Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 3, Session 14

[Day 26 – The Elf Job: the Ratpack Escapes]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened November 21, 2022.]

[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 8th level Ninja

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 8th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 8th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 7th level Wizard

Hrefna – female changeling 7th level Omdura

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 8th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 6th level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 7th level Rogue



Autumn

Day 26 (continues)

Inside the attic laboratory, Roscuro and Ariphi had a spirited debate about the best way to retrieve Augustille, the prophetic troll Augur kidnapped by Berkanin Ardoc.  Roscuro continued sawing at the troll’s neck, putting forth the position that the troll would regenerate from its head and the head would be portable via Dimension Door.  Ariphi, finishing unlocking the bound and delirious troll from its restraints, felt that the troll would instead regenerate from the larger piece of troll and therefore Roscuro should be at the very least cutting off a much larger piece.  She took the adamantine dagger from Roscuro and easily sliced through the neck, removing the troll’s head.  “Also?  Cut with the grain, not against it.”  Roscuro stuffed the troll’s head into a sack and the due climbed up and out through the hole cut through the roof.

In the meantime, Berkanin’s freelance security, a harpy, was desperately flying around the Ardoc estate grounds with Templeton hot on her heals.  Hrefna and Gridik, both charmed by the harpy’s song, followed as they could – Gridik easily following due to a Fly spell, Hrefna chasing along on the ground.  Zitch cast Protective Luck on Templeton and then Hrefna as Hrefna, running through the gazebo behind the harpy, discovered some form of aberration hiding inside the gazebo [I swear it might have been a Lurker Above, a monster I haven’t seen since 2nd Edition].  Templeton had been worrying at the Harpy and she had to stop singing to cast Cure Light Wounds on herself to stop the bleeding Templeton caused with his claws.  [She might have imbibed a potion, the effect was the same and my notes silent on the source of the healing.]

Some additional guards stepped out of an adjacent building and onto a walkway between that building and the building the lab was in.  One of them attacked Gridik as he flew past, still pursuing the harpy.  This snapped Gridik out of being charmed [it allowed another saving throw that he made this time] and the kobold wizard unleashed a Lightning Bolt at the guards.  The guards were close enough to melee with Gridik, which he started losing quickly.  However, this brought the guards within 30 feet of Zitch who magically whipped his beard out at the guards and plucked both off the walkway, one by one.  [Prehensile Hair Hex that Zitch had been saving for a while.]

Templeton had to turn from the harpy to help Hrefna against the aberration.  During this fight Templeton noticed the creature take some unexpected damage, allowing Templeton to kill it.  Zitch had caught up the harpy for a moment in his beard, but she broke away.  During her attempted escape, she suddenly sprouted a large bullet hole in her chest and dropped from the sky.  This released Hrefna from the charm and was when Roscuro and Ariphi returned to the roof with their grisly trophy.

Roscuro called out it was time to go and the Ratpack started leaving.  Zitch cast Dimension Door and took Ariphi and Roscuro south to the hidden landing spot he had scouted out earlier in the day with Swamprover and Templeton.  Swamprover was there, looking concerned by the delay in the rest arriving and the copious amount of blood splattered on Roscuro.  Roscuro quickly explained it wasn’t his blood, he had removed Augustille’s head as the only easily transportable piece of the troll.  He also asked Swamprover to cast Prestidigitation to remove the blood from him so they could walk the streets of Cavalcade without alarming the passersby.  She did so.

Back at the Ardoc estate, Templeton flew to Hrefna and allowed her to climb onto his back.  Then the two of them and Gridik flew north, pursued by surveillance automatons in the service of the Ardoc family.  They evaded most of them, but Hrefna was spotted when flying over a roof and Gridik had to cast Magic Missile a couple times to knock the pursuing construct out of the air.  Once in the Warrens and certain they were no longer pursued, they landed and started walking to the central lake in Kaer Maga.  Gridik noticed a mysterious hooded figure following the trio, but when he tried to point the figure out to Templeton and Hrefna, it was gone.

The trio walked over to Hospice and found a sheltered area to clean up with Prestidigitation.  Then they walked into a nearby bar and got drinks.  While there [establishing an alibi], the mysterious hooded figure walked up and removed its hood – it was Winston!  The four adventurers drank and caught up, introductions being made where necessary.

Marativy, still sitting on the roof of the building just out side of the Ardoc compound, dropped the Major Image spell she had been concentrating on.  She then hopped down to the ground and mingled with the crowd of civilians that had been drawn against their will to the Ardoc estate by the song of the harpy.  She then calmly walked away from the area as just another bystander…

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[A short write-up due to the combat taking up almost the entire session.  Next session picks up with Team Teleport down in Cavalcade taking the severed head of Augustille to Elaneiros in the Therrasic Spire to see if it counts as success.  They are not optimistic, but Speak with Dead might fill the wizard’s needs.]


