February 2020 - Roll For Combat: Pathfinder & Starfinder Actual Play Podcasts

Plaguestone 31: Firecat vs. Firerat

It’s the fight of the century! Firecat vs. Firerat! The cat is strong and large, but the rat is small and nimble! Who will win? It’s The Bludgeon in the Dungeon!

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. We would also love it if you would leave us a review on iTunes!

Talking Combat 124: Head Like A HAL9000

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat, Episode 124: More Machine Than Man

As promised for a few weeks, this is the episode where things start to get a little shaky. And while John may be totally cool with a party-wipe to end this thing, I want Tuttle to live. I’m stubborn that way.

The very mild good news of this episode is that we finally beat down the remaining adds, and I got the other door locked so either no more adds will show up at ALL, or they at least have to take the long way around to get to the bridge. So now it’s just us and the Big Bad.

Unfortunately, that’s going wrong in just about every way imaginable. And the hidden reason is the boss doesn’t have to beat the whole party to put us in an unwinnable situation, he just has to beat our top two guys. It’s like losing the queen in chess – the game’s not OVER if the other side takes your queen, but it gets a lot tougher to win.

Right now Akiro is the only one who can see the boss, and he just got hit with that Rewire Flesh spell, which is proving to be NASTY, for reasons I mostly went into last week (Cliff’s Notes: no action needed to sustain + save only does half rather than removes it). As this episode ends, I think he’s out of stamina and into meat. And also running low on spells. Mo, who is our best overall damage-dealer, is chugging potions to stay up because he took the brunt of the damage from tanking the adds. He’s also flat-footed and mute, adding an extra layer of difficulty. And now we find out the boss has some sort of fast-heal. Lovely.

To return to that chess analogy, Mo and Akiro are the queen and a rook. If they go down, we gotta find a way to win with a knight (Hirogi – can do big damage situationally, but the boss is likely to save against his trick attack) and a couple of pawns (Tuttle and Rusty). So THAT’S the urgency – in a few rounds, we might “still” have three guys up, but it’s likely to be the wrong three guys.

I wanted to address some of Steve’s commentary about retreating and waiting for the spells to run out. I can only speak for myself, but I felt like we were doing a lesser version of that. Maybe not a full run-and-hide, but if we could get the adds down and just make it us vs. the boss, we could maybe spread out around the room, try to get some people healed up, and wait until the invisibility broke. If there’s one saving grace about fighting this boss, it feels like it’s not wired for big bursty damage. It’s not some melee who’s going to run in and full-attack for 50 points; it’s just going to bounce around the room lobbing fireballs (several of us have DR vs. fire) and chip away at us, and wait for that DoT to take Akiro down. The DoT doesn’t seem to be going anywhere whether we flee or not. And those corrosive hazes move slowly, so they should be easy to avoid. So the real trick is to not bunch together and give up 2-3 characters’ worth of explosive blast damage at a time. Admittedly, that’s a little more difficult when we’re trying to pass potions between us, but it’s not unworkable.

So it’s not a full tactical retreat, exactly. But it is a strategy of trying to minimize the boss’ strengths long enough for the battlefield to equalize a little. To metagame a little, we’re on round 9 or 10, and a boss is going to be at or above the level of the party, so 13-15th level, maybe? Maybe with all of these adds, the boss might be a little lower? Optimistically, we only have to wait it out a couple more rounds.

The thing we don’t know is whether it has a second cast of greater invisibility… if that happens, I don’t know WHAT we do. Die gruesome deaths, probably.

While we’re talking about invisibility, I did want to offer a mild rules-lawyer on that invisibility, in particular how it interacts with the corrosive haze. Even if you’re invisible, your interactions with objects in the world are not. If you open a door while invisible, people see the door opening. If you threw a sheet on top of yourself while invisible, people would see the sheet just fine. So I feel like there ought to have at least been a CHANCE to see the outline of a person in the corrosive haze – even if it was a really high-DC Perception roll or something. Think the Predator effect from the movie. Then again, to give Steve’s interpretation a fair hearing, a fine mist isn’t walking through a waterfall or even rain; it’s microscopic. If it’s a foggy day, can you really see individual droplets of fog displace when someone moves through them? We’re not living in the Matrix here…

So that’s where we end this. I feel like there are still possibilities for pulling this out, but we gotta come up with something that at least changes the nature of the fight. And for me personally, I should be trying to make Tuttle as inviting a target as possible. I don’t have a taunt ability, but honestly, for these next few rounds… I’m wracking my brain for a way to get the boss to focus its attention on me. I’m probably the least useful offensive character, I haven’t taken much (any?) damage, and I even have DR10 to fire if I have to eat a fireball. I don’t want to die exactly, but if it helps the team regroup, I should be wearing a sign that says “HIT THIS MOUSE, WIN A STEAK DINNER!” or something.

