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Skulls and Shackles Obituary Thread

Skull & Shackles

201 to 226 of 226 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Character: Captain Finnegan Mourn (Dhampir UnRogue 6 / Swashbuckler 1)
Module: Tempest Rising
Cause: Rogue saving throws suck

The wrecker encounter caused a near TPK - captain dead due to save-or-die and the rest of the party throwing themselves overboard because they were one hit away from being kebbabed by the beserkers. At one point there was only one PC (the druid) with positive HP, as the gunslinger and alchemist were both on zero, the latter floating in midair having taken a critical AoO as he flew off the prow of the ship.

That encounter was tougher than the CR of the monsters suggested!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Character: Arden Stormborn
Class/Race/Level/etc: Cleric of Gozreh / Seascarred / 7
Module: Tempest Rising
Cause: Captain of the Dominator
Details: A Full Volley of Manyshot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, and Burrowing Shot

The Gory Details:
This whole thing started back when the group initially attacked and took their first ship the fishing vessel Elten Leide. Mr. Balthor, the first mate, took it upon himself to avail himself of one of the female crew members. After the attack the woman was brought into the fold of their crew and within days in hopes of murdering her attacker tried to take the position of cook's mate.

Viginti, the navigator, noticed her futile attempt to poison the duergar barbarian and instead of punishing her, had her sent away to the tutor who had taught her magic.

Her mind still on revenge, the young woman traveled to learn from the tutor and picked up magic quickly. Learning of the Nemo's encounter with the Dominator she then tracked the ship down and through guile gained an audience with the ship's XO, Commander Kyan Kain, who had himself become obsessed with getting retribution for his failure to capture them. With a piece of the ship the girl reassured Kain she could track them and the Dominator had a new target.

Viginti had this entire time, resolved to track the Dominator with Track Ship which is a trick the young vengeful woman had taken to heart. So the two ships started a mutual back and forth casting of the spell.

The Dominator remained to the north of the Shackles, awaiting an opportunity to catch the Nemo upon their exit.

That chance arose when the ship sailed north to find the Brine Banshee and they swooped in to attack.

After a thorough trouncing by a giant jellyfish in the wreck Vaginti realized that the Dominator was only a day away. A discussion of what to do arose...

Sail back into the Shackles and we will be safe.

Use disrepute to raise a storm and throw the Dominator off our tracks...

Stand and fight the Dominator...

The group chose the latter with the aid of a covering storm provided by a expenditure of disrepute and plunder dropped into the sea.

After an exchange of siege engine fire the ships engaged in a break of the storm.

With the exception of one member of the team of officers almost every single one was laid low by arrows from the archer captain. Unfortunately for him, her arrows were just a little more true in the case of Arden Stormborn, the pilot of the Nemo.

As for the girl who had spent so many months hungry for revenge she was butchered by the man who had first assaulted her but not before spitting blood in his face and cursing him and his entire crew.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

This last session came to a screeching halt as the party TPKed on the Island of Empty Eyes.

Party Makeup:
Captain Celes, Human Paladin of Milani 11
Ronan, Tengu Brawler 11
Pascal, Kobold Unchained Rogue 11
Sirashazar, Undine Wizard 11
Kamishah, Human Druid 9/Monk 2

How It Went Down:
Our exploration of Isla Nublar a.k.a. the Island of Empty Eyes has been progressing in large part to Kamishah entering Jungle Mind and leading the party around the large dinosaurs infesting it. Finishing with the ruined fort, the party sets out for the cyclops encampment to retrieve what was stolen from the weird guy in the basement.

Approaching a cliff face, we are preparing to begin the climb/flight when we hear singing. Cue the Daughters of Emerta. Some of us knew how hard these were from the Adventure Card Game. The reality was even worse. Half the party failed on the first save. Over the course of the next round and a half, all six forced saves, with the wizard biffing three, and only my druid/monk making all of them.

The next few rounds involved a losing battle between the three foes attacking Kamishah while the others worked on murdering the enthralled party members. When Kamishah finally fell, unable to kill the one that the paladin had failed to save against, it was over.

A long discussion about what to do later, our pirate crew and cohort NPCs mounted an epic rescue (which I characterized as 'sneaking in under invisibility to grab the bodies and run away while Conchobhar countersonged with the Benny Hill theme) and searched our plunder hold for resources to fix the problem. Two scrolls of raise dead got Sandara and Kamishah back in the realm of the living to raise/reincarnate the rest. Only Ronan was willing to risk the reincarnate and has now traded his feathers for scales, coming back as a nagaji.

