Session 3 of my Monster Hunter Pathfinder campaign (titled God Hunters).
Kholstin, a druid dual-blade user with a palico friend whose family has been tied to his family for generations.
Jeanii, his palico cleric (He'll keep his Meowster safe!).
Amberlyn, a fighter gunlance wielder who's bonded to her Kulu Ya-Ku.
Sampson, said Kulu Ya-Ku with an 18 charisma score (He is a very pretty bird wyvern) and poor flying ability due to injured wings.
Alexander Fenich, a bow Magus who enchants and coats their arrows.
And Joseph, a 1620's British soldier who got dreadfully lost while en route to America, and is wildly out of place in this universe – and, despite spending several months in this world, is very confused about these superhuman hunters who can fall off of mountains and not take falling damage, fling spells around and do generally insane things!
Today's Bounty Board mission: Yukumo Village's tech-mage has requested they mine some light crystals! They make great mana batteries. The tech-mage is not the most likable sort, but the pay is good, and he's offering to make a sweet piece of gear if they fulfill his request – so off they go into the Sunken Hollow, to mine out some light crystals! Area 9 has the most, but there might be some nice stuff on the way, so they prep with some water-walking, some light sources, a few dungpods in case they run into anything nasty, some spider climb potions and water breathing potions if anything's high up or underwater, and plenty of pickaxes and torches.
(As a note – the areas are significantly bigger than in MH, and I made some changes to keep the players on their toes, so don't expect everything to be 1:1 with the games!)
They enter the caves (area 1), and start mining out the walls – they find some bealite, some malachite, a few whetstones, but the area is mostly picked clean in the entrance. Seems like a popular place to mine! They head to 2, which glows green with bioluminescent flora and fauna. They find some ivy, many cobwebs, and even some nice bright moss and plant life – including a mushroom patch with some Chaos Mushrooms! After spending most of the day mining and gathering, they decide to head to area 3, where they find some relaxing hot springs! They decide to set up camp for the night, camping between the springs, and spend a few hours relaxing and drinking in the springs.
At about 4 AM, disaster strikes. An earthquake shakes the ground, waking up most of the party and sending their tents and campfire flying! A tent ends up in a hotspring, the campfire ends up against a wall, and everyone (except Amberlyn, tucked safely and sleeping under Sampson's wing) is shaken about. Joseph, not the strongest man, is fatigued from this early wake-up – and he sleeps naked, not knowing what pajamas are, so this gets awkward!. Alex, however, manages to sleep entirely through this earthquake – and Kholstin, ever the trickster, decides to slip a Chaos Mushroom into his mouth and see what fun stuff happens.
Five minutes later, Alex is shaken awake by what appears to be a tiny Rathalos roaring at him. He quickly grabs his bow and fires an arrow at the Rathalos, who responds with, "OW, WHAT THE FUCK, THAT HURT!" (The Rathalos was actually Kholstin, kicking him awake and yelling at him to enjoy some fun of a hallucinating teammate.) Joseph, still naked and seeing a fight about to happen, goes and flying-tackles Alex to the ground, hoping to restrain him and keep him from hurting himself or other people. Alex is tackled by a small Great Jaggi he thought he killed, and is freaked out – and manages to, in his delirious haze, Raven's Flight his way out towards a wall made of crystal, which fascinates him since he can see the entire universe in it, and he stares at it for a while.
While he's staring at the wall, the rest of the party gets dressed and gets ready for the day, and eventually Alex snaps out of it and explains the really weird dream he had to the rest of the party. They lie and say yup, totally just a dream, nothing went wrong here – and he believes it! They continue on to area 8.
Area 8 is an enormous, wide and open chasm with smooth, igneous walls and a mossy, opaque lake in the center surrounding a mound with an open hole in the center. The party spends most of the day mining, and Amberlyn and Joseph spend some time fishing in the lake, catching Gunpowderfish, Whetfish and even some Goldfish, a truly valuable catch! Then Sampson freaks out near the entrance to 9 – there's a wall that's been knocked over, and some stones and grooves on the ground! It looks like a boulder took out the wall! The party hypothesizes that whatever caused this must've been causing the earthquakes – and they're going to finish exploring this cave before they go confront it.
They spend several more hours mining, and two major events happen:
1: Kholstin, mining the outside of the central lava tube, accidentally hits a pressurized lava flow and gets sprayed with lava, taking significant fire damage and causing lava to spew out of the side of the mound, rolling into the lake and taking out some of the lake and fish in it. One one hand, this is sad because a lot of the fish are scorched beyond recognition – on the other hand, the gunpowderfish that get hit by the lava seem to detonate spectacularly!
2: Amberlyn, looking into the lava tube, sees a sea of lava several hundred feet down – but 50 or so feet down, sees glittering jewels in the sides of the tubes!
