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There is a similar thread in the Savage Tide forum and I'd like to start one here too.
As a DM who has recently gotten underway on Shackled City I'd like to discuss some of the best moments you and your group had during the campaign. Feel free to share moments or encounters that you had a blast running or playing and will live on for years as stories told around the table of past games.
My party is wrapping up Jzadirune right now so they haven't had any such defining moments in the last three sessions but I'm sure they will come. Tell me about yours.
Hmm, well let's see.
In a random encounter with a T-rex, the ninja got swallowed whole. The monk went flurry on the beast, and scored a crit. Drawing from the Critical Hit dead, he read aloud 'Split Open'.
Amazed outcries around the table as I took the card and verfied. Now I knew it was only meant to be a shallow gash or some such wrestling effect. But seeing he had declared he was aiming for the gut to induce vomiting, I let it happen. Ninja dumped out rather surprised, and the rex went down soon after.
Another lovely monk story. Encountering a fire giant on the path through the Test of the Smoking Eye, the party was getting whaled on by that massive greatsword. The monk decided that hurt too much, and so went for a disarm.
A fantastic roll on the monk and terrible on the giant, and the monk had a shiny new sword. Deciding his fists were better, he tossed the blade behind him.
Looking at the stat block, the giant had no secondary weapon. Ooops. So, looking at the puny half-orc before him, he goes to step over him. No Imp Overrun means AoO. and the monk crits. And draws Knocked Back.
So now the giant is looking at this half-orc with shock, after being disarmed and blocked. The fight didn't last too much longer as the rest of the party finally caught up with the monk's movement speed.
Since this one involves some specifics of one of the later chapters:
In Foundation of Flame, I was using the write-up of the Last Laugh attacking Jenya during the confusion. The party arrived on the scene to a crowd of thugs. The clerics first action, Inflict Moderate Mass. Every one of the fighter mooks failed Will save and dropped dead. Teach them to cause trouble in his house.
We've had a good couple of sessions and they've just finished Soul Pillars and they're halfway through Lords of Oblivion (it's kind of out of order, because the mage scryed on Vitriss Bale who rolled a 1, so they went on to LoO because they were scared of the Dracolich).
They finally bit the bullet this weekend and finished going through Kurran Kurral, and the fight with Vitriss was epic, mostly because they knew he was in there when they went in, they were scared witless over confronting him, and it added tension to the entire session.
So their tactic was to send their cohort Couatl into each room to scout first. The Couatl is invisible and in Gaseous Form, of course, and this allowed them to take basically everyone else in KK down. Modus operandi:
1. Scout with gaseous, invisible couatl until you find a baddy.
So the couatl finds Vitriss and is leaving through the cracks in the doorway. "Make a move silently check."
"Yeah, and this is a dracolich, make a move silently at +10."
He got a 26, which wasn't nearly enough. The party freaks out, because now Vitriss knows they're coming. They buff for 4 rounds, and so does Vitriss. They dim door in and Vitriss is up on the wall.
No one goes down, but the casters are all in single digits. The fight begins. The bard starts doing his various things. The barbarian throws his returning axe and gets hit by a ray of enfeeblement. They do some damage, Vitriss does some damage...
4 rounds later, he's ready to breath again and this is going to kill some people. The only one who gets to go before Vitriss is the mage, who casts Disintegrate. The save is DC 20. Vitriss rolls an 8, and just gets a 20.
The bard says, "What about the -2 to attacks and saves from my song?"
Don't ever let anyone tell you that bards are useless. One little debuff was all it took.
As the DM, I was very worried about what Dugobras would do to my party. I mean, his stats look pretty tough. Turned out, I shouldn't have worried. Another item for the "Bards aren't useless" argument.
The party entered Vaprak's Voice proper after alerting the complex and defeated the hill giants and the ettins. The rogue, doing a quick check of the situation in the large circular room, looks up the long hallway towards the forge room.
He spots Dugobras peeking around the corner 150 ft away and yells out a warning to the party. Dugobras steps out into the hallway to quiet him down with a superheated anvil. Big D rolls a 1 and misses.
Dugrobras spends the next round pulling out his wand of dispel magic and rolling a 2 on his Use Magic Device check. No sight this round. But he 5-ft steps back towards the forge room get a bit more cover. The party moves more up the hallway, cautiously. The druid's new fiendish dire wolverine appears, and she casts Animal Growth on it and her eagle animal companion. The eagle is now Large and the wolverine is now Huge. [I quickly run into the other room to pull a bulette mini to use for this.] These two tear down the hallway towards Dugobras, who can't see them (perhaps fortunately).
Dugobras tries the wand again. 3. No dispel magic this round either. He stumbles clumsily back towards his forge. The wolverine and the eagle jostle each other around the corner, getting close to the poor bastard. The rest of the party moves up the hallway to get a better view.
Dugobras stumbles back into the forge room to try is wand again. 16! Success! He uses the wand and rolls his caster lever check. He rolls a 2, failing to dispel the glitterdust.
Over the next several rounds, Dugobras blindly flailed at the wolverine and the eagle as they mauled him mercilessly and the dwarf fighter took massive chunks out of his side. He only hit the wolverine once.
That's all the damage he did to the party.
Two stories we're still talking about.
Jzadirune. Our rogue doesn't have thieves tools, so he decides to disable a pit trap with the silver fork they've recovered in someone's treasure. One the players - our barbarian - was busy jawing with another player and didn't pay close attention, sees that the trap is secured, walks across it and wheee! Luckily he's one of the few with the hp to survive it.
Occipitus. We're stuck on the plane for over a month of playing time (partly because all but one adventurer got themselves turned to stone) and the surviver was the rogue (of the fork story). Although Kaurophon saved them, they are still certain he's going to betray them at any second. (My players are extremely paranoid.) Once the final encounter with the bad guy (buffed to the stars) arrives, my sorcerer scores a crit on his orb of force. Nothing left of the bad guy but blood, bits and an amulet.
My group has only just made it to the Malachite Fortress so there hasn't been too many memorable moments so far. A couple of highlights would include:
- The party negotiating with Xuthal the mimic for the safe return of Starbrow, Keygan Ghelve's familiar, and then getting Xuthal a job with Ghelve, guarding the entry to Jzadirune.
- The Favoured Soul pushing the trapped cupboard down onto himself, knocking himself out.
- The group spending literally half a session trying to get around a Tilt-a-Pit trap (there's no Rogue in the party!)
- The group making said Tilt-a-Pit trap more deadly by throwing Gnome beds into it!
- The first party death nearly occuring after a PC rolls a 1 on a Balance check and falls into the now deadlier Tilt-a-Pit trap! :-)
Olaf the Stout
Well probably my favorite was when the red dragon awakens beneath Cauldron and attacks, it swallowed our duskblade and the duskblade survived in there for about 12 rounds...doing alot of vampiric touch's and can't remember the other spell but it was pretty impressive. More damage dealt inside the dragon than what was being done outside the body.
Also outside the shadow keep (or whatever that place is after you destroy cauldron) we were attacked by the dragon that was allied with the cagewrights at the core of the volcano attacked us and in 2 rounds we dropped it with almost no difficulty (we had missed the dragon on accident originally and we had chopped the tree down in the volcano so it completely destroyed the city).
Warning: Spoilers for Chapter 3 (Flood Festival)
The Alleybashers had been captured for the death of Sarcem, and had been locked up in the Cauldron prison pending their trial. The Touched in the Head rogue in our party decided that he was going to single-handedly mount a jailbreak. And proceeded to do so during the Demonskar Ball.
