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GoB's Runelords / Kingmaker mashup campaign *Spoilers for both AP's*


Rise of the Runelords

201 to 217 of 217 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 44-45 - (Aside with 5 half-elves and 2 dwarves)

In attendance (a bunch of names I don't remember):
Halfelf Ftr4/Rog3 - elven curveblade guy (a real melee killer)
Halfelf Ftr1/Wiz5/EK1 - Armoured wizard guy (mage hand, buffs and touch spells)
Halfelf Wiz7 - Conjurer and controller wizard
Halfelf Dru7 - Brother of elven curveblade guy, Weather domain
Dwarf Clr7 - Caiden Cailean - Basic cleric, mixed spells and melee, Travel and ??? domains
Dwarf Mnk7 - Weakly built monk who can't hit much (fell into the classic monk trap of high wis/dex/con, low str)
Halfelf Ftr4/Rog3 - TWF guy (soft in melee)

Exploration continued in the Sanos Forest. The guys seem to be having fun with these secondary characters - I didn't update for last session but I'll catch up now...

The party pushed through the forest, finding the Elven keep. There, they got into more fey-themed fun, fighting the quickling and others there. It was a pretty fun set piece and everyone had a good time, except the Druid, who was killed trying to save his not quite trained grizzly bear, isolating himself from the group and getting murdered by the quickling, one nibble at a time. They dragged his corpse back to the temple of Erastil and immersed him in the pool, which reincarnated him back as a human. At this point, I bumped them up to 8th level.

Next session, they pushed ahead and ran into more fey and forest troubles. They were attacked by a party of worgs and pixies, which was kinda fun. It took them a long time to figure out that there were pixies at all, and it turns out that a group of half elves and dwarves is very well equipped to fight malevolent fey. Anyway, the worgs were killed and the pixies driven off and the party pushed on to a copse where they bumped into a pair of Hangman Trees (CR 7 x 2). It turns out that these trees are crazy difficult and the fight was almost a TPK despite being equal to APL and having a slightly staggered start to the fight (I started tree #2 some distance away).

Anyway, curveblade guy was eaten and barely managed to escape and the Druid charged into the middle and was promptly smacked around by the trees and grappled. He burned a hero point to not die, was healed to consciousness and attacked, leaving himself still grappled, then died and was eaten thereafter. The wizard helped things by Greasing curveblade guy and the cleric buffed himself a bunch and between the pair, summoned monsters and the two wizards' ministrations, the trees died. These trees were in the place of the Scythe Tree from KM2 so they were soon thereafter contacted by a satyr whose dryad friend wanted to thank them for cleansing the forest of the evil trees. She reincarnated the Druid a second time (this time into a goblin) and gave up some other treasures.

At this point, we had largely explored the Sanos encounters, leaving just the mountain and Ashwood stuff I had left and I expected the group to be ready to return to the main group. To my surprise, they told me they wanted to stick with it and finish the map so we're going to continue this aside for a couple more sessions before getting back to the Runelords plot.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 46-47 - (Aside with 5 half-elves and 2 dwarves)

In attendance (a bunch of names I don't remember):
Halfelf Ftr4/Rog3 - elven curveblade guy (a real melee killer)
Halfelf Ftr1/Wiz5/EK1 - Armoured wizard guy (mage hand, buffs and touch spells)
Halfelf Wiz7 - Conjurer and controller wizard
Halfelf Dru7 - Brother of elven curveblade guy, Weather domain
Halfelf Ftr4/Rog3 - TWF guy (soft in melee) (missed 1st session)

Missing:
Dwarf Clr7 - Caiden Cailean - Basic cleric, mixed spells and melee, Travel and ??? domains
Dwarf Mnk7 - Weakly built monk who can't hit much (fell into the classic monk trap of high wis/dex/con, low str)

Session 46:
PCs found and slew a Naga in the swamp (the serpentine woman who was controlling the boggard king that the main PC group crossed paths with), explored the Ashwood where they fought a couple of green dragons, defused a dispute between a nixie and some loggers, and then tracked a cantankerous owlbear back to his rather extensive lair.

We left off with the PCs running with their tails tucked away from owlbear city after things went from super easy violet fungus and big spiders to not so easy shambling mound, to Jesus, that's a big owlbear, let's get out of here!!!

Session 47:
Finished the fight with the owlbear tonight and summarized the rest of their pacification (a bunch of encounters with empty giant lairs in the Iron and Wyvern Peaks). Backup PC group levelled to L9.

