Friday, 20 September 2019

Rift City - Session 26

Every so often I post on various local Facebook gaming groups to advertise the continued existence of The Wandering Monster Table. The point is after all that it's an open table and everyone is welcome. Sometimes, that means we get new players. Sometimes ...

Today (actually, Sunday 8th September), the dice-gods decided that many new people would come along. So along with some old hands, a bunch of fresh young PCs (relatively fresh and young, to make the integration process easier for new people, the new PCs start at the lowest level in the party) joined the party for a trip to the caves.

So, the party consisted of:

Brigham (3rd Level Cleric);
Cnut (3rd Level Fighter);
Feign* (2nd Level Cleric);
Gell* (2nd Level Fighter);
Gibbet (4th Level Thief);
Grimble* (2nd Level Magic User);
Karensa (3nd Level Elf);
Marl (2nd Level Halfling);
Rannock* (2nd Level Fighter)

*characters of the new players

The first thing was getting the two groups together. This is relatively easy, new adventurers in Rift City tend to turn up at the Travellers' Inn at the Rift-end of the High Street. It's about the only place they can afford. But that's also where the PCs meet up for breakfast when they're adventuring, so the two groups were sitting eating and drinking in the inn (pub) next to each other... as they were in real life. Spooky, huh?

Next, deciding where to go. The new members have never been to the caves, so the veteran PCs suggested the same location that they visited twice in the last few sessions - the tunnels with the portcullises (Session 25 link, Session 23 link).

This area is all dressed stone and regular corridors. That in theory makes it easier to map. Hahahaha! More on that shortly...

Venturing into the dark, the marching order was Marl, Rannock and Brigham up front, Gibbet, Grimble and Feign in the middle, and Karensa, Gell and Cnut bringing up the rear. The idea I think was to put a demi-human both fore and aft to use infravision to spot nasties, and of course to protect the rather squishy, non-plate-armoured specialists, Gibbet and Grimble. Feign I think was just being cowardly.

There is a very long tunnel just in from the entrance, and it has a door off it to the right. They headed for the far end of the corridor, ignoring the door.


I don't think I'm giving too much away to say that this is what the PCs have mapped. I'm quite good enough with image manipulation software to have changed anything that is on the map that the PCs haven't found, so they shouldn't take this as a representation of 'reality' - this is, to my understanding, their map of what's been found.

The stairs in the top right come down from a natural cave in the side of the Rift.

The room at the bottom of the corridor has four sconces on the walls that have torches in them; it also contains a pool on the north wall. The room to the west of it, through the door, also contains a pool/fountain, on the south wall this time, and this was where the Giant Ants had been residing in the previous session.

You should be able to see that a few of the 'doors' are marked with dots rather than a block - these are portcullises rather than doors as such.

The PCs decided that instead of trying to lift the portcullis, they'd batter it down. This was pretty successful but obviously made a certain amount of noise. Soon after Rannock had smashed his way into the room beyond, PCs became aware that someone was following them. Whether the the someone - or perhaps someones - had come through the western door they didn't know.

Turns out they were Lizardfolk. One of the Lizardpeople approached the party slowly, but as no-one spoke the Lizardman language, it was difficult to communicate. Karensa decided to end the standoff by shooting an arrow at the lead Lizarddude, and all hell broke loose. The Lizardbeings charged and a short but brutal combat ensued: 6 dead Lizardthings and no dead party.

Looting the corpses produced an unexpectedly large stash, so the party high-tailed it back to town, stashed the loot and scurried back to the caves.

Pushing on from the room with the torches, the PCs turned west. This is where the Giant Ants had been hanging out and sure enough there were more Giant Ants in the room. The party is mostly sporting platemail and is therefore pretty difficult to hit, but Giant Ants are tough cookies and it wasn't plain sailing. At some point during the session I know Karensa was injured (slightly, she's 3rd Level and it was only a couple of hp damage) and I suspect it was here. However, once the Ants were dead, the party did find a cache of treasure in a crack in the wall, so it looked like they'd have a pretty decent haul in the end.

Further exploration beyond the room of Ants led them to a fairly small group of Orcs, who the party butchered in pretty short order. The Orcs didn't have any proper treasure, however, so the PCs pushed on in an abandoned store-room and here the party encountered some Zombies. These were in part dealt with by the Clerics, both of whom took a hand in the Turning, though some still remained, and these proved to be a bit tougher than the Orcs, but at last the PCs had battered them to jelly.

Deciding for sure after all this hard work that it was time to go, the party made their way out and trooped back to town to count their loot after a hard day!




