Page 425 - Smarmony Tries, Part 5

8th Apr 2014, 6:00 AM in Intermission 4
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Smarmony Tries, Part 5
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 8th Apr 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Digo

Guest Author’s Note: "The boss fight to me is more than just a battle against a high level creature. It's a complex role-playing event of tactics, teamwork, and story that caps the entire campaign into this final struggle of good versus evil. For my players, it's a contest of who can deal the most damage in one blow while throwing Gimli and Legolas lines."

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: February 20th.



Venellian 8th Apr 2014, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
So, today try to post a story of when the party actually worked together for something.

Specter 8th Apr 2014, 6:03 AM edit delete reply
Our only time was when we agreed to stay out of each other's ways. Only I violated that rule when a member went down.

Far too many meat shields in that one.
Digo 8th Apr 2014, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Haha, yeah that's a tough one. My players were never that cohesive of a group to work together. More like "We're working with a 30-foot radius of each other without pvp." XD

Accidental teamwork does happen on rare occasion though. One time I threw Tucker's Kobolds and had the party not worked together to form a defense (the spellcasters kept throwing up walls and shields while the fighters went full-defense to parry incoming attacks) they would have ate that TPK.

Instead they managed to get away with minor injuries. Took a few kobolds down though, which was a bonus.
CrowMagnon 8th Apr 2014, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
My group actually works pretty well together, but for a story about us really coordinating to support each other, I'd say my best story is when we went up against the Lopper, the ghost of a serial killer who had become a powerful (for our level) wraith.

The Lopper was a slippery enemy, proving to be very difficult for us to even land a hit on, and all of his attacks on us just healed himself back up, so it was a battle of attrition for the first few rounds. We knew wraiths were vulnerable to sunlight, but we were facing him in the basement of the burnt-out prison where he had been incarcerated when he died.

So while our paladin kept him busy, our gunslinger and I started running around the perimeter of the room, opening every door we could until we found one where the ceiling had crumbled away, allowing the sun to shine in. We weren't in a good position to get the Lopper into the light directly, but the gunslinger pulled out a small mirror to reflect it into the room, and then our witch used hers to angle a second beam directly at the Lopper.

No longer able to heal himself by wounding us, my alchemist and the paladin wore him down with holy water and Smiting, respectively, to the point where the Lopper tried to escape by phasing through the nearest wall. This gave our paladin an AoO, in which he rolled high and very dramatically decapitated the Lopper with the same axe he'd used to kill his victims in life.
Digo 8th Apr 2014, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
Poetic justice with that axe FTW! :D
Zuche 8th Apr 2014, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
That is a good tale. Well done, CrowMagnon.
andreas002 8th Apr 2014, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
Several sessions ago, we fought a Naga and 2 large demons in 4e. We locked the Naga down by having the Invoker have her lion constantly make AoOs. The first devil went down in a few turns with me constantly pushing it back into the pit trap with phantom bolt (+ AoOs from the others) while our cleric delayed the other one.

It was meant to be a very hard fight, but our DM didn't count on our teamwork. ^_^
Karrin Blue 8th Apr 2014, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
Ooh, I have a good story so I might as well make my first post for it.

So once upon a time in a sort of Homestuck RPG. A bit of background - the planet was equally populated by trolls and humans, and had been cut off from their respective home worlds by the Singers - the previous inhabitants of the planet who had somehow become other dimensional eldritch things and left their artifacts all over the planet. My character's girlfriend g
Karrin Blue 8th Apr 2014, 7:16 AM Oh for goodness sakes edit delete reply
Stupid iPhone posting before I'm ready.
Karrin Blue 8th Apr 2014, 7:26 AM Ok, here we go. edit delete reply
So once upon a time in a sort of Homestuck RPG. A bit of background - the planet was equally populated by trolls and humans, and had been cut off from their respective home worlds by the Singers - the previous inhabitants of the planet who had somehow become other dimensional eldritch things and left their artifacts all over the planet. My character's girlfriend is secretly a cultist for them, and told my character that one of their sacred artifacts had been stolen... By some frat guys. Including one whose arm my character once broke.

So after killing time and destroying a perfectly good pizza, we ended up on the boat that the frat guys were using. Turns out that they were going to use the artifact in an initiation. Though the guy who stole it (whose arm I broke) thought he was stealing, and I quote 'the menorah or something from a Troll Jehovah's Witnesses church.'

