Perils on the Borderlands, Day 23-24, Orcs! Part 2

Arden and Company continue their exploration of the orc lair in the Caves of Chaos…

The party finds an armory with a large number of spears, some swords, and a suit of dwarven chain and human sized chain. They leave it for the moment.

The chief is barricaded in his room. He takes a healing potion, grabs some of his treasure and makes for the secret room connecting the two orc lairs. His concubines stay behind in bewilderment.

The party manages to break the door down, crowbar and axe assisting.

The chieftain has fled and the two orc females will not attack. They nervously look towards a corner of the room concealing the secret door. I have Martin make a wisdom check and he is able to pick up on this clue.

Also in this room is an alcove with an iron lock box lying open. The chieftain had grabbed some of the treasure. I randomly rolled and determined he was able to make off with about half of the coins. The company takes the remainder and finds a scroll of fireball…translating this to Pits & Perils means a Fire Bolt scroll.

Using a series of checks, Martin, Corwin, and Thane all succeed on their Wis or Int checks and manage to open the secret door. The orc women are allowed to leave the room. In all, Arden and company have let 7 male orcs flee with their women and children. I had made a ruling that if the orcs were pressed in defense of their common room they would receive a +1 morale bonus to attack. Arden decides it is better not to wear the company’s resources down by killing the orcs. Also, he won’t participate in wholesale slaughter. Allowing them to flee will suffice.

The company finds a secret meeting room. This is an area known only by the two chieftains (areas B and C). The two orc tribes are rivals but the chieftains meet in secret to occasionally work together. The chief has fled to the other tribe to ask for help with the human invaders.

Nothing is in the secret meeting room except for a table and a bucket in the corner. The company finds a pouch under the bucket and 2 giant centipedes! Martin is bit and Thane also! Thankfully Martin makes his save. Thane fails his by one point and uses a Luck point to adjust the roll making his save. The centipedes are killed. The pouch contains silver and a gem.

Moving into the Area C cave, the company first finds the chieftain’s quarters. Arden and Thane go in first, the door takes several tries to budge open. They encounter one orc guard. The chieftain is in the next room with the other chieftain and his wife.

Battle ensues. The chieftain of this tribe yells at the other orc chieftain, “You fool! You’ve led them here! Kill them or I shall kill you myself!”

Thane works on the guard while Martin and Arden attack the chieftains. One chieftain hurls a magic handaxe +1 but misses.

As the PCs deal with the orc chieftains. Corwin is watching and waiting to use his spell. The orc warriors hear the sounds of battle and come running to their chieftain’s defense. Arden’s archers fire on them but the volley fails to hit. Meklin and Handsome hold the line, while Corwin casts his Fear spell. The first chieftain is killed by Martin.

The orcs all scatter, except for the other chieftain. He makes a stand, but is cut down by Arden with the help of Martin and Thane.

The company discovers more treasure, including a +1 handaxe. The first chieftain was carrying a +1 shield. Both of these are given to Thane.

The remaining orcs flee the caves.

Arden and Company have defeated the orcs! They carry away what treasure they find and also many of the good quality weapons from the orc armory.

Some of the treasure gained:

A keg of good wine (55 sp), platemail (orc chieftain), chainmail (other orc chieftain), dwarf sized chainmail, another set of human sized chainmail, handaxe +1, shield +1, silver belt with gold buckle (160 sp), sword with gem in pommel (100 sp), ivory bracelet (100 sp), sack with 50 gp (big prize), rope of climbing, copper bowl (10 cp, actually worth 50 sp but no one passed their check to notice it carefully), 1 gem (50 sp), 4 swords, 18 spears,

Coins in total = 56 gp, 268 sp, 37 cp

Notes–the battle with the orcs was long, even with the simple rules. Each orc was wearing leather and had 1-3 hp. Having PCs concentrate on one orc at a time helped, especially with the chieftains. I had the orcs do the same at times. The orc chieftain directed the orcs to kill Arden and it almost worked. The orc chieftains were both level 3 enemies, each gaining +1 to hit.

In addition to Martin’s healing spell, some of the company passed around the dwarven brandy (restoring 1 hp each drink).

Arden’s archers worked worse than I had hoped. They were able to shoot two volleys while in the dungeon and both times each archer missed. When melee began, the archers were unable to fire.

The combat effectiveness for the company has increased with the recovery of a magic handaxe and magic shield. Both of these will be given to Thane the dwarf.

During the return to the Keep one of the men-at-arms, Jacob Scoggins (criminal), was contemplating stealing some of the coin. I considered this and then decided that the iron strongbox from the orc lair would’ve been used to transport some of the treasure. Scoggins may have had the desire, but too many eyes were on it. Even if Scoggins could’ve convinced others to follow his lead, there were too few to defeat the PCs and their loyal men-at-arms.

As the party made their way to the Keep, I rolled a daytime encounter. Bandits were the result. The nine bandits that had met the PCs in the past were again on the prowl. They were outnumbered and out armed. The bandits had fewer missile weapons, less men, and no desire to confront such a large and well-armed party. The presence of the men-at-arms helped to prevent this encounter.

Several of the new men-at-arms are characterized as craven or cowardly, but even in the battle I did not roll morale for them. The archers were not in direct contact with any orcs during the battle. Next time, they may show their true colors.

