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Machine Soldier

GM Tribute's page

3,165 posts. Alias of Chainmail.


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Well, I was going to take the weekend, but was told I was not responding at all. Three players have major problems how things are going. I have problems with those three players. Why would we want to continue this? As I said before, we do this to have fun.

I think the feedback is all well and good. I think your opinion is that you do not like how things have went so far. Boram and Dvalin echo your feelings. You do not want to make new characters, and feel that in some ways I am unfair and arbitrary.

I do not take any of that personally. So, I mentioned I recognize I am not going to change my style significantly; it has mostly worked. I think we just accept that we have a poor match here, and you do not like how things have went so far. Some others may want to continue as things have been going, but you do not. Let us not continue what will only get worse if we continue to game together, trust me on this one. Best to find out earlier than later.

You ask me my opinion. My opinion is that older styles of play are very much at odds with newer styles. Having played with some pretty good roleplayers, I try to stay true what I think they wanted roleplaying to be. For me, the best games were like rollercoaster rides and sometimes you just went along for the ride. Stopping to question the mechanics at every step spoils the flow. You do not like my style, but there are many other styles on these boards to choose from. PFS games are very much RAW and mechanics intensive, and PFS games have to take all pathfinder content--they may be more to your liking.

So if Aaagggh, Tegnar, Yarask and Dolgrym want to continue, we will do so.

Except you were IN the plague house, so they couldn't find you.

Good point

Let us wait till the holidays are over.

The assassins actually are supposed to attack you while you sleep, probably making the encounter harder. The situation as it played out left all those who were wearing good armor wearing armor. The daytime ambush also makes an extended battle impractical, so I could say time was on your side if the fight was extended. It also originally put two assassins with the rogues unable to use their best feat because it required three of them to activate and the rogues had not started any care and could be alert--then there was insistence that Ogden was there, and extended care had started. With Ogden moved into the inn, that advantage went away.

We can argue that extended care allows patients to be as fully alert as those on sentry duty--but I don't buy that--I assessed a -4 perception penalty and no actual sleeping was involved, just resting.

Anyway, I have had more discussions about game mechanics, rulings, and NPC behavior in this game, than all the other games I have run on these boards over two and half years combined. That does not bode well for our continued success.

There was the time in my homebrew a trap hurt some PCs outside a gnoll cave, and the gnolls came out and attacked the PCs while they were still hurt with acid burning them. I was told that the CR of the trap and the CR of the gnolls was OK, but putting them one right after the other was not allowed. I guess the gnolls were supposed to look out the peephole and wait for the party to recover.

Well here is the situation and it is much worse as I read ahead. You would have full time care and recover 2 STR points and the party wizard will still be diseased, even if he makes his first save of two. Tegnar will most likely recover from his disease, but he could conceivably not. You will probably get one 8 hour rest (no full time care possible in this time) before the end of this chapter. That has you running through many encounters still gimped.

So, to not punish the rest of the group, Boram and Dvalin die in the ambush so they can have new characters that will not gimp the rest of the party. I do not know if refusing magic healing was a way to keep WBL intact because first level characters are a 'free resource' or not, but in this case we say the first level characters happen to be a free resource. Carrying gimped characters through the rest of this chapter that can't pull their weight is not an option I wish to pursue. Continuing the encounter at the inn and the ensuing discussion that will inevitably follow is not very productive in my opinion.

I had a friend of mine look at this thread, and he suspected that the healing is being declined to game the system. No old school gamer would refuse healing at rates close to cost that consumed one seventh of the party wealth from a LG temple. He said Ogden should live because he was not there and could not earn experience--that is how it is done at many FTF games--unplayed characters are in sancturary, safe from plunder and death, but no xp gain. I explained that botted characters expect to earn full experience. Nevertheless, I can have Ogden recover, maybe assassins are suspicious about killing a holy man. In the end, party wealth is 1000gp higher following this line, whether it was intentional or not.

Oh, another spoiler, you are asked to help the town in the rest of this chapter with no explicit reward. Please do not play a character that will say no--as then the entire group gets to go to the next chapter of the AP at level 2.