Then, we returned to a short session with the main group. After a long rest for crafting (using up all of their allotted safe not going to be attacked by giants and they knew this because of Divination time). They headed back to the Storval Step to clean it out of giants once more. This time, it was massed by a pair of Stone giants and a Taiga giant to mix things up.

We ended after a PC interrogation of one of the Stone giants who revealed that Mokmurian had left the Fortress to an unknown location (answer - it's Sandpoint, and thence to Runeforge) and suggesting ways to get in (either the passages through the river cliff, or by flying over the walls to bypass the guards).

I'm trying to set up a quick blast through Jorgenfist so they can learn that they missed their target by a number of weeks and set up the chase through the cosmos after Mokmurian as the doomsday clock ticks along.

Everyone in the main group is either 12th level or really close now so FotSG should be relatively simple for them and they are really ready for SotS, which will start soon with a slightly different beginning.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 48 - Speaking with dragons

In attendance:
Jerrick - Shoanti bow hunter cleric of Erastil with a horse companion (High Priest)
Vor - Halforc bow ranger, former Black Arrow with a large wolf companion (Forest Warden)
Grisly - Dwarven switch-hitting barbarian (War Chief)
Wyndham - Human rogue/shadowdancer with a nasty streak and a shadow-companion(Lord of Whispers)
Mark - Human blaster-evoker (Magister)

Missing:
Arcainen - Human water bloodline sorcerer, focused on rays (High Chancellor)
Richard - Extreme AC sword and board fighter (General)

We had a bit of a break for Christmas and one session of PFS play (I ran the first Shipyard Rats adventure because we had a small group and I didn't want to have the bulk of the group miss out on the first assault on Jorgenfist). Just played tonight and resumed where we left off.

They surveyed the valley with windwalk and had some lengthy discussions and eventually decided to go after Longtooth first (for treasure-seeking reasons, mostly). They drew up detailed battle plans that I wiped out after a couple rounds when Longtooth suggested that the two groups talk, him offering information in exchange for peace.

The party agreed and they had a long talk with the dragon (me voicing him almost like Bane from Dark Knight - Slow and lurching cadence, back of the throat low voice, ponderous speaker), where he spilled the beans on Mokmurian's destination (that he's seeking Runeforge) and his means of getting there (he is searching for an ancient Thassalonian Prison that contains the key to reach Runeforge). He also fleshed out a bit more of the plot (who the Thassalonians were, a bit about their empire, as well as talking a bit about Mokmurian's powers), and mentioned that there is a library beneath Jorgenfist that should provide the clues they need to find Mokmurian (who left the citadel a couple weeks before).

Happy enough, the group left and decided to wind walk over to the river-cave entrance, fought the wyverns and then the deathweb spiders, killing both groups quickly with chain lightning (and high AC and bad GM-rolling) and blade barrier (4 failed saves) respectively before wind-walking past the redcaps in the narrow tunnels and materializing not far from the kobold barbarian.

They popped into her room, found her to be surprisingly hardy, though still not too much of a threat until the end when she suicided by blowing up her necklace of fireballs and everyone's eyes opened really wide.

I rolled 126 damage or something like that but between evasion and the layers of fire protection spells the party had running from their planned fight with the dragon, they managed to escape totally without damage. They decided to press on through the Jorgenfist catacombs, where we will go next time.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 49 - Dragons and Lamia oh my!
In attendance:
Jerrick - Shoanti bow hunter cleric of Erastil with a horse companion (High Priest)
Vor - Halforc bow ranger, former Black Arrow with a large wolf companion (Forest Warden)
Grisly - Dwarven switch-hitting barbarian (War Chief)
Wyndham - Human rogue/shadowdancer with a nasty streak and a shadow-companion(Lord of Whispers)
Richard - Extreme AC sword and board fighter (General)

Missing:
Arcainen - Human water bloodline sorcerer, focused on rays (High Chancellor)
Mark - Human blaster-evoker (Magister)

My PCs pushed into the somewhat empty dungeons underneath Jorgenfist (all the Giants had left with Mokmurian to try to nab the Scribbler and figure out his rhyme). They will have been seen in the Sandpoint area, I think, perhaps having taken up residence in Thistletop. Still contemplating that...

Anyway, Wyndham, the invisi-scout was not killed by the haunt, they had fun with the jotun blood giant, then decided to sleep it off in the dungeon, but not before Wyndham went wandering down the hall where he was spotted by the dragon there (blindsense for the win). I had followed another suggestion here and opted to have the dragon be a charmed and wisdom-damaged gold dragon. Anyway, Wyndham retreated, the dragon ratted the party out and called the Lamia, who then mounted an investigation.

