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Name: Thraxus II
At Kalabuto the Red Mantis struck, with an survivor from a previous encounter with the PCs. The PCs took no precautions and split up with their various buccaneer followers into a bunch of different rooms. The assassins broke into each of the rooms... Thraxus failed to wake up and the assassin who watched him hack of the heads of her compatriots took revenge and did a coup de grace. In the end she fled with Thraxus' head.
The Gory Details:
The party camped out in the jungle. Wandering encounter with 3 Mzali Rangers. They stealthed in, set up next to 3 human NPCs (randomly picked from all the humans) and proceeded to coup de grace them. The person on watch then sounded the alarm. Arleg slept thru the wake up call, Mzali stepped in and did another coup de grace. Total casualties: 4 dead, 1 PC, 1 named NPC (Athyra) and 2 buccaneers.
Name of PC: Yssith-Atil the serpentfolk
2 days after Shadow Demon.
Catalyst: Random encounter with Dire Tiger
The Gory Details: (optional)
Everyone failed their perception check to see the tiger in the jungle. The monk, being a half orc and having scent, smelled it when it was 30 feet away. He readied an action to move and attack it when it came to the edge of the trees. He got hit once in the surprise round while hitting the tiger for a few points. The first round of real combat started with the DT going first and destroying the monk. They finally finished it off while their tank kept its attention (29 AC while fighting defensively and using combat expertise). Almost killed a second party member as well.
They were going to use their scroll of raise dead on the Monk, but after reading up on how to remove the negative levels he said no way. They didn't have anyone that could cast restoration (it would take 2 casting and 2k gold). Now he's going to bring in his heavy hitting barbarian from another game that is no longer being used.
Should this encounter really be on the random encounter table? My party was only level 5 for this and the DT is a CR8 (and not even the highest CR in the encounter table).
Aren't you level 7 at the end of the adventure? So, yeah, it belongs there. Really, the idea is more that you shouldn't have put a CR 8 creature up against a CR 5 party without expecting a PK.
Ice Titan wrote:
Hmm, well this is the first AP for me to actually run. I'm used to a CR table for random encounters and expected all of the encounters on the provided table to be suitable for a party any level throughout the module. If this is not the case, then would it be recommended to "ignore" certain RE's?
glances at the tables, sees the CR9 tyrannosaurus rexYes. Extremely yes. 4d6+22 is avg 36 dmg, +22 grapple is automatic grapple, on its turn swallow whole is automatic and does 36 damage again aka instant death for anyone who takes an AoO.
When you roll for RE, don't take what the book says. Roll to give yourself the veil of illusion. Instead of random, choose what you can be most creative with and run with that. Above all, never choose anything thats CR is 3+ above the PCs until like level 12, because unless the PCs get to surprise it, one of them will be killed. Why level 12? Because the cleric will have raise dead.
Another thing is to give people survival checks to notice that there might be an animal nearby, perception checks to maybe notice it from a distance. But you seem to have that down.
It should be said that they then looted the place, mourned for Nicander, buried him, rode back to camp, etc. There they showed the scroll to Jask and they quickly rode back to res him. They succeeded.
Corlyn had a CON of 8 and will be remembered. She stayed dead.
Name: Iouan M'bessk
The Gory Details::
The group had just attempted to sneak into the ziggurat, and failed. I had beefed up the encounter there as my party s a bit higher than the suggested level. there were 5 degenerate serpentfolk present, in addition to the wizard, the charau-ka and the girallon. The charau-ka had class levels.
Well, they managed to survive the serpentfolk guards, the charau-ka, the girallon and had taken the serpentfolk wizard to 1hp, when he teleported to the Serpent Temple. After a short time, they decided to go after him.
The cleric decides it would be a good idea to pop into the middle of the asphalt pond, onto one of the rock outcroppings, and attempt to take out some of the charau-ka with a channel negative energy. These charau-ka had class levels (party is L7), and didn't go down. Surprised, the charau-ka began throwing whatever they can, and took the cleric down about 45 hit points from their throwing rocks, in the surprise round.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party had climbed over the wall and started towards the monkeys. The cleric, hightailed it away from the center of things, almost getting bullrushed into the tar pit. Followed by 9 L3 charau-ka barbarians and 3 L3 charau-ka rogues, the party decided to run.
Poor Iouan. The wall was crumbkling stone, overgrown with vines. I called it a DC 10 to climb. Iouan must have found a part of the wall that was more decayed, as he just couldn't get a grip on the wall.
The wizard summoned fire elementals to aid in the escape, but Iouan was overwhelmed by monkeys. He cried out "RUN! I'll hold them off!" as he turned back to the tide of shrieking primates.
And then the fire elemental burned through the primitive wood and vine bridge and fell into the tar pit.
Lesson: Scout out before assaulting.
My first Serpent Skull death.
The party had just returned to camp for the evening after a hard day of fighting against several boggard patrols in the Farming District. Little did they know that Red Mantis's that had run afoul of the aboleth Yog'oltha were trailing them. The aboleth had seen that the party from the joint Pathfinder/Pirate camp had made a truce with the Red Mantis camp. Trying to create strife between the "invaders" to the lost city it wanted to claim, the aboleth sent the assassins after the party.
The 3 assassins and 2 priests of Achaekek crept up towards the camp. Tiano was on watch and the elf's sharp ears picked up the sound of the priests' spellcasting amongst the nearby ruins. Quickly he woke the rest of the party and the archer moved to investigate. He was ill prepared when two invisible assassins appeared next to the party wizard behind him and nearly evicerated him. Hoping to aid his belieged comrade, Tiano spun around to fire arrows at the Mantis attackers but was surprised when one of them suddenly broke off and charged towards him. He was even more surprised when a third invisible assassin appeared behind him and he found himself in a most unfortunate flank. A series of devastating sneak attacks and a critical hit left the elven archer dead on the muddy ground.
