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  1. - Top - End - #181
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    1) I love this journal!


    2) Demons and Devils oh my!
    I would add in Hellcats (BEZEKIRA) for the fun of it, the fact that they are always invisible when in light makes them a joy. Perhaps adding in some mobs that thrive in darkness, and you could have a fun dynamic on your hands. Better yet, give Hellcats the Shadow Template -- not a lot of health or AC, but makes them have total concealment when not in full daylight. Of course, when in full day light, they're invisible with Evasion, meaning they can dodge those AOEs pretty well.

    http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Hezrou
    Herzou is fun too, having their stench not impact your other demons/devils, and throwing a +19 to grapple with 3 blasphemies a day...

    http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Bebilith
    Bebilith have a grab bag of tricks - up to 3d6 con damage per hit, massive damage to armor(sunder will make your PCs hate you more, think of all the sunder possibilities!), and web for the hell of it.

    Also, seconding the having demon/devils riding on Nightmare steeds, maybe your Ashen templateon the fiery nightmares? =D

    Finally -- adding class levels to Demons/Devils. Lawful evil Blackguard/Anti Paladin Chain Devil? Add Full Plate, AC of 35+? Bearded Devil Barbarian? :O

    And remember, you can always throw a Fiendish Template on anything else! http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Fiendish_Creature
    Last edited by Jonagel; 2016-07-19 at 04:26 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #182
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Crusader/knight Chain devils riding Bebiliths...

    heh heh heh...
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  3. - Top - End - #183
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Crusader/knight Chain devils riding Bebiliths...

    heh heh heh...
    You're an evil twisted DM...and I fully support that. Imps with class level in rogue and arcane archer, invisibility flying short bow sneak attacks galore....?

    I'd ask how does your part even survive, but then I remember you have a death counter! :D
    Last edited by Jonagel; 2016-07-19 at 09:25 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #184
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Thanks, Jonagel. If I didn't have the whole 'multiple lives' mechanic as part of my campaign, I don't think I would be quite as cheeky with my monsters.

    But that's partially why I did it in the first place
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  5. - Top - End - #185
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I don't know how to use spoilers, sorry.

    Okay!
    First off, if a massive amount of demons and devils are coming out if the bonfire, I am obligated to suggest at least a passing reference of Kalabon to your players. (Fiendish Codex II: p.121)
    They are small devils w/ a CR1/2. What's fun about them is they can join together to create larger, more powerful, versions of themselves. :D Every 2 Kalabons = +1 on Attack rolls. All their individual hit points are combined. Each size increase grants tentacle attacks. 1-3 Kalabons = small size, 4-7 = medium, 8-31 = large, 32+ = huge.
    Have 60-70 swarm the party initially and let them be mowed down. After massive losses to make to party feel good and waste resources, combine them together to a colony mass of huge size (CR8), or a couple large masses (CR4 each)

    Angelena, Sons, and Talvosh all had extra Vitae absorbed by the corrupt bonfire. I imagine it would be fun to have 3 special devils/demons that represented a mockery of their characters and abilities show up, perhaps powered up some, due to the Vitae.

    Sona would be easy enough, you've already mentioned the red dragon. It could have spawn from the other creatures, a Draconic or Half-Dragon Demon/Devil, or probably a Fiendish/Half-Fiend Red Dragon.
    A Redspawn Arcaniss(MMIV: p.152) w/ Half-Fiend template and 5-6 levels of Sorcerer would make her sweat a lil.

    Angelena, being a Lesser Aasimar Cleric, would fit well thematically against a Lilith(Fiendish Codex I: p.43). CR12, Cleric casting level 9th, up to 5th spells, many fun spell-like abilities and special abilities. Basically a succubus on steroids. I'd replace a few Cleric spells but otherwise leave her as is.

    Talvosh, as a Frenzied Berserker would make more sense having a Demon be his friendish representation. However, I didn't want to favor any 1 Fiend :) . The Ayperobos Swarm(Fiendish Codex II: p.115) would be hilarious. Looks like a cloud of bloody mist from a distance. 10ft space, regeneration, Disease:Devil Chill, any creature begining their turn in its space and is damaged by them, must make a Fort save to not be distracted and nauseated. If they fail, the swarm burrows inside their flesh and takes control of their body :D
    Of course a regular Ice Devil or Barbed Devil w/ 1 level of Barbarian works just as well.


    All of this would just be in addition to everything else going on around them. It would be a lot more work for you, and a whole lot to remember. I trust you're able to pull it off though B-D
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  6. - Top - End - #186
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I hate you all just a little *whimper*

  7. - Top - End - #187
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Armanite(Fiendish Codex I: p.28)
    The elite demonic heavy calvary, resembling demonic Centaur. Large size, CR7 each, prefers to always charge with their lances if able.

