6/20/16

The Death of Diana, My Longest Running NPC

In Session 1 of the Montporte Dungeon campaigns, Diana was rescued from a nk-ha (an aberration). The adventurers managed to bring her out of her coma. The adventurers rescued other humans held prisoner in the dungeon over the next few sessions and returned them to their homes. Diana, however, stayed on with the adventurers as the cave goat driver.

Diana stayed with the adventurers until Session 37. The party had to cross a chasm and decided to leave some of their NPCs behind, along with the cave goats. Diana remained with the NPCs and did not cross the chasm with the player characters.

When the second campaign started with Session 47, she joined the new team of adventurers as a torchbearer. When the adventurers acquired their own little herd of cave goats, she managed them while still carrying a torch for the party. Diana finally met her untimely end in Session 52 as the result of a "brain blast from" some mysterious frogs.

Despite being present with two different adventuring parties over the course of 43 sessions, Diana was a woman of mystery. By Session 37, it appeared that she might be pregnant. The adventurers also noticed that her eyes were turning black, as if they had become pupils only. At the start of Session 47 (a year later), she was not pregnant and her eyes had returned to normal. Diana's short life is over, but her story may continue.

6/19/16

Cardinal Spider--Montporte Dungeon Campaign Critter

CARDINAL SPIDER
Cardinal spiders travel in small roving bands made up of 2-8 males and 2-4 females. The males are the smaller of two (about 60 pounds in weight) and are deep red in color. The males also carry the baby spiders inside their bodies, once the eggs are fertilized. The male must die in order for the 4d4 baby cardinal spiders to leave his body. The females are larger (about 120 pounds in weight) and dull gray in color, with hints of red around the head and legs. They are more aggressive than the males in hunting and in combat. Baby cardinal spiders are black in color and about 1' in diameter.

FEMALE CARDINAL SPIDER
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 Bite (1d6)
Saving Throw: 16
Special: Poison
Move: 14
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60

COMBAT: Female cardinal spiders are smart and aggressive hunters, using stealth and camouflage to gain an advantage over prey. They are tough foes in combat as they seek to shield the smaller males from harm, even at the cost of their own lives.

POISON: When an opponent suffers a bite from a female cardinal spider, the opponent must make a saving throw or be paralyzed for 1d6 turns.

MALE CARDINAL SPIDER
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: Bite (1d4)
Saving Throw: 17
Special: Live Baby Spiders
Move: 10
Challenge Level/XP: 2/30

COMBAT: Male cardinal spiders only attack when attacked or cornered. They will otherwise attempt to flee.

LIVE BABY SPIDERS: When the male cardinal spider dies, its exoskeleton splits and 4d4 baby cardinal spiders scramble out of the male's body the next round.

BABY CARDINAL SPIDER
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 1 hit point
Attacks: Bite (1 point)
Saving Throw: 18
Special: Nonw
Move: 6
Challenge Level/XP: 0/5

COMBAT: Baby cardinal spiders swarm any warm blooded creature within 20' of them after leaving the male's body.

6/4/16

Montporte Dungeon Campaign 2.0 Session 6 Notes (Montporte 52)

Cast of Characters
Alaric: Human Cleric (PC-Main Character)
Allidore: Kobold (NPC)
Alicia: Human Footman (NPC Henchwoman)
Bildar: Kobold (NPC)
Carlos: Human Footman (NPC Henchman)
Diana: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchwoman)
Enzore: Kobold (NPC)
Fishdore: Koblold (NPC)
Huthul: Orc (NPC)
Jim Bob: Ogre (NPC)
Lord Jim: Human Fighter (PC-Sidekick)
Magnus: Human Magic-User (PC-Sidekick)
Maydor: Orc (NPC)
Merv: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchman)
Ooga: Arbold (NPC)
Septimus: Human Fighter (PC-Main Character)
Zug: Orc (NPC)

The Session
This session began where the last session left off, with the adventurers using three small boats to explore a newly discovered lake at the south end of Level 1 of the Montporte Dungeon. The adventurers had returned to the landing that was serving as their home base. They decided to journey out again, following the north shore and moving east.

They found an area that looked like a small landing. The cave wall had been smoothed and there was a small circular indention, but no amount of pushing and prodding produced any results. About then, the three giant frogs from the last session reappeared (each frog looked like it weighed 60 pounds). The frogs surfaced about 20 feet from the boats.

