Wednesday, 26 November 2014

5e Orc and Goblin PCs verses the Ratmen. Why we don't split the party.

We're playing +Patrick Stuart 's Savages in an underdarksetting.  The adventure is the excellent 2014 One Page Dungeon 'The Long Fall' by +Matthew Adams . 

So when we left the PCs last time, they had received orders from local cunning-orc Crime Boss Gutrippa Jizza to find those responsible for banditry along Furry Fungus Way,  "Do em in, and bring back the Furry Fungus".  The PCs had tracked the bandits to a cavern near Snot Grotto and are about to enter a well they believe contains the lair of the ratmen.

Our antiheroes.

Krak Zappa:     Creepy Goblin Shaman,    Dungeon Background.  

Dream Killa:     Cunning Orc Fighter,         Dreams background. 
Shaggy Shiv:   Tricksy Goblin Thief.         Underdark background. A very hairy goblin.
John Smith:      Brutal Orc Hunter.             Man Society background

Shaggy Shiv.  A very hairy goblin.  Lvl 2 Thief with 20 freaken hit points!  My work. 
Could this be where Bugbears come from?
So they head down the well.  Shaggy Shiv in the lead.  As they brush the chain a bell can be heard below.  Arriving at a landing, Shaggy knocks on a door that soon opens revealing a robed ratman who says "Yessss?"

Shaggy:  "We're here to see the boss about the furry fungus."
Ratman Cultist:  Bossss in other roomss, comes in, waits here, I get bossss"

"Yesssss?   Ahhh, Bosssss in other roomss.  Comes in, waits here.  I get Bosssss....."
Image 'Skaven Warcry' by GuiltyOne on deviantart.
The ratman leaves through an exit on the opposite side of the room and Shaggy goes in, Krak Zappa the shaman enters behind him.  (Meanwhile back at the gaming table the dungeon master is grinning and rolling d6s as they enter. I am a firm believer that grinning at just the right time scares the shiz out of players and so exploit this to great effect.  They know that sometimes I am bluffing and that sometimes I am not.  I love watching them squirm, and that is d&d as good as it gets in my mind when that happens)

By the time the third character crosses the entrance the dungeon master has finally rolled a 1 or 2 on a d6, and a pit trap opens below Dream Killa revealing a chute.  In the first of two titular 'long falls' the party's big-hitter plummets into a chain net further down the well, directly above two other entrances, through one of which a great tangle of cobwebs can be seen (uh-oh indeed!).

Back in the entrance room, DK's fall is the ratmen's cue to begin dropping flasks of oil and flaming torches though the murder-holes in the ceiling of the reception area, right on top of Shaggy and Krak who are burnt by the flames.

At this point John Smith shows us that any orc that has lived with humans can never fully be trusted and beats a hasty retreat back up the chain.  I calculate that this will take three rounds to get to the top, fix the player with a withering stare*, and return to the others.

Dream Killa decides he's not swinging in the breeze, takes out his hand axe and starts chipping away at where the chain net attaches to the well wall above one of the doorways below.

Shaggy charges though the entrance into the next room.  Krak is not so quick and gets burnt again as more oil follows the previous.

Shaggy moves though the next chamber which contains fungus growths, up a ladder and engages the two ratmen above and dispatches them easily.  In an adjacent chamber Shaggy finds an animated cauldron, squatting over a fire and singing "nom nom nom, I like food, nom nom nom, get in my belly".

Below Dream Killa loosens enough of the chain fastenings and gets down to the landing with the cobwebs.  He goes in.  There are two ratmen with maces who throw stones.  After a brief fight they are defeated, but Deam Killa fails to spot another pit which they were trying to lure him over and takes more damage from spikes as he falls in.  He gets out  only to notice why there are so many webs, two person sized spiders coming down and biting him.  He is trussed up in a coccoon and left for later.

Krak Zappa decides he is going below to join up with Dream Killa.  When he gets down the well to the landing, he turns and sees another doorway on the opposite side of the well.  Standing there is a ratman with a funky necklace who hisses at him "Jump!" Krak Zappa, Goblin Shaman, fails his save verses magic and jumps off the ledge and into the well where he takes a lot of damage and begins making death saving throws.  In his hazy state he only just notices the small-car-sized spider with psychedelic eyes pick him up and carry him to it's lair for lunch.

So it's six rounds now and John Smith shows his face again, just in time to notice a returning hunting party of ten ratmen coming over he lip of the well above.  He and Shaggy Shiv end up at the bottom of the well looking for a way out, where one is found, a door in fact,but a door to who knows where?

Krak Zappa  RIP:  Creepy Goblin Shaman, Dungeon Background.  (Now eaten by psychedelic spider)
Dream Killa  RIP:  Cunning Orc Fighter, Dreams background. (Wrapped in spider silk for later and not rescued).

Shaggy Shiv:  Tricksy Goblin Thief.  Underdark background. A very hairy goblin.
John Smith:  Brutal Orc Hunter.  Man Society background.  Of dubious orchisness.

*I believe if John Smith hadn't run, then Dream Killa and Krak Zappa would likely still be with us.  As for the recipient of said withering stare, he's a mate so no harm was done.