Third Session (17 page pdf) – “Reindeer Games” – Survivors are found in the monastery! And then, it’s John Carpenter’s “The Fog” time as waterlogged zombies besiege the place.
We continue with the classic Tammeraut’s Fate from Dungeon Magazine. The first part is all investigation and talking to Janore, the remaining hermit worth talking to. It gets more lively with the (advanced) peryton attack that almost kills Sindawe. The party was grumped that it snuck up on them “in the sky” but the belfry has only pretty narrow windows and a roof and all, it’s not high visibility unless you walk around sticking your head out to look up and down.
My favorite part was when they had the ship send a longboat – the pirates didn’t know anything was up, so when Sindawe told them “send spears, there may be an undead attack tonight” they thought he was being coy, and returned dressed as zombies. “The disappointed pirates return to their ship, pausing to moan for brains from time to time.”
Then they encounter two hags… I wasn’t even thinking, in the adventure it’s just like Sea Hag (2). But of course the PCs immediately came to the conclusion that Janore must be the third hag in the coven. (Heck in our current Carrion Crown campaign, the party’s ready to lynch three sisters who live together on the grounds that they’re surely witches or hags.)
This was nice and sandboxy – “Here’s a location, harden it against an undead attack!” They came up with every plan they could, then when night falls they fight a very large supply of draugr (drowned Vikings) while Wogan and Janore use a scroll to whip the storm into a hurricane. The dramatic finale, next time!
Posted in session summaries
Tagged actual play, adventure path, arcadian, azlant, D&D, horror, ocean, Pathfinder, pirates, reavers, RPG, RPGs, session summary, story hour, survival, zombies
Due to popular request and to celebrate the campaign’s fourth anniversary, here’s a series of posts on the adventures and supplements I’ve used to create it.
In my Reavers on the Seas of Fate campaign, to form my own adventure path/campaign I have adapted a dizzying variety of adventures and supplements. Here’s the list of what I’ve used with my thoughts on each! It’s in rough order of when I used them. You can read the individual session summaries and associated blog posts for deeper details.
Mashing up 3e, 3.5e, and Pathfinder adventures together is so easy to do that it’s silly not to. Unless you’re one of the clinically OCD rules obsessives out there, you can draw from a wide variety of material for any campaign. So I merrily combined them, subbing in PF versions of monsters if it’s easy and restatting major NPCs using Hero Lab if I feel like it. Also, since we go for a gritty, roleplay-heavy approach it’s not unusual for one short module to last 3 6-hour sessions (with tentacles into sessions before and after).
The overall plan for this season was “Second Darkness plus the Freeport Trilogy,” since Golarion’s Riddleport and Green Ronin’s Freeport are kissing cousins. I augmented with a lot of standalone d20-era Atlas Games and Green Ronin adventures. The Atlas Games ones are a little staid as written, but only mooks run adventures as written. Using them gives me NPCs and maps and setpieces, and then I worry about adapting the plot and amping them up to higher levels of depravity.
Plus, I’d run a pirate campaign before where I realized all these 3e adventures went to pains to put their settlement out in the middle of fricking nowhere because they just wanted to write a module not in someone’s game world. Converting the “surrounded by trackless mountains” to “on an island surrounded by water” is trivial to change. Early d20-time was rife with level 1-3 adventures to pillage! Our super slow level advancement is partially so I could get more of them in.
- Atlas Games 3e “Penumbra” scenario “Maiden Voyage”
- Sinister Adventures 3.5e pdf adventure “Mysteries of the Razor Sea”
I mashed these two up to make the group’s first adventure in sessions 1-2. Both are first level ghost ship scenarios; Maiden Voyage focused more on the ship and crew the players were travelling with. Mysteries of the Razor Sea was totally about the ghost ship – it had more horror and is tougher. So I felt they complemented each other well; basically I used the ghost ship from Razor and everything else from Maiden Voyage, with some changes to lead in to the next part of the adventure. Thalios Dondrel, son of Mordekai, was a hit and has become a recurring NPC.
- “The Sable Drake” adventure from WotC’s 3.5e sea book Stormwrack.
- “Water Stop” adventure from Atlas Games’ En Route II: By Land Or By Sea
I mashed these two up for the very next adventure in sessions 3-4 – the island with escaped slaves from Water Stop was where the goblin “pirates” (made more Golarioney) from Sable Drake attacked. The wererat-goblin captain escaped and stowed away and became part of the fun in Riddleport later.
