RotRL Obituaries

Rise of the Runelords

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Very dramatic! And a session which I'm sure that the players will never forget. :)

(Some interpretations of the Malfeshnekor's situation conclude that he is trapped in that room even if the door is open.)

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Bellona wrote:

Very dramatic! And a session which I'm sure that the players will never forget. :)

(Some interpretations of the Malfeshnekor's situation conclude that he is trapped in that room even if the door is open.)

As written it is absolutely the case that Mal cannot leave the room.

RotR Anniversary Edition, page 64 wrote:
Although the binding keeps him from physically leaving this room, nothing prevents him from assaulting anyone who enters it.

That being said, an epic story is more important than anything else, so if it made a good story for that table then kudos to the GM.

Liberty's Edge

Just when I think my party has reached its final configuration...
Name of PC:Jeff
Class and Level: Male Gnomish 13th lvl Druid
Adventure: Sin's of the Saviors - Vaults of greed
Catalyst: Rushing ahead

Him and the fighter of the party were double teaming the rooms (leaving most of the party behind due to shenanigans) they came to one and attempted to sneak in. The Golem in the room was waiting as the hapless druid rushed in and was immediately pounded into a smear on the floor.

fifth times the charm? He is getting much better...

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First off, I should have had this posted weeks ago... *sigh*

Alright, I have a whole slew of obits following the lovely meeting with Xanesha... *evil grin*

Name of PC: Malachi, Male Half-elf
Class and Level: Druid 7
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Solo scouting of the clock tower as a Wild-shaped bird

Something about transforming into a bird in broad daylight, flying up to the top of the clocktower (under the bridge) where birds don't normally go, cawing and making noise to signal the party (despite not arranging a signal system beforehand...), and then going inside.

He amazed me when I told him about the chests over in the nest of silken sheets and he didn't make a beeline to them. This is the gambling gypsy Druid here... He decided to go scouting the interior of the clock tower and work his way down. However, Xanesha had gone invisible when he was cawing outside and was ready with her spear. When the initiative came down, it just wasn't fair: Druid got a 6 + 2 and Xanesha got a 17 + 7. :( When the Druid's turn came 'round, he had taken 4 spear hits, 1 of which crit, and 2 WIS drain, and was at -6 or -8.

Meanwhile, the party's waiting for the signal to go inside. So I had Xanesha drop the Druid's body over the side of the clock tower...

The group rushed inside and proceeded to obliterate the Scarecrow. :( Then we had to end the session. We picked back up with the Druid's backup character, a Gnome Gunslinger/Swashbuckler arriving in the doorway with a pistol being fired at the Scarecrow.

The group proceeded to lose half their health to the bell (because that thing hit _everyone_ and it really doesn't care if you're Invisible or not :) ) and two of them proceeded to cut a second bell loose to attempt to take out two of the Faceless Stalkers that had gone down the stairs to deal with the other two party members. When Team A dropped the second bell, Team B clung to the rafters of the underside of the stairs they were currently on and the bell barely missed their section of the stairs... :)

Following other shenanigans, they finally got to the boss fight. Whichs leads us to the almost-TPK!

Name of PC: Azureal, Male Human
Class and Level: Fighter 1 / Sorcerer 6
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

Name of PC: ???, Male Gnome (Player said the name really fast and the character died, so...)
Class and Level: Swashbuckler 5 / Gunslinger 2 (the actual level values might be swapped)
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

Name of PC: Ganondorf, Male Elf
Class and Level: Magus 7
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

The party did NOT fare well against Xanesha, despite having a really good opening two rounds and yoinking her down to 40-ish health. Unfortunately, the Fighter-Sorcerer was OOC giving me ideas and suggestions for how to make the boss fight more epic/suspenseful. So...

I remembered that Acrobatics can be used to avoid AoOs. After I got the Swashbuckler to -2 (they were unconscious and bleeding out), I had Xanesha jump off the clock tower and cast Featherfall. Next thing I know, all of the remaining party members followed her the next round. The Swashbuckler stabilized, but was unconscious. Meanwhile, I got to have fun running a falling battle between mostly partial party members vs a spellcaster. The Gunslinger missed and/or kept misfiring, the Fighter-Sorcerer wasn't doing much, and the Magus got taken out by a Scorching Ray to the face before he even got halfway to the ground.

Xanesha landed one turn before the others and cast Invisibility. Now I had a choice: go back to the top of the tower and kill the unconscious Swashbuckler, or kill these two from stealth when they land. I ended up going with option two and got in some good hits. The Fighter-Sorcerer retreated around the corner of the clocktower (he made a decision he the player would do, not what his character would do) and left the Gunslinger to get butchered in melee. Then took Xanesha's last casting of Scorching Ray to the face and died on the spot.

The sad part? They got her down to 10HP, and I said as much. Then as they were picking up their character sheets after their TPK, the Swashbuckler was like "Wait! We still have [the monk, former PC and now NPC] and he's got a wand of CLW!" I'm like "oh, that's right! And technically he's still up there with you." And so we got the Swashbuckler back up at 8HP and he ran downstairs to find all of his party members dead and Xanesha over the bodies. Queue a very tense moment when I had him and Xanesha re-roll initiative and he beat her by 1 point; then he charged forward and beat her AC by 1 point and killed her!!!

That is legitimately as close to a TPK as I have ever gotten, but d**n if it wasn't an intense boss fight like they wanted. :D

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Name of PC: Jayla, Female Human
Class and Level: Monk [Drunken Monk] 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Catacombs and a Raged Barbarian

Name of PC: Starlight, Female Aasimar
Class and Level: Cleric 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Catacombs and a Raged Barbarian


(I want to preface this with a complaint: the catacombs underneath the Glassworks Factory have a terrible layout that makes it too easy for a party to go straight to the boss fight room...)

The party went down to the Catacombs after returning Ameiko to the Rusty Dragon Inn and taking care of some other business in the aftermath of reading Tsuto's journal. One party member was out hunting while the rest went down to investigate the Catacombs (player wasn't there yet).

The party explored in a rather logical manner: explore the first side tunnel they encounter. Doing this approach twice led them to the room where the old shrine/alter is with the filthy water, though the Dwarf Barbarian was lagging behind because he was hacking the ranseur out of the statue's hand (*sniffle* and destroying such a beautiful statue of a historic figure). Nobody wanted to drink the water (which is fair), but the Monk thought there might be booze on the other side of the double doors, so she yelled for the Barbarian to come over. They blew the doors off the hinges with their high STR checks (they were excited) and entered the cathedral. Upon seeing the triangular orange pool at the back, they thought they'd found the booze and the Monk asked the Barbarian what it tasted like...

The Barbarian scooped some up into his wineskin (he didn't touch the surface enough for me to worry about the damage and what-not) and smelled it, then drank it. *surprised DM grin, because he was the one person I didn't want to drink it* 8 points of cold damage and a failed Will save later, he's attacking the Monk with his greatsword!

The Monk put up a brave fight and the Cleric stepped forward to help, but the Barbarian had Cleave. The Monk died and the Cleric ran for it. I should probably mention that the Rogue had seen the first swing of the greatsword and booked it, managing to find some room to hide behind the alter/shrine and stay down... while having to listen to the Barbarian kill the others.

The Cleric couldn't run far and the Barbarian caught up outside the Cathedral and killed her when she turned to have a (very poor) last stand. Since the Barbarian didn't know where the Rogue had gone, he started exploring the rest of the Catacombs and found some Sinspawn to kill (OOC, he was really hoping they'd knock him out or kill him). The entire time, he's playing a game of "Marco Polo" with the Rogue while the Rogue (unknown to the rest of the party) is getting a running commentary from the Quasit, who's been invisible behind the alter/shrine with the Rogue the entire time. Finally, the Quasit tried to use Command on the Barbarian so she can use him as a pet (after the Rage ends, of course), but he passes the will save. She decided to not f**k with him since he just tore through five creatures and is still standing.

