Dec 31, 2007

GS: The Day After... (Part 1)

It was actually the evening of the Swagfest when the party put their plan in motion...

Even though I'm the DM, I have to admit, I'm not sure what exactly they were trying to accomplish. They didn't actually try to break the assassin out of jail, but instead tried to distract the guard while Theo sneaked upstairs to steal her confiscated stuff.
Theo got caught in the building on his first attempt, but was successful on the second. Meanwhile, Hunter was talking to Jesswin (the assassin) and mentioned where he was staying at (in front of the guard on duty).

The next day, the guard showed up and not only found Hunter and Theo in the same inn, but also found Arti wearing Jesswin's cloak and gloves... needless to say, all three were rounded up and taken to jail. The party tried telling the guards some story about buying stolen goods, but the tail was a little too unbelievable (given their proximity to the stolen items only the night before when they were in guard custody), and anyway, the goods were stolen and therefore guard property as evidence of a crime. Once the items were begrudgingly returned, everyone was let go. One item the party did manage to keep though was Jesswin's dagger, as it was hidden at the Inn and not on anyone's person when they were arrested.

After that little exchange, the town guard thought it would be a good idea for all three of them to leave town... which the party started to arrange...

As they gathered their gear from the inn, they found that the Tome of the Unspeakable had been stolen from while they were in jail. A gold sword, like the ones the cult members under the warehouse all carried, was left as a calling card. After leaving the Inn, everyone headed over to Browyn the Red's place (he's the mage serving as the mentor for Artierion). While there, Browyn revealed some information he uncovered about the ruined temple the party had recently been exploring (see Out of Bounds part 2 and part 3).

It seems after hearing about their underground adventure, Browyn was able to piece together some disconnected bits of information that lead to an unknown underground path.

With the help of Greybear, a true druid in the area researching local ancient history, the party was able to open up this secret path.

Druids: It should be noted that on Krynn, actual druids (per the PHB) are more rare than clerics... the return of the gods, approximately ten years ago (in game time) also heralded the return of true clerics... by contrast, druids and druidic magic only returned to the realm less than one year ago, with the awakening of an ancient druid who had been in stasis for several centuries. Prior to that, people calling themselves druids were most likely herbalists and healers.
The party, including Greybear and his trusty wolf companion, traveled down a long and craggy path, nothing like the well shaped halls and rooms of the temple of Tep Solath, untill the the path opened into into a series of wider paths and rooms, matching the map fragment that Browyn was able to provide the party with.

As the party stared investigating the areas, they began to encounter all sorts of undead creatures, from human skeletons standing in a hallway, to a bugbear zombie in a cell-like room, to a pair of darkmantles (a magical creature that can look like a stalactite or lump of rock when immobile) that flew tried to smoother one of the party members, and another one that was successful in killing Greybear's wolf compaign.

(the session ended with the players defeating the darkmantles and bugbear zombie and beginning to explore other areas of this lair)

Dec 11, 2007

Useful DM (and Player) Links

Here's another great link:

Here you can create dynamic character sheets choosing from a bunch of blocks to include in the sheet... and once you make your selection, it builds a PDF file for you to keep and reuse as needed.

What I really like is the customizable spell lists. I can select what sources I want to include (just PHB, or do I include BoVD spells as well ?) and what type of caster I am and then... BAM! I got a PDF of spells by level.

The spell descriptions are brief, "just the facts", but also include page refs for the full details. It's not meant to replace PHB, or SC, but I think it does make running spell casters a bit easier.

See for yourself and let me know if you agree...

Dec 5, 2007

GS: Swagfest

After returning to town, the party went to their friend Lucky Forefinger and sold most of the treasure they recovered, not to mention reimbursing Herrick Mendon's local agent for the cost of the lost horse and wagon.

Then they spent a couple of weeks training.

