Rise of the Runelords: Skinsaw Murders Update

Last night saw us resume our game of Rise of the Runelords (RotR) and me step back into the role of Coltyn the Summoner and Grellyk his Eidolon.  It was a great game last night and we were in a mood to get things moving so we covered a fair bit of ground over the night.  My daughter has a bad cold at the moment and as we play in a service station lube bay and it is winter here in the southern hemisphere and the room gets quite cold so my wife and I decided she could not attend last night.

Being that my daughter’s bard was out that left us with a Talon the fighter, Kaltar the inquisitor and Coltyn the summoner, inclusive of Grellyk: Coltyn’s Eidolon.  Last time we played (which was three weeks ago) we were facing the haunts of foxglove manor and we had basically cleared out the ground level of varying haunts and creatures and we were facing the decision on what to do next.  Did we take the stairs up to the next level and possibly an attic or downward to the basement?

The adventure path

So this is where we started last night and Coltyn (who is fast becoming a bit of a decision maker) in cooperation with Kaltar decided to go against the trope of all horror movies everywhere and we listened to the audience watching the movie and went down instead of up.  Heading down the stairs we came to a level and the stairs continued, so using Grell as our Irish mine detector we proceeded further down until we came to some mined out caverns.  Once there we hear some activity that goes silent as soon as we reveal a light source.  Knowing that there is something ahead we prepare.

The remainder of the game was a run through the caverns (largely separated from one another) using Grell as a “encounter springer”.  Grell had been powered up by Coltyn using the spells Unfetter, Lesser Evolution Surge to give him energy attacks (fire gives an extra d6 damage to every natural attack) and Haste.  The haste lasted six rounds so I was keen to get as much benefit out of it as possible so I charged through the caverns.  The caverns had three tunnels and for some reason Talon went down the northern tunnel after Coltyn and Grell headed in the most direct western tunnel and following Talon’s lead Kaltar decided to head down the southern cavern!  So we were separated for a bit.

Grell charged through a couple of ghoulish encounters and flew (as Grell has wings now) to a door on his fifth round of haste swinging it wide open.  In his sixth round Grell charged in the door and found himself (rather awkwardly) in the middle of what would normally be the final encounter in the module! We had joked about ignoring all the other encounters meant to get us to the appropriate level to deal with the end encounter.  We never really thought it would happen.

So, underpowered (by my daughter being out for the evening) and separated (by initially going down different tunnels) we faced the final encounter.  The enemy knew we were there and before Grell could make use of his final round of haste he failed a fortitude save and became paralysed.  Coltyn and Talon were around two rounds behind and Kaltar arrived around five to six rounds later (he was the focus of the evil protagonist for the adventure).

We won, in the end.  Grell is a bit of a tank now and he took a beating but Coltyn got close enough to keep Grell in the game with his wand of Lesser Eidolon Rejuvenation although there was also liberal use of hero points by all involved to stay in the game.  Talon arrived and fought well before becoming paralysed and just before Kaltar arrived Coltyn and Grell were paralysed.  It played out so we all got back up again only to have Talon and Kaltar knocked out but Grell finished the last combatant off.  I am deliberately vague about the enemies here because I don’t want to have to let any spoilers go.

I have included a graphic that I made up to illustrate probably what happened here.  I have listed those encounters we completed and the possible number (to my mind at least) of encounters we actually avoided to essentially get to the final encounter.  It was a bit of a laugh, after we survived that is.  But still, the game is not over.  We need to still purge the house of its evil.  We attempted to raze it last night but it fought back with some seriously powerful magics.  Not to mention that the three PC’s each failed a save against Ghoul Fever last night, and perhaps other things.  Grell also got some serious ability  damage (1 cha, 4 con) after he failed a fortitude save against some mould that he touched and started to grow on him.

Ground floor completed we headed straight for the lowest
layer, missing probably loads of encounters on the way!
I am assuming we were probably meant to be seventh level
by the time we reached the final encounter!

Once we have healed up, licked our wounds (and for Coltyn sold most of the treasure he picked up while the others were unconscious) and gotten our bard back on board and the diseases and moulds dealt with it seems that we should return and remove the haunts of the manor and solve the curse that seems to have descended on it.

I am really enjoying this Adventure Path and I can see why Paizo decided to rerelease it in the anniversary edition.  It is really good and the character development is coming along well.  I am becoming more and more surprised by how much I am enjoying playing my summoner and am now thinking about how Grell can transform in the future!  I hope you are all enjoying the updates from this adventure.  It is not going to be long (I am assuming) before the in person game heads back to the Skull and Shackles so I am trying to soak up the joys of being a player while I can!  Until next time, keep rolling!

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