Tag Archives: asian

Jade Regent – Tide of Honor, Session 1

First Session (11 page pdf) – Finally, civilization!  Well, at least the rice paddy and hamlet intensive outskirts of civilization. We roleplay our attempt to recruit allies, but nothing gets you allies like murdering a lot of people.  So we do that.

The first part of the session was more treasure distribution, getting faction points from the named NPCs, giving them presents, etc. Many of the Paizo APs have been anemic in the treasure department in the past.  Not so this one!  Check out the current incarnation of our patented treasure spreadsheet – we have pulled in a lot of loot and stand to see more once we get to a place with walls where we can sell off.

Then we headed like a thousand miles through the Forest of Spirits.  Miyaro and the kami kept us largely safe.  There was a big storm, though, and I finally got to use my Order of the Dragon samurai power to add a big Survival bonus on inclement weather into the mix.  The GM calculated the storm would about wipe out the caravan, but once we pulled out the sashimono of comfort and all our Survival skills, it was only mildly banged up. Once we hit the grasslands I had to take a RP moment to gallop about on my mount Akumu with Miyaro.  Poor mount, he gets so little opportunity to be around in this AP.

Then we went and bantered with a ronin who will aid us against the Jade Regent.  Yoshihiro rolled pretty hard on him; the adventure seems to want you to suck up to him but I was just like, “So how would you like a chance to regain your honor?”

And then we do what we do best – hit a fortress and kill bandits.  Our quick recon set us up great, we d-doored into a storage room next to the main dormitory at night and V’lk murdered most of them including a sub-boss in their sleep.  We fought a couple and then another group with their leader Gangasum (which immediately led us to Gangnam Style references) and put him down without much fuss.  Yay planning.  But then a druid and weretiger bust out!  More next time…

Jade Regent – Forest of Spirits, Session 6

Sixth Session (7 page pdf) – At the heart of the House of the Withered Blossoms, we find the oni Munascuru, and fight her and her children for the kami and for glory!

The first fight took a long time – I arrowed the hell out of the oni and Bjorn dropped her, but the chain devils up near the ceiling were like AC 31 or something once the cover’s figured in, and they have DR.  Took Gobo putting an align weapon on my bow to finally dispense with it. Everyone else was occupied trying to kill a mostly dead but regenerating oni the whole time – by the rules it’s remarkably hard to finish them off while you’re still in combat.

My favorite part of that fight was us trying to cover up for the fact that we have an invisible rogue around.

V’lk casts greater invisibility and runs over to help Bjorn with the archers. Bjorn lands a flurry of blows on an archer, wounding him, and suddenly a bunch more wounds appear, spraying blood, and the archer falls. “Sword of the North Star style!” Bjorn yells and runs after another archer. This one obtains an array of wounds from the invisible V’lk before Bjorn even gets there. “Precognitive Sword Strike!” he yells as he hacks away at him.

As most final boss fights are, the fight with Munascuru was short but brutal.  We almost misjudged badly, we buffed up and busted into her lair based on intel from the prisoners – to find out her lair is a whole sub-dungeon, we ran to and fro trying to find her before our 1/round buffs expired!

Once we busted in on her it was a true team effort.  I charge her and smite her badly, Jacob flies up and breathes a line of fire on her, Bjorn comes in with a full attack routine, and V’lk stab-murders her invisibly from behind.  She got in one shot – a crit with a naginata which probably would have killed me outright. However, one of my newest samurai tricks is to throw off a critical hit using my resolve!

The rest is all wrapup.  The spirit possessing V’lk leaves and gives him a free weapon proficiency.  He takes wakizashi as it fits his two-weapon fighting style so I gave him my magical one, Whispering Shrike, to commemorate the occasion (he got the kill shot in on Munascuru). Hiro is moving from his “glory for me!” origins into a “all for one, one for all” guy along the lines of what the Order of the Dragon dictates.

Now, it’s on to the penultimate chapter, Tide of Honor, where we recruit help to take back Minkai!

 

Jade Regent – Forest of Spirits, Session 5

Fifth Session (9 page pdf) – We do just fine against the real encounters of hobgoblins and oni, but the BS nuisance wandering monstery group of four destrachans nearly TPKs us.

I was grumpy about this session.  We had a couple things go wrong that made it not-so-fun for me.

