[Days 45 – Loudest Heist Ever]
[This game uses the Pathfinder 1E roleplaying game. Game sessions happen once a week. This session happened May 8, 2023.]
[SPOILERS! If you are likely to adventure through the Shattered Star Adventure Path from Paizo, this campaign will be spoilers all the way down.]
Marativy – female ratfolk 9th level Ninja
Zitch Grimreaper – male ratfolk 9th level Witch with a donkey rat (capybara) familiar
Roscuro – male ratfolk 9th level Monk
Swamprover – female grippli 9th level Wizard
Winston – male ratfolk 9th level Gunslinger
Templeton von Trapp – male ratfolk 9th level Summoner (Synthesist)
Gridik Stormstride – male blue kobold 7th level Wizard (Invoker)
Hrefna – female changeling 7th level Omdura
Ariphi – female tiefling 7th level Rogue
Fish – male grodaire, actual name is Hummlgau
Day 45 continues
[Once the players had assembled but before we started play, a storm blowing through the area knocked out the power in the neighborhood. We put out some battery-powered lights on the table and discussed our strategy for fighting the Dark Rider while waiting for the power to come back on. The power returned about 30 minutes later and so we started regular play.]
While catching their breath after fighting the wraiths, Marativy had an idea on fighting the Dark Rider. The Rider received a great deal of mobility from being on horseback and seemed to generate a great deal of damage, so she proposed that she, Templeton, and Roscuro concentrate their attacks on the horse to eliminate the Rider’s advantage while everyone else attacked the rider directly. This was a good idea. After discussing the situation a little, Marativy, Templeton, and Roscuro decided they would concentrate their initial attacks on the horse [for the first three rounds]. If the horse seemed immune to their attacks, they would switch back to attacking the Dark Rider, otherwise they would do their best to kill the horse before switching to the Rider.
With a new appreciation of the need to be quiet while traversing the roof of the keep, the group advanced to the next section. Roscuro, slightly distracted, put his foot through a weak spot in the roof but caught himself before falling all the way through [rolled a 1 on Stealth check]. Marativy started marking the weak spots in chalk while scouting ahead.
While using the knotted rope to climb up the wall to the next level of the roof, Gridik slipped and fell. [Yes, Gridik failed a DC 0 Climb check. He rolled 1.] Luckily Hrefna was waiting at the bottom of the rope for this and caught the falling kobold. On her own turn to climb the wall, Hrefna also slipped and fell [also rolled a 1] but was caught by Zitch.
The Ratpack reached the roof of the final chamber in keep, a pointed dome covering a 20x30 foot area. Roscuro consulted with Winston, the team’s engineer, where to break through: the wall around the top of the chamber or through the domed roof. Winston looked it over and felt that the tiles roof would be the better option. The group would remove the ceramic roof tiles and then use the wand of acid arrow and adamantine dagger to cut through, just like they had done in Kaer Maga.
Marativy climbed onto Templeton’s back. He then flew them to the pinnacle of the roof where they tied a rope to assist climbing onto the domed roof. Winston and Ariphi climbed up and started prying up the first ceramic time when all the tiles flash heated hot enough to burn them through their armor! They immediately hopped back down to the previous roof.
Marativy dangled under Templeton and checked the roof, belatedly verifying it was trapped. She then spent some time disabling the area around where Winston and Ariphi needed to work. Once that area was cleared of trap triggers, Winston and Ariphi climbed back up onto the domed roof.
After safely removing a number of tiles, They used the wand to start eating away through the substrate. This is when Winston discovered another problem – under the layer holding the tiles in place was a layer of adamantium! Spot checking in a couple places confirmed the layer of adamantium covered the entire roof and appeared to include the walls of the chamber underneath as well.
A room lined with adamantium!
