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Rise of the Runelords

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Name of PC: Ryll Kor (Female Aasimar)
Class/Level: Paladin 3 (Sarenrae)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Naulia (re-statted as an Antipaladin 6 (Lamashtu))
Story: After exploring the lower level of Thistletop and a run-in with Malfeshnikor ("we shut the door and put a 'Do Not Open' sign on it in every language we know"), the heroes last bit of exploration brought them to Naulia. Naulia was accompanied by a Yeth Hound and Erylium (whom had escaped from the catacombs after the party first encountered her). During the fight, The party maneuvered to gain better position, but the Yeth Hound tripped Ryll. Naulia, recognizing Ryll's allegience to Sarenrae, moved next to the still-prone Ryll and attacked. Ryll was brought to negative HP, but staved off death. With Ryll unconscious, Naulia turned her attention to another hero on the following round. On her next turn, Naulia blasted Ryll into the afterlife with a negative energy channel.
Naulia was killed shortly after Ryll's death. When the heroes determined that the Sihedron Medallion functioned as gentle repose, they quickly hatched a plan to preserve their fallen comrade for the trip back to Sandpoint. From there, they intend to travel to Magnimar with Ryll's body to have her raised.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Name of PC:Alamander
Class/Level:9th level Fire Elementalist wizard
Adventure:Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst:Adventuring party that uses the same tactics from fight to fight with no imagination that relies almost entirely on brute strength and massive damage.

Story:
The party defeated the Hounds of Tilandos and then proceeded to enter Mokmurians chamber. Follwing the tactics for Mokmurian pretty much word for word from the book Mokmurian pretty easily handled the group.With his high AC and Stoneskin the groups melee were all but useless and the Wizard and Alchemist could do nothing with their fire damage.Well a failed save on a Disintegrate spell turned the Wizard into a pile of dust.After the Wizard dropped and the Alchemist was Baleful Polymorphed into a frog I pretty much had to dumb down Mokmurians tactics and attacks or it would have been the end of the campaign.


Name of PC: Viorel
Class/Level: Varisian witch 7
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Victim of Lamashtu's vengeance.
Note: Those events were included in a custom encounter tailored for the party right at the start of HMM.

After defeating Xanesha without a single PC death, the PCs earned a well-deserved rest. However, Lamashtu decided to exploit the PCs' weakened sanity and sent an Animate Nightmare (as Animate Dream, in Bestiary 2) to avenge her dead scion Nualia.

The Animate Nightmare proceeded to feed on the characters' own dreams to take shape and affect them. It chose to manifest in the PCs' nightmares via his spell. For instance, the witch dreamt that he was covered with his own pox pustules and started scraping his own flesh, tearing through it. The shoanti fighter was attacked by an oversized baby as he feared that his "fiddling" with Shayliss Vinder (in BO) would result in an unwanted pregnancy (it actually did, but that's another story). Thus, the Animate Nightmare started harrassing the PCs with his Nightmare spells, preventing them from regaining their arcane spells.

One day after the start of the journey to Fort Rannick, it finally made his final move and attacked. The ranger PC went down with Deep slumber, Shalelu ran away after she was hit by the creature's Fear spell, and the rest of the fight went pretty badly, mainly because of the party's inability to deal with a flying incorporeal creature. The witch, who was one of the only threat to the Animate Nightmare, went down a first time but saved himself using two hero points to cheat death. He chose to play dead, but dropped his act one round later to cast a Cure Critical Wounds on the fighter, thus saving the whole group from a certain TPK. Of course, the Animate Nightmare turned to the unfortunate witch and finally killed him with a single touch.


Shisumo wrote:
Got a PC to -5, but that's about it. (shrug) They haven't gotten into the Catacombs or Thistletop yet, though, so who knows?

1st session and the Elven, kid, Rogue Magus jumped off of a roof with huge success (doing a flip) and then slicing a goblin for pathetic damage.

Next attack the goblin got Crit the character, dealing triple damage and 5 bleed!

This took the character down to -2 and the only thing that saved her was the fact Goblins are chaotic. After the bleed that took him down to -2 on the round the Goblin chose to attack a random civilian instead of disemboweling the unconscious body in front of him, the party Witch used cure light wounds on him to bring him up to 3hp.

After the encounter, Father Zantus was still around, unsure of what to do, so I had him channel 2d6 positive energy to heal everyone before their next two encounters.

One of the PC's (the Witch) went to 0hp, but apparently cure light wounds isn't a strenuous activity, so she healed and carried on fighting.

Overall, they did better than I had hoped.

The fun for me as a GM is acting like the creatures they're up against, so if they're brutal and would attack downed, unconscious creatures, then I'll get them to attack them on the ground. If they fight to KO, I use non lethal etc.

The mounted Goblin Commando didn't stand a chance, even though it crit against the Witch, getting her to 0hp.

Not bad for our first part of the adventure. Everyone's half way to levelling up too.


Name of PC: Zeddicus & his faithful animal companion.(Male gnome and a Wolf)
Class/Level: Druid 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Gogmurt and hi animal companion.
Story: While exploring the Thistle tunnels the party reaches the area with the howling hole. The party alchemist decided this would be the best spot to fight any creatures in the tunnels so he blows his signal horn. This of course notifies every goblin in the tunnels so they all converge on the spot. Gogmurt's fire pleat leopard stats battle by hitting the party's rogue hard, taking her down. Zeddicus moves in to heal her, but draws attention from the leopard, taking him down to negative hp in 2 rounds.

Zeddicus' wolf would had help except it was sent to fight Gogmurt. Gogmurt's flaming sphere hit the wolf and took him down, and he never got up again.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Name of PC: Brim (Male half-orc)
Class/Level: Sorcerer 1/Fighter 4/Dragon Disciple 5
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: A stone golem and a butt-load of bad luck!
Story: While making their way through the lower reaches of Jorgenfist, the party found the stone golem guarding the runeslave cauldron. It was a pitched battle with the silent behemoth as it pounded them relentlessly. They were whittling way at it, until my wife, the paladin, fumbled and sliced Brim a decent chop from her scimitar. A relentless slam in the round by the golem had Brim in a tender spot, but he went for the damage to wear the construct out. Unfortu nately, he chose that time to roll a '1'. Drawing his card, he hung his head and announced that he critted himself. One blow, 34 hit points of damage that took him to -24 hp from his own greatsword.

Now the group has a delicious quandary... They are down their heavy hitter; they are in a very dangerous dungeon with sensitive time slipping away; and in order to sneak out and try to get him resurrected, a lot of luck would be needed in backtracking. OR, they could simply call on the devil that owes them a favor. What's the worst that could happen, right?

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

BTW, the paladin does not know that there is a powerful devil out there that owes the wizard a debt. This is up to the party's wizard to figure out THAT delicate little dance...

