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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    I have just recently learned that Sir Terry Pratchet has passed away today...
    He had quite an impact on my life, as he had on others. In his way, I think he made the world a funnier place, more clever place, a more humane place and a better place.

    There are threads dealing with his death, I just wanted to mention it here, in case someone has missed it, and may be reading this.

    I think we shall make a toast to him tomorrow, on our game night.

    Thank you Terry. For everything...

    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 - #152
    Troll in the Playground
    hoverfrog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

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

    I saw that you'd started this a while ago but have been avoiding reading it because I started the game myself as a player.

    Well, a total party kill before we'd even levelled up means that I can catch up now.
    I didn't choose the life of a murderhobo, it chose me.

  3. - Top - End - #153
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

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

    Great reading!! I registered just to let you know.
    I envy your players, they have great luck to have you as their GM.
    Looking forward for your next post

  4. - Top - End - #154
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Hey folks, our game was a week go but I didn't yet get time to update. Lots to do in real life (Was ill, a complicated case of a patient of mine, elections, tests to study to and more...) I hope to be able to do so tonight or in the next few days.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoverfrog View Post
    I saw that you'd started this a while ago but have been avoiding reading it because I started the game myself as a player.

    Well, a total party kill before we'd even levelled up means that I can catch up now.
    hoverfrog! The frog that hovers... I'm still sorry that I couldn't finish up the game with Reshk the shifter, but things are becoming crazier by the month! I barely manage to think and plan for the real life game...

    TPK before leveling up once? Brutal! Did the crazy dwarf Millorn kill you? (He has a TPK potential if played right), or something else? Now I'm curious. Feel free to comment). We're nearing the end of the 3rd module now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thriller View Post
    Great reading!! I registered just to let you know.
    I envy your players, they have great luck to have you as their GM.
    Looking forward for your next post
    Thanks for the compliements! I'm as lucky to have such great players. They make it all so much more interesting and worthwhile!

    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 - #155
    Troll in the Playground
    hoverfrog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    TPK before leveling up once? Brutal! Did the crazy dwarf Millorn kill you? (He has a TPK potential if played right), or something else? Now I'm curious. Feel free to comment). We're nearing the end of the 3rd module now.
    We made it past Millorn and found the mongrelman village. The crazy dwarf wasn't actually much of a challenge.

    We were off to attack the evil mongrelman lair and just got overwhelmed. I'm thinking that we should maybe have levelled up before attacking it.

    Have a read if you like.
    I didn't choose the life of a murderhobo, it chose me.

  6. - Top - End - #156
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Quote Originally Posted by hoverfrog View Post
    We made it past Millorn and found the mongrelman village. The crazy dwarf wasn't actually much of a challenge.

    We were off to attack the evil mongrelman lair and just got overwhelmed. I'm thinking that we should maybe have levelled up before attacking it.

    Have a read if you like.
    By the module, you are supposed to level up in the village when you suggest an alliance with the above ground forces in Kenabres. That should have landed you enough story could to level up.
    The village is also the only place to exchange gear in the following time (my group used it to buy better armor).
    Seems the dm may have missed that. The den of mobgrelfolk custody mat be quite brutal at 1st level...

    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!

  7. - Top - End - #157
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Hey folks! Sorry for the long delay. We had a session about a week and a half ago, but I got swamped by RL obligations, so I didn't have the time or the mood to write a log post. But now I do!

    This session dealt mostly with sort of a mini dungeon that I've made, collecting some of the other "campaign traits" encounters over the wounded lands, and putting it all into one dungeon. The session featured mostly battles, but some sessions are like this. Still, a 9 hours session... I hope you enjoy!

    Last thing- I ws a bit sick and not feeling all that well, so I may have missed keeping notes here and there. Also, this ffected the end of the session a bit, but we'll get to that... Oh- Only 1 part this time!

    Session 17- The lost expedition.

    Last we stopped, Andera was captued by an Imprisonment variation spell, and the rest of the party got transferred to the location of the Lost Expedition, which was in some sort of a soggy ground, an old Sarkori settlement. The party finished fighting off some vrocks, including a mythic vrock (Vorimeraak from the Molten Scar encounter) who fled to a big tree over some building a bit further away.

    The party then debated what to do. They had the idea that Julian will use a charm monster spell to get a monster on their side, and use it to free Andera. Problem was- Julian had only 2 more mythic points left... They were quite sure the lost expedition held quite a serious battle.

    Still, They can't keep Andera waiting, can they?

    Battle of Winter Sun hall, and the corrupted thane tree

    Noticing the soggy ground, Julian cast fly on herself, and Sen cast air walk. Mad dog still had a few minutes of fly left on him from the battle with the vrocks, so they all flew on. The soggy ground had no effect on them.

    As they approached the building with the big tree, Sena remembered that this must be a Thane tree- trees used by the Sarkori to keep arcane casters locked and restrained. Although this tree looked fairly small, and wrong somehow... It grew out of the center of the stone building (The Wintersun Hall) They were easily noticed, and a battle took place.

    Titan Dune by 2SfH
    (I used it before, but forgot to put a more specific theme here. Worked nicely though)

    As soon as the battle started Vorimeraak started dance of ruin with 2 remaining vrocks up in the tree's branches. The party recognized it for what it was, and decided to try and keep out of the zone of effect.
    Out of the building rush 4 sort of fiendish/ demonic looking humanoids who look to be either of Sarkori descent, or from Mendevian descent? "Half demons!" Shouts Julian. 4 more wait on top of the building with bows. (These are "upgraded" Grunhuld barbarians- Half fiend barbarian 5) The party also notices someone near the door of the building, looking out...

    Spoiler: Wintersun hall and corrupted Thane battle

    Well, target rich environment just calls for a barbarian, so Mad dog rushed ahead! yet as he approached the party could feel some... effect trying to stop him, a deep slumber effect coming from... the tree? Sena noticed some of it's bark moving, and a sort of a whisper coming from it. Yet with a mythical surge Mad dog saved.

    Sena himself was taken by surprise at a sudden angelic transformation! He grew wings, a halo, and was too stunned to react. (The player tries to create a build up towards the "Divine source" mythic ability he wishes to take in the next mythic tier) This had an unexpected effect, as the barbarian half demons hissed in fear "They send another to help the gurdian?" Which perplexed the party, but they put it aside.

    But then Marhevok (The powerful barbarian in the Grunhuld Wintersun encounter... Upgraded stats and half demon barbarian 11) rushed out. "Angel! You come to join your brother?! Not if We can stop you!" He rushed towards Mad dog and hit him hard, like a hammer with his fist. The party noticed these barbarians, and especially Marhevok look A LOT like Mad dog looked when he transformed. Mad dog gritted through the pain. "This is the source!"

    As the vrocks continue to dance, Mad dog gives Marhevok his own "Mad dog treatment", nearly killing the barbarin in 1 round. The tree seems to party heal it with a sort of necrotic energy, as Marhevok gets scarred dead flesh. Sena flies in and blasts the half demons twice with his channel energy ability (Works against demons as well) Seriously damaging most. Julian sens her flying scorpion familiar to touch Mad dog and give him 6 mirror images. (That spell is probably the most used defensive spell in the party, and to the best effect)

    The frost drake comes as well, spits a ball of ice and creates and ice sheet but... both Sena and Mad dog flies. Marhevok uses Blasphemy, but both save as well. They both then retreat just before the dance of ruin has it's effect (I forgot the mythic Vrock's ability to cause it early), and Julian tries to charm Mrhevok but... fails... 1 more mythic point? "Shall we teleport, or try to capture another?". Mad dog is furious. "We END this! Nor running away!"

    The party all flies, the arrows of the roof barbarians barely hit, and the ground barbarians are either dead or wounded. Instead of starting another dance of ruin, the 3 vrocks join the fight. Sena and Julian damage them nicely with spells, while Md dog goes down and kills both Marhevok and the frost drake with the help of a crit! Only to have Marhevok rise as a sort of half plant zombie! Julian curses "This is strange- the tree uses some combination of druidic and necromatic spells, but how can it be?" Sena who is close enough sees a figure moving in the bark of the tree, sort of a woman, trying to peer at them, observe them, especially the angelic looking Sena.

    Sena crushes Zombie Marhevok with bone shatter spell. as the three vrocks come to him and Mad dog, and releease spores which entangle and deafen Mad dog (The Mythic Vrock's mythic spores). Julian flies deals with the last of the barbarians with a diamond spray, and then flies closer. (The rood barbarians just run away)

    The battle remains between Sena and mad dog against the Vrocks. Some stunning screeches, more channel energy and hits, and more mirror images down, it comes down to Julian using baleful polymorph to turn Vorimeraak into a little water salamander! The vrocks seek to escape, Mad dog grasps one, Sena casts on it touch of idiocy, and Julian charms it!

    One vrock charming

    The charmed Vrock looks at her puzzingly "Help me!" She calls to him, using her best understanding of the succubus mind that infected her "I am the same as you! We were sent here to test the defenses, and seek out the one truly powerful demon for a great task at hand!" The vrocks fights against Mad dog and Sena "And what of these mortals?" Julian calls them off "They re but underlings, they have a purpose, as do we all!"

    The Vrocks is still a bit suspicious, but Julian keeps pressing "We have a very important mission from Jerribeth herself!" THis alerts the vrock. "The mistress? But we were put here s her guard! Why you attack us?" Julian keeps on the show nicely "Guard? You call this a guard? We tested you, nd most failed... All failed, except for you...". The vrock added "Chuga." Julain nodded "except for you, mighty Chuga, mightiest of all vrocks, who will be rewarded nicely!" (I suck t coming up with names on the spot )

    "Let us go Chuga... we need to rest, but then we will go to your reward!" All the while Sena tried to look t the figure in the tree, which looked like a sort of a sickly woman, made out of bark, looking back them, but currently not attacking them... The party moved back towards the settlement, to sleep and return to Andera tomorrow.

    DM design- Battle of the Wintersun hall and the corrupted Thane
    This battle held 3 elements- the flock of Vrocks (4 vrocks+ Vorimeraak), the Grunhuld barbrians (8 half fiend barbatin 5+ Marhevok- half fiend barbarian 11 and his frost drake) and lastly- the Thane tree. The tree acted as a sort of an intelligent spell slinging trap. (It's a corrupted Hamdryad, with the spells altered slightly for necromatic effects)

    I must say that the battle proved A LOT easier than expected, despite pulling the encounters together, using upgraded stats, and the tree, and having only 3 party members, 2 of which with severely depleted mythic points. Which just goes to show that the modules' encounters are absolutely not challenging and crappy. Sorry.

    Encounter stat blocks
    Spoiler: barbrians and Marhevok
    Human barbarian 5, Half demon
    CN outside native
    Init +6; Senses Perception +8
    AC 21, touch 142, flat-footed 17 (+6 Breast plate, +4 Dex, –2 rage, NA +3)
    hp 61 each (5d12+25)
    Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +5; +1 vs. traps
    Defensive Abilities uncanny dodge immunity to poison; acid, cold, electricity, and fire resistance 10
    Speed 30 ft.
    Melee mwk battleaxe +14, (1d12+12/×3) PA -2+6
    Ranged mwk composite longbow +10 (1d8+8/×3)
    Special Attacks rage (11 rounds/day), rage powers (no escape, scent) Smite good (+2 attack, deflect, +5 damage)
    Str 26, Dex 18, Con 21, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 14
    Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 20
    Feats Cleave, Improved Initiative, Power Attack (-2+6)
    Skills Intimidate +6, Perception +8, Sense Motive +5, Stealth +5, Survival +8
    Gear BP, heavy wooden, mwk battleaxe, mwk composite longbow (+4 Str) with 20 arrows

    Male human barbarian (savage barbarian) 11 Half demon
    CE Medium humanoid (human)
    Init +4; Senses Perception +13
    AC 22/ 28, touch 14, flat-footed 15, (+6 Breast plate +2 Dex, +3 dodge, +3 natural, –2 rage+ 4 Bark)
    hp 180 (12d12+99)
    Fort +12, Ref +7 (+3 vs. traps), Will +8; +2 vs. fear, +3 vs. traps
    Defensive Abilities improved uncanny dodge DR 10/ magic, resist fire, acid, lightning
    Speed 40 ft.
    Melee unarmed strike +21/+16/+11 (1d10+10/19–20), gore +16 (1d8+5) PW (-3/ +6) Vital strike x2!
    Smite good (+3/ +11)
    Unholy blight 5d8 DC 17

    Special Attacks greater rage (26 rounds/day), rage powers (lesser fiend totem, renewed vigor [2d8+8 hp], strength surge +11)
    Str 30, Dex 18, Con 24, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16
    Base Atk +11; CMB +18; CMD 32
    Feats Dodge, Improved Critical (unarmed strike), Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack (-3/ +6), Toughness, Vital Strike
    Skills Acrobatics +16, Bluff +12, Intimidate +15, Perception +13, Survival +13
    Gear Breastplate unholy symbol of Baphomet with an inscription in Abyssal that reads “Jerribeth”

    Spoiler: Vorimeraak- Scorpion's stats

    XP 25,600
    Female advanced mythic vrock (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 69, 294; Pathfinder RPG Mythic Adventures 184)
    CE Large outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar, mythic)
    Init +14M; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +27
    AC 32, touch 14, flat-footed 27 (+5 Dex, +18 natural, –1 size)
    hp 209 (11d10+149)
    Fort +16, Ref +14, Will +10
    Defensive Abilities block attacks; DR 10/epic and good; Immune electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 24
    Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (average)
    Melee bite +18 (1d8+8/18-20), 2 claws +18 (2d6+8/18-20), 2 talons +18 (1d6+8/18-20)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks entrapping vine(1/3 rnds, 2d8 all around, fort 24 or entrap, deaf/ blind/ speak, 10 rounds cause 1d5 each round. Bless/ holy water stop), fleet warrior, greater stunning screech (Fort 24, or stun 1 round, stagger 1d4. Mythic- swift), manic dance of ruin, mythic power (5/day, surge +1d8)
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +20)
    At will—greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), telekinesis (DC 20)
    1/day—heroismM, mirror imageM, summon (level 3, 1 vrock 75%)
    Str 27, Dex 21, Con 29, Int 18, Wis 20, Cha 20
    Base Atk +11; CMB +20; CMD 35
    Feats Blind-FightM, Combat Reflexes, Improved InitiativeM, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack (-3/+9)M
    Skills Acrobatics +19, Fly +17, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Knowledge (planes) +18, Perception +27, Sense Motive +19, Spellcraft +18, Stealth +15, Survival +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
    Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common; telepathy 100 ft.
    SQ augmented critical (natural weapons)
    Entrapping Vines (Ex)
    Vorimeraak can release a cloud of spores from her body once every 3 rounds as a free action, affecting all adjacent non-demons. If she expends one use of mythic power as a swift action, this attack can be used before the 3 rounds have passed. The spores deal 2d8 points of damage on the first round as they grow into ugly vines; for the next 10 rounds, they deal 1d6 points of damage, entrap the affected creatures (10 rounds, hardness 5, hp 10), and make them go blind, lose the ability to speak, or go deaf (determine randomly). A Fortitude save DC 24 negates the entrap effect and the condition. The vines can be destroyed by casting bless on the creatures or by sprinkling them with holy water. This is a disease effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.
    Greater Stunning Screech (Su)
    Once per hour, Vorimeraak can emit a shrill screech. All non-demons within a 30-foot radius spread must succeed at a DC 24 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round and staggered for 1d4 rounds after the sun ends. If Vorimeraak expends one use of mythic power, this power can be used as a swift action. The save DC is Constitution-based.
    Manic Dance of Ruin (Su)
    Vorimeraak can expend one use of mythic power to dance and chant as a full-round action, after which she releases a crackling wave of energy, dealing 5d6 points of electricity damage to all creatures within 100 feet (Reflex DC 20 for half). Each additional vrock that joins in the dance adds 1 to the DC and an additional 5d6 points of damage, up to a maximum of 20d6. The dance immediately ends and must be started anew if any of the participating vrocks is slain, stunned, or otherwise prevented from dancing. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    Spoiler: Currupted Thane tree
    Twisted Hamdryd
    AC 30, Resist acid, cold electricity 30 hp 190. SR 27 (Extends to vrocks in tree), Wis 18,
    Persuade: DC 34, Wis 18, Sense motive +20. May pause at any sign of "good beliefs", attack with vigor if Arulashee is present.
    The Hamadryad can cast the following:
    • CL 12:
    - Deathly sleep: Deep slumber, DC20 will, If asleep any round DC 20 fort or gain 1 negative level.
    - Blood tangles: Entangle. DC18, If entangled also bleed 4 per round)
    - Death chills: Up to 80 ft from the Dryad, 20 ft radius, Reflex 21 or 10d8 half cold, half necro, If fail also grasped in ice (Escape DC 22, Break 20).
    - Murder: Confusion (DC21) With only kill nearest!
    - Poison: Attack + 16 for DC 21 poison (6 rounds, each round 1d4 con)
    - Dread plnt warrior: (On allies up to 8 in 20 ft spread) Bark skin (+3), Natural weapons, Mass cure moderate only as necrotic energy- temporary hit points.
    - Animate dead as ppore corpses ( One action, +4 strength, +3 armor, 30 hit points. Channel causes only half damage.

    Meanwhile, back at Andera's prison.

    As the party was doing battle, who jumped in to see Andera if not... Jerribeth! She was surprised to see him there, but smiled at him. "Well well, of all the people that could have freed that wretched Mohagrek, it comes to you?"

    Andera, feeling so far secure with the prison's protection, spat at her. "So you captured him? What do you want now?" She was bemused by him, and sat on nearby rock. "Oh, he proved to be an impetuous and disrespectful competition. I got a gift from Baphomet, and thought to show him my... displeasure. But this? I didn't arrange this, but it does put us in a... peculiar opportunity. Where are your rag tag team of friends by the way?"

    Andera kept silent, but Jerribeth interpreted it wrongly. "Oh, they left you here? You will stay here for a long... long time, you must know that? But I... I hold the key to this prison, and I can free you, if we come to an... agreement?"

    Andera laughed bitterly "Dealing with demons is what got me into this mess, forgive me if I don't exactly rush to hear your trickery."

    Jerribeth looked at him sternly. "Look, I understand you mistrust me, but where Mohagrek had only trickery to use, I offer a straight up reward, and a joint purpose- you wish to harm the Deskari forces? Strike a blow against Areelu Vorlesh? I can help you there! Your little party is looking for an item... a book... which the witch have lost, and would like to have, but if I get it, it will raise my status, and will harm hers, and I could drive their forces away. I can help you find the book, and bypass it's guardians, and all you need to do is deliver it to me once you pass it's last guardian... Hell, I'll even tell you where the Ivory Sanctum is, so you can come and kill Xanthir Vang, which will please me greatly... What do you say?"

    Andera was not so easily persuaded though "There is a trick, there is always a trick! If you are so strong, how come you haven't passed this guardian?" Jerribeth looked annoyed "It proves especially efficient against my kind... I assume your people will find it easier to bypass". Andera thought "No way. I don't know what this book is, but if you want it, then I sure ain't going to give it to you!"

    Jerribeth grew a bit angry "So you'll rot here for ever? With your friends gone, in the middle of the wasteland?" She then seemed to think. "Very well, if no the book, then my sister... a succubus who has erred of her ways. I believe she may seek you. Find her, and alert me, and I will come to del with her personally. She is "a wretched demon" as you say, surely life of a lowly demon is worth your freedom?"

    Andera was skeptic "How will you even know?" Jerribeth pulled out a couple of scrolls "I will enchant you with quest spell, to ensure your cooperation, and a small item you could break to alert me and allow me to scan your location better. That is all I require."

    Andera thought a bit more. "Sorry, but no deal." Jerribeth grew more tense "What is it you want Andera? I can offer you a wish. Free of charge, no complications, no trickery, no strings. As long as it doesn't hurt me... You want power? Money? You want... Julian? She is comely and beautiful, isn't she? I can have her want you, desire you, love you. (Her player goes "Hey!" than thinking about it "Might be interesting")

    Andera laughed "Thanks, but no thanks. I swore- no more demon dealings! I will only regret it later." Jerribeth' jade eyes narrowed. "Very well, stay here and rot for a few days more and than we'll see!" And with that, she teleported away.

    DM design- The Jerribeth encounter
    I wnted to give Andera's player a bit of play time, since he was out in the fight with the corrupted tree. It also served to showcase Jerribeth bit more, and the friction between Baphomet nd Deskari.

    3rd dream of Arulashee

    A bit later, Andera dreamed of the succubi Arulashee again. This time the scene altered between the prayer room in the temple of welcome night, and the holding cell in Drezen, with the prayers written on those walls glowing in silver. "Words have power. They can either set you free, or point you in the right direction at least" said Arulashee as her hand trailed over the words.

    She looked at Andera with her red eyes. "In my prayers I have heard you spoke words as well, shown others freedom as well, others thought to be beyond hope, beyond redemption. What have you seen in them?"

    Andera thought. "Their evil is not core corrupted evil. It is a sort of naivete, something they were taught, but which they didn't learn anything else. A bit like kids really. It is hard for them to unlearn their old ways, and learn new ones."

    Arulashee looked t him intently "At what would you see in me?" Andera responded "You too have made change." Arulshee turned from him "Have I? I tried to do good, but does it justify the horrors I have done before? I m not like those... children... I have chosen evil, and am solely responsible for the corruption or death of hundreds, if not more people and souls... It is... so hard..."

    Andera responded "Every battle is it's own battle, every choice stands on it's own. If you do good, that in itself will change the future." She looked at him quizzingly "You have faith in me?" He responded quickly "I do. If for the sole reason that your sister wants you dead, you must be a great force for good." She looked t him oddly "What strange... recommendation. But, I have been tempted so many times, have gone back on some times as well" Andera tried to comfort her "You have gone so well..." But she interrupted him, frustrated, angry "Done well? I've been fighting this for two decades? This doesn't seem to end! For how long?!" Andera responded with his hand on her shoulder "I have seen a paladin turn his ways to the utmost of evil. If this can be done one way, then it can be done in the other as well"

    She seemed gratified by this, looking at him. They were again in her tower, with the silvery bell above, who struck again, and the words of protection on the walls shimmered and faded. "She is coming close to succeeding, she is..." But the dream broke.

    Day 36- Into the site of the Lost Expedition

    "Today Chooga is goign to be great?"
    "Great and powerful Chooga will be!"
    "Now Chooga, touch the chains, and change places with this mortal, whom Jerribeth favors, and you will live forever!"
    "I'm a demon, I allready leave forever?"
    "Power! Great power! Don't you trust me?"
    Good enough bluff roll
    "Um, you come back and free Chooga?"
    "Real quick, reaaaalll quick!"
    And so Andera gained his freedom! "Hey, guess who gave me a visit?"
    Sena went to the vrock. "You are SUCH an idiot!" and turned away.
    Teleport back to the site of the lost expedition.
    "Um, so Chooga wait here for you to come back? Hello?"

    DM design- releasing Andera
    I thought the party went through enough trouble and it made sense enough to work. I might have played it less... silly with Chooga... but the experience have exhausted itself, and Julian had quite fun with it. I always envisioned the vrocks as high end dumb brutes of demon kind, so it kind of fitted.
    Plus, Julian has very high social skills, as will become apparent near the end of the session. All in all, quite good fun.

    Back at the site of the expedition, the party exchanges experiences. They wish to explore the relation between Jerribeth and Arulashee more, but first this place. With the half demons they fought, the party think there might be a key to Mad dog and Julain's situation deep inside.

    J: "So what do we do about the tree?"
    MD: "We crush tree!"
    S: "Maybe we should try talking to it before? It didn't seem hostile at the end, mybe we cn learn of this guardian they mentioned?"

    So the party goes to the tree (They smash a few more plant- zombies on the way), and meet wit hthe corrupted Hamadryad in the tree.
    HD: "Who are you? What do you seek here?"
    J: "We... came to put right what was wrong."
    HD: "First were the druids, then came Opon, (There was a slight twinge of pain here) making us guard it, then the crusaders, also wishing to make things right... and last the demoness, with her minions and powers, all unsuccessful. But it changes all, twists all. Why would you be any different?"
    J: "We are not like the others, we have more power, more ability to do what must be done. What is guarded inside?"
    HD: "You come and do not know? It is the key, the change, the impossible, the Paradox." (The party was confused at this, which was sort of the point)
    J: "They all seek it, but it changes them, we can handle it. Please lt us through.
    HD: "No! I gave my word, a promise! Opon, Opon my love. Only to those who are worthy. This place hides it from the witch. If she sees it- the world would end!"
    J: "We are also enemies of the witch, and seek to oppose her, to undo what she has done here, restore you, restore Sarkori. Let us gain what we need to change it back!" (The player was guessing quite nicely through all of this)
    HD: "No! The witch is strong, is powerful! Many before you came, l succumbed, succumbed, it my not be revealed, not yet, not yet..."
    J: "We are no mere mortals, and we have defeated the witch and her minions many times. We are no mere mortals, bestowed with the power of the gods, we re the only hope!"
    The Hamadryad hesitated "My love, Opon, I made you a promise..."
    J: "Think, what would Opon do if he saw all of this? If a chance to turn it back, to defeat Vorlesh was given? We re that chance!"

    And the Hamadryad relented, and some of it's branches and bark moved side to reveal a stairway of natural steps going down below. "The waters will not stop you... Beware of the demoness' minions, they have gotten far inside, and re trying to undo the guardian."
    Andera rose: "What IS the guardian?"
    HD: "Something they tried to bring to gain access, which was not as they expected...

    First halls and three broken seals

    The steps go down bout 100 feet. They don't keep quiet, and the two sentry templars of Baphomet sound a horn. The battle is laughably short and ridiculous, with only Md dog hit bit by a glaive. (He needs to get his AC up).

    They find themselves in what appeared to be lodgings of the pst inhabitants of the place. They find markings of the Sarkori, of Iomedae's templars, and recently of demonic inhabitants. They decide not to explore the lodgings, as that will tke time, but to move on. But before that Sena raises John's spirit (I allow this with the use of "Speak with the dead")
    S: "John, I think we have found were you were, is this the place?"
    J: "Yes, yes it is. Were McCaine sought something down below, along with the mage Xan."
    S: "What happened here?"
    J: "They weren't able to get to... whatever it was. pardon me, but I was a mere soldier then. We resorted to summoning a celestial, Lady McCaine performed the ceremony, yet it did not go as planned. Soon after, well, you saw- madness, demonic possessions, the entire expedition went up in flame. Sorry, I can help you no more..."
    S: "Thank you John. Are your restful in the afterlife?"
    J: "That I am my child, that I am..."

    the party fidn a sort of a door/ seal, but broken off. They notice tracks that heavy things were carried and dragged on the floor through here. Andera finds some metal scraps "Brass? Why?" but they don't know.

    As they descend they come to three rooms, one after the other. The first has big stone pillars and crevices, with water flooding the floor but not spilling into the gaps, due to some druidic runes. The party is cautious, but traverses this place with no problem. Next they reach a long twisting tunnels with runes of air and fire, and again they manage to go through unharmed, the runes disabled or broken. Last there is a room with a lot of fungi and animal skeletons, but all at rest. The party realizes these are past defenses that have been broken.

    Room of horror

    Deep below, as they follow the signs of dragged materials, the party come to a large room, with a summoning circle near it's end. They recognize it from John's visions. As Sena and Mad dog approach to explore, something twists inside the room and monstrosities appear!

    Power of darkness
    (Again, a general battle music, haven't got time to prepare something more specific)

    In front of them appeared a mass of teeth, eyes nd flesh- a lesser gibbering orb! To their sides appeared two writhing changing floating masses sprouting teeth and tentacles (Chaos beasts) battle was joined!

    The party sves vs. the gibbering, but Sena and Md dog each get hit by 3 rays. Mad dog is wounded, and Sena's Ariwalk is dispelled. Julian advances with mirror images, and Andera hears something from behind, and sees a bodak emerging from the shadows, and flees from it inside. "We got some kind of death gaze undead behind!"

    Sena and Mad dog face the chaos bests (Though they do not know what they are yet). A power Sen got from the trickery domain enables him to teleport a short distance when they miss him, so he evades most attacks. Mad dog crits... only to find that they re immune to crits...

    The party is surrounded. Julian quickly casts a wall of ice where the bodak came from, effectively neutralizing it from the fight. The gibbering orb keeps shooting rays and affecting the party, but they get much more alarmed by the chos beasts when one hits Mad dog and he melts into blob of Jelly, all of his equipment falling down. (Party goes: "WTF?") Andera keeps along a solid hitting for low damage and being invisible. His steady attacks keep on puling up, but slowly.

    Julian and Sena re the two remaining targets. Julian tries to keep the Gibbering orb neutralized as well with walls of ice, and hold monster spells, while Sena tries desperately to reverse Mad dog condition. He succeeds once, twice, but each time the barbarian get hit gain by the chaos beasts and reverts to Jelly. He loses more and more wisdom...

    The party starts to worry of a TPK. They her sort of distant echo- "The improbable, the impossible, made real..."

    Mad dog asserts control over his form, (naked and... um... dangling) and rushes to grab his sword, standing near the gibbering orb. Meanwhile Andera kills a beasts that has taken out Julian's last remaining image, and she returns control of his form to Mad dog. Sena battles the other one.

    The Gibbering orb grabs at Mad dog, but the barbarian shakes it off and starts cutting big swaths of meat, splattering eyes and teeth all across the room. Sen uses flame strikes, and Julian as well doesn't skimp on spells, till at the end they get the weird things dead and gone. (With the Bodak still hammering at the back). The room reverts back to how it was. Mad dog is furious, but the rest just tell him to hurry and get dressed, and to continue. They DID NOT like this surprise.

    Spoiler: Room of horrors
    I wanted to have the party face something they re not ideally suited for, and which can be quite terrifying, which has worked quite nicely! It did feel like a terror experience for them, mostly due to not knowing the monsters (No appropriate knowledge skills), them being immune to crits and sneak attack, and the chaos beasts frightening power. They are used to rely on Mad dog.

    I used the XP from the lost expedition site in the module, along with a bit more I added myself.

    The fallen fane- Who's your golem?

    The party reached big cave. There was a big gap in the middle, with three stone arches (With debris) crossing it. On the other side were 6 templars of Baphomet, along with the eidolon of Zandera- a twisted beast of 8 legs, wings, bite and claws (I'll call it Sven), and a big brass golem in the shape of Baphomet. The party rightly assumed that this was a golem! Zandera herself ws invisible, upon hearing the party coming close. Battle was joined!

    I was using the stats given in the file by Scorpion, which added the golem as the main antagonist here, and it sure proved to be!

    Spoiler: Fallen fane battle

    Julian starts with communal stone skin (She uses blood money for this. The player has been witing for this since character creation! ) And Sena opened with confusion (Through trickery) that affected Sven and 3 templars, basically taking them out of the fight, or having them hitting each other.

    Andera moves unseen towards the other platform, while Zandera treis to dispel Sen'a confusion and fails. It is then the Golem's turn, as it "air walk" charges at Julian from across the room, in immense speed! He hits her hard, and the wound seems to fester (Cursed wound) The party is... worried.

    Mad dog attacks the golem, and damages it, only to see it fixing itself, and having a second turn! It attacks 4 times, Julian and Mad dog, wounding both greatly, nearly dropping Julian. They shift their attention completely to it now!

    "Who's next?"
    "Um, Andrew?"

    But Julian's player is smart one, and he finds a spell called Apparent Master, and takes control of the golem! I debate shortly of whether the golem is supposed to be immune to that spell (With it being immune to all spells with SR), but the spell seems so specific to take control of golems, that I allow it.

    Julian takes control of the golem! Sena tries to heal, and finds out the affects of the cursed wound on BOTH Mad dog and Julian, only some of the healing passes. "We need to get rid of it's real master and quick!" Shouts Julian. Andera, on the other side of the chasm, tries to find Zandera amongst the confused templars and Sven.

    Zandera shouts and tries to control the golem, but Julian barely manages to control it, and shouts "Kill your former master!" It comes ot her nd hits her nicely!. Md dog stays to guard Julian and Sen, and in the meantime kills the templrs that came close enough, Andera comes close to Zandera, and finds her on the next round, when she... gains control of the golem. Back it flies to the party.. and this time it focuses all attacks on Julian, taking down her images, and hitting her again (She was healed by Sena in the meantime, who curses again at the cursed wound he just healed).

    Julian gains control of it again! But this was her last mythic point... Sena casts silence on zandera location, but she moves outside of the are and gain regain control of the golem. (mad dog's player was rolling for her. The rest of the party goes "You really want to kill us all, don't you?") The golem comes between Sen and Julian on one side, and Mad dog on the other. Too bad, since Mad dog has wardstone fragment, but he misses throwing it to her (rolls a 1) and it falls on his side. This time when the golem hits Julian, it drops her to negatives, and hits mad dog severely as well.

    "Ohhhhhh craaaaaappp!"

