Friday, February 7, 2020

Ratpack – Session 12

[Exposition is given and the quest…more or less starts.  But first, some shopping.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened January 27, 2020.]

[SPOILERS!  If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will contain a lot of spoilers.]

Player Characters
Marativy – female ratfolk 2nd level Ninja
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 2nd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 2nd level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 2nd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 2nd level Gunslinger

Day 7
The Ratpack met at the Blue Rodent and ate breakfast together.  Fully rested and fed [and in two cases, leveled], they walked back to the Pathfinder Society lodge.  There they met with Sheila again to learn more about the red metal shard.  The shard was a piece of the “Shattered Star.”  When reassembled, the pieces become the Sihedron, a defensive magic item created by Emperor Xin, the founder of the Thessalonian Empire 10,000 years ago.  The Sihedron was broken when the Rune Lords rose up and took over the Thessalonian Empire, each keeping a shard.  In the intervening time, the shards went missing…until now.  The shards are considered major artifacts, granting power to the wielder and each providing guidance to the location of the next piece in a chain that eventually circles back.

Sheila strongly suggests that the Ratpack track down the remaining shards.  Rune Lords have reappeared in other places recently [see the Rise of the Rune Lords Adventure Path] and locating the Shattered Star would be a good defense against the Rune Lords if more re-appear.  Roscuro asked what support the Pathfinder Society would provide for this quest and the answer was “not much.”  Being Pathfinders ourselves, we could ask for help, but other society members were not required to assist us.  Additionally, there was no financial support either, nor would doing this help our standing inside the society as we needed to keep this quiet.  She did offer to research what Ioun stones fit each shard so the curses on them could be broken.  The Ratpack was feeling underwhelmed by the Society’s “support.”

Sheila also explained how to track down the next shard.  She had Marativy hold the red metal shard and concentrate on the location of the next shard.  After a moment of concentration, Marativy had vision of one of the Irespan pylons, The Crow, and the known entrance to it.  Consulting a map, the Ratpack decided they would need to rent a boat to go out and get it.

Having learned all they could, the Ratpack left the lodge.  They split up to get various supplies and run errands.  Roscuro and Zitch discussed looking for a handy haversack [a magic backpack that weighs 5 pounds no matter how much gear is in it].  They each have half the gold necessary and both agree keeping encumbrance down so the group won’t be slowed is important.  [Especially as the ratfolk movement rate is only 20 feet.]  Marativy decided to go with Zitch and Roscuro.  Templeton and Winston had separate errands to run and went their own way.

Not being local to Magnimar nor knowing where items such as handy haversacks might be located, Roscuro, Zitch, and Marativy headed over to Frederick’s shop in the Naos District to ask his advice.  Frederick was in and finishing up with a customer, so the ratfolk waited and looked around the shop some.  Frederick sells antiques to the wealthy and the shop had some nice wares, even though they were not what the ratfolk were looking for.

When Frederick finished with his previous customer, he came over and greeted the ratfolk.  Roscuro explained he and Zitch were looking for a place that sold magic items, but were new to the city and did not know where we might find such a place.  As Frederick was someone they knew and did business with, they were hoping he might have some suggestions.  This drew Frederick’s interest and he asked what the group was up to.  Roscuro explained that the Ratpack was going to investigate a nearby site that was recently uncovered and wanted a handy haversack to ease the expedition.  They had a lead but were uncertain what might be discovered at the site.

Frederick’s instincts kicked in and he asked if he might make a deal similar to the one he made with the Ratpack over things found in the siege castle.  Roscuro said he was interested, but there was a complicating factor – he pulled out his Pathfinder Society wayfarer by way of silent explanation.  Frederick’s eyebrows rose, but he nodded and suggested that the contract be amended to say he would have the right of first refusal [the option to make an offer or pass before anyone else saw it] on anything not already spoken for by the Pathfinder Society.  Roscuro looked to Zitch and Marativy for confirmation and they nodded.  Roscuro agreed to those terms and he and Frederick shook hands on it.

Frederick then drew up a letter of credit and recommended a shop named Tinctures and Tonics down the street.  The name of the shop was not as descriptive as it used to be, he explained.  They started out selling alchemical products, but branched out into wondrous items as the business grew.  Once the ink dried on the letter of credit, he handed it to Roscuro – it was for the amount of a handy haversack.  Apparently, Frederick was very pleased with how things worked out with the siege castle!  The ratfolk thanked Frederick and left the shop.

On the way over to Tinctures and Tonics, Roscuro asked Zitch if he was still interested in going half in on a second handy haversack if one was available.  Roscuro was willing to go half in for one for Zitch, that way both Roscuro and Zitch would have one.  Zitch was willing.

At Tinctures and Tonics, the ratfolk talked with a rather refined half-orc named Vof Glukron.  Vof was a co-owner of the shop and ran the shop side of the business, his partner handling “creations and acquisitions.”  Roscuro explained that they were looking to purchase two handy haversacks, if the shop had them in stock.  Vof went into the back to check and came out with two of them.  Roscuro used the letter of credit from Frederick to pay for one [Vof apparently knew Frederick, so there was no issue with the letter of credit] and then he and Zitch put down gold coin for the second.  The trio then looked around at the merchandise in the shop and also purchased 6 basic potions of cure light wounds [two per player].