Next session, the party plans on preparing silence spells and giving the enemy a TPK of their own.

An old-ish one:

Name: Captain Jrahk "Razortusk" Lacertus
Race: Orc
Classes/levels: Bloodrager 9
Adventure: Tempest Rising
Location: Victory Stage after the big race
Catalyst: Barnabas Harrigan
The Gory Details: Harrigan was his usual loudmouthed self, openly contemptuous of the Devil's Pallor crew. Captain Jrahk's pride wouldn't stand for that, so he started insulting Harrigan's combat prowess.

Harrigan responded (paraphrased): "Come at me bro".

Jrahk came at him, and they set up a no holds barred duel right there, right then on the docks. Harrigan won Initiative, and by the end of his turn, Jrahk was only sustained by his Ferocity and sheer spite. One half-hearted blow later, and Harrigan attacked again. By the end, there was little left of Jrahk's body, so torn apart they had to spring for a proper Resurrection to bring him back from the crazed madman's assault.

His player knew this was the likely result going in, but Pride is, potentially, a bigger part of Jrahk's character than Rage. And that's saying a lot for an Orc Bloodrager.

More to come, I just need to figure out if the current combat will only have a single death, or be a total wipe since they aggroed basically the entire compound of Cyclopes on The Island of Empty Eyes and are low on health, sandwiched between Shaija and her crew, and Gargoyle archers. At least they dropped the chief the day before.

Grand Lodge

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Isle of Empty Eyes update:
Turns out fiendish cyclops harpies are just as screwed by bardic countersong as regular harpies.

That encounter was ROUGH. I softballed it a little and just had them capture Jrahk and Ixrul after they fell unconscious and go in for a bit of snu-snu to make up for tweaking them so they were more "Harpy Cyclopes" instead of "Harpies with some stupid templates".

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

We lost both half-orc PCs in a single prolonged fight:

Name: Ta Fann (spelling? Not my PC)
Race: Half-Orc
Classes/levels: Storm Druid 6
Adventure: Raiders of the Fever Sea
Location: Tidewater Rock
Catalyst: Isabella "Inkskin" Locke

Name: Blaarg Cracktooth
Race: Half-Orc
Classes/levels: Barbarian 1/Wave Oracle 5
Adventure: Raiders of the Fever Sea
Location: Tidewater Rock
Catalyst: Knuckles Grype

The Gory Details:
The party had the horrific misfortune to choose to stay in their ship on visiting Tidewater Rock, instead of going ashore as the AP intended. So when Isabella attacked, she was free to fly loose in the night sky, cutting loose with Lightning Bolts to horrific effect. Fann, hoping to distract the destructive sorceress, took the form of an owl and raked her claws across Isabella's beautiful face. Isabella returned the favor in the form of a Lightning Bolt. Failing her save, Fann was reduced to a single hit point. Fann chose to keep fighting in the night sky, and a round later Isabella's Magic Missle did her in.

The rest of the fight was ugly. No one except Blaarg had purchased missile weapons, so the other party members and Tidewater Rock guards were shooting Isabella with mundane borrowed weapons to little effect against her Protection from Arrows. Blaarg's composite longbow with Magic Weapon eventually did her in, however, but not before the ranger and bard were at negative hit points, Fann was dead, and Blaarg was sitting at 4 hit points.

The group used up all the rest of their healing resources, getting the ranger to 25 hit points and Blaarg to 34. They heard about a second fight aboard the ship and raced there, only to hear that Isabella's first mate, Knuckles Grype, was holed up in the hold. The ranger went first, but utterly failed his Acrobatics check to get into the hold, falling prone before Knuckles and getting one-shot into the negatives yet again. Blaarg went toe-to-toe with Knuckles, raging and using all his abilities to hit Knuckles for 20 points a round. Unfortunately, after two rounds of back-and-forth Blaarg was already in the negative hit points while raging, meaning that he was dead the moment he came out of rage. In a moment of glory, he used orc ferocity to strike Knuckles a final blow before dying, which was just enough to let the bard and his mysterious sorceress ally (Fann's new PC, as this fight took place over 2 sessions) drop Knuckles into the negatives.

Easily the bloodiest session of the campaign so far, and massively fun. Sometimes, you just gotta be an orc. And sometimes, it just kills you.