Ratpack

Book 1: Shards of Sin Landing Page – Links to all Book 1 sessions

Book 2: Curse of the Lady’s Light Landing Page – Links to all Book 2 sessions

Book 3: The Asylum Stone Landing Page – Links to all Book 3 sessions


Last Session: Session 13


Next Session: Session 15 [Not yet typed up]




Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 3, Session 13

[Day 26 – The Elf Job starts…and then goes sideways]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened November 14, 2022.]

[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 8th level Ninja

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 8th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 8th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 7th level Wizard

Hrefna – female changeling 7th level Omdura

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 8th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 6th level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 7th 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 26

Morning

Hrefna cast Commune for some final intelligence before the Ratpack started the mission to free the kidnapped Auger from the rogue member of the Ardoc family.

  1. Is Leroux currently employed by Elaneiros?: No
  2. If Marativy uses Major Image from her shard to create an illusion on the grounds of the Ardoc family manor, will it trigger an alarm?: No
  3. Are there any constructs as part of the security for Augustille in the Attic?: No
  4. Do the combat bots have See Invisible?: No
  5. Will Ardoc security follow into Cavalcade?: Yes
  6. Do any of the Ardoc spy bots have the ability to deal acid damage?: No
  7. Do any of the Ardoc spy bots have the ability to deal sonic damage?: No

Templeton, Swamprover, and Zitch walked to Cavalcade and spent the morning looking for a discrete place for Swamprover and Zitch to Dimension Door to later during the job.  Templeton was there so he would know where to look if things went wrong during the job.  They located a roof top that was obscured from the ground with no windows looking at it and spent time familiarizing themselves with it.

Noon

Templeton, Swamprover, and Zitch returned to the Grange in Downmarket where the rest of the Ratpack was ready and stated they had a suitable location to escape to from the Ardoc compound.  Satisfied with the answers from the Commune spell and that a safe escape route had been located, the group decided to run the job that afternoon.

The Ratpack ate a light lunch at the Grange and then broke up into small groups to discretely infiltrate into Bis.  The concern was to not be seen by the security in Bis as a united group and to keep any bystanders from seeing and remembering a large group of adventurers.

2:00 PM

The individual groups rendezvoused on the roof of the building adjacent to the Ardoc Compound in Bis.  Each group had taken efforts to not be followed and the group was confident their presence had not been noticed [yet].

Zitch cast Detect Magic and scanned the roof of the building inside the compound the group would leap to [or be ferried to by Templeton.  It had an Alarm spell on it that Ariphi would need to disable.

Marativy cast Major Image using the Shard of Pride in her possession.  She created a hollow path for the group to follow covering the roof they were on, across the outer wall of the compound to the roof the group would land on, then up the side of the next building, and finally over the entire roof of the target building that Augustille was being held in.  The image created showed the roof area as empty, so as long as the Ratpack was inside the area of the image, no one outside would see them.  Marativy had to concentrate to maintain the Major Image, so she stayed on the starting roof where she was covered by the illusion.

Templeton carried Ariphi through the area covered by the illusion and hovered over the landing building.  Ariphi dangled under Templeton and disabled the Alarm spell.  After that the Ratpack hopped the wall and advanced through the illusion onto the compound and then up on top of the target building.

Roscuro had been banking on there being a hatch of some sort on the roof allowing access to the attic of the building.  There was no hatch.

Improvising, Roscuro quietly asked Ariphi to listen to the roof and locate a quiet area for the group to breach the roof.  Zitch, looking around at adjacent buildings noticed a harpy on guard duty on the adjacent roof and warned the others.  Gridik [using Spellcaster Sneak] cast See Invisibility and peered over the roof edge at the harpy.  Resting next to the harpy was an invisible Spy construct, backing the harpy up.  Neither appeared to be aware of the Ratpack.

Ariphi found a spot on the roof that seemed to be over a quiet room, but pointed out that the roof was sturdily made and braking through would be noisy.  After thinking through a couple of options, Roscuro settled on having Gridik use the wand of acid arrow to etch a trap door into the roof.  It took four uses of the wand to etch the square outline in the first layer of the roof.  Another four uses deepened the outline.  The next use completed the cut on one side of the square.  Roscuro and Ariphi used the opening to peer into the room.

