CotCT Obituaries

Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Grand Lodge

Name of PC: Nate
Race: Human
Class/Level: Fighter 7
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Location: The Inner Sanctum and The Princess’s Bacchanal
Catalyst: Daughter of Urgathoa

After some very tough battles the party had finally killed Andainsin. Depleted of resources, the party watch in horror as the corpse of Andaisin transformed into a Daughter of Urgathao. Not having the strength to fight her, the party ran. When it was realized that they did not have the speed to get away from her, Nate turn to fight her in theThe Princess’s Bacchanal, as the rest of the party fled. Nate held his ground for a couple rounds allowing the rest to escape, but in the end, he went down with a critical hit from the great claw. Andaisin finished of an unconscious Nate.

When the party returned with members of the Korvosa guard they found the enemies all gone and Nates body. Nate has been raised and is good to in Escape from Old Korvosa

Olmac wrote:

Name of PC: Nate

Race: Human
Class/Level: Fighter 7
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Location: The Inner Sanctum and The Princess’s Bacchanal
Catalyst: Daughter of Urgathoa
** spoiler omitted **

Sounds like a real heroic death, and since he's been raised, quite a memorable role-playing experience.

Grand Lodge

MrVergee wrote:
Olmac wrote:

Name of PC: Nate

Race: Human
Class/Level: Fighter 7
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Location: The Inner Sanctum and The Princess’s Bacchanal
Catalyst: Daughter of Urgathoa
** spoiler omitted **
Sounds like a real heroic death, and since he's been raised, quite a memorable role-playing experience.

This is the stuff of legends. I love the way the kids are role-playing their characters. So refreshing from the adult game of min/max, kill, get the cookie, and repeat.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Name of PC: Maerza
Race: Human
Class/Level: dragon blooded sorcerer 13
Adventure: shoanti chapter
Location: beneath the longacre building
Catalyst: wanting to "befriend" the cytellipede + blasphemy and bone flense

The Gory Details: The party Net Positive had just finished dealing with the mannanagals. Maerza saw the cytilipede lurking around a column in the distance and decided to charge off and make it her friend with the sword of lust( I ran 7 swords of sin between adventures 3 and 4)activating cycplops helm and blood scarab for an auto crit. I did not become her friend. at this point she was separated from the group and was a prime target for the redmantis. lots of walls(thorns, iron, blindness) appeared splitting up the groups even more. through judicious use of emergency force shield maerza was able to regroup with the rest of the party. Unfortunately that put many people in range for koriantu's casting of blasphemy followed by a quickened bone flense. Dazed maerza was unable to save herself from the strike by cinnabar, ending her life.

she was brought back, but had enough of the redmantis and teleported back to her horde of dead friends(PCs that had permantly died)

After a few weeks of no games, I'm back! the party is still in Scarwall and they are having a pretty rough go of it. they played the earlier chapters a little fast and loose, and it worked out ok because the combats aren't that challenging for the most part. but now things are getting a bit tougher...

Name of PC: Rosie
Race: Halfling
Class/Level Ranger (trapper)13
Adventure Skeletons of Scarwall [/b]
Catalyst: opening too many doors

The Gory Details:

The party is still moving around the castle trying to piece together what is going on. they have some info about the Anchors, but don't know for sure where each of them is.

They came into Madravious' hallway from the North, and were all pretty nervous about the intact armored skeleton they had to pass by in order to get into the hallway. The haunt (and attack from the unique wraith) are on a 2 round delay, so they had time to open the door to the next hallway to the west before the haunt happened.

Of course, that's the hallway with a Trench Mist in it. so while trying to fend off the wraith, who caused some significant Con drain to the warpriest, the room was slowly filling with trench mist. Those things roll a lot of dice! most of the party ran for the door, but Rosie stood still to dish out the hurt to the Wraith (she has been taking undead as her favored enemy since fighting the final dungeon in chapter 1!). This meant she got kind of stuck in the bottom right corner of the room. she tried taking a shot at the mist but took an AoO which Crit and killed her.

Luckily she passed her save to avoid being chained to the castle, so the party can revive her next time we play.

She had a good run, and was the only player who never had a character die in this campaign until this battle. This is now our 7th PC death in CoTCT (plus 2 animal companions). I have the feeling there will be a few more before we're done!

Name of PC: Lestrad

Race: Human

Class/Level: Investigator 5

Adventure: Escape

Location: Pilts Palace

Catalyst: Trying to intimidate/reason with the 'Emperor'.

With one of his party members in the Guillotine and the rest unarmed and surrounded by the Emperor's thugs; Lestrad the Investigator decided to take matters into his own hands. Invisible from an extract; he reappears behind the Emperor hand crossbow aimed at his head demanding the release of his friends.

The Emperor smiles and begins to sing a song directing his thugs to dispatch of the intruder; crossbow bolt hits / bardic performance ceases / raging gnome barbarian critical hits with his great axe for 40 DMG.

The party managed to convince the Emperor with a high bluff that they have nothing to do with the failed assassin and a massacre is narrowly avoided

Name: Sagrados Rumoria
Race: Catfolk
Class/Level: Unchained Rogue (Scout) 7
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Location: Temple of Urgathoa
Catalyst: Angry Buffer Cleric With Channel Smite

The Gory Details:
Our poor cat used up a life taking a channel smite from Lady Andaisin to the face. She rolled very well on damage. He failed a Will save to halve the Channel damage, and went from full HP to dead in a single swing.

Luckily there was that Scroll of Raise Dead, so the group got their catboy back.

As an aside to other DMs: I learned that giving Andaisin the Channel Smite feat is a very risky move indeed. Repeat at own peril.

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Name: Naga’s Champion
Race: Nagaji
Class: Bloodrager (Crossblooded Rager) 8
Adventure: Escape from Old Korvosa
Location: Vencarlo’s Estate
Catalyst: Splitting the Party

The Gory Details:
After breaking down Vencarlo’s front door, the party split up to search the house. The Ranger scanned the study, the Magus examined the pantry, and the Oracle looked around the living room. Naga’s Champion rushed ahead (as was his tendency), and rifled through Vencarlo’s personal quarters.

The Red Mantis assassin waited until he was sure no-one else was coming up the stairs, before dropping down from the rafters and activating his prayer attack. Three failed Will saves later, the assassin’s sabres were on either side of the big guy’s neck.

The assassin actually rolled pretty low for damage—N.C. only needed to pass a DC 28 Fort save to avoid instant death.
He rolled a 25.

The rest of the party were too busy fighting the other assassin (who had narrowly failed to kill the party Oracle) to notice that their big scaly friend was nowhere to be seen. Thankfully, the Magus was able to rescue N.C.’s body from the flames, and put him into her Handy Haversack. He’ll likely come back, sooner or later – and maybe he’ll learn something from the experience.

Probably not, though.

(Also, this technically marks my first “player kill” as a GM. Yay? :P)

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I only noted two previous entries regarding the Hungry Dead vampire spawn encounter, and it seems each of those cases claimed the life of only one PC at a time. Well, hold on to your butts, because it’s about to get messy…

Name of PC: Killgore
Class/Level: Human “Urban Druid” 4 (using a bunch of ACF’s from Cityscape/web enhancement and Unearthed Arcana)
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Failing to be a good investigator
Story: Still running a party of five (5) PC’s through CotCT, and they had gotten a sealed letter from Field Marshal Kroft, asking them to investigate Racker’s Alley. The party twiddles their thumbs about it and stop off at the Sticky Mermaid to drum up some rumors and info, and do some good works with the sick along the way. They finally get to the shadowy alleyway as the sun is low in the sky (~10 - 15 minutes before sundown). They note the piled bodies, and visually “search” the area from 10 feet away, refusing to approach the bodies. Instead, Killgore decides to use his Fiery Burst [reserve] feat to pummel the body pile for 10 or 20 rounds, charring the bodies, and disrupting them enough to get the pile to collapse a little bit, revealing the hole in the wall.

Unfortunately for Killgore (and his companions, but we’ll get to them in a bit…) this gave the sleeping Vampire Spawn (effective Listen +1 vs a DC –4 check to hear “combat” through a wooden floor, and maybe 10 feet of distance) ample opportunity to hear the multitudinous eruptions, and the PC’s talking, and the “cop knock” they proceeded to use on the door in the barred balcony across the alley (after looking in the hole, seeing the doll heads, and NOPING the f*ck out). After investigating the apartment on the other side of that barred balcony across the street, and finding two people who had died of Blood Veil, the party finally returned to the hole in the wall. They never inspected the bodies, and never found fang holes in their necks…

I treated the hole as extremely difficult terrain (costing 4 squares of movement to pass through; it was narrow and low), as the vampire spawn would not have needed to make the hole very large (they could just Gaseous Form through it), but still large enough that a human could squeeze through it without needing an escape artist check. The party starts to file into the workshop. First Killgore’s elemental companion (ACF from Complete Mage), then Killgore, then the Monk with an Everburning Torch. I call for Spot checks, and Killgore notices the creature climbing up on the wall, near the ceiling, above and the to right of the hole through which they entered. The vampire spawn sees the “Urban Druid” looking at him, lets out an ear-splitting screech, and initiative is rolled. The vampire spawn go first…

The vampire spawn on the wall slams at the Monk within reach, hitting for 8 damage and 1 negative level (effectively dealing 13 damage to a character that has 22 hit points at full health. The four* vampire spawn waiting, awake, down in the crawlspace, open the door, and climb up, with the three who didn’t need to waste an action opening the trap door either attacking the earth elemental companion, or glaring unsuccessful Domination effects at the two humans in the room.

With movement into the room hampered by the small hole, and the monk in the way (he was standing in the spot where just about every outdoor PC’s movement would have to end to pass through the hole), several PC’s delayed actions, or started buffs outside (bardic music, etc). Killgore took advantage of a clustering of three Vampire Spawn to nail them all with Fiery Burst… for 5 (or 2) points of damage. The Monk, finding himself at effectively 9 hit points, identified the Vampire Spawn, yelled out to the others about them, then decided to tuck tail and run, attempting to flee back through the hole… and getting struck by an attack of opportunity from the wall-crawling vampire spawn. It was a crit. The monk collapsed into the hole, unconscious at –6 hit points. His unconscious form was largely blocking the hole (9/10th cover), and leaving the Urban Druid and his elemental companion feeling rather lonely, in a room full of five Vampire Spawn.

After a few rounds of lonely combat, fending off Domination and grapple attempts while his companions barely healed the Monk (only to stable unconsciousness), cumbrously applied silversheen to weapons, and fired cover-ignoring magical rays through the tiniest of gaps between the wall and the monk’s collapsed body, the Urban Druid panicked, and in a moment of self-preserving foolishness, backed himself into a corner and cast Obscuring Mist.

