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D&D 5e Into The (Keep on the) Borderlands (B1&2) #025 The Stinky Cave.

Goonalan

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Into the Borderlands.jpg


Being a mixture of B1 In Search of the Unknown and B2 The Keep on the Borderlands (& the Caves of Chaos).

So, my main story hour here is the Dark Squad.

I'm also reading my way through the Forgotten Realms novels and posting my reviews (of a sort) here.

Therefore the last thing I want/need to be doing is DMing (and then writing up) another game of D&D 5e, particularly now that I am back in the office and life is returning to some semblance of the old... that would be a ridiculous endeavour.

So, here we go...

Expect lots of pictures, and not much text, and you wont be dissatisfied.

Cheers goonalan
 
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Goonalan

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The Intro.

Two things-

a) We're playing a version of what I call Graveyard D&D, a name and style of D&D I invented (I think) the rules of which are described below, don't worry it's pretty much regular D&D only with a slightly elevated chance of PC death.

And,

2) We're using Fantasy Grounds Unity (there will be lots of screenshots. promise) and because all of us (me & the players) are semi-retired, or else work from home, we're playing as and when we can schedule a session.

We've played three sessions so far, the first was on a Wednesday evening- 7 to 11, so far so normal. The second session was on the Friday morning following- 9.30 to 11.30, the third two weeks later on a Thursday afternoon between 2 to 5-ish. My point, there's no reason to the scheduling beyond our diaries- updates and the action may be sporadic.

In truth the ad hoc days and times of this game remind me most of the way I used to play D&D, back when I was a kid/teen, and also back when I left the armed forces and decided to take a year off from the world. I spent that year playing football, doing the bare minimum amount of paid work to keep the boat afloat, and... inevitably, playing a metric ton of D&D, my players were the teens on the street where I lived.

I was the guy that brought D&D into their worlds, yay me.

That was some great D&D, we even recorded some of the sessions using a clunky old Phillips tape recorder, you know the one- the size and heft of a large (and full) Tupperware lunch box. We had a hometown (Carse/Tulan of the Isles) and all of the PCs went on to have houses, wives/girlfriends, and/or lives...

Then the summer ended.

So, this is a bit about nostalgia. Funnily enough the Caves of Chaos featured back then also, who would have thought it.

GRAVEYARD D&D

I'm a DM, I read the modules, some of them are terrifying- by which, of course, I mean many of them make me gurgle with pleasure as I learn about the new ways that I am going to dismember a variety of unsuspecting PCs. That same feeling stays with me when I re-read and set up the module/dungeon ready to be played, the promised delight- it's so tantalising, so close...

And then the players come along, with their flash new shiny PCs and tear my world apart. My traps disarmed, my minions spent- my big bad finale guy now sans life, treasure, and dignity- they even took his skull! My hopes and dreams shattered.

Players!

So, I wanted things to be much more difficult- deadly.

I wanted to build a graveyard of dead PCs for every new module/dungeon that I/we played.

These then are the rules to what we call Graveyard D&D-

1) All starting PCs are approx. 3-5 levels below the written recommended PC level for the dungeon/module. So, the first time we played Graveyard D&D was a version of TSRs I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City. The PCs started at level 1, not level 4-7 as recommended by the module.

2) Each player starts with one PC, when that PC dies they roll up two more PCs, when they die they roll up three more PCs, ad infinitum. The highest I've even got is a guy who rolled six PCs.

3) A player can go adventuring with as many PCs as he or she likes. So around the table there could be four players with seven PCs between them. The most I ever had was something like six players with 14 PCs in game, that didn't work.

4) When a PC dies his or her XP is divided up between the next PCs rolled up by that player. So, for example Jim rolls up Spikey Norman, who then dies with 400 XP to his name- he made it to level 2, hurrah. Jim then rolls up two new PCs- Bert Wibbly & The Black Duck, both PCs start with 200 XP each (400 divided by 2 = 200). Alas Bert (500 XP) and the Black Duck (700 XP) both also meet their maker. Jim therefore rolls up three new PCs, each of them starts with 400 XP (500 + 700 = 1200 divided by 3 = 400).

5) If the module has a bunch of pre-gens with it then the players don't even get to roll up new PCs, we're using these, except they're subject to the level conventions as above.

6) If there are pre-gen PCs available the players have to roll randomly to see who they get. They don't get to chose.

7) If there are no pre-gen PCs then new PCs are rolled as randomly as possible, usually (for me) a random roll for class and race, then 4d6 keep the best three for each stat.

8) Lots of the monsters/bad guys et al should be at the top end of their hit points, I tend to observe a 50% minimum rule, that seems to do the job.

9) The rest is by the module, or as you like it.

Obviously Graveyard D&D is best enjoyed with people of a like-minded disposition, if you can't laugh at the inevitable demise (repeatedly) of your latest favourite PC then, this isn't the game for you.

You've been warned.

Toodles.

Goonalan
 
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Goonalan

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The Players-

Pete
has been gaming since I don't know when, I was his DM back in the day, and on Fantasy Grounds off and on over the last five or so years, although we've not played much since/during the lockdown, for a variety of reasons. It was Pete's constant chirping that was the instigator of this campaign. Pete is an emotional D&D player, at times.

Rob has been gaming for years, and like Pete, gaming with me on Fantasy Grounds for a while, but nothing during lockdown. Rob is a clever D&D player, although when he's playing a dumb half-orc barbarian he's much less smart- he plays the part.

Dave played D&D with me all the way back when we were in the forces, we think- maybe, Dave was there for the first game of Graveyard style D&D I/we played, I1- as discussed earlier. Dave has been playing D&D, and various other RPGs, for as long as I have. He's a year or two older than me. This the first time Dave has played D&D with me (and vice-versa) since the forces days, and that was a while back.

The PCs-

Note, even the pre-gens got a lick of paint from the players, they could make a few changes- but not race and class, or their stats.

In alphabetical order-

Afton Barr RIP (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) male half-elf bard, all the way from the rough streets of Baldur's Gate. An accomplished juggler of very little regard, the obsequious fellow will do anything and everything to gain the fame and fortune he truly deserves. At present he's counting on the brilliance of High Master Lappoy the Unexpected to give him the leg-up he needs.

Estra Zo RIP (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) female forest gnome rogue, educated in the school of hard knocks, Zo- pronounced 'So!' is entirely out for herself, and suffers from low morale fibre, and... well, she's a rogue- she has a penchant for taking other people's stuff. Also, at the moment she's on the run from the law.

Farned of the Leaf Lord RIP (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) male wood elf cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (the Leaf Lord, or the Wild One). Farned is confident, optimistic- everything is within his power/ability, and a little crazy (he's a wannabe fighter). He's also a xenophobe/racist, if you are not an elf... well, there's really no hope for you.

Krago of the Mountains (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male mountain dwarf ranger, an expert hunter (and exterminator) of the humanoid scum that dog his home lands. Krago has been travelling for a while with Sho-Rembo, she's trying to mellow the dwarf. Krago's goal is to do maybe three things- hunt and kill goblins and orcs, number one; stand up to bullies, number two; and lastly (but by no means least), he really likes to drink and shoot off his mouth.

Lappoy the Unexpected (played by Rob) is a (pre-gen) male high elf wizard, an educated elf- and very aware of his 'high' station. Lappoy has all of the answers, and he's always correct, so that's a relief. He's also keen to let everyone else know how much more superior he is to them, any of them. He is after all a high elf master of magics.

Mohag the Wanderer (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male human barbarian, from the northern steppes. A dumb monosyllabic brute with a wanderlust. At six feet four and weighing just short of 250lbs, Mohag is a force to be reckoned with. Particularly as all he knows, and all he likes, is (directed) violence. Note the application of the word directed, Mohag is not (yet) unhinged.

Sho-Rembo (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) female halfling druid, with a cosmic plan- she believes that she will become a great druid and that she is feted to save the world. Obviously, she doesn't tell this kind of thing to everyone, but she's not adverse to constantly hinting at it. She further believes that her fate is entwined somehow with Krago of the Mountains. Sho-Rembo is also fond of the bottle, she climbed inside soon after her family and friends were slaughtered on the trail (by Orcs), she was the lone survivor.

Sir Glen (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) male human paladin of Lathander, and he's a local- although not quite, he has been in the Keep at the Church of the Morning Lord for maybe three months now. Sir Glen, a noble from Waterdeep by birth, is trying his best to be a man of the people, but everyone and everywhere here is just so... filthy. Sir Glen's butler, Humdinger, stays safely ensconced within the noble Lord's rooms (and out of sight). This will be Sir Glen's first combat action, he's keen to make his mark.

Sosspan (played by Dave) is a male dragonborn wizard who has been travelling the lands looking for work with his brother Yor for the last six or so months. The pair have made some dubious choices during this time, and been on the wrong side of the law more than once. They need money, and they need experience, before the pair can head home to slaughter their tyrannical father.

Tassit RIP (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) female human monk, and she's feisty with it. She has but recently emerged from the wilds, seemingly- she says little about her past. Her self-imposed task is to attempt to achieve spiritual, mystical and magical enlightenment by destroying every gods-damned filthy greenskin, and the like, that crosses her path. Tassit is a force to be reckoned with (she thinks).

The Mystical One RIP (aka Meg) (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) female human warlock of indiscriminate age, having dedicated her life and soul to the Council (and counsel) of the Great Old Ones. She's from the far off land of Shou, and can communicate with those around her via telepathy, which can be most unnerving. The Mystical One is on a quest for world domination, but... y'know, in a good way. She will be the next leader of this adventuring band, this she swears to her cold not-yet-dead dread Masters.

Trebbelos (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male tiefling sorcerer, and more remarkably a fairly wholesome individual. Keen to battle tyranny in all its forms, rather poetic when faced with beauty, and a smooth talking charmer- with a devilish manner, of course. Trebbelos, for want of something better to do, is keen to play the part of the hero.

Yor RIP (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male dragonborn fighter who has been travelling the lands looking for work with his brother Sosspan for the last six or so months. The pair have made some dubious choices during this time, and been on the wrong side of the law more than once. They need money, and they need experience, before the pair can head home to slaughter their tyrannical father.

The Graveyard-

Listed in order of demise-

Farned of the Leaf Lord, Male Wild Elf (Acolyte) Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil Level 1 (316 XP), beloved of Dave.
Farned was a crazy (Xenophobic) elf who died following orders- Lappoy the Unexpected's orders, he should have known better. Farned briefly served as the front line in the kobold's lair, that is until he was stabbed in the gut (Crit) and cast down. Farned would have survived the wound if it weren't for the fact that seconds later he was all but incinerated by the aforementioned Lappoy, the... ahem, Unexpected.

Estra Zo, Female Forest Gnome (Urchin) Rogue Level 1 (316 XP), beloved of Pete.
Zo, to her friends, died from a sling stone to the back of the head swiftly followed by a stab in the gut as she lay fitting and bleeding out. She was one square away from being off the map, and as the Gods decree, she would have therefore escaped the encounter. Tymora was clearly on her day off.

Tassit, Female Human (Hermit) Monk Level 1 (263 XP), missed (but not much) by Dave.
Tassit didn't really get a speaking part, her Equity Card, as such, really never got stamped. The ferocious young monk decided early doors that the best form of defence was attack. Thus it was she tumble jumped into a wedge of kobold guards, and... missed every one of her attacks, including with an Inspiration Point (and advantage on all). Mere seconds latter, having been kobold swamp-stomped, she leapt into a spiked pit, seemingly on purpose. Go figure.

The Mystical One, Female Human (Outlander) Warlock Level 1 (469 XP), sorely missed by Pete.
The Mystical One, Pete's answer to Lappoy, was going to have it all, it was all going to be hers. Then she got stabbed in the back three times in quick succession by a trio of goblins, while trying to carry the unconscious bard- Afton, across a spiked pit. It was all going so well...

Afton Barr, Male Half-Elf (Entertainer) Bard Level 1 (469 XP), always in Dave's thoughts.
Afton was bullied into being the front line for a trio of wizards- his words, and delivered with rancour. Towards the end his spirit was broken, the former happy-go-lucky minstrel- famed for his ability to juggle five balls simultaneously (if only for a short while) was bitten by rats and fell unconscious, thrown across a pit, and then finally (casually) stabbed to death by a passing goblin. We shall remember him, mostly with laughter.

Yor, Male Dragonborn (Folk Hero) Fighter Level 2 (638 XP), sadly missed by Pete.
In an attempt to push into the lair of the hobgoblins, and to track down the missing merchant and his wife Yor took the battle to the hobgoblin front-line, and paid the ultimate price. Having broken through the enemy line the dragonborn was about to celebrate victory, however just moments later the brave warrior was cut down (decapitated) by Grelzenod the Render, with a Crit for over thirty points of damage, it wasn't pretty to see. Death, of course, was instantaneous.

Corbis, Male Human Sidekick Warrior Level 2 (650 XP), not at all missed by the DM.
Corbis and friends got ambushed by eight xvarts, the warrior succumbed quickly and after his companions fled was parcelled up into smaller chunks to serve as packed lunch for xvarts both present and future, happy days. But not for Corbis.

Tribbits, Male Human Sidekick Warrior Level 2 (650 XP), the DM was unconcerned by his passing.
Tribbits, see Corbis above, fled into the xvart nest to escape xvart ambushers, alas the route to freedom was beset by the inequities of... well, spiked pit traps. Also the xvarts from above caught up with him. He was less than lovingly stabbed to death.

The PC XP Table.

Up to and including the action in Session #025.

#XPPCRace/ClassLevelPlayerStatus
13185Lappoy the UnexpectedHigh Elf Wizard3RobOKAY
22558Krago of the MountainsMountain Dwarf Ranger3PeteOKAY
22558Mohag the WandererHuman Barbarian3PeteOKAY
22558Sho-RemboStout Halfling Druid3DaveOKAY
22558Sir GlenHuman Paladin3DaveOKAY
22558SosspanDragonborn Wizard3DaveOKAY
72557TrebbelosTiefling Sorcerer3PeteOKAY
81580ScrubsHuman Expert3DMOKAY
91250CorbisHuman Warrior2DMDEAD
91250TribbitsHuman Warrior2DMDEAD
11482YorDragonborn Fighter2PeteDEAD
12316Estra ZoForest Gnome Rogue1PeteDEAD
12316Farned of the Leaf LordWild Elf Cleric1DaveDEAD
9311Afton BarrHalf-Elf Bard1DaveDEAD
9311The Mystical OneHuman Warlock1PeteDEAD
14105TassitHuman Monk1DaveDEAD
 
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Goonalan

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Supporter
The Borderland Bandits in Into the Borderlands.

Session #001: We're Not Dead Yet!

PCs

Estra Zo
(played by Pete) Female Forest Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (played by Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (played by Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 1: Being the 1st Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 9-ish (just after breakfast time).


We begin with introductions, players and PCs, we're at the Keep in the Borderlands, which looks like this-

101.jpg

That's nice... we're not stopping.

But Zo is not for hanging around. The presumption is the guys have been here/together for a little while, they have some rumours about what lies hereabouts but this is going to be the first time they have ventured out into the wilds.

So, off they go-

102.jpg

The PCs can only see a bit of the map at a time, just what they can, well... see. A hex is an eighth of a mile.

Onwards, along the main road- patrolled and used by trade caravans and the like, and therefore possibly the safest place outside of the Keep (maybe) on the map.

All the way to the Caves of Chaos.

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It's a shadowy route, apologies- Fantasy Grounds Unity, I'll figure out how to do it better.

Into a wooded valley, there are caves hereabouts, after discussion the first opening on the left is approached-

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Anyone home?

Zo creeps in to find out.

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The Goblin count is high, Zo reckons there are at least ten of them- that's not good.

The rogue returns to her colleagues, who retreat a way (into cover) for a discussion, the result of which is... let's move on. There's three of us and ten goblins, it all sounds a bit dangerous.

The next cave along-

106.jpg

Has an Ogre in it.

Not a chance, the discussion here is minimal, as Zo puts it- "We ain't never gun do 'n Ogre!"

Zo's stealth and perception checks have all been great so far.

Move on...

But what's this, over the way hidden in a tree are a bunch of kobolds, note the PCs required something like a DC 16 to spot these buggers, their lowest roll was an '18'.

Enemy selected.

107.jpg
He-he-he. Here we go, and Lappoy has had a great idea.

So, while the kobolds are hard to hit (they have cover) the PCs have not been spotted- kobolds are much less observant out in the sunlight.

Zo, shoots one of the kobolds dead, and then Lappoy stands up from hiding and unleashes his terrible magiks!

108.jpg

A Sleep spell, and keep in mind the scaly buggers are all balanced on branches in the upper limbs of the trees, all of them 1d4 x 10 feet up from the very hard ground.

And so when three of the kobolds fall instantly asleep, well... seconds later they're roughly awoken after close contact with the ground, death by deceleration trauma.

Great work!