The dragon, lamia and PCs duked it out for a while in the Sihedron branding room. This was a funner fight than it would have been separately as my PCs have drifted up in levels a bit so it wasn't much of a challenge to face these fights sequentially.

Next: on to the Library.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 50 and 51 - On to Sins of the Saviours

A couple of short sessions:

50:
Fought the Runelsave Giant, suffered significant reductions in the Chamber of Reduction, killed the Headless Lord and his zombie posse, hated the Scanderig and had an ugly final confrontation with the Shining Child who hurt many with Scintillating Pattern and his blinding aura.

Had a fun Q&A in the library and with a little prodding, my PCs realized that Mokmurian had decamped to headed to Sandpoint to delve into the Catacombs of Wrath.

51:
Had a bit of a homecoming, meeting old NPCs and a bit of lighthearted roleplay where the PCs tried to keep the locals from being afraid. Heard intel that there had been giants seen in the area but no confrontation. (Mok and his party had come in from the Smuggler's Tunnels).

Arrived in Catacombs of Wrath, there, they bumped into Conna hiding in the entry corridor from the original Cats of Wrath map from Burnt Offerings. Conna offered to help the party bypass the bulk of the Stone Giant baddies (in the prison room) and served the same purpose as before. Told the party that Mokmurian had found the clue he was looking for and left his guard behind to secure the weapon that he'll need to win this war (i.e. to get into Runeforge).

Party agreed and she used her magics to tunnel through to the down-going spiral stair from the Cats of Wrath to arrive on the SotS map without a sinkhole (which I felt was a bit of a plot crutch and not needed at this level of high powered divinations).

There, they did some Q&A with the Scribbler and quickly party quickly disengaged and pushed on into the Cathedral with the Glabrezu. The Glabrezu succeeded on his summoning attempt, quickly escalating the fight from a breeze to an ugly confrontation with two scary monsters on either side of the party. The party dealt with the demons but were pretty badly hurt and scattered.

Vor was Confused and left behind as the party edged south to deal with some summoning sounds they had heard from the next room (the Scribbler readying to engage, his plan being to do his summons and then bamf himself to the party's back flank).

Vor crashed to the ground when an anti-gravity spell ended and the Scribbler appeared at the back of the party over top of him and proceeded to crit him a couple times in the first full attack.

He died and the PC didn't want to continue on so he's coming back as a Dragon Disciple or something.

The group drove the Scribbler off to lick his wounds and we ended the evening.

=================================================================

This is getting to be a bit of a grind for me at this point. Decision paralysis in such a large group is starting to slow the combats down (I am as much at fault as my PCs, and there's not much I can do about it).
I'm not exactly sure where to go from here, but I will be liberally cutting away any of the encounters that aren't totally necessary. We'll see...

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 52 - There's a dragon????

PCs finished the Scribbler and figured out his rhyme and made their way across Varisia to the standing stones. There, they figured out the spells, grabbed a couple of keys and then had a big debate about which spells to use next. They then blew their spot checks to see Arkryst so he flew overhead and then came down in a nosedive, blowing his breath over the party.

What followed was a spectacular failing of saving throws as all but one of the PCs failed their fear saves and so scattered in every possible direction. Arkryst picked them off one at a time, snatching, grabbing and flying them back to the middle to be dropped somewhere handy. I randomly chose which character to snatch each time and rolled up Grisly first who got the crunch, breath and drop treatment while everyone scattered. He's made of hitpoints so he survived.

Next in the random death generator was the new Dragon Disciple (a halfling), who did not fare so well and died of dragon wounds. Meanwhile, Wyndham (the only non-scared PC amazingly) delayed the dragon a bit while the others escaped into the trees. He used his shadowjump ability to escape and fled with only the new Sorcerer being carried away to be Dragon lunch.

========================================================

Session 53 - Dead dragon and demiplanes

Armed with a plan (and a new halfling sorcerer), the party snuck back into the cave, intent on taking Arkryst in her lair. This fight went a lot better than the first one as Arkryst's plan did not work as well since everyone had Fly or Wind Walk running, and so she died of Maximized Fireball and Raging Dwarf critical hit wounds. The group wallowed in the dragon hoard for a while, scooped everything into a now full to bursting bag of holding and retrieved the Runeforge keys once more.

