Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 32

[Day 61 – Back to the surface for dinner and evening watches.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened August 16, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 5th level Rogue

Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)

Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)

Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)



Autumn

Day 61

Afternoon

The Ratpack discussed their options.  It was some time in the afternoon, but they were not certain when, being underground.  They were standing on a stone ledge/landing, just outside the throne room of Mochtau, the queen of the cave giants, a bound servant [slave] of the Runelord of Lust.  They had made a deal with Mochtau to recover a vial from a hidden storage area in exchange for guidance on the location of the shard of the Shattered Star they were hunting.

The group felt they might be able to take on another fight, but nothing as large as the rest of the Grey Maidens, whose barracks they needed to travel through to get to the hidden storage area.  They decided that now would be a good time to return to their camp on the surface, before they became exhausted enough to be easy pickings for whoever or whatever they might run across on the way up.

Before leaving the lake-filled cavern they were in, Templeton and Zitch flew up to the nearby waterfall to see if it provided access to yet another section of the dungeon.  Closer inspection suggested this was another source of water from the elemental plane of water.  This was the second water source in the underground complex the group had discovered, with no outflow.  Why hadn’t the entire place filled over the last 7000 years?

Templeton and Zitch flew around the cavern edge to see if they had simply missed an outflow.  What Zitch saw instead was a line of runes that went completely around the immense cavern, just at the water level.  These runes were very similar to those found on a Thassilonian fountain back in Magnimar the group had found that destroyed any water that crossed them.  The entire cave complex was a giant fountain, magically importing water from the elemental planes and then simply destroying any surplus!  This was a gross display of magical power and something the Ratpack was starting to expect from anything the Runelords had a hand in.

Curiosity satisfied [for lack of a better term], the Ratpack climbed back into the boats and rowed through the tunnel that connected this lake-filled cavern with the next one.  The next one had a compulsion field covering it that forced those falling under its power to ignore the tunnel the adventurers were in and swim to the shore of a nearby cave [and be eaten by any monsters in the water along the way].  The adventurers had discovered this trap when they first entered this cavern by descending down the waterfall that connected it with yet another lake-filled cavern upstream.

At the edge of the compulsion field, the adventurers worked out a plan to get back to the upper cavern [and the way out].  Templeton would receive Zitch’s Ward to bolster his defenses against the compulsion field [+2 to WILL save].  Then he would carry the adventurers two at a time and fly up the waterfall passage to the upper cavern, depositing them on the sandy beach in front of Porn Hall.

The first two Templeton carried were Hrefna and Swamprover.  Templeton flew as quickly as he could through the compulsion field and then up the waterfall channel, arriving at the sandy beach before either of his riders succumbed to the field.  Templeton flew back down to the waiting adventurers.

The second group were Gridik and Ariphi riding Templeton while Zitch flew along side.  Gridik succumbed to the field as they flew through it and attempted to jump off of Templeton.  Ariphi noticed this and grabbed the kobold before he got away.  Unfortunately, this distraction led to Ariphi succumbing to the compulsion field.  Zitch and Templeton noticed things were happening.  Zitch grabbed Ariphi as she leapt free and Templeton swooped down to catch Gridik by the collar.  They flew up the waterfall passage and deposited Gridik and Ariphi there, tying them up until the compulsion relented.  Templeton flew back down to where Roscuro and Marativy waited.

Marativy was very concerned she would not be able to resist the compulsion field and asked Roscuro to tie her up before they flew through it.  He did so.  On the flight through the field, Marativy did succumb early and was able to escape from the ropes, but Roscuro grabbed her and held on until they reached the upper cavern.  Marativy had to be re-tied up until the compulsion eventually wore off.

Once the entire group was clear of the compulsion to swim down the waterfall to the lower cavern, Gridik and Templeton went upstream to the next beach where boats would be.  They brought these boats back to the sandy beach on the upper lake.  While they did this, Roscuro and Marativy went through Porn Hall to Gnaeus’ old room and retrieved the broken automaton heads, packing them in Marativy’s box of holding.  When they returned, the boats were ready and the entire group poled the boats back to the first beach.

An Hour or So Later

Working their way through the narrow caves that connected the dungeon to the surface, the adventurers arrived at the nexus cave [where several tunnels met] and discovered some of the bitey-pinchy-bugs had grown large feeding on the corpses of the previous giant bugs.  After a short fight, the adventures had reasserted their position as top of the heap, killing the six larger bugs.  Hrefna was bitten and poisoned during the fight and Roscuro got bug guts all over himself.  Gridik helped Roscuro clean up with Prestidigitation and Zitch helped Hrefna with the wand of lesser restoration.  Marativy harvested two of the claws as trophies.

An Hour and a Half After That

The Ratpack returned to their camp on the surface.  Mel, their hired halfling cook, reported dinner was nearly ready, so the group quickly cleaned up from the expedition.  The meal was excellent and drew several envious stares from the adjacent merchant camp.