As the DM who had been laying the groundwork for the Ball for over 2-3 months, I was agitated. Yet I understood why his character was motivated to do this. Especially because he could sub in an imposter for himself at the Ball who was in full costume. He role-played the "successful" jailbreak beforehand, and role-played the imposter during the regular session.
The jailbreak did not quite go as planned. Details such as tossing the Stone of Alarm through the closest window meant into the Town Hall, freeing violent criminals and expecting them to use non-violent means to escape, and spending all of the group's credit at the Potion shop and not expecting to get caught only heightened the hilarity of the entire situation.
Truly the best was when he confessed his transgressions to the party cleric looking for forgiveness, and the stunned looks on everyone's face as the impact of his deeds hit home.
Beautifully, this event laid the road for the creation of the Magical Threats Agency. It also showed the possible corruption of Captain Terseon when the rest of the group made the rogue confess his crime, and the Captain failed to deal with it. Imagine if you were Captain of the Guard and it was made known that your men had been fooled by a halfling that is commonly considered to be the worst pickpocket in town, and who spouts nonsense on a regular basis.
As much as I was afraid that he would destroy the Ball, he created a "glory" that will not be forgotten by all of our group.
That's awesome, and reminds me of our rogue's shenanigans.
After Flood Season he got a Hat of Disguise, and since the mayor had announced that taxes would be raised in order to construct levies to stop Cauldron's dependence of nonrenewable foreign magic, our little halfling saw an opportunity.
He became a gnome called Roger Taxwell. He studied tax law and put a couple of ranks into Profession (tax collector). We had a couple of months of downtime there, and he rolled for how much taxes he collected every day. Every evening he made a Forgery roll as he cooked the books and skimmed some off the top. He also made friends among the other tax collectors, and was the first to twig to the fact that Vhalantru (Cauldron's Chancellor of the Exchequer IMC) wasn't such a great guy, because he followed the money and found that none of it was going towards levies, and most of it was going straight to House Vhalantru.
It was weird having this accounting minigame while the others were off making magic items. Like the one tax lawyer in the Untouchables.
That's beautiful dodo.
Another good one in mine, the party was rowing down the river on their way into the jungle to find an NPC they had talked to before. On their previous trip, they had been attacked by gnolls. So I thought, hmm, why not again? So there come the arrows again. And the bard asks if they are within 440 feet. Thinking 'why is he asking this?' I say, yeah, sure.
Then the bard dimension doors the cleric and fighter behind the gnolls. Slaughter ensues. Guess a couple levels do make a difference.
Habib de Silva, my Swashbuckler/Fighter/Lasher, wields a whip-dagger, which is basically a knife on a rope, but between magic, feats, flurry attacks, and sneak attack (thank you Lasher!) it's pretty impressive. He can, theoretically, attack six times a round, and if the target is flat-footed or flanked, do 4d6 + 10 for each hit. Yes, it's silly as hell.
When we ventured down into Valantru's mansion and attacked him in his giant, spherical chamber, Habib downed a Fly potion and jumped right in. With a 15' reach, flight, and sneak attack, he's the perfect person to get around behind a target. He got one shot in but was turned to stone and hit the ground with a thud (the DM was kind enough to not have him shatter into a million pieces, which I appreciate).
A couple of tense rounds went by. A beholder is a tough beast to slay. The rays can be nasty. There were a couple of disintegration attempts, but everyone made their saves. Meanwhile, I'm on the ground, frozen in friggin' carbonite. Valantru floats near to Habib. The invisible wizard runs over to Habib. There's a beautiful moment when the wizard whips out a Stone to Flesh scroll because, bless her heart, she actually saw this coming. Habib is suddenly flesh again, but staring at the giant central eye of a very powerful beholder.
However, our bard managed to cast a spell that made Valantru technically flanked, so there I am, weapon in hand and six attacks ready to go, all at 4d6 + 10. I rolled the first three, and two of them were critical hit. I didn't even need to roll to hit with all of my attacks. The rest of the team had reduced his HPs and I did something in the range of 100 damage. I basically drilled into his eye with my whip and carved up his brain.
Someday, I'll tell you how I took down a chaos dragon the same way.
My group has only just finished looting Jzadirune and not moved on to the Malachite Fortress yet. They skillfully avoided every trap and uncovered every secret door and walked out with everything that wasn't nailed down. It was kind of silly.
The only thing that comes close to a real 'glory' was when the ogre slaughtered the lead skulk in a single hit and only afterward realized that he was important and now they didn't know how to find the Malachite Fortress or the missing children. We all laughed when it dawned on them he was the leader, they even knew what room he was hold up in too. They killed the two hobgoblin thugs that worked for Kazmojen earlier thinking they could just question the skulk leader.
I moved the Malachite Fortress to another location in the city so they will need to do a bunch of legwork to find Kazmojen's hideaway. Check out my conversions on theRPGenius.com here.
I had a great moment in the session just gone. The party had killed Kazmojen and Prickles and were untying the children when the Beholder popped in for a visit. The look on the players faces when I placed the Beholder mini onto the battlemat was priceless! :-)
One player simply said "Oh s!&&!", another one said "Is that what I think it is?", while a third one said to get some new character sheets ready!
In the end Vhalantru had to put 2 PC's to sleep and charm a third one before the party would give him Terrem. It was a great moment. Probably the best in the campaign so far.
Olaf the Stout
I had the same reaction at my table save for one change. I had the Derro escape so when they remembered him one player declared the Beholder an illusion. The cleric then tries to cast a spell but the spell fails. not taking the hint the fighter then leaps on the Beholder in a grapple attempt again failing. The Beholders turn he shoots the fighter with charm monster and tells her to sit down. At this point the players are like ... maybe its not an illusion...
I had a blast with "Test of the Smoking Eye" (Dungeon # 107).
MY party consisted of two players, both worshippers of the Forgotten Realms god of suffering (Ilmater), a priest and a melee type.
When I started DMing I avoided PC deaths, but over the years I started using them to add extra layers to the story. This adventure is a fine example of that.
During the final stretch of the adventure, inside the skull, the PCs and Kaurophon encounter the rakshasa and his fire giant ally. The giant's powerful hits take down the priest. Since he died in the Abyss, I decided to have his soul be trapped here. The PC is now a ghost who feels the darkness of hell tugging at his soul. He can still see what is going on around him and he realises that he can even interfere with reality by casting spells. But every time he does so, he expands more of his holy divine energy, which decreases his resistance buffer to the pull of the Abyss. If he is not careful, he will be absorbed by hell forever, with no chance of ever being returned to life or the afterlife in Celestia.
In the final room, the surviving PC is betrayed by Kaurophon and the sorcerer uses his telekinesis power to throw around the fighter like a helpless ragdoll. When everything seems lost, the ghost priest decides to offer himself to the flames of the plasma geyser. This act of selfless sacrifice, which is right up the alley of his god, breaks his power over the pull of the Abyss and restores him to life (also adding the Sign of the Smoking Eye template).
Storywise, this was one of the nicest sessions we ever had.
My players recently fought against the Lord of the Demonscar and not only where they able to save Alek (due to crazy, constant healing by the cleric), but at the very end when he was about to retreat, the paladin gets a critical with Alakast (in my game I made it morphic so it would change into any weapon the user wants) and draws a card from the Critical Hit deck to decapitate...
They ended up teleporting Alek back to Red Gorge with the head of the demon to end the war while they went off to Occipitus.
It was good times...
One of my group's memorable moments also involves the hard cover title picture. Nabthatoron managed to kill Alek in my campaign and then teleported away after the party realized they couldn't hope to kill him quickly and would risk getting ripped to as many pieces as Alek was.
