Skulls and Shackles Obituary Thread

Skull & Shackles

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Character: Captain Finnegan Mourn (Dhampir UnRogue 6 / Swashbuckler 1)
Module: Tempest Rising
Cause: Rogue saving throws suck

The wrecker encounter caused a near TPK - captain dead due to save-or-die and the rest of the party throwing themselves overboard because they were one hit away from being kebbabed by the beserkers. At one point there was only one PC (the druid) with positive HP, as the gunslinger and alchemist were both on zero, the latter floating in midair having taken a critical AoO as he flew off the prow of the ship.

That encounter was tougher than the CR of the monsters suggested!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Character: Arden Stormborn
Class/Race/Level/etc: Cleric of Gozreh / Seascarred / 7
Module: Tempest Rising
Cause: Captain of the Dominator
Details: A Full Volley of Manyshot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, and Burrowing Shot

The Gory Details:
This whole thing started back when the group initially attacked and took their first ship the fishing vessel Elten Leide. Mr. Balthor, the first mate, took it upon himself to avail himself of one of the female crew members. After the attack the woman was brought into the fold of their crew and within days in hopes of murdering her attacker tried to take the position of cook's mate.

Viginti, the navigator, noticed her futile attempt to poison the duergar barbarian and instead of punishing her, had her sent away to the tutor who had taught her magic.

Her mind still on revenge, the young woman traveled to learn from the tutor and picked up magic quickly. Learning of the Nemo's encounter with the Dominator she then tracked the ship down and through guile gained an audience with the ship's XO, Commander Kyan Kain, who had himself become obsessed with getting retribution for his failure to capture them. With a piece of the ship the girl reassured Kain she could track them and the Dominator had a new target.

Viginti had this entire time, resolved to track the Dominator with Track Ship which is a trick the young vengeful woman had taken to heart. So the two ships started a mutual back and forth casting of the spell.

The Dominator remained to the north of the Shackles, awaiting an opportunity to catch the Nemo upon their exit.

That chance arose when the ship sailed north to find the Brine Banshee and they swooped in to attack.

After a thorough trouncing by a giant jellyfish in the wreck Vaginti realized that the Dominator was only a day away. A discussion of what to do arose...

Sail back into the Shackles and we will be safe.

Use disrepute to raise a storm and throw the Dominator off our tracks...

Stand and fight the Dominator...

The group chose the latter with the aid of a covering storm provided by a expenditure of disrepute and plunder dropped into the sea.

After an exchange of siege engine fire the ships engaged in a break of the storm.

With the exception of one member of the team of officers almost every single one was laid low by arrows from the archer captain. Unfortunately for him, her arrows were just a little more true in the case of Arden Stormborn, the pilot of the Nemo.

As for the girl who had spent so many months hungry for revenge she was butchered by the man who had first assaulted her but not before spitting blood in his face and cursing him and his entire crew.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This last session came to a screeching halt as the party TPKed on the Island of Empty Eyes.

Party Makeup:
Captain Celes, Human Paladin of Milani 11
Ronan, Tengu Brawler 11
Pascal, Kobold Unchained Rogue 11
Sirashazar, Undine Wizard 11
Kamishah, Human Druid 9/Monk 2

How It Went Down:
Our exploration of Isla Nublar a.k.a. the Island of Empty Eyes has been progressing in large part to Kamishah entering Jungle Mind and leading the party around the large dinosaurs infesting it. Finishing with the ruined fort, the party sets out for the cyclops encampment to retrieve what was stolen from the weird guy in the basement.

Approaching a cliff face, we are preparing to begin the climb/flight when we hear singing. Cue the Daughters of Emerta. Some of us knew how hard these were from the Adventure Card Game. The reality was even worse. Half the party failed on the first save. Over the course of the next round and a half, all six forced saves, with the wizard biffing three, and only my druid/monk making all of them.

The next few rounds involved a losing battle between the three foes attacking Kamishah while the others worked on murdering the enthralled party members. When Kamishah finally fell, unable to kill the one that the paladin had failed to save against, it was over.

A long discussion about what to do later, our pirate crew and cohort NPCs mounted an epic rescue (which I characterized as 'sneaking in under invisibility to grab the bodies and run away while Conchobhar countersonged with the Benny Hill theme) and searched our plunder hold for resources to fix the problem. Two scrolls of raise dead got Sandara and Kamishah back in the realm of the living to raise/reincarnate the rest. Only Ronan was willing to risk the reincarnate and has now traded his feathers for scales, coming back as a nagaji.

Next session, the party plans on preparing silence spells and giving the enemy a TPK of their own.

An old-ish one:

Name: Captain Jrahk "Razortusk" Lacertus
Race: Orc
Classes/levels: Bloodrager 9
Adventure: Tempest Rising
Location: Victory Stage after the big race
Catalyst: Barnabas Harrigan
The Gory Details: Harrigan was his usual loudmouthed self, openly contemptuous of the Devil's Pallor crew. Captain Jrahk's pride wouldn't stand for that, so he started insulting Harrigan's combat prowess.

Harrigan responded (paraphrased): "Come at me bro".

Jrahk came at him, and they set up a no holds barred duel right there, right then on the docks. Harrigan won Initiative, and by the end of his turn, Jrahk was only sustained by his Ferocity and sheer spite. One half-hearted blow later, and Harrigan attacked again. By the end, there was little left of Jrahk's body, so torn apart they had to spring for a proper Resurrection to bring him back from the crazed madman's assault.

