The first session of my Open Table Chat Game ran quite well, except that it almost ended in a Total Party Kill. What happened?
We had three player characters:
- Kylian, the Ice Elf ranger.
- Lockless, the Human bard.
- Dargoth, the Human fighter.
Game started with the player characters joining a lonely teamster called Torik on his way to Lowangen, who gave them some background knowledge about the area and pointed them to three potential adventuring locations:
- An ancient lizardmen ruin in the swamps, said to be home to a lizardmen/orc crossbreed and full of ancient treasures.
- An old burial mound that was disturbed by the orcs and is now swarming with undead.
- Three dwarf brothers that look for the smithy in which the Salamanderstein was forged. The Salamanderstein combines elven and dwarfish art as a symbol for their alliance against the first orcish invasion.
The group decides to look for the Salamanderstein once they reached Lowangen, even though the dwarf brothers search it in an unlikely place. But there is on potential ambush spot before Lowangen can be reached, a muddy copse. Torik asks them to secure the copse before he drives through with his cart, which the group agrees to.
The group surprises four goblins that are butchering three horses that are peppered with throwing knives. The group watches the scene for a short while, then agrees to attack. Because the goblins are distracted (and thus have disadvantage on their perception), the group manages to surprise them, with Dargoth rolling exceptionally well, killing on goblin on the spot and causing panic in the others. Lockless follows suit and hits another goblin, before the goblins are even able to act and flee screaming.
The extremely high damage roll on Dargoth first hit would doom the group later on, as it lead to them greatly underestimating the strength of their enemies.
Lockless notices that the goblin he hit is still alive, and decides to save him with a Healing Word. The goblin faints, and the group ties him. Kylian and Lockless search for tracks, finding that a group of about a dozend goblins must have ambushed the three riders, and that a group of larger, heavier creatures marched away with the goblins. They assume the riders, who seem to be Imperial army scouts, were taken captures and decide to free them. Torik tells them that the road to Lowangen should be safe after this point and tells them how to get there.
The group takes the goblins with them, following the clearly visible trail. When the goblin wakes, Lockless performs a ritual of Speak Languages that allows him to communicate with the goblin who calls himself Dravuvo. They figure out that the goblins are hungry and terrorized by a duo of hobgoblins, mainly wanting to go home. Dravuvo offers to arrange a meeting with the goblin chief, the group accepts. The goblins offer to help the group get into the cave and close to the prisoners, but unwilling to fight the hobgoblins or get any more actively involved – they are to terrified of the hobgoblins.
Here the group greatly underestimated the goblins, considering them extremely easily scared, and thus underestimating the strength of the hobgoblins, assuming they could defeat them with a frontal assault.
The group came up with a clever plan where on of them would be disguised as a goblin, and be snuck in by their goblin allies as guard for the prisoners. They then would free the prisoners, the others rush in and kill the hobgoblins, their wolf and the alchemist.
Everything went well: nobody noticed their clever disguised, they freed the prisoners and killed the remaining goblin guard that was loyal to the hobgoblin. The hobgoblins formed a defensive line behind the door, awaiting the heroes approach. The heroes rushed in, but their attacks caused little damage and the hobgoblin’s counter attacks cut down both Lockless and Kylian.
Dargoth and the three former prisoners turn and run away, not stopping before they arrive in Lowangen.
- Dargoth: 83 XP