Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Arath Session 9

Let’s go dungeon delving!
They are in area 1, so they’re going to follow the eastern wall southward, and they end up searching that alcove into area 2. This is the lair of a tomb spider that the goblins know to avoid. It attempts to sneak up on the two heroes, and fails. It wins initiative anyway, and springs on Arath, who would be taking the lead.
Round 1: It misses with its bite. Arath hits it for 6, and it fails its armor check. It is down to 10. Bika hits for 3, but its armor check reduces this to 2. It’s at 8.
Round 2: It misses again. Everyone whiffs.
Round 3: It misses. Arath hits for 6, and Bika misses. It fails its armor check, so is down to 2.
Round 4: It finally lands a bite on Arath, dealing 5. Arath makes both his armor and might checks, so he only suffers 3, which is amazing all things considered. He’s at 10. He and Bika both his for normal damage; this is enough to kill it. They search around the room to see if there’s anything of value. There’s a magical item! They find a potion of levitation on the dried husk of something that has been in its webs for a long time.
That’s another 5 XP, for a total of 24 on this adventure so far.
They head east through the door (that has been left open) and then south. The door to area 3 is not trapped, but it is locked. Arath is able to force the door, and they explore the south. They find a collapsed room, and decide (correctly) that there is nothing of value here. They realize that the door was barred so that no one came this way, since the roof looks on the verge of even more collapse.
Area 4 has a monster. They did not notice it above, but a large bee hive has formed in the middle of the broken threshing floor. The weren know to avoid this, and they largely leave the bees alone (and give them a wide berth). Here, the bottom of the hive breaks through the ceiling, and honey drips from the bottom of the hive. There is a bowl set up to collect honey as it drops, and the bugbear made a habit of stopping in here regularly to lick the honey that had collected from the bowl. Could they stab the bottom of the hive to get a bunch of honey to drop through? Yes. Would they also get a bunch of angry bees swarming on them? Yes. They use one of the empty potion bottles (from either the sneak or heroism potions) to collect honey while they are down here, and they will take whatever they gather with them when they leave.
That’s worth 2 XP. 26 so far.
They get to the crossroads, and while I want them to turn north, their logic so far would dictate that they go south. That ends in a door that is barred and obviously trapped, with warnings written in goblin not to proceed. The door is barred and heavily barricaded, and it requires a might check at -1 edge to open. I’ve already decided that the area behind is a shrine to an Old Gallan god, and that a ghost of his high priest remains on the other side. The goblins and bugbear wanted NOTHING to do with any of that. Arath fails to force the door open. Bika makes her mind check and suggests that the warnings seem authentic – the goblins were deeply afraid of something on the other side. Best maybe to let it be. This is a hook that I can come back to later, if so inclined… I have a few lingering threads. I think after I hit level 2, I’ll go back and make a list of possible threads to start pulling at. This is one, as is the cave in the desert with the two spiders… and the original temple of eunuchs. And the temple of snakes. Lots to do.
Anyhow, moving forward, they continue to hug the wall to the far eastern passage. This appears to be something of a storage room. The goblins appear to have put a lot of supplies that they have plundered in here. There is a passage to the south just before this room, but I’m deciding that they intentionally collapsed this (to cut off the ghost). The passage to the east out of here was once a tunnel that has long since collapsed. Bika makes her mind check to find the secret door! I have an idea for what’s in here, and my dice fervently agree (I roll a 1 followed by a 1). Okay. It’s an Old Gallen levitation skiff. This is straight out of Return of the Jedi. It is a short (20’ long) wooden skiff with a sail. It levitates about 3’ over the sand, and relies on windpower. It requires some skill to operate, and has some storage capacity as well as a mounted ballista that deals 10 damage, but which requires a full round to re-load. The skiff has Armor 5, and can sustain 30 hits before being destroyed.
Dang. That’s pretty awesome, to be honest. I think that Arath just became something of a desert pirate or something. They leave it here for the moment, but have plans to return for it.
I kind of like my dice sometimes.
Only one room remains – the ‘throne room’ of the Bugbear. He’s got a makeshift wooden throne here. It is unlikely that there still some goblins here – the dice agree. No goblins. In fact, there are no monsters at all. There’s a chest that is locked and Bika sees that it is trapped. Arath suggests that they put it on the skiff, push the skiff up the stairs, and present the head to the jackal weren warning them to flee, or they will visit slaughter upon them! They can get the Faun to use magic to open the chest when they get back to the community.