They went through the portal, looked at the seven statues and opted to head into the Transmutation wing where they were nearly TPK'd by the goldfishifying field and then fought the Mithril Mage, swarming him pretty easily.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 54 - Jump gates

In attendance:
Jerrick - Shoanti bow hunter cleric of Erastil with a horse companion (High Priest)
Wyndham - Human rogue/shadowdancer with a nasty streak and a shadow-companion(Lord of Whispers)
Richard - Extreme AC sword and board fighter (General)
Arcainen - Human water bloodline sorcerer, focused on rays (High Chancellor)
New_Halfling_sorcerer_whose_name_escapes_me - Halfling Arcane Bloodline

Missing:
Grisly - Dwarven switch-hitting barbarian (War Chief)
Mark - Human blaster-evoker (Magister)

After finishing up the Greed/Transmutation wing and playing around with the wand recharging pool, they headed to the Wrath/Evocation wing and started jumping around.

One fun thing about these wings is the staggered entrances so some folk get stuck unable to make it in (if they are not from the sin specialty in question.

Anyway, halfling_sorcerer and someone else got through first to face the iron golem archer but halfling_sorcerer locked the way with Wall of Force. Richard flew up to melee range and wailed away while the others dribbled in and helped from range. Arcainen dimension doored Jerrick in behind the golem and healed Richard so the critter went down. Golems in general have been fairly simple for a long time because one of Richard's first purchases was an Adamantine longsword.

Anyway, from there on to fighting Eldritch knights and sinspawn axemen. This was one of the funner combats we've had in a while with lots of walls, explosions, black tentacles, jumping through teleportation gates, dimension dooring and telepathic communication. The fight sprawled through into several rooms, had some chases through the gates and ended in a satisfactory manner. We finished with the party significantly depleted and waiting to go into the Highlady's room to fight her and the Shemhazian (sic?) demon.

I don't know what made this so much fun, maybe it was the lots of bad guys factor (I upped the group in the training room to 10EK's and 10 Sinspawns instead of 7 and 7 or whatever it was because my group is 14th level and had 5 PCs). Maybe it was the lack of action paralysis on my part as my critters were pretty simple to control as they didn't have a million spells to draw from but there you go.

It was a fun night.

=================================================================
We ended in initiative (with the minute/level spells still active) so I expect a tough fight with the Highlady in the next room. My plan is to have the group bump into Mokmurian just as he completes the cycle back in the main room and opens the portal to the outside world with his sin-enhanced weaponry ready, fight him to a draw and him alone escape. We'll see if I can cook that up or whether we'll get stuck with one big combat with the Highlady and run out of time or if he'll die right here in Runeforge.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sessions 56 and 57 - Wrath, Sloth and a trap from Mokmurian

It's been a while but my PCs had a tough fight with the Highlady and her Shemhazian cohort as they were at the end of their resources and met a prepared enemy. There, they learned about the nature of Runeforge - what the weapons can do and how to make them. I also tweaked the rules a bit from the written material to require all seven essences to be combined back in the pool room to open the portal back to the Prime Material Plane.

They then rested and discovered that their rear-guard (Mark the evoker who is almost never with us any more) was turned to stone in the Runeforge Pool room (by Mokmurian).

They callously ignored that, plunged into the Sloth wing and had a good romp of the ever sprawling dungeon there, going roughly clockwise through the rooms around the entrance. Early on, Wyndham contracted Mummy Rot (which really sucks) and they eventually fought Kazaven in several engagements spanning the two sessions.

I misread the negative energy trap and had it active in both Kazaven's Phylactery room (where it's supposed to be) and in the Assembly room, which deepened the encounter difficulty significantly, but that worked out well for my 6 PC group.

They eventually nailed down the Lich, destroyed his phylactery and returned to Wrath to rest up.

The next morning on their way to the Lust wing, Mokmurian was waiting for them hiding just inside the envy wing. He started with reverse gravity and his fog spells to control the battle and had managed to suck the party into the entrance of Envy (he knows about the Disjunction field, knows its timing and plans on hurting the party with it). We ended with him around the corner inside the Halls in initiative with the next Disjunction pulse coming in 2 rounds.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 58 - Envy and Lust

In attendance:
Jerrick - Shoanti bow hunter cleric of Erastil with a horse companion (High Priest)
Wyndham - Human rogue/shadowdancer with a nasty streak and a shadow-companion(Lord of Whispers)
Richard - Extreme AC sword and board fighter (General)
Arcainen - Human water bloodline sorcerer, focused on rays (High Chancellor)
Grisly - Dwarven switch-hitting barbarian (War Chief)

Missing:
Mark - Human blaster-evoker (Magister)
New_Halfling_sorcerer_whose_name_escapes_me - Halfling Arcane Bloodline

Mokmurian put up a wall of fire and retreated into the alcove away from the disjunction trap and the PCs scuttled forward. He was tragically unable to do much with his blasting spells so he used Form of the Dragon II to switch to a Large Green Dragon and enter melee and did pretty well for a bit while he waited for the Disjunction trap to flash.

