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Rise of the Runelords

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Andoran

Session 1:
The party, all level 1:

Alana Cannone- Varisian Bard (modeled after Esmerelda from Hunchback of Notre Dame, and played by my wife)
Quinn Fiddlesticks- Halfling Cavalier, Order of the Cockatrice, with baby T-Rex mount
Hrothgar Hammershield- Dwarven Ranger of Cayden Cailean
Flynngan, a 6’2’’ Elf Alchemist
Guinevere Sorn- Human Cleric of Irori, younger sister of Sabyl Sorn
Felaren, Chelish Paladin of Iomedae
Despa, Shoanti Ranger of Desba

We began the game on the morning of the Swallowtail festival. They PCs all attended, listed to the speeches, and were given a chance to go shopping or play in the festival games that are listed someplace else on these boards. Despa was the only one to land two Bullseyes, who will be asked later by Belor about joining the militia. Despa and Guinevere won the bag of jerky, but were a little hesitant to eat it when they overheard the mothers of some small children talking about the possibility that it really is goblin meat.

When everyone tired of the games we moved onto the main event, and the goblins attacked. I stole an idea from a PbP game currently going on right now on these boards, to simulate the crowd dispering, so in the first fight, in the Surprise Round and Round 1, everyone moved at half speed, and it was dangerous to make a ranged attack. In Round 2 it was dangerous to make a ranged attack, and in Round 3, everything was normal.By the time the heroes got to the goblins, they had downed a couple peasents, fired some arrows into the crowd, and one was desperately trying to gut a little boy, but rolled poorly, so he was just menacing the kid til he was killed.

They downed the goblins, who did manage to down Hrothgar who was healed by a wandering Father Zantus who was getting the injured to the temple. A few seconds later, they noticed from across the ‘fairgrounds’ that another group of goblins was pushing a flaming wagon straight towards the new cathedral. A few of the goblins and the warchanter ran interference, while the rest pushed the cart, though the last PC to act before the goblins would go again and succeed in setting fire to the new cathedral, Felaren (whos name I might be misspelling) rolled a 20 on his attempt to bulrush/overrun the flaming cart. Crisis averted! During this fight, the alchemist threw two bombs, both missed, and ended up hitting the building just to the SW of the cathedral, which I have decided will be owned by Naffer Vosk, who is obviously going to be annoyed with the destruction of part of his house.

After mercilessly downing the second set of goblins, they ran to the aid of a man who was screaming. Alana ran up front, somehow didn’t get shot up with arrows, then used a well placed Sleep spell on the commando and his dog, saving the man’s life.

When the fight ended, the man introduced himself to the party as Aldern Foxglove, thanking the party, and profusely thanking Alana for her help in saving his life. He invited them all to dinner at the Rusty Dragon, where he is staying, while in town. They took him up on the offer, but had a few hours to kill.

Alana and Quinn decided they wanted to capture a goblin for interrogation, so I allowed them to grab one that was still trying to make its way out of town. They brought it to the Garrison, and Quinn’s player roleplayed Sheriff Belor interrogating the goblin, so I wouldn’t wind up talking to myself during the conversation, while Hrothgar translated from goblin for him.
They talked to a goblin named Stinkfoot, of the Seven Tooth tribe, about the raid, and found out that a ‘longshanks’ was behind it. Pressed for details, all he could give them was the longshanks wore a white shirt, brown vest, and tan pants (don’t know if the colors are right, but I have a photocopied pdf, and my computer is down, so I don’t know the actual colors lol), who had been dealing with Ripnugget, who belor and Quinn, who was still there and a local, both recognized as the name of one of the local goblin chiefs, though not for the tribe this one was from.

The player set it so the goblin is going to lead the sheriff and his men to their tribes lair, though I don’t know how this is going to go, or if I’ll have him change his mind, in light of finding out about the real point of the raid. Might send the PCs after that red herring lead. Not sure yet.

Quinn, Alana, and Hrothgar all went back to the Rusty Dragon to wait for Aldern, who never showed. Quinn becamse suspicious of him and decided to try to diplomacy his way into having Ameiko let him into Alderns room, which of course she denied, as Aldern would likely have been her last paying customer ever, if she had allowed it.

Hrothgar got wasted at the bar, wandered out into the street, and was dragged to a jail cell to spend the night by one of the town guards, while Flynngan spent the night at the Rusty Dragon, Quinn went home (he and his parents are staff at Deverin Manor), and Alana went to stay the night with him (she in his bed, he on the floor).

Guinevere’s player was originally using a Witch, but didn’t like it, so the Witch left town after all the fighting ended, while Guinevere hasn’t actually gotten to do anything from that night. Also, Flynngan’s player, Guin’s rl husband was helping her make the cleric, so nothing for him yet either).

Likewise, both Felaren and Despa’s players, husband and wife, had to leave early, so nothing from them yet for after the fighting.

Andoran

One of the players asked if his character could join the Pathfinder Society. Currently undecided on the point, as I dont know what kind of missions I could send them on while still keeping them close enough to Sandpoint and the area to keep them on track with the AP.

Also, why would a PFS recruiter come all the way out to Sandpoint, and then accept these players into the society.

Im entertaining the idea, cause I like the idea of the different factions trying to recruit the different players into doing special missions.

Thoughts??

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
godsDMit wrote:

One of the players asked if his character could join the Pathfinder Society.

(snip)
Thoughts??

In my campaign, Abinscole the halfling bard is interested in this as well. He is looking at the Pathfinder Chronicler PrC and the roleplaying entrance requirements for that class are a pretty good guide for what I would want from someone who wanted to join the society.

Specifically:

pfsrd wrote:
Must have authored or scribed something (other than a magical scroll or other device) for which another person (not a PC) paid at least 50 gp.

I took this to mean the equivalent of a research article on a piece of lost knowledge or a previously undiscovered ruin or something. If their interest is in art, then meticulous rubbings or wood-cuts of an ancient carved wall or if their interest is in languages, a translation of a previously undiscovered book or scroll. It could be something as simple as a detailed and annotated map or some artifact with archaeological notes.

In my campaign, Brodert Quink has contacts within the PFS but was never accepted as a member because he couldn't prove his theories. He is guiding my PC along in a quid-pro-quo arrangement whereby Abinscole agrees to bring him rubbings of Thasillonian artifacts/art/writing in exchange for Brodert teaching him how to read Thassillonian (a process that will take months - I am likening it to learning to read chinese, not a simple take a skill point and you have it kind of skill but one where fluency builds over time).

Abinscole has been working with Brodert Quink on doing archaeological research to determine the history of the Catacombs of Wrath as well as putting together some of the ancient and broken pottery that is found there. To that end, I altered the Pathfinder Chronicler PrC to allow for ranks in Profession:Archaeologist rather than Profession:Scribe.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There is a lodge in Magnimar that is detailed quite nicely in the Seeker of Secrets book. I had my players make contact with Lord & Lady Heidmarch at a dinner that the Lord-Mayor held after the Skinsaw Murders. After the Lord Mayor announced that they had agreed to inspect Fort Rannick, Lord Heidmarch asked that they return with a written account of what they find of any areas to the north. The stories of their exploits, especially if they survive the Hook Mountain adventure, might be enough for Lord Heidmarch to consider a field promotion for the Bard in my party.

I'm also using the Faction guide to track FP with the Pathfinders through them.

Andoran

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Session 2: Finding Jobs, A Mischievous Girl, and a Boar Hunt

After the first session, I gave everyone until the start of this session to finalize their characters. If there was anything at all they wanted to change, feel free to do so.

We still have a party of seven, but we now have a finalized party list ( all level 1):
-Alana Cannone, a female Varisian Bard (played by my wife) who is subject of much adoration of a Mr. Aldern Foxglove.
-Flynngan Ashton, a 6’2” male elf Alchemist.
-Guinevere Sorn, a cleric of Irori, and the younger sister of Sabyl Sorn, owner of the House of Blue Stones. (Replacing “Name?” the Witch)
-Desmond Vashtu, a half-elf ranger of Cayden Cailean who is the bastard son of Daviren Hosk, owner of Goblin Squash Stables. (Replacing Hrothgar the Dwarven Ranger)
-Quinn Fiddlesticks, a Halfling cavalier who rides a baby T-rex, who’s family works as servants at the Deverin Manor.
--Sir Alek Felaren, a Chelish Paladin of Iomedae who fled his homeland to make a new life for himself because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his families beliefs.
-Despa (or maybe Desba), a female Shoanti Ranger of Desna.

In the first session, we got through the goblin raid, and several players had to leave early, along with a few others changing their characters up, so we replayed through the night following the raid.

Desmond decided to stick with his father, and the pair of them followed some goblin tracks after the initial raid, leading them North of Sandpoint, where the tracks diverged several times. When the tracks eventually went onto the beach and split again (some heading north, and the rest back to the Sandpoint Junkyard), they went South, fearing that some goblins were going to make an attempt at a second smaller raid. They spent the night in the tree, to watch to see if any goblins could be seen (none were, of course), and in the morning, went back to town to report their findings to Sheriff Hemlock.

While the majority of the party was fighting in the ‘fairgrounds’ just outside the Cathedral, Guinevere was aiding Father Zantus in moving the bodies of the injured to the temple for safety. Also, after Aldern Foxglove was rescued by the party and ran off, Guinevere was the one who healed him at the temple of his slight wounds.

The rest of the party, after the fighting, was promised dinner from Aldern. Eventually they all showed up (Alek with an unconscious goblin dog in a crate) though Aldern never showed. A couple hours in, Quinn and Alana approached Ameiko to ask about Aldern, and she confirmed he had reserved a room for the night, but she hadn’t seen him (he was asleep in his room before she got back after the raid), and she refused to let them into his room. Alek, Desba, and Flynngan stayed in separate rooms, Guinevere went back to the House of Blue Stones, and Quinn offered Alana the use of his couch, and they went back to the Deverin Manor for the night.

Moonday, Rova 2, 4707 AR

In the morning, Flynngan was the only one of the three who stayed at the Dragon to come for breakfast while Aldern was recounting exaggerated tales of how Flynngan and his friends had saved his life (especially exaggerating Alana’s parts). Aldern gave Flynngan the job of finding the rest of those who helped him that night (including the cleric who healed him), and to invite them to a fantastic dinner that night at the inn.

Though the day:
Alana went to the Sandpoint Theater to audition for a part in the current play, which he easily landed, and spend most of the day practicing before her first show that night at seven.

Quinn found out that Aldern had found out that Alana was practing at the Theater, and followed Aldern there who was watching quietly from the back. When Aldern left, he invited Quinn to dinner, and left as he had other things to do. Quinn is apparently also vying for the attention of Alana, much to Aldern’s dismay. More about that later. Quinn spent the rest of the day performing in the streets with his T-Rex for coin.

Flynngan wandered around town, and managed to find several people to inform them of the dinner, including Quinn, who tried to trick Flynngan into thinking the dinner was set for a different location at the “Green Flaggon”, which of course doesn’t exist. Fortunately he for, he didn’t run into Naffer Vosk on the street, the owner of the house right next to the Cathedral, which Flynngan accidently damaged with two missed bomb throws during the second encounter during the raid. He also applied for an apprenticeship at Bottled Solutions, and got it.

