Monday, March 12, 2012

Walking With Eels

September 11, 1650, early afternoon Thursday
Weather:  dank  (the party is below ground)

Altogether, the party includes now 26 individuals, the balance of which are dwarves.  Frith will speak with everyone about the importance of some silence; to contain yourselves, to resist an impulse to bandy words with one another.  Frith promises to kill the first man who raises a complaint - looking squarely at Worter - or make a joke - looking at Ganzor.

He acknowledges that people should be careful where they step, and to be quiet with the branches they use to clear a path.  "Don't beat the water with them," he says.  "I don't want to sound like a washerwomen on the river."
Strangely, none of the female dwarves take umbrage at this remark.

"Very well, single file," he adds.  "We don't have to get there five minutes ago, so don't rush the people in front of you.  If you think you can do a better job than they can, stop thinking and wait your goddamned turn.  There's plenty of blood for everyone today.  So come on.  Mega, you've got point."

The dwarves arrange themselves without much comment, quite clearly having done this before.  Mega is followed by Palt, then Frith, Ermeth, Aruth and Kushi.  Frith directs Ahmet and Joost into place behind them, then Salth, Ganzor, Nerga, Seth and Odval.  Andrej fits in there.  Then Culf, Erdina, Batath, Zoft ... and Lukas and Klaas.   Then Worter, Htuya, Wedth, Vala, Balter and Warth bringing up the rear.

Frith controls the group ahead of Ahmet.  Odval controls the second group, between Ahmet and Andrej.  The third group, behind Andrej and ahead of Lukas, is controlled by Batath.  Warth controls the last group.  These are the only four dwarves who speak in the underground.

Ahmet's suggestion of the tree branches radically changes the danger of eels.  We will, however, start this post with a d20 rolled by each member of the party.


86 comments:

Andrej said...

d20: 18

Lukas said...

D20: 14

Ahmet said...

Sorry... finally back at my desk.

D20: 13

My lucky number?

Lukas said...

(OOC: Rodents of unusual size... eels... next will be quicksand? Maybe we'll need to use an otyugh tentacle to dive in and save a party member from the quicksand? Does the bishop have six fingers?)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Technically, the Bishop's henchman should have six fingers)

Lukas, you and Ahmet have no troubles. I had forgotten, however - could you please each roll a d20 for Joost and Klaas.

Andrej, you find that you've stepped on an eel. It will turn on you and attack, unless you attack it first. Roll initiative, d6.

Lukas said...

d20: 7

Alexis said...

I've lost track; Lukas, that was for Joost?

Andrej said...

initiative: 3

Lukas said...

Sure, we'll go with that and straighten things out after Ahmet posts flor Klaas.

Alexis said...

You have the initiative, Andrej; the eel swirls in the water at your feet, threatening to bite into you - your action?

Andrej said...

I swing at the eel with my mace:

15 to hit and 7 damage

Alexis said...

Oh, that's one dead eel.

Both Batath and Nerga succeed in killing eels of their own. Culf, Htuya and Balther are missed by eels, and themselves miss, the eels swimming off into the water.

Erdina and Worter both defend themselves and drop their staffs, and again the eels that attacked both miss, and swim away.

Finally, Zoft is attacked and is bitten; he makes a save against the eel's poison, and kills the eel for good measure.

I only await a d20 for Klaas.

Ahmet said...

Sorry... lunch and I'm about to run into a meeting.

Klaas rolls an 8

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I'll be gone for about two hours.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I'm back!)

Alexis said...

(OOC: sorry, I've been living in hell these last four hours; I have enough time to tempt you)

Joost is fine.

The party has little other trouble with the eels over the 200 yard distance they must cover, thanks to Ahmet (OOC: I was going to make the party do this three times!). You approach again the lip of the pool Ahmet saw before. The stench is quite powerful now. Ahmet sends the word forward to slow.

I'll post an image of the space before the lip (give me a few minutes). You will notice something different about this image; there are numbers on all the hexes. Please indicate which hex you want to be in when the pool below is reconoitered.

Alexis said...

Regarding the map:

The party approaches from the bottom of the graphic; the area above the slope is in white (please, start your characters ONLY in the white area).

The gray is the slope.

The brownish grey is the dung filled shore around the pond.

The blue-orange image is the pond.

The narrowing area at the top of the graphic is the tunnel that leads out.

Alexis said...

The black areas are places to hide behind - if you want to see the pond, and not be seen, you must be in 1121, 1422, 1521, 1721 or 1821. All other hexes on the edge of the slope are visible to anything that might be in that room.

