Tavvar tries to hold up a strong front, but your words make her shake her head. "Maybe... maybe you're right..." She sighs and looks at her piles of notes. "I'll make sure these are kept safe."
You report back to the faction heads (You can make your reports here if anyone would care to) who all seem extremely pleased with your progress and the fact that you didn't cause significant loss of life or property damage. Having to work against a "murder hobo" rep and all.
As you are finishing your last report, you see a halfling rush towards you. Janira Gavix races down the hall, her blond hair flying in her excitement. “I just heard you made it back—congratulations! It sounds like everything went, well, about as well as anyone could expect. Come with me, I have something for each of you.” The halfling woman leads the way into a small office and distributes finely crafted wooden boxes. Within each, a gleaming compass lid emblazoned with the Glyph of the Open Road and an engraved name lies upon a cushion of silk. “I’m not sure if you’ve picked up your own wayfinders yet, but when you do, you should have ones that prove that you belong. Now it’s official,” she beams. “Welcome to the Pathfinder Society!”
The remaining mote of shadow is vanquished! Between the assistants and the party, the ritual is stabilized and ended peacefully rather than the violent explosion it was likely going to be come. Tavvar looks at you and draws up slightly, "I don't know who you are, but I thank you for your assistance. We would have gotten the ritual under control in time but... I appreciate your efforts."
You're relatively sure that underestimates how close she came to ruin, but that is neither here nor there.
Guzmord Darkhook wrote:
I Forgot to add in my last post that you do believe that these are damaged by positive energy and healed by negative.
Between Threnax and Arkat's hits, the shadow mote fades away! The ritual appears to destabilize with that hit, as well as Aspero's work. There is only one shadowy flaw still visible other than the three that the assistants are maintaining.
Guzmord, you do have two actions from this round, but in the interest of moving things along...
Next up: Everyone! Guzmord has 5 actions.
Aspero Tulgarst wrote:
Huh, that's an interesting question. The glossary says two actions, but it's been clarified as "Disabling the Ritual: Each attempt to disable the ritual takes one action" Go ahead and make extra attempts as desired. When I played this before, our GM only allowed us one attempt per round, but I can see where that would be harsh for some party compositions.
First you come to a long, narrow presentation space has seating for around thirty guests, all facing a low stage at the south end of the room. At first glance the room seems empty, but a moment later, it seems as though the shadows of an audience still fill the plush seats. A chill draft sweeps through the room, and of a whispery voice echoes from the podium. “...and rather than engage in a responsible, controlled study of the codebook, Yargos Gill decided—imprudently—to simply execute the signals listed therein...” The voice trails off into a looming silence.
In the next room, carefully framed spellbook pages hang along this room’s walls, while eldritch relics stand in small display cases in the room’s center. In the far corner, shadows hang thicker than the rest of the room, and it seems a boisterous half-orc woman stands there, surrounded by vague figures, as she welcomes newcomers. Her voice is thin and reedy, but eerily familiar. “Congratulations! Let me spice up that punch a bit for you—to celebrate, of course!” You recognize this from Calisro Benarry , just hours ago...
Continuing forward, something seems clearly wrong in the museum. A gigantic reptilian beast is on display in the center of this expansive gallery, ferociously leering over the collection of taxidermy animals and monsters. Shadows flit between the displays, meandering and shuffling shapes reminiscent of museum patrons. Then a distant shriek echoes off the walls, as the shadow of a stuffed owlbear lashes out at one of the shadow-visitors with its talons. The shadow of the tyrannosaur in the room’s center departs from its source and snaps at the misty image of another patron, tossing its head back and seeming to swallow its meal nearly whole. Other shadows snarl and hiss, scuffling amongst themselves as shadow-guests panic and run toward the exit.
