Friday, February 28, 2014

Minotaur Round 1

This is probably the only one of these I'll get going today:

Here's the scene from the party's point of view.  You have intiative.  The orange is the trough, the yellow the bed of hay, the gray line is the stone image and the black and white square the abacus.  The water trough is between the abacus and the image.

Please take whatever action you deem appropriate.  The Minotaur is moving towards the wall to get either the sword or the axe as you gain first attacks.

In the Stained Hallway

The party returns to the intersection shown on the map.  With their backs to the hole, or the "meal room" shown on the map, the new storeroom is on their right and the door they're unfamiliar with is on their left.  The silence spell will have passed, just about now, so the party is fully able to communicate and alert anything that might be listening again.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Study Discussion

I wanted to start a thread to discuss the addition of the new sage knowledge tables I'm devising.  I'm better than halfway through the cleric, and I will be following up on the druid, then the mage (the order is as much for the offline parties I'm running as well as this one).

Can you please offer some feedback, without obviously entrenching yourselves in any decision you might be making.  I plan to allow everyone to change their study choices, once they are prepped for each class and what they offer is more clear.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Old Storeroom Again

Once again, the party is underground, having removed their armor, replaced it, sorted themselves out and settled into a discussion of what to do next.  A description of the old storeroom can be read here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Return To?

Wednesday afternoon, May 5, 1651
With scattered clouds and pleasant temperatures, with a moderate breeze blowing from the east.
Moon:  waning crescent, 4 days before new moon.

As the party awakes and sets about readying themselves, possibly for a trip to the nearby town to get torches and other equipment, they find themselves faced with a ready & willing Bert, wearing different, tougher clothes, a pick in his belt, a cloak, a small helmet and holding a 3-foot pole.  "Well," he says.  "Where are we going?"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sevim Awakens

Sevim's eyes open, and her attention focuses on Ahmet in the vardo. Mist, who has been wiping Sevim's forehead, quietly rises and slips out of the vardo, leaving Ahmet and Sevim alone.

Sevim's eyes widen and she shrinks.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Tuesday afternoon, May 4, 1651
With scattered clouds and warm temperatures, with a gale originating in the southwest.

Overnight, as the weather remains pleasant and comfortable, the wind changes and increases in intensity, from the south, a dry wind that has descended from the atmosphere, having originated in the African desert and skipped over the Mediterranean Sea. The temperature quickly climbs in the morning, until anything more than a light shirt seems stifling.

Still, Sevim sleeps, all morning. Ahmet has gone off alone for a time, but he returns after breakfast, having sojourned through the night with his conscience. And then, not long after his return, the party - resting upon the long green grass under olive and lemon trees, the petals of the latter thinning now as the wind blows them away - sees Hichem returning with a companion. An odd companion.

It is a fellow about 18 inches tall, with black greasy hair, a thick mustache, an open shirt and a short breeches, as well as bare feet. The little fellow has a swordbelt with a narrow blade only eight inches long tucked into it, and a small bow hung over one shoulder. The side of the belt opposite the sword has a small wineskin tied to it. He is speaking animatedly with his hands and Hichem is smiling, chuckling from time to time as they approach, so that it can be seen that the small man is telling some sort of story.

When they get close enough, the party can just hear the small fellow say, "... so I told her, if I had two brothers, the thres of us could make a permanent home in her magnificent mountain pass."

At which Hichem guffaws heartily.

The former servant looks at the party and says, "My masters. I am heartily sorry for my impulsive behavior, and if I may, I'd like to return to your service. And I would like to present Bert." Hichem gestures with his hands. "This is Maximillian, a healer and the warmest fellow of the bunch; and Lukas, he's a very smart man; and this is Andrej, a Catholic Priest; and Ahmet, whom I -"

"Yes, yes, enough said," says Bert. "Troubles come in all shapes and sizes, we can't expect every moment to sing with birdsong. Hello to all of you!"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ahmet the Great

It appears that the differences between Ahmet and I were not, in fact, irreconcialable. Minds were changed, and as a result Ahmet will be rejoining this campaign beginning tomorrow morning. Please rest assured that everything will be put to right and that the party's full complement, barring any unforseen events, will begin again Tuesday morning.

I ask that we put this behind us and be excellent to each other.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ahmet & Sevim

Very well, let's hash this out.

In the past three events associated with the woman, I have seen Ahmet demonstrate stubbornness, indifference, hard-heartedness and resistance.  I'm fairly able to handle this, but one three occasions I have also seen the party attempt to talk him out of this behavior, an effort which has gotten us exactly nowhere.

Maximillian has written a lengthy proverb which has been treated with feigned incomprehension; Lukas has approached with stern words, which were growled at; and Andrej has attempted reason which has received a mocking answer that is to some extent clearly aimed at me and the situation I've created.

Ahmet's answer will be that these emotions and responses are in character, which is to some degree fair, except that he has chosen of his own free will to grant Ahmet only negative qualities and a complete insouciance towards positive qualities.  His statements to Hichem suggest that he feels corralled, that I am attempting to manipulate him with events, and that may be a fair accusation.

So here is a list of things I might do.

1)  I can get rid of Sevim.  She's clearly the origination of this particular grumpiness on Ahmet's part.  She can simply disappear into the night and the problem just goes away.  I have no problem with this.  I will take it under advisement in the future, however, that there's little value to attempting to create drama or emotional conflict with Ahmet's chosen characterization - which I take as a LESSON, and do not remark upon as a form of passive aggressiveness.  I do not bank my world upon the creation of emotional conflicts in characters - I simply reach for that option when it is made available.  I can certainly not avail myself of it and everything can return to the cooperation that was evident in the tunnels.