Very much unfortunately for him, Jerrick had an arrow of Dragon Slaying and he thought to bust it out. He managed to score a hit and Mokmurian rolled a 4 on his Fort save (exactly enough to fail) and he was suddenly in a ton of trouble. He dimension doors out back to the central room to open the portal back to the Prime Material and escape.

Wyndham remains behind to work on the trap while the others fan out and chase, quickly spotting Mok in the main room and killing him with magic.

Then the disjunction hit (catching only Wyndham) and I played it like the 3.5 original where it attacked every magic item in range. Sadly for my PCs, Wyndham carried almost all of the party's treasure in a bag of holding inside of his Handy Haversack. In addition to most of Wyndham's useful gear, the haversack was disjoined and thus all of their vast treasures accumulated over about 90% of SotS was lost in extra-dimensional space.

Killing my over-monied party's monies was a fine thing. The bummer is that Wyndham is probably the weakest character in the group combat-wise and he lost the most.

Fortunately, the adventure gave me a couple of solutions right away:

First, Wyndham headed over to the wand recharging pool from the Transmutation? wing and dunked his now just masterwork armour into it. I let him roll continuously until he either had a catastrophic success or a catastrophic failure. He ended up with a 100% on his third roll so I gave him back fully repaired leather armour with an additional plus and Greater Shadow instead of the Improved Shadow modification he already had.

Secondly, they found and figured out the Ethillium pool, which I decided would provide the GP cost equivalent for enchanting magic items instead of defraying the XP cost like in the original 3.5 version. This allowed him enough for Jerrick to build him a bad-assed Wounding Rapier, which will open up lots of options for him in the future.

Anyway, tears were shed and then the group healed up and headed off to the lust wing to continue their sweep of Runeforge. There, they met the alu-demons and they refused to attack until attacked. The PCs were loaded up with Protection from Evil to a man and so were totally immune to any of their suggestions etc, so decided to be a little more peaceful than normal.

Wyndham (the lust-attuned one in the group) was contacted mentally by Dalvahinne (however her name is spelled) and he trotted off into her pleasure palace to exchange... er... services for the tokens he needed.

I knew my group and played this not as PG-13 soft core but a fair amount edgier than that. Wyndham suffered 6 rounds of energy drain with the ball-gagged and shackled succubus to sate his lust before he tried to escape. She was having none of that and easily escape artisted out of the toys as Wyndham fled.

He managed to escape with a gag in one hand and a bejewelled phallus in the other but the others wanted to stay and fight. I had upped the difficulty of her stone giant guards (from standard giants to 4 Teraktinuses, representing Mokmurian's honour guard). The fight was really, really tough as both melee fighters were knocked out before the group managed to plow through the bad guys. Dalvahinne managed to pierce their Protection from Evil a couple of times with the one-two combination of Dispel Magic and then Dominate Person, but it didn't come to much in the end. She got glitterdusted, had to teleport to solve that, got cornered and killed.

That leaves us with the Pride (illusion) wing, then Karzoug's statue and we're on to Spires of Xin Shalast. Because they got Mokmurian (it was close), I probably won't be running any of the Kingmaker 5 battle stuff and the campaign will end with Karzoug's end.

We'll see - I'm getting increasingly less enamoured with GMing high level campaigns with the action paralysis and crazy spell lists I have to deal with as GM, so I may not do the capstone stuff I was thinking of (running KM6 as a consequence of them failing to shut off the Leng device or as a scorched earth final act when Karzoug bites it).

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 59 - Pride and a naked Richard

In attendance:
Jerrick - Shoanti bow hunter cleric of Erastil with a horse companion (High Priest)
Wyndham - Human rogue/shadowdancer with a nasty streak and a shadow-companion(Lord of Whispers)
Richard - Extreme AC sword and board fighter (General)
Arcainen - Human water bloodline sorcerer, focused on rays (High Chancellor)
Grisly - Dwarven switch-hitting barbarian (War Chief)

Missing:
Mark - Human blaster-evoker (Magister)
New_Halfling_sorcerer_whose_name_escapes_me - Halfling Arcane Bloodline

The party pushed into Pride with Wyndham in the lead - Poof! The mirrors of opposition creates two Wyndham's with two of his Rapiers of Puncturing and his hit and run ability. Real Wyndham had a tough time, Richard destroyed one Wyndham's rapier and eventually the pair of them were brought down. The party deliberated on what to do next and decided to send Richard in, unarmed and unarmoured reasoning that the mirrors would create two easy to kill Richards.

