It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
On the Sunday before Christmas, Reggie joins you just after your slightly unsettling conversation with Shak!ra. There's an annual event in TSol, spanning all the realms, celebrating Winter Festival for the two days surrounding the real-world Solstice. Things are in full swing as you and Reggie hit Hochsholden to check out Jackie's tip.
You're in a coniferous forest, blanketed with snow. The mountanside village of Hochsholden is amazingly picturesque as you approach through the trees. Snow falls on the peaked roofs and the high steeple of the little church. Colored lanterns hang from the eaves of the gingerbread architecture, and NPCs in colorful green, white, and red winter outfits are plentiful in the streets, along with a fair smattering of PC toons, mostly low-level.
"I wonder what they've come up with for Winter Festival this year? It's always fun."
Chat channel: "You know they do! I hope this one celebrates Eve, isn't mournful, you know? Hey, I'm gonna hit up that girl from the store, the one who had my t-shirt, see if she wants to goof around with us. Cool?"
I'm really excited to have a new leg of the quest going. I've been grinding day after day. Plus, making IRL shopping lists and getting stuff for friends in preparation for Christmas.
"I guess? No harm in it, I suppose." Shak!ra did sign off in rather a hurry just a few minutes ago. Do you try to contact her again, Trev?
I shoot her a quick message:
To: Tiffany / Shak!ra Hey there, you wanna hang out with Jace and me? We're online now. - Abby
You have time to look around a little before you get a response from Shak!ra. Notice anything in particular, Trev?
From: Shak!ra Thanks, but can't right now. Maybe in 30?
I respond with:
To: Tiffany / Shak!ra Sure. We'll be on. - Abby
A little halfling girl in a bright red outfit with a fluffy white hat that's nearly a third as tall as she is has been running in crazy circles with her tongue out to catch snowflakes. She bumps into you, and falls ploop onto her tiny little butt on the stone pavement, cushioned by many layers of warm clothes. She looks up at you with biiig surprised eyes. "Sowwy!"
The girl is super adorable. I kneel down to look at her, "It is alright, little one. Here, let me help you up." I offer her a hand. I wonder if she's nicking my gear right now, but it's Winter Fest, I don't care as much.
I love Winter Fest. In TSol, it's a celebration of year's end, no affiliation with a "real holiday", but there are lots of ties to them. Free red caps with white cotton tips, monsters drop gifts, trading of in-game cards and items happens all over.
It's also jokingly called noobday by the OGs (Original Gamers), those who were here in v1.0. They make a point of seeing who can give away the most loot to the most clueless new players. It's amusing, but I'm not giving away my good gear.
There's also a fetch quest for hunting down stolen and misplaced ornaments from the orphange's Life Tree, mostly an excuse to go visit all the snowy and beautiful parts of the realm. It's fun.
The little girl reaches up and grabs your hand in one of her, and Jace's in the other. She's looking back and forth between you with those big eyes, and says in a singsongy little voice, "Do you wanna build a snowman? C'mon, let's go and play!"
Chat channel: "Tandy would pee herself right now!"
I shake my head, laughing. "Sure. Why not?"
She drags you along to a green patch next to a little cafe with a matronly human woman standing outside, selling hot chocolate and pastries from a cart. Well, a green patch during the summer, but right now a white one, with a good foot of unsullied snow. She flops back into the snow and waves her arms up and down, then stands and says, "I'm an angel! Doesn't matter what mama says!" She looks at you and Reggie, suddenly confused. "Ummm. How do you make a snowman, anyway?"
Jace takes a handful of snow and makes a snowball, then shows the little girl how to roll it around and make it bigger. "Like that, little one. Just keep rolling it until it's big enough to be the head. I'll do the middle, and Abaddon will make the biggest one, for the bottom."
Chat channel: "Are you calling me an ass-man?"
I dutifully work on the bottom portion of our snowman. The snow here packs well, so I'm making progress. Of course, I take a break to pelt Jace with a snowball when she isn't looking.
"As far as I can tell, you're an everything-man, but I'd guess ass-man is included..."
