Pathfinder 11 – Burned into my brain

Okay, it’s been a while since I updated these. This session took place on April 27. I’ll post the latest session (May 4) in a day or two.

So, to start off, the cast this week:

  • Reza, Dwarven Cleric
  • Nonnie, Halfling Sorcerer
  • Thorbar, Dwarven Barbarian
  • Ristan, Half-Elf Bard, played by proxy

Ristan’s player was missing, as was Nox’s. Another player, who will be joining us for the summer, was here, and he ran Ristan for this session. The latest session saw him create his own character for the summer.

For this session, the party was joined by Shalelu, the elf ranger from Burnt Offerings (book 1), who wished to accompany the group to the ranger outpost, Fort Rannick.

So, the party makes their way up to Fort Rannick, starting with a boat up to Turtleback Ferry. For this, the group decided we needed a visual representation, as seen above. The boat is from a Kinder Surprise egg.

(On the boat [click for a bigger picture], from left to right: Thorbar, Reza with Nonnie on her head, the sail, Nox, Ristan. In the background are snacks, giant dice, and our warhorse from book 1. In the foreground is a pencil. :P All of this is on our new giant battlemat which is awesome and huge. The warhorse, by the way, is a limited edition paint, given to me by out FLGS when they didn’t have one in stock, as thanks for reserving our 4e books that same day. Go Gameknight!)

From Turtleback Ferry, they headed towards Fort Rannick. Along the way, a low whine is heard, sounding like a wounded animal. And we investigate, finding a black bear, trapped by a very, very, VERY ugly and deformed ogre-type creature.

After the battle, the bear drags them off the trail, seemingly wanting their help with something. It seems very concerned, and oddly intelligent. Possibly an animal companion. So they follow, and are led to a dilapidated farmhouse.

Now, you’re probably noticing that I’m not going into much detail right now. This is because there’s really no way to describe what happened during this session and do it justice. So let me copy you a bit of the editor’s comments here.

In any event, several months after I irst asked Nick to write it, this manuscript was sitting in my inbox, violating my other emails and playing creepy banjo music. It was perfect.

Well, almost perfect. Nick went a little… over the top, shall we say, in places. A few of the scenes in his original draft were things I can never unread. They’ve scarred parts of my mind that I thought, after growing up on a steady diet of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and John Carpenter, had been as traumatized as they could get. I was wrong. Even as I was cackling in glee to myself at what three not-so-lovely hags had in store for an unlucky commander of a remote mountain fort, or re-reading in disbelief what Jeppo Graul was doing to his brother Hograth when the PCs were scheduled to show up, the editor in the back of my mind was shaking his head. “You can’t ever let that see print,” he said. “The police would show up at Nick’s house and take him away, and then he’d never be able to write adventures for you again!” It was, therefore, greed for future Logue adventures that spared you the atrocities and horrors of the uncut “Hook Mountain Massacre,” not any misplaced sense of protection for delicate sensibilities out there among Pathinder readers. I’d love to have exposed what this guy came up with to you all, but then he’d be taken away to the happy house and that’d be that.

Suffice it to say, I would buy another Nicolas Logue adventure in an instant, based solely on this one. My mind definitely now contains images that can never be removed. And it’s awesome. (I have no idea what the hag scene or the Jeppo/Hograth scene contained, but based on the rest, I can only imagine!)

Even if you never run the adventure, or never buy the other books in the series, or even if you never play 3e again, I would recommend buying this book just to read it. It has inspired me in so many ways, and my future adventure design will always carry with it some of the tricks I learned here for setting atmosphere (and not just creepy atmosphere).

Anyways, as the house is entered, three consecutive traps are set off. Even the couch in the living room is trapped! I don’t usually use traps much, especially with no rogue, but these set the mood quite well, and were all bypassable without rogue skills.

The house has a number of combat encounters, and tons of creepy shit. They finish up inside and, not finding what the bear would have been looking for, investigate the barn…

…next time.

What the players liked:

  • Flavourful, creepy, fun.

What the players didn’t like:

  • Traps. Even reduced, they’re annoying as they are in 3e. It wasn’t bad, and they added to the mood, but they still suck.

Lessons learned:

  • The players occasionally forget to loot when Nox isn’t there. :P
  • The problems with Pathfinder, so far, seem to be primarily confined to book 2, the Skinsaw Murders.  Books 1 and 3 are great, and book 4 is looking up.  We’ll see, ultimately.

6 Comments

Ristan  on May 6th, 2008

Okay now I HAVE to read that intro. Guess I might have to try and push that myself and Thorbar make it this week…but we’ll see how it goes….hey Graham is there anywhere I can read it online?…probably not, hey? Kinda sorry I missed that game but I was sooo tired. Ick!

Dave T. Game  on May 6th, 2008

Ah yes, my favorite of the Pathfinder series that I just had to drop into my campaign. Great stuff.

And for the picture (I’ve always wanted to say this):
You’re gonna need a bigger boat!

Graham  on May 6th, 2008

@Ristan –

That’s pretty much the entirety of the intro text I was going to read to you guys on Sunday. So you can read it right here! :D

reza  on May 7th, 2008

Mmm, fun game. I’d have to say personally though I could do without some of the creepy factor, especially this game, but that’s cause i dont like horror books at all. Still, im enjoying the adventure, and we finally got to use my boat!!!

…and if you want a bigger boat, I saw one at dollarama….. :P

Christine aka Nox etc...  on May 7th, 2008

Tsk… I’m so disappointed in you guys, not looting :P

Also, yay boat!

It’s so weird for me to be just reading about one of Graham’s games, since this is the first of his sessions I’ve missed since he started GMing (benefit of being fiancée and co-host i guess)

ChattyDM  on May 13th, 2008

I guess I’ll have to actually read it now… sigh.

:)

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