That happened and the Richards attacked, the hall was blocked and they retreated. On the wings of a dimension door and a shadow jump, the fight drifted into the main room where the two Richards were joined by the 4 simulacra who invisibly smashed the party with fireballs and attempted Save or Suck spells (Feeblemind etc.). Jerrick and his True Seeing led the party to tracking down the 4 illusionists and took them out. They explored the back of the Pride wing and learned the story of what went down in Runeforge over the years. There was some worry as Jerrick had cast Shield Other on Richard and when they both were hit by the same fireball, it was close for Jerrick.

Next, they returned and finished cooking up their Runeforged weapons, starting with the Dominant weapon that brought the Greater Stone Golem into the fight. As always, Arcainen started with a Grease Spell and as always, I failed the saving throw so Golem-Karzoug fell in a heap. Still, Richard (who was still life-linked to Jerrick) engaged the Golem and was smashed mightily for his efforts. Jerrick looked close to death at one point and it was suddenly germane that Shield Other has duration (D) - he cut off the spell, Richard took some hits and the fight was over in short order with no deaths.

Karzoug taunted the group, they thought hard on where Mhar Massif and Xin Shalast might be and they didn't really get it, setting things up for next time. They did a couple of kingdom turns and they did some shopping.

============================================================

Next time (that is tonight) I will do a little exposition describing their time after Runeforge and their vain search for Mhar Massif, as well as a talk of how they returned to Conna - showed the Giants Mokmurian's head and dispersed the tribes, then SoXS!

I also have to think of some way to wrap up the kingdom-building part of this campaign arc now that the stone giants are mostly settled - I'm not sure - maybe a small giant invasion from the scraps of Mokmurian's army - Maybe I'll run that combined with an amped up version of the last Kingmaker adventure as a Karzoug cursing the land as he dies kind of thing.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sessions 60, 61, 62 (Soon to come 63, 64, 65)

It's been a while so I can only paint broad strokes:

Session 60 - The Vekker's Cabin

This was really fun. I ran it by the book and fast paced and it was an excellent bit of horror adventuring. Shouldn't be skipped.

Session 61 - Into Xin Shalast

PCs followed the trail through the frozen highlands and into Xin Shalast. They bluffed their way past the Lamia kuchrimas at the entrance and wandered into the city unmolested. There, they chose to avoid fights with the large encampments of giants, lamia, yeti and whatnot. They went into the arena and fought the ice Devil in the Heparic Locus. After that, they were contacted by Morgiv the Skulk and were offered a home base and intelligence in exchange for taking care of the Hidden Beast

Session 62 - Hidden Beasts and Dragons

PCs fought the Hidden beast (a scary fight made worse by me misreading the energy drain rules while simultaneously not noticing that the beast had Blindsight and scent, which would have endangered a couple of the fighters who were under cloak of Improved Invisibility), talked with Morgiv about who was where and then decided to go after the Blue Dragon to steal his stuff and not have to deal with him later.

I upped the Dragon to a Pathfinder Ancient Blue, which was a pretty scary challenge because of his Storm Breath ability which pretty much pierced all of their resistances right off the bat. Action Economy got the best of him though and the PCs nailed him down. Richard had a bleeding critical along the way which proved fatal as it bled out fleeing for help and crashed into the city.


Always enjoy reading these...

This would be a huge change, but have you thought of swapping out Leng for the First World in the last module? That way, if they don't shut off the 'Leng Device' all the fun stuff from the end of KM can bleed on through and attack their kingdom.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was thinking the exact thing actually.

What I haven't done yet is update the 3 sessions we've played in the Pinnacle of Avarice yet but the broad strokes is after dealing with everything else, the PCs killed all of the Denizens (which shuts down the Leng Device). I changed that scene a bit because I didn't want to do an on the fly PF conversion of the 3.5 Hound of Tindalos so I had the portal pop open with a Shaggoth inside instead.

I'm considering offering to run a miniseries some time in the future when our next campaign needs a break, where the PCs get leveled up to 20th (they're 16th-ish now) and I take KM6 and high-grade it up to 20th/epic levels and smash their little kingdom with that. To get ready for that, I am planning on Karzoug taunting them with something about how his defeat will only serve to release something much, much worse, maybe one calendar year after their coming victory.


