The Guardians – Episode 16: Encounter with the walking dead

This week’s PCs:

  • Diana – female human fighter, level 3
  • Elfred – female elf cleric, level 4
  • Fredo – male halfling thief, level 4
  • Hermione – female human magic-user, level 4
  • Mistamojo – male human cleric, level 5
  • Mystic – female elf magic-user, level 3
  • Oracle – male human fighter, level 4
  • Rusty – male dwarf fighter, level 4

The group decided to stay the night at the hydra’s lair. As everybody needed to rest, nobody stayed awake to stand guard while they slept.

Fredo stirred awake to see a big sea snake slithering around camp. He decided against attacking the serpent. Instead, he nudged Oracle awake to ask him what to do.

Oracle just stood up, pulled up his pants, pulled out his magical long sword and swung it at the snake. He dealt the snake a mighty blow but it was still alive and bit him back. Oracle staggered a bit from the venomous bite but managed to kill the snake in the end. Thankfully, Elfred was on hand to restore some of his strength.

After everybody woke up and readied themselves, they climbed up to the surface and continued north to look for the goblins’ lair. They only had to walk a short distance when they found a cave with three goblins walking slowly and aimlessly around it.

Mistamojo, Mystic and Rusty went to the goblins to try to talk to them but only realised that they were actually undead when they were within melee distance of them. The zombies attack the trio. Forced to fight the undead goblins, Mistamojo and Mystic killed all three of them.

Meanwhile, a goblin hiding in a nearby bush called out to Fredo, His name was Tarukbo. He was at the battle at the mausoleum (in episode #2) and was forced to flee after the heroes massacred his companions. He apparently stayed long enough outside to see what looked like the group driving away the Lich Kranis Volan from the mausoleum.

He told them that his boss, Charuk, brother to the king of the goblins, wanted to talk to them. They needed the group’s help in stopping Kranis. Apparently, their plan to control the Lich didn’t work out the way they hoped.

 

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Tarukbo led them to a shortcut to their underground base that wasn’t overrun with zombies. Yet. Unfortunately, they arrived at the mouth of that cave and saw there were three zombies milling about in front of it.

Fredo easily dispatched one zombie by shooting it straight in the head with an arrow and Elfred killed another by throwing a spiritual hammer at it. Mistamojo also created a spiritual hammer and threw it at the last remaining zombie but it wasn’t enough to kill it.

The lone goblin zombie began shrieking loudly.

Then the group felt and heard rumbling behind them. They turned around to see a horde of zombies pouring into the valley toward them. They have two options: stand and fight; or run for the cave.

To be continued…

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The Guardians – Episode 15: Death to the hydra

This week’s PCs:

  • Aragorn – male human fighter, level 4
  • Brioche – male human thief, level 4 (deceased)
  • Diana – female human fighter, level 3
  • Elfred – female elf cleric, level 4
  • Fredo – male halfling thief, level 4
  • Hermione – female human magic-user, level 4
  • Mistamojo – male human cleric, level 5
  • Mystic – female elf magic-user, level 3
  • Oracle – male human fighter, level 4
  • Rusty – male dwarf fighter, level 4

With the two ogres crushed under falling rocks, the team scrambled toward the only visible exit from the collapsing cavern. Oracle ran with the others but was slowed down from carrying the unconscious Brioche in his arms. 

Then a stalactite fell from the ceiling and hit Brioche’s head. Oracle saw that Brioche had stopped breathing. 

Considering that the cavern was crashing down around him and that a dead Brioche was slowing him down, he just dropped him in the ground and ran. 

Not wanting things to go to waste, Fredo ran to Brioche’s body and took anything of value. Afterwards, he ran toward the rest of the team.

Everybody was starting to gather by the tunnel as nobody wanted to go face-to-face (or faces) with the seven-headed hydra in the next cavern. Since the hydra was huge, it couldn’t get to them. After a few more minutes, it began to walk away from the entrance and the team could no longer see it.

