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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 5

When we last off, the party had just finished killing a spider inside a spiked pit trap.  They found a human wrapped up in some webs down in the pit and rescued him (this is supposed to be a new party member, but the player could not make this game and he had not submitted his character yet) and he agreed to join the party.  Most of the party were reeling from the effects of the spider venom which weakened them, so they decided to return to Throxia and rest.

The party is as follows:
Kord Taan, Gnome Level 2 Sorcerer (fire elemental bloodline)
Abazu Sorn,Human Level 2  Cleric of Nethys
Yaotl Necahral, Thraan Level 2  Barbarian
Kaleb, Halfling Level 2 Rogue

Returning to Throxia, the party stays at a local inn known as The Lion's Den, where Abazu heals them and tends to their wounds from the spider venom.  The following day, the group decides to head back to the Emerald Spire.  They purchase some additional gear, supplies and healing potions and set out for the dungeon.  Their journey across the Badlands (the ruins of the old ancient city outside Throxia) is uneventful and they reach the dungeon without incident.

The party arrives back down to the 2nd level (see map ), where they decide to investigate the door south of the pit where they fought the spider in the last session.  Kaleb listens for noise and does not hear anything.  Checking for traps, he finds none.  Yaotl opens the door wich swings outward into the hall.  Inside, they see a large room, bathed in a pale greenish light.  The light comes from the green crystal column that takes up the corner of the room.  To their right they see a large table with the remains of human bodies and the remains of a spider.  It appears this is some kind of laboratory where someone is experimenting with the bodies, as one of the human bodies has had it's limbs removed and replaced with the spider's legs.  One of the bodies has had all its organs removed.  The table is stained with dried blood and contains various vials and a block of wax with needles and thread stuck in it.  Below the table is a bucket filled with blood.

Kaleb checks for traps and he notices a pressure plate in the floor and determines it's area (marked by the "X"'s on the map and outlines it with chalk and then successfully disarms it by placing a metal shim in the gap in the floor.  He checks the rest of the room and finds nothing else of interest.  Yaotl inspects the bodies and notices that one of them is twitching slightly.  Fearing some undead monstrosity, he begins to sever the heads off the bodies with his axe.  The bodies stop twitching.  Kord inspects the table's contents and finds two vials and a scroll tube.  Kord and Abazu determine the potions to be Cure Moderate Wounds potions.  The scroll tube contains two magic scrolls, one of Fireball and the other with Fly spell.  There is a third parchment within that contains a sigil that is similar to the one they found on the green crystal column on Level 1 but this one translates as "four".  They do find another another sigil on the green crystal column that translates to "two".

They decide to leave the room.  They see the door on the other side of the pit is ajar, as if propped open by a chunk of stone.  With no easy way to get across the pit, they decide to leave it for now and go check on the locked stone door that baffled Kaleb's earlier attempt to open the day before.  This time, by taking several minutes and using his new masterwork thieves tools, he manages to open the lock.

Beyond is a hallway which is dimly lit by the strange lichen that gives off a whitish-green illumination.  The hallway runs 35 feet ending in a closed stone door similar to the one Kaleb just opened.  Midway down the hallway on the left side is a small indentation that has a stone door which is ajar with a piece of stone propping the door open.  Checking for traps along the way, Kaleb finds none.  Yaotl again takes point to check out the door that is ajar.  Beyond is a large chamber approximately 30' x 30' which is covered in webs from floor to ceiling and several spots on the floor is layered with webs as well.  They see what looks to be a large hole in the middle of the chamber, a steel ladder leading down into the darkness.  Yaotl ignites a torch and begins setting the webs on fire, trying to clear a path to another door they can see exiting the chamber which is also ajar.  They do not see the door on the opposite side of the chamber as it is block by the webs.  A few moments later they see one of the same spiders they fought in the pit scuttle from the chamber through the other ajar door.  Meanwhile another spider attacks from the webs.

There is a fight that lasts several rounds and the spider is defeated.  The party spends several minutes burning away all the webs and searching the chamber.  They toss a lit torch down the hole which drops about 90 feet down.  Yaotl and Abazu see something at the bottom of the hole but can't clearly make out what it is.  The party decides to descend down the ladder and prepare ropes just in case the ladder rigged to collapse.  They descend without any trouble and find that the object they say is a dead spider on its back with its legs curled inwards.  They see what look like several gouges in its underside like those caused by an edged weapon.  Also at the bottom of the hole is a set of stairs leading downwards.  Figuring that it is the stairs to the next level, they decide to ascend the ladder and finish exploring the 2nd level.