A final sad note: We'd leveled up between sessions, so Blaarg HAD a Cure Moderate Wounds handy, but couldn't cast it because he was raging. We'd also totally forgotten that we could spend Infamy points (or whatever they're called) for healing, which would have also saved Blaarg's life (he only died by 4 hit points). Live and learn. Or die and learn...

Forgot to update this with the last tragic death.

Name: Captain Jrahk "Razortusk" Lacertus
Race: Orc
Classes/levels: Bloodrager 10
Adventure: Island of Empty Eyes
Location: The Ruins of Ghol-Gan, Eye of Serenity
Catalyst: The Immortal Dreamstone

The Gory Details: After a brutal encounter with the Gholdakos (the two usual ones, plus an extra plus sized one I added to make up for their larger party and having wiped out the ruins' inhabitants minus the undead and then LEAVING), which left Daliya and Gremory dead (they got better), Jrahk made the mistake of handling the Immorttal Dreamstone with his bare hands, and the even bigger mistake of rolling low on his save. He was Trap the Soul'd, and the rest of the crew decided Bikendi's treasure (and not having to deal with a ghost) was a bigger prize than their homicidal captain.

(I gave the player the option of me working something out so there was a mini-quest or something to bring him back, but he decided he was bored of Jrahk and made a Summoner to replace him)

Jrahk now spends eternity in a dream realm of Bikendi's creation, shared with the mad wizard (though they're unlikely to ever meet), succeeded by first mate Ixrul as Captain.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Man, we've only lost two characters, one early on to the swarms in the first module and another to those auto-critting cyclops on the Island of Empty Eyes. Since then they've been pretty much cake-walking everything. They are now about to begin the final module and are brimming with confidence.

What are all of you guys doing wrong to warrant so many character deaths?


Grand Lodge

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Not bringing a bard to a harpy fight.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Fighting a flying sorceress outside...
...when no one in the party EXCEPT my (dead) PC had bothered to purchase ranged weapons...

Let's see.... First PC death was a swashbuckler being swallowed by The Whale after having most of the stirges attach to him. The party leapt for the water before they could be hit, he hesitated.

Same player, Barbarian and the party fighter are sent to disable the giant Chelish ship alone, when they are discovered the fighter runs for it and dives into the water.. makes it with 1 HP remaining and the shaman scar heals him. The barbarian stood and fought, thinking her partner was behind her.

Next was a Druid...same player again.... didn't like the shaman animating dead guys. Was torn limb from limb by skeletons. No one seems to know how the got into that room with him.

Next one... you guessed it, same guy.... inquisitor killed by fighter who was dominated. Who knew a hasted two-handed fighter could drop a ranged inquisitor in one round while under water? Inquisitor was reincarnated as a kobald, and instantly retired to NPC status.

New Inquisitor shows up. New Inquisitor dies heroically(for a change). New Inquisitor is reincarnated as a goblin. Player keeps him around, as he is better and more fun than before. I even made him write a goblin song for him.

Ravingdork wrote:

Man, we've only lost two characters, one early on to the swarms in the first module and another to those auto-critting cyclops on the Island of Empty Eyes. Since then they've been pretty much cake-walking everything. They are now about to begin the final module and are brimming with confidence.

What are all of you guys doing wrong to warrant so many character deaths?


Well, in my case it's a three pronged assault of fun times:

1.) Poor tactics on the part of my players. I keep telling them keeping track of their positioning is important, and yet they keep, say, getting surprised when things pop up on their flank because they retreated into a room with a back door they don't know where leads (it lead into a room full of cyclopes cooking dinner, and they weren't deaf).

2.) Bad rolls on their part.

3.) Good rolls on my part.

Part of the fault also lies in me upping the difficulty of a few key encounters, or changing nonsensical builds or tactics (why are the Gargoyles in Ghol-Ghan built to snipe when they have now way to actually DO IT?) but they have a party of 6 plus Sandra Quinn as a healbot (or their choice of any of the other crew members I've given class levels, like their Ghast Vivisectionist or Gunslinger in charge of their cannons), so they have all the tools in hand to trivialize a lot of these encounters with better planning. And when I DON'T make them harder, they ROFLstomp them and everyone gets bored.

So we have a high mortality rate, but everyone seems to be having more fun that way, unless I'm misreading the room. It helps that money is so easy to get in S&S and I've made Reincarnation an especially attractive option for revival.

