Way of the Wicked—Book #1: Knot of Thorns (PFRPG) PDF

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BE THE BAD GUY!

The Kingdom of Talingarde is the most noble, virtuous, peaceful nation in the known world. Herein is the story of how you burned this insipid paradise to the ground.

It's only fair. They burned you first.

They condemned you for your wicked deeds. They branded you. They shipped you to the worst prison in the kingdom. In three days, you die. In three days, the do-gooders pray they'll be rid of you.

They've given you three days. The fools, that's more than you need to break out. And then, it will be their turn to face the fire.

Welcome to the first chapter of the "Way of the Wicked" adventure path! Inside you'll find:

  • "Knot of Thorns," an adventure for 1st level villains compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Gary McBride.
  • Full color art and maps by Michael Clarke
  • A gazetteer of brave, noble, doomed Talingarde
  • Advice for running a successful villainous campaign
  • Rules for creating wicked PCs
  • A 100-page full color PDF (including printer friendly version) full of vice and villainy.
  • And more!

You've saved the world plenty.

This time, the world needs saving from you.

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

FRM1001E


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The only good book in this AP.

3/5

The title says it all. Book 1 of Way of the Wicked is fantastic, with a great and memorable starting setpiece, So is the Watch Wall, with a lot of options for the PCs.

-1 Star from my overall rating, with the whole Kickstarter fraud thing others have mentioned.


Fraud

1/5

I would love to give this product a higher rating but it has been written by a fraudster, Gary McBride, who tricked 315 people into giving him $40,000 through Kickstarter and refused to communicate with them for 4 years now. Despite multiple appeals from backers he has backed over 520 other kickstarters since then, logging in every week though seemingly unable to respond to his backers products. Shame on Paizo for selling the products of a con man and allowing him to continue profiting from rpg fans.

For details of the swindle and Gary McBride’s backing record see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/730004812/throne-of-night-a-pathfinder -rpg-adventure-path/comments


Written by a fraudster

1/5

I would love to give this product a higher rating but it has been written by a fraudster, Gary McBride, who tricked 315 people into giving him $40,000 through Kickstarter and refused to communicate with them for 4 years now. Despite multiple appeals from backers he has backed over 520 other kickstarters since then, logging in every week though seemingly unable to respond to his backers products. Shame on Paizo for selling the products of a con man and allowing him to continue profiting from rpg fans.

For details of the swindle and Gary McBride’s backing record see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/730004812/throne-of-night-a-pathfinder -rpg-adventure-path/comments


Excellent campaign

5/5

This is more of a review of the entire AP. I just finished running it after a long run. It is one of the best AP's I have run, some bits of some modules are a bit weak , I think book 5 has some problems with player actions and planning. However if you are willing to deal with all the problems a very high level party can cause and expand a bit over the last 2 books were this power gives the pc's so many options that the books cannot cover them all then this works well.

An evil party gets the chance to become the evil overlords of the land and show their true natures , mine were suprisingly subtle and restrained but it can be fun to see how things turn out.


It has begun

5/5

Despite the relative age of the Way of the Wicked it holds up very well.

Provided the players understand and buy into this campaign's concept they will have a Hell of a good time.

This chapter packs a lot of material from start to end. You get a lot of adventure for your money and the maps are well done. There are a lot of player handouts that you may want to review and re-do for the vision-impaired players (or yourself!).

Especially for the price point the campaign is worth every penny so long as everyone buys in for the long haul.


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Scarab Sages

Looking over Sir Balin, I'm wondering if his hit points are a tad low.
5d10+20 should come out to 52 hp rather than 42... of course considering how hard he hits maybe his hit points should be lower... :)
Or take his favored class bonus and put it into skills instead of hit points.

Grand Lodge

W. John Hare wrote:

Looking over Sir Balin, I'm wondering if his hit points are a tad low.

5d10+20 should come out to 52 hp rather than 42... of course considering how hard he hits maybe his hit points should be lower... :)
Or take his favored class bonus and put it into skills instead of hit points.

I just took it as him still being injured after having been brought there, but just that Gary had forgotten to write down "currently" like he had with Grumblejack.

Grand Lodge

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For doing the side quest, Barrow of the First King, I think I'm going to use the Dungeon 13 adventure, "The Treasure Vault of Kasil". Maybe variant a little bit. As for the relic of Asmodeus, I just found a bunch of artifacts that I've converted. Not sure which ones I want to use though. Likely one of the first two.

Relics:
Styxwalkers
Slot: feet
Benefit: These boots grant immunity to mind-affecting effects and paralysis. 3/day the wear can cast Haste (self only). As well, if the wearer is a spellcaster, the boots can recall one spell per day of every level through 1 to 9.
CL 20th

Signet of the Nine
Slot: ring
Benefit: Acts as a ring of universal resistance 20. As well, the wearer can cast True Seeing 3/day.
CL 20th

Amulet of Ordered Malevolence
Slot: neck
Benefit: Wearing this amulet grants the wearer the shield proficiency feat if they do not already have it, DR 3/-, and acts as a amulet of natural armor +3, and a ring of regeneration. 1/day the wearer can use Greater Teleport to take them to a party member, no matter where they are. 3/day the wearer can also cast Globe of Invulnerability.
CL 20th

Crest of Vile Darkness
Slot: ring
Benefit: This ring grants the wearer a constant Spell Immunity (Mage's Disjunction), and a +1 luck bonus on all saving throws. 1/day the wearer can cast True Seeing, and 3/day can cast Deeper Darkness.
CL 20th

Reaching for Damnation
Slot: hands
Benefit: These gloves give the wearer the ability to use Vampiric Touch 5/day as a swift action, and grants them sneak attack as if they were a 9th level rogue and uncanny dodge to avoid being sneak attacked. If the wearer already has a way of gaining sneak attack and uncanny dodge, the levels stack together. The wearer is also granted the fiendish resistance property, making them resistant to cold, electricity, fire, and acid 5.
CL 20th

The Serpent's Coil
Slot: waist
Benefit: This belt acts as a belt of physical perfection +4, and a ring of protection +5, as well as allows the wearer to cast the Sanctuary spell 5/day. The user is also immune to poison, and can use Spell Immunity (Implosion) as an immediate action 1/day.
CL 20th

Baator's Embrace
Slot: shoulders
Requirements: evil alignment or evil subtype
Benefit: This cloak acts as a ring of universal resistance 20 and ring of protection +5, grants the user DR 10/-, and puts the wearer under a constant Spell Immunity (Finger of Death) effect.
CL 20th

There's a story behind each item of course. I didn't write them up, but Google would help you find them. As well, this is just how I interpreted the conversion. Other people might know how to go about doing it better. ^^;


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Any word on whether there may be a reprint of the hardcopy? I'd like to buy this but I prefer a physical book along with a .pdf, but if there won't be a reprint, I'll just buy the .pdfs.


Snowheart,

We are lining up reprints even now though I do not have a definite date. However, if you'd like the same quality immediately, you can buy them right now atDriveThruRPG.

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gary, thanks! That's *great* news. The "when" isn't terribly important to me, as I'm currently running the Jade Regent but if reprints are coming, I'll order it now, subsist on the .pdfs and be delightfully surprised when I finally get the hardcopies.

Cheers, and congrats on all the wonderful reviews!

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

I'm a bit late with our Game Report from last week:

Spoiler:

The kids entered Aldencross in the guise of Yutak Merchants peddling the spears and Narwal Horn they had taken from the Yutak. They spent a few days shopping for magic items and listening, and learned of the Stew, the dwarven work crew, and the play. They contrived to slowly buy up over the next two weeks the arsenic, and are planning now to infiltrate the play, arrange to serve the poisoned stew the night of the play, during the performance.

