Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 28

[Day 60 and 61 – Return to the campsite (and new neighbors) and the Lady’s Light.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened July 26, 2021.]

[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

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)


Not Appearing

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar


NPCs

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 3rd level Wizard (Invoker)

Ariphi – female tiefling 5th 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 60

Noon

The ship arrived at the drop-off point, adjacent to the peninsula the Lady’s Light was situated on.  The crew spent 30 minutes ferrying the expedition and its supplies to shore using the ship’s boat.  Looking at the giant statue of Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, that was the lighthouse for the peninsula, a giant crack or rend in the glowing sphere the statue was holding could be clearly seen.  Once everything was ashore, the ship left, with an agreed return to pick up the adventurers in a week.

Zitch cast Conjure Carriage and everything was loaded upon it.  Zitch then cast Nature’s Path, providing an easier [and faster] ride through the wilderness to the campsite near the troglodyte cave.

1:00 PM

After circling the lesser lagoon, Roscuro thought it might be wise to check in on Maroux, the crazy half-orc woman who lived on the sandy island between the two lagoons.  He asked Marativy and Templeton to go check and Swamprover volunteered to go as well.

The trio flew over to the bridge to Maroux’s camp [Marativy and Swamprover riding on the back of Templeton’s Foo-Dog form].  They walked across the bridge as they had done before and found the camp empty.  Six wooden poles formed a pathway to Maroux’s hovel, three of the poles topped by a single boggard skull each and three by a single troglodyte skull each.  These were new and somewhat ominous.  With Maroux away, the trio left and headed to the adventurer’s campsite.

3:00 PM

The group in the carriage arrived at their campsite, only to find someone else camped out there.  There were several tents flying flags with the symbol of House Kalmeralm and 20+ people around.  They had guards out who ordered the adventurers to stop.  Roscuro did not take kindly to this and demanded to know why they were camped on his campsite.  After some back and forth with the guards, Roscuro was able to speak with Erik Vormu, the trade representative.

Erik told Roscuro that he was negotiating with the troglodytes for the harvest of several herbs and things were going slowly but satisfactorily.  When asked about the boggards, Erik reported that some had been seen but they were staying away from this area and tended to flee when they saw others.  Erik and Roscuro agreed to share the campsite and coordinate watches.  This suited Roscuro as he estimated that the danger was greater than the last time the Ratpack had been here.

4:00 PM

The Ratpack camp was finished being set up and Mel was starting to cook dinner.

That Night, Second Watch

Marativy, Roscuro and Ariphi were on watch, observing the southern approaches to the camp.  [The merchant guards were watching the northern side.]  All three spotted a flying creature approaching from off shore and heading generally towards the campsite, but still very far away.  After a bit they realized it was a small dragon!

Roscuro went and poured water on the campfire.  When the merchant guards asked why, Roscuro pointed south and said, “Dragon.”  The guards helped him extinguish the fire and passed the word around for all to stay quiet.

The dragon was apparently hunting something a couple hundred feet south of the camp and utterly focused on its prey.  [It rolled a 2 on its Perception roll to notice the camp.]  When it attacked it spat a stream of acid at its target, killing the beast.  The dragon landed and ate on the carcass for a bit before flying away to the east.  Once it left the area everyone in the camp resumed breathing normally.


Day 61

Morning

Mel out did himself fixing breakfast and the Ratpack noticed some envious looks from the merchant guards.  After eating and gearing up, the adventurers left camp and walked over to the troglodyte cave.  They hailed the guards and asked to speak with Sulgesh.  They were told that Sulgesh was in a back cave and shown the way.

Roscuro and Sulgesh talked for a while, Roscuro asking how things were going for the tribe and verifying the merchants weren’t being a bother.  Sulgesh related that things were good and the merchants were being more or less respectful.  Roscuro brought up the black dragon seen the previous night.  The troglodytes were aware of the dragon, knowing it as Zetirian.  The dragon had a lair in the swamps to the east, but the troglodytes had never tried to find out where.  It would fly by and kill something every month or so.  Sulgesh was happy to learn that they now had another month before it would be an issue again.

Parting with the troglodytes amiably, the Ratpack headed down into the Deep Caves.  An hour into their walk they reached the nexus cave.  The corpses of the snappy-bitey-pinchy bugs were still there, but have obviously been moved and possibly eaten on by something.  This reminded the adventurers to stay alert.

~10:00 AM

The Ratpack arrived at the entrance to the dungeon, the square room where they had fought the caryatid columns.  All the debris left over from destroying the animated statues was gone.  Strange.

Cautiously entering the chamber, the Ratpack found there were gaps where the animated statues had once stood and everything else was clean and neat.  The adventurers tied a rope to one of the remaining statues and threw down the other end into the black square that was the shaft down into the dungeon.  Swamprover volunteered to go down and scout the lower end of the shaft.  While the grippli was doing that, Roscuro and Marativy briefed Ariphi and Hrefna on what to expect.  Both had looks of doubt on their faces, clearly wondering what they had signed on to.

When Swamprover returned and announced the way was clear, the group climbed down the rope to the upper level of the dungeon.  The hallway of pillars was just as they left it.  The group walked down the right hand corridor to the red metal door.  The group took an hour getting rubbings of 29 more of the one foot panels that made up the door.

Past the red metal door, the group climbed into the two boats there and started poling down the artificial river, Roscuro explaining the source of the water [a permanent gate to the Elemental Plane of Water] and what was ahead.  When he mentioned “Porn Hall”, Ariphi asked him to explain.  He said, “You’ll know it when you see it.”

As they poled out into the first large cavern, the oversized pedestal where the glass golem had stood now generated a low hum that all could hear.  Poling over to the beach, the glass shards of the destroyed glass golem are missing.

Once everyone was on the beach, Roscuro warned Ariphi and Hrefna again that they were about to enter Porn Hall.  Ariphi wondered aloud, “How bad could it…oh.  Oh, my.”  The group quickly moved over to the side passage out of Porn Hall.  Marativy and Roscuro quietly scouted ahead to see if there was a new guardian where Gnaeus was once caged.  Instead, they found that room empty and the bent gate was completely gone.  The wrought iron fencing was still there, but the gate itself was now gone.  Both entered the room, Marativy checking for traps along the northern wall as they silently moved along it.  At the far end of the room was a stone door, which Marativy checked for traps.  She reported none.  Both put their ear to the door and listened for noises and heard nothing.  They backtracked to the rest of the adventurers.

Once the entire group was at the stone door, Roscuro pried it open.  Beyond was a corridor that went a short ways before turning south.  Statues of a woman lined the center of the corridor, but unlike every other area the adventurers had been so far, these statues were not of Sorshen.  Additionally, the first statue was missing its head.  Very peculiar.

Marativy checked the floor to the first statue for traps and found none.  Roscuro leapt up onto the shoulders of the statue for a better look at where the head should have been.  There was a divot there that was smooth, suggesting that the head had not been smashed or otherwise broken off this statue.  Looking over at the next statue, Roscuro could see there was a small gap above the head of that statue and a seam around the base of the neck.  

Roscuro reported what he could see to the rest of the group and then leapt across to the next statue to get a closer look.  While he was in mid-leap, the eyes of the next three heads opened up, glowing green, and mechanical legs sprouted from the sides of the heads.  By the time Roscuro landed, the head on that statue was ready to attack him.  A very strange combat ensued.

