Age of Worms Obituaries

Age of Worms Adventure Path

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Being a couple months into our run of Age of Worms using Pathfinder, we finally experienced a casualty.

Name: Tiberious
Class: Fighter(Archer) 4
Adventure: Three Faces of Evil
Loaction: The Labyrinth
Catalyst: Hungry and angry Dire Weasel

As the rest of the party ran into a group of Tengu in one of the small rooms littered about the Labyrinth of Urgothua, Tiberious decided to make sure that they weren't going to be surprised by anything else that might flank them. He stealthed his way up to a small section that housed a pair of Dire Weasels. Despite his stealth, the Weasels were able to smell his presence and found him all by his lonesome.

On his attempt to run back, he got bit by one of the weasels and was Grappled and found himself being drained of his blood. After 3 rounds of failing to get free, Tiberious fell to loss of hit points and his Constitution dropped down to 2 as his friends were seconds too late to come to his rescue.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

PC Name: Astraden Limhaare (You might remember her)

Adventure: The Spire of Long Shadows
Location: The Hall of Knowledge
Catalyst: Invocation of the Worm and a bad Reflex save.

Poor Astraden can't catch a break. The group opened the door and all but one of them lost initiative. The Swords of Kyuss stepped up (one took a readied Shield Slam from the one PC who won initiative, but kept coming) and loosed their Invocations. Astraden only has a +3 Reflex save, and it's DC 22. She needed to make one save to survive, and blew three Action points to do so. She got a 21 on her second save. Close, but no cigar.

Actually, this death was retconned shortly after by the bard's moment of greatness, but it did still technically happen for all of 15 minutes. You can see it here.

Still waiting on one potential death from the invocations, so more entries might be up soon when more saves are posted. Ugly stuff.

PC Name: Astraden Limhaare, half-orc cleric of Olidammara

Adventure: The Spire of Long Shadows
Location: The Writhing Chamber (Mak'ar fight)
Catalyst: Paralysis, a worm naga, and an oversharing partymember.

I just want to remind you all that Astraden's player has now effectively died five times in this AP. This time, it was in a heavily modified bossfight with the Harbinger of Worms. The party had taken their time preparing to face the lich after their first meeting, and the preparation was mutual. Moreover, this party is exceptionally strong for its level, so there had been...adjustments. You can read the full battle here, but be warned—it's nearly seven pages of posts long.

After a long and brutal battle with the Overworm, the last wormcaller in the Spire, Mak'ar, and three worm nagas, the Harbinger of Worms was running out of tricks. Fortunately, its enemies seemed even worse off. A time stop from the Harbinger had resulted in only one melee fighter—Farrukh the warder—stranded in melee with the Harbinger, the rest blocked off by worm nagas and a repulsion field. Farrukh couldn't bypass Mak'ar's damage reduction, Eben the bard had already been feebleminded by a naga's gaze, and perhaps worst of all, Astraden the cleric had been paralyzed by a naga's bite.

Actually, the worst part was that Eben, right before getting feebleminded, had said aloud that Astraden had a scroll of remove paralysis in her pack. This made her a lingering threat that the worm nagas couldn't afford to ignore. So that round, as Astraden's cohort readied to use the scroll, a worm naga leaned in and ripped out Astraden's throat.

The next round, Carina the alchemist hit her with a syringe of breath of life, reviving her once more. And back into the breach.

Name: Malkath
Class: Human Inquisitor of Torag 6
Adventure: Encounter at Blackwall Keep
Loaction: Lizardfolk Lair
Catalyst: Accidental "Friendly Fire"

After striking a deal with Hishka to get rid of Shukak, Kotabas, and a Young Black Dragon(child of Ilthane, added after reading about changes other people made to the adventure) that was guarding the Egg Chamber, the party went in through the underwater passage right into the Egg Chamber. There, they fought the Young Black Dragon and defeated it.

Unaware that a couple Kobolds that were in the chamber snuck out to warn Shukak, the party looted the room. When they finally made their way into the lair proper, Shukak was waiting for them and ready to execute the prisoners from the keep. Malkath snuck forward to get a good vantage point while the rest prepared themselves with buffs.

