Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ratpack – Session 07


[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened December 9, 2019.]

Player Characters
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

Day 5/6
As the Puffy Pelican Burns
The Ratpack was just walking away from the Puffy Pelican as flames started consuming the abandoned tavern when a group of 4 armed and armored people ran up the street to them.  Their leader claimed to be part of the City Watch and wanted to know what happened.  Roscuro attempted to lie to them and stated that the group of ratfolk was just walking down the street when the building caught fire as they were passing.  The “guards” did not believe this for a second and immediately accused the Ratpack of starting the fire.

None of the ratfolk wanted to kill the “guards” if they actually were City Watch, but they also didn’t want to be arrested.  While most of the group could have escaped by taking to the rooftops, Zitch couldn’t and no one wanted to leave him behind.  Noticing that the “guards” only had two lanterns and seemed to be humans [assumption on my part – I should have asked the GM as two of them were elves with low-light vision], Roscuro attempted to knock out one of the lanterns so maybe Zitch could escape in the darkness.  This initiated a fight.

Two of the “guards” grappled Roscuro and tied him up with a rope before he could react [there was an issue here because we all had a poor understanding of the grapple rules].  Another grappled Templeton and knocked him out.  Winston ran for it and was pursued by the fourth one, one of the two elfs, to a nearby roof.  While the elf could climb well, Winston’s acrobatics allowed him to quickly escape across the rooftops.  Meanwhile, Zitch stepped back from the fight and then ran for it along the streets, ducking into alleys to get out of sight as soon as he could.  The “guards” took their two captives to Arvensoar, the garrison of the city’s watch and small military.  Both were put in holding cells for the rest of the night.  Zitch and Winston reconnected and followed the “guards” and then stayed nearby to see if they could help Roscuro and Templeton, staying in touch via the message spell.

Day 6
Sheila Heidmarch entered the holding area shortly after the sun had risen.  She asked Roscuro and Templeton if they had a good excuse for getting arrested.  Roscuro said he did, but the holding cells were too public to discuss it.  Sheila accepted this answer and proceeded to get the two ratfolk released.

Once outside Arvensoar, Roscuro explained what the group had been up to, what they had done and why, and how two of them ended up arrested.  He then asked Sheila how the “guards” knew to contact her as neither Templeton nor Roscuro had said anything to them about who they were working for.  She explained that the City Watch, when faced with an odd occurrence contacted the heads of several organizations in the city to see if they were involved and wanted to collect their people.  Roscuro found this peculiar.  Sheila asked if the group had questioned the Watch Captain.  Roscuro said no and doubted the Watch Captain would talk to two ratfolk his people had recently arrested.  Sheila suggested that showing him a wayfinder would make him more inclined to talk.  Roscuro also found this dubious, but accepted her suggestion.  They parted ways.

The Ratpack regrouped at the Blue Rodent and discussed what to do next.  Roscuro was dubious about talking to the Watch Captain but Templeton was willing to give it a try.  After strategizing a bit, Templeton and Zitch went back to Arvensoar.

At Avensoar, Templeton demanded to speak with the Watch Captain.  The person on duty refused to go get the Watch Captain, so Templeton slapped down gold coins and told the duty officer the coins were his if he went and got his superior and there were more coins for his superior when he or she got here.  Using this method, Templeton quickly got a meeting with the Watch Captain.

The Watch Captain was not impressed, but once Templeton showed his wayfinder, he was willing to talk.  [Note: the GM presented the Watch Captain as male and never gave a name.   Later reading of the Magnimar source book pointed out the Watch Captain has a name and is in fact female.  I have no control over this and don’t know if it will be changed.]  The Watch Captain asked what Templeton wanted.  Templeton explained he was looking for Natalia van Caskerkin.  The Watch Captain explained that she was a member of the Tower Girls, a faction of the Sczarni having a run of bad luck.  The Watch raided the Tower Girls’ base a month or so ago, then the Tower Girls had a run in with The Wreckwash Gang and lost their new base.  The Tower Girls seem to have moved into an abandoned warehouse in Underbridge owned by Fenster the Blight.  Fenster takes odd jobs if he likes the offered pay.  This pay is in items and knick-knacks as he refuses money.  The Tower Girls leader is someone named Ayala, but that might be a title as the person with that name has appeared as very different people over time.  The gang might have between 30 and 50 members overall.  Natalia seems to have disappeared about a week ago.

Templeton asked about the rumors of the Nidalese slavers and the possibility that they might have grabbed Natalia.  The Watch Captain was very dismissive of the rumors, stating they were false.  People are disappearing, but they all are found a week or so later with complete amnesia, trying to get along as best they can in their new circumstances.  The disappearances are happening all over the city and are usually socially lower-end people who were out on the street going somewhere or other.  Restorative magics have failed to cure the memory loss.  The issue has been happening for about a month.

