Hester proves himself useful

More fun times in Scotland (Cumbria?), 400AD.

Hester still doesn’t have much of a personality, but this last session he did considerably more than the usual “stand at the back and shoot things”. The game involved a fair bit of overland travel, some navigation, survival checks. Hester took the lead, scouting ahead, being a Ranger. It’s very clear that as a rogue is to a dungeon, so a ranger is to overland travel – a party absolutely must have one. Hester has two levels of Scout, which gives him a lot of skill points. His Survival skill is 10, which is enough to take 10 and deal automatically with most common wandering-about-the-woods tasks. His two levels of Ranger give him track as a bonus feat.

David is using allies/contacts rules from some sourcebook. My mail on the topic was

I’d still like to make Hester an Order of the Bow initiate. He will be eligible for this at level 7 (you need a +5 BAB, but scout is a 3/4 BAB class, same as rogue – I’ll multiclass him Scout/Ranger from now on).

Aside from the BAB and feats, you need 2 points Knowledge (religion) and 5 points in bowmaking. The bowmaking is not a problem – he already has points in it and now has a masterwork bow to study and be inspired by. But the Druid, it seems, has no formal religious training. Furthermore, to become an order of the bow initiate, it seems fair that you would need to be – you know – initiated into the order of the bow.

Hester has the “native briton who turned to the worship of Diana” background, perhaps the gods of Britain would like his loyalty back? There’s elves, there’s fey, maybe his granddad was an initiate – whatever, the point is: I’d like for contacts for Hester to put him on the path, even if he is unaware for the moment that that’s where his destiny lies.

And maybe those contacts might also be a source, occasionally, for level-appropriate magical archer gear 🙂 .

DM agrees that this is appropriate. Mechanically, contacts become a thing when a character hits level 5.

At the start of the session we were travelling briefly with an elf guide. The masterwork longbow that Hester has come into possession of turns out to be elvish, so I did a bit of fluff about him inquiring about it. The particular elves we were with weren’t bowmakers or out of the ordinary, but it seems there are indeed some rather special elf archers.

It explains where granddad learned to make a longbow, at any rate 🙂

Main fight of the night, Hester managed to take down one bad guy all by himself, thanks in great part to a crit and a series of bad rolls by the DM. We found a tower with bad guys, Hester got off a good shot and hit one, then they ducked behind the battlements. “I’m not surprised”, was the comment at the table, “Sniper.”

Then I rolled a 1 on a survival check and it all turned to shit. Hester stepped into a bog. Got 8 points of strength damage off a hag, reducing him to 2. But we have a big party, and a pretty decent front-line fighter who took down 2 bad guys while Hester got fished out of the drink. The druid and the psion’s astral construct took out the BBEG – a mummy. We are short on magic weapons, but druid has Sheleighleigh.

Oh, the actual mission was assigned to us by the ghost of a roman tribune who had died on a mission up here in the north. I quite liked it as a plot hook – a reminder that the campaign is indeed about Rome, not simply wandering about the woods encountering fey and the other locals. It was a nice bit of play – we are roman military, after all. Kinda. We did the salute, said “Ave”. We were ordered by the ghost to recover their draco and return it to Ebaracum.

Loot includes a bag ‘o holding and a ring of some kind. XP is pending – we have a fair way to go till level 5, but it was a pretty substantial fight: a mummy, a couple of hags, and a few bog beasts. And maybe a story award for recovering the draco.

Campaign website is here.


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