The Saving Throw
Most Disastrous Gaming Moments Mar. 7, 2007
These are the gaming moments that are best described as total disasters.

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Taking an Airship
  contributed by   Nostrum

   This event happened recently, about a few weeks ago, on an Eberron campaign I have been playing with some friends. The group was quite big, but only four characters are worth mentioning since they're the protagonists of the story: a Valenar elf (think Arabic elf) ranger from House Thuranni (one of the main Dragonmarked Houses of Eberron, who are basically noble families with powers stemming from tattoos based on their bloodline), a warforged artificer (a magically animated sentient robot, a living construct, whose class allows him to be a sort of magical blacksmith/builder), a warforged scout rogue/psion (a smaller warforged, more agile, with psychic powers and rogue skills), and my character, a gnome bard.

Our group was held in a town in the country of Karrnath, since they suspected we attacked an airship we were traveling in. The truth is, a group of soldiers from an evil organization called the Emerald Claw ransacked the ship, and forced us to land on a place known as the Mournlands (where natural and magical healing is impaired, and undead roam unaffected). We were investigated, and the charges held upon us were dismissed. So, we decide to keep on searching on an airship, so we could go to the continent of Xen'drix, a jungle continent south of where we were. Our group reached a town where a prototype airship was being exhibited, made by another of the great houses, House Lyrandar. The airship was supposed to be one of the fastest ships in existence, and it was only going to be there for a few days before it was exhibited somewhere else. Naturally, our group, having no lawful restraints (mainly chaotics or neutrals), decided on a very risky strategy.

We would plunder the ship, go to Xen'drix, and later probably return the ship.

Later in the day, we reached the town and conceived our very clever plan for taking the airship. The scout and I were to hide within the airship, and then give a message to the other two guys to sneak in and enter when no one was around to protect the ship. Then, we would force the captain to take us to Xen'drix, and we would later deal with the troubles caused. However, that was going to be severely impeded.

Another group, composed of a ninja assassin wanting to be a pirate, a half-giant with an even larger sword wrapped in bandages, and a warrior who claimed to be a great wizard but lost his spellbook also wanted to take the airship. The group, much to our lack of knowledge, was standing but a few feet besides us. So, two groups who didn't knew each other were planning on the same goal, but for different ends. This smelled like a recipe for disaster, and quite frankly, a disaster occurred...

At night, our group decided to sneak in before the shift change of the guards, and I was naturally the one to cause the distraction. I tried to use the bardic music ability of Fascination on the guards, but the roll was really poor (despite the incredible amount of ranks in the required skill, Perform). One of the guards was not affected, and thus they kept on guard. After some time, we saw the shift change, earlier than expected. In reality, it was one of the other group (the ninja, who could change forms because of her race), passing as one of the guards from the shift change. Naturally, since only one "guard" was standing, I was about to try again. The false guard gave out a signal, but her roll failed miserably, ending up on lighting me instead of the guys from her group. After the incident, I tried a new tactic: I would disguise as another gnome, and Bluff out that the Emerald Claw soldiers were to steal the Airship. I intended to make the guards move from their positions, so that my team could enter. Of course, that made more guards surround the area. Failing to distract them, I tried to Bluff my way in, making the guards think that I was to entertain the guards on the docking tower. My Bluff skill check was, again, not that good because the "guard" managed to counter-Bluff me, and made the other guards from the new shift think I was an Emerald Claw soldier. I was held, while her partners managed to get free access to the tower, since she Bluffed her way into letting them in (plus some Intimidation from the big guy). I managed to bother them enough to let me do a simple magic trick: to make a badger appear out of nowhere. Of course, that was the signal to make my team reached the doors.

Once my group managed to reach the area, the guards were unwilling to let us in, as the "guard" tricked them into thinking we were the enemy (not so far from the truth, but we wanted no combat). They brandished their swords, and we had to fight our way in. The first few rounds began with our team being pounded in by the guards, despite our level. About three rounds later, about four more guards appeared. That was enough incentive to deploy my secret weapon: the super-Inspire Courage song (a bardic music song empowered by a feat and a spell to grant a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls). Needless to say, the battle lasted 2 rounds after the activation of the song, including a 3-hit kill from the ranger with his sick double-bladed scimitar on his same turn. We left one alive, out of pity, which would work eventually against us.

After 3 more rounds, we reached the top of the tower, only to find the other group achieving their purpose: they almost got ahold of the ship, and only needed to kill the captain. After that, they would make sure we were killed as well, something my character had in suspicion as he reached the top of the tower. Thus, I resorted to a diferent tactic: I would add them as part of my Inspire Courage song, but not before I Hasted my allies with a spell. Then, we entered and finished the last of the guards, and got ahold of the ship. Well, the other group got ahold of the ship, and we were granted a lift since we "helped" them get the ship.

In the end, we got a ride on the ship, but the ship was not ours. It was theirs. And, our group was to be blamed. Thus, we were known as the "Lyrandar Raiders" because of our act of piety upon an individual, while the real culprits got away cleanly.

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