Let's Play #2 4e Goodman Games DCC53 Sellswords of Punjar Obsidian Portal Link- NOW WITH PICS OF THE PCS


Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 2.

Encounter #6 Area 1-12 Zeb'oltha the Demon-Bound.

[sblock=The Map]

Zeb’oltha’s lair is in area 1-12 on the map.​


There’s nothing of interest to be found in the store room, the guys press on- there’s only one exit, a door which leads in to a larger shadowy chamber, a bunk room (Area 1-11 on the Map).

There's a light ahead however, Riardon creeps forward- he's the stealthiest of the bunch, through a makeshift bunk room to an open doorway on the far side, the source of the light. The eladrin spies beyond a foul and dirty laboratory inhabited by a pair of near-naked waddling humans, seemingly wearing only diapers, and an equally fat male tiefling.

The trio are conducting some manner of foul experiment.

Riardon doesn’t hang about, the ranger returns to his companions and relays this new information. There follows a brief discussion- a shoot first ask questions later policy is decided upon, although Corrin’s not happy- he’s out-voted.

The players are feeling a little fragile at this point- they figure anything could kill them in here, insightful.

Moments later the guys are at the doorway to the chamber, ready to launch their attacks.

The Bad Guys... 375 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Eunuch Bodyguard Level 1 Soldier x2
Zeb'oltha, Tiefling Warlock Level 4 Artillery

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Corrin dashes in to the chamber, to the closest of the waddling humans, and lashes out cutting the blubbering fellow- the eunuch screams- falsetto, Corrin attempts to make himself heard over the horrendous wailing of his victim- calling for the trio of bad guys to surrender.

There’s a moment when everything stops.

Then the fat tiefling yells-

“Destroy them all…”

Moments later the bleeding eunuch is bloodied, actually scorched as Tira delivers her Eldritch Blast- the volume of the eunuch’s screams goes up several notches.

Riardon’s arrow flies wide, perhaps an attempt to shut the human up. Kathra closes in on the action, moving towards the other near-naked human bodyguard.

Erais mumbles and points and the screeching eunuch suddenly looks terrified, the waddling human cuts and runs- overcome by fear, Corrin slices again and cuts him down.

The fat tiefling- Zeb’oltha, continues to shout in a fury, ordering the remaining eunuch to “kill the interlopers!”

The fat human obeys immediately, grabbing up a spiked chain from a workbench, it rushes forward and lashes out at Corrin- smashing the halfling down, leaving Corrin sprawling on the floor.

But not for long, the paladin leaps to his feet, momentarily embarrassed but still healthy- he charges at the fat tiefling and cuts the fellow, issuing his Divine Challenge while again yelling for his foes to surrender.

Tira follows up with her Witchfire, the remaining eunuch staggers scorched and bloodied, and again Riardon fires and misses.

The fat tiefling leader shifts back a little and with his skull-topped rod unleashes hell- on Corrin, Flames Of Phlegathos engulf the halfling paladin, Corrin collapses- dying.

Corrin takes 24 fire damage, reducing him to -7 hit points, what’s worse he’s also taking ongoing 5 fire damage, the adventurers need to act quickly to save their companion.

[sblock=Zeb’oltha, the fat Tiefling Warlock]


Kathra dashes to the remaining eunuch and cuts hard, somehow the fat human manages to avoid the dwarf’s warhammer, but not however Erais’ Lance of Faith which burns a hole through the eunuch’s gut, the second fat man falls dead.

Erais moves forward and muttering a prayer- Corrin’s eyes flutter open, the halfling is saved.

But is still on fire, the paladin staggers to his feet, takes a brief moment to get his Second Wind and then screams at the fat tiefling, now sans his bodyguards, to surrender or else meet his unmaker.

Zeb’oltha smirks and shakes his head- makes ready to unleash another spell, a moment later the tiefling has to scurry to avoid Tira’s Ray of Frost, he’s just quick enough.

Riardon fires.

Riardon misses.

Yet again.

Zeb’oltha shuffles back in to the action, grabs out with his hand, Corrin manages however to avoid the evil warlock’s Diabolic Grasp attack.

Kathra bustles over- swings again with her warhammer but is way off target, as is Erais with another radiant lance.

Corrin still burns, although not for much longer- the flames at last are dying down, the halfling delivers his Holy Strike and this time it’s the fat tiefling’s turn to scream.

Tira tries again with her Eyebite attack but Zeb’oltha resists her power.

Riardon fires and…


Riardon has made four attack rolls so far, the highest of which has been an unadjusted '6'.

Zeb’oltha rises to his full height and calls down words of dark power- his Hellish Rebuke, Corrin is suddenly engulfed once more in flame, the halfling’s smile slips as he slams in to the ground.

Corrin is back to dying, down to -4 hit points.

Kathra is less than pleased, the dwarf slams her warhammer in to Zeb’oltha, at the same moment intense flames suddenly engulf Corrin again. The halfling opens his eyes, gasps and speaks-

“No prisoners!”

Then flails his limbs briefly, and dies.

Zeb’oltha’s Hellish Rebuke delivers another 10 points of fire damage to Corrin when Kathra hits him with her warhammer, thus reducing Corrin to -14 hit points, which is beyond his negative bloodied value (-13), Corrin is really dead.

“You did that!”

Zeb’oltha grins at Kathra.

There follows a brief interlude for the players to throw things- dice, miniatures etc.

The rule is fully explained to Iain, who plays Corrin, it turns out he did know the rule but... he's less than happy.

It should be noted that Iain was 'botting' Kathra for the above, he has in effect, killed his own PC.

Iain is now playing Kathra full time, and is out for vengeance.

Back to the action.

“Kill it!”

The Sunlord screams as another radiant beam fails to contact with the now grinning Zeb’oltha. Tira’s Cursed Eyebite however strikes home, Zeb’oltha screams and staggers- bloodied.

The fat tiefling screams for the adventurers to allow him to surrender.

His pleas fall on deaf ears.

Riardon fires.

And hits…

Glory be, the fat tiefling clutches at the wound and staggers some more.

Screams again to be allowed to surrender.

Kathra moves up close, and then shakes her head.

Zeb’oltha runs.

Kathra smashes her warhammer in to the fleeing tiefling warlock’s back- flattening the fat freak, killing him dead.

The dwarf makes sure.

And Iain smiles at last.

375 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Eunuch Bodyguard Level 1 Soldier x2
Zeb'oltha, Tiefling Warlock Level 4 Artillery

Comment: And that's the third PC down in only six encounters, only four of which were combat encounters, bad dice- naughty dice, tee-hee-hee.

Corrin's stuff is duly ransacked, his Potion of Healing taken by Kathra, his +1 Short Sword taken as party spoils. We had one extra character in-game already- five PCs with only four players, Dave's not returned to the fold. Therefore Ian (who guided Corrin to an early grave) takes control of Kathra.

The PCs go on to ransack Zeb'oltha's quarters and discover all manner of odd things, including a Scythe made from the fused (partial) skeleton of a Bone Devil, an unhatched, and still warm, (pseudo-dragon) egg, a set of +1 Cloth Armour (covered in all manner of mystical sigils- and blood/food stains), and a skull topped Rod allows the wielder to re-use already cast Encounter powers (it has a finite number of charges). Quite a haul- oh and don't Goodman Games do interesting treasures (and fluff) much better than Wizards.

Tira now with Zeb's Skull-Topped Magical Rod tucked in her belt.​

Kathra eats the egg- no really; Iain is channeling Dave at this point.

Sated and rested, the PCs move on, head out of the only door and shamble across a dirty courtyard, it’s raining still, they head towards a dilapidated warehouse like structure.
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 2.