    Narzugon(Fiendish CodexII: p.125)
    Human-sized devil, fear inducing face. CR5 each, mounted warriors (usually riding nightmares), the elite calvary of the baatezu. Prefers always to charge with their lances :)
    At-will Scorching Ray(CL 5th) that they use if too far away from opponent.

    Have the Narzugon mounted on the Armanite. When they get close enough to the opponent, have them charge. They'll each have a lance and get big bonuses using them

    How's that for some Devilishly/Demonic synergy :P
    Last edited by PrismCat21; 2016-07-21 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Clarification

  8. - Top - End - #188
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Picanet View Post
    I hate you all just a little *whimper*
    <3<3<3<3<3
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  9. - Top - End - #189
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Thanks for both the suggestions and for causing Picanet mental stress!



    T-minus 1 week, so more suggested shenanigans are always appreciated. Or questions to be answered as penance for missing a session!
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  10. - Top - End - #190
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Jeargroth's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Or questions to be answered as penance for missing a session!
    Yes, I have a burning question, seeing as how a session was missed and I so wanted an answer....

    Players please stay out
    Spoiler: Burning question
    Show
    So did they manage to finally slay Janath or does he still have a pool of Vitae to pull from so he can come back again? I must know...
    SPOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!!!!

  11. - Top - End - #191
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Spoiler: Answer
    Show
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  12. - Top - End - #192
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Spoiler: 23 sessions
    Show


    No Sammael this session! We start right where the last one left off, with the party around the Central Flame preparing for the imminent fiendish attack.

    Spoiler: Everyone loves minigames!
    Show
    During this invasion, our heroes can gain the aid of certain NPCs or groups depending on their choices and actions. Said NPCs or groups grant access to special abilities! At the moment they currently have Ambassador Noctis, and Flamespeaker Alexandria.

    Spoiler: Flamespeaker Alexandria
    Show
    Flamespeaker Alexandria will protect any civilians or noncombatants that make it to the Central Flame (as will the calming effects of the Bonfire, the party hopes). She can also provide some healing, and very limited magical items. Her once / invasion ability is :

    Stir the Embers - By harnessing the inscrutable power of the Bonfire, Alexandria floods the Marked with newfound strength, allowing them to fight anew. 1 / invasion, the party is treated as if they had rested 8 hours for the purpose of spells, limited abilities and limited items (essentially reset).


    Spoiler: Cassius Noctis of Helios
    Show
    Ambassador Noctis is a potent sorcerer, more than capable of defending himself. Convincing him that others are worth defending, however, is a little more difficult. With some careful diplomacy, he might be called upon to lend his magic as required. His once / invasion ability is:

    Power of the Sun (or "Really? You expect me to handle this for you? *sigh*") Cassius can destroy one non-boss encounter single-handedly with his power (if he accompanies the party). This expends the majority of his resources, however.


    More NPCs may become available, depending on the party's choices and actions


    Spoiler: The beginning
    Show
    The party questioning how fast they can expect the attack is answered by the keener eared members hearing the sound of screaming and combat already. They decide to head out at once for the barracks to try and meet up with Commander Bulwark (and hopefully the majority of the Steelguard) - Sammael staying behind to help guard the Bonfire. As they rush outside, hideous winged shapes already dart back and forth across the skyline, and crashing and screaming echoes from all corners of the city (as does the frantic tolling of deep bells). As they hustle across the open courtyard, however, they are spotted by a group of the same menacing bird-monsters as before! The four Vrocks dive in with eager screams, and it's initiative!

    Angelena is speedy and goes first and detonates a blinding flash of light in the midst of the Vrocks with a Holy Smite, dealing decent damage to the three that save and blinding one. One Vrock counters by clawing her across the chest and spewing its spores all over her, Sona, and Puck. Another swoops in and lets out a deafening shriek, somehow stunning Talvosh (who rolled a 2) but no-one else. Another swoops into the party, and the blind one rolls a critical failure and smashes headfirst into a nearby building, dropping to the ground stunned.

    And here is where Puck's hot hot dice for the night start . His first attack? Max power attack critical, which with the damage from the holy smite is enough to decapitate the unsuspecting Vrock. Cleave attack? Crit. Confirm. Dead Vrock #2. Thankfully there's nothing else within the steel monstrosity's reach, so his reign of terror ends for that turn. Spotter lets out a barrage of highly accurate arrows, but without a crit that DR 10/Good reduces him to chip damage at best. I hear quite a few exclamations that Evil Outsider is going to be his next favored enemy...Sona puts some defensive magic up, Talvosh does nothing, and it's top of round. Angelena conserves her spells, and the two remaining Vrocks try to summon friends. One succeeds, but the one who ran headfirst into the building is still woozy and fails. I do a bit more damage to the party on average as one of the Vrocks gets some mirror images and the other does some full attacking, but they get dismembered fairly quickly, and the party continues down the main street to the East.

