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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    IMPORTANT EDIT:
    Spoiler
    Show
    After a long run (25 sessions), we had to put the campaign on hiatus, for an unknown period of time. We played up to nearly the end of the 4th module in the AP (Just before entering the Nyhandrian mines on Colphyr), We got up to level 15, Mythic tier 6.
    The last 1-2 posts of the log include some ideas for the rest of the campaign.

    I am no longer updating the log, except to answer questions and comments. Hope you enjoyed. Thanks!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Welcome to another campaign log! My group is short on time, mainly for DMs, so we have finally decided to try a pre-made campaign. Hearing decent things about PF, wanting to try the system (We're all 3.5 veterans, but not PF), and wanting something of an epic scale that will span all levels, we decided on Wrath Of The Righteous Adventure path.

    I'm the DM, and as such the campaign log will include not just the story, but also DMing matters- choices of planning, of the gameד in session, and other such matters. If you are familiar with my previous logs (See sig if interested), than you know what to expect.

    A few short warnings though

    1) if you wish to play the campaign, I suggest not reading this log, as it will contain spoilers. If you are going to DM it? Well, you're welcome. Note that in various points I have made quite a few changes, since I thought that... well... things as written do not suffice. I hope this will make things more interesting.
    2) The log assumes you have some knowledge of the setting and situation, I will not go into full details of everything. Otherwise it will be way too long.
    3) We don't meet that often. about once every 3-4 weeks, which means that updates are somewhat long off. No one more than me wish I had a chance to update sooner!
    4) I tend to write fairly extensively. Some people like it, some people don't. Some people who read through my logs think they are worth the read, but I'm not really in a position to know.

    In this first post I will detail the beginning characters and our basic house rules (If you're really interested). The second one will be kept for quick navigation reference, and in the third I will start the actual log.

    Player Characters
    (Despite telling the players to build up background and connections in Kenabres, few did so. Real life can be a hassle at times. We intend to potentially "fill in the gaps" as we go along)
    We used the 25 points buy, this supposed to be an Eic Campaign and all... Level 1

    Andrew McClain, Aasimar paladin of Iomedae
    Spoiler
    Show
    Andrew is an angel-kin Aasimar, who's mother got pregnant with him while on the second crusade. He was born somewhat... different, and fearing the witch hunts his mother gave him to the church of Iomedae as a way to ensure that he is good and not dangerous. Andrew wishes to return the glory of Iomedae to the partially corrupt Kenabres, and to emulate the glory of his goddess. He fights with a long sword and a light spiked shield. The player has taken a crusader- type alternate racial feature.
    Campaign Trait: Child of the crusades.
    In the previous campagins: He played Red on the Eberron campaign, Jenny on the apocalyptic FATE campaign, and DMed "It began with a crash".


    Senatef Aberdeen, Aasimar Cleric of Sarenrae
    Spoiler
    Show
    Yes, another Aasimar . This one however took the human scion alternate racial feature, and thus appear like a human, and is less scrutinized. Senatef, or Sena as people often call him, comes from a modestly wealthy family in Kenabres, distantly related to Andrew. (The two characters know each other) Senatef has always felt a close connection to Sarenrae, and took to her teachings easily, seeking to bring moderation and help to the crusading effort. He is often cautious, thoughtful, and ever watchful (Very high perception and sense motive). His family, displeased by the road Kenabres was heading towards, established the Knights of The Sovereign Order Of Sarenrae. (I'm still trying to figure out how to fit this order), which mostly practice temperance. The player is usually accustomed to playing bastards and vagabonds, so this is a bit different.
    Campaign trait: Touched by divinity (Protection from evil)
    In the previous campaigns: Ipix and Gabriel on the Eberron Campaign, D*ck mighty in the apocalyptic FATE campaign and Killpi in the "it began with a crash" campaign.


    Harry, human evoker
    Spoiler
    Show
    The player wishes mostly to... kill stuff, and blow up what he can't kill. His evoker is definitely primed that way. He didn't give a lot about information about Harry, except that he is a very shy, timid and inexperience young wizard, but with a lot of power to him. For looks think of Harry Potter in the movies. (I think this is where the similarity will end). His arcane bond is to his wand. Banned schools are Enchantment and Illusion.
    Campaign trait: Riftwarden Orphan
    In the previous campaigns: He played Google and Grum in the Eberron campaign, The mutant and Bob in the Fate campaign, and Ayla the healer in "it began with a crash".


    Andera, foreign human ninja
    Spoiler
    Show
    Now, other than him playing a TWF ninja I didn't know anything of the character till the actual session (Not like the player, he usually provides quite extensive info). He is a black human from a foreign country, who came to fight in the crusades for... some reason? I hope he will fill me up till next session. Fights with tow Wakizashi.
    Campaign trait: Chance encounter.
    In previous campaigns: He played Danves in the Eberron campaign, The preacher in the apocalyptic FATE campaign, and Glimji in the "it began with a crash" game.


    John, Human ranger, two handed fighting
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is a very new player, been with us partly on the fate campaign, trying to now learn PF. We' unsure if she'll continue with us for long, since her real life is quite busy and she found little time to go over any of the material. Her character was being built in the socializing stage of the session. So far I know she wanted some sort of fighter with lots of skills, and that can deal great amounts of damage. Enter 2.1 meter John, rippling muscles with his great sword, and that his favored enemy is evil outsiders.
    Campaign Trait: this was currently left empty till she figure things out a bit better.
    In previous campaigns: The madam on the FATE game.


    Some house rules
    (Not that important, read if interested)
    1) Players roll all the dice:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I as DM roll no dice. Instead of monster attack rolls, there are PC defense rolls, instead of monster saves, there is spell/ power roll, and so on. DCs are known in most cases, or told once the decision to roll has been made. The main effects are:
    - I can't fudge dice, and this gives the game more credibility, an enhanced sense of danger, and it takes things to unexpected places, which is always cool.
    - A major time saver (5 players roll the attacks against them way faster then one DM rolling all dice). It also helps me keep my concentration on the battle instead of just numbers.
    - It had made battles quite more engaging and tactical, with the players feeling they understand better the odds, and have more control of the battle.


    2) "Roll with what may":
    Spoiler
    Show
    I am a great believer in introducing outside influence into the game, forcing you to react and improvise, and create things you didn't expect. There is no "Foregone conclusion" in most cases. If the players are smart enough, or lucky enough, they can take things in places I didn't expect. I love it when it happens! There is a DC, and it's fine if it succeeds, it's fine if it fails.


    3) "All is possible, not all is easy":
    Spoiler
    Show
    I try to allow players to try any plan they want, but I try to put off resistance and challenge according to what they come up with. Some things are simpler, some are less...


    4) HP:
    Spoiler
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    One each level the player rolls. If they come up with less than half, they take the "high end of the average" (for a d8 it's 5 hp for example). This gives a bit higher than average hp total, but not by much.


    5) Diplomacy:
    Spoiler
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    We use The Giant's excellent diplomacy rules revision. It had served us well in the past. HIGHLY recommended!


    6) Identifying monsters:
    Spoiler
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    We take a bit of a different view of monster knowledge, mostly based on what we assume is the monster's rarity. Success in the knowledge skill gives the most noteworthy "shtick" of the monster, plus two other abilities/ defenses/ powers or such. for each 3 above the DC, they learn 2 more pieces of info.


    Ok! Time to get to it then!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-02-29 at 03:47 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    The Worldwound Incursion

    Session 1, part 1- When all hell brakes loose! (Literaly)
    Session 1, part 2- Journey through Kenabres' underground

    Session 2, Part 1- Mongrel alliance, Mongrel clash
    Session 2, part 2- Battle with Hosila and her minions.

    Session 3, Part 1- The way out, Blackwing library
    Session 3, part 2- Deeper into ruined Kenabres

    Session 4, part 1- From Topaz Solutions to Anevia's home
    Session 4, part 2- Of Halls, Mentors, Heroes and The sword!

    Level 4 crunch

    Session 5, First part- Defender's Heart, Tower of Estrod.
    Session 5, Second part- Final preparations, War Council, Approaching the Gray Garrison

    Session 6, Part 1- Into the Gray Garrison, Battle with Othirubo
    Session 6, part 2- Second floor, The Schir and the desert demon

    Session 7, Part 1- Battle over the Wardstone fragment, Areelu's temptation


    Spoiler: The Worldwound Incursion Soundtrack
    Show
    Our "The Worldwound Incursion" soundtrack
    Music Related Scene
    United we stand, divided we fall Clydewell Plazea battle (Opening battle)
    Northern pastures Relaxing at Neathholem
    Freedom Fighters Reaching the surface, seeing ruined Kenabres
    Atrium Carceri Ambiance for exploring ruiend Kenabres
    Full metal jacket- ruins Tension exploring ruined Kenabres
    Another Atrium Carceri soundtrack More exploring Kenabres
    Archangel Hall of Heroes battle music
    Heart of courage Defender's Heart
    Colossal (2,000) Defender's Heart
    Quake- Damnation The Grey Garrison- slow
    Power of Darkness The Grey Garrison- fast paced
    Requiem for soprano, mezzo soprano TheGrey Garrison- swarms/ souls. soul swarms
    United we stand, divided we fall Also for the final battle
    To Glory! Final battle
    Queen- We are the champions End credits


    The Sword of Valor

    Session 7, part 2- Level ups, Interlude, Interview with the queen, and the arrival of Julian


    Homebrew tactical mass combat rules. (A different thread)
    Armies and commanders of Kenabres

    Session 8, part 1- The making of an army!
    Session 8- Part 2- Battle at Vilareth ford

    Session 9, Part 1- Battle of Keeper's Canyon
    Session 9, part 2- First troubles, Approach to The Lost Chappel

    Session 10, part 1- Reclaiming the Temple of Welcomed Night
    Session 10, part 2- Trouble at the camp, Battle of the Bloody Sands

    Session 11, Part 1- Vescavor remains, A dispute at the approach
    Session 11, Part 2- assault on the Drezen environs3
    Session 11, Part 3- Reassessing & the tower assault!

    Level 7, Mythic tier 1 statistics

    Session 12, part 1- Nightly retaliation and John's "trial"
    Session 12, part 2- The Bridge, Nurah, Soltengrabbe and the attack on Drezen!

    Between session 12 & 13 (Containing info relevant for session 13)
    Session 13, Part 1- Matters of trust, entering Drezen
    Session 13, part 2- The halls of Drezen, visions of the past

    Session 14, part 1- The search for The Sword of Valor, Chorussia, Sena's call
    Session 14, Part 2- The search continues, Kirandia, Getting lost.
    Session 14, part 3- The "Inside" Drezen, The choice, Shadow demon, Staunton Vhane

    Spoiler: The Sword of Valor Soundtrack
    Show
    Our "The Sword of Valor" soundtrack
    Music Related Scene
    Black moon chronicles track 7 Army march music
    Fly swarm sounds Vescavor swarm
    All drums go to hell- buildingjumper Drezen environs battle music
    Dragon roar sound effect (a few roars) Soltengrabbe roars, for build up
    Dragon roar sound effect (One roar) Soltengrabbe roars, for build up.
    Lion roar sound effect Soltengrabbe roar, for build up.
    Some dramatic music Commander John's trial- dramatic music.
    Audiomachine- Kill em all Soltengrabbe battle music
    Attack on titan- Shingeki no Kyojin Soltengrabbe battle music
    Dark Ages Final attack on Drezen
    Heart of courage- extended After conquering Drezen, before the Citadel
    Blackblade- 2 steps from hell Gate of Drezen battle
    Fallout New Vegas- End theme Exploring Drezen
    The Grisly Grotto- Quake 1 Exploring Drezen
    Dragon age- 63 Deep roads Explore Exploring Drezen
    Titan dune, 2 steps from hell Drezen battle music
    Mercy in Darkness- 2 steps from hell Sword of Valor
    The hall of souls- Quake 1 Whispers od madness0- Dungeon/ "Inside" Drezen
    He who brings the night- 2 steps from hell Shadow Demon fight
    Blackblade- 2 steps from hell Staunton Vhane battle


    Demon's Heresy

    Group talk- dynamics, drama vs. action, roleplay and more
    Session 15, Part 1- Downtime around the ruins of Drezen
    Session 15, part 2- New arrivals to Drezen, Into the wild, Mad dog's Challenge!

    Session 16, Part 1- Dragon's hoard, Canyon of legends, Celebration with a finale
    Session 16, Part 2- Lord of the Swarms, Random Encounters, Demonic dealings

    Session 17- The lost expedition

    Session 18- Paradox, trip to Drezen, Arulashee's redoubt (Plus table of characters for level 11/tier 4)

    Session 19- Sena's vision of the future, Battle of The Ivory Sanctum

    Spoiler: Demon's Heresy Soundtrack
    Show
    Our "Demon's Heresy" soundtrack
    Music Related Scene
    Carry on- Tom Evens Emerging from Drezen
    Conan- Atlantean sword Early Drezen- rebuilding till reinforcements arrive
    Lord of The Rings- Twilight and Shadow Sena's temple theme
    Conan- Mountain of power procession Reinforcements arriving at Drezen!
    Conan- Theology/ Civilization Drezen town "normal business" music
    Soundtrack of Wasteland 2 Wildrensess exploration
    Medieval Anthem - Peter Crowley Fantasy Dream Drezen Celebrations
    bees buzzing - sound effect Lord of the Swarms area and battle
    Titan dune- 2SfH Lost expedition- Battle of the corrupted thane tree
    Shadow of Mordor- Queen of the shore Lost Expedition- exploration music
    Power of Darkness- 2SfH Lost Expedition- room of horrors
    Archangel- 2SfH Lost Expedition- The Fallen Fane (Golem battle)
    Underworld - Come Scientist Destroy, Frankenstein Music Guardian of Paradox
    Battle From Hell mix Ivory Sanctum Battle music 1
    Unchained Ivory Sanctum Vattle music 2


    Mid Campaign Interlude- Night of the Purge, Julian's Ascension

    Session 20, Part 1- Mid Campaign Interlude: Loot, Rebuild, Revelations, Arulashee's Path
    Session 20, Part 2- Mid Campaign Interlude: Lessons and trials of Paradox, Night of The Purge

    Session 21, Part 1- Julian's ascension

    Spoiler: Mid Campaign Interlude Soundtrack
    Show
    Our "Mid Campaign Interlude" soundtrack
    Music Related Scene
    Sky Titans, from Nemesis, Two Steps from Hell Victory music upon returning to Drezen
    Shadow of Mordor: The Caragors Night of The Purge
    Underworld- Come scientist destroy, Frankenstein play Lessons and visions of Paradox


    The Midnight Isles

    Session 21, Part 2- Preparing for the Abyss
    Session 21, Part 3- Attack on the Midnight Fane

    Level 13, Mythic Tier 5 table

    Session 22, Part 1- Into the Abyss, Vazgral island
    Session 22, Part 2- Getting to know Porphyry City
    Session 22, Part 3- Porphyry, Way to the Flesh Markets, Cliffhanger!

    Session 23, Part 1- Minhago's trickery!
    Session 23, Part 2- Desperation, planning, and shadowy dealings
    Session 23, Part 3- Short tempers, Rupture of Rapture, The Battle Bliss arena

    Session 24, Part 1- Mayhem under the Battle Bliss arena
    Session 24, Part 2- Nocticula's palace, Start of Demonic Negotiations
    Session 24, Part 3- The Negotiations Intensify, A Feast, Odd Delights.
    Session 24, Part 4- Dances, A change, Final Negotiations

    Level 15, Mythic Tier 6

    Session 25, Part 1- Last dealings with Nocticula, boons and departing
    Session 25, Part 2- Ambush on the shadow path, Coplhyr and Melazmera

    Ending posts, Part 1- Why did we stop? Challenges running the campaign
    Ending posts, Part 2- Rough sketches for the rest of the campaign. Where do we go from here?

    Spoiler: The Midnight Isles Soundtrack
    Show
    Our Midnight Isles soundtrack
    Music Related Scene
    Diablo II- Jungle Vazgral island- Jungle music
    Diablo II- Hell Vazgral island- Jungle music 2
    Diablo II- Kurast Vazgral island- Ruins
    Planescape Torment full soundtrack! Porphyry City, background music
    Tantric music collection Brothel music (The Inn and Out)
    1 hour of Arabian and Egyptian music Rupture of Rapture
    10 Epic songs collection mix Battle Bliss arena fight
    Dreamgasm 4 (Sweet spells of suxsex) Nocticula's Palace music
    Passion and Sensuality Binural Beats Meditation Music Nocticula's theme (Audiance)
    Scary Heartbeat Sound Effect On Killing...
    Spectral Realm Whisper Voices On Secrets...
    Two Steps From Hell - Blackheart Leaves in The Storm dance
    Camille Saint-Saëns - Danse Macabre Dance of The Dead
    Enigma- Principles of Lust On Desire...
    Posthaste music- Imminent Danger Showdown with Minhago, Shadow path ambush
    Diablo 1- caves music island of Colphyr


    No more current logs folks. At least not for now...


    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2016-02-29 at 03:45 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Session 1, part 1- When all hell brakes loose! (Literaly)

    The celebrations of Aramasse came close to the city of Kenabres, Mendev's border city, on the edge of the infernal lands known as the Worldwound. Lands of demons, corruption and hellish manifestations. Kenabres was protected by the mystical holy Wardstone, repelling all demons from the city.

    The PCs were each accepted to finally join and participate in the crusades, and as such were called to the Clydewell plaza for the midday celebrations. It was a day of glory, rejoicing, and purpose.

    Introductions at Clyrdewell Plaza
    We started with each player coming to their seats (conveniently quite close together, on the third row), to start some humble introductions. Andrew, paladin of Iomedae came and met an elderly woman with white silvery long hair, looking like some sort of a wealthy merchant. He exchanged pleasantries with her, learning that she was one of the supporters of the crusades, and liked to come and meet the new crusaders. "The crusades are... injured, we need new blood. It always warms my hearty to see the young ones with their fire joining the cause!"

    Next came Sena, nodding towards his cousin Andrew. He made some more conversation with the old lady, trying to ascertain her place in the nobility of the city, and discussing a bit of the "need to clear the blood, not just replenish it". Harry came close behind, but said little, acting all out of place, awkward and somewhat clumsy. John mad dog followed in, a big hulking man, with an air of "I don't give a sh*t about anything!", sat like a crouching lion. (His player was still uncertain of the situation, taking her time to get accustomed to it). Last came Andera, a bit of a peculiar sight here, with the lady's eyes immediately going to his sword, and welcoming him. He replied courtly, but otherwise kept his silence.

    They chatted a bit more, but the players were etching to get things going, and so we did.

    The Storm King cometh!
    Trumpets were heard, and silence came on the crowd. Holrun, leader of the city came to make his speech, but then suddenly a new sunrise was coming from behind him... from the west? He too looked surprised and managed to turn when the church suddenly erupted and collapsed on him, as the Kite, the fortress holding the Wardstone exploded and disappeared in a great fire!

    Moments later a fiery fiend appeared- the Balor known as The Storm King! The lady beside the characters suddenly roared in a voice not of a lady "Defenders of Kenabres, protect the city!" and lunged herself, shapeshifting in mid jump to Terendelev the silver dragoness, protector of Kenabres, and clashed with the fiend lord! H himself roared, and the fabric between planes weakened in many places over the plaza, bringing many demons of various kinds to fight the new crusaders!

    Now, the adventure starts below the city, AFTER these events, but for reason I'll explain later, I wanted to play this out. Time for initiative! The Battle was a bit complex- The PCs were in the third row, but already earthquakes rocked and shattered the place, making gaping maws in the arena, with some people falling into them. Although there were quite a few people fighting nearby, the battle focused on the demons attacking the party, and the "showed cut scene" of the battle between Terendelev and The Storm King.

    Accompanying music for the fight, United we stand, Divided we fall. (For this campaign I'll be using a lot of Two Steps from Hell tracks, preferably those great long repeating tracks)

    "Deskari! Let your swarm devour allll!" Out of the air appeared giant locusts, of an obvious fiendish origin, with sickening colors, multiple eyes with a slight wicked intelligence. They were as big as small dogs, but flying and full of malice. the creatures sought targets, and 3 of of these fell on the characters, one latching to Mad dog's back, starting to hum strangely. Seeing this Harry blasted the locust with a magic missile, surprising the big man who didn't expect this from the feeble bespectacled man. Andrew, calling on Iomedae rushed and killed another.

    But there were more! 2 dretches and a quasit also came in, and attacked the party. The others in the crowd were all fighting similar demons. Sena's keen senses however saved them from surprise, as to their astonishment two of the "crusaders" drew short swords and attacked them! "The demon lords will win this day! All shall fall to their glory!" (Two rogues).

    The party was surrounded from all sides, with each having enemies to beset upon them. Meanwhile Terendelev and the storm king clashed and fought, with fire, ice, talons and swords, as the ground of the plaza shook.

    The party also noticed some other individuals, a human woman archer who shot at the imposters, and tried to help Harry a bit, calling to others "Alert Arabeth! The city must not fall!" and a haughty looking tall elven male wizard, who sought to help Terendelev, trying to cast some spells to help her. (These are Anevia and Aravashnial, whom I'll call Aravash from now on. For those unfamiliar, these are two of the 3 PCs that will join the party a short while later). I forgot to portray Horus however. Oh well...

    As the party attack back they are somewhat thwarted by the DR of the quasit and dretches, but Mad dog splits one in half with a great critical. (The player was very happy, she wanted to kick ass!). Andrew however is beset by the rogues, who manage to flank and SA him, while Sena tries to deal with the baffling quasit, who can't get past his defenses.

    As Aravash takes a horrific fiery whiplash to the face, Andrew is brought down by a Dretch. The player is not happy. Harry manages to somehow tumble a bit back, and unleashes burning hands only to realize that... the locusts and the dretch all have fire resistance. It is then that he remembers that he should use his maximized knowledge skills...

    Alarmed, Sena moves towards Andrew and heals him, despite distractions. Mad dog comes to aid him flanking. So does Andera, who manages to SA a cultist and kill it. Andrew is back in the fight, but with a grinning Dretch in the face. He decides to call upon Iomedae, and uses his smite evil ability (On a Dretch?", "Hey, it's either that or I'm dead!") and manages to kill it with his sword and shield spikes.

    However ,things are still bad, as another Dretch fells Harry, and more and more people in the arena seem wounded or dead. More locusts appear, and one start harassing Andera. Sena curses, and uses a channel energy charge, restoring Harry enough, and even Anevia and Aravash a bit. (Aravash is down, shocked). Terendelvel looks badly hurt, and thoguh crusaders come to aid her, the Storm King lives up to his name and unleashes chain lightning, killing most immediately.

    We continue the battle for 1-2 rounds more, before two huge fiends climb the sides of the arena, and unleash a great earthquake that tears it apart. Just as it happens, Terendelev is sqewered by The Storm King's fiery sword, killing her. As she falls, the party sees her casting with her last breath one last spell- feather fall, protecting the party falling down to the bowels of Kenabres.

    The players were somewhat stressed. This was a big opener to the campaign, and they felt somewhat overwhelmed. But they did like it!

    DM notes- Battle at Clydewell Plaza
    Spoiler
    Show
    In the adventure the party begins in a cavern deep below (the next part), and the DM tells them of what happened. They then go on journeying killing... maggots... cockroaches... flies and such. This felt wrong to me. This is an Epic campaign of a great fight against demons and it should start as such! So I scooped up the XP from encounters that seemed redundant to me, and used them for this one big massive encounter.

    Goals of this encounter:
    1. Open the Campaign with a bang!
    2. Give the initial shock, desperation and chaos feel of the invasion.
    3. Give the party an initial taste of demons and their abilities and such.
    4. Unfortunately, AP assumes some measure of railroad, so This encounter also included a sort of "cut scene" of the fight between Terendelev and the Storm King, and the final fall to the bowels of Kenabres. I don't like this much railroading, but the players agreed to this when we discussed the adventure. Had they found a way to avoid the arena and escape, we would have played so.
    5. Show a bit of the supporting NPCs.

    Some Design Notes
    The players seat are all in a row, the battle grid includes some big feasures. Going up a row requires jump DC 5, going down a row is free, and elevation bonus counts.
    As to enemies: I had two dretches, ,one imp, two rogue 1 cultists and 3 "soul eaters" attack them at first. The soul eater is actually a fiendish stirge that sucks 1 point of the highest mental ability when it attaches. I wanted some sort of a very low CR locust fiend creature, to symbolize Deskari's involvement somehow, which I felt was missing. Thankfully there are stirge swarms in the bestiary so it will be easy to upgrade!

    The party was to survive for 5-6 rounds (forgot exactly), where new soul eaters appear every 1d3 rounds, and one dretch can replace fallen ones.


    In the Bowles of Kenabres
    As per the adventure, the party "somehow" lost consciousness, and "somehow" the ceiling closed above them (Debris and such? I'm no engineering expert) They were in darkness, and their city was getting decimated above. But first things first. Sena cast light "Is everyone allright?" Andrew rose to his feet, and used detect evil to make sure no presence of demons was found.

    He didn't find any demons, but he did find quite a few bodies, and 3 live ones, other than the PCs. The party started getting up and gathering themselves. Sena immediately channeled more healing energy, bringing the burnt elf out of his stupor. "Where... where are we?! The Storm King! We must... My sight! What's happening?" It became apparent that the wizard was blinded, but more than just blinded- his face was heavily burnt, and his eyes were beyond repair.

    They were comnforted to see the archer there "We need to get to the surface, quick! Help me get u... .AYIE!" Apparently her leg were broken. "You need to get message to my wife, Arabeth of the Eagle Watch!" (The party: "Wife? Adventures are getting progressive") Apparently the archer's leg was broken in a few places.

    There was a third figure, surprisingly unhurt, an irritated and annoyed looking wealthy merchant. "Yes we must get up. The demons cannot be let to take the city. You lot seem capable enough, I'll pay you a handsome reward to get me back up!")

    And so were introduced Anevia (the broken legged archer), Aravash (The blind elf wizard) and Horus (The merchant). For thos unfamiliar with the adventure the 3 PCs can tag with the party, but they each bring their own problems to the journey, and are conflicted between them. If the party helps them they later prove beneficial, but other they all have... how shall we say... somewhat grating personalities to deal with. I love them since they present opportunities for roleplay along the way, in a long way fraught mostly with combat. So it's good.

    The party took an instant liking to Anevia. She winced in pain as Sena tried to check her (By the adventure curing enough can't mend her leg), and asked them to let go, but Andrew would have none of it. "We ALL come out of this!" He started to work on making a crutch for Anevia, when Horus, interrupted. "We are going to lug a blind man and a cripple through unknown tunnels, while the city burns above?" Mad dog's player agreed with him surprisingly (She's a new player, and as we've seen in a previous campaign quite cold in her calculations. It amuses us greatly. "He's right! Let's dump her!") But Andrew replied coldly. "As I said- we ALL come out of this!".

    The adventure calls for a DC 15 heal check, but none in the party could make that. So I said they did manage but caused her another 1d10 damage. Aravash started issuing commands. "Right! Paladin, you'll lead in the front! I need someone to act as my eyes. Under proper guidance and with caution we shall make these demons rue the day!" The party exchanged glances, but Harry went to support the blind wizard (Hoping to gain access to spells in the future?)