Encounter #7 Area 1-13 Courtyard and Warehouse.

[sblock=The Map]

The courtyard is in area 1-13 on the map, the double doors lead in to the dilapidated warehouse.​


There are noises coming from within the warehouse structure ahead, the doors are suddenly wrenched open and ranged before the adventurers are ten of the mangiest looking miscreants ever to walk the streets of Fallcrest. Dishevelled male humans- beggars, each one wields an improvised weapon of some sort- from table legs, to broken bottles, one of them has a sackful of turnips. The gang lurch forward- toward the adventurers, they’re about to bring a whole new meaning to the term 'aggressive begging.'

As if that wasn't enough Erais cries out, points up and left, a black smudge detaches itself from its inky roost amongst the roofs, and flutters down to join in the fun- a Shadow Bat Swarm.

The adventurers hate swarms.

The Bad Guys... 460 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Beggar Level 2 Minion x10
Shadow Bat Swarm Level 3 Lurker

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


The inky black bat storm moves remarkably quickly, in seconds it has surrounded Riardon- swarming the eladrin, trying to bite him- somehow the ranger ducks, dives and darts and miraculously avoids any harm.

Kathra meanwhile rushes forward Cleaves with her warhammer at the nearest pair of human beggars, and misses. The dwarf is not happy, and so tries again with her Passing Attack (after an Action Point)- two of the beggars are smashed to the cobbles, they’re not getting up ever.

The rest of the beggar’s react- Kathra is smashed on the back with a wooden plank, hit on the side with a lead pipe, jabbed in the gut with a table leg, lashed on the leg with a rusty chain and stabbed in the arm with a rusty knife.

She manages to dodge the artillery- three of the beggars move back and throw a bottle, a cobblestone and a turnip, respectively, at her.

Kathra looks like she’s in a world of hurt, and is bloodied by the beggar minions.

Tira however concentrates her efforts on the shadowy bat swarm, her Cursed Eldritch Blast strikes the flying vermin- but to no great affect.

Moments later Riardon extricates himself from the swarm, not without paying the price however, the bats frenzy and the eladrin is bitten numerous times- the creatures seem to have injected some cold and dark toxin in to him- he shivers and shakes furiously.

Riardon is taking ongoing 2 necrotic and cold damage from the swarm.

The eladrin quickly grabs out his bow, notches an arrow, and fires in to the thick of the swarm, and somehow contrives to miss everything.

Erais, the Sunlord, mutters a prayer and Kathra’s wounds heal over; he then launches a radiant beam at the bats- sears a great hole in the thickest part of the maelstrom.

The bats are further damaged as they’re vulnerable to radiant power.

Moments later, as Erais watches on several of the bats that he presumed to be dead, suddenly right themselves and flap back up off the cobbles and back in to the swarm- the thing is regenerating, Erais screams a warning to his compatriots.


The swirling bats suddenly burst out in every direction, their wings blinding all those within their reach not quick enough to shield their eyes- which turns out to be just Riardon, the eladrin staggers hurt again and now unable to see anything.

Riardon is blinded and on six hit points only.

Kathra meantime takes another two of the beggars down with her warhammer Cleave, and in return is stabbed again and smashed by another beggar wielding what looks to be a horse’s leg. Kathra is now surrounded by six beggars all trying to kill her.

Tira moves a little further back, launches another Cursed Witchfire attack at the bat swarm, which misses, and then tries again with an Eldritch Blast (after spending an Action Point), the swarm burns, but all too briefly.

Riardon staggers backwards, trying desperately to see what’s going on- where is he in relation to the swarm? The bat venom continues to eat away at him from within- chilling him to the bone in the process. The eladrin sucks up the hurt and gets his Second Wind

Erais shuffles back from the swarm, and then launches a Sacred Flame at the pesky bats, another miss. The Sunlord tries harder, much harder (after an Action Point)- the swarm is suddenly engulfed in a Cascade of Light- it burns.

And when the light is gone the flying vermin have lost over half of their number, the swarm is bloodied- but still regenerating however.

Erais mutters yet another prayer and Riardon’s wounds are gone in an instant.

The bat swarm moves back to menace Riardon some more, the eladrin is the most vulnerable- what with being blind, he’s bitten a myriad times.

Kathra continues to keep the six remaining beggars at bay, although she takes a few more hits in the process; the dwarf takes a brief moment to clear her head, taking her Second Wind, ready for more action.

Tira is bitten by the bats, she moves back and unleashes another Cursed Eldritch Blast, alas the bats are far too quick and outmaneuver her power.

Riardon, still blinded, is likewise bitten some more- he staggers, and then disappears, his Fey Step teleports him away from the danger- working on instinct he also unleashes another arrow- which alas flies high, wide and handsome.

A burst of flame suddenly engulfs the swarm, Erais’ Sacred Flame- the swarm is decimated, destroyed.

The players are wreathed in smiles; the swarm could have done a lot more damage than it did.

Kathra smashes another two of the beggars down- she’s proved adept at keeping them at bay so far, although she’s hit again with the table leg.

Tira, still subject to the bat toxin, manoeuvres away from the beggars and launches her Eldritch Blast- another one of the disheveled humans bursts in to flames, and soon after expires.

Riardon mean time is out of the action, still blind, the eladrin glugs down a healing potion and at last shakes off his visual impairment.

Erais fires off a Sacred Flame at one of the beggars but fails to connect.

Kathra fights on, misses her enemies this time, and is stabbed back in return- there are only three of the beggars left to defeat however.

Tira’s Eldritch Blast takes out the first, Riardon- who can now see again, accounts for the second.

The final beggar flops on to the slick cobblestones, throwing away his weapon, and begs to be spared.

Erais nods, grabs the filthy human up and rushes in to the decrepit warehouse, and out of the rain.

460 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Beggar Level 2 Minion x10
Shadow Bat Swarm Level 3 Lurker

Comment: Nice encounter, particularly now there are only four PCs, plenty of minions to kill- all armed with different weapons, and the shadow bat swarm- something for the guys to think about.
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 2.

Encounter #8 Area 1-14 Court of the Beggar King.

[sblock=The Map]

The Beggar King’s throne room is area 1-14 on the map.​


The adventurers have an easy time extracting information from the lone surviving beggar, the wretch is terrified of the guys- the cobblestones still slick with the blood of his fellows. It seems the Beggar King has not been seen for a while; consensus is that something bad has happened to him, although the beggar, 'Filthy Tony', has no idea what. He has however noticed, during fleeting moments of sobriety, an increase in the number of mercenaries hired in to defend his erstwhile master's lair- again he cannot account for this. All he knows is something is very, very wrong.

The beggar also points the adventurers in the direction of the Beggar King's court, up a rickety ladder and through an open window, hardly the most dignified way to enter the royal throne room. The guys, after a short rest, decide it’s time to end this, to finally pay the Beggar King a visit.

Soon after the adventurers are up the ladder and fully assembled in the Beggar King's throne room, there are two guards over the far side of the chamber- although neither has moved an inch- suspicious. Also on the far side of the chamber is a cot-cum-bed, occupied, the inhabitant shaking and moaning in their sleep- the Beggar King is having nightmares it seems.

Other than that... hang on, Riardon and Erais spot movement, in the rafters above- a weasely looking Human in black leather armour.

The adventurers scream a warning and launch their attacks; the man in the rafters already has a dagger in hand.

The Bad Guys... 175 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Rogue, Black Shet Level 4 Skirmisher

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Once again the guys are operating with a shoot first ask questions later policy, Riardon is first in to the action- firing in to the rafters with his bow, and after his first shot misses he tries again (Action Point). The second arrow strikes the miscreant above in the shoulder, actually impaling the scoundrel briefly- blood gushes.

