Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 18

[Days 39 to 47 – Back in Magnimar, taking care of business.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened May 10, 2021, with some supplemental info that was retconned on May 17, 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


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

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



Autumn

Day 39

Morning

The Ratpack dispersed to accomplish different objectives.  Templeton and Marativy rented a cart and took the broken statuary, rubbings, and drawings from the expedition to the group’s art patron, Ayavah.  They had to knock on Avayah’s door for a while before they got her attention.  Templeton made a presentation of the recovered items, but Avayah was not particularly interested in the statuary [which was odd to us as artists are usually very interested in examples of their craft and Avayah is a sculptor – we chalked it up to poor writing on the adventures part].  It didn’t look good for a big payday until Marativy showed Avayah the rubbings from the Big Red Door.  Avayah was exceedingly interested in those, nearly snatching them out of Marativy’s hands.  She took all the rubbings and the drawings and gave Templeton a bag with 500 gold coins in it before walking back into her home, muttering over the rubbings.

Swamprover went to speak to Sabriyya Kalmeralm, the head of the merchant house that provided the ship transportation to and from the Lady’s Light.  Sabriyya was in a meeting, but her assistant said she would be available just after lunch.  Swamprover made the appointment and then left.  She located a place to eat and has a leisurely meal before retuning for the appointment.  Swamprover reported that the troglodyte tribe was willing to discuss trade, but the boggard tribe was hostile to outsiders.  Sabriyya was pleased to hear at least one of the tribes was open to talks.  She inquired when the Ratpack would be returning to the area and Swamprover admitted she did not know, but it might be a week or more.  Sabriyya told Swamprover she had a ship she could hold in port for up to a week but the next boat after that would not be available for nearly a month.  Swamprover thanked her and told Sabriyya that a message would be sent in a day or two once plans were finalized.  She spent the rest of the afternoon tracking down a scroll of Fireball and purchased it.

Roscuro spent some time seeing to Helanda [defector from the rogue Queen’s Guard unit at the dungeon] and Gnaeus [freed from servitude to the being posing as the runelord in the dungeon] before they left to follow their own pursuits.  Roscuro provided Helanda a letter of introduction to the Tower Girls and instructions on how to get to them.  Then Roscuro had a spa day, getting properly clean for the first time in a week and having his traveling clothes laundered.

After Gridik was paid for his contract [200 gp], Winston hired him to craft a Pouch of Abundant Ammunition.  Winston purchased a scroll of Abundant Ammunition and gave it to Gridik along with money to cover crafting expenses and payment for services.  Gridik transcribed the spell to his spellbook.  Gridik would start work on the pouch the next day once he had it memorized.  [It is a first level spell and Gridik had his full complement memorized already.]

[I have no notes as to what Zitch was up to on this day.]

Evening

The Ratpack met for dinner at the Blue Rodent and shared what they had been up to during the day.  They discussed how long they would be staying in town and came to the conclusion that they needed to find out what, if anything, the Pathfinder Society had learned about Frederick’s kidnapping before they should decide.  Winston requested the group stay in Magnimar at least a week so he can upgrade his musket.  The Ratpack agreed to stay in town for at least a week.

Day 40

Winston started working on an upgrade to his musket.  He will finish working on it at the end of Day 47.

Gridik spent the day crafting the Pouch of Abundant Ammunition for Winston.  Gridik will pocket 360 gp as his fee, plus he now has the spell in his spellbook.  All-in-all, a good deal for the kobold Invoker.

Roscuro, Swamprover, Zitch, and Templeton walked over to Heidmarch Manor, the Magnimar lodge of the Pathfinder Society to find out what has been learned by the Society.  They entered the manor, which appeared to be empty at the time.  Roscuro knocked on the door to Sheila’s office [Captain of the lodge and owner of the manor].  Instead of the door opening or Sheila calling out “Enter!”, the ratfolk heard footsteps upstairs approaching the stairs.  The half-elf Koriah, either second in command or Sheila’s assistant [which would amount to the same thing] came down the steps and greeted the Ratpack.  She escorted the Ratpack into Sheila’s office so they could talk privately.

Koriah told the ratfolk that Sheila was out on Society business but she left notes as to what the Society had learned so far.  An organized group in the city had been hired to kidnap Frederick, the Night Scales.  Marativy had heard of the Night Scales and shared that they are rivals to the Sczarni crime syndicates and specialize in kidnapping, trafficking, and assassination.  This matched what Sheila had in her notes.  Unfortunately, that was all the information Sheila left in her notes.

Roscuro reported where the group was with tracking down the Shards.  He discussed the fake Runelord living in the dungeon under Lady’s Light and why he was certain that she was a fake.  He also talked about the viable Clone of the actual Runelord the group found in a sarcophagus and his unease with the knowledge that the actual Runelord might still be alive somewhere.  He allowed that he was working on a plan to destroy the clone, but the magics on it made most hazardous if not deadly.

Finally, Roscuro asked if the Society might have a way to sell the statuary remains the group had retrieved from the dungeon.  Koriah asked to see the statuary and the group adjourned to where the cart was parked.  Koriah told the ratfolk the Society should be able to find a buyer for the broken statuary, but it might take some time.  The Ratpack was fine with that [as they didn’t want to keep lugging it around].  The statuary was unloaded and the ratfolk left.

Noon

Back at the Blue Rodent, the group decided that they would take the week off to pursue individual projects and then start looking for Frederick themselves.  This would also let the false runelord flail about for a week in reaction to Gnaeus being liberated and the hag being killed.  Perhaps security might start relaxing again by the time the group returned to the dungeon.

The loot from the expedition to the Lady’s Light was divided up and paid out.  Each member of the Ratpack got a share worth 518 gp.

Afternoon

Swamprover spent the afternoon and early evening crafting ink from the hag blood harvested back in the dungeon.  She ended up with one vial of ink suitable for scribing magic scrolls.

Day 41

Gridik and Roscuro contributed money to Swamprover so she could scribe a scroll of Fire Breath for Gridik as part of an arrangement they made back at the dungeon.  [Gridkik paid 50 gp and Roscuro contributed 25 gp.]  At the end of the day Swamprover gave Gridik the freshly scribed scroll.

Gridik spent time that night transcribing the scroll to his spellbook, finally adding a second level Invocation spell to it.  [As an invoker, he gets a bonus casting of an invocation spell for each spell level and he had no invocation spells for second level until now.]

Winston continued working on his musket upgrade.

Day 42

Swamprover met with Zitch to swap spells.  [Both use their familiars as spellbooks, so they can swab directly, whereas she had to scribe a scroll to share with Gridik.]  Swamprover received Lightning Bolt from Zitch.

At the end of the day, Swamprover performed the ritual necessary to transfer the Fireball spell on the scroll to her familiar, Snek.  She now had access to both Fireball and Lightning Bolt spells.

Zitch tracked down a scroll of Mirror Hideaway and performed the ritual necessary to transfer the spell from the scroll to his donkey rat familiar.

