Thursday, June 28, 2018

5 Player Group: The Dark Shrine of Ruin Part 3: Bugbear fight

"Why does that one have a lute?"
"She's a Bard, Kovath. They're artists, which explains why you don't know anything about them."
"She's gonna get eaten by those Bugbears. What's she going to do, sing them into submission?"
"Ah, well -- actually..."
"...She just sang that one into submission then stabbed it in the throat."
"Bards are terrifying."
We started a new dungeon called the Dark Shrine of Ruin. I've gotten way behind on posting recaps so I'm recruiting players with points as a bribe to do it. This one is written by Colarmel The log for these two sessions is found here.

The Party:

  • Fiona Firedrake - Longsword and Board Knight often referenced for her “Dome of Defense” - Played by Kalzazz
  • Lara - A half-elf bard with some sweet songs of humiliation- played by Kevin
  • Stonemaul Ironbeard: A Dwarf Cleric with a good overall mix of healing and support spells, a mace and a shield.  Played by Starslayer 
  • Teetonka: a Half-Ogre thief with a battle axe and a shield.  Played by Bruno
  • Thenngar Chainbreaker: a Human Barbarian with a big shiny maul.  Played by Colarmel.

We’d gone back to town after the Gorilla fight, since just under half our party was broken. And while we were gone, our half-orc Wizard had become a half-elf Bard. Teeto noticed fairly quickly that someone had moved into the old Throttler room in our absence. It turned out to be a collection of Bugbears and a “Zombie” Who Stonemaul successfully identified as a Corpse Golem.
Teetonka set a trap on the door and fired a crossbow bolt for a total of 38 injury. We had a successful ambush which led to The bugbears coming in waves as they broke stun. It wasn’t really the best use of ambush. Waiting for the bugbears to come to us, but it limited their ability to swarm us. Ultimately the fight wasn’t terribly impressive, Bugbears are not excellent fighters. Thenngar was fairly focused on breaking legs after he missed a few skull hits, including one critical miss leading to some turns spent picking up his hammer. While swinging for legs left a lot of injury on the table, a bugbear with a smashed leg is still a less effective fighter than a bugbear reeling from 4d+5 to the chest.

Lara the Bard also gave an exceptional showing against the bugbears, song of humiliation is fantastic against groups of fairly stupid monsters. The Bugbears only really impressive moment was when they managed to sneak up behind Teeto and force us out of position. Lara saved Teeto from suffocation with a well placed song of humiliation, but it put us out of position. Fiona and Stonemaul did a pretty good job of holding the line, despite Stonemaul taking a critical hit to the chest.

When the Corpse-Golem finally broke stun and got up close, Thenngar crushed its skull. At that point we were just mopping up, in the end, Lara cast panic on the bugbears, which raised questions concerning the possibility of chain-aggro. We ultimately decided that the bugbears could not, in their panicked state, open doors, and so it was just a matter of running them all down. Thenngar had haste from Lara, no encumbrance, and a big hammer, and so was the natural choice for the task.

As the GM this fight ended up being a slog that maybe I should have called done earlier on. The potential of chaining multiple rooms was actually very interesting but players decided to take appropriate measures. Unfortunately, the only rooms they could have chained into were another bugbear room and a giant spider room. The spiders would have eaten the bugbear just as happily as the PCs so that wouldn't have helped them. Bugbear aren't a stand-up fight for 250 pt delvers unless they can get stealth. The players leaving the dungeon gave them a good chance to redeploy and it gave them a chance to use that stealth but it wasn't enough.

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