10 August 2017 @ 09:33 pm

The Rise of Kalrothmat – wait, no. The game opens with players encouraging Pan to give his character some personality.

Aliarra: I just imagine Pan standing there with a vacant expression on his face, and he only acts when one us nudges him. ‘Stormbolt! Oh wait, I can’t cast a Stormbolt. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhmmmmm….’

The DM recaps: they are up north, having penetrated into the undead-guarded descent and then brought into the mysterious elf’s hidden nook. No one finds this unsuspicious. The DM speaks with his mouth full, leading the transcriber to bemoan a transcription that is nothing but Ms and vowels.

Aliarra: “But first I’d like to ask, who are you?” We may have covered this last session, I don’t remember!
DM: She did mention her name was Keyvalarin Mistgrove.
Aliarra: Yes, but that doesn’t say WHO she is.
DM: She is a priest of Denerim.
Aliarra: Well, we knew that.
Cissy: Is there a place to sleep?
DM: There are places you can roll out your bedroll.
Cissy: Cissy’s sleep!

Keyvalarin relates that her party had been lost a long time ago, leaving her stuck there – the fog prevents all from leaving. Out of nowhere, a voice demands ‘bitch, get over here!’ and everyone is amused. Aiden is in a hurry to speak with Keyvalarin, so they cede the first watch to him.

Aiden: Finding out the old ways… I hear we used to DANCE to Denerim!
Aliarra: “Try to get information out of here so we can understand what she’s doing here…”
Aiden: Yes, I am going to do Gather Information to talk to her, get some more info about how long she’s been here, has she been guided by Denerim at all—
Aiden: Natural one, Aiden wakes us all up to slay the succubus.
DM: No he doesn’t! ‘Hold on, I gotta do a few things first.’
Aliarra: Natural 1, Aiden wakes us up to slay the incubus.

Aiden and Keyvalarin chat about Denerim during his watch, and then Aliarra takes the next watch and inquires about their surroundings, Moresh, and the mysterious music box, to no avail.

DM: “The only name I’ve heard has been Turgoth. Turgoth the Pure.”
Aliarra: I did seriously play the music box for her.
DM: And she said she never heard it.
Aliarra: Just checking. I wanted to make sure you weren’t referring to my stupid ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ joke.

Keyvalarin explains no one can escape till the fog lifts; the PCs, with a shrug, vow to make the fog lift by killing the boss.

Aliarra: My goal is definitely to present Faldoun with a little gift when he gets up here. Let’s see him by calm about that.
DM: What are you gonna get him, out of curiosity?
Aliarra: Everything in this castle rendered unto justice?
DM: Oh, okay.
Aliarra: When he comes out, I want the ice castle to be on fire. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but I want it nonetheless.
DM: All right, we’ll – we’ll see what we can do.
Mrrshala: It’s nice to want things.
Aliarra: Cissy, this is the reason I brought you. Burn the ice castle. Don’t melt it. Burn it.
Cissy: Firewall! Across the whole thing.
Aiden: Oh, that’s what we should play. Some point. I gotta remember the name though.

An expectant pause, which becomes somewhat less expectant as some time passes.

Cissy: Okay.
Aliarra: (bursting into laughter)
DM: Aliarra’s shift passes with insanity.

The mysterious sky voice of Celeste begs them to not put Mrrshala on watch. The night passes uneventfully, and they rise dramatically and with much fanfare.

Cissy: Cissy picks up a cup of frozen coffee. Casts the level one spell Burning Hands. Sssss--- aaaaahhh.
Aliarra: So who else did you hurt with that 15’ cone?
Cissy: Burning Hands, dude.
Aliarra: With a 15’ cone.
Pan: It’s not just your hands, it’s actually a cone attack.
Cissy: Well that shit happens.
Aiden: Look, if she’s holding the coffee cup like this -- (miming a grip) -- she hurt herself.

Extensive debates on how Cissy has harmed herself or others occur, as Keyvalarin wishes them luck. She also warns them the ice can be treacherous. Shockingly, they begin taking stock of their magic items, including scrolls and wands.

