I Need New Dice!
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
PC back up, so more posting on the way!
Going to be playing in someone else's campagin while running my own. That is always great for the creative energies!
The "quick and dirty" version of book #5 of ROTRL went well. They ran away from a very tricky encounter and enjoyed a nice little puzzle. I'll post a spoiler capped version of the session later.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
However there has been an unusual turn of events that should be blogged. We may end the campaign early, due to no one's fault (perhaps everyone's advantage). It's going to be a planned end, so we can start another campaign we are all excited about- the Council of Thieves Adventure Path.
We're putting it to a group vote, which I am pretty sure will vote for us to speed through book #5 of ROTRL (Sins of the Saviors) #5 is a pretty nice dungeon crawl, but at the character level we are playing at dungeon crawls aren't really what we want to be doing. Sure, it could be fun, but not as fun as the rest of the campaign. We'll still do all of book #6 and finish out the campaign with the scripted conclusion.
So this Sunday I am going to cram the best parts of book#5 into one session and we're going to rock through the runeforge in lightning time and finish up the adventure path before the end of this semester. Particularly important since 3 of my 4 PCs go to the college in town.
None of this affects the blog at all. It's just neat from a meta gaming aspect that we are realizing that this portion we want to skip through, nail the great conclusion to the campaign and then start the really cool new thing around the corner. It's a group decision.
Just have to hear back from my brother to see what the college vote says.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Friday, 9 October 2009
Title: The Watchers from Below
Many thousands of years ago, the aboleth considered their dominion of the entire world to be complete. The few sages that study those ancient creatures agree that the main impetus behind the aboleth desire to dominate other races was their inability to trust other creatures, almost to a level of paranoia. The world under the waters was at tentacle’s reach and the aboleth could easily be reassured that the watery ancient world was always under control and not a threat. The surface world could be scryed upon by arcane magic, but the aboleth also relied upon humanoid and monstrous agents to supplement their magical reconnaissance and to shape the actions of the surface world to the desired result. Further inland, aboleth agents would have less access to the resources of their masters, so the aboleth established small hidden bases far inland at locations linked to the ocean by waterway. One such location was the in the land nearby Falcon's Hallow.
The aboleth base nearby what would eventually become Falcon's Hallow was the center of all operations in and around the area for hundreds of miles, until the Dwarven quest for sky worried the aboleth masters. The tunnels and underground exploration of the dwarves would come too close to their base so it was abandoned just a few years before the dwarves saw their first sunrise.
In the area, the ruins of past dwarven settlements has predominated Pathfinder activity. That is why it the discovery of a large rune covered stone is so enticing, as the dwarven family that finds the runes points out that none of the runes are dwarven, and the stone was cut and and runes carved with magic before the dwarves finished their first settlements on the surface world.
In this adventure, the pathfinders explore the ruins of an ancient underground aboleth base used by aboleth inland servants thousands of years ago. A sect of cloakers still loyal to the aboleth have beaten the pathfinders to the ruin, though a 1-2 tier group will only encounter lesser agents of the cloakers. The pathfinders will be able to deduce the nature of the ruin by either interrogating the cloaker agents or decrypting some of the ancient runes. Either method of information gathering will realize that this ruin once housed a powerful scrying crystal that amplified divination magic and stored previous scrying sessions for reviewing. The lure of totally new ruins that are not supposed to be in the area, combined with a great ancient magic device that may still have the stored divinations of 10,000 years ago should be too much for any pathfinder to refuse!
Pre-ruins at the dwarven farmstead-
1) Calm the frightened daughter of the dwarf who found the stone on his land. Her father has been missing since yesterday and the daughter is the best way for the PCs to find the rune covered stone.
At the aboleth underground ruins-
2) This room was designed to quickly fill with water to allow for both the comfort of amphibious creatures and to aid in long-distance magical communication with the aboleth. It was not designed to be a trap, but functions well as one. If they survive or avoid the "trap", they have the chance to interrogate one of the cloaker agents that was left for dead. This is an OPTIONAL encounter.
The Chambers beyond take on the subjective gravity trait-
3) An ambush in the central room (Lizard men/Skum/Cloaker mix per tier). The scrying crystal is here, but will not move from the center of the room. Triggering switches in other rooms will lower the crystal with one switch already triggered in the left most room.
4) The room above contains Lizard men, Skum or a Cloaker mix per tier. The room is enveloped in an ancient silence effect and contains a switch. The Dwarven father/captive can also be rescued here.
5) In the noxious gas filled chamber to the right there is an ancient protector (a construct appropriate to tier), plus a switch.
7) The chamber below is full of water and a water elemental protector appropriate to tier, plus a switch.
8) The mechanism that magically lowers the crystal has failed and "drops" the crystal, cracking it and summoning an ancient Aboleth creation, an advanced fiendish (templates) version of a creature faced in the tier appropriate mix.
