Storyline

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1 year 10 months ago #4 by dgreen
Storyline was created by dgreen
Game 1 11/22/19
We all tied into Paul’s father’s monastery in some way and find ourselves in the modest coastal town of Jailynn. The sheriff recently left town suddenly and left the job to a young Halfling girl. She approached the group and asked if we’d be interested in looking into a matter for her. She offered to pay our room and board for a week plus 100 gp for our troubles. Since 100 didn’t go into 7 evenly, the Wizard, using his advanced math skills, negotiated her up to 140. It seems there has been an increase of petty thefts in the town. Nothing big, just small coins and such.
There has also been an increase in the rat population and reports of very large, dog-sized rats making off with household pets. And there’s a circus in town that was slated to leave in the next day or two. The increase in crime occurred prior to their arrival so that may just be a coincidence. We agreed to look into it. She wanted to meet in her office the next morning but the players were eager to get started. We split up to do some looking into things. Some went to the bar, some went back to her office, and some went to the wizard school to ply their various skills. Some additional clues were found.
She had hired some purported rat-catchers who took her half upfront money and then were never seen again. Skipped town, in on it or dead? The rats are in the poorer south side of town and have been seen coming out of the sewers. Evidently for such a small town, it has quite the sewer system under it. The sheriff is trying to keep this all quiet, so not to panic people. She also probably trying to keep her job. The wizard recalled reading about were-rats that supposedly have the ability to control rats. He thought that magic or silvered weapons would be needed.
We got a bunch of names of townspeople but I can’t recall any of them. But it all boiled down to rats in the sewers on the south side. We fanned out and walked through the streets of the south side. BTO’s Rogue wanted to be in the back and then Lillith wanted to be behind him so we were pretty spread out. Several spotted several swarms of rats. Their swarm nature gave them resistance to normal weapons but their AC was low and their hit points modest. One complication was that they could occupy the same square as their victim but Andy still allowed it to be attacked without harming the friendly unless you were using an AOE.
The Monk got swarmed but with his Shield of Faith going, he had the highest AC and wasn’t hit. The Fighter did get hit a couple of times. But the fight only lasted a couple of rounds. It was noted that the rats had some weird green slime on them that the arcane knowers thought was unnatural and perhaps the key to controlling them. After a bit of discussion, an entrance into the sewers that we could fit down was sought. The Paladin thought we should look into getting silvered weapons before going down but that opinion didn’t get much traction. So he ran off to pursue it alone.
So the Paladin went back to the sheriff who didn’t have such weapons. She thought the local merchant might have the heavy silver candlesticks he asked about as a backup but he was shut down for the night. He’d have to wait until morning. Rather than rejoining, he went back to the tavern. Some of the players wanted to get more flasks of oil after seeing how effective Brian’s Rogue was with his. Several characters went back to the sheriff to see if the town had some supplies that they used to light the street lamps. The lamplighter was found and provided a keg of oil. That was combined with empty bottles from the tavern and we had as much oil as anyone could carry. Not all did. Meanwhile Lillith and Silent Rekh worked on the sewer grate we found.
After a couple tries, the half-orc muscled it open. Lillith went down to look around but then waited for the rest to show up. The fighter did a short rest to heal up a bit while they waited. Into the sewers. The water was slimy and disgusting. There were walkways besides the streams but walking them required rolls to jump from one to another. We made a lot of athletics and acrobatics rolls with the skilled helping the unskilled. No one fell in but it took a lot of time and certainly wasn’t quiet. We saw a lot of nothing. Andy said that we happened to use one of the least interesting entrances. We did get to what we figure was the basement of the tavern or mercantile but no rats or other bad guys. Just lots of water moving downhill and lots of skill rolls. Eventually we started to get into an area that was going to be more interesting but since it was late we stopped there rather than start a fight.

