You are in Absalom, the mighty City at the Center of the World, and you’ve always longed to explore one of the countless ruins of failed conquerors that litter the plains outside the city’s walls. You’ve heard rumors that one of the sealed siege castles has been laid open by a minor earthquake. Word on the street is that no one has yet entered the tower, which folks are calling the “Fallen Fortress.”
You were contacted by Adril Hestram, a full fledged Venture Captain who suddenly found himself in need of some extra help after one of his scouts did not report back from the Fallen Fortress. The contract pays 200 gold a piece upon investigating the Fallen Fortress and the whereabouts of the missing scout.
The next day you head out at first light, marching through a light drizzle of rain that makes for a chill morning. Within an hour you your destination looms on a few hundred yards away.
The ruined siege castle now being called the Fallen Fortress rises out of the churned earth of the Cairnlands. No doors or windows mar the otherwise smooth expanse of the tower’s walls. The tower is quatrefoil in plan; its eastern wing has largely collapsed, exposing the interior floors to the open air. Only the topmost level seems whole, though its eastern portion hangs precariously over the mountain of rubble left by the collapse. At ground level, the rubble frames a gaping hole in the side of the building that provides access to the tower’s darkened interior.
Marius grips his trusty longbow tightly within his hands. The cold is something he's gotten used to; five years on the road will do that to you. A feeling of uneasiness threatens to push its way forward, as his eyes focused on the fortress. He quickly suppressed it.
"That looks like a suitable point of entry." He said, pointing out the hole in the side of the building. The tongue of the town guard was still a part of him, whether he liked it or not. "What say the rest of you?"
Anadyr looks up at the Fortress and, for the first moment, feels the gravity of the situation. Would he find power and riches within to help him with his quest, or would he end up dying hundreds of leagues from home? He shakes himself out of the dark thoughts and forces a smile onto his face.
"I know not, friend Marius. Perhaps we should get a better look ere we decide?"
With that, Anadyr raises his left hand and casts light at the opening to get a better look.
Jali shivers and pulls her cloak closer around her shoulders. A cold, wet morning was not what she expected from adventuring, nor did she count on the shiver of fear that ran down her spine at the sight of the ruined tower. Still, best to put on a brave face for the others - wouldn't want them to think she was a weak maiden unable to fend for herself. She'd seen the results of men thinking like that back at the Dragon's Tankard, and she wanted no more of it, thank you very much.
"A bit over-cautious, Anadyr?" Jali lets out a forced chuckle. "It's an abandoned tower. I'll go take a look." She walks up to the opening and peers inside.
Ignoring the light rain, Gregolyn scans the entire ruin visible before him, and then sets his gaze upon the breach in the tower's wall that Marius pointed out. After studying the breach for a moment, he looks to his companions.
"Better to be cautious and... Oh, Desna weeps! Where in the blazes is she going off to?"
Looking to Marius, Gregolyn says: "Should we not stop her? I mean, at least until we have some kind of plan that puts a little more luck upon our side"
Marius chuckled as he placed his hand on Gregolyn's shoulder. "Not to worry, my young gambling friend. Jali can take care of herself. Still, let's not have her explore the entire fortress alone. There's enough treasure in there for all of us." With that, he moved up to the opening, testing the string on his bow as he did. He'd hate to admit it, but he felt the same uneasiness that Jali felt.
Sorry Gregolyn if you're actually around my age or something, you don't have an age down so I didn't know. :P
Anadyr sighs and mutters under his breath, "Have you never heard the single tale of a bard? Abandoned keeps don't tend to remain abandoned for long..."
He again puts on his smile and steps forward toward the hole, saying,"I just thought we might like to take a look ere we leap... To ensure, for instance, the floor has not collapsed along with the wall..."
Happy that a bit of verbal sparring will help take his mind off the sense of unease that has been growing within him, Anadyr peers into the now-lit hole, and then turns to Jali, ""Now, will you think I'm being overly cautious if I suggest bringing in a light, too?"
Placing his hand upon the shortsword swinging at his hip for comfort, Gregolyn follows Marius to the fortress in silence. Gregolyn too feeling uneasy about the ruined fortress in front of him...
Once at the breach in the wall, he gazes within for any signs of possible hidden danger or anything else that seems to appear out of the ordinary...
(Perception check: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19)
Sorry for the sloppy grammar in the first post. I'm not sure if I fell victim to the edit bug,or if I was just not fully recovered from the previous days festivities.