Riardon’s Action Point attack is a Critical Hit for 21 points of damage, Black Shet is almost bloodied after only one hit.

The rogue in the rafters however is not giving up, he spins out his throwing dagger- the blade thumps in to Tira’s chest, the tiefling staggers and almost falls. Moments later the villain in black scuttles along the rafters and in to the shadows in the eaves of the roof, and out of sight.

That was Black Shet’s Daily power- Easy Strike, hitting for 18 points of damage, leaving Tira bloodied, slowed and granting combat advantage.

Erais scans the area- he can no longer see the villain, he moves in to the chamber- eyes on the ceiling searching desperately for the knife throwing menace…


Suddenly a huge section of the floor falls away, a massive pit trap.

Erais is left dangling, having grabbed on to the edge of the opening just in time. The Sunlord looks down- ten feet or so below him is a cage of some sort- with an inviting open top, the cage is suspended from a taught rope, at least thirty or forty feet above a vast rushing river of water. There are torches below illuminating a huge chamber.

Erais takes a fresh grip and begins to haul himself up and out of danger.

The Bad Guys... 300 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Rogue, Black Shet Level 4 Skirmisher
Camouflaged Pit Trap Level 2 Warder

Tira clutches at her wound and staggers, attempts to weave her magic- Witchfire illuminates the rafters, scorches several of them too- but doesn’t connect with the hidden villain. Angry Tira tries again, an Eldritch Blast follows (after an Action Point) but it too is wide of the mark.

Kathra meantime is all the way around the pit and to the far side- she smashes the first guard down, it needs to be said that the guards have still not moved an inch.

The first guard is a wooden dummy with clothes on- it tumbles in to the pit, the dwarf fighter looks sorely disappointed.

Riardon scurries around the outside of the pit also, desperate to spot their enemy- success, the ranger points and screams at Black Shet, then fires another arrow, the black clad rogue clutches at his side, almost falls from the beams.

Black Shet is one hit away from…


A different dagger but the same result, Tira takes a second blade to the chest, she collapses- the blood gushing from the second wound.

Black Shet scores a crit with his Deft Strike, Tira takes 20 points of damage, reducing her to -10 hit points.

Erais clambers up from the pit and rushes over- moments later Tira stirs. The Sunlord looks up- instantly spots the rogue in the rafters and mutters dark words- Black Shet suddenly panics, rushes forward across the beams, and slips, and falls.

He lands cat-like on his feet on solid ground, and not far away from Erais and Tira.

The later sits up, still clutching at her wounds, Tira points with her wand and the rogue is suddenly, and fatally, engulfed by flames- her Eldritch Blast.

300 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Camouflaged Pit Trap Level 2 Warder
Human Rogue, Black Shet Level 4 Skirmisher

The adventurers take a moment to stare over the edge, down in to the pit, just a moment however- Erais indicates the sleeping figure- the Beggar King? Doubtful.

The guys head over; the slumbering figure is awoken- at knife point. She screams.

The figure turns out to be street urchin by the name of Reena, she’s bound and gagged, and when released wants her mum.

It’s enough to break a tough adventurer’s heart.

Reena suddenly screams again, and points, the adventurers turn just in time to see two sturdy looking miscreants, followed by Arthuro the Fence, climbing in the window.

Comment: Arthuro, the Rogue from the Bazaar of the Bizarre- you remember (see Encounter #3), he and his two friends climb in to the Beggar King's Throne Room-loyal to the last.

In truth the PCs are a whisker away from having enough XP to advance to Level 2, therefore I've added the next encounter to take them the rest of the way- I need them to be Level 2 before they head below, into the Dungeon of the Beggar King. There are only four of them, without five PCs things are going to be tough, particularly if what happened last time I played this scenario happens again. You'll see...
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 2.

Encounter #9 Area 1-14 Arthuro, and friends, in the Court of the Beggar King.

[sblock=The Map]

The Beggar King’s throne room is area 1-14 on the map.​


Arthuro snarls and launches his dagger…

The Bad Guys... 425 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Tough Level 2 Brute x2
Human Rogue, Arthuro the Fence Level 4 Skirmisher

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Which thuds in to the far wall, missing the previously bound and gagged young girl by inches, Riardon looks livid.

His bow sings and Arthuro sprouts an arrow from his chest, the eladrin scowls at the fence who looks sheepish, and hurt.

A critical hit by Riardon on Arthuro the Fence for 22 points of damage to start the fracas.

Erais’s Lance of Faith likewise slams in to the fence, the Sunlord is equally displeased, the child could have been killed- Arthuro screams in agony.

Kathra meantime scuttles back around the gaping pit and cuts off the first of Arthuro’s buddies- the toughs, the dwarf shows the human a thing or two about combat- she smashes the guy with her warhammer, it’s all the tough can do to avoid falling down the pit.

Arthuro is suddenly, and finally, engulfed in flames- Tira’s Cursed Witchfire, the fence thumps on to his knees and then face-plants the floor, still burning- dead.

The first tough swings hard at Kathra, she ducks just in time.

The second rushes around the other side of the pit and slams his mace in to Erais, the Sunlord is badly winded- left gasping for air.

Erais absorbs a critical hit for 19 points of damage.

Riardon attempts to come to the rescue of Erais, alas his arrow flies high and wide. Erais fights back but doesn’t manage to land a blow- the human facing him is clearly adept in attack and defence.

Kathra meantime slams her warhammer in to the other tough, moments later the guy is Cursed courtesy of Tira and hit by her Eldritch Blast- he’s seen enough, the tough flees, or else- tries to.

Kathra smashes the human in the back, a fatal attack.

The other tough, although now facing off against the entire party, fights on- although he fails to connect with Erais.

Moments later the tough learns to regret his decision, he takes an arrow to his right arm, and then a grazing blow to his left thigh courtesy of Erais’ mace.

And yet stubborn to the last, and even as the other adventurers unleash their fury, the tough decides to tough it out.

Just to say behind my DMs Screen I usually just roll a D20- high number and the monster fights on, medium number and in this situation he does the sensible thing and surrenders, low number and he flees. This isn’t going to be a long fight- there’s no concern about grind, I’d rather just play it out. Obviously if I had something I wanted the bad guy to say then I’d surrender right now without the roll. Obviously I kept rolling high.

Riardon fires another arrow wide, Erais lands another hit- although only a grazing blow which barely breaks the skin- Kathr and Tira are however now on hand, they make the tough pay.

Kathra slams her warhammer in the guys back, moments later the Cursed human is hit by Tira’s Eldritch Blast- and is destroyed.

425 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Human Tough Level 2 Brute x2
Human Rogue, Arthuro the Fence Level 4 Skirmisher

Comment: And they guys have made it through the first level of the dungeon- the adventurers settle down to take an Extended Rest, after searching the bad guys and the throne room for money et al.

They take the ladder away that leads up to the throne room after first clearing up below- getting rid of the bloody bodies. They then take it in turns to head into Fallcrest, to try to sell or indeed exchange some of the magic items they have found that are of no use to them.

They're all also up to Level 2.

Obviously this is not a campaign so I don’t mind a bit of ‘magic shop’, it’s also the end of the session- and the guys have played in Fallcrest before. Therefore we do a little bit of role-play, a bit of haggling here and there, visits to different vendors- playing one off against another, a few skill checks.

And these are the results-

Riardon swaps out the +1 Duelist Dagger (from Black Shet, the rogue in the rafters) and some money for a +1 Targeting Longbow.

Erais swaps the +1 Short Sword and a little coin for a +1 Mace.

Kathra swaps the +1 Bastard Sword and a little coin for a +1 Warhammer.

Tira keeps the +1 Dagger.