Gridik spent the day crafting a Pearl of Power [1st level] for his own use.  It will allow him an extra casting of a first level spell each day.

Winston continued working on his musket upgrade.

Day 43

Swamprover used the vial of Hag Ink to scribe a scroll of Lightning Bolt.  Her plan was to sell the scroll to recover money spent this week on spell swaps and turn a modest profit.

Winston continued working on his musket upgrade.

Day 44

Swamprover started looking for a buyer for her scroll of Lightning Bolt[The Other GM never got back to this and everyone forgot about it between game sessions, so I will need to nudge them about it.]

Winston continued working on his musket upgrade.

Day 45 and 46

[No notes on these dates.  I think I miscounted the days we spent doing things as I hadn’t assigned day numbers to them.  My mistake.]

Winston continued working on his musket upgrade.

Day 47

Roscuro, Marativy, Templeton, and Zitch met up to start searching for Frederick on their own.  Zitch cast Heroism on Roscuro [for the skill bonus as we all are weak on the investigative skills].  The group went over to the carnival in Beacon’s Point.  The fortune teller there is a Sczarni information broker some of the group have interacted with before.  Roscuro reasoned that if the Night Scales and Sczarni are rivals, the Sczarni might be willing to help a third party investigate their rivals.

The fortune teller started his spiel, but then he recognized Roscuro and Marativy and stopped immediately, asking in a plain voice what information they wanted to buy.  As the Night Scales have a reputation for going after people investigating them, Roscuro uses a roundabout way to explain that he was looking to retrieve a kidnapped friend from whoever had him.  Roscuro could tell that the fortune teller was concerned he was looking for the Szcarni until Roscuro went to say the name of the group he was looking for.  He cut off Roscuro at “Night…”.  The fortune teller pulled out a small card with one word written on it “Outcast”.  He then bid the ratfolk goodbye.

Outside his tent, Marativy explained that Outcast was a reference to the Outcast Fishery.  At night, this building became a sort of crime market, acting as a black market and job fair for those who operated beyond the law.  The Ratpack would need to wait until after sunset before they could go and get the information they wanted.

Sunset

Winston completed upgrading his musket.  The rest of the Ratpack came around and collected him, explaining what they had learned and what the plan was.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[A lot of housekeeping was handled this session and we discussed which direction we wanted to proceed: continue with the AP or track down Frederick.  The PCs had a stronger emotional and fiscal tie to Frederick, so we decided that the shards could wait.]

[This post was delayed as I've resumed typing up the session notes for my playtest game for Adventures in the Green, my OD&D clone set of rules.  If you have any interest in that, the posting is located here.  They are dealing with one of the players just learning he caught lycanthrope - from a wererat of all things.]



Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15

Session 16

Session 17


Session 19 [Not Yet Typed Up]



Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 17

[Day 37 and 38.  Raid on the boggard village to save troglodyte captives and the return to Magnimar.  But mostly the raid.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened May 3, 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 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

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

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 37, Expedition Day 7

~7:00 PM, After Sunset

While Zitch and Templeton were trekking back into the dungeon to see if Gnaeus wanted rescuing [end of Session 16], Roscuro, Winston, Marativy, and Swamprover headed to the boggard village to rescue two remaining troglodyte captives.  Once in the area, they set a rendezvous point in case things went wrong.  The plan was for Swamprover to use Flaming Sphere to light the boggard shaman’s hut on fire and then some others near it on the west side of the village.  As boggards would come out to fight the fire, first Roscuro [with his light crossbow], then Winston [with his musket] would snipe them.  This would draw all attention to the southwest of the village, allowing Marativy to start searching for troglodyte captives in the huts to the northeast with minimal chance of being seen.  With the rough plan in place they then made their separate ways to the boggard village.

At the boggard village they set up around it.  Roscuro and Winston took position in some cover to the south of the village, about 70 feet outside the camp.  Roscuro had three flasks of oil with fuses set out, plus a torch and his flint and tinder.  Swamprover was to the west of the village with a pond of water between her and the village.  Marativy was to the north east of the village.

The plan started well.  It took two rounds for the Flaming Sphere to light the shaman’s roof but only one round each on two others before the spell expired.  Boggards exited the shaman’s hut once it was on fire to see what the noise was.  Roscuro sniped the first one, and this is where things started going awry.  It turns out, boggards have a lot of hit points and the light crossbow does a maximum of 6 points of damage [size small version].  So Roscuro’s shot hit, but rather than kill the boggard, it merely alerted the boggards they were under attack!

While Swamprover was moving the Flaming Sphere to light as many huts as she could, Winston and Roscuro shot at boggards, concentrating fire until one was dead before moving on to the next.  With all the distraction to the south and west, Marativy easily snuck into the eastern edge of the village and started searching for captives to free by peeking into the huts.

The boggards sounded a general alarm and guards quickly donned armor and rushed to their posts, including three who stationed themselves on the northern approach to the village.  This complicated Marativy’s search slightly as she had to avoid the guards as they exited huts.  Luckily, this is what she is best at.

Winston and Swamprover started targeting boggards trying to get water to put out the fires [Swamprover with Force Bolts].  Roscuro shot at targets of opportunity.  In the middle of this chaos, the boggard shaman exited her hut and cast Wind Wall across the southern approach to the village.  Guards on that side of the village took up position just inside the wall of winds.  Recognizing the spell, Roscuro stopped shooting and held his fire, waiting for a boggard guard to step past the protection of the Wind Wall.  Winston attempted to shoot the shaman through the Wind Wall, but the magic blew every shot off target.  [The player was not certain his shots counted for the effect of the Wind Wall but after three shots were all blown away, he had to concede they did.]

The shaman healed the wounded boggard guards while Roscuro lit his readied torch and Winston learned he could not hit things beyond the Wind Wall.  A group of boggard guards moved into position to snipe at Roscuro and Winston with short bows from the eastern part of the village, not covered by the Wind Wall.  Roscuro plucked one of the arrows from the air and the other missed.  Roscuro returned fire but missed.  Marativy continued her search of huts for captives, eased by all the huts now being empty of guards.

The boggards guards to the south charged Roscuro and Winston.  [The Other GM made a mistake here.  Boggards only have 20 feet of movement on ground and he had them charge 50 feet.  I think he mistook their 30 feet of swimming as their normal move.]  Guards around the shaman started throwing javelins at Swamprover, tired of her plinking them with Force Bolts.  One of them hit [for 7 points of damage].  Winston stepped away from the boggard guards near him and rapid fired on one of the boggards, blowing its head completely apart [the second hit was a critical for 44 points of damage, twice the boggard’s total hit points].  The shaman dropped the Wind Wall and summoned several giant toads near Winston and Roscuro.

