Meanwhile the other PCs waiting at the bottom of the stairs can hear the goblin guards get agitated about something. Brecon can dimly make out the words "Thief! Burglar!!" in a deep, bellowing voice. The guards turn their attention to their chief; they are distracted with their backs to you, and it is only a short 1 round sprint to charge up the stairs...
Lupe is caught with his hand in the cookie jar! He slings the gem-encrusted belt over his shoulder and does what, exactly?
(if the harlots are not already jumping him): "Hello Mister," he says with a jaunty smile, "My name's Lupe; a security expert. Seems you've got yerself a problem here... but don't worry; I'm here to help!"
(or otherwise, if mortal injury is imminent): He RUNS FOR IT!!
Right back the way he came. He rips his marble bag open, spilling its contents behind him as he dodges, weaves, tumbles, and dives all the way back down the stair, and hopefully to safety...
Besnik stealthily glides up the stairs (move silent check of 5) and plants his dagger in a hob guard's back (attack roll of 20+4=24!) for 2d6=3hp damage. The hob is wounded but not killed.
The other hob guard whirls around to see the charging dwarf! Brecon jabs twice with his spear but misses both times (8, 2).
Bremusa I would assume joins the attack and rolls 9, 10 for two misses.
The party can't catch a break as they have failed to neutralize any enemies. The two hobgoblin guards (1 wounded) throw down their wooden swords and draw real ones. The two females break in opposite directions, one toward each door (the door to the Chief's room that Lupe has explored, and the unexplored south door).
Lupe, belt in hand and pursued by angry hobgoblins, arrives at the door simultaneous with the female goblin. I will roll individual initiative: Lupe 6, hob 6. They act swiftly and simultaneously! Lupe has the benefit of stealth (move silent roll of 5) so gets +4 to his attack roll of 10+4=14. In his haste, the boy charges through the door not realizing the female hob is on the other side---he barrels through the door and knocks the hob out cold for 2d6=6 subdual damage. The hob's attack roll is only 3; it is lucky that Lupe is not impaled on her dagger as he tumbles through the door and into the guard room.
At the end of the Surprise Round (Round 0), the situation is as follows: Lupe has rejoined the party in the guard room. They face 2 male hobs (1 injured for 3hp). 1 female is unconscious, and the 2nd female is attempting to flee through the unexplored south door. An additional 4 females will be arriving from the east on Round 2, and Chief Bigburner himself cannot be far behind!
Besnik will stab furiously at the wounded hobgoblin, trying to finish him off before he gathers himself for a counter attack
Besnik gets a chance to finish off the hob that he previously backstabbed. This is not a backstab; just a regular attack. His attack roll: 13, just enough to hit the hob for 2hp damage and finish the job!
Lupe ducks and weaves and stays out of trouble; making every effort to get behind the line of his friendly fighters without getting hit.
Lupe scampers behind the grownups, away from the scary hobs that are pursing him! He clutches the immense jeweled belt, stolen from the Bigburner.
Now the hobgoblins' turn to act.
The conscious female hob escapes through the unexplored second door.
The living hob swordsman targets (1d3) Besnik and rolls 6. The nimble thief dodges the blow!
Thus concludes Round 1. One hob guard is dead and one survives. One female is unconscious and the other escaped or went to get help.
On Round 2, the 4 female hobs will be arriving in pursuit of the burglar Lupe. On Round 3, if you live that long, you will face the Bigburner himself, and possibly more reinforcements from the other room.
Last Edit: Jan 18, 2014 22:30:20 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Active players for this Episode are: Besnik, Bremusa, Brecon, Lupe.
I'd welcome more players with open arms! But you four seem to be the active ones this days, so that is the xp/treasure split for this episode at the moment. (I am trying to keep better track of the split for 2014; I realize it was contentious at the end of Season One, sorry. )
Parts of this dungeon are going to be challenging with only 4 players and no casters. I assume you guys are all advanced players, up to the challenge and not afraid to risk TPK? (These old Gygax modules pull no punches! "Hobgoblin # appearing: 20-200" etc.)
I may or may not be able to make a mud map later today (depends on how many beers I drink during the football game ) but there's not really much to describe. You have just climbed the stairs to Level 2 of the dungeon and have seen one exciting room, a 20'x20' square guard room. It is cramped quarters for a big fight, but suits the small party size. Compared to the 10' corridors where much of the previous fighting occurred, 20' seems practically luxurious!
I do abstract combat, so in the course of a combat round, your PC can be anywhere in that 20'x20' room you want; you can make some kind of formation, fight your way to one of the entrances, fall back, etc. a square or two as part of your normal combat actions.
Only Lupe has explored more of the hobgoblin lair, the 20'x50' chief's quarters through door #1. (You don't know what's through door #2, but the hobgoblin female just escaped that direction...) Also, I have not forgotten Lupe's various pranks and booby-traps with the marbles and whatnot.
Last Edit: Jan 19, 2014 11:12:39 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Brecon attempts to clear the room of hobgoblins and says, "We need to fall back to the hallway so we can control how many we're fighting."
