Tenfold Shields (OOC)

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Talanall
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This is like watching Ray Charles looking for the Uh-Huh Girls.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Get those weapons ready ladies! Fanax is coming out.....slowly!

Hide and move silently.
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 8, 13 = 21.
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 17, 13 = 30.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Don't you rush him! He's a strong, independent dragon, and he doesn't need need help from you or anyone to tell the world about his choices.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

How fast is Fanax moving? If he's trying to cover ground before the dragon changes its mind and eats him, then he can still attempt to move stealthily. It's a matter of how stealthy he wants to be versus how fast he wants to be. Your decision only affects Move Silently; Hide is dependent only on cover/concealment.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Fanax is moving the 5' to 15' per round to avoid penalty.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Can we please just go in already?

Cronono
Cronono's picture

When we previously discussed collapsing the cave, we were concerned about noise and time. I don't think we have those concerns anymore. We could go into the cave, or we could force a fight here at the entrance as we start breaking rocks.

I'm down for either.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Collapsing the entrance to the cave to trap the dragon inside, right? But we don't know if there are any other exits. So we could just spend a bunch of time doing that for no reason and then not hear it swoop down from out of the sky and kill us.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

That's right. The alternative is to go in the cave. We could also get the elementals working on collapsing the cave and then back off far enough to hear something coming.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Collapsing the entry to the cave would take you a pretty long time. A section of natural stone 5 ft. thick by 10 ft. high by 10 ft. wide has hardness 8 and 900 hit points. If you figure that Gorx calls as many earth elementals as he can, and all of them attack the same section of stone, collapsing that section would take ~300 rounds, since each elemental deals about 0.5 damage per round (hardness is a bitch). Ten rounds equals one minute, so call that 30 minutes.

You undoubtedly would have to collapse at least a couple of such masses of stone in order to render the cavern entry impassible. It's not clear that the obstruction so produced would be adequate to contain any creature intelligent enough to think of excavating the rubble standing between it and the surface, and it's likewise unclear that the supply of air inside the cavern is 1) exhaustible or 2) if limited, limited enough to be fatal before the tunnel is cleared. Starvation and dehydration also are unknown quantities; Fanax, at least, knows there's a sort of larder inside the cavern. For all you know, there also is a water supply.

And of course, you may just force the hand of the dragon (or whatever is in there), and precipitate a combat encounter. Or maybe you'd be forcing its claw? Talon? Whatever. Which may not be terrible, if you think that there's probably just one way out of the cavern. But if you think there may be another exit, then maybe it's asking for trouble.

Anyway there really are lots of problems with this idea, but it's also fair to remark that if you persist long enough, it's possible that you could collapse the tunnel so thoroughly that digging out would be hopeless.

And of course, In Character it seems as if a number of our heroes feel like any outcome which includes fighting a dragon may be tantamount to suicide. Maybe they'd feel differently about that if they were sure exactly how big and tough the dragon is, or whether it's even a dragon at all. The horde's leadership seemed to feel pretty sure that it was a dragon, though. They even gave the impression of having eyewitness accounts to back up this belief.

Smoking the dragon out is another possibility that someone has already offered; it has a couple of things to recommend it, not least of which is that it'll take a lot less time to begin to be effective. There's plenty of fuel around and there's been no rain anytime too recently, so getting a fire started shouldn't be too challenging. It's not clear whether the fire would be effective against the dragon, but smoke inhalation might be. So potentially it could force the dragon to come out and fight where you can see it even if the fire wouldn't hurt the creature.

If there's a secondary entry/exit, then I guess this course of action is susceptible to the same general problems that apply to the idea of collapsing the entry tunnel. But it's probably faster overall, and it may allow you to assume a posture that would leave you more adequately positioned to defend yourselves against a foe that may already be on the wing. Because it's faster, there's even the distant possibility that the dragon could legitimately find itself trapped inside before it realizes what is happening, and thus unable to get out. That would require the dragon to be susceptible to fire damage, and also for everything else about this plan to go your way. But I think it would be a great outcome from your perspective, even if the prospects of everything going off without a hitch are really pretty slim.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Other possibilities are that the dragon (or whatever is in there) was just trying to scare Fanax away because it is unable or unwilling to fight but also doesn't want to bargain with you, or that it isn't alone and is waiting for reinforcements to arrive. Which could mean that your best course of action is just to charge into the cavern and do what you came to do, and then get the hell out of here.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Talanall wrote:

Other possibilities are that the dragon (or whatever is in there) was just trying to scare Fanax away because it is unable or unwilling to fight but also doesn't want to bargain with you, or that it isn't alone and is waiting for reinforcements to arrive. Which could mean that your best course of action is just to charge into the cavern and do what you came to do, and then get the hell out of here.


This is option a for Fanax.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Zathrus hasn't discounted the possibility of smoking the dragon out. The only real downside he sees to this plan is if there's a secondary entrance/exit to the cave, which doesn't seem like it would leave us too much worse off.

