John – Okay I have got all my battle maps drawn up for Crawmag Hideout, I’m all set for this.
The group advanced down the cave; it took a little bit for the halflings to realise they could not walk two abreast without one of them having water up to their ears. It is a shallow stream for a human, for a halfling not so much.
Party interaction is always an interesting concept which can add to or deduct from the gameplay. I tend to play that generally if the group is talking amongst themselves then it is in game in real time, unless they specifically nominate that they wish to stealth and a stealth roll is done. But if they don’t then what they say and how they say it can be heard from any nearby NPCs or mobs.
In this case the group had a rousing good discussion with a fair amount of banter between them as they entered the clearly hostile cave, due to the darkness Asterin cast light to enable the halflings to see. Needless to say, any mob could see them coming from a mile away.
Although the party saw the bridge up ahead that spanned the tunnel overhead, they didn’t see the goblin spotter, but he certainly saw them. Anyone familiar with LMoP will know what was to come next. A torrent of water rushed down the cave passage and smashed into the party. Aurelia, Merric and Wendel made their dex saves and leapt up to into a side passage. Asterin however, did not succeed and was caught in the flood.
Fortunately, Merric quickly reached out his hand to catch Asterin and between the two of them they successfully made a strength save to avoid Asterin from being swept off her feet. A little wet but unharmed the party decided to try scaling the rubble in the side passage. Nimble Merric made it to the top and tossed down a rope for the remaining party.
Having suddenly learnt the value of stealth, the party got their bearings and scouted out the adjacent room. The room was being used as a common room by the Cragmaw goblins which was currently occupied by six goblins and a human hostage. Merric and Wendel reported the information back to the girls and they made their attack plan.
Combat is where this group really excels. The surprise round had the goblin standing over the hostage dead with both arrow and spell, and another goblin was down for the count. The remaining goblins gave a good fight before being defeated, dealing high amounts of damage to both Merric and Wendel. Meanwhile Aurelia had elected several new additions to be tossed into her dice jail.
Bruised and beaten the party had succeeded in rescuing the human who turned out to be Sildar Hallwinter the bodyguard of Gundren Rockseeker, the party’s employer. At this point the party decided to take a long rest to recoup some of their health, as mentioned earlier the party had no healer. Fortunately for them no patrols happened to return, and the party was back at full health.
After listening to some advice from Sildar the party opted to leave the rest of the cave unexplored and to make haste to the town of Phandelin as soon as possible. The party continued to take a stealthy approach avoiding the attention of the bridge spotter, making it safely out of the cave and back to their laden cart.
Merric had chosen the horses hiding place well and they were still hidden if a little bit upset for spending the night out in the open behind some thick brush. Climbing back into the cart the party made safe passage all the way to Phandelin without incident and I called the session over.
I looked at the other sections of Cragmaw Hideout I had drawn up wondering whether the party are likely to return. You never know, so I filed them for later use. As the party had successfully rescued Sildar and made it alive back to their cart I awarded them 300 XP each bringing them all up to Level 2.