Third Watch

Late in the night, Zitch, Templeton, and Gridik were on watch and observed some bright lights moving around in the swampy areas south of camp.  Zitch identified them as “blindheims” that hunted their prey by blinding it with bright light they emitted from their eyes.  Word was passed around the two camps to reduce any noise further.  After a long while the blindheims finished whatever they were doing and left the area, heading further south towards the river.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Gridik and Hrefna had enough experience points to level, Hrefna thanks to the bugs fought on the way back.  We suspect the Other GM ran that encounter to provide the needed experience.  No complaints on our end if that is what happened.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 30

Session 31


Session 33 [Not Yet Typed Up]



Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 31

[Day 61 – Team Teleport reports, crossing the Lake of Ghouls, and speaking to the Queen of Giants.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened August 16, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 5th level Rogue

Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)

Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)

Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)



Autumn

Day 61

Early Afternoon

Team Teleport, consisting of Templeton, Roscuro, Marativy, and Hrefna, were on a stone jetty that reached out into the furthest of the underground caverns the Ratpack had discovered under the Lady’s Light, a monumental statue of the Runelord of Lust, Sorshen.  Templeton recognized the cavern as the one beyond the compulsion field he had investigated alone before being attacked by the undead giant bats.  As a result, the group was quiet to avoid attracting any other guardians in this cavern.  Templeton reported that there was another landing across the lake with a red metal door.

Zitch, with the rest of the Ratpack in the stairs from the Chamber of Grey Flame, made use of his earrings of telepathic communication to speak with Roscuro and find out where the teleporting mural sent them.  Roscuro reported that it led to the cavern the compulsion field was hiding and both Team Teleport and the landing area were safe.  The rest of the Ratpack made use of the teleportation and shortly the Ratpack was reunited.

While there were three boats available, the Ratpack decided to use only two.  Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik were in the first boat with Roscuro rowing.  Swamprover, Hrefna, and Ariphi were in the second boat with Hrefna rowing.  Zitch rode on Templeton’s back as Templeton flew.  Concerned about being attacked by a spellcaster, the two rowboats kept a 30-foot distance from each other as they rowed across the lake.

At the mid-point, the arms of unknown creatures reached up out of the water and grabbed the sides of the boats, preparatory to flipping the boats!

Swamprover used her tongue to deliver a Shocking Grasp spell to one of the attackers, instantly regretting it due to the taste.  Zitch cast Protective Luck on Marativy.  Roscuro performed a flurry of blows, only one of which landed effectively.  The things under the water attacked, flipping the first boat and dumping Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik into the water.  Back on the second boat, Ariphi struck one of the things while Hrefna killed another.  Templeton flew back to the swamped first boat and dropped the end of a rope for Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik.  Gridik grabbed onto the rope but was unable to climb out of the water [failed a climb check, which was not surprising as he had a modifier of -1 to the roll].  Marativy, in the water, grabbed the rope and slashed at one of the attackers, injuring it but not killing it.  It was now obvious that the attackers were aquatic ghouls, which lent a sense of urgency to those in the water.

Swamprover cast Force Bolt at one of the aquatic ghouls, wounding it.  Zitch put Protective Luck on  Gridik and cackled.  Roscuro grabbed the rope Templeton was dangling before throwing a punch and missing one of the aquatic ghouls.  More of the aquatic ghouls arrived and joined in the attack.  Gridik was attacked, but missed due to a combination of Protective Luck and bodyguard actions from Roscuro and Marativy.  Roscuro was attacked, but they missed due to bodyguard actions from Marativy.  Unfortunately, Marativy was hit once, despite the Protective Luck and a bodyguard action from Roscuro.  Luckily, Marativy was able to shrug off the paralytic effect of the strike [made her save].  At the second rowboat, the increased number of attackers were able to flip the boat.  Ariphi continued her attack on one of the ghouls.  Hrefna climbed onto the flipped rowboat and cast Spiritual Weapon.  Templeton flew ahead to the stone landing the group was attempting to get to, dragging the rope behind him with Roscuro, Marativy, and Gridik all clinging to it.  He was able to get them adjacent to the landing.  Gridik climbed up onto the landing and cast Magic Missile at the ghouls attacking the second boat.  Marativy joined Gridik on the landing, drawing her bow and shooting an arrow to no effect.

