Saturday, October 22, 2022

Session 31.5 - The Aftermath of the Battle at Traveler's Lake

Session 31.5 The Aftermath of the Battle at Traveler's Lake

Foreword: This is a followup to Session 31, played through play-by-post since last session ended due to time constraints. The tl;dr is that the party lost two characters, a henchman, and two magical weapons, but also took 1 month off the Curse of Lamalla (Blibdoolpoolp)

Timekeeping: "Session" from 23/10/2022 - 25/10/2022 Downtime from 26/10/2022

Characters: Finesstro the Nimble, Caelestis the Wall, Malcolm Mount-Batten, Daubeny Jamwine, John Smith [H]

Downtime Adjudication: N/A

Session Report:


Following the The Battle at Traveler's Lake the party left me with some instructions for what they wanted to do. In short:

  1. Rest 4 hrs to recover their level 1 spells (as per DMG p40) - note, the party has a cart with tarpaulin so I rule that their spell-casters can get sufficient rest.
    1. John Smith will prepare and cast Detect Magic on the horseman's flail they took from the priest
    2. John Smith will prepare Protection From Evil (since he has 1 holy water)
  2. Malcolm the Scout and Daubeny the Cutpurse will scout ahead the 2 miles from camp to Traveler's Lake to see if the fish men are still present.
  3. Dependent on 2, but, destroy the cultist's altar and any other religious artifacts. Also try to get treasure.

Simple enough?

John Smith does confirm a dweomer emanating from the flail, so Caelestis takes it (since his exceptional strength overpowers his non-proficiency penalty) and Malcolm is given the magical filleting knife that Barbanikos lent to Finesstro.

For 2. I had to think about what would be reasonable actions for the fish men to have taken in the last 4 hours, assigned some probabilities, and rolled some dice. The end result is that the two PCs found there to be no fish men around... And also no bodies or items. The place was picked clean of that.

At this point, I was sending messages in the group chat describing the outcome of their actions. I will simply collate these:

  • After scouting ahead and finding the lake to be clear of not only fish men but also all the bodies, of both sides, you regroup and head down to destroy the altar and other religious artifacts. You make quick work of the altar, which was of stacked river rocks and sticks. While you are gathering up and destroying loose ceremonial bowls, bone effigies, pyres, and so forth, you hear an uncharacteristic splash and gurgling sound from the lake, and, looking ahead through the thick blood rain, you see 11 fish men charging towards you from 90 yards away. They are wielding spears and grotesque looking shields. Thankfully you are not surprised, but now you must declare actions!
  • Round 1
    The fish men collide with your group. On their journey, one of them was struck with Finesstro's 2 magic missiles. 4 of them try to spear Cal and Malcolm, but only one attack lands, dealing Malcolm 3 damage! There are 4 behind the front group with spears but they couldn't attack this round. The remaining three flank around the sides, one beside Cal, one beside Malcolm, and the last closing with John Smith. Caelestis and Malcolm are both successful, Cal whipping one across the shoulder, the weapon unfamiliar to him but deadly. Malcolm slices one of the beasts across the stomach, its hard flesh giving way as a strange blue blood oozes out. No fish have been fried. Daubeny slinks away 12" Declare actions!
  • Round 2
    The fish men have initiative and with two ranks of spears plus one on each flank, our frontline heroes are hard pressed. Cal's silly stats mean nothing still hits him but Malcolm gets double skewered for a total of 12 damage.
    Finesstro scampers away his 9" while John Smith evades blows from the fish man, himself going in for a strike that does nothing!
    Daubeny's sling bullet flies off into the distance.
    Malcolm and Cal both strike true! Cal fells the fish man with his guts coming out while Malcolm garrotes the one with smashed shoulder, though it still stands. One of the fish men in the second rank fills the gap of the fallen one. They all croak and gurgle horrifically at the death of their ally. A cold malice reflects from their dead, lifeless eyes.
    Declare actions!
  • Round 3
    Party Initiative: 3 Monster Initiative: 2
    Finesstro's Magic Missile's hits two different fish men, one wounded one copping a bolt on its shoulder but still standing! The other was definitely hit but seemed relatively un-phased. Cal's swipe misses! Malcolm repositions and does not get an attack this round. The three spearfish in the second rank and the one on Cal's flank all try to stab him, since Malcolm moved, but to no avail. John Smith is hit for 4 damage and his attack does nothing to the beast! Nor does Daubeny's stone seem to have any effect except adding extra stress to his allies. The four fish fingers in the front charge for Cal, trying to overbear him. He fends off two of them, one who happened to be the wounded one, and follows up with one successful attack, smashing it's brain in with a loose flail ball. The two he didn't fend off try to dogpile him - one of them straight up bounces off of him, the other slips down and grabs a hold of his leg. (DM Note: This player chose max height/weight for his character, and because of this, his foes are getting upwards of -50% grappling and overbearing outcomes because of the size difference - future PCs are random or average h/w only!)  He is now slowed and off balance! Grapples get +10% and monsters get +2 to hit him. The creature on Malcolm's flank (hit by Finesstro's missile) pursued him and charged into him, knocking him to his hands and knees for 4 damage (2 real 2 temp, regen at 1/rd). The slimy, nimble, and incredibly strong fish man dropped his weapons and mounted the young ranger, wrangling him into a bear hug and crushing his ribs for 4 damage (1 real, 3 temp, 1 regen/rd). Future rounds for Malcolm will be spent trying to get out of the grapple/turn the situation around. Declare actions!
  • Round 4
    Party Initiative: 2 Monster Initiative: 4
    Before anything happens, John Smith raises his holy cross and calls out a pray to God. The blood rain splatters upon the wooden symbol, soaking into it and degrading its appearance. There is no answer. His opponent tries to capitalise on his distraction but the cleric remained focused and untouched. Two fish men in the second rank tried to stab Cal again and failed, but the one on his flank stabs Caelestis for a whopping 7 damage. Meanwhile, with the fish holding onto his leg, Caelestis is assailed by the other 3 trying to overbear him again - the scent of blood combined with at least one success from their ally driving them into a fishy frenzy. Cal fends off one but soon the dogpile is successful - one grabs his other leg, making him "held by both legs" - +20% to grapple attempts and enemies hit at +4! The last fish staggers him for 2 damage (1 real 1 temp) and follows up by ganging up on one of his legs with the other fish dude. Cal smacks the first fish in the head - it's a whopping blow but the barra sticks to the line and doesn't give up. Old Oily gets up after his handiwork on Malcolm and grabs his spear and shield, preparing to finish off the job, when over the chaotic din the taunts of Finesstro and Daubeny reach his ear holes. None of the fish men pay any heed to these disturbances, and neither does Oily. The fish man flanking Cal spared a glance to the mockery but the scent of blood he just drew is too enticing! Declare Actions!
  • Round 5
    Party Initiative: 3 Monster Initiati
    Traveler's Lake (Artist's Interpretation)

