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Rise of the Runelords

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While it's not an actual death, I did have two near-death situations in my last game, all thanks to Ogre Hooks.

First, a little backstory - I chatted with the group concerning critical hits and we agreed to a new methodology - from now on, when you roll a critical, it automatically confirms. You no longer roll for damage - instead, x2 modifiers give full x1 damage, x3 modifiers give a full x1.5 damage, and x4 modifiers give a full x2 damage. Thus Ogre Hooks, with their x3, are doing 1.5 full damage per hit.

When fighting Hucker Graul, the first person to rush into combat was the NPC Arcane Trickster. Due to her being a glass pistol (I'd not say a glass cannon as she just doesn't do THAT much damage! But she tries!) they've given her several magic items to boost her armor class. And knowing these things are dangerous, she used combat feats to boost her armor class and Offensive Defense. Her armor class fighting Graul was 35.

He rolled a natural 20. If we'd gone by the old rules and if he'd confirmed (and the dice were being mean to the players so it probably would have), a raging Barbarian ogrekin (with boosted stats to compensate for high player stats) would have done 66 damage prior to die rolls. Instead, he "just" did 32 damage, bringing her down to the low teens.

Graul then proceeded to start pounding on the Barbarian. A Barbarian who started with over 140 hit points was reduced to 9 hit points despite the Cleric using Channel Positive Energy several times in the fight. And he was tripped by one of the donkey rats so at the end he was fighting on his back before Graul finally fell.

So two close ones. :) And a most intense battle. The group is rightfully scared of the ogres coming up next. ;)


Name of PC: Lini
Class/Level: Gnome Cleric 7
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha
Story:

So I have a 6-person party of characters and it's been my experience DMing that either through poor encounter management or simply too much mercy that my players are having too easy a time of it. So I added a flesh golem to the Xanesha encounter [in addition to the Scarecrow].

The party climbed up onto the top of the tower to find an illusion of Nualia to greet them. Surprised, the party wizard [also a gnome and sister to the cleric] opened fire with magic missile and was promptly sneak attacked by Xanesha.

The encounter played out as the party split...fighter and paladin dealing with the golem and the casters/rogue trying to bring down Xanesha from range and having limited success. The fighters were whittling down the golem, but Xanesha was clearly toying with them for several rounds. She finally moved up and attacked the cleric after the second time she saved the fighter from death at the golem's hands. Her spear crit, and impaled the gnome, reducing her to -4 HP.

[WARNING: I began taking extreme liberties with the combat rules for cinematic reasons here]

With the gnome at the end of her spear, Xanesha grinned wickedly and simply flicked her off the spear...and the tower. In a panic, the party druid [currently in air elemental] dove after her, and I ruled that he had the speed to catch up with her and drop out of Wild Shape [about 60 feet from the ground], with the intent to grab her and absorb the impact of the fall as best he could. He succeeded, but that left both of them lying on the ground BADLY wounded, him with several broken bones at 0 hp and her still negative [though she had made her roll to stabilize].

Meanwhile, the flesh golem was growing weaker, so Xanesha, annoyed, ordered it to grab the dwarven fighter and charge off of the tower. Through several back and forth grapple checks, the dwarf managed to break its hold and get out in time to make use of air walk...but not before the flesh golem impacted on the cleric.

The sad part is that the druid saw it coming, and opted to cast gaseous form rather than risk failing any checks/saves I made him roll to pull the gnome out of the way.


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Once again I have mixed feelings about it.. On the other hand she had it coming, but on the other.. Meh. Another one bites the dust!

(and they had resources to bring her back if she'd want to)

Name: Faroth
Race: Cat, medium (male)
Class/Level: Ranger's animal companion / 7
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

Name: Ilori
Race: Human (female)
Class/Level: Sorcerer / 7
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

When BBEGs react to events that happen down below..:
One of the bells had fallen from somewhere above and pulled Ilori the Sorcerer along with it while hitting several others. She fell fast and uncontrolled and when she finally recovered from the crash, she was barely alive (3hp).

Just a moment before the fall they had discussed of an alternative approach while they were quite evenly spaced out 20ft-30ft apart from each other, still climbing the terrible stairs.

Now rest of the group was at the stairs some 70ft-80ft above the ground, starting to head back down when they heard & saw figures approaching from above along the stairs. Meanwhile Ilori had started to heal her wounds with her trusty wand.

Few rounds of ranged combat & steady run down, Ilori was joined by Faroth and Harsk the Cleric at ground level while Alpharius the Ranger & Alfred the Fighter held rear at the stairs, some 30ft-40ft above. Or so they thought. First a swirl of thick smoke surrounded Harsk and within that smoke Ilori saw a figure of a demon moving. Harsk stood firm, trying to spot the outsider, when Ilori, standing at the bottom of the stairs, was surprised by invisible Xanesha (who had climbed down from her nest and took fight to them). Faroth followed Alpharius's command and tried to guard Ilori, but was quickly put down in a flurry of stabs by Xanesha's spear. Ilori didn't get the memo and she was finished only 6 seconds later with a critical stab through her belly.. Long before Alfred & Alpharius made it to bottom..

