Mummy’s Mask Chapter 1, The Half-Dead City – First Session

the_half-dead_cityFirst Session (19 page pdf) “Posse Up” –  Our collection of oddballs gets its first mission and gets to make friends and enemies with the other teams.  Then it’s into the ruins to delve the depths of the past for loot!

I mentioned our new Dungeon World rules, Paizo AP campaign last time. I’ve started the usual campaign page to hold our info, it’ll flesh out as we go.

The first session was really fun and we got a lot done!

Since DW is all quick and easy, we did collaborative character creation during the session.  We had poked around and had ideas of classes we wanted to play.

Step one was pick race, we were all human except Tim who picked an ifrit.  Paul came up with some ability for him (immune to nonmagical fire, I think, I need to get pics of everyone’s sheets).  Then we assigned stats and picked starting moves, all of which takes 5 minutes max.

Then we went around to develop our backstories and set bonds with the other players.  Paul just asked player 1 (Patrick in this case) some details about his character Usif.  Paul: What do you look like?  Patrick: Well, I have burn scars and a hoarse voice from the initiation to my immolator group.  Paul: Is that a religious or wizardly group?  Patrick: Well, both really, not strongly either…  Me: So like an Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn kind of thing.  Others chime in as we talk through Usif.  I’m the local Golarion expert and I pop open pathfinderwiki.com to add details.  Who’s the elemental prince of fire that his immolator cult can be into?  It’s Ymeri, Queen of the Inferno. Why is he tomb raiding? He hopes to find an elemental gem important to his and other rival fire cults in the tombs. Then to the next person, and as we develop the backstories we pick bonds to each other.  Usif hired me to join the team because of my trap skills.  He knows  Denat the ifrit because Denat wants to use his immolator fire in his cooking rituals.  And so on. We then did this with each character in turn.  Murdus believes he’s the reincarnation of a dead pharaoh after having anexperience in the desert Moon Knight style.  Which one?  I hit the wiki again and we find Hetshepsu the Fiend Pharaoh that matches the parameters he’s looking for.  So with a combination of player thoughts, GM question prompts, help from the other players, and Golarion/Osirion/Wati background info we all get fully fleshed out, interwoven backgrounds deeply tied to the AP in about an hour.

Then Paul kicks us off with a fight!  We’re going to the drawing/briefing for all us new tomb raiders and Murdus’ crazy sister (who also thinks she’s the reincarnation of a pharaoh and means they’re at each others’ throats) shows up with her gang of ice lizards and boy toys to get our drawing token. We fight them off, but when we realize the ice lizards, instead of being vulnerable to fire, actually absorb and eat fire, it’s a setback for our fire-themed party members.  I dart his sister’s token out of her fingers and we almost get it too but unfortunately we lose it in the end, but retain ours and most of our body parts.

Then we go to the gathering and meet a half dozen other groups!  My (Khaled’s) philosophy is that these guys aren’t our enemies or competition…  Our sites are regulated by the priests, and we might need each others’ help from time to time (like European explorers in Africa), so he went around trying to make friends. We immediately hit it off with the Dog Soldiers, some halflings with beer kegs on their dogs.  We have a chef so we put together a tailgate party. The rest don’t seem friendly so he goes to the group with a Taldan noblewoman in a big purple hat and chats her up. She’s resistant at first but Khaled convinces them to join them for dinner, doing his best Aladdin-the prince-in-rogue’s-clothing impression.

We go through priest speeches, the drawing, the briefing, some shopping, some spying…

We have dinner with them and Khaled puts on the full court press.  Their cleric is clearly taken with our ifrit, which is good for us.  Our ifrit is ambivalent but sometimes you have to take one for the team.

Then we hit our tomb!  We thwart both traps and vermin (and make a side trip to screw with Murdus’ sister; she makes a side trip to screw with us too).

19 pages of session summary – chargen, combat, adventure setup, multiple group interaction, and about half of a dungeon crawl with a bunch of fights all in one session.  An amazing amount of fun, with a lot of the rules taken out! And we level.   More next time!

New Campaign: Mummy Rustlers!

After our Wrath of the Righteous campaign, we needed about nine months of palate-cleansing one-shots. We like Pathfinder still and I’m running Reavers still under PF but it’s a lot of law/math for the fun, so we decided our next campaign would be the Pathfinder Adventure Path Mummy’s Mask – but using the Dungeon World rules!

pzo9079-mummysmask-wallpaper

We’ve played Dungeon World and some other “Powered by the Apocalypse” games like Monster of the Week.  We’re mildly concerned about whether it’s too simple for a long campaign – sometimes the same list of 3 things that goes wrong with every 7-9 roll can become trying on the GM and players’ patience – but the attributes of being fiction-first, player-driven, and rules-light attracts us.  So today, Paul started it!