    But Sen thinks quickly, and uses it's Master's Illusion power to cast a veil on themselves, making Julian appear ded, and them both as templars! I check under the constructs' entry, and they re affected by glammers! The golem think it's job is done, and he flies back towards the start point...
    Zandera is trying to battle Andera (Both have improved invisibility), and deal with the strange golem, plus the confused templars and Sven. It buys the party enough time to heal, and get the wardstone fragment. Julian uses it, and comes back to with 2 mythic power.

    She then takes control of the golem, just as Andera manages to kill Zandera! The battle is then mopped up quickly, but with one big question hanging- what to do with the baphomet golem?

    DM design- the fallen fane
    This takes directly from the encounter by the same name. I used Scorpion's stats here. The golem my have been bit... too much, though I still think Mad dog could have hit him nicely had he even tried... but the battle proved more amusing as it is. The golem was used to try and corrupt the guardian next on, with powerful unhallow effect tied to it.

    XP 19,200
    Unique clay golem (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary; Pathfinder RPG Mythic Adventures 224)
    N Large construct
    Init +20/+0, dual initiative; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see invisibility, low-light vision; Perception +0
    AC 32, touch 16, flat-footed 24 (+7 dodge, +16 natural, –1 size)
    hp 170 (13d10+40); fast healing 20
    Fort +4, Ref +9, Will +4; evasion
    DR 10/adamantine, epic and bludgeoning; Immune construct traits, magic
    Speed 90 ft., air walk
    Melee glaive +26/+26/+21/+16 (2d10+12/x3 plus cursed wound)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks glaive, mythic haste
    Str 24, Dex 10, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
    Base Atk +13; CMB +21; CMD 31
    Feats Power Attack (-4/+12)B
    SQ magic enhancement
    Cursed Wound (Ex)
    The damage a clay golem deals doesn't heal naturally and resists magical healing. A character attempting to use magical healing on a creature damaged by a clay golem must succeed on a DC 26 caster level check, or the healing has no effect on the injured creature.
    Glaive (Su)
    The statue of Baphomet is sculpted wielding a glaive made of clay, resembling Aizerghaul. It has a +2 enhancement bonus and counts as epic and evil for the purpose of applying damage reduction.
    Mythic Haste (Su)
    The statue of Baphomet is supernaturally fast, and is always considered to be under the effects of a mythic haste spell, but instead of the usual bonuses, it gets a +5 bonus to its attack rolls, and a +5 dodge bonus to its AC and Reflex saves.
    Immunity to Magic (Ex)
    A clay golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
    • A mythic move earth spell drives the golem back 120 feet and deals 3d12 points of damage to it (no save).
    • A mythic disintegrate spell slows the golem (as the slow spell) for 1d6 rounds and deals 1d12 points of damage (no save).
    • A mythic earthquake spell cast directly at a clay golem stops it from moving on its next turn and deals 5d10 points of damage (no save).
    • Any magical attack against a clay golem that deals acid damage heals 1 point of damage for every 3 points of damage it would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. A clay golem gets no saving throw against magical attacks that deal acid damage.
    Magic Enhancement (Su)
    The statue of Baphomet is under the effect of air walk and see invisibility. These effects cannot be dispelled.

    Aftermath and leveling up!
    In the battle, in his attempts to battle Zandera, Andera went after her a bit to the room beyond, and felt it is strange, impossible, bizarre. The party was weary of continuing on, but they well understood that Jerribeth sent these cultists, and if they delay too long, she might arrive. As to the golem:
    A: "Maybe we should control it? It can sure help us a lot?"
    S: "You really like doing deals with demons don't you? What if it changes side or goes berserk in the middle?"
    J: "It was made by Baphomet cultists, for Baphomet. I say we try and deactivate it. Besides, we allready got a mindless golem who goes all crazy on us."
    Mad dog nodded affirmatively.
    And with a series of a few on-the-spot-skills they indeed deactivate it, while Sena rested for n hour and regained his powers.

    The party also leveled to level 11. This caught some by surprise, we rarely ply t such levels, and it's a it weird for us ll, especially ll of the new spells. The party hadn't fully planned on what to take in this level, so that will be in the next session. (Will be in the next post)

    With that partly settled, they decided to head on, to the last room, to Paradox.

    Guardian of Paradox

    The next room was a small one, and held but one creature, and one item. The item was a strange looking book at the far wall, made out of papers, papyrus, bark, lead sheets, leves and stones, a jumbled up collection of papers, as to the creature:

    The beautiful strange creature seemed angelic, but as the party grew close, they also felt, more than saw, that it was also demonic, and devilish, and... none of the above... Julian spoke "Paradox". The being opened it's eyes. "I am it's guardian, of what is improbable, impossible, made real... nd who re you, to seek Paradox?"
    J: "We are the heroes who seek to close the worldwound, reclaim the land that was!"
    This seemed the wrong answer "I was used to open the worldwound, half way. The witch Areelu Vorlesh used us to join the worlds, partly. This is Paradox, why would I wish to undo it? Why would I care for heroes?"
    A: "Tell us of the witch"
    P: "She sought to end the world, to bring the two worlds together, and she almost succeeded, were it not for the one who stole me, hid me, so I will not be used again. Yet so many seek to use me, and none understand. Why are you worthy of Paradox?"
    J: "We are heroes of exceptional power, we have the power of the gods in us!"
    P: "And so have so many others. This is not pradox, this is ordinary. We are a compilation to the works of countless mages and arcansits, seeking to make be what cannot be, join realities, join worlds. What does it matter to me, your desire to save the world?"
    Andera was still suspicious: "You sid she opened it half way. What happens if we try to close it?"
    The being looked at him, with eyes of depths unimaginable "You could either close the rift, or if you fail- open it entirely. All end outcomes are made... possible from the impossible."
    Julain tried a different knack "Look in us. We have been affected by your power, me and the one beside me, we are part demons"
    It looked inside. "Yes, the demoness and her limited understanding of joining. You are children of paradox indeed, but are you progenitors of it s well, servants? You both re a consequence, not a cause."

    The party was a bit t a loss here They prepared for a fight, but thinking that the golem and the rest and Jerribeth herself weren't able to get by it, this did not look promising...
    Sen became frustrated: "Why do you stop us? We will do what needs to be done! We shall pay the price! We will see this thing to this end!"
    The being looked calmly at him: "And why should it matter to me?"
    Julain got mad, and tried to move forward "We shall just take it!" But quick as an arrow, a sword rose, very sharp, at her chest. "Julian Bearstorm, you have not yet give me a reason to entrust myself to you."
    "I seek revenge!" She seethed.
    "And why should I care?" replied the angel/ demon/ devil.
    "I feel... attuned to this book. I feel I can understand so much by it..."
    "You seek understanding?" Asked the being.
    Suddenly something dawned in Julian. "Yes, I seek understanding of Paradox. Of the gods' power. I seek to make the impossible... possible. look into my mind and you shall see."
    "You seek to hold paradox?"
    "I seek to BECOME paradox!"
    (The party was slightly confused at this. Julian seeks to gain divine status, but not be connected to any god. We understood she aims to use the book to do just that!)

    After a very good diplomacy roll (rolled a 20!) and a very good deal (forwarding the goals of Paradox) Julain succeeded! The being let her pass. "Just know, that when you take me out of here, there is no turning back. For whatever the outcoem will be, it will come to some sort of and end. One you might like, or not..."

    Julian went and took the Lexicon of Paradox. The party achieved a mythic trial, and gained a mythic tier!

    I was very tired nd unfocused by this time, and messed a bit the end of this encounter (Rewards and the like) so we decided to reply these 5 minutes again on the next session.

    DM design- guardian of paradox and the lost expedition
    Lets face it- ll of the small encounter locations (Barring perhaps Scorsizor) are quite laughable and don't pose even a minimal challenge. So I decided to group some of them into something that will close up most of the characters campaign trait stories (More on that in the next session), and will pose a more interesting challenge, while also providing some more info of the general story, and tying a few loose ends up. I think that all in all this went well, though if I hd the time to sit down and plan it more, perhaps it would have been better.

    As to the Guardian of Paradox encounter- it will close a few more loose ends (next session), but it is not a "specific answer" puzzle. It was meant to be entirely open ended, and otherworldly (The music hit GREAT here!" I think that was achieved. It is the intelligence of the book, which wanted to do wht it's purpose is- make the impossible possible. I was willing to let the party suggest different things and go with whatever seemed plausible. Julian surprised me here, I thought this might come later, but it ws a good arguing point- her wanting to wrest divine power from the gods, so we went along with it.

    Battle was possible with this creature, but it would have been a very difficult battle indeed, and a very confusing one, though not impossible.

    Each party member's XP: 167,500 Level 11, tier 4!

    We ended the session here. Quite tired and beat, but in good way. The party have made a major accomplishment. They felt that the horror room battle and the golem battle were really tough. Tell the truth, I expected the party to arrive here with Arulashee (She knew where the expedition was, and could lead them here), so this may account for some of the difficulty, but the golem was quite... strong as well.

    Arulashee's redoubt remain, as does the Ivory Sanctum, and fixing relations in Drezen... Not to mention- what will the party do with the Lexicon of Paradox? Next session is but week and half away (on the 4/4), so at least there is only a short wait. I hope to update the current character sheets status (level 11, tier 4) by the weekend.

    I hope you're enjoying yourself! Feel free to comment.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-03-26 at 12:30 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!

  8. - Top - End - #158
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Mississipii, USA

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

    Sounds like an exciting session! :)

    Well after a few more delays, looks like my group will finally get their second session today which should be interesting, given what I saw from them the first time around. Assuming no more cancellations, I'll give you a brief summary in the next few days. Again, thank you for writing this up, it has really helped my planning.

  9. - Top - End - #159
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Hey Yuul, good luck with your game!

    I have been having some gripes with the AP recently. Some big issues that trouble me:

    1) While Andera's and Mad dog's players are content to just go on with killing stuff, overcoming obstacles, and so on, both Julian and Sena's player wish to explore some other themes, mainly the influence on Drezen and the war, creating "The Sleepless eye", Sena's focus on revenge and transformation into something else, exploring divinity through "Divine Source" and a few others. But there are two problems with this:
    - Once Drezen was won, there is little to no more dealing with it. More so, the 4th and 5th module take the party to other planes, thus entirely removing any meaningful interaction with the forces back home. Which makes exploring most of what they wish to do in the game... highly problematic. Some of Sena's transformation I can deal with in the adventure, but most of other things need a steady base where the party interact with, affect, and that goes through changes...
    - The adventure moves at a VERY high speed! Their mythic abilities hastens the campaign in two ways: First, they enable them to do much more, faster, better. Secondly and more to the point, they are considered more powerful, and thus they need tougher challanges, which grant them more XP then expected, which makes them level faster, gain more mythic tiers, and so on... They are SPEEDING through the levels. (In game terms), so this is also quite... problematic.

    2) Interaction with NPCs, and tagging them along: Due to the mythical abilities, and mythical challenges, the NPCs don't stand a slight chance of being useful while tagging with the party. Some of the players voiced that it would be interesting to take them along, but that they would likely die on the first few rounds of battle, or would require the party to keep saving them. I hope that Arulashee's case will be different (She is mythic, and high level) and possibly Queen Galfrey (Which I plan to upgrade a bit with the Herald effects in the 5th module). But all the others- Arabeth, Anevia, Aravash... they are lost to the party by now as companions. The 1st and 2nd module enables more interaction, but from the 3rd onwards, the PC are REALLY a set apart class...

    3) High level play and many abilities: As I mentioned, we have rarely played at such levels. (2 times only I think), and that was without mythic abilities. In the last session we were constantly checking upon all of the new spells the two casters kept throwing, and Mad dog kept trying to calculate his damage with what bonuses are relevant, what not, and so on. And I started losing some track of enemies abilities since about Staunton Vhane. Here and there I forget a defense, an action, an ability or such... And this was only at 10th level/ tier 3. I am somewhat worried at how much more complicated will the game become as we level and power up. Oh well, I guess we'll play and see...

    Just wanted to share some frustrations, nothing else.

    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 - #160
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Sorry for the long delay in posting! I was as swamped as an Atlantean cursing the gods.
    Our last session was fairly short by our standards, about 7.5 hours total, but still quite a lot of fun. I added the leveling up table and comments in a spoiler after the end to the Paradox encounter, since some of the choices were affected by it. Hope you enjoy!

    Session 18- Paradox, trip to Drezen, Arulashee's redoubt

    Back at the room of Paradox...

    Julian took the Lexicon of Paradox, feeling it's strange unfathomable energies. Behind her, the part angel, part demon, part devil, all combined and none of the above approached Sen and Andera. He put a hand on each, they were close, yet far apart, and so was it.

    "You two are set apart, yet linked. For when the crusaders summoned this vessel, and when the minor demoness sought to possess it, Paradox made the impossible possible- It made an exchange of essences- part of mine, for part of the demoness sister (The party: "Arulashee!") Thus we are both creatures that cannot be, yet are. But I gave part of my essence to another..."

    The figure started to... unravel, as if unseen strings were slowly pulling out of it, making it less and less... in existence.

    Paradox turned to Sena: "You, child of of crusaders, child of crusaders' foolish friend, adopted once, adopted twice, child of many parents... I add one more to your line, for I see in you my essence of long ago..."

    It turned to Andera: "And you, who were saved by my twin, sister in essence... She has worked long to spread my gift onwards, and so have you, upon others of her kind..."

    It pressed it's hands on their backs "To you both, I give the rest of my essence, do with it as you will." And a surge of energy struck them both, making them gasp. It turned to Andera and tore a feather out of it's own wing "Give this to my twin, it may help her fully become, or end, as I have."

    The frayed, translucent, unraveling figure turned to Mad dog and Julian. "The demonesss sought to control Paradox, but she gained only a misunderstanding of it. She has affected you both with her misguided ignorance, but that will not do to my carriers. I tire of it..." It raised a transparent hand "A slight change, pull, twist, and the power is gone. An effect will remain, a sort of an... essence scar, if you will. The little demoness will have no direct power over you, but know that she has learned to evoke the basic demon in all mortals. The scar will remain, do with it as you will." With that the curse on Julian and Mad dog was undone, though Mad dog retained some demonic features on his body (Cosmetics only), and Julian still felt some of the succubi self inside.

    The almost gone Guardian of Paradox, now barely seen, but a face remaining spoke to them all.
    "Julian Bearstorm, who seeks to understand Paradox,
    Senatef Aberdeen, who is becoming Paradox,
    Mad dog and Andrea, who in your way have touched, and my spread Paradox,
    Listen to me! I am coming out of hiding. My purpose will be done. By you, or by the witch, who will undoubtfully seek me, it matters not. There is no going back!"
    And with that, it faded...

    There were a few other treasures there, (I used combinations from the encounters made to make the dungeon), but most notably were the book itself, which Julian took, and the Sword of the guardian- Aa blade of strangely indiscernible shape. Sena took it, and it changed shape, matter and essence with a thought. Sena wielded it pleased, entranced, as it changed shape to a holy scimitar.

    The party also all felt stronger, as it some of their inner conflict was resolved.

    DM design- rewards of Paradox
    The party just gained the improved campiagn traits! In truth, Julian nd Mad dog had some work up till now, but Sena's story and Andera's... less so... I plnned on having Sena sense the guardian from afar through out the module, but forgot entirely about it. I also planned on Andera gaining his improved trait when rescuing Arulashee, but I also imagined them saving her before getting to the Lost Expedition. I didn't want him to feel left out. This seemed like a mjor point in the campaign, so I decided to just hand it all here.

    Way does the book dampen mythic power? I put it to liken it more to the Suture in the sixth module, and to give it a feel of something of mythic power indeed.

    The sword of Paradox:
    - At it's base, it's a 1 handed +2 blade (Slashing or piercing). Other than that it can be modified quite radically. The wielder, using a swift action, can change any or or of the following:
    - Type of weapon, as long as it stays a 1 handed blade (So it can be a dagger, long sword, rapier nd so on)
    - Material the weapon is made of (Adamantine, silver, cold iron and so on)
    - Alignment of the weapon (So it can be considered good, chaotic, evil and so on)
    - Any combination of magical abilities that add up to +2, on top of the weapon's initial +2 which cannot be changed. (So flaming and keen, holy, and so on) If this gives the weapon an alignment opposed to that made above, both stick. Hey, Paradox. (So it can be a holy evil sword)
    - The Sword of Paradox is considered Epic for the purposes of bypassing DR.

    I think it's nifty, but not too powerful. I assumed either Andera or Sena would take it, as a unique kind of weapon. Sena took it, and is currently using it as a +2 cold iron holy sword.

    Julian however is quite worried about the Guardian's last warning, that Areelu will surely seek it. They understood it as quite imminent! (Sometimes the players take your words in unexpected ways. I meant it as a general warning that she'll be interested. They knew that Jerribeth wanted to outsmart Areelu Vorlesh, but didn't come to the conclusion that Jerribeth have kept this a secret.) Julian spoke to them "Let get out of here, before our Nemesis comes to find us." The party cast mislead to make the room as is, and Julian casts nondetection on the tome.
    Sena, still holding the sword, became fascinated with the book. "Give me the tome Julian" he asks in a bit of a faraway voice. She hesitates, but give it to him. Sena then seems withdrawn, as if speaking to some inner vision. The party became worried after about a minute, and Julian asked. "Give me the tome back Sena!" This broke him from his reverie, and he handed the book back, with a strange look of peace on his face. As he did so, his aura (The clerical aura of good) vanished... to be replaced with... nothing.

    Julian was worried: "Are you ok?"
    Sean replied with a smile: "I'm fine, Just know this- The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true."
    The party exchanged glances "Are you SURE you're ok?" Sena however waved it off.

    Sena's player addition- Sena's vision
    (The player sent it to all of us after the session. He wanted to play it wit hthe rest not knowing what vision he had in the meeting, but informed us all later on. Now... When I asked for some clarification of the vision (Which is wholly his), he explained it's a bit of a riddle,a turning point for Sena and how he will act from now. Suffice to say that he sees himself as... a sort of aside/ above/ away/ not part of the direct conflict, which will reflect in his choice of path ability- Beyond Morality.

    The player is a lawyer, and loves playign with words, punctuation and so on to give different meanings. He left some punctuation off, to give alternate meanings. I present this here as he sent it to me. Tell the truth, I'm not fully sure where he is taking this, but as long as he and the group are having fun, it's all good! He warned me that some parts my red a bit... off...

    Sena held the book and felt it's power, Thinking to himself: She has given it to me freely. I do not deny that my heart had greatly desired this. Or I will destroy all or enslaved them all – No matter which way I choose my revenge will be complete either way. What have become of me?

    Image: You really want to know the truth?

    Sena: Who’s there?

    Image: I am who I always been – sees Sena himself. You both are a dying people… Obsessed with each other's death until death is all we can see and all we deserve. The first started it, and will you continue until there are no more of you both. If both sides are dead, no one will care which side deserves the blame. It no longer matters who started it. It only matters who is suffering. Your hate blinded you and you cannot see the battle for what it is, and the Quest stands upon the edge of a knife, stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. But you have the opportunity, here and now, to choose… the image projects it’s self into sena

    Andera examined the guardian's feather, and was suddenly washed in a surge of memories, of fighting against waves after waves of endless demons, and suddenly blinded, but with a flash he came back. A voice suddenly came from his sword, spiteful, vengeful, and belligerent. "I'm awake again! I smell demons! Who holds me? Andera of the Blackflame order? Goooood! Let us spill some more demons blood!"
    Andera, perplexed, asked his sword: "Who are you old fighting spirit?"
    The sword replied, almost laughing mischievously. "Me? I'm Chandi! Slayer of demons!" (The player told me the name means "silver" or "silvered" in Hindi)

    Julian looked at Sena, then Andera and his demon blood seeking sword, then at Sena, and Andera. "Any more surprises?" When she felt the power from meeting Paradox and gaining the Lexicon wash over her, and suffuses her headband, that she worked on for some time now, with mythic power. "Brilliance" She named it in her mind.

    Mad dog spoke: "Can we go now?"
    J: "Yes but where? I need to Study this tome, we need to head back to Drezen."
    A: "We cannot take it there! Jerribeth really wants this, she will burn the place!"
    MD: "And she surely has spies in Drezen. She WILL know we are there."
    Julian thinks: "We can teleport to my house, no one is there. No one needs to know we got back!"
    The party discusses some stuff, and end up deciding that Julian and Mad dog will teleport to Julian's house, and Sena will use word of recall to get back to his temple with Andera and use illusions and such to go and equip themselves in the town.

    Before teleporting, Sena cast shield other on Julian "You are the student of Paradox, and I shall be your protector." And with that done, they teleported.

    Level 11/ Tier 4 upgrades (Skip ahead if not interested)

    A quick summary:
    - All characters added the +2 ability bonus to their main abilities.

    - Mad dog took critical focus (To make sure his critical reach home) and Titan's rage- going bigger, and even MORE ability boosts. A monster indeed!

    - Sena now sees himself as sort of becoming paradox, and mostly the guardian of Paradox, which he sees as the group, and mainly Julian. As such he took the universal path ability Beyond Morality (Basically he has no alignment, can use abilities of all alignments with no re precautions, and doesn't suffer from alignment based powers, such as blasphemy, smite good and such). As 11th level feat he took Divine Intervention (To better protect you my dear).

    - Julian took Selective Spell as her feat (The player liked the mythic empowered fireballs, but wants to avoid hitting party members). As a path ability he took the universal path ability of Legendery item, turning his head band "Brilliance" to such. (We worked on it since the Staff of Valor, which I mentioned right at the start of the module). It currently has 3 powers- eternal bond (The player don't want to lose it), Adroit (can use it's power to add +20 to diplomacy), and powerful (2 more uses per day, so 4 total).

    - Andera also opted for a legendary item- Chandi! (An ancient spirit of his order, newly manifested in the sword). It's 3 powers are undetectable (Which means He can't be detected by magic or senses while invisible! intelligence, and spell casting (Can cast "Dimension door" once per day). His 11th level feat is Improved Critical (Wakizashi)

    The table:

    Stat Andera Julian Mad dog Sena
    Race Human Human Half elf Aasimr (human scion)
    Class Ninja 11 (Scout) Sorcerer (Arcana bloodline) 11 Barbarian 11 Cleric of Calistria 11
    Alignment CG CG CG Beyond Morality
    HP 107 125 157 95
    Abilities (Heroic scores) 10, 24, 14, 13 (15 with head band), 10, 16 10, 14, 14 ,14, 10, 25 (29 with headband) 24, 14, 14 (16 with belt), 10, 14, 10 16, 13, 10, 10, 23 (25 with headband), 16
    Traits Chance encounter, group fighter Exposed to awfulness, Arcane temper Stolen Fury, Demon slayer Touched by divinity, eyes and ears of the city
    Regular feats Weapon finesse
    two weapon fighting
    shadow strike
    blind fight
    extra ki
    step up
    follow step
    Improved critical (Wakizashi)
    Eschew materials
    spell penetration (+ greater)
    Expanded arcana (X3)
    metamagic- silent, still, piercing, selective
    Skill focus (Survival)
    power attack
    finishing cleave
    weapon focus (great sword)
    Improved critical (Great sword)
    Critical focus
    Combat casting
    selective channeling
    heavy armor proficiency
    alignment channel (Vs. Chaotic evil)
    Demon hunter
    Divine Interference
    Main skills Stealth, acrobatics, Disable device, diplomacy, bluff, UMD Bluff, diplomacy, intimidate, spellcraft, perception perception, survival, acrobatics Perception, diplomacy, sense motive
    Main magic items Shadow mithral chain shirt +2
    Changi +1 sure strike cold iron wakizashi
    +1 spell storing cold iron wakizashi
    daredevil boots
    headband of intellect
    Brilliance- Headband of charisma +4, wisdom +2
    Lesser rod of empower
    4 spell knowledge pages
    Lexicon of Paradox
    +1 Adamantine great sword
    +2 bane cold iron great sword
    helmet of the fortunate soldier
    long arm braces
    Dwarven belt
    Sword of Paradox
    Head band of wisdom +2
    Mithral full plate pf speed
    Lion Shield +2
    boots of striding and springing
    Special class features: Skirmisher archetype.
    Tricks: Vanishing trick
    sacred sneak attack
    wall climber
    sudden disguise
    bleeding attack
    Green sting scorpion familiar Rage powers: Superstition
    reckless abandon
    witch hunter
    fire resistance
    eater of magic
    Domains: Deception
    Mythic path Trickster Archmage Champion Hierophant
    Path signature ability Surprise attack Wild arcana Sudden attack Inspired spell
    Path ability Defensive move
    Combat trickery
    Defensive move
    Legendary item- Changi:
    spell caster (Dimension door)
    Enduring armor
    Eldritch Breach
    Arcane metamastery 1
    Legendary item- Brilliance:
    Eternal bond
    Adroit (Diplomacy)
    Flash of rage
    burst through
    penetrating damage
    Titan's rage
    Heathen slayer
    Faith's reach
    Enduring spell
    Beyond Morality
    Mythic feat Mythic weapons finesse
    Mythic blind fight
    Spell lore x2 (Mythic spell) Mythic power attack
    mythic improved critical
    Extra mythic power
    extra path ability

    Back at Drezen

    We decided to deal with each couple in their own turn. Sena and Andera first. They thought that the temple will be empty, but it turned out to be occupied.

    The place was packed with some of Sena's followers/ cult. Mongerlfolks, Knights of Sarenrae, and others. "Spirit walker! He has returned!" They exclaimed, excited. Sena, never one to forgo appearances, cast angelic transformation, and white wings spread from his shoulders, and an angelic aura appeared round him. Andera swore under his breath "What about going in inconspicuously?"

    Some of the cult followers have prostrated themselves, but Sena bid them to rise. He looked older, more mature, having gone through an ordeal "My sons and daughters, The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. But this all of the town needs to hear." And with that he flew to nearby window, and flew out of the citadel towards the main square.

    Andera cursed, climbed out and used his disguise power to make him appear like a normal town's folk. Chandi spoke excitedly "What are those Andera? They look like demons, but they feel... better?" Andera whispered back. "Not quite demons, they are trying to improve. It's hard to change old habits, but they are doing their best..."

    As the duo was going towards the main square, we turned to Mad dog and Julian

    Julian's house

    Julian's house was empty, but not untouched. The place has been investigated, turned and checked, thoroughly it seems, though with some respect. Nothing was missing, except the old drained wardstone fragment.

    Julian put mage locks on all windows and doors, and sat down to read, but not before handing Mad dog a broom. He looked at her puzzingly. Julian pushed the broom at him. "What? I don't clean!"

    The main square

    Sena flew majestically towards the main square, in front of Drezen gates, right nearby the Horus Emporium. He set down upon a high stone block. Soldiers rushed to see him, with Bartlet in tow. Sena looked down with glowing eyes. "Well, I see your hospitality have gone down hill since last we met!" Bartlet gave him a worried smile. "Usually the "guests" give more of an announcement. We knew not who or what you were! Why, with the wings, and stuff..." Sen dismissed the spell, returning to look like himself. "Is that better?"

    Andera was watching the crowd however, looking for anyone who might take a special interest in Sena's... High profile arrival. Arabeth came quickly, looking at both relieved and agitated. "Senatef! You have returned! Are you ok? Are the others? Have they returned as well? You hve all left under... disturbing circumstances..."
    S: "Well, after our talk of friendship just the day before, it looked like we didn't hve as much friends as we assumed."
    Ar: "You went away, without us settling the matter, we could not..."
    Sena was brimming with low cold anger: "You gave us no option but to flee. Our first priority was to make sure the safety of Drezen, and for that we had to go away."
    Arbeth was trying to apologize: "We have all made mistakes in this mess, what has transpired here..."
    S: "We all know that it was part of Jerribeth of the Jade's plan to confuse us. And to plant mistrust amongst us. But we need to be united if we wish to fight and win against the demons, against their trickery! For the future, we need to trust each other, even now words are reaching the ears of those infested enemies by spies by lies."
    Arabeth seemed somewhat mollified. "Why have you returned? Have the others?"
    Sena drew his figure up. "I have some news, but they are not for everyone..."

    At this point a mongrelfolk woman, partly in tears, partly enraged stepped forth. "More secrets? Wht about trust? Or are we not worthy of your trust? Like we were not worthy to know of Mad dog the demon, endangering us?!"
    At this Sena grew angrier "You are misleading and you are wrong! Jerribeth has the power to control and convey any one of us. What are you talking about you don't know the forces we are dealing with."
    Lyra, the mongrelfolk woman spoke against Sena "We learned tht you knew of the dnger he posed even before! Aravashnial the mage knew of it, but none of the others! Why have you kept this a secret!? He... he killed my husband... Oh Gerrik..." She broke down crying.
    Sena's anger was partially tempered, his words held some softness, yet were harsh at the same time. He spoke s much to the crowd as he spoke to her: "Everyone here knew the risks. Everybody, I know your pain, I have lost…. my real parents, my adoptive parents, even John, who meant a lot to me. We cannot always tell everyone everything (There were grunts of anger from the crowd) but we did EVERYTHING to lead us to a better future. Especially concerning the mongrelfolk. And if you think you will feel better or that this is what your husband wants, my blood over his…" He drew his dagger, and threw it to the ground in front of her, as he came down, removing a plate of his chest. "Will killing me ease your pain Lyra?" The poor woman shook with sorrow and grief. Sena turned to the crowd. "Alll of you! Do you think that persecuting us will help you? What do you want? You want blood? Let us aall join in killing demons! If not, then kill me! I have nothing more to lose!"

    Sena's performance and speech hit home, and some cheers went for him in the crowd, though there was still some confusion. But he did sway much of the crowd. Arabeth came towards him, speaking more softly "You sure know how to make an entrance!" Sena came to her "Is it this bad?" She gave him a grim look. "The sudden disappearance, after the mess gave a shock to the town. People are unsure what to think..."

    Andera's investigation

    As Sena spoke, Andera made an observation- Aravash who came rushing seem to pause, as if thinking of something, or hearing something, then he turned and walked back, trying to look nonchalant (As much as possible). Andera followed.

    He quickly came upon a trio- Aravash, Qulin and Anevia. "The alarm has went off. Someone is using Sena's speech to sneak into Julian's house!" Anevia looked concerned. "We can't call the guard that will alert whomever is inside! We'll just have to take them ourselves. Ready your spells!"
    Which is when Andera made his appearance. "No need for that, it is Julian."
    Anevia was surprised. "So you all came back! I see why you wouldn't want your presence known though."
    Andera agreed "We are trying to get a sort of n advantage over Jerribeth. We hoped to go in unnoticed, and avoid calling attention. But this may prove problematic now... How have things been in Drezen?"
    Aravash looked troubled. "Trouble. There was some inquiry, and I let out that Mad dog's situation was kept a secret, which was not taken well... There are some forces, those from the people who didn't fight with you, journey with you, who do not fully know who you are, which call for a more thorough investigation. The dwarves especially. Apparently there is some noble amongst them, who claims Drezen to be dwarven fort, and the latest development proving you not knowing how to handle it... He seeks to have trial, according to old dwarf laws, as this is dwarven hold."
    Andera Grimaced. "Anything else?"
    Qulin spoke (Andera noticed no groveling this time, not even a "Master"): "Horus is putting lot of effort into making friends, even supplying some of the other merchants with his guards, and helping the building process at nearly cost expenses..."
    Andera did not like the latest news (The party is quite conflicted about Horus. Some think he may be decent after all, some think he is up to something)
    Anevia asked "So what's now? What is the plan?"
    Andera thought for a moment. "I'm not fully sure. Now that our presence is known, this my change things. If possible, lets play it as if only Sena has returned. We aim to resupply, and achieve another goal, which I cannot tell you about. And then, hopefully fast enough, we leave. How goes the Sleepless Eye?"
    Anevia laughed "You're looking at it's leadership, the three of us. I recruited 5 more so far, and no exact base of operations yet, but we'll come up with something..."
    Andera nodded. "Very well, Lets go on our businesses then."

    DM design- arrival to Drezen
    I didn't expect that. I thought they might be going back to Drezen only after killing Jerribeth. So I improvised the whole lot. The parts about the dwarf noble and Horus just came from one of the many "help me with..." threads I put up. Apparently the party got caught up in some details, like the suggested trial and such. Oh well!

    Town stuff

    Various stuff done in the town:
    - Staunton Vhane's hammer- Heven's Fall was redeemed by the purity forge. However, Mad dog preferred his own weapons, and couldn't sell it. He keeps it s back up weapon for now.
    - Party sold bunch of stuff, and bought some items. Amongst them: Andera bought a belt of bodily perfection, and quite few demon bane arrows. Sena bies scroll of raise dead (They re expecting major trouble).
    - Julian upgraded Brilliance absorbing power from other item she has. Brilliance is currently +4 Cha, Int, +2 Will (I house ruled that legendary items can do so, in order to keep them relevant later on).
    - Julian tried exploring the Lexicon of Paradox, which proved... difficult- we rolled will saves per hour, and it damaged and at times drained her wisdom. However, rolling skill checks and saves seems quite boring. I have an idea for something better which I will discuss in a future post.

