james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
James declares posting bankruptcy because otherwise I won't start doing these again.

Players
Ander: Human cleric
Dorritt: Human warlock
Himo: Wood Elf rogue
Milo: Human Ranger
Kokai: Gnome Wizard

After putting the Eld in their place, it fell to us to set out in search of Uptow's Heart, whose general location we learned. While our party is second to none in our prowess, it has become apparent we're not quite as excellent as we could be with respect to both hand to hand fighting and certain kinds of magic. Accordingly, we hired five soldiers (Alfred, Bruce, Clark, Barry and Iris) and we accepted into our core group a gnome wizard named Kokai.

A gnome wizard who it seems has also passed the Imperial Exam.



Astoundingly, it seems the college lax enough to allow the gnome entry was none other than the Forbidden City itself! I count myself lucky to have had the skill and intelligence needed to win entry into an establishment that still values true education. Still, I must admit his grasp of arcane matters rivals my own. Of course, his is a wizard's comprehension of applied magic, whereas I maintain the purity of theory unsullied by mere practical application.

Ever gracious to fellow scholars regardless of their comparative talents, I did the gnome the favour of pointing that it would be best if he somehow restrained himself from using those of his spells that affect large volumes when the rest of us are within the volume affected. He claims that he has fine enough control to spare most of us from the effects his spells. Curiously, he observed this would not be true for me. It is an inexplicable admission. Nothing in my impressive grasp of magic suggests that elves are unusually vulnerable to magic. But of course, his college is apparently less than it once was.

We reached the Aldani Basin, Shoshenstar River. Along the way we passed the sad ruins of Camp Righteous and the new, unimpressive Camp Vengeance. The latter is populated by the survivors of the first and it seems well on its way to providing the undead with a second fort jam packed with overconfident fanatics to kill.

We found the Heart of Uptow, not hard as it is a large rock hanging in mid-air. Between our three boats and the Heart, an expanse of marshland. Because it is the rainy season, the marshlands were flooded.

The gnome travels with an abundance of animals: a dog to ride and an owl to scout. According to the gnome's owl, the Heart of Uptow is a vast, heart-shaped rock with vines dangling from it. Red liquid pours off it, flowing off into the jungle. Directly beneath it is depression of some sort.

This is one of the regions where wild dinosaurs are common. The marsh is home to brontosauruses, which we avoided, and that which eats brontosauruses, which we also avoided.

After establishing camp far enough inland that the giant crocodiles were less likely to be an issue, we left the soldiers to guard the supplies while we reconnoitered. This did not go as well as one would hope.

The first alarming development announced itself: loud, foraging sounds ahead of us. As is my lot, I crept up to see what was making the noise. At first glance, it seemed to be four common ankylosauruses, dangerous enough thanks to their size and uncertain temperament. A closer examination revealed the disquieting revelation that these particular ankylosauruses are flesh eating ankylosauruses. Indeed, they show some evidence of being undead.

I returned to the party and shared this information. Milo, whose skill in the woods rival even mine, pointed out that the area was ominously rich in animal remains. Was someone creating undead? Was the Heart itself the culprit? It seemed that we were confronted with questions unlikely to have happy answers.

Fortune provided a distraction from our unhappy musing in the form of an undead giant white ape. An alarming development to be sure but nothing we have not handily dispatched before. The other two undead giant white apes who sprang out of nowhere to join the first one were an unnecessary flourish on a familiar situation.

Lamentably, I only had time to run one of the apes through before their unnatural abilities allowed them to overwhelm even my impressive defenses. When I awoke, it was to the news that Ander had demonstrated his really quite handy ability to drive off the undead. Indeed, the one I weakened exploded from the Cleric's spell. The other two ran away.

For the moment.

Date: 2019-03-07 04:46 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Enjoyed this.

"Alfred, Bruce, Clark, Barry and Iris"
Were David and Ellen unavailable?

"and that which eats brontosauruses, which we also avoided."
I, too, would avoid that which eats brontosauruses.

Riderius

Date: 2019-03-07 05:59 am (UTC)
alexxkay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexxkay
Wait, Himo has points in Animal Handling, but the new party member, who HAS 2 ANIMALS, does NOT?

Date: 2019-03-07 11:33 am (UTC)
viktor_haag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viktor_haag
The magic of D&D. The new party member has a familiar which isn't so much an animal as it is a glob of spectral protoplasm shaped like an animal, and a trusty mastiff steed, who might just think of him as the pet...

