Here we are again! Let’s get started.
The party after looting the corpses of the raiders will take a short rest while waiting for reinforcements to come and join them. PU7 will spend a hit die to regain 9 hitpoints and bring them self up to 21 total.
After the rest a group of guards sent by the governor appear, they are bloodied and seem to have seen combat but are otherwise healthy. They tell our party to head back to the keep and report for more orders, so they’ll have to do that.
Now they’re going to have to make more group stealth checks or have a random encounter!
This sorta- structure of jumping between missions with random encounters has been criticized by a few other DMs that I know of, as it doesn’t really allow the PCs much time to recover. It’s a very packed day- and healing gets pretty thin. I mean, we’ve only done two missions and PU7 is already down to their last spell, and their last hit die- something he wouldn’t even have if we were playing with a full party as they wouldn’t have hit the XP cap to level up. In fact if were using milestone leveling there would be no chance for them to level up at all until the end of the episode.
Now I’m sure to no one’s surprise I’ve run this book before for actual players. We only got through the first episode, as it was a PbP and things drifted off, but in order to combat this drain- I had the governor have some medics with them in the keep. I gave them the Healer feat from the PHB, which let them do some minor healing for the party. Unfortunately- my goal for this run through is to attempt to go as close to the as written book as possible (the CCs I’ve added and such aside), so we won’t be going that route. Instead, we’re going to just have to push through this.
It does bring up the thought however, of what to do if we get a TPK? Well not even a TPK, what do we do if we lose PU7? Well, we have a few options here- I think that the one I’m going to go with is checkpoints. We’re going to have a checkpoint that we can reload from after big in-game events. This feels like a good time, after we complete a mission. Hopefully I won’t be making too many of these to the point that it feels like we’re save scumming, but it is still a game, and with the way we’re approaching it, there’s no doubt that we will die at some point.
Alright, now back to the actual game and not just meta talk. Our party rolls, a 6, 16, and, an 8. Which means we fail our stealth check. Yay. So that means we get an encounter, let’s see what we get- a 3 on our encounter table that gives us 6 cultist to fight. Fuck me, okay, shouldn’t be a hard fight- but this is a lot of combat to write up.
Our party is travelling back down the main river of Greenest, heading back to the old tunnel, when they encounter a group of raiders!
Once the guardsmen sent by Nighthill relieve us they tell us to head back to the keep and report for more orders. The knight nods and gestures for us to follow him as we make our way back down the river and to the tunnel into the keep. The fight against the raiders attacking the mill had drained me of more energy then I had originally thought, and I can feel my legs dragging. Cuth suddenly freezes and rushes behind a nearby tree, but the armored knight and I are too slow as we spot a group of raiders on the otherside of the riverbank. They freeze when spot us and start to point and shout at us. Another group of hooded figures starts to rush forwards as I ready my mace for combat once more.
Encounter 006 (Cultists in the Street):
XP Total: 150
- Cuth 5/8
- Cultist 5 9/9
- Cultist 4 10/10
- Cultist 6 9/9
- PU7 21/22
- Cultist 2 6/6
- Ilda 5/11
- Cultist 3 10/10
- Cultist 1 12/12
Trying out a prettier map design here. I think it looks better, and should hopefully make things a little more clear? It’s been a learning experience. Top of the round and master archer Cuth will fire an arrow at the cultist in the top left position, which is Cultist 1, he hits with a 17 and deals 5 damage total. Cultist 5, 4, and 6 will rush forwards and start to cross the river by using the stones in middle. PU7 will move upwards to meet the fifth cultist and attack with his longsword, with his 15 to hit and 13 damage, and continues their record of just turning cultists into bloody messes. The second cultist will move forwards and swing with their scimitar and miss with a 9. Ilda will move forwards, she’ll chuck a hammer at the cultist who swung at PU7 with a 15 that deals 2 damage, yeah we’re going to have to get her a better ranged weapon then those hammers. Cultist 4 will also move upwards and miss at PU7, while Cultist 1 will score a hit and deal 7 damage to PU7.
