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 Post subject: Gameplay Report: Legends of Thumbnail Campaign
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:51 pm
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*Updated Sep 1st, 2012*

Hi everyone I thought that I would put all the summaries of my games in one place. These have been written by Galadrin, one of my players. Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I had running them. Always looking for new players in the Greater Toronto Area btw. Just PM me.

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Current Body Count
Level 2: 2 left
Level 1: 5 left, 4 KIA
Level 0: 0 left, 14 KIA


Legends of Thumbnail: Part I

It was definitely a lot of fun. Keith did a great job customizing the module to keep us on our toes. Here's a play by play of the deaths:

After volunteering (being nominated? Or coerced?) to be the town's heroes, the gang of 15 throws a crazy, drunken party at the local tavern to celebrate the impending mission against the evil forces arrayed against the helpless village. We talk strategy and elect our leader (naturally, the alcoholic street urchin named "Scruffy" is our first pick for leadership).

The next day, we groggily head off to the looming antediluvian fortress, most of our bravery now replaced with pounding hangovers and fatalistic surrender. Upon our approach to the keep, the narrow lane takes us by a bushy plant that one of my characters (Elf the Elf, who was raised by wolves) detects the scent of fresh blood on. Fearless Scruffy investigates, and is immediately strangled by thorny vines that shoot out from the malevolent flora. Soon, everyone is whomping away at the bush with their clubs and cutting it with their scissors, until we get the clever idea to simply torch the evil shrubbery. John's character, a lumberjack (named Ian?) throws his bundle of kindling on the blaze, causing the vines to retreat into the forest (but not before one character's head is popped off, and a Halfling is flung over the cliff side). Sadly, Scruffy is dragged kicking and screaming deep into the forest by the burning shrub. Demoralized, we stand their in awkward silence, unwilling to risk our lives to rescue him!

At the gatehouse, John coaxes his pet pig to spring a trap (creating two half-pigs) and we are beset by mutants from the crenellation. We force our way into the keep, ascend the castle walls and deal with them in short order without casualty. Snooping around the keep awakens a massive, blue ogrish thing, who stupidly chases after the last peasant to land an arrow in him (giving us enough time to anchor him with a grappling hook and shoot him in head with an abandoned ballista we had found in the courtyard). Sadly, the creature punctured our beekeeper with his spikey tree trunk weapon, and she remained dangling from this until the beast was dead.

Free to explore again, we fitted ourselves with a cache of weapons and armour found in the courtyard and moved on to the ancient temple opposite the gatehouse. In the church we found a dying priest (good-aligned, ironically... we patiently waiting for him to expire before looting him), sacrilegious texts (magic scrolls) and a glass vial. When our snooping unleashed a black gelatinous cube, six characters fled to a secret elevator and left the other five to rot. The cube went after one of my characters (Dirty Pete, the merchant), backed him into a corner and began lapping at him hungrily with its appendages (while Dirty Pete huddled there weeping).

Just as the other characters fled outside, they were confronted by a new band of mutants. With nowhere else to flee, they ran to an abandoned house and barricaded themselves in. The majority of the mutants instinctively ran into the church and, bypassing the cube, ran to the elevator to take pot shots at us as we descended into the darkness. They were met, however, by returning concentrated crossbow fire that fell their archers and sent them reeling. Meanwhile, Dirty Pete gained a sudden will to live and scrambled up the rope to the church steeple, thus rescuing himself from imminent digestion. At the abandoned house, the betrayed members of the party quickly dispatched the one mutant left in the courtyard and ran to the church, barricading it from the outside and trapping the mutants alone with the ravenous cube.

