Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday 12 July, 1280, Morning (Rolling Stone)

Duran indicates to the group: "I am still of the mind to wait. They would have had to hear that inside the cave. We should at least wait until Karnak returns."

Varros replies; "I agree with Duran. We should wait at least a half hour or so for others to investigate. They may even think the bandits tripped the trap accidentally."

"I can wait as well," says Oloc. The Mage moves back behind his rock hiding place and examines the stone pendant in more detail. He looks especially for an sign that the stone has magical qualities. Unfortunately, he does not see any indication that the stone is magical.

"I also agree," adds Gaven, "but shall we set a trap or even set a fire to try and smoke them out? This may even obscure their sight as they try to escape, making easier bow targets."

Gaven points out a long bow to Stan, who picks it up, and he helps Bill try to find some leather armor that will fit. As the armor consists of assorted items – vests, vambraces, caps – it is fairly easy to find a combination that suits the porter.

Karnak shortly returns, and you can tell from his calm demeanor that he has seen nothing.

However, just after his return you hear a noise at the mouth of the cave – a piece of loose rubble rolling off the top of the waist-high barrier. You catch a glimpse of a man, just for a split second, near the barrier, who turns and quickly dashes back into the darkness.


OOC: Actions?

PC Info Page (Hireling Gear) and Monster and Treasure Page Updated (Long Bow for Stan, and Leather Armor for Bill)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thursday, 12 July 1280, Morning (The Dust Settles)

Looking around to make sure none of the bandits are alive Duran then in a low voice says to Varros and Jack on either side of him:  "Pass the word along to stay put and see if that trap being sprung brings anyone else out of the cave."

Jack signals to the other hirelings, who indicate that they understand, ready their bows, and hold position.

Varros calls to Karnak, feeds him and sends him to scout a half mile radius of the cave in order to prevent any stray or returning bandits from catching the party unaware. The raven seems to comprehend what Varros wants, and he takes off into the dark foliage of the trees.

Seeing no additional movement for about five minutes, Oloc quietly and carefully takes the opportunity to search the fallen bandits. Ollie and Bill move forward to help, while the rest of the party keep them covered.

One bandit seems all but completely buried, with just a hand sticking out from underneath. The others are at least half-exposed or more, not counting the ones killed by the party's arrows.

Oloc and the porters are able to quickly pull from the bodies two longbows, two quivers, six short swords, six sets of leather armor, one silver earring, a small pink-veined stone pendant on a thin metal chain, and maybe about twenty or so copper pieces. Oloc picks up the smaller items, and Ollie and Bill grab the armor and weapons.

It takes roughly five minutes to pick the bodies clean of their valuables, and Oloc and the porters dash back to cover. As this happens, Gaven says to the rest: "Maybe we should pour oil onto the rocks to trap other bandits."

Though you expect it to take maybe ten more minutes for Karnak to complete his scouting circuit, you hear no alarm raised by the raven so far, and there appears for the moment to still be no indication of movement in the mouth of the cave, which you can see quite clearly again now that the dust has settled completely. The cave mouth is about twenty feet wide, maybe ten to fifteen feet high and, beyond the low wall of rubble, it is filled with a silent darkness.


OOC:  Actions?

I cut things here to let you decide on Gaven's suggestion before moving on.

I also made two checks for wandering monsters (rather than the usual single check): one for anything/anyone outside the cave, including "returning" bandits, and one for any bandits charging out of the cave to investigate the noise of the trap. Both came up negative this turn.

It should take one more turn for Karnak to complete his scouting sweep.

Loot picked up:

2 long bows
2 quivers
6 short swords
6 leather armor sets
1 silver earring (50 gp)
1 small pink-veined stone pendant (40 gp)
20 cp

(Monster and Treasure page updated)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thursday 12 July 1280, Morning (The Chicken Little Maneuver)

Seeing the larger than expected group, Oloc hopes that Gaven decides to set off the trap. But the Mage doesn't dare speak out or reveal his position.

Duran readies his bow hoping that the trap is sprung and ready to deal with any survivors.