Top of the next round, and Cuth will fire an arrow at the second Cultist, hitting with a 16 and dealing 6 damage to finish them off. Cultist 4 will move upwards and swing at PU7 missing with a 9, while Cultist 6 misses with a 17. PU7 will swing at the third Cultist hitting with a 23 and dealing 13 damage, turning the cultist into a fine mush. Ilda, will move up to take a swing at Cultist 1 with their mace and land a hit with an 18 that deals 7 damage and caves in the cultists skull. That ends our round since we’ve mostly murders the cultists already.
Cuth will fire an arrow to open the round at Cultist 6 and hit with a 17 and deal 5 damage. The fourth cultist will swing at PU7 wildly, and miss with a a pitiful 6. The sixth cultist will then also swing at PU7 and miss with a 17, the attack will be returned in force and go terribly, as PU7 gets a nat 1. We get another nat1 which means that our hit just misses. Hey, I’ll take it. Ilda will then move to be near Cultist 6 where she’ll take an attack that misses with an 8.
Cuth will start again, with an arrow going towards Cultist 6 and hit on the dot with a 12, deals max damage (7) and kills the cultist! Cultist 4 will swing at Ilda and miss with a 5. PU7 seeing this miss, scoffs and swings at the cultist and gets a nat 20 this time, which we roll on our critical hit table and get a 66 which allows us to take a disarm action after our regular crit, which we wont’ need to do because the 14 damage we deal kills the last cultist and ends the combat!
We divide up XP, which would push Ilda and Cuth to become better CCs but, I’m going to increase the required XP for them to level by double the Challenge of the NPC they’re going to become as the 1/2 NPCs I was eye seems a little too powerful for what XP they have. I’ll also subtract 25 XP from their total as that’s how much it would have have required previously.
Anyways the party finally makes it back to the keep using the secret tunnel to enter it, once they arrive back the governor will congratulate them for a mission well done.
“Excellent work,” the governor says as exit the keep and back into the courtyard, “We saw your group take care of the raiders outside the mill.”
“It wasn’t hard- there were a few more raiders inside the mill, but we made quick work of them,” Ilda’s voice is cocky and self-assured- of course she doesn’t mention that the spears thrown by the raiders nearly killed us the moment we entered the mill, “The guards who came to reinforce us, said you would have another job for us?”
“Aye, I’ve hear-” the governor is cut off by Escobert rushing from western side of the keep.
“Raiders! They’ve broken in from the sally port!”
We’re interrupted, from hearing about our new missions by a group of attackers. The sally port mission requires us to fight off two groups of attackers. The first group will have seized the sally port ready room, while the second will come after the party has defeated that first group. Kind of- meh paced- so instead I’ll give the party ten rounds, or one in-game minute, before the second group will join the first. As well- it doesn’t make sense for the party to fight off the group just by themselves, so a few (1d6) guards from the keep will join them in fighting the attackers off. We get a 3 on our dice roll, so this shouldn’t be too bad to fight off the attackers.
Sidenote, for those of you that don’t know what a sally port is (myself when I first read this) it’s described in the book as essentially a well-protected exit to the keep that’s meant to allow defenders to exit and attack raiders using rams and other siege weapons on the keep’s gates. Hence there’s a small ready room on the western keep wall that the raiders have broken into and seized from the guardsmen. In my head, the keep hasn’t actually been used to protect against invaders in a long time, hence the rusted secret exit and the ease of which raiders were able to break into what should be a heavily protected and guarded area.
Encounter 007 (The Sally Port – Attacking):
XP Total: 250
- Acolyte 6/6
- Guard 1 12/12
- Ilda 5/11
- Kobold 4 10/10
- Cuth 5/11
- Kobold 2 1/1
- Kobold 1 3/3
- Guard 2 6/6
- Guard 3 9/9
- Kobold 3 5/5
- Ambush Drake 22/22
- PU7 14/22
Alright, order has been make and map has been drawn and we are now ready for our second encounter of this post. This is probably going to be the longest post of the batch with a grand total of three encounters- but we’ll see if we end having the second part in this at all. If it goes too long I’ll cut it into the next one. Also- the ready room is apparently only 10 by 20 foot big so… it’s kind of tiny looking. Oh well, we’ll see how this play outs. Oh! Also colour schemes, PCs and CCs are black, NPCs are green and enemies are red.
