Beyond the Icy Sea (Houston)

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Captain_Blood
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Beyond the Icy Sea (Houston)

Post by Captain_Blood » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:49 pm

So we actually managed to finally play this on November 11th. Jared was visiting at the time and managed to sit in with us. It was a fun game with 2 complete new comers and another person who hadn't slung dice in years. The post game analysis was that everyone had a fantastic time. Kudos to James for writing a fantastic adventure. Having my own copy printed and bound was one of my better moves :) As James mentioned the adventure was originally written for 1st Edition AD&D, but it translates to C&C very quickly. The hardest work for me was translating the characters, but that took more time since I was converting to class and a half.

I'd planned to run this with 3 players using class and a half rules. The actual cast of players was in flux right up until we left work on Friday to start playing and I finally ended up with 4 players. I had 3 characters prepared for class and a half:

Thoradin Steeljacket as a 6/3 Dwarf Cleric/Thief
Kinslayer Kreel as a 6/3 Half-Orc Fighter/Assassain
Croat the Balkan as a 6/3 Human Magic-user/Monk (Originally Ancalagon Blackmage)

At the last minute I made up Incognito a 6/3 Elf Ranger/Druid. Jared took over this character and did a great job of forgetting he had a bow :lol:

The extra character and the extra Cleric level over what was originally designed for the adventure definitely made the group overpowered, but since this was mainly a bunch of new players I decided to go with it. The Adventure started out with our heroes trekking across the frozen tundra. We spent a lot of time getting used to game mechanics and getting comfortable with the characters. I allowed them to spend one night on the ice before really getting on with it.

On the second day the weather began to worsen steadily. Eventually it got so bad that only the Thoradin and Kinslayer could effectively see. Were it not for some very effective spell casting from Incognito and Thoradin to provide magical resistance to the elements they would likely have suffered some severe exposure damage. Croat the Balkan somehow managed to spot what appeared to be structure hidden by the icy winds and snow. With the help of Thoradin and Kinslayer the entire party managed to find their way to an abandoned long house a scant few hours before their magical protections would have expired. After forcing the frozen door open they discovered what appeared to be the artifacts of another adventuring party who had come before them. After searching the long house the quickly confirmed their suspicions about the previous adventuring party when they found a journal detailing their experiences and how they found the long house. There were, however, no bodies and it was clear the building hadn't seen active use in months if not years.

They didn't lose anytime making the place their own to ride out the howling storm. Despite some concerns about the missing bodies they agreed to a watch schedule and the others laid down for some sleep. Of course they were awoken about 3 hours later by sounds of the storm which had only gotten worse. The howling winds were keeping them all awake when they heard something crash into the barred door. Thoradin immediately rushed to don his armor with some help from Kinslayer while Croat the Balkan, and Incognito prepared to face what was coming for them. Within seconds the door came crashing open to reveal 3 winter wights who stalked forward into the long house.

Thoradin wasted no time. He forgot his armor grabbed his holy symbol and immediately began a chant to turn the undead horrors. He was amazingly successful. The Wights froze in their tracks and would advance no closer to the cleric, however, their overriding hunger refused to allow them to flee the scene entirely. Incognito entered into melee with the lead Wight and made a good showing while Croat the Balkan uttered "Kabuuuuummmm" from behind him and launched a flight of magic missiles into all three. Kinslayer decided to let Thoradin do his thing and quickly climbed into the rafters above. The lead Wight took advantage of his position to Incognito to launch his own strike and was successful in inflicting moderate damage. The feeling of cold that spread through Incognito's body felt like it would be a part of him forever more. Thoradin continued to hold the Wights at bay and Incognito suddenly decided that engaging from range sounded like a good idea. The party members were able to make quick work of the three Wights after the first round.