The room below was a combination alchemist lab and torture room.  Augustille was stretched out on some sort of rack contraption, his abdomen cut and held open and metal instruments of torture set in a small fire pit adjacent to him.  He was also alive.

A human male, presumably the alchemist based on his ornate clothing, entered the room while Roscuro and Ariphi watched and started doing things with the alchemy equipment.  After a short whispered conversation, the plan was to finish cutting through the roof, Ariphi would keep the roof square from falling and pull it out of the way.  Roscuro would then jump into the room and use the Suggestion ability of the Shard of Lust to have the human sit passively for an hour.  This seemed like the best bet and was agreed to.

Gridik used his wand to eat through the last three sides of the roof square and Ariphi adroitly caught it and set it aside.  Roscuro jumped down into the lab, landing next to the human and made use of the Shard of Lust’s Suggestion ability to “suggest” that the human passively sit on a chair in the corner.  This worked.

Swamprover carefully climbed down into the room while Roscuro stuffed Augustille’s innards back inside the troll and removed the clamps holding it open.  Roscuro then fed the troll a potion of cure light wounds, which closed up Augustille’s wounds but did nothing for the troll’s delirium [that required a Restoration spell].  Roscuro gestured for Swamprover to take Augustille away using Dimension Door.  Swamprover placed one hand on Augustille and then cast the spell.  Swamprover disappeared, reappearing on the rooftop she had scouted out that morning.

Augustille was not with her.

[Dimension Door requires any other creatures being transported be willing and Augustille’s delirium prevented that.]

Back in the lab, Roscuro quietly cursed before calling for Ariphi to jump down into the lab.  Roscuro had a terrible plan on how to turn Augustille from a person into a thing to be carried and needed the adamantine dagger Ariphi carried to implement it.  Roscuro called out a little too loudly and alerted the harpy.  [She rolled a natural 20 on her perception roll and The Other GM ruled she was now on alert.]  Ariphi easily made the leap down from the roof, landing on some notes on a workbench…which promptly slid out from under her, causing her to fall and knock all the glass alchemy gear on the table onto the floor with a tremendous crash!  [Ariphi rolled a 1 on her Acrobatics check to jump down.]

The harpy heard the crash in the lab [the building adjacent to her] and flew out in front of the building to look in through the windows.  There she saw Roscuro next to the troll captive and Ariphi sprawled on a suddenly clear work table.  The harpy called out an alarm and the Ratpack members up on the roof attacked the harpy.

Inside the lab, a very sheepish Ariphi joined Roscuro over by the troll.  Roscuro asked for the adamantine dagger and then attempted to decapitate Augustille.  This took longer than expected and Roscuro had to spend several rounds sawing at the troll.  Meanwhile Ariphi started picking the locks binding Augustille while the two of them argued which route was the quicker/better.

Outside, the harpy started singing, which entranced Hrefna and Gridik but none of the others [the rest made their WILL save] and moved around to the side of the building so those entranced would fall the farthest.  Hrefna stepped right off the side of the building and fell to the ground but Gridik cast Fly so he could move directly to the singing harpy.  Templeton took flight and started pursuing the harpy, hoping to get a pounce attack in.  The harpy fled while still singing, trying to stay just ahead of Templeton and his claws.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[There was some discussion with the Other DM about the mechanism for cutting the head off the troll and which part would regenerate.  Roscuro would eventually have to use coup d’grace five or six times until the troll ran out of hit points.  Next session he ruled that the regeneration would happen with the largest chunk of the troll, which in this case would be the body, not the head.  I found this frustrating.  If the head was not going to be the point of regeneration, why did I have to go through all of the troll’s hit points to get just the head?]


Ratpack

Book 1: Shards of Sin Landing Page – Links to all Book 1 sessions

Book 2: Curse of the Lady’s Light Landing Page – Links to all Book 2 sessions

Book 3: The Asylum Stone Landing Page – Links to all Book 3 sessions 


Last Session: Session 12 


Next Session: Session 14 [Not yet typed up]




Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 3, Session 12

[Day 25 – Planning the Elf Job and a wrinkle]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened November 7, 2022.]

[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 8th level Ninja

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 8th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 8th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 7th level Wizard

Hrefna – female changeling 7th level Omdura

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 8th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 6th level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 7th level Rogue



Autumn

Day 25

Morning

Zitch continued working on Marativy’s magic belt.

Needing some critical information to plan the Elf Job, Hrefna cast Commune right after breakfast.  The Ratpack learned:

  • The prophecy Elaneiros wanted related to the shards the Ratpack was tracking down.
  • Both Leroux and Winston are in Kaer Maga
  • The security on Augustille is constant
  • Augustille is not sedated but is magically trackable

The group made some preliminary plans on how to retrieve Augustille.  There were a lot of grey areas in the plan, so the group spent the morning checking those out.

