Feb 13, 2018 – “What’s your poison? The Episode Where We All Take Turns Dancing With the Reaper …”
Attendees: DMHC, Big Chief Hooy (Kanye the Giant), Earl of Sweetman County (Quinn), Duke Punshon (Katt), Lord Fowlie (Sven – present only momentarily), and Tzar Lenz (Masahiro) (your humble scribe).
Location: Duke Punshon’s abode in Stonebridgeshire
- We pick up the action in the dark of early night. The devil-tainted wyvern has taken 15 damage to this point, which may as well be a nail trimming. Katt had stuck a light spell to its leg during the last meeting, so at least we are not fighting in the dark.
- Masa is in Stage 1 Con poisoning as we begin the action but manages to roll a confirmed natch 20 to take care of the requirement for “2 consecutive saves” in one fell swoop! Quinn taps the fighter with a “Restoration, Lester” spell, and Masa is back to normal [Death by Poison Escape #1].
- The suddenly-appearing Kanye the Giant takes one look at the big wyvern circling above and bravely runs for the hills. A newly-arrived Quinn resists the fear effect of the great beast, but that doesn’t stop the ‘Vern from swooping in and planting that barbed tail between Quinn’s shoulder blades. Quinn fails to make the steep DC17 Fort save to resist it, but doesn’t seem nearly concerned enough about this. Player Sweetman isn’t aware of the virulent poison rules we play by here. He will learn before all is over. Masa knows and palms his last vial of Antitoxin to the cleric to chug back, giving him a +5 on his Fort saves vs. poison for an hour. Quinn fails his next save, taking him to stage 2 (-4 on Fort saves), and soon goes to Stage 3. Let it be known that Stage 3 is the one where if you do any standard action, you fall unconscious at -1 hp. Fortunately, Katt has a Restoration, Lester handy and casts it on the Mighty Quinn (you’ve not seen nothing like him), bringing him back up to Stage 1. With a couple of good rolls, Quinn is out of the woods [Death by Poison Escape #2]. And then he gets bitten for 15 damage or whatever.
- Poison abhors a vacuum, and soon, Masa has been pumped to the teets with Wyvern-tail poison again. Fort save: Failed. Stage 1. This bodes not real good.
- Sven manages to get off a successful minishortbow attack, pecking away at this MF’s health – everything counts! And then suddenly, Sven is nowhere to be seen, his player having to depart unexpectedly. And then there were four…
- Katt’s eagle and Air elemental harry their quarry like a wig, scratching and slamming for a 3 dam here, a 6 dam there, a 4 dam way over there… The toll is being taken.
- Masa makes one Fort save but fails his next. Stage 2 poisoning. Tzar Lenz does the maths: Stage 2 gives -4 on Fort Saves, so that DC17 poison becomes effectively DC21. His Fort bonus is +6. He needs to roll 15s. He has to make two saves IN A ROW to stop the progression. There are no more Antitoxin vials. No more “Restoration, Lester” spells. No Epic points. The Grim Reaper is sitting on a nearby rock packing Old Toby into a pipe as he watches to see where this goes.
- New Wyvern Attacktic: grab the little guy, fly into the thin air, and drop him. Supposedly, it’s all the rage among Wyrmkind in 110 After. The grab is made on Kanye the Giant, but that leaves the beast as a sitting target for the rest of us. Masa makes a Fort save (!!), rushes in to flank and gets a couple of sizeable hits in on the Wyvern’s noggin. Amazingly, the ‘Vern rolls a natch 1 on its check to maintain grapple on Kanye, so it gives up that plan and attempts to flee into the air. Attacks of opportunity ensue: Katt’s eagle lands a claw, Katt’s Air Elemental wallops it with an air biscuit, Masa gives it a smoot with his dire hurayru, and the halfling runs his rapier to the hilt into the wyvern’s eye. Dead!
- Masa tries to cheer his new tagline “Take that” to the wyvern corpse, but it only comes out as “Taeeke… oh hwuck…” Fails his Fort save with a natch 1 – the crits strike both ways. Masa falls to stage 4 – unconsciousness.
- The Grim Reaper is drawing smoothly on his pipe by now and stands up off his rock, picking up that huge scythe and removing the figureskating blade guard he’s been using for blade protection since he lost his black leather one.
- Okay, shat just got realz. Super-fortunately, the wyvern is dead, so we can focus on stopping Masa from dying for a mo, and we scour our character sheets and cards, looking for ANYTHING that might help. Nothing appears.
- Masa has a 6.25% chance of survival as it stands. We have found nothing useful on our character sheets to improve these odds. The Reaper is set up at the side doing practice swings like Lee Trevino on the 1st tee at Augusta.