    Anevia came for a sneak visit at night. (When all were present in Julian's house)
    Ane: "So what have you all found?"
    J: "Jerribeth had a special influence on me and Mad dog, but we broke it."
    MD: "We did it... paradoxically." (Stig dish!)
    J: "We have more, but it might endanger the entire mission... or can we?"
    S: "NO!"
    And: "If we do it, than Jerribeth will surely find out. We cannot risk that!"
    Julian reluctantly agreed.
    Anevia sighed: "Well, it pains me that you have to keep secrets, but I understand the need for it."
    Julian stops her before she leaves: "We need to discuss this trial... I want you to look into it, see who is the leader, who is pushing to make it happen, and find whatever you can learn about them!"
    Anevi rolled her eyes "I know my job! But from the way things are going in the city, you will need to win the hearts of the people, not just find out who's after you."
    Julisan gave her a warm, yet dangerous smile "Oh, we intend to do just that!"
    They converse about the Sleepless Eye and a few other matters, while Sena goes outside.

    Sena had a few ideas in mind. At first the player thought to raise Lyra's husband. But the others talked him out of it. "Are you mad? Then EVERYONE will come after us, and we can't quite raise them all, can we?" (About 40 people died in Jerribeth "confusing spamming" rampage.) He also has few minor conversations, mostly to keep in touch with contacts. Julian also decides to go into Drezen to see Father Brian, and on the way stops by some soldiers, encouraging them to spread the word. "No more in hiding."

    As Julian came to meet with Brian, he gave her a hug. "Well, I understand you're causing distress amongst the demons!" to Julian's curious inquiry he elaborated "The scouts found a few small bands of tielfing coming near Drezen, but seemingly more curious than harmful. With the death of Scorsizor, the taking of Drezen and stirring up troubles... like you know how, well... It seems there is confusion and power shifts in their ranks. Though we are not yet sure, we captured only low underlings."
    Julian then sought to have Brian talk to the spiritual leaders of the other faiths on their behalf, also inquiring a bit about the gods themselves, for her... particular research.

    Final dream of Arulashee

    As the party slept in Julian's house (Each came in their own magical way, and Sena kept watch, going through his list of targets) Andera dreamed of the succubus again. He was in her tower, with the bell above, and the protective words around. She looked at him, drawing a breath, and then continuing "I will do what I have never done before. I will put my trust in you, Andera. Will you hunt me as well? If so, let be it. I tire of running, and the bell's power will fail soon. My trust, my faith, my soul with you. I hope it is warranted."
    Andera approached her. "Tell me where you are, so I will show you your trust was not misplaced". She then took his hand, and they launched up through the tower into the sky, several kilometers, to see the place from above. Andera saw the plateau where the tower was, and a light in the forest showed him the place.
    A: "And what of the hag, what forces does she have?"
    Ar: "I have destroyed some of her demons, but they are too many. Desna'a bell protects me, but she comes close to breaking the spell!" She turned to him. "Hurry! There is not much time, a few days at most!"
    They were again in the tower, and the words shook round them. "I am coming!" sid Andera, before the dream ended.

    DM design- dreams of Arulashee
    The module suggests one dream which is like the last dream, to enable the party to find Arulashee. I added more for a few reasons:
    - Some build up of the character which they wish to save.
    - To give Andera's player a bit more "spotlight roleplay time" for his character alone. He was only half way interested."

    Day 37- Going to rescue Arulashee!

    Andera informs the party of the dream, and they decide to get to her immediately. I drew the second plateau on the party's map. Unfortunately, the description was not enough for a teleport. They thought to scry on her, but reaaalized that if that was so easy, than she would have been found allready.

    Then Sena's player find the 6th level spell "Wind walk", which can transform the party into sort of semi clouds, and enables them to travel at ludicrous speed. They decided to teleport to Near Scorsizor's lair, and just fly from there!

    The spell calls for white clothes though, so the party got some white garbs for them (Prompting the "Here come Men in White, Galaxy Defenders!" ).

    Suddenly spoke: "You all know it's a trap, right? She suddenly trusts him? Right after we got the book?" But the party decides to risk it. (Damn! That could have been a cool idea! Oh well...) They teleport, turn into semi wind vapors, and start their speedy flight towards the hex with the ruined temple of Desna. Near the place they turn into themselves again, and use tons of spells, and some potions and such to buff themselves up.

    The slaughter

    The party turned to vapors again, and scouted the ruined temple. For those who haven't read it, the place is a ruin, with most of it open to the sky and thus observable from the party. The place has quite a few monsters around CR 10 (A derakni, Hezrou, 2 rift drakes+ incubus 3rd level riders, A Bebilith, and a group of minor opportunists such as Grimsalks and will-o-wisps. Oh, and Jaarunica, the hag, which is hidden under the only fully covered portion. There is also Arulashee's tower, which is protected by a Forbiddance spell, but she isn't supposed to come up till late.

    The party saw it all, except for Jaarunica, the Hezrou (In a well), and the Bebilith (Inside a nest made out of retreivers' bodies. With their semi translucent stte, no one noticed them. Surprise was on the party's side.

    The party decides to try and tackle the Derakni first (They think it may be mythic, like the one they fought before). They appear on the wall, and launch a coordinated attack!

    To Glory, Two steps from hell
    (I didn't have time to prepare specific music for this. I picked something for a valorous attack!)

    Andera jumped unseen, and Changi exclaimed "Bloood!" happily as the blade struck home. Julian shattered the surprised derakni's bone with a spell. Sena, looking like a large, iron skinned glowing angel, wielded the blde of paradox aand hit it from above, And then Mad dog jumped on it, nearly killing it. It then died out of bleed damage (Andera's bleeding attack)

    And the battle started rolling, in a pretty similar manner, with a slaughter of all the demons. The battle is supposed to be a rolling battle, and I indeed played it so, with only Jaarunica delayed a bit to cast some spells.

    andera, still invisible, ran towards the NW Drake (With Chanig whispering: "Soo much demon blood, after such a long time!") Julian halped him by turning the drake itself into a small turtle, with the surprised rider falling down bewildered, but quickly rushing towards the party, but bumping again the invisible Andera.

    The other Drake spitted it's ball of slowing acid, but only damaged the party a bit. It then flew and clashed with the onrushing Sena. The rider managed to even hit Sena bit (Who was surprised. His sky high C means he is almost never hit).

    The Hezrou comes from the well, it's stench itting the party, but Mad dog goes into a titan's rage (Mythic path ability), grows enormously, and rushes over the wall to meet the Hezrou. One ttack, and another with sudden attack, BOTH are confirmed hits, and the battlefield is splattered with Hezrou bits...

    Bebilith comes out, tries to capture Sena with a web (It ws out of range for anything else) nd the Grimslake start to burrow.

    Next round- Andera gives 3 succesful sneak attacks and 4 pieces of incubus rider fall down. Sena was a bit dismayed at this "How can I compete with these two damage output?" (He does round 20-25 with all spells if he goes into melee). "You're not supposed to, you do enough otherwise". Julian fears the bebilith, and so she "hold monster" it, as Mad dog progress towards it. Sena exchnge hits withthe rider and drake.

    On the next round, with the Bebilith still held, Andera grumbles "Wish I could be there..." But Changi whispers "I can take you there!" and moves him by dimension door on top of the Bebilith, where Andra sinkCHangi through it's eye in a beautiful Coup-de-grace!

    As Andera slides off it's carapace Mad dog grumbles "Still only counts as one!"

    Sena then manages to kill the incubus rider, s half the grimslakes come under him, and half near Mad dog and Andera (hey sensed Andera through tremorsense, but knew not where he was). Mad dog starts pest control, squashing ugly worms... Will-o-wisps come and zap various targets, to little effect.

    I decided that Jaarunica comes out now (Nt even having been able to complete casting her preparatory spells) She dispels Sena' Righteous might, and he's a bit bummed that he's no longer super big angel...

    Jarunica yells “Why do you even care about this creature? In life she was filth, and was judged, condemned, and even exalted for her wretchedness. Do you hear me? Judged by your own gods! She seduced and killed hundreds, if not thousands! Why do you care?"
    S: "Because YOU care!"
    J: "We just like to do things our way..."

    I decide that this battle is pretty much over, better have some drama out of it. Arulashee comes out. "You came! You actually came!" She shots at Jaarunica, but all arrows miss.". Jaarunica is beside herself "Heresy! I will put an end to you!"

    Julian is annoyed: "Enough of this!" And uses her rod to cast selective empowered mythic fireball (15d10, leaving the party unaffected. Not bad for blasting!) and kills off the grimslakes, though the will-o-wisps are unaffected. Jarrunica is alsodamaged, but not lot. Sena blasts her with two channel energy, damaging some more. But she cares not, and rushes to Arulshee and confirms!

    Or not? Sena waves his hand "Not on my watch!" and uses divine intervention (A feat) to make Jaarunica reroll with a penalty, missing the succubus.

    Then Mad dog rushes to the witch. crits, confirms twice, and since his multiplier is bigger that means x5 his damage- his roll was 10d6+205...

    I did mention this battle was an utter slaughter, didn't I?

    Chandi was a bit bummed out it didn't make the kill. "Oh... she wasn't demon anyway..."


    Ar: "Andera, you have come as Desna promised!" (I gave the party some description and a pic of her, and included the many symbols of Desnan worship)
    An: "You have not changed since the dreams..."
    J: "Welcome to our team!"
    Ar: "I never thought anyone would risk their lives for me..."
    S: "Any enemy of Jerribeth, is a friend of ours!"
    Julian quickly corrected this: "Not just anyone who opposes Jerribeth, but anyone who opposes evil, such as you."
    Arulashee seemed uncertain "You do not know what I have..." but Julian waved it off "What's in the past is in the past."
    An: "The power of your change, of your repentance, of transformation gave me much inspiration. With the tieflings I led, with Millorn, with others..."
    Arulashee seemed a bit relieved "If you have manged to change them so, maybe so could I?"
    Sena was mesmerized by the symbols of Desna: "Many things are possible, that were not so. You re a demon, yet a follower of Desna, whom she chose. Isn't that itself amazing?"
    Arulashee was a bit perplexed. "Yes, she gave it to me." She didn't catch Sena's drift. She didn't know of Paradox.
    Julian had other pressing matters: "DO you know of the location of the Ivory Sanctum?"
    Arulashee nodded, confused. "Yes, I do. It holds the most powerful servants of Baphomet and Deskari in this region. Why?"
    J: "We must go there. We must end them."
    Arulashee seemed to hesitate: "It is in what's left of the Green Gates forest but... I would go anywhere with you, I cannot repay your debt, but... I fear that demonic presence, especially that of Jerribeth, may be too much for me to handle. I may freeze, or even... worse... the seed of evil is still strong in me, if evoked."
    Julin put a firm, yet comforting hand on her shoulder "We all have to fight our demons. outer demons, inside demons, real ones and metaphorical ones. We all have to fight them."
    Mad dog coughed: "Um, maybe we should get out of this place first? If it's scried upon, we'll have reinforcements soon enough."
    Julian held a hand to Arulashee "Will you come with us?"
    She looked at them, put her hand inside Andera's hand "I trust Andera, and his friends. I will come with you!"
    Andera turned to her: "What is your plan?"
    She looked on resolutely "To continue on my path to redemption, and help you however I can."
    Andera looked at her. "And I shall help you!" (Changi: "We'll stab her in the back afterwards, right? Right?" )
    Mad dog: "Right! So... what's next?"

    Each player's XP: 191,500

    The party discussed some options. Julian player's wantto go back to the city, the rest do not, and they don't know how to deal with Arulashee now. Enough to deal with in the next session, I'm sure.

    I hope you're enjoying, drop a line if you do!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-07-30 at 11:15 AM.

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    Thanks for reading!

  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Right when I think Mad Dog couldn't get any scarier, he goes and takes titan's rage. So now the berserking half-demon warrior who cut a dragon in half with a single swing is also 10 feet tall. Next session he'll probably be breathing fire and have skin made of adamantine.
    Last edited by JohnTheSavage; 2015-04-23 at 05:48 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTheSavage View Post
    Right when I think Mad Dog couldn't get any scarier, he goes and takes titan's rage. So now the berserking half-demon warrior who cut a dragon in half with a single swing is also 10 feet tall. Next session he'll probably be breathing fire and have skin made of adamantine.
    His strikes were that powerful do to critting so well, but he did take improved critical, focus criticial, and mythic improved critical. He very much builds on the savagery.

    Need more chaos beasts!

    But yeah, the entire party is becoming quite powerful- Sena and Julian with their instnt super spells, Sena with his un-hittability, Julian with her super effective disabling spells... Mad dog with massive damage output, and Andera cannot be detected while invisible, and deals serious damage himself.

    I wonder how they would deal against Jerribeth and Xanthir Vang now...

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  13. - Top - End - #163
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Thanks for posting, I waited eagerly.
    How do your group takes Mad Dog's being so powerful? is it OK with them? doesn't he overshadow the rest?
    although I have not been next to the table (sadly :)), it looks like besides Mad dog the rest are rather balanced, you never wrote of exceptional damage from Andera or Sena side, and it looks like Sena's and Julian's spells damage and percentage of success can be considered normal, again, only from what you wrote here.

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thriller View Post
    Thanks for posting, I waited eagerly.
    How do your group takes Mad Dog's being so powerful? is it OK with them? doesn't he overshadow the rest?
    although I have not been next to the table (sadly :)), it looks like besides Mad dog the rest are rather balanced, you never wrote of exceptional damage from Andera or Sena side, and it looks like Sena's and Julian's spells damage and percentage of success can be considered normal, again, only from what you wrote here.
    The main reason that I'm writing up Mad dog's damage output is because this is what the player enjoys, and so does the rest of the group. I write enough of what the rest of the group does (Most of the talking, decision making and such), so I like to give the character some stage time at what he likes. He mostly stays out of main game for the most part, with the player being kinda shy.

    I think they re sort of balanced, though at different things- Sena is the tank, healer and care taker of the team. Julian is the woman with the right tool for the right job, focuses on battlefield control. Andera is super maneuverable, gets where the others can't, and second greatest damage after Mad dog. Though granted, he has come to his element only in the last 2 levels or so. And all of these 3 are good conversationalists (Though Julian seems to be the one with the best skills when push comes to talk... Now with Brilliance able to give her +20 on a skill check 4/ day... well... )

    The entire team, since they've started this module feel like a team of damn super heroes of a sort. They have stormed over most encounters (Some encounters in the Lost Expedition re exceptions). All in all- Big Damn Superheroes! I may need to upgrade things down the road... We'll see...

    Though on the whole we're having quite a lot of fun!

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  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    So time for some in between session planning:
    1) Julian's ascension to divinity: At first I thought to have her roll skill checks and saves s she researches the book. (This is planned for the interlude between the 3rd and 4th module). But that sounds SOOOO boring for such an event! So I've started exploring a more roleplay intense possibility. You can check these two threads:
    Help with designing an unusual experience- Paradoxical divinity
    Help me understand Divinity in Golarion

    2) The negotiations with Nocticula: I am still trying to think of this scene. I already posted a thread or two in my previous posts, but the following pot deals with how to portray such beings as Nocticula. How to play them.
    Roleplaying supernatural beings of great power/ essence/ insight (And-so-on)

    3) New RL changes: I am starting my internship at the first of May, and I still don't know how demanding that will be. On top of that I'm in a new relationship, which goes well, but demands it's own time as well. So I will see how much I can invest in the game itself. Hopefully it won't be too detrimental. We'll see...

    1. Special projects:
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    2. My campaign logs:
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    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
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    Thanks for reading!

  16. - Top - End - #166
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    We played a session about 2 weeks ago, but I was so swamped with RL commitments that I couldn't update till now. It was a short session (By our standards)- about 6.5 hours or so, and comprised mostly of one HUGE battle. You'll see...

    Sena's player, always one full of drama and roleplay wanted to play out a little piece with Arulashee in Drezen, but when he asked the party about them joining in, they preferred he roleplay that bit before the session, so there is a a little roleplay with him alone, solo-style, before the actual session.

    Also, our first fatality! Who died? Read on...

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

    I shall begin with the pre-session solo play with Sena, and his plans for Drezen. Prepare for some nice Drama!

    An invitation for the future.

    To allow Sena to play out his plans for the city, we concluded in party that they'll teleport near the city. As the rest of the party rested after the battle at the redoubt, Sena talked to Arulashee.
    S: "You seem uncomtfortable among us. You don't need to be, you are amongst friends."
    Aru: "It's just... usually crusaders would have attacked and tried to kill me on sight. It takes getting used to not being hunted." She gave a nervous laugh.
    S: "I would like to show you something. Do you trust me?"
    Arulashee hesitated for a few seconds, but then replied. "You are friends with Andera. I trust you."
    Sena extended his hand: "Come with me to the city, I would like to show you what we have accomplished."
    Arulashee moved uncomfortably. "They won't like me there. You are one thing, but most won't give me a chance..."
    S: "I would like you to see what I now see. What I have come to see anew, what you too have helped me see!"
    Aru looked at him curiously. "What is it that you speak of? What do you see?"
    S: "The future... A world where there is a place even for people like you, for people like me, where we are all the same."
    She looked at him perplexed "You see us as the same?"
    Sena smiled at her, a warm, yet slightly sad smile. "You say you have the blood of many on your hands. And what if I said I have the blood of many on mine? Also made as a part of a... deal... a choice... No one here..." He glanced at the other party members "Is exactly as they seem..."

    At this Arulashee looked at him with a new curiosity, but then changed her appearance to that of a comely half elf (I have tons of pics on my lap top for the time I played in PvPs. Comes in handy for on-the-moment-NPCs). "What name would you like me to take for our trip to the city?"
    Sena smiled. "It's not for me to choose... What name shall you choose, for your new future?"
    She seems to think about it. "I shall go by Lash. I think."
    S: "A fine name. For the trip there, you shall be my apprentice".
    With that, Sena cast Word of Recall on them both, into his temple.

    "What do you see?"
    As they appeared in the temple, some of the followers of the Cult of the Spirit Walker" bowed with awe "He has returned again! How may we serve thee?!" Sena tried to have them stop bowing, but to no avail. He whispered to Arulshee "Part of the problem of being a religious icon. I really hate this."

    He avoided the fuss and just took her to the roof. He showed the people and workers of Drezen. "What do you see?"
    Aru looked: "I see much life, much work. There wasn't so much when the demons ruled this place."
    S: "Look deeper, further, what do you see?"
    Aru: "I see regeneration, rebuilding, remaking."
    Sena swept his arm, showing a few mingled groups of tieflings, mongrelfolks, and others. "nd how is that made possible? Nothing is as it seems to be. This is the future, working together for a better world, in cooperation for freedom. We are no longer enemies, we have put aside our differences, to build something greater than ourselves, that will continue. The future."
    Arulashee looked at the tieflings: "These are the freed of Andera? Those Desna told me about?"
    Sena spoke warmly. "Yes, and they are not alone- there are also the mognrelfolk, who were shunned by the rest of us as pests, rats. And they too, like the tieflings, now work in unison together with us all. As you see, the world is changing."
    Aru: "Yes, I have felt it. But to actually see it?! That is something else..." She seemed a bit disturbed, conflicted.
    S: "You have only seen the start..." He took her down into Drezen, and made their way towards the main squre, while he cast several Sendings to the leaders and main groups in the city, calling upon them to meet him there.

    Sena's vision of the future
    a duo wanted to meet them before though. Near the gates of the citadel they met with Arabeth and Anevia.
    "Sena! You hve returned! Where are the others? You have left in such a hurry? Who is this?" Anevia in particular was curious, examining Lash the half elf intently.
    Sena moved in the way. "This is my new apprentice. Is this a way to show hospitality?"
    Anevia deflected. "Oh, I'm just a people person, I like to know people, especially new ones. I don't recall seeing her in Drezen, and I make it my business to know the people here..." She looked at him quizzingly.
    S: "Well, she is my friend from afar."
    Ane: "Well, every friend of yours, is a friend of mine."
    S: (A bit testingly) "remember you said this." And with that they just moved along ,towards the square in front of the gates, near where Horus Emporium was quickly being established.

    By the time they arrived there, there was already quite a gathering. Sena got up on a sort of a make shift stage, and addressed Qulin Longshadow. " We haven't spoken in a long time, and never had a decent conversation. I come to you today, for counsel, for warning, for redemption... For the future, all in one combined. Choose one, and you will know all."
    Sena's cryptic words made the sorcerer uneasy, and his shadow shifted and twitched. He did not like being in the center of attention. "Why have you called us here Senatef?"
    S: "I saw what you have become, you are no longer servants, you no longer call anyone master, you are on your own. And for that I must say that I have misjudged you.
    Q: Misjudged me how?
    S: "In our first conversations, we asked how can we free you, you said that you can never be freed. You said your souls are linked to a higher power, like all tieflings." (Sena is referring to a bit of flavor we made on the spot, that the souls of tieflings serving the demon lords were tied to those of higher demons, that they served. The tiefligns gave Andera a symbolic "Soul stone" which can anchor their souls if their original soul stone is negated).
    Qulin hissed in warning "It is not matter to discuss in the open, it is displeasing to most people souls"
    Sena pressed on: "What if I can free you?"
    This go a lot of tieflings mumbling. "What do you mean?"
    Sena bowed, his head low to Qulin and the rest. "For as long as I live, I swear I will do my best to find the demon holding your soul stone, and free your souls. Just give me it's name."
    This got many more mumbles. "You will do this for us?" Qulin spoke with him more silently "We only know that last it belonged to a Coloxuss demon called Oodkalakat". (The player informed me of his plan, so I made some... adjustments )

    Sena stood. "And now for the warning. We know that Jerribeth has the ability to control minds, and people. I fear that till we shall release you completely, there is some possibility that she will be affecting you."
    Quylin smiled: "Don't you think you should tell that to them?" He made a motion at the crowd, and leaders "She will seek prime targets, not us, who are already distrusted."
    Sena paused and gave it some thought. "You are smarter and subtle than I thought."
    Sen addressed the crowd "Do you want to know the truth?! A lot fo you think that our presence is a threat of the city. Partially you are correct, for we have the ability to change the future, to fight. As long as we are alive, there is hope, and what Jerribeth and the others try to do is quench this hope. But what is this hope? Simply to destroy all demons, or try to build something new, something better?"
    Again he called upon them. "What do you see?"
    The crowd mumbled, not seeming to understand.
    Sena continued. "The real threat is not our presence, but what the city represents. For the first time, the full cooperation between races that was impossible, inconcieveble- the mongrelfolk, who were feared, distrusted and reviled. The tieflings- Our enemy, now with us, rebuilding the city. This is the future-cooperation, putting aside differences for a better world, and after all of us will be gone, the dream will be bigger than all of us. THIS is what Jerribeth and her associates want to destroy! This, the vision of a new world, a world where we can all live, and join in!"
    This got more mumbles and discussion in the crowd.
    Sena's voice dropped lower." And now for the other part of the truth. Yes, everyone know that Drezen is in risk, but I think that for this dream which is bigger than all of us individually, we must make sacrifices, and sometime the ultimate sacrifice. I too was blinded by hate! When we stood upon the roof of Drezen, watching the armies dying suffering, my heart was hardened, and the blood of many is also on my hands. "
    Opoli broke in " Spirit! You cannot take the responsibility on your hands! It was Vorlesh who created that trap!"
    Sena "Thank you dear lady, but I know my sins, and the price I will eventually pay for them. No more lies, no more politics, only one cause, one truth... On the roof I called for the divine to help. And help it did, lessening the suffering of some. But I was blinded by hate, and I saw the tiefligns as demons, as collaborators and allies of our enemies, and I did not extend this help, this lessening of suffering to them. I let them suffer and die..."
    A lot of tiefligns seemed mightily agitated and angry at this.
    "I was mistaken, but for this sin, I need make reparations. And for this sin, and for them showing me what rel change is, I will free them. Nobody even thought that they could even act differently from what they re, from their... nature... but change they did. Now I understand- they are free men, and free men they are! If I had the ability to change my decision, I would have done it, but I can only change the future, as any of you can. So to redeem myself, I make an oath now, to all of you as my witnesses! I will not rest, and lay down my arms until the tieflings will be in their rightful place as equals!"
    Sena gave a slight pause and then continued. "I believe we need to work together, and know the truth, no more lies, no more politics, no more spying. Let us work together for a better world, better future, one that everyone can work together in a common cause, and be free. Lets be free from the past, and look for the future.
    he bowed to the tieflings again, Qulin in particular. "Do you accept my offer?"
    Q: "You were never in debt to us Senatef... We will forgive in time. We have known cruelty, we have known hate, but thanks to Andera and the rest of you, we have also known another chance, and forgiveness. We will forgive you, but if you will forgive yourself, that is another matter... That is part of the teaching of Sarenrae" the last was said with a smile.
    Again Senatef turned to the crowd. "I stand with you, listen to your hearts, and I ask you only one thing: Enough with words, this is time for action! If you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, Join me! Join me for a better world, for a better future. And stand beside me, not as a ruler, but help rebuild this vision. This is no more merely Drezen, a defensive fort! This is a place of hope, of opportunity, of a new era! Let us make this dream possible!"
    The crowd broke off and cheered "For the new Drezen! For the future!"Some tiefligns turned angry, but quite a few bowed a sign of honor, and some showed simple holy symbols of Sarenrae.

    As Sena got down from the stage, he whispered to Arulashee "This is your new future as well. Join us..." The risen succubus seemed quite stunned by the events. (I decided his speech will give her a +3 on her saves in the trials of redemption she might make in the future)

    As a last act, Sena reached to a big rock, left from the ruins, that haven't been moved yet, and used Sculpt Stone to create a rough new sign for Drezen, and the vision of the new future:

    Horus was thinking "I can make pins for that!" With that, Sena cast wind walk on them both, and they left.

    Spoiler: DM thoughts- Sena's solo play
    Sena's player told the party in advance the rough lines of what he planned to do, and asked them to join in. He though of something a bit more elaborate, with Andera joining the talks (And his confession), with the mognrelfolk, Julian with the town leaders and so on. But the party decided that they wish to focus on the action this time in the actual session (Though Julian's player wanted to join in with Sen, but then opted not to).

    Tell the truth, I was disappointed at this. I like the "talky" bits quite a lot. So we opted to have Sena come to the city before hand and ply his vision out. The player likes to be a big move, and really likes transition and developments of character. I hoped this proved decent enough. He liked it enough. I'm just worried that of how to have it impact play in the future, with the following modules taking them far away from Drezen.

    The full session begins- Welcome back?

    Julian was trying to read the codex again, but again she felt as if she was losing her sanity. She needed some longer term plan on how to counter this. Perhaps the help of Sena or Brian.
    Aru: "Well, that was something to think about. Ways of redemption, of a possible future, nothing I thought was possible."
    Sena. satisfied, went on to meditate adding "Oodkalakat" too his list.
    Andera's player however became quite suspicious (Even though he agreed to Sena's player doing a solo play) and started to question Arulashee "How did you remember Drezen?"
    She spoke of the times of demonic occupation, the cruelty, the fear, the brutality.
    And: "I hope Sena didn't try to make him convert."
    Aru: "No, he tried to show me a possible future... one I might have a place in..." She said thoughtfully.
    And: "Do you think you have a place?"
    Aru: "I have been sking this myself for a logn time. Mortals souls and demons sould are different. Mortals feel they can make a change. I saw the tieflings. Perhaps I can as well?"
    And: "Well, we are different as you say. No other demon could truly change their nature. Yout think you can?" (Sena's player wanted to intervene, but Andera's player specifically said he spoke with her alone. We ddin't quite understand what he was getting at)
    Arulashee looked at him confused, hesitating: "I hope so... I... I don't quite know... I've seen the tieflings, the one called Qulin Longshadow? He is unlike any other tiefling I have encountered. He seems... different..."
    And: "I am not fully certain of the change of tielfings. They have made some changes, but their minds can still be easily affected by demons. It is still too soon... As to you, I am afraid that you might not go fully through this, that Jerribeth might be able to affect you."
    Arulshee seemed quite stunned by this. (As was most of the party) Her mood darkens. "I... maybe you are right, maybe I am of a danger... I don't... I don't know... But Sena- He spoke of his sins as well, of his trial of redemption" (She explained this briefly) You know him better than I do..."
    And: "I am not sure anymore... Tell me Arulshee- do you still feel the temptation of demonic nature?"
    Aru: "At times, I feel the urge, the brutality, especially when near demons themselves. At times I have given myself to it, which is why the road to redemption is so long! Some steps ahead, some steps back..." The rising confidence of the succubus seemed shaken. "He spoke of freeing them, the tieflings, getting their soul stone.
    (The party discussed the soul stone briefly- basically it binds the souls of departed tieflings to it, for a demon to draw from later on. Tieflings under the servitude of the demon lords host tied their souls to such. The Drezen tieflings bound their souls all to one such stone)
    Arulashee joined Sena in meditation.
    Aru:"I am trying to understand if I'm strong enough to do this"
    S:"I believe you are. Some times in times of need, belief is all you need."
    Julian intervened "It's all too philosophical. If you wish to be good, just act so. It's all you need. Don’t waste your time in the gods."
    Aru "But Desna has led me all this way!"
    Julian "Then she has an interest in you. You have a role in her plans, nothing more. But you? You have your own self. Your destiny is in your own hand. Pick your way."
    With that, Arulashee went into deep mediation, confused from all that occurred this day.

    DM thoughts- Arulashee redemption and inter-party rivalry
    Andera's player surprised me here. He has some rivalry and suspicion of Sena's player (Who often played bastards in the past). I guess his suspicions suddenly rose after Sena's solo play, and he decided that the player was trying to pull something under their nose, especially with Arulshee. Somehow the remark by Arulashee of "It's a lot to think about" got him in "conspiracy mode", and he tried to "undo" whatever Sena has done. And since Sena has obviously tried to strengthen her resolve, then he tried to break it...

    Sometimes his suspicious nature gets the best of him I guess. We didn't address it in session, and perhaps we should have (The other players also didn't understand this). I hope to address it before next session, although some damage has been done. I negated the +3 to saves Sena gave her with his speech.

    Entrance to the Ivory Sanctum- The Brazen Bull

    The party rested, planning to get to the Ivory Snactum the next day with Arulashee guiding the way. She said the place was guarded by basilisks, in a chasm deep in the remains of The Green Gates, an old forest of Sarkoris that was corrupted.

    Next morning, Sen cast Wind Walk, and they quickly flew to the Ivory Sanctum. They landed near by the chasm, and start castign various buffs and protections. But they decided to leave Arulashee behind, and not join them to the Sanctum itself. Andera and Julian thought she might prove a hindrance, if she comes near demons, and though Sena advocated for her, ("She should come with us! She needs to face her fears and challenges!") the final decision was to leave her behind... Bummer...

    The party desceneded into the chasm, towards the end of this module, where the Ivory Sanctum awaits, and within it- Jerribeth and Xanthir Vang...

    They go down the small rift, and see various remains of petrified creatures. "basilsks... Remember to close your eyes!" But they do not see the reptiles. As Julian cast detect magic she see something faint in a wall, when a gorgon steps out and breathes! All but Sena are petrified!

    (The gorgon in question ia a mythical beast replacing the basilisks in the module, and appears in Scorpion's file. I liked it, so decided to play it.)

    Sena tries to charm it with the powers of trickery, but the mythical gorgon got a second save each round, and mnages to save. It then bites Sena, and quickly swallows him! (Quick swallow, outer dimension belly) Sena starts to burn under the fires of the gorgon's belly!

    Mad dog and Julian manage to break off the petrification ht does in however (Petrification works differently in PF than in 3.5). Julian tries to polymorph the gorgon, to make Sena rip it apart, but fails. Mad dog rages and hits the brazen bull nicely, but the creature has lots of HP.

    Sena manages to cast resistance from fire, but can't help himself gettign out. But a mythical hold monster plus a coup de grace from Mad dog rips a nice swath through the creature, and lets Sena out, a bit singed though... "I guess things have changed since Arulashee last been here...". Sith, Julian's green sting scorpion clicked and sithed at Mad dog "This one has BIG sting!"

