Day 3 – Cragmaw Caves
Lucien grumbles a bit; he is not enthusiastic about this plan and our deployment, but what's done is done...
"Everyone, back more, Freemont, you and your men with Kord, get west and back a bit, Talmark, you and I into these bushes or farther east, within charge distance, though, we need to get away from the mouth more - the greenskins will not be drawn out if they can already see us from 30+ feet away."
Lucien takes out and loads his crossbow. Not a weapon he likes, but it'll due for a one shot until melee (if it comes to that). Lucien is most satisfied that Talmark was already closer to he than Kord for his suggested deployment, he much prefers to have a Chelaxian warrior of good birth at his front than hirelings; Talmark is easily worth ten or more of that lot.
The men steel their nerves as they can hear a screaming horde coming from down the cave mouth.
Suddenly 5 goblins and the goblin dog emerge from the cave mouth. As they clear the foliage the see the band of humans to the southwest baring their way. In their rear is a goblin leader (Yeemik). Much bigger and stronger than a normal goblin, he is dragging a half staved human slave or prisoner (Sildar, currently with 1hp). He gives orders for his goblin band to attack.
Unfortunately, in his haste to attack the human warband, he doesn’t see the trap of Talmark and Lucien lurking in the bushes to his east.
· Talmark and Lucien have the drop on the goblins.
· Talmark lets out a mighty roar as he charges the flat footed goblin leader but he just misses the monster.
· Lucien moves 10ft to the northwest and fires a bolt at the goblin dog but also misses.
Monster Initiative = Roll 18 + 2 = 20
Party Initiative: Roll = 14 + 0 = 14
· Not bothering to heed their masters call for assistance the goblin warriors rush forward to engage the humans.
· The western most goblin advances on Freemont and stabs at him with his short sword and hits him in the stomach for 3pts of damage.
· The next goblin advances on Per and hits him in the right forearm with his slashing blow dealing 4pts of damage.
· The third goblin rushes head long in and attacks 1-2 Per, 3-4 Kord, 5-6 Barret = 6 = Barret. He stabs with his short sword but misses the mercenary.
· The fourth goblin move up and attacks Clovis and hits him in the chest. It’s a nasty wound, likely to cause infection as it deals 3pts of damage.
· The last goblin lines up Stein and viciously stabs away but misses his intended victim.
· Yeemik slashes at Talmark with his longsword and draws blood with his first attack. At the last moment Talmark twists and narrowly avoids a critical hit. None the less he is dealt 5pts of damage.
· The faithful goblin dog snaps at Talmark but misses.
House Rule #2: Morale. For a campaign of this nature it’s more important to have rules for both monster and player character retainer morale. For the monsters I’ve essentially used the same morale statistics as in Basic D&D for monster morale. Monsters will test upon their first casualty and upon reaching 50% casualties. Retainers will use a different system and will test against a base morale of 15, being the same number required under a Diplomacy check for providing aid that could result in punishment. This is modified by their leaders Diplomacy skills, if they have fought together before with success or failure in their previous engagement (positive or negative modifier of 2) and a retainer can have other individual modifiers for matters such as bravery or cowardice, religious fever, military training. All modifiers could be a positive or negative modifier of 2 and are cumulative. Retainers take an individual test the first time they are wounded. Each individual in a unit takes a test upon the first death of a team mate and upon 50% of the party being dead. As such retainers in a party may start to fail morale and fall away but it’s unlikely that the entire unit will route at once.
· Lucien has an a very high Diplomacy skill of 14 however the retainers will always break morale on a natural roll of 1. Freemont, Per and Clovis will all need to test (note Barret is cautious and will suffer a -2 to morale checks should the time come). They roll 16, 4 and 5 respectively and will all continue to fight.
· Talmark swings Felldrac and this time he hits the monstrous leader. The blade crashes into his left arm and it is a fatal wound as he deals 15pts of damage. Yeemik screams in pain and dies in moments.
· Talmark continues his deadly work and lifts the blade again to cleave the horrid goblin dog. He swings and the blade bites deep into the right leg of the hound dealing 12pts of damage and killing the mut.
· Boyd by the savage attack of Talmark, Freemont stabs at the goblin to his front but he just cannot hit the tricky little goblin.
· Per does the same and his stab strikes home hitting the goblin in the stomach for 9pts of damage, instantly killing it.
· Kord lashes out with his heavy mace against the goblin to his front but he cannot hit it.
· Barret does the same with the same result.
· Clovis wants revenge and he aims high and hits the goblin in the right shoulder for 9pts of damage, killing it instantly.
· Stein aims low but misses the goblin to his front.
· Sensing his freedom Sildar crawls behind the safety of Talmark and towards Lucien.
· Lucien moves up towards the cave entrance to help Talmark, should he need it, to stop any goblins trying to flee back into the caves should they break morale.
· Having taken their first casualty and taken 50% casualties the goblins need to take two morale checks against their morale of 7. On 2d6 they roll 6 and 3. They will fight on.
· The northern most goblin continues his attack on Freemont but his misses.
· The next goblin attacks 1-2 = Per, 3-4 = Kord, 5-6 = Barret = 2 = Per. He stabs at the human intruder but also misses.
· The last goblin continues his attack on Stein. Oblivious to the carnage of goblin losses all around him he attack in a frenzy of short stabbing motions but he cannot penetrate the defences of the mercenary.