    The party search the cave a bit, there is only one way out, but they also find some silvery sheets. Aravash whispers with awe "Terendelev's scales?" and when Sena touches one he feels a special blessing in it- a refreshing power that can rejuvenate 10 people after a short rest as if they had slept an entire night. There are 5 such scales, and they are a 1-time magic item. The party takes these, and then seeks to head on. There are some more minor arguments exchanged, and Horus gets on Andrew's nerves. "You escort Anevia, I hold YOU responsible for her safety, if anything happens to her- you're to fault!" Horus hrummphs and seems to take affront, but does as requested.

    Hoping they won't be too late, the party heads into the darkness, to the bowels of Kenabres...

    DM notes- NPCs interaction
    Spoiler
    Show
    The adventure gives award for using the diplomacy skill to make the other members friendly or even helpful. I find the skill a bit lacking, and as said in the house rules section in the first post, we use a different version of the skill, that doesn't change the attitude, but persuades someone to do something.

    I decided to let the party roleplay their interactions with the 3 NPCs, and just see where it will lead. They will gain their friendships if they do things to merit their friendship. Diplomacy can still be used to convince them to do stuff.


    DM notes- Terendelev's scales
    Spoiler
    Show
    The road through the tunnels of Kenabres is long, way too long to do in one "Adventuring day". Which means the adventure assumes the party sleeps a few times at least in the caves. Only knowing the party- they will see the attack on the city so dire and ongoing, they would not stop unless they are broken from getting above.

    In the end of the adventure there is a dungeon crawl that also assumes several "attack and retreat", which make no sense whatsoever.

    I decided to give the party a tool to "keep on going" despite the urgency and superior challenges, but still a limited resource, which they must use wisely. I dislike the original Terendelev's scales in the adventure, which give some thematic powers usable some times a day for no reason. So I hope this is a good replacement.

    -----------------------------------------
    Ok, here we'll end this for now, I gotta run. I hope you enjoyed reading, and will probably update the second part of the session tomorrow- Road to Neathholme, and an interesting tale of potential redemption?
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-01-04 at 09:23 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    So where were we? Oh yes-

    Session 1, part 2- Journey through Kenabres' underground

    The following part of the adventure takes the party through a fairly long journey under the city, as they seek a way to return to the surface. As mentioned before I've scraped the initial encounters in favor of the Clydewell plaza encounter. There have been a few more minor changes, but nothing major.

    Ramifications
    The party started going in the tunnel, with Sena casting light every little while, and Andrew in the lead. The road was slow and tricky, having to deal with Anevia's broken leg and Aravash' blindness. Harry tried to comfort him, and struck a conversation. They soon learned that he was one of the leaders of the black wing archives, a library dedicated to the research of demon fighting. They gained some respect for him, though they understood that a blind mage is extremely limited.

    Conversation turned to what just happened in the plaza. Terendelev's death bode ill, but more than that the explosion of the kite, and the (assumed) loss of the wardstone. "The demons could swarm in now, just as they had" remarked Andrew grimly. "More than that" called Aravash "The Wardstones are linked to each other, with one gone, the others might fail as well. The entire border might be open! We... How... "Aravash seemed to half break at this time. Surprisingly Horus was the one not to give up. "Demons have infiltrated the city even when the wardstone was in place. The crusaders fought them before, and they will again, if we just get to the blasted surface!" It might have won him some points with the party if he kept his displeasure of Anevia and Aravash a bit more closed.

    Sena, who was always a watcher of people, watched the 3 closely. He did not like the tension, or what brew underneath it. Andera almost echoed his thoughts "The attack was extremely well timed and executed, and we saw traitors in the crowd. There was treason here, in the highest ranks." With that unease settling on them, they journeyed on.

    The fight site
    Not that long after they reached a small cave, with two dead figures laying in it. One dressed in the crusading uniform of Iomedae, the other... a strange creature, who seemed like a fusion of many different races into one humanoid body. I was surprised that no one in the party recognized this as a mongrelman, but better that way. Investigation revealed that the two fought, and then a shake must have loosened a boulder that killed the young crusader. The party rummaged through their belongings, getting some supplies, a potion or two, and a brooch in the shape of a silver bat sitting on a white mushroom. At first they thought it was a holy symbol, but realized it isn't. They contemplated as to the strange humanoid, and some wagered it might be some sort of a deformed demon of some sort.

    Oh well, carry on.

    DM notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    I refluffed and joined the loot from the two caves after the initial one, trying to create a bit more of a story. The original design gives a good chance of missing the brooch just because the party went to the wrong tunnel. Didn't seem that fair.


    The forgotten temple
    Some more distance in (And after quite a bit of pestering from Aravash "What is happening now?", "What do you see?" and so on) The party reaches a side cave, in which there is some sort of a stone building. They explore around it, but the only meaningful signs are on the doors- religious signs, old signs, depicting this as a small temple to Sarenrae?

    Anevia was quite moved, but tried to cover it, complaining about her leg. Horus burst and mocked her, and she mocked him in return for "hiding your own faith!" (Eyes of some players go "ping!") and he in return yelled at her that he would not be scolded by a mere consorter with thieves! (second "ping!") But Andrew grew tired of this. "Enough! Both of you- silence now, and stay outside!" (The player joked that this was like dealing with his kids) Both were not that pleased, but at truce... for now.

    Sena was immediately intrigued by the temple, but the old air of the place worried the party. They went into a small foyer, leaving the 3 NPCs outside "You watch over her!" Said Andrew to Horus. Sena opened the door to the inner chamber, in which he has seen an altar, and in front of it... an old dwarven cleric, shed with a warm light. Sena was confused " What the..." But Andrew allready sensed it's evil "It's a trick!"

    And indeed it was a trick, as the Huecuvae's illusion faded, and he came lunging at Sena. Meanwhile they could hear Anevia yelling from outside, and some ectoplasmic creature came through the wall towards them! (Anevia was beset by one outside, the creatures could move through walls)

    The battle was very quick, very one sided, as the party destroyed the undead quickly, with only Sena suffering some. Andera proved very nimble in tumbling past enemies to sneak attack them, and Andrew was caught with no maneuvering space and so threw... a chakaram? Oh well. Mad dog still proved as a massive damage dealer.

    They then went one exploring the temple. Some loot, but also some writings on the back wall, starting with prayers, and what seemed like pleas ""Bring us light in time of darkness...", "From the burning fire let me return!" and more. They concluded this was a temple built long ago by a priest of the goddess, trying to repent for something, but not succeeding, and turning the other way.

    Slightly depressed, Sena wished to consecrate the temple once more. I argued it could take about 15 minutes (The adventure says 8 hours, but as I mentioned before, this is an unreasonable amount of time in the situation). He was helped by Anevia and... Horus, who seemed intent on "purge corruption and return the faith". Their efforts were successful, and a soft light descended on the party, as well as the effect of bless for battles to come. (Only we... forgot about it Still, worth the XP, no?)

    Small note: The party later gets XP on bringing the NPCs alive with them, so at some points I try to challenge this, with having the NPCs attacked.

    DM notes and design
    Spoiler
    Show
    The original design includes only the Heucuvae. But the original adventure is also planned for 4 characters, not 5, and the XP to match. I decided to add challenges that will also provide extra XP for the fifth character. That was included in the Clydewell plaza, but also on other accounts through out the adventure. In this case I added 2 extoplasmic humans.

    I also about doubled the space of the temple. It looked extremely cramped and boring to fight in.


    Cave of the ancestors, or "Of darkmantles and Crazy dwarves"
    On wards into the darkness, the party trudged on. They finally reached a big cavern with big statues in it. "Statues? Bring me closer! Describe them to me!" called Aravash. As they came near however two dark figures detached from the ceilings, and tried to hit and grab Harry and Horus. The two darkmantles however failed, and a short and lethal fight started. Unfortunately I forgot to use their darkness ability before combat, which made the battle much easier. in about 2 rounds 1 beastie was dead, the other flew up, and those with crossbows started taking shots at it.

    It was then that Sena heard some murmurs from further along, in a nearby tunnel. "They are coming to get us! Yes they are! Finally, they have come for us! They will not catch!" Now, this are the mad ravings of an evil dwarf wizard in the next cave who ran down here long ago, initially planned to be another fight encounter, but the party? "This must be some poor soul who fled the witch hunts down here, don't kill him, we'll try and persuade him!" said Andrew. I smiled inwardly- this may prove interesting!

    They came close, and Andrew, then Sena tried their diplomacy against Millorn, but failed. Sena moved into his cave and sw him, protected by a giant centipede (another addition for challenge and XP), He tries again, But Millorn seems to be panicked now, mumbling strange things under his breath, as if to himself and some... other people?

    Andrew came in, trying to do nonlethal damage to the centipede (Whom he mistook for Millorn's familiar) but failing. Mad dog and Andera use full movements to come from the other side of Millorn, which makes him panic even more, and he unleashes a color spray on them! Only it's made of various shades of grey dark. (The adventure says he worked into dark magic, I wanted to suggest that). This takes both of them out of the fight completely. Millorn, seeing how many there are, tries to retreat towards his escape tunnel.

    Sena rushes to grapple Millorn while Andrew smacks away the centipede into unconsciousness, but Millorn slams two dark magic missiles into Sena, which disengages to heal himself with his last spell. Anevia comes in yelling "witch!" and tries to shoot him. This makes Sena tries lethal methods as well, While Andrew still tries non lethal. The combination (With some help from Harry. "Non lethal? what's that?") manages to take down the mad dabbling dwarf, severely wounded, but alive.

    An attempt at redemption, and some rest
    There is a slight argument between the characters, whether Millorn is a crazy evil witch, and should be killed, or should he be spared and questioned. Millorn has managed 1 or 2 more spells in the battle, and the party is exhausted and wounded. combining this with the fact that the wizard wishes to read the spells of Millorn's book, but haven't learned read magic", they decide to rest.

    They debate whether to use one of the scales or not, but decide that there is not much time, and use it. Sena uses his last channel energy charges, healing the party nicely, before the scale sheds a warm silvery glow surrounds the party, and after 5 minutes they are refreshed. Aravash explores the cavern with the statues with the help of some others- they depict figures from the first crusades! "These must be made by the descendents!" he is excited. "There were rumors that some of the descendents, inflicted by the vile magic went underground. No one has ever seen this! It is a major discovery!" The characters mostly shrugged their shoulders, letting him jabber.

    Harry studies spells while They go through Millorn's stuff. They find his spellbook, potions, magical cloak and a few other neat thingies, including a journal. I tried to make it mad scribbling in dwarven, but no one spoke that. So Sena learned Comprehend languages as well (He is such a conspiracy theorist!)

    The journal depicts Millorn studying magic, but drawn to some darker paths, some "voices", some "oracles", "the great ones" (Call of Cthulu here we come! ) and some sort of... event... after which his writings become more and more insane. The spell's duration suffices just for a quick skimming of the journal, but there is mention of the great lords, servitude and more.

    Andrew however takes pity on the dwarf, and awakens him, giving him a rousing speech of turning his life away from wickedness and dark magic. But the dwarf is adamant, talking about serving and bringing the great lords back, and so forth, confused by the party whether they'll kill him or let him go. (The party was conflicted as well). Andrew' player joked that if he pinged "evil" on the detect evil ability they should kill him. (And he did). Sena was quite ambivalent and unsure about him. disliking the dwarf greatly for dabbling in abusive arts. A strange turn came when Horus said "He's a dark witch, demon worshiper, I say burn him!" with anger and hatred in his eyes. To which Sena turned "You would burn a man?" and Horus answered "A demon worshiper yes! They deserve no more!" This made Sena choose to try and redeem him as well, and I think this sort of black marked Horus in his eyes. (Mad dog however said- "yeah! That's a good idea! He tried to kill us! Let's get his stuff!" (Face palm! )

    But it was Andera that made the real change. He came to Millorn "The dark lords will save you? Where are they now? where have they been for the past 50 years? while you were here, living underground, an outcast to the world? where is their great promise? Did their magic save you from us? If you live this day, it is because of the power of our compassion, and caring, not the dark gods" and so on.

    It was beautiful! He confronted the dwarf turn after turn in each of his beliefs, shaking him, rattling him, while Andrew shows the side of light and benevolence. It was enough (with a good diplomacy check) to make Millorn stutter and utter confusedly "I... I... I don't know! So much... You said so much... Millorn needs to think! Can't think! They speak! They call! Always in my mind! But you say... A light?" and so on.

    Where was Harry? He was copying spells from the book. Grease and resist energy. Most of Millorn's spells are illusions for some reason, which are fro ma forbidden school to Harry.

    Tell the truth I didn't know quite what to make of this, so I played it by ear. It was enough to start the dwarf on the way of redemption. But will he join them? I was starting to think ahead, but the party had other ideas. Sena would not let the dwarf join "Enough that one of this voices tells him to attack us in the middle of a fight, and we're done for! one of those color spray spells can take most of us down!". So came the decision of what to do with Millorn. There was much debate, but Andrew's voice was the most dominant. "We will let him go. WITH all of his equipment (This brought lots of moans from Mad dog and Harry, slightly from Sena as well). He needs this to survive the caves. We can't set him on the right path and then take his means of survival away." Anevia was touched by this, and laid her hand on Andrew' shoulder "Your kindness and chivalry remind me of my wife Arabeth." (This made her a friend to the PCs, including the Xp that comes with that)

    So they untied him, and gave him all of his stuff back, including the centipede which was awoken as well. He was utterly stunned, not comprehending. They traded a gold ring from the forgotten temple encounter for Millorn's potion of invisibility. As he took the ring The obvious joke came up. Tell the truth, I've been playing Millorn a LOT like him.

    They questioned him a bit about ways out, but he said that with the shakes he didn't know. The tunnels above belong to the "mole people". Aravash was surprised "We heard of them! The underlings, the tunnelers! People who live in Kenabres underbelly! I thought they were a myth!" They fared goodbye to Millorn, and headed onwards.

    I awarded the PCs add hoc XP for achieving this.

    Mad dog's player looks at Sena's player and shakes her head "Where or where is D*ck Mighty?!" (A reference to the FATE campaign)

    DM notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    This was my favorite part in the entire session, and a really fun challenge. It brought more than any other challenge the different personalities of the party. I like that Andrew is roleplaying as a good, but sensible paladin so far. Not a stick in the mud.

    I've decided that this act of kindness might be rewarded somehow in the future. Millorn will be back, and have the chance to fall again or redeem himself. Not sure how yet, though some ideas have come to my mind. I'll detail them in a later post.


    Cave in and mongrelmen
    The party so far likes Anevia, is ambiguous about Aravash, and dislikes Horus (Except for Mad dog, who likes him). They trudge further into the tunnels, and come upon a caved in guard post of 3 mongrelmen, one pinned by a large rock. Harry helps with his engineering knowledge, Mad dog pushes the rock easily, Sena heals them, and they quickly chatter with them, learning of Neathholme, the home of the Mongrelmen, who are the descendents of those crusaders influenced by the Worldwound magic in the first crusade, getting down.

    The party asks them to escort them to Neathholme, to which their leader- Lann, agrees. Horus throws some insults, and Aravash makes "lovely comments" such as "Oh my! meeting the mole people! The burrowers! how exciting! We must see if they managed to scour a primitive existence..." But both were very quickly, very harshly shut up.

    Deep chasm
    I'm only including this since it's in the adventure- a deep chasm that the party (along with Anevia and Aravash) need to cross. It's quite pathetically easy, with a bit of innovation and thought.

    Dead cultists
    The adventure says that just before reaching Neathholme, Lann warns of a fierce fungus creature guardian, but that in actuality the cave is empty and includes some clues.

    The warning however led to a stop in the game, where the party started to plan tactics and so on. It was allready late in the session, but they wanted to be careful, which proved like a big let down once the real situation was found. I don't quite understand the need for the warning... What is it supposed to achieve? spend spells or other resources for nothing? I suggest to just have the party find the dead cultists.

    And they did- 2 dead bodies in the uniform of Iomedae, but with glaves, spiked gauntlets and even a Baphomet holy symbol. Sena destroyed the symbol in disgust.

    Anevia became frantic "Those clothes are of a higher rank of crusaders! They must have infiltrated deep! Please, we must get to Arabeth!" While Aravash insisted that they could take a body to identify it above. "We might get it's spirit to talk and identify other traitors!" To my surprise, the party agreed! Mad Dog took one of the bodies upon him. They also enjoyed the two MW chain shirts, one going to Andera, another to Mad Dog. (This made Aravahs friendly, gaining his XP)

    Welcome to Neathholme
    The road from there was short, the party reached another small guard post by Mongrelmen, were greeted, and let in into the great cave and settlement of Neathholme.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    We ended the session here. I think they managed to go through quite a lot in one sitting! Andrew and Sena's characters are the most dominant so far, with Mad Dog's the most detached, hopefully just because his player didn't have much time to go over the material and is new to the system. I hope this will change.

    Current XP: 1,800 per character. They will level up next session, possibly even to level 3. The Mongrelmen' dungeon is coming up!

    I hope you liked the read, please feel free to ask questions, leave comments, or just say what you liked and what not.

    We'll play next Saturday, which means I'll update a few days after that.
    Farewell for now!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-01-04 at 09:28 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Good read, I especially enjoyed the part with Millorn. That kind of unexpected roleplaying is my favorite part of DMing.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Originally Posted by Kol Korran
    Accompanying music for the fight, United we stand, Divided we fall.
    Oh, I do approve. Perfect choice there.


  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Israel
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    I'm glad you like it Palanan and Eldaran!

    Those of you that may have read my journals (The rare, the few, the ones with too much spare time on their hands ) know that I often put "In between sessions" posts, detailing design ideas and major issues I face as a DM dealing with the Campaign, this is one of them. If you're interested mostly in the story, just skip this and wait for the regular update. ("nothing to see here, move along citizen!" )

    In between sessions 1 & 2: City ruins, Millorn's role, Issues with the first and second module


    Ok, so I've been thinking of a few things that I may need to deal with, some in the near future, some a bit further apart. In no special order:
    1) Issues with the "Incursion of the Worldwound": I remembered I made a thread awhile ago, while trying to prepare for the adventure, about Problems I saw with the module, and idea of how to fix it. If you're interested you can look In this thread (It's not really needed, I'm including this mostly for completeness) I'll go into detail of tackling some of these problems as we play through the module.

    2) The city ruins: The part that most appeal tome for DMing potential is when the party get to the surface, and then they must transverse the ruined city, not knowing who lived, who died, and if there is any hope. This has SOOO much roleplay potential, and in a way is quite a nice little sandbox. The locations on the map (The cultists' places and the 3 NPCs places) kinda lead the party in a direct route, but I'm thinking of potential changing this a bit. The module however doesn't deal well with this part, saying to throw a whole lot of simplified random battle encounters at the party to "fill the XP". They do have a few nice looking "special encounters", which I intend to use fully, but I dislike battles against XdY creatures...

    So I want to put in other encounters- special challenges, whether operational, moral, fantastical or otherwise. Some general ideas:
    - Use upon the characters background to put things in. Some ideas could be Sena's order's headquarters, or his mentor- John. Or perhaps Andrew' family, or fellow crusaders from the church? The other gave me very little info, so I'm not yet sure. I'm trying to urge them to provide me with something to work with. But knowing them, if they would write anything, it would be in the day of the game or the day before.

    - I want to make the presence of the demons oppressive. Sure, the party could win some fights, but others should be over their heads. The need of subterfuge, of clever ruses and more to get where they need to. I want some of the demons to feel SCARY. You don't just slaughter your way everywhere through a demon infested city.

    I need to be careful with this, and avoid too powerful demons because of: Very high skill checks (especially perception, sense motive, special senses and so on). If the party engages, I want there to be a reasonable chance of escape, and I want them to have the time to realize this is over their, and not be shot down in one blow. And lastly I need a reason for the powerful demons to have not just crushed everyone and everybody.

    Suggestions are welcomed!

    - I want some ambivalent moral choices- such as needing to side with some evil doers to go over a barricade, or facing a too strong a force that guards captives, and more... still thinking of this.

    Again, Ideas welcome!

    - Lastly, I want there to be a leaking of the demonic/ worldwound influence into the city. Give it a somewhat alien and foreboding feeling. Looking for bizarre and "fiendish" occurrences phenomena, but fairly mild ones (though dangerous), mostly for flavor. I assume going INTO the worldwound would provide much more.

    Thoughts?

    Basically I wish to create a small- medium set of semi- random encounters, that use the allotted XP quota to challenge the PCs in a more interesting ways then the simplified battles. This may take a bit of work though... A bit of a lazy design on Paizo's part here.

    Also, I'm looking for long tracks of foreboding/ depressing/ forlorn/ apocalyptic kind of music, to set the mood. Bring in the suggestions! (Currently thinking of Lustmord stuff... creepy...)

    3) The role of Millorn: I've been contemplating on how to use him (ALWAYS use something the players are emotionally invested in!) I was trying to think on how to fit him in the bigger picture. An idea occurred to me when I thought of Staunton Vhane (The main antagonist of the second module, I'll go into that another time). I want to build up Staunton from early on as a big bad ass villain, so that the PCs won't just meet him and go. "Hello! I'm Staunton Vhane! Your Nemesis!"... "Who exactly?".

    So I thought to have Staunton and Millorn related somehow! (Cousins?) Staunton's name might be mentioned here and there, Millorn mightr hear that (If he joins the party) and relay stories about him, his history, maybe his downfall? I'm thinking that back in the days Staunton might have played as a devoted inquisitors and pursuer of withces. Perhaps he drove Millorn under the surface? Or perhaps he saved him from death, sending him to live in Kenabres underbelly? Millorn might also Be swayed to Staunton's side, making fighting them potentially risky, if the party wishes to save Millorn.

    Other issues with Millorn:
    - I wish to avoid playing him as the somewhat goofy/ silly sidekick, like Golum or Deekin from NWN's expansions. Disturbed, convoluted? yes. Silly? no. I need to think of how to add more depth to his character. Suggestions are of course welcome.

    - Remeeting point: I'm contemplating where will the party meet Millorn. My current idea is atthe Defender's Heart, where he might be captured, and the party might have to sway in his favor. (Gahhh! Still like Golum with the incident of Faramir...). Or maybe he could lurk and follow them around in the city, watching them? In any case, 2 things need to be fully in the party's control- whether he joins them or not, and whether they try to redeem him or not. The player's guide gives some ideas of redemption (A whole point system). I need to review it and see if I like it.

    - Class? one idea would be to have him continue as a wizard. But it feels redundant as there is a stronger wizard in place. Another idea would be to have him start take levels in Oracle, as his link to these maddening powers he worships. The revelations will have to be fairy useful and thematic from the get go, or he'll be quite weak. I'd love to have him impart sort of "visions/ warnings/ omens" to the party. A simple handy ominous forewarning device at my side? Could be cool.

    4) Second module mass combat issues: I've looked briefly through the second module, and While I have some issues with it, The big one is the Mass Combats. They seem simplistic and very unfulfilling. I'll go into that later on, but the main two problems are that they engage just one character (The leader of the army) ,while the rest wait and twiddle their thumbs, and it's very uninspiring- basically just units clashing and bashing each other, with strategies acting as some modifiers. I'll try and understand the rules better (When I have the time), but in the mean time I opened this small thread to ask for advice
    --------------------------

    That is all so far. Gotta go and study now. Session on Saturday, should be good!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-01-01 at 02:23 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Welcome to another campaign log! My group is short on time, mainly for DMs, so we have finally decided to try a pre-made campaign. Hearing decent things about PF, wanting to try the system (We're all 3.5 veterans, but not PF), and wanting something of an epic scale that will span all levels, we decided on Wrath Of The Righteous Adventure path.
    First you picked a good one but one where in depth knowledge of pathfinder rules are a neccessity. Not only are you building Characters with pathfinder rules you using the New MYTHIC rulings which already have been errata on a few items and probably more to come.

    I was once a 3.5 veteran and made the full time switch 2 years ago after completing Rise of the Runelords anniversary edition. (still the most brutal of all premades in PF) The rules are different in a few areas as compared to 3.5 Things actually got simpler and stronger. So I caution you about the "House rules" you made prior to never playing PF and keeping the rules you made under 3.5 or previous rules. I can say OK to the Health thing but the Identifying monsters has even overhauled in Pathfinder to be very similar to your house rule but some differences.

    Alot of Vetern players who first try pathfinder love to keep the mind set of 3.5 characters but eventually when they keep alot of the old rules they use to go by they find they end up breaking rules ad the game. First you picked the campaign that makes the PCs the most powerful out of any campiang designed in pathfinder. Our DM who is running this (we are in book 3) wants to throw the dice at us already cause the MYTHIC system is freaking OP as ****. We have a Scyth fighter with a 30 STR already who Vital strikes for a cool 4d6+90 and crits on a 19-20x5 with plans on trying to 1 shot the finla boss in book 6. After doing the math if he crits in end game will produce over 3k damage in a single Swing that he can do to everyting around him and then Surge to get another huge shot. He is cleaving through bosses like butter and the Paladin archer is not far behind him in damage pushing around 180 for a full attack on a smited target.

    3) The role of Millorn: I've been contemplating on how to use him (ALWAYS use something the players are emotionally invested in!) I was trying to think on how to fit him in the bigger picture. An idea occurred to me when I thought of Staunton Vhane (The main antagonist of the second module, I'll go into that another time). I want to build up Staunton from early on as a big bad ass villain, so that the PCs won't just meet him and go. "Hello! I'm Staunton Vhane! Your Nemesis!"... "Who exactly?"
    WHy? Stanton Vhane dies in book 2.....against our party he entered the room with 2 Fiendish lackies.....Our fighter killed both lackies in a single swing and the Paladin smited Stanton and killed him with a full attack before he could even act. He really isnt much of the bad ass your trying to build him up to be. Not like the Real main badguy in book 2 a mythic shadow demon who possesses people.


    Basically what Im saying is Give this pathfinder Trial a 100% try instead of on your first go changing the game to make different result then the creators Inteneded. Since your giving a test run anyways. I just dont want to see you get upset cause someone finds a way to break something.




    Also going to say the Paladin drops in this campaign will make every other person wish they rolled Paladin. By end of book 1 they will have a Holy avenger (it will lvl up to full power but its a free drop of a weapon the paladin will never replace.) book 2 gives them a tailored suit of full plate that has Mythic abilities....

    Things will be fun for your group tho and I wish yall the best....just try to give the game a chance without adding changes to it. Try your changes on the next run through.
    Last edited by Bigbeefie; 2013-12-30 at 04:59 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Thanks for the interest and advice Bigbeefie! A few things I'd like to refer to:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbeefie View Post
    So I caution you about the "House rules" you made prior to never playing PF and keeping the rules you made under 3.5 or previous rules. I can say OK to the Health thing but the Identifying monsters has even overhauled in Pathfinder to be very similar to your house rule but some differences.
    I understand the concerns, but most of my house rules have very little to do with how things changed between 3.5 and PF, perhaps only the knowledge has any real significance. It worked quite well for my group in the past though. These are LONG standing rules, well tried and tested, I think they will work fine.
    We have a Scyth fighter with a 30 STR already who Vital strikes for a cool 4d6+90 and crits on a 19-20x5 with plans on trying to 1 shot the finla boss in book 6. After doing the math if he crits in end game will produce over 3k damage in a single Swing that he can do to everyting around him and then Surge to get another huge shot. He is cleaving through bosses like butter and the Paladin archer is not far behind him in damage pushing around 180 for a full attack on a smited target.
    This is actually quite worrying. I've been contemplating whether to go with the mythic rules or not, but with picking this AP, this is kind of the point, isn't it? I heard from a few people who played in this adventure that though the PC get a lot of power boosts, the enemies are not really worthy, and not up to match the increasing power and capabilities. I'm currently reading through the second module, and trying to estimate power and such. My player like to have tough fights, hard challenges, and EARN their XP (On the most part, they do like to just kick ass from time to time ). Currently my inpression is that a lot of the challenges in the campaign are fairly weak, and that the PCs are handled with quite caution. But I still have a lot to see. Just started this.