- “Shadow in the Sky,” the first chapter of the Paizo 3.5e Second Darkness Adventure Path, starting with “Cheat the Devil and Take his Gold”
I enriched Riddleport heavily with Freeport information, locations, and NPCs from some of the many Freeport books I have (I’ve got every version of it ever, and all the miscellaneous supplements).
- “St. Casperian’s Salvation,” the optional adventure from Shadow in the Sky
Sessions 4-5 were an intro to Riddleport and the major players there with these two adventure pieces.
- “Three Days to Kill,” a 3e “Penumbra” Atlas Games adventure
I adapted the power groups to be various local ones and set the PCs loose on this in the sixth session.
- “Death in Freeport,” the first Green Ronin’s 3.5e adventure from the famous Freeport Trilogy
I’ve run the Freeport Trilogy before and it’s great, especially when you replace the crap 1HD serpentfolk they have with the uber tough Pathfinder serpentfolk. (My players disagree! This filled up sessions 7, 8, and 10 and parts of some others.
- “Holiday In The Sun,” an interstitial adventure included in the Freeport Trilogy (was originally a free Web enhancement)
- “Flat On Rat Street” from Shadow in the Sky
These happened during the plot of Death instead of being interstitial and formed the bulk of session 9. The rest of life doesn’t stop for your “adventure!”
- “Mansion of Shadows,” a Green Ronin “Bleeding Edge” 3.5e adventure
Sessions 11, 12, and 13 were all about infiltrating and taking down this location. When you’re a pirate, the lame ass adventure hooks they have in the front of these adventures don’t really matter. Your motivation is GO GET ‘EM AND TAKE THEIR SHIT!
- “Terror in Freeport” from the Freeport Trilogy
The second “Freeport module,” this worked really well with Shadow in the Sky, in fact both have a “defend the base against the bad guys” scene which made for easy combo. We dispensed with most of it in one session, Session 15 because I cut a lot of redundant and lame stuff from Terror (it’s the weakest installment).
- “Madness in Freeport” from the Freeport Trilogy
This, I spread over the entire latter half of the season, integrated totally with the latter half of Shadow in the Sky. This adventure is where the money is, so I used whole additional modules to bolster parts of it.
- “Beyond the Towers,” a Green Ronin “Bleeding Edge” 3.5e adventure
I mixed this up with some of Madness in Freeport to form the Golarion location of Viperwall for sessions 18, 19, and 20. The voodoo/shadow subplot is all me though.
- “A Dreadful Dawn,” a Green Ronin “Bleeding Edge” 3.5e adventure
Mainly to introduce Jaren the Jinx, a new NPC and plot point with long term implications in session 22.
- “Throwdown With The Arm-Ripper,” a Goodman Games “Wicked Fantasy Factory” 3.5e adventure
I augmented this with a random dungeon from Dizzy Dragon’s online generator (the dungeon part of Arm-Ripper was short and weak) but the shrine fights are great! And now that the PCs know a place where you can get body parts regenerated, they keep coming back… This formed sessions 23 and 24.
- “Madness in Freeport” and “Shadow in the Sky” again
- “Rumble in the Wizard’s Tower,” a Goodman Games “Wicked Fantasy Factory” 3.5e adventure
The last four sessions were all Madness in Freeport overlaying Shadow In The Sky with Rumble in the Wizard’s Tower interjected to flesh out the lighthouse. Inserting a dungeon or setpiece from another adventure into another adventure to make it uber is one of my tricks. Plus, I took a NPC/adventure seed from Denizens of Freeport and made the whole shadow-plane side trek in the middle of the climactic fight.
In terms of mini-review of these products – the Freeport Trilogy is great base material to fix up. Second Darkness is good for its first two chapters then it’s very weak once it goes into the elf/drow stuff, so it’s good material to adapt to other purposes. Atlas Games Penubmra adventures are kinda mainstream but rather than having to write a mainstream adventure myself, I can start with one and use my prep time to kick it up a notch. The Green Ronin Bleeding Edge adventures are better, lots of weirder stuff, usable more as-is (though usually with a power boost). The Wicked Fantasy Factory adventures are mainly valuable for their cool setpieces, the rest is very cursory.
The other seasons, coming soon!
Posted in session summaries
Tagged adaptation, adventure path, adventures, campaign, development, modules, Paizo, Pathfinder, pirates, reavers, RPG, RPGs, scenarios