When you hit Jace with the snowball, she yelps loud enough for you to hear her actual voice in the real world. Apparently the haptics are quite good for snowballs. She immediately scoops up some snow and retaliates. You feel it, the impact through the haptics and a little vibration that actually stands in really well for cold.
Several of the n00b PCs notice what just happened and one yells, "SNOWBALL FIGHT!" Soon enough, snowballs are flying everywhere. The little halfling girl hides behind you as it starts.
Chat channel: "I'm just thankful you're an everything woman!"
I pack up a good little snowball, then hunch down and hand it to her. "Go ahead and hit Jace with this. She's really slow." I pat her head softly. I'll act as her shield so she can get a good shot.
"Fanks!" The little girl fidgets behind you while she waits for the perfect moment. She sees it when Jace turns to lob a snowball back a fourth-level Fighter named "I-RAWKKKK", and lobs her missile in a high arc that catches Jace in the back of the head.
"Hey! Same team here!" Jace scoops up another handful of snow to respond to the onslaught, which increasingly seems to be focussed n00bs vs. veterans. The little girl giggles in delight and starts to make another tiny snowball of her own.
I chuckle at Jace's reaction, then turn to lob some snowballs at noobs. I'll continue protecting the halfling girl, I can't help it.
There are two other "veteran" characters in the mix, Obladee and Obladah. Once the snowball fight starts to get crazy, they make their way around to join you and Jace. Just like the action figures you have, their toons are basically twins. Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, if Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum were sorceror's with crackling dark energy playing around their bodies like armor. Obladee nods to you and says, "Sir." Obladah nods to Jace and says, "Ma'am." Then they bend to start a coordinated effort, one making a stack of snowballs while the other throws, then switching.
You're outnumbered at least five to one, but making a strong showing. What do you do?
I greet them with a nod, "Hey fellas."
After a couple volleys, I say low to all three of them, "Hey. Why don't we take a dive? Play it up, make their whole day because they defeated some Top Tens. It would be epic."
Obladee and Obladah grin. "Yeah!" Obladee says. "It is n00bday!" Obladah says.
"So, how do we make it convincing? We can't just fall down..."
So, let's see your reaction to that question, and then a roll. Make a case for Attribute (it can be physical or mental), and add in your new Metis trait. We'll call this Average (11) difficulty, and you'll get +1 for the cooperation of each of your temporary allies.
The n00bs will eventually realize you threw the fight. Degree of success determines how they react to that. Maybe there's another potential new member of Team Abby out there, tossing a snowball?
Chat channel: "Of course not, we want them to feel a sense of accomplishment!"
I begin calling out to the low-levels, "You guys are going DOWN! I will pwn you!" I'm charging ahead, throwing snowballs and getting waaaay out of position. I'll be the first to go down, and I'm selling it hard.
Chat channel: "Hey, when this is done, why don't you ping Jackie? This is her find."
Being the Fall Guy
(rolling Dex + 3 helpers + Metis+3)
(Rolled: 2d8+7. Rolls: 2, 7. Total: 16)
At some point during the blizzard of snowballs, the little halfling girl "changes sides" and starts pelting the four of you (but mostly you) with her tiny little ammo. When you've been (totally convincingly) taken down by the twenty-plus n00bs that have been opposing you, she climbs up on your now snow-covered body and yells, "THAT is how you make a snowman!" A question mark appears above her head.
Hilarious. I play it up, laugh a bit at the end, offer high fives and gold all around, text chat "GG" to them all.
Then I'll poke Jace and head over to check out halfling girl. "Hi there. Do you need some help now?"
The little girl nods solemnly. "Can't find Mommy n Daddy. They went in a shop, and I was sposed to be right behind 'em, but I looked at a girl juggling, and when I got there I couldn't find a way inside!"
"Well, come with Mama Jace and I, we'll find your parents." I'll offer to let her ride on my shoulders, and we will get to work on this.
She climbs up on your shoulders and gives you directions to a brightly lit shop. In the windows, you see a strange assortment of chains and bells and bundles of birch twigs, along with gruesome masks depicting a goat-like horned face with sharp teeth, like a medieval devil. Also, lumps of coal and a bunch of large burlap sacks. There is no door, just windows, but the sign says, "Gruß vom Krampus!"
