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RotRL Obituaries

Rise of the Runelords

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Liberty's Edge

I culled some data from the most recent pages of this thread and this thread, and some threads in the Serpent's Skull subforum. Methodology described here.

This is a nicer presentation of data than the graphs posted there - basically, it's showing how common death is for a certain class, scaled to the number of people who appear to have played that class. Poor fighters!

Total sample sizes:
58 dead and 147 created in RotR
49 dead and 187 created in SS
Disclaimer: since at most 15% of the sample was any given class, the actual sample sizes for statistical purposes would be much smaller (like, 9). So the error is pretty huge. But still - poor fighters!

Shadow Lodge

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Wow. Not a single Bard has died in RotRL; not a single Paladin has died in Serpent's Skull (that has been reported). Good for them, statistically.

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Holy Casualties, Batman! No pc deaths in the first 4 books, now in Sins there have been three. This time the wizard got it. Again.

Name: Aldamir
Class/Level: Male Elf Wizard (Conjuration) 14
Adventure: Sins of the Saviors
Catalyst: Azaven

The pc's were bunched up in the narrow approach to the Assembly room, so the Wizard disintegrated sections of the wall at the end of the urn corridor so his summoned celestial dire tigers could get into the fray. The pc's had previously, without knowing the benefit, taken out the gate in the Infusion Chamber so they were safe there. And it worked, the celestial tigers got into the room. But it also made Prismatic Spray even more effective (as in it could hit even more targets.) That can be a sneakily devastating spell - having the players roll their own d8 to determine the effect is very satisfying. Aldamir failed his save vs poison and died. The bard threw in a Saving Finale spell and the wizard punted the second save as well. For a brief moment, total disaster loomed as the cleric had yet to make his save. Fortunately, he made it and was not turned to stone. The bard and the fighter might have been completely hosed if both spellcasters had been permanently down. The cleric subsequently used a Resurrection scroll to revive the wizard. Azaven still functions but I suspect he won't last long when we resume play.

Silver Crusade

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Yeah, Sins of the Savior does seem to turn up the level of deadliness in this AP.

Our group only had two deaths in the first four books, though it easily could have been two more if I wasn't such a nice GM. Since we started book 5, we've had one real death, two that were brought back with Breathe of Life, and one turned to stone.

I'll be curious to see how much worse it is for my group when they hit book 6.

Name: Feng
Race/lvl: Half-orc sorcerer3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: PC pride and underestimating goblins

Feng and his player gets tired of the party gathering info and strategizeing (arguing) about Thistletop. He and the party's Monk decide to raid the fort alone from the sea. Sneaking in, they find three goblins tormenting a sea gull and burning hands them. The goblins survive the initial attack and shout for reinforcements. Fast forward a few rounds, a few goblins have fallen and most the goblin dogs, but Thisletop unpeashed all the goblins upon the party. Overwhealmed, they leap off the side of the island and on to their boat. They try to escape, but goblin arrows reduce them to the negatives. They drift unconscious for hours, eventually dying when the boat is tossed over in a storm.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yesterday was a bad day for my group... I'm still kinda dumbfounded and stumped...

Name: Titus the Wanderer
Class/Level: Oracle (Heavens)/7
Adventure: HMM
Catalyst: bad GMing, being bored/half asleep (not me),... no idea + one player missing

We called it a night last time after a merry adventure aboard the Paradise sank to the bottom of Claybottom Lake and the PCs and a group of survivors arriving at Turtleback Ferry.
The PCs rested, were greeted by the mayor, bought new supplies, got an update on the situation around TBF and headed off into the wilderness of Ashwood to claim copses of darkwood within the forest (sidequest in my campaign on behalf of Titus Scarnetti).
They've heard about the dam at the end of Skull River and want to take a look at it.
Having no interest in taking a second look at the destroyed rope across the Skull River where there used to be another ferry and failing their perception check to notice the corpse of the ferryman and the tracks/signs of a fight they headed off North-North East.
OK, I thought: no progressing the main plot line tonight.
They spent about a week in the woods and laid claim to about 12 copses and were done with that quest, getting bored it seemed.
They pushed onwards into Wyvern Mountains, and I pulled out B1 and had three wyverns screech overhead and then attack.
The next rounds I was devastated how badly my group reacted to this thread.
The first round I described them that the wyverns came into clear view. My group opted for pulling out their ranged weapons and... waited. Next round the wyverns used flyby and attacked each of them using their sting attack.
Titus player noticed/declared that he had not actived his Coat of Many Stars revelation which made me go: oooookaaaayy. Each of the attacks hit (+10 attack bonus+d20 is not to be laughed at).
Titus didn't manage a single save and died of CON damage. Just before the final round our missing player joined us via Skype. Being more than 2 1/2 hours late to the party nobody (if people join late I leave that to the players) really felt obliged to give him more details then: we're in a fight; so he attacked.

Trying to somehow remedy my misjudgement (three wyverns at CR 6 meaning CR 9 so an epic encounter for my group of 3 players at APL7) and to foreshadow what's to come I had a fey drop by which offered a deal: it'll revive Titus if the group removed the stakes they used to mark the claims. Nobody wanted to enter the deal... next up: an email to my group of players to discuss the situation.


