We head out to haunted Castle Scarwall in Part I of Skeletons of Scarwall (8 page .pdf), the fifth and penultimate chapter of the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path. Fighting undead is where Annata is a Viking, so we’re kicking bony ass and taking ghoulish names. We were tickled to be fighting orcs and skeletons, it’s like we’re first level all over again.
I know it’s hard for a DM to run NPCs in a party, but these three Brotherhood of Bones hangers-on we have are worthless with a capital LESS! Well, except for our favorite, Laori, who is always entertaining. This session, she let Annata know she’d like to sleep with her! I’m writing a separate blog post about how she dealt with that. Will it violate the Paizo fansite license morals clause? Find out, read the full summary!
At the end, we fought and slew what we think is the “main boss” but it didn’t lift the evil aura around the place; Paul was impressed that I then intuited we’d need to kill all the sub-bosses and then kill the main boss else he’d just respawn. I’ve been playing RPGs and computer games for 25 years, I know how game designers think.
Let me say again for the record how sweet the Channel Energy power is for clerics in Pathfinder. For those not familiar with it, Pathfinder replaced turning undead with “channeling energy.” It heals people in short range and harms AND turns undead. You can augment it with feats as Annata has – her channeling damages (but doesn’t turn) evil outsiders, she can make it heal only her allies (by default it heals everyone in range), and she’s quickened it to a free action with Quicken Turning. It means that:
- If you have a day where you’re not fighting undead, one of your major class powers isn’t worthless.
- You can heal at range rather than always having to incur attacks of opportunity to go heal a comrade.
- You can heal multiple party members at once.
- You have loads of dice of healing that don’t eat up your spell slots. Thus you get to use spells for useful proactive things.
- With the quicken, you aren’t wasting your time every round of combat with only healing.
Face it, as damage dealing has grown, Cure spells have not kept pace. Even low level characters dish out or take like 20 points of damage a round – at our level, 80 points in a round isn’t uncommon and I’ve seen more than 100. The usual 1d, 2d, 3d, 4d Cure spells are pretty much worthless in the face of that; I’d need ten minutes and my entire spell loadout to take care of just a couple rounds of combat. So the channeling steps in to fill the gap and let the cleric do something in a round other than heal. Neat!