Curse of the Crimson Throne

Edge of Anarchy - Part V
The Dead Warrens & The Return of Blackjack

Part V completed on 11/30/2014. Full write-up coming soon

Highlights include:

  • Dynamic Lighting
  • Much more cautious characters (due to aforementioned dynamic lighting)
  • More role-playing (due to aforementioned dynamic lighting)
  • A correctly identified cabbage-looking creature
  • Thriller
  • The return of a local legend
  • and much more

Youtube video for this session available at: http://youtu.be/Q10AHf6qLk0

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Edge of Anarchy - Part IV
The Queen's Scapegoat & The Dead Warrens

Part IV completed on 11/23/2014. Full write-up coming soon.

Highlights include:

  • 2 characters join the adventuring party (and 2 “leave”)
  • A ridiculously strong door
  • An anti-climactic chase across “The Shingles”
  • A wannabe tank oracle
  • and much more

Youtube video for this session available at: http://youtu.be/BcMtB2umeSY

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Edge of Anarchy - Part III
Welcome to the Guard & The Ambassador's Secret

Part III completed on 11/16/2014. Full write-up coming soon.

Highlights include:

  • A new job as agents of the Korvosan Guard
  • A sickened, stunned, blinded, and grappled opponent (all the same person)
  • A ridiculous drunk man convinced that the end of Korvosa is coming
  • An unexpected encounter with an “old friend(?)”
  • A game of knivesies
  • and much more

Youtube video for this session available at: http://youtu.be/S4xn0SZ5gYk

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Edge of Anarchy - Part II
The death of Gaedren & A city in turmoil

The theme of this session is:
generous.jpg

First off, after 2 sessions, we still have not had a critical hit or failure out of anyone, although we did have a critical threat tonight, there was no confirm on it. We begin still in The Old Fishery, in search of Gaedren Lamm. The group has discovered that he is “downstairs” and the best course of action is to head down the (now broken) boardwalk. The party has little trouble on the boardwalk, except for Sif, who is not very graceful, and nearly falls into the water to play with the shark again. Things get a bit dicey, but alas he makes it.

dicey.jpg

The group finds an old ship tied up to the fishery and Sif and Filarion decide it would be a fun idea to fall through the floor. After they fall, Darius and Drassilis head into the aft cabin and are jumped by A teeny-tiny-little drain spider, which they proceed in taking 4 rounds to kill. Keep in mind, this spider only had 2 HP. They finally finish off the spider and head downstairs, and encounter another group of 4 of the same spiders as above. Because of the sessions theme, I did not make Darius and Drassilis fight the spider on the upper deck and have Sif and Filarion fight the spiders on the lower deck at the same time (I was really close to doing this). Amazingly, not one spider landed an attack during either combat.

After a brief intermission while roll20 crapped out on us, the spider fights continued with sage advice from Filarion:

I recommend hitting it.

Once the party found out the spiders have an AC > 20, they decided to help each other out using aid another, instead of trying to ‘lone wolf’ it, and they finally succeed. One thing the group did learn from the fight, during a monster lore knowledge check, is always ask for the monsters’ mother’s maiden name in an attempt to steal the monster’s identity in hopes of getting more loot off of it.

During the spider fights, Sif decided he was going to create water to drown the spiders, as well as Drassilis’ Compsognathus. However, again (because of the nights theme), I decided not to drown the compy because he has a swim speed. I don’t know how I worked the logic out for that since, as The Doctor once said “Humans are 60% water, you can still drown” so having a swim speed doesn’t mean you can’t drown. Anyways, I’m generous.

After defeating the spiders, the group moved along the underdock and (see theme) Filarion was allowed to make an Intelligence check to remember that the pier breaks. Clearly, PC’s have better memories than the players do (also it was only about 30 minutes or so in game time since they last fell through the pier). Now, as I write this, I do realize that the only reason the players knew not to double-move was because I told them about the mechanics of the pier above after they were done with it. But either way, we move along.

The group finally finds Gaedren Lamm,, and after hurling some taunts at them (and trying to convince Darius to kill the rest of the group), they finally have enough of his shenanigans and are able to “take care of him” in a fairly easy fashion. The party finds a bevy of treasure that Gaedren had accumulated, including a brooch stolen from the Queen, which freaked them out a bit. During the sorting of the treasure, Jordan has an interesting argument (with himself since he was playing both characters) between Sif and Darius about who gets to detect magic. Another item the group found among Gaedren’s loot, was an oil of keen edge, which I think made Jordan orgasm a little when the item description was read.

