The Limited Heal Test


Advice


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Second edition has been out now for about 10 months and I have played and run a lot of it, most of it PFS. I ran a test at level 20 some time back. One of the things I regularly hear suggested is that in combat healing is far more necessary in 2e than 1e. That has been my experience playing PFS games as well although they have all been low level (1-6) so far.

A recent game shifted my opinion on that a little. I played the Iolite Squad Alpha scenario with two barbarians, two rogues and a wizard (I was the wizard). We completed it with full rewards and, while it was difficult in places, we didn’t need the in combat healing. We had several people with medicine for out of combat healing and a couple of people with battle medicine.

I decided to see if this would continue to be the case in the middle levels and so we have this test. Like the level 20 test this is mostly a test of combat capabilities although the characters are built with more than just combat in mind. I picked Part 3 of Age of Ashes as it fits the level range I wanted to test. The PCs start at level 10 in Chapter Two. Obviously this thread will contain many spoilers for Age of Ashes. If you want to avoid them please do not read on.

Our cast of PCs are as follows:

Jaxira, a half elven rogue and a terrifying charmer. A bold, brash and brazen thief, Jaxira is a master of acrobatics, diplomacy, intimidate and stealth. She can provide her own flat footed condition with dread striker (combined with battle cry and terrified retreat for good measure), precise debilitation or has easier flanking options with gang up. Mobility lets her get around more safely and she makes a strong face, especially with her greater cloak of repute.

Korella is a doughty dwarven fighter with a penchant for hitting people with her dwarven war axe. Sudden charge gives her plenty of mobility, power attack and furious focus let her inflict plenty of damage or she can go the improved knockdown route to help set up people for Jaxira. She has a very large HP pool and leads the group in survival and athletics based challenges.

Ando is a well built, unassuming champion of Sarenrae. He has rather neglected charisma in favour of other stats and as such has avoided a lot of champion attack focus spells. He has taken the traditional shield fighter route while employing the flick mace for one handed reach abilities. This helps him with opportunity attack and also retributive strike and he gets an extra reaction every round to use shield block. Ando has dipped into fighter training for sudden charge and has the clever improviser feat allowing him a good chance to aid on any task, especially combined with his co-operative nature. He has the only significant in combat healing, one use of lay on hands for 60hp.

Archibald is an unusual character, a Halfling Wizard. A devotee of Chaldira, the halfling goddess of luck, he is highly educated in the arcane and religious arts. Archibald can turn failure into success with his Halfling Luck, Guiding Luck and can share some of that with his companions. Archibald specialises in evocation magic and has a range of different elemental powers at his disposal. He has also dabbled in roguery for some extra skills, armour and the mobility feat.

PART 1: SUNSET IMPORTS:

Our heroes arrive in Kintargo, their only clue about the local operations of the Scarlet Triad being a warehouse owned and operated by Sunset Imports. They decide to do a little asking around, to see what can be learned about them before heading over.

Jaxira and Ando head into town to see what can be found. Jaxira has the Hobnobber feat so it only takes an hour, Ando is there to assist by standing around looking pretty. Archibald consults his records and makes some enquiries with Society while Korella gets in the coffee and bagels for breakfast, skills are really not her thing. Gathering together for breakfast they discuss what they have learned. The business is run by the Vashnartill family, they used to be close to the Thrunes but with the change in regime in Kintargo they have fallen on hard times. This provokes speculation about whether they are willing conspirators (they supported the Thrunes!) or under economic pressure to work with the Triad. Whichever it is, they won't learn the truth without visiting and so they pack up and head over.

They head to the warehouse and choose the front entrance. They are met by Sedranni and she is snooty at them. All of them realise that something isn't right, Korella notices the woman seems to be terrified. She gives Jaxira a nudge and she coerces the woman into cooperating by slyly suggesting they know about her connection with the Triad and their despicable business practices.

Sedranni collapses into tears and tells the group everything she knows about the Triad. She is clearly very frightened and thinks something horrible is happening in the back of the warehouse. She has heard screaming in there quite recently! The group offer to investigate and decide to take the hallway to get to the rear area.

Exploration Mode Activities
Korella is searching
Ando is defending
Archibald is detecting magic
Jaxira is avoiding notice and checking for traps with her trapfinder ability

Ando spots the Emerald Grasshopper but fails to identify it (Nat 1, a 24 passes the DC for a level 5 item but the nat 1 drops it to a fail. Ando has quick identify and master level arcana so it only takes him 1 round). They head on, carefully opening the end door. Unfortunately this puts them directly in sight of a pair of Triad agents busily torturing a halfling. On the plus side this means they don't fight two encounters together!

ENCOUNTER 1: THE SECURE CORNER
Enemies: Lurb (Triad Bruiser), Krawn (Kalavakus demon)

Initiative
Krawn
Ando
Archibald
Korella
Jaxira
Lurb

Pre Fight: Jaxira growls at Krawn but he is unfazed by her (fails to intimidate, rolled a 3)

Round 1

Krawn reacts first. Seeing heavily armed strangers entering its lair it casts a spell on itself. Archibald recognises it as Haste. It then growls back at Jaxira, startling her (demoralise success, Jaxira is frightened 1)

Ando spots the monstrous looking Kalavakus and decides it looks like a worthy foe. He raises his shield and ruses forward (sudden charge). His blow goes well wide and he learns about the Kalavakus ability to try and disarm those who miss it! Fortunately he keeps a hold of his weapon.

Archibald wracks his mind for what he might know about these demons. He gets a crit success and learns of their weakness to cold iron and good (not much use for this group although Ando can do a small amount of persistent good damage with retributive strike) and about their enslave soul ability. Warning the group he casts haste on Korella.

Korella takes advantage of the Haste using its bonus stride to get into melee with the demon. She tries smashing it with power attack, hitting for 35 damage. Furious focus means it only counts as one attack for MAP so she swings again but the blow goes wide.

Jaxira darts forward, she stabs the Kalavakus which is flat footed to her because of gang up. Her blow is well wide (a 4!) and she ducks back out of the way again to avoid being a target. The Kalavakus does have opportunity attack but it had already used its reaction and Mobility would have prevented it.

Lurb grabs his club and rushes forward up to Korella. His clubs cracks her for 26 damage but Andos reaction takes it down to 14. Retribution catches Lurb for 13 damage and he hisses as the power of goodness begins to eat into him. .He then kicks Korella in the stomach for another 18 damage. He manages to shake off the persistent good damage.

Status

Ando 148/148
Archibald 116/116
Korella 138/170, hasted
Jaxira 118/118
Lurb 166/180
Krawn 165/200, hasted

Round 2

Krawn growls and brings its mind to bear upon Korella, seeking to enslave her soul! Korella fails (with a 4!) and Archibald extends his halfling luck to help her out. She rerolls into another 4 and is now enfeebled 2. At least it wasn't a critical fail .It then tears into her with its horns and claws for another 46 damage.

Ando takes a step forward to put himself directly into the fray. He has reach so didn't need to but wants to try and draw some of the attacks onto himself. He raises his shield and strikes at the demon, hitting for 16 damage.

Archibald looks to buy the group some time and forms a sphere of force around Lurb to delay him a bit. He fails the save and is trapped, for now!

Korella growls and hurls herself at the demon, seeking to knock it to the ground (with improved knockdown). She swings wide, but corrects herself just in time and smashes it in the knee, sending it tumbling. (Rolled a 3, used a hero point, got a 20). Krawn takes 34 damage from the crit, 10 damage from the knockdown but the sphere blows the axe crit special. She strikes again, missing, and he again tries to disarm her but fails. Having drawn out his reaction she battle medicines herself, critting for 26HP.

Jaxira takes the chance to move in on the Kalavakus, moving around to set up potential flanks. She stabs the prone demon for 20 damage and leaving him open to more damage from her attacks for a round. She then tries to cut him with her dagger but gets tangled up in her bandoliers (nat 1).

