Thursday, May 12, 2022

Session 12: Ruthless Bill on Trial!

Last session ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. Ruthless Bill had seemingly changed his ways and was hellbent on helping our adventurers kill the demon boar Trudge that had begun to terrorize the land. Even though they were successful, during celebrations Bill and his surviving men were drugged and chained. And soon the players made their way to Woodshome to turn Bill in and to collect their bounty. And Bill and his men would be place on trial and very well executed for their crimes. 


A week after the killing of Trudge, the trial was held and the public invited. Before we go further, it must be noted that during that week two groups of knights arrived in the area. The Order of Chickfalar, bearing a white rooster on a red field, whose mission is to serve God, feed the hungry, and bash heads in. The other knightly order is The Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor. The flag is black bible with the letters KJV embolden in gold and with a sword behind the Holy Book on a purple field. Both groups have come to seek the Old Bastard to cleanse the foul place, and to bring the Word of God to this part of the Red Frontier and to strike against whatever deviltry abodes here. Back to the trial at hand. Lord Commander Rogget presided over the trial as judge. Rotho Boon served as the prosecutor. And defending Bill was...let's see here...Berg Goldstien.

I'm sure Berg is reputable.

Before the trial started, Lord Commander Rogget informed Bill that at any time he could forgo the trial and opt for a trial by combat. Why? Well, Bill stood accused for the kidnapping, ransom, and torture of Byrne Drover, the son of the cattle rancher Bran Drover. He was rescued by the party awhile back. Unfortunately, neither survived the wrath of Trudge. And neither did any of Bran's men. And while the party manage to "get" information out of one Bill's men, he's dead too. So that pretty much left Laughing Fox's word against Bill (the other members from Byrne's rescue were unavailable for the trial). And with only his word to go on, despite Laughing Fox being a well respected member of the community, it might not prove to be enough to convict Bill or his men. Still, Bill decided to let the trial run it's course for the time being.

But Laughing Fox has a surprise witness against Bill. He had been in contact with Rotho about this "witness" and even had him protected in the local Chickasaw village in case any of Bill's remaining men on the outside came to pay a visit. So who is he? Rotho called Bill's own horse to testify against Bill! Shocking!!! The crowd was shocked! The cleric Brother Took, who served for the Knights of Jim the Pastor, was called up. He himself didn't know Bill, Laughing Fox, or of Bill's horse. He was asked to see if he could use his Speak to Animals spell. Brother Took obliged the court. After casting the spell, Took asked the horse if he indeed belonged to Bill. The horse answered yes. He then asked if was there when kidnapped the young boy Byrne and when Bill went back to terrorize Bran and his ranch. The horse neighed yay. The crowd was once more shocked!!!


Bill was outraged at this betrayal! He demanded a trial by combat! And he got it. So how was I going to pull this off? Simple. I ripped off The 13th Warrior. In it we have a scene where two men face each other in combat. Each has three wooden shields and a sword. Once an opponents shields are broken, he must be executed. This was going to be between Bill and Laughing Fox. Except Laughing Fox isn't much of a fighter. Instead, he let his friend Dogbreath take his place. ACKS has sundering rules about breaking shields with a forceful blow. Once a hit is made, the opponent must make a saving throw against paralysis. If he fails, his shield is broken. A pit was formed and Dogbreath and Ruthless Bill entered. Bill proved to be no slouch at fighting, neither did Dogbreath. Back and forth their strikes went. Sometimes hitting, sometimes missing. In the end, it came down to each having a single shield left. And then an arrow flew past Dogbreath's head! Bill's remaining men came to bust him out! 

Wait. What now?!?! During the week before Bill's trial word had reached his handful of men at their hideout. I decided to roll for their loyalty, to see if they would try to rescue Bill or abandon him. They proved loyal to a fault. The three men and four hobgoblins made themselves a plan. Once trial was underway, they would set fire to some of the buildings around Woodshome to make a diversion, and during the ensuing confusion, would swoop Bill and any of their companions up and head out away from the law. With smoke and fire burning through the town, and the crowd running in confusion and chaos, the three men and one of the hobs made their way to the pit to get Bill out. Bill declined and told them to surrender. They refused. Soon, they were engaged in combat with the party and some of the knights. Three were eventually killed and the other was commanded to surrender by Laughing Fox when he cast Commanding Word on him. 

Afterwards, the town was brought back to order, but not before eighty-five causalities were counted from the stampede of people trying to escape, with many dead, and several of the buildings, including that of Lady Sally's Red Lace & Pearl having being burnt down. The trial resumed. Bill, while admitting to not knowing anything about the rescue, took responsibility for what had happened. Lord Commander was thinking that a hanging was in order. Brother Took, at the last moment, decided to try and persuade Rogget in letting Bill and his men pay off their crimes by joining his order. Laughing Fox was for execution. The other players that were present, because they weren't their for the session where Byrne was rescued, were for Brother Took's option. I decided to do a charisma check, Bill's against Laughing Fox's. Bill won. So now Ruthless Bill is known as Punished Bill, until he will work off his crimes while in the Knights of Saint Jim the Pastor. God speed Punished Bill! 

