Monday, November 15, 2010

Artifact Hunters: Umberlee's... What?

Game Date: 11/13/2010
DM: Nick

The Party (Level 3):
Amarat (Tamara) - Elf Rogue
Anna Bella (Leigha) - Halfling Monk
Gavail Pontiff (Ted) - Eladrin Wizard
Marek the Silver (Rusty) - Dragonborn Paladin
Morigan McBane (Jesse) - Human Artificer
Talindra Seryth (Matt) - Razorclaw Shifter Avenger

New to the group is Tamara, who is giving our game a chance. While she is new to 4e and isn't yet comfortable with the rules, she did a great job and we hope she returns.

We used my new horse miniatures this session. We've been doing a lot of fighting on horseback this adventure (despite Jesse's objections). Using the minis makes the board look a bit more cluttered, but it also looks really neat, IMO.

Unfortunately 4e's horseback rules are confusing and a little bit silly. For a while we were jumping off our horses the moment we heard the slightest noise, just so we wouldn't have to spend a standard action dismounting once battle started. But most of us are warming up to mounted combat, and we spent most of tonight's first encounter attacking from horseback. Tal and Marek only dismounted because they were knocked off their horses. Gavail loves her scathebeast, and Marek plans to buy a rage drake mount. Morigan is... not a big horse fan. But to each their own.

The Session:
Last session ended with us preparing to fight some bandits. We rode into the bandit camp, where Amarat was tied to a tree. She slipped out of her bonds early in battle, and helped us kill her captors.

The encounter consisted of four bandits (who looked like Burt Reynolds, the token pictures chosen as a "Smokey and the Bandit" reference), two panthers, one sexy female wizard, and a Genasi Stoneshield. The Genasi was the hardest to kill. Tal singled out the Genasi early in the fight, which may have been a mistake. He didn't have to roll very high to hit her, and it was hard for her to hit him. Tal hit 0 hp twice this encounter, but both times she was healed by Morigan before she had to make her first death save.

Eventually the rest of the party finished off their targets and came to Tal's aid. Marek's Divine Challenge took the focus off the battered kitty and soon we finished off the creature.

We reached the next town. We learned that the ship we wanted to ride was about to leave port, so we had a skill challenge to ride the horses to the port before it left. We failed the challenge, putting us a little behind on our quest.

We booked passage on a ship called "Umberlee's Vagina" (you gotta love Nick's sense of humor). There was some debate over the passenger fee of 65 gp (up from 60 after Morigan failed a Diplomacy check). At night, we had to decide where each of us slept. Tal slept in the cargo hold with the horses, because she isn't fond of sailing. Gavail joined her so she could be near her scathebeast. Still angry about the fee, Morigan slept in one of the lifeboats up top, intent on leaving us to our fate if things went sour. Marek slept up top as well, but left his armor in the cargo hold, for fear of drowning if he fell overboard. Amarat also slept up top so she could be ready for anything. Ana Bella slept in the crow's nest with the ship's lookout, where nothing salacious went on at all. Or if it did, I've blocked it from my memory. *sticks fingers in ears* La la la la la la I can't hear you!

Many seamen jokes later, the ship was attacked by Sahuagin. For the battle, we were allowed to "purchase" additional crew members to fight with us, by lowering the final XP of the encounter. A quote from Tal: "I'd like to purchase the maximum number of sailors." We faced six Sahuagin - One priest, one barbarian, and four minions. On our side we had the ship's captain, a guard, a lackey (who also looked like Burt Reynolds... is there something you want to tell us, Nick?), and two human rabbles. This encounter would have been fairly easy except that our Defender - the one party member who marks creatures so that he's the only one taking damage - wasn't wearing any armor. And of course he picked a fight with the Sahuagin Barbarian, the toughest of the group.

The minions went down quickly, followed by the priest. Eventually we had the barbarian surrounded, with everyone hacking away from all directions. The barbarian knocked Marek down to 0 a few times, but thankfully we keep Sleepy (Marek's squire) stocked with healing potions. The barbarian took out a couple of the crew members, but in the end we killed it. We even negotiated our 65 gold back.

Our travels eventually took us to a Genasi town. As part of our main quest, we were looking for a geologist. A Genasi named Shale had us meet him at a bar called Gaia's Bosom, where he bought us free drinks. He wanted to hire us to find his missing brother Manganese (a geologist). Using a magical scroll, he sent his brother a message asking his location. Manganese was in trouble on an Earthmote, and we agreed to find him.

After a lot of climbing, we found a building marked with the symbol of Bane. Marek and Tal especially dislike Bane worshippers, so we prepared for a fight. But that's for next session.

Obsidian Portal Entry

I'm not sure if we left our horses back in town, or if we tied them up at the bottom of the climb. Also, there is some debate over whether Gavail's scathebeast came with us, but I believe we finally decided we left him with the horses.

613 Each
The breakdown:
1525 bandit encounter
150 racing to Sapra
150 Negotiating with the captain
1552 Sahuagin attack
300 Saving Gregorio
Total 3677/6 = 613
This brings us up to 3761 (Level 4)

Gold: 353 each
The breakdown:
618 taken from the bandits of Morningstar Hollows
1500 sack of pearls: 5 white and 2 black found on the Sahuagin priest
Total 2118/6 = 353

Other Treasure:
Circlet of Second Chances (Marek)
Bracers of Archery (Morigan)
Vicious Fullblade (Tal)
Leather Shockweave Armor (Morigan)
Cape of the Mountebank (Tal)
Cat Paws


  1. We changed the cost of dismounting from a Standard action to a Move action. It's worked out well for everyone. I know a lot of people prefer not to make house rules, so for them you can always perform an Acrobatics Stunt to get off you horse as a Move action.

    I love Mounted Combat because you get to move so much farther, and you still get to use most of your powers.

    Umberlee's Vagina and Gaia's Bosom? Boy, that sounds like an interesting adventure...

  2. I like your house rule, but my DM wants to keep it a Standard.

    I'm starting to warm up to mounted combat, but then, it's fairly simple for my character; about the only thing that changes for me is that my movement rate increases.

    However, our resident rules lawyer is starting to go ballistic. The last straw was when our monk was allowed to use her burst 1 attack to affect 11 squares instead of 8 because she was on a horse.

    Jesse (Morigan) feels that mounts just make things too complicated, and that the horseback rules aren't fleshed out enough to use regularly. I'm curious to see how things work out from here on, as he sold his horse when we got on the ship.

  3. I totally feel your pain. It took us some time to decide how mounted combat works best for us, and now we absolutely love it.

    Don't forget about the Acrobatic Stunt to dismount as a Move action. The downside is that if you fail, you end up prone on the ground. That's why it normally costs a Standard action with no penalty. We use Acrobatic Stunt all the time.

  4. Hmmm... I'll have to mention Stunt to the DM, and see if he goes for it. Thanks!