    Negotiations and trickery at the gate

    The party quickly managed to find the illusory entrance and portcullis to the Sanctum, but here I decided to play things a bit differently. As the module assumes the party speaks with Jerribeth, I thought this would be the perfect place for it, with some barrier enabling a conversation. Informed by the Brazen Bull's death, Jerribeth awaits in the main hall of the Sanctum, with 4 half fiend mintaurs (s in the module), and the Scion of Baphomet (A mythical half fiend minotaur anti paladin, from Scorpion's files). As the party tries to find a way to open the portcullis, she addresses them.
    Jer: "My oh my, you ARE competent! No wonder you managed to spoil Vorlehs plans! I have an... interesting deal for you..."
    Jul: "What's the deal?"
    S: "Sorry for killing your pet!"
    Jerribeth laughed "Pets come, and pets go, they are ll expendable. Look, you hate m, I hate you, and so on. I know very well you've come to kill us all, be heroes, and ll of that. But Here is what I suggest-You can fight me, my minions, and demons, and come much weakened to face Xanthir Vang, that mangling pack of disgusting worms. He's quite a threat, let me assure you. But I suggest o let you have free passage, kill the hep of wriggling flesh, and have a run of the place. I say you managed to kill him, and get back to the Abyss, to a new position of power, what do you say?
    The party suspect her: "How do we know you won't betray us?"
    Jerribeth is amused "Please! I'd be offended if you DID trust me! But in this case our interests lies mutually. You have proven capable. I have an interest in abyssal politics, not this tiny realm, and if possible, I prefer not to face you- as I said, you've proven quite worthy. You might prove a bit too much of a challenge. If I can get my way without the risk, what's the harm?"
    Julian" We made a promise, we need to kill you."
    Jerribeth gave an exasperated sigh "So it's about honor, keeping your word, and all that heroic crap?"
    Andera replied "No. it's about ego, you should understand."
    Julian tried to shaken the minotaurs "We have killed many, the Brazen bull included. Do you really want to face us?"
    But Jerribeth laughed "Really? With minotaurs? Fiendish minotaurs? Servants of Baphomet, lord of minotaurs? Pleaassee..."
    Andera tried to bluff: Well guys, she has a point, we need to reconsider: He succeeded well enough, but used this to discretely draw his wand of dimension door.
    Jerribeth looked at them amused. "Oh! You got out! Capable indeed! Poor Vrock... I can throw in a wish if you want. Anything to help you get that miserable sack of flesh out of my way... i will even"
    But that's when Andera used the wand to get himself, Sena and Md do right next to her!

    It's GO time!

    Changi delights "What a blood I smell here!" And sneak attack the surprised Jerribeth, and goes invisible. He sees Jerribeth is surprised, blinking "Where re you, you miserable wretch!" (She can't see him sue to the undetectable quality of Changi).
    Julian casts mythic Black tentacles on Minotaurs! She captures all except for the Scion.
    Jerribeth uses her maddening whispers to try and madden Mad dog, but he barely succeeds with mythic power,. thankfully her power is not overwhelming, due to their success at the Lost expedition. She tries to move 5 ft and teleport away, to cast buffs and return more prepared, but Andera uses Step up and again sneak attacks her, disrupting her teleportion!
    Sena manages to use Dimension anchor but stops her! "Well well, my revenge today will be complete"
    Mad dog goes to titan rage! Full attack! And... again double crits! Why against all the bosses? 205+ 17d6. Kills her. Takes her down. 273 damage. Splatters of Jerribeth flies in ll directions in less than 1 round into combat! And I had such plans! But kudos to the party, they executed this quite nicely!
    That said, I decided the Kalavakus in the back send telepathic messages to ALL of the compound (Even Xanthir Vang and his forces) about what just happened. If the party can take Jerribeth out so fast, they'll need EVERYBODY!

    Tense pause and preparing

    The Scion quickly retreats into the western corridor (Where the minion troops are)
    Kalavakus try to enslave Mad dog. Fail in both attempts and both dominate.
    Julian and Sena both try to block reinforcements- Julian (Still near the gate, outside of the compound) casts Wall of ice on the western corridor, while Sena casts wall of stone on the eastern corridor, while Andera and Mad dog go and engage the Kalavakus demons (Which prove to be ineffective against both)

    Meanwhile, the rest of the compound prepares- The templars try to break the wall of ice, the Black fire adepts cast defensive spells, as does Xanthir Vang and the Coloxus demon.
    The Neg thlagu are blocked by the wall of stone, and move south towards the door leading to Jerribeth quarters. The Scion of Baphomet teleports there too with the Coloxus, preparing to attack from the est while the rest attack from the west.
    The captured minotaurs in the meantime get bombarded by fireballs from Julian, and Sena buffs himself yet even more...

    All hell breaks loose!

    In one round, all fronts appear!
    First come Xanthir Vang with two mythical apocalypse locust and His upgraded retriever (All from Scorpion's files). Xanthir himself is using improved invisibility, so the party don't notice him at first. The retriever quickly breaks the ice wall, and allows the templars in. It's eye rays hit Julian and Sena, but don't manage to petrify/ disintegrate them. The Apocalypse locust breath, but do little else.

    Sena opens the doors to the east, meeting the Scion and Coloxus, while the Neg Thalagu crawl on the wall above invisibly into the room. Sena manages to block the attacks. The coloxus tries casting confusion bu the party saves.

    The 8 black fire adepts appear at the edges of the temple and fighting zone with dimension doors, while the others cast resilient spheres (Both fail to encapsulate Mad dog) and fireballs. Sena's resistance to fire serves him nicely, but Andera and Mad dog are hi.

    The party really fears the Retriever. Julian, deciding it is the biggest threat, tries casting Apparent Master on it but fails. It glows with protective runes (Protection from spells, giving it +8 against spells) which block it.

    Sena is the nsurprised to have 33 lightning bolts coming at it from the ceilings as the Neg thelagu cast from the ceiling and appear! I show them their pics, and the party goes "Wtf? Does are ugly ******..."
    Mad dog and Andera then focus their attacks on the Apocalypse locust, and Mad dog's titan rage ends, and he becomes small. He decides to save his mythic power for now.

    The party becomes ware at Xanthir Vang who uses cloud kill and Disintegrate, but does not manages to find him (Um... purge invisibility? True sight? For some reason the party didn't think of those... ) The party starts using their mythic power a lot just to save.
    The retriever focuses his attacks on Mad dog and grabs him strongly ,damaging him greatly. Mad dog Md dog comes to try and help clear the road for Sena to heal Mad dog, and with 3 attacks kills the Scion!
    The cultists throw various dispel magic, taking down some of Sena, Julian and Mad dog's buffs. Things look not so great.

    Julian manges to occupy both the retreiver and Xanthir Vang's attention by succeeding to grab control of it (Just barely) With apparent master. "Drop him and go fter Xanthir and his minions!"
    Sena suffers yet more lightning, while the cloud kill sucks at everyone's' constitution slowly. Some templars die due to Xnthir's cloud (He really couldn't care less), and though the retreiver drops Mad dog, Xanthir drops him even more with a spiked pit! Mad dog spendt the rest of the battle trying to get out!
    One of the cultists managed to encapsulate Julin in a resilient sphere. "Fire them all!" Shouts the worm that walks, and the 7 remaining cultists focus fireballs on Sena, who manages to withstand them with his resist fire and ward shield. Andera however, who stand near him, does not. (This is also when we learn that ninjas do not have evasion?! WTF?) Andera cant take the damage and... dies...

    First fatality of our game! With Andera dead, Julian still out (And captured in sphere, Mad dog down a spiked pit, and Sena surrounded from all side, things didn't look good. Sith, Julian's scorpion looked and clicked. "yep, we're all toast!"

    Fighting back!

    Sena grunts "1st things first!" With faith healing he uses Breath of Life on Andera, and manages to bring him back to the game. ("He got better!" ) He then uses a mythic action to channel energy, healing all the three inside for some needed hit points. Changi then uses it's dimension door to put them behind one of the statues in the temple, hidden to the others.
    Julian dimension doors herself out of the spheres, and keep directing the retriever, which turns and kill 3 cultists with some crits and eye rays! This turns Xanthir attention again to control it (And with no more quickened spells)
    A bit better now, but still fighting. Mad dog was still trying to climb out.

    Protecting the files
    At this point the opposition consisted of Xanthir Vang, the retreiver, 4 cultists, the Neg Thalagu, the Coloxus, and 2 cultists. I decided to put another twist. The coloxus partly panicked "Protect the files! Burn them! They must not get them!" The templrs both rushed towards the strtaegy room, just beyond the western corridor.
    Andera, back to life, hears this, and uses his wand of dimension door to get him and Sena to block them. They see the surprised Coloxus there, trying to get in the door (I decided the room is impervious to teleportation, and so he teleported just outside it. Sena casts hel on Andera, who in the next turn moves and kills the coloxus.

    Xan in the meantime gains control over the retriever, tries to find the missing duo , with spells and such, but to no success. The cultists start bombing Md dog with Magic missiles and lightning, but the big fellow manages to soak up damage, but gets wounded more and more... The Neg Thalagu position themselves near the gate, ready to strike at Julian, but she goes into improved invisibility.

    Julian uses an empowered mythic fireball, and kills of the neg thelagu and some cultists, and damages the retriever. Xan, in return, summons 3 Babaus outside the gate ,who pinpoint Julian with their see invisibility, and enable Xanthir to launch a maximized fireball on her. He then moves to the opening mechanism to open the gate for the retriever, who moves close to the gate. I suspected Julian would move to cover, but she just keeps pumping fireballs, the second one manages to capture Xanthir Vang! Now, he has resistance fire 20, but he also suffers 50% more damage from area spells... from empowered mythic fireballs... He gets damaged severely, and Julian sees the flaming remains (The spells also catches enemies on fire) and she yelled to the others.

    Sen hears this, and rushed back to the main room, and cast flame strike, and with holy searing fires killed Xanthir Vang! Some of his spirits then whirled around,m saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you..." and slowly dissipated into the aether, and Sena breathed deeply in.

    The rest of the battle was quite easy, with the party breaking down the retriever and the remaining cultists down. The Battle of the Ivory Sanctum was won!

    DM design- fight of the Ivory Sanctum
    I wanted to play out the "Jerribeth Vs. Xanthir" idea which the module suggested, but the party preferred assault. I figured that taking down only some of them at a time would prove far too easy, as the battle in the redoubt proved laughable. So I intended for the whoel complex (Or most of it) to attack the party t once at some point, even if they did go with Jerribeth suggestion, she would attack them with her powers from behind.

    The battle mostly took place in the main hall nd temple, which was good, since it allowed some maneuvering space. I'm glad of that.

    It was quite difficult to ply the battle due to the mount of forces involved. In a previous campaign we has a battle of such a scale (The Silver Flame Cathedral in the "Many Facets of Darkness" campaign), which helped me prepare better- I prepred sheets of data for groups of enemies with main stats (AC< attack, saves and such) and main shticks. Still, quite a difficult battle to to run! It totally exhausted me!

    Xanthir proved fun to ply, but it was extremely hard to bring his full offensive power to play due to limited actions (Even with his quicken rod). Unfortunately he got caught in Julian's fireball which took about 120 oh his hit points... too bad...

    The cultists, as casters, proved quite an interesting diversion- with fireballs, dispel magic and resilient sphere they proved interesting .I fiddled a bit with the 3rd and 4th level spells, dividing them into groups of 2, each with slightly different spells. not much of a difference. As support they work quite nicely.

    I kept forgetting the Neg Thalagu. They feel so much out of concept with the temple, that I think I missed 1-2 turns with them. They felt quite not belonging, and a needless distraction. I suggest replacing them with something else.

    After math and looting!

    We had a humus break, and in the meantime I gave them all of the loot. The main loot in the plce comes from two sources: Xnthir Vang's stuff (He carries a LOT of loot), and the secret vault of the temple (We skipped the battle and trap there, there really was no point to it).

    Amongst the loot of the temple the party found two interesting items: Robes that belonged to Julian's mother- Diana Bear storm, and the Warlord's Plate- A breastplate belonging to ancient Sarkori Warlord. The two are tailored items. The Breast plate I prepared for Mad dog to also have some special item, while the robes I put there a long time ago instead of Yaniel's armor, with the same idea in mind for the Julian. I forgot she already had Brilliance, and didn't really need another items. Oh well...

    All in all, huge amounts of loot, but they are supposed to have loot equal of 15-16th level. Did I mention they hit 12nd level, and 5th tier?

    The party also found Xanthir's Research notes, Jerribeth notes, and the Strategy room's notes, but we decided we'll deal with that in the next session.

    Spoiler: Ivory Sanctum full loot list
    "Quest" items:
    - Cult of Baphomet strategic encrypted notes.
    - Xanthir Vang's encrypted notes.
    Coins+ Gems+ Art:
    - 14,000 (Minotaurs' gear)
    - 6,000 (reagents from forge)
    - 10,000 (Vault)
    - 450 (wines and candies from Ustalav and Numeria)
    - 10,800 (Templar's gear)
    - 8,200 (Xanthir Vang's treasure)
    - Cloak of resistance +4 (16,000)
    - Exquisite clothes (4,500)
    - Exquisite jewelery (6,500)
    Xanthir Vang:
    - Quicken metamagic rod- 3/day, up to 6th level (75,500)
    - Lesser maximized metamagic rod- 3/ day, up to 3rd level (14,000)
    - Staff of conjuration, fully charged. 10 charges. (82,000)
    - Wand of mirror image, 6th level, 8 charges (500)
    - Black robe of the archmagi (75,000)
    - Headband of mental prowess +4 (Int, Wis; grants ranks in Bluff and Sense Motive)- 40,000
    - Ring of major fire resistance- resist fire 20. (28,000)
    - ring of protection +5- to deflection (All types of AC)- 50,000
    - rod of withering- melee weapon, like light mace, damages 1d4 con+ 1d4 str. DC 17 fort negates. (25,000)
    Xanthir's lab:
    - Spell books (12,000)
    - Lore books: +10 on planes, arcana, history, naturr, spellcraft, Dungeoneering. +5 on religion. (800 pounds, 12,000)
    - Alien looking Mithral wonderous raven figurines (7 eyes, 5 legs) 3,800
    - 2 empty chests of Nyhidrian crystals.
    - 4 Ambrosia- Mythic items. Takes 1 minute to eat, return mythic power to full. (10,000 each)
    - Art objects from Black wing library (13,500)
    - Flying Carpet 5x10 (35,000)
    - Wand of inflict serious wounds, 40 charges (9,000)
    - Wakizashi of the planes (22,300)
    - Rod of persistent spell- 3/day, up to 6th level (32,500)
    - Pearl of power, 6th level (36,000)
    - Warlord's Breast plate: +4 to AC, +2 to int and cha (Linked skill: Intimidate). Adds Intimidating prowess as a feat, 3/day can cast heroism on others as a swift action. (66,000)
    - Robes of Diana Bearstorm: Resist lightning 20, +2 con, Beast shape II (Large bear) 1/ day (CL 10, 1 hour), +1 CL for electricity and sonic spells. (61,500)
    Neg-Thalagu (Brain collectors):
    - Various alien looking gems of flesh and other worldly substances (4,200)
    - 2 potions of enlarge person (50 each)
    - 4 potions of unnatural lust (300 each),
    - 2 CSW potions (750 each)
    - Manual of bodily health +2 (55,000)
    Magical forge:
    - +1 unholy scythe (18,000, can only sell to evil)
    - broken +1 keen glaive, (9,000, if you fix 13,500)
    - broken assasin's dagger. (5,150. If you fix 7,725. Can only sell to evil)
    - 6 empty chests of Nyhidrian crystals.
    Strategy room:
    - Jar of Locust Swarm (Cannot sell)
    - Wand of resilient sphere 10 charges (5,200)
    - Wand of dispel magic 10 charges (2,250)

    End of Demon's Heresy!

    Each Player's XP- 299,500! (Never thought we'll see such numbers in play! )
    We stopped here. The party loved the battle, said it was one of the best and most tense sessions ever! It was quite a lot of fun, but draining as hell! Not something I'd like to do every session.

    Next Session is in about 3 weeks. We'll have a short interlude, in between modules, and then- Into the Midnight Isles! Into the Abyss!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-06-10 at 08:40 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!

  17. - Top - End - #167
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    So... half of the campaign is over. This last module was characterized by several aspects and issues:
    1) Power level: The characters have become quite powerful. I'm not sure if the module's opponents are too weak, the players became optimized, or that the mythic rules are just THAT power changing, (probably a combination of all 3), but the characters sure felt powerful, super hero legend style. Which is one of the purposes of the campaign, but it is still something to get used to.

    2) Characters coming into their own, finding their voice: Be it Sena who changed his vision to the future, and is finding more and more his voice in this crusade, Julian whose conflict with godly matters comes to a point with her finding the Lexicon of Paradox and seeking to steal divinity, and even Andera, with his relations with the tieflings, A bit with Arulashee, and the appearance of Changi, which adds quite a lot to the play (Mostly on the comic side). Andera's character, who felt to be more lacking behind in terms of power and effectiveness, is coming to his own, and is now on par with the rest. Mad dog, well, he kills stuff...

    3) Travel: My summary is that hex crawl may be fitting to lower level characters, but now with overland flight, teleport, and the ability to conjure enough magic to circumvent most natural (and unnatural) obstacles, makes overland travel a joke, and a nuisance at most. I think the later modules approach of just assuming teleportation between key locations could have been applied here as well.

    4) Fast progression: The party finished the module in about 5 sessions, the fastest so far, and they progressed very fast, despite spending some time in Drezen in "non XP" activities. This is partly due to the power levels, but maybe this is also due to me joining several locations together. I originally planned a time frame of 66 days before Xanthir finishes his research (I wanted there to be a possibility of partially failing here. Had he done that, Mythical monsters down the road would have been stronger, gaining a template or such) But the party finished this under 40 days. (And about only 12-13 days since they actually left Drezen). Zooming away!

    Some in the party find it exhilarating, some find it quite hard- leveling almost every session or so. The advancement feels too fast to get accustomed to new powers and abilities.

    5) Conflict between adventure and Drezen: The players kinda split into two interest groups- Sena and Julian's players had lots of plans for Drezen, population and so on, but Md dog and Andera's players wanted to get on with thea ctual adventure. This caused quite some tension in the group, and we tried to compromise with some time here, some there, which went kinda ok I think... A main problem with pursuing Drezen projects is that they progress far slower than the party did with their adventuring, and now the party will go to other planes, and leave it behind. Which ends up meaning that the party won't see much of the fruits of their planning and investment in this campaign. I hope to build on some stuff for the final module- City of Locusts (Such as troops coming to the final battle against Aponavicius and her armies, only Mass Combat style) but not sure how to work it out, and I think it will be a little too little, too late.

    So what's up next?

    1) The interlude: The campaign shifts gear at this point. The party goes off to the planes, and detaches from all of the story of those who journeyed with the party so far (With partial exceptiosn to maybe Queen Galfrey, and maybe Arulashee). As such, we're going to play a little interlude, with several goals to it:
    - Show the effects of the party on the campaign: unraveling the network of Baphomet spies, and giving the Crusade enough moral push to start finally pushing INTO the worldwound. The idea is to give the apprehension that this was a turning point.

    - Give some time to finish up projects in Drezen: Sena's vision spreading, Julian's sleeping eye, and maybe an abbey to her dogma as divine being (I'll get to that in a moment). Also development of some of the NPCs. Basically I'll be taking the evolution of some of the characters in the last module and applying them much sooner, like Aravash building another library, Horus becoming more reasonable and so on. The idea is to give idea of characters changing, progressing. Cool ideas for some characters are welcomed!

    - Julian's exploration of Paradox, and (potentially) gaining the divine source ability: The player seeks to explore divinity, but Julian herself has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to the gods. So we'll play it that she (might) find a paradoxical way to attain divine power regardless. I've mentioned a few threads dealing with it (A few posts above), and we're going to make it a special roleplay occasion, a bit like a vision quest, with a few stages, defining IF Julian gains divinity, and what shape will it be. The player and I talked and agreed that it would be more interesting if there is a real chance of failure. I'm Julian will need to come with some creative way (quite open) to a problem. If she gives something interesting enough roleplay wise, and which makes (paradoxical) sense, then she gains it. If not, she'll have time to think until gaining the next mythic tier.

    - Character rebuild: Another way to show passage of time and growth, I'm allowing some character rebuild/ retraining under certain rules. The characters also have a more liberate access to market, and after the monty haul of the Ivory Sanctum, they got quite a lot of money to spend. (I was a bit worried that it didn't fit 12th level WBL, but as someone mentioned it, they are equivalent of 15-16th level characters with their mythic tiers). I'm putting the rules for the purchase and rebuild under a spoiler, as I sent them to the Players:

    Purchase and rebuild rules
    Rules for mid campaign rebuilding
    In all of the following changes, you can only take an alternative option (Say another feat) who's perquisites are those as of the level you took it. (If you took a feat on the 6th level, you cannot take a feat that require 10th level), or similar equivalents (Like having 10 ranks in a skill).
    You cannot exchange an option on which other options rely, unless those have been changed as well (For example, you can't change power attack if you also have cleave, until you change cleave as well)
    In the downtime of the half campaign you may do all of the followings:
    - Change up to 3 regular feats.
    - Change up to 1 mythic feat.
    - Change up to 1 path ability.
    - Change up to 3 class choices that are gained once every 2 levels or so (Rage powers, ninja tricks)
    - Change 1 choice that is chosen at 1st level (Domain, bloodline)
    - Change 1 archetype.
    Funds and equipment:
    - You have free access to buy any items of 20,000 gp and below.
    - You may find items up to 36,000 at a 65% chance. You may only try once per magic item category, though the sub categories of wondrous items are each considered a separate category (So once per weapon, armor, rod, shoulder slot, belt slot, and the like)
    - No items can duplicate spells or effects over 7th spell level. (7th is allowed)
    - 7th level scrolls are allowed, but only 2 (And are subject to the 65%)
    Note: You may come to places in which you have a higher ranger market, but also at an added cost. So choose how you want to spend your money.

    2) The Midnight Isles: In the Midnight Isles, I see three main location that I want to perhaps alter or enhance, to make a special roleplay experience:
    - The plane itself: I like the idea of using the planar traits and the various play on the senses to add atmosphere and a feeling of an alien place to the game. Not quite sure how to do this, but one idea is to dim the lights at the table to 2 dim levels depending on the light in the plane. May cause trouble though. Another idea is music, but I need GREAT music for this, something immersing enough, but also alien. Need to think of this more.

    - Porphyry city and gaining notoriety: This can be played more like a contained sandbox, not going just by the suggestions in the module .I see a lot of place for creativity and ingenuity here. Two of the players like Shadowrun, and this might fit their alley greatly. Also- roleplaying the biggest metropolis in the abyss, mostly inhabited by demonic being should be quite a challenge!

    - Negotiating with Nocticula for the fate of the world: Now, if this isn't the stuff of legends, I don't know what is! I see this as one of the major center pieces of the entire campaign, and certianly it's most "conversation oriented" one. I have touched upon it in the threads I mentioend above, so Iwon't go into it any further, but suffice to say this should feel spectacular, a one-in-an-era event, and tense... very, VERY tense!

    I hope you're keeping track! See you next time!

    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 - #168
    Orc in the Playground
    JohnTheSavage's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Sydney, Australia

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

    So Mad Dog completely annihilates another boss with one swing eh?
    And I've got to remember that trick with the dimension door so I can use that.

    Kinda sad that the gang won't be spending much time in Drezen once they leave for the planes, but hey, players are always latching on to stuff that's supposed to become mostly irrelevant later. I'm not really familiar with the later modules, but would it be possible to move whatever it is that's enabling their planar adventures to Drezen instead of wherever it's supposed to be? Then they'd be closer and would be visiting Drezen at least one a module as the returning heroes.
    Last edited by JohnTheSavage; 2015-05-26 at 03:05 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #169
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnTheSavage View Post
    So Mad Dog completely annihilates another boss with one swing eh?
    And I've got to remember that trick with the dimension door so I can use that.

    Kinda sad that the gang won't be spending much time in Drezen once they leave for the planes, but hey, players are always latching on to stuff that's supposed to become mostly irrelevant later. I'm not really familiar with the later modules, but would it be possible to move whatever it is that's enabling their planar adventures to Drezen instead of wherever it's supposed to be? Then they'd be closer and would be visiting Drezen at least one a module as the returning heroes.
    The next two modules are tightly tied with the planes. A major problem with the adventure paths is that each is written by a different author, and is supposed to be an adventure by itself. That is cool, but the connection between modules, and more impotently- the keeping of ongoing, campaign long theme is very thin if at all. For example- the 3 NPCs who started the first module are pretty much forgotten, as is the Sword of Valor, Drezen, And even Arulashee is assumed to be staying behind once they embark on further adventures (Even though the 4th module is so incredibly juicy if she comes along!) The final module, the end game is particularly vexing at this, as the module doesn't take into account ANY of the former doings of the party, and just assumes that "finally the enmy has noticed the party, and so they step up their final plans." What a load of Bull***! I'm trying to find ways of integrating the modules a bit better together, but with so- so success.

    I'm gonna explain a bit of why the next modules cant easily be transcribed to a in GOlarion, in a spoiler, in case people don't want to know.
    Spoiler: What's up next
    Midnight Isles: The party learns that The forces of Deskari and Baphomet are mining the crystals needed to make the Nyhadrian elixirs in an abyssal realm called the Midnight isles, ruled by a demon lord known as Nocticula, the first Succubus, demon lord of lust, darkness and assassinations (In fact, her entire realm is made up from the essence of assassinated demon lords.

    That in itself could probably be copied to other locations, but the party also learns that the demon lord are negotiating with Nocticula, trying to have her join their invasion of Golarion, and the PCs are sent to negotiate in the names of Golarion itself. The module makes this quite simplistic, but I intend to make it more... interesting.

    The entire module takes heavy emphasis on the alien environment and experience.

    Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth: The former module ends with the party killing Baphomet's daughter, him trying to avenge and stepping in the Midnight Isles, and telling them that he has kidnapped Iomedae's Herald into his realm- the Ivory labyrinth, just before Nocticula steps in and kills him (His spirit then reverts to his realm). This is a cut scene of a sort, which is problematic, but I'll deal with that later.

    The party is tasked at finding the Herald, and either rescuing it, or putting it out of it's misery. They need to go into Baphomet's own realm, which is like an entire plane which is a dungeon, seek the most secure of all prisons, and find it there. I intend to make it a bit more interesting later on hopefully, but we'll see.

    Again, a major theme here is exploring the strange abyssal realm.

    City of Locusts: The end is near, Areelu Vorlesh triggers the events that will et the WOrldwoudn spread and engulf much of Golarion. The party has a limited time (FINALLY!) to stop her, but they need to acquire several tools and such in order to enable them to close the rift forever. This takes place back in Golarion, and focuses on central location within the Worldlwound, ending in Threshold.

    Some crazy over thetop battles there, but hey, the party are supposed to be like ECL 25 when they start 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!

  20. - Top - End - #170
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Wow... it's been nearly two months since I posted on the log. Real life has been tiring, consuming, and quite a bit busy. We had two sessions in this time, that I need to update. The first deals mostly with downtime between the modules, a sort of "Mid Campaign Interlude", which... didn't go so well. Some tension in the group rose, and what I thought was good plannign turned into a poor execution.

    Still, from mistakes I learn. The second session dealt with a few more Interlude matters, and then preparing to the journey to the Abyss, and the attack on the Midnight Fane, which was quite a bit of fun.

    So... I got two sessions to update. I'm not sure I remember all of it, but I do keep quite detailed notes, and I think I got most of what happened. it may take me a little while to update, I hope you enjoy what's coming.

    Session 20, Part 1- Mid Campaign Interlude: Loot, Rebuild, Revelations, Arulashee's Path

    We decided to start with dealing with the ludicrous amount of loot the party got from the Ivory Sanctum, upgrades and the like. This took a looooooong time. I asked the party to deal with this before the session, through emails, but they... didn't. So we ended up spending quite a bit of time from the session's start dealing with the loot. They also just remembered to deal with the rebuilding. I'm spoilering the info, in case you're just interested in the story. But if not, then you can take a peak.

    Spoiler: Loot distribution, purchases, and such
    So, some of the main changes:
    • Julian got: Persistent spell rod, Lesser maximize rod, Black robe of the archmagi (Turned to white in the purity forge), Diane's robes (Julian's mom. She intends to merge their properties with the white robe, can't do it quite now).
    • Julian's equipment upgrades: Brilliance (her headband) got to +6 Cha, +4 to int and wis. She also upgrades her belt to +4 dex, +2 str, +2 con. She likes her attributes!
    • Sena got: Rod of quickening, Headband of mental prowess (+4 to wis and int), Rod of Withering (Sena wishes to merge it later with the Blade of Paradox, can't do it right now), Pearl of power 6th level.
    • Sena's equipment upgrades: Sena upgrades his armor to +3. He also buys a Mallable Holy symbol (He mostly likes the ability to change the shape of the symbol, which goes with his developing beliefs. The ability to change the shape of the channel energy is just a nice bonus to him). He also buys the Mite of the Heirophant. He likes being masked, and the diplomacy bonus. Sena sold his Lion's shield for a light shield, to be able to hold the rod of quicken in his non weapon hand. Sena also buys a cloak of resistance +5, not liking failing saves.
    • Andera got: Cloak of resistance +4, Wakizashi of the planes (Andera joined it with Changi's properties), various wands (Mirror image, cure serious wounds, Resilient Sphere, dispel magic)). Manual of bodily health +2.
    • Andera's equipment upgrade: Andera adds the "ghost touch" quality to Changi, which is quite fearsome weapon indeed by now! He also upgrades his armor to +4
    • Mad Dog got: Ring of protection +5, Warlord's Breastplate (The custom made unique item).
    • Mad Dog's equipment upgrade: He manages to add the "defiant" property to his Warlord's armor. With the ring, his AC even surpasses Sena's, which takes the group by surprise (Though that is prior to spells). Lastly, he buys boots of flying. He doesn't like being stuck in pits...
    • Miscellaneous: They gave Xanthir books and library to Aravash and the city. They think about purchasing a holding bag for the books (Give a hefty bonus to knowledge rolls) as a portable library. The 4 Ambrosia were divided of course between them.
    • They sold a ton of stuff, worth in total 207,275 gp. Despite some difference in gold value, they decided to distribute the wealth evenly. (Mad Dog's player, who's value was the least, insisted.
    • Total "Value" at the end: Julian 270,000, Mad dog: 222,500, Sena: 265,400, Andera: 264,925. It may seems like a lot, but with the characters being 12th level/ 5th tier, (And about to hit 13th) they are equivalent of about 15th level characters. The WBL should be between 240,000 and 315,000 per character, so we're t about the right place!

    Spoiler: Rebuild changes
    First, a quick summary:
    • Julian: She took Display of Charisma as her 5th tier power. Brilliance also has the Adroit (Diplomacy) power. With each effectively able to give +20 each to diplomacy, (+40 together), And a +25 at her basse (Very high charisma) she can be a killer diplomancer. Other than that, she focused on metamagic (She got silent, still, selective, persistent and the new dazing metamagic feats). She invests heavily into social and arcane skills.
    • Sena: Takes Mythical Heavy Armor feat (To shore up his "touch AC" defenses), and takes Display of Charisma (He views this as sparks of divine insight). He spreads his skills more, putting more into diplomacy, bluff, and the various knowledge skills. Still quite a bit short on skills though.
    • Andera: Takes the Master disguise and ghost step tricks (He remvoed 1, I forgot which). He also takes Mythical Improved critical. He upgrades Changi to minor artifact, now capable of casting dimension door on his own 3/day. He removes Combat Trickery from the path abilities (Which he never used) and takes Master of Escape.
    • Mad Dog: Precision power, Mythic Dodge Feat (To avoid really crucial attacks), and chnged Reckless Abandon to Intimidating Glare (To work with his armor)

    I got the character sheets before the rebuild. My plyers still haven't sent me the ones after it. Once I get it, I will post a table.

    Back at the Ivory Sanctum
    That dealt with, we go back to our story, just after the battle at the sanctum (We assume all of the purchases tak place in the interlude afterwards behind screen).
    Mad Dog: "So.. .what's now?"
    Julian: "Lets destroy this place!"
    Sena: "I propose we do something else- Consecrate it. Everyone can destroy but such a revenge is more subtle, and more sweet..."
    Julian: "I like it! We're in agreement!"
    Sena: "Then it makes it better. Please, return to Drezen, I will need to work on this place for two days. I will return later."
    Andera: "What about your followers?"
    Sena: "They will know what to do. They know I'm busy." Sena then turns to Arulashee, who came after the battle, lookign at everything stunned, bewildered. "I will need your help in this matter." Arulshee, surprised, agrees to stay.

    The rest of the party teleports to the main gate of Drezen, with Mad Dog lifting the halves of Jerribeth' body above his head. They quickly head to the makeshift stage near Horus Emporium, as the people of Drezen rush to see, with Arabeth quickly coming to greet them: "heroes of Drezen, you always bringgood news! What do you bring today?"