In any case, the obvious happens, and the frat guys start the quote unquote ritual. Turns out it literally summons a Singer. So my character was basically the one trying to keep it from grabbing us as it was being summoned, and recommending amputation as a solution (the frat guy hands were stuck to the artifact) while the two wizards worked on ending the ritual.

To the surprise of everyone, we managed to survive without anyone getting amputated!
Ruteuf 10th Apr 2014, 4:26 AM edit delete reply
There's a Homestuck-esque RPG!?
dracostarcloud 8th Apr 2014, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
I've mentioned a group effort to rescue a couch a couple of times in the past.

I've had quite a few instances of great teamwork. In one adventure, everyone in the party got out a bow to kill an alarm mushroom before it could react to us. In a barracks break-in, my Sorceror was attempting to pick a lock (he has a level in Disable Device and we had no rogue) and the party teamed up to make it work (guidance spells and a Pathfinder folio reroll).

Teamwork against bosses is common, though the tactics tend to be "Back the guy into a corner and wail on him."
Jannard 8th Apr 2014, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
Actually, in one of my groups we have a tendency to draw the plot to a crawl while we try to agree on a plan. Sometimes it's even fortunate that one of us goes "screw this" and takes action. ANY action.
Digo 8th Apr 2014, 11:01 AM edit delete reply
With my group, the "screw this" always ends with one or more players just busting in the front door with guns/spells/powers blazing. The remaining players outside will then fall to a plan of "everyone for themselves" as they get out of the way of incoming fire. :3
Jannard 8th Apr 2014, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Yep, that's usually what ANY action ends up being. A staple of RPG experience (and real life too).

Getting fed up with something tends to entice overreactions in lots of people. Middle grounds only exist while civility is maintained. After it's dropped, it's a game of permanente one-uppance.

Fun guaranteed. Unless you're on the receiving end! And even then, sometimes...
TheDrake 8th Apr 2014, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Once upon a time in the world of Autothonia, a couple of Exalts worked VERY well together. A Jade Caste with a charm to create energy whips to non-lethally grab things grabbed the Orihalcon Caste who had a charm to sprout drills all over his body and use him as a flail to take out a horde of small automatons while the Moonsilver Caste was picking off the ranged opponents and the Soulsteel tanked the boss to allow the other 3 to mop up before grouping up. And the party leader was the Orihalcon being used as the flail.
Dakkath 8th Apr 2014, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
My Inquisitor punched trough the wall of ice, dimension hopped past the mooks, and suplexed (reposition maneuver-ed) the lich to where he was flanked by the rogue and cleric.
Sapphire Waffle 8th Apr 2014, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
I was DMing a group of friends a while back in a 3.5 somewhat evil campaign. I was very new to DMing, and I was having trouble figuring out how to set up encounters using the Challenge Rating system. I sent 26 or so Zombies after 3 level 5's thinking it would be a good idea. Turns out I wasn't entirely dumb.

There was one point in the ruined temple where the entrance into a room was only 5 feet wide, just large enough for a zombie to come through. In this room there were also 3 zombies. The group was a Warlock that loved shooting eldritch blasts, some sort of warrior, and a Swashbuckler.

The group quickly realized that the encounter would prove to be too great for them, especially since they had no healer. They decided to bunker down in that room with the 5 foot wide entrance. While the Warlock and Swashbuckler handled the 3 zombies in that room, the warrior held off the 23 or so zombies near the entrance: first holding the door closed, then bashing them in with his axe.

Once the 3 zombies in the room they were taken care of, they were able to, IN CHARACTER, figure out a system in which they could hold off all of the zombies in that one entrance area. It involved strategic positioning, attacks of opportunity, and some shenanigans about a corpse pile of dead zombies further blocking off the entrance. It became a sort of Tower Defense game, and the group was able to handle it with little trouble.

