Monday, July 6, 2009

The Caves of Chaos (Session 1, Part 2)

(continued from last post>>>)

Frank the man-at-arms* (*definition in module!) insists on stopping by the Keep's chapel in the morning before setting out. "Oh, is he really religious or something?"  Frank explains he wasn't much of a praying man before, but he is now!  M laughs and agrees to accompany the merc for a blessing from the curate.

(this scene was to introduce the whole idea of the curate and clerics/temples to my wife)

I describe the curate in detail and he gives them the once-over before nodding approval and granting his blessing (M wants to know "do you just make all this up?" I explain that the curate is in the module, but I make up his description and actions based on the text. Ok).

The curate is nice enough to "loan" Olaf a backpack for carrying food...and provides him with rations (since M didn't bother to buy either). M is both grateful and a bit chagrined...she may not have prepared herself as well as she could have!  They set out for the caves.

I skip the wilderness section and say they reach the caves by late afternoon the 2nd day out. After some discussion, M decides she would rather start exploring one of the caves then camp out in the valley and risk nocturnal denizens creeping out of the caves and attacking in the night.  They decide to start with the cave where Frank's party was ambushed by goblins...the ropes from the party are still hanging down.  

I give M a piece of graph paper to map, and she is enthusiastic (so much for not wanting to write anything). She also takes time to specify the party's marching order (I completely forgot about this! HAS been a long time since I've done this!).  She wants Olaf to take point as he can best scout with his "heat vision," followed by Frank and "Burly" then Sr. Becca and "the crazy guy" (Caleb) last.

They don't find any remains of Frank's party.  They explore a corridor and come to a dead end. As they backtrack they are encounter a group of goblins!  The goblins start yelling ("Bree-Yark!") and attack!  The party's marching order is reversed!  Somehow Caleb, Burle, and Frank end up on the front the cross roads there's enough room that each is engaged by a pair of goblins.  The goblins can't touch Caleb and Burle, but Frank is struck by two in the first round of combat doing enough damage to kill him twice over.

At this point, I can't help but f'ing guffaw out loud. Literally, I can't help myself.  I know my wife, and I know how she gets, and I realized that Frank's death is going to be a real blow to her...she cannot help but have some emotional attachment to the one character she's had a lot of interaction with.  Even though he's a level 0 man-at-arms, designed to be a guide/cannon fodder I know she's going to take his death hard.  

But of course he dies!  In the first round of the first combat!  He's only wearing leather and shield for God's sakes! He has 5 hit points!  And dammit he totally served his purpose. But M is still crestfallen, and I can't help laughing, and she thinks I'm mean, and I have to tell her no-no, I understand that his death is upsetting, but he was just an EXTRA...just color, you know?  And she DOES get it.  Plus I give her a chance to put an arrow through his killers (now that Frank has fallen and is no longer in her line-o-fire), and she puts an arrow through the eye of one of the goblins.

Now my wife begins the most amazing string of rolls...three straight hits, 2 20s and a 19 (+1 for her Dex = 20), and I roll max damage each time (DM rolls all damage). The second time this happens she asks, "can I hit two with one arrow?" I agree (she should get SOMEthing for these amazing rolls) and she does it again with the following arrow.

Anyway, the goblins break after her first couple shots, and they cut them down from behind...but goblins in a guard room further to the east are responding to the alarm call and they gear up to fight again.  This time the party forms better ranks with Burle drawing his crossbow (the halfling then proceeds to miss with every shot). These goblins again break, though not before reducing Caleb the fighter to 1 hit point. Olaf and Becca chase them down from behind with the elf doing all the knife work (the cleric kept missing with her hammer...apparently Thor doesn't like his followers stabbing foes in the back a la Loki).  They chase the last goblin up a flight of stairs to heavy oak door, the goblin starts pounding on it yelling "Invaders!" to which a voice replies "Deal with it!" (failed reaction roll) before Olaf cuts its throat. M decides they don't want to kick in the door, but rather drag the goblin bodies back to the guard room for a thorough ransacking.

They get some silver, some copper, and a barrel full of spears, as well as some foodstuffs, and they decide to head back to the Keep, taking Frank's body with them. 

Skipping back to the Keep, Olaf returns the Curate's backpack and arranges for Frank's memorial and burial. She sells the spears to the Trader and makes a killing: 90 gold pieces! Which she splits with her companions.  M says, "wow, that would have been a good deal for Frank at 5%!" I express it's a pretty good deal for her since Frank's death means 0%.  M frowns, but then chuckles.  She asks if Frank's sword is "a good one" and can she use it? Yes, to both. She decides to retain both Frank's sword and shield...a pretty successful haul for a quick excursion.

And that's where we left off.  M had a good time, and seems pretty interested in going back to the Caves. Asked if she liked the game better than before she said, "yes, it's different."  M says the hardest part about these games is she's afraid her character will DIE, much as did poor Frank.  I point out that while dying is a real possibility in the game, she didn't take a single scratch. I also explained the best way to prevent getting killed is to wear good armor (as evidenced by "Burly" the hobbit in his plate mail).  She sees the wisdom in this, and will probably buy some better protection...right after she purchases more arrows.

: )


  1. Sounds like great fun!
    Glad to see the DM roll the damage. I might try it with my group but I expect resistance.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. I'm very much one of those folks you mentioned who enjoys reading other peoples game reports, especially when they involve getting to play with people close to them!

    Best of luck with session two and keep on posting!

  3. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks, and I'm enjoying the session reports. Keep up the great work!

  4. Thanks I said I enjoy session reports as well. If I'm lucky, I may have another later this week!