Jason recaps the events from Agents of Edgewatch S2|28: Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better
It’s Week 3 of Fightageddon, and the big boys have finally come out to play. That’s right: the ceustodaemons and the golem from the front porch finally arrive.
It does dawn on me that in terms of time, we probably could’ve packed this fight into two episodes, but I do think in this case, the editing and the shorter episodes flow better. If you think about it, Steve managed to break this into three distinct phases – main room, reinforcements from the sleeping quarters, and now the guys from the porch. If he’d tried to make two longer episodes, it probably would’ve been hard to make the episode break fall at a convenient place. It probably would’ve dropped right in the middle of the round or something.
As always, when dealing with golems, you have to be careful with your magic. With all golems, one damage type is extra-effective, one damage type heals it, and a third usually slows it – it’s just a question of which is which for any particular golem. In this case, those are fire, electricity, and cold respectively. I’d also add to the pattern that there’s usually one other individual spell (in this case, flesh to stone) that can be used fairly normally as well. They’re immune to every other form of magic and highly resistant to most melee damage.
The ceustodaemons? They’re tough customers, but they’re built for offense; nothing special about their defenses, not even their armor class. Their big thing is a fire breath weapon, but it turns out (reading the stat block after the fact) that it has a recharge timer, so they can only use it every 1d4 rounds.
As for the fight, the first ceustodaemon busts in, but then… don’t look now, we’re doing tactics! Lo Mang moves forward and locks the door, and then I’m able to get a fortunate crit on the last remaining cultist who tries to open the door. The gist of it is that the locked door buys us a few rounds to work on the first guy before his buddies arrive. I have to admit, if we ever had a virtual highlight reel for this show, that shot would probably go on my personal one.
And here’s where the tactics kick into high gear. One thing I’ve noticed is that we don’t have a conventional attack of opportunity in our party, but we have stuff that’s almost as good. Lo Mang has his crane flutter (aka the Chicken Dance) where he can counter-attack when an enemy misses him. That’s pretty handy. But now Dougie has opportune backstab, which basically lets him add a free attack when one of us hits.
Now, if there’s a drawback to that opportune backstab ability, it’s that it doesn’t confer flat-footed on its own. This means Dougie doesn’t automatically get that bonus damage and that free attack isn’t quite as effective. BUT… everyone welcomes Basil’s shared stratagem to the party! Now I can give one person (cough-Dougie-cough) flat-footed for their next attack. Now, strictly speaking, the opportune backstab has to chain off a melee attack, so my bow attacks can’t directly chain into it, but I can either a) set it up with my sword-cane or b) I can at least prime the pump and then let Lo Mang’s attacks set it off at a later date or just let him use it on his own turn: it’s good until the start of MY next turn, not his.
Of course, there’s also the simple solution: Dougie and Lo Mang just stay together and “Parkour Pals” the creature down by staying in flanking as much as possible. That way they can both chain their abilities off each other and either any damage I add is just gravy, or I can concentrate on secondary targets.
Now we do briefly get in some hot water here, courtesy of the ceustodaemon’s at-will dimension door ability. We had a good defensive perimeter set up, and then the big boy just leaps behind them and hits me and Gomez with the breath weapon. It’s not terrible for me, but poor Gomez ends up with a slight pan-sear for his trouble.
On the other hand, we return the favor when it comes to the golem: we’ve got all our flame spells locked and loaded, so the minute he shows his ugly mug, we just KILL IT WITH FIRE. The classics never truly go out of style.
And finally, with both daemons and the golem dealt with… the end of combat sound is played. Whew.
One thing I noticed… everyone except Basil had a brush with death at SOME point during this fight, but we were able to spread it out enough to keep going. Lo Mang took an early beating, but retreated back to Gomez and healed while Dougie held the line. Then the second round opened up, and Dougie took some hits dealing with the remnants of the first wave while Lo Mang was holding off the reinforcements from the west. Eventually, Dougie was able to maneuver his way out of the fight for a bit and potion up. Even Gomez took some late hits when the ceustodaemons warped into the back-line, and OK, the fight was over before he healed, but he was able to get himself out of danger before it really reached emergency status. Basil didn’t escape unscathed, but I do think I only got down to about half health before badging up, so I’m not going to pretend I had an equally hairy time. The flower in my lapel might have been dislodged; that’s about it.
The real question is do we even DARE to press on? On one hand, those screams sound bad and sound like something we should deal with. I don’t know that any of the remaining prisoners are VIPs/quest targets (I guess maybe Gubs is still around here somewhere?), but we’re still the cops: rescuing citizens is part of the job description. And OK, looking at the map Dannicus gave us, cleaning out the scream room would PRETTY MUCH clear this floor… there would MAYBE be one or two more rooms after that. On the other hand, we did just have one HELL of a fight, and our resources are a little tapped. Let’s be honest: it would be a real shame if we got through the last three episodes and then dropped to something comparatively wimpy trying to stretch one room too far.
But it would make for quite a story.
I guess we’ll find out what decision we make next week. 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 show. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.