Thursday, February 16, 2017

They're Out on a Limb ~ Round 6

There is only one root-creature that can fight this round, and it is surrounded by followers.  At random, it whirls and attacks Fjall - it rolls a 9.  This hits AC 9, so Fjall escapes a bad attack.

So little has changed.  Here is the layout:

Petar is loaded and may fire.  He has a lot of extra possible targets between himself and the enemy, with the stumps in the way and all, but he has got a clear shot between Lothar and the creature that was lately stunned.

All others can act as they will.


Pandred said...

I'll duck back into 0512 and start applying my salve.

Looked pretty bad for ol' Pandred for a bit, but the extraction was, from my perspective, a great success.

Embla Strand said...

Petar will hold - this looks well in hand and he'd rather not shoot anyone by mistake.

Can Embla fight out of 0610?

Lothar Svensson said...

Bergthora shifts into hex 0308 and attacks the monster in 0409 with Fjall.

Bergthora's attack: 16+1=17; d6=1
Fjall's attack: 5+1=6

Lothar and Valda attack the other beast.

Lothar's attack: 3+1=4
Valda's attack: nat 20! Follow up d20: 3 d6=1

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Attack into 0509:

Attack roll: 18.

Damage roll: 3.

I'll then shift backward to 0810 to allow Embla room.

Embla Strand said...

Embla shifts into 609 and attacks. 15+1(Str)+1(Bless)=17, 1+1(Str)=2 damage.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[Sorry, Fridays are mostly trouble. Let's catch up.]

No, you couldn't fight out of 0610, Embla; it is too full of uneven roots and split wood. Can't be entered without risking damage, would take more than 5 AP anyway.

Bergthora's attack hits; creature is not stunned.

Fjall and Valda both miss, but Lothar hit. The d6 roll is doubled, so that the creature takes 2 damage.

Engelhart's attack causes the creature in 0509 to die, splitting apart like the two creatures before.

I'll rule that Embla, seeing this, can move to the empty hex in 0408 [I don't want to run your character, but I'm sure you won't protest]. If you attack there, it will hit and cause 2 more damage.

That last creature is alone, now . . . and disconnected from its companions, it simply ceases all animation; it doesn't split apart like the other three creatures, but it does stop moving entirely.

Pandred said...

We should probably finish it off as a precaution. I don't think any of us have the skills needed to examine it with any sort of productive outcome.

Given that the combat can potentially be said to have "stopped".

How long does it actually take to use my salve? I was trying to find something on the wiki, but I must have missed it. Same with time-to-bandage and similar.

I know 1AP was "activating" an item, but somehow that didn't seem right.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[Now I can explain a few things.

The creatures were geared to move as the party moved. Once anyone had approached within four hexes, the creature would move towards that person at the same speed. If you went 1 hex at a time, the creatures would have moved 1 hex as well. It might have been possible to lure them to one side, letting the party move around them, if it had been done right. I'm not sure, because I didn't test it. But heck, I didn't plant these creatures here ~ some other force did, right? Well, that's my story.

That's why I had to mess with the opening two rounds. I needed to know Pandred's move before I could settle on how the other creatures moved; and I had to indicate to the rest of the party what the creatures were doing, so that they could see the creature's movements based on Pandred. If I had let the whole party move, then moved in on Pandred, the party would have lost the knowledge that this was what was happening.

Pandred might have moved in more carefully, but by rushing in, she caused the "fence" to form at once and then it was just a melee. If I hadn't missed those four attacks, that would have probably killed her; the creatures did 3-9 per attack (2d4+1).


The reason I wasn't posting the x.p. was because these creatures, being made of wood, were immune to everything but bludgeoning and hacking weapons. Thus, the javelin caused no damage, the arrows would have caused no damage, the sling stone that Engelhart threw wouldn't have caused damage. That's why Embla's javelin didn't stun. Weapon immunities, eh?

Still, the bowmen fired, so they get a small amount of x.p.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Oops, hit return by mistake. Well, putting up the experience on the post above. Please look it over, make sure the damage you took and the damage you caused is accounted for. I might have missed something. I would suggest not updating your character's x.p. until everyone confirms the table. It will save trouble.