Robed Skeleton BBEG
When they make their way back up, there is a welcoming committee of 4 skeletons waiting for them.  One of the skeletons is dressed in tattered robes and armed with a bastard sword.  It shouts out "How dare you enter my sanctum.  Prepare to die!  Attack them!"  With that the skeletons attack.  The robed skeleton and one of his skeleton minions were standing in the door way to the "north" of the chamber.  The other two skeleton minions were standing in the doorway exiting the chamber from the "east". The robed skeleton casts a spell at Kord, a shimmering beam of purple and black energy.  It washes over Kord, but he successfully resists the magic.   The skeleton beside the robed skeleton advances in front of it's master, preventing any of the party from engaging him.  The other two skeletons advance and attack the closest party members.  This was a tense fight, the party was wounded from their fight with the spider in this chamber, as soon as the regular skeletons were defeated, I had two of the spiders come in from both ajar doorways to ramp up the tension.  The spiders let loose with their obscuring mist ability to make matters more dire.  There was a pitched spell duel between the robed skeleton and Kord in which each had touch spells charged, but each kept missing their attacks for 4 straight rounds.  This was further hampered by the obscuring mist as well.  Everyone was concerned what spell the robed skeleton had cast that it clearly wanted to affect Kord wth.  Eventually, the robed skeleton hit with his attack.  It was the Touch of Idiocy spell and Kord immediately lost 6pts from his INT, WIS and CHA stats, which reduced him enough to not being able to cast spells.  The next round saw the defeat of the robed skeleton but the party still had to deal with the spiders.  Eventually, one was killed and one of the spider, severely wounded, fled out the "north" door.

After the battle, the party searched the robed skeleton and found a finely-crafted bastard sword, around his neck they find pouch on a strong around his neck.  Inside they find a vial containing a silvery liquid, and a small token made out of the same green crystal from the column.  Also around his neck is a fine chain on which is a key.

Kaleb checked out the corridor beyond the "northern" door to the chamber and found that it led "east" about 35 feet.  At the end of the hall were two stone doors across from each other, one going north and the other south.  The south door seems to line up with the door they did not open at the end of the hall just past the ajar door past the chamber.  Kaleb immediately noticed on the "west" end wall of the corridor which is right outside the "north" ajar door that led into the chamber was an open secret door.  Looking within was a short passage about 15 feet where another secret door was open and that it led into a larger chamber beyond.

Severely battered and out of spells, with Kord a near idiot and about half the group suffering from spider venom, they decide to exit the dungeon and return to Throxia for several days to recuperate. About half-way back to Throxia, the spell affecting Kord finally wears off.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Lavash and Odarro

LAVASH, god of slavery, lust, deceit
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Domains: Charm, Evil, Law, Trickery
Subdomains: Corruption, Deception, Lust, Slavery, Tyranny
Symbol: Chains and Manacle

Lavash appears as a handsome man dressed in a long coat, wearing leather armor, gloves and thigh-high boots.  He is armed with a whip.  Lavash is a god with dark appetites for the flesh and inflicting pain.  His followers are usually slavers and people in power who have a predilection for bondage, domination and sadism.  His temples are found in cities where slavery is legal, especially the city of Silaam, which is the center of the slave trade in Xhuul.

The temples of Lavash serve as the hub of the slave market in any city, inside are holding pens for slaves, private parlors for ceremonies and rituals of pain and pleasure, and offices for the various slave merchants to conduct their business.  Given the nature of their commodity, the temples are well guarded to prevent escape of slaves or to prevent anyone from entering to steal the lucrative wealth such trade generates.

ODARRO, god of mirth, wine, celebration, feasting and indulgence
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Domains: Chaos, Charm, Good, Plant
Subdomains: Friendship, Revelry, Love, Lust, Growth
Symbol: Wine Jug

Odarro is usually depicted as a jovial, fat, bearded man dressed in loose robes.  He is surrounded in plant growth, food and wine grapes.  He usually has a golden goblet of wine in one hand and some manner of food in the other.  He is associated with the harvest and thus he is followed by farmers and vintners.  Odarro does have a dark aspect of debauchery, gluttony and drunkenness.  In this aspect his alignment is Chaotic Neutral.