Finally, you reach a staircase to the next floor. Climbing the stairs, you are greeted by droning voices that echo off the mahogany walls and domed, plaster ceiling of this luxurious room. The sumptuous furniture has been pushed to the sides of the room, making space for eldritch markings and mystical paraphernalia laid carefully over the plush carpet. The chamber seems muted and dim despite the crystal chandelier overhead, and a bonenumbing chill seeps through the space along with a metallic scent. A ritual is obviously underway here, but it doesn’t seem as though it’s working as planned. Shadowy energy lashes out from a twisting breach in the center of the room, and indistinct shapes flit and scuttle along the walls. A woman you take to be Tavvar appears to be trying to maintain control of the ritual along with three assistants and what appears to be fragments of shadow hang suspended in front of the acolytes.
With your knowledge from before, you know that Tavvar is harried, and these shadows are likely manifestations of that. You can make an Occult, Arcana, or Thievery check to attempt to resist the ritual.
Aspero: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Next up: Everyone
With some chanting and religious devotion, you believe you set the priest's spirit to rest. There is a brief silence in the house as if it takes a breath... then things seem quieter. Probably still haunted, but briefly restored. You feel like you've accomplished your goals here.
Only the Blackross manor remains for you to pursue.
As you head that way, you learn that Tavvar, a resident there, has been working on the ritual for several days at the museum after its normal hours of operation, with some assistants aiding her. You also discover that they have been harried, taking risks to try and publish a new work.
You arrive at the Blackros Museum to find the door unlocked. Entering you discover a well dressed elderly man in black attire and a drooping mustache that welcomes you with a low, "Hellooo. Who might you be?"
Well, that's a thing
For lack of a better option, Aspero and Guzmord walk out onto the precarious ledge... which falls down under them. They were prepared for the the fall... but not the jagged lumber that impales them once they fall!
Base 3 damage goes to 0 to Aspero and 2 to Guzmornd plus...
At the bottom under the wreckage, you discover the body appears to be a human that didn't make the fall quite as well as you... Their back was broken and impaled from the fall. In addition to a religious symbol of Pharasma, the body carries a block of Pharasmin funerary incense. The body appears moderately heavy 6 Bulk and can be transported out.
Religion DC 12:
Alternatively, burning the incense would set the priest's spirit at rest
There is no further apparent danger
Weird, my post got swallowed apparently, then life got crazy the past couple of days.
Unfortunately, no one seemed to repair the wood work to what you would consider "code"; it's likely to fall dawn if anyone approaches the edge much further, with the potential to take down the entire room (and anyone standing in it.) On the other hand, you do notice what seems to be a body down at the bottom... likely the object of your search.
What are you going to do?
Guzmord continues to bring down religious fervor and disperses the whispers. Again, they seem to be quelled, but you feel like it's likely not going to last past a day. There is nothing much of note in the room once they are dispersed.
With this wing complete, you turn to the rest of the house. Moving through another door, the furniture in this once-fine dining room was crushed by the debris falling from the floors above. What remains is sodden and mostly unidentifiable.
Next, a large, long-cold fireplace stands in the east wall of this expansive parlor, but the furnishings are all rotted. A dank stench of mold lingers in the air. The ceiling overhead has collapsed, leaving the room open to the sky. The floor in the room’s southern end has followed suit, leaving a gaping hole into darkness.
Perception DC 14:
You note that the floorboards around the pit are on the verge of collapse. They can be repaired by a Craft check, otherwise they risk bringing down the entire room.
You peak in the door to the south: only a single, aged worktable still stands in one corner of this room, though the clay fragments of an oven and rusted metal suggest it was once a kitchen. The ceiling has completely fallen in, leaving this room open to the sky above. To the west, however, things are more interesting.
Ivy has overgrown the empty window frame, casting this room into cool shadow. A low shelf, its wood warped and cracked, stands against the south wall, and a desk has been overturned and smashed in the eastern part of the room. The trained senses of several of you note a low whispering sound, ”Please, I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t ever betray the secrets of the Family. Spare my children, they did nothing wrong...” The voices seem to have little effect from outside the room, but you imagine that they could become maddening if you entered the room further.
You can attempt to remove the effect by a religion check, or drown them out with Performance.