The attackers were driven off and fortunately the party still had the Raise Dead scroll from Smuggler's Shiv. Tiano was returned back to the land of the living before the sun rose.
And not a party member, but a loss just the same...
The party was already planning their retribution against the Red Mantis for the attack the night before. But as those plans shaped up, they continued to explore the Farming District over the ridge. They spotted the pile of treasure on the small island near the canal entrance and several of them cautiously flew across the water to investigate. The cavalier, Volkar had waterwalking cast on his mount, a large particularly foul tempered velociraptor named Ripper. Ripper strode across the murky algae covered water to join the others inspecting the treasure pile on the island. It was then that the tentacle of the Green God rose up and wrapped around Ripper. Both Volkar and his mount were pulled below the surface. As the rest of the party tried to figure out what to do, the frogemoth snapped down on the 'raptor and swallowed him. Volkar just barely managed to free himself from his saddle before his mount went down the beast's gullet. Ripper went into a frenzy, kicking and biting at the inside of the Green God but was unable to free himself before being crushed.
The rest of the party managed to bring down the mighty Green God with a volley of ranged spells and Volkar is already searching the valley for another velociraptor mount.
Not so much a death, more of a party disintegration and general all round disatisfaction with the AP and where it was going.
Ie party bickering and fighting, dm had had enough and let them get on with it.
Name: Fingolfin, Sasha, Morrigan, Pedro, Chang
Race: Mixture of Elf and Human
Classes/Levels: Witch, Inquisitor, Ranger, Rouge/Ranger trainee mantis blade, Cleric all 7th level
Adventure: City of seven spires
Location: Somewhere in the city
Catalyst: Saasha taking friendly fire from the witch whilst riding a a t-rex trying to stab it (random encounter).
The Gory Details: T-rex killed, Sasha singed by lightning from witch, close to death because of it. Healed up by the inquisitor who is in love with her. Sasha in a rage and disoriented punches the witch for frying her.Witch ok with it as it was justifed adn lets it ile. Inquistor defends sasha and punches witch as well. Witch does not feel inquisitor is justifed, hexes him with sleep and then poisons him. Sasha flies in to a rage, nearly killing witch. Cleric intersides gets witch down to - hp before she unleaches a spell that will kill the party. Then heals her back up to 2hp, witch leaves party, sasha leaves party. AP disintigrates with no way to get the game back on track.
The reason I feel is that the party was a mixture of intersesting characters but they all had their own agendas and were suspicoous of each other, the witch was every secrective and had a habit of overshadowing everybody else causing friction. The inquisitor never trusted her.
The AP was de-railed on a number of occations and was very difficult to get back on track again, my group tend to do that a lot, they dont like to be railroaded and will do what they want when they want which is great if you can pull it back on track. The city party was a nightmare to run as is and needed far to much prep to get right. Also the group lost 3 players and trying to compensate for this was hard as the group went form 6-3 players.
In the end I think it was the DM (me) that tried TOO hard to fix something that could not be fixed and ended up exhausted with the amount of prep work the AP needed with the party. I guess this showed, hence the party destruction above.
Note to new DM's this is a VERY hard adventure to pull off successfully, part1 is great but the rest needs a heck of a lot of prep time. Its a shame as its a good concept and reads ok on paper...
We started this AP the second week of January, and have been playing weekly ever since (3 to 5 hour sessions each). There have been many close calls so far: a near TPK in the Caves of the Mother; half the party falling off the side of the Red Mountain while exploring it; a brutal mauling from the Chupacabra; even the very first encounter waking up to a Eurypterid nibbling on a toe almost killed one of 'em! But tonight we finally suffered permanent deaths.
Survivors: Leros-Kora Human(Ulfen) & Fang Skyreach Human(Tien)
The Gory Details:
For the majority of the campaign so far, the group has been fairly single minded in their quest. initially it was "Revenge up the Cap!", which turned into "Revenge upon Ieana!" after finding various clues in the Caves of the mother.
Last session, the group discovered the joy that is the Flensing Shrine, er, Cleansing Shrine (also nick-named the "Room of Death"), and we ended just after the bronze barricades lifted open. They have Sasha Nevah with them as the only NPC brought to helpful status due to luck during a random encounter, and Kersk had been magically enlarged not long before.
This session began with them rushing through the Cleansing Shrine as fast as possible, pouring into the Temple of Blood. There they found Yarzoth, making studious notes behind the alter of Zura. Before her on the steps were a pair of Serpentfolk Skeletons (yes, a slight tweak for the larger group), and wallowing in the river of blood were the 4 regular skeletons. Eli quickly moved to the far end of the temple and hide behind a pillar, while Fang, Leros, Sasha and Revan moved in more centrally yet avoided touching the river of blood. Due to simple volume, Kersk only barely made it in, standing awkwardly in the doorway (as he was still large). There was a bit of talk between the group and Yarzoth, but they didn't learn much more than her name, that she was Ieana in disguise, and that she considers them to be insignificant insects. That's when the insults and threats started to get thrown, and Revan sent a hex her way as well. Despite having no fear of mere humans, she looked at them after being hexed, and saw the oversized mass of muscle blocking the doorway. So, naturally, she sent a Dominate Person his way.
He failed the save.
His mental command was simple: "Defend me."
So, he bounds into the room, taking position standing within the river of blood, right below the steps of the alter, turns around to face the others, and yells at them "You. Shall-Not. PASS!" and holds his oversized greatsword at the ready.