Malkath initiated the fight by shooting arrows at Shukak to stop him from executing the prisoners and Shukak followed by charging towards Malkath dealing a hefty blow, while the Kobolds maneuvered into sneak attack positions and knocked Malkath into unconsciousness.

As the others, joined the chaos and started to systematically take down their foes, the Arcanist cast Create Pit to make life hard for the two Kobolds. Unfortunately, he didn't realize he placed the pit in a position where Malkath's body would fall in. Malkath's body fell 30 feet and died from the falling damage.

After the fight, Hishka offered to Reincarnate Malkath and he was brought back in the form of a Half-Elf.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We're now just about to confront Kyuss. Since last time:

PC Name: Allustan the Sage (Human Mage)
Adventure: Into the Wormcrawl Fissure
Location of Death: Dragotha's Lair
Catalyst: Combat death
Long Description: Blasted to ashes and soul annihilated by Deathwind breath weapon (failed save) and then raised to undeath as a Dread Wraith.

Non permanent deaths so far: 19

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Grand Finale - final PC death:

PC Name: Heather (Female Elven Ranger Lvl 20)
Adventure: Dawn of a New Age
Location of Death: Under Lashonna's mansion
Catalyst: Combat death
Long description: Ripped in half (critical hit) and then swallowed and digested by an Overworm.

Saamus Hain, Human Druid.
Noroc Boyat, Human Monk.
Gulden Mazzlepan, Gnome Illusionist.
Adventure: The Whispering Cairn.
Location: Gallery of Seven Lanterns.
Catalyst: Pettiness caused a missing fighter.
Long Description:
The party was still damaged from fighting the wolves.

The primary fighter went down the elevator under the yellow lantern. Everyone else was discussing possible repercusions and chances of it being a trap, and wanted to turn the dias all the way around to see if anything else happened, so he called them all cowards and jumped in. His companions, not giving time for the elevator to come back up, turn the dais. Partially, they assumed that they had to turn it to get the elevator to come back up. But the speed of their reaction was an act of "serves him right", figuring that if he got trapped or killed down there, he shouldn't have jumped in calling them names anyway.

When the ground started rumbling under the green lantern, they stood back and let it complete. The druid and monk died by the beetles and slasher, before getting a chance to use fire against them. The gnome went insane, took out one of his flasks of oil, doused himself and the beetles on him, and prepared to die (despite the fact that I had told him a way that he could manage to escape if he turned and ran). He killed some of the beetles, but ended up surviving both rounds. So, on the second round, still at least a little on fire, he decided to charge the slasher with his gnome hook hammer, tripped, and impaled himself on the hook (crit fumble and only had one hitpoint left).

The backup party eventually saved the fighter, so he's still around, for now. He did manage to push over the block and survive the gas trap, but technically should have been killed by the strangler. As the fighter passed out, I had the strangler let go, thinking that if the fighter lived, he may find a way out, thereby letting the strangler out as well.

PC (sorta): Pip, animal companion to Saamus Hain
Adventure: The Whispering Cairn
Location: Hall of Honor
Catalyst: Newb?
Long Description:
Despite as many hints as I could possibly give without coming right out and saying, "If you do that, he's going to die", the druid sent his familiar to scout ahead. The party had stopped at the opening of the tomb to light a torch, so the wolves knew they were coming and set an ambush. With the den smell overpowering the smell of an individual wolf until it was too late, the ferret walked right into the jaws of the lead wolf.

PC: Saamus Woodbeard, Human Druid
Adventure: The Whispering Cairn
Location: The Passage of the Face
Catalyst: Stupidity/Bravado
Long Description:
The party had set off the trap, but were having a hard time with climb checks to go down, especially while trying to lower the druid's wolf companion. Every other party member was either on the chain or clinging to the wall in the shaft to avoid the wind while waiting for someone to get off the chain. Despite the fact that it was obvious that the DC for the wind was higher than the climb DC, and even though the campaign is PBEM so that it was explicitly spelled out, the character still misinterpreted something and tried to stand in the tunnel opening waiting for his turn on the chain. He fell and died, and the character that tried to catch him fell as well, but lived.

