Chapter 2: How Do They Rise Up? (OOC)

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deadDMwalking
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I am also very keen to know.

Dafyd
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Leland continues on his present course one move action, casts light on his club, and hopes he doesn't get hacked to death before he can properly bolt.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Obsidian_Spoon wrote:

Would it be possible for Kaarys to unhobble his horse once sitting on it?

No.
Quote:

If Kaarys fails a fast mount check and has to use his last move for mounting, instead, could Henrik unhobble the horse and climb on with his moves, then use the horse's moves to escape?

Also, presuming that is the case, would Henrik then be able to climb on the horse with one move action and then use the horse's move actions to ride away with Kaarys and himself?

The cleanest way to handle this is for Kaarys to delay until after Henrik's action. If both he and the dwarf are going to ride the same horse, Henrik can unhobble Serry, then mount. Then Kaarys can move to her, mount, and they can both use her actions to escape.

The downside of this approach is that the two of them, plus all their armor and weapons, are undoubtedly a heavy burden for a horse. I don't know exactly what Henrik weighs when he's all armored up, but it's got to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 to 300 lbs. when you add together his body weight with all the armor, weapons and assorted other camping gear and adventuring paraphernalia he keeps on him. If he has dumped his rations, lantern, backpack, lamp oil, etc. while he's in camp, then he's probably somewhat lighter. But he's still not light; his armor, shield, and axe weigh 53 lbs and we know he's got them.

Kaarys in his fighting gear tips the scales at 166 lbs. So they're at least a medium load if they ride double. That's not abnormal from Kaarys's point of view, because Serry usually is wearing barding, a saddle, saddlebags with 40 lbs. of feed in them, a bedroll, a grappling hook and coil of rope, and Kaarys's cold-weather gear.

All of which I'm assuming she is NOT wearing right now, because it's night and she needs to rest comfortably, and Kaarys loves her more than most people. So he's probably planning to ride her bareback, which is not the norm for them. It's worth observing that bareback with just Kaarys on her back, she's capable of 60 ft. movement. With Henrik, it's 40 ft.; depending on what else Henrik's carrying besides his armor and weapons, it could be so much that she's burdened to a heavy load, and that'll mean her movement at a run is 3x instead of the usual 4x.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

If they live, Kaarys has no qualms about dumping any gear they have besides weapons and armor. Also, by "both use her actions", would that mean Serry would have 4 move actions, 2 on Henrik's turn and 2 on Kaarys'?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

No. Serry gets to act once per round. She'd act on Kaarys's turn (unless Henrik decided not to wait and just rode off on her without Kaarys).

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

In that case, why not just have Kaarys move and mount, and then Henrik use his move actions to unhobble and mount and we ride away?

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Henrik can steer; he can see in the dark.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Henrik would have to "drive" in that case, because Kaarys's turn would be over. That won't matter unless something happens to necessitate a Ride check, in which case Henrik would be at -3 for the check because you'll be riding bareback. Kaarys would have a +1 modifier after you account for the bareback penalty.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

That's true. On a related note, Serry cannot see in the dark any better than Kaarys. Insofar as vision is a consideration as to how fast you can go, this is important.

On the bright side, I'm pretty sure Henrik can cast light. So the darkness isn't necessarily an insurmountable problem, although you guys are going to want to haul ass once you have a light shining.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

If Henrik lives long enough, he could cast light. He has all his zero-level spells and protection from evil left. He'll be getting a bunch of spell slots back at dawn (again, provided he is still alive), but he's a little limited at the moment.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls

Yellow #1, AoO with opposed trip vs. Kaarys
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 17, 6 = 23.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 3, 4 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 14, 3 = 17.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 19, 4 = 23.
Yellow #1 vs. Kaarys, with opposed trip
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 13, 4 = 17.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 6, 4 = 10.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 12, 3 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 15, 4 = 19.
Yellow #2 vs. Serry, with opposed trip
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 1, 6 = 7.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 4, 4 = 8.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 7, 3 = 10.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 10, 7 = 17.
Yellow #3 vs. Serry, with opposed trip
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 17, 6 = 23.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 1, 4 = 5.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 12, 3 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 17, 7 = 24.
Gray #4 vs. Yellow #1, AoO
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 17, 4 = 21.
I rolled 1d4+3, the result is 4, 3 = 7.
concealment
I rolled 1d100, the result is 67 = 67.
Gray #7 vs. Yellow 1, AoO
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 8, 4 = 12.
I rolled 1d4+3, the result is 2, 3 = 5.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 31 = 31.
Stabilization, Kisasi
I rolled 1d100, the result is 78 = 78.
Scorpiontaur vs. Leland
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 3, 8 = 11.
I rolled 2d6+6, the result is 4, 1, 6 = 11.
AoO, Yellow #3 vs. Serry, with opposed trip
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 18, 4 = 22.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 5, 4 = 9.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 9, 3 = 12.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 18, 7 = 25.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 17, 4 = 21.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 1, 4 = 5.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 16, 3 = 19.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 20, 7 = 27.
Stabilization, Swarbrick
I rolled 1d100, the result is 99 = 99.
Leland, Will save (half, DC 16); Damage
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 4, 7 = 11.
I rolled 4d6, the result is 3, 4, 1, 6 = 14.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I don't know if my heart can take much more of this. Exhilarating.

Darker

Can you maybe kick Swarbrick in the head on your way out to put him down quickly?

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I was really looking forward to seeing him again as a mind-controlled minion - perhaps simply dedicated to revenge because his companions left him behind.

Yeah, we should kick him in the head as we pass if we can.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I really am kind of low-key impressed at how well your escape attempts are going. Let's see what Leland does.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

deadDMwalking wrote:

I was really looking forward to seeing him again as a mind-controlled minion - perhaps simply dedicated to revenge because his companions left him behind.


Don't worry, he would have done the same to you.
Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Kaarys has slaughter-escape experience from his backstory. Also, for clarification, thus far only a single one of the enemies that Kaarys has seen resembled Plorp?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Lighting conditions aren't great. He's only been able to get a decent look at one, plus the scorpiontaur and one of critters designated under the yellow color code. The one he got a good look at resembles Porp.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Leland shakes off whatever just hit him and keeps running the hell away.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Dafyd clarified to me that he is having Leland run, risking an AoO now to avoid getting splattered in the future.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls

Scorpiontaur, AoO vs. Leland
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 11, 8 = 19.
I rolled 2d6+6, the result is 5, 5, 6 = 16.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Well, looks like the AoO drops Leland. Kaarys is up next, and I think he's got a bow. At this moment, he can see almost everything on the battle, although a lot of foes have concealment versus him or are far enough away to get a range increment penalty.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Since Henrik is steering, Kaarys can use both hands to fire his bow, yeah? More to just remind them he has a bow than with any belief he'll do real harm, Kaarys will fire at red 4 again. He'll also switch dodge to that one, in case it has some ranged attack that targets AC.

I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 18, 7 = 25.
I rolled 1d8, the result is 2 = 2.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 84 = 84.
deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

You're not helping....

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls

I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 9, 8 = 17.
Yellow #4, Charge vs. Serry., with opposed trip
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 19, 6 = 25.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 5, 4 = 9.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 9, 3 = 12.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 8, 7 = 15.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Poor horsie.

Let's have a Ride check (DC 15) and a 1d6 from Henrik and Kaarys. Failure means a nasty spill that causes damage equal to the d6 result.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Riding, Riding, Riding.

I'll look up bonuses post roll if I'm not crying too hard.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 2 = 2.
Cronono
Cronono's picture

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Damage

I rolled 1d6, the result is 5 = 5.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I'm crying too hard. I know I don't have a +13 bonus.

Humpty Dumpty
I rolled 1d6, the result is 4 = 4.
MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Imagining a dwarf falling off a horse is hilarious to me.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Ride

I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 4, 6 = 10.
I rolled 1d6, the result is 4 = 4.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls

Yellow #3 vs. Henrik, with opposed Trip
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 1, 4 = 5.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 2, 4 = 6.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 4, 3 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 12, 6 = 18.
Stabilization, Kisasi
I rolled 1d100, the result is 37 = 37.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I think we know what the eventual outcome is going to be, at this point. But I've no objection to continuing the encounter if DDMW and Spoons want to make the baddies work for it.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

I'm done.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I can't give up on Henrik. Withdraw directly NW (into the undergrowth).

IC: At this point, it is every man (or dwarf) for himself. Henrik stumbles off the dying horse into a staggering run toward the nearest concealment. He doesn't spare a look back for Kaarys but suggests, "Split up! It might be our only chance!"

