"57 Dice Rolls, and Nothin' On": Mirrored Moon (session 1) blow-by-blow report, 1.6 rules.

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I've previously written reports on our playtest of The Lost Star and Sombrefell Hall. We've played Pale Mountain's Shadow too, but I have not had time to clean up my notes from that.

Note: There may be mistranslations: My GM translated the scenario on the fly from English to Swedish as we played, and I translated from Swedish to kind-of-English as I wrote notes on what happened.

== Characters ==

Due some unfortunate stuff, we were unable to start with our initial three players, so us two remaining players are running two characters each, and we got a very late start on doing the playtest.

The characters were:

Arami, Cavern Elf Maestro Bard. Trip specialist with a Master's rank in Athletics, and armed with a whip, which allows her to use its finesse trait to trip with dex.

Deena, Cavern Elf Cleric of Honey, passion domain. Honey was a previous character that ascended after Rise of the Runelords. Honey is a patron of the performing arts, and for those with a generally bohemian hippie “flowers in your hair” lifestyle. Here we decided to translate Honey into the Playtest rules as a diety with the Performance skill, Fist as holy weapon (as Irori) and Domains and Spells as Shelyn.

Frag, Dwarf Fighter. Yes, that *is* an authentic Old Norse dwarf name, taken from the Völuspa of the Poetic Edda - same place Tolkien got his dwarf names. With an Adopted Ancestry: Elf, he fits in a group that otherwise is purely elven.

Keyt, Cavern Elf Rogue. Demoralization specialist, with a Demon Mask and Master's rank in Intimidation. Unfortunately, that tends to collide with the bard's Dirge of Doom.

All characters have Darkvision to allow us to sneak around easily without revealing light sources, and all are fast, thanks to Fleet, Nimble and Bounding Boots. The bard and rogue have a speed of 45, and the fighter and the cleric have one of 35.

Our playtest game has been transplanted to the World of Greyhawk, in order to tie into our GM's past and future campaigns. This means that such things as the names of deities and places have been changed.

== Setup ==

So, given that we were in Greyhawk, we met up with Keleri Deverin in the city of Rook Roost in the Buff Hills, between the Duchy of Tenh, The Rovers of the Barren, and the Bandit Kingdoms, and she gave us some background information:

We knew that The Night Heralds have been looking for Doomsday Clocks. The Dominion of the Black were somehow involved, and a wizard named Ramlock was somehow associated.

Ramlock was an Ur-Flan from the old days when Flan wizardry flourished under Vecna himself, and one of the first wizards to research the Dominion the Black. He grew up in a place called Moonmere, and the Night Heralds were now looking for it. And if it was important to them, it should be important to to us.

Keleri gave us a map, and indicated that Moonmere ought to be somewhere on the map, at the source of one the small river tributaries. She wanted us to search the area, find resources, and form alliances.

We gathered some rumours:
There were supposed to be rocs to the north, a dragon to the southeast, a monster in the lake in the centre, and most fey had left the forests, but some might still be there. Also, in the north forest, there were supposed to be a secret village of gnomes, and south of it a displaced tribe of cyclopses.

The basic rules of the mini game were explained by the GM, with Treasure Points, Ally Points and Research Points, and how Treasure Points could be exchanged into magic items. We were to start at the point marked "E", and the GM had calculated how fast we would travel using either on foot or using level 4 phantom steeds. The GM was a little irritated over that the scenario did not mention which terrains counted as "difficult", but he had assumed that mountains and forests were difficult, while the other terrains were not. As the GM's travel times were presented, Deena got some in-character teasing about being as slow as the dwarf: "only" speed 35...

Checking on the bulk calculations, we came to the conclusion that Arami and Deena could double up on a Phantom Steed, so those days we traveled using those, Arami needed to spend only three level 4 spell slots. The bulk of the equipment would go into Keyt's Bag of Holding, while Deena would use a level 2 slot to create food everyday.