Guinevere went to see Father Zantus, who informed her of the death of one of the locals who was a follower of Irori, and asked her to officiate over the ceremony. She did amazingly well (Nat 20), and happened to notice that there was a weather-worn grave stone next to a recently filled-in grave. Upon inspection, she found it to be that of Ezakien Tobyn. Father Zantus thanked her, and told her if she could get enough people interested and raise the money, they could get another wing built on to the Cathedral for Irori. She spent the rest of the day preaching on the streets to convert people. I had her make a Knowledge: Religion check (to represent what people might ask that she could answer), and add +1 for every 5 she got on the Religion roll to a Diplomacy check. Depending on how the Diplomacy check went, I roll some dice, and she convinces that many people to sign her petition. 6 people sign.

Desmond spent the morning getting back to town, and reporting his findings with the sheriff, who had already heard the rumors of goblins raiding the junkyard, though nothing had ever come of it. He tried to get a job at Two Knight Brewery, and was told to come back with a sample of what he could make. Ameiko granted him use of her kitchen, and he brewed something, which wasn’t ready til the end of the next day. Profession: Beermaking or something else just as ridiculous checks ensued (a 10 needed to actually make something close to beer, though the higher the roll the better the taste. He rolled well.).
He also took a walk to check out the town, which gave me a lead into giving out info on Jervis Stoot and Chopper.

Alek had a busy first day. He had found a Potion of Rage on the Goblin on the dog, and sold it. Later he used part of that money to rent himself a “Common” house (30gp/ month) from the Deverin’s down by The Old Light. He went to see Father Zantus about adding Iomedae to the Cathedral, and was given the same deal as Guinevere was. Get enough people interested and gold to back it, and it’ll be done. He visited the Sheriff to ask about training dogs (especially the goblin dog he had nursed back to health and was training). The answer came as a ‘show me what you can do, and we’ll talk.’

Desba woke too late to see Aldern at the Dragon, found a job offering for a farm hand on the Hambly Farm out-of-town by a couple miles, and went down there to try out. He gave her the job after that first day, and is willing to pay her by the day, since she will obviously need days off for other (more heroing) things.

When they all gathered for dinner, Aldern paid them all 50gp as a thanks for helping him (not to Desmond, though he was present in the bar), and offered to take them on a Boar Hunt, set for the day after tomorrow. Desmond offered his services as a tracker, which were accepted, and Alana went back to the Theater for her performance, with both Aldern and Quinn in the crowd.

Toilday, Rova 3, 4707 AR

The next day was largely the same kinds of things going on, with a few exceptions.
Alek met with Das Korvut about breeding Mastiff’s for use with the town guard to form a K-9 unit.
Quinn and Guinevere were asked to gather all the rest of the party members to meet with the sheriff. When everyone met, they were given 40gp in store credit at the General Store for the stuff the goblins they killed were carrying. He also asked them to take the two captured goblins they had into the Brinestump Marsh to try to find out who was behind the raid. They agreed to leave the following afternoon, since they had plans with Aldern already. Hemlock pulled Flynngan back when everyone else left, and explained that he had been talking with Naffer Vosk about his damaged house, and Vosk was willing to drop charges, if Flynngan would pay for it to be fixed. 15gp later, and the problem was settled.

Later that evening, Quinn was questioned by Miss Shayliss Vinder about killing some rats in her father’s store’s basement, to which he agreed. They went downstairs, she threw herself at him, and both of them missed the perception checks to hear Vin coming. Vin got in a big argument with Quinn, who was trying to be Diplomatic and was actually rejecting Shayliss’ advances when Vin walked in, but he rolled nothing higher than a 5, so Vin didn’t buy anything he said. It ended with Quinn and his ‘adventuring friends’ being told not to come back to his store (despite their credit there), though Quinn did manage a Nat 20 on his Diplo roll towards Shayliss, so she is still gaga over him.

Alana preformed at the Theater again, and this time, Aldern had font row seats.

Weelday, Rova 4, 4707 AR

In the morning they all met at Goblin Squash Stables and Aldern bought a light horse for everyone except Quinn, who was promised a new saddle in its place. They wandered around the Tickwood, and finally found a couple boars. The two females were eaily shot down by Aldern and Desba, but when Alek sent his new pet, the goblin dog from “Die, Dog, Die” to flush the boars out, the male ran out and gored it, dropping it into the negatives in one hit. After it also successfully gored Flynngan’s horse, it was finally dropped as well.

We ended the night with them getting back to the Rusty Dragon, where Ameiko will prepare lunch from the boar, and then the party will head off to Brinestump.

Andoran

Currently, Alana has still been spending the night on Quinn's couch, instead of renting herself a room. Quinn also keeps butting in with Aldern, and doesn't seem to like him much. Im not sure if thie comes from him just seeming too nice, or if he is interested in Alana as well, but I figure I can make a nice complicated mess for my two players between them, Aldern, and Shayliss.

Aldern is getting annoyed with Quinn over Alana staying the night, so I figure is Alana were to die before mod 2, then Quinn can be the target of hatred.

Since Alana is staying with Quinn, Shayliss will begin stalking her and end up confronting Alana about her whorish attitude in a 'keep your hands off my man' kind of manner.

In keeping with Aldern's obsession, I think he might break into Quinn's quarters to steal something of Alana's, which might end up getting blamed on Shayliss, if done properly.

Andoran

Session 3: Into the Brinestump Marsh

We were down 3 players tonight, so I had to curb a few encounters, and weaken a few more, so as not to TPK those present, or allow them to get too far ahead.
In attendance:
-Alana Cannone, a female Varisian Bard (played by my wife) who is subject of much adoration of a Mr. Aldern Foxglove.
-Desmond Vashtu, a half-elf ranger of Cayden Cailean who is the bastard son of Daviren Hosk, owner of Goblin Squash Stables.
--Sir Alek Felaren, a Chelish Paladin of Iomedae who fled his homeland to make a new life for himself because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his families beliefs.
-Desba, a female Shoanti Ranger of Desna, currently employed as a part-time farm hand at the Hambly Farm.

Wealday, Rova 4, 4707 AR (continued)

They set off into the marsh in the afternoon, right after the boar hunt, all riding their new horses, with goblin named Bill(a particularly ugly name for a goblin who is particularly ugly), and one of the dogs from Red Dog Smithy that Alek is trying to train to use as the beginning of a line of 'police dogs' for a Sandpoint K-9 unit.

I had planned on using some of the Kingmaker stuff for the marsh as suggested by Greycloak, but my home pc is still being repaired so I wasnt able to get to the pdf, so I made my own stuff up.

The first came to a clearing in the woods where they were ambushed by several goblins high up in the trees, which resulted in the party having a dead guide, and a few inmjured horses. I dont think any of them actually took dmg.

The next encounter had them crossing the river in a pair of small boats, where a goblin druid ambushed them, entangling the ones on the far shore, attempting (though failing) to capsize the boat Alek was riding in using Hydraulic Push while his useless baby crocodile companion failed miserabley at fighting Alek's dog.

The third found them knee deep in mud fighting some goblins outside a cave entrance. This wound up being an interesting, cause of the depth of the mud, taking dmg while on a rock above the mud meant you needed to make a 'Balance' check vs 5+ dmg taken or fall backwards into the mud and being entangled.

The last fight wasvery difficult for them. They had gradually taken damage from the first three fights, and Alana the lvl 1 Bard was their only means of healing this time.

They went down into a cave to find some very aware-of-intruders goblins, including the 'queen' a bard, and the canibal leader whos name escapes me, who I think had a couple levels of ranger.

They had issues with fighting in the dark, but rushing up kept at least a few in the light at all times, so they were able to attack.

The fight ended when they downed the chieftan, making the surviving others run for their life. The party, collectively, had 7 remaining hp with all 4 people standing.

I has Bruthazmus planned on being a bigger part of the encounter, but since I was down 3 players, I limited him to a shot from the other side of the cave to hit the chieftan (he was actually there to silence the chieftan, so there would be fewer loose ends of goblins who might know more than "he was a longshanks"), and one shot at Desba before he headed to the back of the cave. After the chieftan fell, I gave them a cinematic ending.

Light was cast in the direction the queen was running to. You see a hairy hulking mass hiding in the shadow. The queen runs by, but is killed on the spot when she is smacked in the head by a flail. Then the hulking mass runs out the same tunnel the queen was headed to.

The party returned to town where they called it a night.

Toilday, Rova 5, 4707 AR

The next day had a meeting with the sheriff, mayor, and 'Shelly' Androsana (cause I cant pronounce that frakkin name). They detailed out their encounters and hypothesized that it could have been a bugbear. Shelly gave them her info about increased raids, 5 tribes, leaders, and Bruthazmus, and hypothesized that it could have been him, though who knows for sure, since they didnt get a good look at all.

Shelly invited them all for dinner at the Rusty Dragon where she did a little flirting with Desmond (the only half-elf/elf present), which caused Desmond's lunch to show up rather burnt, as apparently Ameiko has taken a liking to him as well (love triangle, anyone? Once our elven alchemist comes back to town, I may have Shelly's interest move).
Later during dinner, Shayliss shows up to call Alana a tramp and tell her she needs to move out of Quinn's house cause they are gonna get married some day, etc. Alana refuses on the grounds that nothing has happened and they are just friends. Shayliss doesnt believe her (love triangle anyone?)

Further later in the evening I ran them through the "Monster in the Closet" encounter, which resulted in Alk trying to outright kill the little bugger, while the rest of them wanted to capture it, while Shelly escorted the family of the now dead man to the Cathedral.

The sheriff has left town, and in the morning, and we will start "The Missing Bartender", finally moving on into the next part of the story.

Andoran

Since three of my players missed that last session (which gave them enough exp to hit lvl 2), Im working on a sidequest for the other three, to hopefully catch up.

Ive sent them (Quinn the halfling Cavalier, Guinevere the Cleric of Irori, and Flynngan the elf alchemist) along with a caravan going to Magimar each for their own reasons. Currently, they are being amushed by goblins and are outnumbered, though they do have the aid of NPC Sam the Sandpoint Soldier who was sent along specifically to protect Alma Alvertim who is going along as well.

Combat hasnt started yet, but Im hoping we can move through it quick enough that I can have them do some roleplaying in Magnimar before they need to head back. If nothing else, Id like to set up some kind of initial contact point for them in Magnimar so they know a few people when they head there in book 2.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
godsDMit wrote:
Since three of my players missed that last session (which gave them enough exp to hit lvl 2), Im working on a sidequest for the other three, to hopefully catch up.

Our rule is the people who miss get half the xp of those in attendance. I always divide my xp by 7 (the number of players) and give out however many 7ths and 14ths shares as is appropriate. Then, that half share of xp is earned with PBEM and other out of game time activities that takes a few minutes to sum up at the beginning. I think it's working well because even the chronic session missers won't be more than a level or so behind because of the geometric expansion of the PF experience table.

They also divide all treasure earned evenly, regardless of attendance. It's an abstraction that is best not thought about too deeply but it works to keep everyone competitive with a minimum of suffering on my part.

Are you running Medium-Track advancement to accommodate these side-treks?