    They're forced to do a bit of detouring, as the main street is full of broken wagons and market stands that are on fire. There are people running all over the place, but also some are fighting back. As the party heads towards a pair of allies, they hear footsteps running towards them. A pair of people sprint around the corner in fear, but are suddenly skewered by wicked looking spears! What marches around the corner is a phalanx of daemonic looking infantrymen, all armed with jagged spears and massive tower shields carved with eye-watering runes. What skin that is visible is black and red. Initiative!

    The Infernal Legionnaires (Legion devils with tower shields and spears + a bonus feat or two) go first. A single member double moves and rushes into the midst of the surprised party. They're even more surprised when the rest of the squad appears all around them and everyone gets stabbed at the same time! The legionnaires are eerily coordinated, spinning, pivoting, and attacking in perfect unison. Talvosh lands a massive blow on the closest fiend...and it takes it silently and unflinchingly. Uh oh. Sona grabs Spotter and Angelena by the wrist and dimension doors the three of them to the nearest rooftop - each spear didn't do a ton of damage, but they were incredibly accurate, and there were a lot of them. Puck smashes two of the legionnaires to the ground and cuts into them, but then more appear and Puck and Talvosh get stabbed a LOT. It takes another round of full attacks from Puck and Talvosh at maximum power attack (and Spotter blasting off arrows) before the creatures all crumple to the ground, still in perfect unison. Puck has Persisted Vigor running, so he starts healing immediately, but Talvosh is looking a little beat up. The barracks is nearly in sight, so the party rushes forward!


    Spoiler: The Barracks
    Show
    The barracks is a larger building, more a fortified keep than anything else. As the party exits the alleyway to stand alongside one side of the building, they see it is already under attack. Forged and humans and Hobgoblin fight against dozens of Fiendish monsters. As our heroes watch though, the fiends start to pull back...and are chanting something?

    There's a rapidly darkening shadow, and as the party looks up, the Goristro demon crashes to the ground with an actual Earthquake. The gigantic bull-headed monster roars as cracks spread through the barrack's walls, and the building directly behind the party collapses on them. Sona, Spotter, and Puck all pass their saves, but Talvosh and Angelena are buried underneath the rubble. However, Puck forgoes his save to shelter Angelena and take half of her damage!

    MINIBOSS: Goristro demon

    Spotter tries to cast hunter's mercy and is depressed when the shaking ground forces him to lose the spell. Sona ducks around the corner as to not be a target for the huge demon. Puck and Talvosh strain to break themselves free of the rubble, and manage to push enough off to go from pinned to grappled. However, the Goristro snorts and hurls a giant boulder into the midst of them, causing large amounts of pain! But Angelena can see a path to freedom, and uses her anklets of translocation and also takes cover. Without an immediate threat, the Goristro lumbers up to the Barracks wall, and with a single massive fist, deals almost 80 pts of damage with a single smash! The wall doesn't look so good...

    The party realizes that the Goristro collapsing the barracks would be BAD, and go on the offensive. Sona uses a Major Illusion to try and distract the beast with a squad of charging soldiers. Angelena steps up and lets loose with her big gun-a Bolt of Glory -and deals a giant chunk of damage! Puck is free, and skitter-charges the monster, deftly avoiding the attack of opportunity by never rolling below 15 tonight (plus cross-class in Tumble), and lands a heavy blow. Sona then switches him and Talvosh, and the orc lands a brutal cut as well! Spotter plugs away with his bow!

    The Goristro roars in pain and reduces Talvosh to red jelly with a single mighty blow, licking said jelly off of his furry fist. The battle continues, and Puck charges again! And lands another bloody crit with max power attack for a LOT of damage. Then Sona casts Snake's swiftness for Puck to attack again. And guess what?

    If you guessed crit, you win a free ticket to Artaith! Cinematic-wise, the first crit hamstringed the creature, then as it staggered, Puck rapidly crawled up its leg to embed his axe right between the eyes, and then rode the corpse down as it collapsed.

    Another squad of legionnaires shows up, but a Huge-sized Commander Bulwark leaps over the barracks wall with an equally huge sword and lays waste to them with sweeping cuts.

    "Am I glad to see all of you! Quick, let's get inside!"

    ALLY GAINED:
    Spoiler: Commander Bulwark
    Show
    Primary defender of Logos, and leader of the Steelguard, Bulwark is a skilled combatant and a keen tactician. Bulwark allows analysis of the central island's defensive state, and allows tactics rolls to get possible hints.


    There's a little more stuff, but it makes more sense to include in the next write-up.


    Sorry for it being a bit shorter, tonight was lots of crazy combat, and I don't want to pad with tons of, "he rolled an attack. He moved and attacked. She full attacked. Etc, etc." But if you want more detail (or less), just yell at me.

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    22
    Getting closer to that 1 / session average again
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-08-02 at 08:22 AM. Reason: All you PCs look the same to me - wrong name typed
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  13. - Top - End - #193
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    With you and Kaveman not having updates for a few weeks, and my own group having a 6 week hiatus, I was starting to get the shakes. Even a short update is very welcome!

