Okay so I've run a game for RotR before, and have an older campaign journal for it, that game fell apart with the economic collapse (One Gamer lost his job and had to move for school, two others had to focus on getting their higher education completed, and the last decided to call it quits) so I haven't gamed at all in almost a year. Well as luck would have it, I finally got some people interested in playing. They're both new to the game, so I'm teaching them as we go. They are playing a Halfling Ranger, and a Half-Elf cleric. My wife also joined so she is playing a Half-Elf Paladin.
So first session begins, the Swallowtail Festival starts off with a bang, the players get their choices of starting positions either in the center where they were listening to the speeches, to the left at the lunch tables where there's free food and drink, or on the right where the butterfly cart has been released and there are children running around. The paladin and ranger go for the free food. The cleric wants to be around children. So combat begins, one goblin hidden underneath the butterfly cart, one hidden in the food stalls, and one coming in from an alley into the speech area. Goblins attack commoners in the first round and people all start panicking and running. Cleric goes for the goblin from under the cart who is attacking children and hits it, getting its attention. Kids get away from it, but one falls when running. Ranger and Paladin gang up on goblin in the food court, and a civilian goes after the one in the center. The goblins fight but attack lots of targets trying to go after children instead of fighting the bigger people, one commoner gets killed before he can run away, but it's not a hard fight and afterwards, the paladin sees smoke and immediately goes running for it, the halfling doublechecks that all the goblins are dead before following, and the cleric takes the time to check the two fallen citizens and channels energy to heal the one survivng as well as the hurt child. This causes them to get to the next scene at different points.
The Paladin gets to the burning cart and sees two people down and the goblins cheering as the fire on the cart starts to grow, she uses her surprise round to shoot a goblin, one hit kill. Then she wins initiative, and shoots another, one hit kill. The other two normal goblins start charging her while the warchanter stays back and sings. One hits her one misses. She drops her bow, draws her falchion and attacks, missing. Goblins attack, one hits one misses, the warchanter tries to daze the paladin, and fails. Paladin attacks kills one goblin. This is when the Ranger catches up and joins combat complaining that she'll be done by the time he gets a chance to do anything. He throws his starknife at the last goblin missing. Goblin sees starknife and wants it because its pretty, the AoO from the paladin kills him, leaving the warchanter. At this point the Cleric catches up, and all three gang up killing it. The paladin sets off immediately in the direction of a scream along with the Ranger. The cleric stays behind and checks the two people who had been left alive, aparently the goblins wanted to watch them burn. She pulls them from the fire and channels to heal them. Then sets off after the party.
The poor paladins luck is getting bad because she tried to heal herself with lay on hands and for three uses of lay on hands she healed 3 hp. The Ranger and Paladin get to the goblin fight and split up to go around a building and hit them from both sides. This causes the commando to go after the paladin while the gobbos try to get the halfling, although two stay behind trying to get at aldern who hides in a barrel. The halfling drops one goblin but the paladins luck got used up in the last fight and now she is missing with every attack, while I am rolling 18, 19, 17 so she wind up in the negatives, the goblin commando decides to go after the halfling now, who manages to take out a second goblin, meanwhile the cleric finally arives and starts heading towards the paladin to heal, but when two goblins go to surround her she decides to jump through a window into the house and cut through the house to get behind the commando. She takes some damage from this so she grabs a chair and smashes a window on the other side, in the meantime the goblin climbs in after her, and sees a family in the cowering in the house, goes after the family. the cleric throw her acid at the commando missing but hitting him and another gobbo with splash damage, meanwhile Aldern goes running for the paladin and starts feeding her a potion, the goblin chases after aldern, and the commando turns and attacks the cleric who because of jumping through the window was down hp and drops her. The paladin gets up and starts fighting the goblin Aldern cowering behind her the entire time. Now it's very hard to hit the ranger (AC 19) so I keep missing, and the rolls are turning bad all around. Which gives the cleric time to bleed out and die.
This marks a point where I have a decision to make, do I have a new player sit out the rest of a session and then go through the process of creating an entirely new character? Also the fight is very close to a TPK with both the ranger and paladin at low HP and the commando with about half his total. I decide to take the cleric player into the next room where I describe for her, the herald of Iomedae who warns her that the runeforges have awoken and that a great evil threatens the land, Karzoug (I named him because I know that he doesn't really come up again for a while, so throwing this bit of forshadowing in will keep her guessing. Also she has just been asking everyone "who's Karzoug" so she doesn't really have a clue and it will help me tie it all together later) She is warned that if she dies again within a year, there will be no help for her (in game terms she has one year in game that if she dies she can't be brought back with raise dead etc.) and she wakes up with half her HP restored her hair turning blue as a sign of her covenant (something the character wanted). After the cleric is up they flank the commando killing the dog and then dropping the commando while the paladin cleans up the last goblin.