His player knew this was the likely result going in, but Pride is, potentially, a bigger part of Jrahk's character than Rage. And that's saying a lot for an Orc Bloodrager.

More to come, I just need to figure out if the current combat will only have a single death, or be a total wipe since they aggroed basically the entire compound of Cyclopes on The Island of Empty Eyes and are low on health, sandwiched between Shaija and her crew, and Gargoyle archers. At least they dropped the chief the day before.

Grand Lodge

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Isle of Empty Eyes update:
Turns out fiendish cyclops harpies are just as screwed by bardic countersong as regular harpies.

That encounter was ROUGH. I softballed it a little and just had them capture Jrahk and Ixrul after they fell unconscious and go in for a bit of snu-snu to make up for tweaking them so they were more "Harpy Cyclopes" instead of "Harpies with some stupid templates".

We lost both half-orc PCs in a single prolonged fight:

Name: Ta Fann (spelling? Not my PC)
Race: Half-Orc
Classes/levels: Storm Druid 6
Adventure: Raiders of the Fever Sea
Location: Tidewater Rock
Catalyst: Isabella "Inkskin" Locke

Name: Blaarg Cracktooth
Race: Half-Orc
Classes/levels: Barbarian 1/Wave Oracle 5
Adventure: Raiders of the Fever Sea
Location: Tidewater Rock
Catalyst: Knuckles Grype

The Gory Details:
The party had the horrific misfortune to choose to stay in their ship on visiting Tidewater Rock, instead of going ashore as the AP intended. So when Isabella attacked, she was free to fly loose in the night sky, cutting loose with Lightning Bolts to horrific effect. Fann, hoping to distract the destructive sorceress, took the form of an owl and raked her claws across Isabella's beautiful face. Isabella returned the favor in the form of a Lightning Bolt. Failing her save, Fann was reduced to a single hit point. Fann chose to keep fighting in the night sky, and a round later Isabella's Magic Missle did her in.

The rest of the fight was ugly. No one except Blaarg had purchased missile weapons, so the other party members and Tidewater Rock guards were shooting Isabella with mundane borrowed weapons to little effect against her Protection from Arrows. Blaarg's composite longbow with Magic Weapon eventually did her in, however, but not before the ranger and bard were at negative hit points, Fann was dead, and Blaarg was sitting at 4 hit points.

The group used up all the rest of their healing resources, getting the ranger to 25 hit points and Blaarg to 34. They heard about a second fight aboard the ship and raced there, only to hear that Isabella's first mate, Knuckles Grype, was holed up in the hold. The ranger went first, but utterly failed his Acrobatics check to get into the hold, falling prone before Knuckles and getting one-shot into the negatives yet again. Blaarg went toe-to-toe with Knuckles, raging and using all his abilities to hit Knuckles for 20 points a round. Unfortunately, after two rounds of back-and-forth Blaarg was already in the negative hit points while raging, meaning that he was dead the moment he came out of rage. In a moment of glory, he used orc ferocity to strike Knuckles a final blow before dying, which was just enough to let the bard and his mysterious sorceress ally (Fann's new PC, as this fight took place over 2 sessions) drop Knuckles into the negatives.

Easily the bloodiest session of the campaign so far, and massively fun. Sometimes, you just gotta be an orc. And sometimes, it just kills you.

A final sad note: We'd leveled up between sessions, so Blaarg HAD a Cure Moderate Wounds handy, but couldn't cast it because he was raging. We'd also totally forgotten that we could spend Infamy points (or whatever they're called) for healing, which would have also saved Blaarg's life (he only died by 4 hit points). Live and learn. Or die and learn...

Forgot to update this with the last tragic death.

Name: Captain Jrahk "Razortusk" Lacertus
Race: Orc
Classes/levels: Bloodrager 10
Adventure: Island of Empty Eyes
Location: The Ruins of Ghol-Gan, Eye of Serenity
Catalyst: The Immortal Dreamstone

The Gory Details: After a brutal encounter with the Gholdakos (the two usual ones, plus an extra plus sized one I added to make up for their larger party and having wiped out the ruins' inhabitants minus the undead and then LEAVING), which left Daliya and Gremory dead (they got better), Jrahk made the mistake of handling the Immorttal Dreamstone with his bare hands, and the even bigger mistake of rolling low on his save. He was Trap the Soul'd, and the rest of the crew decided Bikendi's treasure (and not having to deal with a ghost) was a bigger prize than their homicidal captain.

(I gave the player the option of me working something out so there was a mini-quest or something to bring him back, but he decided he was bored of Jrahk and made a Summoner to replace him)

Jrahk now spends eternity in a dream realm of Bikendi's creation, shared with the mad wizard (though they're unlikely to ever meet), succeeded by first mate Ixrul as Captain.

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Man, we've only lost two characters, one early on to the swarms in the first module and another to those auto-critting cyclops on the Island of Empty Eyes. Since then they've been pretty much cake-walking everything. They are now about to begin the final module and are brimming with confidence.

What are all of you guys doing wrong to warrant so many character deaths?


Grand Lodge

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Not bringing a bard to a harpy fight.

Fighting a flying sorceress outside...
...when no one in the party EXCEPT my (dead) PC had bothered to purchase ranged weapons...

Let's see.... First PC death was a swashbuckler being swallowed by The Whale after having most of the stirges attach to him. The party leapt for the water before they could be hit, he hesitated.

Same player, Barbarian and the party fighter are sent to disable the giant Chelish ship alone, when they are discovered the fighter runs for it and dives into the water.. makes it with 1 HP remaining and the shaman scar heals him. The barbarian stood and fought, thinking her partner was behind her.

