Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pathfinder Update - Carrion Crown and Rappan Athuk

So, been a while again. Work has been busy and I find myself doing a lot of online work so less likely to do this, hopefully this will change.

My main group decided to take a break from Slumbering Tsar since it is a nice filler. So I have two main games going, Carrion Crown and Rappan Athuk. (Our 1930's games hasn't occurred due to a lot of Eldritch Horror Board game sessions. I'll talk about in another update).

Carrion Crown

Carrion Crown focuses on the Whispering Way's attempt to free the biggest villain in the Pathfinder world, the Whispering Tyrant. Really it is an Adventure Path with a romp through classic horror monsters. Ghosts, Werewolves, Frankenstein, Vampires, Star Spawn and of course lots of undead.
From paizo's site
From the whispering shadows of haunted Ustalav an ancient evil rises to grip the world in a new age of horror!
Amid the mists of this land of dark superstition and dread secrets stand both those who would defy the return of evil and those who would seek its terrible favor. Can the heroes discern their allies from their enemies in time to save a tortured realm from a tyrant’s return? Pathfinder’s darkest and most frightening campaign ever sets the heroes against the agents of Golarion’s most notorious villain, the Whispering Tyrant, in a terrifying trek across a land of lurking horror and ancient mysteries.

It has a nice amount of roleplaying. The trial of the Beast was an excellent mystery/debate.  The characters find themselves needing to prove the innocence of a Frankenstein creature. Each module has a number of chances like this. The fifth module can be a problem for many parties. All the pregame information (players guide to the campaign) encourages making characters who are anti-undead. Teaming up with truly evil undead may be an issue. My group has a paladin undead scourge and inquisitor of Pharasma, Goddess of Fate and Death. This will need a bit of reworking. However, I'm pretty sure the personal plots will derail some of this by then.

Another problem with the Adventure Path as written is the people of Ustalav. Without some work on the DM's part the players probably will want to see the people of Ustalav die. The majority of encounters play them as ignorant petty people. So, I had each player come up with 6 characters, friend or foe who populate Ustalav and can effect the story. This has resulted in alchemist rivals, Vampire Lord, disgraced nobles trying to retake a province, rare merchants, former allies who betrayed them, fisherman informants, etc. This has given Ustalav a living feeling. Granted the retaking of the one province Barstoi, will derail things a bit, but in a great way.

Our last session (Module 2) I tried some 3d terrain as they stormed the keep
The inquisitor and alchemist gnome charged in with their cart, leaving the Paladin fighting outside
This and a few previous battles showed an interesting dilemma in party design. With two anti-undead characters out of three, they can plow through all but the toughest undead. However, tough living encounters can be tough. The alchemist was one turn from death in the stomach of a troll hound.
The lack of a rogue can be hazardous
not so much against the flesh hound, but...
the trap summoning an air elemental. To be fair they used a magic item to effectively cancel the vortex effect.

Rappan Athuk

As a secondary campaign a few of us are going through Rappan Athuk the dungeon of graves.

From Frog God Games
The Granddaddy of All Dungeons Returns!Rappan Athuk, the legendary mega-dungeon by Frog God Games and Necromancer Games is nothing more and nothing less than a good, old–fashioned, First Edition dungeon crawl updated for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Swords & Wizardry rules. Very difficult, Rappan Athuk will truly strike fear into the hearts of the most stalwart adventurers. It offers legions of inventive traps, tricks, strange features, and monsters -- many of them never before seen. It affords numerous opportunities for roleplaying, but anyone willing to brave these subterranean halls better arrive ready to rumble, or their lives will be short indeed.
Many, many players have lost favored PCs delving into the depths of this dungeon, all the while giggling like children and having the time of their lives. Hundreds, if not thousands of players have combed the halls of Rappan Athuk over the years, seeking treasure and fame, making it one of the best-known dungeon locations the game has ever produced. Even players who have never entered its halls know the term: “Don’t go down the Well!” 
This is a dungeon crawl pure and simple, and a brutal one a that. The players decided to use the new test classes. True to form the dungeon proved brutal. Dungie (a truly horrible monster) managed to kill the bloodrager, slayer, and animal companions in a truly disgusting death. The reaming party members jammed the door shut leaving the bodies of their companions in the room. Of course as the hunter ran away down the corridor, he ran straight into a gelatinous cube
Granted the remaining party member made it to the village. They have learned that not everything is as it seems.

Next Update: Hive and Eldritch Horror