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Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
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Location: Bristol, UK
 Post subject: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:24 am 
I have just started running "H1 Keep On the Shadowfell" for my role playing group. Most haven't played D&D for a very long time and fewer still have tried Essentials. I am also running the campaign for my son, which is fun indeed since he is now at the age that I first started playing D&D.

I've picked Rumble's Slim framework. Party because it had the word "Slim" in the title and I wanted a framework that wouldn't tax network connections too heavily, since we are gaming entirely remotely. I also picked it because it is very pretty and so far it is working exceedingly well. It also has the right level of automation for my tastes. Some may prefer damage automation but I like that it requires some intervention at that point. It keeps the players involved. I particularly enjoy the library function for powers, which is extremely useful for Mages who may change their powers every day. I am using the framework "as-is" except for a small addition to calculate Evocation Apprentice damage.

So far I have split the campaign into two files. One with the "above ground" encounters and one with the "dungeon delve".

Below is the results of the first session with my group:
Situated in the centre of the Nentir Vale, on the Nentir River, where the waters drop over a steep fall, sits the town of Fallcrest. Over the years it grew into a thriving city, supporting the traders who had to manually haul their cargoes round the river drop. Now a shadow of its former greatness, Fallcrest is still a vibrant centre for the communities trying to pull themselves out of the dark ages of the previous century, with its collapsing empire and savage orc raids. In the Silver Unicorn Inn, five adventurers find themselves all with reasons to head out to the fortified hamlet of Winterhaven, situated just over two days travel to the north west.

The Storm Priest Haagan has been tasked by his church to investigate rumours of a death cult in the area, possibly lead by a twisted priest named Kalarel. Should the rumours be true the cult will need to be put down. A warrior named Pontuus and a Drow Rouge named Alykacha seek news of their old friend and mentor, Douven Staul. A rabid explorer he headed to Winterhaven 3 months ago, chasing reports of a dragon burial site. His wife hasn't heard from him and is begging Pontuus and Alykacha to find him. A Dragonborn mage called Moonscale and a Drow Hexblade called Happy Angel have been approached by a scholar named Parle Cranewing to locate an old keep near Winterhaven that fell into disrepair when the empire of Nerath crumbled a hundred years earlier. Return with a map of what remains and he promises to pay 250 gp. So the five adventurers agree to share their tasks and possible rewards (Yes, you agreed to share. No, you did, really!) and head to Winterhaven, taking the job of armed escort for a trader resupplying the hamlet.

On the morning of the second day of the journey, the adventurers are ambushed by a group of 8 Kobolds. With their spears, short swords and dragon scale shields, the lizards attempt to swarm the party. However they retaliate with hammers, lightning, spears, swords, eldritch bolts and the healing words of the Gods. A short battle later, the Kobolds are destroyed and the adventurers and the trader resume their journey to Winterhaven.


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Last edited by Jagged on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
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Location: Bristol, UK
 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:52 am 
Ran the second session last night. No combat, just clue-hunting and lots of interaction with the inhabitants of Winterhaven.

After successfully routing the Kobold ambush, the adventurers (34 sp richer) and the caravan trader arrive at the fortified town of Winterhaven. Nestled in the foothills of the Cairngorm Peaks, the town overlooks the surrounding homes and farmsteads to the west and the dark forests to the south.

After passing through the gates, the party receive a warm welcome at Wrafton's Inn from the patron Salvana Wrafton. Food and drink is bought (8 sp spent by team) and Salavana reluctantly agrees to boil down a Kobold-head trophy for Pontuus (4 sp spent by Pontuus). The party introduce themselves to an elderly farmer (Eilian the Old) and then explore the town.

Outside is market day and numerous stalls are selling farmers produce, smoked meats and crafts to the inhabitants of Winterhaven. Over to one side of the market the caravan trader is found unloading his cargo for Bairwin Wildarson, owner of "Bairwin's Grand Shoppe". The caravan trader describes Bairwin as, "fair and honest enough." But with a smile and a wink adds, "Just enough." He happily pays the party (5 gp each) and provides introductions to Bairwin. Bairwin expresses his concern for business if the Kobolds continue to get braver and attack more caravans.

Pontuus investigates the Dwarven smithy and discusses the local Kobold problem. The owner Thair Coalstriker, seems somewhat bored repairing farming implements and would be happy to craft "proper" weapons for someone with enough coin.