Sure, Vampire Spawn could no longer attempt to Dominate the Druid (or the unconscious Monk) from across the room. But the ray-firing & alchemy flask-throwing Sorcerer was now entirely neutered.

As the party slowly filed into the misty room, one of the vampires succeeded in grappling Killgore. The next round he pinned the old human, and started draining blood and Con each round (only 1 or 2 each time; it was uncanny how long he held up). Over the next 6 or so rounds, Killgore knew he had virtually no chance of fighting his way out of the grapple, so he spent most of his time activating Supernatural abilities he possessed, Fiery Bursting vampires a time or two (one time hitting himself and three vampire spawn all at once… for 2 damage), and expending spells to grant Fast Healing 1, and later Fast Healing 2, to his allies (another ACF, Spontaneous Rejuvenation, PHB2). Despite the feeble attempts by his earth elemental companion and the Bard to attack the grappling vampire spawn (the Bard with the silver dagger from Verik’s room in All the World’s Meat…), no one was making headway against a vampire spawn that was fast healing and gaining temporary hit points from sucking blood each round. Killgore heroically spent what he knew might be his last turn expending another spell to grant fast healing 1 that would linger after his death. Then Killgore was sucked dry by the vampire spawn. His Constitution drained to 0, Killgore expired.

*Since the encounter was written for 4 PC’s, and had 4 Vampire Spawn, I added a 5th Vampire Spawn, since I have 5 PC’s.

Name of PC: Sirus
Class/Level: Human Fighter 2/Cleric 2 of Iomedae
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Obscuring Mist, party members’ cowardice & failure to focus fire
Story: Same encounter as Killgore’s death, above. When initiative was rolled, Sirus was standing just outside the hole, and with his armor-slowed movement, he could only just get through the tight hole to the other side, but only if the Monk wasn’t standing in his way. When the Monk called out that there were Vampire Spawn, the Bard made a Bardic Knowledge check, succeeding sufficiently to know that silver overcame the creatures’ damage reduction. Thus, after activating Bardic Music, the Bard pulled out a vial of Silversheen and proffered it to Sirus. On his turn, the warrior priest Quick Drew his longsword, dropped it to the ground as a free action, then used his non-tower-shield-wielding hand to snatch the silversheen from the Bard’s hand, and pour it over his prone blade.

By his next turn, the Bard had stabilized the Monk, but no one had pulled him out of Sirus’ way. No matter, the warrior priest cast Protection from Evil and picked up his newly-silvered sword. Before his next turn arrived, the Monk was yanked out of the hole in the wall, dragged to the back of the room by one of the Vampire Spawn, and then fog shrouded the room, spilling out the hole and into the alleyway. He strode through the breech, and saw a vampire lurking in the mist; he swung his sword, missing with a Nat 1. He took one blow (and negative level) from the vampire spawn still lurking on the wall, then swung his sword, missing again. Troubled by his failure to hit, and his negative level, he 5-foot stepped away, into the mist, hiding himself from the two vampires who had been threatening him.

The next round a vampire spawn in the southeast corner, the one corner not shrouded in magical mist, could see Sirus standing in the edge of the spell’s effect. It approached to attack, and so this next round, unhindered by mist concealing his foe, Sirus was able to strike true, dealing 11 damage to the fully healthy vampire spawn. Soon Sirus found himself facing two vampire spawn, and his dice were not helping. Partly due to his use of a tower shield, though helping resist slam attacks several times through the night, even proficient use of it inflicts a –2 penalty to attack rolls when you have it equipped. A few times the mist ended up foiling his attack, and at least twice he missed hitting a vampire spawn by one. He suffered one negative level, then was struck for a crit, dealing two more negative levels. The fast healing rejuvenation ability of the druid eventually brought the unconscious Monk back to consciousness; his eventual help in flanking (which provided Sirus with a +4 bonus, thanks to Vexing Flanker) helped offset the penalties, and between the two of them, some solid hits with the silversheened longsword, and a lucky break of the mist foiling one vampire’s attack against the warrior priest, one of those two vampire spawn was “slain” and turned into mist, which quickly disappeared into the magical fog shrouding most of the room.

In the end, facing one vampire spawn between himself and the Monk, Sirus was hit with another Nat 20. It didn’t confirm, but the concealing mist was no help this time. He crumpled to the ground, his body drained of life, the sound of his clanging armor driving dread and hopelessness into his remaining companions, who could not see his final demise.

Name of PC: Eric
Class/Level: Human Monk 4
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Cowardice & failure to focus fire
Story: Same encounter as Killgore’s and Sirus’ deaths, above. When initiative was rolled, Eric was the first one struck by the wall-crawling vampire spawn. He had rolled fairly poorly on his hit point rolls, and did not have much of a Constitution bonus (he had 22 hit points, compared to Killgore’s 37 hit points). That initial hit for 8 damage, plus –5 hit points from the negative level, really freaked him out. His first action in combat was to flee back through the hole in the wall, provoking an attack of opportunity from the wall-crawling vampire spawn. It was a crit, which dealt two more negative levels in addition to the crit damage. Looking back at the numbers, I’m positive the player (relatively new) messed up tracking his hit points, and that crit should have killed him by bringing him to –10 hit points (22 - 8 - 15 [3 neg levels] = –1 hit points… Then minimum crit damage for a vampire spawn is 10… I’m assuming the crit damage actually took him down to –6, and he didn’t apply the –10 hit points from the negative levels.

Regardless, he collapsed, at “–6” hit points, and largely blocking up the hole in the wall, creating 9/10 cover (one house rule the group agreed on was using 3.0 cover and concealment rules, as well as striking cover being standard).

A round and a half later, having been healed to “–3” hit points, and stable, one of the vampire spawn grabbed Eric, and dragged him into the workshop. This opened up the hole for other party members to come into the room, but a fraction of a round later, Killgore the urban Druid filled the room with Obscuring Mist, which really neutered the ranged characters throughout the fight.

Three rounds later, Killgore first activated his Spontaneous Rejuvenation ability, so Eric was Fast healed from –3 to –2, then the next round to –1. The round after that, Killgore activated Spontaneous Rejuvenation by expending a 2nd level spell, and so this round Eric fast healed from –1 to 1 hit point, and consciousness. He awoke to find himself on the floor near the east side of the room, situationally positioned such that he was flanking one of a pair of vampire spawn with Sirus, the Fighter/Cleric. Does he stand and try to help attack the vampire spawn? Nope, he continues to lay there, and sneaks drinking a Cure Light Wounds potion. But, Sirus sees he is awake, and points it out to the vampire spawn on his next turn (“look over there!”) and does indeed gain flanking for his own attack, thanks to the conscious Monk.

Eric stood (I even “forgot” to take the pair of AoO’s that action would have provoked, since the vampires were now aware that he was awake…) and attacked one vampire. I can’t recall at this point when he hit or didn’t hit over the next several rounds. It didn’t much matter; between their DR 5/Silver and Fast Healing 2, any hits Eric the Monk did achieve were effectively negated, at least on average, and the concealment miss chance from the Obscuring Mist didn’t help matters, either. The biggest effect Eric had was providing flanking to Sirus, who due to the Vexing Flanker feat, got a +4 bonus to attacks when flanking. That aid allowed Sirus to “mist” one vampire spawn, though shortly thereafter the Fighter/Cleric was slain by gaining his 4th negative level. Then the remaining vampire spawn that had still been between them turned its attentions on Eric. The monk spent a round or two full attacking with Flurry of Blows while repositioning with 5-foot steps to get into a position from where he could withdraw. His flurries generally failed to hit, and him hitting once every two rounds was, as mentioned before, effectively meaningless. He even exclaimed in frustration about it being BS that they were fighting monsters with 50+ hit points… to which the more experienced players responded that they don’t… but they kept quiet on the metagame knowledge Eric wouldn’t have about the fast healing.

The one chance Eric had to be really useful was the round before he withdrew. He could have 5-foot stepped such that he fell down through the trap door into the crawlspace, where the vampire spawns’ coffins are located. Maybe then someone could have actually destroyed one of them… But alas, the Monk instead decided to withdraw into a boxed-in position in the northeast part of the workshop. The next round the vampire followed him through the mist (I rolled a d3 to see which square it blindly headed for… by chance it followed directly after the Monk), and slammed him right then, or possibly the round after that, inflicting a 4th negative level on Eric the Monk, killing him.

Name of PC: Jair
Class/Level: Human Sorcerer 4
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Obscuring Mist
Story: Same encounter as the three deaths above. When initiative was rolled, Jair was still out in the alleyway. He actually did pretty well, given the situation presented to him. He initially delayed, hoping for Eric the Monk to move further into the room, and make the square just inside the hole open for others to start filing into the room. Instead, Eric tried to flee, and in doing so was criticaled, and dropped, unconscious, into the hole, largely blocking it. Jair made the best of the situation and whipped out Targeting Ray, which ignores anything but total cover. Over two rounds, he snaked two of those rays into the workshop, and dealt 12 & 18 points of electricity damage (2 & 8 points, after the resistance the Sorcerer didn’t know about) to one of the vampire spawn.

After the Obscuring Mist was cast by Killgore, Jair really found himself neutered. The first round of the mist, he delayed, not really knowing what he could do, but came back into initiative later in the round, after Sirus moved southeast, opening up the space just inside the hole. Jair stepped through, and found the wall-crawling vampire spawn threatening him… and learned the real extent of how much the Obscuring Mist screwed him over. He could attack with a melee touch spell, but would have to cast defensively to do so, or he could attack with a ranged spell, provoking attacks of opportunity for either the casting and/or the ranged attack while threatened (since he can only see targets within 5 feet, he couldn’t attack very effectively from outside their threatened areas), or he could pull out an alchemy flask of some sort, but those largely suffered the same issues as the ranged spells.

After dithering on how to proceed for a bit, he ended up attempting to defensively cast Shocking Grasp. He failed the Concentration check by 3; the vampire would have resisted much of the damage anyway… The round after that, he activated one of his brand new items: a necklace of vermin, which he used to summon a Giant Wasp. With a damage value of 1d3+6, the wasp did actually do damage to the vampire each time it hit, but not enough that it made much of a difference once the vampire spawn’s fast healing was factored in. Also, he directed the vermin to attack the wall-crawling vampire… he was the one that had inflicted 3 negative levels on the Monk, so he had a nice, large buffer of 15 temporary hit points, making him the single “beefiest” foe in the room.

