One down

So I played Pathfinder via Skype last night. When the game is at my buddy John’s house, this is not convenient but not a huge hindrance, at my other buddy Josh’s house it is an insurmountable obstacle. So I discussed it with the GM last night, and we decided that it would be cool if I left the game. One one hand I’m sad because I liked my character, the rest of the party, and from what I could understand of it the game. However I understood almost nothing that was going on, could rarely see the maps, the game is at a really inconvenient time of day for me given my typical child care responsibilities on Sundays. So the cons obviously out weighed the pros, I’m sure it was equally a pain to deal with me via Skype, so there was that too.

Now I just need to decide whether to give up a campaign I’m really enjoying for a game I don’t really care for, or a campaign I’m not really enjoying with people I really like playing with, in my favorite system. The choice here is way less obvious.

Killing Ogres and other past times.

In running through The Hook Mountain Massacre we opted to climb the mountain behind the keep, well by climb I mean the Fighter borrowed my character’s cape of the mountebank most of the party dimension doored to the top of the mountain, while the bard and my wizard beast shaped into eagles and flew to the top. The party then used feather fall to assault the main keep directly, effectively locking us into facing this portion of the adventure backwards. Starting with the boss monsters and then working our way back out to deal with minions.

The strategy paid off for us, we dealt with the big boss monster’s reinforcements, then tackled the Boss himself, aide from having class levels he was not particularly memorable, though I imagine he would have been terrifying if we had gone through in the proper order, particularly once the reinforcements arrive. The following week we found a second boss monster, the Lamia in the basement. Which left us this week with tackling every other ogre in the county, It was a lot, I have no idea exactly how many.

My wizard is not a combat specialist, this is relevant. He is greatly skilled in other areas including the creation of magic items. In fact he’s a transmuter and his “forbidden” schools are Evocation and Conjuration, meaning in essence it is a pain for him to cast any sort of combat spells. He did make a wand of fireball a month or so ago, and we were glad of it this week. The Ogre’s plan for dealing with any adventurers foolish enough to venture into the courtyard appears to have been swarm them en-mass and pummel them until they stop moving, a simple but effective strategy. It almost worked too.

There was no better use for that wand. I don’t think there was a time that I managed to hit less than five ogres at once. Having cast exactly one combat spell in the campaign thus far and it not having worked out so well, bringing this much firepower to the battle was refreshingly different.

So at the end we were in possession of a castle, that we were then expected to turn over to some NPCs, there will be some roleplaying on Monday.

Then came The BASH game on thursday, it’s a greek age of heroes sort of thing, and up until this week I feel like it’s been pretty dynamic and BASHey. It is a somewhat, well more than somewhat, fantasy affair. The flexibility of the system is really cool and it can make pretty much anything fun. I’m losing my direction on this game, I don’t have a real end-game in mind, and to me it’s starting to get a little wearying to battle another of Hades’ minions. But once the action started I forgot all about being uncomfortable and it became fun for me again. Although I only managed to get through about half of what I had planned, which is fine, I expect the remaining portion of this issue to take a while.

My big mistake this time was to put the bad guys in a cave. It really lost it’s BASH feel and became D&D again. The dungeon it turns out really defines Dungeons and Dragons. Who knew?

I’ve been busy lately

with that thing I mentioned.

I’ve made the decision that I’m not going to discuss that here any further. It will definitely be a giant time sink, but I have another website where I can talk about that.

So that leaves me with Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords, BASH, SAGA edition pbp, oh yeah and my other Pathfinder game that I play by Skype. Which means that I will probably need to cut some stuff like two games (that require a time slot in my week). I don’t know which two yet, and it’s a hard choice to cut games when other people are so starved for them.

There was no Skype game this week, which I was glad for because I was ill. There was no BASH game last week for the same reason, it will probably end up being canceled tomorrow because almost half my players are in Billings. This works out for us because we need to have an Officer’s meeting, to hash out some of the things that did not get addressed yesterday.

We did have a Game on Monday though. We are still clearing out the Keep backwards. We just found the Lamia in the basement. It’s kind of a dungeon slog right now, but we are still getting in some good RP. We met our new Barbarian, in a moment of social awkwardnessDeep One has opted to make more constructive use of this block of time for a few weeks so unfortunately we are missing our Moral Compass, although our paladin has actually stepped up to that roll a bit.

