Into the deep caverns – Ep03 – Dark Sun Scarlet Heroes

[Likely] (2d10 => (6,7) => 7) l does the magma paraelemental beast return to its plane?
Yes.

Having no bonds to hold it down to the material plane, the magma beast jumps back into the lava pit and vanishes.
Chansa bandages his wounds and takes a good look at the remains of the dwarf cultists. He understands why there are no shamans of the magma element among his people. There is nothing to be gained from such a savage element.

Turn 5:
Room 5: SW
Garden
Encounter: encounter found: 10 Hit Dice worth of minions and elites.
Treasure: no treasure
Hazards: no hazards
Features: no feature

Chansa moves deeper in the cavern system, and he comes upon a beautiful room. Rocks of various sizes and colors have been arranged to display a marvelous contrast between red, orange, yellow and black.
Several dwarves are here, tending to the rocks and their formations. Some are sitting in front of them, their eyes close, in some sort of meditation.

[Unlikely] (2d10 => (2,4) => 2) u can Chansa get to the otherside of the room undetected?
No.
The GM says no, but I still want to try.

[Either Way] (1d10 => 8) is the difficulty extreme?
Yes.

Chansa: Stealth: 15/15: Success!

Chansa counts 8 dwarves in total. He bides his time carefuly, as they see to have not noticed him. He sees a dwarf in red cloak, going from accolyte to accolyte, assisting them with meditation techniques.
He moves silently, jumping swiftly from shadow to shadow, until he reaches the other end of the cave, in a feat of extreme skill. Were it not for his halfling size and dexterous abilities, he surely would have been made, and have to fight another group of bloodthirsty enemies.

Forgot to make a wandering monster check in the previous room. There’s no point making one now, since Chansa is as stealthy as a cat.

Turn 6:
Room 6: NW
Minor Shrine
Encounter: encounter found: 5 Hit Dice worth of minions.
Treasure: no treasure
Hazards: no hazards
Features: feature: A prisoner or victim of the dungeon inhabitants: creature motivation: Retrieve a stolen treasure- possibly taken by PC: A traitor from the nearest village

[Extremely Unlikely] (1d10 => 6) xu is the treature something stolen by Chansa?
No.

“Let me go!” a strong armed dwarf with tatoos, is bound by half-giant hair rope. A handful of cultists are gathered around him.
“We will let you go when Suthra says so.” A cultist replies.
“We should sacrifice him to the pit” Says another one.
“Suthra may want to spare him. After all, he’s the one who brought him the fire staff. Without it we wouldn’t be able to summon the beast” The first one says.
“Yes but he tried to steal it back, otherwise why did you come back eh?” Another one asks the bound dwarf.
“You tricked me. I thought you were fire clerics.” The bound dwarf replies with rage.
“And so easily you betrayed your teacher. How proud he must be of you. Traitor.” The captor says and laughs out loud. “You can pay your respects here, to the shrine we have set for magma. Look at how it consumes everything and forms it anew…” He says and points to a geological shape made out of solid magma.

‘Curious’, Chansa thinks. Maybe this fire cleric knows the way to the city of Tyr. Chansa doesn’t think it over much. He draws his javelin, and with a war cry he charges at the dwarf cultists.

Combat Round 1:
Chansa attacks a minion = (10)+12 = 22: damage = (2)+2 = 4: 1 point of damage: 1 minion is dead
Fray die damage = (5) = 5: 1 point of damage: 1 minion is dead
minion attacks = (1)+4 = 5, (5)+4 = 9, (17)+4 = 21: minion damage = (1) = 1: 0 points of damage!

Combat Round 2:
Chansa attacks a minion = (18)+12 = 30: damage = (6)+2 = 8: 2 points of damage: 2 minions are dead
Fray die damage = (7) = 7: 1 point of damage: 1 minion is dead

Chansa quickly dispatches two cultists, while a third one tries to hit him from behind. The halfling quickly turns around and blocks the hit with his shield, dodging the blows of the other two. In a feat of prowess, he then proceeds to kill the three remaining dwarves.

So I have no idea how the dwarf will react to Chansa, but instead of asking the GME, I will roll on the Scarlet Heroes relevant table
Their attitude towards the hero is… = (2+3) = 5: Predacious, willing to take advantage of those weaker
But Chansa doesn’t seem to be weaker. Nevertheless I get a pretty clear picture.

