Q4: How can the fight be brought to the enemy, gaining ground for the heroic motivation? Be the player first: Choose and declare an act of defiance, infiltration, pursuit, and/or combat. Be the GM next: Use the random idea generator to inspire an encounter that responds with appropriate resistance to the heroes’ declared act by using relevant previous threats. Be the player once more: Use the heroes’ abilities to respond to the threats as per their heroic motivation and the RPG’s rules. Choice: Defiance and Combat. Symbol rolled: Tent. Interpretation: Keira is brought into a camp and tied up in a tent.

Keira wakes up in an uncomfortable position. She is tied up with her hands tied to a wooden beam above her head inside a larger tent. Seldrin smiles at her:

“I am sorry if I took you by surprise. But I doubt you would have come quietly.”

Keira’s head is still heavy on her shoulders and her vision is a little blurry, but she is furious and snarls at him.

“You traitor! You worm! What is this all about? What do you think you will gain from this?”

“Ah, so many questions. I am afraid I can’t answer them just yet my dear. For now I have pressing matters to attend to, but rest assured, we will continue this conversations at a later time. If you will excuse me now. I leave you to the capable care of my Drow friends for now.”

Seldrin turns and leaves. As soon as he is out of the tent, Keira closes her eyes and tries to concentrate to channel arcane energy, which is not easy being tied up.

(Arcana vs. hard DC, success, 12+10)

Thanks to her sharp mind and her intensive training with Desmond she manages to black out the pain in her wrists and the pounding in her head. She conjures a spectral floating hand which starts to open her bounds.

Mage Hand cantrip. Normally Keira wouldn’t need to succeed at a check to cast a cantrip, but since she is suffering from the aftereffects of the poison and bound, I ruled that a check is necessary. Also, I don’t want to go to easy on myself. One important rule when playing solo: Always give yourself a chance to fail.

After a short moment she is free. She looks around and finds her belongings in an unlocked chest in the tent.

Mythic question with a very unlikely probability, but hey, sometimes I do get lucky. However, since Keira didn’t really take an extended rest, even though she was asleep (being poisoned doesen’t count) she is still out of her daily power Wizard’s Fury and out of Action Points.

She takes her gear and sneaks to the tent’s entrance to take a look.

(Stealth vs. moderate DC, success, 14+6)

She is in a small camp. Diagonally across from her tent she sees another tent. A campfire is burning between the tents and two Drow sit around the fire. The camp seems to be in a small clearing in the woods. So far, nobody seems to have noticed. Seldrin was nowhere to be seen.

Keira listens carefully (Perception vs. moderate DC, failure) but doesn’t hear anything. She decides to use the element of surprise to her advantage. She spreads her fingers and points in the direction of the Drow.

“KAL VAS FLAM!”

The arcane fire catches the Drow by surprise and they scream out in pain as they are burned.

“VAS ORT GRAV!”

A bolt of lightning hits one drow square in the chest, dropping him, but misses the other one. The remaining Drow, a slender female, jumps towards Keira and slashes at her with a vicious looking curved long dagger but she stumbles and misses. Keira sidesteps and smashes her right in the face with her quarterstaff, causing her to spit blood. The Drow makes one final attempt to slash at Keira but because of the pain the slash goes wide. With no effort Keira comes down with her quarterstaff, smashing the Drows skull. After the battle she doesn’t waste any time standing around. She quickly moves towards the other tent, ready for anything, and peeks inside. Just some sleeping bags, two small chests and supplies. Seldrin isn’t here. He can’t be far away. Maybe he even heard the battle and is getting help. No time to waste! Keira looks around. It’s late afternoon, she must have been out a while. She could be anywhere, but there must be some clue somewhere. Maybe a trail, tracks or something. She starts looking…

This is how the encounter went:

As opponents I used two level 0 Drow Rangers. I just used the stats of the Goblin Cutthroat and reduced them to level 0 by reducing their AC and defenses by 1, their attacks by 1 and their HP by 8. I ruled that because of the successful stealth check Keira got a surprise round. She casts Burning Hands and I got lucky rolling an 18 to hit and 14 damage! That means both Drow are down to 8 HP! I rolled initiative and got lucky again, since the Drow rolled a 1 and got a total of 5 and Keira rolled 7. Keira casts Arc Lightning but hits only one Drow, killing him. Now the remaining Drow acts but I got lucky again and the Drow rolled a natural 1 on the attack roll! Now, standing adjacent, Keira just smashed her with her quarterstaff. Thanks to her Melee Training Intelligence feat she has +7 to hit and deals 1d8+2 damage on a hit. After two hits the Drow is toast. This encounter was over quick but I have to admit, I was very lucky with my rolls and the Drow very unlucky. The encounter was played on a self-made A4 (a little bigger than US-letter) battlemat with a camp setting made from photocopied dungeon tiles. More on that after the adventure is over, then I will go into some details for creating grab and go tools for solo sessions.

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