Epiro: Episode 110

  • Atticus (wood elf druid 5)
  • Josh's Wizard (human wizard 5)
  • Iola (wood elf monk 5)
  • Perseus (human paladin 5)
We spent a good chunk of the session mulling over the new packet and, well, "transitioning" the characters by filing off skills, feats, and some class features.

The characters finally arrived at Copper Cairns, got paid (a small fortune of 5 gp each), and without missing a beat headed directly into the mountains. A storm picked up that filled Perseus with one part sense of longing, one part anger. He used detect magic, which I declared only allowed him to detect divine-ish magic, which was fine because it was divine-ish in origin. Rather than recognize spell schools, which to me is a silly thing for a paladin to be able to do, it instead registered domains.

He sensed the power of the Stormcaller stirring the skies into a tempest, but they continued their trek into the mountains with little supplies and even less direction. After several thankfully in-game hours and a flock of harpies later, they made camp as best they could on a ledge buffeted by high-speed winds, and when dawn came most had gotten some measure of sleep. The winds had not let down, but at least they could see, and after a few more hours of climbing they found a temple carved into a cliff.

Moving between eroded statues and collapsed columns were a pair of humanoid figures, followed closely by a shuffling pile of rock. It was getting late so they tried shouting and charging, but since they were pretty far away it gave the two figures a chance to dash through a doorway and use presumably some kind of off-the-books earth magic to close it, leaving the party to square off against the earth elemental.

Josh's wizard pelted it with a few magic missiles, Atticus turned into a ram (reflavored steed), while Perseus rode him into combat. I was surprised that the elemental was able to hit Perseus, and I ruled that it knocked him away, allowing it to flee underground. Unsure how exactly to get passed the door, Iola used the earthstompers to kick the door while triggering its quake ability.

This was an interesting idea, so I rewarded it by allowing her to make a Strength check with advantage. She rolled really high and opened it, but the elemental was waiting and smacked her in the face. It tried to close the door, but Batticus headbutted the door in an effort to try and keep it open. They both rolled really high, so I ruled that neither was gaining ground until Josh's wizard slammed it with a sound burst.

This knocked it away, and as it tried to reconstitute itself Perseus skewered it with the Boar King's Tusk, killing it. The session ended it with them in the Stormcaller's temple, and since I have two weeks to plan I figure I might as well draw out an actual dungeon to give this exploration and random encounter rules a shot.

Behind the Scenes
The harpies were incredibly easy to kill, even though half the party was climbing a cliff as they attacked. I had to flavor in the elemental's knock back and resistance to being knocked back, because otherwise it is just a pile of hit points that takes half damage from most attacks (which would mean something if anyone used non-magical attacks).

I am really glad that I have some experience playing Dungeon World and FATE: I called for a Strength check to climb, and used their results to determine who was on a cliff ledge, and who was in the middle of climbing when the harpies attacked. The worse the roll, the further away from safety you were (making a fall that much more dangerous).

Beth did not care too much about the paladin changes, probably because she did not actually change anything (we wanted to get in a good hour of play), but partially because she was already the "lawful good" brand did not need much change. Everyone else was unhappy with the loss of some key features that they loved (druid and bear form), skills, and feats. Josh had been playing up his wizard to be a street thug, but now had no mechanical way to convey that. Melissa was happy to get flurry of blows back, even though it cost ki because it is a per-encounter thing instead of per day. On the downside she can no longer fly for short distances.

So, yeah, it is nice and all that classes have more stuff going on, but I do not think that they had to sacrifice conceptual freedom to do so. It does not mean much to me that all the spaces are filled in if you have little to no say as to what is filling them.

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