Qadira

Name of PC: Aamon Vosh
Class/Level: Cleric 14 (Great Old Ones, Void and Chaos Domains)
Adventure: Spires of Xin-Shalast
Catalyst: Rune Giant
Story: I Placed 2 Rune Giants at "The Teeth" to guard the entrance to the occlusion field and warn Karzoug when the party reached that level. It also kind of seemed to fit thematically as a nice welcome to that last major setting of the campaign.

Aamon was primarily staying out of reach and casting helpful spells, as clerics often do. However, he felt compelled to come to the aid of an unconscious comrade, and in so doing put himself into harm's way.

He was hit twice by a rune giant's longsword, including a critical hit, and also absorbed a shower of sparks. That put him at -13 hit points, and he has a 14 constitution. He therefore had ONE chance to stabilize before dying, needing a 20, which he failed. Svevenka had joined the party and arrived 1 action too late to revive him.

She was, however, able to reincarnate him after the battle, and in what I would call one of the greatest twists of irony so far in an adventure path full of them, Aamon's soul was returned to the Material Plane in the form of...

drum roll please...

a GOBLIN!

You know what's even better? Aamon still carried a +1 dogslicer the party had looted in the first chapter, in case he needed a slashing weapon! He's already started to see the Cavalier's horse in an all-new way.

Everyone raise a mug in memory of Aamon! (Even if he was a little creepy. Now he's just a little creep!)


Name of PC: Dack Helvin
Class/Level: Barbarian 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Goblins, bad luck and PC
Story: Charging in without thinking alongside the Magus-Rogue, Dack quickly became surrounded by Goblins.

They failed to trip Tristan (Magus), but successfully tripped Dack and after many failed strength checks, the Goblins piled onto him one by one and began to carry him over to the furnace.

Hannah cast enlarge person on him to make it impossible for the Goblins to move him, but died, causing the spell to wear off.

As the spell wore off, it was already mathematically impossible for Dack to break out, but he shrunk back down to normal size and after going out of his way to constantly punch and knock out Jeffrey (the other Barbarian) the womaniser, Jeffrey felt bullied by him and decided to aid the Goblins in carrying him to the furnace....

With a decent strength check, he was pushed in, surviving the first 6d6 of fire damage (barely), only for the GMPC Cleric to come in and heal him for full on the Cure Mod Wounds, where he woke up to more pain, only for the Barbarian to Coup De Grace him.

After the surviving Magus and my GMPC cleared out the rest of the Glassworks, Brik (GMPC) pulled what was left of Dack out of the furnace, where he had a wheelbarrow to wheel him off (it was easier than carrying him and he already had Hannah over his shoulder, so figured he;d use one of the Wheelbarrows found in the basement) for a public funeral ceremony.

With a melted face, bubbled up eyes and skin, clothes fused with his body and molten glass rapidly drying on his cold, lifeless corpse (from the waist up), his body hit the wheelbarrow.

On impact, a gut wrenching crunch could be heard, as the glass covering his body broke, shattered and splintered, causing a gruesome mess of blood, flesh and skin.

Dack's player no longer plays in this campaign, but it's no surprise as he laughed when my favourite character died and rubbed it all in, but couldn't accept the death of his own character, claimed that he lost all enthusiasm for the campaign and told my usual GM he won't be playing in my game anymore, so I've not been in the know for a week, but I explained to him that my GMPC tried to save him and that Jeffrey will be punished.

It's not enough though.

Name of PC: Hannah
Class/Level: Witch 2 - Plague Domain with Spider Familiar
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Goblins and PC
Story: The Goblins overwhelmed the Witch (who was already injured the night before) and killed her outright in three moves.

This could have been prevented if Jeffrey aided the party instead of letting his emotions build up against the other Barbarian, but when two Barbarian's clash, there's little to no hope left.

Jeffrey has been knocked out, healed up, brought back to consciousness in cuffs, been knocked out again by the Magus, where he dragged Jeffrey to the town Prison (in Belor's office) and is now on his way with Brik as a witness, to Magnimar....

Jeffrey will be sentenced in court.

Now, this means I've currently got a party of 1 PC and 1 GMPC, as two characters are dead and one is quite possibly about to die (though the player no longer wishes to play as him, so no escapes will be had, but I may bring him back as a boss later on. Ironbriar may see to this). :)


Oohhh. Yea. I ave read some nasty accounts of party fights like this. Over at the Necromancer Games forums there are a few tales of outright murder happening. After one of these happens, every Dm should make sure to say 'Ok, no more of disasters like these. I'll end the game if Larry's twin brother shows up for revenge."


Andrea1 wrote:
Oohhh. Yea. I ave read some nasty accounts of party fights like this. Over at the Necromancer Games forums there are a few tales of outright murder happening. After one of these happens, every Dm should make sure to say 'Ok, no more of disasters like these. I'll end the game if Larry's twin brother shows up for revenge."

Haha!

Well, I won't end the game because 3/4 of the original players are still very much interested in seeing this to the end, but I might have another player join on Tuesday, who's the player who left's brother.

The guy controlling Dack (the murdered) said that he made a point of dealing non-lethal damage whenever he attacked Jeffrey (the murderer), so it was all Jeffrey's fault, but I told him that non-lethal or not, if you attack another character, whether you have valid in-game reasons or not, they're going to defend themselves and they have the right to, so as regrettable as it may be, I told him they were both responsible for his death and the loss of three party members.

I also mentioned that he has a habit of having characters who punch other PC's in the face, where he was swift to deny it, until he tried to justify what he said with proof, where he ended up listing three characters who have done it in the past.

Anyway, I said that hopefully now he can see that whether he does it in character or not, it causes conflict and this is one of the many results of it.

He didn't agree though, but hey, I have a decent funeral planned for him and everything, but he just won't be there to see it as he no longer wants a part of it.

I dunno, it takes two for an argument and as far as I can see, they were both very much responsible for the outcome. It's just unfair on the other two players (one, my usual GM and the other my gf) because now one needs to make a new character and the other (my gf) is the only Player Character alive. My brother has a new character coming in who shouldn't be disruptive in any way at all, but the person who somewhat instigated it all is the one sulking and refusing to play. Up to him though. :)

Full story thread on these Runelord's boards somewhere on the main page if you want all of the gory details btw.

On topic, the darker side of me is wanting some more deaths when the PC's (new and old) reach the Vargouille! >:D


I guess 'End the game' would be too harsh but giving the players a time-out until they can agree to stop that nonsense can work


Andrea1 wrote:

I guess 'End the game' would be too harsh but giving the players a time-out until they can agree to stop that nonsense can work

Well yea, I had a talk with the people involved just because I figured it would stop more arguments and get the game moving again, but due to making new characters and needing to work out how they can enter, I postponed it by a week, but even still, most of the players still hand in their character sheets late or the day before, which isn't really fair on me, so I'm tempted to just say where they are and have them deal with it.

They're really evasive when it comes to letting me see their characters, as well.