Afterwards they start asking around to see if anyone knows why an attack would take place, but with no real leads, things wrap up and we end for the night.
Cast of Character Alana "the blue haired maiden": NG cleric 1. Quiet in social situations but with a natural talent for singing. Alana is a bit put off by the sudden attention being given to her. Knowing that Nualia went through something similar she tries to grin and bear it. Always looking to help those in need and see to folks injuries before rushing off to combat Alana has proven herself a charitable healer. Still unsure of herself, in the heat of battle she will often forget to cast spells and instead turn towards her martial training with her longsword.
Devlin "the roguish tracker": N ranger 1. Devlin is an adventure seeker, following where his curiosity leads. While mild tempered and a sturdy companion Devlin has a bit of a greedy streak to himself, often taking the time to rifle through pockets or sneak a peak in peoples posessions when no one is looking. Devlin likes to hang back in combat using ranged weapons but hasn't really settled on a particular favored weapon yet having tried out his trusty bow, a starknife, javelins, and his slingstaff Devlin is looking to see what works best for Devlin and hasn't quite decided yet.
Sacra Killmore "the dark knight": LG paladin 2. Sacra is the adopted daughter of one of sandpoint upper class families. She has always done the right thing, said the right thing, believed in chivalry and honor. But there is something strange about her. The chivalry, the honor, the behavior, it is all a mask, while one could say that ones actions and desires defines who one is, some say that ones true nature truly defines who one is and if that's the case then there is something truly frightening about Sacra. For she has dark desires, desires she keeps locked inside her heart. Even the most fleeting of transgression or mildest of annoyances calls to her heart for violence and murder. Not sure of the source of these dark desires Sacra has placed them in a cage of civility duty and honor, but the desires still plague her striving to break free from that cage and wreak bloody vengeance for even the most mild of transgressions. Only time will tell whether that cage can hold against the coming storm.
So our characters start to get used to the town of sandpoint at this point. Play begins with them resting for the night and the next day seeing what's up. Sacra goes to her job with Sir Jasper only to find out that her desk is covered in roses from Aldern Foxglove, with cards that say thank you for saving me and don't forget that you said you'd go on a boar hunt with me, I'll be at the Rusty Dragon Inn. She clears out her desk and begins to work when she gets a letter from the Mayor letting her know that there were some goblins that had been captured should she want to question them (she had expressed interest to the mayor at the end of the last session). She heads to the guards barracks and quickly gets frustrated by the goblins who won't stop bickering even when questioned and in fact asking questions leads to more bickering. She attempts to break up a fight by shooting a square near the fighting just to scare them, and rolls a 1, accidentally shooting one in the calf, funnily enough that makes them more co-operative but their low intelligence nets her answers like, q: where is your tribe a: the swamp, a2 (different goblin): the woods q: is that to the north, east, what? a (from all): blank stares that sense motive reveals they have no idea what north or east mean. My wife who typically plays chaotic neutral/evil characters is getting frustrated because normally by now she'd just start torturing but noooo she had to play lawful good, and going on about how she just wants to stab all the goblins and be done with it.
Meanwhile the cleric went to the church for her daily duties and finds out that the former priests body had been exhumed. She helps re-bury the empty casket, then heads off to inform sheriff Belor on father Zanthus's behalf. While on her way she bumps into the halfling she fought with the day before and for no particular reason the halfling decides to follow her around, which weirds Alana out, but she doesn't say anything as long as the Halfling isn't bothering anyone. They arrive at the barracks in the middle of the interrogation, trying to get better answers but netting similar results. Finally giving up all quoting the mantra "Goblins are stupid"
So after that they decide to meet up with Aldern in order to go on the boar hunt. It goes well enough, a couple of the mounts get hurt by the boar, but none of the PCs, I felt terrible for Alana though because she failed every single roll that combat, and you could tell she was a bit frustrated. After the hunt and feast Sacra realizes that Alderns got a bit of a fixation on her, but wrote it off as "cause I'm hot". However not ones to turn down free meals, and Aldern trying to pour on the charm and woo her, leads to them eating at the Rusty Dragon for the next three nights which is how one lady knew to run to them when a goblin attacked her son. The PCs go to investigate the cleric learning that she can cast light as many times as she wants, makes all their weapons glow. They go in and find the fathers body, pulling it out of the closet and yelling to that they want to take the goblin alive. Sacra takes her first attack and one hit kills the goblin with her falchion, apologizing to the others and saying that she should've attacked it non-lethally. Sacra and Alani go outside to tell the wife what happened but tell her not to go inside because she shouldn't have to see that. Meanwhile Devlin while they're distracted starts looking through the families stuff to find valuables, playing it off when the guards arrive as "just making sure there aren't any more goblins hiding, a bad bluff roll made up for by the fact that the guards pretty much wanted to believe him (You bet your butt he got a greed point).
