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We’ve decided to try something quite different at home. My daughter, 13, who’s only played once or twice, and my girlfriend who has never played both decided they’d like to try a campaign. As we were looking about, talking about options, we had a silly brainstorm one night and decided to run Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition as Disney princesses. My best mate joined in, and I thought I’d record the proceedings here for posterity and chuckles.
The goal: choose 4 Disney princesses and convert them to Pathfinder, using their (loose) stories and personalities as guideposts, and run through RotRL AE. The builds are our own interpretations, so ymmv on how “accurate” you think they are. The goal is NOT automatically to try to tell their “traditional” stories. For instance, I don’t know if I’ll have traditional villains like Mother Gothel, or Jafar or whomever, but if I CAN find fun ways to wink at their traditional stories, or Disney stories, or even OTHER Disney stories, I’d love to.
The house rules: Not many, which is highly unusual, as we were wanting to give them RAW for their first run-through. I’ve slightly adjusted their hp and how they function (closer to Starfinder), were using critical hit and fumble decks, hero points (for advantage), Feats, Flaws, Traits and Drawbacks, and some feat to combat options changes (Power attack, Weapon Finesse, etc). Also a rule for wands that expands their potential.
The tools: I’ve about four grand in minis, so we’ll be running it on the table, with fantasy grounds on my computer to access the campaign info super easy, and Herolab to track all combat. Got everyone new dice, and we’ve ordered some HeroForge minis where we needed them.
- We wanted four princesses, so I’ll be running a DMPC. I chose a class build I’ve always loved that runs with a really high AC, but is not a complex spellcaster, so I went with Mulan, an Unchained Master of many styles & Hungry ghost monk who will multi-class into a Bladebound Magus Kensai. She focuses on Crane style, Panther style, and her family katana that will awaken at some point is called Mushu. She is Tian.
- My daughter chose Rapunzel, and made her a White-haired Witch with a chameleon familiar. She currently is thinking she may have been a slave in Cheliax, but hails from the Mwangi expanse...making her possibly a black Rapunzel. I am fascinated by this, so we’ll see if she continues to develop her that way.
- My girlfriend chose Jasmine, and we made her a Qadiran royal. She is on a “Qadiran” (Roman) holiday, and is a Slayer Vanguard & Warhound, with a genie-touched (DM fiat) tiger animal companion named Rajah who she’ll eventually mount and ride.
- My best mate chose Belle (she goes by Beauty), and went with the more historical telling. She is from Galt and her father, an engineer for the Galt military who imported and built foreign weapons from Qadira (and Jasmines deceased father), fell afoul of a cruel Prince in Varisia. She has come to find this Prince and finalize her fathers’ debt. She is a Gun chemist Alchemist Chirurgeon with VMC in Soul bound Unchained Summoner.
We start this next weekend, after having session zero last weekend. We plan on playing at least one weekend a month.
I welcome any comments or even ideas. I’ll gladly lift something if it is a neat way to adapt the story.
|The Shifty Mongoose|
Just shooting some ideas around for you, do what you will with them but this sounded fun and inspired me. Some of these may also depend on how much you want to cut back on the more brutal elements for your daughter (I don't know her maturity level at 13, or tolerance for Bad Stuff).
- How about making the Ameiko/Tsuto/Kaijitsu family situation tweaked for another famous Disney princess family for more sympathy? I'm thinking Ana/Elsa (either could be in the Ameiko or Tsuto role honestly), with Nualia either a bad influence or combined completely with Tsuto's character (since one hopes your party doesn't immediately murder the wayward sibling on the first run through). So like in one take combining with Nualia's story, Elsa could have been driven out of the family because of her sorcerer powers (just Golarion magic, not necessarily only ice) which caused the great fire during the Late Unpleasantness and she ran away like she did in the movie. Now she's working with the goblins and set on a bad path of revenge she can be redeemed from, and her father and the workers in the glassworks are encased in ice instead of horrible deaths encased in glass. Or flip it, and it's Elsa who was an adventurer and runs the Rusty Dragon Inn now and Ana was successfully led astray by Hans after being sheltered at home too long who wants to take over the family business... Hans can be the final bad guy in Nualia's stead, even connecting with Lamashtu if you'd like, for a satisfying boss to murder.
