogriff right next to Olaf.
Olaf: And I use my held action to mount it.
DM: Mounting a just-summoned, untrained Hippogriff? That’ll take a ride check.
Olaf: What’s the DC?
DM: At least 20.
Heiroman: But I can use my wild empathy to keep it calm…shouldn’t that reduce the DC?
DM: It’s got an Intelligence of 4. Wild Empathy only works on Int 3 or less.
Heiroman: How about animal handling, then?
DM (thinking about it): Okay, I’ll let you reduce it to a 15. Roll.
Olaf (rolls and groans): Twelve.
DM: And what’s your ride check?
Olaf: That’s with my ride check.
DM: Oh, well Olaf tries to jump onto the materializing Hippogriff and is promptly bucked off.
Theala: I’m flying over the cliff.
DM: All right you’re a good 20 feet behind Daniel and Bruti. Anyone else doing anything?
Bruti: I’m just continuing to control my fall down.
Daniel: Me too.
DM: Okay, Daniel, Bruti and Theala, make spot checks.
Daniel: 18.
Bruti: 19.
Theala: 15.
DM: Okay. All three of you notice the sound of buzzing and look up to see several huge insects coming along the cliff from the east toward you. They’re about 200 feet away.
Daniel: Buzzing? Like bees?
DM: (nodding) Or Wasps.
Bruti: Great, Giant Wasps. How many are there?
DM: Six in the lead, but it appears there might be more coming behind them. Round 4. I think it’s time for everyone to roll for initiative.
Nasaldromus: 5.
Daniel: 18.
Theala: 14.
Olaf: 7.
Heiroman: 7. And my Eagle rolls a 7, too.
DM: And the creatures roll an 11. And the Hippogriff rolls a 3. So it goes Daniel, Bruti, Theala, Creatures, Olaf, Heiroman, Eagle, Nasaldromus and the Hippogriff last.
Nasaldromus: Freaking typical.
DM: Okay, Daniel, what do you do?
Daniel: What altitude are the creatures flying at?
DM: They’re definitely below you, maybe around 300 feet above the City. It looks like they’re angling to intercept you as you descend.
Daniel: All right I think my crossbow is gonna have something to say about that. I’ll stop flying, take a move action to load my bow, and fire at the lead Wasp. I roll a 6 plus 6 for twelve.
DM: And at about 200 feet, plus say another thirty feet for altitude, 230 feet, what’s the modifier?
Daniel: It’s got a range of 80 so that –2 more, a total of 10.
DM: You miss. Bruti?
Bruti: I’m just gonna continue descending at my maximum rate of 20.
DM: All right so you pass Daniel, who’s now hovering. Theala?
Theala: I’m gonna take a single move action, only descending 10 feet, and I’m gonna rapid reload my crossbow and fire a the lead wasp. Ugh, I roll a 2 plus 10 for 12, same as Daniel. If he missed, so do I.
DM: Yes, you miss. The creatures take a full move to buzz closer…they close the distance to about eighty feet, though they’re still a good sixty feet below you. And as they close in it becomes clear that there are two staggered lines of Giant Wasps, each line with six Wasps, for a total of twelve headed right for you. Olaf?
Olaf: I’m gonna try and mount this damned Hippogriff. I roll a 15!
DM: Congratulations, you’re aboard. Now you’ve got four rounds to get to the bottom of the crevasse before the creature disappears. Heiroman?
Heiroman: Now that Olaf has finally mounted up, I’m gonna tell my animal companion to guard me and then wild shape into an eagle.
DM: Okay. You guys watch with amazement as before your very eyes Heiroman morfs from a shapely half-elven woman into a sleek bird of prey. Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: You made this up, didn’t you, because you were ****** we were just gonna fly into the city?
DM: I didn’t make anything up.
Nasaldromus: (skeptical) Giant Wasps?
DM: Yeah, they’re right here on page 3: “the characters may fly into the valley. There are no special restrictions to prevent this; however, flying creatures will be attacked by 1-3 giant wasps each.” I told you you weren’t breaking this thing.
Nasaldromus: Yeah, we’ll see. I’m gonna cast a fireball on the wasps.
DM: I thought you only memorized fly.
Nasaldromus: Yeah, but I’ve got a scroll.
DM: You’ll have to move to the edge of the crevasse where you can see them.
Nasaldromus: No problem, I’ll use my move action to get to the edge of the cliff and then smoke the little bastards. I’ve always hated Wasps.
DM: They’re clumped together pretty well but do maintain a five-foot spread, so I’ll let you roll 2d4 to see how many you effect in the burst.
Nasaldromus: 4.
DM: Roll damage.
Nasaldromus: Wow! 27 points.
Theala: Nice roll.
DM: Let’s see if any make a DC 17 save…(rolls in front of the players, who groan) unbelieavable, three of the four make it. One of the Wasps gets smoked, but the rest don’t seem much worse for wear.
Bruti: I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.
DM: The Hippogriff can’t see the Wasps so under your command, Olaf, it moves over the cliff and begins to dive down toward the city…in this single round you easily overtake Daniel, Bruti and Theala and have already descended half-way to the crevasse floor. So now we’ve got Theala who’s descended a total of 30 feet, Daniel who’s descended 40 feet, Bruti who’s descended 60 feet, and Olaf who’s ridden the Hippogriff down a full 200 feet. Round 5. Daniel?
Daniel: These guys are gonna be on us in a flash. I’m gonna put away my crossbow and draw my mace, and then I’m gonna cast Bull’s Strength on myself.
DM: All right. Bruti?
Bruti: I’m gonna descend 20.
DM: Okay you’ve now descended 80 feet. Theala?
Theala: I’m gonna descend 10 so I’m next to Daniel, but I’m gonna make sure I’m a bit behind him so any Wasps that come after me will have to take an attack of opportunity from him. Then I’m gonna rapid-reload my Crossbow and fire at one of the injured Wasps. I roll a modified 19, minus only one now for range, does an 18 hit?
DM: Yes an 18 hits. Roll for damage.
Theala: 10!
DM: (noting to himself that that Wasp is down to 9 hp). The bolt penetrates one of the Wasp’s multi-faceted eyes, its barbed tip spiraling through the soft flesh and turning it to goo. If it weren’t an insect, you definitely think it would be fleeing in pain and terror, but instead it keeps coming straight for you.
Theala: Yeah, and because it’s vermin my stunning fist isn’t gonna do crap, either.
DM: Now it’s time for the Wasps to act. They begin to split up. The surviving five in the lead angle toward Bruti, Daniel and Theala. They are within charge distance of Bruti, so two of them charge him. But the other three come up short of Daniel and Theala, about ten feat east of you and ten feet below you. Three of the Wasps in the rear rank dive down toward Olaf, and they descend at double their move. The other three begin ascending toward Heiroman and Nasaldromus. The two charging Bruti get 20 and a 10. The 20 hits. Bruti, as the Wasps swarm you you feel sharp pain of a stinger penetrate your shoulder, just beside the chainmail. You take seven points of damage and make a fortitude save.
Bruti: Fortunately that’s my best save. 18.
DM: Okay, you make it. Olaf?
Olaf: I’m gonna try and force the Hippogriff to descend all the way to the canyon floor.
DM: Make a DC 20 ride check, because it isn’t trained for battle, and remember to take a –5 penalty for riding bareback.
Olaf: But I’m not really in battle. It’s not even aware of the Giant the Wasps.
DM: Hm, okay, so just a 5 DC ride check for guiding it with your knees. But you still have the –5 penalty. Roll.
Olaf: 11.
DM: Okay you command it to keep diving. That’s a free action. Anything else?
Olaf: I’m gonna take a single shot with my bow at the Wasp that Theala injured. I roll a 16.
DM: Minus four for being mounted, and then what’s the range penalty?
Olaf: It’s got a 110 range increment.
DM: Wow. Okay. That means you’re only –1. So your roll ends up being a 11. As your arrow arcs upward gravity takes hold of it and slows its ascent. It sails straight and true into the injured Wasp, but has lost so much velocity that it bounces off the creature’s chitinous hide.
Olaf: So I miss?
DM: You miss.
Olaf: Damn.
DM: Heiroman?
Heiroman: There’s not a lot I can do to help in this form, so I simply dive toward the City with a double-move, staying away from the Wasps so I don’t take an attack of opportunity.
DM: All right, you and your animal companion both dive 320 feet this round.
Nasaldromus: Terrific. So I’m alone on the cliff?
DM: It appears that way.
Nasaldromus: With three Wasps angling toward me?
DM: Yep.
Nasaldromus: Can I get all three within the area of effect of a fireball?
DM: Yes. Wasps aren’t know for their intelligent battle tactics. But do you have a fireball?
Nasaldromus: Yeah, I had a scroll of each of my fifth level spells plus an extra fireball, so I had two.
DM: And this will be your last one.
Nasaldromus: Can’t use it when I’m dead, right? Whoosh-boom I do only 16 points damage this time.
DM: Let’s see if they make their saves…20, 16, 9. The first two save, taking only 8 points of damage. The last one takes the full brunt of 16 points, however.
Nasaldromus: And for my move action I’m gonna move backwards, twenty feet away from the edge of the cliff.
DM: Duly noted. Now the Hippogriff’s spot roll. Oh you’re extremely lucky, Olaf. It blows it and remains ignorant of the combat. So it swoops down and levels out mere feet above what once was a street in the crumbling city. So now we’ve got Olaf at street level, Heiroman and her eagle at 80 feet above street level, three Giant Wasps angling toward Olaf also at 80 feet above street level, and about 20 feet east of Heiroman. At 320 feet above street level is Bruti, in melee contact with two Giant Wasps. At 350 feet are three Wasps flying toward Daniel and Theala, who are both at 360 feet. And then also at 360 feet are three slightly charred Wasps that appear to be angling toward Nasaldromus, about twenty feet to his east. Round 6. Daniel?
Daniel: Are any of the Wasps heading toward me injured?
DM: One of them has been hit by a fireball, but the one that was also hit by Theala’s crossbow bolt is in melee with Bruti.
Daniel: I charge the injured Wasp. I’m also gonna power attack my full four. So with the charge and my Bull’s Strength that will give me a +9 bonus. Argh! A one! Automatic miss.
DM: Okay, you play Peter Pan and charge the Wasp, but unused to flying you spiral out of control. Bruti?
Bruti: My fists are gonna have words with the Wizard that got us into this.
Nasaldromus: Hey, it was a group decision.
Bruti: Sure it was. (looking up levitation in the PHB). Okay, I’m gonna make an attack on the most injured Wasp with my axe, and then levitate down another 20 feet. It says levitating is just a move action.
DM: (also checking the PHB) But your –1 on your first attack due to instability. Go ahead and roll.
Bruti: 21.
DM: That hits. Damage?
Bruti: 11.
DM: Your axe decapitates the injured Wasp, and its lifeless head and body begins to free-fall to the City far below.
Bruti: Cool, I get a cleave.
DM: All right. Roll.
Bruti: 18.
DM: All right, another hit. Damage?
Bruti: Damn. Minimum damage. 9.
DM: (makes a note of that Wasp being down to five hit points) You feel your axe penetrate the Wasp’s furry hide but you feel that your inability to brace yourself prevents the blow from landing with full force. Now you descend away from the Wasp and it gets an attack of opportunity. 22 hits. Take another 8 points of damage and make another fort save.
Bruti: (marking off the damage) Ouch. I roll a 12.
DM: You blow it. Mark off 6 Dexterity.
Bruti: Six?!
DM: Yeah these things paralyze their prey, they’re nasty.
Bruti: Holy crap, I’m down to a four. Can someone help get this Wasp off my ass please?
Nasaldromus: We’ve got our own problems, dwarf.
DM: Indeed you do. Theala?
Theala: I’m not gonna last long against these things. For my first action I’ll rapid reload my crossbow and fire at one of the Wasps that Daniel didn’t charge, and then for my second action I’ll descend behind Daniel. I roll a 28.
DM: Even though Daniel provides cover you easily hit. Roll damage.
Theala: Five.
DM: (records that Wasp down to 26 hp) Your bolt sinks into its hide but seems to do little damage. Now the Wasps act. Two attack Daniel, rolling an 8 and an 18. They miss. The other tries to fly past Daniel to attack Theala. Daniel make an attack of opportunity.
Daniel: 27, and I do 14 damage thanks to my Bull’s Strength.
DM: Ouch. (records that Wasp down to 6 hp) Your mace ruptures its head as it passes but it seems to ignore the wound. It attacks Theala and rolls a 21, which is a hit. Theala you take 9 hp damage and make a fort save.
Theala: Jeez, that’s half my hit points. I roll a 16.
DM: The poison DC is 18 so you take…(rolling) one point of Dex damage. The three Wasps descending toward Olaf charge him…two on Olaf and one on his Hippogriff. On Olaf they roll a 9 and a 20. The one on the Hippogriff rolls a 23.
Olaf: (grimacing) The 20 hits.
DM: Take 9 damage and make a –
Olaf: I know, a fort save. 12.
DM: You blow it. The you feel your limbs stiffen as the poison takes effect. You lose five dex. The Hippogriff takes 8 points of damage and six points of dex. Okay, the last three Wasps double-move into melee contact with Nasaldromus, but because they have to come over the edge of the cliff they can’t charge.
Nasaldromus: I’m so dead. You guys do realize you left the fifteen hit point weenie alone on the cliff, don’t you?
Bruti: This was your idea, numb nuts.
DM: Olaf, you’re up next.
Olaf: I quickdraw my bastard sword and slice the Wasp that hit me. 11.
DM: You miss. Heiroman?
Heiroman: My eagle and I both charge the Wasp that hit Olaf, with me flanking it. I roll a 17 and my eagle rolls a 19.
DM: You both hit.
Heiroman: So the Wasp takes 3 and 3 points of damage.
DM: (recording that Wasp down to 32 hit points) It seems little effected by your attack. Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: (looking over his character sheet) I take a five-foot step away from the Wasps and hit them with a Cone of Cold from my staff.
DM: You know that’s gonna take two charges, don’t you?
Nasaldromus: This is life or death. How many can I get in the area of effect?
