For Part I, the remainder of the previous expedition, click here.
September 16th, 2012
Characters: (approximate net point total)
Nakar, human wizard (about 290 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (253 points)
Kullockh, human scout (250 points)
Red Raggi, human berserker (?? points, NPC)
Reserve (players couldn't make it)
Vryce, human knight (299 points)
Inquisitor Marco, human cleric (about 280 points)
Borriz, dwarven knight (280 points)
Honus Honusson, human barbarian (283 points)
After a week off, Nakar organized another expedition to the dungeons under Felltower. Galen Longtread was back, along with a new scout - a former cellmate of now-dead Fuma. They also located Red Raggi, and he was enthusiastic about coming along.
The four of them decided to hire a torchbearer to both give them a mobile light source and potentially carry some treasure back. So they found a guy and paid him his day rate (30 sp) and loaned him their newly-found shield and gave him a couple torches. They enchanted one with Continual Light and left the other as a spare. He has a name, but they didn't care about it and ended up calling him "Torchy" or "McTorchy." I'm sure that touched him deep in his heart and deepened his loyalty.
They headed out, custom-made ladder/bridge in hand. They crossed to the north side of the river, passed Sterick's statue (and wondered why a rebel's statue is still standing), and reach the ruins of Felltower by around noon. They camped out and got ready - making continual light stones, poisoning arrows, and so on.
They scouted down into the entrance chamber, and noted one of the curtained/shuttered arrowslits was open, but dark. While Galen and Kullochk watched, Nakar invisible levitated across and scouted. He heard even low breathing. A sleeping guard? As the light from the PCs started to cause the guard to stir, Nakar readied a Stone Missile. The hobgoblin peeped up, and Nakar stuck his hand in and shot him point blank in the head, killing him outright. The body slumped down, and they went on with their business.
Raggi and the scouts put down the bridge and locked it in place. They proceeded through the right portcullis, and found the metal door open. They carefully went through and past the rest of the (shuttered) arrow slits and into the "noisy room."
From there, they had decided to head right, what they call map east (not that it's actually east, but whatever). They decided to make one of the scouts invisible, and send him ahead to scout just close enough to take advantage of their light sources. This would prove a useful tactic.
As they headed along a corridor they'd visited in their first trip, they heard oncoming booted feet. They set up a quick ambush around a corner, and once the goblins appeared they opened up on them. A few arrows and a few of Raggi's axe swings and they were all down before they could call an alarm. They quickly looted the goblins (even taking some of their small-sized shortbows) and continued on.
A few turns later, their scouted revealed a room that had been empty when they first passed was in fact full of snoozing gnolls. The scout (I think it was Galen this time) tried to sneak back, but he realized they must have smelled him because they became alert and started arming. He headed back and they set up to fight, as the door at the back of the gnoll's room was heard to open and close. The gnolls crept forward, bows and morninstars at the ready, while the PCs waited around the corner, with their invisible scout aiming. The gnolls could see the light but didn't know about the scout. The PCs opened up when the gnolls got close but not too close, and began to shoot them down. Raggi melee'd with the gnolls while Kulloch and Galen shot them in their unarmored snouts. It ended pretty quickly, with no injuries. Raggi stabbed a few to death cheerfully, ramming his knife into their face. He was held prisoner by, and tortured by, gnolls in the Caves of Chaos, and doesn't remember that too fondly.
At this point Galen took a gnoll's longbow for himself, and started to use it despite the difficulty of drawing an over-strength and over-sized bow. They searched the gnolls and their room and took a few coins, but not much else of real value. They headed through the door and found it was their "trash room." Nothing valuable there, either, just broken arrow bits, urine stains, and empty ration wrappers.
The group futzed around for a good while here. First they explored a side passage, with Nakar in the rear. He spotted a slugbeast on the ceiling sneaking up on them just as it reached for McTorchy. He Phase Other'd him but only managed to do that once; the second time the slugbeast had him. He popped it with a stone missile to no effect, while Galen shot it with arrows and Raggi ran up to chop it. Kullockh covered their front. The sticky slugbeast squished McTorchy into unconsciousness, and Raggi had a tough time pulling his axe back out each turn to hit it again. But they made short work of it in the end.