The temples of Odarro serve as store houses for grains and wine.  On various festivals celebrating local holidays, the temples are the centers of great feasts honoring local rulers and events.  The temples usually have large walled compounds that contain lush and well tended gardens.  In these gardens are grown various vegetables, fruits and wine grapes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Imir and Larpalla

IMIR, god of monsters
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Domains: Evil, Madness, Strength, War
Subdomains: Blood, Cannibalism, Ferocity, Insanity
Symbol: Bloody fanged maw

Imir is the creator of most evil humanoids and monsters.  His demesne in the underworld of  Miggotu is an enormous fortress of black iron studded with numerous spikes known as Ath'll.  Within this fortress is the Chamber of Screaming Labors, where Imir keeps a large coterie of captured human female slaves whom he violates sexually every night.  These unfortunates are driven insane and become the mothers who birth his foul creations and die during the painful birthing process.  These children of Imir then make their way into the world of Xhuul or stay and become his guards or favored pets in his fortress.  When the number of his 'wives' diminish too much, he sends his worshipers to retrieve more for him.

LARPALLA, goddess of battle and heroism
Alignment: Lawful Good
Domains: Glory, Good, Law, War
Subdomains: Heroism, Honor, Loyalty, Tactics
Symbol: Golden spear

Larpalla appears as a beautiful woman with dark skin and long black hair.  She is adorned with a golden head-dress decorated with feathers.  She wears a red cloak and is armed with a golden spear.  She lives in a city of golden ziggurats known as Itiaru which is nestled in a peaceful valley atop a great mountain known as Larnaz.  Larpalla wages a near endless battle against the forces of evil and she leads her armies against gods such as Imir, Braahl and Morghoom.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Pathfinder Cleric Subdomains for the World of Xhuul

Back in the 3.5 D&D days, I recall there being a ton of cleric domains for the myriad of dieties, especially for the Forgotten Realms setting, over time new domains were added.  Two domains that are not represented in the Pathfinder rules are the Vermin and Ooze domains.  I made up my own version for my campaign, but classified them as subdomains since they really only pertain to two specific dieties,  Anansi and Gyugoolagutha.  This will give a little more flavor to those followers who worship these two goddesses.

Vermin Subdomain
Associated Domain: Animal

Diety: Anansi

Granted Powers: You can take on the traits of vermin as well as control and summon insects.

Chitinous Limb (Sp): As a free action, your hands and arms become insect-like. Your unarmed strikes do not provoke attacks of oppurtunity, deal lethal piercing damage and gain a bonus on damage equal to ½ level (minimum +1). You also get a +2 divine bonus to Climb checks. When using this ability you cannot carry any weapons, shield or other object in your hands while they are transformed. You can use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Sense the Prey (Ex): At 8th level, you gain Tremorsense in a 30' radius.

Domain Spells: 1stant haul, 2ndspider climb, 3rdvermin shape I, 4thvermin shape II, 5thinsect plague, 6th- swarm skin, 7th- creeping doom, 8th- summon monster VIII (purple worm only), 9thshapechange (vermin only).

Ooze Subdomain
Associated Domain: Earth

Diety: Gyugoolagutha

Granted Powers: You can manipulate slime and alter your body to take on the characteristics of oozes.

Acid Touch (Sp): As a standard action you can make a melee touch attack and deal 1d6 acid damage a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Squishy Resistance (Ex): At 8th level your body is more fluid and alien in appearance. Reduce by 50% any damage caused by a critical hit and snaek attack damage. Further, you get a +4 sacred bonus to Escape Artist checks and CMD to resist being tripped.

