Hmmm. A fellow carries a sword cane because he knows how to use it. Limp or no limp, I'd wager he'll be handy enough should we run into any bandits, smugglers or the like.
Tal keeps his thoughts to himself of the moment, unsure how the Dwarves will react to the notion of a relative stranger carrying a concealed weapon in their midst.
You estimate that it will be about a 3 hour journey from Absalom through the Cairnlands to the edge of the forest (A). Someone please come up with the layout for how your group will arrange yourselves when traveling, and if everybody's happy with it, I'll put it in the campaign info for reference and we can set off.
We will assume enough room to travel in ones and twos at all times, but please also come up with a layout that's 3 wide for when you come to an area that allows it or for interacting with people/things.
When it comes to a 3x3 formation probably put Tiann in front with Jake & Karz when interacting with people & have Tiann swap with Tal when interacting with devices.
How about these formations?
Jory Karzak Jake
Tian Nester Tal
Plan is to put dwarves that can be seen over in front and Tal in back as a perceptive rearguard.
I'm okay with being wherever anyone thinks I'll serve best. I just want to make sure this Nester fellow is safe.
Good point...it probably wouldn't look too good if we carried him pack in a pine box!
OK, formations are in the campaign tab.
You begin the nine-mile trek north through the Cairnlands and farm land on the way to the forest.
The Cairnlands, a broken landscape of blood-salted earth and the ruins of countless failed assaults on Absalom's walls, soon yields to open fields and fertile ground. Ahead, a vast forest covers the foothills of a large range of snow-capped mountains. The well-trodden road soon ends at a tall wall of trees, signalling the end of civilization.
As you approach the woods, you see three centaurs patrolling the edge of the woods. As you approach, one of them calls out to you: "Be careful! There is some kind of large cat in the woods causing trouble, we have been sent to eliminate it. We wait here for it to venture out into our lands again."
If anyone has knowledge(nature), you can roll it for information about centaurs.
Placing a hand on Karzak's shoulder, Tiann studies the centaurs and tries to gauge whether they're being honest. She holds the dwarf back and whispers in his ear. They may be trying to trick us or otherwise lead us astray... best to see if they're being honest, first.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
The centaurs don't seem hostile. They are each wielding a wicked looking spear, but not taking an aggressive stance towards you, instead focusing on observing the forest.
The leader considers. "I suppose we would pay the usual price for an animal pelt, but we have no particular bounty to offer."
You can try diplomacy to interact with them if you like. Please look at the RULES for diplomacy first though, keeping in mind that bad rolls can make the situation worse.
Having never seen a Centaur before...Tal looks at the majestic creatures in awe as he moves closer to Tiann.
Tiann, should we ask if it would be best to hunt together?
Support Tiann Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Very well, off you go...
You continue on your way, and the Centaurs wave absently to you, while discussing how they want to proceed with their hunt.
The trek through the forest is much slower, and evening is approaching after you have travelled another 6 miles or so.
(Mark B on the trail map) The sound of running water echoes ahead, and several muted beams of light pierce the thick forest canopy. Soon the dense forest opens, revealing a river that blocks the way forward. A large felled tree trunk offers a way over the swift moving river. With the exception of the rushing sound of water, an eerie silence pervades the area, as does the fresh smell of death.
The half-eaten carcass of a large deer stains the forest's foliage near a fast-moving river.
Tiann Ceriagh'u: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Jory Redcap: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28 (+2 vs stonework, auto)
Talhaearn: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21 (low light)
Jake Hargrove: 1d20 ⇒ 14
Karzak: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11 (darkvision 60')
Everybody but Karzak identifies several rake marks on the carcass, suggesting a powerful feline felled this animal.
I would suggest survival skill checks here.
The river looks like it's moving pretty swiftly.
Oblivious to the claw marks, Karzak strides froward towards the carcass. Here now; whatcha suppose took this one down...maybe the great cat that those fellas were off ta' hunt?
when he reaches the carcass, he bends down to examine it and any tracks that he can find around it.
Survival1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Survival 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
These rake marks were likely made by the cat that the centaurs are hunting; catching the deer unaware while it was drinking from the river.
That fallen tree looks to be the only way across without wading through the river. A perfect spot for an ambush...but can a jungle cat truly be that cunning?
Tal nocks an arrow and moves cautiously toward the river bank surveying the area around & across the river.
