Thursday, September 24, 2020

Delvers Guild – Session 18 – Gate Exploration and Testing!

[The Delvers Guild returns to the gate under the Moon Manor Ruins and test how the gates work.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened August 10, 2020.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University

Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again

Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts

Via Roll20

Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer

Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University


Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – ex-bandits, now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wythford

Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo



Cromsday, October 31st, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

Ricky went to the shop of Jaunti of the Hidden Country and picked up his newly restored Ancient Elven book on gated teleportation.  The book is now in readable condition, if still somewhat delicate.

Vorgand commissioned stitched guild badges for all of the Senior Leadership [the player characters] and was told they would be available November 14th.


Freyday, November 1st, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

Early Morning

The Senior Leadership of the Delvers Guild assembled at the Aegea City docks to catch the ferry across Dragon Bay to Little Wytheford.  The guild members were becoming regulars on the Freyday morning ferry ride and claimed their usual spaces on the ferry.  They dozed on the trip over, staying out of the wind as the weather was getting cool.  Ricky spent the trip skimming through his new book to get a feel for what was in it.

Noon

The ferry arrived at the Little Wytheford docks and the passengers disembarked.  The Delvers walked over to the Stalwart family warehouse, where they had space rented for goods retrieved and their enormous double-decker vardo.  Nick checked in with Konrad, the Stalwart family factor in Little Wytheford to see if the ordered supplies [chicken feed, timber, roofing tiles, and nails] had arrived.  Konrad affirmed they had arrived and already loaded into the vardo.  Nick asked that the elven chairs in storage be prepped for shipment back to Aegea City on the Sunday Noon ferry.  Konrad stated he’d have it done.

By this point Orm had shown up with the oxen to pull the vardo.  Once the oxen were hooked up to the vardo, the Delvers climbed aboard.  Orm steered the vardo out of the warehouse and eastward.  After crossing the Moofolk River, Orm turned the vardo south, following the river.  As this was the third time the vardo had travelled this way, the rudimentary beginnings of a path made it easier to stay on track for the hours-long trip.

Shortly After Sunset

The vardo finally arrived at the Moon Manor Ruins on the far side of Faemount Mountain.  Torsten, Fish, and Harek [collectively known by the Delvers as The Torchbearers] were alert to their arrival and met them at the ruined gate of the manor.  Torsten and Harek helped unload the supplies from the vardo while Fish kept an eye on the small herd of goats, now kept in the roughly penned front courtyard of the ruins.  [The more secure back courtyard had been recently grazed out by the goats.]

Once the supplies were secured and the Delvers camping gear set up, the two groups shared information about the goings on over the last week.  Watches were set and people slept.


Yggsday, November 2nd, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

8:00 AM

Having had breakfast and kitted out for adventuring [putting on armor and weapons and shouldering packs] the Delvers and The Torchbearers walked over to the entrance to the areas beneath the ruins.  It took them a little over 20 minutes to make it down to the gate room in the lowest level.  Vorgand pulled out the control cubes and set the gate to the moon base so the couch stored there could be retrieved.

The gate blipped to the next setting.

This confused everyone as the setting to the moon had been stable every time they tried it previously.  Ricky thought about it and then realized the moon was not yet high enough in the sky.  They needed to wait another half hour before the moon would be in proper position for the gate to reach it.  This was a new thing they learned.

While waiting, Vorgand set the control cubes to destination 5.4.4, an island with ruins far to the east.  The gate opened and the Delvers looked through.  They could see that much of the plant life directly around the gate was burned, as though a fire had happened there.  This was different than the last viewing, back when they were checking to see which gate combinations were still valid [see Session 12].

Ricky stepped through the gate to see if he could determine the source of the burning.  The char from the fire was centered on the gate itself and spanned 4-5 yards in all directions.  In the mostly-cleared burn area, Ricky looked to where the control cabinet should have been but wasn’t.  He stepped over there to investigate and discovered worn edges where the control cabinet had been long ago.  There was char and plant life on top of the stone stubble, suggesting that the control cabinet disappearing was a separate event from the burn.  Ricky suspected that the plant life was probably set on fire when the Delvers opened the gate a week ago.  He walked back through the gate and explained what he had discovered.

The Delvers discussed the situation.  The Delvers decided that there were a number of variables that they did not understand and were wary of.  Could someone using the gates show up at the Moon Manor while the Delvers had the gate open?  What if someone showed up at the gate while the Delvers were elsewhere exploring?  Suddenly leaving the gate open for long time periods while they explored no longer seemed safe.

The Delvers decided to experiment with the gates and the communication earrings they had.  An away team was created consisting of Jala, Ricky, Clarence, and Torsten.  They would go through the portal wearing three sets of the magic earrings with Vorgand keeping the fourth set at Moon Manor.  The plan was to for Vorgand to close the gate and try and communicate with the magic earrings.  No matter what was discovered, she would reopen the gate in one minute.

[Digression: if Vorgand had been on the away team instead of Jala, it would have been the Guild’s “captain” (Vorgand), “science officer (Ricky), “medical officer” (Clarence), and one “redshirt” (Torsten).  A very Start Trek Original Series away team and it would have happened if Jala’s player had not immediately volunteered to go.]

Ricky led the away team through the gate and just across the outer edge of the burned area.  Once in place, Vorgand closed the gate and both sides tried to communicate with each other.  Jale, Ricky, and Clarence could hear each other fine, but not Vorgand.  Vorgand could hear no one at all.  After a minute, she reopened the gate.  Ricky noticed that the gate expanded from a single point in the center of the menhir.  There was some plant life on the edge of the area the gate expanded to that started smoking when the gate touched it, which confirmed that the burn area was probably caused by the Delvers opening the gate a week ago.  Ricky led the away team back through the gate and both sides conferred.

As enough time had passed, Vorgand opened the gate to the moon and Clarence and Ricky retrieved the couch stored there.  The Delvers decided to see if they could open the gate from the other side and get back to Moon Manor.  The away team was given one of the three sets of control cubes and one of the two powered power stones.  Vorgand then opened the gate to location 5.4, another set of island ruins, but one with a control cabinet.  The away team stepped through the gate.  They would try to reopen the gate from the other side.  If nothing happened for five minutes, Vorgand would reopen the gate from the Moon Manor end.  Once the away team was through, Vorgand turned off the gate and took a seat on the couch to wait.