Ah well, anyway this topic is going to get de-railed if we carry on, so better not talk about it anymore. Not in here at least. :)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Name of PC: Ivan Class/Level:Magus 12 (Bladebound),
Name of PC: Jeevan Class/Level:Fighter 9/Chevalier 3
Name of PC: Bransen Class/Level:Oracle(Life)12
Adventure:Sins of the Saviors Part Two: Seeking Runeforge
Catalyst:Arkrhyst and unprepared PC's
Story: Surprise Round 1: After activating the statues and getting the keys to Runeforge the PC's failed to notice the dragon at the cave mouth so he buffed up and proceeded in to attack. Instead of just a straight up ambush I allowed another Perception check for the PC's to hear the dragon fly in for his initial attack. Two PC's make the perception check and two failed (Jeevan,Bransen). So we start a surprise round of combat with Bransen who is unaware so he takes no actions,Next up is Jeevan who is also unaware so he also takes no actions. The dragon is next and flies into position using his one standard action.Next is Blut who uses Inspire Courage, Ivan goes last and casts Displacement on himself ending the round.

Round 2:The Oracle casts Bears Endurance on the Bard and stands his ground.The Fighter moves into a more defensive position behind a statue. The dragon then moves into his attack position with Fly by Attack and uses his breath weapon catching everyone except the Fighter for 48 damage (all three failed their REF save),his fear aura goes off and the Bard failed his save and becomes shaken, the dragon then flies past the group preparing to turn and come back.The Bard runs to the east closer to the stairway that goes up the mountain and casts Vanish on himself. Then the Magus moves closer to a statue for cover and activates his Blackblade with Flaming/Shock and pumps it up to a +4 weapon thus ending the turn.

Round 3: Bransen double moves to try to get to cover and is losing HP to his life link. Jeevan now behind cover pulls out his Tankard of the Drunken Hero and takes a drink giving himself Heroism. The dragon turns and flies to Bransen and hits him for 16 points of damage with his bite and picks him up using snatch. Blut switches to his Bardic Performance: Rallying Cry and removes the fear effect from himself while moving closer to the stairs. Ivan launches a lightning Bolt hitting the dragon causing little damage and moves into position behind a statue ending the round.

Round 4: Bransen grappled in the dragons mouth uses a charge of Channel Positive Energy healing himself a decent amount but is still stuck. Jeevan activates his Ring of the Savage Beast and draws his bow.The dragon with Bransen still in his mouth flies up at full speed (I forgot to roll his bite damage again, Bransen is lucky).Blut moves at full speed and reaches the stairs. Ivan casts magic missile at the dragon which is absorbed by the dragons shield spell ending the round.

Round 5:Bransen attempts to free himself from the grapple and fails. Jeevan fires a arrow at the dragon and misses. The dragon flies up to 200 feet uses his breath weapon on Bransen dropping him to negative HP and as a free action lets go of him dropping him for 74 damage killing him. Blut casts Feather Step on himself and proceeds up the large stone stairs. Ivan casts Shield of the Dawnflower on him self and stays behind the statue for cover ending the round.

Round 6:Jeevan fires 3 arrows at the dragon missing with all. The dragon starts his decent to the ground. Blut continues up the stairs invisible. Ivan casts Shield on himself ending the turn.

Round 7:Jeevan launches 3 more arrows all missing the dragon. The dragon lands near Ivan and bites missing due to Displacement. Blut continues up the stairs. Ivan using spellcombat casting Mirror image on himself and attacks the dragon missing ending the round.

Round 8:Jeevan launches 3 more arrows all missing the dragon. The dragon uses his Blizzard ability causing a thick fog of snow. Blut continues up the stairs and into the cave. Ivan using spellcombat casts haste on himself and attacks 2 times missing the dragon ending the round.

Round 9:Jeevan now not being able to see the dragon puts his bow away and starts to move to Bransens mangled body. The dragon unleashed a full attack of bite,claw,claw,tail slap, wing and wing against Ivan but due to Displacement and Mirror image only hits with one wing for 14 damage. Blut continues deeper into the cave. Ivan using spell combat casts Vampiric Touch hitting the dragon and healing himself some but misses with his remaining 2 attacks ending the round.

Round 10:Jeevan moves to Bransen and picks up his body.The dragon unleashed another full attack of bite,claw,claw,tail slap, wing and wing against Ivan dragon using power attack hitting with a claw and a bite for 82 damage dropping and killing him. Blut continues to explore the cave ending the round.

Round 11+:Jeevan continues to flee with Bransens body. The dragon chases jeevan down, eventually biting and Snatching him taking him in the air breathing on him and dropping and killing him. Blut continues into the cave and end up eventually evading the dragon and making his way back to the party who uses Hero Points to keep their characters from being truly dead.

It will be interesting to see what the group does from here.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This happened a while ago, but I thought I might post it since it's mildly humorous.

Name of PC: Mortimer x3 (this is three different obituaries)
Class/Level: Halfling Bard 10
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants

Wait, he died 3 different times in the same adventure? Yep. These were the only deaths in the whole campaign.

How did that happen? Everything starts well enough. The Giant attack on Sandpoint didn't succeed, and our adventurers managed to get inside of the Fortress though the cliff entrance (the one that the kobold guards). Once inside, they decide to go scouting. Luckily, Mr. Mortimer has an invisibility spell handy.

This can only end well. Right. The rogue heads off one way, and Mortimer in the other. Eventually he finds what appears to be a shrine, and investigates. Unfortunately for him, it's haunted, and the ghost of a former stone giant elder decides to beat him into a bloody pulp while his limbs are frozen in fear. Fortunately, the cleric manages to rescue him (despite almost failing her saves against the spirit), and they revive poor Mortimer outside by the cliff entrance.

Well that's one down. They decide to go in the next day, and get further in after some painful combat encounters. The bottom floor was supposed to have a shrink trap, but since most of the party would actually benefit from that, I changed it into a Baleful Polymorph trap. Once again, only Mortimer fails his save, and is turned into a fluffy rabbit.

That's not really a death, though. True, but the cleric had no idea which of her spells would do the trick in this situation, or if she should risk using her dispel magic. While she's going over everything she prepared, the rogue calmly states, "I know what spell you need." He walks right up to the fluffy Mortimer, and slits his throat without a second thought. "Breath of Life."

That was... mean. Or resourceful, depending on who you ask. Mortimer was certainly freaked out at this point, however. When they finally arrived at the boss, Mokmurian, he felt obligated to gloat to them about how worthless the party was compared to his overwhelming magical might. Mortimer responded by questioning the size of his manhood. He got disintigrated.


TPK today, and it was brutally unfulfilling.

PCs:
Uriel - male LG Aasimar Paladin 1
Atali "Inkskin" Saar - female Human Barbarian 1
Lulu - Gnomeborn Changeling Witch 1
Zaru - Vanara Inquisitor (Sin Eater) 1

Location: The Sandpoint Glassworks

Cause of TPK: Tsuto Kaijitsu, 3 goblins, and a full encounter's worth of the most one-sided rolling I have ever seen.