Swamprover did some discrete testing to determine if Dimension Door would pierce the walls of Kaer Maga [not the buildings in Kaer Maga but the city walls themselves].  She learned it does not.  This meant the Ratpack’s plan to Dimension Door away with Augustille to a point outside the city required a different landing space.  Swamprover and Gridik also went looking in Tarheel Promenade for scrolls of Sleep and found none available.

Afternoon

Back at the Grange, Zitch took some time off from crafting Marativy’s magic belt to learn Dimension Door from Swamprover.  This involved their familiars whispering to each other for a while until Zitch’s donkey rat knew the spell.  For both casters their familiars act as their spellbooks.  [Gridik has an actual spellbook, which causes complications when they want to share spells.]

Late in the afternoon, Roscuro asked Gav some leading questions about whether or not the security automatons, like those in Bis, were armed with weapons.  Gav suggested that Roscuro take some time in the evening to go look around Bis, particularly the Ardoc compound.  He also volunteered that if there was trouble in Bis, the other districts would not likely get involved.  Roscuro thanked him for the advice [and paid him some gold to keep quiet].

Evening

After dinner, Roscuro and Marativy went over to Bis to see what the difference was.  They nearly immediately noticed the difference – several of the buildings and their courtyards had migrated up the walls of the city and rested tens of feet up from their daytime position.  The entire Ardoc compound was nearly 100 feet up the city’s exterior wall.  This made the Ratpack’s plan to jump or climb over the compound’s wall at night impossible.  It would have to be a daytime job.

Once back at the Grange, the Ratpack discussed how they would deal with these developments [compound up the wall at night and Dimension Door not penetrating the city walls].  The consensus was to Dimension Door into Cavalcade as an escape.  Due to the limits of the spell, Swamprover would Dimension Door with Augustille and Zitch would Dimension Door Roscuro and Ariphi.  Hrefna, Swamprover, and Templeton would fly out, heading north towards The Warrens as misdirection.  Marativy would walk away, having never entered the compound and remaining hidden [for reasons to be explained].

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[We ended the session with Hrefna casting Commune again, but I’m going to push that to the next write-up.  We also listed a To Do List for the beginning of the next session:

  • Templeton, Swamprover, and Zitch scout for a discrete landing zone in Cavalcade
  • All return to the Grange by 1:00 PM
  • All split into smaller groups to infiltrate Bis
  • All assemble on roof of building adjacent to Ardoc compound to do the heist]

[The writeup was short as we spent most of the session talking out a plan to assault the building we needed with fewest being the wiser and with minimal alarms.  It was late as Dungeon23 is eating up some unexpected time.  I needed to draw out part of the dungeon level first and then describe the rooms.  After drawing the first page of the map I realized the Entry room I started was all wrong and I needed to redraw the starting map.  I should catch up this week.  I'm not certain I want to pull ahead as that seems to be counter to the spirit of the challenge.]


Ratpack

Book 1: Shards of Sin Landing Page – Links to all Book 1 sessions

Book 2: Curse of the Lady’s Light Landing Page – Links to all Book 2 sessions

Book 3: The Asylum Stone Landing Page – Links to all Book 3 sessions


Last Session: Session 11


Next Session: Session 13




Thursday, January 5, 2023

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 3, Session 11

[Day 24 – An unnecessary fight then scoping out the Elf Job]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened October 31, 2022.]

[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 8th level Ninja

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 8th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 8th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 7th level Wizard

Hrefna – female changeling 7th level Omdura

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 8th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 6th level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 7th level Rogue



Autumn

Day 24 (continued)

Late Morning

Elaneiros, having challenged the Ratpack to defeating his automatons to earn additional support from him, allowed the Ratpack to prepare for the fight.  Hrefna cast Keen Edge on Marativy’s wakizashi.  Gridik cast Cat’s Grace on Roscuro and Mage Armor on himself.  Then Roscuro signaled to Elaneiros to start the automatons.

Elaneiros activated two snake automatons and a lion automaton [later identified as a Taotieh, but we referred to it as Lion-el].  The first round of combat went poorly as the automatons had DR that the Ratpack could not overcome and all three automatons had a higher initiative than most of the Ratpack.  Hrefna was immediately bitten and held by the robo-lion and then swallowed whole the next round!  [It put her into an extradimensional holding space.]

With the group’s heavy hitter removed from the melee and the combat otherwise going poorly, Roscuro decided to end the fight.  He used the Suggestion power of the Shard of Lust to have Elaneiros turn off the automatons.  This ended the fight, but both sides disagreed on who won the fight.  Elaneiros claimed the automatons were undefeated and could be reactivated.  Roscuro claimed that by stopping the automatons, the fight was won.  He did not point out that the Ratpack could also have attacked Elaneiros directly as well but firmly believed it.

With neither side satisfied but the job still on, the Ratpack left the Spire.

Marativy volunteered to go scout out the Ardoc campus and went off to do so while the rest of the group returned to the Grange.  The Ardoc campus was in Bis and against the outer wall of Kaer Maga.  It consisted of several buildings from 1 to 3 stories tall, all surrounded by a 10-foot wall.

After observing the campus from several angles, Marativy was able to confirm the location of the target building and the best way to approach it, which was to jump across the outer wall from an adjacent building, land on a building adjacent to the target building, and then climb up onto the target building.  She turned invisible and made the leap across the wall. She discovered that the smaller spy-bot automatons could See Invisible as several saw her land inside the walls and sounded alarms.  The alarms brought out two large guard automatons, one going to each of the two gates onto the campus, and several human guards.  Marativy quickly left the campus by jumping back over the wall and then observed the security finish deploying from the top of a building further away.  An hour later she returned to the Grange.

Evening

Hrefna cast Commune[Unfortunately, I don’t currently have the Word file we’ve been tracking the answers in, so I can’t summarize the info here, but my notes indicate we confirmed the spy-bots do have See Invisible as a power.]

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Short write-up this session as most of the session was the fight against the automatons.]


Ratpack

Book 1: Shards of Sin Landing Page – Links to all Book 1 sessions

Book 2: Curse of the Lady’s Light Landing Page – Links to all Book 2 sessions

Book 3: The Asylum Stone Landing Page – Links to all Book 3 sessions


Last Session: Session 10 


Next Session: Session 12




Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 3, Session 10

[Day 23 and 24 – The Elf Job explained and a challenge]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened October 17, 2022.]

[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 8th level Ninja

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 8th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 8th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 7th level Wizard

Hrefna – female changeling 7th level Omdura

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 8th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 6th level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 7th level Rogue



Autumn

Day 23 (continued)

Late Morning

Having made her way into the top-most chamber of the Therrasic Spire, Marativy was surprised to have been caught by an elven wizard with a pseudodragon familiar.  Instinctively she turned invisible and stealthily moved to the side, but the elf apparently could still see her and tracked her movements by looking at her without making any other actions.

Marativy and the elf [introducing himself as Elaneiros] had a conversation.  When Marativy described what she was looking for [a way into the Undercity to find a shard of metal], Elaneiros recognized what she was describing as the Shard of Gluttony.  He was willing to explain the location of the shard if Marativy would do a job for him.  Marativy was at least willing to hear the elf out.

Elaneiros explained that there was only one Augur who had the actual gift of prophecy and this troll had been kidnapped.  Elaneiros needed that troll to be taken from his kidnapper and brought to the Spire.  Elaneiros also wanted to meet the rest of Marativy’s companions.  Marativy agreed to convey the requests to the rest of her group and see what they thought.  Elaneiros provided her with a token that would allow her to return to the top floor of the Spire.

Marativy made her own way out of the Spire, not looking for Gridik or Swamprover to avoid blowing their cover.  When she returned to the Grange in Downmarket she explained to Roscuro what had happened.  Roscuro agreed it sounded promising, but they should consult with the rest of the Ratpack before accepting the offer.

Noon

Hrefna and Templeton returned from their investigation of the Ardoc Factory.  Hrefna explained that they had learned little posing as laborers and failed to get jobs there.  Roscuro, Marativy, Templeton, Zitch, Hrefna, and Ariphi discussed the proposal and what other options they had to find the shard they sought.  All agreed that Elaneiros was the best lead so far and they should meet with him.

Near Sunset

Gridik and Swamprover finished their work at the Spire and turned in the materials to Koif’a.  She thanked them for their work and suggested they not return until the end of the week.  Gridik departed with a cheerful “See you tomorrow!”

Once the two wizards returned to the Grange they were brought up to date on things.

Evening

Gridik spent 90 gp from the scroll supplies to successfully add Nondetection to his spell book.


Day 24

Morning

Zitch stated he would stay at the Grange so he could continue work on Marativy’s magic belt.  Templeton volunteered to also stay and watch over Zitch.  This seemed prudent and so Roscuro, Marativy, Gridik, Swamprover, Hrefna, and Ariphi left to go meet with Elaneiros at the Spire.