A Brief Conclusion:
Should the servants of the Aboleth retrieve the crystal, they will gain access to its stored divinations of the Falcon's Hallow region over past 10,000 years. The dwarven child will see strange creatures carry a large crystal across her farm and into the river, but she will never see her father again.
If the PCs suceed, the historic treasure the crystal can reveal is priceless... if anyone can ever get the cracked crystal to work. They have also made a great friend in the dwarven father, who was once a pathfinder himself and can be a valuable ally in the future.
Faction goals would focus on variations of discovering the nature of the ruins, helping the dwarven family and retrieving the crystal.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Fortune Telling in RPGs can be a bit hard to present as a GM. It either comes across as being out of place or if you get it right and it's intresting and the players ACTUALLY PAID ATTENTION, it can be even harder still to make sure that the future happens the way it was predicted... or at least have a plasuable reason why it did not.
Play with a fully writen, pre-fab campain the way we have with Rise of the Runelords allows me to pretty much assume how thing will generally work out, so I can at least get the perdiction of what the future will be pretty close to what will actually happen. Also, the Varisian area is known for fortune tellers that read "Harrow" Card, so fortune telling really can fit into the campaign and help with the local flavor.
I can gaurantee that the future will work out a certain wayand the card reading fits the setting. All that is left is to make sure my random future predicting method gives me results I can work with.
Randomly ending up with "tarrot" style cards and trying to fit them into a game is HARD. So don't do it. Cheat! I stacked the deck and made sure I could give the players exactly the reading in the picture, with the meaing below. (Harrow Cards, meanings and all the Harrow jazz belong to Paizo)
The cards on the left is the past events affecting them
The middle Colum is their Current events
The Right Colum is the Future
The Past (Left Colum):
The Betrayal – is selfishness incarnate. Envy twists the spirit and leads ultimately to devastation. It can also indicate a person whose loveliness hides an evil heart.
The Liar – is love at its most treacherous. This is not the love that moves mountains, this is the love that rips the heart in two and causes lovers to leap to their deaths. This lamia (depicted on the card) can mean obsession, unrequited passion, or doomed love.
The Tyrant – indicates a ruler who is a blight upon those ruled. The dragon might indicate a monarch, overseer, or head of a household. Whoever this person is, he does harm to those over whom he holds sway, whether he realizes it of not.
The Present (Middle Colum):
The Hidden Truth – symbolizes the ability to see past the obvious and the banal to a greater truth within. Sometimes this discovery is an esoteric one, sometimes it is a literal find, such as an item revealed within a room. Regardless, it is a card with the power to reveal secrets.
The Tangled Briar – is a card of ancient deeds. It indicated an object or person from long ago that will somehow have great influence on the situation. The object or person in question is one lost or murdered in some foul way.
The Fiend – depicts a devil swallowing innocents. It can indicate the deaths of many in a great calamity or, if misaligned, the salvation from the same calamity. The Fiend can also indicate that some sort of dark and intelligent creature is in the area, endangering the populace.
The Future (Right Colum)
The Mountain Man – signifies an encounter with a physical power outside of one’s control. The giant could personify an authority, an army, an earthquake, or even a desperately needed rainstorm in a parched land. Acceding to the force might be wise, but surviving it is paramount.
The Uprising – represents being caught in the clutches of something much more powerful then you. It is an overwhelming strength that often crushes what comes in contact with it. The crown held high signifies an overthrowing of a leader of some sort. In the spread, it indicates a force much stronger than the person receiving the reading.
The Empty Throne – has a sense of loss that is palpable. The ghost signifies that those who are gone will always be with us. They taught us important lessons, if only we choose to listen. This card can bring information from a far-off or ancient source. This card is misaligned in the spread, meaning the ghosts of the past are restless, and might require effort to set at peace.
If you are familair with the Runelords campaign, (avoiding spoilers) it all fits in very nicely!
The young farm hand leant closer and said with garlic laden breath, “…and then you’d be looking for the Wolf’s Bane Inn. Best place for pathfinders like yourself, it attracts all sorts of travelers up and down the river and lake. Someone there might know something about the old ruins you were asking about.” With that the young man leant back into his plow and lifted the reigns to move the oxen back into motion.
But he stopped.
“Mind you, all sorts of visitors make up all sorts of reasons for the Inn’s name. My ‘pa and his says it’s nothing to do with the unpleasantness with the wolf men, and I believe them. I’ve been there and it’s a normal place with the strangest thing being the guests that spend the night. Yes sir, people like you explorer and adventurer folk.”
He paused to push his sweat drenched Blondie hair from his eyes.
“Don’t you spent too much time in the courtyard behind the inn. It’s all old paved stones and overgrown with Wolf’s Bane. It’s creepy as is, but there is the old well back there.”
