Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Crab's Arrival

Monday, August 4, 1650

The dusk slips away and the lighthouse keepers get about lighting the accumulated wood pile on top of the lighthouse.  The flame spreads quickly over the wood, which has been bathed in oil, creating a rather remarkable sight.  In moments the flame covers the pile, and the keepers move to the edge of the platform and the stairs there that take them down into the main structure.

Within minutes the crab appears on the far eastern dike.  It is enormous ... but as yet 400 yards away, and its real dimensions are difficult to describe.  However, it moves off the dike and begins to quickly move across the planted field towards the lighthouse.  The party would estimate it is moving as fast as five or six feet per second, and quite nimbly, not tearing the wheat as it goes but setting each of the eight legs it uses for standing precisely, the tips sharp as the stab the ground.  It is true, the crab's body is about eight feet in diameter.  As it nears the lighthouse, still a goodly distance from the party, an estimate would make the whole crap a good fourteen or sixteen feet wide, the legs bent like a spider's.

At full speed it slams into the side of the lighthouse, claws in front of its mouth, and literally bounces off the stone.  At the last moment the shadow of the platform makes it impossible to see.  Perhaps imaginatively, the ground seems to shake.  The crab staggers back into the light, then slams forward again.  The crack is not so loud the second time.

Now it emerges from the light, moving slower, swinging to the left and right as it moves to the west across the fields.  When it gets within sixty yards to the left of the barn, it stops.  The body can be seen to 'float' three feet above the ground, just above the tops of the wheat stalks.  Its standing legs are as thick as a man's thigh.  The other two limbs, one perhaps ten percent larger than the other, are five foot long appendages ending in claws about the size of barrels.

It moves slowly forward for a dozen or so steps, then speeds directly towards the barn.  If no one disturbs it, the crab will stop at the barn's open side, move half way in and begin gobbling the sugar beets and squashes it finds there, shoveling them into its mouth.

The Crab's Path

219 comments:

1 – 200 of 219   Newer›   Newest»
Nine-toes said...

I will shout: "Crab ahoy!" and try to drop the net on it.

ooc: Alexis - do you want me to tell you the roll in advance, or wait for you to prompt me to roll?

Silvius Volundr said...

"What a beast," Silvius gasps to himself. "If we survive, we shall live like kings for weeks on the bounty."

Silvius awaits the net dropping. Once that happens, regardless of the outcome, he will sprint to within 15' of the Giant Shore Crab and hurl his spear with all of his vigor at its face, or its underside (if visible). His last target will be the carapace, but if that is all he can hurl at, so be it.

Alexis said...

Sometimes it won't be obvious what die to roll, so you'll have to wait for it. For those who are attacking, to save time please roll a d20 when you say you are attacking, and an appropriate damage die, announcing that number too. Even if you miss, I won't have to hold up the game waiting for the second die to be rolled.

Note it may also be that I have to say you can't attack for some reason, but just for the speed of the game, roll the die and give the number anyway. If it isn't used, you'll have to roll again, but better to have that number there if we do need it.

In this case, Nine-toes, I'll need a % die.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius Spear Assault

d20 roll = 2
+1 to hit for Dex bonus
Net roll 3.

d8= 6


Alexis, I noticed in your past posts, you requested net rolls, but since I am new, I want to confirm what format you want this in the future.

I hope I didnt stab myself.

Nine-toes said...

Ugh. 92.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will remain where he is among the trees, not wanting to distract the crab from its appointment with the net.

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: Likely 9toes, I am netted and you are skewered. Roll for damage..

Ahmet said...

OOC: Too late for me to join forces with the crab? ;)

Alexis said...

Silvius.

A natural '2' on a 20-sided to hit die for a thrown weapon indicates that you have caused 'friendly fire' damage ... thus, the spear should hit someone else in the party for damage.

However, two things.

One, from looking over the positions of the party, you are all far enough apart and not in the line of fire with each other, so the spear only misses. Friendly fire does require a line of sight along the thrown weapon's path. Aren't you lucky.

Two, a spear does 1d6 damage. Not 1d8.

Silvius misses.

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: I don't feel so lucky.

I got the 1-8 damage from the PHB, spear vs. large opponents. Is this thing not large or do you just use a base damage for each weapon?

Alexis said...

Nine-toes,

You needed to roll under your set traps ability, which is somewhat lower than 92. The net rolls off the roof and lands in a line across the crab's back, not a nice wide sweeping square as desired. Effects of this will be coming.

Ahmet,

No, not too late; taking your first comment as waiting for the net to fall, that has happened and you may now take action. However, to fight hand-to-hand, you will need to close the distance with the crab for one round before you can fight. You may throw something this round, if you choose. The crab will respond to the net before you can get closer.

Before I forget, Silvius and Nine-toes, please take no other action for the moment. Let the crab have its round. Ahmet and Andrej still have time to do something.

On the subject of die rolling, just roll for yourselves. I'll have to trust you ...

Nine-toes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexis said...

Silvius, if you checked out my house rules, you'll see I don't use weapon vs. large creature damage. All weapons do the same damage all the time, regardless of the size of the creature.

Ahmet said...

With the obligatory shout of "Allahu Akbar!", Ahmet charges from the trees, pick held in both hands high over his head, poised to smash carapace.

Silvius Volundr said...

"Silvius, if you checked out my house rules, you'll see I don't use weapon vs. large creature damage. All weapons do the same damage all the time, regardless of the size of the creature."

Missed that, sorry. Works for me. That was always a strange rule, I thought.

Ahmet said...

OOC: I don't have a 20-sided die here at work (I'll have to remedy that) but I found this:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm

Hopefully the folks in the IT department won't mind.

So, a D20...

15, +1 for Strength, +1 for Pick... 17

and a D6+1...

4+1, +3 for Strength... 8.

Alexis said...

Ahmet, you missed where I said that you'd have to close for a whole round before attacking. That means, before you can use your pick, the crab gets to go first.

But I'll take it your rushing to close.

That just leaves Andrej. I'm in no hurry. This is the reality of playing this way.

Incidentally, if people are looking for a die at work, try excel ... typing =randbetween(1,20) works as a die roll.

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: you dont carry a 20-sider to work? You might get kicked out of the game for revealing such a debilitating weakness!)

Ahmet said...

OOC: I know... I'd rather get into hand-to-hand with this thing than try to throw a dagger, roll a 2, and hit Mr. Lucky up there. ;)

Alexis said...

(OOC: My game, my 'dice' ... heh heh.)

I'm a stickler for the die not being rolled ahead of time. So as I wrote above, the die roll you made Ahmet has to be ignored. Too bad, a 17 would have hit.

Nine-toes said...

ooc: Look on the bright side, all, at least we know it can be hit. :)

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: Maybe we can reason with it.)

Andrej said...

Andrej leaves his hiding spot amongst the trees, horseman's mace in each hand. When entering melee he does so without bluster or loud protestation. Workmanlike, he will attempt to attack the crab on a side not otherwise occupied and encourage his companions to spread out to the extent possible.

OOC: Is a horseman's mace 1d4+1 dmg as I seem to have entered on my offline char sheet, or 1d6 as per AD&D Player's Handbook? Also, -1 dmg for using 2 weapons, correct?

Alexis said...

GCI: let's use the player's handbook damage. Yes, -1 damage per hit for using two weapons.

Andrej also spends this round moving into combat.

