Saturday, June 2, 2012

Gifts of the God Mages : Pathfinder e02

Gifts of the God Mages
May 2012 - ongoing

Episode Two: The Demon Child

As my second session of the Indigo-Entertainment Pathfinder games commences, I find myself starting to enjoy Pathfinder's tactical system again.  Admittedly, I'm more of a story - drama - character focused kind of guy, so trust me when I say to be really enjoying Pathfinder is a new feeling for me.  As I mentioned before, I've borrowed liberally from the Forgotten Realms comics of Rags Morales, Dave Simons and Jeff Grubb.  And in this case, I took the opening sequence of the fifteenth issue of the comic series.  But rather than bring the Avatar war into the plot, I just focused on them gathering what I felt was a nicely diabolic new artifact into the game.  If things would go my way, one of the players would find themselves tempted by its promise of power.

Boy was I right!

In this game session, the following players were present:
Tofie was playing Alcarin Dominus, a Dwarven Paladin, and boy was he playing it to the hilt!  He used this fun gruff accented voice all through-out the game, it was really amazing!
This issue inspired the opening sequence.

JP was the Half-Elven Wizard named Jazintho, who was an old friend of Alcarin and has a deep-seated desire for power.

David was the elven Druid named Lyus Baequiundlin, whose had a penchant for travelling weaponless and whose wolf companion showed a loyalty unexpected of beasts.

Ric was the Human Sorcerer named Yenrry Dragonsbane whose charisma was great and whose past was linked to a small line of humans who carry dragons blood.

Mark was an Elven Cleric (whose name I forgot) who was infamous for summoning Ponies during a battle.

The group had been directed by Dwalimer Omen to retrieve a strange artifact: a mummified fetus that held dark infernal powers known as the Demon Child.  The artifact had been long in the hands of a community of goblins, who worshiped it as one of their own.   We opened the game with the initial quest of finding and retrieving the artifact as practically done, and the group was working on their return to the Realms Master.  Of course, that's when things would not go as planned.

Minder was chatting with Jazintho about the new recruits (Lyus and Yenrry) and was wondering aloud if the group was doing okay.  Minder mused, "The group is composed of a Paladin, a Sorcerer, a Cleric and a Druid.  Without any Rogues, I wonder how they plan to steal the artifact?"  The entrance to the goblin underground community seemed quiet so far.     At least until Yenrry appeared at the entrance with his hands holding the artifact.  With Yenrry on a full sprint, Jazintho and Minder realized something was definitely up and as Minder headed below the deck to contact Omen, Jazintho took one of the smaller boats and made for the shore.

Soon enough the others emerged from the cave, also at a run.  Goblins were chasing after them! Clearly their plan to stealthily take the artifact had fallen apart.  The cleric summoned another pony to serve as an ally, while the Lyus commanded his wolf to strike at the nearest Goblin.  Jazintho closed in as quickly as he could hoping to get within range to throw a necromantic Scare at the goblin horde.  But deep within the underground caverns, the Goblin King and his people rushed to join the fray.

When the Wizard found himself within range, he quickly threw the necromantic spell and forced the other goblins to disperse.  Believing they were now safe to reach the ship, the group made their way forward towards the shore.    The Goblin King drew out components and casted a spell, causing two gigantic leeches to emerge at the shoreline.  One destroyed one of the three rowboats, while the other prepared to strike!  Lyus, moving swifter thanks to his druidic spell, Longstrider, and hoped to Warp Wood the ruins of the boat to serve as a suitable weapon.  But the leech had reach and struck Yenrry before the Sorcerer could act!  Plunging its spinning row of fangs into the human, Yenrry felt his strength ebb away with his very life.

As the others combined their efforts to take the leeches down, Yenrry heard a voice whispering to him, asking him to choose:  Destroy or Devour.  Choosing Devour, Yenrry finds his hands merging with the artifact and the artifact's mouth extending into a massive maw filled with shark-like teeth.   With a single chomp, the artifact severs the leech in two.   Minder calls out to the party as the golem steers the Realms Master to get the party onboard.  The golem throws a massive net down the side of the ship for the party to grab hold and climb aboard.    Alcarin, hoping to help the Cleric get onboard, throws the human to the ship but finds his strength faltering at the last minute.  Embarrassingly, the Cleric smacks into the ground.   As the group hurry to board, the Goblin King charges outwards, hoping to take the group down with a final salvo.  Missing both arms (they were transmuted into the Giant Leeches), he begins casting a spell to bring them down.  But his attempt fails as the Pony comes to everyone's rescue and clobbers the king with its kicks.

On the Realms Master, Minder sees how Yenrry is taken over by the Artifact and tells the Druid to hand him an axe.   The artifact, not wanting to be separated, asks Yenrry to choose and this time Yenrry chooses Destroy.  A Disintigrate ray fires from the artifact's eyes and strikes Minder, but the golem shrugs it off and pins the Sorcerer down.  Taking the axe, Minder tells the group to be ready to help him - but only after the Sorcerer is freed from the artifact.  Without hesitation, Minder amputates the Sorcerer's two hands.

When Dwalimer Omen arrives, he explains that the artifact is a dangerous thing, and asks the Wizard Jazintho to place it in the extra-dimensional space where they store all the gathered artifacts.  But Jazintho fails to keep his hands from touching the artifact and failing to have a strong enough will, succumbs to the temptations of the artifact and hides it.  The artifact slides into his body, with only one of its hands appearing like a birthmark upon his chest.


Never underestimate the Pony.
The second game was filled with hilarious moments and awesome heroism.  Everyone celebrated when Mark had his Cleric once again bring a pony into the battle.  Laughter abounded when Tofie's Paladin failed to toss the Cleric, rolling a one on his strength check.  And fear-filled gasps erupted when Ric's Sorcerer first  used the artifact in hopes of protecting himself, grew into impassioned exclamations when the golem had to amputate his hands, and finally into "Oh My Gosh" screams when JP's Wizard Jazintho failed his Will saving throw and was seduced by the artifact.

To give the seduction an even better touch, I threw in this as a temptation for the player himself:  The artifact would grant him TWO whole levels if he accepted it and kept the artifact's presence within him as a secret from the other characters.  Finding the twist an interesting challenge to role-play, and definitely a source of more fun, JP accepted the plot twist.

Definitely, the players more and more got into their roles and there was no denying this was going to be a chronicle that was going to be more and more fun!

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