Archive for October, 2012

River of sorrow

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Pathfinder, Table Top Gaming

The Characters:

Fik the half-orc monk and follower of Irori and reluctant master to Brother Chen

Crux a half-elf storm druid and escaped slave seeking revenge on seven Dwarven overseers, who has traveled north on druid business.

Tasilon a Human fighter/merchant on the run from trouble at home in Qadira

Salgrit a Dwarf Paladin of Torag who has come to drink ale and stomp evil, and she’s all out of ale!

Templeton Granger a silver tongued noble from Varisia who could talk you out of your last copper.

Tasilon, Fik, Salgrit and Templeton having reignited the blockade return to the barge and prepare to disembark with the caravan as the path north is blocked when Crux returns with news that undead also stalk the woods.

With daylight running out the caravan is reloaded quickly on the barge, to wait for the morning before making a push. The commotion and the smell of fresh flesh draw a crowd on both sides of the river. Burning pitch is used tothin out the zombies on the west bank. As Salgrit and caravan member Brother Mortimer, a priest of Pharasma hatch a plan to lead the remainder of the fiends away.

With the aid of various magics, the priest and the paladin lead the hoarde away allowing for an a quick unloading of the barge with Crux, Fik and Tasilon to defend against ant stragglers. There are four zombies still lurking, and they attack.

I engaged one and as I did the ground erupted in brambles and vines tangling themselves around our legs.  Well, its legs, not so much mine.  I can only assume that Crux had entered the fray and that was his opening shot.  To my left I heard Fik engage his target with a muffled
“wuuf” of two colliding bodies.  I made relatively short work of the zombie on me but Crux and Fik seemed to have a little more trouble
with their’s than I did AND Crux was blessed with two zombies.  I could see him fighting a retreat back to the boat while trying to lead them into burning pitch that [I’m blanking on Adam’s character’s name!] was readying.  By the time I had finished killing the one in front of me Fik had fallen to the ground with the one he was fighting, while Crux had made it back to the barge and was still fighting for his life.  I moved to engage the two attacking Crux but stopped long enough to kill one that Fik had left tied up on the ground.  No need to leave an enemy to my back when I do not have to.

It was about this time that I heard Crux begin yelling in panic as the zombies fell upon him.  I did everything I could to get one or both of them to turn their attention to me but they were unshakable.  Unwavering in their pursuit of half-elven flesh.  By the time I’d managed to fell the fourth of four Crux was gone, or soon would be.  Shortly thereafter the priest returned without Salgrit.  I greeted telling him the sad news of Crux falling.  He told his tale of Salgrit leading her group of undead into an underground passage to gain the upper hand in her footing and comfort levels but when he got to where she disappeared he found nothing but the bodies of zombies.  By his estimation she felled all of them before either falling herself (and disappearing) or just plain disappearing.  While I would much rather rescue our lost member it has become obvious that we cannot just follow her trail with a full caravan behind us AND being paid to get them to a destination rather than taking them on a grand adventure. I asked the priest to say soothing words over Crux’s body while we [went through his pockets for loose change] made preparations to get on the road as quickly as we could.  We could not be sure how long the undead would forget about this place and us and needed to make the most of any available time.  We sent Cruz to his final rest with his armor and weapons in tact.  No one should have to go into the darkness without those thing.  The priest blessed the body, assured us that he would not turn into one of those things, and said words of kindness aimed at worshipers of the Storm God.

from a letter home from  Tasilon aBin Zaleem of Qadira

So now having lost comrades the band moves forward towards the city of Woodsedge, mourning their losses and with Tasilon determined to take up Crux’s quest for justice, and wondering what he will find on that road

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Back in June, fueled by birthday gift-cards, I picked up some of Paizo’s Game Mastery line decks for use in my Pathfinder game.  To date I have only really used the Critical Hit and Critical Fumble decks.

