The Abomination Arsenal: Part 1

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Our first marathon is in the books, and it’s time to report out! We knew when we started this project that it wasn’t going to go down like a typical dungeon crawl—or megadungeon for that matter. Instead, this campaign shot off with an excessively violent bang (series of them, actually) that left a character dead and a level full of face-down mitflits. We’ve played a lot of dungeons over the years, but we’ve never riddled one with ricochet marks. In short: Gunslingers are a great time, everyone should try four!

When you sign up for an OAD marathon, you agree to live in a house with us for a few days, playing about twelve to fourteen session hours a day. We take our time, roleplay as much as we can, and take advantage of almost every side quest and NPC errand that comes along. Throughout the marathon, other members of the Order might show up to cameo as NPCs or fellow gunslingers. Rack up enough session hours with us, and you’ll become the newest member of OAD. With that, we want to wish a warm welcome to Karee Vogrin, who reached 100 session hours and membership during this marathon!

  • Adventure: Ruins of Gauntlight
  • Marathon Length: 60 hours, 45min
  • Session Hours: 35hrs, 30min

Our GM started the story on the path to the Gauntlight ruins, as we were already well prepped with a session zero and the material we had in our campaign’s Google Classroom. We found the top level of the ruins occupied, but the Black Powder Cadre was in need of cash, so the room-clearing began—right after we picked two of our characters up out of the mud. Yup, the Amber Die itself was hot from the start, and Adam opened this campaign with three crits from a slurk in the first encounter!

Order of the Amber Die: Close of of player character mini figures surrounding a mini figure of a large fanged toad-like creature Order of the Amber Die: Player character mini figures standing in a cemetery, surrounded by a hoard of undead


Highlights from Ruins of Gauntlight:

□ The Black Powder Cadre isn’t a group known for tact, and we managed to get kicked out of two of Otari’s prominent taverns: The Rowdy Rockfish and the Crook’s Nook. At the Rockfish we botched (a light term) an attempt to empathize with the proprietor whose son disappeared a year ago. At the Crook’s Nook, we ran up a sizeable tab with the local thieves’ guild. Solving this issue isn’t as simple as merely avoiding the tavern, so we’ll keep you updated as our debt looms. At least they know we’re heavily armed!

□ When you have a party consisting entirely of gunslingers, adventuring tactics can change a bit. We approached almost every room in the ruins through its collapsed ceiling. If we saw opposition on the floor below, we rained down lead as they scampered for the doors. Let the gods sort ’em out!

□ Hands-down one of the best battles of the adventure took place in the Otari graveyard. We raced past the cemetery gates as the Gauntlight shone down its eerie beam, bringing the deceased back to life! Things got loud real quick, and not since our years of playing Call of Duty: Zombies have we unloaded that much firepower into the walking dead. Worse yet, the Gauntlight brought to life our former companion, Rome, whose body was wrapped and prepared for a funeral the next morning. His massive frame lumbered toward us—and went down like the rest.

□ Just because we are the only ones with guns does not mean there aren’t some close shootouts. What, you thought you would automatically win a ranged battle because you’re packing heat? A morlock with a junk launcher might just have better aim.

□ Over the years, our GM has been known for rendering maps from Pathfinder adventures in his signature style. This time he drew with one eye—not by choice. It’s a long story, but Adam even GMed this project launch in sunglasses the whole time. Many thanks to the docs at Wills Eye in Philly for helping us pull off this marathon!


Order of the Amber Die: A top down view of a group of players surrounding a gaming table with a large tower sitting in the center Order of the Amber Die: A top down view of four mini figures standing on a wooden platform looking into a hole that leads deeper into the ruins they're investigating

The Arsenal

As expected, with a party consisting completely of gunslingers, we saw quite a few extremes play out during the first marathon. Foremost, there is little that compares to round one of most combats: fire, reload, fire. Round two is rough though, when we all usually reload, fire, and reload. Another concern is money, as guns and ammo are expensive for an entire adventuring party. That fancy gem we found in the back of the soulbound doll? Sold—pass me a cartridge. Additionally, healing is an issue for us. Battle Medicine is a key reason we’re still here, and we’re thinking that eventually all characters will have to take it. Since we are all playing the same class, we’ve been overpowered in some encounters, and barely equipped to handle others; most importantly, this campaign is unlike any other, and that’s what we were striving for. Like all OAD projects, we’re also tracking data on how the characters interact with the Adventure Path, and we’ll present it at the end.


Character Deaths:

□ Anyone who is familiar with the Abomination Vaults has probably heard of Mister Beak, the soulbound doll responsible for so many TPKs that it earned a nerf in the hardcover version of the Adventure Path. Rome, a gunslinger following the Way of the Drifter, failed his save vs. the doll’s phantom pain. We shot Mister Beak up easier than a clay pigeon, but the persistent damage demanded some flat checks for Rome to survive. While he did manage to get rid of the persistent damage, he was still dying and needed to make recovery checks to stabilize. Our party’s inability to heal our fellow gunslinger left us watching in frozen fear: Rome had fallen. Yes, we used the nerfed version of the doll. Sorry for putting you out there, Erick!


Best Quote From Marathon 1:

(with smoke hovering after two-dozen rounds fired)

Breen: "Clear?"
Vlai: (kicks a dead gremlin) "Clear!"
Rome: “They shouldn’t have brought darts to a gunfight.”