The crab responds to the movement and sound around it, backing up from the barn. The net snags on one of the horns on its carapace, and the crab responds to that by turning sixty degrees and starting to run off ... however, the long net also snags on the side wall of the barn, while the other end pulls under the crab's feet. Stepping into it, the crab falters, turns again and gets itself a little more in trouble.

It sweeps a claw in the direction of Andrej and Ahmet as they approach, but really only due to its growing predicament.

At this point I will need Ahmet to roll a d6 to determine initiative, to see if the party gets to attack the crab before the crab can attack the approaching people on the ground.

Meanwhile, Silvius will have to roll a dexterity check to avoid stepping on the net which is being pulled fast across the ground in front of him, and if successful will be in a position to attack once initiative is determined.

Nine-toes feels the roof shake from the crab pulling on the snagged net, suggesting the barn might get a little unstable. He can finish loading his crossbow (not firing this round) or take some other action. He spies a pile of ripe cabbages on the ground which he could jump safely onto if he makes a dex check, or could suffer 1d6 damage if he doesn't. He could always climb down instead.

The night continues to darken, but there is a definite glow now being thrown off by the lighthouse.

Nine-toes said...

When I next act, I jump for cabbages. Let me know what to roll.

Andrej said...

Let the carnage begin!

Alexis said...

GCI: all ability checks (dex check, int check, str check) are a d20, measured against your own ability. Over the ability and you fail; equal to or under, you succeed.

Alexis said...

I should add in this case that jumping from a 20 foot barn into cabbages isn't something a fighter or a cleric could do successfully. Monks have a natural proclivity for this sort of thing; at 4th level, Nine-toes wouldn't even have to roll, and he wouldn't have to shoot for the cabbages. He could just drop 20 feet to the ground.

Nine-toes said...

A 13.

At least I did something right today.

Silvius Volundr said...

Dex check= 14

Alexis said...

(OOC: and the man is happy he took a high dex!)

Andrej said...

OOC: ... and here you tried to talk him out of it.

Silvius Volundr said...

Initiative= 5

Yes he is fleet footed!

Alexis said...

Sorry, Silvius; one roll for initiative per party. In this case, going alphabetically, where I said above that Ahmet had to roll initiative, that is for everybody.

Silvius Volundr said...

No worries! I just wanted to keep the ball rolling!

Nine-toes said...

ooc: just an FYI, if you're using an archaic form of excel like myself (2000), the formula on mine is: RAND()*(b-a)+a

where the number range is a-b.

So a twelve sider is RAND()*(11)+1

It recalculates the value of the cell anytime you adjust another cell, so just hitting delete on an empty cell creates a number.

Ahmet said...

OOC: My handy-dandy die rolling website concurs with Silvius's... 5.

Alexis said...

Excellent. The crab rolls a 3, so while it is pitching and yawing in front of Andrej and Ahmet, and Silvius coming from behind, you three can each take a swing - your attack.

Nine-toes, we'll be generous and assume you grabbed your crossbow before you jumped ... for the moment, you're extracating yourself from the cabbages, your crossbow still one round of loading away from firing.

Andrej said...

Andrej is attacking twice, taking advantage of his ambidexterity and horseman's maces.

1st try: 4/ dmg: 2
2nd try: 15/ dmg: 3

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius draws his broadsword and cuts across his body, trying to hack into the crab's rearmost leg.

d20= 7
d8=7

Ahmet said...

Ahmet swings down hard with his pick, hoping to crush through carapace and into the... whatever is under the carapace.

OOC: As you said, the earlier die roll would be thrown away if not needed... don't mind rolling. Gotta warm up those dice!

D20: 12, +1 for Strength, +1 for Pick... 14

and a D6+1...

5+1, +3 for Strength... 9.

Alexis said...

All three attacks cause no damage. Andrej feels a jarring blow as his second swing careens off a particularly hard part of the carapace, Silvius misses completely and Ahmet's pick is knocked by the lesser claw.

The crab, tethered to the barn, begins to swing to its right, away from Andrej and Silvius, past Ahmet and towards the chapel. All three members of the party successfully avoid getting clubbed or struck by the crab's outstretched legs. The crab's smaller claw swings around in a great circle as the crab turns, trying to free itself, and strikes Silvius' shield, causing no damage.

In just one round, the crab has covered twenty feet, too far for Silvius or Andrej in armor to pursue and swing again this round (actual actions not assumed). Ahmet can try his pick again from the rear of the crab or attempt some other action. Nine-toes has himself in hand again, crossbow ready for loading or other action to be taken - he is also too far away to rush up and swing this round, even at the speed he moves.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet curses as he swings again.

OOC: Same result.

D20: 12, +1 for Strength, +1 for Pick... 14

I'll roll for damage just in case...

and a D6+1...

3+1, +3 for Strength... 7.

Silvius Volundr said...

Alexis, are you waiting for an initiative roll, or do we submit actions at this time?

Nine-toes said...

I load the crossbow and try to stay in sight of the crab.

Andrej said...

ouch. tough cookie. Andrej will move into position to hopefully attack next round.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius will draw his hand axe, sheathing his sword and hurl it at the crab.

If this takes an extra round to do, fine. If not, let me know and I will see about rolling a 20 with this non-proficient weapon.

OOC: Y'all better clear the hell out.

Alexis said...

Initiative only needs to be rolled at the first round of combat. After that, whoever goes first depends on who hits or misses.

Ahmet, this time you hit the carapace but the pick fails to crack through. A jarring effect goes up your arm.

Nine-toes crossbow is loaded.

Andrej, just for clarity, directly at the crab?

Silvius, throwing your axe can be done this round, before the crab's next move. To hit and damage, please.

As if from nowhere, ahead of the crab Zanfrancesco appears, swinging a club ... but he appears to do no better than the party.

Silvius Volundr said...

d20 11, +1 for Dex, -2 non prof= 10

d6 =1

Andrej said...

Go Zanfrancesco!

For clarification, I'm not running headlong at the crab unless I must to keep up. My hope is to circle around for an attack at a side of the thing not equipped with a barrel-sized claw. Short of this, Andrej will do what he must to ensure an attack on the thing soonest, including a headlong charge.

Nine-toes said...

Nine-toes shoots when he can: 15
From your house rules, I take it hvy crossbow is 2d6+2? If that is the case (and if I hit), 10 damage.

Alexis said...

Don't shoot until I tell you, Nine-toes. You've only just finished loading the crossbow. Gotta wait for the next round to fire it...

Ahmet said...

I swing again, whenever I get the chance...

Alexis said...

The crab spins in a 270 degree circle the other way, wrapping itself further in the net around its feet and snagging its minor claw in the process. It stumbles and shuffles in a wide half circle, terrifyingly fast. The party hears the net rip, and the barn shudder as it does so. Ahmet dives to avoid a leg and lands on his feet.

As the crab comes at him, Andrej is caught by the large claw, which slaps him hard across the chest, picks him up and hurls him fifteen feet into the beet-filled sacks inside the barn. The total damage is 15 ... at some point Andrej's foot catches a beam from the broken wall, laying about on the ground, tearing open his shin, which begins to bleed profusely. However, Andrej is too dazed to even comprehend that.

The crab literally bulldozes right over Silvius, who drops for the ground and takes a point of damage as he lands on his shoulder.

The crab continues around in the circle, tethered by the net, losing its footing right in front of Nine-toes, but literally nudging the monk hard for 1 point of damage as it stops. This is obviously not enough to stun Nine-toes, who can then fire his crossbow at point blank range, +1 to hit, +1 due to the crab's semi-entanglement.

