Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Skeleton

Aotrscommander's page

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32. 289 posts. 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


RSS

1 to 50 of 289 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 29: Mirror the Opposition

The party continued to explore.

Kevklas entered the guest bedchamber, followed by Thrôllgar. When nothing happened, the party tried to work out who should go in to make the hauntings trigger. Kaddo refused first, so Thrôllgar and Regis tried to manhandle him into the room (and failed, embarrasingly. Regis didn't even manage to get a grib, and Kaddo just slipped out of Thrôllgar's grasp.) Kevkas had wandered off to the door to the master bedroom, so Kaddo scuttled off behind him. Thrôllgar tried to lure him into the guest bedroom with a Bluff check and dropping a gold piece and claiming he'd found something shiny. It did not, as you might imagine, work.

Kevkas booted the door to the master bedroom in and went inside. As he surveyed the room and moved over to the painting, Regis and Thrôllgar decided to try bullrushing Kaddo into the master bedroom. Again, embarrasingly, the two burly fighters failed to budge the bard. Kaddo tried to dodge out of the way so as to make them both fall on their faces, but with surprising grace, neither did. Abbondio wandered past them into the room, and he and Kevkas examined the painting.

Seeing as nothing happened, Ruamaini and Regis went in and looked at it next. The latter felt a sudden wave of fear and the former heard a shrill voice shrieking about what he got up to in the basement, but aside from a brief urge to punch a woman in the face, nothing happened.

Regis then took the painting down and showed it to the rest of the party and Thrôllgar got a sudden surge of sadness. Regis put it back, satified, before Kevkas cut it out of the frame and rolled it up. (Greed point...!)

Having found the attic stairs, they headed back to the double doors to the galley. Kevkas went in and started pulling the cobwebs off, as Thrôllgar peered behind him. They both were in the room as the mould exploded everywhere, but sadly both made their Fort saves. The party then had a good look at the paintings, which jogged Abbondio's memory (as I looked a bit harder at the timeline)), allowing him to remember that while the Vorel incident was fifty years ago as stated, the fire-murderey incident was more recent. Kevkas again cut out all the paintings and took the away.

Kevkas went into the bedroom, and then went right up to the desk. He promptly grabbed the dagger and announced he was going to end it all. I made the party make initiative checks, and Ruamaini managed to rush in to try to grab his arm, but got a good stab instead. As Kevkas blinked as his head cleared and Ruamaini slapped him upside the head, Thrôllgar barrelled in to try to punch Kevkas out. The latter just dodged the blow before the rest of the yelled to Thrôllgar that Kevkas had actaully stopped trying to kil himsefl and/or the party...

Galmard and Regis seemed to put together that the person in here had had their throat slit (from the bloostain) and from Kevkas, had done it himself, though I don't think they attached it to Traver yet.

Kaddo was finally pursuaded, as the party were going to head upstairs, to stick his head into the mouldy guest bedroom. And promptly screamed, clutching at his face. As Thrôllgar and Regis were standing right next to him and watching him carefully, I let them have a grapple check (Regis, once again failed!), but Thrôllgar's iron grip prevent Kaddo from hurting himself too badly. (I gave him half damage. Still, two points of Cha damage hurts the bard!)

The party headed up to the attic, quickly clearing the storerooms and bulter's bedroom. They heard the scream and Kevkas rushed down to the door. He failed to open it after a couple of attempts, and as the scream did not re-occur, Regis insisted they explore everywhere else first. Kevkas opened the door to the observatory and had a look inside. Finding nothing, Kevkas wanted to try opening the trap door but Regis was dead set against it, Kevkas tried anyway but failed.

The party were then heading down towards the other room. Well, they said they were, but no-one was moving figures so (not for the first or last time that evening) I told them to put them damn figures where they were (they are getting very lazy at moving the figures, especially when it's important like this.)

Galmard's player moved the figures into position, and Galmard ended up in the observatory with Kevkas, still trying to open the trapdoor, with Gavril in the doorway and Kaddo and Ruamaini behind him, with the rest down the far end oif the corridor.

Galmard had a brief sensation of warmth, and then suddenly felt himself catch fire. With a desparing cry of "not again!" he rushed forward, before Gavril or Kevkas could stop him (initiative checks again!) and leaped out the unbroken window. He avoided getting impaled on the wind-vane, slithered all the way down the roof and finally (as I made his Climb check for him behind the screen, not really wanting to lose a character! - luckily I rolled a 16!) managed to grab the very egde before he fell 300' to his doom. Kevkas tied a rope to the trapdoor and effected a quick rescue. He then had another couple of goes at the trap door before giving in and heading down to deal with the unlocked door to the private study. Inside, he felt a sudden rush of depressing memories and lost a good 5 points of Wisdom (putting him to 5! That's not going to help his impulsive streak!) He did at least managed to find the loot, however...

Kevkas then managed to finally unlock the door to Iesha's room. He went in behind the mirror, and started moving it. Iesha immediately awoke and shouted her warning to Aldern (which I'm pretty sure the players either weren't listening to or ignored/forgot...) She was a bit difficult to recognise with the decomposition (and as she shredded the sheet off), but Kevkas placed she had black hair.

As Kevkas acted first, he backed slowly towards the door, carrying the mirror. He pointed it at her and she once again went torpid. After a few times of moving it slightly to make her move and stop, I decided that (as the party were trying to decide what to do and Abbondio didn't get a good enough Knowledge (Religion) check to work out what she was) Kevkas had had plenty of actions this round and asked Thrôllgar, who was next in initative, what he was doing. He charged. At this point, the mirror stopped working (since it's difficult to look at your reflection while a screaming Dwarf is hitting you with axes.)

I was smiling at this point - I was hoping they'd end up doing something this stupid. Especially since, with the nine of them, they'd be blocking the corridor all the way down; they'd have to fight Iesha without having her to soften up the other monsters!

Galmard moved up and cast Flaming Sphere, but Iesha easily made her save. Abbondio went in and tried Turning her. He got a really good check roll and plenty of damage - and to my surprise, she didn't have turn resistance. Sadly - for them - when I looked up the duration, I also realised that if the Undead can't run away, you can't get within 10' of it without breaking the effect - and as he was standing inside the room, Abbondio was too close.

Iesha took a couple of pathetic swipes at Thrôllgar. Ruamaini lobbed a Firebolt at her, doing some damage, Regis rushed in to land a solid blow. Gavril tumbled past to the only other slot, to hit the revenant with a Cure Light Wounds. Kaddo starting singing, since there was pretty much nothing else he could do.

Kevkas retreated into the observatory with the mirror, having neither space to attack nor being much use anyway against Undead. Thrôllgar and Regis hacked at Iesha, Abbondio asked Ruamaini to get out of the way and readied an action to step back into the doorway (where he was out of 10') and try turning her again. Galmard's Flaming Sphere again failed to do anything, and Galmard backed out of the way. Iesha let out her scream and to my great disappointment, the entire party (sans Sungmanitu who was some distance down the corridor and not involved in the fight anyway) made their saves. Gavril tried another Cure but missed, Ruamaini threw another Firebolt, ran into the observatory, out of the way while Abbondio tried to turn her again and failed.

Kaddo helpfully continued to sing in the background, as there's nothing else he could really do.

That was where we had to leave it.

There may not be an update next week, since we have club AGM next week, and it might take up most or all of the session (depending on whether we actually get enough members turning up to vote on the contenstious club constitution issue or not!)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 28: Rub-A-Dub-Dub, One Rogue in the Tub

The party headed over to the Misgivings. They took the battle cart, which pleased me greatly, since it keeps them to speeds and times I'd pre-calculated...!

Now, for the haunts, I worked on the basis of assigning them to the most fitting characters first, followed by the others, with a bias towards whose players were actually there. (Who got what is revealed at in the spoiler at the bottom of the post.) I'd cribbed some haunting read-outs from the community resources, which made it so much more fun to run this part, as I could hand the player the haunt and either let them or me tell the party what they saw happen.

They passed by the ruins. Galmard noted there was something off about the crows, but couldn't quite place it. Kevkas used his architecture skills to determine the drop to the water.

The party entered by the main doors. After a quick look around (and the paranoia that the manticore was going to attack them), Kevkas headed to the door to the north. Ruamaini and Kado both thought they heard the sound of sobbing, but as no-one else did, they dismissed it. Galmard, menawhile, caught a faint sense of burning in the air...

Kevkas got the first door open (and then I remembered about the forcing) so with a bit more effort for the rogue, the party entered the dancing parlor. Kevkas immediately went to play a key on the piano, because Kevkas.

As soon as he did, Regis started dancing. At first the party were a bit bemused, but as Regis' expression turned into horror, Kevkas ran to the parlor's outside doors, and tried - and failed - to kick them open (I think he intended to get the piano outside and off the cliff). As Regis danced, Thrôllgar ran up to the piano and hacked at it, as Kevkas struggles with the door. Thrôllgar's axes did a pretty good job of ruining the piano, but did not noticably stop the music. (The module says what Ieaha does if they victim is forcibly stopped, but not what happens if the piano is destroyed, so I decided, frack it!) After the forth round of dancing, the music stopped, just as Kevkas kicked the doors open. Regis collapsed in a heap, fatigued and having lost two points of strength.

Kevkas headed into the washroom next, and peered into the tub. The diseased rat actually made its first climb check to get at him and bit him. Kaddo, who had readied an Acid Splash missed as it as it popped out. Sadly, Kevkas made his Fort save, and then Abbondio splashed the rat all over everywhere with his mace.

Kevkas lead the party into the lounge. He spotted the dust footprints and determined to Have Things happen to him (the player having seen Galmard and Regis' player get a scrap of paper) went to interrupt the them. He got a good flash of the memory, but unfortuantely made his Will save, and thus only had a momentary fleeting urge to drag his son Thrôllgar out of the manor. (It would have been hilarious to see happen...!)

He then headed into the dining room. The party didn't pay any attention to the stained glass windows, so whatever.

(I do find it a bit annoying that they talk amongst themselves all the time. I don't mind sometimes, like when I'm dealing with one or two player's actions, but when the DM is reading the flavour text and telling them what's going on it is a bit annoying... I can see I'm going to have a word with them about it before long.)

Kevkas and Kaddo both decided to open the doors which led to the stairs. As the party were not really paying much attention, I had taken to moving their models around (which meant I placed them in whatever random order I could be bothered - their loss, right). Galmard and Ruamaini ended up the other side of the doors openers, which placed them back into the hallway.

Galmard suddenly let out a scream and caught on fire. For a few seconds, the party looked a bit askance, before it set in that, yes, Galmard was very ACTUALLY on very actual fire. Kevkas emptied his water bottle as Galmard stopped, dropped and rolled. Ruamaini was looking for a blanket or rug to smother the flames, but they'd put it out before he needed to.

The party ignored the monkey head, and decided to explore the last two rooms before heading either up or down.

Kevkas went to the drawing room. Seeing the curtain, he borrowed the ranseur (seriously, that was about the party's best ever find! They are forever using it!) to push the curtains aside, and caught a glimpse of Iesha in the glass.

They then went into the library, Kevkas using one door, and Regis the other. They took note of the books and summoned Ruamaini. Kevkas, meanwhile went to pick the book up, and then the scarf. The scarf immediately flew to Ruamaini's neck. Ruamaini made his will save - good for him, he wasn't aparlysed by fear for the appirition! The bad news was, he failed his Fort save, so it didn't do him much good! Efficiently strangled by the scarf, the wizard dropped with a thunk. Kevkas dived forward to drag the scarf off him and found no resistance. Kaddo slapped a Cure Light Wounds on Ruamaini before the wizard could internally hemoharrage to death, and go him back up. Kevkas recognised the value of the scarf, but Ruamaini (who's in charge of party funds) told him that the rogue was going to be the one carrying it...!)

At this point, the party started working out what was going on from their various visions. They haven't figured out who Iesha is - only that Aldern murdered her - and someone else - the library. Galmard was pretty certain that the woman he'd seen in the burning manticore incident was not her, and they are guessing that Vorel is Aldern's grandfather. (Not 100% accurate, but close enough!)

They headed upstairs, using the main staircase. Kevkas entered Aldern's room, and, seeing nothing of interest, starting playing with the toys and sticking his head up the chimmney to see if he could provoke some sort of response. Thrôllgar went in to have a look at what he was doing, and promptly wet himself with another vision.

The party then headed into the Musician's Gallery, where Ruamaini correctly identified the stained glass windows and that they were related to Lich-based things.

Thrôllgar then actually explained about his vision and that the "parents" he'd seen fighting were a red-haired woman and someone who was definitly not Aldern.

He then wandered off and kicked another door in, only to scream with utter terror, his face a mask of utter fear and loathing.

It was the washroom.

Once he'd calmed down, and was reassured that no-one was going to force him to have a bath, he went and had a quick look in the tub. Kaddo looked at the sagging floors and noted it would be a bad idea to get in it. Kevkas - being the architect (something that he used about three times this evening in various places) assessed it and said with confidence it would definitly crash through the floor with the application of any weight.

He then took a running jump into the bath. Thrôllgar just managed to get out in time as the bath crashed through the floor. Kevkas made his Reflex save, and I started to describe how he'd jumped out before it fell, but Kevkas's player said his intention had been to ride it to the lower floor.

Okay...

After a couple of seconds of dead silence, I said, "okay then, you ride the bathtub to the floor! Take *roll* 2 points of damage, then..."

I don't even...!

Well, everything not previously aware of the party is definitely now aware of them...!

I decided that would be a good point to stop while we're ahead...

Spoiler:
Thrôllgar got obsessed, Regis Wrath (next highest wrath sin total), Galmard got Burning (depression just sort of seems to fit with his whole competance envy thing...!), Kevkas got Insane (implusive - and by the end of the session, I was so justified!), Ruaimaini was Vengeful (hightest Lust total and he's subtly working on Ameiko) and that left Kaddo with Festering.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Well, he was pretty much the centre of attention since the start of the campaign... As I've said to the players, Sandpoint has tended to, up until now, think of them as "Thrôllgar and his mates." Really, since the Swallowtail Festival, he's had a following from the villagers. So he was viewed as sort of a crazy eccentric before. He's like an actually Dwarf Nobby Nobbs, with charisn'tma out the eyeballs, but replacing Nobby's... reticence to action with the urge to hit things with his axe*.

But - having that little spat with Katrine and Harker before the murders, as well as being the one to whom all the notes are addressed just didn't do him any favours. (Hilarious as though I found, I couldn't have planned that!) So... Once the true murderers are uncovered, that aspect will be back to normal. I sort of agree on the long-term goal. It's this stalking thing, where he's basically keeps pushing it every day that's a bit off and that has me worried.

(And, before anyone asks, the player certainly does know better - it's a failing with Thrôllgar, not his player!)

*He has a slightly darker side, too, hilarious though he is. Thrôllgar has acrued more sin ticks (which I translate to full sin points on a 5:1 basis) than the entire rest of the party combined...! (Wrath especially; the party had to point out to him that using Erylium's corpse as a handpuppet to entertain the children of Sandpoint was Not A Good Idea...) He's definitely neutral, not good (and a few times skating to the opposite, though not quite there). He doesn't really "get" civilisation, coming from a harsh (now eradicated) Dwarven clan for whom mere survival was a challenge and violence was a way of life.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Little help on this point...!

Short background. The players have been told that there is a good chance we will be running Jade Empire as a sequel quest, as "next generation" of the RotRL party and that they should be making some provision in that direction.

Our Dwarf barbarian has set his eyes on Shayliss, after being pointed in that direction by the party wizard (who Shayliss had invited into the basement and was a bit sore about being duffed up by Ven.)

Let me just quote the relevant portions from my adventure log thread:

Spoiler:
An off-hand conversation between Ruamaini (the wizard) and Thrôllgar (the barbarian) 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 ggo 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 (party warblade) 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.

Katrine didn't react quite so well... And 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 woman" while Thrôllgar tried to explain he was only trying to be nice.

**Then the PCs had a period of downtime before Skinsaw Murders started.**

After the party had started investigating and got back to the inn the first day, Thrôllgar Had A Plan. It occurred to him the Ven was in the garrison, so there was no-one else at the Vinder home. So he was going to disguise himself and go and "stalk that girl" (i.e. Shayliss) in case she was in danger.

So. I had him make a disguise check (a charisma based skill, with his Charisma of 6) with no disguise kit (-2). He got a total of 4.

The party paused in mid-meal as Thrôllgar heade down the stairs, wearing his bedsheet, with a hole crudely cut out for his head and the cut-out piece inexpertly tied to his head as a sort of turban. Looking like... Thrôllgar wearing a bedsheet with a hole in it.

Ameiko was gripping the bar so hard she was nearly leaving marks, and developed a significant eye-twitching problem...

Kaddo (one of the party's bards) signalled Thrôllgar over.

"It's me," Thrôllgar said, unecessarily, "I'm in disguise!"

Kaddo then patiently explained why this was, frankly, a really bad idea and that if Thrôllgar wanted to disguise himself properly, he'd need to do something more drastic, like shave his beard. There was a long pause, during which the temperature dropped very rapidly. Kaddo moved swiftly on and suggested that he ought to try making himself look like another Dwarf. Thrôllgar replied his plan was to make himself taller by standing on a box.

And then revised this idea to stilts until Kaddo pointed out that it would actually take some effort to learn to use stilts...

Eventually, Kaddo finally pursuaded Thrôllgar to explain what he was doing. Thrôllgar explained that, what with Ven being on the clink currently, he was going to stalk Shayliss to make sure he was safe. "It's a what do you call it? A stalk out!" Kaddo suggested that if that was the idea, maybe he should send someone better suited to it...?

"Well, I wasn't going to take the whole party," said Thrôllgar. "That might look suspicious."

Also, Kaddo, suggested, he might want to replace Ameiko's bedsheet.

"Ah, she won't want it after I've been uuing it anyway," Thrôllgar said.