It was a really fun trip into the Caves of Chaos.

More soon…

Perils on the Borderlands, Day 23-24, Orcs! Part 1

Day 23

Arden and Company march on the Caves of Chaos.

I rolled the dilemma die, d6, and result=1. Instead of a table, I opted to roll a couple randomly chosen Story Cubes (Rory’s Story Cubes). I have 3 or 4 different sets of these and really like them. The two dice showed two people arguing and the other showed two figures shaking hands. I decided to use both of them. Sir Arnaud was the drunken knight, thrown in the Keep jail for a little while. He ordered Alan Dori to sell his armor and pay his fines. Alan, being the good squire he was, did just that. Then the knight left the Keep to go carousing in one of the nearby towns. When Sir Arnaud learns of his squire’s death, he returns to the Keep to demand compensation. The story cube that shows two men shaking hands represents friendship to me. I am thinking that the bailiff of the Keep will speak favorably of Arden and Company to the knight. Not that it will matter much to Sir Arnaud, but at least the authorities of the Keep will not be involved.

Sir Arnaud of Berrenvale makes his way into town as the PCs leave for the Caves. He will certainly make trouble for the company when they return.

6 hours travel towards the Caves. Encounter? No. Break for lunch.

4 more hours march and the company is near the large hill on the eastern side of the map. Still looking for a unique name here.

Rations/water usage roll. Set up camp and set a watch. Encounter? No.

My encounter checks are rolled two times per day and when ever else I feel like it might liven things up.

While in camp, Arden instructs the archers to…

  1. Concentrate on leaders of any force first if possible.
  2. Do not fire into melee!

Arden promises to reward archers for valor and woe to any who fail to aid the company.


Day 24

6 hours travel to the Caves of Chaos. Enounter? No.

Corwin sends his familiar Nicodemus to scout the entrance to Cave B.

Question-Since the last attack, have the Orcs taken advantage of the Kobold’s weakened numbers? d12 yes, d8 no. Result=yes! Did the kobolds fight back? Result=yes! I then rolled some dice to get a % lost for each tribe. D6 x 10% for orcs and d10 x 10% for kobolds. The orcs lost 20% of their fighters in the attack. The kobolds lost 70%.

The kobolds suffered a defeat and the survivors fled the Caves area.

The orcs in Cave B took all the kobold foodstuff and treasure but did not expand into the kobold caves. I need to remember to reduce their numbers by 20% in the module.

Nicodemus uses stealth to sneak into the cave (entrance to cave B). Success? 2d6=7 yes. Does the cat see the guard posted in a concealed guard post? Nicodemus has nightvision. 2d6=8 yes!

Does the cat hear noise to the east? No. To the west? yes. I used the FU die for this.

Corwin links with his familiar and can see through his eyes. He instructs Nicodemus to go east. Rolled another stealth and Nicodemus was able to sneak into the room to see 4 orcs in the guard post. He slips back out and scouts the area to the west to get the layout of the tunnels and then returns to Corwin.

Arden plans to block the west tunnel off until the 4 orcs are dealt with. Thane will use his caltrops in the west tunnel, Corwin will use his fear spell if the PCs cannot hold the line.

Thane and Arden will enter first and fire upon the sentry. He is in a secluded location and very difficult to take out. Note-Corwin still has a potion of invisibility he hasn’t identified.

Martin and Meklin will follow next.

Note–the ensuing battle took 31 rounds! Here are the highlights…

Arden and Thane enter the cave with Catamont shining the lantern from behind. Arden hits the sentry but only wounds him. Sentry runs to alert the guards. Orcs move to the entrance. Thane lays down a 10×10 area of caltrops.

The orcs from the east guard post are cut down by Arden and Martin, but the PCs take some damage. Thane, Meklin, and Handsome keep the orcs on the west blocked in. The caltrops are effective against a couple orcs, causing one point of damage and slowing them down. I rolled an attack against any orc that entered the area. Thane took some damage from the orcs and Meklin was severely injured. Handsome swapped out with him to save him.

Other orcs come to aid the guards. The chieftain arrives and moves to the front. Arden has a pitched battle with the chief. Martin supports him giving them an advantage to the combat. The chieftain is severely injured and moves back. Martin heals Arden for 2 hp.

The orcs finally fall back, leaving a trio to block the company. They are dispatched and the party moves into the great hall. The orcs had taken serious casualties.

Orcs are in defense mode. Arden and company are looking for the chieftain. There are only 7 orc males and quite a few women and children. Arden and company motion for the orcs to flee the cave, which they do. Nothing of value remains behind.

More to come…

Perils on the Borderlands, Day 21-22

Day 21
Alan is laid to rest, buried on a hillside outside of the Keep. The funeral is attended by a priest of the Chapel. The entire party is there.

Question-Does the Curate attend? D10 yes, d10 no. Result=no, the curate is not in attendance.

That afternoon…

Thane works on caltrops. Makes one batch d6 usage. Note-I’m using the Black Hack usage die rules for some items.

Martin searches woods for healing herbs, accompanied by Handsome, Catamont, and Meklin. Roll 2d6. Result=11 +1 for Wis ability (per my houserules). He finds 2 batches of healing herbs.

