Rise of Orcus

Loot Update
Summarizing the group's recent cashflow

Just to catch up on quite a lot of sessions where loot hasn’t been adequately listed and/or shared.

You’ve all claimed a share of 1750gp (I believe this was from the cash pile) each, already.

You’ve also collectively recovered, from various bodies:

700gp, 4423sp.

There was a reasonable amount of gold left back in that pile in the basilisk lair.

The following items were taken from the basilisk lair (not 100% on who currently has these in their possession):
Twelve small gems
Four slightly larger gems
Two pieces of gold jewellery (necklace and ring)
Scroll (divine)
Gauntlets*

Alana recovered the following items from the Half-Orc’s body last session:
Spiked gauntlet
Shortsword
Ring (small blue inset gem)
Small blue vial of liquid

If there’s anything that you think might be missing, let me know.

*Detected as magical

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A Stony Silence Falls
In which Schmaull's charging gets him into trouble

You continued your search of the dungeon, scoping out a large section of one of the subterranean levels. A brief encounter with some enormous bats puts you on your guard (if you weren’t already), but you manage to avoid tangling with them. Maybe they just weren’t hungry enough.

After stumbling across (and trying to engage in casual conversation) a statue in the large cavern into which you entered from the level above, you quickly determine what put it there. A basilisk came stomping into the chamber, making lazily for its next meal. It didn’t, however, count on the sneaky dwarf and halfling lurking round a corner, and was promptly taken down.

Some more exploration later, featuring many caves, some dug earth, and some darting cave slugs, you find yourself in what must have been the basilisk’s lair. You guess this from the smell, the large number of statues, and the other basilisk staring at you from the corner.

The fight was pretty short and brutal, for once with the monster taking all the damage, not managing to get its teeth into any of you. Although a sideways glance at the charging barbarian did rather ruin his day, adding Schmaull, big grin as he rolled his axe round for another pass, to the collection of statues in the room.

The silver lining…well, was actually more of a gold lining. The basilisks seemed to have amassed a rather impressive collection of loot, particularly coins. The only problem will be finding a way to transport it out of the dungeon…

6,914 sp
105 ep
21,396 gp
sixteen gems of varying sizes and colours
two fine-worked silver necklaces
crown inlaid with gems
*scroll
*a pair of gauntlets

asterisk indicates detected as magical

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Of Mice and Macros

Hey folks – just figured out a few things about macros which should make them easier to maintain, and, crucially, easier for me to run your characters if you miss a session. Those of you who have already created them, this might require some tweaks, but you should be able to repurpose what you have.

If any of this doesn’t make sense, by this method, I should actually be able to create them for you on my end, so let me know if you’re having issues and I can do it.

The first thing to do is to launch roll20 and open the journal tab:

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Then open your character page, which you should have rights to edit. Open the Attributes and Abilities tab and click ‘edit’.

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You want to add some key attributes which your macros will be dependent on that will change with relative frequency. Eg. any regular skills, your base attack bonus(es), your saving throws. Add them as ‘attributes’ and fill in the left hand column with the appropriate bonus.

Once you’ve got one or more of these in, add an ‘Ability’ on the right. Give it a name as you have with a macro, and hit the pencil button. Then write it up as you would a macro (or paste in your macro from before). The one difference is what you add to the roll. For example, for an attack, instead of manually filling in my bonuses, I’ll add a callout to the attribute I created. Hitting ‘@’ should bring up a list of attributes for you to select from. Eg.

/me swings his mighty GM sword
/roll d20+@{base attack bonus}+2+1

The ’@{base attack bonus} will substitute in the value of whatever is in my BaB attribute, the remaining values are my strength and other weapon-specific bonuses. When I level up, if I have 4 different weapon macros, I just need to update the one value (unless my strength changes, but that should be rare enough.

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Now, here’s the clever bit, at least from my perspective. Above the macro text field, tick the boxes. ‘In bar’ adds them to your macro bar as before (which may create some formatting issues – see below). ‘Token action’ makes this available to anyone who can control the token (ie. me). When one of us clicks on your character token, they will have quick access to your macros at the top of the screen. This is what I’m going to start doing with monsters.

Screen_Shot_2014-01-25_at_11.09.43.png

The problem this may create is having too many things in the bottom bar. If this happens, turn off your original macros from being in your bar (don’t bother deleting them, though). If you still have too many (they will all be prefixed with your character name, which doesn’t help, be selective about what goes into your toolbar – choose the most common ones you use. The rest will still be available when you click on your token, and I’ll have quick access to your stats without clawing through your character sheet.

