Sunday, 12 February 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 5a

Day 3 – Cragmaw Caves

Some of the characters had purchased consumables and other bits and bobs which I cannot really fit onto the Summary Character Sheet so I’ve summarised them below:
-        Lucien: Alchemy Lab, Alchemical Fire (3), Antitoxin (1), Scroll - Doom (2), Scroll - Cure Light Wounds (3), Scroll - Cause Fear (2), Scroll - Shield of Faith (2)
-        Kord: Scroll - Cure Light Wounds (2)
-        Talmark: Oil of the Magic Weapon

A summary of character finances is provided below:

On the morning of the third day the characters assemble outside the inn, near Randel’s Well.

As they leave the Burg and start on their journey to find Cragmaw Caves, the three characters start to talk to the troop of mercenaries. They soon find that Fremont was elected as leader because he’s got a forgiving personality, Clovis and Stein are cheerful, Barret is cautious and Per is brave.

As they leave the safety of the Burg they turn east and then north. They wind their way through the pass looking for where they think the caves might be.

[Random encounter check. The lawlessness of the land is currently 6 and thus there is a 1 in 6 chance of a random encounter for every ½ day of travel during the daylight hours and two 1 in 6 checks during night time hours). A 2 is rolled – no random encounter.]

[As the partly leaves the relative safety of the path and they begin to search for the caves they need to make a Survival check of DC 14 to find the caves. We’re using the ‘Getting Lost’ statistics (p424 of the Core Rule book) to check if the characters find the caves. Every time they don’t they won’t get lost per sae but rather they’ll need to make another random encounter check. If they haven’t found the caves after four attempts then it’ll be dark and they can either continue to check (in the dark) or they can head back to the Burg.]

[Kord has Survival 6 and Lucien will try to Aid Another. Page 86 of the Core Rule Book says that you can Aid Another by making a skill check against a DC10 and if you succeed the character you are helping will get a +2 bonus. Survival is uses a Wisdom stat and Lucien has a Wisdom of 19 + 4 check. He rolls a 7 + 4 = 11 > 10 and provides valuable assistance. Kord rolls a 17 + 2 assistance + 6 skill = 25 > 14.]

After an hour of searching the find what looks like an entrance to the Cragmaw Caves.

They’ve heard the rumours that the goblin raids have been coming from the caves. They are reasonably comfortable that they can easily take on the pesky little goblins but are wary that they might get mobbed and over powered through sheer numbers of goblins. They can see the entrance to the cave mouth. There is a well-worn track with various shrubs around its entrance [note to players – treat the stream as a dry bed – ie no water].

Rather than spend time using Survival to try to confirm what’s in the cave, the party decides to attack first in the hope that they can clear the system quickly and get back to the Burg before dark.

The stack up into a two-wide formation with Per and Talmark in the front rank, Kord and Fremont in the second, Lucien and Clovis in the third and Barret and Stein in the rear.

As they approach the cave entrance, two goblins appear from the thicket of bushes to the east.


Goblins roll 16 + 10 = 26 stealth check for stealth and 9 – 1 for perception = 8.

Characters roll 1 – 4 = -3 stealth check and 9 + 4 = 13 for perception.

[Use the worse party stat for stealth and the best party stat for perception].

The party is surprised by the goblins.

[House rule #7: Monster Reactions. Monster Reaction table used for the game is from D&D Basic (page B24) but with some home brewed modifiers. The table is as follows: 2 = immediate attack, 3-5 hostile, possible attack, 6-8 = uncertain, monster confused, 9-11 no attack, monster leaves or considers offers, 12 = friendly.]

A monster reaction role of 5 is made. As the party is ‘invading’ the monsters home, unannounced, the goblins immediately attack.

·        The northern most goblin fires an arrow at Talmark but the arrow bounces harmlessly off the flat-footed warriors shield.
·        The southern goblin fires an arrow at Kord. The deadly little arrow strikes true, hitting Kord in the right shoulder for 1pt of damage.


Party initiative: 13 + 0 = 13. Straight roll off = 12.
Goblins initiative: 7 + 6 = 13. Straight roll off = 5.

·        The party wins the initiative and Talmark instantly charges the northern most goblin. He swings wildly with his two-handed sword but misses the little monster.
·        Per charges the northern most goblin but also misses.
·        Fremont move up around Kord and attacks the southern-most goblin but he also misses.
·        Kord stretches out his hand and lets a Fire Bolt lose towards the northern goblin which hits it dealing 4pts of damage. The goblin squeals as its skin is singed.
·        Stepping around Kord, Clovis comes forward to back up the warriors in the front rank.
·        Stein and Barret move up to guard against an attack coming from the cave system.
·        Lucien watches for an attack from the way that they’d come from.


·        The northern goblin drops his short bow and drawing his short sword stabs at Talmark. In a wild flurry of blows he stabs Talmark in the face, nastily gashing the side of his chin. Blood streaks from the warrior’s face as he suffers 3pts of damage.
·        The southern goblin slashes at Fremont but misses the mercenary.



  1. At two goblins, Lucian is content to let the melee specialists do their best and he keeps watch. He will not cast Shield of Faith or get into melee himself unless and until he sees a bigger threat in numbers or enemy skill.

    If we are set upon by a single large or vicious enemy (think ogre, bear, dire wolf, etc.) -- Lucien will use a Cause Fear Scroll.

    Summon Monster I at this point is only a speedbump, used to interpose between the enemy and a likely target. The creature summoned would only be around for a single round, just enough to distract an enemy caster, or give an ally time to maneuver to better positioning before the summoned creature disappears. Another good use - the summoned Viper choice has the Scent ability and attacks "invisible" opponents easily.

  2. Yeah I figured for the moment you'd rather keep your powder dry.