Get ready for the next installment of Keira’s adventures with Q6 of the 9Qs…

6. How can the adverse results from Questions 4 and 5 be further intensified, forcing the heroes to commit to a do-or-die course of action in accordance with the heroic motivation? Be the GM first: Use the random idea generator to inspire a worsening of the threats beyond anything that had been conceived before and then roll a d6 twice for an encounter featuring (1-2) intrigue, (3-4) pursuit, and/or (5-6) combat. Be the player next: Use the heroes’ abilities to most effectively respond to the severity of the situation as per their heroic motivation and the RPG’s rules.

Be the GM once more: Close the encounter by resolving NPC reactions to the heroes.

Symbol rolled: cactus

Interpretation: Something with spikes…but somehow adding spikes to the snake demon creature doesn’t feel right and is not really fitting. But the cactus also looks like a figure with arms so it will be… elite drow warrior wearing spiked armor and fighting with a spiked chain who Keira encounters as she wants to leave.

Encounter type: combat (rolled twice)

Keira has seen enough. So Vecna followes have aligned with Drow to practice dark ritual magic and summon some kind of snake demon for whatever purpose while at the same time somehow managed to infiltrate her arcane society. That’s all she needs to know at the moment since she figures there is not much she could do about it here and now on her own. Seldrin is probably as well trained as she but he also has the support of a priestess and Keira has not forgotten how close her encounter with a priestess just outside Fallcrest was. And that is not counting the four cultists and the snake creature. It was time to leave. Better live to fight another day as to die in vain in a foolish attempt of heroics. She needed to get back to Desmond. Maybe together and with help from the outside they could do something about it.

Quickly Keira climbs up the stairs, taking two steps at a time with large strides. She reaches the surface and looks around.

Is the warrior already at the stairway? (50/50) 69, No.

Thank the godess, nobody was there. Keira quickly takes the trail back to the campsite.

Perception vs. DC 15, roll 14+0, failure.

Suddenly she feels pain as a spiked chain wraps around her ankle from behind. She tries to catch her balance but falls forward as somebody or something pulls the chain back with force. However, she manages to turn around and lands on her back, staff in front of her she faces her assailant.

Out from behind a bush steps a slender male Drow with long white hair and a well toned body. He wears form-fitting black leather armor that is donned with metal spikes at the shoulder pads, shinbone protectors and forearm pads. He smiles viciously.

“Prepare to face death.”

Now I am in a dillema: I know the warrior should be a tough enemy but I also know, that if I make him even one level higher than Keira it will be a very tough encounter, since Keira is not at full resources (Action Point and Daily Power is missing). However, storywise it would make sense that this guy is level 2-3 as maybe an elite bodyguard of the priestess. So as always I will let the dice decide: 1-3 = level 2, 4-6 = level 3. Of course I roll a 6 so he is level 3. Great.

Using the “Monster Manual 3 on a business card” ( I come up with the following stats:

Elite Drow Warrior, Level 3 skirmisher, medium natural humanoid

Initiative +6, HP 48, AC 17, Reflex 17, Fortitude 15, Will 13, Speed 6

Spiked Chain (standard action, melee, reach 2): +8 vs. AC, 1d8 + 5 damage

Combat Sidestep (move action): shift 3 squares

Just looking at the numbers I know that I will almost definitely lose this fight. However, that must not necessarily mean death. I will let the dice decide. Here is the starting set-up. Roll Initiative!


“Go to hell!”

With one quick jump Keira is back on her feet, staff at the ready. The Drow was startled for a split second as he hasn’t expected such resolve. That split second is the time Keira needed.

“UUS JUX!” With one small gesture she hurls a colorful whirling orb of force at the Drow but he manages to dodge the orb at the last second. Keira curses and assumes a defensive stance, trying to gain some distance. Now the full battle is on…Keira is dodging the wicked spiked chain of the Drow, always mindful of her surroundings. There! An opening in his defenses, the Drow stumbles.

“KAL VAS FLAM!” A wall of arcane fire washes over the Drow, he screams out in pain but pushes on. Keira is hurting, pressing one hand against a bleeding deep wound from a vicious slash with the chain.

“IN POR YLEM!” Multiple bolts or force strike the warrior, who gracefully jumps over bushes and rocks, closing the distance to Keira quickly. Keira is sweating, blood is running from her forehead into her eyes.

If only she could hold out a little more….just one more spell…

The Drow warrior grittes his teeth. He will not be defeated by such an infidel worm. With all his resolve he slashes at Keira with his chain. Keira miscalculated the distance, jumps back but just to short…the end of the chain hits her square in the jaw. She feels her jawbone break and some teeth crumble…then she slips away into darkness…

This encounter was a very close call. Even though I expected defeat I was positively surprised how good Keira did. If she had been at full resources with action point and daily power I would have won.

So it came down to the final round with Keira at 1 hp and the Drow at 6 hp. The Drow was up. If he had missed he would have been killed by Keiras auto-hitting magic missile which deals 7 damage. But he hit with a 19. Even with Keiras immediate Staff of Defense power I would have had 19 AC so he would have hit anyways. So he reduced Keira to -6 hp but because it was such a close call I don’t fell bad about it. Let’s see if I get a chance to continue.

Does the Drow kill Keira? I don’t want to die and I would assume that Seldrin and the priestess want Keira alive, but does the warrior know? Also, he is very enraged, having been almost killed by a human infidel wizard. So I will roll 1d6, on a roll of 1-2 Keira is killed, otherwise she is brought back to Seldrin.

DAMN IT! I rolled a m#+@erf###ing two…..


The warrior breathes heavily. He is in great pain as his skin in burned. His heart is pounding. Full of hatered he looks down at Keira.

“I told you you will face your death.”

Drawing a vicious looking curved dagger out of a hidden sheath in his boot he kneels next to her…

Alright then. This session was played 30.10.2013 and ends this 9Q adventure. Even though I died I am very satisfied a) with the 9Q engine and b) with the tense moments I had slowly lifting the dice cup peeking at the dice, hoping to see the right numbers.

So whats up next on solospelunking?

Before I start my next adventures I will go into a little detail about how to prepare quick instant encounter areas that look nice, so stay tuned 😉