Silvius, who isn't stunned either, can draw his sword again, leap to his feet, and attack, as the crab is but five feet away.

Ahmet is too far for hand-to-hand (20 feet), while Zanfrancesco is now almost 30 feet away.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius plants his feet, cradles his shield close and chops down with his broad sword.

d20= 15

2d4= 3

Nine-toes said...

Maird.

5+1 = 6

damage (if it matters) = 11

Andrej said...

Andrej swoons and mumbles Hail Mary's.

Nine-toes said...

"Andrej, can you heal yourself?"

Andrej said...

"Have plan...boulders... big rocks... light house... retreat..."

Alexis said...

Nine-toes' shot careens off the back of the crab, causing no damage (despite being +3 to hit in toto, not +1).

Silvius succeeds in striking at the soft flesh between a back leg and the carapace, and is rewarded by a flush of white translucent fluid.

At present, Ninetoes, Andrej can do absolutely nothing, he certainly can't answer you.

I'm only waiting for Ahmet's action. Zanfrancesco speeds into the barn towards Andrej.

Alexis said...

In the meantime, I'm going to be indisposed for about an hour.

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahmet said...

Ahmet charges the 20 feet, ready to chop and smash. Death to the crab!

Alexis said...

Back.

The crab lurches back again, shouldering aside Nine-toes (causes 1 point of damage), kicking Silvius hard with a leg (causes 2 points of damage).

Still hooked to the barn, catches on the net and falls, lifts, lurches and falls, all the while approaching Ahmet, huge and scary and fast. On its last fall it drops its big claw like a hatchet, coming so close to Ahmet that his clothes are brushed. But miraculously Ahmet is unharmed. The crab stops there, its full weight now dragging upon the net, taut like a leash.

Ahmet and Silvius can each swing weapons. Nine-toes can just barely get close enough to strike (with that speed of his), but does not have time to pull a weapon while he does so...so that is only an option if he wants to Open Hand the crab.

Andrej can stand up, but he's encouraged not to by Zanfrancesco, who is ripping his chemise to make a bandage for Andrej's bleeding leg. (Andrej suffers 1 point of damage more).

Andrej said...

Andrej (still inside the barn) will indeed stand and make his way outside, gently but firmly brushing away the friar. "I do not want the roof to fall upon us, brother."

There are 2 ways into the barn, yes? The damaged opening and the typical opening? Andrej makes for the opening that doesn't have a giant crab tied up out in front of it. There, if the good friar is still so inclined, he'll allow himself to be bandaged.

Andrej said...

Also, if not at hand but still nearby Andrej will want to gather his maces.

Ahmet said...

It's crab-crushing time!

Ahmet swings his pick again.

d20: 2, +1, +1 = 4
d6+1: 6+1, +3 = 10

Crapola.

Alexis said...

Maces attached to Andrej's hands by loops. One came loose, but its nearby. Zanfrancesco agrees about the roof, and helps you limp out the existing door, which is only a few feet away. From there you can both hear the shouts as the fight continues.

Alexis said...

Ahmet, there's no friendly fire effect from the natural 2; you just miss.

Ahmet said...

Ah, good... thought we were about to have two guys named Nine-toes.

Andrej said...

Outside the barn Andrej will pause to allow friar Zanfrancisco to bandage the leg. He calls out to his comrades "Stand back, brothers. Take it from a distance... it hits like an avalanche and I've only power to heal one of us!"

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius grits his teeth, surprised by the crab's mule kick. Sneaky crab, indeed! He chops away again, hacking at the offending leg.

D20 15
2d8. 6

OOC: for the record the first roll hit the floor and was a 20, but I re-rolled it. Don't think I wasn't tempted!

Alexis said...

It typically takes three rounds to bind a leg; one to ready the bandage, one to wrap it around the area and one to tie it in place. The first and second are done now, and after the crab's next move (to happen after Nine-toes and Silvius take an action), Zanfrancesco is going to leave Andrej to finish the binding process.

The wound doesn't bleed for damage while its being bound ... only when it is ignored. In this case, it was the round after Andrej was stunned, because the binding process hadn't happened yet.

Alexis said...

Silvius hits!

The blow literally takes the crab's rear leg off at the lower joint, slicing right through the soft spongy flesh. A gush of white pus-like fluid streams out, along with tendril-soft sinew.

Andrej said...

OOC: Alexis may I ask why my roll of 15 did no damage but subsequent rolls did? Is this an issue of it being a blunt weapon? Some other feature of combat that escapes me?

Alexis said...

GCI: Annoying, isn't it? As the crab is getting more and more tangled into the net, I am lowering its armor class. Initially, when Andrej rolled the 15, its AC was 3; legs caught underneath it, smaller claw caught in the net and Silvius in this case striking from behind, it is only AC 6.

Andrej said...

OOC: Annoying? Not at all. Indeed, it is of direct benefit to the party.

Alexis said...

Things are slowing down. I'll be going on my daily walk now, so I won't be back online for a bit more than an hour.

We await Nine-toes decision on what he wants to do.

Silvius Volundr said...

How many more legs does this thong have? Silvius is calling find on them!

Silvius Volundr said...

Thong=thing

Alexis said...

Counting the claws, ten legs.

Silvius Volundr said...

So seven more hackings and we turn this thing onto a clam with claws. Let's have at it boys!

Nine-toes said...

Very sorry, got hung up, back home now.

Nine-toes will draw the staff and close with the crab.

Silvius Volundr said...

Andrej, somewhere you posted something about Alexis' "residual damage" rules. Is that the bleeding and HP loss that we are seeing?

Alexis said...

The crab now strains all its weight against its tether, jerking left and right without changing its place. The net does not tear, but the corner post of the barn moans from the stress. The crab's foot falls onto Ahmet's, causing a point of damage, while the big claw sweeps at Silvius, coming nowhere close to hitting him.

Zanfrancesco leaves Andrej to finish up, rushing back through the barn's door, heedless of the danger. He appears some twenty feet from where the crab is tethered, and nearly fifty feet away from the crab.

Ahmet can swing, standing right by the crab's head. Silvius is at the crab's left 'shoulder', and Nine-toes reaches the crab's rear. All three can attack.

(GCI: Silvius, I argue that very large creatures cause damage simply by being very large; I call this 'incidental damage,' and it is a 50% chance of causing 1 point of damage per thousand pounds of the creature to anyone adjacent to it - thus an 8,000 pound creature has a 50% chance of causing 1-8 damage to anyone standing within 10 feet ... by sweeping around in a circle, stepping on you, shouldering you, etc.

I also consider any attack which causes 11 or more damage to cause a 'wound,' which means that until you bind or heal yourself, you will bleed 1 hp per round. A blow that causes 22 damage would result in your bleeding 2 hp per round...and so on. Players can also cause wounds when they hit.

Those are the things you're seeing.)

Nine-toes said...

I am starting to hate my die roller.

3 + 0 = 3
dmg 3 + 1 (Str) = 4

Alexis said...

(GCI: please be aware, Nine-toes, that monks do not get dexterity bonuses to AC, nor strength bonuses to hit or damage. As a monk, however, you do get a +1 damage bonus every other successful hit...with the first hit being zero, and the second hit being +1. This applies to hurled & fired weapons as well as to hand-to-hand)

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius continues to chop away with his broad sword, focusing on the creature's leg. He hears Andrej's warning, but battle fever has him now.