Rick placed the power stone on the cabinet and the gate on the island powered up.  He then set the cubes to 3.5.  At the Moon Manor gate, this combination reflected the gate back to the Moon Manor control room.  Instead of opening the gate immediately to the Moon Manor, the island gate blipped once [indicating a malfunctioning portal address] and opened to the gate at 5.4.4.  This was unexpected.  Clarence suggested they try 2.4 next.  Ricky adjusted the cubes and this setting reflected back to where they were.  Next they tried 5.4.  There were three blips and then it reflected back to them again.  The gate addresses were relative to the gate and not tied to a set of fixed addresses.  They would need to relearn the addresses for each gate they traveled to.  Just after Ricky removed the control cubes from the island gate, the gate reopened from the Moon Manor location.  The away team gathered up the control cubes and power stone and returned to the Moon Manor.  There they explained what happened.

After some additional discussion, Vorgand decided the group would explore the island ruins at 5.4 to see if anything interesting could be found.  The entire group walked through the gate to the island.  Based on the location of the sun, Ricky and Nick estimated that the island was noticeably south of Aegea City and probably further east, although they could not tell exactly how far east.

The ruins were mostly the low remains of walls and building foundations on a stony area overlooking a cliff and what was probably the Opal Sea to their north.  Zarek flew up to see more.  He estimated the ruins were of a town, not quite large enough to be a city.  He could see signs of two active settlements on the far edges of the island, one towards the southeast and the other towards the southwest.  There were merchant ships sailing in the sea to the north and another island was just visible on the horizon.

Zarek and Ricky also noticed circular features that looked suspiciously like craters of various sizes scattered around the area.  The craters were old as they had been partially filled in with dirt plant life and the edges were worn smooth.  Investigating one of the smaller circular features, Nick used the wand of wind to blow the debris out.  The uncovered crater itself was very smooth, like a great heat had struck the stone, melting part of it.  This suggested very powerful magic.

Zarek flew out over the cliff, looking for any cave entrances.  He found none.  Jala cast a new spell she had learned to try and peer into a shadow on the surface and through another below the surface.  The spell failed, which meant there was no place for shadows to be or no light to create shadows if there was space.

Zarek spotted three nearby areas where the trees grew taller than the scrub growing in the stoney area of the ruins.  Hoping to find a graveyard to loot, the Delvers investigated.  One area was an ancient orchard long overgrown.  The second was just a forest area and the third was a heavily overgrown arranged park.  None suggested they had tombs to loot.

It being near Noon, the Delvers returned to the Moon Manor through the gate and had lunch.

End of Session


[The players learned things about the gate network, but not all the things they wanted to learn.  They might return to the island gate, so I can’t talk more about them at this time, but not every location has things to discover that are relevant to their quest - some are just part of the network.]


Delvers Guild

Session A, Character Creation Part 1

Session B, Character Creation Part 2

Session 01

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15

Session 16

Session 17


Session 19 [Not Posted Yet]



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Delvers Guild – Session 17 – Welcome Back!

[The campaign resumes with some accounting and the purchase of a guildhall.]

[This game uses the Fifth Revised Edition of the Hero System rules along with the Fantasy Hero supplement.  This session happened October 14, 2019 August 3, 2020.]


Player Characters:

Jala – human female – a person of discretion, studying aspects of the Law [to avoid them] at the Dusk Academy

Ricky the Astrologer – human male – has a thirst for knowledge but doesn’t know what he’s searching for, currently studying Astrology at Monarch University

Zarek the Red – fox male – a cerebrally-unfettered spell researcher [read: Mad Scientist] turned into a talking fox, studying Natural Philosophy at Monarch University to find a way to become human again

Vorgand – human female – professional porter and Adventurer’s Aide, irregularly attends classes at The Tested military academy, practitioner of Steel Serpent martial arts

Via Roll20

Clarence – human male – studies Religion in Temples district, coincidentally the group healer

Nick Stalwart – human male – part of the Stalwart family of merchants, studying Mathematics at The Interesting Institute of Profitable People, a college at Monarch University


Non-Player Characters:

Torsten, Fish, Harek – surviving bandits and now torchbearers for the Delvers Guild

Konrad Moonclub – Stalwart family factor in Little Wytheford

Orm Oxdriver – driver of the guild’s over-sized, double-decker vardo



Sunday, October 27th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

After Morning Classes

The Senior Membership of the Delvers Guild [the player characters] met at their favorite drinking establishment, The Library, for the weekly Senior Management meeting.  Their second order of business [the first being the attainment of drinks] was to discuss their business for the week.  Nick and Vorgand were to go over to Ferragus the antique buyer after the guild meeting and sell off the four chairs recovered from the moon during last week's expedition.  They were also to sell the jewelry box taken from the pyramid crypt at the ancient elven graveyard.  They would go to other vendors to sell off various other valuables and magic items the guild had marked for sale [Arrow of Rage and Bracers of Archery].

Vorgand reported she had selected three buildings as candidates for purchase as a guildhall for the Delvers Guild.  As they were in three different parts of Aegea City, it would be best to go look at them the next day as a group, especially as she and Nick would be dealing with Ferragus this afternoon.  With the sale of the chairs and other items, the guild would have the funds to purchase any one of the three buildings.  The Senior Membership agreed to go look at the buildings the next day and then return to The Library to discuss them.

The meeting adjourned for lunch and afternoon classes.

Mid-Afternoon

Nick and Vorgand arrived at the establishment of Ferragus.  Ferragus, a thin human in his late 40’s, greeted them warmly.  One of the elven chairs on wheels the Guild had brought in the previous week was on prominent display in the shop.  The three exchanged greetings and then got to business.  Nick and Vorgand explained they had four more chairs to sell that were in better condition than the previous 12, choosing not to explain why and Ferragus chose not to ask.  They asked if Ferragus was still interested buying.  Ferragus was very willing to buy the four new chairs as there was a good market for them.  Nick explained the chairs were still in Little Wytheford and asked if Ferragus could pick them up there.  Ferragus explained he could, but it would mean he needed an additional 15% of the sell value to cover expenses.  Nick knew this was a reasonable percentage, if slightly high, and told Ferragus that he and Vorgand would deliver them in a week.  Ferragus agreed to this and said he would start shopping the chairs around verbally.