The rescued young girl is taken to the appropriate authorities, hopefully her parents (if they're alive) can be found.

During the adventurers time resting in the throne room they discover another concealed trapdoor in the floor of the chamber, with a rickety ladder heading down in to the huge chamber below.

And so ends the second session of play.
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 3.

The Characters at Level 2.

Riardon Brightvale
(Played by James)
Male Eladrin Ranger Level 2
HP 28 Surges 6
AC 18 Fort 16 Ref 18 Will 16
Str 14 Con 11 Dex 18 Int 12 Wis 14 Cha 10
+1 Targeting Longbow & Longsword
+2 Cloak of Resistance & Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Nature, Perception & Stealth.
Feats & Class Features: Defensive Mobility, Eladrin Will, Hunter's Quarry, Improved Initiative, Lethal Hunter.
At Will- Careful Attack, Twin Strike.
Encounter- Evasive Strike, Fey Step, Invigorating Stride.
Daily- Split the Tree.

Erais the Sunlord
(Played by Paul)
Male Human Cleric of Amaunator Level 2
HP 34 Surges 8
AC 17 Fort 14 Ref 13 Will 18
Str 14 Con 12 Dex 10 Int 12 Wis 18 Cha 12
+1 Mace & Dagger & +1 Holy Symbol of Battle
Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Arcana, Heal, History, Insight & Religion
Feats & Class Features: Channel Divinity: Power of Amaunator, Human Perseverance, Ritual Casting, Toughness.
At Will- Lance of Faith, Righteous Brand, Sacred Flame
Encounter- Channel Divinity: Divine Fortune, Channel Divinity: Power of Amaunator, Channel Divinity: Turn Undead, Divine Glow, Healing Word.
Daily- Cascade of Light, Shield of Faith.

Kathra Ironforge
(Played by Iain, after the death of Corrin)
Female Dwarf Fighter Level 2
HP 44 Surges 13
AC 20 Fort 17 Ref 14 Will 13
Str 16 Con 18 Dex 12 Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 8
+1 Warhammer & Throwing Axe
Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Athletics, Heal & Streetwise.
Feats & Class Features: Cast Iron Stomach, Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority, Dwarven Resilience, Dwarven Weapon Training, Stand Your Ground, Toughness.
At Will- Cleave, Tide of Iron.
Encounter- Passing Attack.
Daily- Brute Strike, Unstoppable.

Tira Duskmeadow
(Played by Becky, after the death of Scurvy)
Female Half-Elf Warlock Level 2
HP 33 Surges 9
AC 16 Fort 14 Ref 14 Will 16
Str 10 Con 16 Dex 11 Int 15 Wis 8 Cha 18
+1 Dagger & +1 Magic Wand & Zeb's Magic Rod.
Potion of Healing
Trained Skills: Bluff, Insight, Streetwise & Thievery.
Feats & Class Features: Action Surge, Group Diplomacy, Fey Pact- Misty Step, Implement Expertise (Wand), Prime Shot, Shadow Walk, Warlock's Curse.
At Will- Eldritch Blast, Eyebite.
Encounter- Blazing Starfall, Ethereal Stride, Witchfire.
Daily- Curse of the Dark Dream.

Note there have been a few power swap outs, players wanting to try different things with what are, or rather were, pregen characters- I figure why not.

And still no Dave!
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 3.

Encounter #10 The Slave Pens of Punjar

[sblock=The Map]

The adventurers climb down in to area 2-1, location C.​


And so the adventurers, now fully rested and re-equipped, head down the ladder and in to the huge cavern below. To their right the river flows, they’re on a rocky ledge which leads east to a larger, open, area.

Clearly the suspended cage they spied earlier- down the pit, is part of some sort of elaborate trap, or else a transportation device, perhaps both. Pulleys and cables lead down to a great capstan far to the east. The entire area is illuminated by torchlight- the great windlass is probably used to draw the cable-car like device in.

Also ahead, on a beach, are a number of what look to be cells (labelled A to D on the map), some of which seem to be inhabited- what is this place?

Last, but by no means least, the adventurers spot a large creature by the windlass, a shaggy black-haired beast, a great ape. Fortunately the creature seems to be chained to the cavern wall.

The adventurers move forward, pressed hard against the wall, trying to stay out of sight.

There are people in the cages down on the beach- two ladies dressed in fine clothes, an aged male in robes and two gap-toothed beggars; the inhabitants spot the adventurers, begin to gesture and call over. Riardon looks stern and attempts to ‘shush’ them, but the two beggars are having none of it- the pair begin caterwauling, making a terrible racket.

This in turn agitates the great ape; the beast screeches and howls, flails and pulls on its restraining chain.

The adventurers desperately attempt to shush the drunken beggars, but too late.

A trio of armoured hobgoblins saunter in to the chamber through a cave opening, hidden from the adventurer's sight, the beggars in the cages scream and point.

The guys attack, their cover blown.

The Bad Guys... 300 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Hobgoblin Slavers Level 1 Skirmisher x3

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Riardon is first in to the action, the eladrin’s bow sings and two arrows fly- the first two hobgoblins are struck, the pair scream in alarm and instantly back-pedal, unslinging their bows from their backs.

Moments later two arrows fly back at Riardon, one grazes the eladrin’s right arm, the other heads well wide. The third hobgoblin rushes over to the capstan and the great ape, moments later the chain around the beast falls away.

The Bad Guys... 450 XP Level 1 Encounter.
Hobgoblin Slavers Level 1 Skirmisher x3
Great Ape Level 3 Brute

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


"Cock!" Kathra neatly summarises events.

The great beast rushes forward- towards the adventurers, it covers the intervening distance in seconds- slamming both fists down at Riardon- the eladrin scuttles back just in time.

Kathra dodges in front of Riardon- roars her anger and smashes her warhammer in to the great ape; she pushes the creature back with her Tide of Iron.

Erais’ fires off a radiant Lance of Faith which singes the ape, Tira’s Witchfire however fails to manifest.

Riardon scurries back a little further and then fires two more arrows at the ferocious beast, the first misses its target, the second thunks in to the creature’s left orb, shatters it- the beast roars its disapproval.

Riardon with a critical hit for 27 points of damage leaving the Great Ape on 5 hit points only.

The hobgoblins scream and shout, the ape is almost finished, even they can see that- the trio back-pedal further, to the cavern entrance, ready themselves once more and then fire their bows, this time at Kathra.

All three miss.

As does the great ape.

Erais mutters a short prayer and fire suddenly engulfs the ape, it staggers once, and then sinks to its knees- finally flops forward, still smouldering- dead.

Kathra grips her warhammer, looks up- spies the hobgoblins and charges, smashing in to the first goblinoid, bloodying the archer.

At the same moment a burst of blazing stars shoot forth from Tira’s wand, the hobgoblin Kathra is menacing is cut down dead, a second is left scalded and swatting at its singed skin.

Riardon strides forward, bow at the ready, he takes aim- and fires, the second hobgoblin falls, clutching at its throat and the arrow lodged there.

Riardon strides on, takes aim again, and fires again- his second arrow thumps in to the last remaining hobgoblin, protruding from its right thigh. Staggering, and dragging its leg, the wailing goblinoid rushes back the way it came, it disappears entirely in to the shadows of the cave.

The hobgoblin heads through area 2-2 and in to 2-5 on the map above, the portcullis is up.

Erais chases after the hobgoblin survivor, skids around the corner and spies down the rocky passage- there’s a set of stairs leading down in to a well lit chamber, visible beyond a sturdy set of open wooden doors. Through the doors, amidst campfires and sprawling bedrolls, are a dozen-or-so creatures, goblins and more hobgoblins- a barracks.