And guess what. I have an “or something”. But you’ll have to wait until next week to hear what I come up with. While you’re waiting, feel free to drop by Discord or other social media, let us know what you think of the show, and join the ongoing merriment. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.

Dead Suns 124: More Machine Than Man

The RFC Crew is starting to run out of ammo, special abilities, and buff spells and things are starting to look dire against the unkillable, invisible, flying Space Lich. Parley?

Also, GM Steve explores some of his favorite boss monsters from prior published adventures.

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. We would also love it if you would leave us a review on iTunes!

Talking Plaguestone 30: Averting Cat-astrophe

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat: The Fall of Plaguestone, Episode 30: Baby Shark.

This week’s episode features a battle against an old nemesis…

(record scratch)

(pushes glasses up on nose)

At the risk of being tedious and pedantic, that’s actually a mild spoiler. We never actually SAW the person shooting at us from the tower in the initial courtyard battle, so we probably shouldn’t really know it’s the same person. Though, how many elite orc archer types can one castle have? Whatever… we’ll pretend we recognize her by her fancy bow and move on I guess.

On the other hand, I guess that finally puts my long-running “Noala is an enemy plant” theory to bed. I very briefly thought that “enemy archer” was “Noala is actually Vilree’s lieutenant and snuck into the enemy camp while we were preparing”. But now we’ve got an orc archer on our hands, so consider that idea formally retired.

The single biggest development this time was the almost-death of Ember.

First, I’d like to point out that if you’re listening to both of our shows, this happened within a few episodes of losing CHDRR in the Dead Suns game, so… amusing coincidence, but it’s been a rough month for my poor pets. This does mean I’ve already mentally decided that whatever we play next, no pet for me. No animal companion, no familiar… just me.

Second, I’d like to point out that I was specifically holding Ember out of the battle because I remembered her being vulnerable to either water or ice (couldn’t remember which one, and couldn’t find the stat sheet for her as we were playing). So I swear I was TRYING to keep her safe. But then the shark retreated toward her and it presented a prime opportunity to flank, which was just too good to pass up. And frankly, if the brine shark hadn’t critted, it would’ve been fine and we’d have been in fine shape.

As far as the ruling, it actually looks like it’s NOT GM discretion; It looks like companions are subject to the same rules as the characters. Quoth the rulebook (page 459):

Player characters, their companions, and other significant characters and creatures don’t automatically die when they reach 0 Hit Points. Instead, they are knocked out and are at risk of death. At the GM’s discretion, villains, powerful monsters, special NPCs, and enemies with special abilities that are likely to bring them back to the fight (like ferocity, regeneration, or healing magic) can use these rules as well.

So it’s not even GM discretion… Ember lives! Which is a relief on multiple levels. Tactically, I’m already down a shield, I’d hate to also lose my fire-cat too. Having my character functionality slowly whittled away on the way to the final battle is kind of a drag. But also, I’d hate to have gone through all that trouble to get this cool, fairly unique mount, and then have to trade it in for a boring old horse. No offense to horses in the abstract, but… come on.

While we’re talking rules… I agree with the consensus that it still feels a little silly that alchemical flasks are a martial weapon. I mean… if someone broke into my house right this minute, I could PROBABLY figure out the mechanics of picking something up and throwing it at the intruder. Having said that, allow me to make the other side of the argument. First, on a game mechanic level, it’s an easy way to make alchemical bombs something that alchemists do well – make it a preferred weapon and a class feature, easy-peasy, they’re the designated bomb-tossers. But if you want something that works more in-game, one could argue that the skill is not the throwing, but judging of distances and blast radiuses (radii?) on the fly to be able to accurately put a bomb in the right place in the middle of a firefight. (Also allowing for movement, as everyone’s turns within a round are supposed to be happening semi-simultaneously.) Going back to that previous example, yes I could pick something up and throw it at an intruder. Could I pick up a grenade, figure out where to throw it to hit the intruder but not hit my dogs, while the intruder is coming at me? Maybe that IS a martial skill.