Arden takes 180 sp out of bank (banker charged 10%) and goes with Corwin to purchase some bows.

Corwin uses his merchant skill to haggle with the provisioner. 2d6 roll. Result=12 an outstanding success! The provisioner will give the party a 1d6 x 10% discount. Result=50% discount. He tells them a tale of orc attacks on his caravan, and is only too glad to supply them with bows.
They buy 8 longbows for 100 sp and 160 arrows for 8 sp.
They now have enough firepower, but not enough men-at-arms.

Day 22

Thane makes more caltrops, d6 usage.

Martin once again searches woods for healing herbs, accompanied by Handsome, Catamont, and Meklin. Roll 2d6. Result=9 +1 for Wis ability (per my houserules). Martin finds one batch of healing herbs in two hours of searching. Note-he has a total of 4 batches now (found two yesterday and had one batch from before.)

Arden seeks men-at-arms. Five are available for hire at the tavern.

1. Goat Bentley, hp 5, leather armor, he is a craven coward, long beard.
2. Yardley Muggins, hp 6, leather, youthful, lazy, handsome.
3. Jacob Scoggins, hp 2, leather armor, club, criminal, handsome.
4. Egg Barkley, hp 2, chain, middle aged, serious, balding, cook.
5. Sideways Carlin, hp 4, no armor, longbow, bald, criminal, ex-soldier

It’s a rough looking lot, but Arden will hire them nonetheless. He had passed on Jacob Scoggins once before but will hire him this time.

50 sp hiring bonus and then 1 sp per day each.

Now the party has 8 men-at-arms. Each will receive a longbow and 20 arrows.





Perils on the Borderlands, Days 19-20

This being a continuation of my solo Pits & Perils game.

Day 19

Just outside the Caves of Chaos.

Arden and Thane cut some saplings to make a litter to carry the body of Alan. Morale is low even for the PCs. Arden is more worried about pursuing orcs than anything else at the moment.

Question–Do the orcs pursue the party? d10 no, d8 yes, result=No, not this time. Perhaps the magician’s powers have given them a reason to pause.

Two hours march to the road and then the group turns south. Without stopping for a meal, the party marches another 4 hours south and makes camp. Martin has healed Meklin during this time for 4 hit points.

The thought crosses Martin’s mind to have Alan raised from the dead. But this will not happen. The cost would be prohibitive and even if the party did have the funds, there’s not a holy man of sufficient power to do this. The curate at the Keep has some healing skills but is unable to perform a miracle of this magnitude.

Martin’s remorse turns to anger at the orcs. Thane told the party of the gruesome trophy room just inside the cave entrance. A prayer forms on his lips as he asks Eos for the strength to defeat this evil.

Arden also has a burning desire to rid the area of the orcs. Many of the people he once knew were slaughtered by orcs. A vow of vengeance forms on his lips. Alan’s death will not go unanswered.

Corwin thinks of the outcome. He worries that one misstep may spell the party’s doom. What if he wasn’t able to cast his spell of fear? What if an orc spear found its mark while he was preparing to cast the spell? Corwin knows he is limited in how many he can cast. Corwin’s not a religious man, he’s seen things during his apprenticeship that would be considered heresy to the wise clerics of Eos. Those things had the lure of great power, but also the threat of falling into the Abyss. Perhaps Corwin’s outlook has changed because of this encounter? Perhaps he will look into his spellbook for greater knowledge of the magical arts. Maybe the lure of the black arts will tempt him?

Question–Does Corwin move closer to Eos (and the side of Law) or work towards becoming more powerful with little regard for whose side his is on?

D10 y, d10 n. Result=Yes, he will stay on the path of Eos and forswear the temptation of the dark arts. Result was 4 for yes, 3 for no! Corwin is resolved to fight the Caves of Chaos but on the side of Law. Note-this question just came up as I wrote this piece. It is interesting how the character’s motivations may be formed from events in the game. I’m glad Corwin didn’t turn towards the black arts. I’m uncertain of what this will mean for the magician.

Thane the dwarf is a little more quiet than usual on the march back to the Keep. He had only known the human lad Alan, just a few days. It is hard to tell what fate is held for any of us. Alan will soon make his journey back to the beginning. Eos will welcome him home and his ancestors will be there to meet him. Thane thinks about this on the way back to the Keep. He knew his time would also come, but he would try to delay that as long as he could. Thane considers how the party can gain an advantage over their enemy. The next time the orcs charge, Thane will be prepared. Note-Thane has concocted a plan. He has the Int ability and blacksmithing skills. He will put those to use to gain an advantage over the orcs.

The party camps near the road. Encounter? No.


Day 20

A few hours march and the party arrives at the Keep.

Arden is questioned by the Bailiff about the death of Alan. Arden gives a detailed account of the battle with the orcs.

Question-Does Arden’s explanation satisfy the Bailiff? D10 yes, d8 no. Result=No!

The Bailiff listens intently. He then explains that Alan was the squire of a knight and that he as Bailiff is duty bound to report his death to his family. There may still be questions that need to be addressed. Note-this may become an interesting side plot.

Martin and Thane go to the chapel with the body of Alan to make burial arrangements.

Corwin and hirelings go to the inn to take their rest.

