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DMMike

Session 4

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In the morning, the party met a watchman who escorted them to the garrison. There they met some chair-ridden aristocrats, one standing, and constanble Witherby, playing with his falcon. The aristocrats offered to let the party turn itself in for armed mayhem, or to meet on the country road for a duel of honor. After lots of debate, the party chose duel of honor.

Asher met a hoarse-voiced watchman, who explained that the dragon cult would be willing to consider allowing the party membership, considering their respectable magical abilities. The watchman said that he would arrange a meeting at midnight at the top of the halfling bluffs in six days (Tuesday). That night, Silas lots some points with Paul, because Paul had to remind him of his duty to perform the Long Prayer.

With great fortitude, Silas endured the sixth night of the Long Prayer. That day he met his friend Venil, who happened to be in town working security for a river shipment, at the inn, and quickly recruited him for security at the duel. The party left to meet the nobles on the highway, one mile from the village. Phaux and Ex got a head start, and met the party when it arrived, shortly after the aristocrats' party did. From the first wagon unloaded two halflings, two soldiers, three nobles, and a priest of Olidammara. After some nervous tension about weapons (there were many), Silas cast a spell on himself, the aristocrats declared an ambush, and the duel became a melee. The aristocrats were cut down in short order, Venil took some bloody hits, and it was a fairly fast fight. A halfling escaped that Ex tracked down and killed, and Venil chased down a soldier into the farmland, wrestling him down and the cutting his gizzard.

After finding jeweled daggers on the nobles, some gold (and some things Asher found), another debate began, hastened by the approach of a wagon from Featherwood. Asher met the travelers and explained that an ambush had taken place, and that the travelers should wait until the scene was cleared. They continued anyway, surveying the strange scene of different priests, a gnome (in nature-garb), dead nobles (bandits?), and a blood-spattered warrior. So they hustled the horses away as fast as possible. Debate ensued, ending with Hubert taking the loaner wagon toward Karlston, some fencing and crops placed over the dead to help them burn, and the rest of the party taking the nobles' wagon to catch up with Hubert.

After nightfall, the bulk of the party met Hubert, camping at a Farlanghghghg altar. They set up a watch schedule, and tried to sleep after hearing some very insistent wolf-howls in the distance.

------------------

XP:
Asher - 275
Hubert - 300
Phaux - 275
Silas - 300
Venil - 275

The differences are pretty much a roleplaying bonus - the clerics seemed to have the most character this time. If I missed something that was XP worthy, please remind me.

In addition to voting for MVP, feel free to add reflections on the session, since my posting is basically a quick outline. Also, it helps to know what the players are planning for next session, so add that (as long as you have something to plan).

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Updated 09-26-2009 at 09:06 PM by DMMike

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  1. DMMike's Avatar
    On Summon Zee:
    The idea behind the spell is that it can be more fun, and offer more roleplaying potential, to summon a unique creature instead of a generic one. The incentive to use the option is that the creature summoned is one level higher than normal. But, from the amount of butt Zee kicks, one should notice that the power should be balanced out. So how it works, is that Zee is a creature that Phaux met and befriended at one point in time. Deciding that a magic ritual was in order, Phaux earned enough trust from Zee to be able to summon him when needed. As such, it is not a Summon Nature's Ally spell, it's a Summon Zee spell. The other downside is that Zee is unique, so when the spell ends, he takes his wounds with him. He can also take small amounts of gear if he's in a good mood. So the gear and the wounds come back at the next summoning, as long as Zee's normal life hasn't changed his status as wounded or gear-bearing.
  2. scottb's Avatar
    I think my session-best roleplaying vote is split between Phaux for sending Ex to mercilessly cut down the filthy urbanites and Venil for tracking down the guard who pushed him and dry-humping him to death with his 'short sword'.

    Character accomplishments:
    - Did one point of damage (to the guy I later saved)
    - healed Venil
    - stabilized three enemies (one of whom lived)
    - saved the priest of Olidammara (RP, woo)

    Out of character, I fully agree that the nameless priest is a risk to the player characters. We're wanted with or without his help, but eye-witness testimony may shift our sentence from a painless death to death-and-hard-labor as a zombie chain-gang, or something equally distasteful.

    If we were only about to level to six, maybe someone could pick up leadership and he could be a cohort. As it stands, I see no good solution aside from killing him, which my character simply wouldn't do. We need a third option.

    If we blow the lid off of the dragon cult and stop these disappearances, perhaps the townsfolk wouldn't stand for our public execution. The deus ex paladin could help sway them, I'm sure. I'm 'thrilled' to pursue our investigation while hunted by the authorities and toting along a hostage priest.

    Probably the best option now is to join the cult. We'd get whatever protection they enjoy from the higher-ups in town (if any). It seems the party gestalt would favor more opportunities for killing and looting. They probably have tombs of secret knowledge that Hubert would like. It's win-win. We can even sacrifice the nameless priest at our initiation: two birds with one stone!

    Otherwise, I have no idea as to what we should do when we blow into town. Thoughts?
    Updated 09-26-2009 at 09:36 PM by scottb (Edited after Mike added experience)
  3. DMMike's Avatar
    On armor and weapon hit points:
    The point of these is to add some realism - weaponsmiths would quickly be out of a job if weapons didn't break. It's also to add appreciation for smiths and the Craft skill. I think the biggest issue we discussed after the game was whether a sword can be touched up, without being reforged. And is a PC capable of doing that touching up without ranks in Craft? Let's take an example.