- Maleficent and the Evil Queen as Xanesha and Lucrecia? Or two sisters so both Maleficent inspired characters. You'd get shapeshifting into a serpent and possibly could even tie in the fairies over in the wood across from Turtleback Ferry.
- Get some plot with the Giants going on to reflect the Lion King plotline. Mokmurian was a clan member who was exiled, and then came back after gaining power to lead the stone giants to an ultimately ruinous end. Make him the Scar of the scenario, and set up Conna the Wise as a Serabi whose Mufasa (the murdered stone giant leader who now haunts that fortress room) was killed and she's trying to organize overthrowing Scar/Mokmurian. Gives you more reason to connect with other giants sympathetically later on, plus more personality to draw on as Mokmurian is set up as a bad guy throughout several books.
This is fun. I'll come back to it later after I do more job.
These are some great ideas! I really like the storms giant one. That is getting yoinked.
My daughter is a tiny adult. She’s good and mature, so I’ve no worries there.
Alright, we sorted out Jasmine, with Rajah as her animal companion. The build looks fantastic. Got minis chosen for everyone, including animal companions. Belle and Mulan are built. My daughter showed up today and said she definitely wants to go Rapunzel from Mwangi, so I'm retooling that build before game time tomorrow.
Sorted out my opening scene, and my pre-rolls (I roll Perception checks for spotting, not searching, to not clue them off, and any knowledge checks for when they see something. So when they see Koruvus, I'll have rolled for every character beforehand, and then written up a card that I will simply hand them. "You see a three-armed goblin, and this is what you know." I also pre-roll enemy initiative, and their Perception to spot the characters, etc.) Chose the map for the opening scene and pulled out all minis for monsters and NPCs involved. Wrote up my motivation cards for the encounter, and have cards ready for xp, ammo and other "tracking" things, as well as a loot card.
Think I'm ready! It's been a solid minute since I've sat at a table and DM'd, but things are going smoothly so far. :)
|The Shifty Mongoose|
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Alright, the first session went down!
The Princesses were all travelling north from Magnimar to Sandpoint. We'd met and become friends in Cheliax, along with another woman, Snow White. We decided to come to visit her (she lives in Sandpoint) as well as Mulan's friend Ameiko.
We were heading along the Lost Coast Road with a wagon full of supplies, and Vin Vendor driving his two horses when we passed an abandoned shack. When I pulled out the excellent wagon mini, there were gasps of wonder. Allishanda was with us as well, prattling on about Magnimar society folks, when we spotted some movement in the trees.
Slowing, we watched as dozens and dozens of goblins along with goblin-dogs emerged through the underbrush, crossing the road all around us, clearly heading in the direction of Sandpoint. The goblins didn't specifically seem to care that the wagon was there, or that we were. They were chanting and singing off-key in a guttural language that only Beauty understood, singing the classic goblin chants.
Seeing the look on my players' faces as I placed down close to two dozen goblins was classic. Sort of an "Oh crumb, that's not supposed to be a level one encounter!"
Beauty stepped in front of a goblin moving past us, and Intimidated it to stop, causing it to turn around and flee back the way it came.
An arrow shot out of the woods behind it, piercing the goblin, and immediately a goblin-dog started to feed on it, goring a bush red that obscured a clear view of the dead goblin.
A large bugbear with a bow appeared and sneered at the wagon party. "Stop them!" he yelled in goblin. A slightly more "senior" looking goblin grabbed the two next to him and charged us!
Rapunzel (my daughter) stepped out and smacked the first one in the face. She proceeded to try hitting with her hair and her frying pan depending on the Round and who she was attacking and rolled three total natural ones. She was quite frustrated.
Mulan moved and engaged another in hand to hand, kneeing and punching her way through several.
Beauty pulled out her blunderbuss and used some alchemical nonsense to shoot like five goblins in front of her with a dragons' breath, killing one. She struggled with not threatening a goblin every time they just ran RIGHT past her, ignoring her.
Jasmine climbed on top of the wagon, keeping Rajah to the back of it, and fired two arrows off at two goblins who were not attacking, hitting both.
I added ANOTHER two dozen goblin miniatures to the map. At this point, there were close to fifty-odd goblins and a bugbear with us.