They followed the innkeeper into the tunnels, ratted him out to the guards, and were rewarded for their honor and sense of duty to Mitra in apprehending the thief! They got the party dwarf on the work crew tasked with sealing up the tunnel, and he did an intentionally piss-poor job, and then got himself assigned to repairing the gatehouse, where he proceeded to weaken a few key structural points.

This upcoming session: The poisoned stew/play event, and the shattering of the gatehouse, the lighting of the signal, and the beginning of the breaking!!


Hi Guys, My PCs are about to reach Aldencross.

Spoiler:
They are so scarred to attack captain Odenkirk as they saw how he was easily smashing lots of opponents. So they are really plotting to kill him in a swift way.

My players were surprised to understand that there is no such a thing as a real Wall for the Watch wall. So they say. Why invade Balentyne ?

We can either build rafts and cross the lake with the army OR build a "small portable" wooden bridge carried by the hill giants and then cross the river wherever they want above the rift.

I told them that some war galleys were pattroling on Lake Tarik so they said "OK, but in these cold areas there must be heavy fog sometimes and so we can cross unseen Otherwise, we can choose option N°2 (the bridge).".

In fact well I dunno what to say.

Why do they HAVE to take Balentyne ? Why don't they move accross the fields and don't take Balentyne and spread rampage and destruction ?
Surely the 100 or so soldiers in Balentyne wouldn't stand a chance against the bugbear army in the open field. So there would be nothing they could really do.

What do you think ? What shall I answer to my PCs ?

Scarab Sages

Logistics.
A rampaging horde, especially if it wants long term action in enemy territory needs to have a secure chain of supply (equipment, reinforcements, food) along with a way to transport their stolen loot back home (to entice other tribes to come and join the horde, but to 'take care' of the wounded and such ~ bugbear health care may leave something to be desired though).
Leaving Balentyne (and the other watch wall keeps) active in their rear area means that the bugbears can only move in sufficient strength not to be attacked. And while the 100 man garrison by itself may not be a danger, the leadership could definitely have an impact on the horde (especially the mage with his ice golem).

Scarab Sages

It could also be a 'symbolic' type victory requirement. To help inspire the bugbear horde that the 'wall' is not as strong as it was in the past. An easy victory with the spoils of war flowing back into the north would help the other tribes decide this is the time to join in the war effort for the loot and revenge.


In my own game (which started 2 weeks ago, btw), I changed thw Wall to be a real wall. I'm using England map to start with, and I'm using real roman Hadrian's Wall as a basis. So the 14 keeps have 500 to 1000 soldiers each, and there are watch towers (with 10 or so guards) every mile. All in all, slightly more than a full legion guarding the north.

Even in a fortification, 100 guys can't stand vs a huge army (described as "thousands of bugbears" in the first meeting with Sakkaroth, besides goblins, some hill giants, awakened polar bears and other stuff). At best, they can hope for an El Alamo kind of resistance to death.

My own report:

The group consist in a half elf (half drow) Bladebound Magus (with dervish dance and "drow sabre" which is a scimitar with fancy name), a Lord of Darkness anti-paladin (which played the first game as a regular paladin, until he signed the contract), a knife-master serial killer rogue, a wizard necromancer, an archer inquisitor, and a deviant noble summoner of House Barca (which summons a fiendish griffin).

The escape from Brandescar was smooth. I only increased the number of guards a little bit (as I wasn't sure about how much adventage they'll have for being 6, as they were unarmed anyways). There was a barrage of Daze Spells in every combat, which, coupled with low Will from the guards (including some sickened for being drunk), high initiative rolls, and good help from Grumblejack, made them to crush any guards that opposed them. They went to the kitchens, injured the waitress, then proceeded to threat, guile and convince the other servant to help them (they noticed he has a crush on her, and convinced him that Blackerly was trying to force her. That, and 4 bluff rolls, lower of which was 22, was enough. The seductive paladin is planning to get laid with the waitress only because the other guy is in love with her, btw)

With the help of the servants, they were able to give them Belladona int their whisky, succesfully assaulting their poker game. All in all, they killed Blackerly, the Warden, and every guard in the prison, before burning it to ashes. They hope this will cover their missings, at least for a while.

They went to the manor, where they were received by Tiadora and Adratus. They decided to join Adrastus' crusade, so they signed the contracts, brought by a devil called Dessiter of the Phistophilus, who was very helpful explaining the consequences of breaking the contract and how infernal contracts work. They also meet the White Ravens, leaded by Elise, and the Fire Foxes, leaded by Aideen Kaiel. They are given a few presents (Iron Circlets of Disguise) by another member of Adrastus organization, the foreign (and weird) wizard Grigori Sharkov.

They went into the cellars (which I modified a bit), and they did well. They solved most of the puzzles and avoided traps, with only hard fight being against a Leech Swarm. They convinced Timeon they were helpful, and he gave them a few good hints. After that, the serial killer rogue, intrigued by the boy's true innocence, asked the rest of the group to free him. The others were surprised, but left him behind to talk with the boy about innocence. He started to ask the boy, and, once he was convinced that the boy was truly good (and not someone who was hiding evil inside), he proceeded to vivisection him alive (and rip his heart off), in a vain search for the place where goodness and innocence resides. That was a memmorable roleplaying event (everybody in the table thought the rogue player was going to truly free him)

Once everybody has trained, and everything is ready, the Frosthamar has arrived, and the Ninth Knot has received orders about what to do. They have to infiltrate the Savage North, give weapons to a Asmodean bugbear warlord, and then destroy Balantine. Some of the players have a grudge against Balantine's leader, sir Thomas Havelyn, from their background and previous crimes, so they are eager to destroy him.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Greetings all,

Been a while since I posted here. I'm reading all these great play reports and trying to play catchup.

So, why is Balentyne necessary to take?

Spoiler:

The book gives the simple answer "it's a key defensive spot".

The longer answer -- Lake Tarik and the river that cuts Talingarde in half and links Farholde to Estellyn are indicative of severe prehistoric seismic activity. That's why Talingarde has rivers that cut mountain ranges in half and has great inlakes like the Godscar river near Ghastenhall and Lake Tarik. The same violent upthrusts also create a natural barrier that seperates the northern half of the island from the southern half. The Watch Wall is a wall of sorts, it's just a natural one.

In the time of King Accarius IV called the Architect, nine key crossing points were identified and castles were built there. The Victor expanded that number to twelve. The point of the castles is not to permanently hold off an army of thousands. The point of the watch towers is to hold during the initial assault, for ravens to be sent and shortly for reinforcements to turn an army of a hundred into an army of hundreds or even thousands. And then the attacker is doomed.

For the last eighty years, the bugbears have been so disorganized and chaotic that honestly even the reinforcements have been largely unneeded. The "ill led assaults of the barbarous humanoid invaders" (pg. 81 Book I) have frankly sucked. And if Talingarde has grown a little complacent -- who can blame them?

Of course with the rise of the Nine Knots and the arrival of Sakkarot Fire-Axe that complacency is about to cost them dearly.

Which is the point of the adventure...

A lot of this is in Book One, though very briefly and tersely talked about. This is the sort of detail that fits better in a 256 page world guide rather than an eight page article at the back of a 100 page adventure.

Hope that helps,
Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:
A lot of this is in Book One, though very briefly and tersely talked about. This is the sort of detail that fits better in a 256 page world guide rather than an eight page article at the back of a 100 page adventure.

Does help very much. Also sounds like what Book 7 should likely be about. Or a web enhancement.

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

Battle report, this week!

Spoiler:
The kids succeeded in poisoning the stew, and poisoning the drinks of a few actors and using their circlets to pretend to be them! They used these disguises for a short term, and then changed to disabled guards and managed to get into the tower - taking out the colors, the armory, and the rookery! One player even used the forges to improperly reheat and cool a goodly number of the swords in the armory, thus rendering them brittle. Breaking on a nat one isn't much, but it "takes out" about 5% of the soldiers, at least that's how I'm counting it.