So there’s my week so far.

Ogre Assault

Played Rise of the Runelords: Hook Mountain Massacre again last night. All in all I would consider it a successful night.

After some significant debate (with the GM which is rarely a good idea) we decided it would be best to assault the fort from above, with the fighter borrowing my cape of the montebanke to bring most of the party to the top of the mountain behind the fort. While the bard and I used Beast Shape to reach the same level, then we all used feather fall to reach the keep itself. This means of course that we are assaulting in the reverse of the intended order.

Pretty quickly we managed to take out the reinforcements, then we interrupted a slinkily dressed ogre, possibly a sorceress,  and an ogre gentleman in the course of something, anyway they weren’t happy about it. Due to a shout spell about half the party including my character ended up deafened. Which would explain why he didn’t notice the Ogre presumably the Boss monster of this portion of the module who opened up a door and hit him from behind bringing him down to one negative hit point from outright dead. In fact, being a transmuter, I pick a physical attribute  when I prepare spells and at our level gain a plus 2 bonus to that attribute, if this had not been a constitution day, that would have been way more than outright dead, so lucky me. After that fight we picked through the loot a bit and healed up, and stopped for the night.

Next time we face the army of ogres we should have had to deal with on the way in here.

Remote Gaming Part II

So, last night I played in Head Minion‘s Pathfinder game via Skype.

It was a little less smooth than last time, I mostly blame myself for that. I had just driven home from my folks house, I didn’t sleep well the night before, the game started much earlier than I expected, and I was in general just very stressed out.

However it did work out and I learned that absolutely nothing sucks about the Tengu Ranger.

Done with the “Wrong Turn” half ogres, (groan) yea?

So we did another session of Rise of the Runelords: The Hook Mountain Massacre. It was good, again it was well run, and this time the distractions where minimal. So that’s an improvement over last time.

RP was still really minimal, and this bothers me. Or I should say it bothers me from some of the people at the table, less so from others. I have a character who is really fun to roleplay so having half a table full of people who aren’t interested in doing that is a little frustrating.

We have some good characters all in all there is a really unique party dynamic going that is just fun to be a part of, if people ever looked around and noticed. There is my Super-Nerd Transmuter who is now at 7th level starting to come out of his shell and accept his role as an adventurer, he along with the Underaged Aasimar Bard played by Head Minion is one of only two of the original party. The Dwarven Cleric is one of the most current replacements, it’s one of his player’s standard archetypes; this player is really more of a War-Gamer than an Role Player so that is pretty much what one can expect from him, I’m cool with it. Along with him came A Viking style fighter, to say that this character is two dimensional is something of an insult to breadth. All he cares about is apparently fighting giants “because that’s Epic”, and doing a half-assed job rearing his adopted son; Played by Deep One Timmy is a font of self reflection and awesome roleplaying opportunities. More-so than the Paladin played by Oncology researcher, Event Promoter/DJ, and part time Roleplayer, DJ HAuLi, she has a lot of heavy shit on her plate most of the time and really just wants to kill things, which is totally understandable. Still Timmy still draws out awesome RP even from her.

So like I said in the title we’re done with the house of inbred half ogres, it was horrifying and awesome. It was a little annoying in that virtually every door was trapped, and our rogue died in the last creepy house. Canabalism and filthy living conditions abound, and the Tendriculos in the crapper raised more questions than it answered. In the end we decided that this was yet another place that required cleansing by fire. Now it is once again off to see what became of the missing Fort.

Them Ogres Aint Right Indeed

Deep One Tweeted it best last night after the game.

“Rise of the Runelords is a horrific scenario, full of creepy, terrifying and grotesque stuff. I wish more folks at our table appreciated it.”

I was mostly horrified by the other people at the table. There are wonderfully crafted scenes of destruction and horror in The Hook Mountain Massacre, unfortunately for some these just seem to be in the way of killing more Ogres. I don’t hear very well as a result of firing many weapons, over many years, with few ear plugs; So whistling through the descriptive text is extremely inconvenient for me, not to mention incredibly rude in general.

I assume some pretty cool stuff happened last night, unfortunately I don’t know that for sure.