The next two rounds, Jair the alchemy-focused Sorcerer pulled out flasks of holy water. It should be noted that I’d implied several times to the party of PC’s living in an imp-infested city that they really should all be carrying holy water… At least one of them followed that advice. I was even exceedingly nice, and allowed Jair to uncork the flasks, and attack with them as melee touch attacks, so he could avoid the AoO’s that throwing them would provoke. He hit once for a small bit of damage. After those two rounds, the wall-crawling vampire spawn succeeded in grappling Jair (this was before Killgore had succumbed, so things were looking dire, but not hopeless yet). Jair was taking Con drain much faster than Killgore was (rolls of 3 on average), though right at the end, after two of the party members were already dead, Jair did miraculously succeed in breaking the vampire’s pin, thus holding off his Con drain death for one more round. Two rounds after Eric’s death, Jair was drained and killed.

Honorable Mention
Name of NPC: WH (short for What’s His nuts)
Class/Level: 4 HD Medium Earth Elemental
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Following his foolish master
Story: Same encounter as the other deaths. WH was the earth elemental companion of Killgore the Urban Druid (ACF from Complete Mage). In short summary, he spent the whole fight battling beside his master, and did actually “mist” one of the vampire spawn. In many of the party’s previous encounters, WH was the biggest bad ass bruiser in the group. It’s Earth Mastery ability, combined with fighting in the Dead Warrens, or in cobblestoned streets, and the Bard’s bardic music ability, meant he was usually attacking at +10 melee for 1d8+9 damage.

Well, in this fight they were in a wood-floored workshop, so his ability to escape by earth gliding straight down into the floor was gone, and he was missing out on Earth Mastery. Combined with a negative level inflicted early in the fight, the vampire spawns’ damage reduction, and lower-than-normal rolls on damage, and he wasn’t as much of a bad ass as he usually was.

After “misting” the first vampire spawn, he turned his attention to the vampire spawn sucking the blood of his druid master. In the end, the resisted damage of his and the bard’s attacks failed to overly injure the grappling undead. Once Killgore was dead, WH went berserk, attacking as best he could. Once he received his 3rd negative level, he tried to flee though the storefront, but aimed for the front door, and was impeded when he found it locked (the bard had previous come around to the front, and entered by breaking the display window). That miscalculation gave the vampire spawn, who had now slain everyone except the Bard (who was the only one to escape, back out through the broken display window) ample time to catch up, miss with its slam attack, but then hit with an AoO as WH tried to head out the window, inflicting a 4th negative level, slaying the elemental.


It should be noted that it is less than 10 minutes before sundown, and two of the PC’s and the elemental were slain by Energy Drain… so later this evening, they will rise as wights (though I am debating having the elemental companion rise as a Necromental from Libris Mortis instead).

The Bard flees into the long shadows of Old Korvosa’s streets. He will have to recruit a new party to go recover his friends' bodies, and their gear. As he flees, he starts to fret, as he's not sure WHO had the signed letter from Field Marshal Kroft, that allowed the party to get past the quarantine blockade... That valuable piece of paper is likely still in the toy shop...

That is... epic tomfoolery!

And yeah, in all my years I've rarely seen Obscuring Mist used to the benefit of the party. We had a sorceress so fond of it (and really hampering the melee characters and neutering the ranged ones) that the first time she went to negative HP no one in the party was willing to stabilize her and she bled out.

The player tried to make a new sorceress and give her Obscuring Mist, and we told the player, "No, you're never allowed to learn that spell again."

It's a party-wiper, and waaaaaaay too many arcane casters use it as an, "I'm in danger! I'll cast it to get away regardless of the impact on my companions!" spell.

Name of PC: Birch
Race: Human
Class/Level: Slayer 7
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Location: The Inner Sanctum
Catalyst: Playing Possum

The Gory Details:
My Party of 6 very competent players has been steamrolling most combats, so I pumped up the Chapter 2 finale by having the Leukodaemon with Andaisin and 6 undead monks.

The Party was doing fairly well, although taking a fair amount of damage, when Birch ended up on the receiving end of the Leukodaemon's Harm spell and somehow ended up prone, I think after being tripped by one of the monks. Rather than getting up and provoking an attack of opportunity, Birch played dead, right in front of the Leukodaemon as it cast its cloud of flies. She was killed instantly.

The Party's monk is Violet, who is also Birch's twin sister. In their background, Birch was kidnapped as an infant and the two sisters had only recently reunited. Unfortunately, Violet's player stepped out shortly after the final combat started for a family obligation, but turned her over to another player. That person had Violet flying kick the Leukodaemon, hitting with all her flurry of blows, including a crit that killed it. The rest of the battle went their way, and they killed Andaisin.

As luck would have it, Violet's player returned just as the combat ended. She keeps a campaign journal, and in it another player had written in the middle of a blank page, "I avenged my sister." Without saying anything, they handed Violet's player her journal. When she read the new entry she burst into tears. I described how a forlorn Majenko settled on Birch's chest and wrapped a wing around her lifeless head, and most of the other players started tearing up as well. We ended after they carried Birch's body back to Zellara's apartment, which they used as their base of operations.

The first part of the next session we role-played the journey of Birch's soul to the Boneyard, including a meeting with a Catrina psychopomp, and Pharasma offered Birch resurrection in exchange for her service. Meanwhile, the Party had taken Birch's body to Bishop d'Bear, and the Party's sorcerer rolled a natural 20 on his Diplomacy check to convince the high priestess to raise her. Birch refused Pharasma's offer (as Pharasma expected) but the goddess allowed her to be raised. However, it came at the cost of being judged and being cursed to serve as her "sister's shield" (Birch takes 20% of Violet's damage) until she slays the spirit of Mandraivus and puts him to rest.

The players loved the whole experience, and I was really gratified to see how seriously they take their characters, instead of just "oh well, time to roll up another character."

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Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be back here this quickly…

Name of PC: Grim
Class/Level: Human Paladin 4
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Lack of planning; failure to retreat
Story: Last week’s surviving Bard recruited a new set of adventurers to go slay Vampire Spawn, and collect lots of loot from the slain party members. For whatever reason, they decided to head back the very same night (about two hours later; after sundown). The surviving Rogue 2/Bard 2 had only used two uses of Bardic Music in the previous fight (he has 6 per day), one spell, and he had not been injured in the combat.

So the party is told what the Bard knows of the Vampire Spawn’s tactics, and makes some of their own Knowledge (Religion) checks before going in, learning that Vampire Spawn have fast healing. In discussion with Grim’s player over the week, I told him that it might be a good idea to inform his less-tactically-minded party mates about the importance of focusing fire. Him making the Knowledge check to learn of their fast healing should have really enforced the importance of bringing that topic up while they were making their assault plan. He did not do so.

Their plan consisted of a Hide from Undead spell for three of the five party members (note that it ends for everyone once any of them attack), and splitting the party, with three going in the front, and two going in the side, through the hole in the wall. It was nighttime by now, and no one noticed the vampire spawn look-out on the roof across the street. It watched a cat familiar, and two of the new PC’s wandering down the alleyway, and sort of inspecting the bodies. Bodies that had once again been piled to conceal the hole in the wall. Upon seeing this, those two PC’s decided to backtrack to the front of Giotorri’s Toys, and enter through the broken display window, like the rest of the party.

I gave those two PC’s, and the cat familiar, an opportunity to notice the vampire spawn on the roof as he moved to continue watching them as they went around the front. One of them heard a boot scuff, and then the spawn shrieked out a warning to the awake vampire spawn in the building. Despite the alarm, the party cast another set of buff spells and pressed on, with Grim the Paladin opening the door to the workshop, and stepping through, followed by a spiked chain-wielding barbarian.

In the back room of the toy store they saw a wight sitting on the stool by the work bench. Sirus’ risen corpse, still wearing the banded mail armor that the vampire spawn had no use for. (Note that while this made the wight’s AC a hefty 21, it also imposed a massive –7 penalty to his attacks, since wights are not proficient with armor…)

This first round is just combat between the wight and the two PC warriors. The vampire spawn were taking a round to get into position below the trap door, and the rest of the party stayed back in the front room of the toy shop. The wight lost half its hit points to a chain attack from the barbarian, but then struck back with a Nat 20, though the crit did not confirm… one negative level inflicted upon the barbarian.

Grim struck a blow to the wight; it was barely above 1/4 its full hit points. Then the vampire spawn went. They leapt out of the crawlspace in exactly the same fashion as last time, with three of the four vampire spawn using their Domination abilities. The barbarian failed his save. Grim the paladin failed one of the two saves he had to make, but thankfully had cast a Protection from Evil spell shortly before entering the back room.

Between a Dominated Barbarian party member, a handful of vampire spawn, and a well-armored wight that he never could quite finish off, Grim met a very grisly end a few rounds later. Multiple times he rolled a 19 to hit versus the Wight’s armored AC of 21. The wight never did hit him, I don’t think. But Grim ended up flanked by three vampire spawn, plus his chain-wielding Dominated party mate. After a few rounds slowly creeping down toward the inevitable, a Vampire Spawn struck a blow that knocked the Paladin unconscious. The vampire told the Dominated Barbarian to go stand in the corner, then the vampires dog piled the downed Paladin. It was a race to see how much blood they could drain before he died, or the wight level drained him to death. In the end, he died from a combination of Con drain stacking the hurt upon his hit point loss.

Name of PC: Uté
Class/Level: Human Shoanti Wizard 1/Archivist 3
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Lack of planning; failure to retreat soon enough
Story: Same encounter as Grim’s death, above. While the Paladin and the Barbarian pressed into the room containing the wight, Uté positioned himself to see through the open door leading from the toy store into the workshop. When the Vampire Spawn sprang up from the trap door, and took positions on the west side of the room, he decided to lock them down with a Web spell (he had access to this spell from the Precocious Apprentice feat). However, three of the four vampire spawn succeeded on their Reflex saves, and on their following turn, Uté learned, to his horror, how useless Web is against vampire spawn… as they turned to mist and just wafted their way out of the webbing, and into advantageous tactical positions. Sure, one took a hit from Grim’s AoO with a magical longsword… no matter.

However, before the vampires turned into mist, the vampire spawn that had been watching from across the street popped up in the broken display window; he had come down after seeing the whole party enter the toy store. He used his Domination ability on the Ranger, who had been hanging out in the back of the party, shooting over the Wizard/Archivist’s shoulder, at the Wight in the next room. One failed Will save later, and Uté’s attention was distracted by his own new party mate firing an arrow at the back of his head (and missing… Uté’s AC was buffed to the max).