Punished Bill


XP from the Three Bandits and One Hobgoblin:

(0%) = 7
(5%) = 8
(10%) = 9









Sunday, May 1, 2022

Session 11: The Hunting of Trudge

So a few weeks back I dropped a hook about a demon boar that had terrorized and demolished a lumber mill in the Grey Woods. It and its brood managed to kill most everyone, with only a few survivors making it out to tell of the grizzly tale of the demon boar Trudge and his porcine spawn. The players decided to go boar hunting. They weren't the only ones. One of patrons, Ruthless Bill decided to take on the task as well. He came out saying that he was framed for the kidnap, ransom, and torture of young Byrne Drover, and that he wanted to clear his name. You know, he just a good ol' boy who dindu nuffin'! In fact, Bill (now going by the moniker Peaceful Bill) agreed to do this without pay and he would even team up with our adventurers to accomplish this deed. He agreed to meet them just north of Wirrow Warren's Bloated Badger. After gathering supplies, our players met up with Bill and set off to the Demon boar haunted lumber mill.

During the night, on their way there, they came across the smoldering and demolished ruins of the cattle rancher and father to young Byrne, Bran Drover. Searching the place, they found dead cattle, horses, and even men. And fresh boar tracks. Some of them large. Larger than your average giant boar. Unfortunately they were unable to find Byrne or his father Bran in the wreckage. 

"Peaceful" Bill

The group stayed there for the night and kept watch for any signs of the possible pack of razorbacks returning. The night proved uneventful. Setting out in the morning, the large party managed to get to the destroyed lumber mill by that afternoon. Spotting three boars and two giant boars, the party engaged in combat. Laughing Fox was soon attacked and nearly killed by one of the giant pigs, but managed to use his animal control ring successfully on one of the giant hambeasts. It couldn't have had happened at worse time as Trudge, hearing his brood fighting, emerged from the only building standing and made his large bulk towards the players. 

Bill and eight of his men were on horse back and flanked the demonic pig, but did no damage. They circled about to attack him once more. Laurentius, I think, threw a flask of holy water on Trudge, dealing some damage. Trudge even tried to charm some of the players, but failed. Despite his immense girth, and horribly large tusks, Trudge was made into short work by the party's new mage Boldvay. You see, before the party set off before meeting Bill to slay Trudge, Boldvay, through a successful use of his magical engineering proficiency, manage to identify a goldish green staff the party found back in session five. I decided to roll on the staff and wands table and got a Staff of Wizardy! And rolling some more, it was determined that it had eleven charges. Nice. The first round against Trudge, Boldvay used the staff's first charge to summon a fire elemental to keep Trudge at bay. The elemental proved to be a worthwhile opponent and did a good bit of damage against the demonic boar. The next round, Boldvay cast Fireball against Trudge. This took us a few minutes to determine how large of an area this affected, and how many men of Bills would be caught in the ensuing blast. Once cast, the fireball engulfed not only Trudge, whose flesh and muscle was burned away, but also two of Bill's men. The battle was won.

Looking through building, the party found a chests full of coins and other treasure. This along with the brilliant gems found amongst Trudge's smoldering bones, made a pretty good haul. Laughing Fox decided to celebrate. He had brought barrels of ale, some of really good quality, and some of cheaper make for him and his Chickasaw warriors. A few his fellow party members became suspicious, but drank away with Bill and his surviving men. I made them roll save versus poison. You see, Laughing Fox didn't trust Bill one bit, and with the bounty of 10,000 gold on Bill's head, didn't want to take any chances of him betraying the group or running off. He laced the "good ale" with some Valarian Root, a Chickasaw healing drug. Basically, he was gonna try to xanax Bill and his gang. And in order to make sure Bill didn't find out, Laughing Fox decided not to let the other party members in on the secret. Some of the party failed their throw, and with one exception, Bill and his men succumbed to the drugged ale as well. The one that didn't was quickly subdued by the party. They soon had Bill and his gang chained and roped and made their way back to Pottsfort. To be continued...

