Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Ratpack – Session 05

[The ratfolk adventurers return to Magnimar and we start the actual Shattered Star adventure path.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened November 25, 2019.]

Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 1st level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 1st level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 1st level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 1st level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 1st level Gunslinger

Non-Player Character
Balenar Foresend – male human bard, member of the Pathfinder Society and freed hostage

Day 4
Over breakfast, the ratfolk adventurers discussed what they wanted to do next.  They needed to take Balenar back to Magnimar.  They had explored almost every part of the siege castle except the blocked off stairs down to whatever lay below the ground.  Finally, many of the group were running out of rations.  This last item turned out to be the most significant and so the group packed up their camp.  The restored goods (books, scrolls, swords, shields) were packed up in the chest from the 5th floor to take back and sell to Frederick [the antiquities dealer they made a deal with in Session 1].

Roscuro took the time to put up some chalk signs.  The signs read:

“Property of Ratpack
Especially the 3rd Floor”

The signs were drawn next to the doorway to the spider room [first floor, north tower] and both visible doors on the second floor.  The ratfolk also removed all footprints leading to the library [first floor, south tower].

Once finished their preparations, the ratfolk and the human bard started walking back to Magnimar.

1:00 PM
Back in Magnimar, the ratfolk adventurers made their way to the local lodge of the Pathfinder Society.  Balenar explained what would likely happen and who they would end up speaking with.  At the lodge, the ratfolk waited in the lobby for half an hour until a human woman came out and got them.  They were escorted to an office and the woman introduced herself as Sheila Heidmarch, the local guild master.

Rather than pay the ratfolk for rescuing Balenar, she instead offered them an opportunity to join the Pathfinder Society.  Roscuro asked if he and his compatriots could discuss the offer privately and Sheila agreed to step out of the room as she needed to meet someone else for a moment.  On her way out of the office, Sheila indicated an odd box on a table was part of the job she was offering and then left.

Roscuro wanted to discuss whether the group should accept a job instead of a reward with the other ratfolk, but Zitch and Marativy were already checking out the weird box.  Roscuro sighed, realizing the group wasn’t getting paid in coin but accepting the job.

The box was a stone chest with runes inscribed on it.  Zitch identified the runes as Thassilonian and, despite being carved into the stone surface, they were movable on their surfaces.  The box detected as magical, with auras of abjuration and conjuration.  Zitch played around with the runes, spelling out different words.  When he solved the puzzle [not stating how due to spoiler], a seam appeared in the box.  Winston opened the box and two tiny dog-like creatures popped out.  Roscuro made a critical attack of opportunity on one and it stayed to fight him.  The other started breaking things in the office.

Not wanting to get blamed for the destruction, the group of adventurers attacked the creatures.  While the ratfolk often hit the creatures, they inflicted much less damage than they should have.  Roscuro remembered the cold iron short sword he had on him at about the same time Marativy accidentally dropped her wakizashi.  Roscuro drew the short sword and passed it over to Marativy who was better with it.  The cold iron was super effective and two swings later, but creatures were dead.  They blinked out of existence when they died, being summoned creatures, so when Sheila and an elf woman came charging in there were no bodies to show them.  Sigh.

Marativy explained what happened while Zitch healed Roscuro and himself [who were injured in the fight].  Sheila introduced the elf woman as Koriah Azmeren, the finder of the box.  Both seemed impressed that the ratfolk had opened it.  Opening the box seemed to qualify as a test for joining the Pathfinder Society and Sheila seemed happy that the ratfolk all accepted the job offer.  She also let the ratfolk keep the contents of the box [3 garnets, a silver dagger, and a magic ring – later identified as a ring of feather fall].

The job was to locate an informant of Sheila’s who had gone missing after reporting the Sczarni had found an important item.  Natalia was supposed to meet and provide details but never showed for the meeting.  Rumor had it the Sczarni were now looking for her.  Our job was to find her first, find the item for the Pathfinder Society, and not spill the beans we were part of the Society until after the job.  Sheila felt that if people knew we were part of the Society they might not be as forthcoming with information.  Roscuro had his doubts but agreed to the terms of the job.  Sheila provided each member of the group with a wayfinder [minor magic item and badge of membership], a potion of cure light wounds, and a set of clothes with the Pathfinder Society logo.  The clothing was returned for tailoring [ratfolk have tails that the clothes did not accommodate].