Swamprover attempted to climb onto the overturned second rowboat, but was successfully attacked by a ghoul [she invoked an attack of opportunity from the ghoul], landing paralyzed atop the boat.  Her familiar, Snek, cast a Ray of Frost at the offending ghoul.  Zitch cackled to maintain the various Protective Lucks he had cast and held onto Templeton.  Roscuro climbed out of the water onto the adjacent landing and readied his crossbow.  The aquatic ghouls swarmed the second boat, but due to luck on the adventurers part, only landed one blow and Hrefna shrugged off the paralysis effect from the hit [made her save].  Ariphi climbed onto the overturned boat and then slashed at her foe, finally killing it.  Hrefna attacked another wounded ghoul multiple times and with Spiritual Weapon, killing it.  Templeton flew back to boat 2 for another air rescue.  Gridik asked Roscuro for advice on targets and was told to aim for the left one.  He did so, hitting it squarely with a Force Bolt.  Marativy fired another arrow from her bow, but the waterlogged missile went far off target [she rolled really low to hit, again].

Swamprover remained paralyzed on the overturned boat, her familiar doing its best to keep her from sliding off.  Zitch cast Protective Luck on Templeton and cackled.  Roscuro shot a ghoul with his crossbow and reloaded.  The remaining aquatic ghouls attacked those on the second boat, fortunately with little effect.  Ariphi slashed another ghoul, with Hrefna striking and killing that target and wounding another.  Templeton arrived at the second boat and hovered over it, dangling the rope for the adventurers.  Gridik plinked the same ghoul with another Force Bolt while Marativy missed again with her bow.

Zitch cast Protective Luck on Hrefna and cackled [I'm skipping Swamprover at this point as she remains paralyzed until after the fight].  Roscuro fired his crossbow again but missed due to the ghoul being partially submerged.  He cursed quietly as he reloaded.  The two remaining ghouls attacked and missed hitting the desperate adventurers.  Ariphi grabbed the dangling rope and swung at a ghoul, missing the ghoul.  Hrefna concentrated all of her attacks on the same ghoul and killed it, leaving only one ghoul active.  Templeton flew up, lifting only Ariphi, and flew back towards the landing.  Gridik barely hit the last ghoul with a Force Bolt [minimal damage] while Marativy missed yet again with her bow.

Zitch cast Protective Luck on Ariphi as the only valid target and cackled.  Roscuro missed the last ghoul and reloaded.  The ghoul missed hitting Hrefna.  While Ariphi held onto the rope, Hrefna focused all of her attacks on the remaining ghoul, critically hitting it with her last attack and killing it.

Templeton dropped Ariphi and Zitch off at the stone landing with the others.  Roscuro packed up his crossbow and rode back to the second boat with Templeton so they could rescue Hrefna and Swamprover.  Roscuro used the rope to tie off the boat so it could be dragged to the landing and hauled out of the water.  Roscuro then did the same with the first rowboat and the oars plus any arrows or bolts that were floating in the water.  Eventually Swamprover was able to move again.  Zitch used the wand of cure light wounds to heal up the little damage taken from the ghouls.

While that was going on, Marativy investigated the red metal door.  It was quite large and decorated with one-foot square panels that also formed a mosaic.  The individual panels showed Sorshen dominating a variety of monsters while the overall mosaic portrayed all the monsters bowing to the Runelord.  Marativy started pushing on the individual panels to no effect until she pressed on the one showing a cave giant.  When she pressed on that one, Thassilonian words appeared in light, saying “…and so do the mighty architects serve eternal.”  The door opened.

Beyond the door was an immense hallway with plain pillars supporting the high ceiling.  Murals on the walls showed giants performing sex acts with humans.  [Roscuro was getting very tired of this theme.]  Zitch cast his ward and Heroism on Roscuro.  Gridik cast Cat’s Grace on Roscuro.  Then a voice boomed out of the darkness: “Who dares enter my hall?”

Roscuro was the most diplomatic he had ever been in his life.  He asked permission to approach and when it was granted, he did so, with the rest of the Ratpack following at various distances behind.  The hall widened to form a larger chamber where four giant lizards sat, watching the group approach but making no hostile actions.  At this point Roscuro paused, because he did not want to have the giant lizards behind him and the unknown person in front of him.  When told to approach closer, Roscuro replied, “Your pets are so large and I am so small, I am frozen with fear and can approach no closer.”

The unknown person made a noise and the giant lizards moved back, clearing a path for Roscuro.  Recognizing as good a deal as he was likely to get, Roscuro moved forward again.  When he cleared the last pillar, he stopped again.  Ahead the hall ended in a raised are with an immense throne on it.  Sitting on the throne was a cave giantess holding an immense axe.  She appeared surprised when she saw Roscuro – apparently Ratfolk was not what she was expecting.

Roscuro and the giantess talked.  Roscuro was very polite and when asked what tribute he might have, he offered up the soul gem.  This impressed the giantess, who gave her name as Mochtau.  She took the gem and asked what Roscuro was doing here.  Roscuro explained he and his group had been tasked with locating a shard of metal.  Roscuro described the shard without explaining what the shard actually was.  She offered to give some assistance to its location if Roscuro and his group would retrieve something for her.  Hoping to shorten the search for the shard, Roscuro was willing to make a deal.  Plus, the group of adventurers were starting to get low on resources and he was not certain they could pull of a fight with the giantess and her pets.

