Pathfinder 22-23 – Many options, obvious choice

Phew!  Two sessions to report on this time.  Both took place in the same dungeon.

I said last time that I post faster if I have things to rant about.  That holds true, as the last two weeks were quite good.

If you remember, last time, the party stood at the mouth of a swirling portal, about to enter the demiplane of Runeforge.

Present for session 22:

  • Nonnie, Halfling Sorcerer
  • Reza, Dwarf Cleric
  • Thorbar, Dwarf Barbarian
  • Eretri, Aasimar Warlock

The group stepped through the swirling vortex and emerged in a hallway.  The portal closed behind them, leaving no sign of an entrance of any sort, and no visible way of getting back.

I’ll note that for this dungeon, you are supposed to assign each PC a primary sin.  They then gain bonuses when in that sin’s area, and take penalties in the areas belonging to opposed sins.

This was in-fucking-credibly easy for our group!

  • Nox – Greed (“Lewtz!”)
  • Thorbar – Wrath (Barbarian who likes to smash things.)
  • Nonnie – Pride (If you aren’t sure about this one, wait for the pride section below and it will be clear.)
  • Eretri – Gluttony (Also includes lust for power.  Greed and wrath were also possible, but both of those, for Eretri, are in the search for personal power.  Also, Warlock.)
  • Ristan – Lust (Bard.  ‘Nuff said.)
  • Reza – Envy (This one was difficult, as Reza was actually fairly virtuous, or at least not exceptionally sinful.  Especially not in any one specific way.  But I then ran it by the other players once Reza’s player left during session 22, and we decided on envy, due to, well, comments like this one. :lol: )

They followed the hall to a central room with seven statues in front of seven hallways and a bubbling pool of prismatic liquid in the center.  Thorbar pulled a rat out of his bag of tricks and shoved into into the pool, splashing some of the scalding hot liquid onto himself.  The rat screamed in pain and skittered off once released.  Nonnie’s further examination revealed that the pool was used for enchanting items.  On this, Eretri dipped his mace in, getting splashed with burningly cold liquid, with little other effect.

Hot… cold… sufficiently confused, the group turned their attention to the statues and hallways.

The seven hallways each are valid options from the players’ points of view, and of course they pick the ones that I had spent the least amount of time prepping.  The seven rooms take up 2/3 of the adventure in this book, however, so it’s difficult to adequately prepare.

That said, the hall they chose should really have been obvious.

Heading down the hallway behind the statue of the voluptuous naked woman… the party enters a large chamber with pillars carved like nude women, cages mostly holding dead bodies, and a large pavillion of silk sheets in the middle.

As they enter, four winged, horned women (alu-demons) take note and fly over.  They keep their distance, making lewd comments and guesses as to the sexuality of the party members.

There is a sidebar in this section entitled “Soft-core’s not for everyone”, which advises you to know your players’ limits.  Well, we’re all (physically) adults around here, and have discussed sex and related topics in the past.  We’ve also included the topic in our RPGs in the past, though usually in an immature or light-hearted way.  As such, as you’ll be able to tell from the rest of this post, I played this section up a fair amount, though it always stayed fairly light in tone.

So much fun to roleplay, though!

After some flirting (and casually getting brushed off) with the alu-demons, an angry female voice starts talking in the heads of the party, questioning what they’re doing there, and who sent them.  Seeming to get nowhere talking to it, the group starts to approach the pavillion in the center.  The demons suddenly become serious, and land in front of them, stating that the party doesn’t have permission for that.  Realising the telepathic voice is who will grant permission, they ask for it, mentioning their quest to stop the return of Karzoug, which intrigues the owner of the voice.  She invites them into the pavillion.

Inside, we meet the owner, a succubus named Delvahine.  With more talking, and more innuendo, they ask for her help.  She doesn’t know how to help them, however, but sends them off to visit an ally of hers, Vraxeris, leader of the Pride area of Runeforge.  She believes he was working on a method to defeat Karzoug and his follower, though she isn’t sure how far he got in his planning.

(By the way, if you hadn’t guessed yet, yeah, this is Lust.)

She asks them to return to her afterwards.  She hasn’t “seen” Vraxeris in some time (heh), and would like some news.

So, off to the Pride area.  As the group enters, they come to a T intersection, with a Mirror of Opposition at each end.  The barbarian entered first.  Fuck.  We now have two new Thorbars attacking us.  Fuck.

