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Quote of the Week from my gaming group...


Darren Watts
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I meant to say "disk."  I meant to say "disk."  I meant to say "disk."

 

I swear to you I meant to say "disk."

 

Not exactly a quote, but I feel it belongs here.

 

Youth game was cut short by a display of histrionics the likes of which are rarely seen.....

 

I swear I mean to say "disk."

 

Instead, I let my age show.

 

Two members of the party have headed to the courthouse to find the current and original blueprints of the building they plan to investigate.  They are given the current plans simply enough, when one of them starts a conference call to the rest of the team and announces that they are waiting for prints of...  well, prints of the prints, but they should catch back up to the rest of the team shortly.  The other remembers that the building is very old, and likely has been remodeled at least once, and asks about the _original_ plans for this building.

 

The custodian looks up and says "well, I am sure we have them, but it will take a while to get prints of them because we haven't gotten a lot of the old records on 'fiche yet-"

 

Entire group:  "FISH?!  Why would you draw blueprints on FISH?!"   _HOW_ do you draw blueprints on fish?!"

 

Feral's player "So, when I become a fish, do i like, just _have_ the blueprints or something?"

 

Player on phone: "I think I know why everything takes so long here...."

 

 

Even after explaining microfiche to them, they just couldn't get back into the swing of things....

 

 

 

 

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Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask - Boss Fight
We've reached the culmination of the entire campaign - one last level of the Sky Pharaoh's pyramid, and a confrontation with the cruel undead ruler himself. It's probably a good point to take stock of our abilities and resources. Over the last three years of play we've gone from 1st level to 16th Lvl Mixed Combat Archeologists, and would probably be even more experienced (and scarred) if we didn't keep avoiding side quests and obstacles, and using diplomacy instead of weapons.

Nemat Merituzat, AKA Nemat of Valat: Now very much an Inquisitor of Wadjet, and more than enough power to back up his support of the Old Pantheon. Popular combat tactics include growing to enormous size and enchanting his weapon of choice with whatever Aspects are going to make his target most unhappy.

Onka the Half-orc Spell Sage: His mastery of magical theory and animated constructs has probably saved our lives more than once, given we went into the campaign armed to face undead and keep running into assorted golems, living statues, and automata. Still wearing the eponymous Mummy’s Mask, which contains Hakotep’s ka and hopefully won’t lead to any issues later.

Asrian al-Adjir: Has had a bunch of mental adjustments over the past couple of years. She's fallen in love, gained a new level of determination to protect her loved ones, and her body image issues have, through the encouragement of her friends and lover, been significantly reduced. She has also taken her art of combat to levels she has never conceived of before, and reached the pinnacle of her mystic abilities. She isn't quite sure what she's going to do now, aside from marrying Zenobia.

Zenobia the Gnoll: Still firmly faithful to the Cleansing Light, Sarenrae, although under increasing stress every time she sees her fiance and found family put themselves in harm’s way. Does have some plans for after the wedding, assuming she can keep everybody alive until then.

We’ve amassed a large number of useful magical items, some acquired, some created to order by Onka in his hyperbolic time chamber, and some purchased on quick teleportation trips back to town. And we can use Portable Holes, Create Constructs, Summon Planar Ally, and Summon Monsters, to get all our allies and Hakotep’s disgruntled former employees together and accrue more. And if the Sky Pharaoh is one of those undead that regenerate, we have some 100 needles designed to stop assassination victims coming back to complain. With any luck we now outnumber anybody left in the Pyramid, and Hakotep will roll over to avoid a much-deserved beatdown.

Zenobia: Lets find him, talk him down, and resolve all this peacefully.
Onka OoC: Spoken like a true Sarenite who will be going last in the initiative order.

It seems unlikely that anybody else in the party will GIVE Zenobia a chance to parley with the Final Boss. Even assuming we survive that long - the gynosphinx that Nemat summons with a request for assistance has a LONG list of Hakotep’s most favoured minions and monsters that we haven’t encountered yet. Zenobia’s face becomes increasingly aghast at the recitation of horrors.

We descend into the horrible depths, with superhero landings. This might have been unwise given Onka is back in his Ancient Osiriani Mecha Suit.

Zenobia: This big crack in the floor wasn’t from you landing, was it?

We’ve landed in what appears to be some kind of engine room, possibly, although one of the engines is broken and spewing pink smoke. There’s also some kind of spirit engineer, who appears to be a tad cranky with Hakotep, and a bit cranky with the state of the pyramid.