After the battle and some quick healing for Incognito they party quickly sealed up the main door and hunkered down to ride out the rest of the storm. Some sleep was shared by all, but only just enough to fight off the worst effects of fatigue. The following day the party exited the longhouse to a clear morning and the sight of a broken structure upon a hill in the far distance. With renewed vigor they proceeded in it's direction and managed to reach it as the day was coming to a close. In their excitement Incognito and Croat the Balkan quickly ran inside the walls of the ruined monastery to investigate what looked to be a running fountain. Throadin and Kinslayer, somewhat more reserved, were several yards behind. Upon reaching the fountain 4 yetis ambushed Croat the Balkan and Incognito. Things were looking very grim for them, but they had faith their companions would come to help them quickly. Alas it wasn't quickly enough as first one yeti and then a second tore into Incognito. His broken body was left lying on the ground after a particularly vicious yeti-hug. Croat fared much better as his physical training as a monk outshone his wizardly gifts for the first time. He was successful in dodging the yeti attacks and getting in a few powerful punches of his own. Thoradin and Kinslayer quickly joined the fray. Thoradin immeidately bent knee to lend Incognito aid while Kinslayer unlimbered his pistols and got down to business. He was able to dispatch two yeti's in two rounds with well placed shots while Croat the Balkan, Thoradin, and a newly revived Incognito did in a third. The fourth yeti decided this particular group was too much to handle and began to run for the exit. Croat the Balkan was damned if he was allowing the beast to escape. With another utterance of "Kabuuuumm", only deeper and with more rumbling, a giant fireball flashed into existence and swept toward the fleeing yeti's back. It exploded with massive force, and once the steam from the melted snow and ice cleared no evidence of the yeti was left to be found.

This is where we ended our session and we'll be picking it up again soon.

Final Analysis is that the group with 4 6/3 class and half players is overpowered for the adventure, but as evidenced by Incognito's story there is still significant danger. If I had more knowledge of how many players I would have I would either have run with the original characters or adjusted each of these characters to 5/2. The class and a half rules are a lot of fun and definitely add an extra dimension to the characters. The Wizard/Monk combination is particularly powerful, especially with high stats.



Cloak-n-Dagger
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Post by Cloak-n-Dagger » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:55 pm

Haha, nice play session. It's been so long since I've played, it's good to recount the tales of the original adventure from the view of new characters and players.
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” ~ Wilfred Peterson, American Author

alester
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Post by alester » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:46 pm

Icognito might have fared better if he'd just abandoned Croat the Barbarian to the Yetis. Stupid loyalty.

Captain_Blood
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Post by Captain_Blood » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:52 pm

Round 2 will be this Friday. Since it's my birthday let's hope the party brings it's A game :twisted:

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:46 pm

Captain_Blood wrote:Round 2 will be this Friday. Since it's my birthday let's hope the party brings it's A game :twisted:
That's the spirit! No coddling the players - make 'em sweat!

Ancalagon
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Post by Ancalagon » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:31 pm

Hey, Cap'n!!! Any more game notes ready to post? ;)

Captain_Blood
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Post by Captain_Blood » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:14 pm

Yes, but no time to post it tonight :(

I promise I'll post soon :)

Captain_Blood
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Location: Texas

Post by Captain_Blood » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:09 am

Okay, so sorry this took so long to post, but to say it's been a busy couple of months for me would be an understatement. Anyway we managed to finish up the adventure back in early December before everyone broke for the Holidays. As such a few of the details have gotten fuzzy, but I'll endeavor to get it as close as possible.


We picked up where we left off with the PCs inside the monastery. I added a magic cancelling field over the entrance of the monastery just to screw with the PCs magic protection from the elements. I found it worked really well to spike up the tension for this section of the game. It only affect players entering or leaving through what remained of the the main entrance. The PCs didn't notice at first because they were still warmed up from their battle with the Yetis. The quickly fell about checking out the courtyard. Thoradin quickly cast a detect magic spell and examined the interior of the courtyard looking for clues. He quickly spotted the bright glow from the central fountain that was bubbling away in the subfreezing weather, but nothing else showed. He warned the rest of the group of his findings but Kinslayer was busy joking around with a severed Yeti arm, a trophy of his recent battle prowess, and managed to step to close to the fountain. The Water Weird inside quickly announced his presence and attacked immediately.

The startled heroes were left stunned for an extra round by the ferocity and speed of the Water Weird. Once they gained their senses Thoradin attempted to contain the demon water with divine power to no avail. Incognito attempted to burn it, and met with expected results. Kinslayer was too occupied trying not drown, but Croat the Balkan had a final magic missile ready to go and managed to get the Weird's attention. The break in concentration was all the sturdy Kinslayer needed to wrestle himself away from the weird. He quickly drew rapier and main gauche and proceeded with melee attacks. His close inspection of the creature had convinced him it could be killed if he hacked at it enough. The enraged Weird continued to pursue Kinslayer, but was unable to recapture and drown him. Kinslayer managed to keep it busy long enough for his companions to draw their own weapons and close in for another kill. In the end their numbers won through, but the party was drained and everyone was now injured. To make things worse the now soaking wet party noticed that things had gotten very cold all of a sudden!