Order of the Amber Die: An angled view of a flat square tiled map scattered with area accessories, such as miniatures of furniture, doors, and monsters Order of the Amber Die: Top down view of a, unlabeled, flat square tiled map of a dungeon

Current Situation:

Gotta be honest, we loved the town of Otari as much as we did the first two levels of the Abomination Vaults. We had dinner with the mayor, read suggested selections at the Dawnflower Library, and even acquired the deed for the ruins of The Thirsty Alpaca. As of now, a crooked sign stands in front of the old alpaca that reads “Coming soon: Maloika’s Mercantile.” We’ve mourned our single character death, and Rome has been replaced by a rookie gunslinger from Arcadia practicing the Way of the Spellshot. We also explored level one and part of level two of the megadungeon, found Otari’s ghost, and followed it as best we could to level three. We’re currently in a hallway that presents a bit of option-anxiety: two stairways headed up, an open room with mist to the left, and a door at the other end of the corridor. Lock and load!

More Content:

Our table was brought to life with the help of Blue Table Painting for the miniatures, and Black Bard Studios for custom adventure-specific miniatures/terrain.

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Tags: Community Order of the Amber Die Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Those maps! Those beautiful images! The bad ass fights! The threat of the amber die! OAD is back!

Welcome Karee! 100 hours is a true accomplishment!

So glad I got to see you, Adam, and Theodora at PAX Unplugged.

So excited for more updates!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Amazing photos as always. I am jealous. Well done!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Love reading these reports from OAD, especially since I'm also running Abomination Vaults.

However, I don't think you can die by Phantom Pain. It has the nonlethal trait and if you hit 0 HP you go unconscious, but don't gain the dying condition. When it ticks again it, you aren't dying, are at 0 HP again, but as its nonlethal you still wouldn't gain the dying condition.

Unless of course Mr. Beak's attack brought Rome down or Mr. Beak hit him while unconscious (unsure based on this report).

Order of the Amber Die

1 person marked this as a favorite.
ninthwatcher wrote:

Love reading these reports from OAD, especially since I'm also running Abomination Vaults.

However, I don't think you can die by Phantom Pain. It has the nonlethal trait and if you hit 0 HP you go unconscious, but don't gain the dying condition. When it ticks again it, you aren't dying, are at 0 HP again, but as its nonlethal you still wouldn't gain the dying condition.

Unless of course Mr. Beak's attack brought Rome down or Mr. Beak hit him while unconscious (unsure based on this report).

Thanks, glad you like them! We had a lot of fun putting this one together, especially because the "gunslingers in a megadungeon" theme has been on the OAD bucket list for a while.

I'm the one who shortened the death description (maybe too much), but yup there was some lethal damage in there. I want to say it was from falling into debris after he was unconscious, but I'll ask Erick to confirm. It was not a glorious death, he even crit-failed his last recovery check. If you look closely at the pic of the graveyard battle, you can see Rome at the bottom...most of the party didn't enjoy putting having to put him down. See here's the thing: Erick is the best PvP player in the Order. We would struggle to count the number of beloved characters that have fallen to his charmed, confused, or dominated warriors over the years. Then there is also that look of glee he gets when he is allowed to attack a fellow companion. Heck, he had that look as a zombie approaching us from across the graveyard!

This was their chance to return the look. :)

Scarab Sages

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This is great, and I love the idea of the all gunslinger party. That first round has to be absolute hell on whatever monster the party can see.

Order of the Amber Die

Belabras wrote:
This is great, and I love the idea of the all gunslinger party. That first round has to be absolute hell on whatever monster the party can see.

Absolute hell indeed! Haha. Round 1 with a party of all gunslingers is unlike any other party I (or OAD, for that matter) have ever played in our many decades of gaming. It’s been a blast!

On the flip side, round 2 tends to be hell for us though ha, and where the enemies can sometimes get their revenge (the ones that survive the opening salvo, that is!). When your entire party usually only gets 1 attack for that entire round, things can get rough. A few of us have Risky Reload, which can help—sometimes. Action economy can be a cruel mistress for the Black Powder Cadre!

Interestingly, combats with many opponents haven’t been the problem so far for us (which is somewhat contrary to what I would have assumed, given the aforementioned action economy issues). It’s been the single high AC opponents that have really jammed us up, so to speak. A room full of gremlins? No problem. A single slurk? Take cover ha. It wrecked us pretty bad. And that pattern has been demonstrated many times so far throughout our combats. I’ll be curious to see it if persists as we go deeper and deeper into the Vaults.


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SilentInfinity wrote:

Those maps! Those beautiful images! The bad ass fights! The threat of the amber die! OAD is back!

Welcome Karee! 100 hours is a true accomplishment!

So glad I got to see you, Adam, and Theodora at PAX Unplugged.

So excited for more updates!

Hi, Rob! It was great to finally meet you at PAX! Your drink recommendations are 10/10 for sure!

It has definitely been an honor to cameo as Tess at the OAD table. That's me to the left of the gate in the graveyard fight. I'm still short my 100 hours but getting my own membership jersey is my new goal for this coming year. It shouldn't be too hard--the boys in this group obviously need an extra RN on hand with their rowdy ways.

Despite the constant friendly fire from Matt's scattergun, I cannot wait for what's coming in the next marathon. My girl Tess is holding strong against everything Adam is throwing at this Pathfinder newb!

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Karee!


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks so much for the congratulations. The 100 hours seemed to fly by as I was enthralled by the adventures.
The Abomination Arsenal in particular has been a non-stop roller coaster of highs and lows. We've been up and down a lot and as the primary healer, Breen has been busy. She couldn't save Rome and now tries her hardest to ensure that no one else is lost.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sounds like a lot of fun! I can't wait to hear what happens when you get to book 2!

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