Okay- this time we’re actually going to go into a combat encounter. I promise.
First things first however, we left off last post with us rolling to see that we’re going to get two companions characters (CCs) for PU7’s adventure. I’ve included their statblocks as well as their HP totals at the top with PU7s, which will no doubt get more out of control as the adventure continues. I’ll probably end up making something to go under the banner which will have all the relevant stats in a prettier fashion, but for now that’s what we’ve got. Right- but back to the what we were doing. We’re going to have write up some cinematics to explain the two CCs and their motivations and personalities.
The governor’s asking for volunteers. It seems that the knight that had brought my children and myself to the keep is going off to fight against the raiders. I look around myself and see nothing but unwilling and scared villagers. My children have fallen asleep, the general terror of the attack and running from death had tired them out. The image of their mother being cut down by kobolds will no doubt haunt their dreams for years, maybe decades to come. I can feel a rage burning in my chest and I look towards my cousin, a stroke of luck on this otherwise nightmare of a day. She had manged to make it to the keep with her husband and their own child.
“I need you to watch them,” I tell her my voice firmer than I thought it would have been. She looks to me confusion clear on her face, but her eyes quickly widen as I stand, “I volunteer to go with the knight.”
The governor eyes his gaze darting to blood on my clothing before he nods, “Very well. Anyone else?” I step up towards the governor as my cousin grabs my wrist.
“You can’t do this.” Her voice is low and horse, probably sore from screaming.
“I have to, they killed Linan.” I shake her grip from my wrist as I walk up to the knight.
“Well, I’d feel bad if I expected only the two of them to do whatever you have in mind.” Ilda the blacksmith steps up with me, “I’m sure I’ll be just as much use as this one.”
So there’s some motivation for Cuth. His cousin being one of the other survivors is so that won’t just ditch his children, kinda convoluted but I decided to try my best and use every named characther in the book as much as I can.
Anyways, we’re not going to write it out- but Nighthill will pull the two CCs aside and explain the mission to them. They’ll both head to the armory and get some basic gear. Padded Leather armor for both of them, and a spear and shortbow for Cuth (I’m making him a hunter so that’s where he gets the experience to use the bow from) and a mace and two light hammers for Ilda (the hammers are because- well she’s a blacksmith duh).
The newly minted party will head towards the entrance to the tunnel in the keep. The front door is sealed with a locked ironbound door and opens after a few minutes of getting the rusted lock to open with the key. The part enters in single file, with PU7 at the front, with Cuth behind him and Ilda at the rear. The tunnel is dark and Cuth stops PU7 from going to far into the tunnel. He heads backwards into and grabs a torch off the wall of the keep to light the way. They travel deeper into the tunnel, with curtains of spiderwebs making the tunnel ever more narrow then it actually is. Suddenly, PU7 freezes. A light starts to bleed through the darkness and the end of the tunnel is visible, when PU7 freezes. A mass of rats has settled near the entrance and that leads us into combat.
We’ll roll for initiative and also draw up a map.
Encounter 003 (The Old Tunnel):
XP Total: 100
- Ilda 8/8
- Swarm of Rats 1 30/30
- PU7 10/22
- Cuth 8/8
- Swarm of Rats 2 27/27
Map is a little different from the usual, has I don’t remember where I put that hex map background- but I did figure out how to make a square one pretty easily.
Now first off we start with Ilda, which I just noticed there was a minor error in her statblock that I’ve… fixed in the one I posted in the header. Anyways, she’s going to move forwards to be directly behind PU7. Next up is a swarm of rats which will simply rush forwards it’s maximum distance. PU7 will step forwards and take an attack against Swarm 1. We get a 19 so a 24 total to hit, and a total of 7 damage. Now the Swarm of Rats has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage which means it only takes half damage here rounded down (3 damage). Cuth then gets to, where they’ll take a shot with their bow and arrow against the same swarm of rats. We get an 18 total to hit and 5 damage which gets halved to 2 damage.
Top of the initiative order and we have Ilda to start us off. She’s going to chuck one of her hammers at the same swarm. We get a 17 total to hit, which then deals 2 damage, which gets rounded down to 1. Yay. Thanks Ilda. This damage resistance is really debilitating. Anyways, the swarm of rats then moves forwards to take the same space as PU7. The rats will then attack with their Bite action. That’s a 15 total which doesn’t hit the PU7s AC! Nice. Our warforged gets a chance to go now and he’ll strike the swarm with his longsword. We get a 10 total which just hits the rat’s AC. 8 damage total which gets rounded down to 4. It’s slow going, but now Cuth is going to fire another arrow! 18 total to hit and 2 damage rounded down. The second rat swarm then gets to go and encase Ilda. She’s going to die, isn’t she? The rat rolls a natural 1! Holy crap, the luck involved (Side note, I’m going to be doing critical fails on natural 1s only for named characters).