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls

Stabilization, Swarbrick Stabilization, Leland Stabilization, Kisasi
I rolled 1d100, the result is 90 = 90.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 51 = 51.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 64 = 64.
Yellow #2 vs. Henrik
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 10, 4 = 14.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 5, 4 = 9.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 1, 3 = 4.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 18, 6 = 24.
Yellow #4 vs. Henrik
I rolled 1d100, the result is 27 = 27.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 6, 4 = 10.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 3, 4 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 12, 3 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 2, 6 = 8.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 42 = 42.
Yellow #3 vs. Kaarys
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 20, 4 = 24.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 6, 4 = 10.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 2, 3 = 5.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 2, 4 = 6.
Crit confirmation vs. Kaarys
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 12, 4 = 16.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 2, 4 = 6.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

IC: Death stalked Henrik from every direction, but that didn't bother him too much. Everyone ever born was doomed to die. Beginning with a baby's first cry every day is a struggle against the inevitability of death. Giving up would be easy - dropping to his knees, closing his eyes, and hoping it was painless. But he couldn't do it. Instead his incants a prayer protecting himself from evil creatures, especially those called from the other planes of existence. Then he moves deeper into the brush.

OOC - protection from evil defensively. Move NW.

Defensive Casting: DC 16 (15 + Spell Level)
I rolled 1d20+13, the result is 7, 13 = 20.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

I've had a couple of different people come up to me with questions about what happened here. It was the same basic set of questions each time, so I figure I might as well give you a post-mortem regarding this campaign.

1) Did you TPK on purpose?
No. I expected a casualty or two, because I had this gauged to be a very tough but winnable fight. It was not a random encounter; this was a set-piece battle intended to advance a plot. I was enjoying this campaign and would have been very pleased to continue it as it was going. We had a blizzard coming up, and I've never run a winter survival challenge. After you won, I'd planned that you'd find clues on the enemy's dead that would give you someplace to start with the plot that began with Porp's assassination attempt against the Marchioness.

2) This didn't FEEL winnable. What the hell?
This is the most lethal campaign I have ever run, by a very substantial margin. And I was deliberately playing with "survival horror" tropes. There are random encounters stomping around in the forests and swamps of Enteria that would make this TPK seem like a fair fight, because Enteria really is a hellscape. But I reiterate, this encounter was winnable. The heroes had a couple of major tactical advantages that they basically squandered.

Foremost, they could see in the dark MUCH better than their adversaries. The scorpiontaur has darkvision, low-light vision, and tremorsense, but the other attackers had no better vision than a human. They knew someone was probably camped because they saw your fire, but they couldn't actually see most of you. They knew something/someone was there. They didn't know what, or how many, or exactly where. They were scouting, and the scorpiontaur eventually saw Henrik at roughly the same moment that he could see it.

But they didn't see Kisasi at all until he ran directly into a lit area. At that point, he took a readied action right on the chin, because they were ready for trouble. It happens that the damage roll from that attack was well above average, and it knocked him down in a single go. I'm as much at the mercy of the dicebot as you guys; I can't fudge even if I want to. Kisasi was more fragile than you might expect because hobgoblins are a +1 LA race. So he only had two dice worth of hit points with which to soak up that damage. That probably didn't help.

This same basic course of events repeated itself twice more, with Vandersrike and Swarbrick. Vandersrike was built to be a "glass cannon" style melee rogue. Swarbrick was a ranger/rogue with a +1 LA race.

At that point, you were down three out of seven men in roughly as many rounds.

I had more or less been expecting you guys to sit tight in the shadows and wait for the enemy to come to you. They had no easy way to get at you, since they'd either have to come at you through the firelight and get hammered with ranged attacks, spells, etc., or they'd need to climb over a high wall. Climbing is a raw deal if you're in the middle of combat, and I had expected Vandersrike, Swarbrick, and Kaarys to make hamburger out of anyone who tried.

In similar vein, I had expected the rogues to sneak attack the hell out of anyone who came at them through the lighted area, because they'd have been shooting from the dark (making them effectively invisible).

But what ended up happening was that the enemy did to you exactly what I had expected you to do to them. That understandably broke your nerve (OOC, I think, as much as IC), and you tried to run. And then they took you apart piecemeal.

