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Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:03 am
Posts: 57
Location: GMT+0
 Post subject: The Weeping Cave and the Angry River! [D&D 4e, maptools
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:49 am 
Well, i finally got motivated enough to drag together a bunch of people for an online D&D game

Things did go pretty slowly due to a number of reasons:
six player party
limited experience with 4ed
limited/no experience with MapTool
party was drawn from two sources, a social/MMORPG guild (four people) and two interested people from the MapTool forums


Still with each session we are understanding more of the system and refining the MapTool Campaign to fit our needs.

"The Weeping Cave and the Angry River"

initial party
Code:
playername   charname  race/class(deity)/stat focus
Falwyn_PW    Rhogar,   dragonborn paladin (the raven queen), str/cha
Smalle_PW    Trogdar,  dragonborn warlord, str/cha
moulie_PW    moulie,   elf ranger, dex
Sorok_MT     Sorok,    elf cleric (melora), wis/cha
Amoun_MT     Vorgoth,  human wizard, int
Ravvy_PW     William,  human cleric (pelor), wis


replacement party
(none yet)

We have been running for 4 weeks now, playing each tuesday night. Discussion/organisation thread here.

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Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:03 am
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:54 am 
1st session:
In the past, i have always found it difficult to run the party-formation scene in a non-cheesy way... so i just skipped it.

The party is simply a group of adventurers trying to make their place in the world. They have trailed a halfling into a forest, as a bounty has been posted for him. However the party has now lost his trail (I intedned this to be a throw-away line to get the PCs here, but the party leapt on itlike it was the most important thing ever).
While the party looks for a new trail, they hear sounds of combat in the distance! The adventurers leap to investigate and discover 7 goblins and a (barely) trained hyena attacking a covered wagon crewed by two humans

so with an encouraging shout (if that human guard dies, can i have his chainmail?) battle was joined.

The goblins took offence at this interruption (although goblins tend to take offence at everything) and split their attacks between the party and the wagon crew.

highlights:
1st attack roll when to a goblin warrior who put a javelin in William for 14 damage, making him bloodied right off the bat. The second goblin warrior missed him however, so i didn't drop him in the first round
moulie used his daily to plant two arrows in the goblin-with-battleaxe, killing him and stapling him to the adjacent wagon
goblins remained mobile, and seemed goblin-like

With the attackers dead, the party questioned the wagon crew, who where thankful for the protection. When asked about their cargo, they proudly announced that it was ordinary water!

The nearby river Tanis (i'm crap with names, at least it is easily pronouncable) used to be a clear and useful river, however for the past two days it has taken a slight green tinge and those who drink the water have been effected with stomach pains and bouts of anger!

The wagon crew asks the party to walk with them to the nearby village of Tanisford, and they do. It's an uneventful trip and the party is cautiously welcomed.

Ryan shields, the town mayor/leader greets the party, thanks them for helping out the wagon crew and explains the situation in depth. He asks the party to deal with the remainder of the goblin raiders and to stop the poisoning of the river. The party agrees and completely ignores the town's smith, who i had a whole page worth of notes for!


Mapping: drawn using maptool textures and tiles from the D&D dungeon tiles (the free dungeon mapper software, i think). The village is not mapped out, just a LoS bounded space with some info items and NPC tokens in.
Macros: minimal, we typed out our rolls by hand and we liked it! I updated the char sheets (which involved pushing 4e info into 3.5e properties) myself.

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Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:03 am
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:56 am 
2nd session:
1 player absent, so William Cascade remains behind to look after the afflicted at the village.

The party agrees to look into the river poisoning (and the goblin camp later) and sets off (along with a scout from the village to show them the way)

During the travel, the party hears a distant noise, like hard wood 'clack'ing together. As they investigate, the noise is discovered to be a pair of giant boars locking tusks. These ornery creatures are even more angry than normal (as they have been drinking from the river) and they launch into an attack!

Unbeknown-est to the players, one of these boars was an off-the-shelf Dire Boar (lvl 6 brute), the other was a converted Dire Boar (dropped to lvl 2, made elite, added a counterattack power). The party choose to alphastrike the interesting elite boar to death in short order (didn't get to use it's AP due to a combination of range/charging/dazing, didn't get to use it's counterattack power due to range and dazing), then they got into a drag-out fight with the boring normal dire boar :(

Key point of the fight was Rhogar getting beaten down hard (3HP left, prone) but managing to daze the boar. Considering range/daze it's only actions where to move (what, no attacking?) or to charge Rhogar, provoking an OA. The addled boar did indeed charge, got damaged by the OA and attacked Rhogar. Considering the bonuses boars get for charging and prone foes, we where looking at hitting on a 6+ and dealing 1d10+12 damage... and i got a 5 :evil:

After the party has put down the last boar and rested, they pressed on to the Weeping Cave. The Weeping Cave was so named, as the two entrances look like mournful eyes, and water slowly flows from them (the visual inspiration for this was a ghost mask from Scream™. I drew this on paper at the planning stage which was okay, but couldn't get one even remotely usable when drawing on the PC. Thus no handout image).

