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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 8:09 am 
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Vellen wrote:
Was a rocky start, but memorable. Sounds like you guys went a little smoother.


Vellen, sorry I completely blanked on your comments. Sounds like you guys had a swell time. I kept the interactions of the various groups of NPCs to a minimum since I had a monsoon storm as the backdrop to this adventure. I've never been in a monsoon, but the powerful spring thunderstorms in Missouri are enough to not hear all sorts of things going on, thus isolating the villians.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 1:47 pm 
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i like how my game has taken on a life of its own. They have split into two groups. One is in big trouble with the thieves guild and the other is in big trouble with the Dragons and the slave trade. Been lots of fun.

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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:46 pm 
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Treebore wrote:
i like how my game has taken on a life of its own. They have split into two groups. One is in big trouble with the thieves guild and the other is in big trouble with the Dragons and the slave trade. Been lots of fun.


Hehehe. That's a sign of a good DM right there.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Treebore, are you using store-bought modules for this duel grouping or something you created on your own. If modules, which ones?


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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:21 pm 
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JediOre wrote:
Treebore, are you using store-bought modules for this duel grouping or something you created on your own. If modules, which ones?


My own stuff. Going pretty much completely "off the cuff", and I just look into my map library to support the current location. The players like it too, the first time any of them have ever played in a game where they are running two PC's simultaneously, yet separately, they have really enjoyed the different perspective and hearing rumors of things their other group has been doing, and not doing. :twisted:

Now the one group left Punjar to let the heat with the Dragons die down for a while, so I did use a scenario out of Fight On! for it, which is still "in progress".

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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:13 am 
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Back on April 30, 2009 I ended my last write-up of this module with:

"I’ll conclude this encounter later. Too tired to continue, but the adventure continued to get better as the day went on!"

That was written when I was still early on in my Master's program and those studies quickly consumed all my free time. I do plan to complete my description of the fun we had that day and do apologize, up front, to Harley. Since the events occurred back in late 2008, the details are no longer clear. None-the-less, I would like to try and hit the highlights so at least my players can recall what we did last and how the adventure was successfully concluded.

I'll try and re-spark this thread sometime later this week or next.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:55 am 
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Okay, as I wrote back in 2009, JediWife shot an arrow at the reclining figure of the Beggar King. She requested to hit the figure in the knee area and, even with a penalty, rolled well enough to put her arrow into the knee of the Beggar King. He began to twitch and spasm which made all the players very puzzled.

It turned out that the reclining figure was in fact a young girl, tied up, gagged, and placed into a larger custom to make her look like a fat, grown man. JediWife had, with the encouragement of Trevor, shot an arrow into this young street orphan’s foot. Trevor had his elf cast cure light wounds upon the girl to make amends and the party searched for a safe way to both get at the body of Black Shet which lay in the bottom of the cage trap and to explore the underground area beneath this false “Court of the Beggar-King.”

I was sad that Nightwing had retired early do to illness, for the party recovered the companion blade to his ranger’s Whisker. The dagger, known as Felis is a +1 duelist’s dagger in 4th edition terms. What I did is rule, that alone, Felis is a +1 dagger which adds +1 to AC against melee attacks. But when used with Whisker, in a two-weapon fighting style, the dagger increases both blades magic to +2 and adds +2 to AC against melee attacks. [Perhaps a bit much, but I do hope these blades remain relevant throughout much of the ranger’s adventuring life.]

I don’t recall all that happened below in the “Slave Pens of Punjar.” The party had a missile battle with the hobgoblins and I remember Trevor being firm on the great desert ape had to be killed with missile weapons. The others wanted to leave the ape be for the time being while the party explored, but Trevor was sure the ape would be released to hunt them down and did not want to find the party pincered between an unknown foe ahead and a dangerous great ape from behind. The ape was killed with bolts and arrows.

Among the slaves freed was their friend and employer, Jonas the gnome gem-merchant. Another important character was Lorilass, “an ancient sage and Neveril, his lovely, half-elf apprentice. Sickly to the point of death, the sage will have to be carried to freedom if he is to escape”. Once returned to civilization, the sage promised to reveal to the players information he has regarding the Thief Lord’s Vault located beneath the streets of Punjar!

The party, with the various freed slaves in tow, continued further into the Beggar King’s domain searching for the Black Pearl.


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 Post subject: The Defiled Seal and Beyond.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Alright, now the players moved into the three room suite that was, by far and away, my favorite encounter in the module. It frustrates me to no end that my memories of the PCs arriving at the “Defiled Seal” are dimmed by two years. Re-reading this room and the others in this most interesting aside brought back to my mind some great looks from Ragnar1965!