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Name of PC: Hez
Class/Level: Witch 12, bard 1
Adventure: Sins of the Saviour
Catalyst: White dragon induced fall
Story: After the party scattered from the dragon attack, Arkrhyst targeted the spellcaster for a snatch. A quick blast of dragonbreath, Arkrhyst let the PC take the 200ft plunge.
Thankfully, a breath of life followed.

Name of PC: Yang
Class/Level: Oracle 9 (cohort)
Adventure: Sins of the Saviour
Catalyst: Earth elemental induced fall
Story: Having barely defeated the dragon, the party healed and made the climb up Rimeskull mountain to be ambushed by elementals. With most of the party unassailable due to sihedron amulets the elementals went after summoned creatures and the party healer cohort. Another 200ft fall followed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Er... no Feather Falls in the entire party? Eeeew...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Name of NPC: Jaagrath Kreeg
Class/Level: Level 8 Barbarian Ogre
Catalyst: One truly devastating Sorceress
Story: After having bypassed half of the encounters, the adventuring group faced off against Jaagrath Kreeg's family, whittling them down after four rounds (due in part to a lucky fireball against the three "ordinary" Advanced Ogres Moe, Larry and Curly) while cutting down an Ogre Fighter in two rounds and Jaagrath's mate soon after.

Using Door Sight, they realized there was one nasty-looking ogre on his own, so they did a couple buffs (the Sorceress cast Heroism on the Paladin Cohort and the Half-Orc Barbarian)... and kicked in the door to face down Jaagrath himself. In one round, he hit the half-orc thrice and brought him to below half hit points. The group managed some truly nasty strikes and a lot of lesser whittling blows that brought Jaagrath down to 45 hit points.

That's when the Sorceress decided to cast Hideous Laughter. And Jaagrath rolled a Natural 1 for his save.

I didn't bother finishing the combat. The Arcane Trickster (who was flanking) would be going next, Jaagrath wouldn't get to act, and then the Barbarian would go. I just summed up the encounter with "and you proceed to turn him into a Sloppy Joe" and after realizing he was the Pappy of the ogres, they lopped his head off. I think they plan on shoving it up Lucrecia's behind. While she's in half-snake form.


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Name of PC: Triggi
Race: Ratfolk
Class/Level: Alchemist 4
Adventure: Rise of the Runelords: Chapter 1
Catalyst: Malfeshnekor
Story: The group attempted to whittle away at this large beast, as Triggi ducked into a closet for attempted cover. Mal, fed up with taking damage from the one person who was actually hurting him via holy flasks (party had a hard time getting past the DR because no-one had magic weapons at this time), used the closet as a no-escape trap against our mutagen-less alchemist, and a full-round attack action of a successful bite and 2 claw attacks instantly killed perhaps one of the most beloved members in the party. One of the other PCs carries around a rabbit in his honor, since Triggi had sworn to release the rabbits found in Thistletop after dealing with the terrors below the ground floor.


Name of PC: Sunaki Kaijitsu
Race: Human
Class/Level: Ranger 13
Adventure:Remix/Blend of "The Tomb-World of Alak-amur" and "Tomb of the Iron Medusa" inserted in between Fortress of Stone Giants and Sins of the Saviors
Catalyst: Nekkron, Keeper of Karzoug's Dead (Lich, with standard stat block from the Bestiary (Necromancer 11)
Story:Spoilers for end of Fortress of Stone Giants

Spoiler:
When Karzoug takes control of Mokmurian's body upon the giant's death,
... he monologues as usual but then proceeds to hostile plane shift the entire party to his Tomb-World-Prison, a demi-plane from which there is no escape. In the process of attempting to free themselves, they stumble upon a vault room guarded by a lich and 3 clay golems. The Lich's opening spell is Circle of Death. The ranger's animal companion (named Hello Kitty, or Bait, depending on the day) is the lowest HD creature in the area, and fails the save vs. death. Since the rest of the party is of equal HD, the creature closest to the origin of the area is affected first. The party cleric and Sunaki were equidistant from the origin, and Sunaki was chosen randomly as the final target. He failed his saving throw, and did not wish to return to life. Plus, trapped on this demi-plane, the diamond dust for a raise dead is hard to come by. Sunaki's player has now lost 4 characters in the campaign. Ouch.


Circle of Death can't kill creatures with more than 8 HD. Both the level 13 ranger and his 9 HD Animal Companion should have been unaffected unless they had a bunch of negative levels.


Blave wrote:
Circle of Death can't kill creatures with more than 8 HD. Both the level 13 ranger and his 9 HD Animal Companion should have been unaffected unless they had a bunch of negative levels.

Ho-lee crap... Wow, now I feel bad. And, ya know, we had a nice discussion about save or die spells and how things changed from 3.5 to Pathfinder. Frankly, I was just as surprised as to the results of the spell as the party was, and I should have been suspicious. I have been known to give my players a hard time (jokingly, mostly) about not reading an entire spell description (like Glitterdust allowing a new save at the end of each round to remove the blindness) and now I've gone and done it myself - with terrible consequences!

Well, I'll give the player the option to retcon it all. We've only had a single encounter since, and his new character was only there for the tail end of it, so it shouldn't affect much.

Thanks for the clarification.