Perception1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
"Well, something is hunting here. Shall we send someone nimble across with a rope to make the crossing easier for the rest? I'll cover the crossing from this side at the river's edge."
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11 survival
The water flows from the west to the east and then south.
Jory: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Tal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Karzak: 1d20 ⇒ 14
I agree with Jory, securing a rope to the other side would certainly enhance our crossing capabilities.
Survival: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Jake advances slowly to cover Tal's back.
Careful...I just spotted a large black cat behind those trees on the other side of the river. He ran off toward that direction. Tal points to where he first saw the cat and then moves his finger to indicate the direction it ran off.
Studying the deer, Tiann tries to make some sense of the situation.
Survival: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Hmm... about the river. I don't suppose it's very swimmable. Maybe we can use something around here to help us.
She takes a look around for anything useful.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Perhaps we can simply use one of us as anchor, holding onto one end of the rope while we each secure ourselves with the other end and cross the river via the tree trunk one by one. That way if any of us falls off we won't be swept too far downriver.
"I'll go last as my gear is light and you can pull me across if I fall in when I tie the rope to my waist. That lets be cover the crossings for everyone."
Taking out his silk rope he hands one end to Tal and the other to Karzak and Jake.
"Can't have Karzak or Jake go first, they weigh a ton with all their gear and they aren't nearly as agile as you are. Once you secure the rope, Karzak and Jake can cross to get some beef on your side. If something bad happens on your trip over, we'll just pull you back and I'll pepper anything on the other side from here. If you make it uneventfully, Jake and Karzak can cross with a secured rope."
Tal ties one end of the rope to his waist and uses the fallen tree as a bridge to the other side.
I assume an acrobatics check...I've got the skill at +7. Can I take 10 here?
Karzak grunts, then shifts his bulk towards the tree. He glances down at the river, then at the tree, then down at his heavy, spike-studded steel armor. Heh...best be chuckin' that rope over 'ere Tal! Think tha' tall one 'ere and I'll need all the help we can get!
With my armor check penalty, I'm at a -4 for acrobatics...maybe better safe than sorry. Assuming he throws me the rope and thus lowers the DC, he'll cross
1d20 - 4 ⇒ (8) - 4 = 4
Jake, you just watched Karzak fall in the water, so we'll resolve your own fall into the water after Karzak is done, since presumably you went one at a time.
I assume that if Karzak asked for the rope, Tal threw it. In only a second, Karzak is swept east as far as the rope will go.
Karzak, make a strength check (it's not that deep but the current is very strong) or a swim check.
Tal tosses his end of the rope back toward the others and watches as Karzak ties the rope firmly around himself, walk slowly out onto the fallen tree trunk and promptly fall into the water.
I took the liberty of moving everyone closer to the fallen tree and, per Jory's last post, I have connected one end of the rope to the tree and left the other end attached to the slightly soggy dwarf. I'm glad we're getting all these low rolls out of the way early.
Karzak is swept and hurts himself on a sharp rock. The rope stops him from moving further down stream.
Keep rolling until you get a 15DC str, take a point of damage for each further failure. Successful str check lets you get up out either side of the river.
Once Karzak is out, Jake and Tiann will need to do the same. You can either do a DC15 str check or a DC10 swim check. If you are not tied off, you will be swept down river 20' each failure (round) and take 1 point of damage.
Jory calls out to Tal, "Karzak is considered a good swimmer among dwarves. His swimmming nickname is rock."
Jory pulls out some paper and draws a picture of Karzak swimming across the water in full armor. There is significant embellishment of his swimming prowess in his illustration.
Now I have three in the collection!
Assuming Karzak pulls himself up on my side of the river...
Now that two of us are over here I think we would be better off if we held the other end of the rope...that way we can pull you up if you slip.
Karzak: 2 points of damage total.
The rope will allow you to stop Jake and Tiann from going more than 20' downstream, and guarantee no more than 3 rolls until they are pulled up on shore.
Jake and Tiann, roll 3 strength (DC15) or swim (DC10) checks. Your first success means no more rolls. Each failure is a point of damage, if you fail 3 times you are dragged out by your friends.
After Jake and Tiann make it to the other side, Rees carefully works his way across the fallen tree, and makes it across without incident.
Jory, you can take 10 on the acro check, so we'll assume you get over just fine.