John D. (the Emergin… on Wizards of the Coast Declares… kelvingreen on Wrath of the Righteous Chapter… mxyzplk on Wizards of the Coast Declares… mxyzplk on Wizards of the Coast Declares… John D. (the Emergin… on Wizards of the Coast Declares… John D. (the Emergin… on Wizards of the Coast Declares… mxyzplk on The Mexicans Are Coming
- Topless Robot Q&A With 5e D&D Developers
- Wrath of the Righteous Chapter One, The Worldwound Incursion – Fifth Session
- Wrath of the Righteous Chapter One, The Worldwound Incursion – Fourth Session
- Reavers on the Seas of Fate – Season Four, Fourth Session
- The Mexicans Are Coming
- Wrath of the Righteous Chapter One, The Worldwound Incursion – Third Session
- Wrath of the Righteous Chapter One, The Worldwound Incursion – Second Session
Fifth Session (14 page pdf) – We thwart the Forces of Evil ™ and destroy their captive wardstone bit, hurling the demonic forces back – for a time. And we all experience THE QUICKENING!!!
We continue to sweep and clear the Gray Garrison. Many tieflings and cultists meet their end. “It is thus that the fields of Justice are nourished with the blood of our enemies!” claims the session scribe.
We do get to fight a peryton, which is cool. And a goat-demon. We hear from prisoners that there’s a minotaur around, leading to the following fun quotes:
“Minotaurs are bad news too,” shares Antonius. “I read a comic back in camp that says they’re more than a little… rapey.” Everyone shuffles uncomfortably at that thought.
Then a bit later,
From up above the minotaur howls.
Trystan tells Rogoff [his mongrelman henchman], “You go first!”
Rogoff looks dubious. “For what it’s worth, boss, I read the same comic book about minotaurs that Antonius did. And you guys normally go in first – I’m not sure I feel comfortable about this arrangement.”
For some reason the baddie, Jeslyn, spread all her defenders out into conveniently small packages leading to her, so we kill each group easily and then attack her solo. Solo casters – why do they even try? I run over and put her in a grapple and then convert it to the figure four leg lock and then it’s all over. It’s what I do with all solo casters – they just can’t do anything about it.
And then the shit really hits the fan. Irabeth destroys the last fragment of Kenabres’ Wardstone with a rod of cancellation. It explodes, it kills every demon in the zip code, we hallucinate for a while. Areelu Vorlesh gates in and sics six babau demons on us. But we are powered-up with all kinds of special abilities and also she gets blown back through the gate. The baubaus attack and start gating in more babaus. This is quite a fight and we emerge victorious! I club-dance and we gain… a Mythic Tier!
For those not familiar with it, Mythic Adventures is a cool new Paizo system that, instead of adding levels like Epic, adds a layer of being a kinda demigod type on top of our normal levels. So now we get weird superpowers! (Go see our character sheets by level on the campaign page for more.)
Fourth Session (16 page pdf) – We continue to hit demon cultist hardpoints in the ruins of Kenabres with the help of mongrelmen and lesbian paladins.
This session is mainly fight after fight with tieflings, dretches, and various other evil varmints of various description. That part wasn’t all that exciting. (Ironically fights in Pathfinder, while supposed to be scenes of high action like in a movie, are sometimes boring… Like Peter Jackson and Michael Bay are managing to do with their big action scenes.) The interesting things that came up were:
Mongrelman rangers! We got a squad of mongrelman helpers and they were very helpful. We named them, and everyone ran one. Antonius had some soul-searching to do though – the faith of Irori advocates physical and mental perfection but mongrelmen are the ultimate in mutated – it just kinda bothered him.
