Talk:The Snow Gate

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"It's been a devil of a time catching up to you, but I brought a friend! Now let's crush another frog!"

I have my battleaxe ready and in hand.
I will assume Oddsdrakken has carried away the things I usually had him hold, so no throwing axes or shield. I have 3 AP as it is, so I don't want those things back right now anyway. Fjall had been holding my Crossbow and assorted goodies in the same way. I only mention either so that Alexis can jump in and inform me if I need to be calculating a different encumbrance or not.
Good to be back in the saddle again guys, let's rock this thing. Pandred (talk)
No, when you separated, you took those things with you; so you have everything that Oddsdrakken would have carried. The same is true of Fjall. I wouldn't have them rob you. Incidentally, please don't write several paragraphs, as it will get complicated when there are five of us speaking. Could you please cascade extra comments with indents or assemble them in one paragraph?--The DM (talk) 06:30, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
Noted, and I've condensed the text above. Further: now that I know I have those things, I drop them, excepting the Hand Axe, which I keep ready. --Pandred (talk) 08:07, 17 August 2020 (UTC)

August 18

I shift my sword in my hand nervously. "What have you gotten me into, Pandred?" –Vafrandir 15:34, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

For the record, it is pretty hot here today, and I have no air conditioning. That will be the reason for any slow responses today.--The DM (talk) 18:08, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
No worries; I don't expect us to jump in immediately anyway. As you said a few days ago, better to go in slowly and prepared than hastily. –Vafrandir 18:11, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
That's all very well, but I'm beginning to think I'm just going to be running Pandred and Vafrandir.

August 19

Engelhart: Hello, fellows. I'm sorry for my tardy arrival on the scene. Translating the running onto a wiki was more of a hurdle than I'd thought it would be. And if not for Shelby's example I trust it would be much worse still. I hope this is practical for you, Alexis, because it sure isn't on this end of the rope. Engelhart (talk) 00:03, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Alexis, I've completely misplaced my list of sage abilities. The file on the drive from back when lists an "Andrej" at the top, leaving me unsure as to whether it belongs to my character. Might be you have an updated version in your possession? Engelhart (talk) 00:12, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Pretty sure that's the one, Engelhart. It's got your Beasts at 32, right? That's what I used to recover mine. --Pandred (talk)
Found it, thank you graciously, Pandred! Was definitely looking at the wrong place. So, onto another issue: the page for Encumbrance isn't yet up, do we use one of the excel files? The "newer & harsher" one, the original one, or something else entirely? Engelhart (talk) 00:44, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Procedure: Alexis, I want to make sure I'm understanding how we're doing this. Do you want us to post our actions here, and you update the main page with whatever you feel is most pertinent to the viewer, or do you want us to use this as a party-chat zone, and post only our definitive actions on the main page? The way things had been going I was under the impression that the main page was something you'd be fiddling with and our interactions would be here, but I'm not 100% certain I understand how we want things run. --Pandred (talk)

I believe that if we all try to update the front page, we'll step on each other's toes, and things we write won't get updated or they'll be overwritten by someone else's edit. Shelby is more familiar than I and can confirm or not. Engelhart updating to the front page is just something that needs to be shaken out, as we adjust to a new system. I think we're smart and with some experimentation we'll work this out. --The DM (talk) 06:03, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Wiki software is reasonably smart about edit conflicts (link is for Wikipedia specifically but should be applicable to Mediawiki as well). Plus, all changes are saved anyway, so if there is some need for clean-up it's not impossible (though obviously not preferable). –Vafrandir 14:51, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
I will ask about the watchlist.--The DM (talk) 16:14, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
hmf. I guess it isn't the 20th yet; sorry about the confusion.--The DM (talk) 16:56, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Notifications: The harder problem I'm finding is that as we update, I don't know what I've seen and haven't seen without actually opening the discussion page and scanning through it. Like Shelby mentioned yesterday, I want a notification by email that someone has posted something. I think the best thing is if someone starts a new query or subject, please start a new thread with a title.--The DM (talk) 06:03, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Can monsonj enable the Watchlist? The Echo Extension would be ideal but the watchlist would be a quicker fix. As far as I understand it, neither of these can be done from the front end here by you or me. You can also see changes by using the cur and prev links on the Recent Changes page or by viewing the history. I also suggest using the Heading formats for topics, as you can edit those directly without affecting the rest of the page. I'll continue to explore this. –Vafrandir 14:51, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Time Zone: the time zone is seriously out of whack. This is an easy fix; Engelhart is in Portugal; I'm in Mountain; I believe one of you is in Pacific. Is there a time zone anyone would specifically like this set to? I'm flexible.--The DM (talk) 06:03, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