"Point," Ameiko, said. "I was gonna burn it anyway, so no loss I guess. He's not having another one though."

"I wasn't using it anyway," Thrôllgar replied cheerfully. "I only use the straw!"

I was killing myself, at this point.

Anyway, Kaddo and Thrôllgar headed off to Shayliss' house. Thrôllgar actually stopped to spent a whole silver piece getting some flowers. Thrôllgar nearly banged on the door, but stopped and knocked sensibly. Shayliss eventually answered.

Thrôllgar handed Shayliss the flowers and offered condolances. With Kaddo "translating" and smoothing Thrôllgar's utter lack of tact (and terrible charisma checks), Thrôllgar explained that he was there because he was concerned she migt be in danger, and that he was volenteering to guard her. "I can stand outside your house," he said. "I mean, it's just like standing outside the bar [where he works as a bouncer part-time] which doesn't say much, so it's not really any different." With Kaddo - who really earned his pay today! - helping to explain what Thrôllgar "meant" by that, they left with Shayliss not completely repulsed, so there was that...!

***Next day, after a trip to the Sanatorium**
Thrôllgar decided he was going off to stand outside Shayliss' house. Kaddo, thankfully, went and told Hemlock, who went and had a word, suggesting that, again, while he and the party were mostly convinced of Thrôllgar's innocence, not everyone else was, and that standing around outside her house was not going to ease suspicion...

***The next day, after a trip down to the Hambley famr***
Thrôllgar decided to disguise himself again, and try to take more flowers to Shayliss. His result was as bad as last time, especially since he'd tried to make himself look like and old dwarf wizard. So he ended up wearing the poncho made from the bedsheet again, only this time with flour in his beard and taking the cut off and making into a pointed hat with eye holes cut in it.

(So basically what you had was Thrôllgar wearing an impromptu Klu Klux Klan hat, in a bedsheet, with flour in his beard.)

Naturally, EVERYONE know it was him (especially since he's so obvious in Sandpoint now, everyone gets the +4 bonus...) Kaddo and Gavril (the other bard) followed a safe distance to watch the entertainment, as went and bought and silver piece's worthy of flowers and headed to the general store. He knocked at the door and was met by an extremely unamused Ven Vinder. Ven looked at him and said "Thrôllgar, you have until the count of ten to get out of here before I take that hat and feed it to you." On the count of four, Kaddo hustled up to take the protesting Thrôllgar away, taking the flowers out of Thrôllgar's hand and putting them on the floor (since Ven wasn't going to take them), explaining they were Shayliss. Thrôllgar mused about how he probably should have tied them to a brick and threw them into her window. Kaddo pointed at he would then need to tie a gold piece to it to save the window and thus would be better off just sticking a gold piece through the letter box...

I am... An really not sure what I should do here. On the one hand, Thrôllgar having a love-interest for Next Gen = Good. On the other hand Crazy Stalker!Thrôllgar = bad. (Especially since he's the one all the murder notes are addressed to - the only reason Hemlock is fairly sure Thrôllgar's being set up is because Thrôllgar can't actually READ.)

So, what do you think Shayliss's reactions should be to this? On the one hand, he's trying, in his own... unique... way and giving her lots of expensive gifts... On the other hand, it's Thrôllgar and her sister just was murdered...

Suggestions would be greatly welcome!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 27: Persistant Stalker

After a brief debate, standing around the ex-ghoul scarecrow south east of the farm buildings, Kevkas decided he'd go and scout round the back of the farm house. The PCs could see six ghouls milling around in the barn (which I draw as having the doors open, and facing the farmhouse), but couldn't see Craesby, who was hiding in the farmhouse. He spotted Kevkas, despite the latter's efforts at stealth, and managed to hide from Kevkas quite succesfully.

Kevkas entered the back, which I decided was the kitchen. He saw the body, looted the note and the key, and then headed into the next room. This was one that lead back towards the party and was the living room - empty. Kevklas went into the next one - the master bedroom, whose wall was the south-east wall, beyond which lay the party.

Kevkas didn't get very far with his search, as he was ambushed and bitten by Craesby. Sadly, he made both saves but realised he was now only on 7 hit points. So Kevkas decided to dive through the master bedroom window, and let it to the waiting party. He succeeded, though managing to hurt himself further (on a failed Reflex save) on the smashed glass in the process. Craesby wisely did not follow, but disappeared from view.

At this point, the party were motivated into attack, and began to move forwards. Kaddo loosed off a single thundercalled Soundburst, Gavril shot an arrow, and then Ruamaini hit the same ghoul with a Firebolt, wounding it quite heavily. Galmard summoned a wolf and Abbondio headed to heal Kevkas.

The ghouls, for their part, didn't charge once they saw Thrôllgar and Regis standing readied, but instead started moving out of the barn and spreading out to avoid more spell attacks (except for the heavily wounded one, which hid.)

Shortly thereafter, the battle was joined as the party charged into the ghouls. Kaddo starting singing and activated his Iinspirational Boost spell, putting the singing bonus up to +2. Galmard's wolf and Sungmanitu charged one ghoul that had moved to the corner of the farmhouse. (Inside, Craesby was moving towards a door on the south-west wall, not far behind it.)

The fight was pretty brief, with Regis and Thrôllgar carving one to pieces effortlessly, and Ruamaini obliterating another with a Maximised Scorching Ray. Gavril Greased part of the barn, and the hevaily wounded ghoul fell over, never to rise, and succeeded in keeping one other ghoul down for a round. The ghoul's only successes were hitting Galmard's summong wolf twice and paralysing it. And, because of where the party was potioned, when Craesby made his appearance, that was his only target too his first round. The party were quickly moppong up the last ghouls. Gavril activated a Cure Light Wounds but missed the first time (leaving Regis to finish that ghoul), and then headed over as Kaddo dropped a Greae on top of the area where Craesby, one ghoul and the paralysed wolf were fighting. As the ghoul and wolf slipped over, Gavril deftly slapped it with his spell and destroyed it.

Galmard took a step back away from the grease. He reasoned that with Regis and Kevkas now standing next to Craesby, knocking chunks out of him, as the ghoul was pinned by the farmhouse wall on one side, the two in front of him and grease on three spaces around him, he'd be better off out of the way. Abbondio had also wandered off, leaving Craesby a line right to Kaddo and Ruamaini... Provided he didn't slip in the grease and made his acrobatics check. He did both, and charged into Kaddo... and missed completely.

The Regis decided to risk it and do the same. He made his Reflex save! He made his Acrobatics check! He rolled a 1 on his attack roll, followed by another 1! Ruamaini and Kaddo were ever after not quite sure what Regis did, but they were half-convinved he'd somehow managed to carry the grease from the spell on his boots, as Regis managed a flying tackle onto his face at Craesby's feet, taking a solid bite in the process. And failed his second Fort save! Ghoul Fever time!

Kaddo slapped the ghoul with a Cure Light Wounds which, had Craesby not resisted it, would have ended the fight there and then. As it was, Ruamaini stuck his hand right in Craesby's face and incinerated his head with a Scorching Ray point-blank. (Craesby was on about 3 hits at the time, so it was definitely destroyed...!)

The party then found the key on the his body. Gavril utterly and completely failed his Knowledge (Nobility) check to identify it, so the party headed back to town, after Kevkas liberated the now-dead Hambley farm's loot.

Back in town, the party went to Zantus, who cured the two victims. He did have one more Remove Disease, but the party are waiting to see if Regis gets ill before using it on him.

Thrôllgar decided to disguise himself again, and try to take more flowers to Shayliss. His result was as bad as last time, especially since he'd tried to make himself look like and old dwarf wizard. So he ended up wearing the poncho made from the bedsheet again, only this time with flour in his beard and taking the cut off and making into a pointed hat with eye holes cut in it.

(So basically what you had was Thrôllgar wearing an impromptu Klu Klux Klan hat, in a bedsheet, with flour in his beard.)

Naturally, EVERYONE know it was him (especially since he's so obvious in Sandpoint now, everyone gets the +4 bonus...) Kaddo and Gavril followed a safe distance to watch the entertainment, as went and bought and silver piece's worthy of flowers and headed to the general store. He knocked at the door and was met by an extremely unamused Ven Vinder. Ven looked at him and said "Thrôllgar, you have until the count of ten to get out of here before I take that hat and feed it to you." On the count of four, Kaddo hustled up to take the protesting Thrôllgar away, taking the flowers out of Thrôllgar's hand and putting them on the floor (since Ven wasn't going to take them), explaining they were Shayliss. Thrôllgar mused about how he probably should have tied them to a brick and threw them into her window. Kaddo pointed at he would then need to tie a gold piece to it to save the window and thus would be better off just sticking a gold piece through the letter box...

I am somewhat of a loss as to what to do here... Thrôllgar's becoming very stalker-y and I'm not sure what Shayliss' reaction shiuld be. I was leaning towards going for that as his love interest, but crazy-stalker Thrôllgar is not making it easy for me to rationalise that... Suggestions would be welcome!

The following morning (Regis made his first save), Galmard decided to head back to the farm to bring back the body of the only ghoul that wasn't clearly a farm-hand - and then we realised that Craesby's body had been pretty much rendered unidentifiable by that last spell!

The party had forgotten (distracted by Thrôllgar, mostly) about researching "Misgivings" and appeared to have forgotten the key after Gavril failed his check. So when Kaddo muttered to Ruamaini he should have just hit the ghoul in the chest, I commented that might have just melted the key instead... That subtle hint was enough that Galmard went to the Sherieff with the key. Hemlock identified it as being the crest of the Foxglove family.

Galmard asked if they were from around here. Hemlock paused to draw breath, about to explain about the tragedy, when Thrôllgar piped up up "do they live in the Misgiving?" Hemlock looked surprised.

"Yes, actually they do."

Thrôllgar looked even more surprised. Hemlock went on to explain about the tragedy where Vorel went a bit mad and murdered his family about sixty years ago, and the family moved out, and that Aldern had come back recently to fix it up. As he explained that Rogors Craesby had been doing some of the caretaking work, Thrôllgar was in deep thought.

You could see the little hamster wheel running around in his head as Thrôllgar actually started to put it together. (Ruamaini's player commented on monkeys and Shakespeare...) He (correctly) realised that Aldern, who'd bought his armour, of course, had probably also nicked that buckle off his kilt and was the one that was doing dodgy stuff to lure him to the old manor.

I just sat there, saying nothing and smirking.

We left it there: no doubt next week, they party will head down to the manor. I've decided that my choice of who gets what haunt will be firstly decided by which players are there. I'm going to skip haunts on characters whose players are abscent and pick the most appropriate ones from who's actually there. (I suspect Gavril, Regis and Abbondio will probably get away with it!) So we'll see how they handle that!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 26: Massecre of the Scarecrows

The party cajoled Farmer Grump into the Rusty dragon, mjainly due to Kaddo's silver tongue. There, plied with beer, he told his tale. The party went into a debate between Thrôllgar - who wanted to go right now - and the rest of the party, who didn't want to go six miles in the pouring rain at night...

Thrôllgar was pursuaded eventually, and then decided he was going off to stand outside Shayliss' house. Kaddo, thankfully, went and told Hemlock, who went and had a word, suggesting that, again, while he and the party were mostly convinced of Thrôllgar's innocence, not everyone else was, and that standing around outside her house was not going to ease suspicion...

The party set out in the morning, after a debate as to whether to take the cart (they didn't).

(Kaddo's player was quite annoyed that they party would be moving at 16 miles/day on foot (thanks to Thrôllgar and Abbondio) or with the cart and that there were only twice that mounted. I said that a D&D's cart speed was not inaccurate, considering that this wasn't the Roman Empire and b) mounted stuff doesn't move THAT much faster than foot over the long term and that if the PCs wanted to start forced marching and making a fuss about overland speed, I'd be happy to go break out Rolemaster's rules for it if D&D's wasn't sufficient...)

Thrôllgar wanted to stop by Shayliss' house on the way out, but the party and the sight of Ven rapidly approaching the door disuaded him.

The party reached the Hambley Farm in good time, with the now dry and breezy weather not working against them.

Thrôllgar saw the first scarecorew and charged, chopping it in twain. The party, rolling their eyes, just let him. Thrôllgar charged the second one he saw, and then realised... "Hang on, that's not straw on my axes... Whoops."

He'd killed a ghoul of course, but it was a bit of a shock to Thrôllgar that it might not have been and tense few moment while Abbondio checked the body to see if it had been alive before it had been Thrôllgar'd.

Kaddo rode up to another scarecrow, which snapped free of it's restraints and charged, and utterly missed, before deftly being put down by Thrôllgar.

The party then proceeded east round the tracks, now carefully checking (via Regis trying to poke the hood off) eveyr scarecrow to see if it was a ghoul. When they reached the first living human and he began to wriggle - and then called out for help, Thrôllgar had to be stopped from charging in...

The party were unsure what to do. Ruamaini was trying to, with his own lack of tact, explain to the poor man he was going to die shortly, as I could just see them working up to euthenasia. I did not make it easy for them; the chap kept crying to be released and to see his family. But before they could commit murder I had Abbondio (who's player was away) remember he was fairly sure they was a scroll or two of Remove Disease at the cathedral and that Zantus would cast if they got the victim(s) back there. So they cut him down and swiftly moved around the rest of the farm, eliminating the tried up ghouls in short order, trying to find any more victims.

As they came close to the barn, six of the farm's twelve free ghouls charged out to attack them. The fight was short and fairly one-sided. Galmard cried into his beer as he'd not thought to change his spell load out and almost all of his spells were completely useless against Undead. He did break out a Mass Snake's Swiftness, however, which helped considerably. Kaddo in the round of warning the party had, did not dismount, preferring to ready a thundercalled Soundburst, and when one of ghoul's charged him, he has carried out the wayby his terrified horse... Nevertheless, the party chopped through all six ghouls fairly easily in two rounds, with the former barely managing to hit anyone, let alone hurt them with diseaese or paralysis. Abbondio tried twice to turn them - try being the operative phrase, since "please just go away!" and "no, really, if you could go away, if it's all the same to you..." did not help. (2 and then 1 on consequtive turning checks...)

The party then mopped up the last of the trapped ghouls and found the other still-living victim, and next week will deal with the last six ghouls and Rogors.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 25: Everybody Tolerates Thrôllgar

First thing, we went back through the downtime with the new rules, and sorted everybody out.

Then, in the evening, twenty-five days later, Sherieff Hemlock showed up with news of the murders and the Skinsaw Murders began.

The PCs met him next morning in the garrison, and Hemlock showed them the note. Thrôllgar, he said, was not a suspect - for a kick-off, of course, Thrôllgar can't actually read or write common...! (Kevkas at one point asked him to identify the writing, at which points Thrôllgar agreed that yes, it was indeed writing.) However, after Thrôllgar's altercation with Ven - no too mention that incdient with the victims - that the townsfolk might not see it that way.

Thrôllgar actually first thought of Aldern (and I thought, "crap, have I been too obvious?") and then watched him talk himself out of that idea. and ti was not brought up again.

The party went down to the mill to inspect the murder site. Ruamaini, when prompted, made the appropriate Grissom one-liner: (of Katrine) "looks like she came here... For some wood."

YEEEEAAAAH!!!!

(Because I am a very sad person, at any point the PCs do anything like inspecting crime-scenes, if they make an appropriately CSI-like one-liner, they get extra XP.)

The party found most of the clues, and became fairly sure it was some sort of ghoul or ghast. Kaddo, actually beat Galmard on the survival (again... Envy point! Envy point!) and Thrôllgar was the one who spotted the claw-marks on Harker's body.

The party quizzed Hemlock thoroughly on the other murders. I used the handout from one of the community resoruces, one spattered with blood and Ruamaini's player spent some time (very accurately) tracing out the words barely visible under the blood. (Kudos to whomever did that resource!) Kevkas then sent Galmard to go and see if he could find any particularly important properties in town that might be part of a scam, thinking this might be part of what got the con men killed - but of course, they found nothing out of the ordinary.

The party recognised the sihedron rune right off, but didn't seem to think too much about it. They also didn't seem to think that Ven or the other miller were worth questioning - which, to be fair, probably is not a bad reading of the situation. So they then retired to the inn and their next move. (Mostly, it must be admitted, because Thrôllgar wanted beer.)

Sadly, the real reasaon was that Thrôllgar Had A Plan. It occurred to him the Ven was in the garrison, so there was no-one else at the Vinder home. So he was going to disguise himself and go and "stalk that girl" (i.e. Shayliss) in case she was in danger.

So. I had him make a disguise check (a charisma based skill, with his Charisma of 6) with no disguise kit (-2). He got a total of 4.

The party paused in mid-meal as Thrôllgar heade down the stairs, wearing his bedsheet, with a hole crudely cut out for his head and the cut-out piece inexpertly tied to his head as a sort of turban. Loking like... Thrôllgar wearing a bedsheet with a hole in it.

Ameiko was gripping the bar so hard she was nearly leaving marks, and developed a significant eye-twitching problem...

Kaddo signalled Thrôllgar over.

"It's me," Thrôllgar said, unecessarily, "I'm in disguise!"

Kaddo then patiently explained why this was, frankly, a really bad idea and that if Thrôllgar wanted to disguise himself properly, he'd need to do something more drastic, like shave his beard. There was a long pause, during which the temperature dropped very rapidly. Kaddo moved swiftly on and suggested that he ought to try making himself look like another Dwarf. Thrôllgar replied his plan was to make himself taller by standing on a box.

And then revised this idea to stilts until Kaddo pointed out that it would actually take some effort to learn to use stilts...

Eventually, Kaddo finally pursuaded Thrôllgar to explain what he wss doing. Thrôllgar explained that, what with Ven being on the clink currently, he was going to stalk Shayliss to make sure he was safe. "It's a what fo you call it? A stalk out!" Kaddo suggested that if that was the idea, maybe he should send someone better suited to it...?

