Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Trouble with Goblins (Lost Mines of Phandelver cont.)

art from Francis Bousho's dungeon brew
The four survivors of the green dragon of Thundertree limped back to Phandalin, but not for long, because trouble was still brewing in that unhappy hamlet and they fled before the Redbrands could arrange to ambush them, pausing only long enough to recruit a dwarven fighter into their ranks.

Though the dwarf was extremely leery of keeping company with a goblin, an elf, and a wooden halfling, nevertheless they struck out again for the Cragmaw Hideout, they hoped to best the bullywugs and score a little quick loot.

(it really wasn't as good an idea as it sounded like at first)
When trailed by some wolves, part of the same pack that briefly followed the sadly deceased "Frodo Wolflord," the wizard used Prestidigitation to conjure the acrid smell of burning hair, thus cleverly keeping the predators at bay.

With Ted the goblin in the lead, they were surprised to find a row of the frog-creatures spitted on stakes outside the cave.

Nosing a little further into his old home, Ted encountered a goblin lookout:

"Who are you?"

"I'm Ted Cragmaw."

"Ted's dead."

"I'm the other Ted."

"Oh.  Nice shovel.  Hey, is that a dwarf?"

As the lookout scrambled to go find help, an impromptu plan cast the dwarf as Ted's "captive" with the elf, halfling, and wizard waiting in ambush.

A pair of huge, armored hobgoblins marched down to take charge of the prisoner and, seeing that the dwarf was still armed, they drew their weapons ... and here's where Ted got a bit ... confused ... and started laying into the dwarf with his shovel!

Despite a couple volleys from the rest of the party in the bushes, the dwarf was soon subdued, trussed up, and the goblins, including Ted, went marching back up the tunnel in quick order.

Having suddenly lost two party members, the others had no stomach for trying to plunge into the tunnel in pursuit and they decided to give the dwarf up for lost!

As the poor dwarf received harsh treatment in preparation for being dragged off to Cragmaw Castle, Ted found himself being promoted by the goblins of his former tribe!

Now at the head of a squad of goblins, Ted headed back out with orders to trail the party and report back to the Cragmaw goblins when the adventurers made camp so that an ambush could be arranged.

I normally just prohibit in-party fighting as a matter of course ... it just doesn't go anywhere worthwhile for the middle school crowd ... but in Ted's case I was willing to make an exception.  He was, after all, a goblin ... and if the party decides to follow a goblin into its own lair, well ... shouldn't they expect a bit of treachery?  And truthfully, it isn't even as if Ted's player planned any betrayal, he just did what seemed natural moment-by-moment.

So after spring break we'll have to see how this all plays out -- I continue to be shocked by the amount of play that we are getting out of this single adventure!

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