Alexis Smolensk said...


It takes 1 AP for the salve to take effect. It takes, usually, about a round to find it on your body and get it ready to be taken.

However often the party hits the creature with various tools, it seems to have effect. It is like trying to cut out the root of a lilac bush.

Another point - Bergthora, Valda and Fjall will agree, there is something wrong with the air in the hallway beyond the well. It seems to be a mixture of naphtha and sulphur, somewhat unpleasant but not enough to ignite to fire. Strangely, however, as it billows at the edge of the room, where the hallway begins, it can barely be smelled in the air INSIDE the room. It is as though there is an invisible barrier, keeping the gas in the hallway.

The hall can be seen to extend to the edge of your power to illuminate it, with a slight 10-degree slope downwards.


Alexis Smolensk said...

Oh, and the cleric is probably up a level. Yes, Engelhart??

Embla Strand said...

My xp and those of my archers looks good.

What do people think of disturbing that threshold with the bo stick?

Alexis Smolensk said...

With a goal to suspend the dangers of overthinking this, I'll just say that Embla disturbs the hell out of the threshold with a bo stick and nothing happens.

The "threshold" shows no indication of giving resistance. Anyone could easily walk right into the hallway.

Pandred said...

The barrier may very well be magical, certainly whatever Druid set this place up did a bang-up job so far.

We can assume that, IF the barrier was set up to intentionally keep the gas at bay/is the result of magic, it may have been a precaution to do with the Fire Trap at the doors.

It's one thing to blast intruding infidels, it's another thing to have opening your tomb immediately cause it to explode.

Pandred will finish with her salve, and move to check out the well. If I can't see the bucket/water within, I'll crank the windlass in an attempt to do so.

Healing Salve: 4!

Current HP: 6

Alexis Smolensk said...

Upon examining the well, you find that the windlass seems to be made of bronze pieces and an 18-inch thick log that has survived the centuries. Amazingly, it works. The handle turns the log, though it creaks quite a bit. There is no rope however, and no bucket. By lowering the lantern just a few feet, you can see that there is water down there, about 18 feet below you.

Pandred said...

This well has bothered me pretty much since we've seen it. If this is a tomb, what is this thing here for?

We haven't found anything like a proper door to this place, and you'll pardon me if I'm not prepared to assume that prying away the keystones was the intended method of entry.

The Fire Trap doesn't specify a direction, merely that the thing is opened.

So I am proposing that we've entered from the back of the complex, and that this place may have been a more active center of worship, perhaps with the "Toad King" here being a place of pilgrimage for the faithful.

While I would normally suggest that Lothar scout the surrounding hills for a point of entry, my strongest suspicion is that the entryway is actually underwater, and that the unusual shape of the skeleton indicates amphibian humanoids.

The well may actually, if this were the case, be a point of entry, and the rope and bucket removed intentionally once the complex was complete, to prevent access from the "real" entrance.

But honestly it's a lot of theory for two rooms worth of evidence, more than perhaps is warranted. Thoughts? Engelhart, you still have a heal to pass out? I've got a big chunk of my everything missing.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

I give Pandred the Healing Salve kept on my person.

Also, I'll say that you're completely right to my mind, Pandred, in your evaluation of this complex.

Alexis: you've missed on the X.p. table the 4 damage that I inadvertedly inflicted on Pandred, or are they not valued at all?

Also, what does my levelling (yay!) into a level 2 cleric entail right this immediate moment?

I finish by casting Cure Light Wounds on myself, being that I'm at 5 hp. Roll of 3 on d4 means I recover 7 hp.

Alexis Smolensk said...


I gave Pandred x.p. for the four damage he took, and the overall party gets the bonus for that x.p. But no, you don't get 40 x.p. personally for hitting Pandred.

Okay, 2nd level. Imagine that you spent that week's rest meditating, studying some notes and thinking ~ and that you've just realized how another 1st level spell works that you had never fully grasped before. In other words, gain 1 spell, 1st level.

Roll a d8 for hit points. Reroll any 1s.

I will adjust your sage abilities (but not tonight, going out with d'Wife).

You don't improve your THAC0 nor gain any proficiencies.

Pandred said...

I'll use my second salve of the day.

d4: 4!

Current HP: 10

Not exactly tip-top, but if the party doesn't mind me taking a backline with my Heavy Crossbow and possibly throwing my axe, I'm prepared to press on.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

d8 roll came up a 6, modified for my CON means 8 additional hp.

I'll have to pore over the spell list to puzzle out what I wish to choose. Will it count as prepared or do I have to rest to get it?

Alexis Smolensk said...

You don't have to rest because you haven't cast it previously. You do have to spend 15 minutes praying/meditating, however (15min/level of spell). Please let me know what it is when you choose it.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Very good. Time to hunker down and do some head scratching.


1. Magic Stone: can the enchanted stone be shot with a Sling, assuming the magic effect's range is not exceeded? I'm really only asking because there is a provision for wicker weaponry in the entry.

2. Remove/Cause Fear: can affect up to three creatures yet requires touching AC 10 so what would be the AP cost for doing so?

3. Light spell: if an object is enchanted, can it be carried around as a light source?

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Whatever ends up being my choice, I trust the party will find fifteen minutes for chamber exploration/hunger sating as I immediately commit the new acquisition to memory, yes?

Embla Strand said...

Happily, Engelhardt.

Pandred, that's an interesting hypothesis.

I propose shining the lantern down the hallway after Engelhardt finishes his meditation.

Pandred said...

It looks like Light is cast at a specific point, and the spell radiates from there, with no potential for movement. Seems like a temporary-blind spell, or something to make reading at night easier. OR! Oh, just thought of it: in this specific scenario, it could be cast to the end of this long tunnel, illuminating how far down it goes (assuming less than 120') without risking the naptha or whatever might be guarding the tunnel.

I'm also interested if Remove Fear could allow our Hirelings to make another morale check, although who knows what they'd feel about having mind-altering spells cast on them in the first place.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Pandred: I was already there, hence my focussing on such a humble spell to the detriment of the almighty - albeit rather obvious - Protection From Malevolence (seriously, read it and weep, +4 AC for all the combats that we've been involved in so far).

Remove fear in such a retainer-heavy party might also make some sense.

But the light being fixed as a 40' globe is a tad underwhelming to pick, hence my desire for clarification.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Regarding doubts:

No, magic stone cannot be thrown in a sling. The spell is spoiled the moment the stone touches a non-living surface ~ setting it inside a sling pouch included. The tawkra ball is an exception, but you will note that it does not alter the limitations of the spell (that is, the stone must be thrown).

The AP cost for the cause fear is equal to an attack: 2 AP. Removing fear is 1 AP.

The light spell states that it "is cast upon a specific point or location," not that it enchants an item. It can be cast upon a person, from which it will emanate outwards and temporarily blind that person, but then when the person moves the "point in space" from which the spell emanates will not alter. The light does not attach to an object or person.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, remove fear will serve as a replacement for the morale check; if cast on a follower/hireling who has failed morale, the remove fear spell will act as a substitute. It will be as though the follower/hireling succeeded.

I have updated the Remove Fear spell to account for this.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I rush to point out that "malevolence" is an emotion: wishing evil or harm to another or others.

In fact, neither of the previous combats would have applied. The fire beetles did not have anything personally against the party. As they are non-thinking, they cannot "wish" anything.

Additionally, the root-creatures are actually golems. They're constructs. That's information that the party may not have supposed on their own, but I can make that concession for the point here. Being constructs, they're machines doing what they were designed to do. Again, no malevolence. I will clarify the spell description.

Alexis Smolensk said...


I've already indicated that you've shined the lantern down the hallway. The hallway continues at least as far as the lantern will cast light. You would have to enter the bad air to illuminate the hall any further than you have.

Lothar Svensson said...

I'm not entirely sure that our assumptions about the hallway are in line with what was described. Alexis wrote: "Bergthora, Valda and Fjall will agree, there is something wrong with the air in the hallway beyond the well. It seems to be a mixture of naphtha and sulphur, somewhat unpleasant but not enough to ignite to fire."

