Well, what a great game. I think the payers really learned some valuable lessons.
They blitzed most of the game. Unlike when I played, they had a couple of archers, so the tribesman attack was no problem. And I kept rolling 2s and 3s on the mishap table. The Sczarni characters persuaded the rest that a 30 minute rest was in order, and took 20 on their search. Ding!
The incense was a bit trickier. They failed the diplomacy. Found some replacement herbs, but didn’t have the alchemy for it (they suggested they could get it done in town, but doing this just wasn’t part of the module). So the ranger snuck in (28 stealth), replaced the incense with the herbs he had collected. Job done.
They aced the customs barrier, even managing not to kill whatshisface. Drax finally got a change to use his intimidate, dangling the dude by his ankles over the dock. Ding for the Lantern Lodge.
The goblinoids managed to net 2 of them, but were pounded within 1 round – didn’t even get a chance to use Steal Fire. The Grand Lodge player botched the heal check, but second one was a success, so ding!
Had enough time to run the leech, which was similarly dispatched.
But then it all came unglued.
On the Sea of Eels, a galley came at them – flank speed. They all went down into the hold, with the notion that they would force the enemy through a bottleneck. They knew the Lingshen would not simply fire the ship, because they were after the braid.
So they huddled together at the bottom of the ships hold in a tight little bunch.
Xiao Wen flipped open the hatch and Color Sprayed ’em. Second level characters. Three out of five characters were down, including both the heavy hitters (the dwarves-in-plate). Then the monks came down and started beating the other two up. Xiao offered them a chance to surrender, which the Ninja accepted. The ranger fought on, hoping to keep things going, but the Ninja took no further action – roleplaying her alignment (lawful).
The samurai worked out after 3 rounds that he should have gotten a reroll, but no point retconning things that far. I gave him his reroll, and he made it – recovering fully from the color spray but prone. Then Xiao used Daze on the Samurai, and one of the monks threatened to coup-de-gras one of the other characters still down from the Color Spray.
(edit: the samurai resolve class feature clearly states that you must choose to use your resolve before making the save. It’s not a reroll. By the book, I should have ruled no. But meh. It all turned out ok, by which I mean ok for the lingshen.)
A truly brave effort – but it was over. The characters failed the mission. I ruled that they were briefly taken prisoner and then released. The braid, of course, taken by the victorious Lingshen.
And I think the players learned a couple of things. Last fortnight, they learned that spitting the party is bad. This week, they learned that bunching up in a tight little knot is bad.
The other very salient thing is that players must know what their characters can do. If the ranger had remembered his precise shot and the samurai his reroll a bit earlier, it might have gone down differently.
All in all, a good night.