There is a moment of uneasiness, as the fire cleric eyes Chansa carefully pondering if he is going to be attacked next. He slew those dwarves as if they were nothing, and he has heard several stories of the savagery of the cannibal halflings of the Forest Ridge. Still, the halfling hasn’t made a move against him.
“Do you know the way to Tyr?” Chansa finally asks in a terrible pronunciation in the Trade Tongue.

[Very Likely] (3d10 => (7,5,4) => 7) vl Does he know the way to Tyr?
Yes.

[Either Way] (1d10 => 2) is it from an exit on the last dungeon room?
No.

Dwarf name = (2) = 2

Grunting, the dwarf nods. “I’m Boris.”

Boris is a very significant name for the Athasian history, but heck, there can’t be only one Boris in the entirety of Athas. I’m sticking with it.

Turn 7:
Room 7: SW
Library
Encounter: encounter found: 4 Hit Dice worth of minions and possibly an elite.
Treasure: no treasure
Hazards: no hazards
Features: feature found: An architectural feature of the original structure: Atrociously ugly or disturbing to look upon

So… another encounter and a feature. Libraries aren’t available in Athas, so this need to be adapted accordingly.

Chansa enters further deep in the cavern system. Boris has picked up a club from one of the dead cultists and is right behind him. The path opens up to a low ceiling, wide room. There are delicate paintings everywhere in all the walls. Intricate designs with yellow, red and black depict figures performing some sort of rituals. Magma beasts, volcanoes and lava rain catch Chansa’s eyes. But what disturbs him, is the depiction of forests being set ablaze in an inferno by lava rain. He can stomach a lot, but the preservation of the forest is his utmost duty.
Lost as he is in his examination, he realizes he is not alone. Four dwarf cultists that were studying the pictures, are standing against him, weapons drawn.

Combat Round 1:
Chansa attacks a minion = (11)+12 = 23: damage = (2)+2 = 4:1 point of damage
fray die = (6) = 6: 2 points of damage
3 minions are dead
minion attacks = (17)+4 = 21: damage = (1) = 1: 0 points of damage
Boris attacks = (19)+8 = 27: damage = (4) = 4: 1 point of damage: 1 minion dead

Chansa pulls out his javelins, and throws them out all one by one, with enormous speed, paying no heed to accuracy. All three strike true, killing an equal number of dwarves. The last one remaining, tries to jab at Chansa, who blocks the strike with his shield. Finding an opening, Boris, strikes the cultist from behind, splitting his skull open with his club.

Chansa pulls out his javelins, and throws them out all one by one, with enormous speed, paying no heed to accuracy. All three strike true, killing an equal number of dwarves. The last one remaining, tries to jab at Chansa, who blocks the strike with his shield. Finding an opening, Boris, strikes the cultist from behind, splitting his skull open with his club.
“I have enough, rations. No need to waste any time on them.” Chansa says to Boris, who is a little uneasy at how lightly, the halfling considered eating dwarfkind. “Curious images, but heresy! Destroying those forests!” Chansa exclaims. “Let’s get out of here.”
“No! We must find the fire staff!” Boris stops him.
“I think it was broken. While their leader was trying to control a beast made of magma” Chansa tells him.
“NO! I am disgraced! How will I ever correct my mistake?” Boris cries out and drops to his knees.
“Can’t you make a new one?” Chansa asks.

[Either Way] (1d10 => 5) can he make a new one?
No, but…

“It’s not that easy. I would need to travel far and wide to get the components. It’s almost impossible.” Boris replies.
“I have already a debt to you. I will, show you the path to Tyr.” He adds.


So, the dungeon ends here. I have mixed feelings about it. Too many encounters and they were a little bit boring, baring the encounter with the magma beast, which was due to my interpretation and not the Scarlet Heroes mechanics. All the other encounters with minions and sometimes elites were too easy to be considered even a little bit dangerous.
Even if I consider the simplification provided by Scarlet Heroes regarding combat, it can become cumbersome. In the fight with the magma beast, I did not even consider having the head cleric cast a spell.