Top of the round, and Ilda’s going take a swing with her mace at the horde of rats swarming her. We get a 14 to hit and 2 damage rounded down. First swarm of rats is going to make an attack against PU7, and with only a 15 to hit they’re going to just hit armor. PU7 will retaliate with an attack of their own, and get a natural 1. God dammit. We’re going to roll on a fumble chart (taken from an online source here) here and get an 80 which gives us the following, ‘Missing what you thought was a critical blow causes you to panic,‘ and now PU7 is going to be surprised until the end of his next turn. This just made this fight a lot longer… Cuth is going to step forwards one square and attack with his spear against the second rat swarm. We get a 5 to hit, which misses. The rat swarm is then going to try and attack Ilda. We get an 11 to hit, which just hits her and she takes 6 damage, bringing her down to 2 HP. Ugh- PU7 is going to need to do some healing… when they get their bearings.
Top of the round is the injured Ilda, who’ll swing their mace at the second rat swarm. That’s a 20 total to hit, which deals 2 damage rounded down. Now, we’re going to break into some meta talk here. In the book it’s detailed that the swarm of rats flee once half of their number die. I’m going to rule that has when each Swarm of Rats hit’s half HP, they’re going to flee. Now, the first swarm of rats is going to attack PU7. We get a 19 total which hit’s PU7 for 5 damage, bringing them down to 5 HP total. PU7 collects themselves and readies for the next round of combat. Cuth is going to attack the second swarm once more, 15 to hit and 4 damage total. The second rat swarm is going to try and hit Ilda once more and misses with a 7 total to hit. Nice.
No changes in the movement here, so we wont’ post a new picture. Ilda will once again, attack the rat swarm surrounding her, with an 11 to hit and 1 damage. The rats will then attack PU7 and the 8 that they get misses. PU7 now collected will attack the rat swarm a 23 to hit that deals 4 damage. That hit’s the halfway point of the first rat swarm and it flees from the tunnel. PU7 will then move towards the other rat swarm. Cuth then attacks the remaining swarm. The 7 he gets though misses quite easily. The rat swarm will then attack Ilda, the 16 the swarm gets will then allow it to do 4 damage that brings Ilda down the ground. Great, she’ll try and make her first death saving throw and fail.
Ugh, top of the round and Ilda will try and make a death saving throw. Another fail, which will then lead to PU7 attacking the swarm. The 24 they get allows them to do 4 damage total. Now all Cuth needs to do is deal a single point of damage in order to kill the rats, lets see what they can do. A natural fucking 1. The 88 we get on his fumble roll gives us, ‘You attack wildly and lose track of the fight around you,‘ which makes his turn end and he goes to the end of the initiative order. The swarm of rats will then move to encase PU7 and try and attack him, and miss with only a 13 to hit.
Top of the round and Ilda gets to try and make her last saving throw… luckily she gets an 11 and gets to live (for now)! PU7 will then attack and try to kill the last swarm of rats, and hits with a 13 total. Damage doesn’t matter as the rats will flee and end our encounter. Christ.
The armored knight stops us, holding a hand backwards- I peer over their shoulder to see swarms of rats. They’ve grown fat from eating scraps and rabid from the diseased beasts they’ve torn apart. The rats rush forwards towards the knight and they raise their sword upwards to swing down. Their swings are hitting but the numerous rats are still agile enough to rush past the knight and towards me. Cuth, the hunter, fires an arrow into the swarm and hits a single rat- while I try and smash what rats I can with my mace. The bites of the rats start to overwhelm me, they jump onto my body and start to rip my flesh apart. I take a step backwards and trip over a rat- and I’m greeting by darkness.
PU7 will quickly go to Ilda and use Lay on Hands to give her 5 HP total, it’ll bring her back to 5 HP (of course she still has two death saving throw fails, so should she drop again she might as well be dead). Well then, that was quite the combat encounter- we’re going to divide up the XP, so everyone get’s 33 XP total. Now the 33 XP that our two CCs get is enough for them to level up (see Appendix 001 for how I’m handling leveling up). Ilda is going to turn into a Guard character, and gain some better stats. Cuth on the other hand on the route of a Bandit, no because they’re not lawful but because that fits them skill wise.
Here’s their new statblocks:
Hopefully this means they won’t just die right away. Anyways I’ll see you all in the next post!