Sixth Session (11 page pdf) – We get to the heart of Schloss Caromarc and its guardian rips one of our party members into bits! Then we summon the Beast to help us out… GOLEM FIGHT!!!
We spend some time going up one more deathtrap bridge and being ravaged by another trap – holing up and resting – repeat. The worst of that was a leech swarm – immune to weapon damage, can’t do fire damage since they’re in the water, and with no save they do hit point and STR and CON damage. You do get to save against the permanent DEX drain and distraction though. Even if I had say a 5d6 lightning bolt, it wouldn’t have killed them since the swarm has 39 hp. “They’re only CR4” says the GM… Fuck you, whoever designed this monster. The castle design starts making even less sense with the four “holding towers” but we’re used to that.
Then we get across and discover a big hideous flesh golem. Vlad runs up to it and it rips him apart into pieces immediately with quad claw + rend. Oswald takes a couple shots at it but it is like AC super high and has DR and it’s clear we’re not going to be able to take it. Icobus’ Oracle curse (he can’t speak in combat, just make insane Azathoth piping) finally comes into play, because he pops Obscuring Mist and tries to get us to retreat, but Oswald no comprende and advances into the mist instead and gets dropped too (thankfully, just short of permanent fatality). We backed off and greased the bridge and let it fall to its death. May as well use this deathtrap against others too! We saved Oswald but Vlad is just dhampir parts.
The finale was cool and thankfully didn’t require our physical intervention (being down a party member and suffering from a variety of negative levels, stat drain, etc.). With the help of Waxwood the invisible servant we figured out we needed to climb to the top, activate the lightning attractor, power the Beast controller, call the beast, and have him fight the boss golem. Then we sat there controlling him Pacific Rim style.
Here’s where I had my best idea of the adventure. We had already drooled over the adamantite trapdoor below. “Hey, he could rip that off and Oswald could give him shield proficiency! And he could smack the bad guy with it to bypass his inevitable DR!” And sure enough, Nigel tried to have the Beast use his double crossbow- can’t hit. He used his ogre hook – DR 10 reducing it to almost nothing while the Beast got owned by the Promethean. Then he switched to doing slams with the adamantite trapdoor – and the hit points just melted off. Without that the numbers would not have been in his favor, we might have had to go down there to try to finish him off (yeah right!).
Then Girl broke up the “slave herd thrall” or whatever the Beast-controller device was called, she freed him from the townsfolk at that trial and sees no reason to not free him from his psycho-dad-creator too. The rest of the party was dubious but let her have her way.
Then we rescued the Count, nursed him to health, and figured out what his problem is – predictably, a dead wife (“Did she die in a fall?” thought Girl) that won’t come back to a raise dead (“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to come back either,” mused Nigel.) Then he gives us a paltry reward of 3000 gp and sics us on the Whispering Way guys who betrayed him after he betrayed them after they blackmailed him. “Why do we care exactly?” we ask ourselves.
The adventure has gotten on a pretty hard railroad now. We kinda kept with freeing the Beast from his trial as just a lark and for 200 pp each, but “Go get half your party killed visiting my dad’s castle” and “For no reason I’m sure you want to go fight werewolves and cultists to recover an idol that even the University it was stolen from doesn’t care about” is weak motivation. We’re only following the trail of breadcrumbs “because clearly we’re supposed to, that’s where the next chapter is” and that’s kinda demotivating. The bad guys are Whispering Way cultists, but this is Ustalav – there’s a lot of cultists everywhere. And we’re not inquisitors. We’re probably more like inquisition targets, with an orc, a witch, a dhampir, an Azathoth worshipper, a Zon-Kuthon worshipper, and… Well, a human crossbowman is kinda normal I guess, but it is Oswald.
Matt’s trying to decide if we should raise Vlad or not. He got kinda disenchanted with the character especially after some conflict over his counter-party actions… He let one of the serial killers go because he’s a fellow Norgorber worshipper, Icobus had found out, and since the killer (besides being dangerous and likely coming after us for revenge at some point) had killed Vaus’ fiancee this was turning into “Hey so what do we do about him?” with Vaus thinking “Maybe I should kill him” and that turned into a metagame discussion of “Hey as a group we haven’t really talked about our agreement on coop vs pvp limits/settings” which turned into aimless interpersonal squabbling in email among various group members. Sigh. So he’s deciding before next session whether to raise Vlad or swap to Urgathoan inquisitor or similar. Otherwise, we all leveled to 6 and I immediately took the Flight hex for Sredni Vashtar’s Girl!!!