At the Spire

Marativy again picked the lock on the front door of the spire and the group entered.  Marativy led them up the left-side stairs to the lift on the second floor.  The group crowded onto the platform and Swamprover made the lift ascend.  It stopped two floors short of the top.  Marativy handed over the token Elaneiros had given her, which allowed Swamprover to raise the lift the last two floors.

Inside the library, Elaneiros was waiting in a seating area.  He asked where the witch and foo dog were and Roscuro answered that they were taking care of business elsewhere.  [This gave Roscuro a bad impression of Elaneiros as an arrogant, know-it-all wizard that continues to shade their relationship.]  Once the Ratpack was settled in seats, Elaneiros explained the job.

Elaneiros needed the Ratpack to get one of two things: either retrieve the kidnapped troll prophet Augustille or break into the Augur Temple and take the official record of Augustille’s prophecy.  As the Ratpack did not relish stealing from an organized temple of trolls, they asked for more details on rescuing the troll prophet.

Elaneiros explained that Augustille had been kidnapped by the third son of the Ardoc family, Berkanin Ardoc.  Berkanin was holding Augustille in a family-owned building on the family compound in Bis.  That compound was guarded by construct guards.  Roscuro accepted the job, stating that if the job was do-able, the Ratpack would do it.

Roscuro then asked about the shard’s location.  Elaneiros explained he would provide that information after he had the prophet, but he would provide the Ratpack with some assistance in their retrieval if they could provide proof they could defend the shards better than the current guardian.  At first Roscuro thought Elaneiros was going to have the Ratpack fight him, which would have been cliché and Roscuro advised against it.  Instead, Elaneiros wanted the Ratpack to defeat his automaton snakes and lion.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Note on names in this book – mostly they are hard to pronounce.  Elaneiros we pronounce E-lan-ER-i-os.  Even though that is not what the writer intended (I think they meant it to be pronounce E-lan-I-ros with the second E being silent), it is what we can remember reliably.  I wish the writer had gone with more pronounceable names, especially for those characters who get referenced a lot.]

[I dislike the trope “prove yourself by defeating me/my goons in combat” when it appears in movies and I hate it when writers put it into an adventure.  In a movie it lets the star establish his characters credibility, but in a RPG it is just a pointless fight.  I really wish the writer for this book of the adventure path had instead make Elaneiros accept that achieving either of his tasks meant that the PCs met his needs.]


Ratpack

Book 1: Shards of Sin Landing Page – Links to all Book 1 sessions

Book 2: Curse of the Lady’s Light Landing Page – Links to all Book 2 sessions

Book 3: The Asylum Stone Landing Page – Links to all Book 3 sessions


Last Session: Session 9


Next Session: Session 11




Monday, January 2, 2023

Status Update - Happy New Year!

This is sort of a clearing house posting of things I'm doing.

Dungeon23

I've started a Dungeon23 project.  If you have not heard about it, it is a writing project where you design and writeup a dungeon room a day for all of 2023, ending the year with a mega-dungeon.  There are ways to organize the material, but no hard and fast rules.  The most common is to make each month a different dungeon level (or dungeon).  Weeks can either be a cluster of 7 rooms on that level or follow a weekly theme.  

For the first week, I'm doing a theme of Entrances.  Each day I'm designing a room that is an entrance to the dungeon.  I'm not assigning a particular dungeon level to them at this time, just designing the room.  It is important for a good dungeon to have several access points, both on the starting level and to access deeper levels in ways other than starting at the top and walking down.

I'll post more about this project as time goes on.  Right now it is day 2 and I have two entries written.


Ratpack on the Shattered Star Adventure Path

Session 10 for Book 3 will post tomorrow morning (January 3).  I am committing to posting at least one write-up per week.  We will be playing Session 19 this evening, so I have plenty of material, but I'd like to catch up so I'm only a couple sessions behind in the write-ups.  That said, see the next entry.


The June Project

In June, one of the players in my Monday group will have their first child, which is awesome!  The Other GM is the dad, so the two of them will be super busy with the birth in June and the newborn's lack of sleeping habits in July and August (at the least).

To free up time for them, our group will switch campaigns and I will resume running a game.  At this point it looks like it will be a Shadowrun game using the 5th edition of the rules (the current rules are 6th edition).  All the players have the 5th edition rules and I don't see a need to switch editions here.  The interesting thing for this campaign will be Seattle deciding that Knight Errant is not up to the task of handling crime in the city any more and Lone Star is no better, so they put out a Request to Bid to the other megacorporations for a law enforcement solution.

Aztechnology wins the bid.


