This week marked a double, nay triple, nay, QUADRUPLE triumph all centered around tonights game session. Now if that isnt incredible,I dont know what is. First off, for the first time ever, Basement Games hosted two tables for this weeks encounter – two tables of four players apiece. Triumph of rising popularity? Check.
Secondly, my 13 year old son was the Dm of the second table – the youth table made up of kids his age and younger. He did a great job, they were laughing and had to be shushed a few times (heh heh) But the best yet was that they completed their encounter on time with us! Triumph of parenting? You bet!
Thirdly, I cant remember what thirdly was, – oh it was about having to work tons of overtime and coming straight from work, that sort of thing, so a triumph of diligence or something, but fourthly was that a new player showed up and had a great time, so another triumph there too. Anyway it was the first two triumphs of the night that were the big news, so there you have it. Two tables of four players, one of youths, and one adult, mature, elderly, senior, whatever you want to call it, it worked out perfectly. My biggest worry going into the idea would be that it would be splitting up a family (that sounds terrible) so the kids would be at my sons table, and the adults at mine. Luckily the parents were ok with the idea, and I feel confident it worked well for everyone involved. My only regret is that I wished I could be at both tables!
As mentioned, the players were split into two parties. In the senior group, we had Quinnigan the knight, Eriminikos the elf rogue, Valenae the cleric, and Jaren the wizard, played by the newcomer. In the youth group, they played with Belgos the drow, Edith the dwarf, another Jaren the wizard, and Brandis. I just realized that there was no healing, so the youth group had a slight disadvantage. If I had had more time to prepare, I might have switched the NPC stats of Faldyra with the NPC priestess from last season (at least for the youth table) but they made it through the scenario with only one PC down, so it worked out.
One more time I want to congratulate my son on a great job DMing. He came through with aplomb, and that is with zero preparedness. The second module was still in shrink at 6 pm, so he literally had NO time to prepare. Playing with that unruly bunch of kids, who love to bend, twist, and break the rules, takes great patience and improvisational skills, which he showed, not to mention the cat-herding involved. After the game, He told me he would rather DM for the adults, heh heh. One step at a time, lad.
So, on to the game. The half orc captain of the guard comes stomping to the rear of the caravan with an elf noble woman in toe. He introduces her as Faldyra, who will be the towns scholar upon arrival, and orders the group to accompany her on an expedition off the beaten path for some rare and important healing herbs. Since the caravan moves at the pace of the slowest ox-cart, they can range pretty far and wide without falling too far behind. In no time, Fadlyra has led them further and further into the foothills that surround the spur of the Dawnforge mountains. The day before, Malgram warned the expedition leader about skirting the mountains too close – orcs were known to inhabit the region, but Albus Splintershield insisted on taking the shorter route, and the party backed him up on that.
While they rested on rocks and under the shade of trees, Faldyra was scrabbling in the dirt, looking for her precious herbs, until she uttered a shout, and waved them over. It seems she had found an old camp site, and as the characters investigated, they began to put the clues together. It looks like the camp was ambushed some months ago. They found a bit of torn chainmail, and just then Faldyra pulled a long branch from under a pile of leaves. As she dusted it off, she saw it was a staff, with lightning bolts carved up its sides. She handed it to Jaren to inspect, who discovered it was a Staff of Storms +1. Since faldyra was a pacifist with no training in the dark arts of battle, she graciously let the war wizard keep her find. She also found a finger bone near the staff, probably off the mage who lost it.
The party was starting to get paranoid, but Faldyra convinced them to go a little further on, there was an interesting copse of trees ahead, prime area for her herb search. It was also a prime area for an ambush. (Was that foreshadowing?) As they neared the stand of trees, they noticed the ground was pockmarked with over-sized gopher holes. Faldyra ran ahead to investigate a patch of greenery, then let out a short shriek as the ground exploded around her. Nearly a dozen grubby goblins burst forth from their hidey-holes shouting their clan name “Wolverines!” as the prepared to attack. There were eight goblins total. Four wielded short bows, and the others held shortsword and daggers. The party was set upon by gob-bows and stabbers, it was a raiding party.
Only Erimikos was fast enough to go before the devious gobbos, and he punctured the nearest enemies throat with a quick flick of the wrists and a leaf-bladed dagger throw. The goblin went down screaming, and his allies launched a fusillade of arrows at the rogue in retort. Two of the stabbers surrounded Quinn. The goblins were naturallt sneaky, and when Quinn was surrounded bny them, the goblins played off each others tricky moves, allowing them to stab and slash deeper. Quinn was soon bloodied as he pounded the goblin in front of him. Soon he called up his reserves of energy, and using his hammer-hands move, he struck the goblin with such force, its head exploded, showiering them n gore.
Behind him, Valenae and Jaren were beset upon by the other stabbers. The wizard was hemmed in and unable to fire off a ranged spell, so he doused a stabber in a sheet of fire from his flaming hands. When theflames dissipated, only a pile of charred bones marked were the goblin once stood. Erimikos was getting hammered by the arrows, but the cleric was in trouble, so he launched himself across the field and stabbed deeply into the goblin, flanking it between him and Valenae. His dagger thrust nearly disemboweled the nasty little brute, but it refused to fall.
Meanwhile, from the edge of battle, out of harms reach, Faldyra crouched in the grass, and cheered them on. She was always shouting out tactical advice, such as “Hit it!” to the fighter or “Use your spell!” to the wizard. Needless to say, her advice was more enthusiastic than helpful. Her guards were having a tough time of it. Despite the goblin heads exploding, the remaining bush-wackers were confident they could take the party down, and with a lucky strike, one of the slashers dropped the wizard. He crowed to his cousins that they would fest well tonight, and it inspired another goblin to turn and take down the rogue, who was decimating the goblin ranks. Then they turned their eyes on the lovely clreric, imagining her roasting over a flame.
Jaren the wizard dlay in the grass and dreamt of goblins, more and more goblins popping their heads out of the ground until there were as many goblins as there were leaves of grass. Valenae came to his aid though. She would not be daunted, and healed the mage. Valenae then turned and struck the goblin stabber a mighty blow on the head with her mace. More brains and blood spattered the crowd. Faldyra was like “That’s the ticket!”
By this point Quinn was bloodied and staggering, but still standing. One goblin down, he moved on to the next, and they traded blows, once twice, thrice he struck it without finishing it. Then Jaren stood up from the dirt, dusted himself off, and launched a forked lightning bolt, one in front of him to finish off the last bow-wielding gobbo, and a fork of lightning behind to strike Quinns wounded stabber in the back of the head, sending prodigious amounts of gore in every direction as the last goblin fell.
The characters did a quick search of their slain enemy, finding semi-precious stones and a few coins totaling 25 gold for each of them. About then Faldyra mentioned that maybe they had strayed too far and should head back. The rest of the party was like “Ya think?” but they were friends now, and as they hurried to rejoin the caravan Fadyra said she would not mind if they didn’t mention the attack to Malgram, who loved nothing more than to be proved right.