Templeton also asked about Plutivarch Dramis.  The Watch Captain seemed to really have it in for Plutivarch, describing him as a “bastard child of academia.”  Plutivarch is a disreputable mage and “an asshat.”  The Watch Captain does not believe Plutivarch has any connection to the Nidalese.

Templeton ran out of things to ask about and so left.  He and Zitch returned to the Blue Rodent and reported back what they had learned to Roscuro and Winston.  This hardened Roscuro’s belief that the Watch were either the slavers themselves or in league with the slavers.  [This may just be a delusion on Roscuro’s part or not – we’ll see how it plays out.]
End of Session

Rat Whispers
[Remember when I said pay attention to the short time between when the fight started and the end of the session?  This is why.  To say the players were unhappy that a patrol of super-competent “guards” specializing in grappling showed up within a minute of the previous fight starting is a bit of understatement.  I don’t know if this scene was scripted or not, but if so, I don’t know what it was supposed to accomplish.  It felt very railroad-y to us and definitely changed our opinion of the City Watch and how we interact with them.  It is also the reason I type “guards” in quotes as Roscuro is definitely of the opinion that they ARE the slavers.]

[Marativy’s player missed this session and the next due to work reasons, but she should return for Session 9.  As is standard for our group, when a player cannot make the game their character fades into the background.  If there is a convenient place to “park” the character we will, but otherwise they are considered just off camera until the player returns.]

[Also, Roscuro, Templeton, and Zitch have earned enough experience points to level up and will be 2nd level after this.]

Session 01
Session 02
Session 03
Session 04
Session 05
Session 06

Session 08

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Aldelle Group - Book 2: The Gate Saga

Book 2 covers the further adventures of the Aldelle Group in what became The Gate Saga.  The write-up of Session 16 is where I started writing the notes as journal entries in my character's personal journal.  The devotionals to Ra quickly appeared and I finally found Harkaitz's "voice" as a character.

Part 1: False Starts in Terranor
Session 15 – Mystery at the Museum
Session 16 – Joining the Guild  [Start of Harkaitz's Journal]
Session 17 – Demons and Devils, Oh My!
Session 18 – Devils at the Gate
Session 19 – The Devil's Cave

Part 2: Against the Drow
Session 20 – The Forest of Angry Elves
Session 21 – Scouting the Barrow
Session 22 – First Steps
Session 23 – Sleeping Wednesday
Session 24 – "They trapped their own bedrooms."
Session 25 – Dragons and Goblins and Drow - oh my!
Session 26 – Shopping in Elftown
Session 27 - Descent into the Depths
Session 28 – Part 1: Storming the Gatehouse
Session 28 – Part 2: Sweeping the Barrow
Session 29 – Unexpected Allies
Session 30 – Entering the Vault
Sessions 31 and 32, Part 1 – Death of the Matriarch
Sessions 31 and 32, Part 2 – Return of the Vrock

Part 3: The Swamp Gate
Session 33 – Into the Uskar Desert
Session 34 – Into the Uskar Desert
Session 35 – Across the Waters and Into the Swamp
Session 36 – A Favor for a Favor
Session 37 – Tracking through the Swamp
Sessions 38 and 39 – The Swamp Gate
Session 40 – Swamp Revelations
Session 41 – R-and-R in the Forest of Angry Elves

Part 4: The Uskar and Mountain Gates
Session 42 – Into the Mountains and Split Session 43 – Across the Desert and a New Companion
Session 44 – Hiking to the Pyramid
Session 45 – The Pyramid, Top to Bottom

Session 46 – Bottom to Top Session 47 – Light and Darkness
Session 48 – The Thieves’ Bazaar
Session 49 – Temple to Throne
Session 50 – Wave of Undead
Session 51 – Mist, Fireballs, Statues, and Bone Heaps
Session 52 – Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass
Session 53 – The Unbeating Heart of Darkness
Session 54 – The Vampire Side-Steps Us
Session 55 – Lucien, Meet Ra.

Part 5: Reclaiming the Terranor Gate

Sadly, I never typed up my session notes for the rest of the campaign.  I got deep into writing my first novel and posted chapters of that for the next year [2012].  The last blog posting was on July 24, 2012, after Session 82, which was the last session of the entire campaign.

We lead an army made up of contingents from all those Harkaitz contacted, including the Drow and the surface elves and a couple of dragons.  I vaguely remember the fight being hard won and we secured the last gate, saving the world.

