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GM Odea's Short Adventure Playtest PBP (Inactive)

Game Master Odea


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As you settle in for a night in this forest, you recall your journey’s beginning in a strange, dry ‘bathhouse’:

The burn-scarred form of Grandmaster Torch sits in the single tub before you, one of his two half-orc bodyguards stands nearby, his Kukri at the ready. A servant occasionally scoops some of the water from the tub to pour over one of Torch's many scars.
“One of our own went missing on his way to Kaer Maga. As usual, the ten only care that his mission gets completed; but since I’m in charge of making that happen, you will have another priority: Find—and if possible, rescue—Jerome Keliks.”
“We’re sending you through Wartle, a tiny settlement in a bog there where Jerome passed through. Travel overland from there through the Sanos Forest; he was instructed to travel via unused paths to avoid attention from the Aspis Consortium. His mission was to bring an artifact to Nicholas Fuberro in Kaer Maga; if you find the artifact, bring it to Nicholas’ residence in the Ankar-te district.”

Giving you all an opportunity to talk to Torch as part of the flashback and introduce yourselves as you please to each other, when that's done we'll return to the "present" time which is: You're setting up camp at night in the Sanos Forest and hoping to find some trace of Jerome Keliks.


Ezren bows in acceptance of the assignment. He glances at the others whom Grandmaster Torch has chosen to be his companions.

A reason to travel from Absalom is welcome. I look forward to visiting Kaer Magna.

If the Sanos Forest is a tinderbox I will prepare Color Spray instead of Burning Hands.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

The blonde elven woman nodded to the Grandmaster without a word. Her arms crosses across her chest. Her hide armor giving off a slight aura of magic. She then looks to the others who she will travel with deciding she will speak with them when they are on the road. Unless one of the others speaks first. Her mind is more on her beloved wolf Sin that was told to stay outside. He was like a child to her and had been with her through thick and thin.

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

Dalligar nods to Grandmaster Torch, then turns to his companions. "This is going to be a long journey ahead of us. I'm Dalligar Reldane. Yourselves?"

While Dalligar appears to be wearing regular clothing, you can hear the slight tinkle of metal. His backpack and adventure gear are ready on him.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

Her cold eyes locked on the half-elf after he speaks. Ravagwen Darksbane... She simply replies. She has always been one of few words when she is sent out. She prefers the forest and animals to the company of other people.


Ezren the Fourth, traveling scholar. No last name: some things my parents never gave me, and the rest they took away. His eyes are old yet still sparkling, sad yet playful. He winks one as he adds, Most they took posthumously.

He looks again to Grandmaster Torch, breaking Dalligar's gaze slightly too soon to be polite since he is more interested in seeing if his employer appreciates his humor. What should we know about Jerome Kelik and his artifact, to locate their trail and identify them once we find them? And do we need also hide from the Aspis Consortium?


Inquisitor Whelk, Halycon says with a boisterous, and somehow cruel grin.

And the old man poses a good question. Is the Consortium under any real suspicion with regards to the disappearance of this poor, lost Pathfinder?

Halycon's eyes twinkle with humor.


There is also the matter of payment. Ezren would not mention this. A bit elderly and Spartan, being owed a favor by Grandmaster Torch is probably one of the best options possible for him personally. But someone else might want to do the situation's appropriate haggling for a more monetary reward.


Torch waves his servant off. "Good questions--the kind I like to hear from Pathfinders; it means you're more likely to be prepared for the surprises out in the field. I never met Jerome, but I reviewed a few chronicles. He was no slouch, so be on your guard. The artifact is a small gold-encrusted tube, and Jerome was--is, we should hope--a sandy-haired Taldan. Don't mention the artifact if you can avoid it though, he would not have shown--"

One of the burn scars on Torch's shoulder flares up, glowing a hot red and he winces in pain as the flesh around it blackens and peels away. The servant hurries over and pours water over the scar sending up a cloud of steam. "We don't know who, or what, caused his disappearance. It could have been Aspis agents; they've been active in Varisia lately, but the idea in sending a single Pathfinder, I assume, was to avoid them entirely through subterfuge."


Halycon chuckles.

Would that anything wrought of gold could be hidden from the Consortium;

The inquisitor pauses...

or the Society, Halycon adds, with a predatory grin.

No matter; the Archfiend's Inquisition is at your service, Grandmaster Torch. This dutiful servant has no further inquiries.

As always, Halycon's smile is smug and sinister. He waits patiently to be dismissed or dispatched.


