GM Parrot's The Ferry and the Depths: Rappan Athuk

Game Master parrot familiar

Google Drive for maps, loot, etc.

Adelie 50/50
Anzath 48/48
Aurora 50/50
Bedlam 57/57 (1 negative level)
Lolly 60/60
Moneduloides
Talathel 40/40
Tragershen 30/30

Date: Augusta 29


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It's not just what lies beneath the surface of the water, but what lies far beneath the riverbed...


Chapter One: The First Passage

Theme Song: Brother Dege, “Dark Black Sea,” link to Youtube

Day One

There are five known ways for a living person to get to Zelkor’s Ferry. It has been reported that wizards have arrived in a puff of smoke. Once, long ago, a group of visitors descended from the sky. But most people, they either walk through the gates, or they walk off the docks. A very, very, very scant number of people arrive by the fifth path: being born into its dankly humid atmosphere, the stagnant scent of the wide river becoming the background of their existence.

You are going by sea. After weeks of waiting, after meetings with all sorts of paragons and scum, you are finally going. After tense interviews with the Riddleport authorities into your advertised journey’s intentions, after explaining again and again that you’ve received a message from the moon, they have finally stopped accusing you of intending to enlist with the forces of Duke Dorian of Magnimar. They suspect you of wanting to join his attempt to claim the fief of Rivenrake Island, a struggle he carries out againast the native monsters as much as against the self-proclaimed Count Crescius, a powerful man in Riddleport. After all that, you’ve managed to book passage on the Laughing Dolphin, an ancient lateen-rigged caravel from another, more heroic age of navigation.

Google images of Columbus’ expedition’s Nina for a visual…

Captain Aramis Lamb’s crew suits their vessel: ten well—grizzled, weather-beaten men of leather and salt, they say little to the party. Like the Dolphin, their timbers may be a bit waterlogged, but they look ready to hold back the sea a while yet. As for the boat itself, they made ‘em solid back in the day, and while the ship isn’t fast, it seems exceptionally maneuverable—the party would note that there are even what appears to be oars and river poles aboard. All the better. You are hoping to get as far into the interior as possible, to the one safe, neutral settlement on the entire island: Zelkor's Ferry.

You also notice a small party of adventurers boarding the ship.

Random Adventurers Chart: 1d10 ⇒ 6

6 means Merchants, which further means:

Number of Merchants: 1d3 ⇒ 1
Nat 20 means they have a wizard: 1d20 ⇒ 9
Number of Guards: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Plus one sergeant.

A woman with flashing eyes and a crossbow slung across her back paces the deck with the reckless air of a gambler who has just staked her all on the next roll of the dice. Three fighting men shadow her. They talk quietly among themselves.

They eye the six of you curiously, suspiciously. One of the sailors laughs and says, “Them folks are just followin’ you. Read yer poster and want the treasure for themselves. Take it from an ol’ skull-an-crossbones…" he grins, leering, his few teeth exposed.

The good news is that the passage is supposed to be relatively short, and the skillful sailors of Captain Lamb seem especially apt at tacking their way against the winds that seem to be pushing you away from Rivenrake Island. There’s always a chance of danger on the sea, though…

I might roll a random encounter on the Frog God Games "Deadman's Chest" chart, or I might let this first voyage go relatively smoothly. For now, feel free to introduce yourselves in and/or out of character, explore the ship a little.


Female Human Cleric of Nethys 6 | 56/56 HP | AC 22, T 12 , FF 20, CMD 19 | Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +10 | Init +1 | Perception +3 | 6/6 Channel Energy; 6/6 Divine Vessel; 1/1 Magical Epiphany | Active Effects:

"Yes, it WAS a message from the moon! No, I'm not stark raving mad!"

-----

Having stocked herself well for this journey while the group was making their arrangements, Aurora fiddles with the sturdy strap of her backpack — having opted to put down as little of her gear as possible, wary for any potential risks or threats that may be afoot even before the band sets foot in Zelkor's Ferry or dives into the depths they sought. She is a tall, pale, well-built woman with half of her hair colored black and half of it white and all of it currently braided over her shoulder in a whorl of the two colors.

She stands a few feet from the edge of the deck, staring out over the waters. "I was starting to think we'd never get out of Riddleport."

Still, at the teasing of the sailor she turns a look onto the indicated individuals — a coolly critical look, sizing them up with icy blue eyes. Aurora tilts her chin up with an exhalation of amusement and a smile more akin to that of a predator, "I should like to see them try..." The look softens as she trails off and finishes, "But if they'd like to assist us properly, I'd be happy to have them."


Female Shoanti Lunar Oracle (Spirit Guide) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC 20 (T14, FF 18) | CMB: +5 CMD: 13 | F:+3 R:+3 W:+5 | Init -2 | Low-light vision, Perception +8, Sense Motive +10, Diplomacy +7 | Speed 20 ft. | Spells lvl1: 2/5 | Wolf HP: 18/19 AC: 19 | Active Effects: Shield of Faith

The moon speaks to all things. Very few listen.