One of the gaseous form vampires that had escaped the Web floated into the front room of the toy shop, and the next round solidified up on the wall, above Uté’s head. Uté avoided the creature’s AoO as he backed away and started summoning a hippogriff. He and the bard fought off the mental assaults of the vampires’ Domination abilities (thankfully they both also had Protection from Evil cast upon them). The summoned hippogriff arrived and full-attacked the wall-climbing vampire spawn; since it did not achieve any forward movement during its turn, it promptly fell down upon the Bard, inflicting 2 points of damage and trapping him under its bulk.

More Domination-fueled arrows were slung toward Uté, but his buffed AC, plus the cover provided by the shop counter and the hippogriff ensured that the scholarly spellcaster was all but unhittable… at least from that angle… As the Hippogriff moved to reposition itself, the wall-crawling vampire spawn scampered over to take position on the ceiling directly above Uté. She struck, dealing damage and a negative level.

Too late, Uté decided it was time to retreat. His attempt to flee drew an attack of opportunity from the vampire spawn on the ceiling. She hit, downing the Archivist to –1 hit points. As the Bard fled once again out the shop’s broken display window, the vampire descended upon the unconscious Shoanti scholar. She cared little for the hippogriff’s attacks, and before long, Uté was slain from a combination of Constitution drain and hit point loss.

Honorable Mention
Name of PC: Blayze
Class/Level: Human Shoanti Barbarian 2/Fighter 2
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Domination
Story: Same encounter as the the others. Blayze failed his first Will save against Domination and became a hindrance to his party forthwith. Once Grim was down, and the vampires began dog piling him in a bloody frenzy, he was ordered to stand in the corner.

I did not torture my players with playing out what will become of Blayze and the Ranger. The vampire spawn will likely keep them around as daytime guards, and slowly drain their blood over the next several days. It is possible whatever new set of adventurers the Bard can gather together can save them before their final demise.

Honorable Mention
Name of PC: Vayne
Class/Level: Human Ranger 4
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Domination
Story: Same encounter as the the others. Vayne failed his first Will save against Domination and became a hindrance to his party. We effectively ended the encounter, and the session, before he was given any new orders, or dealt with in any other way. His fate is likely to be similar to that of Blayze.

In truth, I always forget about the secondary save that they added to Domination in 3.5 (it did not exist in 3.0), so I did forget to give Blayze and Vayne opportunities to make a secondary save with a +2 bonus when they were ordered to attack their own party mates. Oh well, sh*t happens. I will have the vampire spawn “forget” to concentrate on the Domination effects over the next day, so they will get a chance to throw off the compulsion the next night. Maybe they will survive as characters, to return to the party once more.

KSB Snow Owl wrote:
For whatever reason, they decided to head back the very same night...

"We got wiped by a group of nocturnal creatures. Let's go back... at night..."

Words fail me...

KSB Snow Owl wrote:
...and splitting the party...

Words double-fail me...

NobodysHome wrote:
KSB Snow Owl wrote:
For whatever reason, they decided to head back the very same night...

"We got wiped by a group of nocturnal creatures. Let's go back... at night..."

Words fail me...

The thought of so many PC deaths makes me cringe, but it does sound like they're just asking for trouble! I go the opposite route and try to avoid PC deaths, so they're more impactful if it does happen, but geez, sometimes the players are their own worst enemies!

Egads, that's horrific.

Perhaps time to just hang things up? Or just explain that the new party will be concentrating on other things.

If they really want to go back, have it be three strikes and end of campaign if they go down again

I am happy to report that the third time was the charm. Two new characters (an Undead Turning-focused full cleric, and a replacement Wiz/Archivist), plus I was exceedingly nice, and the vampires "forgot" to concentrate on the Domination effects for two days, and the two Dominated PC's broke free after 48 hours of mental enslavement.

The party actually went in with a plan, and though the plan didn't exactly work out the way they were hoping, they were able to pull things off with the worst casualty being the new cleric gaining two negative levels (there will be plenty of time to get that handled magically in-game next session). This is the first time they have had a full cleric since Agnar was eaten by Gobblegut at level 1. A Sun Domain greater turning smoked three of the vampire spawn, and the other two had already been turned the round before.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Name of PC: Aerus
Class/Level: Skald 5/dragon disciple 2
Adventure: Escape From Old Korvosa
Catalyst: Jawing off at Jabbyr
Story: The Harrowed Heroes ended up at the Emperor's court, and after winning a game of blood pig, they earned the right to meet with Salvator Scream. However, before they were allowed up into Swastel's back rooms, Aerus, the Shoanti warrior with more than a bit of blue dragon blood in his veins, shouted for the people of Old Korvosa to rise up against the tyrant. Unsurprisingly, Pilts ordered their deaths.

What transpired was a battle on several fronts - four of the Emperor's thugs lobbed axes at them from the south, while four more plus Pilts and his executioner attempted to kill them from the north. Jabbyr was a surprisingly tough combatant, taking a surprising amount of wounds and dishing out plenty in return with his beheading axe. Pilts' rod of wonder ended up living up to its name, in that we wondered why he called it that when it was clearly a rod of fireballs - it launched two blasts of flame back-to-back, catching most of the group both times, including several of his men. Between that, and the hefty wounds Jabbyr was throwing out, Aerus ended up with two massive rents in his chest, quite dead.

Laori Vaus, for the first time, watched as Aerus fell, and the everpresent smile on her face vanished. She directed her gaze at the Emperor of Old Korvosa, and then called down a pillar of flame upon him. He did not survive.

Following this, the morale of the thugs broke, and they fled the field. Laori happened to have prepared a raise dead just in case, so she gladly cast it to bring Aerus back.

So, yeah, one of my party members is a Shoanti warrior and is part blue dragon. Either he's read enough of the AP to know these are broad themes, or he managed to luck into this, but I cannot wait until we get to Book 4. And yeah - he is distantly related to Kazavon. No question about that.

And Laori Flame Strikes the crowd again.

Always seems to be an "issue" in this book. :-P

And Misroi, what are you doing still running this AP? Hasn't it been like 7 years now?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nope! I finished Runelords about a year and a half ago, and we started in on the second AP after that with the same crew. My current (insane) plan is to skip to Shattered Star after this, and then finish up with Return of the Runelords.

Misroi wrote:
Nope! I finished Runelords about a year and a half ago, and we started in on the second AP after that with the same crew. My current (insane) plan is to skip to Shattered Star after this, and then finish up with Return of the Runelords.

I'd've loved to do that, but when Hi quit it pretty much shut down our ThFrSa game.

Of course, I LOVE having the time back, but oh, I miss those RotRL days!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, like I said, this plan is thoroughly insane and probably won't happen, especially since I won't get to Shattered Star for at least another year and a half!

Grand Lodge

It has been a while since the last death in my game. Nate having been the only one to die, and he did that twice. Someone new has had the honor of a death.

Name of PC: Carpian Hat
Race: Human
Class/Level: Cleric (Desna) 12
Adventure: A History of Ashes
Location: Bolt Rock
Catalyst: A very hungry bulette

The Trial of the Totem was going well. A couple of hick ups with Urixi’s totem falling, but Nate helped her out. Then in the afternoon the unthinkable happened. They were discovered by some hungry bulettes. The fight was on. The party was bravely fighting just to hold the ground. Nate and Urixi doing a lot of the heavy lifting with sword and fire. Carpian was keeping Nate and everyone else in the fight with cure, neglecting himself. Then he had just finished healing Nate when a land shark did their signature leaping pounce scoring a critical with the bite and hitting with all four claws. Carpian was down and out. The rest of the party cleaned up the bulette.

Carpian has since been raised.

More offerings for the pile.

Name of PC: Gisela Vess
Race: Aasimar
Class/Level: Sorcerer (Celestial) 9
Adventure: Escape from Old Korvosa
Location: Vivified Labyrinth, Areas E6 and E8, across all 4 rotations.
Catalyst: Getting split from the group.

As Sivit began spinning the Labyrinth herself, Meliya-as-Vencarlo began plotting a new route to get the group out, subtly convincing them to hang out in E4 for a minute. Unfortunately, Gisela did not join the group, and was split from them when Sivit rotated the Labyrinth again... bringing the two into the same area.

The Darksphinx toyed with her for a bit, and even accepted a tribute and offer of service from Gisela, but was set off by the obvious lie when the aasimar alleged that Lord Glorio Arkona had been captured and tortured into confessing the existence of the Labyrinth, and that that is why she and the rest of the party had come. One casting of poison and two (as a result of mirror images) full attacks later...

Name of PC: Vayneglorious Rex (aka - Vayne)
Class/Level: Human Ranger 6/Scout1
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Misjudging a monster’s reach; deciding to risk an AoO rather than take a –2 penalty with a thrown flask of holy water, and “splitting” from the party.
Story: The previous session had ended on the perfect cliffhanger. They had slain Andaisin, and looted her body. After a minute or two, once they had moved their attention over to the slain Juju Zombies, one of them noticed thin streams of the seven corruptions had begun to pool around the dead priestess’ body, and then that body began to twitch…

The fight with “Daughter Andaisin” was a tough one. There were several buff spells still active on her corpse (spells don’t end just because the target or the caster died…) and I had a party of six PC’s, so my way of boosting the encounter to account for that was to make sure that every buff spell Andaisin had that was still running, was still running on her body when it was raised as a Daughter of Urgathoa. It should also be noted that my PC’s had made it all the way to the Hall of Pestilence the day before, and retreated when faced with the Leukodaemon that had been broken out of its containment tank, and disarmed the barbarian of the bow on his back, and also faced a second Leukodaemon that the real one had successfully summoned. Also, my players had opened the “Flask of True Healing” more than once… Everyone in the party except the Bard was secretly suffering a –2 penalty to all d20 rolls from the Flask of Curses. I would often forget to apply this penalty in my head the first time or two of a new session, but it was making everything a lot harder for the party.

The party was clustered around the entrance to the Inner Sanctum when Daughter Andaisin rose up, and they largely remained there, with the bard slowly retreating into the western hallway. After hitting Daughter Andaisin with a flask of holy water the first round of combat, Vayne resorted to his bow, rapid shotting to usually only hit her massive AC of 32 once per round (since the party had nearly gotten to her, and then retreated the day before, she was able to speak with the freed Leukodaemon, after dispelling the summoned one, and subduing the massively injured one that had been freed… and learned from it much of the party’s tactics. She changed a few of her prepped spells, and thus when Daughter Andaisin rose, she was already under the effects of Shield of Faith, Cat’s Grace, and her potion of Barkskin). Vayne began slowly maneuvering around the south side of the central pool (Daughter Andaisin was on the north side), and over several rounds got over “behind” the Daughter of Urgathoa, happy to finally not suffer any cover that would make the monster harder to hit. He pulled out a flask of holy water as he approached, and vacillated back and forth between throwing his flask from 10 feet away (within the first range increment for the flask) or from 15 feet away (in the second range increment, and thus suffering a –2 penalty). He was tired of penalties, so he opted for the first, understanding that his attack would go off, so long as he survived her AoO attack.