They were bound to meet again on the battlefield of Redgorge. They actively decided (after some DM nudging) to ambush him and did so. Being much better prepared this time, they did bring him down to low enough hitpoints that he decided to teleport away. The rogue/wizard PC, however, had a readied action to strike at him, should he attempt something foolish (like casting a spell). Since she made her spellcraft check to realize what he was about to do, I let her follow through with the action. Being too far from the demon, she couldn't hope to hit with Alek's holy longsword, which she wielded at the time. Switching to bow and arrow (her preferred weapon anyway) was not possible in the short time. Eventually she decided to throw the longsword. Gifted with remarkable dexterity and a lucky roll, she managed to hit (it may have been critical even, don't recall) despite the penalties for non-proficient use of a wepon and all that. Sure enough, she dealt just enough damage to finish him off.
Cheers all around the table.
In finishing up the chapter before Flood Season, I told the PCs about the upcoming Flood Festival. Bub, the half-ogre barbarian, played by my wife, happens to also be a short-(or is that tall-)order cook at one of the local taverns. She said that her character was going to start prepping and making meat pies to sell at a little stall.
At the festival, Bub sets up his stall and pies sell briskly. That is, they do until the Stormblades get wind of it. Annah Taskerhill starts spreading rumors about what kind of meat a half-ogre would put in a pie and sales plummet. Alex Tercival, heading out of town toward Redgorge, makes a point of buying several publically and taking them with him because the party has been extremely friendly with the Cuthbertines. Bub's swashbuckler friend Lia gets into a brawl with Cora Lathenmire over the issue, leading to the guards breaking them up.
Eventually, Bub manages to get himself into a baking contest with the Taskerhill family's chef to settle the issue on his cooking. The Taskerhill chef comes down with his assistants, judges are selected including Orbius Vhalantru and Skie Aldersun. Despite the chef's focus, Bub has invested pretty heavily in his cooking skill, and the decision ends up being a split one but with Taskerhill's chef on top. Nevertheless, Bub's reputation as a cook rises tremendously and his sales are phenominal. Since they're just meat pies, they don't amount to a heck of a lot of money compred to adventuring, but a fun episode.
In Test of the Smoking Eye, the fight with the bebilith was looking a bit touchy. The party was spread out on the walkways and the first one to make contact had already been poisoned.
Lordem the aasimar paladin/bard, devotee of Lydia, makes a dramatic attack. The character has been built around the charging smite variation in the PH2 rather than use the pokemount. He's pretty strong, fights with a falchion or spiked chain and is moving to the abjurant champion prestige class.
Lordem has already been prepared and has cast a bless weapon spell on his falchion. He then moves into striking range for one of his other spells, casts swift fly and charges in over the spiked pits. The bebilith has plenty of reach, however, and gets an attack of opportunity, hitting Lordem easily. Lordem fails the save and is poisoned, taking 6 points of Constitution damage and losing half his hit points. But, in for a penny, in for a pound, he follows through with the attack and scores a critical threat. The bless weapon spell auto-confirms the critical. He scores 70 points of damage in one blow and sets the bebilith reeling (though still alive).
One of the other party member spell-casters, Petal the tiefling warmage, uses benign transposition to swap Lordem from his exposed location with Snipe the Scout. Lordem taunts the bebilith while Snipe and his ferret familiar, both sharing the cloud of knives spell, send knives at the bebilith. The damage is low, or would have been, if the scout hadn't moved around and gotten his skirmish bonus. Under that assault and Bub the half-ogre's new-found large longspear (taken from the salamander upstairs), the bebilith expires.
It was quite the spectacular fight.
My party has finally had some moments that qualify.
I placed the Demonskar Ball at the end of the Flood Festival but before the Lucky Monkey. The party engaged in every event they could during the festival, I made my own schedule based on one I found on theRPGenius.com so there were a few things to do every day.
The drow rogue/sorcerer in the party wanted desperately to win every competition but kept getting shown up by local favorites. During a foot race she nearly won when a local elf passed her and pulled ahead. She drew close to him and threatened to cut his hamstrings in his sleep. They tied.
Later she heard of a big horse race and decided she was going to win that one. She and the ogre barbarian/ranger snuck into where the jockeys were staying and she killed one. She then had the ogre dump the body in the lake while she crept into the stable and sabotaged a number of horses. The party all put lots of money on her to win, the elf paladin/druid and the dwarf barbarian/monk thought she had convinced someone to let her ride, not that she had killed anyone to get there. She raced and barely won, she then immediately sold the horse so she wouldn't have to pay to keep it.
Having a half good/half evil party is interesting.
Another great couple of moments came during the Demonskar Ball. I was forced to say a few times "See that's why you don't bring barbarians to a dinner party." Following both of the barbarians falling over and making a spectacle of themselves during the Haunted Village dance the Stormblades, who they have coined "trust fund adventurers", were pointing and snickering and mocking. Both barbarians walked over and slugged Dolon Lathenmire and Zachery von Taskerhill III, knocking them out cold. They lost Demonskar points for that one.
The best moment came later, however. The elf paladin/druid spotted the Stormblades preparing to poison the desert. The girls, the elf and the drow, slipped off after the girls, Annah Aslaxin and Raquel Vanderboren, but were too late to see Raquel turned invisible and sneak into the kitchen. After some poking around Raquel ended up alone in the female bathroom with Zilanya, the drow. A conflict followed that began with words, then the daggers came out and they spent some time bloodying each other up before the drow disarmed and proceeded to beat Raquel into submission. Raquel finally admitted that vials were poison she put in the desert to make the party s##& themselves during the next dance. Everyone laughed and Zilanya, too disgusted even to kill her, stuffed Raquel down into the cesspit, where she screamed and hollered and finally slopped away to find her way out. Zilanay fixed her hair and touched up her makeup before returning to the dinner party, minus one Stormblade.
"You went through all that to put ex-lax in the brownies? How old are you?" - Zilanya
The event wasn't over however. The dessert came out and was served. The party misunderstood and thought the entire batch of dessert had been poisoned and everyone was at risk, not just the party. While half of the party may be of evil alignment the actions of the whole group tend toward good so they were racking their brains for a way to prevent everyone from eating the dessert. Zilanya, the unofficial party leader, drew a blank and everyone faltered. Finally the ogre barbarian/ranger stood up and made a speech. He told of how in his tribe, before he was orphaned, it was customary to smash one serving of their meal on the floor in honor of the gods. He then smashed his dessert into the floor. The party jumped up and did the same. The room was silent ans everyone stared at them. At the head table, Vhalantru, who has begun to take the party under his wing as a mentor, or so they think, stood up and announced that it was a wonderful idea and smashed his plate into the floor. Celeste, who is a polymorphed Thilifrane, smashed her plate as well. Once a noble did it the others all laughed and smashed their plates. And a catastrophe was averted by the barbarian in a purely barbarian manner.
That is awesome! One of the best stories of a PC adlib I've ever read. Kudos to your barbarian player.
Thanks for sharing, Eater.
The best moment so far was with the first group I ran through this AP. During Life's Bazaar, the party had just pulled off a disastrous diplomacy-turned-intimidate encounter with Ghelve (who ended up fleeing his own shop in a panic), but they decided to investigate beyond the curtain anyway.
Nabthatoron has been periodically terrorizing my PCs since the end of Demonskar Legacy and throughout the modified Battle of Redgorge (which I adopted from this board…thanks btw).
The third and final attack on the PCs came after they had turned back the forces of Cauldron, laid some ambushes against the demonic vanguard and generally disrupted the forces arrayed against Redgorge.