It was that night that a player of mine, after I calculated the experience of the encounter, decided it would be best if we could only get enough experience to level up and then be 1 experience away from the next level. I gave these 1 experiences away for good roleplaying later.
JackleTheKitsune 9th Apr 2014, 8:48 AM Debunk the monk edit delete reply
In a personal experience my speedy monk as well as her druid and alchemist companions kicked in the door of an abandoned bar finding the kidnappers we had been tracking. Expected of her, she was asked by the alchemist to deal with the big one since she focuses in defense and speed. After a quick running jump she was alone on a balcony with 3 enemies, all was going as planed until one managed to crit and hit here with a poison. She crit failed the save and lost 6 Constitution of her normal 14. All of a sudden the entire party is trying to hold the line while she rushes back for the druid to attempt to use heal checks to stop her from being taken out by the next onset of the poison. Barely made it, but after that we set up a defensive perimeter throughout the whole building, using the immune druid to sop up poison and such.
Raxon 9th Apr 2014, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
Long ago, I observed teamwork the likes of which you would not normally try.

So there was a pokemon tabletop. I got to witness a great feat. It was termed "Operation Nuke". The ingredients were just simple Gen1 pokemon. A machamp, a pidgeot, and an electrode. The machamp would pick the electrode up, ever so gently, and climb onto pidgeot's back. Pidgeot would take off, and get up to full speed(mach six). Then she would dive at the enemy, and the machamp would remove his restraining belt, and throw the electrode at the target, which would them use explosion.

So, a pokemon who can fly at mach six carries a Pokemon that can lift mountains, who in turn throws a bomb at the target.

Anyone else get the feeling I caught a glimpse of three players who truly knew how to play the game?
Digo 10th Apr 2014, 4:42 AM edit delete reply
I also get the feeling the creators of pokemon tabletop don't proofread what they write. XD
Specter 8th Apr 2014, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, it would appear the boss is nowhere to be seen in the panels. I would have to guess their last stand will be done elsewhere.
Alice 8th Apr 2014, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
My group actually managed to be quite effective this one time during a ghoul outbreak. We pulled their attention away from civilians, drew them to this one small building, then used it as a bottleneck.

Then there was the time one of the NPCs was kidnapped by the baron. It ended in this weird combo involving taking his eye out with a button, jamming a sword up his ass, and slamming him into the ground.

...mind you these awesome examples of teamwork happened shortly after everyone went nuts and we ended up burning down a quarter of the city.
GrayGriffin 8th Apr 2014, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
Burning everything is a perfectly normal part of any game.
FanOfMostEverything 8th Apr 2014, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
I'm tickled by the irony of Redheart needing someone else to heal her.

Also, I can't help but wonder what wall of scrolls actually does. Especially since I know almost nothing about how 4E works.
Disloyal Subject 8th Apr 2014, 8:24 AM Wall of Scrolls edit delete reply
My best guess is that she's using some kind of shenanigans to activate many scrolls at once... Digo?
Digo 8th Apr 2014, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
I was imagining "Wall of Scrolls" to be almost literal. A wall of solid parchment with magical runes that absorb damage. does sound a bit silly, but I had trouble getting a good screen cap with Celestia being protected by anything.

As for Redheart needing to be healed, this is the list I had for reference on which class each pony is:

Derpy = barbarian
Trixie = wizard
Zecora = cleric
Redheart = assassin
Cheerilee = bard
Daring Do = rogue

A lot of the players don't utilize some of their class features and it's intentional~ their killer GM has forced them into using specific abilities to survive sudden death traps and TPKs. So they end up playing non-optimized characters (this of course is based on actual events from a group I was once with).
Dusk Raven 8th Apr 2014, 11:47 AM edit delete reply
Well, I was going to ask the question to the readerbase as to what they thought who was what class, but I guess you answered it for me.

I find Redheart being an Assassin to be amusing. I guess she's not a real nurse in this setting?
Digo 8th Apr 2014, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
Whoops, didn't mean to spoil the surprise so early! o.o

You know, with the knowledge of anatomy, medicine, poisons, etc. A nurse assassin sneaking into a hospital actually works to frightening effectiveness. Who'd question it?
Zuche 8th Apr 2014, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
Thanks, Digo. now I'm going to hear Nurse Redheart speaking with Darryl Hannah's voice. :P

Oh, and the comment about being literal with a wall of scrolls? Bonus points for that.
Digo 9th Apr 2014, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
You're welcome and thanks! :D
kriss1989 10th Apr 2014, 4:06 AM edit delete reply
Well at least it wasn't a 3.5 quarter staff barrier.
Digo 10th Apr 2014, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
In one game we had a "Wall of Gelatin". Sounds silly until you try stepping through it and then realize it has the digestive properties of a gelatinous cube and the grappling properties of Evard's Black Tentacles.

