Random Blogness: More Mythic Adventures

Mythic AdventuresWhen I decided to start running Paizo’s Wrath of the Righteous adventure path, I didn’t plan to make use of the mythic rules. I didn’t really want to learn a whole set of new rules, and I didn’t see what mythic added that high-level play couldn’t already do. My wife Sarah encouraged me to do it because she wanted some new options for her sorcerer, and in retrospect I’m now glad she did. The mythic portion of the campaign is admittedly still young, but so far this stuff is awesome.

Why Did I Buy This Book, Again?

I’m two books into Wrath of the Righteous, and I have currently used a total of two encounters as-written. Well, really it’s only one and a half – the mongrelmen in The Worldwound Incursion and Nurah trying to plant drugs in Aron’s gear in Sword of Valor. I used the latter as-written, but decided to go in a completely different direction after she got caught.

So if I’m not using the actual adventure, why am I paying money to buy the books?

Well, this basically boils down to the fact that Pathfinder books are really well-written. The adventures themselves are written with enjoyable reading in mind, and about half of each adventure path book is devoted to world information and fiction. The adventure plots are also really good, and I tend to use the story beats even if I change almost all of the specifics to fit my non-Golarion campaign setting.

Paizo isn’t the only gaming company that does awesome support material, but they are the company that produces it in the greatest volume at the moment. I’m holding out hope that the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, which is apparently going to focus more on adventures, kicks up the quality a notch. Pelgrane Press and Green Ronin are two more companies whose stuff I keep tabs on, because they do awesome things that I can easily snag for my Pathfinder game.

Going on the Offensive

Pretty much the whole session dealt with the PCs making their initial assault on Dragonguard Keep (Drezen in an unmodified Wrath of the Righteous game). The adventure assumes characters of about 7th level, but the PCs are at 14th level. That means that teleportation magic is in play, which changes the game slightly. For example, rather than having to fight through multiple armies to get inside the keep, the group was able to teleport their way in. They used a frontal assault as a distraction, then grabbed one of the catapults and turned it against the keep’s own defenses.

Scrying and teleportation are among the things that many high-level adventures try to block, but I’ve made myself a promise that I’m not going to stop the PCs from using it unless absolutely necessary. If they’re going to spend resources to gain those powers, they should be able to use it. Plus, I’ve had plenty of villains teleport in and make surprise attacks throughout the campaign, so turnabout is fair play.

Mythic Throwdown

The assault met with its first major hurdle when the PCs awoke a mythic black dragon. This was the first mythic foe I gave the group, and the fight took about an hour to resolve. And it was awesome.

The thing that continues to get driven home for me in the mythic rules is that they really do make friends and foes alike feel bigger than normal characters. Even though there are higher-level allies in the group, the mythic PCs get to do things those guys have no chance of accomplishing. This extends to the foes, too, as the dragon got to streak through the air at 200 feet per round, bleed acid on foes that managed to hurt it, and make multiple full attacks thanks to its mythic initiative. That last bit evens out the action economy, so even though the PCs outnumbered it six to one, it still didn’t fall too far behind in the battle.

The dragon managed to swallow one PC whole, grab an NPC ally in its jaws, and take off with another riding its back. By the time the PC who had been swallowed cut its way out of the monster, it was already 100 feet in the air (and luckily only that, since it had been slowed by a mythic cone of cold). The PC who cut her way out killed the dragon in doing so, sending all three airborne folks into a nosedive. Luckily, a timely feather fall spell saved one, the other survived the fall, and the third character decided to surf the dead dragon to the ground.

All in all, the fight did indeed feel worthy of the title mythic.

And Then the Boring Part

The downside to the session was the mass combat, which I decided to run after the mythic battle. This felt very anticlimactic, and I’ve decided that Pathfinder’s mass combat rules suffer from the same problem as almost every other RPG mass combat rules set out there: it’s pretty boring.

Yes, it’s simple. Yes, it has some tactical items that are pretty interesting. However, the combat pretty much boils down to each side rolling attacks until one side finally dies. In this case, the PCs’ army defeated a horde of dragonborn, but suffered several dozen losses in the process.

I’m going to tough out the mass combat bits this time, since they’ll be gone shortly as the adventure path moves on, but I’ve really got to find myself a better way of handling army battles in RPGs.

Have Fun Storming the Castle!

The end of the session brought the end of the first day of the siege on Dragonguard Keep. The PCs have won a couple of battles, but they’re a bit beat up. There are still multiple armies to go through and a choke point currently held by the enemy. Unfortunately, I have no idea when the next session will take place, but hopefully I’ve get back to running this mythic adventure soon.


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