Once all the loot was sorted and gathered, they learned that their fortune-teller friend Zellara had really been dead all along. The group then decided to sleep overnight in the crusty old fishery to allow Gaedren to heal up, which just so happened to bring him up to 1 hp. Tied and bound, the group questioned him a bit, before Darius took over

For all of the heinous crimes you have committed, I hereby sentence you to death. May Belphagor torture your soul

at which point he put a crossbow bolt through the back of Gaedren’s skull and fed his body to his own pet alligator.

The group exits the fishery and proceeds to have an 8 minute discussion about what to do with the queen’s brooch, ultimately deciding to bury it below the fishery. Once they were ready to proceed, they were informed that the King has died and the city is now in chaos and burning, causing them to immediately decide to dig up the brooch and keep it with them.

As they proceeded back to Zellara’s home, Darius was approached (and charged at) by a mad prophet, who he narrowly avoided. To what end, I’m not sure, but Darius decides to brand the “prophet’s” face with the symbol of Belphagor, before moving along. He also branded the symbol into the walls of the fishery before leaving prompting twitch viewer Spikes799 to compare Darius to “The Wet Bandits” from the movie “Home Alone.” The group next comes across a riot mob tormenting a young noble, Amin Jalento. Darius then, for once, “politely” intimidates the group to rescue young Amin.

As they proceed, the group is next chased by a large riot mob forcing them to flee and split up. Drassilis hopped a courtyard wall, ran through the open wall, attempted to squeeze into a narrow back alley but was unable, before finally escaping up a (not as) narrow stairway. Filarion ducked down a log back alleyway and attempted to engineer his way through a doorway but was unable, ran down a second, more uneven, alleyway, before finally heading out onto a paved street walkway where he was able to blend in with others and lose the mob. Sif immediately tried to bust down the first door he saw but was unable to, at which point he took off through an archway tunnel, scaled an uneven stone wall, and escaped over another courtyard wall. Darius, as luck would have it, was able to immediately hop a side brick wall and engineer his way through a locked door to be the first to escape the mob.

Once everyone got away cleanly (thus securing their treasure), they returned to Zellara’s home where she reveals herself to them and that she has indeed been dead the whole time, as well as her true purpose for bringing them together. She informs the group that she will continue to aid them through the use of her harrow deck and may, on occasion, appear to them as a major image.

It is here that the group hunkers down in her house to let some of the initial civil unrest die down before heading to a merchant to sell their loot and collect their money, where they learn that there is actually a substantial reward for returning the queen’s brooch, which is where the session concluded. We will see what happens next time.

Final Numbers:

  • Players killed: 0
  • Rounds spent fighting spiders: 7
  • Throats slit: 0
  • Executing style killings: 1
  • Minutes spent arguing about a brooch: 8
  • “Brandings”: 2
  • Penis jokes: 2
  • “Home Alone” references: 1

Next session: Sun 11/16/14 8:00 PM MST (GMT -7) – Watch live on Twitch

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Edge of Anarchy - Part I
Haunted Fortunes & The Old Fishery

Watch the video of this session on youtube

And so the adventure begins. Unfortunately, our adventure begins down one player. Due to a family conflict (and the fact that he’s kind of an idiot and forgot about our game), Alex was unable to join us for the first night. That didn’t stop the group though. Dan stepped up played both his and Alex’s character like the bro he is.

During some (not so) brief character introductions, we gain some insight into our PC’s and learn the history of our adventurer’s, including that Filarion was apparently protrayed by Mark Wahlberg in “The Fighter”. After their introductions (which I had everyone do before they got actually got together as a group), each of our players find a mysterious Harrow card with a message written on it. The messages lead them to the house of Zellara, a Varisian Fortune Teller. It is there that she explains her history with the notorious Gaedren Lamm and the reason she brought them all together: their shared history with him as well. After Sif, Filarion, and Darius all partake in a Harrow reading (detailed below), the group heads to the Old Fishery which Zellara has identified as Gaedren’s current hideout.