Party:

Laughing Fox, Shaman

Dogbreath (Laughing Fox's henchman)

3 Chickasaw Warriors (Laughing Fox's other henchmen)

Boldvay, Magic-User

Mark Tarvar, Thief

Laurentius, Cleric

Hazzik, Dwarven Delver

Total XP:

Base XP: 3835 XP

(5%) XP: 4027 XP

(10%) XP: 4219 XP



Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Session 10: Vampires at Dusk

After two weeks of not playing, we return with Laughing Fox, his two Chickasaw warriors, Laurentius the Cleric, Mark Tarvar, Longshakes, and Oldvay the Mage. They decided to set out to one of the abandoned mines in the western section of the map, The Lowland Hills. But let's back up and go over a few things first. First up, back in early Feburary I believe, I put up a hook about how no one in Pottsfort had heard of John Molan and his mining crew in some months. John had one main mine in the south of the Lowland Hills and had decided to reopen an abandon mine in the northern part of same region. Then months go by and...nothing. Mayor Tallwood becoming concerned let word go out that he was looking for anyone who could go to the mines and find out what's become of John Molan. One man answered the call. The mighty warrior Kothar and his twelve Krulls (think knockoff Beowulf and his twelve Danes but with a knockoff Conan name.) Kothar hails from Krullsway, and was once served as captain of the King of Ieston's Guard. Kothar is also a patron. Of sorts. Like Ruthless Bill, Kothar really isn't a high level domain ruler settled to one place like that of Duran Durin, Wirror Warrens, and a couple of unknown patrons that currently reside on the Red Frontier map. Instead he's more of a rival party of sorts. But instead of being controlled by me, he's played by another player. When coming up with patrons for my game, I didn't just want some domain level patrons that could give PCs quests. I also wanted some mid level patrons that were more like adventures that could possibly rival and even effect the game the same way players could. Not all movers and shakers need to be high level lords and what not. 

So during the last little awhile, Kothar took his men to the north mine. The first time was a bit of wash due to him never making it there. Instead, he fell upon a group of ogres. Though prevailing against such giant brutes, one of his men became permanently crippled. He returned to Pottfort and told his tale of ogre bashing. A few days later, Kothar left out once more and this time made it to the mine. Almost there he found a pack of wolves gnawing on a dwarven corpse. He quickly put down the canines and followed the dwarf's blood trail. It lead directly to the mine. One thing was unusual about the dwarf. He had a rope tied to his leg. 

Arriving at the mine, Kothar went through the adjoining buildings one by one, not finding anyone home. Or alive. Instead he found a journal from the Bodlum the Dwarf, Molan's second in command. Seems Molan requested Boldum's aid for the southern mine. They had found something big and needed all the help he could spare. Bodlum set out south with most of his crew, but left two of his sons to guard the mine while he was away. Kothar delved into the mine with his men. Eventually making to the large northernmost chamber they saw on a map, they encountered a nest of sleeping trolls. Kothar lead his men back out and decided to set a trap. He began to set the outside buildings that connected to the hill where the mine was located aflame. Then, he and a few of his men quickly ran back into the mine to purposefully awake the slumbering trolls. Once aroused, the trolls soon followed the humans back to the entrance. Kothar and his men dashed out of the burning buildings, and the trolls were soon consumed in the raging inferno. None survived. 

Once the flames died down, Kothar went back in once more. This time he found the trolls nest empty, except for their treasure and the remains of a dwarf. Along a wall, there was a cut and bloody rope bound to a steak placed into the wall...After this, Kothar returned to Pottsfort with his loot and his tale of the trolls demise.

Not long after, Wirrow Warrens, with things around the Bloated Badger being fairly quiet, and catching the bug of adventure like most hobbits of his stripe, decided to head out to the southern mine. He took ten of his best hobbits with him, including his uncle Wirriam the Cleric. This was on Wednesday, the 13th. Going on foot due to a distrust of horses, Wirror and his compatriots arrived at the southern mine on midday Friday, not long till dusk. Hot on his trails were brave and hardy players. They themselves left the Bloated Badger Friday morning and arrived there at dusk. Finally there, the met up with Wirrow and looking about the buildings connected to the mine, they find no one. But they do find signs of struggle. And old blood. A lot of old blood. A map of the mine and it's floors were also found. They also took a look at the journal of John Molan that Wirrow found earlier.

Of note, they found some of the entries to be helpful: "While mining, we broke into an entrance, one that had steps going down. We began exploring and mining, finding large quantities of gold." Another:  "I've begun to hear whispering. I've sent word to Bodlum in the north mine for help. Every hand that can be spared."

"The whispering is compelling me to go further. Five of my men have gone missing. Maybe it's the sasquatches lurking. Doesn't matter, we have to keep digging. He's calling me. And his daughters."

"More men go missing, but Bodlum has arrived and seeing the piles of gold, is eager to get started."

"SUCCESS!!! They found the Black Door! It's cold now. We've found him! And his beautiful daughters!"

"All will be his."

Our party, with Wirror and five of his men, set out to plunder the black depths of the mine. Before heading to the second floor, the party headed to northeastern chamber on the first level. The map indicated that there was some sort of fountain at the back of the room. After a few turns, the party found themselves in the middle of the chamber. Instead of the dry and dusty hallways of the mine, this chamber was wet. Walls slick with water. Puddles on the floor. And dripping from the ceiling. They saw the fountain at the back wall. It was ancient. It appeared to have ornate designs of bronze frogs imbedded along its pedestal. Stepping closer, the party saw a large grey bubble emerge from the closest puddle. It became elongated and tried to attack the party. The hobbits and others slung bullets from slings, arrows from bows, and even a dagger. While most of the missile fire had some effect on the oozy creature, the flask of burning oil had no effect; it merely shuddered it off. Not long after, the party retreated back past the door while the oozed lunged forward towards them. It quickly recoiled after emerging into the drier air. Seeing this, the party once again continued their attacks and finally slayed the grey blob. 

