donderdag 17 mei 2012

Campaigns & Adventures: Pathfinder - Session 4 : Morilla's Mansion

~ Fireday, 5 Rova, 4711 AR ~

Another morning in Absalom when Henricus wakes up. Or better another noon. As he'll visit the Morilla family today Henricus decides to ditch the adventurer's outfit for some more fashionable clothing. After grooming his beard to perfection, he leaves the room and finds Reidan seated at the bar. Reidan's breakfast consists of a big mug of dark ale it seems. They both order a warm meal and talk about their plans for the day. To Henricus' amazement, the innkeeper tries to charge for the meal while the night before it was clearly stipulated that the meal would be included in the room price.

Reidan provides Henricus with his address in Absalom. Henricus in turn tells him to just ask for him whenever he's in Oppara. When they say their goodbyes, Henricus offers Reidan a bottle of brandy as a parting gift. He then has his horse readied and heads for the Petal District after asking the way to the city guard. The roads are busy with traffic heading in both ways over the main arteries throughout Absalom. Somewhere half way towards the Coins District, Henricus notices he's being closed in by a rather large group of beggarlike types. The group walks very closely next to his horse, restricting its movement and considerably slowing it and its rider down. With no guards or Ulfen warriors in sight, Henricus is left to his own devices.

Henricus slips his hand in one of his pouches, gathers a few pennies and flings them over his shoulder, and at the same moment tries to spur his horse forward. The coins don't have the desired effect and Henricus notices one of the beggars has his reins in hand, while another is going through his saddle bags. Henricus draws his dagger and slashes his assailant across the arm and face. The beggar drops Henricus' drawing set from the bag as he recoils from the attack. Henricus then rears his horse to free up his reins and places the horse over the fallen drawing set. During this maneuver one of the beggars dives for the drawing set, gets hit in the head by the horse, and falls down bleeding. This causes the beggar crew to disperse and disappear in the numerous alleys of Absalom.

Henricus loads his hand crossbow and dismounts to pick up his drawing set. One of the bystanders checks the beggar's vital signs and shakes his head. Then whistles are blown and the crowd clears to let the guards through. Henricus is interviewed by the captain of the guard and when his story checks out with the story of some of the bystanders, he's free to go. The beggar's body is loaded onto a cart and hauled off. Henricus decides to have his crossbow at the ready for the rest of the trip.

The trip brings him to the Grand Bazaar in the Coins District which he circles around to avoid having to ride his horse through the massive crowds of the market. The route continues towards the Ascendant Court with its preachers, wanna-be chosen, and of course the Starstone Cathedral. The trip has taken Henricus more hours than expected so he decides to take in the views another day and continues to the Petal District where he's stopped by the Lotus Guard and asked the purpose of his visit. After explaining the reason for his visit, he receives an escort to the Morilla mansion. The neighbourhood here is definately for the most wealthy of Absalom and reminds Henricus of home.

At the Morilla mansion the maester of the house confirms Henricus's claim and the guard returns to the gate. Henricus requests to be allowed to freshen himself up prior to being presented to the Morilla family and is clearly insulted when maester Gaspar offers to enter through the servant's entrance. Also the fact that his horse is not taken from him until they reach the front door of the mansion bothers him. Clearly Taldan servants are far superior. Henricus is led to one of the guest chambers and is told that there's a party going on in honor of Lady Morilla's birthday. A serving girl is sent to his chambers and ordered to prepare a bath. After freshening up and donning his richest clothing, Henricus is ready to meet the Morilla family and is led towards the gardens.

At the party Henricus is introduced to Vors Morilla, his future brother-in-law, and his younger brother Enver. Vors is a shining example of Taldan nobility, while Enver is a bit more unpolished and carries the scars of a brawl too many. Vors then introduces his mother Ravissa, an extremely beautiful woman, and his sister Calysta, the youngest of the bunch. After all the formalities, Henricus is quickly led to other prominent visitors for some more formal banter. A few hours later the party ends and Henricus is joined by the brothers Morilla for a strategic game popular amongst nobles. After the game, there's a small meal and Henricus is informed that he'll be able to speak to Lord Celedo the next day. The family then retires to their chambers except for Enver, who gets on a horse and disappears in the night. In his room Henricus works some more on his sketch of the drowning woman on the Trident. Tomorrow Lord Celedo awaits.

Memorable moments of roleplay
  • When Reidan provides Henricus with his address in Absalom, Henricus tells him that whenever Reidan visits Oppara, he only has to ask for him. "So you're well-known over there?" "That was the point I was trying to make, yes".
  • The first combat session and the very promising rolls I made during it. GM: "Roll a d20 and don't roll a 1". Rolls a 1. Ok give me a perception check. Fail. Any guards in sight ? Nope. How about an Ulfen warrior ? Rolls. Nope. Roll a d20, the higher the roll the more valuable the item they're stealing. Rolls a 16. I'm already happy I chose the Improved Initiative feat so at least I got to act first. The only roll that worked for me was to check if my drawing set would break during the fall.
  • When the DM tried to figure the damage a horseshoe does to the head, I suggested 2d50.
  • Realising my horse has killed more people than me.
  • When Henricus tells the servant at the Morilla mansion that he wants to bathe prior to meeting the family, the servant suggests entering through the servant's entrance. Euhm no we don't!

The story so far

<< Previous session: Pathfinder session 3: Aching for Absalom Next session: Pathfinder session 5: >>

donderdag 10 mei 2012

Pathfinder Online Technology Demo Kickstarter

Kickstarter is getting hotter and hotter in the industry. And now Paizo Publishing and Goblinworks Inc. jump on the bandwagon as well.

