After what seems to be some harrowing experiences, the Order of the Amber Die completed the second adventure, Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror, in the Strange Aeons Adventure Path in yet another marathon session. I'm going to keep this short and let them tell their tales. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to read more about their experience with this Adventure Path. Beware, players! Spoilers below!
The second adventure in an Adventure Path is always an important one, as patterns begin to emerge in the way the party performs, and we look to build momentum early in the AP. We spent the marathon as amnesiacs slowly piecing together the clues of a mystery while working alongside investigators from the Sleepless Agency, and we dabbled into the True Detective soundtrack to give us ambiance throughout 67 hours of play. Since there was so much role-playing involved, our GM brought one of the best actors in the Order down from NYC to play some of the slick-tongued cultists we encountered, and also tapped another member for the role of Winter Klaczka where appropriate.
As the facts surrounding our amnesia were uncovered, it turned out that each of us had a nefarious past. Erasmus had shady friends showing up who expected us to recognize them, while Quinn had once started a bar fight defending the honor of his boyfriend. Even securing lodging was a challenge in this adventure. To thoroughly immerse ourselves in the stormy town of Thrushmoor, we mixed fog machines with a 24-square-foot setup of 3D buildings, and some structures were even specific to the town itself. We also had a couple of Lazzaretti's maps remastered by Axion Studios and printed for play.
Highlights From The Thrushmoor Terror
- We're clicking as a unit more than many other parties we've had. The players all selected a teamwork feat to suit their needs in this path: Shake It Off. In our standard 2-by-2 formation, everyone gets a +3 to all saving throws, and it's made the difference on 12 saves already.
- Our GM doesn't pull punches. Travelling back from Caliphas, he rolled up a marsh giant as a random encounter at a waterlogged farmstead—and threw it at a 4th level party. We are veterans of Giantslayer after all.
- They say defense wins championships. During a 2-hour grinder against an evil druid and her fungal wolves, our 5th level party healed over 200 hit points, with 36 of those coming from Erasmus's seance boon alone—and defense prevailed.
- We awarded Daji the MVP for this module. The fox was on fire from the opening minutes: He picked up his sixth kill of the campaign, used his knowledge skills to identify the critical weakness of a foe that would likely have defeated us, located the secret door that led us to the final encounter early, The crowning moment was when the fox leaped onto an abomination known as a byakhee and engaged it with everything he had, despite the creature biting Daji into negative hit points.
- Something is wrong with Quinn, and it's stacking more horror onto this already scary AP. In the asylum he suffered horribly at the hands of ghouls—and despite being raised twice—he possesses an insatiable hunger. Quinn's skin is becoming thicker, and he smells so much like rot that it sickens anyone around him. Our companion has torn through our food reserves, and we sometimes catch him eating when he should be sleeping. We've tried everything from remove curse to remove disease, yet nothing works.
- We already track a lot of data across each Adventure Path, but we've had to add a new category that is very unfamiliar to us: Battles Run From. Ten so far. The team doesn't like to talk about it.
- One of our strangest moments in this module involved an interaction with something called an "Elder Thing." Two of them actually, and our GM swears that's the real name. They weren't immediately hostile, but we couldn't tell whether we should introduce ourselves or slay them. Then they spoke!
- An assassin, Risi Nairgon, stalked the party around Thrushmoor, seizing our vulnerable moments to strike and get away. After tailing us to a safehouse, she patiently waited on a rooftop for the party to emerge the next morning—sans buffs. Despite sniper's fatigue, she scored a direct hit with a Death Attack on Alahazra: one shot, one kill.
- Three natural 1s on fear saving throws left Quinn alone facing a Manananggal—a vampiric horror we had yet to see in 138 modules. We could hear his screams while we ran.
Best Quote From Marathon 2
Cesadia Wrentz (lead detective): "How many people saw you carrying a body through town?"
Feiya: "Now? Or ever?"
Quinn's affliction doesn't bode well, but we'll keep trying for a cure. Good detective work has us hot on the heels of our quarry and headed south to piece together what our memories cannot. Alahazra and Quinn are a bit behind in XP, but this is made up for with author Tito Leati's generous amount of treasure awarded to those with the patience to look.
Read through the entirety of The Strange Aeons Experiment.
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Custom 3D Terrain Provided by GeordieJohn Studios.
Gridded battlemats provided by Deep-Cut Studio.
Things are looking pretty grim for the crew. Tune in shortly for a report on their potentially nightmarish experiences in the third adventure in the Strange Aeons Adventure Path, Dreams of the Yellow King.