Posts Tagged ‘Atlas’

Close Action at Flintcon 2019: scenario CA17 – Santo Domingo

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019, saw another game of Close Action played in southeastern Michigan, this time at Flintcon 2019 in Flint, Michigan. We played Close Action scenario 17, “Santo Domingo.” In that scenario, five French ships, an 80-gun (Alexandre), a 120-gun (Impérial), and three 74-gun (Diomède, Jupiter, Brave) ships were trying to escape the map, and initially only three British 74-gun ships (Superb, Northumberland, Spencer) were on-board to try to stop the French. The British would also receive reinforcements: Canopus (80-gun) on game-turn 3; Donegal (74) on g-t 4; Atlas (74) on g-t 5; and Agamemnon (64) on g-t 10, although the French could be far away before the reinforcements could even think of catching up.

Starting Positions

British
Superb (74) – A1640:2
Northumberland (74) – A1544:2
Spencer (74) – A1450:2

French
Alexandre (80) – A3435:1
Impérial (120) – A3439:1
Diomède – A3443:1
Jupiter – A3448:1
Brave (74) – A3452:1

Santo Domingo starting positions:

Santo Domingo starting positions: The French line is at the top of the picture, headed right-to-left. The British are at the bottom-right, headed at an angle towards the French. The wind is blowing right-to-left.

Jim Robinson, an experienced Close Action player, commanded the French ships from Impérial. Bill Worrel, who has played CA only once before, commanded the British aboard Superb. On the face of it, this scenario looked to be a tough one for the British to win. The French could escape not only from the far left map edge (there is another map board in that direction that is not pictured, and it’s a long way to that map edge), but could also escape off the long edge at the bottom of the above picture. Any French ship that escaped off the map would give 90% of its Victory Points (VPs) to the French, so the British somehow or another needed to stop three of the five French ships from exiting the map. The British would eventually receive four more ships as reinforcements: Canopus (80-gun) on game-turn 3; Donegal (74-gun) on g-t 4; Atlas (74-gun) on g-t 5; and Agamemnon (64-gun) on g-t 10. Of course, by the time Agamemnon got on the map, the French ships could be far away! So the first item of business for the British was to close the range to the French and to start shooting.

The Wind Speed and Sea State were both “2” at the start of the scenario, so that wouldn’t affect any ships adversely.

Game-Turn 1

The movement for the game-turn 1 was simple. All French ships were at plain sail status, and they all moved ahead 6 spaces, maintaining their line-ahead formation. The British were also at plain sail, and they moved ahead 8 spaces towards the French, due to the fact they were in a better attitude to the wind (the Brits were “broad-reaching,” while the French were “running” with the wind). Only one ship, the British Northumberland, announced “men-in-rigging” as it started changing from plain sail to medium sail status. That sail change would take two game-turns to complete.

Only one ship opened fire at the long range, and that was Brave firing at Spencer. The range was 12 hexes, too far for an initial broadside bonus, and Brave’s Basic Gunnery Number (BGN) was “12” at 12 hexes. Brave had a Crew Quality (CQ) of “D” and so it had a Gunnery Modifier of “0” (zero) for this shot due to being at plain sail. Greg Lim, the skipper of Brave, rolled a d6 and rolled a “2” while firing high (Brave had to fire high at ranges more than 9 hexes from the target). Spencer then received only a single hit on her rigging, due to being at plain sail herself. (It was later determined that the -1 mod for firing when at plain sail was missed, so Brave’s fire should have had a total of -1 in modifiers. C’est la vie!)

End of game-turn 1

At the end of game-turn 1, the British have closed the range towards the French.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 1:

British
Superb (74) – A2436:2
Northumberland (74) – A2340:2
Spencer (74) – A2246:2

French
Alexandre (80) – A3429:1
Impérial (120) – A3433:1
Diomède – A3437:1
Jupiter – A3442:1
Brave (74) – A3446:1

Although messages were written at the beginning of the game-turn, they were not received until the end of the g-t. The British admiral, Bill Worrel, in Superb, sent the message “STOP REAR THREE SHIPS”. The French commander, Jim Robinson, sent a rather frivolous message: “SET PHASERS DEEP FAT FRY”! Um, we’ll just ignore that message, eh?

Game-Turn 2

On game-turn 2, the French continued sailing in line-ahead formation, all ships moving 6 hexes ahead. The British Superb moved ahead 6, and the Northumberland and Spencer each moved “7P” to turn and head in the same direction as the French ships. All three British ships showed “men-in-rigging.”

Superb (5 hexes) and Northumberland (4 hexes) both fired their initial starboard broadsides at Jupiter, and Spencer (5 hexes) fired her initial starboard broadside at Brave. Diomède (4 hexes) shot at Superb, an initial port broadside and a bow rake; Jupiter (4 hexes) fired her intial port boardside at Northumberland; and Brave (5 hexes) fired at Spencer again.

Superb had a BGN of 22, with +4 for CQ and +1 for initial broadside, but one of the sailor crew sections was busy making changes to the sails, so that gave a -3, for a total Gunnery Modifier of +2. The dr was “3” so the damage inflicted on Jupiter was 2 rigging (one of the rigging lost was due to the target being at plain sail), 1 hull, and 1 sailor. Northumberland then had a BGN of 25 versus Jupiter, with a total of +3 in modifiers. A 1d6 dr of 6 gave a Final Gunnery Number (FGN) of 34, which yielded 3 rigging, 2 hull, and 2 sailors (although it was recorded as only 1 sailor lost). Northumberland also caused a critical (hull) hit on Jupiter, and that caused the “Wheel Shot Away” result. That meant that Jupiter could only make one 60° turn in a game-turn (instead of two turns), and had to roll on the “Poor Maneuvering” table any time she did try to pivot. Spencer then fired at Brave with a BGN of 23 and +2 in mods, with a dr of “5”, to inflict 2 rigging, 1 hull, and 1 sailor in losses.

The French return fire saw Diomède was a BGN of 26, +4 in mods (+2 each for initial broadside and rake), but as she was firing high and using dismantling shot, another +1 would apply (although it should have also had a -1 for shooting while at plain sail). In any event, the damage dished out was recorded as 5 rigging. A hull hit was ignored, as dismantling shot could not affect the hull. Jupiter fired high with dismantling shot at Northumberland, inflicting 3 rigging boxes of damage. Brave then fired at Spencer, firing high with dismantling shot inflicting 5 rigging and 1 marine boxes of damage, plus the “Braces Cut” critical hit. That meant that Spencer would not be able to accelerate or decelerate during game-turn 3.

In all, the British dished out 16 boxes of damage in g-t 2, while receiving 14 boxes of damage in return. Each side inflicted a critical hit on the other side. Both sides also forgot to apply the -1 modifier for firing when at plain sail. It should also be said that it is the GM’s fault for not remembering to apply the plain sail modifier, as most of the players either had zero or very little experience playing Close Action.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 2:

British
Superb (74) – A3033:2
Northumberland (74) – A3037:1
Spencer (74) – A2942:1

French
Alexandre (80) – A3423:1
Impérial (120) – A3427:1
Diomède – A3431:1
Jupiter – A3436:1
Brave (74) – A3440:1

At the end of g-t 2, the French message from Jim Robinson (aboard Impérial) was revealed to the other French ships as “CHANGE SAIL STATE”. The British sent the message “CONCENTRATE FIREPOWER ON DIOMEDE”.