Dirty Pete scuttled out a tower window and climbed down (spending nearly all his luck to avoid falling to his death) and rejoined the rest of the party to descend a second entrance into the lower dungeons. Thus rejoined (geographically, if not by friendship), the party of eleven rescued some imprisoned peasants, did some impromptu field surgery on Elf the Elf (who was stuck with fleshboring leeches) and gained their first level. One of John's characters decided to honour the fallen priest and chose to become a Cleric of his deity (the four winds, a la Conan), while the rest scatter themselves amongst the other classes. We discover tapestries speaking of an unholy sacrifice that must be made (however, only Elf the Elf was able to read the mural, and as he was translating aloud with his back turned, the rest of the party was unanimously agreeing exactly which character to sacrifice).

Descending lower with newfound power and purpose, we come across the Starless Sea. Elf the Elf is instructed to go to the front of the boat (to... uh... keep a look out!) and is pushed overboard at the first sign of trouble on the black ocean. The rest of the characters hammer at his fingers gripping the side of the boat as the poor, feral Elf screams "Whhhyy!?" So saved by his noble sacrifice, the heroes arrive at the shores of a small island, where they find a hideous ritual perpetrated by the mutants upon chained townsfolk. We spring into action, but not before a villainous, black armored demon rises from the sacrificial fires. We fight valiantly, but soon we are down many of our number and it becomes clear that we are heavily outmatched. Dirty Pete (now a thief), takes a dram of the black water in his magical vile, swigs the swill and begins waving his arms and babbling incantations to the ocean. In return for his troubles, the great sea beast that devoured poor Elf the Elf returns, bats Dirty Pete across the beach (reducing him to 1 hit point) and pulls the demon to pieces before sinking the island into the ebony depths.

The resulting waves washed our heroes out to sea. Sometime later, we found ourselves, confused and battered, stranded on familiar beaches, not far from our old village.

I was impressed how streamlined and simple the game is. The only worry I had was that there was a lot of page flipping, especially via a vis spell effects. I think we will need to print these out for long term play, in order to keep everything moving during the game.

Legends of Thumbnail Part II

Hehe it is interesting to watch the players change over time (especially John's blood mage on the left of that picture). My character (Dirty Pete, third from right with the bottle) hasn't changed too much yet—he's still his dirty, thievin' self!

Last session was really interesting for a number of reasons. The characters are really starting to come into their own. Dirty Pete (now naming himself "Black" Pete and fashioning himself as a pirate) had a lot of dialogue (apparently he sounds like Batman?!?) and revealed himself to be quite the negotiator. The party cleric (of the Four Winds) is still laboring under the disfavor of his deities, but he is starting to get what his masters demand of him. The wizard has taken a dark turn and spent the entire session mutilating himself for unspeakable and unseen masters (to tremendous, if unpalatable, effect). Snuffgrimm the Dwarf is turning out to be a quiet but determined slayer, taking on the biggest enemies we have seen so far.

The story picked up right at the end of the previous adventure, as we were called to another local village with similar rumors of beastmen. We set off down the forest road to Hoargrave, only to chance upon a troop of armored half-humans advancing in our direction. We fanned out, intending to ambush the party, but they detected our presence apparently by smell. Gibbering excitedly about some "Bloodline," they pursued us into the woods. On both flanks, we fired our missiles and countercharged, losing one of our best fighters and some new recruits in the process (including my brave squire Frour and nearly the young orphan scamp Sevan). At first, the half-humans held the charge, and then were overrun and slain to a man.

That night we camped, and Black Pete took time to reassure his only remaining follower, Sevan, that he would be safe. All set to bed and rested well, until an intruder broke into the camp in the middle of the night. To the watchman's horror, the intruder was none other than Elf the Elf from the first adventure, now transformed into a hideous, peeling, red-faced demon. We swung at the infernal creature, only to find it shift location to a high tree branch to ward off our attacks. The creature, still attired in its soaking jester garb, began a long opprobrium of our maltreatment, which Black Pete immediately interrupted.

