Thoughts on Running Cauldron-Born

ltclnlbrain

First Post
This past Sunday, we started running the PF version of "Cauldron-Born." Our cast of characters remains mostly the same from the previous adventure, with the addition of a tiefling docker monk.

Will Hawkins, male human cavalier [tactician]/rogue (Yerasol veteran)
Mariah Colt, female half-elf wizard [spellslinger]/fighter/eldritch knight (gunsmith)
Oliver James, male half-elf bard [court bard] (Vekeshi mystic)
Piotr, male dwarf druid (martial scientist)
Jean-Luc Chambers, male tiefling monk [martial artist] (docker)

The session began as the party picked up the newest member of their RHC team, the street fighter Jean-Luc Chambers. From there, they got on the royal carriage to head to Hotel Aurum, only to be ambushed on the way by thugs from Kell's guild. The carriage chase didn't last very long. Mariah incinerated the rear carriage with a fireball, killing everybody except Rufus Hammerton, who threw himself clear of the detonation. Jean-Luc punched the poison drill out of the wagon, and as the carriages rounded the first corner, Oliver stunned both horses pulling their pursuers with a sound burst. This caused the wagon to fishtail and roll over, allowing our heroes to get away easily.

Upon reaching the hotel, the party was concerned that the king might be in danger, but were relieved when he was not. King Aodhan gave them their mission, and I passed out the briefing dossier to the players to look over. After several months of inactivity, we spent a few minutes going over everything that had happened so far in the campaign. The recap was much appreciated, especially by our new player. To keep scenes flowing, I had Asrabey make his appearance before cutting to the B-team for the first time. Remembering how he cut through the soldiers in the first adventure, the party raised their weapons and at first barred him from the king, but stood down on Aodhan's orders. After Asrabey revealed his purpose for being here, the party grudgingly agreed to help him find Ekossigan if they could.

Cut to the B-team. Before hand, I had written up brief backstories for each of the NPCs so the players wouldn't be totally unfamiliar with them. When I first handed out the stat blocks for the NPCs, the players complained that they were under-powered. I told them they weren't meant to be optimized PCs and they grudgingly accepted their temporary roles. When Feroz broke out of his crate, Gaethan instinctually shot the confused bear with a blunted arrow. Though it didn't actually hurt him, the bear roared and stomped over to stare at the half-elf until Brakken arrived to calm him down. They headed to the Beran consulate, making small talk with the minotaur as I tried to get them to RP a bit as these new characters.

From there, the B-team went with Brakken to lunch, and the eschatologists' first bomb went off, derailing the passing train. While Dima and Carlao went to help the wounded, Gaethan and Serena investigated the body of the crushed dwarf. They found the paper, the broken watch, and the forged work orders. Gaethan used his spirit medium powers to speak with the dead dwarf, learning that the next attack would happen at the Flint Tribune. The players used the messenger wind to summon their main PCs to help out.

Arriving on the scene, the PCs quickly stormed into the Tribune offices, searching for the bombs. Through high skill checks, they were able to find all six bombs and disable them with mere seconds to spare. Unfortunately, they weren't out of the woods yet, as the snipers began to fire into the crowd. Piotr wild-shaped into a giant eagle, carrying Will and Jean-Luc to fight the snipers on the clocktower while Mariah and Oliver spider climbed up to the top of the medical library. Both nests of snipers went down pretty quickly. It would've been a tough fight for the B-team, but with the A-team on hand, it wasn't difficult.

Not wanting to waste time, the party immediately followed up on Soknik Repairs as soon as the scene was secure. Busting into the shop without a warrant drew the attention of Kvarti Gorbatiy. Fortunately, the group had made friends with him at the Kaysbreau Arms Fair, so when he opened fire, it was only for show. The party came upon him with his gun at his feet and hands in the air, ready to surrender. He told the PCs what he knew of the terrorists and that he wanted no further part of their plans. He was taken into custody for further interrogation.

The PCs went down into the tunnels in search of the terrorists. They managed to avoid most of the traps, but fell victim to the crushing gate and the army ant swarm. After that, though, the skeletons and the pair of dwarves fell quickly. The party gathered the intelligence from the hideout, including deducing the properties of the missing "super bomb."

