the Subtle Art of Not Dying.

Pathfinder was pretty insane last night (and marvelously long… went until almost 4:30am). We fought our way through the City of Golden Death, and we certainly almost died a lot.
We started by attempting to climb over a wall (and thus bypass much of the city) but Rock (that would be my monk) hit a magical barrier at the wall’s summit and was shocked off the wall. He managed to slow his descent, but our adventurers were left with no choice but to work our way through the city. We fought several fire elementals, some bat swarms and a few golden snakes before arriving at the wall’s gate. Which was of course guarded by a pair of gold-plated ogre skeletons. We actually bested them pretty quickly; it helped that we distrusted them to such a degree that we pretty much attacked them before they’d really even animated.
Inside the first wall we had to once again traverse much of the city, which we once again chose to do by method of frequent violence. Skeleton soldiers encrusted with gold; a teleporting, acid-slathered demon with a vicious serrated longspear (our fighter broke the longspear and I shoved the demon off a bridge into a river of molten gold); several cultists; and an ambush or two later, and we found ourselves bursting into the city’s innermost ring. Here we were immediately charged by a golden skeletal dragon (on a treacherous bridge over a river of molten gold, of course); he breathed fire on us before we had a chance to do much of anything. I managed to divert the flames via some flowy monkrobe trickery, but everybody else got pretty toasted. Mordus the wizard sank back into the shadows and cast haste on all of us, and we flung ourselves at the behemoth. A couple rounds later and I was fighting the dragon hand-to-hand with my back to the edge of the bridge. I decided to burn some ki to boost my AC and CMD, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad I did. Because the dragon decided to attempt its super powerful move of doom – which is a pretty way of saying our DM wanted to try out the cool move before we killed his dragon. His words? Sorry if you die, I’m not trying to kill you on purpose, but this is kinda his big move…
Well, the dragon did his big move. His tail came screaming through the air towards me, and we worked out my CMD. My monkeriffic abilities, my dodge feat, my sweet wisdom, my dexterity, my ki bonus, my dwarven stability… it all added up to a momentary CMD of 33; the dragon would need a roll of 18… The die came up a 17, for a Combat Maneuver roll of 32! I totally didn’t die! What would have killed me here? Not a dwarf? Dead. Not a monk? Dead. No ki? Dead. Not burning ki for a dodge bonus? Dead. No dodge feat? Dead. Low dex? Dead. Low wisdom? Dead. Get the idea? And I feel its worth pointing out we’re not talking unconscious dying, resurrected 3 days later dead. This is sailing off a bridge into a river of molten gold to simultaneously burn to death, drown, and disintegrate. Hot dang.
This was obviously the high point of the evening for me. We slew the dragon, dodged a naga, fought more cultists, a herald, and a high priestess that turned out to be Mordus’ mom, and then an elder fire elemental (’cause why not?), which definitely almost killed the lot of us. After which the temple collapsed and we teleported onto a beach using two vials we found on Mordus’ dead mom, who is currently in his bag of holding,  awaiting a proper burial in the crypt of the everflame, where her former companions have rested for centuries.
Can you believe I feel like I’ve missed some stuff? And I probably have. More times that we almost died, no doubt. *Very* big couple days for four misfits from Kassan.

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