Mystic took a peek into the cavern and saw that the hydra had returned to its resting place across the stream. She then fired a Magic Missile at it which angered the hydra. It stood up and crossed the stream toward them again as they all tried to cross the water to the side of the cavern with the ladder that led to the surface.

The hydra blocked the path of most of the team and bit at them with its multiple heads. The heroes took a severe beating as they tried to fight their way through the beast.

Mystic and Hermione eventually crossed to the other side of the stream. Hermione looked around and shot a Magic Missile at the hydra from behind. Meanwhile, Mystic went up the ladder to see if there was anything in the surface they could use to help fight the hydra. All she saw was that the ladder led to an opening by the river and that there were a lot of other cave openings in the vicinity.

Whilst very weakened by his wounds and burns, Rusty mustered the strength to chop off one of the hydra’s seven heads. Oracle followed suit and also severed one of the hydra’s heads. He dealt it the killing blow and the hydra slumped into the ground.

They gathered around the hydra’s resting place and saw that there was treasure just under the sand and dirt. They found 400 copper coins, 900 gold coins, a two handed sword with an image of flames etched on its blade and three potions.

They decided to camp there for the night to rest and recover. Mystic also took the opportunity to learn some advanced spells from Hermione during the night.

Tomorrow, they set out again to explore the various caves Mystic saw on the surface.

To be continued…

The Dragonslayers – Session 5: Kheldratus’ task

The Player Characters

  • Chichi – female halfling thief, level 4
  • Elrond – male elf magic-user, level 3 (sort of)
  • Gambit – female elf fighter, level 4
  • Goldmoon – female human cleric, level 4
  • Pedro – male human fighter, level 4


The mission

After a full night’s rest, the band of heroes collectively known as the Blacksmith’s Heroes ventured to the tower west of town to see Kheldratus the Magician about a job.

As they approached the tower, they noticed a white owl swooped into one of its topmost windows. They knocked at the heavy ornate door at the base of the tower.

Ivar, Kheldratus’ apprentice, answered the door. He led them upstairs into his master’s study. 

It was a large room with a high vaulted ceiling. It had bookshelves for walls filled with books of various sizes, scrolls and various knick knacks. At the centre of the room was a huge brass globe of what must be their world. There were four naked iron statues equally spaced apart around the perimeter of the room along the walls. They had fig leaves covering their private parts and dark jewels for eyes. There was also a massive table that looked almost like an altar by the large window. On top of the table were alchemy tools, beakers and flasks, all bubbling and hissing with activity. Arcane notes were littered on top of the table, stained by splashes of chemicals from the nearby beakers. Beside the table was a large golden cage with a brown grey owl inside.

Ivar said that he was going to get his master while they wait in the study. He then told them to not touch anything while he was away.

The group decided to heed the warning and avoided touching anything. It didn’t stop them from looking around the room in the meantime.

After several minutes, Ivar returned to inform them that Kheldratus had to leave urgently but had given him instructions on what the mission for the group was. They were to go to an ancient temple ruin to the south about two days’ walk away. In it might be the long lost tome called the Book of Making. Kheldratus was sure that he was right about the location of the book this time.

It was to be a straight-forward job. They would enter the temple ruins, go down the stairs at the far end of the first chamber. Then they would see a huge set of double doors. Behind the doors would be a large hall where the Book of Making should be. Kheldratus’ research also revealed that if the book was ever taken from its resting place, the whole temple would collapse. Since the temple was still standing, logic dictated that nobody had gotten past the doors yet and that the book should still be there.

Gambit asked if they could get some provisions before they set out for the temple. Ivar then remembered that his master had wanted to hand them a few things that could help them with their task. Ivar again left the room and again reminded the group not to touch anything in the room.

As before, they didn’t touch anything in the room but Goldmoon quickly copied as much of the notes she could see on the desk before Ivar returned with a tray. On the tray were five flasks and four scrolls. The flasks were healing potions and the scrolls were spellcasting scrolls.

