GM Breakdown, episode 37-38
Golems, man. I spoke about the lethality of extreme level encounters at lower levels a while ago here, but the lethality of golems falls into their own subcategory. Let's get into it.
Episode 37 - Splintering the Group
Every rpg players nightmare, the TPK. Or TTPK, the Technical Total Party Kill, in this case. Teh'Rull and Yshkol didn't die, but chose to retire from adventuring after their horrible first year at the Magaambya, that resulted in two of their close friends deaths. There are a lot of things that could've been done differently in this fight. Rikdahn could have used true strike with produce flame instead of punching or Yshkol could have brought back the actual damage dealer instead of the useless cleric (which, to be fair, Yshkol did not know at the time), but Wully takes home the prize of not checking your inventory thoroughly enough.
For all the raving I did about how awesome the Crown of the Companion was and how broken the activation was, the first time I'm out of heals and should use it I forget I fucking have it! Every time I relisten to this episode I hate myself for casting forbidding ward. I think about how, as a dwarf, Wully has a naturally low charisma, resulting in only 3 domain heals per day. I had six regular spell slots at this point, three 1st-level and three 2nd-level, with five unused as the life left our bodies. Why was I so insistent on preparing a lot of different spells that were situational at best, instead of just beefing out my healing capabilities. I even said it, I cast my last heal spell for the day in the second encounter! That is no way to go adventuring.
And then the enemy is a golem. Golems are awesome and can be a fun challenge for a party, but not at this level. A resistance 5 to physical damage and immunity to most magic is hard for any party to handle, throw in that it is two levels above the party and we are still low leveled on top of this and the situation was bleak from the beginning.
And that massive attack ability could have been just bad, but coupled with Dylan having the best rolling streak of his life made it absolutely horrific.
Episode 38 - Full Circle
And then we get to the fun stuff. Both as in funeral, but also as in bringing in spanking new characters. I got really emotional for the funeral, and as we mentioned, it's not just a year in our character's lives, they've been in our lives as players for almost a year at this point. And then Dylan and Greg knock it out of the park with eulogies and limericks, man oh man, all aboard the feels train! Anyone who isn't playing this game is a fool!
And then enters Mila, Ironbark, Saralar and Assela. I am of the firm belief that the second character is always the better one, since you now know more about the campaign you're in, you're more experienced with the system in general, you can make something that fits really well into the story, or you can go the way we did and get weird with it. We have gotten the seriousness out of our system, so why not go with a cosmic orb of consciousness living in a tree or a traveler from far away that fell from the sky and has no concept of the material plane at all? And a runelord? There's no way this party isn't going to be super effective against anything Dylan throws at us, especially with Jeremy bringing in Mila Steelsky, certified badass, to round us out.
I am nothing if not excited to see what this new party can get up to and hopefully you are too!