Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday Night Game

We played our Labyrinth Lord game again last night and I thought I'd write another small recap in order to keep things straight in my mind.

The PCs / Players:
Isabella - Female Human Fighter level 2 (my wife)
Ember - Female 1/2 elven Cleric level 2 (youngest daughter)
Safira - Female Ice Elf level 2 (eldest daughter)

We pick up w/ our heroes at the bottom of The Hermit's hill, it is late morning and a discussion ensues over the next destination. Isabella and Ember think it prudent to head straight for the Ruined Abbey, while Safira would rather stop in Botkinburg first in order to restock before moving on to the Abbey.

*DM Note: I think the convincing item was that they would have had to re-cross the river Hruesen again if they were to go back to Botkinburg, and that giant gar still makes them all a bit nervous.

Although they had never traveled through the Tangle Downs this way to get to the Abbey, with the combination of the map and general knowledge of the surrounding terrain features it wasn't a monumentally insurmountable task. Isabella helped lead the party and as they camped for the first night it looked as if they were still headed in the correct far as they could determine.

About an hour and a half into the first watch Isabella feels the touch of cold metal on her neck and hears a heavily accented voice in her ear "Don't move...and don't make a sound." She doesn't.

It turns out that the group has inadvertently cut through elvish land and they elves are at a heightened sense of alert due to the riled up Bloody Eye Orcs to the north. Once the party is awake, the elvish scouts ask their business, and once they're content that the party isn't a threat they ask for a passage fee. Apparently Moonsilver, the elvish leader isn't pleased with humans trespassing on their lands...the elves are no big deal, but the humans are a different story.

*DM Note: A funny thing happened during this encounter (random btw). The elves attempted to disarm the sleeping characters...Safira awoke during the attempt and in reaction she hissed at the perpetrator. My wife was outraged that she should just sit and do nothing while watching the elf disarm her. There was a bit of a tiff between the two (wife and daughter). Needless to say I've got some very headstrong women in the house. It was interesting to say the least.

5gp a head seems to be the going rate, which adds up to the hefty sum of 50gp for the entire group! Luckily Ember thinks of the tiger eye gem acquired from battle with the orcs, it's 50gp. The elves check it and accept it as payment. Isabella finagles a passage back through the territory as part of the bargain, should they need it.

Moonsilver, the leader, says that if they should like the party can get some rest while the elves are in the area...nothing will sneak up on them. At this one elf pulls a small reed fife out of his pack, sits cross-legged upon the ground and begins to play a quiet tune while the others silently fade back into the surrounding darkness.

The morning comes and Safira is first awake, the musician stands, looks at the sky and says "There's a powerful storm coming." With that he nods and walks off into the forest.

*DM Note: This "warning" from the elf has a bit of double entendre connected with it. ;-)

As the day progresses the overcast sky thickens and around 2pm the skies open up and a deluge soaks the party to the skin in a matter of minutes. The rain continues unabated throughout the afternoon as the group looks for some sort of shelter.

An hour and a half of searching produces an overhang sitting about 10 feet above a gully. It doesn't appear that the water will reach the dry area so the party agrees that this will do for the evening. All 10 soaking wet, miserable adventurers bed down for the night and in shifts attempt to dry their cloaks out over a small fitful fire as they stand guard.

The next day dawns grey and rainy. While the volume has abated somewhat, it is still a miserable slog through the woods and at about 3 in the afternoon they finally catch sight of the long hill upon which sits the Abbey. Isabella though notices three thin tendrils of smoke curling up amidst the rain...It appears that there are some new tenants upon the hill.

Safira, being the most adept and moving silently through the woods is the natural choice as a scout and she moves off to discern who these newcomers might be. At the top of the rise she smells pipe smoke which diverts her attention the her right. She spies what looks to be some kind of bear sitting on the opposite side of a tree from her.

She can't get a clear view but it smells and appears as if the smoke is coming from the bear! Silent as a shadow she slides back down the hill and proceeds around the back of the hill to get a peek at the fires. She's joined then by Ember and they both spot what looks to be about 6 orcs shuffling about the fires. At this distance they can't determine if they're Bloody Eye tribe or not.

*DM Note: This was a very tense moment for my eldest daughter. She has an emotional attachment to her characters (lots of off-game time spent on imagining them) and therefore she takes great pains to make slow well-informed decisions. She HATES not knowing...and the "bear" was a serious source of consternation.

On the way back, Ember decides that she's got to identify the "bear" so she goes creeping back up the hill, with Safira at her heels trying to dissuade her. They move into position and slowly take a look at the "bear". It turns out to be an orc, albeit a VERY large one, sitting against a tree with a bear skin thrown across his shoulders. He was smoking a short stemmed pipe while looking down the road. A large black iron bow sat across his lap with a quiver of arrows lying beside him.

Ember then convinces a VERY hesitant Safira to put him to sleep with her spell. She does so and as she's casting the orc somehow hears her voice, he grunts spins with the bow in his hand but not before Safira releases the spell. He lays his bow on the ground and falls asleep.

The rest of the group comes up and plans the assault on the rest of the orcs. The plan is that they'll get Safira into position in order to cast a sleep spell. As they advance under cover of the crumbling Abbey ruins they hear two voices from INSIDE the ruins they're using as cover!

Safira finds a crack in the wall and peers in, seeing 4 orcs guarding the stairs leading down into the dungeons. She casts her spell while under cover and the orcs are none the wiser. They all succumb and she moves in to slit throats.

*DM Note: I'm going easy on the girls. My wife, while quite smart, doesn't have much tactical or strategic knowledge. Instead of keeping the orcs inside of the building quiet and having them leap out in surprise, I let them hear them and therefore attack the orcs in small chunks. They'll learn to do that as time goes on but for now...I think it's probably necessary. Also, I do plan on introducing a coup de grĂ¢ce rule, I think it will likely be a free hit doing critical damage and then a save from the creature v. massive damage.

This is where we broke it off...I hate stopping things in the middle of an encounter but my eldest was hitting the wall and it was a school night. Nonetheless, it was a great session and there were a few pretty tense moments. Overall, lots of fun.

Stay tuned.

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