Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 8 & 9

Month of Savan, 15th -19th, Year 752

Cast of characters: 

Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer, 3rd Level
Abazu Sorn, Human Cleric of Nethys, 3rd Level
Kaleb, Halfling Rogue, 3rd Level
Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Barbarian, 3rd Level
Acheron, Human Wizard/Fighter 2nd/1st Level

The party spends 4 days resting up ability damage from the spider venom.

Our intrepid adventurers return to the Emerald Spire and descend the shaft on level 2 down to level 3. From the bottom of the shaft is a flight of stairs leading down to the first chamber on Level 3. The chamber that is dimly lit by small oil lamps set in the walls, casting dim light.  A gate of iron bars blocks the way to the north.  To the east is a small fight of steps that leads to a landing.  The east wall of the landing is a stout iron-banded wood door.  The door is flanked by two arrow slits on each side. (Area C1)

Kaleb checks out the gate to find it is locked.  Beyond the gate he sees a chamber with a small flight of steps descending along the east wall about mid-way into the chamber.  The west side of the chamber is the familiar green glow of the green crystal column they have seen of the previous two levels.  On the far north side of the chamber is a small flight of steps that lead to a landing with a similar stout iron-banded door set in the center and flanked by two arrow slits on either side of the door. (Area C2)

A few moments go by when suddenly Kaleb is hit with a few crossbow bolts from the arrow slits from the east side of the chamber.  Acheron pulls out his Horn of Fog and begins blowing, causing the mists to roll forth to provide cover from their unseen attackers.  The party then starts heading towards the landing.  Soon, the chamber is covered in mist from the magical horn.  Kaleb reaches the door and discovers that the door is locked.  His attempts to pick the lock prove fruitless.  Yaotl tries to use brute strength to break through the door, but to no avail.  Abazu tries to stab at one of their attackers through one of the arrow slits with his longspear, but isn't really doing much.  Kord casts a Burning Hands spell through the other arrow slit where attacks have been coming from.  His flames apparently connect with a target as he hears a scream from a man on the other side.

Their assault on the door and their attacks against the men on the other side proves to be slow, as the intervening wall provides full cover.  The party discovers that the bolts fired at them are poisoned (drains CON) from the few that do hit them.  Finally Kord gets the idea that since he is a small enough, he could squeeze through the one of the arrow slits that doesn't seem to have an attacker on the other side.  He communicates this to Kaleb in the Halfling language, hoping to coordinate it with him so he will do the same thing.

Both of them manage to squeeze through the arrow slits and discover two humans armed with crossbows on the other side. (Area C3).   One of the humans runs to a runs to the north wall where a rope is suspended and he pulls the rope several times.  Somewhere in the distance a bell is sounded.
Kaleb and Kord manage to kill the two guards and unlock the door which was also secured by a wooden cross-bar.

The party spends some time searching the room.  On the same wall that the rope was suspended from, there is also a lever.  Acheron pulls the level and the party gears a mechanical sound in the wall.  Soon, the reinforcements that were alerted by the alarm raised by the guards arrive.  These are 3 more humans armed with crossbows, swords and leather armor.  The party make quick work of two of the guards, but one of them happens to duck into a door off the small passage to the south of the guard room, close the door and lock it. (Area C3).

This is where Game 8 ended and we froze the game to pick up next time for Game 9.

So at the start of Game 9, Kaleb checks the door to C3 for traps and finds none.  He picks the lock and has Yaotl open the door, ready for the guard on the other side.  They find the room is an armory with weapons and armor stacked on racks.  But there is no guard within the room.  Kaleb begins searching and discovers the secret door, which is a one-way door that opens out into the stairway the party entered the level on.

Suddenly, that guard appeared back in the guard room, having used the secret door to get behind the group and tried a sneak attack on Acheron but failed.  The others managed to kill him quickly.  The party then searched the armory and took an inventory of the weapons and armor that they would take on their way out.  They then proceeded cautiously down the east-west hallway south of the guard room.

(GM's Note:  The areas marked C4 on the map are traps that I decided to remove from the level.  I did not want to slow the game down with Kaleb inching along checking traps every 5 feet.  He has a feat that allows him to detect traps without actively searching for them.