Lurb is trapped inside the sphere. He tries to break his way out. His first swing with his club misses! He clearly isn't sure where the boundaries of the sphere are (nat 1). His kick connects but does little damage (5). Two more club swings follow, dealing significant damage to the sphere (32) but it still holds, just!

Thinking back on this the nat 1 still hit as it was a crit, reduced down to a hit. It would not have made that much of a difference in the end.

Status

Ando 148/148
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck used
Korella 118/170, hasted, enfeebled 2, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118
Lurb 166/180, trapped (3HP)
Krawn 105/200, hasted, debilitate, +2d6 damage, prone

Round 3

Krawn rises to his feet, doing so he provokes from both Korella and Ando Korella misses due to enfeeblement and he again tries, and fails, to disarm her. Ando holds off, hoping to use retributive strike instead. He gets his chance as, again, Krawn goes for Korella. His horns attack misses as do both claw attacks.

Ando raises his shield and lashes out at Krawn. His first blow connects for a measly 12 damage but it triggers Jaxira’s opportune backstab but she is still tangled up in her bandoliers (another nat 1). His second strike however is a critical for 36 damage which sends him tumbling to the ground again (due to divine weapon bond)

Archibald, seeing the demon badly injured and thinking his companions are likely to kill it simply waits. He is delaying.

Korella, taking advantage of the demon being prone tries pounding on it with power attack. She still cannot connect (a 4, 10 and 11, enfeebled 2 is very annoying).

Jaxira sighs and tries to end the demon before it can do more damage. He rapier goes wide but the dagger hits something vital for 34 damage (crit, maintain bonus 2d6 damage). He is still up so she tries a final speculative dagger strike which also crits for 58 damage and that was the end of him! With the demon dead Korella is also no longer enfeebled!

Lurb smashes his way out of the sphere and then crits Korella with his club for 42 damage. Ando reduces it to 30 and hits him with retributive strike, critting for 26, knocking him prone and inflicting 1 persistent good damage. This triggers Jaxiras opportunistic backstab which crits for 54 damage, makes him flat footed until the start of her next turn and she applies the +2d6 damage debilitate effect. He uses his last action to get back on his feet, provoking from Korella who hits him for another 30 damage.

Archibald, seeing that the group has the situation handled settles for drawing upon the power of his staff to cast true strike and shooting a ray of frost at Lurb. It hits him for 17 cold damage. He is just out of range of his other offensive cantrips.

Status

Ando 148/148
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5)
Korella 88/170, hasted, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118
Lurb 48/180, +2d6 debilitate, flat footed until start of Jaxiras turn, 1 per good
Krawn DEAD

Round 4

Lurb remains flat footed due to Jaxira’s crit so Ando lashes out at him twice and raises his shield. He crits for 22 damage, knocking him prone again and then misses.

Korella looks to finish things with a power attack. She cirts him for 74 damage and that is the end of that!

Aftermath

Ando lays hands on Korella for 60HP and then spends 10 minutes bandaging her for an extra 21. Ward Medic, Continual Recovery and Master level medicine lets him treat four people every 10 minutes out of combat with a near certainty of getting 2d8+10 per check.

Status

Ando 148/148
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5)
Korella 169/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118

They also free Hunclay and learn his story about the Bellflower Network. They quickly agree to help him and head out of the Warehouse. Unfortunately, going through the warehouse they encounter the Stone Golem which takes exception to their presence!

If you want to see what the characters are like then you can find their details on the roll20 table I am using to run things HERE


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andreww wrote:
Obviously this thread will contain many spoilers for Age of Ashes. If y

Oh boo. :(


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I've seen this go both ways. There are some fights that without the ability to heal would certainly have been a TPK. Others.. hardly an issue.

Higher level enemies tend to strain the party, and that's when a combat healer shines.

i.e. fighting an enemy that is party level +3... it will hit very hard and crit often. Players will be KOed. A combat healer can get them back up on their feet and contributing, but if nobody can do that, then just about every turn a player will go unconscious. Can your party stop that higher level threat in less rounds than it has characters?

Scenarios like this make people think that a Cleric is necessary. I don't think so. I actually think it's better in PF2 if a few of the characters are moderately good healers, rather than 1 character being a showstopper of a healer.

If the bard and druid both have one spell slot dedicated to a healing spell - and it doesn't even need to be a high level spell - they can rapidly bring a downed character back into the fight. If the Monk and Barbarian have Battle Medicine, now all 4 characters have a limited amount of healing. Most fights they won't use a heal in combat, they'll strike or blast away until it's all over, then the Druid with Ward Medic will use Treat Wounds on the front liners, and maybe the odd Elixer of Life will be used. When things get really dangerous, they all pull out the stops and use their spells and Battle Medicine when an ally goes down, bringing that character back into the fight.

You dont' really want to do that to an individual character more than once in a fight anyways - the nature of how Wounded and Dying work means that you are risking character death if you keep getting Wounded and keep getting back up to fight. Eventually you'll go to Dying 4 and that'll be that. Thus the party really only needs a handful of spells/abilities to heal a KOed character back into the fight. After a fight where you get hammered like that, it's typically back to a secure place to camp anyways.

The spread-out nature of the healing capabilities also helps the party; if it's the cleric who goes down first, or gets debilitated by a spell effect, or their car breaks down and they can't make the session... the party has other options. One of the first fights I threw at my party, an Owlbear charged the level 1 party's cleric, crit and KOed him. The primal sorcerer got him back on his feet. Next turn the rogue went down and the Cleric was able to rescue. Then the animal companion got knocked senseless and the druid used a focus spell to bring the animal back into the fight. It was fantastic :)


Nice write up. It's a good test.

I'd think the main disadvantage of not having a ranged combat heal is when there is a high level enemy with AOOs that knocks out and stands over a party member. I believe there is a fight with giants around the same level in AOA that could be used to test this.


I think the main benefit of having combat healing is the different set of tactics and character builds that can be used.

If not using combat healing your focus has to lie on dealing damage yourself (dead enemies cant deal their damage back), battlefield control and damage avoidance in addition to possible having to have battle medicine on more than just one character.

If you include massive combat healing you usually have the opportunity to at least try to trade damage with you opposition, which enables a whole different set of possible tactics.

Personally I see damage avoidance and battlefield control as viable but advanced mode of play, requiring a much more proficient knowledge of the game mechanics and therefore not especially suited for beginners.


PART 1 SUNSET IMPORTS:

Before heading out the group search the area for loot securing a +2 weapon potency rune, greater shadow armour rune, an iron talisman, a +1 striking greatclub and +1 shortbow from Lurb. Archibald identifies all but the weapon rune. The group decide to leave it for later as for anyone else to try would take 10 minutes and the Bellflower Network is at risk. For the same reason they don't affix the Talisman but Korella takes the greatclub so she has a bludgeoning weapon. Transferring the shadow rune will take a day so isn't practical.

Still the group exercise a modicum of caution as they leave. It seems unlikely that any Triad agents remain or they would have joined the fight but they are alert for possible traps or loot they may have missed. Everyone is searching as they leave through the warehouse, Jaxira is avoiding notice as well due to trapfinding.

As they round a stack of crates they are confronted by the Stone Golem!

ENCOUNTER 2: THE WAREHOUSE

Initiative
Jaxira
Stone Golem
Archibald
Korella
Ando

Round 1

Jaxira is out of range for battle cry and it wouldn't work on the golem anyway. She darts forward and stabs it with her rapier, hitting for 9 after DR and applies the extra damage debilitate. She then ducks back around behind a pile of crates.

Stone Golem Trundles forward, toppling a bunch of crates out of its way. It pulses with magic, trying to slow everyone except Archibald (who is too far away). Only Korella fails and she is slowed 1 for 1 minute. It strikes her for 25 damage but Ando reacts, reducing it to 13 but misses with retributive strike. The golem then tries to paralyse Korella but she saves. It rolls a 4 for its recharge so the slow effect is unlikely to come up again.