I'm in CST. We have quite the distribution. –Vafrandir 14:51, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Beasts: Engelhart, your Predict Beasts ability allows you to predict (and because an ice toad is unnatural, and not just a giant form, it IS a beast) where the beast will attack and what movement it will make. Therefore, you KNOW that the toad does not intend to attack your character, or at all, just now. This is a predetermined fact.--The DM (talk) 06:03, 19 August 2020 (UTC)


For everyone, I've created this page for your encumbrance calculation. My hope is that the flexibility I have to create tables such as this in the wiki, and to be able to update it quickly and at will, and for the players to be able to update such things as well, will pay for the difficulty that adjusting to the wiki brings. My sympathies, Engelhart. --The DM (talk) 02:39, 19 August 2020 (UTC)


Could Pandred and Vafrandir indicate their movement for this post and this round? I think it is time to get the game moving, since Embla has joined us (welcome!). We can continue to talk about policy as we go. --The DM (talk) 16:14, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

What is your preferred method for indicating actions? Comment here? –Vafrandir 16:41, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes please, comment and describe your actions here, and not on the front wiki.--The DM (talk) 16:57, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

I'll begin to shed my backpack (5 AP). (Bear with me as I get used to the AP system, I'm sure you'll correct as I learn) –Vafrandir 16:44, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Good enough. That will account for your round.--The DM (talk) 16:56, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

I drop everything but my Axes. Engelhart, since your knowledge of Beasts has let us know it doesn't intend to attack, it may be triggered by passing through the gate (or just be docile at the moment). I'm waiting on your movement. Everyone else, keep spread so we don't let it get more than one of us in a single jump. --Pandred (talk)

2nd Round

I've updated the front page. --The DM (talk) 18:49, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Will I gain my extra AP in the middle of my current turn (after shedding the pack and weight), or next turn? –Vafrandir 19:01, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

At the end of the last turn, your backpack came off and hit the ground. So you are free of it presently.--The DM (talk) 19:10, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Understood. I wasn't sure how actions that take longer than my total AP were resolved. If I want to equip (3 AP) and strap my shield (10 AP), does that take me three turns? –Vafrandir 19:21, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Oops, my error. I got that wrong, as I'm out of practice. Yes, it should have taken you 5 total AP to drop the pack. If your move prior to dropping the pack was 4, then this round you are -1 AP out of the gate, as you need the first AP of this round to finish that action. If your move prior was 3, then you're -2 AP this round to finish the activity. My apologies. I need to get up to speed. --The DM (talk) 20:00, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
So: 3 AP with pack; begin to drop it. Finishing the last 2 AP this round leaves me 1 AP. I'll need to decide if it's worth prepping my shield, and I think my "overly cautious" nature answers that question despite the extra time it'll take. So I'll begin that process (3 AP for making ready and 10 AP for strapping). –Vafrandir 20:08, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

That accounts for Vafrandir. Anyone else?--The DM (talk) 22:33, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Engelhart: I tried to shoot the toad before and it was pretty well impervious due to the fencing's protection (given as "intensely magical" by Mikael's Detect Magic at the time), so I'm still figuring our only chance to be to engage the toad outside of this perimeter. I'm personally willing to risk going in and attempt to circle the critter, but I'm under Sanctuary, I wouldn't advise anyone else to follow suit.--Engelhart (talk) 22:04, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Movement towards 0704 for me, Alexis. --Engelhart (talk) 22:04, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
[I'm adjusting the indents; write under the comment you're addressing; always go one more indent than the comment above; when the action is independent, space twice and start a new thread] --The DM (talk) 22:29, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

When Engelhart goes through the gate, he disappears! --The DM (talk) 22:29, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Vafrandir hasn't noticed yet; he's engaged with his shield. Embla? --The DM (talk) 22:36, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Wait a minute, am I not already past the point of "disappearance" due to Sanctuary?--Engelhart (talk) 23:03, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
Damn, I've got to get on the ball. That went right over my head. Yes, Pandred, Engelhart's right. His sanctuary is in place and you haven't any worry whatsoever about the cleric. When you first said it, Engelhart, I didn't make the connection you were making. I thought you meant you couldn't be affected by the gate because of sanctuary. Duh.--The DM (talk) 23:39, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Something is Very Wrong

