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Summary[]

Zolf uses his profession in questionable ways. Hamid makes a permanent decision.

Synopsis[]

The party is in mid-combat with a goolem, which has engulfed Zolf. Zolf manages to pull himself free from the goo and distances himself to heal himself while the rest of the party keep attacking it. Zolf activates freedom's call to make sure nobody else can get engulfed. Cel uses their last two bombs on the goolem. Eventually, Azu lands the killing blow and the goolem explodes into goo that drips down the metal grating and further down the lighthouse. Hamid and Zolf check to see who is hurt, and Zolf then channels positive energy twice to heal everyone (16 + 15 hp).

Hamid speculates that the top of the lighthouse is harvesting lightning. Looking around, it becomes clear that the machinery at the top of the lighthouse was built to interact with lightning in some way. At the top of the lighthouse is the biggest lightning rod the party has ever seen. Hamid recognizes a familiar Simulacrum-vibe to the technology around them, especially in the layout of machinery and the four crystals at the top of the lighthouse's light bulb, which are all full of electricity. Cel notices that the machinery is not only sending lightning down, but is also broadcasting 'something' out. The machinery on top of the bulb is using some of the power to do some unknown extra task besides just the storing of lightning, although Cel is not sure of what exactly it is doing. They can't tell whether it's still functional or not. Both Hamid and Zolf suggest to break the lightning rod to make sure it stops what it is doing.

BREAK

Zolf asks what part of the machine should be destroyed, and Cel says the lightning rod. Hamid casts detect magic. He can sense that magic is happening, but it is hard to pin down a specific location or a specific school, which seems to suggest that there is such a mix of magic and technology going on it's hard to differentiate anything. They decide to smash some of the crystals. Hamid casts resist energy (electricity) on Zolf, and Zolf smashes the first crystal. A bolt of lightning springs from the shattered remains and slams into him (23 damage, but he resists 10). Zolf casts protection from energy on himself, making him immune to 96 points of electric damage and he smashes the remaining crystals.

Azu uses lay on hands on Zolf twice (15 + 14 hp). Zolf opens the door to an outside walkway that leads to a ladder to the the roof of the lighthouse and the lightning rod. The wind immediately blows inside, and Zolf ties a rope to himself before climbing outside and activating his boots of levitation. The wind and the storm makes it very difficult to climb, and Zolf is blown from the ladder and pulled back in by Azu. Zolf casts bull's strength on himself and tries again, but his second attempt at climbing has the exact same outcome. Zolf decides to try a more careful approach, and ties himself off with rope every couple of feet so he doesn't fall all the way down. All in all, it takes him 20 minutes to reach the top of the lighthouse and it's a very tough, cold and tiring ordeal.

Inside the lighthouse, the rest of the party can hear movement downstairs at the base of the lighthouse. Hamid decides to run over to the trapdoor and check out what is going on downstairs. Hamid sees a bunch of kobolds (20) wandering downstairs about to go up, being ordered around by several humans (3) who are heading towards the trapdoor. Hamid briefly hesitates and then casts fireball at them, aiming for the humans (44 fire damage). He is heavy-hearted, as his goal is to kill the humans but he knows the kobolds will certainly be killed as collateral damage. An enormous explosion goes off downstairs and the kobolds and humans are all killed, leaving a mess of smoking corpses which clog the stairwell. The rest of the group hear the explosion, and Azu asks him what happened. Hamid, unsettled, explains the situation to them, and Azu and Cel seem taken aback.

A digital drawing of Zolf, a white dwarven male with white hair and a white beard tied into a braid. His is wearing brown chest armor with brown pants and a belt. He wears a red ring on his left hand. He holds his glaive in both hands. His arms are exposed and there is a rose tattoo on his left upper arm. He is looking straight ahead with a neutral face. Behind him are dark blue and grey storm clouds with lightning.

Zolf after being hit by lightning. Art by @erebusodora on Twitter. Used with permission.

Zolf has reached the top of the lighthouse, and the lightning rod is absolutely massive. He looks for a maintenance panel and pries it open with his glaive. Inside the maintenance panel is a thick electric cable. Zolf turns his glaive on fire and then hacks at the panel. Timing it poorly, he gets hit by a lightning strike (42 damage - all resisted) as his glaive connects. Zolf manages to hack through most of the cables, but not all, so he tries again. He gets hit by another lightning strike (39 damage - 26 damage actually taken). Most of Zolf's non-magical, non-leather clothing is burned off. He lets himself fall down the lighthouse and is pulled back inside by Azu, but it takes about 5 minutes.