Name Captain Salia Reneou
Race/class Human Gunslinger(buccaneer) 10
location Island of the Empty eyes
Catalyst Negative levels

SO the party made it to the room of revelation, and 3 of the 6 of them decided to blind themselves before they touched anything, without any way to cure blindness. When combat started, the guard managed to get a number of them very close to the crystal. The captain was one of the one who choose to be blinded.

On rounds 2, 3, and 5(i forgot to roll it on round 4) all 3 times, my dice choose the captain as the one to be hit with the enervation. Dice rolls of 4, 4 and 1. Up to 9 negative levels. The HP loss from that plus damage taken caused the captain to die. With some fancy party maneuvering, the moved her body withing range of the Oracle for a breath of life. We had not noticed before the line in breath of life about gaining a negative level after it being case on you before.

The captain then did not die from HP loss, but instead negative levels.

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Failing five DC 10 climb checks after nailing six and plummeting to her death at Mr. Plugg's feet, to which he said "not good enough"

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
Failing five DC 10 climb checks after nailing six and plummeting to her death at Mr. Plugg's feet, to which he said "not good enough"


I think that calls for a mercy save if they get killed right at the start

Checking out with Pluggs going "Mediocre" is pretty final. That character (sheet) was jinxed. ;)

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We've dubbed it our "Captain Red Shirt Campaign"

Because drawing the Captain straw is pretty much a death sentence. :-D

But I told everyone I wasn't pulling punches. :-)

Did you let them just write in a new name on the sheet or did they have to go to another room for a half hour to make the character?

"So sad Phil the Bard died, welcome Jim the Bard."

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had everyone come in with at least two characters.

And she's had a lot of fun with her second character.

Wasn't a big deal. :-)

A new entry (and my first PC death ever on my watch as a GM)!

Character: Naesala
Race/Class: Merfolk Monk (Master of Many Forms) 10
Location: The abandoned fortress on the Island of Empty Eyes
Catalyst: Some terrible dice, and a phantasmal killer sent out by Bikendi Otongu

The players had actually managed to avoid running into Bikendi despite multiple incursions into the fort, thanks to the hide from undead spell and some very lucky (for them) Will saves on the part of Bikendi. At this point, despite not knowing most of the back story, they'd cleared the rest of the fort, gone to Sumitha, and retrieved the immortal dreamstone...though Naesala himself, in fact, was captured by it.

The PCs, having made a Spellcraft check to identify the effect that trapped Naesala, went to a remote island (smart) and shattered the crystal, fortunately not taking too much damage from the necromantic backlash. As it shattered, though, they heard a distant scream, and saw a brief vision of Bikendi's enraged ghost. Once back on the Island of Empty Eyes, they decided to do one last sweep of the fortress to make sure nothing lingered. They forgot the spell this time...just in time to encounter Bikendi's enraged ghost in the basement. As he ranted at them (conveniently clearing up some exposition), Naesala decided to mock and challenge him (a characteristic move).

Bikendi opened combat by sending a phantasmal killer toward the merman who'd been so harshly speaking to him. It was only meant to startle, I swear! Naesala rolled a Will save.

Natural 1.

He rolled a Fortitude save, with a different die. On either roll, he only needed to get a 5 or better on the dice.

Natural 3.

And that's how, completely to everyone's surprise, the combat began with the massive merfolk tank just keeling over, dead from full hit points of a heart attack.

I hate when that happens! In my RoW we had two dead PCs in a single turn because of 2 Phantasmal Killers and 4 awful dice rolls.
Sometimes poor rolls just happen.

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Even though Breath of Life makes for occasionally very short deaths, a death is still a death:

Character: Trevor Sharkskin
Race/Class: Sharkfolk Ranger 10 (custom race)
Location: The cyclops ruins on the Island of Empty Eyes
Catalyst: Great Mother doing what she does best

The Gory Details:
In spite of the two front-liners' decent armor classes (28 for Trevor, and 26 for Del the Life Oracle), the cyclops' auto-hit ability was wreaking havoc with the party's resources, with Del constantly having to pour Cure Critical Woundses (OK, what IS the plural of "Cure Critical Wounds", anyway?) and channels into party members taking 20-60 points a round. The only thing that kept the party intact was that each cyclops could only do it once. But grouping potential crits against a single target leads to ouchies.

So the group decided to go indoors where they could use their smaller size and the terrain to their advantage to minimize the ability of the cyclopses to gang up on individual party members.

This went well for the first fight, then they saw a large room with a pool in it and a magical sword. Everyone could tell it was some kind of trap. No one could tell what kind of trap.