Friday, 6 September 2019

Lists of characters (Rift City recap)

There was a title of a post in my list (saved as a draft) but there was no post. I can't remember what I intended to have here. So instead of whatever I was going to do... have this series of lists, that are something of a review of the first two years of the campaign (up to and including Session 25, the campaign's second birthday).

First is the list of the 26 PCs that I can remember and reconstruct who have braved the caves so far, in approximately the order they joined the 'Rift City Campaign' (those in italics are the surviving PCs of more-or-less regular players):

1. Gwynthor (C)
2. Gibbet (T)
3. Polly (MU)†
4. Redvers (D) (retired)
5. Shazam (E)
6. Ays (H)
7. Frost (F)
8. Sven (D)†
9. Len (T)†
10. Galan (E)
11. Bob (F)†
12. Cnut (F)
13. Berg (D)

14. Karensa (E)
15. Daisy (H)
16. Gene (F)†
17. Marl (H)
18. Bonjella (E)†
19. Flenzack (C)
20. BrĂ¼na (D)
21. Bunny (H)
22. Greydon (MU)
23. Karina (T)
24. Elenya (E)
25. Brigham (C)
26. Nelson (MU)


Obviously with PC deaths, new PCs are created - one 'flow' of PCs is Polly-Bonjella-Brigham, one is Len-Bob-Cnut, Sven's player next played with Daisy, and Redvers' player retired him and played with Galan from then on.

Next, some of the NPCs the PCs have come into contact with at the inn - these are other adventurers:

Fanfarron, the charismatic fighter;
Dymphna, the dextrous Elf;
Seggulf, the angry Dwarf;
Vortigern, the sappy cleric - this one I seem to recall is deceased;
Hannam, the ugly magic-user;
Kastarys, the sinister magic-user;
Valakar, the dashing fighter;
Rhigat, the enthusiastic cleric;
Slith, the enigmatic thief;
Zanok, the dependable fighter,
Keln, the carefree fighter.

Some readers may recognise some or all of those names. They're 'found characters' (I changed Seggulf's name from the anagramatic 'Fuggles', which was too much even for me) that I had printed out as pre-gens should anyone at the early sessions want to play with a pre-gen. Nobody did, so these 11 became the other adventurers hanging around in the inn, from which rival parties could be drawn, or NPCs hired if the PCs wanted to go down that road. In the end, two of these characters have been adventuring with the party, which I believe were Zanok the fighter, and Vortigern the Cleric, in the 5th session (post about that here). Vortigern unfortunately was killed, by Giant Lizards, apparently, and so was Fighter Bob, by Stirges, though I couldn't at the time remember that he was indeed called 'Fighter Bob'.

There is another NPC Cleric with whom the PCs have adventured - Ademus, Cleric of Yrt (the same religion as Gwynthor). Some time ago now, he went to the caves, trying to find Ulfang the Black, taking an adventuring party of Fanfarron, Dymphna, Seggulf, Hannam, and another Cleric called Vitalinus. They never returned... even though Ulfang the Black is now dead, at the hands of the PCs. Whether Ademus and his friends are dead, captured, or lost and wandering somewhere in the caves, is not currently known.

Of the non-adventuring denizens of Rift City, the PCs have met Gisuintha, a Magic User who lives in a nice house in a slightly swankier part of town (several of the PCs have visited her, to have items identified, or to sell the multifarious parts of interesting animals); Perla, the Halfling proprietrix of the inn/brothel across the road from their inn (Gibbet has also determined that she's a Thieves' Guild contact); there are a couple of Elves at the Sanctuary (the main Elven temple in town) - these include Corrga, the oldest and most venerable of the Elves, who has performed a Remove Curse spell on Galan, and Eglil, an enigmatic silver-haired Elf who has been searching for a Halfling bard to sing a particular song for his master; there is the Town Clerk, who helped to arrange Galan and Karensa buying a house (but I don't think they learned his name); and there is the Mayor of Rift City, Jasper Grubbily, who is a respectable Halfling member of the business community.

Not sure what other locals the PCs have encountered. There was a wizard who seemed to have been imbibing too many of his own potions, and there were some Dwarves that they met in the caves, that Berg took a liking to (she went to visit them at their inn, the Broken Hammer, round the corner from the inn where the PCs hang out), but I don't recall their names.

There's also Marjory (or some name that sounds like it) who was a Gnome the PCs rescued.

Then there have been several Orcs and Kobolds (usually called 'Keith') that Shazam has enchanted, and of course Ningal ('the Mad Witch', as the PCs call her, though on what basis they've decided she's mad isn't really clear to me), in the caves.

Of course, in terms of named antagonists, there was also Ulfang the Black, dead Kobold Lord, as mentioned above.

Who else? What other NPCs have flitted their way through the adventure over two years? I'm struggling to recall names, though there definitely have been more...