Square (A) – first attempt

Re-reading the rulebook and checking the FAQs, we now know that we’ve messed up a whole bunch of rules. Among them is the difficulty level. It appears that contrary to what we’d thought, we’re not that good… So, for the time being, very hard is beyond our capacity, as the actual post will make clear..

Scenario 11

Goal: Kill the commander

Team: Cragheart (lvl 4), Elementalist (lvl 2), Mindthief (lvl 4), Spellweaver (lvl 4)

Difficulty: 3

Our short mercenary career have, somehow, led us to side with the merchants in an attempt to overthrow the military rulers of the city of Gloomhaven. That doesn’t sound that bad, does it? That’s until you learn that the leader of our faction is also a necromancer…

Our role is to kill the Commander of the Guard. He has many men at his disposal but we’re not alone on this risky endeavor, undead troops fight on our side! Cannon fodder, yay!

Things starts smoothly, two guards and an elite archer in the first room. One of our lousy Living Bones is killed, and then we wipe the floor with the guards.

Next room: some archers and half a dozen guards. There’s also 2 Living Corpses on our side but they’re immediately cut down by the archers’ arrows. The useless stinking wretches. But here comes the Cragheart, RUTHLESS, he crushes our foes under tons of rocks. Me and our new friend, the Elementalist, finish the survivors.

20190113_143548
The Mindthief, behind, gnawing at a friendly Living Bones

The Elementalist opens next door and… there’s a SHIT TON of folks over there.

20190113_145533
Elementalist: *Uh, guys… Is it too late to defect?”

We do see that the right side is weakly defended and maybe we could dash to the final room? But, oh no, that’s not what we do…

20190113_150914
Cragheart: “I SMASH YOU WITH FOUNTAIN!”
20190113_161829
Commander: “Who the fook are you?”

The Cragheart and Mindthief are exhausted, leaving a wounded Spellweaver and a raw recruit to face the Boss… That dude has 56 hp. We fight ’til the end. It’s mercifully quick in coming.

Bitter Defeat!

That’s a hard blow to our pride…

  • We’ve almost cleaned up the map but it costed us way too much.
  • Both the archers and guards had shield, we had a hard time doing real damage.
  • The Elementalist card “infuse an element/ – 1 to damage” doesn’t look like its worth it.
  • Opening the second door without killing the previous enemies would have meant a less crowded third room.
  • We could have jumped in the fountain, killing the archers while (mostly) protected from the guards.

Infernal Throne

Killing the denizens of the Plane of Elemental Power got the attention of their master, the Prime Demon. He offers us a choice, kind-of, we can go retrieve an ancient artifact for him, or we can die…

-Uh… Give us a minute…

The Prime Demon frowns as we get in circle and debate together.

-An artifact!

-Yeah, but I want to kill demons, says the Brute.

-I want to help with that, I say.

-But seriously, demons? Again?

*Collective groan*

-Give me your answer NOW! booms the Prime Demon.

-We choose to die? err…

Scenario 21

Goal: Kill the Prime Demon

Team: Brute (lvl 3), Cragheart (lvl 3), Mindthief (lvl 3), Spellweaver (lvl 3)

Difficulty: 2

20181230_222413
The Prime Demon’s abode is rather modest

So yeah, more demons, even if we’re sick to death of fighting them, but the Brute is really close to accomplishing his Life Goal so we endure…

First room isn’t impressive, with only a Frost and a Sun. Those 2 dead, I open the left door, revealing 2 Wind and 2 Night. The Cragheart opens the other – 2 Earth and 2 Flame in the right. I joyfully hurl Fire Orbs at the demons near me and then we regroup in the first room. The Mindthief and Brute deal with the left while I support the Cragheart with the right.

We’re under pressure, dealing with 8 demons simultaneously, but things aren’t that bad. Except that the Brute tries and tries to finish a Night Demon and it takes an awfully long time before he finally succeeds. I and the Mindthief both had to heal him, as he was really battered.

The two hallways cleared, we got further in the Prime Demon’s abode. The Brute finds His Evilness in a room with a strange altar. The Prime Demon boasts of his invincibility, yadda yadda yadda, but hey, we have some sort of intuition (!) that he’s somehow linked with the altar.

You may be invincible but your stupid altar ain’t!

There’s a twist though, the altar changes location, jumping around clockwise and summoning demons at the same time. Not too inconvenient, as we had cleared the place prior to this. The Brute have the Prime Demon on his back, and that jerk hits hard! So we bash the altar as fast as we can, except the Cragheart who’s too slow, too far, and has his eyes on the treasure anyway.

The Brute and Mindthief get exhausted but the altar is almost destroyed. I’m in good shape but can’t finish the altar as it jumps too far from me. But the Cragheart, sporting a new piece of jewelry, is right there to finish the damn thing, dissolving the Prime Demon at the same time.

Victory!

