Chapter 2: How Do They Rise Up? (OOC)

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Darker

Swarbrick is all for 1) or 3) but not 2). But honestly, he's not being paid enough to compensate for the cost of magical healing on a mission that isn't likely to get any other rewards unless they screw up and get in another fight. He will pay Leland market price per charge for the use of his wand and if alright with Dafyd, he'll have made that clear OOC. When they find his horse, it's likely it'll need at least one, maybe two hits of that sweet, sweet healing power.

Swarbrick is also really wondering what the plan is. They know of a place they *might* find this beast, but with orders to only observe and not engage and several non-sneaky party members, how realistic is this to actually turn out well? Seems like they should escort the super sneaky kobold a bit closer and then let him do his super sneaky thing to complete the mission.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Just a thought: you're only really traveling as fast as Henrik can go (he's on foot and is the slowest party member). This isn't ideal from the perspective of covering ground quickly, but it does mean that if you wanted to hedge your bets, you could wake up in the morning, canvas the area on foot, and then head back to the village and try to make it home regardless of the outcome. If you don't use your horses to search the area, you won't get them tired, which would mean you don't have to worry about force marching THEM. Just yourselves, and you'll take non-lethal damage.

This approach also would mean that overnight, you can rely primarily on natural healing. If Leland provides long-term care, most of you would end up at or near full HP.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Let's stick with option one. People can deal with their own healing as needed and natural healing will help. Vandersrike will volunteer to take 4-6 hours of watch since he doesn't need any more healing. In the absolute worst case scenario, he'll keep watch all night then curl up inside someone's saddle pack for the trip back tomorrow.

There were 2 hours until sunset - after whatever time it takes to heal up and reassemble, we'll push forward until there is another hour remaining. We'll take the hour before sunset to set up camp.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

There's also Option 4.

We grab a peasant, then assert that they're totally responsible for the attempt on the Marchioness's life. It works for the police. :)

If someone wants to put Henrik on their horse, that would also speed us up.

Darker

I don't think anyone trusts Hendrick to ride behind Then. "Stop sticking that axe handle in my back!"

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Yes, I think I'd want Henrik riding in front of me. Definitely not behind.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

He's willing to ride solo. Or be ridden solo. If that's a thing.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Two words.

Kobold. Hat.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Let's put this to a vote.

Out of options #1 (heal up and go on with your search), #2 (run back to the village and rest, then try again in the morning), or #3 (run back, rest, and then go home), which do you favor?

Each player should vote for ONE of these options. You have 24 hours to decide what to do. If there's a tie, I'll break it in favor of whichever option I think is going to turn out worst for you collectively.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Also, a big thank you to Cronono for presenting a chasm of awfulness that yawns wider the more I contemplate it.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Yawning.
Kobold.
Hat.

It gets worse with every explanation.

Option 1.

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

If healing him up beyond half-dead is going to happen, Kaarys is for option 1. He doesn't quite share Swar's opinion of paying for the charges in coin, but he'll make it count in damage dealt to would-be devourers of the party.

Darker

Well, Swarbrick isn't for paying, but he'll pay if it means getting healed. He forgets that everyone isn't as mercenary as he is.

Swarbrick is for option 1.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

#1. Let's ride this til the wheels come off.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Option 1.

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Option #1. I'm about to drive 600 miles, so I am not able to post for a bit. Feel free to roll CLWs from the wand, if you'll keep add up the charges?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay, let's see.

Armund has taken 9 points of damage.
Kaarys has taken 10 points of damage.
Kisasi has taken 2 points of damage.
Kisasi's horse has taken 5 points of damage.
Leland has taken 12 points of damage.
Sally has taken 17 points of damage. She is unconscious.
Swarbrick has taken 2 points of damage.
Swarbrick's horse has taken 18 points of damage.

CLW from wand, Armund, 2 charges
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 4, 1 = 5.
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 7, 1 = 8.
CLW from wand, Kaarys, 2 charges
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 8, 1 = 9.
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 1, 1 = 2.
CLW from wand, Leland, 3 charges
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 2, 1 = 3.
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 6, 1 = 7.
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 4, 1 = 5.
Sally, CLW from wand, 2 charges
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 7, 1 = 8.
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 6, 1 = 7.
Swarbrick's Horse, CLW from wand, 2 charges
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 4, 1 = 5.
I rolled 1d8+1, the result is 8, 1 = 9.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Kaarys has taken 1 point of damage.
Kisasi has taken 2 points of damage.
Kisasi's horse has taken 5 points of damage.
Swarbrick has taken 2 points of damage.
Swarbrick's horse has taken 4 points of damage.

11 charges expended from Leland's wand.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I'm late to the party, but I'm also for Option 1. Consensus!

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Wait, the rolls for Kaarys were 9 and 2, yeah? So isn't he fully healed?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

After the 9, Leland basically said, "He looks good." And then he moved on and applied the 2 points to himself, and then the ones with 3 and 7 as well, and so on.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Right, my impression is that you guys are going to make a camp when it starts to get dark. Are you attempting to build fires? What is your watch schedule looking like?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

As a dwarf, I'll take the darkest watch.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

As a dwarf, I'll take the darkest watch.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Well, tonight's the last night of the full moon, and the weather is clearing from heavy clouds associated with the storm. So probably that makes the first watch after sunset the darkest.

