D&D: The Eighth One – Session 1

Written by: Sir Henry Longthorne           Played on: 29 Dec 2010
PREVIOUS: Character Bio – Inara
NEXT: The Eighth One – Session 2

This session began with “character creation” to define the eight characters defined in the previous posts. Since this is to be a fairly short campaign, rather than spending a whole session creating characters, I asked the players to define what kind of a character they wanted to play on a general level and then created pre-generated characters for them.

When it came to this session, our first half hour was spent going around the table and answering a series of questions. What is your character’s name? In a few sentences, what is your character like? What is the story of how your character met [player character to the left]? Who is another person, an NPC, whom your character knows and has a relationship of some kind with?

This is a similar process to the one I used for the character creation session in the D&D: Elderyn campaign and was stolen wholesale from the Chatty DM’s blog. The process worked very well before and it worked this time as well to familiarize the party with each other and to let the players quickly define themselves. Finally, it also gave me some personal histories and NPCs to integrate into the story as opportunities presented themselves.

The commander went to speak to General Thokas this morning; we’ve been assigned a patrol of Arucania today. Not the most exciting task the Divine Guard can be assigned, but a duty that revolves through all units assigned to the capital.

We spend the day patrolling the city, showing our presence as well as assisting the local guard in dealing with legal problems where we are allowed to render judgements without involving the higher courts. It keeps the system clear and free-flowing, but it is not a task we particularly enjoy.

Within the first twenty minutes of our patrol, a man comes up to us and reports a rape, of his preteen daughter. He told us he had reported the issue to the guard, and it had been three weeks, yet no action was taken, no arrests made.

Our fearless leader asked the usual questions and received the usual replies. When asked if he knew who committed the rape The father said he suspected a neighbor of committing the crime. He said he suspected, but I could tell he was positive. A few of the other enlightened members of the group could also tell that the father was much more sure of the neighbor then he let on.

Scith took the girl aside to speak with her. The rest of the team set off to the girl’s home to speak with her mother. She told us much the same stuff as the father, filling in a few details that would prove of little consequence. We also speak to the girls playmates.

After this we head to the stable to speak to the “suspect”. This is Bharash, Morgolaoth, Rock, and I. The others go to the neighbor’s house. While here we take the man aside, and put the fear of the gods into him, he does not yield, however I KNOW he is our man. We also speak to one of his workers. Nothing there.

After character introductions, I had intended to play the group’s patrol for about the next hour and pitch to them a series of quick, morally ambiguous scenarios. The idea was to present them with a half-dozen situations with no clear, correct decisions and allow the characters to define their personalities by weighing in on how to resolve the situations.

For example, in this first situation they were presented a situation where they were sure of someone having committed a heinous crime, but had no proof. They chose to be law-abiding and would not punish the man even though they were sure of his guilt. They were, of course, free to choose any other actions, ranging from a sound beating to taking him out into a back alley and “disposing” of him.

In theory, I still think it was a great idea, but in practice it didn’t work out very well. This first situation stretched on for most of the allotted time and we were only able to hit two more scenarios (of which one was a directly related follow-up to this one).

In part, I suspect this was because I did not explicitly tell my players this was what I was doing, I was trying to arrive at the solution organically. The other may have been the subject matter of the particular plot point. I probably should have chosen something more casual to get the party started off on and chosen scenarios that had clear decision points where the task is then resolved at.

The team reconvenes and we continue our patrol without any further progress on the matter, which bothers most of us. It’s not long before we run into another group of the Divine Guard interrogating a suspect. The suspect’s wife gets our attention by asking us to check in at a blacksmith’s shop which the unit commandeered for the “questioning”.

Turns out my old friend Spicy McHaggis is the one doing the interrogating. Bharash gives me strict orders to make sure the man does not get hurt too badly in the interrogation. He goes outside to speak to the rest of the team and the man’s wife. I watch as Spicy uses a forge hammer to smash the man’s left hand.

At that point I put a stop to it. We manage to use our own tactics to get the information needed about the goods being smuggled into town. While the man didn’t know directly what was going on, he had been paid off by some merchants to get some goods into town without them being inspected and the appropriate tariffs paid. Spicy believes, through some other information gathering, that someone was bringing in artifacts of chaotic origin to sell to some rich collectors.

