Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday 6 July 1280, Three Hours After Midnight (What Karnak Saw)

Varros believes the wounds on the goblins appear to be from a pitchfork and possibly another farm tool. He also believes that Karnak has spotted the goblins and that they are probably engaged with Belloc's forces, though no sounds of fighting can be heard. Varros shares his theories with the rest of the party.

Gaven agrees with Varros's assessment. "Let us follow Karnak and see the end of the goblin host."

"I too agree we should follow Karnak," says Duran. "If it were not so dark I would say that hill would be a nice vantage point."

You take off in pursuit of Karnak. He leads you on over the plains at a fast run, for maybe two minutes, when suddenly, from up ahead, you hear a hundred savage voices burst forth: "Urrah!" This is followed by the crystal clear sound of a finely crafted horn singing out into the night. Then the clashing of steel, shouts, snarls and blood-curdling screams. As you close, you see a large, vague mass of shadows, about a hundred yards onward, from which emanate these sounds.

In the midst of this gigantic tumult, you hear one commanding voice rise above the others in some unknown, but unpleasant sounding tongue: "Ithrak...ghonal...karaz!" The phrase rings out three times, and what appears to be a bonfire explodes into existence illuminating the mass of shadows and making clearer the shapes of men and goblins locked in mortal combat.

Then suddenly you realize the fire that just sprung up is not spreading, but rather moving, and it appears to have burning arms, legs and a head. You see it grab a man, raise him and hold him high in the air, until the man bursts into flame like a torch. Then the creature casts the dead man aside and moves to pick up another victim.

Slowing, and creeping closer to get your bearings, you see a battlefield formed in front of you that looks like this: 

 Red = Human Force, Grey = Goblin Force, Orange = Creature, Blue = Party

In the far distance, Belloc sits on his horse beside his archers, shouting and pointing with his sword to give orders. The creature of flame, standing perhaps seven feet high or so, wades into the center of the battle. A tall humanoid figure with a crooked staff walks silhouetted close behind it. The goblins appear to be organized into small companies of twenty, the men in companies of ten. Each goblin company appears to have one or two larger members, perhaps hobgoblins. You are about 200' away from the nearest goblins (the bowmen). The ground is quite open and flat, with no cover. But as far as you can tell, you have not been detected by anyone. All the enemy's attention seems to be on the battle in front of them.

OOC: Actions?


  1. OOC: Is Karnak with us?
    What is the range of Oloc's charm spell?

    If Karnak is with us, we should have him relay to Belloc to take out the magic-user behind the elemental (I'm assuming Belloc doesn't see the mu).

    I do not think we should engage, we would be slaughtered.

    1. OOC: Yep, Karnak is still with you (quite agitated though).

      Oloc's charm spell has a range of 120 feet.

    2. OOC:
      Is the gray dot behind the elemental the lone mu or are others with him?

      Do we see the lead hobgoblin - Bloodfang?

      Idea 1 - Approach goblins to try to charm a leader:

      The charmed leader would go catatonic and therefore could not give orders, which may put the goblins in disarray leading to Belloc overwhelming them.

      Idea 2 - Approach goblins to try to charm mu:

      If the mu is charmed perhaps the elemental will turn on the goblins.

      Questions for Bard:
      What chance do we have to approach the goblins to get in range of Oloc's spell without getting noticed?

      How long would it take to ensure a high chance of not being noticed?

      Idea 3 - Fake out:
      We can spread out along the field and each light a torch to make it appear another force has flanked the goblins. This may cause enough of a distraction for Belloc to overcome the goblins.

      If we choose 1 or 3, we should have Karnak relay to Belloc to try to focus on killing the mu.

      If we choose 1 or 2, we should have Karnak relay to Belloc to try to distract the goblins from seeing us as best as he could.

      Of course, these are just some ideas, please add more or flesh these out.

    3. OOC:
      Is the gray dot behind the elemental the lone mu?

      Yes, as far as you can tell.

      Do we see the lead hobgoblin - Bloodfang?

      You see no one who stands out giving orders (like Belloc is doing).

      What chance do we have to approach the goblins to get in range of Oloc's spell without getting noticed?

      I'd say a pretty good chance if just one person moves forward, staying low, making the most of what little cover there is, etc. I figure you guys would estimate your chances of one person slipping up unnoticed at about a 75-80% chance of success. Each additional person moving forward would decrease that chance by about 10%.

