Massive weekend at Pheno. Zack Jackson is level 9, and I have decided to slow-play him. He’s such a good character and so good for PFS, I’ll be sad they day I finally level him up to 12 and can’t play him anymore.
For those of you with Hero Lab, his POR file is on dropbox. I have not put his consumables into Hero Lab. He has a Handy Haversack filled with all kinds of crap – scrolls for all those spells that you don’t want to learn, but are invaluable in the right circumstances, a few potions, all kinds of alchemical consumables. Still haven’t actually used the alchemical cement, but give it time.
The procedure is simple. If we have an adventure, and at any point I go “crap, I really need a scroll or potion of X”, I buy one. When the adventure is over, I restock as a matter of priority. And if I use all my potions of X, then I restock and buy one more than I had previously.
Zack Jackson does no damage. His weapon is a small rapier, which does 1d4-1. His only offensive spells are Confusion, Cacophanous Call, Glitterdust, Charm Person, and Grease. It doesn’t matter. Damage is what dudes with swords are for. Instead, he is a skill money and social dude. “Vagabond Child” trait gives him Disable Device, which is the only thing that an Archaeologist is really missing.
These are just some random snippets of memory:
Day 1 session 1 – The Waking Rune
Holy crap! We are up against the runelord of Sloth! tl;dr: we disabled all nine runes, but the bbeg escaped.
The encounter with the devil was bad, bad news. Fighters do not handle Int drain – we had one guy dropped to comatose and needing a full Restoration.
The puzzle was built to have something for every character to do: one of the runes could be defeated with a Disable Device, a couple of them could simply be bashed. But most of it needed various kinds of magic to defeat. Three of the runes could be broken with “negative energy, or 2 points of ability damage from disease or poison”. We were at a loss for a moment, but since we had a summoner in the party, I/Zack suggested that he just summon some spiders. After a bit of general hilarity, that’s exactly what we did. The DM made some rulings on the spot, but a Summoner gets a lot of spiders. Eventually, they made the check.
And finally, big fight. We were playing down, so the runelord summoned three huge Anklyosaurs – enough to threaten the entire chamber. But “big & dumb” is what Cacophanous Call is made for. Little halfling who does 1d4-1 with a rapier took one of those bastards out of the fight.
Stuff happened, fights were fought. Can I just say that Cloudkill is an absolute mofo? God damn! We ran out of the room. Mind you – it didn’t do his anklyosaurs any good, either. He started teleporting about the complex. ZJ used scroll of Locate Object on his Rod of Very Fun to track him, but at the end we just ran out of time and the DM called it.
So sad. We failed. But: no-one died. And Zack hit level 9.
Shadows of the Everwar
Bruce ran all four sessions of Shadows of the Everwar, which is a big commitment and a lot of work.
Day 1, Session 2 – The Prisoner of Skull Hill
Here is how big the weekend was. I forget. I am just drawing a blank about this mod. No – wait! There was a fort on a hill. That’s right! A chelaxian spypost, and our man inside had gone quiet. Turns out, the whole place had been done over by an army of orcs. Zack got a chance to be diplomatic with the head orc:
“What you here for? (Grrr!)”
“Oh scary one, we had heard that the hated humans of tribe Cheliax had been defeated by an army of mighty warriors, and we came to see if it was true!”
Fun times! Dude had nothing much to say, but we searched the place in peace. Found our dude (dead, sadly), and found the entrance to the underground cavey bit. There was fight, which Zack sat out. Then there was “loot the nests of the cave/fly/bat things”. Zack used his new rogue/ninja trick “Wall Climber” to good effect.
Finally another sinkhole, and a damn giant bloody plant that ate people. ZJ has Liberating Command, and popped about five of those bastards just getting people out of the plant, one round after the next. Earned his pay in that encounter doing nothing but that (oh, and a Haste, but he was late getting to that point).
We recovered a wand and a ring. And a corpse, which we jammed into my backpack.
Day 2, Session 1 – The Watcher of the Ages
Another ruin. Fight some Barghests – I think Zack sat that one out, too. Then cellar, and a big Xorn. A little diplomacy, a little 100gp gem, and the Xorn was good enough to dig us a tunnel down to the sealed-up well. (There were clues for those who choose to fight the Xorn that they need to dig).
Down to some salt cave. Morlocks. Fight.
Then this weird shit – a big silvery dome of artifact-level magic energy. Bones of various creatures. After some dicking about, Zack and Dude go through the dome, taking some damage. (oh – part of the dicking about involved Zack drinking a vial of purple worm poison, which he had failed to identify).
Weird-ass nonhuman dude inside. Some story which I will not go into, even though I know that no-one who has read this far will be playing the module. Ok, fuck it – he was a roper, ok? Put there by the aboleth to watch webcams. TL;DR: a bit more diplomacy and he is happy to let us take the staff, ring, and corpse.
Day 2, Session 2 – Terror at Whisledown
ZACK JACKSON, VAMPIRE SLAYER! FUCK YEAH!
A town of gnomes with terror stalking the square at night. By “town”, I mean “hamlet”. Two vampire spawn, and a morgh. Shit – where there’s vampire spawn …
We tracked the skiff they had arrived on to a dude. Dude was a recluse. Not happy to talk to visitors. Spellsong to conceal casting, then Charm Person. Dude now perfectly happy to talk. Seems he is a smuggler, keeps the contraband on an island in the lake, had to leg it recently because of all the damn vampire spawn.
Out to the island in the middle of the lake. I have a damn phobia of water travel, and it was borne out by the optional encounter. Bloody giant, swimming, constrictor snakes. Did I mention that ZJ is a halfling? Into the drink. Happily, Mr Big’n’violent was packing a Touch of the Sea potion and basically took care of them. Next time, ZJ is climbing the mast and staying there.
Onto the island. Down the well. Underground chamber. Corpse and ring, but no sword. Fight some more vampire spawn, and archer gets dominated. Cacophanous Call takes him down for long enough to tie him up. We are one character down, and proceed onwards.
A vampire. Honest-to-god, full vampire. With a very nice falchion. Fight fight fight, Greater Invis. Shit. ZJ prepares to cast glitterdust “next time he reveals his location”. Scorching Ray from the dude, and he is glitterdusted. Before he can go gaseous, the fighters step up and murder his ass.
The gas goes into a crack in the wall. I ask the DM “could a tiny creature squeeze in?” and he’s “yeah, sure”. ZJ pops a potion of Reduce Person, then goes into the secret chamber. From inside, calls out in helium voice “A stake! A stake! For the love of god, a stake! Chop up a torch, break the head off an arrow, anything!”
Vampire is staked by a size T reduced halfling. Then the dwarf spends a few hours chopping his way into the chamber with an adamantine mace, finally beheading and fully killing the vampire.
Captured townsfolk are v. happy, and we head back to Sothis. ZJ is level 9.
Day 3, Session 1 – The Faithless Dead
Back at Sothis. It’s the final day of Pheno, and we have three players and a pregen cleric. Pregen cleric has several of her spell picks replaced by something more sensible.
Big funeral for the three corpses. Yay!
Pathfinder lodge is attacked! Boo!
We run in, deal with some cultists who seem to think that we are helping out BBEG perform bad ritual with the three rings we found. We rescue the VC from being burned, but don’t rescue the Important Documents. Oops.
VC tells us to go talk to the sphinx over at the necropolis. We wait for dawn.
Sphinx asks some riddles, but we are good. Legend Lore is cast. The three chickybabes informa us that BBEG is a bad guy, and they would please like to possess us. ZJ is instantly, 100% in favour of the notion. Other guys cautiously agree. We get useful buffs for the big fight.
Down to tomb. Traps, secret doors. We have rangers, ZJ, and more than enough perception. Mummies pour out of sarcophagi, but ZJ has initiative and runs the fuck out of there without taking an AAO. Sheer luck. Fighter begins fighting. Fails one will save vs fear and is paralysed, but ZJ has Remove Fear. The cleric was also packing Remove Paralysis (because I had redone her spell picks), but DM rules that the paralysis was caused by the fear so the Remove Fear was enough.
Onto the final fight. It was mainly fighters FTSU. Bad guys shrugged off the Confusion, so ZJ’s only contribution was to Vanish the cleric so she could go in and healbot. Kyra is a very fine healer: 30hp with a cure crit. Oh – and the Haste, of course. Fighters just love the Haste.
Dude gets properly killed. We fail to ID the priest of badness doing the reanimation, so having failed 2 of 3 sub missions we lose one PP.
But, everyone is alive, and mission accomplished.
Then I went home and crashed – it has been a long weekend. Yay Pheno! Yay PFS!
And again – a very big thankyou to Bruce. (Oh, I owe him fifteen bucks. Must remember it.)