Returning into the chamber, they soon approached the fountain. It's water was a clear blue, and a small spout of water in the center kept it from being totally placid. Laughing contacted the spirits of his ancestors for guidance on what to do. They didn't prove helpful. None of heroes were brave enough to drink from the fountain, but Laughing Fox did collect some in a vial. The party finally left and headed down to the level beneath. And immediately had to make saving throws against spells. Some passed. Others failed. Those that failed began to hear a man whispering in their head. A man wanting them to come closer. That he needed their help. And they heard the voices of young women as well. Wirrow began to urge the party forward, that they needed to help these poor souls. Confused, the ones who didn't hear anything shrugged and soldiered on. The shafts and chambers became colder and colder as the went along. And the whisperings become closer and louder. 

Finally, the group reached an opened large black stone door. An orange unholy light greeted them. Inside they say a large chamber with several black marble columns thirty feet high. And braziers with orange, hellish flames. They tread on a floor of black stone tiles. The whispering had stopped. Not far off, they saw a ledge that dropped off into the back part of the abyssal chamber. They found a set of ebony steps leading down. More columns greeted them. On the other side of those columns were six shallow pits. And at the end of the chamber sat an ancient altar decorated with demonic bats and other creatures from Hell. And upon that altar laid a large stone coffin. 

Before approaching the coffin, the party explored the chamber and found inside the pits were corpses of men and dwarf. And those corpses began to stir. Flasks of oil were thrown, and both Laurentius and Wirriam used turn undead on the waking cadavers. Success! Many began to flee around the chamber, only to hit the walls that enclosed them. The adventures, with the help of the hobbits, made short work on the zombies. And then the lid of the coffin began to slid open with pale, white, elongated fingers reaching out. The source of the whispering had awoken. As quickly as those ancient appendages poked through that hellmade room, Laughing Fox threw a vial of holy water and hit the hand with full force. It began to burn and the players that they could hear a man scream out in agony. But he taunted them, and said it wouldn't be enough! Soon both Laurentius and Wirriam once more used turn undead, but both failed. Their power was not enough to ward off that undead demon. Out of nowhere, three swarms of rats emerged from black mists and set upon the party. And our vampire came fully forth out his coffin, ancient, pale, adorned in a black cloak and ancient plate armor and eyes that glowed blue hate.

The party realizing they were in over their heads, began to run away. Unfortunately, Wirriam was dragged down and eaten by one of the swarms of rats. Laughing Fox picked up Wirrow and carried him on his back. Another hobbit was placed on Oldvay's wardog Conan. After being bitten by a swarm, Longshanks managed to get up and flee. And so did the others. Before he could get out, Laughing Fox was attacked by the vampire, who had let them know he was called Caln and had intentions on feasting on their blood along with his daughters. Vampires, like most undead, drain their levels once physical contact is made. And being a vampire, according to ACKS rules, he will take twice as much. And so before escaping his attack, Laughing Fox was drained two levels. Scary stuff here folks. Scary stuff indeed. After escaping Caln's grasp, Laughing Fox and the others ran out of the chamber, and emerging behind them, not in his human form, but in the form of a giant bat, Caln gave pursuit. 

It was a good ways back to the entrance of the mine and the party had to take many sharp turns getting there and with a viscous vampire on their heels, it wasn't going to be easy. Now, ACKS has some rules for evasion. One in particular is about making hard turns:

There were about six or seven hard turns they had to make to get back at the beginning of the first level of the mine. I'm not going to go in detail for each player, but will give you the highlights. Longshake failed his first save. He soon heard the calling of Caln's three daughters. On the opposite end of the hallway, past the Black Door, Longshanks could see out of the corner of his eye three pale women making their way to him with two, withered looking men by their sides. Caln flew past him and continued to zero in on Laughing Fox and the other characters. Longshanks soon fell to the daughter's charms, and made his way into their ancient embrace. Laurentius failed his second saving throw and while getting up, decided to go back and try to help his companion. Taking a scroll of Warding from his pack that the group had found some sessions before, Laurentius spoke the spell aloud and made his way to Longshanks. Unfortunately, he was too late. The hapless fighter had succumb to the demonic creatures' wiles and bloodlust. He was drained of all levels and soon perished. Laurentius ran as fast as he could before his spell wore off.