The scout is scared of the place, so remains outside to watch for intruders (because i'm not fond on running allied NPCs without good reason).

The party enters the cave, i fiddle with light sources and information icons. Not totally sure how to advance the party down the corridor, so i let them do it themselves, until they fall into a pit trap and the undead attack!

Lots of clutter, miscommunication and time lost here. Need to clarify how to do this part better. Just when i'm ready to start the fight i realise that the pit trap needs to make an attack roll vs the party warlord, luckily this succeeds, meaning i don't have to move all the PCs again.

Battle is joined between the PCs, two skeletons, a corruption corpse (which I describe as a skeleton covered in evil crude oil, and the players describe as being covered in poo :mad:) and two gravehounds. I realise just before the gravehounds attack that this encounter planned for 6, but there are only 5 PCs currently, so one gravehound vanishes in a puff of game-balance.

The presence of the pit slows down the PCs (as it was supposed to) but maybe too much. The players can either jump down then climb up, jump over the pit or squeeze through a nearby gap. Rhogar attempts to jump the pit, despite wearing plate and not having trained athletics :lol:, failing predictably. Only one PC chooses squeezing, which surprises me.

The fight goes on, taking it's time and taking it's toll on the PCs. When we decide to end the session, Rhogar is flanked, weakened, prone, taking 5 ongoing damage and has only 3 HP left!


Mapping: outdoor maps where as session 1. The indoor maps where originally drawn the same, but they really didn't work well. Then i discovered the Skeleton Key random map generator! using a random map and some extra tiles, the dungeon was re-created and much, much improved.
Macros: 4e properties template setup and there was much rejoicing! Standard attack/damage/crit macros where setup and explained. damage/healing still done by hand.

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Cave Troll
 
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:03 am
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:51 am 
3rd session:
short session, due to 3 absences (illness, internet problem and falling off the face of the earth) and discussion on what to do with half a party. While MapTool can be saved at any point to be picked up later, the players have a bit of an issue with resuming play. It passes though. I NPCed for the two absent players.
When we left out, err, protagonists, they where in a pitched battle in the Weeping Cave, vs a group of undead. Rhogar the paladin was in horrible shape: prone, weakened, ongoing 5 damage and on 3HP... On his turn he takes the ongoing damage and drops, all he can do this turn is make saving throws, so i ask for death, weakened and ongoing damage in order: 20, 16, 14! :D He's awake, healed and free of those unpleasant effects!

by the next round, the gravehound has been struck down and the black-oil-skeleton (not poo-skeleton) has been pressed into a corner. By the end of the next round, the last skeleton is destroyed (yay) which then explodes (noo).

The room is cautiously searched, but nothing is found, apart from a set of heavy stone doors.

Here i attempt to run an ad-hoc skill challenge: open the door without attracting attention! (which doesn't really work)

I assign the main skills as Athletics and Endurance, and Dungeoneering providing a bonus. Hard challenge but simple task (3 successes).

Unfortunately this was resolved by the Dragonborn Paladin and Warlord just rolling a few times while the rest of the party stood and watched. Not very inspiring :( Well, it's something i can work on later.

The players crept forward into the new room, noticing a distant light and three feeble-looking skeletons (which had been place here before i remodeled the room, so now they where in a silly place) and then we ended the session.


mapping: Info items converted from NPCs to objects, making them provide information again.
macros: standard PC damage/healing/healing-surge macros added. Standard NPC damage/healing macros are added. new set of state icons are added. Took a little setting up, but a great step forward. I finally finish the list of all encounter/daily resources for each char.

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Cave Troll
 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:47 am 
4th session:

Again, only 3 players for this session :( I continued as per last session and NPCed Vorgoth(wizard) and Sorok(cleric). The three skeletons where within short range of two dragonborn and a wizard at the start of combat, so unsuprisingly they didn't get to take any actions whatsoever :(

I stayed on combat timing after the skeletons where destroyed and the players could see some light illuminating part of an adjacent room. They crept forward into the 6" deep greenish water and advanced until they came face to face with a hobgoblin warcaster; she cursed at them in goblintounge and called forth something from the water underfoot.

