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Exiles of Zirnakaynin, with Special Guest Stars

Thursday, August 26, 2010

After a long hiatus because of convention season, the drow nobles game continued with a hunt for the kidnapped acting matron of the House Azrinae—and split into two groups of PCs when Ylvirixna (Rob McCreary) and Alivora (James Jacobs) decided the matron (decerebrated by mi-go) was no longer in charge and ran off with her body. Confounded by this betrayal, Rackutio (Josh Frost), Phyxafein (Tim Nightengale), and Verandia (Jodi Lane) returned to the drow city of Far Parathra to plan their next move. Or so they thought.

The group couldn't find Zwimessa (Crystal Frasier) when they left to find the matron that morning (Crystal missed that session). Zwimessa, meanwhile, couldn't find any of the others when she woke—their rooms were empty, and the drow commoner prisoner they had taken from their occupied house was dead in one of the rooms. Hiring a diviner in Far Parathra, Zwimessa found that her family members had been kidnapped, and paid the mage to teleport her to where they were held, bringing two mage-called demons (Kelly Marie and Troy Siefker) with her for extra muscle.

Zwimessa, Fumerott (Kelly), and Poograh (Troy) arrived just outside of a strange laboratory where three mi-go had Alivorah, Phyxafein, Rackutio, Verandia, and Ylvirixna strapped to tables, with needles in their skulls connected to strange metal canisters. After routing the mi-go, Zwimessa's team freed the others, though Ylvirixna's brain had been removed and had to be put back in her skull with some powerful healing magic. Retrieving their gear from a nearby nook, the drow followed an escape tunnel (with a comatose Ylvirixna riding Alivorah's snake-like phantom steed).

The tunnel opened up into a cavern with several mi-go crates (each marked with magical runes) and a strange underground lake. While investigating the crates, they spotted movement in the murky water, and something hurled a rock at Zwimessa.

What followed was a furious battle with a pair of giant fish-men and two mutated, skinned ghouls. Fumerott grabbed and hurled one of the ghouls to the shore so Alivorah, Rackutio, and Verandia would have something to fight. Rackutio cast hungry pit on it, pulling in the wounded creature as well as two of the crates, which exploded on impact. OM NOM NOM! On the other side of the battle, the two giant fish-men deal horrendous damage to Poograh, but the stubborn demon continues to fight.

Fumerott and Zwimessa make short work of the remaining mutant ghoul, prompting the demon to eat her fallen enemy. Delicious!

The giant fish-men turned their attention on 20, Rackutio's eidolon, and managed to tear it apart, sending it back to its home plane. As the rest of the group converged on these foes, Rackutio summoned a greater water elemental (represented by a fire elemental in this picture, recolored blue with the magic of photo manipulation) to pound on the slimy things, and Verandia ended the fight with a controlled burst of channeled negative energy. Time to rest and loot... which, in Poograh's case, included eating the dead fish-men!

Tip: If you have players who are new to the Pathfinder RPG (as Kelly and Troy were) or gaming in general, all the choices for a classed character can be overwhelming. Sometimes it's easier to have them play an allied monster, which has fewer options for the player to learn. In this case, I copied the stats for a hezrou demon onto a character sheet, removed references to rules they didn't need to know about (like Improved Initiative, which is built into the stat block), summarized other complex abilities (like greater teleport), and didn't include other abilities they wouldn't need (like summon). This let them focus on playing their monster characters and dealing with dice rolls for attacks, damage, skills, and saves. Because these players are only present for this one high-level session, using conjured monsters allows them to play without devising a complex in-game story for why these two characters would show up and leave after a short time.

Sean K Reynolds
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Demons Drow Exiles of Zirnakaynin Monsters Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Playtest
Cheliax

I am happy to see the return of the Paizo Drow campaign (with special guests).

I also applaud and salute the use of Star Wars minis in said campaign!

I also spot some Alea Tools on the table; those guys from Alea are lovely chaps are big paizo fans to boot!

Thanks for sharing Sean!

mmmmm ...fishmen & chips

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

That's some cool terrain: what is that?

