Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All Day, the Road To Ulm

Tuesday, May 13, 1650

You pass by Augsburg, fairly impressed by the sight of its towers and spires.  Both Andrej and Delfig are familiar with large cities - Delfig, after all, grew up in Munich.  Jan has seen it before.  Emmanuel, on the other hand, is very impressed ... you learn that this is the farthest he's ever been from home.

Ulm is two days away, but Jan is fairly certain that halfway along the journey there's a farmer he used to know who, like Neil, will put you up for the night.  The terrain west of town is first very flat, but you can see a line of hills that you will begin to climb into in a few hours.  "That is the east edge of Swabia," says Jan.

Patiently you make your way, and you find the road is not too steep where you begin to climb into the hills.  The forests are thick, but the road cuts a wide path through them.  By early afternoon the sun no longer shows, however, and Jan stops to make a prediction about the weather.  He says it will cloud over, and the wind will come up. but there will be no rain.

Soon after the clouds do come in.  It grows quite dark, so that even by late afternoon the forest is shrouded.  The wind rises to a strong breeze, plucking up your hair and your collars, but it does not resist your walking against it.

By late afternoon Jan picks out a path through the woods, and begins to make his way along it.  He does not send Emmanuel ahead.  "I have not been here in seven years.  I do not know if they fared well in the war."

The path does not seem well tended.  A mile along, you come to the burned out shell of a house, overgrown with brackens and weeds.  Jan searches, and finds four graves.  "We can stay here for the night," he says.  "They've been buried and the rites have been read.  There should be no undead here.  We will take watches - Emmanuel with me and you two alone.  I will take the one in the morning - which of you will take the first three hours?
_

60 comments:

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I pass the night quietly, sleeping and upon awaking and taking part in the breakfast with thanks and prayers, I follow along. I am looking around as we travel, not feeling very safe or secure with the news of strange disappearances. I decide that quiet is best and I don't play my lyre.

Upon reaching the ruins, I bow my head in respect to the dead. Before dark, I'll poke around the ruins and see if there is anything left inside.

"I shall take the first watch, Friar."

I will find a spot in a tree that is a bit more than my height off the ground and climb into it, crossbow in hand, sword to my side. I will want to face towards the path that we came down. Before then, I will want to ask if the Friar has any holy water should there be any undead spirits. I clearly am somewhat unsettled.

Andrej said...

Second watch works for Andrej, he indicates that his infravision should logically be utilized in the darkest hours, but with the cloud cover it might not matter tonight. (OOC: With 2nd watch Alexis, will I get enough continuous rest and time in the morning for spellcasting?)

On my watch I will walk about the perimeter of our camp, with staff and armored, no more than 20' or so from where my comrades lay asleep.

Alexis said...

Andrej,

Unless you actually cast a spell or a cantrip, you don't have to re-memorize. To regain spells, you must sleep at least six hours and spend 15 minutes per spell level to regain; cantrips you gain automatically as soon as you awake.

I would consider two periods of three hours equivalent to six total, if broken by a less than four hour interval.

Alexis said...

Delfig,

Jan has no holy water, but he seems to feel quite safe as he drops off. A look around the destroyed farm turns up nothing - it was burned years ago.

Your unsettled feeling turns to uneasiness; there is a very definite sense of being watched. Early on in the three hours, a wolf howls about a mile away; it's a strange sound for a city boy ... for the next hour and a half you convince yourself it was far, far away, and nothing to worry about.

The wind dies down, and overhead you watch the clouds break up. They are hardly moving at all. Slowly, they draw back and reveal the moon.

At that moment, a wolf howls not fifty yards away. You jump out of your skin, waking Andrej and Jan.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I keep my rear in the tree, pointing my crossbow in the direction of the sound, and fully cocking it while hissing for Jan and Andrej to "WAKE UP....."

Andrej said...

One awoken, Andrej scans the perimeter of the camp with his infravisionm staff in hand.

"If these are common wolves perhaps they've only come for the donkey"

Does the ruined farmhouse have a second storey we could get ourselves to?

Andrej said...

Spoken just loud enough for Delfig et. al. to hear: "Delfig, what do you say we keep a torch ready to light? Fire might keep them away if they close in."