"Well, I wasn't going to take the whole party," said Thrôllgar. "That might look suspicious."

Also, Kaddo, suggested, he might want to replace Ameiko's bedsheet.

"Ah, she won't want it after I've been suing it anyway," Thrôllgar said.

"Point," Ameiko, said. "I was gonna burn it anyway, so no loss I guess. He's not having anopther one though."

"I wasn't using it anyway," Thrôllgar replied cheerfully. "I only use the straw!"

I was killing myself, at this point.

Anyway, Kaddo and Thrôllgar headed off to Shayliss' house, with Kevkas trailing behind. Thrôllgar actually stopped to spent a silver piece getting some flowers. Thrôllgar nearly banged on the door, but stopped and knocked sensibly. Shayliss eventually answered.

Kevkas, meanwhile, unbenowst to his comrades, decided to sneak in the back while she was distracted and search for some clues. He didn't find anything, in the short time he had, but at least he didn't get spotted or anything, as then Thrôllgar and Kaddo wouild have to race in to deal with the intruder...!

Thrôllgar handed Shayliss the flowers and offered condolances. With Kaddo "translating" and smoothing Thrôllgar's utter lack of tact (and terrible charsima checks), Thrôllgar explained that he was there because he was concerned she migt be in danger, and that he was volenteering to guard her. "I can stand outside your house," he said. "I mean, it's just like standing outside the bar which doesn't ay much, so it's not really any different." With Kaddo - who really earned his pay today! helping to explain what Thrôllgar "meant" by that, they left with Shayliss not completely repulsed, so there was that...!

(Give Thrôllgar credit - he's really trying, in his own completely... unique style...!)

The party then headed over to the sanatorium, as the rain started to pour. This marked the first official outing of the Battle Cart, with it's glorious goblin-head standard, everburning torch and now the addition of some of the everburning candle to add a touch of I don't even anymore...

Thrôllgar debated as to whether to take his barrel of beer with him, but eventually elected not too. He did take the Suspicious Axe, though intending to present it to Grayst to see what his reaction was because Thrôllgar. Just because Thrôllgar.

They reached the sanatorium, and Kaddo - even lacking the recommendation letter Hemlock could have given the if they - or the DM! - had thought about it, deftly talked the good doctor into letting the party in. They were taken to see Grayst and correctly worked out he was definitely in the late stages of ghoul-fever. They debated about whether they could get a scroll to cure him, but then I pointed out that would not fix his insanity. (And in nay case Galmard had bauked about being him sent of to run into town in the now lashing rain and back to buy a scroll...) Kaddo went in and managed to get Grayst to babble about Skinsaw man and razor and lots of teeth, but nothing else.

Just as the doctor was about to chase the party out, Thrôllgar barged in to show Grayst the handaxe. Which of course, triggered Grayst right into his message and then lunging to attack.

The party actually showed shocking restraint, and even Thrôllgar only struck nonlethally. Due to the fact they were really pulling their blows (i.e., rolled really crap on damage and Grayst was Defiant 1), it took them a round or two to finally bring him down. But between Thrôllgar using the heft of the Suspicious Axe, Kevkas trying to grapple, Abbondio using his mace, plus a bit of support from the bards (Daze from Gavril, singing from Kaddo and then a Lullaby from Gavril before he realised it affected everyone... (apart from the cleric, who made his save) but they finally knocked him out and headed back to the town.

Kaddo recalled he'd heard of an abandoned manner referred to as the Misgivings before, but couldn't remember it's proper name off the top of his head. Before they could get in and ask (and go haring off the Foxglove manor next day!), they ran into Farmer Grump at the gates as he babbled insanely about scarecrows...

And that's the cliff-hangar for this week!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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!)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

And we're back! Panto went well - we made about £1450 for the church!

Episode 23: Feeling Drained

The party continued to hack away at Malfeshnekor. Ruamaini kept blasting until he was out of spells. Kaddo kept dropping Thundercalled Soundbursts - he even managed to stun Malfeshnekor for a second time. Kevkas managed one good Sneak Attack, then feinted but missed with his follow-up strike. Thrôllgar hammered away steadily, as did Regis when he got back in, despite being mauled repeatedly; though with Malfeshnekor's 14 points of Str penalty and Abbondio standing behind him, he managed to bravely tank the hits. Gavril grabbed Kaddo's three flasks of Alchemist's fire and lobbed them into the fray. Malfeshnekor, cornered and lacking a concentration skill to cast defensively, was reduced to attacking Regis in the desparate hopes of taking him down, when he wast stunned. Galmard and eventually Kevkas started using Aid Another to boost Regis' AC and Thrôllgar's attack, as they were out of anything else useful to do.

The end finally came when Abbondio hurled a Shockwave - which Malfeshnekor failed his save on (bear in mind he only needed low single digits to be failing these saves...!) And he went prone. Then the barghest failed his save against the Thundercalled Soundburst for the third time (seriously, he needed, like 5), and was now prone and stunned. Thrôllgar at this point, between []i]Elation[/i] and bard song was now at +8 to attack him (buffs, prone, Aid Another), on top of his rage, verses the barghest's flat-footed AC (minus two, because he was stunned). He dropped Malfeshnekor to 15 hits with two solid hits - and the barghest was now, prone, stunned - and unconscious! (Galmard nonlethal damage finally mattered...!) Kevkas then made his coup de grace - and did 24 damage... Before DR. Hilariously Malfeshnekor made his Fort save, and was thus on 1 hit point. Ruamaini then finished him off with his very last useful spell, Acid Splash for two hits...

The party then decided they kinda ought to rest! They found the secret alcoves and looted the room, and then went to rest up - and level up to 4th.

We managed that in short order enough that the party pressed on. They headed into the crypt, where Kevkas and Abbondio wandered in. Kevkas - being Kevkas - pried open the first casket. He found nothing but bones - and then suddenly, the three shadows attacked. (This was one encountered I hadn't boosted in numbers, and fortunately so!) The party failed their knowledge checks, so they weren't sure exactly what they were dealing with, leading Thrôllgar to charge one and discovering that they were not vulnerable to his nommagic axes.

It was time for the squishies to take the lead! Thrôllgar dwarfully stood his ground, as two of the three shadows attacked him. The third was attacking the cleric. Thrôllgar's strength started to drop - he lost six Strength in two rounds. During which time, both bards and the cleric failed to hit with their Cure Light Wounds spells. Galmard did manage to hit with his Cure Minor and Ruamaini severely damaged on with a hit from his Magma Bolt. It was now Thrôllgar's turn to be Aiding Another (since nothing says that he's not threatening or at least being distracting!) to help his comrades - Kaddo specifically.

Abbondio landed his spell finally, dropping his shadow to 1 hit. Regis flailed away with his magic weapon, but kept missing due to the incorporeality. Kevkas, meanwhile, had legged it to the back and was provising "moral support" by shouting how the rest of the party were doing it wrong... Galmard landed another Cure Minor and then joined him. Kaddo finally hit and dispersed the most damaged shadow fighting Thrôllgar... Abbondio used his Turn Undead, but only managed to make the 1-hit-poitn shadow cower (to be finished off by Ruamaini's ubiquitous Acid Splash shortly thereafter.

And then the last shadow hit. And got a critical. And maximum damage - 12 Strength! And Thrôllgar was suddenly down to 1 strength, and thanking the stars he'd put that new stat point into strength...! (For half a heartbeat, I was afraid I'd killed him!)

Gavril got in, though, and wiped the last Shadow out with a single solid CLW.

At this point, the party had to stop to rest AGAIN, since Thrôllgar was going nowhere... Ruaimaini and Regis in particular, and the party in general, used the opportunity to extract the urine from the nearly helpless dwarf, making the most of it while it lasted. Eight hours later, and three Lesser Restorations later, Thrôllgar was at least on Strength 10...

After they'd rested, Kevkas, while the rest of party were sitting around playing cards (I dunno, they just didn't seem to care) went to inspect the last doors - the ones that lead to the sunkern treasury. He quickly spotted the golden giant helm... And saw it move. I even told him he spotted something vaguely crab-like beneath it, for all the attention he paid it. He stood there for a bit, and then went to borrow the ranseur to hook it out with (Regis told him to get knotted). He was preparing to just sit there and wait until the tide went out. The hermit crab, meanwhile, wasn't too bothered, since he hadn't entered the water (Kevkas went back down the stairs and opened the other door from that side.)

Then Kevkas had the... brainwave... to try and hook the helmet out with his grappling hook. He managed to get the grapple solidly stuck in the helmet - and for the giant hermit crab to take exception...!

How badly he gets mutilated is the question for next week...!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Oha wrote:

Aotrs,

Just want to say that these have been such a blast to read and extremely helpful as I'm just starting to GM my ROTR campaign. Great work and keep 'em coming!

Thanks! It's always good to know someone's reading!

On then, toi the chaos that follows!

Episode 22: Uninvited Barghests

The party continued their epic battle with Nualia. (Well, it wasn't all that epic, really - I was rather disappointed with her performance, but Ruamaini's Enfeeblements just took the edge off!)

Kevkas flailed at the Yeth hound from the floor, but failed to do anything. Regis took a swing at the stunned Yeth hound on the left side, and regained his manouvers. Thrôllgar raged and started swinging away with his axes at Nualia but only managed one hit, Gavril continued countersinging and Galmard had a paltry go with his sling. Ruamaini started Acid Splashing the left-hand Yeth hound, and Kaddo dropped another Soundburst on the area, once again stunning the hound and doing a little damage to Nualia. Abbondio cast up Animalistic Power on himself and stepped forward. Nualia, screaming unrepeatable imprecations as Thrôllgar, and summoning her Strength power - failed utterly to hit him. The right Yeth hound continued to savage Kevkas.

Kevkas changed targets and made a swipe at Nualia, but again missed. (Missing badly was something of a party theme this evening!) Regis dug out Steel Wind again on the left Yeth hound and Nualia, doing a little more damage. Thrôllgar flailed back at Nualia equally ineffectively. Gavril countersang, Galmard started summoning, Ruamaini used Acid Splash. Kaddo dropped a Soundburst and stunned the left Yeth Hound for the third round in a row (by this point with it's brain leaking out of its ears basically curled in a fetal position...!) Abbondio remembered he'd got a masterwork silver dagger and grabbed it out and took a swing at the left yeth hound - his elevation, from standing on the shelf gave him just enough impetus to hit. Nualia smacked Thrôllgar again. And then the Yeth hound finally succeeded in dropping Kevkas.

Regis attempted to hit the Yeth hound with Sapphire Nightmare Blade. Thrôllgar finally landed a stupendous critical hit on Nualia, who was starting to look actually wounded at this point. Gavril continued countersinging... Galmard's celestial dog materialised - right on top of Kevkas' dying body - and Galmard himself rushed around, past the staggering hound, taking sword-blow from Nualia as he did so, to scramble over the fountain behind Nualia and onto the shelf above the rogue. The dog took a bite at Nualia, but missed. Kaddo dropped yet another Sound Burst. This time, the Yeth hound managed to fight it's way through the stun - just in time for Abbondio to put his dagger into it's eyesocket. Nualia herself made the risky move of casting a Cure Light Wounds on herself and lucked out both in her concentration check and the amount of damage healed. The other hound bit the celestial dog, but failed to drag it to the ground.

Regis switched his attention to Nualia, but he and Thrôllgar failed to achieve anything. Thrôllgar took a step to the right, and now Nualia was neatly flanked both ways - Abbondio and the dog behind her, and Regis and Thrôllgar in front of her. Gavril switched tactics and tried using Grease on Nualia's sword, but failed, leaving Kaddo to take up the countersinging. Galmard slapped a Cure Minor Wounds on Kevkas - a bit of a difficult job, considering he was reaching down from the shelf to a body benetah a snarling celestial dog, but managed it without being bitten by the Yeth hound. Kevkas was still out, but at least stable. Ruamaini used Acid Splash on the remaining hound, but missed. Nualia had a brief face-palm when she remembered she'd actually gotten that big nasty claw for a reason!She still onyl managed to hit Thrôllgar with her sword, however... Abbondio hopped down from the shelf, switching back to his heavy mace and had a crack at Nualia. The last Yeth hound then deftly grabbed the celestial dog by the throat and ripped it open, causing it to disperse.

Regis and Thrôllgar continued to try to exchange blows with Nualia, who was starting to flag. Galmard's second Cure Minor brought Kevkas awake (while the Yeth hound managed to bite it's own tongue triying to snap at him). Gavril tried a Hideous Laughter on the Hound, but failed to affect it. Kaddo switched to Inspire Courage at last, giving the party a much-needed further boost. Nualia struck Thrôllgar - who was starting to get a bit battered. Abbondio had another swipe, but missed again. Ruamiani had basically run out of things to throw by this stage, as had Galmard. The Yeth hound again bit at Kevkas, but missed.

Kevkas and Regis both took a swing at Nualia - only the latter hitting. Then Thrôllgar swing his left axe, and swung his right axe, and they both met in the middle. Unfortunately, the middle was Nualia, who was neatly split in twain. Abbondio finished the battle by dropping his mace, grabbing his silver dagger and charging the Yeth Hound and activating Blade of Blood and rammed his dagger into the second eyesocket of the day.

The party then paused to take stop.

First - a novelty - they were all on their feet (well metaphorical in Kevkas's case) and most of all Abbondio was not only unhurt, but had killed two enemies...!

They elected to rest there, looted the body and started reading through the notes and thus finally understanding the runewells, putting a name to the sinspawn and hearing the name of the Skinsaw Men. Just as they were settling in, That Last Goblin (who I'd forgotten about again) legged it up past them and out into the wide blue yonder, the only surviver of the Thistletop Massecre...

(One of the players muttered something about that coming back to haunt them, I and thought "well, why not - it's sort like he a goblin hero now or something." So sometime in the second half (possibly the final part) there's going to be a souped-up goblin hero to deal with...!)

After a rest, they headed out and spent some time utterly failing to find the entrance to the secret chambers. Eventually, Kekvas took 20 and just barely found it. It took Thrôllgar, of all people, whacking it with his axe before they realised it was stone, not gold. Eventually they put the gold pieces in and gained entrance. They explored the northern two rooms, finding the key and - with the help of Kaddo's translation of the looped message and a superlative knowledge history check from Regis - put two and two together and figured out that the prior statue they'd gotten the masterwork glaive off was Alaznist.

They then opened the door to Malfeshnekor. I made my first slight error in not finding the section where it mentioned him making pre-battle preparations (including casting Invisibilty Sphere) until after I'd described him being in the room. Mentally rolling my eyeglows, I made three perception checks to see if he'd heard them coming, on the basis he cold at least have his other buffs up.

He failed all of them.

With a +16 Perception.

(That -15 through the doors, and he fact he wasn't really expecting anyone (-5) did it, but if any of the rolls had been above low single digits...!)

So the party got the drop on him.

Ruamaini and Gavril managed to work out what he was right away. (As a side note, the monster knowledge checks from the community resources are fracking wonderful!)

Malfeshnekor was standing, minding his own business, in the south-west corner of the room, when the party booted the door in. Ruamaini bravely actually ran into the room to drop another Ray of Enfeeblement (I'm starting dislike that spell!) on Malfeshnekor. Regis rushed to the northwest corner of the room, right in front of the Barghest, taking advantage of the fact there the Barghest was flat-footed. Kaddo started singing, Gavril cast Phantom Threat, which just bounced off. Galmard tried and failed with a Splinterbolt. Thrôllgar spent the round running all the way around the firepit, so he was in a position to start attacking Malfeshnekor from the barghest's right. the following round.

Malfeshnekor, shaking off his shock, half started casting - and then realised he didn't have Concentration - and settled for savaging Regis; something that would have hurt more if he hadn't been Enfeebled, but as it was, ws probably good thing, as he still did 20 damage with two hits. Kevkas moved up to just inside the door and had a swing but missed. Abbondio wisely cast Elation.

Ruamaini, buffed by song and spell, managed to land his Escalating Enfeeblment, and dropped Malfeshnekor's strength further, to a paltry 12 (from 26!) Regis started hacking chunks out of him, actually having a magic weapon. Gavril tried another spell, which just bounced off. Kaddo hurled a Sounmdburst. But aside from the damage, did little else. Thrôllgar raged and started swinging, but failed to do much. Galmard cast Sunstroke, but again Malfeshnekor just shrugged the worst of it off. Malfeshnekor, now considerably weaker, still managed to take a few more chunk out of Regis, who was becoming concerned... Kevkas actually managed to hit the Barghest, and then realised he wasn't going to get anywhere that way with a nonmagic dagger. Abbondio took a ready action to slap a Cure Moderate Wounds on Regis, who was now on 13 hits and needed to retreat - unfortunately, his only route out was through Malfeshnekor's threatened area. Ruamaini's player said something about how not many creatures have combat reflexes anyway (and I looked at Malfeshnekor's stats and laughed.)

Ruamaini hit the barghest with a Sudden Maximised Lesser Sound Orb. Regis, realising he was going to get bitten either way, took a swing, got his mauvers back and them moved back out of thr room to the cleric. He did indeed get a nasty bite for his trouble, but a solid Cure in return. Gavril, running out of ideas, tried a Daze, which unsurprisingly failed. Kaddo did his usual Soundburst - and horror of horrors Malfeshnekor actually failed his Fort save and was stunned. (He is defiant one, so does have a reroll - but as he'd barely even taken 50 damage out of his 120+120, I didn't think it he'd think it was worth it at this point.) Galmard fired off an second Sunstroke, but lightning wasn't going to strike twice... (Though 20 points of nonlethal damage is not something to be sneezed by this point). Thrôllgar actually hit Malfeshnekor, but failed to get through his DR. Kevkas missed with his strike - to his great disgust, since Sneak Attack is about the only way he can get through the DR...

And there we left it - out of one boss fight into the next one!