There are screams and shouts, kobolds climb down, up, attack with slings, or Tarzan-like swinging on vines armed with javelins- used like lances. There's a fair amount of panic.

The result is inevitable, although one of the buggers gets away and makes a dash for a cavern entrance to the north west.

110.jpg

He's getting away!

But not for long, Zo shoots the fleeing kobold dead.

[Kobolds in a tree 200 XP]

The bodies of the dead are dragged into hiding and searched- some coin but not much, then the PCs spent ammunition is recovered and a short rest taken. Lappoy wants his spell back (Arcane Recovery), remarkably none of the PCs took a hit.

Next stop, what must be the kobold's lair, Zo creeps in to take a look.

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A few kobolds on guard, the rest huddled, yapping and gambling- perfect.

The plan is- attack, there are six kobold guards- all of them need to be killed quickly, before they raise the alarm.

However...

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Alas, none of the PCs spotted the pit trap right in front of them.

Remarkably (Dexterity DC 18 to avoid) Zo manages to trigger the trap but then dive aside, she also has the stones to shoot a kobold dead.

Lappoy has another plan...

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Burning Hands!

Note the PCs need to make a DC 10 Athletics or Acrobatics check to dodge around the outside of the awkwardly placed pit.

Remember this.

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After the flame!

Farned finishes off the last kobold guard, but what's this- a bunch of giant rats come scurrying and squeaking down the western passage. Thank the gods the pit trap is still open, the nasty rodents also need to manoeuvre around the yawning opening.

[The kobold guards 150 XP]

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The pit closes shut- bugger!

But the rats are getting cut down, or shot, or burnt.

This could still work.

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But the Giant Rats keep on coming- bugger (again).

And still they come, time for another bit of Lappoy magic.

He's the best! He repeatedly let's his companions know this.

Note, Farned is bloodied and beyond.

118.jpg
Sleep!

Keep in mind Farned is obviously immune to sleep magic.

But, alas- even after spending an inspiration point to roll again, only two giant rats succumb to the high elf's slumberous magic.

Then, alas, suddenly everything goes bad.

119.jpg

Lappoy trips and falls into the pit, which now also has a giant rat in it. Farned is surrounded and on one hit point.

Zo is preparing to make the long journey home- alone.

Ah! First level.

Still can't get any worse.

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Then, after healing himself- using an inspiration point to trigger his healing hit dice (like a healing surge, a house rule for first level PCs) Farned also trips and falls into the pit.

There is screaming, and a few very fruity swears.

That's also the end of the first session.

Oddly, it felt very nostalgic- in a very good way.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Cheers the Borderland Bandits* and goonalan.

*Note, Pete is calling the gang- the Borderland Bandito's, a much better name, he insists.
 
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Nice to see one of the classics getting rolled out.

I'm sure you'll soon have some bodies in the graveyard :) Although it's probably a little less certain with 5e than it would have been back in the AD&D/BECMI days.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Nice to see one of the classics getting rolled out.

I'm sure you'll soon have some bodies in the graveyard :) Although it's probably a little less certain with 5e than it would have been back in the AD&D/BECMI days.

Yeah, it's easier with Graveyard D&D when the scenario being played is say 5th level and the PCs are level 1, I may have over-sold it (already). However, be assured, the graveyard will be put to good use.

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Borderland Banditos Into the Borderlands.

Session #002: A Tactical Retreat.

PCs

Estra Zo
(played by Pete) Female Forest Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (played by Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (played by Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 1: Being the 1st Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 1-ish (and the PCs have yet to have lunch).


So, to begin with- the oddity of it all, we're playing D&D at 9.30 AM on a Friday morning, and while all of us are probably wearing shorts, or else a dressing gown, we're no-longer teenagers. Life, subject to lawyerly qualifications, is good.

Welcome to your second youth-hood, Mr. GM and friends.

But where were we...

In a pit-

201.jpg

Note, two of the Giant Rats outside of the pit are at present subject to Lappoy's Sleep spell, for some reason I failed to tick the box on FGU which shows the icon effects on enemies, my bad. So, there are only three Giant Rats between the Banditos and freedom.

Then another giant rat gets in the pit with Farned and Lappoy and bites the former- the cleric is down to one hit point, Lappoy is replete with three.

Just for info Zo hasn't taken a hit yet.

Lappoy screams and shouts and Shocking Grasps the giant rat before him- the rodent survives, if anything it's more determined to eat the wizard.

Farned casts a Healing Word on Lappoy (because it's a Bonus Action and not an Action) and then slices at the giant rat before him- he misses. As does Zo who is creeping closer, firing her bow, and then retreating in swift order.

Lappoy gets bitten again.

202.jpg

We've been in this pit (in this session) fifteen minutes and just over one turn, and yet very little has changed.

Oh but hang on...

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That's new- Zo shoots the closest Giant Rat but only wounds it, the rodent goes rushing after the gnome. The consensus around the table is- we're doomed!

Three level 1 PCs (two badly injured) versus three injured giant rats, this is epic cinema.

Hang on!

Farned cannot survive much longer, he thinks, and so uses his last prayer to Cure Wounds himself better.

But that's not all-

204.jpg
A Giant Rat bites Lappoy, the wizard sinks to his knees and then slumps into the corner of the pit, his last words to Farned before unconsciousness- "For the People! Avenge me!"

There follows quite a lot of rolling and missing.

Not a lot in the way of avenging.

But not for Zo, the gnome cuts down the giant rat that was threatening her (with a Crit) and then (mainly because she still hasn't taken a hit yet) rushes back into the cavern and shoots one of the giant rats in the pit dead too.

Note, Zo has been threatening to cut and run for about three turns now.

But then a miracle!

205.jpg

Lappoy rolls a '20' on his first Death Save, and gets to his feet full of bile and fury.

The raging wizard pumps another Shocking Grasp into the last giant rat still standing- it dies.

YES!!!

[A bunch of giant rats 175 XP]

The Borderland Bandits quickly kill the two sleeping giant rats, search the dead kobolds and the area, and then dump all of the bodies in the pit, figuring if they spring the trap again then at least they'll have a soft landing.

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Another hit of nostalgia- what are pits for if not the hiding of dead bodies, a facility that has been put to good use by generations of adventurers.

The 'do we stay or do we go?' discussion takes less then three seconds to play out.

A tactical withdrawal is the order of the day, all of the PCs are spent- no inspiration points left, no spells (save cantrips) and no healing. Also, Lappoy is still on one hit point, he's remarkably bolshie even so, ordering his (followers, he thinks) colleagues around.

The Banditos retreat out of the valley to hide in the nearby foliage.

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Watching the Caves of Chaos, the Banditos don't have long to wait.

Spilling out of the cave ten or so minutes later are a clutch of kobolds, the pesky little dragon-things run willy-nilly for a while, that is until a slightly larger kobold emerges and starts shouting the odds.

Zo, who still hasn't taken a hit remember, decides to creep closer to take a look.

Farned and Lappoy are going nowhere, keep in mind Farned my be good at hiding (he's a wood elf) but he's also a tin-can in his half-plate.

And so, Zo-

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Zo follows her '19' Stealth with a '20' Perception check, she sees...

A bunch of 'normal' kobolds, several scantily clad females- although not lots of either. Three armoured kobolds- two with handaxes and shortbows look to be guards of some sort, they bully the other kobolds around. The third is clearly the big chief.

The big chief puts on a fairly adept five-minute display with his battleaxe, which he wields two-handed, swinging the hefty blade left, right and centre, and all the while screaming blue-murder. This delights the female kobolds hereabouts- the chief's entourage/hareem, no doubt.

But what delights Zo more is the fact that the chief kobold is wearing a heavy gold chain with a fat black gem, and keep in mind the gnome rogue rolled a '20' for her Perception.

The DM states- I'll let you guess how much the jewellery is worth, if you like? I'll just answer higher or lower, whatever you guess.
Zo: (after much deliberation) 500gp?
The DM: Higher.

Just to note, Zo is very motivated by money.

The gnome heads back to her colleagues, and she's certain- they're coming back here soon.

Then, back to the Keep on the Borderlands.

But, what's this...

209.jpg

That's a better image of the hex map.

Just off the road and up a nearby hill, both of the elves spot smoke coming from a campfire (they think).

Zo goes for a little creep up the hill, while her colleagues hide, but alas the gnome is spotted before she has even got halfway up.

There follows a brief but polite conversation (the last one for a while- see below) with the as yet unseen individuals atop the rise.

As it turns out the group camped on the summit are a bunch of adventurers (called the Fortune's Five), accompanied by a few Borderlands Guards, that have been hired to clear out a nest of bandits in the region.

The Banditos are therefore cautiously welcomed...

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The camp of (the?) Fortune's Five (I know, it's a stupid name, almost as bad as the Borderland Banditos- but not quite).

There follows lots (and I mean lots) of chatter, so (some of which is OOC)-

The Banditos explain to the leaders of the Fortune's Five what they've been up to- killing kobolds and the like, and then offer to help out around the camp providing they are allowed to rest here the night. They will be returning to the Caves of Chaos to slay more kobolds in the morning.

Permission granted.

The PCs then discuss (for the first time) what they know about the region.

Note, each of the PCs starts the game with a few rumours distributed during character creation, they share/discuss the following-

3. Tribes of different creatures live in different caves.
6. All of the cave entrances are trapped.*
8. Altars are very dangerous.
16. Lizardmen live in the marshes.

The numbers on the list are for me, the DM.

*Note, Lappoy had this rumour- he forget, or else neglected, to share it with his colleagues prior to entering the goblin/ogre/kobold lairs.

Also, it's probably worth mentioning now that as well as rumours about the region the PCs were all gifted (by the saintly) DM with a few clues about the lair of the Great Wizard Zelligar, and his Myrmidon Champion companion- Rogahn.

The former home of these two 'epic' and possibly long-dead heroes is also rumoured to be located somewhere in this region, it has been sought for the best part of a century.

This then is the quest given to each new PC, in line with Module B1 In Search of the Unknown.

Note, none of the PCs have even mentioned this so far, therefore I thought I'd be the first.

Next up chatter about the Banditos options, the issue, of course, being that they are three 1st level PCs, and their enemies are legion. The obvious solution, as expressed by Pete (playing Zo) initially, is- if one or two PCs were to die, then the unfortunate player/s would suddenly find themselves with two new PCs (each). In conclusion- four or ideally five PCs would be a good number for a low level adventuring party.

Here's the thing though, two sessions in and I'm fairly certain that all three players wouldn't bat an eye-lid if they had to abandon their colleagues to allow their PC a better chance of escaping their doom.

Also, these characters were selected at random from the Pre-Gens, and they ended up with a Cleric, a Rogue and a Wizard- that's a pretty good mix, particularly as the Cleric has got a decent AC etc.

If they could only get all three of these guys up to level 2.

Therefore the decision is swiftly made- back to kobold killing, as already stated, and if the going gets rough- get out.

Just three more things to get said.

One, the PCs have started to garner personalities, or at least ways of speaking.

Zo started out as tough, terse and in charge, it didn't last long, she got trampled on by the elves, who have somehow bonded.

Farned briefly made a play for party leader spot, but was foiled for two reasons- he's too nice and Lappoy isn't (nice).

Lappoy spent the first half of the first session listening to his two colleagues semi-bicker, and then after some remarkable spell results- dropping three kobolds out of the tree (= dead), incinerating the kobold guards (four killed in an instant), and then sending two of the giant rats to sleep. Well, Lappoy is in charge, atm. He's not shouty, he is however (big sigh) frustrated by the fact that he has to tell his followers/colleagues what to do all of the time.

When Lappoy started to shine- Farned fell in line very quickly, remember the cleric thinks that Elves Rule! and Lappoy styles himself a High Elf Master Wizard (or similar).

So, they're growing as people.

Point two- a word about gambling.

It's not mature or indeed sensible, so don't do it.

So, we've opened a book on the PCs.

Every new PC (Pre-Gen or rolled) costs the player £1.
Every session costs the player (and the DM) £1 just the same.

At the end of the game the three PCs (living or dead) with the highest XP will receive (60/30/10%) of the total pot, or else the money will go to the player who took charge of the winning PCs.

Two sessions in and the pot is at £11.

Last bit, sorry- lots of chatter in this one, but let's skip back to the Fortune's Five camp.

So, while enjoying their stay at the summit camp the Banditos decide to see what new info they can find out, also to see if they can hire one of the warriors/guards/anyone to accompany them back to the Caves of Chaos.

That's when things start to go wrong-ish.

The three leader types of the camp- Eddis (female human, could be a ranger), M'Baddah (big male human, a warrior of some sort) and Jerdren (hefty male human, another warrior?) are either individually or collectively rubbed up the wrong way by all three of the PCs.

Zo, almost convinces M'Whan (male human, definitely a fighter) to join the Banditos but when M'Baddah (M'Whan's dad) hears about this then they both get shouted at. The Fortune's Five have a contract with the Castellan of Borderlands Keep, M'Whan is going nowhere.

Then Lappoy makes it clear that Mead, a wood elf fledgling mage member of the Fortune's Five, is clearly not up to much- magically speaking. Certainly not on the road to being Archmage Lappoy, as he is. A little later insults fly.

Lastly, and collectively we have forgotten who it was he said this to, Farned calls one of the leader types a 'sub-elf', and then goes on to explain at great length that anything not elf is 'sub-par', and to be pitied.

All three PCs made one social skill type check, the results before bonuses/penalties were '5', '2' & '1'.

The Banditos, after a little more wrangling- and some better rolls, are allowed to stay at the camp for just the one night, and furthermore warned- the camp is supposed to be a secret, the Fortune's Five are searching for a gang of bandits in the region. In short- Banditos, stay away!

The Borderland Banditos are all just over half way to level 2, they need to stick their necks out again.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Cheers

The Borderland Bandits and goonalan.
 
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Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Borderland Banditos Go Into The Borderlands.

Session #003: Kobold Killers (& vice-versa).

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Estra Zo
(Pete) Female Forest Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 2: Being the 2nd Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 10-ish (after a lazy start to the day).


Just before we start I wanted to make something clear, the Borderland Banditos didn't just escape the kobolds last session with their lives, they got a bunch of XP, and... treasure.

In total?

Fifty one silver pieces.

What a haul- that's 17sp each.

Remember the times when a hard day adventuring generated 1.7gp for each PC.

Made me smile.

Then, onwards...

The Banditos awake late and soon after depart the Fortune's Five camp, they make their way unimpeded back to their previous hiding place in the woods at the neck of the Caves of Chaos ravine. Then... they watch, for an hour or so, but there's no movement to be seen.

So, next stop the kobold cave, here we go-

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Hullo! We're back again!

Note, Lappoy has his Mage Armour on from the start for this one, he figures (correctly) it's probably going to get hairy in here.

But here's the thing, while Zo (as usual) is really sneaky her companions are (very) much less so, Stealth checks '1' & '2' for Farned and Lappoy respectively.

So, one of the kobold guards within the cavern spots the cleric- as the wild elf leans in to the opening to see, the dragon-thing yelps and then rushes at the priest.

But that doesn't work, Zo (from hiding) sinks an arrow into the rushing kobold's back as it exits the cavern, and that's enough to end the little bugger- dead.

Zo slinks back into hiding, briefly, while warning her compatriots that there are more guards within the cavern entrance, including one of the hefty (for a kobold) armoured fellows.

Meantime there's kobold confusion within the cavern- shouts and calls and the stomp of little feet.

Seconds later Zo scoots back out of hiding and into the cavern entrance again- surprise and then very high initiative, she ends another kobold guard with her bow.

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Zo is a killing machine.

But then the rest of the kobolds come running, all four of the little buggers rush screeching out of their lair, they get as close as they can to Farned before throwing, or else stabbing, with whatever they have to hand.

Remarkably all four of the little buggers fail to hit the priest of the Leaf Lord.

Including the armoured fellow.

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Farned, in the wrong place and at the wrong time, and with a '1' for his Stealth.

But the kobold guards keep on coming, spilling out of the cavern and straight at the cleric, the elite kobold (the kobold with the armour) is calling the shots, and he's got his comrades in arms real riled.

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Farned gets sliced by the elite kobold's handaxe.

The Banditos' retribution is very swift, Lappoy blasts another kobold guard (explodes its head) dead with a Crit hit Fire Bolt, while Zo sinks an arrow into the elite kobold's back.

Seconds later Farned's Shillelagh thumps the big(-ish) kobold bastard dead.

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Elite kobold my ass.

The last kobold standing suddenly realizes that all of its friends are gone, it flees and is also smashed into oblivion by the priest.

Success!

And as far as the Banditos know the alarm has not been raised.

This, of course, is absolutely not the case- one of the kobold guards departed to tell the rest of the tribe moments after the Banditos were initially spotted.

They're coming!

Zo, quietly creeps in to the cavern- easily leaping the pit trap (it's still there she ascertains) and then spies down a long and low-ish ceilinged packed-dirt passage. There are lights to the east, and stink to the west, but that was where the rats came from previously.