You can't be seen by laying low in any other hex.

None of the white hexes on the map have any water in them, and thus there are no eels attacking anyone on this map (you've gotten past them).

Oddbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lukas said...

If I can get some folks in front of me, I like the looks of 1123.

Andrej said...

I want 1721 for Andrej, to be close enough to observe and react to the reconnoitering. Without asking aloud, does Andrej know who will be doing the recon?

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I was having a hard time zooming into the map close enough to read the numbers, so I had to do a "save as" and open it with MS Picture Viewer, where it zooms just fine. But I also note that the file is called "Otyugh Pond." It's probably called that because some whimsical cartographer thought it looked like an otyugh. Yeah, that's the ticket!)

Ahmet will guard Andrej's flank and move to 1622.

Ahmet said...

Ah, and if no Dwarf steps forward, Ahmet will advance into the dung. That's why they pay him the big bucks.

Andrej said...

Lukas, feel free to use the hirelings as a shield-wall for yourself. ;)

Lukas said...

But we have a bunch of disposable dwarves! If Joost and Klaas die who will carry my things?

Nevertheless, I only move forwards for engaging purposes. Should we just be peeking, I'll hang back. Should trouble occur, I move to my spot. Should no dwarves move to the front of me, I offer Joost and Klaas...

Alexis said...

(OOC: for future reference, if you left click the image once, it will drop it into a completely useless blogger picture viewer; so don't do this.

Right click the image and "open link in new window" ... then by putting the mouse over the image, you'll get a + sign and it will expand conveniently)

For the moment, Ahmet, don't advance into the dung until you can see the dung. Moreover, Frith will indicate that after seeing what there is to see, people should communicate and arrange a plan.

The dwarves are armed with quarterstaves, military picks and a hand-axe each. (I couldn't find any previous description of their armor and weapons, so if this disagrees, please assume this is true and the past description is wrong). They also use slings.

They are armored with studded leather and no shield, and move 4. For most missile combat they will use their slings.

The desire would probably be to post as many dwarves on the lip as possible before Ahmet wades into the dung; determining the depth of the dung is important also.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Anyone got a 10' pole?

Let's use the longest of those branches, or a quarterstaff if that's longer/easier, as a probe.

Or we could just send a couple of Dwarves and have them keep walking until their caps float... kidding!

Although it does remind me of that scene from Blazing Saddles. "That was close. Darn near lost a $400 hand cart!")

Lukas said...

Could take something heavy on the end of a rope. Then we wouldn't have to get too close if we get a good throw on it... Though it would have to be pretty heavy I would think. There's also a chance we could catch something big!

Alexis said...

The map on the post has been updated. There are enough of you now on the rim of the slope to see into the room beyond; you'll notice the dwarves are spaced out around you, and that I've left the crossbow in the hands of Klaas. Ahmet, for the moment I'll just leave a scimitar in your hand, and show two maces for Andrej.

The circle that's appeared in the pond is the location of a bubble that rises in the brownish-blue muck and pops. The bubble is at least four feet in diameter.

"Was the pond doing that before?" asks Frith, standing to the left of Ahmet.

Ahmet said...

"No," Ahmet says. "There was just the giant weasel swimming about."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will unsling his shield and ready his scimitar.

Ahmet said...

Then he does so.

Alexis said...

There's a considerable ripple in the pond, and Frith will say, "Nothing as small as a cow did that." Then he does so.

Ahmet said...

"Perhaps there are two cows," Ahmet mutters.

Alexis said...

Frith looks at Ahmet strangely.

Ahmet said...

I'd rather fight it up here than down there, but we need it to come out.

What is throwing range for a good-sized rock?

Alexis said...

About 11 hexes. At 6 to 8 hexes, you're -2 to hit; at 9 to 11 hexes, -5. A rock the size of your fist causes 1-2 damage. There are no such rocks lying around.

Ahmet said...

Is this the room that had the skeletons of the small cows?

Andrej said...

"The dwarves have slings, they could disturb the water if we want to bring the thing up. Alternately, I could try casting my silnce upon a single bullet or stone and dropping it into the water where the thing lies. In this manner, perhaps we could sneak by without it hearing us move?"

Alexis, can you describe the muck immediately before us? How slippery does the cave floor look around the rim of the pool?

Andrej said...

Also, Andrej is armed with one footman's mace and a shield now Alexis. No need to change the image unless you desire to do so, just wanted to make sure you had the right equipment in mind (particularly when considering Andrej's armor class ;) )

Alexis said...