Nabthatoron needed a “head or two” from the “troublesome heroes” to reinvigorate the chaotic wills of his more powerful minions/rivals. Thus, he teleported into Redgorge and started terrorizing civilians until the PCs arrived.
His power word stun kept the Alakast-wielding dwarven fighter out of the action for 5 rounds while the rest of the party threw everything it could at the Lord of the Demonskar.
A wild back and forth battle ensued as Nabthatoron tried desperately to kill someone before he was killed himself.
The dwarf comes out of his stun in time to step up, take a massive hit from the attack of opportunity and land the killing blow with Alakast.
Cheers all around!
They cut off the Demon’s head and are planning (after they recover from the celebration in Redgorge) to carry it into Cauldron on a pike and present it as a gift to their rivals, the Stormblades.
There have been a few really good moments of glory so far in my campaign. I started running it April of 07; and we are starting Chapter 7 at next game on July 12th
So far I have used a number of the great ideas on this messageboard. I have run the Demonskar Ball with Delvesdeeps inspiration, created a massive Flood Festival event/games to run that went over well, used (I apologize for not remember the name) someone's excellent ideas for encounters while traversing the Plane of Occipitus (including a number of encounters in trenches with Vrocks, and on the plains against Slaads. I've been using MrVergee's and Delvesdeeps ideas for haunted dreams, and most recently just finished the Invasion of Redgorge and all the cool preparations that Delvesdeep had suggested.
All in all - I have made many changes to the above and added to it to give it my own flavor and needs - but the bulk was thankfully done by these great contributors.
The moments that we talk about having been great:
When in Jzadirune, the dwarven cleric went chasing a skulk down a hallway. The skulk having known of the tilt-a-pit trap's location easily avoided it, but the dwarf wasn't so lucky. The party's swashbuckler watched in horror as skulk leapt over the pit, and the dwarf disappeared through the floor. The swashbuckler not wanting to let the skulk get away gave chase and chose to leap over where he thought the trap was - based on having watched the skulk leap over it from afar, but misjudged, and rolled a 1 on his jump check to boot. The party watched in hysteria as the swashbuckler bumbled his way into the same pit that dwarf had just fallen in. There was much laughter around the table at the swashbuckler players expense I'm afraid.
When in caverns beneath Orak's Bathhouse, they encountered Drathkar - but not before he successfully "charmed and dominated" two of the PCs. The party was a little strung out down one particularly long stretch of hallway; as they took turns one by one crossing the rope bridge. The halfling rogue, who made it across first was the first to fall prey to the vampire and instead of going back to ensure the party's saftety he "wandered off" towards the waiting vampire as he was charmed to do. Then the swashbuckler (from above) made it across, and turned a corner to his horror to see the bugbear vampire draining the blood of the partys rogue. He yelled for help, but just as quickly succumbed to the vampire's charm. (so far all the anti-Will save persons crossed the bridge). Next was the party's fighter! He turned the corner, saw the vampire draining the rogue and began to engage. The swashbuckler was given commands to keep him at bay. The next several rounds saw the swashbuckler with his spiked chain embarrass the hell out of the party's fighter as he disarmed and tripped him repeatedly. The fighter never had a chance. He'd get up - lose his weapon. He'd retrieve his weapon and then get tripped again - rinse and repeat. This went on for 4 very frustrating rounds for the fighters player and I could tell he was very displeased for being embarrassed so by the other player. The rogue was down to his last 2 CON points - one more round of draining would most assuredly kill him. Next across the bridge was the cleric of Divinicus (my version of Pelor) along with the archer cleric of Valius (my version of Mielikki). The archer cleric began to help the fighter, while the Divinicus cleric chose to turn - using his Sun Domain Greater Turning check.....and rolled a 20! Instantly turning Drathkar to dust and saving the halfling rogue's life. The charm instantly ended, and the archer cleric had to find a way to convince the fighter not to kill the swashbuckler! Oh what an encounter!
During the Demonskar Ball, the elven wizard wound up as Nabathatoron (randomly selected). Having NO talent or skill in dancing - when it came time to do the dance with Lord Aslaxin, the player was nervous as I called out each DC check - which seemed impossible. 5 checks of increased difficulty - he actually succeeded in all four of the first ones - needing a 17 for for the fourst. Then the fift was revealed and he realized he needed to roll a 19 on his last check. And rolled a freakin 19!!! The table roared in woots and praise. He was the hero that night, and surely made a name for himself and his companions, and Lord Aslaxin was left utterly amazed with him. Since them the elf wizard has taken his plans using his engineering skill, for an advanced sewer system to Lord Aslaxin to get his support - calling on his rapport he now has with the lord, and has gotten funding, backing, and construction is underway as "his project" and is getting alot of notoriety in the city for this.
They're all 12th level now - but those are the three moments they remember the most.
Robert Brambley wrote:
used (I apologize for not remember the name) someone's excellent ideas for encounters while traversing the Plane of Occipitus (including a number of encounters in trenches with Vrocks, and on the plains against Slaads.
In order to give thanks and credit - I looked up the author of the thread about Occipitus: Rokeca.
His ideas were excellent and I used many of them. Thanks
We just finished the Siege of Redgorge, and it was glorious. Here are the highlights:
- Using Crescentia (Weapon of Legacy from RPGenius), the Scion of Surabar ran onto the battering ram and brought down a star shower, causing 30 damage to all within 15 feet. This horribly demoralized the half-orcs mercs.
- The mage of the group used Locate Creature to find the invisible flying Blue Duke. The cleric used Invisibility Purge, followed up by flying, charging fighters. It ended up that the mage knocked the Duke down to -1 via a crossbow bolt, and the Duke did not survive the fall.
- In between battles, the group maintained contact with Jenya via Sending, and convinced her to persuade Councilor Vhalantru to become Mayor after the previous mayor skipped town with the treasury (if they only knew what really happened).
- Nab's demonic army arrived, and the group was able to defeat the couple vrocks that attacked the Mayor. The Mayor had fallen and the mage had grabbed the staff to make sure it wasn't stolen. Much to the mage's surprise, the Mayor's Staff of Office was revealed to be Alakast, and that the staff had chosen her to be its new bearer.
- An elaborate ceremony was created on the fly by the party with the cleric blowing the dust off of the townspeople's ancestral weapons, proclaiming them to be reborn for glory, and then having them touched to a sparking Crescentia. It was during this ceremony that the dwarf realized the ancestral weapons of the townspeople were made of cold iron.
- After the vrock's Dance of Ruin, the cleric cast Align Weapon (using the Triad spell) on 1500 arrows to align them to Good, and directed all archers to aim for the vrocks first.
- At one point, with all of the crits and such, the group was able to kill 3 fresh babau demons in a single round.
- The final battle with Nabthatoron was fought by the Scion of Surabar and the "fiendish blooded" Paladin of St Cuthbert (both flying). Crescentia critted at least twice during the combat (the dice were talking big time). Because Reverse Gravity was useless, Nab did one full attack on the Scion, only to realize that the Scion had been stoneskinned prior to the combat. Power Word Stun was then used, knocking the Scion out of combat for 7 rnds. The Paladin of St Cuthbert struck the killing blow on the Attack of Opportunity as Nab was trying to escape.
- Rather than take trophies from Nabthatoron, the players came up with the idea that Nabthatoron should be propped up against the wall of Redgorge, and that a cleric should cast Gentle Repose on his body every day, so that all could see the strength of the people of Redgorge. A schism has been created within the Temple of Kord after the defeat of the Blue Duke, and a former party member has now formed a new church to Kord in Redgorge. This will weaken the Church of Kord in Cauldron prior to Sheb's Cuthbertian attack.
We have finished Test of the Smoking Eye. Most of the adventure was par for the course. The last 2 sessions were amazing.
During the fight with the rakshasa, it turned invisible. The fire giant fell and the main fighter got Blindsight cast on him. He struck the rakshasa to 0 HP, and the rakshasa pleaded surrender. The Lawful fighter demands for the invisibility to be dropped. The Chaotic Neutral thief then sneak attacks and kills the rakshasa. Of course, he used the excuse that he didn't understand the language used by the rakshasa, and that the lawful fighter didn't let anyone know that the rakshasa was surrendering. Hilarity ensued.
After substituting bodaks for the clay golem, the group lost one party member to them during the initial encounter. They retreated and restored the lost member of the group, and made plans. Upon returning, the fighters were buffed out the butt (Enlarge, Death Warded, Prayered, and Greater Invisibility), and were able to kill the bodaks in 2 rounds, and then rushing for the stairs, they were able to take the lich by surprise (not all prepatory spells were cast), and kill it in 5 rounds (so still within the Greater Invisibility duration).
But the glory that my group will be talking about for some time is the Test of Sacrifice. We had three party members willing to sacrifice themselves, and had a grappling fight between them as they attempted to stop each other. Finally the main fighter was able to enter the plasma. After taking 2 rounds of plasma damage, the fighter was about to die, only to be stopped by a Delay Death spell, keeping him "alive" at -55. An enlarged Cora Lathenmire (played by a new player that joined our group during the Seige of Redgorge) reached into the flame, picked up the smoking remains, and tossed them out, only to succumb to the damage and fall in herself. Cora stated that she had seen great friendship among the Companions of Cauldron (better than she herself had ever experienced), and that she was willing to die to keep the friends together. The mood was quite somber and all the characters (and players) were awestruck. (We waited some time before the big reveal showing Cora with the Sign of the Smoking Eye, so Cora got to "witness" the group's prayers and their discussions about placing a monument to her sacrifice in Redgorge along with the laments of the lusty halfling thief that he had never gotten to see her breasts)
My group has been playing weekly for two years, and we're only to Karran Kurral. The setting is well fleshed out and the characters are realistic. In a group of wargamers, we have had whole sessions where the only dice rolled were for knowledge, diplomacy, and bluff checks. It's impossible for me to choose a best moment, because this has been my quintessential D&D experience, to such an extent that I question, after almost 20 years with the hobby whether any game will ever live up to this one.
Sadly, I have to leave the game incomplete. I'm deploying 5 Jan and will not return to this base when my deployment is over. I will say though, Hurrah Shackled City! Go Paizo!
Our group has just reached Vaprak's Voice in The Demonskar Legacy, and we have a few great moments, but I'll just share the first one that pops to mind for now.
The group arrived at the Kopru Ruins in Flood Season, interrogated an Alleybasher, and got Triel's location almost immediately, though they had tripped the alarm in the process and so she was ready for them. The paladin entered the room first, and Triel's door-blades barely missed him - he found himself surrounded by minions and got himself cornered quickly.
The wizard/warmage/fighter and the ranger decided to go in together, betting that the trap would not reset automatically - I'm not sure how the door works as written, but I had it work like a revolving door that shot spikes out of the flat sides, so that if it pinned someone they would be stuck to the doorway with the door jammed open and spikes blocking the exit. Needless to say, they both got hit and stuck in place. Desperate, the wizard pulled out a scroll of fireball he had on him, but it fizzled due to his armor! We ended that session with the group stuck in that unenviable position; I was fairly certain we were either going to have a TPK or some liberal fudging on my part.
The next session opened, and the group leapt into action. Triel was still casting buffs on herself, so the paladin worked his way back over to the door so that the cleric could cast sanctuary on him and let him block the other goons from attacking the wizard and the ranger while they tried to extricate themselves. Everyone worked together, and thanks to a bull's strength and a feat of strength, the cleric was able to free the wizard and the ranger, so that they wound up inside the room as well.
Not having died yet, the party changed its goal from escape to victory. They finished off the goons in short order, but by then Triel was ready for them, and she began laying into the group furiously. The cleric tried to enter the room and got stuck, but was still able to heal other party members as long as they stood next to him. Triel dropped the wizard, who bled to death on the chamber floor. Things looked grim for the paladin and the trapped cleric, but the ranger rolled a 20 to hit with an arrow from across the room and a 20 to confirm! There were open cheers as I described blood bubbling at Triel's lips as she collapsed, stone dead. It was probably the most intense battle I've DM'ed thus far.
We just played through the Flood Festival and by far it was the most enjoyable session we've had in ages. I made a number of changes, drawing heavily on these boards plus stuff from other sources like the RPG Genius site. It's also 4E so the Church of Wee Jas is the Church of the Raven Queen. (Full session recap of the Festival is HERE.
Anyways while doing the Drakthar's Way chapter, the party found a magical cauldron that didn't need external flame to heat its contents. (I don't remember if this was something in the actual book or something I just ad-libbed.) In any case, one of the PCs immediately latched onto this cauldron and started lugging it around - you know how PCs get about random treasure.
Fast forward to the Flood Festival. As soon as the party "The Stormhammers" heard there was a cooking contest, they immediately entered and had chef hats with their emblem made for the contest. One of the Festival events was a special opportunity at the Church of the Raven Queen to have a speak with dead ritual cast on you so you could speak with a loved one who was deceased, which I threw in there to introduce Embril/Ike Iverson and plus it fit the Raven Queen really well. Well, the party decided to spend a day researching famous chefs so they could get cooking tips and advice so they could win the contest. The character doing the research at the Bluewater Academy rolled a natural 20 on his check so I told him the region's most famous chef was also renowned for other things too - Surabar Spellmason.
So they summoned Spellmason's spirit, and convinced him (impromptu Skill Challenge) to help them in the contest, AND found out that the magic cauldron was actually his, and when combined with arcane fire enhanced the taste of whatever was cooked in it. A quick trip over to Vortimax (the party has no mage) to hire him for a flaming sphere spell, and they were set. Oh, and they were also able to use 200 dead bats a party member had brought back from Drakthar's caves. Needless to say, they won the cooking contest and are famous in Cauldron for having the most creative and bizarre dish in Flood Festival history.
Somehow, I don't know how, I don't know why, they just did it, they got into Sigil. I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to make the World Serpent Inn a back alley bar in Cauldron, or even why it led to Sigil all things considered. And yet... I couldn't stop myself. There it was; my dream, the goal I had longed for since my first Planescape book. A planar adventure, no matter how minor. And ah! They have not failed to disappoint me, this group, even the overpowered epileptic Incubus player. See, the lot recently got back from Crazy Jared's hut (where the tiefling cleric got rather cozy with Alek Tercival). As such, they're left with one huge dead dragon which they want to use for magic items. All of it. Every last organ, tooth, and scale. So now they're taking it piece by piece to Sigil to do what they want. So far, they've met an orc high-priest of Pelor (for the cleric, who I will unabashedly admit is my favorite), made contact with a perverted Troglodyte Sensate, bargained with an Efreet in a Lower Ward bar/forge, helped a nosferatu get back to his coffin, and visited the Great Gymnasium. They're still trying to figure out what to do with the kidneys, liver, and blood though... The World Serpent was fun, too. The halfling hit on the fae gnome bar-maids, repeatedly, and the cleric let a bit of her demon out while she watched the fighting pit. The elf wizard... the elf wizard is just quietly waiting for his moment. And by quietly waiting, I mean his player is reading the Complete Arcane I got him for Christmas and reading up on the Initiates of the Seven-Fold Veil.
