The Bird’s Eye View S2|31: Let Me Be Blunt - Roll For Combat

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The Bird’s Eye View S2|31: Let Me Be Blunt

Jason recaps the events from Agents of Edgewatch S2|31: I Have a Bad Feeling About This.

So it seems like this week, the main story is us doing something stupid. (I know, right? Big shock.) We managed to get through Tyrroicese, but we ultimately made the fight harder than it needed to be by not bringing our blunt weapons to the party and not optimizing our use of the one source of good damage we brought along: the aligned oil.

Well, OK, I made the mistake. Lo Mang has fists, Dougie has a shifting weapon, Gomez casts spells. So it’s me we’re talking about here.

So I’m going to go ahead and break down what happened there. There are parts of it that I’m absolutely willing to defend as “the right call”, and other parts where I’m quite willing to say “yeah, I screwed up”.

First and foremost was just the lag between doing the initial research on Tyrroicese and actually fighting it. One would have to go back and see EXACTLY when it was, but in real life, AT LEAST a month passed… maybe closer to two… between first doing our intel-gathering and actually fighting. (In addition to the episodes themselves, I think this was around GenCon/back-to-school/etc. so I believe there was a week or two where we didn’t play.) So “vulnerable to good” managed to stick in my brain all that time but “you have to use blunt weapons” did not. So, 20-20 hindsight… maybe we should’ve refreshed our research or taken more complete notes the first time. “Defense will stipulate” as the courtroom shows say.

I’ll also admit that there was a bit of an emotional reaction to John (in particular) grousing about the cost of the aligned oil. My attitude was “we’re cops, we’re supposed to save this person; if spending a little money wins the fight, that’s what we need to do”. In particular, the point at which I’d already said I would pay for it and John was still calling it a waste of money was the point at which my pride got in the way of my decision-making just a little bit. I decided inside my own head that I was going to do 800 good-aligned damage so I PERSONALLY could prove that it was a good idea, and at that point, the idea of buying it and giving it to someone else (Lo Mang) became a non-option. Though in truth, a hasted Lo Mang could’ve done more attacks (up to 5 if he doesn’t also have to move) than I could.

Now here’s the part I will defend as sound tactics. That thing hits HARD – and my armor class is a few points lower than theirs. It was going to hit us; it was going to CRIT us. So the general intent of putting the aligned oil on a ranged weapon was to create a consistent damage stream that wasn’t likely to need healing unless/until other things went wrong. Dougie and Lo Mang might have to disengage to heal, or they may lose a round or two if they got dropped, while I could stay out of the fray and just plink it down with arrows. At worst, I would lose one action each round tweaking my positioning for optimal range. I even had an expanded version of the plan where I got up onto the catwalk and shot at it from there, but that would’ve required losing a round or even two in transit.

So there’s a tactical level on which the plan was sound, if I’d just remembered to bring some blunt arrows. I did create “a consistent damage stream”… that consistency was just 10 damage per shot instead of 25 or 30.

And that’s the other thing. When you take out all the OTHER stuff the Tyrroicese was immune to (precision damage and crits, in particular), this fight was ALWAYS going to be a grind. Even if we’d put the oil on Lo Mang… maybe the fight ends a round earlier. But then that means my bow was COMPLETELY useless, and I would’ve had to wade into melee range, and how does THAT change the complexion of the fight.

The other big story of this battle is just how lucky we got. Relistening to it later, Tyrroicese missed all but one attack in its first round, and then missed multiple attacks in its second round as well. Given that it was able to hit on something like a 5-ish on-die (depending on who it’s attacking and such), and crit around a 16, missing that much was WAY out on the skinny end of the probability curve. You’ll notice once it started hitting consistently in Round 3 and beyond, things started turning bad pretty quick, and we were lucky it was on its last legs… pseudo-pods… whatever… by that point.

Speaking of luck: did ANYONE expect Chris to land five consecutive hits… ever?

Another thing that amused me about this fight was at the opposite spectrum: how comparatively EASY the ochre jelly has become. Remember when we literally had to leave the dungeon and send an abstracted Hazmat crew in to reclaim Hendrid Pratchett’s remains because doing it ourselves might be a TPK? Now, that same basic monster is dealt with in two rounds, and the only reason it took two is that we still had to finish off the boss first. If we’d focused fire on the ochre jelly from the second it showed up, we probably could’ve gotten it down in one.

Of course, the Tyrroicese battle was the big focus, but we also managed to check off one more side quest by putting the chain back on the statue and putting Frefferth’s spirit to rest (or at least imprisoning it again). I love the newly revealed backstory that the “hero” of the battle was basically just felled by a stray arrow, and his saltiness at his own death turned him evil. That’s wonderful. Almost wonderful enough to make up for their being no loot.

There is, however, experience. This isn’t all metagame – we genuinely need to get the captain to safety and I’m not sure we want to tackle the Skinner with anything less than a full tank – but between Frefferth and rescuing the captain, it feels like we ought to be close to leveling, doesn’t it? I’m torn. We could PROBABLY go back and start the final level, but… the Big Boss is basically the first room you enter when you go to the lower level. So I think we’ll probably bask in the glow of our slightly suboptimal victory and come back at it next time.

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.