Posted by : David Guyll October 23, 2016

Cast
  • Humal (level 8 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 8 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 8 elf rogue/ranger)
  • Kuhnja'bi (level 8 human w/ devil-in-the-details fighter)

Summary
Raknian approached the party, exclaiming that he recognized Kuhnja'bi from last year's games, and apologized for not speaking to him at yesterday's feast. He asked about Kuhnja'bi's new companions, but since the party knew that he had hired a bunch of doppelgangers to murder them their responses weren't exactly forthcoming.

Even up close Raknian didn't seem to recognize them, and he continued attempting to make small talk while escorting the party back to the arena's interior, leaving after congratulating them for their victory and wishing them luck during tomorrow's match. Ekaym arrived shortly after Raknian left: he had something to tell the party, but preferred to do it behind closed doors.

The party brought him to the Coenoby, and once they were in their personal chamber Ekaym explained that part of the reason he became a team manager was to find his sister: she came to Dovin during the Champion's Games last year, but soon after hooking up with Raknian he lost all contact with her. He'd tried using various divination spells to track her down, but since they all failed he suspected that Raknian, or at least someone Raknian knows, had murdered her; he wanted their help in locating her, alive or dead.

Sumia readily agreed to help, but Corzale, suspecting that he was a doppelganger, fetched a dagger and demanded that he cut himself so they could see if he bled. Given that she didn't explain the purpose of the task (to check if he was a doppelganger), Ekaym became understandably confused and more than a bit worried. He eventually thought better and declined their offer to help and tried to leave, but Humal used his magic to charm Ekaym and asked if he was a doppelganger.

Ekaym claimed to not know what a doppelganger was, which was proof enough for Humal and seemed to at least mollify Corzale, and they both agreed to keep a look out for his sister while they investigated the arena for...personal reasons.

That evening, with most of the teams and guards having departed and what guards remained exhausted and inebriated, the party made their move. There were three ways out of the Coenoby. One they knew led to the elevator that brought them to the arena, but it was more or less guarded by two sentries. Another passage was unprotected, but relatively nearby, and the third was both obscured, unguarded, and at the opposite end of the Coenoby.

The party opted for the exit least-guarded; it led to a winding passage that sonn brought them to a dark, abandoned chamber that was similar to the Coenoby, just smaller and cluttered with fallen stones and broken statues. A pool of water in the south-eastern corner partially obscured a large stone disk: with some effort the party was able to dislodge it, revealing another passage permeated with the stench of decay.

Sumia decided to scout ahead; thanks to her magically enhanced vision she could see perfectly well in the dark, so she didn't need to bring a light source that would immediately betray her presence. Unfortunately she came across nearly a dozen ghouls, and though she wasn't sure if they could also see in the dark it was clear that they could smell her. She fled back towards the party to warn them, but the ghouls pursued her and emerged before they could replace the stone.

The party gradually dwindled the pack's numbers, and when there was one ghoul left he tried to surrender, offering his knowledge of the tunnels. Sumia was of course in favor of teaming up with another monstrous creature, but surprisingly not even Humal would humor him: he'd just let Corazale destroy him now, and use his necromancy to wrest the information out of whatever amounted to its soul later.

Design Notes
The ghouls were "only" 3rd-level, but even with Kuhnja'bi's 4 Armor he still suffered a decent amount of Wound damage at their claws over the course of the fight (when you take damage, you take a minimum of 1 regardless of your Armor).

So, good to know: even low level monsters can pose a threat to a well-rounded mid-level party. Also, Kuhnja'bi was still able to hew through them pretty easily despite the damage drop (went from something like 3d6+14 to 2d6+10ish), but again they were only 3rd-level so I'm also fine with that.

Still considering changing cleric Favor to be a once-a-day thing (pray at a specific time of the day), with the option to sacrifice stuff in order to get it back early, but rather than shift gears so drastically mid-campaign I'll give it a shot for another playtest game.

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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