Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Battles!!! War DnD Playtest Results

Naileye's Rebellion- Battle of Bloody Gulch (934 Red Age) 

Human Army: 200 spearmen, 100 heavy infantry, 100 shortbow archers, 60 mounted knights, four imperial officers.

Hill Dwarf Army: 200 light infantry, 100 crossbowmen, Throm'zuk Naileye and his two sons.

Battleground: A valley in the mountains north of Ostenfort.

Background: Throm'zuk Naileye rallied an army of hill dwarfs to mount a surprise attack against Ostenfort. He attempted to skirt his army around the fort and attack it from behind. Word of his plan reached the Duke of Ostenland, and a force was sent to ambush the dwarves.

Setup:
Humans- Infantry centered in one rank. Knights on the right flank. Archers on the left flank.
Dwarves- Infantry centered in one rank, led by Naileye. Archers on the flanks, each led by one of his sons.

Battle: Human archers and knights destroyed the crossbowmen and killed both sons. Dwarven infantry stood firm, but were shattered by cavalry on their flanks. Naileye was the last to go down; refusing to surrender, her was run down by knights.

Losses:
Humans- 40 dead, 30 wounded.
Dwarves- 180 dead, 120 wounded. Naileye family destroyed.


The Battle on the Border (994 Red Age)

Human Army: 400 spearmen, 200 heavy infantry, 150 shortbow archers, 100 crossbowmen, 120 mounted knights, four imperial officers.

Orc Army: 400 spearmen, 200 heavy infantry, 200 shortbow archers, 60 ogres, one orc war-chief, two ogre chiefs.

Battleground: A flat, barren plain southwest of South Lake.

Background: The provinces of Westenland and Togland requested the aid of the Empire in battling an orc horde amassing at the border. Knights flocked from Saardam and Bauchland to aid in the fighting.

Setup:
Humans- Infantry centered in one rank. Archers up front. Knights on flanks.
Orcs- Infantry centered in two ranks. Archers up front. Ogres on flanks.

Battle: After some fierce fighting between archers, humans gained the advantage. The ogres were crushed by cavalry charges. Orc infantry at first adopted a defensive formation, but abandoned their tactics after the loss of the ogres in favor of an all-out charge. Other than losing a few heavy infantry, the humans easily broke the charge and shattered the orc lines. The orc war-chief and the two ogre chieftains were slain.

Losses:
Humans- 85 dead (including 15 knights). 115 wounded.
Orcs- 670 dead (including 30 ogres and all leadership). 260 wounded.

Honors: 40 human knights dubbed "The Decimators" by infantry. Includes 20 imperial knights, 10 Bauchfort knights, and 10 Wellwald knights.

Session 4: A Miner Terror

Entering Klingsberg: The party arrives at the ancient dwarven city of Klingsberg. The city is built between two mountains, and features large stone walls, a mighty steel gate, and beautiful brick buildings. Long ago humans conquered the city and expelled all of the dwarves. Immediately upon entering the party notices a large number of hobbit and elven immigrants. Clay goes off to order a fancy new helmet from a master blacksmith and socialize with hobbits. Most of the hobbits are from the faraway Sylvani Empire, and have immigrated due to increasing food shortages in their homeland. Marcus goes into the paladin embassy and informs Commander Tallmart that the paladins he sent to Tellgart are missing. Tallmart promises to send more men, but orders Marcus to search for his missing brethren. Lautrec buys a room at a local inn (the Silver Tongue Tap) and learns that his contact in Klingsberg, Sir Neco, owns a mine north of town in the "Great Quarry".

Mine Mystery: The players head to the quarry, passing through the poorer parts of town along the way. The find a massive quarry with dozens of mine entrances. Eventually they come upon the Neco mine, deserted and boarded up. The party meets with a frazzled Sir Neco, who explains that his mine was overrun by some unknown terror three days ago after some kids snuck in. Many of his workers did not come out, and the ones that did boarded up the entrance without offering him an explanation. The party visits a few miners' homes, and receive contrasting accounts. One man reports a sudden flash and a spray of blood. Another recalls a giant monster. Yet another talks about his friends going mad and killing each other. With little idea what to expect, the party pries open the boards and enter the mine.

Mine Investigation, Take 1: Entering the mine are Lautrec, Clay, Marcus, Zaros, and Harold. Almost immediately, they find a room filled with possessed miners. These miners have been working mindlessly for three days straight; their bodies are skeleton-like and their eyes glow bright red. In the insuing battle, Lautrec is knocked out by two nasty pickax strikes. Marcus is also knocked out, but is revived by Zaros. While this is happening, Harold is chased down by a miner and brutally killed. Clay is also knocked unconscious, but Zaros is able to slay the rest of the miners and the party flees the mine. City guards come to carry Harold's body away to the church for burial.

