Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dark Before Dawn Session Summary: Destiny's Scythe

The session began innocently enough with everyone invited to attend Yzador's festivities.  There were five Flowers of Demeter available (actually cup cakes) and some bottles of whiskey and wine (actually iced tea and cordial) that could only be truly enjoyed by those who ate one of the flowers.  Since Yzador was only charging a trivial boon for them, it didn't take too long for all of the flowers to be sold.

Most of the upper echelons were in the back room for much of the session, barring the prince whose player couldn't attend and so the character was away on other business.  Yzador spent much of the time as a charming host who had some strange quirks that were unusual for those who knew him.  He also had the chance to introduce everyone to the Crone neonate, Contrary Mary, who had been rescued from the Undercity within the past week during the downtime phase between sessions.

Contrary Mary (a Non Player Character) got to impress everyone with her huge great sword that was too heavy for a regular person to even carry and which certainly drew the attention of the supremely strong elder, Michael Novichkov, who was one of the very few who could swing it.

Professor Jasmine Hadley declared that her childe, Talitha Salvatore, was now the Lesser Harpy and that people could register their boons with her.  The current harpy, Amity Fine, was aware of this development and though she didn't attend the gathering her approval had been sought.

The gathering was plagued by strange spiritual activity which included a bizarre knee-high fog, doors that wouldn't open unless asked nicely, and strange illusions written on mirrors and other reflective surfaces.  Finally Yzador quietly sang that "Alas he cannot stay" and then dove into the tall mirror that had been brought into the event for the purpose.  (Well, the player made the motion and described his action in front of the tall mirror - glass hurts.)

This left the neonates on their own so in typical neonate fashion, they decide to break into the museum to get their hands on some cold iron meteorites as Siobhan O'Baoill was currently obsessed with gathering information and tools against the fae.  Their attempts were interrupted as Jonathon Williams went and told on them and they were chased down by Seamus O'Baoill (well, he hurried up to them as they stumbled drunkenly down the street).

It turns out there were plans in the wings to finally take out the Delphin Island demon.  Everyone was brought together, armed up, and headed over to Delphin Island.

Unfortunately I have no picture of the battle map so you'll
need to make do with a picture of the Pathfinder Pawns from Paizo.

Now since large group combats can be an exercise in prolonged agony and hours of waiting, I've developed a few tricks to speed things up.  I had already pre-rolled Initiative for everyone and so I had them sit in a circle of chairs around a coffee table in Initiative order so that they had a visual reference for when they would be called upon.  I placed a map with some miniatures (from the Inner Sea Pathfinder Pawn collection) on the coffee table.  This was to ensure that everyone had some idea of where they were to cut down on the descriptions and re-descriptions, especially since I knew I would be terrible at remembering where 9 PCs, two dogs and 11 NPCs were standing.

I used a Stone Golem of Deskari from the Worldwound Bestiary Box to represent the demon from the pond which only came up after five rounds of fighting the vampire larvae (near mindless mob of recently made and weaker vampires).  There were three players who didn't have combatant characters so I gave two of them five of the larvae apiece to control and the third got to run Contrary Mary.  He even wore her mask.  I kept control of the Big Demon as I'd been surprised by the sudden assault and didn't have a write up explaining all of the creature's powers to hand.

Some key moments in the combat included:
  • Seamus' two zombie dogs dropping bag loads of salt into the dark ponds to kick things off.
  • The ten zombies standing up in the ponds (ponds represented by plates).
  • Everyone tensely holding their actions so that the two snipers could aim for five rounds.
  • Novichkov staking a larvae with a thrown stake.
  • The larvae mobs tearing the two zombie dogs apart.
  • FatherMother being slammed by a larvae mob to the ground - then Earth Melding away.
  • Yzador being slammed by a larvae mob to the ground - who ignored his Nightmare.
  • FatherMother joining the pile on the ground to help Yzador by smashing larvae into the dirt.
  • While Talitha picked them off the both of them using a rifle.
  • Contrary Mary being slammed by a larvae mob to the ground - who ripped her arm off.
  • The demon rising from the depths of the pond with a giant scythe.
  • Siobhan failing a save and thinking the demon is actually a possessed Monroe (human boss).
  • Siobhan begging everyone not to hurt him and then trying to stumble in the way.
  • Professor Jasmine Hadley being uncertain of her claims and so shoots the larvae.
  • Jonathon Williams using Celerity to tear across the field to the demon.
  • Jonathon Williams using Parkour to run up the demon to reach its head.
  • Jonathon Williams slamming a holy water balloon down its gob.
  • Jonathon Williams being knocked to the ground and then implanted with a parasite.
  • Jonathon Williams arising as a controlled vampire, pops the equivalent of Greater Darkness.
  • Contrary Mary frenzying and feeding on two larvae.
  • Yzador running out of blood and feeding on a downed larvae.
  • Yzador slaying that downed larvae to remove the blood bond.
  • Talitha Salvatore growing wings and flying above the field.
  • Talitha Salvatore getting ten successes plus four damage on a shot that kills the demon.
It was a pretty good combat and while it did take a couple hours, we got through almost twenty rounds and no one seemed bored.  For a mass combat, that's pretty amazing.  For a LARP combat, that's pretty spectacular.

NOTE: Neither the other players nor characters knew of this, but the Yzador they saw for the first part of this session was actually his Mirror Reflection Rodazy that was a sentient and malicious spirit ever since his post-mortem Embrace (see Shadow Mekhet in the Mekhet Clanbook for more information).  Yzador had made a deal with his own reflection to allow him his own party so long as he assisted with spying on the other supernatural creatures in the city.

No comments:

Post a Comment