There’s a Goblin in my Soup!

1 09 2008

After a fantastic week of undisturbed migraine, I come back to the land of the living to bring you a live report on a recent play of Dungeons and Dragons. This time, it’s the heroic tale of both Julius the brave Warlord and Rhynae the insightful Cleric as they faced a pseudo horde of greenish hell in…

There is a Goblin in my Soup!

What sleight of hand will destiny have in store for our heroes, what fiendish plots unravel behind their backs? We will know this and lots more… some other time. This time, raw and uncut, we get to marvel as both these paragons of justice trample over a happy goblin family having lunch.

The Setup

My friend John came over today (which was an excellent excuse to not do my work for the University… bad Fred, lesson learned though) at about dinner time and we had some time to spare before he had to get back. He knew I had been reading some of the PHB so he suggested making a little encounter to have some healthy murderous fun. I couldn’t agree more. So with my limited knowledge we set out to make a couple of characters…

Actually I had already made one, which was for my girlfriend (who requested “all those numbers” to be taken out and simplified tremendously -a petition to which I agreed-) so we only had to make one character. John decided he’d have a warlord (he had previously read about that class and wanted to give it a go.) So we used this very thorough character generator and created Julious, an Inspiring Warlord. Since I foresee some D&D aficionados in the audience, I’ll leave some pertinent stats:

Julius, Herald of Awesomeness and Inspiring Warlord

STR-18 | CON-12 | DEX-8

INT-12 | WIS-10 | CHA-18

Hitpoints: 24 | Bloodied: 12 | Surge: 7 | Per day: 8

Skills trained: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Intimidate

Feat: Enlarged Dragonbreath

At-Will: Furious Smash / Wolfpack Tactics

Encounter: Dragon Breath / Guarding Attack / Hammer & Anvil

Daily: Bastion of Defense

Wielding a shield + flail combo and dressed in snappy chainmail.

John is a kill-happy kind of guy so he was all ready to distribute some righteous hacking amongs the monster population… but wait!? What foul creature should suffer the wrath of our hero. I had not read the encounter building options (such as, what types of creatures will be a balanced encounter to what party) but the good thing is that we really didn’t care that much, and we could also add or substract as needed (in the end, we found out that we needed to add more bang to the enemies.) Still we needed a punching bag, I resorted to the best way I knew to get a result quickly…

Me: -“Hey John, give me a number from 20 to 280…”

John: -“136! … wait, why?”

Me: -“Goblins!”

Poor guys didn't see it coming!

Poor guys didn't see it coming!

Cheers all around! What better fiend to slay than one of the most popular creatures spawned by D&D adventures? While I started reading about the goblin options, John took pen and paper and set out to create a favorable habitat for mayhem. The result, was a peaceful little goblin residence, where the goblin family (the vicious, evil and decadent goblin family) dined joined by Pete the goblin warrior. But little did they know that their hired help, Lola the goblin blackhand was in service of a rival merchant family who wished this prosperous goblins ill and planned to poison the household!

In the end this was irrelevant, since we went in and scorched everything that moved, but it’s nice to know that the world turns even when you’re not there. By the way, the blackhand was there just in case the encounter was too easy for us (which it eventually was.)

Like I said before, the second character I had made during Saturday morning and was meant to be used by my girlfriend if I ever get her to play. It was a cleric (I wanted her to have healing powers) of Pelor that was built to be a ranged type of fighter who rains boiling death upon her enemies using the power of the god-sun… or something like that. A brief stat list follows…

Rhynae, Priestess of Pelor and Wielder of the Golden Beams

STR-12 | CON-14 | DEX-11

INT-10 | WIS-18 | CHA-13

Hitpoints: 26 | Bloodied: 13 | Surge: 6 | Per day: 9

Skills trained: Arcana, Diplomacy, Heal, Insight, Religion

Feat: Defensive Mobility / Pelor’s Radiance

At-Will: Lance of Faith / Priest’s Shield / Sacred Flame

Encounter: Divine Glow / Healing Word / Healing Strike

Daily: Guardian of Faith

Wielding a trusty mace and dressed in stylish chainshirt under indigo tunics.

Adventure was assured and we were up to the challenge. We were also in front of a neat little door (that lead into the neat little house the goblins had built for themselves… in a lapsus of non rabid violence that is) and we pondered our choices. We could see if there’s any windows or perhaps some backdoor, or maybe we can climb to the roof and…

I saw John’s (who had drawn the map) face and knew what the answer was right away: “Alright, you can go ahead and kick it down.” Not only did he kick it down, he rushed forward and delievered a flying kick directly into the door’s jaw that made it explode in tiny pieces that were sent flying, splinters filling the distinctly unfurnished room ahead of us…

The Little Goblin that Could… Not

What are you planning to do with that fireball?

What are you planning to do with that fireball?