  • Hunter spent his time training with a human male named Davyn. While still a young man, Davyn was quite skillful about woodland matters as well as wielding a bow. Occasionally, he would make references to an elven brother...
  • Theodonis spent his time training with a dwarven thief named Lynn. Lynn was far from the stereotypical dour dwarf; his personal belief was that life was meant to be siezed and enjoyed to the fullest!
  • Arti spent his time training with his mentor, Browyn the Red, learning new spells and expanding his formidable knowledge in various areas.

By the time they were all done training, the city of Flotsam was preparing for the annual event known as Swagfest, a local holiday that commemorates the great sea raid of Drac and Francisco.

Down by the docks a large crowd was gathering to hear Captain Lydon speak. Almost everyone in Flotsam's heard how Lydon's been stumping for a seat on the Captain's Council (they run the day to day administrations in Flotsam and advise the Sea Lord on all major matters) and clearly he was using today's event to throw around some of his money and maybe buy a few votes (and he wouldn't be the first member on the council to do so!).

The beer was flowing freely and Lydon was in the middest of his speech when Hunter noticed a woman acting strangely; something about the way she was dressed, how she was trying to hide her face, or the way she moved through the crowd.

In any case Hunter followed her as she got closer to the stage. At the same time Theo was following Hunter through the crowd and picking up a bunch of things people in the crowd had dropped (or were about to drop) and Arterion walking around the back of the stage, and also keeping an eye on this mystery woman.

In a flash the woman lept to the stage and tried to attach Lydon. Hunter, Theodonis and Arterion all sprung in to action protecting Lydon and trying fighting back the assassin. They were quick to subdue her till the town watch came along.

Afterward, Lydon dismissed any questions about the attack and quickly got the crowd back in the festive mood with free beer and various games. Theo took part in one such game where he was trying to fend off the attacks of "sea devils" (actually other townfolk) while using padded weapons. He defeated a few, but was eventually knocked out by a large minotaur.

After that they all wandered around the market square looking at items for sale; Hunter was able to get a nice new bow, but one merchant tried to sell Arti a pointed stick as though it was a magic wand.

Later that day, everyone met for a drink in a pub near the docks and played a few hands of "Dragons" with some locals, costing Hunter a few coins in the process.

The party was also interested in following up on the assassination attempt in the morning and went over to the jail cell. They were able to distract the guard and talk privately to Jesswin, pretending to be working at break her out of jail (even though they were the same ones who foiled her attempt that morning). Theo was also able to sneak upstairs and get a quick layout of the top floor where her equipment was being stored.

During the conversation with Jesswin, she mentioned that she was working for Finn, and the party then went to talk with Lucky Fourfinger and found out that Finn is head of the thieves guild in town, and no one has actually seen him in years, except for a few trusted men.

As the day wore on, everyone joined in on the last of Lydon's games for the day--a hunt all around town for a dire rat that he had just released. The party followed the rat into Scurvytown, one of the worst sections of an already somewhat-seedy town. At one point they noticed someone being harrased by some cloaked men. As the went to investigate, a fight broke out and the party realized they were fighting against Bazz draconians. After trading a few blows back and forth, the party killed the brutes, to the great thanks of the lone elf victim.

As the party made their goodbyes, they noticed the dire rat running down the street! Picking up the chase again, they followed it into an abandoned building. Everyone followed along and the rat lead the party to a sub-cellar where a large spider (with strangely humanoid arms) was feasting on a recently captured victim. Hunter and Theo fought the spider while Arti was busy fighting off a zombie in another room. The spider cast a few spells, affecting Hunter slightly, while the zombie had Arti trapped in a corner. After a few rounds of combat, Theo and Hunter defeated the arachnid, and Theo rushed over to help Arti finish off the zombie.

Afterward, the party was able to find two cocooned people still barely alive. The gathered those folks up, along with some treasures (including the dire rat that was cowering in a corner) and took everyone over to see Father Pete. Pete took care of healing the folks they rescued, while the party returned the dire rat to Captain Lydon and claimed their prize!

All in all, quite a hectic day...