Session was played on 06/22/22 taking 2 days and PCs needing to rest on a third. They can take actions starting on 06/25/22.
This session the party launched out of the former Turos Tem which Gaius (PC Fighter high level) renamed New Cyfaraun when he took it over as Legate a while back. The party had Timur's (PC Barbarian high med level) platoon of light cavalry with them, and had a pretty big group of PCs and henchmen otherwise.
Their self-stated goal tonight was to travel to the start of the Drakon's Ditch, a canal Drakon (Patron High Level Fighter and Palatine) spent months and a ton of cash building to Drain the Swamp. This swamp was hiding the evil Scaled King and many other evil creatures.
Upon the canal beginning to work the swamp quickly turned into a Badlands as per my ruling on what would happen in such a case. And beastmen and creatures whose main terrain was Swamp would no long be considered In Supply for the purpose of domain and army concerns. This came into play BIG in the downtime, patron, and PC session play in the following week (eventually leading to the finding of the Sinister Stone of Sakkara!). Stay tuned!
So the PCs set out from New Cyfaraun and saw some barbaric bandit sorts of fellows hiding in bushes along the road in the New Cyfaraun domain. Recon Team Elfa, Briarwhisper (PC Elven ranger mid level) was not surprised by the apparent ambush attempt. The PCs chose not to attack the group and skirted them instead.
They came to Drakon's Ditch and followed it north, counting hundreds of Drakon's regulars and mercenaries patrolling and protecting the canal. They met with Tribune Auranocos who was friendly and happy to see the party, most especially Viaspinicus (BriarWhisper), a title of honor Drakon gave the elf back when they worked together to defeat Dairin and Ferigno.
The PCs informed the Tribune about the bandits and he was enraged. "Barbaric bandits, in New Cyfaraun?! Why I never!" and he gathered a massive force of the men patrolling the canal to go take care of the problem.
The next day, after camping with the soldiers, the party explored the mouth of the canal seeing that its water was seemingly magically held in place. Daria (PC Bladedancer mid high level [emphasis on mid]) analyzed the magic traps she laid around the canal and saw that some had been set off. Bad guys had been here!
Daria cast dispel magic from max spell range on the seemingly magical canal obstruction. There were some comments to Daria that she shouldn't stand IN the dry canal to cast the spell below the water level because she's got about 5 INT and did indeed consider it. The water went crashing down but any danger it may have posed was already dealt with when other PCs backed away and advised Drakon's men to do the same. Drakon's Ditch was back in working order.
The next day the PCs decided to go Lair hunting in the New Badlands; the portion of the world were the swamp USED to be. This was the most fun part of the session for me. It was very cool the actions of a Patron player had changed the face of the map itself. And during this session myself and the PCs were able to start to dream up and imagine into existence what this new area might look like.
Sure it would be wet and muddy, but not quite a swamp. Before Drakon's Ditch it was an everglades sort of place. So there were deep sections where swampy lakes used to be, but no longer. Instead you walked about at the bottom of such swamp lakes in what amounted to muddy hollers with weird grassy islands looming over you. The New Badlands were an interesting place indeed.
The party found a burial mounds after a few hours of searching for lairs just north of Drakon's Ditch. I rolled up a Skeleton Lair which was about 30 skeletons but during the same period of searching I rolled up a random encounter of a Giant Python. This is where a DM must needs lean into the oracular power of the dice to create a meaningful scene; and a location that keeps the PCs guessing.
I decided the python was exploring the mounds or just hanging out there for a nap, which made the eventual encounter a bit more dynamic.
The PCs knew this was a burial mound and Daria was able to do some Divine Caster stuff. Timur tossed a torch into the main opening of the mound so Daria could cast Smite Undead on its location. This, being an area effect spell which targets undead, killed about half of the skeletons but the wildness of the holy light enraged the Python who came charging out of the crypt and bit and coiled up Daria. The PCs and Henchmen were gathered up on the tope of the mud island with the sun beating down and were able to save Daria from being constricted to death. The skeletons chose this moment to come barreling out as well.
Some missile volleys and melee clanging time later the skeletons were dead.
Inside the crypts the elves went to searching for secret doors and hidden treasures. The barbarians stood guard, and the rest of the party gathered up the ill formed Zaharan grave goods (for the GP to XP value, you see).
