Yeah, well, the whole "stick around and fight it out" plan actually worked out maybe a little better than I had expected. Except that now we've really kicked over the hornet's nest and stuck our face in it. We still haven't made it back into the Temple to recover the valuables we left behind, and at this point the only valuables that are worth recovering are those of cash value. Even those I think are pretty safe right where we left them.
I foraged up those healing berries that should be helpful, but right now I think we can save them for later and divvy them amongst some of the "battle line" warriors for future use. I expect that given 8hr of sleep even Saraldawan will have recovered enough PP to be useful. Let him recover PP, and then give him the Holy Mace to double it. Then let him lay about with some 3d10 healing. Rinse and repeat. Given that all of our damage is straight concussion, we should be at 100% in 24hr. That leaves me the same time period to be at 100% with my runescroll magic, which was much more helpful in the first battle than the second. A small pile of Sleep-VII should help. I'll get to work on those as soon as I can, but it would really be helpful if one or more of you guys would take a little Read Runes at your next level.
Finally, for once just once I'd like to cast a decent fireball. Just one. That doesn't risk crippling friendlies in the same blast. The only decent damage roll I've ever done with a fireball was against Sean, and if that same roll would have been done against Orcs it would have been a dose of 20-D all around, and the average crit on the Heat D column is unpleasant at the least. I guess I should just count myself lucky that as a 3rd level character I can reliably get off an 8th level attack spell like that in the first place. D&D this ain't.
Why do we need to take this city and defend it? The only interest we presently have in returning to the Temple is to remove the valuables we left locked up. If the orcs haven't entered the Temple yet, I don't think they're going to. And if they've already made it into the Temple, we can assume the books burned and the rest looted.
So, why would we want to take this city and defend it? Because we want a base of operations in this area. Do we want a base of operations with a big target sign on it? I don't know. I thought that the conventional wisdom we've previously operated with included a lot of escape routes and not getting bottled up somewhere. Easier to get bottled up inside a walled city, or inside the Temple. Maybe this isn't what we want for a base of operations.
I think that the problem is that this isn't the place we want to conduct operations from. Not that we couldn't take back the city. Not that we couldn't defend it. But that doing so doesn't earn us a base of operations that would be useful, because the area we want to operate in isn't right here.
I suggest that the area we want to operate in is the mountains further south of here. Where the orcs that chased Lisa came from in the first place. Where, presumably, these orcs came from. But to operate there, a supply chain that includes the monastary would be useful. Except that we can't man/defend it and use it as a base of operations.
I think we need to determine what greater goal we wish to accomplish. Killing orcs isn't a goal. It is a means to a goal. Lets settle on the goal first, and then work to accomplish it. Whatever "it" is. Killing orcs, for the sake of killing orcs, is pointless. Soon we'll stop seeing them in penny-packets and then we'll be in trouble.
If what we want to accomplish is to conquer and claim this monastary-city, lets do it with enough yeomanry that we can hold it. Bring settlers, bring craftsmen, rebuild the defenses; Do "It" Right.
I think we need to be thinking in terms of planning an expedition to further south. We need to head back to the coast, but not to retreat or to warn anyone. Just to resupply and cash out of this expedition. We've done the job we originally set out to do. Fine. Lets cash out and come back on our own accord to accomplish what we want to. Establish a mission colony for Saraldawan? Claim a fiefdom and establish ourselves as petty barons? Seek out the headwaters of this endless river of orcs? Pick one. Lets do it. Just as long as we are united in purpose.
1. We use stealth and subterfuge to steal into the Temple. Recover our valuables. Recover some of the manuscripts and the temple's logbook. This will probably require the sort of subterfuge and distraction that Dagobert suggests.
2. We return to civilization and cash out of this expedition, turn in the recovered manuscripts/books/etc, and if the gold/gems have academic value beyond face/weight we exchange them for modern currency as well.
3. We take our proceeds and finance, equal shares, our own expedition. Perhaps in three parts.
3.1. Retake the city as a mission colony for Saraldawan, with the church backing a settlement effort.
3.2. Pacify the immediate vicinity around the monastary.
3.3. Explore the mountains further south.
4. Use the monastary as a base of operations for other expeditions by turning it into a spot of civilization in its own right with a seperate trade link back to the port either overland or by coastal boat traffic.