Varros crouches low leaning against the side of the rock, he pulls up the hood of his fine green cloak and readies his bow, aiming toward the cave mouth.

Gaven prays to the Light for success of the plan. Wanting to make sure that none of the bandits can escape back inside the cave, he waits until the last bandits are on the wall before he springs the trap, to ensure that all are either caught in the rubble or at least stranded outside of the cave.

Gaven pulls the trigger. With a thunderous crash that echoes back into the cave and through the woods, the rocks fall from the ceiling onto the bandits, bouncing off the low wall and flying away at wild angles through the cloud of dust raised by the collapse. At first your view of the bandits is obscured by the nebulous mass of dirt and rock powder, but it quickly begins to settle and you see that the rock fall and ricochets killed several of the bandits outright, and wounded another.

For a brief instant, the bandits are somewhat stunned, unsure whether the triggering of the trap was an accident, or if they've been ambushed. In the brigands' moment of hesitation, the bow-armed members of the Free Company seize the initiative and let loose on the bandits. Varros, Duran, Stan and Gweneth all find their mark, with only Jack missing, sending an arrow flying wildly to strike the stone of the cave high above the bandits' heads.

The four arrows that hit their target are enough, however, dropping the remaining bandits to the ground with uncomprehending looks on their faces.

As the dust clears further, and you survey the scene more closely, you notice that Flox was also struck by the falling rock, and that he too lies lifeless amongst the other corpses.


OOC: Actions?


Combat Detail:

Surprise Round:

Falling Rock Trap (I ran this based on Gaven pulling the rope once he was sure that none would be able to get back inside. I assigned the percentages I gave earlier for hits based on proximity to the low wall, with the last bandit across being guaranteed a hit, and with Flox, as first over and farthest from the center of the drop zone, having the lowest chance of being hit).

Bandit 7: 100% Chance of  Hit, auto-hit; d6 = 1 (Bandit Wounded)
Bandit 6: 80% Chance of  Hit, d100 = 42 (hit); d6 = 6  (Bandit Killed)
Bandit 5: 80% Chance of  Hit, d100 = 39 (hit); d6 = 4  (Bandit Killed)
Bandit 4: 60% Chance of  Hit, d100 = 29 (hit); d6 = 4  (Bandit Killed)
Bandit 3: 60% Chance of  Hit, d100 = 74 (miss)
Bandit 2: 40% Chance of  Hit, d100 = 91 (miss)
Bandit 1: 40% Chance of  Hit, d100 = 94 (miss)
Flox: 20% Chance of Hit, d100 = 02 (hit); d6 = 6 (Flox Killed)


Round 1:

Initiative (Party = 3, Bandits = 1)

Bandits 1, 2 , 3, 7 remain

Shot 1: d20 = 13 + 1 (Medium) = 14 (hits bandit 1); d6 = 5 (Bandit Killed)

Shot 1: d20 = 19 +1 (Medium) = 20 (hits bandit 2); d6 = 6 (Bandit Killed)

Shot 1: d20 = 13 + 1 (Medium) = 14 (hits bandit 3); d6 = 6 (Bandit Killed)

Shot 1: d20 = 19 + 2 (Short) = 21 (hits bandit 7); d6 = 5 (Bandit Killed)

Shot 1: d20 = 1 (miss)

Man, the dice loved you guys this morning! Feeling the luck, I couldn't resist looking at the math. Your average d20 roll was 13, and your average d6 damage roll (falling rocks and arrows combined) was nearly 4.8 (though I guess that wasn't so lucky for Flox...)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thursday 12 July 1280, Morning (Come Out and Play)

Gaven, with some help from Varros rigs a mechanism using the 10' pole and a bit of rope to yank the trip wire if and when the right movement presents itself.