Nice!

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sessions 63, 64 and the penultimate 65

Session 63 - First Assault on the Pinnacle of Avarice

After some divination and prepping some spells, the group decided to wind walk in, materialize in the ramp and test the defenders with a frontal assault. They managed to kill most of the cloud giants, about a third of the frost giants, one rune giant, and the champion of greed before fleeing when the other rune giants and the harridans arrived.

They were lucky in their preparations as they happened to be ready for Lightning (because I had planted the seed that the Blue Dragon they killed not too long earlier was seen flying around again).

They learned some lessons and had a big planning session for assault 2.

I had printed out a slightly reduced half-scale plot (1"=10') of the pinnacle with some guide lines for the circular arcs and filled in the rooms as we went. Because of some shenanigans with walls of force, some of the interior walls got mashed down by giants and PCs alike.

Session 64 - Second Assault on the Pinnacle (Part 1)

The next time, they were ready for the magnitude of the defenses and the defenders were slightly differently organized with a Rune Giant and a Harridan at the entrance point and organized into similar teams of defenders.

PCs assaulted via the front door and the gore was unimaginable. They sprayed Prismatic Sprays to great effect against the big group of reinforcing rune giants and fought a dynamic battle that ranged through the entrance and ended with Khalib the apprentice having to pull his punches a tiny bit (He didn't use his delayed blast fireball at a moment when it would have killed half the party, instead opting for something transmutery). PCs were ultimately victorious and decided to stick around rather than retreat and face more reinforcements.

Session 65 - Mop-up in the Pinnacle (Part 2)

Last weekend, we knew we were getting close and I wanted the full group there for the finale so we split our time between making our way to just before the final fight and either playing PFS and/or working on characters for the next campaign (Skulls and Shackles, with my brother as GM).

So, victorious in breaching the main defenses, the PCs explored deeper and bumped into Ceoptra and her pair of cronies first (which was slowed down and simplified a bit by prismatic walls). She used Greater Spell Immunity to wade through the Prismatic Wall and engage the PCs directly but they were never in all that much danger here.

Next, they wandered around and fought with a few more Karzoug images (Wyndham was petrified by the last one) before coming across the Denizens of Leng and their device. I played them as totally not caring about the presence of the PCs - they were aware, mysterious, neutral and aloof. This creeped my group out quite a bit and after a lengthy telepathic communication, decided to fight the denizens. The denizens didn't stand a chance and barely landed a blow but the flashes as the leng device dies (with each denizen death) got my group worried.

They evacuated a ways and heard the explosion and roar back in the Leng room. Since I didn't have a decent Hound of Tindalos to run, I decided to play up the Chtulhu stuff and had a Shoggoth come pouring out of the portal. PCs decided that was enough and they fled and that was the end.

My plan for next time:

The Shoggoth will have messed up much of the Pinnacle and escaped to wreak havoc in the city, hopefully exiting the stage without the party deciding to fight it. PCs will go through the portal to the Eye of Avarice (once they figure out how it works) and face Karzoug and his minions.

Taking a chapter from the PFS version of the finale, I'm adding a Rune Giant and the Blue Dragon they defeated (resurrected as a "Rune Slave", which I'll run as a dumb Adult Blue Dragon with the simple Giant Template applied, so CR14).

As reported above, and assuming Karzoug dies, I'll sew the seeds for a reunion epic-level mini-series if I get ambitious where I'll run a beefed-up KM6. I'm not all that sure as I am very weary of the drag and decision paralysis of high-level play, but I want to leave that option open.


Greycloak of Bowness, I really enjoyed reading of your groups adventures. It took me from when you posted Dec 4, to now, reading when I could, generally when I was putting my 1.5 yr old to bed. It made for good reading. I hope if you run another adventure, you continue to post. Have you considered writing of your characters adventures in your brothers campaign?

One other question, it may have been answered and I missed it between baby bottles. How did the characters react when they realized they had bought a place that was owned by someone else who was out of town, way back at the beginning of skinsaw? I laughed pretty hard when I read that. Almost woke the baby.

anyway, thanks again for a great read. I appreciate the time you put into this, both GM prep as well as writing the AARs.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Session 66: Death of a Runelord (and a bunch of PCs along the way)

Unfortunately, the player in charge of Grizly had a personal emergency so had to cancel late but we forged on without him anyway.

The PCs started with a lengthy discussion about tactics and whatnot, prepped spells and got themselves up to the Pinnacle of Avarice. There, they found that the Shoggoth had wrecked the place and was long gone so they decided to let it fight the giant army below and plunged back into the room with the Occulus-thingey.