  14. - Top - End - #194
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brion View Post
    With you and Kaveman
    I'm not even close to the same scale as his crazy journals , but thanks for the compliment!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brion View Post
    starting to get the shakes
    I suggest that you see a medical professional about that
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  15. - Top - End - #195
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brion View Post
    With you and Kaveman - I was starting to get the shakes.
    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    I'm not even close to the same scale as his crazy journals , but thanks for the compliment!
    This sounds like another fun journal to spend an inappropriate amount of time reading
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  16. - Top - End - #196
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    I'm not even close to the same scale as his crazy journals , but thanks for the compliment!
    Oh yeah, his stuff is completely insane, but yours and his current one are the only ones I'm still reading!
    Last edited by Brion; 2016-08-03 at 06:33 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #197
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Glad you enjoy reading it Brion, for reasons that have nothing to do with me paying you to write nice comments.

    The payment has been sent Nothing like that at all...
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I'd be interested in seeing the full stats (or changes rather) for those Legion Devils, while they're built to be used en-masse like that I seem to remember there being a couple flaws that made that unappealing past a certain point. Presumably your mods address those flaws.

    Goristros are a nice demon-minotaur, magically uninteresting but a very solid bruiser, and yet that random fluffy earthquake managed to perform a significant role in keeping the archer sidelined.

    A very, very nice thing about running DnD like a video game with respawns, is that you can run massive events like a video game with respawns. Looking forward to how it develops.
    Attention Imgur Users! Imgur apparently doesn't like hosting images anymore and only works in certain places or for people who already have the image cached: No one can see your avatars or images!

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  19. - Top - End - #199
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I didn't do a ton with them, still wanted them to be foot soldiers rather than elite destroyers.

    Spoiler: Changes to ze Legion Devil
    Show
    I swapped the sword for a spear (almost entirely flavour), and turned their natural shield arm into a natural armor bonus. Then I outfitted them with Tower shields (phalanx imagery), and gave them Power attack and Combat Expertise as bonus feats. With the absolutely ludicrous attack bonus from their Legion's ___ ability, it's completely trivial to always have 3 points towards power attack and 3 points towards combat expertise.

    So I don't know if it totally fixes the beasties, but they were fun enough. That teleport as a move action
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Glad you enjoy reading it Brion, for reasons that have nothing to do with me paying you to write nice comments.

    The payment has been sent Nothing like that at all...
    Next time, I would prefer a non-descript brief case as opposed to the sack with a dollar sign on it. My pleasure!

  21. - Top - End - #201
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Spoiler: What do you mean a sack of money isn't subtle enough?
    Show


    Looks like a full group tomorrow, so I can let loose with the blatantly unfair and overpowered Fun encounters! Honestly not sure if the invasion will be resolved with this upcoming session (one way or another), or if it'll take one more. We shall see...
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  22. - Top - End - #202
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    24th session! It's getting alarmingly close to a year's worth of my madness that these players have put up with - I think we've found a comfortable balance between my amusement and their, well, their saline content.
    Spoiler: Relevant
    Show


    Full group today, and we start back at the Church of the Central Flame.

    Spoiler: Get to da Forges
    Show
    The party decides that they can hold out for one more push before using any special abilities. They do decide to bring a squad of Steelguard with them, though, and head out to make sure the Forges (and its armoury) doesn't fall. After a bit of healing, off they go! The Steelguard has already set up rough fortifications and what seem to be heavy siege crossbows.

    Partway to the Forges, the party spots a handful of civilians frantically fleeing from a gang of leering fiends armed with saw-toothed glaives. Telling the squad of Steelguard to hold back, they rush up to be heroes!

    There's a bit of a hiccup, as Angelena throws Bull's strength on Talvosh (forgetting he has a belt of strength) and Sona throws out a Cloudkill at the group of Bearded Devils, forgetting to do a Knowledge (Planes) check to be reminded that most fiends are resistant or immune to poison. But Puck spider-surges ahead and crashes into the bearded devils bowling ball-style!

    That's when a demonic-looking spider the size of a small hut clambers into view on a nearby roof, and riding said spider-demon is a green-skinned fiend with four arms, wielding two massive bows.

    The Advanced Arrow Demon alarms everyone with the sheer volume of arrows it blasts out at the group, and how much damage each arrow deals. Then another clambers into view on a rooftop on the other side of the courtyard, and the hail of arrows happens again! Sona in particular suffers from the second barrage (being the closest target), I think I actually traumatized her player for the rest of the night. Didn't kill her, though *shakes fist*

    Spotter shoots back, and manages a brutal critical on the first Arrow Demon's Bebilith mount, popping an eye. While he's firing, an enlarged Sammael sprints like a madman for the building it's perched on, and makes it partway up with his spider-climbing slippers. Talvosh determines that there is no way he can make it up to either Arrow Demon, and runs for the bearded devils (and to either save the civilians or claim them for himself as backup Vitae, I'm not certain).

