Comic 134 - Test a theory about undead

15th Jun 2018, 9:08 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
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Test a theory about undead
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 15th Jun 2018, 9:08 PM edit delete
You've HEARD that undead are damaged by healing abilities. You tried to test this out before, against the skelecan, only to discover that it wasn't undead at all.

You are... 99% sure actual skeletons have to be undead, though.

You attempt to talk the skeletons down--telling them you're here because of your grandfather, that you have his anchor, that you don't mean any harm.

The skeletons don't acknowledge your words, shuffling forward with weapons at the ready. Justice, wearing the skull helm, cautiously maneuvers past them--as expected, the skeletons don't even seem to register her presence, entirely ignoring her in favor of approaching you.

Hoping to conserve mana, you set down the lantern and draw your old iron sword instead of the wind wand, as well as your sailing shield... and just in time.

The nearer skeleton swings its sword--a big, overhand swing, which you easily block. You strike back, whacking at the skeleton with your sword--however, your weapon doesn't have enough oomph (or at least, enough sharpness) to slash through the creature's dense bone. You chip at it a bit, but that's about the most of it.

You and the skeleton trade blows--you deflect his sword strike, he blocks yours, you block his, you hit ineffectively, and so on.

Justice gathers her courage... and lays a hand on the farther skeleton.

It jerks abruptly, light pouring out of its eye sockets and where its mouth would be. The reaction is enough to startle Justice, who (with a small jump and a gasp) relinquishes her grip on the monster. Smoke rolls off of its bones, the skeleton stumbling a bit.

It appears to confirm the idea: healing abilities have the opposite effect on undead creatures. Restored life is antithetical to their existence.

The skeleton turns and glares at Justice. With wide eyes, she stumbles back a step or two. The skull helm disguises her, but having actively harmed the skeleton... it's beginning to grow suspicious. Justice begins to nervously vocalize the notes to the sea shanty again, but the skeleton doesn't react--only steps closer to her, menacingly tightening the grip on its sword.

Justice's face scrunches up... and she swings, slamming her hammer into the monster's skull. Despite her soft exterior, she IS proficient in the weapon--the skeleton drops, having taken a great deal of damage from her Healing Hands already.

You continue your back and forth with YOUR skeleton, neither of you getting much headway... though you are managing to very, very slowly chip away at it. After you raise your shield and block an especially big swing, Valley (gently) shoves you out of the way... and brings the anchor down.

Though sharp weapons don't seem as effective against bone as blunt, the sheer weight of the anchor, and the ridiculous force Valley swings it with, more than compensate. The downward swing shatters the skeleton's skull instantly and scatters its bones about the room, the undead creature practically exploding.

Overall, not too tough of a fight. The skeletons leave behind old iron swords, wooden shields, and piles of bones... but you're a little undecided as to whether you need (or want) any of it.


K3001 15th Jun 2018, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
Just take everything and store it in your inventory. If no one will use those, you can allways sell them or give them to Inzo's mech.
MakePeaceAndLove 15th Jun 2018, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
+1 exactly

It's not like our inventory has any limit to it... or does it?
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
If our inventory gets full we can do the old trick from Diablo, head back to town (or in this case the Slime Cavern), and just leave it on the ground until we need it.
Brb 16th Jun 2018, 3:51 AM edit delete reply
Cmon man, this is a role-playing game, not a videogame. If we were to find the items were we dropped them several days later I would stop playing.
ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
I specifically named the Slime Cavern because the King Slime has given permission for us to use it as a safe haven, it even has an empty storage room we could use. I see no reason for the slimes to mess with property belonging to the de facto champion of their ruler.
Jochi 15th Jun 2018, 10:58 PM edit delete reply
+1, and that's a good question.
Fireopal 16th Jun 2018, 4:11 AM edit delete reply
@Brb This is an RPG based around the JRPG video games of the Super Nintendo era, so yes, this is a videogame and follows many videogame rules.
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
Take all of it, bones might have some alchemical properties. The old swords and shields can be used as practice gear so we don’t damage our good stuff by accident. Or as vendor trash, you can never have too much vendor trash.

