Friday, February 11, 2022

Holgard Campaign Sessions 12-21 - What happens when you slack on session reports


Okay so I have not written any session reports since Session 11 (29/07/21).

Looking at my rather eldritch notes, I have decided to provide very brief overviews of each session up to this point, rather than detail the maddening script…

Session 12 (14/08/21)

Time Elapsed: Day 141 (14/08/2021) – Day 145 (18/08/2021)

Characters: Sixtus Sunwalker, Maethedir, Milton North, Mobius Malbane, Betanochin Wormington (H), Subucule (H), Chadius Supacoolius (H), Articulatus Superfluous (H), Ulan Dhor (H), Jake Mace (H), Orfel (H)

Outcomes: Expedition into the orcish tunnels south of Castle Ardenward, in the Redwyrm Mountains. Discovered goblin miners. Arrived at an Orcish Lair some days into the tunnels and started killing orcs, when the Chief let loose a starved and tortured Yeti at them. Somehow party made it attack the orcs, disbanding most of them. However, the Chief rallied with a bunch of archers, forcing the party to flee. Chadius Supacoolius was slain, and much to the PCs chagrin, his body was left behind. The PCs returned to Castle Ardenward, where they were restocked by Baron Ardenward. Sixtus Sunwalker swore fealty to the Baron, who will now pay his training costs and gave him a magical shield and sweet plumed helmet (in exchange for services). All Henchman got a +5% loyalty improvement for PCs self sacrificing behaviour during the orc rally.

Character Ratings: All Excellent ratings

Treasure: Baron Ardenward provided 1000gp, a Potion of Heroism, and restocked the PCs gear.

XP: PCs: 242 XP, NPCs: 121 XP

Session 13 (15/08/21)

Time Elapsed: Day 142 (15/08/2021) – Day 144 (17/08/2021)

Characters: Max Prophet, Bale Tyrannus, Finin O’Conoghain, Greg Chapel, Roslyn (as an NPC), Unnamed Acolyte NPC

Downtime: Day 128 (1/08/2021) – Day 141 (14/08/2021) A random Ogre Magi called Takamota Ogaru invaded their taken-over settlement, and mocked Bale to follow him into the forest after feigning his triggering of the parties pit traps. A couple of days later, during the night, 9 hulking shapes came and stole a bunch of rotting bodies from the “food shack”. (the players piled the lumberjacks in for their cannibal plans). Some days later, in the night, two treants came and destroyed the settlement. Max Prophet was killed by one of Bale’s dogs, Gutmuncher, at Bale’s request. The party fled north along the river in the night and arrived at the first lumberjack camp out of Warton. They get arrested immediately, as the barge master informed the settlement of the ne'er-do-well party. Max’s player introduced his new PC, Jerry Narg, a Half-Orc Assassin who worships Globulah, and is going to save the characters. Thus the session begins with the party on their barge ride to justice…

Outcomes: I will comment: The supposed ‘RPG spotlight’ is not a right that every player gets. While I think it’s a silly concept, I certainly concede that it does exist and in our campaign, it is for players who earn it. This session was Jerry Narg’s. He infiltrated the barracks where the PCs were being held, through good use of both the Assassin disguise ability, as well as the players own intellect, somehow got onto the very guard team watching the PC prisoners, and instigated a breakout. Once the PCs were out of the barracks, Jerry somehow recovered the MUs spellbooks and fetched Bale’s sack of gold and the precious explosive vials they had left from the parties wagon outside the Troll Toll Tavern. Then group set out on the road from Warton back to Thropsford, their horses, wagon, dogs, and equipment basically gone. The evil parties misfortunes remind me SO much of Cugel the Clever.

Character Ratings: All Excellent, especially Jerry

Treasure: lol

XP: Bale got none because his XP was capped, Roslyn got half XP (171) due to being an NPC. Greg and Finin got 344XP (from downtime encounters) while Jerry got 23XP + 100XP performance bonus.

Something important to note is that from about this point, all the players also started controlling Patrons in the campaign, which was a sort of ‘game outside the table’ being played. This comes up in a future session when, by some stroke of fortune, the PCs are travelling on the same road at the same time as a players Patron is...

Session 14 (27/08/2021)

Downtime: Day 146 (19/08/2021) – Day 153 (26/08/2021) During downtime, Maethedir had one of the parties potions identified – a Potion of Animal Control. 250XP to Maethedir

Foreword: More precise with tracking PCs alignment – created a chart for each of the 17 alignments as described in the PHB.

