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In which party cuts through the goons like a hot knife through butter, and learns the answer to the question “So, just how tough is a Piscodaemon anyway?” [1].

Surviving the First Night

The party basically laid low during their first night in Grailine. The plan, which Mayor John Gaunt and Advisor Hawfist [2] agreed with, was to rest up during the first night and counter-attack the night after with full spell load outs etc.

The elves are basically defending their Holdfast which has 20’ high walls with roughly a 300 yard killing field around it [3].  They managed to kill one of the Piscodaemons on the first night [4] with massed arrow fire, and the cleric killed the 2nd two nights later.

The enemy foot are low quality but are reaching the walls via the inevitable zerg rush. The defenders have killed about a thousand so far, and they’re still coming.

Overall there are about one hundred defenders, with about 20 being rangers. Most of the rest are peasants with bows.

The attack on the first night proceeds more or less as predicted by Gaunt and Hawfist, ending at around three in the morning.

Along the way Jamir and Lorena provide support behind the walls by healing the wounded that can get to them.

Over the course of the next day the party assisted with clearing the bodies of the swamp dwellers away from the wall, recovering spent arrows, etc.

Getting Ready

As the festivities began the next night the party prepared to sally through the gate towards the Piscodaemon.  The sailors were to hold the gate open in case a retreat was needed, and suppressive fire from the elves was intended to keep the party’s flanks clear.

The party waited until a gap in the assault waves, and also until the Piscodaemon was actually sighted before commencing the sally. This involved some spell casting just before exiting the gate [5].

Cutting through the goons

The party basically headed straight down the hill, crossing the stream at a stone bridge, to get to the Piscodaemon.  The waves of goons that tried to intercept failed dismally, and seemed to be quite flammable once Eric and Ronald got going.

Dancing with the Devil, er, Daemon

Along the way the Piscodaemon was casting spells like Stinking Cloud to slow the party down and/or limit their actions.  Unfortunately this left both healers unable to cast spells when the Piscodaemon decided to intervene in the melee by teleporting right into the middle of the formation [6].

It also turned out that the Piscodaemon dealt a lot of damage, had a powerful constitution draining poison, immunity to acid [7], resistance to fire, and spell resistance that could cause spells to fail outright. The spell resistance was a nasty surprise, especially for Eric who had to divert his last fireball to crowd control.  Most other spells were ineffective against the Piscodaemon.

The melee saw Kali and Sebastian [8] poisoned, and nearly dead. Rune Stoned and Jamir were only saved from a similar fate because Lorena got lucky with a Forbid Action spell that prevented the daemon from attacking for a round.

Ultimately it was the physical damage from the fighters like Kali, Rune Stoned, Hector, and Kelain that won this one. Fortunately the thing finally went down to Kelain’s arrows, before burning up into ashes.

Out of Character Commentary

Due to the late hour the session ended at that point.  The post battle clean up, including healing etc, will be dealt with in the next session.

There were a couple of mechanical issues in this session. I’m a bit reluctant to raise the first, but I think it needs to be said:

  • Don’t argue the call. Once the GM has made a call for a combat, accept it and move on. If there’s room for re-interpretation do it later, and out of session.
  • Resistance and immunity need to be better communicated in a fight.  I’m not saying that the party has any right to know how much damage a given attack did, only whether or not it did any damage at all. Ronald would have switched to fire had he known that the acid was bouncing off.

That said, this was a large pitched battle that was well handled by the GM. These sorts of things are hard to do well [9], especially with the vast numbers of goons to be dealt with. It was a nervous fight as the damage kept mounting on both sides and the damned thing wouldn’t die.

Summary

As always I enjoyed myself, and I’m looking forward to the next session. Hopefully some of the comedic elements I set up for Eric will make an appearance in the next couple of sessions.



[1] The answer to “How tough is a Piscodaemon?” is “Very” by the way.


[2] Advisor in this context means “Captain of the Rangers”.


[3] Given that the elves are primarily archers this is eminently sensible.


[4] This was good news, some of us had been wondering where the third one that had been at Halifax was.


[5] The usual sort of thing – Mage Armour, Static Shield, Kelain cast Gravity Bow which I assume boosts his ranged attacks.  Ronald also made some preparations.


[6] I’m sure that Sebastian’s version will credit this to his taunting the Piscodaemon via spell, but personally I think it was more that the goons didn’t want any part of the fireballs and bombs being tossed around so casually.


[7] The acid immunity was not clearly communicated to the party, everyone at the table thought that Ronald’s bombs were doing some damage.


[8] Apparently Daemons don’t like Aasimar, and that critical hit didn’t help. It is just as well that Eric was behind Kali and Rune Stoned.


[9] I have experience with running large fights as a Pendragon GM, and I’ve never been entirely satisfied with my performance in this area.