    WHy? Stanton Vhane dies in book 2.....against our party he entered the room with 2 Fiendish lackies.....Our fighter killed both lackies in a single swing and the Paladin smited Stanton and killed him with a full attack before he could even act. He really isnt much of the bad ass your trying to build him up to be. Not like the Real main badguy in book 2 a mythic shadow demon who possesses people.
    And THIS is a very poor design! The shadow demon is just an encounter- the PCs are not even aware of it till they meet it. It's just a battle encoutner with some cool gimmicks and... that's it. There is no build up to it, no story, no emotional investment. It doesn't FEEL like a major villain (Hint: It isn't), It feels like almost a random encounter.

    Staunton Vhane however has a build up from the tunnels under Kenabres! His note to Hosilla, his involvement in sabotaging the wardstone, his betrayel of Drezen, and more! And he is even an anti paladin, which is like the ideal counter for the major preffered class in the campaign. Sure, he was weak, but that is because he was designed very weak (Really his build is TERRIBLE! And soul shear? 45,000 for a crappy weapon like that?!) If I would design it, the shadow thing would be up there in the castle, as an interesting encounter to save Aron Kir (If he was lost). And Staunton would be much better designed, and down in the dungeons, barricading himself with his brother and beasties, as they use the Sword Of Valor for some nefarious purposes. Now THAT would be a befitting end battle, a climax, a fight with a worthy villain and his aids.

    There is a lot to say for the adventure path, but there are quite a few things that can be bettered... significantly.

    Basically what Im saying is Give this pathfinder Trial a 100% try instead of on your first go changing the game to make different result then the creators Intended. Since your giving a test run anyways. I just don't want to see you get upset cause someone finds a way to break something.
    Thanks for the concern, and I understand where it comes from. But I don't take this adventure for a "test run" My group meets about once a month, and we highly value our gaming time, and wish to make the best of it. Each time we play, we play for the maximum fun, not to test things out, or to go through stuff till the fun part comes. I try to make each encounter count in some way or another. We don't like "filler scenes". It falls to me to take the raw materials, and make them fit my group as best I can. I know what works for my group, what they expect, and I hope I can deliver.

    As to what the designers planned. You see inklings of intention here and there, but it feels a bit messed up. Different parts (In the same module) feel as if they have been designed by utterly different people, with not much connection. And they tend to use "kiddy gloves" for quite a bit of it. Some parts suffer from a somewhat lazy design- "Lets stick a dungeon crawl of unconnected simplistic and boring here" Or worse "Lets just fill this part with all kind of stuff that doesn't advance anything that much to fill in XP".

    I'm not saying a lot of it is like that, not even the most of it, but enough is. If I see something could be made better, more interesting, more fun, I'm intending to do so.

    Also going to say the Paladin drops in this campaign will make every other person wish they rolled Paladin. By end of book 1 they will have a Holy avenger (it will lvl up to full power but its a free drop of a weapon the paladin will never replace.) book 2 gives them a tailored suit of full plate that has Mythic abilities....
    This is worrying as well. I intend to try to make all members of the party feel special and potent in their own right, not second string to the paladin.

    Things will be fun for your group tho and I wish yall the best....just try to give the game a chance without adding changes to it. Try your changes on the next run through.
    There won't BE a next time. I game with the same group, and it will take us awhile to get through it. We intend to make it the best we can, the first time round.

    Thank you for your concern and advice. I know we may see differently on matters, but I hope you may like the log despite that, and may be amused by the way we do things.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Ok, so we played yesterday. The session had one intense debate, and two big and somewhat confused battles. So, without further ado...

    Session 2, Part 1- Mongrel alliance, Mongrel clash

    Before the Session
    I asked the party to try and add a bit of background, in order to get a better feel to the characters. Some of them added information:
    • Andera Kanchar: (I was mistaken calling him Endare in the previous posts, but those are fixed now. Andera like Pantera. Confusing name). The character comes from Numeria. He was not deemed strong and sturdy, and so was not considered "Warrior/ crusader material". He was bold though, and went behind the enmy lines where he had the "chance encounter" with the mystery Desna worshiper, who saved his life. His boldness invited however a call to "The Black Flame", and organization of basically stealth demon killers, people who "think out of the box". His slew of ninja abilities represent this training, not an eastern heritage. He was sent to Kenabres to contact the local cells, but Kenabres fell before that.
    • Sena added a bit more info about an important character in his life- his Mentor John. This is a sort of a spiritual father figure to him, and Sena is highly influenced by him. One of the main mentors of his order, Sena regards his words highly. We agreed that John should be a sort of a philosopher warrior, compassionate yet stern, and very realistic, though spiritual. We know he has some divine connection, but not the exact class. We think level 5-6 if it would come to dealing with numbers. He asked me not to have John killed off the bat, which I respect and agreed to. The player wishes some roelplay experience with him. Also, the player seeks some ethical or morality conflict to his character. Need to think about that.
    • Mad dog: Her player finally had some time to read about the ranger class more, and a bit about the world. She wants Mad dog to be a cool, showing almost no emotions, big bad ass. She chose to say he came fro mthe outlying communities, that was infiltrated by cultists, who massacred most of the town, taking a great deal (Including her father and brother) as prisoners back into the worldwound. They performed some sort of a ritual on Mad dog (the champion path character trait) but he survived, and fled to the country side. For years he lived off the land, trusting only animals, not humanoids, and honing his hatred of demons. But he finally understood that he couldn't fight alone, and decided to come to Kenabres. When things went down fast...


    Welcome to Neathholme!
    Last we stopped the party Just came into the underground cavern, with the little lake, and the small island upon which the settlement of Neathholme stood. They traveresed by boat, and saw the few dozens of disfigured forms of the mongrelfolk, scurrying frightened into their houses. Horus rolled his eyes in disgust, while Aravash keep asking Harry to describe things.

    Mood music- Northern pastures by 2SFH

    Neathholme was a small place (The book says it has 38 people), and the party was led by Lann, their guide to the hut of Chief Sul, an overly fat, ratish looking Mongrelman. Andrew's player immediately called him "King Harry". (A character from the previous campaign who was nearly EXACTLY like him by some chance. ). We made a little conversation, with the chief welcomign the uplanders, asking them of the quakes, and they asking back. It was a fairly friendly conversation, though Aravash kept making remarks of wonder about "the primitive underlings", "the mole people speech" and other such remarks. There was a crowd gathering outside.

    They learned that by he mongrelfolk accord, the earthquakes hit most of the city, caving in many tunnels, quite a few of their people were stranded or blocked, and they were working on that. As Mad dog dropped the body of the cultist he carried around, The mongrelfolk said that there were quite a few "crusaders" in the tunnels lately. "False cultists!" Claimed Andrew, but Chief Sul's wife- the witch Opoli remarked "Not all of them looked false to us!", with bitterness in her voice.

    As Sena asked about a way out, Chief Sul grew grim, telling of a bad tribe that joined forces with some cultists, that blocked the only available way out. (*cough*railroad*cough*) "It won't be easy getting through them!" murmured Chief Sul apologetically. "It never is" answered Sena.

    Chief Sul went about that some of the inquisitors were sometimes in the tunnels, hunting them down, but that the new ones, the ultists, seemed to have been doing some thing else. "These are not Iomedae's warriors, at least not all of them, soem of them worship Baphomet." Added Andrew. Sena approached him, whispering that maybe he should try and persuade them to his side, when Andrew whispered back. "I was just getting to that".

    Social challenge time- The fate of the mongrelfolk!

    If you've read the module, you'll know there is no way the alliance cannot happen. In the module Chief Sul himself suggests the alliance and all the characters need to do is say "Um... ok?". Yet it is worth XP, and has some reprecautions later on. (And I have a few more ideas for other possible uses of the alliance). So I wanted to make it a challenge. There was an effort needed here.

    But D&D (And PF) usually resolve social issues with a single dice roll. Very little dram, very little tension. So I burrowed a mechanic from Fate Core- for social "combats", you do a Contest- in each "round", the two conflicting parties put their social efforts in, and roll against each other. If they succeed, they get a "win". the first to 3 "wins"... wins! However, you cannot repeat your previous point or strategy onwards. Depending on the crowd, motivations, needs and so on a speaker can gain a bonus to their roll (As to the diplomacy rules in our house rules).

    In this event Andrew (Diplomacy +8), helped by the party's effort. O nthe other was facing Opoli, chief Sul's wife (+6, but she also had a better reltionship than Andrew did. granting her a +2, making it even. I forgot about that in the game though ).

    Andrew began by Suggesting the Mongrelfolk join the fight against the demons, speaking of the Mongrelfolk chance to show the people of Kenabres, and end the persecution. Opoli launched after him, saying that they were hunted, persecuted, and driven underground for decades now- they are supposed to owe the uplanders now? (Both speeches drew upon motives. That was Opoli's main advantage, at least to start with. So they canceled each other out). Horus gave some remark that they don't need the wretched and misbigotten to join, they have enough trouble as it is! His words further upset them. Opoli's words proved more powerful, as the mongrelmen in and outside the hut murmured their anger. Andrew has failed to catch their attention.

    (Opoli:1, Andrew: 0)

    Sena, realizing the chance of failure, touched upon Andrew with his "touch of glory", instilling in him momentary greatness. Andrew tries to touch upon their ancestral pride- "You are the sons of the first descendents, the very first people who stood up to the demons, and fought them. Now that Kenabres is besieged, will you just let it crumble, will you just let it fall?" Aravash spoke out of turn "Indeed? The deformed tunnelers might be good! they are somewhat liek demons themselves, they could understand them better!" The party saw the faces of the mongrelfolk narrow, and started to understand the damage their allies were causing. Opoli however turned Andrew's words. "To go and fight? Yes, but with what? with the few dozens we are against the thousands of demons? With simple arms and armor we could scavenge? While the crusaders shoot at our backs? We are no warriors, we hide, we weather the worse, and we live!" Horus didn't help by spitting out "We do not NEED them! They will just be a burden, look at this wretched lot!" But Andrew's words lit an old flame in the mognrelfolk, and they could see their eyes lighten up, Chief Sul straightening a bit more in pride. Andrew was now listened to.

    Andrew: 1, Opoli: 1

    The party understood that Horus and Aravash were lowering their odds, but were confused at how to stop them. Mad dog tried a direct approach, and towered over Horus with a menacing glare. Horus however, was not easily intimidated, and exploded. "You DARE threaten me you big brainless lump?!" Horus' attitude jsut shifted another scale downward ("Enemy" on the house rules, in attitude, not practice). Andrew tried a sort of shared camaraderie, of the uplanders and the mongrelfolk against this evil, the Worldound, which will swallow them all. "Yes, you can stay, and hide, but the demons won't stop above. If upper Kenabres will fall, so will lower Kenabres. The time to make the stand against the horde is now, together, united!" Horus again exploded "United with them? With this rubble? We are losing time! This alliance will give us NOTHING!" Opoli seized upon this "You say united, yet even within your own ranks you are not. We shall ally with those who insult us? degrade us? Like you have done for decades? Humiliate us?" Sena partly panicked, and urged Lann "Say something!" Sena's pleading eyes worked, and Lann stepped forward. "They cuaght me and my party off guard, disadvantaged. They could easily have killed us, or past us by in their hurry. Yet they stopped and helped us, they saved Crel's life. These are good people.". Lann's words strengthened Andrew's speech, and the mongrelmen talked about raising arms. Andrew was winning them over.

    Andrew: 2, Opoli: 1

    Harry tried to talk to Aravash. "Please wise sir, I think it is best if we at this time let Andrew talk his piece, and support him with our silence," (One bad diplomacy roll later) "No young Harry, You are all young and impetuous, He will do well to listen to the words of his elders...". Sena tried to neutralize Horus. He turned to him and wispered angrily. "Will you stop this! You're hurting us! What do you want? They can help us!" Horus snorted "Making alliances takes time... a lot of time, which we don't have! If the alliance was worthy of anything, but it's not! I mean... look at this sorry group! Not exactly crusaders material!" Horus would not be placated.

    Andrew decided to let Opoli speak first this time. Seeing that she was losing the argument, Opoli launched one last attempt. "We cannot hope to fight the demons! They are more numerous, more powerful, and we haven't fought in ages! Going to fight will not be some glorious fight! It will be our death! It will be suicide! The Mendevian army will come to strike the demons down, and Kenabres will be saved. But will Neathholme? our people?" (At which point Mad dog was convinced by her! ) Andrew paused for a few moments, for a dramatic affect. "Yes, You could run, and hide. And perhaps you'll live. But I look around and I see children. Children born to the dark, who lived out of the sight of the sun for their whole lives. Used to life of scorn, life of ever caution, a life in fear... Would you let them live in fear, as you have, and die in fear? Or will you raise your spears, face your enemy, challenge your fears, and lead yourself to a new age, a new life, a new future?" (This tocuhed me and the others so, That I considered this another motive touched, gaining another +5)

    Opolis words of fear and terror held no sway against Andrew's message of hope and brightness. The crowd raised their voices, cheering loudly, and Chief Sul stood up. "It is settled then! We shall join the good fight above!"
    Opoli looked disheartened, and turned away.

    Chief Sul gave a few quick orders, then turned to the party. "I have sent messangers to the other tribes, to follow our lead. You can rest while we send scouts towards the bad tribe's territory". The party- "Other tribes?" (I think they just had This kind of moment )

    DM thoughts on the social challenge
    Spoiler
    Show
    I think it worked quite well, and proved to be an interesting and tense social interaction. The module says that Horus and Aravhsial interupt, and I wanted to play that since it added a lot to the play. It did mean the party now kind of HATES Horus. (Mad dog's player wanted to ditch him. We reminded her she though he made a lot of sense last meeting...). I really like the contest mechanic! It can be used for other stuff as well, like stealth operations (With the opponent succeeding meaning not immediately finding the person out, but "homing in" on their location), and races and such.


    Well deserved rest and... LEVEL UP!
    Chief Sul said that he'll be sending scouts to see the location of the bad tribe, see if anything has changed. (This was a bit of an excuse for me to give the party a bit of resting time, plus I thought this would be a good place for simple interactions).

    About the alliance: The mongrelfolk did not want to be shot by Kenabres Crusaders' when they go above, so they asked the party to seek whatever leadership remains, and make the pact with them. Chief Sul sends his speaker with them- Lann! So another NPC joins the party. Chief Sul askes the party to take care of the cultists problem in the bad tribe. As they agree he gives them the tribe's healing reserves to help in this- 6 CLW potions and 3 Lesser restoration. The party distributes these, including one potion to Lann, and one to Sena. Lann's relationship goes up one scale.

    Why adding Lann?
    Spoiler
    Show
    The mongrelfolk have some interesting roleplay and gaming potential. I already have some interesting ideas of how to use them in the future, and I don't doubt my players will have some ideas as well. I wanted to "put a face" on the mongrelman, by Lann.

    Also, If the party doesn't have someone to go back to the mongrelfolk once they make the deal, then they might need to trudge back. This way Lann does that. Yes, I know there are other solutions, but this feels better for me.


    The party sells a bit and buy a bit, mostly a breast plate for Andrew, and a scroll of sanctuary for Sena. He comes to Opoli however, trying to placate her. She tells him that she hopes this will end with s few dead as possible. He talks with her a bit, and learn she lost two sons. He warms up to her, and holds her hands, saying he will try to do as much as he can for the mongrelfolk. She is not relieved, but doesn't begrudge the party... too much. "We mongrelfolk rely on each other. As the tribe have decided, so I shall abide. I will do my best."

    As they try to sell some of their stuff they try to sell the brooch of the bat and the mushroom, which the mongrelfolk recognize, rushing to Chief Sul! He recognizes it as the brooch of his son, and is saddned by his death. Angry, he raches and hands Sena his +1 morningstar "Bash a cultist's skull for me, ok?" HE then turns his face, Opoli coming to comfort him. Sena seeks what to say, but doesn't find anything more than "I will do as you ask Chief Sul" and retreats in silence respectfully.

    Anevia comes to rest by Andrew, and congratulates him for his success with the mongrelfolk. "Who would have thought, that in this darkness we would find allies? Your words were quite inspiring, and uplifting. They gave me hope." She eases the strain on her leg. "Arabeth used to say I always have soem trick up my sleeve, and she is... right as usual. I have a few things which I though I could use, but in my condition you might use them better." She gives Andrew her 2 alchemist fire and 3 smoke sticks. The smoke sticks become important later on.

    Aravash stays by Harry. "I am more confident in this group abilities now. I was hesitant to harness my power to it, but I believe it could be done. Harry, if a dire situation occurs, try to direct me, perhaps my summons or other spells may help. Just make sure i don't harm the party. I... I do not wish to spend my power in vain, I do not know when I could red spells again." Harry agreed.

    Last but not least- the Xp from the negotiation enabled the party to level up! Changes for those interested
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Andrew gains the second level of paladin powers
    • Sena doesn't change much, mostly trying to spread his skill points.
    • Andera takes the vanishing trick ninja trick
    • Mad dog gains the "cleave" ability of his "two handed" fighting style.
    • Harry learns hydraulic push and... some other spell I don't remember.


    About the "bad tribe" warren
    The "bad tribe's caves" are a small dungeon crawl, and this comprised the rest of our adventure. A few notes for those who know the module, and for those who don't:
    - There is one guard post, after which a small common room. From there the party can go south, towards the rooms of the main hold, and where the leader of the cultists (Hosilla) resides, or they could go North, towards the exit.
    - The rooms are adjacent to each other, SO I decreed (As I knew my party would expect), that this will be a responding place- people won't just sit and wait patiently till the PCs reach their rooms. This meant this could turn (And it did) into a flowing hectic battle.
    - With an added character (And especially Mad Dog the dealer of huge amounts of damage!) I needed to create more opposition- for challenge as well as for XP. I also got rid of nonsensical and meaningless encounters (An amoeba, 2 gars, and giant rats... really?) So you may see more opposition than it seems in the module. I will note it where I did).
    - At some points in the map (First guard post, guard post before Hosill'a chambers, and the last guard post) there are sort of broken lines in the map. I wasn't sure whatthese were, so decided that these are sort of loose barricades the mongrelfolk made out of wood and stone. They proved very important as choke points, but also as obstacle for climbing and such.
    - I apologize for the length of the battles, I tried to minimize it to the essentials, but this took a few hours in session time.

    The approach- The ruse turned to a rush
    Lann scouts ahead of the party a bit. (Andera was a bit upset to learn mongrelfolk have +13 to stealth!) As they all follow in line. We make jokes about "Fellowship of the ring" (characters at the moment!). They roll nicely for Lann's stealth, and he comes back, and I lay down the entrance to them. A very narrow long tunnel, ending in a small cave, with one door at it's back, and two mongrelfolk behind barricades.

    Now the party understood well that if they don't take these two fast and quiet, then the entire compound will be alerted. They also knew that if they get close as a group, their armor and light source will alert them far before they reach the post. They first thought that Andera might take them out, but he couldn't see in the dark, being human.

    They discussed a few options, when Andrew remembered his Aasimar spell like ability- Alter Self! (He is an angel kin Aasimar, he doesn't have Daylight). So a plan came- He will get close, Lann behind him, and LAnn will try and fool them, enough for Andrew to come close enough and surprise them. Andera and Mad dog would follow not far behind, being stealthy enough. The rest will rush ahead (Though they will be a few rounds behind) When they hear the commotion. This mainly reffered to Sena and Harry (Way to leave your casters behind! ) as they just told the trio of NPCs to follow slowly afterwards. Horus was about to say something but they shut him up.

    The plan worked quite nicely. Andrew turned his frame to a mongrelfolk, and approached, Lann closely behind him. Both were manage to fool the guards enough to get close and attack them! But they didn't kill them, and a small battle started, Andera comes in and jump hig over the barricade, and sneak attacks, Mad dog tries to do the same but fails. Lann flanked with Andera, but the mongrelman hits Andera hard for 7hp. This is the start of Andera's bad luck in these warrens. Mad dog impresses, and frightens some of the others with a lobotomizing critical. (The player is really into the gory decriptions). While Andera's luck is aweful here, Mad dog's luck is astounding! There are many more massive crits to come...

    Sena and Harry start running.

    Andrew left them and went through the door, seeing 3 other mongrelmen in various forms of getting ready. This was the main gathering room, with a southern door, a Northern door, and an eastern door (Which led to an empty pantry). Lann, Mad dog and Andera finished those outside quickly, and rushed in to help Andrew who was fighting the surprised and disorganized resistance. MAd dog severes an arm of a poor mongrelman , reaching for it's spear. The player adds "He looks at the dying corpse coldly, with hollow eyes, not breaking a sweat". Sena's player, sitting next to her, is adding diplomatically "You are... starting to make me nervous..."

    One of the two Faces Lann, and stabs him hard, for 9 damage (6 left), and hammers on the southern door. "Wendaug! Wendaug!" (This is a mongrelwoman ranger, the closest they have left for a leader of their own) But no answer comes... Meanwhile there are soem noises from the northern door as well.

    Fighting on two fronts

    They dispose of the two remaining, and Andera moves to the south door, Andrew to the north one, And MAd dog to the middle door, as Harry and Sena reach the outside room. Wishing to take his enemies by surprise Andrew opens the north door, and find two cultists- one of Deskari, wielding a Scythe, and behind him a cultist of Baphomet with a glaive. With them are two tieflings, though one is not yet ready. The door proves as a choke hold, as Andrew faces the tiefling, and one of the cultists uses command, trying to have him drop his sword. Andrew shrugs the effect easily.

    While Mad dog gets into the pantry, seeing some sort of a... nest for some beast, Sena gets in and casts bless, then moving to the other side of the southern door. with backs to the wall Sena and Andera listen- They hear some sort of a growl, and Sena's ears hear very faintly a bow being drawn. They await for whatever it is to come out.

    At this point the battle sort of seperates to two- On the north Andrew opens in the door with eh enemies, and LAnn and MAddog from the sides of the door, through cover. They manage to slowly whittle away their enemies, with some magic missile help from Harry.

    Meanwhile at the southern door Sena and Andera go "You open the door!" "No you open it!" Until Andera uses his vanishing trick and disappears. Openign the door he see an albnio monitor lizard blockingthe entrance and... A strange looking Mongrelwoman at the back, with 3 insectoid arms from her side and a stony lookign skin. This is Wendaug. She and her lizard waited here to block the path forward, but They don't see anyone! Wendaug shoots non the less and misses, and then Andera tries to tumble past the lizard, but fails, and the next round- fails again... The lizard tries to bite Sena through the corner, but the cover coupled with his high AC makes this almost impossible. Sena gets annoyed "Get past it!" But Andera's luck just proves futile (Even invisible). Then his invisibility ends and Wendaug shoots him, and he moves aside, wounded. Sena, worried, Takes out a smoke stick, breaks it and throws it into the room, blocking Wendaug's line of sight. The Southern room is covered in vapors, spilling out.

    Meanwhile Andrew his hit, but kills the tiefling and pushes in, then a cultists dies, andthey push further in, Mad dog and Lann as well. Andrew is hit a bit more, and seems to "have had enough", and smites evil the Baphomet cultist. There are carvings and statues in this room, like in the cave of ancestors, only these look older, and not well taken care of. There are steps leading up, and Lann whispers longingly "The way to the surface", but they have no time for that yet.

    Sena steps and smacks the lizard, and begin a small fight with it, within the cloud of vapors. Worried about what the archer might do, Andera tries another vanishing trick, and comes trying to jump over the lizard (Ninjas can really jump!) and gets behind it. It turns to strike it when Sena smashes it's skull against the door frame, dropping it dead. He looks at Andera "Now was that so tough?" Andera moves to where Wendaug was located, but sees she is gone. There is a hole at the side of the room however, wit ha rope ladder leading down.

    The party decides that this is enough for now. The archer have moved below, but they can't just rush after it. They knew very well that there would be an ambush below.

    Time to take a moment and think, They are not over this yet...

    Design and thoughts
    Spoiler
    Show
    The party have acted really well here- They also got the surprise element, and stopped both approaches. I originally thought that the warrens would be alerted, and many of the enemies would have moved to the common room, attacking in unison, but there was no time for that, so in a way- the party DID take them in their separate rooms.

    I moved the monitor lizard to Wendaug's room, since without some blocking, Wendaug is easily beaten. And it seemed like a more fitting idea for a ranger. This worked quite well, Sena's "Smoke grenade" Was quite clever thinking.

    Additions:
    - 1 mongrelfolk in the 2nd room
    - 2 tieflings with the cultists, to act as cannon fodder.


    --------------------------------------------
    This concludes the first half (actually more like 2/3rds) of our session. In the next part the heroes go down the hole, and face the cultists leader (of the warrens)- The inquisitor Hosilla! (And her minions... ) A battle which the party barely survives...

    I hope I can write the second part this week, as time permits.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-01-06 at 03:12 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    It looks like the last post was a bit overly long. I apologize for that, I'll try to keep things simpler. Note: I added mood music to Neathholme I used for the party's time there in the previous post. Just look for the link.

    Session 2, part 2- Battle with Hosila and her minions.

    Down the hole
    Mad dog goes to guard the hole, while Sena heals the party with his charges, and they look through the equipment and battlefield. They find some MW equipment on the cultists, but also 2 CLW potions, and some scrolls. ("Cause fear? Sena? Not exactly appropriate..."). Mad dog keep hearing noises from below, and their suspicions that an ambush is being set are enhanced.

    The hole goes 10 ft through rock, then another 15 feet till the ground, in whatever room it is (There is light there, so not all mongrelfolk). They think of who should go first, and somehow think of sending in the scout- Andera. He is not happy about it, but goes ahead.

    As he gets down to the room, he sees a larger room, with two barricades, behind which are lined 5 mongrelfolk, with crossbows. There are also two cultist there guarding the gap, and bhingthem, near the door to the back, there is Wendaug, to the side of Hosilla- a human female cultists, with a glaive and a determined look in her face.

    They all had ready actions... 5 crossbow shots, another arrow from Wendaug, and Hosilla wields a wand, and suddenly a force glaive appears behind Andera, attacking him! Andera takes nice damage, and then due to a command by a cultist, drops and fall to the floor. He decides to then vanish, and runs hiding behind the barricade, but the force glaive follows it.

    We have a quick discussion- do spiritual weapon continue to follow even invisible creatures? We decided that yes, it does, but of course it suffers all the regular miss chance.

    Andera's player curses. "Should have used the vanishing to get in!" and Sena adds "we should have thrown a smoke stick inside before descending...". Oh well, what's done is done!