The cleric then hides behind a rock just north of the entrance in a position to either spring the trap or try to prevent escape of any body that isn't incapacitated, and Varros then moves off to set up with Duran behind a pair of rocks to the southwest. The mercenaries take positions hidden behind tree trunks with Gweneth and Jack directly in front of the bandit lair, and Stan, armed with only a short bow, a bit closer behind a trunk just south of the cave mouth. Oloc stays a bit farther back, behind a boulder to the northwest, staying out of sight of the fighting . . .for now.

Having already received his instructions from Oloc, Flox makes his way back into the cavern to try and draw out some of the other bandits. Only about two minutes pass before Flox quickly returns – not with the two to three bandits Oloc had instructed him to bring out, but with seven bandits in tow.

None of the bandits seems to notice Gaven's rig to set off the trap. "Come on, it's out here," says the charmed Flox to his comrades. Flox carefully makes his way over the trip wire and to the outer side of the waist-high barrier just inside the cave mouth. The other bandits begin to follow, a couple at a time, carefully picking their way over the wire.


OOC: Actions?

The first two bandits following Flox are just making their way over the wire.

I wasn't sure whether to put the oil in there or not – Professor P proposed using it now; Dienekes suggested waiting; we can retroactively add that in before the fur starts to fly if you like. If you opt to use it now, please let me know exactly where you've positioned it and how you intend to light it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thursday 12 July 1280, Morning (Getting Ready)

After some discussion a plan begins to form for dealing with the bandits, by using Flox to lure them out in small groups to be dealt with piecemeal. The consensus is that as the bandits have a lot of men it is important to try to whittle them down little by little.

Varros suggests leaving the tripwire be, with the idea that the bandits, as they are lured out might trip it by accident, and he raises the possibility of using oil at the cave mouth with a fuse ready in case we get a large group comes out at once.

Duran and Gaven add that it might be a good idea to figure a way to intentionally trigger the falling rock trap if a large enough number of bandits come out at once. Gaven offers to perform that task. Close examination of the thin rope, and confirmation from Flox, indicate that either pulling on the trip wire or cutting it should cause the rocks to fall – though Gaven realizes he'll want to be some distance from the wire, and not pull it by hand, lest he get crushed himself.

Oloc approves the basic outline of the plan: "Sounds like we are agreed then," the Mage says before turning to Flox.

"Friend, we would like you to go in any bring out a few of your friends. But only a few, no more than three. Can you go in and quietly bring them out without alerting the others? Tell them you have found something special and wish to keep it a secret, but that you need their help. Tell them their is gold, but not enough for all."

Flox's long bow is returned to him, so as not to raise any suspicion amongst the other bandits.

With Flox ready to re-enter the cave, all that remains is to iron out some of the plan's specifics.

Bandit Cave Entrance Close-Up
(North is at the top*)


OOC:  Just need a few details on the execution of the plan.

So it looks like:

1. The main idea is to rearm Flox with his longbow and send him in to lure three of the bad guys outside (this seems agreed upon and ready to go).

2. Gaven (who volunteered) will trigger the falling rock trap (by pulling or cutting the trip wire in some way) if/as needed springing it on the bad guys as they come out.  I'll need to know specifically how this will be done (I'd say any plan that has Gaven 10' away from the falling rock zone would have 0% of  Gaven getting hit by accident by a falling rock; at 5' from the falling rock zone, I'd give 20% chance of an accidental hit, with an addition 20% for each foot closer than that.

3. Pouring oil (perhaps with some sort of makeshift fuse?) on the floor/ground to supplement the rock trap. I'll need to know again exactly where, who will light it, and how that character intends to do so.

Also, I've numbered the various terrain features so you can easily let me know specifically where each PC will be (and where each hireling should be posted) once the plan starts moving forward.

#1 is the low wall of rocks just inside the entrance, with the trip wire running along it the width of the cave entrance, and also where the rocks will fall if/when the trap is sprung.

The other numbers are rocks/boulders (gray) and trees (green).

As before, olive is forest underbrush; the black area is steep slope extending up around the cave mouth.

The scale bar is again marked for 70 feet. Additionally, the grid just visible in the cave entrance can be used for scale (1 sq = 10'). So for example, rock #3 would easily be in the > 10' safe zone for triggering the trap.

