Monday, December 14, 2009

Afternoon, the Langenthal Inn

Monday, May 19, 1650

As the party and the Herieuxs tumble out of the carriage, they are met with the sight of a large building on fire - it is four stories high, at least 50' by 30' in dimension, and is burning primarily along the main and lower floor.  Black smoke is tumbling across the sky away from the carriage, as the wind blows - it is only as Carlo came around a copse of trees that it could be seen.  The burning building is some 90 yards distant.  All around its base is a large crowd of some eighty persons, who seem uniformly helpless and mesmerized by the burning structure.

Carlo describes it as the 'Langenthal Inn' ... the road to the town of Langenthal, three miles off the main road, forks to the right alongside the Inn.  This place has been a landmark for some two centuries, and seems quite a magnificent, half-timbered structure.  At present, it is evident to the party that there are persons trapped on the highest floor.

81 comments:

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Andrej, Jan, has g*d given you the power to heal today?"

Does Carlo agree to stop to provide assistance? Or will he continue on?

(I have an immediate action right after that, which I will say something to Emmanuel.)

Alexis said...

Carlo can't continue. The road is too close to the Inn, and the crowd are standing all over.

Yes, Jan can heal.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I will whisper to Emmanuel to keep his eye on Carlo and the carriage (and our belongings therein) to make sure it doesn't leave without us.

I'll move forward to the group to render medical assistance if needed.

Andrej said...

Andrej likewise can heal. He rushes forward with Delfig, toward the inn, to see what assistance he can provide.

Alexis said...

You will both find a little group of men arguing about two ladders which they have. Both will only reach to just above the second floor, and no one has the will to climb up and perhaps help the dozen people on the floor above.

Andrej said...

"Friends, put your tongues in your mouths and those ladders against the wall. Secure the bottoms so that I don't fall while climbing, God bless you."

Assuming Delfig will either follow suit or find something else worthy of doing, Andrej will climb with all due haste. If he notices wounded about he'll call out to Jan "Father Jan, see to the people here below please!"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I'm going to see if there are injured, and wait for Andrej to help people down off the ladders and render them aid.

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'm on east coast time, fellas, so I'll be leaving for home soon and can check back in later tonight)

Alexis said...

I'm going to need Andrej to roll a d20.

Andrej said...

d20: 14

Alexis said...

(OOC: sorry, can't tell you yet what that roll was for)

Four men do as you ask, securing the ladder while standing uncomfortably close to the flames. Andrej climbs to the top of the ladder, and finds he must make a short, four foot jump to reach the third story window. There is quite a lot of smoke drifting from the top of the window described.

Andrej said...

Before attempting a jump Andrej will shout into the window "Hello! We have a ladder if you are able to make it to the window! I will help you, come quickly!"

Assuming that whomever might be there needs some assistance, otherwise they'd be at the window, Andrej won't wait long for a reply (a few short breaths) and will attempt the jump.

Alexis said...

People don't come down to the third floor; but you can see nine persons, middle aged men and women, hanging out three windows 16 feet from the top of the ladder.

Could Andrej roll a d20?

Andrej said...

D20: 18

Aside from the smoke billowing out from the top of the 3rd floor windows, is there something obviously preventing them from coming down? Is the 3rd floor ablaze? I'm not sure how much help I can be with a storey between us. Delfig, any ideas?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Andrej - no, in this, I have no clue. I'm assuming it's impossible to get in thru the inside, otherwise people would have tried. I doubt they can be told to tie bed sheets together to lower themselves, they're not going to want to go back into the room. Given how high it is, they can't just drop and rely on healing.

Alexis said...

The roll of 18 is way over Andrej's dexterity; having missed the dex check, Andrej's grip on the window sill slips and he falls 18 feet to the ground.

He takes 2 damage.

Andrej said...

I'm going to climb back up and try again.

D20: 5

Andrej said...

OOC: P.S. the 2 points of damage were noted on my sheet. To clarify, though, did that already take into account my montiain climbing skill (-3 dmg from falls)?

Andrej said...

(OOC: I really need to make better use of those spelling skills honed through years of schooling)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Aha! I did not. No damage)

The fire consumes a bit more of the building as Andrej brushes himself off, tears up the ladder and successfully muscles himself onto the window sill.

Is Andrej wearing hard boots?

The scene is that of a suite, door closed, quite a lot of smoke, drifting out the window. It is acrid as you breathe in (shallowly, I would expect). The door is 14 feet away. Before moving, answer the question.

Andrej said...

I'm not certain. I've got "boots, high cowhide (wt: 4.6 lbs)" typed onto my sheet.

Alexis said...

Those are hard boots. Andrej is able to feel a tolerable level of heat rising through the floor boards.

Andrej said...