***DON’T FORGET THIS HAS SPOILERS AND IF YOU PLAN ON ADVENTURING HEREIN YOU SHOULD STOP READING***

Before I launch into what I recall, let me say, to the best of my knowledge neither Ragnar1965 nor Trevor has ever read anything by H. P. Lovecraft or Clark Aston Smith, but Harley, as you’ll see, your vibe that oozed from these rooms unnerved the lot of them! [Trevor’s son was way too young to be reading these stories and JediWife would not touch either with a 10-foot pole.]

The party enters into a room that has “broken shards of plaster and stone rubble” about a “narrow cleft that has been torn in the far wall of the chamber.” The “dusty stone staircase rising through cobwebs into darkness” beyond beckoned to them. Of course to the left was a wider staircase that was easily determined to be the path the minions of the Beggar King used to go further into the lair. But this stair that had at some point in the past been bricked over caused all four to pause. What clenched the deal for Ragnar1965 and Trevor was the “series of lit candles, each planted atop a skull, surround the cleft.”

Intrigued, the players poked about. I’m sure they found the broken sigils filled in with lead in the rubble. I don’t recall that specifically, but I do recall JediWife asking the more fantasy-familiar players what all of this could mean. I think, in the words of Star Wars, she “had a bad feeling about this.”

I do recall Trevor’s son, Alex, had Greyson the ranger check for tracks in the dust to find someone had, some time ago ascended the stairs, but there was no sign of a return trip. The mystery tugged mightily and thus up went the four brave PCs into the darkness.

They entered into what must have been a chapel in some distant age, long ago fallen into ruin. On one of the walls was painted a black “faux portal” The portal was decorated “with simple silver skulls and stars.” A wooden bowl was placed before this painting “sticky with blood” and metal censers hung from chains in the four corners of the room. The air was “thick with swirling smoke.” And finally, a “desiccated corpse of a human lies in the center of the chamber, its face frozen in a scream of terror” greeted the PCs.

While I don’t recall everything, I can see from the loot list that the body was carefully searched, I figure this is the work of Trevor. They found the long fighting dagger in the body’s boot and snagged all three scroll cases. The silver bracers were also taken, but I see no mention of the pipe from within his robes. Perhaps they could not pluck up the nerve to reach into his robes? LOL!

I do recall as the party searched the room Ragnar1965 became more and more concerned about what had happened to the magic-user. Since his PC, Madriel, was a cleric/magic-user I gave Ragnar1965 general ideas as to what had happened. It was obvious to both his PC and to Trevor’s elf the dead man had prepared a ritual. The question was what was the ritual’s function and had he completed it. They all agreed the man had started the ritual from the silent witness of the wooden bowl. The fact that the bowl was placed before the panted portal spoke to one of them that it may have been a summoning ritual. And what was this swirling smoke? I do recall being asked about it repeatedly. Was it coming from the four censers? No, the censers were cold. What did it smell like? Was it damp? Did the PCs feel it when they passed through it? I don’t recall how I answered all the questions, but I may have said the smoke seems to have more definition, or shape than what one would expect from naturally occurring smoke, almost tube-shaped on occasion.

With nothing left to look at, they approached the faux portal. They had maintained their distance from that. Without touching anything, they had both elves carefully examine the portal. They found the “single narrow scrape, an inch long, cut into the paint.” How was it made? Was it part of the ritual? The look of something dreadful was beginning to appear on Ragnar1965’s face. I can still remember everything that occurred in this room from this point forward! Ragnar1965 is a born poker player. He will hold his cards tight as his mind works over a problem without often involving JediWife, Nightwing, or Trevor. He grabbed his C&C Player’s Handbook and flipped to the spells, quickly closed the book and went for my collection of old AD&D spells we use in the game. He was on a fishing expedition for something. Meanwhile JediWife and Trevor looked at each other across the table with puzzled expressions. Trevor was for getting the broken elven great sword (found back in the bazaar) and peeling off the paint to see what was behind it.

It was at this point Alex shined. He asked if anyone had carefully looked at the floor in front of the portal. I said no, and asked why? He said, since the paint flakes had not been found elsewhere shouldn’t they be at the base of the painting, and maybe the paint would give a hint about what it’s made of. That boy has his father’s instincts!

They looked and found “a thick iron needle” beside a “single fleck of paint and a sliver of lead.” As soon as I said that, Ragnar1965’s head shot up from his research and asked to see the cover of the module! I’m sure my face betrayed myself since JediWife became very interested in the picture as well. I held it up for all to see and Ragnar1965 said that lead in the paint had to be a seal to keep something on the other side of the wall. Trevor asked if this smoke in the room could be described, on occasion, as vaguely tentacle-like. They all stared at that cover an as I was about to return it to the table, Ragnar1965 said that looked very, very bad. Someone asked, “Where do you think that well goes?” to which Alex replied, “Somewhere bad.”

All looked at each other, and almost unanimously, they all (even Trevor!) said we get out of this room immediately. JediWife tossed out our favorite Lord Of The Rings quote, “This foe is beyond any of you. RUN!”