    ve: 2
    Cal hits the first fish that grabbed him and the thing is barely alive, but it is fully entangled around his leg and spasming out. Finesstro and Daubeny take a cautious circle around the melee, and find themselves in a path much like their previous, full of idols, effigies, and other ceremonial items. Malcolm is still blacked out. The 3 fish men on Cal's legs maintain their grip. Their slick oily skin glistening with blood - blood from the sky, blood from their allies, blood from Cal. The four other spearfish all try to lance the Gigachad but this bullshit says they all miss. They will need to fully immobilise him if they want guaranteed hits. Old Oily steps his scaly foot - paw - talon? on Malcolm's back and, as per DMG p70, stabs him through the head twice for 14 damage. Malcolm is dead. Somewhere during this John Smith succeeded a morale check and his opponent failed to hit him again. Declare Actions!
  • Round 6
    Party Initiative: 4 Monster Initiative: 4
    The four standing spearfish try to penetrate Cal's silly protection - one of them does! Cal takes 5 damage. The other 3 continue to hold onto his legs, not seeming to bother with risking losing their hold to get something better. Finesstro and Daubeny simultaneously move further away while they hear the gurgling cry of glee of Old Oily as he plucks Malcolm's dagger from his corpse and begins to run towards you both - he is about 6" away now. John tries to disengage-retreat but his aggressor is Hell bent on putting away this disciple of Christ - he moves with him about 4" away, the two swapping blows but to no avail. Declare Actions!
  • Round 7
    Party Initiative: 6 Monster Initiative: 6
    Cal simultaneously misses his attack while three of the spearfish try again to lance him. The huge giant is unpenetrated - except for one blow which deals 5 damage. The fourth spearfish on his left flank drops its weapons and goes for a grapple, (which Cal can't fend due to being on his shield side) but with a -17 on their d100 roll despite having 3 fish dudes grasping his legs, the best the fish man can do is get a waist clinch which does no damage, but does secure the fishes hold. The Wall has about 900 pounds hanging off him and he's still swinging! Though he cannot counter this grapple due to having his hands occupied. Finesstro and Daubeny both flee along the lake while Old Oily trails behind, a wicked glean in his cold visage, though he is not as fast as the lightly equipped "heroes". John Smith is wise enough not to go rummaging through his pack in the middle of a melee with an undamagable fish man - he tries to disengage, but the fish charges him for an Overbear! The fish man collides so heavily with his scaly shoulder and shield that John is knocked flat and stunned, taking 6 damage (3 real, 3 temp) - he is at 1 real hp, -2 temp hp - unconscious!
  • DMG p40
    Round 8
    Party Initiative: 5 Monster Initiative: 1
    Cal wipes out the wounded fish man on his leg - now only 2 hang off his legs and 1 has a waist clinch, which he couldn't improve upon. The giant man is still in his same vulnerable state due to the gang, and one spearfish lands a measly 3 damage on Cal. John Smith is executed by Slimy Simmons with two quick thrusts to the head - the fishy menace turns to the back of Caelestis now. Finesstro and Daubeny continue their trailing of Old Oily, the leering aquatic humanoid seemingly electrified by their slowing down. Declare Actions!
  • Round 9
    Party Initiative: 3 Monster Initiative: 2
    Cal hits another fish man on his leg - this one was previously wounded and is latching on for dear life now, its blue blood mixing with the blood red rain as the hulking Fighter flails about like a cornered dog. Two of the fish men stab him for a combined 8 damage, while Slimy Simmons disregards his dex bonus, shield bonus, gets a +2 to hit from rear, and a +4 due to him being grappled, for an easy 6 damage to Cal! Meanwhile, the waist clinching wobbegong finally gets a better hold - it's a hand lock! Caelestis no longer has his shield arm! He takes 3 damage (1 real 2 temp) Daubeny and Finesstro move 8.5" while Old Oily moves 9", closing the gap from 9" to 8.5". Declare Actions!
  • Caelestis the Wall
    Round 10
    Party Initiative: 3 Monster Initiative: 2
    Cal clobbers a different fish man before Slimy Simmons, Wrangling Wobbegong, and co. all crank or stab his broken down figure - the man is sent to -9hp (3 temporary) at last, and the fishy fiends croak and splatter with glee over his body. Slimy Simmons grabs the flail and in a stroke of grim irony bashes Caelestis' head in, while the rest of them drink up the blood and suck on the brain matter. While Finesstro and Daubeny continue their journey - some couple hundred yards along the lake edge, quite away from the combat, they notice Old Oily dive into the lake - the surface a thick red colour and unable to be penetrated by eye.

Following this, Finesstro and Daubeny circle back around to the combat site and, upon seeing fish men still there, hauling bodies into the water, they decide to leave this place and return to Underland. Just before they were chased off, they noticed a stone obelisk in the water where the fish men were splashing around - it had strange markings on it.

They make it back to their cart and horses, and begin the journey back to Underland. At the end of the first day (23/10/2022) they rejoin the soldiers they sent home, and match their pace for the rest of the journey, returning to the city on the 25/10/2022, in the late afternoon/early evening: 

"You arrive at Underland on the 25/10/22 - some citizens look on with sorrow as the group of over 100 returns a group of 30, with many heroes lost as well. Some spit at you as walk by, widows calling out for justice for their now broken family. Guardsmen and Cultist Guards stare at you in silence - the former with a pained expression, the latter with a cold and empty gaze. While you pass through, Finesstro, you notice skittering towards you through the throng of people now dispersing a small ferret like creature with an ugly man's face. It's Brown Jenkin. He crawls up your horses leg which almost sends the beast reeling but you calm him down. "Master wishes to speak with you, and he hopes you were successful and that his knife served you well." At this last statement, the ghastly thing lets out a horrific snicker that is equally unsettling as it is inhuman. Before you make it much further, one of the lieutenant's of the troop you took with you leans over and speaks to you both - "Captain Charder will want to hear your account, of both the battle and your proceeding endeavors." He is quiet for a moment and mutters under his breath, "I hope this was all worth it" You are soon left alone in the main street, blood rain pouring about your cart. It is getting dark, and the rain is particularly heavy tonight."

Finesstro goes and briefs Barbanikos on what transpired:

"Barbanikos: "You WHAT!? My prized filleting knife! Stolen by Evil fish men? Your army slaughtered, your greatest fighters executed - what a disaster! But, BUT! Was it? You say you annihilated all of the human cultists, including their high priests? And you destroyed the altar to Blibdoolpoolp? Yes, yes! A great loss indeed but not wasted! Slaying the priests and destroying the altar - good, GOOD! Can you not feel the Sun is a little brighter? Does the Blood Moon not seem little purer? You have taken a score off the clock, this is certain."" 

From this point, it is downtime activities. 

Treasure & XP:

No treasure. XP awarded for the combat from Session 31.5 goes wholly to the survivors. This was scaled by the relative strengths of each side (as per DMG 84). Could this mean that mass battles = mass XP?

Finesstro - 1493XP

Daubeny - 1493XP

Character Performance Ratings: Refer to Session 31 - in general, the survivors Finesstro and Daubeny both behaved Good and shirked courageous brawn, opting for alternatives and self-preservation.

Downtime Requests: Downtime from 26/10/2022

Finesstro - Traveling to Castle Ardenward and informing the Baron that most of his forces have been killed, but that a great victory was achieved. He will see what he can do to help the Baron's domain, and also tell thrilling tales in the Giant's Shin about his allies, Malcolm the Scout, and Caelestis the Wall (ft. John Smith).

Comments: This was the first time we did play by post (only due to circumstance - we had things that needed resolution from last session and there would be no game the following weekend). This caused some friction as what is normally fast and loose and active in the mind became a week-long back and forth. In future, it would be better to simply get on voice-chat and play it as normal. In saying that, some benefits that came from this are:
  • I was much more attentive to rule details since there wasn't the same urgency to keep things rolling as in normal play. E.g. amount of attacks that a shield is effective against, flanking, double checking modifiers for WvAC. This was generally a more accurate combat with fewer mistakes.
  • I was able to adjudicate a group grappling attack, which was epic and something that typically deterred me due to the complexity of it (think: you have 3 guys overbearing 1 guy, so there's those usual modifiers to keep track of. The order matters because if the first guy succeeds it will benefit the following guys. On top of this, the defender (if he has a weapon) gets fending attacks which, if successful, trigger a free attack roll). This was excellent practice to get more comfortable with it.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Session 31 - The Battle at Travelers Lake

Session 31 - The Battle at Travelers Lake

Foreword: This was a campaign milestone - Holgard finally broke the interplanar wall and joined the BrOSR multiverse; a mass battle at 1:10 was fought, and I overcame a personal hurdle of running classed NPCs with spells in combat.

Timekeeping:15/10/2022 - 23/10/2022 Downtime from 24/10/2022

Characters: Finesstro the Nimble, Caelestis the Wall, Malcolm Mount-Batten, Daubeny Jamwine, John Smith [H]

Downtime Adjudication:

Malcolm Mount-Batten (who wasn't at the last session) had a lot of downtime to catch up on. Because of their last huge haul from the ancient ruins below a dwarven lair and immediate sale of a laser robot head to the local high level magic user he was suddenly rich enough in both XP and gold to spend 2 weeks going straight to level 3 Ranger! He rolled 8 and 2hp respectively. On top of this, he paid 1000gp in months of upkeep costs and earned 842gp hunting for 3 months (84 xp at 1:10 ratio) (Note: For downtime activities that earn money I should also include some method of determining if an adverse outcome occurs)

Finesstro [8/10/2022 - 14/10/2022] spent the week selling Comprehend Language casts in the Giant's Shin and made 50gp (5xp)

Caelestis [13/10/2022 - 14/10/2022] lost 6gp wrestling and betting in some old fighting pits - naked in the blood rain and all.

Daubeny [13/10/2022 - 14/10/2022] checks up on his dog that's being trained for him to ride. I rule that this will give him a loyalty bonus later - perhaps a scale of +1% per week spent with the dog, to some cap, is reasonable.

All level 3 party now! The last time this happened it took months because their previous Good PCs were Very Good™ and they did a lot of selfless and non-profitable things. We remarked on the differences - the last PCs had a great reputation and connections to noteworthy people, halved upkeep costs, etc. While these PCs are all exactly where they were in only a few sessions (though a decent amount of real-and-game time has elapsed due to interruptions to regular play).

Session Report:


With the Curse of Lamalla in full swing, the world has become an even harsher and more dangerous place. This session, the game opens up with the players discussing the weather. Some concern is given to the plight of the Underlanders with the recent loss of their Duke and exponential rise to power of a local cult, but, quite surprisingly, Finnestro the Nimble insists that with this insane cosmic event going on, it is their duty to do something about it (and get clout on twitter with the other BrOSR campaigns).

Everyone decides to split and try to find information from their respective information networks - Caelestis goes to the city guard, Daubeny to the Thieves Guild, Malcolm eats a meal at the pub, and Finesstro goes to Barbanikos. Unsurprisingly, asking the City Guard and the Thieves Guild about what to do about the week old cosmic curse didn't yield much - the Guard Captain Charder doesn't think the recent cult activity in the city, with the men who wear a tabard of a half-open eye, was related at all. He even went so far as to say that he believes they fight against this curse. The Thieves Guild are indifferent - the blood rain and diminished sunlight has made general thievery easier to accomplish. 

This leaves Barbanikos (Malcolm didn't offer much as usual). Finesstro cruised over to his idol's gates, and the magical mouthpiece opened. Barbanikos' familiar, Brown Jenkin, answered the call and insisted that The Master was busy and couldn't help Finesstro right now. The mischievous familiar got busted answering his master's calls and soon enough Barbanikos was rambling away to the young magic user about a great cosmic battle that started with a prince's cursed sword in another plane of existence, and ended with Blibdoolpoolp cursing all consenting campaigns for 6 months of bad weather and scary sea monsters.

After Barbanikos' fourth wall breaking spiel and lamentation that Finesstro and co. were less than pawns in a side game of checkers while waiting for your turn in a 4D chess match, he decided to loan the young magic user a magical filleting knife, for slaying whatever aquatic horrors they come across. He also told him that there is bad juju coming from a lake north-west of the city, near Broken Hill. This confirmed all the players suspicions and once they regrouped, everyone agreed it was time to raise a small army and wipe out some cultists.

Caelestis pulls some strings in the Underland Guard, where he has done some downtime as a mercenary Lieutenant, as well as his class training, and gets 20 heavy foot with 2 serjeants, in exchange for a future favour and 1 month enlistment. 


Everyone else heads to Castle Ardenward to the south-east while Caelestis gets to know the troops he is in charge of. The group is on horseback and, besides coming across a heavily armoured merchant caravan on the way, nothing else happens. Finesstro gives a genuinely compelling and heartfelt speech to the Baron about the importance of this mission, and the Baron grants him 60 heavy foot with 6 serjeants, 20 light crossbow with 2 serjeants, and 2 lieutenants. All with 1 week of rations. Finesstro donates 100gp to the village still struggling over a year later to fully get back on its feet after Session 16

17/10/2022 - 19/10/2022

The players and the unmounted soldiers return to Underland without any encounters.

20/10/2022 - 22/10/2022

The citizens of Underland gather at the northern exit as the company, raising the banners of Ardenward and Underland, depart in the early morning to help save the world. Blood rain pelts down upon the backs of the soldiers as they march into the perilous beyond. For three days they trek, with constant blood rain soaking their equipment and breaking their spirits. The players try to rally the troops, but it is to not much avail. The journey wears down on everyone - but it passes without event. The nights are cold, wet, and stressful. Sickly red light from the moon fills everyone with unease. Strange noises carry over the plains.

Eventually they make it to their destination. Looking down from the top of a hill they can just make out Traveler's Lake... And at it is a horrific sight. Strange cyclopean obelisks stand around the lake now, and various robed and naked figures alike perform gruesome rituals in the pouring blood rain. Strange gurgling and splashes erupt in the lake. The party debates sending the thief and ranger down to get a closer look, but this gets scrapped, and they backtrack the whole company 2 miles. Tomorrow they will attack at dawn, as is the age old tradition, and just before this the ranger and thief will try to do a quick scouting mission.

Their night passes without event.


The army begins its march while the scouts shoot ahead and creep down the hill to the open fields by the river below. The thick blood rain and diminished sunlight is in their favour and, creeping 100-200 yards away, they briefly survey the site. There are about 60 cultists, unarmoured, and a tall, armoured man with a flail, who bashes the skull of a sacrifice to a pulp upon an altar. In this case I decide surprise will be sufficient to see if the scouts are noticed and, given the hobbit and ranger rules for this, the two are unnoticed and quickly return to camp, relaying the information. The consensus is that they must attack them, but if something comes out of the water they are to flee. Caelestis is given the command of the troops, being a Fighter 3 experience in the Underland Guard.

We switch to 1:10 for this fight, since Good has about 110 men while Evil has about 60 men, with NPCs as well. They are going to approach in a slight U shaped formation - 2 ranks of heavy foot 4 across, with the two figures of light crossbowmen in the rear. Their plan is to try and get close enough to surprise the enemy that their crossbowmen will get triple rate of fire and be within firing range. 

The Battle at Travelers Lake [23/10/2022]

Note that this was played Theater of the Mind

Good advances down upon Evil. I rule that normal wilderness encounter distance applies (6d4") with a chance for surprise by the party which will dictate when the cultists notice the incoming force. Although the terrain is open, I adjudicate that this is reasonable due to the combination of the cultists being preoccupied, exhausted from a long night of rituals, and having heavy blood rain + mist obscuring the area.

The players make it 14" (140 yards) with 1 segment of surprise (reducing distance to 13") before they are noticed. The crossbowmen and players loose missiles at triple rate of fire with -5 penalty due to long range. Two figures of cultists get annihilated straight away. The next round the army starts to close, covering 6", while the remaining cultists band together after passing morale (their fanaticism and insanity are important here). The party notices about 5 armoured people, including the character from earlier, about 6" behind the group, and they are all wielding grotesque symbols. They begin to chant in some unholy tongue.

