Thursday, October 10, 2019

Outcasts – Session 01 – Part 1: A Hard Start

[Three adventurers looking to make some money investigate reports about the Watch Tower Ruins.]

[This game uses a modified version of the first ever roleplaying game.  These rules will be released as the Adventures in the Green RPG in the (far) future.  Game sessions happen once a month.  This is the first part of the session that happened September 28, 2019.]

Player Characters:
Bigz Bigguns of the Big’uns Clan – female goblin Adept
Tiny – male minotaur Veteran
Smols Wedge – male “gnome” Medium

Added Later:
Porkins – male human Medium

Hernesday, Quintilis 25th, 523rd year of the Aegean Kingdom
A motley group of near outcasts in the town of Smolberg comprised of a goblin, a young minotaur, and a “gnome” [really a short and filthy human] overheard rumors of things seen at the abandoned watch tower ruins across the Jeetzel River and a little way upstream.  With no other plans and hoping to make some coin, the outcasts decided to investigate the rumors.

They rode a cheap ferry across the river to Waldrand landing and took the River Road south.  Smols had a harness that he called a minotaur saddle that he used to ride Tiny.  The harness was similar to a backpack, but without the container part and adding a low bar that Smols could stand on.  Some clamps and a strap around his chest anchored Smols and freed up his hands for casting spells.  [Google “standing toddler backpack” and you’ll see one.  Really.]

After casually walking for an hour the group arrived at the foot of the hill the Watch Tower sat on.  The hill was a little steep, so Bigz pulled out a cob-goblin-made iron spike and used the serrated edge on it to cut off a tree branch to use as a walking stick.

[Note: “Cob-goblin” is a shortening of “cobbler goblin”, one of the nicknames given to goblin that live in close proximity to human settlements.  They collect human junk and broken things and cobble together “fixed” versions for cheap resale.  They also collect wood scraps to soak and create wood pulp for paper making.  Due to a quirk of their psychology, everything they cobble together has a saw-tooth edge on it somewhere “in case you need to cut some wood.”  This includes iron spikes, books, helmets, and even clothes.  Hey, you never know when you’ll need to cut some wood.  Cob-goblins tend to dress in the styles of the humans they live near.]

The group hiked up the front of the hill.  About halfway up they noticed a low wall in front of the watch tower and investigated.  The wall outlined a corner in a paved but overgrown walkway.  Ahead of them were stairs down the side of the hill.  To their left the overgrown paved walkway led to a flight of stairs to a portico area in front of the entrance to the watch tower.  They could just make out the large doorway and noted one of the two doors was missing completely.

The group followed the path to the Watch Tower and climbed the stairs to the portico area.  Not seeing or hearing anything unusual, they stepped into the dim entry hall.  It was 20 feet wide by 30 feet deep with a side passage on each side wall at the far end of the room.  Tiny pushed open the remaining door to let in some additional light before wandering in, Bigz following along behind the minotaur and his “gnome” rider.

The left-hand passage opened to a room while the right-hand passage contained a single, closed door.  Tiny walked up to the door and started knocking.  Bigz and Smols both turned to observe the other passage while Tiny knocked, so they saw six “feral” goblin guards walk forward from somewhere off to their right, deeper in the room.

[Note: “Feral” in this case indicates goblins that do not live in close proximity to humans and follow “traditional” goblin ways.  They feel that cob-goblins has forgotten what it means to be “true goblins.”  Cob-goblins hate this and refer to feral goblins as “gnawers,” claiming they use their teeth to fix everything by chewing on it.  Both sides feel they are true goblins and the other side are fools.  I think you can see which way the ensuing encounter is likely to go.]

After Bigz and some of the “gnawers” exchanged near-ceremonial insults, both sides prepared to fight.  The goblins each had two spears and the six visible goblins were ready to throw theirs.  Fortunately for the adventuring outcasts, Smols got his Sleep spell off first, dropping all six goblins he could see.  Tiny stepped forward and killed a sleeping goblin with his axe.  Bigz used her sling to kill another sleeping goblin.  Some additional goblin guards stepped forward from around the corner.  One threw a spear at Tiny and missed entirely.  [Cue "sad trombone" sound.]

The adventurers concentrated on killing the sleeping goblins first, before they woke up and joined the fight.  They were mostly successful at this, killing five of the six before the last one woke up from the combat noise.  As a result, Tiny took damage from the awake goblins.  Tiny stomped on one of the goblins, pinning it to the floor and held it there for the rest of the battle.  This affected his accuracy for the rest of the fight [not as part of a game mechanic but dramatically, he started rolling really poorly after this point].  Smols flung his dagger at one of the goblins attacking Tiny and missed widely.  A “gnawer” attacked and dropped Smols to zero hit points in response.

While Tiny held the surviving goblins at bay, Bigz cast Cure Light Wounds on Smols and revived him.  [See my notes below in Behind the Greens about this.]  The morale of the feral goblins started to wane at this point and individual goblins started fleeing the fight.  Bigz killed one trying to escape out the front of the tower.  Smols flung his dagger at one of the goblins fleeing deeper into the tower and hit Tiny instead.  The remaining feral goblin attacked Tiny, trying to finally kill the minotaur, and was only stopped by the minotaur’s shield.  Tiny killed the goblin in return [finally rolling a hit].

With all the feral goblins dead, Smols tied up the one Tiny was standing on.  They took their captive and exited the tower, retreating down the stairs and into the forest just north of the watch tower hill.  There they questioned the feral goblin but the only thing they learned of use was that the feral goblins had moved into the tower about two months ago with “lots” of goblins.  The timing mostly matched up with when the rumors of "things moving around the tower" started.

After discussing their options, the adventurers decided to haul the feral goblin back to town to see if they could get a reward for the goblin and the information as to what was in the tower.

End of Part 1

Behind the Greens
[So while we are using the 3 LBB version of D&D, I’m using this campaign as a testbed for writing my own version of those rules.  My goal is to use the rules as written, no matter what strange things that leads to.  I’m using select rules from Supplement 1, including the Thief class, and a few choice rules from other versions of D&D.  This includes the Mortality Table from Adventurer, Conqueror, King System.  Therefore, when Smols went down to zero hit points, that was not the immediate end of him.  Immediately after the fight we calculated the modifiers and rolled on the table.  He had a lot of positive modifiers to the roll and rolled high, so he saw visions of lost companions while down but immediately rebounded.  This mechanism makes beginning characters a little less fragile without inflating hit points and with some uncertainty – as will be apparent in part two.]

[This campaign only plays once a month, but we play 8-10 hours with a dinner break, so most session reports will be spread across two parts.  I want to avoid a full-on Wall-o-Text each blog entry.  Part 2 of Session 1 will cover the events after our dinner break and the further perilous adventures of the Outcasts.]


Session 01, Part 2 [Not Written Yet]

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