Dark Sun week 5: the evil in your soul
I got asked at the end of last session how close we were to leveling, and I don’t think my answer was entirely satisfying; the group got 800 xp at the end of session four, and by Doug’s calculations are a little over halfway to level 12. However they should get some bonus xp soon, when they’ve completed Jin-Yann and some extra quest XP. I think I’ll start using this space to keep track of how much xp the party is getting, and for what. Last night, they were awarded 1000 xp for fighting the evil in the hearts of men, and 1800 xp for arguing with Masormas, and 400 xp for resolving the evil-in-Watt situation, at least temporarily. That’s 3200 xp split four ways, or 800 total. Past sessions they’ve gotten 800 to 900 xp (Doug and I think Bert are keeping track of this) and there’s been three sessions besides last night’s (week 1 not really counting), so they are at about 3600 xp since the start of the game, I think. It takes 6000 xp to get from level 11 to level 12, so they need about 2400 xp more, which at their current rate is about three more sessions. It should only be two, though, because they’re about to visit Jin-Yann, which will count as a quest and they’ll get bonus xp enough to get them to 12.
Anyway, I get ahead of myself. Last session the party tracked down Masormas, who was talking to some of the villagers about how fearful he was for the safety of Watt, all things considered, and Vero and Carla had some fun bugging him, and they managed to get him out of the village without upsetting the other villagers too much (Masormas being a popular guy). They questioned Masormas as they headed out, and wore him down to the point where he confessed the whole thing with the Duke of Lust that I alluded to last week (though I decided at the last minute not to use a name for the evil devil-type entity, just to call it an it, sometimes he and sometimes she). The party, which I’m discovering is easily motivated by a desire to be heroic, turned around, headed to the field with Masormas in tow, and fought the monster along with a few cultists drugged up on blood-reagent.
Kyahasha used Visions of Avarice to keep the cultists in a small area, and used her psion abilities to keep them dazed, so they were basically out of the fight while everyone else pounded on the flying oozy monster.
1000 xp battle:
Vulgrela, "Duke of Lust"
HP 220, Bloodied 110
AC 24, Fort 24, Refl 22, Will 20
Resist 10 necrotic, 1 action point, initiative value 20
Speed fly 6
Aura 2: creatures in aura gain vulnerability to all damage.
[Burning Touch] +15 v AC, 3d6+8 acid
[Groundswell] usable on a charge, recharge 456; +13 vs. Reflex, push 2, knock prone, ongoing 10 acid (se); Effect: Vulgrela shifts 2.
[Fly-up] immediate reaction when hit; shift 1.
Drugged-up-on-psi-blood cultists (Vigot, Guntie, Neff, and Masormas himself)
HP 107 Bloodied 53
AC 24 Fort 22, Refl 24, Will 21
Speed 7; +5 damage if the cultist as moved 4 or more during its turn.
[Club] +15 vs. AC, 3d6+7
[Taunt] +15 vs. AC, 2d6+4, mark EONT and shift 2 on a hit, repeat as OA if marked target moves adjacent
[Blood-reagent telekinetic lash] ranged 3 and recharge 456; +15 vs. AC, d6+5 force and ongoing 10 psychic (se)
[Blood-reagent telekinetic boost] free action on a hit, recharge 56, deal +2d6 psychic damage
[Bloodied effect] when bloodied, take 5 ongoing damage (no save) but deal +5 damage with all attacks
As you can see, being dazed and immobilized spoiled those cultist’s day; I expect I’ll resuse portions of the statblock. Anyway, the party’s goal is to reach Kra-Hnur, so after their extended rest (first of the game) they set out from Watt again. Kra-Hnur is 5 days away, and the group has twelve members total (including NPC aides and their prisoner Sharpwit), but Trevia (assisted by an aide) can forage up some survival days along the way, so the group probably won’t spend anywhere near the full 70 survival days on the trip. The wasteland nomad’s ability to cut the number of survival days used in half would really go a long way, though.
The session ended with the group coming across pilgrims en route to Jin-Yann, though they don’t know that yet, they just know that there’s a caravan in a sandstorm that needs to be rescued from some crazy elves. The sandstorm is more of a threat than anything else, but we’ll see how it goes next time.
What went well: the party seems engaged, and they struggled briefly with the moral dilemma of trying to rescue the pilgrims knowing that a rising sandstorm makes it risky. Masormas’s backstory went over well enough. The team seems to be starting to come together in terms of figuring out how to work together.
What didn’t go so well: Vero is, as I said a while back, really into min/maxing and character optimization, and while she can’t really get in on Thom’s or Trevia’s schticks too much (as she can neither tank or heal) her damage output is about on par with Aya’s, though Aya is a striker. I don’t know that this is something Carla is much concerned about — I don’t think Aya is very optimized, and I’m pretty sure Carla didn’t scan through the magic items section and work out a budget that gave her +1 to hit and +5 to damage in untyped bonuses the way Vero did for Kyahasha — but it’s something that I want to keep an eye on because it might become an issue down the line.
We’ve also totally lost Eunice, as near as I can tell, to an exciting job opportunity of some kind.
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