Andoran

No, so far we are running on the Fast track. I dont want to stifle them with saying 'thats not part of the adventure, so dont go this way', but at the same time, I didnt want to have to come up with tons of side stuff to keep them on track for where they are supposed to be to keep up. So far Im just making the fights a bit tougher than normal, and it seems to be working. With half the party now level 2 before going into the Glassworks, and the other half probably just shy of it, I think Im pretty close to on track.

if we do start having issues with staying on track or things being too easy, I told them we may have to switch, depending on what all they want to do on tangents, which they seem ok with.

Im probably just going to make the Glassworks into one big fight, instead of 8 goblins, a few run, and then add in Tsuto. Putting him in the main fight, maybe with a few reinforcements who join in the middle ought to make it challenging but not ridiculous.

I like your idea of the always divide by the same amount though. I'll probably start using that idea.

Treasure was split by 4 instead of by the 7, though Im working on adding in extra stuff as well, so help compensate for the AP providing for 4 instead of 7. I think the group of four wound up with a couple potions, a mithral chain shirt, a +1 dagger which I think they sold, and a couple thousand in coin and sellable stuff.

Since the other group is moving a caravan they have access to stuff IN the caravan for use now, and any expendables not used will become theirs at the end, along with whatever reward theyll get.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
godsDMit wrote:
Im probably just going to make the Glassworks into one big fight, instead of 8 goblins, a few run, and then add in Tsuto. Putting him in the main fight, maybe with a few reinforcements who join in the middle ought to make it challenging but not ridiculous.

I did that too but I'm pretty hard core about my NPCs making perception checks (adjusted by distance) to hear combats and react appropriately.

Our even treasure split happens between sessions (as does the decisions about who takes what) and was what my players decided to do, again to keep everyone competitive. The only downside is the folk who show up every session will tend to be a little poorer than those who miss a few because they'll consume resources (potions, scrolls etc.) but they will be higher level so it's internally balancing to a degree. The other thing they are doing is setting aside one share (they divide treasure by 8) and pooling that for cure disease, raise dead and all that kind of jazz. They've bought one scroll of cure disease out of that pool so far.

Andoran

Those are good ideas too, which I have planned on suggesting to them, but before this last session, I wouldnt have counted them as a 'party' so much as a group of people who all met under dire circumstances. Now that the four have gone off together and been so close to death in a fight (all had 1 hp left except the bard had 4 right at the end), their characters seem to be a fairly tight knit group now. The others, not so much.

Im still working on getting them to a place where they consider each other confidants and/or friends, instead of just associates. When they reach that point, I'm going to suggest the 'party resource pool' idea.

Andoran

Ive been wanting to do some playtesting on the Ninja, and used a lvl 1 version to play through the Godsmouth Heresy, which was alright, though at that level, its not significantly different than the Rogue.

I decided to stat out Tsuto as a lvl 3 ninja in prepatation for my next session, since we ought to get to the Glassworks by that time. Tomorrow, Im dming a couple of Society scenarios at our lgs, and most of the players are between 3-5, so I upped Tsuto's level, changed the name and gear around, and Im going to use him (if need be), in place of one of the pregens if they need a 4th at one of the tables.

Several of my players ought to be playing at my table, so this ought to give them a nice preview of what to expect for next week, though of course I wont be telling them this, lol.

Andoran

Session 4: Kickin 'Glass and Takin Names

Characters in attendance tonight:
Alana Cannone, a female Varisian Bard (played by my wife) who is subject of much adoration of a Mr. Aldern Foxglove.
-Flynngan Ashton, a 6’2” male elf Alchemist.
-Guinevere Sorn, a cleric of Irori, and the younger sister of Sabyl Sorn, owner of the House of Blue Stones. (Replacing “Name?” the Witch)
-Desmond Vashtu, a half-elf ranger of Cayden Cailean who is the bastard son of Daviren Hosk, owner of Goblin Squash Stables. (Replacing Hrothgar the Dwarven Ranger)
--Sir Alek Felaren, a Chelish Paladin of Iomedae who fled his homeland to make a new life for himself because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his families beliefs.
-Despa (or maybe Desba), a female Shoanti Ranger of Desna.

So between sessions I ran a side quest for the three missing players from the last session. They escorted a caravan to Magnimar and back. They fought some goblins on the way. Nothing spectacular, just standard stuff.

I used the return journey deputize the three of them when they passed Hemlock on the road, and they were told about a horse named Shadowmist who was stolen by some goblins. The rest of the party doesnt know about this, and includes a pair of Rangers and a Cleric, who all could potentially use such a nice horse as an animal compaion/ mount, if these three dont try to return her for the reward.

I started the session the night before I was going to begin 'the missing bartender' thread to get the plot moving, to allow for any last minute roleplaying they thought they needed to do before getting into the action. Desmond spent part of it trying to sweet-talk his way back into Ameiko's good graces after mildly flirting with Shelly (Shelalu) Androsana. Obviously his fat is still in the fire, but he was making progress.

Fireday, Rova 6, 4707 AR

Desmond wakes to Bethana punding on his door, and gives him the letter. When everyone is gathered, they proceed to the Glassworks to investigate. Alek wants to bring the dog he is training again ( on loan from Red Dog Smithy), and uses it and the letter to lead them to the door Ameiko went in. They had Desmond climb on the roof to look in the skylights, where he saw goblins, obviously.

After a couple failed attempts to break in the door, the goblins were well aware of their presence, and prepared a bit for the assault. Those entering the furnace room first got bottles chucked at them. I upped the number of goblins to 11 to help balance out the encounter, though the party made quick work of them. Three managed to get away and down the stairs to Tsuto without being seen. The party split up, moving into separate rooms to try to locate the goblins, as they hadnt heard any doors shutting, but werent able to locate them.
Alek was lured downstairs by a goblin who gave him a raspberry and smacked his butt at the paladin (the player was well aware it was a trap I was setting for him, but went along with it, as his character likely wouldnt care that it was a goblin set trap).
Tsuto (who I had statted out to be a lvl 4 Ninja) was using Vanishing Trick to stay invisible, and launched three arrows at the paladin, with only one hitting.
The goblins went down easily, but Tsuto held his own for awhile, before being outright killed when trying to flee.
They quickly found Ameiko in the locked room, and Desmond tried to play the hero, though Ameiko was more upset about her brother and father being dead than she was grateful to be rescued.

They brought Ameiko to see Father Zantus, and had the mayor meet with them as well, to discuss Tsuto's diary. After digging up "Nualia's" remains, Zantus was able to identify that the bones in the grave belonged to a human girl, not a aasimar.

They talked themselves into the belief that another attack is coming within just a few days, and so called up the militia and posted guards, prepared people, etc. They even sent Daviren Hosk (Squash Goblin Stables) out to investigate Thistletop to see what was going on over there, while they prepared the guards. They would have gone themselves, except they seemed to have taken Hemlock's request for them to stay in town while he went to Magnimar very seriously.

They had considered collapsing the tunnel under the Glassworks, but hadnt yet done down to explore to see where it went.

Starday, Rova 7, 4707 AR

They finally decided to explore the tunnels before collapsing them, which they managed to navigate to the Catacombs of Wrath. They easily defeated the entrance guard, and then turned right, heading straight in to the fight Erylium. They managed to bring down her pair of Sinspawn and her summoned spider, and shut the door, temporarily trapping her in the room while they fought. She turned invisible, but Alana cast Detect Magic, and Alek cast Detect Evil, so after three rounds, they both had a very good idea of where she was (though i still gave her a miss chance for being invisble when they attacked).
Once Alana had her 'in view', she cast Sleep at the area, sending her favorite cleric of Irori to sleepyland, while Eryliu, stayed perfectly awake thanks to that 5th HD.
Erylium managed to get to the door, open it, and escape deeper into the tunnels without sustaining much damage.

We called it there, right after she escaped, as she flees deeper into the tunnels, where she is sure to cause more problems.

Andoran

Im still working on what I went to do for the next sidequest for Quinn. I could easily do a goblins on the beach kind of thing, though Im also thinking about something involving the Sczarni might be good, too. IIRC, there is something in book 2 that plays into the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP, something about drugs being transported to Magnimar.

Im considering something to do with that, but I wouldnt want to give him too much to go on, sending him off to another town for a second time, and then making him think thats its more important of a lead than it really is when it actually comes around for everyone.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd do something that plays to a cavalier's strengths in this kind of side-quest because you are going to have a few sessions of non-cavalier type things coming - whatever's left of the Cats and then Thistletop, which is a squeezing maze, a rope bridge and then dungeon for a couple of sessions. Give him a chance to do something out in the open where his mount and mobility can shine.

I had my halfling bard do a narrative sidequest involving a halfling farming family that lived near Mosswood. It was pretty small but entailed him getting information about a goblin attack (after the fact), him going to the farmhouse to make sure that the goblins were gone (they were not) and clearing it out and helping the family rebuild.

Andoran

He's a halfling cavalier riding on a medium sized T-rex, so the squeezing thing isnt an issue. Im hoping he can make it to whichever session it is when they end up fighting Ripnugget, so I can try go allow the pair to 'joust'. Ripnugget ought to be a higher level, but as my player is using a lance, opposed to Ripnugget's dogslicer, Im hopin he ought to have a good enough advantage to take him down.

Also, I think he is going to gain a few more levels for his mobility to be worth anything. Since hes not human or higher level, he doesnt have Ride-by-Attack, and since his mount is a bipedal medium sized mount with 14 str, its got a light carrying capacity of 58 lbs, which is much less than its carrying once you add in the halfling plus armor and weapons, saddle and armor for the mount. The things speed cause of the medium load is only 20ft, so he may as well be on foot, right now.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
godsDMit wrote:

He's a halfling cavalier riding on a medium sized T-rex, so the squeezing thing isnt an issue. Im hoping he can make it to whichever session it is when they end up fighting Ripnugget, so I can try go allow the pair to 'joust'. Ripnugget ought to be a higher level, but as my player is using a lance, opposed to Ripnugget's dogslicer, Im hopin he ought to have a good enough advantage to take him down.

Also, I think he is going to gain a few more levels for his mobility to be worth anything. Since hes not human or higher level, he doesnt have Ride-by-Attack, and since his mount is a bipedal medium sized mount with 14 str, its got a light carrying capacity of 58 lbs, which is much less than its carrying once you add in the halfling plus armor and weapons, saddle and armor for the mount. The things speed cause of the medium load is only 20ft, so he may as well be on foot, right now.

FYI, the squeezing rules apply for any Medium creature in the tunnels between "rooms" in the hedge maze and if the bridge trap is sprung, it could be challenging to get a mount across the gap.

I'm just saying that you have a number of enclosed fights coming in the near future (I had more than 3 full sessions to get to the end of BO from where you are now), even if Rexey comes into the dungeon. There isn't really any time for a Cavalier to shine (i.e. open terrain battles where charging is an option) until the Scarecrow ghouls and then not until HMM after that.

Andoran

For his sidequest, this time, Quinn stayed about town. He was given a present of a one of a kind Masterwork Military saddle for his dino (5 lbs lighter than normal, and -2 on AC penalty when bearing a medium load, instead of the regular -3) since he didnt accept a horse from Aldern when they all went boar hunting.