So a few more uneventful days pass, when they get summoned by the guards to meet with the mayor. When they do so, they see Shelelu is back in town and have an immediate distrust for her. She tells them about the gathering tribes and when Belor says that he's going to head down to Magnimar to get more guards, they shift their distrust to him because he was going to go without any other guards. Yeesh this group is suspicious. Anywho two days later they're patrolling the town when the halfling from the Rusty Dragon lets them know Ameiko is missing. They read the letter and head for the glassworks. The cleric wants to climb to the roof and start looking for a way in, but the paladin gets impatient and heads for the back door, kicking her way in. Tsuto drunk downstairs, and the goblins already making a rukus don't notice the extra noise, neither does the cleric on the roof on the other side of the building. So the halfling and the paladin go in the back while the Cleric seeing goblins through the skylight waits for some to get underneath so that she can smash through the glass and then swing in on a grappling hook to avoid the glass. So I give a roll to see how lucky she'll get and how many wind up underneath the glass. She gets a good percentile roll so four goblins playing around are corralled into the area by the others chasing them with brands. She smashes the glass with a strength check and because it was established as thicker glass (and because of how badly she did last fight) I rolled a d6 for damage, which came up 6 so with her first action she killed half the goblins In hindsight I should've at least given a reflex save for half damage, but cest la vie.
Before this had happened though while she waited for the goblins to get underneath, the other two had by luck gone straight to the stairs downstairs and then also by luck straight to the door where tsuto was asleep litterally passing other doors choosing not to open them (I know for a fact none of them have read this AP since my wife never touches the gaming stuff unless I help her and the other two are brand new players) So with their first door they wake Tsuto and have him cornered in a 10x10 room. They don't know what he's done yet or about the goblins upstairs though so they think his letter is somewhat on the up and up, and offer that if he'll come with them and answer questions they won't harm him, he tries to set them up by pretending to act acquiescent then strike unarmed by surprise, but he misses the Ranger, the paladin wins initiative, and surprisingly enough goes for the grapple, and gets it. Tsuto fails to break free and on the next round she gets the pin while the halfling goes and ties him up.
Meanwhile Alana is upstairs taking on 4 goblins by herself, and she has a pretty close call with it, getting all the way down to 0 HP but managing to kill 2 and injure a 3rd who goes to flee, leaving the one left who had run to grab swords and then realizing that everyone else was dead and running for the tunnels only to run smack dab into the PCs coming back up the stairs. Seeing them carrying Tsuto tied up, he surrenders. The other goblin that ran comes around at this point but seeing the escape route blocked ran again and is now hiding somewhere in the building, The cleric does a quick search but the goblin is a good hider and that's where we wrapped up. The cleric and the ranger got enough XP once I threw in a little bonus RP XP for his greediness and her indiana jones style entrance to join Sacra at level 2, with two captive the rest of the glassworks to explore along with the catacombs underneath.
So what a session, unfortunately the cleric was out, so I had to RP her character. but the players did great, they took their captives to the sandpoint garrison. The town guard sends forces out to search the glassworks while the PCs attempt to interrogate Tsuto, after a few minutes the PCs are joined by Ameiko who the guards found and untied in the basement. She tells them her story, but the PCs don't trust her. They tell the guard to hold her for a while and ask if anyone in the town can cast a charm person spell since Tsuto seems willing to die, rather than divulge information (which really bugs the paladin who actually wants to fulfill his desire but can't) Anywho rather than wait while the guards summon possible townsfolk who might be able to cast the spell, they go to Ameiko's apartment, and then to Lonjiku's estate trying to find clues. They find nothing of note to help them at Ameiko's and the staff of the manor won't allow a search without proper legal paperwork which the paladin tries to pretend she has by handing a blank rolled up parchment and bluffing in hopes the servant won't actually read. Which he does and sarcastically comments that he needs paperwork with actual words on it (the paladin say OoC that she wants to kill him but she just takes back her blank paper and wishes him a good day). When the party gets back they see that the guy from the turandurok academy is trying to memorize a charm spell, but that also while they were gone a guard got hurt in the tunnels by a monster, so the PCs go back to the glassworks to explore.
They follow the directions of the guard until they get to where he was attacked and decide to pass that tunnel by, which causes them to be attacked from behind. Fortunately the halfling was bringing up the rear and his 20 AC meant that the sinspawn missed him. They make pretty quick work of the sinspawn and start exploring.