This is the self-same room with the cows; the pond has been made filthy, the cows are gone.

The muck is exactly that; slightly greyish and quite watery. The slope looks pretty slippery; the cave floor is impossible to tell. The rim of the pool appears to be that place where the muck becomes largely water ... but where it ripples, there's a definite sludge floating on the pools surface.

I guessed that was Andrej's situation, but good to know.

Andrej said...

I await any comment or discussion on our next action.

The pros of direct confrontation: we leave little to question, do not leave an enemy at our backs, gain xp

the cons: expend resources, might die or alert defenders we are here

The pros of sneaking by: avoid unnecesary fight, possibly go unoticed a bit longer

The cons: uncertainty of working, might waste a spell that we could use later

Lukas said...

Also would silence stop 'waves' as people wade through water? Would that count as 'noise?'

Andrej said...

Good question. My impression of themucky areas was that they were wet, not necessarily standing water deep enough to make waves. Alexis can set us straight on that. As per the spell description, silence stops all vibration related to sound... not sure what it would do to waves in the water... I suspect nothing, but would like a ruling on it.

Alexis said...

Silence won't stop physical vibration or waves; if the creature "feels" its enemy as opposed to "hears" its enemy, silence won't aid in sneaking past the creature.

Alexis said...

Regards depth of the mucky areas; since it is opaque and a bit "grainy," its impossible to tell if they are an inch deep or a foot. Ahmet, having observed the height of the slope before, suggests the height shows no visible difference ... so the slop below is unlikely to be deeper than a foot.

Andrej said...

We could still try the silence spell, but I'm beginning to suspect it won't be very effective given the conditions. It might be worth the expense of a single spell to find out, though. Thoughts?

Lukas said...

Unless they dropped out a cave underneath this one attached to a cesspool sort of like a U shape with more fluid on the side not here. That would create enough pressure to level out here full of filth and possibly even release an otyugh....

I guess there's one way to find out. Push Ahmet in!

Lukas said...

Oh and I suspect silence wont help much. I doubt anything can hear well through that much filth.

Alexis said...

Something else also occurs; does the silence spell create a force wall that stops creatures inside from hearing anything, or does it mask sound that occurs only in the 20' radius?

If you are inside the radius, and someone is speaking outside the radius, can you hear it?

Or is it only that it masks sound that originates inside the circle.

I have almost always played the latter, assuming that players inside the circle could still hear their enemies - but perhaps that isn't so. Thoughts?

Alexis said...

Still thinking. What is the difference between the 2nd level silence spell and the 3rd level deafness spell?

Andrej said...

Your spell description states otherwise:

"Silences any sound within the area of effect, so that the vibrations that are caused by sound do not occur... The silence is total—no sound will issue forth from within the sphere, nor will any sound penetrate."

So rather than a force field wall, it's more like a literal "stilling of the air" in the spell radius, therefore no sound at all.

However, I'm not opposed to playing ether way so long as we are consistent if you want to rule on it now.

Ahmet said...

I'm for saving the spell... I think later on we'll need it.

What about having the Dwarves fire their slings at the pond's surface, and see what arises? I'm assuming the Dwarves have no shortage of rocks.

Lukas said...

Been a while, Isn't deafness the spell permanent on the one subject?

Alexis said...

no, no, we accept the spell description.

I simply haven't got a copy where I can reach it, and I needed to check into it.

Ahmet said...

I may be underestimating the otyugh, but I think we this huge a group, we ought to try the direct approach.

I'm thinking by the time we reach the castle, we'll be down to two Dwarves and Ahmet with single digit hit points, and we'll really need be sneaky. :)

Lukas said...

How do you feel about being grabbed by an slimy tentacle, squeezed and being pulled under excrement to be drowned to death? Sounds like fun! Let's go! Um... dwarves first? Isn't it great this is a game, cause I totally would never touch this place with a 10 foot pole in real life. I wonder if tying ourselves together would help prevent or cause drowning?

Andrej said...

"Bigger than a cow" is going to mean a lot of hit points... and if I recall my D&D lore they either cause disease or infection.

How about we draw it out with sling fire and try to make use of the cover we currently have, attacking wolf-pack fashion in small groups of up to 5.

Lukas said...

As much ranged damage as possible will be best, as if it's big enough, there will be marauding damage...

Ahmet said...

Ahmet presents the plan to Frith.

"Instead of marching through that slime to the water's edge and attempting to fight the creature there, let's try to get it to come to us by firing stones into the water."