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1 year 10 months ago #5 by dgreen
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Game 2 12/6/19
We got a late start because Andy had plans. We came upon a large raised platform area that was above the streams of sewage but still below ground. The body of a young hobbit was found. The body had been decomposing for a couple of weeks which matched the timeline of the disappeared rat catcher. She had a couple of personal effects but no other clues. Someone noticed that beyond the light spell, there was an area of dim light in the upper right. We doused our light and headed that way. Brian’s rogue snuck ahead and tried to use investigation to look for tracks. He rolled badly but it was pretty obvious that there were tracks of many rats going from the water to here. About the time he noted that there were some giant rat tracks as well, 3-4 giant rats emerged from the darkness.
Brian’s rogue was apart but most everyone else were together. After a round or two, 3-4 rat swarms also emerged and joined in the attack. Neither had much of an attack bonus nor AC but the swarms did 2d6 which was significant. Just how the positioning worked out, the sorcerer and his 11 AC got attacked several times. Someone got crit in here somewhere and maybe it was him. He got knocked out and his Bane spell ended. The Monk stood over his body and managed to get the swarm to swarm him rather than kill the sorcerer. Luckily the Monk has a much higher AC.
The sorcerer got healed after a couple of rounds. About then an Eladran rogue attacked Brian’s rogue from the darkness but thankfully missed with his advantaged sneak attack. The other rogue moved over to help. The next round, another Eladran appeared. They hit Wade a couple of times with 2d6 of sneak damage and she went out. It was a tough fight and most everyone got hit for significant damage. The swarms were the tough nuts but once they went below half hit points they did half damage, seeing as there were fewer rats in the swarm.
The tide had turned and when the first Eladrian went down, the second put up a fog cloud and fled. No one had even hit that one, concentrating fire on the first. There was much discussion about what that cloud meant to visibility, whether a bat could still see through it, etc but the final word from Andy was that he simply got away. We searched the Eladran. He had some significant wealth on him (for 2nd level anyway) and a worn token. The sailors reckoned it was an entry token for some secret pirate society. When the names of the 3 ships on it were read, the Monk recognized them as belonging to the pirate that took over his father’s monastery.
We took a short rest to heal up, figuring the fog cloud would end when we were done which it did. We searched for the fleer but all we found was a secret door to the surface via another grate. This one was easier to open. There was more searching of that area that came to nothing. At this point it was late. Andy asked if we were going up or staying down. When he mentioned that if we went up, we’d level up, everyone went for that. We took the body back to the sheriff and reported our progress. She, of course, was shocked by the complexity of the activities. This was much more than a rat problem. We cleaned up, took a long rest and leveled up. Next time we’ll be going back into the sewers. There’s another rat catcher to find. Hopefully, we can kill some more rats. We figure the Eladrian is long gone but maybe we can find some clues as to what’s going on.

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1 year 10 months ago #6 by dgreen
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Game 3 12/13/19
As usual, we struggled to get that long rest we agreed to take last time. People wanted to search and question and purchase and discuss and carouse but it was like 3 in the morning so eventually, we just had to stop and just let time pass. The next day, after we dealt with some miscellaneous leveling up stuff, we went back into the sewers, starting where we left off last time. We found what appeared to be a guard station with cots for about 6 medium-sized people. They had oil lamps for light but not much in the way of supplies. Or clues. We’re not sure as to what they were guarding exactly. No people, of course. What is going on down here? We pressed on, mapping the sewers (i.e. removing the fog of war) and finding more access points to the surface. We came upon another set of stairs up which lead to a small platform which we figured was under the seedy town bar.
