Sebkha Solonchak (sebkha) wrote,
Sebkha Solonchak

Ptolus session 15: 2008-01-05

December's always a wasteland for gaming; you just can't get everyone together reliably during the holiday season due to all the parties and family gatherings. So, it wasn't until last weekend that we finally resumed Ptolus. We're playing on Saturdays now, which lets us go a bit later than we could on Sundays.


We'd previously left off with the team heading upstairs to the second storey of Pythoness House. After working their way through minor hauntings (animated figurines in one of the boudoirs) and infestations (rats in the pantry) they located the chambers of the madams who'd previously operated the bordello. One of them had been the head of the cult cell, and was lingering on as an undead creature along with several of her hapless underlings. Their opening ambush got a few arrows into Brother Logan, but a bunch of undead weren't going to last too long against a Church group.

The real payoff at this point was in the bureau of the second madam: as well as ledgers detailing the business of the brothel 3 years previously, there was a personal journal containing clues to what the cultists had been trying to summon those years ago and hints about where various keys might be located. The team quite quickly used these hints to locate the key to the house's strongbox (although not where the strongbox was located) and to recognize half of the spiral contrivance carried by the cobbledman, a patchwork creature they fought on a narrow bridge above the house. The critter's many arms lent it a talent for grappling people, but although Cale ended up flung from the bridge, Mali had a feather fall ready for the occasion.

The climax of the session was a rooftop battle against the earthbound rhodintor demon previously called by the cultists. The demon's arcane defenses made it nearly impossible to hit, and the team threw just about anything they could think of at it. Ironically, the most effective attack turned out to be a side effect: oil intended set a wooden walkway afire didn't faze the demon at all. It was fireproof! It was also so blasé about traipsing through the flames that it completely neglected the slipperiness of the hot oil. One comically poor Balance check and 40' of falling damage later, the demon was spending two rounds levitating back into the fray while the team regrouped and rained ordnance down upon it. Cale claimed the kill for that one eventually, lifting a flask of holy water from Marcus's belt and scoring a critical hit to finish off the beast. Both Logan and Marcus had good toe-to-toe moments with the demon, my favorite being Marcus standing firm against the demon's bull-rush in cinematic You Shall Not Pass! style.

The team was rather depleted after the big battle, so they holed up in one of the bedchambers to rest and recover spells. They were interrupted every hour or two by a rumbling voice cycling randomly through a number of cryptic declarations (Chaos is the key…, I must feed…) and once by a patrolling ratlord astride a giant dire rat mount. Brother Logan, conveniently fluent in rattish, managed to talk the ratman into accepting a nominal toll of a few silver coins rather than the encounter spiraling into violence.

At the end of the 8 hour rest period with both Mali and Sebastian's spells recovered, the team basically tied up the loose ends around the house. The major find was the brothel's treasury, located in a doorless square tower by a process of elimination. Rather than discovering a secret ceiling trapdoor and entering the tower from below with the key they'd recovered, Marcus pounded his way through the the stone roof of the tower with the Hammer of St Malleus. As well as netting them a welcome chunk of cash and the missing half of the spiral contrivance, the brute-force backwards entry into the vault totally bypassed a falling block trap intended to squash anyone entering from below.

From reading the diary, the team know that the spiral contrivance will somehow get them underneath the stone statue on the first floor into some kind of stockpile the cultists had been accumulating for the Night of Dissolution, so that's probably where they'll be investigating next when we resume play.


Honest-to-goodness dungeon crawling for a change meant lots of stuff to kill, and bumper XP all around! Everyone ended up levelling, which brought Cale and Logan back up to 4th (6000 XP) and Marcus and the Andovars to level 5 (10000 XP).

EL Encounter — Experience Point Awards —
Cale Logan Mali Marcus Sebastian
Total XP after session 14 4860 4860 7337 8237 7437
2 Bedroom
  • Tiny animated objects (CR ½ ×6)
150 150 150 150 150
5 Kitchen
  • Rat swarm (CR 2)
120 120 120 120 120
5 Radanna's chambers
  • Skeletons (CR 1 ×6)
  • Radanna (CR 5)
510 510 470 470 470
5 High bridge
  • Cobbledman (CR 5)
360 360 320 320 320
5 High battlements
  • Hellhounds (CR 3 ×2)
360 360 320 320 320
5 Rhodintor nest
  • Rhodintor (CR 7)
720 720 640 640 640
Total XP at midgame break
  • Cale to level 4
  • Logan to level 4
  • Marcus to level 5
7080 7080 9357 10257 9457
5 Negotiation with the ratlord
  • Ratlord (CR 2)
  • Giant dire rat (CR 2)
240 240 240 200 240
5 Undead rats
  • Rat skeletons (CR 1 ×4)
240 240 240 240 240
5 Cursed alabaster runestone
  • trap (CR 1)
60 60 60 60 60
5 Square tower
  • falling block trap (CR 4)
240 240 240 200 240
Total XP after session 15
  • Mali to level 5
  • Sebastian to level 5
7860 7860 10137 10957 10237

Given that every single character leveled this time, redoing everyone's stat blocks feels a bit overwhelming. I'm not going to tackle that just immediately.

The next game is scheduled for the 19th.