Sadly, Yuna (Hench to Proteus the mage, level 1 or 2) stepped on some old rotted corpse whose poisoned hand was sticking out of a low grave. She failed to save against the poison and was dead. Daria tried to meditate or an hour to ask Ianna to save Yuno (by getting a spell slot back to do it) but Ianna decided Yuno's schoolgirl look was played out and she doesnt like anime. So Daria didn't get her Remove Poison spell back in time.
The elves found a ruby in a hidden compartment worth 300 gp and 1,250 gp worth of grave goods were found. The party went back and crashed out in New Cyfaraun.
On the way back the Tribune gave them some magic items which were taken off the chief of the Beserkers the PCs spotted on their way out and informed the Tribune about. Due to my super Friendly reaction roll I decided the Tribune felt if the Party's due.
This made the session quite a bit more profitable.
Generating the New Badlands in session play was alot of fun. In the title I promised to teach you how to do this and the answer the same as most of the DMing advice I give: just make it up with your players as you go.
One of my big tricks that really tends to work is when players ask me "what does X look like" I say "what do YOU think it's like?" This becomes a bit like Family Feud where the more engaged PCs start tossing out descriptions or concepts. The I, as the DM, take the best ones. You may say "but you as the DM are supposed to decide!" and you'd be wrong, and lame, and possible Low-T so I'd get that checked out.
Players LOVE to have a hand in the creation of the world, the worldbuilding. Newer editions and storygames promise to offer this but, ime, rarely do. BROSR does. And #Dubzaron certainly does!
With the New Badlands we knew it would be muddy but also kind of eerie; this was a place known for many crypts and undead. So I described the looming hills which were formally islands among the everglade.
The 1e DMG has charts about how to generate randomized terrain of players stray off your map. I say use that if you're in that circumstance. Our circumstance was such were we had a big swamp on our regional map that was no longer a swamp. So making up its style and feel was the order of the day (or session).
Everyone seemed to enjoy it and a couple more sessions Players were excited to go back to the New Badlands and have even expressed an interest in settling the place. Stay tuned!
Dama (L1 Venturer) played by RR. Current total xp: 75. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.
Darius LeVay (L1 Assassin) played by JB. Current Total XP:451. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.
Donald the Guardsman (L1 Fighter) played by MP. Current Total XP:570. DECEASED. Intra-party justice in Session 3.
Felix (L1 Thief) played by Nicholas. Current Total XP:431. DECEASED. Poison gas in Session 3.
Hektor (L1 Paladin) played by Moai. DECEASED. Cause of Death: goblin warg rider throat removal surgery in Session 2
Leonidas the Inquisitor (L1 Cleric) played by RR.Current Total XP:498 DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.
Mard the Mage (L1 Mage) played by Nicholas. DECEASED. Frozen undead blistering cold aura left his skin frostbitten and broken in Session 6. Body not recovered.
Yolo Baggins "My friends call me Swaggins" (L1 Gnomish Trickster) played by J. DECEASED. Paralyzed and eaten by ghouls in Session 12. Body not recovered.
Jack Filcher (L1 Thief) played by C. DECEASED. Shot full of arrows by Inthorn's brigands in Session 12. Body not recovered.
Swoleous Maximus (L1 Paladin). DECEASED. Captured then drawn and quartered by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.
Damianus (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Captured and beheaded by Inthorn the Brigand warlord in Session 12. Posthumously named "Petty Hero of Turos Tem" by Legate Valerian. Ashes offered a place of pride in the Hospital.
Bucky (L1 Barbarian). DECEASED. Became a illegal pit fighter during his downtime. Had two bouts to the death, winning the first and losing the second. Was killed by Young Jack Sparrow who sashayed into the ring, drank rum, and mogged on Bucky before putting a dagger into his ribs, killing him. This happened during downtime between Session 17 and 18.
Broll Wolf-Eater (L1 Barbarian). Current total XP: 1079. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.
Brother Franklin (L1 Cleric). DECEASED. Decapitated by a mad cultist of a Lovecraftian slime thing in Session 19.
Felix the Elder (L1 Bard). Total XP 825. DECEASED. Captured by mad cultists and fed to a Lovecraftian slime monster in Session 19.
Templar Flavius Africanus (L1 Cleric). Total XP 7. Killed by the claws and beak of mad harpies in Session 19.
