Following the first foray into the Monastery of the Fire Opal, Flamepaw returned to Dragon’s Port and recruited two allies – a human fighter named Nevim and a half-orc thief called Grimblade.
Because Flamepaw’s first encounter with the dungeon was a big scary deal, I’ve decided to award him a single Experience Roll. As his arcane magic saved his life, I’ve opted to test Flamepaw’s Arcane Casting skill: roll 1d100 + his INT and try to beat the existing value of 63; rolls 26 for a total of 47, which is means Flamepaw gets a single +1% increase to the skill.
Back to the Monastery
Another six-mile hike brings Flamepaw and his party back to the narrow causeway leading out to the low mound upon which stand the walls and buildings of the deserted monastery. Growing ever more cautious, Flamepaw leads the group to the rubble-strewn flight of steep and worn steps leading downward.
“Grimblade, light the lantern. I know what’s down here and we need to be vigilant – as discussed back at the inn.”
The half-orc kneels and lights the lantern using the flint and steel from Flamepaw’s backpack. Beside him, Nevim unhitches his round shield and draws his longsword. Flamepaw grasps his staff and waits as Grimblade rises, lantern in one hand and broadsword in the other.
“Remember: the spider is massive and we need to strike quickly. Nevim, up front!”
Slowly and cautiously, the party make their way down the steps and into the beckoning darkness.
Into the depths…
The lantern burns brightly, sending out a beam around 5 feet wide and 30 feet long. At the base of the stairs, the group can see a wide vaulted chamber perhaps 30 feet square with a 20-foot-high roof. Layers of thick webbing hide the ceiling from sight. The floor is strewn with stone, broken and rotted wooden weapon debris, and a sprinkling of silver coins. The skull of a small humanoid, perhaps a Goblin, lies near the centre of the room. And then Nevim sees it, huge and bulbous – the giant spider, surrounded by spiderlings, moving swiftly to attack!
Some days have passed, so I’m going to treat the giant spider as healed up. Time to roll Initiative! Nevim rolls 8 for a total of 17; Flamepaw rolls 3 for a total of 23; Grimblade rolls 10 for a total of 24. The giant spider scores 20. The order of activity will be Grimblade, Flamepaw, the spider, and then Nevim.
Standing on the stairs and unable to move past his compatriots, Grimblade raises his sword to ward his face and stands firm.
The half-orc is warding with the sword and taking a Delay action.
Flamepaw begins to weave arcane words and gestures and then, suddenly, points directly at the giant spider as he shouts a loud exclamation…
The magic-user is trying to cast Magic Missile which, as an Evocation spell, he can do at +1 Intensity and +1 Magnitude for no extra cost. As Flamepaw can only create one missile (limited by his Rank), he just spends the three Magic Points and creates an Intensity 2 attack (which really just means it can go further). The Magic Missile will automatically hit and strike a random location for 1d6+1 damage, ignoring worn armour… but the spider has natural armour nonetheless.
Arcane Casting roll scores 88 against the needed 64. I decide to use a Luck Point for a re-roll and score 60 – a success! Rolls 1d20 for a 6, hitting the Mid Right Leg and scoring 7 points of damage – woo-hoo! Three hit points of damage go through the tough, furry hide of the giant spider.
A bright red bolt of energy spurts from Flamepaw’s hand and strike the spider’s middle leg on the right side. The beast flinches from the burning pain as the magical energy sears through its hide! To finish, Flamepaw takes a diagonal step past Nevim, placing the fighter between himself and the spider.
The spider lands on the ground before Nevim with an audible crunch. Raising its fore legs to ward against the big man’s strike, the beast rears up threateningly.
The spider takes a Delay action and completes the move to engage the fighter. It can’t strike yet, but it does get to react to anything Nevim does.
Shield raised to protect his head, chest, abdomen and left arm, Nevim lashes out with his longsword…
Warding the listed locations is important, as it’s not likely that Nevim will kill the beast in one strike. Still, hope burns eternal! Roll to attack, scoring 14 against his Fighter Combat Style of 59. The spider gets to parry, rolling 100 and fumbling! Wow – lucky Nevim gains two Special Effects! I opt for Choose Location (Cephalothorax) and the Bleed effect. Nevim rolls 1d8+1d4 damage, scoring 9 points; that puts 5 points into the Cephalothorax and forces an opposed Endurance roll versus Nevim’s attack roll – the spider rolls 99 and fumbles the Endurance roll too! It’ll be Bleeding out one level of Fatigue each round.
The blade slices across the multi-eyed cephalothorax of the spider and draws blood! Nevim roars with delight as the beast seems to rear up in pain and emits a high-pitched keening screech.
That’s the first turn in this round – everyone has spent one Action Point.
Grimblade hoists up the lantern high and steps down the stairs behind Nevim. Encouraged by his first efforts with magic, Flamepaw unleashes a second blast…
Rolling 9 against his Arcane Casting of 64, Flamepaw strikes with another Magic Missile – rolling a 17 for the Front Left Leg, he deals 6 points of damage, of which two points go through the beast’s hide.