    Julian speaks clearly. "I made a promise- I promised you that we will come back after we kill Jerribeth. And return with the proof. Well, this is Glaberzu, we have destroyed her, and she will haunt this city no more!" With that MadDog threw down the halves of Jerribeth to the floor, at the astonished crowd, who quickly rose up in cheers and excited applause!
    Julain waited a bit, and continued "She was with another menace" She spread the remains of Xanthir Vang, charred distorted worms "These are the remains of Xanthir Vang, the Worm that walked, Who was foolish enough to oppose those who would reclaim this land and rebuilt it!" Aravash, greatly affected, stepped forth and bowed before her.
    Julian: "In the city of Kennabres the worm to the wlk has done a terrible to your order, the Riftwrden, of the Black Wing library, we hope these will start to rebuild it." With that she gave him the stolen relics from the library, and Xanthir Vang's books.
    "People of Drezen This land Will! Be! Free!" The crowd burst into more applause and cries of excitement.
    Opoli, and others of Sena's cult called out "The Spirit Walker, Where is he?"
    Julian accosted their fears: "Have no fear my friends. We have found the Sanctum of the Ivory Snactum and he will destroy it and will be with us in two days..."
    She then turned to the crowd at large: "We all are proud of the people of Drezen.
    "This will be the right time to honor those we have lost to reclaim the city. Those who have foguht and died on the way here, taking it back, and the ones who died of Jerribeth. Tonight we have a reason to celebrate, tonight we need fear no more!". The crowd cheered for the heroes of Drezen, and celebrations were ordered.

    A work of Consecration, annd spiritual talk
    Before startign on the work of consecratign the temple to Baphomet, Sean relaxes bit, and then sends a message to Aravash and Qulin Longshadow: "I have a mission for the two of you, seek information about the demon Oodkalakt, who holds the Soul stone of the tiefling host." Qulin replies "You ave the thanks of me and my brethren."

    Sena then talks to Arulashee. "Before undertaking such a task, we need to pray, and contemplate." They do so in silence, after which Sena speaks to her:
    S: "I believe you have been here before".
    Ar: "Not like this!"
    S: "What do you feel?"
    Ar: "I feel Alien."
    S: "To this place or in general?"
    Ar: "To the world... or so I was. After you have shown me your new vision, your idea of the future... I thought that maybe... I could fit there... Somehow." She then gave a sigh. "And yet, I could not overcome my fear, and you could not trust me to fight with you. I was not courageous enough."
    Sena's player shot an angry look at Andera. "What do you believe? I don't ask about the logic, about belief. Think about the answer- why didn't you come?"
    Ar: "Mostly due to self doubt, and being a danger to you all..."
    S: "Who persuaded you so?"
    Arulashee gave another desperate sigh. "The rest".
    Sena offered her a chair (This part coems from the last season of Babylon, if you recognize) "Sit".As she came to sit, eh took the chair from her.
    "Why did you sit? Just because I ordered you to sit?" She looked a bit stunned. He then spoke, more gently "Sit please."
    But she would not, and shot him an angry glare "I don't like these games"
    S: "It was to make a point."
    Arulashee started "look…" but Sena cut her our "No, you look! I care only of what you are going to do in the future, not of what you've done or have been in the past. I too, have done a lot in my life."
    She gave a mirthless hollow laugh. "Not as much as I have!"
    Sena replied: "We are not in a comptetition."
    Ar: "But you are a mortal, our very essences are different. There never a demon that changed. Why should I be the first?"
    Ar: "For you have done something magnificent and extraordinary."
    (They have a conversation about change, and the meaning of it. Unfortunately I lost track of this)
    S: You are not merely a demon, you are a person, and as such capable of decision, and of change Every day is a struggle."
    Ar: "I'm not sure I am strong enough."
    S: "And if I say that you are?"
    Arulashee would not answer...
    S: "If we can take for example a lake- throw a stone to the lake. Wht will happen?"
    Ar: "Ripples"
    S: "An effect- even the simplest things have effect. Each day you have a choice to do good, or to do bad. Yes indeed, because of what happened it's more difficult, and you need more resilience in order to not slide back to the past. But what determines between good and bad is our actions here (he pointed to his head) and what feel and believe here (he pointed to his heart). And maybe you think my opinion doesn't matter, and that you don't have a place. You will be the judge. I think… no... I believe, that you are strong enough, that youhave a place, and believe that you have a very important destiny."
    Arulashhe was caught up in his words: "You don't know me at all, what do you see in me?"
    Sena looked at her kindly "I look in her eyes, and see your soul. We are connected. We are both creatures of Paradox, and our new life was forged by it. We are both the same. We are both sides ofthe same coin. Together we make the coin whole."
    Arulashee seemed moved. "I need to think of this. Let us go on with the consecration. I will help any way I can."

    Sena makes a bit of a show of it. He uses his ability to rest for 1 hour to regain his abilities to cast loads of Bone Shatter spells, to wreck the place and the temple. He also then spends one day to remove the Unhallow Spell on the temple, and another day to cast Hallow on it. He uses Sculpt stone to put his mark, the new mark of Drezen in the ruins, and lastly closes the place with several walls of stone.

    As they work, Sena continues to challenge her: "We have two days here, make use of it. If you wish to help, that is good, but you need to think for while. Think about the questions- Think about who are you? What do you want?" (Babylon features greatly in Sena's player's inspiration. )
    After some time working, Arulashhe replies "Who am I? I am adrift. And what do I want? I just want to find an answer"
    S: "Then Join me, I ask the same questions. I don't doubt myself as you are, but I also have blood on my hands, to redeem myself. "

    At this point I deemed it appropriate that helping Sena was an act of redemption. Andera roleld a save for her- 1! Failed....
    Arulashee was still in doubt. "You are a good friend, I do not... have friends... but I don't think you understand. "
    S: "You are a wise woman, but I don't think YOU understand. But it seems you need more time. I am changing, and my proposal still stands- join me."
    Ar: "I will join you, even if just for the companionship"
    S: "I will be honored if you will wear this." He offered her the pin of the Vision of Drezen.
    Arulsahee accepted it. "I will honor Drezen"

    As they stand outside the throughly "reclaimed" ruins of the Ivory Sanctum, they breath together. "It is done. Let this be a sign of our determination. Let us go home..." And with that, he used word of recall to take them both to his temple.

    She returns in her image as Sena's apprentice, the half elf Lash. a big discussion starts in the group- Do they let the people of Drezen know who Lash is? What she is? They don't mznage to come to a conclusion. Julian and Sena's player wish to have her known. "We have lied to them before and we ate crap because of it. We can't lie to them again!" But Mad Dog and Andera were not sure. they thought it might undermine their entire achievements till now, especially since they themselves were not sure of her yet. (Sena was the only one who had full confidence of her. The rest did not).

    Spoiler: Sena's "little talks"
    The long talk with Arulashee was the first of many "small arrangements" that Sena had in this session. He interacted with practically every NPC in Drezen, some shortly, some at more length (I probably haven't written down notes for all). This got to be somewhat bothersome, but I understood this only after the session ended. Needless to say, the other players got somewhat annoyed at him hogging the spotlight for so long.

    I should have noticed this earlier, in session.

    The Queen's Visit
    Shortly after Sena returns, The Queen arrive at the city as well, with her small teleport-sized Entrouge of her mage Nulan, an Iomedae's priest and two bodyguards. The party wait as she gives yet another rousing speech, giving her thanks to the heroes, saying that the demons were held in check, and tht the wr effort and the struggles of Drezen give rise to new hope and moral to the troops. The crowd cheers, nd she retires with the heroes to the war room.
    S: "Ok, now for the truth".
    The Queen seems tired all of a sudden, sits down, as Nulan puts a hnd on her shoulder, concerned, but she puts it away. "We are at a stalemate with the demons. The reclaiming of Drezen, and the Sword of Valor did indeed give a much needed moral boost, but as most such things, it is fading. And the demons are starting to attack swiftly again, wear us down. We have tried a few counter maneuvers, but it seems their infiltration runs deep. We are stopped and out routed at every turn. We are not making any headway in the war effort, other than stop the advance. I am not sure how long this will last..." But she then looked at the heroes, and smiled "But I hear you have been doing miracles again? You beat Jerribeth, and The Worm that Walks! That's excellent! Now, what have you found? I assume you found something that can help us?"
    The party offers her the notes from the Sanctum. The main pieces of information are as follows:
    - Xanthir's research into the Nyhadrian Crystals, and that all of this, even the destruction of the Wardstones, is just an experiment for some grand project Areelu Vorlesh is planning.
    - The elixirs are made from crystals on some other abyssal plane, and transported here. The plane is the Midnight Isles, the plane of darkness, rueld by the demon lord Nocticula- the first succubi, risen to demonlord status, mistress of seduction, lust, darkness and assassinations.
    - The Nephilim Hepazimerah herself, Baphomet's own daughter sees the operations of mining the Nyhadrian crystals in the Midnight Isles. The notes however do not say where in the Isles are they located.
    - Minhago, Who orchestrated the Red Massacre, hs fallen from grace with Baphomet, after her fiasco with the Wardstoen Fragment. She is tryignto redeem herself, but it i unknown how.
    - The forces of Deskri and Baphomet are trying to ally with some other demon lord! But which one, this is unknown, as the notes re heavily coded. The Queen is most alarmed by this. "We braely manage agaisnt two demon lords. Against a third? This must not happen!" She takes the notes for her sages to decipher.
    - There are also a lot of coded messages of the Bahpomet spy network. She takes these eagerly as well.

    As the pary finishing discussing the main findings, Julian speaks cautiously. "My Queen, in our adventures we have found something else, that may help end this, or at least shed a light, ofthis whole war."
    The Queen looked intrigued. "What do you mean?"
    J: "How did the war start?"
    Q: "With Areelu Vorlesh. She manged to tear a way to the Rasping Rifts, Deskri's domain."
    J: "How did she managed to do it?"
    The queen looked confused. "We never manged to make sure, but we assume Deskri gave her a lot of power... Why, what have you found?"
    But before Julian continued, Sena stopped her. "Shouldn't we perhaps talk about this with the Queen alone?"
    J: "yet her aids might help us, they are people of vast knowledge."
    S: "And yet her top liens have been infiltrated."
    At last, the Queen agreed to talk with them privately, but she wished to keep Nulan with her. "I trust him with my life." (The entire party went: "Ok, so he's OBVIOSULY a traitor. )

    More alone, Julian continued, and explains about finding the Lexicon of Paradox.
    The Queen and Nulan were both thrilled "So we can use it to close..."
    S: "Or completely open the rift apart. The key was half turned. Using it again may save the world, or doom it entirely."
    Q: Where did you find this?
    Julian explains about the expedition nd the guardian. paradoxical angel.
    the Queen semeed as if a new fire hs been lit in her, excited, thrilled, determined. "Why has it been given to you?"
    J: "It was given to us by paradox because we are part of the paradox. My Queen, you are pure..."
    The Queen laughed. "The decisions I've made, the sacrifices, the losses, I am far from pure, believe me!"
    Andera stepped in: B"ut you are chosen for Iomedae, her leader on Golarion."
    Q: "Yet, he gods have chosen you. This is great news! We will use this Lexicon, and close the rift!
    Sena was alarmed by her enthusiasm: "Queen maybe we should reconsider."
    But the Queen will not be deterred: "NO! We will do this! We shall end this war! Once and for all! You have done the impossible, can you do it again?"
    Mad Dog rose excited: "YES!"
    Andera tries to calm things down, with Nulan helping:"We cannot rush into things! We must understand what's at stake, what can and cannot be done." It taks a bit, but they calm the queen somewhat.
    Sena had more questions though: "What if we manage to close the rift. What happens for those who live in this world, such as the tieflings?"
    The Queen though assured hun: "If they learned to live with us, accept our ways, then they shall live with us. "We do not deal with petty vengeance, we are not Harkun."

    As things seem to have settled, they chatted a bit more amiably.
    J: "I understand this war is not easy on you. "
    Q: "I have been doing this more than a century"
    J:"Maybe the tide will change."
    Sena speaks to the Queen about his vision for a new world, wanting to prepare her for the news bout Arulashee. She listens, and says it is a commendable effort, but that she cannot think of it now. "When the time comes."
    Sena decides to reveal Arulashee. But before that he asks the Queen "I wish to show you to someone, someone who may greatly aid our efforts. But I want you to promise me not to harm this person, I want your word for it."
    The Queen narrowed her eyes. "I trust you Sena, but I do not give my promises lightly, or blankly. You seem agitated, and there seem to be a danger."
    J: Look your majesty, at this interestingtimes people go through a lot of changes, war, killing, people find new ways. Do you think you can trust us and in our judgement."
    The Queen was confused, but alert: "I cannot speak only for myself, though I value your opinions greatly. I am the country, and as such I cannot simply trust, though I value you greatly."
    J: "Even if our opinion do not see eye to eye?
    Q: "You are speaking in riddles. Why is that so?"
    S: "My first oath is for you your safety and regards. My second oath, is to kill those for whom we fight to give freedom an I will not rest. (Sena goes bit about his duties, oaths, past and so on... lost it a bit here) The bottom line is that I need your assistance in order to make the draem true- a word can make a lot. You saw what happened with Lann. . In our quest we found a demon that is trying to redeem herself."
    The Queen and Nulan gasped, and then turned angry, and cautious: "That is impossible! Demons cannot turn! You have been tricked!"
    J: "The impossible was made possible by the paradox itself. It is not a demon anymore, it is something different."
    S: "I am connected with her by the paradox. We are two sides of the same coin. This woman has knowledge and understanding of our enemies. She is staying on the crossroads. We need your help in helping her."
    "A successful diplomacy roll later) "I will trust her for this. Show me to her.
    Sena goes in front to prepare Arulashee.
    Ar: "What does she want?"
    S: "You said to me you don't have a place. What if I tell you you were wrong.?
    Arulashee gave a wondering smile:"I will be surprised. Does she know who I am?"
    Sena was nervous "Be calm! I will help you. Just wait here" Sena started pumping out buffs, in case he will have to step to protect Arulashee from the queen.
    As the party (Plus Queen) arrive atthe door ofthe temple, where she resides, Julian turns to Galfrey. "Before we meet her- she is quite famous. She is the former demon Arulashee." Nulan curses, the Queen as well. "Do you know of her, her past? She was oen of the gretest demon spies, an assassin, infiltrator, saboteur! Her very life, essence is one of concealment, trickery, lies and deceit? And you think you can trust her?!"
    J: "Yes we do. Desnais her guide now. She is on her way."
    The Queen shows great concern, but Julian manages to gain her trust, for now. They go in, and Queen meets demon.
    The Queen greets he teeth, but greets Arulashhe: "In this time of Paradox, I trust these heroes, who vouch for you. On my behalf you are... welcome..." This was a bit too much for the queen to bear (nd this was going on for quite some time), She turned away and walked.
    Ar: "I Never thought she would greet me like this!".
    S: "We are making the impossible possible."
    I deemed this another possible test of redemption. This time they rolled a success!
    Arulshee fell to her knees, crying: "Thank You Desna for leading me this way, I see this more clearly now. If Iomedae's chosen has accepted me, maybe I do have a place."
    Sena hugs her, and sens a message to the Queen afterwards: "My oath to you stands still, and foremost. I know it was difficult, especially due to the history. Thank you." The Queen does not respond. The Queen and her entrouge leave, after agreeing that her sages will try to decipher the coded messages as fast as they can. Meanwhile, Enjoy the short break, the hero status and rebuilding Drezen. The Queen urges Julian to explore the Lexicon of Paradox in order to find a way to reverse the process. "Anything Julian! There MUST be a way! There MUST!" She emphasizes on her. Julian promises to explore just that, even though she has her own agenda in exploring the Lexicon.

    Arulashee has gone 1/4 points towards redemption.

    Time goes by... various happenings in Drezen
    Here we assume time goes by, the characters change some of their training (Rebuild), and they use teleports to prosperous cities, plus Horus connections and so on to make purchases, enchantments and the like. Julian is mostly engrossed at learning the Paradox, with Sena aiding her to restore her mental faculties when the madness gets at her. Andera tries to learn more of demonic doings in this area, and Mad Dog just kicks back and enjoys his hero status!

    Andera talks with Anevia, Aravahs and Qulin in the Sleepless eye. After taking down the Ivory Sanctum, the whole structure of demonic dominance in the area crumbles, and hearing the news of the tiefling host, many other tieflign tribes make their way to Drezen, turning sides! Within a few weeks, the city almost doubles with new tieflings "immigrants", and the turmoil grows a lot. But Sena's new vision, his cult, and Qulin's teachings go logn enough to keep a shallow calm over the city. Many of the new tieflings find the "new ways", challenging and baffling. "They will learn, or else WE will deal with them." Reassures Qulin.

    Anevia explores into Sena's "New disciple", a bit more, and the party decides to tell the leaders finally, despite Mad Dog's objections. "We can't have them find out on their own" Andera says. The news come... with raised eyebrows, but they accept her enough.

    Meanwhile, Sena continues to try and help Arulashhe on her spiritual path. At one night, they seem to get closer...
    Ar: "I cannot express how thankful I am to you. You keep showing your faith in me, your belief, your convcition, even when I have not."
    S: "We are two sides of the same coin..."
    Arulashhe came closer to him, and tentatively laid her hand on him. She then laughed. "I'm Embarrassed!" She laughed nervously.
    S: "Don't be, not with me."
    She came closer. "Who would have though? A succubi, embarrassed?"
    Sena put his hand on her hair. "I will never harm you. I will let no one harm you. Even in the temple, when the hag came for you, I will not let her."
    Arulashee came into his embrace. "Yes, you intervened, you stopped her..."
    Sena smiled "Let me relieve you of your embarrassment, let us come together, and I will protect you, share with you..."
    They came together, closer, coming to a kiss, when suddenly her head came back, looking at him curiously. When she spoke, it was as if someone was speaking through her, with a soft, rich, amused voice.
    Ar: "There you are! I ave been looking for you! You have gone amiss! What has... happened to you? Your aura... your soul... I can't quite see it no more. It is if it is... not there? Not part of the universe? Not part of me? Hmmmm?"
    Sena cursed "Calistria! I have given you my pact at the tower of Drezen. This has not changed! What is this?"
    Calistria gave a wicked smile, using Arulashee's face. "You have been gone. I was soooo worried! You seem... out of place, out of touch... like you're gone to me? Where have you been my champion of champions?"
    Sena looked angry, and broke off the embrace. "You need not worry. I have changed, but our pact still stands."
    Calistria seemed amused. "Oh, Worry? Not so much. Curious? Very much so! You are... something new! Something I haven't yet seen. Hmmmm? I wonder..." She walked slowly around him, seductively, reaching with a hand to touch-not-touch him. She came to kiss him, but he stops her. "Enough! Leave her out of your games! I am yours, she is not!"
    Calisria laughed "As you wish, my champion! Just don't go missing... I'll be watching..." and with that her influence left Arulashee. Sena went to her, but she turned away. "Not... not now... perhaps some other time..."

    Andera's player, worried about where Sena might lead her, decided to have a talk with her on her own. I swear the rivalry between these two has been getting out of hand lately.
    An: "You could go on the path you deem for yourself, and it may help. But for ages you prayed for Desna, and me also. But if you wait for the power of others, for others to save you, guide you, you will never achieve your freedom. Desna is strong, yet still, where hs she led you? Why is this taking so long? The gods are not interested in us, they do not look for us. If you want to make a change, you need to put your own meaning for it. I wouldn't just pray all the time. Don't wait for a miracle. Make your own way! You were my mile stone. You gave me the motivation. We ARE bound, like Chandi. Find your own meaning."
    Ar: "But Desna has shepered me for so long, she has gotten me this far!"
    An: "It's time to let go of prayers of Desna, don't wait for her. Forge your own path! You seek a revelation from outside? Why don't you make a revelation by your own actions?
    Ar: "The queen has accepted me. Is it not progress?"
    An: "You are not a demon anymore."
    Arulashee was relieved: "You believe I am not a demon anymore? What shall my meaning be?"
    An: "This is for you to find, something will drive you there, but you must act, you must strive!"
    Ar: "I shall try to seek my meaning, whatever that may be…" and she hugged him.

    Sena also made other "small talks", with various NPCs, mainly trying to consolidate his vision. I won't add these here, lost track of those.

    I will start with the second part soon enough, where a bit more action is to be had, and a bit of a... philosophical debate...

    1. Special projects:
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    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!

  21. - Top - End - #171
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

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

    Is the rivalry between those two that bad? I guess the player's motivations will effect the character's motivations... have you talked to them individually about it?
    It's probably due to the time lapse, but I don't remember it being at the dirty looks across the table stage.

    I've got a character who, at the moment, spends a lot of time talking to anyone and everyone. I try not to do it in game time, but make a note of it with my DM and we set up a mini PQ or RP session in between our usual game times. I understand time is very precious, but if Sena's player does it in game then everyone else's time is being wasted.

    Because of this decision I've ended up doing another two usual game sessions worth of RP in the past few months (on top of our normal play time). It's time consuming, but that's the way my character is currently going. He learns the names of everyone beneath him, and will ask for their culture's stories for any nugget of knowledge he can dig up. It frustrates my DM to no end, but because he wants his world fleshed out and hates to half-ass it he goes along with it. We've both learnt a lot more about the people and history of the world, which makes it all the more fun to play in over numerous campaigns.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    You could also go on an adventure for the magical strap-on, if you really want to make an adventure out of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Wizard View Post
    Come at me scrublord I'm ripped

  22. - Top - End - #172
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Heya Red Rubber Band! I'll answer your post after this one. I'd like to get the second part of the session posted first.

    Session 20, Part 2- Mid Campaign Interlude: Lessons and trials of Paradox, Night of The Purge

    At this point the session took a different feel, and a different pace. I shall explain:
    I agreed with Julian that her search for ascension to demi-godhood should be a bit more special than just taking a mythical power. We decided to make it a sort of a philosophical challenge: The paradox will teach her, test her, and poses an open ended riddle/ dilemma to her. Now, while I knew this would appeal to Julian and Sena's player, I also knew it would most likely bore Andera and Mad Dog's player.

    So... I decided to split the party, sort of. I gave a sort of a rolling combat challenge to Md Dog and Andera, while I gave the other two some "philosophy" to deal with.

    Julian, with Sena as a spiritual guide, came upon two excerpts within Paradox, that dealt with the basics of divinity. I sent the two players the excerpts by mail, and let them ponder them, while I went to the other two.

    Night of The Purge, Temple of Shadowy Exchanges
    The Queen summoned Mad Dog and Andera. "We have deciphered most of the content of the notes from the Sanctum, and they reveal the entirety of the demonic infiltration into our ranks! No wonder we were routed at each turn, they have gone deep, deep into our forces. But now we have the advantage! We know where they are! Andera, I will task you and Mad Dog to lead the assault on the prime targets. Our forces shall all strike in one night, one swift strike, to purge our ranks! Your takes will be to deal with the tougher cells, and hopefully find the one crucial piece of information which we have not deciphered- Which demon lord do Deskari and Baphomet wish to ally with?"

    And so, after a bit of preparation, Andera spoke to assembled forces in Nerossyan, some of them belonged to his order, the Black Flame, but this time he spoke as the leader of the strike. "Well friends, this is a test of our performance and efficiency. What we do today might change what will come later, how much innocent blood will be spilt later. Just remember why you are here. Remember this and what you have learned. You know what to do, give no mercy! Let the Purge begin!"

    They were given two targets: A wondering priest with a group of followers, going between camps and giving encouragement. The files called him "The Embedder", and apparently he was responsible for gettign soem key information from the fronts. A demon under disguise, but they knew not what demon. The second target was a small temple of Shellyn, mostly visited by the nobility of Nerossyan, Apparently this was a center of operation, but also where "exchanges were made".

    But Mad Dog and Andera would not go alone. With them came a dwarf couple, a mage and cleric called Harkun and Hilda (9th level both, not mythic), as support and transportation. The players got emails with their short character lists. I thought it might be fun to let them have simple casters for this run.

    Andera decided to hit the temple first. Knowing they need information, not just corpses, Andera thought to try out some subterfuge first. They came close to the door, and listened "They will strike at us soon! You heard what happened to Jerribeth! We must move fast!" A second voice answered "Only 4 left. We make the last exchanges and bolt away!"

    Andera disables the lock, vanishes and goes inside. He sees two priests in a very dark church. He doesn't see the 4 shadow demons lurking. He comes close to the priests, when Mad Dog loses patience, and gets inside. They see him, call for an attack! The Shadow demon emerge, and one of them possesses Mad Dog! (Sena's player: "What? You didn't use protection from evil? Have I taught you NOTHING?")

    Harkun and Hilda (AKA "Red shirts" by the party ) try to dispel and block the influence with a circle of protection, While Andera goes to town on some shadow demons (Good thing he upgraded with ghost touch!) The two priests start shooting spells, but together the red shirts and andera free Mad Dog, and from there it's short work. A shadow demon hisses "I will alert the Rune!" and teleports away. One of the priests is grappled, restrained and tied. It's interrogation time! And Mad Dog seems to take great pleasure from this interrogation, who quickly yields that there is a small library of a noble that acts as a center for the information the spy network gathers in Nerossyan. There is some sort of a magical thingy there- A special Rune... The party thinks it's the nickname of the wizard, and teleports there.

    Spoiler: The Temple of Shadowy Exchanges
    For this encounter I put 4 shadow demons, and 2 "Mother of Beasts" clerics (By this I mean the entry in the PFSRD) upgraded to 11th level each. I aimed at a quick fun encounter, with possibilities for subterfuge as well as combat. They opted for combat. It wasn't supposed to be that hard. Part of the idea of the Purge, is to have Andera and Mad Dog have some fun and feel great. Also, it ws quite hard for me to adjuciate approximate power level, with their two casters gone replaced by two lesser casters, which they didn't fully know how to operate. So I tended towards the lower scale.
    Went quite easy though.

    First two excerpts of Paradox, and the first vision

    1st Excerpt: Elements of Divinity

    Elements of Divinity
    (From the words of "Wyvern" Crass, researcher of the Forbidden arts.)
    Sarkorian fools! Imprison me?! Don't they understand! Bah! Of course they don't! They don't want to understand! What with the Green Faith and all, all we do is belief, we do not THINK! We do not Understand! But follow like sheep. But I try to, and I hope that my work here will prove useful to someone, somehow, out of this damned tree tower of Threshold! Arrest me for my experiments? But how can we understand if we do not test?! Fools!
    My life work has been trying to understand the nature of Divinity. For I wish not to be a servant to masters who's agenda I cannot fathom. You reader, I hope will understand this…


    What differs the arcane from the divine? What are the "core elements of the divine?" It is a bit hard to decide, as there are many theories, but the main components, though more complex than this simple naming, are three:
    1. Positive energy: This elusive and strange energy, named so by stupid priests who do not fully understand it's meaning or it's opposite- Negative energy, is one of the primal forces of the universe, and it is tied directly to the gods power. See the priests, oracles, druids and such, all have a connection to it, and it's most well known form- Healing. A power that the arcane was not able to mimic, other than by the power of Wish or similar, which manipulate the very basics of the universe- the energies themselves.
    Positive energy is not just healing, for it is a power that binds together ideas. (Which will lead me to the next point, soon enough). In it's purest form, it binds LIFE. That's a central element of divine magic, most of it focuses on aspects of living beings. It deals less with affecting matter (Though it can do that as well, nothing is as simple as we'd like to believe!) But in it's focus and prime there is life. Life is a complex culmination of multiple ideas, including Materia (Body), Anima (Spirit), and Consciousness (Soul). Positive energy can bind and rebuild all, which is a feat we haven't yet been able to accomplish.
    We have been able to tap Undeath or negative energy. Most undead are stripped of one or more of the three elements of being, and have the others "transformed" by negative energy. This easier to access usually, and is more limited to destructive energies. Unfortunately, Undeath becomes fueled by desire for positive energy, as that is a distressful existence, and that help sate it. I guess the druids may be right about that… But still, we must learn! Sacrifices must be made!
    So the gods have a tie to the primal energy of life or undeath, making and unmaking. That is elemental to their power. Life is at it's core…
    2. Ideation: Unlike proper wizards, those damned heathen worshipers come by their powers by "faith". But not just that- it's a faith in some ideal, some concept, some IDEATION which gives them power. For you see, the gods, and all the power that come from them rely on an idea, and it's interpretation.

    A cleric, a paladin, a druid, an oracle and even witches who do not follow the core ideas of their faith… lose power. The idea itself has power, and it flows from the universe or god (Not sure about that yet. Needs more research), unto priests, followers and such. It's the idea trying to take shape and spread itself through the world! Kinda like those mangy disease those tree huggers are all about! Godly indeed! Huh!
    Yet some gods die, and sometime more than one god share the same power, which means that there are different approaches to different powers. Even that damned Iomedae doesn't follow the exact same ideas of Sarenrae, Torag or the rest. Nor do demon lords…

    An important thing about the core ideas of divine beings is that they are inexplicably tied to soul/ consciousness/ morals… Each deity has a link to such an idea in his or her portfolio. Some great bloody cosmic war of ethics or such? A battle for our souls? Who bloody cares! I do not wish to be a soldier in this war!

    So divine power comes in the form of adherence to an ideal, concept or such, which somehow revolves around living beings as well. You need to somehow connect these to the greater ideas of the universe. But how? Well… that brings us to:

    3. POWER: Face it, those damned super beings are just way too powerful for us to tackle. (yet… Give us some time…) It seems there need to be a great source of power that enables a divine being, be it a deity, semi deity or quasity deity to act as a link to the positive energy as a source, through the link of an idea.
    This has been the most vexing point yet. Access to divine power has so far only been through the Absalom Starstone, which few have dread, fewer yet have survived. All the other gods exist from time immemorial, and have their power ingrained in the origins of the universe.
    The 3 elements, to my understanding so far, are interlinked with each other: Power enables to access the positive energy, but it itself grants power, all formed by ideation and so on. Quite a mess so far, but as far as I've been able to get
    My bet is that if we ever try to gain great power, we need to somehow incorporate these 3 elements: A link/ emulation/ contact with primal positive (Or negative) energy, an ideation strong enough to spread and link to the universal powers, and power, a whole big bunch of it!
    Depressing really…

    2nd Excerpt: Beings of the universe
    Beings of the universe

    (From the writings of Opon, God caller)
    Strange, that people call us heretics. For we are truly spiritual! That we summon small gods, reflection of the divine source within us, is to defy godhood? I say it is the opposite- it is to express your unique soul, give it form, life, enrich the world and all that's in it! That the souls of many are tainted by the dark teachings is not to say that this cannot be used for good. I have thought, learned and prayed much about this. I have also spoken many times with the witch Vorlesh, and she is wise and keen of mind. But I digress.
    Divinity… What is this unfathomable and otherworldly idea? Who are these beings? What differ them from us? Who are we? What are we? And what is the connection. I shall try to answer these, in short, with hopes that if I perish here at Threshold, that my work will remain and enlighten others.
    Every child will see that there are different classes of beings- there is the earth, the plants, the animals, us mortals, the outsiders of the outer planes, and the truly powerful beings that exist seemingly as part of the very fabric of existence itself- gods and their like.
    Are we so different? In a way yes we are, but in another way, we have much similar. No, please, do not consider this as heresy, but read on. If my words do not make sense, feel free to seek your own understanding.
    (Long and detailed observations of various beings)
    All of these show that in essence, all beings are comprised in a way out of 3 components, or parts there of:
    1. Materia/ Body: These are the "physical elements" that build us, and the world. The earth and air and such are built from it, but so are we. Yet, without the other elements we are not alive, but just bodies. We are alive by positive energy, while the undead are by negative energies (I've had some conversation with a mage called Wyvern. Interesting fellow, if a bit odd to deal with). I know some mages have been able to motivate beings made entirely out of Materia, or have they found ways to bind Anima to them? I'm not sure. Plants are an excellent example of beings made mostly out of Materia.
    2. Anima/ Spirit: This is at its basest the element of energy, motion, life. It is the DRIVE of life. It is instinct, primal thinking, primal being. Animals are excellent examples of beings made primarily our Materia and Anima, but with little mind.
    3. Mind/ Soul/ Consciousness: The element of choice, morality, and going even against the basic principles of life, of survival. It is this that enables not merely living, but BUILDING, and creating greater ideas, concepts, and things that transcends the mere individual's existence. It is this component that ties us mostly with divinity. Mortals are comprised of all 3 components, but their soul is not fixed, not rigid, unlike the outsiders such as demons, devils and celestials, who are comprised primarily of soul, which defines them far more sternly than it does it does us.
    It is for this reason that the gods seek to shape the world's soul through us- mortals. It is for this reason I think, that religions exist- to shape the souls of mortals, and thus shape the souls of the world. I do not fully understand the connection between mortal soul to that of the divine beings, but I do have a theory.

    We know that various souls, after death, can be attracted to the planes, perhaps even become outsiders. But we also know there are stronger beings- the divine beings. I have so far been able to identify 3 "steps" of divinity:
    1. Quasi deities: These are immensely powerful beings, yet still fully themselves, though they exert the power of their linked deity's portfolio and influence. They can channel their powers through followers (Usually priests and the like), but in themselves they are still themselves. The gods' heralds, Champions of deities and the like fall into this category.
    2. Semi-deities: Most known here are the numerous Demon lords (Only Lamashtu was able to become a full goddess, no one knows how). These beings are more powerfully linked to the outer planes, and their power usually ties closely to their own plane. They have a physical existence, but also a metaphysical one, one of an idea, a concept, a theme, a portfolio. Unfortunately I do not understand this duality fully, but the demon lords seem more withdrawn from Golarion itself.
    3. Full deities: Mostly the gods. These beings seem to have transcended mere physicality, and have joined their soul with the soul of… the universe? An outer plane? The positive and negative energies that Wyvern is talking about? Though at times it is recorded that they have taken physical form, for the most part I believe they have none. I believe they are, indeed, a force of nature… This Starstone, which might enable the rise of new gods, with mortal origins is an interesting concept, which I haven't explored fully.
    My point? I guess my point is that the beings rise/ fall/ transcend or descend. Between mere Materia, through Anima, and to Soul. To become more divine, one must become more… "Soulful", though I do not fully understand how. As the gods seem to focus on the core concept of morality and powers of the universe, perhaps such a pursuit is most fulfilling. Yet I do not think this must come from direct worship of a god. If we have soul within us, do we not also have divinity within us? Are we not, in some small way, divine ourselves? Are we not glorious?