Aiden: A scroll of Phantom Steed?!
DM: Burn them. Burn them all.

They don’t. Aliarra has scale mail for some reason, and the group is baffled and suspects DM conspiracy for some reason. Aiden, meanwhile, has an obscene speed.

Aliarra: “The gods work in mysterious ways, but they’re on our side.”
Aiden: The gods are up there, this is what gods see. ‘Let me just move Aiden up real quick—‘ nyaaaaaar ‘That’s cheating, you can’t move that fast!’
DM: Remove his shoes!
Aiden: Okay.
DM: For the love of god…
Aliarra: A nerf bat descends and strikes Aiden.
Aiden: ‘Owww! Whyyyy!?’
DM: And his bracers.
Aiden: I barely used those!
Aliarra: And when you do, it’s pointless.
Aiden: Yeah, I could have moved over another step, but why not…
DM: I’m just surprised you haven’t used it to grope things.
Aliarra: We both have reach.
Aiden: It’s not like I can do that and not get attacked.

Aiden’s perverted healing methods come to light, and he promptly makes an escape by seizing a horse and lifting it to skate away. Deeper into the furrow they head, hearing the sound of rushing water ahead of them. Ahead of them, a field of ice stretches out, leading to a massive fountain that rises up to strike the bottom of a citadel in the air. The water is also cursed – or at least curiously- colored.

Aiden: Knowledge(geography)! Water does not normally do that!

The DM begins drawing out the ice in front of them. Somehow, bear knowledge is discussed, since every other knowledge is coming up. The joke, for those not in the know, is that Knowledge skills were incredibly useless in 4E – one could roll a DC 30 check to know that bears live in the woods, for example. Hanzo hurls spells from the Great Book of Gummi at the ice field, to surprisingly little effect. They move ahead carefully!

DM: You leap back as the ice beneath you crumbles, cracks, and falls apart.
Aiden: Oh, are there little yellers? …letters?
Aliarra: Yellers!
Aiden: We gotta spell Denerim’s real name… So there’s a hole now?
DM: Yes. Penis-shaped.
Hanzo: Aww, damn it. In Hebrew Jehovah’s spelled with an I!
Aliarra: In Hebrew, Denerim is spelled with a D! …wait.

They detect magic on the water and determine it is necromantically-magical! Cissy attempts to cast Disrupt Undead on the water and is mocked.

Cissy: Somebody swim across, tie a rope, and the rest of us will swim behind with the rope.

Everyone laughs at Cissy. Pan proposes a horizontal wall of force, which would indeed work, but the group is reluctant to expend the spell. Aliarra attempts to determine which ice can be walked on by smashing it with her glaive, and immediately discovers she can smash through all of it walkable or not.

Hanzo: Can’t you fly?! Why aren’t you flying?!
Aliarra: The REST of you can’t!
Hanzo: But you can scout!
Cissy: SO why do you keep breaking the damn water – ice?
Hanzo: To make sure none of the rest of us get XP for this encounter!

They spread out to look for the starting square of ice, and Aliarra stomps on some ice – leading to a debate over whether she can fly in time if she’s putting weight on the ice. Through laborious trial and error, they finally find some solid ice.

Aliarra: You know, to solve the question of whether or not I can fly in time, I’m ALSO going to be holding my immovable rod in one hand, and if the ice starts to give way I’m clicking it to hold on to.
DM: All right. Let’s bypass this then. Put you all at the ring.
Pan: Yaaaaay.

The DM shrugs philosophically, having failed to deprive them of spell slots from the encounter, while the group repositions themselves on the map.

Cissy: You wrote out such an intricate map.
DM: It took me like 5 minutes.
Cissy: And Aliarra ruined 5 minutes of your DMing life!
DM: Hanzo could have done it too. (ninja gesture) On the other side! Fortunately I had slimes attack.

Now they face the uprushing water! Aliarra pushes her shield into the water to break the flow and passes the Strength check to hold onto it.

Aiden: I love the idea of the water just – ‘Uh-oh. Uh-oh.’ He’s going up.
Aliarra: ‘I found it!’
DM: Until, slam, into the citadel! And it launches you into the air.
Aiden: Team Rocket style.
DM: Your unconscious form falls on the other side.
Aliarra: Into the river!