Next was a Druid...same player again.... didn't like the shaman animating dead guys. Was torn limb from limb by skeletons. No one seems to know how the got into that room with him.

Next one... you guessed it, same guy.... inquisitor killed by fighter who was dominated. Who knew a hasted two-handed fighter could drop a ranged inquisitor in one round while under water? Inquisitor was reincarnated as a kobald, and instantly retired to NPC status.

New Inquisitor shows up. New Inquisitor dies heroically(for a change). New Inquisitor is reincarnated as a goblin. Player keeps him around, as he is better and more fun than before. I even made him write a goblin song for him.

Ravingdork wrote:

Man, we've only lost two characters, one early on to the swarms in the first module and another to those auto-critting cyclops on the Island of Empty Eyes. Since then they've been pretty much cake-walking everything. They are now about to begin the final module and are brimming with confidence.

What are all of you guys doing wrong to warrant so many character deaths?


Well, in my case it's a three pronged assault of fun times:

1.) Poor tactics on the part of my players. I keep telling them keeping track of their positioning is important, and yet they keep, say, getting surprised when things pop up on their flank because they retreated into a room with a back door they don't know where leads (it lead into a room full of cyclopes cooking dinner, and they weren't deaf).

2.) Bad rolls on their part.

3.) Good rolls on my part.

Part of the fault also lies in me upping the difficulty of a few key encounters, or changing nonsensical builds or tactics (why are the Gargoyles in Ghol-Ghan built to snipe when they have now way to actually DO IT?) but they have a party of 6 plus Sandra Quinn as a healbot (or their choice of any of the other crew members I've given class levels, like their Ghast Vivisectionist or Gunslinger in charge of their cannons), so they have all the tools in hand to trivialize a lot of these encounters with better planning. And when I DON'T make them harder, they ROFLstomp them and everyone gets bored.

So we have a high mortality rate, but everyone seems to be having more fun that way, unless I'm misreading the room. It helps that money is so easy to get in S&S and I've made Reincarnation an especially attractive option for revival.

Name Captain Salia Reneou
Race/class Human Gunslinger(buccaneer) 10
location Island of the Empty eyes
Catalyst Negative levels

SO the party made it to the room of revelation, and 3 of the 6 of them decided to blind themselves before they touched anything, without any way to cure blindness. When combat started, the guard managed to get a number of them very close to the crystal. The captain was one of the one who choose to be blinded.

On rounds 2, 3, and 5(i forgot to roll it on round 4) all 3 times, my dice choose the captain as the one to be hit with the enervation. Dice rolls of 4, 4 and 1. Up to 9 negative levels. The HP loss from that plus damage taken caused the captain to die. With some fancy party maneuvering, the moved her body withing range of the Oracle for a breath of life. We had not noticed before the line in breath of life about gaining a negative level after it being case on you before.

The captain then did not die from HP loss, but instead negative levels.

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Failing five DC 10 climb checks after nailing six and plummeting to her death at Mr. Plugg's feet, to which he said "not good enough"

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
Failing five DC 10 climb checks after nailing six and plummeting to her death at Mr. Plugg's feet, to which he said "not good enough"


I think that calls for a mercy save if they get killed right at the start

Checking out with Pluggs going "Mediocre" is pretty final. That character (sheet) was jinxed. ;)

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

We've dubbed it our "Captain Red Shirt Campaign"

Because drawing the Captain straw is pretty much a death sentence. :-D

But I told everyone I wasn't pulling punches. :-)

Did you let them just write in a new name on the sheet or did they have to go to another room for a half hour to make the character?

"So sad Phil the Bard died, welcome Jim the Bard."

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I had everyone come in with at least two characters.

And she's had a lot of fun with her second character.

Wasn't a big deal. :-)

A new entry (and my first PC death ever on my watch as a GM)!

Character: Naesala
Race/Class: Merfolk Monk (Master of Many Forms) 10
Location: The abandoned fortress on the Island of Empty Eyes
Catalyst: Some terrible dice, and a phantasmal killer sent out by Bikendi Otongu

The players had actually managed to avoid running into Bikendi despite multiple incursions into the fort, thanks to the hide from undead spell and some very lucky (for them) Will saves on the part of Bikendi. At this point, despite not knowing most of the back story, they'd cleared the rest of the fort, gone to Sumitha, and retrieved the immortal dreamstone...though Naesala himself, in fact, was captured by it.

The PCs, having made a Spellcraft check to identify the effect that trapped Naesala, went to a remote island (smart) and shattered the crystal, fortunately not taking too much damage from the necromantic backlash. As it shattered, though, they heard a distant scream, and saw a brief vision of Bikendi's enraged ghost. Once back on the Island of Empty Eyes, they decided to do one last sweep of the fortress to make sure nothing lingered. They forgot the spell this time...just in time to encounter Bikendi's enraged ghost in the basement. As he ranted at them (conveniently clearing up some exposition), Naesala decided to mock and challenge him (a characteristic move).

Bikendi opened combat by sending a phantasmal killer toward the merman who'd been so harshly speaking to him. It was only meant to startle, I swear! Naesala rolled a Will save.

Natural 1.

He rolled a Fortitude save, with a different die. On either roll, he only needed to get a 5 or better on the dice.

Natural 3.

And that's how, completely to everyone's surprise, the combat began with the massive merfolk tank just keeling over, dead from full hit points of a heart attack.

I hate when that happens! In my RoW we had two dead PCs in a single turn because of 2 Phantasmal Killers and 4 awful dice rolls.
Sometimes poor rolls just happen.

