Posted on October 21, 2013
Castaway Diary, Day 21 cont.
This week we had two lengthy-ish combats, some exploration, some physical skill hijinks and some treasure. I was on a mission to drink myself into the weekend, but after everyone left I decided to download Halo 3, which is free on the XBox360 for a few weeks. That turned out to be a terrible idea because I sobered up enough to remember that I don’t really like Halo games and so I went to bed tired and thirsty rather than obliviously. Oh well, there’s always next week.
I actually thought this 5-pc team interacted well in combat. Everyone found a role that was working in support of the other members, no-one bit off more than they could chew or became isolated. It wasn’t a resounding success, it was just a noticeably unified effort which I think will stand them in good stead in the future. When that’s the ONLY way to play, D&D gets really boring; but I think there are sufficient random elements – Nobody, Uun being two – that each combat will result in slightly different approaches. Percy is a powerhouse against Undead, Victor against various other evil things, while Orny’s Slumber hex is amazing against regular joes. Fights against these foes are going to vary the approach quite a bit.
On the islands off the main island this week: Victor, Percy, Orny, Nobody, Malicia.
Since Noe and Ben were gone for a while, on a real dangerous isle populated by savage inhabitants, I’ll do a little extra paperwork to get them caught up and also mention what happened after they left. This list is not prioritized and certainly not exhaustive. Let me know if I’ve forgotten one that you want edited in…
As Yet Unresolved Issues:
I know the feel Chief.
Okay, so those are some unresolved issues, let’s get caught up on what is actually going on. Surrounded by angry plant midgets, the party had been surprised on the near grey island as they made their way to find out the source of the unusual blight that is encroaching on Aycenia’s territory. There, you’re all caught up.
The Vegepymies weren’t interested in parley – in fact they made no sounds whatsoever, just the sounds of their little cabbage arms rustling as they stuck spears in guys. They had a surprise round that went pretty well for them, their ambush initially looking quite dangerous.
- Ishiro’s Treasure: Has been buried at a convenient accessible location, known roughly to all the party but specifically (because they buried it) to Ishiro, Floki, Victor and Malicia. The coins/treasure have not yet been divvied up. Ishiro’s sense of accomplishment brings grim pride to the spirits of his ancestors. He is a great deal more friendly to the party and hints at “future opportunities”. He is also vigilantly guarding the existence of the treasure from the rest of the castaways so that he gets a better cut.
- Gelik: Gelik has turned into a team player, but his efforts are always accompanied by his acidic (and occasionally cruel) humour, most often at Ishiro’s expense. however he has a new target in Pezock, although the Tengu doesn’t appear to notice. He is still waiting for someone to retrieve information about a Pathfinder ship called the Night Voice which apparently wrecked on the Shiv. He plans to use the information to buy his way back into the Pathfinder Society’s good graces.
- Sasha: Is very badly bored. She desperately wants one of those flying lizard dinosaur looking things to keep as a pet, but doesn’t have time to go looking because she is the castaway’s main food supplier. Also, apparently maybe has something to do with a society of legendary assassins.
- Aerys: Is able to help a little around camp, but is suffering badly from alcohol withdrawal. She still need Viper Berries.
- Missing Block and Tackle: It’s still technically missing, although it is assumed that Pezock took it.
- Pezock: While everyone else was off their face on drugs, Pezock has been whispering to Malicia whenever he gets a chance. He has advised her to let the jungle be her armour and her weapon and to use these against those that stand against her. He likes the rest of the party, he just doesn’t honestly fancy their chances against the Cannibal tribe; but if Malicia can learn to use the jungle, he thinks she is in with a shot at surviving.
- Aycenia: The Dryad has charged them with ridding the islands of a plant blight that threatens to overwhelm the native flora. Reward for this is some kind of help, as yet unspecified.
- The other Castaways: Ileana and Captain Kovacs apparently survived the shipwreck and were last seen heading south.
- The “Lighthouse”: Somewhere on the south coast, it lies a) within the shadow of the Red Mountain (as per Aycenia) and b) in cannibal territory (as per Pezock). The builders evidently succumbed to a type of madness that has something to do with an old evil underneath the island (Aycenia again).
- Beasts: There is a Dinosaur and a big flying blood drinker out there that have both tangled with Floki and lived to tell the tale. I’m just sayin’…
- Getting off the island: Um…
- Camp sustainability: I’ll have to check with Rolland, but you had a lot of dried supplies two weeks ago. Now… not so much. While Pezock’s site seems more secure, the Castaways have had to start from scratch building clean and durable.
Percy, by way of having been encircled by allies, had some space to himself and used it to put a Bull’s Strength on Victor. Victor, realising that the little green buggers were unlikely to get through his armour started tanking for the party, moving around and soaking up attacks of opportunity. The AoO were a threat from the ‘pygmies since their longspears let them hit a little further than everyone was used to. A few people, noticeably Orny had a hard time getting away from the spears, but this was made easier once Victor started tanking.