The first was purely interpersonal. People were just super distracted.  Bruce was Skyping in but the connection and mike were awful and so he couldn’t hear us, we heard him but also got weird noises and feedback. People were making comical amounts of noise on both ends of the line, too, and just not really bothering to not interrupt the GM or other players, or pay attention in general.  There was one time during a combat round that I was trying to announce my damage to the GM and got interrupted before I could get it out 5 times from people on both sides of the call.  I really was one more away from just saying “fuck it, I’m leaving.” It’s not really even about the game, if I get interrupted 5 times in any other situation I tend to assume my contribution is clearly not valued.

The second was the setup.  I don’t really like three month long dungeon crawls, but Paizo insists on inflicting them on us.  This one was nicely tactical so far, and we have gotten our enjoyment out of plying tactics vs our opponents.  Well, this time, despite having our rogue scout ahead and being wary, we just got plopped on the battlemat pretty much surrounded by four destrachans. The positioning seemed to be more of a function of “well you can only be 20′ away and still fit on the map tile.” And of course they about killed us.  8d6 sonic at will overlapping all of us, plus in this situation it caused a cave-in. In a cave-in, you can do nothing. Most of us spent the encounter buried in rocks. Boring and deadly, yay. And it’s not clear how that makes sense or how they got here.

These two fed on each other – we only did 3 encounters the whole day because of the disarray, and one of them being a suckburger made the session overall not great.

There were some high points.  We found the cute little kami’s bonsai tree.  And we found statues we could stone to flesh and talk to; the one we destoned seems to be Harwynian’s soul mate.

We play again tomorrow, I’m sure it was just a one time “bad day” thing and the next one will be fine. Even with a good group and good material, not every session’s a winner! You just have to get back in the saddle.

Jade Regent – Forest of Spirits, Session 4

Fourth Session (11 page pdf) – Hobgoblins, oni, naga, and gorgons beset our brave adventurers as we grind, grind, grind our way towards the bottom of this dungeon. They are crazy Japanesey hobgoblins, oni, naga, and gorgons though so it’s all good.

Hobs then boss then hobs then boss then, just to mix it up, a boss then hobs. Oni samurai are annoying, those are my (Yoshihiro’s) tricks! But the most challenging fight was with the two naga who totally charmed Jacob.  He spent that entire fight trying to take his armor off (luckily, it takes two minutes) to go skinnydipping with them.

Ninth level is when D&D combat gets spell heavy and is pretty weird and chaotic but hasn’t gotten totally retarded yet (that comes in about another 3 levels).  So we’re all flying around and wall of icing and getting fireballed but healed and spell resistance put on us…  I’m glad we had a whole barrel of hobgoblin arrows up at the entrance to fill my magic quiver with because I was spraying out like 5 a round a lot of the time (rapid shot/manyshot/haste). Once we killed the nagas but Jacob got eaten by a giant gar, that just added insult to injury. Gar, they aren’t even good eatin’.

After that we needed to rest, we had been doing OK but this depleted everyone’s spell reserves totally.

I had to leave at that point, but I don’t regret too much not being there to get turned to stone by the gorgon…

Jade Regent – Forest of Spirits, Session 3

Third Session (14 page pdf) – We continue to hack our way through the hobgoblin troops of the Pouting Pagoda in the House of Withered Blossoms.  It’s like the Hell of Being Cut To Pieces!

We interrogate our hobgoblin prisoners to get intel on the next in the series of hobgoblin-manned strongpoints, the Mockery Pagoda.  This is where very tactical play benefits you a lot.

Bottom level – drawbridge over a river, portcullis, probably murder holes, loads of high level hobgoblins.  Upstairs, parapets with archers, then doors into the pagoda proper.  There’s a lot of whiteboard pics and tactical map pics in the PDF this time.

So here’s how it’s done.  We didn’t want to fight them all at once, or get pinned down under fire, or waste too much magic on what’s essentially the door guards. We dimension door the lot of us up onto the parapet behind the archers but near their arrow barrel. Jacob throws a wall of ice across the stairwell and doors and we totally ambush murder the archers. When the melee hobs bust through the wall of ice (taking damage), Gobo color sprays most of them into comas and we swiftly kill them all.  Three spells, five mostly quiet rounds, and the front part of the fortress is ours.

But then as we go into the pagoda we get ambushed ourselves – by a stone golem!  Golems suck so bad in D&D, they’re basically immune to everything. So we used standard anti-golem tactics, the grease spell.  It took some doing but we pushed it down the stairs and outside the door, but by that time we had hobgoblin woman monks and hobgoblin leper archers all over us. It is a  hard fight to get clear of there.