As the frogs stared at the adventurers, three of the adventurers--Alaric, Carlos and Diana--felt pressure welling up inside their skulls. Alaric and Carlos were able to fend off whatever was causing the pressure, but Diana was not. She slumped over in her boat, blood dripping from her eyes, nose and ears. She was dead. At the same moment, the heads of each of the three frogs exploded, spreading gore over the surface of the water. At the same time, their bodies vanished.

With the three frogs gone, the adventurers pressed on to the east. They found the eastern end of the subterranean lake. In the southeastern portion of the lake, they found a landing and brought their boats to shore. As they did so, three frogs appeared. The three giant frogs kept their distance and did not make eye contact. Instead, they began doing intricate acrobatics, both above and below the surface of the lake.

The adventurers dragged their boats onto the landing. Once ashore, the adventurers found that there were two tunnels leading away from the landing, one north and one south. As the adventurers moved away from the lake, the frogs came ashore. The frogs kept their distance and continued their tumbling antics.

The party moved north and found the northern tunnel to be a dead end. The frogs moved into the southern tunnel. The party drew their weapons, moving into the southern tunnel, which also proved to be a dead end. The party could see and feel an unsettling shift of the dimensions of the tunnel as the frogs hopped, skipped and cartwheeled towards the blank wall at the end of the tunnel. The frogs jumped into the dead end wall and disappeared. The tunnel subtly shifted back to a normal appearance.

The party moved west and explored further. They discovered the lake was continued west for quite a ways. At this point, the adventures decided to go back to their launch point and continue with their original two-fold mission of finding trading partners for the town of Montporte and searching for an ancient dwarven city rumored to be somewhere underneath the Montporte Dungeon.

The adventurers moved north on the first level away from the subterranean lake. They met up with Cassius, Montporte's former caretaker and current resident ghost. Despite his addled memory, Cassius did report that a small group of surly pig-faced men were guests at Montporte. They were accompanied by a very large clumsy guy. They had moved in the direction of the spiral staircase to the second level.

The adventurers moved in the same direction, descending the 100 feet to level 2. The party moved through several rooms into a huge room with a set of 2 metal rails running down the middle, north to south. This room was occupied by four thuragians (crab folk). The thuragians did not respond favorable and a nasty melee ensued. Thuragians are tough customers but the overwhelming number of adventurers made for a short fight.

In the very next room, the adventurers found a party of 3 orcs, accompanied by an ogre. Wary, but surprisingly not aggressive, the orcs agreed to join the adventurers on their quest for profit. It turned out that Maydor, Huthul, and Zug were deserters. They wanted gold and fresh meat, not a way to the fourth level. The adventurers knew that this was the main goal of the other orcs they had encountered (Session 47). Jim Bob, the ogre, was along for the violence and vittles.

This is where our session ended.

Scroll of the Dead
Horace NPC Footman, Session 48
Pulvarti PC Magic-User, Session 49
Alicia, NPC Footman, Session 50
Diana, NPC Torchbearer, Session 52

5/24/16

Montporte Dungeon Campaign 2.0 Session 5 Notes (Montporte 51)

Cast of Characters
Alaric: Human Cleric (PC-Main Character)
Allidore: Kobold (NPC)
Alicia: Human Footman (NPC Henchwoman)
Bildar: Kobold (NPC)
Carlos: Human Footman (NPC Henchman)
Diana: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchwoman)
Enzore: Kobold (NPC)
Fishdore: Koblold (NPC)
Lord Jim: Human Fighter (PC-Sidekick)
Magnus: Human Magic-User (PC-Sidekick)
Merv: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchman)
Ooga: Arbold (NPC)
Septimus: Human Fighter (PC-Main Character)

The Session
This session started at the northern end of the elementalists' monastery on Level 1, where the last session ended. The adventurers had defeated a squad of kobolds, confiscated their boats, and decided to spend the night in the room. They secured the single door with spikes and set a watch schedule.

At the end of the third watch, there was yelling and pounding on the other side of the spiked door. The yelling was in kobold and the tone was frantic and commanding. "That's Andimore, one of Degmar's true believers," whispered Enzore, one of the party's kobold captives. "He's not going to be happy with what you have done. I am sure he is wondering why our squad didn't complete our tasks."