DM: Since they’re all in front of you with a five-foot step you should be able to get all three.
Nasaldromus: Perfect. 32 points of damage.
DM: Let me roll their saves. 19, 17, and 5. One of them fails and crackles under the icy assault. One of the ones that saved this time didn’t save vs. the fireball, so it freezer burns and also dies. The last one is covered with ice crystals but still seems very capable of attacking (records the last Wasp’s hit points at 17 remaining). Last this round is the Hippogriff, who having been attacked is obviously aware of combat now. It makes a full attack on the Wasp that hit it. It rolls a 14, 21 and 1. Its two claws hit for 14 points total (records the Wasp at 18 hp remaining). Round 7. Last round before the Hippogriff disappears. Heiroman, her eagle, Olaf and 3 Wasps are just above street level, all engaged in melee, with Heiroman and Olaf flanking one of the Wasps. Bruti and another Wasp are at 300 feet even, in melee. At 350 feet are Daniel and two Wasps, in melee, and Theala and a single Wasp, also in melee. At the top of the cliff are Nasaldromus and a single very injured Wasp, separated by five feet. Round 7. Daniel first.
Daniel: Okay, am I in Melee combat with the Wasp that hit Theala?
DM: Yes.
Daniel: Am I flanking it?
DM: No, it’s to the side. You could take a five-foot step to flank it, and then you’d only be in melee contact with one of the two Wasps currently attacking you.
Daniel: No, I want to keep them all engaged so they can’t withdraw without me getting an attack of opportunity. I’ll stay where I am and club the Wasp on Theala with my mace. 25 that hits I assume?
DM: Yep. Roll for damage.
Daniel: 10. I sure love Bull’s Strength.
DM: This time your mace squashes the Wasp’s head like a cantaloupe and begins to spiral out of control to the streets far below.
Daniel: Awesome I get a cleave, right?
DM: That’s right.
Daniel: I’m gonna cleave whichever one on me looks the most injured.
DM: The one that was hit by the fireball looks the most injured.
Daniel: I roll a 14.
DM: That hits. Armor Class are not these guys’ strong point. Roll damage.
Daniel: Shoot, minimum damage. 6.
DM: (records that Wasp down to 7) All right you knock off one of it’s legs but it’s still buzzing, all over you and trying to sting you. Next up is Bruti.
Bruti: Okay, I’ve gotta try and get this last Wasp off of me. I swing at it with my axe.
DM: And since it’s your second round of combat while levitating you’re at –2…
Bruti: Yeah, yeah I know…I roll a 29. That oughta hit?
DM: Sure enough. Roll damage.
Bruti: Max! 14.
DM: You squash it into paste.
Bruti: Thank goodness. I use my move action to descend 10 feet.
DM: Okay, you’re down to 290 feet and free of Wasp attackers. Theala, you’re next.
Theala: Is Daniel providing cover from both the Wasps?
DM: No, the less injured one doesn’t have cover, but they’re both engaged in melee.
Theala: Okay, I’m gonna rapid reload my crossbow and shoot the one that doesn’t have cover. 24 should hit.
DM: Yes it does.
Theala: 6 points damage.
DM: (marks that Wasp down to 20 hit points) That’s the second one of your crossbow bolts sticking out of that Wasp’s hide but it still seems pretty active. Now it’s the Wasps’ turns. I’ll go from highest to lowest. Nasaldromus, the Wasp on you moves into melee and tries to sting you. 20, ouch. Possible critical. 12…what’s your AC?
Nasaldromus: 13.
DM: Lucky, no critical. But he does 8 hit points of damage and you have to make a fort save.
Nasaldromus: 20.
DM: You make it. Now the two Wasps on Daniel both attack him. 8 and 9, you’re lucky Daniel.
Daniel: It is not luck, I am truly blessed by Pelor.
DM: The Wasps on Bruti are dead so that leaves the three at street-level. First the two on Olaf…22 and 25.
Olaf: Jeez! Gang up on the bard, why don’t you?
DM: You take 16 hit points damage and have to save twice.
Olaf: 4 and 15.
DM: Neither is enough. You take a total of 3 more points dex damage. And remember you’re gonna have to save three times a minute from now for secondary damage. Now the Wasp on the Hippogriff attacks. 18 hits. Hippogriff takes 9 points of damage but rolls a natural 20 for its saving throw. Okay Olaf, you’re up.
Olaf: I hit the Wasp that Hieroman has flanked with my bastard sword. Man, I can’t roll for crap. 14.
DM: Fortunately for you, that’s enough to hit.
Olaf: Sweet. 9 points damage.
DM: (records that Wasp down to 23 hit points). Okay, Hieroman, you’re up.
Hieroman: I’ve got a really bad feeling about Nasaldromus up on that cliff. My companion and I are gonna withdraw from the wasps and start flying back up there.
DM: Okay you can climb at ½ your speed so you reach about 80 feet by the end of your round. Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: I’m gonna take another five foot step backward and then I’m gonna hit this thing with three magic missiles. Sweet! 12 points damage.
DM: The blasts of magical energy sheer off several of the creature’s legs but it still seems intent on eating you. Finally, the Hippogriff. It makes a full attack on the Wasp attacking it and rolls a 20, 14 and 6, so it hits twice for 12 hp total. (records that Wasp down to 6 points remaining) That’s the Hippogriff’s last round so it disappears in a puff of brimstone. Olaf, make a Dex check.
Olaf: Great and I’m down to a 10 dex. I roll a 10.
DM: You land flat on your back. At the end of this round Olaf lies in the muddy street flat on his back, three Wasps swarming him. Hieroman and her companion are at 80 feet flying toward the cliff-top. Bruti is levitating down at 290 feet, free of Wasps. Theala and Daniel are combating two Wasps at 350 feet. And at 400 feet, about 25 feet from the cliff’s edge, Nasaldromus is battling a Wasp. Round 8. Daniel?
Daniel: Not much mystery here, I continue and try and turn the Wasp I’m wrestling with into crunchy paste with my mace. 21 hits. And 9 points damage.
DM: That kills it. Make a cleave.
Daniel: 15. And 12 points damage.
DM: (records the Wasp’s hit points down to 14) Your mace smashes the first Wasp into an unconscious spiral toward the City below, and then crunches right into one of the crossbow bolts already sticking out of the second Wasp’s hide, hammering it deep into the insect’s guts. Bruti?
Bruti: I make a full move to descend.
DM: Okay you’re down to 270 feet. Theala?
Theala: If I take a five-foot step can I flank the Wasp Daniel just hit?
DM: No, but you can take a five-foot step to engage it in melee.
Theala: Hm. Okay, that’s what I’ll try to do. I’ll move into melee, still holding my crossbow, and hit it with a flurry of blows. I’m –1 because of my lost dex, so I roll a 13 and a 21.
DM: Well the 21 hits. Roll damage.
Theala: 6 points.
DM: (records the Wasp’s hit points down to 8) Okay you move at the Wasp, striking it hard with a flying kick, but the roundhouse elbow you try and follow it up with is deflected by the creature’s hard shell. Now the Wasps act. First the one on Nasaldromus. It moves up and tries to sting you. Rolls a 12. What’s your AC?
Nasaldromus: 13.
DM: You are a lucky bastard. Now the Wasp on Daniel tries to sting him. 16, I know that misses. And the three Wasps on Olaf –
Olaf: Poor Olaf.
DM: 18, 10 and 16.
Olaf: (grimacing) Well, with my reduced dex my armor class is down to 16, so two of those hit.
DM: 16 more points damage.
Olaf: I’m at –1. For my saves I get a 21 and a 15.
DM: You save once. So you lose 2 more Dex. All right, Olaf fights bravely but ultimately succumbs to the Wasps’ merciless stings. Olaf, you’d go next, see if you stabilize.
Olaf: High roll. 19, nope.
DM: So you’re down to –2 now. Hieroman?
Hieroman: Sorry, Nasaldromus, it looks like Olaf needs me more than you do. I’m gonna command my eagle to charge the same Wasp we attacked before, and I’m gonna move behind Olaf and wild shape back into my half-elven form so I can cast spells. My eagle rolls a 17 with its charge, so it does 2 points of damage.
DM: (marks that Wasp down to 20 hit points) All right you morph back into your human shape and face down the three Wasps swarming over Olaf’s body. Nasaldromus, you’re next.
Nasaldromus (studies his character sheet) I’m pretty much out of tricks. I’m loathe to use another charge of my staff because I think this guy’s just about dead, but another hit could seriously kill me. Hm, here’s a thought…I’m gonna use my scroll of Polymorph self to change into…an Owlbear. And I’m gonna cast defensively. I’d better not blow this…I roll an 18…I make it, barely, thank you combat casting feat. That also heals me 5 hit points, and it pumps me up to Str 21, Dex 12, Con 19, which gives me an additional 15 hit points while I’m in this form. And it’s got +5 natural armor so my AC is up to 18. All right Wasp, you’re going down.
DM: Okay, that’s the end of the round. To recap, we’ve got an unconscious Olaf with three Wasps crawling all over him, street level. Right behind him is Hieroman in her Half-Elven form. In melee with one of the Wasp’s is Hieroman’s eagle, which is also now grounded. At 270 feet and still descending is Bruti, free of Wasps. And at 350 feet, where they’ve been stuck a while, are Theala and Daniel, both in melee with a single Wasp. On top of the cliff, 25 feet from the edge, is Nasaldromus, now in the form of an Owlbear, wrestling with a single Wasp. Round 9. Daniel?
Daniel: I smash the last Wasp. 22. I do 7 points of damage.
DM: (records the Wasp’s hit points down to 1) Oh, too bad, it’s still alive. Bruti?
Bruti: I descend to 250 feet.
DM: Duly noted. Theala?
Theala: I’m gonna flurry of blows the Wasp. 21 and 14.
DM: They both hit.
Theala: 13 points of damage.
DM: The Wasp disintegrated under your powerful assault of knees and elbows. Now for the Wasps. First, against Nasaldromus, it tries to attack you. Misses with a 10. Now, against the eagle, it hits with a 16. It does 7 hit points of damage and –
Hieroman: I know, I know. Misses its fort save with a 9.
DM: So it takes 5 points of dex damage. The Wasp that was engaged with the Hippogriff moves forward to attack you, Hieroman. It hits with a 20. 8 hit points.
Hieroman: 17 fort save, succeed?
DM: Afraid not. You lose 3 dex. Then the last Wasp picks Olaf up and begins flying away with him, heading east. Picking him up is a standard action, so he is able to fly 30 feet up and 30 feet east. Olaf, you’re up, so try to stabilize.
Olaf: 91! I do it!
DM: Okay you stop bleeding to death. Hieroman?
Hieroman: Okay, I’ve only really got one chance. You’d better pray, Olaf. I take a five-foot step backward, and I toss my merciful net on the Wasp carrying Olaf away. It’s 60 feet away so that’s minus five to my bonus, -6 because of my reduced dex. But it’s a ranged touch attack Here goes…12.
DM: Its touch AC is 10, so you hit.
Hieroman: Great! I try and yank it to the ground. Also, it takes 6 points non-lethal damage.
DM: (records the Wasps hit points down to 30 hit points) This Wasp had never been hit, so it’s doing pretty well. (rolls for the Wasp) Beat a 10 with a Str check.
Hieroman: Natural 20!
DM: Okay, the Wasp is caught completely by surprise and you wrestle it to the ground. It’s still 30 feet away, though. Nasaldromus, you’re up.
Hieroman: What about my eagle?
DM: Oh yeah, your eagle. What does it do?
Hieroman: I don’t want it to die so I order it to withdraw. It’ll climb eighty feet into the air.
DM: Okay, Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus. Claw, claw bite, baby. Natural 20! And I roll a 14 to back up the crit.
DM: That’ll probably kill it roll its damage first.
Nasaldromus: 19 points.
DM: Yep, that completely explodes the Wasp. In your Owlbear form you get an overwhelming desire to lick the Wasp guts off your claws.
Nasaldromus: Sure, I’ll eat the bastard. Then with my move action I move back to the edge of the cliff.
DM: And that’s the end of the turn. To recap, at street level, Olaf and a Wasp are caught in a merciful net 30 feet to the east of Hieroman. Five feet away from Hieroman are two more Wasps, one of which is in melee with the eagle. At 250 feet is Bruti, descending as rapidly as is safe, and at 350 feet are Daniel and Theala. At the cliff edge is Nasaldromus, transformed into an Owlbear. Round 10. Daniel, you’re first.
Daniel: I descend to 330 feet.
DM: Okay. Bruti?
Bruti: I descend to 230 feet.
DM: Okay. Theala, you descend to 330?
Theala: Yep.
DM: (rubbing his hands together) All right, Wasp time. First the Wasp in the net tries to fly away again. Hieroman, make an opposed strength check…beat a…10 again?! Jeez.
Hieroman: I don’t do it, I get a 9.
DM: Okay, the Wasp makes a full move so it manages to fly forty feet east and twenty feet up, which drags you about fifty feet along the ground so you’re ten feet behind it and still on street level. The Wasp on your eagle tries to charge it. It can do so, easily, and it rolls an 8.
Hieroman: That misses even with my Eagle’s reduced dex.
DM: All right, the last Wasp moves up to engage you. There are a few obstacles in its way so it can’t charge, but you’re only about fifty feet away from it so it can move up and then attack. It rolls a 12.
Hieroman: It misses!
DM: Olaf is unconscious so that means Hieroman, you’re up.
Hieroman: Okay, first my eagle is gonna withdraw again and fly another eighty feet up. Maybe he can draw this Wasp closer to Bruti, Daniel and Theala.
DM: All right the eagle’s now at 160 feet.
Hieroman: Then, let’s see, first the Wasp in the net takes 2 points of non-lethal damage.
DM: (records that Wasp down to 28 hit points) All right, now what?
Hieroman: I’m gonna take a five-foot step and call lightning down on the Wasp trying to engage me. Nice! 16 damage.
DM: Okay clouds quickly gather and rumble and bolt of lightning shoots from the sky. The Wasp rolls a 19 save so moves out of the way just in time and only takes 8 (checks the Wasp, sees it only has 6 hp remaining). But that Wasp was seriously injured by the Hippogriff so the lightning bolt smokes it.
DM: Nasaldromus, you’re left.
Nasaldromus: I cancel my Polymorph, change back to myself, and then cast my fly scroll on myself. I should have a move action left, so I fly 10 feet down.


Jun 25, 2004 21:51:28
DM: And that’s the end of the turn. To recap, at street level, Olaf and a Wasp are caught in a merciful net 30 feet to the east of Hieroman. Five feet away from Hieroman are two more Wasps, one of which is in melee with the eagle. At 250 feet is Bruti, descending as rapidly as is safe, and at 350 feet are Daniel and Theala. At the cliff edge is Nasaldromus, transformed into an Owlbear. Round 10. Daniel, you’re first.
Daniel: I descend to 330 feet.
DM: Okay. Bruti?
Bruti: I descend to 230 feet.
DM: Okay. Theala, you descend to 330?
Theala: Yep.
DM: (rubbing his hands together) All right, Wasp time. First the Wasp in the net tries to fly away again. Hieroman, make an opposed strength check…beat a…10 again?! Jeez.
Hieroman: I don’t do it, I get a 9.
DM: Okay, the Wasp makes a full move so it manages to fly forty feet east and twenty feet up, which drags you about fifty feet along the ground so you’re ten feet behind it and still on street level. The Wasp on your eagle tries to charge it. It can do so, easily, and it rolls an 8.
Hieroman: That misses even with my Eagle’s reduced dex.
DM: All right, the last Wasp moves up to engage you. There are a few obstacles in its way so it can’t charge, but you’re only about fifty feet away from it so it can move up and then attack. It rolls a 12.
Hieroman: It misses!
DM: Olaf is unconscious so that means Hieroman, you’re up.
Hieroman: Okay, first my eagle is gonna withdraw again and fly another eighty feet up. Maybe he can draw this Wasp closer to Bruti, Daniel and Theala.
DM: All right the eagle’s now at 160 feet.
Hieroman: Then, let’s see, first the Wasp in the net takes 2 points of non-lethal damage.
DM: (records that Wasp down to 28 hit points) All right, now what?
Hieroman: I’m gonna take a five-foot step and call lightning down on the Wasp trying to engage me. Nice! 16 damage.
DM: Okay clouds quickly gather and rumble and bolt of lightning shoots from the sky. The Wasp rolls a 19 save so moves out of the way just in time and only takes 8 (checks the Wasp, sees it only has 6 hp remaining). But that Wasp was seriously injured by the Hippogriff so the lightning bolt smokes it.
DM: Nasaldromus, you’re left.
Nasaldromus: I cancel my Polymorph, change back to myself, and then cast my fly scroll on myself. I should have a move action left, so I fly 10 feet down.
DM: Good going, guys, you’re down to only two Wasps. One of those Wasps is netted, along with Olaf, 30 feet off the ground and fifty feet to the east. Another Wasp is 80 feet off the ground. The eagle is at 160 foot altitude. Bruti is at 230 feet. Daniel and Theala are at 330 feet. And Nasaldromus is at 390 feet. Round 11. Daniel, you’re first.
Daniel: I’m not in range for my searing light, so I’m gonna descend 20 feet.
Bruti: Me too.
DM: Okay Daniel you’re at 310 feet, and Bruti you’re at 210. Theala?
Theala: I’m gonna descend 10, rapid-reload my crossbow, and fire at the Wasp chasing the eagle.
DM: That puts you at 320 feet, which is 260 feet away from the Wasp.
Theala: That’s –3 to my roll. An additional –1 to my dex means my attack bonus is only +6. No problem, I roll a 23. 2 damage.
DM: (marks that Wasp down to 18 hit points) Now the Wasps act. The Wasp charges the eagle again, climbing to 160 feet.18 hits for 7 more points of damage.
Hieroman: It’s at 0.
DM: Okay, I’ll rule that it’s conscious enough to land, assuming the Wasp doesn’t kill it first. Make its fort save.
Hieroman: 10, blows it.
DM: So it loses 6 more dex.
Hieroman: Boy, it’s really hurting.
DM: Now the Wasp in the net tries to fly away again. Beat a 16 strength check.
Hieroman: 7, nope.
DM: It flies another 60 feet east, dragging you directly under it. Hieroman, you’re up.
Hieroman: I call lightning on the Wasp attacking my eagle.
DM: That Wasp is 60 feet west of you, and 160 feet up. That’s out of range, isn’t it?
Hieroman: No, it’s a vertical bolt from the sky so it doesn’t matter how high up he is. He takes 13 points damage.
DM: And he blows his save with a 13, so he takes full damage. (marks the Wasp down to 5 hit points). He’s still flying, though. Now, Nasaldromus?
Hieroman: Wait, the Wasp in the net takes 5 more non-lethal.
DM: (marks it down to 23 hit points) Thanks for reminding me. Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: Nothing fancy here, just descend 20 feet.
DM: So you’re at 370. End of the round, Hieroman dangling directly under a netted Wasp 60 feet to the east of the main party at just above street level. A netted Wasp and Olaf at 30 feet above street level, also 60 feet east of the main party. (to Hieroman) You’ve just reached the flooded portion of the City, by the way, and the Wasp is about to fly with you over the swamp. At 160 feet is another Wasp and an incapacitated but conscious eagle. At 210 feet is Bruti, at 310 feet is Daniel, at 320 feet is Theala, and at 370 feet is Nasaldromus. All of them are playing Peter Pan. Round 12. It’s now been a full minute since you drank your potion, Bruti. You’ve only got two minutes left. Daniel, you’re first.
Daniel: The Wasp on the eagle is now only 150 feet away, which is within range of my searing light. I call on the power of Pelor to burn it to a crisp. I roll a natural 20! I could crit! And I do, backing it up with a modified 20. It takes 18 points damage.
DM: Pelor truly favors you, and vaporizes the Wasp in a gesture of compassion and love.
Daniel: I use my move action to descend 10 feet.
Bruti: I descend 20.
Theala: As do I.
DM: Okay, so Daniel and Theala are both at 300, and Bruti’s down to 190. Now the remaining Wasp. It tries to fly up and away, and Hieroman you’re no longer really on the ground, so you can’t really oppose it. It’s reduced to one-half its movement, but it’s gonna make a full move, so that’s a total of 60 feet. It’ll take half of that up and half forward. So it’ll be at 60 feet altitude and is now 90 feet east of the main party. Hieroman, you’re dangling 30 feet below it, at an altitude of 30. Hieroman, you’re up.
Hieroman: Can I try and swing so I’m trailing a bit behind the Wasp?
DM: It’ll take a DC 15 dex roll.
Hieroman: I blow it with a 3. I’ll just hang on. The Wasp takes another 4 points non-lethal from the net.
DM: (marks the Wasp down to 19 hit points) Okay, the eagle flies clumsily to a perch on the cliff and collapses. Nasaldromus, you’re last.
Nasaldromus: I just fly straight down.
DM: All right. Nasaldromus at a 350 foot altitude. Daniel and Theala are at 300 feet. Bruti’s at 190. At 160 feet is the eagle, collapsed on a perch on the cliff. 90 feet to their east, well over the swamp, is the Wasp and Olaf, at a 60 foot altitude. Hanging from them 30 feet below is Hieroman. Round 13. Daniel.
Daniel: I descend to 280 feet.
Bruti: I drop down to 170.
Theala: And I come down to 280 as well.
DM: (checking his map and the module text) Hieroman, the Wasp drags you another sixty feet east. At this point the cliff-face bends to the north-east, so instead of being only 20 feet or so from the cliff you’re now forty feet or so. Also, about a hundred feet in front and below you you see the muddy island rising out of the swamp surrounded by the palisade. Now you have a much clearer view of it. The palisade is constructed of large canes of bamboo, lashed and pegged together. The tops are sharply pointed and lean outward, making climbing impossible. And there appear to be no gates in the wall.
Hieroman: What about the island? What’s it like?
DM: It’s a mound, really, about 20 to 30 feet high covered with wild grasses. On the top of it is a 10’ square platform protected from the sun by a thatched roof. You’re actually just about even with the top of the hill, and you’re staring directly at a very surprised frog-creature manning the platform.
Hieroman: Frog-creature? Like what?
DM: Like imagine a humanoid frog. It stands on its rear legs and holds a spear in its front leg.
Daniel: Maybe the Caravan mistook snake-creatures for frog creatures.
DM: No, Bruti, you distinctly remember your caravan was attacked by snake-creatures. Meanwhile, Hieroman, as you fly toward the platform the frog creature overcomes his surprise, picks up a wooden stick and appears about to strike a brass gong.
Hieroman: This just gets worse and worse. By the way, the Wasp takes another 1 point of damage from the net.
DM: (marks the damage down to 18 hit points). Do you do anything else?
Hieroman: Hell yeah, I call lightning down on the frog-creature before he can alert his little pals. The thatched roof shouldn’t provide any protection, should it?
DM: No, it’s just a shade, really.
Hieroman: 10 points damage.
DM: And it blows its save so thunder rumbles and it fries under the lightning strike. Fortunately for you, thunder storms are very common in the region, so all this thunder really hasn’t alerted the rest of the frog-creatures to your presence.
Hieroman: Thank goodness. I continue to hang on.
DM: Nasaldromus, I assume you descend?
Nasaldromus: In this instance, you assume correctly.
DM: Okay, Round 14. Daniel?
Daniel: I descend to 260 feet.
Theala: Me too.
Bruti: And I pass the eagle, dropping to 150. Oh man I’m so close I can practically taste the ground.
DM: (to Hieroman) The Wasp veers conveniently to the north-east, so you miss smacking into the island. The muddy swamp ripples beneath you. A few crocodiles, startled by your flight, jump off a log into the dark waters.
Hieroman: Do I get a sense of where this Wasp is taking me?
DM: Sure you do. He’s clearly taking you back to his nest. So he can plant eggs inside Olaf and his larvae can feed on his corpse.
Olaf: Gawd I hate Wasps.
Hieroman: Well, that’s not acceptable. I’m gonna try and swing backwards again. Shoot I roll an eight. I guess that’s all I do.
DM: What are you trying to do, anyway?
Hieroman: I’ll tell you if I ever succeed. My net does 5 more hit points, by the way.
DM: (marking the Wasp down to 13) Okay, that leaves Nasaldromus.
Nasaldromus: I descend to 310 feet.
DM: To recap, Nasaldromus is at 310. Daniel and Theala are both at 260. The eagle’s perched on a ledge at 160. Bruti’s at 150. And the Wasp, Olaf, and Hieroman have disappeared completely out of sight behind a jutting spit of cliff. Round 15.
Daniel: Drop to 240.
Theala: Me too.
Bruti: And I’m down to 130.
DM: The Wasp drags you another 60 feet over the swamp to the north-east, Hieroman.
Hieroman: This time I make my dex check with an 11.
DM: All right you manage to swing behind the Wasp.
Hieroman: I call lightning on that bastard! 16 points.
DM: Ah-hah, I see, good call getting out of the way. He blows his reflex save with a 13 so he takes full damage. So he fries up good and plummets like a rock. Make a DC 10 reflex save.
Hieroman: Reflex, why?
DM: You’re swinging around underneath him. The Wasp and Olaf could land right on top of you.
Hieroman: 16. Phew, I make it.
DM: The whole lot of you crash into the water and, thanks to Olaf’s weight, begin to sink like a rock.
Hieroman: How deep is the water?
DM: It’s only about ten feet deep, but the bottom is extremely soft mud, so you don’t take any damage from the fall. Unfortunately, though, Olaf buries himself a good four feet in the muddy bottom. Nasaldromus, what do you do?
Nasaldromus: I drop to 290.
DM: Okay Round 16. I assume everyone just descends?
Group: Yeah, that’s right.
DM: So that leaves Hieroman.
Hieroman: I’m gonna swim to solid ground.
DM: Easy enough. You know Olaf’s drowning, right?
Hieroman: Yeah, yeah, first things first.
DM: Okay you pull yourself up into the reeds of a muddy bank. Olaf, you’re unconscious so you take another point of damage from drowning. And Bruti, I’ve got bad news. It was round six when the Wasp poisoned you, so you have to make another fort save or get hit by the secondary effects.
Bruti: No problem. I roll a 23.
DM: So that puts Nasaldromus at 270 feet, Daniel and Theala at 220, And Bruti at 110. Olaf’s 10 feet underwater, and Hieroman is about ten feet away on a muddy bank. Round 17. Everyone just descends?
Group: Yeah, that’s right.
DM: Okay, and before Hieroman can act, Olaf you have to make two saves for the secondary effects of your Wasp stings.
Olaf: 17 and 13.
DM: Both fail. You lose another 5 dex.
Olaf: I’m down to 3.
DM: And you take another point of damage from drowning. Hieroman, what do you do?
Hieroman: Since he’s still in the net, I’m gonna drag Olaf up to the bank with me.
DM: Hm, interesting. Olaf, what’s the weight of your equipment?
Olaf: 63 pounds.
DM: And how much do you weigh?
Olaf: 200 pounds.
DM: And the Giant Wasp weighs about, well I’ll cut you a break it flies so it’s light I’ll say 150 pounds even though it’s large. So that’s 413 pounds. Can you drag that much?
Heiroman: I can drag 650 pounds.
DM: Okay you drag the bundle five feet toward the bank and that ends this turn. Nasaldromus is down to 250 feet, Daniel and Theala are at 200 feet, Bruti’s down to 90 feet, and now Olaf’s only 5 feet underwater. Round 18, I assume you’re all repeating?
Group: That’s right.
DM: Okay, Olaf, you take another point of damage as you’re pulled to the bank. You’re out of the water, but your lungs are still full of water, so you’ll keep drowning until you’re healed. Also, Olaf, you were poisoned a third time on round eight, so you have to save versus secondary effects.
Olaf: 9. I fail.
DM: Mark off 2 more dex.
Olaf: I’m down to 1.
DM: Consider yourself lucky to be alive.
Hieroman: You owe me big, bard.
DM: Round 19. Nasaldromus is at 230, Daniel and Theala at 180, and Bruti at 70.
Group: We all descend.
DM: Okay, before Hieroman can act, Olaf you take another 1 point from drowning.
Heiroman: I cast cure light wounds on him. He heals 6 points.
Olaf: That brings me up to 1. I’m conscious.
DM: Nasaldromus is at 21. Daniel and Theala at 160. And Bruti at 50. Round 20.
Daniel: I’m gonna stop descending and cast cure moderate wounds on the eagle. 13 points.
DM: The eagle rises, almost fully healed, but still suffering from the effects of the poison. It takes flight and begins to look for Hieroman. I don’t think we have to keep track of time anymore, guys.
Bruti: Thank Kord. I vote we never listen to the magician again.
Olaf: I second the motion.
Nasaldromus: Come on, I got us into the City, didn't I?
Bruti: And if it wasn’t for Hieroman netting that Wasp and blasting everything that moved with lightning, you would have gotten Olaf killed.
Daniel: Yeah, great going, Hieroman. Hanging from that Wasp and smoking that frog-creature was classic.
Hieroman: Thanks. Unfortunately I’ve still got to get across this swamp back to you guys.
Nasaldromus: Give me a little credit here, will you? I smoked four of those Wasps all by myself. And I wasted every freaking scroll and half the charges of my staff to do it!
DM: All right, you all land safely on the very edge of the City, behind a long, large building that appears it may once have warehoused meat or fish. It has long since been abandoned, and is crumbling into nothing. The clearing in which you have landed is clearly not a proper road, nor has it ever been. It’s simply the edge of what was once, clearly, a great civilization. Nothing seems to be stirring, at least not in the immediate vicinity.
Nasaldromus: How about experience points?
DM: Yeah, okay. Those creatures were CR 3, but there were 12 of them so that’s effectively CR 10.
Theala: No wonder they were so tough. That’s like four higher than our average level.
DM: These old adventures are lot less woos-ified. All you fifth-level characters get 1500 experience points.
Theala: Nice!
DM: All you sixth-level characters get 1200 experience points and Olaf, you get 1050 experience points. And Hieroman, I’m gonna give you 500 extra points for style and for saving Olaf’s life.
Hieroman: Great, thanks.
Bruti: Let’s make camp. We’re all seriously beat up by that encounter, we’re in no shape to explore.
Hieroman: What about me? Any way back to the others?
DM: You do see there’s a path that leads from the city to the muddy island, but it’s about 150 feet away, where it meets the island.
Hieroman: Okay, let’s start moving through the swamp toward the path, trying to stay low and out of sight of any frog creatures, and I’ll try to keep from stepping into any sudden drop-offs or disturb any crocodiles.
Olaf: And before we leave I’m gonna cast Cure Moderate Wounds and Cure Light Wounds on myself. I heal 25 total. You know what, I’m gonna cast another cure moderate. 14 more. That means I’m fully healed, but I’m still down to a Dex of 1.
DM: And you don’t have your sword.
Olaf: What do you mean I don’t have my sword?
DM: Theala, you find Olaf’s sword on the ground where he dropped it when he went unconscious.
Theala: Okay, I grab it. Don’t worry Olaf, I’ll hold it for you.
DM: Hieroman, make a survival check.
Hieroman: 21.
DM: (to Olaf) Good thing you’ve got a Druid with you.
Olaf: Yeah, my guardian angel.
DM: (rolls for random encounter, it results in a Bullywug).