Aliarra pushes her shield to the ground, careful not to get Bombured. At last she manages to shove it down so that they can see through.

Aliarra: The ziggurat collapses. Our adventure is over.
DM: There we go. Evil wins.
Aliarra: No, we collapsed the ziggurat!
Aiden: That was the only thing stopping evil from ruling the world.

In the middle they see a large magical circle! Aiden fires off a charge from the Wand of Enlarge, increasing Aliarra’s size so that she breaks the water even better! At this point, Aliarra points out she has no Knowledge(Arcana) and they should maybe not listen to her ‘dispel the circle!’ plan without a roll.

Aliarra: We can try to let Cissy go in there and report back what she sees, if she has a better shot at the runes. And if something bad happens… no harm, no foul.
Aiden: We’re gonna attach this rope to ya…
Cissy: Don’t worry it’s supposed to be frayed.

They get Cissy over Aliarra, and she takes a look at the runes of the circle. It seems to be a teleportation circle, with divine and arcane magic mixed together!

Aliarra: “This might be our way up into the ziggurat.”
Pan: “That’s what I’m starting to think. Either that or it’s a trap.”

Aliarra tries to push her shield to the ground and promptly blows her checks, barely grabbing onto her shield before it goes off into the void. Her second one goes better, and she shoves the shield down and plants the immovable rod down. They debate whether or not the water can move the immovable rod for quite a while.

DM: (resignedly) Well, immovable rod… is OP.
Aliarra: Well it’s supposed to be an immovable rod, DM, not a reasonably movable rod.

The group scrambles through the opening, except for Cissy, who takes 3000 damage from green lightning. Aliarra goes to retrieve her shield and rod.

DM: I’m going to need some saves…
Aliarra: You’re going to fight me on this, DM? I did it! Accept it! I got through your wall of water!
DM: Your rod flings off into the distance…

Aiden studies the runes, finding them to be of divine nature, and Pan’s own 33 on Knowledge(arcana) is insufficient. Cissy claims she’s told no one it’s a teleportation circle.

Aliarra: I’ll toss a piece of chalk into the circle.
DM: (miming the chalk clattering to rest)

A long pause.

Aliarra: Boooooooo! Booooooooooo!
Hanzo: Spacebridges have panels that you must work. Your chalk is sent to Cybertron.
Cissy: Cissy’s going to sneak up behind Aliarra with a little dagger, and get her blood in the circle.
Aliarra: Yeah, good luck getting through my adamantine full plate, asshole. You couldn’t even damage me if you hit me.
Cissy: Cissy casts Disintegrate on Aliarra’s armor.

Cissy insists on bleeding in the circle. To one side, Mrrshala struggles with a cake; Aliarra takes over.

Mrrshala: Aliarra, it’s not a metal pan -- (stopping, as Aliarra demonstrates it is indeed) -- goddamnit.
Aliarra: You doubted me.
Mrrshala: Why you gotta be right?

Cissy starts rolling Sleight of Hand to secretly bleed in the circle for some bizarre reason; this works poorly. Spot checks are rolled.

Aiden: I feel like by now, we shouldn’t have to see her. We should just detect it. Like ‘oh’.
Cissy: But you know what, you guys are all doing what you’re doing, so—
Aliarra: Yeah, we’re staring at the circle, while you’re standing right next to it, in the middle of us!

Whipped cream disasters take precedence over roleplay for most of the group, but it must be admitted, the ones still paying attention to the game aren’t doing the hottest job either.

Hanzo: Ignir?! Where’s Ignir?!
DM: He ain’t here.
Aliarra: What do you mean he ain’t here?
DM: Wouldn’t you like to know?
Aliarra: Yes! Stop complaining just because Ignir vanished into Ignirspace.
Hanzo: Ignir… vanished into Ignirspace?
Aliarra: Yes, it’s where he goes when we don’t remember he’s here. Just the same way I’m pretty sure I have a pack donkey that’s been with us for several adventures.
DM: (laughing) That thing got left behind a LONG time ago.
Aliarra: It’s in donkeyspace! It’s right here!
Hanzo: It’s like where dedicated items go in White Wolf games.