They're planning on desecrating the temple of Mitra next week - Lantern Archons, UNITE!

I had one issue that I'm not sure about. The text is very specific that 70 soldiers will eat the stew. 1d10 will die, and 4d10 will be sickened, and because we used arsenic, a cholera outbreak, presumable brought into the keep by those filthy actors, has been assumed. But that's a maximum of 2/3 of the dining soldiery, and an average of 27 - about 1/2 (but not quite!) our party rolled low, despite taking two weeks to have 6 PCs each buy a healthy dose of rat poison every few days ("Nothing seems to work! The grain stores are in danger! I need another bag!") so we got 23 of 70 - about 1/3. I'm not very happy with that, as I believe arsenic to be more potent, even if not administered by a "skilled poisoner".

I'm happy to rule that another group of X soldiers become ill 24 hours later (24 hours have not passed) because of good fort saves or some sort of game rule thing. What do yall think?


Bryan,

Awesome battle report as always...

Spoiler:

Regarding the arsenic. Arsenic is potent and in concentration will sicken or even kill a man. The problem is with a big pot and seventy people eating out of it, that many of those people aren't going to get much if any arsenic. Hence the random element.

And those people might feel a little queasy, but they are still going to be ready for duty.

That's my interpretation anyways. I have never actually poisoned a stew, of course, so I did a little research on arsenic and made my best guess on the effects. If you disagree, well, do what ever works for you!

...and keep up the reports and the great GMing.

Thanks again,
Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bryan Stiltz wrote:

Battle report, this week!

** spoiler omitted **

Awesome stuff. I love reading these things as they give me ideas for when I (eventually) run the campaign. One thought...

Spoiler:
If you feel the benefit of all that work wasn't enough, how about an incidental effect? Such as, one of the commanders, concerned about the food supply being at risk, orders it all thrown out and puts the garrison on emergency rations until new food can be stockpiled. As a consequence, soldiers aren't getting quite enough food and may be fatigued when the battle starts. (Figure another 10%?)

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

That's a good idea! I think I'm going to use the Emergency rations thing next week, and also allow a "second save" for the remaining people.

Gary, I've never poisoned 70 people either, so you may be very right. It just felt kind of low, you know, it was an ungood bellyfeel...

Grand Lodge

Okay, I've got a question. What if you naturally secrete the poison? Like a viskanya? What if you mix your poison with the arsenic? Could that give a bonus? Say maybe 1d10+2? And we're going to have two master poisoners in the party (rogue and anti-paladin) thanks to archetypes. So they'll know that arsenic would be the best way to go, but they might likely know how to make it more potent without causing added suspicion (high Craft DC checks).


I haven't done a combat report on my PBP, because, well, I've been too busy playing. But here's a short summary.

Spoiler:

-- Beefed up security for a party of 6 as discussed upthread, including the addition of an anti-magic ward in the main building only.

-- Added an extra barracks building with a bunch of sleeping guards. (Otherwise, it's too easy for PCs to kill *all* the guards. One thing I've noticed in a lot of games is that most PCs do not make a beeline for the gate -- they go into exploration mode and start looking for Blackerly or the Warden. My PCs did this too. In that case, they can end up murdering all the guards piecemeal and leaving Branderscar aflame behind them. That seems a bit naff for the "toughest prison in Talingarde".)

-- Gave the Warden an extra level and made him a specialist Illusionist, and gave Blackerly an Expert level for better Will and more hp.

-- PCs went through the place like grass through a goose anyway. They didn't have a tough fight until the Warden, and didn't run into serious trouble until a long fight at the gatehouse with Blackerly and a bunch of guards. (I changed the architecture there to make it easier for the PCs to get trapped.)


After arriving at the mansion, one PC decided to take his second level as an antipaladin. I decided that there really should be something special for an antipaladin candidate... some sort of initiation ritual. I also took this opportunity to introduce an NPC who will appear much, much later in the AP.

If you're interested, the sequence starts on this page. (It's mixed up with a couple of other threads, but it shouldn't be too hard to follow.)

Doug M.

Scarab Sages

Managed to get my 4th session done.

4th Session:

Getting their marching orders the PCs board the ship and head north.
When they saw the faster patrol vessel the PCs prepositioned themselves and made short work of the enemy captain (who got disarmed of both sword and shield in one disarm attempt). When the remaining sailors surrendered the PCs tied them up... and then killed them. The necromancer took a few extra bodies to animate on the voyage.

The fight with the Tritons got interesting, the witch and the rogue got knocked overboard. Eventually everyone got back on board and the oracle of Mitra was defeated (and animated). The monk is starting to get some flack, as he disarmed the captain of the patrol boat and 1x MW sword went in the drink, and when he saw the holy symbol of Mitra he stomped on it. The other PCs are less than happy with him 'destroying' loot. :)

The PCs managed to get 3 seals from Seal Island but only hung around for the one day (so I decided to skip the bunyip encounter).

The ice mephit was working not too bad... except that the party has 2 tieflings who have cold resistance... and due to a poor calculation on my part that was who the elementals targeted... doh! As he attempted to flee the mephit was gunned down with magic missiles.

Arriving in the bugbear camp, the PCs confused the bugbears on the dock for Fire-Axe to arrive and take control of the situation.

I gave the PCs the option of doing a side quest for an ice forge (ala Frostburn) with some modifications. They had no issues with the first bunch of neaderthals. But the sabre-toothed tiger may have taught the rogue not to wander off on his own. We had the first roll on the critical injury table (based off Warhammer Fantasy Battles). Alas, only unconcious.

We ended the session after that fight, and the players were discussing whether it was worth their while to continue or not.

All in all, it was a solid session.
Although the necromancer's turns are starting to be a bit long... I may have to look a bit about his command of the undead... :)

Grand Lodge

Started the game tonight off with a bang.

Session 1:
The session started out like everyone else's. They were brought to the prison, but I added in Gary's additional exposition regarding the highest perception had a hole in their hood so they could see out and get a brief view of the prison grounds. They were all taken to the branding pot, but some were more than just a little resistant; namely the half-red dragon and half-succubus (I allowed templates and negative levels for the group). Those two were given tattoo treatments.

They were taken into the prisons and heard the guards fighting off Grumblejack the ogre, during his feeding time, not that they knew who it was. They just knew something big and mean was near them.

The oracle was given extra special treatment. Since she had the wrecker curse, any metal she had "equipped" would be destroyed. Thanks to suggestions, she was tied up in rope and put in a pillory/wooden stockades.

The tiefling wizard, who had almost no charisma, but a crazy high intelligence, was sellected to meet with Tiadora. To quote Irene Addler from the second season premiere of the BBC Sherlock series, "Brainy is the new sexy." The players accepted that line of thinking. However, the tiefling still hung his head and started to weep hoping that it was devil momma in disguise to chew him out for getting caught (I gave him the College of Thorns background so he'll want to take down Magister Tacitus of Morimun even more so).

He was immediately smitten. His Wisdom and Charisma were both dump stats so he never figured out that the guards and Blackerly were charmed until he asked her what exactly she had done. Considering his intelligence, he considered himself on the same level as her, but let her do all the talking. He had no actual questions for her. He figured that it was all a test, and promised to do his utmost to pass with flying colours, even though he no clue what hoops he was to jump through.

He went back and filled in the others. He gave the masterwork tools to the ninja, and after taking a few 20's on the checks, they were all out of their locks like it was nothing. Needless to say that ALL of their rolls tonight were on their side. I've never seen so many nat 20's for players. I couldn't get over a 10.