Marativy, finished searching the huts on the east side of the village, crossed the trail dividing the village, and started searching the huts on the west side.  The first hut she checked had an unconscious troglodyte captive in it!  Roscuro grabbed and lit a readied flask of oil, tossing it at one of the summoned toads.  The fire bomb caught one of the boggards in the area of effect and set him on fire while the toad shrugged half the effect [it made a Reflex save, but the guard did not].  Guards around the shaman threw javelins at Swamprover again, one hitting [for 8 points of damage].  Winston stepped away from the guards threatening him and rapid fired, killing another guard.  The remaining guard [not on fire] advanced on Winston to attack while the one on fire attempted to put himself out.  Both failed at their actions.  The toads attacked with their tongues.  One hit Roscuro but failed to reel the ratfolk monk in [it failed the Grapple check].  The shaman, satisfied with things to the south of the village, turned her attention to Swamprover and cast her own Flame Sphere on top of the grippli wizard.  Swamprover side-stepped the sphere easily [she made her Reflex save for no damage].

Marativy carried the troglodyte captive out of the hut and hid him in some tall reeds in the village so she could search some more.  Swamprover, injured and about out of spells, moved north to put some cover and distance between her and the shaman.  [She moved twice, which put her at the northwest corner of the village and near where Marativy was searching.]  Roscuro scooped up the remaining two vials of oil [now lit due to the burst from the first one] and threw one at another toad, spreading the flames between the ratfolk and the village and burning toads and guards in the process.  The boggards threw javelins at Winston and Roscuro.  They missed Winston and Roscuro deflected the only one that got near him [he did not grab it as he had his crossbow in one hand and a lit vial of oil in the other].  Winston backed away again and shot and killed the last guard on him.  The shaman moved the flaming sphere to Roscuro, who side-stepped it.  The toads attempted to grapple with their tongues again, two missing Roscuro, but the third grabbed Winston.

With the guards on the north edge of the village now looking back to the south to see what was going on, Marativy no longer felt it was safe to leave the unconscious troglodyte alone.  She picked him up again and took him with her to continue her search.  Swamprover entered the village to search as well, but was noticed by the guards who shot at her with their short bows, getting hit once.  Roscuro stepped back and threw his last flaming oil into the open mouth of the toad grabbing Winston with its tongue, convincing the toad to let go of Winston as its mouth became an inferno.  Guards in the village threw javelins at Roscuro again, who caught one and threw it back, hitting, but was hit by a second one.  Winston shot the toad with the burning mouth once and withdrew.  The burning mouth toad died from the flames, popping out of existence [as summoned creatures do when they die or the spell expires].  The other two attempted to grab Roscuro with their tongues and missed.  The shaman moved the flaming sphere back onto Roscuro, but the monk avoided it with ease again.

At this point the adventurers decided it was time to leave.  Winston and Roscuro retreated south before arcing east to the agreed upon rendezvous point.  Swamprover quickly fled to the northwest before circling around to the north to the rendezvous point.  Marativy dragged her rescued troglodyte outside of the camp unobserved and found a hiding spot to pause and watch the aftermath of the attack.  She hoped the boggards might check on their captives, giving her an idea where the last captive might be.

Much to Marativy’s dismay, the boggards instead focused on putting out the fires.  After that, they started searching the area, so Marativy shouldered the captive and slowly made her way to the rendezvous point.  [I should mention that Marativy has the lowest strength of the group with an actual penalty to Strength checks.]

Near Midnight

Marativy arrived at the rendezvous point with the rescued troglodyte.  Winston checked the troglodyte and pronounced him suffering from malnourishment and Filth Fever, but not dying.  The four adventures then made their way back to their camp, arriving well after when Templeton and Zitch returned with Gnaeus.   Swamprover complained about her injuries and Zitch healed her up.  Everyone quickly went to sleep afterwards.


Day 38, Expedition Day 8

Morning

Rested and newly invigorated [everyone finally leveled], the group had breakfast and started packing up the camp.  Zitch cast a new spell available to him, Cure Disease, on the troglodyte, curing the troglodyte of his Filth Fever.  Winston and Zitch walked the troglodyte back to the troglodyte caves and told Sulgesh the group was leaving the area for a while but would be back.

By the time Winston and Zitch returned from the troglodyte cave, the camp was packed.  The group hefted their loot and remaining supplies and walked to the pickup point.

Noon

The group arrived at the meeting point for pickup.  The Fortune Found was just arriving and after a short period all were aboard, including Gnaeus and Helanda.  The ship weighed anchor and turned north, arriving at Magnimar just before sunset.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[This raid lasted much longer than expected and took up the whole session.  We hand-waved getting back to the ship and the trip back to Magnimar so we could make up some time and start there next session.  As a result, some opportunities to roleplay with the NPCs was missed and Gnaeus just wanders off once we get to Magnimar, seemingly ignored.  We were able to at least get Helanda pointed to the Tower Girls.  Even if she decides to not join the gang, it made for a more positive separation of ways.  I like separating from NPCs in a way that makes them more inclined to think positively about the PCs – you never know when allies will be needed later.]

[This was the first time I was able to made much use of Roscuro's ability to deflect or snatch missiles and I was very pleased with it.  I wish monks could use up attacks of opportunity to deflect more than one missile per round, but the rules are what they are.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15

Session 16


Session 18 [Not Yet Typed Up]



Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 16

[Day 37 continues.  Conversations, an opportunity, and setup for rescue.]

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

Via Roll20

Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

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

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 37, Expedition Day 7

Afternoon

An hour into the three hour walk back to camp from the series of caves under the Lady’s Light, the human woman rescued by the Ratpack awoke.  She was draped over the back of Templeton’s foo dog form and the group was traveling through the narrow cave tunnels under the lagoon, so it was pitch black for her.  Her first words were, “Oh rats.”

This caught Roscuro’s attention.  He was walking at the back of the line of adventurers in case the woman woke up and tried to do something unwise, like run back into the dungeon.  As ratfolk have darkvision [as do grippli and kobolds], it had not occurred to Roscuro that she would be blind and not likely to flee.

Roscuro greeted the woman and told her she probably wasn’t a prisoner but he had some questions for her.  Roscuro was indirect with much of his part of the conversation, not wanting to tip his hand before learning whether the human was a foe or not.  This made the early part of the conversation slightly frustrating for both sides.

The human’s name was Helanda and she was part of the Queen’s Guard that had traveled here from Korvosa.  They were looking for items of power they could use to reclaim the throne for their queen, who apparently been overthrown [see Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path from Paizo].  They encountered a woman claiming to be the Runelord of Lust, but Helanda was not entirely convinced.  Shortly after voicing her concerns, she woke up tied to the hag’s stake and was tortured as a means of slow execution.  Helanda was not surprised that the Ratpack had found the bodies of three others as anyone who questioned “Sorshen” tended to quietly disappear.