After purchasing the handy haversacks and potions, the trio went over to an armorer’s shop to sell off the surplus weapons and armor they had recently acquired [from the toughs and Tower Girl they fought in the previous session].  Marativy upgraded her leather armor to a chainmail shirt.

At the end of the day, the Ratpack met up again at The Blue Rodent to discuss last minute plans.  Templeton was particularly leery of getting trapped out at The Crow by someone stealing they rented boat and wanted to get barrels to take as makeshift boats.  Roscuro countered by suggesting that the group get a barrel of potable water.  If something happened to the boat, they could dump out the water and use the barrel, but in the meantime they would have plenty of water and draw no undue attention.  Templeton agreed to this plan.  Winston, Zitch, and Marativy also used the trip to get the water barrel to resupply with trail rations as they were all out.

Day 8
The Ratpack rented a boat in the Beacon’s Point district and loaded it up with their barrel of water.  They rowed out to The Crow, one of the two furthest out pylons of the Irespan.  On the side of the pylon away from the city they found an opening that matched Marativy’s vision and rowed in.  Inside was a mostly flooded chamber with stairs climbing out of the water on the back end.  The ceiling was very high [the official description is “up into the darkness” so I don’t have a distance, but I bet they were not expecting ratfolk with 60 feet of darkvision].

In the back of the chamber was an alcove that countless generations of rich young people had used to get away from their parents and party.  The back wall of the alcove was recently broken open, exposing a short passage to another room inside the pylon.

Room 2 was rectangular and had three items of not: a door to the left, an alcove on the far wall, and stairs going up on the right.  The alcove had trash.  The door to the left opened on another room [Room 3], which was clearly being used as a privy.  Roscuro checked for secret doors but found none.  [He did contract Filth Fever, but the onset is 3 days, so he won’t realize this for another day or two.]  After searching Room 3, Roscuro cleaned his feet in the bay water in Room 1 [so he wouldn’t smell the privy all day or leave tracks].

The stairs up curved to the right and opened in a room being used for storage.  By whom the ratfolk still had no idea.  The crates appeared to have been in this room for a while as the ungol dust traps in them failed to activate and the ungol dust had gone ineffective.  The only way out of this room was another set of stairs in the far corner.  Those stairs turned left twice, making a U-shape, and opened to Room 5.

Room 5 was quite large and the walls were covered in murals of Thassilonian pilgrims and giants marching across the Irespan, back when it was whole [so thousands of years ago].  There are votive candle holders spaced along the walls and on the double-row of columns supporting the ceiling.  A set of wide stairs can just be glimpsed on the back wall, through the pillars.

Marativy drank a potion of invisibility and then snuck across the room to go investigate the stairs.  Roscuro quietly followed [he has the second highest stealth bonus and I rolled a natural 20 on the roll] while the rest stayed at the door.  As Marativy approached the stairs [with Roscuro about halfway across the room, amongst the pillars], she heard a surprised squeak and spotted a dire rat bolt for the stairs [not away from her invisible self, but towards the stairs - we also questioned how a dire rat made a perception roll in the upper 30s].  Roscuro saw the dire rat as it made it to the steps and threw a tanglefoot bag at it.  He hit the dire rat with the bag, but it was only slowed [it made its save].

This triggered a short combat as the Ratpack attempted to stop the dire rat from escaping.  Despite hitting it a couple of times [for a total of 4 points of damage], the dire rat still had twice the movement of the ratfolk [despite being the same size class as the ratfolk, Small, dire rats are apparently world-class sprinters] and escaped up the stairs.  Roscuro called off the pursuit.

The ratfolk regrouped and resumed exploring, moving up the stairs with stealth.

End of Session

Rat Whispers
[So the main quest of the Adventure Path has arrived and the PCs are not exactly revved to go.  The Pathfinder Society seems to be making assumptions.  If it weren’t for Frederick, we might have gone off and done something else.  This is an issue with a lot of published adventures – they assume the PCs will take up the adventure because of course they will.  It never seems to occur to the authors that maybe some characters need better motivation than that.  I saw this a lot in Living Greyhawk and I imagine it continues in Living Forgotten Realms (or whatever the RPGA is up to now).]

[This was a difficult blog entry to write.  Not due to content, it was just difficult to get myself to write it.  There was always something “more interesting” distracting me and mostly it was web surfing.  I’m glad to have finished it.  That said, there will be a delay before Session 13 gets written as we haven’t played it yet.  We had scheduling issues this week but should be good for next week.]

[Incidentally, the blog’s 10-year anniversary is coming up in March.  Haven’t decided what I’m going to do to observe its passing that yet.]

Session 01
Session 10
Session 11

Session 13

No comments:

Post a Comment