The heads used green paralytic beams from their eyes for ranged attacks and mechanical claws in melee.  One of the heads hopped down to the floor to attack and Hrefna charged it, hitting with her sword and discharging a great deal of energy through the sword, blowing the head to pieces.  The things were some form of automatons!  Roscuro attacked the head uncomfortably near him with a flurry of blows for a great deal of damage, but it took a blow from Marativy and then Templeton before it was broken and stopped moving.  Everyone in the group attacked the final head, doing enough aggregate damage to break it as well.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Zitch’s player could not attend as he was in quarantine as one of his roommates contracted Covid.  This turned out to be precautionary as he never tested positive, but is a reminder that we are STILL in a pandemic.  Wear your mask and GET VACCINATED.]

[We were very careful re-entering the dungeon, expecting some form of counterattack or ambush from the occupants, but found none.  I honestly did not expect the statue heads to be automatons and come to life.  On top of which, I did not remember until after the fight that Roscuro has a golembane scarab and should have checked it to see if anything nearby was a golem or automaton!]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26

Session 27


Session 29 [Not Yet Typed Up]



Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 27

[Day 51 to 60 – Refocusing, crafting, and other preparations.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened July 19, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja

Hrefna – female changeling 5th level Omdura


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)


[So as a group, the players discussed which way we wanted to go with the campaign.  Tracking down Leruu and rescuing Winston was on the table but represented a major divergence from the adventure path and would side step the entire reason for running the AP to begin with.  This opened up the possibility of tossing aside the campaign and doing something else entirely.]

[Fairly quickly it became clear that everyone wanted to stick with their characters and not start a new campaign.  After discussing options, the group decided to return to the AP rather than go off on the side adventure.  Sticking to the AP meant we needed to level to achieve several of our in-game goals and the dungeon we were on seemed to be the best way to do that.  Therefore, we decided to spend some time in Magnimar to prep and update gear before returning to the dungeon under the Lady’s Light.]

[We next re-did Hrefna’s interview with Roscuro and it went much better, as documented in the Session 26 notes.]


Autumn

Day 51

The money generated by Team Resell was split amongst the members of the Ratpack to fund gear upgrades or acquisition.  Each share came out to 3635 gp, a tidy sum.

Roscuro investigated getting his silver knuckles enchanted to have a Law aspect.  The lowest price he could find was 8000gp, which was well outside his available wealth, so he put his money back in the bank and went about securing supplies for the next expedition.  This included a replacement potion of cure light wounds.

Swamprover tracked down Gridik with a proposal for a unique wonderous magic item.  Swamprover would pay all the manufacturing and material costs, provide the magic necessary, and pay an extra 900 gp for Gridik to craft a cape of mage armor [3 uses per day as a 5th level caster].  The 900 gp was a smaller fee than normal, but Gridik didn’t have the money for the supplies anyways, nor the magic power himself, so he accepted Swamprover's deal.  Plus, Swamprover was a good friend and Gridik was starting to get very tired of working in a library with humans again.

Day 53

Gridik and Swamprover finished making the cape of mage armor.  Swamprover got the cape and Gridik got 900gp.  They also discussed the possibility of opening a shop together selling magic items.

Day 54

Roscuro tracked down Gridik and paid the kobold to do research on pyrohydras.  The fee was 45gp and Gridik told Roscuro he should have information to report in three days.

Day 55

The Ratpack met and discussed who they were bringing along on this expedition.  They decided that they will include Gridik, Ariphi, and Hrefna as provisional members of the Ratpack and offer them a third of a share each.  Mel the cook and his bodyguards, Alice and Flo, will be hired for their standard daily fees.

Gridik and Hrefna immediately accepted the offer when asked.  Ariphi asked for a couple days to think it over [but returned on Day 58 to accept the offer].

Day 57

Gridik finished his research on pyrohydras and made his presentation to the Ratpack.  The information he learned included:

  • They have no specific weakness to cold.
  • Cold does stop their regeneration capabilities.
  • They do have regeneration like the stories suggest.
  • Each head has a breath weapon.
  • Each head can attack independently, including use of the breath weapon.
  • They have long necks and can bite at a distance [they have reach attacks].
  • They have a good sense of smell.

Day 58

Marativy and Roscuro met with Frederick and discuss the expedition, asking what kind of artifacts Frederick would like them to look for.  Frederick requested:

  • Thassilonian artifacts that are unique or have a function tied to the Lady’s Light.
  • Ritual tools or actual rituals
  • Generally less on the artwork as the market is a bit full of artwork at the moment.

Day 59

Roscuro made the final arrangements to have supplies delivered to the ship early the next morning.

Day 60

The entire expedition and supplies were at the dock just before sunup.  Everything and everyone was loaded onto the hired ship and they set sail south, to the Lady’s Light.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[The other players also did things, but I didn’t get everything they did noted down.  Mostly they bought supplies and a few magic items.  3500gp doesn’t go as far as you might hope when trying to buy magic items.]

[The talk at the beginning of the session took up about an hour, which was a big chunk of the session.  It was necessary as we had several options and needed to talk it through.  This allowed us to come to a consensus and be OK with the game proceeding.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25

Session 26


Session 28



Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 26

[Day 49 and 50 – A failed search, Zitch back from the dead, Team work.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened July 5, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja

Winston – male ratfolk 6th level Gunslinger


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)



Autumn

Day 49

Minutes Later

In the laboratory under the shack in Ordellia district of Magnimar, Templeton cast Mage Armor on himself, followed by Invisibility on himself and Marativy.  Marativy hopped onto Templeton’s back and they went through the teleportation portal, back to the abandoned town where the Ratpack had fought Leruu.  Their goal was to find Winston, grab him, and return through the teleportation portal with the mind-controlled gunslinger.

While the rescue team was on the other side of the portal, Roscuro maneuvered a drum of beer to roll on top of the gate once Marativy and Templeton returned, hoping that this would prevent Leruu from following them back.  Roscuro then took time to explain things to Frederick, bringing him up to date on the situation.

On the far side of the portal, Templeton flew around the abandoned town, looking for Winston or Leruu.  They stayed invisible and did their best to remain silent as there were hundreds of places that either Winston or Leruu could be hiding and ambush them.

Templeton flew over to the well he had dropped Winston’s musket down.  The well was dry and they could clearly see the bottom.  The musket was nowhere to be seen, indicating that either Leruu or Winston had recovered the weapon.  Around the well was some evidence that someone had cleaned out the barrel, likely Winston.  This suggested Winston now had his musket back and could kill either of them quickly and suddenly.  This increased the danger (and tension) significantly.

Silently, the duo flew around the part of the abandoned town where the previous combat had happened.  They investigated the three-story building adjacent to the teleportation portal and found a small chest.  Marativy took it on general principal.  The last thing they did was fly high to get an idea of where the abandoned town might be.  They determined the town was due east of Nybor, on the opposite side of the Sanos Forest.  After determining this they flew back down to the portal and Templeton triggered it to return them to Magnimar.

[So during the entire trip, the Other GM had Marativy, Templeton, and Winston make multiple perception rolls to locate each other.  Every time there was a chance for them to see each other, they all rolled a 5 or less.  To notice anything else, they naturally rolled high on the d20.  The dice were against them the whole time.  Winston’s player immediately started working on a new character once Marativy and Templeton returned to Magnimar.]