Somewhat reassured after the ratfolk lit a torch and allowed her to walk under her own power, Helanda related more of her story.  Her group arrived at the Lady’s Light weeks ago, but she was not certain how many as they were underground for most of that time.  They used a cave entrance near the boggard camp to gain entrance to the tunnels that led to the dungeon entrance.  She was somewhat nonplussed about the fact that the Ratpack had fought and destroyed the guardian statues at the dungeon entrance.

Helanda’s group lost two of their numbers fighting the glass golem and she was slightly shocked to hear that the ratfolk had destroyed it rather than use it as a teleportation device.  Gnaeus had not yet arrived when they passed the room the Ratpack had found him in.  Two rooms past that room, they encountered three incubi.  One teleported away while Helanda’s group fought and killed the remaining two incubi.  The third incubi returned with “Sorshen”, who killed or charmed the remain group of 40-50 Queen’s Guard by herself.  Gnaeus arrived later as the bodyguard of a wizard.  “Sorshen” charmed Gnaeus and had him kill the wizard.

Helanda also told the Ratpack that the runelord has to maintain the charm spells on a weekly basis but was lazy about it.  The spells on Gnaeus were due to wear off this day and it might be another day or two before the runelord got around to doing so.  There was a possibility that the group could convince Gnaeus to leave entirely.

This was an exciting opportunity for the Ratpack, somewhat tempered by their time constraints and low level of available resources, like spells and ki points.  On top of which, Swamprover was adamant that the group go back to the boggard village to see if there were anymore troglodytes to rescue.

After a great deal of discussion of options, the ratfolk split the party: Zitch and Templeton would return to the dungeon to speak with Gnaeus and see if he was willing to defect, while Roscuro, Marativy, Winston, and Swamprover would raid the boggard village.  Gridik would stay at the camp to subtly add to the security there while Helanda was there.  [Roscuro is a bit paranoid at times, but would rather be cautious than betrayed unexpectedly.]

~5:00 PM

The group returned to the camp and had dinner [shared with Helanda].  Templeton flew off with Zitch to return to the dungeon and possibly release Gnaeus.  Meanwhile, Roscuro, Marativy, Winston, and Swamprover started walking west to the boggard village to rescue hostages [Swamprover] and kill some boggards [everyone else].

~9:00 PM

Templeton and Zitch arrived at Porn Hall and then took the back passage to the gated room.  Gnaeus was there waiting and appeared slightly surprised as he realized that the ratfolk appearing in front of him was not either of the two he had spoken with earlier in the day.  When Templeton asked if Gnaeus was willing to leave the employ of the runelord, he stated he was quite ready to leave his captor far behind.  He also regretfully told them that the password on the gate changed at the same time the charm spell was supposed to be renewed and he did not know the new password.

Templeton in his foo dog form is very strong.  Zitch supplied Templeton with a crowbar to pry open the gate, which Templeton did easily.  Gnaeus thanked them and stepped through the gate, ready to leave.  He asked the two how they had arrived and Templeton explained he flew, carrying Zitch, but carrying both Zitch and Gnaeus might be an issue.  Gnaeus cast Fly upon himself and suggested that Templeton carrying him was unnecessary.  The three then left, traveling another three hours to get back to the camp around Midnight.  Gnaeus gifted the Ratpack a wand of detect secret doors with twelve charges left for being released.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[We were back to everyone on Roll20 for a session as my wife (Swamprover’s player) needed to get up extra early the following day.  The living room where we play is right outside the master bedroom area, so gaming there while one of us is trying to get to sleep just doesn’t work.]

[We knew the fight at the boggard village would take some time, so we deferred playing it out until the following week.  This would also allow the Other GM to set up a larger map on Roll20 as the attacking PCs planned on doing so from range and the original map was too small.]

[We also started having a conversation about what we were going to do once back in town to hopefully speed things up.  When the conversation turned to rehiring Gridik or making him a member of the group and providing him a share of any treasure, we discovered that Templeton’s player did not want to share experience or treasure with any NPCs.  This started to get heated, so we stopped the conversation, deferring it until later.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15


Session 17 [Not Yet Typed Up]



Friday, May 28, 2021

Comment Moderation Enabled

 I've had to enable comment moderation due to a spammer.

Blogger has no way to Blacklist the source (at least no way I can find), so I have to do this.

Le sigh...



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 15

[Day 37 continues.  A hag and her fuathan.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened April 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 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard


Via Roll20

Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja

Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

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

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 37, Expedition Day 7

Noon(-ish)

Templeton cast Restore Eidolon on his eidolon after the fights with the ghoul-bats [last session].  This is the only way his eidolon recovers health and it is still down 50% from full health [the main reason he retreated when fighting the ghoul-bats on his own].  While Winston skilled the dead giant eel [also killed last session], the rest of the group looked around the beach some [having nothing else to do].  The group found footprints in the sand that they had not made, suggesting others had been here.  The footprints clustered near where the boats landed and did not lead into the two tunnels from the beach.  Odd.

Templeton was game to make another try at flying down the other passage from the main cavern.  This time he made it all the way to the end, where the passage opened to another lake area.  He found two docks and another waterfall down to deeper depths of caves.  One of the docks had three boats tied up to it, but he saw no people.  He returned to the rest of the Ratpack and explained what he found, sketching the locations in the sand.  Marativy copied the information to the map she was drawing in her art book.

The Ratpack discussed which way to go next.  There were two tunnels at the beach and getting past the compulsion field to the other passage would be difficult and time consuming.  There was also the possibility that the tunnels eventually connected with the other lake area.  This was convincing enough that the group decided to check the tunnels first.

However, before that, Marativy and Zitch performed a careful search of the beach area, specifically checking for secret doors.  Marativy found one, disturbingly close to where the boats were and where the compulsion field pushed people.  She carefully inspected the secret door and determined it was trapped with an Alarm spell and a Mass Hold Person spell.  This led to more conversation and the group concluded that the spells were too high in capability for anyone to avoid the effects, plus Marativy had no method of disarming the spells.

While this conversation was happening, Winston spied a gremlin-type creature hiding in the southern tunnel from the beach.  He alerted the group and the creature retreated, but not before Zitch saw it [he has a very high Perception bonus].  Zitch identified the creature as a Fuath, a water-based fae.  He explained they were susceptible to cold iron, resistant to mind effects [so his hexes would not work on the thing], malignant, and could cast Sleep.  Not wanting a creature like that lurking behind them, the Ratpack decided to pursue the creature.

The tunnel went south and then turned westerly.  As the ratfolk advanced, they discovered the tunnel opened on another pool with an island at the center.  On the island was a sea hag torturing a human woman tied to a stake.  The sea hag was not aware of the group yet.  Zitch quietly warned the group that hags have witch-like powers, being the source of those powers.

Not liking what the sea hag was doing, Marativy and Roscuro quietly advanced to a closer range and shot the hag, Marativy with her short bow, Roscuro with his crossbow.  Zitch put Protective Luck on Winston, who advanced [noisily] and fired his musket at the hag.  Gridik cast Bull’s Strength on Roscuro.  Swamprover cast Acid Arrow at the hag.  The hag used her Evil Eye on Marativy and six fuathan [plural of fuath] emerged from the water of the pool.