Of course, it’s no skin off my nose. I’m trained in martial weapons, so more fun for me.

As we reach the end of the session, we head to the bottom of the stairs and are presented with the classic RPG dilemma – we’re mostly out of resources, and what we were all hoping was a final room is really an entire additional section of the complex. (Even without Steve zooming the blank map out, we could see two corridors and two or three doors just from where the stairs let out.) So what do we do? We’ve got to assume both Vilree and the orc archer are down there somewhere – so that’s at least two formidable opponents – and maybe even some additional minions too. We simply don’t have the resources for that, but there are ALL sorts of hints that waiting too much longer would be bad for the town.

At the end of the day, you can’t help the town if you’re dead, so I guess we’re stopping to rest. It just doesn’t feel very heroic. You don’t see Superman popping off to the Fortress of Solitude for a nap halfway through the story. (Except for Superman 2, where he kinda does. Maybe not the best example.) But it’s just one of those unsolvable “problems” of any RPG system – as a game mechanic, you have to set the refresh on resources to SOMETHING. If you make it too easy to recover resources, the game becomes trivial and you lose a sense of accomplishment. If you make it too hard to recover resources, you end up with a lot of stories that end in unsatisfying character deaths. So you gotta pick something and just hope that it matches up pretty well with the story beats the majority of the time.

So… long rest it is. Next week we tackle the basement level, hopefully, find Vilree, and also hopefully aren’t too late to save the town. While you’re waiting, feel free to drop by Discord or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

Plaguestone 30: Baby Shark

Don’t you hate it when you are planning what the party is going to do next and you are unexpectedly ambushed by multiple monsters at once?

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. We would also love it if you would leave us a review on iTunes!

Talking Combat 123: Resistance is Futile

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat, Episode 122: You’re Locked In Here With Me!

We start this episode with an act of SUPREME BETRAYAL AND TREACHERY!

Yes, I’m talking about the fact that The Voiceover Guy no longer says “and his drone CHDRR!” when introducing me. What the hell, man? We’ve still got five people coming out of the basement and onto the Internet instead of six, but you had time to do CHDRR dirty like that? I’m lodging a formal protest with… well, whoever one lodges those sorts of protests with. The World Court at The Hague? Judge Judy? WHERE IS MY JUSTICE?

Sorry… rant over.

At any rate, after two weeks of “we got this”, here’s where we finally reach the “maybe we don’t got this” portion of the fight. It hasn’t gone bad yet, but it feels like it’s teetering on the edge of bad.

The main thing is that the lion’s share of our damage has gone onto the two biggest damage dealers, so if they drop, the rest of us don’t have the firepower to take the boss out ourselves. (And in fact, we can’t even SEE him.) Mo and Akiro are the big guns – we know this. Hirogi is pretty good when he lands Trick Attack, but if he doesn’t land that, his damage output becomes kind of ordinary. Rusty and Tuttle though are pretty much support characters. If we have to take something out… well, maybe we should just let Rusty try to talk us out of it at that point. Or swear loyalty to the Corpse Fleet and ask for Australia as the price for our help. (Sorry… Gene Hackman turned 90 recently, so he’s been on the brain.)

In a normal battle, we’ve found ways to spread that out a little so the enemy “wastes” some of their damage on me and Bob (another way in which CHDRR might have been useful – clogging lanes and soaking up attacks). Or at least it’s one Big Bad Squaring off against Mo and the rest of us chop down adds. In this combat, the three of us really haven’t been getting hit, except by the secondary damage (the acid sphere or standing too close together and getting caught in an Explosive Blast).

And that’s the other thing that stands out about this fight. There’s a lot of “extra” damage being brought to bear. Explosive Blast isn’t a lot of damage at this level, but it hits multiple targets. Basically the equivalent of endless grenades. The acid damage isn’t a lot of damage, except that it gives you a 10-point kicker even after you’ve moved out of it.