Laughing Fox managed to pass his saving throws, but Oldvay, Joe Bridger, and the henchman Big Nose did not. They each in turn became victims of Caln's hunger. Halfway through, Laughing Fox decided to drink the vial of fountain water he collected earlier. Since his ancestor spirits were indecisive in their help on the usefulness of that eerie water, I made Laughing Fox's player roll a Save vs Poison. Failure would be immediate death. He barely passed. Our shaman managed to spit out the water just in time before it killed him. He kept running. Eventually both Laughing Fox, his surviving warrior Dogface, Laurentius, Mark Tarvar, and the remaining hobbits reached the first floor and the outside was in sight. And Caln was nearly on them. Laughing Fox decided to use his prestidigitation ability to make it appear that sunrise was coming and light was pouring through the door, all in the hopes of warding off their deadly pursuer. Laurentius, who while behind the shaman, saw what he was trying to do and cast light to aid him in the illusion. I agreed, but Caln would be able to make a saving throw against this act. He failed. Fearing that he would soon be engulfed in flames due to the rising sun, Caln retreated back to the second level, cursing the party and letting them know he wasn't through with them. But they weren't out of the woods yet, so to speak. They still had Caln's ravenous daughters tailing them now that they were through draining their fallen companion. I too had made a saving throw, and like their father, failed. The surviving party hightailed it out of the mine, gathered the hobbits on guard, and left the mine behind them as they made their way back to the Bloated Badger.

Total XP

Laughing Fox, Shaman (0%) = 132 XP

Mark Tarvar, Thief (10%) = 145 XP

Laurentius, Cleric (5%) = 139 XP

Dogface, Henchman Fighter (0%) = 132 XP







Sunday, April 3, 2022

Session 9 Skinwalker Extravaganza!

This is one is gonna be fun. This week Oldvay, Mark, Laurentius by Laurentius' Little Brother (another cleric) and after a long absence, Hazzik the dwarven delver. So the players this week decided to head out the Old Bastard. Two of our players this week have never been, but were up for some dungeon crawling. Taking a wagon with them, our happy adventurers set off. With only a small trail leading to the Old Bastard, one that's over hills, hollows, and through forests, I decided it would take the same amount to get there as it would on foot. 

On the first night, the group managed to avoid being dinner to a group of giant bats. The four giant, flying rodents were descending to the party only to soon fall down to the ground from Oldvay's sleep spell. They were soon dispatched. 

During the next day, around late morning, the party began to hear singing and talking of a man and children throughout the woods. They decided to flee. Going at full speed, they finally stopped around dusk, only to hear the same singing and laughing throughout the trees. It seems their pursuers didn't give up. Soon after, the party took cover behind their wagon and witnessed four figures emerge from the barren woods. The first was that of a man, the other three of children of various heights. 

As they approached, they continued to laugh, sing, and even ask the players to join them. And that they are hungry. The party wasn't having none of it. Getting closer, the skinwalker family began to transform: limbs becoming longer, faces more skull like and with elongated teeth, and black, short fur emerging through their skin. Combat ensued. Hazzik and another player throws some military oil over the wagon, but misses and only causes some splash damage on the father and one of his children. A flask of holy water was thrown but missed. Mark the thief shot a silver arrow into the left of the father, who, while hurt by such metal, jerked the arrow, and his eye, out and threw it down to the ground. 

Hazzik managed to throw a flask of oil onto the father skinwalker, burning him badly. But the poor dwarf soon became the target of one of the diabolical children. Laurentius managed to throw a flask of holy water, this time hitting and damaging the larger skinwalker. His little brother even managed to use turn undead, but to no effect and the father laughing at his failed attempt. Eventually, Oldvay, after his wardog was attacked, managed to cast sleep, and put all three of the children into a deep slumber. Unfortunately, the father managed to kill Laurentius's little brother. While the little brother was giving up his last breath, Mark had snuck off and came around the behind the father, and drove his dagger into his back, severely wounding him further. Unable to wake his children, and horribly wounded, the father skinwalker began to retreat, but not before being killed with an arrow shot from Mark. His body soon to turned to dust and the fur burned away, leaving only his heart and eyes. The smaller creatures were soon put down as well.

The next morning, the remaining party collected themselves, and set out to find the skinwalkers' lair. Oldvay sent out his raven familiar, and with a nat 20, managed to locate their wicked abode and soon relayed the information to party. Making their way through the winter-dead woods, our survivors managed to find a dugout in a hill covered in black vines. After searching for traps on the wooden door, the party enter in. Inside they found a small chamber with a blood covered, wooden table with runes carved into it around a skull and candles, and dead, butchered bodies in various states of decomposition. On the back wall, lay various clothes, items, and other debris collected from their victims. The party finds, after looking through the heap, a pouch of 1,400 copper pieces and six gems, magical chainmail of dwarven make, a potion, and most surprising of all, a purple leather bag, with gold stitching around it and forming the words: BAG of HOLDING. Groovy! The cleric does the necessary rites on the dead bodies before they are buried and the group heads back to Pottsfort, to bring the inhabitants the news of their accomplishments. 