D20=1
2d4=4

Ugh.

OOC: thanks for the explanation, Alexis.

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: next time we fight a 3-ton crab, I want several sharp grappling hooks with chains.

Ahmet, you gotta start dropping bombs on this thing!

Alexis said...

Uh oh.

(GCI: Silvius. On a natural 1 on a d20, like you just rolled, there is a chance that you have just broken your weapon. Since it is a ordinary weapon, that chance is 1 in 6. Please roll a d6 to determine if the sword you're using is now broken).

Silvius Volundr said...

d6=4

Andrej said...

Andrej will finish the binding and then cast cure light wounds upon himself when he next has an action.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will once again attempt to smash this beast.

d20 = 10
+1 for pick, +1 for strength... 12

sigh

d6+1 = 3+1
+3 for strength... 7

Alexis said...

The characters all miss.

The barn shudders from the crab's pulling. The crab's feet dig in as the crab shudders as well.

Suddenly it shifts left, and Silvius feels a horn from the carapace smash against his right shoulder, causing 2 damage. He falls back two paces, and just has time to look when the swinging big claw slaps through his shield and into his left hip, tossing him off his legs and flipping him head over heels. He lands hard on the same right shoulder, catching it on the edge of his sword.

The claw blow causes 11 damage, and a wound has opened on Silvius's right shoulder.

Both Nine-toes and Ahmet are still in a position to attack. Zanfrancesco is running towards the crab, now only ten feet away.

Andrej finishes binding the wound and can cast the spell this round; he cannot discharge the spell, causing the effect, until NEXT round. He will hear Silvius's cry, if that matters.

(OOC: it is generally better if the players don't tell me what they're going to do in the future; I can't assume its true anyway, and it would be better in general if we don't "look into the future" so to speak, with regards of the actions of other players - who wouldn't know the intentions anyway. It unbalances the game if they know to do this or that because they have knowledge of the future given by another player)

Nine-toes said...

Nine-toes swings:

d20: 11
d6: 3

Andrej said...

Andrej will cast the spell, not discharging it. How far away is Silvius from Andrej?

Alexis said...

Five feet to the barn door and then at least forty feet beyond that.

You can only move five feet per round after casting the spell, and opening the barn door while concentrating on the spell requires a wisdom check.

If you want to cast the spell for Silvius's benefit, don't cast it now.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius staggers to his feet and pulls a dagger from his belt and hurls it at the crab's face. Before the first lands, he reaches for and throws the second dagger.

d20: 2+1 for Dex = 3
d4: 3

d20: 19 +1 for Dex = 20
d4: 3

(OOC: Alexis, four things...
1. I assumed the thrown dagger rate of fire was 2/rd.

2. How far from the crab is Silvius?

3. Not sure if it matters, but I meant to remind you that Silvius should be at full movement rate without his pack, spear and hand axe.

4. I neglected to buy bandages. Can I use part of my cloak?)

Andrej said...

Alexis, I had indicated yesterday that Andrej and Friar Zanfrancisco were leaving the barn prior to the bandaging being completed, fearing that the roof would collapse on us. I've acted since then under that belief. If the error is mine, I'll hold off on casting. If andrej is outside the barn, how does that change the time frame to get to Silvius?

Ahmet said...

Before I get hit in the back by Silvius's errant dagger toss, I'll try, try again.

d20 = 17
+1 for Strength, +1 for pick = 19

yay

d6+1 = 2+1
+3 for Strength = 6

boo

Alexis said...

Silvius is delusional.

Silvius, you are STUNNED. You cannot take any action at this time, whatsoever, except to lie on your sword and bleed.

Any time I do one quarter of your total present hit points, you're stunned and you miss a round.

Andrej,

I am also working on yesterday's description. Let me just count the events in order so we're in agreement.

1) crab hits Andrej.
2) Zanfrancesco runs to Andrej while Andrej is stunned.
3) Zanfrancesco starts to bind wounds, Andrej says "lets go outside, the barn is going to fall"
4) both men stagger outside, drop to the ground five feet from the door (which is on the opposite barn wall from the broken-open side)
5) Zanfrancesco binds Andrej's wound.
6) Zanfrancesco goes back through the door again, into the barn, across the barn floor and towards the crab.
7) Andrej finishes binding the wound, but can't see the battle because the barn wall is in the way.
8) to get back to the crab the shortest way, Andrej would have to go either through the door and across the barn floor, or around the barn.

Have I misunderstood something?

Alexis said...

(GCI: All thrown weapons have a fire rate of 1 per round - daggers included. A cloak will do as a bandage, though there is a chance for infection if it is not replaced with a bandage within an hour)

Silvius, your other questions are ignored because you are stunned, and you have no idea.

Silvius Volundr said...

Didn't know about the stun rule! I was hoping to ricochet one of my daggers off of Ahmet and into the crab's eyestalk.

Andrej said...

No, we're good. I was imagining Andrej outside the barn but nearer to where Silvius was attacking from. The mistake was mine.

May I recall my action? Andrej will take the quickest route to Silvius this round that does not involve getting within the crab's striking distance unless Silvius is lying beneath or near to it.

OOC: Nice try on the daggers, Sil ;)

Alexis said...

Ahmet, that most definitely hits.

I'm just waiting for a confirmation of Andrej's actions and I'll begin with the crab's round.

Alexis said...

Andrej can then get up, run through the barn door and into the barn, seeing the large open side of the barn ahead of him... and the crab pulling against the net-tether. A few boards fall from the roof, landing around him, none causing any harm. Silvius is lying on the ground, Nine-toes is being ineffectual with his staff and Ahmet had just brought the flat of his pick down on the carapace near the crab's head.

At once, the net rips free from the barn, and the crab bulldozes over Ahmet (for 1 damage). It goes speeding off into the trees, moving thirty feet from the nearest party member (Ahmet), quite out of range for hand-to-hand (medium range for a thrown weapon, short range for a sling, javelin, spear, bow or crossbow).

Ahmet is not stunned, nor is Nine-toes. Either could throw something.

Andrej is about 60 feet from the crab at the moment, too far to throw a weapon and hasn't got any other thing he could fire at moment.

Silvius has control enough of his faculties now he could pull himself to his feet and throw his dagger. He bleeds for 1 point of damage.

Silvius, I really need you to read these combat simulation posts.

Nine-toes said...

If I can run and atart loading the crossbow, I will do that. If not, I will pursue with my staff, trying to close.

Andrej said...

Andrej will begin ripping strips of material from his tunic and telling Silvius to sit still.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius will hurl his dagger.

d20: 14+1=15
d4:2

OOC: I'm all over those posts, Alexis.

Alexis said...

Silvius's dagger is -2 to hit and misses.

Nine-toes, you can load a crossbow OR run. Not both. The crossbow has an effective range of 720 feet.

Nine-toes said...

I will start loading the crossbow.

Ahmet said...

I will charge after the beast, howling a death howl!

Alexis said...

Having seen the crab move before, it doesn't surprise Ahmet that it quickly outdistances him. It moves off through the trees and out onto the field beyond.

Assuming Nine-toes wishes to continue to do so, to have any chance of hitting the creature he will have to get the crossbow three quarters loaded, run three rounds through the trees, finish loading the crossbow and fire ... at which point, his chance to hit will be -5 for the distance, and -2 for the dim light given by the lighthouse.

Do you wish to do this, Nine-toes? The crossbow bolt will be presumed lost or broken.

