Saturday 8 November 2014

Battle Mage Dies at the End

And we finally got together for another session against the Dragon Cult! (actually I missed last session) This time 8 PC's faced-off against the fanatics and their unholy order:

Just your standard set of misfits and
  1. Abominous the Abjurer- a wizard joining via G+
  2. Drogo Carradine- 4th Level Half-Ogre Monk
  3. Pam- badass Dwarven Alchemist ported from WFRP 1e
  4. Wae Wae- the Drowess archer with a heart of gold
  5. Bilbo the Halflink Assasin- cute but deadly
  6. Roarrawrurmph- a Gold-colored dragonborn Paladin
  7. Sir Manly- my 4th level Holy Turnip worshiping Paladin
  8. Battle Mage, my 2nd level DCC Wizard extraordinaire

Crawling and Delving

The party found themselves exploring an underground temple complex. We fought some guards. We snuck around. The assassin even assassinated someone! (teach him to sleep on the job!)

Anyway, the end of the session found the party with many of their spells expended(Battle Mage rolled more modestly this time on his spell checks this session), as well as most of their healing abilities. And that's when we walked into a shrine to Tiamat's Black Dragon facet. And the Half Dragon Leader of the cultists that wiped the floor with Sir Manly previously was there. With tons of backup.

A Time to Die

We actually considered fleeing at this point, but decided to tough it out. Big mistake. This was easily the party's toughest battle. 

The fighters formed a line, the archers and magic users stood behind them. Battle Mage was running around casting shield on everyone he could when I got caught. Dumb mistake on my part. The Half-Dragon occasionally gets a nasty lightning breath attack and I left Sir Manly and BM lined up perfectly with him one round. Sir Manly was left unconscious for the rest of the battle, while Battle Mage was fried like a bug in a zapper. (Props to the DM for not softening the blow any.)

The party managed to tough out the rest of the battle with several characters at minimal hitpoints, and at least Battle Mage's Shield spell helped leave our Monk intact till the end.

A Note on Tone

Overall, it was a good session that ended in an intense battle. That said, the content of the module is a bit vanilla. Besides the Half-Dragon commander, there are no really big surprises or weird things. We started with a whole army of raiders and we've fought our way up through bigger and buffer raiders. There were no "OH MY GOSH!" surprises. It's all very "what you see is what you get".

The second thing is the "oh so serious tone" as everything is played completely straight. I find the more gonzo classic DnD tone to be more engaging. Or, if you have to, take it the other direction, and crank the serious up to 11. Then you hit the John Carter Prince of Mars territory, where everyone is so over the top sincere as that you hit full Pulp Novel levels of fun.

Hard-Earned Lessons

So I guess I left this session with a couple lessons learned:
  1. When your mage is out of gas, insist the party finds a place to rest!
  2. Play carefully with your low-level characters or they're toast!

Man, poor Battle Mage--I liked that guy. Gonna go weep now...

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