Tag Archives: adventure path

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

unwrappedharmony

Unwrapped Harmony

Third Session (18 page pdf) “House of Pentheru” – First, Khaled makes the group some new friends.  Then it’s into a ruined house, where everyone nearly loses their head.  Then Murdus makes us another friend – an even more unsavory one.

First, Khaled gets a solo scene as he makes friends with some dark folk and their leader. Mistress Unwrapped Harmony, whose name becomes “Unchained Melody” in my head .1 seconds after the DM says it, has some knowledge of the necropolis and fills me in on a bunch of power groups we didn’t even know existed.  She offers us intel and money to go whack a rogue dark folk necromancer.  Kill a monster *and* get paid for it?  That’s like free money! I agree happily.

Then we go into the ruins of the House of Pentheru and loot it.  There’s a bunch of head-themed problems – vargouilles, screaming skulls, et al. Oh, and an adherer – this adventure is definitely in love with the AD&D 1e Fiend Folio, there’s a lot of critters from it.

Finally we confront a disembodied voice, which I want to kill but Murdus insists is the Pharasmin priestess’ little invisible psychopomp bird – until it’s revealed to be this bad boy…
imanishImanish, a doru div!  It’s an evil disembodied floating head with bestial visage and six horns, invisible most of the time, and it wants secrets.  In an unsettling move, Murdus makes friends with it and promises it many secrets to come along with us.

As we leave the necropolis, we come across our allies the Scorched Hand and concoct a plan for a little B&E in the temple to Pharasma to make sure we get a crack at the Temple of the Erudite Eye…

Reavers on the Seas of Fate, Season Five, Seventh Session

ilizmagorti

Ilizmagorti

Seventh Session (10 page pdf) – “Ilizmagorti” – The home of the Red Mantis assassins! But fear turns quickly to drinking. And safaris! Shimye-Magalla commands her faithful to recover a holy artifact…

So Ilizmagorti is the not so secret HQ of the Red Mantis assassin cult. So “don’t jack with the locals” is the order of the day.  This puts a bit of the fear into the PCs but then they have a good time…

Ilizmagorti is detailed in Cities of Golarion, and they have a sidebar with all these local booze concoctions.  I buy these books to use every scrap of local color, so I make the navigator Tarek more interesting by him being a closet epicurean who knows all the best places to eat and drink on the island.  The PCs happily take his lead and I get to roll off all the various boozes of the island… From the Rusty Cutlass to the Dark and Stormy to the Whore’s Breakfast, they drink them all.

And in an entertaining cameo, when Sindawe goes to the Quarterdeck, a ship’s captain-only tavern, he shares info and shoots the shit with Captain Harrigan, the villain of the first part of the Skull & Shackles adventure path.

But then, a dream… Many of the crew share allegiance of some sort or another to Desna, Gozreh, or the janiform combo of the two, Shimye-Magalla, who is worshipped down in these parts. She comes to them and encourages them to retrieve a holy artifact!

They ask around and find out that Captain Jared “Red Skewer” Tarin and his crew are holed up at their base on the island with the loot. And that a half dozen other pirate ships are lurking nearby because they all want his score for themselves.

Wogan asks, “What’s on the land side?”

“Apes. Man eating plants. Folks building ice factories. It would be daring but certainly less awful than the sea wall.”

Note the Mosquito Coast reference?  Paul Theroux?  Read a book!!!

Anyway so safaris to see dinosaurs aren’t uncommon here, so they book one as cover and head out into the bush with the plans of ascending Tarin’s Crown…

Reavers on the Seas of Fate, Season Five, Sixth Session

kemblor

Kemblor the Gnome

Sixth Session (8 page pdf) – “Finding Ilizmagorti” – Betrayal and gnomes go hand in hand as their castaway reveals his dark secret. Then it’s all storms and sea-whores as they sail southward.

Well so one day I had this idea come to me about a guy who was a “castaway” but was really like a ship serial killer.  Specifically a summoner who could blame attacks on “the monster” – his eidolon.

Kemblor is the implementation of that daydream.  His sea-dragon manages to drag off and devour one crewman, Nimborn, and harries the ship for days. Finally, as PCs do, they go into crazy no-backing-down-follow-it-into-the-depths-and-kill mode and drag it up, causing ol’ Kemblor to start busting out the spells.  Pit and grease spells make for an entertaining if foregone conclusion. After a break to combat a storm, they keelhaul him to death (there’s convenient rules for keelhauling in Skull and Shackles).

