Saturday, May 19, 2018

Blackbarrow Chronicles, Episode 3 -The Wayside Drinkers Club



The Return of Green Magic

Green Magic is long standing theme in my games , and especially on this particular piece of terrain using ( my Hirst Arts “fieldstone ruin” which is the stock build with the addition of base with a winding staircase going into depths unknown,)   Green Magic is simply what we always called undead summoning Necromancy as kids. Common within all types of fantasy tropes, It’s a nostalgic throwback  to old school fantasy, from the works of  Fritz Leiber to 1981’s fantasy masterpiece  Heavy Metal , and of course its use in the worlds most popular RPG.

IF you have read  Episode 2, you may recall I made note to mention several  of the Castellans key men disappearing while investigating strange lights at the nearby “fellcross ruins”, These disappearances  prompted the hiring of the Iron Tower Mercenary company who will appear  in later episodes.  Following this story thread we begin at the Wayside Inn. The Village of Blackbarrow being a borderlands town is a frequent stop for travelling merchant caravans and adventuring types.  On this busy evening a group excited locals, meet some hardened travelers, while  a trouble making Jester and way  too much Ale,  leads not to a fight, but to a wager, a wager that could very well get them all killed.

STORY

Finian, member of the Cult of Orcus , plays the role of traveling Jester. He was once ingratiated  by the Castellan where he worked as a spy, he soon fell out of favor for his odd after dark behavior and was banned from the Castle,  setting himself up a at regular at the Wayside,  he still manages to be useful to his superiors as a source of information and being disruptive to any investigations into the cults presence in Blackbarrow. For reasons unknown, Finians information drops have not been picked up and he has no contact with any Cult members in over a month. Shortly after event in the last episode, he manipulates a drunken argument between some Tavern regulars and pair adventuring brothers drinking at Wayside while resupplying in town. Into a wager  of who had the courage to go Fellcross Ruins after dark and investigate these  “glowing  green lights”.  After way too much ale, 7 of them trek out through woods together for quick look around and bragging rights, Finian…just uses the outing to see if he find out whats going on at the cults base of operations  located in dungeon beneath Fell Cross.

RULES

Drunk- all characters have been heavily drinking  they must test  CON  at the beginning of each action or be Disadvantaged for the combat round (exception the Monk, who is immune to these vices and their effects) on all actions ,  successfully passing the drunk test twice in a row, removes the condition.

Olegs  Famous Tincture- Characters have 6 doses of the Wayside Bartenders infamous homebrew which confers D8 temporary Hit points  for 1 hour

Nighttime = Darkness  Rules

Range:
 Close- No Penalty
  Nearby -with Light Source (Torch, Lantern, Spell, Item) – No Penalty
  Nearby with No Light Source – Penalty
  Over There, with Light Source- Penalty
  Over There-  No Light Source- No Ranged Attack is possible

Fear-  Some Creatures in the encounter cause Fear.  Fear is WIS test or Flee at double Speed 12" you must a second Fear test to return to the encounter, failure to do so..means the Character has fled (OoA)

CLASS UPDATES

Warriors – Counterattack- If a melee attack from a creature does damage equal  to you level  you may respond with an melee attack
                    Sunder- if a warrior fails a STR or DEX check and would be dealt damage from an attack
They may sunder their shield, if they have one equipped and ignore the damage.

Bard- Bard Song- the Bard may inspire his team with heroic music during combat giving them an advantage on all stat tests.  The Bard must perform as his action that turn, the bonus only applies when the bard is performing.

Monks – Adv on WIS and DEX  tests, Reroll on OofA table, Chi Focus to gain 6 armor (once per combat, with a successful WIS test as an action) tests with advantage on certain skills

Thief- Advantage from attacking from behind with bonus dam,  tests with advantage on thieving skills and DEX tests.



CHARACTER BACKGROUNDS

Hagstrom (Strom) and Bors.  – travelling fledgling warriors from a prominent area family, these Brothers while new to adventuring are strong and well equipped.

Radley-  Young and overly self-assured apprentice of the mage Fezziwig,  Radley is the one who got into the argument with the brother that this whole misadventure going.

Touko-  Young Monk is also an associate of Fezziwig, tagging along to keep the Apprentice out of trouble 

Cade- Local musician and storyteller, not so sure about this adventuring thing, he mainly hangs out at the Wayside..

Neb-  Fledging thief and friend of Cades

Finian-  Former Court Jester,  Agent of Cult of Orcus


STATS




INTO THE WOODS:.



Drunk and bickering they head into the woods with minimal supplies and not a lot of thought,  Bors mumbles he hopes to be back at the wayside  before the tavern closes in the wee hours.  Under the almost full moon after an hour or so walking the come up on the bandit hideout of RobRoy’s gang, its appears abandoned the door smashed in, dark , smeared stains are quickly id’d as blood  and the smeared trail clearly heads in the woods toward the looming ruins, a strange green glow can be seen above the tree top but in the brushline it a set of blazing red eyes and a deep animalist growling , that get their attention as two huge dark figures lunge from the darkness at the group.

INITIATIVE

Only  3 manage to pass both their Con test for drunkenness and then make the Initiative check.

RADLEY
BORS
NEB
DIRE WOLF 1
DIRE WOLF 2
CADE
STROM
TOUKO
FINIAN





TURN 1

RADLEY  , makes CON test for being drunk PASS,  Cast Shield on himself giving him 2 armor,  Passes his INT test for his Spell Check.
BORS         makes CON test for being drunk PASS,  attacks with a “20” fails on crit table but  x 2 for 8 total on WOLF 2
NEB,   makes CON test for being drunk FAILS,  stumbling in the dark he tries to move around behind WOLF 2,  while he normally had the advantage on DEX test..its now none as he’s drunk and he fail to hide.
WOLF 1- Charges from the Darkness at Strom. 

RULE STUFF: : per The Black Hack, these are characters we are fighting here as in previous games, when fighting monsters you make you own attack roll to dodge their attack…bonus or penalties apply.

First we must determine if STROM is drunk..to see if he is disadvantaged in the attack. He passes the Test and is NOT.  The Wolf is 3HD and is get the powerful opponent  rule against him.. so and additional +2 which offsets the-2 charge penalty.  The net roll needed to dodge the charge is “7” its also dark out but since the WOLF is NEARBY (6 inches) and STROM has a Torch there is no Darkness penalty .
He rolls a “9” and avoids the WOLF charge. Good thing because while I forgot to add to the stats. I gave the Wolves Knockdown on the Charge as well…which makes you Prone or in TBH terms you suffers the Vulnerable Condition which would have been 2d6 +2  X2 Dam..OUCH.

DIRE WOLF 2 , Attacks BORS, he fails to dodge and suffers  5 Armor Damage

CADE- is he Drunk?  Passes the Test. He keeps his wits about him moves and equal distance between both combats and breaks out Lute to play his Bard Songs, the Bard Song requires a CHA test to succeed and his this level can choose a Advantage to stat tests, attacks , dodges or damage, He succeeds and Chooses Stat Tests

STROM- We have already determined STROM is not Drunk -attacks WOLF 1- misses
TOUKO- (no drunk test)  joins combat with Strom for and additional +1 to die roll to hit for 2 vs 1.  He Hits for 2 Damage

FINIAN- Drunk?  Oh yes he is, even with the Advantage =he move towards a tree , and tries to climb it, as an acrobat he get bonus damage (like the thiefs backstab) when attacking from above, he loses his advantage on these tests due his drunkness..slips and falls (rolls a 1) and is considered Vulnerable.



TURN 2

RADLEY- Drunk Test - Pass. He is no longer drunk, cast a magic missile at WOLF 1 hitting it for 3 damage. He is under the effects of the Bard Song so his Spell Check INT test is Advantage..he passes.

BORS-  Drunk Test - Pass. He is also no longer drunk  , hits the WOLF 2 with his Axe  rolling a “15”  then “7” damage, The Wolf Falls dead.

NEB- Drunk test , Fails again….stumbling he moves out of the darkness joining the others

WOLF 1  attacks STROM,  who dodges the attack rolling a 14

CADE-  Drunk Test- FAILS…he wants to change Bard Songs, but fails the single CHA test with 2
No SONG.

STROM - Drunk Test - Pass. He is no longer drunk , Attacks and hits with a light blow for 2 damage

TOUKO – attacks WOLF 1, hitting for 6 damage, the WOLF has had enough..

FINIAN- Drunk test-  Fails again stumbling around , he’s up on his feet.



TURN 3

RADLEY,  Tries to finish WOLF 1 with a magic missile, he does 3 damage but its still on its feet
He then botches his Spell Check with a big fat “2” losing his only spell slot making him pretty useless.

BORS and NEB  - move closer to the exchange

DIRE WOLF 1- tries to flee triggering a free attack from both TOUKO (miss) and STROM who hits with “16” killing the beast with  7 damage.


AT THE RUINS.