To facilitate estimate of shooting ranges, I put 70' and 140' arcs in red extending out from the cave entrance (i.e., from where the white of the cave grid meets the olive of the forest underbrush).

*North is at the top; I thoughtlessly just placed the direction you were marching (east) at the top of the last map I posted without specifying directionality. It shouldn't actually make a difference, but I just wanted to clarify why the orientation had changed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday 12 July 1280, Morning (Planning Outside the Cave)

Gaven has the hirelings pick up the long bows to replace their short bows.*

"How shall we proceed?" the cleric asks. "We should not dally in case one of the raiding groups returns."

Pointing to the map, Gaven says, "Perhaps we should secure the first storage room and then light a fire between the first storage and living area to try to smoke out the others. Or maybe try to secure both the first storage room and the living area and then start a fire between the living area and the second storage room to smoke out Mackey."

He has Oloc ask Flox how long the pathway from the second storage area to Mackey's area is, in order to better decide where to light a fire if that is what the company decides to do.

Flox says he doesn't know, but one of the other bandits who claimed to have gone back once told him that it was "a long tunnel."

"First we must disarm the trip wire," Duran says. "I think we should secure the storage room, pool and living area. We could then try to smoke Mackey out but the smoke might be sucked back towards us if there is no other exit. Then again who knows how things will go in the cave. We might draw Mackey out after killing all of his men."

Looking at the cave entrance, Duran sees a waist-high, loose pile of rocks of varying sizes that half-block the entrance all the way across it from one side to the other. Just over the top of the pile, on the inside, is the thin rope Zander told you about, which, after traversing the full width of the entrance goes through an iron eyelet ensconced the rock and then upward into the shadows of the ceiling where the falling rocks must be concealed.

Oloc listens to the others consider various courses of action. "Whatever course we choose, I am of course without my spell until I have time to rest for the night and study. This means you can count on me for little in the fight."

He scratches his head before continuing. "But if we do attack, perhaps we should draw them out a couple at a time with Flox here. Like we did with the goblins before. Then we can ambush them before they warn the others. It may not work for long, but it could help put the numbers in our favor." Oloc will then defer to the 'fighting' men to make the actual plans.


OOC: Actions?

*I've replaced the three hirelings' short bows with long bows, and I currently have the porters carrying two of the short bows, with one given to Flox. As you are discussing the possibility of using him as a decoy as you did with Dirtbag, I assume you'd want him to have some sort of bow to avoid suspicious questions as long as possible if you send him in.

If you guys decide to cut or otherwise disarm the trip wire, I'll need to know who specifically will do it (and any specifics of how it will be done, if you wish), as there is always a chance when disarming a trap that a slip will cause it to go off anyway.

If you decide to simply try to climb carefully over it, I'll need to know the order in which you go.

If you opt for some other means of getting around it, give me as much detail as you care to.

Time is about 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thursday, 12 July 1280, Morning (Flox)

Oloc smiles at the plan's success. "I hadn't expected that to go so well," he mutters to himself. The mage then approaches the charmed bandit.

"Greetings friend, what is your name? And tell me, are there any more of you outside the caves or were you three the only guards?"

The bandit says that his name is Flox, and that he and his two companions were the only sentinels outside the cave.

Oloc also tries to get the bandit to estimate how many men are in which caves on the map. Flox replies that there is Mackey, his four bodyguards, and his pet snake who are likely to be up the tunnel to the northeast, though they occasionally come in to the main living area of the bandits, and even sometimes go out into the countryside on their own. Additionally, there are roughly ten to a dozen men inside the caves at the moment.They mostly circulate between their living area, the storage areas, and the pool (their water source).

When Oloc inquires about the map, the bandit doesn't have any additional information on the layout of the caves except to say that Mackey has told him and the other bandits not to go into the tunnel leading to the "unused cavern" on the map. Mackey said something about the cavern being "unstable."

Oloc then listens to the rest of the group for questions to ask of the guard before relaying them. 


