Field Report: Week 8 Sewer Guardians

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Tonight was pretty easy at my table,
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2 strikers, 2 controllers and leader did some major damage to the monsters after suffering 4 points of damage from failed skills (9 for the mage who fell during an acrobatics roll). A daily on the swarm and the Slayer going all out on a croc with some good Fortune card play led to team Hero romping over the monsters although two PCs had to roll versus Filth Fever at the end of the session. Both passed.

We had a little shake-up last night, 2 tables, but our 'regulars' who always play together mostly didn't show (quite unusual, those kids are dedicated!), so we had two tables instead of the usual three, and they were even more mixed than usual.  My table finally had a decent party composition - two leaders, a defender, two strikers & only one controller. 

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We should be gettting used to having monsters attack us 'from behind' by now, but we still fall for it every time, the narrow sewer ledges funnelled us into a classic 'marching order,' with the tank at the front and the mage at the rear.  The mage was mobbed by 3 rats, our sorcerer got swarmed by a swarm, and the cavalier prettymuch fought one croc the whole time.  It was hard to move much as the ledge was packed and enenies attacking close-in from the water.  The Sorcerer was the star, this week (she even got a 'moment of greatness' by general acclaim).  Her burning spray whiped out the swarm in short order, and she never failed to hit at least two enemies with it - one round, she used burning spray, dragon breat, action point, and another close blast 3 encounter kill 2 enemies and leave the remainder bloodied - we barely went another round after that, the fight was won.  The Warpriest also did well renown wise, getting 'revive a dying ally' and 'take 50+ damage' - she was, again, playing defender for us.  Our half-elf warlord made good use of Knack for Success, helping to get the revived Mage away from the remaining enemies near him, and, thanks to his new 2nd level feat, has become a better healer than the Warpriest.  The Mage just had a bad night, and our other Striker, a Slayer aparently suffered from cold dice.  Anyway, we ended the fight with just one case of Filth Feaver.

 

 

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I have updated my blog with actual play video.

General Notes

During the first season the players stole a document from Bregan D'aerthe. This week I planed a big show down with Jarlaxle--unfortunately we got a late start and I had to run the RP quickly--it was fun & I think the players liked it, but I did not feel it resolved that naturally.

Skill checks are hard to do when you are hurrying--I think the players enjoyed it, but it was mostly just a math game at my table.

I have been struggling with challanging the party--so this week I doubled the Dire Rats & added a crocidile. I had 8 players at my table--most of them have been playing together all season--and this is the first time that they actually got worried.

The Dire Rats were doing great damage. The crocidiles were never ever able to keep someone grabbed for an entire round to use their special attack [I was planning to use the DM Rico Death Roll]--the needed better REF defense, I think. Also, a tail whip as a minor would have been awesome--doing just a little bit of damage, but keeping them out of CA. Having a swarm was a ton of fun--there should be one in every encounter!

The players seemed really stoked to be in the sewer--this part of the adventure had a fun old school feel to me. I laid out the entire map which I think added to the sense of exploration. The PC's seemed really excited in what was going to be happening next week--first time I actually had questions about next week at the end of a session, which I think is a good thing.


 
Tonight was pretty easy at my table,
Show
2 strikers, 2 controllers and leader did some major damage to the monsters after suffering 4 points of damage from failed skills (9 for the mage who fell during an acrobatics roll). A daily on the swarm and the Slayer going all out on a croc with some good Fortune card play led to team Hero romping over the monsters although two PCs had to roll versus Filth Fever at the end of the session. Both passed.

Ran a table of 6 and they had a great time.  It went from several "OMG we're dead!" to the party romping all over the sewer guardians.  I even scaled it up a little and the extra critter lasted all of one round, thanks to a well-timed crit by the thief in the party.  3 out of the six got bloodied but again our tables usually have a bunch of players who drop in and end up with a pre-made level 1, so it wasn't surprising. 