Andrej will move cautiously to the door and feel it. If the door opens with a latch, he will likewise feel that. If both are not hot, he will get down onto his knees and try opening the door. He will use the door to shield his body and open it to about six inches. After a brief pause, and providing nothing notable happens, he will open it far enough to stick his head out, close to the floor. What does he see?

Andrej said...

If I may make one adjuctment to the above, Andrej will crouch, staying on his feet, and won't get down onto his knees.

Alexis said...

As Andrej moves to cross the floor, it feels as though it will give way under his weight. Taking into account both descriptions above, I will judge that Andrej puts his hands on the floor to get on his knees, feels very definite heat on his bare hands, and rises again.

The floor creaks ... I make a check to see if it holds - it does, but and Andrej reaches the door.

(OOC: At this point, I'd like to reveal the first d20 you rolled was an intelligence check. This was to determine if Andrej had thought this through ... having reached the door, it becomes clear that it's too dangerous to bring back anyone this way. At the moment, it might be too dangerous for Andrej to come back this way)

The door and the handle are warm to the touch, but not hot. Following your indication, I will assume Andrej opens it six inches; he can see the hallway, suffused with smoke. Through the smoke, he can barely identify flames at either end ... but details beyond that, nothing. He can only vaguely see the door across the hall on account of the smoke.

A quick test, however, with his foot will show the floor in the hallway is not as warm as the floor in the suite.

Andrej said...

(OOC: No intelligence check was necessary... Andrej clearly DID NOT think this through)

Andrej will step into the hallway, crouched low to the floor to avoid the worst of the smoke and look for a stairway leading up. since going back seems as dangerous as going forward at this point, my goal is to make it to the 3rd floor and if no means of rescuing the folk there presents itself, jumping for it.

Alexis said...

(OOC: A successful intelligence check and I would have warned you. Just so you know, you are on the third floor; that is the window you jumped for. Those trapped would be on the fourth floor ... I'm not using the meme that the first floor is the one above the main floor)

As Andrej crouches low, he can see that the stairs, both down and up, are on the right, about 15' away. They are lightly on fire. A closer inspection would be necessary to indicate if they will hold your weight or not.

Alexis said...

Delfig,

No thoughts? No possible solutions?

Andrej said...

Understood and thanks. Barring an inspirational or revelatory post from Delfig, let's say I decide to inspect the stairs more closely within 20 minutes of this post registering. If they can bear my weight, up I go. If not, then I will enter (forcibly if necessary) the door across from the one from which I entered the hallway seeking a way out.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Delfig, being unaware of what Andrej is doing inside, is looking for wounded to attend to and seeing if he can be of use. He's pretty sure that the people trapped above are doomed, unless there's a way of somehow lashing the ladders together to make a bigger ladder.

Alexis said...

Andrej,

They might bear your weight. But there is a funnel of heat and flame rushing up along the ceiling of the stairs - you are almost certain to take damage from both if you choose to go. You can feel the smoke rushing past you and up the vent; at this point, you will take a point of damage from the smoke, and you will need to make a saving throw.

Delfig,

Can you also roll a d20.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Lashing the ladders together had briefly been a thought of mine, but I feared it would take too long so dismissed it, assuming I could get to the 4th floor and find a way down from there. Now that I'm already inside, though...)

Alexis said...

As it happens (and just to be a DMing pain), the second ladder is too poor a quality to enable it to be lashed to another ladder. It might work on its own, but would likely break if too much strain were put on it.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

d20: 18

Andrej said...

Andrej will quickly make his way to the door opposite the one he used to enter the hallway and attempt to open it. I'm hoping for a window on the other side.

Alexis said...

Sorry, that also blows an intelligence check for Delfig. I can't help.

Chgowiz said...

Dumb question.

Is this inn built in such a way that there's a lower roof that the first ladder can reach, pass up the 2nd ladder and prop the ladder on that lower roof to the upper levels?

Alexis said...

The door is locked.

Alexis said...

Chgowiz/Delfig,

Sorry, no. Most buildings of the period, in Switzerland or Germany, were built in large, rectangular blocks.

Andrej said...

Do I get an open doors check? If so, I will attempt to force open the door. Strength is 17 (1-3 chance) Shall I roll or will you?

Alexis said...

Because it is a comparably light door, you may check. A 1-3 in six will open it. But I must warn you, as you will have to shoulder the door, there's no guarantee that you will stop at the door jamb once it slams open. You're almost certain to stamp your feet on the floor once you've gone in.

I hadn't mentioned it yet - this door is about the same temperature as the one you came through, from the first suite you entered.

Andrej said...

Given that information (the door being as warm as its opposite), it seems as though I'm between the rock and the hard place. The best course seems to be back. Andrej will attempt to recross the floor of the original suite and hope for the best. If he makes it to the window, he'll waste little time hang-dropping from the 3rd-floor sill, understanding that he'll probbaly be taking damage in the fall.