I think that if the four survivors had all run at the exact same moment and had gone in different directions, it's possible you might have avoided a TPK. The more the enemy has to split up to keep track of fleeing survivors, the harder it is to achieve a defeat in detail. Clumping up into two pairs made life a lot easier for the enemy. At that point, I really didn't have any recourse but to play it straight and kill the remaining PCs.

I don't know if it makes you feel better, but most of the enemy psions were running on fumes by the time you were all finished.

3) Wait, psions?
Yeah. Porp and company were the advance force of an extraplanar invasion. The arrival of a race of demented psions in Tolrea was to be the eponymous cataclysm.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls

AoO, Yellow #4 vs. Henrik
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 8, 4 = 12.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 2, 4 = 6.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 11, 3 = 14.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 4, 6 = 10.
Stabilization, Swarbrick, Leland and Kaarys
I rolled 1d100, the result is 13 = 13.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 62 = 62.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 100 = 100.
Yellow #3 vs. Henrik, with opposed trip
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 11, 4 = 15.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 5, 4 = 9.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 8, 3 = 11.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 4, 6 = 10.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 87 = 87.
Yellow #4 vs. Henrik, with opposed trip
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 12, 6 = 18.
I rolled 1d6+4, the result is 2, 4 = 6.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 13, 3 = 16.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 16, 6 = 22.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 95 = 95.
Scorpiontaur vs. Henrik
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 1, 8 = 9.
I rolled 2d6+6, the result is 3, 6, 6 = 15.
I rolled 1d100, the result is 1 = 1.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

A couple of thoughts.

1) I enjoyed the game. My favorite settings are Eberron, Dark Sun, and Ravenloft, so character death doesn't bother me when it is meaningful and impactful. Personally, Vandersrike had an interesting arc that resolved in an extremely bittersweet way and I enjoyed that. Furthermore, I enjoyed meeting everyone who played. I'm looking forward to playing with all of you in the future.

2) I think that there are a few factors that were not accounted for in creating this challenge.

A) Putting aside the grueling nature of the previous fights, these PCs were never close to cohesive. The closest thing the PCs demonstrated to a tactic came up in the most recent fight where we OOC discussed how much communicating about tactics we could do. The NPCs were extremely coordinated and complimented each other beautifully.

B) The fire was a disadvantage. With a huge map, the location of the PCs was known to the NPCs. The NPCs did not have a known location to the PCs. There is an argument to be made that Henrik heard the Scorpiontaur and that gave us a proximal location. That's fair, but the engaging scouting party had advance notice that a fight was about to begin. It could just as easily been a distraction as a mistake. Given that the NPCs could see our movement by the fire and that we couldn't see them no matter how they moved in the darkness, it was a net negative for the PCs.

C) If Henrik hadn't noticed the Scorpiontaur then there would have been nothing remotely close to winnable in the encounter.

D) Fragility - we weren't a tough group. You mentioned the number of PCs who were light on HP, whether because of level adjustment or koboldness. Getting ambushed put the PCs at a distinct disadvantage. Furthermore, eating actions to unhobble horses limited PC mobility further. Realistic? Absolutely. Escapable? Questionable.

3) In the next game, I think we should revisit PC OOC discussion of tactics. I think that cohesive NPCs (in the form of @Talanall 's hivemind) will always have an advantage over non-cohesive PCs. Even a legacy story about how the characters have battled together before will make a much more interesting series of combats.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Can I get a very full description of the people that are attacking me? What weapon(s) are they using?

The spell protection from evil prevents bodily contact from a summoned creature's natural weapons (in addition to the +2 AC generally), so I want to make sure that's not what they're hitting me with.

Also, per the above, it sounds like most of these creatures don't have the ability to see in the dark, and Henrik is in total darkness, and has been for some time. Did I misunderstand? I was thinking they must have darkvision since they haven't seemed to have any trouble even when we left the dark blue area.

I'm assuming that's all immaterial, but I figured I'd bring it up.

Based on the rolls, it appears that I have concealment. With concealment, I can hide. If that's the case, I can move at half speed with a -5 penalty on my Hide Check. I figure if I can avoid them long enough, maybe I can survive this. I'll drop my shield to reduce my hide penalty. Here's to hoping.