Haagan pays his respects at the temple. He discusses his instructions to investigate possible black masses with Sister Linora. She is shocked at the very idea, and is sure she would have heard something were it true.

Later the party return to Wrafton's Inn. Alykacha pays for the best room available (2 gp Alykacha). While Pontuus tries out his rugged charms on an Elven huntress by the name of Ninaran. He is so successful that Happy Angel feels the need to buy drinks for all the regulars (24 sp Happy Angel). The party meet and talk to Rond Kelfem, the captain of the town guard, and Valthrun the Prescient, a local historian and sage.

Eilian the Old remembers talking to the missing adventurer Douven, and wonders what happened to him. He gave Douven directions to an old burial site to the southwest, "probably just an old trash heap", but is happy to give the same directions to the party if it will help (campaign map updated).

Rond Kelfem has received rumors of a marauder called Irontooth stiring up the local Kobolds. The captain is impressed by the story of the Kobold ambush and invites the group to see Lord Padraig in the morning. Apparently the Lord is concerned enough with the situation that he might have work for a group able to solve this vermin problem.

Valthrun the Prescient has no first hand knowledge of any dragon burial site but is more forthcoming about a possible ruined keep. He talks of an old watchtower, long fallen to ruin, where he is not sure. But his curiosity peaked, he promises to consult his books and let the party know what he finds.


Image


I've added a couple more things to Rumble's framework. Because my group haven't played D&D for ages and have never played Essentials I added a page of "Basics" that would pop up if you hit F12. This lists the things everyone can do as Standard, Move, Minor and Free actions. I also added a "Consult Spell Book" function for the Mage. It makes use of the great Powers Library that Rumble's framework provides so that when the mage wants to prepare his spells for the day he can click the book, select the powers he wants to appear on his character sheet and hey-presto his spells are added or removed as appropriate. :)


Last edited by Jagged on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
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Location: Bristol, UK
 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:40 pm 
Third session last night and the first full house resulted in a slaughter for the local Kobold population.

On the morning of the party's second day in Winterhaven, they are all invited to see Lord Padraig. The Lord of Winterhaven is concerned about the ever increasing Kobold activity and offers the party a generous 30gp each to rid him of these vermin. The adventurers accept, if only on the assumption that they will end up fighting them anyway, so might as well get paid doing it. They ask the Lord if he knows of Douven or the ruined keep. He doesn't, so they head on their way. But not before Captain Kelfem gives them directions to the probable location of the Kobold lair.

Happy Angel visits Bairwin's Grand Shoppe to pick up extra provisions. Bairwin sells her 10 days trial rations for the discount price of 4gp and suggests that once the party have completed their business they should return. He is sure he can put some profitable venture their way.

The party debate whether to head for the Dragon's burial site or the Kobold lair. They chose the lair and head off. Not long on the road they spy two Kobolds a short distance ahead. They move off in pursuit only to be ambushed. Despite facing a tougher grade of enemy than before the adventurers make short work of the Kobolds. Every member of the party has their individual successes. Alykacha dices the first wave of the attack. Moonscale hits almost all of the enemy in a single flaming assault. Pontuus controls the combat with his Longspear. With careful manuvering Happy Angel also damaged almost all the enemy and Haagan crossed the entire battlefield to restore Alykacha from near unconsciousness to practically full heath, while also destroying the odd Kobold.

The battlefield clear the party gather to question the survivors!


Spend
10 days trail rations 4gp (Happy Angel)

XP
2x25 minions
1x100 skirmisher
4x125 ds
1x150 wp
-----
800xp total or 160xp each


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Usability Comments:
Generally speaking my group has been very impressed by Rumble's Framework, but there have been one or two teething problems. I am pretty sure that they are all down to the way my group uses the character sheets. Because I am more used how Maptool works, I naturally click a token as the first thing I do. My players don't! Because the character sheet remains visible for a player, even if their token is not selected, they have a tendency to click actions while no token is selected. I think this results in some macros failing, or not displaying a result. I shall badger them about always selecting a token first and see if it prevents these occasional issues.


Last edited by Jagged on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Dragon
 
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:10 pm
Posts: 414
 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:02 pm 
Sounds like a fun game. I am just wondering about the additions you wrote to the framework. Are those available for download somewhere?


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Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:18 am 
nolgroth wrote:
Sounds like a fun game.

It is. And I largely attributable that to Rumble's great framework. Thanks again Rumble ;)
nolgroth wrote:
I am just wondering about the additions you wrote to the framework. Are those available for download somewhere?