Yeah, there's always room for Jell-O.
Steeeve 8th Apr 2014, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
The party (4 PCs : a mage, a warrior, a ranger and a priest of Tempus and 3 NPCs : a druidess, a mage and a archer) was looking for a priest of Bane who had stolen the freight they had to escort. Two of the 4 PC had already died (cf Armon). On top of the tower, the 2 surviving PCs found a box full of weapons, 2 priests of Bane fighting each other through 20 skeletons and a mercenary warrior fighting 3 skeletons all alone. The warrior was slightly injured. The 2 mages and the druidess didnt have any useful spells. All were despaired because of not knowing what to do first. The mage had an idea and ask his fellow warrior for a fire-pot (a small explosiv device they had found on the way). He said : "I will throw the fire-pot on the box and we will hide on the floor underneath." The warrior didnt give his fire-pot, but the druidess did. (She was really despaired and slightly curious.) The mage threw the fire-pot aiming directly for the box. It was full of fire-pot. Miscalculating the power of the device, the mage caused the decomposition and/or death of : 23 skeletons, 1 mercenary, 2 priests of Bane, 1 Warrior (PC), 1 Mage (PC), 1 druidess, 1 archer, 1 mage, 1 horse, 1 Howl (Mages familiar), 2 magic rings, 1 cursed Morning-Star and 1 whole tower.

Epitaph: I aim for the box!!
jdb1984 8th Apr 2014, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Why do I get the feeling that Di is going to throw something unexpected at them?
seanpony renaud 8th Apr 2014, 12:35 PM Team Work edit delete reply
My group doesn't routinly work against each other but our stand out team work has to come from either a recent Pathfinder campain where a Rogue and a Ninja both took some feet where when one bluffs it loses the Dex bonus. So we sneak into combat and get Sneak Attack in the Surprise round, with our dex and improved init we usually get Sneak Attack Round 1, then one of us bluffs and we both get Sneak attack, then the other bluffs and we both get Sneak attack. Things fucking MELT.

The other was in 4th Edition and a Paladin and a Warden (I think) got separated from the group in an ambush. Both popped their dailies which synergized damn well and ended up surviving what should have been a death trap.
hariman 8th Apr 2014, 4:50 PM edit delete reply
Huh. I had occasions of the party working together when I was playing Living Greyhawk.

One time, the party coordinated and flanked and I used Grease to take down a Hound Archon that was guarding a demonic axe. We had to return the axe to a demon to save a little girl's soul, though we broke the axe first so it became weaker while still fulfilling the letter of the bargain.

There are a few other instances, but they're not clear enough to call out here, and they weren't super dramatic moments either.
Ruteuf 9th Apr 2014, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
Playing Call of Cthulhu, we were in a diner trying to plan out our next move while still keeping a black jazz musician safe because something about his music was bringing the dead to life. Right as we're about to leave, a group of mobsters shows up. We split the party up, two taking the musician toward the back while I and another player dealt with the one with the big gun coming in the front. I was playing a reporter, so I give the other player my camera, pull out a metal rod I'd been using and get ready to charge. She flashed him and I manage to get to him without getting hit by the spray and pray in time to knock him out!
Morrin Asturias 9th Apr 2014, 6:06 AM Working together! edit delete reply
Amazingly just the recent game is where I have an example from. We were after a Cheliax Hellknight who and a few soldiers kidnapped a pack of Toy Blink Dogs our country was training for scouts. We find him, and see he tied puppies to his armor(yes, Puppy Armor). We dropped his minions like no tomorrow, then focuses on him. Cleric casts Bestow Curse, hellknight rolls a 1, -4 to saved. Druid cast Animal Mind(I believe a 3.5 spell), and the hellknight...Rolled a 1. Hellknight Hedgehog! THEN he rolls a 2 on a hold person. Multiple coup de grace actions, he was still alive(immune to instant death effects), he broke out of it. Cleric cast hold person again...Hellknight rolls another 2. He died. Without dealing any damage to us. Level 12 hellknight, with a bada$$ sword, that could probably one shot me alone, went down with barely a fight due to use working together. Or the DM having a bad night with the dice. XD
ED-SKaR 9th Apr 2014, 6:48 AM Wall of Scrolls edit delete reply
The wall of scrolls spell sounds like an amazing protection spell.

