Third Session (9 page pdf) – “The Stink” – As they seek the cultists who summoned the creature, the PCs head into the city’s garbage dump, freshly stirred by the tsunami, and discover some wonderful smells, as well as a friendly neighborhood serial killer!
I went onto the Paizo boards asking for good adventures to do a “Katrina horror” kind of scenario with, and both Greg Vaughan and Richard Pett checked in with some recommendations. As a result, I am combining the Pathfinder module Carrion Hill with the Dungeon Magazine #105 “The Stink.” That whole run of Dungeon mags was gold.
Kevin, Tommy’s player, was out sick. Which was fine, because his character was also afflicted with disease, one of the themes of the day. To tie it all together and fit it into larger campaign events, I retrofitted The Stink substantially. It was easy to inject by just making Riddleport’s junkyard man slash serial killer, Hyrum Crooge, one of the Keepers from Carrion Hill, and then make him the principal of The Stink. The Stink suffered from not having a strong villain anyway. I changed the bad guy mobs to ghasts that spread the six new plagues in the adventure – in the original a lot of text was spent on those diseases but chances to contract them were few and far between. I remedied that by making the ghasts’ bite transmit one at random. (Or, conversely, biting a ghoul, which unfortunately meant that Serpent’s pet snake has like two different diseases now.) Two of the party members being monks means that’s not as bad as it could be.
I like how when the players invest in the game world it pays off. They found the desecrated statue of Sarenrae and Paul (Serpent) immediately put two and two together – undead, disease, females desecrated from the waist down – and determined that the dark goddess Urgathoa was involved. Then, something started toying with them, attacking from the dark and melting away when they investigated… And left them a present, a female corpse mutilated to resemble the goddess. For anyone with a good bit of Knowledge: Local, the inevitable conclusion is that the victims of the Rotgut Ripper that have been found – usually effeminate men or elves left disembowled – are actually just this killer’s rejects; the good ones he brings home and treats real nice…
I think it came across well; our gamer groupie Georgina was in attendance and she declared it “creepy.”
Next time, more Stink, and then we recur back up a level to Carrion Hill for the finale! Then, on with Second Darkness.