    Angelena casts Holy Storm on herself, and the -4 it imposes actually makes a big deal in this fight (combined with her arrow deflection crystal, it puts her AC against shooting in the high 30s). Spotter ducks in and out of the rain to keep shooting at the 1st Arrow Demon. Said Arrow Demon keeps shooting at any target exposed in the courtyard, growling as the rain spoils his aim. His mount skitters over and takes a chunk out of Sammael, but he passes his save. When he tries to maneuver past the Bebilith to get to the Arrow Demon, however, it nails him with another bite...and he fails his save and takes 4 pts of Con damage. He does land a crit on the rider, though. Puck makes mincemeat of the Bearded Devils, except for a couple who teleport over to cut off the civilians...which just puts them in Talvosh's range. Sona goes Invisible of the greater variety and runs for Angelena.

    Angelena hits with a Searing light, Spotter lands more bowshots, but the first Arrow Demon (and his mount) are still standing. The mount full attacks Sammael! He's still alive, and lands his attack of opportunity as the Arrow Demon shoots him point-blank with a bow, and deflects the next arrow with his feat. But then the Arrow Demon just keeps shooting, and an arrow-studded corpse tumbles off the roof. Sona lashes out with a Sound Lance, and some more shooting finally slays the first Arrow Demon.

    Puck runs with all 8 of his legs to make it up on the roof in front of the second Arrow Demon to prevent it from continuing to barrage the party. For his troubles, he gets full attacked by the Bebilith, and the Arrow demon fills him full of large arrows. He manages to slay the mount, but in the process the Arrow demon gets another two full rounds of shooting, and Puck falls under a hail of arrows. Sona Dimension doors herself and Talvosh up there, and Talvosh plus more arrows from Spotter (who was not having a good dice day) finishes the second Arrow demon off.

    The remaining Bebilith screeches and pounces off the roof to chomp poor Angelena! She fails and takes 5 Con damage (ouch). However, her mace, the holy storm, and the Steelguard being commanded to rush in finish off the critically wounded spider-demon-thingy. Victory! After checking on the civilians (only 1 of whom died) and some emergency battlefield healing, the party plus the soldiers hustle ahead to the Forges.


    Spoiler: The Forges
    Show
    There is noticeable resistance around and on the roof of the main Smithy (which is a massive warehouse sized building cause I wanted an excuse to use my big mat and dungeon tiles). The party commands the Steelguard squad to guard their backs, and help a bit with the fight outside. After a bit of buffing (as much as can be done since everyone is low low low on resources), into the smithy they go.

    There are channels of molten metal flowing back and forth, and the entire building is painfully hot - either the smiths turned off all the restraints as to delay attackers, or things are going critical. There's 5 or 6 man-sized insectoid creatures (which the party recognizes from before as Mezzoloths), and a hulking winged fiend bellowing commands in Infernal and lashing a brutal looking chain back and forth. Initiative!

    Most of the party rushes forward, either going for cover behind a workbench of bee-lining for what seems to be the commander. The mezzoloths foul that up with poisonous Cloudkills everywhere, blocking line of sight, but I don't manage to mess anyone's CON up.
    Spoiler: Quick quibbly rules question
    Show
    I think I did this wrong, but Cloudkill does force a save as soon as it is conjured if you're in the area, right? Or does it not happen until your next turn? I believe it's the former.


    Puck had Fly placed on him, and he zooms above everything to get in the Horned Devil's face...and crits him! I am sorely tempted to take Puck's player's dice and sacrifice them to Dark&Elder powers ;P . However, the Horned Devil retaliates by mercilessly pummelling him and shuffling backwards towards the pool of molten metal. Sona uses Greater invisibility again and cautiously shuffles up the side of the room. I think she's still gun/bow-shy.

    The rest of the party is tangled up by the multiple clouds of greenish gas, and Sammael skirmishes with the frontmost Mezzoloth. DR 10/Good when you're out of Smites is a problem, though...

    Puck is looking quite rough after his next round of attacks bounces off the Horned Devil's nasty AC. Angelena has buffed herself into an absolute monstrosity, but her speed of 20 feet keeps her back from truly getting into the fight. Sona switches Puck and Talvosh, and it's Talvosh's turn to get smacked around by the chain of command. However, no-one fails their save vs stunning *grumble grumble* and Talvosh lands a max-power attack crit (which is still ludicrous without raging or frenzying). I know the Horned Devil has regeneration, but I ruled that he fell back into the liquid metal and drowned.

    Sona uses a Gust of Wind to push the Cloudkills away, and the party manages to meet up with Hammer & Anvil, the masters of the Forge! They are their usual obscene foul-mouthed offensive charming selves, and thank the party in their own way. And since the party didn't use the Steelguard squad for anything overtly dangerous, they're at full strength to help reinforce and defend the Forge! Yay!