Once Ivar handed over the potions and scrolls to the group, he brought out a tiny pouch. He pinched some green sparkly dust from it and threw it at the fireplace. The fireplace exploded with cool green fire. He told them that they would be magically transported to several yards away from the temple ruin once they stepped through the green flames.

The temple ruin

Pedro went into the fireplace first and found himself sliding through a wormhole for a few seconds. He then fell on his feet in the middle of a grassy field. To the south, he could see a towering cliff face behind tall trees. Soon, Chichi, Gambit, Goldmoon and Elrond appeared beside Pedro. They supposed that the temple ruin would be in the direction of the cliff face.

After walking southward for a few minutes, they saw three hooded figures in green robes in the distance walking in a procession holding up something in their hands. Chichi trailed them while the others waited by the trees.

The hooded figures walked into a large vertical crack along the cliff face that allowed passage through a narrow gorge. At the end of the gorge was an open area surrounded by rock. On the south end was a monumental temple ruin with towering columns supporting a triangular pediment decorated by ornate carvings of celestial objects. The three robed figures walked into the temple through a huge open doorway.

Chichi hid in the shadows and waited for the figures to come back out. After half an hour, five robed figures stepped out walking in a straight line toward the narrow gorge. They no longer seemed to be carrying anything. 

She let them walk away and once the coast was clear, Chichi called the others to follow her to the temple.

The green dragon

They entered through the open doorway and into a huge antechamber. They expected an empty room with stairs leading underground to the main hall where the Book of Making rested according to Ivar. The room wasn’t empty at all.

Right in the middle of the room was a green dragon about 15 feet long. It rested on top of a mixed pile of gold, silver and platinum coins. They’ve heard stories of dragons with huge treasure hoards before. This looked more like a younger dragon who had not yet had a chance to accumulate much treasure yet.

It had not noticed them. They scanned the room for the stairs and saw that it was at the far left corner buried in rubble. They couldn’t just run for the stairs and leave behind the dragon in the room.

Chichi started talking to the dragon and offered it gold. She asked the dragon its name. It said its name was Avaron. 

She tried to convince Avaron to let them pass unharmed. Unfortunately, the dragon was only willing to do that if they left all their possessions on the ground to add to its growing treasure hoard.

Chichi tried a few different approaches to get through the dragon without a fight: she pretended to be a new follower much like the green robed figures she saw earlier and she even tried to convince the dragon to take a pee in the woods.

In the end, the rest of the team decided to attack the dragon while it was distracted talking to Chichi. They couldn’t risk confronting the dragon again later on the way out of the temple when they could be in a weaker state than right then.

Pedro swung his two-handed sword at the dragon but missed. Gambit let loose her arrows and hit it in the shoulder. Goldmoon struck it with her magical mace. While the rest of the team attacked the dragon, Chichi took the opportunity to step back, hide in the shadows and flank the dragon. 

The dragon attacked them with its claws and blew poison cloud at them. Pedro absorbed much of the dragon breath. The battle continued for a few more exchanges until Chichi fired off an arrow at the dragon from behind. The arrow landed at the base of dragon’s neck killing it.

No longer would they ever be referred to as the Blacksmith’s Heroes. At that point, they declared themselves the Dragonslayers!

Taking inventory of the dragon’s treasure, they realised that there was more money there than the 1,000 gold pieces they were going to get paid for the job. All in all, there were 13,860 gold pieces’ worth of coins and items. They put all the loot they could get into large sacks. Meanwhile, Chichi took pieces of the dragon itself — a dragon tooth, its claws and a bit of its scaly hide.

They then cleared the rubble by the stairs and went downstairs.

The face on the door

At the bottom of the stairs was a narrow hallway and two huge grey metal doors off to the side. When they approached the doors, the surface of the doors started to shimmer and swirl. Eventually, a ghostly image of a face appeared on the metallic surface. 

“Stop! Nobody crosses this door by me, unless they can answer my questions three!” boomed the deep voice of the face. It then proceeded to ask them a riddle.

