I just got the newest report from the Order of the Amber Die after their experience with Pathfinder Adventure Path #94: Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen and those guys are still alive! (Mostly.) Remember, this blog is full of spoilers for the Giantslayer Adventure Path, so read at your own risk! And now I turn this blog over to the Order of the Amber Die.
Order of the Amber Die is back with the fourth update on our ambitious endeavor to complete Giantslayer in just 6 months!
The party found itself in bad shape following the third marathon session, and we knew that this could very well be our last report—so if it was, we needed to go out knowing we had given ourselves every best chance to succeed. First, to encourage cohesion, we chose to play with only the four main players present for this marathon, no live NPCs, and our GM played the role of Kurst Grath as would normally happen in most groups. Second, even though we are spread across the east coast, an emergency player meeting was called via Skype to try and figure out what needed to be done to turn things around in-game. The conference was complete with an agenda and new approach to utilizing our ACG hybrid classes to better effect in combat. Lastly, with permission from reluctant elders of our GM's family, we returned to the sacred birthplace of our Order and played this marathon in the room where it all began in '87.
This 83-hour marathon was also record setting for the RPG community, as one of our members and our GM both surpassed 500 documented session hours of Pathfinder in a single year (GMed and played respectively). According to our research and to the best of our knowledge, this is the new world record!
For this adventure we were headed well above the snow line in the Mindspin Mountains, so to better immerse ourselves we looked for wintry effects. The obvious was the thermostat, and it was set low enough to feel like December in the peaks. We also purchased plenty of polymer snow to go 3 inches deep around our play area. For glacial winds, we fired up fans that kept most of us wearing our long sleeve uniforms and winter hats at times—despite being late June in NJ.
Highlights From our Experience With Ice Tomb of the Giant Queen
- As the giants in the training camp of Skirgaard were too numerous to count, we had to resort to repeated guerrilla actions to disband the camp. Much of the weekend was spent planning raids on a unique 20" x 30" isomorphic map of Skirgaard. Thanks to author Jim Groves for his support with this!
- We made another powerful ally in Naximarra, the majestic and yet terrifying red dragon of an ancient bloodline. We'll never forget her first appearance, with the dragon's head rising from the snow just five feet away from us—but she didn't breathe.
- Pumped up to fight big Vikings, we rocked out to Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" and "No Quarter" while putting up a body count that now totals 57 giants slain throughout the AP.
- An aerial duel over boiling vats began while confronting Rohkinirr, a frost giant witch and accomplished brewmaster. Quinn chased the witch around the brewery in a vicious dogfight, firing off inspiration points to activate his studied combat twice per round. The investigator eventually found an opening and drove home his longspear, plunging the giant to a gruesome death in a vat of his own ale.
- The Amber Die itself was alive and well, delivering 6 natural 20s throughout the weekend, and of course: a signature 20-20.
While camped in deep snow, the party's night watch team heard something very large in the darkness beyond their sight. Coming into view was a 20-foot tall undead giant known as an indarugant, which strode from the pages of the Pathfinder #94 bestiary directly into our camp, determined to make a strong debut on Golarion. It dropped two PCs in one round with its frozen axe, and left another near death. Kurst Grath never rose from the hit, and the ranger would remain under gentle repose for the rest of the adventure.
We had an incredible performance, with our shortest completion time and fewest character deaths of any module in Giantslayer thus far. Skirkatla the undead queen was laid low, a giant training camp dispersed, and our ACG classes kicked into high gear. Our reforms worked, we made the semi-finals of this AP, and we can now take some small measure of inspiration from Churchill into the last two adventures:
"If the Order of the Amber Die and its members last for a thousand years, adventurers will still say, 'This, was their finest hour!'"
Best Quote From Marathon 4
Sterling (Crowe): "I actually feel sick to my stomach right now." (with a TPK looming in the final battle)
Read through the entirety of The Giantslayer Endeavor. For more pictures, campaigns, and information on the Order of the Amber Die, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram. The miniatures used are again painted by Blue Table Painting.
Be sure to stay on the lookout for the next report from the Giantslayer marathoners!