The PCs arrived at the glassworks and confronted the goblins they found there with relative success, initially. The barbarian took 2 points of damage, the witch took 3, and the others were unharmed in their initial encounter, and they managed to defeat 5 goblins and reduce 2 of the 3 fleeing ones to half health with relative ease.

While the goblins regrouped with Tsuto downstairs, the PCs prepared what I considered to be an extremely well thought out ambush in the loading room at the top of the stairs. The paladin positioned himself in hiding around the corner from the stairwell door, the inquisitor stood with a crossbow bolt loaded and an extremely high stealth roll in the adjacent preparation room, ready to shoot through the door, which they'd left just barely ajar, and the barbarian and witch stood outside, just around the corner from the loading bay doors, and ready to move in and flank with the paladin when combat began.

And then things got bad. Tsuto and his remaining goblins arrived and the inquisitor and witch instantly became useless. All their attack rolls failed and every spell they cast was saved against.

The paladin failed to detect any evil on Tsuto (the half elf being a non-cleric/paladin humanoid with less than 5 HD not being detected by detect evil) and so attempted to smite one of the goblins. As soon as he triggered his smite, all his rolls began landing in the range of 1 to 5, and nothing hit.

The barbarian was the only one who managed to land a few attacks on the goblin, but she exhausted all her rounds of rage before doing so, and rolled 1 on the damage for both hits, not managing to finish of any goblins as a result.

The goblins on the other hand rolled well. Unlike the initial battle against all 8 of them, these three were landing about 2 hits per round among the 3 of them. Tsuto was the worst though. Every single d20 he rolled in that encounter, whether acrobatics checks to tumble through enemy squares, or actual attack rolls, came up as either a 19 or a 20, and the majority of his damage rolls came up as 5 and 6.

The PCs stood no chance. Not against Tsuto and the Goblins, but rather against foes they had no chance of besting: the dice.


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Hmmm.. In that case, I suggest a 'One time mercy redo'. I know Turin the Mad will have on his 'I am Disappoint' face but in this fight? Redo it, it saves time having to make new characters, get back to where they lost and having to deal with the messy consequences of coming in late


Andrea1 wrote:
Hmmm.. In that case, I suggest a 'One time mercy redo'. I know Turin the Mad will have on his 'I am Disappoint' face but in this fight? Redo it, it saves time having to make new characters, get back to where they lost and having to deal with the messy consequences of coming in late

Indeed. The players were sour from the encounter and we had to end the session there, but I basically said that because of the circumstances of the loss, I'll break my no do-overs rule and we can rewind to the start of the battle next session if they want to. I'm pretty sure they'll say yes.


Excellent. Even if they go for new characters, just suggesting that they file off the numbers of the olds ones and paste on new names will save everyone time


Name of PC: Deivon Varisian Beastrider Cavalier 4/Catspeaker Bard 2
Name of PC: Richter Half-Orc Inquisitor 6
Name of PC: Raz'Meral Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin 6
Name of PC: Jevel Varisian Dual Cursed Oracle of Life 6

Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders

Story: Our heroes finished mopping up the Skinsaw Cult led by Justice Ironbriar, after getting his journal deciphered, they headed to the Shadow Clock. They had heard rumors of the beast called 'The Scarecrow' and made their way to the site maintaining a low profile. It was the middle of the night when the creature returned from hunting the streets, it seemed to notice them, but went into the building without harassment. Then party went in, the Scarecrow tried to hide, but it spotted right away. The Paladin charged it landing solid blows and was promptly eviscerated by two strikes from the creatures sickle. The beast then went about the systematic slaughter of the rest of the group, some damage was done to it, but not nearly enough. In the end, the Scarecrow wore their skin...


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Name of PC: Gerald Arrowswift
Race/Class/Level: Dwarven Ranger 10
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: A bunch of stones from a giant
Story:

Spoiler:
Trying to defend Sandpoint against the giants, the dwarven ranger Gerald spotted Teractinus searching the Old Light. He quickly moved in to investigate along with Dienekes, the human fighter. Unfortunately for them the stone giant found the time to bury Gerald under a heap of rocks (favored enemy: dwarves helped a lot).

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Name of PC: Regula
Class/Level: Half-Elf Inquisitor 4
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Yeth Hounds
Story: Our Intrepid heroes were investigating Thistletop Goblin Hive they came across a pair of yeth Hounds, every single PC failed save two, the bard, and the Inquisitor. The bard chased after the PCs trying to Countersong them free of the fear. Regula bravely shielded her cowering teammate leaving her vulnerable to the claws of the Yeth Hounds. they cut her down mercilessly.

Regula was later Reincarnated as a Dwarf.


Honorable mentions (so close to death that the players had actually begun preemptively creating new characters during their fellow players' turns):

Names of PCs: Atali Saar & Zaru
Race/Class/Level (Atali): Female Human Barbarian 2/Sorcerer 2
Race/Class/Level (Zaru): Male Vanara Inquisitor 1/Monk 1/Fighter 1/Ninja 1

Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: One Yeth Hound's howl, two failed saving throws, and panicked running through a dungeon.
Story:

The group, along with guest-PC Orik (played by a visiting player) had just reached Nualia in the Thistletop dungeon, and begun their battle when Nualia's Yeth Hound unleashed its baying. Of the 4 PCs and 1 guest PC present, Atali and Zaru failed their saves and began a panicked, and entirely random (I rolled each round to see which direction they'd run in and whether or not they would stop to cower) flight through the dungeon.

Atali happened to run directly into a room filled with Shadows. She was saved thanks to her unusual build, as her reliance on Dex more than armor allowed her to avoid a few touch attacks and her decent Str allowed her to muscle through the damage that she did take long enough for her panic to subside (at which point she fled the place, the shadows fortunately content to not follow her out of the crypt).

Zaru on the other hand fled back upstairs, and managed to weave a random path around all the remaining normal enemies on the top floor (which was unexplored so far, as the group had entered Thistletop through the opening into the Tentamort's lair) and barged right into the throne room of chief Ripnugget himself.

The chain of events led to a rather epic battle of Orik and the group's Paladin/Bard fighting Nualia down to her last hit point and forcing her to flee while Zaru held out against Ripnugget and his goblins above. Nualia, in her haste to flee, failed the acrobatics check to leap ofer the triggering pressure-plate on the slashing blades trap and ended up being killed by her own lair's defenses. The battle culminated in the group meeting up with Zaru upstairs and with several knockouts. The witch, the Paladin/Bard, and Zaru himself all went down at various points in the battle against Ripnugget, but were each healed back to consciousness by the others, and Atali just barely managed to survive the massive hp drop resulting from falling unconscious while in a rage, being then stabilized by the Paladin.