The Ratpack discussed options. Zitch only had one casting of Dimension Door available, so he could teleport himself and 3 others into the chamber below, but then they would be trapped. Winston then volunteered a terrible idea, but the only one that would work. His plan was to use his remaining adamantium bullet and his bag of abundant ammunition to shoot a perforated line through the adamantium layer, cutting off part of the peak of the dome to provide access. He could use his oil of silence to quiet his gun, but not the bullet hitting the adamantium layer. This would be noisy and all surprise would be lost but it would work and allow the Ratpack to attack on their terms.
With no other viable options, the Ratpack agreed to this.
Winston oiled up his gun and activated the first charge of the bag. He then started shooting through the roof, each shot ringing the adamantium like a bell. When the first charge from the bag expired, Winston paused to evaluate his efforts. Checking how far he had cut, he estimated he would be half way done by the time his bag ran out of charges.
The Ratpack could also hear the sound of an alarm going off down in the keep.
Gridik suggested he could access Abundant Ammunition through his bonded ring, Fulmination, and his casting would last 7 minutes whereas Winton’s charges only lasted a minute. [Gridik normally keeps the use of his spell focus to pull a spell out of his spellbook as a last minute resort.] They all agreed that it was necessary and so Gridik accessed and cast Abundant Ammunition on Winston.
Seven Noisy Minutes Later
Winston finally finished perforating the pinnacle of the dome roof. The Ratpack attempted to move the resulting cone of adamantium but found it was too heavy for them to move [650 pounds of adamantium and another 100 pounds of roofing on top]. Templeton used an evolutionary surge to become large again, which granted him enough strength to lift the cone while a rope was attached and then haul on the rope to air lift the cone off the roof and set it down on the ground adjacent to the keep.
The rest of the Ratpack peered in through the opening. The chamber below was clearly lined with adamantium. Instead of treasure or the Dark Rider, the only thing in the room was some form of biomechanical obelisk 30 feet tall. There was a glowing green gem at the top connected to metal conduits of some sort that spiraled down around the obelisk to the eye sockets of three devas, chained to the base of the obelisk, their faces a mask of agony. Zitch estimated that this device was responsible for maintaining the pocket dimension they were in.
Roscuro wanted to immediately destroy the thing. Zitch pointed out that if it stopped functioning, they would have at best minutes to get back to the menhir and activate it before the pocket dimension and everything in it would blink out of existence. This gave Roscuro pause.
It also suggested that this might be a way to destroy one or more of the shard of the Shattered Star. This would end their quest but would also mean no one would be able to reassemble the Star, something the Ratpack was already iffy on.
[The players had a short debate here about whether or not they wanted to end the campaign this way. Several players wanted to keep playing their characters and were not ready to end the campaign based on that. The Other DM allowed that he had a way to keep the campaign going without stating what that way was. Ultimately, the group decided to not use this option and keep the campaign going.]
The Ratpack decided that breaking the pocket dimension was too risky for now and they should defeat the Dark Rider and secure the shard instead.
End of Session
[I had expected to have the conversation about what to do with the shards once we had them eventually, but not until we had all the shards. So I was thinking the end of Book 5. The Ratpack has been pursuing the shards for two reasons. First, locations with the shards tend to also have Thassilonian relics that the group can sell for a significant profit. Second, we really don’t trust anyone else to do the job nor with all the shards. The Pathfinder Society put forth the idea that having the Star would be some form of defense against the rising Runelords but that sounds like Boromir arguing that the Ring of Power is a gift to use against Sauron. I’ve discussed with Templeton’s player maybe we should find a way to permanently hide the shards, like putting them in a lead box and dropping the box into the deepest part of the ocean, preferable far away from any marine civilizations.]
Book 1: Shards of Sin Landing Page – Links to all Book 1 sessions
Book 2: Curse of the Lady’s Light Landing Page – Links to all Book 2 sessions
Book 3: The Asylum Stone Landing Page – Links to all Book 3 sessions
Last Session: Session 33
Next Session: Session 35