The army charges and collides with the cultists while crossbowmen loose. Finesstro casts a Magic Missile at the head cleric (supposedly anyway) and it interrupts his focus! The cultists are almost all annihilated immediately by the armoured and trained troops. There is only 1 figure left after the charge and they receive some sort of unholy blessing as the armoured figures finish their prayer, but it is to no avail - they break morale and flee, getting cut down by free +4 hits from the heavy foot. The party tries to loose some missiles at the priests, who are already fleeing to an altar further around the lake, and a couple shots land but they are generally unscathed. Finesstro has landed his 2 Magic Missiles for the day on the head dude.

The army approaches at their normal speed, cautiously observing the Evil clerics who have begun to chant and are all focused on the tallest among them. He, too, is chanting - but it gets interrupted by a final Magic Missile from Finesstro, who used up a spell scroll for the task! The others complete their chanting by the time the army closes and surrounds the altar, and the party groans as the wounds upon the head cleric are closed. 

Being this close, they notice now that the man is queer in appearance - his face is elongated, his eyes bulbous and have a dead sheen, like that of a fish. The mail beneath his plate breastplate and shoulder-pads seems as if it is his skin. He stares blankly at the adventurers in a brief moment of quiet, the only sound being the droplets of blood rain casting the already ghastly scene in a truly horrific light.

In a dead-pan voice the army and party are warned to leave with their lives now and spare the Evil clerics.

Nobody even considers this and the surrounded and outnumbered clerics are cut down without pause.

Their blood spills upon the altar they were standing on.

Caelestis grabs the head clerics Horseman's Flail which he surmised must surely be magical.

The lake begins to gurgle and churn. Strange groans and croaks echo from within.

Suddenly the screams of men fill the air! The party looks and sees a figure of their army being stabbed and eaten by grotesque fish men who charged from the water, their angler like mouths opening and closing in the air. The army and party turn to run for their lives while more fish men emerge from the lake and cut down more fleeing men. Cooler heads recollect the force into a defensive retreat - Caelestis is at the front line of a figure of heavy foot, brandishing the wizard Barbanikos' enchanted filleting knife (given to him by Finesstro since he's much better suited to use it) and begins slashing at the fish men. Malcolm, the crossbowmen, and the heavy foot join in, but their attacks seem to have no effect as the horrific beasts set upon them with a primordial savagery. Finesstro and Daubeny are fleeing the scene. Caelestis, however, cuts a few of the creatures down - but it is not enough! A few rounds of slaughter occur, with insane morale rolls from the forces of Good fighting though they know it is for naught - for what else are they to do? Flee home while these horrors beset their lands, their homes, and their families? It is this same bravery that causes one figure and its serjeant to intercept the 20 fish men and give the rest of the company a chance to escape.

Out of 100 men plus their leaders, only 30 survived. The adventurers were unscathed. They recollected at their campsite, sending the remaining soldiers home while the party vowed to stay and complete their business here - to see if the fish men linger, and to pick at the possible treasures left behind on the bodies of their enemies. One would hope some plans to thwart Evil are in there but who can say?

The session ended at the date of our next session (a day after really). It was 12:30AM at this point, so we pulled a pin on it and will round off this during the week or at next session.

 Post battle calculations of total HD of troops lost reveals that, despite the horrific ending, the forces of Evil incurred a greater loss... Barely. So it was a minor victory for the forces of Good!

Treasure & XP:

To be evaluated when PCs return to town.

Character Performance Ratings:

Finesstro - (E) - Finesstro behaved well as a Magic User here - preparing appropriate spells, staying in the back ranks, and acting as the ranged artillery/sniper he is meant to be in mass battle, trying to whittle down leaders with his spells. Didn't falter in using his magical scroll to get another opportunity at this. Of special note was his adherence to his alignment, as far as Good is concerned.

Caelestis - (E) - Played heroically and in true leader fashion, fighting among the front ranks and leading his troops. Behaved rationally. Some questionable interactions related to his greed, but ultimately his actions reflected Good.

Daubeny - (E) - Acted as a scout, avoided fighting on the front line. Demonstrated Good in his compassion for the soldiers and the immensity of their task.

Malcolm - (E) - Flowed appropriately between front and back rank; utilised his abilities as a ranger to scout ahead with silence and improve odds of surprise for the company. Was compassionate towards the soldiers.

Downtime Requests: This party is in stasis until 23/10/2022 (the day of the battle).

Comments: It didn't end up meaning much, but finally pushing over the hump of using classed NPCs in combats and managing spells felt like a personal victory. 1:10 finally clicked. When the PCs figures were getting killed by the fish men I should have checked to see if any PCs got killed/damaged. Otherwise it played really smoothly. There was some friction with distances but I believe that, if you are playing Theater of the Mind, good enough with regards to distances is acceptable. This is not to say you can just make it all up - but that aiming to do it right will mean it's right. 1" here or there, is neither here nor there. 

We also finally forced our way into the BrOSR multiverse. Very epic.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Session 30 - Much Ado About Nothing

 Session 30 - Much Ado About Nothing

Foreword: Sessions are finally back in. We are trying out playing digitally due to life changes. The idea being that playing online is better than not playing at all.

Timekeeping: Session from 8/10/2022 - 12/10/2022 Downtime from 13/10/2022

Characters: Futadur the Fighter (H F1), Daubeny Jamwine (Gnome T2), Caelestis Daemon (H F2), John Smith [H] (H C1)

Downtime Adjudication: We had a huge amount of downtime. For the characters from last session, it started on 25/07/2022. The players went to Underland (25/07/2022 - 28/07/2022 travelling from Khun Kaldur to Underland by cart) and sold the laser robot head to Barbanikos for 10000gp (as 2000 platinum). I allowed this to be part of the last session's XP reward since they made the journey immediately. Part of the selling process involved them using the blue fuel canister they had to fuel the head and incinerate a hairy purple monster in a cage that had a morale-breaking scream. Anyway, from this point it was individual downtime (everyone had a few months upkeep to pay)

Finesstro - Training to MU3 with Barbanikos - some cost deducted since he took the library of the last MU (Maethedir) who died tragically. In his research he discovered the spell Leomund's Trap (which he immediately cast upon the chest in their cart) and rolled 4hp! For the rest of his downtime cast Comprehend Languages in the Giant's Shin tavern [5/08/2022 - 7/10/22] earned 550gp (55xp, reduced ratio).