Edit: my thoughts about Arden using a magic dagger vs his greatsword (below) were in error. The +1 is just for “to hit” and not for damage. At least that is rules as written. I’m happy with it being played that way. Comments on tactics or rulings I have are encouraged. Please let me know what you think about the game so far.

Note-something I need to consider, tactically is the magic dagger that Corwin has in his possession. It functions as a +1 dagger. If Arden the fighter were to use it, he would do the same damage as his greatsword but gain a +1 to hit. I’ve decided to not have him use it. Even though the dagger would be beneficial in the numbers sense, it would still be out of character for any fighting man to forgo his greatsword for a dagger. Somehow it just wouldn’t seem right. Let me know what you think about this? Send me a comment or post on G+ your thoughts on the matter.

More soon…

Death on the Borderlands, Days 18-19

This being a continuation of my solo Pits & Perils game.

Day 18

At the Keep

Martin buys some healing herbs, 1 bunch, from the trader. He makes note to search for herbs in the forest next time. Cost is 5 sp for the bunch.

Thane buys a flask of brandy (for medicinal purposes only…) Cost 5 sp.

The party of adventurers head out of the Keep’s gates with full supplies and well rested. 6 hours of travel and they break for a late lunch. Encounter? No.

They break camp and continue along the road for 4 more hours. They are just north of the large hill on the eastern portion of the map. They find a campsite near the road, set guards, and rest. Catamont builds a small campfire and the watch begins. Encounter? No. Roll rations/water.

Day 19

6 hours march and the party approach the caves. They break near the road and have a quiet meal. All are on guard, nervously watching for any enemy. Encounter? No.

2 hours travel to the west and the party stands at the Caves of Chaos. I roll a random direction. D12 Result=10. Northwest. The party bypasses Cave A (Kobold cave from last trip). There’s a 50/50 chance they will enter Cave B or Cave C. Result=Cave B.

Thane enters first. The rest of the party will cover him with missile weapons. Thane has his handaxe and shield ready. The dwarf moves in slowly, checking for traps as he goes. He enters a passageway. On the far wall are an assortment of heads in various states of decay. A guard peeks out from behind this wall.

Question–Does Thane notice the guard? Roll 2d6=7 No. If Thane had Wis as his ability, he would have seen the Orc staring at him.

Question–Does Thane continue? D10 N, D6 Y. Result=No. His mother raised no fools. He listens and hears noise from the east, nothing from the west.

As Thane backs up to rejoin the party, he hears heavy footsteps from the east. Thane moves quickly out of the cave and on his heels are a tribe of angry, howling orcs!

Four come out, each with two spears. They form a line at the cave entrance to throw them at the party.

Initiaitive…PCs win.

Round 1
Thane moves farther out of the cave. The party fires arrows and spears. Only Catamont hits an orc with his spear.

The 4 orcs return volley. Catamont and Handsome each take one hit, but armor soaks it up.

Round 2
Arden and Alan both miss with bows. The others in the party close ranks with the orcs. Martin misses (critical) and loses his footing (-1 to next attack). Handsome stabs an orc with his sword. Thane hacks at an ugly orc with his hatchet for 1 pt.

The orcs stab spears at their enemy. One hits Meklin for 1 pt.

Five more orcs pour out of the cave!

Round 3
Arden slashes savagely with his greatsword for 2 points to an orc. Meklin fumbles and drops his club! Handsome stumbles! -1 to next attack. Note–these critical fumbles are killing me! Thane hits again! Corwin the magician moves to help Catamont and conks an orc with his staff (1 pt).

The orcs attack. Melkin is hit! Thane is hit! Alan takes two vicious hits, one is an outstanding success. Total of 3 points damage!

Round 4
Catamont hits an orc, Alan drops his dagger in a fumble. Meklin moves behind Arden (no attack). He will try to get Arden’s dagger to continue the fight.

Orcs are 3 on 1 vs Arden. He takes an outstanding hit for 2 points. Handsome and Thane are both hit (1 point each).

Round 5
Arden kills an orc! Thane hits another wounding it. Corwin hits an orc and moves back to prepare a spell next round.

Orcs attack! Alan is hit! He is struck down by a spear wielding orc! Alas, poor Alan! We hardly knew ye! Note…I will be using the variant armor rules for Pits & Perils, but I only intend for the PCs to have this variant. So…so long Alan.

Corwin summons arcane energy and casts fear! The orcs scatter, some running off into the woods, others back to the cave. The party doesn’t even stop to search the bodies of the fallen orcs. They grab Alan’s lifeless body and flee the Caves of Chaos.

I knew that it would happen sooner or later, but I still feel bad about losing Alan Dori. Arden will be going over the tactics and taking much of the blame. More armor would have helped Alan. More missile weapons may have made a difference too. Perhaps choking the orcs off at the cave entrance, but no one could have predicted the orcs would boil out of the cave in those numbers.

Corwin could have used his fear spell one round sooner…but Alan was hit hard by two orcs the previous round, so who knows?

Regardless, the party will have time to think of this as they make their way home with one of their fallen brothers on their shoulders.

More soon…


Alan Dori, man-at-arms, killed by orc spear at the Caves of Chaos, day 19.