I didn't want a murder spree in Sandpoint, so I let the effect end as he was leaving the Glassworks Factory. He ran back to the Catacombs, mourned the fallen comrades, tried to comfort the Rogue (who retreated further into the corner), and then buried his comrades. He left his greatsword by their graves and the Rogue threw it in the ocean.

This was a hell of a session that none of us could have prepared for. I'm having the Barbarian pick up the Redemption story feat and the Rogue gets the Feral Heart story feat because of her race (kitsune) and general reaction to all the trauma. The Barbarian has sworn off drinking, but we'll have to wait and see how the two will change and develop after this.

(As a grim bit of humor, the Barbarian made it to level 4 by killing his two comrades...)

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Fair Strides wrote:
(As a grim bit of humor, the Barbarian made it to level 4 by killing his two comrades...)


Liberty's Edge

Name of PC: Sir Von Duley The Third
Class/Level: Level 14 Half-orc Barbarian
Adventure: Sin's of the Saviour - Shimmering veils
Catalyst: Dragon's Breath
Third was the last remaining member of the original party unmarked by death. This was good because due to dealing with devils his soul was no longer his own, so death meant he was not coming back. A dragon that the party had fought previously had followed them into the Runeforge secretly and taken over the Shimmering Veils. The fight was hard pressed as the dragon hovered out of reach of the fighter and barbarian, Allowing him to repeatedly use his breath weapon on them and to deploy a lovely icy fog that slow ate away at them.
The Sorcerer and Cleric took a beating both nearly succumbing to the onslaught but managing to stay on their feet.
In a moment of re-configuring he decided to take a bite at one of those two pest that had been shooting arrows (rather unsuccessfully) at him. He jaws Critically impacted on the poor barbarians body. May the gods of Golarion have mercy on his soul, because Chorus right hand of Asmodeus surely will not.

Name of PC: Amatias, Male Aasimar
Class and Level: Bard 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Dancing

So they got in the Catacombs of wrath, and proceed to clear the place, totally destroying Erylium and feeling over-confident about how easy the place truly is.

As they begin to fight Koruvus, the Bard and biggest guy of the party gets full-attacked by the goblin and dropped to 1 sad little hp. He could just 5-footed back and enjoy his life, but no. he had to dance.

Using a class shenanigan to replace a Acrobatics check to move in the enemy space with perform, he wanted to reposition behind Koruvus to enable the Fighter/Thief sneak attack in the next turn.

But then he failed the check, and got an AoO, natural 20, and then died.

And the worst part is, he never got his date with Ameiko.

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Name of PC: Kyrill, Zabi
Class/Level: 7/rogue 7/sorc
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre - Turtleback Ferry
Catalyst: Jumping into the water
Story: The details are a bit fuzzy because it was a little while ago, but basically they were in Turleback Ferry trying to find out more about the sihedron rune and the party barge that sunk. Even after talking to local fisherman who talked about beasts in the water (although, the Black Magga wasn't the one they encountered), they decided to take a small boat out into Claybottom lake. The rog, sorc and gunslinger went, the barbarian/cleric were in town because they thought it was crazy to go explore the water with a mythical beast from the deep about.

The sorc jumped in the water, and encounters Pinkeye (the albino gar) when sifting around the wreckage. Basically, in a couple of turns, the sorc got bitten/grappled, then swallowed and the Rogue jumped in to help who also, subsequently got bitten and swallowed. Nobody else dared jump in the water, and the fish swam off.

Even though the rumors were technically for the Black Magga, pro tip: Don't jump in the water after the local fisherman tell you there's beasts lurking in the depths lol

Shadow Lodge

Name: Dreg Embermaw
Class/Level: kobold sandman bard 12
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants, at the end of it.
Catalyst: Mokmurian; Dreg's Hat
What Happened:Mokmurian had heard of some uppity rebel group, with the one with the fancy hat being the loudest. Figuring that one led them, when they invaded his home, he told them if they surrendered he'd only kill the one with the hat.

Instead, everyone ignored him and asked each other how to deal with the cloud spells he'd cast.

Then, Dreg said, "At least he can't see us in here."

He then got hit by a Quickened Scorching Ray, followed by Disintigrate, bringing him exactly to 0 HP.

He's now alive and well again, getting explained that Mokmurian was able to see him in there, and then his boss chewed them out for killing him. That didn't cheer him up.

Well, it's been a while since I came here, eh? I hoped so dearly to have a death or two between the Seven's Sawmill and the Shadow Clocktower (along with the week-long trip by boat to Turtleback Ferry), but the party has been exceedingly lucky. Until the Graul Farmstead, that is. :)

Name of PC: Saraphina, Female Tiefling
Class and Level: Arcanist 8
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Crowfood's Surprise!


Echo is in Magnimar for a while so the player can take a break.

Urist the Barbarian got Greater Invisibility cast on him to go scout around the house. He marched right up the front door and broke it down with his 26 STR (with Rage; darn that Enlarge Person + Permanency) and was so proud of himself. Then the traps came.

Jathal the witch flew up to the house and snuck in the upper-floor window.

Leaving Saraphina the Arcanist alone by the woods for Crowfood to find. She failed to find him and then was flat-footed, but he missed. Then he won initiative and Full Attacked her, putting her at -28 or so because she began that fight at 20HP (she had 47-ish max).

Then the party found her and avenged her.

When we have our next session, she may well be back with her Male Elf Monk.

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Name of PC: Nissa, Female Half-Elf
Class/Level: Druid 18
Adventure: Spires of Xin-Shalast
Catalyst: Chellan's trickery
Story: The halfling brawler/glass cannon, with the Mark of Wrath challenged Viorian to single combat and one, claiming Chellan as his own. Chellan had been speaking to one the dual-wielding warpriest before said challenge, and everyone after. The party thought an intelligent sword was too dangerous and decided to stow it in a bag of holding because that might prevent it from talking/influencing anyone. They let slip that they would not be bringing Chellan back out. Chellan no-likey. Contest of wills occurs upon brawler trying to give over the sword. Brawler critfails. Chellan says, relax my dude, put me in your own bag of holding, get me out when you camp. Chellan stops communicating when put in bag of holding (I was unsure if that would prevent Chellan's telepathy, so I went with it becuase Chellan would pretend to go silent anyway).
Druid casts Faerie Ring Retreat. Party enters pocket dimension that only the Druid can open and close. I had ruled previously that a)spells end upon caster death and b)anything in a pocket dimension from a spell like Faerie Ring Retreat or Rope Trick when it ends gets shunted out. Chellan discovers that the brawler can't leave, picks the brawler's brain to figure out how to get out, and commands brawler to kill the druid. Epic battle commences. If it was only hinted that the brawler could take out the entire party before; it was clear now. Lucky Prismatic Sphere failed save sends brawler to the Plane of Shadow. Party uses revelation quill to find him, cleric gates him back, battle recomenses, druid drops to a full round flurry that did 38 more hp than needed to kill before the brawler even rolled dice. The party manages to stun the brawler, and uses the stun to remove Chellan from his person, thinking that would end the influence. Chellan strikes a deal with new wielder where they deliver it to Khalib, and it let's go of hits hold on the brawler. They set out immediately, leaving a broken heap of druid at the base, for fear that the brawler would wipe them all out.

