It started out as a standard session. Sneaky types loot the bodies and search for secret doors/traps while tin man/woman types guard the exits and heal those they can. The end results of these efforts were three secret doors, a bunch of magic stuff, and boots of Cat’s grace that Sulmia took dibs on. A debate then continued, in typical Shielding Alliance fashion. Do we stay put and try to cast the Hallow scroll, requiring 24 hours, do we investigate the immediate area to be certain we won’t be interrupted during the spell casting, or do we run like chicken’s back to Homlette? (We had to at least acknowledge the Furnock vote.) To be fair even the blinded by faith Helmite was uncertain whether they could pull off the 24 hour Hallow spell, so the party agreed to at least check the exits to be sure imminent danger did not lurk.
This is where it gets sketchy. We open one of the secret doors and hear ominous barking noises that seem to have common phrases mingled with the big dog barks. Stairs ahead descend another 30 ft. Those present go on the assumption that this door will lead back to the troll room, even though the dumb as dirt cleric points out we are no longer even with that level. The half blood prince forges ahead down a long stair case (you would think Raspy had gotten over his death wish in the Thursday campaign) as the rogue “makes sure the secret door doesn’t close behind us leaving us trapped.” Kudos to Austin for doing the best Furnock/Luke/coward impersenation, without having been introduced to either. The Razzie award goes to Chris for playing Luke/Furnock as the characther quoted saying “Today is a good day to die.” after Austin had to head home and Chris took over NPCing Furnock. At least I kept him behind the shield wall.
Moving ahead, the shield wall forms and ranged attacks are exchanged. The worg retreats, replaced by some beefed up bug bears. Things get ugly when the bug bears adapt their strategy from trying to shoot at the shield wall from afar, to running up and dragging the shield wall down with them. As the onslaught comes forward, Florent feels a familiar tingle surge up his arm from his ring of free action that says, “you are so damn lucky you kept this ring”. Florent takes his free action to give her a “I told you so” look before she is dragged down the stairwell in a blur of bug bear and shields. Unfortunately the pile unfolds at the bottom of the stairs, with Turtle at the feet of a giant and a couple other bad ass MFers.
At this point the DM wisely calls a TO in the action due the fact of the missing players and their character sheets. The encounter has become too critical to assume an NPC’s character sheet. On top of this, that damn cheating Frenchmen tried to give a scroll of stinking cloud to the NPC Pertinax, when he’d already used this spell. After Florent tried to submit his prayed for spell list after the encounter was over a couple weeks ago, his credibilty is out the window. This only reinforced the experience.
In plan B fashion we decided to table the DnD experience in favor of another game. This was done so that those absent would not lament the demise of their characters after they were all decimiated, except Furnock, of course. We also wanted to punish Roberto for not answering the pages of “chaplain Hood”, so we played a rousing game of Puerto Rico. I don’t remember who won that game, but me and Dan weren’t trying anyway, so if Brian won is was a charity victory. (At this point the author succumbs to his bitterness and moves quickly towards the conclusion of this epic, extra XP deserving e-mail.)
Thanks to Dan for rallying on a short staffed week.
For everyone, please send an ‘e’ copy of your character to the rest of us in cyber space so we can print them out as necessary. Paper copies are encouraged as well.
Come next week to see if Turtle can stay within her shell long enough for fold to arrive, or at least long enough for one of use to grab a scrap of he DNA to have her raised from the dead. (I’m always the optimist.) Come see Florent elevated to the pope of the church of Helm and given near divine status. (This may not happen next week, but stay tuned.)
A few clarifications to make more sense out of what otherwise seems insensible. First, Pertinax used READ MAGIC on runes around the altar and was able to discern that they were very powerful glyphs. So climbing out of the chute via standing on top of said altar and using the rope of climbing was not an option. Furnock was going to try a way and open all the doors, but then Turtle pointed out that if they were going to ‘unhallow the unhallow’ than leaving the doors closed would help them defend the area.
Furnock couldn’t find anything that would open the doors, assuming they were ‘magically done’ making it a moot argument. Pertinax used DETECT MAGIC and then IDENTIFY from the Monacle to learn that the boots were of Cat’s Grace +4. There is also a magical ring and a magical cloak; the cloak having diamonds in the shape of the necklace of the firetemple. One of two potions is LESSER RESTORATION.
Furnock proceeds to discover 3 or 4 secret doors and after gathering up our hard-earned plunder thanks to Haversacks, we use Pertinax’s map to go out the secret door that looks to head in the direction of where we have previously been. It does dip down, but so have other corridors and when we see red eyes/hear barking, the plan was to shut the dog up, since it was chained up, making it susceptible to sneak attacks if the rogue had shot at it. (now its loose and ran in back)
We took too long to do this, it barked replies and then bugbears, followed by an ogre, and then giant feet showed up. Then another ogre and some more bugbears showed up during the exchange. Retreating into the ‘-4 to us/+4 to them’ room didn’t seem like a good idea, hence the holding the line. However, grappling appears to be the widespread ram that too easily knocks the line down.
Dan asked if we wanted to freeze the action, and without knowing what spells the pearl of power could recall, we agreed. I would have given anything to have had an area spell. Now, it is all up to a soon-to-be HASTED and fire-sword-wielding Treveylan plus a much more dextrous Sulmia to pull my shelled arse out of the fire.
On 3/27/06, Bell, Daniel (Dan) <daniel> wrote:
Also, to clarify, I should have set the base DC of Turtle's balance check at 10, not 15. Nonetheless, the add to the DC was 7 (difference in grapple check) and 2 for being on the stairs. Total DC was 19, I think Turtle got 17.
HEY! If I’d have known that, I would have rolled it. Actually, I had 2 kinds of rolls last night: Chris-like and lower than Chris-like. The one time I hit with a missiled shield spike, I did a whopping 1 point of damage. My highest roll was a 19- for Pertinax’s initiative.
Momentum of the fall prevented a second balance or reflex to check the fall. That and 450 pounds of bugbear falling with her.
We need to leave the ‘low fat’ iron rations lying around with some ‘headbands of exercise.’
p.s. the room they are coming out of is triangular-shaped, with the point away from the stairs.