And run they did. They were all feeling that they had had a near brush with something frightening. The looks on JediWife and Ragnar1965’s face reminded me of their early quest in DCC #2, The Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho. It is so rare to get Ragnar1965 emotionally involved in the game. He usually plays as one would at chess, without becoming too emotional. Harley, while they did not plumb the depths of this encounter, it was the most memorable one of the entire module!


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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:36 am 
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Thoroughly fun, Jedi. I laughed out loud.

Accolades all around. You and your players made this encounter shine.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: The Defiled Seal and Beyond.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:45 pm 
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JediOre wrote:
All looked at each other, and almost unanimously, they all (even Trevor!) said we get out of this room immediately. JediWife tossed out our favorite Lord Of The Rings quote, “This foe is beyond any of you. RUN!”


This was a great read. And it sounds like it ended with a mad dash for safety - always a great conclusion to a module. :) Thanks for the writeup.

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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:43 am 
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Thanks Harley & Joseph. Sadly, the rest of the module is more of a blur. So here begins the conclusion of the module, lacking in much detail for I don’t remember most of it. By this point it was getting late in the evening so I was already getting tired. Couple that with the fact the game was played out in November of 2008, it’s all a bit fuzzy!

After the party regrouped back in the room with both the stair leading into the darkness and the stairs to deeper into the Beggar-King’s lair, the followed the stairs to find the Beggar-King and solve the mystery of what he was up to.

The portcullis trap separated the party as planned. I don’t recall if Greyson the ranger had both Madriel the cleric/magic-user and Oculus the elf, or just Madriel on the west side of the portcullis. I do know that JediWife’s elven fighter, Alura, was trapped behind the portcullis when the slaver party made its attack. JediWife did not like this fight since her PC was unable to do much throughout.

Four hobgoblins with short swords and six goblin archers made things dicey for the party. Orliss the Goat, the slaver leader decked out in chainmail and swinging a great sword, was changed by me from “dragonborn” to “plain ol’ human.” The concept of dragonborn does not fit into my game so I dropped it. I don’t recall how the fight went except that someone was trying to get the portcullis lifted. Why? Perhaps Trevor’s elf, Oculus, was on the side with Alura and firing arrows into combat is dangerous, so Trevor wanted to fight with his PC’s newly claimed broken elven great sword, I can’t remember. I do recall after this fight Ragnar1965 used all the remaining cleric spells to heal the party and they started dipping into their supply of cure potions.

They found the “Hoard of the Beggar-King” and were amazed how meager it was. The trap on the chest is neat: “Approaching the chest causes a trio of hollow iron spears to fire down from the ceiling; any PC struck by the spear is immediately pinned to the ground. The following round, acid begins to seep through the perforations in spears, rapidly eating away at the flesh of any would-be thief.” The treasure list I still have (my players have yet to divide the loot) shows they got the treasure, but I’m at a loss to explain how they overcame the trap. I don’t remember. I doubt any of my players recall either. Drat! Somehow they found the trap and disabled it. According to my “monsters slain” list I have “200xp trap detection.” I bet that was a fun encounter as well!


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 Post subject: Re: DCC #53 Sellswords of Punjar--My C&C game
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:32 pm 
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The blur concluded:

Alright, the rest of the module is vague.

When the party moved into the room where one of the slavers was in a boat, loaded down with ill-gotten gain, the party pumped him full of arrows. He died in the first round and let go of the rope allowing the boat to drift down stream. The gnolls broke the wooden ledge dumping JediWife's character, Alura the elven archer, into the water. Ragnar1965's cleric/magic-user Madriel was able to grab hold of the far exit's floor before falling to the beach below. The evil thief attempted to stomp on Madriel's fingers and hands while Trevor's elf, Occulus, stayed behind the cover of Greyson the ranger. Occulus shot arrows at the thief up at the ledge while the ranger used both Whisker and Felis to deadly effect against the gnolls. As soon as the thief dropped, Occulus attacked the last standing gnoll and the ranger dove into the river to rescue Alura from a damp death. Sadly, and to Trevor's frustration, the boat drifted out of play.

The party re-grouped and made their way to the "Loathsome Shrine of Niramuth." They gave the treasure at the evil-rat idol wide berth and moved into the final encounter with the Beggar-King.

The fight between the Beggar-King and the party is a complete blank. I reduced the Beggar-King to a 5 hd opponent with 40 hit points. Three cinder skeletons were slain in the fight as well. I don't see any of the Umbra bats in the "slain monster" sheet. The Umbra dragon was changed to a smoky, black serpent with 8 hd and 50 hit points. This foul beast was a minion of Set and it coveted the Black Pearl.

That's all I got. We had a blast with this module! Harley, as per norm, you did an outstanding job of providing a quality product, ready made for a DM to breath life into the adventure.

To continue viewing the next DCC this party attempted follow this link:

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7097


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