Chgowiz said...

I look at Jan. "Does the Lord give you any ability to bring water forth or wind to douse the flames?"

Alexis said...

(OOC: It's like a mouse in a trap)

Andrej, the door you came through, I will assume you left open. It should be obvious, once you look into the room, that the amount of smoke in the room has increased ... it is flowing up between the floorboards in thick streams, blackening the edges of the boards.

Jan admits unhappily that he has no such spell.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Ha! You (the world) seems so cruel when I act so stupidly!)

Allright, plan B, mod 3: Kick door down and assume that suite will be in a condition similar to the one I left at the time I left and hope there's a window there. Otherwise, was that 4d6 drop the lowest on chargen?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - this was why I originally was just going to tend to the wounded - I figured a disaster like this was not going to end well.)

I'll call out loudly to see if anyone has a coil of rope.

(The plan, because I was an idiot and forgot that I have thief climbing skills... hold onto one end of the rope, using my skills to climb up, tie the rope to something in the 4th floor or outside if possible and have people slide down the rope.)

Alexis said...

Andrej,

roll a d20.

Delfig,

I'm looking for a picture to show why that won't work.

Andrej said...

D20: 6 (OOC: I sure hope that was an ability check)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I've seen some pics of restored older 16th century buildings, the box you describe.

All Delfig can do is shake his head, then, because he (and his player) are fresh out of ideas.

(OOC: Any trees near enough to cast a rope from the tree to one of the windows? If we can't get to the people, or give them a safe way down, or address the fire... given 1600s firefighting technology, I'm thinking this is a bad disaster.)

Alexis said...

Best picture I could find on short notice, posted to the blog. Not meant to indicate this place, strictly for architectural purposes.

Alexis said...

Andrej,

That's an intelligence check. Chances are that every room on the third floor will be the same condition as this one. Your plan has a 90% chance of dropping you two floors and into the heart of the fire, killing you. Thought you'd like to know.

Andrej said...

I'm feeling a little bit doomed. Back to plan A. Let's try the stairs up.

Alexis said...

You're overestimating the degree of damage to be gained from the stairs. Hurrying up them (I assume you hurry), you take only 1 damage from the heat. The stairs shift as you climb, forcing you to grab the wall - thus suffering a 2hp burn. There's a door at the top of the stairs, but it is burned out, so you need only kick it to knock it open.

The fourth floor is largely untouched. It consists of a large, common room, with windows on either side; There are eleven people huddled in the room, away from the door, in part hanging out the windows on the side facing the road (the side you ascended at the start). They react strongly to your arrival, asking if they can get down the way you came up.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Let's stop here for the day. Andrej is still alive, and I need to surrender the computer to my Dominant partner)

Alexis said...

Sorry, Delfig, missed your question. No, there are no usable trees.

Andrej said...

(OOC: I guess I was focusing in on "... the stairs might hold your weight..." I wasn't so much worried about the heat damage going up as I was the results of crashing down should "might" in truth be "will not")

Andrej answers, "No. The flames will soon take the floor below." Andrej will go to the windw and call down "Delfig! Jan! Throw us up a rope if you have one!" Meanwhile, Andrej will scan the room looking for anything that could be tied together or fashioned into a rope.

Alexis said...

A grapple will be needed to throw a rope up to Andrej. It must be considered that there is a great deat of heat rising up around the outside of the building, which will make it difficult for someone adept at climbing a rope to make their way down the thirty feet to the ground. Looking at the people trapped upstairs, some appear too old, or too weak, to successful climb down a rope.

Chgowiz said...

I had called out earlier to see if anyone has a rope. Does anyone respond? Does Carlo have rope in his carriage?

I'd like to do something to increase my odds of getting the rope through the window - tying the end to a crossbow bolt and shooting it into the window? Tying a rock to the end so that it gives it some heft/stability?

Alexis said...

Neither are practical, I'm afraid. Rope is too thick for the bolt; the rock has a chance, but a rather small one I should think. Since it is a vertical throw of 30 feet, it would require someone with an 18 strength to throw a rock large enough to tie the rope around the distance in question.

Emmanuel has been fretting all this time, watching and wanting to do something. Jan has restrained him from following Andrej up the ladder; at this moment he is standing next to Delfig, wringing his hands.

"Can't we just catch them somehow?" Emmanuel asks.

Chgowiz said...

(If I understand what you're saying about the vertical height, that also means tossing the rope itself is impractical.)

I look at Emmanuel. "I had wondered the same thing - only if we had several blankets and sheets and many of these men holding on would that have a chance, I think."

Is it possible that one of the outlying buildings has some horse blankets, or can we get to any of the bottom floor rooms to get sheets/blankets or some linen?

