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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 12, Part 2

November 3, 2014

250px-Korred_-_Dave_AllsopOutside the crypt, the korred groggily got to his feet and was trying to find his equipment as the mites and Boliden the barbarian traded bolts and arrows. Eventually Boliden got sick of missing with his bow and ran down with his axe. Travaris the cleric followed, bestowing blessings upon him as they went. By that time, the hairy man had gotten his act somewhat together, and was throwing rocks down on the PCs as he cursed them for lying bastards. Boliden charged one mite and cleaved its head in twain, causing another mite to flee. The barbarian then ran into the tomb. The korred tried to block the entrance for the cleric, but Travaris suggested that the hairy fellow should share the ale, and the little man ran up the hill to get the keg. While he was doing so, Travaris also slipped inside.

Rivers Run Red 12eBy this point, Satampra the rogue had decided to evade the oncoming horde of skeletons by retreating deeper into the dungeon. He came to a long room filled with ancient weapons and shields and crumbling images, with a skeletal figure laying atop a bier at the far end. The player told me that he wants to go hide behind the bier. “Are you sure you want to do that?” I ask – always a bad sign! He took that to mean the room was trapped, and spent a round checking the entrance area before advancing into the room itself. The way out was now blocked by the crowd of skeletal warriors, who marched down the hall towards Satampra.

The rogue hurried over to the supine figure at the other end of the room, which was clutching a spear. Given the skeletons that were about to chop him into bits, Satampra decided that he should grab the treasure while the grabbing was good. But as he grasped the shaft, the body awoke, and yanked the spear away from him with great strength. The warrior then sat up, shoving Satampra back with a bony hand as it did so. When the undead’s desiccated flesh touched the living Baron’s body, Satampra felt his very soul flowing out of him and into the foul abomination, and a streak of grey suddenly appeared in his hair – take +1 negative level!

Incidentally, I made the Lonely Warrior’s weapon a spear – a “war spear,” basically just a 1-handed martial spear, because spears inexplicably suck in Pathfinder – so that Satampra could use it. He’s part Swashbuckler, and swashbucklers can finesse any 1-handed piercing weapon. Boliden doesn’t need a crazy powerful weapon – he is a crazy powerful weapon – and Salar the halfling ranger is too small to use the Warrior’s implement.

Rivers Run Red 12fAnyway. Negative levels? Clearly, it was time to run! Satampra made about a dozen Acrobatics checks over two rounds to evade AoOs from the Warrior and the horde of skeletons, burning through most of his swashbuckler’s Panache in the process. He ducked, he weaved, he tumbled, he dodged – the only thing he lacked was a living audience. When he got to the other side of the horde, he found Boliden, who had just cut down some of the skeletons himself, and Travaris. They ran for the entrance with a mass of undead warriors inexorably advancing in pursuit.

Between a Rock and a Hairy Place

Unfortunately for them, the korred was standing astride the exit. “I have that ale you wanted,” he said to Travaris with a laugh. The keg was lying on the ground behind him, but in his hands were his implements of battle. He had failed to stop the humans from entering the tomb, but by golly he would keep them from getting out!

Boliden used an overrun maneuver to leap over the pint-sized guard, although he then got tripped up by the korred’s animated hair. Satampra tried to tumble through, failed, and was stopped short. Travaris also tried to overrun the korred, but he needed a natural 20 to succeed, and his luck came up short. Looking over their shoulders, they could see that the undead horde was almost upon them.

Boliden and the korred traded blows while Satampra escaped by climbing up out of the top of the crevice. Travaris continued to try and push past the hairy man, who almost off-handedly kept shoving the cleric back into the crypt. The skeletons had reached him, and started slashing at the priest with their swords and claws while the Lonely Warrior shouted curses at the invaders in some ancient tongue from the rear. It was actually good for the players that the skeletons were there, as they kept the Warrior from reaching them, and the skeletons themselves were rather ineffectual.

All three PCs were nearly out of hit points. Boliden backed off from the korred and was reduced to throwing axes at him, while Satampra shot arrows from atop the hill. Travaris, sadly, got pounded into the ground by the guardian’s hammer, and was about to get murdered by the undead…

…when the korred pulled him from the tomb, and held back the tide of skeletons with his shield. “You blasted fools! Take him and leave and never come back! And when he wakes… thank him for the ale.” The barbarian and rogue dragged Travaris away, while the hairy man of the hills just stood there like a stone, fighting to keep the undead in their crypt.

Rivers Run Red 12bThe next morning, the group healed up and cautiously returned to the scene of the crime. Boliden had dropped just about all of his weapons outside the dungeon, and they were still there, exactly where he had left them. There were no signs of the faeries or the undead. The crevice in the hillside, however, was now plugged up by a giant rock, which looked like it had always been there. The trio declared the expedition to be a successful reconnaissance mission, and rode back to Stagfell.

The copper ring that Satampra found in the trap room turned out to be a ring of sustenance, which the Baron gladly kept. However, the rogue failed his Fortitude saving throw to remove the negative level, and it is now permanent. The player wants to get a scroll of greater restoration to remove the negative level, but that’s even higher level than the scroll of stone to flesh they procured to restore Travaris. And this situation isn’t anywhere near as crippling. So I’m tempted to say that he’s stuck with it for now. [as it turns out, regular old restoration will remove 1 negative level, so Satampra will probably be cured soon enough]

Next: the first PC death.

  1. Pinkius permalink

    They don’t need Greater Restoration, they need Restoration, with a 1000 thousand gp material component so that it cures a permanent negative level. Thankfully it’s only 4th level. Death Ward is a useful spell to deal with negative level enemies, unfortunately I don’t think the PCs have access to it at this point.

    • Good point! We did figure out that Restoration will do the trick this past session, so I should edit the post. No 4th level spells yet; the PCs are a few hundred XP shy of 6th level right now.

      • Pinkius permalink

        You could always fudge it as GM, players won’t mind a few hundred extra exp as reward for roleplaying

      • Pinkius permalink

        Except that won’t get them 4th level spells anyways, it’s odd levels they get spell levels, so they need level 7, and death ward is 5th level for druids, so only Travaris would be able to cast it. Level 6 is the martial high point, after this, casters can impact the battle more with their spells than a melee character really can, and later on, the caster can melee better than the martial.
        Ranged is a little different, mostly because ranged is really powerful, so a ranged martial will last longer than a melee one, as long as their range is more than 20 feet.

      • Yeah, I’m still thinking on how to bridge the caster/martial divide. My current plan is to just give Satampra and Salar lots of magic items. Boliden doesn’t really need the help right now, and he hasn’t even gotten pounce yet (or his 2nd attack, for that matter).

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 12, Part 1 | Daddy DM
  2. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 26, Part 2 | Daddy DM
  3. Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 30, Part 1 | Daddy DM

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