Pathfinder 3 – In the Quasit’s lair

Erylium - Quasit Queen - smallSorry for the delay in posting. This week hasn’t been nearly as busy as last week, but an old friend of mine got into a disagreement with a bridge, and its good friend “the ice on the river” backed it up. She’s in the hospital, but is stable and doing well, thanks very much to passerby who stopped to help, especially to a firefighter friend of ours who happened to be there (they don’t know each other). Her sense of humour is still there, too. We all feel very lucky. Though I doubt she’ll ever read this blog, Lisa, we’re happy to have you here, and we’re all pulling for a full recovery.

But we did have a game this weekend. We were two players down, and will be for some time, for various reasons, but we played nonetheless.

This means our party is now down to three members:

  • Nox, Changeling Swordsage who still has pink hair.
  • Reza, Dwarven Cleric of Desna who is still getting used to this cleric thing, but is loving the Desna thing.
  • and Nonnie, Halfling Psychopath… I mean Sorcerer. As you will see in the course of this writeup, Nonnie is definitely a method actor.

In any case, we started right where we left off, with the party about to head back down into the Glassworks’ basement and check out the smuggler’s tunnel that Tsuto’s notes had mentioned.

So down they go, into the depths, in search of things more frightening than goblins.

Now, the primary enemy in this area was the Sinspawn. For threat level, these weren’t actually too bad. They got in some good hits occasionally, but for the most part were only there to weaken the party.

And holy crap, are these things ugly.

In fact, every monster down here has a severe case of the uglies. From the gangly sinspawn, with 2 joined jaws and hands growing from their chins, to the ugly flying head that is a vargouille, to a mutated, four-armed goblin with two feet growing from its head and an eye in its stomach, and finally the corrupted, scaly, itty bitty demon queen.

First up, however, was a sinspawn. Quick battle, nothing hugely interesting.

Moving into the complex (and wondering “…why did that tunnel just turn into a worked building?”), the party turned north, bypassed the first hall, and moved into a room with a large red stone statue holding a metal and ivory ranseur. After thoroughly checking it for traps, they removed the masterwork ranseur, and went on their way, intending to sell it when they returned topside.

Heading east, the group encountered, and slaughtered, a screaming flying head, and found some caved-in stairs upwards.

At this point, they had the options of moving north through a door, or through the southern hall they had bypassed previously. They chose the southern hall, and wound up at an evil-looking altar with filthy water on top of it.

After restraining the halfling from drinking the water (called the Waters of Lamashtu [Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, that is], thanks to a Knowledge: Religion check), they continues through into a rocket ship.

Or at least a rocket-ship-shaped cathedral. While I was drawing the room, Nonnie was in the washroom, and Reza was starting dinner (we rotate cooks each week). Nox comments on the room’s rocket-ship-ness. Nonnie comes back a few minutes late and says “…why is there a rocket ship?” And Reza returns acouple minutes after that with a similar comment.

So yeah, I get it, the room is a rocket ship. :P

But in this rocket-ship cathedral (sounds like a Scientology room, doesn’t it?) there is a Quasit named Erylium flying around. She shouts at them a bit, and slashes her palm to drop blood into a glowing orange well at the end of the rocket. Out pops a sinspawn, and the well dims, which seems to worry her.

So the players roll initiative, and get ready for… a really really long battle.

To make the reason clear, a Quasit will normally have an AC of 19. Really high, for a CR 2 creature, but it’s a quick little bugger so it’s to be expected.

This corrupted quasit has excessively scaly skin, bumping its AC to 22.

We have a cleric and a swordsage (3/4 BAB) and a sorcerer (1/2 BAB). The best fighter at the moment is the Swordsage, with a BAB of +5 with her scimitar. Which means she needs a 17 to hit, and everyone else needs better than that.

In any case, the quasit starts off flying around 15 feet up, so Nox whips out her new ranseur (reach weapons hooray!) and charges up with it, actually hitting and for some decent damage.

