Tuesday, June 1, 2010

DnD Log: Session 5

Well everybody, it’s time for another update regarding the D&D log, and this session is the only session that does not have a recording. My Pamela was not working, and Jason was not recording via UStream, so this log will have to serve as a detailed reminder of the ins and outs of the session. This will also be a long one since we played this campaign for about five hours that night. Without further ado, let’s continue.

Last session we left off on a hook for a sidequest. Lord Vane (now Lord Commander Vane) wanted to travel to the harbor to find a drug dealer known as “Fish Eye” who was known for selling “red sand”. Vane wanted to extort the guy for enough money to buy the staff, though even after experiencing the plan and having time to dwell on it, I still haven’t the faintest idea what his plan was which is becoming quite a common theme for myself and D&D. Anyway we approached the dock, and Grae’s first idea was to sneak up and approach the bar. Since it was maybe early afternoon at this point I just have a hilarious image in my mind of Grae slinking across a wall in broad daylight trying not to be seen. We find out the bar (The Blue Light Tavern or something to that effect) is a rather crowded settlement full of dock hands, sailors, and etcetera. Thus the beginning of the most Awesomely Idiotic Plan Ever began. What I can gather, Joe’s original plan was to kick open the door and start throwing around lightning expecting money to fall at his feet. Finding out the bar was full of around sixty patrons, his plan disappeared and instead we were supposed to find where we could meet Fish Eye. The first group to enter was Grae and Garrett (the party face now). They approached the counter, dropped a couple gold on the table and got the ear of the bartender. I believe Garrett asked for Fish Eye by name, and that sorta set the bartender off. He pulled out a crossbow, and Grae and Garrett left ten gold poorer.

Our next option was potentially better. Juliet would enter under guise of a girl experiencing her first taste of city life. She’d want to experience all of the more wild side of the city, and Viktor would come with her to assist. We pulled together twenty or so gold, and entered to buy drinks for the tavern. They asked who to owe the drinks to, and I kinda brain farted and said Bosco. I can’t say why Bosco entered my head, but I had to give a name, and I didn’t want the name of Juliet spreading (not sure why, it could be a common enough name), but essentially Bosco became the hero (heroine?) of the tavern. To truly earn their trust I attempted to down the Gut Bender; a dwarven brew seen as a rite of passage for manly men, and a potentially dangerous concoction. I downed it, and rolled high enough on my Constitution check to keep from dying or passing out, but I did get completely shitfaced. So while Juliet was in the minstrels singing how the knob on the wizard’s staff was bright and shiny, Viktor approached the bartender about getting the sand. We could get some, but it would be costly, and unfortunately Viktor failed his earlier Perception Check and managed to get robbed during the commotion at the bar. So he left, poorer, and with a plastered Juliet.

Okay, the summarize, after two attempts at Lord Vane’s plan to get gold, our group only left poorer then when we entered. Also, now Juliet was useless for the night as the poor girl couldn’t even stand up anymore. So Viktor went to take her to the inn, and the rest of the group prepared to break when they suddenly found themselves approached by a mysterious Halfling in an alley. Said Halfling (Antoin) warned the group that continuing to find Fish Eyes would result in their own misfortunate, and he pleaded that they leave. Garrett absolutely murdered his Diplomacy check (34 after Words of Friendship) and the remaining group (Vane, Andraste, Darstine, Grae, and Garrett) went with the Halfling to Fish Eye’s supposed hideout, and at that point a net fell on the group, and it turned out Antoin was conning them. Thus, the group was robbed of their extra gold and weapons, and Lord Vane suffered a series of blows from angry party members. Vane initially wanted to chase after the Halfling, but was convinced against it, and decided instead to continue on and investigate the homesteads we earned from King Donovan. Okay, another summary.

Last session ended with the hook that Lord Vane was going to lead this sidequest to dealing with this drug cartel. During the hour and a half we devoted to this plot line solely dedicated to earning money, we accomplished nothing but getting robbed. Our first plan ended with us losing ten gold. Our second plan ended with Viktor getting pick pocketed, and with Juliet plastered. The third plan ended with rest of the party getting held up and robbed. With the exception of Juliet, the entire party get robbed, and with the exception of Juliet and Viktor, the entire party then had to purchase all new weapons and implements for their items. Our mission to get richer ended with us all poorer. I’ve officially declared us the Dethklok of D&D groups. Seriously, this group just managed to kill the corporal form of a goddess, yet we got duped by a Halfling and a bar full of sailors. We dumb as hell.