What are the details of the spell?
Digo 10th Apr 2014, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
I never statted it out, but feel free to brainstorm. :3
curb 9th Apr 2014, 7:36 AM edit delete reply
We were doing a mixed species test of my Pony in Rifts characters(three pony characters and three Rifts characters) to see how they played. Ponies were Trixie the Combat Mage, and two OCs. Lilith(Unicorn) rumored to be the daughter of Luna. Lilith was a Mystic, and Cherry Crush(earth pony) Power Armor Pilot. they were backed by a human mystic, a cyberknight and a Cold Blooded(special vampire hunter Class). Party worked better than I thought. They mystics worked to harrass the enemy and support the party while Trixie, the Cyberknight and the Cold Blooded got in close, with Cherry dealing with the enemy heavy. The mystics used spells like Carpet of Adhesion, Magic Net and other fun mess with the enemy spells while trixie used a mix of quick offensive spells and weapons. It really got fun when she cast Thunder Maul and handed it to the Cyber Knight and let him and Cherry pound the enemy Heavy into the ground.

The whole test let me come to the conclusion that the Combat Mage is the best class for trixie as it is about quick casting and combat, which seems to fit her better than the Mystic or any other magic class. It allows her to cast on the move and stay fluid in combat. That and a spell that lets you summon a glowing magical war hammer is just too much fun to pass up.
Raxon 9th Apr 2014, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
Back before he took all those levels in monk, Raxon Dunwich had a constitution of either four or five. Reaching level twenty in monk brought him up to the level of squishy human. As such, he relied heavily on a certain girl, who was avatar of wind. As a wind sorceress, she was exactly what usually isn't associated with wind. She was a lightning bruiser. Sure, the whole party worked together, but she was his... partner. Her name was Purra. Purra Nova.

Long story short, in the party, the ranger was the daughter of one of the most famous stealth people in the world. She wore red and brown striped shirts, and was named after her father, Waldo. Her name was Walda. Then there was our rogue, Cormin Shaft. His parents were John Shaft and Carmen Sandiego. (I might have been slightly drunk when I wrote the backstories. Yes, they asked me to write their backstories. Cormine was the ultimate badass thief, and Walda was the daughter of the greatest ranger who ever lived... But she didn't have any confidence in herself, because her grandfather was a bard and very critical, always cracking jokes with his friend, Statler. Okay, maybe drunk and sleep deprived, but the GM approved them!)

Raxon was incredibly squishy. To the point that the only thing keeping him alive was his position as avatar of chaos. This resulted in him constantly needing to be dragged to a healer. If it hadn't been for the fact he had a pair of feats that let him use his will save for fort checks, and then substitute his int for wisdom for will saves, he'd have been dead a hundred times over. Teamwork is essential when your glass cannon is so fragile that he is level eight and has ten hit points.

Once upon a time, they came upon a nest of ravagers. Now ravagers are bad news. You know rad scorpions? Yeah. Ten feet long, with a sort of swarm mentality, like bees. Think a swarm of army ants, devouring everything in their path. Yeah. If the party let these guys go, the swarm would have grown out of control. They decided to exterminate them while there were only twenty of them. FYI, backstabbing does not work so well when the back is guarded by a hundred pound, lightning fast appendage dripping with venom.

Things did not go well until the party learned that the ravagers do have a weakness.

Overwhelming force.

Which Raxon had in spades. Due to low level limitations, however, Raxon's insanely overpowered magic missile expy spell had a range of five feet. The decision was that Purra would intercept and distract them, with Walda getting just close enough to use animal empathy on one, and make it my bodyguard. Cormin, being the second fastest, would be the one to drag Raxon's fragile arse around behind each ravager, one at a time, to kill them. It took four turns to figure this plan out, and there were twenty ravagers and some eggs. It was a long fight, though only Cormin took any poison damage.

The players had fun, and everyone decided that Walda needed her ass kicked when it turns out she kept us there on a wild goose chase for half a session, two weeks in game time, so she could crack open the ravagers, and make rations out of their insides.

That said, ravager tail is still a delicacy that Raxon synthesizes for guests on occasion. He just doesn't tell them that those misshapen orbs are bits of a scorpion until after they've cracked it open and determined that it's delicious.

And really, any meal you need a tack hammer to open has to be good, right?
kriss1989 10th Apr 2014, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
Wait,there are parties that don't work together?
Digo 10th Apr 2014, 4:45 AM edit delete reply
It's the M.O. of my last group. :3