-----

Deeply tanned skin turned white at the knuckles, the imposing Shoanti woman has a death grip on the rail of the gently swaying vessel, clearly unused to the ground moving so easily. Though she looks fairly stable now, her boarding had been something of an event as she nearly stumbled and had to lean heavily on the large grey wolf at her side to avoid falling in the water. The wolf, by contrast, rests at her feet comfortably, eyes half-lidded.

'Chases Moonlight' she had introduced herself as, a rather cumbersome name to say aloud, though any attempts at shortening it were met with a scowl. She made it clear that her name is important to her. Her whole name. The wolf, 'Bites Ears,' on the other hand, was rather satisfied with any name that came with a friendly or gentle tone.

As the newcomers board the ship, she watches them with a kind of calm intensity. She's not threatened by them, but she's absolutely ready to act against them if the situation warrants.

The massive earth breaker standing head-down at her feet makes that a rather intimidating possibility.


Sorry for calling Chases Moonlight "Chases" earlier!


Male AC20,T11,FF20,CMD18,(AC20, T11, FF19, CMD15) | HP22/22 | F+7, R+3(R+4), W+7 | Init +1, Perception +2, Darkvision 60ft. | Active effects: Divine Favor19rds, Enlarge Person3rds, Shield of Faith20rds, Good Blessing10rds

Hakram scowls at the old sailor when he admits to being an ex-pirate, but doesn't say anything. They'd had a hard enough time finding passage, he wasn't about to rock the boat over one of the sailors having a rough past. Didn't mean he had to like it.
"You should have more care with who you invite on, Aurora." The potential irony of a half-orc saying that is entirely lost on Hakram.

He follows her stare out over the waters, noting the waves with trepidation - Gods above! but he didn't like boats. Without thinking, his hand slides to his sword, grabbing the hilt for security.
He'd paid a merchant a couple silver coins to take a look at a map before they boarded, and he knew that they were supposed to stay within the bounds of the Varisian Gulf the whole journey, but it did little enough to calm his nerves.


Male Elven Wizard (Diviner, Foresight) 6 | HP 38 | AC:18 | FF:14 | T:13 | CMB:+3 | CMD:16 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+ | Will:+6 | Init:+10 | Perc +0 | St:+3 |

Tragershen watches the discussion with interest. It is a while before he contributes, stating "It isn't always the size of the force that decides such things. While it is true in many cases, consider the army of holy forces lost early in the Dungeon of Graves; they were a vast force. At the Worldwound, the forces of the Abyss are nigh infinite, yet a mortal host keeps them at bay. And in the forests of southern Kyonin, Treerazer alone confounds all of the wise and powerful elves that have arrayed against them over the years. We few may succeed where many, many more have not."


male Halfling Rogue (unc) 3 / Bard (arch) 1 || HP: 34/34 || AC:20 (T:15 / FF:16) || CMD:17 || Fort:+2 Refl:+8 Will:+4(+2 fear) || Init:+4 || Perception:+10/11 Sense +5, adpt luck 3/3, arch luck 7/7

Few take notice of the halfling curled up against the rail of the port bow, munching slowly on a kidney pie acquired from a seller's cart near the dock in Riddleport. He smirks as he watches his larger companions exchange words and debate their chances. As the tall elf speaks of the many strange chances presented across Golarion, Brand lets out a heart chuckle, "Aye, a great many things defy the odds the world places before them. But ye forget p'rhaps the best such case of all, the Lucky Drunk passed the Test of the Starstone while lost in an ale-fueled stupor!"

He takes another bite of his pie before standing, "With a touch of luck will reach the gates to the Graves, though hopefully not to be interred there ourselves. But, if we die, it will be in the writing of legends. So, let's be on then."


Female Human Cleric of Nethys 6 | 56/56 HP | AC 22, T 12 , FF 20, CMD 19 | Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +10 | Init +1 | Perception +3 | 6/6 Channel Energy; 6/6 Divine Vessel; 1/1 Magical Epiphany | Active Effects:

"I am merely saying. We may not require a massive force, but if more hands wish to help and are capable of holding their own, I do not see why they shouldn't be welcomed with all appropriate caution so long as they do not wish to... interfere... with our goals." Aurora shrugs lamely and pauses a moment. Her voice, already politely quiet, lowers further as she continues, "But I do not think they are currently very interested in that, so this is all merely hypotheticals."


HP: 21/21 | AC 16 [17] (T13, FF 13 [14]) | CMB: +4 CMD: 17 | F:+5 R:+6 W:+1 | Speed 20 ft. | Init +1 | Dark vision: Per +8 (several bonuses depending on situation)

Joden Stonetoe continues to sit huddled near the stern with his eyes closed. His has spoken little on this trip on account of the greenish cast his face has maintained. His few words have often been interrupted in order to commune with his newest acquisition: a sturdy wooden bucket previously used during deck swabbing. With much snickering, the crew had graciously allowed Joden to borrow the bucket seeing as they had many others.

Blearily, he eyes the other passengers on the ship and fervently hopes no need for his assistance in combat will be required. Just stay over there and keep your stupidity to yourselves, he wills in the direction of the shifty-eyed merchant and her guards.