Cheliax

Sean has pics up of how he made some of the terrain (on his site or his facebook I think).

Here's a blog he posted a little bit ago on this site with some of his 'DM tools'.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

I used a hot wire foam cutter to build those hills. Mounted on MDF for strength and stability. Painted with dark brown acrylic paint (mixed with sand, for texture), then drybrushed with a lighter brown, then some spots of neon green and glow-in-the-dark paint to represent phosphorescent fungi (and so they shine in the black light!). I have a hex grid spray template for them but I haven't used it yet.

Not too hard to make, really. I'll do a tutorial at some point. I have five large quarter-circles (one of which is visible in the pic) and four ovoid pieces (all of which are visible in the pic), which gives me a lot of options for building areas, including multilevel stuff.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds like a fun game Sean.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Awesome, thankyou Baron and Booth Babe.

How about the terrain on the first two pics?
Can you tell I'm getting bored of 2D mats

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Tales Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
How about the terrain on the first two pics?

I think that's some Dwarven Forge products.

I love the photoshop'd water elemental!

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

A cautionary tale...miss a game session, and your brain ends up in a jar!
Thanks, Sean! :(


baron arem heshvaun wrote:


I also applaud and salute the use of Star Wars minis in said campaign!

Are the Star Wars mini's the large yellow dudes with red speckles? I've got to get me some of those!

Great looking game!

Andoran

Rob McCreary wrote:

A cautionary tale...miss a game session, and your brain ends up in a jar!

Thanks, Sean! :(

That's how it works! LOL :o)


Cool gaming session!


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Tip: If you have players who are new to the Pathfinder RPG (as Kelly and Troy were) or gaming in general ... sometimes it's easier to have them play an allied monster

Similarly, once our campaign gets into higher levels, I often have potential New Players (newbs or otherwise) play Cohorts or NPCs Allies of the party until they are used to the feel of our Group, the tone of the World and so forth.

Although Cohorts and Allies tend to be lower in Level than the PCs (with proportionately simpler mechanics), they also tend to be Specialists at just one or two things, whereas PCs are generally Generalist Adventurers. This means they are highly-effective at what they were designed to do and can generally stand with the PCs in most circumstances. Granted, lower-level Fighters can't Tank, but they can flank, form a second rank, help protect spell-casters and so forth.

Only when someone gets the flavor of our groups and decides they want to keep playing with us do we go to the trouble of making up a 12th level character with comprehensive backstory in the world and so forth (in my world, characters above 6th level get pretty rare).

FWIW,

Rez

Contributor

Majuba wrote:
I think that's some Dwarven Forge products.

Yep, their Cavern and River Cavern sets.

Cleric of Caffeine wrote:
Are the Star Wars mini's the large yellow dudes with red speckles? I've got to get me some of those!

They're the Kintan Strider, seen in the R2D2 vs. Chewie holographic chess game: link

I painted them with the spots to make them look a little different from each other so we could tell them apart on the table (as they were technically representing PCs).


Rob McCreary wrote:

A cautionary tale...miss a game session, and your brain ends up in a jar!

Thanks, Sean! :(

No worries, Sis! I put it back in there in your head for you. And I'm SURE I didn't make any adjustments to the programming while I was goofing around with it.


I poked it. You twitched.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

looks like a blast, thanks for the info on the minis. I must acquire those down the road sometime.


Any game session that opens with someone being decerebrated sounds like it brings the right kinda crazy.

Taldor PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

Rob McCreary wrote:

A cautionary tale...miss a game session, and your brain ends up in a jar!

Thanks, Sean! :(

I think glitterdust was involved....


I'm glad I was able to have everyone fight for me so successfully...

Andoran

Timitius wrote:
Rob McCreary wrote:

A cautionary tale...miss a game session, and your brain ends up in a jar!

Thanks, Sean! :(
I think glitterdust was involved....

Truth ;o)

Andoran

You know, the terrain like that is awesome and looks outstanding, but wow it exhausts me lmao! :o)

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