Book 3 of the campaign was our characters establishing a colony for the kingdom on a major island far to the north.  It wasn't as satisfying a campaign because we were too powerful for regular adventuring and the GM had no experience or guidelines for running a campaign where we settled down, established strongholds, and started doing the political end-game things D&D builds to.  To quote myself, "We learned why a fresh sandbox setting isn't quite so challenging to characters with tons of money and magic to throw around."
Thank you for reading this.  It was a lot of fun to play through.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed playing it.

Previous Parts of the Campaign
Book 1: Dyson's Delve

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Ratpack – Session 06

[The ratfolk adventurers search for a lost snitch, finally get paid for the siege castle gig, and then things catch fire!]

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

Day 5
After a night’s sleep, the ratfolk adventurers reassembled at the Blue Rodent.  In a private room Zitch cast identify on the ring from the Paradox Box and determined it was a ring of feather falling.  After a short discussion, the group decided to hand the ring to Marativy as she was most likely to need it.

The ratfolk then started strategizing on how they might track down Natalia/Kasadi.  Marativy remembered her as a lookout on the one job they worked together.  Marativy also suggested the group try looking around on Washer’s Row.  Some of the laundries there are fronts for a Sczarni group known as the Washside Wringers.  That area is also the base of operations for The Amazing Zograthy, an information broker and middleman between the Sczarni and other criminal organizations.

The group dispersed across the lower city to track down leads.  Roscuro attempted asking around Underbridge diplomatically but ended up talking with his fists, elbows, and knees and got no information.  [I rolled a 5 on the attempt.]  Marativy and Templeton went to talk with The Amazing Zograthy and for 50 gold coins he answered any question they put to him.  They learned a number of locals where disappearing and word on the street was that Nidalese slavers were grabbing people and smuggling them out of the city.  The slavers were known to operate out of an abandoned tavern called the Puffy Pelican.  Separately, Winston and Zitch learned the same information from other sources, but Zitch also learned that the local boss for the Nidalese was a man named Plutivarch Dremis.

The ratfolk reconvened at the Blue Rodent and compared information.  They had found out nothing about Natalia, but a lot about this slaver organization.  They speculated that perhaps the Nidalese had grabbed Natalia and this might be worthwhile to investigate.  As their information suggested the slavers operated at night, they decided to go back to Frederick’s place and see if they could finally get paid for exploring the siege castle and sell off the things they brought back.

The group went over to Roscuro’s parent’s home to pick up the chest of goods and hauled it over to Frederick’s in a fancier part of town.  This time Frederick was in the shop and the rude assistant was nowhere to be seen.  After exchanging pleasantries, Roscuro started showing Frederick what the group had retrieved from the siege castle, starting with the mended swords and shields.  Frederick easily contained his excitement at seeing them.  Roscuro then produced the shield with the dolphin heraldry and Frederick became noticeably excited at it.  Roscuro followed with the banner, the ledgers [the books not containing history], and the contracts [the scrolls that were not maps], all of which Frederick was very enthused about.  Roscuro then brought out the piece de’resistance, the wax seal.  Frederick was floored to see it.  He barely even noticed the jewelry Roscuro added at the end, agreeing to take all of it.

Frederick went into the back of his shop and brought out a small strongbox.  He presented it to the ratfolk adventurers.  Inside were 5000 gold coins, 1000 for each adventurer.  Roscuro did a quick visual check that the others accepted this and then thanked Frederick for his patronage, accepting the strongbox on the group’s behalf.

After that the group and Frederick worked out the process for delivering finds to his “VIP supplier depot” to avoid future unpleasantness.  Frederick also assisted the group in establishing an account at a nearby bank so they didn’t have to haul 5000 gold coins around town with them and make targets of themselves.  As the bank needed a name for the account, the ratfolk huddled a moment and settled upon the group name The Ratpack.  [Not the most imaginative names, but easily agreed upon and undeniably descriptive.]

After Sunset
After spending the afternoon doing some celebrating, The Ratpack made their way over to the Puffy Pelican in the Dockway neighborhood.  Their thinking was that the slavers might store “product” here and maybe, if they were lucky, Natalia might still be here.  Either way they might get a lead on the Nidalese slavers.

The Ratpack spent some time scouting out the abandoned tavern.  The windows and doors were boarded up and the wooden structure was built mostly hanging over the water on stilts.  After a time, several of the group noticed there was a faint light inside the building.  

Marativy took to the rooves of the surrounding buildings to try and get a better look at the interior.  From that elevation she could see the roof of the Puffy Pelican had holes and gaps in it.  With great stealth she moved over to the Puffy Pelican roof to look inside the structure.  She discerned that the interior was almost completely empty except for a hooded lantern that was shining a light out an open back window and into the bay.  She saw no one inside the structure but there was a side room with a door that she could not see into at all.