Finally, I will move things along as I have in the past and I will make an attempt to make all characters get their voices heard. My friend said that a vocal minority is influencing the majority of the parties actions. If we got problems, let me know now. No hard feelings if anyone wants to bail. I need four characters of any kind to continue, no matter their classes.

No reroll needed

We are at the point where we just consider that our styles are not matching. I have been DMing a long time, my style is not going to change. The number of decisions, from combat setup, to NPC behavior, to rules adjudication, to pushing the narrative that have been questioned has been quite high. I may not be as good a DM as I think I am. It is probably time to take a Confidence/No Confidence vote to quote a political term.

So anyway, let us see if this type of game I am running is where we really want to be. I will not be offended if the you give me a poor rating.

I just cannot see revisiting the amount of decisions and adjudications at our current rate. If you don't want to give me feedback here, just PM me. Not many mean it when the want honest feedback, but I really do. We do this to have fun, and we should.

Let us consider the once per day posting requirement in gameplay suspended for a while.

Some react faster than others.
Surprise round movement-- a charge gives you movement times 1 and no weapon draw--the squares are 20' as before in the wolf fight. Notice the crossbows are more than 30' away preventing a sneak attack crossbow shot.


assassins +0: 4d20 ⇒ (13, 13, 13, 13) = 52xbow: 4d8 ⇒ (5, 8, 3, 3) = 19

The assassins unload their bolts, two at Aargh and two at Yarask. They are holding their light crossbows in their left hand and a dripping alchemical blade in their left hand.
Two bolts hit Aargh and he drops his chicken and falls 13damage
ROUND 1 Full actions
Returning Shoppers


Some of you have std actions and full round actions -- so remember the maps squares are 20'

In the Inn
Dvalin and Boram had followed instructions and laid on the cots, not fully going to sleep they were not fully alert either. The entrance of the figures caught everyone by surprise but Dvalin. Dvalin grabbed the crossbow at hand due to his training as a shocked Ogden found himself attacked by a trio of assassins and driven to the ground bleeding.
att assassin 1/damage: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 222d6 ⇒ (6, 6) = 12
In his fugue state, Dvalin finds himself prone with a crossbow as three assassins stand over the fallen and bleeding Ogden. His feet kicks Boram, who reacts faster than expected. He finds himself prone with weapons at hand too. In the half orc hands seem to be a strange alchemical blade, shining in the light and coated with a strange mixture.

Order Surprise
Round 1


For encounter balance there is one assassin per PC.

Sleeping adds 10 to the surprise 16 Perception DC, I decided you were 40% asleep for resting for obvious reasons--Dvalin makes his check barely.

GROUP 2 - Back from Shopping
Anyone who rolls PER 16 or higher notices the caped figures with light crossbows and acts in surprise round

Dolgym std action
Tegnar ?
Aaagh no

Sorry for the mine fog

The coordinated attacks bring the creature down!!! An exhaustive search yields no treasure. ;-(

The way through the side door is uncovered and you enter the house proper!!

Two stone tables sit against the western wall of this room,
while a third occupies the southeastern corner. A small, square
wooden butcher’s block stands in the northeast corner, now
almost collapsing under its own weight. A stone oven sits in the
middle of the north wall. A humanoid skeleton lies beneath the
northwestern table, surrounded by smashed crockery. A door to
the east and an open doorway to the south exit the room.

The skeleton does not arise, and Dusty assures you it is inanimate and not danger as you enter.

Map is revealed

Doorways, openings with no door, lead south and west.

The statue that 'judges by taste' is still there. The underdark thieves continue to speak to you down the elevator shaft.

You consider what else besides blood to give to the statue.

The high pitched elf asks: "Did you not bring mining equipment to tunnel back here to the top? Red rover, red rover send up the pretty elf we hear talking over--or up if you will."

No problem, I have Ogden starting his care as soon as you arrive at the inn.

I assumed Dvalin planned to have Ogden return by three to start his care from 3PM to 11AM then next day. Plus I tried to avoid having any of the party in resting status. But it is what it is.

I also didn't want to use his 6 perception rolled with you guys, but then those are the breaks. This has some tough encounters. Sometimes I try to alter things to throw a break here and there. Maybe the gunslinger forgot to load all his charges, maybe the mage decided to wear leather armor for some extra protection and a spell failure chance.

No Problem, I was again trying to make things less challenging.