And then we find a weird pit room where it becomes clear that there’s a gorgon down in it… We kill ogre mage (or “oni,” in Japanland) #1 there and loot.

Gobo’s “moon bridge” oracle power continues to be the best utility magic ever.  Without it we’d be so screwed in so many situations, or at least have to use lots of spells, painful back-and-forth-with-a-passenger fly trips, etc.  Whenever there’s a gap between where we want to go and we are – boop, moon bridge! It sounds so lame in the book but we have gotten so much mileage out of it it’s crazy.

Jade Regent – Forest of Spirits, Session 2

Second Session (12 page pdf) – It’s hardcore hobgoblin warfare time in the earth under the House of Withered Blossoms.  We breach a defended curtain walle, conduct a zippo raid on a ville, and blitzkrieg the keep. And then it was a fight to the death with the Swine Shogun!

Fighting hobgoblins is always pleasingly tactical.  They are very martial and believe in fortifications and preparedness.  At lower levels that’s quite a problem.  At our level, with the flying and invisibility and walls of ice, it’s not so insurmountable.

Our first task was to breach a reinforced gate through an arrow slit and murder hole encrusted kill zone. Then we had to go through a gauntlet.  Then there was a whole underground village of hobs surrounding a keep.

It was some good fighting; the hobs weren’t pushovers but we had enough juice to not get trapped under fire too much.  The gate and gauntlet were dicey, the village was less of a problem – we were up a tall cliff and could see most of the place, so flame arrow plus direct damage spells pretty much chewed up the place.  It’s nice to also be able to cut loose and scrag a village, sometimes the “level appropriate” blinder that 3e+ got into doesn’t allow for you to really go to town on some hapless enemy forces.

We decided to just bypass the keep – going up to the front of it was silly, we just flew up to the bridge it was protecting and made them come to us.  They came to us and they were tough; I had to use samurai resolve to stay standing after a full attack from the guy.  Harwynian wanted to d-door us out of there but Jacob and I got in a lucky combo – the Swine Shaman failed an initial Hold Person save and I lopped his head right off.  Save or die, baby!

Jade Regent – Forest of Spirits, Session 1

We’re over the hump and into the fourth chapter of the Jade Regent Adventure Path, Forest of Spirits.

First Session (18 page pdf) – We go shopping and get ninja’ed, in a bad way.   Then we meet Princess Mononoke and head out into the Forest of Spirits, where the cutest little bonsai kami ever wants us to go into the House of Withered Blossoms. We go in but it’s Mirkwood on crack as the spiders just keep coming!

The Fantasy Korean emperor is helpful but scary.  We used the opportunity of him executing all his guardsmen for letting us be attacked by ninja to sneak out of the city and get on our way.  Man, these ninja, they are always getting billions of sneak attacks on us no matter what we do.

And then it’s off to the House of the Withered Blossoms because the spirits need our help, says some chick with not much personality. We fight a bunch of spiders until we realize they just want to get stoned and be left alone (no, really).  So we generate a truce with the remaining third of them and learn the pagoda’s a megadungeon full of hobgoblins.  Hobgoblin murder next time!

Jade Regent – The Hungry Storm, Session 6

Sixth Session (9 page pdf) – Yeti murder is followed up by Korean relaxation.  I know, I know, that’s two pairs of words you don’t see combined all that much.  But we finish out the AP in style!

Sadly I missed this session; it was time to take my daughter to Universal Studios for summer vacation.  But it went well; they bearded the yeti and Bjorn used his anti-ghost gear to kill Katiyana’s spirit.

And then we get to Fantasy Korea!  The king is a good mix of Kim Jong-Il and Genghis Khan.  There are contests, and I win several despite not being there (keeping my character sheet in our Dropbox is magically helpful).

In the end we get to perform The Cuckolded Cuckoo again, the play the crazy tengu in Brinewall was working on that Yoshihiro has been completing.  My favorite part of it is that Gobo the gnome plays “a giant standing in the distance.”

And we get to 9th level!  Several of our new character sheets are on the campaign page for your edification. With that we move into chapter four, Forest of Spirits.

Jade Regent – The Hungry Storm, Session 5

Fifth Session (13 page pdf) – The Caves of Desna (aka Mines of Moria) are rough on a caravan.  We lose some levels and stuff to undead and then come into contact with infinite yetis!  We kill infinity minus one of them.