Ahmet said...

Also, Ahmet asks Frith to bring up some of those Dwarves from the back and put them at 1222, 1322, 1122 and 1223.

Andrej said...

Remember the key to using the cover to our benefit and hopefully limiting its mobility and ability to attack, will be to allow it to enter the white hexes.

If the sling fire draws it forth we should fall back until the thing is somewhere around the 23rd or 24th rows before we try melee or stand our ground.

Andrej said...

... and possibly circle around it to flank the wretched thing.

Ahmet said...

I'm just concerned that Lukas is going to get trampled.

Andrej said...

Maybe Lukas heads back to hex to 1627 assuming Warth moves up?

Alexis said...

Frith ignores Ahmet's advice, not wanting to cram his soldiers together and wanting to keep a firm watch on the rear, in case eels should suddenly be summoned by whatever is in the pool.

But Frith is willing to order Kushi, Mega and Ganzor to sling rocks into the pool.

The water rolls and shifts, and another huge bubble rises and pops open. But the creature does not emerge.

Alexis said...

Something I haven't talked about is light. There would actually be a lot less; we'll say that Frith has a lantern, so the pool is visible. There's also a light emerging from the far tunnel (justifying the party being able to see it).

Joost and Klaas of course are also light sources.

Hope that doesn't change anyone's plans.

Andrej said...

If the rocks don't work a small band of quick-moving stout-hearts will have to apprach the pool to draw it out.

Ahmet said...

OK. Plan B. Dwarf fishing!

Tie a rope around a Dwarf, have him advance to the water's edge and splash a bit... if that draws out the creature, we reel in the Dwarf while others pelt it with stones and quarrels.

If the Dwarves won't go for that... Ahmet will go get this thing.

Ahmet said...

I think the issue is whoever goes down won't be able to get back up the slimey slope (without the assistance of a rope).

Andrej said...

Rather than splash in the water, why not try to send a small band across to the other side along the left-hand wall? If the beast emerges, they can break for cover while we pelt it with rocks.

Andrej said...

Ah, good point. I keep forgetting about the slope.

Lukas said...

Well that just gives us an excuse to tie a rope to the dwarves yes?

Ahmet said...

OK. What do you think, Lukas? Ask Frith to send four Dwarves along the left-hand side to a point -- say, 1409. If the Otyugh emerges and attacks them, we can hit it from behind; if it doesn't, they can position themselves there to guard the passage from any creatures emerging while we deal with the Otyugh.

Although, come to think of it, the Otyugh isn't going to emerge so much as snake out a tentacle and grab a guy. How are we going to get that blasted thing out of the water?

Andrej... do you have a spell that lowers water?

Lukas said...

Well, sounds like an idea, lower them down with ropes.

Lukas passes the idea down the line, seeing as he's not going to shout down these likely echoing caverns, that they should lower the dwarves down the left hand side and see if we can sneak around.

Andrej said...

It looks like Ahmet is standing next to Frith, with Andrej nearby.

No spell to lower water.

Let's run the idea by Frith of sending a small band of dwarves down the left hand wall, using ropes for the slope. Alexis?

Alexis said...

Hurm. Dwarf fishing.

No, Frith isn't going to go for that; a dwarf weighs a hundred and fifty lbs., and so it isn't like you can just snap one up the slope in two seconds. Chances are whatever is down there will eat half the dwarf before he's gotten back to safety.

Frith agrees with the "move by the wall" approach. If the beast is large enough, that allows several to attack at once, others to sacrifice a hand axe if need be, and still others not yet down the slope using slings.

Frith suggests not four persons, but the whole troop, single file - after all, there's no proof the beast will emerge, and the more weapons down on the bottom, the better.

Andrej said...

Andrej agrees to the whole troop approach. I recommend we once again spread the light sources out (front/ middle/ back).

I'm OK with the previous order Frith set if there are no objections.

Your thoughts, guys?

Andrej said...

We could tie the rope around the stalagmite in hex 1121

Alexis said...

That seems a good idea to Frith.

Andrej said...

Consider Andrej as awaiting his turn to lower himself down the rope unless the other players object to the plan. I'll be scarce the next hour or so.

Lukas said...

Alright, I could go for that plan. Especially when last I checked I should be well along the 'alerting' point.

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'm back)

Alexis said...

If Ahmet confirms the plan, Frith will begin sending the dwarves down; however, he will not gave a woman at point for this; so Ermeth will go first.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Me as well.)

Ahmet agrees to the plan.

Alexis said...

Next post.