Erais screams for his fellows, moments later Kathra and Tira sprint around the corner to join him, Riardon is still coming on behind- ahead the goblinoids grab for their weapons and jump to their feet- battle is about to be joined again.

The creatures are situated in the Great Slaver Hall, area 2-5A on the map above.

The Bad Guys... 1150 XP Level 6 Encounter.
Hobgoblin Slavers Level 1 Skirmisher x7
Great Ape Level 3 Brute
Goblin Archers Level 1 Minion x6
Gorliss the Goat, Dragonborn Warlord Level 3 Soldier

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Alas, for the adventurers, the goblins are not alone- their leader is present- Gorliss the Goat a Dragonborn Warlord, in addition joining the fracas are four more Hobgoblin Slavers and six Goblin Archers (Minions), and remember there are still only four PCs in action.

Riardon appears at last, settles himself- takes aim, and fires- the hobgoblin Erais was chasing takes an arrow to the back, it has to cling on to the rocky cavern wall to save itself from falling. A goblin archer, just rising, is hit by the eladrin’s second arrow, it slumps back down dead.

The players breath again, thank god- some of their enemies are Minions.

Gorliss the Dragonborn grabs up his greatsword and then screaming all the way charges in to Kathra, two of the hobgoblins follow after- the dwarf is cut twice, although both only minor wounds.

The three remaining hobgoblins grab out their bows- settle themselves, and fire.

At Kathra again.

Two out of three of the arrows hit home, the dwarf staggers- bloodied.

The Sunlord moves a little closer to the Kathra, sends out a trio of radiant beams, his Divine Glow, Gorliss is singed, as is another of the hobgoblins attacking the dwarf. Erais mutters a short prayer and Kathra’s wounds mostly heal over.

Four of the five goblin archers grab out their bows and fire in to the mix- again their target is Kathra, the dwarf takes one very minor wound.

The last goblin- a brave soul seemingly, grabs out its short sword and charges the dwarf- Kathra, keeps the creature at bay.

Tira Curses the closest enemy, and then with the wand she took from the fat tiefling Zeb’oltha she conjures again her Blazing Starfall- two of the goblins are burnt to death, while one of the hobgoblins and Gorliss suffer minor burns.

Remember Zeb’s wand allows an already used Encounter Power to be used again.

Tira tries again, concentrating her efforts on the wild-looking Dragonborn (after an Action Point), she sends out her Eldritch Blast- Gorliss is too quick, and the magic misses its target.

Riardon fires another Twin Strike- his first arrow kills dead one of the hobgoblins menacing Kathra, his second slams in to Gorliss- the dragonborn staggers, bloodied at last.

Actually Gorliss is down to 10 hit points from 56 hit points.

The dragonborn screams its fury and then unleashes its Bastion of Defence- smashing in to Kathra, who is bloodied once more. Gorliss’ goblinoid allies in the chamber answer their leaders call- they find fresh energy to take the fight to the adventurers. A moment later many of Gorliss’ wounds heal over as he mutters Inspiring Words.

Gorliss’ Bastion of Defence, a Daily power, grants all allies in 5 squares +1 To Hit until the end of the encounter and 7 temporary hit points each.

The goblin archers drop their bows and draw out short swords- they rush to attack, two slash at Kathra- to no effect, while a second pair charge Erais- the Sunlord is cut twice although luckily only scratches.

Erais steps quickly back out of the fracas, unleashes a Sacred Flame- but again Gorliss is too quick, and then prays some more- Kathra’s wounds, once again, heal over.

That's all of Erais' healing spent.

The three remaining goblins get in to the action- two attack Kathra, the dwarf takes yet another minor wound, the last menaces Erais but the Sunlord keeps the creature at bay.

Tira points with her magic wand- Gorliss suddenly drops his sword and tries desperately to rub his eyes to clear his sight, grimacing the dragonborn sinks to his knees and then flops down dead fatally affected by the tiefling’s Eyebite power. Tira suddenly disappears in a puff of smoke- her Misty Step, she’s back at the rear of the adventurers- as far away from harm as she can get.

Riardon unleashes another Twin Strike, alas both arrows sail well wide of their targets.

The hobgoblins continue to battle on- two on Kathra, she takes another minor wound; and two on Erais, but he manages to keep the pair at bay, again.

The Sunlord backs away further, getting clear of his attackers- his Sacred Flame, with additional fire from his Power of Amaunator, engulfs one of the hobgoblins- the creature however looks unconcerned.

Kathra slashes hard but fails to connect, the dwarf calls on her Second Wind and gets her breath back- just in time as a pair of goblins dart in and cut at her.

Tira’s Eyebite comes again- causing another of the hobgoblins to stagger and shake its head, the creature is left bloodied and unable to see Tira anymore.

Riardon unleashes another volley, two more arrows- two more misses.

The hobgoblins attack and Kathra is struck once again- the dwarf swats back but misses her attacker. Erais is however on hand- a burst of Sacred Flame destroys one of the hobgoblins facing off against the female dwarf.

It’s not enough, the adventurers need to start making their mark, Kathra cries out as the same pair of goblins dodge in and stab her again.

One of the goblins pays the price instantly; the creature gouges at its eyes and then slumps down dead- Tira’s Eyebite comes again.

Riardon fires again- one of the hobgoblins facing Erais drops down dead, the other clutches at a fresh wound- the eladrin is back on target it seems.

There are only two hobgoblins and two goblins left in the fight- Kathra and Erais defend successfully against their attackers, both then lash out, the hobgoblin facing Kathra is cut down, the one facing Erais is bloodied.

That’s enough, the last two goblins shuffle back a little way, and then turn and run- back in to the chamber from which they emerged- screaming all the while.

Tira’s Eldritch Blast leaves the last hobgoblin bruised and burnt- not long left for this world.

The goblin archers flee through the chamber in which they were camped and then hard right and out of sight.

There’s a brief moment when nothing happens- the lone battered hobgoblin looks left, then right- he has no friends here- and so cuts and runs- Kathra smashes her warhammer in to the fleeing humanoid’s back- dead.

Riardon leads the way, the adventurers- without a second thought hustle after the two escaping goblins, they reach the exit of the Great Hall (area 2-5A on the map) and turn in to yet another, open, chamber (area 2-6).

A wooden walkway spans two rocky ledges, below is another beach with a wooden ladder leading down to it, and another waterway which seems to head further underground.

On the wooden walkway, hidden in the shadows is Drazen the drow, a rogue and a slaver. Down on the beach below are a pair of muscled gnolls- Wrix and Reiko, The pair are carrying treasure chests to a large row boat; and standing by the row boat- directing operations, is Vermouth the eladrin wizard, the head of the slavers.

Needless to say the fleeing goblin archers scream and shout, and alert the slavers to the adventurer’s presence.

And so two encounters become three; god bless Goodman Games.

The Bad Guys... 1700 XP Level 9 Encounter.
Hobgoblin Slavers Level 1 Skirmisher x7
Great Ape Level 3 Brute
Goblin Archers Level 1 Minion x6
Gorliss the Goat, Dragonborn Warlord Level 3 Soldier
Reiko & Wrix, Gnoll Overseers Level 2 Brute x2
Drazen, Drow Thief Level 3 Lurker
Vermouth, Eladrin Mage Level 3 Controller

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


The drow scurries back a little way, out of sight, unseen by the adventurers as of yet.

Riardon’s not sure who is on the beach, although he can see some figures down there, he can also see the two goblins yelling and pointing back at him- his arrows fly. Moments later both goblins tumble off the wooden walkway and on to the sand below.

Vermouth, the eladrin mage screams at the gnolls, the pair drop what they’re doing and rush for the ladder.