They picked the lock to the cell door, used a silence spell (whisper gnomes get them automatically), and took out the guards without making a single sound. This was the dragon and succubus' doing. Two claws and a bite can do a lot of damage.

Using prestidigitation and mending, the blood and the armor scratches were all wiped away. It just looked like the guards had abandoned their posts.

Against the tiefling wizard's best wishes, the cleric and oracle went to check out Grumblejack's cell. They unlocked it, let him out, and healed him up. They bonded, and the oracle told him that they'd get him out. Needless to say this was something that may not come to pass.

The ninja gnome went down the stairs and checked everything out. Of course, there were no guards anywhere as they did it at night and everyone was either at the card game, on patrol outside, asleep, or at the card game. He brought everyone down the stairs, and checked out the office, storeroom, and armory.

They found the paperwork on Blackerly stealing from the prison, the filth fever food, and the weapons for Grumblejack and themselves. The slaver stuffed as much filth fever rations as possible into the sack that they found to use for another time. The rest of the good rations, after the party ate a snack, got mixed with the rotten food. They also made sure to steal all of the "forsaken" branders.

The tiefling got a wicked idea. He'd been put in for forgery, and he had a crazy bluff despite having a terrible Charisma. With a linguistics check he took the paperwork, and copied the seals and various other handwritings he'd found amongst the papers, and created new documents stating that the crimes that all of the PCs had never actually committed any crimes. That they were all faked so that they'd be brought into Branderscar. That there'd been rumours of someone stealing funds from the prison, as well as many ill-gotten gain since Callidan left. However, it was unknown if it was the warden himself, or Blackerly. That they'd all been sent in to investigate. Now that they found proof that it was Blackerly, they could now see justice prevail. It wouldn't be a barter for freedom since it had been a ruse to begin with. They'd stay around long enough to make sure Blackerly was branded as well, to make sure that the Warden wasn't in on it as well so he'd have to be the one to brand Blackerly.

There's no way that they'll be able to figure out that the documents are a fake short of a high level divine spell. As I said, their rolls were monstrous. The linguistics check for forgery was a 38 in total.

After all of the writing was done and the map was taken, they checked the one room that they hadn't yet, Blackerly's quarters. I rolled poorly so not only was he in there, and asleep, but wasn't wearing his gear.

The whisper gnome used another of his silence spells, and they all walked right up to him, and they all beat him to a pulp with the guard clubs they'd acquired so it was mostly subdual. They striped him, redressed him in their prison garb, and tied him up. They put on the spare guards uniforms and gear, and are ready to head outside to the warden's tower.

Grumblejack's been sent back to his cell where he's to put the two dead guards in his cell, and wait for the group to come back for him. This will hopefully make things look like the guards were stupid enough to hassle the ogre, and he got the upper hand.

Right now, that's how things are. They've got everything they need on Blackerly, he'd beaten, they've got the missing gold from his strongbox and plan to use that as extra proof, they've got a sample of the filth fever food to show the warden, they've got the rotgut whiskey, and they know about the card games that are going on. Not to mention they're pretty sure that they can get at least one or two guards knocked out easily and drag their drunk hides to the warden as well.

If all goes well, they plan on having the warden escort them out personally. That way, in a few days when the inquisitor comes calling, the warden's going to have a heck of a time explaining everything.

At this point, everything seems to be going in their favor. Their bluff and forgery skills are second to none. The only thing they don't have is the password. Somehow I thinking that's going to go against them. As well, Ritcher's not going to be stupid. He's also intelligent and wise in his older years. I'm going to have him test them. If they are truly who they say they are, they'll unconditionally wear Mitra's holy symbols. There's almost no way that the anti-paladin and cleric will agree to that.

Also, the tiefling is currently against getting the ogre out. It goes against his current plans of gaining his freedom. Everyone else wants to recruit him though. They've been given a week to figure out the rest of the plan, and get everyone out. Right now they're thinking of dressing him up as a tall half-orc, and have him be the guy came to pick them up so that they could complete their investigation.

Guess we'll see what happens in a week's time.

They've still got the window, healing potion, rope, and lantern to take out of the veil.

Grand Lodge

Gary, got a question regarding the office and

the paperwork:
What exactly were they supposed to do with all that stuff to hang over Blackerly's head, and should they get bonus XP for finding that stuff out about him?


A new Game started last week for my group

Session 1:

We started using Epic Words to record our sessions, hand out xp and loot, and for me to add history, all the new or adjusted feats, spells, and magic items, as well as NPCs. Very Helpful!

Party Consists of:

Thanatos Mullus, Drow Cleric (Unholy Barrister/Infernal Apostle) With special permission since both archetypes adjusted channeling but in different ways this allowed some extra healing, also house ruled he could spontaneously swap spells to cast Infernal Healing.

Jorah the Bear, Fetchling Ranger (Going to be a version of Red Mantis Assassin) Achaekek will be a shadow devil lord that serves Asmodeus. Jorah will be forming this version of the group

Crowe, Human Sorcerer (Karmic Bloodline)

Donatello, Human Fighter He will be going into a modified version of Low Templar

Anenmur, Human Rogue Possibly going assassin later

Session 1

Our villains find themselves chained up. The soon recognize that the reputation of the place is not all they thought it would be. Anenmur gets a visit and receives the veil and the request to visit by all of his cell mates.

Taking it slow over the following day they whisper up a plan to escape while getting free. The initial part of their plan works but soon encounter resistance. Due to some high damage rolls by me, three of the five drop into negatives. But they do win and kill Blackerly and use his potion and the veil potion. Grumblejack was freed and fought and is now carrying the unconscious rogue and cleric. They have secured their building and have a little time before anyone outside the building knows they have escaped.

Despite some other sessions I have read, my group wanted to escape and didn't want to fight at all. I was thinking they would be much more vindictive. The damage dice were not on their side that night, rolling high damage for every hit I did manage didn't help their desire to make a quick exit


Third session battle report.

Spoiler:

The PC get into the Frosthamar and go to smuggle 24 tons of weapons to t he savage humanoids of the north. They get boarded by a talirean ship, the blade of St Martius, which leads to a very cinematic fight. Given the nature of PF combat, figths on board of ships often arent interesting (a knarr is 10x3 squares, a pinnace is smaller, and having 6 pc, an ogre, 6 vikings, Odenkirk, 12 sailors and a navy cptain in such space means no movent at all. So I overrided AoO and let free trips and bull rushes. In the end, that worked freat, with PC jumping from ship to ship, pushing people, and making for a good combat. the best part was when the antipaladin used his Command cruelty to order the captain to jump off the ship. He started to climb with a rope fro, a sailor, bit the summoner's Grease spell made for the night's funny moment :)

They killed easy the tritons, having a bunch of of Dex players with bows. They went to seal isle,after an argument with Odenkirk, whi ch let them know that "this is my ship, and I'm the commander in chief here". They hunted a good bunch of seals (a bloody job, I showed them pictures of a real seal hunt). They traded the Triton +1 trident and a bunch of spears for the ivory, but they mistreated the skimos on purpose disguised as Talireans).

Finally they went into Fireaxe camp (I skip the Mephit, which I plan to use with Tacitus and/or t he golem). They met there with Sakkaroth and two of his generals (Night Mane and Headtaker)
They shared a meal with Fireaxe, which they found interesting. They then decided to let the bugbears do they job with Odemkirk and his retinue. I was very pleased, as one of the players quoted a passage of The Evil descriptiom of LE alignment as his reason to do so.

The,session end with,the PC as wild hunters, arriving to Aldencross, and spending a week there gathering info. They now know the names of every captain, know about the gestalt, know the secret tunnel from the inn to the castle, know about the rookery,the mounted rangers, Tacitus work in lab, etc. They are ready to attack next week :)


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Wow, lots of actual play today, guys! Excellent.

kevin_video,

Sounds like a very cool first session. You are playing with a very exotic group of PCs. Should be interesting how that plays out...