Sasha and Leros jump across the river to gain flanking position, whilst Fang and Revan remain, sightly confused by Kersk's declaration. Eli sneaks around to the far side as well, trying to find an opportunity to take advantage of. Then the skeletons lurking in the blood emerge and move up to Sasha, Leros, Revan, and Fang. Kersk simply waits for anyone to assault his mistress before counter-attacking, and the Serpentfolk Skeletons simply wait for anyone to dare come too close.
Leros and Sasha don't get touched by the skeletons on them, but Revan does not fare so well, and gets brought down to 0 hp. Fang runs up to one of the Serpentfolk Skeletons and attempts to kick it (knowing he'd do better damage with a bludgeoning kick than he would with his spear). He fumbles, and ends up smashing his foot on the step behind the skeleton, causing a potential 6 bleed damage. He hobbles away, and Revan gives him a Cure Light Wounds, saving Fang but knocking himself out due to overexertion.
Eli gets a bit closer and tosses a tanglefoot bag at Yarzoth. It hit's, but doesn't completely pin her (she made her save). That move sent Kersk into action, and he tears a brutal strip out of Eli, but not quite enough to take him out. This causes Kersk to make a secondary save vs Dominate, but he fails that too.
For the next 5 rounds, Eli runs away and around to room to keep out of Kersk's reach, Leros and Sasha both send flurry of misses at the skeletons around them but DO manage to take them out AND cause considerable damage to the Serpentfolk Skeleton on their side. Fang, however, spent the whole time trying to take out the skeletons around him, and for the longest time does nothing but miss (didn't roll higher than a 6 the whole time). Kersk continues to gain additional saves due to acting agaisnt his nature, and fails every time. Raging and unable to find Eli, he then turns on Leros and Sasha. He's about to cleave into them both, potentially one-hit killing Leros, but a timely use of a Plot Twist card brings Kersk to a moment on inaction, ending his turn early. Unfortunately, the Serpentfolk skeleton rolls really well and takes Leros down to -11 (he has a 13 con, so still has a chance). Leros ends up using a Hero Point to aid in his stabalize check, and exactly makes it. Yarzoth manages to make all of her checks, and continues to buff herself behind the alter, despite the sticky goo on her, adding Blur and Mirror Image, and also summoning a total of 3 Fiendish Vipers to join the phalanx defending her position.
Another plot twist card is used to convince Kersk that a Green Slime has fallen on Yarzoth (the tanglefoot goop), and he rushed off to attack the "slime" instead of the party. Alas, the goop dried up and fell off of her, causing the still enlarged Kersk to stand there confused. Eli and Sasha then take the opportunity to try and take out their former ally, and simultaneously attack Kersk from behind. It severely hurts him, but he manages to stay up. He turns around and cleaves them both, knocking Sasha unconscious (who stabilizes quickly), and outright killing Eli.
Fang FINALLY manages to roll above a 6 and kills the skeletons around him. Seeing that he is the only one still up (and not Dominated), he contemplates kamikaze-ing Yarzoth, but decides to try diplomacy again. He asks to be able to leave with his fallen friends, to which Yarzoth simply replies,
"Do what you will, it matters not, for all your actions are futile."
Fang looked at what remained of his allies and back to Yarzoth and agreed. He managed to stabilize Revan, then collects all the bodies, dead and unconscious, and despairs at having to carry them all back through the Cleansing Shrine, over the various pit traps, and back out to rocks that will eventually become submerged again sometimes soon. he picks up Sasha (the least injured) and runs through the "Room of Death" and jumps over the first pit trap, but trips and falls into the second. A Plot Twist card is used again to discover a hidden shortcut, which turns one of the 2' diameter holes into an easily dug through passageway, leading to the Dark Lake, but also revealing some light coming from under the water, connecting the Dark Lake to the waterfall outside.
Fortunately, Fang and the others managed to get Captain Ekubus on friendly terms, so upon emerging from the waterfall, Fang was able to enlist Ekubus into helping him ferry his allies to the safety of the beach by the Chupacabra's lair.
Back inside, Yarzoth tires of the smell of Kersk, and sends him out to "leave this place, hunt them down, and never return." He doesn't have any way to see in the darkness of this temple, so it takes him a day to find his way out (and fails the next day's save as well).
Outside, Fang tries to give long term care for his allies as they rest at the Ritual Site on the side of the Red Mountain. He fails all of his Heal checks, so everyone only gains basic HP for resting. The first day say luck with no random encounters, but day two saw something happen. Kersk caught up to them, but after an uneasy and suspicious conversation between Kersk and Fang, departed to come back and attack at a better time. Kersk returned during the night, having found and tamed a Jungle Goat to cause confusion while he slaughtered, and tried to sneak in close to unleash his ambush. Fang new something was up, and had set up false camps and was trying to lure potential ambushers into his own trap. Kersk was silent, but the goat caught scent of something and bleated at it. Kersk turned to the goat.
"Shut up, goat!"
His position was blown, and a battle between Fang vs Kersk+Goat commenced. Fang was weary, and utilized Total Defense and cover from the Ritual Stone obelisks to great effect, but Kersk (and his goat) continued to push forwards, bringing Fang to the edge of the cliff and the deadly 100' drop to the sea below. Just then, Fang thrusts his spear into Kersks head (critical hit, triple damage + dex damage due to "chipping the bone" of his skull). The goat, however, got into the fight and continued to attack Fang. After some bad rolls, Fang finally takes out the goat as well.
Sitting down to rest and continue caring for his injured companions, Fang takes a moment to scan the horizon for more dangers. Alas, he ignored the shear cliff behind him where he made this camp, and doesn't notice the Giant Spider crawling down from above, and the nearly dead Revan gets snatched away to become it's mean (This last one was at Player request. This player also has tons of characters ready, and enjoys RPing and exploring as many of them as he can)
The next day, two strangers approach Fang and the now awake Leros and Sasha, wondering what the recent "strange weather" in the area the last few days was all about. (Being that the party didn't do much searching, it was easy to bring in two new characters as consorts of Aycenia, who the party never met yet, and the new characters could know and perhaps lived with for a while without disrupting regular island events). A few minutes later, not far off shore, another ship met an ill fate upon jagged rocks, and a single survivor washes onto the Shiv once more.