As Jali and Gregolyn lead the party to the breached wall, Gregolyn hears growls and howling from the other side of the tower. Gregolyn thinks the noise is getting closer.
I will update again in the morning.
Can I tell if it is from a canine source (like a wolf or wild dog), or something larger, or perhaps something else entirely (whatever you need me to roll)?
Generic Intelligence Check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Gregolyn pauses to listen...
...regardless of what he thinks it might be...
The sound sends a wave of chills down his spine. He takes a short moment to compose himself, and whispers to Jali; "Did… Did you hear that? I thought I just heard a bit of howling and perhaps some growling as well coming from the other side of this tower! Whatever it is, it sounds like it’s getting closer!”
With that, Gregolyn quickly turns around and goes back to Marius and informs him of what he had heard (and whatever he thinks it might be, his assumption being that of wolves) then readies his shortbow, and watches in the direction he had heard the howls coming from…
Perception check - 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (7) + 0 = 7
If she doesn't hear anything:
"Wolves, maybe?" Jali whispers back to Gregolyn. "Not what I had in mind as my first adventure, but I'll not back down." She follows Gregolyn back to Marius and takes a deep breath, mentally reassuring herself that her "tricks" (her name for her hexes) would work on animals.
Hearing Gregolyn's comments to Marius, Anadyr has a flash of anxiety.. before the absurdity of the situation strikes him and he mutters to himself, "Or, perhaps the nasty dangers that seek to kill us lay outside the tower.."
With that, he clenches his shortbow in his right hand, readying an arrow while moving up to take a position next to the others and listening intently. Perception.... 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
I previewed and saw the low roll result. Still, I don't know what the DC is, so Anadyr will do one of these two things:
Anadyr says cautiously, "I hear naught but the wind... Perhaps that's all it is?"
With a grim tone, Anadyr says: "Aye, I hear something too. From over there." and motions with his bow.
Perception check to hear the noises 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
If I do manage to hear the noise, Knowledge (Nature) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12 to identify the noise.
"Growling?" With Gregolyn's words, his ranger senses and Absalom Guard's instincts kicked in, and he quickly notched an arrow onto his longbow. If I do find out what it is, I will inform the party. "Be careful everyone. I've heard many sorts of growling; it is often very dangerous."
Thunder rumbles in the distance. As the group pauses to listen closer the canine sounds, the source of the noises appear from the north side of the building. A small pack of wild dogs is closing in. They look to be cold, wet, and especially hungry.
roll initiative and post round 1 actions.
I'll have to work on the label quality for round 2. The dogs are labeled from right to left 1, 2, 3 with 4 and 5 in the back row. The rubble ground squares count as difficult terrain.
Initiative Roll: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Seeing the dogs come around the corner, Anadyr says, "I don't recall the wind being so furry or full of teeth." He chuckles slightly at his own joke, using that to cover the slight catch of breath from the excitement of combat. "If the pack were smaller, I could try to drive them off with noise.. but they look too hungry and too many for that to work." With that, he nods slightly to accept his decision, and fires his bow.
Tactically, Anadyr will take a 5' step to the northeast (to give himself a clear line of sight), use a swift action to activate Arcane Strike, and fire his readied shortbow at Dog #3 -- though if the dogs move before he does, he'll fire at the closest one to which he has a clear line of sight - at the moment, the nearest ones are within a single range increment of the shortbow.
Attack Roll: Shortbow 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Damage Roll: Shortbow arrow 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7 (Arcane strike)
Initiative: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
Ignoring his fear, Gregolyn whips around to face the dogs while raising his shortbow in one fluid motion. He takes aim at the feral canine to his right and lets loose his arrow...
Gregolyn stands his ground, and fires at dog #1
Attack with shortbow: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Damage Roll (if I hit): 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
"Damn...Hungry dogs. If we injure them, perhaps they will run away. I'd prefer not killing these animals for their misfortunes." Marius moves through the rumble, struggling to keep his footing. The pull of the bowstring coincides with the flexing of his muscles. It is a good feeling, and it seemed to Marius that he'd not used his bow in ages.
I'm going to move five feet diagonally to the northwest, and then ten feet to the west. One square diagonal, two squares to the left. I'm going to fire my longbow at dog 2, unless he moves before me, then I will fire at the nearest creature.
Attack roll: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
(If hit) Damage roll: 1d8 ⇒ 6
Also Gregolyn, how are you adding + 2 to the damage roll? As far as I can tell, you don't have a composite bow, nor do you have any damage modifier feats.
Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Jali fingers her only weapon, the punching dagger she always kept on her in case an amorous patron became too pushy, but she winces inwardly at the thought of stabbing a dog. Instead, she mumbles a few words and throws her unlucky trick at the nearest dog, then scrambles backwards through the rubble to give her more martial-oriented friends a clear view of the dogs.
Jali uses Misfortune Hex (DC 14) on whichever dog is closest (dog #3 if she acts before them) and moves south as far as her movement will take her (not sure how much of the map is difficult terrain. She has 30' movement).
Also Gregolyn, how are you adding + 2 to the damage roll? As far as I can tell, you don't have a composite bow, nor do you have any damage modifier feats.
Great catch! Thank you. I must have been looking at shortsword instead of showtbow. In my defence, they are right next to each other on my Hero Lab character sheet ;-)
So Organized, obviously just drop the "+2" for a whopping 1 point of damage to the dog if hit...
wild dog #1 initiative check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
wild dog #2 initiative check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
wild dog #3 initiative check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
wild dog #4 initiative check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
wild dog #5 initiative check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Cormac initiative check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
wild dog #1
wild dog #2
wild dog #4
wild dog #5
wild dog #3
Combat Round 1
Marius moves his position, takes careful aim, and plunges an arrow into the dog's vitals, taking it to the ground where it stays.
Cormac takes a double move through the rough terrain. Forming a line on Marius the fighter readies his longsword.
wild dog #1 flanks to the east and closes in on Marius. (double move)
Anadyr delivers his magically enhanced shot and hits #3 in the vitals, sending it to the ground right next to Marius's victim.
wild dog #4 takes a double move to close in on Jali.
wild dog #5 follows his brother, also intent on attacking Jali.
Gregolyn adjusts his target to #4, which is closing in. Gregolyn is able to barely nick the canine.
Jali releases her hex on nearby #5.
wild dog will check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Begin Round 2
Anadyr winces slightly as his arrow strikes home, displeased with the necessity of killing the dogs. Seeing only a single dog left attacking Marius and Cormac and noting that Jali has not yet drawn a weapon against the two dogs closing in on her (and Gregolyn), he steps toward them, readying another Arcane Shot.
Tactically, Anadyr will make a full diagonal move toward Jali and Gregolyn, which should still allow him a clear line of sight to Dog #4
Attack Roll: Shortbow 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Damage Roll: Shortbow arrow 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6 (Arcane strike)
Silently cursing his ill luck in not taking the dog down with that first shot, Gregolyn knocks another arrow and takes aim at the ferral dog once more, then lets his arrow fly!
He then drops his bow upon the ground and draws his shortsword in preparation of facing the dogs head on, which was something he was hoping he would not have to do...
"Desna seems to be laughing at me this day! I pray her laugh quickly turns to a smile.."
Gregolyn fires upon dog #4 again with his shortbow (his standard action), then uses a free action to drop his shortbow. He then uses his move action to draw his shortsword and face the oncoming dogs.
Attack Roll (shortbow): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Damage Roll (if I hit): 1d6 ⇒ 4
Jali mumbles to herself, "That's enough of taking the lead for me. One of these others can paint a target on himself." She laughs at the thought, and throws a scathing glare at the dog Gregolyn injured. Hopefully, it would be too intimidated to come after her in favor of closer prey.
Jali will use her Cackle hex to extend the Misfortune on dog #5, and throw Evil Eye (DC 14, -2 AC, 7 rounds, save reduces to 1 round) on dog #4.
Combat Round 2
filling in action for Marius and Cormac
Marius drops his bow, then draws his longsword and stabs at the dog in front of him.
melee attack long sword1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
A solid slash connects and the dog is down! 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Cormac moves 15' west through difficult terrain and attacks #4.
melee attack long sword1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
1d8 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5 The wound is just enough bring the animal down.
Anadyr is forced to switch targets to the remaining dog, but his line of site is blocked and the shot goes wide.
wild dog #5 moves southeast one square and bites at Cormac.
bite attack:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
crit confirmation check:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15 fail
1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 The dog nearly gets a death grip on Cormac, but the Ranger avoids the worst of the bite.
I'm going to take a slight liberty on this because I assume you were not going to fire into melee.
Gregolyn drops his bow, and draws his short sword while moving next to Cormac. He stabs the dog which whimpers before coming to a final rest.
The opening of the crumbled tower stands before you.