When they reached the door outside of C6, Yaotl could see all the way down to the other end of the north-south hallway.  I noted that they saw 3 doors spaced next to each other on the east wall and each one was open.  The guards that responded to the alarm had opened these doors on their way to the guard room to alert the men in there.  Those men had taken up positions to the sides of the doorways and one was across the hall in the 5 foot hallway.  They were watching the party, planning to sneak attack them if they approached.)

The party decided to open the door to C6 and investigate the room there.  It appeared to be both a bunk-room and a small jail.  The party searched the room.  Kaleb opened the cell to the south and Acheron approached the cell to the north.  Then a strange sound started that sounded like several different voices, screams and nonsense all happening at once emanated from the cell in the north part of the room.  An amorphous creature with many eyes and mouths slithered out from under the cot in the cel and oozed through the bars to attack Acheron.  This was a tough battle with a Gibbering Mouther.  Kaleb was swallowed whole at one point of the battle and Acheron took most of the damage from it's attacks.  They managed to kill it, but by the time they did so, they were low on spells and healing, so they decided to leave.  They grabbed the gear from the armory and Kaleb made a few Disable Device checks to sabotage the secret door, the gate and the main guard room door on their way out.  He hoped this would help them get easier access the next time the came back.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 7

Starting with is post onward, the play reports are not going to be as verbose as previously written.  I'm just going to highlight the main points of the adventure, primarily because I doubt I can fully recall every single thing that happened during the session.

Month of Savan, 7th -14th, Year 752

Cast of characters: 

Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer, 2nd Level
Abazu Sorn, Human Cleric of Nethys, 2nd Level
Kaleb, Halfling Rogue, 2nd Level
Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Barbarian, 2nd Level
Acheron, Human Wizard/Fighter 1st/1st Level

There were several days of resting and downtime while the party awaited the magical belt to be attuned to Yaotl.  Acheron spent the time scribing some scrolls and recovering from spider venom.

Kaleb was perusing a map he found which appeared to be a treasure map.  He showed it to Acheron, who looked at Kaleb as if he were mad or playing a joke on him as he said there was nothing drawn on the parchment.  Kaleb laughed and defensively replied that he must have forgotten it.  But looking at the parchment, he could clearly see it did have something drawn on it.  Why couldn't Acheron see it?

Kaleb finds out that a contact of his, a halfling rat-catcher named Dhuulifol, was last seen a few days ago.  He seemed frantic about something according to witnesses and has not been seen for several days.

Yaotl visited his friend Suuna, a human female singer who frequents the Headless Harlot and also performs there.  She mentions to Yaotl that there have been several disappearances of people in the poor district of Downside.  Rumors are the local thieves guild, the Redcloaks are responsible, but she doubts it because they usually just leave their victims for people to find afterwards.  This is something much different and the whole district is on edge.

On the 14th day of Savan, the group decides to head back to the Emerald Spire.

Picking their way through the first level that was once occupied by the Kobolds, they found the bodies of two dead adventurers and their bodies had been stripped.  It looked like they died from bladed weapon wounds.

When they reached the second level, an Alarm spell was triggered on one of the doors, which was set off when they passed by it.  This put the the party on alert.

Yaotl tried to jump over a pit, even with a 10 foot running start and failed miserably (rolled a 1 on a 1d20 Acrobatics check) and fell 10 feet and got hit by two of the metal spikes at the bottom.  Ouch.

They fought more spiders which seem to be all over this level.

They found a room with a treasure chest on a stone plinth.  After a thorough investigation of the room, looking for traps, Kaleb finds none.  He does find a few secret doors.  Beside the stone plinth in the floor, is a small hole with a brass handle inside.  Next to the hole is a small stone tile that looks like it would cover the hole.  Kaleb checks the chest and finds no sign of a trap., so he opens the chest, which drops the entire ceiling down on him and Abazu, who was standing in the room.  The chest recedes into the stone plinth as the ceiling falls.  The stone plinth is two feet tall and that stops the ceiling from slamming into the floor.  Kaleb throws himself to the ground, avoiding the ceiling from slamming into him.  Abazu not so much, and he is sent sprawling to the floor.  Everyone else was outside the room waiting.  Kaleb, being of small size crawls over to the open tile and pulls the brass lever and the ceiling rises back to its original position.