Silvius, do you let Andrej bind your wounds?

Nine-toes said...

In that case, I will pursue it hoping to strike it with the staff.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius stands fast whole Andrej bonds his wounds. He tries to locate his spear in the dim lighting.

"My gratitude, friend Andrej."

Alexis said...

Nine-toes can run at 100 feet/round if he is at quadruple speed, or a full run. His first round he moves at 25 feet, then 50, then 75 and then 100.

The crab, once it hits its stride on its seven good legs, is moving at 80 feet/round.

If he starts 85 feet behind the crab, which gets a good head start on him because Nine-toes can't decide at first between running and loading, Ninetoes will be 15 feet behind the crab when it gets to 965 feet away (about the far dike where it emerged).

At night, across a field, Nine-toes has a chance of tripping and falling. A dex check needs to be made for every 250 feet while moving at quadruple speed, so three checks. Nine-toes has no chance of catching it at triple speed.

Still good with pursuing?

Andrej said...

Andrej grunts and nods acknowledgment to Silvius's thanks. "Stand down friends, its a small island... we'll see the crab again soon, I wager. we must plan our next move."

Nine-toes said...

Dex checks:

9
4
16

"None shall escape Ninetoes! Come about and eat me, crab, and my entrails shall at least give you indigestion!"

Andrej said...

Andrej mutters a silent curse and then a silent prayer for his brash and fleet-footed friend.

Silvius Volundr said...

"Does the monk not value his own life, Andrej? What will he do if he actually catches the beast?"

Alexis said...

(OOC: Nine-toes; do you not remember that I asked for players to recognize that in-house and out-of-house they could be voted out of this campaign? With two claws functioning, just how long do you think its going to be that this crab actually eats you, and just how motivated am I going to be to go through the hassle of rolling you up another character?)

Andrej said...

"Judging by his battle cry his goal appears to be getting eaten."

Nine-toes said...

Very well, Nine-toes will relent and regroup.

Nine-toes said...

(Unless it is too late, in which case he will be eaten.)

Andrej said...

As Andrej works on the binding of Silvius's wound he calls out to those nearby, "Ahmet, Zanfrancisco, Gerhrard... are you all whole?"

After their responses...

"I have a plan, I think. Crude but maybe effective. No more or less likely than the net and less dangerous for us. Is there some place of safety on the island where we can wait out the night and discuss it, Friar Zanfrnacisco?"

Alexis said...

(OOC: I'm all for players being able to do what they want with their characters, but I must admit I continue to be utterly confused by this tendency to willfully sacrifice carefully constructed designs on a moment's notice with no expected good purpose. Would someone like to explain to me why this is - I assume - 'fun?')

Alexis said...

(OOC: Sorry, this last stupidity has sort of ruined the rather remarkable quality of the last combat, which I was thinking was compelling and exciting...but apparently it was not enough, as a measure of idiocy was clearly needed)

Assuming that Nine-toes isn't dead, and hasn't gone off after the crab, please describe what your characters are doing in the aftermath.

I have some X.P. to distribute. Nine-toes, 188 (minimum damage, no actual hits made). Ahmet, 273 (delivered some damage, took very little). Andrej, 515 (took lots of damage). Silvius, 578 (took damage and delivered it).

Nine-toes said...

OOC: Very sorry to have angered you. I wrote the post to pursue before Andrej called to regroup. You presented an option and I took it. My hope was to delay the crab until the others could catch up. If my play is not to your liking, I will abide by whatever decision you make without complaint.

Alexis said...

Zanfrancesco will suggest the tower. Gerhard will ride in on the horse, and recommend that if the horse is left free, its natural instincts will probably preserve it from the crab...and he offers to replace the horse if he's wrong.

Andrej said...

Let us call it the battle fever, gents. Cooler heads prevailed and we've much planning to do still and need all hands on deck to do so.

As stated above Andrej wants to finish administering to Silvius, then collect the group together and find some safe spot on the isle to retire to and discuss our next move.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I didn't say angry. I said I was baffled. There was obviously little chance the rest of the party was going to 'keep up,' since two of them were sitting and binding the one's wound. I hadn't heard again from Ahmet after I said he couldn't catch up to the thing, which he couldn't at any rate, not running as fast as the crab...which means it would kill Nine-toes and eat him while Ahmet was still half-way to getting there in his armor, not to mention ALSO having to make dex checks if he ran at quadruple speed.

What I heard was Nine-toes blissfully going rogue, screaming about entrails and other crap. I mean, what the hell?)

Andrej said...

The tower it is, unless there are objections. Is this aka the lighthouse or did I miss that there's a tower here as well?

If the lighthouse, and if our intent is to climb up into its safety, andrej will want to first make an inspection of the damage at ground level. Specifically he's trying to detemrine if the crab is consistently slamming into a specific spot or even general area of the base... perhaps the side facing the pool to the east?

Alexis said...

tower = lighthouse.

Most of the damage is on the east side of the lighthouse.

Andrej said...

Also, on the way to the light house Andrej will be on the lookout for any boulders or large rocks and ask his mates to do likewise. The horse may be set free at Gerhard's recommendation and the cart left upon the dike, I presume.

Alexis said...

"Better than in the barn," says Gerhard.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius, once bandaged, will agree to go the tower. He will recollect his dagger, spear, axe and pack prior to doing so, assuming that he can find all of them.

OOC: sweet! Silvius is out of the negative experience point realm!

By the way, despite the fact that we haven't killed that bastard yet, that fight as a blast. I was enthralled.

Alexis, can we surmise approximately how hurt the crab is? Did it look like it could run a marathon, or was it banged up? I know its darkish and we would not necessarily have an accurate assessment.

Andrej said...

OOC: I concur, really fun and exciting combat. I'm really getting a sense of the other players and characters and liking how the campaign has begun.

Alexis said...

Not actually knowing anything about giant crabs, Silvius, you really couldn't say; Gerhard can answer that most crustaceans are able to grow limbs back, but he couldn't say how long that takes.

Silvius Volundr said...

"So you are thinking we crack the crab from above, are you Andrej?" Silvius' arm is still numb from his wound, thankfully.

"Mayhaps we could also rig up that net on the ground. Us the horse to haul it into the air. Then we drop him like a melon."

Silvius Volundr said...

Things like pulleys elude Silvius.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Nine-toes, I'm willing to forget the whole thing and hold no grudges, but I do want some kind of answer. Your compatriots are trying to smooth things over by ignoring the whole thing, but I feel things don't get solved that way; I'd like a direct clarification, and then I can drop it. There's no danger of you being thrown out at this point.

I simply don't see any reason to spend a week setting you up with a character that you then sacrifice wildly after four days of running. This was my reason for a screening in the first place, to get serious characters who want to run seriously. I recognize there are people who don't like that in the game, and I assumed they wouldn't want to play because of that. Nevermind what my judgement is - do you have a problem with the campaign, are you questioning your involvement in it, would you like to step gracefully out or are we good to go with things as they are? You can run your character as you like, but if you feel constrained to act self-destructively I'd be happy to comply with your wishes.

I was going to meaningfully ask the group if the combat was compelling and if they were enjoying the idea for the adventure, differing as it does from the rescuing of princesses. I like feedback just as much as any DM does)

Andrej said...

Yes, I was thinking death from above. If we could find a big enough boulder, haul it to the top and accurately guess which part of the wall the crab will slam into (it happened minutes after the fires were lit, I noticed) then...