Archibald tries to work out what this thing is and just identifies it as a stone golem. He shrugs and shoots a ray of frost at it, hitting for 32 damage.

Korella is slowed but that isnt going to stop her. She sudden charged to get behind it and set up the flank. Chipping away for 15 damage after resistance.

Ando steps up to the monster to keep Korella in range of retribution, swings once critting for 32 damage and knocking it prone and then raises his shield.

Status

Ando 148/148
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5)
Korella 156/170, BM (self), slowed 1 (1 min)
Jaxira 118/118
Stone Golem 87/175, +2d6 debilitate, prone

Round 2

Jaxira steps forward, her rapier stab goes well wide but she slices it with her dagger for 19 damage and continues her debilitate

Stone Golem stands up, a big mistake given there are two people with opportunity attack standing next to it. Korella slashes it for 16 damage, triggering Jaxira’s backstab which misses. Ando holds off to use retributive strike. The golem dislikes cold damage so pushes past Ando to get to Archibald Ando doesn't try to stop it, planning to use his strike to protect the little halfling. He needs it as the golem crits Archibald for 42 damage, reduced to 30. The strike misses.

Archibald dislikes being stood next to a massive golem. He shuffles away from it, using Mobility just in case it has some sneaky reactions. With his speed of 35 from his longstrider wand he can safely move 15’. He shoots another ray of frost but the panic causes him to go wide.

Korella is still slowed, she sudden charges the golem but slips on some discarded wrapping, missing (another nat 1)

Ando, moving past the crates he puts on a sudden burst of speed and runs around to block the golems path again and set up flanks but his attack goes well wide (move then sudden charge).

Status

Ando 148/148
Archibald 86/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5)
Korella 156/170, BM (self), slowed 1 (9 rounds)
Jaxira 118/118
Stone Golem 52/175, +2d6 debilitate

Round 3

Jaxira rinse and repeat but this time she crits with her rapier for 55 damage causing the creature to stop moving as she strikes something vital inside of it.

Aftermath

Ando drops a lay on hands on Archibald but the group decide they cannot wait to treat wounds, the Bellflower Network is in trouble and they must get to Kite Hill quickly. I dont allow Ando to refocus as they rush off.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 0
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5)
Korella 156/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118


PART 2 KITE HILL:

Our heroes quickly make their way to Kite Hill and meet up with Nolly. She fills them ion on how the Kites work and they head up to try them out. All of them get their kites into the air and engaging each other except Korella who runs back and forward throwing hers at the ground. It is all a bit embarrassing. And then a massive devil appears from nowhere singing the praises of Ndal!

Initiative

Archibald
Nolly
Devil
Korella
Ando
Jaxira

Round 1

Archibald gawps at the massive creature. He quickly recognises that it is a gelugon, a powerful devil, that neither cold nor fire can harm it (he groans) but that it is weak to good aligned damage (of which they have very little). It also resists all bar silver weapons (again they strike out, they have none! Special materials are expensive). Unsure of how he can deal with it he delays until after Nolly.

Nolly lets go of her kite, draws her sling, loads it and lets fly hitting the devil for 18 damage, including some chaotic damage. It growls in her direction.

Archibald concerned about what it might do, about its extensive reach (its large and using a longspear) and its ability to fly draws on his arcane bond and tries to trap it in a resilient sphere to give the group time to prepare. The devil criticals its save and the spell winks out. Archibald curses.

Devil flies forward and upwards to be flying level with the group on top of the hill. It unleashes a massive cone of cold, hitting the entire group. Everyone fails, taking 54 cold damage (less resistance here and there)

Korella cannot reach the flying devil. She draws and dinks a fly potion and then draws her waraxe.

Ando also draws and drinks a potion of fly and draws his mace.

Jaxira activates her armour to become invisible and then draws and drinks a potion of fly.

Status

Ando 99/148, focus 0
Archibald 62/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5),
Korella 107/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 64/118
Nolly 131/185
Devil 197/215

Round 2

Nolly reloads her sling, tries to sneak along the brow of the hill to get out of line of sight but the devils eyes are too sharp and then she fires once, hitting for 12 damage.

Archibald hurls a bolt of lightning at the horror and then ducks behind the brow of the hill to avoid more cones of cold. It crit saves again, taking no damage (Ref is its worst save at +24, his DCs are only 29 at this level. This is even with spell penetration removing the status bonus)

Devil hovers in place and unleashes a second cone of cold at the group! Jaxira rolls a 2 and spends her hero point to reroll. She gets a 34 and evasion pushes her into a crit pass for no damage. Korella and Ando fail, Nolly passes and it deals 52 damage less some resistance. It uses its 3rd action to remain flying.

Korella and Ando delay until after Jaxira

Jaxira battle medics herself for 23 healing and then flies forward and encounters its frightful presence. She crit fails the save with a nat 1 and hesitantly stabs the devil with her rapier (at frightened 4), unsurprisingly missing.

Ando raises his shield and sudden charges forward, discovering that the devil has opportunity attack. It stabs him for 26 damage and he shield blocks to reduce it to 16 and he saves against the slow. He saves against frightful presence and aura of courage reduces the value to 0. His own swing goes well wide but his own aura reduces Jaxira’s frightened condition

Korella also sudden charges forward, missing with a nat 1. She also crit fails against frightful presence but bravery reduces the value to 3. Despite that her second swing crits for 28 damage and her fear falls to 2.

Status

Ando 36/148, focus 0, shield 10 damage
Archibald 62/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5),
Korella 55/170, BM (self), frightened 2
Jaxira 87/118, BM (self), frightened 2
Nolly 105/185
Devil 157/215

Round 3

Nolly reloads, fires and reloads. She crits for 28 damage.

Archibald sneaks back up to the crest of the hill but is easily spotted. He telekinetically throws a rock at the devil but it goes well wide.

Devil, seeing Ando badly injured it stabs him, hitting just. He shield blocks again with his extra reaction reducing the damage to 13. He makes the fort save against slow. It stabs him again, hitting him for 21 and leaving him almost unconscious but he again makes the fort save. It takes an action to fly, even when just staying in place but this is a bad idea when flying next to two people with opportunity attacks as it has the move trait. Ando has used both of his reactions to shield block but Korella lashes out hitting for 14 damage and triggering Jaxiras backstab which hits for 13 and lets her debilitate him for extra damage.

Jaxira stabs with her Rapier, missing due to the fear. Her dagger attack goes well wide and she avoids provoking while flying due to mobility.

Ando cannot afford to do anything which might provoke so he delays until after Korella.

Korella winds up for a big swing, hitting for a disappointing 18 damage with power attack (after DR) but this also triggers Jaxira’s reaction but her blow goes wide. She then takes an action to fly, which provokes, taking 19 damage and critting the fort save versus slow.

Ando, free from risk of an opportunity attack, he battle medicines himself. He fails the DC30 check and rerolls with a heropoint, healing 40hp. He swings at the creature and wildly misses (another nat 1) and uses an action to fly, no shield this turn! At the end of his turn his aura clears the frightened condition from his allies.

Status

Ando 42/148, focus 0, shield 20 damage
Archibald 62/116, halfling luck used, Staff (4|5),
Korella 36/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 87/118, BM (self)
Nolly 105/185
Devil 84/215

Round 4

Nolly fire, reloads and fires again, both connect for a total of 25 damage. The devil is growing annoyed at the chaotic nature or her weapon.

Archibald raps his staff on the ground to cast true strike and launches a 5th level hydraulic push at the devil. He doesn't really want to push it but this is his best single target damage. He misses with a 7 and a 9 and uses Guiding Luck to reroll the check which I think also benefits from the true strike as Halfling Luck does not reroll a dice but a Check. He gets a 1 and an 11 and still misses!

Devil, decides to try and remove Korella given that she attacked him when he maintained his flight. It hits, triggering Andos reaction which reduces the damage to 8. Ando hits with his strike for a mighty 4 but, more importantly, inflicts 1 persistent good damage. Korella fails the slow save and is slowed 1 for 3 rounds. Its second swing goes wide. It screams as the good damage eats away at it!