Perils on the Borderlands, Character Status


Here are the current roster of characters and NPCs in my solo Pits & Perils game of Keep on the Borderlands. I’ve omitted their mundane equipment, XP, and treasure.

Arden of Granden Hall, 2nd level fighter, chainmail, greatsword, ring of protection+1, HP 12/+3, Luck 2

Corwin, 2nd level magician, staff, dagger+1, robes of the adept (+1 protection), HP 6/+1, Luck 2, Spells: fire bolt, fear, call, has a familiar, “Nicodemus” cat.

Thane of Irendall, 2nd level dwarf, leather armor, shield, crossbow, handaxe, HP 11/+2, Luck 2

Martin, Acolyte of Eos, 2nd level cleric, chainmail, morning star, holy symbol, HP 10/+2, Luck 2

Melkin R’bonic, man-at-arms, missing fingers on right hand (-1 to shoot bow), HP 3/+3
Handsome Brune, man-at-arms, HP 1/+3
Catamont Beerling, indentured lantern bearer, freed from Keep’s dungeons by Arden, HP 5/+1

Honor Roll of Fallen Heroes

Alan Dori, man-at-arms, squire.
Alan was killed by an orc spear at the Caves of Chaos, Day 18 of Perils in the Borderlands.

Perils on the Borderlands, Days 15-17

Photo by Aldo De La Paz on Unsplash

Flush with treasure from their recent foray into the Caves of Chaos, the party looks for a merchant to sell the large gem taken from the kobold chieftain.

Corwin the magician’s secondary skill is merchant. He is the most apt person to sell the gem. I roll 2d6 to have Corwin appraise the gem. Result=10, so he knows it is worth about 1,200 sp.

The jeweler at the Keep offers Corwin 60% of this value (random roll) or 720 sp. Corwin laughs at this offer and counters with 1200 sp. The jewelry raises his offer to 90% of the total (another random roll), and Corwin takes it!

So each PC will get 270 sp and 135 xp for the sale of the gem. Note–I adjusted their XP to 184 xp in lieu of the selling price of the gem.

The PCs take their silver to the bank at the Keep. Corwin pays the banker 40 sp (remainder of what he owed for the robes) and buys the silk magician’s robes. These are robes of the adept (+1 protection). Normally I don’t want magic items for sale in my adventures, but in this case, it seemed appropriate.

At the Keep Bank….Arden deposits 200 sp (keeps 70 sp on his person), Corwin deposits 200 sp and keeps 30 sp, Martin will keep 27 sp (This is 10% of his treasure. He decides to tithe the rest to the Chapel of the Keep. The Curate of the Keep will receive 243 sp from Martin. Thane cashes in his 270 sp for 24 gold coins and 3 sp. (There was a fee for exchanging coins.) Thane doesn’t trust anyone to hold onto his treasure. The 24 gold coins will be easy for him to hide upon his person.

***This is an eventful day for the party. Each of the PCs has reached level 2.

Martin, Arden, and Thane all gain 2nd level, gain 2 hp and now have 2 Luck points each.
Corwin is also 2nd level, gains 1 hp, now has 2 Luck points, and 1 additional spell!

The Pits & Perils rules state that magicians learn one spell per level. I will play it that Corwin needs to find a higher level magician or a magical library to learn the spell. He decides to seek out the scribe from the bank.

The PCs will now pay the men-at-arms. Catamont gets nothing yet, since he is indentured to Arden for freeing him from his prison sentence. But Arden feels his has done a good job thus far and he will be rewarded something.

Meklin and Handsome each receive 1 sp per day (14 sp total).

The PCs pay for the feast at the tavern and stay at the Inn last night. I figure about 21 sp will take care it.

The PCs roll for hireling loyalty. Result= 3 and 6 without modifiers. All good! The hirelings are happy with the work so far.

Arden looks for two more archers.

Question–are any at the tavern? I rule it a 50/50 chance. Result=yes!

There are two men-at-arms here.

Alan Dori, hp4, quarterstaff, youthful, good citizen, clean shaven, farmer.

Jacob Scoggins, hp 2 leather, dagger, adult (criminal!)

The young lad seems hardy, but the older farmer not so much.

Question–Does Arden take Alan and Scoggins pass by?  d8 yes, d6 no. Result=yes!

Alan Dori is a squire out of work. His master was imprisoned for being a drunkard and a loud mouth. He was in the Keep jail, evidently he made the Castellan mad, but has since left the Keep. Alan has no equipment. His master fired him and took back his armor to pay his fines.

Next Arden goes to the provision and then the trader to purchase…

leather armor, 35 days of rations, a longbow, 50′ rope, 40 arrows, 20 bolts, 6 torches, 2 waterskins, a bedroll, a backpack, a flint & steel, a crossbow string, a bow string.

Total cost was 89 sp.

Arden gives Alan the bow and leather armor, plus some equipment.

Thane gets a crossbow string and 20 bolts.

Martin visits the Chapel to pray and speak to the Curate. The Curate is greatly impressed with Martin’s faith and offerings to the church. Martin gains favor with the Curate.
Question–Does the Curate speak to the Castellan about the PCs? I used the FU die. Result=5, yes!

Corwin speaks to the scribe of the bank about learning a new spell. Rolled FU die. The scribe is not interested! Bastard!