On Spring 9, the bronze golem containing Grappa's intelligence was repaired. The party isn't quite sure what to make of him yet, but don't fully trust him. The rest of the day was devoted to the mini-game to take down Kell's guild. The rules here worked well, though since at least one PC went on every mission, they were able to root out the moles pretty quickly. By the end of the first day, the party had earned two strikes, one for taking down an illegal transaction and one for assaulting Machete Hill. Thanks to the moles' efforts, several officers were injured in the assault, leaving the party with 35 officers for the remainder of the operation.

On Spring 10, Oliver and Piotr lead Asrabey to the Cloudwood to meet with Gale while the others remained focused on bringing down Lorcan Kell. Having had several friendly meetings with Gale in the past, the sorceress tried to warn Oliver away from Ekossigan. Through skillful use of Bluff and Diplomacy, he convinced her that he only had the rogue fey's best interests in mind and didn't want to harm him. She told the party where to find Ellik. Oliver easily crept up on the fey in the daylight and pinned him down to interrogate him. The gremlin spilled the beans on Ekossigan's hideout.

Meanwhile, the party scored another strike against Kell's guild by taking down a second illicit operation. Having scored three strikes, Morgan Cippiano reached out to arrange a meeting. The party has always held Cippiano at arm's length, but Will and Mariah agreed to meet with Morgan. The crime boss laid out the terms of his offer, but Will Hawkins doesn't negotiate with criminals. In fact, he arrested Cippiano on the spot for "conspiracy to committ premeditated murder in Parity Lake." Cippiano took it in stride, saying his lawyers would have him out within the week, but Will didn't care. He would not betray his principles by trading one crime lord for another.

Cut to the B-team. The players were bemused to find they were escorting the ambassadors to one of Rock Rackus's shows. The players have a love/hate relationship with the celebrity, especially Oliver's player, who absolutely loathes him. Naturally, his B-team character, Josiah, had to be Rock's biggest fan. :) Serena noticed Quentin Augst and successfully snuck over to listen in on his conversation. When the lawyer went to leave, the players decided to move in on him. Serena bumped into Augst, successfully using Sleight of Hand to take his wand of charm person. While the others confronted the lawyer, she moved in on Norm.

Augst's bodyguard ignited the bar with alcehmist's fire, causing a panic. While Carlao got the ambassadors to safety, Josiah and Gaethan opened fire, bringing down one of the bodyguards. Kaea incinerated another with a scorching ray. The remaining guards moved to screen Augst as he ran out of the bar, one of the pistoleers clipping Gaethan. Dima strode up to the same guard and brought him down with a critical hit. Serena, meanwhile, scored a powerful sneak attack with her sap on Norm, almost knocking him out. He tried to use suggestion on her to get her to leave him alone, but she made her Will save. She used Bluff to pretend to fall prey to the enchantment, and when Norm got up to leave, she knocked him out with an attack of opportunity.

Josiah drank his potion of invisibility to follow Augst while Gaethan bulled his way past the guards. This didn't end too well as they stabbed him several times, but Dima and Serena joined the fight to bring down the remaining guards. Augst almost got away, but one the players used his plot twist card to create an "Unexpected Obstacle," a crowd of protesters that blocked off his retreat. He turned to confront Gaethan, fishing fruitlessly for his pilfered wand. Flustered, he tried to run at Gaethan with a dagger, but Josiah came out of invisibility with a critical hit with the butt of his rifle, putting Augst down for the count. Among many enthusiastic cries of "B-team!", the party brought Augst and Norm into custody.

We ended the session there. The party now has five strikes against Kell's guild, and all the necessary components to get into the Bleak Gate. They still have to deal with Ekossigan and the eschatologists' Armageddon Beasts on the night of the 10th, but they'll have pretty much two full days to finish off Kell's guild and prepare for their assault on the Bleak Gate. I'm pretty sure they'll reach eight strikes before the peace summit, so I'm worried they might skip right to the assault on the Ob facility and miss all the juicy roleplaying to be had at the summit's opening dinner. I may have to engineer some complication to keep them from going to the Bleak Gate too early. Perhaps the canal route only works on certain days, so they'll have to wait until after the dinner?