Domain Spells: 1st - grease, 2ndslipstream, 3rdhydraulic torrent, 4thfreedom of movement, 5thtransmute rock to mud, 6thfluid form, 7th regeneration, 8thseamantle, 9thshapechange (oozes only)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Hemakt and Hoom-Vool

HEMAKT, god of fire, smithing, craft, forges and cities
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Artifice, Earth, Fire, Knowledge
Subdomains: Construct, Memory, Metal, Smoke, Thought
Symbol: Flaming Anvil

Hemakt appears as a giant man with three heads and 3 legs and seven arms.  He has red-skin and his body is aflame.  He dwells in a realm of volcanoes and lakes of lava.  He dwells in a basalt palace where he spends his time creating and displaying items of great workmanship.  Hemakt is believed to be the god that helped the men of Xhuul ascend from the barbarism caused by the great cataclysmic war that devastated the planet.  He guided them to rebuild cities and spark the fires of imagination and inspiration to create tools, weapons and armor.

The temples of Hemakt serve as meeting halls for crafts-persons, especially armor and weapon-smiths.  The temples contain some of the best forges and are the closest thing to a factory.  Many craftsmen gather to pray for inspiration and blessings before starting their next project.  Typical sacrifices to Hemakt are made upon the Altar of Making, a large slab of iron with a flaming brazier atop it.  Sacrifices usually are various metals, even precious metals such as gold or silver and finely crafted items which are thrown into the fires to be consumed.

HOOM-VOOL, god of  the sky, storms, judgment
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Domains: Air, Law, Sun, Weather
Subdomains: Cloud, Judgment, Seasons, Storms, Wind
Symbol: Lightning Bolt

Hoom-Vool appears as a wizened old man who resides among the clouds in the sky.  He lives in an opulent palace known as the Sapphire Court which floats among the clouds, protected by gale force winds and arcs of lightning.

Hoom-Vool walks among the clouds, casting his  his gaze down upon the mortals below, always observing and judging.  He carries with him a stone tablet upon which are inscribed all the laws of the land immediately below him.  Hoom-Vool immediately becomes aware of any mortal that breaks these laws.  Officials often invoke Hoom-Vool prior to the convening of trials and is thought to watch over all courts of law and proceedings.  Merchants often invoke the god's name when writing up contracts and making agreements.  Those who violate the law and terms of agreement can expect Hoom-Vool to summarily pass judgment with a bolt of lightning.

Hoom-Vool is also popular with farmers who pray to him for favorable weather for their crops.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Faz-Taal and Gyugoolagutha

FAZ-TAAL, god of strength and adventure
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Domains: Chaos, Good, Strength, Travel
Subdomains: Exploration, Fist, Resolve
Symbol: Lion's head

Fa-Taal appears as a bare-chested muscular man who wears a lion's pelt.  He is sometimes depicted as carrying a spiked war club known as Spine-breaker.    Once a mortal, he was a legendary warrior who traveled and adventured across the world until he found himself  on an outer plane, where he faced  a hostile celestial lion.  He pummeled the creature to death with his bare hands and skinned it's pelt as a trophy of his triumph.  The blood of the beast covered him, whereupon he ascended as a god.  Or so the legends and doctrines state in the temples dedicated to him.

Faz-Taal is the god of adventurers, warriors, and explorers.  He favors bravery and those who take risks in the name of adventure. He disdains cowardice and timidness and will mock and curse those who show such traits in his presence.  Those he truly despises he will beat to within an inch of their lives.

His temples are more like taverns where many adventurers gather to tell their wild tales and stories of the places they have been, the monsters they have faced and defeated and the treasures they have found.  The priests of Faz-Taal brew their own brand of ale which is blessed in it's creation.  Known as .Faz-Taal's Courage, it is a potent alcoholic beverage which also acts as holy water and emboldens the drinker so they do not easily succumb to fear.

GYUGOOLAGUTHA*, goddess of slimes, oozes and fungi
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Domains: Earth, Evil, Plant, Madness
Subdomains: Caves, Decay, Insanity, Nightmares, Ooze
Symbol: Mushroom

Gyugoolagutha is a horrid nightmare that heaves and lurches her obscene and undulating amorphous mass through the underworld of Lorhalothat.  She appears as a gargantuan sized green ooze with lashing pseudopods and a enormous maw filled with sharp teeth.  Her cavernous realm of twisting tunnels is coated in slime and  riddled with phosphorescent fungi forests, bathed in colors unknown to human eyes.  The air is heavy and ripe with spores both toxic and euphoric.  The stench of decay hangs in the air as rotting fungi provides food for the multitude of slimes, oozes and jellies that drip, slither, a pulsate through the realm.

