Saturday, June 17, 2023

Arath Session 2

It's Father's Day weekend, so nobody is expecting me to do any yard work or work around the house... so I get to sit here and play my solo game and write down everything that happens. As I cut and pasted this over from Word, I couldn't help but wonder if Blogger has a word count limit. After this, maybe it should... this is over 2100 words. It's like 2% of a novel. That's kind of much.

In session 1, Arath earned 5 xp and he is now approaching the gates of … uh… (reviews notes from previous session and makes some decisions) the temple of something or other where the monks have all been… ahem.

Back to gaming. I see how long Arath can rest. He recovers 1 hit per hour of rest, and needs to recover 11 hits… I rolled that there is going to be another random encounter, so now I’ll see how many hours he can rest for. 9. I’ll take it. He eats his rations and rests (for the first time in two days, really), but then something wicked this way comes. The dice tell me it’s a single menial creature, which is good to hear. It’s a single kobold. Odd. Okay. This just got interesting. Arath tries to sneak and will use luck if he needs to; a natural 1. He needs to. He rolls a 9, which +1 is a 10, and is barely enough to keep from being seen by the kobold. He decides to follow it for a bit (at a distance). The kobold gets a check to see if he notices the human trailing it at some point, but that 4 is not going to be enough.

It is likely that this is on patrol or on a mission and is returning home. The dice fervently disagree. Is it on its way out from home? Also no. Is it connected to the temple in some way? Also no. Is it serving some other force? Yeah. Is it going to get mushrooms? Yep. For its boss? No. For itself? Yes. Weird. Are they mushrooms of madness? Nope. Weird mountain mushrooms, but not specifically magical ones. Okay. Is this his little mushroom farm? Yeah. So, he's carrying dung from his master (I’ll determine that in a minute) to give soil to these mushrooms, that he then eats.

The circle of life is a beautiful thing. Except in this case. Then it’s kind of weird.

There is a very small chance that the same scorpion from before is here eating the stash of mushrooms. The dice agree – that was not going to happen.

Arath watches as the kobold drops some poop, picks some mushrooms, and then turns to head back to its point of origin. Which is not a lair full of kobolds. Is this guy a loner? Yeah. I almost feel bad for him, to be honest.

Arath probably has no such mixed emotions.

Arath again uses his luck to keep hiding, but the kobold sees him and … not sure what it does. I’m going to go with low is attack, high is run… middle is stalemate? 3. It goes to attack. Arath loses initiative, and the kobold charges at him with its cute little javelin. Arath must be distracted by how darling it is that this little doggy dude is all trying to kill him with a toothpick. He evades said toothpick, smacking the kobold with the side of his sword to subdue it. He’s successful. He decides to bind it and try to question it.

He can attempt a mind check to see if he can figure out the trail it followed to get here (it must travel this pathway often, so this would be somewhat worn down – and he knows the specific path it took from the time he first saw it, so reversing that shouldn’t be too terribly difficult). He checks mind and gets mad failures, even with the luck (it’s been far more than a minute since he last used luck).

There is a very, very small chance that Arath can speak with this thing. He would know one language beyond the trade tongue, but the odds of it being kobold are very small… the dice agree. He comes up with a plan to untie the kobold, hide, and try to follow it back to its lair.

It’s more than a minute again, so he gets to use luck, which helps because he ends up with a natural 12, and this allows him to follow the frightened little kobold back to its hiding spot… okay. What does it work for?

I have the dice randomly determine a page from the beast listing, and randomly determine a beast on that page… and it’s a minotaur. I have an idea… let’s see if the dice agree. They don’t. They thought that my idea of the minotaur being magically geased to stand watch over a door into the side of the mountain was stupid. Well, I think the DICE are stupid, so there!

Is the minotaur in chains? The dice think that idea is awesome. Seriously? Better than magically geased? Fine.

Okay, so the kobold is buddies with a chained minotaur who is trapped in a cave. Why is the dude chained here? Is it being forced to guard a treasure? (please yes) The dice say yes.

Well. There are options here. I like the idea of freeing the minotaur and splitting the treasure between him and the kobold. Like, let them take half.

He follows the kobold to the cave, watches it explain (in kobold) what happened, and he then watches the minotaur think about it and grunt a few times. Here goes everything…

Arath steps forward and introduces himself. He says he seeks no enmity, and could have killed the kobold but didn’t. Mind check. Failed, and then failed again with luck. The kobold charges, and the minotaur throws its spear. So much for negotiating. Arath was ready for this possibility, so he’s got his sword at the ready. I’ll give him initiative. He misses the kobold; the kobold misses, but the minotaur hits with a natural 12 for 8 damage. Daaaang. Arath fails his armor check, and luck has been used up. He’s down to 4 hits remaining.

In round 2, he kills the kobold, and now has some thinking to do. He’s standing 30’ from the minotaur, who is on a 20’ chain. The minotaur could try to break the chain and charge him, but I would think he’s tried to break the chain several times. It gets a might check with -1 edge, and needs a natural 12 to break the chain. 5 and a 1. This minotaur is rather stuck. It no longer has a spear. Negotiations resume.