The deal was to go to the barracks of the Grey Maidens and access a secret door in their bath house.  The secret passage led to two things, a storage closet for perfumes and aromas and a shrine to the demon lord Nocticula.  The item Mochtau wanted was in the closet.  It was a vial of liquid that she described to Roscuro.  The shrine intrigued Roscuro as the groups art patron seemed to have an interest in Nocticula, so anything there would likely pay well if presented to her.  He agreed to the deal with Mochtau and they shook on it.

The Ratpack quietly left the hall, not wanting to talk where Mochtau might overhear them.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[The encounter with the giantess was the first time Roscuro’s voice was honestly respectful and diplomatic.  Normally his words out of my mouth are cynical and borderline caustic, but not this time.  I have no idea what inspired me that session, but his words were perfect for the scene.  I’ve experienced this effect when writing stories in the past, where what appears when I’m typing seems to be writing itself, but this is the first time its happened while roleplaying.]

[Templeton’s player and I had discussed the rope airlift tactic before, trying to work out a tactic that would allow him to airlift the entire group at once.  We thought about him holding a pole in the foo dog mouth but a rope with knots seemed to be the best option as it could be stored easier.  It was nice to see it finally come into play.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 30


Session 32



Friday, October 1, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 30

[Day 61 – Chamber of Grey Flame, the dorms, and dead ends?]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened August 9, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 5th level Rogue

Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)

Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)

Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)



Autumn

Day 61

Late-Morning

Somewhat recovered from the fight with the incubus and the two goat-headed demons, the Ratpack investigated the pair of double doors that were the only way out of the room they were in.  The scanty knowledge shared by Helanda [way back Book 2, Session 16] stated that the next room was the Chamber of Grey Flame, so called because in the center of the chamber was a large grey flame.  It was also the last room the Grey Maidens saw before “Sorshen” arrived and dominated/charmed the entire group.

Marativy checked the door for traps.  She found none but noticed that the door was noticeably warm to the touch.  With no detected traps, Roscuro opened the doors.

The chamber beyond was octagonal with a thirty-foot domed ceiling.  The walls and floors were all polished marble like the rest of the dungeon rooms and corridors.  The center of the chamber was raised with a ball of grey flame floating in the center of the room.  There was a set of doors on the eastern wall and an open doorway on the south and western walls.  The air had a noticeable heat shimmer to it, but no heat radiated out of the chamber.  Hrefna activated a Resist Elements (Heat) aura [might be “Fire”, I’m not certain] to allow the group of adventurers to traverse the chamber safely.

When they entered the room, the adventurers immediately noticed it was warm and humid in the chamber but not actually painful [very similar to a Houston summer where both the temperature and the humidity are in the upper 90s (F and %, respectively)].  The adventurers moved clockwise around the outer edge of the room to the set of doors.  They could see the open doorways to the south and west led to side rooms as they moved around the main chamber.

Roscuro, ever curious and willing to take a risk, moved closer to the center of the room for a better look at the ball of grey flame, stepping up onto the raised part of the floor.  This provoked the grey flame to spark up and five motes escaped from it.  The motes rapidly grew into floating orbs of flesh, each with a maw full of row after row of mismatched teeth!

Zitch quickly identified them as cacodaemons and started running down their defenses.  Their defenses were were vulnerable to silver and good-aligned weapons, which brought a smile to Roscuro as he prepared to punch the tiny globes with his silver knuckles.  Zitch also shared that more powerful daemons used cacodaemons to transform souls into soul gems and the cacodaemons might have soul gems in their guts.  Weird.

The Ratpack quickly defeated the cacodaemons with Roscuro taking the only damage from the monsters.  The last cacodaemon attempted to escape by turning invisible, but Templeton had clawed it so it left a trail of “blood” as it bled out.  This allowed Gridik to work out its location and kill it with a Magic Missile spell.  That was the only cacodaemon that the Ratpack was able to harvest a soul gem from [having broken the rest in the process of killing the monsters].  Zitch cast Cure Light Wounds to heal up Roscuro, who claimed the soul gem for safe keeping.

With no other threats, the adventurers returned to the pair of doors on the east wall.  Beyond it was a set of stairs going down to a landing.  The landing was a dead end but had a mural of Sorshen.  There was text in Thassilonian that read, “Kneel before me and show devotion to enter my domain.”

This seemed dubious to the ratfolk.  Roscuro suggested Zitch use the wand of detect secret doors to see if there was a hidden door [the wand had 12 charges left at this point, so it was a conserved resource].  Zitch found no secret door, so he used the duration of the spell to check the stairwell and the two side chambers off the Chamber of Grey Flame.  In the western side chamber he located a secret door on the west wall.  While Zitch did this, Swamprover and Gridik used Detect Magic on the mural at the bottom of the stairs and found a magical transmutation aura on the mural.  They suspected it was some form of teleportation and led to another part of the dungeon.