The Laughing Dolphin continues to force a zigzagging path into the teeth of the wind. The deck is crawling with sailors. They rush back and forth, shouting cautions each time the pair of massive booms sweeps across the boat. Overhead, the sails luff noisily until they catch the wind again.

As such, the party finds itself shunted to the forecastle by Captain Lamb. “You’ll be safe here, or down below, if you’d rather. We’re making excellent time—should be there just before sundown. A day’s journey and yet so few make it… I’m hoping to pick up a few from the last group I brought over. No harm in hoping.”

Those who have remained topside are forced into closer proximity with the merchant and her bodyguards. They seem somewhat more comfortable afloat than certain members of your own party.

As always, feel free to pursue conversations and interactions with the NPCs—but you may also decide to keep quiet and hope that the time passes more quickly that way. We’re playing Rappan Athuk and not Skull and Shackles, and you may well get another chance to talk to Aramis Lamb later on. I'm going to work for a few hours and will get us to Zelkor's Ferry after that.

Oh, and I can’t resist a huge random encounter chart. I am not going to run the encounter that results, but just for funzies:

Deadman’s Chest: 1d1000 ⇒ 37

Heheheh.

The party notices a fish leaping from the water and flashing in the sunlight. A single small barracuda appears to be following the ship, hunting for scraps.


Male AC20,T11,FF20,CMD18,(AC20, T11, FF19, CMD15) | HP22/22 | F+7, R+3(R+4), W+7 | Init +1, Perception +2, Darkvision 60ft. | Active effects: Divine Favor19rds, Enlarge Person3rds, Shield of Faith20rds, Good Blessing10rds

It's hard to tell, what with his already green-tinted skin, but it looks like Hakram's face is turning a bit of a color, getting worse with the gentle roll of the ship as they get underway.

Before long, the big half-orc is noisily sick, hanging his head out over the side of the ship. The barracuda will be getting scraps allright.


Female Human Cleric of Nethys 6 | 56/56 HP | AC 22, T 12 , FF 20, CMD 19 | Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +10 | Init +1 | Perception +3 | 6/6 Channel Energy; 6/6 Divine Vessel; 1/1 Magical Epiphany | Active Effects:

Seemingly unfazed by Hakram's state, Aurora stands by him and—if he doesn't reject the gesture—gingerly puts her hands against his shoulders to keep a loose hold on him and make sure he doesn't accidentally go flying overboard if the ship hits a rough patch of water. It would be tragic to loose someone so quickly.

To the group of merchants, Aurora is willing to offer a (clearly quite wry) quip of "Smooth sailing, eh?" and engage in pleasantries if prompted, but otherwise keeps to her own group unless spoken to.


The merchant nods politely, keeping aloof. Two of her henchmen giggle at Aurora's joke until the merchant shoots them a withering glare that strikes them silent. The third reprimands the others, barking a quick command that snaps the gigglers to attention.

Captain Lamb halloos from the poop deck: "Nearly there!"


Female Shoanti Lunar Oracle (Spirit Guide) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC 20 (T14, FF 18) | CMB: +5 CMD: 13 | F:+3 R:+3 W:+5 | Init -2 | Low-light vision, Perception +8, Sense Motive +10, Diplomacy +7 | Speed 20 ft. | Spells lvl1: 2/5 | Wolf HP: 18/19 AC: 19 | Active Effects: Shield of Faith

The tall Shoanti stands stubborn at the rail of the ship as if forcing herself to face the unknown, despite her uncertainty at the prospect. Water is rare enough to see in the Cinderlands and there are certainly no ships in that barren place. This... is quite the change of scenery.

As the others chatter away, Chases Moonlight keeps a stoic eye to the sea and sky.

At one point in the journey, she takes a deep breath and wrinkles her nose, speaking briefly in a soft, low tone. Her voice is deep and smooth. Solid, like a weather-worn stone.

"Air is different here. Like salt... like cold."


I'm gonna hold the post I'm working on until the morning! Wrap up any boat business you may have, because we'll be hittin' the Ferry next big post of mine.


As Rivenrake Island looms ever larger on the horizon, the same ill-toothed sailor from earlier arrives in the forecastle, taking up a position at the very tip of the Dolphin and darting glances at the rocks, the sea, and the horizon. He shouts orders to the tiller, and the party gets the sense that the entire ship is dangling from this one man’s expertise… and therefore his whim.

But the ship quits the sea without incident, and begins to weave its way up a wide, slow river. The sailors augment the wind with poles and oars, grumbling about the indignity. The river is surrounded by a mixture of hilly prairies and increasingly dense forests. At one point, it flows underneath a bridge made of enormous cyclopean stones, towering high above the river, arched and buttressed to support a narrow path while leaving just enough clearance for the Dolphin , especially when a timely slackening of the tension on the masts causes them to dip below the causeway. No larger ship could ever enter this river… not while the bridge stands.

