Wow. I love starting holiday weekends off with a bang. And gaming with friends and all their kids (9 players plus yours truly) was a ton of fun!
You can read about the first session here…
In the Beginning…
We started this session where the last one ended, batting clean-up on the beach after saving the family from death. The party spoke with the father (Willem, who turned out to be a net mender in Nfiton’s Inlet) and daughter (Nerinn), who thanked the group for saving them. They then searched the bodies of the dead fish men, and piled them up like cordwood to be dealt with in the morning. Besides the spears the fish men left behind, they also discovered a small bag of sea shells, a strange 6-sided die made of bone, and a medallion they decided to investigate further the next day.
(When the father introduced himself, he started with “Omdalalala” which has now become the running gag for anyone the party meets within Nifton’s Inlet. I was struggling to find the sheet with the names on it and muttered “Omdalala” while I was looking… As a result, he was “Omdalalala Willem.” His wife was “Omdalalala Hatti” and his daughter was “Omdalalala Nerinn.” We discussed that they refer to folks by their middle names. I think it will become a continuing tradition for this campaign. 🙂 )
The net mender asked the party to help guard his family through the night and in return he’d fix them a fantastic breakfast from the early day catch. He also recommended that they see the town Elder, Oaru, for healing and some help figuring out what may have brought the fish men from the deep. They then settled down for the rest of the night.
While on watch, Tim heard noises and went to investigate, waking X (the other warrior) up on the way out. X in turn yelled, waking up the house and sending everybody outside. Though Tim didn’t find anything that made the noise, others discovered that the bodies had been removed and strange stick-like tracks have been left behind. Whatever made the tracks came from and went back to the water.
The Next Day
They all went back to sleep and in the morning the net mender followed through on his promise, preparing them a great feast. Egan added to the feast with her two potatoes, seasoned with a special seaweed she found on the beach. The whole meal was delicious.
Once they were finished, they headed off to the Elder’s hut. The net mender’s directions were spot on and got them there in no time. The door was locked, but when Aevan knocked, they heard the scraping of the bar on the door and were let inside by an elderly woman.
Oaru explained that there were tales of strange things coming from the water during the High Swell (equivalent to the High Tide) that happens every few decades at the lake, but she didn’t know anything in particular about these fish men. She did explain that large crabs help patrol the shoreline for anything they can feed on in the deep, so they were probably to blame for the disappearance of the corpses.
When she looked at the items they found, she was surprised at the bag of sea shells, explaining that they were from the ocean that was leagues away to the east. She was not sure how they came to be here. Of the die and medallion, she had no suggestions beyond asking around at the market. The cast of characters there changed frequently, so someone may know something about them.
So they headed off to the market, ready to sell the spears they had recovered and hopefully get some answers to the artifacts they had found.
The Fish Market
The Open Market was full of people hawking their wares, from the fish and preserved food vendors to the fruit and vegetable vendors and everything in-between. Plus, they spotted a strange red man standing beside his covered wagon seemingly annoyed with life.
Mickey’s character spoke with him, a man who turned out to be from the Mountains of Fire far to the north. He said he was selling weapons – the finest blades they have ever seen – but they could not afford them. That didn’t dissuade Mickey from attempting to negotiate the sale of her spear. He offered 3 silver. Mickey wanted 5. So did everybody else. And eventually they just pissed him off to the point where he told them to go away.
In the market itself, they found a fruit seller offering apples, mangoes, and other treats. Another seller had tomatoes, potatoes, and some dented cabbages. Yet another had a selection of salted fish and pork. They spent money here and there, purchasing stock for meals while they were in town. Egan had proved his worth as a cook, so why not take advantage?
Also in the market was a strange man wrapped head to toe like a mummy. He was quite friendly, knowledgeable, and helped the party determine a few things about the artifacts they found. He told Mickey that the necklace should be given away at his earliest opportunity. It would attract bad news. And the die that Christine held was from the Kingdom of the Open Waters and used in one of the temples of Chance they favored. It would bring good luck.
Mickey then managed to trade the necklace to the cabbage dealer for a star fruit – his most prized and expensive item to sell.
A Visit To Two Cuppa
Once done in the market, they headed back to the Two Cuppa for some lunch and ale. The proprietor was happy to serve them some crab stew and some ales to wile away part of the afternoon. But they were soon distracted by the strange robed figure at the bar.
Arian turned his drink purple, which made him look around the room. But he rebuffed Aevan’s questions pretty quickly. They learned he was going to leave in the morning, had been there a few days, was waiting for someone to deliver something that hadn’t arrived, and that he should buzz off. After that he left the establishment. Spike followed him back to the Inn and waited outside his room to see if she could figure anything out. Rianwen joined her, but she didn’t hear anything either.
While all this was going on, Aevan spoke with the innkeeper, who didn’t know much more than that the room had been pre-paid by the wizard at the Tower of Dukuru to the north and west. He hinted that he was an undercover lawman on a deep investigation, to which the innkeeper suggested that he tell the Elder.
Meanwhile, Arian and Egan went to the docks, rented a fishing pole, and caught a few fish for dinner. And the fighters headed off to the hook sharpener to get their spears sharpened.
They all met back at the net mender’s house around sundown to guard the family through the night. They had 2 more nights of the high tide event and then the family should be safe, or so they thought.
She opened the door and found two fish men there, ready to stab her with spears… She fired off some magic and woke her compatriots – the battle was on!
Over the next few rounds, there was a combination of closed space fighting (trying not to hurt friends in the way), magic, archery, and trickery. The druids managed to use their druidcraft a few times to generate “flash bang” grenades that dazzled their foes briefly – or illusionary doors to confuse them.
Unfortunately, this group of fish men also had magic on their side. A spellcaster, unseen through most of the encounter, managed to panic the big fighter Tim who turned and ran back inside. Once he shook off the deception, he used it as a way to gather a different weapon – a long sword (he’d been woken from sleep and had grabbed a spear that was nearby).
Before long, the collection of fish men and giant crabs had met their end, except for two fish men and a crab that never left the water. After bolting back to the water’s edge, the pair narrowly escaped almost certain death and dived into the lake.
There were three dead fish men to contend with, along with a few giant crabs (perhaps 2-3 feet across). Though the bodies were searched, all that was found beyond the spears they used was a single platinum piece – with a trident on one side and a seashell on the other. Definitely not a coin of this realm.
We stopped there for the night. The session lasted about 3 and a half hours give or take. And everyone got to move up to 2nd level. So I’ll be curious to see what they all do going forward.
- Tried using a minute timer to encourage players to get their ducks in a row more quickly. But doing it on the phone was not effective. Need to simply buy an hourglass or two to make this more apparent and hold their attention.
- With a group this diverse based on age, it has been a struggle to keep attention. Nine people takes a while even if we’re going around a combat round every 10 to 15 minutes. I believe it was closer to 20-30 minutes for the one combat encounter we had. Many folks wandered off to play with phones or dogs during combat. One even fell asleep briefly.
- Volume was a problem at our house. Difficult to hear with everyone shouting.
- Another issue was the number of choices. Had to (many times) refresh people’s memories about the abilities of their characters. They either weren’t able to find the information on the character sheet or had forgotten what they did the last time around. Need to find a better method for simplifying actions. You’ll probably see a post or two come up from that this week.
- Also, I’ve ordered some dry erase boards this week to hopefully draw the combats a bit better. We’ll see how that works!
We had fun. That was the bottom line. And everyone participated pretty well. I think one more session ought to finish off this first adventure in a few weeks. And before then, we’ll start this same scenario with my other group. It will be VERY interesting to see how four or five adults do with this scenario. 🙂