Spicy’s unit commander had everything he needed to track the seller down and make their arrests, so we continued on with our patrol. Only a short ways down the street e run into some of the town guards and are informed that the stable man from before is wanted for the murder of his wife. As much as it pains me, we vouch for his whereabouts at the time of the murder. He was with us, being questioned.

We make our way toward one of the town gates to investigate another disturbance and run into a group of trades people who have been injured. They say they were attacked by hobgoblins a short ways south of town on their way up from Jerris.

We sprang with quickness to the nearest stables, each mounted a mighty steed and sped off over the horizon.

About thirty minutes out we come upon the scene of the ambush, little more than a trampling of wildlife and sporadic pools of drying red blood. The trail leads west into the forest so we follow carefully. In a clearing, we come upon a large group of hobgoblins, as expected, who are busy gnawing savagely on severed human limbs or picking through a small pile of bodies they had been able to drag off.

At our commander’s instruction, we charge the field and proceed to lay waste to theses disgusting creatures. The battle is brutal but swift as we surround them and drive into them with sword, axe and spell. A few of us suffer minor wounds, but nothing that will slow us down. Its only after the battle has finished that we notice the black, viscious fluid flowing from the hobgoblin’s veins, mingling with their blood in the grass.

As I recognize the dark taint of chaos on the creatures, we hear the sounds of  a dozen figures crashing out of the underbrush around the clearing. An ambush!

We turn and reform our lines, with the casters to the center and warriors Rock, Bharash and Morgoloth each covering a flank, as a number of black skinned, demons weilding wicked blades charge out of the brush and down the paths leading into the clearing. Amongst them are several large dog like creatures whom seem to carry a cloud of darkness around them as they move. As we ready ourselves, there is an even greater sound of crashing behind us and a giant, tentacled beasts moves out of the thickest portion of the forest, crashing through plants and small trees with ease as it lets out a terrible roar!

The battle is long and chaotic as we clash with the forces of chaos which have been gone from this world for so long. Rock, our Warden, turned from the front lines to engage the tentacled beast coming up on our rear. He kept it in check by himself even as he pulled in several other enemies, taking the brunt of multiple attacks.

Cael climbed a large boulder in the center of the clearing to get a vantage point on the battle and started picking off targets with his bow. Bharash and Aunywynn moved about the battle in a pair, the Eladrin swooping behind groups of enemies and dispatching the weaker ones while our commander pressed from the front until they met in the middle.

Inara and I kept ourselves mobile, avoiding direct combat to cast our spells whilst Morgoloth charged from combatant to combatant with his maul constantly swinging  in vicious arcs. I’ve been trained to face the forces of Chaos all my life and I know the Deva has faced them in past lives, but Morgoloth was the only one on the battlefield letting out good natured laughter as he splattered one skull and then the next.

Our Den mother, Skii, held down another corner of the battlefield. I didn’t see much, but at least once I saw her split the heavens and call down thunder on the creatures.

Eventually, nearly all of our attackers were felled and we turned on the tentacled beast. As we got closer, the creature lashed out with its numerous tentacles, grabbing onto any of us that got too close and pulling them in. The struggle was gruesome, but we finally beat the creature to the ground.

Combat was long, for a couple reasons; one was that all the players were learning to play D&D for the first time, another that they took part in two combat encounters that, essentially, ran directly from one to another, third was the fact that we had a total of eight players present and an appropriate number of monsters to try an make the encounters somewhat challenging for the party.

It went pretty well, all things considered, but the session did run long (and I had even planned on another encounter for them when they returned to the city, but that got shelved for next session) and distraction at the table got common. Going forward I need to emphasize quickness on each player’s turn. A certain amount of time is required to resolve any of the player’s actions, but a lot of time (forgiveable for this first session as people learned their characters) was eaten up by players who didn’t know what they wanted to do on their turn even though seven players and all the monsters had a turn in the meantime.

Several of us were hurt, but Skith and the commander moved through the unit ensuring we properly cared for our wounds and investigated the area. It was only after several minutes that we looked back toward town and see smoke rising in the distance…

PREVIOUS: Character Bio – Inara
NEXT: The Eighth One – Session 2

0 Responses to “D&D: The Eighth One – Session 1”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Archived Logs

Enter your email address to subscribe tothese logs and receive email notifications when new ones are posted.

Join 190 other followers


%d bloggers like this: