|The Mad Comrade|
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Hooken Finally Gets his Bow
So, speaking of sessions that weren't even remotely silly...
...well, that's not quite true; if the party hadn't been underwater, Malek would have been causing great mayhem. As it was, it was only half great mayhem, and that's just "hem".
We resumed with the party desperately battling the gray nists in the Flooded Vault. Unfortunately, once Hooken realized that all he had to do was get within 10 feet of them and use his bow at only -4 to attack and no penalty to damage (seriously, Paizo? Have you ever tried shooting a bow underwater?), he started laying waste to them. Fortunately, while Irwin's Confusion was out-and-out boring ("Act Normally"? What kind of confusion is that?), Malek rolled a pleasant 87 for the first round and, surrounded by three friends and a foe, chose to start pounding on Irwin. Cutting the 67 points of damage in half was depressing, but hey, rules are rules. Athelya hit Irwin with a Heal, removing both his Confusion and his paranoia (curse you, Athelya), Kwai Chang helped a little with mop-up, and Narlock proved that going into an underwater cavern with a -3 to your Swim skill greatly amuses the GM, but does little else. Voren, having missed last session, never quite made it in on time. And poor Bara couldn't fit, so she could only watch and cheer as Malek subdued his friends.
Irwin tried to swim away from Malek, so Malek took his attack of opportunity and rolled a natural 20 with his earthbreaker. I was greatly cheered. He followed up with a 1. I was greatly saddened.
Athelya next hit Malek with a Heal, and the fun was over... almost.
The party proceeded to NOT search the room, but instead follow the narrow corridor for 45 minutes before coming out at the bottom of the central lake of the city before deciding that maybe, just maybe, they might have left something behind. 45 more minutes later all their buffs except their Life Bubbles had worn out, but two natural 20s on their search of the room revealed some random trinkets, a Ring of Protection +3, and the necessary crystals they were seeking.
Back to the Pathfinder camp forthwith to rest for the night, and in the morning Osund was there to lead Hooken to the Muse. I was hoping to make it this big formal ceremony, but Impus Minor was too excited and too "gimme gimme gimme", and the rest of the group was too disinterested, so I just handed over Stoneslayer, a +2 Adaptive Seeking Flaming Holy composite longbow that can petrify one foe a day. Hooken plotzed. And the really sad part? That bow hardly affects his damage output at all! An extra 11.5 points per hit just doesn't mean all that much in Hookenville.
Their next stop was the abandoned temple in boggard lands. Once again, it could have been incredibly fun to play, but the party buffed themselves to the nines, walked up to the bottle, identified the Planar Binding, and while deciding what to do, Irwin started asking important questions: "How old are you? How did you get in there? What was the name of the guy that did it?"
Yeah, I didn't get to do much of anything before the hezrou demon was free, had Irwin in his clutches, and was carrying him towards the lake. Even nauseated, between heaves Irwin was asking, "When's your birthday? What's your favorite color?" as he cheerfully headed to 0 hit points.
Unfortunately, even with the advanced simple template and max hit points, a demon facing a fully-buffed Hooken is nothing more than a speed bump on the path to glory.
The demon died before it made it to the water, Irwin's burning questions were left unanswered, and we ended for the night...
EDIT: Oh, I almost forgot. The kids absolutely insisted that I mention that after seeing the demon's picture, they dubbed him "Obese Maurice". It was apparently very clever. (Well, let's be honest. It had ALL of the kids just giggling like crazy, so it was definitely their kind of humor, and I really shouldn't disparage it. But I think part of my job description is, "Be mean," so I think I'm obligated...)
|DM Lil" Eschie|
We're All Buffed Up... Let's Try... Diplomacy!
So, this session was remarkably short, marred by a cranky GM and distracted players, so not much got accomplished.
Although everyone arrived at 6:30 pm, there was a lot of conversation about current events, politics, and "13 Reasons Why". We didn't start until around 6:55 pm. Almost immediately, Voren's player set me off.
Most of you know that I expressed my frustration to all of my players (in all 4 of my games) with the constant arguments and rules lawyering I was facing in several of my games. "But Mage Hand specifically says it has no save and no spell resistance! So I can use it to hold a bowl of mud in my enemy's face, and he's blinded and silenced with no save." "So, my 'one command' to my Prying Eyes is, 'Wait for me to provide a complex series of gestures telling you what to do,' letting me send out each eye individually. And no, that's not additional commands. They're gestures, not commands."