Jaxira is no longer frightened and her target is flanked. She stabs with her Rapier, hitting for 8 but debilitating for extra damage. Her dagger then slices a bright line across its legs for another 25 damage and she uses Mobility to dance around behind it without provoking.

Korella, seeing their enemy is badly damaged, launches a pair of single attacks, looking for extra chances to hit. The first goes well wide, the second scrapes along its ribs for a mere 4 damage. She winces in expectation of pain as she flies, provoking from it. It easily hits her but only for 14 damage. I missed that Jaxira could have reacted here but it wont matter.

Ando[/b strikes twice, missing both times and takes an action to fly. The devil survives another turn!

[b]Status

Ando 42/148, focus 0, shield 20 damage
Archibald 62/116, halfling luck used, Staff (3|5),
Korella 14/170, BM (self), slow 1 (3|3)
Jaxira 87/118, BM (self)
Nolly 105/185
Devil 7/215, 1 persistent good

Round 5

Nolly reloads, fires, missing and reloads.

Archibald screams go back to hell and launches three magic missiles at the devil. They blow off his head, spattering the group with devil brains which promptly vanish!

Aftermath

With a lot of damage the group settle down for some serious treat wounds action. Ando tends to all of them, going for the DC20 each time. He can now also refocus, adding an extra 60hp/10 minutes to that available. He restores

10 min: 33 to all PCs, 60 to Korella
20 min: 31 to all PCs, 60 to Nolly, Jaxira and Archibald are fully healed
30 min: 37 to all who need it and tops off himself with LoH.

The group take a further 10 minutes to let Ando recover his focus point while Archibald knocks the dents out of his shield.

Status

Ando 143/148, focus 1
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck used, Staff (3|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118, BM (self)
Nolly 185/185


That was a close fight. It would have been bad if Ando went down given the fight was in the air. Mobility is a hell of a good feat in a flying fight.


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Queaux wrote:
That was a close fight. It would have been bad if Ando went down given the fight was in the air. Mobility is a hell of a good feat in a flying fight.

Yes, probably the most dangerous form of encounter for this grouo, an overlevelled boss monster (13) with flight and 15' reach. Most of the groups ranged capability is Archibald and it was immune to a whole swathe of things he can do and, being 3 levls over them, had very hugh saves. Hiw worst save crit passed on a 15.


andreww wrote:
Queaux wrote:
That was a close fight. It would have been bad if Ando went down given the fight was in the air. Mobility is a hell of a good feat in a flying fight.
Yes, probably the most dangerous form of encounter for this grouo, an overlevelled boss monster (13) with flight and 15' reach. Most of the groups ranged capability is Archibald and it was immune to a whole swathe of things he can do and, being 3 levls over them, had very hugh saves. Hiw worst save crit passed on a 15.

Right, though it isn't at the height of the system for severe encounters with the extra character contributing to the fight.

This party comp seems to work fine without a full support. Ando and Archibald are half combat supports, and Jaxira is like a 1/4 combat support. Ando's damage mitigation and Lay on Hands in particular really pick up the healer role well. I don't think you're proving that this party comp is better, but the Champion in place of a full healer is certainly a compelling option.

Edit: If one of the characters, probably Jaxira, got a ranged heal through an archetype to more conveniently pick up downed characters, I think the party would be exceptionally effective.


PART 2: LONG ROADS COFFEE HOUSE:

As the group rest and recover Kebb scurries over and reports to Nolly. Several of them realise it would be unusual for the Umbral Court to use a devil to carry out their dirty work. They discuss amongst themselves and, guided by Ando’s adherence to truth and justice, decide that Nolly should spread what they suspect is the truth, this was not of Nidals making.

The group easily finds the tracks of the devil and its conjurer. They follow the tracks out of the park but lose them on the road to Kintargo. Unable to follow this lead further they head back to town and to the Long Roads Coffeehouse. Approaching the coffee house they immediately notice something is wrong and drop into battle formation.

Exploration Mode
Jaxira: Avoid notice, search for traps
Ando: Defend
Korella: Scout
Archibald: Casting shield

The group enter the main public room quickly spotting the two bodies and then the undead rise!

As a quick note, I give each of them a hero point, having completed 3 encounters.

Initiative

Blue Remnant
Jaxira
Ando
Red Remnant
Archibald
Korella
Bells
Hound

Pre init Jaxira battle cry’s blue, just passing and it hesitates, it is frightened 1 for its turn.

Round 1

Blue Remnant flies forward and strikes Ando twice, but he is too quick and it misses with both. With shield raised Ando is AC33, even so it only needs a 9 to hit him on its first attack, 10 with the frightened condition.

Jaxira leaps over a table and into position flanking blue and hoping it doesn't have opportunity attack. Fortunately it doesn’t. She hits with her ghost touch rapier and then crits. Ghost touch bypasses its resistance but still doesn't allow her to sneak attack it. She deals 18 and 34 damage and it is flat footed until the start of her next turn.

Ando strikes twice at the spirit and raises his shield. He hits once for a mere 10 damage given its substantial resistance but he does trigger Jaxira’s backstab, which misses.

Red Remnant flies forward to flank Jaxira and discovers she cannot be. It strikes out with its mace, missing once then connecting once. This triggers Ando’s reaction, allowing him to step and strike and reducing the damage to nothing due to shining oath. His strike hits for 13 damage and applies 1 ongoing good which promptly drops off.

Archibald recognizes the spirts as remnants of Barzili Thune. He realises they are incorporeal, can create haunts and are damaged when such haunts are destroyed. He promptly casts shield and launches a force bolt at Blue for 11 damage

Korella sudden charges to get into flank on blue. She hits once for 13 damage.

Bells, they ring, hitting everyone for 13 damage. Archibald crit fails and rerolls into a crit pass. Ando saves, juggernaut takes it to a crit. Korella crits. Jaxira fails taking 13 damage.

The Hound appears and attacks Ando, he shield blocks reducing the damage to 5.

Status

Ando 143/148, focus 1, Shield 10 damage
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (3|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 105/118, BM (self)

Blue Remnant 47/135, flat footed until start of Jaxira’s turn
Red Remnant 14 damage

Round 2

Blue Remnant turns and tries to smash Ando to bits. It strikes three times, hitting once for 17 damage

Jaxira tries to finish off blue, she hits once for 16 damage

Ando is exactly where he wants to be, everyone is close enough for retributive strike. He calls out to Sarenrae to exorcise the Hound, easily passing the DC (he is expert at religion). It vanishes and both spirits howl in rage, taking 20 force damage. He then strikes blue but only for 6 damage, resist 12 is tough. Again though it is enough to trigger Jaxira’s backstab but she misses.

Red Remnant steps up to Ando and swings twice, he hasn't raised is shield this round so this could hurt. One blow connects for 20 damage.

Archibald calls out prayers to Chaldira to disrupt the bells, a natural 1 could be bad and he rerolls into a pass. The bells fade away and both spirits howl, blue has had enough and vanishes, its energy spent. He promptly casts shield.

Korella barrels around to flank red, shoving a table out of the way. She throws herself into the blow, completely overbalancing (another nat 1)

Status

Ando 106/148, focus 1, Shield 10 damage
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (3|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 105/118, BM (self)

Blue Remnant Defeated
Red Remnant 81/135

Round 3

Jaxira takes a step to flank red and strikes twice, critting for 28 and flat footing it until the end of her next turn and missing

Ando raises his shield and strikes twice. He deals 19 damage, its resistance has been reduced as no haunts remain. Jaxir backstabs but misses.

Red Remnant is still active but not by much. It strikes out at Jaxira, hitting and triggering retributive strike which negates all of the damage. Andos strike misses. It turns and strikes at Ando twice more, hitting for 11 which he shield blocks down to 1

Archibald delays to see if his magic will be needed.