Depending on where you set up your camp, the moon will cast sufficient illumination that those characters with low-light vision will be able to see normally. If you find a reasonably open spot, that ambient lighting will be available. If you were to camp right where you killed the bothrians, by comparison, the tree canopy will block out most of the moonlight.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Armund's good for any watch if we find a spot where his low-light vision can be used. He'll try to find such a spot, with an eye toward somewhere where we won't need a fire through the night.

Survival
I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 16, 11 = 27.
MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Kisasi is not terribly observant so he would prefer to join Henrik or pair up with Vandersrike for last watch, leaving the hours with most moonlight exposure in the middle of the night for characters with low-light vision.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Alright, let's see. You've got a total of about 11 hours of night, but we'll figure that the first hour after sunset or so is going to be concerned with getting a meal together, securing water, finding a safe place to take a dump, etc. So we'll say that you're just looking to cover the 10 hours between bedtime and sunrise.

Watch 1 - Henrik and Kisasi
Watch 2 - Armund
Watch 3 - Kaarys
Watch 4 - Swarbrick
Watch 5 - Vandersrike and Leland

This gives everyone 8 hours of rest if you're undisturbed. The first and last watches are in a position to get eight hours uninterrupted. Sound okay?

A Survival check or Knowledge (geography) check gets you some basic control over the details of your campsite.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Works for me.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

The watch schedule looks good to me. Can Armund's survival check above work for basic control of details, or will he need another one?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It'll do. To be sure that I understand what's wanted: Armund's looking for a relatively open spot to camp, since he wants to be someplace where the moon will shine once the cloud cover from the storms blows off. So probably he wants a large clearing, or to find an area of cleared land from a logging operation, or something of that nature. My understanding is that his primary concern is with finding a campsite that would allow people on watch, especially those with low-light vision, to see potential attackers.

On to secondary concerns.

Does he care about the presence of water, one way or the other? What about features that might make it easier to defend the campsite? Walls, ditches, or some other formation of stone or wood, whether man-made or natural?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Sorry, I'm late to the party. The order looks fine.

Swarbrick will attempt to aid another for the survival check, though kinda pointless.

I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 18, 6 = 24.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Water would be helpful, but is of secondary concern, I think. Natural defense features would be higher on that list. He'd be most interested in a rise of some kind that might give us the best 360 degree view possible. Barring that, he'll instead opt for somewhere that gives natural cover, if it might funnel potential ambushers predictably (as a cave might).

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

All this talk of natural defenses is giving Henrik a rise.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Sorry this has taken me so long. I'm handling renovations on my house. Still. A big chunk of it will be done soon, though, so I think things will get back to something resembling normalcy for me soon.

Armund and Swarbrick find a place that might do for a camp. It looks like an abandoned farmstead that hasn't (quite) been reclaimed by the forest. The yellow areas are light undergrowth. Light gray areas are low walls, most of them dry stone, which provide cover to whoever is nearer to them. Dark gray splotches are places where the walls have fallen over.

The blue dot is the mouth of a well, mostly covered by debris. You'd need a separate Survival check to know if it's potable. The dark gray line and square near it are respectively the remnants of what was once a building's exterior walls, and its fireplace and chimney stack. If it's still serviceable, you might be able to build a fire in it with less chance that its light will broadcast your location. These walls are at least 10 feet tall, providing total cover. There don't seem to be any windows in them, which isn't great from the perspective of keeping watch. On the other hand, you can hide behind them.

The brown dots are trees. There are the two massive ones near the remnants of the building, and there also is what looks like a declining orchard of some kind of fruit trees to the SW. The massive trees probably were planted as shade trees for whatever this building was. They probably can be climbed, but there's enough spacing that they don't form a canopy.

The orchard is composed of standard trees, and they are close enough together to form a canopy. They, likewise, can be climbed. Once it's dark out and the moon is up, they probably will cast shadow sufficient that even those PCs who have low-light vision will have trouble seeing anything underneath them.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I think I like it. Our resident trapmaker can probably work something simple up to harrass anyone who tries to come at us through the doors.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

When you say "doors," you mean the holes in the walls enclosing the ruined building?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

1) Is the ground dry? I'm interested in leaving twigs or other objects that would create noise when ground underfoot.

2) Would creating a tripwire fall under craft(traps)? I don't want it to trigger anything, I just want it to get in the way of anyone walking through the space.

3) I'm at work and I've forgotten our digging rules. I assume I don't have enough time to meaningfully excavate a square before rest. Can I turn a square into difficult terrain?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:

1) Is the ground dry? I'm interested in leaving twigs or other objects that would create noise when ground underfoot.

The ground is quite damp because of the storms that passed through a couple of hours ago. So dry leaves/twigs are in very short supply.