I'm not married to that plan, though, if you guys have ideas to offer. I know what I don't want to do if I can help it: try going toe-to-toe with that thing again. We were lucky, and perhaps the DM took some pity on us, when the net failed to cover the thing but still restrained it some.

Alexis said...

Looking back, I see I didn't say so. The crab took most of the net with it as it rushed off. You might be able to search for it in the morning.

Nine-toes said...

OOC: I was frustrated at being utterly ineffectual. You offered me an opportunity to roll 3 dex checks, and with my rolling so low, I thought I could make it. I just wanted to hit the crab once before it got away.

I told you I wanted to experience you as a DM first-hand, and I meant it. And I've truly enjoyed everything, from the character generation process, to getting to know the other players, to the background on the surrounding area, and the combat. I knew going in that the types of games I've played were very different from that, and that would present a challenge, even possibly result in my expulsion at some point. I know you do not suffer fools, and I'm pretty much a neophyte at this style of play. I wanted to play anyway, and still do.

Even in game, would the rest of the party want the monk around after he failed at every attempt except jumping off the barn? Even before running after the crab, Nine-toes didn't cover himself in glory. That being said, I wasn't hoping for death by crab, I just wanted to hit it once before it escaped.

Andrej said...

I was going to meaningfully ask the group if the combat was compelling and if they were enjoying the idea for the adventure, differing as it does from the rescuing of princesses. I like feedback just as much as any DM does)

I enjoy the idea just fine. Some time ago you blogged about how smuggling mustard into Paris might be a gainful adventure for 1st level characters of an entrepreneurial bent and while your telling of the possibilities of such a venture was interesting, I questioned how fun it would be. Looking rather at the scenario we're currently playing we avoid the typical tropes but still have some danger and tension revolving around what is essentially a commercial venture. Deadliest Catch, indeed. I'd like to have some time to settle in and explore a bit of Cuxhaven later on.

Somewhat by necessity, I think, you essentially started us off with a quest. An interesting and exciting one, I want to point out. If left to our druthers in Cuxhaven, I wonder what would evolve next? I have some ideas.

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: awesome first adventure. Realistic in that we are not being called upon by a king with an army to do work that they should be doing.

Not that my input was asked for, but concerning 9toes the Brave, the crab DID run. Instinctively, my dog would have chased it if for no other reason than it was running!

Also, there are times, such as the scenario in question where posts are hitting faster than you can digest them and respond....much like in actual combat.

Alexis said...

The very, very LAST thing I'm ever going to toss a player for is a series of bad die rolls, and the very last thing next to that is a plan not going as planned. Hell, nothing ever works as you want it to. Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you.

What the hell, Nine-toes, the part of the plan that really worked well was thinking of putting the net on top of the barn. Once that was conceived, it was virtually impossible for the very large net not to have SOME effect ... even with a bad roll. I wasn't being generous ... it was obviously a good plan, and Nine-toes forewent the first opportunities for experience to get it done. If not for Nine-toes making that sacrifice, the rest of the party without the net would have been very quickly slaughtered; as it was, you all managed to do 15 damage to it, which is a start.

Yeah, sure, opportunities were screwed by the die. But you can't make things better by acting rashly. I'm not going to vilify you or anyone for bad luck.

Seems to me that I gave a speech similar to this with the previous campaign, somewhere on the other blog. Are there DMs out there crucifying players for rolling badly?

Thank you for the answer. Forget everything. No hard feelings, no grudges, no requirements for living it down since I'm never going to mention it again. Keep calm, don't worry, I don't want you out - that's why I invested my time to get you in, right?

Okay?

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: concerning the 1st "quest"again, I liked that it provided opportunity for us into action quickly.

As Andrej mentioned, it gave us a chance to see each other in action against a tough foe.

We tried brawn, now we have to try brains. That's a fun first encounter!

Nine-toes said...

Absolutely no hard feelings, and thank you.

Alexis said...

(OOC: A quest which I rush to confirm can be set down any time. "Sorry, Gerhard, its just too big for me and my team. Hope there's no hard feelings)

Andrej said...

Alexis, as a guy that mostly runs games and rarely plays them until recently I personally forget at times what it means to be a player. That said, I'm playing more lately and it has given me a refreshing perspective. When Ninetoes set off I felt I understood it immediately... he wanted to get his shot in. It sucks when you play but don't feel like you've contributed. I agree the net was a big deal and NineToes the actuator. You'l get your chnace for glory and XP. If we manage to drop a rock on this thing, I imagine it would be your trap setting that does it... hence, any damage (and XP) wil lbe yours. Hang in there.

Alexis said...

(OOC: a couple of last points. Has anyone calculated the weight of meat on a 1-ton-crab?

And Ahmet is taking a four-day vacation, so he'll be out Friday to Monday. I suggest we suspend the running until Tuesday morning, except for pertinent questions and general info...unless its agreed to give up on the crab, in which case a probable quick travel back to town would allow three people to run without Ahmet until later)

Nine-toes said...

ooc appreciate it James. I meant what I said, I'm enjoying getting to play with all of you.

Nine-toes said...

Nine-toes would dearly like revenge on the crab, but understands the reality of the situation and will go with the group.

Ahmet said...

After a long howl and a short chase, Ahmet returns to the group, looking more angry than usual. "The beast runs faster than a frightened rabbit," he scowls.

OOC: Yes, I'll be on and off the rest if the day but then gone until Monday night.

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: hell yes. At 1/3 meat and 2/3 death-dealing shell and cartlidge, I get 660 pounds, or 13,200 sp!

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: forgive me for hijacking this thread a little, but are Butch and Jeremiah also primarily DM's?

BIC: Silvius too, wants to kill this thing. We need to get 9toes xbow on it and give him ample opportunity to take many shots. That's our most potent weapon, right?

Nine-toes said...

ooc: I am primarily a DM for my group, but not old school. I'm running two groups and playing in a third at the moment.

Andrej said...

Andrej has no intention of setting aside this venture. We'll be swimming in silver at its completion.

He also hopes to persuade his business partners to donate a few pounds of the sweetest meat for the purposes of Brother Andrej's Famous Crabcakes. For what is life if it is not to be consumed and enjoyed, eh? We are, after-all, adventurers more than fishmongers. No offense, Gerhard.

As far a suspending play, sure. I would like to find out whether there are large rocks or boulders on the island that we can make use of. Otherwise, I'd spend the weekend coming up with another plan.

Also, Alexis... if you could explain further why Silvius and I shouldn't take his baptism lightly we can make a decision there, and Ahmet or Ninetoes may change their minds. I imagine that after this running the benefits of a nice bless spell may seem a little more compelling.

Andrej said...

Ninetoes, the feeling is mutual. Digging the vibe we got going.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes was deeply affected by the Friar going after the crab with only a club (and going after it by himself first). He will consult with Andrej to ask, if it will not offend him (Andrej) and Zanfrancesco is willing/able, if the Friar might be asked to baptize him. If the friar is not able, Ninetoes would be honored for Andrej to induct him into the faith.

Silvius Volundr said...

Might be safer to just open a crabcake shop once we bag this monster.

On that note, Alexis has not railroaded us into finishing off the King Crab. I want this thing dead so bad I can taste it, but it may be pretty healthy still.

I think we need more than one trap to spring.

Andrej said...

"No offense at all, my friend Ninetoes. When the spirit takes you, you must go where it leads. If Friar Zanfrancisco is not so inclined then it would be my privilege to see to your induction, it is my duty. Death stalks us, good monk, and will someday have his way. There are more worlds than this one to be concerned over."

