Topic: Stargazer strangled

I recently decided I really liked the look of LotFP and managed to convince a group of friends I sometimes roleplay with to play at my table for a session. We played Tower of the Stargazer.

Being the very most paranoid sort of murderhobos, my adventuring party managed to avoid all combat except behind the gold thread. They also avoided almost every single trap. Then they realised the Wizard might well be freed before he aged to death. After looting everything except the Star Crystal they decided they wanted to hatch a plan.

They gave the Specialist (who has 18 STR and 3 points in sneak attack) a garotte and whilst the others were threatening to steal the crystal she snuck up behind the wizard and started throttling him. Given the +8 bonus to attack against the distracted old man, and the rest of the party jumping in to help once the garotte was around his neck, the wizard didn't really stand a chance- he could do nothing except flail as the bulky girl held him tight and the rest of the party either helped pile in or got ready to smack him with a club if he ever seemed to be about to cast. Within about twenty seconds his flailing ceased but they didn't stop strangling him until a full three minutes had passed, and pierced his heart and head with a rapier after that. Then left the body outside against one of the spikes to be fried.

Is this an okay ending? I feel it is, it was violent and brutal; cunning in its execution. They knew he was mad and a wizard, and so they planned for exactly that, knowing he would need his voice to cast as well as his hands free to gesture. If you have any thoughts, please let me know smile

Re: Stargazer strangled

It sounds like you just have crafty players.

My only thought would be this: did the wizard know how many were in their group? Would he have realized that one of their number was missing and might be sneaking up behind him?

That seems to be the main wrinkle... was he too easy to jump from behind? How distracted from looking for threats can a mad, paranoid wizard be?

Re: Stargazer strangled

Even with a rather devious plan like that, I probably would only have let it work if the players acting as the distraction roleplayed the distraction exceedingly well. There's not really anything to hide behind in the wizard's quarters, so keeping Calcidius' attention OFF the Specialist would be a very difficult task. And if the Specialist should break the circle while Calcidius knows he's there, the surprise roll would absolutely go the other way.

Re: Stargazer strangled

Your answers are pretty much along the lines I was thinking.

To clarify:

Previously some or all the PCs had walked through whilst looting the place, enjoying taunting the wizard all the more because of his obvious power but current impotence, so there not being an entire party there wasn't too unusual.

The PCs roleplaying the distraction did a very good job, IMO. They were asking the wizard how much this crystal was worth and they described themselves moving as if they might "accidentally" be about to touch the salt circle. The Specialist also had a bit more stealth than the average Joe (2/6) so I decided it was a good enough plan I'd roll a die and if it came up a 1 the wizard would realise what was amiss.

And the wizard made a few attempts to get out, but all he could have really done once the garotte was round his neck was hope for a miracle (rolling higher than everyone in the grapple and then winning initiative).
I think (hope) the unflinching yet almost reverent way they dealt with the corpse was enough to show that they thought the wizard was a threat they had to deal with when they had the initiative.

Re: Stargazer strangled

Yeah, I'll give them that much credit. They realized that this was a Big Deal™ enemy and apparently put a good amount of thought into how to resolve it. That is probably one of the very few possible ways to deal with him permanently, hehe.