Faced with a secret door or teleportation to an unknown location, the Ratpack decided to investigate the secret door first.  After some experimentation, the adventurers worked out that the secret door needed a torch lit from the grey flame set in a torch holder on the wall with the secret door.

Beyond the secret door was a long hallway with ten doors at even intervals along it, five to each side.  Investigating further, all but one had text on them that read, “Thou wouldst enter, then thou must touch.”  Instead of that text, the first door on the right read, “Thou wouldst enter to enjoy the company of the Runelord herself?  Then thou must touch.”  This door had a thin rime of ice upon it – clearly a trap of some sort.

Ignoring the trapped door for the moment, the other nine rooms were investigated first.  Opening the door involved touching the door.  These rooms turned out to be bedrooms.  Each had a single, large bed with luxurious sheets, all in excellent condition.  The Ratpack quickly set to stripping the beds of their sheets and packing them away as loot.  In the process, a single golden hairclip was found.  It was non-magical but likely to be valuable [worth 600gp].

Having looted the other nine rooms [as much as they could without carrying the heavy beds themselves], the Ratpack turned its attention back to the tenth door.  Swamprover and Gridik investigated the door for what kind of magic it housed.  They found an aura of invocation – clearly a trap.

Not wanting to leave anything potentially behind or a path not taken, Roscuro decided he would open the door.  The rest of the adventures retreated to the side chamber and waited at the secret door there.  Gridik stood at the doorway to the Chamber of Grey Flame in case anything attempted to sneak up on the group.  Roscuro then touched the trapped door to see if it opened.  Instead, the door released a very large ice explosion!  Roscuro was able to avoid the effects of the trap [made his Reflex save and had Evasion], but everyone else but Gridik, who was outside the area of effect, took cold damage to one extent or another.  Hrefna immediately activated her healing aura and restored the group to good health.  The door with the trap was a false door.

Done with this side area, the adventurers returned to the potential teleport mural.  The group assembled a Team Teleport to try and trigger the magic while the rest of the group stayed at a safe distance.  Team Teleport consisted of Templeton, Marativy, Roscuro, and Hrefna.  Team Teleport first displayed the Lust rune, which was supposed to trigger the teleportation magic of the glass golem.  It did nothing.  They then prostrated themselves in front of the mural per the text.  This did nothing, but allowed them to notice the feet of the mural showed wear.  Perhaps “showing devotion” involved kissing the feet?  Humans were weird, so they gave that a try and it worked, teleporting each person from Team Teleport individually.

Those teleported arrived on a stone jetty sticking out into a lake in a large underground cavern with a waterfall nearby.  Templeton recognized the area as the cavern beyond the compulsion field where he initially found the undead giant bats.  There were three boats tied up to the jetty.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[This was pretty much as stated without much else to say.]

[I’m recovering from my health issue.  I’ll be making a major change to my diet for a while to lose some weight, basically dropping all carbs from my diet.  As carbs make up a huge part of my diet (they are cheap and filling) I need to see a nutritionist to work out a new diet that won’t be boring or repetitive.  Whatever I end up eating, it will probably double our current grocery bill because it is expensive to eat healthy in the US.  Sigh.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Session 27

Session 28

Session 29


Session 31



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Delay Due to Health

 Ever wonder how someone could mistake indigestion for a heart attack?  Well I know how that works now.

As a result, my schedule this week has been disrupted while I get my health squared away.  Session notes for Shattered Star, Book 2, session 30 will go up this week, but it might not be until Friday.  Sorry for the delay.

Also, the ads from AdSense seem to be showing now.  The auto placement of them was terrible, with the algorithm dropping them in the middle of lists, so I turned that off and am going with manual placement.  I have the ability to move them around some, so let me know if any are particularly distracting.  I'll run the ads until the end of the year and review their usefulness again in January.

Later!



Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 29

[Day 61 – Incubus and the Goatheads!  Live at the Lady’s Light, but only for a short time!]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened August 2, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 5th level Rogue

Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)

Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)

Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)



Autumn

Day 61

Mid-Morning

After the unexpected fight with the animating statue heads, the Ratpack examined the heads.  They were clearly automatons and yet another sign of the prodigious amount of magic available to Runelords.  The two least-damaged heads were placed in sacks for later retrieval.  These sacks were placed in Gnaeus’ old room.

Marativy scouted ahead.  The corridor turned back west shortly, where Marativy found an alcove with a mural and a pit trap.  The mural showed Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, in front of a temple with throngs of admirers in front of her.  The temple was fronted with pillars and chained between each set were naked slaves.  While trying to safe the pit trap, Marativy accidentally triggered it.  Her ring of feather falling prevented her from being speared by the poisoned spikes at the bottom of the pit.