After several hours of laborious sculling and more than one close call with submerged sandbars, the party of adventurers in the forecastle notices lights in the twilight ahead. The old pirate leers and says, “It be the will o’ wisps! and wanders back to the poop deck. Any momentary fears fade as it becomes more obvious that the ship is approaching a settlement—Zelkor’s Ferry. The waning crescent moon is rising, along with a river mist.

There’s a flurry of activity on shore. Momentary fears rise again. The keener-eyed members of the party peer into the mist and see:

Perception Hornblower: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Perception Chases Moonlight: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Perception Joden: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28

Hornblower sees that torches are flaring up in the woods.
Chases Moonlight hears the sounds of warcries.
Joden notices that Zelkor's Ferry appears to be under attack by swarms of kobolds! The three of them explain the situation.

Captain Lamb rushes forward and mutters, “Too risky to turn around… an' I wouldn't be able to look Odo in the eye afterwards. We should make for the dock and reinforce the town. Town juts out into the river with a wall to landward. Doesn’t look like the lizardfolk are through the wall yet, we could make for the wall and try to hold them off. Or you warriors could take the longboat and take ‘em by surprise from the rear! Kobolds don’t like bein’ surprised much.”

Joden, having experience with kobolds, would probably nod in agreement with Lamb’s assessment of Kobold courage. Whether he thinks the plan sounds good is an entirely different question.

While Captain Lamb initially addresses his remarks to the merchant’s bodyguards, his eyes rove over to you folks when the merchant’s sergeant flatly says, “No dice. We stay on board with Mz. Bourse.”


male Halfling Rogue (unc) 3 / Bard (arch) 1 || HP: 34/34 || AC:20 (T:15 / FF:16) || CMD:17 || Fort:+2 Refl:+8 Will:+4(+2 fear) || Init:+4 || Perception:+10/11 Sense +5, adpt luck 3/3, arch luck 7/7

After finishing his kidney pie, Brand had nodded off for most of the sail, the smooth rocking of the vessel easing him into rest. He'd grown up on the street, and was able to sleep in a gutter, so the pile of ropes he had found was more than suitable.

So it was with shock that he awoke to the chaos of the ship preparing for battle. Approaching his newfound companions, "Well, lords an' ladies, seems these would-be dragonkin are besiegin' our destination. What say you we earn a bit of good grace, an' put these filth to the blade! Kobolds are a crafty lot, would be fun to spring a trap on 'em. I say we take the longboat and show 'em whats for."


Female Human Cleric of Nethys 6 | 56/56 HP | AC 22, T 12 , FF 20, CMD 19 | Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +10 | Init +1 | Perception +3 | 6/6 Channel Energy; 6/6 Divine Vessel; 1/1 Magical Epiphany | Active Effects:

Aurora spent much of the journey in contemplation, variating between staring out to sea or sitting down somewhere with less seaspray and leafing through her holy text. Yet all reveries must inevitably be interrupted, and the priestess looks up as talk of kobolds begins.

"A fair a plan as any. How many kobolds do there seem to be?" she asks, getting to her feet and tucking away the book before stretching.


As Captain Lamb's sailors prep the longboat, one, two, or all of the three perception-checkers say "Lots. Can't count 'em."

Or something to that effect.


Male Elven Wizard (Diviner, Foresight) 6 | HP 38 | AC:18 | FF:14 | T:13 | CMB:+3 | CMD:16 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+ | Will:+6 | Init:+10 | Perc +0 | St:+3 |

"If we mean to purge this realm and make our mark, this seems as good a task as any to begin with." Tragershen secures his cudgel under a strap of his backpack to make it easier to climb into the longboat once it is ready.


Female Shoanti Lunar Oracle (Spirit Guide) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC 20 (T14, FF 18) | CMB: +5 CMD: 13 | F:+3 R:+3 W:+5 | Init -2 | Low-light vision, Perception +8, Sense Motive +10, Diplomacy +7 | Speed 20 ft. | Spells lvl1: 2/5 | Wolf HP: 18/19 AC: 19 | Active Effects: Shield of Faith

The tall shoanti woman has on a serious expression as she examines the merchant's entourage. Her normally calm, deep voice is severe and biting as she grips her earth breaker and moves with the others to the longboats.

"Some hide like coward. Others fight."

The large wolf yawns before getting up to pad after her.

Longboat assault sounds dandy.


male Halfling Rogue (unc) 3 / Bard (arch) 1 || HP: 34/34 || AC:20 (T:15 / FF:16) || CMD:17 || Fort:+2 Refl:+8 Will:+4(+2 fear) || Init:+4 || Perception:+10/11 Sense +5, adpt luck 3/3, arch luck 7/7

Brand smiles and hastens toward the ship's rail, where sailors are already lowering the longboat for their intended mission. He places his pack of equipment on the deck of the ship, shedding extra gear that might hinder him in the events that lie ahead.

Turning back toward the others, he looks to Hakram and Joden, "The lasses an' our fine-eared friend have spoken for the action, I trust you brave lads will be joinin' us?"


Captain Lamb looks visibly relieved at the bravery of the party.