    Against the line, and Andera's courageous attempt
    Hearing the barrel of shots and painful sounds from Andera, Andrew rushes down the ladder, and towards the barricades, with Lann following suit. They get shot somewhat on the way, but press on. Hosilla puts another force glaive on Andrew as well, recognizing the symbol of Iomedae on his shield.

    Harry and Sena casts protective spell, and wait to follow Mad dog, who rushes down and to the barricades, climbing atop them quickly, a giant in the small room atop the wooden structure. Themongrelfolk drop their crossbow, and draw spears. Some attack Lann, others AMddog, both are hurt, but Mad dog fails his acrobatics and falls back behind the barricade, beside the invisible Andera, who drinks a potion to heal himself.

    Andrew faces the scythe wielding cultist, as Harry descends, putting Magic missiles to Hosila, and gets shot nicely by Wendaug in return. Sena descends, and pulls out the scroll he got. He uses it on Wendaug, who's face turn to terror, and she bolts through the back door, inside.

    There are a round or two where the party tries to break the line, and Hosila brings out more spiritual glaives, but most don't hit. The party's hit points dwindle. Andera then tries a very bold (If foolish) move- He disappears again, jump on the barricades and over the cultists, and gets to Hosilla, attacking her... with a natural one. The closest mongrel folk turn and attack him, wounding him even more, and Hosilla moves and drops him to -8 hp with her glaive!

    "So... new character?"

    The battle intensifies
    Harry comes close, and burns part of the barricade as well as 3 mongrelfolk and the 2 cultists with a well aimed burning hands, causing about 45 hp total damage, probably the most damaging attack in the battle. This is enough to enable Mad dog and Andrew to push a bit in, but not close enough to Hosilla yet. Lann manages to kill a mongrel folk on the other side "You have forgotten our heritage, our past! I will show you the true way!" and tumbles towards Andera. In the next rounds he feeds him his potion of CLW, and Andera's last potion as well, not yet bringng him back.

    And the others aren't faring well either. Hosilla directs the mongrelfolk on Andrew, and he is hit hard, down to less than 5 hp. Sena heals him, getting him back to the fight, But Hosilla's spiritual glaive cuts deep into him, getting him down to 4 hp... Harry launches force missile after force missile, surprisingly mostly at the mongrelfolk, not at the cultists or Hosilla

    Mad dog engages the Baphomet cultists to the back, but they exchange attacks without hitting. He tries a scroll ofcause fear on the range,r but Mad dog manages to with hold it.

    Lann, Andrew and Mad dog face Hosilla, the cultist and 2 last mongrelmen. Andrew and Hosilla exchange bravado and insults. He hits her hard, but then she drinks her potion of CMW, and heals completely. The party groan, other than Mad dog, they are all to their single digits in hit point, and spells and more are lacking. Harry even starts looking through his attack cantrips... Sena debates with himself whether to use the healing charges or no, since they would heal the enemy as well.

    Mad dog's rage
    But Mad dog won't be denied! As Andrew changes position, Mad dog takes place in the spot between all of their enemies, and tries to power attack and cleave- first Hosilla, then the cultist. And Mad dog crits, quite beautifully! The party cheers as his sword tears through Hosilla's abdomen, cutting her in half, ("Finally! Some guts!" she exclaimed. Sena's player looked at her- "Ok, now this is getting too creepy!") We laugh that now we have a new "Google Kills!". The cultists panicked, and unleashed a negative energy blast, which nearly topples Sena and Harry (1-2 hp left).

    "Google Kills"?
    Spoiler
    Show
    Harry's player played a psi-war half giant called Google in a previous campaign (Due to a parody advertisement that had the signature line- "Remember- we're Google, and Google can kill you!") Google missed most of the time, but when he did hit- it was usually a massive crit, and it almost always killed stuff, especially "boss enemies". The party used to joke they were drawing out time till he rolled a crit, which was usually followed by the claim "Google kills!"


    As they "clean up what's left", Wendaug returns from her fear. Seeing the massacre, she runs towards the ladder. Mad dog, Andrew and even Harry come to stop her (Harry with a shocking grasp spell), but their luck runs out and they all miss her. Wendaug, under the effect of a Long strider spell, rushes up, and past the 3 NPCs (Though Anevia shoots at her), and runs away from the place, up to the city, taking the guards in the last outpost with her.

    Returning mini villain or character? I imagine Wendaug could easily get friendly with the demons if need be, and she could easily stalk the characters through town, perhaps adding a complication. She presents an interesting opportunity, I will need to think about what to do with her, if at all..

    The party have won, but just barely. Sena heals with the last of his charges, bringing Andera back to consciousness as well. No more spells, no more daily powers, and not so great on the hit points. But the cultists are dead, and the mongrelfolk resistance is done for.

    Hosilla's battle design
    Spoiler
    Show
    Additions:
    - 1 mongrelfolk to the dining room
    - Got rid of Hosilla's tiefling Uziel, and added two cultists.

    Hosilla fighting on her own is a piece of cake. In order to be any kind of effective (A large part due to her spiritual weapon wand) meant that she needed some sort of defense. I also swapped a feat or two for her, nothing major.

    I wanted the fight to be a big fight. Wendaug escaped so that gave enough of a reason to "rally up the remaining forces". The battle was TOUGH, mostly due to the meany enemies. Had Harry had another burning hands, or a mass area spell, this would have been much easier.

    An important note in the battle was the entry hole- It functioned as it should- limiting entry to 1 character in dangerous circumstances. I was intrigued at what solution would the party find for it. Unfortunately they came with cool ideas only AFTER Andera was made into a pin cushion.

    I'm worried if this battle wasn't TOO tough. The party survived quite a bit due to low damage by enemies attacks. It could have gone the other way. (The party rolled the damage against them on the table, as per the house rules. I roll nothing) But then again they were also almost never hit by Hosilla's glaives, so maybe it evens out? Anyway, it was close, real close. Had the cultists been able to unleash another channel energy, Sena and Harry would have most likely fallen.

    They still had potions though.


    Aftermath- loot, clues, realization, and secret loot!
    (Sena's player spoke determinedly "Next feat- Selective channeling!") The party moved to explore the rest of the chambers. The next room they have found a sort of a dining hall, but on it there were the dissected and mutilated corpses of several mongrelmen. Lann recognized the leader of this tribe. There was also a human, sliced from groin to neck, with a... Wakizashi? Upon checking, it radiated magic, and Andera took it as his own. (But he didn't question what the hell it was going here! I was hoping to work a bit with his back story. Oh well) Sena gave some words, sending of the dead, but there was little more that could be done. Even Mad dog refrained from trying to search the bodies for loot, though you could see the urge on the player's face.

    They found the kitchen, with the "butcher knife" (A MW hand axe. in the original adventure a MW dagger), and lastly the chief's room, a bit like that of Chief Sull, only much smaller. They found some loot, and then, like every good adventurer, they took time to look for secret doors.

    And they did find it! (In the original adventure this was a secret room in their watering hole, and something that no one sane would search for, I switched it for the Chieftain's treasure.) Andera found the pit trap, and moved to try and open the lock, but failed, jamming the lock (Sena's player was joking about him quite a lot by now. "First you can't get by a dumb lizard, invisible. Then you nearly get yourself killed, and now you can't even open a lock? What kind of a rogue are you?") For some reason however Andrew carries a... crowbar. (Party: "Why does a paladin carries a crowbar?" Him: "Trust me, you don't want to know...") I don't usually allow this, but they did won a very very tough fight, so we went with forcing the chest open, and getting the great loot inside. I changed a few things, but they seemed to like it. (Arrow magnet to Harry, Ring of climbing to Mad dog, some scrolls and such)

    Sena was pleased to take Hosilla's wand (Although a bit disappointed to learn it has only 4 charges left), and her jeweled prayer book o Baphoment. ("Oh, I'll take that!" He said hurriedly. If I know the player right he will find some use for it). But more interesting was The Orders from Staunton Vhane:
    "Hosilla,
    You will remain, for the time being, in
    Kenabres, but know this: the city’s days
    are numbered. Seek a place of safety—the
    underground den of your mongrel lackeys should
    suffice to keep you safe from the devastation
    to come. I shall assume command of Drezen
    shortly, and once Vorlesh has finished with
    the wardstone and Kenabres is no longer of
    interest to us, you are to return to my side.
    Before you leave for Drezen, stop by the three safe houses
    (Nyserian Manor, Topaz Solutions, and the
    Tower of Estrod—the passphrase remains the same)to
    ensure no evidence remains behind.
    May Lord Deskari and Lord Baphomet watch
    over you!"

    Some things missing
    Spoiler
    Show
    Now you may notice that there are two changes from the letter in the module. First- I don't tell them what the password is (I think it may be more interesting if they have to figure it out or go without it) And secondly, you may notice there is an important piece of loot missing, which is also missing from the letter- The legendary sword Radiance.

    For those who don't know, by the module the paladin is supposed to find Radiance, a powerful sword, which starts out simple, and through the adventure the PCs can unlock it's powers till it become a legendary Holy Avenger (With mythical powers I think). I didn't like this place as the founding place though, it lacked the feeling of a special occurrence. I wish to make the finding of the sword a special event, some sort of a special encounter (Or encounters) in the ruins of Kenabres. I'll detail on that in a future post.


    Andera's player, amongst the few who have read the player's guide carefully, asks in a worried voice. "Wait, So Areelu Vorlesh, the witch that opened the Worldwound IS alive?"

    We decided to end the session here.

    XP: 4,160 per player
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    So, The bad tribe's warrens turned out to be composed of two big battles. (There is also another tiny battles with some demons, but nothing the party can't handle. Once they are back to strength). The first battle more fast paced, flowing and with a bit of a cinematic feel (The ruse, the rush inside, the battle at two fronts and so on). It was also less dangerous, and more light hearted.

    The second fight was more of a clash between the forces, and grinding to find a position. The barricades had a BIG effect on the battle. And it called out for nearly all of the party's resources and abilities. It was fun, if a bit harrowing.

    Hosilla doesn't make for such a good "boss"... Her melee abilities aren't that impressive, and her spells lack a punch. But in that constellation it worked, somewhat. I think I might have made her something other than inquisitor. The class works nicely for PCs, less for adversaries.

    Ok, that's all for now. I hope I didn't bore you or dragged you too long with my descriptions. We shall play again in about 3-4 weeks, Which I may use to plan more. The part that I love most about the module is the ruins above, and I hope to make something special of them, including the finding of the Paladin's sword.

    If you liked it, disliked it, have any comments or questions, please share. It helps keep the motivations going!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-01-06 at 05:31 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    A small update (No session post yet, sorry folks!)

    I've been trying to find a better encounter to fit Radiance in, since the "ruins of Kenabres part" leaves quite a bit for the DM to fill in. I've started a thread about it- A test for the paladin's sword, which is bringing up some good points. Ideas are mulling and forming in my mind. If you're interested, feel free to join the discussion.

    Another thing that might interest you folks- we made a small humble wiki for our group. Our previous groups had elaborate wikis, but this one is simple, mostly to keep track of a few simple stuff. The "people" page works by the new diplomacy rules, and have some pics of the NPCs. The "Loot" page is mostly to help me calculate treasure and WBL stuff, as well as help the party distribute stuff. It is mostly filled out, other than Harry's part and some minor stuff. It will update from session to session.
    Our little wiki site
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-01-10 at 11:57 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Long time since I wrote. As I warned at the beginning- our meetings are usually about 1 month apart. This session began in the under warrens, but soon reached the ruins of Kenabres. I hope you enjoy!

    Session 3, Part 1- The way out, Blackwing library

    We left off after the tough Battle with Hossila and her minions, Wendaug escaping, and the looting of treasure.

    Back tracking
    Sena's player was worried. Much of their loot was comprised of heavy weighing items- armors, weapons and such, mostly of clutists. the player suspected there won't be any place to get equipment in the city (He's a pessimist in nature), and suggested getting back to Neathholme to trade their stuff. Sena and Andrew had another reason as well- by bringing back the bodies of Hossila and such, they could strengthen their commitment to Chief Sul.

    The 3 NPCs argued against this though, wishing to hurry. but Andrew seems to persuade them. So they back track the short way to Neathholme. On the way they mention the 3 safe houses mentioned in the letter to Hossila (See previous session log), and both Anevia and Horus are surprised at the mension of the Nysserian manor. Apparently Kendro Nysserian borrowed money from Horus, and used that money to buy Arabeth' sword. "Why did you sell the sword" asked Andera. "To get the money needed for my gender transformation magic". The players was surprised at this, asking me "Is this your change?" As I explained this was part of the actual module they seemed pleasantly surprised "It seems modules are becoming progressive finally!" Aravash declares his concern at the possibility of infiltrating the Tower of Estord, as it has been a major archiving establishment. Andrew's face grimace...

    At Neathholme they sold quite a few armors and weapons, mostly to buy the +1 deflection ring for Mad dog, and a few minor potions. Sena brought the bodies of the cultists to Chief Sul. "I pay a debt of generosity." His hand tightened on his morning star, which the chief gave him. "May your son be avenged, and may this bring your heart a measure of comfort". Sena suggests giving back the morning star, but both Chief Sul and Opoli refuse (A bit teary eyed). "This is rightfully yours, light bringer, use this to further vengeance in your struggles". The relationship with the mongelmen goes up a step. They are now more than allies, they are friends.

    One maze before the surface
    The party returns to the warrnes, and by Lann's guidance seeks the way up. I decided that wendaug alerted all remaining mongrelfolk and they all fled to the surface. (Didn't yet know what to do with her), but the last guardians stayed...


    The party reached the cave with the built walls. They were quite cuatious about this, a lot of perception checks and so on. Knowing they are completely depleted of all daily powers and resources, they used Terendelev's scale once more. Feeling refresehd, they ventured in. Now, in the adventure these is a tiny simple maze to go through, with 2 dretch guards. I made them lay in wait, and near the end of the maze there are 2 small alcoves, where they attacked the leading person (Mad dog) from both sides.

    One dretch started slashing, while the other unleashed a stinking cloud, which affected Andera and Harry. As the party tried to deal with the VERY tight confines to fight the two demons, Harry moved back, wretching and puking. Where he met another surprise- the invisible quasit that hid in the southern most alcove.

    Quasit? What quasit?
    Spoiler
    Show
    As I mentioned before, I am adding more enemies due to the 5th member in the group, instead of four. In this place I thought a quasit could spice things up.


    Now, the quasit's poisonous claws affected Harry quite a bit. In the front Mad dog and Andrew switch places through 5 ft steps, and Andrew comes under a fierce attack of the dretches. at the back, Harry Sena and anevia try to fight the quasit. The battle is short, as Andrew and Mad dog kill the dretches, and the quasit is wounded but disappears before it is killed.

    Then a wicked idea comes to mind- what if it follows the party? with invisibility and crazy stealth it can't be detected, and it could add some nifty complications afterwards. Andrew also thinks of this, and suggest finding the bugger quickly, but they fail to locate it.

    Recognizing the maze as a holy site for Baphomet (The module don't mention this, but I see no other reason for the maze to be there, and it fits thematically) Sena and Mad dog spend some time in braking 2 walls to make the maze a straight way. Horus grumbles that they are losing EVEN MORE time, but they disregard him.

    With that, the party moves on.

    Reaching the surface
    The party follows Lann, who explains that this opening leads to a small mausoleum, with a secret room and entrance (The party think undead ahead ). They reach a tall ladder, and climb up to the third level of the crypt, which has sort of a balcony, from which they see Kenabres.


    As they hear the music, I tell them of what they see- proud, beautiful, thriving Kenabres is ruined now- black smoke, tears in the ground, distant lone screams, desolation of buildings, and the eerie silent of a ghost town, disrupted by the sound of demonic horns.

    All 3 NPCs are distraught. Anevia falls to the ground, openly weeping. Aravash keeps asking Harry what he sees, to which the mage responds in a whisper. "You're fortunate that you can't witness this". Horus is shaken, taking a step back, but quickly becoming angry, saying he will revenge against the demons and such.

    Andrew is shaken as well, but refuses to let it overwhelm him. Sena as well. It is at this that Horus erupts, openly blaming Andrew and Sena for wasting precious time in the tunnels, having them delay over and over again instead of getting back to the surface quickly and fighting the demons. His insults and accusations are severe, even for his usual style. The party doesn't respond kindly, and even think of not escorting him to his manor, as there are other pressing issues. Andrew decides to escort him however, even if it for the hop that he might later on help their fight. They speak of this in front of him, and he is appalled at their lack of concern for his safety. The relationship with him degrades, but he still joins them.

    They then discuss where to go next. They have 6 destinations: The destination of each of the NPCs, and the 3 cultist safe houses. Now, I gave the party maps of Kenabres with the locations indicated. I made slight changes from the locations in the module, mostly putting Topaz Solutions and the Tower of Estrod sooner than the Defender's heart, wishing they'd tackle these places before reaching that place. But on the whole the placements are quite similar.

    Andrew, feeling a better connection with Anevia, thinks of getting to her house first and foremost. But as they discuss with Aravash what sort of resources the Blackwing library could offer the fight ("What do you mean? It's the largest collection of info on demons and their ilk!") The party decides to head there first, as it is the closest place. (Which I think was the intention)

    The quasit was hearing all of this, biding it's time...

    Level up! Level 3
    I nearly forgot about this. The party leveled up, and here are a few of the main choices:
    - Sena took "Selective channeling" as a feat (To use it more effectively in a fight).
    - Andera took "Shadow strike" (Mostly to be able to sneak in areas of partial concealment)
    - Andrew took "improved shield bash"
    - Mad dog took "Cleaving finish", we haven't decided on favored terrain yet.
    - Harry took "spell penetration". His second level spells are scorching ray and some other fire spell (Which causes the target to ignite, forgot what it was)

    Hp wise, Andrew and Mad dog gained well, While Sena and Harry not so much. The party was ready to start again.

    Andrew's first vision
    The party started heading towards Blackwing library, with Andera and Mad dog sneaking ahead of the party (Lann was over awed of the city, preferred others to act as scouts in the place he knew little of). Soon after starting however, Andrew's sight suddenly grew dimmer, dimmer, until an utter dark surrounded him, despite his darkvision. He felt a great despair, sadness, loss around him. Yet, after some more moments, he saw a tiny light, soemwhere distant, flickering, almost fading, fighting, zig aging quickly in the distance.

    Andrew fell to his knee, sword struck to the ground, whispering softly ""Iomadea, there is always light in the darkness... Now I know it for sure!" The others were concerned, he sort of switched off for a few seconds, though it seemed quite a bit longer for him. Sena asked him to what happened, and Andrew relayed the vision. Sena felt encouraged by this "So we have allies in this!" Whiel Mad dog looked at Andrew questioningly "Are you ok? Feeling ill? Do you hear things as well?" But Andrew felt a new sense of purpose, and urged on.

    DM notes
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is dealing with the sword Radiance. If you read the other thread discussing it, one of the forum members suggested a build up through visions, leading to the finding of Radiance, giving it more importance. I liked the idea, this is the first of such visions.

    On retrospect, it's not that of a GREAT vision... I could have done more with it, but I hope the build up will be nice non the less.


    Battle at The Blackwing library
    As the party started to explore the city, I put the following as background dark ambient music:


    As they neared the library, the made way through the shambles and ruins of the city. The place looked deserted, bodies in the streets, of demons, but mostly of the city inhabitants. Ruined buildings, burning smoulders and more. The city was the remains of a war zone...

    As they reached the library, they saw the scale of devestation- there was no more library, it was a pile of rubble. All that remained was one semi standing building. "Lead me there!" Said Aravahs in a strained voice as he heard the news. As they got closer though, they saw one of the main doors opening, and someone, slightly charred and blackened, with a shield of Iomedae looking at them. "Who are you?" They explained quickly, and he smiled at seeing a paladin of Iomedae, and a cleric of Sarenrae "The demon host will be glad I've dispatched of you!"

    This man was Caleb, a cavalier who turned to pillaging and killing. He blocked the entrance, and started by demoralizing them all, except for Andrew, who was resistant to fear. (the "Dazzling display" ability I think) and challenging Andrew, who quickly came close and was smacked HARD by Caleb (1d8+10 or 11 I think at full. I made slight changes to him).

    As the party drew close, they heard Caleb shout back "Burn them!". Which put all kind of alarm bells with the party. Andera disappeared, and jumped through one of the halls oin the building inside, seeing 4 tieflings. 2 came to help Caleb sniping with arrows from the back, the 2 others were busy putting oil and burning 4 librarians! He got to engage them, but all the rest were outside, with Caleb's high AC blocking most of their attempts. Aravash kept insisting Harry to direct him to action, but Harry could think of no good idea.

    Sena however had an idea- He pulled out his holy symbol and used Murderous command to make Caleb turn back and attack the surprised tiefling! (Caleb moves not under his accord, cursing "WTF?") This enabled the party to get in the room. The librarians started to burn, but the as they clustered around Caleb, they quickly defeated him, and with Sena's healing magic prevented from the librarians burning to death. With Caleb dead, Andrew called upon the tieflings to surrender and release the librarians (The party feared it would take them too long from their positions) and in return he will spare their lives. High diplomacy roll, and they agreed.

    After math in the library
    While Aravash was being welcomed by the librarians, the party was trying to investigate the tieflings. I decided their leader is called Harash. A small debate between the players as to Andrew's promise (Sena's player is a lawyer, he can come up with many meanings) but Andrews' player stuck by the meaning of the words.

    Harash told them that they were raiders, from the Worldwound, where many tieflings lived. The masters said that Kenabres will soon fall, and they came in the after math of the city falling to look and kill. They did tell that most of the stronger demons have left to battle elsewhere, but didn't quite know composition or forces. This seemed quite odd to the party (With justification). The party tried a small attempt at redeem them, but Harash said their souls already belong to Deskari.

    As the tieflings left, under the hateful gaze of all, Harash yelled "See you in hell!" To which Andrew replied "I'll bring a sword!"

    Loot? Loot! Caleb didn't have a lot of stuff, but Andrew took his heavy mace +1 as his primary weapon for now. There was also a burnt out spell book which Harry sat down to copy, with a few nice 3rd level spells. The module also has an 8th or 9th level "dimension something" scroll tucked into it, which I just removed. That was a bit overboard in my opinion.

    The librarians told the party that the Blackwing was one of the first buildings attacked, and it was razed to the ground, by Xanthir Vang, a worm that walks. (Thankfully no one made knowledge checks, I forgot to check upon it). The demon took all the powerful magic items in the place, and destroyed anything but this small building. Aravash was truly devastated. "So I am the last...". Confused, Sean asked him "The last of what?" Aravash said he wss the last of the Rift Wardens, wot which Harry perked up. "The last of WHAT?!"

    Harry's campaign trait is Riftwarden Orphan. So he tried and get some info, but due to the module not supplying any such info, I ended up with Aravash making some lame saying of "prophecy of someone with the power" and blah blah... Aravash said he will try to look more into the matter. (When I will.)

    The librarians suggested to search maybe for Quendyss, a head researcher of the place.

    A discussion then begins a new of whether to go to Horus' manor, or to the Nysserian manor. Andrew seeks mostly to gain Horus' aid in the fight, even though he won't help them directly (Horus keeps saying he can organize people to fight the demons, if he gets to his base of operations), While the others are mostly interested in what he can give them. Hearing that Horus has somewhat prepared to such an eventuality, Sena even suggests going there and raiding the place, and "burrowing" what they needed for the fight.

    This was done without trying to hide it from Horus, which inflamed him, and he exploded. "You want to steal from me? After you dallied in the tunnels, carrying these two behind you instead of rushing to the fight, and now delaying once more to help these measly librarians..."
    Which is when Sena back slapped Horus, sending him to the floor. "Youa want to say that about the librarians again? Every life. Every. Life. Even yours, is worth saving! What were you saying again?!" It was at this point that I understood I made Horus too much of an obnoxious person. He stood up, wiping the blood from under his nose. His face was angry, but slightly palacated. "You were right in this at least. I apologize, my tempr has gotten away from me. But you have no right to steal from me. I will give you some supplies, as we agreed, but no more. While I won't fight or deter you, I think your judgement is lacking, I will not follow you once we get to my mansion. I will raise my own resistance".

    This has settled the dispute, and the party was ready to leave. Aravash decided to stay. "What remains, lore and people, are my responsibility now. We shall barricade ourselves, try to see this through. Thank you friends, and I'm sure Harry, that your destiny will come forth."

    With that, the party left towards Horus' manor.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Ok, I'll stop here for now. Hope you like this. I will post the second part hopefully in the next few days.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-02-08 at 10:16 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Ok, time for the second part of the session, shall we?

    Session 3, part 2- Deeper into ruined Kenabres

    As the party started heading towards Horus Gwerm's manor, I decided to put a more jarring soundtrack. This was looped in repeat, to make the players... jittery.


    But there were a few more things on the way. I decided to use some of the "special encounters" that the module suggests.

    Virgin's blood
    Again Andera and Mad dog led, and near rounding a corner they heard a few templars, and a weeping woman. Mad dog hid, and Andera came into the light. He saw the templars having some tied woman, and speaking of some sort of a ritual. Andera tries to bluff the templars, so as to not to kill the woman. They speak that there is a special ritual, that requires a virgin's blood, that will make their weapons powerful. The party is quite a long way away, so Andera tries to buy time.

    He sees they are not fully well, but doens't know why. He tries bluffing them, speaking of possession "May it is a lie?! Maybe it's something by one of the possessing demons, trying to trick you? Maybe one of you is possessed?" His bluff succeeds beyond measure, as the feverish templars turn to ccusations, and even shedding blood between them, till the others arrive. Andera tries to cull the confusion "We have a true paladin of Iomedae! He wil lsense and seek out the true evil!" He manages to convince them.

    Fro mehre on the encoutner is fairly simple. Between Sena and Andrew, the party understands the templar's minds are wrecked from the tragedy of Kenabres, and have turned to folk tales and lost hopes. Sena is even suspicious of a demon fever. They talk with Horus, who agrees to shelter the men and care for them at his manor.

    The woman (Rebecca) is grateful, and shares some of the rumors she heard:
    - "The witch Areelu Vorlesh is planning on coming to the city soon to claim it as a trophy!" Andera is at unease with this, knowing she is quite powerful.
    - "Lord Hulrun was killed during the attack and the demons have his body on display!" No real response from the party.
    - "The Mendevian army is heading to Kenabres to save us, but who knows when they’ll get here?" Now THIS got their attention, but mostly in trying to figure out how she knows this. I didn't quite think of it, and fumbled a story about parts of the army getting outside of the walls, trying to contain the demons in the city, and some messages coming through. The party becomes suspicious of Rebecca, but also a bit encouraged. They start thinking of maybe holing up till the army comes, but Anevia seeks to continue on.

    Horus Gwerm Manor
    As they reached the fairly unhindered place, Horus leads them to a sort of an underground bunker. He yells at his first hand to open, and the man asks for a password. When Horus gets angry "Whatsort of password? why you..." The man opens "Just wanted to make sure it's you boss!" (This is a bit different than the set up in the module. I wanted to show Horus as having some people who believe in him, and some small organization)

    The bunker holds about 30-50 people, but not all warriors. Horus immediately start setting into plan to "Get in touch with the contacts", but the party is quite unimpressed. Instead of the 1000 gp reward he promised, he gives them magical equipment of a similar value, especially designed to fight demons. The party wishes a bit to trade further with him, but the last of the niceties are gone.

