Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Ratpack – Session 15

[The Ratpack resumes searching The Crow for the next shard.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened February 24, 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 3rd level Summoner (Synthesist)
Roscuro – male ratfolk 3rd level Monk
Zitch Grimreaper – male 3rd level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Winston – male 2nd level Gunslinger

Day 11
After getting the Abjurance Salt identified [end of last session], the Ratpack took the rest of the day off, visiting family or just running mundane errands.

Day 12
Refreshed, the Ratpack reassembled at the Blue Rodent for breakfast before rowing their rental boat out to The Crow.  After docking the boat inside the giant pylon, the Ratpack hiked up to the guardroom on the fourth floor and checked in with Sasha again.  Roscuro also activated the white rat statuette and sent Jade [leader of the Tower Girls – probably a false name given to hide her true name of Ayala] a message that the Ratpack was back and resuming their search of the pylon.

Upon receiving confirmation from Jade, the Ratpack descended the stairs to the fortified room on the third floor.  They took the south passage from this chamber to a 20-foot wide side passage.  They took the side passage, which was relatively short and opened to a large room the Tower Girls were using as a mess hall.  The group split into two search parties and both searched the entire room and find no secret doors or magic.

The group returned to the south passage that next turned east.  Part way down the eastern hallway was a doorway to a storage room.  In this room was a mix of crates and barrels of mixed age – some recent some very old.  The ratfolk searched the room first and then the crates.  One of the old crates contained a decrepit ungol dust trap that Roscuro set off.  When the mostly inert dust settled, the group disassembled the crate, convinced anything with a trap had something valuable inside it.  Maravity harvested the trap mechanism itself while the rest found a set of Thassilonian serving ware, specifically three brass platters and a ceramic basin.  Antiques that could be sold to Frederick!

Deciding that the old crates might hold something of use the cursory search did not find, the Ratpack set to taking all the old crates apart.  The noise of this drew some curious Tower Girls.  They asked what the Ratpack was up to and the ratfolk explained.  The explanation non-plussed the Tower Girls who walked away shaking their heads at the crazy ratfolk.  After taking the crates apart, a small antique box containing three vials of antitoxin was found.  The vials were distributed to Roscuro [who tends to find poisons the hard way] and Zitch and Winston, the team healers.  The antique box was put inside one of the handy haversacks for later sale to Frederick.

Looking at their map, the ratfolk decided that the hallways they had just traveled through were ripe to contain secret passages, so the group took the time to do a detailed search of them.  This detailed search turned up nothing useful, but at the end of the corridor [down around another corner] was stairs down to the second floor.  This floor completely searched, the Ratpack descended the stairs.

Floor 2
The stairs ended at a large chamber with a high ceiling that the Tower Girls were using as a common room.  There were some of them lounging on some rough furniture talking or sitting at a table playing cards.  A semi-secluded area at the far end of the chamber where the Ratpack had negotiated their deals with Jade.  The south wall had two oversized metal doors with Thassilonian runes carved into it and many fiery sets of eyes staring at the runes.  [Yes, this lede was buried by the Other GM.]

[The Other GM had not mentioned these doors when the PCs were here to negotiate.  If he had, we likely would have skipped all the other searching and started here.]

The Ratpack pretty much ignored the rest of the room and stared at the metal doors.  They appeared to be made from siccatite, a known sky metal and one that burned those that touched it.  Zitch could read the runes and the group deduced that the runes were a puzzle like the puzzle box back in the Pathfinder Society lodge.  After some discussion on a possible solution, Zitch volunteered to start manipulating the runes.  Doing so burned him, as expected, but not terribly so.

As Zitch started moving the runes around, the Tower Girls in the common room noticed and stopped what they were doing to discuss this turn of events amongst themselves.  Either this drew Jade’s attention or one of the Tower Girls went and fetched her.  She was present when Zitch finished solving the puzzle and the doors started noisily opening.  This drew the Tower Girls in.  Jade asked what the Ratpack had done.  Roscuro turned and asked, “We just found everything beyond these doors, right?”  Jade agreed that anything past these doors counted as found by the ratfolk for the purpose of the deal.  Satisfied with that, Roscuro explained what the Ratpack had done and how.

