3Oaks #8: Sleep soundly, halfling prince

Real-world date: November 20, 2006
Hanorian date: StockTend 13th

Moon phase: one day from full.
Season: Late summer
Weather: Afternoon showers, building into thunderstorms about 50% of the

The group began the session in the kobold lair prison area where they had camped the night before. They had also locked the kobold prison guard up on one of the rooms for the night. The session began after the group had memorized spells and healed up from a full night’s sleep.

After a short breakfast the group filled their water skins with fresh water from the barrels in the room with the secret escape to the outside. They then decided to interrogate the imprisoned kobold. The kobold was thoroughly intimidated and demoralized and offered to help in any way possible if the group would simply let him live. But other than telling them that there was treasure somewhere in the lair, nothing seemed to be of much help. So the group decided to try a “good cop, bad cop” routine in the hapless reptilian. First Butterchin went in and tried to befriend the kobold. Again the kobold appeared to sincerely want to find some way to save his own skin, but not much was gained from the exchange. Next Belven went in as the “bad cop” and threatened the kobold in a variety of ways, even pretending to cast spells on him. This produced the information that the kobold shaman’s name was “Kidrax” and that Kidrax was the leader of the kobolds in the lair. The kobold also informed Belven that there were sometimes human or humanoid “guests” who stayed in the “guest room” when they were in the lair. Belvin asked if the kobold could lead them to the guest room, which he assured them he could. Additionally the group learned that Kidrax most likely had regrouped the remaining kobolds, including an indeterminate number of “elite” kobolds, in the barracks area, which seemed to be thought defensible against attack.

After repeated attempts by Belven and Butterchin to gather additional information from the kobold, the group spent several minutes debating whether to kill it, leave it locked up, or bring it with them. During a portion of this debate the kobold made a break for the outer door, not realizing that it was locked. Euha whacked it up the side of the head with the flat of his sword, knocking it cold. [Kobold subdued] While the kobold slowly recovered from the blow, the group tied and gagged him, informing him first that he would be leading the group either to the guest rooms or to the barracks.

Alec unlocked and opened the door, immediately setting off the trap the kobolds had planted the night before, and receiving a crossbow bolt in his arm for his efforts. [Trap #1 survived] Euha then pushed the kobold out the door using the rope and his sword to guide him. Upon leaving the room, they temporarily removed the kobold’s gag to inquire as to the purpose of the room on the left side of the hall. The kobold called it their “fun room” which Butterchin immediately assumed meant it was a torture room. Euha had the kobold open the door which revealed a horrific sight. The room had shelves on three corners, two of which had wooden boxes, and one of which contained a set of nasty, bloody implements for causing pain. A chair was along one wall. Opposite the chair was a second door which was closed. In the center of the far wall, protruding halfway into the room was a raised stone platform upon which lay the bloody remains of what appeared to be a human. It appeared the human had been quite literally skinned alive. As this discovery was being investigated by Euha and Butterchin, with the kobold still tied up and led by Euha, Alec decided to scout ahead a bit.

Upon reaching the end of the corridor from the prison and peering around the corner, Alec suddenly found himself face-to-face with an elite goblin with sword, shield and bow and arrow. Both were caught unaware but Alec was the first to react by stepping forward and drawing his sword and aiming a blow at the kobold, a blow which glanced off the kobold’s shield. Upon doing so he realized there were actually two elite kobolds in the hallway.

Just as this battle was getting underway the second door in the torture room suddenly was pulled open and Euha and Butterchin found themselves staring at a kobold warrior (not an elite). Euha was the first to react and he immediately dropped the rope holding the captive kobold and jumped into the doorway to prevent entry by the kobold. In doing so he discovered that there were two more kobolds behind the first one, one of which was an elite kobold, and the last of which appeared to be unarmed.

Euha aimed a mighty blow at the first kobold, aided by his “smite evil” ability, and the blow he struck was so powerful that it clove the kobold nearly in two [kobold warrior #1]. The remaining kobolds moved up and the first one aimed a blow at Euha, but missed. The second one, however, merely raised a finger and uttered some arcane cry and a bolt of energy hit Euha. Butterchin then grabbed for the rope on the captive kobold, as he realized that the captive had managed to free his hands. The barely captive kobold attempted to grapple with Butterchin, but was unable to do so.

As this was going on, Belven, still in the hallway, could hear the actions both with Alec at the end of the hall, and in the room with Euha and Belven, but could only see Alec single-handedly fighting an elite kobold. Fearing for Alec’s life, he decided that he might be able to put the kobold to sleep, and risked also putting Alec to sleep. So he cast sleep directly in front of the kobold. The result was that Alec and the kobold he was fighting both fell senseless to the ground.

