Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Abel's Vengeance: Session 4

Upon further reflection, Abel would know one more thing about the temple - it is likely that it had an emergency escape tunnel that was hidden. That would have been how he and his mother escaped the temple ten years ago; it is also likely that it is connected to this cave where the healer lives. I’m going to go ahead and call both of those things very likely, since it makes a ton of sense. Okay, I roll and get 1. Oh yeah. 

Now, to figure out where that tunnel leads… the communal hall would be the most logical place, but would also be the most obvious; enemies would look there, wouldn’t they? Hm. I’m going to go with the stables as the most likely place. I roll and get 3. Yes. Okay, so there’s a tunnel that goes several hundred feet underground from this cave (where there is a false rock that conceals it) and the stables (where thick hay and a thin layer of dirt covers a trap door in one of the stalls). It is very unlikely that the goblins ever discovered it; I roll 5. Whew. They’ve barely found it a few times, but never did. Maybe one of them did, and didn’t feel much like reporting it… or, since I rolled 5, maybe some goblins found it, but they use it as a little nook to hide out and get drunk on cheap wild grass wine they make. That seems more likely. Natural 1. Okay, that’s the play. They are going to crawl through the tunnel and see if they can overcome the goblins hiding out here.

How cramped are the tunnels? I’ll roll 1D6 +2’ for how tall and wide this is and get 1: 3’. Ugh. Okay, so they have to crawl, and even goblins have to duck in these tunnels. At the far end there’s likely a little staging area where you can gather yourself after descending, but before starting into the tunnel proper. 4. There is. Okay. 

I don’t have rules for panic attacks (the game is 8 pages, after all - panic attacks would be covered on page 173, and I never got that far), but I would think that Abel’s history with this tunnel, and the cramped darkness, would induce a panic attack. It would for me. He has to check Focus CR 8 or suffer disadvantage on any check he makes down here. He rolls a 4, so yep - he’s having a hard time. The healer offers to go first, but Abel will have none of it. He puts a candle on top of his shield to provide a little light, and pushes the shield ahead as he crawls.  

There is a 2 in 6 chance that there’s something nasty in this tunnel. 2. Nasty it is. The first thing I think is that maybe the goblins stuck a big spider in here and shut the door, to basically keep other things out. That seems possible. 2. That’s what happened. I’ve already added it to the blog as a new monster not in the rules, so I’ll say this is a tomb spider that the goblins caught as a hatchling, stuck in this hole, and often send down some rats they catch to feed it. 

The spider hears them coming and sees the light in the distance, pressing itself against the low ceiling in order to attempt to surprise. Abel has disadvantage here, and even though it’s small, there are lots of things hanging from the ceiling, so the spider could blend in… the disadvantage is a killer here, since Abel would have seen it without that third die ruining everything; he gets a 7 against CR 9, so is surprised. When he gets about 20’ away, the spider crawls forward and bites him. He tries to Defend and gets 9 against the attack of 9, barely lifting his shield in time. He has disadvantage, but that only cancels his standard Defend advantage, so I just rolled 2d6 straight up and got 5 on the dice. The spider automatically wins initiative (I’m going to say the healer is always going last, because he’s behind Abel and cannot do much except maybe offer some healing). 

Round 1. The spider bites, and Abel rolls 11 to Defend. He then attacks, rolling 10… barely missing. Neither of them likes these cramped quarters much. I’m going to give the healer a sling; he fires a sling bullet (he doesn’t have disadvantage here because he’s been living in a cave for a decade) and gets 5, so he misses too… but at least he tried.

Round 2. Abel rolls 12 against the bite (missed the advantage by one) and then rolls 10 to hit. Double misses. The healer rolls a natural 12! Sling bullet to the head, and the spider is down to Resolve 1.

Round 3. 13 to Defend! He will take the advantage on his attack (which is not really an advantage, but it neutralizes the disadvantage for this round). On his attack, he rolls 7. Grrr. Miss miss. The healer rolls 9 with a sling bullet, so misses the CR 11. That spider’s Defend is REALLY good.

Round 4. Abel rolls 9 to Defend, so again barely keeps from getting bit. I mean, he’s kind of able to wedge the shield between himself and the spider, so the spider is having trouble biting around it. He then keeps trying to jab his sword around one side or the other while the healer pops sling stones off the walls. It’s an ugly little fight. The healer pops another stone, and gets 7. Ping and a miss.

Round 5. Abel gets 11 on Defend and 10 on Attack. Nada. The healer decides to cast a light spell and illuminates the area. I’m going to say it is unlikely that this helps Abel enough that he drops his disadvantage. The healer says something to Abel about remembering that the goddess has blessed his efforts! Natural 1. You know, he’s right! The Seventh Goddess HAS blessed this campaign, and a stupid spider is not going to stop him! Hah. Disadvantage gone.

Round 6. Abel blocks the attack with a 13, giving him advantage on his attack. With his blade, he gets a natural 12, killing the spider. I guess sometimes you just need someone to believe in you…

It is very unlikely the spider has any treasure; 1. Of COURSE it has treasure; it’s a monster. Okay, rolling for the value of treasure, I get 27 coins; wow. I guess it has a gemstone in its little nest a few yards from here that is nestled among some eggs. Abel crushes the eggs with his shield and takes the gem. He would definitely notice the gem when it doesn’t crack under his shield like the eggs; no check needed to find it. Noice. There are also some half-eaten rats, but they don’t linger on those too long.