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The coast is clear.

Zo hushes her comrades forward.

But then, with wild squawks and shouts, a bunch more kobolds come rushing.

The other two Banditos jump across the unsprung pit and then scooch into cover, en route Farned fires Sacred Flames into the closest approaching kobold.

Which causes the rag-tag bunch to hesitate, but only for a moment.

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Incoming!

There follows a brief but intense chat between the adventurers, to reiterate- kill as many as you can but if it all goes to naughty word then get out of here fast!

The Banditos have a plan, or else the players do- we need XP, we need to stay alive...

Lappoy Fire Bolts another of the approaching little bastards dead.

Zo ends another with her bow.

But the kobolds keep on coming- straight to the action, some are armed with spears, others javelins, a number just clutching daggers- but... there are a lot of 'em.

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Farned, he's the tough guy (he thinks), holds the line, but the little bastards keep on coming.

The priest of the Leaf Lord is however starting to fret, and keep in mind he's been attacked over a dozen times in the last 3-4 turns, and with just one hit- he figures his luck is going to run out sooner rather than later.

Farned therefore adds a little Shield of Faith to his cause, I figure his AC now must be up to 20.

Nice work.

Lappoy Fire Bolts yet another kobold dead.

Zo, ends yet another with her bow.

The Banditos are winning.

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But it just takes one, see that guy- Kobold #51, that little savage takes down Farned with a crudely made wooden spear and a natural '20'.

But the screeching kobolds just don't stop, still they keep on coming.

Just to say when Zo spied the kobolds outside of the lair yesterday she was convinced that there were not too many of the little buggers left. In truth the lion's share of the tribe were still inside the cavern, tearfully extracting the bodies of their dead brothers and sisters from the pit trap.

Oh, and of course the only PC with any healing is/was the cleric.

But Farned passes his first death save, so there's that.

It's getting busy...

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Lappoy spots a way out of this predicament, it's called Burning Hands. Shame that Farned is prone and unconscious within the compass of the spell.

And then...

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That's the end of Farned.

I'd like to say that Rob (playing Lappoy) wasn't aware that an unconscious & prone Farned would automatically fail his dexterity saving throw versus his Burning Hands spell.

I'd like to say that... but it wouldn't be true.

What is true is that there was an awful lot of giggling, particularly when you consider the fact that the average age of our little group is approx. 50, going on.

But in truth Dave, playing Farned, encouraged Rob to drop the bomb, as I say- there was lots of giggling.

But we do get a last line/scene, the prerogative of every dying PC/player.

So, head to your imaginerium and viddy this-

Farned clutches at the spear in his gut, slumps against the hard packed earth wall and slides down it to a sitting position. His magical (Shillelagh) club waving forlornly at the kobold before him.

He turns to Lappoy- “So cold, High Master? Warm me? Let me feel again the heat of the sun on my back...”

Alas the rest of Farned's final words are lost to history, scourged by the roar of Lappoy the Unexpected's carpet of roiling flames (Burning Hands).

However, three of the four kobolds that were about to savage the Banditos are also incinerated in an instant, the last kobold left standing is not looking too well either.

Lappoy shouts at Zo- “Run you tiny little fool! The Leaf Lord got burned”, and then the wizard sprints out of the cavern, dodging the staggering singed kobold's (opportunity) spear attack.

Zo guts the last kobold standing and then she too exits the cavern, again remembering to leap the still unsprung pit trap.

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But, there are still more kobolds coming.

Outside of the cavern lair Lappoy makes directly for the nearest patch of cover and then skids to a halt, the high elf wizard spins around to shoot one of the kobolds emerging from the lair with a Ray of Frost. Which also reduces the creature's move by ten feet for a turn, he's a smart fellow.

The affected kobold however survives long enough to stab at Zo, the gnome is, of course, much slower than the little dragon bastards. It misses.

The rogue stabs the kobold right back- dead with a Crit.

However, another chasing kobold manages to fling a javelin at the rogue (even at disadvantage in the sunlight).

It's a hit and Zo is bloodied in an instant.

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Run!

Lappoy, the hero of the hour, hangs around long enough to shoot a second kobold down with yet another Fire Bolt.

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Lappoy's to hit and damage rolls are on fire (just ask Farned), I don't think he missed once all session.

Then the high elf wizard lifts his robes and takes to his heels again.

There's a lot of fleeing going on, particularly as Zo shouts to warn that there are two more kobolds giving chase, and these two buggers are armed with slings.

But the kobold slingers are looking to close the distance first.

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That's a good lead, they can't catch the gnome. Can they?

Just so that you know, the rule in game here (99% of the time, unless I wanna run a chase) is if the PCs get off the map then they get away.

Lappoy is way off in the distance, sprinting like a terrified mad man.

Zo?

Not so much, her yapping kobold chasers- whirling slings in hand, are catching up with the bustling gnome.

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See that square that Zo is standing in, that's the last square on the map.

So, here's the deal- the closest chasing kobold skids to a halt and lets loose a sling stone.

Here's the (not very) contentious bit.

Disadvantage because the kobold is out in the sunlight.

Disadvantage because its at long range.

Which adds up to?

Disadvantage.

Well...

I rolled a '20' and a '19'. The sling stone hits Zo in the back of the head, I roll max damage and she falls.

Pete, playing Zo, goes very briefly apoplectic.

I swiftly cut a deal with him.

When the kobold chasers catch up with the fallen gnome- there are still two of them in the hunt, one of them will stab Zo to make sure that she's down for good (delivering one auto fail Death Save).

Then, providing Zo stabilises, they'll take her prisoner.

That seems fair.

Although, fair or not, that's what's happening.

What could go wrong?

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Zo rolls a '1' on her first Death Save, that's two automatic Death Save failures.

Then the first kobold on the scene stabs her with its dagger.

Zo is dead.

Lappoy, of course, ran off the map two turns ago, he wasn't stopping.

But let's click to the cut scene-

Zo, her chest heaving, cries out to Lappoy- or at least the spot in the trees ahead she saw the leggy wizard rush into- “Hey... (HUH-HUH). Hey, Lappoy! (HUH-HUH) We got awa... CRACK.”

The fallen gnome does a brief spastic dance as her eyes roll back, and then thumping into her chest, like an eight year old late to a pile-on, comes the other chasing kobolds- dagger first.

The gnome is gone.

[Lots more kobolds killed 425 XP]

We take a moment to remember them.

And giggle.

In truth the raised voices and shouting lasted less than ten seconds, and it was only for effect.

Dave & Pete are swiftly on with fitting out their new Pre-Gen characters, and remember they get two PCs each this time, you'll get to meet them in the next session.

Lappoy however doesn't stop running (for nearly an hour).

All the way out of the ravine and back on to the road, although he's trying to stay in cover.

Note, every time a/the PCs venture onto the hex wilderness map I roll a random encounter check, I need a 1 on a 1d10.

I don't roll a '1', although both Pete and Dave are strangely keen for me to keep on trying.

Lappoy, exhausted, eventually makes it back to the Fortune's Five camp, he's still running (jogging)- and screaming and gabbling about his colleagues all being dead, as he charges up the hill.

He rolls a '20' on his Persuasion check.

A pair of guards from the encampment quickly move to aid him.

Safe.

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The High Elf gabbles out his story, and keep in mind he's still expecting Zo to catch up with him some time soon. He didn't see the gnome fall.

But there's no-one else showing up.

It's Bandito (singular) from here on in.

The Wizard is fed and watered, and then after sulking (& skulking) for a good long while- “they should have listened to me!” He's allowed to spend the rest of the day and following night in camp. The Fortune's Five feel sorry for the wizard.

We move on...

Day 3: Being the 3rd Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 7-ish (an early start).

Lappoy awakes a level two wizard.

Then in the morning, and on his own- having failed to persuade any of the Fortune's Five leaders to lend him a guard, he heads back (in cover again) along the road to the Keep on the Borderlands.

It should take him about ninety minutes to return to the fortress.

Which necessitates, of course, another random encounter check.

I roll a '1'.

And remarkably the two players (Pete & Dave) that have been minding their own business for the last half-hour, quietly fitting out their two new PCs (each), are suddenly very interested again in the action.

And so...

The stumbling high elf wizard hears a noise behind him, something moving fast on the road- he has to make an immediate Stealth check.

Hey look- he rolls a '1' too, and so falls out of cover and directly into the road.

Rob (playing Lappoy) seems to be saying “No” a lot, actually it's more like- “NO!”

His friends- Pete and Dave, on the other hand are very much in favour of repeatedly yelling “YES!”

The drumbeat of horses and the gruff shouts and cries of fast approaching men cause the floundering wizard to tumble turn to spy his impending doom!

And that's where the heavily armoured outriders of the approaching caravan find him, cowering on the dusty road.

Dave & Pete are gutted.

Rob, on the other hand, is rather delighted.

The caravan is heading for the Keep too.

What luck.

Two pleasant hours later and Lappoy is deposited, and cheerily waved off, within the Keep on the Borderlands castle yard, having regaled his new travelling companions with his tales of high adventure.

Lappoy the Unexpected (2nd level) lives on.

That's all for this session, next time- five PCs in action.

Oh, and just to say the pot is up to £15.

Although... It's the weirdest party mix, random the guys are rolling at random for the Pre-Gens.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Cheers

The Borderland Banditos (all one of them) and goonalan.
 
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Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected In The Borderlands.

Session #004: Expect the Unexpected.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (played by Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 2.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.
Trebbelos (played by Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 5: Being the 5th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about midday-ish.


The Traveller's Inn, the meal nearly finished- soup again, and the first full meeting of the, sorry... The Unexpected, Master of Magic Lappoy THE Unexpected, presiding.

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High Master Lappoy sits at the head of the table, as is his right, note Afton Barr (the Bard) is on hand to provide much needed quips & jingles during the following chatter, and to deal with the media.

“So, that's clear- I will lead you to the lair of these damned kobolds tomorrow morning. The tribe were all but decimated in my previous attack. We will enter their cavern, remembering- as I said, to look out for the pit trap. Then, we kill the guards- they will be no match for our combined magics. Although, keep in mind- I will be preserving my more powerful spells for the confrontation with the chief, his lair is a little further into the tunnels.”

Three of the four new members of the The Unexpected nod and continue to spoon their soup.

The other...

“You attacked the lair previously? On your own?”

The questions are delivered in a reedy quavering voice whispered directly into Lappoy's mind, damn that woman the high elf wizard thinks, and then instantly regrets doing so. The Mystical One, as she styles herself, a female Shou warlock, can communicate via telepathy. But, can she also read minds?

Lappoy simply nods to the woman by way of reply, while mumbling the incantation for his Burning Hands spell, I must remember to keep her in front of me- and in range, the wizard thinks.

The four new members of the The Unexpected (motto: Expect the Unexpected) are-

Afton Barr (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) male half-elf bard, all the way from the rough streets of Baldur's Gate. An accomplished juggler of very little regard, the obsequious fellow will do anything and everything to gain the fame and fortune he truly deserves. At present he's counting on the brilliance of High Master Lappoy the Unexpected to give him the leg-up he needs.

Tassit (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) female human monk, and she's feisty with it. She has but recently emerged from the wilds, seemingly- she says little about her past. Her self-imposed task is to attempt to achieve spiritual, mystical and magical enlightenment by destroying every gods-damned filthy greenskin, and the like, that crosses her path. Tassit is a force to be reckoned with (she thinks).

The Mystical One (aka Meg) (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) female human warlock of indiscriminate age, having dedicated her life and soul to the Council (and counsel) of the Great Old Ones. She's from the far off land of Shou, and can communicate with those around her via telepathy, which can be most unnerving. The Mystical One is on a quest for world domination, but... y'know, in a good way. She will be the next leader of this adventuring band, this she swears to her cold not-yet-dead dread Masters.

Trebbelos (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male tiefling sorcerer, and more remarkably a fairly wholesome individual. Keen to battle tyranny in all its forms, rather poetic when faced with beauty, and a smooth talking charmer- with a devilish manner, of course. Trebbelos, for want of something better to do, is keen to play the part of the hero.

But that's enough of that for now.

Day 6: Being the 6th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, 7.30 AM- an early start.

Just over two hours later and The Unexpected are parked in Lappoy's favourite bit of shrubbery, the High Master is dispensing wisdom in his condescending way- pointing out the goblin and ogre caves to the left, and the kobold cavern to the right.

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Watching the Caves of Chaos.

There's nothing coming- the adventurers watch and wait for a further twenty or so minutes, and then using what little cover there is make their way swiftly to the kobold cavern.

After a brief argument/discussion Tassit, the semi-stealthy monk, is sent forward to spy within- there are, as Lappoy predicted, a bunch of kobolds present, including one hefty specimen wearing armour (the wizard even got that right). That said the monk has no idea where the pit Lappoy was speaking about is situated- she can't see it.

Is this a test?

She therefore sneaks back to tell her friends, and then after another brief discussion- actually not much in the way of a discussion, the High Master is mostly giving orders. The Unexpected get in position to spring their surprise, more remarkably all five PCs manage to do this quietly.

Note Trebbelos and Lappoy have already got their Mage Armour on.

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Soon to be dead kobolds, maybe.

The artillery (80% of the PCs) take it in turns to shuffle into the cavern entrance- blast (of some variety) a kobold, and then shuffle back out of sight again. Two kobold guards (actually very newly promoted kobold guards) are either burnt or otherwise butchered.

Then the front line arrives- Tassit the monk tumbles in, and then leaps a pit she cannot even see, landing in the crowd of kobolds- and more specifically directly before the armoured guard, the soon to be target of her fury.

“Die you filthy little scumbag!” She adds for the camera.

The monk then fails to hit (with advantage on all of her attacks) with her quarterstaff, then with her kicking foot, and then after spending her one and only inspiration point- with her staff again.

“Oh naughty word!”, the young monk adds.

And she'd be right to.

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Tassit in action.

Afton Barr, the bard, dodges in and helps Tassit out (a bit) by casting a Light spell (so the monk can at least see who is hitting her) on the heavily armoured kobold.

Then moments later Trebbelos hits the now glowing kobold tough with a Fire Bolt- it feels the burn but works through it.

But the rest of the kobolds are now into the fight.

Tassit gets stabbed.

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And then stabbed again.

But Lappoy as Unexpected is here to save the day, the High Master wizard steps in to play and with a Fire Bolt (Crit) blasts the armoured kobold to smithereens.

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That's why he's the High Master.

Tassit meantime gets stabbed again, the kobold guards (most of 'em) as it turns out- they're desperate here, are only armed with knives.

The quick-thinking monk therefore swiftly disengages, and then leaps back over the pit, only... well, she doesn't. Tassit stumbles, flails (briefly), and then somehow star jumps to land hard directly onto the pit trap, which duly springs open.

Note, Dave playing Tassit just forget that the pit trap was there. I asked, “Where are you leaping too?” He moved Tassit a couple of squares and declared “Here!”

And the pit trap opens.

The vexed monk runs on air for a second, like they do in the cartoons, and then plummets.

The kobolds, it now appears, have improved upon their earlier pit trap design, they've added sharpened stakes smeared with rat (and other) faeces.

Tassit is impaled and dying down there.

She's also diseased.

But first things first- let's do something about the unconscious and dying thing, then get to work on the disease.

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“Well, get her out! We can't all stand at the back.” Lappoy is miffed, the attack isn't going to plan.

Afton Barr, the bard, moves forward and flings a dagger at a kobold- he misses, and then fires a Healing Word down into Tassit in the pit, she stirs.

A kobold guard makes it past the pit and stabs Trebbelos.

This really isn't going well.

Also, the Unexpected have seen, and can now hear, that at least one kobold has already departed the scene, gone rushing- screaming and shouting all the way, deeper into the dank tunnelled lair.

The alarm is ringing.

The Mystical One therefore Eldritch Blasts another kobold dead, and then orders (using her telepathy) all of the members of the Unexpected (except Lappoy, of course) to leap the pit and engage with the enemy.

It's at this point however that the giant rats start arriving, the first of the nasty vermin swiftly cuts off the artillery, the second scrambles down into the pit, and to the prostrate and bloodied monk.

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Everything is under control...

Trebbelos tags the giant rat threatening the adventurers with a Shocking Grasp, which only serves to rile it.

Another giant rat gets into the pit with Tassit.

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…of the giants rats and kobolds.

Another kobold (easily) leaps the pit and stabs Afton.

A different kobold slithers safely down into the pit and stabs Tassit (yet again).

The monk is still prone, and now back down to one hit point.

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Please stop reading, or at the very least look away. There are experienced D&D players trying to work here...

Tassit, miraculously, manages to get to her feet and smash the kobold that just stabbed her dead, with her quarterstaff.

“Get me outta here!” she yells, but time moves on very quickly.

Afton cuts a giant rat down with his rapier.