They stashed unconscious McTorchy in the trash room and turned him invisible, banking on the urine smells to keep anyone from smelling him either.
They found a room that turned out to be hourglass shaped with a door in the middle. Raggi went to open the door, but a magical trap hit him - he suddenly saw himself getting overrun by gnolls and went berserk, swinging his axe. Nakar calmly turned everyone invisible and let Raggi run out of steam. Once he calmed down, they realized it was a magical trap they couldn't easily remove. So they had Raggi hack the door down. The other half of the room was empty, but knocking on the walls found a thin section. They used Shape Earth to open it up, and moved into a room with stale, stale air.
That room was empty as well, with drag marks showing where - chests? trunks? - were dragged out of the room long ago. They groused at the adventurers who must have come before, and double-groused at them leaving it closed off and trapped. Who would do that? "We would." said Galen.
They skipped another side room because they saw spiderwebs in the hallway leading to it.
The spent a good bit of time exploring the immediate around around a big room they'd found in the past, trying to make their map line up. It took time in and out of game, but they didn't pay for it - the only wandering monsters were 10 giant rats, and a few arrows and a wall of magical flame took care of them as a threat. They killed 9 with arrows and an axe blow by Raggi, and only one escaped.
They found another room with something odd - a "stall" like layout, with the "stall walls" being relatively smooth meteoric iron ore. Immune to magic. There were marks between them as if it was used as a firing range for spells, but no sign of a magical trap. A room off of that was also empty. A Seek Earth looking for silver pointed out a spot nearby, so they tried to navigate to it.
They did, and found some empty Goblin quarters - and a lone, dropped silver piece. Aargh.
More exploration followed, and they found a locked room. Lockmaster solved that, and the locked door out of it. They decided to check just a little more, needing treasure, and found a taller, slightly wider door of heavy, iron-reinforced wood with a lock. A close look revealed light behind the door but little escaped as the door was snugly in its doorframe.
They geared up and Lockmaster'd the door, and then opened it up. Inside was a 40 x 40' room with a stairway down at the other end. A couple of tables were set up as barricades to either side, and four big gnolls crouched behind a wall of barrels in the center. Plate-and-mail armored ogres with spears and big-ass weapons (one a greataxe, one a giant kophesh) stood to either side. Uh-oh.
Nakar quickly Missile Shielded Raggi, and then Great Hasted him and slapped his back to send him in. Meanwhile Galen and Kulloch exchanged arrows with the gnolls and shot a few down. Once Raggi got in, the fighting really started. Up from behind the tables popped 10 goblins, who started to stab with spears and shoot at Raggi with bows. One criticalled and hit him, but couldn't penetrate his mail shirt. Raggi attacked.
Raggi was in rare form, dodging all blows and using Great Haste to rain down axe blows on his opponents. He tried to engage the ogre, but mostly realized it was better to cut down numbers and diverted himself to wipe out a gnoll and then some goblins.
Then the ogres ordered up their reinforcements - eight flesh-eating apes, some sporting clubs! They rushed up the stairs and into the fray.
Raggi shouted, "This room is full of damn, dirty apes!"
The bows of the scouts told here - the charging apes couldn't dodge very well, and the arrows sliced into their vitals and mostly took them out in a single shot. Thrown spears from the ogres couldn't hit Raggi, the gnolls were down, and the goblins too weak. But the ogres were really a big threat.
The fight continued to go well, with Raggi backing up and hacking down apes while the scouts shot them up. One ogre maneuvers to flank Raggi and the other to the middle to try and spear the scouts, and ate a few arrows from his attempt. But as the last apes fell, Raggi began to get lucky and pounded a few massive axe swings into the ogre - but it shrugged off the cuts and kept fighting!
