My Account of Lost Star

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Silver Crusade

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I played with four players, a wizard, a bard, a druid and a paladin. The druid had a cat animal companion. It will matter later that the bard did not have Soothe because she did not know that it existed. The druid could cast healing, but never would up doing so except on her cat. It is notable that as a dwarf who dumped Charisma, the Druid had 0 resonance points.

The four of them, at least as far as I could tell, did well against the ooze. It seemed to be about the right difficulty to be handled by them. As soon as they entered the second room with the goblins, things went south for them. It was an extremely difficult fight, during which both the wizard and cat were knocked down, but not killed. (The wizard said an hour later that he thought he'd been wrong and actually had died, but as it'd been a while by the time he noticed and he might have been mistaken, I continued the game with him alive.) The goblins were generally managing two attacks per round, and the second attack hit decently often. I will note, though, that the PCs were inhibited by the fact that the dancing light alerted the goblins while everyone was still in the hallway and the party was stuck in a choke point as a result.

They were low on resources and health by the time they were done. They went to continue, and the Druid used burning hands to deal with the centipedes with decent ease. However, they were so drained and damaged after those three encounters that they took the loot they'd gotten so far and left the dungeon. I decided that since they'd been in there such a short time, they could use the rest of the day as downtime. As a result, they were able to sell the gear.

Either there were no listed rules for how much gear sells for, or I wasn't able to find them, so I ruled that it sold at full price, on the basis that was the only value ever technically associated with the loot. This allowed them to restore themselves pretty well by purchasing spell-casting services. (I assumed a level 1 cleric with 18 wisdom was easy to come by.)

They went in the next day. They briefly encountered the fungus but ignored it when they realized there was no reason to deal with it. There were no failed saves before they made this decision. Only because I specifically prompted them to maybe actually use an exploration mode action did they seek and manage to find the hidden loot in the larger chamber.

They never checked the pool for the statue and therefore didn't notice it on their first trip through that room. They signaled the goblins with the armor trap. They caught the statue trap. None of them could disable it, but they avoided passing in front of it.

The next goblin fight was more brutal than the last, and half the party was knocked down. This was likewise hindered by the fact that they were essentially in a single file line in the hallway when initiative was triggered. The cat reached dying three, but no one actually died. The druid again made a big dent in the enemy with burning hands. I awarded her a hero point for being MVP.

This one fight left them so resource deprived that they went to leave again, but because I again prompted them to use an exploration mode action, they found the statue. The bard picked it up without thinking and triggered that encounter, which they actually dealt with without too much trouble.

For the second time, they left the dungeon and sold what they had gotten so far to buy healing and spell-casting services. I believe the paladin was knocked down but didn't die in the fight with the skeletons. From there, they used a grappling hook to scale the cliff and get to Drakus' room.

Once again, they were in a single file line in front of the door because they alerted Drakus and he won initiative. He therefore got into a one on one with the paladin. The cat tried to get through Drakus' space and was knocked down by the attack of opportunity when he failed. The wizard miraculously managed to get through his square, but was cut down not long after. The Paladin fell soon after. The druid and bard fled. They both jumped down the cliff, managing to take only a few points of damage. They left.

Drakus used the other door hoping to cut them off. He passed by the statue trap without problem due to his symbol of pharasma, but the rat activated it when he tried to exit the room. This killed him. Drakus caught up to the Druid and killed her, sucking her blood when she was down and he had no more enemies to deal with. The paladin then rose back up, only to be made quick work of.

Had there been a cleric, they would have been better off, but clericless parties shouldn't be invalid. The core problem was that they didn't have enough healing resources to deal with the damage the enemies were doing, especially since the enemies' second attack meant that they only rarely failed to land at least one successful hit in a round. This wasn't just a matter of them not entering all of their fights at full hp. They straight up couldn't handle more than 2 encounters per day.

I'll end on a positive note. I expected to miss attacks of opportunity and have positioning not matter with them gone. It totally mattered, and I don't wish to see them come back.

Edit: It turns out selling rules are in the equipment section, but not in the game mastering section. I don't know how I ever would have found them without ctrl+f. Why isn't this rule listed along with the "selling" downtime activity?

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