The last few sessions have not gone well for my Fourth Edition mage Enric Crocker ("the Apprentice Who Lived"). Two weeks ago, he was down to his last death save courtesy of this recurring villain:
Yes, that's Loomis the Rat King, crazed rodent lord and plague of the Duchy of Boswin. He hit Enric with his "ratapult" (a slingshot that shoots rodents), knocking him down to -9 hit points. The timely arrival of reinforcements allowed the party's druid to stabilize Enric.
This week, the threat of death, while less embarrassing, was equally puissant. After tracking down a crazed peasant sculptor with a perhaps too uncanny skill at statuary, Enric was left alone by his compatriots to face this beast:
Alpha-striking with various dazing powers and action points was not enough to keep Enric from being bitten by Alis the Cockatrice. Even worse were his pitiful saving throws. In spite of a potential +2 bonus from his Delver's Leather Armor +1, Enric could not manage to roll higher than a 5. So "slowed" became "immobilized," and then, in a final indignity, a natural 1 meant "petrified." Dave the DM tried to console me with the information that Enric was now Resist 20 Damage and immortal, but I rejected his false sympathy—he's been trying to kill one of the party for weeks. Again the party druid saved the day, making his Nature roll with massive overkill to remember the bit of lore explaining how to cure cockatrice petrification. Unfortunately, the party now has a wagon-full of villagers in need of a Restoration ritual from Boswin's head cleric.
In the meantime, Enric has decided to hire a meatshield, er, henchman to guard his flank.