Yet another giant rat gets into the pit with Tassit.

It bites her.

The monk falls unconscious (again).

Trebbelos is quick to the scene, the tiefling sorcerer dodges past the giant rat in the cavern entrance and scurries to the very edge of the pit, he unleashes a somewhat feeble Burning Hands into the void- incinerating only one of the vermin, but thankfully entirely avoiding incinerating Tassit.

That's how it's done.

The heroic sorcerer is then swept into the air by a swirling magical vortex, he's deposited safely on the far side of the pit, but he's still not done. An inspiration point later and the last but one kobold standing is Shocking Grasped to death.

Trebbelos for MVP.

Too soon- keep reading.

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Trebbelos, showing folk how it should be done.

But, we're still fighting...

Lappoy gets bitten by a giant rat.

The High Master is not best pleased.

Note, at this point Lappoy the Unexpected and The Mystical One have both backed out of the cavern, the pair are looking to stay alive here.

Another giant rat tries to get into the pit to feed on the bleeding out Tassit, alas it falls in and impales itself on a spike- dead.

However yet another pair of giant rats make it to the fracas.

I rolled 2d4 earlier to see how many giant rats were attracted to the fight, I rolled a '4' and a... what was it now? Oh yeah, another '4'.

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Where's your money at? Unexpected FTW? Or the Giant Rats & Kobold (singular)?

And we get all the way around to Tassit's first Death Save.

It's a '1'.

Oh how we laughed.

At least I remember laughing.

Afton Barr, the bard, attempts to back away from the giant rat trying to savage him (without disengaging), he's prepared to take the risk- but of course he gets bitten, and now he's down to two hit points.

Although he's also now in position to press the red button, he Thunderwaves the three enemies before him- a kobold guard and two giant rats are ripped apart in the percussive shock and awe.

A (minor) victory of sorts.

Meanwhile, back in the pit the giant rats tuck in to Tassit.

The monk is dead.

She didn't last very long.

I ask Dave, playing Tassit, if she has any last words.

“Stupid!”

It was all he could think of.

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Can they... I mean, could they. Don't worry about the two giant rats in the pit, they're plenty busy eating Tassit.

But then Trebbelos, the tiefling sorcerer, shouts out- there are more kobolds coming down the eastern passage.

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This looks very familiar.

The tiefling is urgent- “Come across the pit, let's fight them!”, then however he Fire Bolts a giant rat (not quite dead) and ducks into hiding, in the kobold guard's former watch room.

Lappoy is quickly across the pit and to Trebbelos' side, the High Master stops briefly en route to Fire Bolt one of the approaching kobolds dead.

Moments later Afton Barr, the bard, also scrambles around the pit and into cover- the Unexpected are going for it.

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Brace for impact! Here they come.

The Mystical One however telepathically explains (states) to Lappoy that she's staying on the 'run away' side of the pit. The warlock shuffles forward and Eldritch Blasts one of the giant rats in the pit eating Tassit dead, she then shuffles back into the shadows.

Trebbelos, the sorcerer, Fire Bolts another rushing kobold dead, and then he too dives back into cover.

Then...

416.jpg

High Master Lappoy (the Unexpected) steps out and unleashes his Burning Hands.

Come on! Come on!

And incinerates three more kobolds, following up the procedure with a series of taunts and threats, all delivered in guttural draconic.

The High Master rolls a '20' for his Intimidate check.

There is whooping.

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Lappoy, unexpected? I doubt it.

That's how it is done.

The formerly swiftly approaching kobolds turn tail and run, back the way they came.

Afton, with a hearty cheer, steps out of hiding and sinks an arrow into the back of a fleeing kobold- dead. While The Mystical One, with a nod- and a little smile for Lappoy, shuffles around the pit and Eldritch Blasts another fleeing kobold, also dead.

The last giant rat in the pit grabs one of Tassit's hands and flees back to its stinky chamber to the west, to consume the bloody morsel in peace.

We're out of combat.

[Lots of kobolds and giant rats 525 XP]

Briefly.

There's a lot of shouting coming from down the eastern passage.

More kobolds are definitely coming.

Just to recap- The Mystical One is uninjured, Trebbelos is on 6 HP, Lappoy is on 5 HP and Afton Barr has just 2 HP left.

There's no healing left, save for those PCs with inspiration points and healing Hit Dice to spend (and are first level). A house rule.

Do we flee or do we make a stand?

But again, there's no discussion- Lappoy orders his followers to make a stand- and to shoot anything that comes down either passage.

“We're staying right here!” The High Master makes clear.

The adventurers have a few moments to sift through the belongings of the dead (kobolds) and then kick the bodies into the pit.

Afton Barr, the bard, uses his inspiration point to trigger his Hit Dice Healing (surge), he recovers one hit point- totally worth it.

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It's a waiting game, all the PCs have readied actions...

While, not far away...

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Kobold Chief Tonka rallies his troops and then gives the order...

Here they come- and all at once.

Afton shoots a kobold dead, Lappoy likewise blasts another with a Fire Bolt, while The Mystical One wounds yet another with her Eldritch Blast.

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Here goes nothing...

Afton holds the line and stabs a kobold dead, Trebbelos's Fire Bolt accounts for another one.

Then Lappoy elbows himself into the fracas and unleashes his Thunderwave.

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Oh Lappoy!

Followed by...

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He's magnificent. Just the wounded kobold chief and one other left standing.

The other surviving kobold tries to rush his way out of the lair, en route The Mystical One stabs the unfortunate in the back, while Afton Barr impales the little bastard with his rapier.

Dead!

Then The Mystical One steps out into the cavern passage and blows the kobold chief's tiny mind- with her Dissonant Whispers, the former big boss of the tribe flees screaming.

But the kobold chief doesn't get far, it soon staggers to a halt, shakes its head clear and hefts its battleaxe, and then comes running (and screeching threats) straight back at the Unexpected.

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Straight for The Mystical One.

The Shou warlock doesn't flinch, only telepathically orders her companions to swiftly end the threat.

Afton Barr fails to do so with his rapier, while Trebbelos' Fire Bolt is way off-target, which just leaves...

Lappoy the Unexpected.

“Please High Master”, The Mystical One telepathically begs.

Lappoy, of course, blasts away the kobold chief's head, with a Fire Bolt, and another Crit.

Oh Lappoy!

[Kobolds & the chief 400 XP]

So, a couple of things to report-

Lappoy takes possession of the black opal on a thick gold chain that the kobold chief was formerly sporting- it looks particularly valuable.

The three other members of the Unexpected have enough XP for level two.

That's nice.

But first a short rest to reflect, also an opportunity for Lappoy's followers (all of them, even the telepathic ones) to repeatedly tell the High Master of Magics how great he is.

More of the same sort of thing next time.

The pot is up to £23.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Cheers

The High Master of Magics Lappoy the Unexpected, and his followers. Oh, and goonalan.
 
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Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Wait until you see the next one, it was glorious to behold. I think there was at least one point at which every one of the players was screaming something different at each other.

And none of it was particular edifying, or anything that I could repeat here.

It ended in laughter, of course.

This one is turning into a blast.

Cheers goonalan, just working on the next bit of the Dark Squad's adventure in Fantasy Grounds.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected In The Borderlands.

Session #005: To Be Unexpected.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (played by Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 2.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1 RIP
The Mystical One
(played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.
Trebbelos (played by Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 6: Being the 6th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 11-ish.


The Unexpected are trying to get in a short rest in, they're situated just a little way in to the kobold tribe's lair...

That doesn't happen.

At least not yet.

Only twenty or so minutes in and a bunch of non-combatant kobolds come hollering for their freedom down the hallway- the lame, the old & sick, and the kids.

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Bloody hell, just leave us alone.

There follows a brief chat- remarkably restrained, Lappoy & The Mystical One can both speak Draconic, although the former scares the what-not out of the kobolds by using her telepathy.

The rag-tag collection of kobolds are questioned by the pair, although the pitiful creatures don't know much, after all, they're the lame, the old & sick, and the kids. They do however know that a tribe of orcs live close to their lair- in one of the caves a little way above, and that's definitely worth knowing.

And so after leaving all of their valuable possessions- a handful of silver coins, the kobold gaggle are allowed to flee the lair, this after at least two players confirm with the DM that there's genuinely no XP to be gained by slaughtering this crowd.

[Kobold non-combatants allowed to flee the area 100 XP]

But here's the thing, some other inhabitants of the ravine spot the less than silent kobolds fleeing their former abode, a little later on this gang decide to check out what's happening over here.

Note, I rolled a 1d10- on a '1', something bad happens.

I rolled a '1'.

But we'll get to that.

Just to make clear, a good thing doesn't happen if I roll a '10', there's no balance/reciprocity.

So, eventually, a short rest is taken, although at the end of it all Afton Barr, the bard, is still all but broken (and he's without spells or indeed anything useful). Then the Unexpected head on down the eastern passage- to see what they can see, and as cautious as they can be.

They're still very much on edge.

Particularly the aforementioned Afton.

Into the hastily abandoned common chamber of the kobold tribe...

502.jpg

Afton figures he may as well have something to eat, even a condemned man gets a last supper. The bard also wonders about his life choices so far, how did end up being the front line for a bunch of half-crazed wizards?

The place is searched, or else ransacked, the eagle-eyed bard- Afton, spots a swatch of silk, still in good condition- obviously stolen from a merchant's wagon.

Treasure!

Then onwards...

503.jpg

Nada.

Next, a locked storeroom is discovered, and then swiftly unlocked- the key was on the kobold chief (Tonka, from memory) the Unexpected murderised earlier.

Note this operation took ten minutes or so to play out around the VTT, so nervous were the four adventurers...

There is however absolutely nothing of value in the storeroom, although Trebbelos makes his companions aware that the salted meats stored here are... human.

Then onwards some more, and again- very cautiously, to the hastily abandoned chambers of the aforementioned kobold chief, Tonka... and treasure, surely.

504.jpg

Now this is more like it...

Eventually, the PCs take their time, three significant things are discovered- a battered and burnt suit of half-plate armour, heavy but it should still be worth a gold or twenty (it belonged to Farned, Priest of the Leaf Lord). A blanket with some money (just over 50gp) and a key cleverly sown into the hem, discovered by The Mystical One- she's thorough.

And lastly, a sturdy chest- and the key found above fits, and there's more coin within.

The PCs are semi-rich (in comparison) and keep in mind all PCs start with basic equipment and 1d20cp, 1d12sp, 1d10ep & 1d8gp each.

There follows a thirty minute (real time) debate, entitled- What's Next?

The consensus is the following, and in this order-

Go back to the entrance to the kobold caverns and check out the other passage- from which the rats came earlier.

Rest, take an extended rest- three of the four PCs here have enough XP to level up. Levelling up is a priority, and besides almost all of the PCs are either injured or low on spells.

All PCs are agreed on this (sorta, see below).

The rest of the debate, well that's a little more contentious/fractious.

In summary-

Lappoy (played by Rob), wishes to go on to further glory, he's all for attacking the ogre in its cave- there's only one of it, and four of the Unexpected.

A little later, when we get to the fractious, Lappoy insists (he's putting his foot down) that the Unexpected go on- and he's in charge.

But...

Afton Barr (played by Dave) is all for returning to the Keep on the Borderlands, and while there- selling the treasures that they have found here, and with the money hiring a few mercenaries, and buying a few potions of healing. Then, heading back here for the Ogre etc.

The Mystical One & Trebbelos (both played by Pete) are both in favour of exploring the cave's hereabouts, and then attacking whichever one appears to be the least well defended.

Afton's words of wisdom are falling on deaf ears.

A little while later and the bard is left in no doubt, Trebbelos offers the following- “If you are going, go... but don't bother coming back. We will make our mark here before we depart!”

Trebbelos, the tiefling sorcerer, is beginning to think that he's a hero...

That could prove fatal.

Just to say, Dave (playing Afton) is down to one PC again, and he's effectively the front-line- the bard, he's badly wounded- out of inspiration points, has used his Healing HD, and has only cantrips left.

Sucks to be him.

In the end however the decision is put off, the reason- the Unexpected are ordered by Lappoy (always the voice of reason) to get the first two jobs done- clear the lair, and then take an extended rest here. Then the debate can continue.

And so...

Back to the cavern entrance, and across the pit- taking every precaution, and then led by Afton Barr, naturally, they shuffle gingerly into a disgusting and foul chamber. Home, surprise surprise, to a pack of giant rats- the fighting starts almost immediately.

505.jpg

The three wizards (sorta) send the tank (bard) forward. Dave, playing Afton, winces every time he hears his PCs name, it's usually one of the other three PCs ordering him into danger. Actually, it's mostly all three of them ordering him into danger.

A larger than normal giant rat races forward and attempts to sink its teeth into Afton, it fails to do so, oddly the beast has a silver chain tangled around its body.

Trebbelos blasts the attacking rat with a Fire Bolt, the beast seems to be made of sterner stuff, the tielfing therefore immediately retreats.

Afton stabs the thing with his rapier, but the other rats are closing in on the bard- who once again (and with only 4 HP to his name) finds himself in the front line. He therefore shares the last of his bardic inspiration for the day with Lappoy, and then pleads for the High Wizard to come and save him.

506.jpg

Lappoy, here to save the day!

Lappoy, of course, obliges- a Thunderwave takes out the big bad rat, and another giant rat- while leaving a third all but crippled.

Lappoy, naturally, takes a few steps back- leaving, once again, Afton to take the hits.

Several of the giant rats flee- disappearing into a variety of tunnels in the walls, but two of the pack remain, and move swiftly to snap and bite the bard.

507.jpg

"Oh... I hate this... I'm a bard- I want to live, I want to learn to play the banjo... I only carry this rapier because it came with the set, Lappoy... save me again!"

Seconds later and Afton is down and dying...

The Mystical One Eldritch Blasts another of the vermin dead as the bard passes his first Death Save- just to say none of the PCs have any healing (except Afton, when he gets his spells back).

508.jpg

Another victory for Lappoy and the Unexpected, and some kind words from the great leader to the brave bard- "Get up Afton, stop acting the giddy goat! I said get up... Oh!"

Then Lappoy strides forward and incinerates the last giant rat with a Fire Bolt, and for max damage, the High Wizard orders his comrades to take care of the bard while he extricates the silver chain from the large giant rat's dead body.

The silver chain is dotted with well cut citrines- it's very valuable.

Lappoy is giggling.

Meantime, Trebbelos manages to stabilise Afton.

I'm as surprised about this as you are.

[A bunch of giant rats 125 XP]

But here's the thing, the Unexpected cannot stay here- the cavern is filth-ridden, but there's also the small matter on an unconscious bard and a pit that needs to be traversed.

And so...

After a 5-10 minute discussion, heated at times.

The Mystical One and Trebbelos make the attempt (neither of them are happy about this), while Lappoy with his Mage Hand helpfully makes pointed suggestions as the duo go about their work.

He's very helpful- “No, there you fools!”

509.jpg

You can still see Tassit's cold lifeless (and impaled) body in the pit, her soul-less eyes staring into infinity! All very poetic but it was Afton that had to climb down into the pit earlier to get Tassit's things (money).

Do you remember I told you that there were some other inhabitants of the Caves of Chaos that spotted the kobolds leaving their lair?

Well, they've been watching operations from the mouth of the kobold cavern, that is until now...

So, the observers are a bunch of goblins, and when I say a bunch I mean there are six of them, armed with scimitars and bows.

But here's the two remarkable things- the first, The Mystical One and Trebbelos manage to get Afton across the pit, and to safety.

Second thing- all of the members of the Unexpected manage to spot the goblins before they launch their attack (I rolled a '1' & '3' +6 with advantage for the goblin's collective Stealth check).

However, it gets nasty...

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The Mystical One starts screaming- she's just seen the goblin's initiative rolls in the combat tracker.

Here's how it goes down- the first goblin scampers in and stabs The Mystical One in the back, and she's bloodied.

A second goblin scurries in and repeats the performance, The Mystical One would be down and dying if she hadn't have used her inspiration point to trigger a Healing HD (a house rule- first level PCs only).

She lives... still, but only just...

Then, you'll like this- a third goblin scurries into sight and shoots The Mystic One in the back, with a Crit, and then rolls max damage on his dice- and now The Mystical One (Meg) is dead.

Dead as opposed to unconscious.

Pete is sub-happy.

Although the laughter more than drowns out his childish caterwauling.

Yet another goblin rushes in and shoots Trebbelos, the tiefling sorcerer is on one hit point.

I note that I am the only one laughing now, although I think I can hear Rob smirking.

So, this is going well.

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Where's The Mystical One? The latest goblin shooter is using the dead warlock as a perch.

Trebbelos, as with The Mystical One, triggers a Healing HD surge using his inspiration point.

Lappoy, the Unexpected, peers around the corner and unleashes his Burning Hands- incinerating two of the goblins in the cavern entrance passage, and leaving the last barely hanging on to life.