Daubeny - Underland trip [25/07/2022 - 28/07/2022]. Paid 40% of all his treasure to Thieves Guild; paid his henchman John Smith (who got so much XP from it he was able to level up - the first lvl 2 henchman of the campaign! He rolled 2hp though); leveled up from T2-T3 [29/07/2022 - 4/07/2022] and rolled 6hp (plus his con bonus). He is also looking to buy a specialty puppy that will be raised and trained to bear him as a steed. I'm still figuring out exactly how this should work and how much it should cost.

Caelestis - Underland trip [25/07/2022 - 28/07/2022]; Leveled up to 3 by training with the Underland guard. Rolled 10hp! He learned how to use a composite longbow; Spent 3 weeks in recovery from an intestinal parasite he caught. Spent the last 2 months of downtime as a Lieutenant in the Underland Army for 300gp/month - just covering his newly acquired upkeep costs. He also paid a weapon-smith to have a custom composite longbow made which would accommodate his size and strength. I ruled that it would cost 320gp - Double the composite longbow's cost of 100gp, plus 10%, plus a weapon-makers monthly fee of 100gp.

Session Report:


The party had returned to Khun Kaldur during their downtime and decided that they would find this monster hunter "Dweor Krull" in the mountains and try to sell the skull-gem to him. They try to leave the gate to the south-east and notice that the dwarves are all on edge. They inform the party that nobody will let them in after dark. With this, the party proceeds through the mountain pass the dwarves have developed, to the Outpost Gundinarg, arriving about midday. They are met with similar behaviours - many armed dwarves patrol the area, behaving sketchily. One of them asks a guard what's going on, and it's revealed that there is some disturbance in the mountains causing them concern. They also asked about Dweor Krull - apparently he wears armour of a pearlescent bone and was last seen... Heading due East into the wild mountains, to search for the ancient ruins of some lost city, and apparently find settlements of humans who supposedly live in the mountains disconnected from the rest of the realm.

Nobody wants to do this. So they head back to Khun Kaldur and, as it is nightfall by the time they arrive, they are locked out. Who could have guessed! Thankfully, the night passed by peacefully, except for strange howling and the sound of boulders crashing not that far away.


They get let into the dwarven lair and try to check out the dungeon they went in last time. Apparently all the dwarven sentries that got sent down to the first layer have been withdrawn due to a strange sickness spreading among those who were down there. The party heads down and notice immediately a strange haze in the air, emanating most strongly from the tunnel to the left, where their map said was "The Quarry" that they had journeyed down last time. Nobody likes this and after some half-hearted arguments on how they could cover their mouths with cloths etc. everybody decides that the adventure which gave them such great riches last time was suddenly too high up the tree. They decided that a good old fashioned monster hunt was on the cards. They head to the tavern, imbibe some potent dwarvish ale, and ask about possible adventure. Emerging from the shadows is a queer looking figure - both in the 1920s and 2020s sense of the word - he is covered in purple/pink frills and lace, makeup, and is so old and decrepit. He offers the adventurers a job - a heroic task - cut off a troll's head and give it to his "associates" in Underland... Before it regenerates. Everybody is keen as at first, but more conversation with this guy raises their hackles. He has done something bad and is in Khun Kaldur on exile. They want to "arrest him and return him to Underland for justice" (read as: kidnap him and see if they can get money for him. He even gave them 25gp (which Futadur's player informed me he took all of). But the dwarven innkeeper says that you can't go around kidnapping people without evidence in a Lawful Good domain.

With this, the party decides to leave the mountains, the dwarves, and Jiji, and go to Underland where there must surely be some sort of low hanging fruit.

9/10/22 - 12/10/2022

The party journeys to Underland with no encounters on the way. Very recently, the Duke was pronounced dead and some sort of council has stood in for him. A change that has happened is that a particular cult on the Street of the Gods have grown in favour immensely - even occupying one of the three primary temples. Their disciples wear black and red tabards with a half open eye, and have been granted authority from the ruling council to have religious patrols. They also notice the sewer entrances are being guarded and access restricted. The party asks a guard about all this and, with some decent charisma reaction rolls, learn about a meeting below the Giant's Shin tonight. 

They loiter around the inn until closing time, having spoken with the innkeeper (and Caelestis tipping him a few gold pieces for his "trust") about the meeting tonight. The inn is closed - doors locked, windows shuttered. A trapdoor in the back room is opened up, revealing stairs down with torchlight below. The party heads down with the innkeeper, and follow a tunnel below the city - hewn from the earth. They eventually come to a big open room with a stage in the middle. There are various similar tunnels coming to and from it. A tall, well groomed man stands on the stage. His clothes suggest he is a merchant. The room is full of different types - some adventurers, regular peasants, guardsmen, merchants, even a couple of higher-class people. The man on the stage gathers everyone's attention and goes into a speech about the state of the city. One of the players thinks this is a Communityism rally. But it becomes clear that they are just concerned citizens wanting to maintain the way Underland was.

Key points brought up

  • There is a cult
  • They have authority granted from above (some type of council since the Duke's death)
  • This mob wants to find out what the cult's endgame is and find a way to circumvent it - returning Underland to the way it was

After the meeting, Caelestis spoke with the speaker (who was called Anastis) and suggested the idea that he infiltrate the cult and find out what is going on. The speaker was very impressed and shocked at the generosity and selflessness of the idea, until Caelestis asked if he would be compensated for it. Admiration turned to disgust and Caelestis was dismissed. Daubeny sympathised with the peoples plight and had a reasonable conversation with the man.