Sound good? Sound excessively complicated? Or just not worth it? Let me know. As another point of best practice, can you start entering your AC into the red circle on your character tokens – again, so I can find these stats quickly.

Thanks!
G-man-the-GM

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Muir-ving On Up
In which a friend is blinded, and the shortcomings of armour are revealed

After a protracted battle against the forces of Orcus, you finally complete the cleansing and re-dedication of Muir’s shrine, and uncover the storehouse beneath. The apparition of the paladin Karith charged you to recover the Chalice of Elanir and the Stone of Tircople from the currently unbreached tomb of Alaric on the second subterranean level of the burial halls. The stone and chalice have powerful magical properties, though you currently don’t know what they are.

Stopping for another day to rest and recover (and also to be sure the shrine isn’t quickly overrun once more…), you head West for the burial halls in the forest, leaving your cart at the edge.

You arrive at the burial halls unmolested, until you pass beneath the arch, triggering some sort of energy trap, which brings skeletons running from within. You advance and sweep a few of the rooms before discovering a secret door in the west wall, triggering a further trap (blowing up your lantern) and bringing forth more skeletons from the north…

Loot:
Colin – Large steel shield (device of Muir), scroll of (2x cure light wounds, bless, chant, prayer)
Hrothgar – Large steel shield (device of Muir), scroll of (2x cure light wounds, bless, chant, prayer
Schmaull – Evil? magic mace
Valerie – Karith’s longsword, karith’s chainmail, large steel shield (device of Muir), studded leather armour
Welby – prayer book, studded leather armour (small size)

87gp to divide
5 suits of chainmail added to cart

2400XP/person.

Let me know if I’ve missed something you’ve taken, or anything else.

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Zoh-ohm-bies
In which BOOM (again)

After a successful incursion into the plagued district (which some of you sincerely hope doesn’t entirely burn down) you save the guards and claim your prize.

Bal hands over the following items:

Potion of misdirection
Oil of cure light wounds
+1 Vicious heavy flail
Wand of Fox’s cunning (scroll shaped; command word ‘balderick’)
Shortspear +1
Ring of the Ram

Scroll (divine) (CL5)

  • Cat’s grace
  • Flaming Sphere
  • Magic Circle vs Chaos

Scroll (divine)

  • Hide from animal
  • Command

The casket contains 994gp, and is fine enough that it might be worth something itself, if you could find the right buyer.

You feel a sudden need to divest yourselves of as much coin weight as you can…

You’ll each be spending 5sp per night on inn lodging, and 6sp per day for a couple of meals (unless you intentionally want to slum it).
Stabling is 7.5sp per day, first day paid up front (Link, Valerie, note this).
You each pay 1cp per weapon you had to have bound (if you have fewer cp to hand before entering the city, you might have to help each other out/overpay by using a sp).

Total XP for the session is 2880 (including a TEAM SYNERGY BONUS for having everyone present), which works out to (rounded) 411XP each.

Unless you think it should be otherwise, you can assume you’ve used up all your food through journeying. You’ll need to stock up before departing (including horse and wolf food…). Food base prices are currently double due to the regional shortage.

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Ay, banditos!
In which you take names and kick ass

As the flash and crash of steel on steel dies down around you, and the gout of thick mist begins to dissipate in the air, you look around at the bodies around you.

Atia and her ‘boys’ are dead or routed, Atia herself cut up in a rather grisly fashion, yet another victim of the mighty Valerie and her blade.

You strip the bodies as much as too can, and drag a chest out of one of the tents. Given the quantity of coins within, you can understand why Atia was so unwilling to leave without her stuff. Still, more fool her, now.

Among the looted items, you note a that Atia’s longsword and shield are magical – but how, you don’t know. As well as your loot from the tomb and the bandits, you’ve also captured Aia, the bandits’ spellcaster. She is still equipped with her gear, other than her weapon, but is otherwise docile and compliant enough.

_
2 shortbows
2 daggers
2 battleaxes
1 halbard
2 studded leather armour
2 scalemail
Longsword*
brown gem (Hrothgar appraised @100gp)
1 heavy mace (Aia’s)
5sp (floating)
254.5 of coins each (mix of sp, gp, pp; 16lb weight/person)

*detected as magical_

Schmaull: dagger*
Alana: pearl, silvery metal tube (open ended), Scroll
Colin: Sword from tomb*, chainmail
Valerie: Amulet of amuletness*, full plate from tomb* (carried alone?), archon’s greatsword, heavy steel shield*, shortsword (in shield scabbard)
Hrothgar:
Welby: smokestick, small vial of blue fluid*
Link:

Please post below if you ‘have’ any of these items, then I’ll do a roundup note of ‘new gear acquired’ from this season so far.