As for the next step, I’m game to go deeper into Gramps’s Dungeon.
MakePeaceAndLove 15th Jun 2018, 11:58 PM edit delete reply
+1 for sure

Anything that's good enough to sell is good enough to pick up and carry till we sell it.
Krylo 15th Jun 2018, 9:43 PM edit delete reply
Take the bones and the shields. Might be able to repurpose them for something.

Then examine the tree root that everyone seemed so interested in before.

If the tree root does not provide anything of interest, continue further into the cavern system, armed with the knowledge that we should probably just let Valley go first and crush skeletons left and right (as we are not good at fighting them without magic).
ZincFingers 15th Jun 2018, 9:46 PM edit delete reply
Oh, yeah, forgot about the tree. Let’s examine it a bit. Who knows, cave tree might be a good material.

As for letting Valley just crush them, they are slow enough for us to counter and hit, I say we at least try to fight a few more ourselves, just to get some real world practice in. We go say, 5 to 10 blows with each skeleton, then let Valley finish them off.
MakePeaceAndLove 15th Jun 2018, 10:34 PM edit delete reply
+1 to checking out the tree and grabbing all of the loot.

Also I agree with ZincFingers that we should get some practice in before Valley finishes them off. These are good enemies for practice, not too tough and we're not at much risk, we even have two healers with us.

It's when we run into tougher enemies later that we might want to step back and even pull out our Wind Wand while Valley engages the enemies.
Gandalf 16th Jun 2018, 3:49 AM edit delete reply
+1 to grabbing everything.

+1 to examining the plant.

+1 to telling Justice what a good job she did.

+1 to using weaker enemies for combat practice in future.

+1 to pressing on once we're ready to go.
Jex 15th Jun 2018, 9:44 PM edit delete reply
Do we need more than one old thing for the potion? Just grab it all anyway we can just dump it in the future if we need to.

If there's nothing else in the room I guess we should head through the door.
Stonebrow 15th Jun 2018, 9:46 PM edit delete reply
We have an inventory system. We don't -need- stuff so much as we can take it. You never know when you might need to equip new party members. Remember the adventure's motto, 'Take everything that isn't nailed down, and then equip a claw hammer!"
The Mighty Dragon Lizard 15th Jun 2018, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
The Iron in those sword might become useful later if we can melt them down somehow. The bones might be useful for Alchemy... as for the Shields... meh.
Ether way, I say continue on!
Eyebrows 15th Jun 2018, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
We can sell the equipment later.
MakePeaceAndLove 15th Jun 2018, 10:34 PM edit delete reply
Crestlinger 15th Jun 2018, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
If bone shards are reinforced could they be fashioned into caltrops later? Seems plausible. Loot the rest, reinforce when in a safe location and sell as enchanted gear for $.
Brb 16th Jun 2018, 3:52 AM edit delete reply
+1 for shattering bones and reinforcing them for DIY Caltrops
Gandalf 16th Jun 2018, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
As GS says below, I think we should be cautious about using the bones for anything. Not ruling it out, just thinking it might not be the most respectful way to treat other people's remains.
Korsha 15th Jun 2018, 11:01 PM edit delete reply
Not a suggestion what to do next, just wanted to point out how much more trouble the same party had with a couple of frogs and a bird xD
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jun 2018, 12:08 AM edit delete reply
You're right. I guess it comes from the fact we knew what to expect from these - that and the toads had paralysis. Never underestimate status effects!
Lapdragon 15th Jun 2018, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
Grab a shield for Justice and Ranse each, and I'm sure that Inzo would happily bolt an old sword onto the other hand of his mech to add slashing damage to the impact and pierce damage that he can already do. If he doesn't want them, then we can always sell them for scrap iron to the blacksmith in Threeroads.

Skeletons don't just walk around by themselves - somebody magic'ed them, so now we have old magical bones for our alchemists to play with.

