Pathfinder – Starting a new Campaign

Paizo GoblinWell, despite the crazy week I still managed to get enough prepped for a good 3-4 hours of play, after character generation was finished.

The characters present:

  • Nox, Female Changeling Swordsage (goes by the name Karen in human form)
  • Elias, Male Human Ranger, favoured enemy: goblinoids
  • Mao, Female Tibbit (halfling-cat-thing) Rogue
  • and Nonnie, Chaotic Evil Male Halfling Sorcerer with Black Dragon ancestry

Yeah, that’s right, a chaotic evil halfling sorcerer. My players tend to play good characters, for ease, but we figured this would be interesting. He’s definitely playing up the “self-preservation” aspect of CE, and turning into a little spellcasting Belkar.

So we started out with introducing the swallowtail festival, a reconsecration of the newly built church, after the last one was destroyed in a fire. Before I had droned on long enough to bore people (I think), the local priest signaled for everyone’s attention, and goblins attacked.

I read them the song the goblins were singing. Much enjoyment was had.

The first wave ran straight into the PCs, and these three goblins were quickly dispatched. A little too quickly, perhaps, but it was all good. Partially, this was because they were cocky and acting a little stupid. One of them attempts the DC 5 climb check to climb up on a cart for higher ground, rolls a 2 and falls on his back. Another stops for a round to stuff his pockets with salmon. In any case, after this battle, the PCs haven’t even been touched yet.

A couple rounds to recover, with chaos swarming all around them, and a cart of fuel to the south is set ablaze by another group of goblins. Dancing around the cart, they don’t even notice the party running over.

Our ranger shoots the warchanter in the group, and the others all panic and attempt to flee, though not before our swordsage and rogue (now in cat form) take two of them out with maneuvers and sneak attacks. Nonnie shoots off a magic missile at the cart wheel, dropping the flaming mess on the remaining goblins for the win.

(I should note at this point that the rest of the party is not technically fully aware of our Tibbit’s nature. The ranger knows she isn’t a normal cat, and noticed the halfling disappear earlier, and the changeling is pretty sure that she’s a shapeshifter of sorts, but hasn’t confronted her about it yet. The fact that the cat has all the same earings and jewelery as the halfling is another tip off, of course. :P I’m not sure how this will all play out, or when all will be “revealed”, but at this point they’re sharing their gold with her, so it’s apready accepted in a metagame fashion. I’ll be working with the player to change this situation in the next game.)

In any case, this is the point in the story where the local priest is supposed to come over and heal the party of any wounds. Instead, since we have a dwarven cleric of Desna to introduce as a PC next week, I had her come over to do the same. But the group has yet to be damaged, so she instead cast a Bless spell on everyone to aid them in the fight.

The goblins seem to be in full retreat to the north now. Screams come from that direction, and Elias and Nox/Karen rush towards the sound. Mao follows close behind, and they come across the NPC nobleman and his dog, hiding behind a table from a group of goblins, including one goblin commando (ranger).

A couple of good hits in the surprise round (after the goblins kill the dog) takes down the commando. The rest of the confused goblins swing in a wild panic, with one actually getting a hit in on Nox/Karen. The commando’s mount (a Goblin Dog) gets hit by the ranger, and runs off, only to be downed by an arrow through the neck at 130 feet or so.

While this is happening, Nonnie stayed behind, not too concerned with fleeing goblins. Instead, he uses some rays of frost to put out the cart fire.

By the next day, they are hailed as heroes, and we go through the roleplaying encounters around town. First off, they enjoyed their hero worship, getting free fish for the cat, and little whispers of “availability” as they walk around town. Elias attempts to drink the water from the Hagfish, rolls a natural twenty, and wins 30 or so silver pieces hanging in a pouch on the wall, as well as the right to carve his name into the beam above the bar. Nox/Karen is quite displeased with the advances of Aldern Foxglove, the nobleman they saved, which might make things interesting. During dinner, Nonnie hit on Ameiko, the owner of the Rusty Dragon, who also gave them free rooms for their heroics.

And Elias had an incredibly funny, and quite creative, scene with Shayliss vinder, the storekeeper’s daughter. Shayliss approaches one of the male PCs and attempts to coerce them to come with her to the basement of her father’s store under false pretenses. He goes along due to the mention of goblins and because he’s interested in what might be there if they are false pretenses. Our Tibbit, in cat form, follows.

I should mention at this point that the Tibbit’s player is actually the girlfriend of the ranger’s player.

So Shayliss drags him downstairs, and fails to keep the cat from following. She removes her bodice and drags him (stammering nervously, but not really resisting) to the cot in the corner. Then the door at the staircase opens, and her father starts down the stairs. Now, Elias could have tried to talk his way out of it, or attempted to best the man in fisticuffs, but he decides he’d rather not encounter him in the first place. He manages to escape the clutches of Shayliss and hide under the cot as he hears the door and the footsteps. Mao jumped into Shayliss’s arms at the same time. So Ven Vinder comes downstairs to find his half-naked daughter clutching a cat.