Pedro asked what would happen if they failed to answer correctly. The face said, “I will demonstrate.” Then, the round gem at the top of the doors started to glow bright white and buzz, as if charging electricity. After a second, it shot a bolt of electricity at Pedro. He was surprised but relatively unhurt — that time. 

Next Pedro tried to answer the riddle but it was not the answer the door wanted. “Incorrect!” shouted the door. Again, an electrical bolt shot him in the chest. 

Pedro then asked if they could skip the question. Again, an electrical bolt shot him in the chest. But at least it asked them a new riddle. 

Since Pedro could absorb a lot of damage, he survived the ordeal despite answering the riddles incorrectly several times. After a few more wrong answers and electrical shocks, they were eventually able to answer three riddles correctly. 

The Book of Making

The double doors slowly opened inward to show a long nave. At the end of the nave was a dias and on the dias was a pedestal. On the pedestal was a dusty black iron book stand. And on the book stand was a red tome bound within hard brass plates chained around it and locked with a padlock.

Chichi inspected the surroundings and concluded that taking the book would trigger a trap but she wasn’t sure what the nature of the trap was. She decided to just take the book and made a run for it. 


Upon taking the book, the ground shook and the doors started to close again. Pedro tried to hold the doors open but the force of the doors were stronger. It eventually closed.

Once again, the ghostly face appeared on the surface of the doors and said, “stop! Nobody crosses this door by me, unless they can answer my questions three!”

They were trapped in the nave while the floor and the walls around them started to collapse into the abyss below.

Motivated by the desire to not fall into their deaths, they correctly answered three riddles more quickly that the last time. 

The Valleian Elves

When the doors opened once more, they saw eight elves standing by the doorway. They recognised them as Prince Vesryn’s men, the Valleian Rangers, whom they met just yesterday.

Prince Vesryn wasn’t present. A different commander led this smaller band of rangers. Gambit and Elrond knew he was Calsion, one of Prince Vesryn’s trusted lieutenants. He seemed happy to see them alive in one piece.

He said they came over as soon as they found out that the group was in trouble. Gambit asked them how they could possibly know that.

Calsion reminded Gambit of the ring Prince Vesryn gave her yesterday — the ring that if you whisper into it the prince’s name, he would send help immediately. Calsion said they were also able to track them down through the ring. 

He was also pleased that the group found the legendary Book of Making. It would be a very valuable asset in their cause. 

The heroes asked how did they know that what they had was the Book of Making. Calsion explained that they heard them talking about it through the ring. 

They asked what cause was the prince championing then. Calsion nonchalantly replied that their cause was for the elves to retake their rightful place as the dominant force in the world to which all the lesser races should submit. 

Calsion then asked them to hand over the book to him. At that moment, all our heroes, including the elves in the team, decided that they weren’t going to give the book to Calsion. 

Everybody started to tense up and was readying to fight until Chichi reminded everybody that the ruin was collapsing all around them. She asked Calsion if it was all right to continue their robust discussion outside. Calsion agreed and led them all outside into the open courtyard. The temple ruin finally collapsed into a rubble just as the last ranger stepped out of the building.

Once again, Calsion insisted that they hand over the book so that they can put it to good use. Elrond suddenly cast a Sleep spell on the elven rangers and put half of them to sleep. Goldmoon then cast a Hold Person spell that paralysed the remainder of the elves except Calsion.

The group told Calsion that they won’t give the book to him nor Prince Vesryn and walked slowly away. Gambit removed Prince Vesryn’s ring from her hand and threw it at the rocks. Calsion shouted back at them that they would regret what they’ve done that day but stayed behind to mind his disabled troops.

Epilogue

After a couple of days’ trek, the heroes were finally back at the town of Erstone. On arrival, Mayor Reuben quickly walked up to them. He told them that they’ve interrogated the goblin prisoners. 

The goblins said that they were trying to move into the human settlements because they were being forced off their own lands. 

By the elves. 

