Sunday, September 28, 2014

Showdown at the Orc Corral, this week's exciting 5e episode.

This is a report on the last two session. The search for the Lost Mine of Phandelver was continued. The group is up to six players +Tim Shorts , +Daniel McEntee+Chris C.+Joshua Macy+Ken H, and Josh +Rhandom A.

The Ongoing Story
We last left the party outside the Redbrand Hideout having escaped the dungeon of Iarno Allbek/Glasstaff. They are clad only in loincloths and some rusty weapons liberated from skeleton. Along with a 500d (sp) gem in the skeleton crypt. Squirrel, one of the party's two elven wizards, lies dead inside.

The Roster
  • Ara (Joshua Macy) - an Elven wizard dwelling in human lands in order to return to his people's lost cities that lies in ruins within Dearthwood. 
  • Keyar Nailo (Dan McEntee) - an High Elven Archer seeking to keep the elven refuge of Losthain safe.
  • Vognur (Chris) - a warrior armed and ready to take his place in the world and to pursue the mystery of the box left to him by his family.
  • Sidwin the Sharp (Tim) - a native of the City-State, the human rogue senses opportunity in Phandelver and positioned himself to be hired as one of the caravan guards. 
  • Aevin Steelhand (Ken) a former solider who doesn't back down from anything looking to make his mark in the world now that he out of the Overlord's army.
The Hirelings
  • Lanar - a down on his luck miner who was hired as a torchbearer by the party.
  • Martha - with her debt to a unpleasant manor.
  • Mirna - wife of the slain woodcrafter, hired to manage the party latest acquisition the Sleepin Giant Tavern. 
The Majestic Wilderlands
I elected to set the game within my Majestic Wilderlands. I am more familiar with the setting and by taking the original adventure apart and reassembling allows me to master the adventure better. On the map below each small hex is one league and takes one hour to walk. Each large hex is 5 leagues.


After the zombie attack, the party bedded down for the night. Fully rested everybody awoke and debated their options.

From the hilltop that Old Owl Well was on they could see Wyvern Tor rising out Dearthwood 10 miles away. It was decided to complete the last of their mission and take out the orcs there.

Just before reaching the rivers they found evidence of striges in the area.  Sending Sidwin out ahead to scout while the group made their down the slope to the river. A good thing they did because they found a flock of 8 stirges feasting on a slain deer and elected to swing around them.

The river crossing was made without incident and in the early afternoon they came across the orc encampment on the slopes of Wyvern Tor. It was a cave entrance buried into the steep slope of the Tor.

There was a single orc standing watch outside.

With the time on their side the party planned an ambush. With the group fully healed and ready with all spells, it went off without a hitch. There was a surprise with a Ogre bursting forth from the cave but the orc leader fell within two rounds.

The following shows the last of the orcs being killed.

 After the fight the party ransacked the cave and found 500d (sp) in supplies, along with a check with a brass plate labeled DK. In the chest was 300d, 3 vials of perfume worth 100d each, and a single 1 gold crown. A 1 oz gold coin worth 320d.

They also had one live orc. Under intense questioning by Sidwin and the rest of the group, the orc broke and starting blabbing. He was a member of the Death Head Tribe and the main encampment was a half day travel east. His chief was Mogoth Ironhide. After a brief discussion, the group elected not to check out the encampment and kill the orc to prevent him from warning anybody.

The group then used the remaining daylight hours to journey west towards the ruins of Coynberry on their way back to Phandalin. They set watch for the night. Unfortunately around 11 pm during first watch the party was ambushed by goblins!

To be continued next week...

After the previous two sessions which ended between 10pm and 11pm this one ended after 9. Everybody was tired and elected to stop right here at the beginning of the fight.

The session was a good example of when the party was well prepared and executed flawlessly their plan. They never lost control of the Orc battle and even the unexpected appearance of the far tougher Ogre didn't change things much.

I felt that as abstract combat is in 5e that it reflects real life considerations better than 3rd edition and 4th edition. The raw power of the Ogre and the bonus moves of the Orcs could not overcome the fact the party held a superior tactical position.

The Stirges and Goblin attack were the results of the random monster encounters found on page 27. I felt I was able to make the Strige encounter particularly evocative.  One nice thing about 5e is that for now the mystery is back as to what the monster can do. It not like they been totally reworked from their classic counterparts but the addition of one or extras is enough to give them a different spin. This probably contributed to why the party elected to avoid the striges.

Finally I do have Roll20 tip for those you planning to use Phandelver. This will work with any other system with wandering monsters.

I have a wilderness map setup.  I went through the wandering monster charted and added maximum number of monsters for each encounter on the hidden GM layer. That way when an encounter occurs I can just move the right number to the token area and everything is setup.


Raskal Pascal said...

which tools you use for your custom maps ?

Rob Conley said...

+Raskal Pacal
CorelDRAW but Inkscape will work just as well.

Raskal Pascal said...

Thanks Rob

Thiles Targon said...

That is a great roll20 tip!