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Even though Breath of Life makes for occasionally very short deaths, a death is still a death:

Character: Trevor Sharkskin
Race/Class: Sharkfolk Ranger 10 (custom race)
Location: The cyclops ruins on the Island of Empty Eyes
Catalyst: Great Mother doing what she does best

The Gory Details:
In spite of the two front-liners' decent armor classes (28 for Trevor, and 26 for Del the Life Oracle), the cyclops' auto-hit ability was wreaking havoc with the party's resources, with Del constantly having to pour Cure Critical Woundses (OK, what IS the plural of "Cure Critical Wounds", anyway?) and channels into party members taking 20-60 points a round. The only thing that kept the party intact was that each cyclops could only do it once. But grouping potential crits against a single target leads to ouchies.

So the group decided to go indoors where they could use their smaller size and the terrain to their advantage to minimize the ability of the cyclopses to gang up on individual party members.

This went well for the first fight, then they saw a large room with a pool in it and a magical sword. Everyone could tell it was some kind of trap. No one could tell what kind of trap.

Trevor moved forward, sniffing for enemies (he has Scent). He could tell that something was in the room with them, but he couldn't pinpoint it. As he moved forward towards the sword, Great Mother sprang.

On the surprise round, she hit him with a natural 20 and confirmed the crit for something on the order of 60 points of damage. In a bit of a miracle, she failed to grapple him. Unfortunately, Trevor's player is a magnificent roleplayer, and Trevor would never back down from such an epic fight. So he attacked her, but a cold die meant he did very little damage, even with 5 attacks. Even more unfortunately, Great Mother had beaten everyone else on the initiative chart, and hit Trevor again for another 40. It was enough to slay him outright. He was dead before any other party members got to act.

Unfortunately for Great Mother, things went downhill for her from there. Captain Finn (bard) put Freedom of Movement on Del, and she got to Trevor with a Breath of Life, bringing him back to the land of the living as Samiyya (wishcrafter) pummeled Great Mother with Scorching Rays. Great Mother promptly constricted Trevor back to -13 hit points (with a CON of 14), but with Del and Captain Finn right next to him he received a good 70 points of healing before she got to go again.

The saddest part was Great Mother's "flight". She flees at 50 hit points at a massive move of... 10?!?!?

Fireballs, Lightning Bolts, a Flame Strike and a reinvigorated Trevor were more than she could handle, and Great Mother burbled her last.

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Even though Breath of Life makes for occasionally very short deaths, a death is still a death (again):

Character: Trevor Sharkskin (again)
Race/Class: Sharkfolk Ranger 10 (custom race)
Location: The cyclops ruins on the Island of Empty Eyes (again)
Catalyst: Gargoyles with bows!?!?

The Gory Details:
Since Del had been able to both Breath of Life and Restore Trevor, the party saw no reason not to continue their explorations. Del pointed out that she had NO 4th-level spells left, and only one 5th-level spell, but plenty of lower-level spells, plus a few rounds of Energy Body and a couple of Channel Energies. That seemed like plenty, so the party moved on through the ruins. When they spotted a raised area full of statues, it was pretty obvious that these statues must be the gargoyles that the genie of the well had warned them about, so they moved in to engage.

Unfortunately, the gargoyles had other plans, taking to the air and peppering the party with arrows from afar. Neither Del's Flame Strike nor Samiyya's Fireball seemed to bother the airborne menaces (curse you, Evasion!), so Trevor activated his tattoo of Fly and took to the air to engage them.

Well, many, many things were wrong with this plan:

  • Trevor, being the *only* airborne party member, was the *only* target.
  • Trevor, being airborne, was out of Del's reach for any healing, and she'd already used up her "big guns" in previous fights.
  • The gargoyles, making their Perception rolls, realized that Trevor was a monstrous humanoid, and started using Monstrous Humanoid Bane arrows.
  • It might STILL have gone OK were it not for Del's infamously-cold die. Samiyya cast Fly on Del next, she flew up, put a Cure Serious Wounds on Trevor, and then on her next round made an ill-fated Heal check to determine whether he needed more healing. A natural 1 and off she flew to engage the nearest gargoyle, the gargoyles' dice went hot, and Trevor took 64 of his 52 remaining hit points. The final gargoyle, knowing that Trevor was the greatest threat, took his shot at the unconscious foe and killed him.

    The next two rounds were a scramble. Samiyya had the emergency scroll of Breath of Life and held it out for Del, who, having a prehensile tail, was able to take it as a swift action and thereby use it to save Trevor, shielding him with her body. Much to the GM's continuing irritation, the gargoyles rolled yet another crit on Del that was nullified by her Energy Body, so the party managed to gather and Samiyya teleported them to safety.

    The party, licking its wounds, rested for the night, and decided that they just plain didn't like gargoyles.

    The rematch didn't go well for the gargoyles. Not only does Holy Smite require a Will save rather than a Reflex save so it was harder for them, but Evasion couldn't save them. Trevor carved the blinded gargoyles to shreds, retrieving the weapons he'd lost in the previous battle.

    And so we move on, wondering just how many times Trevor can get Breath of Lifed in a single dungeon.

    That dungeon is hard!
    Both Great Mother and the gargoyles put my players into trouble, and they spotted the Great Mother before stepping on her.
    The other big issue they faced were the Caryatids. Fortunately they are not able to fly and the PCs could, but they had to flee first time they faced them.
    They are in the last book with no PC deaths but Sumitha was probably the hardest challenge for them.