Shadow Lodge

Name: Akiko Yamaoka
Class/Level: kitsune Avenger Vigilante 12 (Leadership Cohort)
Adventure: Sins of the Saviors, in the Shimmering Veils of Pride
Catalyst: A dozen Phantasmal Killers
What Happened:
The PCs kept forgetting things they could do: that some of them had heat-resistance-granting equipment and spells, that one of them had See Invisibility, or just tactical co-ordination. Fortunately, the PC who did the healing (Akiko's brother) had such high Will saves that he could only fail the save for a Phantasmal Killer on a 1. He managed to ignore four of them during the panicky, drawn-out fight (which lasted a whole minute, so an Improved Invisibility actually ran its duration out).

Not so Akiko, who managed to shoot a couple of Seeking arrows at one simulacrum for heavy damage. He responded with his scary spell, and Akiko flubbed both saves and had a heart attack. Her brother, even under Haste, could not reach her in time.

He was so distraught that he used a scroll of True Resurrection on her, and told her to never die like that again. She promised him she'd do as little dying as possible, but even if she did, she'd know he'd be there for her.

Name: Pamina Hemelrijk
Class/Level: aasimar paladin 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings, in the catacombs
Catalyst: Nualia
What Happened: The group had been chasing Lyrie and she had fled to Nualia's room. Nualia and Lyrie decide to set the trap and wait for the group to run into it and then attack. However, the group is clever enough to suspect a trap and the rogue uses stealth to find it and disable device to disable it. So the trap has been disabled and the whole group is in the corridor running up to Nualia's room. They decide to open the north door and are faced with the yeth hound. The arcanist then decides to warn everybody to withdraw so that they lure their enemies to do battle in the room next to the entrance in order to have more space. Everybody retreats except Pamina the paladin, who storms into the corridor and attacks Nualia. There she gets stuck between Nualia and the yeth hound, while Lyrie fires magic missiles at her. The others try to shoot the yeth hound with silver arrows, but cannot reach Pamina because they keep missing it. Then Pamina manages to wound the yeth hound with a smite evil, but then it's Nualia's turn. She scores a critical hit and Pamina dies. A tragic end after a heroic fight between two aasimars. The others have used all their treasure to pay a raise dead for her.

Name: Valeria
Class/Level: human female sorceress
Adventure: Burnt Offerings, Thistletop

After having defeated Nualia, the "Heroes of Sandpoint's" confidence was high and they decided to explore more of the lower level of Thistletop. After entering the Crypt, our brave sorceress entered to provide some much needed illumination, only to be attacked by one of the Shadows. Two unfortunate touch attacks later totaling 10 strength damage, our caster was no more.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Name of PC: Mira
Class/Level: Ninja/17
Adventure: Spires of Xin-Shalast
Catalyst: Viorian/Chellan
Story: The PCs made appropriate Sense Motive and Knowledge checks to realize that Chellan was an intelligent item controlling Viorian, and Mira decided that trying to disarm Viorian would be a good idea. She ran up, rolled her disarm check (taking an attack of opportunity in the process) and got... 24. That's just a little shy of Viorian's 44 CMD, meaning that not only did Mira fail to disarm Viorian, she also dropped her own weapon (not really important, but adds insult to the forthcoming injury).

Viorian happened to be next in initiative, and she had already taken her potion of Haste. She took a full attack, which I believe means 5 attacks with Chellan and two with her shield. Mira's AC is not great, so all 7 attacks hit, and Chellan's wide crit range made two of those hits into crits. Despite the party's paladin absorbing one of the crits, the total damage put Mira below -40 hp. She used a Hero Point to survive, but I'm counting it anyway.

Name of PCs: Chadgar and Azurbod
Class/Level: Vigilante 2 and Bloodrager 2
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Minor Runewell
Story: "Let's weaponize it," they said. So Chadgar pulls out a bucket and they both carefully scoop out some of the freezing magical orange crush from the scary evil magic fountain. They didn't even make it out of them room before Chadgar decided this was stupid and moved to dump out the contents. The Bloodrager just looked on in shock. Both took major damage and failed their will saves, becoming enraged. Chadgar killed Azurbod, then the party Fighter killed Chadgar - meanwhile, Father Zantus and his wife (cathedral acolyte, also a cleric) were shouting over and over that they were calming the rage the party needed to just not hit each other for a second.

Azurbod ended up getting Reincarnated by Madame Mvashti into an Aasimar.

Name of PC: Orianna
Class/Level: Oracle 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Yeth Hounds in Thistletop
Story: The part, after defeating the goblins, barricaded the stairs heading lower into the fort and rested for the night. This gave their enemies time to set up an ambush, which the party proceeded to totally bypass. They moved down into the sub-basement and found themselves pincered by the ambushers from the stairs and Yeth Hounds/Nualia from ahead. Unfortunately Orianna used Colour Spray, knocking out Bruthazmus and Tsuto, but also the party fighter. In the staggered, howl-induced flight Orianna slipped on a grease spell and was left behind, the sounds of her being torn apart by Yeth Hounds echoing up the stairs after her 'friends.'

Name of PC: Richard
Class/Level: Fighter 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Sac-ri-fice, Sac-ri-fice, Sac-ri-fice!
Story: KO'd by Orianna with a colour spray spell and then left behind by the rest of the party by accident, happy-go-lucky Richard was taken captive. Unfortunately this happened while the player was away for a session, and when he came back he decided rather than possibly be rescued he wanted to just reroll. So Richard was sacrificed to Lamashtu on the altar just before the party rolled up for a second go at Nualia.

Name of PC: He died so fast I don't even remember
Class/Level: Rogue 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Shadows
Story: The party Skald, finding out his one-time fling with a local girl in town ended in her getting pregnant, decides to retire since Nualia is now dead. The party is joined by a down on his luck halfling rogue on their way back to scour Thistletop for valuables and any remaining threats. When the party stumbled on the Shadows, he decided to acrobatics his was in to flank the spooky beings - rolling a 1 and triggering opportunity attacks. Got crit. Unfortunately, he had dumped Strength and he died while the party fled only to rise as a Shadow himself shortly thereafter.

Name of PC: Shaamus
Class/Level: Paladin 6
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Trying to burn down Misgivings
Story: With everything cleared out, explored and looted at Misgivings except for properly dealing with the fungus in the basement, Shaamus went up to the third floor to start a fire while the rest of the party got out of the building. Shaamus could feel the attempts of the house to repel him, even seeing the vision of a corrupted servant of Desna charging him (phantasmal killer), but being immune to fear he didn't a crap. What he did give a crap about was the Dominate Person the house eventually cast on him, and since he was right near the haunt that causes someone to throw themselves out of the upper story window, that's exactly what he had to do. A series of skill checks later and the plate-wearing halfling paladin was hanging by his fingertips from the edge of the cliff, looking down at a 300ft drop. A Natural 2 to climb up (as opposed to waiting for help) was a long fall and a hard stop.

At this point, including two PCs who retired from the party, the only original member left is Azurbod, the Arcane Bloodrager, who has also happened to have died but got reincarnated. He is the Hero of Sandpoint.

Shadow Lodge

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Yikes. Five deaths and you aren't even at Xanesha yet.

Also: "He died so fast I can't even remember," is probably something nobody wants as an epitaph.

I'm going to 2nd this -

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Yikes. Five deaths and you aren't even at Xanesha yet.

I HIGHLY suggest that as GM, you take a moment and reflect: How's the Player's Morale? You may wish to take pity on your party at this point, and gently buff them all around somehow. Xanesha ... Xanesha is WELL known for slaughtering PC's. (When I played through we only lost 1 ... and didn't even get to kill her, which led in part to a later TPK.)