Chat channel: "Ever faced the Krampus, Reggie?"
I look around the shop,"Your parents visited... this place?"
"First I've heard of Krampus in TSol. You know the legends in the real world? He's like an anti-Santa Claus."
The little girl says, "They went in here. There was a door, though. I'm pretty sure there was a door. My name's Sophie. I like making snowmans!"
Chat channel: "I don't know anything about him. What's the deal, other than anti-Santa?"
I walk outside the shop, urge Sophie down,"You can call me Abby. This is Jace. I think we might need to go a ways to find your parents. Do you have any adults who can watch over you?"
To Jace, "Jace, you think the twins would watch Sophie?"
Sophie says, "My gramma's not far. Just on the edge of town. She'll give me cookies and cocoa!"
"He's a Christmas devil that goes around with Saint Nicholas hitting bad children with switches, or putting coal in their stockings, that sort of thing. You want me to do some research while you get Sophie situated? The twins were fun, but maybe Gramma's a better choice?"
Chat channel: "Yes, Gramma. Please dive into the lore. I'll brb."
I beam down at her, "Let's go see your Gramma, Sophie." I offer to hold her hand and walk, or pick her up if she wants.
It takes a few minutes to get to Gramma's house. When she opens the door, you see an old crone that looks like a more finely-rendered version of the witch from Sleeping Beauty, but with a crooked smile. "You've brought my granddaughter! Thank you, adventurer! Where are her parents, though? Come in, come in!" The room is cozy, and from the paraphenalia on the stove, you suspect it will smell great when they finally work the kinks out of direct olfactory stimulation.
Chat channel: "Gramma invited me in. I'll be there shortly."
I enter Gramma's house with my mind filling in the sensory gaps, "Her parents went to the Krampus for some reason. I wanted to make sure Sophie was safe, then I'll go looking for her with my friend Jace.."
"Ask Gramma if she's ever seen a krampuslauf, okay?" That sounds like krom-poos-louf.
Gramma suddenly looks afraid. "Krampus? Then it's back? The shop? The last time, I was just a girl, myself. Sophie's age. It took us months to rebuild, and some of the children were never found!"
"Have you seen a krampuslauf, Gramma?"
Gramma's voice is grim. "It's horrible. The last time... there's only one Krampus, understand, but that shop, it sells costumes, and people try them on and become small-k krampuses. The costumes transform them, so he has dozens of helpers. It starts off like a parade or a party, but then it gets bad. They start going after the children with their switches, and putting them in sacks. They stuff the wee ones' mouths with coal, or... I barely remember the last time. My mother hid me in the cupboard under the stairs, and when someone finally let me out, it... it was just horrible." She looks at wide-eyed little Sophie. "I'm sorry little one. I'm sure the adventurers will stop it. There's nothing to worry about."
I look to Sophie, trying to reassure her. "Keep her hidden and safe, Gramma."
Chat channel: "Evidently this guy is like a Master Vampire and he'll make baby Vamps that will chase kids. No bueno.."
"Don't think they are a danger only to children, Krampus and his krampuses. They are merciless to those that stand in their way. In the stories of last time it is rumored that they have a secret weakness, but no two versions agree on what it is."
Peering at Gramma, my interest is piqued. I ask, "What have you heard? Which weaknesses?"
"Many agree that there is some temptation they cannot pass up. Some say it's a particular kind of sweet, some say it's schnapps, although no one agrees on the flavor, still others insist that it's the very chains they carry, when used against them, or that burning coals are intolerable to them." She sighs. "It seems oral tradition is a bitch, adventurer."
"Alright. Well, it's a few somethings to go on. Anything else we should know?"
"Well, I'm skeptical about the burning coals. They're everywhere, this time of year, so it seems unlikely to work. Otherwise, no? Good luck. I was never an adventurer like you, never taken an arrow in my leg, but I pray for your success!"