      How long would it take to ensure a high chance of not being noticed?

      I'd say just two rounds (it's not that long a distance to cover to get in range, even moving cautiously). I think it's not so much a question of time as it is a question of how many people go forward. The bigger the group the better the chance of at least one person stumbling, making a noise, etc. which would draw the goblins' attention. They are pretty focused on the battle at hand. The biggest issue I think you have to contend with is not pulling the goblins' attention away from the main battle. That rear group of archers is the almost certainly the only one you really need to worry about – all the other groups are engaged in melee, so you'd have to make quite a ruckus to get their attention (like making your own outright attack – and even then those engaged in melee might not notice, at least not right away).

  2. Duran - Fighter

    OOC: Over the above options I think 3 sounds the best. We don't stand a chance if enough of the goblins turn our way.

    We could also try and pick some of with our bows, we would just need to stay out of the range of their bows.

    It might be better if we flanked the goblins on the right side (looking at the map.) This way if they do decide to turn on us they won't be able to use as many and will be closes engaged already. This would also put us out of the range of the bows. We could still perhaps have Ollie light the torches for us while we flank them.

    Whatever we do we need to send Karnak to tell Belloc our plan.

    What are the range of our bows? And would that be the same range for the goblin bows?

    After we discuss this I"ll post my actions.

    1. OOC:

      What are the range of our bows?

      Duran's and Varros' longbows have a max range of 210 feet, so the nearest goblins are just barely in range of your weapons.

      And would that be the same range for the goblin bows?

      No, actually. All the goblin bows you have seen so far have been short bows with a max range of 150 feet.

      Given their short stature, it is virtually impossible that any goblin could use a longbow. A hobgoblin could use a longbow, but you can see only one or two hobgoblins, presumably leaders, in each company of twenty goblins – and of course most of those companies are engaged in the front line melee. Only the rear archer company appears armed with bows.

      BTW: Feel free to take your time and discuss this as much as you need to – this is probably the toughest situation you guys have faced so far in the game. If there's any aspect of the situation you're not sure of, just ask. I'll give you any info you need that your characters would either know, perceive, or that they'd be able to estimate from what they currently know / perceive.

    2. OOC: I should add however that mechanically the 60' difference in range is not as significant as it might seem (i.e. it doesn't keep you from getting shot at 100%). If you engaged in an exchange of shots, and the goblins won initiative in a given round, they could close to range and shoot. They couldn't do this however as long as you maintained initiative since you could shoot at extreme long range, then take a full move back (in their part of the round the best they could then do is move back into range of your longbows, but still be out of range). But if they kept following up, as soon as they got initiative in a round they'd get to move up and then shoot.

  3. Oloc - Mage

    ooc: hi guys - sorry for the absence. I'm away on vacation and my comp/posting time has been extremely limited. Bard, please NPC Oloc if necessary.

    Regarding the current situation, Oloc would be a bit scared to try and slip in by himself. However he could be persuaded. But perhaps another option would be to try and hit the spell caster with arrows?

  4. OOC:

    @Sonofotho: No problem at all.

    @Everybody: I hope none of you suffered too badly from the storms last night if you're in the eastern U.S. Our power's out, likely for the next couple of days. Fortunately we had to run some errands today out of town and I managed to find a connection to post from my laptop. But as I'll be back home from this evening on, I probably won't be able to post for a day or two, until they get our power (and my router) back up and running.

    Just wanted everyone to know to expect delays...

  5. Duran - Fighter


    @Bard - Hope you get your power back on soon and don't worry about the delay it will give us time to discuss our next move.

    In terms of what to do I think we should move to the right side of the Goblin line and start raining down arrows and spells? from the flank. Hopefully this will help Belloc's men flank the goblins. Then we can use them as a shield so we can get closer and fire at the MU.


    1. Oloc fully supports this plan as it keeps him with the rest of the group!

  6. OOC: Hey all, my electricity's back (hoody-hoo!).

    I'll leave a bit more discussion time, since I don't know if Dienekes and Professor P have any electricity/access issues. I know in our area, as of this morning, we only have something like 55% restoration of power, and the plan is for 90% restoration only by this Friday. So I assume it may be like that in a lot of other regions as well.

