Sunday, May 20, 2012

What, It's Been How Long? Game Night--Pathfinder One Shot (May 20th, 2012)

There was not DC Adventures this week due to my wife's birthday.  Because my wife is a wonderful person, she actually told me to run my game, but since I like to attempt to be a good husband, I didn't take her up on the offer, and took her out instead.  Thus it was a whole week (gasp!) between games.

This week our Thursday game was one of our series of Pathfinder one shots leading into the campaign that we finally settle into in June.  I backed out of running Way of the Wicked because I know how much effort it takes me to run Pathfinder, no matter how much I want to run the actual adventures, and I'm already running my DC Adventures game and Rogue Trader.

Thus, it's looking like we're going with the all cleric party undead post-apocalyptic world game that Hanged Fool has percolating in his head.

I ran this adventure with two concepts in mind.

1.  I wanted to get some use out of the Tome of Horrors Complete  (Pathfinder Edition) and

2.  I wanted to try out a more abstract battle map system and see if it would work for Pathfinder

I may or may not discuss the experimental abstract map, because it was met with a rousing meh, except one player that liked it and one that thought it was pointless and confusing.  So either it's a bad idea, or I'm really bad at presenting viable optional rules, but either way, eh . . .

The party was going to investigate a deserted town that had fallen behind the demonic lines in the Worldwound in the Golarion setting.  When the demonic line was pushed back by the crusaders, the town was deserted and completely stripped of almost anything.  The crusaders hired the adventurers to look into the matter.

The first creature I ambushed the players with were Fear Guards.  These things only do wisdom damage, so I didn't think it would be that bad.  Except that at 0 wisdom they convert you to a fear guard, and they managed to sneak into camp, get a surprise round, and critted one of the PCs.

Thus fell the first adventurer.  Next pregen was handed out, and we moved on  (hey, it's a one shot, no time for mourning).

The group made it into town, and explored for evidence.  Ironically, the group that was using detect magic headed in the direction of the building that was trapped with the non-magical trap, while the other set of adventurers found the energy drain trap.

Under the magical trap, there was an oddly worked tunnel, and a stone pudding.  Stone puddings split when hit with fire damage.  Our fire oracle hit it with fire damage.  The party fought two stone puddings.  If I recall correctly, three PCs were turned to stone in the encounter, and one of them was actually crushed by the pudding's constrict ability.

Essentially, it was one official death, but three effective deaths.  Three more pre-gens handed out, and the party keeps rolling.  At this point, the group starts wondering what happens when we run out of pre-gens.

Oddly enough, when the party finally meets up with a demon that can be sneak attacked, the ninja and the rogue finally go to town, and the most powerful encounter actually didn't kill anyone off.  Go figure.

Overall, the night felt very old-school, without me even really trying.  I blame Frog God Games.  Not for anything bad.  I blame them for giving me some monsters that were horribly deadly and fun to kill PCs with.

Also, the pre-gens that I downloaded from the Lone Wolf forums accidentally listed Merisiel of the Pathfinder Iconic characters as a male, which led one of the players to run Merisiel as a confused elf that was trying to raise enough gold to help "her" become what she knew she was suppose to be.

That, and our samurai was listed as "Unnamed Hero," so his player ran him as "The Unnamed Hero."

We had lots of fun, despite my fairly lame experiment.  In two weeks we should be having another one shot, but this one will be a sort of epilogue to the Shackled City game, so that should be fun.

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