    Now, Julian's player was bit sick, and it was starting to get late. He didn't quite like trying to wrap his head around all of this, and what does it mean for her quest of divinity. Sena's player also seemed troubled. After the first duo reached a good stopping point, I returned to Julian, as after seeing this, she was absorbed to a vision by Paradox.

    Julian was inside a huge room, only the walls conferred it was not exactly a regular room- she was inside an enormous tree, hollowed out to fit for living spaces. And there were two othervfigures in the room- one looked like an old man, in ragged clothes, ragged hair, but very sharp and keen eyes. This was Wyvern, the necromancer. The other was a tall man, fairly lean, quite clean, with the tattoo of a spiral on his forehead, and a look of contemplation about his face. This was Opon, the God Caller (Sarkori Summoner). These were the two writers of the articles, and also the ones who first helped Areelu in her efforts, and then tried to stop her, when they realized their mistakes.

    Julian knew where she was, or t least, what place this vision was supposed to represent- Threshold, the prison that held the Sarkori mages, where these two and Areelu Vorlesh wee imprisoned more than a century ago, and where she tore open the rift to the Abyss. This is where it all started. Sena too was drawn to the vision, but as a sort of a partial ghost, an adviser. Julian was at the center.
    W+O: "We are here to help you, clarify your teaching. "
    J: "Who are you? Wyvrn and Opon died long ago..."
    W+O: "We are their impressions, their representations, we are them in the Paradox. We are your teachers, at least for this part. What is the question that stands before you?"
    J: "What is power? True power, enough power to enable the transformation. That is the main obstacle you posed Wyvern, was it not?"
    Wyvern smiled a half maddened smile, but a very perceptive and inquiring one: "Did you find such power? What source will you draw from?"
    J: "I found myself in these travels, and through that ,I found my power."
    Wyvern seemed disappointed, Opon intrigued. Wyvern responded. "You try to circumvent the answer with religious nonsense. Don't mangle words with me. I'm asking about TRUE power!"
    Opon interjected. "And what of values, principles, core beliefs? If one seeks to become more spiritual, one must have deeply ingrained beliefs. If you do not believe in yourself, if you do not have conviction, this will not be..."
    Julian answered, with a clear and resolute voice: "I have already learned my lesson, came to my convictions, at the age of seven. You are ideas, as we all re- we are all built of ideas. I have very strong beliefs- I wish to teach others, help others, to learn how to help themselves. Not to wait for others to help you- not the gods, not other people, rely on yourself. Only in this way, all would be free."
    O: "These values have at times, though not often, been stated by others, by other powers, some of them already divine. What makes YOU so different?"
    J: "Only I can make the needed change. They will not rely on me. I will empower them."
    Wyvern laughed sarcastically "Well, at least she has the nerve and audacity of the gods! But enough with this! The key here is power! Without power, all of this jumble of fancy word is nothing!"
    J:"Ideas themselves are power, as is life, they all intermingle, is it not?"
    Wyvern was disappointing again. "You're dodging the question..."
    Julian thought. "In the Wardstone fragment, when I touched it, I got real power. The power to wield any spell, with the quickness of thought, at my disposal. Something no other mage before me could, the only one who can do the same is Senatef, but my sources aren't divine."
    Wyvern finally smiled, but it was Opon who asked the next question: "Have you asked yourself of the source of this power?"
    This seemed to catch Julian a bit by surprise (Or it might be that the player was tired), but the vision changed. Julian was now in a silvery-bluish-white space. There were multitudes of small lights all around them, thousands of them, in the space all around. Julian could hear the whispered prayers "Protect us from...", "Guard us from...", "Lend us strength to overcome..." and so on. She was inside of the Wardstone, and these were the prayers of thousands, who kept it's power alive before, who gave her her mythic power.
    Prayers: "We are the belief that is the source of your power. We gave it to you, as an instrument to defy and oppose the demons. Yet now you seek to defy the gods themselves, the gods for which we are offered, which we serve. Why should we grant the power to you?"
    Julian greeted her teeth, and answered: "I do not defy the gods, ignore them. They are meaningless- with all their power, and yet there is so much suffering. They do not truly care, and so I will forge a new path.
    Pr: "Why should we trust you? Can we trust you?"
    Julian didn't rise for the bait. "Judge for yourself. What I have lived through, what I have done so far, what I am willing to do. I wish to better life on this world."
    Pr: "So do the gods we are offered to, the powers that invested your power. Why are you different?"
    Julian stepped towards the prayers at this, as if challenging them: "How long has the Wardstone been there? Has it advanced the war? No, it only postponed it. It stopped the demons, but did not push them back, did not stop the atrocities, did not solved this situation. We'll end it! I'll end it! And in all of this, in the worry for "the grand scheme of things, the greater good", a lot of people were neglected, forgotten, lost. Bad things were allowed to happen to them. This will not happen- I will teach everyone to fend for themselves, care for themselves. Only when we care for the unnoticed person, shall we win this war!
    The prayers shifted their interests to the ghost of Sena. "And yet your adviser here, your dearest friend, is a messenger of the gods. Does he defy the gods as well?"
    Sena answered: "I did not say that. I believe that our efforts help the ones of the gods, and in her way, Julian helps the war effort."
    Pr: "And yet you no longer worship one of the 5 gods, and you are... detached?"
    Sena tried to avert attention: "That may be, but our goals, our hearts, are still the same. Julian has the power, and the purpose."
    The prayers turned to Julian again: "If we give you the power, you might destroy the world."
    J: "I cannot for see the fate of the world. But... as I see it, the issue is not just the world, but everything in it- from the child of the street, the forsaken refugees of the invasion, everyone that was forgotten. The issue is to CARE. You need to take action, I do not defy the gods, I ignore the gods. I just need the power."
    Some of the prayers rattled: "You speak in such a hot rage! This is foolish!"
    J: "Not foolish. I have a strong willful soul. Actions speak louder than words."
    Sena intervened: "Although I am the servant of the gods, the gods are not free of that. The gods also make mistakes acting… not wisely, acting rashly at times..."
    Julian finished with the following: "You have misjudged one thing- gaining this power is not a gift, not a blessing, it's a responsibility. When I gain this divine power, the idea will become bigger than me- the major issue of me, and the road I will represent. This is the core of my soul, and that will spread. Is that not worthy enough?"
    (One excellent diplomacy roll later, adjusted for good arguments) The Prayers were silent for a short while, before answering. "Julian Bearstorm. You have our trust. When the need comes, we will grant you the power to make the transition." And with that, the vision faded...

    Spoiler: First vision- Basics of Divinity
    First of all, I'd like The Evil DM who helped me in one of my "requesting assistance" threads, and sent me the first chapter of his campaign world, from which I took quite heavily to draw the main concepts expressed in the excerpts. He did some fabulous work! If you're reading this, thanks a lot!

    I wanted to do a few things with the first two excerpts:
    - Give some structure, some feel of the main concepts of divinity, and divine beings. I thought this was essential, because none of us realy dealt with these questions, and for a person who seeks to become a divine being, well... it seemed important.
    - I wanted to show a bit more of the Areelu- Wyvern- Opon triangle. It didn't come out so well, but it was nice. Also, linking again to Threshold, another little piece of a build up for the end of the campaign.
    - I also wanted to remind them of the origins of their power, and the campaign. Julian's player suggested in our email conversation to be confronted by the gods themselves. I felt that might be a bit too problematic, since she DID try to "steal" power from them, so the prayers were a good enough substitute. Plus, in the Midnight Isles they meet a demon lord, and in Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth they meet a god. Both events are supposed to be important, so I thought not to jump the gun before then.

    Wards and runes
    Harkun and Hilda knew the mage and his library, and were surprised. I agreed to let them teleport inside the building, to what appeared to be a scrying room. They startle a young scribe woman. She bursts into tears, saying an awful lot of frightening things were happening here. Andera vanishes and tries to go in the corridor towards the big library room in the back, but on the way he triggers a greater ward spell, with a phantasmal killer. Andera barely makes the first save thanks to a mythic surge. The scribe reveals herself as a succubus, and tries to dominate Mad Dog, but he succeeds on his save, rages and cuts her down. Battle is joined!

    Andera uses master disguise to make himself look like the succubus, and continues to the room ,triggering two more greater wards, one of an electrical discharge (10d8), the other of disintegrate. Andera manages to save, but stops, weary of other runes on the way. Meanwhile the red shirts put some buffs on Mad Dog (with the all important protection from evil), and Mad dog rushes past Andera to the room.

    Or at least he tries, just upon entering, shimmering lines rise from the floor in front of him, and a big glowing rune, a living one, tries to cast slow on him. It moves incredibly fast- Mythical creature! Other than that there is another succubus inside, the shadow demon that escaped and... "Hey, where is the mage?" Mad Dog focuses his attacks on the strange living rune, finding it quite hard to hit it because of it's two-dimensional amorphous state, making it impervious to criticals, sneak attacks and quite a lot of damage...

    The shadow demon and succubus start throwing spell like abilities, and the red shirts try to negate these, as well as heal Mad Dog which is zapped continuously by the Rune. Andera has an idea, and ghost steps through the wall into the room at a different angle, gets up to the shadow demon, and gives it one final, terminal surprise...

    More powerful spells (Cone of cold and the like) emerge from a point above them in the room- the invisible mage! Mad dog continues to focus on the rune, and Chandi teleports Andera next to the succubus (In order to bypass the many wards in the room, which he suspected, and rightfully so) who suffers the same fate as the shadow demon. The mage spells prove... quite ineffective unfortunately.

    Andera finishes the mage with a quick spider climb up the shelves and a jump unto the mage, for a critical hit and a sneak. The mage falls, as Mad Dog finishes the rune, which twinks out of existence, disabling the wards at the same time (Sort of it's "babies" ). it damaged Mad Nicely, but Hilda was able to keep him going.

    "We were supposed to take him alive!" Andera regrets, but they have another idea- Speak with The Dead. We jump back to Julian and Sena in the meantime.

    Spoiler: Wards and runes
    I used the Living Rune, but made it Mythic (Mythic initiative, enabled it to cause more damage, and a few other minor stuff). The mage was an upgraded Cypher Mage, though he was quite a disappointment. Other than that- 2 succubi as aids. The rune proved a nice challenge, but the DCs of its powers weren't enough to hamper the group enough. (Mad Dog has great saves while in rage), so it ended up a bash contest between Mad Dog and it.

    I quite liked Andera's masterful maneuvering in the battlefield. The Big room had about 12 greater Wards in it!

    I quite liked the Living Rune Idea, as a sort of a magical constructs that aids the spy network. It was nice in Theory, though they only interacted with it battle wise. Oh well, some things work better, some less.

    Third excerpt of Paradox, and the second vision

    While the other two were having their battle, Julian and Sena's player were trying to ponder the following.

    Spoiler: Of Edges and Transformations
    Of edges and transformations
    (From the writings of Areelu Vorlesh)
    I don’t know what's worse! That they caged me here in Threshold, or that they caged me here with these… incompetent weak willed! They do not have what it takes to make a change, they all theorize, think, contemplate. They have long forgotten how to act. I will find a way.
    And they are so caught up in definitions- Something is THIS, or THAT. Foolery! The first lesson of witch craft is that we are all BECOMING, In various degrees. Something becomes what it is if it is not willing to change, to move on, to transform. Like the bunch of mages and arcanists here. Fools! They hold soooooo much power! If they only had the nerve to act upon it!
    For I know what it means to make a change. They condemned me for my own… transformation. It was necessary, and it was not as difficult as one would imagine. It is just finding the right edge, and then creating NEW definition, either by crossing it, taking what is on the other side, merging it, or creating something brand new, with it's own new… edges… This in essence, is how one creates a Paradox. They don't even understand this simple fact, for they fear coming close to the edge. If you want to change, you must risk. No playing it safe. On the verge is where you will find potentiality, possibility, choice, and innovation. They like to stay in their safe definitions, safe world, safe... "understanding" as Wyvern calls it. You must undo understanding, and proclaim a new one if you seek to make a real Paradox.
    We witches live on the edges, we exploit them, and manipulate them. And the land of Sarkori is the ultimate edge- the edge between worlds, where they touch, intermingle, and are almost one with the other. No… It was not difficult to find the soul of the succubus, or the essence of what this meant, what defined it, and what were the edges of this definition. Where is one a succubus, and where is one mortal? Where do the two exists? Where is the definition made… unclear? And what will you risk for it? For there is always risk. This was my first lesson in… Becoming. I have learned much from it, from this new body, new soul. The lesson will help in the plans to come. For this is but the beginning…
    And how does one become? One find a place were two situations touch. Opon says we have the divine, the soul within us, and in that we are like gods. I don't know, but I know where my soul was greatly like that of a succubus, where I became close to the idea of it, to the essence of it, I could find a new way to merge the two, into something new. No such deals with demon lords, for then they control it. I will make a deal on my own terms, if I can find the right candidate/s. I need this strength, this power, this soul… It grants me so much more understanding. Wyvern has theories about becoming a god. I have no interest in that! I have bigger plans, if I can make them… They will all pay, all of them! But if one could transcend close enough to "godliness", then maybe? Where do mortals and the divine have a common edge? What is divine about mortals? What is mortal in the gods? Where is the edge?... Maybe that's how the first demon lords came to be… Who knows…
    I wonder what might be worthy of coming close to such an ideal though? Artists have been at times said to come close to the divine with their works, some priests as well with their spirituality… Various heroes of legends have moments of "edges" in their stories. Opon says we are all "godlings" in our way, if only our souls were close to divine ideals, divine doings, divine essence enough or some such nonsense… Still, he's a smart man. Hmmm….
    Come close to the edge, where definitions are blurry, and have the power, determination and courge to reshape your own definition into something new- to change nd become different. Trickier said than done. But I think I'm nearly there…This tome, which speaks to my mind in such strange ideas, these people, for all of their foolery, have some interesting theories. Nearly there… Nearly there… Lets find the edge of this world…

    Again Julian (and Sena) were drawn into the vision in Paradox. Again they were in Threshold, and one a singular chair sat Areelu Vorlesh, smiling wickedly at them.
    Vorlesh quickly came challenging: "Many seek divinity, power, to change. What makes you so special?"
    J: "I am willing to go on the edge."
    Vorlesh eased into her chair. "So you've read what I wrote, but what does it mean... what does it mean to you- Willing to go on the edge?"
    J: "It means I am willing to become something that is greater than myself."
    Vorlesh seemed bored, testy. "You're just repeating the last conversation, we've been here before, this is not what I'm asking. What is the edge for you?"
    Julian started to become confused. "To give up part of myself."
    Vorlesh gave a dismissing wave "You give well repeated hollow slogans. Did you understand what an edge IS?"
    Julian started to stammer a bit "I will make it better, I will..." But Vorlesh gave a disgusted sound, turning away.
    Sen stepped in, on Julian's behalf: "Contrary to you Areelu Volesh, who stabbed the universe and twisted the knife, it is not the case of Julian, She will do it differently.
    The figure laughed: "You think I am Areelu Vorlesh? I am an echo, a teacher of the paradox, of her own voice. But I am not the witch, I am her teachings."
    She then turned to Julian, more seriously. "There will be a price. "
    Julian did not flinch. "I understand I will lose myself in order to do what must be done."
    But Vorlesh snarled and chided back. "Martyrdom is not a price. You claim the right because you feel you are worthy."
    Julian shot back. "No, doing because no one will do it."
    Vorlesh challenged: "You think you have the right?"
    Sena intervened: "I will change the word "Have the right" to "Obligation"."
    Vorlesh turned on them. "You dwell in the old lesson. I have taught you what I thought. It's up to you to find the edge, and transform." And with that, the vision faded. Julian's player cursed. He felt that he missed something here, but the party talked it over- She will have to CREATE a suitable edge for herself, a place where her definition blurs, and that she can cross. But what will it be?

    Spoiler: DM notes- third excerpt and second vision
    This time a lot of the credit goes to NichG (again from the assistance threads) His idea formed most of Vorlesh' lesson- to find an edge where the border between mortal and divine gets obscured, and then pass it. This is the challenge Julian needs to solve in order to make the transition. However, I prepared no specific solution. It is intended as an entirely open ended riddle, up to the player's creativity and ingenuity. Together with gaining the sufficient power (From the prayers), this should suffice fro the transition.
    It also enabled me to play a bit of Areelu Vorlesh (Or an impression of her). Again a bit of buildup.

    But.... the hour was late, and the player was not feeling that well, and couldn't quite come up with a quick solution. He understood the basics of the riddle: Find a way to blur definitions, where the components of divinity is a connection to positive/negative energy (Or more simply- life/ creation or death/ destruction), ideation (Which she had quite strongly), and power (Which she gained). But the player was stumped...

    As he thought of the matter, Andera and Mad Dog brought the head of the rune mage, and Sena cast Speak with Dead. Some questions and answers:
    Q: Is the traveling priest (Of the second target, which they left, assuming they escaped) a spy?
    A: Yes.
    Q: Where is the portal that leads to the Midnight Isles, to the supply of the Crystals?
    A: The Midnight Fane. (This later enabled them to locate it with scrying. I intended for the queen to reveal this, but they were smart enough about this).
    Q: Is there a spy in the Queen's inner circle?
    A: There was, Nurah Denidwher.
    Q: Which demon lord do Deskari and Baphomet try to ally with?
    A: Nocticula, ruler of the Midnight Isles. (Bingo!)
    Q: Have they secured her alliance, or of any other demon lord?
    A: Not yet, as far as I know.
    Q: Who did you report to?
    A: I reported to Jerribeth.
    Q: Who do you report to now?
    A: (This caught me a bit by surprise) Urasthella.

    Last thoughts
    The session by this time felt a bit like a loss. With the initial time spent on the loot and rebuilds, then Sena taking up a lot of solo time, some tension rising between Sena and Andera's players, the idea of dividing the group backfiring (At the end it just meant that 2 players were inactive for long periods of time), and Julian's block, meant feelings were a bit grumpy, and not all that high.

    Sena's player, sensing this, called to continue the game, to try to come to a solution to Julian's dilemma, and come to a more satisfying session ending. They came up with some ideas: That Julian needs to die, or come very close to (Which she rejected), or maybe pregnancy (The player rejected this immediately, on grounds that that's a terrible reason to have a child, and that it sounds way too chauvinistic to him- that she can progress only by getting pregnant).

    Sensing that people are tired, that we need a break mostly, I called the session to an end.

    So, the session did had it's moments, but quite a lot of it just didn't work right. I hope to learn from this. Julian's player later informed me by email that he liked the riddle, but needed some time to think it through, and not just on the spot, and especially not late t night after about 8 hours of continuous play. (Our sessions run long, if you didn't realize it yet. ). Tell the truth, when I planned this, I expected Julian's ascension to come LOT sooner in the session, but with the loot stuff and various things people wanted to roleplay (Mostly Sena), this got quite delayed.

    Ok, So now i got one more session to write to get the log up to date. First I'll answer Red Rubber Band's post (I didn't forget) and a bit about how we dealt with the tension between players.

    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 - #173
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rubber Band View Post
    Is the rivalry between those two that bad? I guess the player's motivations will effect the character's motivations... have you talked to them individually about it?
    It's probably due to the time lapse, but I don't remember it being at the dirty looks across the table stage.
    There has been a sort of a rivalry ever since Sena's player joined the party. (The "Many Facets of Darkness campaign" in case you've read it.) It stems from a certain clash of personalities. Sena's player tends to play "the bastard", likes a LOT of Drama, intrigue, and so on. Lately, he got quite invested in this campaign, and just started to interact with EVERYONE. Andera's player is more guarded, direct, suspicious, and likes to focus on the major points, and move things along. They have been jesting, mostly friendly, in the group, but from time to time tension rises (Usually when Sena's player cross some line unintentionally, in his desire to provoke more roleplay. (He likes to provoke responses). We usually talk things a bit, they go more low key for some time, till it escalates again a bit. Though it is not by meaning harm, just a severe clash of styles.

    I've got a character who, at the moment, spends a lot of time talking to anyone and everyone. I try not to do it in game time, but make a note of it with my DM and we set up a mini PQ or RP session in between our usual game times. I understand time is very precious, but if Sena's player does it in game then everyone else's time is being wasted.

    Because of this decision I've ended up doing another two usual game sessions worth of RP in the past few months (on top of our normal play time). It's time consuming, but that's the way my character is currently going. He learns the names of everyone beneath him, and will ask for their culture's stories for any nugget of knowledge he can dig up. It frustrates my DM to no end, but because he wants his world fleshed out and hates to half-ass it he goes along with it. We've both learnt a lot more about the people and history of the world, which makes it all the more fun to play in over numerous campaigns.
    Sena sounds like he plays somewhat like you play. Problem is, we don't have time to allocate for more play (Him and me are the busiest people in the bunch. It is mostly because of us that we can meet only once every 4-5 weeks). At times, when he really wanted to play something solo, I managed to meet him an hour or so before the session, but this is rare.
    Andera'sa player wrote me a very angry email after the session, that his time is precious, and he doesn't feel like playing second violin to Sena's "drama bouts", which often do not involve the rest of them. Truth be told, this is also in large part because they either don't initiate roleplay, or purposefully don't bite hooks. Sena's player does spend some time on his own agendas, but he also made quite an effort, time and time again to try and involve the others. They just improvise slower, and are more cautious, where he doesn't quite care, as long as "something interesting happens", even if it is to his determent.

    Now, usually I don't much intervene between players. I believe that at our ages, we are all fairly adult, and grown up. They should be able to talk to each other and solve things. I am not a kindergarten teacher. That said, I felt that in this case Sena got a bit carried away (His solo time this session was nearly 2 hours!). So I decided to talk with him, it felt like he was going a bit overboard with his excitement.

    The talk went well, we came to the following decisions:
    1- We keep roleplay, in group or even just between us, just for the major points, the big stuff. If he wishes to "strengthen bonds", give orders, or the like, and if that can be done with a sentence or two, then we will do just that- summarize it with a sentence or two. "I request Aravash to look into X and Y", "I tell Brian I will help him build the temple with the spells I have", "I keep giving religious lectures to forward my vision amongst the common people, and so on". That said, major roleplay pieces, are played fully.
    2- Sena's player has a tendency to go on and on... He likes to talk, and make big speeches, big dramatic scenes. Which is awesome and has led to some great moments. That said, when I feel he starts to "overflow", and when the major points have been made, I will give him a small sign to "wrap things up nicely", which is his cue to find a good ending to the current roleplay.
    3- What we can roleplay (and that deserves roleplay, as according to the first decision), but does not need involve the group, we shall try to roleplay before the session. I hope that will help him get his fill.

    The talk was good. I was waiting to see what will happen next session... Time to write that up as well, no?

    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!

  24. - Top - End - #174
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    In between sessions I've talked a bit with Julian's player. He was considering the riddle- "Create an edge and cross it"... At the end he came up with an idea that fits his style. You'll see as we go. It took a bit of bending of rules for story and cinematic effect, but I thought it was cool, and so I agreed to it.

    Session 21, Part 1- Julian's ascension

    As we met, the start of the session got delayed a bit, but for good reasons- Sena's player took Andera's player aside, and they talked for some time. I don't know exactly about what, (It was private between the two), but it seemed to have a good effect. The two came to the table more mollified, more at ease. As they were talking the res of us three (Mad Dog's player, Julian's player and me), commented "Those two... They add so much to the game, but every once in awhile... Yeah, but this time it got a bit out of hand...". Still, the tension seemed quite reduced.

    Julian's player also surprised me while we waited. He thought Julian's transformation should have some hindering effect on her, transitory, but that will have her deal. This surprised me, and we discussed ideas. We came up with a sort of an idea, see how it goes...

    Creating an edge and crossing it.
    The party notified the Queen of their findings. She was not pleased, to say the least. "Nocticula? She is one of the most powerful demon lords, but also the most elusive ones. As mistress of darkness and assassinations, she knows how to keep her secrets. From what I know, she hasn't taken an active part in the cosmic game for a few centuries now. We haven't got the slightest idea of her motives, and of
    her real personality... This is bad news, I don't know how we could deal with her... But if she joins forces with Deskari and Baphomet? The crusade will surely crumble... This cannot be allowed to happen! We shall need to act fast. I shall consult my sages and will talk with you soon. But at least we now know of the Midnight Fane. I believe my sages will be able to find the location." So the party now waited, as Julian delved deeper...

    After the last vision with Areelu Vorlesh/ Paradox, Julian thought hard for quite some time, and did some research, into magical theory, but also into the Paradox again. After a few days, she called upon Brian and Sena, asking of them to gather the people of the city on Paradise Hill. She needed to speak with them.

    Julian flew there on her carpet of flying, and indeed, soon enough the curious people of Drezen gathered. She spoke near the top of the hill, near the place where Brian started erecting a temple to the five gods. She addressed the crowds at sunset:
    "People of Drezen, of the mortal races! You have come to this place against all odds. This place has been taken by the forces of evil a long time ago, and was a symbol of depression, of oppression, for anything that stands against freedom. I say today: Bring me your poor, your sickened, your forgotten, your beaten. Bring them here, because this place will become the place of freedom, of personal freedom! Today Drezen is still struggling, for food, for water, for a new life against the Worldwound. We need to take a stand and do something. You have all acted by coming here. Still, I cannot ignore the people in the street, begging for food and water, fighting over resources that should be free for everyone. So today here I promise to do what needs to be done so all will get a new chance, which all of you can do by your own self, through decision, through action."

    Julian, through her research into the impossible, into divine power, tapped into both. She started casting a complicated spell, drawing greatly on her mythic reservoirs, to make... a change. The land around her started to change- from the parched, infertile, dry land, it started to reform into a more agreeable land, a more fertile land, a healthier land. Some of the plants, used to the chaotic energies and the desert like environment of the Worldwound twisted and grew, more strong, more verdant, more alive, and here and there even some grass grew, some flowers. The noise of water, coming from a new fountain on the hill, one of clearer water, good drinking water. The air itself, which was stifling, dry, became fresher, a bit of moisture in it.

    Behind Julian a great big oak, which will from now on be the symbol of Julian's faith, grew in a rapid rate, at the top of the hill, to a great height, verdant, powerful, alive... A symbol of hope. And near it rose a massive rock from the ground, which will be the basis of Julian's new order- Abbey of the Forgotten.

    Yet the power needed to create this small miracle, this terraforming of the environs of Drezen, was a lot to take in. Julian was in a trance, that drew from her power, from her life, from herself. The ritual was draining, and in it, she came upon another vision...

    Spoiler: DM notes- Julian's Edge
    The player found out the mythical spell- Terraform, on which we based the effect in play. Though it's a 7th level mythic spell, and though Julian's effects exceed the spell's effects somewhat, I allowed it, with both of us agreeing that it called for a bit more of a price. We agreed upon a greater expenditure of material resources (She put around 20-30,000 into this, can't remember), A drain on her mythical power till she reaches 7th level spells (2 mythic power less of her max), and lastly, the physical/ roleplay effects (Coming up later). Since this was mostly for roleplay purposes, and the ability was supposed to be originally just her taking the mythical universal ability of Divine Focus, we thought this was enough, and a cool effect.

    How does it relay to the riddle? Mainly as an act of greater creation- it involves Positive energy/ creation, it involves ideation (Her core ideas), and certainly a lot of power. It is also an edge, where she does something that mimics divine creation, and there are a lot of witnesses to see this, and believe in her. So I deemed it cool. Flashy and grandiose, true, not exactly my first choice, but awesome non the less, and the player liked it!

    Third vision- The core of your belief- What does it mean to be good?
    This time, Julian found herself In the orphanage that she was in as a child. She was being punished for some mischief- she was put in a small dark cell, with the Mother of the orphanage saying "And stay there till you realize what you've done!" and closed the door. They were alone in the dark room. Though Alone may not quite be the case, for there were others there, representations of important figures in her life- Brian, Sena, Andera, Mad Dog and the Queen. These were their representations in her own mind. (Important note: The players played the figures representing their own characters in the visions!)
    She heard the voices of the Prayers, of Paradox, Of herself- as she is now, but also the voice of the 7 years old, locked up in the darkness, alone. "Who are you? What is your core? You claim to be good, but many divine beings are good, with many different representations of "good"... What does "good mean to you?"
    J: "Never to be helpless. Never to let others to be helpless, never to be left alone, be locked way, to do everything In your power, to help those in need. Stop ignoring, the greatest crime is to stand aside and not get involved."
    Andera's sword, Changi, sprang up from it's hilt, and took the form of a socrpion. "Slit the witch'es throat, her heart is filled with cruelty." (Motioning toward's the Mother superior outside the room)
    Andera however spoke differently: "Will you do it upon the school mistress, will she like it in the dark? If you were in her place, will you do it upon her?"
    J: "Vengeance is never the answer." She put her hand on Andera's cheek. "You of all have proven compassion for others. We shall give a second chance. That's what binds us."
    S: "Even vengeance against those whose entire goal and drive is to tap into the basest of instincts, and cause great cruelty? How can you say we cannot avenge against those people?"
    J: "Simple my friend Sena, we shall act out not of vengeance. But of justice."
    S: "Sometimes vengeance IS justice." (Chandi whispered: "Listen to the priest!")
    J: "If it comes to prevent greater suffering, it is justified. Each one of us is given his own code of morality, and ability to understand, and take decisions. Each one of us has proven already that they act not of impulses, but what must be done. If that demands us to take a stand, than we do it."
    The Queen spoke: "I am of responsibility, of unity, of leadership. You will need to make hard choices, impossible choices. To sacrifice some to save others. To hurt in order to heal, or plainly survive."
    J: "Life is full of decisions, sometimes that means taking decisions over the life of others. I f it needs to be done, I will do it."

    The vision changed to another event from her past. Age 11, when she led her friends on a dare ,to sneak into the Wardstone Chamber. There she met a demon, or a sort of a demon, looking a lot like Mad Dog had in his monstrous transformations. She saw herself, facing the demon (Who at that time beat her into a coma), some of her friends dead, some dying, some fleeing, and the beast towering over her. "How will you act, when you cannot do all, save all, for all power is at the end- limited..."
    J: "I will stop the demon. We try to do our best, Not necessarily the "greater good", just good."
    The demon above, challenged her: "And what about your responsibility? It was you who had led here, despite great many dangers, for your own pride, for your desire of mischief. because of you they have died, suffered..."
    Julian's voice, taken by surprised, hesitated, but then answered, a bit cracked: "Yes, this was my responsibility. It was my fault..." She became a bit withdrawn, remembering...
    Chandi spoke harshly, against Julian: "She brought them here, stab her heart! She will go on to betray others!"
    Again Andera posed a different view, speaking to Julian, talking about her younger self: "Has she wronged you? She tried, yet failed. She tried her best. Will you not forgive her? Are you mad at her?"
    Julian spoke weakly, yet harshly: "But I brought them here, they are dead!"
    An: "If you were them, will you not forgive her?"
    J: "I... I do not know…." She was shaken.
    Sena strode in: "I do not believe in coincidence, where you lived, while others died. Every death has it's purpose, every surviving soul has it's purpose, there is a plan."
    Julian looked at him, somewhat furious, but with a smirk of contempt: "A divine plan?"
    S: "There is a bigger picture we live in. Forces that are not as obvious or seen as we may think."
    Chandi: "Bigger picture, bigger shmicktcher! She brought them here. She is responsible!"
    S: "You cannot understand everything."
    J: "I need to think about it. I do not know how they would look at me. But if the bigger picture includes the death of small 6 years kids, then I reject it!"
    S: "Even if one of them would have grown to be a tyrant with the blood of millions on his hands?"
    J: "Yes. Now he is a kid. You do not kill if they will become tyrants. You can change destinies. All destinies can be changed. You do not serve the sentence before the crime!"
    Sena bowed to Julian, liking her answer: "Still, you did not have the power to change anything. Guilt leads to no where."
    Chandi chortled: "She betrayed them! Slit her throat, slit her throat!"

