Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pathfinder RPG: Session 17 - The Prison (Part2)

Lexi, Elven Rogue (played by Jojo, 10yo)
Sharpblade, Skeleton (Human) Fighter (played by Evan, 8yo)

The kids decide that the chute which Erik had been dumped through looked like the best way to get into the prison. They spend some time arguing about how they were going to push poor Erik up the chute with them, but I solve their dilemma by telling them that Erik has passed out. Unwilling to lug around a comatose guard with them, the kids decide to hide Erik in the chamber under some junk and ghoul remains before heading up the chute.

“You both climb up the chute, and at the top, you find a small hatch that opens easily. Peering through, you see that the chute opens into a corridor with jail doors on the sides. You don’t see any one in the corridor.”

Jailhouse carnage!
The adventurers decide to check out the closest jail door. “Looking through the jail door bars, you see a couple of Sandpoint guards! They look pretty beaten up and miserable.” Lexi calls out to them, and the guards are surprised (and very much relieved!) to see them. Lexi immediately starts working on the jail door lock while Sharpblade checks out the other cells.

“The rest of the cells contain Sandpoint guards as well! You come up to the last cell. This one contains a single guard who seems to be staring at the wall with his back towards you. He hasn’t seem to have heard you.”

“Hey you!” calls Evan. “Are you a ding-dong or something? We’re here to rescue you!”

The guard in the cell turns around, revealing dead eyes and a gaping mouth. “You realise that this is no longer a human guard but a horrible zombie!” With a lurch forward, the zombie moves towards the cell door, arms outstretched. Sharpblade backs away from the door as the zombie sticks its hands through the bars, moaning grotesquely.

“Uh oh,” I say. “The zombie moans seem to have attacted some attention!” With a shriek, half a dozen goblins burst into the corridor, attacking Sharpblade the moment they lay eyes on him.

I expect Jojo to continue working on the cell doors to free the guards, but she decides to draw her rapier instead and fight the goblins. The fight is surprisingly tedious because of the narrow corridor, but eventually the adventurers defeat the raving goblins. My memory of the fight is somewhat hazy, but I seem to recall the kids feeding the dead goblins to the zombie.

The room where the goblins had come from contains a wooden table and a pile of junk in the corner. “It looks like stuff taken from previous prisoners.” Some of the guards find their equipment among the junk. Rummaging through the junk, Lexi pulls out a few valuable trinkets worth some gold.

Beyond the goblin chamber’s door is a north-south passageway. The passage to the south turns westwards into a long hallway which the guards say leads to the front door which is guarded by a couple of ogres. The way north is dark, and is likely where the dark cleric has Shalelu captive.

The kids head up north while the guards head south to deal with the ogres. They come to a pair of double-doors which they open. “The double-doors open into a dark chamber. There is an altar on the other side of this chamber, and you instantly recognise Shalelu lying on the altar! Next to the altar is someone dressed in black robes and a hood. This must be the evil cleric who is going to sacrifice Shalelu!”

The Big Bad Evil Cleric room
“Interfering fools!” The evil cleric reaches out his hand, and I get Evan to roll to resist a ‘Hold Person’ spell. He rolls a 17 and saves. Lucky kid.

Infuriated that his initial spell failed, the cleric tries again, this time with Channel Energy, which in his case channels negative life energy. I roll d26. “Dark energy swirls around Sharpblade, and to everyone’s surprise, the energy heals Sharpblade for 7 damage! It looks like the cleric hadn’t counted on an undead opponent turning up to fight him!”

Why does he look like an anime?
“Hoho, thanks for that!” Sharpblade charges towards the cleric while Lexi follows closely, hurling her fire dagger when she gets a clear shot. Snarling with rage, the dark cleric draws out his mace and meets the adventurers head on.

Sharpblade readily trades blows with the dark cleric. I was hoping to use Thelsikar’s Bleeding Touch on a living victim, but Lexi was happy enough to stay away and pepper the cleric with daggers. In the end, a final blow from Sharpblade smashes the cleric against the wall where he explodes into a mass of dark shadows with his dying scream.

With the death of the cleric, the Hold Person spell on Shalelu dissipates, and the elven huntress can move freely again. “Thank Desna that you came!” she says after she jumps off the dark altar.

The elven huntress seems to have learnt a lot in her captivity. “That foul being is, or was, Thelsikar, an evil cleric who worships Lamashtu, the goddess of monsters! He has somehow been given a vision from his dark goddess to create these black potions, which greatly enhances the strength and size of any creature which drinks it, but at the cost of turning them chaotically evil!”

I glance up at the kids who seem more interested in doodling on the map. “Hey, are you two listening!?”

“Yeah, dad. Black potions. Chaotic evil. Got it.”

“Huh. What’s the name of the evil cleric?”

“The what?”

“The guy you guys just… nevermind!” I shake my head, and continue my narrative. “Anyway, the EVIL CLERIC THELSIKAR has brewed up a new batch of these potions, and has sent it to Black Fang the black dragon! The dragon needs to drink them in the light of a full-moon. And the next full moon is in three days!”

Adventure Notes:
The beginners box adventure has the adventurers starting out not knowing what sort of creature Black Fang was – only that it had a very long black fang. By now, I didn’t see the point of concealing what Black Fang was from the kids – I mean, there’s a black dragon ON THE BOX COVER which Evan has continually pointed at and asked, “When are we going to fight THAT?”

Reviewing the session report, I think the kids are getting way too lucky with their rolls. It would have been interesting to have Sharpblade affected by the Hold Person spell, but that didn’t pan out. I’ll have to up the challenge rating on these encounters soon.

This session, I’ve given the kids a big hint over how Sharpblade can be healed with negative life energy that dark clerics use. I’ll let that stew in their heads for a while, and then propose some unorthodox suggestions in some future adventure. (Muahaha!) Suggestions welcome! devil

Plot hooks: Face Black Fang before the next full moon.

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