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Author Topic: [D&D4E] Actual Play -- RPGA Living Realms - Gangs of Wheloon  (Read 1147 times)

Abyssal Maw

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[D&D4E] Actual Play -- RPGA Living Realms - Gangs of Wheloon
« on: February 13, 2009, 11:37:03 AM »
Spoilers Below (if you plan on playing Gangs of Wheloon don't read this, as it basically gives everything away...)

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Ok, so the players had advanced to the level where they were no longer suited for the low level (1st-4th level) adventures- the entire group was 5th level except for one 6th level character.

We had
Auric, elven ranger
Keira, human warlord
Perrun, human wizard
Callistar, eladrin (moon elf in Forgotten Realms terms) ranger
Quinn, human bard
Chet, warforged warlock

The group was actually forged out of two seperate groups- Perrun, Keira and Quinn had adventured together, and Callistar, Auric and Chet had adventured together before.

Chet was a member of an Adventuring Company dedicated to warforged adventurers, but was the only member present (4+ members of the same Adventuring Company in Living Realms gives you a bonus action point), nevertheless I improvised a little side mission for him- which was recovering a Gondish 'Curious Modulator".

The characters are contacted in Cormyr (through an agent of Lord Prio who they have met in previous adventures) to carry out an important mission, and meet with him north of Suzail. The mission is to get into the prison city of Wheloon and break out an important spy named Navish Brightfoot.

Some background on Wheloon:

At some point during the Spellplague it was discovered that a huge number of Shar Worshippers and anti-Crown elements had infiltrated the city of Wheloon. Rather than move in and crush the rebellion, the Purple Dragons and the War-Wizards were mostly deployed elsewhere- the crown instead evacuated the city as well as they could, and then dropped a magical barrier around it- thus the creation of Wheloon as a prison city.

The mission here is that Navish Brightfoot had been put in to Wheloon undercover, to investigate a number of arcane disturbances and had discovered that a group of Shadar-kai had created a gate from the Shadowfell into the city. An invasionary force was being assembled (likely with netherese help) right within the borders of Cormyr.

So the PCs are called in to find Navish and bring him out. They are given some disguises (gang tattoos and clothing) and a small boat that gets them through the one-way permeable magical membrane and into the sewers. They are also given a pass phrase "In the Light of the Lady" (which has the answer "There is no other way home..")

From there they have a rough map that leads through the sewers and up into the streets of Wheloon where an old statue of Mystra is. Navish is supposed to have left word of his location hidden somewhere in or near the statue.

So they pole their way down the river and pierce the magical shield that gets them into Wheloon, and quickly discover the sewer entrance. Then they have to abandon the boat, and start wading through the sewers. The group wends their way through the sludgey tunnels, and finally make it to the surface area near the town square.

Unfortunately, at this point they meet their first gang- the Lady's Marauders.  Assembled near the statue are a tiefling heretic known as Althoon, and a human necromancer called Darak. They are surrounded by corpses as if from a massive battle that took place. Althoon uses the (actually magical) statue to surround the town square with an energy barrier, while his friend the necromancer raises the corpses (arranged around the square) as zombies.

"Your'e just in time to join our gang... as undead!" So a battle begins here. Althoon and Darak want to kill the PCs to bolster their gang with more undead (most of the living gang members of the Lady's Marauders have deserted them).  And the PCs want to clear the way to the statue where they assume Navish Brightfoot's clues are.

The necromancer begins by animating the zombies (rotters- so .. minions) -- which lurch towards the PCs. The tiefling uses his own powers (he had some type of ranged spell) to try and pick off people. The battle ranged around the market square, and the worst injuries suffered werre the PCs getting attacked by the zombies. At the end of it, they knocked Althoon the Tiefling out, and killed the necromancers, and killed off the rest of the zombies pretty quickly.

The PCs searched the statue finding a hidden compartment containing only a (seemingly fresh) sheaf of wheat. One of the players identified that quickly as a symbol of Chauntea. (I was prepared to let the payers do religion checks but the player of the bard nailed it right out of the gate..)

So.. battle over--the PCs took a short rest and were approached by an old man who had been hiding down a sidestreet, who informed the PCs that they were the new leaders of the gang, having defeated the old leadership. He identified himself as Jerrick Valwater, a former co-founder of the gang. The bard immediately helped sort of bluff the warforged warock into importance as "Boss Chet", and the players identified themselves as newly convicted criminals.

Jerrick explained the situation: The Marauders had suffered terrible losses battling some of the other gangs in the area. Their newest leadership (Althoon and Darak) had re-animated the corpses of dead gangers as a new way to bolster their ranks, but all that really did was ruin the morale of the living gang members. Jerrick brought the group around to the gangs hideout and called the living members of the Marauders out of hiding.

The rest of the group addressed the gang and tried to convince them that they would be great leaders. The plan was to negotiate the return of several prisoners taken by a rival gang (the Quickblades-a sort of sneaky thieves guild led by a halfling called Patters), and also attempt to forge an alliance with another gang (The Mountain- a dwarven gang led by an exiled dwarven chieftain called Dolman Hammerstrike). The side benefit was- the temple of Chauntea that the bard wanted to investigate was in "Mountain territory" and they would be in danger if they entered that area. Two other gangs were also mentioned but they ignored them for the time being. The most powerful gang was Mother Night- a Shadar-Kai gang that had numbers that seemed to be constantly swelling. The PCs knew they would eventually have to be dealing with Mother Night.

So they made plans and negotiated with the rest of the Marauders. The PCs carried this off pretty well, and cemented themselves as leaders. They had Jerrick go out and arrange a meeting with Patters (from the Quickblades) where they pursued an intimidation tactic (show of strength followed by shock and awe) to get their prisoners released. This worked out.

