Archive for the ‘Pathfinder’ Category


Posted: June 22, 2017 in Pathfinder, Table Top Gaming

If you have been paying any attention to table top role playing games this year, you have heard the buzz about Paizo Publishing’s new science fantasy game STARFINDER

STARFINDER updates the PATHFINDER rules and campaign setting. Giving the company the chance to fine-tune the now venerable game engine. It also advances the Golarion campaign setting several millennia into the future. It combines Tolkien with Guardians of the Galaxy, and it looks fun in a gonzo sort of way.

This week I was able to attend a STARFINDER preview event at a local Barnes and Noble. Paizo’s Erik Mona ran the event that featured a Q and A followed by a short demo where four lucky people were able to play a short demo. I was lucky enough to get to play n the demo, more about that later.

The Q and A covered a lot of stuff that had been revealed in various other sources like the Paizo blog and various podcast easily found with a quick search of the internet. Some things did stand out.

Most exciting to me as a GM the monster building systems will be a lot simpler, not requiring all the math and crunch, no adding class levels just for one feat, etc. This will be detailed in the upcoming ALIEN ARCHIVE hardcover due out in October. Plans to add Mecha/Giant Robots in a future book we’re also mentioned, PACIFIC RIM anyone? It sounds like a whole lot of other subsystems were made a bit less crunch heavy.

The highlight of the evening was getting to play in a short demo where four of the iconic characters board a derelict starship infested by goblins.

I played Navasi the iconic Envoy, and I got a decent feel for how lower level combat runs. On the whole it felt much smoother than PFRPG although to be fair it has been a while since I did a low level fight. The new hit, stamina and resolve point system ran very well creating an appropriate sense of peril as the game progressed.

Using the Evoy abilities flowed for the most part, hindered by my inability to roll above a 10 anytime it counted. Although not too effective on offense, those goblins wiped the floor and wall with me.  I was able to keep the Shirren Mystic in the fight by inspiration (I pep-talked him into more stamina points).

After a taste I’m even more excited for the game to arrive come August/September. I will share more thoughts then.



The Characters:

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

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

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

Prank: A Gnome summoner from Varisia who rides around on a clock-work eidolon, he calls “Wonky”

Fresh off their victory over the arachnid abomination that was  responsible for the zombie plague in Galt, the way finders move on heading towards the Lastwall by way of the Elvish kingdom of Kyonin. They stop in the trading port of Greengold for resupply and the chance to sell their own goods.

Templeton while throwing his name around attracts the attention of an elf lad on a mission from his village elder to find THE Templeton Granger, Paladin, defender of the weak and all around hero. Never one to shy a way from a new angle to make some coin the Wayfinders’ Templeton Granger hears the boy out.

The lad  tells a tale of a village with all its warriors called away to the border with Razmiran and opportunistic ogres taking  live stock and now villagers, and the village elder knew just who to summon for their defense.

Templeton with promises of comely elf lasses and a reward convinces the rest of the band to undertake a little side trip to the village a days travel away. Once there the Wayfinders meet with the elder.

The elder is a very aged half-elf, and he is quite senile. The elder told stories of the good old days, reliving past adventures with his dear old friend Lord Templeton Granger. It quickly became apparent that these exploits had been decades earlier. The elder also mentioned his older sister, who had been Lord Granger’s flame at one point and time.

Hoping that the elder’s sister has moved on Templeton encourages the band to spring into action quickly to smite the ogres. These hopes were dashed when they arrived at their wagon to find an elven woman leaning up against the vehicle.

She confronted the party, and Templeton specifically about what they were up to. After some long conversations and a bit of charm, Alyndra Linswik known to her familiars as Quill agrees not to out him to her brother and revealed some info on the original Lord Granger, the most important thing being he had died 75 or so years previous and was Watcher-Lord of Lastwall before his passing.

The Wayfinders made short work of the ogres, rescuing their prisoners and discovering the grim fate of their victims, they returned heroes with the name of the Wayfinders and Lord Granger  chanted by one and all.

With a bit of wit and charm Templeton convinces Quill to accompany him on the journey to Lastwall, to help him establish his Granger bona fides. All appears well for the sail to Lastwall when a disheveled waif of a woman stumbles up the gang plank of the ship and shouts at Tasilon: “You, you’re a thief, and why are you not going north?’

