Humble Servants of Pelor

Having Fun Storming the Castle

Story:

We arrived at County Westmoore and found the outlying villages had been evacuated. There were signs of a struggle, although not of an invasion. We saw symbols or something suggestive of a bad death cult god. Seeing the castle in the distance, we approached, and were attacked by firebats.

Upon dispatching (and making tiki-torches of) the fire bats, we proceeded up the road to the castle, which showed signs of having been attacked in the not-too-distant past. We attempted to make diplomatic contact with the castle’s inhabitants, but a spooky gray dude with big eyeballs and a wicked spiked chain came out and tried to run us off.

Undeterred, we insisted that we needed answers to the doppleganger questions. When he realized our persistence, the gray guy set his press-gang of minions on us. Though burly they were, they fought without heart, and secretly asked for salvation from their fates. We nearly killed the chainflinger fellow, but his body fell within the castle portcullis. An unknown agent or agents took his body deeper into the castle. The party tried to follow, but only Shadlyn made it under the portcullis. Kairon teleported in, too, and that’s where we left off.

Experience:

(1050 + 800 + 5) = 371

Comments

I’m not sure that diving under the portcullis and splitting the party was a great idea. Now our least resilient companions are stuck on the side of the gate with an unknown number of angry clay-skinned slavers (or whatever is going on in there). At least Shadlyn can hide himself away effectively. Kairon will have to surrender as a prisoner of war or something… ;D

Having Fun Storming the Castle
 

I mean, we observed a dude pulling a lever that made the portcullis fall. I’m hoping it’s just a matter of pulling the lever again. If it does turn out that Shadlyn needs to somehow sneak his way into the depths of the castle, maybe we could play that out with a quick skill challenge or something. Skill challenges sound like a good way to resolve something like this that maybe wouldn’t work out so well (and would probably take a long time) using standard combat mechanics.

Having Fun Storming the Castle
 

Don’t worry about it too much. I learned my lesson from letting you guys split the party that one time. I’ll find a creative way to avoid a party split.

Having Fun Storming the Castle
 

Hooray for an adventure log! Everyone gets 200 xp!

Having Fun Storming the Castle
 

I’m pretty confident that Shadlyn can sneak his way to the lever. The problem is medieval engineering. The lever likely just releases a wheel that was locking the portcullis in place, and gravity gets the thing down to the ground. Getting it up again requires a lot of energy. This would typically be done by having a gang of strong guys turn the wheel and slowly pull the portcullis back up. I suppose they could have a magic lever (being D&D and all), but one halfling is unlikely to be able to lift a large iron gate otherwise. On the upside, there is a big hole in the wall that we can probably take advantage of.

Having Fun Storming the Castle
 

Wheels? Counterweights? Gang of guys? See, I had it all wrong. I had assumed that the lever was attached to a feather that tickled a red dragon’s nose, causing it to sneeze, sending billowing plumes of fire, heating a boiler which kicked a sterling engine into effect. The sterling engine drives a mechanical wizard who casts or un-casts a levitate spell on the portcullis. All Shadlyn has to do is steal the mechanical wizard’s wand. No problem.

Seriously, though, the slow descent of the portcullis does suggest there could be a counter-weight involved. Maybe if a locking mechanism is disabled, the combined might of the rest of us could just lift the portcullis.

Having Fun Storming the Castle
 

These are possibilities you will have to discover … next time! DUN DUN DUUUNNNN!!!

Having Fun Storming the Castle
 

This does bring to mind a question I believe is addressed somewhere in the PHB, but I don’t remember. Basically, we take turns acting so as to keep the game orderly, but I mostly imagine that the action is happening effectively instantaneously. To whit, I decided Shadlyn would try to get under the portcullis basically because that’s what he’d do if he saw everyone else making a run for it.

On the other hand, proceeding by initiative order, I, the player, knew everyone else had failed to get under the portcullis. Shadlyn probably wouldn’t have tried if he was actually reacting to everyone else not making it. Well, maybe he would have done it just to show off, but the point is I’m not sure which information is supposed to be the basis for decisions like this.

Having Fun Storming the Castle
BenVis

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