Janitorial work! So we find a ruined shrine to Iomedae in the Grey Garrison and it’s pretty clear we “should” clean it up. Will all the monsters just go into stasis for a couple hours while we do so? Well sure, no problem. This will come up again, by the way. We are told we get a “devotion point” for that, a fact that Chris and I try to erase from our brains – we’ve had about enough of Pathfinder APs giving us something-or-other points and driving our party-mates into fits of bizarre behavior (like gift-buying in Jade Regent) because they see a new rules system than needs manipulation. If we’re going to start getting Divine Janitor Points for clearing poo from every shrine we enter I’d rather the mechanics be obscured from me.
But, we level and get some phat lewt.
Fourth Session (16 page pdf) – “Family, Worship, and Business” – Sam and Serpent’s egg is coming along nicely while Sindawe and Hatshepsut visit an orc bar and get more than they bargained for. Finally, they protect some Cyphermages while negotiating with orcish pirates. Just another day in the life!
After they spizzle the weasel-mast, the PCs head into Riddleport on various errands, none of which really bear mentioning in polite company. Luckily there’s no polite company here! They try to deal with other pirate captains, procure biker-gang outfits for their crew, visit Serpent’s eggs… You know, normal weekend stuff.
And then Sindawe and Hapshetsut must prove their worth to a bar full of orcs. The Happy Fellow is a bar from a Freeport supplement, where orcs fight each other for spots beneath iron teats drooling “blood grog.” Captain Scarbelly and his crew are straight out of the Freeport books too.
If you want to make a “skill challenge” not boring, have it be to beat back orcs while trying to stay under a blood-grog nipple. It all ends successfully (which is to say in sex and violence).
Then in a weird turn they have agreed to escort the Cyphermages, who are pretty much shut-ins now because their two former leaders have tried to destroy the city in weird cult activity, on a field trip. While they’re doing this one Cyphermage and the ship’s cook sneak off into an alleyway. Ever alert for treachery, they send the mentally challenged crewman “Dum Dum” to spy on them (No, I don’t know why they picked him). When he returns, this was the exchange.
Dum Dum enters the alley cautiously, disappearing into the fog. He quickly returns explaining, “Billy is just helping that fancyboy go to the bathroom.” They wriggle uncomfortably at this news.
Captain Scarbelly and his orcs show up due to Sindawe and Hapshetsut’s brave performance the night before. The two captains parley for a while to their mutual profit. Then we end with…
Captain Scarbelly seems intelligent for an orc. The two discuss pirating business a bit more before Scarbelly announces he has to go. Sindawe hands him a gift: a Mordant Spire elf mask. Scarbelly admires the mask then says, “I need to find a prostitute.” He marches off.
Thought I’d share a little tidbit from a Paizo forum thread I started asking about Hispanic or Latino analogues in Golarion. I’ve run through most of the other Golarion ethnicities and I’m hankering to play a member of La Raza Cósmica! James Jacobs says there’s not really anything now, but there will be – “That’s the plan.” Most speculation as to where that’ll come from is on Arcadia, though he doesn’t say that out loud.
Why, I think I’ll get one of these Han Cholo rings in preparation!
Third Session (17 page pdf) – It’s all Mogadishu style combat in the streets of Kenabres as we try to get back to base. We fight cultists and cavaliers and carrion-eaters and cosplayers.
We kick off with a more in-character discussion of the captive Uziel’s fate. In the wake of last session, Chris and I spoke and agreed to try to push the group to do better on discussing that stuff really in character and not meta, so we spurred that to set the tone a little.
And finally we emerge into a totally destroyed Kenabres. Not just mostly messed up, like “there are small pockets of survivors, occasionally.” We meet up with refugees and cultists alike.
One of the more stand-out encounters was with a cavalier who was getting set to immolate a bunch of librarians, I guess to show he was all about switching to the winning side now that his insect overlords were in charge. Our train of prisoners and wounded now way outstrips our actual party.