Spoiler:

What are they to do with the documents? Really, its up to the PCs. I can imagine a scenario where they used them to blackmail Blackerly into smuggling them out of the prison. But, really, they're just there for color and perhaps a hint to point them to the stolen cash stashed under Blackerly's bed.

David,

Sounds like you had a brutal first session! Ouch! I hope their luck turns around.

Gustavo,

You covered a lot of ground in one session. Very cool. I look forward to the next report.

And thanks again for taking the time to post about your games!

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games


Yep, we are covering a lot of ground every session. I think the players are very focused in the story, we have minimum disruption from the game, and everybody try to give ideas to solve things. This is a very good AP, I'd like to thank you once again.

They're having a blast, and the best parts are yet to come, they've just started to open the Pandora Box of evilness. I can't wait to see what they'll do with Call Forth Darkness :)

Also helps a lot to start the campaign once I've read most the books. I'm making guest star appearences all the time (Dissiter, Grigori, Nightmane, Solomon Tyreth...) and all the players have backgrounds that involve some of the NPC (once of them was captured by Balin, there's another with a grudge against Father Donnaghin, some other is an ex-soldier from Valtaerne, and so on). This AP has a lot of vivid and living NPC, and making them to appear more than once, and not only in combat scenes, is incredibly powerful tool for the game. It's much more "evil" to kill people who actually have lives, hopes, desires, etc, than simply killing "yet another guy in plate armor". Awesome NPC, indeed.

Grand Lodge

Fire Mountain Games wrote:

kevin_video,

Sounds like a very cool first session. You are playing with a very exotic group of PCs. Should be interesting how that plays out...

** spoiler omitted **

Gary McBride
Fire Mountain Games

Very exotic. They wanted to all play things that were essentially as evil as possible. So of course tiefling, succubus, and red dragons were probably the easiest to go for. The others just fell on the wrong path. Not that they hate it or anything. >:D

This is their plan with the found paperwork and money:
As per their e-mail this morning:
- Finish forging documents to prove their innocence, and that the whole thing had been a ruse to flesh out the rumours of declining prison conditions since the new Warden took office. The papers will say that they're devout followers of Mitra, and they're a special A-Team ops group that were chosen because of their special heritage, making them perfect double agents for infiltration.
- The gambling winnings will be kept, but any money that's been skimmed from the prison will be put with the paperwork, filth fever food, and rotgut whiskey.
- Disguise the ogre as a half-ogre or large half-orc special forces (a few of them have seen Sir Balin) and have him be the escort that came to get them.
- Escort Blackerly in prison garb to the Warden's tower.
- Show the paperwork to anyone who tries to stop them, and let them go with them if they desire to the Warden. Show the Warden the paperwork, and let him know that despite being in the position of power, the guards were blackmailed into not telling him anything, and that they are innocent for the most part, and that the Warden too is innocent, if only guilty of gullibility and being too trusting of his sergeant. That he should have taken a more active role as the current warden.
- The conditions will be that the warden personally brands the sergeant for his crimes, and let the "special ops" witness this.
- The inquisitor will still be coming in three days, but to come looking for the guilty party. If the party hadn't found out who it was, they'd have been given a pardon for their crimes by the King anyways.
- Two guards are then to escort Blackerly to his cell, while the Warden gives the party back their gear and the wizard's familiar. Then, they'll be on their way. When the inquisitor comes, the warden is to personally hand him the paperwork signed by the tiefling stating that the group recognizes that the Warden is innocent of direct circumstances that lead to the downfall of Branderscar.

It's very sound. As I said in my prior update, I see nothing wrong with their plan, and with their combined intelligence, I've let them know that they don't personally see anything wrong either.

I'm sure I'll come up with something by Sunday though. Like Warden test just how devout they are.

Afterwards, they plan on laughing all the way to the manor house.


Dunno, but I've the feeling that no paper in the world will make Solomon Tyreth to believe that a Succubus is a follower of Mitra. That idea might work (with some inherent difficulties) with a group of humans, but I think the more zealot side of the Mitran Church will burn in a pyre any devil tainted creature, whatever a paper says. Specially if the Inquisitor has access to spells like Zone of Truth, Augury, Detect Evil, etc.

But if you and your group think it's cool, go for it. In my vision of Talingarde's Church, I don't think that would work. Honestly, I don't think it would work, even if it were true instead of forged.

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Dunno, but I've the feeling that no paper in the world will make Solomon Tyreth to believe that a Succubus is a follower of Mitra. That idea might work (with some inherent difficulties) with a group of humans, but I think the more zealot side of the Mitran Church will burn in a pyre any devil tainted creature, whatever a paper says. Specially if the Inquisitor has access to spells like Zone of Truth, Augury, Detect Evil, etc.

But if you and your group think it's cool, go for it. In my vision of Talingarde's Church, I don't think that would work. Honestly, I don't think it would work, even if it were true instead of forged.

It's not for Solomon. It's for the Warden, Ritcher. They have no idea that Solomon's the one coming. No one really does. They just know that the executioner is coming. That's it.

With an Int of 21, the warden's not stupid. He'll be curious to say the least. It's just I don't really know how.


Hey Gary, and whoever else feels my pain,

First time posting here in regards to Book I. I am in the final act, and I'm starting to struggle to know how to help my party know what options to take. They've managed to kill two captains unscathed, but almost had a tpk tonight after killing Father Donnagin, with our Archer (fighter) being the only survivor. It seems as though it's literally impossible for anything to go on in town, as alert is so high they're sure to be swarmed within two minutes of being noticed. The party has been reduced to finding clever ways to draw out individual NPC's and kill them off, but at this point it's almost impossible for anyone important to go out without ten escorts, which ends up costing the party in open combat.

Giuseppe is done, Mott's wife is forever stuck in the keep since her lover was slain, the troupe is no longer a possibility, and the party afraid to start an encounter in town.

How could they possibly get into the keep now, assassinate, and get out unnoticed?

How could they have an encounter in town and be successful at total lockdown?

I don't feel it's my job to come up with the answers for them, but I want ideas in case I'm feeling generous. With my meta knowledge, it's hard for me to be objective about what actions I would take were I in their shoes.

Grand Lodge

I don't really see a whole lot of options, truthfully. I guess there's always the poison blow dart sniper job where you can do a Diplomacy check about certain NPCs doing various rounds every day at the same exact time, and take shots at them from way up high.

They might have to remain low during the day and do everything at night.

If they've still got time, there's nothing wrong with them laying low until the heat dies down a bit.

That is a troubling situation.


Thanks for keeping up on our Pbp Gary!

Do you think if you age her a few years that Amber Heard would work as a suitable visual for Tiadora?


Kybryn:
Have they found the tunnel to the castle in Lord's Dalliance? Have they found the Arsenic (or wolfbane)?
Even if Mamma's stew is no longer an option, they might try to poison the well in the castle, with a bit of help from your side. Even if it normally wouldn't work, you could push it a little bit and make it to have more success than normally expected. You could let it to work better than suggested in the book, allowing for 4d10 dead soldiers, and maybe one of the npc (like the Rookery guy).
Also, you could let them to start the fire (there are two good spots for it in the castle), and rule that the fire goes wild and burns half the castle.

I'm using Dark Favor points (which are bassically Hero Points, but for bad guys). I let my players to spend them to reroll bad rolls and such (standard hero point thing), but also to make the dark lords favor them. Things like the fire going wild, and such. This helps to avoid the party to get stuck.