Erais moves a little forward- looks down to see what’s happening, the Sunlord takes a moment to get his Second Wind. Meantime Kathra bundles on forward, on to the walkway, moments later the dwarf has to duck as a Force Bolt fired by Vermouth passes just over her head and smashes in to the cavern wall sending splinters of rock flying.

The first gnoll makes it up the ladder, draws out a whip, and flails at Kathra- the dwarf is much too quick. The second gnoll follows up, and is slammed with Kathra’s warhammer as it approaches.

Tira Curses the nearest gnoll and then hits it with an Eldritch Blast- the humanoid seems unconcerned, that is until Riardon’s second shot finds the spot- the creature staggers, almost falls, bloodied.

Vermouth suddenly appears atop the wooden walkway, behind the gnolls- the mage fires a second Force Bolt which slams in to Kathra, who somehow manages avoid being flung on to the beach, she Stands Her Ground.

Erais’ Lance of Faith burns the second gnoll- both creatures are now bruised and battered.

Kathra attempts to end one of the creatures but over-reaches herself and instead is hit by the second gnoll's maul- she’s now also bloodied.

Tira’s follow up Eldritch Blast is way off target.

Suddenly a small dark elf darts in to sight and fires a hand crossbow, Kathra is taken completely by surprise, the dwarf staggers- almost drops. The drow scurries back out of sight again.

Kathra is down to two hit points.

Riardon reacts, another pair of arrows fly over Kathra’s head- moments later both gnolls topple sideways off the wooden walkway- excellent shooting.

Kathra eyes Vermouth- the way is clear to the eladrin mage, a moment later a Force Blast erupts in the adventurer’s midst- Kathra drops unconscious, while Erais and Tira are bruised but not yet bloodied.

Vermouth screams at the guys to ‘clear out’, actually his language is a little more descriptive, and florid.

Erais unleashes his Cascade of Light- the effect is underwhelming, Vermouth seems less than impressed.

Erais’ Daily does 8 radiant damage- that’s about the least he could roll.

Tira launches her Eldritch Blast- again the eladrin mage survives with only very minor burns.

Drazen, the drow dodges back in to sight- PING! Tira clutches at the spot, the tiefling staggers bloodied.

Riardon has had enough, the eladrin strides a little forward- fires once, twice, three times (with an Action Point in there)- two of his three arrows hit, Vermouth tumbles off the ledge- dead.

Which just leaves the drow.

Erais rushes forward, the Sunlord grabs out his mace and smashes it in to Drazen, alas the ‘smash’ is more a glancing blow. Tira however makes up for this, her Eldritch Blast catches the drow full force- the inhabitant of the underdark is left only just conscious.

Kathra meanwhile coughs up a slick of blood- having failed her first death save.

Tira’s Eldritch Blast was a critical hit for 22 points of damage.

The adventurers close in on the drow, Drazen looks around him- there’s nowhere to hide, and then leaps down to the beach- or at least that is his intention.

Whenever a bad guy uses a skill like athletics I roll a D20, just to give me an idea of how successful they are- it’s only ten feet down to the beach and, oh I rolled a ‘1’, so I roll the dice again for damage- a D10, that’s a ‘10’.

Drazen trips as he leaps- plunges head first towards the beach, nothing to break his fall, except his neck.

The drow is dead.

Erais is quickly to the fallen Kathra, a moment later the dwarf is stable, the encounter- at last, is over.

1700 XP Level 9 Encounter.
Hobgoblin Slavers Level 1 Skirmisher x7
Great Ape Level 3 Brute
Goblin Archers Level 1 Minion x6
Gorliss the Goat, Dragonborn Warlord Level 3 Soldier
Reiko & Wrix, Gnoll Overseers Level 2 Brute x2
Drazen, Drow Thief Level 3 Lurker
Vermouth, Eladrin Mage Level 3 Controller

Comment: That was very obviously titanic, and the players absolutely loved it... just a little bit more each time- Goodman Games scenarios are so easy to run this way, I love them. I guess I should try for more like this in future adventures, or at least when it feels right. This was a Level 9 encounter, that's pretty awesome- PCs Level +7, and but for maybe two rounds of attrition (when the PCs and the bad guys were not connecting) then it was a roller-coaster ride.

After a short rest the adventurers are down on to the beach, having secured the area as best they can, the treasure chests are hauled up, the dead slavers et al thoroughly searched and all findings deposited in the now bloody Great Hall.

The guys then back track to the slave cages on the first beach, spring three of the inhabitants- two beautiful young women, one of noble status, and the old guy- who turns out to be something of a sage. The beggars that alerted the slavers earlier are left to think about their actions.

The ex-slaves, captured from the streets of Fallcrest, tell what little they know- a sad tale about beggars working for the slavers, alas no new information is forthcoming regarding the Beggar King. In fact the Beggar King seems to be entirely absent, none of the rescued citizens of Fallcrest have even seen or heard him...

A mystery.

The citizens are sent up, guided by Kathra back out of the Beggar King's lair.

The adventurers note a strange, partially collapsed tunnel- back in the passage that lead to the Great Hall, they head back to take a look. The passageway was clearly once sealed, with an ornate... seal. Darkness beyond and a set of shallow stairs leading up- the passage is particularly cramped- the guys figure they’ll come back here later.
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 3.

Encounter #11 Hoard of the Beggar King

[sblock=The Map]

The adventurers are in the Slaver’s Great Hall, location 2-5A; 2-5B is the secret chamber that contains the chest.​


A thorough search of the Slaver’s Great Hall and a small concealed chamber in one of the rocky walls is found, inside is an Amulet of Protection +1, as identified by Tira.

Kathra's badge of office is her +1 Amulet of Protection.​

Soon after a much larger false wall leading in to a separate chamber is found, inside of the rough stone chamber is a very large chest- the adventurers are certain it must be trapped, and yet fifteen minutes later and no trap can be found. The guys take it in turns to creep in to the cramped chamber- to take a look around, still nothing- no trap.

Finally Tira is elected chest-opener, the price paid for claiming the Masterwork Lockpicks earlier; she creeps in and gets to work. Moments late a spear shoots down from a tiny concealed hollow in the ceiling, none of the adventurers had thought to look up there- the spear misses Tira by inches. A few seconds later a rivulet of clear liquid begins to flow down the spear and puddle on the floor- Tira sniffs at the substance- acid. That could have been nasty.

Eventually an executive decision is made, Kathra is sent in with orders to drag the chest out in to the Hall, the dwarf complies. Tira gets to work; moments later she has safely opened the chest, which turns out to be all but empty- there are only three gold coins within- bummer.

There’s actually a false bottom in the chest and a bunch of potions but the players don’t think to look- bummer.

The adventurers turn their attention to the chests and the coffers on the beach, previously being loaded on to the slaver boat by the gnolls- there are five of them, they’re brought up in to the Hall, soon after Tira is back in action-

Chest #1 the trap which fires an arrow out is easily disarmed, the chest itself is unlocked- contained within is a pile of coins, almost exclusively coppers.

Chest #2 is not trapped, but even after thirty minutes of trying Tira is forced to give up, the lock is far too complex for her skills.

Chest #3 is also not trapped and easily unlocked- more coins are found within. There follows a brief moment of jubilation- short-lived. The fifty or so platinum coins turn out to be painted coppers, Kathra soon discovers.

Chest #4 is trapped to fire out a hail of needles; again however it is easily disarmed and soon after unlocked. Within is everything one would need to take on the role of a journey man thief- scratch that journey man Assassin- with plenty of poisons to choose from, and another (even better) set of Thieves Tools; as well as the clothes and the weapons. The adventurers presume that this was the dead drow’s chest- they’re a little racist it seems.