The End of the Skinsaw Murders

We finished up with Book Two of Rise of the Runelords last night. It started out really strong or at least it middled really strong. The bit at Foxglove Manor rocks my socks, leading up to it seemed a bit tenuous but it was really worth the payoff when we got there, then after Foxglove Manor the module just sort of petered out. It became a string of go to X location and have a mildly nonsensical combat scenario in order to find the clue to lead you to the next location and it’s nonsensical combat until eventually we body guarded the Mayor for a week against the people we had already killed, who of course never showed up because they where dead already.

The Skinsaw Murders was on some pretty solid rails, you didn’t really notice or care that much when you went to the farms and then to Foxglove Manor. Really it was all extremely linear. Which is ok, I guess but it is very different from Burnt Offerings. What’s frustrating about it is it has a really good horror vibe through out and then ends in boredom. Given that it is so linear I guess they did that so the players know “Ok this part of the campaign is over now and we can move on to what comes next.”

I guess what I really want is a less definite conclusion to it all, I want to believe that the Brothers may be out there still doing horrible things to good people for unknowable reasons. That would be more effective, I think, than what we ended up with, which is more or less proof positive that the menace is fully over.

The problem is, that it is a horror story, and as such even when it’s over we should still be looking over our shoulders for some time, in my opinion anyway. But now we are off to begin The Hook Mountain Massacre, and that is somewhat exciting.

Remote gaming works.

I played in our weekly pathfinder game through skype yesterday. It worked out ok, I think most of the problems with it had to do with my folks wireless internet connection. My folks live 14 miles south of Livingston, MT so that is way out in the mountains. It’s beautiful. But the internet from Wisp West which is some kind of radio internet, I’m not positive how it works, aside from poorly. The bandwidth is really limited. So I had to shut off my camera and my web browser to make it go and still we where disconnected several times. Aside from that, I have a nasty cold right now, so I was not at the top of my game anyway.

We did some stuff I’m not sure exactly what or why, but we got some awesome treasure. Early in the evening we made a deal with a local church for healing services in advance, and the party members each gave me a small peice of flesh as an insurance policy. Which is good because the paladin, who was repulsed by the idea, died and we’ll have to deal with that next week.

Runelords still Rising

So, Just so you all know I do still game, and do other things aside from driving my ill parents around and complain about the TSA. Though that stuff does take up a surprisingly large amount of my time.

Last night we played Pathfinder, after escaping the evil Foxglove Manor (and burning it down) we went on to Magnimar, to see what we could find in the town house of the late Aldren Foxglove. The answer to that question despite having his dismembered corpse in a sack was surprisingly Aldren Foxglove. Once I suggested that it was a doppleganger or something it did what Foxglove tends to do and attacked us. So we did what we do in that situation and killed everything in the house, right down to the ficus plants (no not really, just the two faceless stalkers, or what ever they were called).

We gathered some information that told us in 20 years Foxglove would revert to the control of a local crime syndicate the Brothers of  Seven or somesuch thing. Any way they have a local sawmill, which naturally required our investigation, and the wholesale slaughter of some mooks. At this point I’m really, really feeling like we missed something. The GM tells us that there are a couple of rooms here that we have not explored, and maybe the answers will be in those rooms.

The thing is the lead that brought us to the sawmill was fairly tenuous and hidden meaning that it would have been possible to miss. In fact the Town House had been ransacked before we got there. Which I realize is Paizo’s  clue to us that we are also supposed to search, but still I imagine it would have been possible to not find the deed and the ledger that led us to the Brothers and then the Sawmill. By the Way the world of Golarion is full of lumber, everywhere you look there is a sawmill of some kind, there was one in Sandpoint, there’s one in Magnimar, a while back when we played Crown of the Kobold King there was yet another Lumber Consortium. So the timber industry in this gameworld is full of evil.

As a side thing, my super nerd wizard is from Magnimar, where he went to the Stone of Seers Wizard school. Of course he was in a fraternity and while in town it was of course imperative that we went and partied with his frat Brothers. Which was of course an awesome Roleplaying event.

I would like to say that Ben is a much better GM than he gives himself credit for. Yes he is running a canned campaign but he handles the stuff that isn’t in the books extremely gracefully. Which is awesome because thus far The Skinsaw Murders despite including my favorite section of the game thus far seems to be much weaker than Burnt Offerings was. I have no idea how much of the module is left (and hopefully we can figure out if we missed something and go back and get it) but I find myself kind of looking forward to the next one at this point.