Other option is just to launch the bugbear attack, and let them to fight Havelyn or whatever other survivor there is during the assault. Or allow the horde of bugbears to defeat the castle no matter of what, just with higher casualties, and adjust from that. Just don't let the campaign die because the players had a few bad rolls in a given combat.


kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Dunno, but I've the feeling that no paper in the world will make Solomon Tyreth to believe that a Succubus is a follower of Mitra. That idea might work (with some inherent difficulties) with a group of humans, but I think the more zealot side of the Mitran Church will burn in a pyre any devil tainted creature, whatever a paper says. Specially if the Inquisitor has access to spells like Zone of Truth, Augury, Detect Evil, etc.

But if you and your group think it's cool, go for it. In my vision of Talingarde's Church, I don't think that would work. Honestly, I don't think it would work, even if it were true instead of forged.

It's not for Solomon. It's for the Warden, Ritcher. They have no idea that Solomon's the one coming. No one really does. They just know that the executioner is coming. That's it.

With an Int of 21, the warden's not stupid. He'll be curious to say the least. It's just I don't really know how.

It's not just a matter of intelligence. It's a mater of zealotry. Although Richter is not a zealot, a lot of other people in Talingarde are. It doesn't matter if they don't have Int 21 (actually, that make the things worse), they will just *refuse* to believe that a succubus is innocent, period. Even if it were true, and the succubus, the tiefling, and the half red dragon were actually innocent of those crimes, in my vision of Talingarde's inquisition, they'll burn in a pyre.

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:
It's not just a matter of intelligence. It's a mater of zealotry. Although Richter is not a zealot, a lot of other people in Talingarde are. It doesn't matter if they don't have Int 21 (actually, that make the things worse), they will just *refuse* to believe that a succubus is innocent, period. Even if it were true, and the succubus, the tiefling, and the half red dragon were actually innocent of those crimes, in my vision of Talingarde's inquisition, they'll burn in a pyre.

I don't know. Talingarde's bad, but it's not completely racist. Solomon for sure, but this is the time of Markadian V The Brave, as opposed to Markadian IV The Zealot. I see the current king asking the nation to be a little more open-minded. He's written as not being as hardcore as his father, and a little more open to everyone being accepting of Mitra. This was the case of Markadian I, who allowed all religions. The new generation will be like The Brave. The older generation, not so much. They grew up with The Zealot.

Ritcher won't accept things blindly. He'll test them. If they pass, he'll accept things. Especially when presented with so much evidence against Blackerly and how bad things are around the prison due to his ignorance.

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

Kybryn: could you maybe introduce a suspect to take the fall for the PC's so that the alert level drops? Make it easy for the PCs to frame an NPC or group of them?

I also like the fire and poisoning the well ideas.


Kybryn wrote:

Hey Gary, and whoever else feels my pain,

How could they possibly get into the keep now, assassinate, and get out unnoticed?

My party's in a bit of trouble also, but not a TPK yet.

They first collected info in town and discovered the secret door. First time they went in to the keep a little bit and scouted as much as they could without fighting anyone or being discovered

2nd) they tracked down the scouting party outside of the keep and took 1 captain down.

3rd) they returned to the keep and went up to the Rookery and took it out.

4th) they found out about the Captain fooling around and instead of framing them they ambushed and killed them one by one on the road between the city and the town. But they were seen and this put the Keep on high alert.

5th) The inn keeper saw them using the secret door so the party decided to kill him. His wife reported it to the castle and Lord Havelyn came down to investigate with Father Doonigan(sp?) the part tried to take them out and after 2 rounds of combat decided it was more prudent to run.

With a number of unsolved deaths in town and eye witnesses to some of them I decided that the town would start getting scared and some of the wealthier folks left town and some shops closed up, dropping the town totals and reducing the parties ability to buy items and spells.

6th) they decided to attack some merchants leaving town and attacked a shop that was selling magic items. This effectivly shut down the town, eveyone ran to the keep for protection or left town. The party no longer has access to any items or spells for sale.

7th) they came in through the secret passage and decided to attack the barracks. Thee were 2 Players with one level of evil cleric, so they used silence, damaging bursts, and coup de gras to try and kill as many sleeping guards as possible. They took out about 15 of them but they soon found themselves beset by dozen of guards. 3 of the 5 party members were able to escape. 2 went down to negative hit points but instead of being killed they were captured and stabalized for questioning.

8th) The 3 remaining party members used invisibility, levitate, silence, and locate object they scaled the outer keeps wall at night, and walked along it a bit to triangulate where their jailed comrades were. Once they determined they were in the mid levels of the keep they took out a couple more guards and ran off.

That is where we stand, All 4 captains killed, the rookery taken out, 35 or so of the regular garrison killed. 2 players captured and in cells, and no player deaths yet.


kevin_video wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
It's not just a matter of intelligence. It's a mater of zealotry. Although Richter is not a zealot, a lot of other people in Talingarde are. It doesn't matter if they don't have Int 21 (actually, that make the things worse), they will just *refuse* to believe that a succubus is innocent, period. Even if it were true, and the succubus, the tiefling, and the half red dragon were actually innocent of those crimes, in my vision of Talingarde's inquisition, they'll burn in a pyre.

I don't know. Talingarde's bad, but it's not completely racist. Solomon for sure, but this is the time of Markadian V The Brave, as opposed to Markadian IV The Zealot. I see the current king asking the nation to be a little more open-minded. He's written as not being as hardcore as his father, and a little more open to everyone being accepting of Mitra. This was the case of Markadian I, who allowed all religions. The new generation will be like The Brave. The older generation, not so much. They grew up with The Zealot.

Ritcher won't accept things blindly. He'll test them. If they pass, he'll accept things. Especially when presented with so much evidence against Blackerly and how bad things are around the prison due to his ignorance.

Well, everybody's vision of Talingarde is different. Yes, Markadian V isn't as much a racist as IV was. That's why, in my vision, Markadian V won't burn a half-orc in a pyre only for being half orc. But a SUCCUBUS??? Cam'on... It's a unholy creation of the infernal planes. A fiend. There's no redemption for demons and devils, and there's no mercy for them. At least, not in my vision. When I read about Solomon Tyreth, or Harkon, or any other of the Mitra's Inquisitors, I don't see any of them forgiving A DEMON. No matter how high their bluff is, or how good the forgery of the papers is. Even more, IF the succubus were REALLY innocent, they'll burn her anyways.

I can see how they can go against Blackerly, for being tainted and corrupted. I just can't see how they'll forgive a DEMON, or believe they are innocent because a paper says so. But that's me, it's your campaign, and whatever makes your players happy will work :)

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

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Play report!

Spoiler:
Ok - the kids took a short rest, taking advantage of the illness to retire early and wake before dawn. Balentyne was short handed, so guard rotations were light, and they easily snich into the quarters of Mott, Eddarly, and B...the other guy? Anyway.. The bard disguised as Father Donnagin, and they proceeded to break into each captains room and in short order kill each of them. A few errant shouts were heard, but they all were along the lines of "Donnagin! What treachery is this?!" The seeds were planted. The PCs used the secret tunnel to Aldencross to hide, and when they could venture forth again, just before sunrise, they stepped into the chapel. Immediately confronted by a very loud Lantern Archon, they panicked, dropped their alchemists fire (Bringing Asmodeus' holy flames to the vile chapel of thine enemy!) A protracted battle in the hallways occurred, and though they have slain the archon(s), the jig is kind of up. They will not be able to sneak to Lord Havelyn's room and dispatch him by night as they had hoped, and are now on the run.

Luckily for them, as the archon died, the holy seal of Mitra, the great sunburst, split, 5 cracks appearing along it in a star formation. The chapel was consumed with fire, and thus consecrated with the blood of 9 archons - symbolic of the 9 hells! - it became now a chapel of Asmodeus. Tiadora's voice rang out in their ears, congratulating them, and offering them a new boon (shamelessly lifted from this thread - the Demonic Favor (Hero Points, with the added twist that they can be spent on coincidental favors - like "I need that door to be unlocked for this to work", but it only works if they door has not been already proven to be locked.