During the fight, Roscuro used his High Jump special ability to leap across the pool to the island, landing next to the hag.  This [and Roscuro's failed attempts at attacking her]  distracted the hag long enough for Winston to shoot her dead.  The rest of the group concentrated on killing the fuathan, which happened rapidly.  [I didn’t take enough notes here to give a round-by-round retelling and really, it turned out to be a short but intense fight.]

After the fight, Templeton flew Zitch and Winston over to the island so they could perform healing on the human woman.  Winston determined she was near death, so Zitch used his Wand of Cure Light Wounds to remove her from death’s door.  She was still unconscious, but we could safely move her now.

There were two adjoining caves to this one and Templeton flew into them to see what was there.  The cave to the west was the hag’s lair.  Templeton searched it, including casting Detect Magic.  In the hags bedding, along with severed humanoid arms showing signs of gnawing, were a magic wand and a pair of magic gloves.  Templeton retrieved those and took them back to the rest of the group for later identification.

The eastern cave was the lair of the fuathan and mostly water.  Floating in the water were the bloated corpses of three human women.  This cave had a tunnel out that quickly led back to the beach through the eastern tunnel there.  Templeton found no magic in the fuathan’s lair and returned to report his findings.  In the meantime, Zitch checked the hag’s equipment for magic and both the longspear and the bone necklace it wore were magical.

After Templeton’s report, the group suspected all the women were one-time members of the Queen’s Guard, who they knew were exploring the caves as well.  The unconscious woman was untied from the stake and taken back to the beach.  The three dead bodies were pulled from the water in the fuathan lair and buried in the sand on the beach.

While that was happening, Zitch identified the magic items.

The longspear was a +1 keen longspear that infects those hit with Filth Fever.

The bone necklace was a Death Balm Talisman.

The wand was a Wand of Dimension Door with 4 charges left.

The gloves allowed the wearer to disable magical traps [created by the Other GM].

With the bodies buried, the group decided it was time to return to camp.  The total time for the trip was three hours, but the human woman woke up an hour into the trip.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[We met face-to-face again.  The Other GM received a negative result on his Covid test so it was safe to do so.  Marativy's player had a work meeting and so was late to show.  She decided to go home and call in from there.]

[I missed indicating Gridik has leveled twice prior to this session.  Leveling happens a lot faster for lower level characters adventuring with higher level characters.  The amount of experience a 5th level character needs to get to 6th level (8,000 on the Medium track) is enough to get a 1st level character most of the way to 4th level.  Gridik is close enough to 4th level he can just about taste it.]



Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13

Session 14


Session 16 [Not Yet Typed Up]



Saturday, May 22, 2021

Adventures in the Green, Draft C

This page provides links to Draft C of Adventures in the Green, my clone of the OD&D rules.

  1. Book I: Characters
  2. Book II: Conflicts
  3. Book III: Campaigns [still being edited, expect it by end of June 2021]
Draft C is being play-tested during 2021 and incorporates things discovered during last year's playtesting.  This draft also includes some noticeable changes to spells and the spellcasting classes.

Clerics

Reading through the Cleric spell list, it was obvious the power levels of the spells were uneven and the selection thin until 7th level spells.  I've adjusted spell levels to smooth out things and increase the number of spells available at most levels.  Where needed, I added spells that appear in AD&D that fit.

The level names for Clerics were position titles inside the Christian faiths, which causes two problems.  First, as played, few Clerics are of the Christian faith, so having a Vicar of Thor makes no sense.  Second, if interacting with clergy who are of the Christian faith and had the title but not the character level was unnecessarily confusing (the bishop is a vicar kind of thing).   To fix this, I picked level names that were descriptive without being tied to a specific faith.

Magic-Users

Magic-Users, after 4th level, were the cheapest to level except for Thieves and Thieves overtake them at 13th level.  Deconstructing the costs to level for each class let me identify the pattern all but the Magic-User followed and correct the Magic-User experience table to follow that pattern.

Level names for Magic-Users were types of magic, which could lead to a high level wizard being a necromancer without any necromancy spells in their spell book.  I was not able to completely de-couple level with magic types, but I did indicate a growing power level.  Also, "Name Level" is now Archmage instead of Wizard.

Evil

The various spells dealing with "Evil" [Protection from EvilDetect Evil, and Dispel Evil] had issues as this edition of rules has no Evil alignment, only Law, Neutral, and Chaos.  After wrestling with the spells and what they actually do, I renamed them [Protection from Supernatural, detect Supernatural, and Dispel Malevolence, respectively] and better defined what they did.  Dispel Malevolence is still a little vague, but I feel it was designed to deal with a grab bag of effects targeted at the player characters, like vampiric mind control, so left it that way for flexibility.

The Rest

There are some other changes made to various parts of the rules [like combining Dryad and Naiad under Nymph as different types of nymphs], so read through carefully and don't make assumptions.

As usual, please let me know if/when you find a gap or something that doesn't work and I'll do my best to fix it or explain how it is supposed to work.  Thank you ahead of time!

Later!



Thursday, May 20, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 14

[Day 36 concludes and Day 37 begins.  Eels and Ghoul-bats.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened April 12, 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

Via Roll20

Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja

Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 2nd level Wizard (Invoker)

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 36, Expedition Day 6

Evening

Zitch healed up Winston and Templeton to make full use of his healing magic for the day.  The night was quiet and there were no encounters nor any sightings during the three watches.


Day 37, Expedition Day 7

Morning

Mel prepared a fine breakfast, of fruit and cheese and prepared packed lunches for the adventurers to take with them into the dungeon.

After breakfast, the adventuring party picked up their gear and packs and walked over to the troglodyte caves.  Roscuro nearly lost his breakfast from the stench but eventually his nose deadened to the smell.  Winston ministrated to Azoresh, Sulgesh’s mate, curing her of the Filth Fever she had contracted while prisoner of the boggards.  She is now cured of the disease.  The group left and took the narrow tunnels back under the lagoon to the dungeon under the Lady’s Light.

2 Hours Later

After traversing the tunnels and the entry shaft to the dungeon then walking the right-hand path of the hall, they took the pole boats “down river” to the next chamber and entered the Porn Hall.  The goal was to test Roscuro’s theory that the phrase that lit up on the Red metal Door, “Ayandanahla is bound to the Light for all ages”, is the password to get by Gnaeus, the dhampir.  In the passage past Porn Hall, Roscuro borrowed the Whisper Coin from Marativy and asked it, “Will I get past Gnaeus if I give the password 'Ayandanahla is bound to the Light for all ages'?”  He then flipped the coin and caught it.  The coin came up tails and the faint whispering that continually emanated from the coin became slightly louder, resolving into the word “No”.  Roscuro was disappointed as he thought for certain that would be the password.  He handed the coin back to Marativy.

