WARNING: Wall of Text (My pre-game mini-story, part 1. Part 2 will come tomorrow, but this was long enough that I wanted to break it up.)
Not a bad day so far, not a bad day at all.
Isaac scratched his chin idly as he ambled down the street, leaving the well-worn sign of the Strangled Rooster Inn behind. He was the best entertainment that crowd would see all month, and he knew it –for that matter, so did the innkeeper. The Rooster was one of his semi-regular places to visit in between jobs when he was in the area; he liked the clientele, he always got a delicious free meal out of the bargain, and it was a good idea in general to keep his voice in shape by performing for average people. Plus, there had been a new serving maid on staff, one he had not yet graced with his attentions. He hadn’t gone far, only a bit of passionate kissing and some groping beneath skirts (okay, maybe more than a bit, but she hadn’t been complaining). Under most circumstances, he would have happily brought her back to a room for the full experience, but he had a commission tonight.
Lost in thought of the bar wench, Isaac didn’t notice taking a wrong turn until the scuff of feet on pebbles caught his attention. He looked up to find himself in a narrow dead-end alleyway, instead of the broad thoroughfare he had intended, with four hard-eyed thugs blocking off the exit. Two hung back, hefting clubs, while the other two brandished rusty shortswords and closed in.
‘Hey, there, pretty boy. You’re on our turf, and you gotta pay a toll. Maybe two tolls – one for coming in, one for going out. You got coin in those fancy-dancy silk pockets of yours, or are we gonna have to look for it?”
Crap. Four was too many for him to captivate with his music, which meant he was going to have to get creative. He certainly wasn’t in the mood to be beaten and robbed by these goons, especially not with a performance to put on that evening. So, naturally, he broke into song, his rich tenor washing over the would-be muggers and stopping them cold.
“Now listen to a tale about a guy named Dale
Who went to town one day,
He bought some rats for feeding Jim his cat
Then headed on his merry way
But he never thought that the rats he bought
Were smarter than a normal mouse,
They lived in a nest you might have guessed
Underneath a wizard’s house.
So when they got back Dale settled for a nap
After leaving out the rats for Jim,
But the rats were tough and when Dale woke up
They fed the cat to him!”
(Isaac uses Fascinate on the two sword-wielding thugs and one of the club-wielders. His save DC is 20. The opponents are four 3rd-level rogues, mildly tough street gangers, and well in control of their patch of town. With only +2 bonuses on their saves, the three of them roll 11, 14, and 19 on their saves respectively. They are Fascinated by his music for as long as he sings and for 1 minute afterwards, though any hostile or threatening action will break the effect early.)
Midway down the alley towards Isaac, the thugs stop in their tracks, chuckling at the comedic ditty. From the looks of their faces, they are picturing the scene in the song, as one of them looks a bit sick. The fourth ganger is unaffected by the song, his laughter cut off when he notices that his friends have zoned out. Eyeing Isaac suspiciously, he grabs his closest buddy by the shoulder and shakes him roughly. This breaks the fascination, but by now Isaac has begun calling up some aid.
(Isaac begins casting Summon Monster III, as the only non-Fascinated thug takes a full-round action to shake his ally free of the bardic performance.)
With a serious of muted ‘pop’ noises, five white-furred hunting dogs appear in a staggered line between Isaac and the foremost pair of thugs. They growl menacingly at their master’s opponents, who are torn from their revery by the summoning.
“’E’s a mage? Get ‘em, boys!”
(Initiative is rolled. Isaac gets a 14. The four thugs get 12,12,19, and 21. The dogs score 3,7,15,6,14.)
Snarling, the two club-carriers are the first to react. They rush forward, stepping around their still semi-befuddled friends and swinging at the dogs blocking their way to Isaac. Thankfully, the celestial beasts barely managed to dodge the blows. One hesitates, restraining the instinct to strike back, till Isaac says “Attack!” As the two dogs leap for their enemy’s throats, Isaac casts a spell of magical speed on them, then begins to sing again – not words, but a single, sustained middle C.
