Cut tag for gaming neepery
Cal, I note, is a dwarven bard. He's with the Dwarven equivalent of the State Department -- which is to say, he's ambassadorial staff mumble mumble for anyone without security clearance and need-to-know, and in actuality he's in some cross between the CIA and Charles Stross's Laundry, though he's old enough to have retired from the riskier field work. This meant that he showed up to the other characters looking like an aging rock-band roadie, with an explanation of, "Hello. We know that you're carrying this artifact we have interested in. We'd like to help make sure nothing happens to you while you're carrying it." And he has the charisma to make that not sound too much like a "shame if something were to happen to you" threat.
The PCs have ended up getting hired to inspect some wards in various places, and so this week we got a dragon to fly us out to some remote promontory, where among other things we found a falling-apart lighthouse that appeared to have been a battleground involving a red dragon -- the trees were all scorched and burned, and there were splatters of red-dragon blood (which our GM decided solidifies into hematite) around in some of the more-torn-up spots. And then our rogue with a little bit of background in dragon-training went to go say hello, and discovered that the current occupant of the tower was not actually a red dragon but a red basilisk.
We decide to attack the red basilisk. The rogue attempts to cast a smoke spell to cover the face of the basilisk so it can't stare at us; this semi-succeeds but smokes up the entire battlefield so everyone is penalized in attacks, and particularly to attacks of opportunity.
Battling ensues. The rogue attacks, and then Cal jumps up the wall next to the rogue to launch some kind of ranged bardic attack, and attempts to run to cover afterwards, but the running-to-cover fails largely due to failed communication with the GM, and so the basilisk counterattacks the two of us. There's a round of attacks, a failed attempt on Cal's part to disengage, a few failed attacks that bounce off his black leather jacket of +2 AC, and an awful lot of ongoing damage. And then the basilisk grabs Cal with one of his claws, spins him around, and stares at him.
And then it's Cal's move. I consider, and note that I've got this ranged power called "Vicious Mockery" that seems appropriate.
Normally, one wouldn't use a ranged power on an enemy one's engaged in melee with, because they get an attack of opportunity first. But, there's that large penalty to attacks of opportunity from the smoke. And, at this point, I note that I will lose over half my hit-points to ongoing damage in the next round. I've got a heal option -- a once-per-battle "That's all you've got?" power that when an enemy hits me, I can do a free recovery. But only if I'm above zero hit points. So I kind of want the basilisk to hit me before the end of my turn rather than after the ongoing damage kicks in.
And so I launch the Vicious Mockery before my disengage roll.
The basilisk hits on his attack of opportunity; I laugh at him and recover more hit points than the damage he gave me.
I roll the Vicious Mockery attack ... and get a critical success. Which damages the basilisk for slightly more hit points than I have. And also gives him a condition where when he misses he takes half the damage he'd have delivered if he'd hit.
And then I make the disengage roll, and run away like a running thing. Because I know that I am crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Next round I stay under cover, do a rally and recover more of my hit points, and save away a bit more of the ongoing damage, and the basilisk is hit by a few more attacks and succumbs to the miss damage when our cleric wings him with a Javelin of Faith spell.
Which is to say, as our GM put it: I tanked a basilisk, laughed in his face, and survived.
Unfortunately, we can't say as much for the tower wall -- half of it fell in during the battle, and the other half fell in when I tried to shore it up with dwarven stone-bending magic and rolled a 1. So the actually-a-dragon red dragon that lives there and normally guards the ward except that the basilisk had violently evicted him (thus the scorched trees etc.) is now rather peeved with us, and we shall not be getting a short rest before we go down into the tunnels under the tower.
Crossposted from Dreamwidth (original here), with comments. Comment here or there; comments here will eventually be duplicated to there.