Which, to me, seems to indicate that we'd be safe to bring the lanterns through, yes?

If the log over the well will support weight, I propose we send someone down there to see if anything might be down there, like a door, or some dropped coin, or something. That should be a relatively safe thing to undertake while Engelhart meditates.

Alexis Smolensk said...

During your walk, Lothar, you tossed a flame just at the point where the threshold of the gas begins ~ recall? And no boom.

The log over the well looks very much like it will support anyone's weight.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Thank you for your clarifications, Alexis, they mostly conform with what I expected. Hadn't thought about "Protection From Malevolence" from the emotional prism though, which does put it in a more conformed place in spell hierarchy. One last quibble before putting the matter to rest: where do Undead stand on that spectrum?

Despite my thinking that it is lackluster, I will take the Light spell, as its much more open-ended potentialities appeal a lot to me.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Now, onto the matter at hand: what can the sappers tell us about these gaseous accumulations? Are they bound to concentrate on the lower reaches of the slope such that they will become dangerous?

What about breathing in such noxious environment? Can we even function down there without endangering our lives?

Embla Strand said...

If someone has a rope, I am happy to explore the well.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Party: for your consideration, I can be your point-guy, I've got hit-points to spare, Sanctuary charged up (now lasting all of 6 rounds thanks to levelling-up) and the Light to dispel doubts either for Ramp or Well (these being two options that would both benefit from a non-flammable light source figured pretty heavily into my choice).

Once we find out more about the ramp we'll make a more informed decision, but until then if anyone can secure a rope on the well-log and actually test the water's temperature it could be of use - after all it might be too cold to even attempt going down there, light or no light.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Embla, you posted while I was writing: once the ramp is explored and _if_ it is even possible to enter the water at the present temperature, I will gladly shine down a light for you down there.

Pandred said...

Upon some reflection, I don't think we have a lot to gain by exploring the well in anything but the most cursory sense. Take one of our ropes and dip it down by all means, maybe rig up some sort of bowl or platter to be hauled up so we could taste it, if that was of interest.

But that water is going to be freezing. Late-April, underground, it is going to be absolutely frigid. It will also be dark as hell. And even with Engelhart's Light, that spell only illuminates it's own sphere of influence. Whatever we can see once he casts it into the water is about all we're going to be able to see if we got in there.

Even if I did turn out to be correct, and it IS a method of entrance or exit, I don't think we land lubbers have any chance of using it productively. It seems like a sure way to drown or catch pneumonia.

Basically, if I had to choose between Engelhart tossing his light down the end of the tunnel, or to the bottom of the well, I think we're better off with the tunnel.

Alexis Smolensk said...


"Protection from Malevolence" is a redesign of the old spell, "Protection from Evil." The change is meant to remove the necessity of defining creatures as evil or not evil in terms of their intent. In the old school game, people used to argue that 30 elves trying to kill you weren't "evil" so the spell shouldn't protect you. Which is idiotic.

All undead have a buzz-level of malevolence, as that is the way they are formed. Unlike most non-intelligent creatures, non-intelligent undead were once intelligent and are undead now because they are filled with malevolence for everything. Most undead are intelligently malevolent.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Without actually moving on, the sappers can't answer the question of what the gas does out of their sight. There are so many other factors than just the heaviness of the gas; without knowing what the tunnels look like beyond the hall, they can't tell what the air movements would be.

They suspect the air past the threshold is pretty noxious. "It might be too noxious to bear," says Bergthora. "But as I can't tell how much there is, because I cannot smell it fully through the threshold, I just don't know."

Regarding the light spell and the well. If Engelhart casts the spell anywhere in the water, it will be as bright as perfectly normal inside the well, enabling the best possible observation.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Is anyone ready to take an action, yet?

Engelhart Askjellson said...

I am... almost.

I'll ask for help and set about a means of testing the water's temperature. I'll see to it that we set a rope (I don't actually have rope hence my being a bit vague about it) about the well-log and fashion a foot-hold on the dipping end.

