Sunday, September 20, 2020

Part 3: Oops, Found A Boss

So...this entry might be a little short because significantly less story happened, focusing more on exploring more of the dungeon and beating up cultists to save captives.

We rejoin our heroes recoiling (well, okay, Faust was recoiling) from the sudden ambush from the Animated Gauntlets. Now that they had taken some time to reorient themselves (and we the players got a better map instead of this....thing below), things should be looking up.

You try drawing a decent map in MS Paint while trying to pay attention and RP

The party decided to spend some time combing the different bits of the current floor, no real objective besides finding any of the other hostages or cultists. However, the fun thing about some D&D dungeons is the fact that you could just randomly wander into a chamber where a boss is currently conducting a ritual to raise a freshly dead corpse to send after you.

Which is exactly what happened.

So...this session involved some really bad rolls. On both sides. As in, Seliph rolled a 1 on his initiative, meaning that he was dead last in the combat order, the swarm of skeletal rats the boss was commanding only landed one attack out of I lost count of how many, lots of misses and low damage all around, both warlocks misfiring on their spells and hitting (or almost hitting) their teammates (Seliph took 14 damage from a misfired spell, which I'm pretty sure is the only damage he's taken so far in this campaign, and out of a maximum of 20 it's freaking scary).

Heck, during the fight, the boss managed to get Faust and Sissy, two already-wounded characters, into a perfect position to cast Burning Hands on them, and the only reason that they survived was that the damage rolled from the spell (3d6, so a maximum of 18 possible damage against 17 and 15 HP players) was...well...8. Which is still pretty scary for the two of them, but they both managed to not be taken down by the attack.

Slightly before that, however, was what I might consider to be the funniest moment, where Faust, trying to conserve his magic use as much as possible, decided to attack the boss with a dagger and a cane he carried. He hit dead on with the cane, but because of his low strength (a modifier of -1) and because he rolled a 1 for damage, the attack did nothing. It was...amazing.

Anywho, there's only so much I can say about the party trading blows with an enemy that we didn't even get a chance to speak to before she attacked us, so eventually, after a long battle that brought us pretty low, we won, and we decided it might be wise to take a short rest before continuing on in the dungeon, allowing our spellcasters to get some magic back and for everyone to heal up a bit.

During the hour or so the party was taking a rest, Faust looked around the room to see what he could find, happening upon the cultist's spellbook. Something that would have been really nice if he or Sissy were wizards, but alas, they are not, so Faust decided to take it to see if he could sell it.

However, this piqued Kalista's curiosity, and she began asking Faust about magic, where he studied it, if it's hard to learn, what types of magic one could learn, to which Faust tried his best to explain while avoiding shedding light on his own underhanded means of gaining magical prowess.

Kalista folded her arms. "Huh, I guess I didn't realize that learning magic would take so much effort."

Seliph then pointed out, "Well, it's not always in that case. Like, there are also clerics and paladins."

"But don't you have to be super devout to a god to get that?"

"Not necessarily," Seliph replied. "I mean, at least not for paladins. I'm not particularly devoted to a specific god or religion, but my power comes from my devotion to my oath."


"Yeah, specific causes you devote yourself to. In my case I took the Oath of Redemption, basically the idea that, no matter where you are in your life, you're not stuck with the path you're on. There's always a chance to change your ways. It...makes things a little complicated in cases like this, where we've already killed several people in this dungeon, but it is my hope that those people will be able to find some form of redemption in the hereafter. I'm still...working out how best to deal with people who won't change without killing them."

"That...sounds like quite a dilemma," Faust said.

"Well, I suppose after working with the Fist, I needed to believe something like that. If that makes sense."

After the party finished resting, they continued exploring the dungeon, specifically opting to explore some of the hallways they bypassed earlier, starting with one cavern that led to a sarcophagus filled with a sludge of some kind. Faust, sensing a trap as well as some treasure the trap could be protecting, opted to try to have an Unseen Servant reach into the sludge to find what could be hidden. Naturally, this sprang a trap, as a spectral axe appeared in the air above the Unseen Servant, dropping on it, instantly dispelling it.

The party then quickly discussed what to try next. Now that they knew how the trap worked, Seliph offered to try to reach in. He would try to dodge the axe as it dropped, or, worst comes to worst, he could probably handle the damage. However, nothing happened, and as he reached into the sludge, all he was able to find is the rusted, broken head of the spectral axe that had appeared above the Unseen Servant. What a wonderful use of time that was.

Something I neglected to mention in my last post. Specifically, there were a few doors that were labelled with symbols of the Dead Three (which I attempted to label on my terrible map at the top of this entry). There was one hallway in particular that they had not gone down. In the chamber the door led into lay three robed figures in a triangle formation around a candle. Faust could immediately tell that they were not dead, instead trying to spring a trap on the party. Faust used his Awakened Mind feature to telepathically communicate with the cultists that he knew what they were doing and if they were wise, they'd make themselves scarce.

They did not.

However, unlike the boss we already fought, these guys were...pathetic, and very easily dispatched.

Once things quieted down a bit, the party got another chance to briefly chat while Faust discovered two more spell books, and Seliph mentioned wanting to spend an hour soaking in a bath after this.

I don't remember exactly how we moved to the subject, but Kalista mentioned something about being human, to which Seliph responded, "But I'm not human."

"You're not?"

"No, I'm an aasimar. Hence the gray skin."

"Oh, I thought you were just really old!"

"How old do you think I am?"

"I dunno, you seem pretty old, probably mid-forties?"

"I'm 24!"

" you're pretty similar to me then."

"Why did you think I was so old?!"

"I told you, your skin just makes you look old!"

Meanwhile, Faust stood off to the side like this, reminded that he was the oldest person in the group.

And this is where we had to call it. Hopefully by this point in the next session we'll be done with this dungeon and pushing the plot along. I'm glad Ammon is running this though, because running a multi-session, keeping track of all this, and mapping things out is stuff that I feel like I struggle with. Though since we're experimenting with the Fantasy Grounds program, keeping track of that stuff is a lot easier. Even the character tokens keep getting stuck on the walls.

We're learning. See you in ten years when we figure out how to podcast our campaigns.

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