Ghost: I take it you’re here to take the Pharaoh ‘out’.
Onka: Absolutely.
Asrian: That’s the plan.
Zenobia: I keep suggesting we talk to him first but they don’t agree.
Nemat: Not This Time!

Nemat: We need to put him down and send him on to his reward.
Onka: I think you mean his Just Desserts.

She’s a Shory Engineer.

Nemat: But the Shory are long dead.
Asrian & Zenobia: So’s she.

She’s also Jeshura’s sister, and had been murdered by her, so it’s just as well we didn’t bring Jeshura into the pyramid for the final fight. Zenobia nearly blabs that we know her, until Asrian shuts her up.

Zenobia: Would you like us to help you on to your final rest?
Shory Engineer: I wouldn’t mind seeing my husbands again. Assuming they weren’t too stupid to find the door to the afterlife.
Onka: Part of me wants to bottle her and take her home with me.

We’ll probably have to destroy the pyramid’s power source to release her ghost. We press on - using the door in the other direction we intended, on the ghost’s recommendation - she designed the pyramid after all.

Shory Engineer: Have fun storming the castle.

We do the obvious thing, and try to go through the wall instead. It turns out the designers of the traps thought of the obvious thing too, and a Symbol of Insanity goes off.

Shory Engineer: I wouldn’t do that if I w- oh dear.

It also appears that the ghost’s information is out of date - the short corridor beyond is lined with sealed chambers, that Nemat can check for undead without even opening the doors. That doesn’t stop him drilling holes in said doors to check. It would appear that one chamber has a teleportation circle, but there’s no safe way to check where it goes, and while the spell in question prevents teleportation anywhere innately dangerous, there’s still plenty of ways they can kill you.

Zenobia: Such as onto a frictionless floor overlooking a chasm?
Nemat: Or just to a point several miles above the ground.

On the other hand we still have Overland Flight going. Still probably wiser to check the other corridors first.

Zenobia: I wonder how that gynosphinx does her make-up, with paws.
Nemat: Prestidigitation.
Onka: Maybe she’s born with it.
Nemat: Maybe it’s Maybelline.

GM: This next bit was supposed to be a cool reveal, but you WOULD summon somebody with Legend Lore.
Zenobia OoC: We always do our research first. It’s like having a high Library Use skill in Call of Cthulhu.

The next chamber contains that Herald of Hakotep we’re run into before - although it appears her rather attractive appearance in those previous meetings was because she was wearing somebody else’s skin as a costume. She doesn’t look nearly as appealing now, unless you like flayed corpses. We’re not about to kinkshame you.

Ain-Mekh: It was my belief we would meet again. Welcome to the workshop of Anubis - Anubis as he should be. Soldiers of the Sky Pharaoh! Slay these intruders so that we might add their numbers to our strength!

Zenobia OoC: My go now?
Nemat OoC: What? No, it’s Asrian’s turn - you’re merely engaged, you’re not a single organism yet.
Zenobia OoC: We’re only joined at the hips sometimes.*lewd smile*

Asrian casts Wall of Sound across the room - which is especially effective since the herald’s back-up archers keep setting it off again and hurting their boss more. We very probably could have killed her by throwing handfuls of pebbles through the barrier.

GM: At this rate she’s going to be killed by her own henchmen.
Nemat: Par for the course with us.

Zenobia OoC: That herald of Hakotep frightened my fiance. So, hopefully the boundless love and mercy of Sarenrae will render her down to her constituent atoms.*Channel Ray of Positive Energy, with added Sun’s Blessing and Beacon of Faith*

Onka: I wish wizards had some kind of magical sleeve we could pull Rods and Wands out of as needed.
Nemat: We do, it’s the Wizard’s Golfbag. Also known as the Efficient Quiver.

In the end we barely need to do anything to her henchmen - they follow their previous orders and march straight through the Wall of Sound and blow themselves to pieces.

Asrian: That spell was a lot more effective than I thought it would be. Not that I’m complaining.

Among the valuables we sieve out the debris are a couple of interesting spell scrolls. Some of them rendered illegible because of exploded pickled viscera, but Prestidigitation deals with that problem instantly. The next chamber is knee-deep in mummified bodies, more bodies hanging from chains, hieroglyphs apparently drawn in blood, and ominous glowing sigils.

Zenobia: … can we NOT go through this room?