He immediately regretted his choice, and tried to argue I should let him change his action. No, you don’t get to change your mind after I just rolled a Nat 20 on my AoO. I confirmed it with another Nat 20, and confirmed that with another attack roll (one of our few house rules is an alteration of the “instant death rule,” where if you roll two Nat 20’s, and then confirm again, the critical’s multiplier increases by 1). So, the Bull’s Strength-buffed Daughter Andaisin (the monster’s stat block is short several spell slots; I filled it in with Bull’s Strength at 2nd level) critted with her Great Claw attack, dealing 3d8+36 thanks to the extra Nat 20 making it a x3 critical. She dealt 46 points of damage, dropping the Ranger deep into unconsciousness.

The fight raged on for another two rounds, during which other party members were healing and stabilizing other fallen party members, but Vayne was too far away to get to. Daughter Andaisin had struck Sal the Mystic Theurge, and blinded him with Blinding Sickness. The party Barbarians finally started hitting some (I was often forgetting to mentally apply their cursed –2 to their attack rolls… but then the newb Barbarian had forgotten to Rage, so it evened out in the end) and a Holy Storm was calling down holy rain upon the undead horror for the past several rounds. Daughter Andaisin found herself at 13 hit points, and had the option of casting an Inflict Light Wounds spell, or Deathknell to gain some temporary hit points, and kill a hero in the process. Being evil, she opted for the latter. She cast deathknell, struck the Ranger who was laying on the ground, bleeding, behind her, and Vayne failed his Will save. Daughter Andaisin sucked the last fragments of life out of his body, leaving only a corpse.

The party destroyed her before she got another turn.

Name of PC: Sal
Class/Level: Human Wizard (Focused Conjurer) 1/Archivist 3/Mystic Theurge 3
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Foolishly drinking unidentified things while injured
Story: The party destroyed the Daughter of Urgathoa, and solemnly gathered up their fallen comrade, Vayne, along with all the loot from the room. Then they began slowly working their way back to the cargo lift, looting everything along the way. Sal was blind, but he had survived the fight, despite being knocked unconscious by the blow that had infected him with blinding sickness. He made great use of his Touch of Healing reserve feat to get himself and everyone else in the party back up to full health before they left the Inner Sanctum.

They looted the bodies in the Hall of Pestilence, then those in the Blood Vats room, then they opened the door to Ramoska Arkminos’ laboratory, to see if the Nosferatu had stayed true to his word, and left the injured and diseased Ruan behind (the party had left the day before… giving Ramoska time to conduct his experiment; Ruan was infected with about half a dozen different diseases), honoring his deal with the party. The undead scientist had honored their agreement, and the Bard trickled a potion of Remove Disease down the young man’s throat, curing his afflictions. The levers on the table were illegible to the Bard, but he was knowledgable enough about the humans in this region to know that the words were written in Varisian. The only party member who could read Varisian was Sal… who was now blind.

Still, they proceeded intelligently, healing Ruan quite a bit before operating the levers, and they chose correctly, loosening one of them on the first try, and then did the same with all the other levers, getting the young musician out without inflicting any injury.

The party proceeded all the way back to the Doctor’s Indoctrination, otherwise known as the physicians’ coat closet, and busted into the locked cabinet. They found several onyx gems, and four potion flasks. The Bard sipped the first one and tried to identify it with a DC 25 Spellcraft check, but failed. Sal gave it a try, also failing. Realizing Sal was the most likely to succeed, the Bard asked him to proceed with testing the remaining three flasks; Sal agreed. The very next one was the cursed Potion of Poison. I called for a Fort save, and he made it. The party gathered up all the rest of the doctor’s outfits, and got into the cargo lift to head back aboveground. I called for a second Fortitude save from Sal, and he failed. I rolled to see how much of the 1d10 Constitution damage he took… 10 points. A ten point drop in Con means a character loses 5 hit points per hit die (caveat that you must always receive at least one hit point for each level, no matter your Con penalty… but that’s full-health; damage could still kill you…) As a 7th level character, that means his hit points just dropped by 35. That would not have been a problem if he had been at his full health of 41 hit points. But after the battle with Daughter Andaisin, he had only healed himself back up to half (20 hp’s), which is the max his freely-usable Touch of Healing feat would allow. (Never mind the fact they had several wands of Cure Moderate Wounds...) But his injuries, combined with his sudden loss of Constitution dropped his hit points below –10, and he was struck dead instantly.

It was a sad day for the party. They nearly all made it through alive. But "nearly" only counts in horse shoes and holy water.

Campaign Total: 11 PC deaths.
Agnar, Davoth, Maze, Killgore, Sirus, Eric, Jair, Grim, Uté, Vayne, and Sal, with the honorable mention of WH the Elemental Companion.
There is one original character still alive from the start of the campaign (the Rogue/Bard).

Another entry for the pile!

Name: Sagrados Rumoria
Race: Catfolk
Class/Level: Unchained Rogue (Scout) 11
Adventure: A History of Ashes
Location: Flameford
Catalyst: Flameford Assault; attempting to solo the boss

The Gory Details:
During the Flameford Assault, Gisela's new character, a Sable Marine hippogriff rider, was raining down destruction upon the assaulting Assassins — enough so that several fled into the yurts to hide out of sight while the Cinderlander worked on bringing her to ground.

The Ranger and Magus focused on the Cinderlander and a small cluster of assassins near him. Sagrados, however, pursued Cinnabar and one of her assassins. A few attacks later and the cat was sashimi.

Grand Lodge

Name of PC: Nate Marlow
Race: Human
Class/Level: Fighter 13
Adventure: Skeletons of Scarwall
Location: B10 Eastern Officer’s Quarters
Catalyst: Knurlott and the critical hit and an opps from the Septimus.

(Caveat: I had decided that the same affect that traps soul for a dying character has the same save DC of 25 [not 23 as written] that strips Zellara from the deck.)

The alchemist, Septimus, open the door and Nate stepped into the doorway. Nate observes a Knurlott sitting on his bed, greatsword across his lap. Knurlott looks up at the sound of the door opening and sees Nate, stands at the same time he yells “This time I shall not fail you, Master Kazavon!”.

(Initiative, Septimus, Carpian the Desna Cleric, Nate, Knurlott, Urixi, the sorcerer)

The first to go is Septimus who throws two bombs at Knurlott, forgetting to avoid Nate with the splash. Knurlott takes a third of his hit points in damage, Nate ends up taking 13 points of splash. Next to go is Carpian, who casts the spell searing light, hitting Knurlott square in the chest stripping way another huge amount of hit points with an above average amount of damage. Nate them closes with Knulott and smacks him for a 72-point critical, taking Knutlott down to 18 hit points.

Knurlott, attacks and hits Nate three times, one a critical. The damage is above average and incredible, and Nate is dropped to negative 22 hit points (his constitution is only 19) and expires. Nate makes his will save to avoid his soul being trapped inside the walls of Scarwall and rolls a 24, missing the DC by 1. Nate’s soul is trapped in the walls.

Urixix casts a maximized, selective fireball that finished off Knurlott.

Now I have to figure out how to get a new character into the party that is stuck inside Scarwall due to this change I made.

Name of PC: Blayze
Class/Level: Human Barbarian 8/Fighter 2
Adventure: A History of Ashes
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: Foolishly wandering off alone in Kaer Maga to go drinking, for days on end.
Story: Blayze contined on with his second day of foolish drunkenness in the taverns of Kaer Maga, challenging people to drinking competitions. As I had done the day before, I had him roll 4 Fort saves just to see how he was doing. The third one was abysmally bad (below a 10), while the 4th was not great (only a 19), but still high enough that it would succeed versus most liquors, even after multiple drinks in the hour. In the end, the one failure resulted in him suffering 2 points of Dex damage and 1 point of Wisdom damage. (Alcohol rules from 3.0's Arms and Equipment Guide.)

I should mention that he was worried about getting pick-pocketed while alone in Kaer Maga, so he left all his magical gear in the party's inn room (the Unseen Seer was there all day scribing a spell into his spellbook). Blayze went about his day with only his back-up non-magical spiked chain, and a handful of coins to use in buying alcohol.

A chain-wrapped Shoanti challenging people to drinking games isn’t an especially difficult mark to track down for a group of feared assassins… and other members of the party were leaving a fairly noticeable presence of their passing as they traveled north (the party half-orc had stopped in at a tannery in Harse, asking the tanner to shrink the heads of Vimanda, Sivit, and Senshiir, which he had collected in the previous adventure...) The red mantis were also having occasional success scrying the half-orc, and two days earlier had been watching as the party walked through the massive, populated wall of Kaer Maga, and entered the Core to find an inn in the district of Hospice. There had also been failed attempts at scrying the party cleric, and a noticed successful scrying attempt on the half-orc in the party's inn room the previous day, but my PC's were oblivious to the implied danger of wandering off alone...

Three assassins entered the tavern’s main room, one from each entrance (front, back, kitchen), and Blayze was still sober enough to have noted their arrival (he rolled a Nat 20 on his Spot check), and so initiative was rolled. Blayze rolled a Nat 20, giving him a 21 or so on his initiative check. Unfortunately, the Red Mantis Assassins rolled a Nat 18, meaning they got a 23 on their initiative. The closest Red Mantis Assassin began his Prayer Attack, weaving his sawtooth sabre back and forth, successfully fascinating Blayze, who rolled only a 10 on his Will save. The Shoanti Barbarian sat there as the Red Mantis Assassin stepped up to him, noting with fascinated detachment as the patrons of the tavern backed away and hid behind furniture. Three rounds of fascination later, and the Red Mantis Assassin performed a coup de grace, inflicting 26 points of damage to the Barbarian. That was nothing in the grand scheme of his hit point total, but the resulting DC 36 Fort save was nearly unbeatable, as Blayze’s player noted. “You could always roll a Nat 20,” I replied…

...And he did! … There was much rejoicing.