I've had to reference Aldern a couple times since he left town (when Quinn got the saddle, and once more), but Im trying to refrain from using his name, as I think the 'mystery' of book 2 can be broken realy easily if the PCs remember Aldern at all.

Anywho, Quinn got the saddle, and chased some goblins out of the junkyard, one of which ran off into the woods, where Shelalu ended its life. The rest of his 'quest' was an info-dump of what all happened during the two sessions he missed, plus having him come up with ideas to defend the town from the pending 'next assault' they believe is coming.
He also spent a few minutes talking with Shayliss. Considering the player, I had expected him to jump her barely-legal bones asap, but I was surprised to find that he didnt. He told her that while they might want to be together, he was going to honor her father's wishes, and as long as Ven was mad at him, he wouldnt pursue her. Mix the nice words with a decent Diplomacy check, and Shayliss is now on a mission to get her dad to approve of Quinn (She is going to make Diplomacy checks on her dad til he approves. Rolling it out says itll be about a week. One success means Ven wont try to beat him up on sight and Quinn can visit the shop again. A second means he is ok with someone known for heroic acts to court his daughter.)

Andoran

Session 5: Wrath and Mercy

Characters, all level 2 now, in attendance:
-Alana Cannone, a female Varisian Bard (played by my wife) who is subject of much adoration of a Mr. Aldern Foxglove.
-Flynngan Ashton, a 6’2” male elf Alchemist.
-Desmond Vashtu, a half-elf ranger of Cayden Cailean who is the bastard son of Daviren Hosk, owner of Goblin Squash Stables.
-Quinn Fiddlesticks, a Halfling cavalier who rides a baby T-rex, who’s family works as servants at the Deverin Manor.
-Sir Alek Felaren, a Chelish Paladin of Iomedae who fled his homeland to make a new life for himself because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his families beliefs.
-Desba, female Shoanti Ranger of Desna.

My cleric informed me between sessions that she wasnt going to be able to play anymore, so we are now down to a party fo 6, with sources of healing coming from the Bard and the Paladin. Doesnt work too well, and the paladin is being a little stingy with using CLW pots.

Starday, Rova 7, 4707 AR (continued...)

Last time, they managed to get Erylium to run away, after getting swatted a couple times, though she never really engaged.

I only mapped out the rooms with encounters, as this complex is kinda wonky in its layout, so I had to do the 'and left is blah' kinda stuff. After leaving the chamber with the runewell (which they didnt destroy or empty of points), they wandered over towards the statue, which amusingly they assumed would animate if they got too close, but finally perked up the courage to take the ranseur. The sinspawn in the prison proved no trouble, despite doubling their number, though one of them managed to infect the paladin with its wrathful bite.

Betweens sessions, I restatted Erylium as a lvl 3 Summoner, which changed nothing they knew of her already (she coulds till cast spellss, summon monsters, and had a high AC. I took the NA down 2 to accomodate for Mage Armor giving a bigger bonus than Shield of Faith) and placed her Eidolon (a human looking biped who calls himself Xaliasa, which is the name of the Scribbler, Erylium's master who will return in book 5) in one of the cells off the torture room. The players left him out, and despite detecting his alignment as evil, decided not to kill him, which turned bad for them as he marched along with them towards Koruvus' lair (who was now level 3).

After being ambushed by the mutant goblin, he rolled wel for initiative, and got the drop on the paladin, going into a full attack. The first hit was a confirmed crit, enough damage to knock the paladin from Conscious to Dead. I had planned on the fight being Erylium, the Eidolon and Koruvus vs the party, but dropping the paladin on turn one made me think the fight would end in a TPK, so I backed up and used the tactics the book suggests, having Koruvus use his acid blood spit on his turn. So, no dead paladin, though I do claim the player kill as the first for the campaign lol.

After a long fight they managed to down Koruvus and the Eidolon, and started ganging up on Erylium, everyone trying to grab her, though never coming up with the idea of aiding another on the grab, so they never managed to get her. The paladin might have gotten her, but decided since he was the one who could get around her DR (since he had Smite Evil on her), he should attack, and not grab. After a few failed attempts, she successfully turned Invisible, and flew out of the room.

They explored the rest of the rooms, gathered their loot and went back to town, leaving a living servent of Lamashtu in the town, along with a working lesser runewell of wrath.

They wound up selling the ranseur to Brodert Quink, and after trying to figure out if he was evil cause he knew so much about the statue in the catacombs, they escorted him down there so he could do some studying.

Sunday, Rova 8, 4707 AR

They mess around in town, and the sheriff comes back, though without much luck in Magnimar.
Desba has been told by her employer, Farmer Hambly, that as the rainy season starts, and then moves into winter, he wont need her as often. I wanted her to be upset by their eventual deaths, but I need time for Aldern to kill them all, lol.
Alana is now the understudy for the next play at the theater, 'My Fair Elf'.

Moonday, Rova 9, 4707 AR

The party finally decides to go wandering through the Nettlewood to check out Thistletop.

The easily find the entrance to the tunnels, making their way to the spot where the Birdcrunchers are, who appear undernurished, and while they draw weapons, dont move to attack the party. Even the pair of Goblin-hating rangers dont attack on site, and instead convince the Birdcrunchers to go on their merry way, and find someplace else to live, instead of hoping Ripnugget will accept them.

Gogmurt lets loose the dogs of war, which provide difficulty for awhile, but are eventually downed, as he himself is defeated, sobbing for mercy, which they amazingly show him. Again, the goblin-hating rangers suggest for him to go with the Birdcrunchers, and not come back. He promises, and says that if they kill the crazy lady, who they now know is confirmed to be Nualia, no goblin will ever attack Sandpoint again.

Unfortunately for them, the alchemist messed up a throw on a bomb, starting a slow fire in the thistles, which they didnt take the time to put out before heading back to town.

The next time they go, the, the thislemaze will mostly be burnt down, but the goblins will be waiting for them, and maybe with a nasty surpsise or two.

Andoran

All in all, I dont think I could have asked for the session to go better for me, personally. I was hoping Erylium would live, and they even left me the runewell. If she lives long enough, that could be very fun, and add another element of chaos when the giants start attacking the town, suddenly there are sinspawn coming up from the streets.

Also, since Gogmurt and the Birdcrunchers all lived, I have an immediate re-stock of goblins for Thistletop, once the PCs clear it, and they can become the new tribe, which if relations are good enough through the book, might add yet another element to the giant attack on Sandpoint, though fighting alongside Sandpoint, instead of against it.


Yo DM,

This is a great read 'specially since I am prepping for the 3th of april when our first RotRL session takes place.

Andoran

Much appreciated. We are meeting again tomorrow afternoon and hopefully will complete Burnt Offerings, so expect another post by Monday at the latest.

Andoran

Session 6: From ThistleTOP to BOTTOM

Characters, all level 3(except Quinn) now, in attendance:
-Alana Cannone, a female Varisian Bard (played by my wife) who is subject of much adoration of a Mr. Aldern Foxglove.
-Flynngan Ashton, a 6’2” male elf Alchemist.
-Desmond Vashtu, a half-elf ranger of Cayden Cailean who is the bastard son of Daviren Hosk, owner of Goblin Squash Stables.
-Quinn Fiddlesticks, a Halfling cavalier who rides a baby T-rex, who’s family works as servants at the Deverin Manor.
-Sir Alek Felaren, a Chelish Paladin of Iomedae who fled his homeland to make a new life for himself because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his families beliefs.
-Desba, female Shoanti Ranger of Desna.

Session begins with the group heading back to town to heal up, sell loot, and make a few purchases. Alek used the Ring of Protection the group got from Tsuto as collateral towards a suit of platemail at one of the shops in town. Even though he and I discussed this loudly at the table, with everyone else right there, apparently no one was paying attention. It got brought up later, and several people are not happy with him currently. They also bought a pair of half-charged wands of CLW (25 charges each), just in case.

Toilday, Rova 10, 4707 AR

The group heads out in the morning and arrives back at the thistle patch to find most of it burnt down from the mis-throw Flynngan made, which they never bothered to put out.

They can see the guards in the towers, who are now on alert, thanks to the thistles being burnt down and Gogmurt being nowhere to be found. The players all decide to race across the bridge, and it doesnt occur to me that even though they do it individually on their turns, they are actually all running at the same time, so there is enough enough weight to make the bridge collapse, though no one bothered to make sure it wasnt trapped or anything.

If I could change one thing about this session, it would be the bridge fight, cause the goblins started the encounter by firing on the bridge itself, trying to cut the ropes that hold it up. A few shots hit, but not enough to make them all break.

Anyway, they break in the door to be faced with 6 goblins waiting for them inside, while the guards from the towers come down to flank, from the East, while the ones in the West tower go down to unleash the dogs. They still blew through the encounter quickly, thanks to the alchemist using a couple well placed bombs, but I did a decent bit of damage. I actually forgot about the 'Kill gull' group, so they may find them if they go back next session.

After exploring the rest of the complex, they make their way into the throne room, and face off against 'the Nugget' as they begin to call him. He challenges Quinn, much to Quinn's delight, and the pair duel, though the others help, and quickly down the goblin king. They manage not to kill Stickfoot, though, and tie him up outside, along with Shadowmist.

Heading down onto the next level (through some stairs that Flynngan had already found and then yelled out 'Hey, I found some stairs!" to everyone else before shutting the door...pure brilliance...), they bust in one door to find some goblin babies which they notice are part bugbear *insert chance to be wrathful here*, which they leave alone, and then another door to find a naked Bruthazmus and his naked goblin harem...spending some quality time together...

Before Bruthy can get his act together, Alek is in the room standing on the bugbears flail, while the goblin women scream and run around.
They all get tied up, and locked in the room.

Heading down into the bedroom areas, they encounter Orik, who manages to deal a bit of damage before surrendering. To my delight, they decide not to kill him, and leave him tied up on his bed, where they plan on bringing him back to Sandpoint to stand trial.

They make quick work of the tentamort and head into the chapel to fight the yeth hounds. To my lolprise, Alana, Desba, and Quinn's dino all fail the saves, and run for the hills for four rounds. Before they get back, they hounds are dead, and they head onto the next floor.

They head straight for Nualia, who offers them a chance to join her, and then when refused, attacks. She crits Alek, dropping him to 2hp (I made her an antipaladin and took her to level 6), and the yeth hound moved up and sent Alana, Deba, and Quinn(still on the dino) running a second time. Amusing, but I think it made several of the PCs worry.

The 3 remaining pcs manage to take her out anyway, with no character deaths, though it was a tough fight.

They manage to locate the entrance to the secret area, and wander into the room with Malfeshnekor...yea...

After realizing they are no match and ought to run, Malf casts Charm Monster on Desmond, who fails the save, and decides he wants to 'stay for dinner'. In order to 'save' their friend, Desba shoots Desmond in the back with an arrow, knocking the already injured ranger out, and Quinn w dino drag him out of the room while someone else shuts the door. A horrific scream of frustration leads them to believe that they are correct that the door is magically sealed and he cant get out...close, but no cigar...

