Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe


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Post Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:52 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

Later that same day...

Over four hours have passed since our heroes went down the hole. On the surface world, the residents of Hornpipe go about their usual business, oblivious to the adventures that are taking place beneath their feet.

The December afternoons are short, and the setting sun is playing cat-and-mouse with a solitary traveller on the road to Hornpipe. Noh’won the Wiser picks up his pace, dreading the thought of another night camped out in the woods, shivering in his bedroll. The village of Hornpipe has an unfriendly reputation, but Noh's old adventurer buddy told him of the one place that welcomes hobbets, a gathering place for adventurers. "Go to the House of Pancakes, and ask for 'johnnycakes'!" said the old friend, with a sly wink.

Noh'won crests a hill and sees the village of Hornpipe spread out below him, perched on the banks of the Miskatonic River. The villagers are lighting their candles and finishing their afternoon chores. Does Noh's nose detect the smell of... pancakes? Yes, the aroma wafts from the chimney of the pancake house, a cozy building on the hill by the windmill! Just another mile to go, and the promise of a hot meal.

Noh’won the Wiser, your adventure begins... NOW!
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Post Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:32 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

Noh walks fast enough toward the House of Pancakes to beat the dark, but so fast that he might miss any interesting animals or plants he could find along the way. If unaccosted, or otherwise uninteresting local flora and fauna are found, he will find and enter the HoP, looking up and around and being unaccustomed to not seeing the sky.
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Post Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:08 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

Imagine a New England forest in early December. The trees are bare and their fallen leaves crunch underfoot. It was a clear and seasonably warm day, but as the sun sets, the temperature drops and it begins to lightly snow. Noh finds some interesting plant specimens and places them in his pocket for later inspection. The most active fauna are squirrels and crows. Noh sees telltale signs that these woods are also home to typical northeastern animals such as deer, rabbit, owl, moose, and coyote.

Noh feels the conflicting pull between his love of nature vs. his hunger for a hot meal.


Welcome rredmond!

Let's take a moment and talk about Animal Friendship. Do you have a favorite version/interpretation of this spell? I have the 1st Ed. PHP version in front of me. To summarize: Casting time 1 hour, affects 1 neutral animal-intelligence creature, up to 2 hd per level of the caster. If the target fails its saving throw, it becomes friendly toward the druid and will accompany him on his adventures. Over a period of weeks to months, the druid can teach his animal friend a number of tricks. A druid may have multiple companions, but their total hit dice may not exceed 2x the caster's level.

Is that in the ballpark of your understanding of this spell?

Do you want to spend 1 hour searching the forest at dusk for a suitable animal companion? Or would you prefer to wait until you enter the dungeon and perhaps bond with an underground creature?
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Post Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:20 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

I'm a 1E guy, so that is the way my understanding slants on the AF spell. I didn't realize that the duration lasted so long though, but good for me. I read the IC before the OOC and my first thought was a raven would be a neato companion to have. And I think a raven would be more accepted in 'society' than a coyote or some other creature :) - as a druid would Noh be worried about making a raven his buddy? If not, then yes I'd like to spend an hour making friends with a helpful, friendly raven.

Noh hears the bird calls and feels the final last call of nature ( ;) ) before entering society proper. He starts to whistle birdsong as he moves among the trees and catches the intelligent eye of a particular rascally raven...
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Post Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:51 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

Noh wanders the forest in search of a raven. There is no shortage of ordinary crows, and Noh is soon sick of their incessant cawing. An hour passes, and Noh is about to give up hope. Then he hears a voice deeper than a crow's: Arrawk! it says. Arrawk! The raven looks down from its perch on a snag tree and studies the young druid. Wwwwraaa!

The raven looks hungry. What does Noh offer it to eat?

Save vs spells = 14, fail

Noh and the raven are bonded for life, or until Noh honorably discharges his companion by casting the reversed form of the Animal Friendship spell. If given a command that goes against its nature or is obviously suicidal, the raven will be allowed another saving throw to break the spell. The raven will follow Noh in his adventures and will act according to its animal instincts, with a generally helpful bias. Additionally Noh may teach the raven specific 'tricks' at a rate of 1 per week. This raven has intelligence 2 and therefore can learn a maximum of 6 tricks. It has 1/2 HD = 3hp. Noh can have multiple animal companions up to a total of 2HD per druid level. I will let you decide your raven's age, sex, appearance, etc. and give it a name if you like.
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Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:41 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

