Sunday, 23 April 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 31


Lucien and Talmark gather the ears and go to find Captain Wallache. Travelling around the Burg they notice that it looks quiet at the moment. There doesn’t seem to be as many men at arms as there usually are. 

They find Knight Engel at his normal post. He welcomes them with in his usual profane manner and promptly goes to find Captain Wallache. 

He returns quickly and smiling he says “Captain Wallache is just taking his breakfast. He’ll be with you hideous nose picking stench cows shortly”. They ask about Sildar to which Engel says that he’s currently out on a mission. 

They wait for an hour and finally Captain Wallache comes to the gatehouse. 

He immediately provides an aloof and not all that convincing apology for the delay and asks the men to join him in at the small table to conduct their business. 

Lucien and Talmark produce the ears. Wallache is clearly surprised at the numbers. He counts through them: 38 sets of goblin ears, 1 set of ogre ears and 4 sets of hobgoblin ears. He questions the party representatives about how they, half a dozen or so men, were able to defeat what looks like a whole tribe of goblins? How did they capture the goblin warlord Ragnar? How did they kill the ogre? Where did they travel etc? [DMs note to players: Talmark and Lucien, please provide some responses to the above questions and I’ll come back later and re-edit your responses in].

He cannot accept that all the goblin ears are from combatants. “Some of these goblins look very scrawny” he rationalizes “some look like they are female ears”.  Looking at the ogres ears he quips “this looks very old, like you found it on an already dead ogre rather than one that you killed yourself.” He assesses that of the 43 sets of ears 33 are acceptable and he provides the 330gp bounty.
That’s twice now that Wallache has slighted the party of the bounty that they deserve. Lucien uses Sense Motive to try to better understand what Wallache’s motives are for treating them in this manner. 

The check is an opposed check done against a Bluff check from Wallache. Wallache rolls a 17 + 5 bluff skill = 23. Lucien rolls 6 + 10 sense motive skill = 16. He cannot quite work out why Wallache is short changing them. 

Still 330gp is a good start. They had previously sold their looted weapons to Berowalt at the Minotaur Blacksmithery. He had given them what had seemed like a fair deal and so they travel back to the Cold Hart Tavern and gather the looted weapons and some of the men at arms to help them carry them. 

They find in the smithy diligently working away. Entering the 20-foot-high building with the 5ft parapet upon the flat roof Talmark thinks of the defensive nature of the structure. The main room is occupied by a large forge, bellows and other items. The diligent Berowalt is working with two assistants. One is working the bellows whilst Berowalt and the other are working a new sword. 

Upon entering a small bell rings at the door announcing the parties entrance. Berowalt looks up from his work, wipes his hand upon his apron and approaches Lucien and Talmark. They present the looted weapons to which Berowalt scratches his beard and responds “Metal is hard to come by here and is in great demand. For the man sized weapons, I can put them into good order and sell them to the needy defenders of either the caravans of the Burg. If they are something else then I can use them for scrap metal, melt the down and re-use them.” He looks closer at the weapons and says “Look some of these are small. I’ll give you 2.5gp for each of the 25 small short swords, 7.5gp for each of the 12 small short bows, 4gp for that there morning star and 6gp for each of the 2 war hammers. That would be a total of 194gp. How does that sound?”

The deal sounds fair to Lucien and Talmark and is essentially the same as what was previously given to them by the hard-working blacksmith. Lucien and Talmark procure a set of scale mail armour and a heavy shield for one of the men at arms at the cost of 57gp. Berowalt thanks them for their business and the party leaves.

They proceed back to the Cold Hart Tavern and rendezvous with the party. There they present the three remaining men at arms with a set of scale mail armour, heavy shield, long sword, long bow and a quiver of arrows each and they distribute the remaining wealth amongst the four party members.
As they are talking about their next steps Per enters the room. He had been out for the morning equipping himself. He is clad in chain mail armour and carry a pretty nasty looking glaive. Smiling, he does a few fancy fighting moves to show off his new equipment and good natured chuckles can be heard amongst the group.

The party still has a few major items of loot to liquidate including the statute from Cragmaw Caves (50gp), the silver cup (70gp) and the tapestry (900gp). Summary of wealth is provided in the following table. 

The updated character sheet is provided below.


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 30


Lucien turns to the group and declares “Asmodeus has genuinely blessed our efforts to date. I think it would be best to beat a hasty retreat from this place. Whilst we are unwounded our resources run thin and more powerful adversaries await. Best to get back to a safe place, rest and make up with another go on our own terms.”

Malandir adds, “We have much to carry and some light casualties. Perhaps I should scout the secret passage before we leave to have an idea what is at the other end.” He quietly walks up to the passage and looks to the west. He can see that it extends to the range of his infravision, 30ft, in a straight direction but then he can see no more. 

He comes back to the party. “I can see nothing down there. Let’s not push it. Let’s go back to the Burg and cash in all this loot. We might be able to get some better equipment.”