After Templeton and Marativy cleared the portal, Roscuro rolled the large keg of beer over the portal and used some wood bits to wedge it there.  Marativy explained what they had seen while on the other side.  Frederick identified the small chest as his.  Roscuro asked if Frederick was willing to contribute to the Raise Zitch fund, hoping that Frederick might contribute a couple hundred gold to the effort.  Frederick opened the small chest and offered the chest and everything inside it.  It was full of coins, jewelry, and other valuables.  Roscuro pulled out 2000 gold coins [expecting the cost for the casting to be 3500 gp].  Frederick suggested they also take a quality diamond as it would be needed for the ritual.  Roscuro and the group thanked him.

The Ratpack stripped the laboratory of as much valuable looking stuff as they could carry then started pouring flammable liquids all over, including up the partial stairs to the ground floor.  Roscuro poured lamp oil all over the first floor, including the shelves of books [after verifying none of them were valuable].  Once everyone was outside the building, Roscuro threw several lit torches down into the basement laboratory to ignite the fluids down there and then lit the oil on the ground floor, quickly leaving the rapidly igniting building.

The group walked with a determined but not rushed pace out of Ordellia and north, through the city to Frederick’s residence in the Naos District, Zitch’s dead body strapped to Templeton’s back.  Frederick was kept in the center of the group and those in the streets chose to avoid the grim-looking pack of ratfolk, stepping out of the way to let the group walk by.

Once Frederick was safely returned to the security of his residence, the Ratpack sought out the Temple of Sarenrae, Goddess of Fate, in the Capital District.  At the temple, Roscuro respectfully explained to an acolyte that they needed to have one of their compatriots raised from the dead.  The acolyte escorted the group over to a cluster of ritual rooms and had them wait in one.  After a relatively short wait, High Priest Khoda himself arrived.  He started to explain that the rite was expensive to cast due to the needed spell components when Roscuro held up the diamond Frederick had recommended they take.  Khoda’s eyebrows went up for a second before he gracefully acknowledged that the diamond would do.  The requested donative after the diamond was 500 gold coin plus another 300 gold coins for the Restoration spell afterward.  This was significantly less than what Roscuro was willing to pay to get Zitch back, so he easily agreed to the terms.

Zitch was laid out on a low dais and prepared for the ritual.  As the ritual was performed, the light of Sarenrae filled Zitch, healing his wounds and bringing him back to life!  High Priest Khoda and his acolytes left the room to give the group some privacy while welcoming Zitch back to the living.  The Ratpack updated Zitch on what had happened, including rescuing Frederick and the loss of Winston to Leruu.

After a short period of time, the acolyte returned to settle the donative.  Roscuro handled this, donating 500 gold for the Raise Dead, 300 for the Restoration, and a further 200 gold coins as an additional donation to the temple.  [Roscuro does not follow Sarenrae, but he does believe in tipping big when higher powers are involved and he was ready to pay even more if it had been necessary.]

Meanwhile, Marativy, Templeton, and Swamprover exited the temple and investigated the box of things Frederick had gifted to the Ratpack.  The box itself turned out to be a magical box of holding with shoulder straps for easy portability.  There were a further mix of coins that totaled to 3152 gp equivalence, a cloak of resistance +2, and a glove of storing.  When the rest of the Ratpack caught up, they explained what they had.  Marativy asked to use the cloak of resistance and all agreed she would get best use of it.

7:00 PM

The Ratpack went to the Blue Rodent in Underbridge and had a huge meal.  Zitch cast a Healing Hex on Roscuro, healing him to full health [from damage taken in the fight against Leruu].

After eating, the group discussed what they needed to do next.  Deciding they did not have enough information on Leruu and his flying sword, one of the things they needed to do was research the mage.  With Winston lost to the mage, they also needed to recruit a new fighter of some sort to fill that gap in their roster.  They should also take the time to resell any spare items they had to reduce the amount of stuff the group was transporting around.

Team Research was Swamprover and Zitch as they had the best leads on arcane matters.  Team Resell was Marativy and Templeton, who had the lists of stuff and were good at getting a good deal.  Roscuro was Team Recruit as he seemed to have a talent for it.


Day 50

Team Research used a list of the effects and possible spells Leruu had used in the combat the previous day to learn what kind of mage he might be.  They were able to determine that he was likely a Sword Binder, a type of wizard from overseas and more common in the south.  They learned what capabilities were known to be common among Sword Binders.

Team Resell spent the day hitting the better resale shops in Magnimar.  They were successful and converted the pile of unused magic items and non-magical goods into 15,025 gold coins.  These were deposited in the Magnimar Bank for later disbursement.

Roscuro spent the morning having flyers created and posting them in various places across Magnimar.  He then went to The Staff and The Book, a mostly respectable tavern in Dockway District, and secured a table.  After eating lunch, he spent the afternoon interviewing any candidates that showed up.  Several did, but only three stood out as potential recruits.  The first was a dwarven barroom brawler who had the skills but was way too overconfident and loud.  Roscuro put him on the contingency list [but tellingly did not get the dwarf's name].

The next was a rogue combatant, specializing in flanking and sneak attacks, named Ariphi.  She wore a hooded cloak and was reluctant to share her past associations, but she eventually admitted to once being part of the Tower Girls street gang.  Roscuro took this as a plus, explaining that his group was friendly with the Tower Girls and he considered them competent.  He did insist on knowing the face of the people he was potentially hiring.  Ariphi cautiously pulled part of her hood back so only Roscuro could see her face.  She was human looking with a pair of small horns curling up at her temples, indicating she was a tiefling.  Roscuro nodded and thanked her and told her she was hired.  He needed a way to contact her as it might be a couple of days to a week before the group was ready to go, but be ready to be on the job for at least a week.  She supplied the information, somewhat surprised at being hired.  [Tieflings have a very bad reputation in the campaign fluff, but Roscuro is a ratfolk and whatever makes humans clutch their pearls is none of his business.]

The third candidate that Roscuro was willing to hire was a bipedal fox named Hrefna.  Hrefna was an Omdurais, a form of divine warrior charged with spreading their god’s faith and defeating Their enemies.  Hrefna explained she was able to provide beneficent auras that included healing as well as fight on the front line.  Roscuro was willing to hire the fox simply to avoid adding too many tall people to the group and giving him a crick in the neck, but the healing support would also be useful.  Roscuro told Hrefna she was hired and he needed a way to contact her as it would be a couple days before the job started.  She supplied a contact point and thank Roscuro for the job.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[So Hrefna is the replacement character for Winston, but not the original one.  The original one was a Fetchling and the player was not finished putting the character together, so the interview went poorly and I wasn’t actually going to hire his character.  Between sessions we talked about it and decided he would get a chance to redo the interview at the beginning of the next session and that’s what I listed here.  It took me, and hence Roscuro, a while to really get an idea of what Hrefna could do, but being a bipedal fox in a human world went a long way in Roscuro’s book.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24

Session 25


Session 27



Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Delay in Next Post

Work at the day job has ballooned suddenly, plus I'm helping my wife set up an income-generating project of her own.  This has cut into my writing time, so this week's blog post will be a couple days late.  I expect this to happen for most of September as I get through the crunch of projects at the day job and we get my wife's project up and running.  I expect to still get a full post each week, I'm just not certain how late in the week it will be each week.  October should be better and by November most of the projects for this year will be wrapping up.


