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ZEITGEIST The Cephlapod Caper

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The great Eclipse is upon us, The A-team of the RHC office in flint are off fighting Fey Titans saving the world and generally doing great things, the B-Team have been assigned to back up special forces units protecting Axis Island and dealing with major security problems. Inspector Drelft is acting head of the RHC and juggling resources while watching out for more giant Mimics. Who is left to stop the strong arming(tentacling) of the workers on the docks?
Why the D-Team, of special auxiliary constables on their first every assignement. Will they be able to stop the cephlapodic master mind Primo from taking over the docks? Will I be able to come up with enough Octopus and NHS Jokes to keep myself going? Will it be a good thing that the people involved will probably not get a chance to throw things at me until April ?

Coming soon a one off adventure for my work colleagues where they must hunt down the criminal Cephlapod master mind Primo and avoid insanity. Still working on the details but the octopus will have its day
 

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Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Another thing I have to include , Primo disguising himself as a wall fitting. It will be a few weeks before this gets fully written and run. But should be amusing, if it works well I may use it as a convention game.
 



Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Little Primo
Octopus druid (skinshaper) 6 (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, 219, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Intrigue 26)
N Small magical beast (aquatic, augmented animal)
Hero Points 1
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14
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Defense
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AC 18, touch 17, flat-footed 13 (+1 deflection, +5 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 82 (10d8+16)
Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +11; +4 vs. fey and plant-targeted effects
Defensive Abilities ink cloud
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Offense
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Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.; jet 200 ft.
Melee +1 club +12/+7 (1d4+5) or
. . bite +11 (1d4+1 plus poison), tentacle +11 (grab)
Druid (Skinshaper) Spells Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +11)
. . 3rd—ice spears (DC 18), greater longstrider[ACG], resinous skin[UC], water breathing[D]
. . 2nd—barkskin, bull's strength, frigid touch[UM], slipstream[D,APG] (DC 17), stone discus[ACG]
. . 1st—cure light wounds, hydraulic push[D,APG], obscuring mist, thorn javelin[ACG] (2), wave shield[ACG]
. . D Domain spell; Domain Aquatic domain[UM]
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Statistics
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Str 16, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 21, Cha 4
Base Atk +7.5; CMB +9 (+13 grapple); CMD 25 (can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Natural Attack (bite), Intimidating Prowess, Multiattack, Persuasive, Power Attack, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +11 (+7 to jump), Diplomacy -1, Escape Artist +15, Intimidate +14, Perception +14, Sense Motive +11, Stealth +22, Survival +7, Swim +15; Racial Modifiers +10 Escape Artist, +8 Stealth
Languages Druidic, Primordial
SQ hero points, nature bond (Aquatic domain[UM]), nature sense, prestige unseen court, prestige-flint, prestige-risur, sealord, seastrike, skinshaping 2/day, trackless step, wild empathy, woodland stride
Other Gear +1 club, ring of protection +1, shifter's headband (+2 wis)[UE]
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Special Abilities
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Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Druid (Skinshaper) Domain (Aquatic) Granted Powers: You master the deeps of the sea, raging rivers, flowing falls, and relentless tides.
Grab: Tentacle (Small) (Ex) You can start a grapple as a free action if you hit with the designated weapon.
Hero Points Hero Points can be spent at any time to grant a variety of bonuses.
Ink Cloud (10 ft. radius, 1/minute) (Ex) Emit an ink cloud, which provides total concealment.
Jet (200 ft.) Move in a straight line at 200, with no attacks of opportunity.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in dim light, distinguishing color and detail.
Nature Sense (Ex) A druid gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.
Poison (DC 13) (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1 Str; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.

Sealord (8/day, DC 10) (Su) Channel as cleric to heal/command aquatic/water subtype targets.
Seastrike (Su) Freedom of movement for weapons in water, throw as standard & returns.
Skinshaping (2/day) (Su) Adopt a humanoid form as alter self, gain expanded benefits at high levels.
Swim (30 feet) You have a Swim speed.
Trackless Step (Ex) You do not leave a trail as you move through natural surroundings.
Wild Empathy +6 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Move through undergrowth at normal speed.