(Does anybody have a torch?)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I keep quiet as I realize two things - one, I don't have my musical instrument and I cannot cast spells without it and two, I have zero light capability up in the tree, and then a third thought occurs to me - I *have* to get a damn flint/steel.

I whisper "I do not." as I keep an eye on where I heard the howls. I also listen around for other noises.

Alexis said...

Emmanuel sleeps, dead to the world, as Jan slowly sits up. "A wolf?" he asks blearily.

At that point a pale white stag breaks from the wood, its hide eerily translucent in the moonlight. It leaps, and comes to a stop just ten feet from where Delfig is standing, not looking at the party, but frozen and staring at the black trees. It's nostrils flare in exhaustion and panic.

A dark, nearly invisible shape moves forward from the wood. Andrej sees clearly with his infravision that it is a wolf.

Andrej said...

Before acting, does Andrej recognize any supernatural significance to a pale white stag being pursued by a wolf via his knowledge of legendary beasts?

Alexis said...

(OOC: Good thought!)

Rolling the chance, Andrej can't recall anything that fits this image.

Andrej said...

Despite the lack of knowledge, Andrej is instinctually assigning some significance to the deer... perhaps even religious.

"Father Jan, light a torch if you have one please. Delfig, cover me"

I move calmly to place myself between the stag and the wolf, staff at the ready and a prayer on my lips.

Alexis said...

Jan seems a bit dithering ... "Yes, yes, a torch, of course," he answers, confusedly looking into his equipment for one.

The wolf growls at Andrej. The stag holds its ground.

You count fourteen points on the stag's head.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I raise my crossbow and peer into the dark towards the direction the stag and Andrej are looking. (What do I see, given the lack of light?)

"I do not see anything save this white stag... what is it? Is it the wolf that's been howling?"

I am remaining in the tree!

Andrej said...

"A wolf, yes. Can you see me well enough to shoot should he pounce?"

Andrej raises his staff and growls back. I will make no move toward the wolf provided it does likewise. Now I wait.

Alexis said...

Delfig is not so blind as he thinks. He can see a dark, black shape moving slowly over the ground towards Andrej and the stag; normally, he'd be -2, but firing a crossbow from a tree? Gotta make it -3.

While he's deciding, I need Andrej to roll a d6.

Andrej said...

Andrej rolls a 6... it's been so long that I forget if that's really good or really bad

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I'm scared/unnerved enough that my shot towards the wolf stalking towards Andrej is my response.

Alexis said...

The party wins initiative. Jan lights the torch, spreading light throughout the farmyard - the wolf rushes forward; Andrej and Delfig are both free to act first. Delfig, with the aid of the light, is only -1 to hit.

If you wish to strike or swing, you must roll a d20.

Andrej said...

Andrej wishes to strike the onrushing wolf: and rolls a 13

(OOC: I would have rolled dmg as well based on what I beleive the policy from the last time you guys ran the campaign but was unsure how I should calculate it (add Strength? Is it the same damage as in the 1e Player's Manual? sorry for my ignorance, I'll get up to speed quickly))

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

[OOC, do you still want us to also roll the d6 kicker?]

d20: 8
d6 kicker (if req'd): 6
[maybe there's hope?]

Alexis said...

(OOC: a couple quick points; not sure if that's a light or a heavy crossbow. Delfig didn't hit with it, but a light would have done 4-10 damage, and a heavy would have done 4-14. The quarterstaff does 1-6 damage)

Andrej hits the wolf. I will await damage before continuing.

Emmanuel chooses this point to wake up.

Andrej said...

Amdrej rolls a 2

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Sheiß!" I will put the crossbow into the tree as securely as I can so that it doesn't fall, then grab the branch I'm on and swing down to the ground. I'm assuming that would be my entire action for the next round, but I'm intending on drawing my sword and backing Andrej up as soon as I can.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - that was the heavy crossbow I retained from the tower - I'm not sure where my light crossbow is, but I don't have it with me. In my head, I didn't see myself with it anymore.)

Alexis said...

2 damage is insufficient to stun the wolf, but Andrej's swiftness keeps him from being hit when the wolf attacks.