With the password guess wrong, the group discussed what to do next.  They did not particularly want to fight Gnaeus as he seemed somewhat stuck as well.  The only other path forward was the water down to deeper depths that Templeton had scouted two days earlier.  [Looking at my notes, I don’t mention this but I know it happened.  I think it was right after the initial conversation with Gnaeus.  Templeton flew down the waterfall to see if it was worth exploring and found an even larger cavern below.]

The group pulled out a rope and tied one end to a boat and the other end to Templeton.  Swamprover climbed aboard and then Templeton flew her and the boat down the waterfall.  There was plenty of clearance down the passage and they arrived safely.  Templeton set the boat down and Swamprover untied the rope from the boat.  She held the boat in position while Templeton flew back up.

On the next pass, Templeton carried Marativy and Winston down to the boat in the lower chamber.  Once they were settled, he flew back up to get the next boat.  [The boats only hold 3 people each.]  While Templeton was in the upper cavern waiting for the second boat to be tied, the group in the lower cavern noticed a giant eel bearing down on them in the water.  [Sadly, it was not shrieking.]  Swamprover cast Magic Missile at the eel, hitting it with two missiles.  Marativy missed with her hurried bow shot, but Winston shot it with his musket.  The eel then rammed into the boat.

Marativy switched to her wakizashi and readied for the eel to rush the boat again.  Winston too waited for the eel to attack again.  When the eel did so, Marativy missed slashing it and Winston only hit with one of his two shots at it.  The boat had cracked slightly from the eel’s hit and was oozing in water.  Swamprover cast Magic Missile again, hitting both times.

When the eel came around for a third attack, Marativy had the feel for attacking it.  She slashed at it, removing its head before it struck the small boat.  As the trio was catching their breaths, Templeton arrived with the second boat.

While untying the second boat from Templeton, all four felt some unease.  [The Other GM made them make a WILL save but did not explain why.  They all made it.]  Marativy transferred over to the second boat and Templeton flew back to the upper cavern, returning with Zitch.  Swamprover, Marativy, and Winston felt the unease again and a desire to exit the cavern by its easternmost side.

Templeton flew back up and returned with Roscuro and Gridik, the last of the expedition.  With the boats full, Templeton remained flying.  Looking around, there appeared to be two ways out of the cavern, a wide passage in the southeastern corner and similar passage in the southwestern corner.  The group decided to start poling the boats towards the passage in the southeast corner.  Once again the group felt the unease and compulsion to go to the southeast, but this time it took hold of Zitch and Templeton.  Zitch nearly stepped out of the boat to move faster to the southeast, but Roscuro noticed and grappled him.  Templeton just flew off into the darkness without a word.  The boats pursued.

The wide passage opened into another cavern, smaller than the previous one and with a beach of coarse sand.  Templeton was on the beach looking confused about why he was there.  Zitch managed to regain his control…but Gridik was overtaken by the compulsion and leapt overboard, into the water.  A second eel arrived just as Gridik entered the water, biting and grabbing the kobold.  The rest of the group quickly attacked and killed the eel before it could make off with its meal.  Gridik avoided death only because Zitch was able to apply some healing to the kobold before the eel constricted him to near death.  [Gridik went down to one hit point after the healing and then the constriction.]

The new cavern was outside the compulsion field and so the group beached the boats.  Gridik was pulled from the water before another eel arrived and then healed up by Zitch.  There were two passages at the back of the beach for the group to explore, but Roscuro wanted to know what was down the other exit from the main cavern that so much magic was expended to keep the curious away.  He asked Templeton if he was willing to fly solo back out into the primary cavern and down the other passage to see what was there.  Templeton was both willing and curious himself.

Templeton flew back into the main cavern and down into the other wide passage.  The compulsion grabbed him again, but he was able to throw it back off quickly.  The other passage narrowed slowly as he flew down it.  Two large bat-like creatures flew out of some alcoves in this passage and attacked Templeton.  Templeton fought with them a little, but they started to overwhelm him, so he flew back to the rest of the group, the ghoul-bats in pursuit.

Back at the beach, the party hear the very loud screeching of bats in the direction Templeton had flown off.  Then they could then hear the flapping of large wings getting closer and got ready to fight.  Templeton rounded the corner with the large ghoul-bats immediately behind him.  Swamprover cast Web to even the odds, but just managed to get Templeton in the area of effect.  [Unavoidable to anchor the spell correctly but he was a little hot over it.]

While Templeton fought with the single ghoul-bat stuck in the webbing with him [and killed it], the other ghoul-bat flew to attack the adventurers.  This was a mistake as the adventurers were ready with a mass volley of ranged attacks.  In quick order both ghoul-bats were destroyed [not dead as they turned out to be some form of undead].

In the aftermath of the fighting, Marativy asked Winston to pull a tooth from one of the ghoul-bats so she could have a trophy.  While doing so, Winston recognized that the bats’ mouths were diseased and likely to infect anyone bit by them with Ghoul Fever.  He re-checked Templeton’s wounds and treated Templeton for Ghoul Fever.  [Templeton had contracted the disease but would not have noticed until the next day otherwise.]  Winston also pointed out the partially rotted bodies of the bats to the adventurers, which is when they realized the bats were some form of undead.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Still on Roll20 for this session as the Other GM waited out his quarantine from having Covid.  After this game he received his negative test, so we met face-to-face for session 15.]

[We still don’t know what those ghoul-bats are actually called, but we were not sad to see them go.  I didn’t take round-by-round notes of that fight, so I skimmed over it in the write-up.  I used Roscuro’s High Jump to jump to the last ghoul-bat as it tried to flee us and heavily wounded it.  Marativy followed up with her similar Ninja power and killed it but failed to stick the landing and went into the water.]

[Ninja and Monk ratfolk work well together, especially with the ratfolk special ability Swarming.  As long as we share a space and attack the same target we both get flanking, which gives the ninja sneak attack damage.  This greatly enhances Marativy’s damage and now that we both have the Bodyguard feat, we can give each other +2 AC as needed.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12

Session 13


Session 15



Monday, May 17, 2021

Post delayed this week

I ran another playtest session of Adventures in the Green this past weekend.  A great time was had by all, but a mix of deferred chores and recovery from an all-day game aye up my writing time for this weekend.  Therefore, this week's post will arrive later in the week.  My apologies for the delay, but a lot of fun was had.  :)


Later!



Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 13

[Day 36.  The Ratpack takes a day off.]

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

Via Roll20

Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard

Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger


Not Appearing

Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

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

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 36, Expedition Day 6

Morning

The group had several options as to what to do next.  Winston was low enough on alchemical shot for his musket [which allow him to double-fire it] that he needed to make more or he would run out on the next trip into the dungeon.  Swamprover needed reagents and ink to scribe a scroll as part of a spell exchange with Gridik.  Winston, the group’s main damage dealer, running out of ammunition would at the least stop the expedition early and at the worst [if it happened mid-combat] could end up with someone dead.  The group decided it was worth taking a day at camp so Winston could prepare more ammunition for the last day of this expedition.