Cham, under instruction from Rock, prepared the common room to sleep the entire group and closed her inn for the day and left ample refreshments as Kurst had paid for only the best ale and mutton.

Although the inn was closed, when the doors opened, the three that entered were not patrons, they looked dangerous. Ogden was up fully alert, and Boram and Dvalin had begun to take their rest. Ogden did not notice the half orcs had weapons and advanced until it was too late. but he had on some breastplate.

The rest of the group was returning from their time at the Barterstones. It appears converting over 1000gp worth of treasure in a small town requires some significant work on the merchants side to get together enough cash for lockets, gold boxes, gems, and other valuables.

After being slightly distracted by the crowd, the quartet of caped figures may have been difficult to see.

I am moving Ogden to inn group

Ogden, Tegnar=>Inn if we came back later afternoon, shopping if we came back early afternoon.

Boram and Dvalin need help to leave with their gear as the rats have left them quite weak. The sun is almost exactly overhead, the day not even half over yet, and you consider returning to town.

Boram 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Dvalin 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Enemy 1 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19

Ogden 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Aaargh 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Yarask 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Dolgrym 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Tegnar 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Enemy 2 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2

For fight 2 the initiative went well :-)

As the two rogues sip spirits in the common room, the rest of the group heads to town to convert the treasure to coins. Everything was supposedly for sale at the Barterstones outside of town.

I might as well run both encounters together.

Cham, under instruction from Rock, prepared the common room to sleep the entire group and closed her inn for the day and left ample refreshments as Kurst had paid for only the best ale and mutton.

Although the inn was closed, when the doors opened, the two that entered were not patrons, they looked dangerous.

The rest of the group was returning from their time at the Barterstones. It appears converting over 1000gp worth of treasure in a small town requires some significant work on the merchants side to get together enough cash for lockets, gold boxes, gems, and other valuables.

After being slightly distracted by the crowd, the quintet of caped figures may have been difficult to see.

I will let everyone roll perception, remembering to add any favored enemy bonus versus orcs.

Some of the group had mused about why the trolls and half orcs ran away so quickly at midnight, not even staying around for a moment--leaving a prisoner locked tightly away. Maybe the ones meeting at the Plague House weren't in charge of delivering retribution?

So Aggghh went shopping. He is ambling home from his trip. Who is with him? He probably couldn't carry all that loot?

Don't level up yet.

Just update who went shopping and who stayed at the Inn

I assume Ogden, Dvalin and Boram and maybe Tegnar stayed back? And annotate what items were left back at the inn--the dagger?.

I have tried to curb my attempts to railroad you too much.

Having decided to turn down healing, and the potion of fire, you leave the market and find a crowd following you back to town trying to sell you things. Many of the sellers have costume jewelry, roasted pigs and other things they are hoping you will buy.

The alchemist does tell you the stuff you found was made by a master alchemist, one similar in skill to the one who make the white paint that was plastered all over town. He does not have enough mundane gear, acid, achemists fire, thunderstones to make up for the price you want for the glue.

You return to the inn to find Ruby and Othdan. It appears they went to the Clamor and Othdan has decided to keep Rodrik's dagger.

Kurst has picked up you tab at the inn and is delighted you solved the murder of his brother. He reiterates the invitation to attend Rodrik's funeral tomorrow and hands Rock a sack of gold to cover your stay at the inn and any celebration that may ensue. Kurst and Rock make plans to investigate a nearby orc tribe to get some more information about the orcs and look for trollsign in the surrounding forests.

Rock says "Take care while I am gone and set a watch. You may want to all have Cham put cots in this room so you can all stay together."

The individual rooms are ten by ten, the common room is thirty by thirty. Both have windows on one side and an interior door. The common room also has an exterior door.
Obviously this is relevant. Update character purchases, determine a 3 shift watch schedule (if asked if setting a watch, the answer is always yes), and in the morning you will have reached all the prerequisites for level 2--determine if you want to be in ten by ten rooms or the big 30x30 room.