I apologize for not posting. Yesterday was a busy day for me, and I never really had a chance to sit down and think this one out. Sorry about that.
Marius shakes his head, sighing as he used a small rag to clean the blood from his longsword. After doing so, he sheathes his blade, and picks up his bow. "Unfortunate that we couldn't have resolved this matter without killing them. He then speaks quietly, low enough so that no one else could hear him. "You went after the wrong dinner, my animal friends. Live in peace now, in a place where your bellies will always be full." He looks to the rest of the party and speaks up again. "I don't believe this is the only challenge for us today; more dangers lurk within the Fallen Fortress. We must be on our guard. We should continue quickly." Marius then moves into the Fortress itself, wary for any danger.
Anadyr lowers his bow as the last dog falls and moves up to join the others, still on alert and scanning for danger.
He nods as Marius speaks, and replies: "Indeed, there is little honour or glory in that... though, regrettably, it needed to be done. At least they will suffer no more.
Anadyr approaches the breech with Marius, looking for danger before proceeding. As he reaches the hole in the wall he stops. "Hold. We should organize ourselves before we enter. Perhaps we should select an order to proceed in, and decide who is carrying the light? I have no problems using my magic to illuminate someone's shield or weapon to keep their hands free. As Marius said, I do not think we've seen our only danger for the day...and I would rather be prepared to face those dangers."
With that, he looks up and smiles at everyone, and adding with a wink: "Speaking only for myself, mind, but I think being prepared might be a nice change."
Letting out a quite audible sigh of relief, Gregolyn gives his sword a good downward shake to throw off the worst of the dogs blood, then sheaths the weapon...
"Unless the interior of that fortress lies in pitch darkness, I will not need any light within. That may be to our advantage."
Gregolyn then collects his bow from the ground and heads towards the opening in the tower...
once there, I want to scan the area within for any signs of additional danger or anything that seems out of the ordinary
Perception Check: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Jali shudders as the last of the dogs falls. She hadn't been prepared for the jolt of fear that ran through her when she was confronted with being prey. Still, she held her own, and was proud of herself for that. She picks her way through the rubble and joins the others at the entrance to the tower.
"It seems I owe you an apology, Anadyr," Jali says. "Caution would seem to be prudent. As for an order, it seems like a good idea. I would prefer a position where I won't hinder your movement."
Looks like it will just be you 4. No worries, it makes it easier for me and you all are going a great job. I'm enjoying dialogue so far.
The northern wing of the tower seems to have escaped the worst effects of the collapse, but rubble still litters the floor and everything is covered in a thick layer of stone dust. Thick cobwebs cloak the ceiling and hang down the walls like gossamer tapestries. A single archway stands open in the southwest wall.
The entire floor is difficult terrain. Roll perception with your next post.
Perception: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (3) + 0 = 3
Jali grimaces at the dust and cobwebs that fill the room. She'd been the only one at the Dragon's Tankard who seemed to care about cleanliness, and fought the war against dust and cobwebs alone, a losing battle. Of course, she couldn't expect an abandoned tower to be clean.
"I don't like the look of these cobwebs. Seems far too many and too large for a normal spider, or even a colony of them."
She takes a closer look at the nearest cobwebs, wondering just how recently they'd been used, and what type of spider might have made them. Her years of reading any old book she could find gave her a decent working knowledge of animals. Perhaps it would come in handy here.
Knowledge: Nature check to identify the cobwebs and see how recently they'd been used: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Whatever information she comes up with she'll relay to the group.
Cobwebs and rubble are not something Marius has gotten used to. Most of his time was spent on the road, in the forest, in the mountains. He has spent very little time in old dungeons such as this one. Even the occasional psychopath in Absalom stayed in better accommodations than this one. Still, he did not want to falter before the others.
"You may be right Jali. I must admit, the indoors isn't really my specialty."
Perception Check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Wow, that's too bad - I mean, smaller party is more manageable, but the loss of people filling roles less so -- is this common in PbP? Also, good thing I picked CLW as one of my spells. :) .
"Sadly, we don't all have elven eyes, Gregolyn. Though as someone who's lived this long by being stealthy, I do see your point. Still, we can worry about that when we encounter real darkness."
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Anadyr enters the room, slightly disturbed by the dust and cobwebs, both from their presence and the fact he didn't expect them "They never mention these details in the bard's tales.."
