The morning finds the party rested. Martin heals Arden for 1 hit point (still has 1 hit point off). Arden, Martin, and Catamont go to the provisioner to find armor.
The provisioner has a large inventory of items for sale. Arden purchases leather armor for 13sp (overpriced) and has it fit for Catamont. In addition, Arden buys a flint & steel. He gives the young hireling his dagger and the torches to carry.
Catamont Beerling 5/+1
torches (6) d6 usage die, flint & steel, dagger, and leather armor
The party leaves the Keep and heads southeast to the river. They believe they will need a boat to cross. Instead, they do some hunting and find rabbits. Martin’s occupation was hunter and he was able to kill a brace of rabbits with his sling (enough food for five men for the day.) Using the rules in the Keep on the Borderlands module stating that a hunter has a 1 in 6 chance of finding food to feed 1d6 men.
I rolled a wandering monster check. Result=none.
Back to the Keep for more rest at the inn. Money deducted for staying at the inn, roll for rations used.
Day 6 All are fully healed. Arden the fighter wants to explore the wilderness. The party travels four hours along the east road and stop for lunch (no encounters). Roll rations. Arden runs out of water, Corwin runs out of water. Party moves to the river to refill their waterskins. No encounter.
Note-this is the most that I’ve ever been concerned by running out of water or rations. I can’t recall ever really bothering about this in previous games. I think the usage die makes it more interesting. It made me keep an closer eye on the food/water for each PC.
Refilling the waterskins and resting, then northward into the forest.
Three hours to the north. Encounter? No. Continue north? Yes.
Two hours and the party is at the clearing of the Caves of Unknown. (I have no map for this at the moment, so I decided to roll and encounter. Result=2. Yes!
Nine brigands approach! (I decide to use the bandits from area 3.)
Leader-2nd level, chainmail, bow, spear
Lieutenant-1st level, leather, shield, spear
2 archers-1st level, leather, shortbow, dagger
5 spearmen-0 level (I rule they have 1-3 hp each)
They attack! The bandits come upon the party at 60 yards distance. The party wins initiative.
Brother Martins loads a sling stone and lets fly at the bandit leader. Miss!
Arden will throw his spear when the bandits come within range. Corwin hides behind the men-at-arms and gets a spell ready. Thane fires a crossbow at the leader 8, a miss! But Thane uses 1 luck point adding 1 to the roll…9! A hit! The crossbow does 2 pts of damage.
The bandit fires an arrow at the party. Catamont is hit for 2 pts. Bandit archers fire 2 arrows at Martin and Corwin. Both miss! Bandits close 40′. Now they are 20′ away from the party.
Arden throws a spear at the leader. Hit! 1 point damage! Martin’s fires a sling stone at the leader. Hit! 1 point of damage! Thane fires a crossbow at the bandit leader and hits. 2 points of damage!
Corwin the magician readies his magic spell. A bolt of fire races towards the bandit chief striking him for 6 points! The leader has 3 points remaining. The men-at-arms prepare for the enemy charge.
The bandits move forward with spears. Bowmen get wait to get a clear target. They don’t want to fire into their men, so they will pick off any that move from the group.
Thane the dwarf takes a spear hit (outstanding result). His armor and shield absorb it and are out. Meklin and Handsome each hit for 1 point and their armor absorbs it.
Martin smashes the lieutenant with his two-handed morning star and does 2 points of damage. Arden using his greatsword strikes the bandit leader. An outstanding success (roll of 11, +1 for fighter class). The leader takes 3 more points of damage and falls!
Question-do bandits leave now their leader is dead? I roll a morale check. Result of 2d6=11! They fight on! The lieutenant has a battle field promotion.
A bandit hits Thane for 2 points. Martin is hit twice. 2 points total.
All of the party miss except for Handsome. Corwin casts a fear spell. This is a powerful spell for there is no saving throw and the spell affects any number of 1st to 3rd level enemies. The spell is negated by any hostile action to the fleeing bandits. Corwin tells the party not to pursue or fire at the fleeing bandits.)
The party wins! They have killed the bandit leader and driven off the rest.
They search the bandit leader. He has 14 pieces of silver (I use the silver standard), chainmail, shortbow, spear, wineskin, dagger, and arrows (d8 usage die). The party gets 40 xp for the encounter.
Martin heals Thane. The party makes camp and set a watch. Encounter? No.
The party breaks camp in the morning and heads back towards the Keep.
Notes-the magician is earning his silver. Fear is a powerful spell, on par with the sleep spell. Sleep is the nuclear option for 1st level magicians in Dnd, but it is not available in Pits and Perils. The more I think about it, I like that fact. Fear routs enemies but allows them to fight another day. Sleep can drop a large number of enemies and often allows the PCs to dispatch them while asleep (or if they’re not murder hobos, capture of the enemies.)
In reading the Pits and Perils rules, I make note that magicians recover ONE spell point per day of rest and study. This is an important fact. Magicians don’t fully recharge after a day of casting many spells. I think that will make for some interesting decisions. All of the elf games we play come down to resource management. Now I need to quit writing and roll some dice to see if the party’s waterskins are empty…gotta love it!