Jun 26, 2004 0:53:29
Nasaldromus: You made this up, didn’t you, because you were ****** we were just gonna fly into the city?
DM: I didn’t make anything up.
Nasaldromus: (skeptical) Giant Wasps?
DM: Yeah, they’re right here on page 3: “the characters may fly into the valley. There are no special restrictions to prevent this; however, flying creatures will be attacked by 1-3 giant wasps each.” I told you you weren’t breaking this thing.

Daniel: The Wasp on the eagle is now only 150 feet away, which is within range of my searing light. I call on the power of Pelor to burn it to a crisp. I roll a natural 20! I could crit! And I do, backing it up with a modified 20. It takes 18 points damage.
DM: Pelor truly favors you, and vaporizes the Wasp in a gesture of compassion and love.

Priceless! That brings back so many memories .. :D

Thank you for this post. I ran I1 long ago and, despite loving it, had never found the courage to update it to 3E. Reading this, however, just motivated me to do just that and inflict it again on my current players

EDIT: One question though. Given the vast difference between 1E and 3.5E, why not have "upgraded" all characters to 6th level and given them the opportunity to roll hit points?

If one calculates average hit pts based on the standard formula (full hit dice at lvl 1 + average hit dice at each lvl beyond + Con bonus + feats), one gets:

Nasaldromus: average hit pts: 18 / current hit pts: 15
Bruti: average hit pts: 53 / current hit pts: 42
Daniel: average hit pts: 28 / current hit pts: 30
Theala: average hit pts: 24 / current hit pts: 18
Olaf: average hit pts: 32 / current hit pts: 40
Heiroman: average hit pts: 26 / current hit pts: 25

That's 2 PCs with above-average hit pts against 4 with lower-than-average hit pts!

I feel for them when they'll take on the big nasties ...


Jun 26, 2004 9:20:18
Originally posted by Mortepierre

EDIT: One question though. Given the vast difference between 1E and 3.5E, why not have "upgraded" all characters to 6th level and given them the opportunity to roll hit points?

I feel for them when they'll take on the big nasties ... [/b]

I don't really have a specific reason. I basically just looked at those first six PC's and thought to myself holy carp how are they gonna survive this adventure? And since they were the original tournament characters, I really wanted to see how they'd do. I know the tournament only used the "A" section of the adventure, but it's basically just my morbid curiosity.

Theala, in particular, is screwed IMHO. 18 hit points and her armor class isn't really that good. She's pretty much been relegated to a ranged attacker, but she doesn't really excel in that, either, because she uses a crossbow, which is slow. But notice that the party doesn't have a thief, either, so she needs to fill the sneaky scout role, too.

One justification for keeping the low hit points is to make up for the characters' extremely high statistics and powerful magic items. A lot of those characters, if you were building them with points, would cost a lot, even considering that they got an additional stat point at fourth level. And several of them get Magic Items that cost substantially more than their typical starting equipment for that level. Plus, I goofed with Nasaldromus, and gave him some extra spells he should never have had.

Olaf Peacock is the one character that requires serious conversion. The Bard is a sort of prestige class in first edition, and I think the module describes Olaf as a 6th level Thief/5th level Fighter/1st Level Bard. That's why he has so many hit points. But if you gave him those levels he'd be at level 12, which is way too high for the mod. So I decided to make him a seventh-level Bard. Forty hit points for a seventh-level bard is a lot, but it's POSSIBLE, so I decided to keep it, sort of as a counter-balance to the other characters' low hit points. Also, Bards are really hurt when they wear medium armor, so I switched his +1 Chainmail to Elven Chainmail.

You're right about the big nasties, but my feeling is there are plenty of places to add new characters to the party in this adventure (captured slaves, sacrifices, etc.) so if PC's 1-3 die, for example, we can go down the list and give those players PC's 7-9 and tie them to sacrificial poles waiting to be rescued. I guess we'll have to see. A total party kill is always possible, of course, which will cut this thread pretty short.

Also, it seems like the characters could shoot up in levels pretty quickly. I started them half-way between their current level and their next one. Some lucky rolls might mitigate their current low hit points.

I'm glad you're enjoying it. It's a pretty dense read, I know.

Oh, by the way, there's a pretty good 3.0 conversion of this mod by Steven Jung that I'm using which I found at Enworld. It has conversions of the player characters, as well, with hit points closer to what you describe. I'm not using "real" 3.0 bullywugs, though, because apparently they no longer can hop, and I've always thought that was the coolest thing about them.


Jun 26, 2004 11:00:00
Originally posted by SgtHulka
You're right about the big nasties, but my feeling is there are plenty of places to add new characters to the party in this adventure (captured slaves, sacrifices, etc.) so if PC's 1-3 die, for example, we can go down the list and give those players PC's 7-9 and tie them to sacrificial poles waiting to be rescued. I guess we'll have to see. A total party kill is always possible, of course, which will cut this thread pretty short.

In that case, methink you'll still have to "review" their stats because some of the other pre-generated PCs have stats that don't work anymore in 3.5E.

Witness: Andrea the Magic-User. With her 12 Int, she can't even cast spells above lvl 2

I would love to see the face of the player to which you'll hand "X the Mystic" though :D


Jun 26, 2004 14:02:36
This is a great module. We are going through it now and the party members are all having a blast.