    Andrew seeks to make sure that Horus' people and "contacts" won't fight the party, and Horus agrees to that, but little else. It seems for a moment that harsher words are about to be spat, but both parties are quite tired of this.

    Night descends, and the party think of perhaps sleeping here, this being a relative safe place. (Horus will agree to that, grudgingly). Anevia seeks to go on, becoming more desperate, but says "Whatever you decide. You have proven yourself time and again, to me you are champions". Well, after words like that...

    The party moves on, towards Topaz Solutions (Before Anevia's house in my map changes).

    Playing Horus
    Spoiler
    Show
    I think I may have gone a bit overboard with his character.s I think the module seeks to make him more... agreeable somehow, perhaps through revelations through Anevia. Well, didn't work this time. They will lose any further help he might offer.

    Oh well, you win some, you lose some, eh?


    The Nysserian Manor
    The journey there is by the dark, but is quite short. The place is a pile of rubble in a great crater in the ground. Nothing much to do here. The party thinks of perhaps trying to look through the rubble, but that will take too much time, and make too much noise. Onwards!

    Second vision for Andrew
    Once more, Andrew stops, as if being in another place. He can feels himself panting, sweating, running, hiding, avoiding. He knows the hunt is on, and that THEY are gaining. He must find a safe place, he must secure it, but where?

    The the vision changes, and there is blackness, and a sole figure in white robes, but no face. There is sadness in it, but also resolution. It looks at Andrew with no eyes. HE can hear a clear resounding voice. "Will you take the fight?"

    He answers with one word- "Always". The party starts understanding something is afoot.

    Angelic Strings, Abrikandilu and return of the quasit!
    This is another of the "special encounters" the module suggests, originally this it the "tailor's shop", but I made it into music instruments shop (I explain why at the end.

    It's night now, and Mad dog and Andera sneak forth, when they hear screams. They rush forwards to see a shop called "Angelic strings", one wall devastated (with rubble underneath) and the doors flung open. Andera vanishes and comes close, seeing the Abrikandilu demon smashing a tuba, and also a Dretch and two of those locust fiends from the initial battle (Fiendish stirges who decrease mental stats instead of Con) He seeks to gain a better position, but Mad dog who hears the two shop owners screaming, rushes forth inside. The rest of the party are running to catch up!

    Mad dog gets to the Abriknadilu and wounds it greatly, the terrified demon steps back and Shatters mad dog's greatsword! The player was in mourning, but drew her flail, and came after it. Andera first tried to fight the Dretch, but then followed Mad dog, as Andrew engaged the little green bugger. Which left Sena and Harry...

    As Harry moved to strike from a logn distance, the quasit, seeing his kin, attacked him from surprise! He poisoned him more, and more, and Sena came to Harry's rescue. Thankfully, he memorized Bless weapon, which enabled him to penetrate the creature's DR, and together they managed to slay the flying demon, before it could disappear.

    Andrew slew the Dretch, withstanding it's stinking cloud and cause fear (Dretch goes: "Wait, paladin?") and the others Kill the Abrikandilu.

    The shop owners, Belthis and Nira Lumins thank the party greatly, and offer some meager, but special help- 2 Song Spheres. (This is instead of the module-s loot of well tailored suits... WTF?!) The party thank them, but are now worried what to do. Many of their resources have been expended, but they wish to continue, and also- If they wish to sleep, they need a safe enough place for that.

    Song Spheres
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is an idea I had for some time. Mechanically this are "1 use bardic performance". These are song trapped in the sphere, and when it is crashed, the song is loosed. The party's spheres induce "Inspire courage +2" for 1 minute each.

    However, I told the party they need to come up with the songs inside in order to use them, and when they break the sphere, they need to play the music. I hope it will be fun, eh? That is, if they will get to that the lazy good- for- nothings!

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    So this is where we've stopped. It wasn't a spectacular meeting, without any special climax, but I think the atmosphere was good, and different kinds of encounters and roleplay.

    Next session I think might be a blast! I'd like to see how they deal with the other two safe houses, and I hope to get to (If the players don't ignore it or circumvent it) to an interesting encounter where Radiance will be introduced, plus some other things...

    I'm not that comfortable with the very straight and linear design of the adventure. It's not what I'm used to doing, and neither are my players, but they seem to be having fun... I hope... Oh well, we'll see. Join us next time! (In about 2.5 more weeks)
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-03-09 at 05:35 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    The following links are just of some things I'm working on for the Campaign. Check if you're interested, not that important for understanding the story. Mostly for completeness:

    1) Trying to find a way to integrate Sena's mentor- John, into the game.

    2) Discussing Song Spheres!

    3) Discussing the second module, and trying to improve it.

    Nothing to see here, move along...

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    I as DM roll no dice. Instead of monster attack rolls, there are PC defense rolls, instead of monster saves, there is spell/ power roll, and so on. DCs are known in most cases, or told once the decision to roll has been made. The main effects are:
    How? Teach me oh master! lol.

    Seriously, I'm always looking for ways to speed up my games (especially combat). If this works the way you say it does, I'd love to see how you make this mechanic work. (The math, etc)

    EDIT: And -

    Originally Posted by Kol Korran
    Accompanying music for the fight, United we stand, Divided we fall.

    Oh, I do approve. Perfect choice there.
    I agree, Perfect choice!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2014-02-13 at 08:38 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Hey Nibbens, glad to have you as a reader. About your question-

    The idea is quite simple really. The system is mostly used for player defense rolls (Instead of monster attack rolls) and players spell/ ability roll (Instead of a monster saving roll). Anything else that involves a d20 quite follows the same thing. A few more small guidelines follow.

    Defense roll
    The player rolls a 1d20+AC. The target number is 22+the monster's attack bonus. Reaching it means to have avoided the attack, not reaching it means you got hit. Criticals are on the lower spectrum of the d20 (1, 1-2, or 1-3 depending on the monster's attack usual threat range). players roll the damage done to them.

    spell/ ability roll
    This is basically the same. The player rolls 1d20+Spell/ ability's DC. the target number is 22+ the monster's save bonus. Same rules.

    (Don't ask me why it's 22, but it works. I've tried many attempts, and the probabilities are the same as in rolling normally. You can try, it works. Some math guys tried explaining it to me, but I'm no math wiz. It works anyway...)

    About Skills
    Static skill checks are handled the same. For opposed skill checks I just let another person roll, but tell the bonus after it's rolled (Since then the character tested the difficulty of the task).

    General rolls
    All kind of random rolls and such I either tell the players the possible outcomes up front, or if that is not possible, I make the beneficial results be the high ones, and the negative results the lower ones. The players all know that in my game, "High is Better than low".

    Things to note:
    1) You basically means you can't fudge rolls. I suggest lowering slightly the difficulty when you start this, to get a hold of what is tough and what's not.
    2) Battles behave unexpectedly at times. A simple battle becomes extremely tough, or a tough battle a walkover. I find this is a great thing, which creates many unexpected and fun moments in the game.
    3) Players will probably become much more tactical, and often quite more involved. This is one of the most major benefits. They feel it is more... REAL in a way.

    Good luck to you!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-02-14 at 11:46 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    We played a session 2 days ago (It was postponed by a week) and it was... Wow! Excellent session, mainly it's final encounter and battle. We planned on playing 7 hours, but it got lengthened for about 9-10 hours! We it was very intense. The session started with continuing through ruined Kenabres and included some... unexpected approaches to what I thought would be straightforward encounters (I love it when the players do that!), and it ended with a major battle, and the completion of the paladin's quest for his sword.

    It was a bit long, but will still be in 2 parts. Hope it doesn't bore you!

    Session 4, part 1- From Topaz Solutions to Anevia's home

    Last time the party were making their way towards Topaz solutions, and found an Abrikandilu and a few other demons while in a music shop. (The players forgot about the song spheres, and didn't pick music for them. Oh well... )

    We were back in the ruins, so I put this on again, for the mood:


    Topaz solutions negotiations

    Mad dog and Andera moved at the front again, till reaching Topaz Solutions shop- a single storied building, about 50x30 ft surface, with a single door. The windows seemed bordered up though. (I decided to make a slight change. The module puts looters here. I made the looters barricade themselves for the night. This little change proved to have some... interesting consequences).

    Andera and Mad dog assumed the cultists (This WAS mentioned as a cultist safe house) have barricaded themselves in. Not waiting for the others, the two snuck from a side street to the building. Mad dog, always with an off the box approach, decided to climb the low building and look from an entry point from above. Andera meanwhile hand signaled the party to wait (Thanks Sena's senses and darkvision), and snuck around the buildings, listening at windows and such. HE heard the noise of some humanoids inside, there was a person at each of the three windows. They seemed half alert, like guards at their posts for a long time. There were even snores. Mad dog found a small barricaded venting hole (I decided there will be one. I liked the roof top approach. This was an alchemy shop after all) and through it he saw an elf staying guard, half awake.

    Andera was a bit too ambitious though, and planned something with the doorway, but unfortunately he failed that stealth roll, and alerted the people inside. "Demons! The demons are coming! Get ready! Get up you fools! Kill anyone through the door!" Andera quickly jumped up and grabbed the roof, pulling himself up.

    Sena's sharp senses (+11 or 12 to perception will do that to you). Heard the commotion and hushed words as well. "I don't think they are cultists..." he muttered to the rest. Hearing that Andrew called to them, presenting himself as a paladin of Iomedae, offering help and askign to get in.

    The answer? "Oi! This is our place! Find your own dump to hole in! We don't need no paladin drawing them buggers here!" Andrew tries a different approach "We are trying to gather as much help as we can to fight the demons, and are making our way to get help from beyond the walls, we can help escort you from the city out!" Not exactly what the holed up wanted to hear though "Fight the demons? Brave the fiend infested streets? With you lot making noise and drawing them in! No thanks, we'll stay holed up here, whether the time till help comes, and survive! Which is more than I can say for you!" (Sniggers all around). Though Andrew has a decent diplomacy skill, he offered quite a bad deal under the circumstances, and failed quite miserably at this. Andera tried to explain this is supposed to be a cultists hideout, which they need to investigate. But the leader just scoffed at him "Cultists? The place was empty when we loo... I mean got here! There is no one here! Now bugger off!"

    Andera tried his way (The looters were quite jittery at hearing someone talking from their roof). "What do you need? Food ?Water?". The leader, a dwarf by the sound of it laughed "Out of the kindness of your bleeding heart? No, we got enough to make it for a few days. Unless you got anything more appealing?" He then tried to mention Horus as a possible employer, but a quick know local roll for the looters proved as "Horus who?"

    Negotiations weren't going well, so Sena (His player is a lawyer is RL) stepped forth.
    S: "First of all, introductions are in order. I am Sena, cleric of Sarenrae. Who am I speaking with?"
    T: "I am Tarum, leader of this bunch! Tarum's bunch that is!" (Sniggers)
    S: "Ok, what do you want?"
    T: "What do you offer?"
    S: "What do you need?"
    T: "Wha... make us an offer, something worthwhile, or else bugger off!"
    S: (Guessing the type of people he's dealing with). "I can offer you gems, a few of them. I want to get inside and search the place for evidence of the looters, nothing more." (They found about 280 gp worth of gems somewhere before, I think in Hosilla's dungeon)
    T: "Gems you say? Hmmm... Only you come in, no weapons!"
    (Mad dog's player and Harry's player were strongly against this, fearing a trap)
    S: "Me and one more, I'm not going in alone with the lot of you there!"
    (Diplomacy rolls were made, a decent bargaining)
    T: "Well, alright, but the gems need to be worth it, weapons down!"
    Andera climbed off the roof, coming down to join Sena/ He had the best skills of the group, so they thought this is best. (Despite the tension between the characters). They got in, seeing the 6 humanoids inside, and the doors were closed behind them. Tarum demanded to show the gems. He rolled poorly on the appraise checks, and so was impressed with... 20 gp worth of gems only! "Yes, these will do nicely! We can sell them for a good price afterwards!" The party snickered, and Sena and Andera went on to search the shop, under the gaze of the looters (I don't think the party realized it by now. Tarum tried to hide the fact, saying they are just civilians who holed up here. The party apparently took him for his word).

    Sena expected to find books, ledgers and such, but with Andera's help was surprised to find the trap door to the secret basement. They immediately closed it and talked in hushed tones, with Tarum utterly surprised at this find. "Hey, what's this?!" Sena hissed "It's a secret trap door, leading to a secret cultists base, as we have explained. Stay quiet or they will hear us! You still want to stay here?"


    It didn't took much more to persuade Tarum and his people to leave. Sena suggested getting to the Blackwing library and holing up with them. They left quickly. They went with their small bag of loot though!

    Now the rest came in, and were ready to descend down...

    DM thoughts
    Spoiler
    Show
    This was quite nice. I kinda expected first to have a small "break in/ fight in" scene, but the party approached it more realistically, less as a "kill the monsters, get the loot" kind of scene.

    The diplomacy rules have proved very fun to use again. And made quite a difference between the approaches of the different negotiators, according to Tarum's bunch sensibilities and preferences. I like those rules very much!


    Topaz Solutions' basement and trap room
    The party feared an ambush below, and so went in down the stairs to the basement in single file, all the main PCs in front, the NPCs (Lann leading Anevia) at the back. The basement was a single room, as big as the store, and seemed to have been a combination of ab alchemist shop/ hideout, and small temple to Baphomet. The room had rotting heaps of vegetable matter in it, but was mostly otherwise vacant, stripped. In the middle of the southern wall was a large table with various alchemical stuff. On the wall Baphomet's sign. As the PCs descended into the room, just past the trap door, the mouth of the bull head of Baphomet spoke: —“Ahh... I hope you are among Iomedae’s slaves... I would hate to think of mere peasants wasting such a personal greeting from Lord Baphomet!”

    As the magic mouth spoke, a tiny statue of a merilith on the table swung it's sword and broke a battle, which contained a special alchemical magical gas... Oh, and the trap door sut above the player's head, locking itself! To boot, some sort of a plant creature, so far hidden, rose from the heap to attack the party.

    The entire room was a parting trap from the cultists. The plant creature proved pathetic, as action economy disposed of it before it could lay a strike (Mandragora), but the poisonous cloud was quite a hassle. It's a special item by the module, a sort of random effect inhaled poison, that can have different affects on different characters each round. Andera tried to unlock the trap while the party bashed the plant creature. It took him some time (We were a bit hazy about the lockpicking rules) but he finally managed. But In the meantime some suffered acid, fire, cold damage, wheezing coughs and bleeding and such. Once it was open they ran out till the gas was clear.

    (Note: In the initial module the secret door doesn't lock. I know my players, and they would have ran out if nothing was stoppingthem, which would kind of nullify the trap, wouldn't it? I don't understand traps that give such an obvious way out)

    Harry and Andera suffered the most from the gas, having the lowest fort saves. Harry especially. They went back to the room and found a chest, with some clerical clothes of Iomadae and Sarenrae, along with 5 holy symbols and a note "We have no use of these no more. We thought you should have something for your troubles!" aaaannd... they fell for that too. Harry, Mad dog and Andera picked these up, and Andera got poisoned by the contact poison on the symbols. He managed to save after one poison effect, but then continued to be grumpy about his 1 dex damage through most of the rest of the session!

    The party realized they were tricked.

    Where to next?
    The party then went into a small discussion- to continue? sleep? Or use one of terendelev's scales? Sena for some reason was quite afraid of the dawn catching up, for two reasons- first, he thought that progress will be easier by night. Sure, the demons have dark vision, but that is limited to 60 ft, and they weren't hindered by day light. Secondly, he for some reason feared something really, really bad was going to happen when dawn came. (I don't know what triggered this). Andera sought to rest (He wished to gain his 1 dex back), but the rest also sought to continue on as much as they can. They were quite depleted, but not fully so.

    Next came the question- where to next? They had 2 more destinations on their map- Anevia's house, which was a bit north of them, or the Estrod Tower, a bit west of that (by my changes, sooner than Defender's heart next). They decided to head for Anevia's house, find out what happened with Arabeth, and hopefully be free of Anevia (They were starting to get tired og the NPCs trudging along).

    Andrew's third vision
    If you remember from the past session, Andrew had 2 visions while traversing the city. He had another one now.

    Previous visions summary
    Spoiler
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    1st visions- Emergence: (Emerging from the darkness below, on the way to Blackwing) Andrew feels a great darkness falling. With it comes a powerful feeling of despair, loss, hopelessness. Then, from the darkness far away, Andrew sees a tiny light rising, and then zigzagging fast in the distance, a tiny light in the darkness.
    Andrew, fell to one knee, "Iomadea, there is always light in the darkness... Now I know it for sure!"

    2nd vision- Searching in the dark: (After Horus mansion, seeking the first Cultist safe house) Andrew feels himself as a hurrying figure, a hunted figure. Running, panting, fearful, becoming desperate... He feels him searching, seeking. He needs to secure it, protect it, deliver it to someone right.
    Then there is darkness, and a figure in a white robe, face unseen. Andrew feels a direct question, simple one in his head. "Will you take on the fight?
    Andrew replies "Always".


    The current vision: 3rd vision- The burden and sacrifice: Andrew feels himself once more as the man carrying his burden. He is in a place with large columns, and many statues. In a way it is comforting, but the man also know the enemies close in on him. He is bleeding, losing blood, losing life.
    The scene changes. There is a great battlefield, either in the abyss itself, or deep in the worldwound. Andrew sees his hand- a womans hand, holding a radiant long sword, slashing and hacking numerous demons. There is a lot of blood, a lot of gore, tiredness, fatigue… And he/ she know they will keep on coming, ever coming.
    Again the darkness, and the voice of the figure in white from the second dream. Much blood, much gore, the fiends just keep on coming. "How long will you fight, How long will you stand? For one battle? Ten battles? A thousand? Will you make the sacrifice? How long before it will take it's toll?"

    Andre gritted his teeth. "Till evil is destroyed". The rest look at him questioningly. Mad dog is quite worried about him. Sena however feels this is a powerful omen. They know not what to do with this, and move on.

    Speaking of NPCs... Guess who?
    So they started making their way north. I changed the music a bit, as it also fitted the next scene. Again from the previous session.


    On the way however, Sena heard someone following them. His Perception was high enough that he heard the muttering "Yes... here they are! They walk amongst the stars as well... long? far? I shall see!" Sena groaned and nudged Andrew "We are not alone. Your friend from down below? He has followed us here..." Andrew immediately called "Millorn! N oneed to hide amongst the shadows! Come, show yourself!"

    And the maddened dwarf came forth, hesitantly, without his centipede ("Wait, he ate it?!") playing with his dagger absentmindedly, slightly making shallow cut ion his fingers. He looked at them cautiously, peering.
    A: "You have decided to surface Millorn? This is a big step for you! What have you done since?"
    M: "I... I... I've been thinking. About what you and the dark person (Andera is black if I didn't mention this) said... lots to think about... many thoughts... many voices. Dark lords say one thing... you another... Millorn tries to think! But cannot find answer... So me come up, voices lead me to you." (Unfortunately the party didn't quite bite this last piece of info, despite other tries in the future.)
    A: Did you learn anything? Did you start a new life? A new Journal? (Sena took his journal with him. Andrew gave him a blank journal as a new start)
    M: Ah yes! Here! Millorn tries to make sense of this!" He shows the others his journal, who seem to have all kind of circles with strange writing in them, with arrows, lots of question marks, other symbols and such. Some think of slight retardation, Mad dog thinks these are the ramblings of a misunderstood genius.
    Sena however is displeased: "This is unwise Andrew. We cannot have him follow us. He can turn either way, he can back stab us when we least expect it."
    Andrew however looks at Millorn: "And how do you find the upper world Millorn?"
    Millorn gaze upwards with awe. "The stars? I've been underground for more than 50 years. They are... magnificent! Distant lights, strange light, look! there a star! A soul? a fire? A star there too! So many? So pretty! So terrifying... Do they dwell there?" and his trail of thought wanders off...
    (The party exchanges worried looks. Sena's player makes a joke: "Look master Frodo, at how he...")
    Andrew decides: "We have started him on this path, we are responsible for him. Millorn, do you wish to join?"
    M: (Quite desperately) "Yes! I come! You give me answers? Mind is so... full! Aching! Confused! I don't understand! So many!"
    (More worried glances)
    Andrew continues: "I shall try to help you find the truest answer for your soul, if you would listen and learn." And make a few other generalized sounding "wise advice" sayings. Sena's player laughs "You know, some major world fascists and dictators probably used the same advice. It's all a matter of interpretation." The party moves on. I gave Andrew's player Millorn's character sheet to deal with in battles, though I kept my own advice as how he behaves. (Mehcnaically he is a dwarf wizard 3, universalist, most of his spells re of illusion)

    Return of Millorn, DM's thoughts
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    The main reason I made hi return was because the party liked dealing with him, and he brought interesting game dynamics around. Also, the campaign has a big emphasis on redemption, so I think it might be interesting to try this in the game.

    A slight change from previous NPCs- I made him the responsibility of the player. First, this will make him feel more "real", and also it would lessen hassle for me.

    Note: I don't mean to force Millorn on the party, and I have no exact plans or role for him yet. He's somewhat of an unexpected addition to the game, which I intend to play mostly by ear for now.


    The refuge
    (This was not in the original module. I added this scene for flavor mostly, as part of the "atmosphere enhancing" scenes they suggest to add in the module. This turned out more complicated than I originally planned.. Awesome! )

    Not that far from Anevia's house, Andera sees two children scavenging from one of the corpses strewn in the street (quite a few of them since the attack). They turn to flee but he manages to dissuade their fear, showing he means no harm, and offering help. A successful diplomacy check later, they lead him to a hidden refuge- a fallen store house, with part of it still intact.

    As the party gets inside they see about 20-30 figures there, huddled civilians, hiding, ragged, some wounded, all afraid. 3 figures, by their uniform from the City's Watch come towards Andrew, who seems like the authority figure. (Sena goes immediately to tend the wounded and such), The conversation revealed that these guards managed to gather and hide these people, and are now protecting them till help will come. They have some fearful rumors ("Queen Galfrey revealed herself as a succubus and fled into the Worldwound—she’s the one who betrayed us!" and "The witch Areelu Vorlesh is planning on coming to the city soon to claim it as a trophy!") but Andrew tries to calm everyone down, certain that these are rumors spread by the enemy to strike fer in the hearts of the city. (Curiously though Andera totally believes the first rumor, and is astonished to learn that the Queen has betrayed them!)
    The guards seek help, mostly material help, anything that could help them. Andrew talks about help coming from unexpected sources, like the mongrel folk from below (Motioning at Lann, which most are afraid from). They give some mundane equipment (most of their food and such). But Sena and Andera feel that if they are left here, with only these 3 fairly inexperienced guards to protect them, that they would soon die. "3 demons could kill them!" Harry laughs cynically. "3? One dretch would slaughter them all. They got no chance if they are found out!"

    Which leads to a discussion. Sena wishes to take them all with them. Andera balks at the thought. "We are making enough noise as it is. 20-30 more people? We're sure to get more attention, and then they will SURELY get killed!" Mad dog doesn't like the idea of tagging along with so many. (We made Mad dog's check list for accompany NPCs: "Do they help us?", "Do they not hinder us?", "Do they shut up when told to?" If any of these comes as "no", then they should be left behind. ) There is a small heated debate, and they come to a compromise- Since Anevia's house is so close, they will go to check it out themselves first, and see if developments there might garner more options.

    Lann thanks Andrew as they head out. "No one I know have spoken to uplanders about us like this. We thank you!" Mad dog's player is a bit annoyed at Andrew "Is there some potion or spell that can tone down the "goodness?""

    Andrew on his part approaches Millorn. "So what heave we learned from this Millorn?" the dwarf seems puzzled "You... helped them? But why? You want somethign from them later? Carry favor with your light gods, yes?" (Mad dog says "I like the way he thinks!") But Andrew just replies. "Think about it Millorn. YOU tell me why we helped them later on.." The dwarf goes into contemplation.

    DM thoughts
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    I thought this would lead to a bit of roleplay, some helping the hiding group, and moving on. I like it that the party thought this more through. The buggers might act as heroes despite what I think of them!


    Anevia and Arabeth Tirabade' home
    On the short way Anevia talked again about her wife, her own gender transformation, their love and such. She joked about it being so humble since Arabeth keeps donating most of her wages to charity (Most players rolled their eyes. "At least we'll get rid of her?") AS they were nearing her house Anevia shifted from nervousness to elation and back again.

    The players started to make gmbles on what they will find. Most assumed Arabeth have died some grissly death.

    So, upon reaching, they began to strategize the approach, even holding the anxious Anevia back. But Harry had ENOUGH! He didn't blow one single thing this session! So in an uncharacteristic move he rushed and opened the door. Sena, alarmed, rushed behind him.

    In the house was Vagorg, an orc sorcerer who laid an Ambush to Anevia (They have a long history, he hunted her down, Arabeth busted him up and put him in prison, and more). He was invisible, thanks to a potion and an alarm spell, and had a few more spells ready. Seeing this wasn't Anevia, he launched at Harry, burning him with a scorching ray. Harry returned with his own ray.

    This would have made an interesting battle, but Sena kept one last spell- Hold person. One failed will save later, and a pile up by the others, and Vagorg was tied up and bound.

    Anevia Slapped him, seeking to kill him. A quick interrogation cleared that the demons broke the prison, and he has escaped. He came here seeking to lay ambush to either of the wives, and leave it as a display for the other. He did not know where Arabeth was though... Anevia seeks to kill him, and Andrew tries t opersuade her not to at first. The rest of the party are all for it. Andrew tries to find some sort of remorse in Vagorg, who laughs at his face, not backing down, but stating out simply "Well paladin, I am your prisoner. Shouldn't you hand me to the proper authorities?"

    And Andrew gives Anevia his dagger, and they all walk out for a moment, when Anevia executes Vagorg.
    Sena asks Andrew cautiously "You have doomed Vagorg, yet have saved Millorn, who undoubtfully killed many innocents as well. How do they differ?"
    Andrew: "Millorn could be saved, Vagorg was beyond hope."
    Sena: "Beyond hope? And you are the one to judge that?"
    Andrew: "For now, in this situation, I am the only one."
    Sena: "Hmmm... Beware of where that kind of thinking could lead..."

    The party looted Vagorg (A unique magical Ranseur, which Mad dog took, and a wand of 3rd level magic missile, which went to Harry.) And a search in the small house revealed a stach of some healing potions, and a letter from Arabeth, saying that she went to Defender's Heart (A huge Inn, more like a big hotel), where the remains of the resistance in the city are gathered. She wrote the password so Anevia won't be shot, and added some gushy stuff. ("Wait, so we're not rid of her yet?!")

    Andrew tries to teach Millorn the difference between the refuge and Vagorg, but the dwarf mostly sank deeper into his own thoughts.