first off, this is an amazing campaign. i encourage everyone to take part in its glory if the chance arises. i remember when seeing it at my LFGS and trying to decide if i should pick it up or not. the 60$ price tag was a big hurdle. every other book i owned cost half that. in the end, i decided to get it. to make a long story short, i wrote a post to find people to play it and made six new friends that played 3 times a month for over a year in which we had many great times. i got much more than my moneys worth.
as for the original post...here's but one of our "great moments in the shackled city"...
when the party went into drakthars way, there was a table that i rolled on to see what the graphiti on the walls said. since one of the pc's understood goblin, he was able to read it. "Snurk smells like dung." it said. we all had a giggle and one of the pc's mentioned that they felt bad for poor "snurk". a couple rooms later, the pc's were ambushed by a trio of goblins hiding behind over-turned tables. the first two goblins hit the unsuspecting party with their crossbows. the third however rolled a nat 1. his bolt twanged off his crossbow to land harmlessly on the ground. "ha ha, that must be snurk!" said one of the pc's. "yes...yes it is" i thought to myself. in the end, they killed the first two goblins and when they used detect evil on snurk after he surrendered, i decided that he was indeed not evil thats why the other goblins picked on him. after he gathered up his lucky bones, he ended up living with the party in their hideout (along with the mimic but that's another story)for the rest of the campaign.
My players are in between chapters 4 and 5, and I'm using the Necrocants as written up by Qualidar for the encounter written by _____ (shoot, I forgot who wrote the encounter in which Meerthan scries on Khyron Bonesworn, and teleports the Striders out to battle the Necrocants - Dhelvesdeep was somehow behind it's inspiration, but can't remember who wrote up the encounter - anyway, props to you).
I thought the necrocants (a tough encounter) would crush my players handily, but oh wow was I (and the rest of the party) shocked when the 8th level wizard polymorphed into a remorhaz and swallowed Dralan the frost giant mummy whole! That set the tone for the party to whip up on Sir Tharex (Malruin was already gone) while Khyron and Renita made a hasty retreat.
If that's not a dramatic enough moment, just imagine the look on the wizards face when he discovers he's infected with a most serious case of mummy rot!
With the attack on the Church of Wee Jas followed by a Cuthbertian riot to destroy the Church of Kord, the Companions were worried that Cauldron was becoming unstable. Upon finding that Sheb killed many parishioners and desecrated the Church of St Cuthbert, they had seen 3 major churches in Cauldron fall in less than a week.
After rescuing Shensen from the Last Laugh and Celeste from Orbius's house, the Companions of Cauldron were ready to take the fight back to the Cagewrights. With Shensen's info on Lady Rhiavaldi's house, they decided to hit that hard. What followed was 4.5 hrs of incredible combat
They arranged to attack just after noon, teleporting above her house with fly spells and "Seeming"'d as angels. They cast a 5 ton Wall of Stone shaped like a cone and had it smash through the roof into the ballroom, and down to the first floor. This was followed by gallons of oil, a Cloudkill and an alchemist fire bomb. The front door had Hold Portal cast on it, and the entire house surrounded by 2 Walls of Fire.
Obviously things got hairy for the villains inside. They had previously adjourned their conference and would have continued it that evening. Many now smashed through windows trying to escape. The Companions kept the pressure on, as they had Mass Resist Energy (Fire) cast on themselves. A few escaped using invisibility or gaseous form, but most were felled by their flying attackers.
The climax was when Lady Rhiavaldi arrived in the observatory and cast disintegrate on the cleric. He survived and everyone flew up to cut her and her reinforcements down. A Resonating Bolt (shattering the glass completely), Blade Barrier and a flying charge finished the villains off. That ended the evening session.
After taking some time to search what's left of the house, they are planning on making a declaration to the crowd as angels, and then Plane Shifting back to Occipitus to interrogate prisoners, and assess treasure.
I'm playing the SCAP since late 2006, and we just got past midpoint (my players are reaaaaaally slow...). We had a lot of glorious moments in those three years, though. Here's some.
[WARNING - some various spoilers ahead]
-- o -- o -- o --
The final battle in the Malachite Fortress is proving too tough for the party. His high AC, regeneration and ugrosh make Kazmojen nearly unstoppable, and five out of six PCs are on the ground, dead, dying or otherwise incapacitated.
Only Eyleen, the elven sorceress, stands his ground in single-digit HPs [ie completely unharmed, being a second-level sorceress ;)], while the slaver is about half-sane and approaching her with a killer grin on his face, his ugrosh dripping her camerades' blood.
She has this newly found wand, whose flame marks all over its lenght suggest some kind of Fire power. No command word, though. But, wait! A closer examination of the flame marks [and the wise expenditure of a Hero Point] shows the marks are made with tiny letters forming a word repeated again and again! Maybe...
"DIEYOUBASTARD!!", yells Eyleen, pointing the wand against the half-troll. A jet of bright red flames spouts from the raised wand, striking Kazmojen in the middle of chest, this unexpected resistance scorching as much as astounding him, his ugrosh falling on the ground.
"DIEYOUBASTARD!!", yells Eyleen again, promply seizing his enemy faltering. The flames engulf Kazmojen again, his blistering wounds unable to close. Enraged, Kazmojen throws an axe, opening a large slash on Eyleen flank, which leaves her with 3hp.
"Die...You...Bastard!!", pants Eyleen, desperately clutching the wand. And once again, the wand reacts, the fire ignites, the troll screams... this time, falling on the ground, motionless!
[Eyleen then leaved the Fortess, rushed to the St. Cuthbert church and got healed, then led Alek Tercival and a couple of Cuthbertians to recover his fellows and the kidnapped kids. Days later, the party was celebrated in a public ceremony by the Lord Major, which christened them officially as "The Eyleen Band", and granted them a tax-free residence on Ash Avenue. It's worth mentioning that the girl playing Eyleen the Sorceress was at her first D&D experience ever.]
-- o -- o -- o --
When a couple of porters delivers a big, rich chest to their new home, saying the Lord Major wants to add a personal rewards for their services to the said new home they received on the City behalf, the PCs are flattered and just a little suspicious, but put it nevertheless in their living room.
Their suspicion level raises dramatically next morning, when they wake up to discover the chest has disappeared overnight, with no signs of burglary. Then, they find a new four-poster bed in a unused room.
Prodding the bed with a spear, they discover that it was actually the mimic they bargained with to free Ghelve's familiar in Jzadirune. Since then, they have that mimic as a guard "dog", and actually hired an old croonie to prepare him some food (it's especially fond of turkeys) while they're away.
[In the time, the mimic posed as a table, armchair, doorframe, piano, lacunar ceiling, harp, to the delight of the old croonie... :)]
-- o -- o -- o --
"Ehi, wait, the sign on that door reads 'No fire beyond this point', maybe we shouldn't throw fire here..."
[Brown mold nearly reached the Lucky Monkey's kitchen -- five PCs succumbed to the subdual damage, the sixth managed to get them out of the cellar somehow]
-- o -- o -- o --
The noise of battle draws Triel Eldurast out of her room, to join his thugs in the fray against the PCs, which however fare very well and quickly drops a handful of Alleybasher, forcing Triel to retreat back in his room, closing [but not locking!] the door behind.
Eager to press their enemy, the Rogue sprints to the door and pushes it. The trap sprungs, slashing the Rogue and pinning him in the doorframe, where he can't help but watch Triel fully healing herself in a couple of rounds.