"Jackie's coming on shortly, she says, if we need another pair of eyes. She's low-level, but we know she can pay attention. What's going on with Gramma?"
I shake her hand and hug Sophie as I leave, "Thank you for your information. Keep that adorable one safe. Wish us luck!"
Chat channel: "Gramma suggested schnapps, not sure on the flavor, or it could be the chains they carry, too. Nothing's definite. I'm coming your way."
I'll head back to meet up with Jace. "Where do you think we can find schnapps?"
"If this were a college town, it would be easy, right?"
Jace turns to a passerby. "Excuse me. Is there a shop in town that sells spirits? The alcoholic kind, not ghosts." The young man stops. "Hans over at the Rocking Horse sells by the bottle as well as the glass, and old lady Grosswasser makes her own schnapps. She lives a ways out of town, out toward the Gray Forest."
I thank the young man, then turn to Jace, "It looks like we get to tour around a bit. Sounds fun! Let's hit the Rocking Horse, then wait for Jackie."
The Rocking Horse is a pleasant little pub, decorated in the same Alpine style as the rest of the village. The menu board looks hand-painted. On it are the day's specials:
Behind the bar is crowded with bottles of all shapes and sizes. The bartender, a large man with a Burl Ives beard and a jovial look, sees you waiting and moves over. "Greetings, and Happy Winter Festival! How can I help you?"
I give him a smile and answer, "We're interested in something to eat. Plus, what flavors of Schnapps do you sell?"
"Sure, sure. I'm Hans, by the way. What would you like to eat?" While he waits for your answer, he grabs several bottles and puts them on the bar.
I have the guild gold, so why not? "I'll take the chef's surprise."
"Excellent! And for the lady?"
"The surprise, of course." She turns to look at the bottles. "Jackie should be here soon. Should we order an extra?"
Chat channel: "Yes, let's do."
I sit back and relax, wait patiently for Jackie to show.
You sit at the bar, and just as the food arrives, Jackie does, as well.
"Sorry it took me a while. Had homework to finish. Stupid French verb conjugations... Thanks for inviting me! I was going to catch some Winter Festival action, anyway, but it's really cool to be with you guys."
The food is covered with a metal cloche, like it's a super-fancy white tablecloth restaurant. Tell me, Trev, who pulls the cover off first?
"Glad to have you aboard."
Reggie smells the meat underneath and snatches off the cloche.
Jace whips the cloche off the platter. What you see underneath is... a hamburger, french fries, and a milkshake, all in distinctive Big Belly Burger* packaging. Jace and Halyse look confused.
* OOC: Big Belly Burger is still fictional, even in the future.
Chat channel: "Curious. Could be a random thing, could be a hint. That was a TV show thing, right?"
I take my burger up and check it out before taking a bite.
"I have no idea. Give me a sec."
"It seems so out of place. I'd bet it's a clue! Or some sort of easter egg."
"Okay. I brought Jackie into this channel, Trev. It's some DC Comics thing, a chain of burger shops in the comic books and other media. I can't find any reason it should be appearing in an Austrian-style tavern in the middle of Winter Festival, though."
Your burger just looks like a burger, but the inside of the wrapper has a faint tracing of lines, like a map. It's hard to tell what it's a map of, though, since there are no reference points. The bottom of the cup the shake is in has a compass rose figure on it, and the paper sleeve the fries come in has a two columns of numbers on the back.
I point out the compass and columns, "It's a map, you two." I drink the drink as fast as I can to get the stuff turned over, looking at a way to combine it all.
"So cool!" She unwraps her own burger and compares the lines to what's on yours. "Mine's different from yours."
Jace starts munching on her burger while comparing. Apparently Reggie loves her some burger, even in toon form. The compass rose is the same on all three cups, but the 'map' and the pairs of numbers are unique. "Maybe the numbers are coordinates? We all have six pairs of them, but they're different."
I aak the tavern keeper , "How many specials do you have left?"
Hans pokes his head through a pair of swinging doors behind the bar. "Maurice! How many Surprises left?" You hear an indistict reply, then Hans reports back to you. "Seven."
I set down a bag of gold, "I'll take them all."