Now, the secret is still safe, because the new temple to Asmodeus will burn any evidence of the desecration before it is able to be put out (The seal for example will be just ashes, consumed by it's own unholy flames) - Asmodeus understands the need to not advertise just yet, after all.

Next week, the chapel burns, the guards are rushing to the keep, Havelyn is alerted, and the jig may be up, but for now, they are victorious, and moving things faster than ever before!

Grand Lodge

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Well, everybody's vision of Talingarde is different. Yes, Markadian V isn't as much a racist as IV was. That's why, in my vision, Markadian V won't burn a half-orc in a pyre only for being half orc. But a SUCCUBUS??? Cam'on... It's a unholy creation of the infernal planes. A fiend. There's no redemption for demons and devils, and there's no mercy for them. At least, not in my vision. When I read about Solomon Tyreth, or Harkon, or any other of the Mitra's Inquisitors, I don't see any of them forgiving A DEMON. No matter how high their bluff is, or how good the forgery of the papers is. Even more, IF the succubus were REALLY innocent, they'll burn her anyways.

I can see how they can go against Blackerly, for being tainted and...

I don't know. I grew up with Estania, who was the succubus paladin, which was pretty cool. But the PC is only HALF-succubus. She's in prison for consorting the dark powers because she was looking to find out about her lineage and who her father was. And I had it that she found him. Now she has to make a name for herself so that if she ever comes to Hell, she can be at his side, and he'll be at least remotely proud of her doings. I was very careful about that because you said, a base race succubus would likely get zero mercy regardless. It's the same for a tiefling. They're only 1/4 demon or devil. That one quarter shouldn't automatically mean they're inherently evil and should be immediately burned.

That being said...:
I have no intention of just letting the players just walk out of the prison. The paperwork is perfect, so the guards themselves are going to be leery of it, especially when they see that they too are on the sheet, but marked as "innocent" of wrongdoings as they were being blackmailed by Blackerly, and afraid of his power. The guards know this to be only partially true, but they'll go with it if it means they get to keep their jobs, and one of them might even replace Blackerly. The guards might be LG, but they're still going to look out for their own hides.

The Warden on the other hand, was around during the time of The Zealot. He's not one himself, but his intelligence and age makes him very wise to things. He knows that one of the group was brought to Branderscar for forgery and another for fraud. While he might not be able to figure out whether or not the paperwork is legit or not, he doesn't need to. He has other ways to make the PCs trip over themselves and expose the lie. For one, the password. They don't know it. They don't even know that there could be one. The very second they can't give it, they're done.


Today was holiday in Spain, so we have an extra game session this week :)

Battle report 4th chapter.

Spoiler:

The players learned a few extra things about the captains. They learnt that the Magister is buying ice from the north to adventurers, and the necromancer in the group has discovered that that kind of ice is used for building Ice Golems. They offered (disguised as adventurers) to bring ice for him

They finally learn that Eddarly and Kaitlin are in love, and they buy arsenic. They also infiltrate into Barnabus' room, and find a map of the castle. They also become friends of the dwarf, who tells them (drunk) about a seal that traps the barracks.

They ambush Varning in his patrol, and kill all of his men. They also interrogate and torture Varning, before they kill him, discovering a few extra things about the castle.

They infiltrate in the castle, through the secret tunnel, and using disguise, go to the entrance and sabotage the scalding sand murder holes.

They also tell Franz Mott, disguised (with a roll of 37!!) as an angry lover, that Eddarly is having affairs with his wife. Franz kills Eddarly, and then flees. They almost convince him to become asmodean, and he is now jailed in Havelyn's tower, they'll have a chance later, maybe.

All in all, they have discovered about the ice golem, the lantern archons, they have sabotaged part of the dwarven work, they have killed Varning, Mott and Eddarly, and they now know when Iron Sam goes to dinner with his brother, they plan to ambush him in the night, in the mile that goes from Aldencross to Balantyne.

They have killed 3 captains, 10 soldiers, sabotaged a few items, they have a plan for a 4th captain, they also have a plan to try to kill the MAgister, and they are infiltrating in the night to disable the rest of the siege engines. They still have no idea how to kill Brother Donnaguin, or Havelyn, or when to destroy the Rookery, but they are advancing and, for now, nobody in Aldencross think the town is in danger. It looks ok for now :)


Game session #2

Spoiler:

Having controlled the main building they begin to secure it and search it for anything useful. They found the two servants in the kitchen and got the password and green cloak as well as food in exchange for only locking them up in their cell and not killing them. They searched the chests in the guard's room and found two potions (I decided I would allow mulitple 20 rolls since I had done so much damage and actually rolled it twice). They opened the supply room and then Blackerly's office and room. One of the characters was a supply officer who skimmed and he figured out Blackerly was skimming. They found his stash and took it.

Using the potions they found they only had one man down, the dark elf. They used disguise on Grumblejack to make it look like he was the guy getting firewood and put the dark elf in a wheelbarrow and covered him up (I figured if he went out into the woods he probably got more than a couple pieces of wood.) Everyone else dressed in guard uniforms and the fetchling appeared human. They wove a story about getting punished by Blackerly to have to escort the guy to get firewood in the wee hours of the morning. The guard accepted it and off they went.

They had the map and the ranger and as they went through the swamp got attacked by the frog. Tense moment since everyone was very low on hps and down one cleric, the ranger rolled a crit and the frog only hit once for minimum damage making the fight go quickly. They tracked the frog back to its lair and found the loot.

They pushed on to the manor and I had the hounds barking behind them to create some tension, but they arrived at the manor safely. During their three days I had Sir Balin and his squire show up while they watched Tiadora easily talk circles around him, giving them a taste of Blain as well as showing them they shouldn't mess with her. (Right now they are more afraid of her than Thorn!). They had the intro with Thorn as well as interaction with the 7th knot. It was time for the nine lessons when we stopped.

They are loving it so far, with great roleplaying opportunities already!


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Question: Does anyone foresee issues with Raise Dead and Resurrection type spells given the infernal pacts and contracts? Not sure if I need to spoiler this, since this seems to effectively be a GM reference thread, but just to be safe...

Spoiler:
I had been wondering about this in the back of my head since the moment I read the contract with Thorn, but especially once I read the stats for Dessiter the contract devil. I realize the pact the PCs enter into with Thorn can be distinguished from the infernal contract they can enter into with Dessiter, but the overall theme of dealing with a deity who values and trades in souls has me giving this some hard thought.

So, should the GM operate on the understanding the Thorn contract does not include a promise of the PCs' souls? What if, later, they do enter into an infernal contract? Should the GM adhere to the letter of the contract (LE after all), or allow a little leeway given the work these mortals are performing for Asmodeus? Or would a death be considered the failure of a weak servant undeserving of such a miracle?

I'm sure there's no one right way to handle this, but I'm curious what others think and if Gary cares to share any thoughts as to author's intent.

Thanks.

Edit/PS: Another question.... Anyone have thoughts or suggestions about incorporating lycanthropy into the possible mix for PC templates? We've got feats for vampires, a ritual (and substantial cost) for liches... what about werewolves and such? Any alternate rules for this anywhere? (I know about using the CR adjustment as a stand-in for a level adjustment, but I'm wondering if there are any alternate approaches.)

Grand Lodge

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SnowHeart wrote:

Question: Does anyone foresee issues with Raise Dead and Resurrection type spells given the infernal pacts and contracts? Not sure if I need to spoiler this, since this seems to effectively be a GM reference thread, but just to be safe...

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks.