- Staring death into its cavernous eyes has a way of making people dig a wee bit deeper. “Hey!!!! What about using the Heal Skill!!??” Tzar Lenz trumpets. We look it up – shit, bruthaaa!!! A successful DC15 Heal check gives the person a +4 on their saves!! Katt gets to work, using a Healer’s kit to add 2 to his Heal check – Makes it!!
“Hey guys, what about the spell Virtue?” Quinn offers.
“Nope, that’s just hit points.”
“How about … Resistance?” Quinn persists
“Frick yeah, Earl!! Yes, that gives +1s on Saving Throws!”. Quinn casts it.
- It’s time for Masahiro to roll a Fort save. He needs to roll a “10” or he goes to Stage 5: DEAD dead!! And he needs to make TWO consecutive saves. The odds of survival have “swelled” to 25% with the discovery of the Heal check and the Resistance spell. The Reaper has his blade-on-a-stick cocked back like Sammy Sosa as Tzar Lenz rolls the dice: 12!!! First bullet dodged.
- Let’s do this all over again one more time. Kanye deep throats the unconscious Masa with a Cure Light Wounds potion, which helps with the hit points (-7 before the poshe – you can die from that, too!), and Katt goes to do his heal check with Quinn’s help… natch 1. Oh that’s bad. But Katt is the one person at the table who has 1 epic point remaining, stashed away for a rainy day. Well, it’s motherfuckin’ pourin’!!! Scratch goes the Epic point, and the reroll is a 17!! which gives Masa that +4 to his check
- And so it all comes down to one final roll for all the marbles. Tzar Lenz needs another roll of 10 to live. If he doesn’t make it, Masa is dead. No safety nets. Tzar picks up his really-not-that-trusty gunmetal d20 and exhales… The Reaper has climbed up onto the top rope turnbuckle, scythe drawn back over his head … the roll…
Did that just fucking happen?!? That spiking blood pressure we players are feeling won’t subside for hours. Sure, Masahiro is still a pile of unconscious flesh at this moment, but he’s bounced off that rock bottom, and he’s on his way back up, bitches!! [Death by Poison Escape #3]
- “Um guys? There are a whole bunch of flying lights in the sky heading our way. Should we, uh, maybe put that light out on the wyvern’s leg?” Katt is back on the job. Kanye spies a cave nearby as he tries and fails to salvage some of that wyvern poison, and all quickly take shelter inside. The lights o’erhead are a flying ship, of course, piloted by a big devil. We manage to evade their notice as they fly past but not the notice of the self-proclaimed owner of this cave – Mr. Ogre. Fortunately, he’s more of a “Wall St. Ogre” than a “Face-Punch St. Ogre” and we “rent” a spot in his cave for the night for a 50gp payout. VERY worth it.
- We sleep gloriously for two 4-hour shifts. Masa recovers two steps on the poison chart under the longterm care of Quinn and Katt and is healed back to full hitpoints by the two clerics’ Channel Energies and Cure Moderate Wounds spells. Masa awakens feeling like a new man!
- And then we’re under attack inside our cave. Do we have a “Kick me” sign on our backs? Caught without armour on, Masa and Katt are viciously battered by 4 bugbears with fat morningstars. Within two turns, Katt is at -6hp (the Grim Reaper pops his head up to peer inside our cave – that guy’s like bedbugs!), and Masa is down to 7 from 38. Quinn releases a wave of healing energy (Channel energy) that heals everyone 10hp (yes, including the bugbears), popping Katt back to the plus side. Kanye has seen what poison can do and uses his quickrunner’s shirt for an extra move to put some Large Scorpion venom on his sticker, rush in, poke, and retreat. That bugbear starts weakening fast under its effects. Masa steps back 5 feet and quickly dons his Ghost Image cloak and roars like a Kraken, causing the bugbears to go a bit weak at the knees and giving us the light we need to fight. We trade some blows, but it’s the newly-revived Katt who breaks this one open by casting Murderous Command on one of the monsters. It fails its save, causing it to attack its ally, rolling a natch 20 in the process! The bugbear who got whacked returns the morningstar-shaped favour, killing the first guy in the process. Between Masa and Kanye’s flanking attacks and Quinn’s Spiritual Weapon spell, we finally finish these dogs off.
- A master of timing, the Ogre landlord pokes his head into our room just as all the fighting is done and questions why we’ve brought a bunch of dogs into his cave.
- The Grim Reaper seems a bit annoyed that we’ve once again escaped his clutches, but he takes some solace in his bugbear and wyvern harvest for the night. More to come, buddy. More to come.
- We leave the action at 4am. Quinn and Katt still need 4 more hours of sleep, but Kanye and Masa have had their 8 already. This turned out to be a good night to have two clerics in our ranks!