I've been putting any changes I've made in the thread for Rumble's Slim framework. Although I won't make the page of D&D basics available since that would break the rules I believe. The "Consult Spell Book" isn't ready for the public, but if that happens I will make it available.


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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:16 am 
We ran session 4 on Monday night. I have made some more changes to Rumble's Slim Framework. We are using D&D Essentials so humans have the Heroic Effort power that grants them a once per encounter ability to add +4 to die rolls they would otherwise fail. To facilitate this I've modified the basic Execute Power function to display the text "An Heroic Effort would turn this into X type damage" if someone misses by 4 or less. Unfortunately the code isn't working perfectly yet, in that it is running for everyone, whereas it should only run for players with "Heroic Effort" as an Encounter Power. If I get the code right I shall make it available in the framework thread. UPDATE: This code is now posted in Rumble's Slim Framework thread.

Kobold Lair
After the Kobold ambush is defeated, the adventurers interrogate an unfortunate survivor. Moonscale grabs the badly beaten kobold by the scruff of the neck and asks it questions in Draconic. The mysterious and arcane nature (Spook spell) of the Dragonborn mage leaves the kobold utterly cowed and it answers every question to the best of its ability. Still the kobold's grasp of numbers isn't great so all they really learn is that they are heading in the correct direction for the Kobold Lair and that they will find "lots" of kobolds led by the mighty Irontooth. The Drow Hexblade Happy Angel lets the Kobold go with a stern telling off. Why this particular Drow left the Underdark becomes clearer all the time.

From the dead kobolds the party scavenge 5gp, 23sp and an obsidian necklace. Stormpriest Haagan informs them it carries the markings of Lord Orcus, a demon lord of the undead. Which makes Moonscale less sure he wants to wear it.

Further down the road and nestled in a small clearing by a waterfall and river, the party discover the Kobold lair. Some 13 kobolds mill about under the trees. Moonscale identifies a magic circle, suggesting it probably provides some kind of combat bonus to the kobold Dragonshield currently standing there. Pontuus charges towards the largest group, making the first kill of the fight and instantly becomes the main target for kobold anger for the rest of the encounter. The gods of Luck do not favour the adventurers, maybe the magic circle is more powerful that Moonscale suspects, but they still triumph in the end.

As all the kobolds lie dead round their feet, Moonscale goes to further investigate the magic circle, Haagan goes to investigate the Waterfall and the rest search the bodies (finding 4gp and 17sp). As the Stormpriest nears the waterfall, a series of chants and the sound of spears clashing on shields rise up in the air. With some dread the party realise the fight isn't over and the true extent of the Kobold Lair is revealed.



XP
Minions: 10x25=250
Dragonshield: 125
Slink: 100
Slinger: 100
Total=475


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Last edited by Jagged on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Dragon
 
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:10 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:17 pm 
Wait a sec! You are using default MapTool drawing tools to make those maps, aren't you? That's pretty darn awesome.


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Dragon
 
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:27 am
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Location: Bristol, UK
 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:50 am 
nolgroth wrote:
Wait a sec! You are using default MapTool drawing tools to make those maps, aren't you? That's pretty darn awesome.


I am, and thank you for the compliment.

My primary objective with this campaign has been to minimise my setup time. My free time at the moment is somewhat squeezed, so trying to get some role playing in is quite difficult. Which is ultimately why I am playing D&D Essentials instead of Hero System. With a downloaded campaign from WotC I find I can build the maps very quickly (even the dungeon levels), import the monsters into Rumble's Framework with little more than a copy and paste, and all the other resources I may need are no more than a Google away. Job done! :)

EDIT: The other reason I've done the maps this way is to keep things light. There are some very nice maps available for free download for this campaign, but they are often quite large. Since we are playing entirely remotely and the quality of peoples internet connection has significant variation, I am testing that everything loads quickly and everything can be run on 256M. So "light" maps are very important.


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Dragon
 
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:10 pm
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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:06 am 
Essentials is pretty great for the quick play aspect. I still need to get the second players handbook. The one with the Hexblade (or whatever it is called). If you keep posting. I'll keep reading. :)


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Dragon
 
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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:25 am 
nolgroth wrote:
Essentials is pretty great for the quick play aspect.


Absolutely! The "Encounter" nature of Essentials makes it ideally suited to Maptool.