Again we found stuff that you’d normally find in a bar’s basement. (We need to question these townsfolk since obviously some of them access this underground area that it is fast becoming much more than a sewer.) Someone heard the approaching of more rats. Initiative. It was another battle with giant rats and swarms. Of note: The Monk could not seem to be hit however the Paladin was critted on the first swing. The Paladin threw oil on a swarm which the Wizard ignited with a Fire Bolt. Thankfully it was taken out before it could engulf the Barbarian. The Rogue stayed on the platform with the Wizard and used her new cantrip. Some damage was taken and a few spells and powers used but it wasn’t too tough. After the fight, someone called out in the darkness. “Get out of here or face the consequences.” Or some such. The Paladin raced into the darkness, hoping to draw them out but no luck. We had no choice but to keep mapping. The Rogue hung back as rearguard as we searched and mapped. Eventually she spotted some more rats passing her by but luckily they didn’t notice her. However, before she could warn the rest, she was attacked by another Eladrain Rogue which she did not spot. (She’s trained in stealth but not perception.) There was some argument about whether she should have been surprised and whether he should have gotten his sneak attack dice but in the end, Andy ripped her a new bunghole. The Monk used his Ki power to slip past the rats to get over to help her. The Paladin simply took the opportunity attack to do so and used ranged powers since he wasn’t as fast as the Monk. The other 3 were left to deal with the rats.
So it became mostly two separate fights. The exciting one and the boring one. The Rogue cast her Tashia’s Hideous Laughter on the Eladrain who missed his save and fell prone, unable to act. However, a Dwarf Rogue/caster? came out of the darkness and hit her and dropping her concentration that same round. The Paladin used his channel divinity to entangle the Eladrian who was still prone. The Rogue retreated, down more than half. The Eladiran Misty Stepped away and then saved against the entangle at the end of his turn. He was still prone but since most of us were at range, it was about a wash as to whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. Their Dwarf tried to protect him but the Monk overcame the +2 AC for cover and finished him off. But then another Eladrian Rogue appeared. With a hit and a crit, the Monk was dropped. The Paladin did a lay on hands and the Monk rose again. This time he crit the Dwarf and dropped him and with his bonus action, used his war priest attack and crit the other guy too. So consecutive crits in the same round. It was Paul’s night. That triggered the chase portion. The Eladrian Rogue had cunning action to escape and run fast but our Rogue had the same plus Mobility for an extra 10 feet so he wasn’t going to get away. Someone dropped him.
Meanwhile, the other 3 players took out the rats eventually. They had more wealth and a potion but no clues. We did some more searching but didn’t find anything. The last unknown was a chute down which the water was flowing however it went down quite a ways. Deeper than the sea level this stuff should have been draining? The Sorcerer sent his bat down but at 100 feet, he could no longer remain in contact. He sent it on, telling it to go as far as it could. After 5 minutes he dismissed it and then recalled it. The bat said eventually it ended in some sort of chamber. I believe the plan next time is to go down the chute since that’s the only loose end we seem to have. Plenty to discuss and plan for. I believe we agreed to a long rest back at the inn, figuring we’re not hot on the trail of anything. As usual, some needed to heal and to recharge powers and some were ready to go.

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1 year 10 months ago #7 by dgreen
Replied by dgreen on topic Storyline
Game 4 12/20/19
So at the end of last time, after mapping out the whole sewer system, the only lead we seemed to have left was this chute into which everything in the sewers seemed to be draining. Andy cut short the taking a long rest wrangling by starting at the end of a long rest. So once again we met for breakfast to discuss our options.
By the way, the half-orc was ill and a medicine roll determined he was diseased. (Evidently, the tough half orc was the only one who missed his CON save.) Unfortunately, neither Paladin was in attendance but luckily the Sorcerer could cast lessor restoration and cure him. There were several lines of inquiry to pursue and then all of the logistics on how to get down this chute with some hope of getting back up. One clarifying point was that while the chute dropped quickly at first, it became more gradual. We also learned that this town was built on some cliffs. So put those two together and it seemed likely that this drain fell to sea level and would likely empty out on the shore. The previous description led us to think that it was falling below sea level which would be a whole other thing. We still had a bunch of questions to ask and we decided to start with the Sheriff. At which point Andy circumvented our investigation activities and pointed us to the adventure. Yeah.
