Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The Favorites of Selune campaign - Ravenloft Session 3

In the previous session the Favorites of Selune had entered Castle Ravenloft, in search of a way to kill vampire lord Count Strahd von Zarovich and thereby escape from Barovia. After the butler Igor had welcomed them first, and then left them, they were free to go wherever they wanted in that castle. Deciding to explore the ground floor first, they started opening doors, with the rogue in front.

After finding some empty servants quarters, the next door proved to be more interesting: The office of Lief Lipsiege, an elderly undead gentleman doing the accounting for Strahd (cue in lots of "Count" jokes). Lief proved to be quite friendly, especially after the rogue helped him get a file on taxes from one cabinet he couldn't reach, having been chained to his desk for the last 30 years. Behind the office the group found the library, being dusted by Helga, the maid. With Lief's help (he had the register) the group found not just a book of arcane rituals in the library, but also the Book of Strahd, telling the history of how Strahd became a vampire. From that book they learned that to weaken Strahd sufficiently to be able to kill him, they had to disperse the grave earth from his coffin in his underground tomb.

Helga, apparently worried that Strahd would punish her for letting the players take his books asked to accompany them further, and ultimately bring her back to the village, and the players agreed. They didn't trust her completely, but figured that if she was an enemy, it would still be better to keep an eye on her. So they all went together into the next room, at the opposite end of the castle from the main entrance, where a ruined chapel was found, with a broken church window letting in the elements. Helga was chatting about the need to clean up that place, and how she had heard that there was a treasure in the bell tower of the chapel. A thick rope was leading up to a trapdoor in the ceiling, apparently closed by a simple bolt.

Hearing of the treasure, the wizard conjured up a ghostly hand to open the bolt of the trapdoor. The trapdoor swung open, but instead of a treasure five big and one huge spider came out and engaged the group in combat. And the maid Helga turned out to be a vampire, and attacked the group as well. While the spiders did have some nasty poison attacks, I think the players overestimated the danger. Lots of daily powers were used early on in this first fight of the day, a tactic known as alpha strike. Works quite well on the spot, but risks running into a lack of resources later in the day. As D&D players constantly kill stuff it isn't easy to get an atmosphere of horror and suspense going, but I think I succeeded quite well with Helga tricking them into that spider attack.

After the fight the adventurers took a short rest in the chapel, during which they saw a ghost which strongly resembled Ireena Kolyana. Having already read the Book of Strahd they could identify her as his lost love Tatyana, who was betrothed to Strahd's younger brother. Strahd killed his brother, Tatyana jumped through the chapel window down the cliff and her body was never found. The ghost apparently was replaying this scene, with Tatyana's ghost fleeing and ultimately jumping through the hole in the window. But the heroes managed to calm her down long enough to ask for her aid, and the ghost told them where Igor had hid the holy symbol he had stolen from the dead burgomaster. They found this  Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, and it turned out to be quite useful for the cleric, improving his turn undead power.

Once the ghost was gone, and the players had now achieved two of the goals that the tarot cards had foretold them, they tried to go after another hint from that tarot reading about searching behind fire. But the search behind the fireplace in the library turns out to be fruitless, and we ended the session there.

With their alpha strike out of the way it should be easier to make things more tense for them now, unless you let them nap in that chapel or in the accountant's room for an entire day. :P

I imagine they sort of forgot Strahd himself could be wandering around his own castle. Probably want to be fully prepped before running into him again.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool