5-99 The Paths We Choose, funny stories

GM Discussion

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Alright, despite some editing errors and weird map choices, I had a blast running this, and I believe my players did in playing it. Highlights and spoilers follow.

Taldor mission. I love how sandboxy the mission is. A bit of disavowing the mission and sidelong glances, and the party is off to the warehouse. Having run Cyphermage again Saturday, I had some warehouse ideas since they decided to do alterations at the warehouse, and cover it with a robbery. And they made a point of not killing the guards!

The heckling went well. I explained the mechanic, then told everyone, "Come up with a fun story that amuses me, and I'll give you a circumstance bonus." needless to say, the fact that I couldn't get through the speech w/o the group heckling means they all got into it.

The Osirion mission was straight forward. About the most fun I had was them tossing the halfling archerologist in first, her failing the perception check, and then the will save. The players ran with the description of the effects and thought she was possessed, when the wizard made a knowledge check for "What might have possessed her like this?" I answered the question honestly. :-) It wasn't until she was tied up and detect magic was cast that they realized it wasn't a possession. (That the halfling is crazy helped).

Finally the Sczarni/Qaderia mission. I substituted some of the NPCs for local Sczarni characters (my own, and not at the table) since they're wallpaper, it helped put faces to the family. The players did a good job of figuring the poem out, and thought to hire a sailor. I was disappointed at the mechanics. It seems rather easy to kill Guaril, and if not for a high level caster playing down, they'd have had a tougher fight. The 'mass skill checks' are going to be difficult for an entire party to pass, as it was they failed only one, but purely because they a) had that 7th level wizard in a low tier game and b) they hired the sailor. I like scenarios that impact the campaign timeline, but this seems REALLY biased to kill everyone's favourite Godfather wannabe.

All in all, despite the editing and formatting errors, it is enjoyable.

For GMs, I suggest 'borrowing' other PCs for background. My players were amused at the refernces to my PCs, and a couple others. (Though I forgot the chance for a gnome joke, sorry!)

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

My best story comes from the Taldor/Sovereign Court mission. I described one of the paintings as having the noble holding a Glabrezu's severed head by the horns. They changed it to a turkey leg, with him in armor that was popping under the strain of containing his girth.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My character Skelter was killed during the Exchange mission by a Cone of Cold from the baddie. He would have been ok if he hadn't already taken damage from the Devilfish. Guaril, you gotta think things through, no wonder you're not in charge anymore. Skelter isn't even part of the exchange, he joined the Osirion faction after the Shadow Lodge disbanded, and has now cast his lot with Tehonkepsu's Scarab Sages by returning as Skelter The Risen :)

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵

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I am spoilering these, in case someone should happen to peek. This thread is not marked as having spoilers.

Silver Crusade and The Exchange Missions:
"After saving Guaril from his own impulsiveness, by choosing to grant him the healing touch from my patron, Abadar, I then was able to engage the vile devilfish myself. Had it not been for the healing granted, he surely would have died.

"But, that is not my story.

"An ever-faithful member of the Silver Crusade, I was tasked by Lady Ollysta Zadrian to rescue three Mendevian Crusaders from a slaver's auction block. As we are to be ever cognizant of the laws of the land, we could not free them by force, but the Lady had bought our way into the slavers auction. Discussing it with my companions, we thought that the coins we had been given would not be sufficient due to the nature of the auction. So, one of my fellows said he would go out and persuade some of the other auction attendees to donate funds to our righteous cause.

"On the first bid, he had returned with an additional donation of 2 of the special coins, which we immediate put into our bid to win the first crusader his freedom. Before the second, he proved his powers of persuasion, coming back with a full 25 coins! We then had more than sufficient funds to allow us to purchase the other two, without risk of being outbid.

"It is too bad that the miscreant that we had learned might be our chief competitor in the bidding felt the need to ambush us in the ally. I did give his henchmen the chance to atone for their sins, but they chose to die by our hands rather than to face the just punishment of the law."
This is the story, as told by Magnus Landros, Paladin of Abadar. In reality, his friend (RainyDayNinja's Magus) had his familiar pickpocket the money, but he was never told the actual source.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Magnus Landros wrote:

I am spoilering these, in case someone should happen to peek. This thread is not marked as having spoilers.