All in all, the session was a lot of fun. The players were excited to get back into the story after several months of other games, and they enjoyed the complicated and layered plots that barely give the characters room to breathe. One player described the scenes with Kell's guild and Cippiano as "24 meets the Untouchables," high praise indeed. Most of the main party's encounters with relatively weak foes left something to be desired, but I've no doubt the next few set-pieces will more than make up for it.
 

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ltclnlbrain

First Post
We started our second session with the party hunting for the Cherno Bezna. They patrolled the harbor making Perception checks, and on the fifth attempt, they finally made the DC 30 check to find the ship around 10:00 PM. They immediately set off in pursuit. Not wanting to bog the game down with naval rules, I had them simply make two opposed Command checks to close the distance to the enemy ship and to remain behind it so it couldn't bring its cannons to bear on them. They succeeded on both, and closed with the Cherno Bezna. The dwarves immediately set about releasing the Armageddon Beasts. The first monster out was a behir, but Oliver used charm monster on it and got it to attack the dwarves instead. The dwarf captain managed to release a bulette before we was cut down, which leaped onto the PC's ships and severely wounded Mariah, causing her to leap into the water to save her life. Oliver set the behir against the bulette, and the behir helped the party bring down the other beast. They briefly contemplated bringing the charmed behir into the city to set loose against Lorcan Kell's guild, but they decided it would be too dangerous and so they put it down before sinking the Cherno Bezna with the other beasts still locked in their cages.

Cut to the B-team. The next morning, the constables were escorting Brakken and his guests on a morning picnic in Cloudwood where they got a first-hand look at the rising tensions in the district. After narrowly averting a riot with some high Intimidate and Diplomacy checks, the constables learned of the dead child that was found, and managed to talk their way into the police station to look at the body. Kaea rolled a natural 20 on her Knowledge (arcana) check, so she knew about the fey curse that had been placed on the body. The B-team sent word to the RHC to get a priest to remove the curse while letting the A-team know about the dead orphan.

The main party, after resting from the previous night's ordeals, knew it was time to take on Ekossigan before more orphans turned up dead. They brought some extra police officers with them as they moved in on Gallo's School for Boys. Rather than take the main stairs, they climbed up the branches of the trees, using Stealth to remain hidden. They snuck into the main building, hearing the gremlins lurking in other parts of the orphanage. Piotr used warp wood on the doors to lock the gremlins in, then the party stealthily took out the two pugwampi sentries before motioning the other officers up to help get the children out of the dormitories. While they were getting everybody in position, though, I determined they were making enough of a commotion that Ekossigan showed up to confront them.

In the opening moments of the fight, Piotr, who had wild shaped into a gorilla, grappled Ekossigan, but quickly regretted it as the fey lord's icy skin began to hurt him. Will scored a good hit with his sword and Mariah tried to fire off a scorching ray, but accidentally hit Will instead due to Ekossigan's arrowtwist ability. Oliver, meanwhile, used charm monster on one of the fey leopards, turning the two of them against each other.

Ekossigan hit Piotr with his breath weapon before teleporting into the branches of the tree. Mariah hit Ekossigan with a fireball while Will and Piotr climbed after him. Ekossigan's confusion failed to affect any of the PCs, so he resorted to his claws, tearing up Piotr pretty badly. The druid retreated to Oliver for healing while Mariah unleashed a second fireball. Will scored several more good hits with his sword, evading Ekossigan's recharged breath weapon and finally bringing him low. They kept him alive for Asrabey to question him before the dreadnaught put him down. Asrabey made known his intention to ask for the king's permission to enter the Bleak Gate.

The party spent the rest of the day further dismantling Kell's guild. They successfully stung another illicit transaction and assaulted both the Grand Suites and Casa de Kell, achieving 8 strikes. They learned of Kell's hiding place and about his gatecrasher charm. They contacted Minister Lee and are planning to lure Kell to the dimensionally locked bridge the following night.

