A general discussion begins around you:
“Or an army …”
“Well we can’t stay here, Veben … the children!”
“I say we do it!”
“You’ll go, won’t you, Ham?”
“Yeah me too.”
“You’re fooling yourselves.”
“We have no other choice.”
“He’s a sick man! You’re going to follow him to your deaths!”
“You stay here, then. With the women and children.”
Six able-bodied men with clubs, flails, and staves (but no armor) step forward and agree to join you. They know the way to Gresünd, so the chance of getting lost is next to nil. (You didn’t tell me whether you had Direction Sense after all. If you do, we’ll say you can get there by the fastest route without getting lost. Otherwise, it might take a little longer, and you might get lost.)
Six men. Good enough? Do you move?
Totally good enough. We go.
Almost positive I don’t have DS.
The six men who volunteer to go with you say goodbye to their families and promise to return as soon as possible. Their wives give them enough provisions for several days from the dry goods stored in the chapel basement, fill up wineskins with water and cider, and see them off with tears. Their fellow farmers shake their hands, or put a hand on their shoulders as they make their way back through the crowd back toward you. Some of the women and younger children begin to cry.
“Let’s go,” says the most outspoken of the group, a strong middle-aged man named Ham, with an impressively long black beard. “Through the north door, bee-line it to the tree line up beyond the calabash patch and then cut west after that.”
They lead you out the door, and as soon as you step outside you hear the wails and deep groans of men in the distance who sound like they’re being crushed and torn to shreds. Ham wipes his brow, looks at each of you briefly, and says, “All right. Let’s go.”
You travel through the grasslands north of Stag’s Charge Hill farm for a few hundred yards, and plunge into a grove of trees. There’s a small logging path, quite overgrown with waist-high grass, shrubs, and vegetation. It’s slow going, but you’re all determined to press on. Within another 100 yards, the trail dissolves into thick forest, with poor visibility and difficult movement. The rest of the men look around them a lot as you travel, but nobody seems to dare to mention fear.
As the first few hours pass, you see the occasional lone wolf pass by 30-50 yards in the distance, obviously checking you out, but you never see more than one at a time.
At sundown, you make camp in a small clearing. As you eat at night, Ham takes a look at your wounds and applies an herb to them that heals 2 hp within the hour that you are sitting around the fire. Ham insists that you sleep while they take three watches of 3 hours each. During the last watch, you wake up (with yet 1 more hp—so 3 hp total) surrounded by about 10 3-foot-tall humanoids with chalk-white scaly skin and pinpoint black eyes, dressed like savages, wielding wooden shields and small bone and stone spears. As one of the farmers is in the process of waking you up, the other five men are already engaged in fighting the creatures.
None are immediately threatening you this round, but you’ll need to roll for initiative if you’re going to do anything besides put on your armor.
Okay, just putting on the splint (and the ritz, if possible).
Well, it will take you 3(1d6+4) rounds to put on your armor without assistance (which is what it would be). If you throw it on quickly, you can do it one round, but with a +1 AC penalty cuz of “some buckles aren’t fastened, seatings ajusted, etc.” (PH, p. 76)
[The annoyance factor of playing in my campaign, where nobody’s there to be bemused or slowed down by my consulting the btb rules …]
Oh, and the important point, which is why I brought up the proficiencies you don’t have, is that I assume you would have bought a replacement weapon for a weapon you’re already proficient with (long sword, for example). I don’t mind retro-fudging that to let you take those proficiencies now and buy those weapons (if you have the money; you can trade in the 25gp you spent on that longsword toward that if you don’t want to take long sword after all).
Ah, good point. As a gladiator, I probably would have taken at least one of my remaining profs as a “weapon”. I’ll think it over when I’m home and have books. Long sword is he easy answer, but not sure what I really want.
Also, def going to do hack job throwing in armor. + 1 penalty is fine.
So going with that three point blade group and putting on armor for just one round. Will look into likely one extra slot available later. Ready to slaughter elm hags or whatever.
Ok, you put on your armor for a round.
The White Hoogly Mooglies win initiative, whiff on four attacks, but two guys on your side get wounded—one pretty seriously, one just slightly—by spears. Your companions have no armor on, and don’t really seem to be “proficient” with their weapons, as you can see. (Or maybe they’re just all unlucky this round … though you would have held a dagger pointy-side-out, personally.)
Roll for initiative for the next round.
Oops, I forgot that there were 10 attacks on 6 guys. Four hit, actually. One of your companions gets run through with a spear and falls on the ground, two are wounded pretty seriously, and one only receives a small flesh wound.
Swinging long sword. 7 initiative! And I’m not looking to take on more than one arse bugger unless necessary. Not a hero.
Just texted you the battlefield configuration at the beginning of this round. Roman numerals/boxes are your farmer companions (in Irish, soon enough); letters are the short white creatures with stone and bone spears. THES is you.