To be continued… 

The Guardians – Episode 14: The mother ogre, the son ogre and the seven-headed hydra

This week’s PCs:

  • Aragorn – male human fighter, level 4
  • Brioche – male human thief, level 4 (sort of)
  • Diana – female human fighter, level 3
  • Elfred – female elf cleric, level 4
  • Fredo – male halfling thief, level 4
  • Hermione – female human magic-user, level 4
  • Mistamojo – male human cleric, level 4
  • Mystic – female elf magic-user, level 3
  • Oracle – male human fighter, level 4
  • Rusty – male dwarf fighter, level 4

It all started with Brioche unconscious on the floor in front of two very angry ogres. The bigger meaner one was berating the slightly smaller wide-eyed one. The bigger one seemed to be the mother and the smaller one the idiot son who had let a group of adventurers through their lair. 

Diana sprang into action and attacked the ogre boy with her sword. Fredo and Krishna joined in by firing off their short bow and crossbow respectively. Both hit the ogre boy, severely wounding it.

Elfred went to Brioche’s aid and stabilised him. Oracle then leapt in front of Elfred to shield both of them from potential attacks. He swung his magical long sword but unfortunately missed. With each attack, they felt the walls and ceiling shake.

Mystic pushed ahead followed by Hermione away from the ogres and discovered another cavern with an underground steam of running water. On the opposite end was dry ground where a seven-headed hydra was resting beside an iron ladder that seemed to lead back to the surface.

Back with the rest of the group, Diana eventually killed the ogre boy with her sword. This really angered the big mother ogre as she stared ragefully at Diana and bashed the wall beside her. This caused some dust and small stones fell from the ceiling.

Mistamojo theorised that intentionally hitting the walls at the mouth of the passageway could very well bring down the ceiling on the mother ogre and block the entrance. He went to the front of the ogre and bashed the wall with his mace. Some more loose stones fell but it wasn’t enough to make the ceiling fall.

Aragorn followed suit and struck the wall with his two-handed sword. This was enough to send the ceiling crashing around the ogre.

Aragaorn, Elfred, Fredo and Mistamojo quickly stepped back from the falling rubble. A few stones hit Oracle but managed to step away in time and carry the limp body of Brioche back to safety as the mother ogre was crushed under the falling rocks that then blocked the passageway.

Meanwhile in the other cavern, Mystic fired a magic missile at the resting hydra which brought attention to both her and Hermione standing by the lair entrance.

Hermione cast a Web spell at the hydra in an attempt to hold it in place.

Unfortunately, the hydra was not even slowed down by the magical web and it rushed across the water toward the two magic-users. 

They both walked back. Mystic fired off another magic missile and Hermione cast mirror image generating two illusory duplicates of herself. Rusty walked passed them toward the hydra when the hydra breathed fire into the passageway.

Rusty was blasted with fire but survived it. For now.

Meanwhile, the cavern behind them was starting to collapse. The rest of the party started running toward the hydra’s lair. 

To be continued…


The Guardians – Episode 13: What’s with all the racket?

This week’s PCs:

  • Aragorn – male human fighter, level 3
  • Brioche – male human thief, level 4
  • Diana – female human fighter, level 3
  • Elfred – female elf cleric, level 4
  • Hermione – female human magic-user, level 4
  • Mistamojo – male human cleric, level 4
  • Mystic – female elf magic-user, level 3
  • Oracle – male human fighter, level 4
  • Rusty – male dwarf fighter, level 4

The party entered an ogre’s cave and decided to split up. Mystic and Oracle explored the eastern section of the cavern where they found themselves cut off from the rest of the group in a passageway blocked by collapsed rubble. 

Meanwhile the rest of the party was in a cavern where a living monstrous ooze had revealed itself when they tried to investigate it.

Diana and Aragorn tried to fight the ooze as the others decided to ignore it and walked away from it. Mistamojo opened a flask of oil, poured it around the ooze, lit it on fire and walked away as well.

Having already been damaged by Diana’s magic dagger, the ooze easily died from the fire. The ooze simply flattened to the ground to reveal a glass bottle with coins which Aragorn retrieved.

They soon all walked eastward to determine what had happened to Mystic and Oracle. To minimise the chance of triggering any more traps in the area, they had sent Brioche ahead to scout.