With that taken care of for the time being, the party began to make plans for how to deal with the remaining eschatologists and their "super bomb." The players hit on the idea of perhaps using the wayfarer's lantern to shunt the explosion to the Bleak Gate. They met with Luc Jierre in his prison cell to try to determine whether such a plan was feasible, and if the lantern was destroyed, if Luc could perhaps make another one. I thought it was an interesting idea, so I had Luc tell him it would probably work, as long as the bomb remained in the lantern's light the whole time. I also used the opportunity to impress upon them that the lantern they had recovered was just a prototype, and that the Ob likely would soon have more of them available. (Foreshadowing, any one?) Oliver bought a couple scrolls of resilient sphere to put around the bomb in case they couldn't disarm it and the lantern didn't work.

On the morning of Spring 12, the eschatologists attacked the subrail station, taking Governor Stanfield and seven others hostage. Delft quickly dispatched the PCs to the scene, where Will clashed with Colonel Tucker. Will argued for immediate action, while Tucker wanted to wait for more soldiers to arrive. "If you go down there, you're going alone," Tucker said. "I'm never alone," Will replied slyly.

The party descended into the subrail tunnels via the sewer entrance, with Piotr scouting ahead. He noticed the trap at the bottom of the ladder, and with his darkvision could see where the dwarves and prisoners were located. The party used a scroll of communal darkvision to let them sneak around without giving themselves away. Piotr cast ape walk on Will. Mariah's slippers of spider climbing allowed her to creep along the ceiling with Will as they plotted their attack. Oliver cast vanish to get close to the train with the prisoners on it, and Piotr remained in the shadows, wild shaped into a flying beast and waiting for the right moment.

Will went into Arkham Asylum mode, creeping up on the two sentries outside the train and knocking them out with a sap sneak attack, then pulling them onto the train's roof when none of the other dwarves were looking. High Stealth checks allowed him to do this successfully. He and Mariah crept west to see the other dwarves watching the subrail station entrances, as well as the decoupled train cars with the two lone prisoners inside.

That's when Will played his plot twist card: "Moment of Glory." The plan had suddenly come together. Knowing that the dwarves were going to attack the subrail station, Will had placed two members of the B-team, Kaea and Serena, in the crowd that morning. They had allowed themselves to be taken hostage, and were merely waiting for Will's signal to surprise the terrorists. Serena had secreted a dagger and Kaea's spell components on her person, so when Will tapped on the train roof, she wriggled free of her bonds and prepared to lend aid.

The time had come to turn the tables on the eschatologists. Mariah opened up with a fireball on the dwarves bunched up in the center of the subrail tracks. All but one fell to the flames, and Will leapt down to knock him out. Meanwhile, Serena hurled her dagger into one of the nearby sniper's throats, while Kaea incinerated the other one with a scorching ray. Piotr swooped across the tracks to smash through the windows of the parked train, and Oliver used the scroll of resilient sphere to surround the hostages in a protective bubble of force.

As the few remaining dwarves struggled to react to the unexpected assault, Mariah fired a vendetta bullet she had made for Grundun Zubov, hitting the leader and badly wounding him with a critical strike. Zubov activated the bomb and tried to put the train into motion, but Pitor's plot twist, "Have a Nice Trip," sent him sprawling before he could reach the controls. Oliver used glitterdust to blind the dwarven radicals, causing their shotgun blasts to go wide. Piotr moved in on Zubov, goring him with his horns.

As Will and the B-team rushed along the tracks to get to the train, Mariah used ricocheting bullets to bring down the blinded radicals. Zubov got to his feet and began smiting Piotr with his icy warhammer. Oliver cast burning disarm on the antipaladin, and he dropped his hammer to avoid taking fire damage, since he was already badly hurt. Will jumped into the train to back up Piotr, but Zubov stepped away and drew his pistol, scoring a solid hit on Piotr. It was not enough to bring the druid down, though, and Will was able to cut the terrorist leader down before more damage was done.

Now, all that remained was the activated super bomb. Using the messenger wind to contact their technologist ally (the PC of a player who moved out of town), Will began the delicate disarming process. Mariah aided by detecting magic on the myriad cables, and though Will's Disable Device checks were mostly high, there was one close call. He rolled a 1 on the 5th check, making the total result exactly the DC for that check. (The players were sweating that one out, ready to use the lantern should the bomb goes off.) Finally, the last wires were cut and the bomb defused. The constables emerged to the cheers of the crowd and the thanks of Governor Stanfield.