After some negotiations and rules quandaries we agreed on the exploration tactics we would use:
A DC 30 Perception check or a DC 27 Survival would allow us to explore a hex in one day, otherwise it would take two days. We would roll the second day too, but then only critical successes - i.e. natural 20s - would count for extra information. A Stealth check versus an appropriate DC would give us stealth advantage when meeting whatever was in the hex. The rolls would be open.

Both Arami and Deena used their Ancestral Expertise to temporarily become experts at Survival for this mission.

== Journey Begins ==

-- Day 1 --
On foot, direction east: Grasslands and river.

Arami: Survival 16 - fail
Deena: Survival 28 - success
Frag: Perception 30 - success
Keyt: Stealth 28

Some shepherding flan, nothing interesting.

-- Day 2 --
On Phantom Steeds, direction northeast: Forest.

Arami: Survival 28 - success
Deena: Survival nat-1 - crit failure
Frag: Perception nat-1 - crit failure
Keyt: Stealth 22

Nothing interesting.

What we were heading for was the gnome village, which we thought was *in* the north forest. We avoided the lake, since we thought it unlikely that a lake monster could contribute either Ally Points or Treasure Points.

-- Day 3 --
On Phantom Steeds, direction northeast: Forest.

Arami: Survival 24 - fail
Deena: Survival 26 - fail
Frag: Perception 22 - fail
Keyt: Stealth 33

Needed to stay a second day in the same hex.

-- Day 4 --
Same hex.

4 x rolls, no natural 20.

Nothing interesting.

-- Day 5 --

On Phantom Steeds, direction northeast: forest.

Arami: Survival 20 - fail
Deena: Survival 15 - crit fail
Frag: Perception 19 - crit fail
Keyt: Stealth 36

Needed to stay a second day in the same hex.

-- Day 6 --

Same hex.

4 x rolls, no natural 20.

Nothing interesting.

-- Day 7 --

The GM took mercy on us, and allowed us to roll a Society. Arami rolled a natural 20. This gave the GM an opportunity to point out that we had misinterpreted the gnome village rumour. It was north *of* the forest, not north *in* the forest.

On foot, direction: northeast: hills.

Arami: Survival 22 - fail
Deena: Survival 20 - fail
Frag: Perception 26 - fail
Keyt: Stealth 29

Needed to stay a second day in the same hex.

-- Day 8 --

Same hex.

4 x rolls, no natural 20.

Nothing interesting.

-- Day 9 --

On foot, direction east: hills and river.

Arami: Survival 12 - crit fail
Deena: Survival 20 - fail
Frag: Perception 29 - fail
Keyt: Survival 14 - crit fail

Needed to stay a second day in the same hex.

-- Day 10 --

Same hex.

4 x rolls, no natural 20.

Nothing interesting.

-- Day 11 --

On foot, direction northeast: hills and river.

Arami: Survival 17 - crit fail
Deena: Survival 21 - fail
Frag: Perception nat-1 - crit fail
Keyt: Stealth 26

Needed to stay a second day in the same hex.

-- Day 12 --

Same hex.

4 x rolls, no natural 20.

Nothing interesting.

The GM allowed us to roll some Know Nature to gain a hint.

Arami: natural 20. Keyt: natural 20. Now we got the 20s we needed... Hint: "Rocs live in mountains". It was nice of the GM, but we had kind of already assumed that - we were looking for the gnomes.

-- Day 13 --

On foot, direction northeast: mountains, river.

Arami: Survival 14 - crit fail
Deena: Survival 33 - success
Frag: Perception 33 - success
Keyt: Stealth nat-20.

The GM allowed Keyt's natural 20 to reveal that the Roc's were in the next hex upriver, even though it was a on a stealth roll, not a survival or perception one.

More nature rolls on the nature of Rocs: Frag: 26 - Roc's hunt prey the size of elephants. They are not interested in puny humans.

-- Day 14 --

We knew where the rocs were, but they were animals; we wanted intelligent allies, so we turned back at speed.

On Phantom Steeds, directions southwest, southwest, southeast: hills, joining of two rivers.