It's a good gamble. Arath makes his mind check to intimidate the weren. While most of them step aside, four decide to make a run at them. Bika immediately downs one with an arrow, and Arath cuts another down with his sword. In short order, the others flee. Hey, that’s two more XP! 28 on the adventure thus far.
On the way back, I roll for a random encounter. Figures. 9 jackal weren had decided to go ahead and prepare to ambush them on the road as they were passing by. So, it’s 9 jackal weren against my two intrepid heroes… I’m using stats for kobolds for these guys.
The weren fail to surprise them, but still win initative, and charge in. Bika is sitting on the skiff with the chest, her bow out, while Arath is pulling it (it weighs nothing with the levitation, so besides being a little awkward, it’s nothing to pull it along with a rope). They can throw javelins or run in and bite.
Four throw javelins at Bika and four move in with javelins to stab at Arath. Two hits Bika, one with a 12, so she suffers 4 and 2 damage. She makes her second armor check, so suffers 5 hits. She’s at 1. Welp! The exact same things happens to Arath (12 and 10), but he fails both armor checks, so is at 7 hits. That’s in one round! Arath hits one and kills it, and so does Bika. That helps.
In round two, three hit Bika. NO! She suffers 4, 3, and 2 hits. She makes her first armor check, and fails the other 2. She is down to -6 hits and is in bad shape. Two hit Arath, one with an 11. He makes his first armor check, so suffers 4 hits, down to 3. He drinks his potion of healing, getting back to 8, and then attacks without his edge; he hits with an 11, and kills another. Three are down. I’d have them check morale, but they are actually winning the fight…
In round three, only four can attack at a time (thankfully) and only 1 hits. Arath makes his armor check, so is down to 7. He kills another. That means 5 remain.
In round four, one hits him for 3 damage; he fails his armor check, so is down to 4. He kills another. Four remain, so I’ll have them check morale. They fail, and run.
Whew. He uses the potion on Bika to stabilize her, and then he drags the skiff the rest of the way back to the Faun compound. They minister to Bika and help her to recover.
The treasure chest is a bust. I rule that it has at least one instance of mundane treasure before I roll, which is good… because that’s all there is. It is full of silver coins – 240 of them (or 24 gp worth). That is… not good. The skiff was a huge win, but the rest of the treasure was middling at best. Oh, and they managed to only get two drops of the honey from the hive. So that stinks, too.
However, the Faun decide to establish a second colony at the hillside fort that they just cleared. They are going to fix the walls with nearby stone, put up a wooden gate, and use the fort as a watchpost and keep as necessary.
Arath gets to keep the skiff – he’s going to be exploring the desert.
Okay. XP time. They earned a total of 34 XP, and Arath gets a 10% bonus because Bika (barely) survived. Hey, it still counts! He would earn 38 XP then…
How much of a cut should she get? Um. I’m not giving her any, because this has been a lot of exploring and fighting, and it will be just enough to get him across the line to level 2. He’s definitely earned another level, and he needs it if he’s going to explore further. Since he won a new fort for the Faun in the bargain, he gets to keep the 240 silver pieces and the skiff… which does make up for everything else.
He gets a character point. I actually think I’m going to put it in mind. Mind checks have been more useful to this point than reflex checks – and he’s done enough ‘thinking’ to justify this from a roleplaying perspective. He’s actually learned a lot.
Here is the updated Arath. The biggest deal here is the increased hits to 26. I am starting to feel like fortitude might be over-powered. By level 6, it amounts to an additional 18 hits. If it was +5 hits at level 1, it would help early survivability, but would be 13 fewer bonus hits by the end of a career. I might house rule that (since the books are printed – LOL), but for now I’ll keep it as is. It is only a 1-point difference right now (he’d have 25 hits otherwise). The only places I see for improvement are in armor rating (some magical scale or plate would be awesome) and in weapon (a magical heavy sword would help). Other than that, he’s pretty solid.
Arath - Brooding Fighting Man 2 (XP 102)
Armor 3; Hits 26; Move 60’; Greatsword (6); Sling (1)
Might 4 (5); Mind 2; Reflex 1
Fortitude; Luck; Two-handed (+1 edge); Warrior (+1 to hit)
Greatsword 6; Chainmail 3; Sling 1; Adventurer’s Pack; 10 days rations; 7 days water; Gauntlets of Might +1; Boots of Traveling; Everburning Torch; Decanter of Sustenance (4 people of water per day, healing potion 2x per day); Potion of Levitation; 20’ Levitating Desert Skiff; 240 sp

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