The red bolt of energy strikes at the spider’s left-hand front leg, drawing a further screech of pain before the creature lashes out at Nevim…
The giant spider’s Eight-legged Horror Combat Style is a whopping 80% – it rolls 32 and succeeds. I spend an Action Point to give Nevim a parry with his round shield (which counts at +10% combat style and as a size category larger due to the hero’s Shield Proficiency). He rolls 36 and succeeds too! Comparing the spider’s Large-size mandibles to Nevim’s Huge-sized shield, we see that the shield deflects all the damage. Phew!
Nevim’s shield clangs with a resounding note as the spider’s mandibles glance off it. The fighter decides to return the attack with his longsword…
Spending Nevim’s third (and final) Action Point, I roll to hit – score 60 against his 59% Combat Style. Can’t afford to miss, so I use a Luck Point to give Nevim a re-roll and score 26. Hurrah! The spider spends its last Action Point to parry – rolls 34 and also succeeds. Nevim’s Medium-sized blow is easily deflected by the spider’s Large-sized leg.
The spider brushes away the longsword swing as Nevim grunts with the effort.
End of the second turn – Nevim and the spider are out of Action Points. Flamepaw has two and Grimblade one remaining.
Grimblade steps diagonally past Nevim to place himself on the fighter’s left-hand side. Flamepaw summons a new spell…
I’m going to have the magic-user cast the Shield spell for three Magic Points. This places four points of Armour against all attacks through the front three squares as a magical barrier. As it’s an Evocation spell, Flamepaw’s spell will cast at Intensity 2 and last 10 rounds.
Shaping the air in front of him, Flamepaw feels the invisible shield form. He then steps forward to engage the spider, bringing his staff to bear.
End of the third turn of this first round – Flamepaw still has one Action Point left.
Swinging his staff, the magic-user strikes at the giant spider…
Rolls 48 against his Magic-User Combat Style of 37… ho hum.
The Battle Deepens…
It’s Round 2. The Giant Spider must lose a level of Fatigue from the Bleeding effect. All skill tests now become Hard – that makes its Combat Style 53%. Nothing huge has changed, so the Initiative order remains the same.
Grimblade stabs out with his broadsword and finds the spider’s reactions too quick, the sword glancing off its fore leg.
Rolled 29 to hit against his Thief Combat Style of 57%. The spider parried with 23. No effect.
Flamepaw strikes again with his staff but misses. The spider retaliates, diverting its bite away from Nevim and towards Flamepaw.
This could be bad – the giant spider rolls 36 and Flamepaw needs to escape the blow. His best bet is to Evade, given his poorer Combat Style skill – I roll 6 against Flamepaw’s Evade skill of 48%. (In hindsight, I’m not sure why I cast Shield now… but ho hum.)
The Bruxx spots the attack in time and rolls to his right, falling prone but scuttling back out of reach of the creature. Nevim steps forward and lunges in with another longsword blow, striking the cephalothorax as the spider fails to block the attack.
Rolled 14 to hit, the spider rolled 98 to parry and failed! Nevim has one Special Effect and selects Choose Location (Cephalothorax). Rolled 9 points of damage, putting five more damage through the creature’s armour. That brings the total to ten on that location! At the end of the first turn of Round 2, the giant spider is out of Action Points while the heroes have two each remaining. Awesome!
Grimblade attacks with his broadsword…
Rolls 28 to hit and the spider can’t defend itself. He decides to Choose Location (Cephalothorax) – hey, why not? Roll 1d8+1d2 to score 8 points of damage. The giant spider’s Cephalothorax location is at -3 hit points, giving it a Serious Wound and forcing an Endurance test opposed by the attack’s original roll. The spider’s Endurance (reduced by Fatigue) is 43% – it rolls 93.
The blade slices deep into the spider’s cephalothorax and the beast shudders with the pain. For a moment, the spider seems to pause as if stunned… and then it crashes to the ground, inert but still breathing. It seems that Grimblade’s strike has knocked out the beast. Taking advantage of the moment, as Flamepaw regains his footing behind him, Nevim brings his longsword down onto the head of the beast, slicing deep into the flesh.
Automatic hit against a helpless opponent, gaining him Choose Location (Cephalothorax); he rolls 9 points of damage, bringing the spider down to -8 hit points.
Following the big man’s lead, the half-orc delivers another crushing broadsword strike to the spider’s cephalothorax, killing it.
Another 9 points of damage, with five going to the same location, throws the spider’s Cephalothorax to -13. We’ll assume the spider fails its Endurance test against the Major Wound and dies.
As the spiderlings watch from the webs above their heads, Flamepaw picks up the torch he dropped days ago. Lighting it from the lantern, Flamepaw ignites the webs above his head and strolls back up the stairs as the smoke billows up.
“Come on, lads. We’ll loot the chamber once we’ve had a good rest.”