The Mantis’ sawtooth sabre bit into the Shoanti Barbarian’s thick neck, but it did not decapitate him. Blayze was back in control of his wits and quick on his feet as he attempted to bull rush the Red Mantis Assassin out of the way of the door, so he could escape this lopsided fight. Blayze was an expert at this tactic, and pushed his way inside the assassin’s defenses… and was rebuffed. The Red Mantis Assassin had rolled a 20 on his defensive roll against Blayze’s bull rush, and the Shoanti rolled a Nat 1, which amounted to a 10 or so result on his Bull Rush attempt. In the panicked moment he had forgotten about the single Harrow Point he could have used to reroll any Strength check, and so his Bull Rush failed. Still, he had movement left, and failing a Bull Rush doesn’t technically end one’s moment, so far as I could find in the moment, and so he attempted to Tumble through the assassin’s square, so he could escape the kill box this tavern had become… He rolled a 23, missing the DC by 2. And so he was stuck in the tavern.

The other two Red Mantis Assassins did nothing but stand in their doorways, blocking them as a means of escape, and the assassin in the front door just began weaving his sawtooth sabre once again, and again Blayze failed the saving throw (he may have gotten a 16, which would beat the normal DC of 15, but I advanced my Red Mantis Assassins one level [I have 6 PC's], and used the granted feat slot to take the Ability Focus feat for their Prayer Attack, making the DC 18 for my Red Mantis Assassins). Three rounds of fascination later, and Blayze was subjected to a second coup de grace, this time for 34 points of damage, and requiring a DC 44 Fort save to survive. Again, only a Nat 20 would save him…

He rolled a 19 on the die. With that, Blayze was decapitated.

The Red Mantis Assassins took Blayze's head, so when a member of the party tracked him down later, the party's newly-purchased scroll of Raise Dead would not work to bring him back. Luckily, Blayze was sitting on a large sum of liquid coin (~20k gp), and had left all his gear in the party's room at the inn. The party performed a few divinations to determine if Blayze would want to come back or not, getting some non-specific results, and then purchased a scroll of Resurrection. We ended the session with the Cleric of Iomedea casting the scroll, and left it as a cliff-hanger as to if Blayze would come back to life or not.

The player is quite into role playing, and actually wants there to be something "wrong" when he comes back, so we will be drawing on the section from Heroes of Horror which has some suggestions of just how someone might come back "wrong."

Campaign Total: 12 PC deaths.
Agnar, Davoth, Maze, Killgore, Sirus, Eric, Jair, Grim, Uté, Vayne, Sal, and Blayze, with the honorable mention of WH the Elemental Companion.
There is one original character still alive from the start of the campaign (the Rogue/Bard).

I'll be starting a new CotCT campaign with the anniversary edition in about two to four weeks, depending on player attendance. <steeples fingers> Can't wait! <evil grin>

Name of PC: Thanatos

Race: Elf

Class/Level:Rogue 8

Adventure: History of Ashes (Mantis and Maiden)

Location: Deathhead Vault

Catalyst: Acrobatics check

Thanatos was new a PC to the group on this session (player a regular); a thief in the employment of Boule lent out to the party as a guide to the secret entrance into the Longacre building.

The group provoked battle with Koriantu, she splits the party trapping 4 out of 7 inside her blade barrier... she is outside of the spell.

The Monk using ki jumps off a table over the 20ft high wall of whirling blades. Thanatos attempts the same but does not manage to clear the wall... inflicting 10d6 of damage on himself (37) and killing him outright.

Thanatos we hardly knew ye.

Name: Marial “Mouse” Redfist
Race: Half-Elf
Class/Level: Brawler 9
Adventure: Escape from Old Korvosa
Location: The Vivified Labyrinth
Catalyst: Senshiir
The Story: The group was up close and personal with Senshiir’s whirling blades and Mouse took the brunt of one round’s full attack after landing some strong punches of her own. The next round, despite being sickened and subject to misfortune, Senshiir managed to crit Mouse with her longsword. Luckily, Senshiir fell immediately after and our shaman had prepared breath of life. It was an exciting moment (the first PC death of the game) and one that my players, amazing roleplayers and good sports, really made shine.

Grand Lodge


Name of PC: Cassian
Race: Human
Class/Level: Inquisitor 13

Name of PC: Urixi Standlehoff
Race: Human
Class/Level: Sorcerer 13

Name of PC: Carpian Hat
Race: Human
Class/Level: Cleric (Desna) 13

Name of PC: Septimus Smith
Race: Half Orc
Class/Level: Alchemist 13

Adventure: Skeletons of Scarwall
Location: D14. Lord’s Tower
Catalyst: Earlier Bad Decisions and Spammed Area Attacks

Three decisions made earlier contributed to the TPK. One was when Nate died the player brought in an Inquisitor, Cassian, that was definitely weaker than Nate and could never hope to fill his boots as the front-line fighter. The party did not have character that could get up in the monster’s face and hope to survive and do damage. Secondly, the two main damage dealing casters, Septimus and Urixi, failed their saves that morning and were unable to relearn/recover spells and spell slots, choose to go out and explore anyway. The third was Septimus was in possession of a cursed item that would not allow him to use his normal attacks, but instead use it.

The party returned to the Lord’s Tower having run into a bit of bad luck the day earlier with cursed glaive. The first encounter is with the Imps that were spotted right away, one of them getting to warn Nihil. Three of the remaining Imps died quickly, but the fourth took longer as the sorcerer let her familiar, Majenko, solo the fourth one. Majenko took 3 rounds to kill it. Meanwile Nihil and her crew were buffing.

The party then proceeds to kick in the door to the Lord’s Tower. Nihil lets loose with a chain lightning. The damage is huge, and a couple of the party miss their saves. The Bone Devil (from D18) attacks Septimus in the doorway. The two Barbed Devils each cast Order’s Wraith. Suffice it to say the party is now in dire straights and Majenko is irrevocably dead. Initiative happens and for the most part, does not go in the party’s favor.

Nihil cast Horrid Wilting which, again does some huge damage. Carpian fails his save and is killed out right. Septimus attacks with the cursed glaive and Cassian buffs. The Bone Devil steps back from Sepitmus and hits him with his scythe. The Barbed Devils cast Unholy Blight, putting all the party members close to death. At this point the party decides to run.

Septimus leads the retreat followed by Urixi and Cassian is cut off. Cassian flies to the top of the tower’s ceiling and the barbed devils spam him with scorching rays killing him. Cassian falls the 40 feet and is irrevocably dead. The Bone devil pursues Septimus, who ran down the stairs and the barbed devils pursue Urixi.

Urixi has enough left in her to kill one of the barbed devils (the summoned one) and forcing the other to retreat. Meanwhile Septimus can’t escape as Nihil uses discern location and then teleports ahead of him cutting him off. Septimus, forced to solo Nihil dies quickly.

Urixi, out off spells manages to fly and escape to the main gates of the castle. Pulling out a couple scrolls of sending, calls for help from the Korvosa resistance and Laori (who they sent on a shopping trip a few days earlier). Nihil and the Bone Devil find Urixi and she goes down in a last stand.

Now, party is coming back due to Laori and some divine intervention by Zon-Kuthon. There will of course be consequences to the party for Zon-kuthon having to get directly involved.

A little snippet of what Laori did.

Having finished the shopping trip to get some needed supplies for her “friends” and Nate. She was shadow walking back to Scarwall when she received an urgent sending from, of all people, Urixi. The Scarwall expedition had failed. She tried to return the sending but knew it did not go through. “Damn spell not working reliably across planes. They were probably all dead.”

Laori makes it back to the camp where Sial was waiting. As she rushes in, her words coming out at 1000 miles an hour, it took Sial a few moments to understand what was going on. “Shush Laori, lets just go see what has happened”.

Laori, Sial, and Asyra make their way down the causeway to the gates. Just inside the gates they discover the remains of Urixi, well it had to be Urixi, she was the only female on the expedition. The body was all chopped up, but it was definitely female. The head was missing. Sial creates a pit and the trio make their way into the castle. The next body they find is Septimus, he was the only half orc. Again, all chopped up and the head missing.

At this point Laori kneels in prayer, beseeching Zon-Kuthon, “Prince of Pain, Dark Lord, Midnight Lord, grant me the strength, ability, and knowledge to find our heroes and safely get them out of here. Allow me the ability to circumvent the terrors and restrictions of Castle Scarwall. I offer up my body as payment.” There is a flash of light. Laori looks at Sial, “That should do it”. She giggles thinking about how exquisite the payment will be.

Following a blood trail leads them to Carpian next, the head missing, but the holy symbol of Desna laying amongst the body parts, tells who it is. As they find the body a large Devil appears and says “Excellent, more fodder to feed to the midnight Lord.” Laori brings up her holy symbol and brandishes it at Nihil, The Ashbringer, “We are servants of the Midnight Lord, here at his bidding, you will leave us be or know the wraith of The Prince of Pain. Now tell me where the fourth one lies!”

Nihil, The Ashbringer leads them to the tower room where the smashed body of Cassian lies. Laori approaches Cassian and looks at him with disdain. “This is not the one I am looking for. There was a tall, strong, handsome one with them, where is he?” Nihil, The Ashbringer replies “there was only the four, the half orc, the Desna priest, the witch, and this one”.

Laori thinks a moment as the rage builds inside her. Then, before Nihil can even blink, Laori brings down a pillar of fire on her. Nihil taken aback from the sudden and violent action of Laori, freezes. Laori again calls down retribution in the form of a hundred spinning blades, slicing Nihil. Sial begins casting a spell. Nihil casts a spell and the blades go away. Laori then cast a second flame strike on Nihil, but after the three spells already put on Nihil and seeing how little they have affected her, Laori realizes that she was not prepared for this fight.

Sial’s spell casting ends and three Kytons appear and attack Nihil, Asrya disappears. Sial starts casting again. Nihil’s casts another spell and Laori and Sial feel the water in their bodies evaporate in a most painful way, Laori giggles, Sial cries out in pain.

Laori then steps back, looks at Sial and says, “sorry”. Casts a spell and disappears.

Laori’s Word of Recall was supposed to bring her to Nidal, but she is not in Nidal. She has found herself in the most exquisite torture chamber she has ever seen. All sorts of implements of dealing pain. Some she has never seen before and is curious how they work. With a quick intake of breath, she realizes where she is!

The voice behind her says “Welcome dear one, it is time to pay the price. Kneel before the Midnight Lord”! Laori tuns and faces the Midnight Lord, Zon-Kuthon. A smile crosses her lips…

Grand Lodge

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The Wicked GM wrote:

It was an exciting moment (the first PC death of the game) and one that my players, amazing roleplayers and good sports, really made shine.

