So we've had two more sessions that I didn't post about here. They captured Tsuto instead of killing him, so he's now in the Sandpoint jail. And they actually handled the Catacombs of Wrath faster than I expected. Apparently, once they're dungeon crawling, they're much faster than when they're trying to decide what to do around town.
After finding Tsuto's journal, they had already decided to stock up on silver and cold iron weapons because of the references in the note about a quasit and other things, so they had the weapons necessary for Erylium. At least, the archer had plenty of cold iron arrows, and the cavalier had a cold iron melee weapon that he couldn't use very much because Erylium was usually flying too high for melee range. That fight was still tough for them - it took 18 rounds of combat before they killed her, and even then, I'm not sure if I got one of the rules right. I decided that her fasthealing wouldn't heal wounds that overcame her DR (mostly the ranger's cold iron arrows). Otherwise, they never would have killed her.
We're having another change to the players in the campaign. The ranger player is leaving town, so tonight's session will be his last. We've recruited a new 4th player, who I haven't actually met yet. He's the boyfriend of the woman playing the sorceress. Apparently, he made a paladin character, and he'll be joining us for the first time tonight.
I already told them to level up to 3rd level before today's session and start the new PC at level 3, so they'll all be level 3 for Thistletop. Given that we'll probably spend the start of today's session finalizing everyone's details of leveling up, finalizing the new PC's details, and on rest/healing from last week's adventure, it'll probably take half the session before they even start out to Thistletop.
Something they don't realize yet is that the cavalier has 4 points of poison damage from the vargouille in the Catacombs that can't be healed magically without a tough caster check. Luckily, that was the fort save he missed, not the one against its kiss, which would have transformed him into a vargouille himself. And re-reading the description now, it's just magical healing that won't work on that, so two nights' rest should be enough to heal him back up.
The ranger player already said last week that he's actually hoping to get his PC killed before he leaves - go out in a blaze of glory or something like that. But I doubt that will happen if we stick to the main story, given the difficulty of what they're facing at the entrance to Thistletop. I don't expect them to get far enough to face the tough parts tonight. If he survives, I could keep his character around as an NPC, since they could use the extra firepower.
But I was also considering throwing in something outside the main storyline, just to have some fun with it. The ranger PC did come to Sandpoint specifically looking for the Sandpoint Devil - maybe I'll let him find it. That ought to be enough to kill him. :D I'd just have to be extra careful not to kill all of them if I do that, but I'm thinking it makes logical sense for the SD to target the guy hitting it with cold iron arrows, then take his body away to eat while mostly ignoring the rest of the group, if they're not in its way. Like I said, I'd have to be careful with this, but I think it could work. I'll probably ask the group what they want to do with the ranger's character (keep him around as an NPC or not), then throw in the extra optional encounter if they're ok with him dying.