Alexis said...

Carlo will answer: "I have a tarp in the carriage ... large enough to cover the carriage when I need it."

Chgowiz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexis said...

(OOC: Chgowiz ... where's Delfig? Email change driving you crazy?)

Many of the men hear you describe your plan, and sound very dubious. Carlo says that the tarp is pretty strong - "Do you mean to cut it?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Good man!" I say to Carlo. "Will you sacrifice it to save some of those unfortunate above?" I quickly explain that we could have many of these men hold onto it so that someone could jump and possibly hit the tarp... much like you would jump on a bed. We could hold it taut.

(Sorry about that!)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"No" I say to Carlo. "That might weaken it. We'll get enough of these men around here to stand and hold it."

I look at the doubters. "Do you have any other ideas? Would you stand and hear their death screams without at least trying to save someone? Come on, men! Be strong and let's save these people!"

Alexis said...

Carlo, unasked, will rush to get it, with Emmanuel helping. Herieux will call out in a large voice, overwhelming the crowd as a professional actor might, "WE MUST ... do as this man asks! It is our DUTY!" He then turns to Delfig. "We are at your disposal. What must we do?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"We must all take a corner or side of the tarp and hold onto it with all our strength and stand under the window above, about a foot or two away from the wall. Those above will jump down onto the tarp. We must hold tight so they don't plummet to their deaths. It will be hard, but we must! If the tarp rips, we can try and use a smaller bit, but let's pray to G*d that it holds!"

I'll yell up to Andrej what we're about to do and for him to help them jump out onto the tarp. I'll tell him to send children, women, elders then men.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - just as an aside, I thought of this yesterday, but discarded the idea thinking that sheets would rip too easily. I never thought of a carriage tarp. I'm glad Emmanuel poked me in that direction.)

Alexis said...

Carlo returns with the tarp; it is heavy canvas, about twelve feet by fourteen.

Alexis said...

(OOC: It'll be the death of me ... players who think of stuff and discard it without asking)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - I think that's something that I run into with PbP - a natural conversation, I may have suggested that or just tossed it out there, but typing it, I want my words to mean something - so the small ideas tend to get tossed out so that the final written post is what I want.)

I will help Carlo to open it up and encourage other men to take the corners and sides - at a minimum, 3 to 4 men to a side and two men to a corner. I'll get them to pull it taut, then await Andrej to start ushering people out of the window to jump on the tarp.

(OOC - And wonder what dice rolls the DM will ask for.)

Alexis said...

Herieux organizes the men and gets them lined up just as Delfig asks. It's up to Andrej to organize them up top.

(OOC: PbP?)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC: Pbp == Play by Post)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Happens in my offline campaign also)

Andrej said...

(OOC: guys, I'm back)

I've been thinking about this since yesterday when I assumed it would be a rope... that is, do I send the strongest looking or the weakest-looking first? Since all they have to do is jump, and if they don't make it we simply clear the way I guess it doesn't matter. Still, the first one should be a success, so I begin sorting the folk up here into a line and choose for its head the ablest-looking amongt them. He or she I will instruct to leap out the window and lay back with feet forward so that their backsides hit first.

Alexis said...

The 'strongest' would appear to be either the lad of sixteen, or the fifty-year-old potbellied fellow who at least has skin that looks healthy. Either will resist being the one picked to go first: "No, no, no ..." will be mostly what they say.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - in the ensuing wait for Andrej, I find myself wondering what the damage would be to Herieux if said 50yo man accidentally fell on Herieux's head...)

Andrej said...

(OOC: sorry gentlemen, another busy day of end-year madness @ work)

In that case, Andrej says: "We have little time to spare to get you all out of the window and to safety lest you die in the fire. If none among you will step forward to leap to safety I will do so myself, and leave you to your deaths. May God have mercy upon your souls."

Alexis said...

(OOC: I think we could all use a Christmas break; let's suspend until next monday.

Reading Andrej's comment, I found myself stunned. I had an image of the trapped people, open-mouthed, shocked by the brutality of Andrej's threat ... and then, one by one, on their own, going out the window. So I'll play it that way. Let us assume, for Christmas' sake, that the victims were caught, that even if they bounced off the cloth they suffered minimum damage and were in any case treated by the many crowd members - so that we can begin with reboarding the carriage and moving on)

Andrej said...

Wonderful idea (the people filing out, that is). That's precisely the sort of effect I was hoping for.

(OOC: Happy Holidays guys. I've most likely got a slow week at work this week, so I hope we're not suspending just for me, as I was looking forward to playing a bit. Either way, I eagerly await recommencing.)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - @Alexis - awesome!

@both - Either way is fine for me - may you both have a wonderful Christmas/Holiday week and weekend!)