After dealing with the chairs, Nick asked if Ferragus might also be interested in a jewelry box of elven manufacture, even though he normally dealt in furniture.  Ferragus was intrigued and answered that it would depend on the box.  Nick produced the jewelry box and Ferragus’ eyebrows went up into his hairline.

Ferragus put on some soft gloves and then asked to hold the jewelry box for a better look.  Nick handed it over to Ferragus, who pulled a jeweler’s loupe out of a pocket to examine the jewelry box in detail.  Ferragus stated that it was likely a grave goods box of very old design, but in excellent condition.  Vorgand volunteered that she had been told it was related to an elf known as Jack the One-Eyed.

Ferragus froze for a full second.

He then looked at the details and designs on the jewelry box more closely.  Then he glanced around his shop to verify they were alone before whispering to Nick and Vorgand.  Ferragus told them he could probably get them [an amount where their share would be 200 gold coins] for the box, but they could get much, much more if they sold it in one of the elven realms.  The elves would have some very…pointed… questions about how humans had got ahold of the box, but the payoff would be high.  If they were able to leave again.

Nick and Vorgand told Ferragus they’d rather sell it here in Aegea City as the closest elven realm was more than a month away by sea and land.  [That and they did not want to admit they had raided an ancient elven graveyard to get it, especially to elves.]  Ferragus understood and told them he would handle the transaction.  It would take a week, maybe two to sell, but he knew buyers would be very interested in it.  They spent the next 30 minutes filling out contracts and sipping wine before Nick and Vorgand left Ferragus’ shop.


Moonday, October 28th, 1st year of the reign of King Vladik the Gamesman

After Morning Classes

The Senior Membership of the Delvers Guild met at The Library and had a quick lunch before going as a group to investigate the potential guildhalls.

Checklist of Requirements:

  • A tower
  • A cellar for booze
  • A common room with side rooms for meetings
  • Crash space for guildmembers


Location A: The Townhouse

 


[01-stone-town-house-concept-environment, by Gabe Kralik, found on Artstation.com, used without permission]

Location A was a stone townhouse near Hart Gate, on Sanguine Lane, the main thoroughfare from the stockyards and butchers district.  It was sturdy but small, with each floor a separate area.  The townhouse was on the corner of a courtyard and the street and had a lot of traffic going by it.  The third-floor balcony was a nice touch, but not the tower that Ricky asked for.  The building would also be tight on space.  That said, if it was not chosen as the guildhall, several members considered purchasing it as a personal residence.


Location B: The Gatehouse

 


[Old Blacksmiths House, by bemola, found on Turbosquid.com, used without permission]

Location B was in Old Town, near the bend in Potemkin Street.  It was once a gatehouse long, long ago when Old Town was new.  The arched passage provides access to a courtyard beyond and is the public access to the shops facing that courtyard.  Several guildmembers were not keen on the public access arch and that the common room had no side rooms (being all of the second floor), but were otherwise impressed by this location.  Ricky stated it was tall enough that even without a tower, it would meet his needs.


Location C: The Warehouse

 


[Stone Village-house2, by sungwhooan-lee, found on ArtStation.com, used without permission]

Location C was in the Student Housing district.  It was once a small warehouse and has been abandoned for years.  Students periodically break in and hold parties or meetings here that are not approved by the University.  It is quite likely that one of the Delvers Guild had attended a party here once.  The guild liked this location.  It was big and roomy if somewhat decrepit and a known party location, which was seen as an advantage.  The guild would be able to raise funds by renting parts out for parties.  Additionally, it already had a basement and the upper floors met Ricky’s requirements for a tower.


6:00 PM

The Senior Membership of the Delvers Guild met back at The Library for dinner and to discuss their options over drinks.  After talking it over and a quick vote, Location C was selected as the new guildhall.  Nick and Vorgand would spend the next couple of days getting the purchase handled.  It would take some time to get it done, but the Delvers Guild would have a guildhall.

End of Session


[So the “short intermission” of “4-6 weeks” while we played through Book 1 of the Shattered Star AP ended up being 10 months in length, but we all had fun.  While I did not get everything mapped out for this campaign like I wanted, I got time off as the GM that I needed.  I wrapped up work on a rewrite of GDW’s The Game (available for free as The Houston Protocols in the Downloads sidebar), I wrote an OD&D clone set of rules (Adventures in the Green, Draft B is currently available for free in the Downloads sidebar), and a global pandemic started (I had nothing to do with that).]

[We are all excited to return to the Delvers Guild campaign.  At least partly because of the game system (HERO System, 5th Edition) and partly because of things going on in the game.  This campaign will run until the in-game school season ends and adventuring season resumes at Barrowmaze or the PCs fully explore Moon Base: Turm, whichever comes first.  At their current rate of exploration, they are likely to explore the moon base well before the end of spring classes.  Perhaps the winter weather will change that...]


Delvers Guild

Session A, Character Creation Part 1

Session B, Character Creation Part 2

Session 01

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15

Session 16


Session 18



Thursday, September 17, 2020

Ratpack – Session 32

[Day 22.  End of Book 1 of the adventure path.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened July 20, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]


Player Characters

Marativy – female ratfolk 4th level Ninja

Roscuro – male ratfolk 4th level Monk

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 4th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 4th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 4th level Gunslinger


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

Lockerbie – a male marine ghoul currently allied with the Ratpack against the derro



Day 22

At the end of a series of fights, the Ratpack was still standing [barely] and the derro of Derro Hall were dead.  The corpse of the derro boss was in Derro Hall, next to the stairs on the northwestern wall.  The ratfolk looted his body of valuables, including some potions of cure moderate wounds and a headband of vast intellect [which Zitch eventually ended up with].  Once the derro leader was looted, the Ratpack went back to the labs and relieved the other two derro of their few valuables, including the wand of charm person and a total of 4 doses of brown mold freezing poison.  The corpses went to Lockerbie.

Having caught their breath and done some minor healing, the ratfolk adventurers descended [or climbed up] the straight set of stairs by the northwestern wall of Derro Hall.  These steps led to a crude alchemical lab with quality equipment [masterwork alchemical set] and some crates.  Zitch cast detect magic and detected 3 items, two in one crate, and one in a different crate.

