Ghosts of the Five Nations

Session 5: "Swift Hawk's Day Dream"
An experiment in the mind of the rookie.

Highlights

Players in Attendance: Ryven, Dan, Michael, Matt

Time for an Experiment…

  • Gerald couldn’t make it, so I decided to declare a special session to try out a wacky twist on 4e.
  • Basically, I wanted to see what 4e looks like if you have multiple APs and can spend them all during a fight.
  • We decided that we were going to frame the experiment as a daydream of the rook Swift Hawk from during the Wendigo fight from session two.
    • “I could have been so much more awesome…”

Some things about Action Points

  • The characters weren’t really optimized for AP use, so they didn’t make maximal effectiveness out of the increased actions.
  • the limiter on action point use is accuracy. poor or average accuracy means meh AP use. high accuracy makes AP hyper-deadly.
  • so the real trick then might be to mess around with accuracy, and see how that effects the game. I think higher accuracy can result in a faster and more interesting combat.
  • back to regular game next week…
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Session 4: Flight of Stone
Fleeing the Stone Giants; Vengeance.

Highlights

Players in Attendance: Ryven, Dan, Michael, Gerald, Matt

I start this session reading them the tale of the Children of Stone.

Flight from the Stone Giants

  • the PCs are running from the Stone Giants. Resolve with a quick mini-skill challenge. Each player narrates how they use a trained skill to affect an escape. We make a list and all those skills are “burned” – They can be used but the trained bonus is temporarily lost.

Fire Dogs and Flaming Skulls

  • the ghosts make their escape but are unable to shake the flaming skulls completely. The flaming skulls attract fire dogs and surround the ghosts.
  • the ghosts dispense of the fire dogs (modified hell hounds), but the flaming skulls escape.

Weighing Options

  • the players have a few choices:
    • Black Crow has “invited” them to the Strong River in a few days.
    • Stone Giants appear to be on the rampage in the Nation of Bone.
    • they could attempt to track the flaming skulls and finish them off.
  • after a tense moment between Two Wolves and the distrustful Fish-on-the-Shore, the party decides to track the flaming skulls and then meet the dark shaman Black Crow.
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Session 3: Black Crow Speaks
Stone Giants and Worms; Flaming Skulls and the Speech of Crows

Highlights

Players in attendance: Ryven, Dan, Michael, Gerald

I start this encounter with the story of the Ghost Who Loved.

Flashback: Days earlier.

  • New player! Gerald, playing Two Wolves, is not a ghost. He is a supreme hunter whose hunting party has been attacked by stone giants, who were thought dead. His entire party is crushed by boulders and trees wielded as clubs.
  • A madman caked in dirt and wearing a cloak of raven’s feathers feeds Two Wolves a worm. The worm compels Two Wolves to walk in some direction without pause for two days.

The Message.

  • Two Wolves arrives to the ghosts just after they have killed Yellow Dog.
  • Only Red Dog knows he is possessed. Swift Hawk and Fish on the Shore ask him if he is ok and Red Dog lies; his companions agree to believe him for now.
  • Two Wolves, driven by the worm, delivers a message from Black Crow and then spits the worm out:

“I spit at what the Great “Peacemaker” has brought! We are beset at all sides by enemies. In four directions we are attacked by outsiders. By forsaking the Old Ways we have become weak, soft and unready.

I will spill blood and redden the white roots of the tree of Peace! The spirits of the lower world are mine to command. They will help us if we name their price.

Abandon your current weakness and join me. Meet me at the Strong River by Full Moon."
  • There is a bit of tension between Fish on the Shore and Two Wolves, interrupted by boulders crashing to earth. Two Wolves was also leading an escort of creatures that were thought extinct: Stone Giants.

Fury of the Children of stone.

  • this encounter goes badly! The Stone Giants are too hard for the PCs to hit, and by the time they get acquainted with the trick, which is to kill the flameskulls that are around them to break the spell, they are far too damaged to rally back.
  • We all agree that retreat is the best option. The Children of Stone will have their revenge!

The ghosts flee…

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Session 2: Broken Bones
A Wendigo Lives in your Heart as a Night Seed.

Higlights

Players in Attendance: Ryven, Dan, Michael, Matt

Violator

  • The characters finally confront Yellow Dog; I’ve made a solo version of a Wendigo from the Demonomicon that’s pretty nasty at first.
  • The players finally get the drop on Yellow Dog and tear him apart. This is good and bad. The wendigo in spirit form is undeniably powerful for a small period of time; the players must run not to be possessed.

The Nightseed

  • A quick athletics check decides it: Red Dog falls to the ground with a scream. In a fraction of a second, while his companions check on him, he feels the wendigo growing within him as a night seed, and then he sees a black raven up above and watching him.
  • Red Dog knows who is responsible for this somehow —Black Crow, the insane shaman who has already “killed” Red Dog on the battlefield before Red Dog became a ghost. The raven caws and flies off.

The night is not yet over however…the lower world is being awoken….

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Session 1: The Smell of Red
A Cannibal's Remorse

Highlights

Players in Attendance: Ryven, Dan, Michael

Spirit World Chaos

  • The ghosts are minding their own business when the spirit world goes into chaos. In this setting, using Arcana to detect magic induces a magical synaesthesia; the characters smell red and can tell that the someone is taking up the “old Way” of cannibalism.
  • Cannibalism opens a gateway to the lower world for a wendigo to appear, possessing the cannibal. It’s happening in a town nearby so the PCs have to make their way as quickly as possible.
  • Reverse Skill Challenge. PCs simply name what skill they are using to navigate the forest to the village; skills used automatically succeed and give a bonus for a later encounter.

He Eats his own Daughter Before Dying

  • The ghosts infiltrate the village and find the longhouse of Yellow Dog, an old veteran of wars in the north. He has resisted the urges of cannibalism for a long time but has given in at last. He has killed everyone in the longhouse, and is helpless to stop himself; he is eating his daughter’s brains and crying.
  • The ghosts look to silence him but it is too late. The wendigo find his soul as he flees the longhouse.
  • Skill Challenge: Drive out Yellow Dog. If the PCs kill the wendigo in the village, the demon will simply possess another soul; they must lure it out as it tries to rampage through the village , chasing it to a more remote place for a fight.
  • The ghosts drive Yellow Dogs to a clearing and the battle begins…
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