Date: 2019-03-07 10:02 pm (UTC)
viktor_haag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viktor_haag
But he has a direct pipeline to God, so that's helpful.

Date: 2019-03-08 07:55 am (UTC)
scott_sanford: (Default)
From: [personal profile] scott_sanford
It's not as if the gnome has a goat, right?

Player: Wait, can my halfling ride a goat?
GM: Do you have animal handling?
Player: Nope. Do I need it?

Date: 2019-03-07 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
"Were David and Ellen unavailable?"

That wouldn't work with the joke. If one were interested in purely alphabetical, one could have gone Alfred, Bruce, Clark, Diana, and...and...hmm, there's a distinct shortage of given names starting with "E" in the name pool. "Eel", maybe, but that was just a nickname.

Date: 2019-03-07 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Dang, completely missed that. I saw the easy pattern, didn't look for a subtler one 8-)

Riderius

Date: 2019-03-07 05:02 pm (UTC)
jreynolds197: A dinosaur. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jreynolds197
I'm missing the subtler joke. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Date: 2019-03-07 05:26 pm (UTC)
alexxkay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexxkay
Alfred the butler, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Diana Prince... (and the lesser known "Eel" O'Brien, aka Plastic Man). All characters associated with DC Comics.

Date: 2019-03-07 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
And earlier Barry "The Flash" Allen, and his wife Iris West-Allen.
Edited Date: 2019-03-07 05:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2019-03-08 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mikeda
Etta would be good for the "E" name. Especially if you use Diana for the "D" name.

Date: 2019-03-07 05:12 am (UTC)
scott_sanford: (Default)
From: [personal profile] scott_sanford
Having read Digger, I am well supplied with reasons not to poke any god's heart that may be encountered.

Date: 2019-03-07 11:35 am (UTC)
viktor_haag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viktor_haag
A shining moment, but it was really the second and third apes that posed a real problem for Himo...
(deleted comment)

Date: 2019-03-07 06:05 pm (UTC)
chromeraven: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chromeraven
However, barring some unusual class features or feats or something, you only get one reaction per round, so it's effectively once per round anyway.

Date: 2019-03-07 05:38 pm (UTC)
ariaflame: Sombrero galaxy (Default)
From: [personal profile] ariaflame
This is how we learn. I take it disengaging was also not an option? Or is this what double 1s produce?

Date: 2019-03-08 05:33 pm (UTC)
ariaflame: Sombrero galaxy (Default)
From: [personal profile] ariaflame
Yes, I'm aware of the critical failure rule. I guess I misunderstood the situation as described, I had thought the bit where you were talking about attacks of opportunity would be something disengage would get you out of, unless of course you'd already used the bonus action/weren't high enough level to have that rogue ability.

Date: 2019-03-07 05:55 pm (UTC)
viktor_haag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viktor_haag
He popped out of the bushes to attack, and declared (as his wont) that he was going to spend his bonus action to pop back into the bushes. Rolling the double-ones was sufficient in my view to rule that although his bonus action to disengage is usually infallable, this one chance in 400 the bear (ape) got him -- he was just slow enough to permit an attack of opportunity.

That prevented him from being able to vanish into the bushes again, and so, when the ape's two undead buddies showed up they decided to unload on Himo (six attacks, bite+two fists each). Being pummleed by a gang of undead white apes is not something Himo could withstand (again, as seems to be his wont).

This campaign seems to have a running joke that Himo is (a) tremendously effective at close quarters combat, but also (b) tremendously effective at getting tagged in close quarters combat, and then seeing the vague tunnel of light...

... Dorritt seems convinced that this is, of course, good for Himo, because all those encounters with death will help further open his eyes to the Truths Of The Universe...

Date: 2019-03-07 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I was just wondering about the party's ratio of combats to combats where Himo is knocked out. By these (very entertaining, James!) reports, the proportion seems painfully close to 1.

Date: 2019-03-08 05:34 pm (UTC)
ariaflame: Sombrero galaxy (Default)
From: [personal profile] ariaflame
Thank you, this clarifies.

Date: 2019-03-07 12:09 pm (UTC)
ffutures: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ffutures
Undead ankylosauruses. Riiiiight. Up there with were-velociraptors as things you really don't want to mess with...

Date: 2019-03-07 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Tanks, but no tanks.

Date: 2019-03-08 04:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

no. no. no. at least one could conceivably dodge or outrun an undead anklyosaurus. were-velociraptors would just be just wrong.

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