It was another full house at Chez Moi, with 7 players gathered about ye ole round table to parley or melee the night away. Three fighters, all dwarf, one half giant/half dwarf named Big Meat, one tiny gnome cleric, two hobbitses (and we all know what mischief they get up to) and one wizard extraordinaire filled out the adventurous party this week.
We left off with thee unlikely heroes completely annihilating a patrol of 14 gnolls led by a pack lord. Just as they were qbout to finish off the gnolls put to sleep by the wizard, another pack of gnolls appears. They do not attack, and instead agree to a truce with the party, as long as no violence is done, they will not attack the party, in thanks for killing the warband sent to destroy them. They then take their five captives and depart.
After seeing the goblin caves are not very defensible, the party decides to head back to the keep for the night. A few wandering monster rolls finds them at the keep safely, but the gate has been closed for the night. Bored crossbowmen manning the gates say there is a 25 gold fee for opening the gates after sundown. The characters talk to the commander of the watch and convince him to let them in to hear about a potential gnoll threat. They make it into town for free. Using abilty scores in lieu of skill checks is a quick and easy way to handle role playing opportunities, and deciding on which of the six scores to base their roll on is usually straightforward. (A lot of Charisma, and wisdom, with some intelligence thrown in for good measure.)
The keep was an ancient stronghold on the edge of civilization.It had changed hands many times over the centuries as the boundaries of the world changed, and for now it was held in the dominion of man. It was a wild town, fraught with riches and danger, and those who lived their throve on chaos.
So anyway, they are walking through town, when this jolly friar in a brown robe tied with rope, and a bald pate, waves to them, asking if they are new in town. “He offers to show them about town if they will buy him a drink,which they initially refuse to do, but finally one of the hobbits, Zoobey Zoo, offers to get him a drink, thinking he might be interesting to know. Prices in the tavern were expensive, as to be expected in a pioneer town. Rooms were 1 gold per night, drinks 1 silver. This led to nearly everyone in the party looking to find “alternate” sleeping arrangements, and a few ended up spending the night in the attached (to the bar) chapel pews, being cared for by their own cleric, who was volunteering there! It was strange, the the things people will do to get out of paying for something. To be fair, they were pretty broke, having found only a mere 8,000 coins, all copper.
(Edit: wordpress just ate my second half of this article. I am too creatively bankrupt right now to rewrite the whole thing, so I am going to go over the highlights and cut this short. Sorry for a less insightful and entertaining session report than usual.)
In town they role-played it up, heard some rumours, and got a few quest ideas:
1 — Goblin and kobold heads are worth 1 silver apiece. Orcs and (now gnolls, sue to the parties information) are worth 1 gold.
2 — The friar wants help destroying the leader of a demonic cult he believes is hiding out in the caves.
3 — The Guild hall accepted John Doe as a representative of the Wizards Guild, and informed him of a 500 gold reward for rescuing a wealthy merchant from orc raiders in the caves.
4 — I think there was one other but for the life of me I can’t remembe, hope a player does!
They set ou the next morning, with the Scotchobbit in the lead. He spots a rarely used side path and they detour to fnd a large trunked tree with a small hovel carved inside. The Scotchhobbit sneaks up to the door and is abot to go in when Dex the warrior spots a semi nude hairy old man perched in the tree limbs over the doorway, about to drop on the hobbit from above. Dex lines up his crossbow for a quick kill, but the other hobbit stays his hand, and shouts out to the strange old man. Turns out he is Graymane the hermit, and he offers them tea. His wild mountain lion, Graytail, was circling around the party from behind,but the dwarf/giant Big meat befriends it and they continue on their way. Before they go, Graymane reveals that the orcs are on the right-hand side of the caves, and that he has seen strange humans in robes towards the very back of the ravine.
With the Scotchobbit in the lead, they go to the nearest right hand cave, and he sneaks up to the entrance. The cavern extends back about twenty feet to a t intersection, and the wall is stacked with heads. They shout with glee, thinking of all the gold those heads will reveal iuntil they notice most of the heads are human, dwarf, halfling, and even a gnome head(Gnome shrieks when she hears this, sure she is the last gnome n the planet. It doesn’t help matters that there is an empty gnomeskull sized space right next to tit.) Upon closer inspection, The Scotchobbit notices one orc head among the other, and its eyes are moving, though they haven’t spotted the hobbit. He whispers backwhat he sees, and the wizard (correctly) surmises that it is a disguised guard post. The hobbit starts sneaking back out of the cave when he brushes the wall and a stone clatters to the ground. Immediately the orc head shrieks “invaders!” and disappears.Five orcs rush into battle against the hobbit, who survives the initial onslaught, and is soon relieved by his allies who ush up the slop and into the cave mouth. The batle was short and ferocious, but the five orcs were soon slain, and we ended there, before they have even wiped the blood from their blades, as our little Gnome has to be home by ten o’clock sharp.
It was fun, and next week should be even more fun. I am loving the D&D Next so far.