They hed through one of the secret doors that leads to a room with an armoir.  Inside, they can hear sobbing sounds.  Kaleb finds several pressure plates in the center of the room and he disables them.  Checking out the armoir, they surround it with weapons drawn.  As soon as the armoir door is touched, it collapses revealing a fast zombie that attacks.  They kill it pretty easily.

The find a crypt and battle a bunch of skeletons.  It was an easy battle and they found a Horn of Fog in one of a stone coffins.

They found secret doors and passages that linked up to other rooms they had previously explored and pretty much cleared and cleared out the second level.

They reach 3rd Level of experience and decide to head back to Throxia to train and rest up.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Ninkilim and Raziya

NINKILIM, god of rats, thieves, sewers
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Animal, Darkness, Water, Trickery
Subdomains: Flotsam, Flowing, Fur, Deception, Thievery
Symbol: Rat

Ninkilim appears as a large demonic-looking rat.  He is the patron god of rats and thieves.  Sewers are the sacred ground to the Rat God and it is within these foul-smelling places, that shrines and temples to Ninkilim can be found.  Any altar to the rat god will usually be piled with trinkets, refuse, discarded items and food.  Clerics to the Rat God wander the streets, alleyways and sewers collecting all manner of junk and items to take to their temples and shrines to decorate them.  Occasionally, something valuable will be found and kept hidden in secret places within the temple as part of its treasury.  As the patron diety to thieves who wish the blessings of the Rat God to gain access to secure places in order to steal, many thieves tithe to the god's temples a portion of their ill-gotten gains.

RAZIYA, goddess of love, wealth and trade
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Domains: Charm, Chaos, Luck, Travel
Subdomains: Love, Exploration, Trade
Symbol: Hand Mirror

Raziya is the goddess followed by merchants, prostitutes and noble families.  Raziya is a vain goddess and carries with her a magical hand mirror with which she looks upon to gaze upon herself.  This hand mirror also acts as a scrying device in which she uses to view upon distant places and persons.  Anything reflected upon it's surface will instantly be revealed if it is concealed by magical means such as illusions, invisibility, or shape-shifted, much like a True-Seeing ability.  Raziya looks favorably upon those who take risks in travel and business in the pursuit of wealth.  All clerics of Raziya must be beautiful and handsome (minimum 15 Charisma).  Temples to Raziya serve as banks and merchant guildhouses.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 6

Month of Savan, 1st to 6th, Year 752

Cast of characters
Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer, 2nd Level
Abazu Sorn, Human Cleric of Nethys, 2nd Level
Kaleb, Halfling Rogue, 2nd Level
Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Barbarian, 2nd Level
Acheron, Human Wizard/Fighter 1st/1st Level

When we played last time, the party had exited the dungeon and headed back to Throxia, spending several days to heal up their Strength damage and sell some items found in the dungeon.  They spent their down-time to identify some items they detected as magical.  They purchased some more healing potions and welcomed a new member to their party, the human wizard/fighter named Acheron.  Acheron was the person they found wrapped up in the webbing of the spider they killed inside the spiked pit trap.

The pary heads back to the Emerald Spire with no encounters along the way.  They make their way down to level 2.  Deciding to investigate the open secret doors they found last game, they discovered that they had been closed.  Kaleb easily found them again and it led to a large "T" shaped chamber.  Within the chamber was an over-sized wood throne, behind it were several tapestries hung from a rail set into the ceiling.  On the left-hand side of the "T" shaped room was a table with several objects laying upon it.  Before heading into the room, the party waited until Kaleb made a thorough sweep of the chamber for traps.  He found none.

The tapestries were of poor quality and depicted a faded forest hunting scenes.  They were probably worth something a long time ago, but time had taken it's toll on them.   Investigating the table the party found 4 longswords, a masterwork dagger, a buckler, a potion, a flask, a nice leather belt and four small belt pouches that contained several coins and a small emerald.

Searching the chamber for secret doors, Kaleb found one in the corner of the right side of the "T" shaped chamber.  Opening it, there was a 5' by 10' room with another secret door.  Opening this secret door revealed a large rectangular chamber covered in webs and egg sacs.  Thousands of tiny spiders crawled all over the place.  Apparently, sensing the presence of the party and a source of food, the spiders mass into a large swarm that attacks them.  There is a difficult fight as the spider swarm is not affected by weapon attacks.  Flaming oil and alchemists fire is used to help against the swarm.  Eventually, the swarm is defeated but once again, several of the party are suffering loss of strength from the spider venom.  It is decided that they should return to Throxia to heal up their wounds and the effects of the venom.

