Sunday, 3 October 2010
Pathfinder: "Quick, quick, it's a quickling!"
So, Friday night and it's Pathfinder night again. This time with Rick down from Manchester and playing in person, in the flesh and blood, rather than via Skype. The evening routine seems to be the domain management phase first, followed by action of the more traditional sense.
Over the previous week we have been debating some kind of legal code for our new realm, and I have been pushing for the introduction of a formal militia at every large human settlement in the domain, along with the compulsory registration of every spellcaster who wants to cast 0 or 1st level spells. The latter legislation opened up a lengthy debate around whether we used use some form of detect evil magic to determine which applicants were applying with the right intent, rather than provide blanket registration that could sanction the activities of a handful of malcontents. I don’t think our council has reached the point where the idea of licensing magic use (and banning outright the use of high level magic by those not allied to the player characters) has been approved. Our elven druid, Cassie, did not seem enthusiastic, nor our resident wizard Grameer.
Still, development of the realm continues apace, and it seems to be booming economically. It was proposed that each PC take over the development of one major settlement in the realm, with Grameer opting to develop a centre of learning around an academy on the site of the trading post where we started our adventures. Cassie – despite Rick’s ongoing suspicion of the whole domain building part of the Kingmaker campaign – has been vested with the religious centre, while our rogue Olban is working on what sounds like the crime capital of the kingdom, complete with its own black market. My own PC Artemisia is looking at some kind of mobile military camp, similar in fact to the ordo system of the Huns and later the Mongols, with a large, predominantly mounted army moving on a seasonal basis to different sites in the kingdom where grazing is best.
We also intercepted an agent provocateur preaching against the ruling council in the streets of its very own capital. Although I suggested removing him covertly and replacing him with our changeling rogue, the majority opinion was to tackle him head on with a zone of truth, forcing him to admit that he had been sent by a foreign power to stir up trouble. It turns out there is a realm to our west that favours an aggressive move into our territory (the kingdom still does not have a name incidentally), and they were using him to scout us out. After he had been discredited successfully in the eyes of the populace, he was stripped of all his money, equipment and magic items and sent on his way (as the DM has forced Good alignment on us we could not simply hang him!)
We then decided to scout to the south west, again avoiding the big lake and its tempting island due to fears of a hydra dwelling beneath its waters. We ran into a pair of owl bears in the middle of the night, but dispatched both in fairly short order. Olban ended up fighting toe-to-toe with one owl bear which almost took him down, but the changeling rogue is getting tougher now and took over 30 hps of damage without falling unconscious!
We finally ended up at some elven ruins which our gnomish intelligence told us lay in the far south west of our domain. Grameer found his staff growing warm as we approached, and suspects I think that some kind of upgrade for this item could lie within its ruins. The ruins consisted of four towers linked by a curtain wall and a large central tower. Once in the courtyard, we were ambushed by a quickling, which certainly gave us the runaround – and a detailed analysis of the Spring Attack feat – before it finally vanished again after taking damage. We’re not sure where it has gone, and hope it does not try for another crack at the party when it is more depleted. Once again the use of haste meant when the quickling did get within range it was subject to multiple attacks – which was nice!
We explored the outlying towers one by one, encountering an assassin vine which seized Wu Ya, our tengu monk, but did not manage to hang onto him for long before we killed it. However, while our attention was focused on the vine some other fae beastie that looks more like a ghoul than anything else jumped us. We took him down too.
A so-so session for my character Artemisia. She did not get much opportunity to use her war horse, and seemed to get attacked almost immediately each time. Our DM seems to zero in on her when the opportunity arises (she has AC19, AC 20 if Grameer manages to cast protection from evil in time, and 67 hps when not raging). Luckily she can’t be caught flat footed or flanked or sneak attacked anymore due to choice of feats and rage powers, plus she has a +1 to her Reflex save against traps: all details I would ask anyone who plays here next week to bear in mind, as I won’t make it to the next session. When hasted she has two attacks as a full attack action, which if they connect, are doing 2d6 +17 hps
However, other PCs like Wu Ya and now Olban are far more deadly than they were: around 2nd to 3rd level Artemisia was doing most of the serious fighting, but in the last two sessions she has fallen behind in the damage stakes. Her role now seems to draw in the attacks of the enemy, leaving Wu Ya and Olban free to do the serious damage. It is working well, so no need to change it, methinks.