They were hesitant to seek shelter inside the ruined monastery, but there was really no choice. To remain outside much longer would be certain death. With trepidation they began to explore a mostly uncollapsed section on the ground floor and discovered what appeared to be sleeping quarters. Rotted and broken furniture lay scattered about as well as what appeared to be large piles of peat moss. The party quickly gathered what they could and built a makeshift shelter and fire in the most secure and sturdy of the remaining rooms. They quickly settled in for some badly needed rest, but not before setting watch schedule that had Kinslayer shouldering most of the burden.

The following morning with the caster's energies restored the party managed to heal up and setup new magical protections against the elements. The night had passed without incident, but they were still quite wary while exploring the rest of the keep. They were quickly able to determine that if anything at all was left of the second story it was completely inaccessible. After a time they managed to confirm that the structure was indeed a temple to Telchur at one time. An intensive search of a room adjacent to a wrecked chapel revealed some frozen papers that were still legible. The papers detailed the trials of a Telchurian Cult, and how the head priest believed that Telchur spoke to him through howling winds common to the intense storms of the area. A final note in the journal revealed the presence of a cave some distance to the west of the Keep. It seemed the cult leader thought it would be a safe place to store wealth and fall back to should their current settlement be overrun.

The PCs spent some more time exploring the rest of the the monastery, but didn't find anything to interest them. There certainly wasn't any treasure of note. Thoradin made notice that he still detected traces of magic on the fountain. The undaunted Kinslayer decided this was a good omen despite his experiences with the Water Weird the previous day. He courageously approached the fountain. When nothing popped out at him he decided he'd earned a drink. The refreshing water was invigorating. He immediately informed the others and drink more deeply from the fountain. As his bruises from yesterday's adventure faded before them they all decided that a drink from the fountain before leaving might be a good idea. Feeling fresher than they had since before the long house the party set forth for rumored cave to the west. Just to be safe though they decided to climb down over one of the broken walls instead of going through the main entrance. As such they didn't trigger the anti-magic field and didn't loose their magical protection against the cold.

The journey across the tundra was uneventful except for spotting a small herd of unknown animals that looked somewhat like the deer of their homeland. The party was well set for rations and would need to return to their boat for pickup long before they ran out. So a suggestion of hunting was quickly decided against. Towards the end of the day the party managed to locate the cave they believed was described in the journal of the cult leader. A deep rent in the side of the mountain proceeded down for a very long way. Kinslayer lead the way inside with Croat, Incognito, and Thoradin bringing up the rear. Well behind so as not to spoil Kinslayer's vision. At the bottom of the path they discovered what appeared to be a frozen lake with large numbers of rocks, stalactites, and stalagmites. Croat the Balkan noticed the ceiling ascended out of sight for even Kinslayer and Thoradin. He decided a fly spell was in order and quickly took flight within the cave. His continual light coin marked his passage through the cavern. He quickly mapped out it's dimensions for the rest of the party and informed them of another tunnel on the other side of the lake. The rest of the party quickly moved around the edge of the lake and met Croat on the far side.

A short distance up this second tunnel was another cavern, but much smaller. It's far side appeared to have a double ledge, and their were several alcoves off the main chamber. Kinslayer and Incognito quickly moved to investigate the alcoves. In the largest Kinslayer found several corpses and a lot of trash. He kicked around the bodies and sifted through some of the broken weapons. He eventually found a serviceable dagger among the debris. Meanwhile Thoradin, Croat, and Incognito found several smaller alcoves 3 of witch contained bodies. One of which clearly appeared to be a dead wraith, similar to the creatures they had fought at the Longhouse. It was at this point the party heard a great roar and were engulfed in biting cold and sharp shards of ice. Their magical protections against cold seemed to have absolutely no mitigating effects from this blast!

Kinslayer, Thoradin, and Incognito managed to dive into alcoves, but poor Croat was caught in the open. When the stream of ice and wind cleared Croat had shattered in thousands of pieces, and a large white dragon was staring down at them from the upper most ledge from deeper in the cave. The dragon charged the party and Incognito was quickly put down. Kinslayer immediately ran back down the tunnel towards the lake at full speed, and Thoradin immediately sought to aid his fallen companions. Thoradin managed to call on divine grace to return Incognito to the fight, but was immediately stomped on by the dragon as it pursued Kinslayer down the tunnel towards the lake. Incognito returned the favor and used the last of his healing energies to restore Thoradin. Meanwhile Kinslayer showed no hesitation in his headlong flight. Incognito unlimbered his bow and chased the dragon into the tunnel. He heroically managed to land two shots against the dragon before it realized it'd left a living victim. The dragon quickly flipped about and came back to finish off Incognito. Thoradin recovered just enough to move and not much else began retreating towards the direction the dragon had come from. He managed to climb the ledges and discover the dragon's horde while Incognito's bow distracted the beast. Inside he found the glittering treasures the beast had amassed and quickly began looking for something that might save their lives.

