Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 15


Malandir offers to scout the two nearest caves to the South. Before he sneaks off Kord grabs him by the elbow.

 “Malandir, in my time in the Egorian militia I helped them to track criminals and bands of brigands. If you scout the area for danger first and then signal me over and together we’ll look for any tracks.”

Malandir looks at Kord. “You don’t look like you know how to track.”

Wiping the sweat from his brow that the intense heat of the day had created Kord stares at Malandir “Trust me elf, I know how to hunt humanoids and beasts.”

Malandir tries to take a cautious approach to avoid being seen as well as to spot any tracks, observers or traps. 

The ground is open, barren and stony and there is no cover to be had. If anyone is looking the party will be immediately observed and in turn the party will be able to immediately observe anyone coming out from the caves. 

Malandir makes out some tracks (DC 15 for firm ground, -2 for the number of tracks, +1 for the size of the creatures – 6 Perception skill = DC 8. Malandir rolls an 18) from the south eastern most cave and he signals over the party to investigate further. 

Kord looks over the tracks and tries to determine what they are. They are small and there are about six sets of tracks. He’ll need a DC 14 to identify them. Lucien tries to help with his reasoning and rolls an Aid Another with a DC of 10 – 4 for his Wis = a target of 6. He rolls a 6 and provides valuable assistance. Kord will need to roll a DC 14 – 2 for assistance – 6 for Survival = 6. He rolls a 4 and cannot identify the tracks.

“I don’t know what they are. All I know is that they are fairly numerous and small and it looks like they were made last night” says Kord. 

“Well that’s a start,” responds Malandir, “let me check the next cave.”
Malandir checks the next cave to the west. In his search he doesn’t find any tracks (he rolled a 3). He calls over the party. Kord and Lucien recheck the ground and (rolling an 18) find a set of large foot prints. “Looks like one humanoid was here yesterday,” states Kord, “he’s big, real big, I think he is” Kord rolls an 18 again, “yes I’m pretty sure he’s an ogre.”

The men at arms shiver at the mention of the word ogre. 

Barret looks at Fremont “I don’t think we signed up for this” he whimpers. 

Per looks over at the always cautious Barret, “Come on Barret it’s only ONE ogre. We’ve got him outnumbered 9 to 1. How bad could it be?”

Fremont adds “Our patrons have led us and paid us well so far. They’ve looked after us too with healing and meals and board. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good plan.”

Stein adds “It’ll be ok Barret, how bad can one nasty ogre be compared to a whole band of goblins like we got last time?”

It’s taken them about 20 minutes per cave to search by the time they cautiously approach the cave and search and try to identify the tracks. They could probably search a few more caves or try to enter one that they’ve already searched. The more they search the greater the chance they’ll be going back to their base in the dark. 

DM’s Notes: Danger at the Cave. For every hour at the Caves of Chaos in the valley there will be a random encounter check dur to the large amount of danger there.

DM’s Notes: Lighting effects. In the prior goblin caves the lighting effects seemed to have worked well. Got some good positive feedback about that. 
Now that we’ve got a humanoid, yes you elf, it’s a bit hard to simulate the low light vision extension of the elf.

I’ve read up on a couple of options and I think going a bit old school might work here.
Low-Light Vision is about ½ as good as Dark Vision, so we’ll say that it has a range of 30ft. We’ll also say that Low-Light Vision and Dark Vision don’t work if the creature is standing in light (thank you OSR). That way I’ll keep sane whilst working out the graphics but there will be some benefits for Low-Light Vision in scouting ahead of the party or just generally when there isn’t any light about. Also we’ll say that a torch/light source on the ground is only ½ as effective as one being held aloft. And in this instance the party seems to be carrying enough torches for two to be lit at any one time. Of course this can be augmented by magical lighting sources.

So with all this talk I feel the need to codify another house rule. 

HOUSE RULE #12: Light sources. Torches will provide a light source of 30ft radius. Low-Light Vision will be replaced by Dark Vision of 30ft. Dark Vision 30ft or 60ft will not work if the creature is standing in light. Any torch/light source on the ground is only ½ as effective as one being held aloft.

Kord looks at Lucien and Talmark and asks “Which cave do you think we should enter?”



  1. Lucien is cautious, "One ogre is just the tracks we have found. Does not mean there are not more we have not found, or that the creature is not supported by other beasties."

    Lucien votes the other cave with the smaller footprints.

  2. Talmark says "so far we have only checked out the 2 caves. I really think we should see about the others first, as the last thing we need is a heap of trouble pouring out of one of those from above whilst we attempt to deal with something down here."

    {Is there any sort of cover along the top of the valley? Maybe we could make camp somewhere not too far but hidden and have a pair of scouts above the valley to observe it for a day and a night to get a feel for the traffic?}

  3. I would prefer to face fewer enemies and feel confident that we could handle one ogre. And once we are inside the cave, surely we won't attract trouble from the caves to the North? These caves may be full of potential enemies, but why should we presume they would all act in concert against us?

  4. I meant to say, one ogre and any goblinoid companions.

  5. Observation for a time from above is a capital idea. Scout for a trail along the ridgeline first to see if there is a route they exit out of the valley to go foraging, hunting or patrolling.

    If so, hide out opposite it and mark which caves any beasties exit from. If there is some form of reverse-slope, we can have most stay there, taking shifts in observation at the ridge.

    Almost every goblinoid has darkvision, so come night we will be at a disadvantage observing with the exception of Malanddir. Just before nightfall we'd best camouflage our "camp" in case patrols or foragers set out at dusk, we should take precautions against "sticking out."

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  7. The Caves of Chaos region comes 'alive' at night as all the critters with dark vision head out to forage and feed.

    Of the nine party members only one has stealth.

    You'll surely be discovered.

    Of the nine party members only one has any form of night vision and even that will be inferior to most of your opponents.

    You'll be at a clear disadvantage at night around here.

    The area is practically barren. Very hot in the day and cold at night. The lack of water and the constant clearing of timber for fires means that there is cover for 500 or so meters from the Caves and even then after that it is meager. There is are numerous hillocks that you could hide behind but as the various tribes send out their hunting parties at night you'll almost certainly be discovered.

  8. Perhaps we would be better off inside one of the caves? Since the majority vote is for tackling the non ogre cave, lets go there, kill the inhabitants and use it as our safe haven.

    If the other denizens of these caves have even basic intelligence and scouting, perhaps they would ignore the cave as its usual occupants are small, maybe beneath their notice?

  9. Since it would be patently unwise to spend a few hours observing (we could force ourselves into a position of HAVING to clear a cave for safety at night as our only choice.)

    And since it is about 11AM or thereabouts, we should get to it, having a choice to camp here if we clear, or retreating back if we cannot clear.

  10. Agreed...Malandir is content with scouting ahead and calling forward the group to assess or deal with anything he finds. He will proceed with his whistle to hand on its lanyard, so that if he is ambushed or surprised by the denizens, however unlikely that scenario is, he will sound blasts of the whistle to warn the others then attempt to fall back to them.

  11. Guys I've started writing up the next session. Might take me to tomorrow morning to post it (it's almost bed time here).