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State of Play
In which we face the terrifying admin beast.

Things to do for next session:
- Level up as appropriate.
- Clerics: share with me a spell sheet of prepared stuff on Google Drive
- Everyone: work out at least what weight load category you fall into now, laden down as you are with the additional pile of coins in your packs. If anything that I would otherwise expect to be in your pack is carried on your person instead, make a note of it for me. If you are unsure of what anything you’re carrying weighs, ask me. I assume you dropped the plate mail at the start of the fight, but are otherwise wearing your packs.

Okay, so at this point my plan, if you can call it that, was to deviate from the ‘metaplot’ into different territory. You are still welcome to act proactively within the context of events as they have happened, if you can figure out what to do in that regard, but, either way, the onus is pushed slightly onto you.

Now is the time for more, for want of a better term ‘sidequests’. It’s a chance for your characters (as a group) to delve into some personal matters, try and acquire patronage, turn a profit, or just scout for leads or tasks of interest. Or go on a walking holiday of the Arilean coast. Or camping in the frozen country to the West.

The most helpful thing to do would be to discuss, individually or as a group, what stuff you’d like to explore, which will give me some direction to prepare. No promises etc etc, but there is scope for lots of capers here. Assuming you all survive the encounter in which you currently find yourselves…

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The Tomb of the Unknown Percy II - the Amulet of Dubious Efficiency
In which you slay the guardian of good, amidst much confusion

After your initial foray into the tomb, you slowly made your way towards the inner sanctum. Link and Midna were assigned the very important duty of ‘trapsoaking button-pushers’, or ‘spike-fodder in chief’. They operated the symbols required to advance through each room. You dodged a number of the traps and made your way to the final set of doors with only minimal damage.

After a brief battle with some earth creatures, you were through. As you explored the main tomb chamber, with prominently-placed pedestal holding the very amulet you sought. As you investigated, the guardian, a hound-headed Archon, appeared to warn you, in somewhat confusing terms, to stay clear, and not remove anything from the tomb. After a confusing attempt at diplomacy or adherence, he reached for his sword to ‘do his duty’, joined by two ‘balls of light’, harrying you from all directions.

You took some damage from the frenzied Archon, but managed to lay him low. The obvious next course of action was to smash and grab what you could from the tomb, making off with a set of full plate, bastard sword (as well as the Archon’s own greatsword), a strange metal tube, a scroll of unknown nature, a pearl and a large pile of coins.

You beelined for the exit, keen to get out of this place and work out what the hell was actually going on. As you squeezed through the crack in the cliff to get to the air outside, you were met with a group of armed individuals setting up camp. Atia, Aia, and ‘the boys’ seemed rather pleased to see you, laden as you were with goods from the tomb and beyond. Atia invited you to hand over your goods and be on your way. You did not quite see it that way, and battle begun.

As spearman and axeman scrabbled for their weapons, you found yourselves singularly failing to strike them hard and fast, and, already exhausted, girded yourselves for the battle ahead, hoping that you picked up a few new tricks from your foray into the tomb…

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The Tomb of the Unknown Percy (Part I)
In which Hrothgar is 'cray 'cray

After some debate over the extent of your responsibilities to the forces of good and your own bottom lines, you decided to make for the uncovered burial place of the mysterious amulet posthaste.

After an uneventful yomp cross-country (Link helps steer the way in reasonable time), you make it to the site – a cracked-open cliff-face with a traversable rift running through the middle. Wasting no time, you head inside. Before checking the main door, Hrothgar decides to investigate the crawlspace on the west side of the cavern. He meets Percy.

Percy is a large dog-like creature with big teeth and nasty tentacles (with nastier barbs). Hrothgar decides to fight it out, but quickly finds himself getting his Dwarven butt handed to himself by a pair of tentacles. The rest of you wade in and beat the creature back (and then to death), but not without taking some damage yourself.

Percy dispatched, you check out the area. You find some gear buried in the body pile, and some broken tools in the northern room. Hrothgar notices a section of shoddy or false wall, and smashes straight through it. The eastern room contains a number of symbols and a very narrow air duct running off into the darkness.

Hrothgar checks out the room to the south. Finding it empty, he experiments with the glass receptacle by the door, pouring in some of his water. He finds himself trapped, and left beating down the door while getting beaten on by an invisible opponent, magic force, or an invisible magical forceppent. The rest of you figure out how to open the north door by manipulating the symbols in the octagonal room, which seem to require the weight of a living thing.

