Tuesday, May 30, 2017

DM Report: Phase I of the Briars Mapping Expedition

Over Memorial Day weekend we got in about 16 hours of table time. Earlier breakdowns are here, here, and here and my guesses are here.

More Adventure: After recovering from the near-fatal for several members fight with Ol' One Fang and using the Broom to ferry the freed slaves to Skull Mountain the party mapped for 3 more days then headed to Skull Mountain where they met - their other characters. Because the mapping will take so long other adventures are going on at the same time. All of them were at Skull Mountain for Midsummer and, as per tradition, they used the pre-sets on the mountaintop oculars and saw:
-Pyrotechnics over High Morath
-A flying swanship land in Timberlake
-An 80' tall humanoid climb to the rim of the Demon's Eye and wave at them
-A space battle between a dozen dragonfly ships and what appeared to be a massive snail ship. Clint thought that the oculars briefly put a red circle around the snail ship

Team Thief returned to complete mapping the western Upper Briars. The grind of mapping continued. As a group we discussed how mentally exhausting the mission would be: Constantly climbing through rocky, hilly terrain covered in briars; your clothing wearing out rapidly because of the constant wear and tear; limited sight lines meaning you are under constant threat of ambush so you can never relax; meals a constant cycle of one type of magical paste to another. Rough living.

While travelling they correctly guessed the command word tot he Ring of Raven Control they found and before too long Seeker was giving shiny coins to the various ravens of the Briars and contemplating becoming their new king.
Three or four times they witnessed a bright light from the Low Briars, always from the same spot.
One night they saw the Red Maiden on her owl chase a griffon, then transform it into a chimera and order it to follow her before she returned over the mountains.
They saw Ol' One Fang;s daughter, armed with a massive great sword but she ran off. The ravens told Seeker she gave Manbreaker to Ol' Knobby and that her name is Erena the Gorgeous.
And near the end they met the man in Purple with his travelling fortune telling tent. Just like the legend says, he answered 6 questions for them.
Total in-game time to map the western High Briars? 112 days. The eastern portion is larger. The Low Briars is much larger but the terrain isn't as bad.

Notes: It took about 50% longer than they expected because of bad weather, Ol' One Fang, and wanting to be at Skull Mountain for Midsummer. They hope the eastern portion will go faster. and they really hope they can get out of the mountains and hills to the Low Briars before Winter!
With the thorough map they are able to travel through the Briars they have explored much faster and, most importantly, without a real chance of getting lost!

What I Got Wrong: Almost everything! When bad weather hit the party just hunkered down so they avoided the flash floods and the tornado and the worst of the rest. The immediately fled from Ol' One Fang and then carefully counter-attacked and ambushed him. Although the party does admit - if O' One Fang's first blow had not been a miss at least 2 party members would have died - it was that close.

Next Steps: The 'other team' will try to get to the portion behind the eyes of Skull Mountain and then try to get to Remote Station #2 - the paladin has a weird metal plate that might fit the slot in the side panel.... Team Thief will continue their mission to the east while looking for Ol' Knobby, the new owner of Manbreaker. They will continue to hide from the Red Maiden whenever they see her.

Questions?