Engelhart feels plunged into the most unholy arctic cold he has felt, or ever imagined to have felt, in his life. The wall and the gate are behind him now, just as expected, but there is now no ceiling, no cavern; he appears to be outdoors, under a slate grey sky that has elements of a thunderstorm, except that it is ungodly cold. About one hundred yards away is a tremendous slushy bog, stretching out into a foggy distance; it is full of what appear to be humans, belly-deep, moving in steady, unhappy circles, while wailing. They are being herded along by half a dozen giant, bone-white skeleton giants, each holding tremendous bone hooks. As Engelhart looks at the scene, he feels an ache for his very soul. The toad is still present; and is still indifferent to Engelhart. For the moment. --The DM (talk) 23:39, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

What would I see if I were to glance up (though honestly I am too preoccupied with my shield)? –Vafrandir 00:06, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
\*Engelhart crosses himself three times*. C-cold...the damned ...a hundred yards... bone giants... this changes _everything_. In my thoughts the idea resolves itself that we're clearly not meant to be here and any closing efforts will have to be made from the far side. I step back across the open portal. I have no idea if I should dispel Sanctuary just yet, but if any party member appears to be about to cross the gate, I'll certainly do so and attempt, as dramatically as I am able, to hold them back from crossing, forcibly if need be.--Engelhart (talk) 01:04, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

August 20

It is clearly a gate. Engelhart steps back without any trouble; the toad is still there, with no clear idea why you can still see it through the gate. I can't recall how long you have left on the sanctuary; the total time is 10 rounds, or about two minutes; we must be pushing the edge of that time ... shall we say 4 rounds remaining? --The DM (talk) 01:21, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

Very well. Does this mean Vafrandir & the party have stood still during these intercurrent rounds?--Engelhart (talk) 01:28, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
Apparently. Through this encounter, including when I was running it in 2018, there was a great deal of hesitation; I must count this as time passing without people taking action. [also, please, if you ask a question, then explain that you're going to do something, split that into two threads, as I've shown here] --The DM (talk) 17:01, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

In any event, I'm moving next to Embla and dismissing the spell. It is the only way I can ensure that the assassin (or any other foolhardy party member) won't step into what amounts to a circle of hell, exposing her immortal soul to precocious damnation or worse things still.--Engelhart (talk) 03:46, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

To be clear, I retell the party all that I've witnessed, conjuring the strongest imagery that I can reach for. I suggest we just keep our distance and either pelt the beast with missiles once it emerges from the gate (and charge it after) or, if unchallenged, that we retreat to the svirfneblin settlement and seek further counsel in how to deal with the menace beyond.--Engelhart (talk) 03:52, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
Pandred is firmly of the opinion that we should fight the minions of hell wherever we find them. Having said that, yeah, let's beseech the Svirfneblin or indeed anyone for some assistance shutting this gate down. I'd like to save some souls, but preferably without getting my own flayed out. --Pandred (talk) 05:20, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
I concur. Fighting the minions of hell is all very well, but we need to know what we're doing. That said, if we can draw this thing out and kill it, that's one less minion... –Vafrandir 12:53, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

What do you do?--The DM (talk) 17:01, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

"Do any of you have missiles? I don't. How do we lure it out? Is it even really there?" –Vafrandir 19:16, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
Embla Strand I've a javelin I can throw from the precipice that might draw the toad out. Shall I try it? --Embla (talk) 19:21, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
Alternatively, I could venture through the gate, attack, and then retreat. --Embla (talk) 19:23, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
I say we start making our way back, if it gives chase we lead it on for a bit and then let loose and rush it. I'll start by retreating to 0709. --Engelhart (talk) 20:23, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
I am waiting for a consensus. --The DM (talk) 20:37, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
I agree to go with Engelhart. --Pandred (talk) 21:30, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
I also agree to retreat, following Engelhart's lead. --Embla (talk) 21:31, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
Agreed –Vafrandir 21:33, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

You fall back progressively, but Engelhart begins to get the feeling that the toad is not even aware of the party's existence, except perhaps when they are near the gate.


