Monday, 7 November 2011

Carrion Crown: the End of the Splatterman

Knock, knock!
The first story arc of the Carrion Crown campaign finished on Friday, leaving the party at 4th level. It was a most enjoyable session, with four players round the table. We knew we were in for a tough battle, as we were facing the Splatterman, the last of the five ghosts that haunted the ruins of Harrowstone prison. Of the five, the Splatterman was the only one that had demonstrated an ability to possess people in the village of Ravengro, and cause them to vandalise a local monument. Hence, we were already pretty sure he would provide us with the sternest test of our party to date.

Third level left us feeling a bit more powerful, however, although having played a Barbarian in the last campaign (Kingmaker), I'm finding my Cleric, Veneticus, a little underpowered by comparison. With only 22 hit points at 3rd level, he was still a little weak for my liking, particularly against foes that could cast Magic Missile at an automatic -20hps damage rating!

This game session felt more like a 4e session than any previous chapter of this campaign to date. It boiled down to a confrontation against the last of the 'bosses'. Critical to our success was going to be choice of spells, but also choice of feat at 3rd level was going to be important. I went with Extra Channelling to take Veneticus' daily channels to seven, which I felt was a good move given the predominantly undead opposition we have faced to date in Carrion Crown.

We had a pretty good idea where we were going to find the Splatterman, and so it proved. He was in a semi-flooded cellblock in the dungeon under Harrowstone. He tried to lure Sir Erudil into knocking down some walls on which he was scrawling the Paladin's name, and he almost succeeded in bringing the cieling down on top of the holy knight as a consequence. The ghost then manifested, targeting Veneticus with a variety of particularly lethal spells (having been Ben's 'go to' target in the previous campaign as well, this felt like familiar territory).

Veneticus ended up having to use his actions to either cast healing spells on himself, to keep himself alive, or to cast Hide Fron Undead to conceal himself from the Splatterman. He couldn't really contribute more meaningfully to the battle. Meanwhile, Sir Erudil and the Ranger Brevan tried to engage the ghost, which kept melting into the walls of the cellblock, or using them to avoid attacks of opportunity while he fired off more spells at me!

Luckily we also had the Necromancer Nicodemus on hand....

"Have at ye, spawn of darkness!"

Not only did he set fire to the Splatterman's spellbook, which seemed to reduce the range of spells he had access to, but he also revived Veneticus at a critical juncture when he dropped to -5hps. Veneticus was eventually able to crawl over the floor of the cellblock to hide, from where he could cast channelling in safety, healing the other characters and eventually destroying the Splatterman (he can do 2d6 damage to undead now). Such was the nature of this duel, some of the other spells in Veneticus' arsenal simply had to be switched out for healing spells or were too risky to cast - a successful save by the Splatterman was too much of a risk when he could retaliate against PCs with less than 10 hit points.

With the Splatterman destroyed, Brevan found a well, at the bottom of which were the Splatterman's human remains. While the half elf was diving for gold, a grey ooze invaded the complex through a hole we'd discovered in one of the cells, and smothered Nicodemus! Luckily, Sir Erudil was on hand to kill it while Veneticus kept Nicodemus alive with channelling (remember that feat he took?)

Nicodemus was in for a bit of a shock!
Here endeth the lesson really. Another haunt was encountered in the torture chamber which has possessed an iron maiden, and was able to lure Brevan into its maw before it was destroyed. Brevan survived, but will probably have nightmares for a month! We also recovered the warden's badge of office, which was returned to the ghost of his wife, giving her power over the other lesser haunts. In the end, Sir Erudil gave orders that the prison be demolished, brick by brick, just in case. Hopefully that will suffice, and also thwart the nefarious schemes of the Whispering Way.

Thus ended the campaign arc. The party is obliged to remain in Ravengro until the end of the month, before taking Professor Lorrimor's trunk of nasty literature to the university at Leppedstadt. His daughter, Kendra, has given Nicodemus the professor's old spellbook as a going away present. Sweet.

Oh yes, two weeks from now we kick off some Call of Cthulhu with Kelvin in the hot seat.  I still need to get my character suitably mapped out. I'm not sure my original request to play a young Ernest Hemingway will be accepted!


  1. Another good summary Stuart, although I feel you're inflating Nicodemus' part in the battle a bit!

    I see no problem with you playing a young Hemingway. Having a famous person in the party might make for some interesting developments.

  2. Yes - cheers Stuart! That was a suitably tough battle.... let's hope I can continue to challenge you with the next arc after my much needed rest from the hot-seat, as well as need to roll some dice and act out going mad - as a player in a game!

    Glad you are likeling Carrion Crown. Am looking forward to researching and setting up the next arc, with plenty of time to do this now. It should be much more roleplayer-y! Which should be nice.... although there are some big fights here and there too. :D

    Better cook some dinner and then do some marking! Boo!