Friday, April 1, 2011

Sea Princes Campaign #2: The Haunted House

Continuing with my weekly reports from the "Hold of Sea Princes" campaign, when we last left off the PCs were investigating a haunted house outside the village of Saltmarsh. Again, if you are playing U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, please stop reading now as this post contains spoilers. Still here? Okay then! The PC's escapades up to this point mainly involved barricading a couple NPCs in the cellar and battling giant vermin hiding inside the building's structure. There has been no ghosts sighted yet, but they did find a man tied up. Here are the dramatis personae:

Victor Emmitt Hammond (tricorn hat wearin' human fighter)
Araxo Tydan (over inhalin' human rogue)
Cuahtehmoc aka "Ceemo" (indoor trackin' Olman ranger)
Brother "Pickles" (harpoon hurlin' human cleric)

Alot of mistakes were made after discovering this captive. The first being removing the man's gag. The four learned his name was Ned Shakeshaft (a pun that was lost on none of them). Barefoot and barely wearing any clothes, Ned fast talked his way out of his bindings despite Araxo's protests. Mistake two. Ned claimed to be an adventurer on his way to Saltmarsh, when he stopped in the backdoor of the house for a rest and got sapped from behind. For saving him, he offered his assistance if only they would help him find his gear and loan him a weapon. Vic gave him a dagger despite Araxo's further protests. Mistake three.

Ned was forced to walk point through the house for the party. Mistake four. Carefully overstepping some loose boards in the balcony, it was Brother Pickles instead that fell through, weighted down apparently by his newly acquired frying pan.  Lying on the floor below, Pickles luckily didn't break his neck (much to Ned's chagrin).

Resuming their search of the building, they came to another room with a cupboard and a fireplace. Araxo and Cuahtehmoc opted to search here, while Victor and Pickles went with Ned to search the adjoining room. Splitting the party is technically a mistake, but not for these scallywags. The fifth mistake here was not paying attention to Ned while he retrieved a different dagger he had stashed here. Meanwhile in the cupboard room, Ceemo and Araxo were creating their own mistake (#6). A moldy cloak was found and shook out in the room. The mold had a yellowish hue. Araxo promptly began to cough and hack up constitution points while his Olman compatriot seemed fine. The ranger just as promptly suggested Araxo light up a cigar grown and produced in the Hold. Whether this was a real medicinal cure for yellow mold or savage witchdoctory, the frail noble survived.

Disgruntled, and finding little more than a few tiny diamonds and Ned's clothes, there was talk among tthe group about burning the entire haunted house down. But not before they checked the attic. Mistake #7 and #8. In this cramped and cluttered place, they all fanned out to search (again not a mistake, just standard procedure). Ned stayed behind with Ceemo at the stairs, while Vic and Pickles went left and Araxo went right. Seeing the moonlight through holes in the roof, Araxo stumbled upon a flock of bats. With long needle-noses.

Yelling for help, Pickles came rushing over only to also get stuck by flapping blood drinking stirge. Also hearing this, Ned created a barricade so none could escape, then he turned to deal with the Olman ranger. He apologized explaining he was paid well to prevent them from succeeding in their mission, then attacked with a poisoned dagger. Victor tried in vain to stab a stirge off Pickles while he thrashed about in circles. Araxo in a panic tried a more unconventional way to get rid of the stirge attached to him. Self immolation with oil. Araxo got severe burns while the stirge sucked his blood anyways. The stirge then bloated and exploded from the fire damage creating a nasty spray. Pickles too felt drained as he swatted himself silly with a frying pan to get the critter off. The three finally vanquished the flock and then heard sounds of battle from behind a barricade....

Cuahtehmoc fought toe to toe with the dagger welding assassin, Ned, who got wore down by a few blows from the obsidian studded club. Ned desparately tried to flee for the stairs, ducking under an attack of opportunity before throwing his poisoned blade and finally connecting with the Olman. Cuahtehmoc had no time to bleed however and charged the fleeing backstabber, fumbling his weapon in the process. As he stooped over to pick it up, a harpoon was flung through the barricade, over the Olman's head and impaled Ned Shakeshaft, who went tumbling out of the attic. Not to the floor though, he dangled as the other end of the harpoon's rope was held by Brother Pickles. With Ned's treachery they now knew someone in town had it out for them. This was not over by a long shot. In fact, there was still a cellar to search...

(to be continued)

Campaign note: I am mulling over using the 2nd Edition Player's Option critical hit charts. This might make things more deadly, but I enjoy the bone breaking results you can get. At the same time I am utilizing a critical fumble chart I took from the 3rd Edition Dragon Magazine Compendium. It worked pretty good when I ran Age of Worms and should add to the swashbuckling randomness of this campaign.


Valkaun_Dain said...

"I hope the price you were paid was worth your life."

Anonymous said...

Tsk, tsk, Valkaun, our "Ned" could be a "true believer." That is a true believer in profit. :0

And Mort, if you want them to break a bone, then just say they broke a bone. I hate playing with rules lawyers. For me, the DM makes the rules. That's it. ;)

The game sounds like it's coming along nicely and you guys are having fun. Keep it coming my friend! :D

Mystic Scholar

Valkaun_Dain said...

Our pregame banter will soon become a podcast.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Maybe you guys could "game" with live feed!? hehehehehe

That would be a sight to see! :D

Mystic Scholar

mortellan said...

Our actual game sessions? That'd be a painful sight to see, much less listen to.

Anonymous said...

Naw, Mort! I could get some good material for my stories that way!

(insert evil laughter here)

Mystic Scholar

Micahel said...

I think it's all a plot by the Scarlet Brotherhood *nods sagely*

Leahcim the Learned.

Boz Shulun said...

A common theme seems to be popping up... when Araxo's will is ignored, bad things happen.

"When will you fools learn and start listening to Araxo? Araxo is trying to get you all through this." - Araxo Tydan (he seems like the type to refer to himself in the 3rd person. Maybe we can just call him A.T.

Michael Gross said...

Cool stuff. One of the campaigns I am running is a U1/L1 mashup (putting the haunted house outside of L1's Restenford, per a poster at Dragonsfoot). My players skipped the top floor & attic altogether, as they went down to the basement soon after entering, planning on working their way up as they went, until what was found down there changed their plans and they headed back to town with their news. Now I need to think about what to do with Ned in my campaign. Heh.