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Where's your money now? Who, if any, will survive?

The wizard swiftly retreats into the filthy rat chamber, and orders Trebbelos in a hissed whisper- to do something similar, “Retreat!”

The sorcerer fails to Fire Bolt the badly wounded goblin, and then does as he's told- he retreats, scampering off deeper into the abandoned kobold lair.

Alas one of the yet to act goblins rushes into the lair, leaps the pit, and heads off straight after Trebbelos.

A second goblin follows the same route, while the badly wounded goblin runs back out of the cavern, heading back to its own lair, and screaming...

That can't be a good thing, although the PCs, of course, don't know about this... yet.

They can however hear it happening.

Then yet another uninjured goblin leaps the pit, and... notices that the sprawled Afton Barr is still breathing. The goblin therefore stabs the bard- he's not dead, but now he's only inches from the grave.

Just to make clear, when the three goblins went to leap the pit I rolled a 1d6= 1-2 they head east down the stinky passage towards Lappoy, who is hiding- remember; while 3-6 they go after Trebbelos, who is much visible. I made all of the dice rolls out in the open.

Trebbelos' direction every time.

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Note, Lappoy is staying quiet, just for info the wizard has two inspiration points still to spend.

Meanwhile Afton Barr passes another Death Save, 2-2, it's in the balance.

But what's this...

515.jpg

Lappoy uses an inspiration point to get advantage on a Stealth check- that's a '21' in total, the wizard sneaks out of the lair- after also conjuring a natural '20' to leap the pit.

Neither the goblins nor Trebbelos witness the High Master's departure.

The quartet seem to be otherwise engaged.

Lappoy, perhaps less unexpected than usual, is outta there, he's off and running.

Trebbelos, after briefly shouting for Lappoy, starts talking at a hundred miles an hour- in the Common tongue, which the goblins sorta understand. He attempts, after stealthily casting Friends, to persuade the approaching goblins, or else the nearest one, that he is a mighty wizard and likely to incinerate them all with a terrible spell.

He rolls a '1' and a '3' with his advantage on his check.

The goblins are just not buying it...

Seconds later and the sorcerer is thwacked into unconsciousness by the two closest goblins, using the flats of the blades.

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The goblins have a prisoner.

Afton makes his final Death Save.

He rolls a '3'.

The bard is dead.

[Goblin wanderers 300 XP]

And Lappoy, boy can the Master of Magics run, he doesn't bother stopping at the Fortune's Five camp, they've heard this song before, the wizard arrives all the way back at the Keep on the Borderlands maybe three hours later.

Out of breath.

Out of friends, for now...

But remember, he's about to become rich.

Time to put together a new part of adventurers- the Doubly Unexpected?

And I made two random encounter rolls during Lappoy's journey back to the Keep, two because the first roll was half-cocked, you know- electronically.

I made the second roll because Rob, who plays Lappoy, was just giggling too hard.

I swear he was crying for something like twenty minutes.

Boy there was a lot of swearing from the other two.

It's time for some new adventurers, of course, oh and captured PCs (Trebbelos) count as dead, but their XP is not distributed, captured PCs need to be rescued, or else their XP is 'released' when they get killed.

The pot is up to £27.

Although I venture there'll be more to add next session.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers from the High Master of Magics and goonalan.
 
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Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Lappoy In The Keep on the Borderlands.

Session #006: Lappoy Does Admin- Nobody Dies.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Lappoy the Unexpected
(Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 2.

Captured by the goblins-
Trebbelos
(Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 1.

Dead PCs to date (in alphabetical order, and list supplied just because.)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Further note, there are no pictures.

Day 8: Being the 8th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons.


And so we've moved on a couple of days, but Lappoy has been very busy, and this session- well, there's just me and Rob present. Lappoy wanted to get a few things done before getting the next group of schmucks brave adventurers together to go visit the Caves of Chaos with him.

So, he's been busy, but there are no images from FGU to go with this, so I'll keep it short.

Lappoy sells the two items of treasure he managed to snaffle from the lair of the kobolds, this takes place at Lhodis' Gemporium- Lhodis is the jewel/gems merchant at the Keep.

The chain with the citrines on, last seen around the neck of the largest giant rat, sells for 252gp. The massive gold chain with the black opal, as worn by Tonka the kobold chief, sells for 648gp. These prices account for the 5% tax that is charged on all such transaction by the Guild at the Keep, to pay for the upkeep, guard etc.

Lappoy is over the moon about having exactly 900gp to spend, but less happy about having had to pay 5% taxes.

The wizard gets a room in the Travellers Rest, and pays the rent for the next tenday (he's confident). He also enjoys a few nice meals at the Inn.

He also interviews and then hires on the two biggest thugs he can find, and is happy to pay competitive rates (2.5gp/day for the pair). The two new sign-ons are called Wormwood and Scrubs. Note these two guys are not adventurers, they're NPCs, and their orders are- 1) Obey Lappoy, and 2) If Lappoy dies then you don't get paid, so stay close and keep him very safe.

While doing some and/or all of the above Lappoy is also advertising and putting the word around that he's hiring, a 50gp reward (shared) for anyone that will help him rescue a brave adventurer kidnapped by goblins within the Caves of Chaos.

That's Trebbelos, remember him.

Last bit, I'm not hanging around- Lappoy also visits as much of the Keep on the Borderland as he can, trying to gauge the facilities.

To this end he discovers the following-

Extended chats with several guards lead him to believe that money and contracts are given to adventuring parties that make a name for themselves around here. Basically, as with the Fortune's Five adventurers, groups get hired on to tackle a local problem- uppity humanoids, bandits and the like, whatever. Lappoy files this info away for later use.

Lappoy meets with an aged priest of Oghma, called Darvon, the old man also has a pair of wordless acolytes- the duo have taken a vow of silence, Darvon explains. Lappoy has no use for this guy, although after a strange turn in the conversation Davron offers to lend Lappoy one of his acolytes, if and when he heads back to the Caves of Chaos. A priest would be good, for the healing, and yet... the High Master rolled a few checks here, somehow there was something not quite right about this trio, but the high elf isn't sure what. He eventually makes his excuses and skedaddles.

Lappoy visits Arthur Selfridge's Emporium, the Keep's sole provisioner. He also visits Trotters Traders, an independent dealer who sells everything and anything. Derek Trotter- Lappoy is certain, will also buy anything, if the price is right. That's good to know. Lappoy, a bit later on buys a Potion Of Climbing from Derek, he wanted Potion of Healing but the trader didn't have one, but Derek made the sale anyway.

Lappoy goes to the bank, he makes a hefty deposit= 500gp.

Lappoy visits the Guildhouse, these are the folk that are responsible for maintaining the tax on all sales within the Keep. The High Master learns, after a small bribe to a clerk, that members of the Guild are exempt from all taxes. How do you get to be a member of the Guild? Simples, do something for the Guild, or more specifically for one of its members, and then get proposed for membership.

Lappoy discovers the names of a few members of the Guild, they include Lhodis the gem/jewel seller, Arthur Selfridge & Derek Trotter.

Lastly, Lappoy visits the Shrine of the Morning Lord, and talks with the Curate there, who is called Xyneg. Lappoy fails to get on with the priest, he seems to not be enamoured of religion at all ('It's a weakness'), although on a later visit the High Master secures two Potions of Healing for himself.

Then, the day after, Lappoy gathers together his new hires.

But we'll get an intro to the new Unexpected in the next session.

The pot is up to £29.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers Lappoy and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
Lappoy (& co-workers) in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #007: Bear left for the Goblins.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 2.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 1.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 1.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 1.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 1.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 1.

NPC's (employed by Lappoy)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.
Scrubs Male Human Guard.

Captured by the goblins-
Trebbelos
(Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 2.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 9: Being the 9th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after tea-time.


In the Traveller's Rest, and here's the gang.

Top table is Lappoy, of course, with Wormwood & Scrubs either side of the High Master, but let's take a moment to make the acquaintance (no matter how brief) of the new guys-

Krago of the Mountains (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male mountain dwarf ranger, an expert hunter (and exterminator) of the humanoid scum that dog his home lands. Krago has been travelling for a while with Sho-Rembo, she's trying to mellow the dwarf. Krago's goal is to do maybe three things- hunt and kill goblins and orcs, number one; stand up to bullies, number two; and lastly (but by no means least), he really likes to drink and shoot off his mouth.

Mohag the Wanderer (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male human barbarian, from the northern steppes. A dumb monosyllabic brute with a wanderlust. At six feet four and weighing just short of 250lbs, Mohag is a force to be reckoned with. Particularly as all he knows, and all he likes, is (directed) violence. Note the application of the word directed, Mohag is not (yet) unhinged.

Sho-Rembo (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) female halfling druid, with a cosmic plan- she believes that she will become a great druid and that she is feted to save the world. Obviously, she doesn't tell this kind of thing to everyone, but she's not adverse to constantly hinting at it. She further believes that her fate is entwined somehow with Krago of the Mountains. Sho-Rembo is also fond of the bottle, she climbed inside soon after her family and friends were slaughtered on the trail (by Orcs), she was the lone survivor.

Sir Glen (played by Dave) is a (pre-gen) male human paladin of Lathander, and he's a local- although not quite, he has been in the Keep at the Church of the Morning Lord for maybe three months now. Sir Glen, a noble from Waterdeep by birth, is trying his best to be a man of the people, but everyone and everywhere here is just so... filthy. Sir Glen's butler, Humdinger, stays safely ensconced within the noble Lord's rooms (and out of sight). This will be Sir Glen's first combat action, he's keen to make his mark.

Sosspan (played by Dave) is a male dragonborn wizard who has been travelling the lands looking for work with his brother Yor for the last six or so months. The pair have made some dubious choices during this time, and been on the wrong side of the law more than once. They need money, and they need experience, before the pair can head home to slaughter their tyrannical father.

Yor (played by Pete) is a (pre-gen) male dragonborn fighter who has been travelling the lands looking for work with his brother Sosspan for the last six or so months. The pair have made some dubious choices during this time, and been on the wrong side of the law more than once. They need money, and they need experience, before the pair can head home to slaughter their tyrannical father.

You'll note that several of the PCs are linked, and that each PC in the pair bond is played by a different player. Rob with Lappoy is well in the lead here (with the XP et al) so Pete and Dave have (at last, some would say) decided to try working together a bit more.

Hence the dragonborn brothers, and the druid and ranger combo.

Also, we're not short of tanks for this iteration of the Unexpected, note Sosspan is the first non-pre-gen PC rolled up. It was a random roll for his class and race, as it turned he also (randomly) rolled the same draconic ancestry as Yor, so... brothers.

But let's get through this...

Lots of chatter, a trip around the town for several of the PCs/players- just to check out what's available here, until... the meeting in the Traveller's Rest.

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That's nice, but how many of them will make it to the end (of this session)?

The job, as dictated by Lappoy is-

Go to the Caves of Chaos, enter the goblin cave- kill goblins, lots of goblins, and rescue Trebbelos. Fee for the return of Trebbelos to the Keep = 50gp, shared between the six PCs. Five minutes of hard negotiations later and the prize money goes up to 60gp (=10gp each) for the win.

Next Lappoy rules- all treasure is divided equally, except he wants a third of the value off the top, basically nine shares- Lappoy gets three, all of the other PCs get one.

Go get a drink, this chat goes on for a remarkably long time (over twenty minutes) which in itself seems excessive as the PCs have so far had their arses kicked by pretty much everything in the Caves of Chaos.

But eventually we get there, Lappoy gets two shares of the treasure, all the other PCs one- note this only got agreed because Lappoy went on to say that one share of his treasure will be going to Wormwood & Scrubs.

Note, at this point the other PCs think that Wormwood and Scrubs will be doing their fair share of the fighting, they will not. Wormwood and Scrubs job is solely to protect Lappoy, but the PCs don't figure this out until much later.

Next, and Rob (playing Lappoy) has been thinking about things, and so- Lappoy knows that there are a bunch of rumours floating around about various things in the region (all of the PCs start with a few of these). So, the High Magicman is of the opinion that everyone should just share what they know, because there's no benefit to PCs just hoarding their information. Remarkably everyone at the table agrees to this.

So, the list goes-

(3) Tribes of different creatures live in different caves.
(6) All of the cave entrances are trapped.
(8) Altars are very dangerous.
(9) A fair maiden is imprisoned within the caves.
(13) There are hordes of tiny dragon-men in the lower caves.
(14) Piles of magic armour are hoarded in the southern caves.
(16) Lizardmen live in the marshes.
(17) An elf once disappeared across the marshes.
(20) There is more than one tribe of ores within the caves.

There follows much off-topic discussion, which Lappoy manages to cajole back around.

The job at hand is to rescue Trebbelos, then the Unexpected can start making plans for trips into the marshes etc.

So, we're agreed.

Caves of Chaos, early rise and off- tomorrow morning.

But just to say that the DM lets the players know- there are twenty rumours in total to collect, if one PC gets them all then something else will happen. Rumours can be garnered in a variety of ways, like by spending time and money in a bar asking questions (or similar). So, collect all twenty and there's a reward- not for the individual PC but for the adventurers in general.

Note, Lappoy also pays for everyone's meal.

It is notable, to this DM, that Lappoy is being a little more generous, and sociable, it's not just that Dave & Pete are working in concert more often, and agreeing with each other a lot. It's also that the PCs they have atm seem to be pretty tough looking fellows, there are a lot of tanks on display.

Day 10: Being the 10th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about ten-ish.

The trip to the Caves of Chaos is uneventful, that is until they get towards Lappoy's favourite foliage-enhanced hiding spot at the head of the ravine.

Only there's something different about the place this time, someone or something has been digging here, the excavation is both crude and new, and as Sho-Rembo (druid) and Krago (ranger) are heading forward to investigate, well.. a ferocious grizzly bear leaps out of a tree and attempts to bite through Sir Glen's helm and head.

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Sir Glen doesn't last long...

It gets close- Glen is down and dying seconds later, Scrubs is clawed down to three hit points and starts screaming.

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So much for the plan.

Guess what?

I rolled a '1' for my random encounters, ain't that neat?

Throughout what follows Sho-Rembo is mostly screaming for her colleagues not to kill the 'magnificent beast'.

There follows however a fair amount of confusion, Yor rushes in to try and slice the bear, the dragonborn fighter however is off target. Meantime the dwarf ranger, Krago of the Mountains, flings a handaxe into the ursine's face. Both Lappoy and Sosspan pepper the thing with Magic Missiles, the brown bear is bloodied.

But then it claws Yor, and now the dragonborn fighter is also unconscious and bleeding out.

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Two of the tanks grab a dirt nap.

Sosspan goes ape (but it's not his initiative).

The brown bear rushes forward to savage Mohag, the barbarian, next.

Mohag rages and slams his greataxe into the brute, the beast staggers...

At which point Sho-Rembo, the halfling druid, attempts to use her skills to shout and frighten the badly wounded bear away, while it still lives.

The bear ignores the druid, she rolled a '3'.

Sir Glen passes his first Death Save- there is cheering, while Krago, the dwarf ranger, swears a lot and then throws another handaxe in the ursine's face.

Yor passes his first Death Save.

Note at this point the brown bear is stood on/over this pair.

At which point Lappoy fires a Fire Bolt into the bear and kills it dead.

You'll note, and not for the first time, that it's Lappoy (again) who ends the fight.

[Brown Bear 200 XP]

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I don't think the DM is on any of the player's Christmas card list this year.

The High Master is quickly giving orders, the fallen duo are pulled out from beneath the beast and get this- each given a Potion of Healing by the wizard.

I know, shocked me- that's all of Lappoy's Healing Potions spent.

The Unexpected then spend an hour or more in the woods here, being very quiet, and very careful, so that the pair of tanks can recuperate. Note Sho-Rembo is less than happy, but mollified somewhat by the fact that circumstances dictated behaviour in this instance- her colleagues were fighting for their lives.

The druid applies a little healing to the badly wounded Scrubs.

There's a brief chat, should they return to the Keep, make the attempt to rescue Trebbelos tomorrow, when everyone has healed, but no- they're going in, and keep in mind all the players are keen to get going.

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The cave of the Goblins.

Alas, as it turns out, none of the PCs are particularly stealthy, eventually the druid, Sho-Rembo and the ranger, Krago, are persuaded to check the place out.

More remarkably the pair are great at the job.

There are two batches of goblins, in chambers to either side of the passage, and they seem to be paying attention, the guards are not lax here.

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Lots of Goblins.

The pair make it back their friends to share their info.

But there's no backing down, the plan is- they hit the goblins to the west first, but ready for the eastern mob to come calling.

The second part of the plan, the Unexpected do all they can to make sure that the exit to the cavern doesn't get 'blocked', they don't want to get cut off, just in case they need to retreat fast.

Odd, they've started to work together.

The Unexpected even manage to work their way quietly forward into the lair, after some good checks.