A mutated three-armed goblin clambered over the top of the building, jumping off onto the "senior" looking goblin, killing him, as another goblin skittered under the wagon, and decided to stay there.
Beauty shot this new threat, hitting two other goblins at the same time, felling one, as Jasmine continued to fire arrows at the goblins engaged in melee with Mulan and the ones engaged with Rapunzel.
The mutated goblin charged Beauty, and failed to Bull Rush, while Allishanda passed out and fell off the cart. Vin was having a hard time controlling the horses by then, and they started to prance and move a little.
Beauty backed up and tried to shoot the mutation again, missing, when suddenly the three-armed goblin charged PAST Beauty (third missed potential AoO) at the horses, and they bolted, wagon in tow. Vin toppled from the driver's seat, as the large goblin climbed onto the wagon's front seat. On top of the wagon, Jasmine had a fantastic Reflex save to keep her feet and acrobatic check to backflip off, and landed somewhat less than gracefully, but landed it. She and Rajah then joined Rapunzel where Rajah got his first taste of goblin face.
The wagon disappeared down the road as the remainder of the goblins vanished over the hilltop. Three more goblins remained engaged with the party until we killed them. We were left with over a dozen dead goblins on the road, an unconscious actress and a fiery angry Vin Vendor. Beauties alchemy and crafting gear, along with all of Jasmine's gear, including 80 pounds of food for Rajah, was in the back of the wagon and gone.
We quickly moved around the bend to see Sandpoint, less than a kilometer away...smoke rising above the rooftops, and bells pealing the air.
I decided to end there.
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The second session is in the books!
I handed out more note cards with quick summaries of their homelands of Tian, Mwangi, Qadira and Galt. My copy of the Rusty Dragon Inn flip mat had arrived the day before, and I was ready to go.
The princesses crested the hill, seeing Sandpoint in the distance, the small figures of citizens and possibly goblins moving through the streets. Already two or three trails of smoke were rising into the sky, and faint screams could be heard.
They hurried to the bridge across the Turandarok to the south of town, where Beauty heard the sounds of crunching and "mloming" from the side of the bridge...peering over, she spotter a goblin happily sitting in the sun eating a fish and a rock. She decided he was not threatening anyone and left him there without informing the other princesses, and they continued on into town.
Passing the Two knights brewery, they arrived at the intersection of Market Street and River street. Ahead, in front of the Rusty Dragon Inn, Mulan saw her friend Ameiko wielding a lute, trying to fight off a goblin commando wielding a horse-chopper. Several citizens fled into the safety of the Inn, while the commando decimated the lute, smashing it into dozens of pieces in Ameiko's hands. At the same time, Rapunzel spotted what looked like their wagon heading around the corner up River street, with half a dozen or so goblins.
Jasmine took a long shot (150 ft.) at the commando, rolling a natural 1, missing by a building length. Great way to start. This was the first of nine natural 1's.
Telling everyone else about the wagon, Beauty looked at Mulan. "You two help your friend, we'll get the wagon." Nodding, Jasmine joined Beauty, and they headed up the hill towards Wheen's wagons, while Rapunzel and Mulan headed to the Rusty Dragon.
Splitting the party! Haha. I was gleeful. And also smoking at the ears, as now I had to run two separate encounters at the same time, not what I had planned.
Rounding the corner, Jasmine and Beauty found that it was NOT in fact their wagon (When I rolled Perception checks to see if anyone spotted it, they all missed, but Rapunzel rolled a Natural 1, so I gave her incorrect information, that the others acted on.) Smoke was pouring out of the second floor of the building, and the cries of a child could be heard inside.
Entering the Inn, Rapunzel and Mulan found Ameiko backing away from the commando. Charging up, they both attacked, and both missed. The commando yelled at them (they don't speak goblin), and then moved away from them. Ameiko wasn't armed, so didn't threaten, and both Rapunzel and Mulan missed on their Attacks of Opportunity. The commando jumped up on a stool, and lept over the bar, disappearing behind it. My daughter (Rapunzel) said, "he just wants food!" This earned her a bottle cap (GCP; I use old coins and doubloons and such for my bottlecaps) because that was the motivations I had specifically written for this commando.
She ran up to vault the bar, and rather ungracefully was able to do so. She was joined by Mulan running around the bar and kneeing the commando in the chest, while Ameiko helped the other people in the Inn, along with Vin Vendor and Allishanda, who had followed Rapunzel and Mulan.