    Another tough decision
    The Defender's Heart was some ways to the north, Estrod Tower to the west, and the refuge which they still sought to help a bit to the south. A BIG discussion came whether to head first to the refuge, and escortthem all to the Defender's heart, or to go to the DH first, and seek help to perhaps secure the refugees. (Which would also take more time overall)

    And there was still the question of whether the resistance survived, or might the party find ruins and an ambush at the DH. Views and arguments changed back and forth, With Sena mostly calling to go first to the refugees, and go on, and Andera and Harry mostly calling to go scout and make sure the DH is ok first, maybe get some help to secure the big group.

    The discussion last quite a bit, but at the end Sena was voted out, and the party decided to go to the Defender's heart. "You might have just doomed them all" muttered Sena, praying to his goddess to protect them, but followed suit.
    -----------------------------------------------
    Which is enough for now. I did say it was a long meeting, didn't I? I hope to write a bit more in the next few days. The next part became a huge battle, not of the module, but something of my own making, which turned out to be a blast!

    Please leave your comments, thoughts, questions and such, all are welcome.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-03-09 at 05:36 PM.

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    Thanks for reading!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008
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    Israel
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Ok, so lets get the second part written! This part was quite a roller coaster blast!

    Session 4, part 2- Of Halls, Mentors, Heroes and The sword!

    4th and last vision
    Having decided to head to Defender's Heart, the party thought of whether to sleep first, or use one of the scales. This discussion was much quicker. They decided to use a scale, since they worried that leaving the people in the refuge for too long would end badly, and also because Sena still feared something real bad is coming soon...

    So they used the 3rd scale, and as the light washed over them, another vision came over Andrew: 4th vision- Final commitment: Andrew felt himself as the man, heavily bleeding, desperate, afraid. The man looked at a tall still figure, of some woman, over 3 meters tall. He takes out a sword, the same sword from the 3rd vision, only seeming older. "I entrust it to thee! Keep it safe!" And with his dying strength he sinks the sword into the leg of the woman, and dies with one sharp scream.

    The darkness returns to the world, as it was in the first visions, enveloping all, sinking it into despair. Then the figure in white appears, holding a blade in it's hands, as if offering it to Andrew. "To fight for others, to brave the greatest horror, to sacrifice so other won't have to? Will you take the burden?"

    Andrew replied "I already have". Unlike the other visions, he kept this one solely to himself.

    A plea for help
    Early morning was starting to come, and as the party made their way towards the Defender's Heart, they saw that the streets were quite deserted, other than the wreckage of the demons' invasion. The sun crept up with a sickly red light. It seems the voyage will go with little trouble.

    As they were coming close to their goal, about 20 minutes walk away from the Defender's Heart, their goal in this entire night, and the place to possibly rest for the first time, they saw a young couple, ragged and wide eyed running towards them. These were Jess and William, civilians who told the party of the demons herding and gathering many people towards The Hall of Heroes, who has become entirely dark and feels... wrong. They managed to escape before reaching it, but they could hear tormented screams coming from the place, which seemed to have wrecked them both.

    The Hall of Heroes was quite a way back, near the Tower of Estrod. Going back there would set them a lot back! They discussed very quickly what to do. They wanted to help William and Jess, but felt they also had a responsibility for the people in the refuge. They decided to hustle to Defender's Heart, and providing it stands, seek some help and head out quickly. Harry used his arcane bond to put Anevia on it so they could move faster, and they sped towards Defender's Heart.

    "There is always some kind of twist, isn't there?" Sena and Andrew's players accused me laughingly

    Wait, I don't remember this...
    Spoiler
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    Those who know the module know that there is no encounter in the Hall of Heroes. I used the extra XP in the chapter to build up my own mega- encounter, in order to make a special encounter. So... yeah, hope you like it.


    Quick arrival and quick departure at Defender's Heart
    The party got there quickly, gave the pass word, and went in. Things happened quite quickly then as the party sought to go back to The Hall of Heroes. Anevia FINALLY was reunited with Arabeth, her wife, a half orc crusader of the Eagle Watch, who has become the leader of the resistance, with all the higher level NPCs dead! The Defender's Heart hummed with activity- there were quite a few civilians, merchants, warriors here, though... not as many as it would take to take over the city.

    Buuuuut... there was time to explore all of this later. Andrew gave a very brief report of their journey, but emphasized the following:
    - Lann was an ambassador from the mongrelmen, who wish to join the resistance. (We agreed to play this later).
    - Please send help to escort the civilians at the refuge here.
    - There were some cultists safe houses, only the Tower of Estrod was left to explore.
    - But the main thing is that they have to rush to the Hall of Heroes. Arabeth explained that she can't send help with them now, their forces were spread over the city currently, but wished them speed and the god's favor.

    Party: "Wait, so we're finally rid of one leg wipey moany?"
    Anevia: "I will just say- You brought me hope in the greatest darkness, you carried me through danger and mayham, you showed what true courage means, and you returned my true love to me. I am in a life doubt to you".
    Party: "Interesting. Lets get moving!"
    Anevia's relationship has become intimate, the highest rank.

    Sena however asked one more question "I seek Master John, of the Knoghts of Sarenrae. Did he survive, do you know where he is?" Arabeth could only tell him he took a group of soldiers and went into the city. The player can sometime guess my mind...

    This prompted Andera to inquire of members of his own spy organization, especially anyone black who's called Raat Mukdir (Night spy). Arabeth said that John spoke of being in contact with such a person. So they knew they needed to find him.

    They left Lann and Anevia back, but Millorn ran along with them. Towards the Hall of Heroes.

    Mentor John
    The Hall of Heroes is a sort of a museum where the city commemorates the heroes of the crusades and the city itself, in a vast hall with many statues. It is considered one of the more sacred places for the city. It is also deeper inside. But strangely the party manages getting there with little to no trouble. As they get close, Sena gets a call from a window of a nearby mostly intact building. It is Amy, a fellow crusader from The Sovereign Order of Sarenrae (The player made up this order in character creation. A militaristic organization, following the goddess, but funded separately from the city's council). They quickly got in, and saw a room with 7 figures- 6 of them were junior members of the order, but one was John, Sena's mentor and father figure!

    Image of John
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    The player loves Russel Crowe's performance. And he just loves Gladiator!


    The two rose and hugged momentarily. "Senatef! Child! I'm so happy seeing you here! I was afraid that..." there was a slight pause, before the smile returned to John's face. "But I see you have survived, and you seem... different now, since last I saw you." Sena also welcomed John, and deferred to him, somewhat subservient, and introduced his friends, and relayed the situation. John clapped his back. "It seems you have brought reinforcements. We heard of this situation not long before you. We came here to observe and gather info. It seems dretches, imps and many tiefligns are bringing people from every where into the hall of heroes, but we do not know for what purpose. The screams echo from there every so often..." (As if on cue there was a scream, and a strange... feeling in their bones. Everyone seemed unease). "We hear some sort of a faint repeating nosie from inside, as if of a hammer... we're not sure, but I fear the forces there ware way too much for us to handle. We need to go back and get more power."

    Sena however refused. "I can't do that John. We need to go and investigate, and do it now." John tried to dissuade him "I appreciate your intention, you confirm choosing you. Indded the right sentiment! But this is no time for sentiment, this is wr, and I cannot let you throw your life on a suicide mission! Those demons come out afraid, and there is only one thing demons truly fear- more powerful demons. I don't know what sort of danger we're facing there!"

    But Sena would not be dissuaded. "Then this is exactly why we need to go there. They are putting a lot of effort into it, and I'd wager this is a time sensitive matter. We arrived here for a reason- you don't know what's inside? We'll find out, and if possible, we'll act upon it! This is no time to "wait and see". We will go and seek out the meaning of this.".

    There was another scream, and Andrew also said his piece. "Beside that- there are people getting tortured and most likely killed there. We need to save them. With all due forgiveness Commander, we must go inside." Andera was curious though- "Do you know of a Raat Mukdir?" John seemed surprised, but then smiled, thoughtful. "I know of their numbers and presence in Kenabres. We... collaborated on some matters. One of them spoke of making a daring theft from the Gray Garrison- it's the mian hold of the demons now. We think they are guarding something there. But he seem to wish to steal something special." Andrew perked his ears up. "Steal what exactly?" John shook his head "Something about the burned out light, or the ember, not sure".

    Andrew and Sena's players looked at each other "You gave the moral speech, and I gave the strategic speech". "Isn't that what we do?" Their speech, (And Sena's close connection to John) enabled them to persuade Him and 4 of his soldiers to follow them. John clapped Sena on his shoulder. "Well well, you have grown much. We shall go with you, what is your strategy?"

    I gave Sena's player John's character sheet. mechanically he is an Oracle 6, battle mystery, haunted curse. HE fights with a halberd, and has a mostly depleted wand of CMW. (Saved mostly for his soldiers). Though he does have great casting ability, for this scene he is quite depleted (can cast 3/2/1 spells).

    Role of John
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    The player wants to explore the master- apprentice relationship. We both agreed that the initial encounter was somewhat... lacking, but hope to fix that in future sessions. I seek to both explore the relationship, but also challenge the player later on with facing less popular decisions from his mentor possibly (He seeks some kind of conflict).

    I will go into John's short background later, when the two talk more. I'll just say that I have plans for John for the second part, possibly replacing both Sassoviel and Aron Kir together, in one character. Still thinking about it. But I think that for Sena to face John's addiction could be indeed interesting...


    Hall of Heroes Layout and plannings
    John had a map, so I put on the battle map of the Hall of Heroes on the table. A bit of explanation: The hall is big, about 27x16 squares in size. The main doors open to a big corridor that stretched forward, with two rows of columns. To the left of the hall were two big openings, to statue galleries of the heroes of the first and second crusade. The outer wall here was partly broken down, allowing entrance to either room, but there was some debris here (Rough Terrain).

    To the right of the hall there two opening to a larger Gallery for the heroes of the 3rd and 4th crusade together. Further along there was an opening to a 5x5 room who functioned as a small temple and altar to the main 5 gods of the crusades: Iomedae, Sarenrae, Torag, Shellyn and Desna.

    At the end the great corridor opened to a great wide Gallery, commemorating the high generals, mages, priests and such of the crusades, along with a statue of Terendelev.

    So all in all there were two openings- the main doors (One was fell, so a person could enter, though through a 2 square opening) or the break in the wall leading to the galleries of the first and second crusade, about half way along the length of the hall. A wider opening, but there was quite a lot of rubble.

    And there was also the trouble of darkness. The place was entirely dark (Demons have dark vision), but only Andrew and Sena could see. (Well, Mad dog too with a potion of darkvision) The party sought to get to the hall by surprise (They had Millorn's invisibility spells plus a few invisibility potions, just enough for them 5). However, the darkness made this complicated. They guesses there is one major "demon boss" inside, and sought to bring it down by surprise.

    Andrew also had another issue here. "The hall with columns. The 3 m woman where the sword was struck. It fits the description of the Hall of Heroes, right?"

    So the final plan was sort of like this: The 5 of them will sneak with invisibility from the side entrance (Greater chance to get to the boss demon sooner), and the others (John, Millorn and 4 soldiers) will get from the other entrance once they hear trouble start. (I ruled out it will take them 2 rounds to get to the doors at full run).

    The party spread between them the oil of bless weapon. They knew they will need them. Sena cast 3-4 self buff spells, they drank the potions, and snuck ahead.

    So far, so good?
    As the party closed in to the opening they could hear some sort of a hammering, a noise that caused a strange vibration in their bones, a great unease. They reached the opening, and Sena, Mad dog and Andrew saw that in the main corridors were some grisly large statues of humanoid bones hammered together to strange monstrosities of statues. The noise was coming from a bit further in, still hidden by walls.

    But Andrew saw something else- from across the corridor, in the other side, in the gallery of the 3rd and 4th crusade, there was a soft low light shining, seemingly from some statue. The party themselves couldn't communicate (They wanted to keep quiet), but Andrew's player just said: "I'm going for the sword!"

    The party moved past the rubble without being detected (There was still enough light here for Andera and Harry), and as they progressed they saw more things: There were 5 large statues in the large corridor, nearly blocking it towards the gallery at the end. In which the party could see quite a few prisoners, tied and bound with ropes, and also quite a lot of blood, and flesh... Amongst the statues there was a flying gaunt creature, working with great speed over one grotesque statue, with the hammer and Kama. Andrew just knew this was not a normal fiend, but a half fiend, made of some other creature.

    Thhere were more fiends there though. Ner the main opening, and standing guard over the prisoners were some tielfings, and also 1-2 Abrikandilu. As Andrew drew closer to the source of light he saw some other figure, currently with it's back to him, but definitely "wrongly made", covered i n gret robe, speaking in the Abyssal tongue (Which Andrew didn't understand). It was trying to deal with a long sword stuck in the stone of some past hero, along with an Abrikandilue who tried to wreck the statue. The two sounded frustrated.

    Sena was worried about the statues. He thought of some kind of a dark ritual involving undead. they stopped there (Mostly since Harry and Andera couldn't see any further in without drawing light and burning their cover). They started to put the oils and such but...

    Andrew went for the sword, and rolled quite low on his stealth roll. With 2 of the main demons with very high perception, and some lesser demons using aid another, a low enough roll was enough. The cloaked figure turned, it's cloak opening in a whirl, showing a red sand skinned lanky demon, whose face is dominated by one huge eye, surrounded with teeth. It spoke with it's horrid abyssal tongue, Harry understanding perfectly. "Intruders! Heroes come to the Hall of Heroes, and heroes perish as well!" The entire place was put on alert! Show time!

    Who and what are the demons
    Spoiler
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    There were 6 teiflings, 3 Abrikandilu, but also 2 major demons, special templated demons:
    1) A half fiend Bone Cobbler. Changed slightly to use a KAma and light hammer instead of just two hammer.
    2) An advanced Agash Div, a demon who specializes in curses and gaze attacks. I changed his resistance from DR 5/ cold iron or good to cold iron and good.


    Battle joined!
    Well, not exactly... They were still invisible. The demons knew someone was here, but not where or how. They could still...

    But Mad dog had enough, and started the offensive by throwing a tanglefoot bag on the flying creature. (The Bone Cobbler). Well, time for some music!

    Archangel from Two Steps from Hell
    (The party: "Didn't we hear that at the end battle in the Eberron, where there were dragons crashing on us? So it's THAT kinda battle!"

    The tanglefoot hit, but the creature stayed flying. It flew up and used some force on the ground, between the statues (Desecrate) The party felt the wave of evil emenating from that spot, but was too busy. Why busy? Because MAd dog just became visible, and so thetieflings and Abrikandilus came rushing. Sena Stepped forth, and unleasehd a Spear of Purity on the Bone cobbler, illuminating him for a second. In that second HArry cursed, since he recognized what it was (Very high knowledge skills) "It can make the statues to undead! Kill it before it does!". One Abrikandilue came from behind, and Harry drew his lighted dagger, sneak attackign it. Harry joined in with MM support.

    Meanwhile, across the hall Andrew circled the Agash (averting his eyes) and tried to draw the sword. To his surprise he heard a rush of voices, spirits or whatever, entering his mind "Is he worthy? Not worthy? Must check! must test! Cannot give to anyone!" and then felt a rush of inquisitive mind barge into his. The sword would not budge.

    The Agash didn'st see Andrew (Who was right next to him), but he saw the others, especially Sena who hammered his morning star on his shield, trying to draw as much fire as he can to himself. he moved and launched his spectral hand and Sena, easily hitting him, but failing to curse him. The demon called out (And somehow Andrew could understand him this time) "Kill them all, leave no one alive!" Two Abrikandilu rushed towards the frightened shrieking prisoners.

    The battle intensifies
    Mad dog, hearing Harry's warning, rushes beneath the flying bone cobbler but realizes he can't reach him. Instead he uses the position, reach, cleave and finishing cleave to take out 3 tieflings in one superb round. Unfortunately, moments later the bone cobbler, using the desecrated area animates the five bone statues, 4 of which turn on Mad dog, and bludgeon him to 0 hp in 4 strikes (1 a crit).

    Harry and Andera try to off the Abrikandilu and 2 of the remaining tieflings, they are getting seriously cornered, and taking heavy damage. Sena curses, and channels energy to heal. Meanwhile Andrew feels the voices probing, checking "Is he worthy? Will he do? Can we trust him? Is he worthy?" and keep probing. He gets really frustrated, and suddenly concerned as he sees the two abrikadilus reach the prisoners, who cowers back. One bites and kills off a prisoner. The player is quite frustrated.

    Harry hammers the Agash with some magic missiles (The only magic he has that doesn't dsuffer from resistance), and the creature dimension doors beyond Harry's line of sight, into the darkness again.

    Sena worries for Mad dog, he moves in provoking attacks of opportunity from the skeletons, and Mad dog retreats to a safer place. Seeing the cleric's power, the bone cobbler calls for his skeletons to attack it (Did I mention they have several arms?) And Sena comes under attack of many blows. Thankfully his high AC prevents the worst of it, but then the bone cobbler drops down, and Smite Good Sena, very nearly missing him.

    Harry and Andera have a tough time against their foes. Harry steps forth and unleashes burning hands, catching up many of their foes, but is then felled to the ground. Andera, who fights a desperate fight against the Abrikandilu shouts "When are they coming?"

    The cavalry, sort of. And the sword
    At that moment the soldiers arrive, with John and Millorn behind them. They barge in through the main gate and rush forward. One soldiers breaks out a sun rod, which lightens quite a bit. They start to fight the skeleton statues near them, while John goes on healing duty.

    Meanwhile Andrew feels the voices still probing "Worthy? not worthy?" But he sees the Abrikandilu starting to kill prisoners. He just says "screw this", and intends to run towards the abrikandilu, drawing his sword. But as he lets go he hears in his mind a resounding clear voice. "Worthy!" And the sword slips into his hand. The players really liked that, and it caught them by surprise (I worried it would be too obvious). Andrew' player looked slightly shocked for a moment, but then smiled.

    Radiance/ yet too be named sword.
    Spoiler
    Show
    This is Radiance, the special paladin's sword in the module. Currently it is a +1, cold iron, blessed long sword that can shed light as a torch (but is considerd a 3rd level spell for overcoming magical darkness), and the wielder can understand abyssal and infernal (Speaking it still cost skill points). This is a bit more than in the module, but very little)

    The sword may gain power in future modules, and it is also a legendary weapon for purposes of mythic powers and such.

    I gave the player the option of renaming his sword. He is thinking about it seriously. I wonder what it will be!


    A great light shines from the ancient blade, as he runs with it across the gallery, the temple, towards the surprised Abrikandilu, yelling "Iomadaaaaaaaeeeeee!". The Agash is surprised and send his spectral hand towards him "You wish to die... Hero?" and this time the curse works, and Andrew's charisma is reduced by 6! (The player curses "So far for Smite Evil!")

    Speaking of Smite, Sena backs away, healing, getting Harry back to action. defending from the barrage of skeleton weapons. The Bone Cobbler unleashes a cone of slow, but most except John and Harry succeed. The soldiers prove quite effective, taking down 2 of the damaged skeletons. Mad dog returns to the fight after downing a potion, and helps them.

    As Andera, Harry and Sena fight the bone cobbler, the soldiers, Mad Dog, John and Millorn fought the remaining bone skeletons, Andrew keeps fighting the Agash and the 2 Abrikandilu, healing himself with lay on hands, and trading unsuccessful blows with the demon, (Always averting his gaze and frustratingly succeeding) trading insult in the best of boss fight battles' tradition.

    Ending this
    The battle turns mostly to a battle of attrition over a few rounds from then, till Sena finally manages to land a killing blow on the bone cobbler, and Andrew puts in a critical hit with the sword, and another with his spiked shield, damaging the Agash greatly. The Agash steps back "We shall meet again hero, I shall inform the great ones a Sword Wielder has been found!" And he Dimension doors and disappears.

    This was quite late at night here, and most enemies were vanquished, so we decided to end the battle there.

    A heroes reward
    As the demons died or fled, the party breathed in. They were bloody, depleted of resources, but they were victorious. Suddenly, a warm light, a comforting bright light started to shine through the hall...


    The sense of a great evil was fading from the hall, filled in with the spirits, images and figures of past heroes... they floated towards the characters, touching them, welcoming them, hugging them, nodding to them. The party could see other figures in the crowd, images of the gods, who spoke from afar, but with a great intensity, compassion, resolution, kindness.

    They could see the image of Sarenrae, with her fiery wings. "For choosing mercy over judgment". In their mind they saw the meeting with Millorn, they saw the sick soldiers who sought to sacrifice the virgin.

    There was the colorful bird of Shellyn. "For seeing true beauty, where others see ugliness." They saw the image of Lann, Chief Sul, Opoli.

    There was the image of the stern dwarf Torag. "For planning ahead, and keeping your wits in a tough situation". They saw Andrew's Alter self trick with the mongrelfolk, Sena's spell and acting fast to free the librarians at Blackwing, Andera tricking the diseased soldiers

    The Saw the heavenly butterfly of Desna. "For protecting the weak, and keeping a promise, even when it's not convenient". They saw Anevia, Aravash and Horus, each with the trouble they brought.

    And lastly the warrior woman Iomedae. "For facing fear, facing evil, and never, ever, giving up!" They saw their battle at the arena, their desperate battle against Hossila's cultists, and lastly them venturing here.

    The five voices sang as a chorus. "For all of these, we thank you, our heroes. We can not offer more direct aid, but may this strengthen you for the battles to come!" The party felt great warmth through them, as they gained the gods' blessing.

    Each got a +2 to one skill, +5 max hp, +1 to a save of their choice, and 1 extra feat.

    As the gods and passed heroes faded away, the party could see the astounded faces of the soldiers, Millorn, and John especially. "The heroes... the heroes have returned!" Andrew, weilding his new shining blade came to Millorn, laying a hand on the astonished dwarf. "So Millorn, what have we learned from this?"

    And on that note we ended the session! Oh, almost forgot- LEVEL UP!

    Each Player's XP- 9,220!

    Hall of Heroes design
    Spoiler
    Show
    I had quite a few goals in this encounter:
    1. In the next part of the adventure the PCs practically take on the role of saving the entire Mendev army. As such I wanted to give them some sort of... "qualifications" to do that, other than "you seem to know how to handle yourself" Which the adventure assumes. I wanted there to show of "heroism".

    In the Gray Garrison the party is supposed to do all kind of tasks while they keep on attacking it, gaining the favor of Iomedae. However, I think that is entirely unrealistic, and the focus on Iomedae is a bit too much for my taste, especially when two PCs worship other gods. So I decided to put the reward here. I didn't grant the +2 for attribute (I think that is a bit too much)

    2. I felt that reaching the Defender's inn is the turning point of the module. Up till then they just try to survive, from then on they are the forefront of the resistance. I felt there needed to be a suitable mega battle for transition.

    The Hall of Heroes was a floating encounter that I wished to make before they actually reach Defender's Heart (Since that opens a whole new new of issues). This kinda worked, but it worked nicely I think.

    3. I wanted there to be a battle for Sena and John to fight together. The party sought to split them up however, which was a bit a shame, but oh well. There might be more opportunities. Sena's player didn't quite know what to do with John. Coming from the main door proved to take a lot of time, so John barely acted. Oh well.

    4. A final piece for finding Radiance. I took on the advice of some of the people in the thread about the quest for the sword, and used three main elements:
    A) Visions: This was mainly as a build up to finding the sword, as well as showing a bit of it's history. I think the player answered nicely for each vision, though I think if he had the time, he would compile lengthier answers, I dunno. I put here the four visions under a spoiler for those interested. I think the player quite liked the visions, though he was possibly a bit miffed about them. I might need to do these better.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Visions in the ruins of Kenabres
    1st visions- Emergence: (Emerging from the darkness below, on the way to Blackwing) Andrew feels a great darkness falling. With it comes a powerful feeling of despair, loss, hopelessness. Then, from the darkness far away, Andrew sees a tiny light rising, and then zigzagging fast in the distance, a tiny light in the darkness.
    Andrew, fel to one knee, "Iomadea, there is always light in the darkness... Now I know it for sure!"

    2nd vision- Searching in the dark: (After Horus mansion, seeking the first Cultist safe house) Andrew feels himself as a hurrying figure, a hunted figure. Running, panting, fearful, becoming desparate... He feels him searching, seeking. He needs to secure it, protect it, deliver it to someone right.
    Then there is darkness, and a figure in a white robe, face unseen. Andrew feels a direct question, simple one in his head. "Will you take on the fight?
    Andrew replies "Always".

    3rd vision- The burden and sacrifice: (After Topaz solutions, on the way to Anevia's house) Andrew feels himself once more as the man carrying his burden. He is in a place with large columns, and many statues. In a way it is comforting, but the man also know the enemies close in on him. He is bleeding, losing blood, losing life.
    The scene changes. There is a great battlefield, either in the abyss itself, or deep in the worldwound. Andrew sees his hand- a womans hand, holding a radiant long sword, slashing and hacking numerous demons. There is a lot of blood, a lot of gore, tiredness, fatigue… And he/ she know they will keep on coming, ever coming.
    Again the darkness, and the voice of the figure in white from the second dream. Much blood, much gore, the fiends just keep on coming. "How long will you fight, How long will you stand? For one battle? Ten battles? A thousand? Will you make the sacrifice? How long before it will take it's toll?"
    Andrew grits his teeth "Till evil is destroyed"

    4th vision- Final commitment: (Leaving Anevia's house towards the Defender's Heart). Andrew feels himself as the man, heavily bleeding, desperate, afraid. The man looks at a tall still figure, of some woman, over 3 meters tall. He takes out a sword, the same sword from the 3rd vision, only seeming older. "I entrust it to thee! Keep it safe!" And with his dying strength he sinks the sword into the leg of the woman, and dies with one sharp scream.
    The darkness returns to the world, as it was in the first visions, enveloping all, sinking it into despair. Then the figure in white appears, holding a blade in it's hands, as if offering it to Andrew. "To fight for others, to brave the greatest horror, to sacrifice so other won't have to? Will you take the burden?"
    Andrew replies "I already have".

    B) Secret personality tests. The sword/ god/ whatever tested Andrew 3 times:
    - The plea for help from William and Jess, while so close to Defender's Heart. They were close to failing this, but their reasoning was good enough- they went there to save the people in the refuge, and left immediately after that was achieved.
    - John telling them to get back, that it's too much for them. yes, I know, kind of a "meh" test. Maybe should have though of something better.
    - The last test was mostly due to the visions- they build up to getting the sword, getting the sword, and so Andrew did just that- went for the sword. But the player did play him well enough, and let the sword go for protecting the prisoners, which was the last test- by letting it go he earned it.

    What if he had failed the tests? Well, He would have found the sword as it is, but it would gain no further powers. Without the risk of Failure then should be no reward. Thankfully he did pass!

    C) Properties fit for the situation. The sword has 3 powers that helped the situation- the first is it's ability to overcome the Agash DR (Though it's DR is low- only 5), the ability to shed light, and to understand infernal and abyssal (This last power isn't in the original module). It's important to note that none of these powers are a MUST HAVE to finish this encounter. I don't like making choke points for players. (Even if the module kinda does).

    5. LAst but not least- A tough, fun and challenging battle! The statues and the size of the skeletons made it so their movement was hampered, but that they proved as blocks as well. This proved to be a major complicating and tactical point in the battle. Also there were quite a few passages, but also enough places to be cornered in, so maneuvering became critical 9And Andera and Harry got seriously stomped there). Lastly some interesting choices, be it focusing on either the Agash or Bone cobbler, Sena needing to decide whether to do a healing or damaging channel, and the question of the prisoners and more.

