The Curse of Kobold Hall - 4th edition D&D experiment
Tomorrow is the big day. Your first gig, at least the first time you were going to pull a serious paycheck...
It's been six long months since that fateful day. Your life changed forever. The day you all met. Adventurer became your titles, your jobs, and your calling. Sure it was boring at first. Find a missing sheep here, pick a few plants there. Nothing substantial and nothing to get you rich. Family money, past riches, and other questionable means have brought in the gold thusfar, but it was time to go legit. You have a party of companions now!
Time to get some sleep though...
The Kobold Hall. At least that's what it was called now. Decades ago it was the home of a wealthy merchant noble, but his name and deeds are long history. Kobolds have infested the place for most of the city's resident's lifetimes.
It was a novelty. Just stay away from the place and laugh at the tourists that get roughed up by kobolds. But that was before last month. Last month they became more aggressive... launching raids and ambushes against people further away from the manor. One clan appears to have taken over. They have been dubbed the Whitetooth clan, for their habits of using weapons painted completely white and customized with a strange symbol the Mage's Guild is still trying to identify. The local magistrate has had enough.
The ads went up two days ago, calling for mercenaries willing to finally clean out Kobold Hall. Bounties include 10 gp for each kobold dispatched, with the ceremonial white weapon being proof. Each is unique to the kobold holding it, and the clan rules state losing your weapon is punishable by death. The chieftan's ceremonial spear is worth 50 gp bounty, and his bone mask - which is passed from chieftan to chieftan - will signify the end of the raids and bring in a 75 gp reward.
The sun rises, and everyone meets at the gate for the trek towards Kobold Hall. You should be there by lunchtime if the weather holds up. Be careful though: some residents claim the place is cursed.
In fact, a local gnomish bard calling himself Alexander has offered a reward of 100 gp for proof of a magical curse worthy of song and verse...
OOC: Feel free to give a brief introduction on thoughts and character descriptions. I am keeping the plot purposely minimal as that's not the focus of this particular adventure. Oh, and by the way while this is based on the adventure in the back of the DMG, don't bother reading it. I'm changing enough that it won't do you any good. Besides, it spoils the fun
Posted on 2009-11-19 at 06:04:28.
Edited on 2009-11-19 at 06:09:07 by Admiral
Verion stands at just under 6 feet tall, his slender but muscular build making him appear more fragile than he actually was. He wore his deep gold hair short but relatively wild and unkempt and keeping with his wild nature he wore a short, yet well trimmed beard. His deep green eyes seemed to hold a wisdom beyond his years, a trait he claimed was because he could consult with the spirits and gain insight into things that may be otherwise out of the range of normal information gathering methods.
The day the posters went up the group seemed to get even more anxious than was usual for one of their jobs, claiming this was the one that would seal their fates as true adventurers and the things bards would sing about. Verion really wasn't that worried about the fame or money, but he wouldn't turn away from his share of the rewards, it would be nice to have a nice meal as compared to the usual mediocre meals they ate. Consulting the spirits Verion had gained little insight, only that this would be the most difficult job they had undertaken to date, and if this was in fact a dangerous job the group would need him more than ever, even that grumpy dwarf, though he would never actually admit it. But now was not the time to get himself worked up over this, he needed to get his rest for the task ahead of them.
((I naturally assumed the spirits wouldn't/couldn't provide any useful pertinent information beyond what I as a player know, and that is very very little indeed, if by some small chance he does learn something useful by communing with the spirits (can you tell the idea excites me a little) then feel free to let me know somehow or another))
Posted on 2009-11-19 at 15:45:55.
Edited on 2009-11-19 at 17:24:46 by Shield Wolf
As the human ranger readies himself just outside the city gates, his stony exterior hides his excitement at finally finding an task worthy of his skills. Many of his quests (if one could call them that) with this loose band of adventurers were trifling matters between city-folk. But Kobolds... he knows Kobolds.
However, if rumors are to be believed these are no ordinary Kobolds. At least they don't act like the Kobolds he'd encountered in the forests of his adoptive home. These creatures seek out a fight; quite odd for a traditionally xenophobic society. It seems unnatural.. a thought that fills him with equal parts disgust and righteous anger.
The mystery of these creatures has been his sole focus since hearing of their change in behavior. This is a phenomenon he would gladly investigate for free, but he reminds himself of the value of the promised rewards. Each monster slain, each gold piece earned, will bring him one step further on his quest to one day travel to the Feywild. He renews his personal promise to lay his eyes on that last bastion of nature's pure violent beauty before he dies.