Jun 27, 2004 16:27:06
DM: (rolls for random encounter, it results 11 intelligent Bullywugs at a distance of 20 feet<---note I mis-read the encounter chart, it’s not a single bullywug, it’s 2-16). As you guys approach the muddy island, you practically run into a large group of frog-creatures, neck-deep in the swampy water, apparently spear-fishing. Make listen checks and move silently checks.
Olaf: Listen 6 Move Silently 2.
Hieroman: Listen 24 Move Silently 15.
DM: And the creatures roll Listen 4 Move Silently 4. So as you guys move through a shallow bog, using the depth of the water to camouflage you, you hear splashing ahead. You push your way through the reeds and swamp grass in order to investigate the noise. And as you emerge into a wide pond, you stumble almost right on top of the creatures. They heard you, too, sloshing through the bog, and have begun to move toward you in cautious curiosity. Roll for initiative.
Hieroman: How many are there?
DM: Oh yeah, you count 11.
Olaf: -1 thanks to my poison.
Hieroman: 11.
DM: And the frog-men roll a 4. So it goes Hieroman, Frog-men, Olaf. Let’s set this up on a battle-mat. (the DM does so, placing the 11 creatures in a three disorganized lines consisting of 4, 3 and 4 bullywugs, with a 5-foot space separating each bullywug. Hieroman and Olaf place themselves right next to each other, 20 feet away from the first line of bullywugs). Round 1, Hieroman, you go first.
Hieroman: I want to try and communicate with them, tell them that we are travelers merely passing through their swamp, and that we mean them no harm.
Olaf: Are you crazy?!
Hieroman: We’re here to find the raiders of the Caravans, not kill innocent indigenous peoples.
Olaf: They’re not people, they’re frogs!
Hieroman: Just because they’re frogs doesn’t mean they’re evil. Lizardfolk aren’t evil. And they might be an important part of the swamp’s ecosystem.
Olaf: Even if you’re right, remember that you smoked their look-out with a lightning bolt. They probably aren’t too fond of you.
Hieroman: They don’t know it was me. And I feel really bad about doing that. It was an impulsive decision.
Olaf: Look, we’ve only got one round before they’re on us. I think you should stop trying to be touchy-feely and instead get back to one of those impulsive decisions.
Hieroman: Sorry, I’m gonna try and parley.
DM: All right, that’s not gonna take a full round, is there anything else you want to do as a standard action?
Hieroman: I don’t really want to do anything that can be perceived as threatening, so no, but I’ll ready a flame blade spell.
DM: Make a reaction roll.
Hieroman: 6.
DM: Okay, the creatures listen to your heart-felt statement, blink at you with their bulbous eyes, and then disappear quietly under the surface of the murky bog’s water.
Hieroman: (to Olaf) See? You shouldn’t just kill everything that moves. Sometimes it’s better to talk your way out of an encounter.
DM: Well, unfortunately that’s often good advice, but not in this particular case. Unfortunately, these creatures are evil, and they love slaves, and they think they can take you guys. They didn’t dive under the water to swim away, but to swim toward you. They re-emerge surrounding you like this (places the bullywugs in the 10 squares surrounding Olaf and Hieroman, with the extra bullywug waiting in a second rank in the rear). The four in front of you are charging and get flanking attacks for a total of +4. None of the other creatures get to attack this round.
Hieroman: As they come up out of the water can I cast a flame blade?
DM: Since you had a readied action, yes, I’ll allow that without taking an attack of opportunity. The two frog creatures attacking you, Hieroman, roll a 19 and a 15.
Hieroman: They both hit because of the poison.
DM: They also do double damage on a charge so you take 12 points damage.
Hieroman: I’m down to 5 hit points. Shoot, I should have asked you to cure me, Olaf, before we started moving back toward the City.
DM: Olaf, the ones attacking you roll a 21 and a 13.
Olaf: With my dex of 1, my AC is down to 11, so they both hit.
DM: You take 22 points of damage.
Olaf: Jeez! I’m down to 18.
DM: Olaf, your turn.
Olaf: I’m gonna defensively cast sleep right here (indicates a point two squares to his rear). That ought to wipe out the rear rank and eliminate their flaking bonuses.
DM: Make your concentration check.
Olaf: (rolls the die between his palms) Okay, come on…16, damn! Oh wait a second, it’s only a first level spell so that’s what I needed, phew.
DM: Lucky bastard. You may have sent the guy waiting in the second rank asleep instead of the guy in the first rank, though, so let me roll…a 1-3 gets the first rank guy (rolls a 2). Their saves are 18, 8, 5, 5, so the one behind you to your left saves. Yeah, okay these guys are all asleep (knocks down three of the bullywugs attacking the rear).
Olaf: (to Hieroman) See? I didn’t even kill your precious “indigenous frogs”.
DM: All right, round 2. Hieroman, you start it off.
Hieroman: All right, I’m ******. I’m gonna take a five-foot step back onto the sleeping guy, and then I’m gonna cast an entangle right here, so I get all four of the guys in front of us plus this guy on my side.
DM: You gonna cast defensively?
Hieroman: No, because my concentration is too low. But only this guy to my side is within range for an attack of opportunity.
DM: (rolls) He gets a 17.
Hieroman: ****!
DM: Only 1 more point of damage, but you have to make a DC 12 concentration check or you lose the spell.
Hieroman: 24, take that you bastard.
DM: All right, underwater weeds grow and twist around the frog creatures, who thrash and try to escape the sudden attack. They roll, from Hieroman’s right to her left, 21, 8, 7, 20, 11. So the one that jabbed you avoids the tendrils, as does the one directly in front of Olaf. Now the frogs. First, the one that just jabbed you with the spear attacks again, Hieroman. 9 misses. Now, Olaf, two of the three in front of you are entangled, but they can still attack with a –2. 12 and 13.
Olaf: Both hit.
DM: 9 more points of damage. The unentangled one rolls a 13, which hits. 3 more points of damage. The one to your side rolls a 10, which misses. And the one to your rear who saved versus the sleep spell is still flanking, so he rolls a 19, for six points of damage.
Olaf: Damnit! That’s it, I’m at 0.
DM: Okay, you slip into unconsciousness and slide under the water. Meanwhile, everyone who’s entangled is gonna try and break free. 8, 15, 5, none succeed. Round 3. Hieroman, you’re up.
Hieroman: I’m gonna flame blade this SOB that jabbed me with the spear. 3, I assume that misses?
DM: Afraid so.
Hieroman: After my attack I’ll take a five-foot step straight back.
DM: All right, the frogs are up. The three to your side, Olaf, grab you as you sink into the water, preventing you from drowning. They hoist you up over the water and begin carrying you back toward the island.
Olaf: Crap! Why does everyone always capture the bard?!
DM: Because everyone likes music. All right, Hieroman, the frog that used to be in front of Olaf disappears under the water and re-emerges right behind you. And the frog that jabbed you with the spear steps right in front of you so now you’re flanked. He rolls a 5, though, and misses. The three entangled frogs roll a 1, 9 and 11 and remain entangled. Round 4.
Hieroman: I’m gonna take a 5-foot step so I’m adjacent to the one behind me and then cast another entangle.
DM: Gonna cast defensively this time?
Hieroman: No.
DM: Okay, the frog that gets an attack of opportunity rolls a 20. You take…lucky…another 1 point damage.
Hieroman: I’m down to three hit points. I make my concentration check.
DM: They roll a 7 and a 15. The 15 saves, so he’s not entangled, and that’s the guy adjacent to you. On the frog-creatures’ turn the one on top of you rolls a 5, missing, and the four in the entangle roll 5, 17, 16, 17 so none break free. The frogs carrying Olaf disappear into the swampy reeds and undergrowth (the DM removes them from the battlemat). Round 5.
Hieroman: I flame blade the guy on me. One! Damn!
DM: He attacks back and rolls an 11. The guys trying to break free roll 8, 15, 17 and 3. Round 6.
Hieroman: Flame blade again. This time I roll a 13 for a touch attack.
DM: That hits.
Hieroman: 1D8 plus 3 is 6.
DM: That’s enough to disable him. The guys in the entangle…1, 14, 8, 2. They remain stuck fast, and you can escape if you want.
Hieroman: Yeah, that’s what I want to do. I wade out of there and stuff my mouth full of goodberries while I do. All eight. And I try to make my way back to the City as quietly and as unseen as possible.
DM: (to the other players) All right guys, back to you, sorry for the diversion. You’ve set up camp, right?
Bruti: Right.
DM: When you reach the city floor it’s quite early in the morning, say only 8 am, because you had just rested through the night. Are you going to set up a watch?
Bruti: Yeah, we will, who needs to learn spells?
Nasaldromus: I do big time! I used practically every spell in my arsenal.
Daniel: And who needs healing? I’ll try and heal everyone before we rest.
Bruti: I’m down 15 hit points.
Daniel: I’ll use align weapon to cast a cure moderate on you. 15 on the nose. You’re healed. Who else?
Theala: I’m down nine.
Daniel: I’ll use my cure light on you. Eight hit points. And then I’ll use Detect Magic for cure minor to heal the last one.