But the poster child for that is the Rewire Flesh spell. Again, 3d6 per round isn’t a huge amount of damage in any one roll. But it’s a nasty little bugger because it’s basically free fire-and-forget damage for double-digit rounds. There’s no action needed to sustain it. A save only halves it; nothing short of Dispel Magic negates it (and I wasn’t paying close attention to Chris’ rolls, but the save seemed like it was in the 15ish range). It’s internal damage, so any sort of externally-focused damage reduction is useless. So even if the “average” damage on the spell is only 11 or 12 points per round, that’s a constant drain while the caster can go on about his business casting other nastiness. To which Chris is also now more susceptible because he moves slower and is flat-footed. That spell didn’t really leap off the page when I first looked at it except that it had gnarly “flavor”… now, I’d be hard-pressed to roll a caster that DOESN’T take that.

And then there’s that other door. I hinted at doing so last session, but this time I really am going to go lock that thing. I have nothing guiding that decision beyond a) general symmetrical dungeon design, and b) the fact that we really can’t handle another round of adds. We have to start making a dent in the boss. Since we’ve already seen the admiral, the captain, and their Mister Worf (Gatecrasher), I don’t feel like there would be a boss-level monster in the other room, but even another helping of undead monks would arguably push us past our limits. If we’re not there already.

Now, as Seth points out, they might still be able to go back out into the main lobby and re-enter through one of the other doors, but… first things first. If it becomes a race to lock the other sets of doors, I think we can win that one because there’s two of us and we’d have the shorter route to the remaining inner doors.

I don’t know how I feel about Steve giving us such an overt hint about the See Invisibility ampule. There’s probably some absolute level where he probably shouldn’t have done that. If we didn’t study our characters well enough, that’s on us, and if we die… I guess we die. But I do think it’s worth mentioning that this fight was being recorded during the holidays, and there was a two or three-week break around Christmas. So it really was more than a month since we had gotten that piece of loot, so maybe the little hint was warranted. I suppose that’s for you as the listener to decide – cheesy or not? Though for the moment, it isn’t cheesy until we benefit from it.

As we end this week, the adds are down or pretty close to it. If I recall correctly, there’s still one undead monk that’s been hit for at least 100 or so damage, and there might still be a second add whose overall status I’m a little fuzzier on, but that’s it. If we can get those guys down and start working on the boss as a team, there’s still a window to win this. Not to metagame too overtly, but if he’s a caster, that should mean he has fewer hitpoints than your average Big Bad. But it’s going to be a race against time, and that’s where we’ll pick it up next week.

As always, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week!

Dead Suns 123: Domo Arigato, Akiro Roboto

It’s getting to that time in the fight where people are beginning to fail their “save vs. death” saves and things are getting ugly real fast.

Also, GM Steve explores why he loves Adventure Paths and will continue to run them whenever possible.

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. We would also love it if you would leave us a review on iTunes!

Talking Plaguestone 29: Puke The Site From Oribit

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat: The Fall of Plaguestone, Episode 29: Here Comes The Drudge.

We start today with a bit of a show note. Last night was supposed to be a recording session for us, but things came unglued because of technical difficulties – like… three different things one right after the other. Clearly someone stole a monkey-god idol they weren’t supposed to, and we all ended up paying for it. IT’S THE CURRRRRSE! (Cut to a close shot of the idol, lit with ominous shadows, with tinkling discordant piano notes.)

And yet we still had a blast because we just sat around and BS’ed about stuff. (Well, it was less fun for Steve because he was mostly down in the electronic boiler room trying to fix things. But the rest of us had a grand old time.) The reason I’m mentioning this is to offer a little reminder that it can be fun to get your gaming group together for a non-gaming session every once in a while. The game tends to impose roles, which sometimes puts us in boxes. Most obviously it separates the GM from the rest of the table by placing them in the role of rule interpreter and captain of Team Monster, but even within a party, people can start to get a little locked into the roles they play in the group. The healer ends up subservient and follows the lead of other players; the face of the party tends to dominate conversations, things like that. Setting that aside and just enjoying each other’s company for an evening is the sort of thing that keeps a gaming group together over the long haul. I highly recommend it.

(Though I’ll also be honest: the new Fire Emblem Three Houses DLC dropped last night mid-session, and I was sorely tempted to feign some “technical difficulties” of my own and go play that. MUST MEET THE SEWER CHILDREN! But that’s a whole other blog. In answer to the obvious questions: “Golden Deer, even though I think Claude is kind of an asshat” and “Petra”.)

OK, uncharacteristically wholesome digression over… time to kick some alchemical drudge ass!