HOW we lost that player, is a

good story.:

We met Xanesha, with a surprise, non-combat charm ... vs the party Paladin. Whose player (me), has ... poor ... dice luck, and proceeded to roll a string of low numbers vs the original save, and 5? 6? re-rolls that the party managed to guide the conversation into giving me.

So we left. As we left, the party sorcerer separated, iirc, via invisibility, and poked around some more as the rest of us tromped downward. They decided to take a different route down, jumping from the tower top, casting Feather Fall on the way down.

Big X had other ideas, and cast Sleep... after our poor sorcerer had jumped, but before Feather Fall kicked in.

Splat. 180' drop for a ~L7 caster? We didn't even have a body to bury. (Well, being traded to a certain high level Necromancer, to turn into a Vampire will do that)

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I agree that five deaths is more than I would have wanted to see, but I have a few mitigating factors:

1) The Players asked for hard-mode, and no DM fiat saves. I'm not scaling the encounters to be any harder (and they practically ran through the first half of Skinsaw Murders), but my enemies are relatively intelligent.

2) Almost all the players were unhappy with their early characters, claiming them to 'not be fun to roleplay.' They wanted to reroll characters and were perfectly happy to go that route (see: Richards death).

3) Only two of the deaths were actually in combat encounters, the rest are self-caused. I'm hoping this doesn't remain a trend because I'm getting tired of coming up with new ways to manipulate future books to new backstories.

I am a little worried about Xanesha, but the Paladin's new character is a Wizard who wants to 'buy' patronage from the group by gifting them some items he's created - this gives me the chance to hand out some loot to replace stuff the party has done dumb stuff with (handed over Nualia's body still wearing the +1 breastplate, buried the rogue in +1 hide that the rogue never even wore, purposefully sitting on magic weapons in their bags as backups to their non-magic bows for ranged characters). They are also, in a short downtime in between Misgivings and Magnimar, starting to branch out into some adapted Strongholds and Followers rules (MCDM/Matt Colville's rules for 5e) that will give a couple of them some extra power once those are finished.

Shadow Lodge

Name:Nordramel Embermaw
Vital Statistics:Kobold Humility Illusionist 3/U-Rogue 3/Arcane Trickster 8
Adventure:Sins of the Saviors
Catalyst:His Brother's Tactical Miscalculation
The Gory Details:
Azaven was standing in a small hallway, doing horrible spells to everyone. Dreg Embermaw got the idea to get everyone else behind him via Dimension Door. So everyone gathered around him and got D-Doored blindly.

This brought them right next to a trio of Thassilonian mummies. Nordramel failed his save against at least one of the despair auras, and got paralyzed. Normally, I don't coup de grace PCs, but

  • The mummy, who'd just had their privacy invaded, didn't have anything else to do,
  • Nobody was able to make Attacks of Opportunity to stop them,
  • A PC with Breath of Life was on standby, and was able to do it without provoking.

So the mummy wound up and punched Nordramel in the face, and he hit his head on the floor. Breath of Life did successfully happen, but more PC deaths may be forthcoming.

Shadow Lodge

Name: Koji Yamaoka
Vital Statistics: Kitsune Life Oracle 14
Adventure: Sins of the Saviors (the very next session)
Catalyst: More Tactical Blunders
The Gory Details:
Low on HP, Azaven D-doored away to activate his healing trap and go invisible. Everyone else managed to regroup, deciding to leave.
Koji, however decided to give himself a Lesser Restoration before he left.
So I counted out Azaven's turns while Koji stood there for 3 rounds, casting his spell. He was the only one left in the room when invisible Azaven came upon him.
"Your friends have abandoned you," Azaven told him in my best Vincent Price impression. "They won't even be able to see you die."
Then he gave Koji the Finger of Death.

He could have killed the other PCs one by one as they rushed back into the room to try to recover him. Instead, he just gave them token Enervations and told them that he could have killed them all, if that's what he wanted. He expected them to be a little more receptive to negotiation next time.

Then they had to UMD a scroll of Resurrection, which they managed to do first try! So now every PC has died at least once.

So I honestly don't remember the PC's name, we pretty much just called him the Oracle because the most memorable thing about him was ... well ... he died four and a half times in Rise. It was brutal. He decided to rely on AC instead of HP and went for no CON mod, Toughness, or Favored Class to HP. As a result, he was consistently extremely vulnerable and a full-level caster, which is a bad thing to be against any opponent with a brain.

Name of PC: Suli Oracle
Class/Level: Oracle 8
Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha Distracts the Party
This was probably his most savage death, largely because it was the first character death that wasn't something I scripted with a player changing characters or leaving the game. When Xanesha distracted the party with the gargoyle illusion, she slipped up behind the Oracle, hit him for very good damage, then proceeded to win initiative, kill him in two more attacks, and since no one else was in reach, use the last to dramatically throw him out of the tower. Fortunately for him, our Paladin had bonkers Charisma enough to have taken Ultimate Mercy and rezzed him after they put her down (being the new Rogue Xanesha instead of Sorcerer Xanesha, it was a tough fight, but still manageable even a PC down and with the extra Faceless Stalker boss I threw in since they were a level above where I expected).

Name of PC: Suli Oracle
Class/Level: Oracle 12
Adventure: Side Mission between Hook Mountain Massacre and Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: Solo Negotiations
In a side mission, well before the canon answers to "What's Alaznist up to these days?" was answered, I had Jubrayl Vhiski take Thistletop for the Sczarni's new headquarters for their less savory work and become corrupted by her disembodied spirit whispering across the veil, slowly becoming possessed by her. Basically, he ended up getting turned into a simulacra of her, who was honestly still pretty scary. The bad part is that the party ignored the warnings I gave that something was WRONG with Jubrayl and the Oracle insisted on going in alone to work things out since he had a frankly absurd Diplomacy score (all those points that didn't get put into surviving went SOMEWHERE). Unfortunately for him, she wasn't in a talking mood, and he also made it back to the top floor by throwing Symbol traps on throw rugs behind him when she got him with Disintegrate and he ashed. Again, the party killed the boss. If I remember, they reconstituted him with some obscure spell or item, then the Paladin rezzed him again. This was wildly tense, but at this point, it was very quickly becoming funny, especially since reviving party members was getting less hard.

Name of PC: Human Rogue
Class/Level: Rogue 12
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants
Catalyst: Seriously, AC Loses Relevance Fast in PF, Guys
A different player for once, this guy had been through a few characters and this one didn't last long, either. But the Paladin was still present and teaching me a hell of a less about why you don't let Paladins get flying mounts coupled with Spirited Charge and a lance, so mortal death was rough, but not the worst thing ever. Ultimate Mercy is bonkers. No, while playing "Will the Paladin kill the entire rest of the army while we fight these three giants?", the Rogue lasted until the second-to-last round of combat, then got smashed in one critical hit by a stone giant warrior into pulp. The Paladin wheeled around after PAINTING THE FIELDS IN BLOOD (it was this fight that lead to a realization she needed to be retired and did at the end of fortress, since she already worshiped Fandarra and wanted to save the stone giants from their corruption, becoming a leader of their people on the path to undoing Mokmurian's damage), then rezzed her, then she left the game for some other character. This was six or so years ago now, so it's a bit hazy. But guys, you need HP, AC will fail you at high-level play.

Name of PC: Suli Oracle
Class/Level: Oracle 14
Adventure: Sins of the Saviors
Catalyst: Don't Trust Demons, COME ON!
The party encountered the Glabrezu beneath Sandpoint, and it made a Wish pitch. Everyone except the Oracle pretty much stood there and looked at it like it was insane. He asked to be immortal. So it said "Done!", then turned him into stone which I ruled no save on because he literally wished for it. They got him out of it easy enough after dispatching the demon, but this is the half we count for his deaths. Especially since it was so avoidable.