Nasaldromus: I’m down three.
Daniel: I’ll use Divine favor to cure light on him. I’ll do it automatically. But now I’ve got quite a few spells to re-learn. Unfortunately, I prepare my spells at dawn, when I greet Pelor rising in the sky. So I’m out of luck until then.
Bruti: So it’ll take Nasaldromus 9 hours to learn his spells. We’re not tired, so why don’t all three of us keep watch?
Theala: Makes sense. You guys stay close to camp, I’ll move out toward the City and hide as an advanced scout. If I see anything, I’ll signal you.
Bruti: Sounds like a plan.
DM: Okay, the Forbidden City is quiet. The area appears entirely deserted and still, apart from the occasional buzz of a giant Wasp and the forlorn calls of parrots. No monkey chatters, no leopard coughs – animal life seems totally absent. Theala, make a hide check.
Theala: 19.
DM: Hieroman, make a spot check.
Hieroman: 13.
DM: Okay, Theala, after standing in your hiding place for about thirty minutes, you see movement from the corner of your eye…it appears to be coming from the Swamp. You re-direct your attention there and sure enough you see a wet, muddy creature emerge from the brown-green waters and sulk off into the ruins. Make a spot check.
Theala: 23.
DM: Despite the creatures efforts to remain hidden, your trained eyes lock upon and track its movements as it approaches you. As you finger your crossbow and decide whether to signal your companions, you suddenly recognize the creature as a beautiful half-elven woman. And not just any half-elf, your companion, Hieroman. She looks like she’s been through hell.
Theala: I call out to her and signal.
DM: All right you re-unite with her and guide her back to the campsite.
Hieroman: Where I relate what just happened.
Nasaldromus: But they don’t interrupt the meditating wizard!
Bruti: Don’t worry, magician, we don’t need any advice from you, anyway.
Theala: Clearly we have to rescue Olaf from the frog creatures.
Olaf: Clearly.
DM: Shut up, Olaf, you’re not here.
Nasaldromus: I’m not sure we need to rescue Olaf. I mean, we all knew there would be casualties, right? And the frog creatures seem to have nothing to do with our mission.
DM: I thought you were meditating?
Nasaldromus: Oh yeah, sorry (makes the motion of zipping his mouth).
DM: Just for thinking that, though, your alignment shifts slightly from good to neutral.
Nasaldromus: Great, good is too restrictive an alignment, anyway.
Bruti: Should we break camp right now and head out? Who knows what those creatures intend to do with him.
Hieroman: Remember, the DM said they were trying to take slaves.
DM: I shouldn’t have said that.
Hieroman: No you shouldn’t have, but you did.
Theala: So you think he’s safe for a while?
Hieroman: Yeah, I think he probably is.
DM: But remember, a lot of evil creatures sacrifice slaves to their dark gods.
Daniel: Still, that requires a whole ceremony and preparation. I think Hieroman’s right, we’ve probably got time.
Bruti: And much as I hate to admit it, we’re gonna need magic if we plan on taking on hordes of those things. With Olaf gone, that leaves Nasaldromus as our only artillery.
Daniel: It’s decided then, we’re gonna continue to camp until Nasaldromus has re-memorized his spells. Then we’ll head out to the island. Hieroman, when can you re-memorize your spells?
Hieroman: Not until just before dawn, when Great Spirit lays a banket of dew over the forests’ carpet.
Daniel: So you’re in the same boat as me. All right, before we take up the watch again I’m gonna use comprehend languages to cast cure light on Hieroman. 8 hit points.
Hieroman: I’m still down 6.
Daniel: I’ll cast another cure light, using cause fear this time. 7.
Hieroman: I’m fully healed.
DM: Okay, then, to recap, you’re camping in the ruins of what appears to have once been a warehouse for meat or fish. To the north is the 400 foot cliff face, so it’s unlikely any intruders will be coming from that direction. To the south and all around to the west stretches the ruins of the Forbidden City. In fact, on the other side of the building in which your camping appears to be a long boulevard, once paved with flagstones, now cracked and ruined, but still clear of undergrowth. It stretches almost a full mile to the west. And to the east is the swamp.
Thelea: Maybe I should scout out the island? See how the frog creatures are getting in and out?
Daniel: I don’t think it’s wise that we split up.
Theala: (to the DM) How far away is the island?
DM: Your camp is only about 100 feet from the edge of the swamp, and it’s another 650 feet to the island.
Theala: That’s not that far. I can move that distance in about ten rounds without even running. And we’re gonna have to figure out how to get inside since there’s no gate in the palisade.
Daniel: Okay, if you think you can handle it alone, go for it.
Hieroman: I’m gonna send my Eagle with her so if she gets in trouble it can fly back and warn us.
DM: All right, what are the rest of you going to do?
Bruti: We’re gonna sit tight in camp, guarding Nasaldromus and each other.
DM: (makes some rolls) Okay, Theala, you sneak up toward the swamp. A path leads from the wide street I told you about and then into the swamp, where it meanders toward the island.
Theala: I’m gonna crouch down as I move, maybe even crawling on my belly if I have to, until I get close enough to get a good view of the island.
DM: Make hide and move silently rolls.
Theala: Damn, 11 and 12.
DM: (rolls a 9 spot check for the bullywug look-out, and a 13 for the listen check, but it’s –10 because she’s 100 feet away). At about 100 feet you get a clear view of the island. There is a new frog creature on the platform with the gong…they must have replaced the look-out that was hit by lightning. The frog creature is looking in your direction, but he doesn’t appear to see you because he’s not making any indication that he’s trying to raise an alarm.
Theala: I’m gonna settle in and see if anyone comes or goes.
DM: Okay, after about three hours the clouds break and the sun shows its face. You begin to wonder about Daniel’s choice in Gods because here, in the tropics, the sun is far from merciful. It emanates a blistering heat and the sweat rolls off you down to the mud in which you lie. Fortunately, your monk training and discipline help you to withstand the extreme discomfort, but if you are forced to lie here for too long without taking a drink you could be in danger of becoming dehydrated. About an hour after the sun comes out…it’s now about one o’clock and the heat is unbearable…you see a second frog creature hop up the hill to the platform. The first frog creature says something to him and then hops down the hill to where he disappears behind the palisade. Obviously, you just witnessed the changing of the guard. You wait for another three hours, and your throat is parched with thirst. Make a will save.
Theala: 26.
DM: You resist the temptation move and drink, which would potentially give away your position, but you’re definitely in danger of dehydration. Make a fortitude save.
Theala: 21.
DM: Good going, no problem. About an hour later, so now it’s about five in the afternoon, you finally see significant movement. Just off the path about fifty feet ahead of you, swamp grass moves and you realize it’s not real – it’s merely clever camouflage hiding the entrance to a dark tunnel. Out of the tunnel comes eight frog creatures, carrying between them the tied, gagged and twisting bodies of three humanoids.
Theala: Are any of them Olaf?
DM: No. They appear to be the bodies of a bugbear, a thin, and hairy monkey-like creature, a bit like a Cro-Magnon but shorter and skinnier, like an elven Cro-Magnon, and then a bizarre creature that looks like an extremely ugly, hairy human.
Theala: You sure the ugly, hairy human isn’t Olaf?
Olaf: Hey I’ve got a 17 charisma!
DM: The frog creatures disappear to the south-east. About an hour later they return, several of them covered in blood. The humanoid prisoners are gone. Rather than return to the hidden tunnel entrance, they simply hop over the wooden palisade and disappear inside.
Theala: All right I’ve seen enough I’m gonna sneak back to the camp and tell them about it.
DM: You arrive just as Nasaldromus finishes studying his spells.
Theala: I think they’re sacrificing slaves, so I don’t think we have much time.
Bruti: It sounded to me like we can get to about 100 feet of the island before the look-out can see us, and then it’s about fifty more feet to the hidden tunnel entrance. So it’s crossing that fifty feet without being noticed that’s the trick.
Nasaldromus: Simple. Kill the lookout.
Bruti: But how?
Nasaldromus: I can magic missile him.
Bruti: Can you sneak?
Nasaldromus: Um, no, I’m at –2 sneak and hide.
Theala: I can try and get him with my crossbow.
Daniel: I think that’s really our only chance.
Bruti: Okay, Theala will play ninja again and move up to kill the look-out. Once she’s succeeded she can signal us and we’ll all break cover and rush toward the tunnel entrance.
Hieroman: What if she doesn’t succeed?
Bruti: Then we’ll hear the gong and still rush the tunnel entrance.
Theala: Sounds like a plan.
Nasaldromus: And before we set out I’m casting Mage Armor on Theala.


Jun 27, 2004 20:26:48
My what long posts you have!


Jun 30, 2004 17:17:31
Originally posted by Amaron Blackthorn
My what long posts you have!

All the better to bore you with!