It is always awesome to have great role players that own the consequences of their actions.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Name of PC: Raza
Class/Level: Rogue 10 (Carnivalist)
Adventure: A History of Ashes (Mantis and Maiden)
Rules Set: PF1
Catalyst: Catoblepas
Story: After returning to Korvosa, the Harrowed Heroes made contact with the nascent rebellion, and learned of their ploy - Guildmaster Boule, head of the Cerulean Society, has arranged for a heavily ciphered document to fall into the hands of Kordaitra Destaid. That document was a ruse, but it was strongly ciphered enough to ensure that the second-in-command of the Gray Maidens would be in the Longacre House, so that a strike team could enter from the sewers, fight through their defenses, and strike a blow against the Despot Queen.

The Harrowed Heroes didn't even get that far before they ran into trouble. They ran into the catoblepas staked outside the secret entrance into the building, and half of them fell prey to its toxic breath. Riescu and Aurus were able to weather the effects of the poison, though both of them were in no shape to continue forwards that day. However, Raza, their halfling rogue, could not - while she struggled for health, the catoblepas' breath was too great, and she fell in the aftermath of that fight.

With one of their number dead and two severely weakened, they retreated to the Dead Warrens, preparing to use some of their wealth to restore Raza to life.

Catoblepas poison is ROUGH. 3 consecutive saves is basically saying you're going to take this 1d6 Con damage and like it.

I'm very behind on updating my list of character deaths...

Name of PC: Jorj
Class/Level: Whisper Gnome Rogue 3/Wizard 2/Unseen Seer 5
Adventure: A History of Ashes
Rules Set: D&D 3.5
Catalyst: The party foolishly decided to set a trap for the Red Mantis, in the same bar Blayze was beheaded in...
Story: The party was still in Kaer Maga, the same day Red Mantis Assassins had beheaded Blayze (see my previous post in this thread). They purchased a scroll of Resurrection, and succeeded in activating it and bringing Blayze back.

Since I'm running the original module, but planned on inserting Deathhead Vault from the Anniversary Edition, I treated the Cinderlands contingent of Red Mantis as having a Cinnabar equivalet as their captain, since Cinnabar herself would be in Deathhead Vault. Though I didn't use this captain's higher CR stat block in the solo encounter that resulted in Blayze's death, in my mind it was this captain that beheaded him, which meant he had Resurrection Sense, and would know if Blayze was brought back from the dead. The Red Mantis had also parted out Blayze's head (hair, teeth, eyelashes, etc), so any member could Scry him easily at just about any point.

After Resurrecting Blayze, then resting the night unaccosted, the party decided it was a good idea for the half-orc to head off with the bard, so Jayson the Bard could spread false info throughout taverns, about where the party was staying, where they were heading, etc., so as to confound the Red Mantis attempts to track the party down.

Shortly after those two left, some of the other party members convinced Blayze to go back to the tavern where he had been beheaded, and make a drunken ruckus, so hopefully the Red Mantis would hear of a large, drunk Shoanti with a spiked chain back in the same tavern, hoping to draw them into a trap...

As the party was headed that way through the city, Jorj the Unseen Seer noted a Scrying sensor following Blayze (thanks to his Detect Scrying spell) as the party walked through the streets. He succeeded on the caster level check to see back through the sensor, viewing a male RMA without his mask on, peering into his scrying device. It also allowed Jorj to note the direction and distance, and he realized the scrier was inside Kaer Maga, in the Bis district. He quickly told the party that he sensed where they scrier was, and they should use the info to go ambush the Red Mantis in their own hideout... except he said this while the scrying sensor was sitting right there... Yep, the Red Mantis quickly started packing up and got out of there... But, the captain continued to watch through the scrying.

Almost immediately after saying it, Jorj realized how dumb that was, so they decided to instead use the scrying sensor to trick the Mantis into coming to them. They headed back to the tavern in which Blayze had been beheaded the day before, and sat down and ordered drinks. Blayze sat at his same table, and the party readied to attack any Red Mantis Assassins that entered the tavern, then waited.

... What they weren't ready for was five Fiendish Giant Praying Mantises being summoned inside the tavern (as the tavern is inside one of the massive walls of Kaer Maga, it has no need for windows, just barred metal shutters to lock up at night; they would be open during business hours to get air circulation, allowing line of effect for the RMA's standing on the other side of the street). Combat began with the Shoanti Barbarian and the Cleric both getting grappled by the giant vermin. The Barbarian Enlarged himself with his magic belt, and the Eldritch Disciple of Asmodeus stepped over to hit him with a Freedom of Movement spell.

Three Red Mantis Assassins stepped into the three doorways, blocking any attempts to exit, and two of them weaving their sabres in Prayer Attacks, successfully fascinating both Blayze and Jorj. The two assassins standing outside yet, ordered the summoned giant mantises near the two fascinated PC's to switch targets, so as to not disrupt the fascination effects.

Blayze and Jorj stood motionlessly fascinated, while the priest of Asmodeus tried to free Blayze by casting a Resurgence spell to give him another save versus the Prayer Attack, but it did not work (note, I don't think they ever tried injuring the fascinated party mates to try waking them). The Cleric of Iomedae remained grappled by a Giant Praying Mantis, and the two sabre-weaving RMA's stepped closer to their fascinated targets, preparing to behead them. Another, invisible Assassin tumbled into the tavern, through a summoned giant mantis' space, and when noticed by the Disciple of Asmodeus (he has always-on See Invisibility), he tried to fascinate him, too. Luckily, Zi-irri the disciple of Asmodeus succeeded on his save. The cleric of Iomedae continued to get hammered in a grapple with a giant mantis, and the others failed to grab Zi-irri.

The Disciple of Asmodeus nailed the invisible Red Mantis Assassin with a Glitterdust, while the Cleric of Iomedae remained trapped in a grapple, and the others were fascinated. The RMA standing in the front door finally entered, and he and the invisible one both tried and failed to use their Prayer Attack on Zi-irri. But then one of the summoned Giant Praying Mantises finally succeeded in grappling the Asmodean priest.

Yeah, things got REAL dire for the party.

Blayze and Jorj remained fascinated, then Zi-irri escaped the grapple by using his once per day Teleport SLA (Fiendish Legacy feat) to cross the room, arriving spider climbing on the wall next to the grappled Cleric of Iomedae. The Cleric failed again to get out of the grapple, and with that, the Red Mantis Assassin's turns came...

One five-foot-stepped up to Blayze and swung her sabre in a coup de grace. However, he damage was abysmally low, triggering a mere DC 28 Fortitude save to survive. Blayze rolled a Nat 19, succeeding on the DC 28 Fort save. Zi-irri screamed out "Blayze the Thrice Beheaded!" as he has henceforth come to be nicknamed.

Jorj was not so lucky. The Red Mantis Assassin facing him also rolled poorly on her damage, inflicting only 20 points of damage, but Jorj failed the resulting DC 30 Fort save, and his head was swiftly lopped from his shoulders.

The summoned giant vermin resumed their attacks against the party (the Red Mantis Captain was the one across the street, having summoned the creatures), but their attacks were ineffective.

Blayze's mind was finally clear, and he injured the RMA that had been fascinating him, while Zi-irri cast another Freedom of Movement spell, which allowed the Cleric of Iomedae to escape the grapple later in the round. Immediately after he escaped, the duration of the summon ended, and all the Fiendish Giant Praying Mantises disappeared. The injured RMA near Blayze activated her Red Shroud ability, and attempted to fascinate Blayze again with a new Prayer Attack... and the Shoanti failed his save. He had a Benediction spell active on him, and expended it to gain a reroll of his saving throw... and still failed again.

The other three RMA's in the tavern tried to fascinate the two party clerics, but both made their saves. Blayze stood there fascinated, while Zi-irri pulled out a wand of Web, activating it with Use Magic Device, blanketing the tavern in movement-restricting webbing (but not for Zi-irri; his Warlock-granted Spider Climb makes him immune to the stickiness of a Web spell).

The details are not important hereafter. Every living party member could move through the webbing unimpeded, and Zi-irri scurried close enough to see the RMA fascinating Blayze. He cast a Wall of Fire around her, blocking line of sight from her to Blayze, ending the fascination effect. The Cleric of Iomedae called down a Flame Strike on a single RMA, as that was the only way to avoid any bar patrons and the party members.

Blayze succeeded on two or three more fascination saves, and slaughtered the two Assassins stuck in the middle of the tavern by the webbing. The one in the Wall of Fire ring stepped through it, surviving, and fled into the city. Once Zi-irri dismissed the Wall of Fire and was surprised to see the RMA missing, he and Blayze, and Magnus ran into the streets, trying to catch her.

...No one did anything to stop the burning webbing that had been set alight by Magnus' Flame Strike. It ended up burning through the tavern, killing two patrons, nearly killing the owner and a worker (both self-stabilized in negative hit points), and two other patrons survived, merely injured by the fire.

The Disciple of Asmodeus held that over the head of the Cleric of Iomedae for a long time...

That's all I have time to write up today, but I have several more deaths to recount...

Campaign Total: 13 PC deaths.
Agnar, Davoth, Maze, Killgore, Sirus, Eric, Jair, Grim, Uté, Vayne, Sal, Blayze, and Jorj with the honorable mention of WH the Elemental Companion.
There is one original character still alive from the start of the campaign (the Rogue/Bard).

I still need to write up the deaths of Davomichs, Lionel, Zi-irri, and Avery (which makes for a total of 17 PC deaths so far).

Name: Caliente
Race: Human
Class: Slayer 8
Adventure: Escape from Old Korvosa
Location: The Emperor’s palace
Catalyst: Failing perception and some well hidden choker brutes

First off I use the hero point system in my game so no one has truly died yet but a few close calls that would definitely resulted in a death. Anyway on to the “death”, after beating Pilt’s the group rescued Salvatore and were searching the rest of the palace. After they felt they had suitably looted the place they were getting ready to leave through the large hole in the wall. They were more suspicious of the floor and hole giving way then they were of being ambushed. They sent the slayer out to “check for traps” while they cowered in the hallway. He walked out to see and when he got close to the edge was immediately set upon by the choker brutes. A surprise round to move into position and then a great initiative roll for the choker brutes put them right in sneak attack range immediately dropping the always slightly wounded slayer into a massive negative number.

So far my only PK in any run throughs of Crimson Throne has been Trinia as a cohort.

Name: Trinia Sabor (Recently married to the party's Shelynite cleric Dimion (no last name, as he was a former Lamm))
Class: Bard 13 (We use expanded leveling to go to level 20 by the Sunken Queen)
Adventure: Skeletons of Scarwall
Location: Random hallway encounter above the Danse Macabre room.
Catalyst: Got 1 hit by a Greater Shadow because Sial blocked her escape route.