Of course, we could also send one of the scoutier-types to look around for such an entrance/exit, too.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

There are lots of things you guys could do. I would urge you to come to an In Character decision with some haste, however, so as to prevent the cave-dweller from just walking out of his front door and . . . well, I really don't know what he'll do to you. But it might be bad.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Alright, my vote is smoke it out. Does anyone else have a vote?

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Trying to smoke the dragon out seems like the most risk-free option, considering we don't really know what's going on or what else to do about it.

"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

I think Gorx would be aware that none of the elementals he's capable of bringing to the mortal world have any ability to control or create wind.

Let's have a Knowledge (dungeoneering) check from anyone who is trained in that skill, please.

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

Darker

Grimvaalk knows a little...

I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 16, 7 = 23.
Cronono
Cronono's picture

One alternative is we wait until tomorrow and Gorx uses Soften Earth and Stone.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Since it seems like everyone is, for some reason, voting to smoke whatever it is out does anyone want to consider or speak to just what the plan is after that? If the dragon flies away what then? Even if we get a fire burning are we just hoping that enough smoke is generated to maybe blow into the cave?

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

If it flies away, we could try our best to track it; but I don't like our chances. You were standing close enough to it to have a conversation and couldn't find it.

This is definitely a "Do something and see what happens next" kind of plan since we have no idea what's going on or what to do about it.

"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

I love that we started from community authorities who were basically saying, "A dragon has been stealing goats and sheep that we need to keep as food supplies. We have eyewitnesses, and have used magic to track it back to this general area," and we're now having a serious discussion along the lines of, "What if it's not a dragon?!? Fanax didn't see anything, man!"

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

I think there is a fairly strong argument that we're as cohesive as a group of goblins should be.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

^ What he said.

Knowledge (dungeoneering)
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 11, 7 = 18.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay. We have a couple of items of business on the agenda, here. Grimvaalk has doubts about this plan, which it seems will have to be addressed in some fashion. He's also got a genuine point, which is that there could be some other way out of the cave. To some extent, I guess you guys have been conditioned by the Forgotten Realms and other published settings, which posit that the subterranean world is pretty much endless. That really isn't true of Tolrea, but it is definitely the case that there might be some other way in and out of there.

Grimvaalk and Zathrus have a choice about how to spend the results.

If they want information now, for planning purposes, they can cash in the check results now. The information they get will be commensurate with the result of the check.

If they would rather wait, they can cash in the results for a +2 bonus to a skill or ability check result of their choice once the upcoming skill challenge gets underway.

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

Darker

Grimvaalk is a delayed gratification kind of guy. I'll take the +2.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Talanall wrote:

I love that we started from community authorities who were basically saying, "A dragon has been stealing goats and sheep that we need to keep as food supplies. We have eyewitnesses, and have used magic to track it back to this general area," and we're now having a serious discussion along the lines of, "What if it's not a dragon?!? Fanax didn't see anything, man!"

I wouldn't put it past you to have us figure out that our little group is being used as some sort of sacrifice to the dragon. Even if we're victorious the authorities then tell us to go ahead and take out an abby. All without any assistance from them

Yep, sounds like we're about of cohesive as we're expected to be. 

 

 

 

 

Talanall
Talanall's picture

No, there won't be any sacrifices. And the other players will be relieved to know that there are no tentacles in the immediate future.

We'll see what Fixxxer wants to do with the outcome of Zathrus's Knowledge check, and then I guess we'll start the skill challenge.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Zathrus will take his information up front.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Zathrus thinks that if there are secondary exits to this cavern that would be large enough to be a problem with the plan to smoke out the dragon, they'll be evident even before the fire is started and smoke begins to come out of them. He is convinced that a scouting sweep should be enough to spot anything of that nature, just because Fanax has already been inside and has not reported anything that makes it sound to him like the cave is really a long tunnel. But Grimvaalk's concern is still grounded in reality, and it should be addressed.

He also suspects that the further inside the cave it is set, the better a job any fire the goblins light will do of smoking up the inside of it. Best of all would be to set the fire just inside the entryway, especially if the roof of the cavern is a little higher. Grimvaalk's correct again that if there are literally no other holes into the cavern, even ones that would admit nothing larger than bugs and air, then most of the smoke is just going to go right out again through the tunnel you know about. But Zathrus knows that some of the smoke will stay inside, and the fire itself will eat up some of the air inside the cave. Unless the dragon is fireproof and doesn't need to eat, drink, or breathe, he believes that a big enough fire, maintained long enough, will eventually force it to come out and play.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Ping.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Just waiting on Grimvaalk.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay, since it looks like Grimvaalk and Zathrus are not going to have a struggle for dominance just now, we'll begin the skill challenge. Your group has decided that having an actual fight with a dragon (or whatever is in the cave) is something it would rather avoid. Or failing that, it's at least something that you'd rather do elsewhere than inside the creature's home. So you're going to try to smoke it out.