+Edit: I forgot - we should be stealing when we can!
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jun 2018, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
+1 but instead of just one sword, how about adding multiple until they combine into a sword-claw for the mech? One crushing hand and one slashing hand right there. Now if only their damage stacked at least additively, that would be waaay OP.
Brb 16th Jun 2018, 3:53 AM edit delete reply
+1 to blade-mech
Ghest 15th Jun 2018, 11:59 PM edit delete reply
Clerics are proficient with small shields. If those wooden shields count as small Justice is probably better off with one than with nothing.
ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 12:03 AM edit delete reply
I forgot she had that proficiency, let’s reinforce one and wing it her way.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jun 2018, 12:10 AM edit delete reply
+1 Absolutely. Yay for free shields.
Caydenite 16th Jun 2018, 7:23 AM edit delete reply
+1! Finally giving her some defence.
GS 16th Jun 2018, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
Leave the bones. We're not skelecans, and taking them might count as desecration.
ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
If the corpse is walking, I’d say the desecration has already happened.
SolomontheLionheart 16th Jun 2018, 3:35 AM edit delete reply
I agree with Zinc. But if you're right we should take them anyway and give a proper burial, not just leave on the floor of the tunnel. So whatever we do later. Take them now.

I also imagine if they're in our inventory they can't reanimate, I'd worry that if we left them they might not be there when we come back, and/or we have to fight them again
ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 3:56 AM edit delete reply
The idea of a proper burial got me thinking, if’en we are worried about desecration, maybe Justice, as a cleric, could say a few words. Placate the wraith of the powers that be.
GS 16th Jun 2018, 7:47 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like a good idea to me!
Lapdragon 16th Jun 2018, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
+1 to us making a cairn and Justice saying some words over the bones, if that's even a thing.

In Nast's world the bones may be too desecrated by whatever magic raised the skeletons, in which case I say we take 'em for the alchemists. Maybe we try blessing a test bone and see if it disintegrates or something?
1977 16th Jun 2018, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
Compliment Justice and encourage her. The healing had almost done it in one hit. Next time you're sure she will not get startled and finish it in one touch.

Loot is loot and as such belongs in our inventory.

Nast, identify one of the shields to check for curses.
If alright then reinforce and Justice can equip it.

The swords are maybe good for crafting, at the very least they are good vendor trash.

Bones are sure alchemical ingredients.

Checking for curses before use should be mandatory. Just putting it in the inventory to check later should be safe.

Inspect the tree and the vines.

As for our tactic going forward.
Try to conserve mana for bigger enemies.
Justice and Nast can practice a bit of fighting with their weapons and Valley can finish them off with the anchor.
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jun 2018, 1:41 AM edit delete reply
+1 to all of this. Especially good of you to bring up checking for curses, thanks 1977.
ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 2:11 AM edit delete reply
Solid point, we should be checking for curses on this stuff.
SolomontheLionheart 16th Jun 2018, 3:32 AM edit delete reply
Yep +1 to all this
JiggilyJoe 16th Jun 2018, 2:23 AM edit delete reply
Make sure to praise Justice for taking out that skeleton on her own! She was bad ass!
Oh, and thank Valley too, but especially Justice. She needs the reinforcement on a job well done.
Grab the loot, check the tree, and if it's just a tree, head deeper.
Gren 16th Jun 2018, 4:08 AM edit delete reply
More junk for the mech god!

Also make sure justice is OK, healing something to death seemed a little bit of a shock.
Gandalf 16th Jun 2018, 5:32 AM edit delete reply
Point out that it wasn't harming a living thing with healing, it was returning an undead thing to peace.
ZincFingers 16th Jun 2018, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
It wasn’t the healing that killed it, no, it was when she stoved it’s head in with a hammer.
Gandalf 16th Jun 2018, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Well - whether defeating or only nearly defeating something by healing it, I imagine the shock and discomfort could be similar for a healer not used to the idea.
lil Joshu 16th Jun 2018, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
lil Joshu
It appears that Gramps had some...

Skeletons in his closet ehhhh?
MakePeaceAndLove 16th Jun 2018, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
That was an easy one, don't you think?

Still, it got a small laugh from me, so, have a +1.