Guzmond raises his holy symbol and a small wave of energy spirals out. The Haunt is exorcised... for now at least. Likely it is only temporary until whatever tied the Haunt to the manor in the first place is addressed (though you have no idea what that might be.)
room: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Trying to learn more, you press on. Everything the next room once held now lies jumbled over the floor in a soggy mess: torn pages, scraps of fabric, and splintered remnants of furniture. Doors hang askew in the north and east walls, but the door to the south has been smashed from its hinges.
Searching the room, you find a faintly glowing lesser healing potion among the wreckage. You also find stacks of notes behind a ruined bookshelf that appear to be written by a criminal organization, including locations of criminal enterprises they owned (now long out of date.)
Asking about the house, there are numerous rumors, but you discover that it once was a hideout for a crime ring. Whether Sczarni or otherwise, it has a long, murderous history.
Proceeding into the manor, the tiled floor, ornate columns, and sweeping staircases of this once-grant hall evoke a distinctly Taldan aesthetic, though the finery has suffered greatly over the past years. The marble floor tiles are cracked and filthy, and the statuary lining the walls has been smashed. None of the three staircases climbs beyond head level before ending abruptly, debris from their fallen upper reaches scattered across the floor.
Nothing to see here:
Nax: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Sparks: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Arkat: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Gurzmond: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Perspero: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
As you look around the room, Nax, Arkat, and Gurzmond hear a faint scratching from under the floorboards... almost as if nailed hands were running back and forth along the wood! Looking closer, you catch glimpses of disembodied hands that are tatooed and missing fingers.
DC 8 Society or Underworld Lore:
These markings were from a Pre-Earthquake gang that no members would still be alive from. You believe this to be a Haunt that can be exorcised by someone skilled in Religion.
The naga blinks several times slowly, tasting the air with a forked tongue. [b]"I thank you for freeing me then, and I will give my regards to your captain. I owe her a boon I must repay. For now though, I think I will escape to less... tumultuous lands." It bows and heads in the direction of the bay, presumably to escape by sea.
With that resolved, you have a ritual to investigate, or a 'haunted' house.
Re-reading the scenario, it's confusing, but I think I added one too many ringleaders. Plus, you were super close to the DC, so I'll err on the side of success.
There is a very long pause as you make some convincing arguments, and the remaining ringleaders seem swayed by your eloquence. "I... suppose your right" the gnome says, dejectedly. "Just be careful..." The crowd disperses quickly after.
It only takes a bit of magical application before you restore the Naga. She blinks her eyes, taking in the scene and how things clearly had changed. "I am.. free? But how? I had not imagined ever being able to move again."
Intimidate Bot for Threnax: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23 The Half-elf glares at Kaddren, who decides that being involved in a riot really wasn't the "slumming it" that he wanted to participate in.
Arkat also managed to move Girvin with his stand legal acumen, who nods with an "Aye, I suppose yer right. Just be careful with the monster, laddie."
Although Sparks and Aspero make arguments that under -normal- circumstances would work, the presence of the fearsome naga is particularly unsettling, and those to are unmoved.
Round 2: Clint the Smith (Crafting or Guild Lore) and Gnifty (Nature or Herbalism Lore) remain
As you approach, you learn that there is a crowd gathered that has learned of your intent to free the Naga and are fearful of its monstrous appearance. It is led by four ringleaders: Clint the Smith (Crafting or Guild Lore), a dwarven barrister named Girvin (Diplomacy or Legal Lore) and a gnomish Herbalist Gnifty (Nature or Herbalism Lore), and a Socialite named Kaddren (Society or Absalom Lore). You know that you will have only a short time to attempt to influence the ringleaders and to disperse the crowd before they might turn violent. The smith cries out "Here come those Pathfinders, come to set loose this monstrous creature!"
You will have two rounds to attempt to influence the Ringleaders either through using one of the skills tied to them, or Intimidate. You can also choose to aid a party member
Round one checks!