The group decided to pack up the alchemical set for resale back in Magnimar.  This took some time, during which Zitch identified the magic items looted from the derro corpses.  Needing to use the crates, Roscuro pried one open with his crowbar, setting off a poison powder trap [save made to resist the effects].  Inside the crate were many bags of coins and one bag containing a glass lens.  It detected as magical, so Roscuro handed it over to Zitch for identification.  In the meantime, the bags of coins were counted and came to 232 gold coins, 1423 silver coins, and 2100 copper coins, a nice sum.

Zitch identified the lens as a glass lens of detection.  Roscuro used the lens to examine the next crate for traps and found none.  He pried off the lid and promptly set off the trap inside the crate [because apparently checking for traps inside the box is a separate check than checking the outside?].  This time the poison damaged Roscuro’s lungs [total of 13 hit points of damage] until he coughed it all out.

Inside the crate the adventurers found a scarab pin [magical], a wand [magical], and a case containing 3 vials of Cytillish poison, which causes memory loss.  [Reading between the lines, the derro had been up to some creepy stuff down here with the townsfolk they kidnapped.]  Zitch identified the scarab as a golembane scarab, which Roscuro eventually claimed, and the wand a wand of spiritual weapon.  The wand went into the loot bag as none of the spellcasters could use it [spiritual weapon was not on their spell lists].

After packing up the alchemical kit and identifying the various magic items, the group left and went to the circular stairs in the center of the hall.  These stairs were dusty.  Very dusty.  They also descended for quite a while.  After descending an estimated 600 feet, the stairs suddenly ended at the top of a huge cavern.  The cavern was covered with fungus and slimes in a riot of colors and shapes.  This was most unexpected.  After some discussion, the group concluded that this cavern was likely an entrance to Nar-voth, the upper reaches of the Darklands.  The only thing any of the Ratpack knew about the Darklands was that they were extremely dangerous.  The group unanimously turned around and went back up the steps.  They wanted no part of the Darklands.

Once back up to Sub-level 4, Lockerbie and the Ratpack parted ways amicably.  Lockerbie went back to the mural room that was his home.  The Ratpack took the east passage Lockerbie stated went back to the surface.  The Ratpack nearly walked past a secret door in the tunnel.  Behind the secret door were stairs going up.  And up.  And up.  Until the Ratpack came out a trapdoor in an alley behind the Bazaar of Sails in Magnimar.

There was a city guard there who noticed the group of ratfolk climbing out of the trapdoor and asked them to identify themselves and what they are up to.  Winston explained that they were part of the Pathfinder Society and had killed the derro that were kidnapping the townsfolk recently.  The guard asked if they had any proof, like the derro heads.  The ratfolk looked at each other – they had no proof with them.

Templeton and Marativy volunteered to go all the way back down and get the heads.  The rest of the group rested and waited on the surface with the guard.  Eventually Templeton and Marativy returned with three derro heads in a sack.  This satisfied the guard who sent them to the Guard HQ to collect a reward.  Zitch and Winston, the most charismatic of the group [and not having been arrested recently, like Roscuro and Templeton had] took the heads to the Guard HQ and collected a 500 gold coin bounty.

While they were collecting the bounty, Marativy, Roscuro, and Templeton went back to the Pathfinder Society lodge.  There they told Sheila about Frederick’s kidnapping and the connection to Thassilonian relics.  As the Ratpack was now engaged by the Pathfinder Society to track down a series of Thassilonian relics, the kidnapping was not likely coincidental.  Sheila promised to look into the kidnapping while the Ratpack was tracking down the next shard.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[And that’s the conclusion of Book 1 of the Shattered Star Adventure Path.  The GM pointed out we were starting to work on things that happen in Book 2, so we stopped there.  We will eventually return to this adventure path and do Book 2, but not for a while.]

[Next up is a return to the Delvers Guild campaign.  We’ll continue there until the players get to one of the designated stopping points I set for the campaign or we get to Spring and Vorgand needs to head back north for the next adventuring season at Barrowmaze.  When either of those happen, we will stop the Delvers Guild campaign and go back to the Barrowmaze campaign, picking up at the beginning of Season 2.  We might fit in Book 2 of the Shattered Star AP between the Delvers Guild and Season 2 of Barrowmaze, but it is more likely that we will do Book 2 after Season 2 of Barrowmaze.]

[The Delvers Guild campaign has already resumed and 4 sessions have been played by the point I wrote this.  I’ll continue posting twice a week until my buffer is down to two sessions, at which point I will resume one post a week.  I plan to use the extra writing time properly writing up my GM notes for each adventure location and make them available as encounter locations through DriveThruRPG.  I’ll have stats for the monsters and magic items for the HERO System and probably for my own OD&D rules, Adventures in the Green.  From that point you could adapt them to any D&D-based system.]



Ratpack

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20

Session 30

Session 31


End of Campaign

[Until we start Book 2]



Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Ratpack – Session 31

[Day 22.  Fighting the Derro!]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened July 13, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]


Player Characters

Marativy – female ratfolk 4th level Ninja

Roscuro – male ratfolk 4th level Monk

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 4th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 4th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 4th level Gunslinger


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

Lockerbie – a male marine ghoul currently allied with the Ratpack against the derro



Day 22

[Previously: While seeking out the derro on Sub-level 4 of the dungeon below The Crow, the northern-most remaining support for the Irespan, the Ratpack had discovered two more derro laboratories, each with a derro in it.  Marativy, who had been scouting ahead was noticed by one of the derro, who called out an alarm.]

One of the derro pulled out a wand of charm person and used it on Marativy.  Marativy failed her save and now considered that derro her best friend [see Rat Whispers for discussion].  This dropped the ward Zitch had on her, alerting the rest of the Ratpack that she had been attacked in some way.  The Ratpack set up to ambush anyone chasing Marativy as she fled back to the group, because surely she would, right?

Marativy and her new best friend did not speak any of the same languages, so they communicated by hand signals and pantomime.  The derro wanted Marativy to come over into his lab, which Marativy was OK doing, but that would have left the very shifty looking other derro behind her and she didn’t trust that guy at all.  She begged off and returned to the rest of the [mostly] ratfolk group.  She announced that she had found a new friend and a derro to kill.  This confused the ratfolk.  Not certain what was going on, the group followed Marativy back to the twin labs.