Silvius Volundr said...

OOC: Just read my mealy mouthed last post....

What I was trying to whine was that this thing may be beyond us. Alexis is not giving us an easy kill. It may be only 10% dead and we could be setting ourselves up for a TPK.

That said, lets kill this fucker.

Nine-toes said...

I wonder if we might dig some type of trap that could impeded its movement. We'll never kill it without a way to stop it from moving.

I wonder how much of a pit we could dig and disguise around the lighthouse in a day?

Silvius Volundr said...

"Was considering the same, Ninetoes. Could be that we dig a smaller one and put you in it!"

When Ninetoes face registers surprise, Silvius continues. "You put a bolt in its belly, then we crack its shell from above."

Alexis said...

The rock you desire is probably there, anything from six-inches to 24 inches in diameter, half-buried in the mud in the lowland outside the dike, where they were removed two centuries before from the land inside the dike ... along with sizable timbers that Gerhard brought along, which would weigh about fifty pounds each.

The reason why conversion shouldn't be taken lightly is that A) you can't do it over and over, that tends to make the gods unhappy, so the first one you join with you probably should plan to make your last - excommunication is pretty serious; B) there are expections - which can be ignored over time, but they build up - to get involved in defending the religion, pushing the god's agenda or otherwise making oneself available for the god's general influence.

Alexis said...

I should add that while Ahmet considers himself muslim, he hasn't actually been baptized; no character in my world is before joining the campaign. It's a policy of mine to force the player to seek out and make it so.

Alexis said...

Nine-toes, as it happens the Friar Zanfrancesco hasn't the power to baptize you. With all that's said and done, he hasn't come far enough along in piety yet. Andrej, however, CAN. Andrej's ceremonial power, "Coming of Age," is the generic word for the Catholic's baptism.

Alexis said...

About digging a pit. I didn't intentionally do this, but if you look at the google map I attached to this project on the first posting of it, at the bottom it lists the elevation of the land at minus one meter. In other words, if you dig ...

Nine-toes said...

That being the case, we'll have to see if we can salvage the net or procure a new one. Otherwise, I'm at a loss as to how we could slow the thing down, short of burying ourselves near the barn entrance and slicing its legs off with a string of lucky shots.

Andrej said...

I say we stand atop the light house. The crab always attacks the east-facing wall, possibly always as sson as the fires are lit. We could set up there in relative safety with as many 24-inch diameter rocks that we can find. That's a big rock and a 100' drop. If the crab sits still ong enough while bashing the light house, that's a whole lot of force reigning down at 33 feet/ second2.

Andrej said...

32 feet, rather.

Nine-toes said...

A solid plan. Can we get the boulders in position to drop them?

Silvius Volundr said...

Forgot about the elevation.

I like the idea about pelting it with rocks. Ninetoes is right though. We need to immobilize it too. Dropped rocks will do much damage, but we have to hit it first.

Can we safely find the net, do you think?

Andrej said...

I say we spend the night at rest and make preperations during the day. I will cast my healing spell upon for today upon Silvius (d4+4 = 6 hit points, Silvius).

Ninetoes and Silvius may go looking for the net during the day. Ahment and myself, having the nbacks I beleive, should make use of the cart and gather as many large stones as we can find while the others hopefully retrieve the net. Andrej's healing spell for tomorrow will be applied to himself.

Once back at the lighthouse we make preparations for the evening, possibly including some arrangement with the net.

Before nightfall and ascending the lighthouse one last time, Andrej will make use of Zanfrancesco's chapel to baptize any who wish to proceed with it, assuming the friar has no objection. I wil lcast bless upon the faithful when we first spy the infernal crab.

Silvius Volundr said...

Now this is going to sound crazy, but hear me out...

Don't you love plans that start out like that?

In addition to the manmade avalanche, we position our big hitter, Ahmet on the backside of the lighthouse with a role around his waist.

Rocks fall.
Ahmet attacks.
1st sign that he is in trouble, Silvius and Andrej pull him out of claw range while 9toes snipes with his xbow.


If we get the upper hand, we drop Ahmet near (or on!) King Crab for the coup de gras.

Nine-toes said...

Let it be as you say.

Alexis said...

The top of the lighthouse is a 10 ft. diameter circular stone concave space for burning the wood, surrounded by a 10' diameter catwalk. The base of the lighthouse is a 20' diameter square.

A 2' diameter stone would weigh around 650 to 700 lbs.

The ropes on the side of the lighthouse are used all day to load up fuel for the fire.

There is a stairwell inside the lighthouse.

Andrej said...

That's awesome, Silvius. If Ahmet is willing I am. Alexis, how long are those ropes hanging down from the lighthouse platform again? If we go through with it we should practice it during the day, to see what happens under ideal circumstances.

Silvius Volundr said...

By the way, you know this lighthouse is coming down, right?

Alexis, what of the man in the tower? Does he appear able-bodied?

Alexis said...

Two men in the lighthouse: Rupert and Hans, both brawny individuals. Niether like the plans, nor anything that threatens the lighthouse. Rupert, Gerhard's brother, doesn't mind if you stay there, but the ropes and the lighthouse platform serve a greater purpose, and neither intends to roast on a spit in Hamburg for failing to carry that purpose out.

Andrej said...

We should collect rocks of varying sizes to see what is possible to lift up with the ropes. I'd imagine given the configuration Alexis describes, providing the lighthouse keepers do not object, we'd station ourselves on the catwalk with several heavy stones nearby... perhaps placed all along the catwalk in the event King Crab attacks another side.

Andrej said...

Andrej will explain to them both that it is the crab that threatens the lighthouse, and not the plans. The plans did not crack the foundation and shake the earth this evening. The plans, rather, threaten the crab. How will their masters feel about the damned thing tumbling down while they sat idly by awaiting help from the city? When are those soldiers due to arrive? How pleased will their masters be if instead Hans and Rupert orchestrate the successful defense of the lighthouse?

Nine-toes said...

Are we taking definitive actions now? Or just planning? If we are going to act, should we wait until Ahmet can participate?

Resting and baptisms we might do without him. Shall we declare as such now?

Andrej said...

I wouldn't want to get too far along without Amet's input, but some of the planning requires action. The lighthouse keepers, for instance, don't seem to keen on our designs. Also, Ahmet will have to agree to being swung from the rope.

Alexis said...

No actions are confirmed until Tuesday morning.

The answer the keepers give would be that the masters will send a troop to deal with the crab, that the foundation is not cracked and that clearly it is only superficial damage, and that they feel safe in the lighthouse. True, its inconvenient, but so is ten days of continuous rain.

Andrej said...

So should we accept their hospitality they'll let us stay here, but we cannot make use of the catwalk or ropes?

Andrej will seek private counsel with his companions, out of earshot of even Gerhard.

I suppose we could use some force or ruse to ensure access to the lighthouse platform, but I am loathe to do so. What say you three that we offer each of them a silver piece for every pound of crab meat we recover if they allow us use of the lighthouse for our plans? They may still refuse, but if they accept it is a small price to pay in my view.

Nine-toes said...

*whispered* I, too, was thinking of a bribe, but I would suggest starting the bidding lower. I could pay them each 5 gp now. Do you think they would find that offer insulting, or a starting point for negotiations.

Then again, 19 of 20 silver pieces is more than none, which is what will get if we fail to slay the crab altogether. I am in favor of some sort of bribe, and defer to your judgement as to what amount is appropriate.

