We were joined by two new players – Lon and Barrett Murphy. They had been invited to our previous session but had to cancel. The session began with Jason, Lon, and Barrett starting character creation. They made significant progress, and we were able to begin the stress test before all the minor details had been figured out.
The Play’s the Thing…
Having heard rumors that a nearby sealed siege castle had recently been opened by a minor earthquake, the party headed to investigate, hoping to be the first into the tower, which people are calling the “Fallen Fortress”
The tower was five stories tall. Only the top story was left completely intact, the earthquake having caused most of the east side of the tower to collapse. It contained no windows or doors, explaining why no one had been inside in centuries.
Beset by dogs
As the party stood at the base of the tower preparing to go inside, Grizzly Adams heard some rustling in some nearby bushes. After he called for whoever was in the bushes to show themselves, the party was beset by wild dogs, which were quickly dispatched.
Exploring the first floor of the tower, the party slew a spider the size of a man, and discovered that the stairs had become blocked by all the rubble created by the earthquake; further progress would require scaling the outside of the tower.
With no skilled climbers in the party, and few having brought climbing gear, the climb was a challenge. Eventually Grizzly Adams reached the second floor, where he secured a rope for the rest of the party to climb. Unfortunatly, Gandalf still had difficulty climbing up, and became unconscious after falling a couple times. After receiving some aid from other members of the party he was able to finish the climb.
Betrayal from within
The party moved into the southern room of this floor, which appeared to have been left undisturbed for a very long time, but on closer examination, Grizzly Adams discovered some tracks at the north-west door, and Sun Time discovered a trap in the same location. Sun Time chose to share this info with Jaigo Mongongwa and Adrian Monk, but not Grizzly Adams and Gandalf.
Grizzly Adams could tell that Sun Time was sharing a secret, and became concerned that members of the party were keeping secrets about discoveries in the tower. As Grizzly Adams was learning that a secret about the tower was being kept from him, Gandalf chucked a rock into the space that everybody was so intent on, triggering the trap without harming anyone.
Offended that Sun Time refused to share information about a trap with him, and concerned about what this meant for his future safety, Grizzly Adams chose to leave the party – and the tower – immediately, taking his climbing rope with him.
Continuing without him, the party moved to the west room tower, where they slew two young smelly troglodytes.
During the evening I discovered that I need to reacquaint myself with the combat rules, as there were some disagreements between myself and members of the party concerning the mechanics of a couple rules.
What follows is a summary of the disagreements and a ruling determined after the session by looking the rules up in the PRD.
A player said that natural 20’s were an automatic crit, I thought they were just an automatic hit and still required another roll to confirm crit.
Ruling: A natural 20 is an automatic hit, and a critical threat. Another roll is still required to determine if the attack is a critical hit.
A player said withdraw is a 5-foot step that doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. I thought it was a full round action that allowed a reduced move to leave combat without provoking an attack of opportunity. I was not able to remember the details.
Ruling: Withdraw is a full round action that let’s you move up to double your speed (the equivalent of two move actions) without provoking attacks of opportunity when moving from the starting square.
Our next session would normally be on October 31, but a significant number of players are not available on that weekend, so it was decided we will not meet again until November 13th. I have since noticed that November 13th is a Thursday, so I am adjusting the date to November 14th.
Because of the length of time between now and the next session, we will dispense with the rest of the stress test and begin The Rise of the Runelords. It is expected that all Player Characters will be completed prior.
During the next four weeks players should use the forums to establish their backgrounds, including if any players knew each other prior to the beginning of the adventure.
Short story background can be found at The Story So Far