Terrycloth (terrycloth) wrote,

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Canary in a coal mine

Friday we played some pathfinder. The party picked up a GMPC to replace the missing players, and continued through the dungeon. I mean, coal mine.

The dwarves called together a council of all their top managers to discuss the vampiric mist problem. The dwarves wanted to blame the elves -- the bit where elves are immune to ghoul paralysis was proof! -- but were also pretty sure that vampiric mist could be destroyed by stabbing it a lot, as long as you used magic weapons. Fire worked *better*, but it wasn't an option.

The party raised the suggestion of getting help from the elves. The dwarves allowed that, yes, not being dwarves, the party might be able to get through, although it would be hard to convince the elves to help.

Ironhoof: "Well, what do you have to offer them? What concessions would you be willing to make?"

Dwarves: "Bah! They're probably behind it. We can't go offering concessions, that'd just encourage this sort of silliness. We'll pay standard rates, and since it'll show they weren't behind the whole thing, we won't take vengeance on them and kill their children."

Ironhoof: "I don't think that's going to be enough..."

Dwarves: "Well, it was your idea!"

The party pressed them on 'standard rates' and got a pittance for the ghouls they'd 'claimed to kill'. "What were we supposed to do, bring back the heads?" The dwarves offered to pay more than twice as much if they brought back the *whole bodies* so they could be buried properly, and more than that for each vampiric mist they killed.

To keep count of how many they killed, and give them a better chance of coming back alive, they let the camp's healer -- a talking canary, of all things, named Artican -- go with them. They also gave them the spellcasting services of the town's other magic users, although none of the others were as well suited for combat as the canary. Oh, and a fire extinguishing wand, just in case -- although any use of its charges would be deducted from their bounty.

The party decided to wait until morning (when people could prepare spells appropriately) and go in then. In the meantime, the dwarves evacuated most of the mine and set up barricades that would at least keep the ghouls out. It was hard to stop a determined vampiric mist, but they were hoping the mist would stay deep in the coal mine for the rest of the night.

The barricades held, although there were ghouls watching it from around the corner, that Alex had to scare off by shooting one of them full of arrows, killing it before it could react even without being able to use sneak attack. They were given a mine cart to take with them to load the bodies on, but decided that it would be a *bit* unstealthy to wheel it along, so they tried to go as quietly as possible, so as not to be swarmed by all the ghouls at once. Several dozen dwarves were missing, and so far they'd only accounted for six. Even assuming the ghouls they'd killed stayed dead.

Nevertheless, the keener eared members of the party heard ghouls circling around them, preparing to attack, so they found as defensible a location as they could manage -- a 10' wide tunnel with only two entrances -- and got in position. The ghouls were forced to fight the eidolon and the nigh-invulnerable Dragonne (with a magic circle against evil on it along with a mage armor), while Ironhoof whacked at them over the eidolon's head, and Alex and Lilia stood in the middle using ranged weapons over the dragonne's shoulders. Artican, the canary, did flyby attacks in either direction to finish off gravely wounded ghouls, and managed to steal at least four kills.

When about half the ghouls were down, a pair of vampiric mists joined in, gliding silently up to the party and sucking blood from the dragonne and Ironhoof -- but while their attacks were dangerous, they were, in fact, vulnerable to being shot with magic arrows and bitten by magic fangs and pecked by magic beaks, and they didn't last long. Artican patched up the bleeding, he and Ironhoof repaired the con damage, and then the party finished off the remaining ghouls, chasing down the last one to make sure they got them all.

Well, all the ones in that attack -- only ten had heard them, since they'd been quiet and all. There were at least a half dozen left, maybe as many as twice that.

They piled up the bodies for later retrieval, and pushed on deeper into the mine...

last session | next session

I feel kind of bad for Alex since there's SO MANY things that can't be sneak-attacked. I remember in 3.5 there were feats and prestige classes to fix that; presumably pathfinder has something.
Tags: pathfinder game summary
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