Saturday, 18 February 2017

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

Day 3 – Cragmaw Caves

After looking everyone over Talmark says "Sildar, how many enemy do you think remain in these caves? And based on what you have seen of us so far, do you think we could take them without dire effort? And you mentioned Cragmaw Keep, sounding as though it were occupied. We had heard that it was empty and given over to animals and nuisance critters. Can you tell us more on this?"

Sildar looks at Talmark and says "I think there's about a dozen of them all up and then there's Klarg. I'd say that you've killed 1/2 of the tribe already. I don’t know anything about the Keep."

Lucien pulls out a scroll to heal Talmark.

Kord turns to Lucien and stays his action by placing a hand upon his forearm "Lucien, save your scroll for later. I've prepared a healing spell which I'll use on Talmark."

Taking Lucien by the elbow Kord leads him away from the men at arms "I care not for these mercenaries. I say we only heal them if we absolutely need too. I've got 2 scrolls and I think you've got a few too. Let's save them for darker times. Let's kill this Klarg today and loot these caves for all we can get."

Kord beckons Talmark over and casts cure light wounds upon him. Talmark is healed 4pts of damage and now has 8 hit points. Lucien and Kord look at each other. They know it’s not enough but Talmark is too proud to ask for more healing.

Kord offers to use one of his scrolls and he rationalizes to Lucien that it is better to use one of his scrolls rather than Lucien’s in this instance as Kord has more offensive capabilities and will likely be more in the front line or casting offensive spells which means they’ll need Lucien to do the heavy lifting in terms of in combat healing. He pulls a scroll and casts cure light wounds again and heals the remaining damage on Talmark.

The man at arms see that the clerics have healed Talmark and Fremont steps forward on behalf of his men and requests “Kord and Lucien can you please heal us too?”

Kord responds “I’m sorry Fremont I only had the one healing spell prepared for today and I only had two scrolls. Talmark was the worse wounded of the lot of us so I healed him. I could use the second scroll but I think it might be better saved for an emergency, especially if one of us becomes unconscious. Don’t you agree?”

Lucien and Kord remain silent on the fact that Lucien also has healing scrolls.

Disappointed, Fremont begrudgingly agrees that’s probably the best course of action.

“Get your men ready”, Lucien adds. “It’s time we go and finish this”.

Neither Lucien nor Kord have prepared light spells so they agree to strike two torches. They hand one to Per who will be in the middle of the formation and the other to Talmark who will have a spare hand. Talmark will throw the torch forward to illuminate their way from time to time and if they get into combat he’ll drop it to use his two handed sword.

“Next time”, Kord thinks to himself, “I’ll prep a Light spell. Then again no one ever said I was the brightest cleric at the monastery.” And he reflects on his Int score of 10 and curses the lack of foresight of his controlling player.

As a reminder – in a previous post we spoke a bit about using trialing using light effects for dungeons. To simplify representing light we’ll limit the party to having only two light sources in the first instance and instead of the 20 foot normal light and a further 20 foot of dim light we’ll just use 30 foot of normal light. It’ll be a lot easier to represent this graphically.

The party forms up and enters the cave.

I’ve added little torch markers above the characters which have the torches.

Lucien asks Sildar which way they should go. There is obviously a passage to their front and one to their left. The small hole to their right in the room that used to house the goblin dogs looks too small to get through.

Sildar whispers back that he was held captive in a room from the corridor to the left but he doesn’t really know anything else about the caves. The goblins kept him in the dark mostly. It was only their cooking fire that gave him any light.

Talmark asks about the little bridge to their front. Sildar says that he doesn’t know where it goes.

“Maybe we should split up” offers Fremont.

Kord, Talmark and Lucien turn to look at the feeble minded man at arms and shake their heads.

“No we’ll stick together”, responds Talmark.

They decide that the left passage is probably the best way to go given that they’ve probably killed all the goblins from that area and they can now search it easily and also make sure that there isn’t anything else lurking back there.

As they proceed up the western passage the go up a few rises and then find what must be the main goblin living area. There is a passage to the north east which they post a guard at whilst they search the room but they find nothing except some rags beds that they goblins have been sleeping in, a small fire pit and some old cooking implements.

They decide to reform up and proceed up the north eastern tunnel.

As they round the corner four arrows fly towards them…….


·        One arrow thuds into Talmark’s armour but doesn’t penetrate it and a second one is deflected by his shield.
·        A third arrow strikes Barret in the side of the helmet. It bounces off his skull dealing 2pts of damage. A fourth arrow narrowly misses Barret.