Xendi (L1 Explorer). Total XP 6. DECEASED. Carried off by harpies after falling for their enchanting song in Session 19.
Yllmeeton (L3 Shaman). Total XP 4,563. Bludgeoned by the corpse of a bowmen by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.
Longinus (L2 Assassin). Total XP 2,036. Had his face ripped off by Rosie Odonnel hag in Session 21.
Mandonio (L3 Fighter). Total XP 4,779. Charred to a leprous crisp by diseased Dragon breath in Session 22.
Corydon (L1 Joker). Total XP: 0. Burnt to a crisp by chimera breath so thoroughly his corpse wasn't even fit for the crows. Died with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. that's life and as funny as it seems... some people get their kicks, stomping on a dream... In Session 25.
Donny Keebler (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP 2,238. Had his legs burned completely off by chimera fire breath in Session 25.
Marina (L2 Fighter). Total XP: 2,204. Burnt into ash by a chimera fire breath in Session 25.
Gundro (L2 Gnomish Trickster). Total XP: 2,575. Had his mouth and tongue bitten off by a lizardman ambusher in the dank sewers below Cyfaraun in Session 26.
Polydoros (L1 Fighter). Total XP: 0. Had his legs ripped off and eaten by Akira monsters in the dark canopy of the Viaspen Forest in Session 28.
Odrum (L1 Explorer). Total XP: 287. Javelin to the heart from the hands of weird vine goblins hidden in the walls of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.
Garvin the Nutless Wonder (L1 Mage). Total XP: 0. Fell off the side of Ferigno's lair 20 feet to his death in Session 30.
Blackmoon (L1 Assassin). Total XP: 768. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while stealing treasure from Ferigno's dragon horde in Session 30.
Xanthus (L2 Cleric). Total XP: 2,364. Choked to death by BOB from Twin Peaks while hanging out on the roof of Ferigno's lair in Session 30.
Lord Zyklon (L1 Elven Spellsword). Total XP: 0. LORD ZYKLON DISEMBOWLED LORD ZYKLON upon finding himself on the losing side of the Desolation of Turos Tem.
Turin (L1 Cleric). Total XP: 0. Eaten by Wargs in Session 32.
Rat Face (L2 Thief) Total XP: 1,577. Seemingly grabbed in the dark by a Xenomorph in Session 36. In a sinkhole your party can hear you scream!
Smarticus (L1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Captured by a Xenomorph in Session 36 for all the party to witness. Taken deep into a sinkhole.
Hearticus (L1 Cleric) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 after projectile vomiting all over himself from the stink of sewer sludge.
Mickey Mouser (L1 Thief) Total XP: 0. Gored to death by giant horned beetles in Session 39 in the happiest place on earth: the Cyfaraun sewer!
Aenes (Level 1 Paladin) Total XP: 62. Swarmed by giant flies in the sewer beneath Cyfaraun in Session 40.
Acianus (Level 1 Mage) Total XP: 0. Chopped to pieces in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue from behind and quickly forgotten about by his compatriots who saved MadEye and lamented Hardar instead. But I'll never forget you Acinanu nanu...nanite... nananaa...
Hardar (Level 2 Mage) Total XP: 2,832. Chopped up in Session 42 by a six armed demon statue as he held his Darth Vader Choking Grip spell long enough for his compatriots to escape an unwinnable battle. His dream to become the most evil being in the universe suffers eternally the indignity of being remembered for self sacrifice and laying his life down for his friends.
Nubbs (Level 3 Thief) Total XP: 4,017. Swarmed by scarabs which bored into his ears and brain in Session 45.
Grummz (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultgard) Total XP: 0. Ripped limb from limb by a throng of skeletons and their undead golem leaders in Session 46.
Grommzs (Level 1 Dwarven Vaultguard) Total XP: 2,168. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in session 48
Rapunzel (Level 4 Priestess) Total XP: 11,540. Torn to bits and eaten by trolls in Session 48.
Schizo (Level 1 Mage): Total XP: 0. Frozen to death by an assassin's guild ruffian bard wielding a Wand of Cold in session 54.
Marteen (Level 1 Thief): Total XP: 0. Fell to his death in Lamalla's Temple upon a pile of dragon horde gold. Corpse eaten by Sheila the Beautiful, an Ancient Blue Dragon in session 56.
Alexa this is so sad play "Swampwise" by Okefenokee Joe