This section is actually pretty easy for the PCs the lowest party AC is 17 while the best is 20, and with the monsters having a +2 at best the party makes short work of any of the side encounters.
They first encounter the Vargouille which they all save against and then the halfling one shot kills it. Then they by random choice hit the sanctuary with Erilium in it. Now the PCs start to get flustered. The paladin decides upon seeing her to smite, but misses. The ranger hits but watches his arrow bounce off of her. The cleric not any good with ranged weapons instead goes after the sinspawn with the halflings riding dog. The fight goes on several rounds, the paladin does hit Erilium causing her to target the paladin with her spells, but thats a bad choice so she summons a goblin dog after the paladin saves from two spells in a row. This give the ranger and cleric something to fight while the paladin keeps trying to hit Erilium, all of them are getting pissed at the fact that she is so hard to hit. Erilium hits the paladin with some cause wound spells, but takes one more hit from the paladin so she goes back to range. The halfling gets out his grappling hook hoping to bring her down so the party can kill her but the paladin gets another hit and kills her.
The halfling now displays a new aspect of his character, he has taken to harvesting bits of every monster he fights. After fighting the boar during the boar hunt he took a tusk and fashioned it into a dagger. Now he takes all claws off of every sinspawn they face, he attempts to take Eriliums wings, but botches his craft taxidermy roll and mangles them. He also had the paladin put the vargouille's head in her bag. He intends to make an armor out of the sinspawn claws. The party also wants to explore possibilities of the runepool, lacking any jars or glasses the party decides to fashion a cup from the top of Erilium's Skull, the blood from her skull forms another sinspawn, which the party dispatches handily, then the party gets some blood from her body and does it again and again until the pool is drained. The halfling using this as an opportunity to harvest more and more sinspawn claws.
Now the party takes to searching the rest of the catacombs, They get to the prison where the sinspawn attack them from underneath the platform they're standing on. The Halfling uses his first round to get out a bottle of grain alchohol from his bag. he then uses a strip of his cloak and uses his second round to form a molotov cocktail while the other PCs flee the platform. The halfling lets the sinspawn attack him while the cleric calls his dog off the platform, then he uses his third round to light the thing with his tindertwig and throw it under the platform setting the sinspawn on fire, they rush out from under the platform into readied attacks by the other PCs and get taken down. The halfling harvests the claws, I don't even bother to have him roll now figuring the circumstance bonus from having done this same thing so many times now covers it.
We wrap up with the party about to enter the area in which they'll fight Korvorvus and finish off the catacombs.
So we had a shorter session this time (still running the cleric for her, she'll be back next session), the party fought Korvorvus who would attempt to bullrush characters so that they fell through the rotted doors (they could be stood on, but if tripped or pushed hard they would collapse. First round he shoves the cleric down the pit. The ranger and paladin seeing this still stand on platforms in order to melee him. Korovus almost gets the halfling in the pit, so the paladin backs up and shoots him in the back while the ranger continues to fight melee. Kovorvus rolls a 20 to knock the halfling in the pit. Then goes after the paladin who backs into a corner in order to melee without being dropped in a pit. The Halfling and the cleric fight their zombies while the paladin does a good job of whomping Korvorvus. The cleric has to channel in order to stay alive, then channels to kill the zombie, it works, but seemed a waste because the pit made it not hit anyone or thing else. So the paladin got a point of greed because even though the cleric needed the help with combat and uses a lohgsword when the paladin uses a falchion the paladin decided that since she did most of the fighting with Korvorvus she should get the magic sword.
They had some fun in the floating room with the halfling tied to a rope learning (with fly skill) to move around a room with no gravity, then they spent the rest of the session learning about the magic items available in town.
Wow, I fell out of updating this for a while, so rather than try to play catchup, I'm gonna give a synopsis of what's happened to date.
Characters cleared thistletop the ranger dying in the fight with Ripnugget. The party never found/fully explored the lower levels. Then they had a sidequest to resurrect the ranger. The party then investigated the Skinsaw Murders, defeating the ghouls and then going to Magnimar to ask permission to investigate the misgivings. When the Paladin can tell that the faceless stalker isn't really Aldern the party goes to the police, only to wind up arrested and facing Justice Ironbriar who tells them they are banished from the city, only to send the faceless stalkers to assasinate them. When that fails he tried again with some of the skinsaw men, but the party beat them back and went to the misgivings where they met up with a second group (new players) who were trying to clear out the misgivings while the PCs went to Magnimar so that they could be sandpoints new heroes. The two groups joined together and defeated Aldern, but then went to explore the house and the ranger (now being roleplayed by the paladin since the player moved away) died to the suicide haunt. We left off with them returning to sandpoint to rest for a few days before heading back to Magnimar in disguises to complete the investigation.