Day 04: Deep Forest
First, I paid a visit to Alicia. There was only one of her this time, but she still wouldn't accept the teddy bear. Before I could ponder what to do next, I received a party invite. Generally I don't accept blind invites, but I didn't have anything else planned today, so why not? The party consisted of a halfling rogue named Bymar Whistlesone and a human (I think) cleric named Woodrof. (If there is a way to see a person's race/class/level, I don't know how. Bymar told me he was a rogue and I deduced he was halfling from his size, and I figured out Woodrof was a cleric when he started casting clerical spells). There was also an NPC henchman, Biam Blimfrin, who seemed like some kind of fighter maybe, I'm not sure.
Bymar said they were going to check out the Deep Forest in Far Western Bryn. I had passed by there before, but never went in, as I wasn't sure how deep it was or how hard it might be. I had assumed these guys were way over my level, but Bymar said he was only level 7, so I agreed.
Woodrof would buff us up and then take the lead, while his henchman and a summoned skeletal warrior provided back up and Bymar and myself stayed in the back and shot arrows with our bows. The first area we explored, simply called Deep Forest, was mostly just wild animals and the like. The XP was sparse and so was the treasure. For the most part, it reminded me of when I would group up in MMOGs like FF14 or DDO; I'd just struggle to keep up while the others just cleared away everything without breaking a sweat.
We did encounter some tougher monsters, like an ettin and a basilisk. But they weren't too hard. I think the most difficult thing we ran afoul of was an ambush of phase spiders that spawned practically on top of us. Caught us off guard, but we managed. Another difficult part was something called Vege-pygmies. Neither my mundane or my +1 arrows would work on them, which meant only Woodrof could hurt them. But he seemed to do fine on his own. We also, at one point, encountered a group of humans who attacked us on sight. They were called, uh...a racial slur for the Romani people. That was...a bit uncomfortable. Cole, maybe you want to rename them to bandits or vagrants or something? Anyway, there wasn't much treasure in their camp. Bymar picked up 20 GP and gave it to me, I guess to be nice.
Anyway, we eventually made our way to a grove of some kind. There were satyrs, mycanoids (fungus folk) and treants. None were hostile, but they didn't seem to have anything to say. There were some ancient ruins, too. We found some kind of druidic circle of sorts, where a bunch of treants were, and one of them had a name. Now, this got a bit weird. Woodrof spoke to this one and asked him to join our group. He failed his persuasion check, so the treant refused. But then the other, nameless treants immediately started beating up the named treant (sorry, I forgot to write down his name). They killed him, and we all just stood there, agape. Then the named treant revived, so Woodrof tried again. Same result, he failed his persuasion check and then the other treants killed the named treant. When he revived a third time, I tried it myself. I have 8 ranks in persuasion, but it wasn't enough (not surprising; his CR rated Impossible for me, which meant he was a minimum of 5 levels stronger than me). This time, though, the other treants left him alone. Bymar tried, too, failed, and again the other treants didn't attack. Weird.
So we went back to the ruins, and then Woodrof announced he had to leave and logged out. Then, strangely enough, a nearby treant attacked his henchman, killing him. Biam revived, and then was killed by the treant again. Bymar and I decided this forest was kind of dangerous, so we started making our way back. We were just two rogues now, so we had be careful. When we got attacked, one of us would kite the enemy around while the other shot at it. If the enemy switched targets, then we'd switch roles. This worked out pretty well. And when we won, we got way more XP than before. Turns out Woodrof was level 10, so was sucking it all up.
Once we were out of the forest, Bymar suggested we try going after the bandits in that area. This was moderately difficult, as our kiting strategy was less effective (most of the bandits were archers or crossbowmen). I had to burn through about 4 CMW potions, which isn't too bad (I usually carry about 10 of them on me when I go adventuring). We killed all the bandits and found a Short Bow +1 (which Bymar claimed) and a Throwing Axe +3 which I got. I can't use it, but I can sell it. We also got a pair of horses, which made getting out of there a lot easier.
After returning to Elspir, Bymar offered to show me how the auction house works in Agoria. He asked how much gold I have, and told him I only had around 7k. He then told me he had about 50. He said he died a lot, and this left him pretty broke. I immediately felt bad for accepting that 20 GP (and letting him pay the 1 GP fee to get back into Elspir). So I returned the 20 GP and agreed to pay the teamster to take us to Agoria.
This got me thinking...is my experience in the game different from the norm, or is his? Have I been pretty lucky to make this kind of gold while soloing? It's kind of funny, because in-character, Trini is supposed to be poor and struggling to make ends meet, but I guess having 7 grand kind of negates that. I usually wind up spending several hundred on each expedition, for healing potions and hiring henchmen. And I don't always make enough gold to balance that out, but lately I've managed to get some good loot to sell, so I don't know. Maybe I've just been lucky with the random placement of treasure. Or just been very cautious in my playstyle. I have yet to die once since Trini was rebooted.
Anyway, we got to Agoria and he showed me the basics of how the auction house worked. I dropped a gold ring in and we watched the NPCs bid on it. I wound up getting 219 GP for it (well, 198 after the house took their cut), and I gave it all to Bymar as thanks for showing me how the system works. I asked him to show me to an inn so I could quit for the night. He took me to his favorite spot, but when I went inside, it was kind of a mess. One of the waitresses was red (meaning hostile toward me), and several patrons were in a full blown fight (throwing spells and everything). So I slipped out and found another inn on my own. But that one also had a hostile waitress, and a big, hulking minotaur who just killed every NPC he found, one by one (he wasn't hostile toward me, though, thankfully). At that point, I just shrugged and logged out. Agoria 'tis a silly place.
Overall, I made about 1,000 XP and 1,000 GP (although I haven't had a chance to sell my loot yet, including that throwing axe). I am getting pretty close to level 7. I think I need another 2-3k XP to get there. Oh, I also found a ring which turned out to be a Ring of Fire Resistance, so I put that on. Between that and Sohl's blessing to protect me from cold damage, I feel pretty safe from the elements. Well, as long as I stay out of thunderstorms, anyway.