The Gory Details:
I'm running books 3 and 4 concurrently and the Night of the Hissing Dead event was triggered a level early by the party discovering and poking around the First Vault and Sozothala's haunted mansion. It's normally supposed to go off at level 10, but with a 6-man table of very experienced players, I wasn't too worried.
The wave of undead rushed into the party's camp and the attackers were taking a beating from the cleric's channel and the group was holding their own.
Then the mummy (on the last IN count) lumbered into the camp and things went downhill. Both the rogue AND Gaherris rolled 1's on their WIL saves against the mummy's aura. Frozen in place in despair, the party cleric then got hit by a ghast and was paralyzed.
With half of the party rooted in place and helpless, the other party members fought hard to push the remaining undead back from their comrades. One of the remaining ghasts managed to step around the flank of the group and gleefully ripped out the half-elf wizard's throat (5-foot step and coup de grace).
The party quickly mopped up the remaining attackers (even whomping the mummy soundly once they discovered his fire vulnerability). Fortunately Gaherris had plenty of prestige built up with the Pathfinders and the half-elf was quickly restored to life. (I'm trying out using the Faction Guide and PA instead of Hero Points.)
Overall just a bad string of saves against paralysis. And the funny thing is Gaherris has the best saves of the group! I think he needed a 3 or better against the mummy's despair aura, but ah Lady Luck... she is a fickle mistress.
Second Near TPK
Names: Silas, Salis, Malakim, Ishirou, Tarnelous
The Painful Truth
All day I had thought to myself that this would be tough. But originally there were going to be 7 PCs one of which is a 3rd cleric of Sarenrae. Unfortunately we lost a player on the night (a negative channelling cleric gnome so not so bad). They decided to continue back underground into the caves after fighting Malikna and 4 zombies. Big mistake.
The fight started badly with Salis stepping into the wall of darkness and fighting the two lacedon guards. Tarnelous the magus followed. They both fell to claws, bites and a negative channel of 2d6. Meanwhile the paladin detect evil was their only source of vision.
After another burst of negative energy, the 3rd level cleric looked at her missing spells, low on channels and hit points and decided to run. She called for the three others to leave their friends and brother. It was a difficult call, but in the end the only one to run was the cleric. The other three charged into the darkness. It became a turkey shoot. The mother started calling out how many victims she had for ghoul fever.
The cleric survived and fled back to Gelik and the gnome PC. They will be picked up by a ship when the lighthouse starts working in a few days. On board will be some replacements. We will not be continuing with the AP but I am adapting some of Savage Tide and Sasserine into a version of Eleder.
The Gory Details:
I rolled the beast up as a random encounter and the party decided to attack, even though they had the option of just huddling down until it went away. They figured it was the same creature that'd chased them up the shaft when they explored the first Serpent Gate they ran across and thought it was following them. The breath weapon took out both the oracle and the cleric in the first round. I was merciful and had it flee after half its hit points were gone, or it would've been a TPK.
The Gory Details:
Our usual group corpse proved his ability to attract metal to his face yet again. During the Eloko ambush, he spotted the druid being lured into the bush by the ringing bell, he got everyone up then watched in horror as 3 Eloko sprang from the bushes and used their surprise round to grow to massive size. Fearing for the druids life he charged in elven curved blade drawn. The attack of opportunity he suffered was a critical. For 51 damage. He failed the save versus massive damage. 2 weeks later he was reincarnated by the druid as a halfling. Whom is now clinically depressed. I intend for the font from book 4 to return him to elf state.
The party half disintigrated over a major argument that ended up with the paladin saying "Take a walk: to the sorceress. The sorcerer walked into a pile of loot, cast detect magic and didn't notice the froghemoth until it was literally right behind her. She tried to escape but it hit her with an AoO and grappled. Next round she made the concentration check to cast a spell..that did nothing. The froghemoth then rolled a natural 1 dropping her, she cast another useless spell, it grappled again, bringing her very low on HP. She actually managed to deal some damage with her natural; attacks before being swallowed and killed.
So the party noticed the combat far to far away to help Kara, but they all started running forward. As ruvia could put out a speed of 70 she made it there first and set up for full attacking 25 feet away from the edge of the water. Turns out froghemths have a reach of 30' with their tongues. Ended up being grappled, and dealing 17 points of damage to its stomach... 1 less than needed. She went unconscious after that and died thereafter.
Name: Orm'izd (kinda)
So the rest of the party (Orm and a paladin) is running towads the lake and see Ruvia get eaten. Orm takes a stand as it moves towards them, tells the paladin to run. The paladin, understanding that this (largely undamaged) foe is beyond the 2 of them runs away. Orm and it trade a few blows before Orm is unconscious. It is full however so doesn't kill him, merely drags him off to eat later. (technically still alive, but it was close enough I feel justified in posting it here.
Not a good night for our party.
A couple of deaths I didn't report so far:
Name: Tabansi and Belor
The Gory Details:
The Gory Details:
Name: Jace Arryn "Gentleman Adventurer"
Our group decided that was "a little harsh" and decided to make a few more points of damage 'non-lethal' to push me just above negative my constitution
Name: Sven Levowskitz
Jabari M'biko - brave Mwangi magus. RIP
But I do not understand, I was not a cabra. Why would he want to 'chup me? Ah! He must be a chupacabrón, porque eso... yo si era!