A small group of the town's children gather loosely around the adventurers. Word travels quickly in such a small village, and it's become common knowledge that these wanderers intend to cleanse Kobold Hall. A few of the children peer and point at Adanion, hoping to see his "trick" again. Always one to oblige, Adanion twists his face into a gruesome sneer with his mouth agape.
With a start, the children dart away screaming at the sight of what remains of the ranger's severed tongue. As the screams drift away into laughter, the ranger allows himself a private chuckle.
Posted on 2009-11-19 at 19:17:40.
Edited on 2009-11-19 at 19:19:07 by Mixmoff
Why is the sun still up? Hasn't night fallen? And why do I feel like I've been hit over the head with a saucepan?
Toriath attempted to roll onto his front to shield his eyes from the glare, and succeeded in falling off the haystack that had become his bed for the night.
"Pre'nha!" he swore loudly in Elven.
Standing up, he saw the people of the town going about the business of the day. The sun had risen, it was morning.
Wasn't I meant to be doing something today? I just have this feeling...
He remembered the quest and the promised reward.
He dived around the barnhouse, trying to find all of his possessions, ending up face first in a hay bale. Getting back up again, spitting the straw out of his mouth, his hand went up almost instinctively to his forehead. He found a large, sore, lumpy bruise. A memory flashed into his mind; an angry cook was flailing at him with a saucepan, Toriath was trying to escape, the pan connected with his skull, his vision swam...
Suddenly, it all came to him. The stash! He remembered why he had come to the barnhouse in the first place, and immediately dug into the pile of straw that he had made his hiding place. There, underneath his backpack, beside the heavy wooden stick he had decided to make his arcane rod, was his loot. Three shining trophies; unopened bottles of bitter white wine. He pulled out the cork from one and took a swig. He drifted away from his pain, and his panic, and smiled.
This will be a fun adventure I think.
Toriath approaches the gates, whistling tunelessly and with an exaggerated bounce in his step. He sees his companions and grins.
"What are we all waiting for? The spirits of the Feywild have blessed this day with auspicious signs. This is going to be one hell of an adventure."
A tall elven women dressed in wolves skin walked up to the gate. Milanne Lasede wished she could have come in her wolf form it was her favorite way of traveling but she knew that she needed that spell for the mission ahead. There was something going on at a Kolbold Tribe. Marks that the elders didn't recognize and marks that had brought chills of adventure to Milanne's spine. She was wise beyond her years. But to a human she knew just enough for her age having reached adulthood about one hundred years ago. Milanne wasn't the youngest of her kind but she waqsn't the oldest ether. The mission had caught her intrest cause of the promise of a song in her name if she could find the curse that had caused this unusual situtation with the Kolbold's. Milanne just wondered what evil magic could have changed such reclusive creatures. THe white blade didn't comfort Milanne any ether, she had not heard the true stories of the white blades but the stories she had heard about with other creatures holding white blades and professing to some unknown wizard or evil druid for some reason always seemed to get under Milanne's skin.
Children gathered around her as she walked to the gates of the city she stopped for a second and looked at the children with her pale blue eyes which suddenly turned yellow and she let out a loud roar like a panther. The kids yelled in fake fear scattering all over the place then laughing as Milanne approched the gates with her friends. It had been to long since see had seen them. She gave Toriath a hug as he came bouncing up the streets all to drunk.
Posted on 2009-11-20 at 19:11:10.
Edited on 2009-11-21 at 04:40:10 by Tus Lased
Hmm... well, this will give pay... I'll be able to finally buy that cherry tree that I've thought would look very nice in my cave... But I have to put up with people... Ah, what I'd give for a nice tankard of ale right now... Bah, well, I best get some shut eye before this quest... Kobolds. Can't stand 'em. It'll be fun to give 'em justice.
Walking down the streets, Cain hums deeply to himself, singing to himself. The busy streets were busy with activity. This task was going to be very noble to his people, and honourable. But they were with elves... so many elves... Why? This world was unfair. However, the primal spirits deemed he needed to put up with them to complete this task. He was ready. His hammer on his back, his shield with it, he had a smiled, and stroked his beard. Well, time to sleep.
The next day, Cain arose with the sun, and marched to the meeting point. Seeing the elves, a slight disappointment happened on his mood, but he instead shook it off, and turned his head to look at the sole human. Well, he would be a good companion.
"Alright laddie... and elves... Are ye ready fer a good trip 'ere? Well, as good as it can be. Well, les get goin', I've got some money to earn, and some ancestors to honor, not to mention the primal spirits to appease. But ye know that anyway." Cain draws his hammer, and shield, and points it forward. "Onward companions!"