The trouble with Super Heroes (as I am sure you know) is that players always want to fly/leap/tunnel off to somewhere you haven't prepared. So far *fingers crossed* that hasn't happened in this campaign. Give it time though ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:33 pm 
Session 5. No new maps this time, just finishing off the second half of the Kobold Lair. The Gods of Chance did a good job of making sure there were a few close calls but the heroes still won in the end. I pretend I plan it that way :)

Irontooth
As the heroes turned to face the waterfall, the kobolds burst from their lair and attack. The first wave of minions do not fare well and are mown down as they exit their cave. It is only due to sheer numbers that two manage to get into melee range of the Mage Moonscale and the Stormpriest Haagan. Pontuus spots the goblin Irontooth lurking at the back and makes a charging beeline towards him, after Happy Angel helps clear the path. Irontooth draws his twin battleaxes and moves to engage the adventurers. However the Drow Rouge Alykacha who is the first to engage Irontooth and the Denwardens in melee. The kobold Wyrmpriest incants a religious litany as the Drow engages. Alykacha dances round the warriors, shooting arrows and slicing with her sword, but Irontooth seems unperturbed.

Iroontooth takes the fight to Alykacha and she is forced to retreat using her Cloud of Darkness ability to safely disengage. The time it takes Irontooth and the Denwarden to escape the cloud gives vital moments for the rest of the party to get into position. Moonscale uses his lightning powers to finish off the remaining minions, which allows Haagan to perform his now signature move of "storming" across the battlefield to heal a comrade and hammer a foe.

Pontuus and Irontooth trade blows, Longspear versus twin Battleaxe. Battleaxe proves to be the winner and Pontuus is severely hurt. With his life hanging by a thread Pontuus knows he cannot survive another hit and puts his all into a final flurry of attacks. Irontooth takes the damage, staggers but doesn't fall! Surely the goblin must be close to death now? The question is answered as Alykacha darts in and runs him through with her sword. Irontooth falls to the ground, still.

The party mop up the remaining kobolds and investigate the caves. All the while wondering what circumstance lead a goblin warrior to be leading this strange band of kobolds? They loot 12 gp and 48 sp off the bodies and from Irontooth they find a silver key that opens a treasure chest at the back of the cave. Within the chest the find a magical suit of dwarven chainmail and 420 gp. Riches! Irontooth is also carrying a message from the mysterious priest Kalarel, which reveals the ominous news that there is a spy in Winterhaven and that Kalarel plans to open a gateway to the realm of the undead!

XP
Minions 10x25=250
Wyrmpriest=150
Denwardens 2x125=250
Irontooth=300
Total= 950


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Last edited by Jagged on Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:09 am 
Session 5 and a half
Scouting Party
Before leaving the Kobold Lair, an Unhappy Angel moves through the caves trying to estimate how many creatures used it as a home. Still uncertain, she walks the boundary of the camp looking for clues. To the north of the waterfall she discovers a recently trampled path heading towards the Kings Road. The adventurers gather and examine the trail. None of them are skilled scouts, so they cannot work out how many kobolds passed through, but one thing becomes worryingly clear: a number of bare footed humans are being dragged along as well. Some of them children.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:28 pm 
Do you have the PCs written up somewhere? I would love to see the back stories.


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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:08 am 
My role playing group are a little unusually in that we have become use to the GM creating all the characters. Sometimes completely from scratch, sometimes from a short background write up. For this campaign, most of the characters where created by my friend Sean (who is usually our GM) and from no more than "I'd like to play a Barbarian. If you are playing that class, then I will play this class." The only direction I, as GM, have given is that the two Drow start off a little suspicious of each other. Although I have tweaked characters a little once I've seen how the players run them.

If things progress as normal for our games, then a few more sessions down the line and they will all start acquiring complex and convoluted back stories. However, they have all started off as pretty much blank sheets.


Moonscale - Dragonborn Mage
The player changed the Dragonbreath to Acid and I changed the "Suggestion" spell to "Spook" and the Sniper feat to Staff Expertise.

Alykacha - Drow Rogue
A surprisingly lethal character.

Haagan - Human Stormpriest

Happy Angel - Drow Hexblade

Pontuus - Human Slayer
This is the one character created by the player and is a spear and javelin using barbarian. Which is why I don't have the character in any form other than a email of stats.


Last edited by Jagged on Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Keep On the Shadowfell - Rumble's Slim Framework
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:36 pm 
Are these sheets from some sort of character creator? They look pretty slick.


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