PC: Revion Faelandaerl, Half-elf Ranger
Adventure: The Whispering Cairn
Location: Submerged Showers in the Lair of the Laborers
Catalyst: Fear of Drowning
Long Description:
At this point, the party was 7 strong, with one fighter and one barbarian. So I had adjusted things to keep approximately the same difficulty level while also making sure to keep the same ratio of enemy attacks-per-round to player attacks-per-round. If I remember right, this meant adding another small elemental and upgrading the ghoul to a ghast.

Then the barbarian decided to go down alone to scout while being tied to a rope. He almost died before tugging the rope, and having no control of how the party pulled him out, took more AOO damage on the way out, but survived and did manage to kill one of the elementals. The ghast didn't make itself gnown at this point. Then the party decided to go back in after partially healing him, but the fighter, a dwarf in heavy armor, decided he was afraid of swimming. And the mage and bard decided to stay out as well to help pull on the ropes the cleric and barbarian have tied to them.

So, half the party is fighting a battle that was balanced for the full party, has killed the elemental, and has done enough damage to the ghast that he is starting to use hit-and-run tactics. He's decided to circle around the central column and get the cleric, who has been lagging slightly behind and has failed one turn attempt, deciding that "turn" is his biggest danger. The group, in turn, makes the very wrong assumption that the ghast is running away and the barbarian gets even further from the group as he swims at barbarian speed further into the showers to look for it. And then the ranger decides that he doesn't have much air left and panics. Despite me telling him how many "breaths" he has left, he did his own math and decided I was wrong and starts heading back to the entrance without waiting for the rest of the group to respond to his signal.

The ghast can't pass up the opportunity and ambushes him from above. There's a SLIGHT possibility the ranger could have survived by going totally defensive, but not much. No one else had time to get back to the ranger before the ghast killed him, but the cleric did get close enough to see and to attempt another turn, failing again. Ulavant made sure that the cleric saw him rip the ranger's throat out for it.

Note that I decided that the original ghoul was supposed to be a lacedon, the aquatic cousin of a ghoul that only differs by having a swim speed, and I kept that swim speed when I upgraded to a ghast. It's possible that that was making the encounter harder than it should have been.

PC: Greg the peg leg cleric
Adventure: 3 faces of evil
Location: temple of hextor
Catalyst: slowest party member getting a head of rest
Long Description:
the temple trap sprung after a party member managed to bullrush the boar into the pit. Next round there ranger jumps in gets traped lucky for him it only took 2 rounds to get the door open.

They contiune to fight in the doorway so the ape can't get them. then the cleric gets the bright idea to go and try to rebuke the undead wading out among the fighting getting pegged with arrows several rounds of arrows later he goes down.

healer gets him stable then gets to him so he can heal. Cleric plays dead unfortunately for him his party is all around and falls inside the range of a sound burst that rolled an 8.

I have two deaths to report from my campaign.

PC Name: Markus d'Orien, Soulknife 1/ Aegis 1
Adventure: The Whispering Cairn
Location of Death: The Old Observatory
Catalyst: Mauled by a troglodyte zombie while blinded.
Long Description: Playing in Eberron with the Pathfinder conversion, Filge opened the fight with Blindness/Deafness. Markus then spent majority of the fight blindly swinging around the room until a troglodyte zombie tore him apart with a critical hit. RIP.

PC Name: Brother Barthalomeul Syengres, Living Grimoire Preacher Inquisitor 3
Adventure: Three Faces of Evil (Very Modified)
Location of Death: The Temple of "Hextor"
Catalyst: Drowning in the black sludge
Long Description: I modified the layout and had the huge fight at the end of the "Hextor" temple (aka the Emerald Claw and Blood of Vol's staging ground). Barthalomeul was bull rushed into the pool and while he struggled to swim out in his armor one of the casters cast Hold Person, sinking him like a rock, sapping his Dexterity and eventually knocking him out and drowning him.