Long preamble, the player who has her as a cohort just finished getting a surprise shotgun wedding in Absalom for his cohort, when they were supposed to be supplying for the trip to Scarwall, that he had been awkwardly and unknowingly courting since he saved her in book 1, which we are still resolving in out of game rp and hope to eventually do something with (it's currently up to 200+ pages last he gave me the update). The party was making their way through the haunted castle when a pulse of energy freed some greater shadows in the wall, causing a fight with five of them.

Trinia is built to be a melee bard and actually does the job fairly well (and will only get better as she gains her last levels) and has the highest touch AC in the party but she is purely dex built and still runs around with 8 strength. Sial has been a right tool obstructing combat as much as helping it at times with his chain devil pulling most of the heavy lifting for him, but when the party was surrounded and as the party attempted to flee to another room and organize the party, he blocked Trinia's exit.

Trinia was hit just barely, her Touch AC was a 28 with crane style and crane wing (she ignores the IUS prereq as a part of being trained by Vencarlo's friend while away in book 2, and that's just a thing I do for her because she has two feats spent on getting Shingle Runner which is never useful after the first book) and the shadow rolled 8 on his damage roll, killing her instantly.

When she rose as a shadow the following round, it attacked Dimion while he was still distraught, sapping him for some but not all of his strength before Asyra (chain devil) killed it and Sial told him to get over himself and that they still have a job to do. Needless to say, Sial will probably be kicked to the Nightwing in a heartbeat. Dimion tried to raise dead her, wasting a diamond, for nothing to happen. Eventually he figured out that her soul had been trapped in the walls by the soul bind, and he tried to dispel it without realizing he hadn't prepped a resurrection or other reviving spell. So he sees the ghost of Trinia come to the surface of a nearby wall trying to silently call out to him before she disappears back into the wall a round later.

They are forced to retreat, him carrying her body as they fly over the moat, drawing the attention of the gargoyles (they wind walked under the bridge the first time, hunting for the secret entrance Mandravious used but now they didn't bother with being subtle). Eventually they managed to fight their way free, the dead bride in the arms of the glaive wielding cleric (unable to fight but cast a few spells) when they landed back at the Orc's camp. Meanwhile Sial continued to explore the outskirts of the castle, not taking any blame for her death and not willing to retreat so soon, until he arrived back to chide the rest of the party (Laori included) for their cowardice and their inability to traverse the castle without alerting the spirits to their every move.

The party rests for a day, leaving Trinia to suffer the torments of all the other damned souls trapped in the castle for twenty four hours before they can come back and resurrect her at the edge of the castle. She is traumatized over the experience but all is well and refuses to leave for safety lest what happened to her happen to Dimion while she is away.

Name: Yashana
Race: Other
Class: Swashbuckler 7/shadowdancer 4
Adventure: History of Ashes
Location: Cindermaw’s hunting ground
Catalyst: Her bloodthirsty group

Not really a death but super close!

So the group was trying to get swallowed up by cindermaw but having some difficulties. When Yashana had a great idea to shadow jump into it’s mouth and force her way down it’s gullet and she was successful! She dropped down into its diagnostics system and immediately went about cutting her way out. Unfortunately the rest of the group didn’t get the same memo and immediately the slayer and Cleric set up a flank where the slayer starts pumping out grevious damage to cindermaw. Immediately on his turn cindermaw retreats underground trapping Yashana inside. This starts the great race to see how long she can survive before cindermaw comes back up again. 11 rounds and two hero points for extra potion drinking actions. On the round he immersed Yashana at 0hp shadow jumped back out and was grabbed by her group.

Name: Blaze
Race: Gnome
Class: Sorcerer 11
Adventure: History of Ashes
Location: Bolt Rock
Catalyst: Bullette attack

The group masterfully took care of the trial of the totems and it was a cake walk for them with using the immovable rods and some dimension doors. On the last day the bullette attacked and the fight was going well until the Sorc got separated from the rest of the group and mauled by the bloodthirsty creatures and was immediately brought to a massive negative number. 2 hero points and he was at -1 and stabile.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had my first CotCT PC "death" last night.

Name of PC: Kell Norridus
Class/Level: Wizard (White Necromancer) 13
Adventure: Chapter 5: Skeletons of Scarwall
Catalyst: Zev Ravenka
Story: Kell entered the temple area and noticed the demilich's skull. Not understanding what it was (failed checks), he picked it up to examine it. Zev awakened and promptly used Devour Soul against Kell, soultrapping him and turning his body to dust. After a difficult fight, the remaining heroes defeated Zev and Kell is certain to be restored to life.


Name: Lavineous
Race: Assimar
Class: Cleric 12
Adventure: History of ashes
Location: Death’s head vault
Catalyst: A dominated party member and a Hail Mary move.

So As the group investigated deaths head vault they were doing a fantastic job of clearing it. But doing a terrible job of being stealthy. They managed to set the whole place on alarm and while halff the party fought Tish and her maidens the cleric and slayer dimensionally hopped to fight Zenobia and Kordaitra. It was quickly proven that the two ladies were too much for them and the two party members made a hasty retreat. Meanwhile Z and K ran off towards Kordaitras bedroom to grab her stuff. The group eventually tracked the two into the room with the mother of thorns. The Swashbuckler/ shadow dancer shadow jumped over to fight Zenobia and the slayer ran beside her to fight Kordaitra. The sorc stayed back and the cleric entered to fight the MOT. On her turn, the MOT dominated the slayer and the blood ran out of the swashbucklers face, she was now surrounded by “enemies”

But she is fairly hard to hit and the slayer could not drop her. Knowing that this was probably going to be the end of them the cleric in a last ditch effort cast anti magic field stopping the dominate and nerfing the sorc. The group then realized that the MOT is one mean mambo jambo as she proceeded to beat the group into submission. Dropping the cleric, then the slayer, then the swashbuckler. Finally the sorc managed to get the swashbuckler away from the anti magic field and teleported away to heal and regroup.

In that time the MOT healed the slayer and commanded him to kill lavineous then started looking for more people to reinforce her. The swash and sorc teleported back in and dropped the slayer and waitied for the MOT. A gruelling fight happened with the our group squeaking out a win.


That's a mean typo to give someone in their obituary.

Most of the time he is doing stuff that has the whole group basically banging their heads against a wall trying to understand, other times he is pulling boss moves out. I will say 95% to 5% ratio

Name: Kira
Race: Human
Class: Urban Ranger 7
Adventure: Seven Days to the Grave
Location: Temple of Urgathoa, Inner Sanctum
Catalyst: Killing Andaisin, then getting one-shot by an enraged Andaisin, turned daughter of Urgathoa

The party had pushed through the entire temple of Urgathoa, on the way managed to make Rolth Lamm flee (he is a recurring nemesis for another character), beat a vastly enhanced Doctor Davaulus and find an accord with Ramoska Arkminos.

The party then went again Andaisin and manhandled her pretty badly, mostly due to Kira just being bonkers good against human enemies. Andaisin was transformed into a daughter of Urgathoa and went directly after Kira, hitting her once for good damage and then, after missing once, one-shotting her with a heavy critical hit. Kira spent two hero points to survive, was healed back to positive hit points by the shaman and, since Andaisin was still pissed and a completely evil monster, hit directly to death again when it was Andaisins turn again... who died immediately thereafter, since she herself was just two hit points away from destruction.

There was also an actual TPK in a character side story a few weeks ago, which I let the party get out of via save by Vencarlo Orisini (looking after his son, the investigator), due to a well-placed Confusion spell and some very good rolls by the opposition and continued bad rolls by the party.

A confusion spell actually worked? I think in all the years of playing a confusion spell has always been completely much in fact, when people cast it the group laughs.

I actually had a player get hit with a symbol of insanity and sent to a Maze to make sure he doesn't hit and kill anyone in the party. He has 7 Int, so he couldn't get out, and being insane and unrestrained for 10 minutes caused him to just punch himself into oblivion so that when he came back, his chin was as much of an iny as Jay Leno's is an outy.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Evilthorne wrote:
A confusion spell actually worked? I think in all the years of playing a confusion spell has always been completely much in fact, when people cast it the group laughs.

The first PC death in my Rise of the Runelords campaign was due to a confusion effect. The cleric/paladin in my game failed the save, and rolled "attack nearest target," which happened to be the rogue. The cleric critted with an inflict wounds spell, and the rogue failed his save.

It took me another book to get a PC kill with one of my bad guys.

At one point we even asked ourselves, “are we doing this right?” Haha! One day this sucker is going to bite us though, it can’t be a duck all the time!

My group just arrived at scarwall, last session. I expect there will be some new additions to the obituary thread soon. I had a feeling they were going to enter via flight but instead they strode right up the front causeway, summoned a huge earth elemental and laid waste to the first part. Rather then go though the second portcullis they broke through the wall and are heading up the stairs to the next level.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Name of PC: Wilhelm
Class/Level: Alchemist 15
Adventure: Crown of Fangs
Story: The party had decided to tackle the Castle from the top down - their magus would teleport them all to one of the towers, and they'd start fighting their way down to the throne room where the inevitable final confrontation with the queen would occur. Things started off fairly well - their fight with Mavrokeras went well, but he did alert the castle that invaders were coming. The Red Mantis were killed, managed to discover the spirit of Venster Arabasti, and even survived the potential threats lying in the harrow deck of many things.

Then they went down to the third floor, and found a dozen Gray Maidens waiting for them. While the guards weren't a dangerous threat, enemies started appearing each round - Togomor and the Yallops arrived on round 2, and three of the erinyes in the castle appeared on round 3. It became a very confusing melee, with the dwarven fighter in the middle of the room dominating the fight with his ranseur, and others attacking around the outskirts of the fight.

However, Togomor was a dangerous foe, causing grievous harm with a round 3 horrid wilting. Wilhelm was already grabbed by one of the Yallops for blasting his brothers with a holy bomb, and managed to barely survive the dessicating spell. That next round, though, the Yallop brother dropped Wilhelm to negatives, and while he made the Fort save against Togomor's second horrid wilting, he still died.

The party had a clever plan to try to save him, though - the party magus cast dimension door to get Wilhelm next to the warpriest, and he intended to cast breath of life to try to save Wilhelm, but he absolutely biffed his concentration check. And so, Wilhelm died.

The party made a quick retreat after that, but learned that Wilhelm had a will made out - he wanted to be reincarnated, as his relationship with Laori Vaus had deepened enough that he was already thinking about the long term with her. He was no longer human, but while becoming a halfling does lengthen the time he'll have with her, it's still nothing compared to that of an elf.

Did somebody say big dommy mommy rp?

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