So, yeah, it's been a long time. But, here's the deets on the first real session of our Red Hand of Doom campaign with a bunch of psychotic murderers. We've had several sessions since the first post, and I have a lot of back content, that I'll be posting pretty frequently, hopefully.
Our campaign begins in a hot, dry summer, with devoted cultists of Nerull setting out to explore the Elsir Vale, searching for a rumored vault in Vraath's Keep. And hey, if they find some townsfolk to murder, bonus! The Elsir Vale is an old region, situated along the Dawn Way. The region used to host the Kingdom of Rhestilor, out of Rhest, but nearly two centuries ago, goblins came out of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains and destroyed the decaying empire, but not before being driven off. Now the various territories mostly look after themselves, and haven't had to defend themselves from anything serious in a long time. Unfortunately for them, our PCs are about to enter the scene!
Again, it is a hot, dry day as our three erstwhile, err... heroes are on their way to the nearby town of Drellin's Ferry, the last stop before entering the Witchwood, where Vraath's Keep is supposedly located.
Unfortunately, at a forested bottleneck, with an old farmhouse nearby, six hobgoblin warriors and a Hellhound exit the woods, and begin attacking the party! Soon, a hobgoblin samurai exits the farmhouse to engage in melee, and a cleric and second Hellhound also exit from the farmhouse.
Despite the mook-ish status of the Regulars, they were statted up as full, level one characters. Most of the stats I use are from this thread, at least up to the point where he stops updating it. Several enemies aren't covered there, and I make stats for those, and also I upgrade all the characters to [Legend] 1.0.
The Regulars serve their purpose well, clogging up the battlefield and soaking damage from the real heavy hitters. They don't hit very often, especially since Eldritch draws a lot of fire with his Knight track abilities along with having an ungodly high AC, but their Perfect Defense feat ruins Evening Shimmer and Eldritch's charges to much frustration, and their Heroica abilities give the Bladebearer some much needed bonuses.
The Bladebearer was a disappointment. He failed as a melee monster because Eldritch was able to aggro him almost the entire time. He couldn't hit with any of his flashy combat maneuvers or Discipline of the Serpent abilities because Eldritch has an absurd AC. On top of that, Eldritch hits harder than he does on attacks, and has several auto-damage abilities that hurt the Bladebearer with his small, 5 foot Melee range. The Bladebearer may benefit from a level up in later fights, or, at the very least, [Reach] on his weapons. That would allow him better utilize some of his movement-based abilities, such as The Terrible Swift Lash, Wake, and the entire Acrobatic Adept track to become more of a skirmisher, ducking in and out of melee with the characters, which might enable him to score more hits to activate his Iron Magi abilities.
The Hellhound on the other hand was surprisingly effective, albeit I had to play him differently than intended. The Hellhound came out rather weak in melee after the [Legend] conversion, but his Elementalist abilities gave him powerful, autohit ranged attacks, and the Shadow Blink feat enabled the Hellhounds to teleport through Evening Shimmers absurdly huge melee range, and avoid all attacks of opportunity. Both of them basically harried Evening Shimmer until they were eventually killed by some well-timed Incantations from Swaggalicious, but they served their purpose well.
The Doom Hand Cleric didn't really shine in the first half, but he really came through in the second act. Early on he cast Sanctuary on himself, so remained decently healthy for most of the fight. I kept trying to maneuver him to where the Bladebearer and Eldritch were fighting, to deliver much needed buffs, but I just couldn't get him there.
After the second wave of Hobgoblin Regulars came, and the Bladebearer and both Hellhounds were killed, I knew time was running out, but I still managed to put up a good fight. The Cleric called a retreat closer to the barn, and massed the remaining Regulars around him. He then put up a Obscuring Mist and created a gauntlet, having the Regulars stack up Reckless Strikes and Aid Anothers(I know they don't exist in Legend, but come on, I liked them in 3.5) to actually score a few hits in. All good things eventually come to an end though, and even though the Cleric was able to get in a good Dread Wave and Hammerfall against the party, he was eventually knocked out.
Note how I said knocked out and not killed, mind you. The party dragged the unconscious Cleric to the farmhouse, where after finding worthless gold, a Granite Spike, and some unidentifiable holy symbol, Swaggalicious attempts to convert the Cleric into an undead monstrosity for Nerull. Unfortunately, the ability in question said nothing about the newly-undead creatures being loyal in any way to their sires, the creation of a new Ghoul Cleric led only to a fruitless social encounter that the Cleric attempted to walk away from, and was succinctly murdered for. However, the party did learn of the existence of a hobgoblin organization calling itself the Red Hand.
And that's it for the first session. I'll post some more in a little bit. Sorry I've been ignoring the blog for a while, I'll try to get better at that.