Skullport Tales: Actual Play 15

Continuing from last session, the party finished their camping trip in the woods away from the village, and with spells recovered and wounds healed head back to figure out what’s going on. Knowing that there were invisible creatures lurking about, Cody the alchemist whipped up potions of see invisibility for the party. As the moved into the village they saw two shadows, which were actually undead monsters. Dagordroth managed to control one. Cody weaponized  cure light wounds into a bomb and took out the other, then did the same to the one Dagordroth controlled.

The villagers appeared, invisible to the normal eye because they’re phase shifted. They explain that the apprentice to the wizard Revan had turned to the dark side, worshipping Lolth and becoming convinced that drow magic was the one true way. Hence the phase spiders. He had been killed, and as a last act cursed the village and pulled them into another plane with him. He’s now some sort of ghostly creature. He wants the pearl, which is actually a pearl of wishing, in order to wish himself back into corporeal form.

The party decides to foil the villain’s plan by using up the last wish to undo the curse that has the villagers trapped. That leaves them with figuring out how to handle the villain. He returns to the village every day looking for the pearl — it was he, invisible, summoning the phase spiders the party fought the day before. The party got their butt kicked by the phase spiders, and aren’t prepared to battle an intangible foe.

This is where things get weird, on a number of levels.

Cody (my player character) figures it would be easier to fight him in a corporeal form, but they only have one wish and saving the villagers is obviously the priority. If only there were some way to resurrect him, but the nearest high-level cleric is days away. It was, I think, Carkorellia that reminded him of the magic murder bag, the magical alchemy bag that allows him to pull out the ingredients to make any potion or alchemical process he knows to exist. He did, after all, make a neutralize poison potion to save her from the phase spider venom. Is it possible for Cody to come up with an alchemical way to resurrect the villain from the dead, turning him from an undead shadow into a flesh-and-blood elf that we could more easily stomp?

Gamemaster Cinamon ruled yes, so long as we could find his something of his remains. After a long search, we found some of his bones. The magic murder bag allows any spell to be made into an alchemical process once per day, with a 10% spell failure chance for each level the spell is above the formula level the alchemist can normally create. Cody can create 2nd level potions; resurrection is a 7th level spell, so there was a 50/50 chance it would work. He build a big Hammer Horror Frankenstein contraption with a tank to hold a body, placing the bones in bubbling, steaming chemicals. I rolled the percentile, with lower being success and high being failure, and came up with a36. Success!

The villain, sucked back to life and confused, found the party waiting with weapons ready. He cast expeditious retreat and tried to run away, but Crowbar has boots of speed and kept up with him. Dagordroth used a wand of cold to put an ice dome around the villain and detained him.

The party then pondered what to do with him. He’s evil. but killing a naked, unarmed wizard seemed flat-out wrong. Crowbar and Cody figured it was the villagers’ problem, they should deal with him as they see fit. Carkorelia figures the villagers will just execute him, which seems wrong, but he’s too powerful to just let him go.

The villagers decide to imprison him, figuring if they keep him away from spellbooks and components he should be easy to contain. They ask the party to stick around long enough for them to build a jail for him. The party agrees. Since we’re now at the point to level up, a week or two in the village is a perfect opportunity for them to study, reflect, and train in order to do that.

Notes
Cody is my character, and I think he’s too powerful and that the magic murder bag is more or a minor artifact than a simple magic item. I suggested to the group that maybe I should accidentally lose the bag in the woods or something, and they were against it; it’s powerful, but it’s an advantage.I’m going to talk to the other gamemasters about limiting its use to once per week rather than once per day.

I’ve previously written about Cody being too powerful, and solving that by multi-classing him. My thought was wizard, to give him some support-role spells to aid the party. GM Cinamon suggested rogue, since he had disable device and sleight of hand as alchemist class skills and is already acting party thief. A couple of levels of rogue will give him skill points and some combat advantage, without granting him any new powers. This works for me, since I’m playing him as a knowledge seeker. With his intelligence bonus, rogue will give him 14 skill points per level. It totally fits. After a couple of levels of rogue, I’ll probably switch to wizard to try to round out his abilities. If it weren’t for the alignment restrictions, I might even consider the loremaster prestige class down the line.

This is one of the interesting things about being in a shared-world campaign where I am alternately a player and a gamemaster. It makes me look at my own character from a GM’s point of view, and consider how I’d feel as a gamemaster if this character belonged to another player.

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One thought on “Skullport Tales: Actual Play 15

  1. Pingback: Skullport Tales: Actual Play 16 « Berin Kinsman, writer

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