Name of PC: Suli Oracle
Class/Level: Oracle 14
Adventure: Sins of the Saviors
Catalyst: It's Been One Room, Man
So a lot of people point out the Scribbler isn't a hard fight, and that's true, unless he wins Initiative and your Oracle blows his save against Destruction. Then it wasn't a hard fight, but it made a mark by forcing them to seek out a Scroll of Resurrection or something of the like to rez him again. This one honestly had us howling, largely because it'd been less than half a dungeon since the Glabrezu.

Name of PC: Suli Oracle
Class/Level: Oracle 18
Adventure: Spires of Xin-Shalast
Catalyst: Karzoug Gets A Surprise
After so much death, this one is actually a little triumphant. Karzoug blew past our Wizard's countering of Baleful Polymorph (which I admit I totally rushed for dramatic effect, and I regret basically MAKING her counter it to make sure he could get at least one memorable spell off, but all that is just a fun trip down memory lane for how badly I ran this adventure path), into using his Rod to Quicken Wail of the Banshee. The new Paladin (not nearly as scary as the old one), the Wizard, and the other two PC's handled it fairly well, though it did hit one of them. The Oracle got immediately murdered. BUT. The party had made clones of themselves before going to find Xin-Shalast, the Oracle had enchanted some item I can't remember the name of that you can break and it teleports you to a specific location near your allies, and he had Time Stop from his Mystery. So he dies, revives in his clone body, breaks the item he had stored with his body to teleport back, casts Time Stop twice to get all his gear back, and uses Reverse Gravity to start levitating the lava at Karzoug. Which was badass, and a little undercut when the Paladin charged Karzoug and Smite Evil-ed him to death before the lava could become a real threat. All the same, it was a great close to this character's many deaths to be able to almost ignore the last one and still be in the fight. Karzoug was, needless to say, a bit surprise.

TPK at Über Xanesha.

When we started book 2, I asked if party would like to have a Hardcore version of the boss, where everyone says it's a TPK or a more balanced one. Back then they were not sure and they were 5. When they entered the Tower with four level 6 PCs, I asked again and two of them were "Sure, we want a challenge", one was "I guess, it would be interesting" and the fourth one was "I am not sure, but I think there is no need for a tougher encounter. So, being a fairly new GM with no other experience other than this party (and also because everyhting was really easy), I decide to go for the Hardcore Xanesha. Oddly, this was just last night, but I do not remember much...

So, a Corebook

Name of PC and Class:
Half-Orc Barbarian 6 named Trollsky,
Human Fighter 6 named Nikolai Kage,
Half-Elf Bard 6 named Eloen
Human Cleric of Calistria 6 called Sutan

walk on top of the tower. Where I say the sound is still and nothing can be heard. They even took some time at the level below to think out what lies above. I accidentally cheated and made the whole roof covered with silence.

Adventure: The Skinsaw Murders

Catalyst[b]: Self confidence, I guess? And a low skilled GM. Also, no communicatin in fight

Barbarian and Cleric move to the edge of the roof to take a look at the silently laughing Demon and notice that he is shimmering a bit. Fighter and Bard still belived this is the enemy until Xanesha appeared.
Bard stays on the walkway and shoots an arrow into the pillows. But Xanesha (actually more than one due to mirror image) is in the opposite corner - the place, where the Fighter went.
Xanesha matearilises out of the thin air near the Fighter and uses her Medusa mask on him, but he succeeds the save. Cleric moves outside and tries to Command the Demon with no success. On Barbarians turn he asks me of the Angel statue is stable. I, thinking that he would try to climb it, say it is not stable. So the Barbarian pushes it down on Xanesha giving her some damage. It goes south afther that. Xanesha, takes a 5 foot step and unleashes her three attacks into the Figher, that take half of his HP. The party did not land a single hit on her. The Barbarian tries to disarm her, rolls low, so has to drop his weapon. I forgot to use an AoO, but ist's OK.

I forgot what the Bard did, but Xanesha used her attacks and the bard started dieing. At this point I figured it is a good time for the Silence to wear off (was around 6 rounds into the game). Cleric decided to help the Bard, stabilised him and made him invisible Later healed to 1 HP. Cleric actually tried to dispell the mirror image, as they did not think about where the silence was originating. Cleric failed.

There were some tried to attack Xanesha by the barbarian and by the Figher, but no luck.

The party retreated down to the Clockworks, and nothing happened for 1 turn, where they were discussing what to do (even destroy the tower with everything and everyone in it or just jump down with featherfall). But then they saw Xanesha, flying near the other door. With a very nice scorching ray, the Bard was dead (1 point more than his constitution).

Barbarian tried to jump "around the tower" - because I drew that the outside walkway was U-shaped. He got speed, jumped, threw his weapon to the side to add some momentum to the turn and tried to catch the other walkway. Sadly, he failed the acrobatics check. He also failed the reflex check to catch onto something, so he fell down. There was a chance that if he rolls 1 on each of the damage dice, he would survive...

With the Cleric and Figher left, the Fighter was actually quite demoralized as a person and said something like "There is no point in doing anything...." just kept skipping turns. So,
his death was off screen. The last standing Cleric was shouting - go check the chests!, but he did not.

As a last desperate attempt, the cleric took his dagger out and jumped off the tower torwards flying Xanesha to stab her in the heart. Sadly, the AC of the Matriarch was too high so the Cleric and he died, falling down and praying to Calistria.

We all were quite sad about the outcome, but everyone had great time. We are now deciding, what to do - roll back or start with new characters. The Cleric player is unsure if she wants to keep playing. It has been really hard for her, because she has no PC-game/RPG background and her English is intermediate to read all the rules. So, her actions were not always optimal. This, apparently, bothers the Bard a bit.

Name: Kran Half-Giant
Vital Statistics: Fighter 8
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre
Catalyst: Confusion + bad luck on dice rolls plus Crit
The Gory Details:
Group has walked into the trap set by the remaining Ogres on the top floor of Fort Rannick. Party Fighter is duking it out with an Ogre Fighter while confused, but just couldn't hit for toffee. then an ogre crit.

Grand Lodge

PC: Ithil Hin (Half-Elf Hunter 3)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings (Part 4: Thistletop)
Catalyst: Bravery

Story: The party was still feeling pretty fresh after the first level of Thistletop, with the exception of the Hunter (Ithil), who had been knocked unconscious by Ripnugget on the second round of combat. Teetering along with 13hp, Ithil and the rest of the party opened up Lamashtu's Chapel on Thistletop Level 1, and were promptly hit with the Yeth Hounds' howl. Only Ithil made his saving throw against both of them, and, out of desire to protect his friends, decided to take the yeth hounds on. After dealing max damage on his first strike to one of them, he was knocked unconscious, then eaten as the party fled to the first floor.

PC: Haast (Tiefling Magus 3)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings (Part 4: Thistletop)
Catalyst: Being the most receptive to conversation with Nualia

Story: After the party fled from Floor 1, they encountered and killed Tsuto (fresh from jail) and Lyrie (who had broken him out). Realizing that giving Nualia too much time to regroup could be disastrous, they returned to the Chapel, accepting a surrender from Orik (who had fled from the hounds into a trap the party had set up) and healing him in exchange for help killing the Hounds.

Unfortunately, when the party returned to the chapel, Nualia was there waiting for them, along with the third Yeth Hound. When the party did not immediately move to attack her, she cast enthrall, then monologues for a bit before asking the party a bit about themselves - where they were from, why they were protecting Sandpoint, whether it was worth their lives to fight for some random town they were just visiting. The party was considering turning and leaving (they'd found Nualia's journal and found her reasons for wanting to destroy Sandpoint compelling), but one party member who had hid from the enthrall starting heckling to disrupt the spell. Eventually, Nualia got pissed and attacked the party's diplomat (Haast) to end the enthrall. She rolled crit, and Haast lost their head.