The players seemed nicely frightened by the sudden appearance of this tainted-water-elemental :) and the fight was on again. The fight was messy and the warlord broke off from the group to try and take down the warcaster alone... which didn't go too well. The elemental skirmished well, being a skirmisher, but the party was able to disrupt it in the end. (The elemental was half based on the monster design rules in the DMG and half on a very scaled down fire/air elemental from the MM. It was elite and there was supposed to be two of them, considering this was supposed to be a boss-fight and more difficult, however considering how badly they did against the first one... i neglected to summon the second :( I don't want to be a killer GM, but i do need to stop holding back so much.)

This encounter also granted the party a first... some treasure! A jade charm in the shape of a cresting wave, on a necklace strap. This was identified as a "Acid-Friend Amulet" (a modified 'Amulet of health' but with acid resistance, not poison). Other treasure included some gold, some arcane ritual supplies and some high quality jars of an unidentified clear liquid/gel. So at this point the remaining PCs spent almost an hour testing and comparing this liquid with everything they could <sigh>.

Eventually the party headed back to the village, triumphant! They talk to Ryan who promises their reward tomorrow, if the river clears (as they didn't have any evidence and didn't press the point). The party has a brief discussion of things and the two dragonborn decided that getting a one-handed weapon and shield would be useful, so they head over to the smithy.

At the smithy, they met Mathras, an NPC i had written up with probably more depth and detail than any other NPC, I was assuming that the PCs would visit him earlier so he could offer them a side-quest, so i guess the PCs where unprepared for the in-character conversation with him (like i was unprepared for the extensive testing of the stuff-in-jars). In the end, they gave Mathras the stuff-in-jars (which turn out to be magically-activated acid) in return for two shields, a warhammer and a battleaxe. The Weapons had been treated with the river water as they where made and where now etched using the stuff-in-jars, covering them with dwarven runes (which told the story of what happened at the weeping cave) and turned them into +1 Vicious weapons (there was much rejoicing and we ended the session there)

Mapping: no new maps
Macros: no new macros

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Codeum Arcanum (RPTools Founder)
 
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:16 pm
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Location: Austin, Tx
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:12 am 
red_tanker wrote:
Mapping: no new maps
Macros: no new macros


No news is good news !

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Cave Troll
 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:39 am 
5th session:
This session followed a three week break due to scheduling issues. As I had heard nothing from the missing players, their characters officially became NPCs. also, the Warlord's player had left the country for a new job and was un-interneted.

The session began with the characters waking in the village, the mood in the village is much improved as the river is almost clean and no longer turning people insane! Ryan meets the PCs, thanks them and pays them their reward over breakfast. After the money is shared out, Vorgoth(wizard) and Sorok(cleric) decide to set off on their own to a larger town. Vorgoth also takes the arcane supplies from the warcaster. Trogdar (warlord) remains with the party but is NPCed.

As the (now diminished) party is enjoying a post-breakfast beer, they are approached by a gregarious halfling who is traveling with a hulking dragonborn. The halfing introduces himself as Perrin Orchardborn (Well, I think he does, my notes are elsewhere). Perrin congratulates the party on their heroism, victory and good deeds, then confides in them about their own quest.

Perrin explains that he is part of a group of adventurers who seek out supernatural threats to the land and fight them! They have reason to believe that there is a hidden location near the town that conceals a constrained but ancient evil. Perrin and Balasar (the dragonborn) know of a ritual that can re-bind the evil, but this ritual takes some time and leaves them vulnerable, to make matter worse, Perring thinks he is being followed!

Perrin offers the party a deal, If they guard the ritual site and there is no trouble, Perrin will pay them a small fee (I think it was 25gp each) but if they are being followed and their is fighting, Perrin will pay a larger fee (not sure how much). In either case, the party will have the satisfaction of doing a good deed as well. The party accepts and Trogdar goes to buy supplies (I prefer having NPCs deal with stuff like this, as it's generally boring, also he has the best CHA/diplo for haggling).

Moulie (ranger) also shakes things up a bit by going to buy oil flasks and ground pepper (so I had to decide on rules for grenade-like weapons and pepper-bombs. Thank you DMG pg 42!)

The party travels to a nearby set of standing stones called "the four kings" so called because there are four tall stones with smaller circular stones set on top, like crowns. The party scouted around the stones and Perrin revealed a small tunnel (medium creatures have to crawl along) that lead under the stones. Perrin and Balasar head off and the party watches and waits. Moulie uses some of his oil to prepare a simple trap in the tunnel.