So even jokingly rules lawyering with me is Not Wise.
So as we started the session and the party was deciding how to go about searching the temple where they'd just slain the hezrou demon, Voren's player said, "I have Detect Secret Doors prepared today. Are there any secret doors?"
"Oh, good thing I didn't waste my time casting the spell, then."
For the third or fourth time in the last few weeks.
So yeah, I lost my temper, and declared that if that was the way Voren's player was going to play, it was the way I was going to play: For the rest of the evening, unless a player explicitly stated that they were doing something and marked off the resource, then my assumption would be that they weren't doing it.
After more discussion, the party realized they had no way to breathe water, so they let Hooken cast Animal Aspect on himself, swim down, and listen. He heard nothing and they didn't want to split the party, so he came back up, they returned to the Pathfinder camp, and assisted the Pathfinders in performing research on the Artisan District for the rest of the day. In perhaps the most delightful moment of the night, they rolled a 5, and learned that the active effect of the Artisan District's spire was to reduce crafting time by 20%. Considering the amount of time the Muse had been working on the bow, Hooken could have had it at least a week earlier, if someone wearing the Ring of Seven Virtues had bothered to tell him that. Hooken spent some time eyeing Athelya, wondering just how much damage he could do to her without killing her...
The next morning the party set off to annihilate Akarundo in the Government District. They arrived at the shore and had an amazingly long discussion on tactics, at the end of which they decided on the "same old same old": Athelya would Fireball the city, and they would slaughter all the serpentfolk as they came out. (Why is it that my group of teenage boys treats every encounter with an enemy tribe like a trip to an anthill? Hmm...)
So they spent another huge amount of time buffing themselves to the nines, meticulously writing everything down and marking off resources, and Athelya finally declared, "I Fireball the city."
"Look at the map. As we mentioned at the start of your planning, those squares are 750 feet each. The bridge is about 1200 feet long. Your Fireball has a range of 880 feet. You can't reach the city with it."
Annoyed, the party started trudging across the bridge, buffs-a-burnin'. As they got a couple hundred feet out, a Dancing Lights spell went off ahead of them, sending a clear signal to anyone who might be looking. Undaunted, the party moved forward to the first break in the bridge. They flew, climbed, or jumped over the gap, and Kwai Chang finally said, "OK, I make a Perception roll to see whether there's anyone ahead of us."
"There's no one ahead of you, but you just passed a couple of serpentfolk who were in the gap you just crossed."
"WHAT?!?!? Why didn't you say something?!?!?"
"No one said they were making Perception checks, so none of you were. Blame Voren's player."
Immediate grumbling and annoyance ensued, but they turned around and looked down. Two serpentfolk soldiers looked up at them and gave some odd kind of salute. Narlock knew they were telepathic, but for reasons beyond me, she cast Tongues anyway. The soldiers were terse and impolite, but indicated that Akarundo was willing to entertain their plea. They were allowed one envoy and one guard. Narlock and Hooken went to meet with him. Akarundo was lounging on a couch in his lair, and asked what they wanted. They wanted access to the vault and the return of Ugimmo the bogling. He responded that this was acceptable... for the paltry fee of 100 virgins or 10,000 gold. He would also need a non-aggression promise from a Lawful party member. Off went Narlock and Hooken, returning with Narlock and Kwai Chang. There was a bit more negotiation: No, the party could not explore the ziggurat. No, the Pathfinders could not explore the island; Akarundo did not want vermin on his island. No, the Pathfinders could not come along with the party to the vault. More comments about vermin. Kwai Chang finally got him to agree not to attack any vermin who did not set foot on his island. With negotiations complete, Kwai Chang noticed that Akarundo was lying on a strange red necklace. Discussing it with Narlock once they were back at the bridge, they determined that Akarundo had been lying on a Necklace of Fireballs the entire time. A fight would have been... ouchy.
The party returned to the Pathfinders, spent another day researching (just information about day-to-day life in the Artisan District, which, unsurprisingly, had not changed much in the last 10,000 years), and went on to the next vault.
At that point it was 8:48 pm, and we always stop at 9 sharp, so we called it quits for the evening.