Caleb, yellow robed wizard
Mayhem, short barbarian of the Dragon Claw Clan
Yémos, cleric of Dōsaútōr, goddess of magic
Kim, obtainment specialist
Villûdē, swamp guide
20 Skraptôs; hot day.
The gang went back into the thick woods. As they stopped to set up camp for the evening, Caleb spotted 10 orcs. The orcs and heroes moved slowly towards each other, owing both to wariness and the thick underbrush. After a few seconds of aiming, four orcs let loose their arrows, with one hitting Mayhem and another grazing Kim. Mayhem steeled himself, and Caleb let loose a Blast Ball. Two orcs fell, and the burst was so big that even Caleb himself got a little singed, though his armor took the heat, so to speak.
Seeing a spellcaster take down two of their gang, the orcs made like Sir Robin, and bravely turned their tails and fled. Ash sniped one in the back as he ran off, and Yémos bound the wounds of the two orcs who fell unconscious. Kim, however, looted their bodies, and from them got five copper farthings, and, worth even more, six arrows. She was running low.
The next day, they walked to the southwest. It wasn't as hot, and all was well until almost midday, when they saw an old friend.
Oh, alright, it wasn't a friend at all, not unless the hydra had become friendly in the last few days, which it didn't.
Anêr made it up to the hydra, and struck true. Alas, it only made the hydra mad, and it bit both Mayhem and Anêr. Kim shot back, but the arrow bounced off its scales. Mayhem missed his strike, and Caleb cast Fireball.
At this time, the hydra started to glow red.
Anêr tried to strike again, but he dropped his sword, and both he and Mayhem took the burst of light from the hydra's body. Anêr dropped his buckler as he tried to keep away two of the hydra's bites, but luckily, the hydra's bite didn't make it through his or Mayhem's armor. Caleb lobbed his Fireball, but it missed. Anêr grabbed his backup rapier in time to parry the hydra's next bite, but the one after that got to his skin. Kim took a shot and missed, but Ash shot true, and Mayhem at last caused some mayhem, and his axe pounded the hydra.
The hydra started to back off, and Anêr got a sword blow to land. Then Mayhem landed another one, then Caleb hit with a Fireball, then Anêr hit, then Kim, then Ash, then Mayhem, then Anêr … there were a couple more blows, but the heroes let the hydra withdraw.
Mayhem had a plan. He led the gang to the southeast along the path of the hydra, until it's slinked back into the swamp. The swamp was a bridge too far for Mayhem, but at least they had an idea of where the hydra's lair was. They set up camp for the night, and spent the next day foraging as Villûdē was low on rations.
The next day, which was nice other than the short rain shower in the morning, they headed back into the deep woods, now wanting to get back to their raft. Around midday, they saw two big badgers fighting, and chose to stay away.
They made a camp that night, and were eating dinner when two ogres came from the south. The heroes readied their weapons and everyone got nearer each other. When they got near enough, the ogres yelled that they found dinner, and the heroes shot. Ash hit, but Caleb, Kim, and Yémos all missed, while Mayhem's shot bounced off the ogre's hide.
Anêr and Mayhem grabbed their rapier and axe, respectively, and got nearer, while everyone else tried to take another shot. Caleb's Fireball singed one, but again the shots otherwise no good. Kim had trouble getting out an arrow fast, and tried to switch to her sword, but dropped it and fell flat trying to get it.
Anêr, Ash, and Mayhem all traded blows with the ogres, and the ogres got the better, knocking both Ash and Anêr back with their big axes. Yémos cast Major Healing on Ash, who stood dazed. Kim got up right before Mayhem got a good whack on one of ogres. Ash's sword didn't get through the hide of one, then another smashed Mayhem back a few feet.
That made Mayhem angry. And when Mayhem gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets up set, ogres die.
Yémos made it over to cast Major Healing on Anêr, and Kim dropped her sword again when she moved to stab an ogre. Ash hit an ogre, and parried his blow. Mayhem moved to get back at the ogre who smacked him, but the ogre again knocked Mayhem back.
Caleb, however, had better luck, and hit the ogre tangled up with Ash with a Fireball, taking him down. Ash moved to get behind the other ogre, but his blow didn't get through the ogre's hide. The ogre, however, kept fighting Mayhem, but neither hit. Kim got up and Ash put his sword in the ogre's back, but it still wanted the puny barbarian dead, and knocked him back with an axe swing.
Yémos cast Major Healing on the downed Mayhem, who luckily saw Yémos as a friend and crawled back to the ogre and whacked his foot, knocking him to the ground. The ogre tried to crawl away, but Kim, Ash, and Caleb (with Acid Jet) kept whacking the ogre until he passed out. Yémos bound the wounds of both, and of Mayhem, who had passed out from his many wounds.
The ogre brought another Austin Powers reference: "Why won't you die?" Somehow, both the ogre and Mayhem made all their health rolls to stay alive at negative whatever HP they were. I think the ogre passed out at -67 HP.
Luckily, Mayhem lived, but not luckily, he's out for a bit. I don't have how far down he is handy, but the limit from magic in a day is 11 HP before you start taking penalties to the spell rolls, and even then you're still slowing your travel as you cast and rest. Hopefully, they can get back to their raft without any more issues.
I've been working on something for outdoor encounter distances, which will be another post. I did a lot of Quick Contests of Perception, which wasn't what I wanted to do but I forgot the random part of my system, which is actually easier than that.
Chris though like an old-school player (which he is; he bought the three little brown books back in 1974) when he let the hydra go. Monsters have lairs. Lairs have treasure. A wandering hydra has no treasure. Whacking the hydra then trying to find the lair later is like finding a needle in a haystack. Alas, the lair looks like it's in a swamp, which has loads of problems for movement without a raft.