Game Night: Session 1 (Fumbles & Stealth Wasted)

05Feb10

Got in the first session of my new Curse of the Crimson Throne (Pathfinder) game last night; overall, I give it a 3/5 stars . . . not the game, but the sessions itself.

The main issue was building characters. In retrospect I wish I would have just dedicated one night to it; however, our anticipation got the best of us and we rushed, somewhat chaotically, through the process of building characters. We were rusty with PF rules, and making characters should never be rushed, regardless. While I think we have some interesting choices, and some nice opportunities for roleplaying, I do feel as if those things were not fully realized during this first session. On the bright side the players seem to enjoy their players.

Beebop Gnome Summoner

This little guy is shaking an addiction to the hallucinogenic drug shiver. He is a bit of a prankster, but also seriously devoted to the art of summoning. His eidolon his essentially the Fantastic 4’s Thing, a big rocky mound of hit points and armor.

Pint Hornswaggle Halfling Rogue

So far all business and supremely pragmatic, this vengeful halfling has carried a grudge regarding his missing friend for some time. Despite this dark streak, he is curious and inquisitive and in his free time has begun studying illusion magic out of a book he stole from the Acadamae.

Smog Human Ranger

A quiet, somber archer whose aim is pure and body agile. More urban ranger and mercenary than anything else. Smog has just returned to Korvosa in an attempt to face down the demons of his past. Smog grew up on these streets as a waif pickpocket for Gaedren Lamm, and he has not forgotten the rough life he lived here.

Imelio Human Cleric (Cayden Cailean)

Imelio likes drink. A lot. Rarely enjoying sobriety, Imelio chases woman and adventure with equal zeal. In many ways the charming, roguish priest is a true acolyte of his god.

Hilarious Harrow Reading

Curse of the Crimson Throne opens with a fortune teller, Zellara, asking for the group’s help and giving them a harrowing (see also: Tarot). I won’t spend too much rehashing the awkwardness of Zellara’s harrow reading, but it is suffice to say that my only deck of cards had nudie girls on them. Try telling the Cleric that he just drew the Rabbit Prince when he sees the drawing of two women . . . um, never mind.

Anyways, the reading went ok, and the group really bought into Zellara’s plea for vengeance. Curse of the Crimson Throne, the AP I am running, has a nice built in vengeance hook. All of the characters wanted a piece of their old foe, Gaedren Lamm. They did not even question how Zellara had managed to track them down. They opted to make quick work of the mission and left immediately.

The Rusty Halfling

The group arrived at the old fishery, Lamm’s base, in the middle of the night. Everyone inside was asleep, except for an alchemist/record keeper named Yargin. He was burning the midnight oil. His pet dog lay beside him.

Pint snuck in through a front window with ease. His stealth was spectacular, and the sleeping dog in the nearby room had no chance to hear him. Until . . . he just randomly started opening doors. He opened the door to Yargin’s office, rousing the dog, and causing Yargin to start shouting for reinforcements.

Of Critical Fumbles and Children

I rolled a d4, ultimately signaling 4 rounds for the enemies in the sleeping room to rouse. In the meantime a few rounds passed in a Mexican standoff. The players did not want to open the door. Behind it they heard the dog growling like mad. Eventually, the summoner’s Eidolon opened it and all hell broke loose.

The dog lunged and Yargin fired a bow, both with readied actions. The dog managed to keep the cleric, the eidolon, and the rogue at bay while Yargin escaped to join his reinforcements.

The PCs did manage to put down the dog, but not before it bit the eidolon viciously . . . and not before a pull from the critical fumble deck caused Smog to launch an arrow into the eidolon’s back effectively killing it.

At this point, after a blown stealthy entrance, a little PvP action, and a general clusterfuck of a feeling, party tension was rising.

The Critical Hit and Fumble decks (sold at Paizo) are fucking awesome. They really lend some random flavor to the critical hit, without too much imbalance. Also, a product I originally panned, the Map Folio, proved to rock as well. With so many enemies alerted at once, the Map Folio allowed me to keep track of them off-screen very easily.

The PCs rushed forward with the ranger and the cleric leading the way. Smog was able to draw fire from Yargin (tossed acid flasks) without taking damage and capable of damaging a dangerous foe, a half-orc fighter. At this point I should mention that this Old Fishery is the home of a thieves’ den essentially. It consist of old man Gaedren Lamm (the one they want vengeance on), his crocodile pet, and his 3 associates (a gnome rogue, half-orc fighter, and human alchemist), and finally, Lamm’s Lambs, a bunch of young street urchins. The cleric used diplomacy to convince the kids to turn against their captors but it was not that productive.

Things were actually starting to look grim for the PCs. The gnome and alchemist enemies had snuck up behind the PCs by fleeing through the building, and the half-orc was rushing forward to deliver a wallop with his morning star to the cornered cleric. But, CRITICAL FUMBLE! Giggles, the half-orc’s name, essentially slams his morning star into a roof beam during his overhand chop confusing him for a round. This bought the party time and the ranger took advantage by placing an arrow through the bandit’s throat.

The gnome and the alchemist were taken down with the help of the kids, and a well-timed command spell.

The PCs questioned the kids on how to get down to Gaedren Lamm . . .

Fight with Gaedren Lamm

And it started off poorly. Both the ranger and the cleric fell into the water when they tried to, literally, get the drop on Lamm. They smashed through the floor and jumped down, right into a pit of water . . . a pit of water housing a big, ol’ crocodile. One hit and death roll later the cleric was ripped from sight and the crocodile sunk beneath the waves to enjoy its meal.

Meanwhile the old codger, Gaedren Lamm landed a critical hit on his first roll . . . which led to an infected bolt burying itself deep in Pint’s shoulder. Still despite the old man’s cover and insults, the full onslaught of the group proved too much. When the old man tried to make a dashing escape, Bebop’s summoned Celestial Riding Dog ripped out his throat.

As the PCs began to loot the place they discussed the possibility of the raising their cleric friend’s life . . . after all, they did find a piece of his finger . . . but the discussion was cut short when they opened the hatbox on Gaedren’s stinking dresser drawer to discover long rotted, decapitated head of Zellara, the woman that hired them.

They let out a collective WTF?

We jotted down treasure and ended here.  We play again next week . . .

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