The players actually applauded as the session came to an end. Cheers and high-fives all around. Some of the players said it was the most tense and exciting session we've played in a long while. We're all eagerly looking forward to our next session, after the holidays.
 
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I love the use of the B-Team, especially putting them in the crowd.

Do you feel you need to make the game harder to balance out the plot twist cards? Do you get to use them too? It sounds nicely cinematic.
 

ltclnlbrain

First Post
I find that I don't really have to alter the game balance to handle the plot twist cards. They help to get the players invested in the narrative by giving them minor control over how things develop. It can also lead to cinematic developments that I would never have thought of, such as the B-team suddenly showing up at the critical moment. I have final veto power as to whether a plot twist card can apply to the current situation or not, but usually as long as it serves the story or I feel would lead to an awesome scene, I'll allow it. As the GM, I basically have infinite plot twist cards, since I can change the way things are playing out at a moment's notice without the players being the wiser.

As far as combat goes, the PCs can handle the mooks without issue, but they really pull out all the stops when it comes to the big fights like Ekossigan or Zubov. I think the game balance is in a good place right now, but every so often I'll increase an enemy's HP or upgrade some mooks if I think the players need more challenge.
 
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ltclnlbrain

First Post
As our third session began, the party prepared to bring down Lorcan Kell. With eight strikes, they knew about his gatecrasher charm and agreed to the given plan to lure him out into an ambush at the dimensionally-locked bridge. There was talk of various elaborate schemes to try to stop his carriage from fleeing the bridge. Ultimately, they settled on a basic barricade coupled with dropping a large keg of tanglefoot bag juice on the carriage to root it in place temporarily. Will and Oliver hid on the stairs along opposite sides of the bridge. Mariah waited on the far side of the barricade, while Piotr perched on a building nearby, wild shaped into a peryton and with the keg close at hand.
At 3 a.m., the mechanical carriage rolled up to the barricade. Piotr swooped down low, splattering the carriage with tanglefoot bag. I had replaced the pistoleers in the encounter with musketeers to make it a bit more challenging, so as the druid began to cast a summoning spell, they opened a window and started shooting out at him. Despite taking a hit, he maintained his concentration on the spell. The opposite door from the druid opened up as Lorcan Kell and Nick Reder stepped out, Kell realizing that his gatecrasher charm wasn't working. Will charged in to fight Kell, but the crime-lord dodged his opening strike.

Mariah clambered to the top of the barricade with her slippers of spider climbing and pegged Kell with a vendetta bullet, scoring a nice opening hit. Oliver lobbed a sound burst into the carriage, stunning most of the musketeers and Kate Glenn. Piotr finished his summoning, calling three constrictor snakes into the carriage to grapple and constrict the musketeers. Seeing that they couldn't get close to Kell thanks to Kate's magic circle against law, the druid dispelled the circle.

Kell cast back his coat, promising to slice out Will's eyes as he quick-drew his machete and kukri. He launched a furious assault, scoring a solid blow for 23 points of damage. With only 70-odd hit points, Will began to have second thoughts about charging in. The knight traded blows with the crime boss, dodging Nick's attempts to throw him to the ground. Mariah continued to fire on Kell, scoring another pair of hits with her merciful rifle.

Seeing Will in trouble, Oliver moved to his aid, casting pilfering hand and stealing Kell's human bane machete. With Kate recovering from the stunning sound burst, Piotr landed on the bridge and cast stone shape to raise a barrier and block off the door of the carriage. Having her hands full with the constrictor snakes, Kate channeled negative energy to wound them. Unfortunately, she only killed one of them, and the other two grabbed and and squeezed her into unconsciousness.

Kell drew his back-up machete and continued to try to kill Will. I was rolling really poorly, though, and didn't score any more hits. Still, the players were already properly terrified of Kell. Oliver moved in to flank Kell, giving Will the advantage he needed. A few quick sneak attacks brought Kell down. Nick Reder surrendered shortly thereafter.

The constables brought Kell and his gang back to RHC headquarters. A charm monster from Oliver and a quick good cop/bad cop routine featuring him and Will got Kell to spill the beans about the canal route to the Bleak Gate and how to get to the Ob's facility. Delft congratulated the party and sent them home for some much needed rest.