"If I was anything but the captain I'd come with you. But I need to look to my ship. I'll give you two men to row you ashore--the rest of us will dock at The Ferry and reinforce the walls. You shouldn't need to take out more than a dozen or so before they turn tail."

"And you!" he turns to the merchant and her mercenaries. "Can I trust you to watch The Dolphin while the rest of us are busy saving the town?"

The merchant loads her crossbow, while her guards check their bowstrings. She says, "As long as my cargo is aboard, the ship's as much mine as it is yours. And we'll all die in this pestilential hellhole without a way out. So don't worry."

The longboat is pulled up alongside the ship. A group of sailors assist everyone's descent as much as necessary, though nobody looks very thrilled about helping Bites Ears.

Soon as Jod and Hak check in, you'll hit the beach. I'll probably roll initiative and start combat as soon as we get down there. I'm going to try out an initiative tracking method where, once we have the list, all friendlies can act between enemy turns. I'll put your names in bold when you can act. Example:

Tragershen
Fat Kobold
Joden
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Brand
Aurora

Four Skinny Kobolds

In this case, Tragershen has already acted, as has Fat Kobold. The next four players can each post their turn without worrying too much about who is technically next, though if you're ahead of someone and think your move would significantly change their already-posted move, I will allow a retcon if you both agree, especially if there's a possible character death or some other major consequence. But let's try to avoid that, if possible.

Once those four post, I'd do Four Skinny Kobolds and then Tragershen would be the only bold character.

I'm going to avoid grid style combats when possible--I'll establish the conditions on the riverbank, and you can act accordingly. Happy to clarify situations as necessary, too. The environment is fully interactive. If you start a fire in a dry field, expect it to spread, and the like. We'll save the grid for big boss fights or especially technical combats.


Male Elven Wizard (Diviner, Foresight) 6 | HP 38 | AC:18 | FF:14 | T:13 | CMB:+3 | CMD:16 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+ | Will:+6 | Init:+10 | Perc +0 | St:+3 |

Tragershen says to the two sailors rowing them in "No heroics from the two of you. Once we are disembarked, get back out. If a pack of the kobolds manage to get this boat, it would create tactical complications that no one wants to consider."


"Aye aye, yer a good lad. I hope me cutlass days are behind me. If ye need to get out o' there, just head to the river an' holler an' we'll find ye." The old sailors look relieved to be, erm, relieved of combat duties.


HP: 21/21 | AC 16 [17] (T13, FF 13 [14]) | CMB: +4 CMD: 17 | F:+5 R:+6 W:+1 | Speed 20 ft. | Init +1 | Dark vision: Per +8 (several bonuses depending on situation)

The gentler currents of the river seem to work wonders on the dwarf's stomach, and while still not one hundred percent, he seems more mobile and talkative. Well, what passes for talkative with Joden. He is actually rather quiet and seems lost in his musings of the surrounding wilderness, his expression displaying hints that his contemplation is one of dark concern.

When the ship begins to make its approach on the isolated settlement, Joden sees activity of which he quickly advises the others. No time to mince words now!

He also leaves his pack of meager survival items on the ship's deck and dons his armor in preparation for the fight. Joden nods along with the plan regarding using the longboat to flank.

"Keep your eyes open for traps. They may seem stupid, but in some things, the dragonkin are as wily and clever as the best knave."


Female Shoanti Lunar Oracle (Spirit Guide) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC 20 (T14, FF 18) | CMB: +5 CMD: 13 | F:+3 R:+3 W:+5 | Init -2 | Low-light vision, Perception +8, Sense Motive +10, Diplomacy +7 | Speed 20 ft. | Spells lvl1: 2/5 | Wolf HP: 18/19 AC: 19 | Active Effects: Shield of Faith

Chases Moonlight sits awkwardly in the longboat, the wolf at her feet glaring at the ones who lifted it into the boat. The Shoanti woman speaks a quiet, calming word in a primitive language, to which the wolf snarls but puts its head down.

She looks a little uncomfortable sitting this close, the handle of her hammer sticking up between her legs. From this vantage, it's easy to see the large, sharp-looking tooth embedded at the end of the handle. Easier still when she speaks a brief, sharp spell and it begins to glow silvery-blue, like moonlight.

As the longboat sets off toward the town, Chases Moonlight covers the tooth with a large hand, blocking the light almost entirely.

I assume nobody speaks Shoanti. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Male AC20,T11,FF20,CMD18,(AC20, T11, FF19, CMD15) | HP22/22 | F+7, R+3(R+4), W+7 | Init +1, Perception +2, Darkvision 60ft. | Active effects: Divine Favor19rds, Enlarge Person3rds, Shield of Faith20rds, Good Blessing10rds

Hakram has settled down some as he's lost the contents of his stomach, and by the time they're about to make landfall, he's almost back to himself. He nods at the halfling's initiative. Of course they'd help.

"They shouldn't be expecting enemies from this direction though, Jorden."

He tries to secure himself a spot near the front of the rowboat, to put his shield between any missile fire they might take and the oarsmen an the rest of the group.
This was exactly the sort of fight he'd trained for, protecting townsfolk from raids.