(There will be no report next week, as it's my panto dress rehersal.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 21: Glaive Undertakings

The party retired to the top of the east guard tower to rest. Actually having to set a watch order for the first time, they have elected to go for a ten-hour watch (given all the casters need eight hours) Kaddo, Abbondio and Ruamaini, then Kevkas, then Regis, then Thrôllgar and then Gavil, Galmard and Sungmanitu.

The first watch and Thrôllgar failed utterly to spot The Last Goblin from keeping an eye on them...

The party headed back down the the second dungeon level, and explored through all the quarters. They headed into the storage area, and Kevkas wandered into the Tentamort hunting grounds, where it promptly grabbed him.

The narrow confines again worked against the party, but fortunately, the tentacled menace did appallingly, failing to crush the rogue, and it's weak venom faild to even effect him. By the time it had been struck by a critical Lesser Orb of Sound from Ruamaini, an arrow from Gavril, a sling from Abbondio, and having Kevkas break free from it's feeble grasp, when Galmard's Sunstroke hit it (for maximum damage!), it just dropped out of the ceiling - just missing Kevkas - stone cold unconscious. Regis finally managed to identify it as a tentamort before Thrôllgar finished it off with his axe. Kevkas kicked the corpse out into the sea, and then explored the lair. They picked up the do-hide armour and the short bow, but only appraised them, not Detected them so, at this rate it's likely that they're going to sell the magic hide as masterwork..! The rest of the corpses followed the tentamort out to sea.

The party then headed down. After they removed their barricade, Kevkas searched the corridor beyond for traps. He found none - until he stepped right into the swinging blade trap. While Kevkas desparately dodged swinging blades and Thrôllgar made a few futile attempts to lift the grate, the party spent a good round or trying to work out what to do. Just as Gavril and Kaddo started hammering pitons in, the trap door opened up, and dumped the long-suffering rogue into the pit.

The party then had some time to work out a safe solution. Thrôllgar started by sundering the hafts of the statue's glaives. They pitoned the first portcullis such that when activated, it couldn't descend. Their plan was to trigger the trap, wait until the pit opened, and then quickly hammer a piton in, keeping the trapdoor opened. When they realised about the pressure plate, the decided to change plans slightly, and use a corpse tied to a 5' rope to trigger the trap. In the end, they decided to use Lyrie's body (since if it fell, better a light wizard lady landing on Kevkas than a plate-armoured burly fighter or an even heftier bugbear...!) I elected to let that one pass without a sin tick. They thus managed to extract Kevkas from the pit, which remained pitoned open, the gap covered by the table from upstairs.

They then had the choice of left or right - Kevkas asked which way, and Kaddo said left. There was a brief debate as to whose left (with Kevkas deliberatley turning around to face Kaddo before Kaddo specified the north door.

Kevkas opened it, and found Nualia and her last two Yeth hounds ready for battle. He tumbled in to the left, just behind Nualia and one of the hounds, trying to clear some space. Regis dashed in after, using Steel Wind on Nualia and the left hound. Thrôllgar charged, boosted by Regis' shouting (Leading the charge stance) and pounced, but almost effortlessly, the aasimar deflected the blow that hit without seeming at all bothered.

(She is Defiant 4, s has 54 +54 +54 +54 +54 +8 from false life hits...!)

Gavril started counter-song singing - to circumvent the Yeth hound's bay. Kaddo Thundercalled a Soundburst, stunning one of the hounds. Galamard dropped a Sunstroke on Nualia, but unsurprisingly, she made her save. Ruamaini used Ray of Enfeeblement which dropped her strength by a good 7 points (making her worse off than without her buffs...!) Abbondio just moved up, not having room to get in, but threw off Elation, the first time of so many to come...! (Elation is a stupidly good spell!) Nualia angrily whalloped the dwarf, and her hound bayed - for all the good it did, thanks to Gavril's countersong.

Kevkas tumbled to the other side of Nualia, so that he and Regis were flanking her, and stabbed her. But his blow was quite weak and ill-aimed. Regis struck but failed to hurt the unstunned hound next to him. Thrôllgar started the long process of carving chunks out of Nualia's defences, now with the extra buff from Elation. Gavril continued counter-singing. Galmard hit the now-unstunned right yeth hound with a Splinterbolt, doing feeble damage. (I ticked off another Envy point - Galmard is doing really well in that regard!) Ruamaini hit Nualia with a maximum-damage Escalating Enfeeblement, and she collapsed. Kaddo only just had time to throw a Soundburst on the other side - stunning the other Yeth hound and again doing some damage to Nualia - before the Lammashtu scion snarled at Ruamaini, saying she was going to rip his face off and threw off the effect of the enfeeblement. (Though at the cost of her round's action and a block of hit points.) Abbondio scrambled into the room and up onto the stone shelf on the left, just behind Regis, which was about all he could manage in a single round.

Finally, the right yeth hound bit Kevkas and dragged him onto the floor.

As there we leave it. Nualia is, perhaps surprisingly, down about 50% of her hits points (of course, using a whole 54 to knobble Escalating Enfeeblement helped. But her low AC (17, even with buffs) does her no favours at all! Kaddo is planning to use Hideous Laughter, which of course could go a long way to helping as well.

I suspect the yeth hounds in the end may prove more troublesome...!

(And once again, I forgot that dam goblin! I must have him open the door behind the party anmd attack their rear next week!)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I use XP, but award generally only half XP for combats (and full XP for boss fights). (I'm also rather more generous than standard with stats, though.)

My group levelled to 2 just before Erylium and hit 3 after the first level of Thistletop.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have had to significantly [push up the opposition - partly because I'm playing with a hybrid 3.5/PF/homebrew system, and partly because I'm running for 8 players (most of whom are veterans).

As it was mentioned earlier in the thread: I always roll behind the screen. Dice are merely a random number generator used to provide variance to task resolution, they do not dictate the course of the game. Thus, the PCs do not need to see my dice rolls anymore than they need to know any other mechanics. (That said, both can and are often made known to them.) That said, given how lousy my dice rolls are (with occasional exceptions), as a player you will never know if I have done anything to them - so if you are in a pinch and the bad guys miss, it's probabl more likely than not it's just my terrible dice. But of course, I have perfected the art such that you will never ever know, because if you're losing, I'll be cackling like a madman anyway. To parphrase that wise scholar Megamind, the difference between a good DM and a great DM is presentation...!

In my opinion, if a character does not carry and ranged weapon, they deserve exactly what they get (which is their butt kicked by, or being helpless against, flying enemies). This is especially true in my own campaigns, were EVERYTHING that is capable of using weapons carries some sort of ranged weapon, even if it's only daggers or javelins. (I made that mistake ONCE when a PC had flight. Never again.) And in addition, that campaign world has a prevalance of flying enemies, many of which are capable of making ranged attacks. It's like spellcasters - EVERYTHING that is capable of loading it takes Dispel Magic, because it is so utterly crucial. I expect the PCs to be capable of combined arms fighting, because I absolutely garentee my monsters will! (It tends to mean the PCs have a slightly easier time in modules of APs - if, of course, I haven't supplemented the monsters with additional support...!)

The PCs have thus far shown a tendancy to wander into fights they probably really shouldn't not at full strength (the 15-minute advanturing day is not only something that is fairly common, but often actively expected, especially where boss fights are involved.) They blundered into Erylium at level 1, and ended up running away. They just did not have the resources at 1st level to tackle her (boosted as she was from even the 3.5 version, as assumed at level 2 opposition.) I did everything bar outright say to the PCs "you really don't want to in there yet...!", but what can you do! Still, in brought the message home that, while I frequently set my combats to be beatable, sometimes, you have to learn to run away!

They cleared out the rest of the dungeon, however (while she hid in the temple - for all her bravado, she was a bit concerned!), and then hit level 2. Then they went back fully rested and forearmed. It became something of a curb-stomp after she dropped down to slap the Druid, who was standing on the stairs to the raised area, with Inflict Moderate Wounds (which fracking hurts with my upgrades...!) and then the Rogue leaped out from the dias and grabbed her in mid-air. And once grappled (helped by the Dwarf Barbarian's pin) it was a long drawn out-execution (as she had, basically 48 hit points three times), but a foregone conclusion.

I have this adventure, knocked several characters into negatives (which is a rare enough occurance these days) in combats, but the PCs have otherwise managed quite well, though things have gotten a bit hairy at times, like when they kicked in the door to Ripnugget's throne room while the barracks was full of goblins, just after (not even time for the Wand of Lesser Vigour to finish working) a stiff fight against the exterior goblins (who had heard them kill the goblin dogs in the courtyard)...

Xanesha will be "fun" I expect. She might provide them with some challenge (as of, course, they'll be horribly more optimised by then with a few more levels) with her what, extra three of four blocks of hit points...!

(I remind you, there ARE eight of them, veteran, tactical players and wih a powerful, mid-to-high optimised party...)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 20: Sound off

The party continued their battle with Kaddo dropping another Thundercaller Soundburst. The blast killed the last two goblin wives, and stunned both Lyrie and Bruthazmus again - and stunned the celestial dog (which disaptaed next round anyway). Thrôllgar stepped onto Abbondio's corpse, and his two axes tore Bruthazmus to pieces. Galmard followed up to slap a Cure Minor onto Abbondio, and Gavril moved up to try and help him next round. Despite their best efforts, even stunned, Lyrie's Mirror Images kept her alive before she regained her senses.

Kaddo moved to up tap Abbondio with a Cure Light Wounds (pretty terrible).

Lyrie stepped next to the door and then dropped a Cloud of Bewilderment in front of her. Though Thrôllgar, Galmard and Abbondio made their saves, Regis succumbed to the effect. With the table hampering efforts to get to her, and hemmed in by the cloud, only Thrôllgar could take a swing, and only hit images, with the rest of the party's ranged attack just missing. Gavril pulled Abbondio out of the cloud, but, between table and other party members, he had to dump the cleric at his feet. So poor Abbondio could only crawl on his action ten feet into an open space before he could even think about standing up...! Kaddo actually put an arrow into Lyrie, through the images, just before she fled out of the door.

Ruaimaini followed briefly, before becoming distracted by the research room and the scrolls therein. Thrôllgar did pelt after her, hotly followed by the rest of the party. Well, except for Abbondio, who finally managed to stand up to find everyone else had left...

Lyrie, reaching the Hellcat Hall found that Nualia had shut the door to the trapped corridor, and with a sudden concerned mental calcuation (that the pursuing Kaddo was able to spot with a Sense Motive), realised that Nualia was not going to come to her aid, and that she didn't have time to open the door, run through it avoid the trap before the party caught her.

So in a last desparate attempt, she turned round and managed to catch her closest pursuers with a Burning Hands. The party's attacks only managed to whittle away her mirror images (to Thrôllgar's great disgust), as they closed in to surround her. She got off one last Ray of Enfeeblement on Thrôllgar. Kevkas, thinking it might not be a bad idea to take her alive, tried to jump on her and grapple her. Sadly, despite her lack of skill, she actually managed to hit him with her dagger and keep him off her.

Then Ruamaini, not hearing the "take her alive part," put a heavy crossbow into her eyesocket from the back of the party.

The party paused to take stock - first they suspected that the door or beyond it was a trap (though Kevkas couldn't find one on the door itself), second, to let Kevkas and Thrôllgar come un-enfeebled.

They debated about whether to rest (Ruamaini wanted to, because he was nearly out of spells, but the divine casters were pretty much fine). They quickly disgarded the idea of going back to town to rest (as I pointed out Nualia could only reinforce while they were out). They considered barricading themselves in (which would have ensured they wouldn't have gotten a rest, since I'd have sicked her and/or all of the Yeth Hounds on them before they had chance), but eventually decided they could manage one more fight.

During this discussion, they came perilously close to going to rest without actually looting the bodies (which would have meant that one lone Thistletop Goblin hiding with Nualia - that messenger, he's still there! - would have been laden with gear, even if he couldn't use it...!)

In the meantime, Thrôllgar took Bruthazmus's head, but had to be talked out of taking Orik's and Lyrie's by Kaddo, who explained that this was Not Done. So he settled for taking their ears instead...

(Another Wrath mark for him... Before the session, I actually counted... He's got about 40 sin marks (so about 8 full-fledged sin points) in total, which I think is nearly more than the whole rest of the party combined...! Sadly, Thrôllgar's player will be missing the next three weeks or so, since he's off to visit his daughter in Russia, he they have a chance to catch up...!)

After searching the bodies, they decided to head back up to the first level of the dungeon and explore a bit further. They went back and through the cells and found themselves in the temple to Lammashtu, where they saw three Yeth Hounds.

Ruamaini made his knowledge check by miles, and shouted out what they were. As Thrôllgar rushed in to slap one, (and DM finally foujnd his stat page!) he suddenly remembered the damage reduction... Thrôllgar, watching his solid hit simply bounced off, rather sardonically thanked him for the warning... Kevkas dashed around Thrôllgar , leaving Kaddo plenty of space (as they knew what was coming next), and tried to disembowel one, but his blow bounced off it's hide.

Kaddo stepped up again, and threw out another Thundercaller Sound Burst, which stunned two out of the three, as well as obviously hurting them.

(That power is pretty evil at this level, since it effectively gives Kaddo a 2nd level spell for every round of Bardic Performance! A fairly crappy second level spell, admittedly, but at this level - and my bad dice rolls - mean the stun effect is very potent!)

The remaining one bayed with all it's might, but everyone easily made the save (Thrôllgar only just!)

Ruamaini decided to end this sound-off by stepping foward and using his last 1st level spell Lesser Orb of Sound and quite literally blew it apart (critical hit, maximum damage!)

Galmard failed to hit one with a Splinterbolt. The rest of the party were moving in, since they were some distance behind in the cells (with a party of eight, being at the bac is quite a bit of movement to get in!)

Thrôllgar dropped his two war-axes, and grabbed his great axe and took a swing, but missed. Kevkas taking advantage of it's stun and practically disembowled it with a superb strike (maximum Sneak Attack damage!)

Kaddo hit off another Soundburst, which killed that one, but failed to stun the other. Galmard cast Sunstroke on the last hound, fatiguing it. Ruamaini used his last spell bar Detect Magic and hi it with an Acid Splash . It took a swipe at the cleric - Abbondio having missed his swing augmented by Blade of Blood already - and missed. Then Regis stepped up. He used his Emerald Razor with a maximum power attack and took it apart.

And thus ended this chapter... Nualia is now down to one Goblin and her personal Yeth hounds (or hounds, I forget whether I left her with more than one when I upgraded the module). But the PCs will need to have their rest. (And having taken out the other nasty major damage source, they can be allowed to take it.)

But, of course, there's still a few less tractable entities floating around the PCs haven't run into yet...!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Poor bugger just got cut in twain by the Dwarf Barbarian's critical hit. Never even had a chance to get a word out. One moment, he was fine, little bit of damage, nothign serious, fight was just starting - then the next, 30-odd damage and splat.

Could have saved myself the bother of reading his background before the session, really, for all the good it did him...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

My solution to the action-economy problem is something I call the Defiant template. It basically is a template that you can apply incrementally. Each application gives the monster another block of (maximum) hit points. The monster has also got one free reroll per template application on saves (though each use basically gives it an effective negative level) - though I very rarely use this instead of the following options. It can also expend a whole (i.e. undamaged) block of hit points to immediately ignore any instant death or instant lose effect (e.g. paralysis, stun, Maze etc etc). It can also as Swift action at the end of it's turn, expend a whole hit block to get rid of any effect on it that it doesn't like (like Iron Heart Surge should have worked).

And of course, you can quietly add it - or remove it - on the fly...!

This works great for me, as I have well-optimised groups of up to eight characters nowadays. It means that the whole party generally can't just nova the boss in one round. I means Save-or-lose effects are reduced from anti-climatic effects without being rendered useless - and indeed, there's some arguement for keeping them as finishers.

This way, it keeps the boss' defensive abilites up long enough they get a chance to put a few holes in the PCs before they finally go down - but without the correspondingly too-big rise in offense, which I found was the problem in just making them higher level (and often sub-optimal offensively).

Defiant template in detail, from conveniant post I made the other day.

(Note that I treat CR as solely a value of "how much XP does it give out" and I've never used EL as anything, so I wouldn't swear by +1CR/template application as a rigid formula for determining encounter difficulty.)

As I've been adjusting APs for said number of players, I've been absolutely abusing it for all the bosses, because in practise - at least or me and my players - it works stupendously well.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Tangent101 wrote:
Yeah, I think I got two threads mixed. Sorry about that, I blame not having had coffee before posting. ^^;;

No worries, mate! I thought it seemed a bit of an odd non-sequitur...!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 19: Villain Revealed

The party mopped up the remaining goblins fairly quickly and uneventfully, except for the Sudden Maximised Scorching Ray Ruamaini used to utterly obliterate one goblin.

The briefly looked around the top layer, but found no-one. They searched Ripnugget's bedroom, and almost all the smart party members got terrible search checks, so it was Regis and Abbondio that found the loot. They once again completely missed the privy not meeting the walls, so they aren't likely to find where that key fits...!

They decided to barricade the northwest staircase up, so nothing could sneak up behind them. (Which, aside from the goblin warning them, gave the defenders ample notice!)

Then they headed downstairs. Regis' player, having gotten bored started walking off and opening doors, without waiting for Kevkas. (Of course, had the party in general and he in particular spent less time talking about non-game things, forcing me to wait for long periods for them to shut up and pay attention...(especially him, since he sat next to me today and I had to shout at him about three times for holding a loud conversation with one of the other players across the table, so I couldn't hear anything).)

(In fairness to Kevkas, he was paying attention and was just about to start checking the doors - indeed, he'd started listening at them. I can see him (him and Galmard's players being the two I've been playing with for twenty years) getting a little bit annoyed at having to wait for everyone to finish talking so we can get on with things. I'm going to have a word with them next week, because I was finding it very difficult, especially as it's getting to the point I'm having to repeat things because people are talking nd I had to shush the group a couple of times.)