Chest #5 is not trapped and easily unlocked, within are 15 silver ingots- with dwarven markings, trade bars from the underdark- suspicious.

The money and goods are quickly divided, adding in all that the adventurers have found so far, and the money garnered from those recently slain, for the first time the guys feel that the reward has been worth the effort, a good haul.

450 XP Level 1 Encounter
Caustic Spear Trap Level 5 Warder (200 XP)- in cramped chest chamber.
Arrow Trap Level 2 Warder (125 XP)- on Chest #1.
Hail of Needles Trap Level 2 Blaster (125 XP)- on Chest #4.
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 3.

The Defiled Seal.

[sblock=The Map]

The Defiled Seal is in chamber 2-2, leading on to chamber 2-3, and 2-4.​


The adventurers back track a short distance, to the broken seal they spotted earlier- there’s a cramped passage beyond. Riardon examines the area, the ranger determines that the seal had remained unbroken for quite some time- an age, it was broken open only two weeks, or so, ago- a single set of footsteps lead in- but not out.

Care is taken; Riardon and Tira are convinced they should take a look within, Kathra and Erais are less inclined, curiosity wins.

Riardon and Tira lead the way.

A flight of roughly cut stairs lead up to a shadowy hexagonal chamber, there are lit candles on the floor, and carvings- it looks like some sort of ceremonial chamber. The footprint mystery is over- the body of a robed individual lies sprawled in the center of the chamber.

The adventurers decide on extreme caution, they begin by throwing stones at the body on the floor- it doesn't rise, a ten minute discussion follows- what next? The situation is resolved when Riardon, fed up with the chatter, dashes in to the chamber and grabs the corpse by a foot and drags it out clunking all the way back down the stairs.

For dead guy read dead Wizard, complete with Ritual Book and a pair of cheap, but silver plated, non-magical bracers, all of which are obviously taken.

The adventurers vote to head on, whatever strange ritual or rite took place in the chamber is beyond them, they’re disinclined to hang around to investigate.

Comment: In game I think I spooked them a little with my description of the chamber, I also had the players roll random D20s for no reason- except for me to pretend to mark things down on a sheet.
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 3.

The Loathsome Shrine

[sblock=The Map]

The Loathsome Shrine is in area 2-7.​


And then back the other way.

Onwards, over the wooden walkway- the beach below, into a dull stone corridor, a metal door on the left-hand wall, and... yet another mystery- a loathsome statue of a giant rat, and by giant I mean nine feet from snout to the tip of its tail.

The statue has fist sized rubies for eyes, before it a sprawl of gold coins and a beautifully crafted dagger.

There follows a brief, actually very brief, conversation- the result of which is the adventurers choose to ignore the statue and its treasure completely, and move over to the metal door in the southern wall.

I know... I know- they call themselves adventurers but these guys are pretty wary.

The metal door is warm to the touch...

That's not what they expected.

Very warm...

Comment: Iain assures me (out of game, obviously) that they'll be back to trigger the rat trap (they’re convinced) after they've dealt with the Beggar King- that'll be nice for me. I think I'm being patronised, how very lovely for me.
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Let's Play #2 Goodman Games DCC53
Sellswords of Punjar (Level 1)

Session 3.

Encounter #12 Beneath the Charnel Tower.

[sblock=The Map]

The Charnel Tower is area 2-8, on the map.​


After a short discussion the adventurers decide upon their tactics- it begins with Kathra kicking the hot to touch door open- Hell lies within.

The chamber ahead is the lowest level of a round tower, a stone stair spirals up into darkness and shadow, down below the entire floor of the chamber is covered in soot and ash, on the far wall a series of fiery ovens poking out of which are the feet and scattered bones of the Beggar King's recent victims.

Standing in the center of the chamber is the Beggar King himself, the obese fellow’s skin hangs in folds about him, his head tipped back- mouth as far open as it can go- further than it should be able to go, his jaw must be broken, a shadowy form hovers in the Beggar King's maw.

'Kill me- it's the only way...'

The Beggar King gasps, which is all the invitation the adventurers need, their task is made more difficult when a pair of Cinder Skeletons (Blazing Skeletons) clamber out the ovens ready to defend their Lord.

The Bad Guys... 650 XP Level 3 Encounter.
Cinder Skeletons Level 2 Artillery x2
The Beggar King Level 5 Elite Controller

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


Tira Curses and then launches her Eldritch Blast at the closest skeleton, bones splinter, smash and scatter.

The Beggar King hiccups and shoots a swathe of flame from his open mouth, Erais is singed and burnt. For good measure the emaciated fat man, or so it seems with his vast folds of flesh, points at Erais who moments later is struck by a Shadow Bolt, the Sunlord staggers- bloodied already. The cleric also shakes and shivers furiously, beset by ongoing necrotic and cold affects.

One of the fiery skeletons suddenly blinks out of existence only to reappear in the doorway- preventing the adventurers from closing in on the Beggar King.

Erais offers up his holy symbol which suddenly radiates a myriad beams of light- he Turns Undead, the skeleton blocking the doorway is smashed and bloodied, sent skittering back and frozen to the spot. The other skeleton is struck a lesser blow, although it too is now bloodied. The Sunlord mutters another prayer and his wounds instantly heal over, he also shrugs off the hurt from the Beggar King’s previous attack.

The immobilised skeleton forms a ball of flame in its hands, which it launches at Erais- the human burns, if only a little. The second fiery skeleton rushes back out of the chamber and claws at Tira, the tiefling is likewise left singed.

Riardon backs away and readies his bow, fires two arrows in quick succession, the fiery skeleton menacing Tira is smashed to pieces.

A third cinder skeleton climbs out of the ovens on the far side of the chamber, and rushes forward towards the adventurers.

The Bad Guys... 775 XP Level 4 Encounter.
Cinder Skeletons Level 2 Artillery x3
The Beggar King Level 5 Elite Controller

Just in time to be met by Kathra’s Passing Attack, the dwarf smashes the skeleton with her warhammer and then rushes on to swipe at the Beggar King, ineffectually as it turns out.

Kathra growls and tries again, this time with her Brute Strike (Action Point), her warhammer thumps in to the Beggar King, although the strange fellow’s fleshy folds seem to absorb most of the damage. In the chamber Kathra notes a dark and pungent furze- a choking smoke which leaves her slightly breathless.

Iain, who plays Kathra, rolled really badly for his Daily Brute Strike damage- he looks pained.

Unseen by the adventurers, way up high in the tower, an inky black splodge detaches itself from the structure and descends to investigate the events below, another Shadow Bat Swarm- the guy’s favourite.

The Bad Guys... 925 XP Level 5 Encounter.
Cinder Skeletons Level 2 Artillery x3
Shadow Bat Swarm Level 3 Lurker
The Beggar King Level 5 Elite Controller

[sblock=The Monster Manual]


And we're quickly up to a Level 5 Encounter.

The bat swarm spirals down and cloaks Kathra, the dwarf swats and swishes but can't keep the bats at bay- teeth chattering from the cold and beset by ongoing necrotic damage she struggles on.

Tira moves a little closer to the action and unleashes her Blazing Starfall- glittering streaks of light that target both of the fiery skeletons, although neither of them are struck, the tiefling does however put out the fire that was burning her.

The Beggar King is rooted to the spot, the strange creature attempts to launch another Shadow Bolt but is smashed by Kathra in the process- her necrotic missile however manages to hit home- bringing further pain to the female dwarf.

Suddenly the newly arrived skeleton disappears only to reappear again blocking the doorway, once more.

