Session Five Synopsis:
Leveling in town.
Dividing up the Henchmen.
Where to go?
Temple by the sea,
Dinosaur cave. Oh, gods! Snakes!
Nasty bite, Snake man.
Mental powers clash
This so isn't going great.
By the skin of their teeth!
Ok, so I had them trapped. Damaged and hurt, Smoke refused to leave. I thought for sure this would result in someones eventual death.
They found the ophidianbiblograph (A device, borrowed from Zac Sabbath that allows the user if they have the ability to read and write Ophidan to read the books contained on the skin of every snake), though continued to ignore it. Gwendolyn immediately gravitated towards the vials of poison and started examining them and storing them in her pack.
Aroldo asks, "Hey, uh, is that poison Gwendolyn?"
*rattle* 97% on the die; needed under a 60 for her "Liar, Skilled" roll.
As she's tapping the vials and secreting them about her person, she offhandedly says, "Nope," pulling out an arrow, "How many arrowheads do you think this vial will coat?"
They moved on to the bedroom. Ah ha! I thought of the lurking Two-Headed Wyvern. One silent head swept above the bed as the entered the room, then the other, and it lept up on the bed; surprise was rolled. It has all kinds of surprise bonuses, and indeed they did become surprised. This deadly creature has two heads (doing 2-12 damage each) that strike one person, and a poisonous tail that kills those it strikes if they fail their save. It had like 6 attacks before anyone in the party could move. At a distance of 10'. Things were looking dim for the party. . .
A bite against the Null the Drake hits, and a poison tail against Zeltara. I roll well on the damage! The drake is hurting, on it's last legs. Zeltara makes his save versus poison.
Two misses against a henchmen (The beast needs a 5 to hit mind you), and a miss with the tail.
The players were like, "Oh, crap he's getting close to you Aroldo, how many hit points do you have?"
Aroldo says, "I've got like 30+ I'm invincible!"
I shake my head as I pull out a coupon that says, "Monster gets +5 to next called shot and crits on 18-20." I say one head is making a called shot for his head, and the other is attacking him. And a player learns not to say things like "I can't be killed."
Two misses against Aroldo. And a miss with the tail towards the henchmen.
My inability to murder my players is not frustrating - I am an emotionless dice rolling adjudicator during combat. Let the dice fall where they may. Luck was with the players.
Next turn I had a good round. Two good hits against a wizard henchmen, left him on the ground in shock. Some of the quicker players were starting to react, firing daggers and weapons at the beast. The tail strikes at Aroldo. A hit! Time for Aroldo to roll his save or die. What's he need? a 14 or higher. He rolled a 19.
It was quickly murdered after that point. The players spent some time clearing the room out, and theory over how to thoroughly search a room was discussed. I was a little nice with the prompting, but there wasn't really all that much to find in the room. They certainly took their time clearing it out. The longer they search, the more wandering monster checks they make. Already weak, it became touch and go for the rest of the session.
They found the 'arcane library', a snake pit with 1000 docile snakes. I concealed my grin as I waited for them to burn up 10,000 gp worth of 'tomes', and indeed they did not. They did manage to figure it out at the very end of the session, and I played the whole thing pretty close to my chest. I did drop one hint, midway through the session. ("Aroldo, you're looking at the snake pit, and the snakes are normal. A snake looks like this. Something about that is bothering you.") It was three hours later when they finally figured it out, so I don't think it was that clue that did it. (Other than giving the information that something was 'up' with the snakes, which they kind of knew anyway.)
They also found a door, magically held, that they were unable to open. While searching for more secret rooms, an encounter was rolled. Groans were heard as the weak party members saw three of the exploding frog-men, the cursed Gorm, traveling towards them. When they die, they explode, and the weak party members all failed their saves when they killed the first one. Sadly, all hit point totals were still positive. They manage to wrestle the other two to the ground. . . and tie them up as snares to die and explode when someone triggers them. (I really need to start detailed AIP charts. ;-p)
Finally, on their last legs, they decide to head home.On the way, they run into something on the beach that suspiciously looks like a Land Urchin, because, well, it was a Land Urchin. It looked placid, and minding it's own business, because it was. There was some sort of altercation between the players and one said "Zeltara, I bet you can't [kill that thing]" I didn't really catch the bet. What I did catch is Zeltara has the gambler flaw which means he cannot refuse a bet! His dragon had1 hit point left, and he had just a few, so he shoots it with a short bow from 80' away.
It immediately charges him and starts making 2-12 attacks a round. After the first hit that penetrated his armor he failed his save versus paralization, and was frozen.
Finally I thought. But, no, at this point the others take their actions to help, he's dragged out of combat and they manage to pepper it with missile fire, till it created a blinding cloud and fled.
Survival. It won't always happen.
Good news though. It looks like we do have one confirmed new player for our game, and another one who says 'Hackmaster sounds like the best game ever', so our gaming group may be growing. They may need it. I think six players is a good old school average. I am looking forward to it.