Right at the end of Raggi's Great Haste, his luck ran low. He got chopped badly by the kopesh. He went berserk, and then just attacked with reckless abandon. He managed to eventually beat the kopesh-wielding ogre down, but the other went after the scouts and wizard. Luckily the surviving goblins, who'd been moving in to help engage Raggi, panicked and fled.
Galen ran too, thinking the plan was "get the hell out of here." Kullockh didn't flee but concentrated on defending himself. Invisible Nakar took a point-blank shot at the ogre with a Stone Missile, but missed - and it was the last of his ready power. He spent most of his (Great Hasted) turns turning invisible again, drinking healing potions and paut, trying to get enough power for another shot. Kullockh yelled to Raggi - "Gnolls are out here!" to attact his attention. It did, and he roared out to help. He chopped the ogre in his legs, but failed to seriously hurt him through his mail. The ogre turned and chopped Raggi flat in one blow, leaving him flat on his back, seemingly dead.
But that was the last hurrah for the ogre. Unable to find Nakar, and briefly distracted, he was vulnerable. Invisible Nakar, Nakar the Unseen, stepped up and shot him point blank in the head with something like a 15-16d Stone Missile. It did 58 damage past the pot helm, mail coif, skull, and natural DR of the ogre to his skull - x4 damage meant 232 damage past his DR. Even considering his size, this was enough to blow him almost all the way down to automatic death even had he not been badly and repeatedly injured. His skull and mail coif more-or-less exploded, and his pot helm flew into pieces and rattled around.
The fight was over, just as Galen came running back (he'd realized no one was fleeing with him!)
They dragged Nakar to Raggi so he could bandage him - he wasn't dead. The scouts delivered a coup-de-grace to the other ogre (knife to the eyes) and gnolls, and quickly looted the room. They looted the ogre's chests, rifled some pockets, and then left when they heard noises down the stairs. They had enough time to realize the ogre's armor was valuable and magical, but no time (or carrying capacity) to take it. They carried out Raggi and the loot, with Nakar stumbling after. They closed the door and Magelocked it to keep anyone from pursuing them too easily.
They quickly but carefully retraced their steps to the "noisy room" before Nakar said "Don't forget McTorchy." Oops. They went back and got him - he was alive and invisible. Nakar fed him a healing potion and woke him up (he'd been out for a while, so it wasn't hard), and dragged him along too.
Stumbling and tired and laden down, they reached the surface. Galen and Kullockh went back and got the ladder, and then they stashed that in a nearby room and headed back to town with their injured and loot.
Second successful trip in a row. Nasty, nasty fight, but only Raggi was seriously hurt and they did a lot of damage and took a good amount of loot.
Hey, I have ST 13 and DX 14 too! Because they're close in points and both used the same template, Galen and Kullockh have a lot of overlap. We joked about them going to the same scout school. "Did you have Mr. Aragorn 5th period for archery?" "No, I had him 6th period. 5th period I had bird call class."
DF characters from some templates - scout is one - can come out looking very similar. While their personalities are different, their stats and skill levels are so close as to make them seem almost interchangeable. I think it'll get clear as we play more that they aren't.
3-2-1-Combat We kept combat very simple this time - map for rough location, and basic combat using only the rules from the back of GURPS Basic Set Characters, plus Deceptive Attacks and the three-second rule (you've got roughly 3 seconds to tell me what you're doing). As a result, combat went quickly. Once we switched to tactical, map-based combat for the final fight, everyone was so used to deciding quickly it flew by, too. Nakar's player said basically it's better to do nothing than to do something stupid, and Galen's player said that if you think it's probably stupid, it's better to do nothing. Keeps the fight moving, too. It's how we got through, er, 5 fights? and a lot of exploration as well.
Level 2 Finally, stairs to the next level. They found stairs before, but they didn't go down far enough to reach a full-height level underneath the current one. Now they have, so I decided to give out a +1 bonus for that, like I'd been debating.
MVB Most Valuable Berserker. NPC or not, the players voted Raggi MVP of the session, so he gets +1 character point. Sweet! He did do well, even for Raggi, who has a good record of killing things like there is no tomorrow and surviving ridiculous situations.