Dealing with the Mountain was a little different. Dolman's clan was more honorable, and ended up in Wheloon quite by accident. They turned to "gang life" as a means of survival and solidarity. After challenging the PCs to a drink-off Dolman agreed to a limited alliance and to allow the PCs to cross their territory towards the Temple of Chauntea. In return, the PCs offered up Althoon the tiefling, who would stand trial for re-animating dead dwarves as zombies.

At the temple, they searched the area and found Navish's stuff (his hideout) in the rafters. They also discovered the inscription "In the light of the lady..." scrawled there. Once one of the PCs repeated back the response phrase a magical wisp was formed that announced "our secrets are safe, I will lead you to my master.."

The wisp then flew up out of the cupola at the top of the temple and over the city which set the PCs off on a mad chase after it.

Callistar, Auric and Quinn (the rogue) were all very acrobatic and managed to keep up with the wisp by jumping from rooftop to rooftop, sliding down clotheslines and climbing over rails. Keira and Perrun attempted to climb/jump down from the temple to track it, but both of them fell. Chet ran after it and was able to keep up with his boundless warforged endurance. At the end they spotted the wisp entering the temple of Shar at the edge of Mother Night territory. They see a white-haired halfling being carried in, and they scout around and see that there are Waaaay more Shadar-kai then they will ever be able to take on.

So the PCs decided to fall back, make plans, and strategize. The idea plan for them turned out to be an attempt at forming an alliance between 5 rivals gangs (including the Lady's Marauders, the Mountain, the Quickblades, the Woodsingers, and one other that I am forgetting the name of- a dragonborn gang). They invented the reasoning that Mother Night would soon be powerful enough to destroy them all, and promoted this idea in an inter-gang council arranged by Jerrick.

After some impassioned speech making and individual attempts at lobbying each of the rival gangs, they managed to get all the gangs working together at least long enough for a single assault on the Shadar-kai (Mother Night gang) at their temple.

The plan is for the Quickblades and the Woodsingers to lure most of the scouts and sentries out, and then for the Woodsingers to use magic to isolate the Shadar-kai into two pockets. The dragonborn gang along with the Lady's Marauders attacked one group, while the Mountain provided a security corridor up to the temple. The PCs of course volunteered themselves for the "most dangerous part" which was breaking into the temple.

(to be continued)
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Abyssal Maw

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[D&D4E] Actual Play -- RPGA Living Realms - Gangs of Wheloon
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 12:00:45 PM »
...(continued)



The assault on the temple went very well with only a couple of setbacks.

The PCs made their way in and had no trouble dealing with Shadar-kai sentries, however there was a sacrifice to Shar planned for later that evening, so they knew they had to move fast. (Navish was to be the sacrifice)

Inside the temple- a pair of shadow-bats, a shadow-hound, and 3 phantom warriors guarded the lower chambers while the shadar-kai worshippers conducted their ceremony on the upper floors.

Meta: The Shadow bats and the shadow-hound work really well together. The shadow-bats get a bonus to hit and damage in dim or darkness, and the shadowhound causes most light sources to dim and gutter.. so at first the bats attacked in one of the antechambers.. but the wizard (Perrun) cast light to counter their extra damage. THEN the shadowhound came in and ruined the light source, so it became a race to kill the shadowhound and the bats at the same time, they couldnt take one down without the other.

So this particular battle ranged around the lower floors of the temple- the phantoms locked the group up, and I had my first real victims get injured by the shadow-bats and the shadow-hound. The party recovered and reorganized and concetrated fire until the bats and the hound went down and eventually picked off the phantoms as well. Then they raced upstairs and interrupted the sacrifice, and the few Shadar-kai left in the temple fled.

So at this point they had rescued Navish! He informed them that they would need a pair of sapphires located in his "stash" back at the temple of Chauntea (which the players had already grabbed). He explained that the Shadar-kai had indeed built a gate from the Shadowfell, which he had successfully sabotaged- but if he was left alive, he was afraid the Shadar-kai would kill him, and then bind his spirit into releasing the information to re-set the Shadowfell gate. All that was left was for the PCs and Navish to make it out to the statue of Mystra, and Navish could cast a  ritual that would allow them all to escape.

So the PCs made it back out of the temple, accompanied now by the remaining members of the Mountain gang and a few remaining Marauders. They fought their way back towards the center of the city where the statue of Mystra was, just as the Shadar-Kai elites (a witch, 3 chainfighters and a pair of warriors) caught up with them. Navish used the sapphires- put them in the eyes of the statue to start the ritual of escape, and Perrun (remembering the tiefling from the first fight) used the statue to seal off the square with energy barriers. Then the PCs squared off against the shadar-kai, while still trying to keep the halfling defended.

This battle went really well- the Shadar-kai chainfighters are very dangerous- they have a dance of death attack that lets them move swiftly through a large group of combatants, attacking as they go, and all three slipped through the PCs ranks, eventually knocking Auric unconscious and bleeding. The rest of the PCs concentrated on the witch, and eventually brought her down. The warriors were the toughest, but less mobile and slower-- by the end of it, they had managed to kill off the rest of the Shadar-kai just as the ritual finished. Several dwarves from the Mountain died in the battle, but Dolman and a few of his clan members lived, as well as Jerrick Valwater.

"Take us with you" they cried.

The PCs agreed- and at the end of it, the statue of Mystra aniated and the entire platform levitated into the air. The PCs scrambled aboard as the energy barriers fell, and the remaining Shadar-Kai could only watch helplessly as the PCs (as well as Dolman Hammerstrike and Jerrick Valwater) made their escape.
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