Gyugoolagutha is the mother of all oozes, molds and the race of the myconids.  The cults dedicated to her partake in drug-induced rituals where large quantities of hallucinogenic molds and mushrooms are consumed in order to commune with the goddess.  The results of which cause many of the cultists to go insane.  The cult views these victims as prophets who have a twisted wisdom in their mad ramblings and rants, which are summarily recorded in the temple records.

The temples dedicated to Gyugoolagutha are a pharmacological treasure trove as they have extensive underground laboratories where many varieties of hybrid fungi and molds are grown for food, medicines, poisons and recreational drugs.  The priests who maintain these facilities are both geniuses and dangerously insane.

*= The name Gyugoolagutha was borrowed from the Planet Algol blog.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 4

Two weeks ago, we had our 4th session of my Pathfinder campaign set in my home-brew world of Xhuul.  As mentioned before,three out of the four characters were killed in the last game.  The surviving character, Kord, made his way back to the city of Throxia and began to recruit replacements to continue his search for the missing wizards they were hired to find.

The new party as follows:
Kord Taan, Level 1 Gnome Sorcerer (fire elemental bloodline)
Abazu Sorn, Level 1 Human Cleric of Nethys
Yaotl Necahral, Level 1 Thraan Barbarian
Kaleb, Level 1 Halfling Rogue

Kord arrives back in Throxia after the demise of the party from his last foray into the Emerald Spire.  Seeking new allies to help him in the quest to find the missing wizards for the Order of Saiboth, he decides to call upon two acquaintances he knows.  One of them is a bar drinking buddy named Kaleb, a local halfling.  Since they are both small folk in a human dominated city, they find common bond as social outcasts.  Another is Abazu, a human cleric of the god of magic, Nethys.  Since Kord is a follower of the god of magic, he knows Abazu from visiting the temple.  Abazu mentions that he knows a new arrival in Throxia, a thraan barbarian named Yaotl (pronounced as Yay-Oat) who he had met in the streets of Throxia when they got caught up in the middle of a gang war.  They fought back to back to fend off the gang members who attacked them.  Abazu healed Yaotl's wounds and he seemed appreciative of the healing and mentioned that if he ever needed his help, he should look for him at the Headless Harlot tavern.  Kaleb mentions that he too knew of Yaotl through a friend.

Kord tells the sad tale of the death of his friends that met their end in the ruins of the Emerald Spire from attacks by Kobolds and their magic-casting leader and man-like construct.  He recounts their encounters and explorations of the ruin and the strange light-suppressing magic within.  There is a large reward for locating and rescuing the missing wizards.  So, the group makes their preparations for the next day and head off in the morning.

The group heads out of Throxia towards the Emerald Spire the next morning and enter the region of a small jungle that surrounds it.  They come upon the remains of a ruin within the jungle and are attacked by three Lizardfolk.  After a long battle, the group is victorious and they look through the ruins and find that the Lizardfolk had made a small camp and apparently were scavenging the area.  The party finds a sizable treasure of weapons, normal gear, coins, gems and three potions.  The party decides to return to Throxia to sell most of the gear as they did not want to be weighed down with the load of extra equipment and keep the more useful items.  Abazu visits a local scriptorium shop and purchases some ink, inkpen and a few sheets of parchment, figuring he may need these in order to copy any runes or writings they may encounter.  They decide to rest up in Throxia and head back out to the Emerald Spire the next day.

The next morning the group heads out again and this time reach the Emerald Spire without incident.  Entering the ruins with caution, they make their way through the ruins and eventually discover the place appears abandoned.  The storage room that Kord told the new group about had been ransacked of the more useful items and the rest were destroyed and/or spoiled.  The remains of the slain kobolds were still to be found, but there was no evidence of the bodies of Malik, Brogan or Arkon.  The party searched the rest of the ruin and found no other kobolds.  The decision was made to go down the spiral stairs.  After two revolutions around the glowing column of green crystal there was a short landing where two kobold zombies were standing guard.  A short combat took care of them easily.  The landing was searched, but no secret doors were found and the party continued down the stairs.  After two more revolutions down the spiral stairs, the light-suppression effect ends and every one's light sources shine at their normal brightness.  The stairs then straighten out, no longer a spiral, heading away from the green crystal column that made up the central wall of the spiral stairs. 