Time Elapsed: Day 154 (27/08/21) – Day 168 (10/09/2021)

Characters: Sixtus Sunwalker, Maethedir, Milton North, Mobius Malbane, Betanochin Wormington (H), Subucule (H), Articulatus Superfluous (H), Ulan Dhor (H), Jake Mace (H), Orfel (H)

Outcomes: Party went back to the orc tunnels and scouted out the left tunnel – it ran for hours, with supply niches in the walls. They met a group of 10 lost dwarves whose mine crashed into the orc one, and teamed up. The left tunnel led to one of the dwarven outposts – after dispatching some Blistering Rime orcs and desecrating the banners, the party went down another orc tunnel that came from the outpost. Eventually they came upon a group of orcs mining, and executed them, but not before learning they were Death Moon orcs and hated the Blistering Rime. Only allied because of “Ice”, who they were deathly afraid of. The party also found that the orcs were mining into a very important religious locale of the dwarves – a location only certain officials know of, which is hidden within Khun Kaldur. Party sent Jake Make back to Ardenward to provide info and get supplies. The party went back to the first chamber in the orc tunnels, noticing the way they went last time was barricaded and caved in. They eventually met back up with Jake Mace before returning to Castle Ardenward.

Character Ratings: All Excellent except Maethedir who got marked down to (S)uperior for not using his Sleep spell he prepared when presented with an ample opportunity to use it

Treasure: 1000gp payment from Baron Ardenward and supplies restocked

XP: PCs: 251XP, NPCs: 126XP

Session 15 (4/09/2021) – played out downtime at the table

Characters: Bale, Finin, Greg, Roslyn, Jerry, Garth (NPC Acolyte I think), Kif Dribble

Downtime: Day 145 (18/08/21) – Day 161 (3/09/21) The evil PCs were travelling from Warton to Thropsford when we last left them. We played out that experience, as I did not want to hand-wave it due to them being criminals and all… They rested at a town along the way and spread fake news about where they were all going, restocked supplies etc. However, a guard patrol from Thropsford and messengers from Warton intersected at the town in the morning! (Here, I ruled that riders from Warton would definitely be coming by the morning, while the guard patrol was a RE. Poor PCs!) Anyway, the town goes into lockdown immediately – people are all being rounded up and ID’d. Greg, Finin, Kif, and the Acolyte hide in some old ladies house, using Charm Person on her. She was totally senile and hid them in her “basement” which was full of water, stunk, and things moved in the water… Bale and Roslyn somehow stole two guards horses and rode for the hills, with Bale throwing off pursuit by lobbing his last explosive vials. One of them got thrown into town but did not go off before they fled. The Globulites somehow got out of there and left the town on foot after the lockdown, while Jerry disguised himself and bought a horse. We will skip over the weird interaction between Jerry and the guard patrol + the sorceress babe who read his mind (Jerry is a very perverted and damaged sex-addict). By some means or another, the party all arrived back at Underland (deciding to forget Thropsford) at staggered times. The Globulites actually ran into a PC Patron on the road to Underland, and things got a bit weird, with the High Smegmakkador of the Cult of Phlusegma (high level Cleric) being charmed. This was a weird social interaction and everyone decided to walk away from it. Bale paid half training cost to a rugged old veteran in the Ghetto and the other half was waived in exchange for a favour for him: investigating some ruins near the city. Bale got his training then, with the party, went and killed him and stole the money. I noted after this that PCs must explain how they spend the training money, and that it cannot simply be “paying someone”. And if it is, they definitely won’t keep it in a bag by their side! Bale’s karma was rolling 1 HP, however.

XP: Bale got 0, due to his XP still being maxed out during all the XP gain. Roslyn & Jerry got 363XP. Finin, Greg, and Kif got 1382XP

Session 16 (18/09/2021)

Downtime: Day 169 (11/09/2021) – Day 176 (18/09/2021) The good PCs sent the hench-man Betanochin Wormington to try and enlist aid from the Temple of Tyr in Thropsford (from which Sixtus Sunwalker hails) and by the session date, he had returned stating the Iron Dragoons were on their way, but were travelling slower behind him. Also, Baron Ardenward had 1) been invited to attend the Norf F.C. Rockball Game in the swamps north of Underland with the Duke of Underland (his liege-lord), as well as the Duke provided men to help in the dwarven conflict with the orcs.

Foreword: After the players last success in the tunnels, the dwarves and men engaged in battle with the orcs stationed outside Khun Kaldur. During this battle, the PCs would wipe out a main orc lair in the tunnels beneath the mountains, ultimately tipping the scales and ending this long conflict that had been a rumour since the very first sessions! With 1:1 time, problems actually grow, instead of remaining static.