The white stag bounds away into the woods. Jan pulls Emmanuel to a standing position and thrusts the torch into his hand. Delfig drops down from the tree, regains his balance and manages to draw his sword - but only Andrej has a chance to attack this round.

Go ahead and roll a d20, Andrej.

Andrej said...

Andrej will attack the wolf and rolls:
2(d20) and a 5(d6)

(OOC: such a shame to waste the good d6 roll!)

Alexis said...

Andrej, that would be a miss.

Delfig moves in with his sword and Jan draws a mace from his belt. The wolf attacks Andrej, rolling a 14; that hits AC 2 ... remind me, what is Andrej's armor class.

Andrej said...

::gulp:: AC = 6

(studded leather and dex modifier)

Alexis said...

You'll be happy to know that the wolf does nothing more than a deep scratch to your leg - take 3 damage.

(OOC: Wolves are difficult things to fight ... they tend to bound all over the place. There's a chance that must be rolled to see who is near enough to attack, or even to see if anyone is near enough to attack)

Jan moves around to try to circle the wolf, while Emmanuel bravely holds the torch above and behind Delfig's head. You are naturally all shouting at each other, and the wolf is naturally growling.

3 damage is not enough to stun Andrej. Both he and Delfig can take a swing this round.

Andrej said...

Andrej wishes to strike the wolf:

d20: 12 / d6: 4

Andrej said...

P.S.

(OOC: do Andrej's hits cause +1 damage for his high Strength and if so, should I give you the modified or unmodified number?)

Alexis said...

(OOC: 17 strength, right? You should automatically add 1 to the 'to hit' 20-sided, and 1 to damage; modified numbers will make it easier for both of us)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I will bravely swing at the wolf when it bounds close to me, but trying to avoid hitting Andrej or Jan.

D20: 5

Delfig curses again.

Andrej said...

In that case I did one less point of damage than I should have on the first round and my recent rolls are:

d20: 13
d6: 5

Andrej said...

One other thing, Jan has already circled the wolf so I assume is still opposite me. Given the wolf's tendency to bound about Andrej shouts to Delfig to take up a position between us so we can stay spread out and encircle the wolf as best we can.

Alexis said...

Then that makes 8 damage done to the wolf altogether. Andrej's last stroke strikes the wolf on the side and momentarily stuns the animal. It falls back and Jan takes a swing ... rolling an 8 and missing. The wolf moves out of the circle, between Andrej and Jan, growling - it is faster than you are.

Having decided to stay in the fight, it begins to circle all of you. Emmanuel moves to stand between you, as you turn your backs to him, never keeping your eyes off the wolf.

(OOC: I just want to make a campaign note about the intelligence of animals. At this point I make an intelligence check to see if the wolf is really clever ... if it is, well, I don't know if you've ever read 'White Fang' by Jack London, but you really don't want a wolf to make an intelligence check)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - no we don't... cause we're fubar'ed if it does...)

I will swing again at the wolf at an appropriate point.

Andrej said...

Me too. Count these as my bext rolls unless something happens to dictate otherwise:

to hit: 5
dmg: won't bother

(OOC: this has been a load of fun guys, thanks. I'll be away from my desl for much of the remaining afternoon but will try to keep tabs and catch up tonight)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - I mention I'll swing without providing the d20 because I wasn't sure if I'd have an opportunity this round?)

Alexis said...

Neither Andrej or Delfig can attack ... as long as the wolf is circling, it is out of range, unless you want to throw something.

I've rolled, and the wolf is going to attack Andrej; he will need to roll a d6.

(OOC: no hurry - do it when you can, we'll manage the fight as we go along)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Perhaps we should move as a group over to the packs - we can protect Emmanuel as he gets a flask of oil and we can see about torching this accursed creature!

Andrej said...

(ignore the Trevor thing, signing in from another computer and forget to log in to Blogger.)

d6: 1

Delfig: Same as above. If the wolf's on me, you go with Emmanuel over to the packs. QUICKLY! :)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Dogs in alleys like to separate prey from a pack. Stay together, survive together. Let's move as one to get oil!

Andrej said...

Fair enough. Andrej will do as Delfig bids, looking for an opportunity to strike the wolf as we move.

(OOC: How quickly can we move as a group in a formation about Emmanuel and still have a chance at hitting the wolf?)