    I roll for the chance of Anvil and Forge having some high-end gear/magic they were saving that the party could use...and the dice gods proceed to smile down upon them. I roll a 98, so Spotter, Puck, Sammael, and Talvosh all receive vials of Uncanny Ichor (increases the enchantment value of a piece of equipment by 1), while Angelena and Sona get a rod of lesser empower and a 3rd level pearl of power.

    The party is critically low on health and resources at this point. There's some debate of resting for 8 hrs in the forge (an idea that would end hilariously badly), but they decide instead that it's time to use Alexandria's special gift. Sona uses the last of her spell slots and spell-likes (though I guess she had a good amount left to do that) to make everyone invisible, and 2 people fly, and they very sneakily return to the Central Fire.


    Spoiler: Time to rest by the Fire
    Show
    Bulwark is quite pleased at the party's exploits so far, and they all head inside. The church is rapidly become full of the wounded and frightened by this point, but the building (and the Fire's warding) is intact. Alexandria nods at the party's request, and they also gesture Noctis to join in as well (who acts like a prat as usual, but Spotter and Sona notice signs of acute mana exhaustion, meaning that he burned through almost all of his spells while they were gone). Sammael asks Alexandria exactly how much this power will cost, to which the Flamespeaker is somewhat evasive. He insists, and she admits that it will cost more than several lives worth.

    Alexandria has everyone link hands, and she gestures towards the Flame. Everyone's surroundings go pitch black, but they can all feel the soothing warmth of a fire beating against their skin. The strange feeling of light without light swells, thickens, and breaks in a brief blinding flash. With that, the party is fully healed, and all abilities/daily use items are reset as if after a full rest.

    There's a bit more talk of tactics and what to do, but that will fit better in the next entry. Which will be Sammael's last D: as his player is moving away for Law school.


    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    24
    There were some things I could have done more efficiently with the Horned Devil, but I honestly didn't expect Puck and Talvosh to both crit, and both pass all their Stunning saves. Ah well, the Invasion isn't over yet...
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-08-15 at 08:37 PM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  23. - Top - End - #203
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Cloudkill: A living creature with 6 or more HD takes 1d4 points of Constitution damage on your turn each round while in the cloud (a successful Fortitude save halves this damage). Holding one’s breath doesn’t help, but creatures immune to poison are unaffected by the spell.

    Since it specifies on your turn (to the spellcaster) I read it as they make saves immediately, and then again on your following turns should victims still be in the cloud.
    Last edited by Brion; 2016-08-16 at 01:48 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #204
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    That's how I read it, too. And since one person on the internet has agreed with me...

    Spoiler: The I'm totally right dance
    Show


    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  25. - Top - End - #205
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    It's halfway between when I started posting this campaign journal and the actual first session last year, so
    Spoiler: Huzzah!
    Show


    And if the PCs go the way I suspect they will, here's a Sneak Preview for tomorrow!
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  26. - Top - End - #206
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    It's halfway between when I started posting this campaign journal and the actual first session last year, so
    Spoiler: Huzzah!
    Show


    And if the PCs go the way I suspect they will, here's a Sneak Preview for tomorrow!
    NO TOUCHY THE HEALER!!!! *hides Angela under greater invisibility*

  27. - Top - End - #207
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    25 sessions of DDDDDDOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!

    No Spotter this session.

    Spoiler: We've got a plan!
    Show
    So our intrepid heroes decide it's time to go for the head of the giant fiendish invasion-serpent. Spells are prepared, buffs are discussed, schemes are set, axes are sharpened, etc. With the aid of Noctis, they teleport right over to the Central Tower to enact said cunning plan! Noctis saunters off to "check his apartment," but the more perceptive members can tell he's off to try and help anyone in the tower.

    The group decides that it's best to try and draw out Jezelle at the base of the tower. So exiting the tower, Sona creates an illusion of a giant blue dragon climbing up the tower, roaring this way and that, and creating a general ruckus. Within a few minutes, they get some attention. A sorceress riding a dragon doesn't show up, but bolts of eerie lightning strike at Sona's illusion! Then several shapes blur in and out of sight at the edge of the tower top (which is at least 400 feet tall). The rest of the group is hiding just out of sight at the entrance to the tower, and Sona hustles to get out of sight as well. However, with a Spot of +31(!), the Nalfeshnee Teleports down to the ground with a bellow.

    "YOU WILL BE JUDGED!"