Hans grins. "Of course! Seven Chef's Surprises coming up. I guess you're hungry, huh?"
Back at the table, it's about five minutes before Hans brings seven cloche-covered trays and somehow manages to fit them all on the table. Shortly thereafter, you have seven wrappers, seven cups, and seven little french fry envelopes in front of you, in addition to the three you already had.
"Unlikely that this is related to the Krampus thing, don't you think? Should we do this first, or Krampus?"
I frown a bit, "I can't help it, Jace. It's little kids. I want to do the Krampus thing first." A glance over to Halyse, maybe she'll take my side?
Jace nods. "Of course, Krampus first. I was going to argue if you made the other choice."
"Fill me in on Krampus? I know who he is, but not about the quest."
I'm thankful Reggie's drive. That's my girl! To Halyse, "There is a great Krampus who is infecting villagers. The villagers are carrying away little children, so we're going to hunt the great one down."
Hans overhears and comes over, horrified. "You say Krampus is back? That's horrible! The run... the Krampuslauf. My parents said they came out of the shop all at once like a rampaging horde, stealing children and beating them. I haven't heard of any children being taken yet, but there are adults missing. Dozens of them! Thought they were travelling for the holiday, but I must've been wrong." He gulps a little. "You think it will happen soon? the Lauf?"
Hans has some helpful info, this is great. "That's true. Sophie's parents disappeared, so maybe it is different this time. But it's coming, that's for sure."
Hans shudders. "Is that why you asked about schnapps? I've heard some people talk about that. Seems strange to think that something as ancient and terrifying as Krampus would be knocked out by a shot of kirschwasser, but... I do have a selection here."
"Hans, hook us up. We need to save the adults before they escape the shop and steal all the children.."
Hans ponders. "I'm afraid I can't just give you the schnapps, but I can give you a special Winter Festival discounted price of 1 gold per bottle. How's that? I have seven flavors here."
They're lined up on the bar. Peppermint, plum, cherry, pear, licorice, apple, and one that just says "Schnapps" with a big black X on the label.
I hand over seven gold, my purse getting lighter. "Many thanks, Hans." I hand over some of the bottles to Jace, some to Halyse. Once we're done eating, I stand, head for the door. "Let's look for that shop."
You make your way back to the shop Sophie showed you earlier. It's still the same. Sign, merchandise displayed in the windows, but no door.
"This is the place I told you about. The sign wasn't up when I saw it, but you could see a few people moving around inside."
Jace goes up to peer through one of the windows. "Maybe a dozen in there, but I can't see them clearly."
I look at both of then, asking, "Should we try and lure them out with the Schnapps? Just set cups outside so they can smell it?"
Jace and Halyse both agree to try it. You put little cups of all the different flavors of schnapps out, and get pretty quick confirmation that the booze definitely attracts whatever's inside, as they crowd against the windows. You see hints of horns, but still can't make out distinct figures.
Pressing against the window is as far as it goes, though. They seem to have no more understanding of how to get out than you do of how to get in.
Maybe this will distract them?
I'll walk around the shop again, climb up on top if I don't see an entrance. "Jace, Halyse, look for magic doors or something."
"What if there just isn't a way in, until they all come out at once and start their rampage? Just a thought, looking for doors now."
"I checked it out pretty thoroughly when I first found it. Never thought about climbing up to the roof, though!"
You reach the roof with no problem. It is steeply peaked, like most buildings here, and also like most of the other buildings, there is a chimney. It's rather narrow.
Chat channel: "There's a chimney. Keep an eye out, I'm going down."
I'll start working my way down the chimney, just to scout. I imagine I can climb down and peek.
You might imagine you can just climb down and peek, but it's really a quite narrow chimney, so it's not quite that easy. The store is apparently owned and operated by an evil anti-Santa who kind of looks like the devil, after all.
Let's call this a roll against a Hard (13) difficulty. See what you've got, burglar-boy.
