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!
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!
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.
□ 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)
Vlai: (kicks a dead gremlin) "Clear!"
Rome: “They shouldn’t have brought darts to a gunfight.”
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!
Follow Order of the Amber Die:
The Abomination Arsenal: Part 1
Wednesday, December 21, 2022