Kord nods “I agree. We should go back to the Burg. Whilst we may not have many wounded we’ve expended most of our spells and we’re exhausted. Also, we’ve learned a lot from this expedition and I think it’s time to take stock and plan our next attack.”

Lucien adds “Mayhaps we should get better equipment for the men at arms as well. Perhaps upgrade their armour, maybe get them morning stars and light crossbows as well.”

The men at arms all nod in agreements “Yes, yes better equipment for us.”

They re-group and get back into formation. Ragnar is placed in the middle of the formation and kept under watchful eye. As they approach the outside of the cave Lucien asks him “Ragnar, what tribe do you fear the most? Is there one warlord or chieftain of all the tribes? Do any of the tribe brag about having pet monsters and how do they describe them?”

Ragnar looks confused. Lucien uses Sense Motive and feels that Ragnar thinks this is a trap question. The little monster responds “Youz, youz evilz klericz are ze most powerful monsterz in all ze kavez.”
They head straight to the Burg and bypass Cragmaw Caves. They encounter nothing along the way, and, in the dark they finally reach the safety of the Burg. [DM’s note: 3 random encounter checks (ie 1 day and 2 night checks) against a 1 in 8 chance but no random encounter]. 

Upon entering the gate the see Knight Lorenz, the Corporal of the Watch. Flanked by brothers of the watch, Lorenz greets the party, makes some remarks about their tatty attire, and collects their entrance fees. He also places Ragnar under arrest. The men at arms take him away to the dungeon.

They quickly seek out the Cold Hart Tavern where they find warm and familiar surrounds. 

Berrin the proprietor, makes arrangements for a private room for the party. They eat quickly and go to bed to rest. 

The next morning they rise and take stock. They accumulated a lot of experience from their last raid as summarised in the following table.

And they accumulated a lot of loot, as summarised in the following table (note the Not Cashed in Loot at the bottom of the table). 

They still have many of their consumables available.

Scratching their heads they remember there are quite a lot of people that they know in the Burg. 

In summary, the party has earned a lot of experience with Lucien, Kord and Talmark all gaining a level. Malandir isn’t quite there yet but he isn’t far off. 

The men at arms also have gained enough experience to advance a level. 

One of the men, Per, has been taking tutelage from Talmark in the way of advance fighting skills and he’s been learning about Asmodeus from Lucien. He decides to leave the mercenary company and asks if he can join the party. Over breakfast Lucien, Kord, Talmark and Malandir decide that it would be good to have another faithful party member. 

DM’s notes. Guys, Per will advance to become a 1st level fighter and a player character. He’ll be played by Vampifan aka Bryan Scott, who you may have seen post to the site from time to time and you’ll note his site in the “Blogs I like to read” column in the left hand margin. Bryan has been a great inspiration to me over the years and if you want to see a great blog with almost a million hits please check out his site. In particular, he has had some great single player campaigns and I’ve learned a lot about solo campaigning from his site. I’ve applied a lot of the principles that Bryan uses to our own Pathfinder games.
Please welcome Bryan. 

We’ll probably have a few sessions of levelling up and local interactions at the Burg. Please come back to me with details of leveling up and also interactions that you want to do at the Burg including selling the loot, buying new equipment etc. I’ll update the summary character sheet in due course. 


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 29b



·        One of the hobgoblins begins to speak “Vat youz…..”
·        Malandir draws down his bow and fires at the goblinoid. The arrow flies true and strikes the monster in the right shoulder. It’s a terrible wound, made all the worse for the additional Sneak Attack and Point Blank Shot damage. The hobgoblin takes 9pts of damage and is badly wounded. Malandir 5ft steps to the east, towards the entrance corridor. 
·        Lucien yells “We need to drop these quickly as we can to prevent them retreating and sounding an alarm in their home raising more.” He quickly retrieves a scroll and Cause Fear and casts it on the north eastern most hobgoblin. It’s a DC15 Will save against the hobgoblins Will save modifier of +1. The monster rolls a 11 and fails his save and is effected for 2 rounds. The hobgoblin whimpers in fear.
·        [DM’s note: So speedy was the action of Malandir and Lucien that they grabbed the initiative and were able to act in a Surprise Round. All other participants, ie the four hobgoblins, the four men at arms, Ragnar, Kord and Talmark are left Flat Footed and cannot participate in the round.]

Monster Initiative: R14 + 2 = 16     Party Initiative: R7 + 0 = 7

·        The hobgoblins are stunned but recover quickly. The hobgoblin affected by the fear spell immediately runs for the north western corner where he continues to cower in fear.
·        The wounded hobgoblin stabs at Kord with his longsword and just misses the cleric.
·        The hobgoblin behind him 5ft steps to the south east and attacks 1-3 Kord, 4-6 Malandir = roll 2 = Kord. He swings his long sword and but misses.
·        The remaining hobgoblin has enough distance to charge either Fremont or Talmark and so he charges 1-3 Fremont, 4-6 Talmark = roll 5 = Talmark. Bursting forth he swings his long sword at the human warrior but misses.

