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Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session 23

May 4, 2015

troll_slayer_by_du1l-d6iu8w5As we convened this session, the players decided to re-plan their entire assault, going into greater detail about the tactics of the militia. During this time, we familiarized ourselves with the mass combat rules, and the players were dismayed to learn that their six score armed peasants were roughly equivalent to a single troll. With this realization, Satampra the swashbuckler regretted his promise to lead the troops into battle even more. He hatched a new scheme: he would supervise and provide inspiration as the militia made ready for battle, and then get “called away” on important business. The Marshal, Pelagia Medyved, would take over command of the unit in the Emperor’s absence.

Somewhat fortuitously, Satampra had the foresight to load the militia with lots of pitch before they left Stagfell. Pelagia quickly scouted out a hollow that they could hopefully draw the troll force into, and the troops laid down pitch in strategically-placed lines along the ground. The idea was that once the trolls were committed, the pitch would be lighted, creating walls of fire to harm the trolls or channel them into chokepoints. In game terms, I gave the militia an ad-hoc +2 OM and figured they could negate the troll’s regeneration for a turn.

With all of that in place, the six PCs planned to move together on foot around the outskirts of the troll camp. Once they were in a good location, Boliden the barbarian would send his trained hawk to deliver the go-ahead to the militia. When the troops moved into sight and the bulk of the trolls left to fight the peasants, the PCs would ambush the hags.

Scouting for Trouble

With their plans finally set, the group started to sneak around the edge of the troll’s territory. Their first real obstacle occurred when they were startled by a pair of scouts that were patrolling that same edge. Boliden immediately charged in to strike at one with his greataxe, which compelled Iofur the druid to place his entangle so that the trolls were positioned just within the area of effect, and not in the middle. Breen the monk followed the barbarian into battle, while Satampra advanced more cautiously, shooting arrows as he went.

The trolls easily moved out of the entangle’s AoE and fought back at first, but then remembered that they were supposed to warn the camp if they encountered anyone of note. And the PCs definitely qualified! One giant was quickly brought down and burnt by a flaming sphere, and the other took off at a dead run to warn its fellows. Only Breen and Boliden were in a position to pursue. This would have been a good opportunity to break out the chase rules, but it didn’t occur to me at the time. Breen used his opportunity attacks to try and stun the giant, but was repeatedly unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the two were able to bring down the monster before it could raise the alarm.

After the scouts were dealt with, the adventurers moved into view of the larger encampment, taking care to remain upwind of the trolls as they did so. The two dozen-ish giants were randomly scattered about the trees in small clumps, and the three hags were seen moving amongst them. Boliden released his hawk, commanding it to fly to where the militia was awaiting word. The group then hunkered down and waited.

Several minutes later, there was some kind of commotion to the south, and the three hags quickly found one another and conferred. Then Toboura (annis hag, cleric) broke off, ordered the majority of the trolls to follow her, and led the group south. Six trolls remained to guard Mamuna (sea hag, witch) and Nekista Syla (green hag, bard) as they started casting buff spells. The PCs likewise began to buff, with Satampra receiving a cat’s grace and Boliden getting his usual bull’s strength and enlarge person.

The Trap is Sprung

Nekista had turned herself invisible, leaving the PCs with only one remaining command unit to target: Mamuna the Wretched, the veiled crone. Mestinous the elven wizard opened the ambush with evard’s black tentacles on top of Mamuna and one of the trolls. Unfortunately, he rolled poorly for the tentacles’ grapple check, and as a result both targets were able to fight off the probing appendages. Simon the cleric followed that up with a holy smite on the pair, which failed to penetrate Mamuna’s spell resistance. The divine attack did blind the troll for a round, though. Satampra loosed an arrow, and Boliden ran up to one of the closer trolls to do some smiting of his own.

Thanks to some great initiative rolls on the players’ part, they mostly got to go again before any of their foes had a chance to react. Iofur summoned a tiger with summon nature’s ally IV, which charged and decimated the troll that Boliden had wounded. I know its defenses and hit points aren’t great, but the offensive potential of this supposedly-CR 4 creature is astounding. The damage it was doing to the trolls with one charge would have outright killed several of the PCs, if they had been the target instead. Hmmm! Evil DM thoughts forming… Never mind, I’m sure I’d roll terribly if I was the one attacking with tigers. “How did I miss with all five attacks?!”

Breen used his incredible leaping ability to jump from treetop to treetop, until he was able to land behind Mamuna, no doubt with the intention of effing her stuff up. Like the hag and the temporarily-blinded troll, he wasn’t too worried about the black tentacles trying to violate him. Nor should he have; Mestinous rolled a 1 on his next grapple check. Mamuna moved away from Breen, blocking his opportunity attack with her staff and largely ignoring the tentacles that grasped at her, and cast a web spell that trapped Iofur’s tiger and tangled up Boliden. A nearby troll moved forward to keep the monk off of his mistress’ back. Mestinous threw a fireball into the area, but it too failed to penetrate Mamuna’s spell resistance. Breen evaded the blast.

Over by the web, Boliden muscled his way free of the strands, and he and Satampra worked together to hack apart a foe. The tiger broke free and fought through the webs as well, but was ripped to shreds by a troll on the other side.

Another troll headed to confront the troublesome PC spellcasters, but was stopped short by a 2nd summoned tiger, which knocked the troll from full health to less than nothing with a single pounce. Mamuna freed herself from the evard’s AoE and proceeded to trap Simon, Mestinous, and the 2nd tiger within a thorny entanglement. Then Nekista appeared, disposing of her invisibility in order to level a sound burst on the three, who were nicely clustered together. Simon tried to aim a searing light at her but missed, while Mestinous and the tiger were stunned.