The commando proceeded to try to drink the alcohol behind the bar but was mostly angry it wasn't food until a crossbow bolt from Rapunzel changed his focus. He mounted the bar, fighting Rapunzel Pirates of the Caribbean style astride the bar, while Mulan attempted to attack him from below. They moved down the bar, sparring and parrying and missing and dodging for five rounds before Mulan finally landed a punch, knocking him out and sending him tumbling.
Meanwhile, in Wheen's wagons, Beauty and Jasmine found a goblin dog behind the counter eating something. Beaty ran up to stab it, while Jasmine attempted to vault the bar, and failed, ungracefully making it over to where she heard a child crying from behind it. We pictured ourselves as a band of Melissa McCarthy adventurers, just ungracefully failing 90% of the time, to great success. Rajah stayed on the other side of the counter, closer to the exit, while Jasmine interposed herself between the goblin dog and the child. Two slashes of Beauties dagger brought the goblin dog low. Hearing crying from upstairs, Jasmine started to move upstairs, as Beauty helped lift the terrified 7-year-old boy over the dying body of the goblin dog. "Get outside, out of the smoke!"
The child ran to the door, then let out a scream. Three goblins stood in the doorway. "Boy, drop prone!" yelled Beauty. Natural 20 on the boys' Wisdom check to hear and follow instructions, and he dropped to the ground. Beauty unloaded with her blunderbuss, missing everyone (thankfully also missing the boy). Jasmine had an arrow fly high, and then the second bury itself in the chest of the goblin in the doorway. Beauty yelled at them in goblin "The first goblin through that door gets blown away!" One of the goblins stepped forward, excited about being first, and Beauty missed again. Rolling a crazy response (all my goblins have a 50/50 chance of acting reasonably for insanely...he rolled insanely) he decided to dogpile the child on the ground. The third goblin clambered over the top of his dead friend and atop the boy and the second goblin, right in front of Rajah.
Jasmine put an arrow through this goblin, and then called Rajah to her, but failed her handle animal check. (for context, Jasmine is a Warhound Slayer from RogueGenius games, so she has an animal companion, i.e. Rajah) Rajah decided to move forward and attack the goblin that was dogpiling the poor (traumatized) child, hitting it twice and killing it.
Getting the child outside, Jasmine and Rajah and Beauty ran upstairs, braving smoke (forgot my stupid 20% miss chances! Bah!) to find two goblins beating down a door with another child inside, and one peeing out the second-story window onto the street below.
Beauty dazzled everyone with a flare cartridge, and Jasmine ordered Rajah to defend Beauty while she continued to fire off her last few arrows.
Beauty fired her Blunderbuss, and rolled a natural 20, confirming it, and then misfired! (Although we learned after that with a scattershot she needed to misfire against ALL THREE in her cone to actually get a misfire.) The goblins moved forward as Jasmine put arrows into each of them, and knocked the goblin peeing in the window out of it.
Finally, Beauty finished off the last goblin by launching a flair into its mouth, with another critical, while her Blunderbuss was still Broken!
Note from my girlfriend:
"I really liked this session!
Although I don't fully understand all of the complicated rules...
...and sometimes I don't roll that great (I rolled four natural 1s just in this session)...
...and I'm still pissed that I rolled a natural 20 at the end of the session, and wasn't allowed to use it for a perception check to find our missing wagon...
I also think that this session was the first time where I really enjoyed myself. Many times during gaming sessions, I feel stressed because I don't know the rules as well as I'd like, and it's difficult for me to understand what's going on (kind of like learning another language or something). But today, for the first time, I felt like I was engaging in PLAY rather than doing work.
Much of the credit for this must obviously go to Mittean as the GM for doing some really extensive and thoughtful prep work. He's putting in a lot of effort to make this an enjoyable and engaging story for us, and I really appreciate his work. The princess campaign is off to a fun start and I'm excited to see what's around the corner (hopefully it's the wagon). :P"
The session was great and rolled in at about three hours, al little over, I think. Now the party is split, Beauty and Jasmine are almost out of ammo, and there is a child still suck inside the room upstairs in Wheen's Wagons, while the building burns. Next session is 2 weeks to a month away.