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AoW Campaign - It Has Begun!

Age of Worms Adventure Path

Well we started the Age of Worms AP last night. I decided to open the campaign up with Mad God's Key before moving on to the Whispering Cairn. Having just run my group through the Shackled City AP, it wasn't until one of my players commented about the opening adventure again involving a locksmith (Mad God's Key involves finding a stolen key) that I even realised the coincidence!

I had the game start with the players acting as a caravan guard for Allustan (he is the mentor of the Elf Wizard in the party) on a trip to the Free City of Greyhawk. Howwever, I did make it clear to the players that they felt like Allustan could probably more than handle himself if there was any trouble, and that they were brought along for company and to let them have a bit of fun in Greyhawk. This gave me a chance to build the relationship between the players and Allustan early on in the campaign as I really want them to think of him as a strong ally (much like Jenya was in SCAP).

Just after sunrise on the second day of travel I had the party attacked by 4 lizardmen, foreshadowing the Encounter at Blackwall Keep, as well as allowing the players to have an early combat encounter to get into their new PC's grooves. The Crusader on watch spotted the lizzies when they were about 20-30ft away, avoiding a potential ambush. Combat was then on like Donkey Kong. The Crusader copped a fair bit of damage, but the party dispatched the lizardmen without anyone dropping into the negatives. I had Allustan stay back watching to see what they party was capable of and then burst out into applause and compliments once the players had killed the last lizardman. He also gave them a small GP bonus for protecting him so well.

From there the party safely made it to Greyhawk without any more trouble. At this point Allustan told them he was off to do his business, research at the library, etc. He paid for their room and meals at an inn and told them he would send someone to notify them when he was finished. Until then they were free to do as they wished. I gave the players a day to spend their lizardmen booty and explore the city before dropping the opening scene from Mad God's Key on them.

They kindly took the hook I laid out, stopped the 2 petty criminals from looting the locksmith and agreed to try and help him find his key for 5gp per person per day, at least until Allustan was ready to head back. They found out that the person they needed to speak to was a half-orc named Irontusk and head to Barge End to find him. From here it played out like a scene from Hot Fuzz, with the Crusader the Nicholas Angel of the party and the other PC's imitating Danny Butterman.

The Crusader climbed onto the roof of a nearby building and ran from rooftop to rooftop, including clearing a 10ft gap at one point, before dropping down and attacking Irontusk. 2 or 3 combat rounds later and Irontusk was well and truly unconscious after the Crusader confirmed a critical with his Waraxe, dealing 37 points of damage! Thankfully he was doing non-lethal damage or they would have been picking chunks of half-orc off the docks for days!

Meanwhile the Dwarven Cleric (20ft move and, unlike everyone else, in his armour) decided he was better spending 4 rounds running to the next dock than risk falling in the water and drowning. The Rogue (with a fear of open water chosen before the game began!) decided to do the same.

The aloof and arrogant Wizard spent 2 rounds cutting through a rope tying one of the boats to the dock (horrible damage rolls and he could have just untied the rope in the first place! :-D), then leapt on to the boat to slipped around in fish guts for a few rounds (4 consecutive failed Balance checks). When he finally got up and attempted to jump to the next boat he rolled a 3 and took a dive into the water! We were all cracking up laughing at this point (player of the Wizard included), commenting that at least the water should help clean off the fish guts.

While that happened, the Ranger jumped into the same boat as the Wizard, slipped on fish guts for a bit before regaining his footing and leaping across to another barge. He was going ok until he ran into a couple of guard dogs. 2 attacks of opportunity bites and 1 regular attack bite later and the Ranger was into the negatives and still getting gnawed on. So much for being a friend of the animals! That had the whole group splitting their sides with laughter once again at their own ineptness.

Thankfully the Cleric showed up at that point in time to heal the Ranger and get him away from the guard dogs. They then both went over to help pull the blubbering wizard out of the water, who at this point was clinging to the side of a barge.

Ah 1st level, I forgot how total failure can be so much fun sometimes! :-D

Olaf the Stout

Liberty's Edge

3.5 or Pathfinder RPG?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thank you for posting about the party's antics! :D

Steel_Wind wrote:
3.5 or Pathfinder RPG?


However there are 2 changes I have made to the rules that will have a significant impact on this campaign.

1. We are using the Pathfinder Channeling rules instead of the 3.5E Turn Undead rules.

2. I am allowing the Rogue to deal 1/2 sneak attack damage to corporeal undead. Incorporeal undead will still not be sneak attackable.

Olaf the Stout

Liberty's Edge

Great timing.
I'm starting my AoW campaign's first game tomorrow and I too am running the Mad God's Key.
So this is awesome.
Question, Olaf, when doing the dock did you follow it per the adventure or did you incorporate the chase cards or any other chase rules?

jhilahd wrote:

Great timing.

