|Ninja in the Rye|
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I recently ran Black Fang's Dungeon as a sort of impromptu adventure after a family birthday party. 3 players who had absolutely no experience with tabletop RPGs and a 4th player who has some previous experience with Pathfinder (My younger sister, two of our cousins, and their friend). All of them in the age 13-14 range. We used the pregens.
I did make a few changes/corrections:
1. Merisiel, Sneak Attack is triggered on a critical hit, this is a house rule that I've used for a long time and just makes a lot of sense to me.
2. Since Ezren is set up as a Blaster and caster level 1 blasts are decidedly underwhelming, I let the player add one extra missile when using Magic Missile and use 3d4 dice when using Burning Hands. (I did the same for Fatmouth's magic missile later).
3. I also noticed as I was explaining Power Attack to the Player running Valeros that the PreGen Fighter's attack block is incorrect. He has a listed attack of +4 with his longsword (+3 with Power Attack) but it should be +5, (BAB +1, STR Mod +3, Weapon Focus +1), this was a pretty important catch as the Fighter barely hit enemy AC several times during the adventure. I know mistakes happen, but kind of sad to see that one in particular slip by.
4. Kyra, as a Cleric of Sarenrae, should be adding her level to Channel Energy to harm undead. I also made her CLWs 1d8+3 (for similar reasons to Ezren's changes).
If you just want to see how the fight with Black Fang went, skip ahead to THE MAIN EVENT.
I let the players talk and roleplay a bit and figure out their characters.
At The Goblin Ambush they easily dispatched the two Goblins who attacked, Merisiel easily picked the lock on the chest without bothering to look for the key, she ended up claiming the masterwork dagger.
They encounter the Magical Fountain and figured it out pretty quickly, The first 3 characters offered up a piece of gold, rolled well, and each got their choice of +2 for the rest of the adventure. Kyra's player, however, felt that she wouldn't offer up gold to another god so refused the fountain, I explain that Sarenrae and Desna were allies, but she still didn't think it felt right. I awarded her a Hero Point.
They followed the noises to the Goblin Feud, after Merisiel stealth'd up to the entrance to the next area and peaked around the corner to spy on them. And then kept spying on them causing me to act out a 5 minute, 4 sided Goblin conversation in Goblin as Fatmouth squabbled with the other Goblins and berated them for not looking for his toy. This was, apparently, quite funny. The party argued about what to do, Merisiel and Valeros favored a sneak attack on the distracted Goblins. Kyra and Ezren thought the other Goblins would turn against the chief and side with them because he was being mean.
- So they enter the room "Who you? Blah blah blah" Valeros steps forward, says who they are, why they're there and tell the Goblins to let them pass and there will be no trouble.
"Oh, wait, it says that's 0."
"Roll it anyway, you get a +2 for your roleplaying, maybe you'll get lucky"
"Die longshank scum!"
"Wait, I (Kyra) have a +5, can I try to convince the other Goblins to side with us?"
Kyra made a speech about the virtues of forgiveness and fairness, imploring the other Goblins to cast down their oppressive ruler and join them in the light. I award her a +4 on the check. She rolls a natural 1 for a total of 10. The player looks at me hopefully.
The Goblins laugh, "Goblins no need light, see in dark!" and make farting noises in Kyra's general direction.
Me: “The Earthlings continue to resent our presence. You said we’d be greeted as liberators!”
Me: "Darn kids."
This was a back and forth fight, with spells and crits landing on both sides, and Meri dropped into negatives and Val running after being hit with a Cause Fear, eventually Fatmouth was the only one left standing on his side with one hit point remaining, he offered to surrender, give the party a "healing stick" from his treasure chest and telling them the dragon's secret weakness if they'd spare him and heal his subjects. The party agreed. Kyra used channel energy on the party and the goblins before using the wand of CLW to patch up Merisiel some more.
The players grumbled when they realized Fatmouth had an entire chest full of treasure, but 2 NG and 1 LN PCs couldn't justify going back on their truce with the goblins to take it from him.
Merisiel (channeling Deadpool), "Sure we can guys, they're goblins! [stage whisper] No one will ever know."
Kyra: "The goddess would know!"
Meri: "You guys are no fun."
Goblin #3, "Uh, you know we hear you, right?"
Fatmouth also asked them to return his dragon toy if they found it. "We'll see."
The party explored the dungeon behind them before heading toward Black Fang. At the Gemstone Alter, My father and all his siblings are huge Indiana Jones fan, so my sister and cousins had seen all of the Indiana Jones movies many times and got the riddle right away. Kyra taking the Energy Heart on the sound logic that, with her low reflex save and as the cleric, keeping her alive to heal the others was the best move.