Zolf staggers back inside, having hit by lightning twice he looks a mess, his hair is on end, his clothing burned. Azu asks him if he's all right, and Zolf tells them he was hit by lightning twice. Azu offers to heal him.

Quotes[]

"So, we are in the middle of someone's turn, which I normally don't end an episode on? But it felt appropriate since you just done grievous bodily harm to a friend. Like, that's a good ending for me. [..] See, I'm so glad that like -- it's hard to get an episode to a logical conclusion? And hurting each other is the logical conclusion for every episode, so I'm very happy."
Alex, introducing the episode.

Alex: "Cel, you're up. You just watched the most pathetic display of bows ever."
Bryn: "I hit! It was a solid, central hit!"
Alex: "Was it electric? Did it explode? Was it a siege crossbow? These are the criteria from which I am presuming Cel judges all archery."
Lydia: "Cel doesn't roll their eyes. They're like: Good job buddy!"
Bryn: "Aw! Hamid actually smiles. Because he knows it wasn't, but he appreciates someone saying so anyway!"
―Hamid shoots the goo creature.

Alex: "Then, it's the creature....it wants you back! It wants you back! ... OM NOM!"
Ben: "Is it going to move toward me?"
Alex: "From where it is, no, it is just going to take a swing because you're 10 feet away so you're in range of it. It has a 10 foot range, you have 10 foot range."
Ben: "Oh, it's envelop also has a 10 foot range?"
Alex: "Ah... So. No. It's just going to take a swing at you this time."
Ben: "So it doesn't want me back."
Alex, singing: "It wants you back... in pieces!"
Ben: "Right, that... [heavy sigh of frustration]"
Alex: "So, you gotta let me finish my songs! My expositional songs!"
―The creature attacks Zolf.

Bryn: "Two whole damage!"
Alex: "Look, every little helps. Every very, VERY little helps. In fact, you ticked it up to a whole-10 number! Hm? Wouldn't have happened without you."
Bryn: "So what you're saying is I rounded it off."
Alex: "Your attack is a rounding error, yes."
―Hamid shoots the goo creature again.

Hamid: "Good work, everyone okay?"
Zolf: "Yeah, who's hurt?"
Azu: "You are, right?"
Zolf: "Well, yeah, but..."
Azu: "...Well, me too."
Zolf: "Good. Right, well I can heal us both."
Azu: "I can also... Why don't we both- why don't we..."
Alex: "Lay 'em out on the table and let's have a look!"
―Zolf and Azu compare their healing abilities.

Alex: "What a bizarrely complicated scenario that managed to happen!"
Bryn: "I LOVE IT!"
Ben: "I hate it."
―Zolf goes to fight the storm after having received Protection From Energy and Resist Energy.

Helen: "Oh, Bryn... our little friends."
Ben: "They're minions."
Helen: "Yeah, but they don't really know what they're doing."
Ben: "If a dog was attacking you, would you fight it off?"
Helen: "Well, yeah, but I wouldn't, like, kill it."
Ben: "What if you had to?"
Alex: "What if the dog kept yelling Don't hurt me! while it did it."
Ben: "Well, they're not going to get a chance!"
―Hamid fireballs a group of kobolds and mooks, killing most of them instantly.

Alex: "But I'm going to give you this for free: You also reckon that jabbing a metal glaive in an active lightning rod, like the cable that is powering the power, is going to hurt."
Ben: "Or... Magic's great! I turn my glaive on fire and stuff it in the hole."
―Zolf takes down the lightning rod powering the lighthouse.

Azu: "Are you all right?"
Zolf: "I just got struck by lightning twice! WOOF! It's gone though."
Cel: "It's great right? The rush!"
Zolf: "Ehh... I mean, yeah, I am pumping, but also, woo! Anyway, right -"
―Zolf comes back inside after being hit by lightning.


Dice rolls and Mechanics[]

  • Zolf Fortitude save against the Goolem: 24
  • Azu Fortitude saves against the Goolem: 18, natural 1
  • Cel Knowledge (alchemy) check: 21
  • Zolf channels positive energy and heals everyone for 16 hit points
  • Hamid, Zolf, Cel and Azu Perception check: 25 (Zolf), 23 (Hamid), 21 (Cel), 15 (Azu)
  • Cel Knowledge (engineering) on the machinery in the lighthouse: 15
  • Hamid casts resist energy on Zolf, giving him 10 resistance to electricity.
  • Zolf attack roll on the crystal: 18, Zolf takes 13 electric damage.
  • Zolf casts protection from energy on himself, making him immune to the next 96 points of electric damage.
  • Zolf destroys the next three crystals which respectively do 15, 27, and 25 electric damage, all absorbed by the spell.
  • Azu uses lay on hands twice to heal Zolf for 15 and 14 hit points.
  • Azu, Zolf, Hamid and Cel Reflex save when Zolf opens the door at the top of the lighthouse: 19 (Zolf), 27 (Hamid), 14 (Cel), 24 (Azu)
  • Zolf Strength check to climb the lighthouse: 8
  • Zolf Reflex save to grab onto the ladder: 18
  • Zolf Strength check: 14
  • Zolf Reflex save: 11
  • Zolf Strength check (with bull's strength): 14
  • Zolf Reflex save: 13
  • Cel Knowledge (engineering) on how to have Zolf climb the ladder: 13
  • Zolf Fortitude save climbing the lighthouse: 26
  • Azu, Hamid and Cel Perception check: 18 (Hamid), 15 (Azu), 15 (Cel)
  • Hamid Stealth roll to sneak to the trapdoor: 28
  • Hamid casts fireball and does 44 fire damage on a crowd of enemies.
  • Zolf Strength check to open the maintenance panel: 22
  • Zolf is hit by lightning for 42 electric damage, all absorbed by protection from energy.
  • Zolf damage roll on the maintenance panel: 17 damage
  • Zolf is hit by lightning for 39 electric damage, 3 is absorbed by the protection from energy spell, 10 is absorbed by resist energy. Zolf takes 26 damage.
  • Zolf damage roll on the maintenance panel: 5 damage
  • Zolf Fortitude saves to climb back down: 29, 19
  • Zolf and Azu Strength check to haul Zolf back inside: 11 (Zolf), 14 (Azu)

Combat Breakdown[]

Combat continued from previous episode, active modifiers:

  • Hamid: +4 AC from mage armor.
  • Zolf: Is currently engulfed.

Initiative: Hamid (nat 20), Cel (11), Zolf (nat 1: 6), Goolem, Azu (4)

Round 2

  • Azu: Uses her second axe attack on the goolem: 15 (miss)

Round 3

  • Hamid: Fires his crossbow at the goolem: 27 (4 damage), Zolf takes 2 damage. Hamid uses his move action to reload his crossbow.
  • Cel: Fires three crossbow bolts into the goolem: Natural 1 (miss, but 8 damage to Zolf), 21 (miss), 11 (miss)
  • Zolf: Takes 3 acid damage at the start of his turn. He makes his fortitude save, but is grappled. Zolf tries to get out of the grapple: 21 (success), he pulls himself free from the goolem.
  • Goolem: Takes two swings at Zolf, hitting twice (16 damage, and 6 acid damage). Zolf makes a Fortitude save: 24 (success), resists an effect.
  • Azu: Attacks the goolem twice: 18 (miss), 22 (16 damage)

Round 4

  • Hamid: Fires his crossbow at the goolem and misses. He uses his movement to reload. 
  • Cel: Takes three shots at the goolem: 23 (5 damage), 10 (miss), 10 (miss)
  • Zolf: Moves 5 ft backwards and then activates freedom's call, and then converts an inflicts critical wounds into a cure critical wounds to heal himself for 19 hit point.
  • Goolem: Attempts to engulf Azu, but Azu is immune to being grappled due to Zolf's freedom's call, so it fails.
  • Azu: Attacks the goolem twice with her axe but misses both times.

Round 5

  • Hamid: Fires his crossbow at the goolem: 24 (2 damage). He uses his movement to reload. 
  • Cel: Throws their last two bombs: 21 (11 splash damage), 15 (miss)
  • Zolf: Takes a 5ft step towards the creature and takes a full attack action at the goolem but misses with a 15 and also misses his second attack.
  • Goolem: Attacks Azu twice, hitting twice. First attacks does 13 damage + 12 acid damage, second attack does 11 damage + 9 acid damage. Azu makes two Fortitude saves (18, natural 1). 
  • Azu: Attacks the goolem with her axe and hits with a 20, dealing 10 damage. The goolem explodes into goo. 

Trivia[]

  • The goolem is most likely a gelatinous golem, meaning it was only taking half damage while Zolf was engulfed.
  • Without protective spells, Zolf would have taken a total of 171 electric damage. 90 from breaking the crystals and 81 from being struck by lightning twice.

Plot Notes[]

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