Name of PC: Cromdarr Thunderhead
Class/Level: Half-Orc Fighter 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Erylium

Story: Cromdarr started the game as a GMPC as the party only had 3 members at the time: Jasok the human rogue, Roanak the life oracle, and Jarvis the elemental sorcerer. A player took over Cromdarr after or during the third session, when the party went to the glassworks.

In the Catacombs of Wrath, the party entered the Runewell chamber fully charged; they had rested after clearing out basically everything else.

Though I gave the party a chance to check with Father Zantus about what a Quasit might be, nobody took the bait, so they were not prepared to face an invisible enemy nor did the party have cold iron weapons, except for Cromdarr who just had one for the hell of it. So while the party had all their resources at their disposal they didn't know what they were facing despite a number of clues.

Erylium opened with cause fear. Second round her Monster Summoning I was disrupted and round 3 she turned invisible. The party had already brought down the sinspawn at this point. Round 4 she started monster summoning II and round 5 a lemure appeared (I used a lemure because it was the list that I didn't have to adjust the stats for being fiendish, and I had a miniature for it).

The sorcerer with knowledge:planes successfully identified the lemure... barely (he exactly made the DC). So I told him he could know one specific thing about it and let him ask something. He asked: "does it have any spells or spell-like abilities?" No, it doesn't. So the party doesn't know the lemure has DR/silver, though two party members have silver weapons.

Within a few rounds Cromdarr was fighting the lemure in front of the runewell. He had scored a hit or two but the DR kept the lemure alive.
Erylium hit him with the slumber hex, and he went down.

Then the lemure did a CDG on the sleeping Cromdarr.

I felt kind of bad afterward about having the monster do a CDG, though honestly the lemure's damage was so weak that I figured there was a good chance that he would make the save. He didn't.

The player was OK with it afterwards, saying that if characters don't die then they play stupidly. He hadn't created the character anyway so I got the feeling he was OK with the chance to design his own character. His new character (a half-elf paladin) is so poorly designed that I now am worried about the future of the party. The main damage dealer is the party rogue, which should tell you something. When the sorcerer lines up his burning hands properly he can do a lot of damage but he wastes his time casting magic missile most of the time (though that did work against Erylium).

Eventually the party was able to pin down Erylium; the oracle used create water to splash water in a space to spot Erylium when she was invisible, which worked when he guessed the right square. Eventually the sorcerer managed to hit her with ear-piercing scream twice (I let the party find a partly-charged wand of it) and she failed the save both times, so the party was able to gang up on her and eventually got her, but it was a grueling slog.

Overall I think I crossed the line a bit with he CDG attempt. But the party has moved on and are happy with he way things are now.

Peet

PS: for the record, characters have been dropped to below zero several times so far. The rogue went down when fighting the goblin dog in Die, Dog, Die, and again when Koruvus did a full attack against him. The party has a dedicated healer but despite this they are going through potions like crazy.

They just broke into Ripnugget's room and in the fight Ripnugged scored a crit for 16 hp on the paladin and took him down. It doesn't help that the party came to Thistletop by boat, scaled the cliff, climbed the stockade, and cut a hole in the roof above what turned out to be Ripnugget's bedroom, so the party's first encounter at Thistletop was the boss fight, and they hadn't had the "filler" encounters that would bring them to 3rd level yet.


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We're all new to tabletop RPG so we're using Hero Points to facilitate resurrection. So far we have had 2 permanent character deaths, though the players usually exhaust nearly all their Hero Points they gain from leveling. For us I think this creates a good amount of tension without being unbearable. Before starting the campaign we had a discussion about death and the players wanted to have the threat of real, permanent character death, so that is how we are playing.

Death #1-
Name of PC: Nilbog
Class/Level: Gunslinger 1 (Musket Master)/Alchemist 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Gogmert
Story: The party did not want to crawl through the brambles in front of Thistletop, so Nilbog decided to pull, MMORPG style, enemies through the brambles to the outside where it was easier to fight. He did not anticipate the ability of druids to simply walk through the brambles. He was cornered by Gogmert, the goblin dogs, and Tangletooth and was slain. Using Hero Points he was heroically able to drag his dying body out of the bramble while the rest of the party killed the enemies in revenge. (Except Gogmert- he was captured and questioned.)

Death #2-
Name of PC: Kyra
Class/Level: Cleric of Sarenrae 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Yeth Hounds
Story: Kyra is technically a GM NPC but the group decided to use Hero Points to save her. The group stumbled upon the two Yeth Hounds in the temple of Lamashtu in Thistletop. Literally stumbled - we're all new to tabletops but despite my warnings to avoid "kicking doors in" they literally kicked in the door to the temple and failed saves against the baying. In the chaos the group fled but Kyra was tripped and killed. Using Hero Points the Yeth Hounds decided to capture her for Nualia and eventual sacrifice to Lamashtu. The remaining party members then had to rescue her.

Death #3-
Name of PC: Uklug
Class/Level: Fighter 6
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Sandpoint Devil
Story: I bought the Sandpoint Devil figure from the Pathfinder Battles series and decided to try him out. My group is familiar with the tales due to our playing the Rise of the Runelords card game. I had the Devil encounter them on their way to the Misgivings and let the group have a surprise round and everything but, being new players, still charged in without buffing first. They did pretty well considering they failed the knowledge check for weaknesses but Uklug fell in the chaos. Orik Vancaskerkin uncharacteristically decided to save Uklug (Hero Points!), dragging him away while the Sandpoint Devil lost interest and flew off. Orik did this because Uklug talked Nilbog into saving Orik's life back at Thistletop and Orik owed him that debt.