Name: Grax'uur
Class/Level: Bladebound Magus/8
Adventure: HMM
Catalyst: Skull Ripper and a resource depleted party

Story: After recapturing Ft. Ranick, the party returned to TF to find it half submerged. They rescued the school kids and dealt with Black Maga. this did a pretty good job of chewing up speels, ki points, and arcane points. It was suggested by some of the towns people that there must be something wrong with the damn, so they set off right away.

The party dealt with Gorger and Chaw, the demolition crew, the battle grounds and Grazul before encountering Skull Ripper. They were low on healing, out of buffs and nearly everything else they needed to deal with a beastie like that. Poor Grax'uur was down to 17 hp and took a critical power attack from a claw. The 35 points of damage were more than enough to take care of those remaining hp and put him negative more than his CON. Fortunately, he had been a good hero up to this point and had earned the 2 hero points needed to not be gone for good.

Seeing his plight, the witch ran up grabbed him and dimension doored them both out of there. The rest of the party then beat a hasty retreat. It was a totally different fight when they came back the next day healed and fully buffed. Poor Skull Ripper didn't stand a chance.

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Olaf Thunderstep: dwarf fighter 12
Mad Haggle: goblin alchemist/gunslinger 12

These characters died while under Jorgenfist. Fighting to get thier friend Shalelu back. Unfortunately for them, she still died.

Twofer in the last session. Plus NPCs. It was a mess.

Name: Vinder
Class/Level: Male Halfling Mutagenic Mauler 8
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Bringing all the Ogres to the yard + hubris

Name: Thierren
Class/Level: Male Half-Elf Cleric/Mage/Mystic Theurge 2/5/1
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Bringing all the Ogres to the yard + hubris

The party snuck around the shocker lizard tunnels, foregoing the invitation to go down into the warrens where they bred, and found the secret door into the courtyard. The stealthier members, plus Shalelu, snuck out to see if there was more recon to do than they already had. They found the loose stone on Karly-lop's residence in the guardhouse. Vinder did the exact amount of damage to bring it down, which brought all the ogres the AP called for to come over to investigate. The collapse killed the non-advanced ogres inside and trapped Karly-lop for 5 rounds. I also ruled that the rubble field was difficult terrain. Vinder had time to hide, and Thierren and Shalelu were already hidden. The rest of the party, watching from the secret door, meta'd that since every encounter was supposed to be something they could handle, they should come out and attack the score of ogres. There were so many squeezing through the door of the barracks that they were still emerging in round 3, and the party still didnt' understand that they were outmatched. My poor dice rolling didn't help that misconception. Long story short on the battle, the party remained divided, with Karly-lop bursting from the rubble just in time to make Thierren's retreat impossible, and Vinder refused to just leave Theirren and Shalelu. Shalelu didn't have that problem, ran, and dies after unsuccessfully hiding. Theirren fell to two AoO from movement, trying to run, and Vinder just got overrun by the press. The rest of the party made it back to the secret door, minus Vale and Jakadros' AC.

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Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: The Graul Family all at once

Name of PC: Aphram Guardson; Race/Class/Level: Half-Drow Magus 7
Name of PC: Iacobus; Race/Class/Level: Varisian Cleric of Calistria 7
Name of PC: Maximus; Race/Class/Level: Half-Ogre Barbarian 7

The party had reached the Graul Homestead and quickly grew annoyed with the place. First off was a game of hit-and-run with Crowfood in the cornfields; second were the traps set at every entrance to the house, which blocked their attempt to follow Crowfood's retreat inside. Thirdly, once they decided to check the barn instead (at Kibb's incessant suggestions), they were by a huge ogre spider that managed to deliver his venom to the party magus.

At that point, he'd had enough, and threw three fireballs into the main house to end it all. Unfortunately, Mammy Graul had dimension door while Crowfood, Lucky, and Maulgro had windows to climb out of. Hucker came burning out through the kitchen some minutes later.

The battle that ensued was pretty devastating to the party, especially since they spent a lot of their resources on the encounters leading up to this one. Aphram, as the arsonist in this tale, became the main target of Mammy's rage; at first, she threw suffocation at him from above, but when it became clear that that was not going to take him down quickly enough, she supplied him with blood boil, bestow curse, and vampiric touch as well. Aphram did not last much longer, and soon hung dead and upside-down in the air by the mercy of his fly spell.

On the ground, Crowfood appeared from behind the porch some rounds later than Mammy, and charged the largest and tastiest target available. This would be Iacobus, the full-plated cleric. Crowfood's charge gave him sneak attack, while his ogre hook scored a critical hit, for a total of 87 damage. Too much. Much too much. Iacobus went out like a light, and the last thing he saw was his kidney and entrails clinging to Crowfood's ogre hook.

As Lucky and Maulgro appeared from the other side of the house, Mammy kept control of the battlefield by the use of black tentacles and solid fog. Along the way, I decided to give them the help of a half-naked Vale Temros (he picked up Aphram's katana), who somehow had reclaimed his strength as the battle seemed to go bad.

To summarize, the party barely won through in the end, with only the fighter and the wizard still standing. Hucker was the one to bring down Maximus, while Vale managed to take down Hucker. All in all, I may have made the Grauls too powerful, but it was the decision to draw the entire family out together that truly tipped the scales against the party.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Totally reminds me of when I was trying to convince the party that they'd totally messed up big-time, and said, "You can tell that there are at least a couple hundred enemies approaching. They're still a few rounds away, so you have time to run."

Yep. The party decided to stay and fight. It was amazing that they only lost one party member before realizing that when a GM says, "You still have time to run," you might want to listen...

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