At those labs, she indicated that the derro needing killing was in the lab on the left, but her friend was over in the lab on the right.  Templeton took a moment to cast haste on the group.  Marativy walked over to her new friend and attempted to introduce everyone.  Once most of the ratfolk [but not all of them] were inside the lab on the right, the derro moved his foot to press a floor trigger, which dropped a wall across the only door way, trapping the adventurers in with the derro, minus Zitch and Auto, who were still in the hallway.

Those ratfolk in the lab with the “friend” immediately start attacking the derro, minus Marativy who is very upset her friends are fighting.  Roscuro hit with most of a flurry of blows, Lockerbie hit with his attacks and paralyzed the derro, and Templeton clawed and bit the derro, causing the derro to start bleeding.  While Marativy looked for the trigger to raise the wall blocking the door, Roscuro flurried on the paralyzed derro and killed him [one of the hits was a critical hit for maximum damage].

Outside in the hallway, Zitch was attacked by the invisible second derro, who became visible after the attack.  Zitch used the wand of lightning bolt to attack the derro as Zitch was not really a combatant.  Auto attacked the derro as well, but the tide turned when Marativy finally found the trigger and raised the wall blocking off the lab.  The rest of the Ratpack advanced on the remaining derro and quickly slew him.

Just as that combat wrapped up, a third derro, who had heard the sounds of combat and investigated while invisible from somewhere else in the Derro Hall, cast an explosive rune spell on Zitch, catching Roscuro and Zitch unawares when it detonated.  [In hindsight, this usage broke the rules as explosive runes may not be cast this way and requires the target read the runes to trigger detonation.]

The Ratpack was now out for blood.  When the boss derro fled, the entire group pursued him, back into the Derro Hall and over to the stairs on the northwestern wall that either went up or down.  The ratfolk spread out to hem in the derro and gave no quarter, gradually wearing down the derro and killing him.

All the ratfolk were injured by now.  Several were near to falling unconscious from their wounds but all were still standing.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[The write-up for this session is short as it consisted of two fights, the second of which drew out.  The draw out was at least partly the fault of the final fight being on a diagonal grid, which made judging where people could or could not stand harder than necessary, and partly due to a huge rules question on how the save DC of wands was calculated.  The GM has incorrectly added the derro’s Charisma modifier to the wand of charm person’s DC, causing Marativy to fail her save.  This suggested that maybe the wand of cure light wounds should heal more and the players wanted that verified.  We had to read through three different section of rules to backtrack to the relevant rule (wands do not get modifiers from the user’s characteristics, only the casting level and/or spell level of the spell) and resolve the question.]



Ratpack

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20


Session 32



Thursday, September 10, 2020

Ratpack – Session 30

[Day 20 finally ends and we move on to Days 21 and 22.  Dealings back in town.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened July 6, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]


Player Characters

Marativy – female ratfolk 4th level Ninja

Roscuro – male ratfolk 4th level Monk

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 4th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 4th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 4th level Gunslinger


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston



Day 20, Evening

The Ratpack rested in the Common rooms of The Crow, now the sole inhabitants [at least of the above ground levels].


Day 21

Zitch cast cure light wounds on Roscuro in the morning, healing Roscuro back to full health.

The group decided to go in to Magnimar to get the discovered shard made safe at the Pathfinder Society lodge.  They also decided to go down to Sub-level 2 and refill their water skins from the healing basin.  Roscuro also wanted to burn out the spider webs on that level and let the place air out while the Ratpack was in town.  After descending to Sub-level 2 and refilling their water skins, the group paused on the way back up.  Roscuro threw a vial of oil down the webbed hallway and followed that with a lit torch.  The group then ascended to the surface without looking back.

After walking through all the above ground levels to get back to the water inlet of The Crow, the ratfolk [plus Auto] piled into the rented boat, the only boat left tied up in the inlet.  While rowing back to Magnimar’s docks, they paused out on the bay so Templeton could go diving to the wreck of the Liza Jane and retrieve the sea chest discovered there a couple days earlier.  Zitch cast his ward on Templeton before Templeton dove into the bay waters.

Templeton had no problem getting back down to the wreck and recovering the sea chest, but he was attacked by two creatures on his way back to the surface.  After a successful hit on Templeton, the ward dropped, alerting Zitch to the fact that Templeton was being attacked.  While Templeton fought his attackers below the surface, the rest of the ratfolk tied together two of their ropes with a ranseur [for weight] on one end to lower down to Templeton so they could haul him back to the surface.  By the time the rescue rope was ready, Templeton resurfaced on his own with the sea chest.  Templeton described his attackers as he was helped back onto the boat.  Marativy and Zitch recognized the described creatures as reefclaws [think moray eels with lobster claws], known hazards of the bay waters.

While Templeton caught his breath, Marativy picked the lock on the sea chest.  Inside was a pearl brooch, a magical buckler shield, and a masterwork mithril rapier.  A good haul and, as it had not been brought up through The Crow, the profit did not have to be shared with the Tower Girls.  A win for Team Ratpack!

By the time the boat was rowed to the docks and the ratfolk climbed ashore, Zitch was starting to show the signs of bearing the Greed Shard.  Roscuro, playing to Zitch's elevated greed,  convinced Zitch that the group would get money and wealth by reporting in to the Pathfinders.  Once at the lodge, the Ratpack met with Shelia Heidmarch, venture-captain of the local Pathfinder lodge and quickly explained the situation.  Sheila went and retrieved the necessary Ioun Stone to neutralize the curse on the shard.  After some discussion, the ratfolk gave the Greed Shard to Templeton.

Templeton held the shard and focused on the next shard.  He received a vision of some impressive ruins of Thassilonian origin.  Describing his vision to the group, Marativy was able to identify the ruins as the Lady’s Light, located southwest of Magnimar at the edge of the land.  The ratfolk talked with Sheila and arranged for what little support the Pathfinder Society could provide before leaving the lodge.  [Roscuro was particularly underwhelmed.]

After leaving the lodge, the group went to Frederick’s shop to sell off more of the materials found in The Crow.  Frederick was not at his shop, but his assistant told the group Frederick was at the warehouse.  The ratfolk thanked the assistant and walked over to the warehouse.