For several blocks, the quiet lanes of Westgate’s residential neighborhoods feature small houses, low-key cafes and taverns, and the occasional specialty shop. The fragrant scent of tended flower gardens in the warm sunlight blends with the low hum of distant conversation over what would normally be a pleasant boulevard. But the stone statues—at first appearing only here and there, like odd decorations—now number several per block, and the otherwise plain square ahead is outright cluttered with stone figures. They take countless forms, from humans and halflings to orcs, lizardfolk, and even stranger, all forever frozen in acts of desperation, defiance, or despair. The quaint, statue-filled square is also filled with people; several dozen townsfolk shout and argue, their voices somehow out of place among the silent statues.
You may spend two hours and make a DC 15 Diplomacy Check to learn more information while you travel to Westgate.
Gorm nods sagely as you distract Kreighton, a twinkle in his eyes. Slyly, he says, ”I know the value of having a scroll literally in one’s back pocket. The Master of Scrolls was inquiring about these, but you can have one.” He has a scroll of Heal, Disrupting Weapon, or Magic Missle The party can pick one.
More somberly, he notes: The house Fola previously mentioned at the Precipice Quarter, was long rumored to be haunted and has been marked for demolition in the next few days. Gorm understands that the house was severely damaged in the earthquake of 4698 ar, but rumors of strange activity there long predate the quake. He would like you to uncover the history of the house before its destruction.
The party will continue on for some time, that you can enjoy at your leisure. Or you can continue on to one of your three destinations!
There isn’t any more adventure material for the party, but you can socialize as you see fit. Otherwise, you can go to the Precipice Quarter, Westgate, or Flowers district. “Rule of Two” or, “if two players suggest a course of action, we go with that” applies for the first destination.
Ambrus seems strangely captivated by the Athletic prowess or lack thereof, allowing you to talk to Fola. After introductions are made, she gives you a quest: A recent Pathfinder Society recruit who’s still in training lost a relative who tried sneaking into a famed haunted house to learn its secrets. The house has since been slated for demolition, given the number of injuries and casualties that have occurred there. Fola promised the recruit that she would make sure their relative was laid to rest properly, but she needs you to explore the site and retrieve the body. The easiest way to identify the victim is by the spiral-shaped religious symbol of Pharasma that he wears.
Fola also says, ”I believe you can resolve most situations with the spoken word, and that strong or deceptive words are still by far better than physical blows.” To back up her claim, she provides you with a lesser silvertongue mutagen
Last but not least (but shortest of the leaders) is the dwarf Gorm Greathammer. As leader of the Grand Archive, Gorm is impressed by knowledge in all its forms, but he holds a special fondness for tales and jokes that bring knowledge to life. Conversations with Gorm often leave the impression of a lively, fun uncle rather than a stuffy sage—but as he doesn’t have the lived experiences that many Pathfinders have, he enjoys hearing stories from others no matter the topic. He might ignore a conversation about magic theory or even history to talk to someone about their experience as a server at an inn.
Speaking with him is Kreighton Shane The Pathfinder Society’s Master of Scrolls—the Society’s dean responsible for agents’ academic training—is an eccentric and absent-minded elf with long, blond hair. Though a brilliant puzzle-solver and code-breaker, his odd mannerisms leave many agents bewildered.
Skills: Occultism, Society, Fortune-Telling Lore, Games Lore, or any Lore skill not covered by the Common Lore Categories can be used to distract him.
Eando smirks as the Lady is distracted. Conspiratorially, he whispers, I’m impressed with those who can keep the others occupied with such grace and can put your social skills to good use”. He provides you with a list of individuals he goes to for information across Absalom, stating that if needed to drop his name in conversations with those individuals to get the best scoop on current events. This grants the party a +2 circumstance bonus to one single Diplomacy check to Gather Information during this scenario.
He also has a job for you: A researcher from the College of Mysteries has unearthed some esoteric lore and has begun experimenting with some of the rituals she found within. These rituals seem particularly dangerous, to the extent that some of her colleagues are concerned about her efforts. Eando wants you to track down the researcher and determine whether the rituals she is studying are under control or if they are too dangerous and need to be stopped.