Merisiel got hit by the Spider and its poison in the surprise round
"What kind of monster sneak attacks someone!?"
"You do, Meri, you do it all the time."
Ezren scored a crit with Hand of the Apprentice for near max damage, allowing them to make short work of it. Meri decided that she was going to hold the dragon toy hostage unless Fatmouth paid for it.
At the Deadly Pool they faced the Reefclaw in the "Battle of epic futility" as everyone, including me, rolled low over and over. Unsurprisingly Valeros took the Dragons Bane longsword.
The party returned to the Goblin throne, Merisiel tried to negotiate 100 gold for the toy, Fatmouth had talked her down to 75 but, thinking himself clever, offered her a pearl instead (75 gold coins must be worth more than one tiny pearl, sucker)!
The Levitate potion took care of the cliff leading to the Haunted Crypt. The party got their introduction to damage reduction as a sneak attack resulted in a net damage of 2. But 5 damage on a Channel Energy knocked out two skeletons straight away. Ezren hit the remaining skeleton with a ray of frost, but dealt only 1 damage. This was something of an ongoing joke, as Ezren often hit and dealt significant damage to the enemies but never seemed to be the one to land the finishing blow. Val finished it off.
*THE MAIN EVENT*
As the party entered the Dragon's Den, Merisiel stealthed out ahead, but was spotted by the dragon, who crashed down from above and roared in her face. "IMPUDENT ANTS, COME FOR MY HORDE HAVE YOU! BOW BEFORE ME AND I WILL MAKE YOUR DEATHS QUICK!"
Valeros went first, Charge+Aim For Belly+Bane+Fountain-Power Attack Vs Flat Footed Dragon = Still hitting on a rolled 6. Dragons Bane Longsword with Power Attack = 24 Damage.
"It's still alive?"
"After 24 damage?"
"Was this damage reduction again?"
"No, the blow struck true, but is just bigger and tougher than the things you've been fighting so far."
"Does it look almost dead at least?"
"No, he looks surprised that you actually hurt him, but mostly angry."
Black Fang went next, moving back and to the side a bit to allow him to catch Val, Kyra, and Ezren all with his breath weapon. 11 damage. Val was left with 1 HP, Ezren made his save, left standing with 2. Kyra failed her save and should have been left in negatives, but the Energy Heart absorbed 10 points (strategy pays off!)
"What was that? What was that? We're going to die."
Ezren fired a Magic Missile.
Meri moved to set up a flank with Val but missed her attack, even with a solid roll.
Kyra moved forward and cast a CLW on Val, rolling a 1 on the d8, she asked if she could use her Hero Point to reroll and did, rolling a 6 instead.
Val stepped up and made another attack, not going for a power attack after seeing Meri's miss, aided by the flank and once again did big damage.
Now it was BF's turn, and I had to decide between following the book (which says he stays for at least 2 rounds to use his breath weapon and a full attack) and realizing that his HP was down to about 12 at this point and fleeing. I planned to have him bite Val as a parting shot then fly out of there, but Val was left with just 1 HP again after the bite hit. Wanting to see his enemy drop and thinking the others a minimal threat, BF pressed the attack, hitting Val with a claw dropping him to negatives. He then took a swipe at Meri but missed.
Merisiel's turn, no flank, Val down, Ez low on HP, so of course NATURAL 20 on her attack. Natural 19 on the confirm roll. Remember the house rule about sneak attack trigger on a crit? 11 damage.
Ezren cast a magic missile from a wand, rolled minimum damage, but that was enough to drop Black Fang into negatives. Kyra healed Val back to positives with her last spell.
INTERLUDE, back in the goblin throne room, Fatmouth had realized that he'd made a bad deal and was angry, he and the other conscious goblins prepared an ambush for the returning longshank invaders.
Back in the den, The party decided to take Black Fang's head back to the town to prove the threat had been dealt with and raided his treasure horde.
Fatmouth and his remaining Goblins positioned themselves, waiting for the moment to strike as the party were vulnerable climbing down the cliff.
Valeros and Kyra tossed Black Fang's head they were carrying down the cliff ahead of them, it landed at Fatmouth's feet with a THUD, and the goblins quickly scratched their plan for attack and welcomed the conquering heroes, offering them back the dragon toy as a sign of peace between their two tribes.
The players had a lot of fun and I had a lot of fun running it. We're setting up a continuing adventure in Sandpoint.
|Bard of Ages|