"Listen, you want to deal? What do you want, what will it take for you to just leave us alone?"
The red terror flexed its eyes, a would-be blink if the pallor things were not lidless.
"What do you have to trade?"
"You can take this little orphan with you, but don't come back!" Black Pete replied, without hesitation.
Sevan expressed his disbelief, and started to flee into the dark woods.
"You better take him now, that is a one-time offer and he's getting away!"
The crimson demon grinned maliciously and leapt into the night sky, cackling "This is not over! You have not seen the last of me!"

The rest of the night passed without incident, although everyone seemed wary to give Black Pete some distance after that. The next morning, we broke clear of the forest and found a hovel by the side of the road. Smelling fresh baked pies and seeing a whispy, blue string of smoke rising from the chimney, we eagerly made our way to the dwelling. Inside, we found a strange clutter of contraptions and alchemical ingredients, with an old hag presiding over a boiling kettle. Flanking her to each side were beautiful twin damsels who beckoned us in. Some of our number entered the cramped hut, while others had to wait outside, and soon we had bartered a few new spells and removed a curse from one of our suits of blackened chainmail. In our dealings, Black Pete managed to reduce the price of these transactions by wedding away one of the warriors in the group to one of the hag's daughters. When the two went into a back room to "officiate" their vows, however, Black Pete got into a disagreement with the hag:

"Listen, we got this problem with a demon-elf-thing that keeps haunting us. How can I remove that curse?"
"Aah, that knowledge will come at a price… what do you have to trade?"
"Well… I guess just this bottle. It is filled with the seawater from the Starless Sea."
"Yes yes, that will do. Give it here. Ok now, so the only way to remove this curse is with seawater from the Starless Sea."
"… You mean the thing I just gave you? Then give it back!"
"What? A trade is a trade!"
Black Pete then drew his sword and the hag, ironically, flipped the bottle around and smashed it against the table to create a make-shift weapon.

In the ensuing battle, the hag's daughters turned into skeletal demons (at the most inconvenient moment for the blushing groom, no less) and the hag started flying around the ceiling. Black Pete got in a hack with his sword, but as our strongest warrior busted in the door (he was level 1 and had 20 hit points!), the hag torched him with an extremely powerful magic missile, dropping him to the ground as a charred corpse. We volleyed back with a powerful magic missile (and the first sacrifice to the wizard's sanguine masters) and killed the witch, causing the demon brides to vanish. We quickly looted the hut (getting quite a haul in magic spells and delicious, fresh-baked pies) and torched the place.

Continuing down the road, Hoargrave finally came into sight. Upon being greeted by the townsfolk, we soon realized the etymology of the town name, being home to the world's oldest profession. We were hosted in the mead hall by the chief of the town and were propositioned with food, drink and everything else imaginable. We were given a brief report of the problems the village was facing and were given full access to the townsfolk at our disposal. Amazingly, for a town with such single-minded purpose, they actually did have a blacksmith (perhaps the last of his kind), and we were able to secure weapons and a new man-at-arms in the blacksmith's son. When the festivities of the night died down, Black Pete crawled over to the most experienced madam (the wife of the village chief) and questioned her for rumors (presuming that she had been chanced to hear the greatest number of these).

In the morning (or, to be more accurate, around noon, when everyone woke up groggy and dazed), Black Pete revealed the tales he had heard from loose lips. A great Chaos lord was rising in the wilderness, a demon of pestilence and plague. The only hope to destroy such a creature was the fabled Axe of Grogg, an artifact held by the local orc tribe on the way to the putrid pit of the Chaos lord of plagues. Now that we were no strangers to disease, we bravely gathered our belongings and set off once again into the wilderness.

Traveling down an old trail, we soon came upon the palisade wall of the orc encampment. We approached cautiously, giving the signs for parley and trade. To our surprise, the orcs escorted us into the center of their camp. There, under the looming shadow of a massive, wooden effigy to Grogg, we were surrounded by hundreds of orcs. We waited nervously for a few tense moments, until a massive specimen, probably twice the normal size of an orc, emerged from one of the larger yurts. This creature strode over to our group and we began to explain our purpose to their leader. The orcs were amused by our mission to slay the Chaos lord, and entertained our request to borrow the ancestral axe that once did the dead so many generations ago, agreeing to a duel between their leader and our best warrior (Grimli the Dwarf, after the death of our previous champion). As the two set themselves for combat, Black Pete snuck up the back of the effigy, climbed to the very top, and started to saw away at the legs of the carved idol at the peak of the monument.