The intensity of the pounding on the door increased, turning to smashing. The party arrayed themselves into their fighting formation, as two arbolds crashed through the door, followed by three kobolds, including the sword wielding fanatic, Andimore.

The battle was fierce but short. The arbolds went down, along with Andimore. The two remaining kobolds, Fishdore and Bildar, dropped their spears and surrendered. The adventurers now had 4 kobolds and 1 arbold as prisoners.

The captives agreed to thrown in their lot with the adventurers, stating that following the deluded Degmar proved to be pointless and dangerous. With the captives becoming comrades, at least for the moment, the party decided to head south to the opposite end of the first level of the Montporte Dungeon. They dragged their three small boats along with them.

Along the way, the party encountered two dwarves, Aldo and Nova. The dwarves were guarding an entrance to their mining area on the first level of the dungeon. The dwarves cast a wary eye at the kobolds and arbold. The conversation was not tense, but the dwarves were not in a chatty mood. The adventurers did promise to come back and have a conversation about trade.

The adventurers moved south into unexplored territory. Here they discovered what proved to be a subterranean lake. As bodies of water go, it seemed small, but it proved to be the largest body of water so far discovered in Montporte Dungeon.

Not everyone in the party could fit into the boats, so the party split, with a larger group taking the boats and the remainder securing the landing area. As soon as the boats left the shore, the adventurers in the boats could see three very large frogs swimming around and under the boats. Each frog looked to weigh about 60 pounds.

The party explored a bit of the cave wall along the edge of the lake east of the landing. In the meantime, the three frogs drew closer and eventually surfaced next to the boats. A loaf of bread appeared the paws of each frog and they tossed the loaves into the boats.

Shaken, the adventurers paddled the boats back to the landing and then ripped the bread into little pieces, searching for poison or a trap or some other life-threatening item. All they discovered was that the bread was still warm and smelled mighty yummy.

With the destruction of the bread complete, we ended the session.

Scroll of the Dead
Horace NPC Footman, Session 48
Pulvarti PC Magic-User, Session 49
Alicia, NPC Footman, Session 50

5/19/16

'Oxkarrotous--Montporte Dungeon Campaign Critter

'OXKARROTOUS 
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: By weapon (2 attacks per round)
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Saving Throw Bonus Versus Magic; Limited Teleport
Move: 6
Challenge Level/XP: 5/250

'Oxkarrotous are short, stocky demon-worshiping humanoids.  They typically wear heavy leather cloaks with hoods. Underneath their cloaks, they wear chainmail armor of the finest craftsmanship.

'Oxkarrotous make their homes in remote areas of the Deep Dark, coming near to the earth's surface only to capture humanoids of every variety for slaves and sacrifice. It is rumored that the more powerful 'oxkarrotous can perform the most foul sorcery, summoning and controlling demons to the darkest ends. Some sages have suggested that 'oxkarrotous started as dwarves, whose greed led them to demon worship and the demonic arts.

COMBAT: 'Oxkarrotous often avoid combat by the use of minions, slaves, or even the occasional demon. However, they are capable melee fighters with two attacks per round. Once engaged in combat, they rarely surrender.

SAVING THROW BONUS: 'Oxkarrotous gain a +4 bonus to saving throws versus magic.

LIMITED TELEPORT: 'Oxkarrotous are able to teleport up to 60' twice per day.

5/14/16

Montporte Dungeon Campaign 2.0 Session 4 Notes (Montporte 50)

Cast of Characters
Alaric: Human Cleric (PC-Main Character)
Allidore: Kobold (NPC)
Alicia: Human Footman (NPC Henchwoman)
Carlos: Human Footman (NPC Henchman)
Diana: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchwoman)
Enzore: Kobold (NPC)
Lord Jim: Human Fighter (PC-Sidekick)
Magnus: Human Magic-User (PC-Sidekick)
Merv: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchman)
Ooga: Arbold (NPC)
Septimus: Human Fighter (PC-Main Character)

The Session
At the conclusion of the previous session, the adventurers were moving north on the first level of the Montporte Dungeon into unexplored territory. The adventurers suspected that this area was teeming with kobolds.

As the adventuring party continued their exploration, they began to find signs that confirmed the presence of kobolds--clever traps on doors, small footprints in the dust, and the sound of light footsteps beyond torch range.