Trevor moved forward, sniffing for enemies (he has Scent). He could tell that something was in the room with them, but he couldn't pinpoint it. As he moved forward towards the sword, Great Mother sprang.

On the surprise round, she hit him with a natural 20 and confirmed the crit for something on the order of 60 points of damage. In a bit of a miracle, she failed to grapple him. Unfortunately, Trevor's player is a magnificent roleplayer, and Trevor would never back down from such an epic fight. So he attacked her, but a cold die meant he did very little damage, even with 5 attacks. Even more unfortunately, Great Mother had beaten everyone else on the initiative chart, and hit Trevor again for another 40. It was enough to slay him outright. He was dead before any other party members got to act.

Unfortunately for Great Mother, things went downhill for her from there. Captain Finn (bard) put Freedom of Movement on Del, and she got to Trevor with a Breath of Life, bringing him back to the land of the living as Samiyya (wishcrafter) pummeled Great Mother with Scorching Rays. Great Mother promptly constricted Trevor back to -13 hit points (with a CON of 14), but with Del and Captain Finn right next to him he received a good 70 points of healing before she got to go again.

The saddest part was Great Mother's "flight". She flees at 50 hit points at a massive move of... 10?!?!?

Fireballs, Lightning Bolts, a Flame Strike and a reinvigorated Trevor were more than she could handle, and Great Mother burbled her last.

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Even though Breath of Life makes for occasionally very short deaths, a death is still a death (again):

Character: Trevor Sharkskin (again)
Race/Class: Sharkfolk Ranger 10 (custom race)
Location: The cyclops ruins on the Island of Empty Eyes (again)
Catalyst: Gargoyles with bows!?!?

The Gory Details:
Since Del had been able to both Breath of Life and Restore Trevor, the party saw no reason not to continue their explorations. Del pointed out that she had NO 4th-level spells left, and only one 5th-level spell, but plenty of lower-level spells, plus a few rounds of Energy Body and a couple of Channel Energies. That seemed like plenty, so the party moved on through the ruins. When they spotted a raised area full of statues, it was pretty obvious that these statues must be the gargoyles that the genie of the well had warned them about, so they moved in to engage.

Unfortunately, the gargoyles had other plans, taking to the air and peppering the party with arrows from afar. Neither Del's Flame Strike nor Samiyya's Fireball seemed to bother the airborne menaces (curse you, Evasion!), so Trevor activated his tattoo of Fly and took to the air to engage them.

Well, many, many things were wrong with this plan:

  • Trevor, being the *only* airborne party member, was the *only* target.
  • Trevor, being airborne, was out of Del's reach for any healing, and she'd already used up her "big guns" in previous fights.
  • The gargoyles, making their Perception rolls, realized that Trevor was a monstrous humanoid, and started using Monstrous Humanoid Bane arrows.
  • It might STILL have gone OK were it not for Del's infamously-cold die. Samiyya cast Fly on Del next, she flew up, put a Cure Serious Wounds on Trevor, and then on her next round made an ill-fated Heal check to determine whether he needed more healing. A natural 1 and off she flew to engage the nearest gargoyle, the gargoyles' dice went hot, and Trevor took 64 of his 52 remaining hit points. The final gargoyle, knowing that Trevor was the greatest threat, took his shot at the unconscious foe and killed him.

    The next two rounds were a scramble. Samiyya had the emergency scroll of Breath of Life and held it out for Del, who, having a prehensile tail, was able to take it as a swift action and thereby use it to save Trevor, shielding him with her body. Much to the GM's continuing irritation, the gargoyles rolled yet another crit on Del that was nullified by her Energy Body, so the party managed to gather and Samiyya teleported them to safety.

    The party, licking its wounds, rested for the night, and decided that they just plain didn't like gargoyles.

    The rematch didn't go well for the gargoyles. Not only does Holy Smite require a Will save rather than a Reflex save so it was harder for them, but Evasion couldn't save them. Trevor carved the blinded gargoyles to shreds, retrieving the weapons he'd lost in the previous battle.

    And so we move on, wondering just how many times Trevor can get Breath of Lifed in a single dungeon.

    That dungeon is hard!
    Both Great Mother and the gargoyles put my players into trouble, and they spotted the Great Mother before stepping on her.
    The other big issue they faced were the Caryatids. Fortunately they are not able to fly and the PCs could, but they had to flee first time they faced them.
    They are in the last book with no PC deaths but Sumitha was probably the hardest challenge for them.

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