We’ll have the usual session summaries; the first isn’t ready yet though, but I thought I’d give you all a teaser. I’m playing Khaled the Keleshite burglar – I immediately thought “hey I want to play one of the classes that always sucks playing in Pathfinder,” which put rogue and blaster wizard at the top of my list. But we for sure needed a rogue so I went that way.

Patrick is playing Usif bin Adeen, the Osirian Immolator (fire guy); Tim is playing the ifrit (efreet-heritage race) cleric Denat, and Chris is playing Murdus the Osirian fighter. It’s a lively bunch. Usif is part of some weird fire cult.  Denat is a cleric of Thisamet, and his cries of “Food for the Food God!” cast fear into the hearts of our enemies.  (Well, in theory; most of our enemies have been bugs and stuff so far.)  Murdus is convinced he’s the reincarnation of Hetshepsu, one of the Pharaohs of Ascension.  Khaled is kind of the odd man out – unlike the other three he’s Keleshite (fantasy Arab) instead of Osirian (fantasy Egyptian), not particularly religious or weird, he just wants to make a big score and live the easy life. More of an Aladdin meets Assassins’ Creed kind of guy. But since he’s a professional, and reasonably charming, the other three like him. We named our group the Mummy Rustlers (you need a group name to sign up to loot tombs in Wati).

We are working on looting a tomb, but the inter-party interaction and stuff going on in Wati itself is just as entertaining.  Murdus’ sister is also convinced she’s a reincarnated Pharaoh and is messing with us; Khaled is trying to seduce the purple-hatted Taldan noblewoman who runs one of the other teams…  Join us for our adventures looting the Necropolis of Wati in Mummy Rustlers!

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Six, City of Locusts – Second Session

sisterperversion

Sister Perversion

Second Session (11 page pdf) – In an Abyssal brothel called the Yearning House, we fight Sister Perversion, her succubi, and simulacra of ourselves they like having sex with. Then we fight her drider boss. Then to the Foundry to find some demon who’s the key to it all, and get to fight a dracolich version of Terendelev. A True Rez and look we have a dragon!

Apparently between this session and the previous one we talked with Nocticula and got sent to a brothel in the Abyss? There’s not a missing summary, must just be an early departure/late arrival missing part of 1 or 2.

Anyway, fighting sexy versions of ourselves is fun (we’re pretty sexy anyway!) And they actually try to mind-control us, which is possibly the most dangerous game, since we are so way overpowered the only thing that can threaten us is ourselves.  But, we win clear with use of what even we have begun to call “mythic bullshit.”

Some of my favorite bits:

The rakshasa suddenly dies, stricken by a previously undiagnosed brain tumor.

The characters also find the kitchen. The cook is a fly-headed coloxus demon, assisted by a variety of quasits. Calanthe dismisses them all before they can even respond to Tsuguri’s cry of, “Health department!”
Whatever useful foodstuffs are present get tossed into the portable hole for use by the forces of the Crusade. Tabregon cannot resist commenting upon the interesting irony of deporting hard-working demons with extreme prejudice. Perhaps this adventure has more social commentary in it than otherwise expected.

We kill a super-drider.  And then we find the bones of the dragon Terendelev and fight it as a dracolich!  But not a dracolich because that’s ™ Wizards of the Coast or something. Anyway, it lasts two rounds. Well, one and a half.

 

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Six, City of Locusts – First Session

 

aponavicius

Aponavicius

We power through to the last chapter of Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path, brought to its conclusion as we beard Deskari himself in City of Locusts.

First Session (7 page pdf) – A mess of locust demons attack Drezen, so we go to the Abyss (again) to go kill their general, Aponavicus the marilith. Blade barriers are so much fun. Then we find out Areelu Vorlesh is trying to absorb Drezen into the Rasping Rifts!  Guess who needs to die now?

Some nalfeshnees and apocalypse locusts and iron golems and a dark phoenix and Aponavicius the marilith general!

So we kill them, for hours and hours.

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – Seventh Session

Baphomet1

Baphomet Hisself

Seventh Session (6 page pdf) – Baphomet himself appears and tries to kill us! Someone gets decapitated… Read on to find out who!

So we know he’s coming and we pull out all the stuff we’ve got – prismatic spheres, globes of invulnerability, heralds of various gods, a Runelord… He brings a fistful of balors and some minotaurs.

We killed him once on Nocticula’s plane (well… we helped) and now if we kill him again on his home plane then he’s dead for good and it’s no more sicko minotaur sex demons ever. A noble goal.

I don’t want to ruin the ending, so go on and read already!

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Five, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth – Sixth Session

slimy demodand

Slimy Demodand

Sixth Session (6 page pdf) – We go kill the prison’s torturer, turn a giant mythic linnorm to stone, and then go stick the heart back into the corrupted Herald of Iomedae. Grappling to the rescue!

We fight the dungeon’s torturer and some more demodands.  Calanthe’s mythic flesh to stone claims another victim.