Aliarra tries to stop Cissy; the group convinces her to pretend she’s killing herself to get Aliarra on board with her plan.

Aiden: “I won’t send anyone to my death.”
All: (laughing their asses off)
Aiden: (cheerfully rolling with it) “Don’t go to my death.”
DM: The intentions were good, but the words drag all over.
Aiden: I’m going to die on my own, in a cold dark room. My death is going to be like the ending of Doom, you just teleport to a room full of demons.
Cissy: Like the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Alone in a weird room.

On the count of three, the whole group jumps into the circle. Aliarra takes pains to ensure that everyone actually did, in fact jump; Cissy begs the rest of the group to make Aliarra go alone. The air fills with groans and screams, and their vision goes blank with pain, until it reforms with them on another platform. The discussion gets weird, because there’s dessert on the table.

Cissy: Aiden casts Wall of Chocolate!
Aliarra: ‘Did you ever hear the story of Dutch Chocolate the Wise? I didn’t think so. It’s not a story the Breyers would tell you.’
DM: You see a hole in the ceiling about 100 feet up. And some of you swear you saw light travel up.

The group immediately fixates on this hole as the best way to approach. Aliarra Iron Giants her way up, but the magic of her mask fails within 20 feet of the hole. Grumbling, Aliarra demands a grappling hook; Cissy, obsessed with the potion of levitation she possesses, insists she try it, and is ignored.

DM: Your grappling hook finds no purchase.
Aliarra: It’s a hole! How does it find no purchase!?
Aiden: It doesn’t.
DM: It finds no purchase. It simply slides off.
Mrrshala: I disbelieve the hole!
Aiden: The assholes of your compatriots disappear. You gain the ability ‘Mouth Shit’.

Aliarra immediate lapses into calculations and contemplations; Cissy demands she try the potion of levitation, still yet. It turns out there’s a path down they’ve been neglecting, but Aliarra ignores this in favor of hassling Hanzo and Mrrshala about their abilities to jump. They overrule her to go downstairs, leading Aliarra to destroy the group and leave. Out of character. Meanwhile, the DM moves to draw the encounter their stair-stomping has led them to! They find themselves looking over a wide gap at a pair of front giants, who stand in corners surrounded by ominous boulders! The pit is filled with an ominous sluice of gore and waste.

Cissy: Basic FPS guidelines. Hide behind the stalagmites. These are giant ice stalgmites—
Aliarra: ICE. Stalagmites.
Hanzo: These boulders will just – Round 1. (describing a path across the map from cover to cover) Round 2. Round 3.
Aliarra: This isn’t American Gladiators.
Hanzo: Yeah, they’re shooting nerf balls at us with their potato guns.
Cissy: They need to bring that show back, though.
Hanzo: They did.
DM: It failed.
Hanzo: Because the television has more than 8 stations now.

Audio is lost; we pick up on the beginning of the battle, as the scene is described for Pan and Titan music serves as our background. Pan gears up for a mighty wall of force, before the group stops him from sealing them all off. Mrrshala holds her action for lack of ranged opportunities, even as she goes behind some slagmites for cover. Aliarra and Cissy argue line of effect rules. Aliarra launches herself over the gap to interfere with a giant’s lobbing.

Aiden: Is he moving at all?
DM: No. He reaches out and grabs a boulder.
Aliarra: (miming arms extending) Vrrrrrrrp!
DM: With his long, gangly arms.
Aiden: He’s got a bead on you!
Cissy: I need 47 d6s.
Aliarra: I’m skeptical.
DM: The icicle slams into you for 27 damage, Mrrshala, and lands right next to you.
Mrrshala: Ohh!
Hanzo: Now throw it back
Mrrshala: I am!

Cissy casts True Strike for her familiar to carry for some reason, while the nearby giant attempts to grapple Aliarra. She wins the tie somehow, thanks to miraculous rolling. Pan tries to do something, anything, but is stymied by the gap himself. He fires out a lightning bolt instead, blasting one of the giants.