2)  The party can split up.  I don't have time to run two parties, but if Ahmet feels I've been unreasonable in the creation of this mess, then I am open to having the party reorganized without Ahmet.  I prefer that if someone is unhappy that they say so directly to me.  If you are not happy with the world as offered, please indicate your willingness to leave.

3)  The party can accept this situation as a challenge or as appropriate, only it is already becoming the Ahmet and Sevim show, with a lot of energy spent arguing with the construct of Ahmet's character.  I had someone comment on the other blog just last week that their game consisted of a lot of this sort of thing with one player and that in the end it was just a waste of energy.  But we can go on in this vein until the Captain sees what the priest in Melitene saw, and what Hichem saw, whereupon she will behave in HER character, and that is going to go hard places.

4)  Ahmet can change his mind and his approach to his character.

5)  The game can cease all together.

Let's have it out.  If I am in the wrong place, if I have presented an unreasonable situation, I will take steps to fix it right now.

Out Again

May 3, 1651, morning.
With clear skies and warm temperatures, a moderate breeze and a crosswind.

The party emerges from the hole, taking note of the grisly scene with the father and son still waiting for them outside. No vermin have come around to poke at the bodies, though they are beginning to gather flies on this warm day.

It is mid-afternoon, and you have not been underground for long, but it is bright and for a short time you're unable to see easily. This shakes off quickly, however, and you survey the country around you - the wide clearing, hundreds of yards across, holding the temple, the small creek on the east side of the meadow, the forests climbing up the hills on either side.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Way Down

The party doesn't need to travel very far, only 50 feet over the next ten rounds, or two minutes, in a fairly steep passage that calls for the players to sheath their weapons in order to be safe; there's no threat, and the clay soil is tough and supports you well. But the passage curls to the left and drops about 20 feet.

You cannot help but notice that the temperature has warmed somewhat unnaturally in that short time, almost like stepping outside into the sun. The smell of mown hay intensifies, and its obvious to everyone now, even before finding yourselves at the top of a natural chimney, about 8 feet across. Three quarters of the chimney space seems to be taken up by a hay-like plant, which has fixed itself solidly to the ceiling and sidewalls of the chimney, with strands about thumb-thickness, that drop into the blackness of the vertical hole. These strands are brownish grey, with no sign of greenery, but they feel lush and vibrant to the touch, indicating that they're rich with water and must be growing. The touch is so smooth that you might think it was made of corn-silk ... and dimly Maximillian seems to remember that this is an underground plant called 'tussore-weed.' The branches compress when seized and are very soft on the hands, while apparently firm and supportive.

Ahmet's Torch (including inspection of the plants): 7 minutes.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Round 4: Close Quarters

The ankhkeg spins about so that it drags its jaws in Ahmet's direction but it is stunned and does not attack.

The present position means that all but Lukas may suffer incidental damage this round (after you attack, whether the creature is dead or not). Everyone can attack, including Lukas, who applied the salve last round for (?) 4 hit points? He made it sound like that was a bad thing.

Yes, the torch went out, but I'm reasoning that Ahmet is still holding his while swinging Dilmek.


Experience for battle:

Ankhkeg Round 3: Ouch, Lukas!

The ankhkeg shoves other persons in the party around, too, pushing Andrej into Maximillian's hex and Ahmet back also. All four characters must be checked for incidental damage ... and I find that Ahmet, Andrej and Maximillian each suffer one point.

Here's the layout now. Remember that neither Andrej nor Maximillian can attack if they remain in the same hex together.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ankhkeg Round 2: It Retreats

All of the party can move (unless there is a chance I've stunned either Ahmet or Maximillian). Andrej has first call on 0729 if he wants to take it. The creature is large enough that anyone can throw something at it, but there's only room enough for one hand-to-hand combatant.


Arguing that Ahmet's last positional question was to inquire about the left tunnel, and Andrej's last point about taking opposite positions to watch the holes, I'm proposing the party is in this position when the ankhkeg appears from the right hand tunnel:

Looks more like a fly than an ankhkeg, but what the hell ...
maybe that's what they look like.

I was really going for frightening with regards to the creature's appearance, anyway.

The ankhkeg rolls a 2 for initiative, offering the first attack to the party. The creature is big, 10 feet long, and more than 500 lbs ... and extraordinarily fast moving. If it want's to bash its way through any member of the party, there's not much that would be done to stop it. A reminder for spellcasters - standing behind another party member doesn't guarantee I won't come smashing through you with its first round, ruining that spell.

Everyone can take the action they deam appropriate. This round, the creature can only be attacked from 0629 and 0630; the highest dexterity gets there first, if multiple persons want to move into that hex. In order of dexterity, the party is ranked Lukas, Andrej, Ahmet and then Maximillian.

What have I forgotten?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Bug Hole

The party carefully descends into the bug hole, with Andrej in front. His infravision, separated from the torch, allows him a vague view of the tunnel perpetrated by the heat produced by the thin plant covering, lichen that is in fact too small to be seen. Andrej recognizes this effect, however, and realizes that if not for this spore-level life, it would be too cold for him to see at all. As it is, he can only barely discern the tunnel's shape. Slowly, from the torch light above, his light-detection faculties take over, and he can see a tunnel that slowly curves to the left and out of sight, some 30 feet away.

Presuming, if I may, that the party decides to continue forward for a minute, or five rounds, moving carefully, only 10 feet per round, they follow along the tunnel for fifty feet from the Old Storeroom. The tunnel descends slightly, and weaves in a gentle path away from where the river bottom of the valley would be, somewhere to the party's right (right and behind, as they follow the passage forward). The descent is between five and ten degrees at most. Andrej is forced to either light a torch or take the one from the back of the party, as his own shadow is blocking his clear vision of the way ahead.

I'll pause there, to let the party decide on further action.