Climbing (+7) and Dex Bonus (+1)
(Rolled: 2d8+8. Rolls: 5, 1. Total: 14)
Your climb down the chimney takes surprisingly long. It's dark, and very tight (which the haptics make you aware of by pressing slightly in everywhere). There's soot everywhere, and you can see it start to make streaks and spots on your clothing. Finally, it opens out a bit above a cold hearth and you emerge, blinking in the light...
...to find yourself on a steeply-peaked roof, standing next to a chimney, with Jace staring up at you and Halyse laughing.
"You're covered in soot."
"Hahahaha! Only Santa Claus can climb down chimneys."
"Wait, maybe that's it!"
Halyse looks puzzled for a second, then her eyes widen. "Santa Suit?"
Chat channel: "There's a Santa Suit mod?"
"Not a mod, that I know of, but look around at what the villagers are wearing! I bet all the pieces to at least a couple really decent Santa suits are wandering around shopping and talking and doing NPC things."
Now that you pay attention, it makes sense. One fellow's wearing a heavy read wool coat trimmed with white fur, another's wearing a green jacket over a pair of bulky, warm-looking red pants. You see the boots and the belt. None of the hats look quite right, though.
"We'd better find enough for three, then, cause I'm definitely going along."
Chat channel: "Crappin' soot. I have a soot suit. I wanna dress like a Grinch now."
I lower myself to the gutter, hang and drop to the ground. "Let's trade with some folks and build some Santa suits." I'm looking for three suits' worth of gear. I imagine we need to build sets - gloves, coat, hat, beard, pants. This may be a bit grind-y, but it's fun.
You, Jace and Halyse are all pretty good at NPC interaction, finding those little key phrases and gestures that get you noticed and on their good side. In very little time, you have managed to collect three pairs of gloves, three coats, three beards (you had to find a pair of scissors first), and three pairs of pants. No one person is wearing a full set, and it seems that no one is wearing a floppy red cone-shaped hat with a white ball on top. Not one Santa hat to be found.
What do you do?
Chat channel: "Alright, we need to find some hats. Ideas?"
As soon as I ask them, I get one myself. We could just plain craft them! I start trading for more coats, since that has more mats. Then, I'll see if we can craft our own hats.
"I just haven't seen any, and I checked all the store Winter Festival inventories through the API, and there's nothing popping up. As far as I can tell, there has never been a Santa Hat in TSol."
As soon as you pull up the crafting menu, you notice that a new "recipe" has appeared for Santa Hats. You toss Jace and Halyse a coat each, and they get the point when they see your toon pull out a pair of shears.
"Ooh! I should've thought of that. I'm the crafting queen."
The countdown is only 30 seconds, so very soon the three of you each has a hat. When you put them on, your toons all change to the same appearance—a jolly, fat, bearded man. Halyse giggles. "The haptics feel scratchy on my face!
Chat channel: "Jace, I may never think naughty thoughts about you again after that."
I hop around from foot to foot, trying to make my belly wiggle and jiggle. "This is good stuff!" Once we're done "playing Santa", I'll lead them to the roof, then try again to climb down the chimney.
"Right. You're gonna want me to rent a Santa Suit, just watch."
You have to help Halyse up to the roof of the building, and the three of you gather around the chimney. You climb up first, I assume, and slide down. You're like greased lightning, despite the bulk of this toon. When you reach the bottom, you manage to step out into the room without crouching, somehow. You don't see anyone in this room, but you do hear something in the next room. Like a small herd of goats, maybe?
Chat channel: "Don't count on it, Miss Bowl-Full-of-Jelly."
"I hear goats..." I whisper as I draw my twin blades quietly and skulk forward. Does a Krampus smell like goat?
The masks you saw through the window had a distinctly goat-but-evil kind of character, and it sure sounds like goats.
"I hear goats, too. But not happy frolicky bouncing around on the Internet kinda goats. They sound mean."
You sneak to the threshold with no problems and peek in. There are a dozen people-sized creatures with long, wicked horns, bundles of birch twigs, and sacks big enough to hold two or three average-sized children. Chains are draped around their shoulders, and they seem to be having some sort of conversation through their bleating. There's a sort of excited tension in the room, like something good's about to happen.