As the interchange at the temple goes south, the plan to convert treasure to hard currency progresses quickly. The town of Trunau had not seen such treasures in quite a while, so when the dwarves showed up at the Barterstones, the great outdoor market just outside the north gate (area N on the map), with their accumulated wealth, the merchants of Trunau had to scramble to get the coins to purchase the items. Buyers were found for all the items except for one. The golden box, the campfire bead, the knives, the holy symbol, the gems, and many more. It was selling the tiny bottle with two ounces of liquid that was the problem. The alchemist there admitted it was mighty powerful stuff, but he didn't want to part with the serious coin it was worth. He was willing to trade his powerful potion of resist fire for an ounce though in true swap meet fashion.

As the dwarves left the market, it was clear that they were more wealthy than the great majority of the inhabitants of Trunau.

Magical items are limited in a small town, and Trunau was no exception. For sale at the market was +1 heavy steel shield, +1 light crossbow, cowardly crouching cloak, oil of shillelagh, ring of spell knowledge I, scroll of divine power, scroll of magic weapon, and a fully charged wand of magic missiles The alchemist that did not want the expensive alchemists stuff had a Potion of resist fire (30) for 1100gp in addition to more common alchemical fare.

You were informed that Omast has a +2 greatsword for sale.

The gold box can be sold for 700gp as it is made of a fair amount of gold. Campfire bead for 360gp.

Sturdy breastplate and mwork longsword both can be used by a dwarf-- can get about 300gp for both.

"About 100 platinum should do it, give or take some depending on how the spells work out" says the high priest.

Actually the rats yield only a slight hit, as you have 520 gp in treasure from them plus a breastplate plus 16 charges of CLW wand.

You will get up to 2 STR back per day with rest and an Ogden heal check--though you know events will soon pick up so you may need to get around. Your haul still is pretty good. Lesser restorations don't come cheap for a d4 recovery. Cure diseases don't come cheap either, and you got two diseases.

These three: silver dagger
red gold holy symbol
six small onyx gems
Can be sold for 520gp total

Othdan seems reluctant to trust the dwarves. "Give me that one and I will let you know later today which one I will keep. The one I have was truly Rodrik's and awarded me by the captain of the guard. You have taken my treasure, and I do not trust you. I will return the one I do not want to you at dinner time."

You can decide if you want to take him up on his offer.

As the party makes their way to see the healers, they find out that they are incubating two sets of the bleeder's disease and three of their number have suffered from a drain on their strength from the rats. The high priestess notes that you are not members of the order, and calls for the scrolls of healing to be brought out of the archives.

Ogden knows that the high priestess seems to be getting scrolls that can address the diseases and strength drain.
"You have brought me maladies that require some major healing to remedy. I assume you have some means to reimburse us? I may be able to pray for some help today, but this amount of curative powers is quite massive. I will pray to the Inheritor and return in a half an hour if you wish to be healed."

Lesser restoration and cure disease are what will probably be used. The priestess will probably pray for a while to fill an empty slot or two to avoid using all scrolls.

I had him 15 years old. The module calls him a boy.

Making him and Ruby have history, the old boy from the other side of the tracks story, I used to give him motivation to snoop around the Plague House. Giving him the hopeknife just seemed cool.

The boy has Rodrik's love, you still have the other. Sadly, the guard leader is not a magic-user. He knows it is well made and work about 300gp with no enchantment on it.

Omast nods as Boram gives his story. Ogden helps out, and confirms some points, he then takes the platinum coins, claiming that it is dwarven property.

Before anyone can say anything, Ruby puts up a hand: "I'll make things right with Othdan."

sense motive DC 12:
You notice Ruby and Othdan seem to have some romantic tension.

Omast seems quite agitated at Yarask's words, and nods to the hopeknife on the table. "Rodrik did not commit suicide. I did not let him down. We are already mustering the guard. We will also have Rodrik's funeral tomorrow at sunset at the Flame of the Fallen. You dwarves are all invited as you have proven one of our best did not take the cowards way out. I thank you."

He adds: "The boy spotted a meeting of a pair of half orcs and a pair of trolls. One of the half orcs knocked him out and locked him up in a room without food or water or light for three days. He thought you were going to kill him for his treasure of 55 platinum, which is quite a bit of wealth. He wanted to get outside as soon as possible and get away when you were not going to let him keep the treasure he found. It appears in all things, Othdan was right. He is a remarkable boy, maybe even a man."