The PCs without darkvision, and there are plenty of them, are relived to see that the goblins are using torches in here.

Here's the set up-

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3... 2... 1!

Cross your fingers, here goes, and around the VTT the players know it.

Sho-Rembo dashes out and conjures Entangling plants which burst through the dirt of the cavern, ensnaring three of the goblins in the spells compass.

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Entangle!

Yor, the dragonborn fighter, rushes out and blasts the nearest three goblins with his poisonous breath, and then rolls 2d6 = '3' poison damage.

But then Lappoy steps up and sends three of the goblins to sleep, all the badly wounded ones.

Sosspan follows the High Master in and blasts the only non-sleeping, or else non-entangled, goblin dead.

There's a tingle in the air, this may turn out to be a success, but keep in mind the goblins here are screaming and shouting all the while.

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Note the Entangle spell has been replaced by a box, easier to see through, I'll get the hang of FGU one day.

Then Krago and Mohag rush in and smash a pair of goblins dead- one of them was prone and sleeping, the other was entangled.

Then several things happen at once, Sho-Rembo beans an entangled goblin with her sling- and yet it lives, while the second entangled goblin manages to free itself from the grasping plants, and then run screaming down the western passage, it doesn't get far.

The DM warns the players, if this guy gets away...

Yor scrambles into the entangling plants and then throws a dagger in the fleeing goblin's back, and still it runs...

Oh, and Scrubs lets Lappoy know- there are more goblins coming from the east.

Lappoy also wades into the entangling plants and attempts to shoot the fleeing goblin down with a Fire Bolt, he misses, but then uses and inspiration point to repeat, and now the little bastard is dead.

“Goblins from the east!” The High Master confirms.

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Incoming!

Sosspan Fire Bolts the last entangled goblin dead, there's only one enemy left in the chamber, and the little bastard is still snoozing.

Mohag chops it's head off, while Sir Glen and Krago step in to cover and ready actions for the coming goblins.

The first goblin from the east into the chamber is met by a charging Sir Glen, who is high wide and handsome with his longsword, the paladin hasn't landed a hit so far.

Then the holy warriors has to dodge a clutch of spears (three) as the rushing goblins skid to a halt and unleash a barrage.

Sir Glen misses again, his highest attack roll so far has been a '4'.

The goblin hassling Sir Glen is hit by two Fire Bolts (Lappoy & Sosspan) it survives (damage rolls are low), but the creature gets too close to the High Master and Wormwood stabs it in the gut- dead.

More spears come skittering down the corridor towards Sir Glen, the paladin dodges and grins back at the greenskins.

“The Morning Lord shall take thy black souls!” He rolls a '19' plus bonuses for his Intimidate, the goblins are having doubts- one rushes off back the way it came, gibbering to itself.

“That's not ideal!” Lappoy shouts over to Sir Glen.

Krago and Mohag rush the goblins, the ranger is way off target, but the barbarian enters his rage and almost cuts two of the goblins down.

The remainder look terrified.

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Mohag is swinging hard, and raging again.

The Unexpected attempt a pile on, rushing to attack, but there as many hits as misses, eventually Sir Glen- with his first hit, takes down another goblin, there's only one more of the little bastards in the fight. Although at least two of the little buggers have fled back to their previous chamber.

Lappoy orders an all out attack, the Unexpected chase the goblins back to their lair, meantime Sosspan Fire Bolts the last goblin in the fight dead.

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Get after them!

There's just the two fleeing goblins to chase down.

They went east.

But just to say, there are a quartet of wandering goblins (armed with shortbows) in the lair, they're actually the guys that invaded the kobold lair earlier in the Unexpected's adventures here. Well, these guys have just heard the call... they're coming.

Yor, the dragonborn fighter, leads the charge.

Note all of the PCs are now going super tactical, move and then ready an attack with whatever missile weapon they have to hand...

This is getting serious.

So, Yor leads the charge, which triggers the two goblins that retreated to this chamber, and grabbed new spears, to launch their weapons at the dragonborn- Yor takes a glancing hit.

Sir Glen rushes in and slices the first goblin, and rolls '1' damage. The fourth PC in a row to do so.

At which point the first of the goblin wandering patrol enters the chamber from the opposite side, starts shouting the odds, and then shoots at Sir Glen, the paladin has suffered more attacks than all of his colleagues combined.

Another miss.

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More Goblins, and the Unexpected are pretty strung-out.

Another three goblin wanderers scamper into the chamber and shoot at Sir Glen, all misses...

You should hear the players at this point.

OOOOOAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaa-AH!

Then, it had to happen, the goblin standing next to Sir Glen stabs the paladin with its spear- the paladin yet lives.

Krago charges in and smashes the nearest goblin dead.

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And once again we're back to this... it could go either way.

The raging Mohag makes it to the party and buries his greataxe in a goblin's head- dead.

Although seconds later the barbarian gets stabbed.

Yor rushes in and cuts a goblin dead, and then gets his second wind. There are three goblins left in the fight.

Sir Glen, playing the hero, rushes past the goblins in an attempt to cut off their retreat, then he cuts a goblin (for very little damage) and shouts at the three remaining creatures.

“Surrender to the Sun Lord, or meet your dark-death!”

Dark-death?

What's that about?

Lappoy next strides forward, shoots a different goblin with a Fire Bolt, and then repeats Sir Glen's call for surrender, only without the religion and dark-death, and this time in the goblin tongue. Furthermore, the wizard explains, should they surrender he will allow the goblins to flee with their lives.

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Watch out for Dark-Death!

The goblins however are not buying it, the first attempts to cut and run.

Oddly the dumb creature attempts to run west- through the adventurers, alas Sosspan and Wormwood bringing up the rear fill the entire passage, there's nowhere for the little bastard to go.

Sosspan hits it with a Fire Bolt, and rolls '1' damage for the third time in a row, while Wormwood fails to stab it with his spear.

A second goblin drops its bow and grabs out its scimitar, and tries to cut down the badly wounded Sir Glen, yet another miss on the paladin, however the little bastard then dodges past the paladin and rushes for a set of stairs heading up to the south.

“Stop him!” Lappoy shouts.

The second goblin follows suit...

The Unexpected have two more goblins to chase down.

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Fleeing Goblins made visible by FGU magic- see below.

But the thing about the stairs that the goblins are running up is... there are no lights up here, and so Mohag and Sir Glen can't see what's going on up there. But the barbarian isn't stopping- he's raging.

But there's no target where he's swinging...

But then Sho-Rembo, smart halfling lady, grabs a torch from the wall and goes rushing to the foot of the stairs, and now the goblins can be seen.

Yor rushes on and cuts the first fleeing goblin down.

Then Sir Glen, with a sudden burst of speed, and right at the edge of the light catches up with the second fleeing goblin, and with a Crit, ends the bugger.

There's just one goblin left in the chamber, and it's surrounded.

Lappoy easily convinces the horrible little fellow to give up the fight.

Victory, and save for the counting of XP (and possibly coin) the session is at an end.

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The Halfling brings a light, and saves the day.

[Lots of Goblins 800 XP]

All the PCs have enough XP for level 2, three of them (Pete's guys) have 300 XP exactly.

But the Unexpected are not going home, and they're moving quickly- clearing away the bodies while looting them, tying up their goblin prisoner and... but that's for next time.

The pot is up to £39.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #008: Death to the Goblins!

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 2.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 1.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 1.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 1.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 1.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 1.

NPC's (employed by Lappoy) Absent this session?
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.
Scrubs Male Human Guard.

Captured by the goblins-
Trebbelos
(Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 2.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 10: Being the 10th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, just after midday.


The Unexpected are not going home, and they're moving quickly, policing up the area (and searching the place)- dragging the dead bodies of the goblins out of the way, and while this is going on Lappoy and Krago are, of course, putting the hard word on the goblin prisoner they have taken.

The badly wounded captured goblin is called Garby.

But here's the thing, there was a lot of chatter at the start of this session and for some reason Wormwood & Scrubs, Lappoy's two personal bodyguards, were no longer in the Combat Tracker on Fantasy Grounds Unity, and so... We kinda forgot all about them, so the two guards don't feature in this session.

Oops!

There were seven/eight PCs and a whole host of bad guys so my/our bad but, well... mistakes get made. I was relying on Rob (playing Lappoy) to remind me, however Rob forgot all about them too.

We only remembered right at the very end, after the session had concluded, it was at that point that Pete asked Rob- “What happened to those two guards of yours?”

But briefly back to the chatter at the start of the session- Lappoy (Rob) is all for finishing off the goblins and rescuing Trebbelos. Pete, who plays Trebbelos, obviously also wants his captured PC back, but he was hedging his bets at times, trying to work whether it was worth just abandoning Trebbelos and just shipping out of the goblin's lair and get back to the Keep. After all, six of the PCs have enough XP for level two.

And level 1 is proving to be a very tough ask.

Dave, he just wanted to get his PCs back to the Keep, and get levelled up.

But Pete, the bugger, kept on swapping sides.

So, a good thirty minutes disappeared into the fundament before the session even got started.

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Chatting with Garby.

Garby lets the Unexpected know... there's a chamber full of hobgoblins up the stair, that's not good, the PCs (Lappoy) have more questions regarding this, but... they're moving quickly here.

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Don't go in here, the door's just to the north of Garby.

Garby is also keen for Lappoy to know that Bad Nog, an Ogre with a foul temper, lives through the northern door here.

Mohag the Wanderer finds a sack of gold hidden beneath a barrel here, the barbarian was in the process of (quietly, Lappoy's orders) pulling the place apart.

There's a lot of gold in the bag, the barbarian shares his find with his colleagues.

However, it's at this point- while Lappoy is conversing with Garby about the newly found loot that two goblin younglings start shouting and hollering at Mohag.

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Here we go again, maybe.

The Unexpected react instantly, and they're a little trigger happy... seemingly, Yor fires a heavy crossbow bolt through the first goblin child while the second has its head dashed by a sling bullet (and what a shot by the way) from Sho-Rembo.

But that's not worked because just around the corner there are a bunch more goblins watching on, and very specifically watching a crossbow bolt end the youngling.

Note, Sir Glen got very upset with his companions briefly here- slaughtering goblin kids, but... then the war started.

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Dead goblin kids, look away- it ain't pretty, you can see their skulls.

And just moments later...

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The goblins are coming, screaming and shouting- armed with scimitars, and the book says that these fellers will give their lives to defend the lair.

So, no letting up.

Lappoy and Sosspan contrive to blast the first goblin warrior down with twin Fire Bolts, while Sir Glen wounds another. But then it starts to get busy.

Krago waves his battleaxe at a goblin warrior (= miss followed by an inspiration point = hit for '1' damage).

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Did I mention that its getting busy?

Note the female goblins are supposed to be non-combatants, but- the Unexpected killed two goblin kids, so I was rolling a D6 for each on their turn, on a '6' they charge into action.

I rolled a lot of 6s.

The female goblins are unarmed and unarmoured, they're trying to either punch, scratch or else trip the PCs.

Mohag the Wanderer takes two attacks with his greataxe to take a goblin down (another inspiration point after a roll of '1' for damage).

Sho-Rembo takes yet another goblin down with a Produce Flame (the most powerful spell in D&D, or so my friend Vinnie tells me).

But remarkably the Unexpected have not taken a point of damage- so far, not one.

Note, during the fracas Sir Glen is continuing to admonish his fellow adventurers for targeting (and killing) goblin children.

So...

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That's an unarmoured, and unarmed, female goblin- the mother of one of the fallen children attempting to punch the paladin in the nuts. Oh, the moral quandary.

But then...

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Lappoy drops the bomb... Thunderwave!

Before and after...

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Oh, Lappoy!

He seems to always arrive at the right time- and come up with the goods, the High Master of Magics.

That changed the complexion of the encounter, but let's keep going, because the goblins keep on coming- these buggers, mostly armed with scimitars are screaming and shouting and giving their lives for the tribe.

And yet still none of the Unexpected have taken a hit.

Krago flings a handaxe and takes down another goblin.

There's a lot of giggling from the players, a nervous tension- they're doing this, or else- they think they are.

Mohag the Wanderer breaks the goblin line, smashes another one down dead and then after spending another inspiration point, badly wounds another.

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The Unexpected are surging.

Yor follows the barbarian in, cuts yet another goblin down and for the first time the adventurers get a look at what's in the chamber ahead.

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A bunch more goblins- but none of them look to be warriors.

Surge!

Even Sho-Rembo rushes to the front with her Shillelagh and then bonks a goblin dead, the last warrior to be seen, and the other goblins in the chamber ahead seem to be fleeing.

The chase is on!

Particularly as seconds later, after a pair of Fire Bolts courtesy of Lappoy and Sosspan clear the way, Sir Glen goes charging into the goblin's main cavern, shouting some tosh about the Morning Lord and shaking his shield and longsword like a real hero.

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The paladin is giving it some! But let's just take a moment- can you see the goblin on the right of this image, that's Garby, he's prone and restrained (tied up) but he's making checks (at disadvantage) every turn to attempt to escape his bonds.

But back to the action...

Seconds later Sir Glen spots a goblin archer setting up dead ahead, but then the closest very angry female goblins comes over and starts pushing and shoving him while babbling in its foul tongue.

The paladin is trying really hard not to lose his temper.

A moment later and Mohag takes care of the situation, and the scrabbling female goblin, with a swipe of his greataxe.

Sir Glen, it is noted by a number of players, doesn't complain to the hulking barbarian.

But the goblins keep on coming...

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The goblins are surging!

The newly arriving goblins are better armed and armoured, the ones arriving from the west are the chief's guard (and his harem), the one that has just rushed past Sir Glen is wearing a chain shirt and wielding a scimitar. Two of the goblins to the west are similarly armoured and firing their shortbows.

The goblins heading in from the north west are armed with crossbows.

Suddenly there are a lot of missile attacks.

Although the Unexpected are still yet to take a single point of damage.

Spoke too soon, Mohag the Wanderer takes an arrow to the chest, the big barbarian is bloodied in an instant, he battles on and smashes his greataxe into one of the armoured guards- the goblin however survives the ordeal.

Briefly...

Yor finishes the goblin guard off, and then rushes into cover.

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Getting busy, and note the chief's harem (some of them) are in a fury and armed with daggers.

Moments later the goblin chief makes its appearance, and stabs Sir Glen, that hurt, and then scurries off while ordering his warriors to redouble their attacks.

Lappoy is translating anything the goblins are shouting, particularly the leader types.

Then, after a little skirmishing and some way-off target ranged attacks from both sides, Sosspan rushes in and bathes the goblin chief and two of his harem (who are trying to stab Sir Glen) with his poison breath.

The goblin chief shoves one his guards in the way of the poisonous exhalation, but the chief's harem take the full dose, and die.

An inspiration point later and the brave dragonborn wizard steps up to the three crossbow wielding goblins in the northern corridor, and unleashes his Burning Hands (he's been saving it).

But then rolls really low for the damage.

naughty word!

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Sosspan, the hero?

Sir Glen steps in, delivers a half-arsed speech about the something of the Morning Lord, and then fails to connect with the goblin boss twice in quick succession, the second attempt courtesy of his inspiration point.

Krago charges in and smashes one of the chief's guards (and rolls another '1' damage).

Mohag rushes in and finishes the guard off.

The situation is there are four goblins with crossbows, three of them are badly injured, situated in the northern passage.

While the chief and just one guard occupy the western passage.

Note there has been a bit of chatter between the two warring parties during the fracas but not much, Lappoy has been ordering the goblins to surrender, while Krago has been describing the ways he is going to kill them all (and possibly eat them).

Krago's threats are actually helping Lappoy's checks (Intimidate and Persuasion) but the High Mage is mostly rolling low.

Then Yor steps in front of his brother Sosspan and slays one of the crossbow wielding goblins- note three of these chaps have tried, and failed, to shoot Sosspan in the last turn, I think they needed to roll a '10' to hit.

Sho-Rembo finishes off another of the artillery with her Produce Flame.

Sir Glen at last manages to cut the goblin chief, but then at the last second the sneaky bastard drags the one remaining guard in front of him to take the hit.

The chief however is now calling for a parley...

But Krago's having none of it, he smashes the goblin chief with his battleaxe (but for only '4' damage, keep in mind).

The two remaining goblins with crossbows fire their weapons and flee, Yor takes a hit, although the only combatants left in the fight are the chief and his last badly wounded guard.

Seconds later Mohag steps in and buries his greataxe in the chief, and now the little bastard is squealing to be allowed to surrender.

And so...

Lappoy accepts the goblin chief's surrender, just after he Fire Bolt's the remaining goblin guard dead- with a Crit, there's always a Crit at the right time for Lappoy.

Have you noticed that.

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The Unexpected FTW.

Sosspan also burns one of the fleeing crossbow wielding goblins dead with a max damage Fire Bolt.

And that's the fight over.

[Goblin chief and lots of others 1175 XP]

There is cheering.

