Old Skool Gamers SoW Campaign

Why all the Rush...?

Session 41 Damakos's PoV

“Are you alright?” Jalissa looks at me with deep concern and asks.

“No, I’m not.” I respond with a hateful look that was unintentional but I find myself struggling with the emotions of the latest attempt on my life.

The Soul devourer – that is what it’s called I’m told – ate my essence, touched me where none are entitled to go, and it disturbs me greatly. And the voices that I heard… My own inner reserves trying to motivate me, or were they external? They certainly referred to me as something… outside… “I have use for you”, and “I’m not done with you compose yourself”. I want to scream at them, that I am no one’s puppet, but I cannot deny that I am still breathing from being able to draw upon that inner reserve to extract myself from that … thing… and then to find out that it is a servant/protector for this Iounian temple… a cruel joke, that my Jalissa is a designated seeker for that order… cruel indeed.

Inside the room is dimly lit but I can clearly make out three large alcoves situated to display tokens of honor… HOW THE HELL DID I GET HERE AND WHY IS THS DOOR OPEN? !

I ask myself, as I withdraw my hand from the door handle, and step a few feet inside. More puppeteering… fire burns in my chest – fueling me – giving me power – making me careless…

I sample the magics of the area, what I felt earlier was over here. Now that is odd… Instinctively I throw my right arm out and grab a tunic… How I realized Sheldon was there I do not know but yet I have him…

“Careful. There are primordial magics at work there, there and there”, pointing. “It’s difficult to discern their entire purpose and function. Looks like that is extra-planar, but also a place of replenishment, like perhaps these alcoves could be manipulated to rejuvenate the weary, possibly heal, but I do not find the proper auras for that… definitely something that interacts with peoples personal vitality… perhaps magically infusing them…. But like I said it’s difficult to read, be careful what you touch and how…”

Sheldon looked at me with the ‘of course I’ll be careful smile’ and moved forward with a much slower and thoughtful posture… looking for any traps, triggers, or things that go ‘click’. As he did so he moved towards the first alcove as the rest of the party entered behind. I must say that it disturbs me greatly that I just found myself here… although I am trying mightily to maintain my normal calm demeanor, I’ve just been ‘moved here’ like a chess piece for some purpose – my companions following my lead as well… something is definitely NOT right here. I examine the magics more closely with the assistance of the Little Master. Hmmm, perhaps we can use these rejuvenative magics to re-energize the weave to shift the monastery back to the prime?

I hear Sheldon quickly move back from his position, quietly whispering , “I didn’t trigger anything”.

As I come back into reality from examining the primordial, a planar gateway of some kind opens in the center of the middle alcove. Before we can react, a giant ice covered behemoth blinks into existence,

followed by three smaller ice-covered dog sized spirits, and a wizard.

Before I realized what was happening I had moved forward and let my lightning lure fly, pulling the behemoth to me and to the side, I dropped my hex upon him as well.

The wizard said something to the effect of, “Grab the seed and lets be gone”, then stepped back and cast a spell that looked very similar to the fire protections spells I’ve seen in the past… these are ice creatures though, and I am using lightning… why the protection from fire? Gil moved past me in a blur, moving with remarkable speed for a man his size, straight to the wizard where he hauled off and pasted him with his great sword, causing an impressive look of surprise and considerable open wound in the wizards front torso.

The ice spirits whizzed past me to the rear, as Co’Bok rushed forward to assist me with the icy behemoth. Swinging his axe with what looks like reckless abandon, but is in reality a carefully crafted maneuver to generate every possible bit of force the barbarian can muster. As I take in that sight another of even greater interest grabs me. Through the portal I can see the sight of a creature of myth… A beholder coming through… this isn’t good. I engage my dual lightning strike to lay a hefty slash into the behemoth and ride the flash to behind the behemoth providing Co’Bok with better leverage against it as it tries to handle both of us form opposite sides, but perhaps more importantly I am in position to greet the beholder as it materializes, depositing my blade deeply into it as it arrives into this plane. Accompanying the beholder is several more icy spirits and an ice hawk of some kind that flies over me to

harass Yamis Jalissa, little master and Sheldon towards the rear, then another behemoth, and another, the twin brothers of the one Co’Bok and I are fighting. This can’t be good. I summon my will and expand my hex…