Marativy called forward the rest of the Ratpack.  The mural was checked for secret doors or compartments.  None were found.  A rope was secured in place, one end tied to the last pillar the heads attacked from and the other tied to a spike hammered into place on the far side of the pit.  There was a 6-inch ledge around the pit and that combined with various other skills allowed the adventurers to pass the pit trap easily.  The rope was left in case the group needed to retreat this way and were in a hurry.

Further down, the corridor ended at a door.  After verifying the door was not trapped, Roscuro opened it.  Beyond was a tall room with mural-covered walls, splattered with dried blood everywhere.  The room extended to the south, but a bat-winged human male stood across the room to the west, in front of some statues.  In front of him were two goat-headed minions of some sort.  The bat-winged human greeted the adventurers as his new playthings.  The Ratpack was having none of that.

Zitch called out to the adventurers that the bat-winged human was an incubus, a type of demon, and the goat-headed things were schir, another kind of demon.  All would have spell resistance and some other resistances.  Templeton charged the first Goathead and attacked it, his claws causing it to start bleeding freely. Hrefna used a Destruction invocation and attacked the other Goathead.  Swamprover cast Acid Arrow on the incubus, hitting it on its bare chest to no effect at all.  Marativy advanced to flank the first Goathead, taking an attack of opportunity, and then backstabbed it.  Ariphi moved to flank the second Goathead, but could not get in an attack as well.  The first Goathead split its attacks between Marativy and Templeton, hitting only Templeton.  The other Goathead split its attacks between Hrefna and Ariphi and hit both.  The incubus cast Crushing Despair – most but not all of the Ratpack shrugged it off [my notes don’t specify who failed, but I recall Marativy was one].  Roscuro stepped forward and punched the first Goathead in the throat while taunting the incubus.  Gridik held back and cast Mage Armor on himself.

Zitch put Protective Luck on Templeton, who attacked the Goathead four times, raking it with his claws twice, nearly dropping the schir.  Hrefna attacked and hit the second Goathead twice, discharging a spell through her sword and bloodying the schir.  Swamprover cast Rain of Frogs on the incubus to little effect.  Marativy slashed the first Goathead with her wakizashi and killed it.  Ariphi attacked the second one and killed it.  The incubus, stung by Roscuro’s taunts, attacked Roscuro with its sword, hitting critically and nearly dropping Roscuro with one blow [Roscuro saved against the secondary effects of the attack].  Roscuro attempted to return the favor with a flurry of blows, hit twice but to no effect [the incubus’ DR was high and Roscuro could not get past it].  Gridik cast Magic Missile at the incubus, the bolts harmlessly splashing off the incubus [due to spell resistance].

Zitch cast Protective Luck on Roscuro, who clearly needed it and cackled.  Templeton pounced on the incubus, but his claws did nothing to the demon.  Hrefna cast Cure Serious Wounds on Roscuro, restoring two thirds of the damage done to him by the incubus.  Swamprover cast Create Pit under the incubus, forcing the demon to fly in place to avoid the fall.  This initially annoyed Marativy as she could not flank the incubus for her next attack but it turned out to be the key to the battle.  Marativy was able to draw first blood from the incubus with a flurry of attacks, one of which landed.  Ariphi moved behind the statues in an alcove to hide from the incubus and then threw a dagger as a sneak attack when it lost track of her.  The incubus, judging Roscuro no threat, turned its attentions to Marativy and attacked her multiple times, hitting twice.  Roscuro used ki to leap high above the incubus, landing on the demon’s wings and grappling the wings, forcing the incubus to work at staying aloft.  Gridik cast Magic Missile again, hoping to pierce the incubus’ spell resistance but failed.

Zitch cast Protective Luck on Marativy and cackled, maintaining the active castings.  Templeton cast Improved Evolution on his eidolon.  Hrefna activated Divine Might and attacked the incubus twice, hitting once normally and once critically.  This caused the incubus to drop ten feet down into Swamprover’s pit.  Swamprover waited to see what happened next.  Marativy jumped down onto the incubus, swarming with Roscuro, and slashing the incubus.  The incubus, furious, broke free of Roscuro’s grapple.  Roscuro leapt up and over, attempting to repeat the trick but the incubus was ready this time and it did not work [Roscuro had surprise the first time].  Gridik held his action, waiting to see who would come out of the pit.

Zitch cast Protective Luck on Hrefna and cackled.  Templeton flew down into the pit, pouncing on the incubus, clawing it two times and causing it to start bleeding.  Hrefna animated two chains with a spell and tripped the incubus down in the pit.  Swamprover stepped up to the edge of the pit and cast Snow Ball at the incubus, hitting it.  Marativy used her ki for an extra attack and hit the incubus twice.  Ariphi jumped into the pit and swung on the incubus, killing it!