Gaven cleans off his club, looks to the rest, smiles and says, "Well done. Hopefully no one was alerted by our ambush."

Gaven says a short prayer of thanks to the Light and then searches the bodies over for valuables and information.

Each of the dead bandits carries a longbow, a quiver, and a short sword.* Additionally one wears a small silver ring (probably worth about 10 gp), and another has a small pouch containing a set of thieve's tools and around 5 gold coins.

Having finished with the bodies, Gaven presses Oloc to ask several more questions about Mackey, along with questions regarding traps and exits.

Flox says he hasn't seen his chief today, but he's pretty sure Mackey is the cave. According to the charmed bandit, Mackey is pretty tough, keeping a large, rowdy group of rogues in line. His bodyguards enforce whatever rules Mackey lays down, and everyone says his pet snake is a killer, and fiercely loyal to the bandit chief. He admits, though, that he has not seen the chief's serpent in action himself.

Flox doesn't know of any traps apart from the trip wire at the entrance – though he emphasizes once more the danger of the off-limits "unused cavern." He's not aware of any secret or hidden doors, and he doesn't think that there are any other entrances. He says that Mackey always picks a hideout that is small, hard to find and easily defended, adding: "Mackey always says that with only a front entrance, we can't be stabbed in the back."

The sentry concludes by telling you that almost all the bandits are armed with swords, and a there is also a small stock of maybe 3 or 4 additional bows, along with a fair supply of arrows.


Taken aback by how well their plan had worked Duran cautiously approaches the bodies of the dead guards.

"I think we should hide these bodies in the brush in case some one comes back or out looking for them," Duran says.

Duran motions for Ollie and Bill to help him and the mercenaries hide the bodies. This is accomplished quickly and easily, as the undergrowth is quite dense.

Speaking to Jack, Gweneth, and Stan, Duran says, "It looks like you are all living up to your reputations, very good work friends."

Stan pats Jack on the shoulder, and gives a smile and a nod toward Gweneth. "Yes, that was quite a job these two did on the last bandit." Stan seems to have stepped into a mentoring role for the two new fighters, who in turn seem to have accepted his tutelage willingly.

After the bodies are hidden Duran moves to stand guard with Stan watching the cave entrance while the guard is questioned. In passing he indicates to Oloc that the mage should ask if there are any bandit patrols or groups out in the country side that would be returning that day, that could surprise us from behind.

Flox replies that there are no patrols, but that small groups go out to raid, leaving the caves and returning at very irregular intervals.


At this news Varros positions himself, Jack and Gweneth to guard the path to the party's rear.**


OOC: Actions?

*Flox is similarly armed, but I'll leave him armed and unlooted until you tell me otherwise.

**I went ahead and NPC'd this, even though it's still a bit early by our new posting rhythm, since I won't be able to post tomorrow, and Dienekes said he might have trouble posting, and this seemed a rather logical / non-controversial action.

Enemies Defeated:
3 Bandit Sentries (two dead, one charmed)

2 longbows
2 quivers (20 arrows each)
2 short swords
1 small silver ring (10 gp)
1 set of thieve's tools
5 gp

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday 12 July 1280, Morning (Ambush Outside the Cave)

"Well this makes it a bit harder," says Duran quietly to the others. "We are either going to need a distraction to bring them down from their trees and to one spot or we will have to split up the targets and take them out together. We could put one under a spell while killing the other two. They don't seem suspicious of Karnak so maybe we can use him to distract or knock one off his perch."

Gaven tightens his helmet and shield and tightens his grip on the ribbon-wrapped handle of his club.

Oloc whispers "I suggest we try and charm one, while we sic Karnak on another. Then the archers can go for the third if we have line of sight."

Duran agrees quietly with Oloc. "Charm one, have Karnak knock one of from the tree while  Varros and I shoot at the third. Any that fall from the tree and are not killed can be rushed by Gaven and the mercenaries."

Varros gives a quiet command to Karnak. The raven flutters off and begins flapping around the nearest bandit in the trees. At the same time, Oloc casts his charm on the middle bandit, while Duran and Varros shoot at the third.