    -----------------------------------------
    So here we stopped, at a very suitable point. We were quite exhausted (Me especially, running a 9-10 hours session ain't easy!) The players were quite psyched, though I worry this last battle was a bit too much for our new player, Mad dog's player. She was somewhat at a loss at the battle...

    Next session is about a month ago. The party still need to check out the Tower of Estrod, and after that... The Gray Garrison. I hope to use Defender's Heart to give a bit more place to roleplay some stuff- Arabeth, John, Millorn, Perhaps the return of Chief Sul and Maybe Aravash, and so on.

    The party hasn't yet made their choices for the Heroes Reward, or the choices for 4th level. They are supposed to send me details in the next few weeks. I will post an update with their main 4th level features, for those interested.

    Ok, this was a loooooonnng write. If you've come this far- thank you! I hope this was an interesting read! Please, leave a comment, question, anything. Knowing people read this does encourage me to go on. Thanks, and goodbye for now!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-03-10 at 01:41 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    It has been an exiting read so far. Thanks for the write-ups

    I like your changes to the module, especially the start. I was impressed how you managed to wove in the actions of the party in the adventure so far to the god's speeches after the last battle.

    Keep it up

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Thanks Zombiemode!

    My players joked a bit about the Gods' speech. "Who us?". They thought I was quite stretching it with the "good planning and keeping your head in a tight spot" bit though... But on the whole I do think they quite liked it.

    Thanks again, nice to hear some people read the log and enjoy it.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Between Session 4 and 5- Group dynamics and planning ahead

    In this post I intend to share my understanding of the place the characters hold now, and their dynamics. After that I intend to write about some issues I'm pondering about. I would love any advice you can bring, or just brainstorming as well...

    This post doesn't include any log from an actual session, just some DM's thinking and prep work. If you're not interested, you'll have to wait for the next update.

    The Party so far
    1) Andrew:
    Spoiler
    Show
    He plays a paladin quite well. I'm wondering if it's TOO well? He hasn't become obnoxious, but some players (Mad dog and Sena's players mainly) made a few remarks of slight annoyance. That may be however due to not quite disliking the tone of the campaign (Though we did agree to this before hand, so I'm a bit perplexed. )

    Andrew is also quite obviously the party's leader and main decision maker. I don't think this comes from the paladin status, but from the player's abilities to lead. He makes a good leader I think.

    Now he has his sword, and is contemplating a name for it. He has also become Millorn's teacher, which should prove interesting indeed. I do think he will become the army's leader in the next module.

    Mechanically he is VERY effective. They designed the paladin class quite well in PF. He is a force to be reckoned with!


    2) Senatef:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The player is probably the best optimizer in the group, and probably the smartest when it comes to tactics. Sena proves to be the voice of reason, and some suspicion. The party, especially Andrew have come to rely on his advice quite often.

    He also acts as partner to Andrew's moral compass. It's a bit weird, since the player usually plays the bastard. And indeed, he has problems fully relating to the character, and seeks some conflict (Which will be somewhat hard in such a straightforward campaign).

    A point that has just emerged in the relationship with John. It's a serious matter which I need to consider.

    Mechanically Sena proves at once as a healer, but also tank. His AC is usually the highest, and he rarely gets hit. (But when he does he goes down fast. Amongst the lowest hp in the party, including Harry). Sena in many ways keeps the group up and functioning. Very low damage output, which frustrates him.


    3) Andera:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Andera is still somewhat of a mystery to me. He keeps changing tactics and approaches in every session. Due to REALLY lousy dice rolls he often comes to be a liability to the team and they need to save him, or he doesn't hit with his attacks and such.

    Andera proves a strange mix of extreme caution, but when battle is joined he usually goes beyond the lines to SA the enemy. There is a friendly rivalry between him and Sena (Both players and characters), which adds quite a bit to the table.

    I find it quite hard to find places to put in parts of his past. He is part of a secret semi- ninja spy organization. This is a big concern since the player is a major role player in the group. I have ideas of making Nurah of the next module somehow connected to him. I put at times hints of his organization in the game, but he seems to ignore it.


    4) Mad dog:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The player is a new one, and we play not very often, which leads to quite a lot of difficulty learning the game. It's her second experience with roleplaying total. I fear that she is getting quite lost. Andera's player tried to sit with her and explain things, but Andrew' player and me decided to make a simpler character sheet for her, and I will try to sit with her once or twice before the next session and explain the basic mechanics of the game more simply. She has no problems roleplaying, and is quite enthusiastic.

    I really like her ideas, she id definitely the creative and unexpected element in the party. She often comes with ideas and strategies that the more experienced players, thinking mostly in games terms, do not think about. She does have quite a style!

    Mechanically, Mad dog is a brutal damage machine, bashing left and right! The player enjoys that very much (She is... disturbingly... into gore and bloodshed... ) which works out quite fine. I think she feels a bit limited at the "hit it again" tactic. We may need to find soemthing else for her ingenious mind.


    5) Harry:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The player wants to "blast and kill things". Unfortunately, despite my wornings about the demons' immunities and resistances, the player chose an evoker. He has become quite frustrated about having his damage potential so reduced by 70%+ of their enemies. He relies VERY heavily on magic missile. Perhaps he'll have some time to research another spell or something, I don't know.

    He usually shy from the conversations and debates, but at time comes with some insightful remarks. In short, I need to find him more targets to blast... effectively. We'll see.


    Things I'm pondering about: (WARNING! Possible spoilers!)
    1) The role of the NPCs:
    Spoiler
    Show
    So far the party has 2 meaningful NPCs with them- Commander John, and Millorn. Soon Arabeth will join them. And they may decide to keep Lann with them or not. Plus, I need to make some connection to Andera's organization, which may be with an NPC, or someone else? So here are some thoughts:
    - The second module includes some NPCs, one of them a halfling who is a saboteur, and another who is addicted to shadow's blood, and come to desert the party. The module assumes these are found out fast, but I think... lets play on that!

    I want to have John join the party on their quest to take Drezen, probably substituting Sosiel and Aron Kir. John will have the dark secret of beign addicted to Shadow's blood, and may at some point desert the party. HE'll be so ashamed at this, and will hide it from Sena. How will Sena respond to this? I'm thinking of making the halfling a double agent- on one hand she does work for the demons, but on the other hand she's the wife of the Raat Mukdir who gave his life to rescue Radiance, and I intend to try and have her connect with Andera. And there will be Millorn... The three won't quite like each other, and may try to undermine or influence the party against the other NPCs. As the sabotage and sowing of dissent becomes more clear, it may cause interesting conflict I think. And near Drezen (providing Nurah wasn't found first), John and Millorn may desert the camp (Each due to their own issues. John because of shadow's blood, Millorn due to something with his madness, or maybe he finds that the dark powers are spying through him, or maybe Nurah made him run) which will bring up quite a lot of questions about both, while Nurah keeps her schemes.

    This sounds fun, but I'd like to put someone for Andera to interact with sooner. I thought to put Nurah with the forces at Defender's Heart, but then she will alert the demons or try everything within her power to stop the party.

    Do you have any idea of an NPCs to bring for Andera? Or how to better the plot?

    About Lann? I'm thinking of perhaps making him the leader of a small force of Mongrelfolk who joins the party on their way to Drezen. I think it may be nice, and add a small force of infiltrators who aren't effected by the Worldwound energies.

    Arabeth? Still have to see what the party will think of her. I want to make her feel like a small time general and leader.


    2) Areelu Vorlesh' revenge:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I have discussed in one of threads some ideas for adjusting the Gray Garrison, but I still haven't found a satisfying solution to the last encounter. I asked I asked about this in another thread, for those who don't read this one. I'm looking to make this end of the campaign much better than the... disappointing ending the module brought.

    Again, any ideas on the matter are more than welcome.


    3) Defender's Heart:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I see this place as a major place for the party to roleplay in non-combat situation. The major NPCs, the Mongrelfolk who emerge, Their new roles as Chosen Heroes (TM), and all the juicy interactions in between. Still working on this, but I hope the party will enjoy it.

    I'd really really like to put some sort of character for Andera to interact with. (I said that enough in this thread, haven't I? )

    I don't want to tip my hand before then next session (No great twists and surprises here), But I'd love to hear any of your ideas, what things you think the characters can find appealing, what can add flavor, interest, intrigue? All ideas are welcome!


    Ok, I hope I haven't bored you. I'm slowly working on adjusting some stuff for Defender's Heart and the Gray Garrison. I hope it will be a blast!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-03-17 at 01:39 PM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Kol Korran I really appreciate the work you have put into the game! I am about to run this Adventure Path in the coming weeks for my group and was looking for a thread that had a GM that changed some stuff around. You really seem to add a lot to the game, which I often find myself doing. However with a busy schedule it often times can be hard to find the time. Unlike you my group wishes to play once a week which can be overwhelming to a GM.

    Either way I just wanted to say keep up the good work and please post as much as you can about your game. While I haven't started I will surely be using some of your ideas and suggestions for the game. I'm not as far as you and haven't read the second installment yet so I'm not a lot of help for you yet. However I hope to be.

    Last thing, I didn't have a account for this website till reading your thread. I literally made one just to tell you I read your work and wished to read more!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by BriceTheRed View Post
    Kol Korran I really appreciate the work you have put into the game! I am about to run this Adventure Path in the coming weeks for my group and was looking for a thread that had a GM that changed some stuff around. You really seem to add a lot to the game, which I often find myself doing. However with a busy schedule it often times can be hard to find the time. Unlike you my group wishes to play once a week which can be overwhelming to a GM.

    Either way I just wanted to say keep up the good work and please post as much as you can about your game. While I haven't started I will surely be using some of your ideas and suggestions for the game. I'm not as far as you and haven't read the second installment yet so I'm not a lot of help for you yet. However I hope to be.

    Last thing, I didn't have a account for this website till reading your thread. I literally made one just to tell you I read your work and wished to read more!
    Thanks BriceThe Red! That quite cheered me up! We're playing on next Saturday (Had problems scheduling a good time). And I think it will be a blast. Tomorrow I hope to have a tutoring session with Mad dog's player: Understanding the character sheet, the types of actions and possibilities, and how to work with the other team members. I want to build her confidence enough to dare more. I hope this will work. She's a cool player (If a bit bloodthirsty )

    I intend to post a small crunch summary of the characters now they've reached 4th level. I don't have all the info from them right now, but will soon I hope. Harry's player is having some trouble choosing the extra feat, and his spells.

    I have made quite a few plans for the Defender's Heart and Grey Garrison, mostly using the module, but with my own few additions. I changed the end to a large degree though, and I hope to see how they will respond to it. We might even take the campaign off the board and the adventure path, depending on a few choices they will make. If that goes, well... We'll roll with it.

    Last thing, I'm going over all the threads concenring this campaign so far and adding the relevent tag words (See below the thread), in case anyone seeks to look at all the threads concerning this campaign. (As if this wasn't enough. ). And again, thanks for the encouragement. It's really nice to see others like this too!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    The session is tomorrow, and I'm working on some of it. I thought to put up a summary of the characters so far, crunch wise, after achieving 4th level, and receiving the rewards of the Hall of Heroes (+2 to a specific skill, +1 to a save, +5 hit points, and +1 feat). Hopefully you'll enjoy?

    Spoiler: Andrew McClain
    Show
    Race: Angelkin aasimar, celestial crusader race variant.
    Class: Paladin lvl 4. (Recent gained abilities- Channel energy, Spell casting 1st level)
    Hit points: 47 (Including the +5)
    Abilities: Str 16, Dex 16 (started with 15), Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 18

    Traits: Child of the crusades (Campaign), Demon slayer
    Feats: Two weapon fighting, Improved shield bash, Double slice.
    Main skills: Diplomacy (Added his bonus +2 here), nothing much of note with other skills.
    Bonus to save: +1 to will

    Main pieces of equipment:
    "Radiance" (Or whatever it will be called), breast plate, Spiked light shield, heavy mace +1, chakrams (As ranged weapons), potion of CMW, a few other minor potions.

    Andrew builds upon combining as many attacks as he can with his Smite evil ability, and healing himself and the party with his lay on hands, and now his channel energy. He is probably the best defended member of the party currently, and serves highly as Tank, along with Sena. Unlike Sena, he has the hit points to keep on standing (rolled quite well)


    Spoiler: Senataf Aberdeen
    Show
    Race: Aasimar, Scion of humanity race variant.
    Class: Paladin Cleric of Seranrea 4, Domains: Good, Heroism
    Hit points: 30 (Including the +5 hp bonus)
    Abilities: Str 16 (Started 15), Dex 13 , Con 10, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 16

    Traits: Touched by divinity (Campaign), Eyes and ears of the city
    Feats: Combat casting, selective channeling, Heavy armor proficiency (The bonus feat)
    Main skills: Perception (Added his bonus +2 here), Sense motive (We call him the radar), Diplomacy
    Bonus to save: +1 to reflex

    Main pieces of equipment: Scale mail, Heavy shield, +1 Morning star (Chief Sul's present), quite a lot of wands, scrolls, potions and alchemical items. He's the party's repository of expendable magical items.

    Sena Was debating between adding a level of fighter or continue with cleric. At the last moment he chose cleric, and used the bonus feat to take heavy armor proficiency, seeking to have as high an AC as he can have. He otherwise focus on having as many utility items as he can, in the forms of expendable magic items. He is a bit worried about playing the healer all the time, and not getting to do "cool stuff".


    Spoiler: Andera Kanchar
    Show
    Race: Human, Black.
    Class: Ninja 4, Scout Archetype. (Recent gained abilities: Vanishing trick, Sacred sneak attack trick, No trace, +2d6 Sneak attack)
    Hit points: 36 (Including the +5 bonus)
    Abilities: Str 10 , Dex 19 (Started 18) , Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 16

    Traits: Chance encounter (Campaign), some trait that grants +3 to flank instead of +2?
    Feats: Two weapons fighting, weapon finesse, Shadow strike, Blind fighting (The bonus feat)
    Main skills: Lots! (Skill monkey after all) Main ones are Acrobatics, stealth (He put his +2 bonus here), disable device, escape artist and diplomacy.
    Bonus to save: +1 to will.

    Main pieces of equipment: 2 Wakizashi (One of them +1), MW chain shirt, various potions (Including dust of darkness which he's edging to use), scrolls and alchemical stuff.

    Andera also fights two handed. His feats are aimed at enabling him to overcome concealment and such, that negate his Sneak attacks. Too bad his rolls really screw things up.


    Spoiler: Mad dog
    Show
    Race: half elf
    Class: Ranger 4 (Recent abilities: Favored enemy chaotic evil outsiders, two handed fighting style, desert favored terrain- for the Worldwound, Hunter's bond (Give half bonus to companions), Spell casting 1st level.
    Hit points: 44 (Including the +5 bonus)
    Abilities: Str 19 (Started 18), Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10

    Traits: Stolen Fury(Campaign), demon slayer.
    Feats: Skill focus survival (Half elf bonus), power attack, cleave (Combat style), finishing cleave, Intimidating prowess (The bonus feat).
    Main skills: Climb, intimidate, stealth (added the +2 here), survival and perception.
    Bonus to save: +1 to will.

    Main pieces of equipment: MW chain shirt, MW great sword, flail, Ranseur of the gargoyle, ring of climbing, ring of protection +1.

    Mad dog's player is coming into the game. She chose not to take an animal companion, since it complicates things for her, and she doesn't like always having to care for another weaker creature. Other than that- attack as many time as you can, as hard as you can. Against demons, using her great sword and power attack she comes to a nice +16 damage... not too shabby!


    Spoiler: Harry the pot
    Show
    Race: human
    Class: Wizard 4 (Bonded item, no familiar, evocation specialty, forbidden- enchantment and illusion)
    Hit points: 24 (Including the +5 bonus) Harry has the lowest hit points by far from the party.
    Abilities: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 21 (Started 20), Wis 14, Cha 10

    Traits: Riftwarden orphan (Campaign), Classically schooled.
    Feats: Spell focus (Evocation), spell specialization (Magic missile), Scribe scroll (Bonus wizard), Spell penetration, dodge (the bonus feat)
    Main skills: All knowledge skills, Spell craft (Which he added the +2 bonus to)
    Bonus to save: +1 to Fort

    Main pieces of equipment: Wand of Magic missile 3rd level (13 charges), Wand of summon monster I CL 3rd, Arrow magnet, some potions and scrolls.

    Main spells: Mostly blasty ones. Mage armor, magic missile, burning hands, scorching ray, spontaneous immolation, shocking grasp, rope trick, resist energy, enlarge person.

    Harry's player is having trouble with the character, as mentioned before. He ended up taking the Dodge feat mostly because he found nothing else that appealing. I even said he might change his specialty, but he sticks to his siege catapults. He has trouble with his spells as well...


    Ok, I hope this will be a a bit of an appetizer. back to work!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-04-13 at 03:22 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Ok! The long wait is over! It's time for another session's log! However, an important note: I've updated Sena's and Mad dog's choices in the previous post. Sena decided at the last minute to not take a level of fighter, but stay a cleric instead (But took the heavy armor proficiency feat). And he has 30 hit points. Mad dog needed to update the choices from the Hall of heroes, mainly the Intimidating Prowess feat. The player wanted to be scary.

    Ok, here goes

    Session 5, First part- Defender's Heart, Tower of Estrod.

    This sessions revolved mostly around Defender's Heart Inn. The Gray Garrison will be the final chapter of the module, and I thought this would be a great place to have some fun roleplay, give the PCs some place to express themselves, tie loose ends, and quite importantly- plant seeds for the final scene of the module. I have plans for the Areelu Vorlesh revenge, something that I hope will be more interesting than a mere fight with some babaus. But for that I needed to seed some suspicions. The party seemed to want something more than "A unified good front", so I was... obliging them . There was also the battle at the Tower of Estrod which turned... well, you'll see.

    Finishing at the Hall of Heroes


    Last we ended the session, the party just got the rewards from the spirits and/ or gods of the Hall of Heroes. Commander John, Sena's mentor stepped towards them. "The heroes... the heroes have returned." He looked at them all with some awe, as did the surviving soldiers. "The god have chosen you! Most of us strive to find a purpose, to make a purpose, but it seemed your purpose is made obvious- champions of the crusades!" Most of the party seemed nonplussed by this, but Sena grimaced.

    Millorn approached Andrew "So much light! Warmth! So wonderful! Those are the dead? They welcome you? Welcome us? This gate to the next world? Are you dead?" Andrew tried to explain "These are the rewards you get for doing good. This is what you will get if you stay on the path Millorn, if you try to do better, to work better." But then Millorn surprised them "And what of the shadowy ones? The ones at the back? Like long, far, deep stars? Looking on us?" The party exchanged worried looks, and Andrew spoke a bit hesitantly "You... you see things others don't see, do you Millorn?" The dwarf was surprised "You don't see? What you don't see? They are all around!" Which got more worried looks from the party.

    They were about to live when John commented. "Your sword Andrew. I recognize it from legend. It's power was thought to be lost. Yet... you revived it! My friend, one known as a Raat Mukdir in the Numerian language (Night spy) was set to steal it I think. Strange that he left it here." Andrew (Who between sessions got some of the sword's history transferred to him by the sword via email) commented. "Yes, he did steal it from the Gray Garrison, but he was found out, and hunted. in his last breath he stuck it in the paladin Yaniel's statue." The party was surprised, but Andrew commented "I'll explain later". John seemed to think I know the sword's name in the past. But each hero names his own sword. What shall be it's name?"

    Andrew held it high. "I name it Sirius!". We exchanged glances, but the player explained- "The brightest constellation in the sky". "Isn't it in OUR sky?". "Just roll with me".

    They decided to search for the Raat Mukdir, and found a mutilated body who was deboned. On it Andera found a ring of his organization ("The Black Flame") regional leaders- two circles with a constant illusion of a black flame inside. The ring was faintly magical as well (+1 to stealth, saves vs. fire, and poison). Andera claimed it. "It was the person I was sent to find. Too bad he had died. I hope anyone else might remain." This got Sena intrigued. "Sent to find? From where? Who are you exactly?" But Andera just replied "There are some secrets I prefer yet to keep to my own".

    With that, knowing that more demons may come soon, they decided to make haste towards Defender's Heart Inn. True, The tower of Estrod was just by, but they were fully and utterly depleted after the last fight.

    Spoiler: DM notes- Andera's back story, Millorn, John
    Show
    The idea here was to put a bit more roleplay for each character. A possible difference of opinions with John, making Millorn a bit more complicated, and with a mystery, and starting to (FINALLY) put some context to Andera's back story. He thought I ended it here, ut it was the start.


    Defender's Heart Inn- Some respite and news from Arabeth

    Defenders of the Earth by Two Steps from Hell
    (Some inspiring but not fast paced music, one of an army gathering)

    As they arrived they took a bit more stock of the forces arrayed in the inn. They don't seem that numerous, with a fair share of non-soldiers amongst them. Not exactly the great force of resistance they hoped for. Arabeth quickly came towards them, looking tired yet excited to see them leading the prisoners of the Hall of Heroes here. "I'm so glad you are back. Anevia has already told me much of what you've been through! You've been through quite a bit, I'm impressed! Come, unload your burdens, and let me update you as well on what is going on".

    The party was given some room, and John motioned to Sena "We'll talk later. We have things to discuss" to which Sena just nodded. They went to a side room and sat to eat with Arabeth, as she relayed what has happened so far:
    She and the other crusaders use this as a stronghold in the city, trying to gather info for when queen Galfrey will come, and oust demons. Their forces amount to 250 all together, 200 soldiers, 50 merchants and civilians.
    The city was devastated in a few hours. A well-coordinated attack. Many of the top NPCs were hunted and killed. Many of the stronger demons left. Many of the other cities, including Nerosyan have come under attack, the queen was helping them. Rumors of masses of demons just on the outskirts, everyone is gathering forces. Not sure why the demons haven't attacked in full yet.

    At this Sena interrupted. "If they are waiting they are waiting for something. By the rumors we've heard I'd say they are waiting for Areelu Vorlesh to come. My bet is that they are trying to lure Queen Galfrey, and kill her. Areelu will do that. This is a lure, a trap!" Arabeth seemed concerned. "This may be true. We will need to asses it. But we need to find better proof." At that she continued relaying the info:
    The alliance with the mongrelfolk (Or First Descendents as she called them). Arabeth declared it despite some resistance from the troops. She greatly welcomes them. Lann was sent with some emissaries to bring their forces together, he knows some tunnels. He said it will take them about 1 day to arrive. Lann will lead emissaries to a close location. Near the end of her words, she relayed her frustration- but two weeks ago she trailed and battled a high ranking cultist, a former paladin of Iomedae known as Staunton Vhane. They battled near the Wardstone, but he escaped on a fiendish giant wasp. The warders of the Wardstone found nothing wrong with the stone, but he must have done something!

    Suddenly Millorn erupted with surprise: "Staunton? My cousin?! Amongst the only few to survive Drezen' fall 75 years ago. He was so good? He fall? He like me now? All family cursed? He was bright! Shining! He made me run away and escape after..." He grew silent at this point. "What I did...". Unfortunately, the entire party decided to ignore him.

    Arabeth told them to rest, talk to their close ones, and try to trade with the merchants- full exchange of goods at their full price. She heard from them about their search of the cultists places, and wants them to explore the Tower of Estrod once they are ready.

    Market and equipment
    It was shopping time. A house rule in my games is that people buy and sell equipment and full price. It makes it much less of a hassle to calculate WBL, and makes the party much less apprehensive of buying or selling stuff. Now I asked the party to tell me if there is anything specific that they'd like, but the bastards didn't mention a thing (Other than Sena, who wanted a full plate). Made little rules for availability (mainly for expensive or odd stuff) but mostly like in the module.

    The party's loot at this point was worth around 32,400 gp, but was quite unevenly divided, with Andera at the lowest with 3,550 but Mad dog with 9,500 (Ranseur of the gargoyle and 2 rings). The party was happy with this though. They sold quite a few stuff (A few +1 weapons, and quite a few MW stuff along the way)
    - Andrew's commissioned to have a cold iron light shield spikes with a +1 offensive enchantment. Plus an amulet of natural armor.
    - Sena got his full plate, and Darkwood heavy shield (To lower ACP). They party also bought a wand of CLW which he carried.
    - The party suggests that Mad dog will get medium armor, since he gets hit a lot. Butthe player doesn't want to reduce his movement or get a higher ACP, He does get a +1 Chain shirt, and a potion of CMW (Of which she come to rely)
    - Andera also seeks magical armor and a MW wakizashi, but fails to find. (Poor dice rolls) But that leads to the next encounter.

    Nayla Freyton, of the black flame
    As Andera walked by what looked like an alchemist corner with a couple of soot stained men, a near by half elven woman, who seemed to be well dressed, a bit like a courtier looked at him in surprise. She rose towards him and whispered "May the black flame purge evil from the world, and our hearts". Andera is surprised, but tries to play it cool. He seeks to see one ofthe others, but sees only Harry who doesn't notice him. The woman courtesied to him, head bowed, and asks "Would you like to see what we have in the other room sir?" He is alerted, and become tense. he seeks Harry again, but he had moved by. Andera goes in, hand near his sword. As she goes in she motions to the alchemists to stay back, and locks the door.

    She repeats her sentence and he replies "And out light will alight the flame in others". A smile comes to her face, a hesitant smile. "Where did you find that ring? It belonged to... a friend of mine". Andera cautiously explains, and grief comes over her momentarily, but then determination. "Then he too is lost. The Raat Mukdir who wore this ring was called Solvanus Senest (Shadow of a sunrise). He was our region's leader. He went especially after the sword, but he has sent some other Raat Mukdir to retrieve other special weapons and armor from the city. Solvanus was adamant about those - "They must not fall into the enemy's hands. But... they have not yet returned. I fear that we may be all that is left." She then looked at him. "And you! You remain, one of the only active Raat Mukdirs! We shall assist you however we can. me, my crafters, and our few spies, still in the city. You are our only hope!" (This led to a lot of joking around- "Andera Kanchar, you are our only hope!"

    Andera seemed to take this in, think about it. "I will accept, for awhile... do you have any more news, plus I may need a few more tools...". They conversed a bit more. She confirmed the suspicions about Areelu- some of their spies heard she was about to come (I was building her up a bit towards the end), and a few rumors about the gathering armies at other cities, but few direct conflicts. She also replied a few rumors about some merchant in the south of the city with about 100-150 men fighting the demons, but unwilling to "deal with any more of Iomedae's wretched underlings!" The party groaned at this. He got his MW Wakizashi, MW thieves tools, and some shurikens from her, and went on to ponder things.

    Tell the truth, I think this caught the player quite by surprise. He didn't know quite how to react to this. I cut it short, thought to add on later...

    Spoiler: Andera's secret contact Nayla Freyton
    Show
    The idea was to give him something to start to play with. I wanted to make the organization more than a vague entity, or in other words- put a face to it. I decided on Nayla, since she can also play as a possible love interest, a friend, or someone the party mistrusts. (Beautiful spy in a demon campaign?)?