The party hops off the boat downriver from the commotion. While each of you has seen danger before (you’re level 2, Aroden’s sake!), Joden and Brand seem most at home in the shadows and mists, and with only a quick whisper and nod, detach themselves from the group to walk somewhat ahead, say about 30 ft.

They see a pair of Kobold sentries some distance ahead...

They’re the only ones with decent Stealth rolls, so I’m assuming they’d want to use them. Bear with me if I'm making too many assumptions and correct me if your character would act differently--I want to keep the campaign action packed so I'm grabbing the reins for this lil' kobold skirmish, but y'all are in charge of your stories. We're still getting to know each other, so do school me in the ways of your character and gaming habits.

stealth: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16
stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16

Even soft-footed Joden, moving carefully due to his experience in dealing with kobolds, can't quite muffle himself enough to escape the notice of the first two sentries. With a startled yelp, the sentries call their friends to the fray!

initiative Tragershen: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
initiative Brand: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
initiative Aurora: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
initiative Hakram: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
initiative Chases Moonlight: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (6) - 2 = 4
initiative Joden: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
initiative Kobold Sentry: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
initiative Kobold Sentry: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
initiative Kobold Reserve: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
initiative Kobold Reserve: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
initiative Kobold Reserve: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
initiative Kobold Reserve: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
initiative Kobold Reserve: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11

Official initiative order incoming!


Kobold Reserve
Aurora
Kobold Reserve
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Kobold Reserve
Joden

The party has stumbled on a group of kobolds who have yet to be called to the assault on Zelkor's Ferry. One of them, preternaturally quick, hears the alarm yelp of his companion and immediately spins around and slings a stone at

Sling, high Joden low Brand: 1d2 ⇒ 1

Brand! But the sentries are still standing in the way... it'll be a tricky shot.

Sling, Soft Cover: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4

Too tricky. The stone crashes into the woods.

But Aurora Fallowarc has already grasped the situation and acts decisively, before her companions (even the prescient Tragershen) have a chance to blink...


Details:

Joden and Brand are about 30 ft away from the sentries, and about 60 ft away from the reserves. The other party members are about 30 ft behind those two. You're walking through a scrubby sparse forest. There's a fairly easy-to-navigate space between the party and the kobolds--they've placed themselves with a clearing to their rear out of good wilderness practice. However, there are denser woods to either side--difficult terrain and cover for those who might be interested in such. The sun is setting, but there's still no penalty for dimness (might be soon). The river mist fills the woods to the (party's) right side of the clearing, interfering with visibility, but it hasn't quite reached the clearing itself.


Female Human Cleric of Nethys 6 | 56/56 HP | AC 22, T 12 , FF 20, CMD 19 | Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +10 | Init +1 | Perception +3 | 6/6 Channel Energy; 6/6 Divine Vessel; 1/1 Magical Epiphany | Active Effects:

Aurora grasps the holy symbol she wears around her neck—a wooden mask whose surface has been stained half white and half black—and lifts it up in presentation as she utters a prayer. An aura of pale magic flares around her for a moment before dimming away, yet the touch of the divine lingers upon her and her allies.

Standard Action — Bless! All allies within a 50ft. burst radius of Aurora get a +1 morale bonus on their attack rolls and on saves vs. fear. This effect lasts for 2 minutes.

Aurora lets go of the holy symbol to let it once more hang loosely at her neck and strides forward with a strong sense of determination, retrieving from her back a beautifully-made quarterstaff with a grip of well-worn black leather and a strap of white cloth that let her hang it across her back when not in use.

Move up 20' and draw Masterwork Quarterstaff.

@GM Parrot — There is some degree of uncertainty in the exact wording of things as to whether or not Bless is sufficient to proc Divine Vessel (DV requires the cleric to be the 'target' of a divine spell, but Bless doesn't actually have 'targets', it just effects caster+every ally in a 50ft. radius.) If you deem Bless sufficient to proc it, Aurora would use a Swift action to proc one of her 6/day uses of Divine Vessel when she cast Bless, to give everyone within 15ft. of her an extra (untyped!) +2 bonus on the next attack roll, skill check, or ability check made before the end of their next turn.


Kobold Reserve
Aurora
Kobold Reserve
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Kobold Reserve
Joden

A second kobold springs into action--this one rushes forward to stand beside his fellows and whips a stone at Joden. There are now three kobolds standing abreast ahead, and three remain behind.

Sling: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 211d3 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2

Joden takes a rock to the noggin!

On Bless/DV: Whoa, good question! At first I was like, of course! But now, I think not. Relevant quotes:

On what a target is: "Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target."

On area spells: "Regardless of the shape of the area, you select the point where the spell originates, but otherwise you don’t control which creatures or objects the spell affects."

It's the specifically choosing vs. you don't control which creatures that makes me skeptical enough to say nay. Still, that ability rules and I look forward to seeing it in action!

Related: On when the target is yourself: If the target of a spell is yourself (the Target line of the spell description includes “You”)...