The fight ended when Zaru, with 1 hp left and turned invisible by the witch, landed a flurry of blows on Ripnugget's flanked backside, including a critical hit and a pair of sneak attacks to knock the goblin chief out. The remaining goblins fled Thistletop when they learned the fate of their chief, leaving only the shadows, giant crab, and Malfeshnekor in the basement to be (eventually) dealt with.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Name of PC: Soril Andrak (Male Human)
Class/Level: Wizard 6 (Evoker)
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders (RotRL Hardcover version)
Catalyst: Xanesha
Story: The heroes scaled the stairs inside the Shadowclock Tower (after defeating the Scarecrow and some Faceless Stalkers) and arrived at the rooftop. There, they encountered a devilish/demonic figure hurling taunts and curses at them. They attacked with everything they had, moving into attack position and laying down spells. However, the demon proved to be a ruse. When Xanesha attacked and became visible, it was Soril that bore the brunt of her fury. He went down, but miraculously survived (thanks to a pair of Hero Points). On a subsequent round, he regained consciousness and Xanesha finished him.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Name of PC: Drock (Known to the party as Dutch, thanks to the Halfling who can't remember names)
Class/Level: Half-Orc Fighter 4
Adventure: Burnt Offerings - Thistletop (RotRL Hardcover version)
Catalyst: His own stupidity.
Story: To be perfectly clear Drock was as far from your standard half-orc fighter as you could get. High intelligence, above average charisma, and dump stats of wisdom and dexterity. Well the party made it to Thistletop and successfully navigated the maze without drawing undue attention until the bridge. They successfully disarmed the trap and got across only to find Gogmurt and Tangletooth following behind them. An epic battle ensues with Tangletooth on Drock and everyone else ganking Gogmurt. A flaming sword and a botch by the cleric and the bridge goes up in flames, a flaming sphere and a bleed sneak attack and Gogmurt's gurgling blood as he bleeds out on the ground. All this while Drock and Tangletooth are going blow for blow, both near death on the cliff side. The sorceress drives the flaming sphere into the cat and 'Tooth rolls a natural 1 on his reflex save. On the edge of a cliff. How could I NOT make him fall to his death in the waters below.

While, when I had shown the party what Tangletooth looked like, Drock had said "I do need a new fur coat, winter is coming." He stuck to that, and so at 1 HP he decides he's going to climb after the cat. Before asking for healing. And follows that with arrogance, saying "I'm a good enough climber, I don't need my rope." With his +6 climb and his 13 roll, he narrowly misses the climb check. Makes his reflex save to catch himself ten feet down, and then takes the 1d6 fall damage. Which knocks him unconscious. 5 more d6's of lethal and 2d3 of non-lethal damage later and we have a very dead Dutch floating alongside the fur coat he so desperately wanted. Rest in Peace Dutch, you will be missed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A very near Obituary

Name of PC: Eleisa
Class/Level: Female Half-Drow Elf 8th level Fighter.
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Crowfood Graul

Story: spoiler:

After encountering and killing a deformed Ogrekin and his pack of dogs, the party freed an obviously trained Cougar from a trap. After the Cleric Emeril healed the Cougar, the big cat began to frantically lead the party deeper into the dark woods. The party was lead to a bizarre farm surrounded by grotesque human-shaped fetishes. The party slowly approaches a dilapidated farm house and barn. A field of diseased corn was off to the party’s right.
Then surprise! A grossly deformed hulk of a creature known as Crowfood Graul leaps out from the corn field and lands a Critical blow on the Female Half-Drow Fighter Eleisa. The wretched humanoid takes initiative and begins to land two more blows including yet another Critical Hit on the startled Half-Drow. The powerful Eleisa falls to the ground, saved from death only by the False Life activation of the Sihedron Medallion worn around her neck. The Cleric Emeril rushes to offer aid, while the rest of the party dispatches the foul Ogrekin.

Eleisa had never been this close to death before. The medallion was the only thing between life and what lies beyond. The Sihedron Medallion becomes her most treasured possession. Little does she know?

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Last night we had our 3rd PC death (not counting 2 Animal Companions)

Name of PC: Oladon
Class/Level: Female Human Rogue 11.
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants (Anniversary Edition)
Catalyst: Seleval and Zaelsar

Story:

In the caves below Jorgenfist the party had run into Conna the Wise, who had given them a map of the caves with the instructions that they should approach the passageway to the library below using the south instead of the east route. Nobody thought to ask why, but they were doing as told and cleared out the way to the library when a few people decided they didn't like the idea of leaving potential enemies at their back. So Oladon volunteers to scout out the east passageway to see what's so dangerous.

While she rolled a respectable stealth roll, the Lamias have a +27 to perception and saw her the moment she came around the corner, both casting hold person, and Oladon only made one of the will saves. At this point I passed her a note saying that she lost the power of her arms and legs all of a sudden and couldn't speak, and a moment later everything went dark and quiet (as they cast blindness/deafness immediately afterward). Not long after she began to feel immense pain throughout her whole body.

I asked the rest of the party how long they'd wait before getting suspicious, and they said maybe 2 minutes. So I told them after those two minutes they still didn't hear anything and they all went charging headlong down the passageway towards the Lamias, where they found Oladon's lifeless body in the middle of the room surrounded by the two priestesses. In the ensuing fight the rest of the group made mincemeat out of their enemies, but alas it was too late for the poor rogue.

Moral of the story: When the GM provides a very clear warning of danger and then reminds the players of that warning several times, individual PCs should not attempt to check it out alone.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

TPK and Campaign ender.

Name of Human level 13 Life Oracle
Name of Human level 13 Arcane Duelist bard
Name of PC:Ivan Dwarf Bladebound Magus
Name of Human Fighter 10/Chevalier 3
Adventure:Sins of the Saviors
Catalyst:Iron cages of Lust and some Dominates.

Spoiler:
After defeating all but one of Delvahine's daughter and Stone Giants with ease the group went further into the tent and a fully buffed Delvahine and 1 daughter along with both Shining Children started to take out the group. Delvahine's dominates landed unopposed and got all but one of the party,all were already blinded. With some lucky shots and 1 domination break from the healer the fighter and oracle were almost finished killing off the last shining child but their luck failed them

Two unconscious and dying, 2 charmed and dominated sealed their fate.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'm particularly proud to share this as it's my first PC kill ever.