He takes the hopeknife from Ruby and looks at it with a keen eye as he tests its balance then hands it to Othdan. "This should make up the difference for you boy. Carry it with pride. Consider this your ceremony a year early. You always liked Rodrik, you might as well have his hopeknife."

This seems to make Othdan happy and he nods.

Omast mentions to Rock: "You may want to visit the temple of Iomedae. If you are not of their order, you may have to pay for their services."

Othdan smiles and hands Yarask a small bead. "This bead I lifted from my captors kept me warm and gave me light while locked away. I want you to have it."

Yes, the boy had this according to the module and gives it to his rescuer if they get him back.

Bead, Campfire:

Aura faint evocation; CL 1st

Slot none; Price 720 gp; Weight —


This tiny glass bead transforms itself into a small (2-foot-tall) pile of burning logs whenever its command word is spoken. The fire burns for 8 hours or until extinguished, at which point it turns back into a bead. The owner of the item must wait twice as long as the fire burned before he can order the bead to become a campfire again.

Construction Requirements

Craft Wondrous Item, produce flame; Cost 360 gp

4+2+4=10Str damage, I think I miscounted earlier
Heading back to town the dwarves find a large group gathered in the Longhouse, the barracks where the guards reside. In their headquarters the guards have their own common room where the young boy you saw earlier, Ruby, Rock, a somewhat intoxicated Omast, and three or the town militia are having a heated discussion.

As you walk in Ruby is explaining to Omast: "Maybe the dwarves have claim to the platinum they took from Othdan. Rock says it was minted by his clan."

You can tell by the expressions that the Othdan has told his story, and his story did not cast you in a favorable light. As you enter, Ruby speaks: "Othdan has told his story, and we are mustering the guard. What happened in the Plague House?"

I put you in the central hall of the area 1000ft under the temple. You took the elevator down.You can return to the elevator, you can return to the magic statue by the portucullises, you have explored the other rooms including the teleporter to the lab that is just a single stone walled room with no doors. You have exhaustively explored this level and the gates obviously lead to something important.

Finished up things quickly, as it was almost over.

Yarask activates his dagger and prepares for a lethal swipe. Ogden misses grabbing a rat, and the magic stones have yet to connect.

Thinking better of moving, Dvalin holds his ground I assume no move as 5' steps are not possible on difficult terrain.

4d20 ⇒ (13, 4, 14, 11) = 422d2 ⇒ (1, 1) = 22d2 ⇒ (2, 1) = 3[/

Ogden: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 181d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Dolgrym: 1d20 + 3 - 4 ⇒ (5) + 3 - 4 = 4
next attack: 1d20 ⇒ 171d2 ⇒ 2
Yarask: 1d20 ⇒ 15

Two rats bite Dvalin, and his weakened response fails to connect. A rat is smashed by Yarask and Ogden touches a third, shattering the rat with a holy light as his body explodes. The last rat bites at Dvalin again before the raging Yarask hits it with the dagger and slices it to bits. Weakened by the rats, Dvalin feels very weak. 4 more STR damage from three rat bites bringing the total to 8.

Combat Over

The dwarves do finally clear the room and find the body has........
A sturdy set of breast plate (in good condition) a wand that has thong around it, which Aargh identifies as a healing wand (CLW=CL1 @16 charges), a fine silver dagger, a red gold holy symbol Ogden identifies as that of Nulgreth the blood god, and six small onyx gems.

Boram and Dvalin need help to leave with their gear as the rats have left them quite weak. The sun is almost exactly overhead, the day not even half over yet, and you consider returning to town.

The teleporter leads to a dead end room.

I assumed everyone returned that left.

Activating the dagger is a standard--may need to have the rat die a little later.

I gave rogues +1 to stealth and perception per level in addition to allowing them to put full skill points in those skills. Given how important seeing ambushes is, I figured it would come in handy. If Boram and Dvalin BOTH want to exchange that for rogue unchained, we can do that (I did reconsider, and want our rogue upgrade to be consistent -- rogue unchained is growing on me).

And actually Boram went into a cave and was ambushed by rats of the shadow. I figured he would consider it happening a very real possibility.