After the creatures attacked while you were getting on your armor, a farmer snuffed one out (marked already). In this round (where you got a 7 initiative), the farmers got a 5 with their clubs. II and III each hit and killed theirs (not yet marked, but F and H are both out now, too. Oh that’s the two flanking you—lucky!)
Now it’s your attack (on G, presumably?)
They got a 13 initiative this round.
Ok, here’s the deal, hopefully much more clearly. The letters represent the monsters; the squares are the farmers.
On G works for me.
I rolled an eleven to hit. Proficient but no bonuses.
Maybe star spuckers only have a 9 AC?
Oh, nope. They don’t.
(See updated battle map)
G attacks you with a very pointy bone spear, hits AC 8.
A further damages Klep; D knocks Thellian to the ground and both C and D run over his body toward you; Ham, having killed his opponent earlier in the round, runs in to meet them.
You could be attacked next round by G or D; one of them would have +2 to hit you, depending on which one you chose to face.
Beginning of Round 3 Tally:
3 monsters slain/unconscious
7 unharmed monsters left
2 allies unconscious
3 allies wounded
1 ally gravely injured
Declare your action for this round, and roll for initiative.
Oh no, wolf pack tactics on my ass!
You don’t know their tactics.
“G” can’t breach my AC 4. Suckas be hating but can’t connect.
I’m planning to run him through with the longsword.
Initiative is ………………… [rolling] …………………..
Ha! Lucky bastard. Your allies got a 12 initiative this round, and the monsters got a 14 (I pre-rolled several rounds ahead of time earlier in the week, so this is actually a lot more fun for me … I know what each monster and ally are going to roll, but I don’t know what you’re going to do, or what they might do in response … fun!)
Ham kills the monster © who was behind you; Nock (the seriously injured guy) kills monster (E) , and Klep wounds monster (A). Verd misses.
The monsters notice that your party, while having taken some serious losses and damage, seems to have turned the tide. I’m about to roll for morale. But first make your attack.
[new battle map attached]
Hack n slash attempt iiiiiiisssssssss ………… Weak. A nine.
O.k., the monsters keep fighting …
Monster (A) drops Klep with a bone spear jab, monster © drops Ham with a bone spear jab, monster (D) … is already slain, so doesn’t matter, monster (J) drops Verd with a bone spear … oh shit dude.
Let’s see here, are you the only one left? No, Nock, the seriously injured farmer who dropped two monsters already, is still up.
Klep, Thellian, Shmev, Ham, and Verd are all unconscious.
Monsters D, E, F, H, and K are out.
Monster A is wounded.
Monsters B, C, G, and J are unwounded and viciously closing in on you.
Thesdiah grabs his money pouch and hurls it at the monsters, bolting away as quickly as possible.
With your initiative 6 (3 + 3 for throwing purse), you get the first action in the round. The two monsters who are closest to the money bag as it flies through the air (C & B), leap aside as you throw it, as if you were throwing some sort of grenade. This slows them down for a few segments, but otherwise there is no noticeable effect.
Thellian, who was previously unconscious, gets back up. He is seriously wounded, still, however.
Nock, the seriously wounded farmer who had not fallen yet, misses with his flail.
And, lucky you, no monsters hit this round.
Another initiative roll. You roll a 5.
Fudge. Primitives don’t know a good thing when they’re almost hit by it.
Alright, I’ll unleash PointDexter (my sword’s name) on their ass. Thanks for rolling.
“PointDexter” = good one. So you’re right-handed, I assume?
You have a total initiative of 10, then. On 7, Thellian—who just got up last round—attacks monster © from behind with his flail, and wipes him out. Also on 7, Shmev, who had previously been unconscious, begins to get up. He is also severely wounded, though. Nock misses again. Poor Nock.
On 10, you attack (G), roll at 10, hitting AC 10, I assume—no good.
On 13, monsters (A), (B), and (J) miss. Monster © would have hit for max damage, but he got killed already. Monster (G) gets a natural 20 on you, and does 4 dmg. Also, roll a saving throw vs. poison at +4. Oh, that’s me. Shit, you rolled a 2, dude! Or a 6, rather—but still.
Now I have to resolve some shit before I can tell you what happens / re-lend you the Complete Thief and Wizard.
O.k., so you wake up, still exactly where you were, and there is still fighting going on around you.
The current tally:
Ham (seriously wounded) & Shmev (seriously wounded) are up and fighting
Klep, Thellian, Verd, and Nock are all unconscious
B, G, and J are left, all unwounded
I assume you spend a round shaking off the effects of whatever the hell knocked you out and getting to your feet?
Shmev (autocorrect is not a fan). Hahaha.
So it’s only knockout poison. Excellent. No need for wiz/thief yet.
Yeah, I’m shaking it out and going in for the kill.