Thane the dwarf will spend the day repairing weaponry and armor of all the party that needs it. He also replaces the broken crossbow, using the one Arden bought.

Cost for the evening at the Inn…2 sp each for PCs…private rooms! 1 sp for each hireling…common room, and basic food/drink for all. Total = 12 sp.

All in the party now have fresh rations and supplies. They decide to stay at the Keep two more days so Martin can heal all PCs to full health.

Day 16–17 Corwin learns that an elf is an adviser to the Castellan and has magic skills.

PCs pay 24 more silver for their room and board.

Well, a lot of trading and resting up in preparation for exploring the Caves of Chaos once again.

More to come…



Perils on the Borderlands, Day 12-14 Kobolds!

Photo by Sidrik on Unsplash

A note to the reader–this post is quite long and detailed but unapologetically so. Skim it if you will. I enjoyed the solo game and here’s my account of it.

Day 12
Arden makes for the Caves of Chaos.

8 hours march and the party camps in the woods just east of the road.

Encounter? No.

Day 13
Travel into the mouth of the Caves of Chaos. 2 hours westward march and the party has finally arrived!

I roll randomly and the party heads to the northwest on the cave map. There is a cave entrance at the bottom of the hill. (Cave A).

As the party approaches the cave entrance, 8 kobolds jump out of the trees to attack!

I give them a +2 for surprise and roll initiative. A tie! I rule it simultaneous.
Corwin has a critical miss with his magic dagger and stumbles, giving the kobold a free attack. The kobold missed both times.

Thane hits with his crossbow and Martin with his morning star. Handsome stabs a kobold with his spear. Catamont kills one of the kobolds with a spear. Handsome kills one.

In all, 5 kobolds are slain and 3 flee to the cave. Martin, Thane, and Catamont take minor damage to their armor.

The kobolds are carrying 13 cp.

The party approaches the cave. Marching order is (in pairs) Arden and Thane, Meklin alone in the 2nd rank with his spear and club, next comes Corwin and Catamont (carrying lantern), and finally Handsome and Martin.

The cave has a concealed pit trap. Any crossing it will trigger it on a 1-3 on a d6. Arden and Thane walk over it without triggering it. I roll for Thane to notice, but the dwarf fails.

Meklin also walks over it with triggering it!

Note–this is the point in the adventure when I wished I’d brought the 10′ pole.

Corwin and Martin both roll 3’s and trigger the trap. I roll the damage as they fall into the pit…6 points for Corwin and 1 point for Martin!

Corwin has only 5 hit points…so this isn’t good. I’m feeling a little bummed about Corwin’s demise, but then I realize that he has one luck point (my houserule). Corwin uses it to change the die roll by one point. I change the trap roll to a 4 resulting in the trap not being triggered. Martin will do the same.

Because they used a luck point, I rule that the trap is found and they were able to step aside before triggering it.

While this is going on, 6 kobolds attack from the guard post throwing javelins for their first attack! They miss and the battle ensues.

The party cuts down three of them and two attempt to flee but are also killed. Arden takes 5 pts of damage. Thane, 2 pts, and Meklin 2 pts.

Searching the bodies, they find 22 copper pieces in total! (I’m on the silver standard.)

The party rests for a turn. Corwin sends his familiar, a black cat named Nicodemus, down the tunnel for a peek.

Thane moves into a side tunnel to scout as the cat moves to the south.

Question-Do the kobolds see the dwarf? Yes! 3 arrows but all miss!

Do the kobolds in the south tunnel see the familiar? I rolled 2d6. Result=8, No they don’t see the cat. He’s too stealthy.

Does Nicodemus see the kobolds? Not yet.

The party moves to the north intersection.

Will Corwin and Nicodemus watch the south? d12 yes, d8 no. Result=Yes.

Kobolds from the common room in the south will charge down the hall in 6 rounds. (random roll to determine this.)

Arden and Thane engage the 3 kobold sharpshooters in the north tunnel.
Both groups have cover from the corner of the tunnels (-2 modifier to hit). I want to describe this in detail to show how the MisoRPG dice helped me decide the party actions.

Round 1 Arden and Thane shoot at kobolds while taking partial cover. One kobold still hits Arden, 2 pts! PCs both miss.
Question-will PCs charge? D8 yes, d6 no. Result=no.

Round 2 Thane is hit for 2 damage! Thane has a critical miss! I roll on the crit table=weapon sundered! His crossbow has snapped a string!
Question-will PCs charge now? D8 yes, d4 no. I modified the d6 down to a d4 to reflect that they will be more likely to charge. Result=no.

Round 3 Kobolds miss, but one suffers a critical miss and snaps his bowstring! Arden shoots an arrow and misses.
Question–Charge now? D8 vs d4. Result=yes!

Round 4
Arden rushes the archers. I judge that if all he does is move, he can make it to them but not get an attack. Thane also charges.
Arden takes two more arrows for 4 points damage!

Martin is close behind them and heals Arden for 4 points.

Round 5
Arden hits one of the kobold bodyguards for 2 pts (armor is now gone).
Kobolds miss.

Round 6
Thane is hit by a club. Arden hits and kills a bodyguard!
Martin hits (armor gone). Martin is hit by a club.

