We continue to find clues in our investigation of the goblin situation, descending into the caverns beneath the city we’ve been exploring throughout the campaign (Sandpoint). We learned at the end of the preceding session (after defeating a key player in this whole affair) that the goblin raid we dealt with in one of our first sessions was merely a distraction to allow the goblins to steal a body from the local cemetery. It would seem they are planning to use it in a demonic ritual that will aid in the transformation of their human leader into some sort of powerful monstrosity. We’ve discovered that said leader is hiding out in the caverns under the town, and have begun our search for her there.
The point of this journal is not to summarize story developments, though unfortunately this latest session was a bit on the short side, and consisted mainly in straightforward combat as we moved through some underground tunnels and into what looked like an abandoned prison of sorts (with an unnerving assortment of corpses and torture implements). We did encounter some interesting new combat mechanics, however, when we faced off against a new and rather imposing (if the picture in the bestiary is anything to go by) new type of creature – the sinspawn.
Sinspawns are some nasty buggers, and unique from a game mechanics perspective for two reasons. First off, they’re the first enemies we’ve encountered who are allowed two attacks per turn. Every time their turn to attack rolled around, they were able to perform both a standard melee attack (slashing with their claws) and a bite attack. This definitely made them intimidating opponents, and offers a taste of what’s to come when our own characters reach higher levels; at level six we gain a second attack, as evidenced in the character progression tables (this pattern actually continues as players progress towards level twenty, gaining a third attack per turn at level eleven and a fourth at level sixteen). The second interesting thing about the sinspawn is that it is the first enemy we have faced with an attack capable of dealing more than standard attack damage. Its bite attack had the capability of putting its victim into a rage, causing him to attack any and all adjacent creatures indiscriminately (even his own allies) for several rounds. Anytime a sinspawn connected with its bite attack there was a chance of this happening, but only if the target failed a fortitude check (luckily the one time a sinspawn did hit me with a bite, I passed the check and did not suffer the status effect).
There was not too much else interesting to speak of, mechanics-wise in this last session, but it is of note that our GM has been settling into her role more and more. As we play more, it becomes increasingly clear that a good GM must be sensitive to the experience of the players, and Jackie is really getting the hang of it. This session was a good case in point, as she deliberately tweaked our encounters in the tunnels so we would face more sinspawns, which grant a hefty amount of experience points. She knew that we were all antsy to reach level two (well, I know I was at least). Such a decision may have things prohibitively hard for us, so to compensate she made sinspawns the favored enemy of our NPC companion (a ranger) to make things a bit easier for everyone. All in all this ended up making for a fast-paced series encounters that granted enough experience for us to move up to level two and keep us excited for our next meeting, where we’ll have a chance to field our now more powerful characters.