Winston, Swamprover, and Marativy [probably] left to go talk with the troglodytes to see if they knew the location of anything that Winston could harvest and use as reagents.  Just after they were out of earshot [Roscuro thought], Roscuro asked Templeton if he was still interested in a midnight raid against the boggards.  [Templeton’s player and I had discussed this between games and it was reasonable that the characters had similar conversations in-game, just away from those who might find the conversations morally challenging.]  While Roscuro and Templeton were discussing their options, Marativy suddenly popped up next to them [startling Roscuro, who swore she had left with Winston and Swamprover] asking if she could join in.  

The trio decided that some scouting would be in order to get a feel for how many boggards there might be.  Roscuro wrote a note for Winston and Swamprover explaining they were going scouting and gave it to Gridik to hold onto at the campsite.  Roscuro and Marativy climbed onto Templeton’s back and he flew the trio west, towards the boggard village.

Meanwhile, Winston and Swamprover spoke with the troglodytes about reagents and inks.  The troglodytes recognized the reagent Winston was asking for and knew a source, but it was near a small lake that few returned from, so the troglodytes avoided the area.  As to inks, they knew two sources.  A certain kind of bug when ground up would produce a “brownish purple” ink [we worked out the Other DM was trying to describe mauve without using the word].  Another source was swamp hag blood and swamp hags could be found in the Mushfens east of the peninsula.  The swamp hags sounded like much more of a fight, so Swamprover asked about the insects.  She was given a description of the insects and a location where they were common nearby.

Winston and Swamprover returned to the camp to report what they had learned.  They were surprised to find Gridik the only adventurer still in camp.  Gridik gave Winston the note from Roscuro.  Winston read it and shrugged.  He and Swamprover then convinced Gridik to come with them looking for reagents.  Gridik wasn’t keen on it, but agreed to go with them.


Boggard Scouting Trip

Templeton flew Roscuro and Marativy low over the peninsula, landing at a spot east of the boggard village.  The trio agreed this location would be their rally point if things went akilter and they had to flee the boggard village.  They then quietly walked to positions near the boggard village.  Marativy’s superior stealth allowed her to take up a position in some trees close in on the west side of the boggard village.  Roscuro and Templeton played it safer and took a vantage point on the crest of a low hill across a small lake from the boggard village.  The small lake had a primitive wharf [parallel to the shore, on piles] built near the village, opposite from where Roscuro and Templeton were and partially obscured from the village by a low hummock.  There also seemed to be something large in the lake as ripples frequently ruffled the surface of the lake.

After a slow two and a half hours with minimal activity in the village, something finally happened.  Two boggards dragged a captive troglodyte out of a hut and away from the village, towards the wharf.  It quickly became obvious that the captive troglodyte was going to be thrown into the lake as food for whatever was swimming there.  None of the ratfolk were good with this, the troglodytes being allies.  Independently, Marativy and Templeton started creeping closer to the wharf and Roscuro loaded his light crossbow.  Marativy readied her short bow and both she and Roscuro aimed at the boggards.

The unaware boggards dragged the troglodyte onto the wharf, one grabbing the feet, the other the arms.  As they started swinging the body back and forth to get it some distance into the lake, Marativy and Roscuro fired their weapons.  Each struck a different boggard [luckily] in the throat, Marativy killing the hers with one shot.  [Both of us confirmed a crit, but Marativy also had sneak attack damage, so she did much more damage.]  Templeton rushed forward and pounced on the still living boggard, shredding it before it could cry out.

Templeton carefully picked up the unconscious troglodyte and flew them back to where Roscuro was located.  Marativy snuck forward and quietly lowered the dead boggards into the water where whatever was in the lake started eating the corpses.  She then silently returned to her earlier observation point.

Templeton and Roscuro quietly talked.  They agreed Templeton should fly the trog captive back to the troglodyte cave for healing and then return to pick up Marativy and Roscuro at the rally point.  Templeton flew off with the troglodyte and Roscuro and Marativy settled in to see if the boggards noticed anything was amiss.  It took some time, but eventually an alarm was raised and the boggards started searching for the missing inside the village.  Marativy and Roscuro took a quick head count of the boggards and then left the area as the search started expanding outside the village.  Nearly two hours later, Templeton returned to the rally point and picked up Marativy and Roscuro.


Reagents and Ink

Winston, Swamprover, and Gridik walked to the sites the troglodytes recommended.  First they collected the insects for the ink.  Swamprover and Gridik collected a pouch worth of the insects over an hour while Winston kept watch.  The trio then walked over to the location the troglodytes said was a source for the reagent Winston needed.

This was near a small pond and Winston started collecting the material he needed.  [We were a little hand-wavy about the exact material Winston was looking for, so I can't describe it.]  While Winston was collecting the reagents, they noticed a cloud of spores slowly floating along towards them, against the breeze.  This seemed very suspicious, so the trio left the area quickly before the spore cloud could catch up to them.


Back at Camp

Winston, Swamprover, and Gridik were the first to return to camp.  Winston started using the group’s portable alchemy lab to process the reagents so he could create the alchemical shots he wanted for his musket.  Swamprover and Gridik started processing the insects into the unusually colored ink, both taking careful notes about the process.

When Templeton returned with Roscuro and Marativy, both groups shared information over lunch.  Winston walked over to the troglodyte cave to treat the rescued troglodyte.  There he learned that the rescued troglodyte was Sulgesh’s mate!  In addition to her injuries, she was also showing signs of Filth Fever, so Winston treated her for that.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[You might notice that we were all back on Roll20 this session.  This was due to the Other GM contracting Covid19 from family members.  We skipped playing the previous week as the Other GM was ill and played remotely again the week after this one, after which he received a negative test, indicating he no longer had the virus.  I had the first Moderna vaccine shot during this period, but the conditions of our continued face-to-face games is that no one spreads the virus.  We’ve had three members of our group contract it, but all from separate outside vectors and with zero spread within the group.  We aim to keep it that way.]

[Incidentally, I recently had the second Moderna shot with only a slightly sore arm and draggy feeling the next day (mostly from poor sleep that night – I kept waking up when I rolled over onto that arm).  I consider myself lucky as I know people who had cold-like symptoms or a particularly sore arm for several days after getting the shot.  Go get the vaccine and wear your mask when outside your home!]



Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 11

Session 12


Session 14



Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Ratpack – Shattered Star Book 2, Session 12

[Day 35 concludes.  Continue fight with glass golem and find the porn hall.]