Thanks to Orik's assistance, no further lives were lost beyond Nualia and her hounds, but that first strike from Nualia terrified them - they'd never seen an enemy deal upwards of 20 damage before.

Name of PC: Zion
Class/Level: Tengu Monk Lvl3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst:The Howling Hole
Story: Zion jumped into the Howling Hole to save a caravan guard who had just been knifed in the back and kicked into the hole. He was able to fight off the Bunyip and rescue the unconscious guard with a little help from a Great White Shark (added this in case the Bunyip was too strong). This took several rounds and there was a lot of blood in the water. Meanwhile the rest of the party were able to tie together 2 ropes and fasten them to some of the heavy bushes/tree's. They were then set upon by Gogmurt and his Cougar Tangletooth. Zion was able to fasten the the rope around the guard and he began to climb. Gogmurt was able to disengage from the party and get the other goblin tribe to attack the party. Gogmurt, using his woodland stride ability, was able to cut the rope causing zion to fall, striking the water and going unconscious. Unfortunately the party was unable to reach him in time. He is now buried on the ledge in the cavern.

Name of PC: Sashra
Class/Level: Catfolk Bard lvl 4
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Malfeshnekor
Story: Sashra died heroically trying to save the mounted Halfling Cavalier. After opening the doors to Mal's prison the Sorcerer and cleric decided it was a good idea to stand in the opening and try to Detect Magic for more than 1 round. Mal materialized and attacked the cleric shouting maniacally about Food! The Cavalier moved through threatened squares, trying to draw off Mal's attention, and got hit pretty good with an Attack of OP. The Cleric and Sorcerer retreated and the Cleric was able to healing burst. The Cavalier took another good hit. The Bard decided she was going to try and cast Haunting Mist to save the Cavalier or at least give him a better chance of escape. In order for her to do this she had to get close enough to set it off. Mal hit her with a Critical for the AOP and she went down. The next 2 rounds Mal Dismembered and consumed (Feed) Sashra as it's first meal in 10,000 years. The Cavalier stuck around and tried to fight but was ultimately knocked unconscious (below 0) and had to be dragged out by his dog (mount/companion). The dog was barely able to do this as it was reduced to only 3 hp's.

PC: Sendo (Halfling Rogue 7 / Shadowdancer 3 3)
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants (during the Sandpoint attack)
Catalyst: Overconfidence in high skill ranks

Story: After trouncing Barl Breakbones in his Hook Mountain lair (though Barl did manage to kill Shalelu and Jakardros with a burst of negative energy, then later raise them as zombies) the party returned to Magnimar, ordered manufacture of some new magical weapons, then headed to Sandpoint to investigate the mysterious note they found in Barl's hold.

During the Sandpoint giant attack the party was somewhat weakened having to rush from location to location, cutting off marauding giants and dire bears.
They followed a small group of giants moving with purpose to the Old Light ruins, and attempted to ambush them as they were digging in the ruins.

At this point, the Shadowdancer attempted to hide in plain sight (rolls a 2 which was still well over 20 with his skill and dexterity scores) but Teraktinus spotted him (rolled a natural 20 for perception) and hurled several chunks of masonry at him during the first round of combat (Teraktinus had the higher initiative, took a Full round action, threw 3 rocks, hit with all 3, critically hitting with one of them) crushing him to death.

The party mourned, but the druid attempted a Reincarnate spell - Sendo was reborn in a new Half-orc body!

Name of PC: Rood the Soulless
Class/Level: Wild Magic Sorcerer 1 (I run in 5E)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings (Chapter 2)
Catalyst: :Let's go BEAR hunting.
Story: After defeating the boars with no problem at all, the ranger of the group mentioned they could track down some bears and kill them! The rest of the FIRST LEVEL party went along with it and the sorcerer made a tasty snack to one of the two brown bears they eventually killed and ate!

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Name of PC: Briarios Silvasi, Human
Class/Level: Bard 1, Fighter 4, Rogue 2, Sorcerer 3
Adventure: Hook Mountain Massacre, Chapter 3
Catalyst: Part 5, Harrowing the Hook
Story: Briarios and the other Rogue in the party were separated from the Wizard and Paladin while fighting Ogres and giants. The Ogre blacksmiths came out and wounded both Briarios and the other Rogue. That's when disaster struck. The Ogre Taskmaster wounded Briarios with a nearly max damage critical hit from an Ogre Hook. Already wounded, a 73 hp hit sent him into instant death.

It was a short lived death though. In the heat of the battle we forgot about hero points. When we remembered I let him spend hero points to save himself. The party recuperated in the stronghold after defeating Barl and the Ogres. A couple days later, they then took his and Lamatar's body to Myrianna to be reincarnated. I ruled her reincarnation worked on both of them. Unfortunately Briarios came back as a Half-Orc and a profound love for Myrianna.

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Name of PC: Erin Damascus, Human
Class/ Level: Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean 4
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Nat 1 on a fear effect
Story: The entire party except for the inquisitor of the god of courage made saving throws against the Yeth Hounds. Erin wound up running into a trap which killed him on the spot with a failed massive damage save. The druid then fed his corpse to the tentamort in an attempt to befriend it.

Name of PC: Jamir
Class/Level: Halfling Alchemist 3
Adventure: Burnt Offerings (Thistletop)
Catalyst: Crit from a Yeth Hound
Story: The party of six PCs fought against a warpriest Nualia and her Yeth hound. They all decided to focus on Nualia, who, after being brought to low hp, stalled with Sanctuary and Fog Cloud. In the mean time, the Yeth hound tried to kill the party wizard, who had some inexplicable luck and barely survived. After killing Nualia, the paladin and alchemist go to the Yeth Hound to kill it and save their wizard friend. The halfling tries to move around the Yeth Hound to reach the wizard, but gets bitten by an AoO and trips, ending up next to the Yeth Hound. He then spends another move action to end up next to the Yeth Hound again for some reason, thinking he's safe with a paladin next to him. On the Yeth Hound's turn, the Yeth Hound bites the halfling with a critical hit, which, together with the AoO from earlier, was 1 hit point too much for the little halfling. The Yeth Hound bit his face off.

Shadow Lodge

Travelerscode wrote:

Name of PC: Erin Damascus, Human

Class/ Level: Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean 4
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Nat 1 on a fear effect
Story: The entire party except for the inquisitor of the god of courage made saving throws against the Yeth Hounds. Erin wound up running into a trap which killed him on the spot with a failed massive damage save. The druid then fed his corpse to the tentamort in an attempt to befriend it.

Yikes. I hope there were no angry players after that.


Delthos wrote:

Name of PC: Briarios Silvasi, Human

Class/Level: Bard 1, Fighter 4, Rogue 2, Sorcerer 3

I really want to know why the quadruple-class.

Name of PC: Dirks the Dwarf
Class/Level:Druid 7
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Splitting the party
Story: while exploring Magnimar solo, Dirks through some wild-ass knowledge and perception rolls, found Xanesha. One druid vs one TPK machine did not go well. He lasted two rounds. RIP.

And yes, all my players are good sports, Shifty Mongoose.

@Travelerscode: Poor Dirks... He went to his death almost the exact same way as Malachi, the poor Druid of one of my players... He's the third or fourth post from the top of this page.

@Fair Strides I feel like scout deaths by Xanesha are fairly common in this AP. Though this is first time this has happened for me out of the three times I've ran it, I'm honestly surprised it hasn't happened before.