The Torturer’s worthwhile equipment is a +4 wounding adamantine hammer and a Subway card that is one clip away from a free sandwich. They throw away the BlockBuster Xtreme card and a masturbatory device. Shawanda claims the hammer.

tarnlinnorm

Tarn Linnorm

Then we use the ball of twine to find the Tarn Linnorm.  I think Paul ad-libbed the ball of twine (some kind of Baphomet artifact we found)’s ability to do a find the path kind of thing, but I ended up using this thing all. the. time.

Annnd Calanthe turns a giant ass linnorm to stone with another mythic flesh to stone.  “Oh.  That was easy,” we say. Then the mythic minotaur guy the Ivory Hunter shows up. I take him to -235 hit points.

So just to say it out loud- Paul is actually keeping us under-level of what we’re supposed to be, and we are way way too OP for this AP.

Anyway, we find the corrupted Herald of Iomedae, we fight him, I grapple him and stick his heart back in while Trystan hits him with like 3 atonements, and finally we un-flip his evil switch!

Next time – a rumble with Baphomet himself!

More One Shots!

Well, we’ve been doing one shots this whole year since Wrath of the Righteous wrapped up.  In February I reported on the first few in One Shots!  Since then we’ve played (I may be missing some):

The Gaean Reach, by Bruce.  A GUMSHOE game based on the writings of Jack Vance – yes, of course it’s authored by Robin Laws.  I missed this one, sadly.

Firefly, run by Paul.  I got to play Kaylee!  Trad system, but fun.

Monster of the Week, run by me. Another Powered by the Apocalypse game, went down well. Meant to be like Supernatural or X-Files or whatnot – you know, monster of the week!

Lasers and Feelings, run by Paul. A free one-page game where basically you have two stats, Lasers and Feelings, and they both add up to 6 so one goes up at the expense of the other. Fun, but very freeform.

Fiasco, run by me.  An interesting very narrative game where it’s more about building the story than looking out for “your” character. We did the wild west playset thing and everyone ended up sad and/or dead.

Nain for Reign, run by Tim. Reign is Greg Stolze’s current One Roll Engine game, and Nain is a Gormenghasty setting for it. We enjoyed this too.

Paranoia, run by Paul.  Who doesn’t love Paranoia!?!  I’m hazy what rules we used for this, or if we just used one of the random light systems we’ve been using for many of these one-shots.  In fact, I think maybe it was Cypher System.  Yes, yes it was. Good times.

Alternity Dark*Matter, run by me. We played a big Alternity campaign so everyone knew the system already.  I ran the demo adventure “Exit 23” and murdered nearly all the PCs.

Shadowrun using the Cypher System, run by Paul.  Everyone likes the idea of Shadowrun, no one in their right mind wants to bite off its huge rules system. (Even they have realized this and just rolled out some more rules-light engine for it.) So we did it with the Cypher System from Numenera et al, and it worked out well.  I’m mildly concerned whether that scales to a campaign just because of the “one-shot” nature of the cyphers… Shadowrun is usually aggressively sim.

ICONS, run by me. Random superheroes! The heroes did quite well in beating a time-travelling enemy, Tempus Khan, from  the RetConQuest adventure.

Gods of the Fall, run by Paul. More Cypher System, I missed this one.

Demon: The Descent, run by Tim. Some World of Darkness 2.0.  We had fun demoning it up, but as with all WoD games it’s more like superhero combat.

Unknown Armies, run by Paul – the third edition that we Kickstarted and got an early version of! Always fun, and we all had some magick. We got to play New Inquisition agents mainly because I love the Lawyers, Guns, and Money supplement for 1e so much.

Only War, run by me.  The Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard game!  I used a Free RPG Day quickstart adventure.  We ran out of time at the end and they got killed by Naval orbital barrage, which everyone agreed seemed fitting.  IN THE GRIM DARKNESS OF THE FAR FUTURE THERE IS ONLY WAR.

Savage Rifts, run by Paul . OK, some people manage to bother with the real Shadowrun system, but RIFTS?  Good lord. Luckily, there’s now a Savage Worlds version and I’m happy to report it’s very playable!  We had a glitterboy, a juicer, a cyborg, and a mystic knight and we romped on our opponents (the juicer died of generally being a juicer, but not till the end).

Paul kept trying to run Dramasystem but never got enough people to show (I missed once but not because I was avoiding it).  So, we didn’t get hands on that, but we got to mess with a lot of the cool new systems – Cypher System and Powered by the Apocalypse were the favorites.

We talked and said maybe we should get back to a campaign soon.  So after a 5e one-shot, Paul said he’d be interested in running:

  • Shadowrun using the Cypher System
  • Savage RIFTS
  • Dungeon World, using a Paizo AP

After some talking, the “Paizo AP” part swung us over to Dungeon World.  Pauls ent out a SurveyMonkey to vote on which AP and results will be in soon. We’re interested in how it’ll play out without the “level 10+ turns to shit” syndrome of using Pathfinder itself, and how we’ll balance being player driven with having an AP plot around. Feel free and share, if you’ve done so!