Erylium sees that this is going to be a problem, and promptly casts Shatter on it. Boom, no more pretty, expensive ranseur to sell topside.

This was unfortunate, but it allowed me to use the spell without destroying Nox’s primary weapon at least.

So, the battle continues, some monsters are summoned (giving me the chance to try out some new creatures from the newer monster books), and little is getting done to Erylium, thanks to her high AC and fast healing. Eventually all the other monsters are taken care of, the cleric is nearly out of spells, and they are lazily following Erylium around the room. Follow, slash, follow, slash. Nonnie is wandering around, as he can’t do much in melee, occasionally firing off rays of frost. And everyone’s getting a little bored.

Until Nonnie decides to head back up to the runewell. He stands over it, and cuts his hand, letting blood drip into the well.

Up pops a Sinspawn, which Nonnie orders to attack the quasit. It stares at him for a second, and then focuses on the quasit.

Now, I should mention at this point that Sinspawn have an ability called Scent Wrath. They can sniff out extraordinarily wrathful people. And when they are summoned, they tend to avoid the wrathful people in favour of the less wrathful. During this whole adventure, Nonnie has not been attacked by a Sinspawn. There is a reason for that. :D

In any case, the runewell dims again, and Erylium is furious. She charges straight to Nonnie, and focuses herself on him. Come the Sinspawn’s turn, however, he seemingly obeys the command of his wrathful summoner, and starts beating on the quasit.

So the rest fo the party joins Nonnie, and they all begin to wail on the quasit. Angry as she is, Erylium goes feral against the sinspawn. But things are still moving slowly.

That is, until Nonnie decides it would be a good idea to drink from the runewell.

To answer the questions you’re sure to be having: Yes. Seriously. I don’t know.

And our dear halfling sorcerer goes into a rage, and attacks the closest living thing. This was, luckily, Erylium. He actually ends up doing most of the damage that eventually kills her, but it still doesn’t seem to be enough.

So after the quasit has paralysed the sinspawn with Dex damage, and is about to turn her attention to the party, the idea is reached to grab her. (Tiny flying things have notoriously low grapple checks.) So Nox reaches up, pluckes her out of the sky, and shoves her into the runewell.

So! Very! Cool!

Both Erylium and Nox take damage, as Nox holds her under the frigid boiling waters. Still not dead, though, so Reza stabs at her below the waters with her morningstar, killing her.

Danger over, right? Wrong.

Nonnie is still enraged, and attacking the closest living creature. We randomly determine that the first target is the paralysed sinspawn, thus giving the party a bit of a headstart, but that doesn’t take very long.

But halflings move slowly. So for the next 5 minutes of game time, we end up with Nonnie chasing the others around in a murderous rage, yet never getting close enough, Benny Hill style.

After this, everyone was pretty drained, so we looted and rested before continuing. The quasit’s +1 returning dagger was a nice replacement for the masterwork ranseur that was lost.

Before leaving the room, Nonnie decided to try summoning up another sinspawn to keep as a pet. At this point they discovered that the sinspawn weren’t quite so obedient as they had hoped, and they took care of it with relative ease. This last summoning, however, was enough to drain what little power was left in the runewell, eliminating its threat to the town above. Yay! More XP!

Moving on, they explored the northern area, killing two sinspawn before stumbling upon a room with three cells, each containing a mutated skeleton.

Next up was a room full of covered, moaning pits with a mutant, acid-breathing, goblin in it. The party caught on right away not to step in a pit, so they killed the goblin before exploring them.

Each pit had a single zombie inside, 20 feet down. So they put the new returning dagger to good use, and dispatched them all with ease.

And finally, after another collapsed stairwell, they came to a spherical glowing room with things floating in it, and runes that formed and dissipated on the walls, crackling like electricity. Thinking they should use caution with this room, of course, Nonnie jumped right in.

The permanent levitation effect inside the room (hence the floating items) was fun to play around with, and the walls weren’t dangerous, so they gathered up the items and headed back up.