Hide (-5 Half Speed/-4 Armor/+2 Dex)
I rolled 1d20-7, the result is 13, -7 = 6.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:

A couple of thoughts.

2) I think that there are a few factors that were not accounted for in creating this challenge.

A) Putting aside the grueling nature of the previous fights, these PCs were never close to cohesive. The closest thing the PCs demonstrated to a tactic came up in the most recent fight where we OOC discussed how much communicating about tactics we could do. The NPCs were extremely coordinated and complimented each other beautifully.

This is accurate. It also isn't my responsibility to develop tactical cohesion for the PCs. There was no barrier to them having an IC discussion about tactics and teamwork. They just never bothered to discuss such an existentially important matter as what they considered to be their own strengths and weaknesses, or how they might go about addressing common problems on the battlefield.

Not even in an abstract way like, "The PCs are going to talk about theoretical tactical situations while they're riding along the road from Point A to Point B." That's really on you guys as players. Establish that you've talked about teamwork, and you will find me considerably less hard-nosed about this issue.

Quote:

B) The fire was a disadvantage. With a huge map, the location of the PCs was known to the NPCs. The NPCs did not have a known location to the PCs. There is an argument to be made that Henrik heard the Scorpiontaur and that gave us a proximal location. That's fair, but the engaging scouting party had advance notice that a fight was about to begin. It could just as easily been a distraction as a mistake. Given that the NPCs could see our movement by the fire and that we couldn't see them no matter how they moved in the darkness, it was a net negative for the PCs.

The NPCs had an approximate location for the PCs, it is true. This was by way of being a precondition for there to be a combat encounter at all.

And yes, they knew there was going to be a fight. That said, the majority of the NPCs could not see you, and did not have any way to change that unless you changed it for them. None of them had any means of creating a light source on demand, short of setting fire to something. The best they could do was let the scorpiontaur do the heavy lifting, and maybe send in astral constructs to try to help with that. The NPC that put down Kisasi and Swarbrick would have been completely unable to do any harm. It had to be able to see you to hurt you.

Strategically, the fire was a disadvantage; tactically, it put you in a strong defensive position. There certainly are drawbacks to a defensive fight.

Quote:

C) If Henrik hadn't noticed the Scorpiontaur then there would have been nothing remotely close to winnable in the encounter.

There was no way that Henrik wouldn't have noticed this creature. The battlefield was set up in such a way as to make it impossible for it to sneak up on him. He spotted it as soon as it came within range of his darkvision, and that was a foregone conclusion. The battlefield was set up in such a way as to prevent it from charging at him for this same reason.

Quote:

D) Fragility - we weren't a tough group. You mentioned the number of PCs who were light on HP, whether because of level adjustment or koboldness. Getting ambushed put the PCs at a distinct disadvantage. Furthermore, eating actions to unhobble horses limited PC mobility further. Realistic? Absolutely. Escapable? Questionable.

I thought carefully about the hobbles, and basically concluded that if I didn't go with that approach, I had to come up with some kind of really elaborate explanation about why the horses wouldn't just run away at the first sign of danger. That's their instinctive response to a threat, if a human(oid) is not immediately present to encourage them to behave in some other fashion. Without the horses, escape was basically an impossibility for everyone except the druids.

Quote:

3) In the next game, I think we should revisit PC OOC discussion of tactics. I think that cohesive NPCs (in the form of @Talanall 's hivemind) will always have an advantage over non-cohesive PCs. Even a legacy story about how the characters have battled together before will make a much more interesting series of combats.

I think you guys need to seriously consider establishing that the PCs have talked about this stuff In Character before their lives depend upon it. As I remarked earlier in this reply, I would be much more easygoing about OOC discussion if I had grounds to excuse it as the reflection of some degree of In Character discussion.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Talanall wrote:
This is accurate. It also isn't my responsibility to develop tactical cohesion for the PCs.

Totally. I'm not trying cast blame or aspersions. I do think that disunity is something that everyone, DM and PCs, should consider.

I would like to ask everyone to hammer this point home in the next game. Dungeons and Dragons isn't DM versus PCs. Instead, it is DM and PCs, with everyone's responsibility to look out for the enjoyment of everyone else. Meaningful conflict and substantial challenges are required to keep the game out of the realm of narrativist power fantasy and into a balanced RP/tactical game.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

deadDMwalking wrote:

Can I get a very full description of the people that are attacking me? What weapon(s) are they using?