At the warehouse, the Ratpack asked the workers for Frederick and were eventually directed to the “processing room”, where Frederick evaluated goods he had purchased.  This was a separate room inside the warehouse and the door was closed.  Roscuro politely knocked at the door.  Marativy heard some shuffling inside but no reply to Roscuro’s knock.  Roscuro opened the door, calling out, “Hello?”  The ratfolk heard a spell being cast and the sound of a flash.  They cautiously entered the room.  No one was there.  Zitch cast detect magic and found the residue of a teleportation spell.

The Ratpack immediately alerted the warehouse guards that Frederick had been kidnapped.  The warehouse guards alerted the town guards, at which point the Ratpack departed.  [Two members of the Ratpack have issues with the town guard.]

The Ratpack spent the rest of the day in Magnimar doing various things.  Winston made more bullets.  Templeton tracked down Lockerbie’s widow and gave her the locket from Lockerbie without explanation.  She was pleased to get the locket and thanked Templeton for getting it to her.  Afterward, he went looking for a silvering agent for his eidolon’s claws but was not successful.  Roscuro purchased some alchemical fire and more oil to replenish his supplies.

All the Ratpack slept in their own beds that night.


Day 22

In the morning, the Ratpack assembled at the Blue Rodent for breakfast and then went to the docks to get their rented boat.  They rowed back to The Crow, the northern-most of the surviving Irespan supports, and pulled in to the concealed inlet.  They hiked their way through the above surface levels to get to the Common Rooms area [carefully closing secret doors behind them], then started working their way through the sub-levels, stopping at Sub-level 2 to pick up fresh healing water.

Once they were back down to Sub-level 4, they stopped off to tell Lockerbie that they had delivered the locket to his widow and that she was pleased to receive it.  As thanks, Lockerbie offered to help the ratfolk fight the derro…as long as he got to keep the bodies.  The Ratfolk found this equitable.

The ratfolk, Auto, and Lockerbie made their way to the large hall, now referred to as the Derro Hall.  After 60 feet from the balcony the Derro Hall turned southwest and went another 60 feet.  This part had a door on the northwestern wall and a door on the southwestern wall.  [Diagonal mapping is the worst, especially when your combat system assumes a non-diagonal grid.]  There was also a set of stairs down adjacent to the northwestern wall, right near the bend in the hall [previously mentioned and still an issue waiting to happen].

The group picked the door on the northwestern wall to investigate first, hoping to find another derro lab.  Beyond the door was a hallway that led to a combination bedroom and torture room.  There was a chest by the bed and the torture instruments still had wet blood on them.  Another passage exited the room, heading west.  With no derro here, the group pressed west.

This passage led to a half-circle of prison cells.  The ratfolk carefully searched the cells and found Fenster the Blight near to death in one of the cells.  [Fenster was the last landlord of the Tower Girls in Magnimar and traded information about Natalia’s current location with the Ratpack for unique pieces of junk in Session 8.]  The Ratpack freed Fenster and healed him.

Having reached a dead end, the group backtracked to the bedroom/torture chamber and proceeded to loot it.  The Ratpack offered to take the ornate bed for Fenster after noticing him looking longingly at it.  He accepted as it was much better than the pile of rags he normally slept on.

The chest by the bed contained 25 vials of “fluids and stuff”.  Zitch cast detect magic and two were potions [later identified as an elixir of love (a creepy thing for the derro to have) and an elixir of truth].  Winston and Marativy went through the rest and identified vials of Id Moss (3), Striped Toadstool (2), Flayleaf (10), and Pesh (8), all mind-effecting drugs.  They went into the loot bag for later sale or trade [or maybe just burning].

Winston had Auto pick up the ornate bed and the group returned back to Derro Hall.  They went over to the door on the southwestern wall.  Behind it was a passage that ran northwest, parallel to the hall’s southwestern wall, before turning left.  Zitch cast his ward on Marativy and she snuck forward.  The passage turned another corner before coming to a T intersection.  Both side passages led to a room with a derro in it.  One of the derros noticed Marativy and yelled out “Intruder!”

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[We didn’t play the two weeks before this session.  I don’t remember exactly why anymore, but at least one of them was probably me being exhausted after a solid week of social events every evening and needing a quiet evening.  The other was likely the GM doing summer school stuff for his college courses (he went back to college after being a manager in retail for a while).]



Ratpack

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Session 27

Session 28

Session 29


Session 31



Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Ratpack – Session 29

[Day 20.  Yes, still.  Shard claimed and a Derro and its creation fought.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened June 15, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]


Player Characters

Marativy – female ratfolk 4th level Ninja

Roscuro – male ratfolk 4th level Monk

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 4th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Winston – male ratfolk 4th level Gunslinger

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 4th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston



Day 20, Immediately after last session

The fight against what Zitch later identified as "shriezyx" was tough as the shriezyx had five attacks each, including poison, and they could hit easily.  The spider-like things webbed Marativy as the rest of the Ratpack ran up to join in the fight.  Templeton charged into the fight, landing three hits on the first monster and causing it to start bleeding.  He was attacked and webbed up for his troubles.  Marativy broke free of the webs on her and flanked one of the monsters to good effect [sneak attack!].  Winston fired shot after shot from his musket into the things.  Roscuro?  He missed with his crossbow multiple times and eventually fumbled and fell on his face.  He was hit 3 times while prone, losing most of his hit points.  Marativy got in the killing blow on one of the shriezyx and Templeton the other after a massive critical hit from Winston.  All the ratfolk took damage from the things and needed healing once the fight was over.

After the fight and the healing, the ratfolk looked around the room.  Light was provided by crystals embedded in the ceiling.  There was a seven-pointed altar, and on that altar was a black metallic shard.  Based on what they’d been told, this was the shard of Greed, not the shard of Wrath, which the group had been expecting.  Curious.

After some discussion, the group agreed to have Templeton use mage hand to lift the shard off the altar and place it on a cloth.  The cloth was wrapped around the shard [also using mage hand] to avoid anyone being exposed to the influence of the shard and then placed in Zitch’s handy haversack.