So the party managed to find the rest of the family of skinwalkers. They also found out that silver is effective. And that though they're not undead, due to whatever unholy rituals that made them into what they are, holy water is very effective against the vile creatures. Unfortunately, due to them being very much alive, turn undead has no effect. And unlock werewolves, skinwalkers can transform anytime, regardless what phase the moon is in. And it also seems they possibly possess magical capabilities. Despite the one death, or not managing to get to the Old Bastard, I would say it was a good night!

Total XP and GP:

Skinwalker Father: 175 XP

Skinwalker Children: 3 x 100 XP  

Treasure (not including potion or Bag of Holding) = 1889 XP


Session 8 Goblin Bash!

This is gonna be a fairly short session. This session we had Laughing Fox, his henchmen, Longshanks the fighter, Oldvay the mage, Mark the thief, and Laurentius the cleric. The first hour or so of the night, the gang spent time identifying magical items and special treasures from previous sessions before. Not everything got identified, but most did. Of note were the three books and telescope found in the Werewolf session, various potions, multiple scrolls, and other odds and ends.

Duran Durin

With that out of the way, the players decided to go help Duran Durin with his goblin problem. The week before, some of Duran's scouts came across a large group of goblins. Battle ensued, and while the goblins took many casualties, the dwarves did as well, and were forced to retreat, leaving the bodies of the fallen comrades behind. Early the next week, Duran sent a group of dwarves to Pottsfort to get some elven crowns identified, he also sent word about his goblin problem. With many hooks to follow, including a possible Demon boar rummaging around in the Lowland Hills, the party decided to go kill themselves some goblins. 

A couple of days later, they made it to Duran's camp, The Powerstation. Seeing many dwarves mining in and around the hills and mountains, and even working on a stronghold, the players met with Duran Durin. He told them of their problem and sent with them 5 of the surviving dwarves who wanted revenge. The party left and began their search. 

First they searched the bloody battleground from the week before. Other than some dried blood, nothing. No dwarven bodies or goblin bodies. Oldvay sent out his raven familiar to look for the goblin hideout. Eventually, after two failed attempts on the die rolls for searching for lairs in the wilderness, the familiar returned with good news. The party made their way northeast, and found a small valley nestled between mountains. In the valley, the saw some bushes, a stream, and two goblins walking about on guard duty. Looking about, they also saw a large opening in mountainside where the stream was flowing from. The players quietly approached the hideous creatures, and took them out. Soon after, they devised a plan to lure as many of the goblins out and kill them. They succeeded. After dispatching the green backs, they set upon the remaining creatures inside. 

Once inside, they found three wolves tied to a large stalagmite to their east. The canines began growling and howling, alerting the rest of the goblin forces. Our players soon made their way throughout the small cavern lair, and met little resistance until crossing a bridge that led to the leader's chamber. While the goblins put up an admirable effort of barricading themselves inside the large chamber, with the aid of military oil, the players made short work of the creatures on the other side. Prevailing against the goblins, our party unfortunately found just a pitiful amount of loot once inside. Still, it's better then being killed. The players left the hideout and returned to Duran's stronghold for the night. 

Total XP and GP:

Goblins = 120 XP

Wolfs = 105 XP

Treasure = 625 XP, GP

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Session 7: Of Fire Water and Lizardman Holocaust

This is a long one folks, so get a drink and settle in. It's gonna get crazy. And violent. So earlier in the week, my patron, Wirrow Warrens who runs the local hillbilly hobbits that are trying to open a river-side tavern called The Bloated Badger, ran in a bit of trouble. And by bit, I mean one of the little fellows nearly got bit in half by a giant gator. The hobbits, being exemplars of their kind, managed to kill off their large scaly attacker, and saved their companion. They took the creatures head, and plan on putting as the center piece of their soon to be opened tavern. But what's amusing is that the patron for the hairy footed group never once thought the river could hold dangers. I on the other hand, didn't. 

With that in mind, this session was lead by the groups shaman, Laughing Fox, and they decided to help the hobbits with their gator problem. Laughing Fox was also joined by three new players, some who haven't played in decades. On their way to the hobbit village, Laughing Fox bought ten chickens and one goat. Why? To bait out any gators along the river bank. Jaws and Jurassic Park style. They ask Wirrow Warrens about where the attack took place and asks if any of the hobbits want to help. Four volunteer. And so after leaving the hobbit village, Laughing fox began to kill the chickens ever so often and threw them into the river. They plan on saving the goat for last. While strolling down the bank, I began rolling encounters, and lizardmen came up. Rolled to see if they were in a lair. Sure is. Rolled up a good bit too. So I figured they sent out a a handful to scope things out. The players got surprise, and saw the lizardmen swimming their way. They got their bows ready and shot at the submerged foes (their spinal fins were showing.) Arrow were let loose, and one of the lizard folk was killed and another injured. The remaining three began to walk up the bank where they were shot at once more. Another fell to the ground. This left two, but they were angry and after rolling morale, they decided to stay and fight to the death. They began hissing and saying that the party had killed their gator. Eventually one was killed and the other captured. They integrated it and told of the lizardman lair in a swamp on the other side of the river. They killed inhuman creature, and Laughing Fox got the bright idea to use their skins as disguises. He managed to only successfully retrieve three of the skins.