The meeting had ended and the party retired for the night. They now have a lot of options for what to do next session - what with the Curse of Lamalla now in full swing, many unexplored hooks from previous sessions open to them, these developments with this strange cult, and plenty more undiscovered adventures ahead. What are they going to do? I haven't a clue!

Treasure & XP:

Futadur - 25gp = 25xp

Character Performance Ratings: All Excellent

Downtime Requests:

Comments: First time running a "session" online. We all noticed that everyone is way more focused and there are less side-conversations since everyone is at the same volume. It is also a lot easier for us to schedule and play since travel has been eliminated - all in all, it is not as nice as interacting in person but it is certainly more efficient with regards to time - you're home already, you hop on and play, and your play time is maximised because there is no travel buffer either side of it. I will likely just use my usual pen & paper implements and the PC will be exclusively voice chat but I can see a mix of the two being useful down the line - especially being able to search the rule-books more easily and use random generators online on the fly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Session 29 - The Lost Dwarves

Session 29 - The Lost Dwarves

Foreword: I am writing this session report in October 2022, so a lot of it is compiled from my memory being jogged by my loose notes. But, as we are endeavoring to play more again, I must also endeavour to keep these up to date.

Timekeeping: Session was held on 16/07/2022 but play "started" on the 21/07/2022 due to waiting out a PCs training. Session ended on the 24/07/2022, downtime available from 25/07/2022. Malcom Mount-Batten requires 1 week bed-rest due to being knocked unconscious, from the 25/07/2022. He will not be available for downtime until the 1/08/2022. Health restored at 1hp/day of rest + con bonus at the end of each continuous week of rest.


Downtime Adjudication: Downtime from 25/05/2022 until 20/07/2022

Caelestis Daemon - Bouncing for Pimps Union - earned 50gp/week. Got enough XP (with his 10% bonus) to reach level 2. Trained with the Underland Guard. Also exchanged some currency and paid the fee for that. He also bought Plate Armour

Finesstro - Casting Comprehend Languages each day at the Giant's Shin. I ruled he had a 50% success rate due to The Giant's Shin seeing a large influx of adventurers. He made 1075gp. Spent 1 week training to MU 2

Malcolm - Hunting expedition. I made up some ruling using the Ranger's tracking chance. He did terribly and only ended up with 104gp from his efforts.

Daubeny - Did jobs for the Thieves Guild. Used spy mission jobs for difficulty and duration, and used the reward schema I employed for Malcolm's hunting trip. He ended up with 501gp

Session Report:


The game starts and the party is hung up on what to do. During the week I had seeded a few adventure rumours into the Discord channel:

Riders from the south-east have been posting notices around high-traffic adventurer areas in Underland today - for a Call to Adventure has been put out by the dwarves of Khun Kaldur in relation to a cryptic discovery they made while mining in the Redwyrm Mountains. A reward is in place for anyone who can find some of their missing scouts, and discover more information about the "metallic tunnel leading into the heart of the mountain".

A bizarre old man passed through the Giant's Shin last night covered in plant matter, and nobody can remember his face. What they do remember are his cryptic words about the old hedge knights shrine in the Weald that is purported to contain the magical relics of said knight, for whoever is cunning enough to seize them.

Travelers and merchants passing between Thropsford and Underland have reported strange lights and wails coming from a ruined church 15 miles NE from Sunland, along the Underland-Thropsford highway.

Also, the group noticed that guards were stationed outside sewer entrances in the city, and that adventurers had been coming and going from them lately.

The party, perhaps through a sense of security through familiarity, decides to go see what's up with the dwarves. Before they leave Underland, they hire a cleric who wanted to adventure. His name is John Smith and he's a Cleric of Christ. Cael picks up two double cost war dogs (higher loyalty) named Dez and Troy. He also spends 12sp having a custom cloak made up with the Temple of Iron logo (a dumbbell). The dogs get kitted out in Studded Leather armour. Malcolm picked up a standard war dog too.

They make the journey to Castle Ardenward without event - and the Baron puts them up for the night because of Finesstro's presence (who is the vestige of the "old party" who were in very good graces with the Baron).


They make it to Khun Kaldur without event - and the resplendent dwarven architecture is just as marvelous as ever. They notice something interesting - a section where some dwarves are labouring away behind a rope fence. They are golden statues. One of them, the closest to completion, is Sixtus Sunwalker. One of the dwarves working is named Kalgor - he was a dear friend of Sixtus and his companions. There is a plaque dedicated to each member of the party who helped save the dwarves from their plight with the orcs a long time ago.

The party reminisces before getting back into gear. The dwarves dug up something strange. There's a strange tunnel descending into the earth. It has weird orange metallic walls and lights that blink in and out. There's a sleek metal cart at the top of where it was unearthed - but no wheels or rails. They notice a button on the wall. It's revealed that pressing it causes the cart to levitate and shoot down the tunnel. After some time it returns.

Nobody wants to go down in it.

They buy a ram for the player's handbook fee of 1gp and send it down. Meanwhile, the party drinks some of the absolutely staggering dwarven ale with forces a system shock roll from Caelestis. Everyone survives, and stumbles drunkenly back to the cart to find the ram is alive! A dwarf agrees to come with them tomorrow, after everyone has rested. They also get a job from one of the captains - 300gp for info about the scouts they sent down, and 10gp for every 100' of the place they map (I later adjust this amount because it was... A poor decision).


John gets a weeks worth of candles stuffed in his backpack and everyone hops in the cart. They organise to have the cart sent down by a dwarven guard every-time it comes back up so they always have a way out. Everyone gets in, pushes the button, and in moments they are pelting down into the earth through a cyber tunnel.