Jul 01, 2004 0:58:40
DM: Okay, you guys set out along the path into the marsh. After traveling about 350 feet, well-hidden by the twisting trees and thick undergrowth, Theala signals you to stay down. She loads a crossbow bolt and moves forward, crouching low and then crawling on her belly toward a small clearing. Theala, make hide and move silently checks.
Theala: Actually, this time I’m gonna take ten. That puts me at 19 and 19 respectively.
DM: Which, at this distance, makes it impossible for the look-out to spot you.
Theala: Let’s see…100 plus feet away…does the platform offer cover?
DM: Yes, partial cover, so that’s –4 to your roll.
Theala: And it’s in the second range category, so that’s –1 more, and my reduced dexterity is –1 more, so –6 total.
Nasaldromus: But you’re an invisible attacker so that’s +2 and he should be flat-footed.
Theala: Wish me luck, guys (blows on the die). 17.
DM: That hits, roll for damage.
Theala: 8.
DM: Phhht! Your crossbow bolt penetrates the frog’s neck, causing him to slump forward over the platform, silent and dead.
Bruti: Nice work.
Theala: I re-load my crossbow and signal the rest of the group to follow me. I lead them to the tunnel mouth and we head inside.
DM: Bruti, your dwarven sensibilities are offended by the tunnel’s construction. Rather than being properly excavated, it has been hand-dug from loose dirt, with little to no shoring or finishing. Everything is muddy and damp.
Bruti: These creatures are obviously primitive. As we move I’m gonna keep an eye out for dangerous areas that my be susceptible for cave-ins.
DM: The passage is only about five-feet wide, and five feet tall, so several of you have to hunch over to proceed. It appears the frogs must move on all four limbs when in their tunnels. What is your marching order going to be?
Bruti: I’m gonna take point, with Theala behind me, then Nasaldromus, then Hieroman, then Daniel.
Hieroman: That sounds good but actually, before we proceed, I’m gonna cast resist fire on Bruti so Nasaldromus can feel a little free-er to sling his fireball.
Bruti and Nasaldromus (together): Thanks.
Bruti: And as we proceed down the tunnel, I’m going to be searching for traps.
DM: Since it’s five-feet wide that means it’s gonna take a single round for every five feet forward you travel.
Bruti: That’s okay, better safe than sorry.
DM: Roll your search skill now, then.
Bruti: 15.
DM: Just inside the entrance, about twenty feet ahead, you see that the tunnel widens into a small burrow, maybe ten by ten feet. But from this distance, and in the wet darkness, you can’t be sure of its dimensions.
Nasaldromus: I cast a light spell on my staff.
Bruti: (sarcastic) Way to announce our presence.
Nasaldromus: As if they couldn’t hear you clanking along in your armor, anyway, dwarf.
Bruti: We proceed cautiously toward the burrow.
DM: Bruti, make a reflex save.
Bruti: 23.
DM: As you move into the room you sense a slight decline. Your foot slips in the mud and slides toward what quickly becomes apparent is not mud but is a shallow pit filled with pungi spikes. You manage to catch yourself and avoid the trap, but the spikes block the passage. Behind the spikes are five frog-creatures and a giant frog, well-prepared and looking for a fight.
Bruti: If the burrow’s only ten by ten, how do they all fit in the room?
DM: They don’t (setting the scene on the battlemat) Two frogmen in front, ready to throw spears, then a frogman and the giant frog in the second rank, and then the two remaining frogmen spilling into the tunnel that leads away from the burrow. Roll for initiative.
Bruti: 3 thanks to my poison.
Theala: 14.
Nasaldromus: 14 as well.
Hieroman: 20.
Daniel: 3.
DM: And the frogs roll a 20. So it goes Hieroman, frogs, Theala, Nasaldromus, Daniel and Bruti. Hieroman?
Hieroman: I’m a bit trapped back here, so I ready my net.
DM: The lead frogmen chuck their spears at Bruti. 1 and 9, both miss. Theala?
Theala: I’ll shoot a crossbow bolt at one of the lead frogmen. –4 for shooting through Bruti. 19. Six damage.
DM: The bolt penetrates into the creatures gut, slaying it. Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: Sleep (pointing at an intersection on the battlemat) here.
DM: That gets three of the frogmen and the giant frog. The frogmen’s saves are 14, 10, and 13, and the giant frog’s save is 14.
Nasaldromus: The DC is 15 so none of them save.
DM: That just leaves the single frog here, in the rear tunnel. He appears to be turning to run into the warren. Daniel?
Daniel: I’m in the rear rank, unable to do anything.
DM: Which leaves Bruti.
Bruti: I’m gonna throw my axe at that frog before he can retreat and warn anyone.
DM: He’s fifty feet away.
Bruti: Hm, that’s –4, and I’m –3 because of the Wasp poison. So I’ll only be +2. I’ve got to go for it. Damn, 9.
DM: You miss. Round 2. Hieroman?
Hieroman: I’m stuck in the rear, there’s still nothing I can really do, is there?
DM: No, not unless you want to push the whole group forward into the pungi spikes.
Hieroman: No, I don’t want to do that. So I pass.
DM: And the frogman is next. He turns his back to you and hops out of sight up the tunnel.
Bruti: Running off to tell his little friends, no doubt.
DM: Just be glad he didn’t grab your throwing axe.
Theala: So how are we gonna get past this pit?
DM: If you each take 20 you can squeeze around it. But that’s gonna take about three minutes for each of you, which means fifteen minutes altogether.
Bruti: Now that they know about us I don’t think we’re in a huge hurry. Once I’m past the pit I grab one of the sleeping frogman’s spears. I’ll use it to probe ahead of me while I walk.
DM: That’s fine, but it means you’ll be armed with it, not your axe.
Bruti: Perfect. Gives me something to throw on round one. By the way, I’m gonna assassinate every one of these bullfrog buggers. Don’t want anyone sneaking up on us from behind. And I grab the giant frog’s legs…quite a delicacy, I understand.
DM: Gross. All right, you head up the next tunnel in the same order?
Bruti: Yes, searching for traps and probing with the spear.
DM: Roll your search.
Bruti: 20.
DM: You travel another minute or so down the tunnel, crossing fifty feet of ground, until it widens into a large cavern about a hundred by a hundred feet. Everyone make spot checks.
Bruti: 22.
Theala: 25.
Nasaldromus: 15.
Hieroman: 17.
Daniel: 12.
DM: Dang, you guys have some keen eyes. As I had mentioned, this room is so large that even with your darkvision, Bruti, you can’t see the opposite end of the chamber. The floor is mud and scattered with shallow ponds that you surmise must be the frogmen’s “beds”. The chamber appears deserted, but Bruti, Theala and Hieroman, you notice that within the ponds are small lumps, cleverly camouflaged, but unmistakably alive. It appears as if the frogmen are attempting to ambush you.
Bruti: How many are there?
DM: Within the 60 foot radius of your darkvision, you count twelve. Nasaldromus, it’s been about 20 minutes since you cast your light spell, is it still in effect?
Nasaldromus: Yes, it lasts for fifty minutes.
DM: Okay, then the rest of you can see out to a 20 foot radius from Nasaldromus, and then another 20 feet is dim. But you guys are still in the tunnel, so the light spills only straight ahead into the room, and doesn’t illuminate any of the hidden creatures. Roll for initiative.
Bruti: 3.
Theala: 22.
Nasaldromus: 12.
Hieroman: 5.
Daniel: 14.
DM: And the frogmen roll a 3. So it goes Theala, Daniel, Nasaldromus, Hieroman, Bruti, and then the Frogmen last. But only Bruti can actually see the creatures, so he’s the only one who succeeded in his spot check and gets to act during the surprise round. (the DM sets up the battlemat, with 13 total frogmen in a V formation, the wide end of the V facing the entrance to the room, in an ambush pattern). Round 1. Bruti, you’re up.
Theala: I can’t charge so I’m gonna move into the room and chuck my spear. 7.
DM: (rolls a die). You miss. And now the frog creatures can attempt to charge you. 5 frogmen rush to surround you, Bruti, attempting to cut you off from your companions. And the three that come from the right-hand side of the room are able to charge. One even leaps ten feet straight up into the air and on top of you. As he barrels down on you, you recognize him as the one that you missed with your throwing axe in the pungi spike room. The two charging without flanking roll a 18 and the hopping one rolls a 18. The flanking one rolls a 1, automatic miss.
Bruti: My armor class is 17 so the first two hit.
DM: They both do double damage from their charge so the first one does 8 and the hopping one does 8 as well. 16 total. The rest move like so, closing in but careful to stay out of the bright light of Nasaldromus’ glowing staff. Round 2. Theala.
Theala: This one here is within 25’ of Nasaldromus. Can I see it?
DM: You can see him, but he’s within shadowy illumination.
Theala: I’m gonna shoot a crossbow bolt at him. 21. And 77 for concealment.
DM: You hit.
Theala: Eight points of damage.
DM: The crossbow bolt pierces his chest and he falls to the mud squirting blood. Daniel, you’re up.
Daniel: I’m gonna cast light on my shield. And then I’m gonna move twenty feet to the front of the line, here.
DM: Okay, you now have two sources of light. Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: Fireball, baby. Right here. (indicates a spot that gets 7 of the bullywugs, including two that are currently engaging Bruti’s flank). Dang, only 13 points of damage.
DM: Let me roll saves. From right to left, 19, 5, 5, 4, 13, 17, 3.
Nasaldromus: The 17 and the 19 save.
DM: All right, those two guys are still standing. Everyone else fries into little puddles of frog grease. Anything else?
Nasaldromus: No, I’m gonna stand my ground.
Hieroman: I’ll cast resistance on myself and move into the room to help Bruti.
Bruti: Now I’m up, right?
DM: Right.
Bruti: I go after the one that just got fireballed.
DM: You have to draw your axe first, which will allow attacks of opportunity.
Bruti: I’ve got quickdraw, baby. No little wussy frog-creatures are gonna prevent me from slicing them to pieces (rolls a 2). But the dice might. That’s a 15 with modifiers.
DM: Sadly, that barely misses. Now the frogmen. The three that hit you last turn hit you again, Bruti. 14, 21, 17.
Bruti: 17 and 21 hit.
DM: 7 more damage. The burnt-up frogman attacks Hieroman. 3, misses. Two more charge Daniel, and the other one runs up to engage him. 8 and 20.
Daniel: My AC is 22. Both miss.
DM: Round 3. Theala.
Theala: I crossbow the one to the left of Daniel, not the one hit by the fireball, the other one.
DM: You’re –8 because he’s in melee and Daniel’s providing cover.
Theala: 7.
DM: You miss. Daniel?
Daniel: I slam my mace into the one that’s hurt. 1 automatic miss.
DM: Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: I’ve done my part. I’ll stand my ground and cast extended shield.
Hieroman: I’ll swing my scimitar at the frogman hit by the fireball. Natural 19, possible critical, 18, critical hit. Argh! 2 points of damage even with the critical.
DM: It’s enough to kill him. Bruti.
Bruti: I’m gonna swing at the bastard that got away from me back at the pungi stakes. 28 ought to hit. And 10 points of damage.
DM: You carve halfway through his shoulder and he screams out in pain, but then you see a change come over his face and he sucks it up. In fact, he flies into a barbarian rage.
Bruti: He’s a barbarian?!
DM: I’m afraid so. He strikes back at you with his improved strength. Hits with an 18 and does 7 points of damage. His buddy misses with a 13. And his other buddy takes a 5-foot step to attack Hieroman, where he happens to be flanking her thanks to the guy in melee with Daniel. He misses with an 11. The other frogman turns from his melee with Daniel and makes a flanking attack on Hieroman. 20 hits. The two on Daniel get 17 and 8, both miss. Theala, you’re up.
Theala: Crossbow at the hurt one. 5, miss.
Daniel: I swing my mace at the hurt one. 13?
DM: Miss.
Daniel: Pelor, why dost thou forsake me?!
DM: Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: Am I really gonna have to get back into this fight? Come on, guys, don’t make me waste another spell. I’m gonna sit tight.