** spoiler omitted **

All threads in the GM Discussion forum have an implicit spoiler tag.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Best painting conversions I've heard of (not all are from my table)

#1: The players changed the painting of Lord Minovitas standing triumphantly over a slain demon into basically a political cartoon. With the portly lord oppressively standing over a gathering of Taldan peasants, while Lady Gloriana Morilla shielded them with her body.

#2: Casting erase on a painting and then taking out a set of halfling finger-paints and doing childish doodles on the blank canvas. "I put stick figures and daisies on it with a happy sun!"

#3: One of the paintings was Minovitas looking down over a sea of battle, where an army of demons clashed against a wave of Taldan steel. They removed Minovitas's clothes, gave him a short sword (in a matter of speaking), and edited the demons and crusaders to be pointing and laughing at the lord.

#4: Another painting was Minovitas praying humbly before a statue of the Inheritor. They did a quick photoshop edit, changing Minovitas into the statue and Iomedae into the one grovelling at his feet. Blasphemous as it was, no one worshiped the deity in question so we all had a good chuckle.

#5: There was one where Minovitas was fighting a dretch, and they just did a simple faceswap. Putting the Taldan gentry's face on the slimy, disgusting body of the fiend.

#6: From an erased painting, Minovitas in caricature pulling a wagon with a bit (like an oxen) that was overflowing with bars of gold. Behind him, a flock of Taldan aristocracy followed, picking up the scraps.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

We had particular fun with the Silver Crusade mission. Beforehand we scrounged a bit to find some more coins. Even so, when the 8 coin minimum bid was explained, that looked rather tricky to us, especially after we learned the bid would be spent even if it succeeded or not.

We scanned the crowd looking for our main opponent, got three possible hits. First round we bid 12, so did someone else, and someone got 11. All of us were trying to get a sense of the manners of all the other bidders so that we'd be better able to guess their bids in subsequent rounds.

Next round we bid 13 and won the bid; we now managed to identify our true adversary as the guy that won the previous round.

The third round was a nice young girl that wasn't on The List. Enemy wasn't looking like he was going to bid. We were down to 11 coins. Two likely bidders were a pervy-looking guy and a decent-looking older lady. So after some consultation we sent someone to offer the lady three coins to aid her bid. She won the bid by one coin, and we heaved a sigh of relief.

But now we had only 8 coins left and were in trouble. Our wizard/gunslinger/tiefling meanwhile was hidden behind the bad guy and cast Memory Lapse on him at a critical moment, causing him to forget to bid. There were some other people who looked like they might bid, but this is when we used some Intimidate to give them The Look, causing them to back off. (We had quite a few scary people in the party.)

So, with two slaves in tow, we split the party. Our sneaky types would trail the bad guys to see where he'd hold the last slave, while we'd stash the others at the Grand Lodge for safekeeping.

So cue our not-entirely-surprise when they moved in to ambush our main party; but our sneaky types were behind them. So we hit them from both sides and easily won the right.

At the beginning, the whole adventure was introduced as "you're back in Absalom after victory in Mendev for some R&R". Since we had a pretty strong party, we basically treated the entire adventure like that; "oh, this is nice. A short fight in the morning against something, then some social events in the afternoon."

I thought the epilogue talks after each mission were nice enough and did the job of summarizing where the faction would be going next, but all in all I'd expected the adventure to be epic and set in Mendev. No harm done though; it was a nice lark.

The rest of the weekend we went on to play Trial by Machine, Technic Siege and Silver Mount Collection, with mostly the same party, so this was also a nice teambuilding mission for us.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As one of the people who played the entire weekend together with Ascalaphus I can agree on the teambuilding stuff.

The Osirion mission felt a bit out of place, like a tacked on sewer/dungeon crawl (Thank Shelyn for Sleeves of Many Garments). It was a lot of fun though:
Both the ranger and rogue both managed to spot the trap and with some teamwork it was disabled. While we were inside there was some kind of ambush which consisted of a surprise round and 2 players in a round. Two of us (me and a wizard) failed our perception checks, so when the rest drew weapons and moved towards the opening we were like: "Why are you drawing weapons? What's going on?" After which we were hit by a sound burst and ofcourse the two of us failing our saves while the rest succeeded. Cue a monk using stunning fist on the person who cast the soundburst followed by a critical hit which dropped him and the paladin who delivered the blow shouting to the two flunkies: "Are you willing to accept Sarenrae into your hearts?" Upon which the flunkies say: "We're not being paid enough for this" and ran away.

