In the previous session, we had just finished a fight with some extremely nimble jackal-people. We had two healthy fighters and three wounded PCs. And there were six creatures pursuing us from behind.
In this session, we gathered ourselves for the fight. Our two unharmed warriors took the lead. We gave Merith a dose of a salve that would let him ignore a wound for 12 hours, which brought him back to full strength. Klantic cast a ritual to ward off evil spirits.
The opponents approached. They turned out to be stocky, slow-moving warriors carved out of wood, with embedded bronze swords. One of them had bronze inlays.
They advanced upon us, stated something in an ancient language (which was translated by one of our group as a demand to surrender) and stood to wait. With one character who has the Stubborn and Impulsive disadvantages, it was pretty obvious that we weren't going to surrender right away, and sure enough, she leapt to the attack.
I'm not going to go through all the fighting. Some salient bits:
- Merith hit once or twice, but wasn't able to do enough damage to hurt them at all. He should have just stayed on the defensive. Then he failed to defend against one of their blows, and took enough damage in a single blow to send him unconscious.
- Two of the wooden fighters slipped past the front-line combatants and went after Klantic, our badly wounded druid. Meat gave up his defenses for a turn to take out one of those attackers from behind. Unfortunately, that left his guard open for him to be hit for a devastating 10 points of damage. This would be enough damage to bring down a normal man, but Meat is robust.
- Carynth was doing well against two or three of the wooden golems. For a while she rolled very low on damage, so much so that she asked me to start rolling for her. Oddly, I rolled four eights in a row for her, a 5 and a 3 each time. However, she eventually rolled a critical miss, and ended up dropping her sword--as she knelt to pick it up, one of the golems dealt her a nasty blow that reduced her to two points of damage.
- Klantic just fought defensively and retreated every time the golem fighting him had a chance to hit. Many times, though, the golem attacked randomly, not swinging at him at all. I suspect his 'repelling evil spirits' charm may have caused that.
We ended up winning the fight, but we're really low on hit points right now. If we had the other two members of the party with us, things would be much easier, but as it is, we're fairly challenged. (They might be badly challenged too, mind you.)
It's possible that I should have attempted attacks at the golem's weapons--it probably would have worked fairly well, and might have reduced the amount of damage they could dish out. Oh well--striking for damage works well, too.
So after the fight, Merith was unconscious, and in several hours, his previous wound will come back, sending him into death check territory. Meanwhile, our first aid and healing efforts were interrupted by spying birds, so we had to move on to a place the survivor knew--a no-mana zone in an old prison. Here we had a chance to heal and lick our wounds.
But even with the best healing Klantic can provide, Merith will be risking death when the previous wound returns. But the Survivor knows of a place of healing, but which carries danger with it... so we're going to carry Merith there.
From a storytelling point of view, I quite like this. Merith has been with the group for a long long time--it's dramatically cool to try to save him. I'm looking forward to Friday's session, even though Meat is unlikely to have a big role. (Or maybe it's that I hope we don't--Meat gets a big role only in combat, and we can't handle much combat right now.)
Meat could probably beat Carynth in an combat without weapons or armor, but I do feel a bit envious of her magic items. She has magic armor that makes it very hard for her to be hit, and a magic sword that gives her some significant advantages over Meat in combat. Unfortunately, magic armor is very hard to come by in the size XXXXXXXL that Meat wears. Maybe he'll get lucky enough to find a magic shield.
This also raises some questions about the direction in which I want to develop Meat. He could shift his emphasis a bit from his big club to a shortsword. This would be more combat-effective for Meat, and he'd be more likely to find a magic sword. (It's implausible that I'd find a magic club.)
But... a shortsword doesn't thrill my imagination the same way. An 18" shortsword would look like a toothpick in the hands of a 7-foot-8 barbarian. (I exaggerate, but still, there is something valid there.) I am not sure how I'd like to handle this.