After leaving the lodge, the ratfolk went to a friendly tavern in Underbridge, the Rat’s Cellar.  They got a private room and spent an hour sorting out the loot from the siege tower.  They sorted out the stuff they wanted to keep from the stuff they were going to sell to Frederick.  Magic items were apportioned out to those able to use them best.  The items they were keeping but did not want to carry with them were put into a chest and dropped of at the home of Roscuro’s parents [he is the only member of the group with living parents].

3:00 PM
After dropping off those items, they hauled a second chest with the things they wanted to sell to Frederick to the address he provided earlier in the week.  This turned out to be a fancy antiques shop in the wealthier part of Magnimar.  Frederick was not in, but a young human assistant was.  When the assistant saw the ratfolk walk in, he gave them the stink eye.  In his haughtiest voice the assistant asked what possible business the ratfolk could have in this shop.  Not having any of that, Roscuro told the assistant they had a contract with Frederick, they had the items Frederick asked for, and that they were leaving with the items and would be back tomorrow.  As the ratfolk left, Roscuro added over his shoulder that the price just went up because of Frederick’s rude assistant.

The group headed back to Roscuro’s parents place to drop off this chest as well, taking care to not be followed.

End of Session

Rat Whispers
[So I think the Pathfinder Society is either very forgiving or really desperate based on how easy it was to join.  That or the plotline requires us to be members to proceed.]

Session 01
Session 02
Session 03
Session 04

Session 06 [Not Written Yet]

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Ratpack – Session 04

[The ratfolk adventurers finish searching the siege castle but get burned along the way.  Also, Winston is back!]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened November 18, 2019.]

Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 1st level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 1st level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 1st level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 1st level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 1st level Gunslinger

Non-Player Character
Balenar Foresend – male human bard, member of the Pathfinder Society and freed hostage

Day 1
Late afternoon (Immediately after the fight with the troglodyte druid)
The ratfolk adventurers searched the body of the dead troglodyte druid and found two keys attached to its belt.  Zitch cast detect magic again and detected some inside the chest.  Neither key from the dead troglodyte fit the lock, but the chest turned out to not be locked.  Inside were:

  • 1 cold iron short sword
  • 15 cold iron shuriken
  • 2 vials containing identical non-magical liquid
  • 2 vials containing 2 different magical liquids
  • 1 wand that detected as magic
  • 1 amethyst
  • 247 gold coins

Templeton identified the non-magical liquids as high quality acid.  He and Zitch were able to identify one of the magical liquids as a potion of cat’s grace, but could not identify the other potion.  The amethyst was assessed as being worth 100 gold coin.

Marativy and Winston searched the veranda surrounding the fifth floor and found nothing but the shocker lizard sunning it self in the winter daylight [we learned that it was late winter from the DM this session].  The rest of the group spent a lot of time going over the throne looking for a key hole or any other hidden feature.  This turned out to be a waste of time.  As he and Marativy finished their search of the veranda well before the rest of the group finished their search of the throne, he spent the remaining time skinning the albino alligator.

It now being late in the day, the entire group returned to the second floor of the siege castle and set up camp in the south tower.  For some added security, the door to the east tower was wedged shut with some pitons, as was the door from the east tower to the north tower [from the north tower side].  Two-hour watches were set in this order: Zitch, Templeton, Winston, Roscuro, and finally Marativy.  While the bard seemed trustworthy, the ratfolk had just met him and were not quite ready to trust their lives with him.

Day 2
Over breakfast, the ratfolk made plans for investigating the locked third floor.  They believed that the switch located in the room they were camping in might connect to whatever mechanism kept Marativy from picking the lock to the third floor [she had been able to pick every other lock in the siege castle so this seemed possible].

The ratfolk packed up their camp.  Marativy stayed on the second floor while the rest climbed the knotted rope from the second-floor landing to the third-floor landing in the central stairwell.  Once the group was arrayed in front of the third-floor door, Zitch cast message and told Marativy the group was in position.  She flipped the switch and replied through the message that she had done so.  [The message spell allows the caster to send a secure message to a recipient within 100 feet and then get a reply.]

Up on the third floor, there was no observable effect to the switch being flipped.  Roscuro tried the keys taken off the troglodytes and one of them unlocked the door.  Zitch sent another message to Marativy that the group had unlocked the door and she should come up.  She replied she was on her way.  As she exited the south tower and entered the armory [the west tower, 2nd floor], a crossbow trap discharged at her.  Her reflexes were good enough to dodge the bolt.  She returned to the south tower, turned the switch off, and returned to the armory.  This disabled the self-reloading crossbow trap.  She reported this information to the other adventurers when she joined them on the third floor.