Ezren looks at Halcyon. "I confess that divination is not my expertise. Does your Inquisition provide you with any such ability? If not, perhaps we should ask for one or two Augury scrolls as an advance on our payment, in case questions at Wartle only bring us to the Sanos Forest with no other clues?


Torch's scarred face twists in a slight frown. "If only we could provide to each and every Pathfinder tools for every eventuality. I'm afraid that your wits are the most helpful thing you'll bring with you, and from the Decemvirate: only orders. I'd suggest you try tracking, the woods are not populated, he may have left a trail, which is growing ever colder as we speak."


Halycon's eyes, ever twinkling with cruel humor, shift to Ravagwen. His tone is dark, but mirthful and passingly good-natured.

I think he's talking to you, my dear. Your pooch might earn his feed, eh? There's a good nose on the creature, I hope.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

he might be able to track the scent if we can get there before it has been sitting out to long. He has a great nose, has been helpful in many situations when no one could see. Her eyes seem to light up mentioning her beloved pet. Forests with a low population would be good for tracking, especially without many animals leaving a trace.


Ezren nods his assent.

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

Dalligar nods again to Grandmaster Torch, then turns to the group again.

"If there is nothing else to be done, we should be off. The sooner we make way, the sooner we can find your missing companion."

---------

As Dalligar's memory of the briefing ends, he looks around the forest he and his new companions are settling down in for the night. "This place is not like any forest I've been in. Is it just me or are the trees too quiet?"


Declining to respond, Halycon leans against a nearby tree, picking his teeth with a crossbow bolt. The inquisitor takes a cursory look around before resting his head, and his eyes.

Perception check: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21


Not quiet by reputation, Dalligar. This forest is known for its Gnomes, and Gnomes are not known for being quiet.

What order of watch tonight?

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

The elf looks up to answer, I can do some time in the middle of the night. Sin can smell most things if they were to venture to close. That and with just a torch I can see twice as far as most. She is sitting on the ground with her bed roll placed close to the fire. She prefers the stars over a tent any night. It allows her to communicate with nature much better.

perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

"It's darkest before the dawn. No stars, no moon, the only light we would have is the fire. If anything, Whelk should take the last shift. Your Orc eyes should help see what we can't."

"As for me, I'll take first watch. I can see far enough with just the fire, and I know Ezren needs a good night's sleep to get a full grasp of the Arcane Arts."

"If anyone has any business to attend to, I suggest doing so now before we hunker down for the night."

Dalligar sets himself up against a tree and takes a deep breath before keeping watch for the party, dagger in hand. Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14


Third watch for me, then. Thank you, Dalligar and Ravagwen. Pleasant dreams.

While settling in his bedroll and blankets Ezren gumbles to himself about being too old for sleeping on rocks and bugs.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

The elven female lays out on her bed roll closing her eyes to sleep as her wolf curls up next to her almost snuggling. For being a beast trained for battle he was certainly tame around her.


Seems like watch order is (and correct me if I'm wrong):
Dalligar
Ravagwen
Ezren
Halycon

Mechanics:
1d4 ⇒ 4

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

The watch order is correct. I have already done a perception for the first shift.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

second watch: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31 After being awoken for her shift the druid takes her place close to the outskirts of camp looking around for any movement of sorts.


I am a bit confused. Is GM Odea's four-sided die roll his way of telling us that something happens during the fourth watch? If so, what? We seem to have stalled during the past 24 hours and I am not sure why.


Was waiting for confirmation on the watch order, sorry.
Dalligar, your watch passes without incident, and you awaken Ravagwen. Again, nothing happens during Ravagwen's watch, and Ezren is awoken for his turn. The night has grown quite cold, but other than an additional creaking in your bones, nothing happens Ezren. Halycon, you don't notice anything at first, but as morning nears, you feel an intense drowsiness wash over you, despite your night's rest.
Halycon give me a will save.


Watch order looks good.

Will save: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22 (+2 if this is a charm or compulsion)


Halycon shakes off the sudden sleepiness and feels that something is amiss, but he doesn't see anything around him with his first look.

mechanics:
1d3 ⇒ 1
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23

Dalligar & Halycon please roll perception.

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13


I don't think Halycon can make a 23 perception check, so I'll jump in and say you don't notice anything.
Morning comes and other than Halycon's momentary drowsiness, the night was uneventful... until Dalligar notices that 3 crossbow bolts and a potion of cure light wounds are missing.

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

Rising from his sleep with a stretch, Dalligar yawns and rubs his eyes.

"Morning everyone. I assume the night was uneventful?" As he stands from his bedroll, his belt pouch jingles with the four vials of alchemical potions.

Wait...four?