The party comes up with a few plans to mine these out – Lowering a guy on a rope, having Sampson fly down while Amberlyn mines, and trying to mine the outside. These all seem too dangerous or time-consuming, so they decide, instead, to have Kholstin spider-climb down the tube and mine out the side with a pickaxe, while sticking to the side of the tubes. He starts to head down, but realizes it's quite hot in the tube – drinking a Cool Drink helps fix that! He starts mining the gems out – it's a time-consuming process, and he can only get some for every spell (It lasts an hour, it takes about 10 minutes per gem, so he can get 5 at a time safely) – and not only that, but these gems are quite easily shattered, so he has to carefully pull them out! After a few hours of this, he manages to pull out 9 of them – but 3 more are shattered or dropped in the lava. These turn out to be diamonds! Valuable, but with no actual use, they sell for quite a lot – more than the mission's reward was even going to be worth. Jackpot!
The party decides to camp for the night in an alcove in the cave, and nothing exciting happens that night. They wake up, and head over to 9.
There's a decent amount of water in the cave, making it tricky to run around (the entire cave counts as rough terrain) – but it's mineral rich! They start mining out some bealite, machalite, some high-quality stone, and even a dragonstone ore or two! And of course, they get their light crystals – but while they're mining, an Uragaan rolls onto the scene, and takes out one of the walls near them!
Now, let me give you some context – they just recently finished their Hunter's Exam for their hunting licenses, and have only done two missions before this. The largest thing they've killed up to this point is a Volvidon. They're HR3 hunters, with weapons with some green sharpness. An 80-foot-long 30-foot-tall mountain on stubby feet just took out a wall next to them.
The Uragaan, after smashing the wall, notices the party – but it doesn't get aggressive. Instead, it attempts to sneak past the party, since it's more interested in the delicious, delicious crystals it found in the cavern it's opened. (I roll a stealth check with a -15 modifier – and it manages to net a 1 to stealth!) The Uragaan, as quietly as an 80-foot-long behemoth can, shuffles forward slowly, eyeing the party, its footsteps causing only small, relatively quiet earthquakes. Upon seeing no reaction from the party, it nods to itself a little, as if to celebrate its successful stealth attempt, assumes the party can't see him, and starts nomming away at all the delicious crystals and ores.
The party sees the riches, and starts yelling to throw dung pods and scare it away before it eats all the
delicious valuable ores! But Joseph has had enough – he's a God-fearing Christian man, trapped in a realm of demons and monsters. He fires at the Uragaan, hitting it, luckily, right in the butt where it's weakest.
The Uragaan roars, staggering the entire party, and then slams its chins on the ground, knocking everyone over. It was PISSED. The party scrambled to their feet, and before the Uragaan gets a chance to attack, Alex throws a Truestrike-boosted Dungpod at the Uragaan, which homes in and stuffs itself up the Uragaan's left nostril. The Uragaan is nauseated – but not afraid yet! (It rolled an 18+11 fort against a DC 25 check to not be terrified and run). Kholstin pulls out another dung pod, and manages to stuff this one in its other nostril. (In my campaign, successive checks with the same effect have a Build Factor – Dungpods are DC 25 BF10 to make a non-sentient creature terrified and flee, so this second dungpod was a DC 35 to flee, and while the Uragaan rolled a 19, 19+11 does not beat 35). The Uragaan can't deal with the smell any more, and rolls away… for now.
The party puts Joseph on lookout for the Uragaan's return, and as quickly as they can, strip mines the entire vein – pulling out dozens of light crystals, tons of bealite, machalite, dragonite and high-quality stones. But in the back of the cave… was a mysterious darkness.
A cubical black void sat in the back of this cave. The party throws a rock at it – it bounced off of it. Joseph abandoned his lookout and decided to try walking into the darkness – but he bounced off of it, injuring himself slightly in the process. When he did so, a red light appears at about head-level. He decided to try to take a pickaxe to the darkness, but only manages to bounce off and shatter the pickaxe head. He fires a shot at it, and finally did something – the perfectly dark surface became a perfectly dark surface marred by a small indent for a few seconds, before the surface smoothed itself out. A voice rang out from the darkness – Доступ закрыт.
In the meantime, the rest of the party finishes their strip mining – and just in time too, as the cave starts shaking and rumbling. The party, fearing the return of the Uragaan, flees to the cave entrance. Kholstin wonders if they could trick the Uragaan into rolling into the seemingly impenetrable darkness – but the party decides to err on the safe side and Farcaster out before the Uragaan can chase them down more.
They head home, far richer for the experience, but with more questions than answers. What was that darkness, and what was that voice? How could even Alex, knower of seven languages, not understand it? They decide to talk to the head of the Researcher's Commission and the Village Elder to see if they have any ideas – but their conversations will come NEXT TIME ON DRAGON BALL Z!
Kind of a low fight session, but everyone had fun 😀
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© Post "The party goes mining in the Sunken Hollows." for game Monster Hunter World.
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