The area behind the doors was a large hallway, over 15 feet high.  The walls they could see were covered with brightly colored Thassilonian murals, clearly preserved by some kind of magic [Zitch verified this with Detect Magic].  The murals showed events prior to Earthfall, the disaster that ended the Thassilonian and Azlant civilizations roughly 7000 years ago.  The murals themselves were nearly priceless if they could somehow be removed and sold.  One of the murals showed Alaznist wielding a metal shard that was sky blue – clearly the shard the Ratpack was looking for!

Aware of their audience, the Ratpack indirectly discussed what to do next.  Searching for a secret door or compartment that might contain the shard was clearly in order.  After spending time searching, two things were discovered: there were no secret doors and the preservative magic ended just around the corner and the rest of the corridor was choked with spiderwebs.

Not wanting to deal with the webs [ratfolk are furred and webs are difficult to get out of fur], Roscuro prepared to throw a torch into the webs, but had nothing to light it with.  Marativy suggested lighting the torch off the big metal doors that burn anything touching them, which worked!  Roscuro then threw the now lit torch into the webs and everyone backed off smoke poured out.

After some time, the smoke dropped off and the Ratpack went to see the results.  The hallway was now clear of webs, but the walls and ceiling were covered in soot, including the preserved murals.  As the Ratpack observed this, they noticed that the soot on the preserved murals was slowly fading, as if being absorbed by the murals.  Handy.  Exploring down the newly cleared corridor, the Ratpack found another set of spiral stairs heading down.

The Ratpack descended the spiral stairs, searching for traps as they went.  The stairs ended at a hallway that led to a balcony overlooking a pool of green scum-covered water.  The floor was covered in guano from a moderately-sized bat colony clinging to the domed ceiling of the room.  A narrow crevasse in the far wall appeared to allow the bats access to the outside and occasionally water into the pool.  There were two sweeping sets of stairs down from the balcony to the floor of the room, one on either side of the balcony.

The Ratpack carefully descended the left set of stairs.  Winston, in the front [he has the best AC and most hit points of the group], reached the foot of the stairs and was peeking around the corner when a pseudopod from a giant amoeba struck out from the pool of water and grappled him!  During the ensuing short fight, a second giant amoeba also extruded itself from the pool and joined in the attack.  Marativy struck the deathblow on the first amoeba and Roscuro [after dropping his hanbō] struck the killing blow on the second one.  Winston was injured by the first amoeba but declined immediate healing.  [You’ll notice we didn’t search this room at all.  We correct that oversight next session.]

The next room appeared to be empty barring stairs down.  Something was heard to squeak with surprise/distress at the approach of the ratfolk, but it retreated down the stairs before anyone saw what it was.  The Ratpack broke into two teams to search it while Roscuro held position at the door [in case anyone or anything was following the group].  Two things were found: a secret door and Roscuro noticed a silver bracelet in the pool of water [rolled a natural 20 on Perception while on watch].  Templeton used Mage Hand to pull the bracelet out of the scummy water and it went into the loot sack.  The secret door was checked for traps and declared clear.  Before opening it and possibly needing to fight, Winston asked for some healing and Zitch cast Cure Light Wounds on him, bringing him nearly back to full hit points.

The secret door led to a small, dust-covered room with a passage south.  Tiny footprints could be seen in the dust.  It appeared someone very small periodically went this way, perhaps whatever had fled down the steps earlier.  The Ratpack advanced cautiously.

The passage south led to another empty room, but the back half of the room was sunken and water filled.  A tiny walkway hugged one wall over the water and then went out to a platform with a bucket on it, about five feet above the water level.  Templeton used his wallwalking ability to walk out and see what was in the bucket.  It appeared to be dead bats.  He cam back.  This appeared to be a feeding station for something in the water, something the Ratpack decided it did not want to mess with.  The group backtracked to the stairs down.

End of Session

Rat Whispers
[As commented above, the deal the Ratpack made with the Tower Girls saved us from a lot of combat and grief.  I’m very glad that the Other GM does not run opponents as killing machines.  Being able to negotiate deals is much more interesting than needing to kill everything.]

[There are some very nice touches in the writing of this adventure.  Putting the puzzle box at the beginning of the adventure so players would know what to do when the big metal doors appeared was a very nice touch.  The Other GM provided letter props for the players to manipulate while solving the puzzle, which worked really well.]

Session 01

Session 10
Session 11
Session 12
Session 13
Session 14

Session 16

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