Breen tried to catch up to the river witch, but his path was now blocked by a pair of trolls, who tore into him and left him unconscious on the ground (outside of the evard’s, thankfully).

Iofur switched from summons to call lightning, and called down a strike on Mamuna. But he, too, was unable to get past her magic resistance. Boliden and Satampra had dealt with the bulk of the trolls, and were headed towards the hags when Mamuna cast invisibility upon herself. Nekista dropped another sound burst on the entangled casters, but only Mestinous was stunned this time. Simon and the tiger escaped the area, and as Simon rushed over to aid Breen, the tiger pounced on Nekista, dealing an amazing amount of damage to the green hag. Mestinous finally recovered from being stunned, cast a fly spell, and took to the air.

The Better Part of Valor

Now it seemed that the tide had turned in the adventurers’ favor as the barbarian and swashbuckler moved to join the remaining tiger. The invisible Mamuna ran up behind her sister and summoned an obscuring mist in order to provide some protection against their foes. Nekista weathered their attacks and then disappeared into the mists at the first opportunity, fleeing with Mamuna to the south. Satampra was disgusted that they didn’t stay and let themselves be killed, but I noted that such foolishness wouldn’t allow one to terrorize the River Lands for centuries, and he conceded the point.

Simon called for a breather so that he could heal the wounded –Breen, Boliden, and Mestinous were all in bad shape. But the wizard threw caution to the wind, and zoomed off towards the larger battle. Perhaps these two hags had escaped their grasp, but the elf was certain that he could still take out Toboura from the air.

Next: Pelagia’s last stand!

  1. It looks like it’ll be a few weeks until we play again. 😦 So no updates for a while.

    • Pinkius permalink

      Hm, you remembered that Evard’s provides difficult terrain as well right? I’ll assume that’s why it took 2 rounds for the hags and trolls to evacuate it.

      • Yes, that’s exactly right.

      • Pinkius permalink

        interestingly you cannot 5-foot step through difficult terrain into difficult terrain, as the 5 feet would require 10 feet of movement.

      • The hag took a normal move to get away from Breen. His OA missed.

  2. Pinkius permalink

    Awww, Pelagia did a last stand? That usually meens the character in question is totally dead. That’s one way to get the Medyved’s to pull their funding

    • Or to desire revenge!

      • Pinkius permalink

        Yet the party got a council member killed! Through political maneuvering no less, certainly this will only magnify the schism between them and the rest of the council. Nobody wants to be regarded as the red shirt.
        They’d better pitch together a raise dead for her (I think Pelagia was a her?)

      • Ah, but who knows how it all went down? Maybe she demanded that she be the one to lead the troops! History is written by the victors, after all.

      • Pinkius permalink

        Because the last time that happened that definitely didn’t come back to bite the party in the butt. *Cough*Tree*cough*

      • I’ll do a little writeup about the mass combat side of things soon. Satampra’s player and I resolved it with a few rolls while someone else (probably Iofur and his damn tigers) were taking a long turn.

  3. Mei Yu Lian permalink

    That’s some effective spell resistance right there. Bad rolls, or strong resistance?

    • Poor rolls. They needed a 10 on d20 to affect Mamuna and a 9 to affect Nekista. Iofur made up for it with his tigers’ attack rolls, though.

  4. Pinkius permalink

    Did you know if a good or evil caster summons a creature with summon monster (any level) if the monster is marked with an asterisk the summoned creature always appears with the Celestial or Fiendish template applied? This applies to most beast summons such as tigers, boars, wolves and dinosaurs, but also giants at later levels. It increases their CR by one, adding a slightly nerfed version of smite and (based on HIT DICE) energy resistance, alignment DR and Spell Resistance.

    Also, the feat augmented summons is a great way to add 2 to hit, 2 (or more) damage and 2 hp per hit dice to your summons.

    Remember kids, ban summoners. They’re OP.

    • Both Iofur (TN) and Mestinous (CN) already have Augment Summons, although Mestinous has been more interested in blasting, of late. And before that he was summoning a lot of lantern archons for some reason, who don’t benefit much from the feat. I feel like they’ve both read optimization guides, but Mestinous’ player is on the flaky side and forgets how to apply things, or when to. While Iofur’s player is better at sticking to the script.

      We’ll see how they do against the giant owlbear, who is getting the fey template. 😀

      But yeah, summons are OP.

      • Pinkius permalink

        TN and CN? Whaaaat

      • Pinkius permalink

        Natures ally doesn’t work apply the templates

      • Iofur is usually the voice of practicality and reason when discussions take dark and/or ridiculous paths. Most of the evil screw-ups have happened when he wasn’t there.

        Mestinous did broach the subject of turning CE and getting a demon familiar (quasit, I think?) recently. But then we discovered that he had traded away his ability to get a familiar for the bonded sword.

      • Pinkius permalink

        fun fact, if you summon a lantern archon the spell counts as a lawful and good spell or if you summoned an earth elemental the spell would have the earth type.
        Summon monster is the most versatile spell. Op Op

      • Pinkius permalink

        not OP in mythic campaigns though sadly, there’s a path ability to give your summons epic dr and apply a mythic template if you summon one creature, but it really doesn’t match up to say, move during a full attack path abilities the martials get so far as scaling goes.

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