Content of the article: "Not sure if I should throw my player a bone or not."
I have an ongoing campaign, and during session 0, we agreed I won’t pull punches. I made a few Baddies before we even began. Their stat blocks are set in stone. If they fought them under or over leveled, the outcome is what it is.
I’ve already had my first player death to one such encounter. And it wasn’t due to level, but due to terrible planning from the players part.
These baddies are key figures. There is no way they would have made it to this point in the world without being such a bad ass.
This such baddy is the Pirate King. He’s had to fend off pretty much any pirate that would attack him and solidified himself as a bad ass across the seas.
One of my players decided to take him on man to man for the title of Pirate King. I felt really bad, and decided to pull my punches, because honestly, we are so close to the end of the campaign. This player has completed his personal arc though, and his bad rolls are pretty much doing him in in this fight.
So the player is a Druid, which is pretty tanky I find. The Pirate has the ability to summon Water Elementals. So I used it on him. At the time, the Druid had his entire Health full and one more WildShape left.
The Water Elemental decimated through two wild shapes worth of HP with his grapple. No matter what he rolled, he just wasn’t able to get out of it.
The PC is at 19HP, water elemental is untouched, and the Pirate is at 23HP.
The bone I was thinking of throwing was: PC breaks free of the grapple and the water elemental explodes into a shower of rain. Leaving only the Pirate and the PC. Otherwise, this is pretty much done in the next round. We ended the session right as the PC broke out of the grapple…
They crossed the Pirate King, he’s having their ship destroyed if the PC fails. Their crew is all but captured (except the other PCs). And he’ll pretty much kill them all for crossing them. I do have a way to Deus Ex this shit. But I’d rather not…
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