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See? Now THAT'S how PCs SHOULD roll!
Congrats to your team for a novel solution!
I can't *wait* to see how my group reacts to the offer of kayaks! "Er, can't we just get some scrolls of Water Walking and have Spivey send us on our way??"
I'm still wondering what to do if my group decides to send their flock of azata (wasn't that an 80's band with really big hair?) instead of going themselves... should be entertaining! "Bwoo hoo hoo haa haa haa! I'm an evil undead! I will level-drain the crap out of... a bunch of flying azata who can channel energy!?!?!? NOooooooOO!!!! That's not in the script!!!"
And a quick summary of our Saturday, December 20 game:
-The party woke up in the morning to find that, as Uksahkka predicted, there was a dense fog and Snorri Stone-Eye's funeral had been postponed until sunset.
- Uksahkka stopped by and let the party know that she was setting up a safe house for Ulf and organizing "transportation" to the funeral ship.
- Spivey stopped by, gave the party a shopping list of seeds, plants, and decorations to obtain from 'Olaf Mudfoot', and ranted and raved about 'Lilith', the 3500-year-old original architect of the temple of Desna who had returned and started ordering the lyrakien azata around. Many disparaging remarks were made about her (unclad) cleavage. Marzbar decided he needed to meet her.
- The party did some shopping, including picking up the required seeds and so forth from Olaf. Olaf was obviously a prominent 'grower' in Kalsgard, but still drooled at the opportunity to help 'Lilith'.
- They dropped off the supplies at the temple of Desna, learning that Lilith was a lillend azata of enormous proportions, who was using her massive CHA to charm all the Ulfen in the area to help her defend her temple. She paid Marzbar no heed whatsoever, so he decided he didn't need her "talents" after all.
- Speaking of which, in the 'Age of Lost Omens', the azata could not conclusively state that an attack on Desna's temple was imminent. In fact, Spivey was the first (or second, counting Mi'Nou) to point out that Desna did not care for material things, and wouldn't care if it was HER temple that was being attacked. Nevertheless, Desna was 'indignant' at what was about to occur, and the Desnan temple was reinforced by a ghaele azata (CR 13 and under-CR'ed if you ask me), Lilith (a lillend azata clocking in at CR 7), Spivey (CR 4), and three additional lyrakien azata (CR 2).
- The party finished their business in the city, and headed out to meet Uksahkka.
- In an epic bit of hilarity, Uksahkka tried to teach the party to use kayaks. Since it took a WIS roll, they put Hayden on his own. In an, "Only a GM-run NPC" moment, *only* Hayden consistently soaked himself and nearly drowned trying to steer a kayak.
- The party's activities with the kayaks attracted the attention of a giant shark-eating crab, who hit for 27-odd points of damage with each claw. The party was Not Amused as Nick and Marzbar got grabbed.
- Ro'Ahrr, on not being eaten (Marzbar and Nick were performing that role at the moment), proceeded to hit-hit-crit the crab for MASSIVE damage. The crab, deciding its food was too ouchy, fled.
- Uksahkka gave the group a 'secret token' that would lead them to the safehouse once they said the password, then left for said safehouse.
- The group kayaked out to the funeral ship. Once again, only Hayden failed his rolls. (You REALLY need to avoid letting me run your character, xxx!)
- In an, "I can't believe they didn't think of that" moment, when Nick found that the hatch to the downstairs was nailed shut, he used Detect Evil to determine that there was something moderately evil belowdecks.
- Marzbar opened the hatch, Nick, Spivey, and Ro'Ahrr hopped down, and poor undead draugr Snorri tried to fight a paladin Smiting Evil, a cleric channeling positive energy, an eidolon, *AND* a cassisian angel (who's supposed to stay hidden until the party proves they're 'good', but having a lyrakien azata channeling positive energy pretty much satisfies that requirement without a second thought) breathing cold. So yeah, the big, bad-ass, undead Snorri Stone-Eye died something awful. A second time.
- In perhaps the most pathetic ninja attack ever, four ninjas on two canoes tried to come in under the fog to attack the ship. Mi'Nou spotted them easily, and a wand of Scorching Ray vs. canoes isn't pretty.
- Just because, Marzbar Glitterdusted them. So my blind, swimming, climbing ninjas were spending their rounds trying to at least get onto the ship before they were defeated.
- Hayden sent two of them to watery graves. The other two managed to get on deck, only to be defeated and have Detect Thoughts cast on them.
- The party learned that there was a huge ninja training fortress named Ravenscraeg about 2 days south of Kalsgard, that the ninjas were being trained there and assigned individual missions, and that activity had increased greatly in the last 6 weeks (since the Amatastu seal was opened).
- Nick allowed one of them to commit seppuku, but since they had an extra space and hadn't found Ulf, they returned to shore with the other. Once again, only Hayden failed his kayaking roll and started drowning.
- They used the activation word to activate the secret token; their rendez-vous was at the temple of Shelyn.
- As they approached, the sounds of destruction ahead let to the sudden realization that it wasn't the temple of Desna that had ever been in danger! They send Spivey to fetch the ghaele azata for some butt-stomping madness.
- They engaged the earth elemental that was destroying the temple. Marsbar exhorted the crowd to find whoever was controlling the elemental (failed PER roll to see the raven, as usual). Nick and Ro'Ahrr started hammering away. The cassisian angel tried to help, but just got smacked around for its efforts.
