Giant Attack (Spoilers)


Rise of the Runelords


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Okay, I was so proud of my players today I have to share. I had been dreading the giant attack at the beginning of Fortress of the Stone Giants. A huge battle that was going to be very long, involve lots of creatures and NPC's, and cover the entire city, making it practically unplayable on a grid. My players hate playing without a grid, and I don't much like long fights, so I wasn't looking forward to running the fight. I almost changed the fight entirely, making the attack happen before the characters arrived at Sandpoint. God I'm so glad I didn't.

This was one of the most epic battles I have ever ran. The party was running, or riding, through the city fighting giants. Making use of their haste and fly spells. The scout of our group stole a horse during the commotion and rode through the streets, shooting her shortbow at giants and direbears.

The highlight was the dragon fight however. Longtooth swooped through the town, set fire to the Garrison and the Cathedral. Then perched on the armory across the square from the cathedral and roared a bit. The wizard, who casted fly on himself at the beginning of the fight, dimensioned doored himself, the scout, and the horse she was riding, 40 feet above the dragon.

The scout succeeds a ride check, holds on to the horse as it plummets. The dragon failed a perception check to notice the horse and rider falling on his head. The horse hits the dragon on the head with a resounding thud, dealing enough damage to the horse to kill it, and enough damage to Longtooth to really piss him off. The scout was able to tumble off the horse and onto the dragons back.

Next round, the dragon takes off. The scout again succeeds a ride check to hold on. She pulls a rope from her pack and succeeds a dexterity check to toss the rope around the dragon and tie herself to its back. The dragon begins doing barrel rolls and flying at full speed (300 feet per round).

The wizard, in a shockingly intelligent move, sees this dragon flying so fast, and throws an invisible force wall up in front of him. The dragon does not notice this and hits the force wall at roughly 34 miles per hour.... directly over Scarnetti's saw mill.

The dragon plummets to the ground, fails a save to pull out of the crash, falls through the saw mill, which (by a random check) was running at the time. Longtooth is sliced up by the saws, while the scout passed an Escape Artist check to get free of the rope, a tumble check to get off the dragon, and a reflex save to dodge a few saw blades that were flying through the air as she made her way out of the sawmill.

This was easily the coolest moment in the entire campaign for me thus far, and I just want to thank Paizo and Wolfgang Baur for this great adventure, and great adventure path. You guys have given me and my group so much enjoyment.


That's some good DMing. What'd you make the reflex saves or perception checks for the dragon, incidentally? Do you have a standard "I'm flummoxed" DC or did you figure something out on the fly?

Scarab Sages

What's the threat range for a sawmill?

LOL


that sounds f***ing awesome !

when is the release date for the movie ?


roguerouge wrote:
That's some good DMing. What'd you make the reflex saves or perception checks for the dragon, incidentally? Do you have a standard "I'm flummoxed" DC or did you figure something out on the fly?

The perception I sort of fudged. I wanted to make the players think that I was actually making a roll, but I just liked the idea so much I let the dragon fail it. So didn't really have a DC there.

The reflex save for pulling out of the fall after slamming into the wall, I made the DC equal to half the damage he took from hitting the wall. The damage he took, I figured would be pretty much equal to falling damage at his speed/10, so 15d6. The DC ended up being around 30.

I do however have a standard "I'm flummoxed" DC, and that's usually around 10 + character level. For instance, the DC for the scout to toss the rope around the dragon and tie herself to it, while holding on on the air was a 20 Dex roll.


My players and I had a great time with this one, too. I was worried about how things would play out on a city-wide encounter, too. I felt a lot better about it though, once I got all my preparations complete. I basically drew the city of Sandpoint out on a 2 1/2 by 3 foot graph paper and used mini's to represent each group on the map (1 for the group with 2 giants and 3 bears, 1 for the dragon, etc.) I also made 25 index cards, one for each round of the invasion and wrote out the events of each round on them. That one took some time, but it definitely made it a lot easier to track everything.

Everything ended up really smooth. I thought my players would get overwhelmed, but they pretty much handled each encounter just in time to get to the next one, thus containing the invasion. I was also afraid they would be out of resources (hitpoints, magic and healing) before the end of the invasion, but they had pretty much exactly enough, so it worked perfectly and was really dramatic without any DM handwavery on my part to make the event harder or easier.

The best part was that after it was over, my players felt like badasses that could take on anything. Not because it had been too easy, but because it had been really hard, but they still won.

Liberty's Edge

Outstanding story! Well done!

My battle in Sandpoint was also quite a tale, alas the dragon made good on his escape (but that made for good roleplaying when they made a deal with him outside Jorgenfist).

A failed save of "1" when Longtooth had SLOW cast on him while perched on Ameiko's was priceless! Great times!

-DM Jeff


Ha!