And particularly when the Unexpected discover a badly beaten, but otherwise alive and kicking, Trebbelos in the goblin chief's chambers.

Oh, and just to note Trebbelos is now a level 2 Sorcerer, Pete is very happy about this.

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Trebbelos!

The goblin chief- Bad Koff, is prisoner of the Unexpected, while Krago is taking care of the captured goblin females and the kids, because the dwarf ranger really likes goblins...

But that's all she wrote for this session.

The pot is up to £43.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #009: Garby & the Hobgoblins.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 1.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 2.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 1.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 1.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 1.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 1.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 2.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 1.

NPC's (employed by Lappoy)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.
Scrubs Male Human Guard.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 10: Being the 10th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about twenty minutes tops after the last session started.


Victory for the Unexpected, oh- but have you noticed:

Lappoy is no longer in charge, it's more of a democracy, particularly as Pete (playing Krago, Mohag, Trebbelos & Yor) and Dave (playing Sho-Rembo, Sir Glen & Sosspan) are obviously mobbed up. It's remarkable how quickly Lappoy has become a bit part player in his own show.

That was unexpected, or not.

These sessions are very short, and here's the deal- one of the buggers (the players) confessed to me, the idea is to play short sessions and more often, because between sessions (I am such a kind fellow) I am oft-times minded to hand out a few inspiration points.

Inspiration points, obviously, are particularly handy in this kind of game.

But, here we go, the goblins are very mostly dead and we're situated in the lair of the goblin chief...

Bad Koff, the goblin chief, is made to point out all of the various luxuries that he has hidden about his lair- treasure.

Trebbelos is particularly unhappy with this fellow and has to be talked down by Sir Glen, prevented from blasting the goblin-bastard to hell.

Remember Trebbelos has been prisoner of the goblins for the last week or so, it has not been a pleasant sojourn.

However things are moving quickly, although not quickly enough... keep reading.

The Unexpected are very keen to get back to the Keep on the Borderlands and level up, and buy some more stuff- potions of healing are high on various PCs shopping lists.

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We want to go home!

But, as stated above, they're not quick enough to get away.

The Unexpected however are positioned to watch the passages hereabouts.

When...

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A heavily armoured hobgoblin tromps around the corner, and gets shot at by Yor with his heavy crossbow- the dragonborn fighter is off target, alas.

Yor cries out a warning, and he can hear that the hobgoblin has friends- there are more of them coming.

Bugger!

Here we go again.

Goblin chief Bad Koff starts shouting and wailing to be heard, encouraging the hobgoblins to come and rescue him from the Unexpected. Mohag thumps the goblin chief and then slings him over his shoulder.

The Unexpected thereafter move off swiftly to investigate Yor's shouts.

Note chief Bad Koff is beyond bloodied, he has been roughly tied, he's unarmed, of course, and he's been robbed.

Yor, meantime cleverly retreats from the approaching hobgoblins, cleverly because the foremost hobgoblin comes rushing after the dragonborn and runs into him, blade in hand, just around the corner. The charging hobgoblin is bloodied in an instant.

However this is a hobgoblin patrol, and there are four of them, and so they all come rushing, alas this however necessitates them taking a double move.

Sho-Rembo hits one of the closing hobgoblins with a Produce Flame spell.

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Hobgoblins, much tougher than goblins, and organised- and armed and dangerous. There's a lot of missing going on from the Unexpected.

To make matters worse Bad Koff, the goblin chief, manages somehow to wrestle himself free of Mohag's grip, and goes running off still screaming to be rescued.

Note Bad Koff's hands are tied but not his feet.

Lappoy meantime blasts an approaching hobgoblin with a Fire Bolt (and for max damage) but the creature doesn't fall (and it was already wounded by Sho-Rembo).

They're tough.

The Unexpected are starting to have doubts.

The agreed tactic therefore is- kill the hobgoblins but at the same time, if possible, retreat out of the cavern.

In short- survive.

Mohag smashes the badly wounded hobgoblin down with his greataxe, max damage again- shame the big humanoid only had one hit point left.

But, then Sir Glen cuts a second hobgoblin brute down and the remainder of the patrol look a little more panicked.

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Note Sir Glen is standing on the body of the second fallen hobgoblin, also note chief Bad Koff is on the run.

Lappoy orders his guards (Wormwood & Scrubs) to fling their spare spears at the fleeing goblin chief, Scrubs hits with a Crit, but still the goblin is screaming, and running on.

905.jpg

Seconds later Sho-Rembo hits the nasty bastard with a Produce Flame, and... Bad Koff is no more.

But then one of the remaining hobgoblins in the patrol is off and running too- back the way he came, and screaming for reinforcements (Lappoy tells his friends) and very clearly it's time for the Unexpected to leave.

Lappoy blasts the last hobgoblin in the fight, a difficult shot with his Fire Bolt, thank the gods he rolled a Crit, and yet the creature survives.

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Lappoy is heading for the exit, but hang on... where's Garby, the goblin they captured earlier, he was left tied up and... the High Magicker spots a loop of rope abandoned on the floor, and starts screaming to his colleagues.

“Retreat! Get out of here, NOW!”

Mohag hits and Crits the last member of the hobgoblin patrol, and that's the end of him.

[Hobgoblins- better fled than dead 300 XP]

The Unexpected ship out as fast as they can, except for Krago- who hangs around a little while to empty the pockets of the fallen foes, he finds a total of 10gp, so that was well worth it.

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The Unexpected are making for the exit.

But suddenly...

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There's another armoured hobgoblin patrol coming rushing towards the party from the opposite direction, the Unexpected are going to have to fight their way out.

There are fewer groans than I expected around the VTT, they're getting confident.

Sho-Rembo hits the nearest hobgoblin with her sling, Sosspan also clips the terror with a Fire Bolt, but still the brute comes charging.

And then Garby the goblin comes rushing into sight, screaming and pointing in the Unexpected's direction.

“Get the bastards!”

The hobgoblins definitely don't look happy about being given orders by a goblin, but... here they come.

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Another hobgoblin patrol, these guys are armed and dangerous.

But just to say that so far this session the Unexpected have not taken a single point of damage yet.

Yor stabs a hobgoblin with his longsword, Sir Glen misses the same foul fellow, and then again with his inspiration point.

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But then...

Another hobgoblin skids to a halt, longbow in hand and sinks an arrow into Sir Glen's gut (for fifteen damage, Martial Advantage rocks), the paladin of the Morning Lord falls, and he's down and dying.

The players are suddenly a lot more concerned.

Sho-Rembo kills the badly wounded hobgoblin with yet another Produce Flame.

Sosspan slams a Fire Bolt into the hobgoblin archer, for max damage again, but the tough bastard survives.

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Trebbelos, now he's second level, has a spell left- Burning Hands! He's playing the hero here.

The flame is enough to end one of the hobgoblins and singe the others, the dragonborn sorcerer burns his inspiration point to run away into cover.

Sir Glen makes his first Death Save, he makes it with a '20'.

There is giggling.

The paladin staggers back to his feet, clutching at his side (briefly), and then stabs the nearest hobgoblin in the shoulder, seconds later Scrubs (as ordered by Lappoy) stabs the big goblin brute down (and with yet another Crit).

Sho-Rembo swirls another sling stone into the closest hobgoblin and now this fellow is also suffering, and staggering.

Krago rushes in and smashes the hobgoblin in the face with his battleaxe- dead.

Then Unexpected are kicking arse here.

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Just one hobgoblin and Garby left in the fight.

Garby is looking particularly green, the goblin is terrified.

The last hobgoblin standing fails to fire an arrow into Krago and so departs at speed, back the way it came, screaming and shouting as it flees.

“Intruders! Intruders! To arms!”

In goblin, remember Lappoy is translating for his colleagues.

Sosspan rushes in and attempts to grab hold of Garby, but that doesn't work- the ex-prisoner escapes the dragonborn sorcerer's clutches and then rushes off screaming, and boy is the little feller quick.

913.jpg

Mohag and Yor go chasing off after the last member of the hobgoblin patrol, and Garby.

Sho-Rembo, with an inspiration point, swirls again and DING! Yet another hit with her sling.

The last hobgoblin skids to a halt, it can't escape, and so attempts to stab Yor dead, not a chance, the brute orders Garby to flee and spread the word.

Garby does as he's told, he flees, and he's quickly out of sight, although the Unexpected can still hear the little bastard screaming in terror.

Trebbelos hits the last hobgoblin standing with a Ray of Frost, it survives, but only just.

Mohag smashes it down dead.

“Flee!” Is the order from Lappoy, although its not an order its a consensus.

The Unexpected scarper.

[More hobgoblins die 500 XP]

And I'd love to tell you that the Unexpected make it all the way back to the Keep on the Borderlands without a random encounter, but...

But, the encounter rolled is with a patrol of guards returning to the Keep, who- after Lappoy and a few others have a chat, and a few coins exchange hands, are happy to accompany the adventurers home.

There is an awful lot of cheering.

Silly old buggers (I include myself in this, of course).

The Unexpected get back to the Keep on the Borderlands, and rest, and relax, and level up, and sell and buy a variety of stuff.

Hurrah!

But that's all she wrote for this session.

The pot is up to £47.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0010: Downtime with 2/3rds of the Unexpected.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 2.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 3.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 2.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 2.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 2.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 2.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 2.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

NPC's (employed by Lappoy)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.
Scrubs Male Human Guard.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Although there are no pictures in this one.

Day 17: Being the 17th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons.

The Unexpected are ready to head out to adventure again, check the date above, after returning from their previous raid on the Caves of Chaos they have spent another six days in the Keep, with a lot of R&R.

So, what have they been doing?

Mostly levelling up, selling/buying stuff, chatting, entertaining the locals and... last but by no means least, getting a contract from the Guild of Merchants here. But, we'll get to that.

The first two days, after the rescue of Trebbelos and the goblin slaughter, are spent in the Traveller's Rest. The Unexpected contrive to put some money behind the bar of the inn, the subject of their generosity (apart from themselves) is Cpl Bamf Grubbins, he's the guy that was in charge of the patrol that the PCs bumped into on their way back to the Keep. Cpl Grubbins, and all of his colleagues, are made to feel most welcome at the Rest.

The Unexpected however are not entirely indulgent, or else idle, they're also in the mood to hoover up a few more insights and rumours from the patrol, and from the inhabitants of the Keep at large.

The new list of what's known reads a lot like this-

(1) A merchant, imprisoned within the caves, will reward his rescuers. VERY INTERESTING.
(2) A powerful wizard will destroy all cave invaders. UNTRUE.
(3) Tribes of different creatures live in different caves. CHECK.
(5) A magic wand was lost in the caves. INTERESTING.
(6) All of the cave entrances are trapped. UNTRUE.
(7) If you get lost, beware the eater of men! INTERESTING.
(8) Altars are very dangerous. INTERESTING.
(9) A fair maiden is imprisoned within the caves. INTERESTING.
(10) “Bree-yark!” is goblin for 'we surrender'. UNTRUE.
(12) The big dog-men (GNOLLS?) live very high in the caves. INTERESTING.
(13) There are hordes of tiny dragon-men in the lower caves. KOBOLDS- KILLED.
(14) Piles of magic armour are hoarded in the southern caves. INTERESTING.
(15) The bugbears in the caves are afraid of dwarves. INTERESTING.
(16) Lizardmen live in the marshes. INTERESTING.
(17) An elf once disappeared across the marshes. INTERESTING.
(19) Nobody has ever returned from an expedition to the caves. UNTIL NOW.
(20) There is more than one tribe of ores within the caves. INTERESTING.

So, as stated previously, there are twenty rumours to collect, and already the PCs have tracked down all but three of them, now they're getting places. It seems the secret to success is to spend time and money in the bar, who would have thought it.

The Unexpected, all of them, also get rooms at the Rest, they're living the high life, particularly after they sell the treasures they looted from goblin chief Bad Koff's lair, the haul, after payment of taxes-

A very large and remarkably good-looking tapestry with gold and silver thread showing a squat looking tower on a bluff within a forest at sunrise, sold for 756gp

A very nice silver cup, sold for 65gp

And a hefty swatch of silk, obviously stolen from a merchant's caravan, sold for 97gp

Total = 918gp, that's over 100gp each.

The next port of call, of course, is the shops, but that requires repeat visits over several days as there are only a limited number of healing potions for sale in the Keep. Although clearly there are more being manufactured each day. Basically the Unexpected have to hang around for another five or so days just so that they can get all of the healing potions that they want/need (which is two each, all the DM will allow them).

Lappoy has already been for a visit with anyone and everyone within the Keep, and so now the rest of the Unexpected have done so too, and have made a few more friends, and... made a few more purchases.
They've also spoken at length with Cpl Grubbins about the first rumour on the list above-

(1) A merchant, imprisoned within the caves, will reward his rescuers. VERY INTERESTING.

And after a few introductions they have been welcomed into the Guildhall and given a contract.

Jarvis Scutbuttle and his wife Llona, and their entire caravan/entourage en route to the Keep was attacked and, the authorities at first believed- destroyed, this happened about three tendays past. The attack was likely the work of goblins, although the attackers seemed to have been very organized. Llona Scutbuttle is the sister of Lhodis, the jewel and gem merchant at the Keep.

Then, about a tenday ago another caravan heading to the Keep discovered the body of a dead caravan guard- positioned in the middle of the road, clearly someone wanted the corpse to be noticed.

Pinned to the body of the dead caravan guard was a badly written note, stating in broken common that someone called Grelzenod the Render had taken Jarvis and Llona prisoner, and that a ransom should be paid for their release without harm.

The ransom was duly paid, by an intermediary, that was five days ago.

But, then... nothing.

That is until another guard patrol found the body of the intermediary, a local ranger, in the same position as the last body, in the middle of the road, and with yet another note demanding more money for Jarvis and Llona. This event happened yesterday.

The Guild therefore would like to hire the Unexpected to rescue the missing merchant and his wife, and any other survivors from the trade caravan.

What's more the Guild has learnt that Grelzenod the Render is the hobgoblin chief of a tribe calling themselves the Flesh Renders, they're laired somewhere in the Caves of Chaos.

The Unexpected no where, of course.

The Guild will pay the Unexpected 100gp for the return of the merchant and his wife, and will furthermore grant the adventuring party the right to sell and buy within the Keep, for one year, without paying taxes.

Just to remind you the tax is 5% on everything bought or sold.

Success, and the Guild may also have other work for the Unexpected.

The PCs take the deal, there is much rejoicing, and on the 17th of Mirtul, as above, the Unexpected hit the road again.

Note Rob, who plays Lappoy, wasn't present for this session. He had a session on his own to look around the Keep, and so Pete and Dave wanted the same consideration.

But that's all she wrote for this one.

The pot is up to £50.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Goonalan

Hero
Supporter
The Unexpected in the Caves of Chaos.

Session #0011: The Scutbuttle Rescue.

PCs (in alphabetical order)
Krago of the Mountains
(Pete) Male Mountain Dwarf Ranger (Folk Hero) Level 2.
Lappoy the Unexpected (Rob) Male High Elf Wizard (Sage) Level 3.
Mohag the Wanderer (Pete) Male Human Barbarian (Outlander) Level 2.
Sho-Rembo (Dave) Female Stout Halfling Druid (Hermit) Level 2.
Sir Glen (Dave) Male Human Paladin of Lathander (Noble) Level 2.
Sosspan (Dave) Male Dragonborn Wizard (Spy) Level 2.
Trebbelos (Pete) Male Tiefling Sorcerer (Charlatan) Level 2.
Yor (Pete) Male Dragonborn Fighter (Folk Hero) Level 2.

NPC's (employed by Lappoy)
Wormwood
Male Human Guard.
Scrubs Male Human Guard.

Dead PCs (in alphabetical order)
Afton Barr
(played Dave) Male Half-Elf Bard (Entertainer) Level 1.
Estra Zo (Pete) Female Wood Gnome Rogue (Urchin) Level 1.
Farned of the Leaf Lord (Dave) Male Wild Elf Cleric of Rillifane Rallithil (Acolyte) Level 1.
Tassit (played by Dave) Female Human Monk (Hermit) Level 1.
The Mystical One (played by Pete) Female Human Warlock (Outlander) Level 1.

Note, you can click on the pictures here to make them bigger (if you didn't know this already).

Day 17: Being the 17th Day of Mirtul, in the year 1493 by Dale Reckoning, known as the Year of the Purple Dragons, about 10-ish.


The Unexpected, all present, head out of the Keep and once again, miraculously undisturbed, they make their way back to the Caves of Chaos.

They're after the hobgoblins this time, and their chief Grelzenod the Render, they're going to take down the bastard and rescue Jarvis Scutbuttle and his wife Llona, and any other survivors of the merchant's caravan.

They're confident this session, up for it even, but just to note- this is a long session, I forced the issue, and once we got into combat/initiative- well, we just didn't stop. Although we ran out of time in the end.

