Page 5-27

Page 5-27
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27th Dec 2018, 5:49 PM in Chapter 5
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Author Notes:

Rocktopus 27th Dec 2018, 5:49 PM edit delete
Rocktopus
Roll Init
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Comments:

Commander Dulton 27th Dec 2018, 6:14 PM edit delete reply
Of *course* it's not just a monstrous centipede... Well she's a cleric so this shouldn't be *too* difficult. Good on the dwarf recognizing the greater threat and taking it upon himself.
Rocktopus 27th Dec 2018, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
Why would you think it'd be that easy? :)
Lurker 27th Dec 2018, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
Whoa, wait! The skeletons started animating when the centipede hissed. Does that mean it is intelligent enough (and has enough control over undead magic) to *command* the undead?! That's ... not a good sign. Aren't whiptail centipedes supposed to be non-intelligent, instinct-driven feeders?

Does this have something to do with the ubiquitous mushroom infestation that's spread to almost everything on this floor? Please don't tell me this whole encounter is orchestrated by a particular ... fun guy ... :-D :-D
Rocktopus 27th Dec 2018, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
Maybe it's not the centipede that's controlling it? ;)
Lurker 28th Dec 2018, 7:19 PM edit delete reply
Makes sense. It's that shadowy character peering through the various scrying devices placed throughout the dungeon, pulling the strings behind the scenes to prod the adventurers on.

I wonder what nefarious goals he has in mind... Why does he want adventurers to come to Marblegate? Why not just kill 'em all outright? Why offer them treasure? His monster minions need to be fed? Does he extract some kind of energy from the adventurers' presence and/or deaths? Or he's just doing it for fun? What's his history with Randulf? 'cos it was implied there was some history there. Of course, the answers to these questions are probably all spoiler-y, so I guess we'll just have to wait to find out. :-D
Sturzkampf 27th Dec 2018, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
Sturzkampf
Ms Colleen's expressions in those last two panels says it all.
Rocktopus 27th Dec 2018, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
O_O
someone 27th Dec 2018, 11:29 PM edit delete reply
It's time Colleen learned that as a cleric, she can turn undead.

And I don't mean turn *into* an undead, that joke was already done by Order of the Stick.
Rocktopus 27th Dec 2018, 11:36 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
What if those aren't undead? :)
Edmund 28th Dec 2018, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
You can actually really mess with your players by using monsters that LOOK like undead but are other things. When I first saw a picture of a flesh golem, I thought it couldn't have been anything but undead. But no, it's a construct (with lightning absorption to boot). Undead specific spells like turn undead or divine smite not working as intended could potentially shake a player's spirit.
Lurker 28th Dec 2018, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
I'd chalk that up to the category of monsters that are designed just to screw with the players. Meat golems, that is. Rust monster being another one.

As far as this level of Marblegate is concerned, we've already met a gas spore, arguably the monster most obviously designed to screw with the players, and now this. Wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with fungi... Perhaps there's a mother fungus or fungus brain somewhere past the large dark tunnel, orchestrating all of this with its mind-control spores? That running fungal theme throughout this entire level seems to be obviously pointing to some kind of commonality. I'll be very surprised if by the end of this run we don't get at least a partial answer as to what all this fungi is about.
crowbar 29th Dec 2018, 3:22 AM edit delete reply
crowbar
You can also use monsters that appear to be low-level undead but are actually far more powerful. This is especially fun to use against higher-level PCs -- they think they're up against some puny skeletons and get all cocky, but they're actually fighting death knights, skeleton warriors, liches, etc.
someone 29th Dec 2018, 12:32 PM edit delete reply
They're animated skeletons. They have no muscle tissue or alternate mechanism for generating movement. So magical animation is the only possible explanation. Now it could be that they're animated by telekinetic fungi but then they wouldn't necessarily keep their skeleton shape; they could just be a bunch of flying bones hurling themselves at the characters and it would probably actually be simpler for the telekinetic fungi.
padanew 28th Dec 2018, 12:58 AM edit delete reply
padanew
Good leaders take on the hardest actions and delegate the less dangerous tasks to those people who can handle those tasks.
Rocktopus 28th Dec 2018, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
Obviously not his first time doing it!
Lurker 28th Dec 2018, 7:29 PM edit delete reply
Judging from the implied history Randulf has with Marblegate, particularly that shadowy character peering through the scrying devices throughout the dungeon, I'd venture to guess that Randulf might be pretty high up there in terms of experience. He might even have encountered the Big Bad before. At the very least, he has caused enough of a ruckus to be noticed by the higher-ups in Marblegate, so obviously he has extensive experience in doing this.
Guest 28th Dec 2018, 8:36 AM edit delete reply
Time to go to work, Colleen. Buckler up, mace firmly grasped... now beat those bones back into the ground.
Rocktopus 28th Dec 2018, 7:38 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
Let's hope she's still motivated enough to get it done
John190 28th Dec 2018, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
I guess Turn Undead isnt an option. Like the one from DnD arcade game.
Rocktopus 28th Dec 2018, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
In this world, Turn Undead or Channel Energy isn't something clerics have by default. Magic and powers in this world aren't as strong or as numerous as they are in a regular d&d/video game, for the sake of story-telling.

I like taking inspiration from D&D and Pathfinder, but I don't want to tie down my writing or this world to the exact rules of an RPG; (every fantasy RPG that people play is a little bit different, anyways)

Also, those "skeletons" are not necessarily undead ;)
Lurker 28th Dec 2018, 7:57 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, the rules of an RPG are pretty weird if you think about them as a self-consistent world. There are many elements that, even though they are presented in the guise of world-building and whatnot, are pretty obviously targeted toward serving the game mechanic, rather than a world that's internally consistent with itself.

Furthermore, from a story-telling standpoint, a self-consistent world is not necessarily a goal unto itself either; it has to be subordinate to the plot and serve the plot, otherwise it becomes a distraction to the story. You can really draw readers in if you *hint* at an underlying self-consistent world, but it doesn't have to be an *actual* self-consistent world.

Certain things do not translate well across mediums, and where it matters, should be compromised or rewritten in order to serve the goal better, whether it's to make a more engaging game, or to be able to write a better story. That's why in modern story-driven RPGs you often see a (sometimes funny/frustrating) discrepancy between what the PC can do in-game, vs. what he actually does in cutscenes, where the goal is story-telling rather than gameplay.
Rocktopus 28th Dec 2018, 8:24 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
@Lurker
Exactly this!
Worstcase 28th Dec 2018, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
Just one more room he said...
Lurker 28th Dec 2018, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
It's not his fault that "one more room" turned out to be a boss encounter room. :-D
Rocktopus 28th Dec 2018, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
It coulda been an empty room for all they know!
Lurker 28th Dec 2018, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
Ah, but since when has Marblegate had "only an empty room"? Even when it does, it's designed just to screw with you, so that you're unprepared for the next room.
Rocktopus 28th Dec 2018, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
True
Grim 2nd Jan 2019, 12:15 AM edit delete reply
When your tank and dps are the same guy it's time to start worrying...
Rocktopus 2nd Jan 2019, 3:48 AM edit delete reply
Rocktopus
When your cleric is your highest Perception score it's long past the point of worrying
Thracecius 2nd Jan 2019, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
"This couldn't possibly get any worse!"...said no one ever that didn't want to tempt Fate. :D