Mine Investigation, Take 2: Two days of rest later, the party returns to the mine. They battle an over-sized demonic mole with little difficulty. Advancing further into the mine, they find a room with a dozen bodies heaped in the center. To the left is a cave passage guarded by a golem made from the organs of the corpses. The party defeats the golem before he can attack, and advance into the now-unguarded passage.

A Change of Scenery: The party finds themselves at a massive metallic door. The door features the symbols of the six gods of the Hexsol faith. Marcus touches the door and it slowly moves open. On the other side of the door is a corridor of stone brick. Immediately the party encounters two ghostly dwarven warriors blocking their path. The ghosts only seem to speak dwarvish, and they angrily flash their weapons at the party. Marcus steps forward with his holy symbol. The ghosts allow him to approach. When he is within arms reach, one of the ghosts grabs him and views Marcus's life in an instant. Satisfied, the ghosts disperse. 

Paintings and Traps: The party encounters several rooms with paintings on the walls. They also survive a fire-shooting rune on the wall and two spiked pit traps. The paintings appeared in pairs, as follows:
  1. A black wall and a white wall.
  2. Shield, leaf and sun on one wall. Sword, skull, and moon on the other.
  3. The Hexsol gods with winged angelic creatures in plate armor bowing down to them. The second wall was defaced long ago.
  4. Both paintings were defaced. 
  5. One wall showed a blue orb with green splotches on it. The other showed men, dwarves, elves, and hobbits bowing down to the angels.
  6. One painting showed dwarves, goblins, and other savage creatures bowing down to a mighty black dragon. The other wall showed them taking up arms for this creature.
  7. A large battle was depicted on one wall, showing the dragon's army clash with the angels' army. The other painting showed a great city being destroyed by dragons while a golden angel wept. 
A Tangled Web: The party comes to a large room with one big painting across from them. It shows the golden angel casting a spell with red and black energies. In the center of the wall is a broken-in passageway, covered by energized red webbing. Ghost dwarves stand waiting in this room. The party notices a ghost dwarf pinned to a side wall by this red webbing. Attempts to cut the webbing with fire and normal blades fail. Zaros grabs Albert's magic dagger and easily cuts away the binds. While he does this, the weapon forms a magical attachment to him. He also cuts down the web blocking the passageway, and everyone (including the dwarves) move forward. The party finds a ancient hallway filled with metal dwarven statues. At the end of the hallway is a metallic door similar to the one found at the entrance. This door is decorated with the image of a dragon's head. The door is covered with red webbing, which Zaros cuts down.

Battle Arachnid: The door opens into a massive room. In the center of the room is a glowing red obelisk surrounded by three cultists. Beyond that is a giant painting with thousands of monsters of all shapes and sizes in it. One cultist turns around and charges the party. He draws his short sword, which gives off a terrible shriek that stuns half the party and disperses the ghosts. With some difficulty, he is brought down. Marcus and Clay step forward to knock out the cultists while Zaros goes about the process of blessing the obelisk. Before the process is complete, a huge red spider steps out of the wall painting and assaults the party. The beast recoils in the presence of Marcus, but has no difficulty attacking the rest of the party. The spider manages to bite a charging Clay before he is brought down. During the fight, Zaros notices that whatever weapon he draws, he always attacks with his dagger (even if he just threw it out of reach). 

Exiting the Temple: The party collects the magical short sword and its sheath, a magical black book carried by the lead cultist, their one surviving cultist captive (the other was burned to death when the spider died). As they pass through the first door, the wall caves in behind them, sealing away the temple. On their way out of the mine, they find another cultist (this one completely mad).  

Wrap-Up: Marcus drops the cultists off at the paladin embassy for interrogation. Clay learns that his helmet's construction has been delayed, and gets some white ointment for his bite wound. Lautrec finishes up his business with Sir Neco. Zaros and Clay learn that the magic short sword unleashes a powerful shriek upon enemies and allies only when removed from the magic sheath. The party returns to Tellgart to allow Lautrec to attend his bi-monthly knight's meeting. On the way, Zaros starts to read the evil book. The words seem like nonsense, but over time Zaros claims that he is beginning to understand what it all means. Marcus suggests destroying the book. Zaros overcomes his suddenly unnatural fascination with the book and agrees. They lay the book on the altar of the Hexsol church of Tellgart. Zaros blesses the book, and it bursts into unholy flames. Natural water only makes the flames larger, but Marcus is able to snuff out the fire with holy water. They then go out to buy a new alter for the church.

A Quick Summary of Session 3

The Premise: Sir Lautrec is tasked by Count Wolfgang to help with the rebuilding of the town militia. To do this they need discount resources for weapons, armor, and other equipment. Wolfgang sends Lautrec to nearby towns, cities, and forts to secure those resources from old friends. Lautrec presents his mission to the party, who agree to help out the town. They decide to head to the closest town, the lumberjack community of Hanlin. Along the way they meet a mysterious master of unarmed martial arts.