    Spoiler: image of Nayla Freyton
    Show


    Sena and John
    Sena was trying his new full plate on, when John came to see him. "Come, let us talk". They went into another room, one made to house soldiers. John slept with his troops. As both took of their armors, Sena noticed the haunting spirits that were a part of John's oracle curse playing with his equipment, putting it aside, jumbling things up and the like. Some whispers came from the soldiers, but nothing both weren't accustomed to.

    (It's important to note that the other players were focused on buying and selling and this point, and so didn't quite listen to the conversation) The moment they set down however Sena started. "I'm no Hero John. Look, Andrew has a shiny sword, and a resounding voice, and he does stuff. I've sort of jumbled into this. Trying to survive and get us through this. I'm no chosen one, despite what you think". John listened and smiled "A hero is not chosen by his destiny, by the fates, or such. He his chosen by the decisions he makes, by the dangers he is willing to face, by the sacrifices he is willing to make. Now, tell me your story".

    Sena tells him the main points briefly, as if giving a military report: the dangers, the enemies, allies, constraints and such. At the end he finished "I'm no Andrew. I am just a man doing difficult things in a difficult time." John listened and put his hand together. "And what do you think of him? of the other companions?" Sena sighed "I see a good man, a devotee of his goddess, a possible leader of man. But I also see the potential of a zealot, of a fanatic, the making of a politician, who justifies his actions to his moral in any way that enables his conscience to live through his deeds. I see the potential for a dictator!" (The other players "So it costs how much? But if you sell that...") John's eyes grew grim. "I trust your judgement. But if this is so, then you are best to stay at his side. I saw that he values your opinion quite highly. You might be able to guide him out of wrong, to be a friend to him when needed, and lastly- watch over him if he begins to fall". Sena nods. "I shall be watchful for the time being."

    "And what of your other companions?" John asked. Sena leaned back. "Well, Harry is a tricky bastard." (At this point the party suddenly realized he was talking about them, and tuned in). "He seems gentle, withdrawn, unfit for the battlefield, and yet... he unleashes great destruction, and revels in it!". John poured some water. "And the foreigner, the one associated with my dead friend". "Andera? He is an enigma enfolded in a mystery... We've fought and traveled for a few days now, and yet I know nearly nothing of him! I'm still trying to make my mind about him, not sure if I can trust him or not. Just don't send him against lizards...".

    "And what of the strong man, the one called Mad dog?". Sena drank from his cup. "Mad dog relishes in destruction much more than the mage, very violent. Look, he is not very bright, he's a brute, but sometimes he has very clever advice." (At which point his player nodded in appreciation). John leaned closely then, and whispered "And what of the... dwarf? He isn't fully here. I fear he may be a liability. The worldwound has taken it's toll of me" His glass slid past and crashed to the floor. "But Millorn seems far more gone." .Sena grimaced. "Millorn? Not a friend of mine, Andrew thinks he'll make him change. I think he is some sort of a lunatic. I need to sleep with one eye open while he's around! Andrew tries some kind of a crazy experiment, I just hope it won't kill us all! Here, have this, maybe you can make sense of it!". Sena gave John Millorn's journal.

    Sean sought John's advice on what to do next. John spoke they needed to wait for the the mongrel folk, and he may talk to Quendys the mage, he is the one gathering all of the information. Sena thanked him, saying his blessing "If God has purpose for you, he'll keep you safe in his hands. If not, God bless you." And went to see Quendys.

    Sena and Quendys
    Quendys is the leader of the Blackwing Library, Aravash' superior. Sena came up to the second floor and passed the guards, entering a sort of a war room, with lots of papers and a big central map of Kenabres. Peeking Sena could see lots of red marks of different shapes around the old city. He saw the solitary wizened wizard looking up. "Ah, yes. The heroes of the hall. How appropriate. And your friend with the sword. That would be good for moral. Quite useful. Welcome." I was playing him very terse, somewhat cold, like an unemotional professional. Slightly like a jerk. "How can I help you, Sena Aberdeen, protegee of Commander John?"

    Sena looked at him "I think that Areelu Vorlesh will be coming soon. We need to find out what she looks for, and sabotage it somehow. They demons seem to be in the old town, lets attack there!" Quendys looked at him. "I agree there is something of import there, but we no not what. we may be able to amass some attack, but not against such forces, not without knowing where or how". Sena was frustrated. "So what shall we do?" Quendys spoke tiredly. "Your group had dealings with the cultists hideouts, I request you check the last one. It may have information we can use." Sena blinked. "That's all? What about other missions? There must be some strategic points, something else to do!". Quendys replied dryly. "Our forces are spread, but I may look for something. for now check the hideout. If you think of other ventures, please inform me or the other commanders, Arabeth and John". Sean decided to surprise him "By the way, there are survivors of Blackwing, Aravahs and some librarians". Quendys turned back surprised and shocked. "What? Thank the gods! I shall arrange an escort to them here quickly!" For a few seconds he seemed relieved, but then returned to his serious self. "Thank you for these news. Now rest, explore, and let me get back to my work". With that he was excused, and the players were highly suspicious of him.

    Spoiler: DM notes- missions in the city and Quendys
    Show
    I played Quendys this way specifically to keep with some of the seeding of suspicion- Millorn, Nayla, Commander John's warning, and so on. Also, good guys don't have to be nice.

    I didn't quite expect the party to seek more missions at this point, though it is obvious. I thought they would be done with all the hideouts by now, and so will just rest, and then go for the Gray Garrison. A bit of miss planning on my part here.


    Tower of Estrod (Or: "Mad dog delivers!")
    Andrew spent some of his time trying to indoctrinate Millorn into the teachings of Iomedae, and Harry? Harry mostly waited for the chance to sling spells. The troops are not happy about Millorn, and Andrew finds they have someone keep an eye on him at all times.

    They slept (The first time in this entire campaign, with Terendelev's scales so far), and woke ready to explore the tower. Asking John they learned that the place was ruined, toppled upon itself. It used to hold the archives of the city. As they are about to go they again debate about having Millorn join. He notices the tension and suggests he stays to scribe a scroll, but Andrew is adamant about taking him along.

    As they near the tower, they notice that there are quite fewer demons on the way. Sena hisses "Things are getting serious!". They arrived at the rubble of the building. Only the entrance floor remained of the circular tower, with piles of rubble on top of it and spilled to the sides. Sena hears with his keen ears two talking voices some distance behind the door. The party tenses, and decide to send Andera to check the doors.

    Spoiler: wasn't there a password?
    Show
    In the module, Hosila's letter mentions a password. I left it out, since I thought it might be more fun if they'll need to bluff their way in or do something inventive. a free password sounded too boring.


    Andera snuck to the door, and tried to pick the lock. about 3-4 times... (We need to read the lock pick rules better). The players kept making fun of him, so he decided to climb on the rubble and look fo another way in. and he climbed up and saw two downfalls into the circular room. (A little change from the module. In it there are two piles of great rubble to the east and west of the tower, I made these down slopes of rubble inside).

    It may be important to say that I've done two "teaching sessions" with Mad dog's player (She is new), and so she was etching to do things and act.

    Mad dog decided to join, so he came and climbed, but failed his stealth. The cultists down below became alerted. "Tell Faxon!" said one, and another went running, while the other climbed on the down fall. Mad dog saw a human in armor coming up, wielding a scythe (They didn't clue in yet about Deskari cultists using Scythes). He wasn't sure if this was friend or foe (Like the looters in Topaz solutions) so he just came close, and told him to drop his weapon, readying an action to attack him.

    Meanwhile, in the street, the rest understood something was coming up and were rushing towards the big doors. Andera snuck near the cultist through the rubble.

    The cultist curses "For Deskari!" and attacks Mad dog. Being ready, Mad dog attacks first and nearly kills the cultist, but the cultist manages to crit (The only good thing about a scythe) for 33 hp! (Out of 44). As she likes gore, we describe the scythe coming from an under cut piercing her belly and diaphragm, spewing blood. She was quite shocked, but more importantly- very angry! "He's mine! No one touches him!" she threatened the entire group. Sena's player chuckled. "No one arguing with you here! You got the most testosterone around!"

    The ones one the street try to bash the door, and fails. "Lets try aid another next time!"

    Andera vanishes and sneaks down into the room, towards the steps from down below, where he hears voices. Mad dog attacks for max damage, and paint the rubble with organs and blood, picking up the scythe and jaming it roaring through the dead cultist skull.

    Down below they fail to push in. Harry thinks "Maybe I have something..."

    From below come the second cultist, 2 tieflings in breastplates (I added 2 tieflings rogue 1/ fighter 1 for extra challenge and experience) and lastly- Faxon- the tiefling witch, with the scorpion familiar on his shoulder.) Faxon see Mad dog covered in blood, and speaks darkly "Get him!". Andera waits for his chance...

    Mad dog is worried (11 hp) and retreats on the rubble to drink his CMW potion. The tieflings make their way to the doors, while the cultist nd Faxon go after Mad dog.

    Harry tries Hydraulic push (Through his bonded item) to force the doors open. Fail. I decide to say the door are damaged, weakening it's break DC.

    Andera comes and sneak attack Faxon for good damage. Mad dog rushes towards the surprised witch and roars cutting of his head, using finishing cleave to kill the cultist and then cleave to kill... the scorpion familiar? "No one gets away!"

    The two tieflings decide it's time to run, and rush towards the other downfall, trying to run up it.

    Outside they try bashing the door again. They think to maybe sit for tea? Mad dog purses, kills another, and the last is able to scamper outside, but then Andera falls upon him from above, putting his wakizashi in his back.

    Mad dog comes and breaks the door with one kick, covered in sprays of blood and gore. "Will you get in allready? You bunch of wooses!" Andrew's player: "A cup of tea?"

    The party finds some nice loot on Faxon (Including a wand of CMW 9 charges), and some loot downstairs as well. Most importantly however they found many documents: of the templars troop movements, of cultists here and in other towns, and most importantly, a letter:

    Faxon,
    You did well to report your superior’s mishandling of funds, and I trust that you will continue to serve as loyally in the weeks to come. You need not command the Kenabres Templars for long, for the city is about to die—I only wish I could be there to take part in its murder, for I have fond memories of my Red Morning Massacre. No matter, I suppose, for your mortal kin will all fall soon enough—as I said, Kenabres’s days are short. Vorlesh has already left to meet with our Lord’s daughter in the Abyss to secure a Nahyndrian crystal of the proper purity, and once she has what she needs, she’ll arrive in Kenabres to finish the job and turn the wardstones fully to our use. You will know when she succeeds, I suspect! Praise Lord Baphomet!
    Minagho


    The party realizes this is the clue they've been looking for. They recognize Minhago as one of the topmost major demons of Deskari and that she is a Lilitu demon (But fail to recognize what is a Lilitu). They decide to hoof it back to Defender's Heart.

    "If you just picked the lock!"
    "If you just opened the door!"
    "If any of you weaklings would have done ANYTHING? Hey DM, loot goes for the one with the most kills, right?"
    (All in jest... well, except for the loot part. )

    Spoiler: DM notes- tower of Estrod
    Show
    Orignially I thought the tower would come BEFORE coming to Defender's heart. But then we went and had Hall of Heroes. I decided to leave the Tower of Estrod as the weak encounter it was, as a sort of a relief before the Gray Garrison. It worked out quite well as a stress reliefer, and enabled the new player to test hr new understanding of rules better.

    Changes made:
    - no password. Figure it out heroes, no need to and it ALL to you.
    - I added to tieflings rogue 1/ fighter 1 as help for Faxon. Action economy would have killed him.
    - an ability to come through the roof if they think of it.

    ------------------------------------------------
    Next part coming soon, last preparations, and off to the Gray Garrison.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-04-15 at 02:42 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Location
    Israel
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Ok, lets continue!

    Session 5, Second part- Final preparations, War Council, Approaching the Gray Garrison

    The second part focused mostly on the last preparations. Along with closing some loose ends, and deepening some suspicions...

    Back at Defender's Heart
    It took a few hours to get to the Tower of Estrod and back. As they return they see that there are new arrivals- the Mongrel folk! about 350 of them, with odd assortment of weapons and armor. Chief Sul comes and hugs Andrew, then Sena. "Ambassador! Light bringer! Even in this dark times there are happy times! We have risen and come back!" They also see Lann, in better armor (Gained a level of fighter) gaining much respect amongst the mongrelfolk. The other "regular" humanoids however are not that happy, and seem tense. The party notices this, but decides there are more pressing matters.

    Sena finds Arabeth, who is trying to ease the situation, and shows her the paper. "To the war room" she replies. Andrew and Sena goes there with her. Near it's door they see Anevia, bow in hands, acting as guard. She waves at them enthusiastically. Arabeth groans "I told her to rest, but she is so persistent when she wants something. She wanted to help." As they go inside they see another surprise- Aravash speaking softly with Quendys, while the librarians shuffle and go through papers.

    Sena drops the loads of info. (The party: "Shouldn't we go through them first? Maybe one of them is a traitor" Sena: "I doubt his real name will be here". Both of them try sense motive but see nothign amiss, though they highly suspect Quendys. After a brief explanation Quendys thanks them "We will see about these. If what you say is true, then these may provide the missing link." Sena is adamant though, putting Minagho's letter. "What about this? This requires no pouring over." Quendys, Commander John and Arabeth reads it. "It seems this crystal is the soruce of our bane. And they wish to turn the wardstones against us. I will need to check my books and information to ascertain where they seek to do it, and how. But we will decide in a few hours. Our time to act is at hand. I suggest you make final preparations, talk to whomever you need (Party: "Make your final will?") and rest as you can. I shall call you when we're ready.

    They are not that happy with such an answer, but comply.

    Down stairs the tensions continue to rise, so Andrew takes the stage and give a short resounding speech: "My Brothers! Sisters! Soldiers of Kenabres of all race, kind or shape! These brave people here, the First Ascendants are one of us, of our blood, of our kin! We have hunted them, and yet they repay us by coming to our aid, no feelings of vengeance. People of Kenabres, this is the time of reunion and hope! They are part of our way to salvation! For victory, and triumph!" Due to his reputation, high skills and words, (and a decent roll) he succeeds greatly, and mongrelfolks clash weapons in unity with the uplanders.

    Sena nods his head towards John, with a motion towards Andrew, John nods slightly backs, and watches not speaking.

    The War Council
    Shortly after Arabeth comes and motions each PC to discreetly come after her up. As they near the doors Commander John stops Andrew. "I'm sorry, I know that you care for Millorn, but this subject is way too sensitive, he is to wait outside." There are some tense moments, but Andrew accepts, and sends Millorn to "Watch over the people, tell me what you see, tell me what you learn". Andrew suspects Millorn has some oracular powers.

    In the room they see the four leaders of the resistance: Arabeth, Quendys, Commander John and Chief Sul. Aravash is there as well, he hugs Harry, but sits aside for the most of it.

    Quendys Begins his but quite well executed ("Read out text") speech:
    "As horrific as recent events have been, we’ve come to realize that they are, in fact, merely a prelude. The razing of the Kite, the destruction of our wardstone, Terendelev’s murder, and the assault on the city were nothing more than opening gambits. The Worldwound is on the march in a more concentrated assault than we’ve seen since the fall of Drezen. It’s fair to say the Lord of the Locust Host is finally making his move. The end of this hundred-year-war is upon us, and it falls to us to ensure victory.

    While the Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth were scattered, those who serve the Lord of the Locust Host himself remain concentrated in Old Kenabres. What we’ve heard from within the barricade they’ve erected is ominous. The cultists are waiting for something, and based on our own information and what you’ve managed to recover so far, it sounds like the vile witch Areelu Vorlesh will soon be coming to Kenabres. And it appears that we’ve determined what she intends to do.

    When the wardstone was destroyed by the Storm King, it exploded and destroyed the Kite. The network along the border failed, but did not fade completely. I believe this is because a significant portion of our wardstone still exists, and that the cultists have taken it to the old garrison in Old Kenabres. From what we’ve learned, they’re hoping to engineer a way to somehow reverse the field generated by the wardstones—essentially, to use our own greatest defense as a devastating weapon.

    The attack on Kenabres had a predictable result: causing the crusade to gather at the border to defend it. Some wonder why the demons haven’t attacked in stronger numbers. I believe that Areelu was counting on us massing along the border, and that if she can corrupt the wardstone field, she can strike a devastating blow against us all. In effect, we’ve lined up for the slaughter.

    Vorlesh is surely seeking some object of great Abyssal power, likely the Nahyndrian crystal mentioned in the missive you recovered, and with it she intends to turn the source of our hope into an unimaginable nightmare. We cannot hope to evacuate everyone from the border—I doubt they would give up the defensive line even if they knew what the enemy planned. But we can still stop this from happening—we just need to have someone infiltrate the Gray Garrison, locate the wardstone fragment, and destroy it.”

    While he said "Someone" he looked straight at the PCs. Commander John spoke next. "We've seen in the Hall of Heroes who the gods chose for this purpose. You have gone through a lot and proved yourself time and time again. We can send a large force in since that will alert everyone, and beside I doubt there will be place for large groups to fight in the Gray Garrison. For we have deducted that is the place where they hold the wardstone."

    Sena was confused. "But... if something of it remain... why destroy it? Why not use it to rebuild defenses?" Andrew stepped in "I suspect a small fragment isn't enough for that. We can't take that risk anyway". Sena wasn't entirely convinced, but accepted this. (Always the suspicious bastard). Andera asked "But how do we go in? By the map there is a great horde of demons there!" Arabeth and chief Sul changed knowing glances. "That is where our combined forces come in. We attack simultaneously many places of import at once, drawing as many forces as we can." Andrew spoke "A diversion, but a very dangerous one". he spoke concerned. Arabeth nodded "Yes, but we'll be dead along all of Mendev's forces if we don't." Chief Sul bolstered "And we will relish the chance to fight once more! Now, MY people know their way under the city. They will lead you inside, past the defenses, close enough to the Gray Garrison, and then will fight inside the inner city, in covert attacks, hoping to cause yet more diversion." Andera exclaimed "You'll all be killed!" The leaders all looked grim. "Hopefully you make it fast enough inside so we won't".

    This made the party squirm a bit.

    Andrew put a finger on the south of the city. "What about Horus? Surely his men can divert more forces?" Arabeth shook her head. "His people fight valiantly, but they will not coordinate with us. I fear we're alone on this.". Andrew seemed to think. "What if... we place rumors that his forces are guarding something of great import, won't that draw many forces to him?" Sena gave a meaningful look to John. Arabeth shook her head. "I'm sorry, but that's... a tactic I won't take." Andrew was frustrated. "This is a desperate situation, it will help a greater cause surely, no?" (The party exchanged looks). Arabeth refused.

    Sena asked a question. "But how do we exactly destroy this shard of the wardstone? It's a powerful magical item, no? You want us to just bash it?" Quendys pulled a rod and placed it on the table. "This is a rod of cancellation. It can draw the magical powers of an item and destroy it. Come close enough, and strike it. May take more than once, but it will eventually cancel it.

    The party had a small discussion at who will hold it. They decided on Sena, who was surprised. ("In the toughest situations you always think of something and pull through!") he accepted the rod, with some reverence.

    Andrew spoke "There are civilians here, who cannot fight. Send some soldiers, even the least experienced ones who won't help much in the diversion and send them over the walls, get them as far as possible from here. They cannot stay!" Quendys agreed and concluded the council. "We shall prepare the soldiers. It is vital that NO ONE of this room and the people Chief Sul appoints to you know of your mission. There may still be traitors amongst us. (Mad dog's player: "So which one is the traitor?") Prepare quickly, in about an hour we make our final assault!"

    The party agreed, and grimly stepped outside.

    Final preparations
    As they went outside Aravsh came by. "Harry? Come to me, I may have something to help you". Aravash gave him a stash he found at the ruins of the library (as per the module). It's a BIG loot drop, especially 2 wands of 3rd level. Amongst these there is also a Chime of opening ("Great! So we won't have to wit for you to pick locks!") which i kind of debated about, but though it might fir for a final adventure.

    Nayla also approached Andera. "Sir, I have some news! Some of our... associates have returned." Once in private chambers she relays some news. "I know you are going into the Gray garrison..." Andera interrupts "wit, how do you know?" She just gives a half smile. "I have some information about it. Senest have acquired the plans for the first level, where he sought the sword (I gave the party the map of the first level. It seemed that at least some of them would know it already due to life in the city). Also, some of our scouts have witnessed the building from afar. It is... wrong... it seems like it shifts from here to... somewhere else. strange sounds, voices and more come from it, not fully of this world. (The party grumbled). And last, we hear of the one who is in command of the place- a woman favored by Deskari, One called Jaslyn. She is supposed to have some power over life and death. (The party started making guesses, from cleric to Oracle to witch to wizard)."

    Andera thanked her, but asked her of one more favor. "Have someone keep... an eye on Quendys. To see if he is suspicious, or does something fishy. But give him the benefit of the doubt, and do not engage unless he risks operations". Nayla nodded and went off. (Sena's player: "How much can you trust HER exactly?")

    Andera told the party his findings, but wasn't ready to reveal his sources ("And how much will we trust you?") but they tried their knowledge skills and even asked John, Quendys and Aravash. Though they didn't learn more of who Jeslyn is, they did find out that the phenomena of the Grey Garrison slipping in and out sounds like it was made to touch the Abyss somewhat, having effects leak from it here. More grumbles.

    Spoiler: Gray Garrison slipping in and out?
    Show
    It's one of the changes I made to the last chapter. Not in the original module. I wanted the PCs to have a small taste of the true Abyss. We'll see next session.


    Andrew went to find Millorn. The dwarf was quite excited. "The new people, the under people! I've seen them before, but their color is different, many multi shining colors! Not like before! There seem to be something big, something at balance here, soon, then!" He mimicked with his hands as if weighing things. "But... things may not be as it seem" He exchanged hands "Many whispers, many voices, cannot discern!" The others disregarded this as gibberish, but Andrew was alarmed.

    The party got some more money due to their discoveries, (As per module) and used it to equip themselves more. Much of it went to the two casters, who just bought many scrolls, wanting to prepare for what will come. Andera finally lucked in and found something (He failed on most of his other rolls)- Daredevil boots. I guess he'll be tumbling like no tomorrow now!

    Time to head out- towards the Gray Garrison!
    The four leaders came. I hoped for an inspiring speech from the PCs, or to do one from the leaders, but it was getting late so we skimmed through it: Laying out order for the troops, a few more encouraging words and the like, and people were heading out. John came to Sena, putting his hand on his shoulders. Sena spoke: "Look, I know you guys think you need to buy us time, but don't do anything too stupid! We don't need any new martyrs!" John smiled "Same to you. I... I knew this day will come, when you will be called upon great things. Since your birth... I... I just wished I could prepare you better. I guess you are as ready as you'll ever be." He hugged Sean and whispered "Be vigilant!". And then walked off. This left Sena quite confused.

    Lann came to he party with a group of about 30 Mongrelfolk "This time I lead you, eh?" They decided to take Millorn with them, but they were quite surprised when Arabeth came to them. "I can't let you go alone. After what you've done for me, for my wife, for the city... I'm coming to fight alongside you." (The party, nearly all at once: "So SHE's the traitor!" I think I may have overdone it by this point) There was a short discussion whether to bring her or not (Mad dog's player against it) but they decided to have her join. Why? Because it will make the adventure more interesting. (I like my party! )

    I gave them Arabeth char sheet ("Don't believe all it's written there! especially not alignment!") I made her a Cavalier instead of a Paladin, cause... well... we have a paladin, and I didn't want him overshadowed. I focused her on the teamwork feats and such. Harry plays her in battle.

    They went into a nearby tunnel, and followed the mongrelfolk through them up till near the Arena. They went out, and Lann saluted the party. "See you again, on one of the sides!" and spread his folk into small guerrilla groups.

    The party made their way towards the Gray Garrison, on the other side of the Arena. They passed where they started the adventure, it was shattered, a lot of blood, and no sign of Terendelev's corpse. They saw the Gray Garrison from afar, looking grim and... strangely stretched, as if close and far at the same time, with a strange hue to his walls. They hurried towards it.

    Entrance to the Gray Garrison, battle with the Vermleks
    The party went through some ruined buildings, and reached before the entrance. They saw two Deskari cultists (This time they recognized the tell tale signs!) but also two other figures- one of Kandro Nysserian (THe guy who sold Arabeth's sword) but also Hurlun?!

    A perception roll away they noticed something moving under their skin, and them not moving quite naturally. "Zombies!" cursed Sena.

    The fight was quick and brutal. The cultists tried to at as buffer to enable the Vermleks to summon dretches, but Mad dog got behind and hit hard and disrupted a casting. The party were rolling really well on this battle, and the only damage the vermleks dealt was due to a single mass inflict light wounds. The party was confused (And disgusted) by the wormy nature of the demons, but were to focused on the job at hand.

    It was time to enter the Gray Garrison.

    Each Player's XP: 11,060!
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    We ended it here, it was quite late! I think the next session will be the last in this module, and I wait to see what the party does with the last few encounters (Which I tweaked somewhat). Lets say there is a substantial surprise, and possible big twist at the end. As I said to the party "I may not fully adhere to the module, and some choices you make may alter it greatly".

    We'll see, trying to set a date for next session. If you've enjoyed, or if you have questions, feel free to say something! Till next time,
    Kol.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-04-16 at 06:22 AM.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Count at least two who've been motivated enough by your writings to create an account for the sole purpose of telling you that you're doing a fantastic job, and we hope you keep up the good work.

    I was planning on running this AP with one of my groups and, while I very much like the general concepts behind the story, and I like where they were going with it, I feel that much of it was executed poorly and found myself searching the internet for a little inspiration on how to spruce things up a bit. I hope you don't mind, but I certainly think I'm going to be 'borrowing' a few of your ideas.

    We look forward to learning where you will take things from here!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Thanks TLB! It makes me quite happy. I'ts a bit weird for me to play an adventure that is so linear, but I'm trying to make enough room for self expression and innovation in the game. But at some points it annoys me a bit as well, such as in the point where Sena wanted to do tactical missions in the city and I had nothing in mind to offer him other than "Go explore Estrod tower". I got a bit too occupied in what the module had to offer.

    The next module features many events of mass combat (Which I hope to make interesting more than the bland rules they offer). And at least two of my players are quite savvy strategy and tactics wise (More than I am for sure), so they may become quite... innovative. We'll see how it goes.

    I've finished all the preparations for the last leg of the module (There may yet be a few surprises). I did some reworking of the Gray Garrison, especially the end. I started working on the next module. I am coming to my final exams period (Med student), so I won't have much time to prepare. I hope to prepare enough in advance so as to not bog the game down. The module proves... challenging in that respect.

    I hope to write some sort of a summary of the first module once we finish it (All kind of statistics, possibly a player survey of highs and lows and such). Again, we'll see how it goes.

    If any of you ave any more comments, questions, or requests (Like builds or such), please tell me and I'll try to abide.

    Thanks for the encouragement! I have but a few readers, but it's fun to see them!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    The building of an army

    If the party gets to the next module, they will have a chance to build up an army. (The next module gives them a very specific, and VERY small army, I'm trying to make it more interesting). I want there to be several army units that they could select, train, equip and so on. But I prefer them to not be faceless units, but rather units with some history and personality behind them.

    So I'm asking your help! Please check the following thread, and contribute your wonderful creative ideas! Help make my game better!
    Armies of Kenabres

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

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