Edit/PS: Another question.... Anyone have thoughts or suggestions about incorporating lycanthropy into the possible mix for PC templates? We've got feats for vampires, a ritual (and substantial cost) for liches... what about werewolves and such? Any alternate rules for this anywhere? (I know about using the CR adjustment as a stand-in for a level adjustment, but I'm wondering if there are any alternate approaches.)

I have seen this, but since my party's not there yet, I haven't actually looked too hard into what I should do. I houseruled that after their training with Thorn, they learned how to perform CPR on each other. There's a feat in Overpowered Feats that gives you Extra Lives. Three to be exact. I revised it so that as long as someone with the Heal rank was around to "revive" you within 10 minutes of you dying, you could be brought back to life that many times. This would supersede the pacts made. As well, the Diabolist is key for spellcasters as they're the most squishy. The "Hellish Soul" ability is crucial for them, and something I'll definitely consider adding to the contracts. It specifically states "If killed by any means outside of the will of Asmodeus, the archdevils, or another influential force in Hell, the diabolist can be resurrected as normal." While the class ability is forever, and practically at-will should the party have means to resurrect the fallen character, I'm giving the contract version three uses. Basically, three strikes and you're out. Asmodeus will only tolerate failure so many times. Even he understands the everyone has an off day. Three? No, you're weak and insignificant.

As for lycanthropy, there's belladonna here and there in the campaign (namely at the beginning) so having wererats or werebears definitely wouldn't be out of the ordinary. If I were to implement it, I'd have them give up two feats. There's a Rite Publishing book to get my reference better, Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Le Loup Solitaire, after an alpha pack leader werewolf. I'd also suggest looking up "Curse of the Moon" by Sean K. Reynolds as he tells you how you should best deal with it in game. There's even racial class levels for lycanthropes.

First feat: Afflicted Shapechanger. This gives the PC the transformation ability to turn into whatever animal form they were afflicted or born with, giving them the shapechanger subtype (this is important because rangers don't get that as a favored enemy). The transformation takes one full round, but they can only transform at night. The light of the full moon changes this to a move action. As well, they gain low-light vision, +2 natural armor, +2 Wis, and a feat that the original animal has (ie. weapon focus [bite] from wolf, etc).

Second feat: Lycan. This allows the lycanthrope to transform at any point during the day, without the need of the moon, as a swift action. In the presence of the moon (full, half, quarter, new) it's done as a free action. They get empathy towards their animal brethren as a ranger of their level, DR 5/silver, and two more feats of their animal affliction. They also gain access to their animal hybrid form. While in hybrid form, they can speak.

The Last Feat would have to be Alpha Pack Leader. This gives you +2 to all six ability scores, and allows the PC to take HD levels of the animal that he's afflicted with, which will also give them more bonuses to stats and natural armor. Use this web enhancement as an example. Finally, they gain DR 10/silver. They can also curse other people with their disease. Gain the ability to speak in all forms. During a full moon, they gain 10 temporary hp.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks, kevin. Some great ideas there.


Yet another session :)

Spoiler:
After knowing about his healing order, they decided to lure Brother Donnaghin to the nearest thorpe, using the arsenic to simulate a cholera outburst and make him to go to heal the villagers. They tried to ambush the party, but they decided to attack by night, so two guards, after Donnaghin discovering it is poison, go to tell it to Balantyne. The players' ambush create a massacre and kill Donnaghin, his accolytes, and several guards, plus Brother Donnaghin.

But they now know that the Castle is going to know something is happening. They decide to push and make as much damage as possible that night, before the guard is doubled and Lord Havelyn starts to interrogate every newcomer in Aldencross. So they infiltrate, kill a few guards, destroy a couple ballistas, kill Mad Martin and the Rookery, start a fire (the arrow store) to create a diversion, and then go to the main tower, where they find Magister Tacitus and his Golem (plus the ice Mephit, which I didn't use a couple levels ago). The fight is tough, Tacitus uses the golem as a meat wall, and cast ice storm (which really surprise the PC, who were hoping for a level 5-6 caster at best). That heals the Golem (and removes the slow from the Magus Shocking Grasp, and the golem is close to kill two characters when it explodes. The fight is long, with Web, Stoneskin and flame shield protecting Tacitus, but a very soon readied Blindess spell make himm much less able to fight. The group summoner tries a very difficult disarm against Tacitus wand (he rolls 20!!) and that is the end of Tacitus. The fight took a bit more (due to Stoneskin), but they finally kill him, swarmed by a lot of summoned dogs pileing him with trips, while blind.

The session finish with a giant bucket brigade trying to control the fire in the arrow store, the PC in Tacitus Lab, and being quite wounded and almost spell-less (but with a fireball wand). They now can try to assault Lord Havelyn (who they suspect he's now armored), or retreat to safety for a while, to attempt to recover. Things are getting harder, as their subterfuge work is no longer possible. They still should kill Havelyn, Iron Sam, the Lantern Archons, and sabotage a few things (at the very least, downing the bridge). Next sunday is going to be hard

Grand Lodge

SnowHeart wrote:
Thanks, kevin. Some great ideas there.

Just glad that they're viably good for use. I'm sure the vampires and liches would scream bloody murder at the fact that there's only three feats, but I look at it this way: 3.5 version was 3 Level Adjustments, so 3 feats. Vampires are 8 LA, and liches are 4 LA. Less feats for less abilities. Makes sense to me.


kevin_video wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:


Edit/PS: Another question.... Anyone have thoughts or suggestions about incorporating lycanthropy into the possible mix for PC templates? We've got feats for vampires, a ritual (and substantial cost) for liches... what about werewolves and such? Any alternate rules for this anywhere? (I know about using the CR adjustment as a stand-in for a level adjustment, but I'm wondering if there are any alternate approaches.)

As for lycanthropy, there's belladonna here and there in the campaign (namely at the beginning) so having wererats or werebears definitely wouldn't be out of the ordinary. If I were to implement it, I'd have them give up two feats. There's a Rite Publishing book to get my reference better, Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Le Loup Solitaire, after an alpha pack leader werewolf. I'd also suggest looking up "Curse of the Moon" by Sean K. Reynolds as he tells you how you should best deal with it in game. There's even racial class levels for lycanthropes.

First feat: Afflicted Shapechanger. This gives the PC the transformation ability to turn into whatever animal form they were afflicted or born with, giving them the shapechanger subtype (this is important because rangers don't get that as a favored enemy). The transformation takes one full round, but they can only transform at night. The light of the full moon changes this to a move action. As well, they gain low-light vision, +2 natural armor, +2 Wis, and a feat that the original animal has (ie. weapon focus [bite] from wolf, etc).

Second feat: Lycan. This allows the lycanthrope to transform at any point during the day, without the need of the moon, as a swift action. In the presence of the moon (full, half, quarter, new) it's done as a free action. They get empathy towards their animal brethren as a ranger of their level, DR 5/silver, and two more feats of their animal affliction. They also gain access to their animal hybrid form. While in hybrid form, they can speak.

The Last Feat would have to be Alpha Pack Leader. This gives you +2 to all six ability scores, and allows the PC to take HD levels of the animal that he's afflicted with, which will also give them more bonuses to stats and natural armor. Use this web enhancement as an example. Finally, they gain DR 10/silver. They can also curse other people with their disease. Gain the ability to speak in all forms. During a full moon, they gain 10 temporary hp.

Those are some fine feats there, thanks for sharing them. I assume that they're your own inventions?

Grand Lodge

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Those are some fine feats there, thanks for sharing them. I assume that they're your own inventions?

They are, if you can consider them that. I took from various resources.

As I'd mentioned, looking up the Curse of the Moon book, as well as Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Le Loup Solitaire, not to mention the lycanthropy templates from WotC, this just made sense for me. Granted it's also the first time I've never made a homebrew feat. The fact that this worked out as well as it did surprises me. And makes me happy. :D

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