The Sheriff had gotten word that the missing rat-catcher had turned up at his hovel outside of town. Evidently he’d been held captive by some dudes with descriptions matching the guys we fought last time. We went over to question him. The rat catcher had found the sewer exit down on the beach and figured that’s how the rats were getting in. However, when he investigated he was attacked by rats who were much more intelligent than normal rats. They were also covered in this green slime. He managed to get away but they pursued him all the way back home.
Once safely home, 2 Eladrin and a Dwarf busted in and held him captive. They promised not to kill him and would only be staying (and eating his food) as long as it took to take care of some troublemakers in town (us). But they left and never came back (because we killed them). They had some others with them but he never got a good look at them. I.e. no useful big-picture information from him. The upshot was that he could show us the cave but he was unwilling to go back in. Evidently he could hear the rat voices in his head and was a bit shaken.
So we headed down, figuring time was of the essence. Our sailors said that this cave would be underwater at high tide but it was accessible now. It was guarded by 2 giant rats. The Rogue cast Friends and tried to bluff her way past these intelligent rats. That did not work and a fight commenced. It was more giant rats and more rat swarms. Other than Andy’s occasional crits, it wasn’t too tough. One rat or swarm ran back into the cave so we gave chase. At some point, the Monk started hearing the rats talking in his head. Maybe it was the slime although cleaning it off later didn’t seem to help.
The drain headed in and up but there were stairs on both sides once you got into the dark. The half-orc went up one of them but when he encountered greenish mist clinging to the floor, he turned around. The Monk was not afraid, figuring we wouldn’t be facing a Cloudkill at 3rd level, and pressed into it. He came to a room with 2 acolytes brewing a big vat of green slime, several guards and more rats. He attempted to fall back a bit but ran out of movement and didn’t get back as far as he would have liked. So it was a big bottleneck with people trying to attack and attack around the Monk. The Wizard managed to get a Shatter shot past and dropped 3 of them. But more came up. The acolytes were back there casting (sanctuary as it turns out) but it was mostly a grind.
Andy managed to crit the Monk and drop him. The late-arriving Paladin moved up to cover him and get the swarm off him. Someone pulled the Monk back and the Sorcerer healed him. Eventually, we managed to get into the room. Despite the sanctuary spells which made targeting complicated, the lack of light which went out when the Monk went out and their numbers, we managed to win without anyone else going out. We took a short rest to heal up. We searched and found some loot. The Monk cast Detect Magic and we found some magic gloves. (We haven’t had time to identify them yet.) We said someone should be watching the other stairs but I don’t think anyone did.
After our rest, we headed that way. A voice called out telling us to leave or face the consequences. They also threatened to start killing people in town. But we LG folks couldn’t stand for that so we pressed ahead. With the Monk in the lead and the half-orc behind him, we head up the stairs. Then a flaming barrel of oil came barreling down. The Monk missed his DEX save and took 2d6 for which Andy rolled 12. The half-orc did not like his chances on a DEX save and chose to use a STR roll to just catch it. He also took 2D6 but Andy rolled less but more importantly, it didn’t continue through the rest of the party. Yeah. The Monk sped forward and managed to keep the next barrel from launching. The half-orc leapt over that grapple to get into the small room as well. The Paladin managed to acrobatically get over the flaming oil and tried to join the fight but ended up on top of a barrel. There just wasn’t enough room.
The casters used Presdigitation to quell the flames on the stairs so that the rest could follow next round. There were two grappler thugs in there. They had advantage when near each other. They had some grappling powers and feats which were complicated but didn’t do much more than tie up someone. But there were more of us than of them so it was a net loss for them. Mainly it was just a lack of room and Andy crits to worry about. When finished them off. There was another stairway up from here. I can’t remember if anyone else threatened us but we assume the guy in charge was that way. Despite 3 fights and only 1 short rest, we’ve got to press on from here. If we go back to town to rest up now, they’ll get away and/or start killing people. So it’ll be a boss battle with a depleted group next time. Should be fun. Next game should be on the 10th.