That embarrassment aside (excluding Juliet and Viktor who are finding the situation quite hilarious) we traveled along the King’s Road to this smaller city whose name I can’t remember. There we received our plots of land, and in addition a new quest. We were to investigate the nearby woods to check out why people have been mysteriously disappearing. After stopping by the home of a lumberer whose two sons were the most recent disappearances, we set off with a map in hand. Grae took first crack in leading the party, and his expert map reading got us two miles off track (this is on foot mind you). Yeah, he totally Zoro’d us. Juliet took lead instead, but nightfall came and we all went to sleep. Now, I set up a guard rotation so that Juliet (Wild Shaped as a nocturnal animal) and Andraste (Eladrin and thus dark vision) took the darkest hours. In the middle of the night Andraste, a fey sensitive creature, felt a horrid presence of evil in the area. Freaked out he woke us all up, urging us to not rest, but rather continue on our trek. Juliet then questioned why, in the middle of the night without any sleep, we would walk FURTHER into what was likely the source of said evil. So instead we walked a half mile away from where we first set up camp, set up a new camp, and then slept knowing the evil was there anyway.
Morning came and we were all devoured by a demon. Wait, that wasn’t what happened? Oh, then fuck Andraste for waking us all up and raving about this “evil” he’s feeling. Since no one else in the group is from the Fey we all dismiss Andraste as the insane Cleric, and continue on our way. Eventually we come across a ruined tower and proceeded to investigate only to be met by a trio of bloodthirsty demon dogs. With the terrain being rough, we were put into a compromising situation—most especially our spellcasters as none of these characters could shift away to cast their spells. For Andraste and Vane who were in the back, this never became a problem, but for Juliet who as a Druid relies heavily on switching between melee and ranged, the fight became problematic. This fight became a lot more difficult than anticipated only because we had poor rolls against the monster’s strongest NAD (Non-AC Defense): Reflex. Before anyone accuses us of being stupid, let me say I knew their Reflex would be high, but due to the difficult terrain I couldn’t shift away to cast Grasping Tide which is my only At-Will that doesn’t attack Reflex. Stuck in Beast Form I had to settle for attacking their toughest defense, but in this battle I really saw the way a Controller can completely fuck up the DM’s strategy. After being knocked down to 0 HP, Andraste was Helpless when a monster approached to attack. If the monster managed to hit, Andraste would be killed no matter what. One dog leapt after Andraste provoking OA (Opportunity Attacks) from Juliet, Darstine, and Garrett. While the latter two could do damage, I managed to attack with Savage Rend which, on a hit, allows me to slide the opponent one square. I slid the dog back to his original square. I kept the pup cornered there at twice, and helped save Andraste. I could tell Spoony was particularly irritated that I can use both of my Beast Form At-Wills as Melee Basic Attacks.

After the fight we all healed up, and at this point Paw left for the night. The rest of us continued on and entered the tower to find some mysterious demon reading over some books. Juliet was the one investigating, and unfortunately, she is not so good at stealth. We alerted the demon to our presence, and started another encounter against a quintet of Dire Rats and their master, the Vermin Lord Verreketh (or something like that. It was a weird name, that’s all I remember).Compared to the fight against the dogs, this fight went a lot better. We managed to slowly eliminate the rats without much of a problem using a good combination of tactics and respective roles. Viktor as the defender stood in between most of the enemies and took the damage while Garrett, the leader, healed him when appropriate. Meanwhile Grae and Vane, as strikers laid out big damage against the rats while Juliet, the controller, threw out spells that kept the enemies from moving and overwhelming us. In the end only a single rat remained when the Vermin Lord finally lashed out in battle. His target? Lord Vane.

Now I left to get something to drink at this point, but when I returned the situation was thus: Lord Vane was face to face with the Vermin Lord. Vane was poisoned, prone, immobilized, and due the creature’s foul odor, taking a -5 penalty to attack. Had it been me (or likely anyone else) I would have been crying for someone to save me, but Joe in all of his anger, was shouting about how he’d tear the demon apart. He was legitimately ready to beat this dude up even with all of his status effects. And fight they did. Lord Vane and Verreketh exchanged blows, dailies, and some nice hits, and to Joe this was the most epic battle of it all. He wanted this drag out battle between men to continue on until only one remained standing, but Grae’s turn was next, and with two good attacks and fell the demon while Vane watched.

The next thing out of Joe’s mouth was a string of profanities suspended in disbelief. He was legitimately upset that Grae killed his opponent by just shooting him with arrows. We could hear Joe screaming as he left his PC that they “were fighting like men”! And after about twenty minutes of solid laughing, we continued the game for a tad bit longer. We investigated the tower, took the demon’s book along with some of his potions (four we know, one we couldn’t identify). Before leaving I wanted to really check out the tower, and with Juliet’s high Perception check (plus a natural twenty) we found a trap door hidden very well on the ground. With our decision to take an extended rest to restore our dailies and health before venturing into the trap door, Spoony ended the game.

All in all this game was our best yet by far. The infamy of Joe’s plan plus his outburst at having his epic man duel with Verreketh interrupted will be part our game lore for years to come, and for anyone curious why people play D&D, it’s for reasons like this. These are the ultimate “Inside Jokes”. Just like most people won’t understand the hilarity of the “Rape Tiger” from a campaign I played in years ago, people who are unfamiliar with this campaign will never understand the hilarity in “WE WERE FIGHTING LIKE MEN!!!” Yet for us, it’s one of the moments that will define this campaign. In addition everyone seemed to role play a lot more this time around, and just about everybody did something worth noting this time around. Combat also flowed a lot better aside from a few hiccups, but that’s to be expected. This was a great session, and I just really wish one of us had recorded it because I’m really going to miss not hearing Joe’s epic tirade over having his kill stolen. Still this is a big part of the reason I love D&D, and now I am really excited to see what happens next week when we open the hatch. Oh, and LOST reference FTW!

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