The next morning, the invitation from Lya Jierre arrived. The players tried to figure out what they had to do before the dinner tonight, and were a little bemused to realize that everything else had been taken care of already. A day off is practically unheard of in these adventures! :)

They met the Danoran delegation at the docks, and rode with Lya and her bodyguards to the Hotel Aurum. On the way, Lya tried to explain what had happened at Vendricce. The players didn't buy a word of it, and she and Will had an intense round of verbal sparring. There were feints, parries, and ripostes of dialogue every bit as tense as an actual duel, with Will trying to suss out Lya's plans while she did her best to keep from revealing anything. By the end of the ride, the players were convinced that Lya was either planning to make a move against King Aodhan or Sovereign Jierre, to secure power for herself and whatever the other members of the Ob planned to do with the lanterns.

The scenes at dinner had some fun roleplaying moments in them. All of the players got involved in the conversations. Will sympathized with Eloise Duffett, as they were both war orphans, but bristled at her insinuations that they were doing a poor job keeping the city safe. Mariah chatted with Pierre Riquier and Geoff Massarde about practical methods of combining magic and technology. Brakken kept the conversations going, even drawing taciturn Piotr into offering his opinion about balancing technology with the natural world. Everybody was paranoid and alert during the dinner, though, expecting an assassination attempt.

It didn't come, of course, and eventually Asrabey barged in to ask permission from King Aodhan to enter the Bleak Gate. Oliver picked up on Brakken's anxiety, so when the Danorans left and the king pulled the party aside, the minotaur contacted Oliver to reveal his telepathic abilities. The bard convinced Aodhan to let the minotaur in, and the party learned about Han Jierre's involvement and attempt to warn the Ob at Cauldron Hill. A quick message to the B-team and the courier was intercepted, allowing them to maintain the element of surprise.

Next session, the party goes into the Bleak Gate and exposes the secrets of the Ob!
 

ltclnlbrain

First Post
We began our final session as the PCs ventured into the Bleak Gate. They took the Canal Route, bringing Asrabey and Grappa along. The guards at the watch post went down rather quickly, especially with Asrabey's help. I misread the encounter at the outer doors, however, and had the guards standing around outside the complex instead of waiting just inside as was intended. Fortunately, one of the players retroactively played his plot twist card "Road Most Traveled," which allows or easy access around a locked door or the like. The in-game explanation was that the guards were going out for their smoke break and had left the door open a crack. :p

After taking the cart to the main complex, Piotr used rusting grasp to destroy the next set of doors. Unfortunately, this noisy entry alerted the guards, and so they activated the oil sprayer trap in the next hall. The party just managed to get through the far doors before being incinerated. With the complex on alert, they faced off against the bulk of the guards in the halls around the barracks, with engineers and miscellaneous personnel scrambling for cover. Again, the party made quick work of the guards.

Proceeding deeper into the complex, the party soon squared off against the Borne prototypes. Asrabey engaged the larger one while the two smaller ones moved in to try to get to Mariah and Oliver. The players were surprised when the golems started bantering with each other and displayed intelligent tactics. Leone Quital grappled Will with his telekinesis, but was only able to do so for a round before Piotr dispelled the scrying sensor in the room. Mariah used her slippers of spider climbing to ascend out of the golems' reach and fired down on them with adamantine bullets, while Oliver turned invisible to support Will and Piotr with magical healing. Asrabey managed to take down the big golem by himself, but took more than half his hit points in damage in the battle. The two lesser golems fell soon thereafter.

Will made an impressive Disable Device check to open the locked gates without Tinker Oddcog's assistance. As the doors opened, the party finally got their first glimpse of the colossus Borne. Once more, the players were surprised. They didn't expect the massive construct to be what the Obscurati had been working on.

Leone floated up to Borne's shoulder and the dark slayers took aim with their rifles. The party sprang into action. Asrabey and Mariah began running up the walls with their slippers of spider climbing. Piotr, wild-shaped into a flying beast, grabbed Will to carry him up to the walkway. Oliver was forced to take the slow method up via the lift, with Grappa at his side.