Gathering themselves from the wolf attack its short walk thought the tree line  to the base of the old fort. The wolves where obviously there following the smell of death  as the bloody trails still leading toward the crumbling ruin. A green glow pulses in the night sky , as they approach a feeling of doom seem to wash over them, " I dont know about this guys, quips Cade,  "Shuddup ya, lillywhite excuse for a coward" snaps Bors...its too late thou are shadowy figures start shambling down the broken staircase toward them.

NEB, CADE, and FINIAN are still under the effects of being DRUNK


INITIATIVE


BORS
TOUKO
NEB
GHOUL 1
GHOUL 2
GHOUL 3
CADE
STROM
RADLEY
FINIAN


TURN 1

BORS   Moves up next to his brother to engage oncoming creature Holds
TOUKO moves  focus chi armor , needs a "10" rolls a "16"  +6 Armor points
NEB     must make a drunk test "14" pass  moves to flank , tries to hide DEX test  "13" pass he's hidden

GHOUL 1  Rushes in Attacks Bors,  2 Claws and 1 Bite...Bors defends against all three!
GHOUL 2  Rushes in Attacks Strom  2 Claws and 1 Bite   2 Claws hit there mark damaging Stroms Armor with 4 Damage, Strom easily passes test CON test for paralysis

GHOUL 3 - Rushes in Attacks Touko  its Bite is successful for 4 damage on his Chi Armor. Touko easily passes test CON test for paralysis

CADE   Drunk Test "19" pass    Song  rolls "11"  , Damage Bonus
STROM -  Attacks 8 Damage to Ghoul 2
RADLEY  moves to aid 
FINIAN   Drunk Test "8" pass moves to other flank, climbs tree  DEX test 13, he climbs to top of shorter tree





TURN 2

BORS   Attacks Ghoul 1 hitting with a 17, with adavantage on damage from the Bard's Song does 7 damage to Ghoul 1
TOUKO Attacks Ghoul 3 hitting for 4 Damage

NEB  Drunk test "14" whoa Ned is no longer drunk, hidden he move into flanking postion on ghoul attacking and hit with a 10,+1 for Flank the needed "11" bonus Thief damage "7" the Ghoul is gutted and falls

GHOUL 2 Attack Strom hitting with another claw for 3, Stroms armor is damage and he feel the ghouls sting, but passes the CON test to avoid paralysis
GHOUL 3  Rips into Touko who fails to defend against any of his attacks it shreds his virtual armor and wounds 4 physical damage, with his 17 CON he passes the test easily so hes not paralyzed
CADE  Drunk Test fail, screws his bard song, tries to restart also fails!  "1"

STROM Attacks Ghoul 2 and cuts it down with 5 damage

RADLEY passes

FINIAN  Drunk test fails, Jumps from tree top to attack ghoul 3 from above, disadvantaged, rolls a 16 and a 19....either way he hits and with the bonus damage lands on the ghouls dagger first killing it..




The fight is quick and bloody minor damage is taken but before they can even regroup to approach the stairs two harrow figures appear shimmering in ghostly white in dark ratted cloth and armor, almost translucent the float down the stairs moaning swinging ghostly black weapons





INITIATIVE

Cade and Finian both again fail the drunk test all models lose Initative except for Touko

it seem the Wraiths surprised most of Touko

Touko
Wraith 1
Wraith 2
Cade
Bors
Strom
Neb
Radley
Finian




TURN 1

TOUKO  refocuses as his action to gain "6" Armor (note the Wraiths Damage ignores standard armor , not magic armor, (We consider the "Chi Armor" magic armor)

WRAITH 1- Attacks nearest Character which is Neb, who doesnt know what hit him, he fails to dodge both attacks with a 6 and 2, then fails his CON test (7 Con needs a 14)  both Claws damage his CON with is a 7 the damage is 8 and Neb killed , his life sucked out him instantly

WRAITH 2- Engages Finian he manages to dodge the first attack but not the second , he also fails his CON test and takes 3 Damage to his 10 CON

Note : Wraiths as 5 HD  Powerful Opponents (PO) are adding -4 negative modifier to Attack Rolls

CADE- must make a Drunk Test and Passes, since hes not Drunk he has to make the Fear test and passes that as well , Cade tries to play a Bard Song that will give Advantage to Stat tests! and succeeds with 17

BORS- Fear Test - Pass 11 on the nose  , lights a Torch and is within 1 " on the Wraith standing over Neb so he can Attack-  also needs a 11 to hit with PO penalty..rolls a 14,  Hitting with Torch Fire is less damage for a Warrior D6 but the Wraiths are Vulnerable meaning Damaged Rolled is at a Disadvantaged in this case we roll 3 and 5 and keep the 5 damage on the Wraith

STROM  already with a Lit Torch engages as well,  he needs to make a 5 test but with a 5 WIS is very dicey 16, but thank to Cade he gets 2 Dices and rolls  "7" and "16" so he passes. he attacks with his torch and rolls a "20" critical Undead are immune to the Critical Chart but still take double damage this results in 10 additional damage to Wraith 1

NEB  is Undead soul sucked corpse

RADLEY - must first make his WIS test for Fear  despite his strong chances of success ( needs an 8) he fails and takes off running into the woods 12"

FINIAN- Engage with Wraith 2, he doesnt want to flee as he risks  free strike from the Wraith
he has no way to damage it but attacks with his Dagger anyway and does hit it for no damage.