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Just realized I posted about this in my own thread, but didn't add it to the tally here. This is PC Death #7 in my campaign.

Name of PCs: Azarbod
Class/Level: Bloodrager 7
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Shadowclock Fight
Story: The party, duped into heading to the Shadowclock by Justice Ironbriar as his allies (they told him he was enchanted and left him to his own devices to get it dispelled, giving him time to plan), assaulted the building and were shocked to be confronted by an undead version of Nualia standing on the interior stairs. She warned them to leave, but they didn't listen and charged in along with their City Watch (actually Skinsaw cultists) allies. Azarbod, on Round 1 of combat, buffed himself with Blur and Haste while bloodraging and ran in passed the screening line of Watch/Cultist meatshields to stand directly in front of the 'large, slowly standing shape' in the back corner. It was the Scarecrow, who crit with his scythe, a x4 weapon. Azarbod dropped beyond negative Con due to losing his Rage hp when he went unconscious.

He will likely be revived, if his party live through Xanesha...

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I suppose I finally get to join the ranks of Rise GMs. Proabably the first of many.

Name of PC: Tsvang
Class/Level: Barbarian 5
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: The Skinsaw Man
Story: I have a fairly large group (up to 7 when everybody comes), so to compensate, I gave Aldern four ghoul bodyguards. This was also punishment for them going halfway through the mansion, including finding and freeing Iesha, then leaving to rest. So, Aldern had plenty of warning.

The battle started off quite dicey thanks to a few bad saves, with two ranged characters standing by the door next to the bard, and with three melee characters (fighter, rogue, and barbarian) engaging the ghouls. Two, the fighter and barbarian, failed their saves vs. paralysis, and were out of the fight. They took a couple rounds trying to fight off the ghoul minions, and it wasn't until round 3 that anyone (the ranger) actually tried to hit Aldern. Upon getting injured, he called a truce, allowing the paralyzed characters to recover and allow most people to recover from being sickened (almost everyone failed, but it only lasted one minute). They also burned through most of their remaining wand of CLW in this time, getting most of the party up to almost full.
Once the fighting resumed, all but one of the remaining ghouls were cut down, leaving only a single flanking partner for Aldern to take advantage of, and he did so admirably, reducing the barbarian to below 0 HP in a single round.

However, as a half-orc, he didn't fall unconscious. Had he done so, the HP reduction would have reduced him to -27 HP on a CON of 18. So, in a hilarious and epic stunt of teamwork, the party managed to pass their almost-spend wand of CLW from the bard in the back to the ranger, who managed to tap the barbarian for max healing, bringing him to exactly -18 HP when he fell unconscious after dealing the final blow to Aldern. Not really wanting to kill him, I said that he would survive, right on death's door.... if the final ghoul missed with all three of his attacks before dying.

I rolled two 2s and a 3 on my attack. And so, Tsvang lives to rage another day. However, given his past habits of charging willingly into being flanked, it likely won't be for much longer as they go to investigate Magnimar once we resume in the fall.

Name of PCs: Dragor
Class/Level: Magus 7
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Thinking with the wrong head
Story: Caveat, my players get really into the weeds with RP. Everyone knows everyones boundaries, which is to say... there aren't many. Anyway, the Ifrit Magus had developed feelings for our 24 strength human fighter named Victoria. Victoria had a bad way of it in the early part of the fight, getting clobbered by two bells and then the golem performing a Called Shot and breaking both her legs. So when Xanesha came out to play, the lamia instantly went for the easiest kill. Dragor declared that he wanted to sacrifice himself for Victoria and take the full round attack. Everything hit, and wiped his meager offering of remaining hitpoints down to -22. He had a con of 15.

I had a TPK yesterday in the Shadow Clock.

Name of PCs: Aleora
Class/Level: Half-Elf Storm Druid 7

Name of PCs: Eliasse
Class/Level: Human Sorcerer 7 (Fire Elemental bloodline)

Name of PCs: Dodoltir
Class/Level: Oread Barbarian 7

Name of PCs: Fafine
Class/Level: Elven Ranger 7

Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Shadowclock Fight
Story: After wiping the sawmill without a sweat, the gang felt pretty confident. The druid even went up the clock as a buzzard to spy on Xanesha while they were trying to go up from the bottom. With a good use of message, she knew they were in trouble so she attacked in a pincer to kill the faceless stalker on her own.

They had the time to heal properly then face Xanesha. But she just did mince work of them. The caster couldn't get spells to work properly, on around 30 spells casted (lots of Aggressive Thunderball and Flaming Sphere tries), barely 5 got in which Xanesha easily evaded with her high Reflex saves. The error came in when the barbarian retreated in the corner of the room instead of leaving down the stairs to heal. That gave Xanesha the opportunity to protect the stairs and with Combat Reflexes, they were doomed trying to quit.

Poor Sorcerer player, it's his second character death in a week, he lost his Mutation Warrior in one of my other weekly game, Strange Aeons.

Name of PCs: Makoa (Oracle 3) and Sumak (Cavalier 3)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Yeth Hounds

Story: Having burned town the stockade at Thistletop and destroyed the bridge to the mainland, the party (oracle, wizard, cavalier, and NPC ranger) descended into the first level of the dungeon. When they opened the door to the temple, one yeth hound feared the wizard and cavaliers mount, who ran for it, leaving the cavalier on the floor. The oracle buffed and entered the room, and the second yeth hound charged, leaving the oracle bleeding out on the floor.
The cavalier stood up and pulled out their gun. The ranger shot some arrows at the yeth hounds, rather ineffectively. The first yeth hound charged the cavalier, and then the cavalier tried to shoot, provoking an attack of opportunity. As the cavalier died, the oracle finished bleeding out on the floor.

Starfinder Superscriber

So the PCs made it to the Sihedron Circle at the base of Rimeskull. The dragon attacked, and most of the party fled (teleport or dimension hop) - leaving the gnome bard all by himself.
RIP: Baxnarlo
Male Gnome Bard
Adventure: Sins of the Savior
Monster/Enemy: Arkrhyst

here is a 30 second video of the event:

I'll post about this more in depth in another thread, but...

Character Death #8 for my campaign

Name of PCs: Varus
Class/Level: Hunter 7
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Lemming into Xanesha, Party casts Confusion
Story: The party had a massive fight in the base of the Shadow Clock, acting as the third faction between the Skinsaw Cult (Ironbriar, raised Tsuto, cultists) and Xanesha's minions (revenant Nualia, Scarecrow, facelss stalkers). When the dust settled every enemy was dead except for Nualia, Varus's animal companion was dead, and one PC was super dead (Bloodrager, posted above.) Varus and the Slayer both ran up the Shadowclock while the wizard and swashbuckler tried to wrap up Nualia.

This is where things went very wrong, because Varus and the Slayer (both archers) walked right into Xanesha's lair, fell for her Major Image/Ventriloquist trick and got ambushed. Both were then Charm Monster or Deep Slumbered, leading to the scene fading to black. This occurred while the other two living party members spent 15 in game minutes getting Nualia restrained and looting all of the bodies/ground floor.

When the wizard, swashbuckler and a newly arrived NPC Cleric of Calistria finally went upstairs, both of their party members were there (charmed) and the ambush was reset. The fight ensued fairly quickly, and the Cleric cast Confusion on both of the charmed allies, the Major Image human Xanesha, and actual Xanesha. She resisted, but both party members did not.

On his next turn poor Varus rolled to injure himself with his own bow, and attempted to fire an arrow but let go of the bow instead of the string, smashing himself in the face for 10 damage. Turns out he was at 1 hp. And he only had a Con of 10. His next turn he rolled to stabilize, failed and bled out from a broken nose.