I'll allow Embla (if she wishes, since she did volunteer, otherwise I'll go myself) to settle near the water's surface by lowering her with the windlass. Whoever goes can then stretch and dip his/her hand in the water and ascertain if its temperature qualifies as bearable.

This is all academic in a way, since, like I described before, I DO prioritize the ramp, like Pandred, but I must stress that I am no landlubber, I can swim, as per my buccaneer background and ough not to be too squeamish about temperatures, given that I'm a sailor from around these parts (correct me if I'm not in the ballpark, Alexis).

Alexis Smolensk said...

No, you're right.

Fjall suggests that he could run upstairs to his gear, getting his cooking pot. It has a flared rim and with a little twine, he could jury-rig a handle.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Other than that, I'll ask a follower to shine a light onto the passage from the very edge of the threshold.

I'm presuming I can choose to trigger the spell at a point of my choosing, within range but not necessarily one that I can see (which would rather defeat the purpose of the spell).

We're using Bullseye lanterns, right? The type of oil seems to be relevant as well.

Whatever their effective range might be, I wish to target a point about 40' past the edge of our vision, so that the 20' radius globe will nigh seamlessly extend the depth of our field of vision.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You have already shone a light at the very edge of the threshold.

Nope, the spell does presume that you can see something, which is always possible in near dark. In pitch dark, you'll have to cast the light spell at something you can touch. After all, how do you know you're not standing in front of a wall, three inches away. In Cartesian terms, how do you know that a point 40 feet past what you can see even exists? You have to pick a target to cast the spell, even if it is a very dimly seen one.

As such, you can only cast the center of the spell at the very limit of your vision.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

I haven't actually said that I do so because I need confirmation from le DM first.

That, and, since the spell is such a one-hit wonder, I wish the party to ponder and tell me where they'd like it best.

We can also fashion some moist face-masks that'll allow us to at least get a feel of the passageway.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Very well, Alexis, thank you.

It is as I imagined, it wouldn't make much sense otherwise but when the topic is magic one is inclined to overreach.

Can't one of the sappers be persuaded to at least get his sniffing apparatus past the threshold (while one of us holds the light from outside) and give us a verdict of some kind?

Other than that, I'm on a holding pattern until water temp gets tested and fellowship decides on a course.

Alexis Smolensk said...

That is strangely confrontational. I did not state that you had done anything. Nor do I understand the complaint about the spell. Do we complain that the sword is a one-hit wonder?

Is there something wrong that I can address?

Engelhart Askjellson said...

No-no-no, pardon the tone, I notice some snark came through, all in good spirits.

See why I like roleplaying in-character? :>

Pandred said...

We've established at this point at least that the tunnel isn't going to explode. Lothar has thrown a torch towards the tunnel, and the followers have mentioned multiple times that they don't think it's flammable (at least near the entrance).

We have four glands left. Alexis, you mentioned they had fuel-like properties. Would I have learned, perhaps from the alchemist I sold the rest to, what that entailed? Do they ignite, or are they merely an oil-filled balloon? Could they, for instance, be lit and then flung like a sling-stone?

Failing the glands being useful here, we could throw another torch down the hall. For safety, all but the thrower could retreat to the upper chamber if we're concerned of the danger.

If this plan seems particularly foolish to the sappers, I will cede to their expertise.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Good, I'm glad.

The followers will turn up their noses at the idea. They're paid for their expertise, they will tell you ~ not to bait hooks. You're very welcome to take your own risks.

"One whiff could kill a person," Valda will note.

The glands are a fuel, but these are wholly unprocessed. As such, opening one would only indicate a fatty substance on the interior. Besides, after a day they have ceased to possess any light. For all you know, they may be worthless at this stage.

Alexis Smolensk said...

We'll need to move to a new post soon. Meanwhile, I have posted Engelhart's new sage abilities. A 12 was rolled for the beast category. That's a spectacular jump. Also, you've picked up an amateur ability in heroes - so you must have made an acquaintance with one while in Stavanger. I'll have to come up with someone.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next post is up.