- Mi'Nou learned that Scorching Ray is a GREAT way to get an earth elemental's attention. EVERYONE tried to get between her and the elemental. Even the tiny little cassisian angel alit atop her head and put its protective aura on her, ensuring its own doom by trying to protect her. In a moment of hilarity, it overran Nick with no trouble at all, but was stopped by Marzbar. (Only one overrun per round, Mr. Elemental!)
- The ghaele azata teleported in next to Nick, ensuring that the elemental's days were numbered. And that number was 1.
- In a round of epic party heroicness, the group managed to drop the elemental before the ghaele azata got anything more than an attack of opportunity on it. Abashed, the azata healed them all and offered to perform a service for them before it left.
- Being MY players, they decided that, of ALL the things a ghaele azata is capable of, they would have it return the cassisian angel to its plane (not an issue), and raise the dead red shirt who'd been killed defending Mi'Nou during the viking attack (again, no problemo for a ghaele azata).
- After rescuing the cleric of Shelyn, they found that the safe house had been broken into and Uksahkka had been taken. The only clues were a huge black feather and a dart with blue whinnis poison on it. Ro'Ahrr heroically tracked Uksahkka across the rooftops to the Rimerunner's Guild.
- Nick refused to break into the establishment at night, so the party headed back for the caravan.
- Nick, Mi'Nou, Hayden, and Ro'Ahrr went by way of the Desnan temple, which was deserted.
- Marzbar went to the Oak Quarter to try to ingratiate himself with the local shipbuilders in the hopes of building a front against the Rimerunners, but a couple of really hopelessly bad Diplomacy rolls later, he was lucky to leave the tavern on his own two feet. In an event of epic proportions, he found Lilith at the temple of Shelyn, brought HER back to the tavern, and SHE blew her Diplomacy roll as well. Marzbar got her seriously drunk on the way back to the temple, and she got all weepy about how no one respected her, and Marzbar comforted her from between her ample assets, pondering whether or not he'd died and gone to heaven. He left her unconscious, inebriated, 3,300-pound bulk sleeping it off in the temple of Shelyn.
- The party found that Nick's wagon had been ransacked, but, having nothing but furs and pillows in it, no harm was done beyond tearing Marzbar's pillows up a bit.
- In the morning, Nick proved himself truly the Devil's own disciple by going to Aswig's farm, getting the remaining prisoners, returning to the Rimerunner's Guild, and demanding his wereguild. They didn't have 2200 gold lying around, and even though the (innocent) clerks tried to help, the (not-so-innocent) manager tried to block them. When it became obvious that they wouldn't be able to remove the party except by force, the guards attacked. Unfortunately, Nick stood around refusing to do any damage, the clerks were on the party's side, and Spivey, taking Nick's lead, willingly took two greatsword attacks trying to (very publicly) heal a clerk. The town guard accepted the ruse and joined the party instead of the Rimerunners, and the Rimerunner guards quickly surrendered.
- The party immediately had the run of the place, got 2000 gp in weregild, confirmed that Aswig was rotten and Ravenscraeg was the center of power of the bad guys, found Uksahkka, took some replacement pillows, and moved on.
So in short, all roads point to the ninja fortress of Ravenscraeg, and the party is hell-bent on sacking it.
LOL. Well, the last session was just one giant 12-hour combat. Much to my amazement, the group (including our 'guest player') unanimously endorsed it as "lots of fun":
- Post-sacking of the Rimerunner's Guild, the group knew darned well that time was of the essence, yet it was already 3 in the afternoon so they didn't have a huge amount of time to do things.
- They went to the Ice Quarter to get Spivey and say, 'Hi!' to Lilith (who wasn't willing to help them assault a ninja fortress) and check in on the Hunting Serpent (another, 'No' on both scrolls and help).
- They moved on to the Stone Quarter to get Mi'Nou the scrolls she needed.
- They went to the Bone Quarter, got the caravan packed up, and had the caravan leave Kalsgard after dark to get away from any potential assassins, kidnapping attempts, etc. Spivey led the way, glowing like a little star.
- Leaving the caravan in a glade in the forest, they easily avoided the ochre jelly on the trail (stupid rangers and their stupid Perception rolls), put up signs warning other travelers about it, and got to the stairs to Ravenscraeg.
- It was a fun, long-running battle from the moment they spotted the spider-eating wasp to the point they had secured the entire top floor, but very little of major note happened.
- They even failed to recognize the hellish wasps, but decided to leave them be, considering Nick's Detect Evil on them knocked him silly.
So it was a huge fight with many, many ninja, but every. Single. Person. Either had Protection from Arrows up or made their save against the various poisons the ninja were using.
The *only* truly memorable moment was Wodes dropping a Sleet Storm in the stairwell to prevent the party from proceeding upwards, and Spivey flying up and grappling him something silly. As party members fought their way through the storm, fending off ninja the whole way, they got to the top, only to find Spivey rolling around on the ground fighting the raven. Needless to say, Spivey couldn't hurt the raven and the raven couldn't hurt Spivey, but once "real" fighters showed up the raven was toast. (2 failed Concentration checks to cast spells to get the heck out of there.)
Spivey was a hero for being able to roll a 47 on her Acrobatics check and then just sitting there wrestling with a raven until people who could hurt it showed up...