The next faction leader you see is Fola Barun. Friendly but driven, Fola Barun has dedicated herself to growing and nurturing the Pathfinder Society, and she’s been a strong supporter of the recent drive to bring in new members.
Currently talking to her is Ambrus Valsin. The Steward of the Grand Lodge is a tall, tan man with meticulously groomed hair and mutton chops. He runs the daily operations of the Grand Lodge with a keen eye for details while also overseeing Pathfinders’ missions in Absalom. Irked by inefficiency, Venture-Captain Valsin doesn’t appreciate backtalk and won’t hesitate to assign strenuous tasks to agents who annoy him.
You can use Acrobatics, Athletics, Crafting, Labor Lore, or another Lore tied to a trade involving manual labor. Ambrus appreciates agents who work hard and stay out of trouble.
Nax manages to keep Aaqir busy while the rest of the group can speak to Captain Bennisary. Watching the skill with which you distract Aaqir, she laughs and slips you a small, unmarked hip flask, describing it as “a pick-me-up for when you really need to get back on your feet.”
DC 15 Identify Magic:
The Flask is actually a minor healing potion
After some small talk, the rakish half-orc looks you up and down and confides, ”I’ve made some weird friends over the years. One of the weirdest—a long-lived naga with unparalleled occult knowledge—was unjustly accused of a crime, punished with the Charge of the Gorgon, and left petrified in Westgate. I’ve bribed someone to get permission to restore my friend, but it’ll look a lot more official if a third party takes care of the details, and you’re a perfect fit.” She gives you a greater salve of antiparalysis with explicit instructions that it be used only on the target.
The next faction leader is Eando Kline. Eando has a long history with the Pathfinder Society, and only recently has he settled into his position as leader of the Vigilant Seal faction. He’s the least friendly of the faction leaders, but he puts a great deal of faith in the rank-and-file agents. He’s assigning these missions because he believes the people that he’s giving them to can make the right call about how to handle what they find—more so than the Society leadership and even possibly himself. Eando is a stern human man of Taldan descent with tan skin, dark hair, and a distinctive chin strip of facial hair.
Speaking with Eando is Lady Gloriana Morilla. Lady Gloriana’s Taldan heritage is obvious from her dark hair and aquiline nose, but her clothing and accessories are more reserved than most Taldan nobles would prefer. She long led the Sovereign Court, an international organization supporting young nobles across Avistan. She and her agents were instrumental in Grand Princess Eutropia’s rise to power in Taldor, and while Gloriana still wholeheartedly supports the Pathfinder Society, her focus has shifted to helping the new empress consolidate her rule.
You can use Performance, Society, or any Lore skill related to a specific city to distract the Lady.
Janira nods at you all. ”Yes, yes, all of the faction leaders are in attendance; you definitely should make a point to visit them… especially if you can pry them away from other celebrants!”
Each of the current Faction Leaders appears to be busy with other influential members of the Society’s past or present, and getting the current Leader’s attention will require distracting those currently with them. The skill to roll for distraction will be listed, or you can roll Diplomacy
With her, you see a well-groomed, clean-shaven man of Qadiran descent, dressed finely and flashing a charming smile named Aaqir al-Hakam. You know that Aaqir was once the leader of the Exchange faction but has taken a step back to focus on family matters… but still is trying to coordinate deals and bring adventuring goods to the Society.
You can attempt to distract Aaqir by use of Diplomacy, Society, Guild Lore, or Mercantile Lore.
Your first faction boon is free! So choose whatever you like.
Essentially, you choose which faction you're representing by selecting that one for the mission. That way you're not tied to a specific faction if you don't want to be... though it costs prestige to get a different boon.
Don't worry about that for now, though.
Think we're missing one, but definitely a good start.
After a quick scan of the room, it’s obvious that many of the attendees have gathered in small groups here and there. A half-orc woman in an iconic ship captain’s hat stands near the punch bowl, handing cups to anyone who passes within reach, and a dark-skinned half-elf leads a small group of new agents around the room, introducing them to other attendees. Several senior agents stand in quiet conferral with a dark-haired Taldan man with a distinctive chin strap beard, while a scholarly dwarf tells a rousing tale to a growing audience.