That's it for right now.  A major thunderstorm is rolling through, so I need to save and post this while I can.  Look for Session 10 posting tomorrow and more to follow.

Later!



Sunday, December 25, 2022

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 3, Session 9

[✨Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Happy Holidays to everyone else who has a holiday at this time of year!  I got this typed up and ready to post in time, so I decided to not delay it any further. ✨]

~~~~

[Day 22 and 23 – Working and exploring the Spire]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened October 10, 2022.]

[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 8th level Ninja

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 8th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 8th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 7th level Wizard

Hrefna – female changeling 7th level Omdura

Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 8th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 6th level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 7th 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 22 (continued)

Morning

Gridik and Swamprover [secretly watched over by Marativy] left Haverston’s Grange [the inn the Ratpack was staying at] in southern Downmarket to go to the Therassic Spire, a building that housed a group of wizards and sages specializing in things Thassilonian.  The went north to the gap that was The Warrens and cut over to Bis at Quarrimac’s Curatives.  In Bis they went south along the central road to Cavalcade.  Once in Cavalcade they followed streets and bridges to the border between Cavalcade and Highside Stacks.

The Therassic Spire was tall with no windows.  Steps led up to a front door that had a sign in Draconic on it.  The sign read “Closed until further notice.”  The door was locked.

Marativy could see that Gridik and Swamprover were stumped by the locked door and stepped up next to them, offering to open the door.  Gridik nearly jumped out of his pants as he had no idea Marativy had been following them.  Once his heart calmed some, he said, “Yes, please.”  Marativy easily picked the lock and opened the door for Gridik and Swamprover.  She then faded back into the shadows.

Gridik and Swamprover entered the Spire.  The foyer was a large room with stairs leading up on the left and right sides.  Ahead were two open doorways, each leading to a different room.  Not seeing anyone, Gridik called out a hello and announced himself.  After a few moments a clearly puzzled half-orc woman stepped out of one of the side rooms.  She stated that the Spire was closed as everyone was busy doing research.  Gridik used this as an opening and convinced the woman, introduced as Koif’a, that the Spire clearly needed additional help and he and Swamprover were experienced researchers from Magnimar so when can they start work.  Koif’a stated that they should come back in a week if they wanted employment, giving them a signed note stating the same.  Gridik thanked her and stated they would return the following day to start work.  Then Gridik and Swamprover left, leaving behind a bemused Koif’a.

Outside, Gridik and Swamprover discussed what to do next, settling on going over to the Tarheel Promenade to look for some history books about Kaer Maga.  After several hours of searching, Gridik finally purchased a copy of Archeological History of Kaer Maga (in Draconic) for 20 gp – quite a bargain.  The two then returned to the Grange in Downmarket.

Afternoon

Having toured the inner districts of Kaer Maga and before he dismissed Gav for the day, Roscuro asked Gav about the Ardoc family and if they sold their constructs.  Gav informed Roscuro that the Ardoc family made constructs on request only.  Wealthy families in the city liked to own them as status symbols.  Roscuro thanked Gav and told Gav to check back in the morning to see if the Ratpack needed his services.

Dinner

The Ratpack gathered from their various doings and shared what information they had learned with each other.  After listening to the information Gav had supplied, Marativy suggested that instead of grabbing a construct from the Ardoc family directly, one could be taken from a wealthy but less politically connected family in the city.  Alternately, maybe one of the group might do a service for the Ardocs in exchange for a construct.  This seemed like a good path and Hrefna volunteered to go check out the Ardoc factory the next day.


Day 23

Morning

Hrefna and Templeton headed over to the Ardoc factory to seek employment opportunities [or an opportunity to grab a construct before it was activated].  Hrefna ended up talking to some of the employees and was sent to the foreman, where she made her pitch to get hired.  [My notes don’t say they got hired, so I don’t think it worked.]

At the same time, Gridik and Swamprover with Marativy watching over them, returned back to the Spire.  After Marativy picked the lock again and let them in, Gridik and Swamprover went to the side room Koif’a had emerged from the previous day, looking for the half-orc.  The room turned out to be a study with several books in Ignan on the table but no Koif'a.  [Neither reads Ignan, but Gridik has a good eye for scripts and identified the language it was written in.  He also made a note to himself to learn Ignan.]