My plan for #1:
1. Distract the orcs away from the Temple. Perhaps away from the city. Perhaps to a seperate doom of Dagobert's devising.
2. The stealthy wallclimbing sorts sneak over the city wall next to the Temple, give the all-clear, and drop a rope to me so I can get over. Joe, Matt, and myself.
3. I'll open the Temple doors. This is a Read Runes job, so that means me or Reuben.
4. We get in, get the stuff, run like the wind, and get the heck out. Leave most of the books. The logbook/journal and the gold/gems are essential. We're only running with a couple books.
5. Backup plan: lock me in the Temple, Joe and Matt E&E from the area, and I make my own escape via magick once I've picked up everything that we need to return with. I can kick open the door mid-flight, take to the roof, and pop a held fireball to cover my own escape. Messy, but I think it would work. We could send Reuben instead of me to do this job, and I backup Dagobert in bringing doom to the Orcs as a diversion, but I don't think Reuben has a strong backup exfil plan.
Then we just need to exfil from the neighborhood and get back to town.
Quote from: Elise Blackoak
I have been thinking a bit on the goal topic and whether we need to make this ruin a base of operations. My understanding of creating a base would include setting up a supply cache and hiring guards to watch over it. Perhaps some extra men to hunt game while we are out, fish in the lake, and repair broken and worn equipment. And having some experience with men they would probably require money, beer, and women to keep them happy. Pretty soon.......well I can see this growing to where we might as well seek applicants for colonists. And we would need to be able to protect all the colonists and so on.
I am not sure that we are ready to assume the mantle of minor lord of this area. I do agree that we need to develop our mid to long term goals as a group. We have had several weeks to get to know each other and I think we have managed to overcome some pretty serious obstacles together. Small personal issues aside, we have done quite well. Unfortunately, we have not found the sort of wealth that we could use to create a fiefdom here. I think we have already discussed that what we have found so far is the property of the expedition backers, to include the special weapons, armor, and shield we are using. This leaves us with precisely our small percent of the earnings, and although we really do not know what that might fetch, it is unlikely to be a grand fortune.
For our own sakes, I heartily urge us to consider returning to the port where we can end this phase of the expedition. The more we find right now the more we have to give away to the backers. We need to be out here for ourselves, and I think that we have proven that we can do this without major backing of other individuals. Let us set up an expedition and sell shares for backing. We need to be in control of our destinies, not serving others.
I would put forth an idea that we find out what needs to be done to claim land here. I would like to continue on south to the mountains and explore there for a bit. But I am willing to listen to any other ideas, too. I really believe that we need to seriously discuss what our eventual goals are and work towards accomplishing them.
Everything starts with what Dagobert succinctly points out: "they still got the loot". Before we can consider a course of action that would take us away from the monastary-town, we need to recover the "loot" from the Temple. At a minimum this should be the gold, gems, and logbook. Anything more is bonus.
I still believe that a course of action based on stealth and deception can be successful, but that a proper distraction such as what Dagobert can supply would be important. Whether we gain access to the Temple by brute force or intellect achieves the same goal.
From there? I don't think it is fair to assume the backers of this expedition have abandoned us. They simply placed their trust and commission in individuals who are now dead. Thus it is prudent to point out that we are all merely hirelings of an expedition, not commissioned to any task, and owe no fealty to any "masters" who may or may not have fronted cash for oxen or supplies. Nevertheless, those same individuals have demonstrated the capacity to front capital for an exceedingly high risk investment (the expedition) with a purely speculative rate of return. Those individuals would likely pay well for whatever material we can return to them, even if only items of academic or historical value. Truth is, we don't know specifically what sorts of items they might find valuable and nor were we commissioned to recover anything specific.
I suggest that we regard these "backers" as a potential source of investment capital for a future expedition, that the level that they may wish to finance will likely depend on their percieved return on their existing investment, and that everything should be considered negotiable. If they're savvy, and I'm sure they are, they have already filed some sort of legal claim to the monastary property itself based on the Ranger's original report so any thoughts of ruling this land as petty lords in our own name is probably moot.
I suggest that we recover that which is ours from the Temple, and defer any important decisions about "what next" until after that has been accomplished.