    The vision once more changed, to the streets of Xer. This was a mixed vision, spreading across several years, first her abusive foster family, then being thrown into the street upon manifesting the first sourcerous powers, then surviving in the mean streets, amongst gangs and more, becoming tough, lean, mean...
    Andera spoke of the young Julian once more: "If you could advise her, what would be your advice to her?"
    J: "I will advise her to do what I have done. I have never stood down to anyone, even if you are kicked in the face, do it screaming and scratching."
    Chandi: "Who brought it to this situation? Her parents?"
    Andera joins with Chandi to form a big scorpion. Talked about the foster parents: "They have abused you, thrown you to the street. What shall you do to them with your new found power?"
    J: "My foster parents? They need to be punished, but not in order to take vengeance, but so that they will not hurt everyone else. They should pay their due according to the law."
    S: "So there need to be a retribution. You will become a goddess, your word will spread, be a law, be a power, what retribution will you order for them? It is your call..."
    J: "My retribution is my ability to forgive. At 14, I would have plucked their eyes out. Now... I just wish them to not hurt others..."
    At this point Brian stepped forth: "You have lost families, rejected families, can you find a family again? My dear, dear child..." There was sadness in his voice, regret, and great caring for Julian.
    J: "You ask how not to be alone. People who share my belief, my comrades, those who will follow they way I believe in, not followers- friends. I believe I have found them. Their have their own faults, their own greatness. Mad dog who is very clear, Sena that calculates, and There is Andera who's compassion leads his way along with his swords, and you, who took care of me in the past. They are my family, you are my family."
    Sena bowed, Andera returned to his original form, and Brian just wrapped his arms around her and hugged her. "So this is what GOOD means to new, Julian Bearstorm."

    She received her first domain- the Good domain.

    Spoiler: DM notes- third vision: What does it mean to be good?
    Once Julian made the transition, I thought it could be cool to have a vision for her gaining her domains. The first a significant alignment domain, the second one a more general one. I wanted to challenge her by important figures in her life, and her past. Then the idea came in one of the assistance threads, to bring the group along for this! So we talked in emails (Without Julian's player) about these visions, their place in them and so on. Sena and Andera's player took a great interest in this, and planned a few challenges accordingly, which I think went fairly nicely. Mad Dog's player felt this was not quite his niche, so he stayed out of most of it.

    Sena wanted to do this in a similar fashion to two pivotal challenges in Babylon 5, where the person under interrogation is asked quick questions, given little time to answer, in order to draw out the most real answers, things from the subconscious. (He is a lawyer, and has at times used a similar tactic against people on the stand). Julian's player answered quite nicely I think. He came quite prepared about what her vision should be, and his grasp of her character.
    The two Babylon conversations, watch them, they are quite cool (MAJOR SPOILERS if you haven't seen the show):
    Babylon 5, Order vs. Chaos.
    Babylon 5, Who are you.

    Fourth vision- The Core Teachings
    The vision changed, partly returning to reality, Julian saw the masses beneath her, on the hill, all viewing her, and the change to Drezen in amazed awe, many of whom prostrated themselves in front the floating glowing form of Julian. And in this, she saw others beside her, her trio of friends, but also many of the other companions and caretakers of Drezen. She heard the voice of the prayers again: "You are good, but in what way will you act upon it? What is the core teaching of action to them? They will look up to you, what shall you say to them?"
    Julian looked around, as the NPCs each spoke, bowing to her:
    Anevia: "I am vigiliance. Do what needs to be done, by any means it takes to do it."
    Arabeth: "I am honor. Trust, companionship, camaraderie and responsibility."
    Bartlet:" I am the grim humor. When it's darkest, look for the light. Find the positive."
    Aravash: "I am wisdom. Seek knowledge, seek understanding, seek enlightment."
    Lann: "I am the hard worker. Put your weight, and work yourself up, despite hardship, despite prejudice, despite resistance. Through persistence and determination, I move on."
    Qulin: "I am redemption, I am hope. A change of ways is always possible."
    Brian: "I am the father. I love, I care, I grieve. I am family."
    The trio had other things to say though.
    S: "I am hope for a new way, a new vision."
    Mad dog does not speak, just nods.
    Andera: "When the house behind you burn, and people flee it, you can heal them, or stop the fire. Will you save the people wounded, or stop the fire from harming more?"
    J: "I will stop the fire." She answers instinctively, but then she seems to hesitate. "You have brought a dilemma, which is impossible to decide right now. Each situation is different, with it's own details, it's own influences. When you are in the situation, you will know."
    To the prayers she answered: "My teaching is very simple- always do the best you can to help others. I do not know what is the best way, until I will be in the fire."
    Andera pressed on: "This answers nothing, by what way will you stop the fire, or decide? Choose the tool, choose the way."
    J: "The fire is chaos- war, demons, many things, but for each evil, there is good. Good can counter it, and still you always have to see those that hurt, and help the best you can. Fighting is one way, but is not enough. Healing is needed as well as fighting.
    S: "So you rpesent hope, a new way?"
    J: "There has always been hope, it just need not be ignored."

    We decided to end the vision here, as it seemed that the central experience has been played through, and Julian has spoken her piece. True, she did not quite come to a final teaching, but her main agenda- helping others to learn to help themselves, and not ignore people for the greater good, has been clear enough. She gained her second domain- Healing.

    And at last,the transformation of Drezen, tied to the transformation of Julian, was completed. Along with a whole new look for her! (The player likes visuals, so he came up with the following pic to show her after the transformation)

    Sena has also gained Divine Focus, as part of his transformation into something... new... But the player preferred to not make a big deal out of this, and have it be far more subtle. He liked Julian's story and how much her player had fun with this, so he opted out of drama on this one.

    Spoiler: DM notes- Julian's ascension, visions, riddles and such
    On the whole, the player loved the experience, even though the riddle stumped him a bit at the end of the previous session. He felt it gave the ascension a different feel, a special event, and he was pleasently surprised at the paticipation of the others in his visions! I think that on the whole, this went quite well (The other players liekd it too!). Sure, we may not have done the best of dialogue or such, but then again, it was not scripted, and we are not exactly improvisational actors or accomplished speech makers.

    I think this gave an extra feel for the simple feat. It took quite soem work from me to figure things out, and decide what to put in, what to leave out, but it went well. As to the riddle... It was essential that it would be open ended, and dependent mostly on the player's creativity, which worked quite liek a blast. Hope you liked it!

    Julian, now a divine being, stood in front of the great oak of her faith, near the basis of the abbey that will focus on teaching everyone self reliance, self defense, and self accomplishment, and she stood in front of the amazed and bewildered crowds of Drezen, many of them fallen before the rise of this new being.

    Yet she could not see... well, not in the regular sense. The ritual has taken it's toll on her. Her eyes glowing, Sena quickly noticed soemthing is wrong, and came to her aid, trying to look as a front guide to her.

    Arabeth, as stunned as the rest, asked her: "What has happened here?"
    Julian looked at her, not seeing a woman, but a dull great sword, nicked and well used, yet still quite sharp, with a soft inner glow. Yet she saw no buildings, not the earth, the water, just many different kind of auras, souls... "This is still me, everyone can support and help themselves for their own food and water. This city will be a refuge in this desolated land and for those who seek shelter. People of Drezen, I hope that you have learned, and not just received. I hope that each and everyone of you will care for the other. Remember this- good can be done by everyone. This place is safe now, make it safe for others as I have made it for you."
    With that she turned to Sena, who looked... stranger than the rest of the auras- it was as if he wasn't quite there. Something... flickering, not fully existing, as if not fully in sight. Yet she trusted him, squeezing his shoulder. "I m tired now. Lets go home".

    I will stop here for now. The second part will start The Midnight Isles module, preparations, final decisions, and the attack on the Midnight Fane. I hope you enjoyed this! And I hope I will have the time to write the second part soon. Gotta go now!

    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 - #175
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    There has been a sort of a rivalry ever since Sena's player joined the party. (The "Many Facets of Darkness campaign" in case you've read it.) It stems from a certain clash of personalities. Sena's player tends to play "the bastard", likes a LOT of Drama, intrigue, and so on. Lately, he got quite invested in this campaign, and just started to interact with EVERYONE. Andera's player is more guarded, direct, suspicious, and likes to focus on the major points, and move things along. They have been jesting, mostly friendly, in the group, but from time to time tension rises (Usually when Sena's player cross some line unintentionally, in his desire to provoke more roleplay. (He likes to provoke responses). We usually talk things a bit, they go more low key for some time, till it escalates again a bit. Though it is not by meaning harm, just a severe clash of styles.

    Sena sounds like he plays somewhat like you play. Problem is, we don't have time to allocate for more play (Him and me are the busiest people in the bunch. It is mostly because of us that we can meet only once every 4-5 weeks). At times, when he really wanted to play something solo, I managed to meet him an hour or so before the session, but this is rare.
    Andera'sa player wrote me a very angry email after the session, that his time is precious, and he doesn't feel like playing second violin to Sena's "drama bouts", which often do not involve the rest of them. Truth be told, this is also in large part because they either don't initiate roleplay, or purposefully don't bite hooks. Sena's player does spend some time on his own agendas, but he also made quite an effort, time and time again to try and involve the others. They just improvise slower, and are more cautious, where he doesn't quite care, as long as "something interesting happens", even if it is to his determent.

    Now, usually I don't much intervene between players. I believe that at our ages, we are all fairly adult, and grown up. They should be able to talk to each other and solve things. I am not a kindergarten teacher. That said, I felt that in this case Sena got a bit carried away (His solo time this session was nearly 2 hours!). So I decided to talk with him, it felt like he was going a bit overboard with his excitement.

    The talk went well, we came to the following decisions:
    1- We keep roleplay, in group or even just between us, just for the major points, the big stuff. If he wishes to "strengthen bonds", give orders, or the like, and if that can be done with a sentence or two, then we will do just that- summarize it with a sentence or two. "I request Aravash to look into X and Y", "I tell Brian I will help him build the temple with the spells I have", "I keep giving religious lectures to forward my vision amongst the common people, and so on". That said, major roleplay pieces, are played fully.
    2- Sena's player has a tendency to go on and on... He likes to talk, and make big speeches, big dramatic scenes. Which is awesome and has led to some great moments. That said, when I feel he starts to "overflow", and when the major points have been made, I will give him a small sign to "wrap things up nicely", which is his cue to find a good ending to the current roleplay.
    3- What we can roleplay (and that deserves roleplay, as according to the first decision), but does not need involve the group, we shall try to roleplay before the session. I hope that will help him get his fill.

    The talk was good. I was waiting to see what will happen next session... Time to write that up as well, no?
    Well, it just so happens that this character is much more of a "know the people" person. My last character was completely self-absorbed and only made a handful of meaningful relationships outside of the party Any other roleplaying was with other party members unless it was a Personal Quest. In which case the quest was, you guessed it, personal.

    Usually when solo time gets out of hand our DM, or the player, will say, "Hold on a sec, maybe we should do this another time". But most of our group is quite happy for each character to get their chance in the spotlight and the DM will try to somehow fit the players, if not the characters, in to the event. For example, we recently had a mage duel that lasted about 2 hours (out of game), or ~10 rounds in game. There was some prep time, an explanation of the rules for the newer players, and we were constantly munching on food, but damn that's a long *** battle between two people. The way we got around this, and probably extended the time significantly, was involve everyone each turn into describing what their character saw. Each person added a bit on. I know it cannot always be like this, and just cutting RP short really messes with the vibe. And I guess it seems a little bit different for you guys, as every session half turns out to be "Sena quests for an answer and tries to drag everyone along"
    Something that our DM does is talk to each person after the session to see how it went. Although it seems to be just me lately... not tooting my own horn, but I think out of the three* people he could speak with I have the best advice insofar as telling him what worked, what didn't, and how the others reacted to it.
    *There is a fourth, but they live together, so I'm not counting him as I know they talk near on every day about it.

    Kudos to Sena's player for making the constant effort to involve everyone. And also for understanding the situation that he seems to have unintentionally created.
    It's good that, even though you're not a kindergarten teacher or their parent, you stepped in and had a discussion with the source of the dissent. Hats off.
    Wow! Sena and Andera had an actual conversation together that seemed to work! Adulthood sure is grand. I now live in hope that someday certain people I know reach it... Got to love people being grown up about situations like this. These things are what you want in a group. Communication, Composure, and Respect. (We'll just ignore the angry email by Andera part To be honest, they could have done a lot worse. So that's a point in their favour)

    Anyway, I'm stopping this because I've fluffed on way too much. Hopefully it makes sense. I've been interrrupted about a dozen times so far

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Spoiler: DM notes- Julian's Edge
    The player found out the mythical spell- Terraform, on which we based the effect in play. Though it's a 7th level mythic spell, and though Julian's effects exceed the spell's effects somewhat, I allowed it, with both of us agreeing that it called for a bit more of a price. We agreed upon a greater expenditure of material resources (She put around 20-30,000 into this, can't remember), A drain on her mythical power till she reaches 7th level spells (2 mythic power less of her max), and lastly, the physical/ roleplay effects (Coming up later). Since this was mostly for roleplay purposes, and the ability was supposed to be originally just her taking the mythical universal ability of Divine Focus, we thought this was enough, and a cool effect.
    This is a trait that I really like in a DM. Someone who is very happy (or just happy) with bending the rules for a rule of cool ruling...
    If it's an epic fight and requires an epic (duh) conclusion or a last ditch effort to push us over the line the DM will go, "Explain what you're doing vividly and you'll get bonuses, and I'll hand waive some of the mundane **** so that you can do this without the possibility of rolling a 1 on something." Basically we paint a (series of) picture(s) and the detail gets us slight immunity to bad luck

    Spoiler: DM notes- Julian's ascension, visions, riddles and such
    On the whole, the player loved the experience, even though the riddle stumped him a bit at the end of the previous session. He felt it gave the ascension a different feel, a special event, and he was pleasently surprised at the paticipation of the others in his visions! I think that on the whole, this went quite well (The other players liekd it too!). Sure, we may not have done the best of dialogue or such, but then again, it was not scripted, and we are not exactly improvisational actors or accomplished speech makers.

    I think this gave an extra feel for the simple feat. It took quite soem work from me to figure things out, and decide what to put in, what to leave out, but it went well. As to the riddle... It was essential that it would be open ended, and dependent mostly on the player's creativity, which worked quite liek a blast. Hope you liked it!
    Really enjoyed it. Would have been awesome to be a part of!
    I'm not sure how your group is with reminiscing, but our group constantly chat about previous characters and the shenanigans they got up to. Some conjecture happens with what they could be doing now that they're under the DM's command, and the talk usually ends with some fingers crossed so that we may not have to face them in the future.
    Hopefully this is one of those times your group talks about!
    Last edited by Red Rubber Band; 2015-08-03 at 01:36 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    You could also go on an adventure for the magical strap-on, if you really want to make an adventure out of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Wizard View Post
    Come at me scrublord I'm ripped

  26. - Top - End - #176
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Heya Red Rubber Band! Glad you enjoyed the writing so far. Out group does reminisce, but about the oddest things at times... For example, at a session in our first campaign in a sort of a dungeon made out of memories of dead personalities (Long story), Andera's player invented a spur of the moment personality called "Mobold the Dwarf", who for a reason I can't quite remember, got huge laughs, even though he persisted in game time for about 4-5 minutes. Strangely, it's one of the characters they most remember. Oh well, players....

    I do ask what worked and what didn't after the session. It became such a habit that most of the group just go "It was cool! Stop asking allready!" Unless there was something specific that was especially cool or especially irksome.

    Just wanted to answer this before starting the second half of the last session. Finally got a bit more time. Catching up! (I hope to be able to finish this before I have to leave). Here goes!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-08-04 at 07:49 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 - #177
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Session 21, Part 2- Preparing for the Abyss

    Julian's "condition"
    So Julian slept, While Sena stood guard outside of her door. Her home has become a place of congregation, with a great deal of the people of Drezen coming there, quite confused, yet filled with awe, that they have just seen something special.

    At morning Andera came to see Julian, yet Sena stopped him.
    S: "You need to give her some time. She is part of the process now."
    An: "The process?"
    S: "Yes, the new way. I cannot fully explain it now."
    An: "You talk about your new symbol? The new pins many of the people in town are sporting?"
    Sena hesitated for a bit. "That as well, it's a part of it. We need to give Julian time to rest."
    An: "I have no time for this. We need to understand what just happened there. She slept enough." And with that, he used ghost step to just go through the wall.

    Julian was awake though, She was at her table, seeming tired, but otherwise soemwhat refreshed. She looked at the enterign Andera in strange white eyes. "Ah, Andera the scorpion."
    An: "The Scorpion?"
    J: "I... I see things differently now. I think I see souls, or impressions of them. Maybe a part of the divine power... It's strange. I can't see the rest of the world, and even what I see, only from close up."
    (As discussed at the start of the session, Julian's player wanted to "pay a price/ mark a change". She can now only see sentient living things, as a sort of a soul, and up to 60 ft. She is blind to the rest of the material world. She can target creatures, but not see unliving matter.)
    Sena entered as well, a bit flustered. Julian turned to him, but her eyes were a bit as if searching. "Sena, you are here as well?". Sena bowed. "I am the guardian of Paradox, and you are it. I promised to protect." Julian looked at him with focus. "I can barely see you. You are as if barely flickering on the edge of sight... But thank you."
    Shea asked Andera and Sena's help to prepare food. And then she sat to eat. After a few bites, she seemed a bit more relieved.
    J: "This spell took more effort than I thought!"
    An: "I am not sure it was a spell. More like a sortof a small miracle! How did you pull it off?"
    J: "I grabbed some of the divine power, it was very draining. But it affected my sight- I see Andera like a scorpion, Sena flickering, it is... quite odd. The images do not always confer to the being. They are a bit confusing..."
    Andera thought for a few moments: "Well, it could be helpful to find some infiltrators. I do not know how to translate. Maybe we can try it.".
    Julian turned to Andera: "Perhaps. But It makes things... difficult. Andera, will you be my guide?"
    Before Andera could answer, they could hear a bit of a commotion outside. People understood she has awawkened.
    Sena was worried of this: "There is a crowd outside. I don't think you should go on in the city in your situation."
    Julian however did not agree. "People need to see me now." She finieshed her meal and spoke. "Sena, I appreciate you, but eave me and Andera alone." Sena bowed, and let to guard the door again.
    J: "Andera, it's not easy for me, but you remember ages ago, when I wasn't quite myself, and things went weird between us?" She coughed a bit. "Well, as I was... transforming... I saw you in my visions, have you seen them yourself, or only me?"
    Andera looked suspicious: "Not that I remember."
    J: "Well, I told you in those visions that I appreciate your compassion. I trust you, and if it's ok with you, I wish you to help me in this predicament, and be my eyes."
    An: "No problem in the city, but what's next?"
    J: "When fighting will come? When fighting will come, I will be there. We will act. Trust me."
    An: "I hope so. Just remember. But when fighting comes, I go for the source of the fire, I can't stay behind."
    J: "Of course."

    Spoiler: Julian and her guide Andera
    Julian's player also wanted to involve the rest of the group. Part of this handicap he proposed was to have him rely on another character, and strengthen the roleplay between the two. He chose Andera's player, to enrich the interactions. Sena had enough already. Andera's player also feel more at ease roleplaying with Julian's player, so this bode well. The agreement was that he will guide her physically, her hand on his shoulders, outside of combat. The player had an idea for that.

    Fourth Module- The Midnight Isles

    Queen's visit- "Your next mission, if you chose to accept it."
    Julian goes outside, her hand on Andera's shoulder, and Sena as a barrier between her and the people. She gives a short speech (We were now edging for a bit more action, so we just skipped the specifics), in which she called for those who can, when not working, help Brian in building the Abbey of the Forgotten, which will be the first outpost for teaching self defense, self reliance, and the responsibility to help others and do good, as you can. Julian's first temple, of a sort...

    "We got company. I swear she must have some very good spies!" alerted Sena, as the Queen was making her approach yet once more. The crowds parted, but the group decided to convene at the Citadel, and discuss things more privately there.

    The Queen herself was quite amazed at Julian's transformation, but did not comment on this other than. "You never cease to amaze me. This is good! We may need some miracles in the time to come. You have already done so much! Thanks to The Purge, we have been able to eliminate the infiltration in our camp, and now our plans, efforts are not immediately known. We have been able to deal some major blows to the demons laying siege to Narossian, and have even been able to push int othe Worldwound itself! Our army is marching to Raliscard, the front line military hold of the demons, lost to use in the second crusade. I shall return to lead it after finishing here, but finally- the initiative is ours! We are striking back!" The group seemed pleased at this.

    The Queen explained the situation: "I come to you, to ask you yet once again of a great service. I have asked of you many great things before, and you have always delivered, but this time... It is different. I need you to go into the Abyss itself, into the realm of Nocticula, demon lord of darkness, lust, and assassinations, into one of the greatest centers of evil in creation, into The Midnight Isles... While in the past we could lend you some support, I fear that on this dangerous mission, the most dangerous of all before now, you will most likely go alone. I... am uneasy of this... I am not fully convinced that I should send you into the great darkness, but I see no one more capable, and the stakes of this venture are... well, we never played for higher."

    She sighed, and then continued. "It seems all of our latest discoveries converge on this matter. The Nyhadrian crystals are mined somewhere in the midnight isles, an operation we suspect is headed by Hephazimerah herself, daughter of Baphomet, and source of the new powerful demons we have seen this far, as well as being crucial to some nefarious plot by Areelu Vorlesh. Whatever it is, it can't be good. But possibly more alarming, are the attempts to ally with Nocticula herself. I... we... my sages... have not been able to learn anything new of this most enigmatic of demon lords. She is a mystery. But she is also one of the most powerful demons in all of creation. The Midnight Isles is her realm, her reflection, and is composed of the bodies of great many demon lords she assassinated, which now form the hundreds of isles in the archipelago that form her domain. If they ally with her, the crusade is as good as over. We will lose. The world will lose... This, above all else, must be stopped." (Sena's player cursed silently. "Oh F***!" )

    The group listened, and so the Queen continued. "We have located The Midnight Fane, which is the portal through which the Nyhadrian Crystals are being transported. For some curiosity, they cannot be teleported ,and so they must be transferred by non magical means. It is located deep in the Worldwound, in an old defiled Sarkori temple to Pulura, goddess of the stars, the cold and the void. We know from Xanthir's notes there is a foundry there. So my proposal is this- We go to the Midnight Fane, we shall use scrolls to get us there. We shall attack it, destroy the foundry, and you shall trvel through the portal to the Midnight Isles. Julian, in your... studies... have you foudn a way to cloe the portal?"
    Julian has, a sort of a ritual, which she will discuss later, she was not fully sure, but she theorized it could work. "Excellent!" The Queen's spirits seems to have been lifted. "We must try this!" Nulan seemed excited, yet worried. The Queen continued. "Once you cross over though, you are on your own. I do not know where in the isles does the portal lead, but hopefully you might find some clues as to the location of the Nyhadrian mine. I suggest making headway yo Porphyry city, or Allushira, as it is also known. We know that Nocticula has erected this massive metropolis as a place of commerce, the biggest one in all of the Abyss, full with various demons, and other extraplanars. It is said to be one of the most corrupted places in the universe, filled with all kinds of sin, debauchery, temptation and schemes, yet it is also your best bet to get information, and also get the attention of Nocticula herself."

    The Queen paused. "I... am not sure how to approach this. Odd, isn't it? That for this most important of missions, I have no information to give you..." She gave a mirthless laugh. "Try to find out about the negotiations, about Nocticula, and stop this. Whatever it takes! I put my trust in you..." They could see the heavy burden on her. "And lastly, find the mine, and put a final stop to Areelu's plans."

    She gave the party a few moments to let it sink in. The enormity of the task ahead. She then continued. "Prepare for the journey well. It is unlikely you will see Golarion, or Drezen for awhile. I suggest you use Aravash' expertise on the planes to learn more of where you'll be going. Also, your new... friend..." The Queen's eyes narrowed a bit "Might provide some very useful information. Nocticula was the first succubus, and many of them revere her. Succubi are said to hold positions of import and influence in Porphyry city, perhaps she could help. Prepare, but do it quickly. We do not know how much time we have. In 2-3 days at the most, we leave."

    Andera noticed something. "We?" The Queen smiled. "Yes, we. I will join you in the attack on the Midnight Fane. I will need to see this ritual that Julian proposes to close the portal with my own eyes! If this can actually be done... do you realize the implications? We have a tool to end the war! There is no way I will miss this! I must see it!" Nulan approached her "My Queen, but the danger! It is far behind enemy lines, we cannot allow you to risk yourself on such a..." But the Queen stopped him, smiling. "I know of your concerns Nulan, but I have to do this. Both to see the ritual, and to give these heroes a last farewell, before they travel into the abyss on our behalf!" The party was a it doubtful, but agreed.

    With the main things said, the Queen relaxed a bit, and turned to Julian and Sena. "You two have gone through a lot of changes in this past few months... I know what it means. There are many rumors as to my long life amongst the people, some spread by me... They think I use Sun Orchid potions, but it is different- Iomedae has made me her herald, her messenger, her icon on Golarion. She has infused me with some of her essence, which has some benefits, some hindrances." She looked at them both, and then caressed Julian's cheek. "I hope you bear the change better than I do. It... separates you from others. You are no longer fully mortal..." She then left to prepare herself.

    Preparations for the Abyss
    Most of this we conducted not in roleplay, but rather amongst us as players and DM. We assumed that the following info they can get from Aravash, Arulashee and Brian. Most of this comes from the module, with a few little tweaks of my own. I sent the party maps of the realm, from the module (Which looks like a huge archipelago, with lots of isles, some bigger, some smaller. A BIG place.) and of Porphyry city (Which is a city in the middle of the big lake, on the biggest isle, which looked quite cramped, and purpulish). I don't think I can reproduce these maps here, but I hope you get the idea. I put most of these under spoilers, in case you know the module, and do not wish to read it again. (The changes on the whole are minor. i mostly increased the penalties for conditions)

    Considerations when traveling to the Midnight Isles:
    • Banishment: When the PCs travel to the abyss, they are considered outsiders, and so are subject to Banidshment, Dismissal and Blasphemy. The demons there are not. They are considered Native to this place. As per the module, the party decides to buy a few scrolls of Plane shift and Greater teleport, for is some of the group get sent back to Golarion, while others are in the Abyss, ?(They mostly worried about Blasphemy). Most of the scrolls are with Andera.
    • Constant Midnight: There is no real cycle of a regular "day" as we know it in the Midnight Isles. The sky is either completely dark (Granting full concealment), or it has a moon, and some "Stars" , as Notcticule decide to adorn the "sky" at that time (Granting partial concealment). In total the "Day" is about 16 hours, each period lasting about 8. I decided to have spells lasting a day conform to this, and not go with the module's suggestion of 24 hour spells lasting as such, since that would be too much book keeping without any real benefit in experience.
    • North Isn’t North: “north” indicates the direction to Nocticula’s private boudoir, deep within her palace in the city of Allushirra. (I explained that long distance traveling might be quite difficult).
    • Altered senses: Things feel different, the sounds, smells, noises. In many ways, it is an alien palce, which plays tricks on the senses. -5 to -10 on perception or related skills. (This is more than the module's suggestion, since that penalty is pathetic, and I wanted to make it feel like having a real effect).
    • Divinely Morphic and Sentient: Nocticula can alter the Midnight Isles at will, as can the Abyss itself, but she generally avoids doing so as she is quite pleased with the shapes her defeated foes have assumed. Sena's player was quite confused at this. I explained that as said in the exceprts, higher beings, such as demon lords, are not just shape, but also an idea, and a place. The entire of Midnight Isles are an extension of Nocticula. In some ways, she IS the plane. The party gave a few more delicious curses.
    • Strongly Chaos-Aligned and Strongly Evil-Aligned: A –4 circumstance penalty applies on all Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks attempted by creatures that aren’t chaotic or evil. The penalties for the chaotic and evil components of the alignment trait stack. (This is more than the -2 suggested by the module, for the same reasons specified earlier). Sena smiled at this, as the choice of "beyond morality" started paying dividends.
    • Enhanced Magic: Spells and spell-like abilities with the chaotic, evil, or darkness descriptor or of the shadow subschool are enhanced. CL +2
    • Impeded Magic: Spells and spell-like abilities with the lawful, light, or good descriptor are impeded. Concentration 25+ spell level.

    The Porphyry city- Allushira:
    This the mostly learned from Arulashee. Apparently she has lived there for a while, in her more demonic days, but it has been ages since she has been there. She was somewhat hesitant about relaying her connection to such a place.
    • Population: This is the biggest metropolis in the abyss, and caters for demons from all of it's layers, plus quite a few more visitors from other places. "Many demons? How many are we talking about?", "Oh a few millions... plus a quite a lot of slaves from around the planes, and other kind of extraplanars." The group? "F***, that's a lot of demons!" Other than Mad Dog who just grinned widely. "So it will take us a bit slower to clean up the place."
    • Trade: Porphyry city is the major trade hub of the Abyss. Anything, ANYTHING can probably be bought and sold there- from items, slaves, experiences, sensations, information and more. The place caters greatly for delights and pleasures, of many kinds. However, counterfeits, schemes, and charging high prices is quite common. For game purposes, the party can assume there is no purchase limit there, but prices are usually 10-20% more. Plus, not everything they buy is guaranteed to be "Kosher".
    • Morality: Porphyry city prides itself being submerged in sin. Slavery, abuse, addictions, violence, and much more is common everywhere. The many succubi cater for any kind of temptation, most of them not quite healthy. Brutality and violence in the streets is common, and power plays a great deal. The place sports many powerful visiting beings, so it may be wise not to draw too much attention to yourself. Nocticula rarely intervenes, and the place is chaotic and extremely dangerous. The only rough rule is not to disturb the flow of the city itself and it's commerce. Nocticula is known to never intervene directly, but rather use-
    • Shamira: An immensely powerful succubus, and not of the tempting kind. With wings of fire, and a furious temper to match, Shamira is the ruler of Porphyry City in Nocticula's name and sees to it's continuous operation. Shamira holds tremendous power, nearly matching that of Nocticula, and is her Herald on the plane. In Arulashee's words- "I really suggest to avoid her if at all possible. Do not irk her temper- none have survived it before."
    • Succubi: The succubi holds a special place in Porphyry city. They are considered a sort of elite, and holds many places of power and import. They are the main owners of property in the city, and nearly any place accepting visitors (Of which there are plenty), is owned by one. It is practically impossible to find an inn that doesn't serve as a brothel of some kind as well.
    • Nocticula's Boudoir: Does not exist in any specific place. It is rumored to exist as a sort of a demi plane that can open to any place in the Midnight Isles, as Nocticula sees fit. You cannot get there, unless Nocticula shows an interest in you, in which case an opening will become apparent.
    • Regions: We decided to discuss these as the party gets there, but some names such as "The Flesh Markets", "The Ten Thousand Delights" and "The Virgin's Ribs", were thrown, just o spice the imagination a bit...

    The party grew a bit grim about this. "Well... we'll fit right in!"
    "We may need some good disguise. We cannot just fight our way there."
    Mad Dog: "We can't? Says who?" but even he said this jokingly. This seemed to pose quite a challenge...
    "How do we get Nocticula's attention in such a place?"
    "Don't know. We'll get there, and then see..."

    Sena wished to talk with Arulashee more, now that he knew they were going to a place connected to her past.
    S: "How do you feel? telling us of Porphyry?"
    Aru: "I do not know how I feel. It is the place that once was home, and now... It poses the greatest danger to us all, to you..."
    S: "Are you afraid of the Isles?"
    Aru: "I'm afraid of the effects of the demons on me. In the Worldwound, if I was close to a demon or few, I felt the surges of evil within me, at time I froze, at times I ran. A few times, it turned me to my darker sides. But to face a whole city? Teeming with them?"
    S: "I promise you this- If you will fall, I will catch you."
    Arulashee smiled a sad smile. "I fear I may stab you in the heart as you do."
    Sena paused for a moment, and made sure that no one was listening: "I have a question for you: before you tried to get close to me. Was it you?"
    Arulashee was embarrassed, confused: "I think it was me, but maybe it was the succubus in me? I don't quite know for certain."
    Sena thought for a moment more, than asked her to revert to her true form. Confused, she turned to her succubi form. In passion, he tried to kiss her, but she backs away. "I am not sure this is the right time!"
    Now Sena was confused: "My feelings are for who you are, and what your are. We are both connected, more than we both understand!"
    But Arulashee foudn this confusing: "The path of passion, desire, love, is central to who a succubi is. The road is difficult as it is, I don't want to evoke those qualities, that set of mind again?"
    Sena challenged, was not deterred: "is true love the path of the succubi?"
    Arulashee was conflicted: "I need to be one with myself, before I can be with another." Sena looked downfallen, so she quickly added "It's not that I don't want to, but I can't, right now."
    Sena nodded, understanding,m and hugged her, while casting the angelic appearance spell. Their wings, that of an angel, and that of the demon enveloped them both in their warmth, making a small cocoon of intimacy. Sena whispered to her "Remember that- I love as you are! You are unique, you are the future. You are strong, and I can see that even if you have doubts about you, I do not. Maybe I am a fool, but hope is what we have right here, in these situations. And if you will fall, I will catch you." Arulashee trembled a bit, but could not respond. He hugged her again, and then let her be.