After checking the roof, Marativy climbed down and looked at the understructure.  There was nothing under the building except the wooden support posts and the waters of the bay.  There was no light shining down on the water, which suggested there were no trapdoors.  Learning this, Marativy returned to where the rest of the Ratpack was waiting and shared what she had learned.

The Ratpack, not the most subtle of groups, decided a simple, straight-forward approach would be easiest and quickest.  They would sneak around to the front of the side area, pry out two planks with crowbars, and take a look at whatever was in the side room.  What could go wrong?

Waiting only long enough for Templeton to summon and merge with his eidolon, they enacted their plan.  The group somewhat stealthily made their way to the front wall of the side room.  Zitch and Roscuro quickly pried out adjacent vertical planks, allowing them to see in.  The room seemed to be some sort of storage room in the past.  It now contained empty shelves and three crates on the floor.  Shrugging, Zitch pried another plank off the wall and squeezed into the room.  Roscuro and Winston followed with Templeton and Marativy keeping an eye out across the street.

Roscuro had time to open one of the crates, finding old serving ware, before an invisible assailant cast color spray on the trio [note: no Perception roll was made versus the sorcerer’s stealth nor for the casting of the color spray].  Luckily, only Zitch was blinded by the attack.  Templeton charged across the street and squeezed into the room, just in time for the now revealed sorcerer to again cast color spray [defensively], this time to no effect [we all made our saves].  Winston shot and hit the sorcerer with his musket, followed by Roscuro dumping a vial of oil on the attacker.  Marativy sprinted across the street to join in on the fight.

[At this point I realized my plan had a flaw – none of us had any fire to light the oil.  We would have to improvise.]

Templeton attempted a full attack routine on the sorcerer but missed all three times.  The sorcerer backed up into the main room and then cast magic missile at Roscuro, hitting with two missiles [I was now down to one hit point].  Winston reloaded his musket in the storeroom while Roscuro and Marativy joined the sorcerer in the main room...but both missed with their attacks.  [We were all rolling frustratingly low on our attack rolls, except for Winston who had to reload after every attack so couldn't press his advantage.]

Templeton decided to wait for an opportune time to attack, which allowed the sorcerer to cast a second magic missile, this time at Marativy [apparently, the sorcerer realized Roscuro had no flame to light the oil with while Marativy had a very sharp sword that needed no fire].  Winston, his musket reloaded, strode into the room and to the sorcerer and shot him at point blank range, blowing a hole in the sorcerer AND igniting the oil he was covered in.  Roscuro threw a second flask of oil on the sorcerer because F that guy.  Marativy tried to kill the caster with her sword but missed, allowing Templeton to decide that now was the time and step up and end the sorcerer with a final claw swipe.

The overuse of oil meant the wooden building quickly caught fire.  Rather than put out the fire [or the sorcerer], the Ratpack started leaving the building the way they had entered.  Roscuro delayed long enough to check the last two crates in the store room [both full of junk] before the rapidly spreading fire drove him from the building.

End of Session

Rat Whispers
[We were surprised by the power of the sorcerer.  At first we thought he was a wizard, which led us to overestimate his level and question the balance of the encounter.  On the other hand, we missed a lot due to low dice rolls, making the fight even more frustrating.  My advice here would have been to allow the players a Perception roll against the sorcerer’s Stealth when he snuck up on us, especially when he opened the door, then the Fort save against the color spray.]

[We know we probably lost a couple magic items by letting the sorcerer burn, but we hated that guy at the moment and we'll live with it.  Please note how little time elapsed between the start of the fight, particularly Winston's first shot with his musket, and when we were forced out of the building because of the flames.  Next session starts exactly where this one ends and... well, you'll see.]

[I changed the name of the tavern our characters congregate at.  Calling the tavern that a group of ratfolk meet at "The Rat's Cellar" seems like a funny history joke at first.  In hindsight, maybe not so much.  No reason to be a dick even accidentally.  I changed it to The Blue Rodent as a nod to The Blue Parrot from Casablanca, one of my favorite movies.  As I get time I'll go back and change it in the earlier session notes.]

Session 01
Session 02
Session 03
Session 04
Session 05

Session 07

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 Blue Rodent.  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

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

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

The Aldelle Group - Main Archive

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 - a transition session between Book 1 and Book 2

Book 2: The Gate Saga
The adventurers are given a quest to save the world.  The session notes become journal entries written by a Harkaitz of the Red Soul, my PC.  This book consists of 5 Parts with session notes for Parts 1 through 4.

Character Backgrounds:

1: Harkaitz of the Red Soul
2: Aziz of the Light
3: Sarisvati The Suntouched

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?]