Brecon's wily stonesense tells him the place to make a stand is to fall back 30' down the stairs, then turn 90 degrees into the 40' secret passage back to the goblin lair. It is the standard rough-hewn, 10'-wide dungeon corridor, the perfect battlefield for dwarf-infused carnage.
Is there a second for Brecon's proposal of a strategic retreat back down the stairs and around the corner?
Last Edit: Jan 19, 2014 12:41:19 GMT -6 by mushgnome
First let's give the lone hob sword-guard a morale check. He is outnumbered after all. The hob rolls 2d6=11 and bravely stands to fight. He's not sure what these intruders will do to him, but he knows what the Chief will do to him if he abandons his post! So he stays and fights.
Now let's make initiative checks. To make it fun, I will roll individual initiative: Besnik 5, Brecon 5, Bremusa 6, Lupe 3. And for Team Hob, the results are: lone swordshob 6, arriving female hobs 1.
Summary of action: The female hobs will not arrive in time to interfere with the party's escape. The male hob rolls excellent initiative and targets the burglar Lupe attempting to be the tribal hero and win back his chief's belt. Lupe is slowed down by the belt (initiative 3) and the hobgoblin gets a good swipe at him as he runs past! Fortunately for him, the hob's attack roll is only 7.
The party escapes from immediate danger, scampering down the stairs and around the corner. Lupe takes a last look back and sees the 4 female hobs attempting to pile through the door. Will they fall for his marble trick? Their saving throws are 18, 15, 13, 16. Ha! None of the them are falling for that trick! The hobgoblinesses all make their saving throws and arrive unhindered in the guard room. From the ranting and raving of the Bigburner, he is not far behind them.
What now, heroes? It's but a 40' dash back to the secret door, if you want to make a run for it? Or if you want to make a desperate last stand, this is as good a place as any...
MUHA isn't scared of a few hobs and votes to make a stand.
If anyone else wants to bail, now is a good time to speak up... you can run away, go back to Arkham, use the trinkets and pocket-change you've already looted to retire as a laborer, shopkeeper, or small business owner?
Or, you can stick around and find out if this Bigburner's bark is worse than his bite. The goblin king wasn't so tough, after all, right? Maybe Chief Duxk will be a pushover, too!
(edit) Cross-posted with the brave and mighty Bremusa!
Last Edit: Jan 22, 2014 9:17:16 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Yes, Besnik the firebug has been collecting flasks of oil as he comes across them, let's assume he always has a flask or two on hand so long as he is exploring humanoid dungeon levels. If we ever journey to the hypothetical Cavern of Slimes and Jellies for example, then we will start tracking expendables more carefully.
I would especially like to hear Lupe's intentions for Round 3, as he was the immediate catalyst for this stolen-belt incident...
I will assume one or two of you are carefully peeking around the corner watching/listening what is going on in the 20'x20' guard room at the top of the 30' stairs. You would not have a particularly clear view of what's going on, but I will describe from the camera's POV for dramatic license.
Chief Duxk Bigburner arrives! The great hobgoblin in his plate armor barely fits through the doorway. He joins 1 male swordshob and 4 females already in the room. Additionally the second, unexplored door opens and a wave of reinforcements arrive: 2 males (banded/sword/xbow) and 2 females (leather/dagger).
Some of the hobs move to arm themselves with cruel polearms from the weapon-rack. Falling victim to Lupe's prank, they knock the rack over with a clatter. This enrages the already incited Chief, penalizing his reaction roll by -2!
2d6-2=4 and shall we say Chief Duxk is not pleased?
"Hey Pint Size," roars the Bigburner. (The other hobs snicker at this creative nickname.) "You stole my Big Belt on my birthday! How bout I make a NEW belt from YOUR SKIN!!!"
The Chief is AC2 in his shining birthday plate armor and shield. He wears a long sword and short sword at his belt, and carries a hand cannon, with which, based on his negative reaction roll, he has every intention of blowing the PCs to bits.
Can I get a ruling from the Delving Deeper experts, what is the range on a thrown flask of oil?
Besnik can use this information to decide whether to risk exposing himself and lobbing the oil up the 30' stairs into the guard room, or whether he will take cover, ready the oil, and then wait for the hobs to advance down the stairs before tossing it at them.
Last Edit: Jan 24, 2014 12:20:13 GMT -6 by mushgnome
Post by waysoftheearth on Jan 24, 2014 19:11:35 GMT -6
If it looks like the two warrior types are going to block the corridore, Lupe will ensure he gets behind them and then rumages around for a flask of oil to ignite and lob over their heads. Otherwise, he'll just keep on running!
Can I get a ruling from the Delving Deeper experts, what is the range on a thrown flask of oil?
I'm no expert but the Missles table in the Adventurers Handbook list the range as 30' for Medium range for thrown oil. Besnik will attempt the full throw and try to hit the hobs before they come down the stairs. Hopefully the ensuing conflagration will cause the beasts to tumble down the stairs, further weakening our foes