Rise of the Wayfinders

Posted: December 5, 2012 in Pathfinder, Table Top Gaming


The Characters:

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

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

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

Prank: A Gnome summoner from Varisia who rides around on a clock-work eidolon, he calls “Wonky”

The day was won in the City of Woodsedge, but a greater threat remains, the undead army at the city walls.  Aldis Stormbeard the local Pathfinder venture captain has made the group an offer, if they can resolve the problem and find out exactly what it was that fell from the sky, the group would be made Pathfinders in good standing avoiding the multi-year probationary process. Knowing a good offer when they see one, the adventurers agree and set out for the impact site hoping to avoid the walking dead.

The journey is only a few days, but the landscape is ravaged, burnt villages, and shambling hoards of undead that appear to now have a purpose. The zombies walk single file like ants dragging what ever metal they have found towards where the object fell from the sky.

On day two the party runs into an old “friend”.

Further, we ran across none other than Dundas Montgomery, Loomis and Kellis, the leader of the skyrock rebellion and his lieutenants. They were… less than pleased to see me. But after Prank greased the ground so that their horses fell, we were able to get Dundas to… believe that we were out to get him. So nothing really changed. But he turned his back on me at a vulnerable moment, so I cut his throat, then convinced Lumis to work for me, and Kellis that I would start a rebellion somewhere at some point soonish. I really felt good about that save that it trampled on the sensibilities of my good friend Fik… I’m not happy about that. I mean, I’m not sad that I killed an evil man, and nor is he, but he was a little perturbed that the man was a) unarmed, and b) had surrendered.

From the Journal of Templeton Granger

Another day of travel and the party reaches the impact crater, after Tasilon does some recon on the crater andattached tunnel, they make their move the next morning.

We reached the point where I turned back which seemed so much closer to the entrance than it did while I was down there.  A few twists and turns later we were able to see a pulsing light coming from a cavern up again.  Peeking around Loomis I was able to see the biggest, fuzziest, scariest “spider” I’ve ever in my life seen.  Squinting a few times did not make the scene change, much to me chagrin.  I looked back at our motley group, then again to the spider again.  There was no way I would be called a coward by this group.  I pulled my blades and prepared to fight.  The tunnel we were in exploding into a swarm of activity as everyone launched themselves into battle.  I planned my route to the spider which included cutting down two zombies first, giving Loomis and Fik time to get the spider’s attention first.  The first zombie failed to fall with my first flurry of cuts which was unfortunate.  When it foolishly attempted to grab and bite me I was able to land the blow necessary to cut it down.  To my left I clear hear solid hits upon the spider and see it pivot around to face someone or another.  My path continue to be well planned.  One more zombie to cut down bringing me directly behind the spider.  Another few cuts, and again the zombie does not fall.  This time its attempt to grab me was successful and down we went in a heap, both fighting for leverage over the other.  I was just about prepared to  ask for assistance when I heard and Ork sized cannon ball land next to me, sliding across the magically slick floor.  The zombie I was fighting just stopped moving.  I poked it a few more times just to be sure then stood to find Fik covered in oil and spider slime with a big grin on his face.  The spider was no where to be seen.  Templeton jumped down from atop the curtain of light at a dead sprint yelling over his shoulder “RUN.”  I wasnt sure what he’d done but I was damned sure I didn’t want to be there when it happened so I ran.

From a letter home from  Tasilon aBin Zaleem of Qadira

With a second victory under their belt the party discuss what path to take next, the choice to push North or West, and what to call their merry band that appears destined for great things, after some debate “The Pathfinders” is selected and Templeton takes care to mention the name and their brave deeds to the people who have begun to leave their hiding spots as the end of the spider, brought an end to the undead army as well.  They returned to woods edge to a hero’s welcome.

A City Divided

Posted: November 25, 2012 in Pathfinder, Table Top Gaming

Galt has been eating its self from the inside out for forty odd years now.  Until now, its  never been quite so literal until now.

