View Full Version : Journal [Pathfinder] Campaign Journal: The (Un-)Usual Suspects

2016-05-22, 06:52 PM
My group recently started a new Pathfinder campaign, set in a setting we've been working on for almost two years now, Coria (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aKr-ogM-x_Ysx63N5G5ihQpa4a_fOPBMz2AM8MeQrRY/edit). I just wrapped up my campaign and the GM screen is being cycled to another, for what we refer to as 'the D'Nay campaign.' D'Nay is a large island home to a predominantly human population. They are extremely isolationist, and they tend to be rather superstitious. And ignorant. And racist. In a world where humans are embattled with only a handful of Human-dominant civilizations on the planet, they are the delusional old guy. Technology level is for the most part significantly lower; airships and other such devices are a known quantity in the rest of the world and firearms are common enough to see scattered use among the wealthy, D'Nay is stuck in the dark ages, complete with brutal, dogmatic religion.

But, D'Nay was not always this way, and it isn't all bad. Once upon a time it was a thriving kingdom, entertaining people from far and wide... literally. It was an enormous amusement park. Their religion, 'The Abbey of Saint Ollianus the Pius', has its... less extreme points, such as their zeal to slay the undead. May not make up for their belief that only humans have souls, and that all arcane magic is witchcraft and witches should be burnt at the stake, but it is a start.

So, what brave heroes (?) would come to this superstitious, stereotype-believing island? Well, if your answer wasn't 'mostly people they want dead', then you sir/madam are wrong! Here are the characters:

Played by me, Thaddeus is the son of a Marquis (guess his father’s name. C’mon, guess) from the kingdom of Sageraco, south of D’Nay. His father sent him out to adventure to become more worldly. He is a connoisseur of fine wine and is familiar in courtly situations, but is still a force on the battlefield. Also, minor note, Sageraco is a kingdom carved out of a land of eternal twilight, ruled by vampire clans, of which Thaddeus is a dhampir son. He specializes in the Unquiet Grave martial discipline, and uses polearms. LN Svetocher Warlord.

Fun fact: I was originally going to play another character, but I realized it might be better if I played a face character. Hence 16 charisma warlord. The campaign journal entries are from my viewpoint, so Thaddeus will be the viewpoint character for most of the entries. Also, I find it amusing he is simultaneously the shortest and oldest of the set of party (5'11" and 126, respectively).

Played by my brother (let's call him T), less experienced in the system overall. A bard; I haven't seen much of him at this point, so I can't say much. He's a NG human bard, apparently a friend to all living things, and a tuba-player. Is the youngest of the characters at 16 (and is younger than the player, very surprising, since the player is the youngest at the table). We know he was trained in Whiterose, however.

A goodly(?) elf witch, played by whom we will call S. I’d call her a white necromancer, but she is neither white in terms of skin color or magic practiced. However, her player has made clear she will be judicious in her use of undead; no slavering hordes, only recycling for manpower. Comes from a culture where phytonecromancy was cultivated, and we’re gonna be using her to playtest a few spells related to such. N elf witch (gravewalker). Voodoo elf witch, basically. Fun fact: rolled really damn high on her ability scores, her lowest score is a 13 charisma.

Played by whom we will call Z. Zen is a half-giant bushi stalker. Samurai with iajitsu and some other magic stuff. He arrived on D'Nay as the sole survivor of an airship crash off the coast, making him a ronin. Still, he has his code, which will hopefully keep him alive in the trials to come. Amusingly, half-giants are tolerated more than other species on D'Nay. LG or LN half-giant stalker (bushi), focusing on Mithral Current and Veiled Moon. Fun fact: uses a giant katana, which when we started was by far the most expensive item in the party.

As I mentioned, we are playing Pathfinder. Most material from Paizo books are allowed, with the softcover books being situational with approval, in addition to most of Dreamscarred Press's stuff, Path of War in particular. Stat generation was two sets of 4d6, rerolls 1s and drop the lowest.

Session 0.5
Session 1 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?488965-Campaign-Journal-The-(Un-)Usual-Suspects&p=20808167#post20808167)

2016-05-22, 06:58 PM
Session 0.5! So named since most of it was final parts of character creation, which was mostly the GM handing us notecards on which we answered his questions. Stuff like our appearance (and more importantly, how you stand out), what our goal is, where we're from and who we left behind, and most curiously, what we would do for gold. Also, Z was dealing with something arrived pretty late and T had to leave early, so we kinda danced around that stuff. Anyway, the session:

So, our session began with all of us (save the half-giant, whose player was not present, due to family medical stuff) waking up. We’re in a wagon, fortunately not bound. A gentleman wearing heavy clothing is driving. “About time you woke up.”

None of us know what he’s talking about. “So these are the kids they send me,” the guy grumbles.

“Send you for what?” Thaddeus say.

“The job we were hired for.”

There’s a bit of back-and-forth. He calls all of us kids, despite half of us being over 100 years old (I’m a dhampir, and we have an elf). Thaddeus eventually figures out the guy is a dhampir, and admits he himself is one as well. He mentions a cousin, a Jiang-Shi noble, that Thaddeus recognizes from his homeland to the south. So one question comes to our minds:

“What job are you talking about?”

“Kill the king. The church hired us.”