To complete this task, you can work together to
1) find any possible exits that the cave dweller may use
2) choose a location for the fire that will be as effective as possible
3) gather and place fuel for a fire as stealthily as possible
4) light the fuel
5) encourage your fire to send as much of its smoke as possible into the cave rather than out of it
6) keep your fire stoked so that it produces as much smoke and heat as possible for as long as possible

Each character will roll a skill (or ability) check. A short list of clearly applicable skills for this challenge includes: Stoke the fire (Str/Dex), Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot or Survival. You can try other skills if you think they may be pertinent. Some of these skill checks proceed against a more difficult DC than others.

If you succeed on five checks before you fail three checks, you win the skill challenge. If you fail the challenge, your plan goes awry in some fashion, which could result in anything from simple failure to a faceful of angry dragon.

Taking 20 is not possible during a skill challenge, but taking 10 is, at least for some skills. At your option, you can use the aid another action to improve another character's skill check result, but only one person can provide aid on each check.

If all six PCs complete their first skill check and have neither failed nor succeeded on the challenge as a whole, I will call for initiative and use that to determine who has a chance to act for the last few checks.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Would Knowledge (architecture), Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Knowledge (nature) be appropriate for possibly determining the location of the fire for best effect, or would that fall entirely on Survival?

Darker

Grimvaalk will attempt to hide as a skill check.

I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 14, 13 = 27.
Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Being quieter than the average bear, Yonah attempts to do things quiet-like. I'll take 10. Here's hoping a 23 gets me goodness.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Fixxxer wrote:

Would Knowledge (architecture), Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Knowledge (nature) be appropriate for possibly determining the location of the fire for best effect, or would that fall entirely on Survival?

As it is a natural cavern, I suppose Knowledge (dungeoneering) is the most apt for your purposes.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Then Zathrus will take 10 on Knowledge (dungeoneering) for a total of 17.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

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

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Oni doesn't want his armor to handicap him here so he will take it off and leave it with his gear in the bush he was hiding in. He will roll Move Silently to place some firewood once the smartypants figures out where we should stack it.

Move Silently
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 18, 8 = 26.

"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

I have a question about skill challenges. Is it possible that there will be situations where the use of a special item or magic might render a skill contained in a skill challenge a veritable automatic success? Using our current challenge as an example, "4) light the fuel" would almost certainly be a Survival check, but let's say that Zathrus doesn't want to have to make a Survival check. Could he make an attack roll using a flask of alchemist fire or manifest a fire-based power to succeed in lieu of a Survival check?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I don't know if alchemist's fire is a huge improvement, since it still requires a d20 roll to get it where you want it. But I have no objection in principle, if someone has a power or spell that he thinks would be applicable.

For that matter, if someone wanted to attempt a Concentration check for this skill challenge, he could. I don't think it's particularly applicable, so it'd probably count as a failure no matter what result you got. But I wouldn't stop you from trying.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

To expand on this, "stoke the fire (Str/Dex)" is on the list of skill checks even though it's really just an ability check. It's a matter of feeding the fire enough fuel, in the right place and at the right time, to help the fire grow. Whether it was Str or Dex would depend on whether you were adding kindling or a big rotten log.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Would Knowledge(Nature) be helpful for determining which plants and other resources at hand are more likely to give off a nice big smoke cloud?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I think Gorx knows enough about the natural world to have a grip on the idea that any wood that happens to have been laying around long enough to start to decay and get punky is going to smoke heavily when it's burned.

Between his Knowledge ranks and his extended family being composed largely of tanners and leatherworkers who use a process that involves smoking the finished hides, I think he'd have no alternative but to know this. Unlike us, Gorx and his tribe live in a society where fire is the primary source of heat and light. Knowing whether firewood is likely to smoke is a matter of routine interest to people in that situation.

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

It seems to me that Knowledge Nature wouldn't be helpful then, but survival would cover that, right? Gorx doesn't have a skill that is appropriate, but does have spells and magic items (such as a Wand of Produce Flame) that seems like it should help. Can expending those resources cover the skill check?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Of all the tasks involved in this skill challenge, I think that actually lighting the fire is probably going to be the easiest. If you guys have a power or spell (or spirit ally) that you think you can use to advance your goals, you are at liberty to use it. Gorx has both the wand, and access to fire elementals.

In general, spells and powers that deal fire damage don't actually set fire to things if the duration is listed as "Instantaneous" unless the spell's description details otherwise (fireball is a good example of this, as it specifically mentions that that the effect ignites any readily flammable materials in its area of effect and may also melt lead and other easy-to-melt substances). It looks like produce flame would work, since its duration is longer than instantaneous. The fire variant of the energy ray psionic power would not, because it has instantaneous duration.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

While Gorx is making up his mind about how to contribute here, what's Fanax doing, @Board Rider?

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Fanax is still going to go look for possible exit routes. He wants to be as far away as possible to what he seriously considers is quickly becoming a 3 ring shit circus.

Search, Spot, Survival.

I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 17, 8 = 25.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 6, 3 = 9.
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 7, 5 = 12.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Alrighty, then. We'll see what Gorx is going to do, and then I'll adjudicate the first segment of the challenge.

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

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