Finally! After a month break we had another session again. ^^
Session #9 Sana attacks & Doxons Group
Our group wakes up in the burned room, a goblin brings them food again which they eat, just to find out that it was poisened.
Everyone makes its save check so they are left with some pain in the belly. ^^
I give the group some time to make their own moves. Thoughts about looking for the goblin who brought the food come up and stuff like leaving the allies alone, to just go for the treasures. ^^
A series of goblin horns alerts everyone and it start to get noisy as all the goblin soldiers arm themselfs and run downstairs.
Our group is a little confused and climbs a tower... from whcih the see the goblin forces gathering in front of the building. The nightvision of the group doesnt reach further, but a goblin messenger from the general finds them and tells them that Sana is attacking. They are to meet with general pake.
As they hurry downstairs the hair on our mages arms stand up, just before a bright light and a giant blast destroys half of the palace.
Our group gets out of the ruins and meets pake and the rest of his army at tha base floor.
Sana is allied with the clerics and used the black cage of Gruktoon, an evil artifact that sucks up life from the ones inside and shoots a powerful beam at its target.
Pake moves out to attack Sanas forces while our group is supposed to somehow find and destroy the cage.
At this point our group does exactly what I expected them to do: Air walking again...
They think about directly going over the army and just attack, but I was able to navigatre them slightly around them so that I can start the real encounter: The big rival group of Doxon !
A man in a shiny armor stands in a street below the group, he calls out to them and they go down, now standing on a crossroad.
He wants them to stand back in the search for the treasure or die. Cocky as my group is they see an easy 1vs4 situation and dont give in.
The Crusader has a big guisarm with him and so he calls out for "help" as a young black dragon emerges from the shadows on a nearby roof, growling and cursing at the PCs.
They start to get big eyes as they still remember their last encounter with a young dragon. ^^° What they dont know is that its just an illusion.
the crusader takes off a glove and throws it at our group, hitting the barbarian.
The glove holds a silence spell, activated by a single word of the mage (which stands invisible on a roof)
The battle begins:
Our mages starts off with a anti dragon aura and the enemy crusader charges the barbarian, hitting with a bonecrushing strike. Reducing his Con by 2 points. Alright, now the Pcs have some respect. ;P
The barb. gets through the stand still feat and lands a big crit on the first blow he lands. Halfing the Crusaders HP - At this point I thought, WTF? The first attack and its already like this again?
But it turned out otherwise.
The mage from the roof casts sensory deprivation on the cleric, totally negating all his senses, which forces him to waste a dispell on himself.
Our rogue shoots arrows at the dragon of which one would hit, but just vanishes into the darkness. This was the first point where they had some doubts.
From another street the 3rd enemy appears, a Duskblade with a spiked chain, he hits the deaf/blind cleric for -2Int/Wis/cha.
Rogue and barbarian try to fight off the crusader, who does a great job in keeping them at bay. Regaining some life points with revitalizing strike and being lucky as the barb misses on 3 attacks in a row. Our Clerics fights the duskblade but gets easily disarmed by a true strike, Hitting with his bare gauntlets works fine too. He also summons spiritual weapons.
The dragon flies over to another roof, but as he is not attacking, our cleric disbeliefs him and recognizes him as an illusion... too bad 2 of his friends are inside the silence zone and cant hear him.
The fight is nasty but manageable until the leader of the group appears. Doxon, an elite rogue/swashbuckler enter the fight at the end of #3. He moved around the group and appears right behind the mage. He lands a potential crit (which is negated by a def. spell) but still deals ~30 dmg with all his attacks. Then the poison kicks in and this time the mage fails, he drops to the ground and is unconcious.
In the same round our cleric casts a defensive aura against evil, which doesnt protect them against the coming confusion spell. To my surprise everyone but the barbarian made it. That was the first time ever, that someone didnt make such a check. ^^
now it gets hairy, our mage is down, the barbarian is only brabbling and the cleric has some big debuffs on him. At least he manages to bring the dusblade down, after eating another attack with a ray of enf. Doxon stands flanking behind the cleric and gets a hold person. (which was easily the most important move in the battle as he would otherwise kill the mage)
Now our rogue goes into close combat against the crusader O_o and doesnt minimal damage.
After that the crusader moves back a little and misses with one attack.
In the final stage of the battle I decided to make the enemy caster visible on the roof and throw an ice lance at the crusader, which totally missed him. Lucky bastard.
Doxon never gets out of the hold person as he would have to make a DC17 Will check.
But our cleric cant kill him as he has to immediately use his revival spell to keep the rogue from certain death, after he was hit by a divine strike head on.
The mage on the roof deletes the confusion and casts a dom. person on the barbarian, not knowing that he is protected by an aura (I didnt know it either ^^)
Now the battle finally goes well, the crusader slowly gets forced down (protected by die hard and his del. dmg pool)
Doxon is easily killed after our barbarian cuts him with a 10point powerattack.
and the mage on the roof tries to run for his life but cannot escape the 3 spiritual weapons of the cleric, who just airwalked to the roof.
This was the first fight in which they got really really close to a wipe. Which was just exactly what I wanted. *Making them remember that they are not immortal*
I prepared some loot ahead this time.
A broach of stability, gold, poison and a set piece: The set of the black snake. something I prepared for our rogue.
I want the PCS to get fewer items but feel more connected to them, so I made up some special items with storys or prequests to get or activate them.
This is for the rogue, but the mage already glared at the vest too. ^^
I let themroll for some items, which resulted in a cloak of prot+2.
Still they were a little mad at me, as the seemed to expect way more stuff. Basically everything the NPCs were wearing. Which is something I definately WONT do anymore, as I know what would happen. Even though not everything is useable or at their taste, they would grap everything they can (which is a lot thanks to some of those nasty bags of carrying of what they are called.)
And then sell everything or replace it with something more valueable if space runs out.
I gave them around 15-20k worth of gear. If Igave them everything they would carry at least 70k with them.
For the next time:
Our group got mauled heavily.The rogue and the cleric need to regain HP, while the mage has at least most of his spells left.
But they are still in a hurry to destroy the cage, otherwise it shoots again, killing general pake and with him their only powerful ally in the city.
I am still thinking of how to do this. Keeping track of time is a difficult thing to do.
The cage shot shot - the went out, met the general, prerared and moved out, saw the crusader and fought them off.... I think thats easily 10 minutes.
Maybe I will make them do a group roll. If the majority has 11 or higher they still have like 1 minute left, if they fail their allied general dies in the blast
And if they actually try to fight Sanas army they will get stalled by hords of soldiers.
The army falls back into the direction of the grand palace.
If the PCs follow them they get attacked again, this time by soldiers with trolls and clerics as back up.
Managing that as well, they enter the channel, which is the entrance to the highest plane of the city and can be flooded in an emergency
They could still use Airwalk to get out again (God, I start to hate that spell) and then enter the great plaza in front of the palace.
If they want to encounter the army there too, they will meet the final weapon of the goblins, a black urn, which they have seen before and contains a great evil.
And I forgot to activate the cursed cloak, the mage wears... well then it just has another activation rule. Like when resting outside of a bed.