With their primary goal achieved, the Ratpack decided to deal with the derro.  Partially to make Magnimar safer, but mostly so Frederick’s recovery teams would be safe to pull the artwork from the dungeons and the Ratpack could get paid.  The group backtracked to the secret door to the large hall and listened for any derro.  No noise was heard, so the secret door was opened.  Roscuro noticed the side door across the large hall just closing as this door opened.

The group attempted to sneak across the large hall to the northern door, but Auto just stomped its way and Marativy’s attempts to quieten it made more noise [she rolled a 1 and the player running Auto rolled a 4].  Near the door everyone smelled rotting flesh.  An ill omen.  Marativy opened the door and discovered the source of the stench – a carrion golem.  She missed seeing the derro casting sonic blast and was stunned by the spell.  Zitch started retching from the stench of the golem [he failed his Fort save and was nauseated].

Zitch pulled back the stunned Marativy.  Roscuro failed to acrobatically get by the golem, got clipped by it, but successfully landed a stunning fist attack on the derro!  For his troubles, the golem walked over and hit Roscuro again, leaving Roscuro barely standing [down to 2 hit points!].  Templeton cast haste on most of the group [Roscuro and Zitch were too far away from the others].  Winston and Auto advanced and attacked.

Roscuro, feeling his ki, used ki defense and ki flurry, bloodying the derro with multiple hits.  The golem attacked Roscuro twice, but missed due to Roscuro’s ki defense [ki point well spent!].  Temple ton stepped up and attacked as well.  The derro, shrugging off the stun effect, stepped back and cast darkness.  It was not very effective against the ratfolk and their darkvision.  Marativy rolled across the floor to grab her wakizashi and attacked the golem, barely scratching it [poor damage roll].  Winston and Auto concentrated all of their attacks on the golem, wearing it down.

Roscuro stepped up to the derro, performing a flurry of blows but only hitting with one.  The golem attempted to attack Roscuro again and missed with both attacks thanks to a protective luck hex Zitch had just placed on Roscuro.  Templeton stepped to the derro and bit and killed it.  His claw attacks went to the golem, which he finished shredding, the parts falling to noisome piles of carrion.

After the fight, Zitch used 3 charges from the healing wand on Roscuro to get him healed most of the way back up to full health.  The room and some closets were searched and looted of some quality surgical tools and a hand crossbow with some bolts.

With everyone injured to some extent and healing resources running low, the Ratpack decided it was time to return to the surface – the rest of the derro could wait.  The ratfolk took the northern passageway out of the large hall.  There were two side passages on the way north.  The first went west to unexplored areas.  Immediately after that side passage was one to the east that linked back up with the water nexus Lockerbie told the group about.  Continuing north, the Ratpack arrived at the “big water room” as Lockerbie called it – it was the room top the south of the initial sewer junction room on this sub-level.

As the group walked along the first part of the raised walkway, the walkway collapsed, dropping everyone into the sewer water.  There was also a layer of invisible poisonous gas on the water but below the walkway level.  Marativy scrambled back up onto the walkway and dropped down a rope to help everyone else back up.  Zitch and Winston were coughing from the poison gas, but no one was dying.  The group resumed walking and eventually made it back to the Common room up on the first floor of The Crow.  Resting was in order.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Technically the quest is complete at this point, but the ratfolk feel it necessary to go back down and take care of the derro.  Plus, there might be more treasure to collect.]

[I should also point out that Blogger has been tweaking their blogging interface and the tweaks have helped greatly improve the user experience for this writer.  The number of clicks I have to perform to create a URL link is down by half.  There was something else that changed for the better as well, but I can't remember what it was now.  TL;DR: it's getting better again.]



Ratpack

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Session 27

Session 28


Session 30



Thursday, September 3, 2020

Ratpack – Session 28

[Day 20, still.  Again.  An unlikely ally is made and Derro are hunted.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened June 8, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]


Player Characters

Marativy – female ratfolk 4th level Ninja

Roscuro – male ratfolk 4th level Monk

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 4th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Winston – male ratfolk 4th level Gunslinger

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 4th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston



Day 20, Later

[The GM clarified a point missed the previous session: the water and the water channels in the sewer junction are 10 feet below the level of the floor.  We were envisioning a smaller gap, but it became important later.  Also, I am maintaining the direction orientation we’ve been using since the start for consistency and not suddenly reversing my east-west, north-south directions.]

With three options to explore from the sewer junction, the Ratpack decided to put off exploring the east passage where the singing in Necril was coming from.  The group decided to explore the western passage first.  The water channel was a little over 7 feet wide, leaving a narrow walkway for the ratfolk to use.  Auto [size class Medium] had to bend and twist to maneuver, but for the ratfolk [size class Small] the walkway was comfortable as long as they walked single-file.

The passage went nearly 60 feet before appearing to turn a corner with light coming around the corner.  Marativy stealthily moved forward to investigate ahead of the rest of the [noisy] group.  Marativy discovered the “corner” was actually a partially collapsed room.  The northwest corner was collapsed, but water flowed out from underneath the debris.  In the southwest corner was a passage continuing west with no water channel.  Marativy could just see that the passage only went a short distance before turning south.  The passage had a great deal of fungus growing on the floors and walls, getting thicker the closer to the corner.  Marativy returned to the group to report what she had seen.

Not wanting to deal with the fungus, the Ratpack returned to the junction room and went down the south passage.  This went 20 feet and opened up to a large room that was mostly covered in water.  The narrow walkway in the passage continued halfway across the room, turned west, crossed the room, and then turned south, ending at a passageway to the south in the southwest corner of the room.  Pipes stuck out of the walls but nothing was currently flowing from them.  The surface of the water was still 10 feet below the walkway surface.  The water was clearly sewage but where was it coming from?  Magnimar?  Why extend the city sewer system this deep?  The ratfolk were puzzled.

Not liking the look of the walkway across the water, the ratfolk backed up again and returned to the junction room.  They looked down the eastern passage, towards the singing.  The passage went 20 feet, descending as it did so that when it entered the room it was just above the surface of the water.  The walkway extended into the room and turned south in the center of the room.  Once again, Marativy advanced ahead of the group for a stealthy reconnaissance.

The walkway widened in the room so that when it met up with a passage on the south wall it was as wide as the passage [10 feet].  The water did not seem to go past this room.  The walls of the round chamber were covered with a panoramic painting of the Magnimar skyline and bay, with ships in the bay.  Marativy found the source of the singing, a blue guy with “long ears and tongue and claws” [as she later described him].  She returned to report what she had seen.