Following Regis, they decided not to go into the clearly-dodgy cathedral, saying they should probably leave that for last (I joked that with their luck it would be the exact wrong thing to do this time, while shucking and knowing it was). They ended up headed to the war room, where Nulia had ordered the rest of the defenders (the goblin wives - this time a rehash of several of the 1st level character goblin classes, rather than just generic goblins, for all the good it did) Bruthazmus, Orik and Kyrie. (I used the war room and not the one behind largely because the latter wqas too small.) The bugbear and wizard had taken cover behind the up-ended table, with Orik to the side, blocking the door, and disgruntled wives in a line in front the door.

Regis actually stopped and listened at the door - heard nothing (poor listen check), and then let Kevkas finally past. Kevkas opened the door, and promptly got a Ray of Enfeeblement and longbow arrow to the face, the defenders having plenty of warning.

Kaddo used his thundercaller power again, and out of the whole lot, only Orik made his save against the Soundburst effect. Kevkas scuttled out of the way for healing from the cleric. Orik readied himself, and the rest of the defenders were stunned. Ruamaini moved closer, and lobbed a Ray of Enfeeblement at Orik, Gavril sang and Galmard started summoning. Thrôllgar moved to the front, pasing his ranseur to Regis for the latter to fight from the corridor behind him. Regis promptly used Steel Wind and eliminated the Fat Angry Wife and the Bouncy Happy Wife with one attack.

Kaddo then lobbed a thunderstone, and managed to deafen the bugbear and both remaining wives, though not Kyrie, who promptly cast Mirror Image. Ruamaini used Escalating Enfeeblement on Orik, and reduced him to 8 Str (the player rolled quite low both times).

Abbondio moved up an into the room, but in doing so took both Orik's readied attack action and his attack of opportunity as he moved past and got two solid and painful hits.

Before Orik could do anything, though, Thrôllgar stepped foward, now able to use his new twin War Axes (he started adding fighter levels into the mix, so he can end up with a better TWF for Pounce/Shock Trooper down the line). Hit and a crit. Poor Orik was messily sheered in half. So no surrender for him...!

The animal loving wife whacked Abbondio with a solid hit and the Noisy wife started singing (deafened, she was even more out of tune, which probably was an improvement...)

Galmard's summoned Celestial Dog matrials and took a bite out of Bruthazmus.

It was at this point, the door opened, and Abbondio and Regis had the shock of their lives when Nualia stepped in. She took one look around the room, berated Kyrie and Bruthazmus for not killing the idiots fast enough, then swung around and left. (In fact, she was a bit rattled by Orik being so effortless dispatched, and is rushing down to her lair to get some room.)

(The main reason for the reveal then was largely because Abbondio's player was there. He's on a course at the moment, which means he usually only makes it down for the last hour or so, so I figured I'd do it while he was present.)

Regis, closing his mouth, stepped up and struck the bugbear with the ranseur. The bugbear, starting to lose his cool, dropped his longbow and grabbed his heavy flail. With no elves to vent his anger on, he settled for he closest target, the long suffering Abbondio. One solid thack later and the cleric was down again... (I'm seriously starting to think maybe he should get Sloth, since he spends so much of the combat time KO'd..!)

At that was where we left it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

In the end, I used most of the alternate villains ideas. I have thus got zero further on with my actual conversion, but I have familiarised myself with the new Cagewrights, where they appear, and added in some of the foreshadowing bits into my quest notes.

I am still keeping in Strike on Shatterhorn, though, and I simply slightly modified the four "cagewrights" you meet in Secrets of the soul pillars to be three highly-paid specialist (the three casters) who are, while not Cagewrights, highly paid for their efforts and promised rewards, and Arbeth as a LL bodyguard to the Fish, third-in-command (aving literally just had a promotion as the PCs enter!) (If the PCs weren't going to kill them all, these four would probably be made into Cagewrights to supplement the numbers killed.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Eh? I'm not sure what you're getting at. I'm talking about an (alternate) Dragon Shaman aura that increases the caster level checks to penetrate spell resistance. Will saves or charm have got nothing to do with anything... Are you sure you posted in the right thread?

In general, when someone is taking something that's very quest-orientated in function (e.g. ranger favoured enemies), I do tend to try to advise them in broad, non-specific terms what are some good choices (since there's nothing worse than having a class feature that you'll never use). No point, for example, decided to play a Radiant Cleric of [Pelor/Sarenrae/whoever) if there's no Undead in the campaign...!

When I ran my 3.Aotrs conversion of Night Below, for example, I advised the cleric not to bother with Turn Undead, but pick an ACF instead, on the basis that there were very few Undead and aside from about the first section, anytime they did meet any, it would have been pointless anyway. (As from base 3.5, it's Turn Undead and not channel energy).

I don't feel telling my players that "actually, there aren't too many enemies that [have spell resistance], so you might be better getting something else" is a particularly a big spoiler - though if it is, I'd rather them be slightly spoiled than stuck (if even only for a level, since I allow retraining) with a class feature/feat/thing they can't use.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Right. Cheers. I'll pass that on to the player then - i.e. it's more situational than it is sometimes, and probably more useful in boss fights than mainstay use and let him make the decision.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Quick question, because I can't remember.

One of my players going Dragon Shaman in a couple of levels, and one of the (additional) auras we were considering was the Spell Power one (bonus to all caster level checks vrs Spell Resistance - there are five casters in the party).

I can't remember off hand, are there sufficient numbers of enemies with SR to make it worthwhile? I know there's not much in books 2-4ish, but I can't remember about the last two.

I've been working on preparing Shackled City, and it's occulded my memory (and SC is full of SR enemies).

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I am indeed using the ball. Though I am going to have a seriously look at the skill checks and make sure I think they're reasonable for a party of that level... As I was goign through last week, I thought they looked a bit higher. (Especially since the more checks you make, the higher the chances of failure and I can easily see that in any progression of five skill checks, you're likely to fail somewhere.)

As to the cagewrights... I was going to say it probably wouldn't matter to the players either way and had a brief look to remind mysef of who they were...

And then realised I didn't recognise ANY of the names apart from about two as being referenced at all earlier in the advanture!

I haven't read the hardcover cover-to-cover, so it was rather easy to just miss the fact that all of the Cagewright are basically unknown until the end. Heck, I was thinking they were the folks in the party at house what'sit'sface.

Yeah, okay, I am going to need to have a bit of a think about that. I'm trying to not change too much from the written module (adding to it, mostly), but that kinda does need some fairly serious thought. Dang, I was thinking I'd finish off as far as I can go (Zenith Trajectory, my girst projected end-point) next time I take a stab at it, but I might have to do some more plot revision first...!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 18: Crossing that Bridge as they come to it

As I expected, most of the time was spent levelling up. Kaddo has decided he's going to go for the Dragonfire Inspiration (as I recommended one of them did), via Dragon Shaman at level 5. Thrôllgar started heading into Fighterm because his player decided he couldn't cope with not being as optimised as he could be with pure barbarian, and is thus now heading into TWF (to be combined with his existant Pounce and Shock Trooper, which he was going to get anyway).

The party spent some time faffing about - Thrôllgar and Kaddo's player are dead-set on their standard! Thrôllgar decided he absolutely must have a cart, on which to carry beer and mount the standard. So with some general sighs and eyerolling, he bought one. (It's great for me, actually, since it'll drop their overland speed down to the 16mph I calculated the random encounters at, because I completely forgot about them getting horses...!)

They left the cart and barrels of beer at Regis' house (Regis - well, one of his personalities anyway - said they could, but they did fail to ask his mother...) and Shadowmist to heal up from his starvation and headed back to Thistletop.

Kaddo, Galmard and Kevkas went to the edge of the bridge to scout ahead and the first thing they spotted was a pair of arrows whizzing from the eastern guard tower, where the surviving goblins (all four of them!) were on watch. (Nualia was NOT happy with them, so they were being properly alert.) The two commadoes of the original modules were supplemented by a second archer commander and the one goblin left.

The party sprinted across the bridge over the course of a round or two, with Thrôllgar staying to provide covering fire, plus a few shots from some of the others (Kaddo, Ruaimaini) before they rushed across. Kevkas reached the bottom first, followed closely by Regis. The former threw up a grapple and started climbing.

The one regular goblin was dispatched to warn Nualia, while the others continued to shoot at the easy targets on the other side of the bridge, rather than lean out for shoot at those in the dead ground of the building.

When Kevkas popped up, followed by Regis, they found the last goblin dog was up there, too. The archer commado stepped back and shot Kevkas, and the commando next to Kevkas dropped his bow and grabbed his horsechopper and landed a solid hit. Kaddo got into position at the base of the tower and cracked out his new thundercaller ability to Sound Burst the second commando and Archer Commader. Both failed their save (though they maintained hold of their bows). This leaves them in a rather poor position, and I expect the goblins to be mopped up in short order next time.

The one last goblin is off to warn Nualia, though, so I will need to devote some time to organising her defense of the denizens of the lower level for next week!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I picked up Heart of the Jungle and Lost Cities in the pdf sale - that should be sufficient for me, I think - I'm not planning for the PCs to do much outside of the AP. (I am using the community side-quest where the PCs find out roughly what happened to the lord mayor and points the finger at Vhaltru, but that's short enough I think it'll be plenty).

Between the numerous encounters and the Siege of Redorge, I think I've got enough supplementary material and side quests, just on the basis of finishing the module without having to push the last bits up too high in character level...!

I am definately open to any conversion material. My intention is, once I've done, to be able to post up a more-or-less by-the-book Golarionising project as a resource for anybody else who might come later. So I'd welcome any input you have!

(I have now actually gotten as far as Flood Season... One more chapter, and then I'll be calling it a break-point. That way, I can assess and adapt the monster encounters in anger when I have a clearer idea of where my PCs are at. I've done the same thing with RotRL - I've done and am running the first three books, and when that's done, we'll run the first part of Shackled City while I do the next part of Rune Lords and then while we finish that I'll go back to Shackled City again etc.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 17: Waning standards...

Aaaand we're back!

Bit thin on the ground today (only four out of the nine made it!) but they finished the combat.

Things started to slip a bit towards the PC's favour. Shadowmist and Sungmantiu took down the last couple of goblins in the rear arc, allowing the party to concentrate on taking down Ripnugget and co.

Ruaimaini burned his last couple of Acid Splashes on Ripnugget, who took a chunk out of Regis. Regis stepped into the room, leaving space for someone else to step in (Kavkas, fairly shortly), so they could start flanking him. Abbondio risked a Concentration check - and succeeded brilliantly, giving Thrôllgar some much need healing. Thrôllgar continued to flail at the commandoes. Kaddo dazzled the archer commander with Flare, which on top of the cessation of singing - the warchanter had run out of rounds - and his fatigue even more pronouced.

The Warchanter's singing ended, she tossed a Daze at Abbondio, who saved. Kaddo had a go at tumbling through Ripnugget, but failed and, as he couldn't easily get to the space to stop (Kevkas was in the way), as it wasn't too drastic a failure, I ruled he simply didn't try to move.

Shortly thereafter, Gavril managed to Daze Ripnugget. Thrôllgar took his chance and managed to stand up (the commandoes missed him badly), and finally managed to hit one and take it down, and then the second one next round. The Warchanter managed to Daze Regis, while Abbondio spent three rounds trying to hit after kicking up Blade of Blood. Regis took a couple of hits from the archer commander, and had to step back to quaff a cure potion. Kaddo, now having no commandoes to block his path, tried to safely tumble past Ripnugget (as opposed to through him), and got a solid hit for his trouble, and also quaffed a potion. The Warchanter came at him with her whip, having run out of other options and promptly got a fatal sling bullet to the skull from Galmard, who had nothing better to do than take potshots at the back.

Ruamaini, however, reduced to his heavy crossbow, shooting through cover and into melee, nontheless landed no less than two hits on Ripnugget, one of them a solid critical!

Regis charged the archer commando, figuring the best way to avoid being shot to death was to get to melee. The commander, up against the wall, couldn't step back from him, so took the AoOs to shoot him, and they hit each other.

Thrôllgar, having now dealt with all the commandos, started hacking chunks out of Ripnugget. Kaddo kept taunting Ripnugget with insults, and Ripnugget finally lost it when Kaddo intimated that Thrôllgar (who fortunately doesn't speak Goblin) wanted to sleep with him. The bard got a dogslicer in the face for his trouble, but before the now-furious goblin chief could finish the job, Sungmanitu finally hit and tripped him. The party then started dealing some serious damage, with Abbondio finally hitting and taking the extra damage garnered from Blade of Bloodand Kevkas, who'd been flailing around, managing to land a blow too, putting Ripnugget ino a very sorry state. Kaddo, feeling brave, grabbed his longsword and took a step in - and ran the blade right through the war-chief's eyesocket. (Beautiful critical.)

Thrôllgar immediately started hacking the goblin's head off for a trophy.

In the meantime, Regis took one more arrow and dropped. Sungmanitu and - with little prompting - Shadowmist charged the commander, followed by Abbondio. (To be fair, Thrôllgar might have helped, but there was then no room and he didn't have the speed to move into the only clear space.) Kevkas did, moved in and landed the final blow the ended the fight.

In the aftermath, Thrôllgar and Kaddo became rather obessed with taking Gogmurt's and Ripnugget's heads and making a standard with the firepelt hide and Thrôllgar's ranseur. The party looted the corpses, and then had a debate about resting up in the throne room. I asked them very seriously if they thought they would be able to fight another significant fight without their spellcasters. For a while, I didn't think I was getting through to them about the fact their rest would emphatically NOT be uninterrupted (as the chances of them tacking Nulia and company in a concerted attack with no magical back-up didn't bare thinking about). Finally, when I reminded them that one goblin had gone down stairs and that they knew there were still goblins in the vicinity, they got the hint and decided to retreat back to Sandpoint. (I let them go, as they were in a pretty rough state and figuring that Nulia would need as much of the rest of her remaining forces to reinforce the position.)

Thrôllgar, in another very solid Wrath point (and possibly a When Is Even The Hell point), placed Ripnugget's corpse on the throne, and defecated on his neck (as he had indeed sworn he would do during the combat). The rest of the party were either amused or disgusted, but didn't stop him...

The party returned to Sandpoint, Thrôllgar waving their impromptu standard, which got them a thumb's up from Shalelu. Ameiko - not unreasonably - emphatically refused to let them bring dead goblin parts inside her inn, so after replacing the ranseur with a stick, they had to leave their standard outside overnight.

Aldern briefly showed up, to drink with them (mainly because I thought about it and to remind the PCs they'd met him.) I had notified Thrôllgar a while ago out of session that he'd discovered a minor piece of his kilt-buckle had gone missing (since there was literally no trickets on his character sheet otherwise to nick!) I was planning to have something else go missing - but then Thrôllgar provided me with an even better opportunity. Thrôllgar was trading up his hide armour for a breastplate, and Aldern "happened" to be passing at the time... And offered to buy his old hide armour off him for 20 gold, so it could be placed on display as a "Thrôllgar museum." Thrôllgar, naturally, readily agreed without a second thought from either character or player, to my secret delight...

Oh Thrôllgar, as I said to the player, post session - to his great discomfort - you are making my unlife as DM so easy...!

Kaddo and Thrôllgar have paid 20gp to have their standard made properly (pelt tanned at the tanner, buying apot to boil the goblin skulls down to the bone - as I said emphatically no-one was going to lend them a pot to do that - and mounted.)

Kevkas bouight a hammer for his pitons and both bards bought both hammer AND pitons, so as to be sure they had enough for next time...!

We left it there. Next week is likely to be mostly levelling up (unsurprisingly, given the XP for the last two combats - if we'd stopped the session between the fights, they'd actually have levelled up from that first one!)

And Nulia will now have to re-plan her defences... And she's not going to be at ALL amused by Thrôllgar's little parting gift!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Still picking at this, bit by bit...! (It's a long job, not least because in addition to converting to Golarion, I'm adding in the extras from around the web, making conversions to my own house-rules and up-rating the adventure for eight characters...!)

The Ebon Triad is giving me some problems. I know some people - like Greystaff - have eliminated them entirely, but from what I understand, they feature heavily in Age of Worms, anothe adventure path I'll be running in Golarion in due course. Therefore, I may as well nip the problem in the bud.

The most nominal suggestion I've seen involves Hextor => Asmodeus, Vecna=> Norgorber, Erythnul=> Rovagug (obviously extremely heretical...!)

Any better replacements anyone can think of?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 16: The Party Gest Rip(nugget)ed a New One

It took about another four rounds for the party to mop up the last goblins and goblin dogs. They didn't take much more damage, but because of the poor positions they were in, most of them were taking ranged potshots, though other party members and into melee...

The end came finally when they took down the commando and his dog, in the middle of the line. Kaddo bravely tumbled in behind one of the two remaining goblins dogs. Abbondio then took the opportunity while it was distracted to cave its head in with one solid blow, and Thrôllgar - using his dagger at this point - ripped up the last one.

They stopped, then, and did a bit of healing. The bards were pretty much out of spells by this point, and Ruamaini didn't have much less, but they decided (somewhat foolishly...) to press on "eh, the cleric's got loads of healing," they said...)

They then spent some time breaking open the shed and therein discovered Shadowmist. (Whose name I decided must have been written on the remainder of his tack, otherwsie giving him a name seemed a bit pointless.) After a couple of not-bad-but-not-good-enough handle animal (Kaddo) and Wild Empathy (Galmard), Galmard tried again with some food and managed to calm the warhorse down. They broke into the pickle store (wondering if his rider might be kept there) and on discovering the grain, brought a load to feed Shadowmist with.

They then proceed to explore up to the north, through to the north stairs - which they wisely didn't go down (Nualia meanwhile was gathering all her minions in the throne room). They didn't even look for the secret door in the latrine (which was odd, since there was a 5' space unaccounted for...!)