TURN 2



TOUKO  - moves to Nebs fallen body and recovers a torch, he lights it as his action

WRAITH 1 attacks Bors....who manages to dodge one attack but not the other he must make a CON test rolls a "13" passing, the weapon  does "2" to his Armor

WRAITH 2 attacks Finian  who with his low strength (8) and the (PO) penalty needs high rolls to dodge he fails both times and must make a CON test but Bard Song is in effect so we have Advantage on tests first Rolls a "1" thats very bad, second roll "15" he will take that but still takes 7 damage , destroying his light armor and doing 5  hit points damage,  Finian wont last long either way

CADE - still needs a drunk test FAILS.... he cant get a break,m he msut try to keep his music going has to roll twice and keep the lower 4,18..he gets that 4 , the drunk bastard and botches it, this is bad..

BORS- attacks Wraith 1 with the Torch needs an 11 with the penalty hits with a 14,  landing for 6 fire damage

STROM attacks Wraith 1 as well hitting with an 18 another 6 point of Fire damage the Wraith erupts in Flame and turns to ash in the night air

NEB  is laying Dead

RADLEY has run off, he has Olegs famous tincture with him, that could be useful but he must make a Fear Test again or be gone from the game , considered to have Fled.  he has a 13 WIS so he needs an "8" but rolls a "4" and runs off back to town....


FINIAN,  knows he cant damage the Wraith or take another hit, if he flees he faces free strikes,
he decides to stay put slashing wildly with his dagger to no avail

Sometimes they just run away.


TURN 3

TOUKO  engages the remaining Wraith and Attacks but is one short to hit it with the Torch
since  the fight is now 2 on 1, he gets +1 from his ally and hits...for  2 damage

WRAITH 2 - Sensing Finians near death . it attacks him he dodges one attack with a 19 and fails and caught by the second...he makes his CON test failing with a 8 , he actually buys himself another round here as the 5 damage he took would bring him OoA but the damage goes to his CON and he still has 2 Left

CADE- drunk test  fails - lose turn stumbling around trying to tune his Lute

BORS  Engages Wraith 2 hits with a 15 and 6 damage

STROM  Engages Wraith 2 and rolls a another 20!   5 damage X 2 =10  .

making progress but its going to take another round..

NEB- DEAD

RADLEY- ROUTED/ FLED

FINIAN  Trys to attacks but cant damage it....

the Wraiths were tough customers as they should be...



TURN 4

TOUKO  _ hits easily with the +3 from his allies against the Wraiths poweful opponent status
he roll a 19,  but rolls a 4 on damage,  the Wraith still lives to finish finian

WRAITH 2  attacks Finian who fails to dodge both attacks this time...he makes his CON test thou with a 15, the resulting 10 damage drops him Out of Action but he may not be finished/

CADE  Drunk Test, Fails

BORS Misses this time

STROM hits and ignites the Wraith howling as its destroyed

We roll on the OUT OF ACTION table for FINIAN after the encounter rolling a "5" it turns out he was just knocked out and the "Fathead" results means he is disadvantaged for the next hour.

With 1 hp and a 2 CON we decide to send him back to town, with NEB's corpse, we debate sending
CADE back as well but the Bards Song  is too useful, he he sober enough to get it going


The remaining 4  proceed up the steps to the Glowing Light where they encounter "The Harbinger", an evil spirit  attracting Undead to the ruins for purposes yet unknown. As the Heroes enter the courtyard they see many men coming up from the stairs to the Dungeon below.

Cliffhanger

As a Narrative I am ending this one in a  cliff hanger that will be picked up in Episode 4, Needless to say no one returns from the evenings adventure but Radley and the wounded Finian

Final Thoughts: a fun game in our new narrative style of Fantasy gaming , this was the first time we ran a party with multiple encounters and the standard Black Hack combat mechanic in a Heroes vs Monsters scenario.  it was all a set up for the next chapter which will be a big dungeon crawl.

Hopefully next month, but I was seriously late getting this report posted , hopefully my schedule will lighten up!







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