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1 year 10 months ago - 1 year 10 months ago #9 by dgreen
Replied by dgreen on topic Storyline
Game 5 - 01/10/20
We started with all kinds of map problems in Fantasy Grounds.  The only one besides Andy that could see it was Jon on his Mac.  It was weird since no one had a problem with the same map last time.  Bad update? We rebooted and restarted to no avail.  Eventually, we gave up and Jon shared his screen via Skype however for those of us doing Skype on a phone, that view was marginal.  I think some us got to the point where we could see the tokens with no map and could target enemies but couldn’t move the tokens.  So the wayward Holy Paladin (Jon) rejoined with a full load of hit points and powers.  The Rogue (Wade) went on an independent recon mission and never made it back.  We suspected we’d find her hanging out at the bar while we were fighting for our lives.  We started up the stairs with the Swashbuckler Paladin in the lead.  We were hailed for a parley.  The man in charge wanted to negotiate and avoid any more unpleasant bloodshed.  
We were lead into a room where the boss was busy burning papers.  Also in there was his second in command, 4 of those wrestling dwarf tanks, a couple giant rats, several miscellaneous guards and 4 more of them out in the hall.  We talked.  Basically he said that we didn’t understand the magnitude of the operation going on.  He was in charge of the organized crime in this city but he also had a boss who would not be as “understanding” as he was prepared to be.  He would not reveal that name.  We refuted his claims of benevolence and when we accused him of killing people with the rats, he admitted that had gotten out of hand and they were only there to keep people out of the sewers and keep them from disturbing their operations.  But it boiled down to what it would take for us to leave and/or mind our own business.  He was not leaving which was sort of reasonable from his perspective since they were here first. 
The Swashbuckler Paladin did most of the talking, mainly to try to get information out of him, as the Holy Paladin become more and more indignant over the whole conversation.  Eventually, the Holy Paladin cast Shield of Faith and the combat we knew had to come, started.  The Swashbuckler Paladin acted first, missing the boss with a 1 but then knocking him over with a shield bash.  The Fighter went next.  The Swashbuckler Paladin advised him to lock the doors so that the 4 guards outside could not join the fight but he had bigger plans in mind.  He ran into the room and leapt over the desk, taking two opportunity attacks along the way.  (Dave said that the poor map visibility kept him from realizing how risky this plan was.)  He then pounded the boss (with advantage since he was knocked down) and critted him for a glorious mighty blow.  And did no damage because the boss was a wererat that needed magic weapons to be harmed.  Parley? 
So the puds (guards and rats) were not much of a threat and were taken out pretty fast.  The boss and his cleric pulled away from most of us.  The cleric cast some spells, including a command on our Sorcerer, but didn’t do too much.  The boss was a rogue who mostly fired a crossbow from relative safety.  It was his invulnerability that was his big power.  But it was the tanks that were the real problem.  They got two attacks a round.  They had pact tactics which gave them advantage a lot.  They were resistant to bludgeoning damage, like our Fighter’s maul and couldn’t be knocked down by the shield bashings.  They also had around 40-50 hit points.  Plus, the grappling stuff.  And probably more I’m not remembering.  A tough package for a group of 3rd levelers.  Their damage wasn’t so bad though.  They grappled or used a mace for 1d6 or their hands for 1d4.  But they just couldn’t be dropped or there were just too many of them to concentrate on taking one out.  But more importantly, we started this fight already down.  Half of us were below half in hit points.  Many had used up most of their daily powers and most of their encounter powers.  Parley? 
I can’t recall the blow for blow of the middle of the fight so I’ll try to recall some highlights of each character.  When the Fighter charged off it fell to the Sorcerer to close and lock the doors with his first action.  Next, he got commanded by their cleric.  He then got to cast his Dragon’s Breath and did decent damage to two of the tanks.  He did that again the next round but then was dropped.  He started the fight wounded.  He managed to stabilize himself but no one managed to heal him until it was all over.  The Monk was in the middle of the action however he started with just a handful of hit points, one Ki point and no cleric powers.  He did what he could but fell after a few rounds as well.  The Swashbuckler Paladin did manage to get over to him and bring him up but he was dropped again the next round.  That Paladin also started down hit points and without many powers so he was just swinging and bashing as he could.  He was also dropped. 