Since Paizo's announcement of Pathfinder Online back in December, we've all been quietly waiting for a first glimpse of what this new MMO would look like. It seems the next step for Goblinworks Inc. is to raise enough money to develop a technology demo in order to get more investors interested in the Pathfinder Online project.

So if it's not the full game you're backing, what's in it for you ?

Well the pledge rewards go from a pdf over a Goblinworks t-shirt all the way up to dinner and a game with some of the Paizo and Goblinworks crew.

The interesting part for me is the Thornkeep book of which you can see a cover mock up below.

Thornkeep will be a 64-page book detailing the Thornkeep and surrounding area in the River Kingdoms. The first part of the book will be all official Pathfinder lore, the second half of the book presents a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Pathfinder Online.

Lisa Stevens, Paizo's CEO, commented on the forums that the only sure way to get a hardcopy of the book, would be to support the Kickstarter. Paizo has to print a certain number of books, if they are all gone through the kickstarter project, only a pdf will be available afterwards. If not, I assume they'll sell the remaining stock.

Support the Pathfinder Online Technology Demo Kickstarter here!

vrijdag 4 mei 2012

Monte Cook leaves Wizards of the Coast

Last week Monte Cook announced his departure from Wizards of the Coast on his blog. Under the title 'Change of plans' we writes: "Last week I decided that I would leave my contract position with Wizards of the Coast. I am no longer working on Dungeons & Dragons, although I may provide occasional consultation in the future. My decision is one based on differences of opinion with the company. However, I want to take this time to stress that my differences were not with my fellow designers, Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell. I enjoyed every moment of working with them over the past year. I have faith that they'll create a fun game. I'm rooting for them.

Due to my non-disclosure agreement, as well as a desire to keep things on a professional level, I have no intention of going into further detail at this time. (Mostly, I just hate drama, and would rather talk about more interesting things.)

As for what I'll be turning to next, I hope you'll stay tuned. I plan on having an interesting announcement in that regard in the near future.

In Mike Mearl's response to Monte Cook's departure we can read : "I am surprised, and frankly saddened, by Monte’s decision to leave the D&D Next design team. I’d like to thank him for his contribution, and we all wish him well."

Since Monte remained vague on the how and why of his departure, the internet speculations quickly took over. One of those speculations was why Monte mentioned Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell in his blogpost, but not Mike Mearls. This in turn led to another blogpost called 'Praise and criticism' where Monte replies to some of the speculations regarding his departure : "Praise for one person is not criticism for another. Singling out one does not automatically imply exclusion of another.

To be certain, I enjoyed much of my time working with everyone who's been involved with the new edition of D&D: Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Bruce Cordell, Rob Schwalb, Miranda Horner, Tom LaPille, Rodney Thomson, Greg Bilsland, Matt Sernett, Rich Baker, James Wyatt, and everyone else. The WotC RPG R&D department is full of talent.

Bruce and Rob were the guys I spent each and every day with, though. They were my team. I'll miss the daily doses of their creativity and friendship.

A lot of people don't see this as a good sign for the next version of D&D, to lose one of the big forces behind their third edition. On the 24th of May, the open playtests will start and we'll see how what direction D&D will take for the next few years.

Rappan Athuk Kickstarter

I spoke of Frog God's announcement of Rappan Athuk already back in October of last year. Well it has arrived in the form of a Kickstarter.

The Frog God is determined to get Rappan Athuk, the legendary mega-dungeon by Necromancer Games updated for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Swords & Wizardry rules. Mama frog has put her foot down - the personal checks papa frog is having to lay out are getting kind of scary. Mama frog said "no more!". Capped at a personal investment of $10,000 they need to come up with an additional $25,000 to print and illustrate the book in just 60 days!.

Your pledges could yield the following:

  • Your name at the back of the book as a Kickstarter supporter
  • Your name on a tombstone in the book at the entrance to the dungeon
  • Finished PDF Copy of Rappan Athuk in all its glory
  • Frog God Games T-shirt: "Adventurers taste like chicken....errrr, flies"
  • Faux leather-bound, signature stitched book (textbook bound for a lifetime of durability) with either a red cover (for the Swords & Wizardry version) or black cover (for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game)
  • Unpainted Reaper Miniature
  • Professionally Painted Tsathogga miniature by Reaper Magazine Artist
  • Exclusive Bonus module "Level 7B Caves and Caverns of the Ancient Gods" that will never be released for sale
  • You name a monster in the bonus module!
  • Exclusive Frog God Games battlemap laminated for dry erase
  • Color Scanned Copies of the 1970s & 1980s original notes, texts, and maps
  • Out Of Print Original Rappan Athuk 1 - The Dungeon of Graves, Rappan Athuk 2 - The Middle Levels, Rappan Athuk 3 - Lower Levels
  • Extremely Rare Shrink Wrapped Reloaded Box Set
  • Special invitation to join Frog God Games in Dallas at NTRPG Con. Admission, Hotel, Food & Beverages all paid
  • Special invitation to join Frog God Games in Seattle at Paizo Con. Admission, Hotel, Food & Beverages all paid
  • BOTH NTRPG Con and PaizoCon. Admission, Hotel, Food & Beverages all paid for both
  • Bill Webb will personally fly to your home, hand-deliver EIGHT total hard copies of the signed and numbered (#2-#9) Rappan Athuk hardcover, and play a game for 2 FULL 8 hour sessions with you and a group of up to 8 of your friends

After the huge Tome of Horrors limited and unlimited versions, this is going to be another kick ass release from Frog God Games !

Support the Frog God Games Rappan Athuk kickstarter here!