Roscuro opened the door to the third floor and peeked in.  The west tower and the south tower areas were joined to make one large chamber.  The chamber appeared to be a temple of sorts to Nethys.  There were two shrines or altars at either end of the figure 8 shaped room.  The southern area contained a white altar and rows of chairs facing it.  The western area had a black altar and some debris on the floor.

Roscuro asked Balenar what humans thought of Nethys.  The bard replied that Nethys was an old god still favored by wizards.  Nethys was dual-aspected, being a deity of protection and destruction.

Satisfied with that information, Roscuro slowly started approaching the black altar.  Winston and Marativy also entered the area, but Templeton, Zitch, and Balenar stayed in the stairwell.  About half way across the area Roscuro realized one pile of debris was actually two troglodyte corpses burned nearly to ash.  He immediately stopped and relayed this back to the others.  He then slowly and cautiously sidled forward another five feet.  There he could see a human skeleton in one corner and some words carved into the wall beside the black altar.

Roscuro sidled another five feet closer, which put him next to the altar.  He read the writing on the wall out loud to see if it had any meaning to the others.  Possibly coincidentally [that's my story and I'm sticking to it], the human skeleton in the corner and two others in the temple area animated and ignited with flames.  The skeletons were fast and the heat off them was intense, burning any ratfolk adjacent to them.  Taking the hint, the ratfolk fled the room as quickly as they could, with Zitch pulling the door closed once Roscuro, Marativy, and Winston cleared the room.  Roscuro and Marativy were burned, but not as badly as Winston [who was down to 2 hit points].  Balenar and Zitch used their healing magics on the burned ratfolk.

Not wanting to repeat that, the adventurers went to the last unexplored area, the first floor of the south tower.  The door to this area was blocked by rubble, which seemed normal as the siege castle had suffered an earthquake, but Roscuro was curious where the rubble had come from.  Looking around the door there was no obvious place the rubble would have fallen from as the ceiling was unmarred.  Strange.

Winston used his engineering knowledge to efficiently remove the rubble.  After a bit he noticed that, no matter how much rubble he moved, the rubble pile never got smaller.  Zitch cast detect magic and confirmed what Winston and Roscuro suspected – the rubble was an illusion!

Roscuro, Winston, and Zitch walked through the revealed doorway into the south tower.  Marativy, Templeton, and Balenar did not immediately see through the illusion but eventually saw past it and followed.

The south tower turned out to be a small library, containing books, scrolls, a reading chair, and a side table.  All of it looked fragile.  Zitch stated he had access to a mending spell and an identify spell, but needed time to commune with his patron.  While early in the day, this seemed the best option and was much preferred than attempting the temple of Nethys again.  The group made camp and the same watches were set.

Day 3
After an uneventful night, Zitch started casting.  He first identified the unknown potion, which turned out to be a potion of lesser restoration.  He then identified the wand as a wand of summon monster I with 9 charges left.  He then set to mending the reading chair [he wanted something comfortable to sit on while mending everything else].  This took several castings as the spell is weak and he had to mend each part separately.  He then mended the reading table and discovered a hidden drawer containing a wax stamp of the seal of the Band of the Phoenix [the group of adventurers that owned this siege castle several hundred years ago].

After that, Zitch started casting mend on the books.  As he finished with each book, Roscuro and Balenar skimmed it to learn what each contained.  The books fell into two categories: histories written 500 to 700 years ago and ledgers of jobs taken by the Band of the Phoenix and the details of what happened, how much the guild was paid, what was recovered, and other administrative details.  Roscuro took to reading the histories while waiting for the next book to be mended [I plan to spend a skill point at second level to buy a rank in Knowledge (History)].  Once the books were mended, Zitch cast mend on the scrolls.  These were maps and contracts [all dated 500 to 700 years ago].

While this time-consuming process was going on, Marativy, Templeton, and Winston started excavating the collapsed part of the stairwell.  Winston’s engineering skills paid off here, allowing the trio to move blocks larger than they normally could using ropes and improvised pulleys.  The stairs definitely continued down and they made noticeable progress clearing the steps by the end of the day, wearing out one of their ropes in the process.

End of Session

Rat Whispers
[So the burning skeletons were a nasty surprise.  We are not certain how we are going to deal with them.  The library find was a great stash of knowledge, but not experience points.  In fact, we earned zero experience this session.  Second level is still a long way away for us.]