TL;DR: For September post dates will be at least once a week but exact day will vary. Gets better by October and back to normal in November.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 25

 [Day 49 – Skirmish with the Unknown Mage explodes.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened June 28, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja

Winston – male ratfolk 6th level Gunslinger


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)



Autumn

Day 49

Round 6 of the combat!

The unknown mage was no longer in view, the Ratpack were fairly certain that the two images of him to the south were illusion.  Marativy started running the rooves of the buildings to get to the images and verify that was what they were.  Zitch actively looked around for some sign of the unknown mage.  Templeton waited for the unknown mage to do something and Winston climbed onto Templeton’s back to ride against the mage with Templeton.  Swamprover swung down into the building the mage had been on top of and started searching.  Roscuro followed so they could search faster.

The unknown mage cast a spell on Winton, but this would not be noticeable until too late.  Marativy leapt across a street, landing next to one of the images on an adjacent building.  She swung on it and it immediately dispersed.  Zitch flew nearer to Marativy and healed the damage she had taken earlier in the fight with a Healing Hex.  Winston, dominated by the mage, turned while sitting on Templeton’s back and rapid fired his musket at Zitch, catching Zitch by surprise and shot him repeatedly [one of the hits was a critical success].  Templeton, alarmed at Winston’s actions, immediately grappled the gunslinger, but it was too late, the damage had been done.  Inside the building Swamprover and Roscuro heard the shots, but assumed that Winston was shooting at the mage, so they continued their search, hoping to find Frederick.  The found stairs down and up into the attic [they were on the third floor], which seemed promising.

While the unknown mage did something the adventurers could not see, Zitch bled out from his wounds and died.  [Zitch had a 15 Constitution and Winston’s attack took him to -14 hit points.  The roll to stabilize and not die has a -1 per point below 0, so the roll for Zitch had a -14, meaning that Zitch’s player had to roll a natural 20 to not bleed out.  He didn’t, not even getting close, so Zitch lost another hit point.  Having negative hit points equal to the character’s Constitution is when death happens and Zitch died.]  Marativy, realizing Zitch was dead, continued her search, hoping to find either the mage or Frederick.  Winston, with no orders, remained passive in Templeton’s grip.  Templeton called for help while keeping Winston pinned.  Swamprover, hearing Templeton, went to a nearby window and climbed back onto the roof, finding Templeton pinning Winston.  She called out for Roscuro to “get up here in a hurry,” so he did.  He asked Winston what had happened and Winston, in an eerily calm voice said, “The guy said to kill Zitch, so I had to.”  Roscuro looked around and spotted movement in a courtyard to the north, sandwiched between some buildings to the north.  He quietly shared this information with Templeton and Swamprover.

To the south, Marativy was investigating a building and heard some muffled noise, so she went inside, doing her best to not be seen [which she is REALLY good at].  Templeton, on Roscuro's suggestion, dragged Winston south across the peak of the roof and potentially out of the mage’s line of sight.  Winston passively let him.  Swamprover cast Web at the courtyard, filling much of it with sticky strands.  Roscuro leapt across a street [monks have crazy jump capabilities at 6th level, plus Templeton's Haste spell was still in effect] and ran along the roof to try and get a better view into the courtyard.  He spotted the mage moving in the courtyard, but stepped on some of the sticky strands of the Web spell.

The mage, which Roscuro could now see matched the description of Leruu, cast some spell and retreated into the courtyard’s building.  Marativy continued her exploration to the south, locating a concealed door under some stairs.  Templeton continued to pin the unresisting Winston.  Swamprover ignited the webs in the courtyard [I didn’t make note of exactly how she did it].  Roscuro extracted himself from the stick webs, and then jumped past the webbing to the roof of the building Leruu was in, peering down on the far side, waiting for Leruu to exit the building.

Leruu instead cast Dimension Door [Roscuro has seen that spell a lot recently and now recognizes it] to exit the building to…somewhere.  To the south, Marativy discovered a trap on the concealed door and started disarming it.  It was an Exploding Rune, detonated, and caught her in the explosion.  Templeton took Winston’s musket away from him and then resumed pinning the gunslinger.  Swamprover started casting Rain of Frogs at where she thought the mage was located.  Roscuro looked hard for any evidence of the Leruu’s location, but could not locate the mage.

Leruu did something the adventurers could not see.  In the south, behind the now exploded door was a small chamber with ladder descending into a dug-out cellar.  Exploring quickly, Marativy found a person in a hood tied up to a chair.  She removed the hood – it was Frederick!  Templeton continued to pin the placid Winston.  Swamprover finished casting Rain of Frogs, dropping a swarm of frogs in the now empty courtyard and then snuck away.  Roscuro ran back across the roves to where Templeton and Winston were hiding.

Down at the teleportation gate, the black tentacles spell expired.  The mage mentally sent Winston new orders: “The frog must die!”  To the south, underground, Marativy did a quick check to verify Frederick was actually Frederick and not another illusion and then freed him with her wakizashi.  Back on the roof, Winston received his new orders and immediately set to breaking free from Templeton’s pin.  He did so, and in response, Templeton grabbed Winston’s musket and flew away with it, over to a nearby well.  Swamprover returned to the hiding place and cast Force Bolt at Winston, who was staring at her with intent.  Roscuro attempted to land a Stunning Fist on Winston but failed.  [Stunning Fist should be a touch attack and needs a higher save DC to make it useful - this was only the third time I ever had Roscuro try to use it because it is generally a waste of time.]

Leruu sent his flying sword to attack Roscuro, nearly cutting the monk in half.  Roscuro called for a retreat to the teleportation circle in response.  Marativy used her shard to create an image of Frederick still tied up and the explosion having never happened and the she and Frederick climbed the ladder up to the ground floor.  Winston, without his musket but filled with a need to kill Swamprover, pulled a vial of alchemist’s fire and threw it at the grippli, hitting her and splashing Roscuro.  Templeton used the musket as a scoop, filling its barrel with mud and rocks before dumping it in the well.  Swamprover fled to the teleportation gate.  Roscuro ran to the gate by a round-about path, picking up Zitch’s corpse along the way and jumping off the edge of the three-story structure, landing safely on the portal.  [Sixth-level monks don’t fear long drops to the ground due to their 30 feet of Slow Fall.]

Leruu withdrew the flying sword, possibly because he could no longer see his targets.  Marativy and Frederick ran out into the street, conveniently near Templeton, who Marativy flagged down.  Winston pulled out another vial of alchemist’s fire and moved to the roof edge to get a view of his target, Swamprover.  Templeton flew through Marativy and Frederick, scooping them up on the way to the teleportation portal, just managing to reach it before Swamprover activated it, teleporting everyone there back to the basement in Magnimar.

Roscuro set down Zitch’s corpse, and passed out the witch’s cure moderate wounds potions to Swamprover, Marativy, and himself as all three were seriously wounded.  Roscuro also quaffed his personal potion of cure light wounds.  This healed the group most of the way up, but not completely.

The group put together a hasty plan to try and retrieve Winston: Templeton would cast Invisibility and Mage Armor on himself and one other, sneak back through the portal, and they would quickly look for Winston to grab and drag back here.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[High-level mind control spells are terrible for stealing player agency, especially during a side quest.  Leruu seemed to be particularly vicious about it.  We definitely felt ambushed by it.]



Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23

Session 24


Session 26



Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 24

[Day 49 – Basement cleared, then through the portal!]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened June 21, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 6th level Gunslinger



Autumn

Day 49

~4:00 PM

Responding to a mimic attacking Swamprover in the hidden basement of Frederick’s kidnapper, Marativy use ki to slide up to the mimic before it was aware of her presence and slashed it with great effect [sneak attack!].  Swamprover escaped from the mimic’s grip and took a short step away from it while ordering her familiar, Snek, to cast a Ray of Frost, which it did to minor effect.  The mimic struck at Marativy as the significant threat, but Roscuro, conveniently adjacent to Marativy, assisted in Marativy’s defense [used Bodyguard feat to give her +2 AC] and the mimic missed her.  Zitch put Protective Luck on Marativy while Roscuro released a flurry of blows on the mimic, hitting three times [one a critical success] but getting stuck to the mimic as a result [the critical success].  Around a corner and at the top of the stairs from the ground floor, Templeton and Winston heard Zitch cackling to maintain the Protective Luck, which informed them that a fight was happening down in the basement.

Marativy slashed the mimic again, followed by Swamprover casting Magic Missile at it, hitting it with four missiles and killing it.  As the rest of the group in the basement started to breathe a sigh of relief, a second mimic, over on a supply shelf, attacked, slamming Zitch and grappling him fast.  Upstairs Winston hopped onto the back of Templeton’s foo dog-shaped synthesis with his eidolon, ready to ride down into the basement.  Zitch attempted to free himself from the mimic attacking him and failed.  Then more bad news arrived: the ten-foot wide sticky part of the stairs came to life – it was a huge shadow mimic!  The shadow mimic, flickering back and forth between this realm and the shadow realm advanced to the entry of the basement.  Templeton flew down the stairs and pulled up short right behind the flickering shadow mimic at the bottom of the stairs.  Roscuro finally pulled free from the sticky remains of the first [now dead] mimic.  He took stock of the situation and started looking for chemicals that might negate the mimic adhesive.  There appeared to be a number of promising containers over on the wall in front of the stairs, adjacent to the immense shadow mimic.

Marativy went to Zitch’s rescue, stepping to flank the mimic holding the witch and slashing it with her wakizashi.  Then Swamprover cast Fire Ball, placing the eruption of flame to catch both mimics but none of her companions.  It also caught the promising containers of chemicals Roscuro was eyeing and several of them promptly exploded!  Roscuro sighed while the second mimic squeezed Zitch, not very impressed by the explosion [it made its save].  From Templeton’s back, Winston rapid fired his musket, placing all three shots on center of mass of the shadow mimic…or where he thought the mass was.  The flickering shadows evaporated around the shots as Winston missed its actual body [displacement effect made all three hits misses].  Zitch flailed feebly in the grip of the second mimic while the shadow mimic turned and grabbed Winston on Templeton’s back, squeezing hard until bones cracked [it made a critical hit and did 34 points of damage].  Templeton attacked the shadow mimic in response, raking it with his claws but the shadow mimic ignored the attendant cold damage from the frigid claws.  Roscuro ran and hopped tables to go to Zitch’s aid, throwing a punch at the second mimic and getting stuck to its adhesive.

Marativy slashed the second mimic while Swamprover pumped Magic Missiles into it.  It maintained its grips on Zitch and Roscuro, squeezing Zitch further.  Zitch involuntarily squeaked as a result.  Winston failed to escape from the shadow mimic while Zitch cast a healing hex upon himself and continued to cackle in the face of death.  The shadow mimic released Winston to attack Templeton, whose attacks were causing it to leak shadowy blood.  It hit Templeton solidly.  Templeton and Winston had a brief discussion about fleeing, but Winston urged Templeton to attack, which he did, clawing the shadow mimic twice and biting it once.  Roscuro landed a flurry of blows on the mimic holding him, killing it while avoiding getting further entangled.

Marativy advanced on the shadow mimic, working to get to a flanking position on it.  Swamprover moved to get a better view of it, hoping to lessen the flicker effect.  Winston jumped off the back of Templeton and ran back up the stairs, leaping over the large gap where the shadow mimic had been sitting.  He activated his newly constructed Pouch of Abundant Ammunition and prepared to rain shots on the shadow mimic from above.  Zitch re-applied Protective Luck to Roscuro and stepped away from the shadow mimic, cackling.  The bleeding shadow mimic maintained its grip on Templeton and squeezed again, damaging Templeton’s eidolon.  Templeton raked it again with attacks, but two of his attacks hit shadows and not flesh.  Roscuro freed himself from the dead second mimic and stepped to striking distance on the shadow mimic, directly opposite Marativy.

Marativy, now flanking the shadow mimic, struck critically, slicing a huge gash in the side of the shadow mimic.  Swamprover cast Flaming Sphere at the shadow mimic but it flowed its flesh to avoid the burning orb.  Winston rapid fired on the shadow mimic, the shadowy displacement caused one of the shots to miss but the other two struck true and killed it.

When no other crates or parts of the basement came to life as mimics, the adventures released the breaths they were holding.  Zitch started healing himself, Winston, and Swamprover.  Roscuro and Marativy took this time to go around the basement with bladed weapons, stabbing every crate or box in the basement.  While doing this they noticed a portal inscribed on the floor of the basement in the back, covered with boxes to hide it.

The entire group started searching the boxes and moving them off the portal.  One of the boxes had writing supplies and a note written in Sylvan.  Swamprover was able to read it.  The note was in response to a report of someone snooping around [Marativy the previous night] and contained instructions from Leruu [the kidnapper] to the guards on this place, instructing them to activate the mimics and hide out elsewhere for a few days.

There was discussion about the portal.  Any wizard could activate it, but they had no idea what was on the other side.  It seemed likely that Frederick had been taken through the portal after being kidnapped by Leruu, so the group felt obliged to go through and at least see what was there.  Zitch placed his Ward on Roscuro while the group gathered on the portal.  Swamprover activated the portal.

After a brief flash of light, the group was standing on the receiving portal, in an alley of some sort among a cluster of buildings.  Three armored humans with swords and shields stood separately, surrounding the arrival point.  One of them called out, “We have intruders!  Kill them!”

That told the Ratpack all they needed to know.

Zitch immediately flew up 15 feet to get out of melee range.  Marativy took a more aggressive action and charged a guard at the end of the alley nearest her, slashing him with her wakizashi, and then using her ki to turn invisible, much to the guard’s consternation.  Templeton cast Haste on the Ratpack.  The guard off a side alley advanced on Templeton and swung his sword, but failed to land a blow on the foo dog-shaped summoner.  Winston activated his Pouch of Abundant Ammunition [it had timed out since he activated it in the mimic fight].  Swamprover cast Acid Arrow on the third guard and then used her sticky toe- and finger-pads to climb onto an adjacent low [one story] building.  Marativy’s guard, no longer seeing the ninja, moved to attack Winston.  His action was interrupted by Marativy’s attack of opportunity as he tried to walk away from her and she literally stabbed him in the back.  The guard turned around and attacked Marativy in response [visible now as invisibility stops when you attack], but completely failed to hit the hasted ninja.  The third guard walked up to the adventurers from in front of them and attacked Templeton, but failed to land the blow due to Roscuro acting as Templeton’s bodyguard.  Roscuro used a ki point to enhance his flurry of blows and attacked the side alley guard, hitting him four times.