Death #4-
Name of PC: Nilbog
Class/Level: Gunslinger 5/Alchemist 2
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha
Story: Out of the party only Nilbog wore light armor and was dextrous enough to fearlessly climb the Shadow Clock. And he did- all 120 or so feet of it to the top, soloing the Faceless Stalkers, dodging the bell, getting farther and farther away from the rest of the group as he did so until he stumbled across Xanesha's dragon illusion. She then snuck up on him and killed him in a single round. They used hero points, chalked it up to a lesson to not split the party up, and Nilbog snapped to it at the bottom of the tower with a horrible vision of what lurked at the top...

Death #5+#6-
Name of PC: Nilbog, Uklug - Permanent death
Class/Level: Gunslinger 5/Alchemist 2, Fighter 7
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha
Story: The party took over a month and a half to deal with Xanesha and her cronies... they were having items custom crafted and went travelling and went fishing mostly. While all around them the death count kept rising higher and higher until Lord Mayor Grobaras died. As a result, the townspeople became very suspicious of these "heroes" sent to help with the murders yet not actually accomplishing anything (while announcing that the problem was taken care of- after dealing with Aldern Foxglove). Xanesha eventually decided to put an end to it, framing the two with a pair of surviving Faceless Stalkers to a murder. Charmed Justice Ironbriar ran a sham court and condemned the pair to death. Ultimately Kyra and Orik got away because they did not openly wear the Sihedron symbol (Nilbog had the necklace and Uklug wore Nualia's breastplate which had the symbol carved onto it).

Death #7-
Name of PC: Blendafiss (transformed into Kaiju)
Class/Level: Alchemist 8/Master Chymist 1
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Ogres
Story: The new group was retaking Fort Rannick with the aid of the Black Arrows... minus Kaven who was found to be a traitor and fled. They were slinking around the catacombs through the Waterfall at the suggestion of Vale Temros when they found a secret door near the crypt that opened up into the courtyard. Forgoing any subtlety, they kicked the door down, alerting all of the ogres in the courtyard. Kaiju went down in a flurry of javelins and ogre clubs while the others fled. Thanks to the miracle of hero points, the group thought that Kaiju had died but Blendafiss miraculously caught up to them later.

Death #8-
Name of PC: Himmelsdorf
Class/Level: Ranger 9
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Big Wet Papa Grazuul
Story: The group braved the depths of Skull's Crossing to save Turtleback Ferry from being wiped out by a flood. Himmelsdorf the ranger was taken out by Grazuul's vicious trident. Shalelu received a circumstance bonus to damage and attacks due to her rage at seeing her love fall in battle. Using Hero Points- and his own brotherly tears- Blendafiss was able to brew a magical potion to revive him - something that by all accounts should have been impossible for an alchemist of his skill to do.

That's it for our deaths!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

I *love* the way you describe those deaths:

#2: "despite my warnings to avoid "kicking doors in" they literally kicked in the door..."

#3: "...let group have a surprise round and everything but, being new players, still charged in without buffing first..."

#4: "...getting farther and farther away from the rest of the group as he did so..."

#7: "Forgoing any subtlety, they kicked the door down..."

Yes. Unwritten rules of RPGs:
(1) Splitting up the party is always Bad.
(2) Kicking down doors is (almost) always Bad.
...
(down on the list, but still on it) Buffs win fights.


Hehe, well, like I said we're brand new to tabletop RPGs - my players played a little VERY informal D&D a long time ago but nothing actually challenging and with no roleplay or plot. I think the Hero Points were a good decision and I recommend them to anyone who is in a similar situation to ours- we are well accustomed to board games and video game RPGs but the bad thing about being used to video games is that it is hard to shake that "video game mentality" when settling into tabletops. I think that if we had 8 real, permanent character deaths instead of 6 deus ex machina and 2 deaths, my players would have become discouraged quickly. As is, the hero point deaths are still taken seriously and are usually taken as a lesson in how to play better next time, and besides... random miraculous occurrences are common to fantasy stories (The eagles are coming!) and the players have fun coming up with cool ways their characters survived certain death.

After each death we talk about it and if I think it was due to a poor decision I let them know... while playing it is a difficult thing to balance giving strong hints while not simply saying "do not run around the goblin fortress kicking doors in or you will get killed- you know that there are scarier things than just goblins in there" or "climbing 120 feet of steps alone in a tower that you know houses a powerful lamia matriarch will get you killed". As for execution to Ironbriar- I gave them the option of continuing with Nilbog/Uklug but after explaining to them what they had done they were alright with letting the characters go. They just had that video game mentality that when you get a "quest" you have pretty much as much time as you want to finish it and the world will pretty much stay the same until you get around to it. Not so in tabletop RPGs, as they discovered!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

This'll be my last post as off-threading obit threads quickly gets you yelled at, but you hit the nail on the head:

- In video games, a soulless CPU will wait forever for you to complete your quests, and nothing happens outside of the scope of your perception.

