Monday, November 17, 2014

Wrath of the Righteous: The Worldwound Incursion: Part C

So "Alfy" went out of Defender's Heart to track down the lost child only to find a sinuous reptilian creature munching on some dead cultists over the rubble of the Shelyn Temple.  It was small and I described it piecemeal as he stealth-circled around behind it and the fact that it was an Umbral Dragon meant I could focus on a few details (fine scales, paler belly) that one doesn't normally associate with dragons.  I blew the surprise later on by calling it a dragon, however....  *sigh*

Anyway, the dragon took flight the moment it noticed him and tried to goad him into digging his "master" out of the rubble for an epic fight.  A Natural 20 on a Sense Motive check ensured Alfy saw through the ruse.  The dragon didn't think it likely that he would attack her Master at all but wasn't being honest with him because a) it liked stirring trouble, and b) it was racist enough to assume that he lacked the focus and wherewithal to dig someone of the rubble if there wasn't something to fight under it.

So Alfy dug up the rubble and opened up a stairway into the Shelyn Temple's root cellar where a few dozen suspicious citizens were holed up with the Kuthites of the earlier adventure.  They weren't certain the Kuthites who had warned them of the demonic attacks weren't part of it but had taken shelter nonetheless from the first explosion.  They also weren't sure that Alfy hadn't dug them up to eat them - being a tiefling - and so threatened him with makeshift weapons for a bit.  All the real clerics and paladins of Shelyn had remained outside to help people so these were just congregants.

Alfy met his Master, the lead Kuthite who introduced herself as Eliska Zaitherin, an oracle of Zon Kuthon.  He offered to lead the congregants back to the safety but wouldn't take Eliska or her followers since the Chaotic Evil dragon kinda put her on his "Avoid" list.

When he finally set off to deal with the Gray Bastion of Part 3, he initially used a scale to pretend to be another tiefling cultist called Faxon.  After all, he was a single PC and a sixteen-year-old youth in the campaign so it would be illogical for Irabeth to actually send him in to try to take the bastion on his own. 

Unfortunately, the two demons by the front gate recognised him and attacked.  It was a tough fight but he was soon joined by none other than the small dragon (whom he'd glimpsed darting past through the night skies) and soon after that Eliska joined in with a glowing dire flail.  The three formed a truce and continued onward after Eliska revealed that she had been following him.

Eliska is an oracle with the same bonus feats, high stats, etc. that Alfy possessed.  She wasn't a GMPC and therefore her actions and dialogue are edited to ensure that the solo PC gets to make all of the major decisions and steal all of the thunder.  Since she was a dhampyr oracle, she wasn't particularly powerful and had little combat capability beyond her dire flail which bypassed damage reduction.  She certainly wasn't built for melee combat though I did justify Weapon Proficiency: Dire Flail as a feat that mysteriously awoke within her when she had found it among the rubble (it was a long sword at the time).

The dire flail was the sword of Radiance - which I had mistakenly thought he'd picked up in Part 2, declared stolen from Defender's Heart and which later turned out to be hidden in Part 3.  Since he finds it's actual physicality in the Gray Bastion, I made the dire flail she carried the spiritual reflection of Radiance.  While Radiance isn't meant to work for anyone who isn't a paladin, it was too cool to simply discard as a plot line, my solo PC is a monk and I liked Irabeth as a commander rather than a companion.

Eliska isn't great with it so it certainly doesn't draw the spotlight from the player and simply provides flavour for her.  As a worshipper of Doubral, the god who had been Zon Kuthon before his corruption, she takes the weapons' transformation into a dire flail rather than either a spiked chain (Zon Kuthon's favoured weapon) or the simple longsword (suggesting her god doesn't exist), fills her with hope.  The fact that she could wield the weapon at all is what made Alfy realise she must be good.

This entire book went beautifully well with the monk, oracle and wyrmling Umbral Dragon getting through the encounters with just enough difficulty.  Some of the battles against the regular tieflings were so out-classed that I let my solo player auto-defeat them with narrative description.  He took all of the humans and tieflings prisoner at the bastion, except for those tieflings who were gambling for severed fingers.  He took exception to those and killed them.  Naturally neither Eliska nor the Umbral Dragon, Lex, could deal subdual but they didn't deal enough damage to kill anyone outright and hung back when he dealt with the CR 1/2 encounters so that didn't become a problem.

At the very end, my solo player was amused to see the good energies suffuse the wyrmling and delighted in the idea of redeeming her.  With a lot of fanfare, my player joyously took apart the babaus with his temporary super powers with some support from Eliska and Lex.  Once that battle concluded, he returned to report on his success (minus Eliska and Lex who thought their involvement would draw undue suspicion) and then helped the priests until it was time for bed.

The Mythic Energies that suffused him also gave him the abilities and spells of a bard (i.e. bardic performance) and granted Eliska the sneak attack die and trapfinding of a rogue.  Lex didn't get anything material.  I'm basically going to treat it as her alignment becoming somewhat unchained from her body due to the saturation of good energies.  In other words, Lex will find it easier to become good.

Normally the energies from the wardstone are meant to grant actual Mythic tiers but I thought it might be a bit too potent so I went with increasing versatility (i.e. oodles of extra feats and additional class features) rather than outright power.

Alfy grabbed only a few of the actual Divine Points listed in this adventure book but plenty of his actions justified Divine Points later on - his wisdom in dealing with the Mongrelfolk, incapacitating rather than killing his foes, setting up a fallback point in the sewers, ferrying survivors back to the fallback point, treating everyone well despite their suspicions (justified considering the number of evil tieflings here), and redeeming a pack of tiefling thugs into rescuing survivors. 

Alfy also encouraged Eliska to clean and consecrate the zombie-filled room (which would need to be re-consecrated later), took all of the notes from one room back to Irabeth at the end, and took out the alchemist which were all worth Divine Points in the book.  I also gave him one for dealing with the Wardstone fragment quite cleverly ... he feigned being Faxon in that final room long enough to press the rod of cancellation against the fragment.

In the end, he gained the full benefit of those Divine Points (as did Eliska and Lex).  In my campaign, I'm treating the Divine Points as coming from Shelyn rather than Iomedae as I want Shelyn to be a bigger focus for this campaign.  After all, my solo PC picked her as his patron diety!

**Adventure Book Review**
Loved it!  It was an absolute smash.  I loved the little NPC roleplaying hints in certain rooms.  I loved the descriptions.  I loved some of the combats.  It was a great start to an awesome campaign!

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