They flee the dungeon, not specifying to stop to grab Bruthazmus, the goblin wives, or Orik. Quinn does specifically mention bringing the babies, Shadowmist, and Stickfoot, so they have those, though.

Heading back to town where everyone levels once, Quinn close to twice, and to sell lots of loot, confident that they can now take Malfeshnekor, 'since they are level 4'...

They havent found Lyrie yet, who heard them coming, and was hiding in some of the lower chambers, and will probably let the others out and prepare for another assault, though Orik is likely to leave.

So, without recruiting more bad guys, the place is still populated by:
Lyrie, Bruthazmus (de-equipmented), 8 goblins, 4 goblin dogs, Malf, the shadows, and the giant hermit crab.

Lyrie also now knows how to get in to talk to Malfeshnekor, and might have him unleashed by the time they come back for him. Not sure how Id want to play that though, or if I think he would kill the rest of the inhabitants of the place.

Gonna have to think that bit over, along with some new traps for the place, as they have a habit or not chacking for them, and set up some stuff for the next book to begin.

Andoran

Forgot to mention: I really feel Malfeshnekor is a ridiculously tough enemy for the party to handle at 3rd level, and so I spread his attacks out, and generally took my time with him, trying to play it as easy as possible. I tried to keep from actually killing anyone.

Now they are level 4 and think they can take him, if they are stupid enough to go back, Im going for blood. yes, the paladin will have extra HP, more lay on hands, and his smite back, and may actually win, but they are going to earn this victory, dangit.

Andoran

Alright, I think Ive come to a decision, thanks in large part to other members of this community who answered my call for advice.

I wasnt set on what I think the bad guys who were left would do when the pcs ran for their lives from the building, though one of the players, Quinn the halfling Cavalier, emailed me saying he made sure they brought the babies back to town. He wants to 'give them to my mom to help raise.' I let him do it, but there will be problems because of it. The townspeople are not likely to be understanding about it, and I think Mayor Deverin is going to side with them.

Anyway:
Lyrie, who wasnt yet encountered or looted, will go back to the bedrooms to untie Orik, who she is more than smart enough to tell is in love with her. Despite regretting hooking up with Nualia's gang, Orik will follow Lyrie, help her empty the library of books, and the pair of them will head for the door, likely to Magnimar, where they might be encountered in book 2, though no later than book 3.

Erylium, who the pcs managed to let escape a few sessions ago, will have been following the pcs actions, watching the invasion of Thistletop, and Nualia's execution. After the PCs left, she will have gathered the dead goblin bodies to perform a pair of rituals. 1) Resurrect Nualia, and 2) release Malfeshnekor.
The three of them will likely lie low for awhile, possibly heading back to the Catacombs of Wrath. Next time she is encountered, Nualia will be a demon of some sort, instead of an Aasimar. Theyll appear again no later than book 5. Not sure how soon though. I want them to be a challenge, but the three of them together, with Erylium's Eidolon, could be a very tough encounter. They will have taken the Ring of Force Shield with them, as Nualia needs some sort of protection, since she is now looted.

Bruthazmus and the goblin wives will be released from their 'prison' by the four remaining goblin guards along with their goblin dogs (the ones who were supposed to be playing Kill Gull by the bridge), who apparently were out someplace else when the PCs invaded.
The nine of them will perhaps head to the beach to see what is at the bottom of the howling hole, kill the bunyip, and take its horde, though Im not entirely sure if I want them to do that or not yet.
Anyway, they'll disappear into the forests of Varisia for awhile, making another appearance later on, probably no later than book 3.

So assuming the pcs go back to Thistletop to wrestle with Malfeshnekor again, theyll find all of the above missing, leaving them the hermit crab, the shadows, and possibly the bunyip to deal with. All but one of them are already to level 4, so I dont think keeping some of the exp from them (1/2 of Malfeshnekor's, Lyrie,and the 4 goblins w dogs) will put them too far behind. The Ring of Force Shield is a nice chunk of treasure lost, but I think they are about on track, averaging someplace near about 6k wealth for a 4th level char.

Andoran

Session 7a: The Next 20 Days!

Characters, all level 4(except Flynn) now, in attendance:
-Alana Cannone, a female Varisian Bard (played by my wife) who is subject of much adoration of a Mr. Aldern Foxglove. Currently holding the leading role in the next play at the Sandpoint Theater, "My Fair Elf".
-Flynngan Ashton, a 6’2” male elf Alchemist, and new business owner in Sandpoint.
-Desmond Vashtu, a half-elf ranger of Cayden Cailean who is the bastard son of Daviren Hosk, owner of Goblin Squash Stables. Brewmaster Extrordinaire.
-Sir Alek Felaren, a Chelish Paladin of Iomedae who fled his homeland to make a new life for himself because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his families beliefs. Trainer of The Sandpoint K-9 unit.
-Desba, female Shoanti Ranger of Desna, previously briefly employed on the Hambly farm.

NOt in attendance:
-Quinn Fiddlesticks, a halfling cavalier who rides a baby t-rex named Sharptooth.
-(Insert uncreated character name), a _______druid, who is going to be played by Quinn's player's wife.

So the last session ended with our intrepid heroes running from Malfeshnekor after rotflstomping through the rest of Thistletop.

The only person who specified remembering to grab anyone of the prisoners they took was Quinn who emailed me the day after saying he wanted to make sure to grab the goblin babies, and Shadowmist and Stickfoot, both of whom were tied up outside.

Wealday, Rova 11, 4707 AR

The current party heads back to Thistletop to finish exploring, since they know there was at leat one door they didnt go into before they found the 30ft tall goblin.

As they came back, they discovered all the goblin bodies had been dragged downstairs (done by Erylium's Eidolon). Lots of ashes and a few silver hairs adorn the altar.
Earlier I had intended on Erylium raising Nualia from the dead, and releasing Malf, but I decided to have Nualia's body sacrificed for Malf's freedom as well for a pair of reasons. 1) I dont think a bunch of dewad goblins would have been enough to do both, really. 2) The threat of the goblin invasion really dies WITH Nualia, so bringing her back would only stall the beginning of book 2, I think, as the heroes would want to track her down. Plus, they deserve to have her stay dead. They did well in that fight.

After fighting the shadows and the crab, they managed to drag the giant helmet from the room thanks ONLY to Flynn the alchemist who has Ant Haul as one of his things he can do, since the paladin had his Str drained, lol.

They decided not to go back to see Malf, instead painting "Beware of Barghest" on the giant coin door. So, they wouldnt have had to fight Malf, cause he's not there, and assuming they found the secret room, would have just gotten the Ring of Force Shield. Oh well, lol. Guess Bruthy might have it next time they see him.

They also found their other prisoners missing. Orik was rleased by Lyrie, and the gobin wives and Bruthy were released by the other goblins I forgot about last time. All of them will be encountered later on.

So they leave, again forgetting about the Bunyip, which I didnt mention this time, just to see if theyd remember.

I gave them a few weeks (til the end of the month) to do whatever they would want before the start of the next book. I interjected a few things as well with stuff that also happened to them. Most of them took a shopping trip to Magnimar to buy new gear, so Im skipping that in the individual things they did.

In no particular order:
Alana practiced for being the understudy for the play "My Fair Elf". At some point, the Magnimarian diva was mugged, and her ankle broken, bringing Alana to be the lead role. Posters started going up with her face on them, most of which have disappeared ( to reappear in the tunnels under Foxglove Manor). Also Quinn's bedroom, where she still stays, was broken into. A few trinkets of his and hers went missing (Erylium broke in and stole stuff from both. Aldern came in the same day and stole some of Alana's stuff).

Alek finished training the dog from Red Dog Smithy and has made a deal with the Sandpoint guards to form a K-9 unit for them. He will earn enough from that to offset his rent, so we dont have to worry about that. Also the armor he ordered from Das Korvut was completed, so he has that. He also spent some time preaching, trying to convert some people to Iomodae. He is starting to see some donation to his church, but not much yet.

Desba was let go from her job at the Hambley farm. 1) season is slowing down so they dont need the extra help. 2) I couldnt have her pokin around while all the farmers are supposed to be gettin turned into ghouls.

Desmond completed his brew (which he is calling "Liquid Courage"), which has a secret ingredient of an alchemical time-release capsule in it that gets rid of hang-overs (made by Flynn). So, its beer that wont make you drunk, basically. He is now selling it out of the backroom of the Rusty Dragon, while dating Ameiko I think, and selling to the other bars in town.

Flynn finished his apprenticeship at Bottled Solutions and has since opened a new shop of his own called "Oceans of Potions", which sells alchemical items, potions, and other stuff (loaded dice and the like). He'll earn enough off of the shop to offset the rent for the building and the base costs for him to make the supplies to sell in the store.

Quinn doesnt know it yet, but Shayliss has convinced Ven that it would be ok for them to date.

Andoran

Session 7b: "Everyone's a Suspect" or "Jinkies!!"

Toilday, Lamashan 1, 4707 AR

The party is gathered by the sheriff to inform them of the murders at the sawmill, which they go to investigate after interviewing both Ven and Ibor.

Once they have the first note, there are two immediate suspects 1) 'that guy who we saved in the first day'. I Identified him as 'Aldern'. 2) Quinn Fiddlesticks, the missing party member, which made me lol. At the beginning of the story, Quinn was being very suspecious of Aldern, and acting jealous in regards to Alderns obsession with Alana, so Desmond thought it COULD have been Quinn trying to pose as Aldern.

Anyway, they get Brodert to identify the rune for them, and now weve got a half dozen poissible suspects.

Considering the rune: Brodert (since he knows stuff about Thassilon), Alana and Desmond (since they both speak Thassilonian), Flynn (since he's the one who has the Sihedron medallion that Nualia wore), along with Aldern and Quinn, lol.

Anyway, they look around, talk to people, look at the bodies for the first murders, and come to the correct conclusion of 'an undead who is using the waterways to travel to avoid being followed).

When they go to see the Grayst, Alana said she would be the first one to walk into the room, so they didnt even get a chance to question the guy before he started into his spiel and attacked. They did manage not to kill him and just subdue him, but havent asked him anything else since.

When they get back to town, they talk to Farmer Grump ("Is he grumpy?") and then head for the Hambley farm as the sun begins to set (dumb).

They get jumped by some ghouls in the cornfield, almost killing one not-quite-yet-a-ghoul, and make their way to the farmhouse. I got the building mixed up on the map, so the big building was the house and the small one the barn.

Flynn and Desmond went to the barn to find a pair of ghouls waiting for themand another coming in from the cornfield, while eveeryone else went into the house and got jumped by 4 more ghouls plus the 'boss ghoul'. Desba and her pet firepelt cougar got paralyzed, and almost died from the ghouls nomnomnomin on them.

Fight finally ended with the boss ghoul going down after like 6 rounds. They found the key to 'Misgivings' and decided they needed to go to Foxglove Manor.

I ended the session there, as I had nothing else prepared, and I dont think theyve connected Aldern to Foxglove yet.

Next time: I b!&*! about how lame the haunted house was cause they have a stupid paladin with them!

Andoran

Prep for next time: Gotta figure out who Im gonna assign the haunts to, considering we have players missing occasionally. If everyone is present (including the new player) thatll give me 7 players for 6 haunts. The paladin wont be the target of any, since he is immune to fear effects altogether anyway.

