Running Castles and Crusades RPG on Google Hangouts

20/4/20

With COVID-19 and social distancing preventing me from running the six C&C games I typically run each month, I have begun moving my games onto Google Hangouts. I prefer to run my games theatre of mind if I can, so there isn’t a need (at the moment) to use a VTT like Fantasy Grounds. I ran a game on Saturday (the 18th). Here is a gaming diary of that experience.

Castles & Crusades Google Hangouts Game Diary: a memorable tavern, and discovering multi-faceted ways to die! 😮 😈

Today was a whole lot of fun! It was the first of what looks to be many future Hangout games with gamers who joined from my invitation on the Castles & Crusades MeWe page.

The adventure began in The Hammered Bull tavern on the outskirts of town. The barkeep, Garrik, operates a tavern with a hedonistic atmosphere that smells of vomit. The drinks are of suspicious origin, and one, called “Troll Sweat”, is rumored to be a mix of whatever remained from the unfinished contents of the previous days mugs. The most unique meal here is called “Snakes and Snails and Puppy dog tails in a Bearnaise sauce” (I wonder what that is?…). It was in this tavern on a stormy, lightning and thunder filled morning that an Elven knight, a Human cleric of Heimdall, a Dwarven cleric/fighter of Hansaya (dwarven goddess of community and beer), and an Elven bard/wizard, came together to find a respected old hunter who had gone missing named Timber Fallingoak, a 70+ year old human who had not been seen in a while, and a notice had gone up seeking an adventurous group to enter the Ashpine Forest, cross the Tassose Rope Bridge (which spans the Behir Whisper Gorge), and visit his abode to check on his health. Sound easy? It wasn’t!

The group set out as the thunderstorm gave way to rain, and then passed into a partly cloudy but windy afternoon, it was as the weather cleared that Haemovorids appeared – creatures that were part stirge (with their bat wings and bloody-sucking proboscis), and part pixie (with their faerie bodies and fey magic aura). They were dealt with swiftly enough by the adventurers, and they even traced them back to a lair in a hollowed tree, where they discovered over 4,000 sp and some simple gems. The adventurers confidently returned to the path and adventured on to find Timber.

They arrived at the bridge. But the rope bridge constructed by the Tassose Druid Circle had been previously cut by the Gut Ripper Orc mob and was hanging from the other side. How to get across? After puzzling through a variety of solutions, the group managed to get interconnected ropes across the gorge connected to two trees by tying the ropes to one tree on their side and using a grappling hook for the other side, but while doing so, the Gut Ripper Orcs returned and attacked the adventurers. The adventurers took down these pig-faced, great axe-wielding scum, but two of the group were rendered out of action or unconscious, and the dwarf cleric had to use all his healing to bring them back to proper health. The Dwarf cleric/fighter was especially disappointed in the Elven knight, who had rolled two critical fails during combat which ended up hitting two different allies on either side of him! For the dwarf, this was just another reason why you should stay away from these pointy-eared failed fighters!

The adventurers then tried to work their way across the gorge one-by-one, and this was where things really fell apart. The Elven knight made it across quite easily. The dwarf – Thrafrig Hammerjaw – thought that if this loser knight could get across, then surely he could, and then half way across he failed his check to cross the gorge and then failed his Dexterity save to try to desperately grab onto the rope to prevent his fall, so down he went 100 feet to his death. Then the Elven bard/wizard Evindal Ilimaer tried to make his way across – and succeeded! Finally the human cleric of Heimdall – Torsin Berghild – made his attempt, and like Thrafrig, he lost his grip and failed his Dex save to prevent his fall, and down he went 100 feet below.

With the two Elves across, a swarm of nine, 5 inch long dragonfly-type creatures swarmed and attacked them (they had been disturbed by the recent commotion). Their bite didn’t do any damage, but they had a poison that could put victims into a confused daze, and the bites stacked up, saving throws were failed, and with random dice rolls to see in which direction the Elves would wander in their dazed confusion, they sadly walked right off the side of the cliff into the gorge below to join their friends!

So the party is now all gone (and anyone who were to find their bodies at the bottom of the gorge will find over 4,000 sp and 100 gp in treasure). Next Saturday the players will have brand new characters, and the paid offer to find Timber Fallingoak still exists. Will there be an adventuring party that can succeed on this seemingly easy task? Who dares find out!