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RotRL Obituaries

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

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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