DM: Looks like he’s taking the full damage regardless…
Aliarra: Hee hee, brunt. He’s getting Brunted.
Hanzo: Leave Brunt alone.
Aliarra: Turned to jelly.
Cissy: Brunt, the nicest orc ever who kills everybody.
Hanzo: He’s drowning, forgotten, at the bottom of a lake.
Aliarra: It was a river.

Ehlorra attempts to manifest Telekinetic Thrust on a boulder; the DM reveals they weigh over 500 pounds each, somewhat diminishing this plan.

Aliarra: I really, uh… I really had a plan there, and that number destroyed it.
Aiden: I told you, it’s one more pound than you’re able to lift.
Aliarra: Actually, it’s 50 more pounds.
DM: Yay!
Cissy: So take the immovable rod, jam it into the dude’s foot, and turn it on.
Aliarra: What are you—
Aiden: That really won’t do much.
Aliarra: You’re full of ridiculous idiocy.
Cissy: And then you run away. And when he tries to chase you, you say ‘ha ha!’
Aiden: Then he’ll just pick up a boulder and throw it at you,

Ehlorra pops up an energy wall of fire to block off the one giant in the corner. Again, the audio craps out, but only for a second. Mrrshala leaps over the sludge gap. Cissy demands a floating disc as a midair platform. Aliarra, who is the only one who still remembers how to work the 3.5 rules, wails on a giant with maneuvers.

Aliarra: That is a 33 to hit. I assume that hits.
DM: Mmm. Yeah, I guess.

Pan discovers he can take multiple people with Dimension Door and is enthused, while Aliarra deals 43 damage and shuts off the giant’s AOOs, then lobs White Raven Tactics on Mrrshala, who dives in with Elder Mountain Hammer. A tablet bursts into Hamster Dance, to the befuddlement of everyone. And keeps going.

Hanzo: One of you had this up.
Aliarra: This raises all sorts of questions.
Hanzo: Whichever one of you it was was looking up the Power Attack Calculator.
Aliarra: Oh. Must have been me

Crippling laughter.

Aiden: The truth is out there!
Aliarra: It DOES raise all sorts of questions, like ‘what was I thinking?’

A giant beans Aliarra with a boulder for 27, while Hanzo is called on to make a Reflex saving throw. The boulder next to him explodes into icy, damaging shards! Aiden lobs out a Mass Aid--

DM: Mass AIDS.
Aliarra: Yes, yes.

The melee combatants beg Cissy not to lob a fireball, even as they bitterly predict she’ll go Chaotic on them. Hanzo struggles to accumulate bonuses to Jump.

Aiden: Don’t you get a plus 10? On top of whatever your other bonus is? Because of, like – ninja something?
DM: Because of ninja. I like it.
Hanzo: Because ninja.
DM: Ninja bitches!

Aiden murders Aliarra with whipped cream and is sent to jail, leaving the poor DM to pay all the rent. Hanzo rolls his Jump and bemoans his death.

Aiden: What did you roll?
Hanzo: I rolled a 4!
Aliarra: Did you catch the edge?
DM: I’ll give you a Dex save to catch the edge.

Cissy sends her bat to cast True Strike on Mrrshala, because Cissy gets easily obsessed with spells, then inches her full-plated way forward. Mrrshala bemoans her rolling.

Cissy: Natural 1.
Mrrshala: No.
Aliarra: Mrrshala’s dice don’t HAVE that number.
Mrrshala: Actually I got a 6.
Aliarra: That’s still a 41, isn’t it?!
Aiden: I’m surprised she got a six…

The giant attempts to overrun Mrrshala, who allows him to pass because the alternative is getting booted prone. The giant finally manages to pick up his boulders, while Pan takes Hanzo and Cissy across the gap with a Dimension Door.