Instead of trying to do raid the lizardman village right then and there, Laughing Fox spoke to his ancestors and asked if they knew any ancient knowledge of the lizardmen in area, when was the best time to attack the lair, and if While they didn't know anything of the history of the lizardmen in the area, they did say the best time to attack was during the day.

The party headed back to Wirrow Warrens and asked if he wanted to help. He said he could spare ten hobbits, and loaned the party four canoes. They asked if he had any military oil, and he said no. Wirrow did say he could provide ten bottles of their strongest whiskey, to set aflame. And so the group obtained ten fire waters. The group sets out to the location of the stream that pours into the river and leads to the lizard folk village. The group got lost and decided to come ashore. Laughing Fox sent his spirit monkey up the nearest tallest tree to see if it could see anything. ACKS has a supplement called Lairs & Encounters has a procedure on locating lairs in a hex. For 11 miles or less, the DM must make a secret roll of +18 for a successful find. Since the hex is 6 miles, I had to get an eighteen or higher. First try and the d20 rolls up a 19. Nice. The money comes down and tells the group he saw the hatch roofs of some huts and a lot of smoke coming about a mile or less in the northeast. 

So Laughing Fox's player, who was also playing a venturer called Joe Bridger, the son of famous real life mountain man Jim Bridger. You see, Joe was travelling in world one day when he came across the mythical glass mountain. Instead of hitting the invisible mountain, Joe fell through and landed into the Red Frontier. Pure Appendix N here folks! With that out of the way, our Laughing Fox, Joe Bridger, and one of the newer players disguised themselves in the slain lizardman skins ala At the Earth's Core, left the main group by the tree, and set about sneaking around the village. Looking about, they notice that the village is set up on a lake, with most of the huts being on stilts and decks connecting them. Within the decks, they see four cages, with two containing two large gators. They see some commotion amongst the lizard folk, and also realize that there were far more than the twenty one their former prisoner told them about.  Laughing Fox decided to look further and goes out alone from the other two. He winds up getting spotted by two Lizardmen guards. They believe he was one of their former members who went out the day before to look for their missing gator. Laughing Fox convinces them that swamp goblins were responsible for the party's slaughter and tells the two that some are hiding back some ways. He leads the two to the other disguised party members where they quickly kill the curious lizardmen. Our party leader sets out once more to find a way to release the remaining two large gators and try to find the third one and control it with his ring. 

And once more he gets found out and manages to convince his captors that he's the real deal. Monster reactions are great. And so is having a high charisma and diplomacy. And a gruesome disguise. He tells them about the swamp goblins and is taken to the lizardfolk chieftain. And he's pissed. Laughing Fox manages to deceive the angry lizard people to finally deal with the troublesome swamp goblins. The lizardman chieftain, Blargz, has grown infuriated about the swamp goblins across the river. All the noise they make, the smell of their horrible food, their walking up and down the river on their hairy feet. With the lizardman war party heading out on the two remaining gators and some canoes, Laughing Fox realizes that the swamp goblins Blargz was complaining about were Wirror Warrnes and his hobbits. Oops! While this going on, the rest of the group, along with the small hobbit force, gathers and decides to raid the village while the warriors go on the warpath. Their plan is simple: infiltrate the village, slay the lizardfolk females and their hatchlings, grab their loot, and when the remaining warriors come back, burn the hatchery and its eggs down to the ground. Simple as.

Back to Laughing Fox. On their way down stream, our shaman manages to locate and gain control of the third gator. He manages to convince the leader that the Great Gator has chosen him as his mouth piece and tells the lizard chief that the Great Gator demands a blood sacrifice of five of the lizardmen warriors and by doing so, they will manage to wipe out the swamp goblins. The chieftain is concerned, as the war party is only twenty one lizards strong, and killing five of their warriors will weaken them. Using animal control, Laughing Fox puts his head in the third gators mouth, with it never chomping down on his neck. The chief obeys and has five of his men killed. After this, Laughing Fox unleashes the third gator upon the rest of the warriors, and manages to sneak off during the resulting chaos.

The rest of the party is making short work with the lizardfolk slaughter. With most of the group bringing the lizardman village down, the party's new thief Mark Tarvar and the cleric Laurentius (or was it the new fighter Roy Longshanks?) find the chief's hut, and inside it, his treasure. Two chest are left opened, and with copper, silver, jewelry, and even a gem gleaming bright. Laughing Fox reunites with the rest of the party and lets them know what happened. As some of the party are soaking the hatchery in fire water, the chief and his remaining handful of warriors show up, each one injured. They engage in battle with our lizard slayers, and Laughing Fox manages to gain a flesh wound. They lizardmen are quickly turned into a new set of boots. The party retrieves the chieftain's dragon bone trident, his trophy necklaces, and finally his head. They leave the village in fiery ruins, and the local lizardmen menace wiped out, and head back to Wirror Warrens with their well earned loot. 