It has happened again! I should note that we use both Hero Points and Plot Twist Cards. The Plot Twist Cards have been the number one "save a character from dying" ace, but even then it may not always be enough. Actually, this one is a bit belated, as it happened two weeks ago. We had ANOTHER one tonight, so I figured I really gotta put in my new entries. First, the one from two weeks ago:
Name: Mephirus Kith'ore
Survivors: Leros-Kora Nassai (Human/Ulfen), T'sai Koga (Human/Tien - was formerly Fang Skyreach, but that was a cover name that has since been dropped), Esalia Co'helumus (Elf), Anky (Ankylosaurus Animal Companion), Dante Sidous (Human/Chelaxian), and Torsten (I can't remember his last name, I think it was Whitesteed - Human Cohort)
The Gory Details:
It began with the insane ghosts in the temple of Pharasma. The group was cautiously exploring the temple, making sure everything would be safe enough for the joint forces of the Pathfinders and the Free Captains to come and do their archeological research. They toook too long, and attracted the first ghost. It came through the doors to the main inner temple just before they could open it, and asks them in Azlanti "Has the doom passed? What news of the scaled ones?"
Half the group took Linguistics in their last level up so that they could learn Azlanti (mostly from the various texts and murals they've been discovering, and lots of practice with both Gelik and Jask). Thus, one of them casually replies "The doom has passed, and the scaled ones are no more." ...of course, the ghosts are already insane and paranoid, they this one freaks out at their response, grabbing his own heair and pulling some of it out as he screams "LIARS!" and goes crazy on them. His scream was the Shriek of Madness, and Esalia, Anky, Tor, and Mephirus all fail their Will Save and become insane/paranoid as well.
Anky (the Ankylosaurus) freezes and starts AoO-ing anything that goes through it's threatened range, friend and foe alike. Mephirus doesn't bother to prevent friendly fire from his Area of Effect spells, Tor backs away from everything and into a corner, aiming his bow at anyone who comes close, and Esalia freaks out and backs out of the temple completely. Meanwhile, those not afflicted with paranoia ingage the ghost and try to fight it and drive it off.
...and then the other 3 ghosts start to arrive.
Esalia loses her cool and teleports away, going all the way back home (which is Smuggler's Shiv. She replaced a character who died there, and was introduced as the foster-daughter of Aycenia, living under her care for the last 100 years as she was the sole survivor of a lost elven ship, and only an infant at that time, raised by the Dryad and knowing nothing of the outside world).
Long story short, the manage to defeat (if only temporarily) the ghosts, causing their ethereal forms to dissipate (They commented OoC how the ones who made their saves are the insane ones, going toe to toe in melee with GHOSTS, while the insane ones acted more rationally by running off). While searching for their missing companion and hoping the Pathfinders have a way to help deal with the Paranoia, the learn that Sasha Nevah has also gone missing.
A long while ago, the group walked in on, and subsequently slaughtered, Ugimmo. Thus they incited the wrath of Yog'oltha, who has now begun to exact its revenge.
While Anky stays in base camp, not trusting anyone and missing its master (Anky is the Animal Companion of Esalia, who buggered off), the others decide to press on in order to track down Sasha, return the chronicles she apparently stole, and find out what's up with the sudden and out of character for her betrayal of the group. Tor and Meph are still paranoid, but come along anyways, electing to deal with this rather than remain surrounded by Pirates and Pathfinders who all want them dead. If they're at least actively seeking out an individual, they know that they can deal with them easily.
T'sai and Leros have HUGE perception and Survival mods, so they easily find Sashas tracks and follow them out of the city and towards the layer of Yog'oltha. The enter the tunnel leading to the Trader's Bowl (area N) and encounter the Gibbering Mouthers there.
Mephirus and Torsten, both already insane and paranoid, fail their saves against the Gibbering (Su) and become Confused as well (oh. my. gawd!).
Mephirus emits a sound not unlike Hypnotoad while walking towards Torsten and smacks him one with his staff. Being confused, Torsten unleashes a quiver of arrows into Mephirus. Mephirus gets a single AoO on Tor, hitting him on the head again, but the rest of the arrows are far too deadly, and Mephirus falls as a pincushion of dead.
Killed by a cohort. :/
A Plot Twist Card was about to be used, but the player of Mephirus refused it, saying it was time to move on. Meph had already been saved from death by Plot Twist Cars at least half a dozen times previously, and it was time to accept fate and move on.
... and then: THIS WEEK!
Name: Dante Sidous
Survivors: Leros-Kora Nassai (Human/Ulfen), T'sai Koga (Human/Tien), Esalia Co'helumus (Elf), Anky (Ankylosaurus Animal Companion), Torsten (Human Cohort), and Kalled (Half-Elf).
The Gory Details:
A lot happened between Mephirus' death and Dantes death. Crazy near TPK with Yog'oltha (who gets away), bringing Sasha back to camp and restraining her. Dealing with her enchantment (failing the first 7 attempts over 2 days to dispel the magic afflicting her), discovering several others in camp have started acting strange as well, including Jask who starts running around camp rallying everyone to flee, and general mayhem.
Kallen joins the group. He was one of the pirate buccaneers of the Free Captains and is eager to help his mistress Kassata Lewynn and the PCs with their tasks in the city, and is able to help remove the enchantment afflicting Sasha.
Previously (when they were following Sasha's trail) they discovered the nest of the Camalutz. They noted it as a place to go back to, but finding Sasha was the priority. Now that that whole fiasco has been dealt with, it was time to clear the nest and make the area safe for the Pathfinders and Pirates to properly explore and research and document.
<GM NOTE> This is one thing I did modify slightly. I moved the nest to the top of the unmarked dam, along with the statues of soldiers, now acting as the large and glorious first thing seen when entering the City from this side. The group also encountered a pair of Camalutz much earlier as a random encounter, so new about a possible larger nest nearby. I thus put a random number of Camalutz in the nest based on their "organization" entry as an Aerie... ended up being 7 of them. My group is also slightly larger than average, and are very powerful, so I had no worries about a TPK here... a challenge? Yes. ...but not overwhelming for these guys. </GM NOTE>
It all started well enough. They pre-buffed as they neared, then charged in to deal with the beasts (They rolled terrible for their perceptions, so were caught off guard by the PC attack). Anky the Ankylosaurus had Fly cast on him and was chasing after the birds trying to knock them out of the sky with his stun causing tail swings, while Esalia and Tor rained arrows and spell upon them. Kallen, T'sai, and Dante took to melee, charging a pair of them before they could get airborn, then spending the rest of time readying actions to attack as they did their flyby attacks.
Two of them start their Hypnotic Display ability while airborn over the edge of the dam, while the rest activate their Entropic Shields to give them an edge against the rain of arrows. Anky and T'sai fail their saves. T'sai is about to jump off the dam to get to it, but makes his second save. Anky on the other hand can fly, so simply floats up to the one that got him and hovers by it, waiting to get eaten alive.
And then, one of them flies around behind Esalia and Tor and swoops in for the kill. It goes after Esalia, and rolls a natural 20. The Camalutz have Vorpal Beaks, so cause decapitation on a natural 20. I give them a chance to use either Hero Points or Plot Twist Cards to save Esalia, but they used most of them in the last two session and are unable to come up with anything.
Then, Dante (a paladin) casts Paladin's Sacrifice, taking all the damage and the Vorpal decapitation effect. Dante sees the Camalutz charge Esalia, points at it and yells "NOOOOOOOO!!!!" ... and then his head pops off.
Due to their positioning and the statues: Dante could see Esalia, Tor was beside Esalia but could not see Dante, and T'sai was near Dante and could see both Dante and Tor but could not see Esalia. Tor watches the large beak of the flying Camalutz envelop Esalia's head and slice around her neck, but only spins around a millimeter away, causing no harm then flying off. T'sai sees Dante yell and then watches in HORROR as his head suddenly and literally pops off and rolls off the dam without having anything come close to him at all! Tor exclaims "That was weird!" regarding the bite that did nothing, and continues to fire his arrows. T'sai leans out from behind the statue after seeing Dante die and hearing Tor and replies "I'll say! That was really weird!" in regards to Dante's head.
They eventually finish off the Camalutz (with a few more injuries, but no more fatalities) and then return to their base camp with the body of Dante in tow. We're also using the Prestige options from the Faction Guide and their allied Factions, and I've added in some extra opportunities for them to increase their Fame and Prestige with both the Pathfinders and the Pirates. Dante actually had around 19 Prestige points, so was able to have the Pathfinders Raise Dead him at no cost. However, the experience has left a scar on the man, and while he has elected to remain in Saventh-Yhi to offer his services at base camp, is unable to bring himself to venture out again for the time being (aka: Dante is now an NPC and the player has a new character joining up). Esalia already feels grief from the previous death of Mephirus, and was on the verge of an emotional breakdown when Dante sacrificed himself for her. If he was not brought back, or was and simply left to return home, Esalia would have walked as well: giving up on the adventuring life and retiring to a simpler, safer life elsewhere. But because he has elected to stay and watch over the Pathfinders camp, Esalia has gained the strength to continue on, and fight in the field for Dante's sake and in his stead.
The group had fought their way up the serpent stairs into the manor and encountered the strange metal golems hammering away on Udarra's sealed door. The group's tank (a cavalier) went charging across the room hitting one of the golems a solid blow. Then the golems turned and started blasting away at the door with their alchemical bombs. Xinbast (the party back-up tank) moved up to try and engage the golems so they wouldn't continue to hit the doorway with bombs. As the tank was turning to help Xinbast, he was suddenly engaged by Ixolan in the far corner. This left Xinbast facing the golems alone as his back-up healer (the party witch) dimention doored away after getting hit by several bombs.
This left a wounded Xinbast alone on the front lines with no extra healing coming his way. Needless to say, he issued a rather foul stream of piratey curses before being pulverized by the blows of the golems.
The party returned Xinbast's body to the pirate camp where he had a large stash of diamond dust. He'd amassed a large amount of prestige with the Pirates and was soon restored to life.
Got two in one Encounter. We are using Hero points and marking them with Plot twist cards. You can either use the twist or the point but not both.
Name: Darmon (ya it was confusing)
The Ninja was brought back with the Scroll of Raise Dead. The cleric was an inherited character. So no real loss, but still a epic fight.
We were fighting atop the flensing house. Litchin was the only character engaged in melee with Umagro. Clover the ranger archer was providing artillery. Longbeard, our dwarven cleric, was on the other side of Litchin supporting him with cure mods every round after saving Gimble Aberwhinge from plunging to his death.
Umagro crit 5 times in two rounds.
Got another one. Still using Hero Points. Playing with six players.
Friend of Painted Sasha Moggogol Zombie Bait
I added a Skeletal Champion Treant the the Hangman encounter just outside of Kalbatu (spelling). Our frog sized tank was cutting zombies left and right and fell as the last one exploded. Then the Drow Gunslinger cut another to ribbons, she wasn't aware that the Moggogol was down as far as he was.
Good thing they had a home brew item called the Elixhir of Reincarnation handy for later. So the body of the frog is now a Plague Zombie but esscence goes to some Halfling.
GM Poisonblade wrote:
hehehe, nice. This is actually how my Jask got killed the first time... though he did get saved by timely use of Hero Points and Plot Twist cards (we use both but as separate mechanics). Jask got surrounded by plague zombies, failed his knowledge:religion check, and decided to channel positive energy to kill them. Well, he did kill them, and they ALL exploded at the same time.