Note–Kobolds in the south begin to move out of the common room. Corwin is alerted.

Round 7
Thane hits another bodyguard. The kobold chieftain comes out of his room to join the battle!

Round 8
Arden kills another bodyguard! One guard and chieftain remain.

Round 9
Chieftain attacks Arden but misses. Thane hit by a club. PCs miss.

Handsome and Meklin block the kobolds from the south. Meklin kills one.
Corwin casts his fear spell! The kobolds that were attacking from the south run away! Note-fear is a big spell, no saves and affects any number of enemies 1st to 3rd level. The kobolds will be gone for at least a turn.

Round 10
Chieftain misses. Arden drops his weapon! (Critical miss.)
Martin smashes the chieftain with his morning star, 2 damage.
The men-at-arms come forward to help. Thane misses the bodyguard.

Round 11
Chieftain hits Arden, 1 point. Arden rolls another critical miss! He drops his second weapon (dagger)! All others miss.

Round 12
Chieftain misses. Arden grabs Catamont’s spear but misses the chieftain. Martin hits the chieftain for 2 damage. Note-chieftain has 5 hit points left!

Thane finally kills the bodyguard. The chieftain will be set upon by many attackers. I’ve been giving the +1 bonus to hit for any attackers outnumbering their enemy.

Round 13
Chieftain misses. Arden rolls a critical hit! Mighty strike on the chief sundering his handaxe! I rule that since Arden has a spear, the sunder is just a dropped weapon.

Martin rolls a critical hit! Precise strike doing double damage…4 points! The chieftain is dead.

Question–Any kobold stragglers from the south? d10 yes, d6 no. Result=no!

Summary–Arden and Thane are badly hurt (4 and 3 hp respectively.)
Martin has 8 hp left. Corwin and the men-at-arms are all good.

The chieftain has a large gem around his neck (1,200 sp!) and a key to room 3. Guards have 20 sp total.

The PCs enter the chieftain’s lair and find females that don’t attack. The PCs let them flee, forgetting to check them for treasure.

Martin rolls a Wis check of 11 and finds some hidden silver in a blanket on the wall (50 sp). The chest in the room is not trapped. Thane opens it and finds 26 cp and 11 sp.

The party searches the food storage room #3 and finds worthless foodstuff and human remains!

A quick check of the kobold common room finds kobold females and young (all non combatants). Arden and his party are not into slaughter of the defenseless. They find no valuables.

The party decides to cut and run. They head back east to the road (3 hour march).

They are on the road heading south by midday. 5 hours travel and they are near the hill on the western edge of the map.

Set camp for the night, rations roll.

Encounter? Result=No, thankfully!

Day 14
Martin casts cure (2 points back to Arden). A 10 hour forced march brings the party back to the Keep by nightfall. Whew!

A large feast and drinks for all the adventurers tonight!

Note–with treasure and monsters there will be 198 xp for each of the four PCs.

I wasn’t certain how the kobold encounter would end. The party is fortunate to have a spell caster. The fear spell is powerful in a similar way to the sleep spell, maybe more so. But it is tempered by the fact that the targets can run away to fight another day.

More soon…

Perils on the Borderlands, Days 9-11, Lizardmen

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Day 9
Refreshed the party once again walks through the gates of the Keep on the Borderlands.

Heading along the road to the north, after a 10 hour march they camp for the night.

Encounters? None. Rolled usage die for rations.

Day 10
5 hours march north and into the clearing where they met the bandits. The party stops to eat. Food is running low and Corwin and Catmont are out of water.

I roll a d12 to pick a random direction to explore. Southwest they travel in the woods looking for the caves. No sign. (The party is heading in the opposite direction!)

Camp and roll for encounters. None. Roll rations and water usage.

Day 11
Today is spent hunting for food and refilling all the waterskins. The module states that there is a 1-in-6 chance of a person finding food for 1d6 men. Martin was a hunter before becoming an adventurer. I give him a 2-in-6 chance.

The only party member to spy some game is Handsome Brune, the man-at-arms. He kills a small wild pig (3 days of food).

The party made their way to the river in the south and refilled all waterskins. Note–I am using the Blackhack usage die for the waterskins, giving them an initial d6. If at the end of the day, I roll a 1 or 2 on a d6, then the usage die goes to a d4. The process repeats, but after the d4 is used up, then no water left!

Rations work a little differently. They get a d6 usage die and if a 1 or 2 is rolled, I deduct one day’s ration from the inventory for that character.

I don’t know how realistic this is compared to just crossing off a day of rations each day, but it is a lot more interesting.

Encounter? Yes! Fairies! One winged fairy finds the group. Reaction? Uncertain.

Corwin, the magician, makes an Int roll. Result=10 and tries to make friends with the creature.

Question–Does the fairy tell them where to find the Caves of Chaos?
D12 yes, d8 no. Result=Yes! The fairy tells them to follow the western hill when the road turns northward.

The party decides to camp near the river that night.
Encounter? Yes! They are close enough to area 1 on the map to merit a 1-2 in 6 chance of an encounter.

Three lizardmen sneak towards the camp. Arden and Catamont are on watch.

Do they hear the lizardmen? Roll 2d6 for each. Arden=no, Catamont=yes.