Male Elven Wizard (Diviner, Foresight) 6 | HP 38 | AC:18 | FF:14 | T:13 | CMB:+3 | CMD:16 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+ | Will:+6 | Init:+10 | Perc +0 | St:+3 |

"Hakram, I'll use my magic to swell you to the size of an ogre!"

Assuming Hakram doesn't protest, Tragershen will move close to Joden (5' behind him) and begin casting Enlarge Person back at Hakram. He has a 30' range with the spell, so it should be fine.

If Hakram protests that he doesn't want the spell, Tragershen still advances and offers to cast it on Boden instead.


Kobold Reserve
Aurora
Kobold Reserve
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Kobold Reserve
Joden

The kobold sentries start screaming and hollering in Draconic while launching slingstones at Joden and Brand: "Čudeži, ki prihajajo za nami, fantje! Pripravi se! Pridobite ostale!"

I'm using a random language selector that will pull world languages for us to use--looks like Draconic is Slovenian!

Draconic:
Monsters coming up behind us, boys! Get ready! Get the others!

Sling Brand: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 141d3 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
Sling Joden: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 121d3 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0

This time, Brand feels the sting of the sling! He'd have easily dodged that shot if he hadn't hesitated for a split second...


Male AC20,T11,FF20,CMD18,(AC20, T11, FF19, CMD15) | HP22/22 | F+7, R+3(R+4), W+7 | Init +1, Perception +2, Darkvision 60ft. | Active effects: Divine Favor19rds, Enlarge Person3rds, Shield of Faith20rds, Good Blessing10rds

His armor slowing him down, Hakram runs towards the front lines as fast as he can. In the proccess Tragershen's spell hits him, and he grows to prodigous size.

Taking a run action to get into melee with the sentries - that should be possible with 80ft, at least. With enlarge person, his dex effectively becomes +0, and with a size modifier he's at 18 and subject to possible sneak attacks if that's a thing.


GM Parrot wrote:

Kobold Reserve

Aurora
Kobold Reserve
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Kobold Reserve
Joden

Hakram towers over the kobolds, huffing a bit from his run. With his magically enhanced height, he is well within range to strike them (5 ft away, threatening but not adjacent makes sense to me... unless you want to get right in their faces). His bulk now intervenes between the kobolds and the rest of the party.


Whoops, that wasn't supposed to be a quotation.

Your move, Brand. Take your best shot at my deadly kobold army!


male Halfling Rogue (unc) 3 / Bard (arch) 1 || HP: 34/34 || AC:20 (T:15 / FF:16) || CMD:17 || Fort:+2 Refl:+8 Will:+4(+2 fear) || Init:+4 || Perception:+10/11 Sense +5, adpt luck 3/3, arch luck 7/7

Brand had hoped to skulk up, drawing his blades upon witless rodents. But damn, that dwarf just couldn't keep quiet. And he was now about to rush forward against aware foes, but then Hakram, grown to monstrous size, charged past... then THWACK, a damned sling rock cracked him in the jaw.

"Hoi, dragon whelps! Our giant's gonna squash ye!"

Drawing his bow, Brand steps to the right, giving him a clear vantage on the third kobold, the one who joined, just past his much larger companion's leg.

Short Bow: 1d20 + 5 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 5 + 1 = 11
damage: 1d4 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 + 1 = 5


Kobold Reserve
Aurora
Kobold Reserve
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Kobold Reserve
Joden

Brand's arrow lodges itself in the kobold's leather armor, doing no damage at all. The kobold snaps the shaft, thinking to itself that a few more of those'd upgrade him to studded.

One of the next two kobolds yells, "Zgrabil bom dečke in ubili bomo velikana! Zadrži njega in njegove prijatelje za trenutek...

Draconic:
I'll grab the fellas and we'll kill the giant! Keep him and his friends busy a second...

And then he scampers off into the distance. The other whaaangs a slingstone at Giant Hakram...

Sling: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

But kobolds have turrible aim. The kobold draws his spear as he cautiously moves forward, muttering nervously... now he's just behind the three kobolds who had already moved forward, making a nice clump of four in front of Hakram.


Female Shoanti Lunar Oracle (Spirit Guide) 1 | HP: 19/19 | AC 20 (T14, FF 18) | CMB: +5 CMD: 13 | F:+3 R:+3 W:+5 | Init -2 | Low-light vision, Perception +8, Sense Motive +10, Diplomacy +7 | Speed 20 ft. | Spells lvl1: 2/5 | Wolf HP: 18/19 AC: 19 | Active Effects: Shield of Faith

Earth breaker in hand, Chases Moonlight chants a spell, drawing silvery light around the wolf at her feet in a sort of shield before issuing a command in a strange language.

Handle Animal DC 10: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11

The wolf darts ahead toward the kobolds and the big shoanti lumbers after.

Cast Shield of Faith on Bites Ears, making his AC 19 (17 if he can charge). Move 20' toward the kobolds. Then Bites Ears will charge the nearest enemy, or run up if that's not possible. He can move 50' per move action or 100' on a charge.