He stopped, as if that was enough.
“The old well. The first well. That well was here before the first people came through here to settle down and grow crops. Some older people, dark… all sinister like, once lived here. Not much was left when the first humans came through here, except for the water well. Those settlers used it, and all those that drank from the well became wolf-men at the next full moon. It is true or may my oxen’s hooves fall off.”
He looked over at the oxen, hesitantly and is anticipating some great supernatural punishment. None came, and relief washed over the man.
“You go look at it, that old well. It’s all gated over with the old cold-wrought iron that the darkness hates. The evil was locked out and wolf’s bane was tossed in to grow and take root. The whole inside of the well is overgrown with it.” he swallowed deeply “but sometimes you can still hear grumbles from deep inside come out at night.”
“Stay clear of that well. Nothing good there.”
Monday, 5 October 2009
- Demon with a CR in the Teens, that successfully summoned another of the same type of Demon
- An evil "melee-cleric" type with a lot of time to buff himself up before combat
- Various Summoned creatures the cleric summoned while invisible (and finishing his buffing)
- A pack of Shadow Mastiffs with a template on them
(In the picture attached, months ago I had a big monster represented by the black disc. The Unicorn's aura of protection really helped them beat an encounter sane players would have run from)
Sunday, 4 October 2009
A note to clarify the location of Wolf’s Ear- It is located on the map of Varisia at the northern most tip of Ember lake, where the lampblack river meets the lake.
What I wanted to work on next for Wolf’s Ear were some taverns for the town. Mainly because every adventuring group eventually goes for food and beer and you can’t beat the pc-to-npc role-playing possibilities that can all taken place in a tavern. I wanted three taverns, so there would appear to be some options for players. There is one tavern that is more interesting than the rest, with the intent that players would gravitate toward that tavern.
Three Inns & Taverns
From the outside the Gray Turtle is as drab and boring a tavern as anyone would ever see. That is exactly how the locals like it. This tavern is the common nightly meeting place for many of the town’s residents that don’t want to be bothered by any guests to the town.
Though there are rooms to rent, vistors to Wolf’s Ear will find that they always seem to be taken up by long term renters. The Tavern’s owner, Dorin (Variscian Male) will point out-of-towners to one of the other two taverns.
The Sacred prostitutes are never found here, as the locals already know they can always go to the temple of Calistria if they need to contract their services.
The locals of wolf’s ear tell visitors the tavern gets its name from the abundant Monkshood, aka Wolf’s bane, that grows in pots, patios and trellises around the tavern. Of course, some choose to believe there must be something more sinister in the tavern’s history. The tavern’s owner, Hoydan (Variscian Human Female) tries to convince visitors that even before the werewolf incident in the town, this tavern has always had its name. Hoydan, now in her 40’s, inherited this tavern from her father and it has been a fixture of town life for as long as anyone can remember. As travel has increased, this tavern has become a focal point for visitors to the town, particularly those that would be interested in the werewolves in the town’s history. Pathfinders always seem to stay at this inn.
Except for a mounted Wolf’s head (a “normal” wolf, as Hoydan often points out) the inside of the tavern is quite unremarkable, yet comfortable. This is the only place a person can go for any gambling via cards or dice without a prior invitation, since open games are common place every night. A few locals can be seen here, but they usually just come for some of the taverns great food or to win a few coins off guests. The tavern has many rooms of good quality to rent and always has rooms available.
Hoydan has never married and runs the tavern with the assistance of two Chelaxian sisters and their brother who have lived and worked here for the past 6 years. The twin sisters, Aula and Luina, have also never married but have courted several of the local men. Their old brother Manis is possibly the best cook in town, and is known to have once been married but lost his wife in whatever caused this family to flee Chelaxia.
Sacred prostitutes to Calistria can always be found here and display the mark three-bladed mark of Calistria very openly so that there is no question about their right to be the the tavern. They rarely provide their services in the rooms here, but will take their clients across the street to the temple of Calistria. A few of these sacred prostitutes have been known to act as informal bouncers during the few fights that break out. (levels of cleric, fighter or rogue)
This tavern’s sign depicts an old cart, unhitched, with a full load of barrels and crates in the back.
It is run by Kale (Taladan, Male) who spent many years as a merchant before an accident injured his leg and he had to slow down his life considerably. Kale prides himself in remembering everyone that has ever visited his tavern and he is quite popular with the merchants that travel up and down the lampblack river.
The food, drink and rooms are all of average quality. It remains busy as a nexus where traveling and local merchants can meet and talk about their business with like-minded folk. As a result, the tavern is always has guests and is a very quiet, perhaps“boring” place by most pathfinder’s standards.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
If it is rejected, I'll post it here, with any notes they send back!