Time Elapsed: Day 176 (18/09/2021) – Day 184 (26/09/2021)

Characters: Sixtus Sunwalker, Zeff, Hank, Mobius Malbane, Milton North, Maethedir, Jake Mace, Subucule, Orfel, Articulatus Superfluous (Betanochin Wormington remained at Castle Ardenward awaiting the Iron Dragoons)

Outcomes: Milton turned 17, and was also killed by goblins throwing burning oil at him. Sixtus’ birthday happened too. The village Ardent, outside Castle Ardenward, was razed by the same goblin raiding party that killed Milton. Sixus slew the Blistering Rime clan chief in a one-on-one battle. He merked him with a Potion of Heroism (the caved in tunnel was dug out by miners from Castle Ardenward). The dwarves of Khun Kaldur drove back the orcs outside their city! The party got a fat treasure haul from the orc lair, and sold some jewellery to Alfie Solomons in Underland, using almost all that money to revive Milton North!

Character Rating: All Excellent

Treasure: 4500GP worth of jewels, with some additional dwarvish gems they are going to return to the dwarves.

XP: Milton – 1000XP for surviving revival from a death NOT due to idiocy. No XP for any encounters because he died though! (Note -1 con and reduced # of lives), Jake, Orfel: 22.5XP. Orfel left the employ of Milton, while Jake remained!

Everyone else: PCs: 1145XP, NPCs: 573XP

Session 17 (25/09/2021)

Downtime: Day 162 (4/09/2021) – Day 182 (24/09/2021) Jerry got sent to Staplehurst, the town between Thropsford and Warton, where the last explosive vial was that didn’t blow up. He succeeded his abstracted infiltration mission and learned that it was recovered and taken to Thropsford. On the way to Staplehurst he came across a guard patrol and took on his Oriental disguise known as ‘Xi Jing Ping’ which somehow worked. Bale hired a handful of dodgy mercenaries and started his organisation “Bale’s Tyrants”. Also worth noting that Jerry slept with a saucy tart and almost contracted a gastrointestinal disease. But his 11 constitution actually saved him.

Time Elapsed: Day 183 (25/09/2021) – Day 188 (30/09/2021)

Characters: Bale, Kif, Jerry, Greg, Finin

Outcomes: Explored the ruined keep outside of Underland (heard about it from Bale’s trainer who he killed). Pretty stock-standard dungeon crawl (which actually happens rather infrequently in this campaign)

Character Rating: All Excellent

Treasure & XP: This session was slightly messy as the party did multiple delves, with a knocked out PC being taken back to town and another PC whose player was absent coming back in when this exchange happened. Bale, Kif: 511XP. Finin: 521XP. Jerry: 178XP. Greg: 250XP

Session 18 (16/10/2021) – Duty to the Realm and Irresponsible Wizards

Downtime: Day 185 (27/09/2021) – Day 203 (15/10/2021): Maethedir levelled up under Barbanikos, pulling in some cost deductions for previous favours done for the high level MU, borrowed some cash from Mobius, and did some petty magic in Underland to get a few extra gold. Learned about a problem Barbanikos had – some magic swamp beast he let loose near the city. Sixtus and Milton both trained for 2 weeks to level 3 Paladin and Fighter respectively (Milton indebted 1500GP to Baron Ardenward). Party recruited a bunch of mercenaries for the Baron during downtime also.

Time Elapsed: Day 204 (16/10/2021) -Day 212 (24/10/2021)

Characters: Sixtus (P3), Milton (F3), Maethedir (F2/MU2), Finesstro the Nimble (MU1), Betanochin Wormington (F1)(H), Jake Mace (Monk 1)(H), Articulatus Superfluous (MU1)(H) **Sixtus dismissed Subucule for not following Tyr

Outcomes: Party dispatched a shambling swamp monstrosity that Barbanikos accidentally released into the swamp near Castle Ardenward. Milton and Sixtus, as sworn knights of Ardenward, were tasked with solving this issue. They led large unit of men-at-arms, 15 of which were killed before the beast was destroyed. Finesstro was given 100GP by the Baron for complaining about the lack of reward, while Barbanikos gave the party 2000GP for cleaning up the mess. The party also went to Khun Kaldur and spoke with the dwarven chief, Arkul, who gave them 900GP for the returned dwarvish gems, gave them a 500GP peridot, and some rare, magical, dwarven items...

Character Rating: All Excellent

Treasure: See above

XP: Omitted but recorded in my document...

Session 19 (23/10/2021) – Those Damned Hobgoblins

Downtime: Day 188 (30/09/2021) – Day 210 (22/10/2021) Bale hired the Thieves Guild to get some loot they missed at a dungeon. Finin was preaching at the ‘Stall of the Bloodletters’ (for the Cult of Globulah), while inconsistent player Quadra came back and had 4 months of downtime doing assassin spy missions.