Name of PC: Heckoliah
Class/Level: Human Wizard 2 / Fighter 4 / Arcane Archer 2
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre (Anniversary Edition)
Catalyst: Dorella and Jagareth Kreeg

Story:

The party snuck into Fort Rannick via the hidden tunnels. They surprised Lucrecia and Kaven in the basement of the Fort. After a brief fight they slew Kaven and pursued Lucrecia up the stairs. Not knowing that the lamia matriarch had Dimension Door'd as soon as she rounded the corner, the party continued charging up the stairs and ran straight into Dorella Kreeg. Standing behind one of her lover-sons, Dorella opened with a Lightning Bolt, hitting almost the entire party. Frantically looking for a place to take cover, the party kicks open a nearby door and stumble upon
Jagareth "Pappy" Kreeg. A chaotic melee ensues ending with the party fleeing for their lives down the staircase with Pappy in hot pursuit. Heckoliah, last in line is caught by Pappy's +1 Human Bane Ogre Hook. The damage from that, on top of the damage he suffered from the opening Lightning Bolt, was enough to turn him into a -35 hp sized stain on the floor. Fortunately the Druid had enough sense to swipe one of Heckoliah's fingers for a Reincarnation later that session.


Name of PC: Misacita DeMerienda/ Liza ?
Class/Level:Halfling Bard level 3/ Sorceress 3
Adventure: Book 2
Catalyst: Player dissention and companion ineptitude
Story:
The party's paladin had a tendency to treat everyone else with childish capriciousness, and the alchemist really hated her. In fact, this enmity stretched out of game. The halfling bard, both in game and out, was the only reason they didn't kill one another outright. However, the combined suspicions that the alchemist IC had about the paladin being possessed (started by her casual reading of Lamashtu's unholy scripts and solidified by a homicidal haunt in the misgivings that caused her to murder a poor sorceress), the alchemist finally decided he'd had enough of the paladin's apparent evilitude.
The paladin was both unrepentant and confused as she was critted by his firebombs despite the halfling's proximity. The paladin saved, but the only thing left of the bard was a smoking crater.
Sandpoint was not amused by the loss of a character with the favored daughter trait. Neither were the players happy. I suppose the game should have been listed in the deaths list. No one would continue until the action was retconned and ignored.

Andoran

Name of PC: Ankathar
Class/Level: Male 2nd level Fetchling Inquisitor (black pouder inquisition)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Bunyip/Goblin Dog pack

Ok the party make-up consisted of the character above plus the following (all 2nd level)

Catfolk Celestial Sorcerer
Half-Orc Two Weapon Fighter
Tengu Druid (pack lord archetype)

Spoiler:
They were doing great until they started the assault on thistle top. The part made it to the clearing that had the opening to the bunyip cave (which I have to admit was awesome. I haven't had a bunyip in an adventure since 1st ed.). The bunyip heard the party approach and let out it's roar. The sorcerer and druid both failed their saves (both players rolled a 2 before mods)resulting in 6 rounds of panic and ran. Luckily they ran back towards the entrance. The second round the fighter lost his save (by one point)for 7 rounds of panic and when I determined random direction of flight he ran right to the clearing with the goblin dog pack. The dogs got a round of attacks on him (wounding him only once) before he turned and fled the other way.

As the fighter fled, the dogs chased him to the clearing where the inquisitor was still standing. The fighter fled past him and got out one word of warning.. "Dogs!!" before heading towards the entrance. The inquisitor's player pulled his gun and rapier to try and hold off the dogs so his companions could escape. He killed one before the other three surrounded him and dropped him the next round. I rolled to see if the would CDG him and yup, they totally ripped his throat out.

The other players managed to group up in the woods and I ruled the dogs were happy with their new meal and didn't pursue. I have to admit I chuckled just a bit on this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Name of PC: Ysgrimor
Class/Level: Dwarf fighter 6
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders (3.5)
Catalyst: Xanesha
Story:
As with most parties that first encountered the Wanton of Nature's Pagan Form, there was blood.

Spoiler:
They knew something bad was in the Shadow Tower, and they took precautions. They reached the peak invisible, and with most of them flying, and some of them even had consumed potions of blindsight. It didn't matter.

One fighter was turned to stone early on, and it didn't take too many full attacks to drop Ysgrimor. As the rest of the party flew away to regroup, Xanesha was kind enough to send their leavings back to them. She dropped the dead dwarf first, but waited until the petrification was about to wear off before dropping the other fighter.

My players roll all the dice, even the damage they're taking. After 20d6 of falling damage the other fighter was only at -3 and was saved. Ysgrimor, however knows walks Golarion reincarnated as a halfing.

First PC death of the campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Name of PC: Halek-Kai of the Lyrune Quah
Class/Level Human Barbarian 7
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders (AE)
Catalyst: Xanesha
Story:
Unfortunately, the entire setup is a spoiler:

Spoiler:

The entire clock tower ran like clockwork: the Scarecrow got his ambush on the first floor, the faceless stalkers dropped the bell on the party, and Xanesha was waiting invisibly in a corner to ambush the party as she sent the illusion of the horned demon flying above them. As soon as they'd all wasted their actions attacking the illusion, she took a 5' step and hit Halek in the back with 3 power attacks, hitting him for 62 damage (and I'd forgotten her extra 1d6 per attack for sneak attack.)

Once combat was joined in earnest, Halek was unwise enough to rage and try to hit her. He got in one solid hit, but she triple-hit him again, sending him to around -30 hit points.

Makes me feel slightly better about her fumbling and blinding herself on the very next round. (Yes, she out-and-out killed Halek in two rounds, and then promptly won the Silver Tsuto Award for an encore.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Name of PC: Zaddock Fishwielder, Druid-Priest of Gozreh
Class/Level: Human Barbarian 8 / Oracle 1
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre (Anniversary Edition)
Catalyst: the Skull Ripper

Story:

Spoiler:

The party made it to the subterranean lair of Wet Pappa Grazuul. After a harrowing fight with the scrag chief, the party decided to drag Grazuul's unconscious but still healing body into the unoccupied magic circle. Zaddock decided to use this opportunity to investigate the control room alone. the Skull Ripper immediately pounced on him and grab him with its claw. A couple rounds later it had ripped off poor Zaddock's head while the rest of the party either ran in fear from its horrifying visage or pounded away ineffectually against its armored carapace. The Druid-Priest of Gozreh's head is now the latest addition to the Skull Ripper's grisly collection.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Spoiler:

How about an Obit for an NPC?

Name of NPC: Vale Temros
Class/Level: Ranger 2 Fighter 4
Adventure: The Hook Mountain Massacre (AE)
Catalyst: Jaagreth Kreeg
Story:

After the party cleared the first level of the main part of Fort Rannick, they moved on upstairs where they quickly met Jaagreth Kreeg. The overly eager Vale Temros engaged the leader of the Ogre clan. Two swipes later from Jaagreth's +1 Human Bane Ogre Hook and Vale was a mess on the floor.

Andoran

Name of PC: Thims Noj
Class/Level: Male 4th level Half-orc fighter (two weapon specialist)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Yeth Hounds/Bunyip

Ok, to really appreciate this you should read my last post on party deaths.