    A longsword has 5 hit points. According to the PHB, it's a 4 pound hunk of metal. If you think about it, that's a pretty skinny piece, especially since it's spread out over 3 feet. According to my first suggestion, this weapon would last at least 5 fights (given only one fight per day), and an indefinite number more with the 0-hit point breakage chance. Before any mending, I think those are pretty good odds, considering what a sword goes through in a fight.

    The discussion about mending nicks and chinks in weapons during downtime raises the question of how much weapon-healing does the mending provide. I would argue that it's the sort of thing required by default. It seems that a weapon that doesn't get touched up between fights is doomed to break, but one that does get touched up wouldn't last substantially longer than 5-15 battles, or five game days.

    The mending spell, that fixes breaks, should be good enough to heal 1 hit point, since its metal use seems limited. It would also be enough to restore a broken weapon to 0 hit points (chance of breaking each use, yet usable).

    The Craft skill is usable untrained, and I think the justification is that if you fail your check, you end up retrying and spending more money on the effort. It requires appropriate tools to use the skill. Repairing an item is an option for the skill, but short of reforging, this doesn't seem to apply much to melee weapons.

    Another reason for armor damage: armor is high-maintenance. You're constantly sweating in the leather, breaking links, severing belts, and deflecting blows. You would never, ever, want to be near someone wearing unwashed hide armor. Padded is almost as bad. Besides, weapon-armor damage means that while the wizard (cleric?) is sinking funds into scrolls and potions, the tanks have to spend money too.

    It's feasible to create a cleric spell - Reforge, especially since most clerics are pretty warlike, and already know Mending. But let me know what you think, or if you're just completely averse to visiting the weaponsmith every once in a while!
  4. DMMike's Avatar
    Scott:
    XP is at the bottom of the session post. It's a bit lower than last session, mostly due to splitting XP five ways.
    The action point vote is for MVP, so you're pretty free to decide your criteria; just can't vote for yourself.
    Also, give my ulcer a break by sending me your favorite Spell Compendium spells in advance, and I'll let you know if they're good as-written or send you a modification. Remember that all PHB(3.5) spells are acceptable by default.
  5. scottb's Avatar
    [quote=DMMike;bt1423](snip...)

    It's feasible to create a cleric spell - Reforge, especially since most clerics are pretty warlike, and already know Mending. But let me know what you think, or if you're just completely averse to visiting the weaponsmith every once in a while![/quote]

    The spell you are referring to is Make Whole ( [URL]http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/makeWhole.htm[/URL] ). It's a 2nd level Cleric spell, so we should pick it up directly. I think Mending and Make Whole should pretty well circumvent any need we would have for craft skill ranks or visits to a 'smith.
  6. scottb's Avatar
    [quote=DMMike;bt1424]Scott:
    (snip...)
    Also, give my ulcer a break by sending me your favorite Spell Compendium spells in advance, and I'll let you know if they're good as-written or send you a modification. Remember that all PHB(3.5) spells are acceptable by default.[/quote]
    Sure. We were working under an opt-out system whereby if one spell was troublesome we'd remove it (like Ice Gauntlet), but we can switch to an opt-in system where I send you each spell I want for approval individually.
  7. Elecid's Avatar
    Hubert gets my RP point vote this time for accurately portraying a priest of the road in his eagerness to get back on it.

    2nd place probably goes to the little leaf-covered gnome for constantly reminding me that, indeed, he is a gnome covered in leaves. Riding a dog.

    I actually don't know how Silas would take that. I'll have to meditate on the subject.

    From a player's perspective, yes, that priest is troublesome. I had made the case for letting him go. It's doubtful he would have caused us any major trouble in the future that leaving half-burned bodies in a ditch by the village wouldn't have.

    But... that's all blood under the sacrificial altar now.
  8. Shishkobold's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DMMike
    On Summon Zee:
    The idea behind the spell is that it can be more fun, and offer more roleplaying potential, to summon a unique creature instead of a generic one. The incentive to use the option is that the creature summoned is one level higher than normal. But, from the amount of butt Zee kicks, one should notice that the power should be balanced out. So how it works, is that Zee is a creature that Phaux met and befriended at one point in time. Deciding that a magic ritual was in order, Phaux earned enough trust from Zee to be able to summon him when needed. As such, it is not a Summon Nature's Ally spell, it's a Summon Zee spell. The other downside is that Zee is unique, so when the spell ends, he takes his wounds with him. He can also take small amounts of gear if he's in a good mood. So the gear and the wounds come back at the next summoning, as long as Zee's normal life hasn't changed his status as wounded or gear-bearing.
    If I had a large number of spells per day, I'd be happy to move forward in this way. As it stands, I'm inclined to leave Zee to his cantankerous badger ways in the wild. I'll just use the appropriate level natures ally so that I can still take advantage of the instant spell substitution. I do like the idea of storing gear on a summoned animal so maybe I'll revisit this when my spell allotment affords me more diversity.

    Vanil gets my vote for MVP this week. Why just kill a guy when you can grapple him to the ground and slowly drain various organ fluids?!
  9. Shishkobold's Avatar
    In reference to the weapon/armor durability, I'm typically of the persuasion that less is more when it comes to micro managing the nuances of a player characters life, BUT, gear upkeep brings a few valuable things to the table (in my opinion).

    First, it just makes sense that you'd have to know how to fix your shit when it's your livelihood/protection and as was pointed out, it helps balance the caster vs arms upkeep costs.

    Secondly, it invokes a certain amount of forethought on the part of the PC's. Having DM'd before, I know the frustrations of being the only guy at the table that's put any thought into the game for the week. Too often PC's come to the table waiting for the DM to entertain them and the more consequences for absent minded rolling you place on a PC, the more likely they are to pay attention and come prepared.