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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 15, Part 1

December 17, 2014

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The 15 Minute Adventuring Day

How Long Does Your Adventuring Day Last?

With the evil quickling assassin, Rigg Gargadilly, lying dead at their feet, the group started to make preparations to ascend the stairs of the central tower. They had just reached level 6, and were eager to test themselves in battle once more… or were they? As Satampra the rogue started to lead the adventurers up the tower steps, Iofur the druid and Mestinous the elven wizard began to whine about how they needed to retreat and rest.

Satampra: “It’s, like, 9am and you want to go back to bed already?! You mean to say that you have no spells?”

Mestinous: “I’m out of 3rd level spells, yeah. I guess I still have my 1st and 2nd level spells…”

Iofur: “I only have one 3rd level spell! And… all of my lower level spells.”

Satampra: “Suddenly I’m feeling pretty good about not being a spellcaster. What a bunch of wusses!”

In the end, the wizard and druid graciously agreed to suffer through having only 1st and 2nd level (and one 3rd level!) spells at their disposal. As part of the compromise, the party decided to investigate the presumably easier outer towers, rather than taking on the upper floor of the central tower.

Rivers Run Red 15aThey headed for the NW tower, which was festooned with bleached skulls and protected by a door that was barred from the inside. Boliden the barbarian tried to batter the door down, only to fail. So Simon Wellread the cleric used his Strength domain ability on him, and the barbarian tried again. On the second attempt, he snapped the bar into splinters and the door burst open.

Like the SW tower that they searched earlier, this tower was basically a hollow stone tube. The walls and debris here were covered with a thick tangle of vines that the treasure hunters began to search through. Until Iofur noticed that one of the vines was moving towards them!

A meaty tendril lashed out and wrapped itself around Mestinous’ throat, and hauled the elf into the air. This assassin vine was acting at the command of Teorlian the grimstalker, a monstrous elf-like fey with green and brown skin. Teorlian himself leaped down from the tower wall, and raked his claws across the chest of the surprised cleric… only to fail to penetrate his armor. Sigh. I hate it when sneak attackers miss on their sneak attacks against the PCs. They rarely get a second chance.

Satampra rushed over to help the wizard, and hacked at the tendril with his sword – crit! Mestinous pulled out one of his many magic missile wands and jammed its business end into the tentacle. He managed to croak out the command word despite the tightness around his throat, and the magic darts split the vine into pieces. The elf dropped to the ground and landed on his feet, gracefully, as shreds of the vine landed around him.

Most of the humans had not even acted yet, and the grimstalker was already on his own! Teorlian tried one more claw attack against the cleric, and when that one also missed – that was 3 potential sneak attacks wasted – he ran off. The party tried to pursue, but he was able to scale the castle wall and disappear into the forest before they could stop him. The adventurers returned to the tower and warily searched it, which led to the discovery of a lockbox that contained the grimstalker’s treasure.

Ratatouille

Rivers Run Red 15bHaving lasted all the way to the noon hour – what fortitude! – the explorers decided to retreat. There was some discussion about how far away they should run, in case the grimstalker decided to come after them, but in the end they settled on just going a couple of miles out. They wiled away the rest of the day playing cards and dice and hunting, and then made camp. Since they were so close to the fortress, I considered having Teorlian and the Dancing Lady attack them in the night, but I chickened out at the last moment. It just seemed to me that an ambush by those two would have resulted in a TPK.

They awoke to a light rain that continued throughout the day. While most of the party groaned at the prospect of traveling and exploring in the rain, Iofur let out a joyful “Yes!” He’s always happy when there’s inclement weather, as it means that his call lightning spell will be extra-damaging. They rode back to the keep, and once again entered through the hole in the south wall. I kept asking them if they want to enter (or leave) through the front gate or the hole. They always chose the hole, but became rather paranoid about the gate. Why does he keep asking us if we want to go through the gate?!?

