After a few weeks we were able to continued our 12th Level Playtest (The Love Story of Valkar and Sarahara – Original Adventure). We only played for about 1 3/4 hours, but we had a ball. This time, we didn't have the barbarian, but the paladin player was able to play, and ShadeRaven was able to play Mythra (formerly played by another buddy of mine). Kudos to my players!
Rynlore 12th level Human Nature Paladin (played by a veteran DM and player who made the PC)
Mythra 12th level Elven Wizard (Evoker) (played by a veteran DM and Player - who was filling in for PC's owner)
Levos 12th level Elven Rogue (Assassin) (played by a player who had never played D&D until 3 sessions ago when he started playing with us).
After a short rest inside the first mausoleum that the party cleared the session before, Rynlore, Mythra and Levos exited to find the air choked with sulfurous mist obscuring their vision. Rynlore likened the smell to the brimstone smell that may come from the netherworld; he and Mythra knew that the mist was foul and unnatural. Moving cautiously, the party made their way south, but as they navigated the fog, Levos heard the sound of cracking earth all around them. With a quick sign from Levos, the party prepared to face unseen foes.
Suddenly a barbed devil appeared directly behind Levos. It held out its hand and asked for “the key.” (The key was part of the treasure the party found in the first mausoleum – a green key, one of three that would be needed to open the central mausoleum where they believe Valkar and Sarahara are buried – the source of their curse). Levos would not acquiesce. He quickly drew an arrow to his magical bow and fired at the devil. His arrow was true and dug deeply into the fiend; then, Levos darted away from the devil while the devil slashed at him unsuccessfully. Levos, fearing for his safety, gave the green key to Rynlore. Mythra, acted quickly and fired a ray of frost at the creature; upon hitting it she noted that the beast seemed resistant to cold, but the frost did injure it nonetheless. Then, angered by their insolence, the devil (obviously following the key as if it had a purpose) attacked Rynlore wounding Rynlore slightly as Rynlore smashed “Brightbeater”, his magical warhammer, down sharply on the devil’s skull, crushing its life force.
As the party fought the devil, they heard the moans of some other creatures hidden in the unnatural mist. 3 Stout zombies and 3 glorified zombies had burst from the ground and were surrounding the adventurers. The battle with these beasts was fierce. Rynlore used his interposing shield and combat supremacy to defend Mythra and hack at the beasts. Rynlore and Levos smashed and shot a number of the undead, while Mythra unleashed a fireball which engulfed all of the foes. The stout zombies burned to ash, but the glorified ones remained. After a few rounds, and a number of raging attacks from both the adventurers and the zombies, the party realized that even when the zombies were hacked down, they often continued to fight. This proved injurious to all, but Rynlore, guarding the others, suffered most. Finally, Mythra, Rynlore and Levos were able to end the threat, but each of the adventurers were suffering from bruising and contusions. Luckily, after the fight, the eerie sulfurous mist began to dissipate, and the party was able to take a short rest.
Moving to the south, the group got to the great wooden doors of the south most mausoleum. They stepped inside the unlocked doors into a great hall with an active fountain in the center of the room. To the north they could see a fine rug near another set of doors. There were also doors to the east and the west of the room, a small table and chairs, old and dusty in the northwest corner of the room. Cautiously, Mythra examined the fountain. Rynlore walked up to it with her, but Levos stayed far behind. As Mythra circled the fountain, she saw some symbols carved into the base on the north side of the fountain wall (a U and an upside down U with two hand depressions under each one). Mythra studied the runes and the magic that kept the fountain running, and told Rynlore to put his hand into the upside down U hand depression. She figured it might drain the fountain, and it did! As they peered into the fountain, Mythra and Rynlore saw a golden key at the bottom. Levos came closer and checked the area for traps. When he pronounced the area safe, Rynlore reached into the fountain and drew forth the golden key.
Next, the group trained their attention on the beautify rug in front of the northern doorway. Careful not to step on it, Levos searched for traps. He did not find any mechanical traps, but he feared that there might be some magical threat, so he called for Mythra to examine the rug. Reading the silver needlework around the perimeter of the rectangular rug, Mythra realized that the rug was in fact a magical trap of sorts. With that, Rynlore stepped forth calling on the power of his deity to dispel the magic of the rug, success! To gain better access to the northern doorway, the party dragged the rug to the northwest corner of the room and saw that the west door had a mechanism that would fit the golden key they had found. Wasting no time, the party opened the door, and was promptly attacked by 4 greater ghouls waiting on the other side of the door. The battle raged, and luckily none of the heroes succumbed to the paralyzing claws of these undead monsters (only Rynlore was hit by claws, but he made his save). Mythra used burning hands, and shocking grasp; Rynlore pounded them with his magical warhammer, and Levos fired arrow after arrow, sneak attacking when possible. On one might blow, Rynlore called forth nature’s wrath and injured all of the foes, which made it much easier for the others to take them down.
At that point, the adventurers found themselves in a 25’ long, 10’ wide corridor that had a large set of doors to the west that match the doors the group just opened using the golden key. This is where we ended the game.
Everything seemed to work well. Each player had plenty to do to add to the adventure, and the monsters seemed to be frightening enough. The zombies that don’t die are a little frustrating, but they are very frightening. (I used the glorified zombies from the Tomb of Horrors bestiary, but I did not give them the magic absorption powers).
The greater ghouls had about 36 hp otherwise they were like the Ghasts in the Against the Slave Lords bestiary (except they didn’t have stench).
One issue that came up had to do with interposing shield and combat supremacy. In the battle with the zombies, Rynlore was next to Mythra, but he was not adjacent to a zombie. From past experience, we found that as long as Rynlore was adjacent to an ally, he could use interposing shield to grant disadvantage vs. one foes attack, but now, Rynlore could also make an attack against the attacking zombie as well. I ruled that he could do it because the zombie was reaching into Mythra’s space while attacking, so Rynlore’s warhammer could smash the zombie at that time. The others felt a little weird about it since technically the zombie was 10’ away from Rynlore. I let Rynlore do the block and attack, and I think it is ok, but what if the attacking creature used a whip or a polearm that could hit Mythra from 10’ away. Then, Rynlore would be 15’ from the creature, and the creature would never really have to come close to Mythra to attack her. Would Rynlore still be able to attack as a reaction? It may never come up, but we discussed it anyway.
We played for 1 hour and 45 minutes, fought 2 battles, figured out a puzzle/trap, and dispelled another magical trap. The pace seems very comfortable.
After this part of the adventure (including last session and this session for about 4.5 hours of play) here is the status of the party:
Rynlore 61/100 hp - He has used 8 HD of healing a 3rd level spell and 1 channel divinity
Mythra 59/69 hp - She has used 4 HD of healing, all of her arcane recovery, a 1st and a 3rd level spell slot.
Levos 66/74 - He has used 5 HD of healing
A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"
Rhenny's Blog: http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog