This is the week where everything started to kick into high gear – although the shenanigans actually started late on Saturday night with a couple of instant messages from our GM, recruiting me to stir things up a bit in the session. After a bit of discussion, a plan of action was conceived and left ready like the proverbial rake in the long grass.
Unknown to the adventurers, their presence within the college catacombs had been detected and the rather unpleasant lich in control of the area combined a summoning and a wish spell to force a temporary possession of my monk character by a demon. Cue hilarity as I suddenly shifted my webcam to focus on a McFarlane Toys Violater model and proceeded to attack everyone in sight, with a particular focus on the paladin and the cleric – because, demon..! The trade-off was that although the demon was in a berserk state, lowering armour class, he was adding an extra d6 of flaming damage and had a substantially increased amount of hit points. On an eighth level monk, this is… a worrying combination.
The cleric reacted by summoning reinforcements in the form of a number of hydras – which we all found both amusing given recent combats and worrying given the relatively small spaces we were fighting in. The GM ruled that the hydras were unable to injure the possessed monk/demon, which both annoyed the players and saved the GM rolling lots of dice. The demon possessed 90% magic resistance and attackers needed magical weapons to injure it, so the paladin was one of the few people with a reasonable chance of taking the demon down. A knock-down, drag out fight quickly began, with walls of flame, flame strikes and trash talk coming from the demon, and various people either gibbering in the corner or throwing whatever they had on the off-chance it might work.
What helped prevent a Total Party Kill, was some horrendous dice rolling on my side – rolling 100% when asked to resist a lightning bolt, which was very effective, and not really rolling particularly high when doing damage to other people. With the demon reduced to 0 hitpoints in ferocious combat with the cleric and paladin, it was banished, leaving a very battered monk in need of healing.
Just as this healing was being applied, the lich sent in more undead – some of which was cannon fodder to give him enough time to weigh in with fireballs and other unpleasantness. Pressing the advantage while healing options were low, the attack came in on several fronts, splitting the group’s focus.
Perhaps wanting to redeem himself, my monk leapt back into the fray to distract the lich and prevent spellcasting – either that or my blood was up, having been in combat most of the session already. Despite the hordes of minor undead, spells detonating left, right and centre, and a lot of damage and energy draining, we managed to put the lich down, my monk’s combat rolls redeeming the earlier less than stellar performance earlier in the evening. As time was getting on, we called things to a halt at that point.
On a technical level, things went quite smoothly, with the GM now being more practiced in moving and adding models as needed, and with no one getting accidentally deleted. Sound levels continued to be variable, with occasional logging off and relogging seeming to be the key to resolving issues. There were seven of us in the session, and to be fair only one of us is using the premium service as the rest of us are being a bit cheap. I don’t know if this is part of what is causing differing sound levels and echoes due to bandwidth and buffering, or just a reflection of the eclectic mix of hardware being used.
Between us we are using desktop PCs, laptops, Apple Macs and iPads, and everything else seems to be running smoothly. Considering the option would otherwise be several hours of travel for some of our group, we’re continuing to play this way – though we will be looking at the experimental options being offered through the site to see if that helps.