Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Ratpack – Session 01

[A group of ratfolk adventurers decide to act on a rumors of a recently opened adventure site.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened October 28, 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 1
Having all heard rumors that a formerly sealed siege castle near Magnimar was cracked open by a recent earthquake, a pack of ratfolk banded together to go explore and loot it before anyone else took the good stuff.  While walking along the road towards the siege castle, the group observed a fancy carriage flanked by two guards on horseback heading in their direction.  Seeing an opportunity to speed up their travel, Roscuro suggested the group try and hitch a ride.  Marativy opined that she did not believe the person in the carriage would agree to that.  “I wasn’t planning on asking,” was Roscuro’s response.

The group concealed themselves in some bushes and waited for the carriage to pass them.  As it did so, the ran out behind it and quietly climbed aboard the empty luggage rack in the back.

Except Roscuro, who managed to get his tail run over by one of the wheels of the carriage. [I rolled a natural 1 on the Acrobatics skill check.  Sadly, this would not be my last 1 of the night.]

Roscuro let out a large yelp involuntarily, alerting not only the passenger in the carriage but his bodyguards as well.  The two guards on horse back slowed their horses and swung around behind the carriage.  The person inside the carriage stuck his head out the side to see what was going on and saw two ratfolk clinging to the back of his carriage.  “What are you doing back there?” he yelled back.

“Abandoning a ship,” Roscuro relied, tenderly holding his tail.

“What ship?”

“The ship of walking all the way to the siege castle.”

At this point Templeton intervened and started doing all the talking.  As it turned out, the carriage rider was Frederik something-or-other [he did not give his last name], a famous collector of some note [at the very least Marativy had heard of him].  He was on his way to the siege castle to personally verify it was actually accessible prior to hiring adventurers to explore it for him.  He offered a deal: he’d hire us to explore the siege castle in exchange for right of first purchase at 250 gold coin of anything of note we found.  We could keep things “not of note” we found, but he’d also like the right to make an offer on any of that we decided to sell.  We agreed and he invited us inside the carriage.  The group of us swung around the sides and into the carriage at various levels of smoothness.  He was surprised to see five of us, not being aware of most of our party, but also liking our odds better.

An hour later we turned off the main road and followed a little used side road that eventually led to the siege castle.  Siege castles are magically-sealed castles located in various places in Golarion.  Most have been abandoned/sealed away for centuries and some rumored to be even older than that.  The magics are strong enough that it takes something unusual to access one, like an earthquake damaging one.

When the carriage came within view of the siege castle in question, the driver stopped it.  The passengers climbed out and looked.  The castle was definitely accessible.  It looked like a cluster of four octagonal towers with each “tower” sharing a wall with its two neighbors.  The lower floors of the eastern tower were heavily damaged, with partial floors still there and the exterior walls fallen to piles of rubble surrounding the first floor.  How the fifth floor was still up was a mystery.  It looked like it should have fallen and still might.

“This is as far as I go,” announce Frederik.  “I’m satisfied you can access the castle.  Find me at the address I gave you when you return to Magnimar.”  He reached into the carriage and pulled two vials out of a travel bag and handed them over to Templeton – they were healing potions..  “Use these if necessary.”  With that he climbed back into the carriage and ordered the driver to turn around and return to Magnimar.

With a shrug the five ratfolk resumed walking.  As they approached the siege castle, Roscuro noticed a small pack of feral dogs sniffing around the ruined east wing.  Not wanting to fight them up close, the ratfolk took cover behind some debris and shot at the dogs.  Winston killed one of the feral dogs and Roscuro, Marativy, and Zitch wounded the other dogs.  The dogs were spooked and ran away.

Templeton wanted to summon his eidolon at this point, which took a minute to complete.  While waiting on him, the others scoped out the ruins.  Most of the walls of the east tower were missing.  The third and fourth floors were only partial floors.  The second and third floors were more complete but also missing most of their internal walls.  The first floor was mostly full of rubble collapsed from the higher floors.  The connecting walls with the north and south towers could be seen.  On the second floor, two closed doors could be seen one door to the north tower and one to the second.  It would take minimal effort to get to them.  Where a similar door to the south tower would be on the first floor was blocked by rubble, but the matching doorway to the north tower was open.  One short discussion later the ratfolk started walking towards the first level open doorway to the north tower.