  • Defeating the demons in both hallways saved us a lot of troubles later on
  • The Brute did good job distracting the Prime Demon
  • We got a LOT of gold for finishing this scenario but that still feels a little underwhelming

Plane of Elemental Power

The altar we found in the Ruinous Crypt is, in fact, a portal to the Plane of Elemental Power. We jumped in…

Scenario 10

Team: Brute (lvl 3), Cragheart (lvl 3), Mindthief (lvl 3), Spellweaver (lvl 3)

Goal: Kill everything

Difficulty: 3

Things went smoothly. At first. We cleared the first room in no time.

20181230_181956
Spellweaver: “Impaling Eruption! Piercing Bow! Die Demon Scums!”

Then we got horrendously bogged down.

The elite Sun Demon infused one of his special attack (two targets) and did a 2x damage on me. Shiiiit. I had to lose precious cards to survive. Not good at all. I then jumped inside the second room, invisible, to get out of the way. My three companions were immobilized by the Earth Demons for what seemed like an eternity. From bad to worse.

20181230_191658
Spellweaver: “Arrrggghhh! Should’ve stayed in the back!”

We lost so much resources on the second room that our only chance of success by then, was to try to accelerate things. This meant letting the baddies out of their room while my friends were still busy behind me. Hopefully they’d finish before the next wave. Risky business.

20181230_202056
My best move of the scenario: opening a damn door…

The Sun Demons are very lethal and can heal their allies too. The Earth Demons have simply a ton of hp. But man, it’s the Flame Demons, with their range attacks, retaliate and high shield, that are truly a pain in the ass…

With the lot of them hot on my heels, I fled, with a timely Ride the Wind.

20181230_213740
The Mindthief, valiantly distracting a Flame Demon

Me and the Brute got exhausted soon after but we’d managed to cull down the demons. The odds still weren’t favorable.

The Mindthief did a supreme effort before depleting his cards too.

One last demon, the worst of their kind: an elite Flame…

But, hey, we still had the Cragheart! I think he shoveled sand over it or something. Anyway, he doused it for good…

20181230_213943
Not so FIERY now, are you!

Victory!

Damn that was close!

  • Back in town, we unlocked the Sanctuary of the Oak achievement
  • after many scenarios that felt like a walk in the park, this one stands in stark contrast…
  • no treasure for us this time

Ruinous Crypt

Back to our own brand of persecution – against the Gloomy Cultists (or whatever they call themselves). We had previously cleansed the Crypt of the Damned, now it’s turn to the:

Ruinous Crypt

(set difficulty: medium)

This time, the cultists seem more ready to fend off invaders. Both me and the Mindthief are the targets of some dark power preventing us to attack for a while. Fortunately, I still can call my Mystic Ally to join the fray. Meanwhile, the cultists are rapidly cut down by the Brute and Cragheart but the 2 Night Demons are craftier creatures, they turn invisible!

20181230_155351
Feel our gloomy poweeeeer err, *cough *cough

But this is just a delay on the inevitable. We then split the party in two and open the doors both sides. Such is our confidence at this point.

20181230_163512
Oh, nice, a frosty for my collection!

More demons (Frost and Flame), and some living bones. The Brute have a personnal vendetta against the demons and he tries his best to kill as many as he can. The crypt is cleansed without much sweat.

Victory!

  • The first room took a lot longer than we’re used but we still kept most of our ressources
  • The Brute now had killed 4 ou the 6 demonkind to accomplish is Life Goal (Night Demons are troublesome to him)

Diamond Mine

So our shady employer had witheld information from us, who would’ve thought, and we ended up killing babies in their cradles. Shit happens. We got paid (well paid, but the guilt!) and now, of course, she wants to hire us again, this time to raid a diamond mine and kill its vermling workers.

-Go to hell! I said.

-No! We want this, said the Mindthief.

-We do?

-I want to kill vermlings.

-But… Aren’t you a vermling?

Sooooo?

-Uh, nevermind, I guess we’ll go kill vermlings…

Diamond Mine

(set difficulty: hard)

The entry is guarded by 5 hounds, we’re kind of talking about how to tackle them but the damn dogs don’t care to wait for us… They are FAST!

But still, we kill them and the Minthief opens the door to the mine proper.

20181230_140229
Yikes! That’s a lot of rats!

And… is promptly overwhelmed. The vermlings are mobile and numerous and their Overseer is intimidating  (his own attack his moduled by the number of minions he has, a whopping 10 for now).

That’s when me and the Cragheart came up with a PLAN!

-What are you doing?

-I’m putting spikes on myself.

-Oh… Do you want more spikes?

– *grins*

And that’s how a rocky, spiky Cragheart IMPALED a whole horde of vermlings (almost) all by himself.

20181230_142317
Come my lil’ ratling. Come join the big pile of pennies!

With his workers dead, the Overseer did not look so fearsome. At all.