What the players liked:

  • Level 3 now!
  • I believe they will try to use more non-attack actions, such as grappling, disarming and tripping, now that they have seen how effective it can be if the normal methods of attacking aren’t working well.
  • Parts of their environment that can be used for different effects, such as the runewell. Now to convince them that using cover is a good thing as well.
  • Zombies in pits! In other words, terrain hazards that go beyond the normal “there are rocks in this square”.
  • Levitation room was fun. Situations where both careful planning and sudden action are viable allow for more options for play with different playstyles.

What the players didn’t like:

  • The quasit battle was excessively long.
  • By the end of the quasit battle, Reza had used every one of her spells. Not only that, she had used every one of them for healing, and only for healing. Man, I can’t wait for 4e.

Lessons learned:

  • Now that we are down to three players, examine combat stats well. Especially for AC, since none of the PCs are in full BAB classes. If need be, alter the numbers to make the battle less tedious.
  • Sinspawn are ugly, but not particularly challenging. This stems from the greater issue of having multiple, low bonus attacks, none of which seem to hit. I should try to take creatures like that and reduce the number of attacks, while increasing the attack bonus. Instead of +2/+2 claw/+0 bite, the Sinspawn could have been +3 claw/+1 bite or even just +4 for a single 1d6+1 attack, representing both the claw damage and the Wrathful Bite ability. It’s an abstraction, but it’s a useful one.

Edit: the video I had used wasn’t working, so I changed it. This one is possibly even funnier, though not as cute. The original one can be found here.

8 Comments

The Chatty DM  on February 9th, 2008

Ahhh I love Insane Halfings… it’s an archetype that’s close to my own heart.

Good conclusion on the Quasit fight…. High ACs are a bitch to deal with I totally agree.

At least the length of time it took to play the scene allowed your Method Actor to get his Psychodrama out of his system!

I’m so looking forward to play that part next weekend!

Good writeup my man!

Dave T. Game  on February 10th, 2008

That video was awesome :)

When my players ran through, they too were stymied by the Quasit. They ended up fighting it three times and not succeeding, swearing to return after they gained some levels. The combination of high AC, DR, and flying made it tough. Sounds like your group had a better time with it.

Graham  on February 10th, 2008

Only once they got inventive :P

And don’t forget Fast Healing!

Musings of the Chatty DM » Adventure Prep: The Newbie group, an encore  on February 15th, 2008

[…] In terms of game preparation, I don’t have a lot to plan for.  I’m taking the adventure straight (with minor fixes based on what I’ve read of it). […]

Musings of the Chatty DM » DM Chronicles: The legend of the Broken Dice, Session 2, Part 2  on February 20th, 2008

[…] as others who’ve DMed this adventure already wrote in their blog or on our forum, that little queen was a hell of a boss.  With a potential AC of 24, flight, […]

Storyteller  on August 7th, 2008

Yes, this reminds me plenty of the game. I’ve had NPC’s try to shatter that stupid ranseur about three times now, but the saves keep being made. The barbarian figures it’s his lucky weapon and refuses to switch to any of the magic weapons they’ve found.

And of course now they grapple every single opponent.

Graham  on August 9th, 2008

Heh.

My group still fears the 3.X grapple rules, fortunately.

Epinephrine  on July 21st, 2009

Why would the quasit ever be in range to be grappled (or, indeed, attacked?)

When we played this the quasit simply stayed back and threw the returning dagger at us repeatedly, from the air, invisibly. Only reason we prevailed was our binder managing to get the little bugger with “Shield Self”, and then turning to my dwarven crusader and saying, “hit me.”

We then pummeled the binder while healing him; half the damage goes to the quasit, who isn’t benefitting from a healer’s attention. Took a while. Quasit eventually tried to flee, but this meant it had to go to a door, and we were in front of each door – forcing it to try to use its sting. Pain in the butt.

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