<Ralph> The big vampire fight went well!
<Carl> Yay! I saw in your LJ.
<Bruce> Hey, Ralph! Yeah!
<Bruce> Tell us stories, man.
<Carl> Oh yes! Feel free to burble in triumph.
<Ralph> Well, let's see...
<Ralph> I tried to add a bit more emotion by asking people to describe what their character was feeling as they went in, and putting Midnight Syndicate on for background music.
<Ralph> This only sort of worked; people didn't describe much emotion, and things got tactical pretty quickly.
<Ralph> But they bust in, and Garrett rolls a 30 on initiative.
<Ralph> But he's chanting and circling around a pool of corruption, so he doesn't break off to attack them yet. But he does hide in the shadows, and rolls a 46 on his Hide check.
<Ralph> So the ghost paladin goes to pick on Melisande, Garrett's wizard henchman. He tries to smite her and fails.
<Ralph> So she steps back and casts confusion on the rest of the party, which neutralizes Turok for a while.
<Carl> yay confusion!
<Ralph> No one's able to spot Garrett, and so they're mostly going after Melisande instead. Before long, we have the druid Liandra trying to disrupt Garrett, and Larissa (the sorceress/paladin, now polymorphed into a troll, and flying), Charlos the paladin ghost, and Kyle the halfling rogue/ranger all attacking Melisande.
<Ralph> Melisande is actually holding her own fairly well. She's casting on the defensive and using displacement for high concealment, so she can actually walk among them without taking too many attacks of opportunity.
<Ralph> But after several rounds, One of Liandra's fire elementals finally manages to land a blow on Garrett, and that breaks his concentration on the ritual.
<Ralph> So Garrett takes a spring attack at Liandra, which misses. It's at this point that they realize that he's using the glove of storing he stole from the PCs long ago to keep Weeping Wounds safe.
<Ralph> (Since it's a free action, he can draw it out just as he's attacking with it, and put it away at the end of his turn.)
<Carl> Player outrage is fun. "He's using our stuff!"
<Carl> So they can't disarm it. Clever.
<Ralph> It's not quite impossible for them to disarm it, but it would be tricky. Of course, with their main disarmer confused, it's sort of moot right now.
<Ralph> Although the confusion is going to run out soon. :-)
<Ralph> Melisande also casts grim revenge on Kyle, using a staff made of a human spinal column topped with a skull. This spits a glowing white spider at Kyle that works like a homing missile--and it manages to miss five ranged touch attacks before finally hitting.
<Bruce> Ralph, this sound smost cool.
<Ralph> Sadly, Lori had some horrible luck with her ranged touch attacks for Searing Light. She rolled a 2 on her to-hit roll for the first spell. On her second Searing Light, she rolled a 2, and I said, "Aww, roll that again." But she rolled a 2 *again*, and I said "I'm sorry, the dice just hate you. Get a new die."
<Ralph> When Garrett starts making spring attacks, he gets a -20 on his Hide checks--but he's still hiding well enough that Larissa's first attempt to cast Glitterdust on him goes wild, because she can't locate him to within 10 feet. It turns out that vampire monks can be *really* good at hiding.
<Kali> Vampire monks are evil.
<Ralph> But on her second try, she manages to catch him in the glitterdust. He now has a -40 penalty to hide, which means that he can only successfully hide occasionally.
<Ralph> And it's turning out that Garrett's AC of 32 is making him really hard for the PCs to hit. But they have ACs in about the same range, and he's having trouble against Turok too.
<Ralph> But he finally manages to land a blow with Weeping Wounds. I've been thinking about this description for a long time. "It feels like being stabbed with a wood rasp; the blade is coarse and uneven, with lots of projections that catch your flesh. And the putrescent goo that covers it adheres to your flesh, so as he pulls it out, bits of the goo stays behind in the wound and bits of your flesh are ripped out along with the dagger."
<Ralph> Garrett commands Melisande to dispel magic on some of the PCs, to make them easier to hit. She does so on Larissa, who catches the dispel magic with her rod of absorption. Her player is very pleased about this. :-)
<Ralph> Oh, because of my complicated mechanics for Weeping Wounds' disease, Turok takes one point of Con drain and one point of Int drain from the hit. One nice side effect from my POV: this will take two restoration spells.
<Bruce> I would be too. :)
<Ralph> Yeah, I hadn't been planning to play into her plans, but I'm glad it
worked out that way.
<Ralph> Garrett then caroms off of Kyle, missing, and the PCs close in.
<Ralph> Liandra missed him with a languor spell, and Kyle and Charlos and the fire elementals have been having trouble hitting, but Larissa hit him with some magic missiles.
<Ralph> At the end of the session, Garrett was nearly surrounded by Kyle, Charlos, Larissa, and two huge fire elementals--but he's about to step out and activate a wand of shield. All the PCs are having trouble hitting him, though he hasn't hit many of them. Kyle is about to run out of air in his lungs.
<Ralph> AFK for a moment.
<Ralph> So, I gave them XP for defeating Melisande and for stopping the ritual.