Kemblor the gnome meets his end after only one pass over the keel. His spirit joins that of his eidolon Odosha. The head is removed, a brass plate “Kemblor” is attached, then it is thrown into the corpse barrel.

The crew remains riled up for the rest of the day.

Then they come across a prize that ends up taking them… At least for most of their spare cash.  The Nun’s Dishonor under Captain Pugwash is a ship full of whores bound for Ilizmagorti. And by pure chance on the weather tables both ships are becalmed for a couple days. The entire ToA crew blows their ready money on days of straight debauchery.

Once they get underway, they experience one of the heavy storms that the giant permanent hurricane known as the Eye of Abendego throws off.  They came through it but there were some close scrapes and they are grateful to see Mediogalti Island finally heave into sight.

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

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Areelu Vorlesh

Sixth Session (9 page pdf) – We confront the witch Areelu Vorlesh, in order to slay her and then to close the Worldwound for good! We also get an undead Storm King, a hundred-handed titan, an avatar of Deskari, and more in the bargain. No worries for mythic murderhobos, and we close the rift – but then we get tossed into a landscape with Deskari the demon lord himself!  All that remains is blood and vengeance in the climax of this AP!

So you know it’s going to be a big fight when it starts off like this:

The doors at the end of the chamber slam open. Standing there is Areelu Vorlesh and Korramzadeh the Storm King. The Storm King has changed somewhat since the characters last slew him – he now has a distinctly undead cast to his features. She is also escorted by four vrolokai demons. Areelu Vorlesh starts off by casting gate and bringing in a hecatonchires titan, a massive creature fifty feet tall with a hundred arms, each of them carrying a weapon. The creature is so massive it must squeeze to get through the twenty-foot portal.

This fight is actually a challenge.  We have multiple party members struck down, though breath of lifes and miracles flow heavy to bring them back into the fray. I go after the vrolokais, Trystan and Calanthe go after Areelu Vorlesh, Shawanda tanks the Storm King, our new friend the inevitable keeps the titan occupied with a wall of force.  Tabregon and Tsuguri pour the healing and extra actions into us. Finally,

Trystan opens fire on Areelu Vorlesh with the mighty sun bow, driving her to the very doorstep of death. Seeing her near to her end, he fires a single remaining arrow into her throat. She falls to her knees, staggered, pierced through by seven arrows. Shawanda takes advantage of this to strike down Areelu Vorlesh, executing the witch with Radiance. As she dies, the characters are able to see her soul emerge from her body, and then get dragged down by a swarm of insects to be absorbed into the material of the Abyss.

She’s dead, we do the ritual, the Worldwound is closed, Golarion is saved!  Happy ending? Well, it would be but when we do that we all get teleported in disarray into someplace where Deskari the demon lord and a batch of heavy hitter minions (balors, apocalypse locusts) are lurking. I (Antonius) am struck down immediately and Deskari and his goons loom over us…

And then Trystan shoots him right in the head – rolls a crit, pulls a card from the Paizo crit deck we use, head shot, instant kill. (There may have been a one rolled on a massive damage save in here too, I don’t remember clearly). But it was a righteous single shot demon prince kill. We’re all like “What the shit!?!” The balors all skedaddle. Victory!  We all roleplay our new lives as gods/mortals/Kung FU wanderers for a denouement.

Next, a debrief!

Reavers on the Seas of Fate, Season Five, Fifth Session

Fifth Session (9 page pdf) – “The Way South” – The crew finishes up their business and intelligence gathering in Azir and set sail to Mediogalti Island.  Along the way they pick up a castaway and a strange sea dragon begins picking off crewmen!

The first part is the PCs wrapping up all the various subplots they self-initiated while in the city. Warnings of Chelaxian warships, information about White Estrid, hook-ups between the aasimar women and the ship’s officers…  Local lad Said becomes Sindawe’s cabin boy… And per “the deal,” the Argentate Blades are put to use *by* the PCs and abduct Zorzi back!

Sindawe is initially really worried and thinks the woman will be traumatized or damaged.  As is my wont I roll d20 off the cuff to determine magnitude of things and – she was unfazed.

“I got fed and bathed and lounged around and all I had to do was some sex with a modestly ugly man.”