And still fail. This minotaur will not be reasoned with. It fails its mind checks, and so keeps backing up and charging at Arath. Each time, Arath is able to wait until it reaches the end of its chain, and whack it with his sword. Each time the Minotaur will break the chain on a natural 12 but rolled with -1 edge. So a 1 in 144 chance each time.

Check one. The minotaur charges and fails to break its chain. Arath misses with his sword, as he tries to figure out the timing on this.

Check two. The minotaur charges and almost succeeds (10 and 12). Arath hits it with an 11, dealing 5 hits. The minotaur fails its armor check, down to 19 hits.

Check three. The minotaur charges and fails. Arath hits with a natural 12, dealing 6 hits. The minotaur makes its check and suffers 3, down to 16.

Check four. Both fail.

Check five. The minotaur fails, but Arath hits with a natural 12 for 6 damage. Failed armor check, so minotaur is at 10. Morale check. Failed.

Okay… the cut up and exhausted minotaur pants, desperate. Arath tries to speak with it again. He uses luck on the mind check, and gets a natural 12 (which is much better than the 1 he originally rolled), and the minotaur will listen. The minotaur can understand him… he goes to check the chains and see if he can figure out how to free the minotaur, and he will give it half the treasure and let it go if he succeeds.

He steps into the cave and examines the chains and the chest that the minotaur guards. The dice tell me that there are several problems. The chains are magically enchanted to keep from breaking, and the chest has a trap. Arath is fortunate that he rolled well on his two mind checks.

Plan B. Arath asks if the one who trapped him returns often. No. He has not been back in some time.   

Plan C. (I had to take a break before coming up with this one) – lie to the minotaur, telling it that he was able to remove the magic of the chest, but only the minotaur can open it, and that the key to his chains is kept within. It would be a huge bluff, but he has luck… so I try that. Success.

Poor minotaur. It believes this story, and after Arath pretends to cast a spell over the chest, it goes over and attempts to open it – and is promptly disintegrated. Arath hopes that this means that the spell at least needs some time to recharge, and he starts hacking at the chest.

I’m going to say that he has 10 rounds to destroy the chest and get things out before the disintegrate resets. The chest is a level 3 item, so it has armor 3 and I’ll give it 30 hits.

Round 1. Arath hacks and fails to damage it.

Round 2. He deals 5 hits, and it fails to soak. 25 hits remain.

Round 3. Hits with a 12 for 6 damage. Soak fails. 19 hits remain.

Round 4. Another 12. 6 damage. Soaks 3. 16 hits remain.

Round 5. Fail.

Round 6. Fail. Drat. Decide to use luck because I am running out of time. Get a 12 for 6 damage. Soaks 3. Down to 13.

Round 7. Hits for 4, but it soaks 2. Down to 11.

Round 8. Hits for 5 but it soaks 3. Down to 9. Not going to make it.

Round 9. Deals 5 hits. Makes the armor check. Down to 7. Nope.

Round 10. Hits for 4 and it fails its armor check, but still has 3 hits remaining. The disintegration barrier returns.

Arath grabs the dead kobold and throws it on the chest, setting off the disintegration. This resets his time.

Round 1. Fail.

Round 2. Deals 4 hits, and the chest fails to soak. He destroys it. I’m going to rule that since the disintegration went off twice, once when the chest was badly damaged, there is a small chance for each item I roll that it was disintegrated.

This is a level 3 treasure. I get to use luck once when rolling. I lick my lips in anticipation…

Rolled a 2 on the money check! There are 4 instances of wealth. Each is worth 1d12x3 gp. Sweeet.

Instance one is worth 24 gp. It is a small bag of gold coins. This was not disintegrated.

Instance two is worth 27 gp. It is 3 gems each worth 9 gp. This was not disintegrated.

Instance three is worth 12 gp. It was an amulet, but it has been turned to dust from the disintegration spell. I’m glad that this was the thing I lost!

Instance four is worth 21 gp. It is a ring.

Okay… magic treasure… I roll a natural 1 without luck! Dang. That is two instances of magical treasure.

The first instance is a wand. The wand is cursed. Fudge. It appears to be a wand of light, but actually forces -1 edge to all light magic checks. The good news is that, since Arath does not use light magic, it doesn’t really harm him. I would think that the device would seek a different wielder… or he would never try to use it. I’m not going to roll, but I’m going to rule that his luck kicks in here and prevents him from falling under a curse, since it would have no impact on him at all. There is no way he could know it is cursed, but he would also know that he cannot use it and wouldn’t try.

The second instance is a magical device. It is a pair of gauntlets of might, grating +1 to his might score.  Well. That was a good haul.

He has valuables worth 72 gp, a pair of gauntlets, and a cursed wand that he can probably still barter as long as nobody knows it’s cursed… so that’s good.

He’s also earned a bunch of xp. He had defeated a level 2 scorpion (5 xp) a kobold (1 xp) a minotaur (10 xp) and a level 3 chest trap (10 xp). He’s already at 27 xp.

If I could just have him walk into town, he’d immediately upgrade gear and be jacked. As it is, he’s still lost in the mountains and the ascetic temple on the horizon is his best option.

Time to visit the weird people of the keep…

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