Tags: gaming, ptolus, recap
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January 12 2008, 21:46:31 UTC 9 years ago Edited:  January 12 2008, 21:49:42 UTC

My updates are +1 Charisma, 5 skill points +1 diplomacy, +1 sense motive, +1 knowledge (religion) +1 heal (*) and +1 concentration (**). Another cc language was tempting at this point but it'll be cheaper next level and we didn't meet anyone who spoke a new language recently (the only bit of aquan I picked up is that shooting a harpoon at someone means 'go away').

I get turning at level 4 (it gets a synergy bonus from knowledge religion) and one first level spell (which I will fill with faith healing). Lay on hands and smite evil both grow a bit as do my saves due to charisma rising to +3.

Other than that I will carry either the masterwork longsword (for under cover work) or the legacy weapon, not both at once. I have the ever-burning wand and I have not yet decided if I should keep carrying flint, oil and bullseye lantern or if I should stop carrying those. Probably I should keep them in case there is any anti-magic areas or I need to provide a light source to someone else? Or just invest in some sun-rods instead?

By the way, are there any feats for using charisma for attacks? Either damage or attack bonus? Any other feats for using charisma in place of my lower physical mod's?

(*) That will bring my total heal skill mod up to +5 which is more for RP purposes than need. Logan has noticed he is immune to disease so paladins are ideal for sending into plague infested towns (etc) but don't actually have the magical healing to do any good once there. I wanted +5 in healing so he can do more to tend to the sick than just mop people's brows...and if I am out of magical healing I can stabilize people like some sort of professional combat-medic (which also makes sense for a paladin). Logan is also a caring sort of person.

(**) My main tactic for avoiding miscasts is 5-ft adjust out of reach.
"By the way, are there any feats for using charisma for attacks? Either damage or attack bonus? Any other feats for using charisma in place of my lower physical mod's?"

Only ones I can think of are the Divine Might, and of course Divine Shield feats. Both require Power Attack, however, and consume a Turn Undead use to add charisma to damage & dodge AC respectively. Also, while I'm confident that Divine Shield lasts a number of rounds equal to your Charisma bonus, I *think* Divine Might only lasts one round... I'd have to check, and I can't remember exactly which book they're in, for some reason I'm thinking Complete Warrior.
Featwise, you might want to check out Goad (Complete Adventurer p. 109). It forces an opponent to make a Will save versus a DC based on your Charisma, and is compelled to attack only you if it fails. It'd certainly fit Logan's role as the party's shield wall.

Extra Smiting (Complete Warrior p. 98) would give you two extra smites per day, allowing a bit more use of the Charisma bonus to damage.

Personally, I think Logan's ticket is to go for the various leadership feats. Expanded Aura of Courage, Leadership, Extra Followers and whatnot would totally fit his personality.


January 13 2008, 20:25:57 UTC 9 years ago Edited:  January 13 2008, 20:32:54 UTC

I will be getting a bonus feat at 6th. I plan to invest in the +1 hp / level feat at 6th and then either extra contacts, leadership, or some other feat. Depending on how things turn out in the next few levels I will decide, but it will probably be a social feat of some sort. Maybe even nimbus of light for more diplomacy?

I also plan to take Cael back to pythonas house and begin gaining ratling contacts as phase one of my plan to turn the ratlings from a feared pest in the underworld into loyal citizens keeping the underworld safe and protecting the city from threats from deeper below. An idealistic and naive plan...but very in character.

On the topic of contacts, the church and the order of the pale are free contacts right? So I think I have the 2 organizations, one free contact slot and now 3 contact slots from charisma?
I am going to need my 'every branch of the church' contacts (so we are still well connected if the conciliators are closed down) plus ratling contacts (I will save the ratlings first and then goblins at this rate) plus the key individuals I need to get the ratlings (and subsequent outlaw species) a chance to prove themselves.

Yet another question. We did retrieve the demon bodies? I assume the earthbound demon didn't disappear when it died? I can show that to the order of the pale for more cred' with them and possibly to get the watch off our back "look what we deal guys sure you want to shut down the conciliators and do this sort of thing yourselves?"

And I need to check those skills. Level 4 would be max ranks 7 and a total of 7*5 skill points. I want max ranks in diplomacy, knowledge religion and sense motive, that's 21 points. 5 ranks in knowledge nobility and 1 in handle animal for a total of 27 points. I bought celestial and rattish for a total of 31 points. That would leave 4 points for buying +3 heal and +1 concentration. OK...that works the way I thought it did (I thought I was missing a rank in sense motive).
An undead Madam plus several hapless dead prozzies? It's time for... the Hubba-Hubba Hobgoblin Humper! Necrophiliac Transmitted Diseases, ahoy!
No. Just.... no.
I think I prefer to keep the Church and State games safely partitioned between Saturday and Friday respectively. O_o
eep, you've broken out in clergy?
Two of the five characters in this game are clergy (Brother Marcus/iceleron and Brother Logan/ristin); the rest of them just work for the inquisition.
Unfortunately, so was the Don Juan de Goblin in the Friday game, do to absense of Herring.

I still wish he had been there.
hee. I need an explanation of that comment.


January 13 2008, 20:27:01 UTC 9 years ago Edited:  January 13 2008, 20:27:38 UTC

...and here I thought that was an exaggeration. *( facepaw )*

Well, from all accounts it worked, so congratulations?
Happy B-Day!
Hey-ho. I just sent you LJ Messages, owing to the need for explanation for missing last night and because I know you are rather fascinated by "Drama!" which I have a deal of empathy for! Now: Back to the toilet!
XO and harpy bathday! Em.
Happy birthday!