Thursday, August 25, 2011

Delivery: The Emerald Iron Scepter (session 1)

So it's my turn to DM, and this session took place last week. The naming convention for our adventures specify the general task followed by a specific detail, so it should come as no surprise that the PCs will be delivering an ancient heirloom called the Emerald Iron Scepter. They're en route to the kingdom of Ostengard, where they are tasked with delivering the long-lost scepter to its true heir, king Norvi (Dwarf). Because it's been so long since we've played, most of this "session" involved leveling up characters, players re-acquainting themselves with character details, and in one case searching for lost character sheets which weren't found, so an older character had to be brought into the fold.

The cast of characters for this adventure are as follows:

  1. Myril Wiggins - Gnome Wild Sorcerer. I've taken to calling him Wiggy (Gnomes need a silly nickname, right?)
  2. Brucarius "Bruce" Wyllis - Human Sword and Board Fighter. Big. Bald. Bad.
  3. Sophie - Half Elf Valorous Bard, filling the critical leader role
  4. Tavar - Deva Avenger (I believe he has Censure of Retribution...this was the last minute character)
Because so much time was spent on character stuff, the group only got through 1 encounter. I opened the scene with the entire party on an airship (a zeppelin-like craft kept aloft half with technology and half with magic), on their way to Ostengard. The cabin contained 4 large fixed tables, and several NPCs. As soon as I finished describing the scene, I had 2 large cannonballs burst through the cabin, exiting the other side. This resulted in powerful streams of wind that slid characters who entered or started their turn in its path. A mix of goblins and hobgoblins immediately swarmed in, with most NPCs ducking under the tables as noncombatants (the only other warriors on board were a human standing near the opening when the cannonball came through and presumably thrown out of the ship, and a Dwarf who took on some of the goblins). A hobgoblin commander and a bugbear set up shop near the door to the cockpit, and stood guard, only attacking when a PC came too close.

The PCs were at the rear of the ship, and started attacking foes that were closest to them. In round 2 I had another wave scramble into the cabin, and a noise coming from behind the door revealed that the cockpit too had been breached by a cannonball, and goblins were likely flooding into it as well. In the 3rd round the final wave of goblins showed up, and the PCs were mostly trying to clear the cabin of enemies. I'd expected them to prioritize the guards at the door, but you really can't ever predict player behavior, can you? After the 4th round the party heard a scream coming from behind the door (the goblins killing the pilot). After round 5 another scream (the co-pilot's death). After 6 rounds they finally made it through the door (after defeating every last foe), only to find goblins swinging out of the hole on ropes, their jobs complete. The PCs all tried to aid the Avenger in landing the ship as safely as possible. Its balloon had been slashed open during the attack, so it had been losing altitude the entire time (I also forgot to mention that this resulted in quite a bit of turbulence, which caused chairs to hit random combatants during the fight, damaging them and knocking them prone. Ironically, the dice chose to mostly hit the character that thrives on randomness, the Wild Sorcerer). During the descent, the PCs saw the goblin ship also descending (unharmed), landing several miles ahead of the crash (presumably in a clearing somewhere, as the land is heavily forested). Everyone tended to their injuries (and the injuries of the NPCs), and it was decided that the NPCs would accompany the PCs as they headed toward the goblin airship in an attempt to commandeer it and get to Ostengard. The PCs pilfered their ships navigational map and compass, so they have a good idea of which direction they're heading in.

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