Technically, this encounter was supposed to be able to create two copies of whoever looked into the mirrors, while only giving a CR 14 XP award for the whole thing.  Obviously, they expected you to recognise that they were Mirrors of Opposition and destroy them before you have two full parties attacking you.  Considering that most of the players here are fairly new to the game, and definitely not incredibly well-versed in obscure magic items, I played this one easier than that, making only Thorbar affected.

It had to be the guy with the most hp, didn’t it?

But this was a great battle.  Everyone piles down into the T section of the hall, and Thorbar, Nonnie, and Eretri blast and smack at one, dealing some good damage.  Reza is caught on the other side of Thorbar, however, 10 feet away from that clone.  It’s the clones’ turns before her, anyways, though.  The one by Thorbar goes, power attacks, and kicks Thorbar’s hp down significantly.  The one by Reza charges and hits her for a decent amount, too.

Pissed off, Reza turns around, looks at the clone funny, and touches it.  Harm.  That’ll be 130 damage, if he fails his save, which is a nice chunk of his hp.

Touch attack: natural 20… confirmed… failed save…

Huh.  260 damage.  The clone has… 156 hp.

Clone shrivels, implodes, and leaves behind little more than a puff of dust.

Reza is happy.  They smash the mirrors.

Next room has 4 clones of Vraxeris, lord of Pride (narcisim much?) and a giant illusory peacock (indubitably).  Following that, they enter the back room to find Vraxeris slumped over his desk.  Apparently he had been achieving “immortality” through the use of over 200 clones over the years.  The party reads through his journal, and loots his stuff.

Vraxeris is in posession of one piece of treasure that, to the “expected” party composition would be useless, only there to sell.

We, however, have a rather… unique party.  Or, more to the point, a rather unique party member.

The item?

A Robe of the Archmagi.  Evil aligned.

To say Nonnie was pleased would be the understatement of the campaign.

So, Nonnie puts on his new robe, and continues reading through the (draconic) journal.  Every so often, he stops to admire his new clothes.  Eventually, he gets tired or standing and decides to sit.  Despite there being other chairs around, he pushes Vraxeris’ slumped body out of the head chair and sits there.

So, yeah, pride.

Anyways, they find out that Vraxeris suspected Karzoug was returning, and was planning on using the runeforge pool in the central area to forge Domineering weapons.  Made of a combination of Illusion (Pride) and Enchantment (Lust) magic, they are anathema to Transmuters and those who follow Greed, which includes Karzoug himself.  To forge these, they require elements of runeforge infused with those magical schools.  Vraxeris recommends shards of the (already smashed, conveniently) mirrors from his entry hall, and states in his journal that “Delvahine’s… equipment… should suffice for enchantment, although one might be wise to cleanse them before they are handled.”  He also mentions a way to escape from Runeforge, though a “master circle” built into the halls of Wrath.

So, the party rests and heads back to Lust to talk to Delvahine.

She laughs at the news of Vraxeris’ death, as she had always suspected his precious clones would fail him at some point.  She is happy to give them some of her “jewel-encrusted dominatrix toys” (yes, really), though.  But she wants payment for them.  Specifically, a few minutes alone… with the halfling.  (Highest cha, and [I correctly predicted] the most interesting reaction. :p )

Nonnie spends a while wrestling with the moral dillema of whether sex with a succubus was worth likely getting level drained to death.  After about 20 minutes (real time) of deliberation, he (reluctantly) asks if there’s any other payment they could offer.  She accepts a number of expensive and beautiful magic items instead, though she seems disappointed.

Using the mirror shards and “toys”, they dip their weapons into the pool, where they glow brightly as Thassilonian runes are etched into them.

With this, the statue of Karzoug in front of the Greed hallway begins to move, and speaks with Karzoug’s voice, threatening them.

Despite the statue being a CR 16 golem, the battle is over in only a few rounds.  Thorbar’s attacks against it slice through its DR like butter, as the new runes on the weapon glow brightly, and Nonnie and Eretri take it down further with acid spells.  (Reza had to leave by this point.)

The group prepares to enter the Wrath area (remember, they play like Diablo, and will rarely leave before everything is done) and leaves off for the session.

For session 22, we have everyone there.