Dalligar quickly opens and looks in his pouch. "One of my potions is missing!" Quickly looking over his other things, he finds that three of his crossbow bolts are also missing.

"Guys, we've been robbed! Everyone check your stuff!"

Yes, I know I was the only one to have stuff stolen, but I'm in character. Roll with it.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

After finishing her daily meditation with nature muttering in some language no one would be able to understand she approaches the party. Glad to see you are up lazy, I already checked my gear as usual and nothing is missing. You must sleep like a rock to not have noticed someone reaching into your belt pouch She then bends down and rolls up her bed roll placing it in her backpack.

Would you like a list of my prepared spells for the day?


Nah, you've got what you chose, I'm not worried about it. Just let me know as a group what you decide to do, and I'll call for rolls or adjudicate as necessary.


Ezren checks his stuff. "Robbed? Who would steal one potion?"

He yawns, stiffly thanks the others for their turns on watch, then starts pacing back and forth while reading his spellbook.

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

Dalligar takes a quick look around his bed site, then rolls up his bed roll and gets ready to leave as well after he realizes that he doesn't know what he's looking for.

I thought I had Survival. Nope! Wrong character!

"Alright, let's keep going. We should find find our quarry before he disappears entirely."

Should we make a marching order? I'd say put the Druid up front, then the Inquisitor, then the Wizard, then me.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

Well since my wolf has scent he needs to be in front so that he can sniff it out and lead us on the trail

Ravagwen packs her things into her bag as she offers a small smile to the party, Sin has a great nose, as long as the trail is semi fresh he should have no trouble following it. She pats the pooch on the head urging him in druidic to find it.


Sounds like a sensible marching order.


The soft ground and still winds of the forest are ideal for tracking.
Sin picks up a scent from Dalligar's bag, then tilts his head and squints slightly, looking almost confused. He turns and begins walking into the forest, sniffing as he goes.
Survival checks from anyone who wants to make one, and perception checks from everyone.


Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14
survival: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13 (+2 for traps)
Survival: 1d20 ⇒ 9 (No ranks)


Ezren IV wrote:
"Robbed? Who would steal one potion?"

Hmmm... someone who would sow doubt and mistrust among us, perhaps? I have used similar strategies to great effect before.

Perhaps the potion was deposited into one of our packs.

Halycon checks his own possessions for anything missing, or anything "extra."

No survival, I'd rather stay on guard than try to "help."


Sin has no trouble following the scent it picked up; it winds its way through the trees, sometimes circling around a small grove, or climbing up and down a tree. At one point the trail was lost for a few minutes at a single tree, but Sin picked it back up a dozen feet away under a long, thick branch of the tree.

Twenty minutes of following this circuitous trail go by, and then Ravagwen hears two voices conversing. The first is a high-pitched but slow talking voice.
"You can't fik-sh me with these ones either? But they looked really nice and magicful! And they weren't broken like that other one..." The voice trails off.

A clearly feminine (and exasperated) voice responds:
"I told you I cannot fix you even if you did bring the right sort of thing, and I told you to stop stealing. If you stopped wandering around the forest like that those horrible creatures would not have hurt you in the first place." and then she sighs. "What am I supposed to do with you..."

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

She listens for a second before putting a hand on the wolfs shoulder telling him to stop. In a hush whisper to the party she points in the direction of the voice, I think we might have our man but he is not alone.


Halycon rolls his eyes at the exchange, and casually draws his mace.

Andoran

Male Half-Elf Rogue/4

Dalligar holds his hand out to Whelk, shaking his head slightly. He speaks in a low voice so he's not heard. "No, we don't want to attack them just yet. They may know about Jerome. I'll see if I can sneak on ahead."

Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24

Moving quietly through the underbrush, Dalligar moves as close as he dares to the source of the voices.

Sczarni

Female Elf Druid/4

Ravagwen also tries to stealth ahead. She walks next to Dalligar, sin slowing moving behind her.

1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Sins stealth: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16


"Sin picks up a scent from Dalligar's bag, then tilts his head and squints slightly, looking almost confused."

Why are we tracking the potion thief when we should be tracking Jerome Keliks? It appears our GM misinterpreted our intentions in post #39.

Ezren tries his best to stand still and wait quietly, letting the stealthier members of the group do their job.


Dalligar Reldane wrote:
"No, we don't want to attack them just yet. They may know about Jerome. I'll see if I can sneak on ahead."

Mmhm. Halycon replies, with a bored, "go on" tone.

Do your thing. "Plan B" is as ready as it is inevitable.

The inquisitor winks at the scrawny rogue.

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