It was an exciting an epic battle with my group as well, lasting 4 and half hours.

The Dragon was taken out of the picture rather quickly near the beginning of the combat. The PCs had arrived back at sandpoint after intercepting the stone giants that the party druid spotted on the tors in the morning. And were on their way to investigate more traces of them on the tors themselves when they heard resounding cracks and a change in the Bell tolls of the cathedral indicating a shift from emergency prep to UNDER ATTACK!

Riding hard/Flying they emerged back on the scene where the sorceror made his way directly across to where they heard the destruction and taunting of the giants and their bears, while the rest of the party (druid, favored soul/rogue, wizard, Barbarian <The Fated Five> had made their way to the festival ground before the church as the dragon was just making its first sweep. They hid in the alley and watched the dragon land and breath on the garrison, then the mage magic missiled Longtooth, who took back to the air snarling about eating the 'little manlings'

Mano, the Islander <think polynesian> Barbarian took to readying an attack for a fly by and the hit for some damage as it flew out past, snapping its jaws at him and then our past the north walls. Then, the Druid called a lightning storm on it, which enraged it as it roared back in, this time coming for the druid. However, the barbarian, Mano, had readied an action to attack (and jump to attack if need be) if Longtooth flew back in, passing the check with flying colors he critted with the Large Scythe doing a massive amount of damage (92, I believe), opening a viscious slash from near his throat down to the groin. Then the wizard (who I allowed a Arcana check earlier which he got above a 30 on) understood the vulnerabilities of the red dragon, jumped from the shadow of the alley to blast the dragon with frost, with a cone of cold, encasing him in a coffin of ice.

Go team!


Clive wrote:

Okay, I was so proud of my players today I have to share. I had been dreading the giant attack at the beginning of Fortress of the Stone Giants. A huge battle that was going to be very long, involve lots of creatures and NPC's, and cover the entire city, making it practically unplayable on a grid. My players hate playing without a grid, and I don't much like long fights, so I wasn't looking forward to running the fight. I almost changed the fight entirely, making the attack happen before the characters arrived at Sandpoint. God I'm so glad I didn't.

This was one of the most epic battles I have ever ran. The party was running, or riding, through the city fighting giants. Making use of their haste and fly spells. The scout of our group stole a horse during the commotion and rode through the streets, shooting her shortbow at giants and direbears.

The highlight was the dragon fight however. Longtooth swooped through the town, set fire to the Garrison and the Cathedral. Then perched on the armory across the square from the cathedral and roared a bit. The wizard, who casted fly on himself at the beginning of the fight, dimensioned doored himself, the scout, and the horse she was riding, 40 feet above the dragon.

The scout succeeds a ride check, holds on to the horse as it plummets. The dragon failed a perception check to notice the horse and rider falling on his head. The horse hits the dragon on the head with a resounding thud, dealing enough damage to the horse to kill it, and enough damage to Longtooth to really piss him off. The scout was able to tumble off the horse and onto the dragons back.

Next round, the dragon takes off. The scout again succeeds a ride check to hold on. She pulls a rope from her pack and succeeds a dexterity check to toss the rope around the dragon and tie herself to its back. The dragon begins doing barrel rolls and flying at full speed (300 feet per round).

The wizard, in a shockingly intelligent move, sees this dragon flying so fast, and throws an invisible force wall...

Wow. That is some of the coolest bit of cinematic DMing I've seen in a long time.

It reminds me of a 2nd edition game I was running where the party rogue's intelligent CN shortsword (appropriately named 'Havoc') dimension doored him onto the back of a black dragon flying 100 feet or so overhead. He had made the mistake of bragging that 'if that dragon was down here I'd show him who's boss).


I will not be running this one for some time but i do like the index card idea seems like it will really speed up combat


snappa wrote:

Wow. That is some of the coolest bit of cinematic DMing I've seen in a long time.

It reminds me of a 2nd edition game I was running where the party rogue's intelligent CN shortsword (appropriately named 'Havoc') dimension doored him onto the back of a black dragon flying 100 feet or so overhead. He had made the mistake of bragging that 'if that dragon was down here I'd show him who's boss).

I remember that one very well. In fact, I believe I was that rogue. The sword said "oh yeah? well then..." *poof*. And you let me backstab him since it was completely by surprise, and I dealt enough damage that I had to ride a falling dragon to the ground. I think I ended up unconscious after the fall even with the several hundred (thousand?) pounds of dragon to cushion it. Good times!

Or how about the other time, with a polymorphed (into a centaur!) mage (me!) levitated way up in the air with the rogue on his back, who decided to jump off with the lance (complicated story) and played lawn darts into some other large flying creature (probably another dragon, but I don't rightly recall). You may have been the rogue on that one.

I truly enjoyed the OP's story, bringing back some great memories of similar times...that sounds like it would have been a blast to be at!

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