Back to the wilderness adventure now.
From my hex map, I have calculated that Tyr is about 3 more hexes away, provided that Chansa doesn’t get lost again.
Chansa will move as quickly as possible. He (and I) has had enough encounters on the way and is tired. He needs to find Tyr.

Day 10

Hex 6:
Encounters Check = (3) = 3: No encounter
Events Check = (8) = 8: No event
Feature Check = (4) = 4: No Feature found

Boris guides Chansa through a narrow path in the mountains which was hidden from plain sight.
Soon, the mountains recede into desert hills. A terrain so much different than the forests, where Chansa spent his entire life. He doesn’t pause to search and look around this time.
From the mountain sides he can see below, an endless desert spreads as far as the eye can see. He navigates himself, to where he believes Tyr to be and moves on quickly.

Hex 7:
Encounters Check = (1) = 1: Encounter found
Mountains Encounter Table = (7+6) = 13: Encounter with Dwarf. Really?
Events Check = (7) = 7: No Event
Feature Check = (3) = 3: No Feature

So let’s see what’s about this Dwarf.
There are two ways I can go about it. I can either ask first questions if its a known/unknown dwarf, and then find out what they want.
Alternatively I can roll on the Scarlet Heroes respective tables and conjecture if it’s relevant to my story so far.
I’ve decided to run it using the Scarlet Heroes Encounters tables and twists
1d20 Their Current Purpose, Given Their Location , Is To …. = (7) = 7: Search for help during some present crisis
Their Attitude Towards The Hero Is… = (5+7) = 12: Disinclined to fight unless that seems necessary
The Groups Size And Condition = (3+1) = 4: Roll encounter size twice and take the bigger total
The Groups Size And Condition = (4+7) = 11
The Groups Size And Condition = (7+3) = 10
11: They’ve been hard-pressed lately; Morale lowered by 1

[Either Way] (1d10 => 7) is the dwarf Boris?
Yes.

Chansa has left the mountains and started moving quickly in the desert. The grains of sand getting to his feet. The hot ground causing him some uneasiness but, his resilient nature and focus on the task at hand make him forget about it, and quickly it’s just a warm feeling.
As he travels through the dunes, he notices that there is almost no life around. Nothing compared to what he’s accustomed to.
He takes a look back, in a nostalgic feeling of his home, but something else catches his eye. A stout humanoid figure is following his trail. His sense of danger alerts him and he wonders if the creature is edible. He has enough rations to make it to Tyr without bothering about a dangerous encounter and would prefer to avoid it if possible.
As the figure draws closer, he distinguishes the dwarf he rescued from the magma cavern temple. It’s Boris.
“Why do you follow me? You’ll find that if you want to take a bite of me, I more than bite back!” Chansa growls at the possibility he’s the hunted instead of the hunter.
“…what…? no I can’t go back. I’ve completely let down my people. I saw how you dispatched my enemies and I feel safer to travel with you to Tyr. If that’s alright with you…” Boris answers confused and worried
“Fine. But I’ll have my eyes on you.” Chansa says, squinting his eyes.
“Tyr is just a few miles further in this fertile valley, you’ll see… I want to see if I can find help, creating a new fire staff. Or die trying.” Boris says sternly.
“You call this fertile?” Chansa asks, not realizing how more unforgiving the rest of the tablelands are.

Hex 8:
Tyr.

The walled city of Tyr is visible in the distance, as Chansa and Boris get closer.

Session Background

Due to recent events, both personal and public this “session” lasted a lot longer than previous ones. I had trouble focusing and needed something less mind-taxing than solo play. I’ve done a lot of scenery and miniature painting, and will continue to do so in-between my solo sessions.
My feelings about Scarlet Heroes are mixed so far. On one hand I really like the gaming style of the Wilderness and Dungeon modules. On the other hand, I find combat really bland. Could be my recent mood or the fact that it’s not that much suited to my style. I like to have some serious risk for my protagonist in my solo plays, and I couldn’t find it so far.
I want to try out the Urban module for solo play as well, but I’m not quite sure that I will continue with it for my next session.
I also want to play out the Mystery of the Ancients starter adventure, but I’m not quite sure I want to do it with Scarlet Heroes. I might take the time to convert it to a different system and run it with my MUNE homebrew mod for pre-written modules.