Although Thaddeus is the only one to voice an objection, he is obviously speaking for everyone present, or at least he assumes. Although its less an objection about killing a king, and more about not wanting to start a D’Nay-Sageraco war…

The driver says he’s made a mistake, and that he won’t kill us as long as we forget we ever met him. We agree, and the driver jumps out of the cart and disappears. Tia takes over the reigns and we continue on; the driver mentioned a town, so we might as well continue.

We haven’t been travelling too long when some of us start noticing some uninvited guest in the wagon. Who, or what, will be our first encounter of the campaign? The first to taste out steel, the first to test our mettle?

Rats. Not dire rats, not a swarm of rats, just rats. Five rats to be specific.

There is a… let’s call in an encounter, that sounds far more dignifying. Result: two escaped rats, two dead rats, one captured rat (by Kret), and one half-eaten ration. The half-giant slept soundly through this.

2016-05-30, 10:52 AM
Session 1 happened the other night, with all players present. Let's begin!

We begin with everyone finally awake; Zen is caught up on the situation. We all agree to continue into town; Kret notices as he is watching the trees around us (something Tia noticed last session) that a fair amount of the trees would not normally be present, or indeed able to live in this climate. Soon all dendrology ceases as he and Tia notice a particularly strange plant just off the road about a hundred feet ahead of us, littered with bones around it alongside a more fresh corpse. After a quick discussion of the mechanics of identifying monsters, between the swamp-born elf and the intelligent bard we identify it as a yellow musk creeper. A quick sortie out from the cart and we quickly finish it off, along with the zombie it has under its thrall (Tia was disappointed she couldn't yoink it with her aura).

We are sorting through the... 'loot' (what was left on the zombie) and find: a seed pod (the guy's heart) and about five bottles with poorly-mixed ale. In a display of forensics, we ascertain that was probably how the poor fellow fell victim to the creeper. Kret downs one of the bottles ("A fine cure for a hangover," Thaddeus remarks), immediately getting drunk again, but not in a good way. When he starts taking wisdom damage, we all try to figure out just what was with the ale; I figure out that there were two drinks in there: bad ale, and something called blood wine. Acts as a bad poison to most, but to vampires and dhampir, gives them temp HP. Thaddeus is delighted (he feels the craving, but staves it off with his affection for fine wine), while most Tia and Zen in particular are weirded out. See, Zen was still unconscious when he admitted to being a dhampir. Anyway, we drag the horribly-sick, 1-wisdom bard back to the wagon and continue on until nightfall. We have to tie up Kret while we set up camp, but it is otherwise uneventful. Thaddeus takes first watch. On the third hour, he notices red eyes peering out at him from the darkness, and notices they are attached to an eight-foot tall quadruped dragging its foot along the ground. He kicks the closest person awake (I rolled, and it was... the poisoned bard), who also gets up. Before anything else can happen, the creature (a dire boar) charges. To my great dismay, Thaddeus got ready with a brace, but missed ("That's the only time in the campaign I'm going to use that! And I MISSED!"), the witch fails at a diplomacy check utilizing speak with animals, but we manage to kill it before it maims Zen too badly. And we do kill it; we have to butcher it because it has both Ferocity and Die Hard. Fortunately, both Thaddeus and Kret level up (the GM started us at half XP to get to second level, and we had a bit from the rats). The rest of the night is fortunately uneventful, and we put into town the next afternoon.

We are greeted with strange looks, but are not accosted. The 'leader' of the town chats with us and tells us we can set down at the Lonely Bard inn. We tell him about the creatures we fought, learning that the zombie was indeed a former member of the town that wandered off several days prior.

"We also slew a dire boar. Was there some sort of reward out on that beast?" Thaddeus says.

"Aw, you folks killed Little Nicky!"

"That was Little Nicky!? That boar was eight feet at the shoulder! What's Big Nicky?"

"We ain't seen him in an age an' a half, but we occasionally find trees trampled."

Trying our best not to imagine, we put in a the Lonely Bard. We go inside to find a crowded common room, with beautiful barmaids serving the locals. Zen quickly notes that the innkeeper, a shapely human, is indeed not human. He mentions that to Thaddeus so, which she overhears. She suggests to him that we join her in a back room. Using suggestion. Zen goes, Tia follows, and Thaddeus drag Kret (absentmindedly hitting on one of the barmaids, enough to not notice she is an illusion). In the back, we learn that she is a shabti (a kind of being created to replace somebody in their intended afterlife), hiding in this town, providing for other nonhumans that hide. She protects the town from things the locals would not be able to, and quickly identifies our heroes as such.

"You're a half-giant, you're an elf*, you're a dhampir, and you're drunk!"

We agree to not out each other, and she tells us after we inquire she may have work for us. Specifically, she needs the local sewer cleared out. None of the human townsfolk realize there is a sewer, but there have been voices coming from it recently. So, we seal the deal with a drink from some very aged wine. Then the GM takes us out of our characters for a moment to a very Princess Bride moment:

"They just drink the wine without checking? One of them was just poisoned!"

"Well I'm reading this story, not you. That's the end of this one, time to sleep." And the reader (whom we are told has fangs) closes a book titled The Burning of D'Nay.

*Side note: she actually failed to make the check for Tia, so she forgot what an elf was... despite being well traveled and immortal.

Another short session, but this time with everyone present. We might not be gaming next week, but the other sessions should be normal-length.

2016-06-02, 02:07 PM
This is really cool and I hope you continue to chronicle it.