If you cut down or uproot underbrush and move it into an area that you want to render noisy, that would yield a +2 modifier to the difficulty of Move Silently checks made to pass through that area. However, underbrush so employed would grant concealment to anyone behind it or moving through it. It also would make the area count as difficult terrain.

Quote:

2) Would creating a tripwire fall under craft(traps)? I don't want it to trigger anything, I just want it to get in the way of anyone walking through the space.

Assuming you have a length of rope and a place to anchor both ends of it (whether that's from the terrain or from a crude stake pounded into the earth), we'll call it a DC 10 check to set one up.

Quote:

3) I'm at work and I've forgotten our digging rules. I assume I don't have enough time to meaningfully excavate a square before rest. Can I turn a square into difficult terrain?

This wouldn't be feasible for Vandersrike working on his own. He probably could get something done if enough people pile onto the task, provided that they have spades or shovels.

He'd have two options there. If he excavates a hole and piles up the dirt from it in such a fashion that intruders would have to pass through the hole and then up the slope created by the dirt pile, he has effectively created a steep slope. That's not difficult terrain, but it costs double the usual movement to pass through it going uphill. Going downhill, presents difficulties if you try to run or charge, but otherwise is no problem. Standing on top of the dirt pile and attacking a creature standing at the bottom of the hole/trench would grant a +1 bonus to attack rolls for higher ground.

Another option is to excavate smaller holes, about as big around as a post hole, in order to create a patch of uneven ground that would count as difficult terrain, costing double the normal to enter and preventing creatures from running or charging through it.

The fallen sections of wall shown on the map above are essentially rubble, counting as difficult terrain and imposing a +5 modifier to the difficulty of Balance and Tumble checks and a +2 modifier to the difficulty of Move Silently checks. Theoretically, you could try to knock apart a section of wall in one square to yield two squares of rubble, if you wanted. It would eliminate the cover benefit of the wall section so destroyed, but I guess that might be worth it, if you think the rubble would be a worse obstacle to someone trying to sneak up on you. Rubble is slightly more costly to move across than a low wall, in terms of movement consumed. Unlike undergrowth, it doesn't grant concealment.

The difficulty of toppling a section of wall depends a little bit on the condition it's in. Some of the walls around the ruined building are still mortared together, and will take substantially more effort. Those walls that are basically stacks of dry stone might require little more than a hard push.

Excavations may be handled with Profession (miner) or Strength checks, whichever is the better option for an individual character involved in such efforts.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Sometimes I wish the real world would just stop hassling me.

Below is a mildly updated version of the previous map. If the expedition's members opt to use the existing fireplace from the ruined building, the shaded areas are indicative of light shed by the fire while it's lit. Red is normal lighting, suitable for those without low-light or darkvision. Aqua indicates shadowy illumination for normal vision; low-light vision can see normally in the aqua area. The darker blue region is shadowy for those with low-light vision. The rest of the map is in darkness until the weather clears and the moon rises.

Once the cloud cover clears off and the moon rises, low-light vision will see normally throughout most of the map, with the exception of the orchard in the SW region of the map, which probably is going to cast shade sufficient to make things dark. Moonlight will allow characters without low-light vision to see under conditions of shadowy illumination.

For those of you who don't recall, shadowy illumination provides concealment (20% miss chance to attacks and the ability to make Hide checks). In areas that are in full darkness, creatures without darkvision are effectively blinded. In addition to the obvious effects, a blinded creature has a 50% miss chance in combat (all opponents have total concealment), loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, takes a -2 penalty to AC, moves at half speed, and takes a -4 penalty on Search checks and most Strength and Dexterity-based skill checks.

The light shed by a fire in this hearth is less obtrusive than if you simply built a campfire in the open, because the stones of the fireplace block the propagation of light. If you opt to build a fire elsewhere than as shown above, it's not a problem, but you'll be a lot more visible. You also can opt to do without a fire, which will be more secure overall, but which will leave you in the dark until you have moonlight to see by. That'd be a real nuisance if you found yourself under attack prior to moonrise.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I wonder what it's like to be the head honcho.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

A hearth fire isn't the worst idea. In this case, it's less about comfort and more about utility.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

A fire sounds good to me. It's probably gonna be pretty nipply out there.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

So, where are people sleeping? Near the fire? Under a tick-infested pile of brush in the darkness nearby?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Swarbrick is sleeping close enough to the fire to benefit from its warmth. Maybe in the corner next to what's left of the house walls so he'll be somewhat protected from flanks or being snuck up to if they are attacked.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

By that location, do you mean the corner between the two walls, or the corner made between one wall and the remnants of the fireplace?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Yes, the corner between the two walls. Correct me if I'm wrong, but can he still see ok in the shadowy illumination provided by the fire at that angle?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

There won't really be any illumination from the fire there. Once the moon is up, there will be moonlight, which will put most of the map under shadowy illumination that low-light vision will treat as bright light.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

He will stick to that spot regardless. Sounds good.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay. Anyone else have preferences about where his character is going to sleep/stand guard?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

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