Karnak harrasses the first bandit who dances and swats wildly at the raven, losing his balance and falling with a thud to the forest floor below.  Gaven and the mercenaries dash forward toward the fallen bandit, who appears stunned from his fall. The bandit senses the danger, struggles vainly to get up, but Gaven's club makes short work of him before the rogue can pose any further threat.

The bandit targeted by Oloc's charm spell lowers his arms and stares into space.

Duran and Varros loose their arrows at the farthest bandit, but all their shots miss, leaving a shower of leaves and small branches in their wake. Nevertheless, startled by the arrows whistling past his head, the third bandit loses his balance, tries to catch himself by falling flat on the large branch where he stands, then loses his grip and falls anyway.

The three mercenaries continue their dash forward toward the second fallen bandit, who, despite his fall, is still able to get to his feet as they reach him. The bandit dodges a cut from Stan's sword, only to impale himself on Gweneth's blade, while Jack's axe simultaneously cleaves clean through the bandit's neck, dropping him in a shower of blood.

A dead silence fills the forest. No other enemies appear for the moment. As far as you can tell, your presence has not been detected.


OOC: Actions?


Combat Details:

Party has surprise round.

Karnak causes Bandit 1 to fall (result from random table): Damage from fall = 3  .

Gaven finishes Bandit 1
Bandit down and stunned, automatic hit. Bandit 1 killed.

Oloc's Spell: Bandit 2 save roll (d20) = 3; bandit charmed.

Duran shoots at Bandit 3
d20 = 9 + 0 (long range) -1 cover = 8 (miss)
d20 = 12 + 0 (long range) -1 cover = 7 (miss)

Varros shoots at Bandit 3
d20 = 3 + 0 (long range) -1 cover = 2 (miss)
d20 = 10 + 0 (long range) -1 cover = 9 (miss)

Bandit 3 falls, but not stunned (random die roll for each shot, based on the amount by which each arrow missed the target). Damage = 3.

Stan attacks Bandit 3
d20 = 8 (miss)

Gweneth  attacks Bandit 3
d20 = 20 (hit); d6 = 3 (Bandit killed)

Jack attacks Bandit 3
d20 = 19 (hit); d6 = 5 (Bandit thoroughly killed)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thursday, 12 July 1280, Morning (Treetop Recon)

As the party crouches in the cover of the underbrush, Gaven whispers, "Arrows or spell?"

Duran quietly asks, "Would Karnak be able to knock him from the tree? Or he could at least distract the guard while one of us sneaks up and either shoots him or uses a spell. With the amount of cover he has I would say a spell would work better."

"I think he is within range of my spell," say Oloc. "My only concern is that there are more than one in the trees." Oloc looks at the raven. "Can we get Karnak to fly around to see if there are more?"

Varros quietly makes the sound to call Karnak. The sentry in the tree seems to perk up at this, but takes no action other than to look around a bit nervously.

When Karnak comes, Varros gives him a bit of meat, rubs his head and whispers, "Good job Karnak, there should be one more man, can you find him?" The sentry does not seem to hear this and, with that, Varros gives the command to scout.

Karnak flutters up to the branches. Making short, flapping hops from tree to tree. The bandit, spying only the raven, seems to relax a bit once more.

Varros looks toward Oloc, smiles grimly, and whispers, "I think we've found our next Dirtbag."

Karnak settles on a branch a short way ahead, caws quietly and taps on the wood. Looking at the direction his beak points when he taps, you notice another man in a tree.

Audaciously moving to the tree next to this new sentry, the raven again taps and once more following the direction of his beak, you spot a third sentry.

From your hidden position, you can see that each of the three bandits is armed with a longbow, and seems to wear, at the heaviest, leather armor.

Karnak dashes nonchalantly to a few more trees, circling back to you with no further indications of other bandit watchmen.


OOC: Actions?

Time is about 10:30 a.m.

As before, the blue square is the party, the yellow dots are the bandit sentries.