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Episode 24: Getting Crabby
Kevkas, while yelling for Thrôllgar, attmepted to see if he could pull the crab up. (He couldn't.) It promptly scuttled forward and grabbed him in it's huge claws (for maximum damage...!)
The rest of the party rushed up. Kaddo had the foresight to use Grease on Kevkas's armour, which would boost his attempts to escape. Ruamaini started his now-traditional Ray of Enfeeblement/Escalating Enfeeblement combo, and Gavril started singing. Regis moved into position, ready to hit it. Kevkas then scrambled free, and the crab started grasping at both him and Regis and grabbed the latter. Thrôllgar moved into to start ineffectually thacking at it with this feeble strength, while Ruaimaii completed his combo, dropping it to 8 strength. Then he and Abbondio stood back and discussed how the rest of the party were doing... "II've done my part," the former said... (Sloth point! Sloth point!) Galmard, meanwhile, had run to the other entrance and dropped Numbing Sphere from the crab's rear, rolling it up to the crab and starting to do do some cold and Dex damage, further dropping the crab's AC. (Whose stats, I realised, were not errata'd when I went through, since it was listing a +1 Dex to AC with Dex 10...!) Kevkas starting stabbing in the voonerables, while Regis tried to get free and the crab failed to crush him. Between Thrôllgar, Kevkas and Galmard's spell, and Regis finally breaking free (and getting to it's opposite side, allowing it to be nicely flanked), they managed to kill it without too much more fuss.
The party then took some time having to hack the crab out of the helmet, looting the treasure chamber and then heading out. The make a cride travois out of their rope and one of the doors, and lugged it all back to Sandpoint. There we had an identifying session. They took the helmet to Brodart, and also showed him the medallion. So I skipped to Skinsaw murders, and gave them the speil on the sihedron rune. (They knew most of the rest of the stuff in that bit about Thassilon already.)
As they divided out the loot, Thrôllgar ended up with Nualia's magic breastplate. I could not resist at this point.
"Just bear in mind," I said, getting Nualia's picture out, "Thrôllgar is now wearing that."
Hysterics ensued. (Normal rules on magic armour be damned, that was just too funny not to do...)
This was compounded by Thrôllgar wanting to go to see Tsuto and brag about how he'd killed Nualia. Especially when he was going to dance in wearing her armour make comments about how her claw was his new backscratcher. (We were all killing ourselves.) He really wanted to get in (but Sherieff Hemlock has actually met and isn't stupid...) He was even trying to get to the window of Tsuto's cell... In the end, I said Tsuto was being taken off for trial at Magnimar (just to get him out of the way), but the player immediatey jumped on that meant being transported in an open wagon. I threw up my hands at this point, and Tsuto went away spitting and cursing and swearing revenge as Thrôllgar Made A Scene...
I then set them all up for down time, working out what they were doing and how they were getting sorted with living costs and such. (Working on the basis that the Rusty Dragon qualified as an average in, because, fracking hell, no-one could afford 2gp a day on hireling wages! Good inn must be freaking amazing...!)
Kaddo and Galvril are working as entertainers, and because they have good perform skills, I let them get a bonus such they are basically paying for the board with that work.
Thrôllgar, actually showing something passing intelligence for once, asked about working ass a bowyer fletcher (in addition to his evening job at the Fatman's Feedbag. So Savah took him on at the armoury, and he';s earning 4 sp/day (enough he's only using spending one per day).
Abbondio and Regis both have houses (or their parent's house) and so with the former's day job as priest and the latter doing whatever his mum needs doing, I assumed that would cover their meal costs.
Kevkas continues to study under Brodert, with the understanding that he gets sent out as consultant when Brodert can't be bothered (which pays his board cost at the Dragon.)
Ruamaini is spending most of his time in indepndant study (i.e writing spells into his spellbook!) but he is also lending a (very-much appreciated) hand to Ameiko, as she has to take over the running of the glassworks.
(At last! We finally are starting to see some of the party working towards Jade Regent! As you may recall, either the party themselves of their next generation will be undertaking that module after runelords is over (rebalanced for high level in the case of the former.) As the party was evenly split on whether they wanted to do high level or not, I made them the ultimatum that if, by the end of Runelords, the majority of the party were in a position to be doing Next Generation (i.e to have progeny) we'd run it at low level - otherwise we'd be doing it at high. Basically meaning that onus is on the players who want to do it at low level to do some work. With the understanding that I expected everyone to be working to that end, just in case I got to it and said, "frack, too much like hard work!" So we are starting to get the baseline, and I need to go starting to look up those relationship rules in Jade Regent!)
Galmard went to the Barrets, to make sure that Amele and Aeren were doing alright.
As the player pointed out to me later, from the metaperspective, this was a really good idea for Galmard's love interest, since she's not an adevnturer herself (so not adding to the number of characters), but either Aeren (who comes complete with backstory) or their children would be ideal for the next gen. With the benefit of time to think about it, I conceded that was a really good idea (I'd been half expecting him to go for Shayliss, and was half shifting her in his direction). So I'm going to need to expand on this. (Suggestions would be welcome!)
And then we got to the real fun...
An off-hand conversation between Ruamaini and Thrôllgar led to Ruamaini suggesting he go to the general store owner (Ven Vinder) and say something to the affect that he'd heard his daughters were "goers." So Thrôllgar, not understanding quite that bit of slang did.
After the ensuing (off-screen)fistfight and a night in the cells, an exasperated Hemlock explained exactly what that meant. Thrôllgar then attemped to go and apologise to Vinder. It did not do terribly, but neither did it go well... I said that (word having gotten round), Thrôllgar had gotten some hard stares from the ladies in question. So he decided to try to apologise to them as well - giving them each a gold piece to go and make themselves look nice. (Because it is Thrôllgar went all's said and done...!)
Regis went with him when they cornered Shayliss, and as Thrôllgar made his apology, Regis handed her some flowers that "Thrôllgar" had also gotten her. Net result, at this point, Shayliss was reasonably sort of flattered (even with the knowledge that Regis was trying to help Thrôllgar), and Thrôllgar got a smile and couple of over-the-shoulder looks as she went away.
(And why not, I thought. Potential love interest No. 3. I was actually half intending to gently push Shayliss towards Ruamaini again, but interesting how things out!)
Katrine didn't react quite so well... An Thrôllgar got a vist from her boyfriend while he was working at the bar. Harker did the usual jealous boyfriend thing of "stay away from my women" while Thrôllgar tried to explain he was only trying to be nice.
At this point, I was jumping up and down excitedly - because of course this sets up Skinsaw murders PERFECTLY. Hell, the party will even have MET the victims and it'll throw some suspicion onto Thrôllgar - who is, of course, Aldern's (rage) victim! It's so neat I couldn't have PLANNED this.
I do not know how I would have run this module so well without Thrôllgar's player gift-wrapping me this sort of thing, it's really amazing!
So, next week, Skinsaw Murders begins and Thrôllgar will find out how much trouble he's in...!
Edit: and when I started looking around for house prices, I found PF actually has a full system for downtime. Huh. I am going to suggest to the PCs that we adopt that! (They, I think, will be fairly pleased, since it means they will be theorheticall bringing in more pennies and we can consider that the Rusty Dragon can go back to Good quality!)