Party Initiative: Roll 12 + 0 = 12
Monster Initiative: Roll 15 + 6 = 21

·        Another two arrows fly at Talmark and he is struck once in the right leg for 2pts of damage.
·        Barret isn’t so lucky. He’s struck twice in the stomach for 3pts each.

A note on the light source. It extends 30ft which at 5ft a square. On a diagonal square it’s 5ft for the first and then 10ft for the second. So it only extend four squares diagonally as is the case in the previous and next figure from the torch of Talmark.




  1. "The bridge may be trapped - the arrows could be to bait us into charging... What say we go back, bypass under the bridge quickly, and head up the creekbed direction instead? Perhaps a less exposed route?

    I can send off Phyllo off from here, have him go forward and hide near the bridge. He can scout for us. I cannot read his thoughts or see through his eyes, but he can relay fear, excitement, or other emotions back to me as signals that they are following or are preparing an ambush.

    If they redeploy and man up the bridge to ambush, we'll know it is not trapped and can come back again this direction with more confidence."

    ((The thought of dialoging with them is so alien to Lucien, his attitude is that goblins are just so beneath contempt and not worth ANY effort in that regard, that it just never occurs to him -- but it might occur to Talmark, who I noticed speaks goblin...))

  2. I really like your blog. May I ask what you are using to create the back ground pictures? Is this from Roll 20. Looking for more posts... Great Campaign.

  3. Thanks for the kind words Gary.

    They are from a variety of sources. The vast majority of them (eg all the cave maps from the previous campaign) are photoshoped together I've got a base cave floor graphic that I use and then I just cut it and make up all the maps.

    For this current battle it's taken straight out of a module.

    Some of the maps and backgrounds I hand draw. I'm basically just teaching myself how to do it as we go along. I use mainly photoshop but also powerpoint. Photoshop for all the major drawing, colouring and shading and powerpoint to add words, manipulate the tokens as they move, put in the arrows etc. Some things are easier with photoshop and some are easier with powerpoint.

    Glad you're enjoying the campaign.

  4. Lucien - mate you'll have to come back to me with a few details on how Phyllo works. Is he just a regular familar or something else? How did you end up with him? Was it a trait or part of the character class or am I missing something? Should I develop up a little mini graphic for him? Can he see in the dark without light?

  5. Asmodean Advocates gain a viper familiar, they are treated in all respects like a regular Wizards familiar. I took the "Figment" archetype, which changes some of the rules for it.

    Instead of an awakened animal, it manifests each day from Lucien's imagination.

    Instead of the animal's HP, it has 1/4 my own.

    If the familiar ever dies, it appears again after a full nights sleep with 1hp instead of Lucien having to take time and spend gold to find another one.

    If the familiar gets more than 100ft away from Lucien, enters an antimagic field, or if Lucien is unconscious (sleep or knocked), the familiar disappears to reappear after Lucien prepares his next days spells. Because it is a product of Lucien's mind, it cannot use any spell-like abilities it may possess.

    The familiar loses the "Improved Evasion" rules for all the above.

    At 3rd level, Lucien can shape the familiar with his dreams. After a nights rest, he can add 1 evolution point power per the eidolon evolution rules that does not already have a base form requirement.

    The familiar loses the rules allowing it to deliver its masters touch spells, cannot speak with animals of its own kind, and Lucien cannot use scry on the familiar in exchange for the for the above changes.

    At first I thought only Lucien can see it, but I guess it DOES have to possess a physical body or it would be way overpowered being able to have an invisible ally spying and attacking enemies.

    Lucien keeps Phyllo hidden most of the time, taking him out to speak with him at night. Phyllo disappears when Lucien is asleep, reappearing after Lucien prepares his spells for the day.

  6. So, at first level, Phyllo can act on directions, defend itself or run away from trouble independently when those directions do not apply, and communicate only emotions telepathically.

    A viper has scent, so it can locate unseen enemies (darkness or invisible) but I would say you'd have to make a GM call on whether the viper retains the ability to deliver poison since he is a product of imagination taken form.

  7. Geez, wish we could edit. Sorry, DEW... scent is out to 30ft. Vipers have low light vision, so they can see distances and details by moonlight or candlelight as if it were full daylight.

  8. No drama. Ok I'll try to absorb all that. I just posted so missed this lot in the post (we must have been both typing in parallel).

    Check the new post. We're in a bit of a bind and we might need to re-think the plan.