Session 01
Session 02
Session 03

Session 05

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Aldelle Group - Intermezzo 1

This session was a bridge, handling the wrap-up of Chapter 1 and setting the stage for Chapter 2.

Intermezzo 1
Session 14 – Travel and Shopping

Back to Book 1
Forward to Book 2 [Still under construction]

The Aldelle Group - Book 1: Dyson's Delve

This is the first part of the Aldelle Group Campaign and was one of the earliest I documented on this blog.

I didn't have a lot of blog entries at the time, so using the sidebar for navigation was easy and I didn't bother putting links at the end of each post to connect to the next blog entry.  Nor had I worked out a consistent set of labels to tag the blog entries with, making it harder to find all of a campaign.  I might go back and fix that, but not anytime soon due to time constraints.  This archive will have to do for now.

This part of the campaign made use of the excellent Dyson's Delve and evolved after that.  I heartily recommend Dyson's Delve for new DMs and new players.

Please leave comments on this page.  Thank you.

Book 1: Dyson's Delve
A disparate group of adventurers team up and start exploring a nearby dungeon.
Session 1
Session 2, Part 1
Session 2, Part 2
Session 3 - In Which the Party Is Named
Session 4 – Super Rat Gets Creeped Out
Session 5 – Manticore!
Session 6, Part 1 - Super Rat Makes Friends
Session 6, Part 2
Session 7 – Deeper Delvings
Session 8 – A Marked Room
Session 9 – Completing Levels
Session 10 – Starting the Hunt for Tim
Session 11 – New Allies
Session 12 and 13 – Tim, A Wizard

Further Reading:
Intermezzo 1
Book 2: The Gate Saga [still being constructed]

The Aldelle Group Archive - Main

This page is an archive, preserving links to the campaign my Monday Night Group [originally my Wednesday Night Group, but we switched day of the week at some point for ease of scheduling] played through in a Pathfinder 1.0 campaign.  The DM running the game and several of the players had never played RPGs before, so this was a sort of training campaign.  It made use of the excellent Dyson's Delve as the start of the campaign and evolved after that.  I heartily recommend Dyson's Delve for new DMs and new players.

Book 1: Dyson's Delve
A disparate group of adventurers team up and start exploring a nearby dungeon.

Intermezzo 1

Book 2: The Gate Saga [Still under construction]
The adventurers are given a quest to save the world.  The session notes become journal entries written by a PC.

Character Backgrounds:

1: Harkaitz of the Red Soul
2: Aziz of the Light

The Aldelle Group – Session 26 – Shopping in Elftown

This session happened Tuesday, May 10, 2011.  This campaign used the Dyson’s Delve dungeon pages on A Character forEvery Game as a starting point, but has now moved on to new material from the DM-in-training.  I heartily recommend Dyson's Delve as a beginning adventure.

Adventuring Group:
Harkaitz of the Red Soul (male human cleric of Ra)
Wednesday (female elf rogue)
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)
Luna (female elf sorcerer)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)

Afternoon, April 16, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, His light blesses all.

This morning we arrived at Ttaeladra.  Rather than take us through the front gates, Ferahal took us around to a hidden side entrance.  The key amulet we retrieved for him opened a concealed entry into the barracks of the Watch.  It did not seem to be noticeably guarded (other than the members of the watch generally in the area) and seems a potential weakness in the city’s defenses.  We received only moderate looks and that mostly for Frankie as they apparently do not get many dwarves here.

Ferahal led us to the city streets just out side the barracks and took our prisoner to make his report to the Captain of the Watch (as opposed to a Watch-Captain, which is Ferahal’s rank).  We agreed to meet him near a particular statue in the plaza at the center of the city around mid-afternoon.  After he and Tre-ba made friendly good-byes, Tre-ba led us to an inn.  The name of the inn is “Saebon”, which means something in elfish and I no longer remember what, but it is a comfortable inn.  We paid for rooms for each of us for three days and then most of us made use of the extensive baths attached to the inn.  Ttaeladra is a most civilized place.

After cleaning up from our travels, we had Tre-ba lead us to a magical arms and armor shop she knew of.  (Tre-ba apparently traveled through this city on her way to Aldelle and took the time to learn the layout.  Very handy.)  The proprietor was a helpful elf, especially once we started unpacking the various drow weaponry and armor we had acquired.  He was mighty pleased that we had taken it from drow in combat and gave us favorable terms on the trade.  (Note to self: never do anything to cause an elf to hold a grudge – they really mean it.)  We placed orders for a number of useful items for nearly the entire group and pretty much used up the majority of our treasure doing so, even with the trade-in of drow gear.  The gear will be ready in about three days, which works well with our plans.

