Pathfinder 9 – Utter confusion

Y’know, I had meant to get this up around Wednesday. Stupid rest of life making me busy.

In any case, the game last week went surprisingly well.

I say surprisingly, because I had done pretty much no prep until about an hour before the game. Projects and assignments were keeping me far too busy. So on Sunday morning, I began to prep.

Withing 5 minutes, people began arriving. On the one day when I wanted people to be late, everyone was early. Fate has a cruel sense of humour, eh?

Anyways, I managed to skim what I needed before we began to play, but I was still worried things would bomb out.

I guess I need to put more faith in my ability to run things on the fly, though, because the game actually went pretty well.

Everyone was present this time.

Now, last time, we left off with the group headed to Magnimar, the big city.

Upon arriving, the party decided to investigate the Foxglove townhouse, where they hoped to find a clue as to who was behind the plot, which the murderer seemed to be merely a part of.

They were greeted by two people.

The ghoul they had just killed, and the revenant who helped them kill him. Healthy as can be.

After a small bit of banter, the two changed shape into amorphous rubbery forms, and there was combat. Nothing too interesting here.

After dispatching the two and exploring the rest of the townhouse, they learn that there had apparently been meetings set up at the “Seven’s Sawmill”, so they decide to check it out.

And here’s where I started to get annoyed with these adventures.

See, the cult that the PCs are tracking down here are known as the “Brothers of the Seven”. They are very secretive, so while their name might be known, their members and activities are not. So follow my logic.

  • A secret cult wouldn’t name their secret hideout after their cult. As such, “Seven’s Sawmill” is not the public name. (If it was, it’s written beside shady dealings in a ledger, and could be found. This cult is not the kind that would allow that.)
  • No way to find the sawmill is given. No rumours, or knowledge checks, or gather information, or common knowledge.
  • Despite this, the fact that the PCs know where the “Seven’s Sawmill” is seems to be a given, somehow.
  • ??????
  • Profit

Seriously, nobody caught this in playtesting? Bah!

Anyways, given this, I say to the players: “I know this doesn’t make much sense, but I didn’t have time to rework it, so let’s assume that it does make sense, alright?”

They agreed. My group rocks.

So, off to the sawmill. The first set of cultists (all in plain clothes, yet for some reason keeping their cultist masks on hand) maneuver into flanking positions while talking to the party, before attacking. Three die, and the last one makes a flying leap out the window in a desperate escape attempt.

The second set suffers a similar fate, and on the top floor, two cultists are slaughtered, while their boss hangs back.

Ah, the boss fight. Now this was interesting.

On top of being a fairly tough rogue/cleric, this guy has a mask that lets him use Confusion 2x/day.

So, by round 2, he uses it once. Everyone but Nox and Reza are confused. Later on in the battle, he uses it again, catching Nox this time.

So for most of the battle, everyone is either running in circles, babbling, or attacking each other. Nonnie even hit -2 hp thanks to Thorbar being confused.

In any case, it was a chaotic battle, and ended up being very fun, for the most part.

Reza, unfortunately, was suffering. A combination of prepping non-combat spells (reducing her options to “attack, or do nothing”) and rolling really badly made this battle less than fun. But we’re working to resolve that a bit, so it shouldn’t be a problem after the next session.

Near the end of the battle, the enemy turns invisible. Nobody has any way to see him at this point, but we get creative. Ristan the bard whips out his Grease spell. Casts, reflex save failed, boss falls down and becomes visible again. The battle didn’t last long after that.

Up above, the party finds some messenger ravens, and decides to see where they go… next game.

What the players liked:

  • Of all the “save or useless” spells, Confusion is the most fun.

What the players didn’t like:

  • Reza: feeling useless once again, due primarily to poor rolls.
  • Stupid adventure glossing over important details. Okay, this one was mostly my dislike.

Lessons learned:

  • Try to prep earlier in the week, before work later in the week makes me too busy.


reza  on April 20th, 2008

Well, I’ll add to the likes:
I liked that I somehow managed to not get stupified by the Confusion spell! :P
I sucked at hitting, but I was the only one not running away or babbling!

Elmofromok  on May 23rd, 2008

Thanks for posting this. I was starting to think I was the only one that felt like a step had been pulled out from the townhouse to the sawmill.

Graham  on May 23rd, 2008

Heh. No problem, Elmo.

On the whole, book 2 is a bit… off.

ToBFanatic  on October 29th, 2009

My understanding: The Brothers of Seven are a known semi-secret society, along the lines of the Masons. The membership isn’t public, but people know there’s a group of that name engaged in various business ventures. The Norgorber cult within the Brothers of Seven is called the Skinsaw Men, and operates completely in secret. If that’s not to your tastes, than the easiest fix would be to include directions to the location in the ledger.

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