Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chuul out

So I chickened out with the home campaign and ran a simple "monster hunt" scenario over the weekend.

Having just finished dealing with the wicked Dark Oak tribe of lizardfolk, the party were trudging their way back towards Magnimar, when a lizardfolk druid appeared to them, as druids often do. After acknowledging that they had done the lizardfolk community a solid by dealing with that crazy queen Ssjarleth, he goes on this rambling and vaguely menacing parable about trespassers and such, ending with what sounds like a request for help dealing with an interloper from the salt marsh.

It seems a horrid crab-like thing has been eating the people of his tribe, and since the party has demonstrated that it's willing to help lizardfolk, maybe they could look into it?

So a few Survival (what Pathfinder uses for tracking skills) rolls later, the players find themselves on an island in the middle of a marsh being ambushed by a Chuul.

Chuuls are tough - they don't miss very often, and they're strong enough to grab anyone in the party. The Catfolk's "Escape Artist" skill kept her safe from harm (anyone who has ever tried to hold onto a cat that doesn't want to be held knows how that turned out), but the fighter got grappled a number of times, and the Chuul got to attempt a few paralysis attacks on him. Alas for the Chuul, the fighter's Fort save is mighty. (I should really stop trying to bespell the Fighter, it hardly ever works.)

The wizard really got to play in this one. After his acid arrow missed, he summoned a fire elemental to set the Chuul ablaze. The Chuul dispatched the elemental pretty quickly, but caught fire anyway. A lightning bolt skewered it pretty effectively, and with some assistance from the rogue's single successful hit (with sneak attack bonus for flanking, fortunately) and a few rounds of consistent but relatively low damage chopping from the fighter (who was as often as not grabbed), the Chuul finally succumbed to its wounds and fell on top of the cleric. So two rounds of Strength checks later (I decided to require a DC of 20 to lift the creature, but the fighter kept failing his rolls even with the assistance of the others), the encounter was over.

Chuuls apparently like to keep trophes from their prey, and this one had around 500gp equivalent and a potion of Speak with Dead. Not sure when they'll get the chance to use it, but it raises some creepy possibilities. (I'm also not sure you can have a potion like that, but I figure if you can pour it into a dead body, that will revitalize it enough to speak some. Plus that seems creepy, which it should.)

The End

For their further adventures, I've decided against "Entombed with the Pharaohs". Instead, I'm going with "Conquest of the Bloodsworn Vale", which involves securing a passage way from Varisia to Nirmathas.