The cart comes to a stop, and the party is met with an oddly shaped but very symmetrical room about 90' at the widest point, and 70' deep. Tunnels are coming off in every direction; the walls are an orange-metallic substance and give off a strange source-less glow. Above each tunnel is a plaque with strange writing on it. The party makes a record of each of these.

Like this
The party explores each tunnel - there is precise symmetry in this place, but the tunnels do not lead anywhere - only to rooms with more of these carts and tracks. Some of them have strange circular doors, like an iris valve, with a pedestal before them. Daubeny tried to interfere with this and open them, but only got an electric shock.

The only other curiosity they noticed, was that in all the rooms the carts were either not present or seemingly "inactive" - the tunnel was unlit. Except for one. With this information, the party returns to the surface to inform that dwarves that the space is clear. Finesstro has a short rest to prepare Comprehend Languages while Caelestis seeks out Kalgor. They also cash in the area they have mapped so far for 1600gp! (10gp per 10x10' square is a preposterous rate)

Finesstro casts Comprehend Languages on the sketches of the writing they saw - and words form. "Quarry, Archives, The Wall, The Vats, Enclosure, Temple". The Quarry is where the only other lit tunnel was. With this, the party decides to send a lamb down that cart, and return to the surface for some much needed rest before delving deeper the next day.


The party makes their way down to the "station". 20 dwarves came with them to secure the area. Lamb blood stains the Quarry cart.

With apprehension the adventurer's enter the cart and push the button - when they arrive, they get the jump on some bizarre creatures - dog sized, frog-like animals with huge bony jaws. Their heads have scintillating metal gems embedded in them. My hopes of any challenge are crushed as these creatures get absolutely annihilated. The party dislodges the gems and pockets them. Nearby is a decayed body of a humanoid, and the group finds a necklace among "it". They noticed two huge glass panes looking "outside" into darkness - yet the torchlight did reveal some sort of track system. There were 3 doors in the room, they checked out the north one - it had a metal plate in front of it. The thief had a suss of it and decided it was all safe - one of them stepped on it, and the iris-valve door opened. 

It's "outside". There is a bridge they cross - looking over it reveals rows of tracks perpendicular to the bridge - much like the ones the cart they came in on. The cross the bridge and go down some stairs to a long hall with glass panes all along it looking out into a huge chasm - revealed by the occasional blink or pulse of light trailing along many, many, descending tracks into darkness.

Not only this, but there are six dwarves here! This must be the missing scouting party - but something is amiss. The party speaks with them, and they claim they've only been here for a short while. The party decides it would be best to bring these dwarves back. They quickly go to the cart and load everyone up. By the time they reach the top, the dwarves are nowhere to be found. At some point along the way they simply ceased to be around anymore.

This disturbs the party greatly, but not enough to deter them from the possible riches below. They make the journey back to where they last were, and being very careful mapping, travelling to the right, following the hallway around a bend to the left, where the glass panes are continuously. They note a door at the bend, but try to keep going around - eventually travelling so long without any change they decide to retrace their steps and check out the door. It has a pressure plate and opens - to the "outside". There is a deafening silence and the feeling of a great space above and around them. There is a building nearby - they go check it out. There is this huge statue of the same orange metal as the walls. It is in a humanoid shape with a bizarre head - two huge fly-like eyes with a proboscis. It has a drill for a hand, and it doesn't move. The party stops gawking from the doorway and steps inside. Suddenly, its eyes light up, the proboscis glows and a beam of light shoots towards them. Caelestis cops 11 damage and stands strong. The dog Dez is incinerated, along with someone who was traveling with them called Baldric (I think a dwarf). Malcolm is burnt unconscious but lives!

The orange thing doesn't do anything else. Daubeny goes inside and throws a rock at it - nothing. He tries to climb it, but Cal picks him up and puts him on-top of it. The Thief notices a plate between the things eyes - he takes Finesstro's dagger (why a thief has no dagger I don't know) and pries it up. Inside is a weird canister of a glowing blue substance. The party decides to leave, but not without pulling off the orange things head and taking it with them. There was a spare head on the table which they also take (because obviously). They high-tail it out of there safely, and cash in the necklace they found, as well as the gold for the map and information about the dwarven scouts. They donate one of the heads to the dwarves for research, and hear about a monster hunter who travels the mountains by the name of Dweor Krull who might be interested in the skull-gem from the frog things.

If you haven't figured it out yet...

The party plans to immediately go to Underland and try to sell the laser head to Barbanikos the Wizard. See how that turned out in the downtime report for next session!

Treasure & XP:

Map Return 1 = 1600gp = 1600xp (160 10'x10' squares)

Dwarf Encounter x6 = 26xp

Frog-Things x3 = 32xp

Necklace - Sold for 3200gp to a dwarf = 3200xp

Map Return 2 = 980gp (98 10'x10' squares)

Scout Info = 300gp

TOTAL = 6112XP

Daubeny - 1358XP

Malcolm - 1358XP

Caelestis - 1358XP

Finesstro - 1358XP

John Smith [H] - 679XP

Character Performance Ratings:

Daubeny - (E) - Good use of thieving abilities, interrogated potential puzzles with curiosity, apt level of greed.

Caelestis - (E) - Eager for adventure and profits - did not cower from conflict and was always on the front line

Finesstro - (E) - Avidly gobbled up information about the strange ruins. Took time to rest and prepare a spell that would satisfy his curiosity

Malcolm - (E) - Behaved Good but otherwise no opportunity to exercise Ranger abilities.

Downtime Requests:Malcolm requires 1 week of bed-rest from 25/07/2022 (until 31/07/2022 inclusive)

Comments: No longer giving PCs 1:1 gold to XP reward for most downtime activities due to non-proportional risk to standard adventuring. Assassins are exempt from this.