Arami: Survival 29 - success
Deena: Survival 28 - success
Frag: Perception 24 - fail
Keyt: Survival 21 - fail

Nothing interesting.

-- Day 15 --

On Phantom Steeds, direction east, northeast: mountains and the source of the second river tributary.

Arami: Survival 14 - crit fail
Deena: Survival 29 - success
Frag: Perception 26 - fail
Keyt: Survival 26 - fail

We found some dead bodies, and got to investigate the scene:
Arami: Occultism 32 - These seemed to be Night Herald cultist, trying to set up a metal net over the river to trap magical energies for some kind of ritual.
Deena: Survival 34 - They seemed to have angered the rocs and been killed by them.

Some loot by the bodies:
* Lesser spell duelist wand
* 2 moderate healing potions
* Scroll of Locate
* Vial of dust of disappearance.

Since we had a day, the GM thought it unnecessary for us to roll to identify these.

-- Day 16 --

On Phantom Steeds, directions southwest, southwest, west: forest

Arami: Survival 16 - crit fail
Deena: Survival 32 - success
Frag: Perception 35 - fail
Keyt: Survival 29 - success

Nothing interesting.

-- Day 17 --

On Phantom Steeds, direction northwest, northwest, west: hills.

Arami: Survival 19 -fail
Deena: Survival 31 - success
Frag: Perception 20 - fail
Keyt: Survival 19 - fail

Deena found some gnome tracks! Following them we found the gnome village in a ravine. This was 3h and 5 mins since we started this session...

The gnomes were very happy to see us - they had not had any visitors for a long time.

Keyt warned them for some bad humans skulking around this area, but they were more concerned about the rocs, which they had had problems with since a month ago.

Deena rolled perception 32 - crit. Frag rolled perception 33, also a crit. They noticed that three houses were missing, and there were some damage to others that looked roc-caused.

We managed to get a talk with their mayor.

Long time ago - a hundred years - one of the gnomes went fire-crazy and burned down most of the forest in the area. Since then they had hidden here in the ravine and gotten left alone, until the rocs came and started stealing houses.

Arami used some diplomacy to gather information about the Moonmere: 34. It was supposed to be far south, but now a dragon lived in the mountains there.

If we solved their roc problem, they would become allies, and they claimed to be good at all kinds of magic - except fire.

-- Day 18 --

On Phantom Steeds, direction northeast, northeast, east: mountains.

Arami: Survival nat-20 - crit success
Deena: Survival 30 - success
Frag: Perception 29 - fail
Keyt: Survival 19 - fail

First critical success on an exploration roll!

Nothing interesting in the surrounding hexes, but we saw the remains of the missing houses, dropped from high up. Fortunately the gnomes had managed to evacuate them before they were taken.

-- Day 19 --

On foot, direction east, east: mountains, tributary source. Presumed home of the rocs.

Arami: Stealth 26 - success
Deena: Survival 27 - success
Frag: Perception 31 - success
Keyt: Stealth 32 - success

Thanks to the stealth rolls we spotted the nest without being seen, and got a good look at the rocs.

The rocs were orange, and when we recalled the orange tiles on the gnome houses, we realised that the gnome roofs looked like roc wings.

There were lots of whale bones around under the nest, but they did not seem recent.

Frag: know nature 22 - If there were no more whales to fish, then perhaps the rocs had changed hunting grounds and spotted the gnome village.

But what had happened to the whales? Frag: know nature - nat 20: "perhaps they were overfished by rocs?"

Arami was very reluctant to attack the rocs in cold blood, and bemoaned the sad fact that we had no way to talk with them and save the gnome village that way. The others managed to persuade her with the argument "We have to save the whales!"

== Fight 1 ==

We climbed up to the nest while the rocs were out. As we could see them coming in, Arami and Frag hid in cracks in the rock, while Keyt and Deena received last-moment level 4 invisibility spells from Arami.

Just as the rocs landed in their nest, we triggered initiative.