Also gotta figure up something for Quinn and _______, the druid to do. Im hoping I can work something together to introduce them together, so the druid will have an 'in' to the party before the session even starts.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I wish I had your problems. I have to find a way to railroad my players back to Sandpoint now that they have almost no interest in that town.

Andoran

Have Shelalu track them down to tell them Hemlock needs their assistance? The longer they take, the more people die, the more insisting the plea becomes/ offers of payment, etc?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd rather keep that kind of hammer as a last resort.

I intend to have them hear about a number of murders in their absence from town (now that they have been away from civilization for almost a month and are planning yet another trip to Magnimar).

Andoran

Characters, all level 4, in attendance:
-Alana Cannone, a female Varisian Bard (played by my wife) who is subject of much adoration of a Mr. Aldern Foxglove. Currently holds the lead role in the next play at the Sandpoint Theater, "My Fair Elf".

-Flynngan Ashton, a 6’2” male elf Alchemist. Proprietor of "Oceans of Potions". Seemingly uninterested in a relationship with Shelalu Androsana.

-Desmond Vashtu, a half-elf ranger of Cayden Cailean who is the bastard son of Daviren Hosk, owner of Goblin Squash Stables. Inventor of the new brew that's sweeping Sandpoint, "Liquid Courage".

-Quinn Fiddlesticks, a Halfling cavalier who rides a baby T-rex, who’s family works as servants at the Deverin Manor. Currently allowed to date Shayliss Vinder, though Im not sure if he's actually interested.

-Sir Alec Felaren, a Chelish Paladin of Iomedae who fled his homeland to make a new life for himself because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his families beliefs. Trainer of the Sandpoint K-9 unit.

-Desba, female Shoanti Ranger of Desna. Recently fired by penny-pinching Farmer Hambly who was soon to the grave.

Session 8: "Hey, can I have the house after we clear it?"

Wealday, Lamashan 2, 4707 AR

The party comes back to town to find Quinn, rest, and stock up before heading down to Foxglove Manor. Well, they did the first two, but didnt really stock up on anything. I was trying to hint around about buying stuff, nearly wanting to scream "BUY SOME SCROLLS OF LESSER RESTORATION!!", but no one did, alas.

Anyway, while Im sure the characters would have been able to 100% figure it out that Foxglove Manor belongs to Aldern Foxglove, and so he is likely the killer, I think the players had forgotten that was his last name, so I had the sheriff spell it out for them when they went to meet with him to tell him about being attacked by ghouls on the Hambly farm.

When they arrive at the Manor, they briefly look down the well, and even drop a light enduced rock down it, but dont see the hole, and decide wisely not to lower someone (Quinn) down there to see what was going on. I say wisely cause in altering the baddies in the place to suit it for 6 players, I added an additional bat, which woulda been bad had they lowered someone.

I apologized before they wanlked in the door, letting them know the things that happen to them in here are not based individually on what I think of the player, but what I thought best fit the character. They were all kinda confused, but were ok with it, I think. I just didnt want someone being mad about dying from a haunt and thinking I was picking on them, lol.

So they go in, here the crying upstairs, and the paladin decides there is a woman in danger, so he must go to her. They decided not to split the party, so up, up, up they go and run right into Iesha, first thing.

So, theres an undead woman sitting on the floor crying, trying not to look herself in the mirror...and the paladin starts trying to console her from the doorway. Asking her questions, instead of blindly "Im a paladin, its undead. SMITE!!!!" for the first time ever. Lamesauce. After like 3 rounds of her not responding he goes in and attacks, which ends in a quick fight as everyone crowds into the room to take their turn, all the while the players jeer the paladin's player for leading them straight to the boss, lol.

Anyway, they make their way back through the house, from top to bottom, making nearly every will save for all the haunts, thanks to the stupid paladin's aura.

I did tell them what each haunt would have done to them had they failed, and several times got a 'OMG' look. Actually, I passed over the 'Coup de grace yourself' one, and when I remembered it and had the player roll just to see what would have happened, he would have wound up dead. *sadface*

On the upper floor, they noticed the rotten bathroom floor, told the paladin about it, but in he walked, 'being careful around the tub', but the whole floor gives way, landing him in the tub with the diseased dire rat on the floor below. Much hilarity ensued, and they chose to pull the paladin back up through the hole in the floor with some rope, instead of moving on without him, lol.

Only a few haunts provided mush use at all to me, since they made msot of the saves. Desba ended up stabbing Alana, thanks to the masogonistic haunt, Desmond went on a nearly 6 round dance with the already re-dead Iesha while the paladin tried to break the piano, the alchemist tried to blow it up, and Quinn couldnt land a good roll to tackle Desmond to the ground.

Moving down to the basement, they decided to push the table up against the wall and block the swarms, which they then encountered anyway in the next room, leading the paladin to close the door on the swarms right before Flynn's turn, when he was the most capable of dealing damage to them.

Once in the caverns, they had a decent bit of trouble with the pair of ghoul bats, which might have been the hardest fight of the night.

They rotflstomped through the ghouls and other baddies down there, barely made their saves not to slip down the slope into the water and entered Aldern's hideout, which had walls covered floor to ceiling in posters from the Sandpoint Theater with Alana's face all over them.

He did his spiel then lept over the party to sneak attack Alana, going first in the round. Everyone failed their 'he's smelly' save, and both Desba's cat and Quinn's dinosaur were too afraid to go near him.

If I had played it smarter, I would have had Aldern back out onto the slick walkway, making them chase after him, since they only had one action and he had two. It could have wound up being much more dramatic than it was. Anyway, thanks to a critical smite from the paladin, he didnt last long.

They lit the Vorel-mold patch and the house above them started going up as well, so they booked it to the front door, only to be faced with thousands of undead ravens, which they mostly just ran away from, though they did kill them all before fleeing.

Back to Sandpoint they go after nearly burning the entire house to the ground.

Next time: I think we will likely finish the book, and I consider making X even tougher, since I might have 7 level 6 characters, instead of 4.

Andoran

Possible plans and tie-ints for their trip to Magnimar:

Currently, Ameiko Kaijitsu is having legal troubles as her relatives in Magnimar are trying to challenge her right to ownership of the Glassworks, thanks to her dad and brother. Ironbriar is helping their case along, since he has close ties to the family, cause of Tsuto. The relatives will end up being members of the Brothers of the Seven, so the PCs will inadvertently solve Ameiko's problems.

Lyrie is going to be a new member of the Brothers of the Seven. Orik is going to betray the Brothers and try to give the PCs info on where to find the Brothers. Hopefully the PCs dont try to have him arrested.

Andoran

Session 9: The adventures of Aldern Foxglove in Magnimar

All players were in attendance, all being level 5. Still no 7th player introduced, as her work schedule is getting in the way of her attending regularly. Hopefully thatll clear up soon.

Also, Im losing track of the days, and forgetting the order of them, so Im just not gonna specify anymore, lol.

Anyway, the PCs just escaped a burning Foxglove Manor at the end of the last session, getting jumped by some undead bird flocks when they ran out of the house. Mostly they just ran away from them, as most of them have no means of attacking a swarm effectively, and Flynn was out of bombs. The paladin had to use his Lay on Hands to Channel to kill them, which made me lol.

They got back to town and informed Father Zantus and Sheriff Hemlock of what had happened.

Quinn wants to use the land to establish a travelling halfling circus, but was told to get the rights to the land, he has to go to Magnimar, as the land is under the city's jurisdiction, and not under Sandpoint.

Im going to allow the circus to go along in the background if he wants, though he wont be allowed to bring them with him into combat (so Leadership wont be needed). Whenever he talks about this, I envision the circus group who worked for the Penguin in Batman Returns...except with good guys....so yea, that will be intereting.

The next morning the party leaves for Magnimar, and arrives about midday. Alek went straight for townhouse after finding out where it was, while everyone else did some shopping beforehand.

After awhile Alek was noticed by some locals as he was just hanging around outside the townhouse, but wasnt bothered by any of them since he wasnt doing anything other than loitering.

After everyone got back together, they asked around if anyone had gone in or out of the house lately, getting negative responses, so they had Flynn enter the house with the key, disguised as Aldern Foxglove, using his Hat of Disguise.

He heard voices, which lead him to the room to find Aldern and Iesha Foxglove, plus one servant (since Ive got 6 pcs, lol) sitting in the dark.

Much confusion abounded, and I got a good laugh out of the whole situation, and kept the role going for several minutes even after the rest of the party rushed in to help their ally when he yelled the safety word of 'banana'.

Eventually, the faceles stalkers showed their true forms and attacked, getting a nice bit of damage on several pcs thanks to the sneak attack and one crit, lol.

After looting the house, they PCs decided they wanted to forge the deed to the townhouse to one of them, giving them a place to stay while in Magnimar.

They found the ledger, and decided to wait til midnight on Oathday to go to the mill to go investigate.

During the downtime, more shopping ensued. Desmond went to place an order at the 7s Sawmill to see if it was legitimate. He was the only one who had said he had gone, so I didnt have the employees try to kill him, cause I wanted to avoid the "Oh, well I went with him" kind of conversations that always come up, and didnt feel like being a jerk and killing him while the ret of the party sat by helplessly.

They ran into Orik in a marketplace, who willingly gave them information about Lyrie (who helped him escape Thistletop after the PCs tied him up and left him there) and her involvement with Ironbriar, in exchange for helping them keep him away from her, since he is so befuddled by her.

They decided to go talk to Ironbriar, who was currently meeting with Lyrie, as well as a 'pale skinned, dark haired, skinny, but 'blessed' Chelixian woman' (who is Xanesha in human form). They tried to get him to give them information about Lyrie, saying she was evil and she needed to be brought to justice for her crimes. He suggested they talk to the town guard about her if she has done something wrong, though they have no proof, and Ironbriar knows it (thanks to Discern Lies, which he got from the Inquisitor levels I gave him after restatting him). Frustrated, they leave.

When midnight on Oathday rolls around, they head to the sawmill and quietly go inside, except for Alek who is told to stay outside cause he is noisy. As they go up the stairs slowly, again with Flynn leading, looking like Aldern.

Once he entered the top floor and saw all the cultists, he acted like he was getting the payment out but hit a large group of them with a bomb.

After a good fight with 10 cultists, Lyrie (level 6 now) throwing one of the weakest fireballs ever, and Ironbriar (TWF + Double Judgement + Bane FTW) the party declared victory.

We called it there, after looting the bodies and the downstairs room. Ironbriar and Lyrie were only knocked unconscious, and they havent gone into ironbriar's office yet, where Im saying the Rookery is next to, since its not specified where its attatched to the building on the damn map.

Andoran

Session 10: Didnt you used to be alot taller?

All players were in attendance again this session, all being level 6.

The session began with the players still inside the Seven's Sawmill, just after defeating and looting Ironbriar, Lyrie, and the cultists, and saving the life of would-be-sacrifice, Orik Vancaskerkin.