I was trying to get the guys to play fewer, and longer, sessions... kinda backfired on me, but you'll see.

And so this is how it goes down, after observing the wooded area for a while the Unexpected sneak back in to the goblin cavern, after first cautiously checking that the place is deserted- it is, however the bodies of the fallen have all gone.

Onwards!

There's a plan.

The Unexpected creep all the way through the goblin's lair, heading west- they know there's a door into the hobgoblin lair up the stairs to the east, but they don't know how the hobgoblins entered the goblin lair from the west.

They're therefore keen to find out.

They're also wary of the door to the east, the thinking is- a door can be locked, or bolted, or trapped, and very well defended. Worse still, all four of these defences could be in place.

Note, there's also an external door into the hobgoblin lair, back out in the Caves of Chaos, but the Unexpected either forgot about this, or else, well... dismissed it.

So, here we are- back in the goblin's former lair.

The Unexpected creep, as quietly as they can, past the door that leads to the lair of the ogre, Bad Nog, they don't want to fight this guy... not yet.

But here's the thing that they don't know.

There was a goblin watching the way into the lair, a solitary (and forlorn) goblin. His name is Garby, and he spotted the Unexpected, and with a '19' on his stealth, well... he crept off to tell his friends.

Garby was the Unexpected's former prisoner too, he doesn't like them.

The Unexpected make it all the way through the abandoned goblin lair, into... a storeroom.

Over the far side of the storeroom is an open stone passage leading into... well, best guess, the hobgoblin's lair.

Hurrah!

Everything is going to plan.

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But...

That's when it all goes to naughty word.

The hobgoblins have hired a new guard for the back door to their lair, and Garby has done a great job, the new guard is therefore hiding and waiting for the Unexpected.

Bad Nog, the ogre, charges out from behind a stack of crates and brains Krago of the Mountains with his greatclub, the dwarven ranger is suddenly fifteen hit points lighter.

Bad Nog is the hobgoblin's new door guard, and that's not ideal.

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That hurt.

There is screaming, some of it directed at yours truly.

More remarkably Bad Nog rolled a '20' for his initiative (he also rolled a '19' for his stealth check), so... here he goes again.

Thank Moradin his next attack roll is a '2'.

Mohag rages and rushes to attack, the barbarian buries his greataxe in the ogre.

Sir Glen dashes in with a Cure Wounds for Krago, and then with an inspiration point the paladin fails in his attempt to slice Bad Nog.

An arrow shatters on the paladin's shield, and although he can't see it, Krago lets Glen know- there's a hobgoblin archer down the western hallway, and he wasn't there before, and sure enough while the pair peer into the gloom the hobgoblin artillery retreats back out of sight.

“It's a trap!” Krago yells, and lets the rest of the Unexpected know.

It is a trap, well done young Dwarf, and so here it goes...

Lappoy however is keen to make a stand, he finds cover and fires a pair of Scorching Rays into the snarling Bad Nog. Wormwood rushes over to guard his Master, and after an order from the High Magicker launches a spear into Bad Nog.

Bad Nog is bloodied, and he's not happy about it.

“We can do this!” Lappoy exhorts, he's trying for the popularity vote these days.

Sho-Rembo has a surprise in store, the halfling druid scurries around to the rear of Bad Nog, and...

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Dire Wolf!

Sho-Rembo is a moon druid, remember.

Sho-D-Wolf savages Bad Nog a little, the ogre is now way beyond bloodied.

But then a pair of heavily armoured hobgoblins brandishing longswords come rushing down the passageway and straight into the melee.

Krago applies his Hunter's Mark to Bad Nog and then blats the ogre with his battleaxe, and a Crit, the ogre is broken- almost spent, swaying and looking for somewhere to fall.

The dwarven ranger therefore spends an inspiration point to try that again, and another hit, and Bad Nog concertinas.

The ogre is dead, and the Unexpected are kicking ass!

[Death to Bad Nog 450 XP]

1105.jpg

Don't mess with Krago.

Yor rushes in and bathes the two armoured hobgoblins in his poisonous breath.

Mohag, with a raging reckless attack (and an inspiration point) smashes one of the armoured hobgoblins down.

Sir Glen, accounts for the second with his longsword.

This is going incredibly well, for the Unexpected.

They're dice are (semi) on fire.

The bastards.

Also my trap is falling apart because the PCs have got lots of high initiative rolls, and... they're rolling really high for their hits, and Crits.

Bastards.

I think I've said this already.

The hobgoblin archer keeps on firing, and keeps on missing.

Then Sho-D-Wolf rushes into action.

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This could get messy.

Fingers-crossed.

Lappoy, and Krago, can hear a hobgoblin ahead giving (shouting) orders, a boss, if not the boss- is this Grelzenod the Render? Have they found the big bad villain already?

Maybe.

The hobgoblins start cutting up Sho-D-Wolf.

Mohag darts past the massive vulpine, but then fails to bury his greataxe in the hobgoblin archer, his enemy drops his bow, grabs out his longsword and stabs the barbarian, but its only a nick.

Lappoy follows Mohag in- he's really playing the hero, and Shocking Grasps the hobgoblin archer. Damn! It survives.

Sir Glen meanwhile Blesses himself, Sho-D-Wolf & Mohag.

Sho-D-Wolf bites and crushes a hobgoblin's head.

Dead.

But, yet another armoured hobgoblin steps in to the fray and slices the wildshaped druid.

Mohag finishes the hobgoblin archer off, but no-one is going anywhere as Sho-D-Wolf is being kept at bay by a solid line of longsword wielding hobgoblins.

Basically the fight is stuck in a ten foot wide corridor, and Sho-D-Wolf is the front line, and she's not rolling high.

[Death to the hobgoblin archer 100 XP]

Lappoy hits one of the front line hobgoblins with a Fire Bolt, and that's enough, it drops- Mohag dodges in and flattens yet another hobgoblin, opening a spot for Sir Glen to follow suit, although the paladin is way off target with his longsword swipe.

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The Unexpected are surging!

But there are plenty more enemies ahead, a greataxe wielding hobgoblin steps in and Crits Sir Glen, and the paladin is down, seconds later another yet hobgoblin advances and slices Sho-D-Wolf, the wildshaped druid is already bloodied and beyond.

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It's a bloody war.

Sho-Rembo returns to her halfling form, and then grabs and feeds a potion of healing into Sir Glen, the sprawled paladin having made, and passed, two death saves so far.

Note we spent a few rounds here, what with both front lines having high ACs, and with the Fire Bolt flingers struggling to get clear shots.

But then the bad thing happens, the Unexpected surge forward again, and Yor is suddenly through the knot of hobgoblins that block the passage, but what's this...

A slim platemail wearing and longsword wielding hobgoblin steps out of the chamber ahead, strides forward with purpose, and cuts the dragonborn down- dead.

As in dead, not unconscious- that was Crit with lots of martial advantage for... just short of 40 damage.

“The dragonborn is dead.”

The hobgoblin leader states, loud enough to be heard by the rest of the Unexpected- and in the common tongue, and then as calm as you like Grelzenod the Render, strides back the way he came.

Although, keep in mind the PCs are not certain that this Grelzenod, they think it is.

I'm saying nothing in game.

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The Unexpected, or else the players, are really starting to fret.

Mohag keeps swinging and missing.

Sir Glen gets to his feet, sinks another potion of healing, and then while singing a prayer to the Morning Lord (and with an inspiration point) he steps back into the fray and cuts yet another hobgoblin down.

Lappoy hits another with a Fire Bolt, and then Trebbelos fills the corridor ahead with a Colour Spray, and blinds all three of the hobgoblins blocking the Unexpected's path.

Good result.

But still the adventurers don't have things go all their own way, even the blind hobgoblins are swinging and hitting Mohag, but the barbarian is soaking up the damage, and still raging (but only just, he has just two turns left).

Krago smashes down one of the blind hobgoblins.

Sosspan rushes to the side of his fallen brother, and unleashes a Thunderwave that decimates the hobgoblin front line, and then for good measure (with an inspiration point) exhales his poisonous breath weapon leaving the last two hobgoblins in the passage badly wounded and retching, and gagging.

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Get 'em.

And very suddenly Grelzenod the Render has to make tracks, the platemail wearing hobgoblin retreats further into the complex, the hobgoblin front line has fallen apart, he needs reinforcements fast.

I'm trying to play the hobgoblins as being tactically astute here, but always looking to go forward. In truth Garby the goblin, remember him, well his task is to go and get the rest of the hobgoblin lair roused and ready for the fight.

So, the hobgoblins are trying to slow the Unexpected, or else bottle-neck them, for a variety or reasons- narrow corridors etc. but also because a bunch of hobgoblins, in the furthest part of the lair, well their job is to pass through the goblin lair and attack the Unexpected from the rear.

So, while the fighting here is going on- Garby is rushing through the lair, rousing the troops- sending them to the front line etc.

Mohag smashes yet another hobgoblin down, and then urges his comrades on, there's only one enemy still in sight.

And then there isn't.

Lappoy, of course, and with another Crit, Fire Bolts the last armoured hobgoblin defender dead.

The Unexpected are through the bottle-neck.

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The Unexpected enter the hobgoblin chief's rooms (they figure)- but they're deserted, and they very quickly figure out that Grelzenod (they think) is getting away- also, there are no prisoners here.

The decision is... keep on going, press on deeper into the lair, the Unexpected are winning after all.

Sosspan however isn't stopping at all, the dragonborn wants Grelzenod dead (“he killed my brother! I'll make him PAY!”), and so he spends his last inspiration point to move again, and... here he is!

1112.jpg

Sosspan's revenge? Or is he about to join his brother?

Keep in mind Sosspan is a dragonborn wizard, with an AC of maybe 14 with his Mage Armour, although Dave is RPing the heck out of him atm.

Grelzenod is however happy to fight the newly revealed dragonborn, and with a miss followed by a Crit, Sosspan is very bloodied, but still ranting.

The hobgoblin chief ignores the dragonborn's threats, and his flailing stave, and continues to retreat, screaming for his hobgoblin warriors to come and join him in the fight.

And so for a brief while it's a foot race through the lair, but here's the thing- the Unexpected start hearing the echo of other hobgoblin voices answering the call, they figure they're going to be back to fighting again very soon.

1113.jpg

Trebbelos catches up with the action, courtesy of an inspiration point, but he's off target with his Ray of Frost.

Sho-Rembo wildshapes into a giant goat, and the druid is also off in hot pursuit.

Note Sho-G-Goat doesn't make much of a mark on the action, and once again we're soon in narrow corridors here; Sho-G-Goat like Sho-D-Wolf just takes up too much room.

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Sosspan, still making threats, fires a trio of Magic Missiles into Grelzenod.

But that's not enough, the hobgoblin chief returns the favour and cuts down the demented Sosspan, and then for good measure stabs him again (one, or was it two, auto death save failure/s).

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Sosspan is about to bleed out, maybe...

Mohag (no-longer raging) gets to the dragonborn wizard and feeds him a potion of healing, and then turns back to the fight and starts his second, and last, rage...

Sir Glen makes it to the spot and forms a wall with the barbarian, and there are more hobgoblins now rushing to the fight.

Round two- DING DING!

Just to note, we're still in initiative here, even for the chase.

Lappoy arrives and fires three more Magic Missiles into Grelzenod, the Unexpected are very keen to put this bastard down.

Trebbelos fires a Ray of Frost into the hobgoblin chief, and its a Crit.

Moments later Sosspan staggers to his feet and fires yet another trio of Magic Missiles into Grelzenod, his last spell, the hobgoblin boss is critically wounded, but still it's not enough.

The hobgoblin chief staggers around the corner- still shouting for reinforcements, and he's back out of sight.

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Grelzenod's still going.

Lappoy Fire Bolts yet another hobgoblin dead.

But the hobgoblins keep on coming and the passage is blocked again and we're back to fighting- toe-to-toe.

Two more hobgoblins fall in quick(-ish) order, but then Krago gets badly sliced, and Sir Glen stabbed again.

And finally, after a lot of rolls and not many hits, Sir Glen cuts the last of the hobgoblins down, and we've been in combat for 25 turns now, and what's that just around the corner- yet another wall of fresh hobgoblins.

The Unexpected are not giving up, nor are they taking a breather- they rush on.

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This is hard work.

Then, all is chaos- it goes back and forth, and there's lots more rolling and missing going on.

Mohag gets shot, the barbarian is about to fall.

Lappoy fires three Scorching Blasts (he's been saving it- and all three hits) into the hobgoblin wall of steel, one of the bastards falls, while a second is left critically wounded, the wizard scurries forward and with his last inspiration point forces a potion of healing into the staggering Mohag.

But then...

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Wormwood, one of Lappoy's guards, gets cut down- dead.

But I'll be honest, no-one bats an eye-lid about poor dumb Wormwood.

Lappoy's not giving up, the high elf wizard Shocking Grasps yet another hobgoblin dead, and then dodges back to safety.

Trebbelos dances forward and fills the corridor ahead with flame, alas two of the three hobgoblins there survive the spell.

Then spotted just around the corner, there's a new tough looking hefty hobgoblin bugger, armed with a longsword and whip. This fellow is also giving orders.

Which one is Grelzenod?

The platemail hobgoblin or the fellow with the whip and sword?

Trebbloe uses his Sorcery Points to instantly get a spell slot back, and then spends his last inspiration point (the last inspiration point for the party) to spam the Burning Hands button again.

Alas both enemies survive the second conflagration.

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This is going to the wire.

The hobgoblin boss with the whip and sword slashes Krago, and the dwarf is very suddenly down to just one hit point, but that's his concern as the Unexpected are intent on pressing forward.

Thankfully, moments later, Sosspan gets to Krago with a healing potion.

The Unexpected are working very well together.

Mohag slashes hard with his greataxe and puts the whip and sword wielding hobgoblin boss down, hurrah!

But ahead- there's the platemail wearing hobgoblin boss the Unexpected have been chasing, and yet another whip and longsword armed hobgoblin.

Note, at this point the Unexpected figure for certain (they think) that the hobgoblin they have been chasing the longest- the nasty fellow that slew Yor, he's Grelzenod- he's the one that's going to pay!

And they're right, of course.

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This is the end...

The barbarian runs screaming at the chief...

And is intercepted by the second whip and sword wielding hobgoblin, who Crits Mohag with his blade.

Mohag staggers back, he's very poorly.

Sir Glen dodges through the fight, ever the hero, and pumps all of his Lay on Hands into the barbarian.

Lappoy dodges in...

And unleashes his very last spell, a Thunderwave.

Both boss hobgoblins make their saves, and the High Magicker rolls a total of '4' Thunder damage, so that's just two points of damage each- there is screaming.

Not good screaming, mainly Dave and Pete screaming at Rob (Lappoy).

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Oh naughty word!

Then...

Sho-Rembo, back in halfling form- she didn't land a single hit as Sho-G-Goat, dodges through the crowd of bodies in the corridor until she stands before Grelzenod, and then with her Shillelagh, and a natural '20', she ends the bastard.

But here's the thing...

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More hobgoblins come rushing towards the fight.

Now in the book it says when Grelzenod gets dead then the hobgoblins get deterred, well... I'm not having that, I have a boss hobgoblin in play- the guy with the whip and sword, and so we're going on...

Remember I was telling you about Garby the goblin's job, he was going room to room all the way through the hobgoblin lair- sounding the alarm. Also, the hobgoblins in the furthest chamber from where the PCs entered the lair, well- as stated previously they've circled around to attack the PCs from the rear.

And here they are- at last.

So, an Unexpected sandwich...

We're going on- it has taken me an age to get the last of my hobgoblins in position, I'm not giving up yet.

Back to the action...

Sho-Rembo, same deal- Shillelagh, followed by a natural '20', only this time the whip and sword wielding sub-chief doesn't fall.

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More hobgoblins arriving.

But that, can you believe it, is where we have to leave it.

[Lots of Hobgoblins 1100 XP]

Just to let you know, we were in on FGU at 9 AM for this session, although we didn't get playing until maybe 9.30. We got done playing at just short of 2 PM, but there were plenty of breaks in there, and we're not known for our speedy play.

I think at the end we were on the 36th turn on the combat tracker, although a number of these involved the Unexpected charging forwards while Grelzenod retreated, until the hobgoblin reinforcements caught up with their chief.

So, it wasn't all fighting- just 90% of it.

Also note there's a chunk more XP coming the PCs way when this fight gets finished, lastly a bunch of the PCs have earned inspiration points in this session- so, they're going to get some advantage from these.

Bastards.

I may have mentioned this fact before.

The pot is up to £54.

Stay safe and well you lovely people.

Toodles for a bit.

Cheers the Unexpected and goonalan.
 

Nice fight :)

But in service of the great god Pedantry, I feel I should point out that Sho-D-Wolf wouldn't be "vulpine" that would be a Dire Fox ... [insert joke about Laurence/Liam/Charles according to taste].
 

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