We travel through the caves with our whole caravan to bypass the storms. It’s totally full of undead.  We have Invisibility to Undead but we also have spastic party members that can’t resist attacking them and dispelling it for all of us.  So there’s that. Bjorn did get some 3l33t ghost killing gear out of it though.

When we encountered the yeti, we figured there was something wrong (they’re normally not organized and warlike) and I knew they’d come after us.  So we carefully set an ambush with Harwynian’s new spell Firefall.  We carefully set out a 60′ perimeter from the stairs and waited.  Sadly, Harwynian – out of forgetfulness or from deliberately being a douche, we’re still not sure – neglected to tell us there’s a 120′ blindness effect. I tried to use my samurai strategy ability to let everyone get a free move back into an enclosed space, but of course the usual suspects decided they were way too buff to retreat 30′ even when blinded and outnumbered! Of course this forces us to not abandon them to their folly, but to pour healing and help into them despite it. So what should have been a turkey shoot nearly killed us.  But I’m not bitter.

Jade Regent – The Hungry Storm, Session 4

Fourth Session (11 page pdf) – We brave the Dead Man’s Dome, Ameiko gets roofied by a lonely ogre, and we decide to head through the Mines of Moria with our whole caravan.

I’ve been slacking on the blogging over the summer, but not on the gaming!  I’m playing in Jade Regent every other week and running Reavers on the Seas of Fate every other week.

The session takes care of the big fight at Dead Man’s Dome in less than a page, but it was a big ol’ caravan battle and took a while. The caravan got banged up but we came through it fine. And with that we finished crossing the Crown of the World!

We’re not really sure how we’re not the only caravan to cross the Crown, since you need high level adventurers to do it. But, it’s always harder for PCs, so that’s fair enough.

Then an ogre mage charms Ameiko and runs off with her.  We track him down and kill him but it’s not really clear whether he was like an agent of the Five Winds out to get us or if he was just a lonely rapist. Enquiring minds may never know.

Then we have storm  trouble (HUNGRY storms, natch) and decide to pass some mountains by taking the whole darn caravan into the Caves of Desna (aka Mines of  Moria) and go all the way through.  This seems unlikely to us but it’s where the plot wants us to go, so we go…

 

Jade Regent – The Hungry Storm, Session 3

Third Session (11 page pdf) – We head to a tower in the Arctic that is making naughty storms and sweep and clear it.  It might be a spaceship or something. We’re not sure. We kill them all and let the DM sort it out. Enjoy our continued journey through the Jade Regent Adventure Path!

Pretty much we spend the entire session in the Storm Tower. We were playing pretty smart.  We roped ourselves together going across the bridge in (saving lives), I as Yoshihiro used my see invisible to tag invisible opponents with dye arrows (saving lives), and Bjorn bull rushed many an undead off the top of the tower (saving lives).  Sadly I missed the final battle as I had to catch a plane that evening. Like many boss fights it had a lot of back and forth buffing and dispelling. Jacob piles on the frontal damage and then V’lk spikes her from behind.  Bing bang boom, we do it by the book.

 

Jade Regent – The Hungry Storm, Session 2

Second Session (15 page pdf) – We go mano-a-mano with a white dragon! And our caravan nearly gets murderized by ice trolls. Then we go to hungry storm undead haunted spires and hack undead like there’s no tomorrow!  And since we’re near the North Pole, tomorrow is a long time coming.

Well, our dragon hunting nearly backfired – the dragon hit us while we were trying to rappel down an ice crevasse and before we’d buffed. The fight was interestingly three-dimensional; here’s one of the cell phone camera shots of the whiteboard we took to send to Bruce (he Skypes in):

You can see V’lk and Spivey trying to flee by spider climbing up the wall of ice as the rest of us come down to help.  The “I like cake” guy is our local guide Tiktik who went into that special form of NPC stasis as soon as the action started. It was a tough and interesting fight and Jacob kept trying to commit suicide during it but once we finally cornered the thing, I spiked it through its brain-pan with my katana.

My favorite line comes from later in the session, though:

They tell him that the Snowcaster elves live up on the High Ice. They are pale-skinned and very mysterious. They might make toys and love snow-cones. They are gruff towards outsiders, but respect shows of force. “I think we can arrange that,” says Yoshihiro.

With that we wander the arctic ice some more, nearly get wiped out by ice trolls and paralyzing undead and other such random encounters.