Not a whole lot of plot progress in this session of the Storm Point game.
I gave my players the option at the start of the session of continuing with the attempts to delay the advancing army or jumping ahead to the next phase of the adventure – the defense of the dwarf mines near Storm Point. They decided to stick with the army, but wanted to devote their efforts toward clearing the path of the humanoid force of civilians and livestock, both to keep the civilians safe and to deny the enemy the resources. There was even some discussion of burning the fields in order to do the whole Russian-falling-back-to-Moscow thing that messed up both Napoleon and Hitler.
They decided not to go quite that far, though.
So, the flew around on their hippogriffs, warning people, and generally clearing the line of advance. I threw one encounter with a raiding party at them, and then recalled them to the mines.
Couple of interesting observations from the game. First, the addition of the hippogriff mounts did a fair bit to enhance the group’s combat effectiveness. Even the characters that didn’t use the mounts a whole bunch were able to drop out of the sky on the first round and attack, which they liked. And having a couple of extra targets on the table helps to dilute the damage that the enemy dishes out.
And hippogriffs bite really hard.
The raiding party was a 7th-level encounter for my players*, which is a party of six 5th-level characters. I expected it to be a tough, desperate fight, but it was pretty much a cakewalk. I’m going to have to take a closer read of the DMG and PHB rules for mounts, and check out the info on companion creatures in the forthcoming DMG2 to make sure I’m handling things right. I imagine that I will need to add some extra monsters to the fights where the hippogriffs play a role.
The other observation is a little more unsettling. It seems my players are one thin excuse away from vicarious Vietnam flashbacks. After killing the raiding party, they decided to drag the bodies back into the path of the advancing army. Fine. Then they started talking about arranging the bodies as a warning. Okay… Then they started talking about mutilating the corpses in graphic and obscene ways to instill fear in the enemy.
I drew the line at this point, stating unequivocally that doing so was an evil act*, thereby crushing their desire to recreate Apocalypse Now in my heroic fantasy game.
I swear, I gotta get those guys to watch less TV and fewer movies.
And that was it for another session.
*2 dire boars, 1 ogre savage, 6 orc warriors, and 1 orc eye of Gruumsh, 1,900 xp. Back
*”It’s not evil. The American forces did things like this in Vietnam.” Pause. “Okay. I see your point.” Back