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CC: Rogues Will Be Rogues

When you've been elected unwilling tank by the party . . .
There are no atheists strapped to the front of shields . . .

Welcome back to what is now becoming the Caravan of Carnage! The DM started us right off in a fight with a few bandits. We don't know how we came to be beset by bandits. We don't know what they thought they were doing. We just knew we had targets.

One bandit just happened to be wearing a Necklace of Fireballs . . . the fool. He then decided to assist us in his demise by casting fly and raining said fireballs down upon the group.

Neither Feorge nor Gred took this well, both lobbing AOE attacks into the fray. Strangely, the necklace made every save to fire damage. Not that that helped much; he lasted two rounds of their concentrated attack before falling to his death. Fireballs don't get a save for that! In one hit Gred managed to kill three of the four cultists. The last did not last long enough to run.

Then it was on to loot! But, strangely the necklace of very touchy landmines was the only thing of value between the three of them, putting the bandits strongly into the incredibly stupid, incredibly inept category. Really the whole fight took on a very 'assisted suicide' feel to it. Or suicide by adventuring party? Either way, it was almost like . . . the DM didn't want us getting any more money.

With much muttering about peasant wannabees, the caravan carried on. A little later they came alongside an elderly couple in a wagon. They (the elderly couple) explained that zombies had taken over their church (because where else would old people be?) and asked for assistance. While Feorge attempted to ascertain their sincerity (a somewhat iffy proposition considering his 0 ranks in Sense Motive) Velora and Hyalnik started haggling. It was a short time before anyone realized that Kor'el -he who hates all unnatural beings (aka: the racist)- was already off in the indicated direction. With an assortment of shrugs, sighs, and rolled eyes, the group made after their excitable tree-hugger.

The fight was fairly basic, barring the one zombie that grappled Velora, constricted her, and began to vomit gold into her face. Feorge was quick to remark that it was smart that she insisted on getting paid up front. No doubt she would have fired back a nasty retort if she could have.

The group finished the zombies off quite quickly, ignoring Feorge's suggestion that they see just how much money they could get out of a gold puking zombie.

{Player's Note: In reality, we had a rules question (not about milking gold out of zombies) that ended the session. When we started the next week we were assumed to have killed said zombies and leveled. Ahhh, but YAY! And, we were informed that all the alignment, cursy shenaniganry from the strange evil shrine had expired as well.}

Several days later the group happened along a hedge maze, its old man, and his shack. Sounds kind of like a southern version of this book really . . . Anyway, the old man said that for 100 gold he'd let anyone try to make it through the hedge maze. (Yep, that's right, they'd just come across the Golarion version of a tourist trap). Experience and loot were hinted at.

{Player's Note: Actually, the old man hadn't had a chance to speak yet when the DM was inundated with hedge jokes. You know, like 'you're bush seems overgrown', 'hey, do you know your bush needs trimming?' When he claimed he had an opportunity for them they asked if he was selling hedge funds. They asked if he was a hedge wizard. In fact, every use of hedge that could be thought of . . . was. He was told not to beat around the bush. Etc. etc. The DM actually got past frustrated and just waited for the party to wind down. Which took all the fun out of it really . . . }

Strangely, it wasn't the gnomes pushing to try it out, which really should have been a red flag flanked by sirens for the group. But, ignoring that particular warning sign, the rest of the group showed interest. Feorge eventually asked if there were rules to this maze. Here's what they learned:

1) Yes there were rules.

2) No flying, which pissed him off; he'd just gotten that spell.

3) No tunneling under the hedge.

4) The hedge doesn't like fire. The fact that it had preferences should have been an issue all by itself, if you ask me.

5) The hedge eats the monsters in it every day. Yes, you read that correctly

6) No Kool-Aid Manning through the hedge, but only because Hyalnik asked specifically. He was properly scolded.

And still they wanted to go in! The gnomes rolled their eyes and paid their fees, but not before Feorge failed a diplomacy attempt to lower the cost. I mean, yes, as the only two healers they could have just refused, forcing the group not to go. But, let's face it: they're still gnomes. Even with their trap sense a tingling, their curiosity was a force to be reckoned with.

Before entering Kor'el was sure to comment that he was going through the hole in the bush. Can't let the opportunity for a cheap joke go to waste right?

And, no more than they'd entered the maze than the bright idea to split the party was uttered. I don't remember who said it (Personally I think it was the hedge maze itself) but they were just wrong. Worse, they were listened to.

But first, Feorge suggested they create a human ladder, because nowhere in the rules was that outlawed, to see which way to go. The hedge tripped them and they quickly gave up on the attempt.

So back to the splitting of the party!!! Velora went to the left down the T intersection that had started the maze. She scouted around a couple of corners and backed off upon finding another of the Golden Shower Zombies (as they are now being called). Feorge followed. Then, it was the oddly observant zombie's turn. As its name suggests, it had seen the sneaky, sneaky rogue and followed her. She quickly found herself grappled again. Feorge healed her up and suggested that she get it to vomit more gold. He then felt a disturbance in the force. . .

Feorge also mentioned to the group that she was in trouble. Gred came over to help. Then, Kor'el chose to go the other way. He walked past a slime to be attacked by another zombie. Hyalnik followed Kor'el while Khadijah followed Velora. Gred quickly reversed course, bitching about people who listen to the advice of hungry hedge mazes.

Velora was then able to free herself of the zombie, at which point she scampered behind Feorge. Yep, that's right: she used the healer as a meat shield. (See image above) Feorge quickly found himself grappled and nearly one shot. If it hadn't been for the fact that he'd already had a healing Flaming Sphere out he would have been multiple versions of dead.

Fortunately, while the healer kept the zombie busy, the other two were able to kill it. Once freed, there were many words about cowardly rogues. Velora and Khadija tired of this and worked their way back to the rest of the party. Feorge followed at a more languid pace, bringing his pet flaming sphere (named Flamie, of course) with him.

Meanwhile the trio of Gred, Hyalnik, and Kor'el were able to kill their two adversaries, and find a chest. As they opened it everyone's belt gained at least a plus two enhancement to a physical stat. (Feorge got a plus four to con, mostly because the DM felt bad for the little guy.)

The group then followed the hedge around to another fight, and another chest. Again, the rogue decided to hide behind the healer! Again, he bitched about it. Fortunately, this time they had their tank to keep things occupied. This time the chest offered a +2 enhancement to any headbands worn.

To Be Continued . . .

#CC #CaravanOfChaos #CowardlyRogues

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