If you can achieve concealment, achieving surprise is a very real possibility. Invisibility sphere is a great way to do this. It may be easier for four tiny rats than a party of dwarves, but breaking contact and hiding is just smart for stealthy creatures. If the rats weren't inherently evil, they would probably would have fled.

The magic bolt from the mage damages a rat, but the magic stones fail to connect with the tiny creatures.

4d20 ⇒ (13, 5, 1, 18) = 372d2 ⇒ (1, 1) = 2

The rats bite at Dvalin and two of them nip the dwarf 2STR damage

Yarask then attacks and the dagger hits the disembodied rat and the magic is sufficient to kill it.

Round 1
Round 2

3 rats, one injured

I rolled Ogden's perception, not his attack.

I do not typically allow readied actions outside of initiative. An entire party could walk around with readied actions all day.

The elven voice continues as it resonates down the long well: "We have found some interesting things up here, maybe they open the magic gates down there? We may never know."

You find yourselves in the room with three gates again. Unsure how to get them to open.

Moving into the room, the light from the dagger is bright. There are still shadows, but the room is quite bright, and the rats are nowhere to be seen. Yarask moves right behind, ready to back up Dvalin, and ignite the second dagger if needed. The wizard moves near the door to pick up Boram's pack. Dvalin approaches the body.....

Dvalin perception: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 5 + 2 = 11
Yarask perception: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 5 + 2 = 8

The rats move to attack Dvalin before he can react, appearing from the rubble to his right. Two bite at him, and he does not feel any physical bite, but his strength is sapped somewhat -4 STR damage to Dvalin.

rats: 4d20 ⇒ (8, 6, 19, 20) = 53confirm: 1d20 ⇒ 4str: 2d2 ⇒ (2, 2) = 4

Boram 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Dvalin 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Ogden 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Aaargh 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Yarask 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Dolgrym 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Tegnar 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Enemy 1 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12

per Ogden: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17 Since Ogden didn't see the rats, and his readied action doesn't trigger, he gets to roll again!!

This time, the rats are visible in the light of the dagger, though still insubstantial. Unfortunately their hiding place was not discovered until too late.

Round 1


The elf shrugs: "They have been sneaking in and out of the shrine for days. The bad man that is here complained about them. Then all these other thieves kept showing up looking for treasure."

The magic portcullises were a dead end, you couldn't get them open.

Looking around, you find no hat to activate the other lever. Maybe it is gone, maybe someone took it.

The room with the lab is a dead end at the end of the lever that does work.

The group is back together with two ways to go. Up the magic elevator, or through the obviously very magic guide to the portucullises. They have their unhappy elf prisoner, and ran into the drow and deep gnome they met earlier, who seem to be taunting them.

You can try to get the pack and body left behind. You know there will be lots of shadows in the rubble room. Maybe that rats defend their home, maybe they flee.

Yarask joins the group a little after the rats retreat (2 rounds)

I tend not to track who has what items, I normally let the party do that. When you split up, I asked who and what went where. It turns out this time it mattered, as some think Yarask had a dagger, some think he did not. Some think Boram had dagger, he thought he did not. Let us at least have each item on ONLY ONE character sheet. If it is not on a character sheet, Rock has it locked away in his super secret lockbox.

Anyway, main decision, go after the rats with two daggers, or return to town. Dvalin has ten rounds of ghost touch, the other dagger hasn't even been lit up yet.

4d20 ⇒ (3, 5, 20, 5) = 331d20 ⇒ 19

The dagger flares to life, and the rats move to Tegnar and stop. They bite at him, and a single rat hits the fighter in a vulnerable spot, making him weaker. The rats rush back into the shadows of their room, hiding in the rubble.

Tegnar takes 2d2 ⇒ (1, 2) = 3 STR damage

Combat over unless you wish to go back into the room

For first level characters, who usually don't have access to restoration, one point per day or two points per day with successful heal check.

This was the encounter I was hoping to avoid, as it is somewhat of a resource sink.

Boram drops his pack and withdraws just outside the door, taking care to not provoke the rats.
Restricted withdraw = 15' three squares

I think acrobatics has some limitations.
You cannot use Acrobatics to move past foes if your speed is reduced due to carrying a medium or heavy load or wearing medium or heavy armor.

He gets about four-five if he drops down to 22 pounds and ignores the acrobatics.

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