Players:

Laughing Fox, Shaman (0%): 1626 XP

Joe Bridger, Venturer (5%): 1707 XP

Mark Tarvar, Thief (10%): 1789 XP

Laurentius, Cleric (): 1626 XP

Roy Longshanks, Fighter (10%): 1789 XP

Henchmen:

Big Nose: 1626 XP

Dogbreath: 1626 XP

Hobbit Hellforce: 10 x 1626 XP 



Sunday, February 27, 2022

Session 6

 A few weeks back I dropped in a hook about a young boy named Byrne who had gone missing while fishing on the southern bank of the Thundhr River. Byrne also happens to be the son of the local cattle rancher Bran Drover. This last week, Lord Commander Rogget received word from Bran that he received a letter from the bandit Ruthless Bill detailing that he has Byrne in his possession, and demanding a ransom of 5000 GP. That letter also contained one of Byrne’s little fingers, and a bloodied dagger that Byrne received from his father on his birthday. For this session our adventurers, now considered local folk heroes due to their exploits against the wolfmen, decide to help Bran get his son back.

They head to Bran’s ranch, and greeted by his men. Bran himself tells them about the letter and it’s grizzly memento. He tells them about how Ruthless Bill and His Gang have harassed his ranch, his cattle, and even his men. The rancher lets the party know that he believes the gang’s hideout is somewhere in the Lowland Hills about a day west from his ranch. Bran doesn’t think Ruthless Bill has many members in his gang and probably wouldn’t pose much of a threat if they were caught unawares by an unknown group. He devises a plan where he will send out three men to deliver the money at the set location, while the party is making their way stealthy to the hideout. By only sending only three men, this leaves Bran with nine men to help him defend his ranch in case Ruthless Bill decides to make a visit.  

Ruthless Bill!

The party sets out the next morning and make their way through the northwestern area of the hills until the find two men on horseback. They attack the men, killing one instantly, while the other was thrown from his horse. He’s tied up and integrated. He gives up that the boy was back in an abandon mine. The party heads out, with their hostage guiding them, all the while expecting Ruthless Bill and most of his gang at their hideout. They arrive and see only two men guarding the entrance. Laughing Fox locates two wild boar, and puts them under his control. He tells the boars to attack the men. While one boar is injured from an arrow, it doesn’t stop him or his bacon companion from attacking, killing, and then feasting on the men.

Rumbo and the party came down, and they knocked the door loose and let the boars run in and cause mayhem after commanding them not to attack the boy. Except they didn’t find Ruthless Bill or his gang. It seemed Ruthless Bill did indeed take his most of his men to wreck havoc upon Bran’s ranch and cattle. They untied the boy, told him who they were, and proceeded to head back to his father’s. But before they left, they let the boy cut one of their hostage’s fingers off in retaliation, and let the hogs have him.  

 They missed Ruthless Bill and his men on their way back, though they did see some sort of optical illusion in the hills, like the Flying Dutchmen. Arriving, they saw some of the barns burning, blackened corpses of cattle, and Bran trying to get things settled down. Seeing his son, he gave him a hug, and thanked the party for their help. He also told them how only one of his men came back injured from the drop-off point, with the other two being killed. With that, the players ended the session at Bran’s ranch.

But we’re not quite done yet. Earlier in the week I finally brought in patron play. What’s that you ask? Well, the quick version is that it’s allowing an outsider party, probably someone who would like to play in a regular session, but not able to due to conflicting schedules, to run an npc or npc faction of the game. This eases the burden for the DM, but also has the potential to make the campaign more dynamic. There’s a good chance that someone controlling the npc or faction will make decisions and think of things that the DM will never think of. It’s pretty cool if I say so myself. So what does this have to do with this session?

Well, simple. I gave control Ruthless Bill and His Gang to a patron to see how their actions would effect the game. Not only that, but during the session, I was also in communication with Ruthless Bill’s player and was able to see how he would react to the players in real time. Really amazing! Patron play is great, and adds another dynamic layer to the whole game. But one that’s not really new, but sadly forgotten. Patron play is derived form Braunstein, a sort of proto-rpg from before the days of D&D, and one even played by Dave Arneson, co-creator of said D&D! It’s great, and the BROSR has not only brought this technique back into play, but like everything else we do, are using it and other forgotten rules to lead the charge in playing D&D the way it was meant to be played!

 Players & their XP total:

Rumbo Battlecock (10%): 44 XP

Laughing Fox (0%): 40 XP

Stonewall (5%): 42 XP

Henchman:

Mysterious Anon (formerly Man With No Name): 40 XP




Session 12: Ruthless Bill on Trial!

Last session ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. Ruthless Bill had seemingly changed his ways and was hellbent on helping our adventurers kil...