Friday, November 14, 2014

Wrath of the Righteous: Solo Worldwound Incursion

The tiefling "Alfie" is doing well so far.  Due to his very high AC most creatures can't hit him without rolling an 18 or above and that combined with his maximised hit die means that he's survived every encounter with only Anevia providing occasional arrows (i.e. not for every encounter) for support.  He started at level 3 and hit level 4 shortly before reaching the surface.  I'd given him full XP for each creature he'd killed alone, half if Anevia was involved, and a quarter of all story bonuses.

He also gained *a lot* of loot which he's determined to give to the Crusaders or the Shelyn Temple, whichever he finds first, as he can't use most of it - being a monk!

There were a few combats that got a bit dicey but nothing he couldn't handle.  I started hand waving some of the critters once he hit the surface because they couldn't do much to him.  I only used the interesting encounters listed and didn't bother with wandering monsters except to harry him by appearing and disappearing - making him paranoid that they would follow him to the shelter.

One interesting choice he made was to use subdual against every humanoid target, taking the time to deliver them down to the Mongrelfolk waiting in the sewers, and even grabbing some manacles from the nearby Southern Gate Tower (I reasoned there would be cells and manacles there) so that they could be better captured.  He didn't end up killing a single humanoid, which was pretty neat.

I chose to have the gods notice him from this point onward to give him a chance at accruing divine points from this moment.  He still won't be able to go over 10 but why not reward for *good* choices.  Especially since my choice to move Lastwall into Mendev means that he has a massive viable prison they can be returned to afterwards.

I also inserted a number of folks to save and took inspiration from the book on tieflings.  Basically there's this picture of a Chelish Hellknight wrapped in ropes and hounded by tieflings while another tiefling toys with his removed helmet.  I didn't want to just include tieflings cultists, after all, and so had them be ordinary thugs who'd reasoned that they were dead anyway regardless of whether the crusaders win (likely round up and genocide) or the demons (butchering or conscripting).  Since the demons couldn't tell a tiefling cultist from a random tiefling, they were able to walk around unmolested more readily than most.

"Alfie" talked them into releasing the Hellknight and even understood their reasoning - the Hellknight comes from Cheliax and Cheliax worships devils and why is that okay?  Though it turned out this particular Hellknight worshipped Iomedae (or at least said as much).  Using good reasoning and some Diplomacy checks, Alfie even convinced them to start rounding up innocent civilians and taking them to the mongrelfolk.  Once they released the Hellknight, he assumed command and oddly enough the tieflings followed (trio were Lawful Neutral devilbloods who would have been perfectly obedient lawabiding citizens if they hadn't been rejected by authority). 

Alfie heard the tieflings grumbling that they'd better get a medal for this otherwise they should cause havoc and leave once this mess gets mopped up.  So later when he found the half-orc paladin in charge, he made certain to mention them and recommend them for a medal.

Alfie also talked the rogues in the alchemy store into helping protect the safe place with the mongrelfolk - they weren't willing to risk their lives but were happy to find a safer spot with their loot and the 100gp each he promised them.  After all, they'd barely looted as much thus far.

He also saved a young girl from a random encounter I created who had basically hidden in her parent's home.  He spotted her glancing out at them and went in for her.  She hid behind a chair and held her dolly out at him menacingly but he managed to get her to come with him by talking her into sipping some holy water to prove she wasn't possessed - and more importantly to prove he wasn't a demon to do the same.

Anyway since he only took a day in the sewer, after he reached the safe place I gave him a few days to scout around the city looking for survivors and let him roll a 1d20 each morning and afternoon and declared that he located and saved that many survivors.  I thought it was a nice touch to help him feel all the more heroic and like he was doing something.  He ended up saving 82 additional people.

Haven't done the last part of the adventure but I can say that so far the creatures have been relatively weak.  Yes, he is a potent character but economy of actions should balance that out a bit.  I would just recommend that other GMs keep an eye on how their party progresses and if it starts becoming too easy they should simply maximise the occasional hit die here and there or boost their strength by 2 to give them a +1 to attack and damage which should make it smooth out without wildly swinging it in the other direction.

I will have the current half-orc captain of the crusaders (whose name I have currently forgotten) send Alfie into a side adventure where he must track down the missing child.  Since I want to play around with a potential redeeming Zon-Kuthon meta-plot (that may involve a couple campaigns to complete with different solo characters), this child is a shapeshifted humanoid-friendly Chaotic Evil wyrmling Umber Dragon. 

In other words, just like a workable Chaotic Evil party member, it attacks its enemies with a sadistic glee and is willing (and eager!) to use nasty techniques but has an otherwise good goal of helping close the worldwound (because killing demons is fun!) and a single good guiding principle (hurting the right people is important).  It has a neck collar that allows it to change its shape into that of an elf of the same approximate age but which punishes it for doing the wrong thing by giving it a blast of guilt that dazes it.  This has been affixed by the Nidalese bard who had hired Alfie to take them to this city in the first place.

The child spent time among the crusaders but quickly grew bored (and hungry!) and has decided to roam the city looking for undead and her bardic master.

Once Alfie has found the child I'll lead him into Part 4 by stating that the people in the base are wary of him and are growing suspicious that he might be working against them.  One of these agitators is actually a demon that can feign being human and does so to rile up the masses and cause divisions.  He'll discover that later when he actually marches with them in the 2nd book.

The most important part of this write up, however, is that I need a name for this wyrmling dragon and Nidalese bardic master.  Any ideas?  The bard is a Lawful Neutral aasimar wishing to become good.

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