Saving Harold: On the road to Hanlin, the party finds a young messenger boy being mauled by a feral grey wolf with blood-red eyes. They kill the beast, and Lautrec offers to make the boy a squire. The young messenger eagerly accepts.

Discovering Hanlin: The party enters Hanlin late in the evening. They learn from the local inn that wild animals with blood-red eyes have been killing lumberjacks. Townsfolk are speculating that it is the work of a nearby community of druids. That night, the party is awakened by the cries of a homeless man being murdered by red-eyed raccoons. The party dispatches the vermin, with only Edmond suffering serious wounds. The next morning they meet Sir Sessuc, owner of the Hanlin Lumber Company. He offers cheep lumber to Tellgart if the party can uncover why the animals are attacking. The party accepts the proposal.

The Druids: While searching in the woods, the party encounters a hairy nude man communing with nature. Calling himself "Wildfoot", he offers to take the group to the druids. The party follows him to a clearing in the woods, where five other druids reside. Among them are a squirrel-obsessed man (Squirrelius), a depressed-looking boy holding a flower, two repulsive women holding turtles, and a muscular man sitting on a rock with a dark wooden sword. The muscular man calls himself Blackbark. Through the magic of a ghost sound spell, Albert tricks the druid into helping the party in their investigation.

Wood Inspection, Day 1: The first day of searching proves fruitless for the party. Blackbark is joined by his burly black bear companion, Minnie. The party spends most of their time following after Blackbark. That night, the druids are threatened by paranoid townsfolk. They are given a deadline of 24 hours to leave the forest, or they will be attacked.

Wood Inspection, Day 2: The second day of searching the party takes matters into their own hands. Clay, Marcus, and Kato the dog find scorch marks, ax cuts, and broken foliage that lead them to a medium-sized pond. In this pond is the corpse of a dead stag, his side gored by something viscous. Marcus detects an evil aura in the waters, and Zaros feels the presence of magic. The party drag out the deer and discuss the possibility of this pond being the source of animal corruption in the forest. While they do this, Minnie leans his head into the pond for a drink. Suspecting what will happen, Marcus leaps onto the bear's back. Sure enough, the bear's eyes turn red and she turns viscous. In the ensuing battle, Marcus distracts the beast while Lautrec and Zaros cut into its flank. Blackbark becomes distraught as his best friend is slain before his eyes. Zaros blesses the pond and lifts the curse.

Success and a Side Quest: The party returns to town and informs Sir Sessuc of the situation. He promises to protect the druids from harm. That night, Zaros is approached by members of the Order of the Reaper, clerics of Sol Mortalus that work to make sure the natural order of life and death is maintained. They send him to investigate an old man that has seen nearly 100 winters. Zaros takes the party on his investigation. They find the man surprisingly healthy, wearing a medallion with the elven symbol for vitality around his neck. The necklace has a faint aura of magic around it. Albert steals the necklace, Zaros knocks the man and a nearby witness unconscious, and they make a break for it. Out of danger, Albert realizes that the necklace is simply a piece of wood with characters magically written on it. That night Zaros learns that the quest was a test: the Reapers knew that the necklace was not magical, and they expected Zaros to learn this without harming or stealing from the old man. They inform him that he will have other chances in the future to prove his worth to the Reapers. Marcus returns the necklace to the old man.

Return to Tellgart: The party journeys back to Tellgart. Marcus receives a letter addressed to paladins that should be in the area investigating his demon report. No one in town has seen these paladins. The session ends with the players heading to Klingsberg.

A Quick Summary of Sessions 1-2

Sorry this took so long. The move to California distracted me.

Setting: Bauchland Province, Empire of Rhur. Year 994 of the Red Age. Autumn.

Capture: Cultists near the town of Tellgart capture nearly a dozen travelers to be used in a demonic sacrifice in a mountain cave. They drag their offerings deep into a dark cavern and set up a pentagram. Among those captured are...

Sir Manfred Augustus Lautrec- A recently disenfranchised knight from the province of Westenland. In the past, his family had alienated themselves from the duke of Westenland by supporting the faraway emperor. In a lightning move, the duke robbed  the Lautrec family of their lands following the death of Manfred Augustus' father. The new Sir Lautrec left his home vowing to return and bring down the crooked Duke Von Kurtz. He wields a longsword that has been in his family for generations.

Paladin Marcus- Fresh off of his training from the paladin embassy in Klingsberg, Marcus has set out to bring light and protection into the world in the name of his patron gods, Illuminous and Indomitus. Though painfully average in nearly every way Marcus carries with him a determination to fight for what is right and just that goes beyond the will of normal men. He also has a large warhammer, nicknamed the "Hammer of Justice."

