Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday 12 July 1280, Midday (Where There's Smoke)

"Well it looks like we might have to do this the hard way," Duran says to the nearby Varros. "Unless of course anyone wants to wait a bit longer to see if more come out of the cave." Duran stresses to the others that a decision should be made quickly.

Oloc, fairly certain that the figure at the cave entrance saw the party, suggests the party press on and enter and not give the bandits time to prepare.

"If we take the fight to them, we fight their battle, on their ground," says Varros. "We may lose the advantage we have gained. I vote we wait, however, if the consensus is to move forward we must move quickly as Oloc says."

"I agree with Varros," adds Gaven. "We cannot fight on their terms. I still say we smoke them out – we need to keep them on the defensive."

"I'd rather try your way, Gaven, than going inside for a fight especially with that snake about," concludes Duran.

Gaven asks Bill and Ollie to help him build some makeshift fans out of branches of leaves, and Duran helps to gather wood to build a fire at the front of the cave. The rest of the party helps or keeps watch as needed. At Duran's suggestion, Varros sends Karnak off on a flying patrol to help ensure the party is not surprised.

As the work on the stack of wood and fans proceeds, you get no signal from Karnak, and the project is completed without interruption. It takes about twenty minutes, but you have a fair number of hands contributing to the build-up, and you finally get a massive stack of branches set up in the cave entrance, stretching nearly from side to side, and piled about chest high.

With a bit of help from a flask of oil, you get the pile of green wood lighted, and the flames slowly but surely spread to the entire stack, giving off a thick, white smoke. Under Gaven's direction, the porters use their makeshift fans to direct the billowing smoke into the cave.

After about an hour, the pile of wood is starting to diminish substantially, but with little apparent effect. You neither see nor hear any action or activity inside the cave. Fortunately, no bandits or other enemies have appeared to disturb you from outside the cave either.


OOC: Actions?

Also: Please subtract one oil flask (I think Varros is the only one who has oil).

I made double checks for monsters again (one for arrivals from outside the cave/one for those inside the cave coming out to engage you) for six full turns after the fire was started, and no monsters showed in those twelve rolls. I mention this just so you know that it was a random outcome, and not a GM decision.

I'd say you could continue adding wood and fanning smoke for up to another hour if you wish, but if no reaction has been provoked at that point, your characters would be fairly certain that for whatever reason, the smoking out plan won't work. 

In short, it's up to the dice, with a 1/6 chance each turn of the smoke provoking a reaction of some sort from within, while at the same time there is a separate 1/6 chance of some encounter arriving from outside the cave. Based on this process, if you fed the fire for another hour, the possible outcomes, in order of relative probability (as best as my mediocre math skills can determine) would be: 

A. The smoking out plan works before any outside encounters arrive (high, equal probability to B).
B. An outside encounter arrives before the smoking out plan has a chance to succeed or fail (high, equal probability to A).
C. The smoking out plan simply doesn't work, and you realize this before any outside encounters arrive (low probability). 
D. An outside encounter arrives at exactly the same time the smoking out plan provokes a reaction from inside the cave (extremely low probability).


  1. Oloc - Mage

    "Well, they definitely know we're here now," Oloc says, stating the obvious. "I am worried there may be another exit to their lair. They could already been on the way to circle around behind us. I think we should send Karnak up to remain on the lookout."

    He looks to the others for guidance. "Do we enter or continue to wait?"

    ooc: I'd prefer to either enter and take our chances or fall back and regroup. Thoughts?

  2. Duran - Fighter

    "At this point I think we have no choice but to go in and find them before more of their group return to the cave."

    OOC: I think we have little choice but to go in however if anyone has another option please speak up. If not Duran will ready his bow to enter the cave.

  3. Gaven - cleric

    "We could climb up in the trees and snipe anyone coming out of or returning to the cave," Gaven suggests while looking to see if there are enough trees in strategic locations for all members of the company.

    OOC: this got me thinking about whether the porters would be able to/willing to use bows or perhaps crossbows if we purchased them?

    1. OOC: The porters could use the bows (attacking as level 0). I'd leave it up to a die roll to determine whether they'd be willing to be turned into archers, as, by profession, they are not fighters, and their normal function in combat is to hunker down and try to stay out of the way. Consequently, if they do agree, to take up the bow, they will not be reliable morale-wise (even if just shooting). And, if they accept to become combatants, they will no doubt request more pay, arguing that their more active combat role justifies it.

  4. Varros - Fighter

    "I feel that the trees will be one of the first places they look as they were using them themselves, as I see it our options are to enter the cave or fall back, however if we fall back they could gain reinforcements or sneak out." Varros pauses and considers a moment, "There is a third option, and that is to hide and continue to wait."