If there's nothing more suitable, Noh offers some of his rations to eat. "I hear there might be better food for you in town my friend," he saws to the raven, "would you be more comfortable riding on my shoulder or on my head?" When the bird has finished eating Noh will offer him a perch on top of his leather cap, with his hobbet curls peaking out of it, and set off.
I doubt I'll get time to teach a trick, but what sorts of tricks will it be able to do? And by following commands that means the bird can understand Noh and respond by completing the task? Neat! I guess we better get moving though :D
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Post Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:50 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

"We shall have to call you something friend. How does Carc sound as a name? There are stories about a great chief of ravens with such a name if I remember correctly. You have the look of a leader amongst your kind."
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Post Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:23 am

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

Carc! Carc! Carc! is the raven's affirmative reply. Carc seems pleasantly amused at Noh's display of apparent near-animal intelligence. The bird considers the leather cap balanced atop the hobbet's curls. Is it food? Carc silently ponders for a moment before deciding 'hobbets being hobbets' and flapping just out of reach. Carc rides not on Noh's shoulder nor cap, but glides along on his own two wings, thank you very much. The raven glides effortlessly from treetop to treetop and then waits patiently for Noh to catch up. As the light fades Carc makes encouraging 'caw, caw' sounds to help Noh find his way.

As Noh stumbles half-blind toward the smell of pancakes he thinks back to the old tales about druids and their animal companions. The most famous use of ravens is to fly to a specific place and deliver a message or small object. Other 'tricks' that come to mind include flying overhead and keeping watch, fetching something, performing an aerobatic feat, manipulating small objects with its beak, hunting small animals, mimicking sounds, speaking to other birds, etc.

If you've ever trained an animal, then you know it starts with basic 'building block' commands. Come, sit, stay, heel, speak, and so forth. Those basic commands are 'freebies' and do not count as 'tricks' for purposes of the spell. Chain together enough of these short commands and you can build up a more complex 'trick.' Carc's training will be ongoing and can start immediately. A random thought is that Animal Friendship has an amazing synergy with Speak with Animals (cast on a subsequent day, for a 1st-level druid).

The first training challenge to consider: Will Noh attempt to coax Carc into the pancake shop (and if so, how) or let his bird roost under the open night sky?

Carc thinks he is a very clever and useful bird, for guiding Noh to this place. What is special about it to his bird-brain is the windmill (that grinds the grain to make the pancakes). To Carc the windmill appears as a giant bird that is always flapping its wings but never going anywhere. It is a landmark he can see for miles and he is showing off his local knowledge. Noh observes that Carc becomes visibly cautious as he approaches civilization, but relaxes and appears at home in the immediate area of the windmill and House of Pancakes.
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Post Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:47 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

Just realized that a raven is pretty big and a hobbet somewhat small, I'm guessing that the cap or shoulder would be silly places after all. :)

As they get close to the pancakes and windmill Noh worries about Carc and says perhaps you would be more comfortable roosting in a tree near the windmill? I have to enter this building, but won't leave without coming back out to check on you. Then giving the bird a smile and a wink, he says unless you would prefer coming in, though I'm guessing there is better food to eat around the mill! Whatever the bird decides, Noh will enter the building to find food, perhaps a room with a window, and adventure!

Testing how the oc and ic codes work, and reminding myself to make some training notes! :)
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Post Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:37 pm

Re: Prologue: The Road to Hornpipe

Carc flies to the top of the tallest tree. The raven is mesmerized by the gentle rotation of the windmill and zones out for the evening, like a 21st-century human in front of the television.

Noh opens the door and enters the Hornpipe Hill House of Pancakes. The dining room is cheery and cozy, comfortably sized for hobbets yet also able to accommodate the occasional human customer. There are three tables and a diner-style counter. Behind the counter is the owner (and secret retired adventurer) Frederick who warmly greets his customer:

"Welcome, hungry friend! Tonight I have keen-wah pancakes, or potato pancakes, or, well, I'm all out of mushroom crepes... just keen-wah or potato pancakes tonight. Or maybe a half-stack of each, hmm? What's that; you've never heard of 'keen-wah'? It's an ancient grain from Darkest Peru. How about a mug of dandelion coffee while you decide? I can see from the twigs in your hair that you've been in the forest; did you find any mushrooms? If you have any mushrooms, berries, other ingredients, I can cook them into the pancakes for you. I'm sorry I do not have any rooms to rent, but you would be welcome to sleep by the fireplace. It is 'bare bones' accommodations for Hobbets in this town; I'm afraid."

OOC: The House of Pancakes serves as the Hobbet "tavern" in the predominantly Human town of Hornpipe.

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