After stabalizing both Ironbriar and Lyrie, they questioned Ironbriar on his activities, willingly giving up the information about Xanesha. All that he knew at least(he had only seen her as a human). At the beginning of the interogation, the party didnt intend on actually letting him go, but after realizing he had been under a Charm spell, they decided to honor the agreement, which got them info on the "Scarecrow" and the shapechangers.

He ran off while they turned Lyrie over to the city guard before catching a few hours sleep.

In the morning, they sold loot and bought some gear before heading to the tower.

I have 6 players, and did nothing to increase the difficulty of the Scarecrow, which they thought to have been undead (like the ghouls on the farm), or the shapechangers, who entirely missed with the bell.

Once up on the roof, they thought they saw a monster (Xanesha) rushing at them from about 100ft out (Major Image), though once someone landed a 'hit' and the arrow flew straight through it, they knew it was fake.

She appeared near the Flynn the alchemist, and tried to use her mask ability to turn him to stone so she could push him off, but he made the save.

One round later, she had taken little damage from weapons, but Flynn had painted himself a target, with no defenders in the way, she lashed out. Three spear strikes later he was dead. The folling round, she dropped Alek, the paladin, to -5 after two hits, thanks to a crit, and a round later, she killed Desmond the ranger with 3 blows.

They were able to defeat her by a combination of Quinn the cavalier landing a serious blow, dealing mroe than half her hp and fire damage every round from the one bomb Flynn hit her with before he died. A revived Alek landed the killing blow after taking up Desmond's bow, as Xanesha had retreated off the rooftop to get out of range, in order to heal.

They looted the body once back on the ground, had both of their friends reincarnated as gnomes (funnily since both party elves became party gnomes).

Andoran

After session notes:
Desmond, the newly-gnomed, is retiring from his days as an adventurer, and will remain in Sandpoint, where he will wed and bed Ameiko Kaijitsu, who now has no opposition to he rights as the owner of the Sandpoint Glassworks. (Ironbriar was an old family friend of her mother's (ie, he was Tsuto's dad) and her aunt's (he was representing them in the case against Ameiko). Since her aunt and uncle in Magnimar are now dead (Skinsaw cultists), no one is left to stake a claim against her.
Desmond will become and increasingly popular brewmaster as well, as was his goal.

During the fight with Xanesha, Desba, the ranger, kept her animal companion at her side almost the entire fight, opposed to sending it in to aid her allies. When they suggested it help, her rather hateful response was along the lines of "So you think I should just send my animal companion in their to die". By that point in the fight, X still had over half her hp left (not that they knew that), Flynn and Desmond were dead, and Alek was down, yet she didnt care.
As such, she is going to be receiving, her first pair of sin points, I think. She will receive one for both Sloth and Greed for her unwillingness to do whatever she would have to save lives in that fight. Sloth for not doing it on her own, and Greed for her refusing to send her pet in even when her friends begged her.

None of the characters hit level 7, and several are far from it, so Im going to add a bit of filler before the start of the next adventure. I believe that Alek wants to go back to Thistletop to kill Malfeshnekor (who isnt there anymore, since Erylium let him out), but they will be in for a fight.
If they choose not to go there, they instead will encounter some resistance in getting to the town in the third book. Either way, same bad guys.
Bruthazmus is leading the 3 goblin females (now with notable baby bumps), 6 goblin males, and a pack of goblin dogs who are either defending their lair (Thistletop) or trying to sack a caravan, where the PCs will fortunately be a part of.
The fight ought to be easy enough, but should still be interesting, depending on how/where it takes place.

Andoran

Forgot to mention, despite having 6 players, I weakened Xanesha from the original version of the conversion I found on the boards. I took away her levels of Sorcerer, and lowered her stats back to what the bestiary has for a lamia matriarch. I also refigured some of her already-cast spells to be closer to what it says she does in the book, opposed to ones that would make more tactical sense, like the conversion did (I didnt have her cast Bull's Strength).

Andoran

Session 11: River Encounter or "It only took you six seconds to poop?"

Everyone is (eventually) in attendance, and level 6. Desmond, having died fighting Xanesha and being resurrected, decided to retire, so he is being replaced by a half-elf Summoner who is a friend to Orik Vancaskerkin, now somewhat-ally to the party. Another player has also joined the game, playing a female human (Shoanti?) barbarian.

A few weeks have passed since the end of Skinsaw Murders, and eventually all the players have made their way back to Sandpoint.

All of the established players, the barbarian, and Orik received letters asking them to come back to Magnimar to speak to Lord Mayor Grorbas (sp?). Orik asked his friend to accompany him.

The Mayor asked them to go check out Fort Rannick near Turtleback Ferry by Hook Mountain, and the PCs proceeded to diplomatically suck at upping their price, and ask stupid questions ("Why is it called Hook Mountain?"), etc.

The mayor agrees to pay for their charter on a ferry down to the village of their destination, though it has no room for horses, so some of them will have to go by road. Orik, Alek, and Desba (since Alek and Desba's players werent present) were tasked with bringing the horses around, while the rest of them went by ferry (which I named the Sulaco).

On the last night of the ferry ride, the ship struck a large rock in the river and started to sink. When the PCs came out of their rooms and checked the upper deck to find the captain, they found Bruthazmus, a very large goblin dog (his animal companion, 'Mauler'), and several goblins stealing supplies and trying to make their way off the ship. A fight ensued.
Meanwhile, on the lower decks, civilians started jumping overboard to try to make it to shore. Unfortunately, the river was populated by a large number of gar (big fish), who started attacking anyone who entered the water.
The party(currently) consisting of Alana, Quinn, Flynn, the barb, and the summoner) all took down Bruthy and his pals quickly enough.

Flynn had to take a dump, and went to the bathroom. When he tried to leave 1 round later, we called him on the fact of his amazing fast bowel movement). Same thing a round later, lol.

The barb jumped into the water, and was attacked by gar.
Alana jumped onto the rock the ferry had struck.
Quinn, the summoner, and later Flynn all jumped overboard, using Bruthy's body as a raft to try to help them to shore.
The eidolon attempted to aid people in getting to shore, but after dropping a few npcs on the shoreline, the civilians were immediately killed by more goblins Bruthy had lying in wait on both shore lines (each with a female warchanter with a nice baby bump) and several goblin dogs.

Eventually, all of the PCs got to shore and kill the goblins, and managed to save about 6 of 30 other people who were on board the ferry. The rest died to goblins or were eaten by fish.

Anyway, they got to Turtleback Ferry, and no one noticed anything fishy about tattoos, cause they are all bad at rolling Perception (or dont know what they would be looking for).

Later that night, Shelalu joins them in town.

They set off towards Fort Rannick, after suspecting the townsfolk of being nefarious bad guys just acting like innocent townsfolk who must be holding back info or something...yea...sure. Orik and Shelalu stay behind cause Orik is gonna try to get in Shelalu's pants, and cause my party is already damn big enough.

So they go into the woods, hear a bear crying out in pain, and Desba(since she and Alek have no rejoined the party) calms it and frees it, before a group of inbred looking humans and their mangy muts attack, claiming that "That be mah bar! If'n you don get outta here right quick, Im'a eat that bar AND you!"

With the ogrekin dead, Kibb is trying to lead the party towards where the last of the ogrekin was trying to run away towards yellin for his mommy.

More than one PC showed interest in trying to train the bear nd keeping it as a pet. All I said was "Sure, you can try."

Andoran

Session 12: Graul Farmstead or "Hey, that door is trapped."

All 7 players were in attendance again for this session, all being level 7, except for the barbarian, who's name I cant remember, who was almost there.

The players followed Kibb the bear through the woods, despite the fact that it was leading them in the opposite direction from where they were told Fort Rannick was.

Upon reaching the beginning of a clearing, they tried to be stealthy as they went, but as always, they have a full-plate-wearing paladin, who is louder than Gimli in Fellowship of the Ring.

Crowfood, jumped out at them from the cornfield, while three of his unnamed brothers and some strange deformed animal (stats of a hippo) moved out of the barn and came at them. So far, the lower leveled Graul boys have all tried ripping riders off their mounts, with the intention of dragging them off to kill them, and a pair managed to grab the paladin, but they didnt get much further.

Crowfood escaped (barely) to the barn, where the PCs followed him, to find him waiting with 5 of his other unnamed brothers, all who were more or less just target practice for the party.

After clearing the front of the barn, and after trying futiley to bash down the big door in middle, they used acid to eat through the wood, and then alchemist fire to burn the spider webs, in the process attracting the attention of Biggin and his 'swarms' of children that were almost the size of a cat (monkey swarm stats).

So, on top of dealing with the spiders, they had to hurry to find a way to put out the fire to rescue the three unconscious man in the cage on the catwalk. The Summoner'swho's name I also cant remember) Eidolon has the highest Disable Device, which they tried to use to open the cage, but it didnt work during the fight itself, and the barbarian went into a coma from spider poison (failed 4 of 6 saves, even with anti-toxin help). Luckily, Flynn had taken the Restoration formulae, so she got fixed right up.

After a brief Q&A session with Jakardos and friends, the group set them up with armor from the dead Grauls, a few weapons, a couple of the party horses, and sent them back to Turtleback Ferry to wait for their return.

An aside: The eidolon has a ridiculously high for their level Perception check (+17 to be exact), so there isnt much that he doesnt see, as long as he is someplace where he can see it. Im using the 'unless you specify your looking for something in particular, I'll assume your taking a 10 on Perception checks at all times' method, so he notices alot of things (like traps) before I even get a chance to use them.

The party decides to move on the house, all but skipping the "Porch of Death", though Flynn decides to try his hand at disabling the traps...and fails, getting hit by the saws for a solid amount of damage.

They managedto get the first of the three doors into the dining room disabled from the trap, before moving in, and hurrying (without checking for traps) into the playpen, with someone getting smacked by a scythe.

After the barbarian charges in, the younger Graul boys all surround her, and begin creepily tellin her she's perdy, they're gonna keep her, askin if she wants to play hide the sausage, and other similarly gross things. One of them even turned on his brother when he heard a comment about her bein more perdy than Mammy.

Hearing all the ruckus (lol) downstairs, several more unnamed kids who were up in the bedroom came down, tryin to ambush the party from the other side of the dining room, though they didnt really accomplish much, being crammed into a hallway like they were.

Alek the paladin managed to sidestep falling into a pit by the sofa, and then they charged Mammys room, completely obliterating her before she got to take a second turn. (Wouldnt have mattered anyway. She would have D-doored out to the barn where everyone was dead anyway)

The group checked upstairs for more ogrekin, but only found a trapped chest with a sack of coin, which they managed to disable. Personally, I was hoping they would have just flipping the chest over, cause that would have been more amusing, but whatever.

That was where we called it for the night.

Next session isnt until the end of July, so I have plenty of time to plan.

Andoran

Next session, they should finish up the Graul farmstead, do some planning back in Turtleback and then attempt to take the keep.

We have a friend coming in for a few weeks who I might try to enlist to play an NPC, to help out with taking the fort, since I cant imagine why Orik, Lyrie, and the three black arrows wouldnt help with that, taking the party total to 12.

Similarly, the party is likely in for a surprise when the battle is joined and they find that Erylium has been spying on them for awhile, and reports their plans to the Kreegs.