Korella swings with power attack, hitting for 26 and then missing.

Status

Ando 105/148, focus 1, Shield 20 damage
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (3|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 105/118, BM (self)

Blue Remnant Defeated
Red Remnant 8/135, flat footed until end of Jaxiras next turn

Round 4

Jaxira stabs once, ending the spirit's existence.

Status

Ando 105/148, focus 1, Shield 20 damage
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (3|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 105/118, BM (self)

With signs of violence apparent the group does not stop to heal or loot. They want to make sure any Bellflower Network allies are still alive. They also don't want to be slowed down so no-one will be using exploration activities save Jaxira’s automatic trap detection. As such she takes point.


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Neither of my Age of Ashes Campaigns include a in combat healer, but both do include a Champion whose in combat mitigation probably ends up fulfilling a very similar role.

I just recently got to start playing in an extinction curse, and I rolled a healing cleric a little worried I might have to find stuff to do with extra actions in combat... and discovered that a party that includes no champion and no one with a shield is an ENTIRELY different game.

Without mitigation early on, everyone's taken an absolutely savage beating and I've spent a lot of my time in combat keeping people on their feet.

The moral I'm taking away from this is that while in combat healing may not be necessary, some sort of "Damage Management" strategy in combat is significantly more necessary to your game plan than before. Healing is one strategy that can work for this, but mitigation and reduction along with strong recovery abilities outside of combat are likely another.


PART 2: LONG ROADS COFFEE HOUSE:

The group quickly search the ground floor, finding plenty more signs of violence. They scramble up the ladder and into the office, finding the two frightened customers. There is a brief chat and Jaxira becomes more and more suspicious of their answers until they transform themselves and battle commences!

Initiative
Blue Raja
Jaxira
Korella
Red Raja
Archibald
Ando

Pre fight Jaxira growls at blue raja, just missing a crit but leaving him frightened 1 for his turn

Round 1

Blue Raja growls back at Jaxira, failing to intimidate her. It then shadow blasts the group with force damage. Jaxira chooses reflex, passes and evasions up her to a crit. Ando choses will, crit fails and bruns his hero point, turning it into a fail. Archibald saves. Korella crit saves. It only deals 18 damage but at least nothing much is resisting force damage.

Jaxira rolls up to red and surprise attacks him (I allowed her to use deception for init). She hits for 21 damage and debilitates for +2d6. She follows up with a dagger poke for another 28 damage.

Korella sudden charges behind the two enemies, hoping they dont have opportunity attack (they dont). She cuts into red for 10 damage, discovering their substantial resistance.

Red Raja unleashes disturbing vision throughout the room. Ando fails and is sickened 1. It then turns and claws Korella, critting for 38 and then missing.

Archibald identifies them as Rakshasas and knows that you need piercing weapons to harm them. The room is too cramped for much of his magic so he tries to instil fear in them. Blue passes, red crit passes.

Ando raises his shield, moves forward to get the party into range of retributive strike and attacks red but goes well wide.

Status
Ando 87/148, focus 1, Shield 20 damage, sickened 1
Archibald 107/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (3|5),
Korella 132/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 105/118, BM (self)
Red Raja 96/155, +2d6 precision
Blue Raja 155/155, frightened 1

Round 2

Blue Raja Doesn't realise two of the group have opportunity attack and casts another shadow blast. Korella misses with a nat 1, Ando also misses. More explosions of force follow, throwing furniture all over the place. Ando saves, Jaxira saves and evasion makes it a crit, Archibald fails and it deals 25 force damage. Blue then bites at Korella but misses.

Jaxira.Uses mobility to move around the enemy, giving Ando and Korella a chance to flank. She has gang up. She stabs, critting for 65 damage and stabs with her dagger for 24 and red is barely conscious, covered with blood and continues to be debilitating striked. The crit also makes it flat footed no matter what until the start of Jaxira’s next turn.

Korella power attacks red, critting for 74 damage and taking off his head. Her axe crit speciality triggers doing 15 damage to blue, reduced to 5 sadly by its resistance. Her backswing catches blue for another 19 damage and triggers Jaxiras backstab which misses.

Archibald raps his staff on the ground (true strike), telekinetically picks up a writing stylus from the desk and hurls it at the Rakshasa (telekinetic projectile). He rolls two 5’s and it embeds itself in the wall.

Ando raises his shield, moves to flank blue and swings, connecting for all of 6 damage.

Status

Ando 75/148, focus 1, Shield 20 damage, sickened 1
Archibald 82/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 132/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 105/118, BM (self)
Red Raja DEAD
Blue Raja 125/155

Round 3

Blue Raja is in a tough spot. It decides to try and take down the paladin. The kukri flashes and Ando shield blocks, taking 10. It flashes again and he shield blocks again, taking 6. At this point I realise I am doing shield block wrong and rather than taking the 10 damage it blocks it should be taking the damage that exceeds that. I leave the 20 damage it started the encounter with in place and now it has taken another 16, it is close to its break threshold. Ando needs to buy some spare low level shields just in case.

Jaxira looks to finish blue. It is flat footed to her due to gang up. She hits for 20 and applies the +2d6 damage debilitate. Her second attack misses but her third with the dagger crits for 50 and imposes a d6+1 bleed

Korella hits it for 29 damage with a power attack, triggering Jaxira’s backstab which misses. Her second blow goes well wide.

Archibald delays to see if Ando can kill it.

Ando focuses his mind and his mace changes form, resuming its regular trident shape. He stabs it for 10 damage and then misses. It is still up.

Archibald sighs and launches a barrage of magic missiles at it, finishing it off!

Aftermath
Ando heals himself with lay on hands and they spend 10 minutes treating wounds, restoring 20. A second round gets everyone back to full.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, Shield 36 damage, sickened 1
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118, BM (self)


PART 2: THE TOWER:

While they heal up Archibald knocks some of the dents from Ando’s shield, restoring 30hp with a success and a crit. The group quickly finds Elianda and learns what happened. They have a dilemma, do they go after Laria or check out the other Bellflower locations to make sure the agents are safe. They learn that the warning was received here so decide rescuing Laria is the greater priority, reasoning that the agents at the other locations should have had time to scatter given the warning.

The group head to the Tower. They enter carefully, aware that Triad agents may be lurking anywhere.

Ando defending
Jaxira avoiding notice and checking for traps
Korella searching
Archibald avoiding notice

Korrella easily notes that the internal stairs have been used pretty regularly, despite the lower levels appearing totally gutted. They head upstairs. They all have at least low light so the dim light doesn't bother them.

Initiative

Jaxira
Archibald
Ivenna
Korella
Ando
Red Poisoner
Blue Poisoner

Round 1

Jaxira reacts first. She darts into the room and stabs the burly looking guard, critting him for 49 damage, flat footing him due to weapon tricks and adding a +2d6 damage debilitate. She then slices him with her dagger for another 22.

Archibald scrables up the stairs and launches an electric arc at the two visible enemies. Ivenna saves but the red poisoner fails. It deals 15 damage.

Ivenna snatches up her club and flails around at Jaxira, wildly missing.

Korella stomps up the stairs and crashes into Ivenna, knocking her prone and critting her for 55 damage

Ando moves in, strikes the prone Ivenna for 20 damage and raises his shield. Ivenna takes her reaction, hits for another 26 damage and Ivenna is now down.

Red Poisoner decides discretion is the better part of valour and ties to duck out. He provokes from Ando on the way out taking 12 damage. He scrambles part way up the stairs to the next level, shouting a warning and drawing his crossbow. The enemies above will join the combat at the start of round 3 if red is not silenced quickly.

Blue Poisoner Emerges from the rear room, draws his crossbow and shoots Ando. He shield blocks, taking 2 damage and easily making the poison save.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118, BM (self)

Ivenna DEAD
Red Poisoner 108/135

Round 2

Jaxira darts up the stairs after red. She growls at him, demoralising him to enable sneak. She strikes, missing and spends a hero point which turns it into a hit for 23 damage. For debilitate she reduces his speed by 10.