Spoiler:
The part continued on after meeting a human gunslinger to fill in for the dead inquisitor. The intrepid group trekked back into thistletop and was doing a great job. They managed to make short work of the whole first level with little trouble and took out Bruthanzus with relative ease. However it was the fighter's inability to make a will save against fear that killed yet another party member. The group entered the shrine of Lamashtu and were beset upon by the yeth hounds (and to compound matters, they all botched their knowledge checks so they had no clue what they were).The first yeth hound to act used it's bay and the fighter and druid's wolf companion both failed miserably.
One their turns I rolled randomly for where they would run and they lucked out by heading north through the unoccupied areas of the level and up the stairs to the first level.

However the real kicker was the rope bridge trap. The party had bypassed it earlier, but I had ruled a random goblin party had reset it (the group actually encountered this group when they came to investigate).
In the fighter's panicked state he set off the trap and failed his reflex save.

So we now have a fully armored fighter with a horrible swim check, treading water and trying to find a way to get to safety.
I ruled that the shock of the water snapped him out of his panicked state, but I also rolled to see if the Bunyip was home and heard him hit the water.

I got a yes for both.

So while the encumbered and unarmed fighter was attempting to swim to safety, the Bunyip came to see what was for dinner. A quick bite and a critical strike later and now I have to find a way to introduce someone else to the party.

A dm's work is never done. :)


WarDrivwWorley: the next PC is laughing hysterically at the fighter's demise. And proves hise/her/its mettle by solo'ing the goblins that reset the rope bridge trap...

Bonus points and CR for a quartet of archetypical goblins (barbarian face chewer, pyromaniacal fire lobber, etc).

Andoran

Turin the Mad wrote:

WarDrivwWorley: the next PC is laughing hysterically at the fighter's demise. And proves hise/her/its mettle by solo'ing the goblins that reset the rope bridge trap...

Bonus points and CR for a quartet of archetypical goblins (barbarian face chewer, pyromaniacal fire lobber, etc).

HAHAHA.. great idea, except I don't trust this player's dice to allow him to solo a kitten. I dearly want him to bring a bomb happy alchemist to see him start dropping ones when lobbing explosives. If that happens I may actually break down into maniacal laughter at the table.


WarDriveWorley wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:

WarDrivwWorley: the next PC is laughing hysterically at the fighter's demise. And proves hise/her/its mettle by solo'ing the goblins that reset the rope bridge trap...

Bonus points and CR for a quartet of archetypical goblins (barbarian face chewer, pyromaniacal fire lobber, etc).

HAHAHA.. great idea, except I don't trust this player's dice to allow him to solo a kitten. I dearly want him to bring a bomb happy alchemist to see him start dropping ones when lobbing explosives. If that happens I may actually break down into maniacal laughter at the table.

Then I encourage you to gently nudge your player into creating a gnome alchemist with the pyromaniac and master tinker racial traits ... and Gunsmith as his first level feat.

Nothing beats black powder weapons for self-inflicted mayhem and carnage!

Andoran

Well if I'm going to do that I might as well go all in and drop a unique magic item for the player as well. Say a magical keg of black powder. Never empties and gives the user and all adjacent allies a +4 to AC. However it has a "slight" curse so that the wielder and all adjacent allies take double damage from fire attacks and have a -2 reflex.

That would be the PERFECT gift for that pc.


WarDriveWorley wrote:

Well if I'm going to do that I might as well go all in and drop a unique magic item for the player as well. Say a magical keg of black powder. Never empties and gives the user and all adjacent allies a +4 to AC. However it has a "slight" curse so that the wielder and all adjacent allies take double damage from fire attacks and have a -2 reflex.

That would be the PERFECT gift for that pc.

Nat 1 Reflex save against fire damage = keg explodes (5d6 fire, DC 15 Reflex half, radius as in UC) ... curse includes reforming on the owner's person or the owner's burned carcass to be claimed by another ...

Andoran

good idea.. or if I really want to get mean I could suggest that the player bring in another character that's a family member of the deceased PC and have the keg attune itself to the PC's family. It blows up then reform itself in the hands of the nearest family member who finds they can't get rid of it.


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Gluttony wrote:
Andrea1 wrote:
Hmmm.. In that case, I suggest a 'One time mercy redo'. I know Turin the Mad will have on his 'I am Disappoint' face but in this fight? Redo it, it saves time having to make new characters, get back to where they lost and having to deal with the messy consequences of coming in late
Indeed. The players were sour from the encounter and we had to end the session there, but I basically said that because of the circumstances of the loss, I'll break my no do-overs rule and we can rewind to the start of the battle next session if they want to. I'm pretty sure they'll say yes.

I am Disappoint!

^____^


My players are just entering Thistletop and I've had several almost-deaths. The rogue dropped to negative hit points twice, which really dampened the player's mood. Nothing says "epic" quite like getting knocked out by goblins during the first combat encounter in the campaign!

I fully except some or all of the characters to die in Thistletop (could end the campaign then and there, because I doubt my players would want to roll up new characters... could always pull a "mercy re-do.")


I've not killed any PC off yet. They've just taken on Ripnugget's court. However on a couple of occasions I have gotten stupendously drunk (outside of game night) and threatened character death to a couple of players followed by a hearty MUHHAHAAHAHAH.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It has come to my attention that I have done you all a great disservice by not reporting my most recent PC death, and allowing you to believe that I may be anything other than a ruthless PC-killing machine. No less than two weeks after our last PC death (a rogue who opted to try for a reincarnate and came back as a goblin) I made another kill.

Name of PC: Greg
Class/Level: Male Half-Orc Fighter 11.
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants (Anniversary Edition)
Catalyst: The Headless Lord

Story:

Though they were cautious and knew something had to be up, I managed to lure a few of the party members into The Headless Lord's Gallery to look at the "suits of armor". As they started hacking into them and knocking them over, the zombies came to life and attacked. The lord caught two party members with a fear spell (including the healer) who went running back up into the caves. After many smaller zombies had been summoned, the party feared being overwhelmed so two fireballs went off in the middle of the room, unfortunately catching the party fighter who failed one of his reflex saves. Though that took care of the lessor zombies, the larger ones and the lord were still to be dealt with, and one by one they fell. The Headless Lord was down to only 2 hit points when he laid into Greg with a full-attack of hatchets, and the already weakened half-orc succumbed to the assault.

Greg's last actions had been spent killing the other zombies who were threatening his fellow party members and he died a hero, buried with honors by his survivors.


Name of PC: Drogort the Pyroclasmic (First PC death of the campaign)
Class/Level: Male Gnome Fire Oracle, 4th level
Adventure: Burnt Offerings (Anniversary Edition)
Catalyst: Malfeshnekor

Story:
This fiery spirited little horn-dog of a gnome had a burning hatred of doors. Despite being mostly blind, he would lead the way opening door after door, oft running into rooms as soon as they were open. Malfeshnekor had heard the group through his prison, so when an unarmored gnome (Had just put in an order for platemail with Das Korvut) came in and burning hands'd where he thought an enemy was, the greater barghest was prepared. The huge invisible creature tore him apart, then feasted on the bloody bits that remained. The enigmatic rogue Zuela ran all the way outside to the ropes dangling down the cliff of the island to the boat secured below, The merc enemy-turned-bodyguard Orik Vancaskerkin right on her heels. The monk Marick Closed the door, sealing the powerful creature inside forever(?), as the thing continued its gory feast. He then ran away to the cliff side with the nearby ranger Manius.