My original Primo build is too powerful for a one off with inexperienced players , a version of this one will be used. Druid lets him take Human form when needed. Technically his INT should be about 3 but that is no fun
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The plot outline , simple as I will have brand new players. They will find the evidence they need to move between the different crime scenes even if kobolds have to issue whispered clues from their cunning hiding places
The Cephalopod affair

Scene 1
The Special Reserve Constable team Hellfish (After the unfortunate incident with one of the first extra dimensional incursions after the Great Eclipse during their swimming training). Has been assigned to guard an informant who promises to provide information about the new violent gang boss Primo. The assignment is to guard him until the C-team becomes available from its Hive Mind prevention duties.
The informant is a dockhand called Chris Sleeman , a half orc immigrant from Ber, he claims to have seem Primo murdering several other dockhands who were refusing to pay their protection money.
Suddenly there is screaming cut off with a gurgling noise , the door to the room is blocked and by the time the team breaks in Mr Sleeman is dead his throat crushed , evidence reveals a small intruder broke in via the plumbing.

Scene 2
Information at the Crime scene leads to a group of Primo’s enforcers working on the docks who can be beaten up and the location of the Crime Lords lair revealed.

Scene 3
The Crime Lords lair, fighting the way into the lair encounters several thugs an Lieuteants who are duly beaten up and arrested

Scene 4
At the back of the hideout the team corner Primo and a few enforcers before the Cunning Cephalopod can escape down into the lagoon. It seems there is a mysterious blockage in the Pipeline
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Is there a way (perhaps Potion of Polymorph: Fish) for a PC to re-enact the "all drains lead to the sea" scene in Finding Nemo, with Primo flitting in and out just at the limit of visual range when the sewer pipe briefly straightens out?
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Is there a way (perhaps Potion of Polymorph: Fish) for a PC to re-enact the "all drains lead to the sea" scene in Finding Nemo, with Primo flitting in and out just at the limit of visual range when the sewer pipe briefly straightens out?
I never saw finding Nemo but that is a good idea, let me think about it
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
They are protecting a witness so a wand of reduce person show they can hide the person as they move them from site to site, they could use that to follow Primo into the pipes.
 

MacD

Just a tourist passing your way...
Are your players new to p&p or new into the system you're playing?
If 1, are they geeky enough to stillbtake p&p serious after that plot?

I ask for a friend 😆
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
They are work colleagues with little or no direct prior experience of tabletop gaming. I am aiming for fun with no deep plot so they should hopefully laugh.
Particularly as Octopus is a type of software we use and there will be other references. If it works I may try it out at the UK games expo if that runs
 

MacD

Just a tourist passing your way...
They are work colleagues with little or no direct prior experience of tabletop gaming. I am aiming for fun with no deep plot so they should hopefully laugh.
Particularly as Octopus is a type of software we use and there will be other references. If it works I may try it out at the UK games expo if that runs
Lol ok that sounds fun 😂
 


Sounds neat.

The three bits of advice I try to always keep in mind for short adventures are:

1. Two motivations. Give the pregen PCs two motivations: one shared by the group, so they all want to 'beat the baddy,' and one that is personal, to motivate a bit of roleplaying.

In this adventure, maybe one PC has a friend who had their boat burned down by a henchman of the Primo [wants revenge], and another is the sibling of a different henchman [wants to keep them safe], and another works with the navy's trained aquatic creatures [might recruit the Primo], and another is friends with a pub owner [and the henchmen in scene two are busy smuggling fancy liquor that the PC might filch for his friend]. I think those could be played humorously.

2. Narrow-wide-narrow. There's nothing wrong with linear narratives, but one of the strengths of tabletop RPGs is the freedom that video game RPGs can't match. I like to make sure each scene doesn't have a definite conclusion, and that there is at least one decision point where the party feels like their choices in the middle of the session affect the climax. Like maybe the minions know where the lair is, but also know where they were going to meet the boss, so the party could lay an ambush. Something small like that.

3. Quirky Details. It's not easy to have mechanically complex foes in a one-shot, but giving them a tiny bit of flair can make them memorable. Maybe the Primo's lair is under a bar, and their big scheme is to smuggle fancy alcohol, so one of the perks each minion gets is a trio of potions that come in tiny liquor bottles. When the party gets to the lair, maybe the other minions who are there have colorful cocktails, and the bartender quickly pours a 'shot' worth of potion into each cocktail. (I'm partial to Kraken Rum.)
 
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Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Thinking about it I can say that advice fits almost all of my convention games plots and characters. For this one I am preparing a very clear and scripted pathway but if players have ideas they will almost certainly work and change the pathway.
Primo's base is going to be a resteraunt on the bay with a big underwater window in it's dining room where they will face his minions as he escapes cackling maniacally to swim off. Until someone drains the bay so they can fight She Who Writhes leaving him stranded just outside the window so they can capture him
 

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