He quickly found the blocked passageway and discovered that Mystic and Oracle were on the other side. Brioche called out to the others to come help clear the rubble so that they might be reunited with the pair (some suggested couple).

Once the passageway had been cleared, they pressed eastward down the clear passageway to see what lies ahead.

They found themselves in a huge cavern with natural uneven stony pillars. Even with darkvision, Mystic, Elfred and Rusty couldn’t see what could lurk behind the pillars. Meanwhile, Brioche did not go with the group. Instead, he went back through the labyrinth passageways to see if there was anything they might have missed.

The group pressed forward into the cavern. But then, a loud cacophonous screeching erupted all around them. Looking around them, they saw giant cave locusts – pale, eyeless cricket-like creatures about 4 feet long. The shrieks were so loud that even Brioche who was far away could hear the annoying noise echo through the tunnels.

Elfred cast a Silence spell on the creatures to quickly quiet them but one was left unaffected. Fearing that the noise might attract unwanted attention, they permanently silenced the remaining insect by killing it. As a precaution, Oracle placed spikes along the path where they had come from. He hoped that this would at least slow down anybody who might attack them from the rear.

But before the caverns went quiet, Brioche saw that there were two angry ogres running down the tunnel towards him. They were angry with the noise that suddenly filled their cave. Brioche recognised the smaller one to be the ogre they saw at the entrance. The smaller ogre was accompanied by a larger ogre who was berating the former. It sounded like this was the smaller one’s mother.

Brioche ran back to the rest of the group as the two ogres caught up with him. The larger ogres easily knocked out Brioche. Those at the rear of the group turned around just in time to see Brioche felled by the ogres.

To be continued… 

The Guardians – Episode 12: Let’s split the party

This week’s PCs:

  • Brioche – male human thief, level 4
  • Elfred – female elf cleric, level 4
  • Fredo – male halfling thief, level 4
  • Hermione – female human magic-user, level 4
  • Mystic – female elf magic-user, level 3
  • Oracle – male human fighter, level 4
  • Rusty – male dwarf fighter, level 4

After fleeing the gargoyles, the group set up camp and spent the night to recuperate. Oracle stood guard and looked around the area. He found a dead mauled body that must’ve been the person they heard screaming earlier.

The night went by uneventfully and they woke up to see that the sky still had an orange hue. They marched on northward hoping to find the lair of the goblins that may have taken the phylactery.

They found a cave after a day’s walk. There found a lot of small foot tracks in the area that could belong to goblins so Rusty investigated the mouth of the cave and declared it safe.

However, when Rusty stepped in, with the rest of the group behind him, he tripped a trap that sent spikes down from the ceiling. It slammed into him but thankfully it did not fatally wounded him. They set aside the trap and continued into the main cave passageway.

A few feet into the tunnel, they saw a smaller tunnel branch out to the east. They decided to stick to the main tunnel and followed the stench of rotting corpses that had become more apparent the further into the cave they walked.

They found an ogre eating sitting on the northern wall of an alcove where the main tunnel led them. The floor was littered with rotted and torn body parts. It wasn’t clear if these were human remains or some other humanoid beings’ remains. The ogre was busy eating what looked like a human leg but stopped when the group entered the cavern.

Elfred went for a non-aggressive approach and talked to the ogre. It didn’t like that they were there but it didn’t attack them. They asked if they could pass through his “home” to look for the “felicity”. The ogre let them pass while it continued to eat the human leg.

The group split up to explore the three tunnels leading out of the ogre’s lair at the same time, to cover more ground quickly. Oracle and Mystic went up the north-east passage, Brioche went in the north passage, and Elfred, Hermione, Rusty and Fredo went down the west passage.

Oracle and Mystic went through some winding passages but eventually found themselves in an ornate room with a bashed-in door. It was a furnished room with a dead skeletal figure sitting in one of the chairs. There were silver goblets and gems on the table. They scooped it up and then left the room via a south passageway.