Then they went, with the players not really paying all that much attention, to the douible doors that lead to the throne room. Which were, of course, locked.

Kevkas picked the lock, giving the room's occupants plenty of warning. In this case, this consisted of four Goblin Commandoes, Ripnugget and Stickfoot, a Warchanter and... an Archer Commander (a 4th level archer-specialist fighter).

So, Kevkas opened the door, saw the goblins, and took a solid arrow hit from said commander's Masterwork (Small) Composite Longbow...

The party's initial plan was to try and draw the goblins to them as they had before, so the started to form up in the corridor. (They were widely dispersed because the players weren't paying all that much attention to where they were) Thrôllgar at the front, switching to bows to start shooting at the commandoes. They killed one, and Abbondio dropped one prone with a Shockwave.

The Warchanter started singing (not that after the first round I think I ever remembered the singing bonus...!) She hasn't done much else, other than try to [Daze Thrôllgar ineffectually a couple of times, and positioned herself behind the archer commander when he moved into position to see out of the throne-room and down the corridor.

Ripnugget jumped on Stickfoot and trotted fowards, taking a ready action to charge anyone that entered the room: he knew what was coming! He bellowed for his minions to defend him, and then the goblins from the barracks boiled out to attack the PC's flank. Fortunately for the party, they were standing in front of the 5' corridor, so the goblins could only get in one at a time.

Then the Archer Commander opened up with his first Full Attack and put two arrows in Thrôllgar, who was at the front for 14 damage. It was at this point, as the commandoes pulled out there bows too, the PCs realised that the goblins were very happy to play the exchange of ranged fire game.

Galmard and Ruamaini came up, having been furthest away (in the courtyard with the warhorse), the former brining Shadowmist. Galmard then lobbed a Sunstroke at the Archer Commander - and wonder of wonders, for the first time, he failed his save! Being Fatigued took some of the edge off both his attack - and since he was using Composite bow - damage.

Thrôllgar then decided to charge the archer commander (realising that with the intervening commandoes having their bows out, he could rush past them safely).

What he didn't reckon on was Ripnugget, who countered charged him the moment he stepped through the door, dropping him to 3 hits, as mount and rider savaged him. Thrôllgar elected not to complete his charge, preferring rather to stay where he was (where the cleric could get to him) rather than complete his charge.

The goblin commandoes drew their horsechoppers and waded in. For a split second, it seemed Thrôllgar was going down hard - a hit and a crit. Then I realised I was looking at the Rage stats (and they weren't in rage) and that dropped it to just a hit (lucky Thrôllgar). Even luckier, I had rolled minimum damage on the would-have-been-crit, dropping him to zero.

The rest of the party meanwhile were gathering around the corridor entrance (Gavril was singing) and mopping up the goblins as they came charging down.

Then it rolled to the top of the round. Ruamaini put a nice hole in the back wall with his Lesser Sound Orb and then the Archer Commander fired. Thrôllgar luckily only took the one hit (the other was a nat 1!) but he dropped.

Abbondio was fairly close by, so his action for the round was rush foward and slap a Cure Light Wounds on the dwarf.

Kaddo bravely stepped up to the Warchief, hoping to draw some of the fire from to prone Dwarf (since no way in heck was Thrôllgar going to stand up and take four attacks of opportunity!) Thrôllgar, for his part flailed around on the floor, and succeeded in landing a solid hit on Stickfoot (and had he not rolled so poorly, stickfoot might have gone down then.) Ripnugget took a swipe at Kaddo, and Stickfoot continued to bite a Thrôllgar, while the two surviving commandoes flailed uselessly at Thrôllgar - even prone they managed to miss several times.

Finally, the party had manouvered around enough that the goblins were charging out of the corridor into multiple AoOs and Shadowmist was placed in position. The warhorse immediately took his anger out on the goblins, crushing the already wounded one in front of Gavril with one stamp and then smashing the next one to the ground with one massive max-damage critical hit. The party - even Sungmanitu - were impressed! The terrified goblins had a priority target...!

Abbondio tried to heal Thrôllgar again, but fluffed his Defensive Casting check. Bites and the odd commando hit were whittling Thrôllgar back down to 1 hit point again. Abbondio was himself now the Archer Commander's target, but the penalty from fatigue, plus the fact that his was now having to shoot past the commandoes, meant that he effectiveness was somewhat reduced.

Regis moved up to help, swapping places with Kaddo, and hit off a Steel Wind, which finished off Stickfoot and struck Ripnugget. The latter was more angry than hurt (and effortlessly made his ride check to avoid falling), especially since he's a Defiant 2 (48+48+48 hits...) - but it meant Regis had Ripnugget's undivided attention!

Kaddo meanwhile, put an arrow into the Warchanter, who is nearly out of singing rounds anyway...

And there we had to leave it. The party are in trouble. For all his might, Shadowmist is only four hits away from unconsciousness (since they haven't been able to heal the nonlethal damage because it's starvation-based), though there are only two goblins left down there. Thrôllgar is down to one hit, and the commandoes are still wailing on him. Regis has Ripnugget's attention, which with his AC might buy the rest a round or two... But there's still the archer commander to deal with. They - once again - might have to retreat if they're not careful, and I'd be surprised if Thrôllgar doesn't get ko'd again before the fight it out. They are almost if not actually out of healing, bar from potions and their Wand of Lessor Vigour and the casters are pretty much out of spells. It's going to be a rough fight!

This "picking exactly the fight they don't want to pick when they're low on resources" is going to be A Thing this AP, isn't it...?

We will return in the New Year to see how it all ends (and it might all End Horribly...!) as there's no session next week. So Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all of you reading (and hopefully laughing and pointing at the PCs) at home and I'll see you in the new year!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 15: Dope on a Rope 2: Eclectic Boogaloo

No report last week, since I was ill.

We rejoin our heroes after eight hours uninterrupted rest, facing the deadly horror of a 60' wooden bridge.

After eight hours, sadly, the goblins, placed on alert by Ripnugget, after Gogmurt's animal messenger had reached him, had lapsed. (Because goblins.)

So the party were unopposed by the sentries in the waning light of early evening, who were too busy playing cards, killgull or sleeping...

However, the deadly rope bridge proved to be a threat all of it's own, as are many inanimate objects or Things Involving Climb Checks.

Kevkas, for some reason, decided he wanted to climb along the underside of the rope bridge. Which required four checks at DC 20 (mostly because he was upside down, or it would have been much easier.) He decided not to pinion himself to the rope bridge at one end, as I pointed out that if he fell, rather than falling 80' into water, he would pendulum into the cliff-face, which is not nearly as forgiving... Knowing the risk, (with his +8 Climb), he went ahead anyway.

To my utter lack of surprise, he fell off. While I shook my head and rolled my eyes, he attempted to climb back up (on the far side). I ruled the climb there to be DC 18 (I was being generous), and he pitioned himself in as he went up (though he had to use his sword to hammer the pitons in, since he had pitons but no hammer...)

He got halfway up, secured himself and tied himself off, and then tried again,. He got another 15' up and then rolled a 2. I gave him D6 damage from the short stop at the bottom of his rope (after rolling to see if the piton came out). He tried again, and rolled another 2. He didn't fall, but his flailing disloged the piton (I rolled a 5 this time), and then he did fall, and the resulting D6 stop at the last point he'd roped himself off dropped him to negatives...

At this point the party tried the dangerous gambit of Walking Across the Bridge Like A Sane Person. Thrôllgar briskly walked across followed by Regis. Then the player (who was running both Regis and Abbondio, today, we were a bit short) had a sudden brainwave about how the bridge might break if too many people were on it... So he had Abbondio wait until Thrôllgar was across before coming over. (Wise move, wise move!) The two warriors then swiftly lowered the cleric on a rope the 40' or so down to the dangling rogue, who slapped a Lesser Vigour on him and carted him back up, as the party crossed by pairs.

The party heard the sound of distant goblins (from the group playing killgull on the other side of the stockade, and were debating how to enter. Kevkas tried pushing the door open, and found it wasn't locked! (The sentries were still enraptured in the games or asleep.) They cautiously explored the first portions of the stockade. Kevkas headed off to the west watchtower. He'd seen a torch on the east one - need light to see your cards with after all - but not on the west, where the pickle thieves were asleep. A sleep from which they never recovered as Kevkas quietly killed them as they slept. (I didn't constitute this as a sin, being merely practical in inflitration. At the moment...) He then saw the goblins playing killgull (in this case eight goblins - six Thistleop goblins, here Fighter 1s, two commandoes and eight goblin dogs) and the exercise yard where he spotted some goblin dogs of indeterminate number (because of the dead ground of the tower).

The party went to both doors of the yard, carefully opening them and having Thrôllgar say "here doggy!" The Goblin dogs attacked in short order, but as they were neatly funnelled into attacking one at a time, it meant they were easily mopped up.

After the noise died down, the party started trying to pry open Shadowmist's door - and then realised it had gone quiet.

The goblins playing killgull had heard the ruckus ('bout time I rolled a decent perception check...!), and went into stealth mode as they crept back around to the main door.

Stealthy as they were, Ruamaini, standing outside the nailed-up pickle room keeping watch on the entrance, didn't spot the commando peeking his head around the corner four rounds later. And so the first the party knew was when the first commando did a mounted charge right into him and dropped him between a horse-chopper blow and savage goblin dog bite.

Galmard and Sungmanitu were first to respond, legging it out into the entranceway, where only the goblin commando's mounted skill kept Sungmanitu from tripping his mount. Then the rest of the goblins piled in. Gavril, standing in the other door way, started to be badly savaged and dropped to 0, but managed to stagger back out of the way, and Galmard and Sungmantiu found themselves facing several and the final commando, but luckily took fairly minimal damage.

Abbondio and Kevkas rushed to rescue the wizard, while Regis and Thrôllgar had one last go at breaking the door down (and failed).

Galmard tossed out a Wall of Smoke (greatly relieved he made his concentration check) which caught commando two and three goblins and their mounts - all eight of which failed their saves, thus removing them for a good round. Thrôllgar started in on the goblins be that door, with Regis trotting up behind to ineffectually toss javelins (the player's dice were appalling!)

Kevkas, Galmard, a healed-but-staying-lying-down Ruamaini, a Flare from Kaddo and Sungmanitu between them finally took down the first commando and his dog. Sungmanitu, however, was stuck facing two goblins on their dogs. She got away with it the first couple of rounds, but finally, luck was against her and three solid hits dropped her to -9.

After being healed by Kaddo, Gavril tossed a Grease in, with the smoke effectively prevented the now-un-nauseated goblins from getting back in with the pair that had dropped Sungmanitu standing in grease (to their credit, the goblin dogs stayed upright). Thrôllgar and Regis polished off the mounted goblin and mount by the north door and rushed down to help. Galmard slapped a Cure Minor on Sungmanitu, and hauled her still unconscious body out of the fight, as Kevkas and a now raging Thrôllgar fought side by side. They took out one pair, and the next one that charged from the sidelines in fell in the grease, the goblin tumbling off into the greased square behind. Kevkas deftly ran a blade into the prone goblin dog. The commando charged in, but missed.

That is more or less where we had to leave it. Ruamaini is on his feet, and Kevkas and Thrôllgar are facing a line of two mounted coblins and one commando, with one more goblin behind them (as the Grease has expired). The commando is Flare-dazzled and just recovered from being dazed via Ruamaini. The goblin directly in front of Thrôllgar is suffering from Gavril's Phantom Threat, so if Kevkas could hit it, he could get in a sneak attack... the last goblin is just shy of the wall of smoke, but in a position to have a go at Kevkas, so it's only luck keeping him form being dropped himself...!

The bad news is, one goblin and his dog were forced down the corridor to the east by the wall of smoke. Unable to get back to the fight - or to the throne room - he's buggered off downstairs, so Nualia will be made aware of what;s going on, and she won't be as lackadaisical
as Ripnugget (largely because she won't just assume her orders are being carried out...!)

We may meet up next week, otherwise it will be the new year before we have another update.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 14: Dogs and Druids

We started off with a big debate on whether ot not we should after RotRL is finished, carry on with the characters in an amped-up Jade Regent or whether it should be run as a "next gen" sort of game with fresh characters, the progent of this party. The players were, irritatingly, spilt right down the middle, with four for and four against and one abstention. So, I laid the ultimatum that, as they hadn't decided, they needed to proceed as if they were going to have to set up a "next gen" and do the requisite roleplaying and lay the foundations. The mandatory requirement I had previously laid down for not doing the high-level was that the majority of the PCs would have continuation with their characters (e.g. siblings, adopted children, actual children) anyway. So I have said that, if I am not satisfied by the time RotRL ends that progress has been roleplayed out, we'll be running high-level anyway. (So it's basically now in their court: they can put the work in, or I will, but it's now totally down to them as to what will happen.)

We started proper as the party dusted themselves off and considered how to deal with the goblin dogs. After some debate, about whether to sneak or rush past to deal with the Gogmurt, they elected to try and distract (if the dogs remained tethered) or lure (if they got free) the dogs with some meat... In this case, bits of dismembered goblin. (While not very nice, I didn't think was especially worthy of a sin point, since the goblin dogs are animals, and it wasn't like the goblins wouldn't have been left to rot or be eatne by scavengers anyway!)

They tossed a few chunks from the narrow passage in the brush nd the goblin dogs started eating, but the ones that had not had any thrown near them got loose. So Kevkas lobbed some more to lure the dogs towards the passage and then Kaddo toom a shot at one. The dogs then, understandably, decided the humans were better meat and went after them. It did not take the party long to mop them up, and Gavril finished the last one with a perfect shot right down the throat.

They then moved off to search for Gogmurt. (I worried them enormously when I glanced at Gogmurt's stats and realised I'd made him a Defiant 2...) Abbondio asked why they didn't send Galmard ahead for more scouting, to which Galmard pointed out that hiding in thorns when other things couldn't get you was one thing, but entirely another when dealing with something that could...

Then the party did something pretty stupid. When the wandered out into the passage between the bridge and Gogmurt's lair, it was immediately obvious that the druid wans't present. And they split up. Abbondio and Kevkas wandered all the way down to Gogmurt's lair, while the rest of the party stood around near Tangletooth's den. Regis, like an idiot, loudly annouced he was going up to watch the bridge.

Gogmurt's tactical decision was thus mde for him, as this provided a simply wonderful attempt for Entangle.

Kevkas had just made a quick but thorough search of Gogmurt's lair, when the first sign it was about to all Go Horribly Wrong appeared as Tangletooth pounced on him, having carefully hidden on command in the shrubs (none of the PCs came close to making their perception checks, which I rolled in secret). As Kevkas was well and truly mauled (four hits, which disabled him), Gogmurt cast Entangle. He placed it slightly above Kevkas and Abbondio, so Tangletooth had free reign, but easily got the entire rest of the party. Despite the relatively low DC, only Ruamaini - Galmard, who was immune - passed the save.

Regis struggled against the spell but couldn't break out. Thrôllgar broke free and headed ten feet out of the twenty towards the egde of the Entangle when Kevkas and Abbondio were. Just in time to see Tangletooth bite the cleric and swat Kevkas down with a claw attack. Simultaneously, the sound of a Flameblade being cast came from the woods - and Thrôllgar was grabbed again by the vines. Kaddo did manage to break free, and moved a bit down towards the lair.

Galmard - the job made rather easier by the whole "flaming sword" thing - zeroed in on Gogmurts location and threw a Sunstroke at him, Gogmurt easily made his save. The rest of the party were struggling to break free. Ruamaini hurled a critically accurate Lesser Sound Orb at Tangletooth, which severely wounded the cougar. Gavril starting singing. Abbondio tried to cast a Cure Light Wounds on Kevkas, but as he couldn't step anywhere safe to do so, he had to cast defensively and flubbed, losing the spell.

Regis again was unable to break free - as he was for most of the fight. Thrôllgar burst free again, and made it past the Entangle[i], right next to the firepelt cougar - to see the long-suffering Abbondio get another bite a claw hit and go down. Oh dear...

Gogmurt had so many choices! Not ten feet from the thicket wall he was sequestered in was Ruamaini. Only ten feet or so north were both bards, and he could have neatly stepped between the pair of them. By this point, I was beginning to get concerned the party were in serious danger, trapped as they were, so he went after the wizard, landing a solid hit with his [i]Flameblade that very nearly dropped Ruamaini outright.

Galmard legged it all the way out of the Entangle and down to the opposite side of Abbondio that Tangletooth, with the intention of grabbing the Wand of Lesser Vigour from the downed cleric.

Ruamaini tried and succeeded with an Acid Splash on Gogmurt, and Gavril took a shot at him.

Kaddo hurled a Hideous Laughter - and this time it took! (There may have been a touch of fiat at this point...) Thrôllgar took down Tangletooth with one solid hit. He then shouted to Gogmurt he was going to skin the cougar and wear him as a cloak. This enraged Gogmurt enough that at the end of his turn, he burnt a hit block and threw off the Hideous Laughter.

Regis half-heartedly threw a javelin at Gogmurt, but between prone, cover, shooting into melee and the entangled penalty, he missed. It remained the only thing he managed all combat, apaert from struggle against the vines... Ruamaini shot the goblin at point-blank with his heavy crossbow, and Gavril shot at him with his bow. Galmard grabbed the wand and used it on Abbondio, who came around (he'd only been on -1).

Thrôllgar raged and charged in, hoping he was going to pass his save and thus actaully reach Gogmurt. Luck was with him again as he did, and landed a very solid strike. And got a stab full of Flameblade for his trouble. Kaddo - still free for the moment - moved into position next to the fallen goblin, and took a swing with his longsword.