    It starts the fight off hurling a Slow at the party, which everyone except for Angelena saves against. After the trials and tribulations with DR in previous fights, Sammael darts over and Blesses Talvosh's axe. Continuing the trend, Sona slaps Fly on Talvosh as well. Thus empowered, Talvosh charges the Nalfeshnee! And gets whalloped by the invisible Nycaloth standing in the way. Sammael blesses Puck's weapon as well, and Puck rumbles into the fray as well. Meanwhile, the Nalfeshnee gathers his power, an unholy nimbus shimmering about him. Sammael rushes the Nycaloth as well, and the 3 melee mashers scrap back and forth. Before Sona and Angelena can help out, though, a second Nycaloth appears and hacks away at them! While the fight rears back and forth, the first Nycaloth goes down from the combined assault and a crit. Talvosh goes for the Nalfeshnee, but its ability has charged.

    "I PRONOUNCE YOU ALL - GUILTY!" The smite blasts outwards. Buuuut everyone saves :( However, the other Nycaloth has dropped Angelena. So Sona healed her with her healing belt- and the Nycaloth promptly tried to kill her again, dropping her to negatives. Sona Dim-doors herself and Angelena further inside the tower and around the corner, and Puck attacks the Nycaloth. All of the Nalfeshnee's abilities and attacks are resisted by the frenzying Talvosh, and the combo of Sammael and Talvosh bring the pig-ape-tinywinged beast down. There's some more heavy hits back and forth, but with both Talvosh and Puck's weapons blessed, the Nycaloth retreats after a bit more. While trying to cram a healing potion down Angelena's throat, Sona however hears the sound of battle from further inside the tower.

    With attempt one a bust, the party takes a quick moment to heal a bit (Mass lesser vigor persisted on the party helps) and then heads inside to check out the noise Sona heard.



    Spoiler: Inside the Tower
    Show
    The combat seems to be in the central audience chamber that the group met the Council in, and they peer around the corner. It's the Goblin ambassador's bodyguard, the Hobgoblin Shunsui. He's standing over a tiny green body, and defending himself from what seems to be four faceless shadowy assailants. His blade is an uncanny blur, blocking strikes from every angle. But it is 4 on 1, and as the party rushes into the room, Shunsui goes down from a cut to the back. Initiative!

    A cloud of thick fog swirls up with supernatural speed, obscuring the blade-wielding silhouettes. Sammael wisely does not enter the mist full of what might be Ninja, and moves to flank. Sona steps up and blasts the fog away with a Gust of Wind, surprising the Assassin Devils. Puck moves up to smash some devils, but one makes him pause by seizing the unconscious Shunsui by the hair and pressing a wicked knife to his throat. The faceless devil's message is clear. There's some out of game debate before Puck's player remembers that Puck doesn't know this hobgoblin and doesn't care. The Assassin devil kills Shunsui right before getting cross-checked directly into his partner. With the Bless just barely still lasting, Puck nearly kills the one devil he strikes. Another reappears right behind him, having been stymied by its lack of ability to Sneak Attack Puck. The Assassin Devils flicker in and out of sight around the council chamber. Talvosh and Sammael take some nasty chunks of damage, but the rest of the party manages to not get cut up too badly. The Assassin devils are nasty customers, but those Blessed Weapons, Sammael's uncanny dodge+Elusive target (Diverting defense specifically), and a couple nasty spells manage to turn the tide before anyone else dies. Near the end of the fight, however, the entire tower shakes and the air is filled with a deafening Roar. It's coming from above...

    Shunsui is very dead, but the old Goblin Kodai is actually still alive (barely). While Angelena is checking on the emergency bandage around his neck, Puck is roughly rattling Shunsui's corpse around in his usual manner. The group consumes a Vitae from him before Kodai is healed to the point of waking up, but he does wake up to see Shunsui's corpse being manhandled by Puck. So with that lovely diplomatic precedent set, Kodai is not particularly chatty. He brusquely thanks the party for their aid, then touches Shunsui's corpse before disappearing with a ripple of magic. Another quick application of magic bandaids, and the party heads up the main stairs of the tower.

    They find a bloodied up and wounded Noctis curled up in the corner of the room containing the elevator leading up. Apparently there was a group of Assassin Devils for him too, that he reduced to smoking black spots on the ground (Noctis helpfully points them out). He makes some dry jokes, but when the party mentions that they're heading up, burns his last remaining Limited Wish to give them a Legion's shield of faith.

    The first elevator (which is the traditional Souls floating platform with a touchstone in the center) goes up for a couple minutes, leading to a plain chamber containing only another elevator. As this one ascends towards the roof, the party goes Buff-a-mania, putting out:

    Mass energy resistance (fire)
    Blur on everyone (last of a wand)
    Fly on everyone (this was very crucial)
    Sammael drinks all his tinctures
    Puck uses an Expansion charge and activates his Force screen
    Sona Mirror images

    And I'm probably missing some, but those were the important ones. The elevator reaches the roof!



    Spoiler: Top of the Tower
    Show
    In the center of the roof is a large arcane looking device, with what seems to be a shimmering portal lens inside spinning brass rings. The more attention-demanding sight though, is the Huge red dragon hovering above with a certain Red-Haired sorceress riding it. Jezelle opens her mouth, and Sammael's player rolls Initiative. No monologue, right down to brass tacks.