    Right now we have two votes for Dan's flanking plan. If I read it right, would this mean moving out past the far right of the goblin line (the ones in melee on the right) and hitting them with bows/spells/other from a direction "perpendicular" to the current line of battle?

    (Certainly doable -- I just wanted to make sure I was clear on the proposed plan).

    1. OOC: Glad you got your power back on.

      Thats pretty much what I was thinking as far as attacking the goblins.

  7. Varros - Fighter

    OOC: Sorry guys, power has been off since Friday. Still off unfortunateley and I may not get it back until Sunday. I should be able to post now however. I like the flanking plan but I am very concerned about the fire creature. I suggest a combination plan that includes flanking the goblins and perhaps having Duran and Varros focus fire on the magic user. Varros will scribe a message and send Karnak to Belloc informing him about whatever course of action we choose. Maybe during the flanking maneuver Oloc will be able to cast his spell on a leader or the MU. Varros also is carrying three flasks of oil, we could use these to light some large fires or perhaps even a longer, thinner wall of fire behind the goblins, as was stated earlier maybe Stan or Ollie or both could help to light these. In my mind this combination of actions could send the gobs into total confusion and disarray. As it is, things don't look good for Belloc's forces, we might need to take some risks or do something drastic to tip the scales in his favor. Opinions?

    1. OOC: Another option we have is to send Ollie back to get the farmers and have them attack from the rear. This may take too long however, I am not sure of the distance. Also, what's the weather and the state of the field? High grass? Low? Dry? Wet? These factors could aid or hinder the fire plan. Sorry again for the delay guys!

    2. OOC: it would take Ollie about 3 hours to reach the farmers' position, maybe 2 if he really pressed the pace. Then the same amount of time for them all to come back here. So a minimum of about four hours.

      Regarding the state of the field: the grass is fairly low, maybe about ankle to shin high. The grass is neither particularly dry (in the daylight it was green) nor is it particularly damp (it hasn't rained in the three and a half days since your adventure started).

      The flame creature (who appears to you much hotter than, say, a torch) does seem to be leaving small burning footprints where it walks, but those spots of flaming grass are not "spreading like wildfire." They appear to dwindle to embers then fizzle out shortly after the creature has moved on.

  8. Duran - Fighter

    OOC: I agree after we flank we should try and concentrate some fire on the MU, until the goblins charge us.

  9. Ooc: I'm not a huge fan of flanking because if/when the goblins turn to us we're dead. I like the idea of flanking plus the flames. Gaven (no bow and can't sneak effectively in plate), Stan, and Ollie can light fires. Varros, Duran, and Oloc can flank. We can coordinate the lighting of fires just before you start firing with bows and magic. Once the fires are lit, we can rush to rejoin the others on the flank.

    1. Holy crap, posting from my phone worked. I wonder what changed - certainly not my phone.

  10. OOC: The latest iteration of the proposed plan seems to be:

    1. Varros sends Karnak with a message to Belloc to inform him of the party's plan.

    2. Duran Varros and Oloc maneuver into position to shoot missiles into the right flank of the goblin line (and shoot at/charm the MU if possible);

    3. Gaven, Stan and Ollie light fires/torches to distract the goblins (to their rear center? rear right? rear left?);

    4. Duran, Varros and Oloc start shooting/spell-casting as soon as the fires catch the goblins' attention and pulls it away from their direction.

    Any more thoughts, or is this what we want to go with?

    I'll wait until I hear everyone's okay (or until discussion ends, if there's any more to be had) before I continue with the next post.

    Just one point: there doesn't appear to be any readily available wood in the vicinity, but I'd say jamming torches into the ground and lighting them (if you have them), or lighting pools of oil on the ground (if you have oil) would have the same effect of getting the goblins' attention enough to provide a distraction.

  11. Varros - Fighter

    OOC; bard, your analysis seems on point. As far as specifics go, Varros has three flasks of oil so the best plan seems to be using one on the left, middle, and right and trying to link the three with a thin trail/fuse. Probably concentrating the majority on the flank opposite Duran and Varros would provide the the best cover or distraction by pulling the gobs attention that way and away from the real threat. This would also allow one person to light the fuse as well.

  12. Duran - Fighter

    OOC - everything looks good to me. I don't have any oil to contribute but thats is a good idea.

  13. OOC: excellent, I'll try to get a post up as soon as I can.