Catmont whispers to Arden that something is out there moving around. Arden wakes the others.

Do lizardmen attack? Yes. The lizardmen approach the fire with clubs and spears.

Arden hits one of them with his spear. The lizardmen attack hitting Catamont and Corwin with spears (1 pt each).

Arden cuts one with his greatsword (2 pts). Martin smashes a lizardman with his morning star for a critical hit! 3 pts of damage and a roll on the critical hit chart is joint damage +1 damage. So 4 pts total! Thane hits one with his handaxe for 1 pt.

Arden takes a club to the body, 1 pt. Thane is also struck by another strong creature’s attack for 1 pt.

Arden retaliates for 2 pts. Handsome skewers one with his sword. It dies! Thane strikes another with his handaxe.

Morale check=7. They fight on.

Lizardmen attack but no hits make it through.

Arden kills one (3 pts) Melkin’s club does 1 pt. The remaining lizardman flees but I rule that 3 of the party get an attack. Thane hits and Handsome gets a critical. The third lizardman is dead!

All of the party took damage only to their armor, but for Corwin, so no lasting damage. The party earns 15 xp each.

Martin tries to follow their tracks but lose them at the river’s edge.


More soon…

Strong Drink and Bitter Herbs~Remedies for What Ails You

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Arden of Granden Hall looked nervously at his man-at-arms. A bandit’s spear had pierced his leathers and drove deep into his shoulder. Arden had been a farmer with little taste for combat until his home was overrun by orcs. He shuddered, thinking about the wholesale slaughter at his lord’s manor. It was a long time before he could close his eyes and not see the fire or hear the screams.

“Arden, hand me the linen bag in my backpack, if you will,” Martin spoke, bringing his attention back to the injured man. Martin, the knight templar-in-training, was the most skilled among them in healing.

“Meklin, there’s no broken bones, I’ve staunched the bleeding, but you need to lie still,” he said while directing Thane the dwarf to boil some bitter herbs in a small kettle.

Ten minutes later, Martin gave the hot tea to the man-at-arms. Meklin grimaced, “Bitter…”

“Yes, but good for you regardless. Now drink it all down while I finish a poultice for your dressing.”

Thane the dwarf looked with contempt at the proceedings. “Hrmmphhh! We’d not be brewing tea in the Five Kings. Bitter herbs as they come, straight out of the sack!”

Martin smiled at his dwarven friend, “Yes, and you know that dwarves have iron stomachs, no? I’ve seen dwarves eat things that would kill a mountain goat!”

“Well, that’s ’cause we wash it down with Shoveler’s Lament or any other brandy we had on hand,” Thane grinned wide, his two front teeth missing.

Martin just smiled, nodding his head, “Hmmm….interesting.” He wondered if the dwarf hadn’t rotted his teeth out with that brew. Martin thought he’d tried Shoveler’s one time, but couldn’t remember any events of that night in the tavern.

“Well, Thane, I suppose a good stiff belt of something could shock the system and provide some temporary benefit. Regardless, I’d rather stay with my bitter herb tea.”

Melkin, the man-at-arms, rested by the fire. The herbs were working. His color was returning. Martin was relieved to see this. The cleric did have the power to channel some divine energy into healing, but he kept this ability in reserve for the most dire of situations. The tea would suffice for now.

Notes on healing remedies.

[My take on healing herbs is slightly different from the rules (Pits & Perils) as written. The main difference is that I am having the user make a saving throw on the first use and also on subsequent uses. Also, if the user brews a tea, the adverse affects are lessened.]

Healing herbs such as comfrey, St. John’s wort, willow root, feverfew, and many others can be found by searching the woods for a few hours. The seeker must make a saving throw (7+ on 2d6) to find one bunch of healing herbs. An outstanding success (12+) means that 2 batches are found. Wisdom ability adds +1 to the roll.

Healing herbs chewed or brewed into tea can restore 1 hit point.

Chewing the herbs can make the user violently ill for 1 turn if they fail a saving throw. The herbs will still heal one hit point of damage, but no further healing can be done with the herbs that day. Additional uses will cure 1 hit point so long as no saving throw has been failed.

If the user takes the time to brew a healing tea, 10 min or so, then the saving throw is not necessary and drinking the tea will heal one hit point. Any additional brews will require a saving throw as if chewing the healing herbs, but with a +2 bonus to the saving throw.

Strong Drink

Any type of strong drink (brandy, fortified wines, etc) will restore 1 hit point. If the user takes a second or third drink, they may gain additional hit points BUT will have to make a saving throw or become intoxicated for 1 to 2 hours (all attack rolls and saves will be at a penalty equal to the amount the imbiber missed the saving throw.) Example…Arden takes one swig of dwarven brandy. He regains 1 hit point and all is well (no save needed). He decides to take another belt of his dwarven brandy and must make a saving throw. He rolls a 4 but needed a 7…failed his save by 3 points. Arden will be at -3 to all attack and saving throws for 1 to 2 hours. Failing two saving throws in a row while using strong drink to heal means the imbiber has drunk himself into unconsciousness! He will need to sleep it off for 1d6 hours.

I will revisit this in the future with additions and possible changes.

Other types of healing need to be discussed…healing ointments, poultices, and also the effects of broken bones and other injuries.