Charge Bite: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20 Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 Trip: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9


Kobold Reserve
Aurora
Kobold Reserve
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Joden

Kobolds defeated: 1

No charge lane to the nearest kobold, but with 100ft of move speed he can whack the one that hasn't acted yet...

Bites Ears rushes forwards, scooting straight past Giant Hakram and his bait ball of kobolds towards the two still standing toward the back. In a particularly lupine maneuver, he goes for one of the creatures' legs to drag it to the ground. But the weedy little kobold's joints can't handle the jolt intended to trip it, and Bites Ears ends up with a kobold leg dangling from his jaws. The one left standing near the wolf looks on in horror.

One of the kobolds in the main group yells, "Volkovi! Njeni volkovi so nas izdali!"

Draconic:
Wolves! Her wolves have betrayed us!

They seem more upset by Bites Ears than by Giant Hakram. That may change, though...

Joden's turn


HP: 21/21 | AC 16 [17] (T13, FF 13 [14]) | CMB: +4 CMD: 17 | F:+5 R:+6 W:+1 | Speed 20 ft. | Init +1 | Dark vision: Per +8 (several bonuses depending on situation)

Joden growls as the rock strikes his hard dwarven head. He darts forward to the closest enemy while pulling both his battleaxe and shield from their stowed locations. He swings his axe down while keeping his shield high for protection.

Battleaxe: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
damage: 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5


Kobold Reserve
Aurora
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Joden

Kobolds defeated: 2

Joden's axe fells a kobold--while it isn't quite dead yet, its survival instincts are making it curl up and feign defeat, hoping to skulk away later.

Meanwhile, the kobold who just witnessed Bites Ears amputate his friend moves in to try to slay the wolf, more out of desperation than courage. He draws his spear and gives it a go:

Kobold Spear: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 201d6 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1

His thrust manages to catch the wolf, but only just.

Now that we're through a round of combat +1 kobold, I'll summarize the situation:

Three of the kobolds are standing nervously in front of Giant Hakram. Two are ten feet away from Hakram, and the otehr is just behind them at 15 feet distance. There used to be three abreast facing him, but Joden has just laid one of them low: he is to the west of the kobolds with a five foot gap between him and the next kobold, with a nearly-dead kobold between him and the rest.

Brand is slightly to the right of Giant Hakram and slightly behind--close enough to keep peppering the kobolds with arrows or to engage them hand-to-hand if he'd rather.

Meanwhile, about thirty feet to the northeast, Bites Ears is dueling the kobold mentioned above. Another lies dead at his paws.

One final kobold has run upriver, towards the sound of the ongoign battle for Zelkor's Ferry

Aurora, Tragershen, and Chases Moonlight are all behind Hakram, some distance away from his knot of kobolds.

Aurora and Tragershen's turn!


Male Elven Wizard (Diviner, Foresight) 6 | HP 38 | AC:18 | FF:14 | T:13 | CMB:+3 | CMD:16 | Fort:+4 | Ref:+ | Will:+6 | Init:+10 | Perc +0 | St:+3 |

Tragershen closes the distance between himself and Hakram. He is wary of getting surrounded by the little scaly menaces, so he lurks in the shelter of Hakram's huge form. He pulls his cudgel from its place to have it in hand, in case one gets too close.

Double move to get adjacent to Hakram, hopefully not next to any kobolds. He is trying to get to a spot where he can hit a bunch of them with a burning hands next round (after a step) and to make it harder for the kobolds to flank Hakram.


Female Human Cleric of Nethys 6 | 56/56 HP | AC 22, T 12 , FF 20, CMD 19 | Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +10 | Init +1 | Perception +3 | 6/6 Channel Energy; 6/6 Divine Vessel; 1/1 Magical Epiphany | Active Effects:

Draconic had been a worthy language to slave over learning a number of months ago. In Common, the cleric calls out to her allies, "They're calling for reinforcements and have allied with someone who has wolves!"

Adjusting her grip on her quarterstaff, she wastes little more time before charging into the fray to swing it at one of the kobolds facing down Joden and Hakram.

Charging Attack: 1d20 + 4 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 4 + 1 + 2 = 10
Womp Womp. Charged, so Aurora takes a -2 penalty to AC (down to 15) until her next turn.


Kobold Reserve
Aurora
Tragershen
Kobold Sentry x 2
Hakram
Brand
Kobold Reserve x 2
Chases Moonlight and Bites Ears
Joden

Kobolds defeated: 2

As the elven wizard positions himself for future pyrotechnics, Aurora dives bravely into the thick of the fighting--though her attempt does little to hinder their foes. She is now standing just to the right and five feet ahead of Hakram.

Two of the kobolds carefully shuffle five feet closer to Hakram and take halfhearted stabs at his enormous figure, though each of the dragonlings appears to be favoring his defenses...

Kobolds, fighting defensively: 1d20 ⇒ 101d20 ⇒ 1

...and as such, they don't achieve very much.

Hakram and Brand are up!


Hakram pulls his sword in a downwards cut towards one of the litle lizardmen.

Longsword, bless, EP: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 6 + 1 = 11

A bit unused to his new size, he only manages to dig a furrow in the dirt near one of the kobolds.

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