The Ratpack discussed what to do and decided to go talk with “the blue guy”.  The singing stopped during this discussion, suggesting the singer had heard the talking.  The group decided that Templeton would be the speaker as he had the best charisma of the group [which is not actually saying much].  Once in the room with the singer, the Ratpack started talking to the singer.  His name was Lockerbie B. of the Liza Jane, the sunken ship the ratfolk had seen and Templeton explored earlier.  Lockerbie explained that the ship had sank, he had died, and then later woke up looking like he does.  [He is clearly some kind of aquatic ghoul.]  Lockerbie warned the ratfolk that there were derro to the south and they had been kidnapping townsfolk for their experiments.  He was under the impression that the kidnapped people was the Ratpack’s reason for being down here.  It was now.

The Ratpack and Lockerbie talked a while longer.  He asked the ratfolk to deliver a locket from his sunken ship to his wife in exchange for ownership of the rest.  The ratfolk easily agreed to those terms, getting the details on his wife so the locket could be delivered the next time they were on the surface.  At this point, Lockerbie confided that he now occasionally ate human flesh but had no use for human things.  Not being human, the ratfolk, as a group, shrugged.  He beckoned the group to follow him down the south passage to a small room with human remains in it and offered the group what the bodies had.  [This came out to 16 gold in various coins and a 100 gp pearl.]

After the bodies were looted, Lockerbie led the group further south to a larger room.  This room was covered in water, but the walkway extended into the room, with steps climbing to a raised central platform.  From that platform the walkway went east, south and west, descending back to the water level by stairs before leaving the room through passages.  There were pipes extending from the walls in the corner of the room.  Lockerbie told the ratfolk that the passage south went to the derro, the passage east eventually surfaces in Magnimar, and the passage west linked to “the big water room,” other hazards, and derro patrols. He then returned north to the mural room.

The ratfolk with Auto in tow climbed the stairs to the central platform and then descended the southern stairs, exiting the room through the south passage.  This passage went a short ways and became a set of stairs that also served as a corner.  Going up two short flights of steps the passage continued west.  The passage ended in the corner of a balcony overlooking a large hall.

The large hall went to the limit of the ratfolk’s darkvision [60 feet] and appeared to turn southwest.  Two passages could be seen on the north wall, one 30 feet along and the other just before the bend in the large hall.  A spiral set of stone steps in the center of the large hall descended deeper with a railing around it to prevent people from falling into the stairs.  The adventurers set up in cover on the balcony while Marativy and Roscuro stealthily climbed over the balcony banister to explore the hall.

While advancing along the southern wall of the large hall, Marativy discovered a secret door in the southern wall just as the scouts could look across the room and down the first passage on the northern wall.  That passage was short and ended at a door.  From this position, Marativy and Roscuro could see more of the large hall and located another set of stairs on the western wall, just past the second passage on the northern wall.  [Later there was discussion as to whether these stairs went up or down.  Our map, drawn as the GM described the large hall shows the stairs going down, but in a later session they are described as ascending.  Not a significant point in the long run, but it happened.]

Marativy and Roscuro crept across the width of the large hall to listen at the door down the short northern passage.  Both heard movement, but nothing distinct.  Both moved over to the central stairs down and listened, hearing nothing but silence.  Next they went back to the secret door and opened it.  Beyond the secret door was a passage that turned immediately west and then south.  Intrigued, the decided to investigate further, but not before using hand signals to tell the rest back on the balcony what they were doing and to give the scouts 10 minutes.  Additionally, if the scouts had not returned by then, please come in shooting.  Zitch gave the thumbs up indicating he understood and quietly informed Templeton and Winston of the plan.  [Use of the Bluff skill to send the message and the Sense Motive skill to understand it.]

With backup arranged, Marativy and Roscuro entered the secret passage.  It went a short distance and then turned back on itself before ascending as stairs.  At the top of the stairs was a rectangular antechamber.  Stairs on the opposite side went up to a fancy door.  The stairs were flanked by two large statues of Alaznist, holding her ranseur at the ready.  Suspecting another fireball trap or something similar, Marativy and Roscuro decided to leap across the distance to the stairs.  Marativy gracefully and elegantly made the leap.  Roscuro stepped on his tail during the run up to the leap and stumbling across the floor to the stairs [rolled a 1 on the Acrobatics roll].  Luckily, there was no trap for Roscuro to trigger.

Marativy and Roscuro ascended the steps to the fancy door.  Roscuro opened the door and looked inside – it was the room Marativy described from her visions when holding the shard!  Roscuro also observed two large spider-like creatures in the room animate.  He immediately pulled the door closed and explained what he saw to Marativy.  As Roscuro was the faster of the two [monk Fast Movement class feature], they decided he would run to get the others while Marativy held the door closed.  Marativy immediately scampered to get the others.

As 10 minutes had passed by this point, the rest of the Ratpack was already starting to move.  Templeton and Zitch had no issues climbing down from the balcony, using a rope prepped earlier.  Winston instead fell on his face and discharged his musket with a loud CRACK!  Roscuro appeared at the secret door just after the shot went off and hurriedly waved the group over to the secret door.  They all scuttled into the secret door area, Roscuro closing it behind them just as the door across the large hall was opening.  The ratfolk hoped that the derro had not noticed the secret door closing but had no way of knowing either way.

Roscuro quickly explained that he and Marativy had found the shard room, but large spider creatures activated and Marativy was trying to hold the door closed on them.  The ratfolk [and Auto] advanced as fast as they could.  The fastest [Roscuro and Templeton] arrived at the antechamber just as the spider creatures ripped the door off the hinges and out of Marativy’s hands!

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[We finally found the shard room!  Making friends with Lockerbie was unexpected on our part, but I feel the writer had planned for it as the backstory was ready.  I like adventures where “kill everything” is not the only way to go, even with the undead.  The fact that none of the PCs were the ghoul’s preferred food type probably helped a great deal.]

[Side Note: the antechamber and the shard room were drawn on the map 45 degrees off the grid.  Diagonal maps are very difficult to adjudicate on a square grid, half squares especially.  I’ll have more to say about this in a later post.]



Ratpack

Session 01

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Session 27


Session 29