(The dogs have a flat-footed AC of 12, but the thugs both roll very poorly and miss, even at +3 from their free Weapon Focus feats. One dog delays until after Isaac’s action. Isaac casts Haste on the five dogs, casts Inspirational Boost on himself, then begins to Inspire Courage. He chooses not to use his Dragonfire inspiration, believing the fragile creatures will benefit more from the increased accuracy.)
Infused with the power of the music, the pair of hounds strike. Their fangs tear into the unprotected legs of the two club-wielders, bringing one down immediately between them.
(As level 3 rogues with a +1 Con mod, the thugs each have an average of 20 HP, but are unarmored and have a AC of only 12 from their Dexterity scores of 14. With the two dogs under the effects of Isaac’s magic and music, they are striking at +9 for 1d4+7 damage each. The first dog scores a 21 and a 25, dealing 11 damage. The second dog hits with a 15 for 10 damage.)
The sword-swinging rogues are awake now, and quite angry at seeing their friend dying in the alley dirt. They lash out with their swords at two of the dogs in front of them, striking lethal blows and sending both creatures back to the Celestial Realms. The remaining hound sinks its jaws into the other club-wielder’s leg, but does not bring him down.
(The remaining rogues both land their attacks with a 20 and 17, dealing 16 and 11 damage, enough to dispatch the 6-HP hounds. The fifth hound hits its target for 10 damage.)
The rogue with the club tries to bludgeon the tenacious dog off his leg, but the pain of his wound causes the swing to go wild. One of its pack-mates promptly bites his other leg, but he manages to stay standing, while the other tears at the sword-wielding rogue. Isaac, still holding his note, fiddles with the ring on his finger, and he is abruptly blinking in and out of corporeality as he retreats as far as he can go down the alleyway. One ganger, with a dog now hanging off his leg, stabs wildly and ineffectually at the holy creature, but the leader of the group now has a clear line to Isaac and takes it. Unfortunately for him, Isaac had remembered to dress properly before leaving the Strangled Rooster, and is wearing his prized chain shirt – the sword grates off the metal links harmlessly. Behind him, the slow dog tears out the badly wounded thug’s throat, bringing the odds down to four against two.
(Rogue #2 misses with a 9, takes 9 more damage, but still has 1 HP. Rogue #3 also takes 9 damage, but only rolls a 6 on his counter-attack. Isaac activates his Ring of Blinking and backs up, spending a free action and another round of Inspire Courage. The lead rogue charges Isaac, passing the 50% miss chance for the Blink effect but missing the bard’s 16 AC by 1. Dog #5 deals 10 damage to the club rogue, who is at -9 and fails his stabilization roll on his next initiative.)
The surviving muggers start to realize they have bitten off more than they can chew. The realization comes too late for the already-injured one, as he falls bleeding heavily from multiple bite wounds, and the leader suddenly finds himself…happy? Thoughts of the last streetwalker he hired run through the man’s head, and he finds his body responding, but then the visions fade. He’s still surrounded by three vicious dogs and the bleeding bodies of his gang, though.
(The injured rogue takes another 15 damage from both attacking dogs, dropping him to -4. Isaac casts Esctacy on the rogue, but he makes his save with a 21.)
“Wait, wait. Don’t kill me, man, I’m sorry. Didn’t know you were a mage, we wouldn’t have bothered you if you had said something!”
Isaac stops singing, holding a hand up to forestall the dogs as he grins at the man.
“Really? I’m doubting that. But since you asked, I’ll let you live…and I’ll give you a gift.” He murmurs another spell, bringing the tantalizing imagery back into the thug’s head, and this time he cannot resist. His legs go out as the front of his trousers darken, and his eyes roll back in his head accompanied by a torturously pleased moan. His grin widening, Isaac steps around the petty thief locked in his continuous orgasm, over the bleeding bodies of the other gangers, and out of the alley.
(This time, the man botches his save, finding himself locked in pleasure for the next 11 minutes straight. When he finally recovers, he finds that his two surviving friends luckily managed to stabilize on their own, but the last is beyond help, and their would-be prey is long gone.)