Aldis Stormbeard Venture Captain of the Pathfinder Society

The Characters:

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

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

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

Prank: A Gnome summoner from Varisia who rides around on a clock-work eidolon, he calls “Wonky”

Having left the barge, The Varisian Prince, to go back down river to alert Taldor and Andoran as to the fate of the forces they sent to the Galt frontier; the caravan continues their way toward the city of Woodsedge.  Finding the countryside abandoned the caravan stops to harvest some  crops that were ready.  As they complete their days work, they were quietly surrounded by a band of scavengers from the city looking for anything they could find that would feed a hungry population under siege from both inside and outside Woodsedge.

I have been very productive the past few days. On the trek to Wood’s Edge, we happened upon several very unkempt fields of grain, of which we availed ourselves, netting two bushels in total. While we gathered, we were approached by Stormbeard and Prank, a dwarf and gnome respectively. It bears noting that Prank at the time was encapsulated within an eight-foot-tall mechanical monster he referred to as “Wonky.”
It seems the zombie infestation was not as aimless as we thought. The zombies were preceded by a comet – a comet that was the source of worship to a rebellious faction within Wood’s Edge who controlled the city to the west of the river that bifurcates the town. Stormbeard mentioned that the zombies seemed to have specific purpose in their shamblings… something I had not observed, but he had been dealing with than longer than we had, so I was willing to take his word for it. When Stormbeard inquired as to our business in Wood’s Edge, a merchant named Chevan piped up that he had a shipment of coffee for one Dundas Montgomery. But more on that later…

From the Journal of Lord Templeton Granger

The caravan is lead into the city via smuggling tunnels, that passage was safe but the moans of the army of zombies above could be heard even in the tunnel, and their shamblingkept a steady flow of dirt raining from the roof of the tunnel, most unnerving the caravan was happy to reach the other side of the tunnel.

Templeton and Fik meet with Stormbeard and Prank to findout about the comet and the rise of Dundas on the other side of the river.  After a bit of stage make-up Templeton, Fik, Prank and Stormbeard stealth their way across the river to attend a rally hosted by Montgomery.

Our cause is just, and the heavens were our herald! Those oppressors fear our power and what we can accomplish. They have vowed to stop us, but they could not find a living army to oppose us so they had to send an army of the dead!!!

Even now as our enemies plot and plan to end our uprising, there is a shipment of gunpowder en route as our blacksmith is crafting guns from plans I have brought from the engineers  of Alkenstar. This will let us turn the tide, and take out movement across Galt and to lands beyond our borders!

Dundas Montgomery in a speech to his followers in Woodsedge, Galt

Templeton uses wit and guile to get an audience with Montgomery. During that audience a bargain is struck for  Montgomery to clear out a temple of Abadar in exchange for the gunpowder, but over the course of the three days it takes to clear out the overrun temple in the middle of the river. Templeten and the rest substitute ground coffee for the gunpowder making for an unhappy surprise when Montgomery’s forces make their move on the forces on counter-revolutionaries. This leads to their ultimate defeat.

Meanwhile Tasilon takes steps to fulfill the oath he took to follow the vengence quest of his fallen comrade Crux.

Information was readily available about the man named “Doc”.  A Dwarf, amateur alchemist, slaver, priest.  Not quite the line up that I had expected.  Everyone was eager to sing praises of his deeds during the undead problems, how he’d stepped up into the shoes of the local priest who fell in combat.  How he’d been keeping the infirmary going and healing anyone regardless of their allegence.  It also came to light that he’d recently been heard to have had a loud, almost coming to blows, argument with several other dwarves and a Qadiran.  It was impossible to sift through the accounts to find the truth they held.  It didn’t matter, I was going to have to look into his eyes either way and tonight was as good a night as any other.

Lucky for me the Temple to Sarenrae was on “our” side of the city.  It had been converted into part infirmary and part orphanage.  Many of the parents in the town were either taken by the undead or by Montgomery and the children had no where else safe to go.  As I entered I was greeted by one of the older children, he was 13 if he was a day, who welcomed me to the Temple then noticed my symbol and realized that I was a worshiper.  He bowed and offered to lead me to “Brother…Accolyte…ummm…Father Trol” immediately.

From a letter home from  Tasilon aBin Zaleem of Qadira

Ultimately Tasilon found a person redeemed and willing to cooperate to help his former comrades find redemption or a merciful end as Sarenrae perscribes,

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

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.