Galmard moved on to Kevkas, used the wand, dropped it and then ran up to get into position to attack Gogmurt. Ruamaini landed a critical Acid Splash, while Gavril took anopther shot with his bow. Abbondio, now able to get up and move, used a full CLW on Kevkas. Regis actually broke free and managed to stumble fifteen feet towards the action - only to be entangled again on Gogmurt's action... Thrôllgar hit Gogmurt again very hard, all the while hurling abuse about how he was going to calve him up and urinate on the corpse...

Gogmurt was now in serious trouble. As the Hideous Laughter had dropped him prone, he couldn't run away, nor could he drink a potion without getting hit. Surrender was clearly out of the question, since the raging barbarian was clearly not going to accept it, so with one last scream of defiance, he landed a critical hit with the Flameblade right into Thrôllgar's face. (Sadly, I only rolled absolutely average damage...) Ruamaini landed another Acid splash, and Kaddo landed a paltry hit (though Gogmurt was down to single digits at this point.) Everyone else missed, or were moving into position, so it was Thrôllgar who landed the finishing blow.

The party waited a three or so minutes for the Entangle to die away. While the party looted the corpse - Ruamaini deftly made all thre DC 25 Spellcraft checks to ID the potions. Thrôllgar, true to his word, decapitated Gogmurt and hung his head to his belt (yes, a wrath point, but also fair cop, it's a sort of GW Dwarf Trollslayer-y sort of thing to do) and lugged the firepelt's carcus onto his shoulders (he's serious about that cloak, but again, fair cop!)

The party then elected to rest (seeing as the casters were pretty much out of spells) and there was some debate over the watch order. (In that Kaddo's player is used to the GM rolling randomly to see who's on watch and our group's modus operandi is to have a set watch order written up on the party funds sheet (along with the standard marching order), though this party hasn't got one yet.))

We left it there, after they had a look over the bridge (the alert sentries didn't spot them)... As they're literally going to cross that bridge when they come to it...!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Ace, thanks! That gives me some idea of what what sort of numbers I'm looking it (about 26-27 Aotrs-points or thereabouts, as opposed to a PF-15/3.5-25 which is about 24 Aotrs-points). So not a great deal of difference (to me!), all things considered. (When doing my own NPCs, I tend to either use the Elite array, or what I term the "munchkin array", which is the aforementioned 18/16/14/12/10/8 or variant thereof.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Actually, while we're on the subject of 20-point buys, how much higher are the stats for a 20 than a 15? I understand that 15-PF is equivilent to a 25-3.5, but what I don't know is how much higher a 20-PF is. (In my own games I have used neither, beginning in 3.0 by rolling and then moving directly to a point-for-point system, starting with base 8 and 30-36 points.)

If a 15-point is 15,14,13,12,10,8, what's a 20 in the same standard?

(By comparison my 30 and 36 come out to something like 18,16,14,12,10,8 and 18,18,16,14,10,8.) I want to know mostly so I know how much to adjust (if at all) the NPCs in the later AP/modules that are built on a 20-point buy.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

The black raven wrote:
Aotrscommander wrote:
(I can probably find a link to the actual template somewhere, if anyone is interested.)
I am indeed interested ;-)

Link provided!

Worth noting, as I said later in the thread I that post is from, that if the regular boss monsters are providing the party with a sufficent challenge, this probably isn't needed, so you really do need to apply it with consideration to your exact party size and optimisation level. (If you have a lot of characters, but low-optimisation, you might consider not using maximum hits, but average or something for each hit point block, for example.) Someone later in that thread mentioned about uberchargers, for example. I said if they are that big a problem, you just stack enough templates until it can, and the means they HAVE to get the ubercharger in...

(Though the easier way to discourage the players from making them that big a problem is throw uberchargers right back at them and they'll either work out ways they can stop them ubercharging - which you can then nick - or they'll be so sick of it they beg you for a gentleman's agreement not to use them!)

Generally, though, if you have mid-to-high level optimisation and/or large number of characters, 1-3 levels as is will be plenty.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

RuyanVe wrote:
Never use singular villains. Never. Action economy will have them diminished to 1-round wonders--where most of the times they will not act once...

After a great deal of experimentation, I found a way around that. I took a leaf out of 4Es book with the idea of solos, and the improved it. Basically, I have a stackable template. Each increment of said template gives the monster and extra block of full hit points, plus a save reroll (which is used, effectively gives them a negative level). The monsters can also expend an undamaged block of hit points to get rid of and instant save-or-die as a reaction, or as a Swift action at the end of their turn to basically Iron Heart Surge away any effect they don't like.

It works beautifully. It means that the monsters are defensively much harder to kill, without going too much on the offense scale and they can't be undramatically taken out with one failed save right away AND at the same time ensuring that save-or-dies and status effects still contribute, even if they don't have their full effect (indeed, there's some arguement you hold them as finishers).

I have absolutely abused this idea since I first started using because it works so well - especially since I'm now running for a party double the size of the advanture path's base four characters.

(I can probably find a link to the actual template somewhere, if anyone is interested.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 13: Unlucky for most

The party (after nearly not remebering to pick their DM up from his sister's house where he was this week...!) penetrated into the Thistletop via the briar tunnels. Galmard was especially pleased, since with his Woodland Stride, he could finally be in his element. They went as far as the chamber with the hole, and decided not too investiagte too closely.

Kevkas heard the sounds of something off to their right (the goblin dogs) and to their far left. Galmard - very bravely in my opinion (given he has no Stealth skill - and no Dexterity to speak of) - went off scouting, walking through the walls. The goblin dogs failed to notice him (they don't have scent, according to my stats - though with their allergens, that's proably for the best...! - and rolled poorly to Glamrd's quite respectable 17.) Galmard, emboldened, quietly left and then went further south. to where Gogmurt was.

"Oh dear", I thought. "This is going to end badly...!" But Galmard was exceptionally lucky, as Gogmurt rolled a natural 1 on his perceprtion check. Galmard, noting the presence of the firepelt Cougar, the leather, the spear and general decor, recoignised a contemporary and wisely slunk off quite sharpish!

He then headed left, and went to scout the far end, which was where the refugees were - fifteen of them here. Seven had bows - my initial notes called for five with bows, but I happened to get out seven D&D goblins to supplement my five or so PF goblins, so I thought, "sod it."

And THEN rolled a 2 on the stealth check.

Amazingly, one of them didn't spot him... He was promptly attacked by the goblins. The first three rushed up to him, but given he was still in the walls, I gave him cover and made the goblins take the same checks if they missed as they would have done for being pushed into the walls (i.e. Ref save or 1 damage). They all missed. Naturally...

Then the first pair or archers fired... And promptly sunk a maximum damage arrow... into one of the goblins in front of Galmard (1 on attack roll, followed by a 2 on the "how badly did they bog it" roll.) *skullpalm*

Net result of Goblin attacks: Galmard 0 damage, goblins 7 damage...

The party charged to help. Abbondio was first, and after his move, found himself in the ten-foot squueeze zone between the "rooms" of thorns. The other archers all shot at him, and starting chipping away (my damage rolls were really good, for saying I was only flat D4s!) The party formed up, with the intention of luring the goblins to them. Glamard stayed a round or two, knobbled another golbin wuith his staffm before falling back, as they landed a couple of solid hits on him too.

Most of the remaining battle was conducted at range. As Abbondio retreated, getting a couple more hits, the party was trying to lure the goblins foward, they kept killing the ones that were in a position to do with ranged fire. Galmard (poking his head out of the wall again) dropped a Wall of Smoke, and Gavril a Grease, which didn't help the goblins, and despite the often high cover bonus to AC they were getting, fell quickly to ranged fire. Even Ruamaini and Kaddo managed a couple of ranged weapon kills with heavy crossbow and short bow. Regis even got in with his javelins. Glamard jumpoed out and clobbered nother archer with his spear.

As the two spells expired and the three last archers were left, Kevlas charged in and knobbled one more. Thrôllgar dropped his bow, grabbed his ranseur, and then rushed foward. Unfortnately, he got his ranseur tangled in the vines, and when it slipped out of his hands, the back spring carried the weapon straight back and into Regis' crotch. He xcouldn't have done that intentionally if he'd tried... (Natural 1 followed by 2, followed by a 19...) I gave Regis D3+1/2 Str nonlethal - it was a good hit!)

Kevkas skewered the next one, and then Regis moved foward, grabbing the ranseur, stepping in front of Thrôllgar (who stopped with ranseur reach). He then did vey subtle Steel Wind, and while running the last goblin through and then "accidentally" boshing Thrôllgar with the haft. (I gave this a full D6+Str as if it was a staff attack, since it was completely deliberate. It also earned Regis a full Wrath tick!)

And that was where we left it, with Regis and Thrôllgar rubbing their injuries and exchanging hard glares...

Never a dull moment with Thrôllgar, is there...!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

One of the first quest-books I was exposed to when I started roelplaying twenty-three years ago was the AD&D Pharoah. My Dad has cadged a load of modules from an oppo at his work for me to look through, so I could see how other people did it. (I started my roleplaying career in large isolation - AD&D was not only not my fiest, but a distant third...!)

It stuck with me ever since. I bought the module in hard-cover one day when I saw it at local gaming store, and later bought the Desert of Desolation pdf that combined the whole campaign. For years it has sat, awiting conversion and running.

Now, as I start finally running my first AP and have become a full-fledged fan of Golarion, I am now debating as convert it, rather than to me own psuedo-Egyptian country (which would have required a lot more monster replacement, since my own homebrew world tossed aside the entire 3.x bestiary and re-imaged from scratch). Further, with the Great Golem Sale, I picked up Emtombed with the Pharoahs and Pact Stone Pyramid. And, as I was cataloguing my modules - largely due to the twelve Dungeon issues that I recently bought Age of Worms with - I discovered I also had the PF society module The third Riddle.

Thought occured that I nearly have enough to be making my own psuedo-AP... or perhaps to drastically expand Mummy's Mask (which I will be getting as soon as it comes out!) into some sort of uber-AP!

So, then, the question is, are there any other PF society modules, regular modulles etc etc that are set in Osirion (or close enough!) Third-party modules would be exceptable if they could be comfortably hammered into Osirion. (Given the nature of the mutant hybird rules I play, edition - and perhaps even rules - is irrelevant, since both 3.5 and PF requrie conversion work - and would in the base-case scenarios anywya, since I run for eight characters!)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I run my games via my own hideous mutant hybrid edition of 3.x/PF (I term it 3.Aotrs). I'm just - finally - starting to run the APs (it's taken us about four years to start RotRL - basically, I had two groups that ended up folding together and finishing the two AD&D=>3.Aotrs camapigns first). Shackled City is next on my list (since at one point, RotRL was slated fro one group, Shackled City for the other (since there was at least one player common to both!)

One of the first things I ditched in 3.0 was their stat generation - both rolling and their point buy. (Never understood why a linear distribution needs a non-linear advancement, personally.) I have now consistently used base 8, 30 points point-for-point (and have since upped that to 36, since it makes the PCs no stronger, but gives them a little more play room, especially for the MAD classes). The former equates roughly to 18,16,14,12,10,8, the latter to more like 18,18,16,14,10,8. (As opposed to 3.x 25-point buy/elite array which is, what, 15,14,13,12,10,8?) I am thus aware of the conversion to 3.x points buy in broad terms. But Pathfinder's 15/20 point buy is a bit of a mystery. It's becoming something I need to address as I look at the more recent advanture paths I've now got (e.g. Jade Regent) which are PF and not 3.x, at least as a first order of magnitude analysis.

So I was wondering if someone could enlighten me with some examples of what base stats 15 and 20 point buy work out to in Pathfinder, so if I feel the need, I could adjust my monsters and NPCs accordingly.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Mummy's Mask: 5. It will, in fact, probably be the first advanture path I will be buying as it comes out, as opposed to when there's a sale on! (I hgave, in fact, held off buying the Osirion sourcebook, wnating to get the newer, lareger version!)

When I started roleplaying twenty-three years ago, my Dad borrowed some quest-books from an oppo at work, so I could read and get some ideas. Pharoah was among them and it struck a chord. I later bought the module myself one day when I saw it randomly in my at the time local gaming shop. And I bought the Deserts of Desolation updated pdf several years back, but have yet to adapt it to 3.x/PF (or the hidious mutant hybrid that is 3.Aotrs). I have acquired in the golem sale hard copies of both Entombed with the Pharaohs and Pact-Stone Pyramid, and while cataloguing what bits and pieces I'd got (I also bought Age of Worms in the pior pdf sale), I realised I'd bought the Third Riddle as well. It occurred to me now I could with some work, nearly scrape an adventure path out of all that. (Or weave it into the aforementioned...)

(By-the-by, does anybody know if there are any other Osirion or Osirion-ish modules/adventures (PF or otherwise) floating around?)

[Iron Gods 4 to 4.5 Colour me interested. Especially if the flavour is a bit He-Man (I once ran an adnature that was basically a He-Man/She-Ra expy - the twist being the PCs woke up with no memory, incomplete character sheets and pictures of who they were and that on;ly became cdlear as time went on!) Given that I am only just coming up to the second half of the first book o my first advanture path (RotRL) and have four mor adventure paths (two of them Schackled City and Age of Worms which are longer), it's not a priority at the moment.

Wrath of the Righteuous 3. Eeeeeh. The World Wound is a novel idea, but it strikes me as a bit too shades of Warhammer/40K (and while I find Warhammer to be okay, (and the original WHFRP's quest books are excellent, the gold standard until Paizo, and I mean that with completel seriousness) 40K I really dislike.) I'd really want to see a mythic arc that would actually end with closing the World-Wound, as mythic/Epic should sort of be in that area. (Though that said, the only campaign I ran that actually reached into Epic was the 3.Aotrs conversion of Dragon Mountain...!) (I dunno, maybe it does for all I know.) *shrug* Mythic also doesn't really appeal to me (Epic was plenty and we didn't use Epic spellcasting). I've skimmed the rules and read some of the optimisation guides, and I have to say I'm not too keen on the idea of the PCs being able to shrug off all the status effects. (I have enough trouble with firepower concentration when dealing eight characters in a mid-to-high optimisation environment at the best of times! Using mythic would likely mean that all the serious boss fights would have to be mythic-ised as well, on top of all the bending I already do!)

But that's the beauty of Golarion, there's something for everyone.

I'd really like to see an AP set not on Golarion, but on one of the other planets - I'd snap that one up as fast as Mummy's Mask. (Let's not split hairs - it was exactly the moment I found Golarion was in an actual solar system that I decided it was Best Published Campaign World and started buying source books in anger!)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I've got one: the Dwarf barbarian was seriously talking about using Erylium's corpse as a handpuppet (with the intention of putting on a show for the children...)

I... don't even know which sin to begin with, there.

For a kick off, I've created an eight category, the sin of "what the f[redacted]" for the moment...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Gwaihir Scout wrote:
This one took me a while: Shalelu is pronounced Sha-LEE-loo.

I have been fracking up and tripping over my metaphorical tongue every time I try and say her name. (It doesn't help I keep thinking there's a "y" in their because of the similarity to Shayliss (Vinder)).

I was trying Shal- EL -OO todya, but Sha-LEE-loo is so much better and rolls of the metaphorical tongue easier I'm going to adopt that one!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

In the history of naval warfare, when it comes to Ship Verses Fort... Fort wins.

Also Goblins really like fire, and have the big advantage of already being high up and in a good position for missile weapons...

My players considered something similar, until I pointed out that scaling the cliffs would require a lot of climb checks, and that they would inevitably be spotted ("but we'd be under the cover or darkness" yes, because goblins totally aren't activate at night...) and that dropping burning things of people is like high art in Goblin culture or something...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 12: Dope on a rope

We started the session with a bit of world knowledge. I bought a crap-ton of hard-copy stuff from the Great Golem Sale. I'd been so tempted to a hard-copy of the Inner Sea Guide, since I'd decided I probably would use and it'd be nice to have something that's easier to flip through than my current second-hand kindle (which is pre-touch screen). But the postage from Paizo just put the cost of the whole order up way too much, so in the end, I found one on amazon uk that cost the same but had free P&P and that arrived today. So I showed them the world and Inner Sea map and a rough primer before we started proper.

The party went back outside and rested up. They took Erylium's dagger for identification, and realised they they couldn't sell it, at Sandpoint's gp limit.

They then headed back down with the intention of deactivating the Runewell, as they'd gathered activating it by summon Sinspawn was running it down.

Then they cleared the zombies.

That makes it all sound straightforward doesn't it?

If you think that's how it happened - have you been paying attention at all in these last posts?

First off, Thrôllgar (whose player was back with us this week) was talking about using Erylium's corpse as a handpuppet. Completely seriously, and suggesting "the kiddies will love it! I I was young, we always did that with kittens!"

Cue my first "what is even the hell" expression of the evening.

Oh, he got a full sin tick for that. I had no idea which sin that fell under (wrath maybe?), bvut dammit that was getting a full tick! In fact, I made up an eight sin category the "What the F[redacted]" especially to put a tick in it. (Suggestions for actual categorisation welcome...)

The party, fortuantely for the sanity of the children of Sandpoint, put a stop to that.

Regis' player made a side comment about wondering what would happen if you... ejactulated in it (I paused for thought for a moment), but then Thrôllgar took this as inspiration to urinate into the pool to see if that would have any effect.

And actually did it. And the party let him.

Cue second "what is even the hell."

I decided such an act of flagrant spite was deserving enough to actually boost to pool by a point, to noticable effect and party face-palms...

Then they decided to try pouring holy water in it, so went and bought some and literally poured 25gp down the drain.

Kevkas spat into it (to maybe the slightest effect, but difficult to say if anything happened), and tried waving a torch through the vapours, and then plunging it into the liquid (which extinguished it).

Thrôllgar wanted to throw the corpse in (he was obessesed with that corpse), and there was a brief debate as to whether it would do anything, nearly being twenty-four hours later. (The answer was a DM-adjudicated no, since the bits of blood/ichour that makes it magically potent aren't much good by the time it's been cold and dead that long, as it hadn't been prepared.)