Up in the air, Zitch cast Protective Luck on Templeton, who seemed to be drawing the most attacks, and cackled to maintain it.  Marativy, somewhat jittery due to the Haste, nearly dropped her sword on her first attack but plunged the blade into the guard she was fighting, killing the guard, on her second swing.  Templeton fully attacked the guards around him, clawing the guard Roscuro punched and clawing and biting the other.  The side alley guard bled out and died before he could respond to either Templeton or Roscuro.  Winston rapid fired on the remaining guard, killing him with the first bullet.  Suddenly, black, rubbery tentacles erupted from the ground, grappling may of the Ratpack.  Roscuro jumped out of the circle of tentacles, landing safely and peering around, looking for the unexpected spellcaster.  Swamprover, who had been holding her action, spotted a floating sword in the side alley.  Thinking the spellcaster was there, she cast Lightning Bolt on the area.  She did a great deal of damage to the building but there was no other appreciable result.

The unharmed floating sword zipped up through the air and struck Swamprover, nearly cutting the grippli in half [it did most of her hit points in damage in one hit – this is a theme that repeats] while the black tentacles thrashed those trapped in them.  Zitch located the spellcaster on the roof of the tall [three-story] building that made one wall of the alley the teleportation circle was in.  He attempted to lay an Evil Eye on the spellcaster, but it failed to take.  Marativy used a tree adjacent to the tall building to assist in gaining access to the roof, leaping acrobatically between the tree and the building until she was on the roof.  [Go see almost any Jackie Chan movie to learn what this looks like.]  Templeton failed to escape from the tentacles.  Swamprover hopped over to the tree and started climbing.  Roscuro used his ki to enhance his already enhanced speed and sprinted the long way around the tall building to reach the tree Marativy had just used to attain the roof.

The unknown mage moved the floating sword to strike Marativy, nearly killing her.  Zitch put Protective Luck on Marativy to help keep her alive.  Marativy used her ki to turn invisible again, silently walked over to the mage, and slashed him with her wakizashi.  Templeton used Dimension Door to get he and Winston out of the black tentacles and back into the fight.  Winston moved a bit to get a better shot on the mage and rapid fired his musket, striking the mage multiple times [for 43 points of damage total].  Sadly, this did not kill the unknown mage.  Swamprover continued to climb up the side of the tall building while Roscuro copied Marativy’s bouncing trick, reaching the roof himself.  [Swamprover only has 20 feet of climbing speed while Roscuro currently has 70 feet of movement, so even at half speed, he reached the roof much faster than her.]

The mage stepped back from Marativy and cast Dimension Door.  Zitch flew as high as he could and scanned the roof tops.  He spotted the mage on a roof north of the group and called out that information.  Templeton grabbed Winston and flew both of them to the mage, dropping off Winston before swiping at the mage with a claw.  He failed to hit the mage.  Winston stepped back and started rapid firing his musket.  The first shot struck true, revealing this mage to be just an image.  Looking for additional targets, Winston spotted two more copies of the mage and shot each once.  Both were images that dispersed upon being hit.  Swamprover finally reached the roof and started looking around for the mage.  Roscuro looked south and called out that he could see two more, pointing one hand at each.

[As it was late and this fight could go on a while longer, we paused the fight here.]

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[I should point out that this entire bit, retrieving Frederick from his kidnapper, is a side quest invented by the Other DM and not part of the Shattered Star Adventure Path.  It took us (the players) a while to work this out, which honestly REDUCED the sense of urgency on the main adventure.  We once thought Frederick being kidnapped indicated that another party/faction was also seeking the shards and was close behind us, which leant a sense of urgency.  When we learned this was not the case, it took our foot off the accelerator and we…well, you’ll see in a post or two.]

[It is probably obvious, but I’m stating it here just in case: each paragraph in a combat is one round.  It sometimes makes them a bit big and awkward, but helps track the progress of the combat.  I’m not certain how beneficial doing it this way is to the average reader of my blog, but my players seem to appreciate it and it helps my memory if I need to review my notes to answer a question.  Your mileage may vary.]

[Typing up this fight I think I found an error.  The unknown mage dropped the Black Tentacles spell near the end of a combat round.  I believe if he had been holding his action, casting then would have set his initiative at that point, but the Other GM had him go at his normal initiative the next round.  This might have changed the fight as Swamprover would have cast an attack spell at him instead of hiding from the enchanted weapon attack.  It is important to remember small rules like these, especially when different editions treat them differently.]

[By the way, the Other GM actually had a Black Tentacles template that he dropped when the spell was cast and it rocked!  I immediately recognized the spell from its origins in 1st Ed. AD&D and it brought a smile to my face…especially when my character made the save to avoid being grappled by it.  😉]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22

Session 23


Session 25



Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Draft C Complete!

I've posted a link to Draft C of Book III: Campaigns of Adventures in the Green on the Draft C Downloads page.  This is still a playtest version of the rules, so I am very interested in feedback.  Please send me anything you find or would like to suggest - it helps greatly!  😄

Thank you for your time and consideration!


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Adventures in the Green, Book III: Campaigns Draft C complete

 I made a big push the last two weeks to complete my editorial pass for Draft C of Book III of Adventures in the Green and it paid off.  The section on Magic Items took longer to edit as many of the items had unique issues and some required research to resolve.  Others were a daisy chain of cross-references that had to be coordinated with each other or they introduced the stats for creatures or monsters that belong in the bestiary section of Book II.

TL;DR: Book III was a jungle and needed a lot of work, but it's done now.

I will convert the Word document into a PDF later this week.  That will need some clean-up, but not a lot, so I expect to post the PDF for Book III, Draft C by the end of Friday.

Next step is Draft D for all three books.  This will require:

  • Incorporating all edits, corrections, and inserts resulting from play-test or the Draft C edit.
  • Finalize the Style Guide so all references are consistent across all three books.
  • Do the detailed consistency edit on all three books.
  • Create an Art List to contract art from.
The art style I'm using right now is Public Domain woodcut artwork...except for the cover of Book III.  I'd like to have artwork that is similar style and quality across all three books and I suspect I'll need to contract an artist for that.

I should have a Session report later this week as well, but don't hold me to that as I need to prep for the playtest game this Saturday.

Later!


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 23

[Day 49 – The raid to get Frederick back begins.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened June 14, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 6th level Gunslinger



Autumn

Day 49

~1:00 PM

After receiving information on Frederick’s kidnapper in the form of a single-use Ioun Stone, the Ratpack decided to go to the Pathfinder Society Lodge for two reasons.  The first was that it was relatively nearby and the second is that it would be more private than their regular table at the Blue Rodent.

Arriving at the Lodge, the Ratpack found the place apparently empty.  Roscuro politely knocked on the door to Sheila’s office, but received no response.  The Ratpack started checking other doors, looking for a small room with chairs they could sit in and talk.  The first room was a large dining room with seats for nearly 20 people.  This was clearly unnecessary for the 5 ratfolk and single grippli.  The next room was more to their needs, but also contained Sheila, sewing up a wound on her left arm with supplies from a healer’s kit.  Roscuro apologized for interrupting and asked if there was a small conference room the Ratpack could use.  Sheila, somewhat nonplused, directed the group upstairs, second door on the left.  Roscuro thanked her and closed the door behind him.  [I honestly just now thought “maybe we should have offered to heal her with magic?”  Then again, Roscuro is LN and she seemed to have it under control, so maybe not.  He has a very focused mindset and I tend to get wrapped up in it during play.]