Confused, he shouts at her to get dressed and come upstairs, as she’s supposed to be working.

Elias and Mao squeeze out the basement window, and re-enter the store from the front. Elias needs an alibi, after all, and how could he have been in the basement if he just entered the store.

Shayliss was then dubbed “Shameless”.

Elias returns to the party, who laughs at him. Nonnie then claims to have sent the father down in the first place. Elias grabs the halfling’s head, and pushes him down, a few inches deeper into the soil.

Last encounter of the night, the party responds to a call from a woman whose son was attacked by a goblin. They find her husband with his face and chest chewed off, and a feral goblin hiding in the closet.

The goblin attacks, rolls a natural 1, and his dogslicer snaps in two. He bears his teeth to continue attacking, but is cut down by Nox/Karen with a blade wreathed in fire, and trailing a shadow of ice.

Have I mentioned that Swordsage maneuvers are awesome to describe?

With that, we ended for the night. We can’t go too far before we bring in our dwarven cleric PC.

What the players liked:

  • Swordsages are cool, yet didn’t overshadow the others.
  • Fire falls on goblins! Wheee!
  • The light-hearted intro, becoming more grim at the end.
  • The Shameless Shayliss encounter.
  • The ability to make a reputation for the characters as town heroes.
  • We gamed at an actual table, as opposed to couches and a coffee table, for the first time in a while. This is because we finally have a table big enough to game at. This seemed to go over well, after we moved to the table about 3/4 of the way through. We’ll have to game there for an entire session to decide if it’s a good, comfortable location.

What the players disliked:

  • The session was a shorter than some of the players are used to, due to character creation at the beginning, and my not wanting to get too deep into plot before the final PC joined.
  • We didn’t use a battlemap today, which was unusual. Not all the players were crazy about that. Our player joining next week is especially pro-battlemat, so we’ll at least bring out minis, if not the full battlemat. I personally can do either with or without, and gamed without for a long time. But most people who can game without can also game with, and not vice versa. I think it will be better to use the battlemat in the future.

Lessons (re)learned:

  • My players are invincible. We’ve gone through entire campaigns with no healers, or at least no non-bard healers, with no problems. In this game, I just couldn’t hit them. I have to assume it’s because the players curse my dice or something.

The above lists may be updated as I get responses back from the rest of the group.

6 Comments

The Chatty DM  on January 15th, 2008

Hot damn your Pathfinder session went a different way than mine… quite the opposite…. Whenthe priest showed up, he didn’t have enough spells to heal the whole group… (and I played the goblins stupidly too, as it should be).

Nice writeup Graham… hope your players chime in at some point.

Dave T. Game  on January 15th, 2008

“Nox/Karen is quite displeased with the advances of Aldern Foxglove, the nobleman they saved, which might make things interesting.”

Heh, that could get interesting indeed…

Elias the Ranger in the game  on January 21st, 2008

so Chatty Dm just to let you know ….we aren’t really invincible….well not entirely 4 out of the five of us have just been gaming together for years now…something like 6 or seven i think since way back in the days of high school and as we all know with time everyone grows more comfortable with each other and get a handle on how every one reacts so needles to say many of our encounters may be brief because we know without discusing that if I do this then they will do that….right Graham? lol
also myself and Nonnie are real close and make alot of mischif lol so you can imagine what a True Neutral Ranger, and a Chaotic Evil Scorcerer can do this go around haha, also our interactions kind of remind me of Brad Pitt and George Clooney on they set of the Oceans movies, to bad attention starved little boys up to no good pulling pranks lol >.<

Graham  on January 21st, 2008

Very true, Elias. Most of the players here are definitely used to a performing environment with each other, which helps. (Though we were a little into the storming stage yesterday, due to the number of distractions and the short attention span everyone (including myself) had.)

When ChattyDM ran the module, all 4 players were new to the game (though one had played way back in the day).

Your invincibility, though, is conditional.

If I put you against something that you should have no chance of defeating, you’re invincible.

Against a group of goblins, you almost die.

Musings of the Chatty DM » Blog Archive » Character Genesis: New characters for Pathfinder #1.  on January 22nd, 2008

[…] having read Graham’s account of his new Pathfinder campaign, I got the urge to re-visit that game and maybe get another session going in the upcoming […]

Filby  on March 3rd, 2010

I ran the same adventure for my players and they thoroughly enjoyed it (though I left out the encounters with Shayliss and the feral goblin). Their favorite part was the bit with Lord Foxglove, who I found a blast to roleplay as a seeming twit, and when he resurfaced in the next adventure my players were totally shocked. :evil:

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