The fight was very close, with the orc nearly knocking Grimli unconscious with a critical hit before he fumbled and gave the beleaguered Dwarf an opening. Grimli fought back with axe and shield, and when he had knocked the Orc to the ground, Black Pete finished sawing at the idol and pushed the statue over. As it crashed to the ground below, a great cloud of dust rose up and the orcs began to howl and frenzy. In the confused melee, each of us slipped away (spending some luck in the process), and fled the encampment. In the confusion, Grimli had grabbed the fallen orc chieftain's axe, which we correctly surmised to be the very ancestral weapon we sought, the Axe of Grogg.

The festering pit of the Chaos cult was easy to find after that. We approached the bottomless crater and took a rope bridge down into its depths, quickly overcoming the first guards that we encountered. Inside, we discovered an entry foyer with a collection plate, which we tipped generously only to have the contents stolen by one of the last party members to enter the chamber. We traversed a meat locker and burst into the refectory when the cultists were eating their midday meals. The unarmed monks were easily defeated, and we rescued two captive village girls and pursued the remaining cultists into a summoning chamber, where we encountered an old enemy: the same warlock from the Starless Sea was there, heading some evil ritual above a bubbling pit. The now liche-like sorcerer sent his minions and champion to intercept us while he finished his incantation, and we were just barely able to overcome the acolytes and turned on the liche only after his spell had successfully summoned the Chaos demon of disease. The writhing mass rose from the pit, consuming the liche in its blubbery form. With the last of his power, our blood mage offered up a personal sacrifice to his patron before roasting half of the monstrosity with an extremely powerful magic missile. Snuffgrimm quickly followed, picking up the Axe of Grogg from his fallen friend Grimli, and strode forth undaunted to land a devastating blow on the creature. We counted up every last point of damage and just barely slew the beast outright.

Covered in the subsequent wake of ichor and vitriol, we cleaned ourselves off as best as possible and returned to the village to await our heroic welcome. From there, we planned out or next moves, discussing the rumors of invasion ships from a Chaos fleet. Slowly, we begin to hatch a plan to stow aboard one of these arks, to sail back to the home country of the invaders and take the fight to them directly….

Legends of Thumbnail III
Editor: Hi everyone, just finished our third session. Evan (Galadrin) can’t be with the group anymore so I’m going to write up a summary hopefully of the same quality has his.

With the events of Hoargrave behind them our heroes continue their march towards the east coast. Determined to decipher the machinations of the evil lich wizard they’ve now encountered twice before. The four veterans Snufgrim, Blandalf, Ian, and Ramas mused about their past comrades and their untimely yet somewhat hiliarious deaths. (There were once 15 of them.) Not long after they encountered a group of three peasants camped out before a long segmented suspension bridge. Apparently they’ve been wanting to hunt in the enchanted forest of SIlverwood but were unable to cross the bridge due to the troll that lived below it. Snufgrim noted that the troll was curiously eyeing the ongoing conversation from beneath the bridge.

Without much further ado, Blandalf confidently sauntered across the bridge. “If you’re not afraid, it won’t bite you.” Stated Blandalf as he applied his experience with domestic dogs. Blandalf easily makes it halfway across the bridge with some of his comrades in tow (also confident in his experience with animals). Ian and Ramas not entirely sure pondered for a little and started to cross. Snufgrim decided that as a back up plan it would be a great idea to toss some rations for the troll – promptly hitting it in the head. The troll was not amused.
Sniffing Ramas’ magical aura the troll was enraged and began to shake the bridge but was unsuccessful in knocking down any of the party. Unfortunately, its long arms grabbed Ian and tore him in two. There were now three veterans left. A bloody battle ensued. Blandalf tossed a firebomb and ignited the troll while the others wailed away at it with their weapons. Almost free of combat Blandalf decided to rejoin the fray and was slain outright with a single blow. There are now two veterans left… The party gathered a piece of Ian and Blandalf with the intent of resurrecting them later on.