Enters the party Barbarian!, who just dropped the last thug and jostles vigorously the door. The door opens just enough to unpin the Rogue, which deems wiser not to risk being trapped alone in the room with Triel, and hence steps back in the corridor. The door closes again.
The Barbarian jostles harder, opens the door, steps forward, get pinned himself and suffers two square hits from Triel's flail, dropping to 0hps. The other PCs rush to the door and try to open it but fail.
The Barbarian decides to push and manage to open the door before falling to the ground unconscious, his body preventing the door to close once again. Finally able to enter the room, the party drops Triel in just two rounds.
[My players barely remember Triel today, but everybody recall vividly "That damned door!"]
-- o -- o -- o --
Still in the Kopru ruins, the party is already weared after the battles against the T-rex skeleton and the large spider zombies, but they simply CAN'T ignore that last cave with the big stone slab that could be hiding "the treasure".
So they enter the cave, turn undeads exhausted, and what could have been a thrilling (for the Kyuss Spawns worms menace) but manageable encounter turn out a near TPK.
The Monk succumbs to the fear aura and runs away, heading squarely to the nearest Glyph of Warding, which goes boom! and put him in negatives. The Cleric goes down and is worm infected, the party rogue is down, everybody but the Barbarian in single digits. "Flee!" yells the Sorceress, heading for the exit.
The Druid grabs the Rogue, while the Barbarian fends off one Spawn before retreating, glimpsing the other spawn drawing the Cleric in a niche at the far end of the cave...
They spend some days recovering, healing two of them from the Kyuss's Gift, and equipping themselves at Skie's. Upon hearing their tale, Skie asks them to get her an alive worm to study, for 1.000GPs.
Returning to the cave after recovery (which included healing two of them from the Kyuss's Gift), the party is obviously greeted by TWO Spawns, one of them being the unfortunate Cleric. This time, being well prepared and at full strength, they manage to kill the Spawns quite easily.
They manage to get the worm for Skye, and are about to leave, when the Sorceress says "We've already failed Fairax [the Cleric] once, we cannot leave him here again...". The party looks dismayed at the two puddles of green goo that the Spawns had dissolved to, then the Druid fetches two small bottles from his knapsack, labels them "A" and "B" and fills up each from a different puddle.
They then head to the Kord church and deliver there the bottles, saying they're truly sorry but they "can't tell which one is the Goo formerly known as Fairax, albeit one of those surely is", then leave.
-- o -- o -- o --
The party fells for the Kuo-Toa ferry-keeper trick, gets dumped in the water and attacked. Being totally unprepared to battle in the water, they have to retreat hastily and somehow manage to. So obviously they recover and plan for vengeance, cheering the moment they will encounter that "froggy bastard" again.
Well, despite all their planning, they underestimate by far the "froggy bastard"in HIS natural environment [not mentioning him being a 5th level monk, anyway], so the ferry-keeper manages to kick the hell out of them once more, single-handedly!
[In their third attempt, they managed to evade the ferry-keeper and finally entered Bhal-Hamatugn, where they were repeatedly beaten, incarcerated and variously humiliated by the other Kuo-Toa. The Kuo-Toas, especially the ferry-keeper Kuo-Toas, are now the archetipal invincible bad guy of our campaign]
-- o -- o -- o --
When Kristof the Pelorite went mad at the new Wee Jas spire shadowing his shrine, obviously the party felt compassionate with him and really wanted to do something for him.
As the events leading them to Karran-Kurral unfold [in an expanded way, see here], they deactivate an artifact in Liduton, causing a side-effect cave-in just under the Wee Jas cathedral in Cauldron. While the cathedral doesn't collapse, it tilts a little to one side, just enough to cast its spire shadow away from the Pelor shrine.
Multi-level battle in Bhal-Hamatugn was intense. I set up three separate maps and stacked them on glass sheets to accurately display the room (players' eyes grew wide when I began putting it together and nervous glances were exchanged). (This was converted to 4E). They had a moderately difficult time navigating around the room while being hammered by lightning bolts from the whips, but nothing too crazy until Aushanna was summoned. Most of the party's at half HP or lower, healer's mostly out of healing, and they're all on the bottom floor while she's at the very top.
They recognized her strengths of long-range dmg and flight, contrasted to their complete lack of said abilities as a party, and grew worried. However, the eladrin swordmage dug out a sword he'd had since day one BUT NEVER USED UNTIL NOW, ran up the 3 flights of stairs, leapt off the balcony and fey-stepped over to a surprised Aushanna (in mid-air and cuts her with the sword, which inflicts a slowing effect on her. He then fell to the level below. Meanwhile, the heavily-wounded barbarian, lacking any ranged weapons, began climbing the statue of Blibdoolpoolp (70' high don't forget).
Confused, Aushanna continues plunking away at the party. Her turn over, she rolls her saving throw against the slow effect and fails...at which point the eladrin's player squeals with glee and reveals that failing the first save means she is now IMMOBILIZED...which means she falls 60' straight down to the floor. She survives but is quite injured.
It is then that the barbarian announces he is leaping from the top of the 70' statue, riding his spear straight down onto her. Eyes go wide all around the table and there is stunned silence. DM's, take a collective deep breath at this point.
He ends up obliterating her and almost ends up at the "instant-death" plateau himself (in 4E, you die once you reach half your max HP in negatives), but interestingly he's using a special Phoenix rage which, when he falls to negative HP's, instantly restores him back to 1/4 max HP.
In other words, he plummets screaming down, completely destroys the horrified demon, and then pretty much hops up and wipes off the gallons of demon blood covering his entire person.
It was something.
I had to post this here: it's been a while since there has been a fresh post but it's appropiate here.
After defeating Dry'rd and destroying the Tree of Shackled Souls, our party rogue (assassin)(now blind)(desendant of Spellmason) took over the mayorship of the city. The following is her speech to the city (try to identify the original source material):
Citizens of Cauldron, on this day we mark a transition. For three hundred years, this city has stood as the crowning achievement of this region. But there were those who would have destroyed our blessed city, and we took arms to defend of way of life against those who would see our homes destroyed. In doing so, we never suspected that the greatest threat came from within.
The Cagewrights, and some within our own House of Lords, had conspired to create a gateway to the planes of hell, and usher in demons and devils to lay waste to our homes and destroy our beloved city. But the hatred in their hearts could not be hidden forever. At last, there came a day when our enemies showed their true natures.
The Cagewrights hoped to unleash their destructive power against our city by assassinating the head of government and usurping control of the Town Guard. But the aims of the would-be tyrants were valiantly opposed by those without elitist, dangerous powers. Our loyal group of adventurers “The Crucible” contained the insurrection within the Temple of Fiery Sanctum and quelled uprisings within its caverns.
The remaining Cagewrights will be hunted down and defeated. Any collaborators will suffer the same fate. These have been trying times, but we have passed the test.
The battle to save Cauldron has left me scarred, blinded and deformed, but I assure you my resolve has never been stronger. This Battle is over for now. The Cagewrights have been defeated, and their plans have been foiled. We shall now take the battle to them; no longer shall we sit idly by and let them plot our demise. We shall storm their stronghold and wipe them from the face of the realm. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning.
In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, this City’s government will be reorganized into the first Kingdom of Cauldron for a safe and secure society, which I assure you, will last for 1,000 years. A Kingdom that will be ruled by this House of Lords, and a sovereign ruler chosen for life. A Kingdom ruled by the majority, ruled by a new Constitution, and your new Queen.