Note that we're still playing the 3.5 edition.

Name of PC: Port, male half-orc
Class/Level: Barbarian 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Fell from Thistletop (but not off the bridge)
Story:

Spoiler:
The party consists of:

Micah - male half-elf ranger 3
Juron Nissedottir - female half-elf warlock 2/fighter 1
Zova - female half-elf druid 3
Londo Rumdiddy - male halfling rogue 3
Port - male half-orc barbarian 3

My intrepid PCs cleared out the land side of Thistletop in the previous session. Gogmurt escaped and fled into the stockade to warn Chief Ripnugget of the impending assault.

Today's session began with the PCs facing the trapped bridge. It took them a few minutes to gather themselves up after the big fight in the thistles, but I decided that the goblin guards from C10 would still be playing Killgull on the opposite side of the island because the goblins were not very efficient in raising the alarm.

The ranger -- Micah -- noticed that the bridge seemed unstable, and the party successfully crossed, found the tie-off, and disabled the trap that way.

They burst in through the doors and handily carved up the 6 goblins from C14. The two pickle thieves in C13 were still asleep and got coup-de-graced. The sound of Port smashing down the door to C12 attracted the notice of the C10 guards (who had finished their game of Killgull and wandered back to their post). They mounted up and came charging in the door, where they rapidly went down. The survivors (one goblin, his goblin dog, and one other goblin dog) fled the scene across the bridge, where they turned around, hoping to cut the bridge out from under any pursuit.

Meanwhile, the guards from C15 abandoned their card game and came down to see what all the ruckus was. The party turned to deal with them -- EXCEPT for Port the barbarian.

Instead of just proceeding with the attack, Port decides to go outside, walk over to the wall of C15, and start pounding on it and screaming insults at the top of his lungs in hopes of luring out all the goblins at once.

Port's antics attracted the notice of the remaining goblin guard from C10, who came charging back across the bridge on his goblin dog (accompanied by the other goblin dog) to attack what appeared to be a lone PC. He got in one solid hit (a crit), and then it was Port's turn.

Port decided to Bull Rush the goblin off the edge of the cliff. We're doing 3.5, so I kind of had to wing the mechanics, but Port rolled an amazing Strength check, opposed by a fairly weak roll from the goblin dog. The goblin and his mount went flying -- followed shortly thereafter by Port, who failed a DC 13 Reflex save to avoid falling off the edge of the cliff himself.

The falling damage (4d6 lethal, 3d6 non-lethal) put him at -8. The party cleric had seen him fall and called out to the others for help as he himself was engaged with the one remaining goblin dog. Two party members stayed inside to finish dealing with the 2 remaining actively-engaged goblins while the others rushed out.

In the waters below, Port succeeded on his stabilization check. He was, however, still unconscious, underwater, and wearing armor. I decided to allow him to continue making fortitude checks to avoid drowning while his teammates scrambled frantically to reach him.

Micah, the dashing ranger, sped to the land-side of the bridge, seized its rope railing, then severed the support ropes with his scimitar. With a bold cry, he swung across the gap, made a fantastic tumble check, and pushed off the face of the cliff to dive into the water below. He took some non-lethal damage from the fall, but remained up and aware, and struck out towards Port's sinking form with a wand of Cure Light Wounds in hand.

It took two rounds for Micah to reach Port. Meanwhile, Londo the halfling rogue (whose player is married to Port's player) climbed down the bridge like a ladder, tied a rope to the bottom, and slid down to join the rescue effort.

Micah dove down to reach Port about ten feet below the surface, but though he struggled mightily, Port's massive bulk was too heavy for Micah to raise up. One round. Two rounds, three, four -- Micah pulled with all his might, but could not make a swim check high enough to bring Port to the surface.

Finally, on the fifth round, Micah succeeded on his swim check and pulled the half-orc to the surface, where Micah gasped breath in -- but Port did not, having failed five consecutive fortitude checks and drowned the round prior.

And then Londo, treading water beside Micah, pipes up: "I have a wand of Shocking Grasp that we found in that creepy meditation room full of levitating maggots! Couldn't I try to restart his heart?"

So I let them try it. Londo made his UMD check to activate the wand, and all three of the PCs in the water took 4 electricity damage, whereupon I allowed Port a fortitude save (DC 16) to wake up with 2 INT damage.

And Port failed.

"Let's try it again!" cried Londo, whereupon Micah said "Uh, let me get out of the water first." (Micah was at 1 hp.)

So they took a moment to tie Port to the bottom of the rope dangling from the bridge above, and Micah climbed out. Londo tried to activate the wand again -- and failed his UMD check. And again. And again. After the fourth attempt, I ruled that he had just one more try, and if he succeeded, then Port would have to roll a natural 20 on his fortitude check.

Alas, Londo failed once again to activate the wand.

And that is how my PCs simultaneously lost their primary damage dealer and found themselves stranded on an island full of psychopathic goblins (and worse).

Also, the group seems quite perturbed by the death -- it's the first permanent PC death that the group has had in several years of play, apparently.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

Name of PC: Grimblade -Male Human
Class/Level: Fighter 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: After barely defeating Koruvus, got caught in a Zombie sandwich

Story::
I decided to give the zombies some chance to climb out of the pits, basically if the they rolled a 15 or up on the die, they could climb halfway out in a round. On the next round if they rolled 15 or up they would escape the pit(but not make any action til the next round), if they rolled 10-14 they made no progress, if they rolled 9 or lower they fell back to the bottom. Only 3 Zombies escaped, does anyone think this mechanic is unfair?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

In short, I have no problem with it, but it does add significantly to the difficulty of the fight if they had trouble with Koruvus. He was barely a speed bump to my party, but they did make their PER rolls to see him awfully early.

Spoiler:

Two 15's in a row = a 9% chance of getting out in 2 rounds, while all the players are getting PER rolls to notice whether or not they're coming.

Even if the zombies started climbing as soon as the fight broke out, the party would have 2 rounds to whack the living daylights out of Koruvus (a 4-on-1 shouldn't be too bad for any party), and only 1-3 zombies should have shown up per round, if that. Some bull rushes would have dropped them back into the pits, giving the party breathing room.

My take is that a well-rounded party with good tactics shouldn't have had any trouble without a string of awfully bad rolls. If your players are crying 'foul' over it, I'd go back and take a look at why they had so much trouble with "Special K" -- was it bad rolling, bad tactics, or just a party that couldn't do anything to him?

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