Thrôllgar lobbed the body in anyway.

Regis, tiring of all this making a meal out of things, took his sword and cut himself and splattered "lots of blood" into the pool. As his intention was basically to use more than a few drops to try and drain it faster, I made him take a point of damage, but I also decided to cut us all some slack and have it summon the last two sinspawn at once.

The party took ready actions - and then utterly failed to hit the Sinspawn's terrible AC of 13, accept for Ruamaini, who did a whole point of damage with Acid Splash...

The fight was brief and mostly one sided - though Kevkas got the worst of it. He and Regis were side-by-side when the first one popped up, and seeing as they are both equal in the Wrath stakes (and Thrôllgar was out of reach), I randomised who it went for. Both rounds it survived, I rolled odds for Regis evens for Kevkas and it went for the latter with all six attacks! I hit twice with the bites but - NOOOOOOOO - he saved twice (and once he got exactly 12!)

Afterwards, they went to see Brodert, to see if he could shed any light on the gravity room (he couldn't.) He had done some research, and said that while he couldn't identify the statue they'd found, he did suspect it was one of the Runelords (cue brief explanation of the Runelords, i.e. the seven sins, that they'd ruled Thassilon after Xin and some of the ruled the whole period and other changed over). Ruamaini's player guessed Wrath on the basis of the prisons (though I pointed out that was kinda not a specific things as "the Thasslionians were kinda a##%~*&s"); though when I read the description of the gravity room for them again, the odd words Kaddo could read confirmed that for them.

Then the decided they ought to destroy the zombies. A task which is actually not that straight-forward, give zombie DR and the depth of the pit. They wanted to burn them, but I pointed out that to do that was actually not going to be that easy - or at least was going to require a lot of money on lamp-oil.

The Thrôllgar - it just had to be Thrôllgar - said "bugger that, tie a rope round me and lower me down, and I'll have the bastards with me ransuer!"

Cue "what is even the hell" three.

Still, this method was at least cheap, I said. "Right," I thought, "well, strength checks - which they can aide another on, starting with the first one, and a Use Rope check (untrained, since no-one has it) to tie the rope tightly enough... One Str check per hole just to make sure he doesn't fall in and off we go."

However, the dangers inherent with playing with a crap ton of engineers became apparent, because all of the holding the rope just wasn't good enough. Oh no. There was talk of some sort of A frame - until Kevkas rolled a natural 1 on his Knowledge (Engineering) check. Then they decided they wanted to put a piton down in the centre, and rig up some sort of system of ropes or spools or something so that Thrôllgar couldn't actually fall lower than his ten foot aiming mark - "which is another, harder Use Rope check" I said.

So, what did they do?

They went up to the top, and asked some sailors to tie the Dwarf up.

No, seriously, WHAT IS EVEN THE HELL!?

I, my expression by this point fixed into one of incredulous disbelief said, "right, Diplomacy check..." Which Kaddo made by miles.

So what happened was they basically went down to the docks and talked to the sailors; the idea was so utterly ludicrous that it actually piqued everyone's interest. Then the better part of the afternoon was lost and pretty much all the sailors and dock workers filtered in as they collectively worked out a way in which to tie the appropriate ropes and knots.

"Ar, no, you don't wanna do it that, this'll be better!"

"Aye! That'll get 'er done, right!"

The party then went down, having had the sailors (who did have Use Rope and made their checks) do the knot-work, and Thrôllgar dispatched all the zombies.

Then they went back up and down to the pub, where Thrôllgar tried to get get free beer (a pint per zombie) for his deeds. I made him make a Charisma check. He got a total of 16. And I said "you know what, sod it. It's Thrôllgar (who has got as much of a reputation among he villagers as he must have in this thread by this point), they were there all afternoon... the sailors buy you your beer!"

The party then spent a while hashing out their next move. Thrôllgar wanted to go and kill goblins and stir up trouble between the tribes, and the rest were agreed at least on the latter part After a bit, I pointed out to them that that line of thinking wasn't going to work, since without someone telling them what to do, they'd be at each oyther's throats normally - it was force, and not mutual pact that kept them together (which is what Shalelu had pretty much said). After that, it didn't take much prompting for them to decide to go to Thisteltop (since Ripnugget was mentioned in Tsuto's journal) to deal with the lynch pin. They toyed with the idea of making a naval attack until they heard from a sailor what Thisteltop was like (i.e. a mostly sheer cliff) and I pointed out the dangers of trying to silently approach via water at night AND climb up the sides and hoping not to attract the attention of the (mostly nocturnal...) Goblins so they didn't spend several happy rounds dropping burning things on the PCs. (You just know that would have brought the whole clan out...!(

They were rather dubious about crossing the preported rope bridge, but decided they'd have to have a proper look themselves.

Galmard lead them into the woods to find the trail.

He got a total of 40 on his Survival check.

After the absolute minimum time (I didn't even roll the dice), Galmard found a Goblin trail and lead them straight there, which is where we left it.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

NobodysHome wrote:

Ah, we're playing two very different combats, then. I have 4 PCs with 15-point builds, so I played the out-of-the-book AE Erylium build: AC 19, 35 HP, so readily hittable and eventually killable with ranged weapons. Even the sorcerer hit on a 16 or better.

EDIT: Don't get me wrong; it's still going to take a while to whittle her down without cold iron or a paladin smiting evil, but at AC 19 it's do-able by a determined party long before running out of ammo... the AE version specifically doesn't have any AC-boosting spells.

She's AC 22 in the original, which we're playing, and has as written a Shield of Faith memorised, which puts it to 24.

(I haven't done anything else to her apart from up her hit-points as I'm dealing with a) 8 players and b) to a lesser extent, our typical stat build, which really doesn't make as much difference as you'd think. (It mainly means everyone has an 18 and a 16 and means that MAD classes are considerably more viable, plus you have a little room for roleplaying rather than pure mechanical assignements.))

So, yeah, a 5-point AC drop (or even 3 if she's got a similar spell in the AE) does makes a frack-ton of difference!

(Though kudos to my PCs - by the time she's been pinned (-4 AC)and prone (-4AC) and thus not only denied her Dex for grappling, but reduced to effectively 0 Dex by the pin (-10 AC from her +5 Dex)a -18 penalty to AC is I think the highest penalty anyone has ever wracked up, including our Epic games...!)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Psh.

If you think this is bad, feel sorry for my mate, who is running a Judge Dread game come Easter...

And my character is...

( •_•)

( •_•)>⌐■-■

(⌐■_■)

... Judge Caine.

YEEEEAAAAH!

I cannot take credit for the icons, since I cribbed it of someone else on the Giantip forums. I do have a modified version that's more properly Lich-y, but it requires colour tags which there forums don't appear to support.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

NobodysHome wrote:

Aotrscommander reports that in their SECOND fight with her, they still had to do a jump-n-grab instead of shooting her. Similarly, Some Random Dood reports that they used summoned eagles and a Web spell. Kairos reports that they got "some cold iron arrows" but they don't figure into his description of the fight...

So why do people hate missile weapons so much?

It's more of a case that she was close enough for them to do it. My players are well trained and always carry a back-up ranged weapon. (As do the monsters, as I learnt fairly early on...!) They ahd even seriously considered Blessed Aim as a party buff.

However.

At level 1/2, you aren't going to have much in the way of ranged damage output. Unless you have a dagger-throwing specialist or something, you're likely going to be on D8-5 or D6-5 damage (by that stage you don't have enough money for composite bows) unless you manage to acquire cold iron weapons or something (which would entirely depend on you a)knowing what you were running into and b) the availability of said weapons (do any of the Sandpoint stores carry a stock normally? I'd have thought not, unless any of the information specifically says they do) and c) if you can afford it anyway (especially if not playing Pathfinder).

So melee, where you get the added strength bonus, is a far better bet - and grappling, as shown by my lot, is by far the most efficient option in terms of damage output. On a handful of hits per round, if that, for a four-man team (some of which heals off anyway) on limited ammunition, engaging in a shoot-out with Erylium is a losing proposition. (If you can get her in melee, you can get her flanked. Otherwise, that AC of 24 is pretty much Nat 20 for anyone but maybe the fighters and maybe rogues for damage that if you're not careful, she'll just heal off.)

My party consists of eight characters built on a 36 point-for-point build from base 8 (e.g. bard stats 10, 16, 10, 16, 14, 18), so they're well above average and their stats and melee damage are pretty buff. They had Erylium grappled and were all wailing on her (with help from the druid's wolf). Erylium, by comparision had 196 hits in blocks of 48 (max hits), one of which she sacrificed to negate a statues effect. So it required them to deal 144 damage between nine attackers (well, eight since one was pinning). Her AC was down to 6 while pinned, so they were all hitting. It STILL took them seven or eight rounds of hacking to finally kill her, and really only two characters were doing any real damage (the rogue and the warblade), everyone else was really just keeping her fast healing down if they were lucky.

So the big problem with ranged is that with her AC (as your non-archer specialist is only going to have, what +3-5 attack bonus at level 2) - especially with low party size - is that you could run into the very real danger of running out of ammunition before she dies - especially if you haven't got any ammunition that'll punch through her DR.

(Worth noting the stock PCs would be absolutely murdered if they tried that, between their best of a +3 short bow and -1 light crossbow (+1 for being level 2 for both) - you're still on natural 20 by the time she's tossed up Shield of Faith and got to AC 24.)

It is certainly possible, yes, but it's by no means the optimal solution for a party of that level, as you're suggestion, unless they actually do have an archer or throwing specialist to hand. (And make no mistake, I know how brutal those can be once they get started! We've had 'm up to Epic in the past and they are... not funny! But this time, the party didn't have one.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Give that player some sort of reward. Seriously. That sort of thing should be encouraged!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Full story here, but in short - this time, their second encounter, the rogue made a flying leap off the dias - Erylium has dropped down low enough to slap someone with IMW - and grappled her. And the wolf companion tripped her (and they both went prone.) Then the dwarf barbarian joined in and pinned her.

It took rounds and rounds of hacking (since my Erylium had four sets hit points), but from then on, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Episode 11: Choke the B...witch!

The party returned to fight Erylium.

Thrôllgar booted the door in, and saw two spiders (one medium and one small) - the fruits of Eryliums's Summon Monster spells. These proved to be nothing more than speed bumps, going down without ever getting chance to act. Erylium was hiding at the top of the room invisible.

The party moved into the cathedral. Kevkas, now the way was cleared, wandered all the way up to the sin pool. The player asked me "can I take an action?" (having made two move actions).

"Depends what it is."

He made a gesture of cutting himself and dropping into the pool.

Hiding my smirk - well, not at all, really - I said "you know what, I'm gonna let you have that one..." Que group facepalm...

(Tp be fair, Kevkas's logic was that as the one who summoned it, he'd control it.)

Erylium cast Resistance on herself from the ceiling, waiting a moment to try and get a better opportunity to attack, while the rest of the party moved into the room and started trying to locate her by perception (which they failed at utterly).

The the sinspawn emerged from the pool, and heavily clawed Kevkas (STILL NO BITE ATTACK!!!) Gavril starting singing. Abbondio bolted over to help, and Sungmantiu ran up the stairs on the other side of the pool to help, too. Galmard made it up about halfway up the steps behind her, and then took a ready action to cast Faerie Fire.

Without a better target (I was gunning for Thrôllgar, since he had most hits, but he was too close to the rest of the party), Erylium dropped down to Galmard and used her trump card, Inflict Moderate Wounds.

Now, it's worth noting that we've considerably[i] buffed the [i]Cure/Inflict line to actual decent damage/healing, ion the basis the heal sCure Moderate (and Inflict Moderate) is now 10+D8/level (max 7D8), so rather than core's pitiful 2D8+3, Erylium was on 3D8+10. Galmard made his save (the other reason I picked him!) and Faerie Fire, because he wasn't going to risk fluffing his Concentration check.

Regis and Thrôllgar charegd into Erylium and started hacking away, dealing a bit of damage (though as a Defiant 3, Erylium had 48 x 4 hits points, plus her DR).

Gavril tried Insideous Rhythm, but this time Erylium (thanks to Resistance) made her save this time.

Abbondio, Kevkas and Sungmantiu finished on the sin spawn. Kevkas, havign defelty shived the Sinspawn up now it was flanked with his sneak attack, then wanted to try and jump on to Erylium. (I didn't tell the player, but as he didn't have a standard action left, he'd have failed.) However, all he managed to do with his lack of Jump skill was leap over the sin pool to the other side of the dias anyway. (Sadly, he didn't fall in, which was what I was half-expecting...)

Galmard took a step back and hit Erylium with [Faerie Fire[/i], negating her invisibility, should she have chosen to use it again.

And, at the top of the next round, here Erylium made her fatal mistake. She attempted to use Cause Fear on Regis (he passed his save) - and didn't move away.

The party hacked at her a bit, but with her AC of 24 (22+ Shield of Faith), they weren't doing much. Regis did the best thing he could and used his Leading the Attack manouver to grant them a +4 morale bonus (+3 on top of the Bard song) to hit, but even so, it didn't help much. Kaddo had the bright idea of using his whip to make a trip attempt (his lack of Improved Trip didn't matter even right next to her as she didn't have any reach, being Tiny), but even her touch AC was too much for him. Ruamaini tried to cast Hail of Stone, but he wanted to cast defensively (in case during the 1 round casting time, she came up to disrupt him) and fluffed his concentration roll.

And then came the killing blow. Kevkas, now only 10 feet away, with Erylium not having moved and still being close to the ground (since she'd had to get that close to slap Galmard), and now possessing a fresh round of action, tried again. He made his jump check adequately. With the bonuses (charging, +1 for higher ground (I was being generous) and the +4 from morale), he easily made his touch attack roll (again, with no reach, she couldn't do anything to stop him). And then it all went downhill for our dear Quasit.

-5 is not a happy number for a grapple check.

Kevkas, who is quite strong (16) easily grabbed her. So, right away, she lost her Dex bonus to Armour class (-5 AC). Glamard tried a Hypothemia (D6 cold damage and be Fatigued, fort negates), but she made her save. Sungmantiu ran halfway down the stairs to where she could attack and hit.

I said "right. If Sungmanitu trips her - as at the moment she's not technically prone - Kevkas can chose to fall prone with her. Cons - Kevkas is prone. Pros - she's prone."

So Kevkas let Sungmanitu pull them onto the floor. -4 AC. The party started moving in and wailing on the poor quasit. She spent her first turn panicking and flailing at Kevkas with her dagger, (she probably would have been better using her claws, with the poison). Regis had a whollop, but missed utterly. Then Thrôllgar dropped his ranseur and diving into the grapple. The party continued to flail away.

She had another swipe at Kevkas - who tried throttling her (to be fair opposed grapple => D3+3+1+D6 is pretty darn good) - and then it came around to Thrôllgar again.

He pinned her.

-4 to AC AND Dex is effective reduced to 0 (-5 AC). So at this point Erylium is now prone (effectively -4 AC), reduced to effective 0 Dex (-10 from her +5 Dex) and pinned -4, for a staggering -18 penalty to AC.

Which I think is a record achivement!

So, now down to AC 6, the party were not having trouple hitting her. The problem was that damned DR and her nearly 200 hit points, not too mention the fast healing - most of them were on D6 damage and dealing very little or nothing, with only Regis and Kevkas (who switched to his sword on the basis that even at -4, it was worth it for D6 instead of D3) doing anything higher. But try as she might, she couldn't untrained Escape Artist out of Thrôllgar's pin (let alone get out of the grapple).

The party then spent more rounds that I was keepinfg track of, standing around her, wailing away. Galmard hit her with a second Hypothermia - she failed her save and thus had to get shot of a block of hitpoints to shake off the fatigue (otherwise we'd have been there all night...!) Ruamaini, after a couple of rounds of standing and watching (sloth point! Sloth point! Also the point I realised I'd somehow missed Sloth of my sins sheet...!), waded in and dropped all four of his Acid Splashes on her.

Finally, as she was weakening, her desparation lent her strength, and he wriggled out of Thrôllgar's pin. He re-established it again, but she wriggled free one last time (noiw down to 1 hit point!) Kevkas gave up stabbing her with his sword (since her AC had gone back up) and throttled her with one final grapple check and - at LONG last, she finally stilled.

The party got up dusted, themselves down, patched up theit wounded comrades (only Galmard and Kevkas were moderately injured, though Abbondio had taken one light hit).

They debated what to do about the sin pool, and decided to come back and deal with it and run it out in the morrow, once they'd rested and refreshed their spells, since the casters were pretty much out.

Thus ended Erylium, in the end strangled to death while in the grips of a smelly dwarf barbarian and his mate...!

(Worth quite a lot of XP though: effectively a CR 7, she was worth 450XP to each party member!)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Tacticslion wrote:

I thought those were called "higher level spells".

Which the ancient civilisations also had access to. I picked lower level spells because the would be a statistically higher proportion of user bases compared to, say, Wish or Teleport.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Azlanti Wizard wrote:
Ahah! i have it,! the secret to the ultimate power even an apprentice can master! I'll call it the image...hey, whats that ball of light in the sky?

Again, TEN THOUSAND YEARS.

I simply find it very hard to believe that EVERYONE one who might have innovated technology or magic at any time in the last ten millenia was conveniantly killed before their discovery could get out. (And if there was some magical force doing that, how come they missed Alkenstar...?)

Or that none of all the numerous civiliations, in the whole SOLAR SYSTEM not all of which HAS had catacylsms every so often, are incapable of innovation without being lead to it by humans. (I am prepared to accept a human-bias for Golarion nations, but I draw the line at humanocentric superiority; we get enough of that crap in sci-fi as it is with humanity virtually always been the special snowflake race.)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I'm glad I looked over this thread. From what I'd read, I hadn't twigged that there were more than seven. (I've not read RotRL in complete detail, and certainly not recently enough to pick that up!) Good to know before I confused my PCs...!

1 to 50 of 289 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.