After an hour or so, a brutish human and 4 minions step out of the undergrowth. I had originally planned a bit of conversation here, followed by fighting, but it was already getting late, so I skipped straight to the fighting! The human berserker and his minions charged in, but the presence of the stone circle limited their access. Meanwhile a elven archer and halfing rogue (in stealth) attacked from other angles. The berserker was effectively hit at range by a number of effects and was bloodied before he could hit melee, so he didn't get to use his free hit :(

The halfling rogue dealt effective and unexpected damage from behind to moulie, and attempted to dodge behind some cover to re-hide, however this didn't work and he was struck down by Moulie and Rhogar (leaving the NPCed warlord to fight the berserker alone for half the fight.

The elven archer dealt damage from a distance but was ultimately hunting down, dropping a healing potion in the process.

After combat, the party rested up and looted the bodies. They found some coins, some silver pendants (1 each, matches the tabards), some tabards (blue with a falling star in silver or white, 3 in total) and a healing potion. It's not decided who ends up with the potion, putting it a state of quantum flux (something to avoid next time).

The party waited for the four hours Perrin had asked them to wait... then an hour more, but nothing happens. Eventually they decide to enter the tomb and see what has happened.

Underground, the players activate a couple of lights and explore. The small tunnel opens up until it's two-people wide and it leads to a large, square, underground chamber with paved stone floors and magical effect muting all sounds. As a slip-up, i failed to put some LOS items in, so the players can see what's in the middle of the room.


Rhogar: so, that big pile of bones in the middle of the room... is that standing in for something else?
GM: nope. Wait, you can see that?
players: o.O



mapping: inside the tomb was built with elements of the Skeletonkey tiles. looks awesome.
macros: no new macros (although a typo produced a 1d101 warhammer...)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:27 am 
6th session:

The final session! Still only 2 players(Paladin and Ranger) and an NPC (Warlord). We started a bit late and retconned the parties entrance to the tomb (big pile of bones now hidden and remaining as the player's never climbed up). As the party moved forward, they where apparently quite apprehensive due to the spooky atmosphere and sound-diminishing effect. They saw Perrin kneeling/praying on the upper level, totally motionless. When he didn't respond to (shouted) greetings the party logically choose to throw coins at him... which had no effect.

When the PCs got closer (seeing Balasar on the other side of the room, also praying) the silence effect collapsed and Perrin stood up. Hiding in the shadows he thanked the party for their assistance but was sorry to inform them that they would not be paid, then to called to Balasar and disappeared into the shadows. Balasar stood and and seemed to grow and change (stats as per BlackScale Bruiser, including 2x2 size) he attacks the party! As they fight, Perrin attacks Moulie from behind, strangling him with his new tentacle-like limbs! (stats as per cavern choker)

The new portaits for the NPCs also freaked out the players, which was nice. The fight however, while intended to be a bit hard, didn't got well for the PCs. Rhogar and Trogdar ganged up on Balasar while Moulie got throttled by Perrin. He managed to escape once, but was just re-grabbed on the next attack. As Moulie was throttled into unconsciousness, Rhogar rushed to his aid. Rhogar dealt a decent blow to Perrin which was enough to knock him off Moulie, which i narrated to the players. Unfortunately, before the next action took place, I realised that Perrin's body-shield ability should have kicked in and Rhogar's blow should have in-fact pushed Moulie to minus-bloodied and death!

This left me with a hard decision to make... and i wussed out :'(

The players where seeming to really be invested in their characters and feeling antagonised by the difficulty of the last fights, so, as the action had passed and the outcome narrated, I let it stand :(

This left the warlord trading blows with Balasar, Moulie bleeding out and the Paladin out of healing. The party decided to retreat and called for the Warlord to the last use inspiring word on Moulie (stop dieing, that's an order! - one of the elements of 4ed that i don't like. I can cope with HP-as-morale most of the time, but not while dying).

The next round had Rhogar prone and dying so moulie used all of his pepper-bombs to distract Balasar for long enough to pickup Rhogar and run away. In the smaller corridor, a sequence of horrible first aid checks are made (like four of them to get DC15) and the party managed to crawl away. The small tunnel keep Balasar from following the PCs and the party takes a short rest and watches for their foe. When the changed-dragonborn fails to show himself the party decides to go back to the village and try to raise a militia. As it's getting late and the adventure is tapped out, I narrate what comes next, then the party and allies returning a day later to find no sign of a tunnel at the four kings.


Thus, the adventure ends.


Mapping: no new maps
Macros: no new macros
Issues: I had icons for pre- and post-change Perrin/Balasar, with the same names. This produced some issues with macros and portraits. It was resolved by slightly changing the names of the tokens.


Thank you RPTools™ team, MapTools is a great VTT tool and it made this game possible!

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