The party descends into the next level.  They see two stone doors, one on the east wall, the other on the south wall.  There is an alcove north of the door heading east with a burnt-out torch stub on the floor. Searching for traps, Kaleb finds nothing.  The door to the east is ajar.  The door to the south is locked.  On the walls there grow patches of lichen that give off a faint greenish-white luminescence.  Kaleb listens at the south door and hears nothing.  He tries to pick the lock and fails, he waits a while longer taking his time to try and pick the lock again, but is not successful.  Kord picks up the burnt-out torch stub.  Yaotl opens the door that is ajar and sees a corridor beyond, taking point he enters the hallway.  He sees a stone door at the far end of the hall.  Halfway down, there is another door on the north wall inset 5 feet from the main hall.  Kaleb listens at the north  door and hears nothing.  Deciding to investigate the door at the far end of the hall, he triggers a pit trap and falls 10 feet into a spiked pit, taking damage from the fall and one of the spikes.  He sees a small alcove at the bottom of the pit where a large spider hides, which quickly scurries up the wall, closes the pit-trap lid and begins to web it closed.  Kaleb, stands from being prone on the pit floor and readies his rapier for the spider to attack him.

The rest of the party do not know about the spider, all they see is the pit open up, Kaleb falling in and then the pit door closing. Yaotl pulls out some rope and anchors it to his waist.  Kord picks up the other end, ties it to himself and moves onto the pit lid, hoping it will open, but it does not.  Abazu picks up the slack length of rope and moves to the pit edge.  Meanwhile in the pit, there suddenly is a mist that appears from nowhere that fills it completely.  Kaleb cannot see more than 5 feet in front of him and can no longer see the spider.  Abazu steps onto the pit lid and applies a forceful foot stomp that opens the lid and both he and Kord drop into the misty pit, taking damage from the fall and spikes.  Luckily, Kord does not land on top of Kaleb.  A tense battle is fought with the spider which is cloaked in the mists, that manages to bite and poison each of the three adventurers, a poison that weakens their strength.  All the while, Yaotl remains above, holding onto the rope, helpless to assist in the battle as he cannot see what is going on below and so watches for an enemies that may attack in the hallway.  Kord manages to kill the spider after successfully touching it with his burning magic spells.  Abazu kept the party alive in the pit with his divine healing and helpful divine boons from Nethys.  The battle now over, Yaotl pulls the three adventurers from the pit using the rope.  About three minutes later the mist disappears inside the pit, revealing the spike pit and the now burned remains of the spider.
At this point it was late and we decided to stop the game there.

DM Thoughts:  I told the players that the new characters would start off with the same experience points as Kord's player, that way everyone can level up together.  The XP from the Lizardman battle and the Kobold zombies was enough to level them up to Level 2 (I am using the Fast XP rules in Pathfinder).  When they entered the next level of the dungeon, I announced that they reached Level 2 , but the players did not want to stop playing to do the book-keeping (new Hit-Die, skill points, class features etc.,) for their new level.

When the encounter happened with the pit and the spider, it was a tense situation. The mist made it difficult to see the spider and provided it concealment with a 20% miss chance.  The damage they took from the falls into the pit, spikes and then the spider bites was nasty, plus it's poison.   Two characters would have dropped to unconsciousness.  It was looking to be another TPK in the making. That is when I mentioned that they were Level 2 so they would have more hit points.  I suggested they take some time to update their characters at least with their new hit points and attack bonus and saving throws. (We are doing the Average Hit Point gain, so that eliminates the possibility of rolling a "1" on the hit die.).  That helped them from falling unconscious and turned the situation around for them.  Kord saved the day by casting Burning Grasp twice during the last few rounds of combat (which is Shocking Grasp, but he applies the fire descriptor to his attack spells and gets extra damage from his Pyromaniac Trait and his bloodline) as these were melee touch attacks.

We will have another player join us next game.  I will introduce him to the party as a victim of the pit trap that was captured by the spider and webbed up in a cocoon for later eating.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Camotz and Dagon

CAMOTZ, god of bats
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Domains: Animal, Darkness, Earth, Evil
Subdomains: Fear, Fur, Night, Caves
Symbol: Bat

Camotz appears as a hybrid bat humanoid.  He is the father of the Camotzi, a small humanoid race that inhabit remote caves and underground ruins.  The camotzi are sightless creatures, but can navigate their lairs by sound.  They toil in their underground lairs, building temples to Camotz.  They and the dwarves are mortal enemies.