Cissy: That is going to be a problem.
Aiden: Why?
Cissy: Because he’s about to smash us with a boulder to our faces.
Aiden: He would have done that regardless.
Cissy: On his next turn, he will.
Aliarra: Yeah, he would have done that regardless.
Aiden: He still would’ve throw it at you. Distance doesn’t make a difference, you’re still well within his range. If you were like 150 feet away maybe you would have taken a little less damage, but…
Pan: They’re good throwers.
Aiden: They’re Hulking Hurlers, the broken class of 3.5.
Aliarra: They’re not Hulking Hurlers, they’d be throwing like, elephants… or whales.
Hanzo: T-rexes.
Aiden: We see a giant with a bunch of elephants nearby. We walk back up the stairs.

Ehlorra hits the one giant with Time Hop, taking him out of existence for 11 rounds or till he makes a DC 15 Wisdom check on a turn. Aliarra tries to ask if she can boot the boulder into the pit with a move-equivalent action; they end up on a deep trek into the PHB for lift and drag numbers which all proves pointless, and she unloads an Elder Mountain Hammer of her own.

Aliarra: I activate Robilar’s Gambit.
DM: Ay, mon ami!
Aliarra: The fuck?!

No explanation is ever forthcoming.

Pan: What is AOLs again?
Mrrshala and Aliarra: Attacks of Opportunity.
Pan: Oh, AOOs, not AOLs.
DM: Americal Online!
Pan: Would you like 10,000 free hours?
DM: Would I!
Pan: Only valid for one month.
DM: Awww.

Mrrshala deploys an Insightful Strike for a lot of damage (60?); the DM and Aliarra squabble over attacks of opportunity and the five-foot step. The giant lobs a boulder at Mrrshala, and another boulder detonates and causes general harm to the others.

Aliarra: Wait, did the bat get wiped?
Aiden: The bat’s probably flying further up.
DM: Oh yeah, it probably needs to roll a Dex save.

It saves, though the rules for familiar saves take some looking up. Hanzo has to climb out of the pit!

Hanzo: Where did that giant go?
Aiden: He’s in another time and space.
Aliarra: Yeah. We time-hopped him.
Aiden: Aliarra, I’m surprised. You didn’t break into that intro.
Aliarra: Ha, I feel like I MAY overdo that every time that particular combination of words is used.

Hanzo spends a while trying to get into position. He promptly rolls a 20!

Aiden: That’s be hilarious if the spell messed up and you sent him to the past, and we just watch as one of us just disappears because they died early on.

Hanzo does indeed land his crit, while Cissy tries to find ridiculous loopholes in the Time Hop spell to gib the ogre. The giant takes 70 damage and is still up!

Aliarra: What is he, a dragon?!
Aliarra and Hanzo: Dragon! Dragon! Dragon!
Aiden: Hey don’t feel so bad, half the enemies I had to throw at you at the end of my game were pushing two, three hundred, and they STILL died in a round and a half.
DM: He looks the worse for wear.
Aiden: For a while I was just throwing zeroes at the end of monsters’ health!

Aiden molests Aliarra with a backscratcher, which is uncomfortable for many reasons. Cissy fires Magic Missile into the giant, slaying it. The other giant reappears at the end of its turn. Pan puts a really sad Storm Bolt into it and Ehlorra entangles it.

Aiden: What I should’ve done was, I should’ve thrown a seed over there, waited the approximate time for the tree to grow, and then I could do Tree Stride. Is it okay, DM? If I manage to get my movement to 88 feet per turn, can we see some serious shit?
DM: Yeah! It ain’t gonna happen in THIS game, fortunately.

Aliarra chains maneuvers to heal and move her allies, leading the DM to declare the campaign over and his next one to be severely limited. The group pounds on the giant, even Aiden, who has produced his acid burst mace for a skillful fumble.

DM: You serious?
Aiden: Yeah!
Aliarra: You CURSED him, DM!
Aiden: I got my 19 out of the way earlier, I wasn’t expecting much. Aiden doesn’t get to attack much, I didn’t let him.
Aliarra: Maybe it’s you and blunt weapons, Aiden.
Pan: What happened?
Cissy: Aiden doesn’t like blunts.

Aiden’s mace flies into the sludge pit. Naturally, they start debating how lost the mace is – it turns out to be very, very lost. Aiden is pretty blasé on this point, having totally given up. They slaughter the giant at last, and… get no loot, it sucks. They also don’t level. THAT’S THE GAME, FOLKS!