More than a year after posting the death of my wife's PC (Halima; killed by a pair of "ape-bear-things" that terrorized a Zenj village), my own PC falls the same day we arrive in our goal city - Saventh Yhi.
Exploring the first part of the city, while awaiting the Sargavan caravan. A large stone pathway leads to a multi-storied, circular building. Creatures inside begin hurling weapons at our party. Front-line types go to the door to force it open, and the party wizard thinks he can fireball the front without doing TOO much damage to us at the door. Well, I get toasted (no evasion for my archtype) as I open the door. On the first level there are a few "Monkey Men" (Charau-ka) and a large, 4-armed "Girallon". I think to myself "hey, I'm on fire anyway, I'll grapple the big furry thing". To my surpirse the grapple sticks! Apparently the girallon thought to itself "Huh, a firey dwarf is stuck to me. Think I'll rip it apart" and preceeded to do so. I did manage to push him out of the doorway, allowing the rest of the party to enter, but between more natural attacks and a couple AoO from the Charau-ka, I went past negative CON.
We will pick this up again after Thanksgiving, and I have to decide whether to spend faction capital to raise Grumbul, or to bring in a new PC once the City's caravan sets up, or perhaps "PC-up" one of the NPCs still attached to our group.
Not for me, but for a player who doesn't frequent these forums.
The party had freed Eando Cline from the dungeons but wanted to make one last assault on the fortress to kill Belkor and secure an alliance with the urdefhan. They entered the tail gate and heard the strange invisible slithers of a patrol they'd been avoiding (the spirit nagas). They waited for the patrols to pass and then attacked the guest chambers where they thought Belkor was hiding. What they didn't know was that the naga had heard the party as well and were waiting just out of darkvision range and were pre-buffing. The party launched their attack and killed Belkor's serpentfolk guards and then the urdefhan traitor, fighting back out into the main coil just as the spirit naga finished their pre-spellcasting. The telepathic serpentfolk had already passed along detailed descriptions of the party and their tactics from earlier attacks, so the snake-men guards were sure to slip passed the front liners and deliver Gaherris several telling blows before they were taken down. With no breather after Belkor and his guards went down, fireballs from the naga started going off. With the party in a tight formation after the first fight, the naga patrol hit them repeatedly with their fireballs. Even after making several of the reflex saves, it was too much damage for Gaherris and the half-elf first went down, and then was killed as more of the fireballs hit his unconscious body.
Fortunately the party quickly killed the naga and retreated with Gaherris's body. The party cleric Xinbast Raised the half-elf wizard and with a Greater Restoration he was back in the fight, slightly poorer but ready to continue their fight against the serpentfolk.
Death: Shot several times in the back by the parties overspecialised Archer.
Location: The first vault.
Details: The archer with the worthless will save suffered the effects of the Midnight spores, went crazy and took out the nearest threat he could see!
Raised and not very happy with the archer!
So displeased with the disconnected feel of the Hunter's Maze, I decided that, while fleeing from serpentfolk forces, Valgaunt and his urdefhan troops had found a portal called the Eye of Savith. This was a portal that morlock legend said allowed Savith to watch over her ancient enemies the snake-men in Thousand Fangs. In reality it was a route into the upper levels of Savith's Crypt in Saventh-Yhi, a sight where Azlanti warriors would come to pay their respects to the legendary warrior and also served as a training ground for them. The urdefhan were trapped here and it allowed me to reflavor the Hunter's Maze as a winding Azlanti crpyt/training area but keep the encounters as is.
So the group made their way through Savith's Eye and into the crypt. They fought their way through the skirmishers that prowled the ruined outbuildings in the chapel courtyard that the urdefhan had defaced and destroyed. As they entered the chapel, they saw a black, befowled reflecting pool that the proto-shoggoth lunged from. The group (surprisingly!) all shook off the effects of the maddening cacophony, but a trample left the shoggoth in the middle of the party. Harisko misjudged the reach of the creature's many tentacles and the jungle witchdoctor tried to fly away. He was quickly snatched out of the air and the next round absorbed. Despite the best efforts of the rest of the party to free him, they were too slow and Harisko was crushed/burned by acid to death.
Fortunately as a Silver Agent in charge of the Aspis Consortium camp, Harisko had agents willing to bring his personal stash of diamond dust to the party cleric. A Raise Dead and Greater Restoration later and he was ready to continue exploring Savith's Crypt for the mysterious weapon Eando Cline had told them about.
Name: Reagan Tenor
The party consists of a druid, sorcerer, fighter, and archaeologist bard. No dedicated healer. With this particular group, this fact makes everyone extremely nervous. So when the bard hit level 7, he took Leadership, and out of the blue expected to recruit, specifically, a cleric of Cayden Cailean. Why? Because all of this player's prior characters had taken Leadership and recruited a cleric of Cayden Cailean. So I rolled up a cleric of Cayden Cailean, with alternate channeling abilities, low dexterity, and an excuse to always be drunk.
The party immediately hated him because he wasn't very good at healing. Sure, he had spells, but he wasn't optimized with his channel energy, so the characters gave him a hard time for always stumbling around with drunken bravado. During routine exploration of the city, they inevitably went to the Isle of Shadows, and the poor cleric drew the attention of a single regular shadow and couldn't defeat the CR 3 undead by himself before his strength dropped to 0.
I have now rolled up a Wind Oracle with no cure spells on his list as a replacement cohort. It's a take-it-or-leave-it scenario. If the bard asks why his new cohort doesn't know any cure spells, the oracle is going to look him directly in the eye and say, "But sir, why don't you know any cure spells?" I hate healbot cohorts.