Two astral constructs. They look like lumpy humanoids made of slime, or possibly crystal. Kind of depends on how the light hits them. They attack using natural weapons (but see below). Also the scorpiontaur, which has a Large longsword, as well as two claws and a stinger.

Reds #2-4 aren't currently attacking.

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The spell protection from evil prevents bodily contact from a summoned creature's natural weapons (in addition to the +2 AC generally), so I want to make sure that's not what they're hitting me with.

Astral construct is a Metacreativity (Creation) power. It does not have the (Summoning) subtype, unfortunately, and the constructs it creates have no alignment. The +2 AC is applicable versus the scorpiontaur, because it is evil.

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Also, per the above, it sounds like most of these creatures don't have the ability to see in the dark, and Henrik is in total darkness, and has been for some time. Did I misunderstand? I was thinking they must have darkvision since they haven't seemed to have any trouble even when we left the dark blue area.

Astral constructs have darkvision 60 ft. and low-light vision by default. The scorpiontaur has both of these, as well as tremorsense 60 ft.

Red 2, 3 and 4 cannot see Henrik. If Red #2 could see him, I fancy he'd be dead by now. Red #4 could manifest another construct, but she has already spat forth four of the strongest she can muster. She's kinda running on fumes.

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I'm assuming that's all immaterial, but I figured I'd bring it up.

All reasonable questions.

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Based on the rolls, it appears that I have concealment. With concealment, I can hide. If that's the case, I can move at half speed with a -5 penalty on my Hide Check. I figure if I can avoid them long enough, maybe I can survive this. I'll drop my shield to reduce my hide penalty. Here's to hoping.

Concealment is a precondition for hiding, but another precondition for it is that you must not be being directly observed. Between the constructs and the scorpiontaur, you're definitely being observed.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Cronono wrote:
Talanall wrote:

This is accurate. It also isn't my responsibility to develop tactical cohesion for the PCs.

Totally. I'm not trying cast blame or aspersions. I do think that disunity is something that everyone, DM and PCs, should consider.

I would like to ask everyone to hammer this point home in the next game. Dungeons and Dragons isn't DM versus PCs. Instead, it is DM and PCs, with everyone's responsibility to look out for the enjoyment of everyone else. Meaningful conflict and substantial challenges are required to keep the game out of the realm of narrativist power fantasy and into a balanced RP/tactical game.

My remarks were directed more toward the notion that I didn't consider the disunity. I did, recognized that it could be a problem in terms of the PCs' ability to survive the fight, and went ahead anyway because it had already come up several times, in several different ways. This isn't the first time, or even the second time that I have proposed that party cohesion is 1) the PCs' responsibility and 2) highly desirable if you wanted to survive this campaign.

I was not trying to TPK you guys. But I wasn't trying to avoid it, either, which I think is attested by the fates that met Johten and Rory. It always has been something that I was prepared to have happen, and not even for a reason beyond simple bad luck or faulty judgement.

Those of you who are planning to join the upcoming villainous campaign will want to think VERY hard about this issue, since we can reasonably expect that there will be more than circumstantial forces acting against the development of the cohesion that you want.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I took the description of hide to mean that as long as you had cover or concealment, you could hide. They'd certainly know where I was when I started hiding, but not where I ended up if successful. I took the 'if people are observing you, even casually, you can't hide' to be a prohibition of, say, jumping in a barrel while they watch and then saying 'you can't see me!'.

But we'll try escaping again/more!

Withdraw directly North West.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It's clearer when you combine the Hide skill descriptive text with the ranger's Hide in Plain Sight ability, which specifies that you can hide when people are looking at you. The ranger also has Camouflage, which removes the requirement for cover and/or concealment so long as the ranger is hiding in natural terrain. At rng 17, it's possible to hide in the middle of a flat, bare expanse of rock while someone is staring directly at you. At rng 13, the observer has to be momentarily distracted (such as via a Bluff check), but no cover or concealment is required. Members of the assassin and shadowdancer prestige classes have some similar abilities.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I would probably count jumping into a barrel and declaring yourself invisible to be one example of an attempted Bluff check, but unless the observer has a really abysmal Intelligence score it would probably be something like +20 DC. And it would still require that you enjoy concealment as a necessary precondition.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

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