The scene with the warring stevedores is drawn from my reading of historical naval stuff… The amount of cajoling, threatening, outright bribery, competition, duplicity, etc. is mind-boggling so I tried to capture some of that flavor.  Sindawe’s player has read a lot of the same things so he’s pretty clever about making it all work out OK.

Then it’s goodbyes and off with their hired navigator Tarek to go to Ilizmagorti, home of the Red Mantis assassins and friendly pirate port.

kemblor

Kemblor

And then they pick up a gnomish castaway!  His name is Kemblor and he seems nice, but his last ship got destroyed by some kind of monster.  Some kind of monster that then begins to raid the Teeth of Araska!

More on that next time…

 

 

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

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Favored of Deskari

Fifth Session (8 page pdf) – We kill some giant maggots, a devastator, the Favored of Deskari, some demented aeons… Actually, we heal the aeons. Then we kill some demons and free an inevitable. I personally kill a mythic quasit in a gimp mask.  The Abyss gets goofier all the time.

The demon killing’s not done yet.  It’s fight after fight as we get to the Heart of the Worldwound.

Shawanda steps up to a katpaskier demon, Radiance in hand. She cuts free its arms, then its legs, then severs its head. Evil-smelling ichor flows across the floor. She pronounces, “This is how you treat assassins who have no respect for life.” She is unaware that her words echo those of Prince Argrath upon his return to Pavis.

Our session scribe, besides being invested in the fight descriptions, is also indulging his penchant for Gloranthan lore. But what all this boils down to is we fight bugs and demons and stuff.  We’re jaded so we’re just like “OK” but then when a quasit with a gimp mask shows up that gets our attention!

 

Wrath of the Righteous Chapter Six, City of Locusts – Third and Fourth Sessions

Third Session (missing) – The characters invaded the Soul Foundry and grabbed the Suture, a crippled anti-mythic aura demon. At that point Khorramzadeh the Storm King showed up and the city of Iz started to vanish into the Pit. The characters slew the Storm King and celebrated their victory as they escaped from the crumbling city.

khorramzedeh

Khorramzedeh the Storm King

Fourth Session (10 page pdf) – Time to close the Worldwound for good!  So we kill, that being the answer to all problems.  We kill some wormy dragon riders, kill some demons, kill Diurgus the Brood Lord, kill locust-dudes…

Well sorry, one of our summaries went missing, and it was one where we totes had to kill a super-balor. I mainly remember trying to keep the Suture way away from the action so he wouldn’t dampen our mythic goodness and we stomped him out like we stomped out everything this AP.

Then we go chill with Queen Galfrey of Mendev.  She’s our BFF.  She says we need to go to Threshold and perform some ritual that has details but is mainly about killing things.  So we do. We have a pretty good fight with a bunch of locust swarm guys riding ancient black dragons.  When I (Antonius) murderize the last dragon I appreciate our session scribe’s poetic turn:

Shredded scales fall from the sky like defiled snowflakes.

In fact our scribe is really on with the purple prose today, so Shawanda and I vie for coolest sounding kill. Next up is me on a shemhazian:

Antonius leads by shattering the shemhazian demon, leaving the creature upon the brink of oblivion and bleeding out quickly. He tells the creature, “You do not know it, but you are already dead.” He rerolls two of his missed attacks and all thirty-five feet of the demon collapses to the ground. The thing weights some 12,000 pounds and it gushes an ocean of blood.

Then Shawanda on a kalavakus:

Shawanda howls out her sacred rage as she divides the last of the kalavakus into two parts, dishonoring the first and defiling the second.

And we kill a balor covered with tick swarms.  That was lovely. Combo!

Antonius circles around the vermin balor, his eyes glaring, his fists dripping unnatural gore. He strikes, but Diurgus evades the worst effect of his attacks. Calanthe launches a mythic flesh to stone against him, slowing him. And Shawanda steps to the fore bearing mighty Radiance. Her first strike drives deep into the unsacred breast. Her second severs Diurgus’ spine, covering the blessed blade with rivers of black-flowing gore.

Mildly tuckered out, we resort to our now trademark “mythic moving blade barriers cuisinart trap” setup to kill some other stuff.

And we examine some Abyssal keep thing, with jacked up Abyssal stuff in it.  We’re jaded.

 

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!

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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!