Rivers Run Red 15cThe party went back to clearing out the outer towers. In the NE tower they were swarmed by rats, who were mostly dispersed by dual flaming spheres and a summoned pit (via the create pit spell). Unfortunately, both Boliden and Simon Wellread fell into the pit along with the rats.

In the SE tower they discovered the quickling’s living quarters, which included a number of dried scalps hanging from the walls. They turned the place over until they found the assassin’s collection of precious gemstones.

Rivers Run Red 15dWith the rest of the keep cleared, they went back to the central tower. From the outside, there did not appear to be any windows, so Satampra scaled the tall stone drum to check out the roof. And as it happened, he found an opening on top of the tower that must have once held a skylight, in times long past. He crept up and peered inside, and spied a lovely elven woman dressed in finery, gazing out one of the chamber’s many windows. The room itself was filled with flowers and bushes that grew from of a thick layer of soil that covered the floor.

The rogue snuck back to his companions. Windows! For some reason he was very weirded out that there were windows visible on the inside but not the outside. I’m not sure if that was roleplaying (“My character doesn’t know anything about magic!”) or if Satampra’s player thought there was something more going on, like if the room was in another dimension, or something. Either way, Mestinous explained to the rogue that it was probably just a permanent one-way illusion.

The group expected trouble, but they weren’t quite sure what form it would take. They made some basic plans to hit the room from two directions, and then prepared for battle.

Next: the last waltz!

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7 Comments
  1. in our kingmaker game, our rogue went off to look for treasure with everyone at the table
    (including the GM) trying to persuade him not to. well he ran into Teorlian and his little green friend and well we found the rogues skull the next morning unceremoniously kicked out of Teorlian’s tower. that player was sent a link to this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waa2ucfgVgQ
    by all the other players. so far this AP has been tons of fun.
    oh and you mapping program rocks 🙂

    • Ouch. That’s probably the leading cause of death among D&D rogues – running ahead of the group on their own. Although I do have fond memories of my very first D&D character (an illusionist/thief) doing similar stuff.

  2. Pinkius permalink

    The spellcaster’s adventuring day may only last 15 minutes, but in those 15 minutes, they could whomp any of the martials fairly easily.
    Why it’s becoming apparent in the game we’re running now that the rogue/ninja can’t make a non-reflex save to save their life. Been confused and petrified multiple times now.

    • Quote from this past session:

      Satampra the rogue/swashbuckler: “Will save?” Me: “No, Fortitude.” Satampra: “Eh, doesn’t matter, they both suck.” 🙂

      While I was glad that 3e got rid of the bizarre AD&D saving throw system, what they replaced it with was less than ideal, IMO.

      • Pinkius permalink

        oh, quick update, the ninja got phantasmal killered, double failed save, we’re in WoTR so we’re running mythic, but even surging and getting max on the dice wouldn’t have saved her. We couldn’t logic a way to fish her a reroll either, so after this boss, we’re going to have to get her a revive.

      • That’s rough – live or die on your two bad saves. And the way the numbers can escalate, I’m not surprised there was no chance. Satampra will be going down that road as well, I think. He has a -2 Wis modifier, so at level 6 his Will save is an awful +0.

        Didn’t your group just finish Kingmaker, and you’re already fighting foes with phantasmal killer in your next campaign? Man. How are you finding the mythic rules?

      • Pinkius permalink

        The mythic rules aren’t bad, it seems like our character’s powerlevels are all over the place, but that’s more of a problem with pathfinder/our party in general. We’re running with a bunch of house rules, mythic power attack got nerfed for being rediculous, mythic vital strike got banned, I’m still discovering the shenaniganry I can get up to with the varieties of Summon Monster #, so far I’ve discovered the world of savage celestial dire tiger. 4 claws and 2 bites on a pounce with stacking bleed.

        And yet the magus and paladin are still the ones killing everything. Spell combat is silly of the silliest degree, cast a spell and full attack? what?

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