"I do not doubt you, Jali, though, from the look of everything else, might it not just be new webs atop of old ones? I mean, clearly noone has cleaned in here for quite some time. In fact, I intend to complain to the innkeeper when we see him."
With that (assuming nothing else grabs his attention) Anadyr casts preditigidation to start sweeping up the dust.
Having used many of Absalom's forgotten basements and root cellars as places of refuge in the past, the cobwebs and thick layer of dust do not seem to affect Gregolyn as he looks about the room...
He chuckles at his companion’s reaction to the place’s condition: "Big bad adventurer's afraid of a little dirt and grime?"
Inwardly, he is indeed scared! Though his unease certainly does not stem from the dust and cobwebs, but from what may lie beyond that archway...
Gregolyn's hand unconsciously slips to the hilt of his sword; this being the only clue to his own insecurity of the situation...
Gregolyn scans the room (and what he can see beyond the archway), looking, listening, smelling for anything that might pose some kind of threat.
Perception Check: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Uff, I meant to say everyone but Gregolyn roll perception. I wouldn't put actions like that to waste. Save those 20s :). I'll use the 2nd check you made for the next time it is needed.
giant spider stealth check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
giant spider initiative check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Something lurks in the webs above, creating slight signs of movement. Gregolyn, Marius, and Anadyr spot a giant spider, about 20' feet up in the webs above. It is nearly the size of a grown human and poised to attack.
Although Jali is oblivious to the spider above, she does identify the webs as recently tended, and with thick enough strands to indicate something large created them.
roll initiative and post surprise round actions, except for Jali.
Gregolyn, spotting the enormous spider hiding in its lair upon the ceiling, yells out a quick warning to the party; "Above us!" and un-slings his shortbow, knocking an arrow in one swift movement...
Initiative Roll: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Setting his fears aside for the moment, Gregolyn utilizes his lightning quick reflexes and takes aim at the giant spider, then releases the shaft...
Essentially, I aim my shortbow at the giant spider and shoot it.
Attack Roll (shortbow): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Critical Threat Confirmation Roll: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Damage Roll: 1d6 ⇒ 2
Initiative Check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
"Damn!" Marius gasps, though his anger quickly begins to suppress his fear. Every minute it seemed brought a new danger in this Fortress. Though it was far too late, he began having second thoughts about this "adventure". He quickly fired an arrow at the spider, using his instincts from both backgrounds to assist him.
I'll fire an arrow at the Spider.
Attack Roll 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11 Point blank shot is in effect.
If hit, Damage roll 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Initiative check... 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
The slight stir of movement catches Anadyr's attention, and causes him to look up. "Apparently, there are worse things than dust here," he says, his mind starting to wonder if the constant threats aren't some sort of sign -- and then pusihng that thought away. "I will not be denied... not by this vermin..."
Thankful that his earlier nerves had him keep his shortbow in hand, he activates his Arcane Strike with a swift action and fires at the spider.
Attack Roll: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Damage (if needed): 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Edit: Crud, rolled a 1.
Gregolyn is alert, and plucks an arrow up and into the spider.
Anadyr tries to follow up, but his shot is wide right.
The giant spider aims at Gregolyn and releases a shot of webbing.
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
The rogue deftly attempts to avoid the brunt of the shot, but winds up getting sprayed. Gregolyn gains the entangled condition.
An entangled creature can escape with a successful Escape Artist check or burst the web with a Strength check. DC = 12. Attempts to burst a web by those caught in it suffer a –4 penalty.
Marius puts his own arrow to flight, but is unable to sink it into his target.
No map changes. Begin combat round 1.
As the sticky strands entangle him, Gregolyn shudders! He too is starting to second-guess this little "adventure" of theirs...
Trying desperately to free himself, Gregolyn starts to wriggle and squirm in an attempt to slip his bonds. He has no intention of becoming lunch for some overgrown arachnid...
Gregolyn uses Escape Artist in an attempt to free himself of the spider's web-strands.
Skill Check (Escape Artist): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Apparently, I did not succeed...
Struggling in vain, Gregolyn calls out to his companions; "I can use a little help here please!"
Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Jali jumps in surprise as the webs shoot out and cover Gregolyn. "I knew they looked fresh!" she says, scanning the webs for the spider. When she sees it, she tries to recall anything she knows about it, and shouts any pertinent information to the group before throwing her unlucky trick at the spider.
Knowledge: Nature check on the spider: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19. Anything she learns she yells to everybody, then she throws Misfortune Hex (DC 14) on the spider.