Archibald, not wanting the enemy to overwhelm them conjures a wall of stone to block the stairs.

Korella sudden charges into blue but misses twice.

Ando moves in on blue, swings and misses and raises his shield.

Red Poisoner trapped against a wall of stone he drops his crossbow, draws his shortsword and uses his special move to strike to Archibald while poisoning his blade and stabs hm. He hits for 16 damage but Archibald saves against the poison.

Blue Poisoner breaks away from Ando and Korella, which is a mistake. Korella hits him for 30 but Ando misses. He then also does his special on Archibald hitting for another 13 but again he saves against the poison.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 87/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118, BM (self)

Ivenna DEAD
Red Poisoner 108/135,
Blue Poisoner 105/130

I decide that the wall has muffled the sound of combat sufficiently to delay the enemies above from noticing for at least 2 more rounds. If they can finish them off in the time they will not give themselves away.

Round 3

Jaxira jumps down the stairs after red. Archibald makes him flat footed due to gag up. She crits him for 40, applies the extra 2d6 and flat foots him until the start of her next turn. Her dagger strikes misses.

Archibald strikes red for 22 fire damage with produce flame and then ducks back towards Ando.

Korella sudden charges red, critting him for 44 damage and hitting for 18, ending his life.

Ando barrels up to blue, crits him for 38 damage, knocking him prone and then citting him again for 18. Jaxira takes her reaction, critting him for 46 leaving him on 3hp.

Red Poisoner

Blue Poisoner stands up and Korella finishes him with an opportunity attack

Aftermath
Archibald has taken a little damage but not enough to justify a 10 minute rest.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 87/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118, BM (self)


AS a GM about to do just these secens in AoA I love these combat summaries. It allows me to get a feel for the combats b4 actually running them. Keep up the good work and thx.

Our party consists of A half elf Thief/Sorc, an elven Percision ranger with Butterscotch the Bear companion, a Dwarvin Warhammer/Shield Fighter, and a Gnome Divine Sorcerer.

One thing I am really suprised at is how blasty the Divine Sorcerer is and how well her spells last through the day with 4 of each lvl plus an extra max lvl heal and her enhanced healing focus power it is tough for me to lay enough damage on the party for it to stick. During the previous adventures I have gotten a player to dieing 3 a total of twice (one just recently). The ranger is our out of combat healer with expert medicine and some of the skill feats and they all invested heavly in healing potions to be safe during downtime. I have even beefed up some encounters with a touch more hp and the odd elite just to make them have to work a bit harder for their wins.

Of course all that goes out the window when the Thief/Sorc manages to seduce a certin rusty Hag..... OMG I never saw it coming (He got ahold of the ring of lies from earlier and he was already high face/diplomacy) he also made certin to keep the had with the ring on it hidden...


I have to say I left am quite puzzled when I compare the encounters presented here (and in the other thread) with my actual game experience. Combat always looks smooth, short and tidy. I guess I will have to take into account that apart from not rolling well (we do not roll bad either, but sometimes just average rolls get you nowhere in PF2) my group is neither especially well build nor played by one single mind.


PART 2: THE TOWER:

Our heroes examine their options. The stairs are now blocked by a wall of stone. They could break through it but that is likely to create a lot of noise. They decide to send Jaxira scouting instead. Archibald casts fly and invisibility on her and they force open one of the windows. Neither spell lasts very long so she uses them to scout out the next level only. The windows are leaded glass making it hard to identify any details of the rooms but she can spot if they are occupied. She easily avoids detection, cracks open the window to the workshop, and sets up a rope for the others. Korella and Ando easily scale the climb, Archibald follows the expert and manages it.

They sneak through the bunk room and Ando kicks in the doo!

Exploration tactic

Ando Defending
Archibald Avoiding Notice
Jaxira Avoiding Notice
Korella Searching

The golems will only join the fight in round two. I give everyone a hero point again, having completed another 3 encounters.

Jaxira battle cries red, getting a success and making him frightened 1.

Initiative
Korella
Red Poisoner
Archibald
Green Poisoner
Ando
Purple Golem (round 2)
Jaxira
Blue Poisoner
Orange golem (round 2)

Round 1

Korella does what she does best, she barrels into the room and smashes into red, trying to knock him down. She hits for 34 damage, knocking him prone.

Red Poisoner is surprised at having been hit by an angry dwarf. He stands up and Korella hits him again for another 30. Reeling he draws his short sword and stabs her for 11 damage. Ando reacts, negating all of it and takes a step, bringing him into range for his own retributive strike, inflicting another 19 damage.

Archibald slips into the room behind Korella and fireballs all three poisoners. All pass, none critically, and it deals 30 damage.

Green Poisoner opens the doors to call for the golems, snatches up his crossbow and fires at Korella but misses.

Ando Moves to flank red, strikes him once, missing and raises his shield.

Jaxira still has the drop on blue. She moves in, crits him with her rapier for 48 damage,debilitates him for an extra 2d6 and makes him flat footed until the start of her next turn. She then crits him for 52 damage with her dagger and leaves him beeding for 1d6+1 as well.

Blue Poisoner grabs his sword, this provokes from Ando who has planted himself in the middle of the room and is using the stupid flickmade. He hits for 13 damage which triggers Jaxiras reaction but she misses. He uses his special allowing him to move, poison his weapon and stab. He moves to set up a flank on Jaxira but misses.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 87/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118, BM (self)

Red 37/135
Green 120/135
Blue 7/135, +2d6, ff until start of Jaxiras turn, bleeding 1d6+1

Round 2

Korella is flanking red already so power attacks him, hitting for 25 damage and then hits him again for another 25 and that was the end of him.

Archibald identifies the golems as alchemical and learns of their resistances including magic immunity. He sighs a little. He warns the group and electric arcs the two remaining poisoners. Blue crit fails taking 38 which kills him, green passes taking 9.

Green Poisoner backs out of the lab to force the group to come to the golems, reloads his crossbow and fires but misses.

Ando sudden charges purple, hitting for 14 damage and then backs off back into the room, trying to force the golems to come to them.

Purple Golem moves into the room and tries to inject Jaxira. It hits but Ando reduces the damage to 4. His retributive strike deals another 15 damage

Jaxira moves around the golem to flank with Ando and is glad it doesn't have opportunity attack. She rolls poorly and both of her attacks miss.

Orange Golem moves forward and swings on Jaxira, things are getting a little tight now. It crits her for 44 damage and injects its sickness drug but she makes the fort save.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 87/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 70/118, BM (self)

Red DEAD
Green 101/135
Blue DEAD
Purple 121/150

Round 3

Korella drops her axe, draws the greatclub she took from the enemy previously, and sudden charges into purple, hitting for 19 damage.

Archibald launches a ray of frost at purple but fudges it completely (nat 1) then casts guidance on Jaxira.

Green Poisoner reloads his crossbow, shoots Korella for 14 damage but she makes the poison save. He glances up the stairs to the upper level hoping some sort of help might be coming.

Ando moves up to be adjacent to both golems and get Jaxira within range of his retributive strike. He hits purple for 19 damage then raises his shield. Jaxira takes her reaction, critting for 36 damage after resistance, adding 2d6 from devilitate and making it further flat footed until the start of he turn. The triggers its rupture which hits Ando, Jaxira, Korella and the other golem for 37 cold damage. Jaxira passes taking nothing but the other two fail, both have resist 5. The other golem crit passes, taking no damage and not therefore getting slowed.

Purple Golem annoyed by Ando it swings on him, missing as he raised his shield. It tries again, missing again due to the raised shield (a 31 and a 32). Lastly it swings on Jaxira, hitting even on its third attack (with a 17). This triggers retributive strike which reduces the damage to 6 and he hits for another 16.