I'm starting my AoW campaign's first game tomorrow and I too am running the Mad God's Key.
So this is awesome.
Question, Olaf, when doing the dock did you follow it per the adventure or did you incorporate the chase cards or any other chase rules?

Sorry that I'm probably too late, but I ran it as per the adventure. I figured it was complicated enough as it was.

I did draw out the map completely on Gaming Paper before the game though.

At first it looked like Irontooth was going to escape pretty easily. However he got stuck in the netting on one boat for several rounds, which allowed the Crusader to catch up (failed a Reflex save and then several Strength checks to break out).

We play fortnightly, so the next session should be this Thursday, but I've had to reschedule to next week due to a suit fitting for my sister's wedding this weekend.

We'll just play 2 weeks in a row to catch up. I'm thinking it will take 2 more 4-4 1/2 hour sessions sessions to finish off Mad God's Key. 1 session for the Thieves Guild and 1 session for the Tomb of Everflowing Blood. I'm hoping it will be less than that, but my group tend to take forever trying to determine what course of action to take, so I'm not too optimistic! :-D

Anyone else run it know how long it took their group?

Olaf the Stout

Liberty's Edge

That's cool. That's what we ended up doing and it was a hoot.

We play about once a week for 3-4 hours in the evening.

It looks like it may take 3 sessions for this game based upon this.
But... that's because the group avoided all combat in the encounter with the Green Dagger gang. As I posted in another thread, they used "pfft" roleplaying... sigh(LOL) to get through the encounters. Bribed the first guard, and the second one near the stairs and coerced the leader.
It was nice. Took me by surprise, but it went really well.

So now they're on their way back to Diamond Lake(I'm running Age of Worms and this is my prelude adventure), where they'll restock, and then head out to the cairn.

I'm thinking of substituting the zombies with Fast Zombies to shake things up. We'll see. Keep us posted, Olaf.

Game is on tomorrow night.

jhilahd, are you placing the Tomb Of Everflowing Blood near Diamond Lake and the Whispering Cairn?

Olaf the Stout

It took 4 x 4-5 hour sessions, but we finally finished off Mad God's Key a couple of weeks ago. The final two encounters were touch and go in regards to a TPK.

For the SCAP and AoW AP's I've been rolling completely in the open so there is no fudging in that regard. On top of that last session had an ex-player visting from overseas so I had him run the monsters in combat for me. Thankfully his dice went from hot to cold at the right time or it would have been a TPK.

In the end the party won the day and there were no PC deaths. The only thing that stopped there being some deaths (or more likely a TPK) was the fact that I have allowed the Cleric to use the Pathfinder Channel Energy rules, instead of the Turn Undead rules. The extra healing gained from that made the difference in the end.

Although no one died, PC's were knocked unconscious 18 times in the 4 sessions vs 31 PC kills (we keep track of PC kills, times PC's are KO'd and other things like highest damage dealt in 1 hit, highest save, highest skill check, etc). So the adventure was a tough one.

I ended the adventure with the party returning the book and then heading back to check on the sick members of the Green Dagger Gang (they had promised to try and get them cured). At this point I foreshadowed what is to come by having the sick members turned into Spawn of Kyuss due to the potions they were given actually having the slow worms in them (see the Encounter at Blackwall Keep for the rules).

I wasn't mean enough to have the PC's face the spawns. They had been dealt with by some Clerics of Pelor a couple of days earlier. Cyrathus did survive and told the PC's of what had happened and the Clerics of Pelor told them of how the green worms had come out of the bodies after they were killed.

So now we're into the Whispering Cairn. After 1 session there the party have found the Indigo lantern, popped up the Yellow elevator, ruined the Green elevator and fought 2 acid beetle swarms, the mad slasher and 2 bombadier beetles. The swarms caused a bit of worry as the party had no AoE spells to hurt them and were instead forced to rely on torches and some Alchemist's fire. Eventually they killed them off with only the Rogue being knocked out (twice).

Should be interesting to see how they go from here. Everyone is 2nd level, so that definitely helps in keeping them alive in the Cairn.

Olaf the Stout

Liberty's Edge

Hey sorry for the late reply.
I did add the cairn in the Diamond Lake area. I drew out a map of the surrounding area, and included Everflowing, Whispering, Stirgenest, and a few other faux sites to the mix.

We finished the Tomb of Everflowing Blood(a days travel north of Diamond Lake), and have started the first part of the Whispering Cairn.

Looks like we're both around the same point at the moment then, but you will be overtaking me shortly as we only play once a fortnight.

Olaf the Stout

Hey guys/girls.
I'm currently also running a MGK campaign, and about to flow from that into the start of AoW. I checked out this thread a few months ago, and it was very helpful :)

I was just wondering how you went, going from MGK to AoW, and if you had any tips?

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