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    Another session, another dead PC...

    Character: Samiyya (GMNPC)
    Race/Class: Ifrit Wishcrafter 10
    Location: A few miles off the shore of the Island of Empty Eyes
    Catalyst: Bitey Sharks

    The Gory Details:

    This is a long one, because lots of fun things happened.

    On a total side note, Trevor's travails through the cyclops ruins continued unabated: He went to negative HP against the female warrior, then when we faced the Great Cyclops Trevor's first action was to fumble and toss his sword at the warrior's feet. He proceeded to take the attack of opportunity to pick up his sword (Del, my poor beleaguered life oracle, taking half thanks to Shield Other), roll a second fumble, draw the dreaded "Fall Unconscious" card, and fail the DC 15 Fortitude save.

    Imagine the poor cyclops king's chagrin when the mighty party that had slain all his people walked up, dropped their weapons, and keeled over unconscious.

    It was a "harder than it should have been" fight...

    On to the main event!

    The party made the deal that revealed the location of the sunken treasure to them. They sailed to the spot, buffed up, and in a sad bit of foreshadowing Samiyya expressed a great deal of distaste for having to go underwater. As a loyal party member, she wanted to come along. As an ifrit, she wanted nothing whatsoever to do with being submerged. Captain Finn finally ordered, "I wish you would do what you want to do!", forcing her to make her own decision, and loyalty won out over distaste.

    The party swam into the depths, and spotted the two megalodons (dire sharks) rapidly approaching. Del and Trevor's attempt to provide a blockade was only partially successful: One shark engaged Trevor. Fortunately, Finn had put Freedom of Movement on him for the swim. Unfortunately, 38 points of damage is still 38 points of damage. The other shark ignored the bitty little Del (a running "joke" in this campaign -- at the second-highest AC and the highest HP, Del tries to be a tank, but the GM's random rolls very rarely target her. So we figure the creatures ignore her for larger food prey). The shark chose to bite Samiyya for... 43 points of damage! Plus, no Freedom of Movement meant Samiyya was grabbed and in the shark's mouth!

    Finn put Freedom of Movement on Samiyya, allowing her to escape. Trevor continued battling his shark. V started summoning her own sharks. Del tried and failed to charm the hungry shark. Samiyya swam back and put Mirror Image on herself, trying to confuse the shark...

    Unfortunately, it bit her again, she had 4 mirror images, so the GM rolled as we held our collective breaths. A 6! Reroll. Another 6! Reroll! (Excuse me? Is that REALLY one of the dice you're using for damage?) A third 6! Reroll! And finally, a 1.

    Samiyya's Mirror Images did not save her, and another 43-point bite sent her to -24 hit points, dead dead dead.

    As Del prepared to cast Breath of Life defensively, Captain Finn suggested that she move first to provoke the attack of opportunity, then cast, so she wouldn't have to make such a difficult attempt. Finn's gambit was that Del's AC was high enough to avoid the AoO. Finn's gambit failed, and Del was bitten and grappled. She couldn't reach Samiyya within the critical time frame! Fortunately, Del had spent the feat on a prehensile tail, so she pulled out the scroll of Breath of Life that she kept in her belt pouch (thanks to Trevor, they always seem to need it) and held it out. V swam up and, in a miracle of holy rolling, needed an 18 on her Use Magic Device to activate the scroll, and there, very publicly, rolled exactly an 18. Huzzah! Samiyya was saved!

    Down the shark's gullet went Del. Unfortunately for the shark, a life oracle in energy body form with channel energy can heal 6d6+10 points per round. So Del just sat around in the shark's belly for a few rounds, waiting to be cut out. The digestive juices weren't as bad as the teeth, so it was honestly a bit of a relief.

    Trevor finally finished off his shark, the combined Lightning Bolts of Samiyya and V, summoned sharks, Trevor, and Finn's performance finished off the shark with Del in it, and they cut out Del, only a little bit worse for wear...

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    Cool fight! My party avoided the sharks, but our Swashbuckler almost died in the next fight (a jellyfish or anemone IIRC) and the insanity symbol was a mess to all the party (they spotted it and sent a summoned octopus to activate it but they were still on range of the trap).

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    Kileanna wrote:
    Cool fight! My party avoided the sharks, but our Swashbuckler almost died in the next fight (a jellyfish or anemone IIRC) and the insanity symbol was a mess to all the party (they spotted it and sent a summoned octopus to activate it but they were still on range of the trap).

    Yeah, guess who declared "I swim ahead" and triggered the trap, forcing us to teleport to Port Peril to get him fixed?

    I'll give you a hint: His name begins with "T" and ends with "R"...

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    My party had Darren (aquatic sorcerer)tied to the bed next to Ederleigh Baines (who they wanted to heal too but still didn't trust him) until the next day. Another character failed the roll but the bard used Saving Finale to allow a reroll.
    The fun fact is that they knew there was a trap, but not knowing the range they stayed too close.

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    I had an entire party of (mostly) magic users fail that save. I quickly ruled that it was not permanent so they just flubbed around a bit.

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    Ah, the GM has corrected me:

  • Finn's exact quote was, "I wish you would make up your own mind!"
  • V never Lightning Bolted, but used Magic Missile instead.

  • It's important because V's player is rather infamous for ineffective decisions ("I attack the least-wounded one! I delay until I can determine what is going on!"), so the difference between a Lightning Bolt and a Magic Missile is significant.