Clearly, the situation has the party befuddled, as it did before. The toad is not a threat; and I would guess that the party has no idea what problem to solve, except to enter combat. Please, think this through. The froglings sacrificed their victims by hurling them off a cliff, where they ended by being made frozen in the lake. It has gotten progressively colder as you have approached the gate. The frozen lake you crossed, upon which you fought the larva, is frozen for reasons you don't understand. Now you've seen what's beyond the gate. I must ask you, where do larva come from? Why would they block your way forward? What is the connection between the toads you've seen and the froglings? What is wrong here that can be made right?

Oh, I think I made the connection between the souls in the swamp and the lemures just fine. Thing is those giants were posted as a very clear "no go" signage. If the party wants to reconsider, I'm not one to mind. --Engelhart (talk) 23:39, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
Those bone giants are very definitely out of the question. Engelhart, the cleric, would have sat in many lectures and seen many images of hell to know the danger they represent. The very size of them, and the intensity of the cold; no one in the party at present has the clothing to step in and take them on. --The DM (talk) 23:59, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
I think that the people beyond the gate are the souls of the sacrificed. The source of the cold is clearly connected to this sacrifice and evidently some ongoing activity for which the souls are required. I don't think we can free them by combat. We passed a temple on the way down, did those who studied those murals notice anything that may help? (The rest of the party may have more insight into the larvae and froglings, I read through most of the other campaign but didn't experience it) –Vafrandir 23:44, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
Mikael was able to read languages and could find nothing there to read. As a DM, I give you my word you have every detail and information you need to solve the problem at hand. --The DM (talk) 23:59, 20 August 2020 (UTC)
I attempt to push closed the side of the gate I am nearest to. --Pandred (talk) 00:02, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
I will join you –Vafrandir 00:06, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Together, you have to break the ice at the bottom of the door before it can be moved. The bars are cold to the touch, so if you do not have gauntlets, you'll have to wrap your hands in the cloths of your robes. The gate creaks horrifically as you start to close it.--The DM (talk) 00:09, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

I have gloves but I can still feel it and grasp my cloak as well –Vafrandir 00:11, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
I don't know if I have Gauntlets, Plate Mail is not an entry on either wiki. If not, I'll use my heavy Rabbit Cloak. As soon as we're done this side I urge Vafrandir to join me at the other. --Pandred (talk) 00:17, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
Gauntlets do not come with armor; they must be specifically purchased. --The DM (talk) 00:24, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Ponderously, the heavy weight of the gate begins to swing closed. When Pandred and Vafrandir have brought it halfway along its path, a disturbingly familiar, large, grey, jelly-like creature appears, having teleported on the opposite side of the gate, putting its hands on the metal and stopping the gate from being closed. The party has encountered the creature before.--The DM (talk) 00:24, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Can I strike it from where I am, or would I need to circle about in order to take a chop at it? --Pandred (talk) 00:37, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
I will need a surprise roll from the party first. Pandred, you volunteer; please roll a d6.--The DM (talk) 01:42, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
I got a 5. --Pandred (talk) 03:29, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

August 21

[My partner Tamara has a doctor's appt. this morning; we're going to be heading off soon, we'll be back in some hours]--The DM (talk) 15:01, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Pandred's roll indicates the party is not surprised. I've rolled a 5 for the monster's initiative; could Vafrandir please roll a d6 for the party?--The DM (talk) 15:01, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

I roll a 1 –Vafrandir 15:06, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
The creature has it.--The DM (talk) 16:22, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

The creature attempts to shove the gate back, but finds Pandred surprisingly stronger that it is. It therefore lets out a bellow, whereupon the ice toad will galumph forward to stand in the gate. That's the enemy's move; I'll throw up new map at the first opportunity, after I get back from the appt, and the players can make their move. Please indicate the hexes you're in before your turn starts, since you fell back and moved forward again. Pandred is in 1006 and Vafrandir in 0906, pushing the gate shut, so I only need to know Embla and Engelhart's positions.--The DM (talk) 16:22, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

I am in 0808. --Embla (talk) 17:25, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
Okay, I'm back. I'll wait for a bit to see if Engelhart can give his position. --The DM (talk) 19:50, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
0707, if you'll please.--Engelhart (talk) 19:52, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Set up. Let's change the venue to Attempt to Close the Gate.