“By my will you shall all fall!”, I exclaim casting forth my hex, quickly followed by my flame cyclone. My flame burst forth engulfing the ensemble. A icy spirit tried to slip past me and I ended it with a quick clash of my blade, the Beholder gauged the scene and cast its gaze upon Co’Bok sending some sort of ray at him, triggering my hex. I teleported next to it still near the behemoth and swung my blade true. The blade changed course during its flight to find the seam between two scaley plates. The behemoth moved to trample Co’Bok, twirling about like a small child trying to step upon ants, but left itself open to me. I anticipated its dance and when it returned from knocking down Co’Bok my blade met him again I felt the guidance other than my own on the blade seeking a crack in its icy armor finding a molten interior, causing superheated steam to escape the hole I created… most odd., I then dropped my longsword and drew the greatsword of wounding that Gil had given me, a while ago. I summoned the will of the gods to deal a purifying wound upon the great eye before me, but the blade is a clunky thing (I need more practice with it) and I barely scratched the floating orb. The Beholder sensed my intention to end it and cast its gaze upon me. Its eyes focusing, it large eyes pupil contracted to a fixed gaze. On of the smaller eye stalks emitted some sort of ray and I was lifted to the air and deposited in the center of the first alcove. The second behemoth started its way towards me with rending me to bits no doubt on the agenda. The little master cast his flaming sphere, hoping to further damage the ice creatures, but no sooner had it been cast than the mage Gil was fight cast some sort of spell that exploded in a huge area, casting shards of ice the size of small boulders all over, and extinguished the flaming sphere altogether, and made the entire area treacherous to maneuver through. At some point Yamis, Jalissa, Sheldon and McShane had activated the alcove. As I noticed this the Beholder had not finished with me. Its gaze affixed on me again and sent a ray to me that sapped the strength from my body and soul, as one of its other eye stalks also fired a beam at me of pure ice, freezing me to the spot. Jalissa called out something about the eyes all having different powers, and the center eye being the main controller. She flung a bolt of light at one of the icy spirits and with her other hand made a gesture in my direction. The flesh and spirit weakening gaze of the beholder was diminished although I was still firmly stuck to the ground.

At that point the doors at the far end of the hall opened followed by two quick arrows hitting the mage at the far end of the room. Now that I had a moment I could see that Gil had been surrounded by icy spirits the mage and now had a behemoth of his own to tend with. The arrows belonged to Sylen Leafrunner of the free riders… I heard Co’Bok Yell, “You’re late! Welcome to the party!” in their direction. I then saw Ghena step forward and cast as spell that burst forth a roiling cloud of noxious looking vapor in the center of the room, near the beholder… breaking its gaze upon me. The little master not to be outdone cast his own spell of grasping shadows, enveloping the 2nd behemoth coming towards me, and a couple of the icy spirits. The small spirits were no match for the shadow tentacles and exploded immediately. From inside the cloud I could hear the very peculiar sound of a coughing beholder and a couple of ice behemoths.

So nice of the Free riders to show up.

At that moment I felt my hex activate again – the first behemoth has attacked Co’Bok again. I teleported to its side and again felt an unseen force guiding my swing – true to the same hole I had already created. My blade sank deeply into it, and I felt a lurching inside the beast as I hit something critical to its continued life. It froze in place and began whining like a steam whistle through the opening I had made… Yamis pasted the icy hawk with his mace and I then felt myself teleported near the entrance to the room next to the icy bird, the hit from Yamis made it particularly open as my blade found crystalline feathers little resistance as I neatly split it into two. Still stuck to the ground form the icy gaze of the beholder I found myself unable to move, despite having jumped all over the room in short order. I called my longsword back to my hand and tried to use my knowledge of arcane to close the portal bringing more enemies to us.

Then I saw the beholder emerge from the cloud, its gaze affixed upon the tea kettle ringing next to it, and lifted it as it had me moments before and deposited the steam screaming behemoth next to me.

Uh-OH!...

Comments

5-star post Mr Frank! Great job in blending the story with all the action. There has certainly been enough to last a lifetime.

This battle is the epic of epics so far in this campaign. It is long, due to the fact of a lot of creatures, and new waves arriving, as well the joining of the Freeriders.

Sheldon’s gut about ‘needing help’ has proven true. This battle is designed for 2 parties to fight together (as you are finding out), and would be a losing cause without.

Last night, I had and still have a toothache. Need to get to a dentist. With the fan in my ear all night, it was harder to hear everything going on at the table. Furthering that, I did gaffe on which mini the Beholder moved. It was closing in on 10pm, and simply grabbed the wrong mini. I do believe you all realize that IS what the beholder wanted to do, especially being next to the ‘ticking time bomb’, and am glad you allowed me to correct this mistake.