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    So I get the feeling Trevor was feeling neglected:

    Character: Trevor Sharkskin (twice in one fight this time)
    Race/Class: Sharkfolk Ranger 12 (custom race)
    Location: The Black Tower
    Catalyst: The Shrouded Queen

    The Gory Details:
    This ranked as one of the two best fights in the AP so far, and was particularly amazing in that if any of the PCs hadn't been there, or had done something differently, it would have been a TPK.

    Lacking a rogue, the party didn't do so well on the traps on the way. They didn't figure out the "eels eat your insides" trap, so both the life oracle and the wishcrafter took some CON damage. Both the bard and the life oracle fell to the, "Now you're breathing water" trap, but the bard is a water-breather anyway, and after seeing how the trap worked, the life oracle put Water Breathing on herself so the trap didn't do a heck of a lot.

    As a finale to the party's relatively incompetent run, when they encountered the 50' shaft with a Forbiddance in it, they chose to just Feather Fall on in, trusting the life oracle to heal them through it. The wishcrafter, having a bit of sense, chose to Fly down instead, but stayed close to the rest of the falling party.

    Thus, the surprise round was the party landing in a convenient little group just in time to get hit with Waves of Exhaustion. -3 to attack, damage, and, most importantly, armor class to start the fight wasn't good. The next round didn't seem too bad as the Shroud Queen moved forward and hit Trevor for only 18 points of damage and he easily made his Fortitude save. The life oracle put up Blessing of Fervor, the bard started performing and put up Good Hope, and, other than the exhaustion, things seemed to be going OK.

    On the third round the wheels fell off. The Queen criticalled Trevor AND he failed his Fortitude save, losing 6 CON to the curse and dropping to 1 hit point. The second hit from the Queen killed him for death #1.
    The life oracle scurried in, took the attack of opportunity, failed her save, and ended up cursed as well, but only lost 1 CON. She Breath of Lifed Trevor back into the fight and hit him with a Quickened Cure Critical Wounds to give him some staying power. Seeing things weren't as rosy, the wishcrafter hit the Queen with Sirocco, fatiguing her. Trevor, thanks to being exhausted, missed the Queen entirely. She responded by hitting him all 4 times and killing him again. Sighing, the life oracle Breath of Lifed him back up again, this time with a Quickened Channel. The bard recklessly moved in to provide a flank for Trevor as the wishcrafter hit her with another Sirocco. "How do YOU like it?"

    And that was the turning point. The exhausted Queen split her attacks between Trevor and the bard, managing to damage but not drop either of them. As Trevor invoked Gorum's Strength, the life oracle pointed out that she was almost tapped out, so he'd better roll really high.

    Cue a round of rolling nothing under a 15 with a lot of weapons with 15-20 crit ranges. 186 hit points later, the Queen was down, and the party was saved!

    It was verrah verrah exciting!

    Character: Marisol Arenas
    Race/Class: Level 8 Fey Prankster Naiad
    Location: The Wreck of the Banshee
    Catalyst: Dominate Monster

    The Captain drowned on her way up for air, after spending 30 rounds fighting an illusion that she knew wasn't real.

    I group I am GM of lost its first character 2 sessions ago.

    Character: Gruff Frenzybeard
    Race/Class: level 9 Dwarven Slayer
    Location: Chelish Fort
    Catalyst: Phantasmal Killer

    Almost a TPK:

    My 5 player & 2 NPC party almost wiped on the Bikendi encounter.

    Bikendi took possession of Sandara who then cast confusion on our Brawler. The Malenti Sea Singer bard ended up hit with Feeble-minded, The Druid went down with Deep Slumber, after Envervation, bestow curse and some corrupting touches as his last action he cast Phantasmal Killer from the hallway at the slayer and he failed both rolls. The only people with their wits about them at the end of combat were the Rogue & Summoner NPC. And they were not looking to healthy....

    Since I'm a player, this seems like the only reasonable place to post a couple of things:

  • How is it possible that giant anemone in Book 5 doesn't have a dozen entries here? It hit us for 56 points of damage each, poisoned us all with a brutal DC 29 STR-and-DEX poison, and could easily have been a TPK if our two sorceresses hadn't:
    - Dimension Doored the party out of its reach
    - Possessed it so that it just sat there for a while getting turned into sushi.
    I'm just amazed I didn't find a single post on it.
  • We had a hilarious near-miss last session, not involving Trevor for once. We were in a Silence field and got hit by a Blade Barrier. The now-single-digit-hit-point sorceress decided to try to save herself by flinging herself off the railing to get out of the Silence field. The fall knocked her to negative hit points. Only the other sorceress (a wishcrafter) saw the fall. And, being Silenced, she couldn't figure out how to point her colleagues to their fallen comrade.
    So she *almost* bled out lying unnoticed at the bottom of the drop, but unfortunately she managed to self-stabilize, so no entry here.

  • My party just fought the anemone (we move slowly, sometimes), and it did almost kill the inquisitor. Fortunately the sheer size of the things was intimidating enough that, thanks to some good Perception checks spotting it lurking, the party largely stayed back and attacked it with spells and whatever underwater ranged weapons they had. Not the most exciting fight (once they got the unconscious inquisitor to safety), but could easily have been deadly if they'd failed to spot it.

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    When I was running the path there was a running joke about Jellyfish that they were the true BBEG's of the path. I used to joke that there were an entire race of intelligent giant jellyfish who were going to emerge from the ocean wearing reverse diving suits and my players just cringed.

    I can't remember exactly but I think there was an encounter with one in book 3 and at least two other encounters in earlier books (Sahuagin caves?) that dropped/ nearly murdered characters in multiple encounters.