Jaxira strikes purple, hoping not to crit. Her hopes are dashed and she deals 67 damage, destroying it but still triggering rupture dealing poison damage. Korella crit fails and hero points into a pass, Ando saves. Jaxira also crit fails and hero points into a pass taking nothing, It deals 42 damage, halved and then reduced by Korellas resistance. She turns and stabs orange, hitting for 18 and allowing her to apply her extra damage debilitate. She then stabs it for another 18.

Orange Golem decides to finish off Jaxia, it swings on her three times, rolling terribly, and missing with each attack. Jaxiras thanks her lucky stars.

Status
Ando 95/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 87/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 122/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 64/118, BM (self)
Red DEAD
Green 101/135
Blue DEAD
Purple DESTROYED
Orange 114/150, +2d6

Round 4

Korella moves in to knockdown orange, It is blocking the door making it difficult to get to the last poisoner. She crits for 29 damage, triggering another rupture! This one deals electrical damage. Ando saves, Korella and Jaxira fail. It deals 38 damage, Ando has resist 5. Jaxira is looking unwell.

Archibald fires another ray of frost, hitting and slowing the golem for 4 rounds. He follows up with a force missile on the poisoner for 11 damage.

Green Poisoner moves to the base of the stairs to the upper level, reloads his crossbow and shoots Jaxira, hitting for 14. She crit fails the fort save taking 5 poison damage and becoming enfeebled 1.

Ando moves round to help out Jaxira, he lays on hands for 60HP and then strikes orange hitting for 15 and triggering Jaxira’s reaction. She hits for 13 damage.

Jaxira tries to finish off orange. She hits for 19, extending her debilitate and then misses with her remaining attacks. She crits the poison fort save, getting rid of it.

Orange Golem is prone and slowed. It stands up, which may be a mistake. Ando swings on it but misses. Korella lashes out, also missing (she rolled a 3). It strikes Jaxira and Ando is out of reactions to protect her, and it stabs her for 14physical and 7 acid.

Status

Ando 81/148, focus 0, shield 8 damage
Archibald 87/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 84/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 46/118, BM (self)

Red DEAD
Green 90/135
Blue DEAD
Purple DESTROYED
Orange 38/150, slowed 1 (4/4), prone, +2d6

Round 5

Korella again tries to knock the golem down but misses. Her second attack cracks it for 21 damage.

Archibald moves so he can see the poisoner, ray of frosts him but misses.

Green Poisoner, reloads, fires at Jaxira but just misses as she is screened by the golem and reloads. If the golem drops he will flee upstairs, making it difficult for the group to have any chance to recover from this encounter before the next.

Ando hits the golem for 14 damage, misses and raises his shield. Jaxira reacts, stabbing it for 25 and destroying it.

Jaxira moves to block the stairs. She growls at the poisoner, critting her demoralise, making him flat footed to her, frightened 2 and fleeing 1 due to terrified retreat. Frightened and flat footed she stabs him for 17 with her dagger and triggering debilitate.

Status

Ando 81/148, focus 0, shield 8 damage
Archibald 87/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 84/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 46/118, BM (self)

Red DEAD
Green 73/135, +2d6
Blue DEAD
Purple DESTROYED
Orange DESTROYED

Round 6

Korella sudden charges, hitting for 17 damage and then crits him for 48 damage.

Archibald Ray of frosts him for 18 cold damage which finishes him off.

Aftermath

The group listen for noise from upstairs, in case someone comes to investigate the disturbance. No one comes to investigate so the quickly drag the bodies into the laboratory and hole u to engage in some healing.

First 10 mins: Ando heals everyone for 32 damage and then lays on hands Korella to get her to full
Second 10 mins: Ando heals everyone for 22 damage and lays hands on Jaxira. Ando is only down 13 but they take the risk that another 10 minutes wont make too much difference. I decide there is a chance someone will come downstairs in that time, peg it at about 20% but they are fine. Ando clears the remaining damage on himself and refocuses again.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 116/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 170/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 118/118, BM (self)


PART 2: THE TOWER:

Our heroes head upstairs to the top level of the Tower. Ando and Koella take point with Jaxira and Archibald moving quietly behind. As they reach the upper level they hear the groans of the prisoners

Exploration Tactic

Ando defends
Korella scouts
Jaxira avoids notice while checking for traps
Archibald avoids notice

Ando is moderately stealthy due to clever improviser but Korella isn't, at all. She clanks, a lot, alerting the enemy to their presence. The end doors open and battle is commenced.

Initiative

Korella
Orange Evangelist
Jaxira
Ando
Barukshak
Archibald
Purple Evangelist
Red Thug
Blue thug
Green Evangelist

Round 1

Korella does what she normally does, she sudden charges into the corridor and finds herself stuck between two different enemies. The orange evangelist opportunity attacks her, hitting for 16 damage and leaving her bleeding. She smashes him in the face for 20 damage and uses her last action to move back, to force them to come to the group. She takes 5 bleed but then the wound stops. She saves against the frightening visions.

Orange Evangelist moves into the main chamber, provoking from Korella and taking 13 damage for its trouble. It focuses its gaze on Korella who saves and then strikes with a chain, missing. It starts to regenerate.

Jaxira glides forward, which provokes from orange. It crits her for 26 and persistent bleed and impales her in place, out of reach! She easily slips out of the chains and moves forward into flanking position. She makes the gaze save but takes 2 bleed.

Ando advances forward to block access to the main chamber, hits orange for 13 and raises his shield. This triggers Jaxira’s reaction and she hits him for 29, enabling her debilitate extra damage.

Barukshak aware that there is trouble brewing casts summon fiend 6 to add another evangelist to the battle.

Summon 1 focuses its gaze on Korella who saves and then crits her with its chain. Ando reacts, reducing the damage to 30 but cannot reach it to attack. Korella is now stuck in place.

Archibald crit identifies the evangelists and learns of their immunities and weaknesses. He launches a level 5 fireball up the corridor and it explodes into the two side rooms. This hits all of the enemies except barukshak as well as Jaxira and, unfortunately, several of the prisoners. It deals 40 damage. Jaxira fails and is annoyed (rolled a 4, needed a 7, has 5 fire resist). Of the evangelists, orange saves, purple, green and the summon fail. Blue thug crit passes, the other fails. . Archibald saves against the gaze.

Purple Evangelist moves into the chamber, dodging past Korella and Ando. Ando saves his reaction for retributive strike. It strikes at him but misses wildly.

Red Thug moves out to flank Jaxira and learns that he cannot do so. His strike misses.

Blue thug moves out to threaten Archibald, hitting for 21 damage, unfortunately he is too far back for retributive strike.

Green Evangelist also moves out to put pressure on the back line but misses

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 95/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 119/170, BM (self), bleed 1d6, impaled
Jaxira 55/118, BM (self), bleed 1d6

Orange Evangelist 5/90, +2d6
Purple Evangelist 50/90
Green Evangelist 50/90
Red Thug
Blue Thug 80/120
Barukshak
Summon 1 50/90

Round 2

Korella cuts down orange, for now, hitting him for 22. She then escapes and moves to support Archibald, taking a 21 damage hit from purple. Ando reduces the damage to 9 and hits purple for 17 and 1 ongoing good which will stop its regen. She passes all of the gaze saves. All of the group pass this save on a 2 but the sheer number of saves means someone is likely to fail at some point. She takes 4 bleed but then it ends.

Orange Evangelist is unconscious. Its regeneration kicks in at the start of its turn. It stands up and strikes at Jaxira twice. It misses with both. It takes 4 bleed which then stops.

Jaxira steps up to purple, stabs him, crits for 46, dropping him, then stabs orange, critting him for 56 and a persistent bleed. She makes the gaze saves and takes 4 bleed.

Ando steps to bring everyone into range of retribution and strikes blue thug twice, missing with a nat 1 and hitting for a feeble 9. He saves against the gazes.

Barukshak hiding in his chamber he summons another evangelist and uses his special quickened action to sustain the first.

Summon 1 regenerates, moves in and misses Jaxira.