A familiar blond halfling woman bounces over, bubbling with excitement. Janira Gavix, Head Initiate of the Pathfinder Society, grins, “Oh, I’m so glad you made it! After all, the celebration is for you. Have you gotten drinks? Snacks? Be sure to spend some time getting to know everyone—it’s best to be on good terms with the movers and shakers in the Society, that’s how you learn about the latest opportunities. I’ll be here if you need me to help you with anyone’s names or to make an introduction. Just let me know how I can help!” Janira gestures everyone forward into the room, beaming all the while
You all receive a letter sealed with the glyph of the Open Road
I do hope you’ll join us at the Grand Lodge for the celebration to congratulate the most recent group of initiates—yourselves included! A good time is certain to be had by all, but it’s more than just a party. Gatherings like this are an excellent opportunity to rub elbows with the Society’s leadership and get to know them. That means you’ll always be quick to know about the best opportunities as soon as they arise. I hope you’ll take advantage of the event to put your best foot forward.
I’m looking forward to seeing you there!
An itinerary and mustering location are provided within the letter as well.
It seems as though the entire Grand Lodge has the air of a celebration. The great gates are flung wide, and the phoenix trees lining the entryway are in full flame. The halls of the main tower of Skyreach, normally somber and reserved, echo with the sound of voices and music.
Reaching your mustering location in front of the Grand Ballroom, you see several fellow pathfinders already there. To manage the chaotic mess of adventurers, scholars, and explorers, groups are being sent in together, so you have a few moments to introduce each other.
Please make introductions!
Important Update: Due to logistical issues, the Gameday will be postponed to starting September 9th This makes my life a bit easier as I won't have to worry about posting until after Dragon*Con, but is a bit longer of a wait, unfortunately. So take your time making characters.
I'll probably be starting to offer some RP opportunities around the 6th so check back around then, or feel free to ask any PbP or PFS questions.
Rodlen Beimaer wrote:
I have a question, if I have magic scrolls as my starting consumables from pathfinder training, how can I copy them to my spellbook?
I'm not super familiar with how Scribing Scrolls works in PF2. I'll check that out later, but give me a poke if I don't answer that tonight.
A couple of logistics.
Everyon, please post the following:
We'll be targeting to start the 26th. I should note that I'll be sporadically posting the 29th through the 2nd (Labor Day Weekend) due to Dragon*Con, but the intro has some socialization and exposition.
After Labor Day weekend, I'll be committing to making at least one post daily. I would appreciate if everyone else does the same. If needed I can bot people or delay them, and it would be particularly nice if people let me know when they'll be unavailable.
I have some handy PBP templates HERE The first is a template for adding your stat block to show on your character. The other is for how to format your Reaction (if applicable.)
I'm sure I'll have more, but there's a start!
I'm running a table of Absalom Initiation for the PbP Gameday! Then primary intent is to try and get new players that aren't familiar with PbP some experience with the format, the secondary intent is to have some fun with the new system! I currently have four players, but if you're interested, let me know HERE
Huzzah! This is a new-player friendly game of 1-01 Absalom Initiation. I'll be treating this as a Play by Post academy to give some experience to new Play By Post players
Initially I will be opening this up to select players I've already spoken to, but there is likely going to be at least 1-2 slots available. If there is overwhelming interest, I will run a second slot after this completes.
The current roster is (Forum Name / Role):
If you're one of the above, please verify your interest. Otherwise, please post below with your Play by Post experience and what class / role you'd like to play. If you have any other questions, let me know.
Before people wander off, I wanted to say that I'm excited to see that there are quite a few newer players / posters in this thread. I was thinking about doing a "New PbP Friendly" PFS2 scenario, maybe for the upcoming Game Day.
If interested, I just made a quick list to track interest HERE
Toral Kargar wrote:
Probably not for a while, and I'll probably be doing more SFS.
Also, I'll be closing this up after the weekend; that should be time to make sure that everyone has gotten their sheets.