I have to date been a bit haphazard in deciding when the monsters will go for help. To codify it I’ve drafted House Rule #13, shown below. 

HOUSE RULE #13: Going for help. Intelligent monsters will sometimes go for help. Where it is not explicitly noted in the module that the monster will go for help they still may do so. When the monsters have taken 50% casualties, they will make an intelligence test every round and, if they roll their intelligence or less, one of the monsters will go for help and to warn the main tribe of the danger.


·        The north western hobgoblins fear token is reduced from 2 to 1.
·        Lucien yells instructions to the men at arms “Clovis, spear Ragnar if he makes any move to help the enemy. Barret and Per, follow Talmarks lead. Freemont, try to corner that hobgoblin in the north western corner and if he tries to run finish him!”
·        Kord 5ft steps to the south east and casts Burning Hands. It’s a DC12 Reflex Save for ½ damage and the hobgoblins have a Reflex Save modifier of +2. He catches three of the brutes under the flames of Asmodeus and they roll 2, 5 and 17 and take 2pts or 1pt of damage respectively.
·        Malandir 5ft steps back away from the monsters to the south east and fires an arrow at the badly wounded hobgoblin in the middle which he critically hits in the right thigh. With blood spurting from a terrible wound, which has opened an artery, the hobgoblin drops to the ground and bleeds out as it takes 13pts of damage.
·        Talmark swings Felldrac at the hobgoblin to his front but he fails to hit the beast.
·        Fremont 5ft steps to the west to start to corner the feared hobgoblin and to start to flank the wounded hobgoblin that Talmark had just attacked. He stabs at it with his spear but he also misses.
·        Barret 5ft steps to the north west and stabs at the hobgoblin to his front and hits it in the right leg for 6pts of damage.
·        Lucien 5ft steps to the south and casts Murderous Command on the southern most hobgoblin. It’s a DC15 Will Save against the hobgoblins Will Save modifier of +1. The hobgoblin rolls an 8 and fails. Next round it will advance upon and attack one of its own party members.
·        Clovis grows at Ragnar who cowers in fear.
·        Per advances to the north and then the west and gets into contact with the north eastern hobgoblin. He drops his torch along the way so that he can use his shield and spear and he stabs at the wounded monster but he misses it.  


·        The hobgoblins took their first casualty last round and must take a morale test. They roll 6 and easily pass.
·        The north western most hobgoblin continues to grovel in fear.
·        The southern most hobgoblin 5ft steps to the north and he cannot stay his hand as he obeys Luciens command and stabs at his fellow with his longsword. He’s Flanked his brother hobgoblin against Per and hits him in the back for 7pts of damage, killing him.


·        The last remaining fear token is removed from the hobgoblin in the north west corner. He is no longer cowered.
·        Malandir lowers his bow and fires at the hobgoblin in the middle of the room but misses it.
·        Lucien lowers his cross bow and fires at the same hobgoblin and hits it in the left leg for 3pts of damage.
·        Talmark 5ft steps to the west and swings Felldrac at the hobgoblin who had just murdered his fellow but he misses.
·        Fremont 5ft steps to the west and corners the north western hobgoblin. He stabs at it with his spear and hits it in the chest for 7pts of damage.
·        Kord moves 15ft to his west and then the north and swings his heavy mace at the Talmarks hobgoblin but despite having the hobgoblin flanked he misses.
·        Barret 5ft steps to the west and attacks the monster and also misses.
·        Per moves 10ft to the west and south and attacks Talmarks hobgoblin and just misses the brute.
·        Clovis once again growls at Ragnar who lets out a little “Eeep” in response.


·        The hobgoblins must take a morale check for having reached 50% casualties. They roll a 4 on 2d6 and will continue to fight. They need to roll an intelligence test to see if one of them will go for help. They roll a 10 on a d20 against an intelligence of 10 and one of them will go for help. It’s not immediately obvious which is the best candidate so 1-3 the northern most one, 4-6 the southern most one = roll 1 = the northern most hobgoblin.
·        The northern most hobgoblin makes a break to get help. To do so he’ll bypass Fremont and Per, both of which will get an attack of opportunity. Freemont attacks first and stabbing with his spear he hits the monster for 8pts of damage. It slumps to the ground dead before it can reach the door.
·        The last hobgoblin attacks 1=Per, 2=Barret, 3=Talmark, 4=Kord, roll 1 = Per. He swings his long sword at the man at arms and hits him in the left leg for 4pts of damage.


The party surround the last remaining goblin and attack it viscously with bow, crossbow, spear, heavy mace and two handed sword. It doesn’t survive the round.

The party search the bodies of the hobgoblins and recover 4 long swords 10gp and four sets of ears.
They peer through the secret door and see it leads into a long corridor to the west, at least 30ft, which is the extent of their torch light (I haven’t mapped this section yet).