Leadership is specifically written as to give the DM an out and rule against it... just refuse the feat and make him pick another one.
Oracles do get Cure for free. I've never played an oracle, so now I know. Guess I've already invested the work to roll up the character, though...
And I don't like disallowing stuff from the Core Rulebook. Especially because I'm playing an Enchanter in a Jade Regent campaign that meets weekly, and I just took Leadership myself. Difference being, that I chose as my cohort a goblin I had charmed back during our second session, and I've been actively interacting with it for 25 straight sessions preparing for the moment I could choose him as a cohort. I hate it when a player takes leadership just to recruit a buffer or healbot or item crafter, and expects this character to just appear out of thin air.
So you prefer to accept the feat and then make the player feel he has wasted the feat slot ?
No, I don't feel like any NPC with class levels walking around is a waste of a feat slot. Compare Leadership to Dodge or Power Attack. It gives you a walking buff bot, or heal bot, or a souped up humanoid version of an animal companion. Wasting a feat slot would be not allowing him to recruit a cohort. Even if it was just a sack of HPs, it's still a body on the field, like going into combat with a Summon Monster already cast, so even if it was a fifth level commoner, it'd probably be worth a feat slot. Allowing him access to a spellcaster is worth more than any other feat, as not only does he gain spellcasting as if he were a caster two levels lower, he also gains an extra standard action every round to cast these spells.
I allow Leadership because it's in the Core, but it is an incredibly broken feat that players either misuse or abuse.
If you feel it's broken, don't allow it.
No, I don't feel like any NPC with class levels walking around is a waste of a feat slot.
You don't... but Robin asked if your PLAYER felt like he wasted a feat.
I would be very ticked if you did this to me.. Honestly, I've never seen a DM make the cohort to begin with. He ROLEPLAYS the character in game same as the rest of the NPCs... but the player runs the sheet on his side.
It's the player's feat... it's HIS cohort... He should go to the trouble of making him and tracking the paperwork.
To have the dm take my idea and twist it into a drunken paperweight... I'd feel like that was a waste.
It REALLY would be best to not actively screw the player... and just disallow the feat. At least then he can get something... AND have it work how he expects it to.
I think the GM should make the cohort, the player gets some input sure but to let the player straight out make the cohort and play him is how the feat gets abused. As a matter of fact I am getting ready to run Kingmaker soon and most of the players have stated that they will pick the leadership feat which is cool, but none of them will get to make the cohort, they will get to say what they are looking for in said cohort but will not get to make them, in fact I will introduce several NPC's into the game that they will get to choose from.
Name: Stefanus (Stef)
The players had just arrived in the mercantile district and knew there were chimeras on the small fortress island. They decided to head there on a raft and the cavalier and paladin would act as 'engine' and stripped from armor. The chimeras attacked before they could re-dress. Stef then fought with a chimera toe-to-toe with just his shield. This gave him a AC which meant I needed a 6 to hit. I did with a full attack (including a crit). He was already down to one third of his hitpoints when the 54 points of damage hit and he was knocked to -30.
The funeral was absolutely amazing though. The player chose not to let the character come back and is rolling up a treetop monk monkey-thing (advanced race guide), which will just have escaped from the military district.
This was the third character kill in the campaign.
Cause of death: Spotting one Vagabond spider and not the other.
Upon entering The cave of Spiders Seraphina saw one Vagabond spider and attacked it, moving into the cave to clear the path for the party brutes. Then she saw the other one hiding over the entrance!
It attacked and instant killed her, (DM rolled 20,20,20) So much for my nice new Poison immunity.
Second death for Seraphina, as the only one in the party approaching a Rogue she's always in the front.
The Gory Details: Although I'd had an ambush all ready to go to introduce the PCs to the cannibals they were taking their time and being very deliberate in exploring their surroundings and moving their camp along with them. However, the time was right for the cannibals to be traveling their way from Yarzoth's information and they were due for a "$#!T just got real" moment. As they were setting up camp they heard something in the jungle to the west. The cannibals had also heard them and moved to investigate. The PCs watched as the nearly naked humans worked their way north and up onto the higher ground the PCs occupied and charged without a thought. Sasha was caught in a net while Jask and Aerys froze in horror. Only Ishirou stood alongside the PCs (Gelik is long gone).
As the battle progressed Blackcross kept stepping back and shooting, despite multiple warnings that he was backing towards the waterfall. He hit every round with his Longbow but rolled terrible damage. By the time the cannibal was low enough on HP to chose to flee Blackcross had his back to the cliff. As DM I felt I had no choice - the cannibal declared a bullrush as a standard action before fleeing from the fight. A nat 20 later and Blackcross was sailing through the air to land with a thud in the wet ground 60ft below. Due to the circumstances (I run pretty fast and loose with the rules when cinematic moments are in play) I ruled that enough of the damage was non-lethal that Blackcross would survive if anyone wanted to clamber down and help him. As he'd been acting like a bit of a dick, no one did and Blackcross succumbed to his massive internal injuries.
Death #6 in my SS campaign...
Poor Harisko makes a back-to-back return appearance on my list.
After meeting up with General Aveshai in Savith's Crypt and recovering Eroeme, the groups return to their camps to raise their armies for the final assault on Ilmurea. Harisko returns to the Aspis Consortium camp where his superiors in Bloodcove promote him to Gold Agent for his good work in dealing with the Pathfinders across the valley (most of the rest of the party) and keeping profits flowing into the Consortium coffers. They promise to send more Legionairres to support the army heading into Ilmurea.
NOTE: I'm playing the Coil assassination attempts in one-on-one sessions before/after our KM sessions we're playing now while we take a break before the finale of SS. So far two PCs have fought off the Coil and one has been killed. Three to go...