As the group approached the entrance to the north tower, the ratfolk formed up into a marching order.  Roscuro and Marativy were in front, Templeton in his Foo Dog form was next, Zitch and his familiar after that, and Winston following up in the rear.

At the entrance, the group paused to look into the room beyond.  The entire first floor was a single large chamber.  Everything was covered by a layer of rock dust and there were spider webs all along the ceiling.  While we stood there looking, the spider that created all those webs fired a blob of webbing at Roscuro and Marativy, entrapping them!

Winston hot the giant spider with his pistol while Marativy escaped the webbing and attempted to cut Roscuro free.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t as careful about what was webs and what was tail as Roscuro would have liked and sliced his poor abused tail.  The spider pounced at this point and bit Roscuro, but got a mouth of mostly fur [it rolled minimal damage].  Roscuro resisted the poison that came with the bite.  Zitch cursed the spider with the Evil Eye, which helped Roscuro land a flurry of blows on the spider with his hanbō [a half-sized staff that also doubled as a stout walking stick].  Templeton attacked the webs holding Roscuro, heavily damaging the web but not fully freeing his ally.

Winston reloaded his pistol as fast as he could.  Marativy made use of the ratfolk swarming ability with Roscuro, which allowed her to get in a sneak attack on the spider.  The spider bit Roscuro again, again with minimal effect and Roscuro resisting the additional poison.  Zitch healed Roscuro who was bloodied at this point and needed it.  Roscuro attacked the spider with another flurry of blows, nearly killing the spider.  Templeton removed the last of the webbing holding Roscuro in place.

Pistol reloaded, Winston stepped back from the spider’s reach and shot it, killing it.

While all the ratfolk caught their breath, Marativy asked if anyone knew how to harvest the poison from the spider.  Winston and Zitch were able to harvest the poison by pooling their knowledge.  Once that was done the room was thoroughly searched [we took 20].  The only thing of value we found was a locked jewelry box webbed to a shelf.  After cutting it free, Zitch said he recognized the writing on the box as elven, but he could not read it.  Marativy picked the lock on the box.  Inside was a pendant with gemstones on it.  Zitch verified it was not magical and Marativy assessed it as valuable, but could not estimate an accurate value other than “about 100 gold coin?”

There was a doorway to the west tower in this room.  The group opened approached it and looked into the next room.  This chamber took up the entire first floor of the west tower, but was empty.  There was a door to the south tower that was covered with rubble and a doorway to the central shaft of the castle.  We walked over to that door and discovered the square central shaft was a stairwell.  The stairs up to the second and third floor had collapsed, the top of the rubble was a foot lower than the floor, indicating that stairs down existed under all the rubble.

The ratfolk took their time searching the west tower room and the accessible part of the stairs.  After a thorough search, the only thing of value found was a blob of spider webbing containing bones and detritus wrapped up in a banner that was in surprisingly good condition.  It radiated a faint preservative magic and Zitch said the heraldry on it was the same as a famous hunting lodge from a few centuries ago, the Band of the Phoenix.

The banner went into a loot bag and the ratfolk fell back, burning all the webbing as they went.
End of Session

Rat Whispers
[This campaign is currently filling in for the Delvers Guild campaign until I can get more gate locations written up.  We are playing in Golarion, currently based in the city of Magnimar.  Other GM is running Master of the Fallen Fortress as an intro to the Shattered Star Adventure Path, so he’s moved where the fortress is located.  I’m just going to number the days until Other GM sets out a calendar of some sort for us to follow.]

[The game ran a bit long as the GM wanted us to finish exploring the west tower and the stairs area before we quit.  Next session we’ll have to decide if we are going to try the doors on the second level or attempt to climb up in the collapsed stairs area.]


Session 02

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