Andoran

Im currently considering how to handle the Graul basement. The only living member of the family is now Hucker, though I may need to add more extra generic brothers to keep the experience on par.

Since Mammy is dead, though, I dont know if I should have whoever remains fly into a rage if the players mention it, have them sit down and start crying, or have them just make a break for it now, while the PCs are on the top floor, and they think they can flee into the woods, leaving dear-brother Muck to handle the intruders.

Suggestions?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I know where you are coming from I think - is it better to have a couple of straggler encounters to start the game session or to just have nothing?

If you want something different (and to boost the numbers without it being silly crowded in the basement), you could go with Hucker trying to escape and have him return with some cousins or something for a fight at camp or on the road to the Fort.

That's about all I have.

Andoran

Actually, thats more helpful than you might think. The party has already rescued the three remaining arrows and sent them back to Turtleback, and I anticipate that the players, instead of leaving the farm to head straight for Rannick, are likely going to head back to town to talk with the arrows.

In the changes I am thinking of making to the timeline the book follows (too long of a ride to get back to town to save it from the flood, etc), I was going to have a night raid by a few of the ogres from the fort, who are moving on to the next stage of the plan, which is to sack the town of valuables before its washed away. Having Hucker try to flee towards the fort and report his family's slaughter would likely give that more realism than just having them just show up for no apparent reason (as far as the PCs know).

Also, the plan so far, though it may change, is that the flood will occur after the PCs come back to Turtleback, before heading to the fort.


I approve of this thread (not that it needs my approval!). Good reading all around here.

Keep up the good work, DM.

Andoran

Session 13: They're ogres, not $%&*ing orcs!

I had five players this past Saturday, with the married couple who play the alchemist and the barbarian missing. We also have a friend in town right now, and I allowed him to pick through several of the available helping npcs (Shelalu, Orik, and the 3 rangers) to play for the night. He chose Kaven (and yes, I gave him details, but asked him to keep it quiet), but he showed up with no sheet, so that didnt go as planned.

The session started with the five players still on the top floor of the Graul house, and they heard a bit of shuffling followed by a scream of "AHHH! Momma!!" and then hurried footsteps on stairs. They made their way to the basement where they got ambushed between Muck in the one room, and Hucker in the other, who pushed a bunch of boxes in their way and left his pet rats to distract the players while he tried to (unsuccessfully) get away.

After getting back to town, the party (this time with Orik and Shelalu getting rolls, too) again failed to notice the sihedron medallions tatooed on several townsolk. Actually, the Summoner's Eidolon did see it, but doesnt know what significance it holds, so I didnt tell him.

They get a map from the rangers, and the party then spent about an hour real-time debating on the various ways of attacking the fort. After they finally decided, they all snuck in the back tunnels.

(For this part of the session, our visiting friend was given both Vale and Orik to play, while Shelalu was handled by the Paladin's player, and the bard took Jakardos and Kibb. This gave every player at the table at least two creatures to roll for, lol.)

What they didnt know was that Erylium, her faithful Eidolon, and Malfeshnekor had been following them for some time. When they headed to the tunnels, Erylium moved into the fort and told the ogres out on the grounds to be expecting an attack from the tunnel entrance. She and her companions then circled back and followed the PCs into the tunnel.

I skipped the spectre, as it seemed largely unneccessary with so many players and wouldnt even be worth the time for me to have everyone roll initiative.

When the PCs burst out of the tunnel looking for a fight, they found a largely empty courtyard. Upon checking one of the outbuildings, the fight was joined as around 11 ogres ( I think 10 generics and one barbarian) attacked the group from the front, while Erylium, the Eidolon, and Malfeshnekor all attacked from the rear.

The fight ended with all the enemies dead (including Erylium who didnt have a chance of getting away this time, lol), but with both Vale and Shelalu seriously injured and near death. The PCs pressed on towards the doors of the keep, while the NPCs held back to make sure they didnt get surrounded again (AKA they didnt like the NPCS sucking up a bunch of exp).

Another large group of ogres came pouring out at them (15 regular, a barbarian, and a fighter this time, all ran by our visiting friend, lol), though those were all slaughtered as well. After the second bout, the PCs decided to retreat through the same way they came in, to go back and regroup (aka: if they pusahed on, they wouldnt have gotten to level. Since they did, they get to.)

That's where we ended the session. Much of the ogre force has been destroyed, though hardly any of the leaders. Also, because of them leaving, it gives me time to redo how the rest of the fights are going to go, and probably speed up the assault on the dam.

After session notes:
Ive enjoyed having alot of these loose ends getting tied up for them in this module (first Bruthazmus, not Erylium and Malfeshnekor). I think ti gives a stronger sense of continuity to the earlier mods, opposed to the only thing tieing them together being the rune, which they havent even uncovered in this part yet.

Using Erylium like I did has given me an excuse for plans to not go how the PCs want them to, as they had someone giving away their plans. One aspect of this module I really enjoy is that 'Big K' can be spying on them for a long time, working against them directly. Obviously, early in the module, it doesnt make alot of sense for him to care enough about them to do this, so using Erylium in that capacity has been very fulfilling.

Im also going to have to figure out how to or if to work Kaven's betrayal into this, since they are so far into it now without getting anywhere with that.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We're back to one session behind you. We just ran the Grauls and ended at the same place (pretty much all clear except for a couple stragglers).

Andoran

Greycloak of Bowness wrote:
We're back to one session behind you. We just ran the Grauls and ended at the same place (pretty much all clear except for a couple stragglers).

Cant wait to read your post on it!

Andoran

Session 14: A Successful Percetion Check and a Ransacked Fort

So the party make up has changed a bit. Im back to 7 players, and I think I mght actually know all the names now, so here is the current party:

~Alana, lvl 8, Varisian bard played by my wife. Street performer turned actress who inadvertently became the object of affection for Mr. Alden Foxglove. She is currently considering going into the Pathfinder Delver prestige class at some point.

~Alek, lvl 8, Chelaxian paladin, running from his past. His family makes pacts with devils to give them power. Began training dogs in Sandpoint near the beginning of the game, which has now transformed into a fully fledged K9 unit for the guard.

~Desba, lvl 8, Shoanti Ranger who is a valued member of the party for her deadly accuracy. She has taken one of the local firepelt cougars as her animal companion. Ameiko considers her a friend, though I have no idea if the feeling is mutual.

~Quinn, lvl 8, halfling cavalier who rides a not-so-baby T-rex. Between the strong hits he makes with his lance and the might bite of his dinosaur, most enemies are lucky to be left standing after an attack from him.

~Castiel, lvl 8, Gnome? Summoner who joined the party at the beginning of book 3 when he came to visit his friend Orik Vancaskerkin. His eidolon is a towering figure in battle.

~Kiba, lvl 7, Shoanti? Barbarian who joined up with the party at the beginning of book 3 when Lord Mayor Grorbras asked her to help the party find out what had happened to the Black Arrows. She forgets to rage. Alot.

~Huxqa (pronounced Hooka, I call him Dr. Huxtable), lvl 6, Varisian? Wizard (Enchanter), who joined the party upon their return to Turtleback Ferry after their first raid on Fort Rannick.

When the party got back to Turtleback, I had them make Perception checks, yet again, to see if they could FINALLY see a sihedron symbol as a tattoo on somebody, which Desba finally made! After pointing it out to the rest of her group, Castiel's eidolon commented that he had seen roughly a half-dozen people in town with the same tattoo since they had gotten there. He just didnt know it was important.

Quinn went to interrogate the woman with the tattoo, which took several hours (*wink wink*) while the rest of the party looked around, noticing that nearly a third of the people in town have that same tattoo in some place or another, including their new wizard, sort of.

He had noticed the design while drunk one day, thought it was cool, and tried to tattoo it on himself, though he did it the wrong way, and left off one point of the 7-pointed star. Kiba saw his tattoo, liked it, and had him give it to her as well. His messed up version, that is... She dragged him along, to fight with them.

They learned about the Paradise and Lady Lucretia, but not too many details, deciding to finish up the forst before starting on another thread which the plot seemed to lead to.

The eidolon did some overhead scouting, and the ogres had set up some patrols outside, with several ogres standing on the wall again. Deba took one out with a few arrows, causing the others to duck down out of sight, where they brased the door. Unfortunately for them, the dino and the eidolon made very nice str checks, throwing the doors open. The group rushed into the fort proper, leaving Shelalu, Orik, and the three rangers in the courtyard to deal with the patrols. Kaven actually was just looking for a way inside to find Lucretia, though.

The bottom floor was one long fight, as someone would go open a door with more ogres behind it before the current fight would be done, just enlongating the process. Kiba got knocked pretty hard by the guy who was paiting with the dead Black Arrow.

The seond floor might actually have been quicker, as I had that be one huge fight as well. I added a few extra grunts, but between a 30+ AC eidolon attacking Jagrath, the Sorc rolling a 1 while casting defensively, and a Black tentacles spell holding several of them in place, they didnt put up much of a fight.

After looting the bodies, the party heard girlish giggling from inside Lucretias room, where they found her and Kaven, who failed to convince them he has gone there to rescue her. A couple of critical hits later, and both she and Kaven were dead, without giving up any information at all.

One the one hand, I admire the party's ability to deal damage. One the other hand, its a pain to have a party this large, cause I have to add SO much to the encounters to keep them on scale with exp and loot thats its kinda ridiculous. And even adding all that stuff doesnt seem to be effective, cause a few of them can deal so much damage at a single time.

Also I wonder how interested in the story they actually are, cause I dont get to give them info from half the bad guys cause they dont bother to do anything other than kill them. They never try to capture a foe to question them. Its only if they surrender, that they bother, which is generally a 'tell us everything or we'll kill you *roll sense motive*'. I think something is going to need to change sometime else my growing frustration turn to apathy.

Anyway, its been awhile, I think, since I awarded some sin points. Quinn is definitely getting another Lust point, for seducing the random tonsfolk woman. Hmmm...that might be all of them for now actually. I cant think of anything theyve done recently that seems particularly bad.

Im looking forward to the next session, cause theyll end up fighting Black Magga when the dam breaks. Im going to foreshadow it a bit with local folklore, and when the giant nightbelly boa attacks, have one of the school children scream that its Black Magga. Once the snake is dead, one of Black Magga's tentacles will slither in and start the real battle. Should be fun.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Too bad about Kaven.

If there could have been a confrontation with him betraying the party when they encountered Leucretia, there could have been a chance for a little bit of bad guy speechifying. Since my PCs know quite a bit about "Leucretia" already and know there is something up with the sihedron mark because I have been beating it over their heads the whole way, I am thinking that I'll have my Kaven potentially make contact with my shady rogue to let him in on the conspiracy and/or have him break ranks, sneak ahead and be overheard having a confrontation with "Leucretia" just as the PCs arrive.

Or something.

I know that this AP is full of journals and whatnot but you might plant a commander's log book of some kind where the old boss of the Black Arrows records among other things that Kaven had been disciplined more than once for going AWOL and gambling at the Paradise Barge (perhaps with a note that he has some suspected romantic relationship with the owner). That log would also note later on that Kaven uncharacteristically (favourably, interpreted by the commander as a change for the better in K's disposition) volunteered to be on the long range patrol right before the attack.

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