Pathfinder 8 – Late Post, with Conan O’GameTomorrow

Iesha - RevenantYeah, so, we had a game two weeks ago…

‘Bout time I got around to writing about it, eh?

Cast:

  • Nonnie, Halfling Sorcerer
  • Nox, Changeling Swordsage
  • Reza, Dwarven Cleric
  • Thorbar, Dwarven Barbarian
  • Ristan, Half-Elf Bard

So, yeah, everyone.

I’m going to go through a bit fast. A lot, while flavourful and interesting, wouldn’t make a good read, so I’ll skim it. Also, it’s late.

In any case, it was an interesting juxtaposition of a game.

Creepy murder, haunting, and seriousness, right alongside complete random sillyness from the players.

The interesting thing? Both emotions ended up being felt.

We started off going to the haunted manor to try to find the murderer from the prior mystery.

Sidebar: This manor includes “hauntings.” These work somewhat like traps, but are still pretty different. By default, they work as follows:

  1. Perception check to notice something.
  2. If noticed, roll initiative.
  3. If won initiative, can Turn Undead to get rid of it. Still need to beat the effective HD of the haunting.
  4. If not turned, haunting takes effect. Probably requires a will save.

But this is slow-ish, and can disrupt the flow. In addition, only one character can actually use the initiative action anyways. Further, rolling initiative tends to set certain expectations of combat. This not occurring can lead to confusion and/or disappointment. And if you do manage to turn the haunting, you don’t see the visions or whatnot.

So I altered it as follows.

  1. Perception check to notice.
  2. Haunting takes place. If [1] was successful, get a +4 on the initial save (or AC for ones that don’t have an initial save).

Simple, effective, and allows the flavourful visions and such to show through.

Make our way through, creepy feeling. A faint sobbing is heard from above. Before exploring anything on the main floor, the party heads upstairs.

Moving around the second floor, hauntings happen. Nox gets a vision in a child’s bedroom (complete with toybox!). A room full of paintings explodes into a literal wave of fungus, rot, and decay, leaving Thorbar with splotches of mold under his skin and red bumps on his flesh that nobody else can see.

Sidebar: I don’t usually use disease, but this was nice and flavourful, and they would be able to get a free Remove Disease before it got bad anyways.

The halfling tries to kill himself, is restrained, and so tries to kill Thorbar instead.

The upstairs bathroom is found, floor sagging under the bathtub’s weight. Thorbar retrieves the toy chest from the previously mentioned child’s room, and tosses it into the tub.

Bang! Crash! Squeak! The entire uptairs bathroom falls into the downstairs one, and falls right onto a diseased rat, who was trapped in the downstairs bathtub. The table breaks up in laughter for a couple minutes, picturing this one.

Moving onwards, we hit the master bedroom. A picture of the killer’s murdered wife is here, flipped to face the wall. In here, Ristan, our womanizing bard, is overcome with Misogynistic Rage, and attacks the nearest female (Reza). “Die! Slut! Whore! Die!”

Until he snaps out of it a few seconds later. “Wait, what am I talking about? I love sluts!” :D

The faint sobbing is still coming from above them, so we head up to the attic.

The sobbing is coming from down the hallway. For a second, it turns into a scream! The party rushes towards it to see what’s happening.

Opening the door, they enter to find a pallid woman (a revenant) staring into a mirror. It’s Iesha, the murderer’s wife from the picture in the master bedroom.

Nothing can catch her attention, so they take away the mirror. This snaps her out of it, and she starts walking. Still, she won’t respond. Nonnie tries blocking her path… rather ineffectively as he is stunned by her terrible scream.

Iesha moves to the stairwell. Reza gets an idea and rushes past her, running to get the portrait of Iesha. As the woman descends the stairs, she encounters reza holding her portrait.

Iesha stops at this and stares at it, just as with the mirror. Realising this won’t let them talk to her, Reza hand the mirror over, and Iesha promptly tears it to shreds and continues on her way.

So the party follows. The murdered woman goes down to the basement, and ultimately to a series of caves below the house. The caves are filled with ghouls, but Iesha makes short work of them. The PCs decide that this is much more effective than trying to fight themselves, and hang back until she starts moving again.

Eventually, we reach a room, where our murderer is. With Iesha there, the battle is begun fairly quickly. The killer scores a solid hit against Nox, his “beloved” (Creepy! Creepy! Creepy!). The PCs fight back, doing respectable damage.

Iesha (who gains a +4 bonus on everything and is considered Hasted while fighting her murderer) takes off half of the killer’s hit points in one round! The party loves their new temporary ally!

At one point, the Ghast murderer dons a creepy scaled mask, and takes on the guise of Nox for some extra attack and damage bonuses. But death still comes swiftly to our killer, and Iesha collapses, her mission fulfilled.

The party takes the Ghast’s creepy mask (actually made of layers of human skin), explores the rest of the house, fights a dire ghoul bat, gathers info about further plots, and heads back to town to get Thorbar to stop complaining about his invisible itch.

What the party liked

  • The game was thematic, yet still light-hearted. I don’t know how we pulled this off, but it was awesome!
  • Interesting allies are fun!
  • Creepy villains are fun!
  • Bypassing the various rooms was both viable and encouraged. Nonlinearity FTW!
  • Bang! Crash! Squeek!
  • Creepy/evil magic items that, while useful, the party still wants to just get rid of.

What the party didn’t like

  • Y’know, I’m not sure. This was a pretty good session. Maybe someone will mention something in the comments.

Lessons learned

  • Expect the unexpected. I was 100% sure that the party would try to fight the non-responsive revenant of Iesha. But releasing her and getting her help was helpful, creative, and fun, all at once.
  • Trust your gut when something seems bad. The rewrite for hauntings went over very well. I don’t think the original versions would have.

3 Comments

Christine aka Nox aka Karen aka Legolas aka Aleth Beerstein  on April 6th, 2008

Yup, added another personality, a female dwarf (and still no character-limit on the name field :P )

Graham missed a bit of a character moment for me at the end (don’t blame him, the last couple weeks have been a bit nutty for him between school and a nasty cold).

Anyways, so I wandered most of the mansion as “Aleth” (yay Changling!), but when I came across Mr. Creepy Stalker Dude turned back into his “true love” “Karen” *shiver*; figuring that this would make for a more interesting fight. Well, it did… in that he immediately tried to slaughter me so that i could join him *shudder*.

So after his defeat, we searched his lair of course, and found, among other things, some erotic art of yours truly *hurl*. So being a Swordsage specializing in the Desert Wind discipline, I immediately, and with great relish, burned the &*!@ out of them and the body.

Blog Carnival - Geek is Sexy - April 9, 2008  on April 8th, 2008

[…] at Critical Ankle Bites presents Pathfinder 8. I laughed out loud about the bard and his confusion… and the flying […]

reza  on April 20th, 2008

Yup, not much to comment on this game except I did enjoy it muchly! I gave her the mirror! And having evil guys kill your enemy so you dont have to is always fun to watch. ;)

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