This was one of those fun fights because the acid pools created an element of challenge that was interesting without being overly punitive. Yes, the squares of acid made movement tricky – at one point, the board looked like a half-finished game of Minesweeper. But as long as you didn’t end your turn in one, there wasn’t any real consequence, so it mostly just involved planning your moves carefully.

For an example of “too punitive”, there’s a room in the Emerald Spire where it’s complete (magical) darkness AND difficult terrain, and you’re facing bad guys (orcs or kobolds or something – it’s a low-level encounter) who can see just fine. Some of whom are archers. So you’re wandering around bumping into stuff, hoping you find someone to attack, while they’re shooting you to pieces. That’s an example of being challenging without being particularly fun.

This also strikes me as a fight that really works because of the way Second Edition has limited attacks of opportunity and opened up the battlefield. Put this same fight in First Edition for a second. Then you’ve got pools of acid everywhere, but if you try and escape them too aggressively, you’re choosing between guaranteed acid damage or eating attacks of opportunity. So… “damage” or “also damage”, and we’re back to “challenging, but not fun”. But in Second Edition, it flows much better.

One interesting outcome was that the flow of combat put Prue on a bit of an island. When the fight first started and we didn’t know what the drudges could do, Prue decided to charge further into the room to get in the drudges’ faces. As you do when you’re a front-line fighter. Get in faces, beat ‘em down. But then the drudges started spitting acid, and the rest of us tended to retreat backwards whenever we were standing in acid. So eventually, we had a mini-lake of acid with Prue all by herself on one side and the rest of us on the other. Also, we kind of gave them control of the main choke-point on the battlefield, the doorway. Oops.

The other thing you might have noticed is it mostly took Ember out of the fight, but that a conscious decision on my part. Once I realized that movement was going to be a key component of the fight, it dawned on me that running out of moves and potentially leaving me or Ember standing in acid was probably a worse negative than the positive of any additional damage she could do. (Also, at least early in the fight, the doorway made a natural chokepoint and just getting her into the action was going to be difficult.) If things got dire, I would’ve brought her forward, but as long as we were in reasonable control of things, I figured I’d just let her sit this one out.

Cynically, I also enjoyed this fight because I didn’t get any of my rules wrong – I didn’t use Lay on Hands, and I got Liberating Step right (for the most part). Now to be fair, some of that came about because of Prue’s choice to run into the room: she was out of range of either of those effects, so I didn’t have a CHANCE to screw it up. But we may also be catching up to the point where we actually realized we were doing it wrong and started doing it correctly. Though having said I did it right, there might have been a lost opportunity to do it BETTER. Liberating Step also includes giving the ally a Step as a free-action: as I’m re-listening, I’m thinking there might have been opportunities to use that to not only block damage but to be more clever about moving people out of the acid. Ah well.

And then at the end of the fight, I had almost forgotten about The Leap. That was literally me being a knucklehead for the sake of using a feat that a) I had never used and b) my teammates had made fun of me for taking. So even though it was only 10’ of acid and I could’ve just run through it and ended my turn on the other side, I wanted to try my leap just to say I did it. The DC of the check was pretty low – single digits, I believe – but the universe being the Great Equalizer that it is, I fully expected to roll a Nat-1 and faceplant into the acid. If that had happened, I TOTALLY would’ve deserved it. But no… I finally get to be Brixley the Bullfrog.

And that’s where we end the episode. Drudges dispensed with, new areas to explore, and since this is more of a workshop area, this feels more like the right way to go to find Vilree. And that’s where we’ll pick it up next week. As always, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.

Plaguestone 29: Here Comes The Drudge

This week the RFC Crew decides to play a game of hopscotch, only instead of skipping over chalk lines, they need to skip over pools of bubbling acid!

Also, learn more about our two new podcasts!

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. We would also love it if you would leave us a review on iTunes!

Talking Combat 122: Admiral on the Bridge

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat, Episode 122: You’re Locked In Here With Me!

Well, we found the boss. Or, maybe more accurately, the boss found us.

Up to a point, this fight has been going pretty well. I didn’t like losing CHDRR so early, but he did almost 100 points of damage in his swan song, and we actually made pretty quick work of the initial force opposing us (Gatecrasher plus the two monks). Plus, it was a cool storytelling moment.