Summon 2 moves in and misses Ando

Archibald is feeling under some pressure. The evangelists have also shown they have opportunity attacks and he is within reach of 2 of them. He steps away to only be in reach of one and casts a spell. It swings and misses and he hits the thugs and green and the two summoned evangelists with fear. Of the thugs, red fails but blue passes. Green crit passes, the first summon fails, the second crit fails. He makes all of the gaze saves.

Purple Evangelist regenerates 10, stands up, provoking from Ando but he declines and then it strikes at him, missing. Its ongoing good damage then kills it.

Red Thug is frightened but strikes at Jaxira three times, hoping to get lucky. He doesn't.

Blue thug continues to press Archibald, fighting through the fear. He hits for 17, crits for 40 and misses. Ando still holds off on retribution wanting to use it on an evangelist to aly ongoing good damage.

Green Evangelist regenerates and seeing Archibald badly injured tries to finish him off. It hits for 14, at which point Ando reacts, reducing that to 2. He crits the evangelist for 34 damage, knocks it prone and inflicts 1 ongoing good. It scrambles to its feet, lashes out at Ando and misses then takes 11 damage due to weakness. The ongoing damage does not stop.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 1, shield 8 damage
Archibald 36/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (2|5),
Korella 106/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 51/118, BM (self), bleed 1d6

Orange Evangelist 0/90, +2d6, bleed 1d6+1
Purple Evangelist DEAD
Green Evangelist 15/90, 1 ongoing good, no regen
Red Thug 120/120, frightened 1
Blue Thug 71/120
Barukshak
Summon 1 60/90, frightened 2
Summon 2 90/90, frightened 3, fleeing 1 round

Round 3

Korella power attacks blue critting him for 102 damage, killing him. She moves up to Red thug to help out Jaxira. This provokes from the summon but summons cannot use reactions. She makes all the gaze saves.

Orange Evangelist wakes up again. It stands up and misses Jaxira twice. It takes 4 bleed.

Jaxira.decides to try and finish off red now that Korella is making him flat footed from gang up although the fear is also providing it. She crits him for 36, activating debilitate but misses with her second attack. She then stabs orange back into unconsciousness. She takes 5 bleed but then it ends.

Ando crits green for 36, killing him as his regen is shut off. He steps up to Archibald and lays on hands for 60HP. He makes the gaze saves.

Barukshak sustains both of his summons, unaware how one of them is affected. Barukshak summons 3 mirror images

Summon 1 regenerates and strikes at Ando twice,, missing

Summon 2 flees into the room with its master

Archibald raps his staff on the ground and launches level 5 true strike hydraulic push at the remaining thug. He hits but spends his hero point to reroll into a crit for 59 damage. He makes the gaze save.

Red Thug tries to finish off Jazira. He catches her once for 16 damage.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 0, shield 8 damage
Archibald 96/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (1|5),
Korella 106/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 30/118, BM (self)

Orange Evangelist 0/90, +2d6, bleed 1d6+1
Purple Evangelist DEAD
Green Evangelist DEAD
Red Thug 25/120, frightened 1, flat footed start of Jaxiras turn, +2d6
Blue Thug DEAD
Barukshak 170/170, 3 images
Summon 1 70/90, frightened 1
Summon 2 90/90, frightened 2, fleeing 1 round

Round 4

Korella crits red for 48 damage, killing him. No-one else is nearby so she cannot apply her crit spec. She heads off looking for the wizard. She finds him, getting right up in his face. The easy way to get rid of summons is to kill the summoner she thinks.

Orange Evangelist gets back up again. It stands up and strikes Jaxira twice, hitting for 17 and starting her bleed again. It takes 7 and continues to bleed from her dagger crit.

Jaxira.is badly injured. She stabs orange again, dropping it, then draws and drinks one of he moderate healing potions they found on the lower level, getting back 22, taking 1 bleed and then the wound closes.

Ando crits summon 1 twice for 72damage and knocks it prone, then moves up to cover Jaxira. The damage reduces it to 0HP which gets rid of it despite its regen due to the effect of the summoned trait.

Barukshak has a dwarf in is face He steps back and tries to kill Korella with phantasmal killer. She crit passes the will save. He then uses his last round of quicken to direct his summon in the room with him to attack Korella.

Summon 2 misses twice.

Archibald uses his enhanced speed to get to the door of Barushaks chamber (level 2 wand of longstrider is very good). He throws a third level flaming sphere at the enemy wizard. He fails, taking a rather poor 10 fire damage.

Status

Ando 148/148, focus 0, shield 8 damage
Archibald 96/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (1|5),
Korella 106/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 34/118, BM (self), bleed 1d6

Orange Evangelist 0/90, +2d6, bleed 1d6+1
Barukshak 170/170, 3 images
Summon 2 90/90, frightened 1

Round 5

Korella steps into the wizard, giving him nowhere to run too and swings on him twice. She crits for 46 damage, popping an image and misses, destroying another image.

Orange Evangelist wakes up again. This is becoming familiar. He stands up again and strikes the woman who keeps stabbing him. He crits for 42, triggering retribution, reducing it to 30. Retributive strike hits for 18 and the ongoing good damage shuts off its regeneration, finishing it off. Jaxira however is still impaled and stuck in place.

Jaxira escapes the chains, grabs another potion and drinks it. She heals for 33, takes 6 bleed and then it ends.

Ando moves up and sudden charges Barushak, he would have crit him for 40 and knocked him prone but instead he just pops the last image.

Barukshak sustains his summon (which does not provoke) and follows up with cone of cold, hitting the entire room. Koella and Ando both take opportunity attacks. Both hit, Ando for 19, Korella for 28, but as neither crit the spell still goes off. It deals 39 damage, Ando saves, Korella and Archibald do not. Korella and Ando have 5 resist. As he didnt sustain it h

Summon 2 misses Ando twice.

Archibald sustains bis flaming sphere, he fails taking 14 damage. He follows up with a produce flame which hits for another 13.

Status

Ando 136/148, focus 0, shield 8 damage
Archibald 57/116, halfling luck and guiding used, Staff (1|5),
Korella 72/170, BM (self)
Jaxira 31/118, BM (self)

Barukshak 86/170
Summon 2 90/90

Round 6

Korella power attacks for 40 damage then misses,

Jaxira moves into the room. She cannot reach the wizard so she goes after the summon. She hits it twice for 36 damage.

Ando swings on the wizard three times, hitting once for 16

Barukshak has had his morale triggered. He casts shield to protect him from the opportunity attacks followed by dimension door to get the hell out of there. Korella and Ando both strike. Ando gets a nat 1 and hero points into a 6 which still misses. Korella would crit and disrupt the spell if not for shield. She deals 22 damage which he reduce to 7 with his reaction and fades away, a mocking smile on his lips (belied slightly by the fact he is on 23hp). The summon, no longer sustained, vanishes.

Aftermath

Cursing, the group rescue the prisoners, loot the place to the ground and settle in to decide what to do next. They speak to Laria, learn about the quarry and easily identify it. Laria offers them a place to stay and they decide to take a day or so to sell a bunch of loot, buy some more supplies and maybe etch a rune or two they have found before heading out for the quarry.

At this point they level to level 11.


Another tight fight. That many AOOs in a corridor is going to be punishing.


Queaux wrote:

Nice write up. It's a good test.

I'd think the main disadvantage of not having a ranged combat heal is when there is a high level enemy with AOOs that knocks out and stands over a party member. I believe there is a fight with giants around the same level in AOA that could be used to test this.

When you say combat heal... are you meaning as a skill?


Paul Jessop wrote:
Queaux wrote:

Nice write up. It's a good test.

I'd think the main disadvantage of not having a ranged combat heal is when there is a high level enemy with AOOs that knocks out and stands over a party member. I believe there is a fight with giants around the same level in AOA that could be used to test this.

When you say combat heal... are you meaning as a skill?

I mean the spells heal or soothe, mostly.


I want to see how the party does in the final encounters.

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