The Dark Archive mission which we also did was fairly nice but short, thanks to a few hard hitters and a true striked whip grapple to prevent the thing from moving into the deeper darkness areas.

The Silver Crusade mission has been summarized nicely by Ascalaphus.
I loved being able to use Knowledge: Local and my Thieves' Guild vanity to find a few more coins before entering the auction.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Yeah, finishing the Osirion mission with one decisive No-Dachi critical was neat. But the auction minigame was the highlight of the adventure for me, wacky as it may be. I was really trying to game-theory the thing - what should we do?! It was cute.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Word of advice for mustering: do not seat exchange and dark archive at the same table. They seem to have the most brutal and time-consuming of the fights.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

The Dark Archive fight was the most challenging yeah, though I wouldn't call it brutal. (We had a fairly strong party though.) What made it nice was that none of the players really knew what kind of monster it was, what to expect. Clearly not the demons that we by now routinely chop to bits. We didn't know if it was going to have DR or suchlike. However, I don't think a single attack missed due to miss chance; we got lucky.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Ah. We had a party stuck on the ground in deeper darkness being constantly taunted for anything we did while the baddies flew around 40' up and pelted us with snowballs.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

We had an aasimar that negated the darkness, and my ifrit didn't have any trouble dealing with the miss chance thanks to magic missile and necklace of fireballs.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Oregon—Portland aka xebeche

I'm a little surprised to hear how much people enjoyed the Sovereign Court mission. After reading it I completely lost interest in running this scenario. So many "if...then" situations that I know I will miss as they come up. I also find the assignment to be beneath Lady Gloriana Morilla. It's so petty in comparison to building the army from last season.

Grand Lodge 4/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Indiana—Decatur aka Kadasbrass Loreweaver

We didn't have the Sovereign Court at our table but after reading about its mission I wish we had. Its just so different then the normal stuff. This is petty revenge that we don't see often that makes it stand out.

Its not the epic army building we did but its making an example out of those that want to steal some of that glory of those that did make it happen. The stand in paintings she already has does a nice review of whats been done this past season, specially if the gm includes the PCs in it with some of their past deeds. The number of choices the players have to accomplish their goal is what makes it so fun I feel.


My group accidentally killed the man we were sent to arrest for Andoran/Liberty's Edge. We had to desperately find a scroll of Breath of Life so we didn't fail our success condition.

Dark Archive 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lunar Sloth wrote:
My group accidentally killed the man we were sent to arrest for Andoran/Liberty's Edge. We had to desperately find a scroll of Breath of Life so we didn't fail our success condition.

My group did as well, he was the victim of an unfortunate crit while already low on life. Fortunately, I was the only Liberty's Edge player at the table, and I had a boon from another scenario that let me still get the primary prestige point I would otherwise miss, since we met the criteria for the secondary. If there had been more Liberty's Edge players, I suspect we would have been pooling cash for a raise dead.

Dark Archive 5/5

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The home group encountered the Grand Lodge mission first.

One of the players was running Anora, the archanist. She cast summon pit beneath one of the hungry dead, went to the edge to get a better view, and promptly fell in. The Oread brawler lept into the air, landing on the ooze, catapulting the halfling into the air, hitting the ceiling.

In the Exchange mission, she did the same thing under a Devilfish, getting pulled into the pit by the squid.

I've read and reread the description of the spell several times. I still don't know how it attracts halflings.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Minnesota—Minneapolis aka Silbeg

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I ran this scenario last Saturday, with Dark Archive, Liberty's Edge, and Silver Crusade. The players seemed to have a good time of it.

The story has to do with the DA Summoner, and the SC paladin. Zarta took the opportunity to ask a favor of the summoner after he was raised from the dead (having died to a second crit from a longspear during the SC mission.

I have never RPed Zarta in such a devilish way.. Suggestion after suggestion to the pally, such as wouldn't this nice pentagram look better on you than that ugly holy symbol. She suggested more than once that the pally should visit her and they could "discuss" religion and how she could bring a whole new meaning to his understanding of it. The player kept getting redder and redder, ever more uncomfortable... To the point he finally detected evil on her. His pally was all, "but you are evil!!!"

Her response was, "did I ever claim to be otherwise? We can still agree that Law is of the utmost importance. Plus, I KNOW I can teach you the truth about evil!"

The table broke out laughing at all of this, the Chelish summoner most of all!

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