The belt they found in the room is discovered to be magical and they determine it is a Belt of Mighty Constitution (+2).  The party decide that the belt would be best utilized by Yaotl, but before he could gain any benefit from the magic of the belt, he would need a week to attune himself to the belt.  They decide to wait a week (which is 10 days on Xhuul) for the attunement to take effect.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

5E Mi-go

Below is a D&D 5th Edition monster stat-block for the Mi-go, a race of creatures from the H.P. Lovercraft story, 'The Whisperer in Darkness'.  I made this in case anyone wanted to use these as villains and inject some of the weird fantasy into their campaigns.
Medium plant, neutral evil
Armor Class: 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 52 (5d8+32)
Speed: 30 ft., 50' fly
    STR         DEX       CON       INT        WIS       CHA
  16 (+3)     20 (+5)    20 (+5)    25 (+7)    14 (+2)   16 (+3)
Damage Resistance: slashing, electricity, fire
Damage Immunities: cold 
Senses: darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages: Common, Mi-go
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Deception.  Mi-go are experts at disguise and deception.  They have advantage on Deception(CHA) checks.  They use this ability to move around other societies without drawing attention to themselves.

Multiattack.  The mi-go makes two pincher attacks.

Pinchers. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5ft, one target, Hit: 12 (1d8+3) piercing damage.

Mi-go are winged creatures that share features of a lobster and a plant.  They have multiple legs and feelers and their "heads" is a large bulbous cluster of fungi that pulse with light.  This is how the mi-go communicate with each other.  They have two lobster-like pinchers which they use to manipulate tools and other objects.  The mi-go can use these pinchers as weapons.

The mi-go use a bizarre form of technology that blends magic and science.  The mi-go can create many strange machines and weapons.  These can be the equivalent of magic items or items that duplicate spell effects, but they will be of a form that is strange in design.  Any magic-user wishing to use these objects must make a DC 20 Insight or Investigation check at Disadvantage in order to figure out how to use such items.  Given their alien nature, these items are usually of limited use and will need recharging by a machine or battery.

One of their more infamous devices is the "brain canister" in which the mi-go extract the brains from living creatures and place it in a canister.  The process usually drives the victim of the brain extraction insane. 

The mi-go can travel through interstellar space and do not suffer any effects of the cold vacuum of space.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Xhuul Calendar

In trying to recall events in the game and the passage of time, I have found it necessary to create a campaign calendar to help me keep track of everything.  As the party has made several trips back and forth form the Emerald Spire dungeon to the City State of Throxia, it really helps to see what has happened on what day and keep things a bit organized.

The party has suffered from ability damage a lot since entering the second level of the dungeon.  As natural resting allows the recovery of 1 point of ability damage per day, or 2 per day if someone makes a DC 15 Heal check, and the person treated rests for a full 8 hours (or 4 per day for each day of complete rest).  So this needs to be tracked to see how much time passes in-game while those suffering from the effects are recovering.

I have not posted the play report for Game 6 yet, but they did find a magic item which needs a week to attune itself to one of the party members.  The players have expressed that they would wait out the time necessary before heading back to the Emerald Spire.  So this will be 10 days, as that is how long a week is in Xhuul.  I hope the players want to do some down-time activities, as I am working on other behind-the-scenes events in the city that can trigger side-quests, or maybe just some random city encounters or see if the players want to follow up any leads from some of their NPC contacts.

The Xhuulian Calendar.
There are twelve months that divide up the year on the world of Xhuul.  Each month is 30 days long that comprise of 3 weeks of 10 days each.  The current year is 752.