At the end of the tunnel, there’s a door. I don’t know if it would be necessarily locked or barred; just closing it would be enough to keep the spider out. It is very unlikely the door is locked. 2. Okay, it is not locked, but it is stuck a little, requiring a CR 8 Attack check to push it open. I’ll say with a result of 10+ he’s able to open it relatively quietly. I roll 9; he forces the door but it makes a cracking sound.

In the small chamber below the stables, there are 1D6 goblins who have been getting drunk and slacking off. 5. Do I want to do alertness for the whole group, or individuals? Let’s go with individuals. It takes a full round for Abel to get through the doorway and into position where he could fight (he’s just crawled through a dank 3’ tunnel for a few hundred yards) and another round for the healer to come from behind him (I keep feeling too lazy to scroll down the document I’m working in and look up his name, so I just keep saying ‘the healer’). For awake and alertness, we’ll go with 1 being pretty good, and 6 being completely wasted.

Goblin 1: 6 - he will sleep through the entire fight

Goblin 2: 2 - the designated driver

Goblin 3: 3 - the helper of the designated driver - just needs a minute

Goblin 4: 6 - will be snuggling with 1 through the entire fight

Goblin 5: 4 -  he will be joining in round 2. 

Goblins 2 and 3 stand up and draw swords, telling the others to wake up. Goblin 5 looks up and swears (in goblin. It might sound like “Bree Yark”). They both get to attack Abel, and he Defends with 12 and 10. He’s fine.

Round 2. Three goblins attack him now, and he Defends with 10, 11, and 12. No trigger for his ability, sadly. He attacks a goblin, getting 9 and killing it. The healer has stood up and prepares his staff for combat as well.

Round 3. Two goblins attack Abel, and he defends with 12 and 15. He gets advantage on his attack, and rolls 13. Goblin dead. The healer attacks and gets 5. Goblin not dead. 

Round 4. One goblin might try to run and call for help… that’s possible. 5. Nope. His fear of getting in trouble for partying down here and not reporting a secret tunnel is worse than his fear of death at the moment. Abel blocks his blade with 11 and then cuts him down with a 9.

Two goblins remain, but they are both bleary. Abel ties these up and leaves them with the healer for a moment as he goes to climb the ladder and at least have a look at the stables. He lifts the trap door just enough to peak… 

There would not be any horses here. Any horses (and there would have been several) or pack animals owned by the keep would have long ago been slaughtered and eaten. The same is true for any of the sheep that once grazed the yard and were penned here as well. This is a pretty big stable area; however, fantasy fiction has told us that goblins like riding wolves. Would there be a few wolves here as mounts for at least the hobgoblin(s)? That’s likely. 5. No. Okay then.

Do these hobgoblins defy stereotypes and ride something other than wolves? That’s possible… 2. Look at these forward-thinking hobgoblins. So proud of them. Is it some kind of great cat? 1. Yep. Mountain lions seem the most likely. 5. Hm. Time to Google great cats that live in temperate regions… there are some varieties of leopard that range far and wide, so that makes sense. 1. That it is. Is there more than one of these? Possible. No. Okay, so there is one what we’ll call a briar leopard because it is often found hidden among weeds and thickets. This thing is maybe 70 lbs, so a bit smaller than my Golden Retriever. Okay. It would be a good size for a goblin to ride, but not for a hobgoblin. Is there a chance this hobgoblin I’m expecting is just a really ornery goblin? That would mean that a few hobgoblins run this place, but that the visitor who is checking is just a goblin? That’s possible. 4. No. I haven’t decided much about elves in this game; are they maybe 4’ tall? If so, then this could be the ride of a traitorous elf who has come to visit… possible. Get a 3. Yes. Is it chained or bound in some way? Unlikely. I’d think it would have some free range of this stable… and have been feasting on the rats that mill all about. 5. Nope. It was doing that, but then it ate a goblin, and they had to bind the thing. It is likely to be sleeping on the other side of the stables; 3. Yes it is. Recon done. I don’t think Abel even needs to check this; he would know that elfin leaders ride these. Okay. I’m going to retro-fit this as a snow leopard, since they are frost elves and that makes all the sense in the world. And 72 pounds is the average snow leopard, so I can push this guy to maybe 75 pounds or so… Elves are 4’ tall but pretty light… hm. This isn’t making sense. The cat would have to be much bigger to carry even an 80 pound elf. We’re going to bump him to a great snow leopard, and his weight to about 150 pounds to justify carrying an elf. Done. I assume I’m going to need stats for this guy.

Elfin Battle Snow Leopard

(Menace 1) Attack 10 | Defend 7 | Focus 9 | Resolve 5

Attacks with a bite; on a Defend of 6 or less, suffer 2 damage; Fast

These white-furred cats attack quickly and with ferocity.


I’ve maybe talked my daughter and/or wife into playing too, so I’m going to pause here, since this would be a great place to pull in a few other characters. There is either a guarantee or no chance at all that 1-2 elves are bound here as well.

At the end of this, Abel has made his way into the temple complex, overcoming a spider and some goblins. That’s probably only one hero point, but I’ll say it’s possible he gets a second for overcoming his fears in the tunnel; 4. No. 1 hero point it is. That puts him at 12.

On to Session 5

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