Moving forward, we should discuss how we want to handle errors. There is many times where I have forgotten a power (usually aura’s) and alot of times you guys to.

We either hard-line it, and say once it’s forgotten, no going back, once next combatant starts his turn. OR Take-backs are allowed w/in reason and w/in a small enough time frame, by the end of the next combatants turn.

OOC-The remaining wounded spirits you fought earlier, infused the power circles, powering them up for use in this battle. They also sense something else (in the story) and this is what they did to help you.

I do like Sheldon’s rant though. lol

Why all the Rush...?
 

In making a decision about ‘forgotten’ actions, consideration is given that 4e D&D is by far the most complex of combat systems out there. There is a lot to remember and keep track of. Truth be told, I am glad to have found the DM Battle Screen that I use during combat.

There is just SO much going on. Triggers, immediate reactions, immediate interrupts, auras, boons/buffs, etc…

I think a change would be good for the game and help to maximize the use of each PC.

I am proposing that if you forget something, it can be added ‘anytime’ before your next turn. This would have to be small stuff like damage or marking, etc, but doesn’t change the course of time. No pieces get moved, etc…

Why all the Rush...?
 

Yeah I realized that the spirits actvated the circle – Damakois doesn’t know. I also left out all the stuff with arcana checks to close the portal and a few other things.

The ticking time bomb… for me the issue is that the beholder moved next to it on purpose – he could have gone the other way to get out of the stinking cloud… towards the caster of it for example… then you intereacted with the map several times. moving creatures about – even intereacting directly with the bomb. Then later (when its just about to go off) decide whoops move te wrong one…and place teh bomb next to me, Yamis, and within a couple of squares of Jalissa and MCShane – basically 1/2 the party. this is after the original move made pretty good sense in moving another extremly dangerous opponent into the same spot… usually forgotten moves account for some minor effect (ongoing 5 ot auto damamge from an aura) or somebody forgot to use a minor action to do something (happens to me ALL the time – Including 10 points i shold have done to the beholder with infernal wrath when he hit me… that I forgot… this time the time shift was dramatic, and the consequenses are liklely to be far greater than 5 points of damage to 1 character. I understand the complexities of running large combats – been there done that – it gets easy to forget stuff, but this was a bit far IMO… 1/2 the comabtabts (or more) in the fight had gone after that, some specifically trying to utilize the bombs placement – pushing the other ice-fire dude into the cloud was good – but ALSO next to the bomb was fantastic… that was nullified etc. etc.

I think that I’m fine with your proposed rule. Small things that do not tactically change the position of pieces is fine… but I don’t think I’d go with until your next turn… its too variable – in a combat like this that is a LONG time. I’d say before the next combatants turn is finished would be a decent cut off.

Why all the Rush...?
 

So as GM ho wdo yo ulke the little tid-bits I keep placing in thepost about being guided by the “puppet masters”? basically all my crits, and some of his action shave been attributed to “other forces”. whether they are the gods – or simply damakos sliding into insanity remains to be seen ;)

Why all the Rush...?
 

The beholder purposefully moved the ‘ticking time bomb’ to between everyone. That was the idea, especially with it knowing it was gonna explode.

Now, if someone has taken their turn, after the mini-switch, and didn’t move because they thought it was a live creature (shifting, tactics, whatever), I will allow a move (if that action is still left) or allow a move to replace another action (can’t see how a move action would have been used another way).

When Murray moved McShane, I was thinking ‘good, exactly what I would do to get away from the bomb’. In this case, if McShane didn’t move far enough away and had movement left, I’ll let him move further.

As for the new proposal, I’m fine w/ by the end of the next combatants turn.

Your little quirks and writings about the puppet masters isn’t going unnoticed. The story will continue to weave itself, and may coincidentally make Dammy believe more & more about certain things. The lead in to the next adventure should be good.

It’ll address Jh’Dek’s concern about his homeland. Dammy may come across more knowledge about his heritage. Sheldon may be dealing w/ some family issues. As for Cobok, Yamis, & McShane, your backgrounds are not forgotten. Each will be tied into the story in 1-way or another…

Why all the Rush...?
 

Just for notice… the rule you are creating now would have disallowed the mini swap you made last sessiom… several character AND NPCs went in between… Just sayin’ so you realize.

Why all the Rush...?
 

I most certainly do realize. I had a toothache and with the amount that was going on, I lost track.

I will just have to be doubly sure of everything, moving forward.

The only other gaffe like this one was the fight in the Nexus (ironically, another epic battle…) doh

Why all the Rush...?
Jedi_Dade

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