Months of the Year

Viros   (Spring)
Yarved (Spring)
Larys (Spring)

Gyugo (Summer)
Razul (Summer)
Savan (Summer)

Camoz (Fall)
Anan (Fall)
Dagos (Fall)

Fazin (Winter)
Mogho (Winter)
Voon (Winter)

Days of the Week (in order)

Rainday -- 1st, 11th, 21st days of the month
Mudday --  2nd, 12th, 22nd days of the month
Slimeday --  3rd, 13th, 23rd days of the month
Fogday -- 4th, 14th, 24th days of the month
Toadday -- 5th, 15th, 25th days of the month
Wormday -- 6th, 16th, 26th days of the month
Godsday  (Day of worship and sacrifices at most temples) -- 7th, 17th, 27th days of the month
Restday (Stores, markets closed.  Day of rest) -- 8th, 18th, 28th days of the month
Fishday -- 9th, 19th, 29th days of the month
Fireday -- 10th, 20th, 30th days of the month

Passage of time in the campaign so far:

Razul the 26th (Wormday):  The campaign started which was Game Session 1.  The party made their first sortie into the Emerald Spire, then exited and made a camp within the ring of jungle that surround the dungeon.  They camped over night in some ruins that provide shelter from a heavy rainfall.

Razul the 27th (Godsday): The party breaks camp and heads back into the Emerald Spire.  The events of Game Sessions 2 and 3 take place on this day.  Most of the party is killed, the sole survivor Kord makes his way back to Throxia to find help to continue his original quest.

Razul the 28th (Restday): The new group consisting of Kord, Abazu, Yaotl and Kaleb head out to the Emerald Spire.  Making their way through the jungle that surrounds the dungeon, they encounter a group of 3 Lizardmen who ambush them.  Party finds a sizable treasure and immediately head back to Throxia to cash in and rest up.  The events of Game Session 4 occur on this day.

Razul the 29th (Fishday): The party heads back to the Emerald Spire.  No encounters on the way.  Explore the entire 1st Level, find that the Kobolds have abandoned the place.  They make their way down to the 2nd level of the dungeon, fighting 2 Zombie Kobolds along the way.  Party reaches 2nd Level of experience.  Explore a small part of second level and Kaleb falls into pit trap with spider.  Big fight and spider is killed.  They find a human wrapped in the webs at bottom of pit.  Party heads back to Throxia to rest.  The events of Game Session 4 occur on this day.

Razul the 30th (Fireday): Party heads back to the Emerald Spire to continue their exploration of the second level.  The events of Game 5 take place on this day.

Savan the 1st through the 3rd:  Party is making a complete full days resting on the 1st and 2nd with the aid of Abazu making Heal checks to restore lost strength from the spider venom.  Game 6 session.

Savan the 4th (Fogday): Party make use of their downtime identifying magic items and buying gear and healing potions and selling some items found.  They head back to the Emerald Spire.  No encounters along the way.  They explore the large chamber beyond the secret doors which contains a wood throne, tapestries, a table with weapons, pouches and other items.  Find another set of secret doors that leads to a large room with webs and spider egg sacks and thousands of tiny spiders crawling all over room.  The spider swarm attacks.  Suffering from more poison damage, they return to Throxia.  Game 6 session.

Savan the 5th and 6th:  Party resting and recovering strength from poison damage.  Party decides to wait until Savan the 14th, when the Belt of Mighty Constitution +2 will attune to Yaotl.  End of Game 6 session.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Malithl and Morghoom

MALITHL, goddess of walls, protection, borders and signposts
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Community, Earth, Protection, Rune
Subdomains: Defense, Home, Language, Wards
Symbol: Shield

Malithl is a patron goddess of towns and cities that are protected by walls.  She plays a role in preserving peace by clearly established borders between territories to avoid conflict.  In this aspect, sign-posts and markers help to reinforce the identification of territories.  Her role of protection also extends to homes, forts and schools.  There are no temples dedicated to Malithl.  Instead, there are small shrines dedicated to her along roads, borders and cross-roads.  It is customary that when a wall is constructed that serves to defend a settlement, a small shrine to Malithl is inset into the wall and a ritual blessing conducted by a priest.  Malithl's priests wander the world, serving as guides and teachers to communities. 

MORGHOOM, god of destruction
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Fire
Subdomains: Arson, Ash, Entropy, Hatred, Smoke
Symbol: Flaming claw

Morghoom is the god of wanton destruction and appears as a hulking, muscular horned demonic creature with leathery skin.  There are cracks in his hide that expose flames within his body.  His face is covered by a metal faceplate.

The worship of Morghoom is outlawed in civilized lands, and so his cult is relegated to the wastelands and remote regions far from most cities.  His followers are those evil monsters that want to destroy anything and everything.  A few human cults follow Morghoom, but these are usually anarchists who want to see the ruling government destroyed and carry out terrorist-like attacks on city structures to foment strife, chaos and fear.