My gang has continued playing Ragged Hollow Nightmare (and are loving it!). I was told we would be missing some players, so I whipped up a side-quest for the folks who were coming. But then everyone showed up anyway! So we went off-book for my side-quest, but I may put the side-quest into a new version of RHN at some point.
Play time: ~4 hours
- Meyapue the Thief
- Garvin the Ranger
- Thorin the Fighter
- Zard the Sorcerer (same player, new character!)
- Lothki the Artificer (and his metal ram)
After a quick recap of last week’s fun, we dove right in. The party finished looting the dead bandits and cleared away the blockade on the road. Then they headed east to the gray tower in search of more adventure!
Inside, they found the decaying ruin devoid of furniture, or even floors. A single bandit guard remained, Padrak. Thorin bullied Padrak into “volunteering” to work for the party, and Padrak then showed them the trap door leading down into the bandit hideout.
Underground, the party saw two curtained doorways. The first led to a squalid room full of pillows, smoke, and glassy-eyed old men. Realizing this was some sort of drug den, the party pulled back and headed to the second doorway.
Striding in with confidence, they found two women (Vella and Tyra) rolling cigars using stolen paper, regular tobacco, and a toxic cashew-based powder. They also found a third woman of considerable size and strength guarding them, Narisse. Thorin once again tried to bully the women into “volunteering” to work for him, revealing that the bandit leader Fergus was dead. Narisse decided that meant she had a shot to take over the operation. Combat!
I learned my lessons from last time, and I amped up my baddies and added cool terrain effects. In this case, Narisse was a beast with a high AC and multi-attack. Also, the room was full of drug-laced cigar-making materials that would poison everyone if set on fire. The sorcerer Zard immediately set the room on fire (bless his heart!).
Despite a strong start, the ladies were defeated. Vella and Tyra were completely incinerated, but Narisse was merely wounded-into-surrender.
The party entered the locked office and found papers, knick-knacks, and a desk with two scorpion-shaped lamps. Garvin immediately took a lamp. Meyapue and Lothki went to work on the desk, discovering the bandit ledger (with some big sales to “B”) and a ticking safe. Lothki disarmed the safe and Meyapue recovered a large fortune in gold. Then Lothki tried to salvage the grenade in the safe, and blew himself up. Again.
As they left the office, the two copper scorpions came to life and attacked with laser-tails, but Thorin managed to rip the tail off one and they both went inert. Surprisingly, they let Narisse leave after bandaging her considerable wounds.
Squeezing through a narrow tunnel, the party found a chamber lit by a large crystal. Three toxic cashew trees grew here, and I got to show my players what real cashews look like on a tree. Which is to say, they look weird. They met a little girl, Letta, picking the cashews. She asked about her mommy, Vella. The party suddenly felt guilty. Or at least, a little guilty. They quickly made a plan to get Letta back to the temple and lied effectively about where her mother was, while cleaning her mother’s remains out of the workroom.
Then as they left the cashew cave, they heard voices. It was their old friends, Flik and Rask, the goblins from last session! They had snuck through some old monster tunnels to steal cigars for Master Neven. Discovering the destroyed workroom, the goblins were annoyed, but they salvaged all the cigars they could find and left.
Just as the party was ready to leave, some new bandits arrived. Led by Bogdan, the tough guy “B” who bought cigars every week. The party tried to convince Bogdan that they were the new cigar bandits, but Bogdan took one look at the burned-out workroom and realized what happened.
Thorin initiated combat.
I got a good start this time! Castor and Bogdan were dealing massive damage, and then Jethra let off a Fireball that almost killed three PCs! Bogdan used the copper scorpions against the party! But then they nailed Jethra to the wall, sliced Castor into barely living pieces, and surrounded Bogdan.
But I was ready for this. Just then, the goblins Flik and Rask ran through the room, screaming, “Run! It’s coming!”
And that’s when the Claydrake burst up through the floor.
The Claydrake only got off one Quake attack, and never got to use its clay-breath, but it was still fun. The party got Bogdan to agree to join forces against the muddy snake-xenomorph-zergling dragon in their midst, so they killed it quickly. During the fight, Castor, Padrak, and the goblins ran off. After the fight, Bogdan made a careful retreat.
After discovering local wizard Radomir in the drug den, the party returned to town and gave Letta to Brother Seth at the temple, who promised to set her up in the little orphanage there. Then everyone went home to rest and level up. So ended the session!
It went great. Everyone had fun, and said they liked the dynamic combat with the all the weird effects and baddies they could interact with. So I was very happy. I was also thrilled that Narisse, Bogdan, and Padrak all survived so I can bring them back in the future (for revenge!). There is a fair chance I will write up this side-quest properly and insert it into Ragged Hollow Nightmare at some point.