But then in one of those low-level shockers, Calathe gets murdered! Some junk cultists with scythes that we see way ahead of time and set an ambush for nearly do me in and definitely do her in; a crit at that level is a coffin-nail pounder. Then Tim takes over Horgus Gwerm, who is also summarily murdered by the same group of cultists! Tim plays a librarian for the rest of the session; we discuss how that perhaps “looters” are welcome to it since everyone’s dead really.
OK, so, crap, we are down to like 4 real PCs (Matt didn’t come today), a librarian, two corpses, two cripples, and six captives. We go from place to place trying to find friendlies and fail. We get to Anevia’s house and some invisible caster orc guy attacks. We kill him readily but then get confused; his picture showed all this armor and a big three-horned helmet and a ranseur but then his stats are that he is a sorcerer and has no armor. We decided that he was a cosplayer and that the armor was plaster and fake, just done so the other orcs wouldn’t pick on him for being a big pussy or something.
Finally we meet some surviving defenders including Anevia’s wife, Irabeth the orcish paladin. The GM explains that they’re chicks, and married, and one’s a LG paladin, etc. Then like somewhat later, Chris says something like “Hey guys… I think she may be a lesbian,” in the tone of “I am just realizing this.” This causes some bafflement and hilarity; he’s tried to explain what he meant several times but we block it out because it’s more entertaining to mentally picture seeing two women talk about being married and having a bystander say “Wait a minute… I think that one lady is a lesbian.” I’m sure he’ll chime in here to defend his honor but my fingers are already in my ears.
They arrange to raise Calanthe from the dead as long as we go hit three cultist hard points; since that’s what we were planning to do anyway that’s fine. I also got lippy with Irabeth, the GM kinda kept rolling on us with “well you’re not actual official Crusaders, just trainees, maybe you can’t decide to execute evil prisoners…” She started to hem and haw about swearing us in as Crusaders and that maybe some grand poobah needed to do it and I told her in no uncertain terms that we’d already killed more cultists than most Crusaders, and that we were six of the something like nine total non-crippled paladin types in the Goddamned county overrun with demons. She relented, and now we’re Crusaders!
One set of “good” mongrelmen tells us we should go genocide some “bad” mongrelmen. So of course we do. And then we conduct enhanced interrogations, “Lawful Good style.”
We end up having a bunch of debates about what the right Good response is to a lot of this; our characters worship a variety of gods (Iomedae, Shelyn, Irori, some pagan god) and so there’s an interesting plurality of opinions there. I hate to gripe, but the GM kinda decided anytime we started talking about that he should butt in and tell us what the “right” response is. This totally jammed up any meaningful roleplay around the topic. Matt would basically say “yeah yeah what the GM said” and those of us with different opinions would just hunker down and cast sidelong glances at each other.
That got me in a bit of a bad mood, and then when we had a fight with some mongrelmen and I was told that it was impossible for my monk to jump a 4′ barricade – not “here’s a high Jump DC,” just “you can’t do it,” I pretty much checked out of the rest of the session and just did damage when told to. Normally I would have been jazzed about getting the death blow in on someone named Hozilla but eh.
Then we find a super artifact sword and give it to Shawanda, which is cool. Her player, Patrick, is somewhat retiring a lot of the time so I like it when he gets an uber plot gizmo or whatever because it gives him more spotlight.
We also took a prisoner, Uziel, after some debate. There’s an unsubtly high premium on redeeming bad folks in this AP so we may as well get started I guess.
So, not the end of the world, just an off session. It does raise my antennae though about too much railroading in the AP – not just in terms of “now here is your next scene,” but in the “here’s what you are supposed to do in this scene, and think, and feel.” I had some bad-touch experiences with that earlier in my gaming life and I’m touchy about it. (Yeah you, White Wolf staffer.) There was a little of that with the NPCs in Jade Regent – “these NPCs have the magic hook on them, so you can be friends with them, but not these other people you meet, regardless of whether you find them more interesting.” I’m starting to get the sense of that in the “redeem the enemies” follies as well, and that will be disappointing.