Ok, so during the round in which you’re getting to your feet:
Ham kills (J) at the same time that (J) wounds him further, but Ham is still up. (A) and (G) both attack him, but miss.
Shmev wounds (B), but at the same time (B) drops Shmev.
Ham (seriously wounded) & Thesdiah still in the fight
(A) & (B) are wounded, (G) is unscathed.
You rolled a 7 initiative for the next round.
Correction: I forgot that monster (A) got slaughtered while you were unconscious. (Lucky you; he rolled a 17 to hit and did max damage next round … except, somebody had already killed him before that …)
So here’s the actual tally:
Ham & You
(B) & (G)
I’ll go for Gmoney.
You go first. D’oh! You rolled a 12. AC 8 misses.
Meanwhile, Ham kills (B)—who would have dropped him if he hadn’t beat his initiative by 1. (G) hits you, for 4 hp, and the blade of his bone spear snaps off in your upper-left thigh. Saving throw for you … ooh, this is tense … rolled a 4.
Can Ham save the day?
Yes! You wake up soon after (unless you were unconscious from the wound) … actually, I’ll need to know which.
My ass was saved by a guy named “Ham”. Greeaaat.
10 hp max.
Started fight at 9 hp.
Down to 5 hp with that hit.
Oh, o.k. So you wake up a few minutes later and find Ham is the only one left, conscious, and really on his last legs. There are bodies all around your campfire, some from the short humanoid monsters, and the rest from your allies. Ham is kneeling over Smev’s body, frantically binding his wounds.
“What are we dealing with?” you say, as you pull out a shard of bone from your thigh, roll over to your side, and summon the energy in your stiff muscles to climb to your feet.
Ham turns around for a second, and you can see sweat and tears dripping down his face, off of his beard. “Well, we lost Verd,” he says in a concertedly deeper voice, obviously trying to hold himself together. “And Klep.”
He turns back to his work binding Shmev’s wounds, and you examine the bone fragment in your hands. It’s a strangely yellowish material, with veins of a dark orange, chalky marrow-like substance that seems to sprout throughout it, as if naturally.
“Thellian, Nock, and Shmev here are all seriously injured,” Ham continues. “They need an herbalist, or a healing woman, and many days of care in a safe place.”
You poke around the area, assessing the situation at a glance. It’s almost dawn. You can’t see 10 feet past the tree line around your camp, though within the hour you might begin to see 20 feet.
“They’re not going to get that,” Ham continues, haltingly, as he moves from Shmev’s body to Nock’s. “Nock was … my hendermann. He was promised to my daughter last Fall. Poor boy, I can’t carry you out of here alive. Thesdiah—we can’t stay here. Those Treenoks will be back, and in greater numbers. [see: A New Hope, minute 00:24] Strange, though, they’ve never been spotted before in these woods. I wouldn’t have led us this way otherwise.”
Ham circles around the campfire, looking at his friends’ limp bodies, and seems torn about what to do. Then, after a minute or so, he breaks the silence suddenly and says: “Look, these men’s lives would be wasted if we didn’t pull ourselves together and start thinking survival. Help me search their bodies for any useful supplies, quickly now, and let’s get out of here. Somebody might be carrying some useful herbs, if they were smart.”
Yep, I’ll dig through the bodies with Ham. That sounds ridiculous.
New hope reference. RDRR.
How long are you willing to spend searching the bodies? (In rounds.) i have a chart.
I’d say ten rounds unless Ham has beef with that. Har har!
Ok, I’ll break it down:
1 – You find that 6 of the monsters have bone spears and bone daggers of the same yellowish material with the vein of dark orange marrow-like substance running throughout it; 3 have stone spears and wooden clubs; one has a broken bone spear and a bone dagger
2 – On each of the monsters’ bodies you find a pouch full of the chalky-white substance that you now see is spread all over their skin. Their natural skin color is actually tannish (think Bosk).
3 – Ham has finished checking the bodies of his comrades, and has found one dose of healing herbs. You don’t find anything else on the monsters’ bodies.
4 – You search the farmers’ bodies and find 3 grain flails, a quarterstaff, a sickle, and five knives; Ham has collected and packed 12 days of standard rations and water between them, and a total of 14 sp, 38 cp.
5 – On the ground next to Verd’s body, you find a small animal skull and some feathers attached to a leather lanyard. Ham applies the healing herbs to himself.
6 – Ham begins to throw dirt and leaves over his friends’ bodies, and says some prayers. You notice that one of the monsters is still alive, though deeply unconscious.
Take a dagger and a spear. Take a pouch of “chalk”. Take my gp pouch back.
Thesdiah takes pity on the fallen enemy, remembering the mercy he was shown by Skar Vallis (sp?), and he doesn’t pay the creature any attention.
Looting the bodies and letting the one Treenok bleed out. Got it.
Well, it’s short of murdering him outright. Maybe his buds will come save him? :)