That sounds like it was an exciting battle! Not a Total Party Kill, but heart pounding.
Are you finding it easy to balance combats in advance, or are you just "winging it?"
Session 24- All players present.
As requested, the PC names will appear before the log entry. Battle was pretty much the topic for this session.
Scrub- Searlean (NPC)
Rager & Scrub are drinking in a tavern. Knight & Mystic decide to go back and check on them because of the encounters from last session. They decide to cut through the alleys to try to draw out the people following them instead of the longer & safer route on the main drag. As they near the tavern area, they come across an ally blocked by a shoddy wooden barrier. They continue down the next ally and find another. They try another ally and find two more blocking them. At this point they decide to head to the northern barrier and try to get through. Knight quickly realizes the barrier is very flimsy and should be easy to destroy. Mystic hears movement on the roofs above and right of him. He turns his back to Knight so he can keep watch. Knight tries to shove the barrier out of the way with his buckler. The buckler breaks through the outer layer and gets stuck in a net on the inside. He then draws his sword and attempts to slash the barrier into bits. His sword crashes through the outer layer easily and becomes stuck to the same type of netting. At this point he realizes that this is no ordinary netting. He unhooks his buckler and continues to try to get his sword out.
Rager & Scrub are in the tavern drinking and talking when Rager notices that a drunk at the next table is telling a tale from Rager’s temple training days. It’s a tale involving a knight who falls into a trap but is rescued by a fellow knight who makes a change in his direction for no known reason. The man telling the story seems not to realize what he is saying. Rager decides that this is an omen from his Goddess. He finishes his drink in a gulp, pays and walks out the door while telling Scrub to do likewise. She does and follows him. He then ducks into the nearest alley. He sees a wooden barrier blocking the way about two blocks in. He notices that it is shaking slightly and some faint noises are coming from the far side. He turns away and heads to the next alley, which has similar construction in it. He returns to the first to investigate further. When he arrives, he hears more sounds of men in heavy mail coming from the far side. He decides to look for an entrance on his side. He finds a few on the one alley but they are all boarded up. He runs down the alley until he is able move past the barrier line. He does and then turns back towards the one that had the sounds. Here he finds Mystic, who quickly explains the situation.
Rager casts smite on the netting, which gives off a flash of light indicating that it is a magical construct. The trap is then sprung completely. Two men come from either of the alleys while two more on each side above move into position. Combat starts with two arrows striking Rager (who had taken up position at the front of the group) from down the alley away from the barrier.
The battle was pretty brutal. I won’t type all the rounds out cause it would be too much but here are the highlights. The ground troops and the hidden archers both had extra weapon attacks (2 total attacks each per round). The four above the PCs threw cobblestones through most of the battle. Knight was using Mystic’s backup short sword since his main weapon was caught in the netting still (Lost weapons pool bonus). The Rager went down to toughness of –1 after the 2nd round. The other’s pools took quite a beating. Eventually, the PCs started using the bodies of fallen opponents to block the vicious arrow fire that was causing them the most grief. During round 3, Knight cast blinding light, which disadvantaged slightly over half of the attackers. Rager followed suit with another blinding light that affected even more of the attackers. During round 4 or 5, the PCs were finally able to spot the archers who had been hiding in a magical darkness above them. The magic creating it was finally exhausted. The group started firing on the one archer and after several rounds, managed to kill him (Mystic finished him with a telekinetic bolt). Around this time the Knight fell to a toughness of 1 but was healed by the Rager. The remaining opponents ran off because the watch was coming and the PCs were still standing.
It was a very tough fight. None of the PC’s had any pools left and all were wounded, some quite severely. The PCs could have tried to run but they were thinking that the opponents would be faster since they were wearing leather versus the PC’s chain mail.