Erais gets in to action- his Lance of Faith slams in to the fiery skeleton blocking the way, the creature is almost smashed to pieces, bloodied it staggers wildly. Erais is determined however, he raises his holy symbol again and from it sends out his Divine Glow- lances of radiant light strike both skeletons, the pair explode in flurries of splintered bone.

The adventurers look overjoyed- just the Beggar King and the Shadow Bat Swarm to see off.

Two more cinder skeletons climb out the ovens and rush forward to defend their master.

The players look much less overjoyed.

The Bad Guys... 1175 XP Level 6 Encounter.
Cinder Skeletons Level 2 Artillery x5
Shadow Bat Swarm Level 3 Lurker
The Beggar King Level 5 Elite Controller

The two new undead arrivals claw at Kathra with their burning digits- the dwarf defends one but cannot prevent the second from raking its fiery fingers down her back- she burns.

Riardon repositions, still outside of the chamber, and then with his Twin Strike the eladrin ranger smashes two arrows in to the closest skeleton, which is now bloodied.

Kathra stuggles- freezing from the bat swarm’s cold and necrosis, while at the same time burning from wounds inflicted by one of the fiery skeletons, she staggers and almost falls- bloodied. The dwarf sucks up the hurt and takes her Second Wind. Then smashes her warhammer through the closest of the fiery skeletons, the think shatters and is destroyed, her warhammer describes a full circle and thuds in to the Beggar King’s side.

The bat swarm continues to menace the dwarf but Kathra manages this time to keep it at bay, while at the same time shaking off almost all of the ongoing damage she was taking.

The players are holding their own, the encounter is now a Level 6, and they love it, Kathra is in the thick of the action- giggling like a loon and wondering what to try next.

The shadow bat swarm swirls again around the tenacious dwarf; biting, flapping, clawing- Kathra is cut and bruised- bloodied (again), and back to shivering and shaking.

Tira moves in to the doorway, Curses the Beggar King and then swathes the strange fellow in Witchfire- he burns. Then with her rod in hand she points and whispers, the Beggar King’s eyes roll over, for a moment it looks like he’s going to shut his mouth, but the magic soon fades.

Tira’s Daily power Curse of the Dark Dream misses, which just means she gets to slide the Beggar King one square every turn- until he saves, I’ll save you the suspense, the Beggar King saves against the power the first chance he gets. That’s a sucky Daily.

The Beggar King fights back, sends out another Shadow Bolt, after first avoiding Kathra’s warhammer swat. The dwarf suffers some more, staggers and almost hits the deck.

Kathra is on two hit points, and taking at least seven points of ongoing damage.

The last remaining fiery skeleton suddenly disappears only to reappear moments later next to Kathra.

You may be wondering why the Beggar King isn’t moving about the chamber, the truth is he's stuck in place, a remnant of the ritual he was participating in prior to the adventurers arrival- he also doesn’t have any melee based attacks.

Erais shoots out his Lance of Faith at the Beggar King, alas off target, and then mutters prayers as Kathra’s wounds once again heal over- but not enough, the dwarf is still bloodied even after the Sunlord’s Healing Word.

The last remaining fiery skeleton claws at Tira, the tiefling burns- although only a little.

Riardon repositions yet again, sets himself and then fires- both arrows of his Twin Strike slam in to the Beggar King, the forlorn human wails and screams, and then as suddenly stops. A burst of shadowy black energy seems to pulse from the now bloodied fiend; Tira, Erais and Riardon gasp as they’re struck by a wave of nauseating necrotic energy, Kathra seems unmoved- and indeed unharmed by the effect. The wounds of the shadow bat swarm instantly heal over.

Note Tira and Erais are bloodied in the Beggar King’s Shadow Burst.

Riardon fires again, another two arrows fly in to the charnel tower (after an Action Point), the first arrow from his Split the Tree attack smashes in to the remaining fiery skeleton, leaving the creature staggering and bloodied. The second almost finishes off the Beggar King, striking the unfortunate fellow exactly where his heart should be.

Kathra, meanwhile, continues to suffer in the Beggar King’s Shadow Haze, combined with a myriad other ongoing affects. The dwarf however remains standing- after also managing to avoid the shadow bat swarms Cloud of Teeth attack. She smashes her warhammer in to the Beggar King, who defies gravity and remains upright- Cleaving through she swats a few of the shadow bats down.

In game we’re on a knife edge- the bad guys are hanging around while the guys are all suffering- three of the PCs have less than 10 hit points each.

The bat swarm swirls and whirls and tries again to bring death and destruction to Kathra, but again the dwarf somehow manages to keep the creatures at bay.

Tira shakes off the skeleton’s fire, but not before wasting a badly aimed Eldritch Blast.

Meantime the Beggar King once more opens his mouth to expel a Flame Gout, Kathra’s quicker still- she smashes her warhammer in to the human, who finally crumples and then drops.

The Beggar King is dead!

The remaining cinder skeleton crumbles to dust.

You should have heard the cheer around the table, a little excessive with the swearing but... the player's moods seem to have improved considerably.

Erais fires another burning radiant Lance of Faith in to the bat swarm- cutting a swathe this time through the inky black bolus. Riardon’s Twin Strike is however much less effective, much much less effective.

Kathra swats at the swarm and smashes yet more of the bats dead- while successfully avoiding the swarm’s attack.

The players are cheering in the aisles, they’re whooping with joy, high fives- most unbecoming.

Little do they know...

The shadow bat swarm suddenly explodes in a fury- there are bats everywhere, all the adventurers except Tira are caught in the swarms Blinding Wings; Erais is left unconscious, Riardon and Kathra bloodied and blinded.

The PCs left standing have less than 25 hit points all told between them.

That shut them up.

Tira Curses the swarm and then delivers another Eldritch Blast, incinerating a bunch more of the bats, the swarm is at last bloodied.

Erais meanwhile bleeds and coughs up blood- having failed a death save.

Riardon fires, aiming for the sound of the swarm (he’s blind remember), his Evasive Strike cuts a swathe through the center of the bats, the end is in sight (no pun intended). The eladrin shakes off the swarm’s effect- he can see again.

Iain (Kathra) makes his next rolls to a chorus of 'go on... go on... go on...'

The blinded Kathra swings and spins like a top- swats the few remaining bats out of the air- the swarm is gone, moments later the dwarf can see again- she opens her eyes to discover her enemies are all dead.

Iain breaks out what passes for a crude dance- he's nearly 50 years old, he really should know better.

Tira is quickly over to Erais, she revives the cleric with ease... the kindly DM lets the players bask in the glory for a minute or two, then...

The Beggar King suddenly comes alive, he's yanked to his feet, his eyes open, his mouth open- wider... wider... wider, he screams.


The Beggar King is split in two- viscera flies and from the mess emerges a Shadow Dragon.

The creature roars its approval and then is airborne and ascending the tower... the shadowy wisp of its tail elongates and stretches the flopping remains of the Beggar King clutches onto the hazy leash with a deathlock grip.

Suddenly a boulder the size of a small house crashes down from the ceiling in the rocky passage through which the adventurers entered the tower, this brings the guys back to reality- the dungeon behind them is collapsing.


The remains of the Beggar King gargles; and clutches still to the Umbral Drakes tail.

The adventurers take the stairs three at a time- rushing to the apex of the tower, and the Shadow Dragon.

I allow the PCs to spend Healing Surges as they rush up the stairs of the tower- call it an adrenalin surge, it’s a new encounter after all. Just worth mentioning Healing Surges after the above healing then- Erais has none, Kathra one, and all of the PCs are very low on Daily Powers and Action Points.

1175 XP Level 6 Encounter.
Cinder Skeletons Level 2 Artillery x5
Shadow Bat Swarm Level 3 Lurker
The Beggar King Level 5 Elite Controller
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