Top of the round, and we have the Acolyte who’ll move forwards to the door of the entrance and then cast Bless on the Ambush Drake, Kobold 1, and, Kobold 2. This allows them to add a d4 to any attack roll or saving throw roll they make. Next up is the Guard 1, who’ll move upwards and take a swing at Kobold 3 land it on a 16 and deal 4 damage. Next up is Ilda, who’ll move upwards to get into hammer range and toss a hammer at the big scary Ambush Drake, she’ll miss with her tiny little 8. Kobold 4 will then go by moving forwards to be in melee range of Guard 1 and then to be within range of Kobold 3 to trigger their Pack Tactics ability. The kobold will swing at that guard and land a hit with a 24 that deals 4 damage. Cuth then gets a turn and will fire one of their trusty arrows at Kobold 3, that lands at 23 with 4 damage. Next up is one of our blessed kobolds who will fire their sling at Guard 1, with advantage and plus a d4, a 22 total that deals 3 damage. Next up is Kobold 1 who’ll move upwards and fire their sling at the same injured guard, get a 16 total and land 6 damage that kills that poor poor guard. One of their guard buddies will attempt to avenge them, by moving upwards to take an attack at Kobold 4. They of course get a nat 1 and since their not named, simply miss. The last guard will attack Kobold 3 and land with a 16 that deals 5 damage and kills the kobold. The Ambush Drake gets a turn to go and will move forwards to take a the place of the recently killed kobold, and take a bite attack (there isn’t an ally within 5 feet of the guard so they won’t have their pack tactics trigger) and they only score an 8 to hit. Next up is our PC, PU7 who’ll move to the right and swing their longsword at Kobold 4. PU7 just hits with a 12 that deals 7 damage.
Things are looking… okay for our heroes? Top of the round and the Acolytes gets a chance to cast some magic, they’re going to target Guard 3 and cast sacred flame. The guard gets a 15 on their DEX saving throw and takes no damage. Next up is Ilda who’ll chuck a spear at the kobold 10 feet away from them and miss with a 3. The fourth kobold gets a turn and they’ll take a swing at PU7 and miss with a 13. Next up is Cuth who’ll fire an arrow at Kobold 4 that lands at a 21 that deals 7 damage and destroys it. Our blessed second kobold will move one square and then launch a sling rock against the third guard and miss with only a 15. Kobold 1 will attempt the same maneuver, a 20 total allows them to deal 5 damage and kill that guard. The second guard seeing his last companion die, will step backwards behind PU7 and toss a spear at Kobold 1, the 8 they get misses. While the Ambush drake will move forwards and try to bite our PC, they miss with a 10, which PU7 will then retaliate with a longsword attack that lands with a 17 that deals 9 damage.
Top of this round and the Acolyte will cast Sacred Flame once more, but this time on PU7. PU7 gets an 18 that lets them beat the spell DC. Ilda gets a turn here and will chuck their last hammer on the Ambush Drake, that lands on a nat 20 and deals MAX damage at 9. Cuth will attempt to finish off the drake with an arrow, that lands on a 17 that deals 5 damage and does what he sets out to do. Next up is Kobold 2 who will fire another rock from their sling at PU7 and miss with a 12, Kobold 1 will miss with a 10. Guard 2 contiune to stay back and throw another spear at Kobold 2, and get a nat 1. These guards seem to only be good as meat shields eh? PU7 gets a turn and will move forwards and hopefully kill Kobold 2, and they do with a 13 to hit and 6 damage.
The poor Acolyte will attempt to cast Sacred Flame once more on PU7, and the 9 PU7 rolls will cause them to take 3 damage. Ilda will move up to the last kobold and try to kill it with their mace, land with a 20 total and deal 5 damage that crushes that sad reptiles head. Cuth will fire an arrow at the Acolyte, who has half cover form the door to the ready room, and miss with a 5. Guard 2 will move upwards, pickup one of the spears that’s been thrown and attack the Acolyte with both hands, land with a 16 that deals 7 damage total and finally proves the guards weight by killing an enemy. That’s combat!
We divide up XP based on the remaining living characters, so by 4, and our CCs are getting close to leveling up. Our PC on the other hand will still need a couple of fights, but that’ll have to be fore next time as this post has inflated by a huge amount in size.
Next time, we have the second part of the Sally Port mission, and then more roleplaying to get our next mission!