After walking several feet through the passageway, the ceiling suddenly collapsed on them. A bit of the ceiling crashed on top of Oracle but Mystic was able to pull him out before the passageway was completely blocked by the rubble. They’ve been cut off from the rest of the group.

Meanwhile, Elfred, Hermione, Fredo and Rusty descended into the tunnel to find a fork to the north and what looked like some dark fluid on the floor to the west. They decided to walk around the fluid and went through the north passage instead.

They eventually reached a room that was lit by sunlight coming down from a hole in the ceiling. They looked up and saw twelve blood-sucking stirges hanging from the ceiling. On the ground are a lot of scattered dead leaves and stirge faeces. They tried to cross the room quietly toward the east exit but because of the crunchy sound from the dead leaves, the stirges stirred and descended on the group.

One stirge managed to bite Rusty and stuck to him to suck on his blood. Hermione then cast a sleep spell that put to sleep all the stirges, including the one stuck to Rusty’s back, except for one. Fredo finished off the remaining stirge with his dagger.

During the fight, Elfred accidentally kicked a wooden chest buried under all the dead leaves. She opened it to find two unlabelled potions and several gold and silver pieces, which they divided among themselves. They finished doing that just as Brioche found himself in the same room after wandering through the tunnels.

They continued down the east passage and eventually arrived at a cavern that had the same dark rippling fluid on the ground. From where they stood, they could see there’s a bottle in the middle of the cavern surrounded by the dark fluid.

Hermione wanted to investigate the fluid by extracting some of it in a bottle but that’s when the fluid oozed into life aggressively and moved forward to attack them.

To be continued…

 

Task Resolutions

The BFRPG rulebook has optional rules for general task resolution in the Ability Rolls section on page 153. I use this but want to adjust the listed target number based on the difficulty of the task. As I want the bonuses and penalties to be somewhat consistent, I’ve put together a list of difficulty ratings based on D&D 5e’s Difficulty Class rule.

Each difficulty rating has a suggested Difficulty Adjustment (DA) value to add or subtract to the BFRPG Ability Roll target number. The DA doesn’t have to be exactly the numbers below. It could be any number in between.

  • Very Easy (DA -10)
  • Easy (DA -4)
  • Medium (DA +0)
  • Hard (DA +4)
  • Very Hard (DA +10)
  • Nearly Impossible (DA +14)

For example, Pedro the Level 3 Fighter with a Strength of 17 wanted to lift a heavy boulder that is blocking the group’s path. I decided that this is a Hard task. As a Level 3 Fighter, his ability roll target number is 16. As he has a Strength of 17, he gets a +2 bonus to his roll as normal.

Since this is a Hard task (DA +4), his actual target number is 20 (16 + 4). All he has to do is roll the die and add his +2 Strength bonus to it. If that adjusted roll value is 20 or above, he successfully moves the heavy boulder out of the way. So due to the +2 Strength bonus, he effectively needs to roll 18 (18 + 2 = 20) and above to move the heavy boulder.

There is really not much of a need to hide the actual target number adjusted by DA. However, for perception checks and some passive checks, the actual target number may be kept from the player making the roll so that the player doesn’t know if they actually succeeded or not.

Medium should be the default difficulty. Easy and Very Easy difficulties should not even need a roll to succeed unless the character is under stress and failure would be dramatic. Hard and Very Hard should only be used sparingly or in areas known to be very perilous (as the PCs go up in level). Nearly Impossible should only be used if the task shouldn’t be doable by anybody except the extremely lucky.

Thief abilities, racial abilities, open doors, and so on will continue to use the current rules as written except Ability modifiers could adjust the chances (Dexterity for movement-based rolls, Wisdom for detection-based rolls, Intelligence for knowledge-based rolls and Strength for force-based rolls). For percentage chances, each +1 modifier bonus is +5% improvement. For 1 of 6 chances, add the modifier to the chances so that a +2 of Strength gives the PC a successful open doors roll if she gets 3 and below (1 on a 1d6 becomes 3 [1+2] on a 1d6).