  • Nonnie, Halfling Sorcerer
  • Reza, Dwarf Cleric
  • Thorbar, Dwarf Barbarian
  • Eretri, Aasimar Warlock
  • Nox, Changeling Swordsage
  • Ristan, Half-Elf Bard

The halls of wrath were fun.  Getting around involved teleportation circles.  When the first set was discovered (one red, one blue), Thorbar tossed animals onto each circle.  The cat landed on the red circle, with nothing happening.  It moved into the blue one, and poof!  So Thorbar threw a badger into the blue one.  Poof!

Getting impatient, Nonnie ran into the blue one, and poofed!  The rest followed, and appeared on a n identical red circle beside a likewise identical blue one.  Testing revealed that the blue one took them back to the first red one.  Nonnie began running in circles, from the red one to the blue, poof, red to blue, poof, etc.

The idea of standing on the red circle and peeing into the blue one came up, thinking that you would make a spiral as it keps teleporting in an arc.

Yeah.

Anyways, fight, fight, fight.  We come to a choice of directions, and take the one leading to the boss of that area.  After a difficult fight between her and her demon servant, Nonnie finishes off the gargantuan demon with the spell “Extract Water Elemental” (Spell Compendium), and now has a giant water elemental at his command for a minute or so.

So he sends it off to the other direction choice, to kill all the minions over there for them.  Fun!

The final blow on the boss, however, was struck by Nox.  As the boss dies, the tattoo she had on her forehead fades, and appears on Nox’s.  Nox, of course, panics.

Until they identify it as beneficial, as well as marking her as the ruler of this area of Runeforge now.

Blah blah, loot loot.  On to Greed.

On entry, there is a hall full of mist.  The group attempts to move through it.  Eretri fails her save, turns into a goldfish, and is teleported away (to be found later in a pool of water).

Seriously, book 5?  Fucking awesome!

Fighting mephits, encounter with a mage whose skin has been transformed into mithril, loot.

After the mage, the party discovers a pool of liquid, with magical lightning and fire dancing across the top.  On analysis, they determine that it is charged with energy, and could potentially be used to recharge magic items.  It makes all but Nox nauseous, however, so they leave the room.

Not wanting to pass this up, though, they leave their charged items for Nox to play with.  Some end up glowing like a torch with no other effects, most regain 1d10 charges.  One gets fully charged, and glows twice as bright as a torch.  Eretri’s Wand of Fear gets a Supercharge, meaning that not only does it glow twice as bright as a torch permanently and become fully charged, it replenished all charges every 7 days!  Sweet!

Somewhere in there, however, Nox tried with Eretri’s wand of Cure Light Wounds… and rolled a 3 on the d%.

A 3 means explosion.  1d6 damage per charge left in the item, of a random energy type, in a large burst, reflex half, item is destroyed.

So, we check how many charges it has left.

39.

Thus continues the trend of Nox setting off a giant explosion by accident, making her reflex save (only DC 15), and thanking the gods that she has Evasion!

Just to note, here, the Envy wing was destroyed in a battle a few years back, and Sloth fell into ruin hundreds of years earlier.  Gluttony was a longer dungeon crawl without much interesting in it, so since I’m currently trying to speed the game up a bit because I return to university soon, its fate was determined to be similar.

Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t let Nox near things that go boom.
  • If I ever want to influence a path choice, place a naked statue at the entrance.

4 Comments

lookintomyeyes  on August 24th, 2008

Good summary.
A few points to add, just to show how easily I can flip between useful and messed-in-the-head:
– I suggested Thorbar use his bag of tricks to check out that central colored pool, cause he hadn’t used it in awhile.
– When Delhavine wanted an evening with Nonnie and he was balking at the idea, I DID try to offer a TRADE of toys! Don’t forget, Reza is a priestess of Desna who likes to “try new things”, and was therefore currently carrying MW handcuffs w/locks, a decent bottle of wine, satin sheets, and various “tools” and devices!
(That said, if I can get enough of the goofy dom shit out of my system before 4e, then you wont have to listen to it for my new character. But I must say, I’m enjoying the chance to say silly crap during this campaign!)

Christine aka Nox, etc  on August 24th, 2008

I didn’t panic, I worried. There is a difference. *humph*

ps. you don’t have a grouchy smiley option. :p
pps. yay you fixed it! :angry: hehehe

Harbinger  on September 12th, 2008

my group almost all fall under greed, with wrath being a close second.

Graham  on September 12th, 2008

Oh, we all have a fair amount of both of those, too.

But the womanizing Bard (male character, female player) was basically Lust incarnate. And Nonnie could fit under a number of them, though Pride and Wrath fit best.

But greed and wrath are second and third for everyone, at minimum.

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