    Portal closing ritual:
    Now, having read the sixth module itself, which DOES deal with closing the last portal, I saw that the authors of the different modules did not in fact correlate between the two rituals, to make them anywhere connected. So... I devised new rules for the ritual, to resemble the last ritual a bit more, something on a smaller scale... This differs somewhat from the ritual in the module, making it a bit more complicated.
    • Preparation: One person reads various passages from the Lexicon of Paradox. Since the lexicon was written in at least 7 languages, the person needs to know them all, or... use comprehend languages. As he does the reading, he nominates the main characters linked to the closing of the portal. These need be unique figures, with great power. Of those the party knew, only themselves, the Queen and Arulashee might fit. (The sixth module enables only the party, but I wanted to make these two more significant, since the party interacted with them, and respected them). These designated participants are called Primary, and will be the main force to try and either unravel or increase the portal. ("The key can be turned both ways...") Other people may help, as Secondary participants, who can then act as a sort of "Aid another" to the main effort, though the bonus increases to a +5.
    • Once the participants have been linked, Each of them tries to invoke and either unravel the portal (Closing it), or extending it (Making it bigger). The portal, as Julian understood this, is made up of frays/ cords/ links from the two worlds, having been tore open from their own worlds, now intertwined in each other, sort of like a mesh of threads, a sort of complicated lock of a sort. Each person may try their skills at affecting this. This is basically a skill check or similar. One must be close to the portal for this (Within 20 ft), and the process takes 1d6+4 rounds. This is a full round action.
    • Potential skills that can be used: Disable device/ Perception (Seeing better the threads, guiding others), Knowledge planes, Knowledge Arcana, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device.
    • You may also cast a 4th level or higher good aligned spell. In this case you make a concentration check. This replaces a skill check.
    • You can also Smite Evil. In this case you use your attack instead of a skill, but adds a charisma modifier instead of a strength modifier.
    • The DC was not known for Julian, as this changes from portal to portal, but it was fairly high. The process is draining. If you fail, you lose some of your life force (Permanent negative levels) and you're stunned.
    • If any attempt is disrupted (Similar to disrupting a spell), the threads will start to unravel quickly, unless the other participants are able to close it before it fully unravels. The time frame in which this can happen was not known to Julian (Again, changes from portal to portal), but it seemed to be quick, and a real danger.
    • Sealing: Lastly, a portion of the Lexicon must be thrown into the portal. The massive energies and research of the planes imbued in it, enabled the closure to finalize. Julian theorized they may need just one page for this.

    The party made a few more small purchases and the like. But they were soon ready. They did not quite have a plan (It amazes me how often that happens), but just decided to "get there, and roll with it." There was another small matter before going.

    Before we go...
    The NPCs asked for the party to come together on the night before they intended to leave. To their surprise, they offered their help, to join the party in their journey to the abyss! They offered to accompany them. The module rightfully says that the NPCs are no longer on par with the party's power, and will probably not fit with adventuring. Yet, In case the party got attached, they can accompany the party, and each offers small benefits. I wanted to offer this opportunity, since it may enrich the roleplay later on, and also- the party have often surprised me!

    Anevia spoke first: Hey, You guys are going to look for info in that place, looking for rumors, and such, right? I can scout ahead in the city and find rumors, I've been doing this in Drezen and Kenabres for longer than i can remember. After all, it's just one big city. Right? Right?"
    Andera thanked her: "You've been with us from the start, and jelpd us greatly on the way, and here with the Sleeping Eye. But you will not blend well there. We need you here, to continue on the work. Thank you Anevia." Anevia by this point is a level 11 rogue. She could help a bit with the random rolls in the city to look for useful info.

    Aravashnial: My group, the Riftwardens, have focused on studying portals our entire lives. This is our great research! Please, I can help perhaps with the portal. After all, it is what we have studied all of this time!"
    This got the party curious. They ended up agreeingthat he will teleport with them to the location, but will not venture in until all opposition was taken out. Then he will see how he could help with the portal, but afterwards return to Drezen. Aravahsnial by this point is a level 11 Conjurer and he adds some bonuses to checks needed to close the portal.

    Arabeth: "My strength is at my sword. I will come with you, and protect you. I fear I may be a bit known amongst demon folks, I have hunted and purged quite a few in my time. It may help to have a reputation there, but it may hinder as well. My sword is yours."
    Andera talked: "We need your judgement and rulership more than your sword. You have done good in Drezen, and we'd like you to keep doing so. Where we're going, we have to fight on our terms, I fear that your sword better serve here." Arabeth by this point is a level 11 Cavalier. Her reputation helps a bit in drawing Nocticula's attention. (Though I must say, that this is odd that the party itself, having done what it has done by now, does not provoke a particular attention by the module. Oh well...)

    Horus of all people, suprised them by offering himself: "Going to the demon's hive? You poor naïve goody two shoes bastards! You will be swindled out of your money faster than Julian makes a smart comment, Sena makes a speech, Andear eyeballs someone or Mad dog kills something. I can make sure you're not swindled that high…"
    Andera, who never liked him, thinks of maybe taking him there to die, as a sacrifice or something, but only in his thoughts. The group reclines the offer. Horus is considered an 11th level rogue, focused on social skills obviously. He can lower the extra prices.

    Brian: "I can come with you, and provide you with support and succor in this darkest of all places. I too, like Arabeth, have a reputation… Julian, consider this. You have gone through something... marvelous, but not fully explained now. You may need all the guidance you can have in such a dark place." It was obvious he wanted to join her, protect her.
    But Julian replied warmly: "Thank you Brian, you have always looked out for me, even when I did not wish it. I see it now. But I need you to stay here, continue the work I have started with the Abbey. It is not less important- as I've said, the small things must not be forgotten by the bigger things. I shall have my friends to guide me, support me, and offer wisdom." She put her hands on Andera and Sena's shoulders. Brian is an 11th level cleric of Iomedae. Like Arabeth, his reputations is somewhat known. (I gave him the influence of the cleric of Shellyn in the campaign, forgot his name).

    And at the last, there was Arulashee. She seems to have thought of this for awhile, and spoke softly: "I will go with you, as asked, but the corrupting power of an entire plane… I'm not sure if I I will be help or a burden. Plus Nocticula's influence on me may be more… direct… I think I may be of great help. I have been to Porphyry, even if this has been a longtime since. I know how it acts, it's currents, it's feel. But I can also try to offer assistance from afar... through a kiss. If I do this, I will be able to contact the one I kiss even through the planes, and offer some assistance. It will not be as direct, as immediate, but it may be safer, if my resolve does not stand, and I turn. (This is the preferred path in the module. Despite having Arulashee join for the ride, in a perfect that just screams roleplay with her along, and after they went to so much trouble in finding her, the writer of the fourth module seems to not want to deal with her, and writes the entire module as if she stays behind, offering guidance through her connection to whom she kisses. I swear, I just don't get the writers at some points. Well, many points, but some points more than others...)
    Andera questions her, uncertain of her ability to cope with so many demons, with a plane that is in it's essence evil, and with Nocticula herself. As the player said "Too much is riding on this adventure, to have unnecessary risks along". Still, he questioned her: "Be honest, how do you feel about it? Can you withstand this journey?"
    Arulashee swallowed: "I do not know. I think I have become stronger in these years, and with your company I grow stronger still. But this... it is beyond the scope of what I have faced so far. I do not know."
    Andera turned to the rest of the party, knowing well that at least Sena is determined on bringing her, especially after the Ivory Sanctum, where she was left behind: "I do not want to hurt her, if she becomes evil, she can pose a great danger to us. Not only is she capable and strong, but she also knows more of us than any enemy. If she goes to them..."
    Sena stepped forth, willing to vouch for her to come: "If this happens, I will neutralize her. I believe she is strong and able to withstand the corruption!"
    Andera was unsure: "She already said that even weaker demons, such a a babau can affect her. The entire plane? Full of the strongest demons? I think she need not come with us. But she can come with us to the Fane."
    Sena was going a bit angry (The character, not player) but remained fairly calm: "You know my opinion. If you want to try the Fane first, I agree."
    Mad Dog surprised then, coming to Arulahsee, looming over her and smiling in his slightly awkward way: "I think we'll manage with you. Trust yourself, and we'll trust you. Or if you become... not well?" The huge half elf shrugged, and smacked his fist to his other palm. "We will give you head calibration!" (This is a reference to the first Avengers film, which the player loved. Guess which character he loved most? )
    Sena again emphasizes: "I can neutralize her if need be, I have the spells!"
    But Andera was uncertain: "Can you? She is quite strong willed, and may become stronger in this place, and have the aids of lots of demons to fall on. Not everything is under your control. If she turns, and then joins forces with the enemy, will you bet the fate of the world on this?"
    Sena would not answer, but his stance meant that yes, he would.
    Julian cut the discussion. "She will come with us to the Fane. It will enable us, and her, see how she functions. I believe that there MIGHT be SOME demons, some of them quite powerful, there." She looked at the succubus, which seemed like a multi colored shifting ball of colors, between light and dark, swiveling in confusion and chaos. Arulashee swallowed again, nodded, and smiled nervously.

    Spoiler: Last goodbyes, and Arulashee
    Basically, up until the start of the 6the module, this is the last time they see the NPCs that escorted them from the start, as in the 5th module they go quite quickly to another part of the abyss yet once more. So there will be a long absence from them.

    I quite liked how things turned out with Arulashee. Both Sena and Andera care for her, but in different ways. And while Sena's player is interested in adding her to continue their joined story, and for roleplay potential, Andera is quite wary of serious complications down the line (And for a good reason! ) He was always the cautious one. This throws a complication in planning, as the module assumes she stays behind. Oh well, I think I may have a few ideas to toy with here. In the words of Mr. Burns...

    It was time to go!

    Apparently the entry I thought to post is too long, so I need to make another post. So I'm cutting this here. Next post coming soon enough though.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-08-08 at 01:57 AM.

    1. Special projects:
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    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
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    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  28. - Top - End - #178
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Session 21, Part 3- Attack on the Midnight Fane

    Ok, last part, I swear!

    First approach of the Midnight Fane
    Nulan has previously gave the party a scroll of greater teleportation and they've seen the entrance through scry spells (We skipped over that). They correlated their arrival with the Queen's little company.

    They appeared near the broken wind swept hill that held the Fane, deep in the Worldwound. Our 4 heroes with Arulashee and Aravash accompanying. They were met by the Queen, Nulan, and her few bodyguards. "They will stay behind, give us some time to attack, covering our backs. Once we strike, demons will most likely come." Nulan started drawing a circle, to summon celestials, and the priest and Aravash started preparing themselves. Nulan, forthe first time, smiled a bit. "We will keep them busy, give you time. Just don't wait too long. My Queen, hurry back. Our army awaits." She herself was enthusiastic, bright, alive. "Once I see the portal closes with my own eyes, I will."

    As their backup started preparing, so did the party. Sena cast loads of buffs, and a circle against evil on Andera (Who had the weakest will save) and... Arulashee. Julian was on her flying carpet, using this as a mode of transportation. She cast echolocation, enabling her to see the outlines of physical surroundings, as to not fully incapacitate her. (I was a little disappointed here, since this spell kind of circumvented her entire blindness, but as this was mostly for roleplay, I agreed. Sh intended to cast this only before combat heavy areas.) Mad Dog flexed his muscles. "Finally! Lets kill something!" Andera however suggested caution, and trying subterfuge. "Lets first see what we're dealing with here..." Arulashee strung her bow, and breathed in deeply, in her true form, feeling ready.

    Queen and Andera leading, they came to the big double doors of the temple, the markings of the old goddess worn out, with markings of the demons new. The doors were not locked, and so they entered. As soon as they did, they felt the energies of the abyss in this place, and heard a great noise from further down the hall. "The portal is near!" whispered the queen, excited. (The abyss exerted some of the influences of the plane, only to a much lesser degree).

    As they progressed a bit deeper (I can't quite put the map of the dungeon, but it's surprisingly small. distances are very near) There was a door to the left, an an opening tot he right, as well as continuing up ahead, with a great noise coming from there. But to ther ight the opening came up to a small platform, with a large statue of Deskari (A bit resembling the gargantuan statue of Deskari they fought taking the citadel of Drezen, only far better made). The statue boomed in a great voice. "Behold the glory of the lord of the locust host!" But did not move. (As per the module).
    Andera: "Well, thee goes our surprise. Golem?"
    They recognized the voice as a magic mouth spell. they were unsure of what to do, and so contemplated for a few rounds, till the incubus from the room beside the golem, came to check out. (These are the lowly workers of Fane).
    The leading incubus was surprised. "Who are you?"
    Andra tried to bluff quickly. "We came to get the Nyhadrian crystals! Bring them to us quickly!"
    In: "Don't you mean elixirs?"
    Julian flew above, looking all powerful and majestic. "This is just my lowly minion, he is sometimes weak of mind, and doesn't know what he speaks. Bring us the elixirs! Now!"
    The incubus was terrified. "Of course, who shall I say sent you?"
    Julian went for full intimidation. "You dare question me?! Do as I said!"
    The incubus groveled. "Of course! Of course! i will go tell Mustafen and Urasthella at once! We thought the next shipment is due in one more week!" and he quickly scrambled away.
    Julian: "This isn't going to work, is it?"
    Andera:" No.... probably not."
    Sena (Sighing): "Here we go again..."
    Mad Dog just smiled widely.

    Battle of the Fane
    As has become accustomed with the party, due to dealing with demons (Who have telepathy you know, and can alert most of the complex quite quickly), and he way I run things, and the way the party likes it, this very quickly turned int one big messy battle that involved all (Well, nearly all, I'll get to that later) forces in the Fane.

    But first things first. Andera reminded them. "Golem?" Julian grumbled "Golem." (In the module the Golem doesn't attack unless attacked or ordered to). With a quick spell, Apparent Monster (Oddly enough, from the last fane they did battle in, under the Lost Expedition) and took control of it. I kinda expected it, though I hoped they forgot this tactic.

    "What do we order it?" asked Andera. Julian thought "Attack any demon that it sees!" The golem raised hs scythe, ready to strike the suddenly terrified Arulashee "Other than her! Other than her!" Shouted Julian quickly. Sena grumbled "This is starting great!" Julian revised the command, not wanting to deal with the golem in battle when it comes. She motioned him to the door the incubi came from. "Don't let anyone come from there!" The golem moved into position.

    "Ok, that got one path covered, we go for the door, or down the hall?" Mad Dog motioned for the big doors down the hall with his sword. "We go for the big noise. It's where all the fun is!"

    Now, at this point I'd like to point out a strange peculiarity in the design of the dungeon, and adventure expectations. The entrance leads STRAIGHT to the main room, where the foundry is, and it even says it makes a tremendous amount of noise. Yet, for some strange reason, the module is written as if it's expected that the party will go through all of the rooms surrounding the foundry (Most of them leading to it as well by the way), before approaching it. Odd, but knowing the party, I kind of expected this approach. They like hitting the main events first.

    And so, with glorious swords held high, Mad Dog and the Queen rushed ahead, and burst the doors into the Foundry's room. This was a fairly big room, at it's center a huge machine, with whirring adamantine blades, churning the tough Nyhadrian Crystals. These were fed to it by a couple of Ash giants, whom the Fane used as cheap labor, from the surrounding hills. There were two more incubi here, moving towards the south wall, though it was empty (The party missed this at first. They were moving to see if Urasthella, behind the secret door might need assistance). But perhaps the most striking feature in the place was the violent, flashing white purple lights and a whirling chaos, portal to the abyss, occupying the full eastern wall.

    The noise was tremendous. Andera, invisible, went straight to one of the giants, cutting it deep with his blades. Arulashee on his heels, coming in and shooting many arrows, hurting the giant some more. Mad Dog and The Queen rushed at the other giant, hitting it fiercely. The enemies not being demons, some of the attacks were less potent than usual, but the damage still massive. Meanwhile, Sena and Julian started to control the combat. Julian cast an ice wall on the western door (From which the rest of the Incubi could come, as well as Mustafen, the Fane's mythic alchemist and his minion. She didn't know all of this of course, but she liked minimizing help, on principle). Sena turned back and blocked the corridor with a thick wall of stone. The battle was isolated, or so they thought...

    The enemies consisted of the has giants and incubi (minions), but 3 other powerful beings- Mustafen, a capable mythic alchemist, Ursathella, a mythic Lamia (I used the improved version from the files Scorpion made, that I mentioned before), and the last... well, you'll see. All three started preparing spells and such in their respective places. The party had a little time to deal with matters.

    With the combined forces of the party, the giants and incubi quickly falls to the blades, arrows and spells of the party. One giant does manage to land a heavy blow on Mad Dog, but the Queen quickly lays her hands on him, healing him of the most damage. She fights well (15ht level paladin, as well as herald powers). Andera, worried about the big machine and it's blades, goes to disable it while invisible. Meanwhile, the incubi try to come from around, but... a Golem awaits, and they hear their terrified (Yet abruptly short) screams. The door there slams, they won't be coming that way. Sena is also alarmed at strong strikes on the wall of stone, as the last Ash giant, who slept in the room they didn't explore at the start, comes after them, and tries to break down the wall. Sena's player is a bit annoyed, and find it important to remind me. "It's a THICK wall." It will give them quite a few rounds.

    Once the enemies are ready though (it takes them about 3 rounds), they try to attack simultaneously. From the west, the ice wall shudders, and suffers damage as Mustafen use his fire bombs on it. From the south the secret door to Urasthella's domain opens, and the Lamia, with many spells around her, comes slithering in. She first shoots a ray of disintegrate at Sena, thinking he is an angel, and hits him! Or not? He uses divine intervention and at the last moment reality reshapes itself and the ray hit the wall, disintegrating part of it.

    yet Above Urasthella, another figure enters, flying majestic, a woman who exudes tremendous power.

    This woman looked... human, not a demon. This worried the group. Sena, using display of intelligence easily succeeded on the knowledge check, and cursed, shouting at Julian: "This is Diana Bearstorm!" This was Julian's mother... (Party: WTF?)

    Diana floated, and her white eyes focused first on Julian. "Dear daughter, You have grown along nicely, but you side with the losing side. Let me show you what true power is!" She uses dominate monster on Mad Dog. (Andera's player: "Wait, isn't that a 9th level spell?" Me: "Why yes, I think it is!" ) Mad Dog manages to save just barely, rolling luckily on his save and mythic surge. (Sena: "Phew! That could have turned real ugly!")

    Julian is confused. "Mother! I will take care of you!" and tries an incapacitating spell, but Diana shrugs it off easily. "Julian, dear daughter, I need no taking care of! You are far beyond the scope of your power!" Sena, who panics a bit, tries to buy more time, and erects another wall of stone, blocking Urasthella and Diana, who screams in frustration. Meanwhile, Mustafen launches another bomb on the wall of ice.

    Mad Dog, The Queen and Sena (Flying) come close to the wall, knowing it will not stand for long. Arulashee positions herself to shoot at whomever comes in first, while Julian... thinks, confused. Andera shouts at the rest. "Give me more time! Nearly there!"

    Urasthella disintegrates the wall, and Mad Dog roars attack her and... misses? Her AC is sky high with all her spells. The Queen however, uses her Justice aura to grant Smite Evil on Urasthella to them all, including surprisingly- Arulahsee. With her hefty bonuses, hitting the Lamia becomes possible. And both Queen and Arulahsee hit her several times. Yet the Lamia hits Mad dog fiercely with her many attacks, wounding him deeply, more worrying then that, her strikes were draining his mythic power! The party raised eyebrows, this is the first time they've seen anything like this. They certainly considered the Lamia a major threat.

    Julian looked at Diana, and concentrated. "What do I see? With this sight?" I was a bit surprised at this, As we've decided on this just at the start of the session, so I was improvising. Thinking quickly, I told the player. "You see nothing there. Not even the flickering of soul like in Sena's case, just nothing there." Julian thought for a moment, and then called out, confused. "Mother, you are an empty shell! I have sought to meet you for so much time, but now, you are as nothing, empty!" This choice of words, though incidental, struck deeply at the core of the matter. Suddenly Diana's features seemed terrified, shocked "How did you know? How did you know?" and Diana gave one scream, and vanished. (Explanation will come later) For now, the party was content to not face her. Though Julian wanted answers!

    Pissed, Julian focuses on Urasthella, who in the meantime acted quite quickly (The Mythic initiative many of the monsters in the campaign have, allowing them to act fully, twice in a round), nearly dropping Mad Dog, if it wasn't for Sena's healing. Julian casts on her Greater Dispel, and takes down some of her spells. Sena, liking the idea, uses the Quicken Rod to cast another greater dispel, taking down her last defenses. Quite more vulnerable, Ursthella is hit by the many arrows of Arulashee, the holy sword of the furious Queen, and she screams in rage. Arulashee is exhilarated, filled with the holy power of the Smite Evil. "This feels good! This feels right!" Sena notices this, and smiles.

    Suddenly the great machine's noise comes to an abrupt stop, and it rattles disfunctioning. Urasthella screams "No! What have you done?!" (Andera: "Well, I just pushed this big red button...") But Mad Dog seems to have had enough, and slices her, cutting snake's body and tail from upper torso. He huffs ab bit, fresh wounds over his body, his mythical power somewhat drained. He looks at Julian and Sena. "Thanks. She was such a pest with those spells on!"

    I decide that with the fall of the main opposition, the rest flee. The Ash Giant stops striking the wall and flees, and Mustafen orders his Mutated flying gibberling minion to draw the golem's AoO, and flees the place. The party doesn't even lays eyes on him!

    As the party breathes in after the short but furious fight, the see some sort of shimmering in the portal, as something invisible passes it, flying. They hear a woman's voice, frustrated, angry, but also afraid. "Not again! Curse you! I will have my revenge!" For a second the party thinks to pursue, but Both Andera and Sena stop the party. "We need to finish here..."

    Aftermath, Minhago and the husk
    This was starting to get late, so instead of a room by room description, I gave the general layout. They find Urasthella's lair, with the shrine to Deskari, they find Mustafen's lab, and destroy the process that makes the elixirs, and they find some of the supplies. Some treasure, but nothing too outstanding. "Loot to sell at Porphyry" Andera mutters.

    They do find a small room, that looked as if someone has just recently moved into it. And behind a curtain they find something... quite odd- what looked like a human sized fleshy husk. Sena, again using Display of Intelligence identifies it for what it is- it is a husk a lilitu demon can use to imprison and suspend the life force of a victim, which the demon can then use to imitate. Julian speaks in a constrained, silent rage. "Lilitu? So this must have been Minhago. And my mother must be in there..." The Queen added "We learned that Minhago was responsible for securing the Wardstone fragment in Kenabres, and that she fell out of grace of Baphomet once you foiled her. I wonder what she does here! Still, if Diana is here..."

    They quickly managed to identify the spells needed to open the husk securely, and managed to do it without killing Diana. As the husk opened, Sena healed the slumbering figure, and she opened her eyes in horror. Julian quickly hugged her. "Mother, it is me, Julian!" The Queen also came to hold her, having known her as a friend. "Diana! You were gone for so long! We have tried looking everywhere for you! We though you died!" But the awakening figure had more pressing, terrified matters on her mind "Minhago! Where is Minhago! You must beware, she..." But Julina comforted her. "She is gone, we drove her away, for now..." Diana, who looked like a broken shell, barely alive, broke into tears. "How.. how long have I been gone?" The Queen supplied the missing information, since about a month after Julian was born. Diana has gone hunting Minhago, after she killed her lover, and has not been seen since. As this was explained to Diana, she looked wonderingly at Julian, not fully comprehending, amazed, confused, at awe. Julian herself was quite distraught, and at an emotional turmoil.

    I was surprised by the group then. "We need to hurry. Alarm has surely reached the surrounding area. We can't Nulan can't hold forever, we need to deal with the portal." Julian was deeply conflicted. She turned to the Queen. "Give me a minute or two. I will be right back, bring Aravash and start without me." And with that she teleported with her mother to Drezen, to Brian.

    Seeing her, Brian's eyes flew open, and he rushed to her. "Diana?" Julian looked at him, at her. "Mother. I have wished to see you for so long..." She looked at her, pained. "Yet I have to leave you again. I have to stop the demons, stop Minhago, Stop all of this. Once and for all. Brian, The Queen, they will take care of you. I hope I will have the time to talk more with you, but this will have to wait. But this... this moment, finally meeting you? It was worth all of the adventuring this far, all the horror, suffering. Mother!"" They hugged for a few long moments, confused moments, charged moments, and then Julian stood up. She looked at Brian, he looked at her nodding. Nothing needed to be said, and she teleported back. Sena came to her "Are you ok?" But Julian was stoic. "Not right now, but I will be. Lets deal with the portal."

    Spoiler: Minhago, Diana's Bearstorm
    Minhago is the recurring villain of this module. As usual, for some reason the recurring villain is met and dealt with before the final villain (Hephazomeh) Of which the characters barely know (Just like Staunton Vhane and the Shadow Demon, and Jerribeth and Xanthir Vang). This continues to confuse me. I am making changes, you will see later I hope.

    By the module, Minhago first appears in the Fane, yet she is too terrified of the party, due to them foiling her plans at Kenabres (I REALLY would have liked there to be some emphasis of that in the first module, it would have made the build up for her so much more... making sense, and not seem coincidental and out of the blue). So she uses Project Image to confront the party. cast through it. In the module, she uses the image of Yaniel, who was the original paladin who wielded Radiance (The mythic sword found on the first module, which Andrew took, and that stayed with him when the characters were changed). But Yaniel would mean nothing for the party. So I decided to use Diana, as a sort of a closure for Julian.

    What I didn't think of, was the time pressure I put the party on. I totally forgot about it, though they didn't. So instead of having some longer time for a reunion, this felt kind of rushed, and "on the way"... I booped a bit here, but I think Julian will find a way to converse with her mother sometime later, though I don't fully know how. At least it makes for a juicy motivation against Minhago!

    Sena asked if this fight was worth a redemption trial for Arulashee. I deemed that it did, yet at the roll she failed again! (The players rolled for her) Sena grumbled. "You gotta be kidding me!" The fight for good, beside the Queen reassured her, but not fully yet.

    The XP for the fight got the party to 13th level! yet they decided to finish with the portal first, and deal with leveling up later.

    Closing the rift

    Aravash came, and the party quickly gathered. Julian explained the ritual again. She would designate them four, the Queen, and Arulashee as the primary participants, and Aravash as a secondary one. The Queen though brought an important question: "If Julian's ritual works, and we close the portal, you will remain on the other side. Aravash and me will rejoin Nulan and teleport from here. But..." The Queen turned to Arulashee. "Where will you go? To the Abyss, or with us?" For once, the Queen did not show such hostility. Arulashee answered with more confidence than before. "It felt good to be under your grace, and to fight alongside you. If you'll agree, I will join you!" and the party agreed! After seeing her in a fight, and with her new resolution, there was no objection.

    so the 5 of them came to the portal, and crossed it. This was not easy, as the energies sought to disrupt them. Weaker creatures it may have stunned, or killed, but not the party, they have entered the abyss, the effects of it's essence affecting them to the full effect. They took a small distance from the portal, and started the ritual.

    Eech participant chose their way to try and unravel the threads joining the planes, and mend them together. But after but a round of concentration, something... someone, moved within the energies of the portal! A great demon, a Mythic Nalfeshee, protector of the Abyss roared "You will not harm the abyss! Insolent fools!"

    Arulashee is the first to respond, critting the demon with a holy outsider bane arrow, damaging it nicely! It howls in pain, and the party gives a cheer. The Nalfeshee creates it's nimbus of chaotic light as a free action, and unleashes a mythic chain lightning on them, with all evading! Thanks to the mythic saves this mean absolutely no damage! Once more the party goes into a little song! Cheeky bastards! Sena recognizes the harmful effects of the nimbus, and warns the party. Mad Dog tries to intimidate the demon (Surprise round, can't get close), and Sena uses Harm on it, but it saves (Sena has faith' reach, enabling him to cast touch spells at a distance).

    As other mythic bosses before, this creature also has Mythic Initiative, and acts before the rest oncem more with the Nimbus stunning both Julian and Andera. The concentration breaks, and the Rift starts to break, and spread! "No!" The Queen shouts. "We must stop it!" The Demon grins at Sena "Nice trick you guys did there with the snake woman, let me try!" And uses greater dispel on Sena, takign down his 3 major buffs.

    Arulashee continues to hit the demon, and he grows angry, flying out of the energies of the portal, and lashes at her with claws infused with powerful abyssal energy (I used the upgraded version from the file) But Sena used divine intervention to block the incoming claw, surprising the demon. With such close proximity, Arulashee held herself against the corrupting power of the demon, trying to affect her soul, but she withstood the test and shook the effect. Sena called at her "If you fall, I will catch you!"

    Sena uses a spell to restore Julian to functionality, while Mad Dog comes to the demon, and hits him hard, twice. The demon turns on him, hitting with both claws, with divine intervention negating one attack. But the other claw is infused with chaotic energies, bringing the effects of touch of chaos (No save), and hefty damage. Mad Dog growls in response.

    The Nimbus catches them again, and stuns Mad Dog, but before the demon attacks him again, the Queen jumps roaring through the portal, and slays it for good. The portal shakes, starting to unravel and grow. "Quickly!" The Queen yells and go back to her position. Sena restore the stunned ones quickly, and they try to control the ritual again.

    The DC is 40. Aravash' bonus manages to counter the effects of the abyssal evil energies. The party all uses mythic surges, and try to close it.
    Andera treats the thing like a complicated magical trap, and uses Disable device, with a total of +32, and succeeds.
    Mad Dog helps noting the energies of the portal with his perception, a total of +24 and succeeds,.
    Sena uses uses knowledge of the planes (Again with Display of Intelligence) for a total of +32 and succeeds.
    Julian casts dispel evil, concentrating on amending the portal, for a total of +44 (With Display of Charisma) and succeeds.
    The Queen uses Dispel Evil too, with a +36, and succeeds.
    Arulashee uses UMD with a +32, but fails, with the portal taking some of her life force (1 Permanent level).

    It takes only 4 successes to make it, and the party manages to stop the portal from coming out of control, 4 rounds before it happens! With the threads between worlds being unwoven, and then being mended, the rupture closes quickly. The Group sees the Queen raising her sword high, exhilarated, shouting for victory, before the portal closes finally.

    The lights are off, there is only the lonely cave. They are in the Abyss, The Midnight Isles now...

    Small, but important final note: I deemed this another trial of redemption- participating in the closure of a portal between worlds. As Sena restores her lost level, he sees a new light in her eyes. She progressed one mroe step! (2/4 points of redemption). Sena's player: "Sweet!"

    Each person's XP: 361,366!
    We finished here. It was long (9 hours or so) and very satisfying session! The players really liked it, and despite some of the focus being on Julian, all quite loved the visions and her change. I think they also like the step up in matters of challenge- visiting the abyss, how to manage in a city full of demons, Dealing with a demon lord, and so on... It feels a whole new level of epic, which got their attention I think!

    FINALLY caught up! For those of you who have waited and read, thank you. I apologize for the long delays, but life can cause delays. I hope you liked the read. Our next session is in next Friday (14/8/2015), and the party is mostly concerned with the level up, and a bit with plans. (nothing too concrete).

    That's it, I'm gonna go have fun with my friends now. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-08-05 at 12:20 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!

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2010

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

    I just wanted to jump in and say that I am suitable impressed. I just discovered this thread Monday and have been catching up to the story with any free moment I have. I haven't played Wrath of the Righteous (or DM-ed it either. Bad! Bad, player!) but I just couldn't resist. I can't wait for the next installment!

    I've kind of adopted your "player's roll everything in combat" rules. We just tried it out on Wednesday and, after the initial hesitation, my player sort of took to it with enthusiasm.

  30. - Top - End - #180
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Glad you like it Aldonuran! A small note if you might play or DM the adventure later- Though the general story is as in the module, and there are quite a few things I've left as written, I have also done quite big sweeping changes in other parts (The big fight in the Arena at the start, The attack on the Gray Garrison, Handling the army and all of the mas combat stuff, Entirely rewriting the citadel of Drezen and Staunton Vhane, and so on...), so it may not be quite the same. Strangely enough, one of the main reasons our group finally decided to play a written module, was because I expected to have much less time to write my own things. Andera's player, who also DMs another PF group, and GMs a Shadowrun group warned me of this, saying that I will spend quite a lot of time reworking stuff to fit the group and our style. Boy was he right! I may have been spending MORE time on refitting the adventure to our needs. But the group quite likes it, and I enjoy that, so I am willing to go up with the frustration of altering things that I think could have been done quite a bit better. Some where in the log, in the posts between session posts, there is a link about the main problems in the adventure path, if you might be interested.

    As to the "players roll all the dice" rule. I implemented it once I started DMing for this group, and it is the single most beneficial affecting mechanical rule we have had up to date I think. I wrote my thoughts on it in the first post, and maybe later in the log, so I won't go into that. I'll just say I heartily recommend it.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-08-08 at 02:17 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!

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