The thirteenth creature is much like the others, but a good eight feet tall, with glowing red eyes, sharp sharp teeth, and a certain aura of badassery. It walks to the front wall and starts a guttural, bleating chant. The outlines of a door begin to slowly fade in in place of one of the windows.
Chat channel: "Ignore the smaller ones, they're villagers. Don't forget to use their chains against them! Once the real Krampus dies, they'll be okay. Jackie, you hang back and heal and buff."
I will urge them to hide, then pour some of the Schnapps out in little cups in the room we're in. I drop the Santa Suit mod, then I'm hiding by the door. If I could backstab the real Krampus, this would be awesome.
They haven't invented smellovision yet for your gear, but apparently smell works just fine for goat-headed child-stealing monsters, because the nearest "villager" krampuses immediately start heading for the room you're in. There's a lot of confusion as heads turn, searching for the source of the smell.
This distraction is just what you need to help you sneak up on big-K Krampus. Why don't you give me a roll to perform that sneakiness? Krampus is making a door and pretty focused, so this will be against a static difficulty of Difficult (13).
(Rolled: 2d8+8. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 20)
Go ahead and make me that backstab attack, Abby. Krampus' AC is 4, and he has 8 HD. (He's got some tricks up his sleeve, though, so HD don't necessarily tell the whole story.)
Attack (attack bonus +6, AC +4, Surprise Bonus +4)
(Rolled: 1d20+14. Rolls: 8. Total: 22)
Damage (if I hit):
(Rolled: 3d8+6. Rolls: 2, 1, 6. Total: 15)
(Rolled: 3d6. Rolls: 4, 5, 1. Total: 10)
As I come up behind Krampus, I slice where I assume his kidneys would be, then jump back to avoid a counter-attack.
Damage from the sword is 3 points.
(Fray die rolled by accident)
Krampus turns with a bleating roar. "WHO DARES!" He sees you and the coal-fired glow of his eyes begins to brighten, but he has put his birch-wands in his belt to work on the spell, and you have another chance to attack before he is ready to respond.
From the room you left, you hear the sounds of slurping and the occasional belch.
"Ha, take that! Goat-boy!"
There's also a muffled thud, and a belch cuts off mid-stream.
Attack (attack bonus +6, AC +4):
(Rolled: 1d20+10. Rolls: 3. Total: 13)
Damage (if I hit):
(Rolled: 1d8+2. Rolls: 2. Total: 4)
Krampus gives a terrible smile, full of pointy teeth. "You have been... naughty!" He lashes out with the bundle of birch switches, and his red eyes glow with a fierce light.
Attack: (Rolled: 1d20+12. Rolls: 5. Total: 17) (+8, +4 Abby AC)
Damage (if): (Rolled: 1d8. Rolls: 7. Total: 7)
Coal-Fired Eye Beams:
Attack: (Rolled: 1d20+12. Rolls: 16. Total: 28) (+8, +4 Abby AC)
Damage (if): (Rolled: 1d10. Rolls: 9. Total: 9)
Holy shit, coal-fired eye beams! I hop back. But I'm the closest thing to a tank, so I've gotta do this. I dodge in, swinging for all I'm worth.
Attack (attack bonus +6, AC +4):
(Rolled: 1d20+10. Rolls: 18. Total: 28)
Damage (if I hit):
(Rolled: 1d8+2. Rolls: 5. Total: 7)
You and Krampus are alone in the room now. The villager/krampuses are all slurping schnapps and getting their asses kicked (it sounds like) in the next room. This place is the 'showroom' that you could see from the street. Displays of masks, chains, bells, bags, and switches line the windows a few yards away, just as they did when you first peeked through the window.
Krampus's frightening grin widens, and he reaches into the bag on his shoulder. He pulls out something that looks like a doll, about eight inches tall and glinting with sugar. "Essence of naughty child!" He pops it into his mouth and chews, and looks a bit less damaged. Then he lashes out with his switches.
Attack: (Rolled: 1d20+12. Rolls: 13. Total: 25)
Damage (if): (Rolled: 1d8. Rolls: 6. Total: 6)