The wind is particularly strong today, with a tinge of heat in the air that signals Spring is in full effect. You have nice weather with some serious storms to look forward too.
The scenery is great as the follow the trail, making your way to Kobold Hall. A passing deer or two remind you of the natural beauty that you are protecting from kobold mischief.
After about three hours, you estimate you are halfway there. The street sign ahead points you to either continue down the path to the next city or turn back. There is a third sign pointing into the wilderness that has been painted entirely white.
This is the general area where the path stops and you will have to rely on your own senses to get you the rest of the way to Kobold Hall.
Unfortunately none of you have ever been there and it's not on any of the maps you have. But you do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Kobold Hall lies somewhere in the direction the sign points. That makes the situation a bit easier. You delve forward into the woods, where all but the dwarf find themselves quite at home.
There is a sense of peace as the elven feet glide along the natural ground, the human ranger matching their elegant affinity for woods with an uncanny ability. The dwarf made, well, a bit more noise and moved with a lot less grace.
But his primal nature pushed him on as the forest seemed to welcome him.
Within an hour of travel, you come to a halt and gather your thoughts. You're lost. Actually you can't really be lost since you never knew where you were going in the first place... But you need to find some direction or risk getting lost for good. Time to settle down here and figure out which direction to head. There are trees all around, a small pile of rocks a bit to the east, and a small shallow lake with some animals drinking from it to the north.
Begin Skill Challenge
Skill challenges are like non-combat encounters, and are new to 4th edition. Basically a skill challenge involves the party taking turns in order making skill checks to reach a goal, in this case finding the location of Kobold Hall.
Each skill challenge has minor skills and major skills. To win this skill challenge, the party as a whole must make 4 successful skill checks before getting 2 failed skill checks. Major skills are directly and obviously involved in the challenge, while minor skills require some creativity to use. You can use a major skill multiple times, but each minor skill can only give one success. A failure in a minor skill will usually not count toward your failure limit of two unless the results are catastrophic.
For this challenge, the major skills are as follows:
Nature (estimating the layout of terrain, etc.) max 3 successes Perception (spotting kobold tracks, etc.) max 2 successes Athletics (scouting, climbing, etc.) max 2 successes
Every other skill is a minor skill, which means if you think of a relevant way to use it (perhaps using intimidate to scare some animals and see which direction they run - assuming they won't run towards a known kobold lair) in the challenge then you can!
Skill challenges are meant to be creative stepping stones. Since this is a nature-heavy party this should be easy to complete, as technically three nature checks and a perception check can win. Of course you can always get crazy and start climbing trees or whatever.
For now let's do this one at a time since this is a short skill challenge and it's our first, but in the future (when challenges require 12 successes and we are much better at them) we can do them much quicker. For now let's start with one check at a time.
Please go ahead and post your characters thoughts and actions during the journey and once the challenge begins. Feel free to try something crazy. It just might work. You can use any skill, but remember you must justify it with in-game actions.
Posted on 2009-11-21 at 12:01:59.
Edited on 2009-11-21 at 12:10:28 by Admiral
Milanne noticed she was lost long before any one else did.
"Aranel." she said and then ran at a tree as fast as she could just before her claws sank into the wood she turned into a panther. She quickly scurried up the tree to see what she could find. (I rolled a 16 to see if I was successful in my change I rolled a 17 for a surrounding check and I rolled a 18 to change back.)
(Guessing reply. Can edit if wrong)
“Torech” the panther said as she scurried back down the tree. Milanne turned back into her normal self and then turned to the group “There seems to be two camps nearby one is larger then the other and I’m guessing the larger of the two camps which is to the east of us is the camp we need to go.”
“Does anyone else have a better idea on how to find it?” Milanne asks
After a full night's rest Verion arose rested and ready to go. He quickly put on his armor, not too quickly of course, one could never get too hasty when protection was concerned. Gathering up the rest of his supplies, taking special care not to forget his trusty spear or his totem, he headed out to the gate to meet the others. It came as no shock to him that the Dwarf had once again made it a point to separate those of them with Elven blood from the rest of them with his "and elves" comment, but it was something he generally chose to ignore, understanding how rough it must be to not only be the only Dwarf among them, but to be so short and grumpy all the time.
