i love how the TnT system so easily handled my daughters almost "druidic" interpretation of the disguise talent.
So where were we?
Ah yes. back out in the mammoth room there are now four big, snarling, white furred, devil eyed wolf-os sniffing about.
the marauders don't intend to parlay.
"Call Fire!" "Call Fire!" "two pistols, two different wolves! "crossbow!"
the adventures erupt in a flurry of focused violence.
two of the wolf-os furry heads erupt in a small burst of flame. The players insist that their furry heads should catch on fire for additional burning next round. I am skeptical, but not completely.
"third level luck roll" "tess! come on! there heads are all furry!" "okay. 2nd level luck roll"
as it turns out, a third level luck roll would have been made by both parties anyway. these two wolf-os will have to stop, drop, and roll next round and will suffer another d6 automatically.
The pistols of Wang Chung rend the air with their thunderous clamor and the air is soon echoing with the sound of grievously injured canines.
Tarans crossbow bolt also whistles into the chest of a wolf-o.
two more wolf-os come from the bowels of the ice cave farthest from the characters, but they cannot act this round.
Four wolf-os rush forward into direct melee and are mightily smited for the effort. Taran's mebius blade tearing those already injured by Fin's pistols to ribbons.
Mephilas casts call flame again, that spell seeming well effective in this particular envronment... and cheap in terms of its pschic cost.... at least for a paragon. Another Wolf-o howls in pain, and soon enough the frozen mammoths cold eyes are gazing down at a hallway stained red with the corpse of its natural enemies.
The first room on the far side of the mammoth chamber is a meat locker. Literally,. With enough venison and bear meat hanging from the ceiling to feed Hollyfall for a long time. No wonder hunting had been terrible the last few seasons! what must it take to feed these giants and their wolves?
The frozen carcasses are creepy. Adjacent to the meat locker and seperated from it by a frosty iron gate is clearly the den for the giant's vicious team of "sled dogs". To the other end of the passage is a wide stair spiraling down, but there is a stuffed and mounted polar bear adjacent to the stair which gives everyone pause.
The taxidermized polar bear is agreed by all to be a possible means of their destruction.
Fin fients an attack towards it before actually tearing into its belly.
"Sawdust pours out"
"I stab its eyes!"someone calls " I bash its head!"
"okay, your bashings and slashings reveal a kind of inner mechanical structure.." "is it a trap?"
"no, it would appear that the arm operates some kind of gear mechanism..." "I pull the arm!"
"okay.. when you pull the arm, there is a grinding sound in the glacial wall behind the bear, and a secret door opens up revealing a staircase"
the party decides to check down the spiral staircase first.... before heading up, and when they go down, they come to a giant golden door, embossed with frost and snowfake patterns, and having a keyhole in its center.
Mephilas uses detect magic. Its magic.
"We aren't going to be able to open it are we?" Fin asks
"Well, Mephilas can tell its "Lock Tight" is cast at a higher level than he is currently at, however, if he can give me a luck or IQ roll HIGHER than fourth level, it could be opened."
The party heads back to the hidden stair, which winds its way steadily upwards through Cold Mountain. Finally they arrive at a frosty wooden door. The sound of a fierce cold wind whips the door from the other side. Ella opens the door with a knock knock spell, everyone else readies their weapons in case anything nasty is on the other side
Cautiously, the four ascend the cold, slippery stair beyond the secret door. It ascends at a low angle, winding back and forth for about 40 meters before ending at another frost encrusted door.
Fin gets to one side, pistols at the ready, Taran and Mephilas stand a few stairs down and Ella uses knock knock on the door. The frozen mechanism can be heard to unlatch.
When the door is pushed open the adventurers find themselves on a ledge winding around the OUTSIDE of Cold Mountain. Ahead of them are three archaic stone pillars,,, this spot was once perhaps a temple vista?
to the north side the ledge actually is covered like a tunnel, but to the south side it opens out onto the side of the mountain and a drop off of perhaps a hundred feet.
Surprisingly, at least to me the players opt to circle around the exposed side of the mountain. Farthest from the door the side of the mountain has a wide opening, and a sleet storm seems to be coming from inside the mountain.
fin turns to Mephilas ( who has the highest IQ and some background in magical phenomena) and asks if he might be familiar with the nature of this odd occurance.
mephilas gets a 2nd level luck roll.
"Frost dragons often have isolated snowstorms that center around their personal beings."
Fin, looks thunderstruck.
Taran and Mephilas look extremely nervous. Ella looks like an icicle.
There is a pregnant pause.
"So what is the deal with dragons tess?"
"very dangerous. people die in this country every day from dragon attacks..."
"so is it gonna kill us?"
"I don't know. i would imagine its quite CAPABLE of doing that."
"Oh God, we are gonna die."
"But they also have huge treasure hordes!" says Fin, VERY eager to look on the bright side.
I wanted to make a few comments on the side here before i move on with the play account.
I DMed a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for 8 years meeting every Sunday from 1996 to 2004. The campaign started in 2e and switched to 3e when that came out. In all that time, i never DMed a dragon, and the players never encountered one. nter
by the time 2e was in its latter years, Dragons were expected to be SO powerful and SO clever that only the highest level parties had any chance of taking one on and surviving. Making dragons unkillable was all the rage, and i fell in line with that, and respected that to the point where i think, like most other DMs, I was afraid to use them altogether, for fear that the encounter would be somehow anticlimactic.
But when I was a kid..... DMing for my brother and his friends, and sometimes even being asked to play in THEIR games we fought dragons ALL THE TIME and LOVED IT!
The Moribund Marauders don't want complex storylines ( at least not yet) they want exciting battles with exciting opponents in exciting environments..... and despite the fact that the current game is named after trolls rather than dragons, i am not of a mind to keep these fun enemies out of the game until players are higher level.
TnT has, of course ALWAYS been open to dragons being on even the first level of a dungeon.
So the goal with this dragon encounter was pretty old school. Give them the same thing i loved as a child... only make it even better. i think we are succeeding. i hope all these kids keep gaming.
I knew someone who used plastic page protectors and then either a grease pencil or fine tipped dry erase markers to make updates to his character sheet. Personally, I just used scratch paper and made updates to the character sheet at either the end of the session or when the character leveled up, whichever made the most sense.
I'll have the deep-fried battered pixie with balrog dipping sauce and a Hobgoblin ale.
thats a great idea professor.... i think i did that back in the days of the old, super complex AD&D character sheet days.
These days, i find something really appealing about the stained, tattered well worn sheet. all you have to do to KNOW this character EARNED those levels in actual gametime is look at the worn out sheet. its like a velveteen rabbit.
here is Fins newly updated ( illustrated at his request) sheet.