- In RPGs, a good GM has a basic understanding of everything that is going on in the world, and all the NPCs, monsters, allies, and so forth act in accordance with their own wishes and designs, regardless of whether or not the PCs are there. There's a great thread on this where a group of PCs learned that a group of NPCs just fell into a sinkhole and vanished forever. The PCs' response? Craft items for 45 days! Any GM worth his/her salt should ask the players, "WTF?!?! Your friends and neighbors were just sucked below the earth and died with the echoes of their screams resonating to the surface, and you're going to SIT AROUND AND CRAFT ITEMS?!?!?!"

The real ugliness your PCs will face in this is in "dungeons", with large numbers of enemies in a small space. If you make tons of noise, the other enemies don't just sit in their rooms and wait for you! Ohs noes! Try to get them away from the mindset that enemies are static and will not leave their rooms to attack. Otherwise there are places in the AP where if they make enough of a ruckus they're 100% guaranteed to die, hero points or no.

And thus ends my off-topic ranting.

We return you to your regularly-scheduled PC deaths.


It would have been nice if the character's race were included in those obit entries. (It's too late to edit them now, unfortunately.)

Otherwise, keep up the good work! :)

And yeah, that videogame mentality can infect even previously good RP gamers if they've been away from the table and in front of their computers for far too long. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Name of PC: Wolim
Class/Level: Fighter 10
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: Grappling Dire Bears and Hard-Hitting Stone Giants

Name of PC: Correlia C'Tar
Class/Level: Sorceror 10
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: Grappling Dire Bears and Hard-Hitting Stone Giants

Spoiler:
The four heroes, Wolim, Correlia, Elsa Jane (the rogue), and Landon (the cleric) were awakened at dawn by the sound of rocks slamming into Sandpoint's gates and screams from the town's terrified citizens.

They reached the site of the first giant attack and dispatched all three giants, although they took a couple rounds longer doing it than they should have. When they arrived at the site of the second giant incursion, they were somewhat disadvantaged because the giants and dire bears had already made it across the bridge into town. Wolim rushed to attack one bear, which promptly grappled him. Meanwhile, the others were too slow to act, and so the other dire bears engaged them, effectively splitting the party. A bear grappled Correlia, as well. Wolim and Correlia were both slain through the concerted efforts of the grappling bear and one of the stone giants. Elsa Jane also was knocked unconscious, leaving only Landon standing. Recognizing that he could not survive a combat with two giants and a dire bear, he fled the town, watching as half of it went up in flames.

After things had finally settled down, he reentered the town only to find that the stone giants had carried off Elsa. It remains to be seen whether he will raise Wolim and Correlia from the dead or instead rely on a new group of heroes to help rescue Elsa from the giants.

It really is weird. My other group had no trouble at all with this fight (or with the entire defense of Sandpoint, for that matter), but it was just an utter mess this time! You never know...


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While not strictly a valid obituary entry (it's an NPC from the AP, not a PC), I do consider this particular death to be noteworthy - due mostly to the the "how badly can things go wrong?" aspect of it all. :)

Name of NPC: Tsuto
Class/Level: Monk 3 (zen archer) /Rogue 1 (sniper)
(yes, I did change his level distribution and give him two archetypes)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Careless party

The gory details:
While the party was still L 1, Tsuto had escaped them at the Glassworks after doing a huge amount of damage (critical, IIRC). The party did not approve of the way in which he had treated both his sister Ameiko and his father Lonjiku, plus there was the treason thing, so they were out for justice. With one player being a paladin, it was obvious that Tsuto should be captured and brought back to town for trial.

Cut to Thistletop. Quite by accident, the party of four (paladin/fighter, rogue, bard, and oracle) had made it safely over the rope bridge to Thistletop without setting off the trap. IIRC, the rogue had checked for traps but was unsuccessful, and then gone ahead of the party to scout before the others came over.

After dealing with one watch tower and the barracks of sleeping guards, the party found the stairway down. And they decided to go down instead of clearing the rest of the ground level first. This will come back to bite them hard ...

Downstairs, the party found Bruthazmus in the harem and killed both him and Ripnugget's wives. Next up were the quarters of Nualia and her company. The only foes present were Tsuto, who had heard the party coming a mile away but had been unable to sneak past them to join Lyrie, and Orik.

Tsuto set up an ambush in Nualia's room. Orik hid out of sight in the corner, while Tsuto shot arrows down the long, narrow corridor at the party. The rogue, tired of being unable to reach Tsuto, finally managed to tumble past him into Nualia's room - only to be hit by Orik. Moments later Tsuto was cut down to negative hp. Orik surrendered, and gave his parole. Tsuto was stabilised (though still unconscious), bound, and gagged. Out of healing spells and having just acquired Tsuto as a prisoner, the party decided to return to Sandpoint.

Coming out the door of Thistletop, they ran into two of the wandering goblin guards and their goblin dogs (two of the four who were playing "killgull" earlier). These foes were killed, but the fight woke up the sleeping guards in the other watchtower. They spent a round tossing their contraband over the edge before sounding the alarm. This brought the remaining "wandering guards" and their goblin dogs, so the party rushed for the rope bridge. The rogue, fighter, and oracle stepped out onto it, and then came the disarmed Orik carrying the unconscious Tsuto. Orik got to say, "Wait a minute, did you lot manage to ... oops?" before the bridge trap was sprung.