Game-Turn 3

At the beginning of the game-turn, the Wind Direction Change dice roll revealed that the wind would indeed change 60° counter-clockwise, to blow toward direction 6. But that change wouldn’t take effect until the beginning of g-t 4.

During game-turn 3, the French continued sailing straight-ahead, with all ships showing men-in-rigging. Alexandre moved 7 hexes; the other four ships moved 6 hexes ahead. Superb moved “3P2” which moved her right alongside Jupiter. Northumberland moved ahead 5, and Spencer plotted “2S4”. Spencer had to try to move 8 MPs in this game-turn as she had used 8 MPs in the previous g-t and suffered the “braces cut” critical hit in g-t 2, but as she started g-t 3 as “running” with the wind, her maximum movement was 7. So, Spencer moved as many MPs as she could. Superb and Spencer had men-in-rigging, and Northumberland was now at medium sail. Spencer was 1 hex short of raking the stern of Brave. The Brits got their first reinforcement; Canopus came on the board (in the lower right of the pictures) and moved 6 hexes ahead).

Only two pairs of ships fired at each other in g-t 3. Superb and Jupiter were right next to each other at range 1. Northumberland and Brave were on parallel courses, at range 4. Superb’s shot caused a loss of 3 rigging, 2 hull, 1 sailor, and 1 marine to Jupiter, and Jupiter’s shot caused a loss of 3 rigging, 1 hull, and 1 marine to Superb. Each ship lost its 1st section of rigging and had to make a rigging check 1d6 die roll. Jupiter rolled “Lines Jammed,” and that canceled her attempt at changing sail state from plain sail to medium sail. Jupiter also received a critical hit, but only lost -1 Guns Dismounted to her port side. Superb rolled “Braces Cut” and also would not be able to accelerate or decelerate in game-turn 4.

Northumberland had a very good shoot at Brave, causing a loss of 4 rigging, 3 hull, and 1 sailor, and inflicting a critical hit of “Leadership Casualties on the Quarterdeck” and so Brave also lost a marine box. Brave’s return fire at Northumberland only dinged 2 rigging boxes. Later, during the maintenance phase, Brave rolled a Morale Check (MC), and passed it. And Superb repaired her cut braces.

The ship positions at the end of game-turn 3

The ship positions at the end of game-turn 3. Superb is right next to Jupiter.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 3:

British
Superb (74) – A3329:1
Northumberland (74) – A3032:1
Spencer (74) – A3338:2
Canopus (80) – A1146:1 (reinforcement that just entered the map)

French
Alexandre (80) – A3416:1
Impérial (120) – A3421:1
Diomède – A3425:1
Jupiter – A3430:1
Brave (74) – A3434:1

French message to all of their ships at the end of game-turn 3: “GOOD SHOOTING KEEP IT UP”. British message to all of their ships: “STOP DIOMEDE FROM ESCAPING”.

It should be stated that in the present position, the leading French ships should be able to escape from the British. That would have won the scenario for the French due to the special victory conditions. However, it would not look good if the French admiral simply abandoned his last two ships to the tender mercies of His Majesty’s Royal Navy!

Game-Turn 4

The wind had now changed; it was now blowing toward “direction 6,” which is to say it was blowing towards the starboard quarter of the French ships, so the French was now all “broad-reaching.” Three of the French ships turned to port and started making way for the nearest map edge where they could escape. The leading Alexandre moved “P6,” Impérial moved “5,” Diomède moved “6,” Jupiter moved “1P1,” and Brave moved “P5.” For the British, Superb moved 5 hexes straight ahead, Northumberland moved 6 hexes ahead, and Spencer moved “P2,” which left her a bit behind the French ship Brave. Donegal came onto the map to join Canopus as a reinforcement; both ships moved 7 hexes forward in direction 1.

All of the French ships were now at medium sail, except for the damaged Jupiter. Jupiter had her sail change canceled due to receiving battle damage in the last game-turn. Superb, Northumberland, and Spencer were all at medium sail, but Spencer had men in the rigging to get back to plain sail to close the distance back to the French ships. Canopus and Donegal were both flying plain sails so they could make all speed towards the enemy.

After movement, only three ships elected to fire at each other: Brave fired a 5-hex range stern rake on Northumberland; Jupiter fired a 3-hex range stern rake on Superb, but could only fire her forward starboard guns; and Northumberland had a 3-hex range bow rake on Jupiter, but could only fire her rear starboard guns. No other ships had a target with the arc of their broadsides.

Jupiter had a BGN of 26 for her shoot at Superb, but had a total of -2 in modifiers, and fired high. Jupiter did roll a 6, and that also caused a critical hit against Superb. Superb lost 3 rigging, and 1 sailor. The critical hit caused leadership casualties on the quarterdeck, which caused Superb to cross out a marine box. Superb then had to take a morale check during the maintenance phase, which she passed with her Morale Rating of “3”. Northumberland’s bow rake versus Jupiter started with a BGN of 25, but had a total of -4 in modifiers. Rolling a “4” caused a loss of 2 rigging and 1 sailor to Jupiter. Brave fired on Northumberland with a BGN of 23, -1 in mods, a dr of “5,” causing a loss of 2 rigging, 1 hull, and 1 sailor. Northumberland then lost her 1st rigging section. The resulting Rigging Check was for a “Mast May Fall” possibility, but fortunately for Northumberland the mast stayed upright.

End of game-turn 4

End of game-turn 4: Three of the French ships have turned to port, but the two rear French ships have been separated from their three other friendly ships.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 4:

British
Superb (74) – A3324:1
Northumberland (74) – A3026:1
Spencer (74) – A3336:1
Canopus (80) – A1139:1
Donegal (74) – A1145:1 (reinforcement that just entered the map)

French
Alexandre (80) – A2813:6
Impérial (120) – A3416:1
Diomède – A3419:1
Jupiter – A3328:6
Brave (74) – A2931:6

The French message to their fleet that was revealed at the end of g-t 4 said “REAR TWO SHIPS TURN PORT”, although those ships had already executed that turn. The British showed a somewhat spurious message of “DAMN TORPEDOES FULL SPEED AHEAD”. The receiving ships were wondering what the heck was a torpedo?

Game-Turn 5

To begin g-t 5, all of the French ships were now at medium sail, except for Jupiter, which was still at plain sail status, although Jupiter could only move as fast as medium sail status due to having lost her 1st rigging section. Northumberland and Superb were at medium sail, as was Spencer, but Spencer still had men in the rigging to get back to plain sail. The British got a 3rd ship to add to their reinforcements, the Atlas, to join with Canopus and Donegal. All three of the reinforcement ships were at plain sail. Canopus and Donegal moved 7 hexes, and Atlas moved 8 hexes.

Spencer moved 6 hexes directly toward where the French line had been sailing. Superb turned to port to move “P3,” and Northumberland moved “P3P” to sort of head in the wrong direction from where the French were headed, although Northumberland did get a bow rake shot against Jupiter by turning in that direction. For the French, Alexandre moved ahead 5, Brave moved ahead 5, and Jupiter could only manage to move 3 hexes. Those three ships were headed diagonally toward the closest escape edge of the map. Impérial and Diomède both turned to port, both moving “3P”.