Upon arriving at the Fishery, Darius’ first instinct is to apparently make as much noise as possible, and attempts to kick down the front door. The door is solidly locked from the inside and is kick only serves to rile up the dog that is inside (and whatever/whoever else may be in there that they can’t hear). Filarion decides to take a look around the outside of the building, peering in through some windows that aren’t windows (they are in fact doors) and some windows that are actually boarded over – his perception skills are pretty amazing apparently. As Filarion walks along the rickety boardwalk, Drassilis comes to join him causing the boards to creak and groan under their weight. Not taking head to this warning, they both continue to walk along only have the boardwalk give way dropping them both into the (as it turns out) shark-infested waters below. Ok, so maybe 1 shark isn’t an infestation, but still…there’s a shark in the water. Both players are able to make it out of the water onto the land, but not before the shark noms down on Drassilis, who returns the favor by punching the shark in the nose. Sadly, this does not have the affect that all of the “What to do if you’re ever attacked by a shark” survival guides claim that it does.

Shortly after “Close Encounters of the Shark Kind”, the front doors to the fishery open inwards revealing the dog they heard barking earlier and one of Gaedren’s thugs, Yargin Balko. After Darius demoralizes Yargin, the party (cruelly) decides to take out the dog first. Making short work of the dog, the party turns their attention to Yargin. In a clever use of his Command spell, Darius forces Yargin to approach him thus eating an AoO from Filarion in the process. After the AoO, the kill shot went to Sif (the divine caster) who hit with 7 damage from his crossbow. Once the party was done rummaging through the body of Yargin and seeing no other purpose it can serve, Darius (being the lawful evil character he is) decides it is necessary to slit the throat of Yargin. This really is a family-friendly game.

A quick search of a couple rooms leads the party to the Upper Workfloor room, with 4 “children” slaving away. Within a couple rounds, the party quickly realizes that one of the kids is not a kid, but rather one of Gaedren’s thugs in disguise, a gnome rogue by the name of Hookshanks. As he tried to escape, in a MGTFOOI (Meta-gaming the fuck out of it) moment, Darius Daemonblood “shoots him in his stupid face” and “kills his stupid face.” After the battle, Sif and the rest of the party convince the kids to let them take them to an orphanage, earning them bonus XP for “properly rescuing” the kids. As the rest of the party is dealing with the children, Darius kneels over the unconscious body of Hookshanks and says to him

I find you guilty of holding indentured slaves and of working with Gaedren Lamm, the penalty of which is death. May your soul lie in torment with the dark prince Belphagor

and slits his throat.

The party moves on towards the Fishery floor where 5 children are slaving away under the watchful eye of Giggles. However, as the group enters, Giggles is much more successful at intimidating the children to attack the party than Hookshanks was, and the party finds themselves not only facing the giggling half-orc but also surprisingly being shanked by some of Lamm’s Lambs with daggers. Unfortunately, early efforts to diplomacize with the children were unsuccessful. The party had little trouble dispatching Giggles thanks in large part due to a max damage hit by Filarion with his longbow. After taking out Giggles, the party is successful in convincing the children to let them take the kids to an orphanage as well as the children begin to flee.

The party rested for the evening after this battle, yet to Find Gaedren Lamm, but armed now with the knowledge that he is “downstairs” and carrying something that is masterwork (thanks in part to the confusion of the GM between magic weapons and masterwork weapons when Sif cast detect magic). We will see what happens next time.

Final Numbers:

  • Players killed: 0
  • Harrow readings: 3
  • Sharks fought: 1
  • Dogs killed: 1
  • Throats slit: 2
  • Mark Wahlberg references: 1

Next session: Thu 11/13/14 9:00 PM MST (GMT -7) – Watch live on Twitch

Harrowing details:

Darius:

Darius’ Harrow reading is rife with warnings about his quest for his power. There are those around him who can assist him in his quest, but many of his cards came with warnings or cautionary tales.