The three PCs managed to hang on, but Orik fell into the water. He had enough hp to survive and reach safety on some nearby rocks, but Tsuto - unconscious, bound, and gagged - died on impact. While more merriment continued above (desperate Climb checks, etc. while under fire, and the bard making a courageous near-last stand by the bridge's remaining ropes), Tsuto's body sank.

And then the bunyip realised that lunch was served.

Thus, Tsuto did not make it back to Sandpoint for trial. He will not be missed. :)


My group just got to Jorgenfist this weekend, but we had a casualty on the way. We use hero points so it was not permanent.

Name: Blendafiss (half-elf CG) as his alter-ego, Kaiju (feral mutagen, NG)
Class/Level: Alchemist 9/Master Chymist 2
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: 6 Hill Giants on the Storval Stairs
Story:

The players got to the Storval Stairs. Kaiju, as a feral mutagen, is able to fly so he was able to reach the top faster than the rest of the group. So he enlarged, grabbed his half-brother Himmelsdorf (elf ranger), and flew all the way up to the top as soon as boulders started rolling to the bottom of the stairs. They fought the hill giants but it took a few rounds for the rest of the group to catch up and Kaiju died (ret-conned to just unconscious with hero points). Once the stragglers reached the top the hill giants were toast!


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Karolina Dean wrote:

My group just got to Jorgenfist this weekend, but we had a casualty on the way. We use hero points so it was not permanent.

Name: Blendafiss (half-elf CG) as his alter-ego, Kaiju (feral mutagen, NG)
Class/Level: Alchemist 9/Master Chymist 2
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: 6 Hill Giants on the Storval Stairs
Story:

The players got to the Storval Stairs. Kaiju, as a feral mutagen, is able to fly so he was able to reach the top faster than the rest of the group. So he enlarged, grabbed his half-brother Himmelsdorf (elf ranger), and flew all the way up to the top as soon as boulders started rolling to the bottom of the stairs. They fought the hill giants but it took a few rounds for the rest of the group to catch up and Kaiju died (ret-conned to just unconscious with hero points). Once the stragglers reached the top the hill giants were toast!

Ahh, one of the classic blunders:

- Never start a land war in Asia
- Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line
- Never split the party.


So far I've had two TPK by separate groups, I play through Black Fang's Dungeon first then onto RotR.

Name of PC: Valorous the Dragon-Slayer
Class/Level: Fighter/
Name of PC: Kyra
Class/Level: Cleric/
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Erylium
Story: With only a party of two this was always going to be a dangerous fight, refusing to back off and get betters weapons even after she ran out of spells and slowly wore them away the party eventually fell to the attrition of the fast healing damage resistance demon.

Name of PC: Dante
Class/Level: Rogue/Gunslinger
Name of PC: Borgut Schliefer
Class/Level: Barbarian/Cavalier
Name of PC: Cre Yasher
Class/Level: Sorceror/Magus
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Thistletop and angry bugbears
Story: After clearing the top floor of Thistletop, with a huge battle that left them on the verge of death and Borgut unconscious at -6, the party decided to sleep in one of the watch towers. A single bug bear, Bruthazmus came out exploring at the night to see what was going on. He killed one, and the other fled at 4 HP (and disappeared)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber
RMcD wrote:

So far I've had two TPK by separate groups, I play through Black Fang's Dungeon first then onto RotR.

Name of PC: Valorous the Dragon-Slayer
Class/Level: Fighter/
Name of PC: Kyra
Class/Level: Cleric/
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Erylium
Story: With only a party of two this was always going to be a dangerous fight, refusing to back off and get betters weapons even after she ran out of spells and slowly wore them away the party eventually fell to the attrition of the fast healing damage resistance demon.

Name of PC: Dante
Class/Level: Rogue/Gunslinger
Name of PC: Borgut Schliefer
Class/Level: Barbarian/Cavalier
Name of PC: Cre Yasher
Class/Level: Sorceror/Magus
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Thistletop and angry bugbears
Story: After clearing the top floor of Thistletop, with a huge battle that left them on the verge of death and Borgut unconscious at -6, the party decided to sleep in one of the watch towers. A single bug bear, Bruthazmus came out exploring at the night to see what was going on. He killed one, and the other fled at 4 HP (and disappeared)

Do we then add:

- Never be afraid to run
- Never camp, sorely wounded, in an area where the enemy is still active?


NobodysHome wrote:


Do we then add:
- Never be afraid to run
- Never camp, sorely wounded, in an area where the enemy is still active?

You would think that those rules would be pretty obvious, but with players you never can tell.

Even with telling them pretty explicitly YOU'RE GONNA SLEEP RIGHT HERE? they still want to stay (about two minutes of video with the person currently unconscious telling them maybe they should listen).