A small smile crept onto his face as they crossed into the forest, perhaps it was his Elven blood, perhaps it was his ties to the spirits all around, but he had always felt at home among the mighty trees. Looking to the others it became apparent quickly that he was not the only one feeling at home, even if the Dwarf didn't have the subtle graces of his other companions. It was no wonder they quickly became lost, as it was always easy to get lost in the welcoming embrace of the natural world, especially the forest. When they came to a stop he looked around, taking in the sights, and a small pile of stones to the east caught his eye pretty quickly. Was it some sort of marker, or perhaps just a random piling of stones? There was really only one way to find out, but he would wait to see exactly what his companions wanted to do before wandering off. Upon noting that the druid was getting a look around from higher ground, and the dwarf was covering things lower the shaman decided to take a more spiritual approach to the matter.
Heading toward the pile of stones Verion tuned out the actions of his assorted companions, clearing his mind and opening it to the spirits that were constantly around. Stepping briefly up on the pile of stones he looked around the area, looking for anything out of place or different, tracks perhaps, listening inwardly to the guidance of the spirits. ((perception check I suppose no?))
Posted on 2009-11-22 at 04:47:59.
Edited on 2009-11-23 at 20:12:55 by Shield Wolf
Cain looked around the woods. It was elf land, but it had a primal resonance to it which made him smile on the inside. And that was the extent of his smiling, as he was reminded of his company. However, he had a bit of insight when it came to the natural world, and so he decided to show them up in a contest in their own world... but how... how...
Then, Cain had a good idea. Or at least, what he though was a good idea. He was probably heartier than all of them... which meant he could cover more ground than them running.
"Well ye woodland folk. I'll be back in a little while, I'm going to go take a run around the place, and I'll be able to have a look see about the general area. I'll take a look, and run around."
With that, Cain took off running, deciding to head to the left first, and then completely cover the ground at full speed, pushing his endurance to the limit, but also testing his natural knowledge, and seeing what he could see.
OoC: I'm gonna be running a lot, and using my Endurance skill to be able to keep running. While I'm doing that, I'm going to use Nature and Perception to notice anything.
Relying on years of training, Adanion begins to inspect his surroundings. Kobolds aren't the most delicate creatures, and this particular clan shows an uncommon brashness that might cause them to be careless and result in some very obvious tracks.
(OOC) Since it's my highest skill, I'll be rolling a simple perception check.
Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, BORED!
Toriath had lost track of how long he and his companions had been trudging through the forest. Given their greater experience in navigation and tracking, Toriath ambled along behind them, his mind getting consistently more and more blank as he lost even the pain of his hangover to occupy him. Today, the woodlands failed to inspire him, and the fey spirits did not speak one word to him. He longed to finally reach his destination, a little violence was exactly what he needed.
Upon hearing that the group had gotten lost in the woods, Toriath despaired inwardly. Realising he had to take action, he stepped forward, his eyes unfocussed, the index finger on his right hand tracing patterns in the air.
Don't overdo it, it has to seem realistic.
"The pool... the whispers of the trees, we shouldn't tarry in this place too long. The Feywild has marked this place, and our endless tarrying only serves to anger the presences here. Unless we find the correct route quickly, we may have worse problems than just a few kobolds."
(That makes a bluff check and an intimidate check I believe)
Cain takes off running with a quickness that only a dwarf can have. Well, it's not really a quickness but more of a large gathering of momentum.
He bowls over brushes and small trees, taking in everything he can remember...
Meanwhile, Adanion scours the area looking for tracks or something of use. His assumption is right. This tribe seems less interested in making traps and ambushes and more interested in pure destruction. There is a small trace of rather obvious tracks starting from a clearing a few feet from the lake. (success number 1 - perception)
Milanne (see Q&A forum on posting assumptions and rolling but I went ahead and used your rolls and post for this one) scurries up a tree and looks around to see a few small camps. Too bad they are abandoned. She does spy a small path between the trees off to the north. (success number 2 - athletics)
Verion broke apart from the group to make a small pilgrimage to the pile of rocks. He communed with the spirits for guidance, awaiting their reply. You notice the area is distinctly quiet, almost like a shrine. This is not the way to go. (success number 3 - perception)
Cain returns only to confirm what the party has pretty much assumed. They need to head north.
Toriath delivers his words of warning as they head onward.
(OOC: OK so this was an easy skill challenge. Everyone had huge modifiers for their skills they chose and the target rolls for this one were pretty low. Toriath just so happened to act last after the party got the 4 successes they needed.)
The rest of the travel time was spent getting through the forest, and within no time you arrive at Kobold Hall. It stands only one story tall, and quite smaller than you would have expected after all the hype.
One of you will have to open the door...
(OOC: Marching Order! There is a single door, so only one of you can fit through at a time. Two of you can stand behind the opener and be able to see clearly inside - assuming good lighting - and the other two will have to wait.)