Upstairs, the Ratpack found a small room with a table and chairs with some mostly empty bookshelves on the walls.  The group made themselves as comfortable as they could [human-style chairs] and Swamprover shared the knowledge she had been given [the Info Dump].

The Info Dump:

  • The kidnapper was a male elf named Leruu.
    • He is a mage of power [able to cast 5th level spells]
    • He is a contractor for the Night Scales, specializing in kidnappings and assassinations
    • He hires small teams for each job, never repeat-using any of them
    • He has a safehouse in Ordellia
      • This is the location Leon told the group about [Session 20]
      • It is known to have a teleportation portal
    • He moves around frequently
    • He favors the Enchantment, Evocation, and Conjuration schools of magic.
  • The Wreckwash Blades attempted to scry Frederick’s location and were blocked, so Frederick is being kept in a shielded location or is on another plane.
  • Frederick does business in Magnimar, Korvosa, and Kaer Maga, so whoever had him kidnapped is likely to be from one of those cities.  The Night Scales have branches here in Magnimar and in Kaer Maga, which might be suggestive.

Roscuro felt that this was a respectable amount of information for less than a day of gathering on a dangerous and powerful assassin.

The Ratpack then discussed how they wanted to raid Leruu’s safehouse in Ordellia.  Marativy was willing to go in alone, but Roscuro suggested smoking the mage and any henchmen out might be the safer pass.  After a short discussion on tactics and creating a rough plan of attack, the group left the lodge and headed to Ordellia, making a small side trip to an alchemist’s shop on the way so Roscuro could pick up 2 flasks of acid, 2 tindertwigs, and 5 smokesticks.

~3:00

The Ratpack quietly encircled the Leruu’s safehouse.  It was a single-story residence made of wood and appeared to be abandoned.  Based on Marativy’s earlier scouting mission [again, Session 20], the group knew it wasn’t.  Roscuro snuck up to the back wall of the free-standing structure and applied his first bottle of acid to the wall.  He did not get the bottle even and a lot spilled out, failing to burn all the way through [I rolled a 3 on a d20 to apply it correctly].  This was why Roscuro bought two vials in the first place.  He applied the second vial successfully, burning a hole through the wall large enough for a smokestick.  Roscuro then used a tindertwig to light a torch, from which he lit the first smoke stick and shoved it through the hole in the wall.  He repeated these actions four more times, shoving all 5 lit smokesticks into the building.  Roscuro then withdrew to the roof of a nearby building where Winston and Swamprover were waiting, so he could see more of the situation.

Roscuro expected the 5 smokesticks to fill the interior with smoke, driving the inhabitants out, for fresh air if nothing else.  Instead, not much happened.  After a minute Marativy snuck into the building through the concealed door on the front [the actual front door being a noise alarm trap].

Marativy found the interior empty of people and smoke.  There were three interior doors, which Marativy investigated.  Each door led to a room.  The second door opened to a room full of smoke, which billowed out into the rest of the building.  Searching around as the smoke dissipated, Marativy located a secret door to stairs down in the floor of the main room.

Roscuro, concerned that nothing was happening, sent Swamprover around to the front of the building to see what was happening and report back.  Swamprover was seen running around to the front by the Templeton and Zitch, which alerted them.  Swamprover entered the building through the open concealed door.  Looking around she did not initially see Marativy studying the open secret door.  The opening was full of darkness that they should have been able to see through.  Using a lit torch and her wayfinder, Marativy did science and determined that there was magical darkness in the stairwell.  The light function of the wayfinder was strong enough to cancel out the magical darkness, which allowed them to see the stairs clearly [the entire party has Darkvision].

Marativy went down the stairs with her wayfinder active.  The stairs were 30 feet long and the middle 10 feet were sticky.  With a slight sneer on her face, Marativy leapt past the sticky section, landing gracefully at the foot of the stairs…right on a pressure plate that activated a paralytic gas trap.  Marativy [failed her save and] was paralyzed in place by the large gas cloud.  Swamprover, who received a lesser dose, was not paralyzed [she made her save] but had no intention of walking into the gas cloud.

When Marativy was paralyzed, Zitch’s Ward on her dropped, alerting Zitch that she was probably in danger.  He hopped onto Templeton’s back and Templeton flew them into the house.  This alerted Roscuro and Winston that something was up.  Roscuro ran around to the front of the house while Winston held position in case guards or Leruu showed up.

Inside, Roscuro handed over to Zitch the Earrings of Telepathic Communication as Zitch had pierced ears while Roscuro did not.  Zitch put the earrings on and Roscuro asked him to establish communication with Winston, so he could warn them if anyone outside starts walking up, and then with Marativy, to find out what happened.  When Zitch contacted Marativy, she was still cursing.  A lot.  But eventually she realized Zitch was there and she explained what happened.

Swamprover identified the poison gas as a derivative of jelly fish poison.  After a quick consultation with Winston [through Zitch], she stated it should disperse soon, but might have some lingering after effects.  Impatient, Roscuro stopped waiting and went down the stairs.  He leapt past the sticky section and landed beyond Marativy, safely.  His immense fortitude kept him from succumbing to the gas.  [Monks have really good saving throws.]  He took up a defensive position next to Marativy and waited for the gas to disperse.

Around an immediate corner from the bottom of the stairs was a magical lab/storage room.  Once the gas dispersed enough, the rest of the group came down the stairs, avoiding the sticky section.  Swamprover and Zitch both cast Detect Magic and looked over the room.  Both announced nothing magical was in view.  Marativy gradually regained her mobility [losing only 1 point of Constitution from the poison] and started searching the room for traps, which took thirty minutes.

While Marativy was slowly clearing the room of traps, the rest of the group started looking around.  Roscuro searched a desk, finding paper, ink, and writing implements, which he took.  Swamprover was investigating a crate on the floor that Marativy warned had a sticky top.  The crate turned out to be a mimic, attacking Swamprover with surprise!  It took a big bite out of the grippli [12 points of damage].

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Turns out a sticky top was a warning that it was a mimic, not an actual trap.  The players were not entirely satisfied with this answer, but you play the hand you’re dealt.  Smart readers might notice something we missed until it was too late.]



Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21

Session 22


Session 24



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 22

[Day 48 and 49 – The jig is up and the Ratpack gets the goods.  Peacefully.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened June 7, 2021.]

[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

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 6th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 6th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 5th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 6th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 6th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 6th level Gunslinger



Autumn

Day 48

Sunset

Zitch and Roscuro talked with the three city guards who showed up at the end of the fight with the half-elf monk [previous session].  Roscuro explained the he and Zitch realized they were being followed and ducked down this alley to hide when the half-elf attacked with no provocation.  Zitch pointed out the remains of the tanglefoot bag the half-elf had thrown.  The guards were clearly inclined to believe the two ratfolk as the half-elf had used magic to flee them.

The guards asked what Roscuro and Zitch were doing now and Roscuro told them that they were looking for a place to purchase some dinner and then go home.  The guards escorted them to a nearby eatery area and then resumed their patrol.  Roscuro and Zitch purchased some street food for 2sp before “wandering away” and heading to Carlyle’s home, which the rest of the Ratpack had under observation.