PC Name: Cuetzpalli
Class: Human Bloodrager 13
Adventure: The Prince of Redhand
Location: Sinner's Sanctum
Catalyst: The Overgod

While battling the Overgod, Cuetzpalli—who had been resurrected a few installments after his previous death at the hands of some doppelgangers—proceeded to engage in a deadly game of Rocket Tag. Though he was capable of dealing around 400 damage in a single round to the Overgod, the Overgod was capable of dealing around a quarter of that—but unfortunately, he had quite a lot fewer Hit Points, and he was unable to withstand a second full attack after his initial attack was in part absorbed by Erythnul's Frenzy.

He is probably about to be hit with a breath of life, however.

As a sidenote, the player of Astraden has lost 5 PCs so far in this campaign. One died to beetles and casting in melee, one died to invisible stalkers with a pointless sacrifice, one died to doppelgangers trying to save another PC, one died to coup de grace because another PC let slip that she was about to be revived, and one died to some terrible save rolls. Three of them were the same PC, who is still alive and kicking.

Let's do another tally, it's been about three years.

The Whispering Cairn- 178
The Three Faces of Evil- 229
Encounter at Blackwall Keep- 41
The Hall of Harsh Reflections- 131
The Champion's Belt- 119
A Gathering of Winds- 43
The Spire of Long Shadows- 128 (and one stone statue!)
The Prince of Red Hand- 12
Library of Last Resort- 72 (counting 7 dream deaths)
Kings of the Rift- 24
Into the Wormcrawl Fissure- 47
Dawn of a New Age- 24
Other- 30
Special Mention- Polymathis wasn't counting non-permanent deaths, but scored 19 of them anyways.

The Three Faces of Evil is still well ahead in confirmed kills, but we saw gains all over—even Redhand and Blackwall Keep bounced up a bit.

The Redhand one is my fault, though. I did buff up the Overgod considerably.

Sadly, I can't update the graph, but if anyone wants to make a copy to update it, why not?

Also, this tally is dedicated to the memory of Pip the doggy snack ferret. Dire weasel, or very overambitious animal companion? You be the judge! He was survived by his druid, who then died stupidly.

PC Name: Anex Headknocker Fateforge
Class: Drunk Bard
Module: The Three Faces of Evil
Cause of Death: With only one man left in the fight with the Faceless One, the last standing minion self sacrifices by casting fire ball in a grease filled room, where our drunk bard was and had just cast said grease. Unfortunately, the bard had combustibles. Molotov Cocktails to be precise. After catching on fire, there was a dazzling display of fireworks. There was only a magical decanter where he once stood.

PC Name: Goldfish
Class: Monk
Adventure: Champion's Belt
Location: Training Hall
Catalyst: Critical hit from the morhg, surrounded by Spawn of Kyuss.

I'm running an adaptation of Age of Worms for 5e D&D. Goldfish, the Tabaxi monk, characteristically skirmishes instead of tanks. After steamrolling the Spawn of Kyuss in the Coffin Room, and the Ochre Jellies and Ghasts beforehand, the party was overconfident and decided to use the same tactics as before, with him in front bearing all of the melee attacks from the undead. Goldfish did alright for a couple of rounds, but the many attacks from the Spawn of Kyuss took their toll. Then the Morhg hit him with a critical hit of the tongue attack, rolling two natural 20's at the same time (Goldfish's dodge action gave attacks disadvantage). Goldfish was paralyzed and quickly finished off by the surrounding Spawn of Kyuss.

Despite many previous close calls, characters finally went down. This was mainly due to the party pressing on after some very difficult fights against the octopins, the advanced octopin, and the vrock leading up to the final battle in the Cathedral of the Mind. The party attempted to rest in the marble brain room (the group's barbarian/shaman had destroyed it earlier with a mighty blow). Zyrxog, not taking kindly to the party resting in his sanctum interrupted their sleep with a telepathic message and an offer of an exchange of information (such as who hired him to send the dopplegangers to frame and kill them) in return for both sides agreeing to part ways and not cross paths again. The negotations dragged on and eventually Zyrxog had insulted them enough that they cast a handful of the few remaining spells they had left and set off to kill the mind flayer.