Swamprover canceled the pit spell, the extradimensional space lifting all in it back up to floor level.  Hrefna activated a Rapid Healing aura as many of the adventurers were seriously wounded.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Relatively short session due to the big fight, but we were all satisfied with how things went.  The incubus required us to come up with new tactics and the Create Pit casting that was originally considered a mistake became the key reason we won.  I personally do not like the grapple rules in Pathfinder (I think they are too powerful) but was able to put them to good use FOR the party as opposed to them being used against us in the adventure text.]

[Next session we make much more progress than this session, so stay tuned!]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Session 27

Session 28


Session 30



Monday, September 20, 2021

AdSense Is Activated

 I've decided to take the plunge and activate AdSense on this blog.  I've attempted to ramp down where the ads can appear so they are not littered through my posts willy-nilly.

Please post comments if the ads seem intrusive or are inappropriate.  I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants here, so we'll have to explore this together.

Later!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 28

[Day 60 and 61 – Return to the campsite (and new neighbors) and the Lady’s Light.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened July 26, 2021.]

[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

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)


Not Appearing

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 5th level Rogue

Mel Sharples – male halfling Cook (Expert of unknown level)

Alice Hyatt – female halfling Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)

Flo’ Castleberry – female gnome Bodyguard (Warrior of unknown level)



Autumn

Day 60

Noon

The ship arrived at the drop-off point, adjacent to the peninsula the Lady’s Light was situated on.  The crew spent 30 minutes ferrying the expedition and its supplies to shore using the ship’s boat.  Looking at the giant statue of Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, that was the lighthouse for the peninsula, a giant crack or rend in the glowing sphere the statue was holding could be clearly seen.  Once everything was ashore, the ship left, with an agreed return to pick up the adventurers in a week.

Zitch cast Conjure Carriage and everything was loaded upon it.  Zitch then cast Nature’s Path, providing an easier [and faster] ride through the wilderness to the campsite near the troglodyte cave.

1:00 PM

After circling the lesser lagoon, Roscuro thought it might be wise to check in on Maroux, the crazy half-orc woman who lived on the sandy island between the two lagoons.  He asked Marativy and Templeton to go check and Swamprover volunteered to go as well.

The trio flew over to the bridge to Maroux’s camp [Marativy and Swamprover riding on the back of Templeton’s Foo-Dog form].  They walked across the bridge as they had done before and found the camp empty.  Six wooden poles formed a pathway to Maroux’s hovel, three of the poles topped by a single boggard skull each and three by a single troglodyte skull each.  These were new and somewhat ominous.  With Maroux away, the trio left and headed to the adventurer’s campsite.

3:00 PM

The group in the carriage arrived at their campsite, only to find someone else camped out there.  There were several tents flying flags with the symbol of House Kalmeralm and 20+ people around.  They had guards out who ordered the adventurers to stop.  Roscuro did not take kindly to this and demanded to know why they were camped on his campsite.  After some back and forth with the guards, Roscuro was able to speak with Erik Vormu, the trade representative.

Erik told Roscuro that he was negotiating with the troglodytes for the harvest of several herbs and things were going slowly but satisfactorily.  When asked about the boggards, Erik reported that some had been seen but they were staying away from this area and tended to flee when they saw others.  Erik and Roscuro agreed to share the campsite and coordinate watches.  This suited Roscuro as he estimated that the danger was greater than the last time the Ratpack had been here.

4:00 PM

The Ratpack camp was finished being set up and Mel was starting to cook dinner.

That Night, Second Watch

Marativy, Roscuro and Ariphi were on watch, observing the southern approaches to the camp.  [The merchant guards were watching the northern side.]  All three spotted a flying creature approaching from off shore and heading generally towards the campsite, but still very far away.  After a bit they realized it was a small dragon!

Roscuro went and poured water on the campfire.  When the merchant guards asked why, Roscuro pointed south and said, “Dragon.”  The guards helped him extinguish the fire and passed the word around for all to stay quiet.

The dragon was apparently hunting something a couple hundred feet south of the camp and utterly focused on its prey.  [It rolled a 2 on its Perception roll to notice the camp.]  When it attacked it spat a stream of acid at its target, killing the beast.  The dragon landed and ate on the carcass for a bit before flying away to the east.  Once it left the area everyone in the camp resumed breathing normally.


Day 61

Morning

Mel out did himself fixing breakfast and the Ratpack noticed some envious looks from the merchant guards.  After eating and gearing up, the adventurers left camp and walked over to the troglodyte cave.  They hailed the guards and asked to speak with Sulgesh.  They were told that Sulgesh was in a back cave and shown the way.