Orny was at a disadvantage since his Slumber Hex wouldn’t work on these brainless plant men. He was almost taken down by a few early hits – JIM having been unlucky every time he has rolled for Orny’s Hit Dice – but was kept up and moved away from the more dangerous areas. He summoned a celestial… something. A celestial grazing creature of some sort. It didn’t stick around for long but it did serve as a good distraction.
Malicia had little luck with her dagger – piercing damage appearing to do little against the Vegepygmies. She switched to a slashing weapon with limited success but did a bit better when she moved to flank. Malicia was probably most at a disadvantage in the set-up of this combat, since she’s the one that most needs to be on the other side of the ambush.
Nobody… man, that Gunslinger stuff is just not coming together for Sean. I don’t think it is Sean’s fault and the weapon isn’t the problem – it isn’t as though his isolation on the island is depriving him from all the great guns 3rd level characters should be getting – it’s just his rolling. Every time he draws that gun he flubs the roll. Since that’s the main trick of the Gunslinger, shooting people, that’s kind of all he has. His feats don’t currently back-up a melee ranged-fighter either. He had a hard time landing shots and then had to reload if he was going to try to be useful. I’m going to pore over that character sheet and class and see what the hell is going wrong, because at the moment, Nobody is stuck in the same dice-dependent failure-rut that Corwin was headed down. Look what happened there…
DID YOU GET YOUR FIVE DAILY SERVINGS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLE? No? LET ME PUT THEM IN YOU.
The six vegepygmies were unable to withstand the many small hits they received from most of the party or the many enormous hits Victor was dishing out. In the end, the party was left catching their breath amidst the revolting grey fungus fields as the sun crept across the early evening sky. They pressed on, making their way down to the second causeway, which ended up being every bit as dangerous as the previous causeway. Orny and …Percy? I think… ended up taking another surf bath, this time narrowly avoiding being shredded to pieces by the sharp basalt fragments that lined the causeway’s edge. On the larger of the two grey islands, they trekked through the fungal growths and found some high ground to examine the area. There wasn’t much to the island itself, it appeared to be entirely covered in the fungal forest and this obscured all terrain features that may have hidden beneath the mushy ground that all this gross stuff grew on.
Never Forget Corwin. Corwyn? One of those…
However, just off the island there were two notable features. To the west lay a ship, ghostly grey against the crashing surf and wedged on the rocks. Its masts supported sails and rigging, albeit tattered and sagging, and it was connected to the cliffhead of the mainland by numerous ropy plant vines, creating a bridge to the ship. To the east, the same kind of ropy grey vines stretched from the eastern cliffs to a spire of rock distinct from the island. The party decided to head for the western shore and the spooky ship.
Victor was forever taking his armour on and off, for the climb/acrobatics checks that everyone needed to take to get across these vine bridges. To be fair there were a few hairy moments. I’ve kind of forgotten what those were… I dimly recall Orny almost plummeting into the seriously boneshredding surf/rock combo below, but saving himself at the last second. And I also dimly recall that Nobody just scampered across, as fast as his little half-devil hooves could carry him. Do Tielflings have hooves? I think they usually have horns and at least a small tail, but I’m not sure about the hooves. (Quick review of Paizo art says no, Tielfings don’t have hooves. Still, the size of the horns seems mutable, so maybe some do. It’d be a bugger buying magic boots…)
Everyone arrived on the ship, findng it covered in that blue-grey fuzz that you find on rotting strawberries. The “rigging” and “sails” were really just more vines and sheets of moist fungal growths dripping from the remains of the masts and yards. They were barely any time at all standing on the soft wooden deck before a patch of fungus was disturbed as five more vegepygmies spilled out, including one who was quite a bit bigger than the others. By now the party had their combat roles down pretty well and since they were not surprised, the spellcasters were able to get some preparatory spells in Mage Armour for Orny and Shield of Faith for Percy. This was an exciting development for Orny who has, ’til now, mostly been spamming Guidance and Slumber Hex.
Buffed like that, there was no stopping the party as they julienned the vegepygmies until none were left standing. When the fight was done, Nobody went searching for the name of the ship and found that the light vessel had been named the Night Voice. Descending into the dank and overly-mouldy cargo hold of the ship, they found a grisly scene: 19 skeletal remains, lay belly up amongst the moss and lichen, with many valuable objects ringing them. A quick Knowledge (Religion) check suggested that this had been done as a kind of ancestor worship. Still, this party isn’t one to let hokey religions and vegesuperstitions to dissuade them from plundering, so they scooped all that stuff up. They found a nice set of Bracers of Armour, +1 and a Wand of Magic Missile. I don’t remember who got those, but it may have been Orny on both counts, since the Bracers don’t stack with other armour bonuses.
Searching the Captain’s cabin, they also found an extremely mould-ridden book. It will take a while to figure out what it says, but it does seem to be the Captain’s log, in which case it should tell the party a lot about the Night Voice.
The party left the wreck and crept back across the vine bridge to the silent island, heading for the spire of rock on the other shore.
But if I had hooves, I wouldn’t be able to wear these fabulous boots! Free prostate exam with every boot to the balls!