Auditing the ship’s logs after the game, there were some move “discrepancies” on this game-turn. Brave moved “5” but only had 4 MPs while running with the wind while at medium sail. So Brave moved one too many hexes forward. Spencer accelerated too much, using only 3 MPs on game-turn 4, and then using 6 MPs on this g-t. Also, while Spencer only used 3 MPs on g-t 4, she should have used at least 5 MPs on g-t 4, since she used 7 MPs on g-t 3! Impérial plotted “2P”, when the photographs were checked after the game, she had actually moved “3P” on the map. And, Canopus, in her first three g-t’s on the map, plotted “6,” “6,” and “7,” but her position on the map at the end of g-t 5 was two hexes to the rear of where she should have been on the map.

The British ships Northumberland and Superb both targeted Jupiter, and Spencer shot at Brave. The French returned fire with Diomède and Jupiter both shooting high at Superb, and Brave fired (low) at Northumberland.

Northumberland inflicted damage to the tune of 5 rigging, 2 hull, and 2 sailor boxes on Jupiter, and Superb dished out another 4 rigging, 2 hull, and 1 sailor to Jupiter, making a total of 9 rigging, 4 hull, and 3 sailor boxes lost. Jupiter lost her 1st hull section, taking a hull check and that directed her to take a rigging critical hit roll, which turned out to be “Shrouds Severed” which caused the loss of another rigging box. The hull check also meant a morale check later in the game-turn. Then, since the Jupiter had also lost her 2nd rigging section, she had to take a rigging check dice roll. Unfortunately for Jupiter, the rigging check was that a mast fell, and that caused the loss of the rest of rigging section 3 and another morale check. Also, Jupiter lost her 1st sailor section, meaning she had a permanent -3 modifier to gunfire, and she would have to take a 3rd morale check during the maintenance phase later in the game-turn.

Spencer’s shot at Brave yielded only 1 rigging and 1 sailor box checked off. Brave lost her 1st rigging section, and got “Braces Cut” for her rigging check, so her acceleration and deceleration would be zero for the next game-turn, and she had “-2 guns dismounted” on her starboard side. Jupiter’s simultaneous return shot at Superb caused the loss of 3 rigging and 1 sailor box, and Diomède’s shot at Superb only added 1 hull to the damage to Superb. Superb did lose her 2nd rigging section, and got “-2 broadside obscured” (from falling rigging) on her port side. Brave’s gunfire at Northumberland caused the loss of 1 rigging and 1 hull box.

Then, during the maintenance phase, Jupiter failed two of the three morale checks she had to make. That dropped her Crew Quality to “F”, which gave her another -5 modifier to all of her gunfire. Add in her -3 for missing sailor section 1, and her gunfire had to apply -8. She also had a “-2 broadside obstructed” to her starboard side due to the mast falling. At this time, Jupiter only had 6 boxes remaining unchecked in rigging section 4, and she could only move at fighting sail MP rate, although she would still take damage at the plain sail rate as she still hadn’t changed her sail state.

End of game-turn 5

End of game-turn 5. Three British ships are rushing to help along the bottom edge of the map.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 5:

British
Superb (74) – A3023:6
Northumberland (74) – A2724:5
Spencer (74) – A3330:1
Canopus (80) – A1132:1
Donegal (74) – A1138:1
Atlas (74) – A1144:1 (reinforcement that just entered the map)

French
Alexandre (80) – A2310:6
Impérial (120) – A3413:6
Diomède – A3416:6
Jupiter – A3027:6
Brave (74) – A2429:6

The French signaled ” FRONT THREE SHIPS TURN PORT” which they already did, and the British signaled “FREE FOR ALL”.

Game-Turn 6

For game-turn 6, four of the French ships were at medium sail, with only the battered Jupiter still being at plain sail status (although Jupiter could only move at fighting sail MPs, due to having already lost 3 of her 4 rigging sections). For the Brits, Northumberland and Superb were at medium sail; the rest of their ships were at plain sail. Superb had men in the rigging to change sail state.

Northumberland moved “1S3” which put her course on the same heading as Brave, although 5 hexes distant. Spencer moved 6 hexes straight ahead, which put her in position to fire at the stern of Jupiter (although it was not a rake). Superb plotted and moved “1” although she should have spent 2 MPs since she used 4 MPs in g-t 5 and her deceleration was “2”. The British reinforcements Canopus and Donegal moved ahead 7 hexes, and Atlas moved ahead 8 hexes.

Most of the French ships moved straight ahead. Alexandre moved 5, Diomède moved 3, Brave also moved 3 hexes. Jupiter plotted and moved 2, although with only 1 rigging section remaining she only had 1 MP available! Impérial moved “3P”, with her turn to port putting her aiming for a collision with Diomède.

Northumberland shot at Brave, and Spencer and Superb shot at Jupiter. The French Brave fired back at Northumberland, and Diomède and Jupiter both fired at Superb. Brave lost 3 rigging, 1 hull, and 1 marine box. Jupiter lost 4 rigging, 4 hull, 1 sailor, and 1 marine box, although they were not all checked off her ship’s log (in particular, 2 boxes in rigging section 4 were not checked off, nor was the marine box). The French return fire was rather light as to damage. Northumberland lost 2 rigging and 1 marine box, and Superb lost only 1 rigging and 1 sailor box.

End of game-turn 6

End of game-turn 6. Jupiter is being battered to pieces, and Brave is about to be surrounded by the British reinforcement ships at the bottom of the map.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 6:

British
Superb (74) – A2922:6
Northumberland (74) – A2323:6
Spencer (74) – A3324:1
Canopus (80) – A1125:1
Donegal (74) – A1131:1
Atlas (74) – A1136:1

French
Alexandre (80) – A1808:6
Impérial (120) – A3111:5
Diomède – A3114:6
Jupiter – A2826:6
Brave (74) – A2127:6

Only the French admiral sent a message on g-t 6: “FRONT THREE SLOW TO ENGAGE”, meaning, of course, for Alexandre, Impérial, and Diomède to engage the British with the thought of trying to extricate Jupiter and Brave from the clutches of the enemy.

Three of the French ship commanders

Three of the French ship commanders (left-to-right): Jack Beckman (Alexandre); Jim Robinson (Impérial); and Larry O (Jupiter).

Game-Turn 7

During game-turn 7, the mapboard began to look like giant melee. Spencer raced ahead 8 hexes and could loose a broadside against Diomède. Northumberland moved “S3,” and Superb just plotted “S”, a turn to starboard. Canopus moved “2S4” to try to cut off Brave; Donegal moved 7 and Atlas moved 8 ahead. For the French, Alexandre moved “P2” to start to head towards the British preparatory to doing battle. Impérial moved 3, and Diomède wisely turned to port, moving “P3”. Brave turned to starboard and moved “S2”, and Jupiter merely moved “1”, as fast as she could sail.