Name: Arvin
Class: Hunter 7
Adventure: Hall of Harsh Reflections
Location: Cathedral of the Mind in Zyrxog's Sanctum
Catalyst: Octopin Critical

Arvin survived many fights by the skin of his teeth while his animal companions had not. For each animal companion that died, he would add a tattoo of the animal to his arm. At the time of his death he had two wolves and an owl bear tattoo. As the battle with Zyrxog began, Arvin moved into the Cathedral of the Mind to fire an arrow at Zyrxog floating above the tadpole pool. An octopin dropoed from the wall above the archway and promptly criticaled Arvin while slowing him with its gaze. Despite being a party of 7, the party was ill equipped to reach Zyrxog to damage him. Arvin was the only character good at ranged attacks, and the spellcasters of the group were having a very difficult time with Zyrxog's high spell resistance. A fireball, lightning bolt, and ice storm later and Arvin lay dead on the floor. It is said that Arvin's animal companion, Shadow (a black panther), now has a tattoo of a man inked in a shaved spot on her shoulder.

Name: Hagatha
Class: Witch 7
Adventure: Hall of Harsh Reflections
Location: Cathedral of the Mind in Zyrxog's Sanctum
Catalyst: Returning to save the party

Hagatha was an elven witch, whose backstory included being the school teacher of the 'children of the red death' in Diamond Lake. Once the battle with Zyrxog commenced Hagatha took to flight and closed with Zyrxog to lay a vampiric touch on him with a flyby attack. Zyrxog grappled her with an attack of opportunity and quickly locked on all 4 tentacles for the brain extraction. Hagatha narrowly escaped with a lucky concentration check to cast dimension door to escape to the laboratory and was ready to retreat certainty of a party wipe at the hands of the mind flayer. Uncharacteristically for Hagata, she went back to save the other party members. As she entered the Cathedral once again, she saw the entire party either dead, in the negatives for hit points, or stunned by Zyrxog's mind blast. Hagata promptly missed a save vs. suggestion and dove into the tadpole pool to try and close a planar gate and save her party. Later, after she reached the bottom and did not see any such gate, she swam up only to have Zyrxog grapple her once again. As tentacles were attaching, Hagata once again got off an amazing concentration check and lightning bolted the mind flayer. Zyrxog missed his save with a natural 1, resulting in a critical (house rule). In total, Hagata did 54 points of damage with that lightning bolt, but up until that point Zyrxog had only received minor damage. A round later Zyrxog extracted and ate Hagatha's brain.

The party retreated and is in disarray. Zyrxog still lives and is taking precautions to recruit allies to protect his sanctum from further invasions of his home.

Silver Crusade

Name: Clarence
Class: Half Elf Cleric of Obad-hai 14
Adventure: Spire of Long Shadows
Location: Upperlevel of the Ziggurat
Catalyst: Clarence forgetting he does not have darkvision

The party crossed the obsidian ring and approached the strangely quiet ziggurat.( I had nezzy and the beetles stay inside waiting for the party to breach the doors). Our rogue dutifully searched for traps on the door and upon breaching it exposed the party to the chittering beetles. They all made their saves.

Ok beetles go first in init and promptly rail the rogue, he retreats on his turn. When our sorcerers turn comes up he unload a blood intensified maxed out fireball and significantly softens the targets up. meanwhile the baddies under nezzy's control move to the side of the room and wait for the first sucker to enter.