Roscuro and Sulgesh talked for a while, Roscuro asking how things were going for the tribe and verifying the merchants weren’t being a bother.  Sulgesh related that things were good and the merchants were being more or less respectful.  Roscuro brought up the black dragon seen the previous night.  The troglodytes were aware of the dragon, knowing it as Zetirian.  The dragon had a lair in the swamps to the east, but the troglodytes had never tried to find out where.  It would fly by and kill something every month or so.  Sulgesh was happy to learn that they now had another month before it would be an issue again.

Parting with the troglodytes amiably, the Ratpack headed down into the Deep Caves.  An hour into their walk they reached the nexus cave.  The corpses of the snappy-bitey-pinchy bugs were still there, but have obviously been moved and possibly eaten on by something.  This reminded the adventurers to stay alert.

~10:00 AM

The Ratpack arrived at the entrance to the dungeon, the square room where they had fought the caryatid columns.  All the debris left over from destroying the animated statues was gone.  Strange.

Cautiously entering the chamber, the Ratpack found there were gaps where the animated statues had once stood and everything else was clean and neat.  The adventurers tied a rope to one of the remaining statues and threw down the other end into the black square that was the shaft down into the dungeon.  Swamprover volunteered to go down and scout the lower end of the shaft.  While the grippli was doing that, Roscuro and Marativy briefed Ariphi and Hrefna on what to expect.  Both had looks of doubt on their faces, clearly wondering what they had signed on to.

When Swamprover returned and announced the way was clear, the group climbed down the rope to the upper level of the dungeon.  The hallway of pillars was just as they left it.  The group walked down the right hand corridor to the red metal door.  The group took an hour getting rubbings of 29 more of the one foot panels that made up the door.

Past the red metal door, the group climbed into the two boats there and started poling down the artificial river, Roscuro explaining the source of the water [a permanent gate to the Elemental Plane of Water] and what was ahead.  When he mentioned “Porn Hall”, Ariphi asked him to explain.  He said, “You’ll know it when you see it.”

As they poled out into the first large cavern, the oversized pedestal where the glass golem had stood now generated a low hum that all could hear.  Poling over to the beach, the glass shards of the destroyed glass golem are missing.

Once everyone was on the beach, Roscuro warned Ariphi and Hrefna again that they were about to enter Porn Hall.  Ariphi wondered aloud, “How bad could it…oh.  Oh, my.”  The group quickly moved over to the side passage out of Porn Hall.  Marativy and Roscuro quietly scouted ahead to see if there was a new guardian where Gnaeus was once caged.  Instead, they found that room empty and the bent gate was completely gone.  The wrought iron fencing was still there, but the gate itself was now gone.  Both entered the room, Marativy checking for traps along the northern wall as they silently moved along it.  At the far end of the room was a stone door, which Marativy checked for traps.  She reported none.  Both put their ear to the door and listened for noises and heard nothing.  They backtracked to the rest of the adventurers.

Once the entire group was at the stone door, Roscuro pried it open.  Beyond was a corridor that went a short ways before turning south.  Statues of a woman lined the center of the corridor, but unlike every other area the adventurers had been so far, these statues were not of Sorshen.  Additionally, the first statue was missing its head.  Very peculiar.

Marativy checked the floor to the first statue for traps and found none.  Roscuro leapt up onto the shoulders of the statue for a better look at where the head should have been.  There was a divot there that was smooth, suggesting that the head had not been smashed or otherwise broken off this statue.  Looking over at the next statue, Roscuro could see there was a small gap above the head of that statue and a seam around the base of the neck.  

Roscuro reported what he could see to the rest of the group and then leapt across to the next statue to get a closer look.  While he was in mid-leap, the eyes of the next three heads opened up, glowing green, and mechanical legs sprouted from the sides of the heads.  By the time Roscuro landed, the head on that statue was ready to attack him.  A very strange combat ensued.

The heads used green paralytic beams from their eyes for ranged attacks and mechanical claws in melee.  One of the heads hopped down to the floor to attack and Hrefna charged it, hitting with her sword and discharging a great deal of energy through the sword, blowing the head to pieces.  The things were some form of automatons!  Roscuro attacked the head uncomfortably near him with a flurry of blows for a great deal of damage, but it took a blow from Marativy and then Templeton before it was broken and stopped moving.  Everyone in the group attacked the final head, doing enough aggregate damage to break it as well.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Zitch’s player could not attend as he was in quarantine as one of his roommates contracted Covid.  This turned out to be precautionary as he never tested positive, but is a reminder that we are STILL in a pandemic.  Wear your mask and GET VACCINATED.]

[We were very careful re-entering the dungeon, expecting some form of counterattack or ambush from the occupants, but found none.  I honestly did not expect the statue heads to be automatons and come to life.  On top of which, I did not remember until after the fight that Roscuro has a golembane scarab and should have checked it to see if anything nearby was a golem or automaton!]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Session 27


Session 29 [Not Yet Typed Up]