Clay- A hobbit born in the human town of Wellwald, Clay spent several years training with his local militia. His full martial potential was never unlocked, however, due to his increasing fascination with music and performing arts. Despite this, he is extremely muscular for a hobbit, and can hold his own in combat.

Zaros- A pilgrim from the Sylvani Empire, Zaros is an elven cleric of the death god Mortalus. He traveled to human lands to expand his faith in himself and others. He wields a large scythe, the symbol of his faith. At his side is his loyal dog Kato.

Edmond Randall- Grandson of a locksmith and brother of a slain soldier, 19 year old Edmond is now going out to find his place in the world. He carries few possessions, but wields a deadly longbow with surprising accuracy.

Albert (al-bear) Goddfrey- Kicked out of his home town of Layfell after a freak magical accident, Albert is a young wizard who stems from a magical family. He carries with him a heavily-decorated farmer's hoe and amazing luck. The rest of his stuff is carried by a mule named Pippin.

The cultists ritual is interrupted by a surprise kobold attack. While the battle rages, a large demon is summoned from the center of the pentagram. The party only sees flashes of him, but they recall a large humanoid body covered in coarse red fur, a viscous-looking battle ax, and a massive head shaped like that of a boar. The demon enters into the fray, and the cultists and kobolds flee. As the demon gives chase, the party breaks free of their bonds and work their way out of the cave. They find the young cultist leader at the mouth of the cave, mortally wounded. The demon has vanished. Marcus heals the cultist and carries him on his back all the way to the town of Tellgart, where he gives him over to local priests to be tended to.

The Goblin Debacle: While travelling to Tellgart, the party finds a group of town guardsmen sifting through the wreckage of a destroyed farmhouse. They are informed by a local knight, Sir Ultrec, that goblins are responsible. That night, the group attends a town meeting that is supposed to address "the goblin menace" head-on. They find the leader of Tellgard to be a bumbling noble by the name of Count Astor. He has neither the brains nor the gold to remedy the situation, so Edmond takes matters into his own hands. With a rousing speech, he encourages men to join him tomorrow to assault the goblin lair responsible for the assault. Afterwards, he learns that the knights that normally protect Tellgart are far out west fighting an orc horde in defense of the Empire. Meanwhile, Marcus tries to warn people about the evil demon loose in the countryside. His warnings are ignored by the count, and the rest of the villagers are too preoccupied with the goblin threat to listen.

A Game of Nobility: That night, Sir Lautrec gets inebriated with some rambunctious dwarves. He wakes up (fully clothed) in the bed of a young girl. She wakes up and screams. As he moves for the window, Count Astor (the father of the young girl) bursts into the room. Lautrec flees and hides in the local inn, paying off the innkeeper to ward away guards. A hasty plan to escape the inn with the dwarves is foiled by men dressed in black, who pay off the innkeeper, murder the dwarves, and knock Lautrec unconscious. He awakens at the table of a wealthy noble by the name of Sir Hubert Wolfgang. Wolfgang is the Guardian of Coin in Tellgart, but aspires to be count. He plots with Lautrec to kill the count and his two successors- his son Jason and Sir Ultrec, Guardian of Blade in Tellgart. Lautrec agrees to this plan on the condition that he receives sponsorship from Wolfgang.

Raid on the Goblin Lair: Edmond marshals a mob of over 20 townsfolk and peasants. Joining them is Sir Ultrec, who disagrees with the mission but tags along to defend his people from harm. Unbeknownst to the party, young Jason Astor has also taken up arms in defense of the town, and has joined the mob. The mob travels most of the day to reach the cave. As they are about to enter, Sir Lautrec arrives on a riding horse, pledging to help in the battle. He takes SIr Ultrec and Jason Astor under his command. The raid is a success: dozens of goblin warriors fall, nearly 30 young goblins are butchered in their nests, and the rest flee the cave. During the battle, Jason Astor falls to a goblin spear. Sir Ultrec, distracted by grief, is murdered by Sir Lautrec in the darkness. Gold is found among the goblins' possessions, as is a magical silver dagger and a powerful hook-claw weapon.

Triumphant Return: The mob returns to town with their dead. When they arrive, they learn that Count Astor went mad after his daughter was raped by dwarves. He killed her and himself. With his next two heirs dead, the mantle of count falls on Sir Wolfgang. Four days later, Wolfgang is sworn in by the Duke of Bauchland, and Sir Lautrec is in turn re-knighted as Guardian of the Roads of Tellgart by Count Wolfgang. Meanwhile, Marcus and Zaros help townsfolk. Marcus sends a report about the demon to his order, and requests an official investigation into the matter.