Cue the cleric who runs in and double blasts the room with 7d8 channels(The D8's are a houserule that is included with improved channel). Clarence then gets two invocations of the worm to soften him up only to fail his fort save against the angel of the worms discorporating dive

This is the second group i've run this AP and I believe this is the sixth one to perish in this room. I warned them beforehand that this section is tomb of horrors difficult level

Kobold Catgirl wrote:
As a sidenote, the player of Astraden has lost 5 PCs so far in this campaign. One died to beetles and casting in melee, one died to invisible stalkers with a pointless sacrifice, one died to doppelgangers trying to save another PC, one died to coup de grace because another PC let slip that she was about to be revived, and one died to some terrible save rolls. Three of them were the same PC, who is still alive and kicking.

Update: Astraden died again, this time in Library of Last Resort to a full attack from Darl Qethos's minotaur bloodrager henchman (an addition I gave them to accommodate the six-person PC party). The minotaur wasn't about to risk her getting revived, so he attacked her prone form once more with a gore attack.

She is survived by her boyfriend, another bloodrager who eventually managed to cut the minotaur into pieces, and herself, who was hit with breath of life by the warpriest one round later.

Six times, and four deaths on one PC.

Silver Crusade

Name: Volos
Class: Tiefling Sorcerer 14
Adventure: Spire of Long Shadows
Location: Upperlevel of the Ziggurat
Catalyst: Mano a Mano with Kelvos

This battle took place with Volos in the hallway outside the main room.

Kelvos has cast greater invisibility and Volos is the only one able to perceive him.

Round 1 Kelvos flys down and blasts Volos with prismatic spray. Volos has wisely prebuffed with spell resistance. Kelvos rolls poorly and does not get through

Volos retaliates with disintegrate and crit confirms! Sadly he too rolls poorly and fails to get through Kelvos' SR

Round 2. Kelvos flys back out of sight and casts lesser globe.

Volos comes out and casts intensified snowball. Tsk Tsk. so sad too bad

Kelvos then uses his greatsword and hits Volos four times with two crits to boot.

Much appreciation to scorpion mind for his great adjustments to the baddies in this AP AOW Monster Stat Blocks

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Amazing, AoW still killing so many PCs this many years later after release!

Still my favorite campaign I ever ran.

Silver Crusade

It's my favorite as well, It does take some pretty serious tweaking to make things a bit more coherent.

Less than a lot of APs, really. It's the only AP I know where you meet the final boss in the first adventure.

Dark Archive

Dennis Harry wrote:

Amazing, AoW still killing so many PCs this many years later after release!

Still my favorite campaign I ever ran.

Agree! One of the best. I didn't get to finish it when I ran it the first time, so I'm going to be starting a PF1 version later this year. I foresee adding some more names to the list when that gets going...

Dark Archive

Name: Miklosh
Class: Sorcerer 12
Adventure: Spire of Long Shadows
Loaction: Outside the obsidian ring
Catalyst: Teleporting and and scouting

Set in Golarion, the party teleports from Manzorian's abode in Egede to the northeast section of the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse. They arrive looking at the Kuluth-Mar from the edge of the jungles and doing a complete circuit, scouting from all sides before running into the beholder Ballaxxus, who catches the sorcerer flat-footed. In the surprise round the beholder got off a disintegration ray off, catching the sorcerer fully. Miklosh failed his save but survived the blasting with like 20 hit points remaining. First round of combat, the rogue standing next to Miklost cast vanish and moves away, and the beholder wins initiative of the sorcerer, launching a finger of death ray at the sorcerer, making the sorcerer turn completely white and falling in a heap dead.

Silver Crusade

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Name: Harsh
Class: Rogue 18
Adventure: Kings of the Rift
Location: In the Stinky pit
Catalyst: Scouting in a cave featuring a hidden kaiju

Scouting is great until it's not. This scout was walking.( Why he chose to walk is another discussion) along the moss covered floor of the cavern when he was surprised by the Kaiju Carrion crawler. 9 attacks later he was paste.

And now for the fun part, They just heard horns and bells going off above them in the city. My cleric has a preceptor archon via planar ally who informed them that the city is about to be hit by 30+ Dragons. The look on the players faces was priceless

Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:

... who informed them that the city is about to be hit by 30+ Dragons. The look on the players faces was priceless

Yup, that would do it! :D

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