But… now we have a flying invisible caster to deal with, who’s basically Mirror Universe Akiro. Which is probably the one thing our group doesn’t have an easy fix for. Mo (in particular) is great at stand-up fights – if he can see it and hit it, he can kill it. But so far, Akiro is the only one who can actually see the Big Bad, as see invisibility only works on himself. As one of our listeners pointed out on Discord, we do have a see invisibility spell ampule (basically a potion) we got in the last fight, but for now, we don’t remember it (and I think it’s in Akiro’s possession anyway.. the one guy who doesn’t need it).

I’m going to at least partially plead scheduling on this bout of forgetfulness – at some point during this final fight, we broke for the holidays, and didn’t play for like 2 or 3 weeks. So part of it is as simple as we forgot about the ampule because of the long layover. And/or we got that ampule right at the end of the session when people were starting to mentally pack it in until next week – the “cool” treasure was the four items in the display cases, and the ampule just got overshadowed.

Interestingly, there’s a rules-lawyer I should’ve thought of but didn’t think of until I was re-listening later: the Stinkeye. Just as a reminder, Tuttle has temporary Sense Through Vision (basically X-ray vision) in one eye as an after-effect of using the Stitch Spider. At first I thought I could’ve pleaded that Tuttle might detect a difference in density – that his Sense Through was going through additional material in the spot the lich was in – that maybe might merit a chance to see the edges of the lich or something.

So I went back and read the text of the effect, and it’s actually blocked by “energy fields and sufficiently dense materials”. So, missed opportunity or not? It SPECIFICALLY mentions wall of force, so if I had used the Stinkeye, I would’ve actually seen the wall of force in a bit of reverse X-ray vision. More importantly, it’s also blocked by “force fields that grant temporary hit points”, so if that lich had any sort of shield on him, that might also have blocked my Stinkeye and given me… I don’t know, a lich-shaped negative-space outline? Or, would any of his other spells have tripped it? Granted, if I’d been able to see him, I still wouldn’t be able to do much except wimpy gun damage or chucking grenades at it, but it’d be better than nothing.

(Checked with Steve. He said no, the lich didn’t have a force field. So… wouldn’t have mattered. But I thought it was an interesting digression.)

Meanwhile… reinforcements arrive from the Ready Room, including the named vesk captain Mo has heard of. Again, not an insurmountable bunch, but it ratchets the challenge level up a notch or two, and we probably need to take care to split them up so they’re not all pounding on Mo. The real danger here is that paralysis effect – remember from the train station that paralysis = free coup de grace’s, and that could turn this fight into a shitshow in a hurry. Still, some good saving throws here, a timely crit there, and we’re still hanging in there.

Speaking of good saving throws, I snuck a look at the rewire flesh spell the boss cast, and it’s nasty stuff: 3d6 damage each round (save for half), flat-footed, half-speed, and a -2 penalty to DEX saves. And one round per level so… I dunno… 13, 14 rounds? If/when I get around to playing a Technomancer, I’m definitely grabbing that one.

The arrival of reinforcements from the back left also brings up the possibility that reinforcements could come from the back right door as well – hello, symmetrical “dungeon” construction! Depending on how the flow of the fight goes, I’m going to burn a round or two to run over to that door and try to seal it so bad guys either can’t go in at all, or AT LEAST have to go around the long way and give us a few more rounds to dispatch the current batch. I’ll wait to make sure Mo has things in hand, but sealing that door might be a more effective use of my time than a few rounds of Pew-Cubed.

This brings up a meta point about the blog itself. The next few episodes represent an interesting writing challenge because we begin and end in the same battle. Which is not to say there’s not interesting stuff in each segment, but there’s a potential for overlap and repeating things. There are going to be callbacks to previous parts of the fight, and there may even be a few places like this where I talk about strategy for future parts of the fight. No overt spoilers, but a little bit of “here’s what I was thinking of doing next at this point in the fight”. I just wanted to acknowledge that the blog will be a little fluid about episode boundaries, but I’ll try to avoid spoiling anything outright.

So we end Fight Night, Round Two in roughly the same place as before – pretty good shape on the adds, NO plan for dealing with the boss, unless Akiro can somehow solo him. If you want to delve into the metagame, greater invisibility lasts one round per level so if we wait him out and can stay alive… 13, 14 rounds… we might get a target to shoot at. But that’s easier said than done. Hope you’ll rejoin us next week – you stuck with us two years, don’t leave now! – and see how this goes. While you’re waiting, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the final fight so far. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week!