Eventually, the party reached the northern end of the first level of the Elementalists' Monastery. Here they found a small group of heavily armed kobolds, accompanied by two arbolds. A nasty little melee battle ensued that resulted in the death of Alicia, party henchwoman and footman. Despite their tragic loss, the adventurers killed the kobolds and one of the arbolds. The remaining arbold, named "Ooga," surrendered.

The party then moved into the next room containing four more kobolds. The party killed two of the kobolds and the other two surrendered. There names were Allidore and Enzore. There also three small boats in the room. Two of the boats were very small and the third boat, a little larger, had a heavy crossbow mounted on the bow.

One of the kobolds had written orders from Degmar, the leader of the kobolds in the region. Degmar is known to be both charismatic and unstable. He had brought the kobolds to Montporte to search for some sort of legendary magic item or location (read Little Larry's story for more info). Some of the kobolds proved to be as fanatical as Degmar. Others followed out of a sense of kobold honor. And others went along, quietly grumbling and hoping for better leadership to come along. The two kobolds captured by the party fell into the third group and were happy to be out from under Degmar's scaly thumb.

Degmar's written orders described a three pronged movement of kobolds, moving from north to south. The easternmost group would move to secure the kobolds' left (east) flank from dwarves and orcs. The party realized that they had met and defeated this group in their second session (Montporte Session 48).

A second group, the most heavily armed, would sweep south and west through the ant caves on the first level of the dungeon. They would push back the ants, hold the right (west) flank and also serve as a diversion.

The third group would move south quickly with three boats, dragged by arbolds. The boats would be put into the lake at the south end of the first level. This was the western access to the lake. The east access had been tried but proved to be too hazardous for exploration, due to orcs and hazards in the water. The adventurers had unwittingly destroyed Degmar's operations by destroying two out of three groups of kobolds.

Having convinced the arbold and kobolds to become members of their party, the adventurers decided to secure the room and get a good night's rest. The session ended here.

Scroll of the Dead
Horace NPC Footman, Session 48
Pulvarti PC Magic-User, Session 49
Alicia, NPC Footman, Session 50

5/5/16

Montporte Dungeon Campaign 2.0 Session 3 Notes (Montporte 49)

Cast of Characters
Alaric: Human Cleric (PC-Main Character)
Alicia: Human Footman (NPC Henchwoman)
Carlos: Human Footman (NPC Henchman)
Diana: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchwoman)
Magnus: Human Magic-User (PC-Sidekick)
Merv: Human Torchbearer (NPC Henchman)
Pulvarti: Human Magic-User (PC-Sidekick)
Septimus: Human Fighter (PC-Main Character)

The Session
This session started in the town of Montporte, with the party healing up, getting supplies and searching for a replacement for the late footman, Horace. Carlos was added to the group and the adventurers headed back to the dungeon, this time with a plan to explore some new territory on the first level.

Once inside the dungeon, the adventurers moved north and entered a dining hall of the Elementalist Monastery. The Elementalist Monastery forms the core of the upper of levels of the Montporte Dungeon. In the dining hall, they found several strange large lizard creature (flying cubic lizard). The lizards had no legs and possessed cube-shaped bodies, with a neck and head at one end and a tail at the other. Along each side of the lizard's cubic body was a human face. The lizards moved by floating from one place to another.

The lizards turned out to be hungry and aggressive. While the lizards were not particularly fearsome, they had the ability to float over the defensive line of fighters and footman. One of them did just that, attacking and killing the vulnerable magic-user, Pulvarti. The rest of the party was able to defeat the lizards but the victory offered no hope for the fallen mage.

Despite mourning the loss of their friend, the party pressed on to the north, discovering some new territory. This included finding a room with a pool. In the pool were several moderately sized sharks circling towards the bottom of the pool. At the bottom of the pool, the adventurers could clearly see a trap door. Not having a means to descend and explore the door, the party moved on.

The party also discovered a room with a large sandbox area, similar to a pool of water, but containing soil and rocks. The soil and rocks began to vibrate a move about a bit as they entered the room. The adventurers knew there was a similar area just south, only it contained a pool of water that rippled. Occasionally, the pool unleashed some water elementals. There was a locked steel door on the western side of the room. Magnus was unable to pick the lock. Fearing an unwelcome appearance by some earth elementals, the party exited the room.

After a bit more exploration, the session ended for the evening.

Scroll of the Dead
Horace NPC Footman, Session 48
Pulvarti PC Magic-User, Session 49