 

We clowned around a little then snuff the life out of his pathetic existence.

 

Victory!

  • The hounds beat my best initiative card.
  • Even the elite vermlings were squishy with 5 hp, so our retaliate tactic proved absolutely lethal
  • Sadly, that kind of undercut the Life Goal of the Mindthief but he wasn’t very much in combat shape by then.

 

Inox Encampment

With the Brute’s player absent, we changed our plans and did scenario III (Inox Encampment).

The goal is straightforward: kill 15 enemies.

20181219_201001
Math’s 3D decors: he doesn’t halfass…

Inox Encampment

(set difficulty: hard)

Murderers. That’s what we are now. We’ve killed the Inox raiders… and, uh, their wives and  kids. Happened to be there when we absent-mindedly put their camp on fire… But hey! Look at the bright side, there won’t be a next generation of thieves!

Scenario highlights:

  • Picked Battle Goal Sadist (kill 5 or more foes), fittingly, and succeeded (killed 6)
  • With the addition of Icy Blast for my level up, I could bring 3 AoE spells and it was great!
  • The Mindthief did some sort of big mind-shriveling attack on the shaman to finish him off. He was starting to get on our nerves with his cursing & blessing & stuff.
  • At one point (see pic), I immobilized an Inox Archer with a Freezing Nova (melee attack), giving him disadvantage with his attacks, I then did a long rest (yep, how long could that be?) right there, in front of him, while he shot at me inefficiently. Nonsensical but funny.
  • The Cragheart did a Boulder Attack (?) in the middle of a bunch of spawned Inox Warriors and did a LOT of damage.
  • The Cragheart managed to pick the treasure while I killed one last Inox en route to winning the scenario.

 

Session 11 – The Hanged Man

Characters:

  • Lucky, Half-Elf Cleric of Tymora (Trickery Domain), Street Urchin; the lowly will be exalted
  • Phileas, Half-Elf Bard (College of Swords), Archeologist; “it’s not tomb-robbing if you do it respectfully”
  • Corpos, High Elf Wizard (School of Necromancy) , Archeologist; antiquary, strange fixation with the undead

Short session. Sadly, both my brother and sister couldn’t make it. That changed my plans. That, and we started awfully late. It is what it is…

Reinforcement

Corpos and Lucky were recuperating from their previous ordeals inside the ruined Camp Righteous when a supply convoy heading to Camp Vengeance made a quick stop. They were happy to see Phileas disembark to join them. The half-elf was spying on the Pick & Axe Company and had a few intel bits to share.

Also, Corpos, anticipating the difficulties ahead, managed to hire a fearsome-looking Chultan named Goro-T’so (1) with promises of gold and tej.

The Canopy Drummers

As to be expected in Batiri territory, the PCs saw that they were tailed by goblin hunters, with trained velociraptors.

1ab54a2a65be70113e7739713818d3cee

With Tymora’s opportune help, Lucky managed to spot more batiri ambushers further ahead. Acting on this knowledge the PCs started the hostilities before the trap could be fully sprung on them.  A well-placed Sleep  from the Elf wizard put the small but ferocious velociraptors out of combat early on. The bard charged one of the raptors’ handlers while Goro-T’so went the other way to attack 4 Batiri archers, with Lucky firing his crossbow at them too.

The Chultan hireling got severely wounded but he also skewered 2 Batiri, with Lucky finishing a third. The fourth managed to flee. Phileas dodged several poisoned arrows and killed 2 more Batiris with the help of Corpos flinging spells from behind.

Corpos, after the fight, decided to keep one velociraptor (tied up) with the idea to try to befriend the diminutive dinosaur with time.

The Hanged Man

12-the-hanged-man-meaning-rider-waite-tarot-major-arcana_large

The PCs walked at a brisk pace, wishing to put distance from themselves and a tree platform batiri village they had spotted after their skirmish. A few hours later they saw an unusual sight, a man, or what looked like a man anyway, was hanged by the feet, some 10′ in the air. Closing in, with a horrible stench now assailing them, they could see that the man was in fact a ghoul!

The undead creature, a non-chultan male, immediately started to plead with them to let it go, offering information in exchange of its freedom.

After some back-and-forth (2), the ghoul, going with the name of Scavo, revealed many things:

  • an old creature, sporting a blue triangle on its forehead, was responsible for his present state
  • he was a Flaming Fist mercenary prior to his demise
  • those had been asked by powerful people from Baldur’s Gate to eliminate “prince” Jobal but had not (yet) complied
  • he had overheard a meeting between Pick & Axe members and Batiri goblins to cement a deal against a rival tribe

The PCs finally cut the rope and let him go, suggesting that he could make himself useful and eat some goblins nearby…

DM’s notes

  1. An evil devotee of Malar, that could be troublesome at some point…
  2. including some unsavory methods of intimidation