    The enlarged flying Sammael zips up to threaten Jezelle, and Puck actually has just baarreeelllyy enough range to charge and strike Jezelle for a good chunk of damage! She blinks out of sight and reappears further away with a curse, floating in the air. Before she can do more, though, Sona surrounds her with a Cloudkill! The dragon tears into Puck for a hideous amount of damage (but the party's energy resistance means they don't have to worry about the 25 pts of damage every turn just for being next to the dragon). Talvosh freaks out and beelines for the dragon. Sammael and another cloudkill from Sona forces Jezelle to fall back to long range (several hundred feet above the tower), and her wrath is delayed as Jezelle has to burn a Vitae several turns into the battle. Then the fire begins to rain down, specifically on Sona and Angelena. Even making their reflex saves, Jezelle's Fireballs do BIG chunks of damage, as well as ignore the resistance spells. Sona gives as good as she gets though, hurling out Sound Lances and Cacophonic Fields.

    The Dragon has some trouble with the miss chances on the floating adventurers hacking away at it, and also can't just trivially snatch Talvosh up with its teeth. The hit points fly off back and forth, but Talvosh is missing the dragon's alarmingly high AC as well. The two axe-men have to go to no power attack to be able to hit regularly, it seems. Sammael keeps pressuring Jezelle, either chasing after her or firing off arrows to try and disrupt her. Angelena busts out a Heal to keep the party going!

    Several fireballs later (Jezelle is angry enough that she's using Arcane Spellsurge to hurl multiple offensive spells and not bother with saving immediate actions for defense) Angelena drops. Another blast kills her. Sona is doing better with her draconic feats healing with each spell, but a few more spell exchanges leaves Jezelle quite wounded, and Sona dead.

    Puck and Talvosh do what they do best, and land several crits (the dragon caught Talvosh in the face with his breath, but Frenzy+energy resistance means he's still going), and with a roar, the dragon finally falls. I know this recap makes it seem fast, but it took a LOT of turns for it to go down, and the heroes are looking rough even after the Heal. Jezelle lets out a howl of her own as the dragon Falls.

    This fight isn't over.

    With Jezelle so much more mobile than the 3 remaining heroes, they're forced to endure multiple blasts as they ascend and fire arrows at her. They can't pierce her alarming armor class, until Sammael lands a hit with the aid of a True strike. As they close in (and up), Jezelle starts throwing some nastier spells than just blasts of flame. Puck saves against a disintegrate, but takes an absurd amount of damage anyways. He's forced to burn a Vitae, and with Jezelle looking nearly dead on her feet, takes a risk.

    He sends Snug out on the attack. The little construct bug buzzes up and charges the insane mage!

    And rolls a natural 20. *sigh* I really need to burn Puck's player's dice, no-one should have dice better than I do

    Jezelle saves against the poison, but it's another point of damage. Jezelle hisses a curse, and one Shocking grasp later, brave Snug is reduced to pieces. Sammael is close enough to try and finish the fight! He uses his Bolt shirt to get right in her face, and attempts to slay her outright with his death touch!

    A translucent dragon wing blocks the fell hand, and Jezelle responds by seizing his wrist and inflicting another shocking grasp on him (he also survives due to having burnt a Vitae). Just before Puck and Talvosh can ascend further, Jezelle disappears and reappears relatively close to Puck. Close enough, in fact, to hammer him with an Orb of Fire, burning away 2/3 of his health with a single spell. If he hadn't burnt a Vitae, Puck would have been turned to a falling hunk of iron right there. Talvosh takes advantage and rushes in! He finally lands a blow! Jezelle lets out a choked gasp of pain, and then a final scream of rage before she EXPLODES in a blast of supernatural fire. Puck and Talvosh are caught in it, but energy resistance plus good saves keeps them alive.


    Super long (and fun) session! There's more RP stuff that happened, but I think it will fit better with the next entry.

    And alas, Sammael's player is now off to another province for school.

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    26
    Plus 3 burnt vitae!
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-08-30 at 11:07 AM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  28. - Top - End - #208
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    HUZZAH!!! Another update!
    Burning Vitae is nearly as good as killing them. Keep em coming.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  29. - Top - End - #209
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    That seemed to be probably their toughest combat yet! Seems like you were very close to a TPK, even with the burnt vitae.

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    The reason that it wasn't a TPK was casting Fly on everyone before the fight. If they had waited to cast flight until after the fight started, or only put it on one or two members, it would have ended ugly. Without everyone zipping around like murderous hummingbirds, Sona / anyone in the air would have been isolated and barbecued, and then the flightless members remaining would have been subjected to repeated driveflyby flamings and spellbombings.

    And don't worry PrismCat, this train has no brakes.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

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