Taking pity on your generally suicidal comrade, you circle back around to open the door Vartan’s been trying to bash open. Schmaull and team manage to break the lock which Vartan had been working at just in time to save him from bleeding out.

Having spent pretty much all of your healing spells and potions rather too quickly, you decide to cut your losses and wait out the afternoon and spend the night. You pitch up in the tool room, plugging the crawlspace with Percy, and hope that the temperature down here doesn’t drop too low…

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A Tale of Two Letters
In which things get pretty inciting...

Your time in Fairhill has passed pretty peacefully, which has been a nice change of pace. Some of you have had the chance to travel, revisiting Reme or the countryside around Fairhill – actually very agreeable when people aren’t trying to kill you in it. The harvest has been and gone, and was successful, if limited by the damage Tavik wrought on it. The people of Fairhill had the choice of whether to be well-fed or rich, as food prices in the whole region are pushed up by the shortage. They chose to eat, enjoying the reversal of having better stores than many of their more wealthy countrymen in the cities.

Welby and Alana visited Reme, to sell on some of your ‘acquired merchandise’ from the last few weeks. Your fortunes are looking up. Arlen keeps promising a fair repayment for you. Some of the money you refused from him at various stages went into commissioning a set of statues in the market square. The likenesses could certainly be better – you know Schmaull isn’t quite as big and tall as he is depicted, Collin isn’t shown with a drink in his hand, and Valerie would have preferred if her statue counterpart were carved with both eyes still in – but the thought was there.

As the winter sets in, the conditions turn colder. Much colder, actually, and the snows fall a good few weeks earlier than normal. Travel may be more difficult.

The rumours that reached your ears alternately intrigued and bored you. The raids against the dwarves in the north caught your attention (not least for Hrothgar’s sake), and then news of the earthquake reached your ears.

Within just a few days, things were already in motion. You encountered a couple of groups passing through Fairhill heading that way, cursing the snows and their lack of preparedness for them, but still failing to secure adequate winter gear (you wondered if they could afford it).

Then, a messenger arrived. By chance, she found no-one in at the house in which you were staying, but a few well-meaning locals pointed her to the Drunken Cockatrice, where Collin and a few others were propped up (in Collin’s case, literally).

The letter she delivered was closed with a wax seal, depicting a hammer. Breaking it open, you read:

Friends,

We write briefly, for time is short, and we would that that messenger had been away some hours before this. Word has reached us that the enemy is soon to spring the next move. An attack on Seawatch would be difficult, but not beyond their means, and the effects would be devastating. Aside from the harm to trade and travel, if they were able to organise a similar event to what you uncovered in Duskview, the force we would face would likely be more than we could withstand.

Word reached us also of the quake not too far from where you now winter. Ser Benjamin believes that this uncovered place is the tomb of Ser Radegund, a hero of some small renown who is best-known for happening upon an artefact well beyond her own power. An amulet of pure good – a powerful weapon, in the right hands. Ser Benjamin believes Saint Cuthbert has laid open her tomb to offer the amulet at the time it is needed most.

Your deeds and love for justice are well known already. We would move to claim the amulet ourselves, but we already northbound to warn and lay our plans to frustrate and delay the enemy. I must ask you, on behalf of our order, to take the amulet and keep it safe. Bring it north, if you can, but most of all, keep it out of the hands of the forces of darkness. There are many, not just our enemy, who would use the amulet for their own ends, or just to keep us from using it. I urge you to move posthaste.

Go with the spirit of retribution behind you.

Yours in fellowship and gratitude,

Retributor Jo-Dorrell, speaking with the voice of the Hammer of Retribution


You barely have time to digest the contents of this letter when Arlen joins you. It is not rare for him to be in the tavern, but this early in the day is unusual for him. He nods in greeting.

“It’s finally time I found a way to pay our debt to you. Nothing the town can offer you can really equal what you did for us, so I’m not going to try. The paltry coin we could offer would be, frankly, insulting to you.”

He pulls a letter that was tucked into his belt.

“I’ve written this for you to take to Hanel. He is the armourer-in-chief for the guards in Bard’s Gate, and an old friend of mine. I’m calling in a favour with him, and asking him to give you some items out of the stores. He used to keep a fair cache of enchanted items for the guards, but they tend to just be kept in the stores. Hopefully you’ll put them to good use.”

He places the letter on the table, and walks of to resume his duties before you can reply.

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