I did spook the party (bad DM) by hinting that the stink of the sewers was from methane when some party members started using 'fire' keyword attacks

2 lucky crits on the monster's part did get a couple of the heroes very very close to death.  But the leader in the group (warpriest) who has been playing most of the season and had levelled up and had plenty of extra healing. 

The initial skill challenge didn't even faze most of the party. 

Another fun session. 
Can a magical creature such as a Sentinal Druid's animal companion contract the "filth fever?"
So the obvious answer is that it is DM Call--but I always like to email support and see if they have any thoughts--not just because it lends some credibility at the table if the player asks, but is shows the players that you are doing the extra mile to be an awesome DM.

Also, you may end up on the WotC call in show--speaking of which has there been an announcment for DM Hotline this month?  
Can a magical creature such as a Sentinal Druid's animal companion contract the "filth fever?"



Yes. It is a creature, and is affected normally by powers that target creatures such as a bite attack that can cause Filth Fever.
Can a magical creature such as a Sentinal Druid's animal companion contract the "filth fever?"



Yes. It is a creature, and is affected normally by powers that target creatures such as a bite attack that can cause Filth Fever.



Thank you.  What if I commanded my bear to jump off a building and die.  Then I used a healing surge to bring him back an hour later?  Would he still have filth fever?


I'm not trying to be a wise guy.  I struggle with the concept of a magical creature, and I'm interested how this stuff works.


My Encounters DM told me that my magical creature doesn't have to worry about the filth fever, but I think he was just guessing and I'm curious now.     
According to the rules as presenting in HotFK, your animal companions don't ever die, they are simply unsummoned when they go to 0 hp, so that wouldn't really work. Your animal could take 'lethal' falling damage and unsummon, then when resummoned it would still have Filth Fever.

Don't get too wrapped up in trying to think of your animal companion as anything unique or special other than exactly what it says it is in the rules. There's nothing at all special about being a 'magical' animal - it's just a keyword.

Also, I could be wrong, but I can't recall reading anywhere that Diseases end on a creature when that creature dies.

I disagree on the animal companion contracting filth fever.  I think its not a concern.  The AC has no surges of its own so it can't lose a surge so filth fever wouldn't do anything to it.  Besides, the next save against filth fever is during an extended rest, and you would just dismiss the AC and resummon it and it would come back with full health.


Your DM could rule that since it uses your druids pool of surges (although on a short rest it goes back to full HP automatically) that your druid loses a surge, that shouldn't be a big deal for a sentinel.  Sentinel should be built constitution primary (yeah the book says wis, but it should be con) so you should have hella surges.


The way I see it if the AC dies or is dismissed, when you spend a surge to bring it back it comes back perfect (in combat it comes back at half HP, but otherwise perfect).  If it has a status condition and dies in combat and you throw down your pokeball (aka surge) and bring it back, the status is gone.  If its immobilized and dies, when you bring it back it isn't immobilized any more.  I see filth fever in the same light.  At worst you lose a surge.  Done.


TjD


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I'd recommend you just not worry about the Animal Companion having filth fever. There are no mechanics to support it either way, and since the bear doesn't have healing surges, it's not able to take the brunt of the disease. Remember that we're already in the third chapter, and Encounters will be over before the disease does much more than take a healing surge away.

If you really want the verisimilitude, go with TjD's suggestion and have the druid lose one surge. Maybe he absorbs the bear's hurt, or just shares in its suffering.

Cheers
Erik, And support agrees with you!

//begin
Thanks for writing in with your questions! (And thanks for the forum link for context.)

When it comes to creatures contracting diseases, we leave the call up to the DM. (We ALSO leave it in their court to decide if they STILL have said diseases when re-summoned, etc.) Obviously we don't want to create a precedent that supercedes the continuity of a group's story. If it makes the game more fun to have the animal companions catch diseases and retain them, have at it!
//end

 
Thanks all for the discussion.  Very interesting.


Like I said, my DM already made a call on it.  Bear does not have to worry about the disease.  I was just curious if there was an "official" answer.  (Of course, whatever the DM decides is official in its own right.)


Now my next animal companion question is.... 

just kidding!!     
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