Still having some time left, we went to the other arcane shop in the city and Tre-ba went through their selection of spell formulas, looking for things she could use.  She found quite a number of spell formulas she wanted, much more than we could afford.  That was when we remembered the golden sarcophagus lid.  We discussed where we might sell it here, but it seemed we would not get a good deal on it unless someone important dies suddenly and they needed something for the funeral.  Waiting to make a sale on this item has not worked out well for us in the past and so we did not come to any real decision.  Running short on time, we headed to the center of town.  We found a cafĂ© on the plaza and are now awaiting Ferahal’s arrival while we eat.  The food is quite tasty.

Evening, April 16, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, bringer of enlightenment.

When Ferahal arrived, he informed us that the Captain of the Watch (by the name of Malbrar) wished to speak with us.  We went and met with Captain Malbrar and I related the tale of our sudden war on the drow, the rescue of Ferahal, and the retrieval of Ferahal's key.  He appeared quite impressed with the number of times we have been down in the drow barrow.  He gave us a reward for our actions in the form of a small chest full of gold coins and promised that Ferahal would lead a detachment of elves to assist us when we returned to the barrow.  This is quite excellent as I have been concerned with the safety of our camp during our expeditions. 

He also mentioned that below the barrow was an entire drow city.  This was unexpected, to say the least.

After the conclusion of our interview, we took the reward and purchased many scrolls for Tre-ba plus an additional protective amulet for me [amulet of natural armor +1].  After this we split up to follow our own paths in the city.  Aziz and I searched out the temple to the elven sun goddess Saeil and contacted the clergy there.  They were most hospitable and I look forward to returning there tomorrow to continue our conversations.  I believe I also saw Tre-ba there giving prayer.  At the very least she was hugging a priestess.

Early Evening, April 17, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, bastion of the righteous.

I spent most of the day at the temple and it was most gratifying.  Tre-ba spent the day cloistered brewing potions and Frankie spent the day in the tavern.  Apparently Wednesday spent the day dancing for coins, which garnered more here than at Aldelle, but not a great deal more.  She is planning on trying a different strategy this evening.  Short John reported he is making contacts with cooks here in town and has picked up some new recipes and the location of the better grocers.  I have dispensed funds to restock our travel larder.

There is a choir singing at the temple tonight and I will be attending.  I have heard stories of elven singing and look forward to hearing the craft performed.

Early Evening, April 18, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, for providing clarity of though.

Again, I spent the day assisting at the temple of Saeil.  Aziz has made contact with a small group of paladins attached to the temple and is sharing techniques and combat practice with them.

The choir performance last night was very impressive and I enjoyed the performance, although it did make me miss the syncopated chanting of my home.  I think once the drow situation is under control it will be time to return to my home for a visit.  I hope I can convince the others to travel with me.

Whatever new method Wednesday is using for dancing seems to be paying off.  This morning she had a couple hundred elven gold coins more than she did last night.  Based on the increased revenue, perhaps she found a better venue for her skills.

Early Evening, April 19, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, for lighting our path.

Today passed again in service.  I have made many good contacts here in Ttaeladra, particularly among the adherents of the goddess Saeil.  We share much in the service of the solar deities.  They will make good allies against the evil tide.

We picked up the items we commissioned at the arms and armor shop and they fit perfectly.  There is a great deal of leaf and acorn symbology, which is unusual to my desert raised eyes, but not out of place here.

Wednesday is making good money during her evenings.  She has several new items of clothing that are very fancy and has treated us to some good meals.  Whatever she is doing is keeping her up late and tiring her out as she has been sleeping in late each morning.

Tonight is our final night in Ttaeladra.  Tomorrow we will meet with Watch-Captain Ferahal and the elven warriors assigned to us.  Then we will return to the drow barrow and resume our search for the gate below the drow barrow.  As pleasant as this city is, I look forward to resuming our hunt.

*End of Session*

[This session was mostly an extended shopping trip and potion brewing fest.  We did lay the groundwork for elven allies and picked up some good gear.

As a note, Wednesday's nightly excursions are pick-pocket runs.  What were YOU thinking she was doing?]

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

With too much prep work and last minute work-work to do for this week's holiday, I wasn't able to get the next set of session notes up.  Regular posting will resume next week.

See you then!