Let’s call him Davey, he’s an upset little goblin. Davey is not well liked by his siblings because he hasn’t been doing well at school, everyone in his family thinks that he is a dishonour to the household since he spends more time fencing with his friends than doing math, or accounting or things like that. Since they didn’t like him, he usually didn’t get to eat with the rest of the family: his brothers and sisters thought they needed to have a guard / buttler at the door in case someone showed up at lunch and so here he was. Davey had great dreams though, he would leave this place and build a future for himself…

Alas, life does not always go as planned…

Ayyyyyyyyaaaa!” *sounds of door breaking and splintering, all the broken pieces flying about in the room*

Light everlasting, smite this foul enemy of the day!” *a golden ray pounces on Davey frying his head in a matter of seconds*

That was a bit fast I should say… John was dissapointed because he wanted to chop him to pieces but I had fried the little guy in the first round, I assured him there would be some chopping ahead. The next room was filled with happy goblins, dining a very tasty meal. They were so interested in the delicious dish that they were oblivious (rolled to check) to the recent passing of their family member.

Dining Room Brawl

Like a food fight!... with flails

Like a food fight!... with flails

There was a door connecting the entrance hall with the dining room, so I tried to listen and see if I could get an idea of what the opposition looked (sounded) like and how many would we be facing. I got a good result actually… it lead to a fruitful discussion that ended in John suggesting to kick the door (again) and charge everyone on sight. I wasn’t too trilled with the idea (I don’t charge very well), but he was excited so I went along with it.

The door didn’t break, but that was ok because it was open. John (or should I say Julius?) did manage to make quite a bit of noise, so the goblins stopped with the forks in the mouths and looked at the pair of towering heroes with a look of hatred and rage, irritation and desdain… a look that said “How rude!

The battle went pretty well, having some of the goblins block our way while their bretheren looked for weapons and joined the battle at a later time. Sadly, the goblins that stayed were only armed with pretty harmless forks and butter knives, but I assure you that they did try their very best (and managed to harm Rhynae more than once.)

The real threat here was the goblin warrior. With his combat ability he can do 1d8+1d6+2 damage with his javelins if he moves 12 feet (3 squares) before throwing one… a potentially devastating number when compared with our HP totals. Luckily for us, he was a lousy shot and didn’t really manage to hurt us from afar. We eventually ended cutting through most of the minions (and I repeatedly failed to Sacred Flame them… until I suceeded and found out that I could only give 1 temporary hit point to Julius) and rushed the warrior, but then the goblin blackhand (and part-time cook) joined the fray. He ran through the walls, he jumped on us and did lots of shifting… all of which was rather unsuccessful but very colorful (and it did manage to make a few cuts, although could never take advantage of her sneak attack.)

I decided to try the Guardian out, since we were only playing that encounter, and found out it’s an excellent zone control tool (we houseruled that it could also make attacks of opportunity besides his regular ability) although not tremendously useful to actually deal damage consistently (having only done so once in the entire encounter.) Also Julius ended up doing basic attacks most of the night since his powers relied on me being adjacent to him or the opponent and I was usually in the rear, trying to fry things with my Spear of Faith.

Finally it was just us and the goblin warrior, who managed to put up a decent fight but ended up having to run after a very good couple of damage rolls by Julius and by my guardian (doing 14 and 12 points of damage respectively). He almost almost managed to run away, he had avoided the attacks of opportunity and was going for the door (we agreed that if he reached the door he would have escaped alive.) But Julius jumped in and finally used his massive dragon breath (guys, Area 5 -with the feat- is just obsene) and toasted our little friend against the wall.

Final Words

The encounter was a success, and much more entertaining than my previous adventures in D&D land. We both though we needed to make things a little harder (we were never in any real danger) and we decided we’d be making this a weekly or bi-weekly game. Most likely we’ll be doing only ‘adventuring’, that is almost no roleplaying (we still feel the system just breaks down for that), just exploration and combat plus treasure and buying stuff… like a D&D board game.

So, what do you think? Any tips or ideas for our next adventure? I’d love to hear them.





4 responses

1 09 2008

Just curious; who controlled the gobbos if each of you had your own PC?

Davey is my new hero.

1 09 2008

I was mostly controlling the goblins, although we usually talked things over to figure out what kind of thing would make more sense for each creature to do. It worked well (we were reasonably happy on how the goblins acted -besides, we weren’t going for complete seriousness-) and it made sense to us.

I’m glad that you liked little Davey, I plan to resurrect him as a goblin zombie looking for retribution on the following episodes…

7 09 2008

sounds like fun…yay fun 🙂
although the low dex thing just bugs me, how do you manage to do anything if you can’t even stand on your own two feet?

9 09 2008

Assuming you’re talking about the DEX 8, first it’s not all that low (just one full step down from average human dexterity) and second it’s not that relevant for the way we’re playing the game right now (i.e. as a tabletop/board game -plus it’s not problematic even when following the rules-.)

Although I agree, it did seem very awkward that he lowered the stat to 8, but he wanted to play a min-maxing game and considering the particular goals (to play it as a tabletop game) I didn’t really find anything to object. To be honest, Rhynae had a stat transformation following those same lines for the game this part weekend, although to be honest I liked her more when she wasn’t tweaked.

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