DM: Hieroman.
Hieroman: 18 against the one engaged with both me and Bruti. 3 points of damage.
DM: Your scimitar rakes across his chest, drawing blood, but failing to penetrate deep. Bruti?
Bruti: I hit the one Hieroman just wounded. 27 ought to hit. And 12 points damage.
DM: You decapitate him.
Bruti: Cleave! On the barbarian. 23 and 11 points of damage.
DM: Your axe moves right through to decapitate him, too.
Bruti: Great cleave! 21 and 5 points of damage.
DM: By the time your axe bites into the last frogman, it’s finally lost enough velocity so that it doesn’t cleave right through, but he looks badly wounded. Now the frogmen. One on Bruti rolls a 7 and misses. One on Hieroman rolls a 8 and misses. And the two on Daniel roll natural 20, 18 doesn’t back up the critical but he hits, and a 6. Daniel, you take 6 points damage. Theala, you’re up.
Theala: Crossbow at –8. 11.
DM: Miss. Daniel?
Daniel: Mace. 19?
DM: You finally hit.
Daniel: 7 points damage.
DM: You barely knock it unconscious.
Daniel: Cleave, natural 20, does a 15 back up the crit?
DM: No.
Daniel: 6 points damage.
DM: He was hurt by the fireball, so you manage to kill him. Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: I sit tight.
Hieroman: I attack with my scimitar. Natural 18, possible critical, 12 doesn’t back it up. 4 points damage.
DM: Okay, he’s still alive. Bruti?
Bruti: The last one on me: 19. And 14 points damage.
DM: You chop him in two. There’s only one frogman left, and he attack Hieroman. 4, misses.
Theala: 19, I hit with my crossblw. 9 points of damage.
DM: The bolt splatters into him and he falls dead into the mud. Wow, you guys really ploughed through that encounter with little difficulty.
Bruti: Little difficulty? I took over 30 hit points damage.
Theala: I’m gonna try and retrieve my crossbow bolts.
DM: How many did you fire?
Theala: 5.
DM: Okay, roll a d4. That’s how many are salvageable.
Theala: Damn, only 1. I’m definitely gonna be out of ammunition before we find a way out of this City.
Daniel: I’d like to search the room.
DM: It’s about a thousand square feet. It would take over an hour to search it.
Daniel: Yeah, that’s too long, let’s give a cursory look and move on.
DM: Like the tunnels it appears to have been excavated by hand. The whole thing looks like it would collapse if it weren’t for the roots of swamp grass that weave through the soil and strengthen it. It appears as if the swamp grass were even grown in a deliberate manner to provide such support. The small ponds are roughly the same size and dimensions as human beds, but they stink and are filled with disgusting muck. You count about twenty-five of them. There are three tunnels branching off from this sleeping chamber, one to the right, one to the left and one straight ahead. The ones to the left and straight twist too far to see where they lead, but the one to the right opens immediately into another, smaller chamber.
Daniel: To the right!
Bruti: How about a little healing first?
Daniel: All right, I use one of my searing light spells to spontaneously cast cure serious wounds on Bruti. 17 points.
Bruti: Thanks. That helps a little bit, though I’m still hurting.
Daniel: What are you at?
Bruti: I’m still down 14 hit points. This 5 dex is killing my armor class.
Daniel: I’ll use bless to spontaneously cast cure light wounds on him. Another 12 hit points. (to the group) I really need to save the rest of my spells in case Olaf needs healing.
Bruti: All right, let’s move into the right-hand chamber. Same marching order.
DM: Make spot checks.
Bruti: 19.
Theala: 14.
Nasaldromus: 7.
Hieroman: 19.
Daniel: 6.
DM: The chamber is about half the size as the common room you came out of, but it is richly appointed, at least so you imagine what frog creatures would consider “richly appointed.” Intricately painted lily pads decorate the walls, and gold coins shine from a large-ish pond that appears to be a royal bed. There are only a few other beds within the chamber, and on the opposite wall, chained and shackled, you immediately see Olaf, stripped of his armor and belongings. He appears to be unconscious. Shackled next to him is a young woman, looking to be of similar ethnic descent as Theala, but her exotic features are much more beautiful. She wears her hair in a bun, held in place by silver sticks, and her intricately-embroidered kimono is colorful despite the many mud-stains. She stares at you with curious eyes. More importantly, Bruti, is that you immediately notice within the bed-ponds are several frog-creatures hiding in ambush. (the DM sets up the battlemat). Roll for initiative.
Bruti: 0, thanks to my dex.
Theala: 21.
Nasaldromus: 5.
Hieroman: 4.
Daniel: 16.
DM: And the frogs roll a 2. Crap. Well, Bruti and Hieroman are the only ones who can act on round 1 because they’re the only ones aware. Hieroman, you first.
Hieroman: I’m gonna use my gust of wind to spontaneously cast summon nature’s ally and I’ll summon a crocodile, right here. (she places it in melee with the frogman who happens to be Groak, king of the Bullywugs). It’ll attack immediately –
DM: Hold on, it’ll have to make a spot check first, because these guys haven’t come out of hiding yet. 19, it does so easily.
Hieroman: It tries to bite the frog creature in front of it. 14.
DM: The frog creature sees the croc materialize in front of, and he leaps out of the way just in time to avoid its snapping jaws. Now the frogs act. First, the creature who was just attacked by the croc goes into a rage and attempts to skewer it with his spear…the weapon appears to be glowing with eldritch energy, by the way. 25 easily hits, 9 points of damage to the croc. The other frogmen in melee with the croc also go into barbarian rages and attack it. 15 and 13, one hits. 10 points of damage, the croc is feeling the pain. The remaining two frogmen barbarians rage and leap through the air to charge right on top of Bruti. 17 and 9.
Bruti: 17 hits.
DM: As he comes down he rips his spear into your head. It glances off your helm but the force of the blow still does 16 points damage. Bruti, you’re up.
Bruti: Slice and dice. 16.
DM: That hits, especially since they’re raging.
Bruti: 9 points of damage.
DM: Your axe slices deeply into the creature’s hide, but he is so enraged he seems to hardly feel it. Round 2. It goes Theala, Daniel, Nasaldromus, Hieroman, Frogs, Bruti.
Theala: I shoot at the frog that Bruti just wounded. –8 because of melee and cover…a 3 misses.
Daniel: Once again there’s not much I can do back here. I’m gonna have to wait.
Nasaldromus: Me too.
Hieroman: My croc attacks. 15.
DM: Misses, even with the rage penalizing the frog’s AC. He spears the croc again. 17 hits for 10 points of damage, killing the croc and freeing the other two frogmen to attack. They move toward Bruti, and one is able to engage in melee, putting 3 total on Bruti. 20, 21, 6.
Bruti: Ouch. The first two hit.
DM: 19 more points damage.
Bruti: I’m down to 5 hit points. How about a little help, guys?
DM: You’re last, Bruti.
Bruti: I swing at the injured one. 26. 13 damage.
DM: You slice him in two.
Bruti: Cleave! 26 again. 13 damage.
DM: That’s just enough to fell him.
Bruti: Great cleave!
DM: No, wait, sorry. Forgot about the rage. He’s still alive.
Bruti: Damn.
DM: Theala, you’re up.
Theala: Now that I have an opening I’m gonna try and tumble past that frogman and engage the one with the magic spear. I roll a 13 for my tumble, so I blow it.
DM: He rolls a 10 for his attack of opportunity, which misses.
Theala: Since I’m moving at ½ speed, I can engage the frog man with the magic spear, but I can’t attack him yet.
DM: Daniel?
Daniel: I’ll cast Bull’s Strength on myself and move up to Theala’s old position.
DM: Nasaldromus?
Nasaldromus: Sleep, right here (indicates a position that would get the three leading bullywugs).
DM: 11, 10, 9. They all fall asleep. Hieroman?
Hieroman: I’m gonna rush into the room to help Theala.
DM: All right, the frog-king moves back, provoking attacks of opportunity from Theala and Hieroman.
Theala: 18.
Hieroman: 11.
DM: Theala hits.
Theala: Minimum damage. 3 points.
DM: Then the frog-king moves next to the unconscious Olaf, places his spear-point at Olaf’s neck, and yells out, in a croaking approximation of common, “Surrender or I kill your companion!” He has a readied action and can hit Olaf. He can’t do a coup de grace, because he’s only got a standard action readied, but you know Olaf’s at 0 and only 10 points will kill him dead.
Bruti: That’s a risk I’m willing to take –
Daniel: Hold on! He gave a serious smack-down to that croc. I think he’ll easily kill Olaf in one hit.
Theala: I think you’re right. He’s definitely got us where he wants us.
Hieroman: I’ve got the highest charisma, so I’m gonna raise my scimitar over my head, step forward and say “We are the wasp-riders, the frog-killers and the commanders of fire and lightning! We surrender to no one! Release the woman and our companion, and return to us his possessions, and we shall leave here peacefully. Otherwise, we will destroy your entire tribe!”
DM: Hm, okay, make an intimidate check.
Theala: Awesome, 22!
DM: (rolls an 18 for the frog-king) He looks at you with a bit of trepidation and croaks out “Do I have your word you will leave without further harming my tribe?”
Theala: “You have our word.”
DM: He slices through Olaf’s shackles with his spear-point and then those of the woman. The woman covers her mouth and giggles as she stands. Then the frog-king croaks “The human’s belongings are in my bed. Leave now, and never come back!”
Theala: I grab Olaf and start pulling him toward the exit, keeping an eye on the frog.
Hieroman: I look in the bed-pond.
DM: Sure enough you find his elven chain, his bow and quiver, and his backpack, all dripping wet and covered in scum.
Hieroman: I grab them.
Daniel: Then we all start backing out, Bruti covering us with his axe.
DM: The woman, still giggling, gracefully walks over to you and follows you out of the chamber. The frog-king watches you with mistrust and fear, but soon he disappears into the darkness.
Daniel: I use dispel magic to cast cure serious wounds on Olaf. 20 hit points.
DM: Olaf comes-to and doesn’t need to be carried anymore.
Olaf: I’m gonna put on my armor –
Daniel: Forget that, we’ve got to get out of Dodge.
DM: All right, you work your way back down the corrider and around the pungi spikes. You crawl out of the tunnel and see that several frogmen have taken up positions on the platform to watch your retreat. You disappear down the trail and return to your campsite just as its getting dark.
Theala: Is the woman still with us?
DM: Yes, she’s following you wordlessly. And as you move into your campsite you notice that the bodies of the Giant Wasps that you killed are gone.
Daniel: Gone? How?
DM: It appears that someone dragged them off.
Nasladromus: Harvesting the poison, I’ll bet. We should have thought of that.
DM: Let me assign experience and we’ll continue next session. Hieroman, for the first encounter in the swamp when Olaf was captured, 11 CR 1 creatures make a total CR of 8. Wow, you get 2,250 xp for that. Then for the guard room with the pungi spikes, the trap was CR 2, the five frogmen were CR 1 each, and the frog was CR ¼. 5th level characters get 100 xp for the trap plus 300 xp for the creatures, and 6th level characters get 81 xp for the trap plus 250 xp for the creatures. The big sleeping chamber had 13 CR 1 creatures, for a total CR of 8, so that’s 900 xp for 5th level characters and 720 xp for 6th level characters. And the frog king encounter, I’ll give you full xp since you successfully intimidated the frog-king and rescued Olaf, so that’s CR 4 for the guards plus 2 for the King which is CR 5. 5th level characters get 300 xp and and 6th level get 250 xp. Olaf, of course, gets nothing.
Daniel: I’m only 500 points away from gaining a level, guys. Then I can cast neutralize poison.
Nasaldromus: I gained a level, and I suspect everyone who was 5th level is now 6th.
Hieroman and Theala: Yep, we’re both 6th now.
DM: Okay, guys, work out your leveling at home and bring your new, improved characters next time. Oh, but don’t roll for hit points until we all meet again.