Princes of the Apocalypse, Session 1

Welcome to Red Larch.

I don’t know why, but first sessions always start off a bit uncertainly. I’m guessing it has to do with nobody being fully in sync with their brand new characters, and especially with store groups that are semi random, frequently involve either new players who haven’t had the chance to learn much about the setting yet, or players who generally don’t really care about the setting. So it can be difficult to get a game going when most of the players involved don’t have anything to care about other than living or dying.

Anyhow, that aside, after a small foreshadowing event shortly before the PCs arrived in town, things started moving smoothly, and the players became involved. So, what follows is a summery of the session.

The session opened with the party, poor, destitute adventurers that they are, traveling on foot. Heading west to make their names in Waterdeep. It had been a long day of walking, the characters were looking forward to reaching the town on the horizon and having a roof over their heads. A few miles outside of town, the dwarf cleric notices something unusual. About a quarter mile off the road, there seemed to be half a dozen very dense, dust devils gathered in one spot. He managed to dredge up old stories from memory that these were Air Elementals. They were long gone by the time the party got to the spot to investigate. Finding nothing useful at the site, they continued in to Red Larch.

That evening, two of the characters with the Entertainer background sang for their supper, managing to provide room and board for the party. During this, the rest of the party started hearing rumors. Garbled at first, through several minutes of roleplaying, they managed to sort out three rumors. As it was getting late, they decided to find the source of the rumors the next morning.

The following morning, they managed to discover that there may be a haunted tomb, a possible plague camp, and some bandits near town. After negotiating a bounty on the bandits, should they be able to find and eliminate them, the adventurers decided to head to where they had been told the tomb was located.

A few hours later they arrived at the tomb. Fearing what they might find, they scouted the area.

They discovered the remains of a campfire that had been used recently, but nobody seemed to be around. So they proceeded to investigate the tomb. The rogue barely managed to locate and disable the alarm trap on the door. But barely still works. So they proceeded cautiously down the tunnel to a small chamber, where after a few minutes of poking around they moved to try opening a rusted iron door.

They were somewhat surprised to hear a voice ┬áthat, when they looked came from a ghostly figure, demanding that they “LEAVE MY MASTER’S TOMB!”.

Attempting to talk to the ghost gained them little information beyond that the tomb belongs to a long dead warrior, who’s name has been lost to time, followed by repeated demands that they leave.

At this point the wizard pointedly told the ghost “No, I don’t think we’ll be leaving.” At which point the ghost attacked her. Stunned silence at the table for a moment as the surprise attack resulted in a critical hit, instantly killing the wizard. The rest of the party leapt into action and quickly destroyed the ghost.

Continued searching of the tomb found a chest with some jewelry. And a fight with a flying sword. No injuries were taken during this fight.

Happy with the haul from their first adventure outing, they headed out of the tomb and into a confrontation with just outside the entrance with a goblin and a half-ogre. Not looking for a fight, the goblin informed them that if they gave up the loot from the tomb, they would be allowed to leave. A bit of roleplaying and a very successful Deception roll later, the goblin and half-ogre wandered off clutching the remains of a broken formerly flying sword, complaining about wasting time on worthless grave sites.

The group of surviving adventurers then decided to look for the bandit camp about 15 miles away. Because it was a hireling NPC, I fudged the rules a bit. I ruled that the wizard was not dead, but merely in a coma for several days.

After tracking down the bandits for a couple of days, they found the camp. Scouting carefully, they worked up an ambush. The PCs really wanted to take out these bandits, because they’d managed to bargain a bounty out of the constable in Red Larch. 1gp per ear. (This was a miscommunication between players and DM. I had thought they’d settled on 1sp per ear, and had agreed to what I thought was 1gp for per 3 bandits. The players thought it had been agreed upon at 1gp per ear). Oh well, an unplanned 8gp won’t break anything, not when the total haul for the session averaged about 70gp per character.

However, their carefully planned ambush went somewhat awry. As they’re about to spring the ambush, the wizard regained consciousness… in a very loudly screaming way. The ranger quickly stifled the scream, but the damage had been done. The bandits were coming to investigate. Two of the bandits grabbed swords and started towards the sounds. The other two bandits began rapidly loading crossbows.

The ranger and the rogue still managed to surprise the two sword wielding bandits, quickly dispatching them. And then a bear broke out of a cage on a wagon, surprising the crossbow wielding bandits, and taking a swipe at one before heading into the woods.

The clawed up bandit had tried to shoot the bear and missed. The other bandit also tried to shoot the bear, but fumbled and dropped the bolt before he could fire. Amidst this confusion, the paladin and cleric charged from the woods and easily handled the two bandits.

A quick search of the camp turned up a nice pile of loot, and the party headed back to Red Larch.

And the scene fades away until next week.