After Sunset

Marativy brought Zitch and Roscuro up to speed on the observations of Carlyle’s house.  It was quiet now so Marativy went around to the back to break in through the window there.  She oiled the hinges of the shutters and used a wire to lift the catch before silently climbing into the house through the window.

The house was partitioned off into two rooms and Marativy was in the larger of the two rooms, which was a combination living room, dining room, and kitchen area.  Turning invisible, Marativy stealthily walked through the doorway to the second room, which was a sleeping room.  Instead of a lizardfolk sleeping in the bed she found a halfling!

The halfling awoke while Marativy was searching the room and drew a knife.  Marativy, still invisible, stood still while the halfling got up and looked around.  [This provided a +40 to her stealth roll, on top of her already impressive skill bonus.]  In the other room, the halfling noticed that the shutters were open on the back window and closed them, muttering to himself about the wind.  He stuck the knife he was carrying into the shutters to hold them closed and went back to bed.  Once the halfling was asleep again, Marativy exited the bedroom.  In the living room area she located the bag that “Carlyle” had been carrying.  She took it and exited the house through the front window.  Outside she walked over to where Roscuro and Zitch were waiting.

Marativy explained what she found.  The trio were confused about where the lizardfolk had escaped to until they went through the contents of the bag.  Inside were a set of thieves’ tools, some rope, a box of fake gems, and a hat of disguise!  The halfling had been walking around disguised as Seeshaah, leaving a false trail.  Roscuro had Marativy describe the halfling in the house and the description fit the halfling Zitch and Roscuro had confronted for tailing them.  As the halfling could not be in two places at once, this suggested that the halfling back in Ordellia was actually Seeshaah wearing another hat of disguise.

Roscuro had the Ratpack redeploy to keep the halfling from sneaking away.  He removed the hat of disguise and the box of fake gems from the bag, placing them in his handy haversack.  He then took the bag and walked over to the front door of the house, knocking on the door when he got to it.  Marativy was concealed off to his right, under the still open front window.

The halfling opened the door with a surly look on his face that disappeared when he saw Roscuro.  The halfling slammed the door shut without saying a word, locked it, and could then be heard searching for something inside.  Roscuro walked over to the window and held the bag up to be seen.  “Looking for this?” Roscuro called out.  After a moment, Roscuro heard the door being unlocked and the halfling said, “Yes.  Come on in.”

Roscuro went inside the house.  The halfling was actually named Carlyle and he particularly wanted the box of fake gems back.  Roscuro wanted information on Seeshaah so he could collect the debt she owed.  The two negotiated and Carlyle agreed to provide information in exchange for the box.  Roscuro pulled the box out of his haversack, set it on the table, and started asking questions.

Carlyle and Seeshaah were supposed to meet in Lowcleft, disguised as each other.  They would then go to the Naos district and break into a new home, where they would swap the fake gems in the box for real gems in the home.  They would then leave town and sell the real and very valuable gems elsewhere for a significant profit.  Roscuro explained he didn’t care about the heist, but he did need to meet with Seeshaah.  Was there any code they would use to suggest any trouble?  Carlyle explained that they would be wearing a brown coat if it was OK to meet and a black coat if there was bad news.  Carlyle also provided the location of the meeting, a small working persons tavern.

Roscuro thanked Carlyle for the information and promised to give him the box of fake gems the next day, at the meeting.  As Carlyle did not want Roscuro to leave with the gems [having promised not to do so] and Roscuro did not want Carlyle to flee and warn Seeshaah, they all stayed the night in the house.  Roscuro called in Marativy and had her tie up Carlyle on his bed to sleep until the meeting.

During the night, Roscuro examined the box of fake gems and discovered a small hiding spot in the bottom.  Inside compartment were a pair of Earrings of Telepathic Communication.  After Zitch identified them, Roscuro put them away in a belt pouch.  He then closed the secret compartment back up and put the fake gems back in the box.  He had promised Carlyle the box of fake gems, but no one had mentioned any earrings so he was keeping those.


Day 49

Late Morning

The Ratpack went to the location of the meeting.  The Roof Group included Carlyle, being held by Templeton, plus Winston and Zitch.  The Street Group, Roscuro, Marativy, and Swamprover, entered the tavern separately an hour before the meeting was supposed to take place.  Roscuro ordered an early lunch of cheese, fruit, and a hunk of bread.

Shortly after the Ratpack was in place, three halflings came in and had lunch at the bar.  One of them was “Carlyle”.  After they ate, “Carlyle” took a table in the corner with a good view of both exits from the tavern.  The other two halflings stayed at the bar.  Roscuro got up and went to talk with “Carlyle”, waving off Swamprover and Marativy.

Roscuro greeted “Carlyle” as Seeshaah, and when she tried to deny it, he explained that he had Carlyle’s hat of disguise.  This took the wind out of her sails and she admitted to being Seeshaah.  Roscuro explained that he was only here to collect the debt she owed and didn’t care about the job they had lined up for this afternoon.  If she would turn over the wooden case and its contents, which she owned to Gavahn, Roscuro would set Carlyle free and return the box of fake gems.  They would then be free to go about their business.  Seeshaah didn’t want to make the trade, but apparently the gem heist would be very profitable, so she agreed, on condition that the exchange happen out in the alley beside the tavern.  Roscuro agreed.

The actual exchange was tense, but once Templeton flew down with Carlyle unharmed and the box of fake gems was shown, Seeshaah produced the small wooden box with gold leaf decorations and the trade happened.  The Ratpack took their leave, allowing Seeshaah and her accomplices to go perform their heist.  The Ratpack did not open the wooden box.

Just After Noon

The Ratpack returned to the cobbler shop in Dockway.  The clerk there was not expecting the ratfolk, so making contact was a little more awkward this time.  When finally escorted to the back room and the secret passage to the underground meeting room, Roscuro, Marativy, and Swamprover were greeted by someone new.  This person introduced himself as Dolan [head of the information broker gang, who recognized Marativy as once being part of his gang].

Roscuro explained he had the debt Gavahn had asked the Ratpack to collect as the fee to expedite their information request.  Dolan was pleased to see the wooden box with gold leaf decorations.  He in turn produced a gem he said was an Ioun Stone that contained all the information the Wreckwash Blades had on Leruu.  Roscuro was surprised to find an Ioun Stone being used in such a way.  Swamprover mistook his surprise to mean Roscuro did not know what an Ioun Stone was and demonstrated by placing it in orbit around her head.  Her memory was immediately filled with the information on Leruu [which was not as extensive as hoped for].  At this point Dolan explained that the stone was single-use only and now Swamprover had the information.

Dolan suggested that since the Ratpack was no longer welcome at the Outcast [due to the “fight” with security], if they needed to buy information they should come to the cobbler shop and ask about laundry.  Roscuro thanked him and the ratfolk [and grippli] left.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[The Other GM promised the info dump on Leruu at the beginning of the next session, so it’s not here yet.  Leruu being the person who kidnapped Frederick and relics pertaining to the Runelord of Gluttony.  At this point the Ratpack merely disliked him.  In a couple sessions we will very much hate him and want him dead.  Stay tuned to find out why.]



Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 20

Session 21


Session 23