The party arrived at the town of Rineburg, where the mayor was assembling a war party to kill the troll under the bridge (it was causing problems in trade you see). Having already defeated the troll, the party sent young Rolf to retrieve it’s head. Soon the Halfling returned with the head of the troll to much celebration. The stumpy Halfling was now heralded as Trollbane – slayer of all things big and hero of Rineburg. There was much debauchery that followed. Even though Rolf’s celebrity status wasn’t entirely deserved – the party justified it with “He has a personality score of 6, he really needs it.”

Upset at the lost of two veteran adventurers the party pressed on and was soon lost in the enchanted pine forest of Silverwood. Finally they encountered what appeared to be an elven “greeting party” – a party with bows that is. The silver elves gave the party an ultimatum – help them destroy the goblins they were at war with or be lost in the woods forever. Without much choice the party agreed grudgingly.

The silver elves soon lead the party to a circular section of Silverwood – a strange crop circle like area where all the trees were petrified. The elves explained that the black magics of the goblins have made a cancer in their home and the greenskins must be eradicated. As the party ventured into the dark abyss, they come across murals depicting the goblin’s fight against the elves – except that the goblins were defending their home against the marauding elves! Soon the party meets the Goblin King – a large greasy goblin. It explains how the elves have been encroaching their lands and now all that remains is his tiny domain. The party’s alliegance shifts from the elves to the goblins.

“The silver elves were kinda condescending and jerks anyways”

Needing the head of the Goblin King as “proof” of their victory. The Goblin King summons one of his servants,

“Yug-bog over here.”
“Yes, master….”
SWISH!
“Here’s yer head human – take it to elves! And we go to war to finish this!”

With that the players utilized a meeting to ambush the leader of the elves – quickly slaying him and his party. Ramas was feeling particulary … confident in that battle obliterating both the elven magic user and leader with massive magic missile swarms. Once done taking their frustrations out on the elven hierarchy, the party joins the battle and easily overwhelms the elven village with their goblin comrades. Some of the party join in the genocide of the silver elves, cutting down all the elves including some women and children (ala Anakin Skywalker style) with Snufgrim and Rolf standing there with their jaws hitting the floor. The new (human) cleric of Grog – amused his god by being the first human to ever declare an oath to an Orc god. Grog was pleased with the bloodshed. White Moon and Ramas both who had usurped their enemies magic weapons suddenly fell cursed to the Elven God of the Forest. Ramas grew a pair of antlers and White Moon had a bird poo on his head.

Suddenly the forest started to petrify itself, the goblin magics won with the death of the elves and the forest regained its historic name – The Forest of Ineffable Damnation (or FOID as the players used to call it). Happy at regaining their homeland the goblins lead the players to the only path out of the FOID. Guarded by the giant spider and deity of the FOID, Malfortent. Quietly sneaking by (or at least trying to), White Moon the Trapper and Dark Star the Hunter were suddenly pinned by the god-like spider as it fell from its hiding spot. The spider quickly charged towards Ramas the Wizard, knocking down many of the party as he dealt a significant amount of arcane damage to the spider. Ramas was quickly poisoned by the spider and was slowly dying. The party realizing they had no power over a god-like creature such as Malfortent ran for the exit – leaving one of their own behind to hold off the spiders bloodthirsty attack. Free of the FOID, the party continues their jounery east … only to see an armada of ships in the distance with black sails heading towards their homeland.

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 Post subject: Re: Gameplay Report: Legends of Thumbnail Campaign
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:51 pm
Posts: 40
Updated for Session III!

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