|Aotrscommander 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...!