[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened March 22, 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 5th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar

Roscuro – male ratfolk 5th level Monk

Swamprover – female grippli 4th level Wizard

Marativy – female ratfolk 5th level Ninja


Via Roll20

Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 5th level Summoner (Synthesist)

Winston – male ratfolk 5th level Gunslinger


NPCs

Auto – a clockwork servant fixated on Winston

Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 2nd level Wizard (Invoker)

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 35, Expedition Day 5

[Immediately after healing Swamprover at the end of last session]

Concerned that the glass golem would recover from the damage Winston inflicted on it if left alone, the Ratpack decided to eliminate the threat by taking it out now.  Winston was to initiate the fight by shooting the glass golem, making it approach the readied group of adventurers.  He misfired on his first shot.  Zitch placed his ward on Roscuro and Gridik cast Mage Armor on Roscuro, doing their best to protect him from the golem’s attacks for the fight.

After quickly blowing out his musket [using a grit point, IIRC], Winston rapid fired and hit the golem both times, triggering the golem into attacking.  Zitch put Protective Luck on Roscuro and then he and Gridik backed away from the edge of the beach.  The golem charged across the water and attacked Winston.  Its movements refracted the light from the glowing motes into a flashing radiance that blinded several of the ratfolk.  Roscuro performed a flurry of blows [including spending a Ki point for an extra attack] but missed all three times.  Marativy was able to score a hit on the golem but her wakizashi just slid across its surface [she failed to overcome its DR].  Templeton cast Haste on the adventurers.

Winston stepped back 5 feet and used a point of grit to rapid fire three times, hitting the golem all three times to great effect.  Roscuro realized the golem was heavily injured [successful Perception roll] and called for the entire group to keep attacking.  Zitch stepped over to Winston and used the wand of cure light wounds on him.  Gridik, aware that the golem’s spell resistance would bounce any of his spells, did his best to stay out of its reach and not die.  The golem advanced on Winston and attacked him, slashing him once.  Roscuro used his final Ki point for a fourth attack, but only hit once for minimal damage.  Marativy critically hit with her wakizashi, damaging the golem.  Swamprover cast Bear’s Endurance on Winston, providing him a boost of health [and temporary hit points].

Winston stepped away from the golem again and misfired when he tried to shoot it.  Zitch matched Winston’s step and used the wand to cast cure light wounds on him again.  Gridik had heroic thoughts about casting a spell at the golem but seeing the amount of damage the thing was inflicting on Winston thought better of it.  The golem changed targets to Roscuro, attacking him twice.  Templeton and Marativy both bodyguarded Roscuro, so the golem only hit once, bloodying the monk with that single blow.  [We estimate that Roscuro would have died if the second attack had landed.]  Roscuro, bleeding heavily from the wound [rolled maximum on the bleed], flurried again, hitting once.  Marativy attacked the cracked glass golem, hitting it where the cracks intersected [she rolled a crit] and shattered it [her damage killed it].

Zitch immediately stepped over to Roscuro and used six charges from the wand of cure light wounds on him, healing him most of the way up.  Zitch then used the wand on Winston.

After catching their breath from the close fight [both Roscuro and Winston had been within one hit of dying], the Ratpack took a moment to investigate the two graves on the beach.  The grave markers were shields bearing the heraldry of the Grey Maidens.  This tracked with what Maroux had told the group.

The group then returned to the small boats and went to investigate the large pedestal the glass golem had been standing on.  It was covered in Thassilonian writing.  The writing explained that the pedestal was a teleportation waystation powered by the glass golem.  By destroying the glass golem, the group had rendered the waystation inert.  To say Roscuro was vexed about this revelation is to understate the matter.  [The Other GM said the look on my face was priceless.]  The writings further explained that displaying the symbol of the Runelord of Lust would allow use of the teleportation system.  Sigh.

With that path forward closed off, the group returned to the beach and explored through the doorway at the back of the beach.  The door led to a hall covered with murals.  The murals depicted many different humanoid creatures having sex with a variety of extraplanar beings, mostly demons.  The room was well lit with chandeliers and there was a passage exiting the room to the south.  The murals appeared to continue along that passage.  The room was immediately dubbed “Porn Hall” by the ratfolk.

Suspecting a secret door might be concealed by the artwork, the group investigated the murals.  None were found, but Zitch realized that some of the figures in the mural were posed to form letters, providing the name of the artist: Amivadeus Yasrin.  Zitch also had the distinct impression that the artist did not approve of the subject matter as the overall effect of the art suggested moral rot and decay, not a glorification of lust.

With no hidden doorways located, the group followed the passage to the south with Marativy scouting ahead with great stealth.  The passage immediately turned to the right and the artwork rapidly tapered off, first to partially painted figures, then sketches, then blank wall.  It appeared that the murals were intended to continue, but the artist was stopped from completing the work.  Following the passage around another corner, the group paused when Marativy indicated she found something past the next corner.  Roscuro advanced to see what she had found.

The passage joined a wider hall with a wrought iron fence across it where it opened into a chamber.  In the chamber were several sarcophagi and a human-looking person with grey skin and long white hair.  Marativy was feeling slightly surly as person on the other side of the fence had spotted her easily while she was sneaking.  She told Roscuro the person was likely a dhampir, a human-vampire hybrid, but with a lifespan too short to be an original inhabitant of the dungeon.

The dhampir was surprisingly chatty as long as neither Marativy nor Roscuro attempted to open the gate in the fence or otherwise bypass the fence.  His name was Gnaeus and he was charged with guarding this gate.  He was only allowed to let pass those who knew the password.  Roscuro introduced himself and Marativy and chatted with Gnaeus a bit, attempting to glean some useful information and what limits there were on Gnaeus’ politeness.  After a couple of minutes of conversation Roscuro decided it was time for he and Marativy to leave, while the conversation was still polite.  They said their goodbyes to Gnaeus and returned to the rest of the adventuring party.

Blocked forward until they could work out the password, the group decided it was time to return to the surface.


First Watch

During the first watch that night, Swamprover and Winston observed some humanoids to the south at some distance.  The humanoids did not seem to be aware of the ratfolk camp, so Swamprover and Winston only observed them.  Whatever the humanoids were doing, they were interrupted when a swamp giant wandered up and started to pursue them to the south, away from the camp.  Swamprover and Winston shared this information with the next watch, but the rest of the night passed quietly.

End of Session


Rat Whispers

[Gridik leveled again with the experience from this session.  The rules grant a wizard two free spells when they level and I chose Bull’s Strength and See Invisibility, thinking he could learn Fire Breath from Swamprover.  Unfortunately, Swamprover is a Familiar Adept and does not have a standard spellbook but uses her familiar (a tiny viper named Snek) as her spellbook.  This is incompatible with standard wizards when it comes to sharing known spells.  On the plus side, Swamprover and Zitch can share spells as they both use their familiars as their spellbooks.  The downside is that Gridik is missing his bonus second level evocation spell until we return to Magnimar and he can either find a standard wizard to share spells with or buys a scroll with the desired spell on it for 150 gp.]


Ratpack

Book 1:

Session 01 – Start

Session 32 – Conclusion


Book 2:

Session 1

Session 10

Session 11


Session 13