They went in circles after I wasn't very helpful with the information as to how to activate it, debating smearing blood on it (which would have worked) or smashing it with Richard's sword (which being the correct variety of runeforged would indeed have worked). After trying lesser items, Richard decided to smash the lens and activated the gate to the Eye of Avarice.

Now, the PCs committed the huge and unforgiving mistake of just jumping through without finishing their minutes/level buffs. Anyway, they plunged in to find a multi-tiered throne room thematically similar to that found in the Anniversary edition, complete with the same baddies: a couple of storm giants, a rune giant, an adult blue dragon (which I described as being the one they had killed earlier now covered in runes and with a glassy look about him).

Arcainen won initiative and squandered his turn moving away from the group and buffing. Karzoug went next and Meteor Swarmed the group on the platform and quickened Time Stopped to cast Spell Turning and Cloudkill on the entry platform and shapechange on himself. Next, Wyndham darted forward out of the fog and attacked the rune giant, which proved to be a bad idea because the next move was for the halfling sorcerer to dimension door himself, Richard and Jerrik up to Karzoug's grill. Jerrik casts Antimagic field and moves next to Karzoug and Richard steps up and wails away, hitting a few times.

Next, the giants go, engaging Arcainen and Wyndham who fight back for a few rounds, mostly just depleting their protection from energies.

Karzoug retreats out of the antimagic field (eating an AoO on the way) and transmutes into a Dragon and flies out of reach and did something else with his quickened rod, I forget what. The group on the top platform chase forward to attack once they shut down their own Antimagic Field (having forgotten the cardinal rule of winning with Antimagic Field, namely that you need to grapple the bad wizard). Richard pursued, Halfing dude fussed with his Spell Turning.

Meanwhile at the bottom platform, Arcainen himself got surrounded by cloud giants and decided to dimension door away, leaving Wyndham alone fighting a Rune Giant (and losing) while he moved up to the top platform with the others.

Karzoug replied with Wail of the Banshee, which killed the Halfling and Jerrik outright and he quickened a Maze on Richard, leaving Wyndham 1 round from dead, Richard in the Maze and Arcainen alone with Karzoug.

(Currently 3 dead - Wyndham, Jerrick and Halfing sorcerer)

After some prodding from the GM, Arcainen decided to grab dead Jerrick and dead Halfling dude and zot back to the exit portal to regroup.

10 rounds later, Arcainen successfully raises Jerrick from a raise dead scroll about the time that Richard emerges from his Maze (he needed a nat 20 on the Int check as his bonus is +0). Jerrick spends the next minute raising Halfling dude while Richard is left in the throne room with 3 giants and Karzoug.

Big K takes a beating when Richard wins initiative on the reentry so he divides the room with Prismatic Wall and retreats away to cast some new buffs while his giants engage Richard. Richard gets pounded but kills the Rune Giant and gets one of the Cloud Giants with a bleeding critical that proves fatal in the long run, finally dying from giant-wounds about 1 round before the retreat and raise dead group returns.

At this point, Richard and Wyndham are dead.

The spellcaster trio return and whittle away at Karzoug's spell turning with first magic missile and eventually greater dispel magic, rasoning that killing their own defences is worth taking Karzoug's down as well, taking out the giants in the mean time.

The battle goes long and I use just about all of Karzoug's 5th level and higher spells, many being thwarted by Parasitic Runeforged weaponry but it seems to me I killed another one or two of them along the way.

Jerrick the archer who started the campaign with a Con score of 6 or something whittled away at Karzoug, doing consistent bow damage enough to finally kill him.

The final battle went way longer than I expected mostly due to the PCs splitting the party (and not taking out one bad guy at a time but instead spreading themselves out) and partially due to them not starting with their preferred set of buffs, but it was an epic end to an epic campaign.

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I did tell the PCs to level their guys up to 20th level with 20th level wealth in case I decide to run the last Kingmaker adventure as an epic-level mini-series. We'll see. The burn of decision paralysis and high-level campaigning is still strong so I may never want to return to that group of players as the next chance I get might be after the Skull and Shackles Campaign my brother started running immediately after we finished my game.

@LurkingEye - As I recall they were pretty peeved about the whole thing, but the details are lost to me in the fog of history. I am keeping an in-character log of my adventures on our group's Facebook site but I suppose I can twin that easily enough on these forums.

I put the bit from the beginning on the campaign here:
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qi3c?Skull-and-Shackles-In-character-log-No#1

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