In play they don’t slowdown the flow of the crunchy bits of combat too much, as everyone tends to get very excited when a player rolls a 20 or go dead silent when a 1 comes up. The cards also tend to be a good equalizer against opponents that might otherwise out class the PCs. On the flip side when the main big bad of your story gets access to the critical hit deck it can add a real feel of danger for the PC on the  business end of the card.

Both sets of cards have a list of special effects depending on the weapon type being used at the time. Often the effects are dramatic or humorous, sometimes both! On the whole I think both are a fun addition to the game. Are they necessary? No, but they do add a new flavor to the game especially if your players roll a lot of critical hits or fumbles.

The Characters:

Fik the half-orc monk and follower of Irori and reluctant master to Brother Chen

Crux a half-elf storm druid and escaped slave seeking revenge on seven Dwarven overseers, who has traveled north on druid business.

Tasilon a Human fighter/merchant on the run from trouble at home in Qadira

Salgrit a Dwarf Paladin of Torag who has come to drink ale and stomp evil, and she’s all out of ale!

Templeton Granger a silver tongued noble from Varisia who could talk you out of your last copper.

by Tanorax

Traveling up river, the party reunites with Crux after his journey threw the forest with one of the high druids to investigate the sudden migration of unusual animals  south ward during summer, a most unexpected thing.  With no explanation found Crux is returned to the party, and the Druid continues his  journey as well

The barge makes land fall on the Andoran side of the river, at the town of Bellis, after some hijinks involving the purchase and forgery of  Andoran Merchant’s Guild licenses. The party sails further northward uneventful until the ships be rang out a warning in the middle of the night.

The bell tolled for a very large log, that was floating down the river burning, and in the path of the barge. While Templeton and the rest of the party wake  from their nights sleep and begin to formulate a plan to deal with the log, the purpose of the log is revealed.  Two large bugbears vault on to the ship.

The bugbears go for the two boys Chen and Sigmund. Chen scrambles up the crates and barrels in the middles of the deck, Sigmund however is not so lucky. Salgrit, Templeton and Tasilon spring into action against the  marauding monsters. Tasilon sends out a hail of arrows at one while Salgrit moves forward to Smite the one with the child as Templeton swings from the bow of the ship on some sail rigging, and manages to wrap the rope around the bugbears neck

One of them seemed intent on eating the child Sigmund, a troublesome rapscallion with the caravan. I am not of a heroic type, but I do have a soft spot for delicious children, so I intervened the only way I knew how: With wit and skill rather than steel. I successfully distracted it to avail the others an opportunity to kill it, but it dropped into the water still clutching the bothersome boy. I cut myself free of the creature and snagged the child by the scruff, but the creature would not release him.

In the end, I shook the creature off and the both of us were dragged to safety.I spent the next few hours in drink, mostly in an effort to drown my stupidity.

The next morning, I was forced to let one of the crewmen go. According to the holy knight, he was touched by evil. I also questioned Sigmund about the bugbears, and may have convinced him that bugbears hunt children that troubled caravans.
Further upriver, that same day, Crux informed me that things were too quiet… and when I sent a lookout aloft to see what it is, he cried all stop. Smoke, he cried, fire. Again, ringing that wretched bell.
The river was blocked by multiple ships some burning some smoldering, the remnants of a great battle, making navigation up river impossible. Disembarking to get a closer look Templeton, Tasilon and Salgrit with Brother Chen in tow move in for a closer look.  While Crux breaks off from the party to follow a trail of footprints into the forest, the tracks appear to have been made by injured persons with some dragging foot prints and spattering of blood on the trail.
Templeton sneaks closer to the first ship in the blockade where a pile of pitch continues to burn and the corpses of two men that apparently fell in the battle with the halberd of on plunged threw the chest of the other.
As Templeton  goes in for an even closer look, first one then the other corps  comes to un-life grasping him by the ankle, moaning and trying to pull the nobleman towards their snapping jaws. Salgrit, Tasilon and Fik close the distance and the two zombies are eventually hacked to pieces. the commotion awakens many of the other unmoving members of the undead hoard not fully burned on the other ships of the blockade. The four then launch volley after volley of flaming projectiles at the awakening undead.