By bringing the entire region under one law, one language, and the enlightened guidance of one individual, the corruption that plagued this city in its last few years will never again take root. Regional Lords will eliminate the bureaucracy that allowed the Demonic movement to grow unchecked. A strong and growing military will ensure the rule of law.
Under the Kingdom’s New Order, our most cherished beliefs will be safeguarded. We will defend our ideals by force of arms. We will give no ground to our enemies and we will stand together against attacks from within or without. Let the enemies of Cauldron take heed: Those who challenge royal resolve will be crushed.
We have taken on a task that will be difficult, but the people of the Cauldron are ready for the challenge. Because of our efforts, the region has traded war for peace and anarchy for stability. Thousands of beings now look forward to a secure future. The City will grow as more towns, and villages feel the call to join our benevolent Kingdom, from the city gates to the edge of the Wilds and beyond. It is our destiny to cleanse these lands of the evil forces that seek to destroy our way of life, and we the people of Cauldron shall heed that call.
The citizens of Cauldron must do their part. Join our Alliance of Citizens. Become the eyes of the Kingdom by reporting suspected insurrectionists. Travel to the corners of the Wilds to spread the principles of the New Kingdom to every corner of the region. Build monuments and technical wonders that will speak of our glory for generations to come.
The Crucible, and now proudly wearing the name of Knights of Cauldron, have tackled the dangerous work of fighting our enemies on the front lines. Many have sacrificed everything in their devotion to our Kingdom. The citizens of Cauldron would do well to remember their example.
The New Order of peace has triumphed over the shadowy secrecy of shameful magicians. The direction of our course is clear. I will lead our Kingdom to glories beyond imagination. As my first act as your Queen I will have a gateway of trade opened up to the Great City of Sassrine that will provide us the means to rebuild our city, vitalize our economy, and provide arms for our new Royal Army of Cauldron.
We have been tested, but we have emerged stronger. We moved forward as one people - the citizens of the first Kingdom of Cauldron. We will prevail. A thousand years of peace begins today.
The urban druid traveling with the party leans over and says:
Handling PC's as a cleric of Wee Jas:
One of my more role-playing PC's decided to start the campaign as a cleric of wee Jas. I thought this could become a issue but since he plays most of his charcters against the grain of a typical cleric, I thought of interesting role-play issues that eventually made him chose to either follw his strict church doctrines or rebel against them. He actually died in chapter 1 but was resurrected at the church alter through the power of Wee Jas and was given a vison that he was chosen to bring the church back to the path of neutrality. This miracle made Embril and Ike cautious. The trick was not to give away the church's involvement in the grand plot until the chapter involoving the direct assualt of the temple. I made sure his character was left completely out-ot-the loop of church info. He made it kind of easy for the church to justifiably ostricize him being that he made his character (like most of the character he plays) something of a celebutant in social circles. He even decided to perform a great spectacle and sacrific a cache of magic daggers. Ike secretly altered the ceremony to his advantage. The church constantly kept him away from the church by making him do meanial tasks far below his station. Ike made Calmus Vel become the only point of contact he could speak to feeding him misinformation eventually building up to an ultimatum; either he left his adventuring party or be ex-communicated. He chose to assault the temple, kill Ike and expose the Embril's scheme to the lay followers and lower level clerics of the church. The High-preistess in Sasserine closed the temple.
My players had a few fun moments:
My party has: a noble gunslinger (Todd Vanderboren's cousin)
Jzadirune they found the first mimic and Officer Columbo offered it a job in the city watch, the Mimic now works as the archive. All reports, closed cases and 'evidence' gets 'filed'. As Officer Columbo HATES paperwork, this arrangement has worked well for everyone.
The moment the beholder turned up was hilarious as one of my players (FallOfCamelot) has been gaming a long time and he knows that a beholder turning up to visit a 3rd level party isn't even an encounter.
Kopru ruins, the spawn of kyuss had something missing from the stat block, and I was trying to look it up with little success. Again FallOfCamelot was willing to help but I was determined to find out the answer to the question myself. So the conversation went:
Hilariously they then took them out in the surpirse round and the first round as the spawn of Kyuss failed to notice them and went second to last on the initiative. To this day everyone at the table but FallOfCamelot thinks a spawn of Kyuss is no big problem....... We'll be playing age of worms after we finish shackled city, so they'll learn eventually. Or die trying.
In the confrontation with the Stormblades, the party left FallOfCamelot's character to talk to the other nobles, he enraged Cora so when the fight broke out (outside the guardhouse before the Stormblades were ready) Cora came close to getting arrested and failed to land a single hit on the player, due to abyssmal rolling on my part. The Stormblades then started several rumours about the poor guy, including that his gun is magical and has a demon of sound bound within it, the demon is just waiting for a way to break free and kill everyone around him. To this day Cora hates his guts.
Kopru ruins again, one of my players has read the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, so when they encountered the T-Rex skeleton, I told them "I'm going to call this thing 'Sue' on the initiative tracker until you roll me a knowledge religion" his response "You're not serious...!?" the paladin rolled high enough and I informed the rest of the players what it was they fought. His face was priceless though.
The players have got to chapter 5 now and are headed into Vaprak's voice but I'd had some rumblings that they had no frakking clue what was going on in town and they wanted to know how things linked together. Enter Jil. Now until now the players had met Jil three times. Once in her harlequin face-paint warning them to leave the missing orphans alone, (chapter 1), once or twice when the orphan from Lantern Street (now a member of the city watch) met her for a friendly chat when he was on duty and when the party had christmas with the orphans (which was attacked because the Last Laugh were trying to collect Ramir the sorceror who is a shackleborn). She contacts him again, offering to give his friends some help figuring out what's going on in the city, advertise a need for a delivery of pie and she will go to the location. Before he left the Orphanage that night, the sorceror was handed a flask of custard by the Matron. I laid out some of what was going on for the players, stating that yes, she is a member of the Last Laugh (they'd put that together by now) and yes they were trying to kidnap Ramir. She corrected them that they had tried 8 times to kidnap him, only 2 got close enough that they noticed. Jil was an orphan and though not the first to be recruited from the orphanage, she was the last. The guilds leave the orphans alone, Jil makes sure of it. Terrem was taken from the orphanage and given over to something called a "cagewright" because he is 'shackleborn'. Jil is telling the PCs this because the cagewrights have taken an orphan and no-one messes with the orphans in cauldron. I drew the players a mind-map of what's going on, with enough that they are starting to think Cauldron isn't as safe as they thought,and maybe they should be keeping an eye out. Basically Jil had pie and custard and the players know enough to know there is a "They" now. They'll find out more in chapter 7 and in 8 I'll probably send Jil with them. Dependant on if she survives, I might make her head of the Last Laugh once the campaign is finished.
I was kind of proud of the encounter as at least one player had said they should just arrest her when she turns up, and I managed to convince them to let her go. I'm enjoying running the game and can't wait for next session. ;)
Mrs Camelot wrote:
This is epic.
Thew will learn.......
The Opening Scene of the Adventure Path:
The level 1 wizard, Tenebrous Oddshadow, is in the second-story window because the husband of his lover has come home early. Desperate, Tenebrous jumps from the window, aiming for one of the three muggers assaulting that poor fellow in the alley.
DM (me): Roll a touch attack.
Tenebrous: I want to shoot my acid dart [he's a conjurer] at him.
The party (not the players) is now convinced that Tenebrous Oddshadow wields Gandalf-like power and they have a very healthy respect for recent graduates of the Bluecrater Academy. Tenebrous Oddshadow is doing nothing to dissuade them, either.