Role Card: The Cricket

  • The Liar: Love at it’s most treacherous. Represents his quest to regain his lost power from his past.
  • The Teamster: Indicates a driving external force in your present. Something unclear and external is driving him to regain his power.
  • The Publican: Represents camaraderie, and those around him who can aid him in his quest.
  • The Marriage: A union of persons or ideas. Those around him are perhaps there to aid him in his quest.
  • The Lost: Emptiness and loss of identity. Troubling that it is in his future column, and that he may never regain his power. Warns him to be wary of The Lost.
Sif:

All of Sif’s cards had insight into his journey and quest. His harrow reading was indeed very powerful. Sif’s harrow reading indicated that his entire past was based around, and heavily affected by the death of his father.

Role Card: The Demon’s Lantern

  • The Tyrant: A paternal influence has brought you pain. This could be the loss of his father, or it could be a result of his partnership with Gaedren Lamm.
  • The Paladin: Standing fast in adversity. With the loss of his father, The Paladin taught him to be strong and provide for his family.
  • The Lost: Signifies emptiness and loss of identity. He is having trouble dealing with the death of your father.
  • The Owl: Wisdom of the natural order. The Owl is a positive sign for Sif, that he, or his party, will have insight into his journey.
  • The Midwife: New life and new information. She represents the new life of the adventuring party, old friends coming together again.
  • The Snakebite: Poisonous powers and ideas. Be wary of these powers and ideas that enter your mind.
  • The Juggler: Fate, the gods, and those who play with the lives and destinies of others. He represents a positive future event and that fate will be on his side.
Filarion:

Filarion is still haunted by the loss of his lover and the toll it took on him. The cards also gave him a warning of a major calamity to come in his present, and that he will achieve his goal, but it may come at a great cost.

Role Card: The Demon’s Lantern

  • The Vision: Represent’s arcane knowledge. Strange for a fighter to draw this card. Such knowledge can often take the form of madness. The Vision for Filarion represents an unclear past and the madness it represents is from when his lover was taken from him.
  • The Fiend: Many losses in a calamity. The Fiend represents a negative present event and is foreshadowing this calamity coming very soon.
  • The Unicorn: What you seek is yours. With The Unicorns position, although what he seeks will be his, it may come to him at a great cost.
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We haven't even started yet, and already I have a Player Kill

Ok, so maybe not an actual player kill. Unfortunately, 2 days ago, Brian decided to drop out. He was still somewhat new to RPGs and the whole character creation/background process proved to be a bit more daunting and involved than he expected. Additionally, with the fact that a full AP could easily span 6 months, he decided this wasn’t going to be for him, which is totally fine; I can certainly understand and I harbor no ill will. In fact, better he stepped out now than, say 3-4 weeks in.

Anyways, I contacted a friend right after we found out, someone who had expressed interest in getting into tabletop RPGs before, to see if he was interested. Enter Alex. Alex is actually newer to RPGs than Brian was, although he did confess to a bit of RPGing when he was 13 (admit it, we all went through that phase). Alex will be playing an Elf Oracle of Heavens with the Blackened curse. Currently, we know little about this Oracle, but what we do know so far is:

  • He comes from a poor family from a small town, born to peasant parents
  • He was influenced by a Mystic and was once engulfed in a great fire, yet survived unscathed as if the fire dare not touch him
  • He’s had some dealings in the past with some unsavory individuals
  • He’s somewhat of a hedonist, having had many lovers in his life, but no long-lasting, meaningful relationships, and craves luxury, entertainment, and pleasure.

We look forward to meeting this mysterious oracle more in the future.

With that being said, let us take time to remember our fallen brethren, the dwarf cleric. We knew not your name and though you are gone, you will not be forgotten.

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Character Creation

On 11/4, the group got together for the first time to create their characters using the Random Background Generator tool on d20pfsrd.com. Instead of using the random gen, the players actually rolled everything out to generate their backgrounds, which turned out to be a lot of fun seeing the backgrounds unfold.

The background generator is actually found in the Ultimate Campaign Rulebook. Using their backgrounds, all players selected 2 of the traits they gained access to (about 6-8 on average), could take their optional story feat, and had to take their character’s drawback. This made for some very interesting character backgrounds that can (and will) definitely be woven into the story as they play.

The adventuring party consists of:
Jordan – playing Darius Daemonblood – Human Inquisitor of the Heresy Inquisition
Sean – playing Filarion – Elf Free Hand Fighter / Duelist
Dan – playing Drassilis Astrafink – Elf Wizard Conjurer
Brian – playing a Dwarf Cleric

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