Incognito's brave delaying tactic was short lived, but effective. The Dragon was wounded, but his revenge against the Druid/Ranger was swift and final. A quick claw and bite left a headless body to fall to the floor naught to rise again. Seeing no others the Dragon once again pursued the fleeing Kinslayer towards the lake, but Kinslayer had managed enough of a lead that he had cleared the tunnel and broken contact with the Dragon's senses. He quickly hid among the ice, snow, and rocks surrounding the lake. It wasn't long before the dragon burst forth from the tunnel mouth and bounded out across the lake. Kinslayer watched as it used the stones sticking out of the ice as a makeshift bridge. The Dragon quickly came to a stop, and began actively searching for the final creature that had dared enter it's lair, but Kinslayer was well hidden. His body heat hidden by his excellent armor, and the rocky terrain blocked his relatively small form from the searching beast. Patience was Kinslayer's only trump card. He knew if he waited the Dragon would give him an opening he could exploit. All living things could be killed quickly and efficiently if you find their weakness and strike from an unknown direction. The question was if he could stay hidden long enough. The dragon searched for Kinslayer in vain. It knew the assassin must be in the cave, but he could neither see, smell, nor hear him. Through sheer luck or a blessing from the divine Kinslayer managed to keep the wyrm in sight yet stay hidden himself. It was then that he spotted the flaw in the creatures armor. He didn't know if it was an old injury, a defect, or just they way the creature was built; but just behind the eye was a spot that was clear to him would lead directly to the brain. A kill shot if he'd ever seen one. The problem was getting the creature to even chance the attack.

It was then that a large noise from the Dragon's sleeping chamber caught his attention. Thoradin had kicked over something and it clanged over the ice. The Dragon alerted to another survivor immediately turned back for tunnel to his horde. This was Kinslayer's chance. He burst forth from his hiding place at full speed. He threw all caution to the wind as he sprinted over the ice, snow, and rocks. Amazingly he did not slip. He didn't fall. He leaped for the Dragon's head, aiming for that perfect spot just behind the eye. His rapier connected perfectly and pierced the Dragon's skull. Kinslayer gently whispered into it's hear "I've always loved you" as he twisted the blade and severed the delicate tissues that kept the beast alive. The Dragon fell to the ground dead at Kinslayer's feet. With the beast dispatched Kinslayer shook out his clothes, discarded his broken rapier, and proceeded back down the path to the Dragon's horde. It was clear that nothing could be done for poor Incognito and Croat the Balkan, but thems the breaks. Thoradin was clearly badly wounded and barely hanging on. He would need days possibly months of rest and recuperation. It was unfortunate, but Kinslayer knew Thoradin would never make it back across the Tundra, and they didn't have time to let him heal. So he built him a fire there in the Dragon's den, and helped him out of his armor. Once he was resting comfortably it was a simple thing to slip the dagger into the back of his skull. A quick death is better than freezing he thought as he gathered more than enough of the Dragon's treasure to ensure he'd be able to organize another expedition to recover the rest. With the others gone this just might be enough for retirement.

Captain_Blood
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Post by Captain_Blood » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:16 am

So number one lesson learned. Never underestimate an assassin! I went over and over the ability in the PHB, but I had to rule that Kinslayer was in a position to attempt a death attack. The Dragon knew Kinslayer existed, but he didn't know where he was. Somehow it flubbed every detection role for 5 rounds! Kinslayer's hide role was strong but the dragon had 60% chance to locate him on any given round. It just didn't happen. I also made Kinslayer save twice on his mad charge to close the range. He made both of them with flying colors and his attack while not a 20 was a 19, which was good enough to hit. Then the Dragon failed the damn save! What can I say it was Kinslayer's night. The dice were in his favor. I do like how it ended up in the end. We all had a great time, and we'll be playing a new adventure this week. I'm starting them all at level one with their own characters. We'll see how it goes this time.

Cloak-n-Dagger
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Post by Cloak-n-Dagger » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:13 pm

Thanks for posting a follow-up Sam, I didn't get time to read it in it's entirety yet, but I should tonight.
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” ~ Wilfred Peterson, American Author

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