While Gridik and Swamprover were looking for someone to speak with, Marativy quietly made her way up the stairs on the left to start exploring the Spire.  In an alcove to the side of the top of the stairs she found an airshaft that went all the way up the Spire.  She climbed up to the next floor [the 3rd].  On that floor Marativy saw a gnome reading a book while walking directly towards the airshaft.  Marativy turned invisible [Ninja powers] and did her best to stay out of the way of the distracted gnome.  The gnome turned in front of the shaft and walked down a side passage.

Exploring the floor some, Marativy discovered a room with no people in it.  Scattered across some tables were a variety of books in languages she could not read.  She also found a bag off to one side.  Opening it to check its contents, she found a ring, a pouch of coins, and a change of clothes.  She took the coins but left the ring as it was too identifiable.

Back on the first floor, after looking around and finding no one, Gridik and Swamprover were about to go up the stairs on the left to explore when an elf descended the stairs on the right, stating “You should not be here.”

Gridik convinced the elf that they had been hired by Koif’a to assist (providing the note as evidence) and then asked to be put to work.  The elf took the note and told Gridik to wait there before going back up the stairs on the right, possibly to find Koif’a.  Swamprover took the opportunity to go up the left stairs and explore while Gridik waited.  Gridik was fine with this plan.

At the top of the stairs, Swamprover found the same air shaft Marativy had discovered.  However, as she was preparing to climb up the walls, she noticed a stone platform descending down the shaft at speed!  She immediately hopped out of the shaft and hid a couple steps down the stairs [not the best cover, but better than nothing].

The stone platform came to a soft landing and a dark elf stepped off it and turned away from Swamprover, descending a different flight of stairs [both sets of stairs on the first floor curved up and met at this landing on the second floor].  Swamprover realized it wasn’t an air shaft but a magical lift!

The dark elf descended the stairs to the entry foyer and found Gridik waiting there.  He immediately told Gridik to leave, but Gridik explained he could not as he was a new hire and an elf had taken his note of employment.  The dark elf shrugged and escorted Gridik to the other side room, which contained several study carrels.  The dark elf parked Gridik in one of the carrels and told him to wait there.  The chair and table resized themselves to fit a kobold, so Gridik was more than happy to wait.  [Hurry-up-and-wait is also common amongst academics.]  The dark elf then went back up the stairs on the right of the foyer.

At the same time, Swamprover was experimenting with getting the lift to work.  It gust seemed to require some magic talent and concentration to control and she got it to ascend fairly quickly.  When she stopped at a floor Koif’a was standing right there looking at her.  The grippli squeaked out that the elf had taken their note.  Koif’a stepped onto the lift and made it descend, escorting Swamprover back to the ground floor.  She walked Swamprover over to the room with the study carrels, finding Gridik already sitting in one.

Gridik said the dark elf had told him to wait here for work to do.  Koif’a sighed.  She parked Swamprover in a different carrel [which resized to fit her] and brought the two of them work to do, realizing it would take less time and effort to put them to work than to get them to leave the Spire.  Later the elf, Farsen, came back and returned the note to Gridik…and also a pile of scrolls to collate data from.  Gridik and Swamprover set to work.

Meanwhile, Marativy continued to explore the upper floors of the Spire by way of the “air shaft”.  She found rooms with people in them on the upper floors and avoided those floors, eventually reaching the top floor of the tower.  The landing here was a decorated short hallway with a red carpet leading to the one door on the opposite wall.  Marativy started walking along the carpet but after a few steps the carpet animated and attempted to envelope her.  She leapt and twisted clear of the carpet quickly stepping over to the door and standing on bare floor.  Marativy scrutinized the door and found it was trapped.  Taking some time [and using her magic gloves] she disarmed the magical trap.

Marativy carefully opened the door and looked inside.  There was a lavish library on the other side with a seating area and some statues, but it appeared to be empty.  She stepped in, quietly closing the door behind her, and looked around.

A voice from above her, full of curiosity, asked, “Who are you?

“No one,” she replied and went invisible.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[This session ended on a bit of a cliffhanger!  We speculated who the voice might belong to, but we didn’t find out until the next session.]

[One bit of rules clarification.  Rogues can disarm all traps, including magical traps, but Ninjas are limited to only mechanical traps.  Back in Book 2, the Other GM inserted a pair of magic gloves that allow the wearer to disarm magical traps.  This was him observing an issue we were running into and fixing it with a magic item rather than us recruiting yet another NPC.  He is from the school of play where the players do everything and rarely bring on NPC hirelings.  I’m old school and have no issues with us having plenty of NPCs to cover our weaknesses.  Both schools are valid, so I have no issues with his solution.]



Ratpack

Book 1: Shards of Sin Landing Page – Links to all Book 1 sessions

Book 2: Curse of the Lady’s Light Landing Page – Links to all Book 2 sessions

Book 3: The Asylum Stone Landing Page – Links to all Book 3 sessions


Last Session: Session 8


Next Session: Session 10