Name of PC: Klose Strongarm the Human
Class/Level: Fighter 5
Adventure: The Misgivings
Catalyst: Bad decisions, Skaveling, post-boss-fight

Name of PC: Vaal the Sylph
Class/Level: Sky Druid 5
Adventure: The Misgivings
Catalyst: Ditto

Amount of survivors: 1 plus animal companion

Details:

After defeating Aldern, the party then decided to explore the other passage in the caverns (as they had not explored due to Iesha). The party was half-health, no more heals, no pots, no scrolls, ability damaged, all ghoul fever, and prone to failing paralysis saves. The party enganged the Skaveling out of form. Quickly the entire party was paralyzed. Klose and Vaal failed against coup de graces maneuvers. Felix the Cat, sole survivor, passed and survived the damage of his coup. This was only made possible by the sacrifice of the brave Klose, who repositioned Felix behind his own flesh, after Felix was first to fall to paralysis. Felix managed to escape, with the Skaveling missing its AoO. He was left at 9 health, with 4 carrionstorms to run through. Instead, he tossed his cat companion into his pack, and proceeded to scale the cliffs outside the manor, to safety. This feat of endurance, skill, and cat saving heroism (+luck), demanded that he not roll a single 1, in a series of 46 climb checks. He survived. He the managed to hobble back 10 miles, uphill, in the hot sun, back to Sandpoint to tell the tale of his brave travelling and fighting companions, who have now become ghouls.


46 Climb checks?!?

I'm impressed! :)


Name of PC: Ulrich
Class/Level: Ranger 5
Adventure: The Misgivings
Catalyst: Bad decisions, Skaveling

4 PCs want to head into mansion, but Rogue went down well and Ranger followed. Ranger went into tunnel, Rogue did not. Ranger gets head bitten off by Skaveling. Same Ranger also went in alone under Thistletop and faced Bunyip and nearly died then.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

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See Latrecis' post above...


My newbie PCs got close to wrapping up Jorgenfist this weekend but we ended up having a couple of deaths :( They ended up using their last couple of hero points to reverse things but things are looking kind of grim...

Name of PC: Shalelu Andosana
Class/Level: Ranger 6/Fighter 4 (Elf)
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: Forgefiend
Story: The group got to the library level of Jorgenfist and the Forgefiend tormented them as they moved around, staging quick hit-and-runs from the walls. The group cleared the room with the Headless Lord and his zombie army when immediately after combat the Forgefiend jumped them from behind, showering Himmelsdorf (elf ranger 10/sorcerer 1/arcane archer 1) and his girlfriend Shalelu in slag with Searing Spew. Shalelu failed her reflex save and was encased in molten slag, killing her. This was ret-conned with the assumption that she had remembered to cast Resist Energy on herself after they FIRST encountered the Forgefiend...which would have saved her. I said this mostly to try and encourage the ranger player (who plays both his ranger and his girlfriend, Shalelu) to try and value his spells more highly since he never casts any spells...ever! On either character! Not even gravity bow :( So hopefully telling him that Resist Energy could have saved them some Hero Points might get him to value the buff more highly...or probably not as evidenced by the other death this week...

Name of PC: Himmelsdorf
Class/Level: Ranger 10/Sorcerer 1/Arcane Archer 1 (Elf)
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: Mokmurian
Story: So my group of PCs are new, both to tabletop gaming and to the Pathfinder system. Through the lower levels of RotR there aren't a whole lot of flashy spellcaster enemies, and that combined with a lack of arcane casters in their party composition, has lead them to seriously underestimate arcane casters in general. So despite a lot of warning from both a captured Barl Breakbones and later Teraktinus that Mokmurian was a powerful mage (including some descriptions of his favorite spells in an effort to make preparation for it even easier), and the fact that my group had decided Mokmurian was the big bad guy of the AP, they didn't really try to prepare for the fight at all. They figured he would simply end up a "grappled chump", as they put it. So they were caught completely by surprise by his quickened spells, fog, and various cloud AoE effects that took up large parts of the room. Mokmurian focused on Himmelsdorf, as he viewed the other arcane caster as the largest threat in the room, and finished him off with multiple fire spells (robe of runes!), the final one being his quickened scorching ray. Himmelsdorf, who still didn't bother to cast resist energy on himself, was incinerated! The rest of the group retreated back to the library, along with Himmelsdorf, who dodged that last scorching ray and ran to safety.

That ended the session so now I am faced with a hard decision - to (A) have Mokmurian pursue them to the library, which has a good chance of finishing the group off as they are out of wand cure charges and pretty much out of resources in general, but seems more realistic in terms of what Mokmurian would likely do, or (B) let the group rest in the library and have Mokmurian come hunt them down later after having rested and studied his spells himself, and probably with a couple of stone giants in tow, which gives the group a better shot at success but at the cost of versimilitude. I'm afraid that if Mokmurian waits until after they have rested the group will know that I went easy on them and that knowledge will take away the thrill of victory over him. A selfish part of me wants the group to pay the price for ignoring my advice about dungeon prep, as ever since way back with Erylium I've repeated that if they know what they are fighting ahead of time they should try to prepare for it, and to consider any knowledge they get about what lies ahead as a valuable advantage, but they've consistently winged every encounter in the AP so far despite my warnings. At least I have a week to muddle it over- either way I'm afraid I'll probably be back in this thread next weekend!


None are so blind as those that will not see.

Retreating to the Library is in and of itself pretty dangerous - they will be trapped there. Can they try to flee back up toward the surface? Still a stretch of verisimilitude (great word - don't find it on many internet forums!) but more plausible they could escape or hide that direction. And yea, I know it's probably dangerous that direction too (pending what they left behind) but they'll last longer than they will "against that Death Star!"

Andoran

Rushing across the bridge to Thistletop.