-- Initiatives --

Keyt: Stealth 37
Arami: Stealth 35
Frag: Stealth 31
Deena: Stealth 28
Roc 1: Perception 33
Roc 2: Perception 20

(As all started invisible to the Rocs, either by spell or by rock walls being in the way, the GM ruled that the got an automatic 20 on their rolls. With Roc 1's perception beating Deena's stealth in spite of this, Roc 1 sensed Deena's presence.)

-- Round 1 --

Keyt: Delay.

Arami: Crawl out of her rock crevice. Stand up. Dirge of Doom.

Keyt, invisible next to Roc 1: Backstab: 27 - hit, 24 damage. Backstab: 31 - hit, 23 damage. Backstab: miss.

Roc 1: Fly up to 15 ft height. Try to pick up Keyt: flat check ok, 21 - miss. Wing Buffet vs Keyt: 32 - hit, 13 damage, pushed 10 feet.

Frag: crawl out of his crevice. Stand up. Strike Roc 2: 21 - miss.

Deena: Flame Strike vs Roc 1: 41 damage. Roc 1 save: 14 - fail.

Roc 2: Wing Buffet vs Frag: 22 - miss. Wing Buffet vs Frag: 26 - miss. Fly up to 15 ft height. Frag: attack of opportunity: 24 - hit, 28 damage.

-- Round 2 --

Arami: Dirge of Doom. Leap up on conveniently placed rock. Trip vs Roc 1: 37 - crit, trip + fall damage 20, bloodied.

Keyt: Skirmish Strike vs Roc 1: 19 - miss. Backstab: 19 - miss. Backstab: 24 - hit: 24 damage.

Roc 1: Stand up. Wing Buffet vs Arami: 27 - hit, 16 damage, pushed 10 feet. Wing Buffet vs Keyt: 32 - hit, 14 damage, pushed 10 feet. Wing Buffet vs Frag: 25 - miss.

Frag: Power Attack vs Roc 1: 35 - crit, 57 damage. Roc 1 died and fell off the mountain. Intimidate versus Roc 2: fail.

Deena: Ray of Enfeeblement vs Roc 2: 18 - miss.

Roc 2: Fly. Strafe vs Frag: 22 - miss. Strafe vs Arami: 23 - miss. Intimidate Frag: 18 - fail.

-- Round 3 --

Arami: Dirge of Doom. Leap - up on the shoulders of Frag: "How hard can it be?" GM, looking at the acrobatics examples in table 10-3 determined: "Incredible 2" - i.e. DC 17. Roll: 22 - success, and Arami got an extra hero point. Trip vs Roc 2: 29 - success.

Keyt: Climbs up cliff.

Frag: Strike vs Roc 2: 34 - crit: 49 damage. Strike vs Roc 2: 23 - hit, 22 damage. Strike vs Roc 2: nat 1 - miss.

Deena: Ray of enfeeblement vs Roc 2: 30 - hit, Roc 2 fort save: 17 - fail, enfeebled 1.

Roc 2: Stand up. Frag: Attack of Opportunity: 23 - hit, 28 damage. Beak vs Frag: miss. Wing Buffet vs Frag: 24 - miss.

-- Round 4 --
Arami: Move around Roc 2 to outflank. Dirge of Doom. Trip vs Roc 2: 35 - crit, 2 damage.

Keyt: Step into range. Backstab Roc 2: 24 hit, 28 damage - killed.

Fight over. Arami had taken 16 HP damage, and Keyt 27 HP damage. The other two were unhurt.

== Session over ==

4h 53 mins spent.

Hero points used: 0
Death saves: 0
Consumables: 0
Resonance on non-investment: 0

During this session's 19 days did we roll Survival or Perception 67 times.
20 were failed 2nd day "fish for a 20" rolls.
11 were critical failures,
21 were failures
14 were successes
1 was a critical success.

GM here

Notice the number of critical fails. In PF2, critical fails are supposed to matter, but with Table 10-2 difficulties, there are WAY too many of them for them to matter.

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