Andrej said...

Given my plan it would actually be 18 of 20 silvers, but perhaps 19 of 20 should be our starting point. One the one hand, 5 gp each is a bird in the hand from their standpoint. On the other, they must be sufficiently enticed into something that they see as possibly dangerous to them. The risk is their lives and livelihood. The gain must be significant, I'd think.

we could also appeal to Gerhard to speak some sense to his brother and perhaps have him offer the coin. If such an action were to insult the keepers, Gerhard would know. It might be safer insulting him at this point as we're already partners and we can smooth that over as he's still dependent upon our success.

Silvius Volundr said...

I like the idea of bringing them in as partners. That or throw them at the crab!

There is no risk to them if we use their stuff. Tell them that we are using their ropes and catwalk for which they will be paid. We will replace any lost rope. They can just watch the show.

Ahmet said...

Sorry I'm late to the planning party!

My problem with dropping rocks from on high -- I'm afraid we'll do a bit of damage and this thing will scurry away again -- or, even worse, rush the barn and devour what's left, while we're stuck at the top of the light house.

We know (or think we know) when and where this thing will return -- I think we need to trap it in one place, keep it there and pound on it.

I liked the idea of using the net (provided we can find and repair it) to hoist it up in the air. It can't run, and we can take shots at its underbelly. Eventually it will rip and tear its way out if the net -- but if it's high enough off the ground when that happens, it will do some damage.

I don't know if you've seen those nature shows, but do you know how sea gulls kill crabs? They drop them from great heights. :)

Silvius Volundr said...

Alexis, I realize that you said that the lighthouse ropes were denied our use by the brawny "housemen", but I would like to know a little more.

Are the ropes thick, or normal, like what I have in my pack?

Is there a pulley or block-and-tackle?

Do we get the feeling from Gerhard that forcing the men to comply with our wishes to let us use their ropes and tower would be frowned upon by him...or does he want this crab as badly as we do?

On that note, what are Gerhard's thoughts and suggestions on the whole thing?

Alexis said...

Sorry for my lack of response. Just putting my attentions towards other things for the present; I shall address these questions later today or on the weekend.

Alexis said...

Ah, free time at last.

When we start with the new events tomorrow, I will create a new post. In the meantime, I will leave the discussion here. I trust it is not becoming too cumbersome with the number of comments.

(if it is, let me know)

Some principle issues. The party's willfulness to exploit all the materials on the island as if the party OWNS them is troubling. It is true that the persons on the island probably could not stop the party, but I rush to point out that when you hear the words "Hamburg Merchants" or "Hanseatic League," think "mafia." Your characters would all be well aware that the Hanse is a powerful, wide-reaching and dangerous entity, unforgiving and wholly selfish.

Please also take note that on any given night about 10 to 15 ships, or more, pass by the lighthouse on Neuwark bound for the mouth of the Elbe. The Elbe is an incredibly important waterway, and this lighthouse is the principle means of finding the waterway in the dark. That is why a lighthouse 100 feet high was built here in the 14th century. Just think of how important that makes this tower.

If even one ship misses the mouth of the Elbe, it doesn't even need to run aground to piss people off. It only needs to lose 6-10 hours of possible trading time to lose hundreds, even thousands of gold pieces from their yearly accounts, as this puts the ship behind for the rest of the annum. Merchants who think like the mafia are not forgiving about these things.

So the Hanse is not going to pick just any two bums to maintain their lighthouse. They're going to pick a couple of guys who are VERY loyal, given that we're talking quite a lot of money involved here. Yes, these two guys Rupert and Hans may just be zero level, but God has their souls well in hand and they have much less to fear from your swords than from the torture devices of the Hanse ... not to mention that helping you out in an unchristian fashion puts their souls at risk as well.

I'm not saying that they won't try to help you kill the crab ... but the ropes are for loading up wood during the day for the lighthouse, and these are the only ropes the men have. So not only will the ropes be in use, but the men won't risk the ropes breaking just so a crab can be killed. It's not worth the risk to them.

Andrej said...

Other than the actual ropes that are in use to supply the lighthouse, are there spare parts stored somewhere nearby? A pulley, some rope a working block and tackle... anything that we could possibly make use of? A simple pulley system might give a couple of burly fellows such as oursleves enough mechanical advantage to lift the crab up off the ground if the net is intact and we find something sturdy enough upon which to mount or hang it.

Alexis said...

Consider also that these two men have to be up most of the night to feed the fire, spelling each other off, then at work most of the day to load the wood up to the lighthouse. That's a lot of work, a lot of time, and they're not likely to give up any of that time to let the party fuck around experimenting with what can be done with the ropes. Bribe or not.

Without any bribe at all, the lighthouse keepers don't mind you bringing a rock to the top and dropping it off, but you can use the stairs to bring it up and please keep out of the way when we're feeding the fire, thank you very much. For this, they won't need a bribe.

Regarding hanging Ahmet on a rope. There is a pulley system and a 'crane' plus block and tackle that makes this possible, but chances are pulling him out of the way would be slow going, even if the other three of you were pulling. Chances are, he'd lift about 5 feet per round, which wouldn't be fast enough to keep him from being brisket.

Regarding rocks on the island; they are all about, but the large rocks are buried in muck and will take time, perhaps hours, to dig them out, even using what levers and so on you have.

If I haven't made it clear, digging down two feet produces sea water. The whole island is practically just hard sand and dirt floating on a water table.

A stone 8-10 inches in diameter would probably do 3-30 damage on a hit from that height. A larger stone would probably do the same, since a dead on hit is unlikely, and most of the stone's momentum would be lost if only the edge of the carapace were hit. An 8-inch wide stone would weigh 120 lbs.

Regarding nets, the lighthouse uses two small nets to load up the wood and bring it to the top. Either is about 10 feet in diameter when spread out. The crab is about 12 to 14 feet in diameter.

I'm avoiding telling about the net because these are events for the following morning, which we will take up when I post tomorrow. For the present it is still technically 'night' of August 4 & 5.

Alexis said...

I am not certain if I've answered everything. If I've missed something, please ask again.

Andrej, the lighthouse ropes are unusually thick, an inch-and-a-half. I've mentioned the block-and-tackle on my last comment; I'm not certain about the ability of three or four men to lift something weighing a ton ... particularly with a burning bonfire at their backs ... so I'll take advice on this.

Andrej said...

Even a simple block and tackle would I think give you a 4:1 ratio. So, rather than lift a 1 ton crab (i'm assuming US standard 2000 lbs), we'd need to drop 500 lbs of stone attached to the other end of the line on the pulley. If we had the wherewithal to rig up a multiple pulley system, we could lift with even less force.

Problems: Mounting the pulley somewhere other than the tower if need be. Even if using the tower pulley, would the rope hold? The pulley itself?

While the idea of catching and lifting the crab appeals to my sense of cool factor, it might just be easier and more likely to drop a few rocks on it. Thoughts?

Silvius Volundr said...

Thanks Alexis.

Andrej, we are in agreement that a toe-to-toe fight is out, given our condition.

With what Alexis has said about the men in the tower, I think that leaves us relegated to dropping a rock or two, firing off a crossbow bolt and hoping that does the job. If not, I'm out of ideas.

I am considering going back to Cuxhaven to buy a heavy crossbow to aid 9toes in shooting this crab up, but those are still long odds and if it survives, we have few options.

What are your thoughts?

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