When Will and Piotr neared the walkway, Leone's trump card revealed himself: Olivert Boone. Since Lorcan Kell had been taken down, I decided to replace him with the tiefling gunslinger from "Always on Time," risen after his brutal murder as an undead known as a pale stranger (Bestiary 3). Piotr dropped Will off to try to fend off Boone while the druid tried to get to Leone. I had Leone trap Piotr in a cage of steel ripped from the catwalks to keep the druid from getting to the Plot Device. :p

Will didn't fare too well against Boone, as the pale stranger dropped him with a full attack. Mariah hoped Asrabey would help, but as soon as he got to the catwalk, the dreadnaught plunged deeper into the complex in search of Kasvarina. That basically left Mariah and Oliver to deal with Boone. Fortunately, as a spellslinger, Mariah was well suited to fight the pale stranger. The two exchanged volleys of gunfire as Oliver invisibly moved to heal Will before disarming Boone of his gun.

In the middle of the heated battle, Grappa moved up to Borne and placed his hand on the golem's forehead. Leone noticed what was going on and ripped the golem's body apart, but not before Grappa got a hand on Leone. Borne awoke, shaking the complex and casually swiping at Leone, knocking him out and sending him plunging into the witchoil below. Freed from his prison, Piotr moved to help take down Boone, then transformed into a massive winged dinosaur to carry the party to safety. Oliver ran off to find Asrabey, following the trail of destruction to the elf, who had found Kasvarina and was bringing her along. The group took cover as Borne punched his way out of the complex, bringing everybody back to the real world. Asrabey and Kasvarina immediately left, to much swearing on the players' part.

Exiting the complex, Piotr's player really wanted to engage the colossus head-on, but the other players managed to convince him it was fruitless and that they had to get to the king. Aodhan outlined his plan to send the colossus into the Dreaming, and the players supported leading the construct along Stanfield Canal to minimize collateral damage. At the docks, the party supported Captain Taylor and helped Thames Grimsley convince the dockers to help man the ships.

The final naval battle was cool, but seemed pretty easy for the players. Piotr took command of the Coaltongue, with a command score of +9. He managed to outmaneuver Borne almost every time; the golem only got one good hit in, spawning a pair of witchoil monster that Will was able to single-handedly take down in 3 rounds. While the rolls were kind of anticlimactic, I tried to use exciting narration of near-misses and ships being tossed about by the massive waves, so I think the players still dug it. Borne was banished to the Dreaming, and now the players are concerned that they might be inadvertently starting a war with the Unseen Court. They told the king to try to convince the people that the colossus' appearance was the work of terrorists and not to blame Danor directly. As the Coaltongue pulled back into the harbor, Aodhan knighted the players amid the cheers of the crowd.

All told, the players really loved this adventure just as much as the previous ones. Some of their questions have been answered, but just as many new questions have emerged. The stakes have definitely been raised, and we can't wait until the next adventure is out!
 
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DonTadow

First Post
This makes me want to reintroduce polottwist cards. I ran the game this sunday, and for the most part the party had fun. But they complained that during the prelogue there was too many switches and they hated the continous change of pace. I have to agree. Feels like all the B team stuff could have happened at once towards the end that chapter.
 

I was worried some folks wouldn't dig the B-Team. Good point about switching back and forth. I have something a little similar in mind for adventure 7, and I'll try to keep the intercutting to a minimum.

Itclnlbrain (by the way, how is that supposed to be pronounced?), congrats on being the first GM to finish Act One of the campaign! And thanks for the feedback and write-ups. They're always fun to read.
 

ltclnlbrain

First Post
Itclnlbrain (by the way, how is that supposed to be pronounced?), congrats on being the first GM to finish Act One of the campaign! And thanks for the feedback and write-ups. They're always fun to read.

The first letter's actually an "L." It was supposed to be an abbreviation of Lt. Col. Brain, my call sign from a chat-based Star Wars roleplaying game. I came up with it when I was a kid and didn't actually know the proper abbreviation. I never bothered to change it. So you can just call me Brain, or Russell. :p

And woo on being first! I win the No-Prize! When's Act Two start, by the way? :)
 

I think we're basically waiting for cash from the Kickstarter to come in. Damned hack threw off my plan to catch back up with our original schedule. The text is basically ready, though I'm dawdling a bit because I know we can't go to layout for another week or so.
 



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