The Wizard was stuck in a corner with a tank.  He hit him with a shocking grasp which stunned him long enough to slip away but there were so many bad guys, there was nowhere to go that wasn’t threatened.  He did manage to finish off a guard who moved beside him but he just couldn’t make a dent into the tank with 1d8 attacks.  This limited his spell options, reluctant to do a ranged attack with disadvantage (like Fire Bolts on the wererat) or risk a concentration spell while being beaten on.  Luckily the tank didn’t do too much damage so somehow the Wizard was still standing at the end but no one could come help him disengage.  The Fighter finished off some puds but had to avoid the tanks because of their resistance to bludgeoning and the boss since he couldn’t affect him.  He did manage to get over and do some damage on the cleric. 
That leaves the Holy Paladin who started the fight fully loaded.  It took a couple of rounds to get over to the boss at which point he fired up his Sacred Weapon ability.  Not only did it give him +CHR to hit but turned his weapon to the equivalent of magic.  He then critted the wererat, poured in the extra damage by burning a spell and did a total of 41 points in a single blow.  The wererat went from untouchable to heavily damaged.  His cleric healed him for a few points but we had them on the ropes.  The Holy Paladin, the Fighter and a Magic Missile from the Wizard still stuck in the corner finished off the two of them.  However, all 4 tanks were still up and only one of them had taken any real damage.  And the barred door was finally giving way.  The Fighter ran over to hold the door however he was cut down soon after.  The Wizard finally had a shot that would Shatter 3 of the tanks.  (And the unconscious Monk unfortunately which caused him to automatically miss a death save.)  But that last spell slot only dropped one of them as the door burst open. 
However, when the guards realized that both bosses were dead along with all their fellow pud guards, they decided to flee rather than finish off the two standing players.  I suspect the Holy Paladin with the glowing sword, standing amongst the fallen, cut quite the intimidating pose.  The remaining tanks followed suit.  About then the Fighter realized he was a half orc and should have popped back to 1 hit point when he went down for the first time.  But the standing players spent their actions trying to save and/or revive the down players and let the bad guys leave.  Thankfully no one died on the death saves but several were rolled.  The revived Monk took a parting shot on the last fleeing bad guy who took it, turned and knock him out for the 3rd time.  The Swashbuckler Paladin also took a parting shot at one of the guards to “speed them on their way”.  The Holy Paladin was eager to leave before they came back but there was treasure to gather, clues to find and detect magic to cast.  We took a short rest, gathered up stuff including scraps of unburned papers linking these guys to the villain who took over the Monk’s monastery.  And then made it back to town. 
So we made 4th.  We got a bunch of treasure which got distributed.  We also got some magic items which the Wizard identified.  A +1 short sword which was of interest to all the melee guys who couldn’t hit the wererat but will probably be best with the Rogue or the Swashbuckler Paladin who use finesse weapons on every attack.  Bracers of Archery which gives short and longbow proficiency as well as +2 damage.  Not sure who that would be of use to.  Someone without cantrips, I figure so the Fighter or a Paladin.  Gloves of Climbing and Swimming.  A scroll of Alarm which the Sorcerer was eager to put into his ritual book and of Alter Self which the Wizard will put into his spellbook, being one of those useful spells that aren’t useful often enough to take as one of his 2 free spells per level but always nice to have.  And 2 potions of Mind Reading.  By the way, we didn’t use our one healing potion since it was in the pack of the missing Rogue.  I’m not sure where we go from here.  A couple of long rests, that’s for sure.  Happy to be alive. 

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Last edit: 1 year 10 months ago by dgreen.

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