With Alec now asleep, along with the lead kobold in the hallway, the remaining elite kobold charged past the sleeping party members and went after Belven, landing a solid blow.

The battle now raged inside the room where Euha struck the remaining elite kobold, but did not kill him, and received both a blow from the elite kobold and another bolt of energy from the kobold warlock. Things were looking grim for Euha until Butterchin stepped forward and cast Sanctuary on him. However, in doing so he had to turn his attention from the captive kobold, who bolted from the room and down the hall.

Euha, now aided by the Sanctuary spell survived another round, from the attacking kobolds, and managed to keep the doorway blocked while Butterchin cast a heal spell on him. In the meantime Belven managed to avoid a blow from the elite kobold in the hall. Making matters worse, the captive kobold, instead of fleeing, recovered the sword of the sleeping elite kobold and joined his comrade in an attack upon Belven.

But just as it seemed all was lost, Belven fired off another sleep spell aimed to affect the two kobolds attacking him, but no other melee combatants, and both fell to the floor. Euha, now healed considerably by a powerful heal spell from Butterchin, beat down the defense of the elite kobold. Just as Belven was administering the coup de grace to the sleeping kobolds [kobold warrior #2, elite kobolds #1 and #2], Euha dealt a killing stroke to the elite kobold [elite kobold #3] at the door of the room, and the remaining warlock turned and fled, disappearing into the darkness.

The battle had been furious but short. Alec was still sleeping. The group waited for Alec to wake up, and then searched the bodies of the kobolds, where Alec recovered some silver and copper pieces, two sets of goggles, two vials of salve, a yellow potion that seemed to be identical to the kobold healing potions the group had found before and a cryptic note that seemed to indicate a planned attack on the Gnome town of Boddynockton, sealed with a bloody bit of wax stamped in the shape of a claw. Searching the room itself turned up a secret door that led back into a corridor the group had already been through (a secret door that they had missed before) [Found secret door #1]. Searching the boxes on the shelves turned up a bunch of shriveled ears, apparently trophies of the torturer, and some more copper and silver pieces, along with some worthless items that might be found in a person’s pockets.

At this point the session ended for the night.

Total experience:

1 successful kobold interrogation = 75 xp

1 successful kobold subduing = 50 xp

1 secret door found = 25 xp

2 defeated kobold warriors = 150 xp

3 elite kobolds = 300 xp

1 trap survived = 50 xp

Other xp:

None tonight.

That totals 650 xp.

That’s 163 xp each. Added to your existing 1,125 xp, that gives 1,288 xp.

Other notes:

DM mistakes:

I forgot to give the kobold attacking Belven an attack of opportunity when Belven went to cast the spell.

Other notes:

I am going to have to review rules around initiative. I can see why initiative needed to be rolled for each of the direct encounters, the one in the torture room, and the one between Alec and the two elite kobolds, but I’m not sure why Belven needed to roll initiative. He was in a purely reactive mode and my initial thought was that since he could not act until he realized what was going on, his initiative was pretty much by definition last. Which is how it ended up by luck of the roll, but that seems rather arbitrary.

There have been two attempts to interrogate prisoners so far by the group. In both cases the technique of interrogation has been to ask the captive to tell the group things that would be helpful to the group. In both cases I played the captives as sincerely wanting to offer that sort of help, but not really knowing what to offer the group. In both cases the captive had information that would have been helpful to the group. Whether it’s the good cop or the bad cop, the captive needs some idea of what you might want to know.

So, some suggestions:

“How many of those elite kobolds are in the lair right now?”
When did you first see these elite kobolds?”
“How many doors are there into the barracks?”
“What sort of weapons do they have?”
“How many spell casters are there?”
“Are there any non-kobold ‘guests’ in the lair right now?”
“What sort of attacks are you planning on the surface world?”
“What is in the caverns below the lair?”
“Are you expecting any more ‘guests’ to arrive soon?”
“Do you know anything about the goblin takeover in Arich?”
“Have any of the guests you have had here been goblins?”
“Why are these elite kobolds using goblin-type weapons and armor?”
Etc… You have to be very specific. The kobolds are not going to now what to just blurt out to you, it may not occur to them that you might want to know how many spell casters there are, but you probably really would like to know that.

I feel like tonight was much slower than usual, I’m not sure if that’s just because it’s been a while since we played, or if it really was slow. There seems to be a lot of discussion, even to the point of debate, on relatively minor issues where one person could simply make a decision and move the group forward. It feels like the group is operating in melee by committee mode. I will recommend again that you choose a leader and let that leader lead.

Next time should be a lot of fun if you decide to gird up your loins, tighten your shield straps, limber up your spell-casting gestures, and storm the remaining kobolds in their final sanctuary. It will certainly have a lot more action and provide a lot more xp if you do.


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