    I was surprised that they didn't just start preparing delay poison whenever they had to put a toe in the water.

    We had a joke with jellyfish and anemonae because everytime we had one our swashbuckler would end half dead because of poison, damage or end being swallowed whole. They were consistently some of the most dangerous enemies of the whole AP and I think they would have been even worse if they had an int score.

    Our.swashbuckler is still traumatized of them!

    So... is there an award for, "Character appearing most often in the obituaries thread"?

    Character: Trevor Sharkskin
    Race/Class: Sharkfolk Ranger 12 (custom race)
    Location: Harrigan's Fortress
    Catalyst: Gibrok the Tongue's vengeance

    The Gory Details:
    Unfortunately, our party is made up of spontaneous casters (two sorceresses, a bard, and an oracle), so we have to work together to choose spells. The sorceress who chose Dimensional Anchor is also our most-frequently-absent PC, so pretty much every caster we fight has an excellent chance of getting away. We're grateful to our GM that she runs them with morale as-written, meaning they don't run until we can one-round them, so only around 1/3 of our casters get away. But they are getting away more and more often.

    As a result, our final encounter in Harrigan's fort was Adelita Doloruso, Gilbrok the Tongue, and Barnabas Harrigan, all at the same time. Our Dimensional Anchor sorceress was (of course) not there again, so we ended up with an entertaining situation where our life oracle, Adelita, and Gilbrok were all sharing a room alternately healing and blasting everyone in the hallway. Adelita's Prismatic Spray remained frustratingly ineffectual (two casts on a total of 8 party members and only one failed save in the lot), but her Chain Lightning was keeping our life oracle busy keeping the party alive. Our wishcrafter dropped a Merciful Fireball in the room to liven things up (we had Resist Energy up and they didn't). Trevor had already started carving up Adelita when Harrigan arrived, popped a lot of our bard captain's Mirror Images, and then proved just how terrible a build he is by hitting Trevor with two hits and a crit for a grand total of... 40 points of damage!??!? On three hits, including a crit? Not good, Harrigan...

    After Trevor kept making all his saving throws, Gilbrok hit him with an Evil Eye, dropping his saves by 2. Trevor responded by one-rounding Harrigan with 234 points of damage. Now that's a full-round attack, Harrigan! The life oracle and Adelita continued their game of, "Who can deal more/heal more?"
    Our captain was busy getting his mirror images back up, performing, and finally deciding to move out of line of sight and get off a summons. Our wishcrafter was busy giving as good as she got.
    Then, Gilbrok hit Trevor with Flesh to Stone, and he failed his save by 1... the Evil Eye had done its work!

    Unfortunately, there was nothing the life oracle could do to help Trevor, so she dropped a Maximized Blade Barrier on the enemy casters, ending the combat forthwith.

    Aaaaand... back to Port Peril we go, to recover Trevor... again!

    So due to the party winding up more powerful than I planned by the final battle, I remade Kerdak as pure gunslinger. Anyway, the party swashbuckler failed a save against his death attack. That was the most straightforward.

    In the campaign, characters have spontaneously combusted, been beheaded, been exploded by healing magic, been chopped in half by a friend who was very confused, been stabbed in the face by their captain, and yes, of course, drowned.

    Shadow Lodge

    Exploded by healing magic? Is one of your PCs a dhampir, or did someone just get shifted to the Positive Energy Plane for too long?

    The cleric unbeknownst to him had received a curse that caused a death effect on the next person he touched (this is from a side quest, not the actual AP). So when the Captain asked for healing...

    Here we go again:

    Character: Trevor (Where Have I Heard That Name Before) Sharkskin
    Race/Class: Sharkfolk Ranger 13 (custom race)
    Location: Harrigan's Fortress
    Catalyst: Alchemists. So many alchemists...

    The Gory Details:
    What kind of sadist puts 4 alchemists in a single room? As the party opened the door and the uber-tanky life oracle ran in to engage, she was rewarded with a 90+ hit point barrage of bombs. Fortunately, half of them used fire bombs so her tiefling fire resistance provided some relief, so I know at the end of the first round she was down 76 hit points. Another couple of bombs hit Trevor standing just outside the door. The bard came in to help, but the sorceress took enough splash damage that she had to hide around the corner to avoid getting incinerated.

    A quickened channel-Communal Energy Resist (Fire) did little good. The alchemists switched to acid (worse than fire! Ow!), and dropped the life oracle to 32/151 hit points. Trevor managed to drop one of the alchemists. The sorceress dropped a Fireball in the whole mess. The bard stabbed about with a teensy rapier, but looked cool doing it. It's what bards do.
    Unfortunately, to keep herself alive the life oracle had to spend a round using Heal on herself, but she still also managed a quickened channel and a quickened Cure Critical Wounds on Trevor. 56 points seems like plenty of healing, but on their round the alchemists hit him for another 100+, the continuing acid did another 16 and he was dead on the ground at -35 hit points.

    The life oracle cracked her knuckles, hit him with a Breath of Life for 43 (alive again! Yay!), quickened channel, and quickened Cure Critical. Another fireball and a lot of stabbing and the fight ended.

    The life oracle sighed, got out her diamond dust, and started Restoration on Trevor...