Alexis said...

At the moment, the wolf has specifically rushed Andrej; he's rolled a 1 for initiative, and the wolf has rolled a 2. 16 Dex allows simultaneous combat, 17 Dex wins initiative. Andrej has a 16, so both he and the wolf attack at the same time.

The wolf will leap as it attacks, so that it and Andrej are the only ones who can fight ... after the wolf attacks, Delfig will have a chance to hit it (but don't roll now, Delfig ... you have to wait).

I'll answer questions about the group moving in formation following the outcome of this round; Andrej, roll to hit; I will roll likewise for the wolf.

Andrej said...

to hit: 18

damage: 4

Alexis said...

At the same time that Andrej hits the wolf, the wolf strikes for the throat, making a deep gouge in the flesh across Andrej's chest. Andrej takes 8 damage. Both wolf and cleric slam to the ground, both stunned.

Delfig can strike at the wolf as it tumbles towards his feet.

(OOC: moving in formation is all well and good, provided you are all healthy. To do so at this point, Delfig would have to forego his attack, grab Andrej and haul him towards the packs; this obviously has positive and negative consequences - while it's defensive, Delfig would miss his chance to end it right now)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - at the rate I'm rolling, I'm going to give the wolf my throat if this keeps up...)

I will, however, pause and attack with my sword, swinging with all my might and hoping I don't hit Andrej in the bargain...

D20: ...

Oh crap.

1.

Yea, definitely my throat.

Alexis said...

Delfig,

Could you please roll a d6?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

d6: 5 *crossing fingers*

Alexis said...

As Delfig chooses at this time to toss his undamaged sword five feet to his right, the wolf groggily gets to its feet, staggering in the torch light away from Delfig.

The bard curses (he'll have to tell me if he's going for his sword or not), and Andrej shudders as he overcomes the shock of his wound, Jan leaps forward with his mace to brain the wolf.

He swings and rolls a 20 critical. He then rolls another 20. He then rolls a 4 (you keep rolling the 20-sided if you keep getting natural 20s). His total damage is thus tripled. Jan rolls maximum damage with his mace and does 21 total.

The wolf is quite literally meat.

Alexis said...

The bad news is the experience. Delfig did no damage and took no damage, so he gets no experience.

Andrej did 12 damage and suffered 11 damage, and thus gets 340 x.p.

(OOC: That is the widest dichotomy I've ever seen occur between two players in the same combat)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - man what a time to roll a 1. Bet Emmanual isn't going to be so in awe or respectful anymore.. sheesh!)

I will go for my sword, pausing to exclaim "Thank God! Good strike!" to Jan as he kills the wolf in the most holiest of shots I've seen in awhile. I'll sheepishly pick up my sword and go to perform first aid on Andrej.

Alexis said...

"The Lord guided my swing," answers Jan.

At that point, it suddenly goes black as the light has been snuffed.

Emmanuel has fainted.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - I hear ya! I rolled that 1 and just stared at it - all I could is laugh and figure there's a story there - I am thinking that as a city boy, Delfig was really unnerved by the stag and wolf thing.)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Ugh. If I can possibly see, I will still recover my sword. If not (or after I've recovered my sword), I'll go see about starting the torch up again so I can administer first aid to Andrej, using my skills learned in childhood.

Andrej said...

"Thank you Brother Jan. Were it not for your bold stroke, I suspect I'd be halfway to God by now. Forgive my brashness brothers... but did the aspect of the white stag strike any of you as... otherworldly? I was compelled to intervene, and I know not if that was the instinct of a holy man or that of the son of a husbandman."

Andrej said...

I would have seen to Emmanuel, but figured I should sit still if Delfig is seeing to me. If Friar Jan is not checking on our friend, I'll at least call out to him...

Alexis said...

Not to worry. Emmanuel is fine, and there are healing spells in the party. Jan will bestow 7hp on Andrej.

Jan barely saw the stag and could not identify anything odd about it (he hardly saw that it was white). He mostly just saw the wolf.

(OOC: Could the two of you put together a file each for your characters and send it to me in either word or excel format? Take the weekend or longer if you need to; it's going to be busy for me until Monday, when I'll pick up the next post)