What makes this death even worse is that Varus was also the one to kill his own animal companion due to being Confused by Ironbriar in the previous fight.



While not deaths, I will note that Xanesha was a TPT - Total Party Takeover. She ended up charming the last two PCs while the Cleric NPC (piloted by the player with the dead Bloodrager) fled. So that's another 3 characters that are no longer PCs. I DID give them the chance to continue playing as Xanesha's pawns, but they voted to roll up a new party to continue the good fight.

Name of PC: Magic
Class/Level: Paladin 6
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

Name of PC: Umbra
Class/Level: Oracle 6
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

Name of PC: Klandar
Class/Level: Warpriest 6
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Xanesha

So in continuation of this story

We arrive back as the three adventurers face off against the medusa esq character on top of the shadow clock.

The creature appeared before Umbra the Oracle, and turned him to stone. It then turned its attention on Klandar, who with the first round of combat took him down to 25%. Seeing the folly they have made, Magic tries to pick up and carry Umbra to safety.As he did Klandar was pierced through the heart, lifted up off his feet by the spear, and his body chucked to one side.

Magic dragging a petrified Umbra flees from the battle. The creature chases Magic, and wrestles Umbra from his grasp, before casually tossing Umbra off the edge. As he fell, he regained his form but too late, as the impact into the ground below kills him. Magic continues to try and flee before relinquishing his sword, kneeling, and pledging allegiance to the enemy. (We cut to black here)

Meanwhile in the tavern the fourth member (me) Darvan slaved away at deciphering the book when Miro (NPC) interrupts him after a long day performing. That night they go to bed and awake with their friends having not returned.

Miro set out to find them, while Darvan returned to the books. He returned shortly after to inform she had found Klandar. Arriving at the clock they both saw Klandar stripped, nailed to the tower, and with the 7 pointed star carved into his chest.

Darvan insisted in going up but for Miro this all became to real and the last we saw of him was him walking away from us.

Inside Darvan slowly climbed the staircase, removed Klandar, and tried as best he can to observe him some death rites.

At the top he found the Necklaces (Divine Focuses) of both Magic and Klandar. Klandars shields & helmet, and Magics sword.

He carried them out with the help of the guards, and took his body to a quiet secluded part of the woods where he buried him by himself (DM Played this song, placed to gold coins over his eyes, and marked the grave with a display of the weapons.

And upon the grave Darvan swore an Oath "I swear on your grave, my Mother as a Witness, I will kill the b#$&$ who did this to you, you will be revenged"

Darvan then set out to Sandpoint to find Glaxor (5th player who is returning to our group after a 2 month long work trip), and inform everyone there of what transpired

Name of PC: Olithar
Class/Level: Cleric of Sarenrae 5
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders (original 3.5 version, converted to PF)
Catalyst: Xanesha, and a plan that worked too well

(This was over 7 years ago, but better late than never)

The plan that didn't work

We learned of the Clock Tower and made a first attempt at recon by simply walking inside to look around. Of course we were assaulted immediately by the scarecrow, but we made quick work of it with adamantine weapons wielded by our two frontline fighters.

The rickety stairs seemed even less appealing at this point, but three of the party started an ascent on a scouting mission. Two backed down when the steps seemed ready to collapse, but the Eldritch Knight in the group continued up as he had Feather Fall prepared and could simply take the express elevator down if he got into trouble.

That's when he hear the sound of rope being cut, and the bell fell down to the ground floor. At this point, we all agreed that there was NFW we were taking the stairs and worked out a new plan.

The plan that did

That new plan was Spider Climb on everyone, courtesy of spells and scrolls. So we assaulted the tower again, this time climbing up the outside. In broad daylight. With the city guard keeping a safe perimeter around the base.

It was audacious and brazen. Inside the tower, the cultists figured out what was going on and started pelting us with bricks, but we had too much of a lead and were moving too fast. We reached the scaffolding and our front-line fighters tore through them. And tossed their bodies over the side, because let's face it, the crowd below was an audience and they wanted a good show.

The problem: our plan worked too well.

The first character onto the roof was Olithar. Xanesha nailed him with a readied action to use the mask. He failed his save, and was petrified before he finished climbing over the edge.

The only thing stopping his fall was the rope we each carried, and tied off periodically on the ascent. The problem is, solid stone weighs more than flesh, and that's what he dropped like. The rope held, but his stone wrist did not. And that was the end of Olithar.

Edited to add: Olithar's player hated to lose a character, but we all agreed this was one bad-ass boss fight, filled with drama, crazy ideas, and RP that you don't normally see in a combat encounter. Yeah, Olithar died, but we had a blast. Sometimes an exciting, dramatic death is just what the scene needs.

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Level 5 facing Xanesha? Ouch, that's several levels too low.

Fumarole wrote:
Level 5 facing Xanesha? Ouch, that's several levels too low.

We had a party of 7 at the time. That makes a difference. Also the 3.5 version is easier: there was less expansion material to cope with.

We only lost two PCs in the entire AP.

Name of PC: Derelden
Class/Level: Monk 9
Adventure: Fortress of the Stone Giants (original 3.5 version, converted to PF)
Catalyst: Failing to look both ways before crossing the street.

There's not much to tell here. We were on the Storval Stairs with two giants behind us and a third one up ahead. #1 was out of action thanks to Hold Monster, #2 was being carved up by our front-line fighters, and #3 was at the top of the stairs throwing rocks and not hitting anything. So Derelden decided, "I can take him", and rushes out ahead--way, way ahead--into melee* with said giant.

And promptly discovered there were four giants, when giant #4 emerged from the doorway of a building at the top of the stairs, and attacked, and hit. Giant #3 was next in the initiative order and full-attacked, and hit each time. And poor Derelden was no more.

*This was not his first rodeo. A quote from one of the party members' journals summed it up nicely: "Derel pulled his trick of running out into melee again … once too often."

Name of Pcs: Jacen Jenn, Alexandra
Class/Level: Arcanist 5 (Jacen), Bloodrager 5 (Alexandra)
Adventure: Burnt Offerings
Catalyst: Melee with Malfeshnekor

So the party entered Malfeshnekor's room and failed our Perception checks to notice him. Malfeshnekor focused on Alexandra first, as she was dealing the most damage. Two full attacks brought her down, even with healing from Jacen (my PC) and the oracle in between. When Alexandra fell, Jacen foolhardily decided to close into melee to cast a Shocking Grasp on Malfeshnekor, but all this succeeded in doing was making him the beast's next target. Jacen had dumped Con and rolled really badly on his hit points, so he was dead in one round. The oracle was also mauled but was still on 7 hit points when Shalelu finally shot the beast dead with two critical hits in one round. During the whole fight, Malfeshnekor only missed twice.

PC: Coal, Lvl 2 Rat folk (1 witch, 1 sorcerer)
Adventure: burnt offerings
Catalyst: The party ranger (during Erylium battle)

Died when the ranger fell into the fountain of wrath in the catacombs. He was trying to run on the fountain railing to avoid an aoo. Failed his acrobatics. Gave him 50% chance to land in water or on ground prone. Lands in the fountain. Failed his will save. The rat was the closest character on his next turn, so he had to attack the rat. Player thought they’d be clever and throw the great sword because of the -4 penalty to attack. I liked the idea since it was so in character for the unshakeable rage he was feeling. Rolled a crit and insta-killed him. Now the catacomb has a rat and a great sword adjourned to the wall.

Did find out later that it’s a full round action to throw a great sword, but I think if he wanted to, I would’ve allowed it anyways. Ranger was subdued by the dwarf clerics hammer.

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