Time Elapsed: Day 211 (23/10/2021) – Day 220 (1/11/2021)

Characters: Bale (F2), Quadra (A1), Finin (C1/MU1), Doomer Shrigma and Doomer Shrigma Squared

Outcomes: Party went back to the Ruined Keep they had gotten some loot at last time. It’s since been infested and fortified by Hobgoblins, who very easily scared the PCs off, killing Doomer Shrigma (a weird mushroom gnome thing). They returned to Underland, went to a weird dive bar with goths and rave music called The Frog on the Eye, heard some rumours about the ruins of a mage’s fortress to the south west, that some adventurers had killed a weird swamp monster recently, learned about some strange bandit treaty threatening the structure of the realm (they tortured a guy who was trying to hire them to kill a local Lord), some peasant troubles to the North East, and finally a dwarven tomb somewhere near Thropsford. So they went to Thropsford. Bale sent his mercenary crew – Bale’s Tyrants – on foot to the city while the party rode ahead. They never made it and Bale later received the head of his lieutenant while resting in the city...

Character Rating: All Excellent

Treasure: 500GP from the bandit guys lockbox

XP: 339XP for all participants

Session 20 (30/10/2021)

Downtime: Day 213 (25/10/2021) – Day 217 (29/10/2021) – The PCs received some special rewards from the Dwarf King in Khun Kaldur for their efforts in the war, and the monk Kovani who hadn’t played since Session 1 came back after a long pilgrimage across the kingdom.

Time Elapsed: Day 218 (30/10/2021) – Day 231 (12/11/2021)

Characters: Sixtus (P3), Milton (F3), Kovani (M1), Maethedir (F2/MU2), Betanochin (H, F1), Articulatus Superfluous (H, MU1), Jake Mace (H, M1)

Outcomes: Milton North sworn in as a Knight of Ardenward, and hired 4 crossbowmen. The party went back to the Weald to go to a dungeon they had been to in the first session, again some time later, and then again now! Discovered that the hobbit village they had saved and were close to was in ruins (PC Patron wiped them out and sacrificed every single one to his deity), they fought the shadow of a hobbit (cursed ground!) before meeting an old stoned Druid at his grove and chilling out there, who hired them to go fetch his sickle from some sprites that took it into the ruins. They went for a delve but ended up coming back and chilling at the grove, before the campaign went on hiatus. I wonder what became of their cart left at Lake Athystra with 2 crossbowmen and the PCs 2 dogs on Day 224 (5/11/2021)

Character Rating: All Excellent

Treasure: 19gp

XP: PCs got XP for magic items from the dwarves in downtime + 19 GP in the dungeon + monsters slain)

Session 21 (20/11/2021)

Downtime: Day 221 (2/11/2021) – Day 238 (19/11/2021) Bale was debt collecting as a side gig in Thropsford & made 110GP. Helped Greg Chapel level up. Greg Chapel was levelled up by the Guru in exchange for wiping out a rival cult. He failed so went to Thropsford to get Bale to help him (Champion of Globulah). Owes the Guru 750GP. Lunk (new PC that died in session) helped Greg (not really). Finin recruited Garth the Gaunt into the Globulites.

Time Elapsed: Day 239 (20/11/2021) – Day 244 (25/11/2021)

Characters: Bale (F2), Finin (C1/MU1), Greg Chapel (C2), Lunk Thelleboe

Outcomes: The party charmed a dwarf at the inn and made him attend them to some dwarven ruins outside town that nobody could seem to crack (there was a rumoured special door). Bale paid some dirty woodsman to show him on a map where it is some ridiculous price he had to borrow money for. Camping in the rough hills where the dungeon is supposed to be, and they run into some huge number of oompa loompas chanting in the hills. They have a hill-doof with the party before leaving. Party explores the dwarven ruins, and come across a very interactive physical puzzle they play with for a while, and eventually crack it! Hurrah! They recover some strange dwarven splint mail that feels lighter than it looks on Greg Chapels body (I ruled that, because he was so short, it was sufficient to fit on him). At some point they also came across some drunk orcs, but because of Bale’s background and high reaction rolls, it turned out that the “Mudrollers” are actually an allied tribe of Bale’s dad’s “Guttering Hogs” clan. Also, their charmed dwarf Ughek got killed, as well as Lunk. Finin was knocked unconscious. They also found a VERY generous gem haul that they sold to a queer and eerie noble in Thropsford for 5121 GP.

Character Rating: All Excellent with a note that Bale is better tending his Chaotic side

Treasure: 5121 GP worth of gems + 400GP in a sack

XP: 1467XP for each surviving PC (Bale, Greg, Q, Finin).

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