Fortunately for the French, only Spencer threw iron at Diomède. Canopus decided to hold her initial starboard broadside instead of firing a mere half-broadside at Brave. Donegal and Atlas decided to also hold their fire against Brave, and Superb and Northumberland didn’t have any enemy ship in their sights. Diomède and Jupiter both fired upon Superb, Jupiter getting a 3-hex stern rake, although she had -9 in modifiers to add to the +3 rake modifier. Brave fired upon Canopus at a 6-hex range, and Impérial fired her 60-gun initial port broadside at Spencer.

Diomède received damage to the tune of 2 rigging, 2 hull, and 1 sailor box. Canopus lost 2 rigging boxes, Superb lost 3 rigging and 1 hull box, and Spencer lost 4 rigging and a sailor box. Spencer lost her 1st rigging section, and the rigging check caused “braces cut” so her acceleration and deceleration for the next game-turn would be zero. Superb suffered a critical hit, also of “braces cut.”

Superb was subject to drifting, but did not drift, during the maintenance phase.

End of game-turn 7

End of game-turn 7. The battle is about to turn into a free-for-all.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 7:

British
Superb (74) – A2922:1
Northumberland (74) – A2320:1
Spencer (74) – A3316:1
Canopus (80) – A1521:2
Donegal (74) – A1124:1
Atlas (74) – A1128:1

French
Alexandre (80) – A1609:5
Impérial (120) – A2813:5
Diomède – A2816:5
Jupiter – A2725:6
Brave (74) – A2125:1

Once again, only the French admiral signaled to his ships, continuing the same message as before: “FRONT THREE SLOW TO ENGAGE”.

Game-Turn 8

All of the ships continued getting intermingled during game-turn 8. For the Brits, Superb moved “P1”; Northumberland moved “1P”; Spencer moved “2P2”; Canopus moved “4”; Donegal moved “7”; and Atlas moved “4S3”. For the French, Alexandre moved “4”; Impérial moved “2S”; Diomède moved “P3”; Jupiter continued moving “1”; and Brave moved “3”.

There was a lot of gunfire in this game-turn, as every ship on the map fired at some enemy ship. Atlas took a long-shot at Alexandre, inflicting a loss of 1 rigging box. Canopus and Northumberland shot at Brave, causing a loss of 7 rigging, 5 hull, 2 sailors, and 1 marine boxes. Brave also lost her 2nd rigging section, and suffered “sheets cut” during the resultant rigging check, and so she would lose 1 MP from her available MPs for next turn, as well as a -1 to her acceleration (for next turn only). Donegal fired at Impérial, nicking only a single sailor box. And Superb shot at Jupiter, causing losses of 1 rigging, 2 hull, and 1 sailor boxes. That shot reduced Jupiter to only having a single rigging box left in rigging section 4. One more hit to her rigging and she would be dead in the water.

For the French return fire at the British, Alexandre caused the loss of 1 rigging to Atlas. Brave fired away at Canopus, getting Canopus to check off 3 rigging, 1 hull, and 1 sailor. Diomède and Impérial blasted away at Northumberland, causing a loss of 4 rigging, 2 hull, and 2 sailor boxes. Northumberland also lost her 2nd rigging section and suffered “sheets cut.” And Jupiter shot at Superb, but only caused a loss of 1 sailor box.

End of g-t 8

End of g-t 8: Jupiter is one rigging box away from being dismasted, and all ships fired their cannon during this game-turn.

Ship positions at the end of game-turn 8:

British
Superb (74) – A2822:6
Northumberland (74) – A2319:6
Spencer (74) – A3113:6
Canopus (80) – A1919:2
Donegal (74) – A1117:1
Atlas (74) – A1423:2

French
Alexandre (80) – A1211:5
Impérial (120) – A2614:6
Diomède – A2819:4
Jupiter – A2625:6
Brave (74) – A2122:1

No messages were sent during game-turn 8.

Victory Determination

At the end of game-turn 8, the time limit (four hours) for the scenario expired. Victory Points were tallied for each side. The French did not exit three ships off the map (Alexandre was the only ship close enough to escape), which they needed to do to earn enough VPs, so Victory would be determined by who inflicted more damage to the other side.

Damage to the British:

Atlas, Canopus, and Donegal (the reinforcement ships) did not lose any rigging, hull, or crew sections, and so yielded 0 VP.

Northumberland (worth 94 VP) lost 2 rigging sections. Each rigging section is worth 5% of her VP, so 10% x 94 = 9.4 VP.

Spencer (worth 95 VP) lost 1 rigging section, which was worth 5% x 95 = 4.75 VP.

Superb (worth 87 VP) lost 2 rigging sections, worth 10% x 87 = 8.7 VP.

Total VP awarded to the French: 9.4 + 4.75 + 8.7 = 22.85 VP.

Damage to the French:

Alexandre, Diomède, and Impérial did not lose any sections, for 0 VP.

Brave (worth 70 VP) lost 2 rigging sections, worth 70 x 10% = 7.0 VP.

Jupiter (worth 66 VP) lost 3 rigging sections, 1 hull section, and 1 sailor section, worth (3 x 5%) + 10% + 10% = 35% x 66 = 23.1 VP.

Total VP awarded to the British: 7.0 + 23.1 = 30.1 VP.

So the British led in VP, 30.1 to 22.85, making the damage (so far) fairly equal, with the British ahead.

In another game-turn or so, Jupiter would have lost her last rigging section, making her dead in the water. She would then have been pounded until she would have struck, giving all of her 66 VP to the British. But the leading French ships, the Alexandre, Impérial, and Diomède, were coming back to do battle, and they could have dished out some punishment to the British.

Aftermath

Now, the French could have easily sailed their leading three ships away and off the map, but that would have meant abandoning their trailing two ships to capture by the British. Although that could have earned the French enough VP to easily win the scenario, one would think there would have been repercussions to the French admiral when he got back to port, after abandoning 40% of his force!

For this scenario, I made up a form so the GM (myself) could keep track of things such as each ship’s plotted movement, their target, how may gunnery factors and modifiers, how much damage they dished out, and any special results like critical hits. But in spite of that, several times ships were moved a differing number of hexes than what was plotted, and there were other discrepancies, such as ships not keeping within their acceleration or deceleration limits, or sometimes using too many MPs for their sail state and attitude to the wind. Part of that was probably due to new players to the game who didn’t perfectly understand the rules, but I must also take some of the blame for not educating the players better. So, I will work on a handout to give out that will explain how the log sheets should be filled out properly, among other things.

In any event, I will run another Close Action scenario at the Metro Detroit Gamers’ Wintercon 2019 at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, on Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Midnight Raid on the Farm!

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

DM note: 6th Dewsnap in the Wilderlands is equivalent to our “modern day” April 14. So, it is still springtime in the Wilderlands. It is also long past time to start introducing weather to the adventures.


Day #2-26 (Airday, 6th Dewsnap, 4333 BCCC) Back in Rushtu’un, Atlas and Quodak Windsailor were sawing logs a couple of hours after midnight in their private bedroom at the Traveler’s Place, when suddenly there was a commotion. Thump thump thump thump thump! Someone was banging on their door, yelling, “Wake up! Everyone up! Get dressed, bring your weapons and meet in the street in front of the sheriff’s office!” Atlas and Quodak quickly rubbed the sleepies out of their eyes, donned their gear, then went down the stairs. On their way to go outside, they asked Orek what was happening. Orek answered, “One of the sheriff’s deputies just came by and said there was a raid on the farm a few miles south of here. Sheriff Hook is trying to raise a militia to go and rescue the farm workers.” Then Atlas and Quodak went outside into the cool night air.

Out in the street, just about everyone from the town had gathered in front of Sheriff Hook’s office. Hook raised his arms to quiet the crowd, then he spoke in a loud voice so everyone could hear him. “About 20 minutes ago, a worker from the farm to the south of here came to my office and related a tale that some creatures had attacked his master’s farm. He said these creatures were smaller than human-sized, about the size of goblins, but they had dark skin. The attackers had already killed some of the farm workers soon after the attack, and had captured other workers. The attackers struck about an hour after nightfall, when all the humans at the farm were asleep. I am raising the militia, and request every able-bodied man to volunteer to go with me and two of my deputies to the farm to rescue the workers who are still alive, and to kill or drive away the invaders. For those who will go along, please step forward. Those who are staying in town, please step back.”

After just a moment or so, about two-dozen volunteers had stepped forward, including the two innkeepers, Orek and Jacob Lightfeather. Hook quickly sorted some folks out. He said, “Mayor Strobel will be in charge here in town while the militia is away. To help guard against our village being attacked, I want all citizens to gather in either the Traveler’s Place or at the Weary Voyager. Fortify those two places, and be alert. Orek and Jacob, you two take charge of anyone who takes refuge in your businesses. The rest of you volunteers, I will divide you into three squads that will be led by Culain Cleb, Howard, and myself.”

Hook then sent Atlas (ring mail, shield, scimitar & short bow), Quodak (studded leather, shield, jo stick), Hook’s deputy Harrison (studded leather, long sword), a construction worker named Bud (no armor, club), Edward (chainmail, shield, spear), and Jazzmin Nightwind (leather, dagger), a woman, who insisted on going along, to be commanded by Culain. Howard (a magic-user) was directed to take Alewyn van Ronk (no armor, short sword & light crossbow), Cedric (leather, broad sword), deputy Cesure (studded leather, long sword), a construction worker named Haro with a large hammer (no armor), Hillman (studded leather, shield, spear), and the cleric Sigfreid Golman (chainmail, shield, hammer). Hook (studded leather, shield, long sword) himself commanded Roberre Marley (no armor, dagger), the cleric Winslow Kellen (chainmail, shield, mace), and five construction workers: Arlford (club); Borgo (club); Diedo (short sword); Fareigh (pitchfork); Manlo (spear) — none of the construction workers had any armor.

Hook reminded everyone to keep quiet on the march, and to show no lights. The moon would be late rising, and was past its last crescent, in any case, so it would be dark on the march. Then, the militia was off to the farm, being led by the escaped farm worker. It was a three-mile march, and when the group was about a half-mile away from the farm, Hook reminded everyone once again to keep quiet. Hook then directed Culain’s group to take the left wing, Howard’s group to take the right wing, and Hook would keep his group in the center. The columns then cautiously approached the farm. While on the march, Atlas asked someone what kind of a farm they were going to, and was somewhat alarmed when he found out it was a spider farm! Atlas revealed he had a phobia about spiders! Fellow marcher, deputy Harrison, said, “Yeah, it’s a spider farm. They raise giant spiders and harvest the webs and make them into strong cloth. Don’t worry, the spiders are kept underground and are restrained by heavy timbers.” In spite of hearing that the spiders were restrained, Atlas was worried, wondering what he had got himself into.

When the first buildings of the farm came into dim view about 40 minutes before sunrise, Hook quietly passed word for everyone to hold their places. He then sent Roberre Marley, a half-elf, to creep forward and reconnoiter. After 30 minutes, Roberre returned, and said, “I only saw two non-human creatures walking from one building to another, and no humans at all. There are a couple of horses in the stable at the south end of the farm, and the horses are fairly spooked. That is all.” Hook decided to wait a few more minutes for the sun to rise, surmising that if the creatures were like goblins, even though the farm worker called them “shadow goblins,” then the creatures probably didn’t see too well in daylight. Also, Hook knew that almost all of his party were humans, and so they didn’t see too well in the dark, and in the early dawn it was quite likely to still be dark inside the buildings.

Finally, dawn came in, although nobody saw the sun rise as there was a solid cloud cover overhead. Hook made a suggestion as to how to proceed, but it met some resistance. Howard offered a different course of action, so Hook said, “Howard, you should take charge then.” So now Howard was calling the shots.

The group was approaching the farm from the southwest since they had circled to the south of the farm on the approach, thinking that the northern approach was more likely to be guarded. In that southwest corner of the farm was the residence of the owner, Ulayah Reyn, and of his daughter, Heri. Culain’s group was kept at the western edge of the house, while Howard’s group circled to the eastern side of the building. Hillman, Sigfried, Alewyn, and Cedric went into the residence, and after a minute they all came back out and said there was nobody inside.

Next, Culain’s team went to the next building to the north, the women’s dormitory. It was a one story wooden building, 30 feet by 40 feet in dimension, with a single door on the eastern wall. Atlas entered the building first, closely followed by Quodak. While there were wooden cots around the outside of the walls, the center of the interior was clear, except for the rotund owner of the farm, Ulayah, who was tied to a chair and who was surrounded by several shadow goblins. Atlas had his scimitar at the ready, and he swung it with all of his considerable might, neatly slicing the closest shadow goblin in half! Quodak quickly tried to attack the shadow goblin closest to him, but missed on his first strike with his bo stick. Then a wild melee ensued, with Edward, deputy Harrison, Bud, and Jazzmin all also entering the building and the fray. There were still three shadow goblins surrounding Ulayah, and two more who were off to the side, napping. Two of the shadow goblins were a bit larger and stronger than the rest, and they were vicious fighters. One of those shadow goblins, in fact, rendered Atlas hors de combat as Atlas fell heavily to the ground after being struck multiple times by the shadow goblin’s short sword and dagger combination.

More human reinforcements poured into the building, including two of the construction workers from Hook’s group, Arlford and Borgo. At the same time, the napping shadow goblins awoke and also joined the fray. Culain then muscled his way into the building, and he proved to be very effective immediately, using his shield and spear to quickly dispatch two of the shadow goblins. In the meantime, the two leader shadow goblins were now each double or triple-teamed but were still holding their own. Then when Culain turned his attention to one of those shadow goblins, it finally went down with Culain’s spear through its vitals. Just at that time, Jazzmin Nightwind, who had maneuvered herself to the rear of the last remaining shadow goblin, dispatched it with a deft backstab.

The humans took stock of their casualties. Edward and Quodak were the only humans still on their feet who had received wounds; however, Atlas, and the two construction workers Arlford and Borgo, were down. It was found that Arlford was dead, although Borgo still lived. Atlas was covered in so much blood that he was believed dead until Jazzmin checked for a pulse. Finding one, she cried, “He’s still alive!” and so she and some others quickly bound Atlas’ wounds to prevent the further effusion of blood. And, in the background, the owner of the farm Ulayah was still yelling and screaming and struggling against the ropes that bound him to his chair. Someone then cut Ulayah loose and tried to calm him down. Atlas and Borgo were placed on cots along the south wall of the dorm, and the dead shadow goblins were stacked along the north wall.

<to be continued>

— The Dungeon Master

DM note: Unfortunately, play had to be suspended just where the above narrative left off. When it eventually resumes, the further action will be added to this post.

Resting and Recuperating at Rushtu’un

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

So, it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted about Dungeons & Dragons adventures. I had some computer troubles over the Christmas holidays that kept me from posting. But now those computer issues have been resolved, and it’s time to post some more adventures!


Day #2-25 (Spiritday, 5th Dewsnap, 4333 BCCC) The next morning after their adventure down the well, Atlas, Edward, and Quodak met Hillman at the Sheriff’s office in Rushtu’un and each collected their 15 Gold Piece (GP) share from the recovered treasure. They also took the 15 GP share for Preston (which they gave to him when they visited him shortly after). They then went with the Sheriff to Netto’s General Store, where Netto appraised the values of the pearl, the bloodstone, and the silver cloak clasp. Netto figured the cloak clasp was worth about 20 GP, while he placed a value of 25 GP on the bloodstone, and 100 GP on the pearl. None of the adventurers had the money to buy out the others’ shares of those items, so the Sheriff kept them for safekeeping for now.

Then the party traipsed over to the Weary Voyager to see how Preston was getting on. They found he had regained consciousness, so Quodak cast two Cure Light Wounds spells on Preston, which cured 6 Hit Points of damage. (Quodak had prayed early upon arising to regain his spells.) The proprietor of the Weary Voyager, Jacob Lightfeather, thanked Quodak for helping to heal Preston’s wounds. Quodak also made a trip to Mingo’s Marvelous Maps, et cetera, where Quodak was able to sell his crude map of the dungeon to Mingo for 1 Silver Piece (SP). While Quodak kept the original map, Mingo made a much nicer map, drawing with ink upon parchment. Quodak mentioned to Mingo that there was still some kind of unknown beast in the dungeon in a large cavern that was filled with water, so perhaps some other adventurers would purchase such a map to go exploring.

After noon, Quodak went to Netto’s General Store and bought a new 50-foot rope, a small knife, a “mess kit” (consisting of a beaten metal plate, bowl, and cup), and some salt and seasonings that were wrapped in small paper envelopes. That all cost 2 GP, 4 SP, and 2 Copper Pieces (CP) total. Meanwhile, Atlas went to Alewyn’s Arms and bought a short bow, a quiver, and a dozen arrows for 22 GP and 8 SP. Then both Atlas and Quodak signed up at Culain’s Fighting Academy for some fighting lessons, Atlas to learn the fundamentals of using a short bow, and Quodak to learn more about using his bo stick more efficiently. That cost each of them 4 GP for the first week’s lessons, paid in advance, of course. Then, late in the afternoon, the duo returned to the Traveler’s Place, and had their last free meal and last free night’s lodging.

Also during the day, Sully Westerbrook’s widow was brought to town by two of Sheriff Hook’s deputies to make a positive identification of her late husband’s body, and needless to say she was grief-stricken about having to perform that unwelcome deed. Some other women of the town did their best to console Mrs. Westerbrook. After Sully’s body was identified by his widow, some townsfolk had a short funeral service after which they buried Sully’s body in the side yard of his house. The bones of the unknown carpenter were buried just outside of town in an unmarked grave.

Also, various townsfolk looked at the head and the feet of the strange beast that was killed by the adventurers, and Sheriff Hook said he thought it was called a meazel. While he had never seen one in person before, it sort of matched a description he had heard several years before by some other travelers who had passed through the village of Rushtu’un.

Experience points: Monsters killed in the dungeon (on 4th Dewsnap): 6 giant rats (7 XP each, plus 1 XP per HP) = 6 * 7 + 16 HP = 42 + 16 = 58 XP; 1 meazel (85 XP + 4 XP/HP) = 85 + 4 * 26 = 85 + 104 = 189 XP. Total monster XP = 58 + 189 = 247 XP. Treasure: 100 GP, 40 SP, 50 CP, a gold ring, silver necklace, silver cloak clasp (20 GP value), steel dagger, a pearl (100 GP value), a bloodstone (25 GP value). There was also the 25 SP found at the rat’s nest, adding 1.25 GP equivalent value. Total money value = 638.5 GP.

Total experience point value is 247 + 639 = 886 XP. This needs to be divided by two regular characters (each gets a full share) and three non-player characters (each gets a half-share). This makes 7 half-shares to be divided, so 886 / 7 = 127 XP per half-share (Edward, Hillman, Preston), or 253 XP per full share (Atlas, Quodak). Atlas & Quodak each get a 10% XP bonus due to their high strength & wisdom, respectively, so they each get 278 XP.

Treasure division: The party had to turn in the gold ring, the silver necklace, and the steel dagger, but nobody claimed to have lost the silver cloak clasp or the pearl or the bloodstone, so the party can keep them and divide their value. Out of the money, Sheriff Hook took out the 75 GP rewards (50 GP for Sully, 25 GP for the missing carpenter), then gave the rest of the money to Sully’s widow, so each member of the party could get 15 GP from the rewards. Each member of the party got to keep their 5 SP from the rat’s nest.

Total accumulated experience points: Atlas 278; Quodak Windsailor 278; Edward 127; Hillman 127; Preston Daniel 127 XP.

— The Dungeon Master

Meanwhile, in Rushtu’un…

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Of course, when Dungeon Mastering for Dungeons & Dragons, there is no need for the Dungeon Master to confine himself (or herself) to only DMing for one party. It is possible to run separate campaigns with different players playing different characters, such as what is related below. As of yet, I have not located Rushtu’un into a particular part of the Wilderlands, but I reckon I will try to make it somewhere near where the other group of adventurers are based.


Day #2-24 (Fireday, 4th Dewsnap, 4333 BCCC) At the same time that Falafela, Lightstep, Opalent, Vandin, Vox, et al were fighting the zombies in the dungeon at Mont du Plat, there were some other adventurers named Atlas and Quodak Windsailor, a human fighter and a human cleric, respectively, who arrived in the village of Rushtu’un around 3 o’clock in the afternoon after a long day’s march. As they came into town from the west, the first buildings they saw were the Traveler’s Place on their left, and the Sheriff’s office on their right. They enquired at the Sheriff’s office first, and spoke with a deputy. The deputy informed Atlas and Quodak that a local villager had disappeared last night, and that the sheriff was out tacking up reward posters for information leading to finding the missing man, Sully Westerbrook.

The duo then went back across the dirt road to the Traveler’s Place where they were greeted by the proprietor, Orek. Orek asked them what they wanted, and served them. Quodak was sated with just a bowl of soup (that was very filling, nonetheless) and a glass of ale, for 3 silver pieces (SP). Atlas ordered a full meal of roast beef, potatoes, and carrots, and washed it down with a mug of mead, all for 1 gold piece (GP) and 5 SP. Bread was also supplied to both. While the party waited for their food, they spoke with Orek who mentioned there had also been some thievery going on lately. Orek was upset because it was bad for business when customers who stayed the night at his place found some of their possessions missing in the morning. He said he believed it was the work of the elf, Jacob, who ran the competing Weary Voyager Lodge in town.