    Character: Jon
    Race/Class: Human Rogue (Pirate) 4

    Location: The Jungles north of Rickety’s Squibs

    Catalyst: Mi-Go Evisceration (and, this being the player’s first character ever, he also learned a valuable lesson about using CON as a dump stat. Seriously. He had 6 CON)

    The Gory Details:

    I added some encounters to explain the Heat Wave present at Rickety’s Squibs, because in the module a mere week before there was a huge storm in the area. So I added a fight between some Mi-Go and a Sea Hag, where the Hag was using the heat wave to roast out the Mi-Go, Rickety’s Squibs was just caught in the middle.

    The Mi-Go were using a plant/device known as a Star Beacon to summon more of it’s kind, and every night there was a huge beam of light piercing out of the jungle.

    The PC’s went to investigate, didn’t scout, and just charged the Mi-Go. It did not go well.

    Character: Rhyzen
    Race/Class: Human Druid (Aquatic) 4

    Location: The Jungles north of Rickety’s Squibs

    Catalyst: Eaten by a Tendriculous

    The Gory Details:

    Same encounter as poor Jon above. The party learned a valuable lesson about scouting. The druid went into the Jungle to investigate something strange didn’t prepare Greensight, or Eagle Eye, or Speak With Animals, or any other spell that would have helped with scouting.

    So, while the rest of the party was up dealing with the Mi-Go, nobody saw the Tendriculous hiding in the foliage to the left. It came out right next to the druid, Whack, Grab, Bite, Swallow Whole, Dead Druid.

    Character: Fei

    Race/Class: Human Barbarian 7

    Location: Fort Smolder, Merrill Peggsworthy’s base on The Smoker (I did this when I hadn’t read far enough ahead to realize he was supposed to be based on Firegrass Isle)

    Catalyst: Magmalodon (Dire Shark with the Fire Creature template)

    The Gory Details:

    Due to a PC’s backstory, we ended up getting an Aboleth introduced to the AP wayyyy earlier than as written. This Aboleth had taken over Tidewater Rock and Merril Peggsworthy, and ambushed the PC’s there. They managed to free most of the people dominated by this Aboleth, but unfortunately Merril died in the process. The PC’s, smelling an opportunity, went to take his fort, not knowing The Smoker was guarded by The Magmalodon, a stonking great incorporeal Dire Shark made of fire. It would come up THROUGH the ship, catching everything on fire, and deliver spring attack bite attacks on the poor hapless crew. Fei managed to draw its aggro, allowing the others to do enough damage (and keep the ship from burning to the water) but Fei didn’t make it. RIP.

    Character: Malorie
    Race/Class: Human Oracle 8 (Dual Curse, Winter/Fire)

    Location: Haekle's Dry Berth in Quent

    Catalyst: Aspis Consortium Hit-squad

    The Gory Details:

    The party decided to ransom the captain of the Truewind back to the Aspis Consortium, which got them on their radar. After weeks of intermittent scrying (which the party ignored), the regional leader of the Consortium made them an offer: Come to Bloodcove, pay me 25,000 gold, and all will be forgiven. You can guess what the players said to that…

    So, a week later, while making Infamy rolls in a bar in Quent, they were jumped by an Aspis Hit Squad, that opened with Cloud Kill, and sent in their Trox Vivisectionist Alchemist who proceeded to wreck their s&!+. Malorie dropped fast to a longspear full attack with sneak attack from 20 feet away. The CON damage didn’t help.

    Character: Orin
    Race/Class: Undine Monk 8

    Location: Haekle's Dry Berth in Quent

    Catalyst: Aspis Consortium Hit-squad

    The Gory Details:

    Orin could have gotten away. But he thought his AC was high enough that the hit squad wouldn’t be able to catch him. In addition, he assumed (correctly) that after the opening salvo of kill-spells, this hit squad of all casters wouldn’t be able to keep up. But, a lucky roll from the Trox alchemist undid him, and he dropped next to his captain, Malorie.

    Character: Orin
    Race/Class: Undine Monk 8

    Location: The Island of Empty Eyes/Chellish Fort

    Catalyst: Paeta the Phase Spider

    The Gory Details:

    The party recovered the Immortal Dreamstone and returned it to Bikendi, who immediately started the ritual. Unfortunately, they never bothered to deal with Paeta and her gang. The Animate Dreams dropped Fear in the first round, and everybody but Orin failed their save. The phase spiders started grappling the Oracle (who was currently possessed by Bikendi and was attempting to do the ritual) to wrest away the Dreamstone. Orin took several incorporeal touch attacks and was in bad shape, but Bikendi managed to hand of the Dreamstone to him and he ran back to the ship.

    Monks, as you know, can run pretty fast, and it took a little while for the Paeta to catch up. Orin hid underneath the ship for a few minutes, basically just long enough for Paeta to catch up and start searching the ship. If he’d just stayed where he was until everyone else got back, he’d have been fine. But he came out from under his hiding spot and went on deck. Just as he spotted the rest of the party on the beach, Peata sneack attacked from behind, killing him instantly. She took the Immortal Dreamstone and left, never to be seen again.

    Character: Kieren
    Race/Class: Tiefling Arcanist 10

    Location: The waters above the Sunken Temple

    Catalyst: Eaten by a Dire Shark

    The Gory Details:

    Kieren was with the party all of 15 minutes, having been teleported to the ship by their Aspis Consortium handlers. The party was irked at having this new crew member foisted on them, and were like “well, we’re about to get some sunken treasure, let’s see what you can do.”

    Turns out what he can do is get eaten by sharks. The two Dire Sharks swim out of the darkness (attracted to the light as they searched for the sunken temple) and immediately hit Kieren with a bite/grab/swallow whole. He got one lighting bolt off before they were on him.

    Fortunately the Aspis Consortium footed the bill for the Raise Dead.

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