Sordil Til, human alchemist 4th level, fell through a broken board plummeting to the icy cold(it's winter in my game) waters below. After a few rounds, he is unable to find his way to the surface and drowns.

Hal, human fighter(defender) 4th level, went after his friend. Climbed down to the water line via his silk rope. Only to fail a climb check and he too fell into the water.
The bunyip, already agitated from Sordil's fall, and the two goblins who's corpses were tossed in the waters early, charged this living meal. Grabbing his left arm in it's mouth and draggin Hal under water, the two struggled until the bunyip gnawed off Hal's arm and he bled out.

Of course, our cleric/inquisitor was out that night, leaving 3 new players(more or less) just moving on and leaving those two to their own fate.


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Name of PC: Drogar Ironstone
Class/Level/Race: Inquisitor, 7th level, duergar.
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders, at Shadow Clock.
Catalyst: Scarecrow and bad luck.
Story: Party entered in the tower, and where greeted/distracted by Lyrie. And he didn't roll well on perception to notice Scarecrow. Being the closest one to golem, he was struck first. Then he rolled badly on initiative. So Scarecrow went first, scoring and confirming critical hit on him.

The next one was reincarnated back.

Name of PC: Utavel
Class/Level/Race: Magus, 7th level, elf.
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders, epilogue part.
Catalyst: Grab, pin, tie, constrict damage and coup de grace.
Story: This one is something insane. PC was venturing back to tavern through Magnimare docks, after some hours of searching a specific buyer. I rolled for random encounter, and got 01. Ok, then i rolled for foes. Just 2 reefclaws - 1 CR. He's 7 level magus we all think, he'll win fast. But the luck wasn't on his side. He rolled 1 on initiative for start. Still, at first we where just joking, when saying that some crablike will take him down. But then, after killing the first reefclaw, second one grappled him.
Suddenly he can't use his Black Blade Rapier. Tries to hit the monster with enchanted with fire and ice dagger. Reefclaw is still alive and gives him pinned condition. PC shouts for guards. 10 rounds to wait.
He has about half hit points, and is poisoned for like 8 round 3 times now (a lot of awful save rolls on fortitude). PC is using his slumber hex. With no success.
He's tied up (reefclaw uses his body as rope). Breaks the tie up condition twice. Tries to levitate - too heavy. Is tied up with no possibility to escape. Trows Evil Eye hexes, just to do something. Resists two coup de grace attacks. 2 more rounds for guard, he has like 7 hp, reefclaw in minus -8 but ferocity is keeping him alive.
Other players start to speculate - the dead reefclaw was the wife of that which is grappling, and it's too personal now. Or these two are assassins send by Lamashtu, to take revenge for thwarting her plans with Nualia.
So, reefclaw makes another coup de grace. This time it wins. Elf is unconscious but stabilized. Reefclaw falls with tied magus in water from pier. Magus is drowning.
Guards come, but are unable to take immediate actions. So reefclaw wins and gets 3200 exp. After, the body is fished up from water (by uncorrupted guard's who didn't stole anything - a good roll for once) and send to city morgue. The next day other PC go to find their magus. Nobody can stand to roleplay it serious, when their characters are informed of the cause of death. The next step - they go to buy some reincarnation and restoration scrolls. Now the proud elf is halfling. And he's working on hat of greater disguise, to return even a resemblance of his previous body.

P.S. Xanesha was killed in 2 round with no casualties.


Name of PC: Blendafiss
Class/Level: Half-Elf Alchemist 10/Master Chymist 2
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: Mokmurian + 6 Stone Giants
Story:

So Mokmurian ended up hunting my heroes right away in the library, grabbing a platoon of 6 stone giants with him. The group focused the stone giants down but Blendafiss (who was out of mutagens for the day) went down to an unlucky crit. I figured this was the deathknell as Blendafiss was the only one who stood a chance at dispelling Mokmurian's considerable buffs - the group was having a lot of difficulty hitting him. And indeed, most of the group went into the negatives. But with some quick thinking, the group realized there were a few unused potions of cure serious wounds on Blendafiss' body, and that was when the fight turned around.

Himmelsdorf, the arcane archer, finally used all those spells that he has never used before, and after a few crits with gravity bow/enlarge Mokmurian was toast! Himmelsdorf leveled up from the experience, decided to spend his skill points on Use Magic Device, and used the scroll of Limited Wish to cast Raise Dead on Blendafiss. And then the group immediately started looking up buffs that are effective against wizards, after realizing that their next destination, the Runeforge, would surely be full of wizards. Hurray!


Ashkar wrote:

Name of PC: Utavel

Class/Level/Race: Magus, 7th level, elf.
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders, epilogue part.
Catalyst: Grab, pin, tie, constrict damage and coup de grace.
Story: But then, after killing the first reefclaw, second one grappled him.
Suddenly he can't use his Black Blade Rapier.

Unless you houseruled otherwise, being grappled shouldn't affect his ability to use a rapier unless its some weird two-handed rapier.


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Hm. Now I understand that I was fooled by other players, when the one, who is a bit of Rule Advocate, said that Rapier isn't light so it wouldn't work (fist time he made a mistake), and others supported-agreed with him. Even magus was aboard with this, so i didn't bother to recheck this moment in rules.
Well, will give him a hero point as compensation.

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