While the duo were speaking with Orek, they were approached by another patron, Edward. Edward said he was planning to collect the reward by trying to find the missing Sully, although he’d like to have some help, and would Atlas and Quodak join him? They all agreed that three searchers were better than just one or two, even if it meant splitting the reward more ways. Quodak also bought a beer for 5 copper pieces (CP) for Edward while they were talking. After their meal was finished, Atlas and Quodak decided they’d like to check out more of the town before booking a room for the night. Edward decided to stay behind, for now. As Atlas and Quodak left, they filled their waterskins from the private well behind Orek’s place.

The duo stopped by Jordy’s Forge, a blacksmith shop, on the south side of the road. Jordy was busy hammering away at some iron on his anvil when the party approached, but he was ready to lay his hammer down for a moment to talk with some newcomers. Jordy didn’t know anything about the disappearance of Sully, but he did mention that he believed there were some humanoid creatures gathering in some woods outside of town, and that those creatures were planning an attack against the village. Jordy also spoke about another relative newcomer to town who ran a school that taught people to be good fighters. He said that new fellow had been a great soldier in a far off city, but for whatever reason had decided to settle in Rushtu’un. Then party then thanked Jordy and his two young apprentices, and moved on.

The next stop was on the north side of the road at Mingo’s Marvelous Maps, et cetera. Quodak bought two maps (at 1 SP each) of the town and of the surrounding area, as well as a leather map case for another 15 SP. Quodak asked how waterproof the leather map case was, and Mingo assured him that it was well-treated leather that would keep his maps dry in everything except total immersion in water. Mingo tried to interest the duo in buying some magic scrolls, but at hundreds of gold pieces for a scroll, the duo just couldn’t afford to buy any scrolls.

Back to the south side of the road the party went, this time stopping at Culain’s Fighting Academy. Culain immediately tried to sign them up to take fighting lessons for 4 GP per week, for two to four weeks in duration, but the party declined, although expressing possible future interest. They then asked Culain if he knew anything of Sully’s disappearance. Culain said that the night before he heard a brief scream that was interrupted, then all was quiet outside again. He said he quickly went outside to look around, but didn’t see anything and that nobody was in sight in any direction. He did say the scream seemed to come from the east of him, though.

After the party thanked Culain, they left him and proceeded towards the east, to the village’s community well. There, Quodak put his forester skills to good use. He was able to discern, amongst other footprints, some horse or mule tracks that came near the well. Then, there seemed to be a disturbance in the tracks, with the tracks sort of shuffling about, before the tracks proceeded onward as before. He also noticed a couple of drag-marks, like boot-heels, being dragged from the site of the disturbance towards the well. The drag marks ended at the well. There were also two weird footprints that sort of looked like they were from a very large duck with webbed feet but with pointed toenails. As it was getting later in the afternoon, it was too dark to see down the well, so the duo tied a torch to some cord, lit the torch, and lowered it down the well. They could sort of see something that looked like a crack in a sidewall of the well, just above the water’s edge, although they could see no sign of Sully in the well itself.

Atlas and Quodak then quickly went back to the sheriff’s office to inform of what they had found. As he had finished his rounds around town, they got to meet Sheriff Hook in person. The sheriff left his deputy behind and accompanied Atlas and Quodak to the well. Along the way, the sheriff mentioned there was another reward for various missing valuables that had recently been stolen. He also mentioned there had been another missing person recently. Two weeks ago, a traveling carpenter had come to town looking for work. He was missing the following morning, but the sheriff (and Orek) thought the carpenter had merely run off to get out of paying his bill. But now the sheriff thinks that disappearance may be related to Sully’s disappearance. After showing the sheriff the tracks at the well, Atlas and Quodak went to Netto’s General Store, which was next to the Sheriff’s office. There, they bought 3 ropes, a couple of iron spikes, and 5 torches (total cost was 12 SP and 6 CP).

The duo then went back to the Traveler’s Place to fetch Edward to join them, and found that someone named Preston Daniel had joined Edward. Well, four might be better than three, they reckoned. Then, when they went outside after Edward and Preston had gathered up their belongings, including their weapons, they met the sheriff again. The sheriff remarked that if they were going to go down the well, they might want to recruit some more folks, so the sheriff led them all to the Weary Voyager Lodge. There, the party got to meet Jacob Lightfeather, the elven competitor to the half-orc Orek. Jacob mentioned that he believed the thefts around town were the work of Orek in an effort to discredit Jacob. While the party briefly spoke with Jacob, the sheriff went around the room, quietly talking with a few folks. Two men then got up from their tables and approached the party. One was a young fellow named Hillman who was quite enthusiastic to join up for adventure. The other, Fineous (nicknamed “Four Fingers” because he was missing the pinky finger on each hand), wanted 200 GP up front to go searching for Sully, so the party declined to have him join them.

Finally, around 6:30 pm, after the sun had just set, the party congregated at the well. They quickly tied a rope around the base of the well, tying a bowline-on-a-bight on the other end to make two loops so party members could sit in the loops and be lowered down the well, one-by-one. They also drove in a couple of spikes to hold the rope down and to keep it from sliding up and over the well walls.

Hillman volunteered to be the first one down the rope into the well, carrying a torch as he went. As he neared the water, he cried out that there was a crack in the wall big enough for a man to crawl into. The other party members followed him down, one by one. The sheriff stationed a deputy at the well to ensure nobody would tamper with the rope while the adventurers were below.

The party entered a narrow passage in which they almost had to crawl through. The floor was very muddy, with a couple of inches of standing water in most places. After mostly crawling for about 40 feet, they finally emerged into an area large enough so they could stand. They also lit a second torch, as the constant dripping of water from overhead seemed likely to extinguish their single torch. There were passages to the left and to the right, and the party started by taking the right tunnel.

After a number of left and right turns in the twisting tunnel, they debouched into a larger area that had some trash in it, things like broken sticks, tree roots, paper and other scraps. When Quodak went to investigate one pile of rubble in a corner of the chamber, he disturbed a nest of giant rats that were hidden in the trash. Suddenly, four giant rats sprang at the party, soon to be joined by two more rats. There was hardly enough room to swing a weapon, but when all was said and done, Hillman had killed three of the rats, Atlas killed two rats, and Edward finished off the last rat. Hillman and Edward used their shields and spears to good effect against the rats. However, party members Atlas, Quodak, and Preston had managed to get bitten by the rats, and trying to clean the wounds in the filthy, damp, chamber was impossible. Quodak finished his interrupted search of the debris, and found a stash of 25 SP that he shared equally with everyone, 5 SP to each party member.

The party then proceeded into the tunnel at the far side of the giant rat chamber. After more twists and turns of more than 100 feet, they came into a much larger chamber that had a large pool of dark water in it. Atlas and Quodak approached the water’s edge to investigate, especially looking for any human footprints or any of the large, webbed prints they had seen near the well. Suddenly, a large snake-like object flashed out of the water and at Quodak. Fortunately for him, it missed, then withdrew into the water again. Quodak and the others didn’t wait around for a repeat of whatever it was, but instead high-tailed it back into the tunnel they had just come from. They then retraced their footsteps past the rat’s nest area and back to the original junction they first passed through after descending the well.