Camotz is also believed to be the father of vampires and the legends of their shape-shifting into bats supports this connection.  The long life of vampires is alluring to many who wish to escape death, so i is not surprising of the existence of many secret human blood-cults that follow Camotz.  These cults believe that if they consume enough blood that they will be granted eternal life by the bat god. Camotz demands blood sacrifices on nights of the full moon.

DAGON, god of the sea
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Water, Weather
Subdomains: Catastrophe, Oceans, Storms

Dagon dwells at the bottom of the oceans of Xhuul in a grand city made of coral and strange megalithic stones carved with strange runes and shapes.  Outside of this city lay the countless hulks of sunken ships, victims of Dagon's wrath that did not make proper tribute before crossing the seas.  It is often customary to make sacrifices to Dagon before going on a journey across the sea in exchange for good weather.

Dagon is a giant aquatic humainoid, with a fish-like head, pupil-less eyes and slimy scales.  He is said to be the father of the Skum and the Sahuagin and other aquatic creatures.  Human cults that follow Dagon summon Skum from the sea in monthly rituals.  These summoned Skum and the human cultists perform debased rituals,in which they mate with each other. The children of such unions eventually become Skum when they reach 18 years of age.  At that time, their transformation is complete and they join their fellow Skum in the ocean.  Such children are regarded as a holy blessing from Dagon and such communities are often blessed by bountiful fishing and good weather.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gods of Xhuul: Anansi and Braahl

When I started my Pathfinder campaign, I didn't have a list of gods for the world of Xhuul.  I just told any players interested in playing a cleric to choose a god from the Pathfinder Core rulebook to serve as a place-holder diety until I had a chance to work on my own gods.  It has been a challenge because I'm conflicted between having too many or too few gods.  Also, making sure that most of the cleric domains are represented and that they are of gods of appropriate alignment that player clerics would be interested in choosing to follow.

I have established that in the world of Xhuul, the gods do not directly grant clerics their spells.  The various cults and temples of the gods have rituals and hidden mysteries that are taught to initiates, which when they complete their training allow them to focus their energies through meditation, prayer and rituals to get their daily allotment of divine spells.

Below are two gods for Xhuul.  This will be the first of a series of posts that will present a few gods, more or less in alphabetical order.

ANANSI, goddess of spiders
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Domains: Chaos, Charm, Earth, Knowledge
Subdomains: Caves, Lust, Thought, Vermin
Symbol: Spider

Anansi is a goddess that dwells deep in the underworld of Xoor-Yan, a massive system of caves covered in layers of sparkling spider webs.  Anansi dwells in the center of the webs in a large cocoon-like palace woven of spider silk.  The webs crawl with many generations of her children, spiders of various sizes that prowl and scurry along the web network.  It is said her network of webs weave throughout the world and it is through them that she is able to hear and see events from the vibrations they pick up.  As such, she knows much about the world and it's secrets.  Some mortals have dared to seek her out, to find a rare piece of lore from her, but she is capricious and only awards such lore to petitioners if they agree to mate with her in order to further the next generation of her spider children.  This is a dangerous venture as Anansi has unusual hungers and has been known to eat her lovers after consummation of a night of passion.  Or she will ensnare them in her mystic webs to be later feasted upon by her new brood of children they helped create.

BRAAHL, god of beasts and rage
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Domains: Animal Chaos, Destruction, Evil
Subdomains: Fear, Fur, Rage
Symbol: A bloody bestial claw

Braahl, also known as The Horned Lord, appears as a tall humanoid with a bestial head crowned with antlers.  His over-sized, razor sharp claws are usually dripping with blood from a fresh kill.  Braahl stalks the remote forest wilderlands, in search for prey to satiate his hunger, which never ends.  This frustration and constant hunger drives him to rip apart his prey and cutting a swath of destruction through the wilderness.  His followers leave fresh kills and sometimes captured humans or other humanoids which they bind and hang from trees as offerings for the Horned Lord.  They do this more out of fear to appease Braahl, so that he will leave them alone and go elsewhere to wreak his destruction.  Sometimes, it works.