This time the party took the left passage from the junction. About a hundred feet later, then came upon a four-way intersection. They took the passage to their left. After a 90-degree right-hand turn, they came into a large chamber, about 50 feet by 60 feet in size. They noticed some smaller tunnels that went into the walls of the chamber, but the tunnels were too small for any humans to enter. This chamber also was relatively dry, and unlike most of the rest of the tunnels, this area was devoid of rats, whether of the normal or giant-sized variety. The party they retraced their steps to the four-way intersection.

From the intersection, the party traveled down the path that was straight ahead from their original direction of travel. After more than 200 feet of travel down the dripping, muddy, winding tunnel, the intrepid adventurers emerged into a chamber that was about 70 or so feet long by about 40 feet wide. This chamber had a stench of death about it, and in the chamber the party found a human skeleton, most likely from the missing carpenter, and a partially eaten human corpse that was wearing clothing that matched the description of what Sully Westerbrook was wearing when he was last seen at The Sink Hole the previous evening. The party then started packing the skeleton bones into two large sacks of Quodak’s, and they tied Sully’s body to their 10-foot pole.

Before the party left the chamber, Quodak tossed his torch towards a far corner of the chamber, which was in shadow. This disturbed a creature that was hiding there, and it charged! Unfortunately for Preston, he was the closest to the creature, and he took the brunt of its attack. The humanoid creature was flailing away with both arms at Preston, one hand with claws, the other hand with a sharp, shiny object in it that later proved to be a very fine steel dagger. Preston was felled, and Atlas stepped between Preston and the creature. While Quodak quickly rendered some first aid to Preston to bind his wounds, Hillman joined in the counter-attack against the creature. Eventually, Edward was able to maneuver to in back of the creature, and he dispatched it with two well-placed strikes from behind. Atlas did receive some injury from the creature, but he then cut off the creature’s head and feet and stuffed them into a third large sack to take back to the village as proof of what they had found. They also investigated the chamber more thoroughly, finding a small sack that contained 100 GP, 40 SP, and 50 CP, a plain gold ring, a silver necklace, and a silver cloak clasp (besides the steel dagger the creature was weilding). They also found amongst the carpenter’s bones a small pearl and a bloodstone.

The party now faced a dilemma as they had four relatively able-bodied adventurers available, but they now needed to take two bodies out of the lair, one being the unconscious Preston, the other the dead Sully. They also had a sack of the creature’s head and feet, and a small sack with recovered treasure. As the party prepared to depart for the well entrance, they tied the creature’s treasure sack to Sully’s body, then Edward and Quodak hoisted the 10-foot pole with Sully to their shoulders. Atlas and Hillman were carrying Preston between then, with Atlas also holding the lantern.

Just as the party was getting ready to depart, Hillman expressed his thoughts out loud. He said, “If all four of us are carrying the two bodies, we won’t be in any position to resist any attacks. I think we should re-think this! I believe we should have a guard out in front, then two of us can alternate which body we carry in the middle, followed by a rear-guard. The guard in front can carry a lantern, and the guard in back can carry a torch. Then, when the carriers in the middle get tired, they can switch with the guards.” So that’s what the party changed to. They initially had Atlas leading with the lantern, then Quodak and Edward alternated carrying Preston or Sully’s body in the middle, followed by Hillman as the rear-guard with a torch. The rear guard also carried the sack with the bones of the skeleton they found. Also, just before they departed, Quodak cast a Cure Light Wounds on himself, which cured 2 hit points of damage.

About halfway back to the well, shortly before they reached the four-way intersection, the guards and carriers switched places. Now Edward was in the lead with the lantern, then Atlas and Hillman were carrying the bodies, then Quodak brought up the rear with a torch.

When the party finally reached the well, Edward called out “Hello, up top!” A deputy sheriff leaned over the edge of the well, holding a lantern to cast some light down the well, as night had fallen over the village. The deputy replied, “You are all back already?” “Yes,” Edward called back, “and we have a person who is seriously injured, and will need help hoisting him up the well!” The guard then called for help at the well, and within a few minutes a number of additional villagers appeared topside at the well, including Orek, Jacob Lightfeather, and Sheriff Hook. When it became apparent that more ropes were needed, the Sheriff sent the deputy to Netto’s General Store to requisition a couple more ropes. With the additional ropes lowered down the well, Quodak used his old forester skills to tie a bowline on a bight knot in each rope, so then each additional rope had two large loops that would not tighten.

Preston was placed into the loops, with one loop tied around his knees and the other loop under his armpits. They tied his arms to the rope to keep his unconscious form from slipping out of the loops as he was raised to the surface by the people above. As soon as Preston reached the surface, Jacob said to take Preston to the Weary Voyager Lodge for better care for his wounds. Next, the ropes were lowered and the pole that Sully was lashed to was itself lashed to the loops, and his body was raised to the top. Next up were the sacks containing the skeletal bones, and the recovered treasure. Then, the party went up in the order of Atlas, Edward, Quodak, then Hillman. Hillman said since he was the first one down that he should be the last one up.

Once Preston arrived at the Lodge, he was bathed and his wounds were stitched up by some of Jacob’s staff. The others followed Sheriff Hook to his office, where the loot was displayed. Of the 100 GP recovered, the Sheriff mentioned that the party had earned the 50 GP reward for finding the missing Sully Westerbrook. The Sheriff mentioned that he would have to bring Sully’s wife into town the next day for positive ID, but that was just a formality, as the Sheriff was certain that it was Sully who had been found. The Sheriff, while uncertain that the recovered bones were those of the missing carpenter, decided they probably were of the carpenter as they looked fairly fresh, and no other persons had been reported missing recently. So, the Sheriff said the party had earned the additional 25 GP reward for finding the carpenter, or at least what was left of him. The Sheriff then stated that he would like to give the remaining 25 GP, plus the 40 SP and 50 CP to Sully’s widow, and the party agreed to that.

The Sheriff declared that the gold ring matched the description of a missing ring of Jacob Lightfeather’s, so the ring would be returned to Jacob. The shiny steel dagger matched a dagger that had been stolen from the dwarf Shilton Nimrod, an employee of Jacob’s. The silver necklace belonged to Jazzmin Nightwind, an out of work teamster who was hanging around town. But the Silver Cloak Clasp, and the pearl and bloodstone did not appear on any lists of missing items, so the Sheriff said they were for the party. Of course, there would have to be some way to split the monetary value from those items. In any event, the Sheriff kept all of the money and other items for safekeeping overnight, and said everyone could retrieve the items the next day.

After that, Hillman departed for the Weary Voyager Lodge to spend the night, while Atlas, Edward, and Quodak retired to the Traveler’s Place. Orek said he would provide two nights of free lodging, plus free meals, for the trio, although, Orek did say they would all have to bathe before they could spend the night as they all stunk from the dungeon they had been in. After bathing, the party retired for the night.

— The Dungeon Master

DM note: As one can see from reading  the tags to this post (and other posts), one can weave quite a setting in the fantasy world of D&D. Besides the main player-characters (PCs), there are plenty of non-player characters (NPCs) for the PCs to interact with. Plus, lots of place names, for villages, businesses, geographical locations, etc.