Even if it was merely the site of a major industrial necromancy accident, we can avoid it using Tef-naju’s Stone Shaping abilities, and we don’t even have to go all the way through in one go - letting Nemat use his Tombsight through a now paper-thin wall will help avoid any surprises. In fact, whoever is on the other side of the wall is going to be more surprised when we bypass half the pyramid. In fact, since Tef-Naju has unlimited uses of Stone Shape and the pyramid’s engineers can’t have installed Symbols of Insanity EVERYWHERE, we can install our own secret tunnels inside every wall, like a party of heavily armed termites.

Asrian: More like a worm through an apple.

And with a Silence spell up nobody is going to hear us tunneling away and drilling spyholes. Localised Silence will also be useful if we have to use Wall of Sound again. The power of the undead and constructs Nemat can detect strongly suggests we’re about to burst out of the wall right behind Hakotep’s throne. Alternatively, Asrian can just roll a coin enchanted with Magnifying Chime out into the room and do even more damage. Although we might have to back off in a hurry since after a few rounds of Chime the walls and ceilings are going to be coming down too.

The GM has gone rather quiet.

Nemat’s Player: Well, I’m going to go get a drink while the GM works out how much damage that did.
Asrian’s player: Me too.
Zenobia OoC: So Mr. GM, how many weeks of play have we just bypassed?
GM: No. Comment.

Especially if we use the Limited Wish scroll to ensure Hakotep fails his Spell Resistance check.

Zenobia: I’m glad I thought of that.
Nemat, Asrian, etc:*pleased agreement*
Zenobia’s Player: Hooray! Zoidberg is useful.

Chiming Coin: womWomWOMWOMMWOMM!!WOMMM!!!!!!
Nemat: You might want to come over here, Zenobia.
Onka OoC: ‘Does this sound like thermonuclear detonation to you?’

Nemat: I don’t know how they expected us to deal with this, but I’m glad we did it this way.
Onka: Make of me still wants to have cast Magnifying Chime on the Mech suit and march it into the room. ‘You still want your mask back?’
Nemat: But it would still take damage.
Onka: Nope - the spell radiates out.
Nemat: Good point.
Onka: ‘Ok, everybody budge in here with me.’

Four rounds later stone is starting to crack, but it’s not until the 5th round that Hakotep figures out what’s happening. But the effect is now wide enough that he can’t flee around the edges and get away.

Nemet: See, I told you the throne room was through there - once you’re seen enough Ancient Osirion architecture it gets a bit predictable.

GM: I can’t believe you cast this at 16th Level.
Onka: Be glad it wasn’t me casting it or it would be Level 20 with my Spell Sage feats.
Zenobia: I wonder if this is going to flood the throne room with lava from the fire level.
Onka’s player: Well we can always do it again - we can use Hero Points to restore the spell slot.
GM: What?? WHAT????
Asrian’s player: And I still have 6th Level slots free anyway.

Alas, his throne room is large enough that if he cowers right in a corner he’ll only be affected by the final round of damage.

Zenobia: Well, at least we made him hide in a corner.
Hakotep The First: I am the Sky Pharoah, master of the worl- what’s that noise?

Hakotep’s throne room is thoroughly trashed. Unfortunately, our tunnel is revealed as well, so sniping the Sky Pharoah in the back of the head with a Greater Arrow of Undead Slaying, through another spyhole, is probably off the table. Alas, his four golems are all the clay variety, and completely undamaged by sonic effects, and are immune to most other magics well. On the other hand, Clay Golems are also notorious for going berserk mid-battle, and half the golems have already gone berserk and started attacking the splinters of Hakotep's throne since there was no other target in sight when Hakotep realised how much trouble he was in. In fact, Hakotep doesn’t even know we’re there until HE staggers past the hole.

Zenobia: I guess this is where we found out what the Ancient Osiriani for WTF???? Is.

Hakotep stares down the tunnel, completely ignoring Tef-Naju, Mohebi the sphinx, and our entire party, with the exception of the Bronze Sentinel mecha suit that Onka has been piloting for months now, and within which Onka is still wearing the Mummy’s Mask that the entire campaign is named after.

Hakotep I:*snarls* My Ka!*casts Meteor Swarm*

Which may have been a mistake on his part since he’s in range of his own fireball, but doesn’t help us in the slightest.

GM: The guy had a super-impressive speech he was going to say from his throne, but NOOO, you had to throw a coin at him.

Onka: I’m surprised he uses clay golems - actually, no I’m not, he has a history of bad decisions. He was blessed by the Bad Decision Fairy when he was born.

One of those bad decisions was choosing to stand between us, and one of the Clay Golems that Onka just assumed control of. Targeting Asrian with a Boneshatter spell was probably a bad decision too, since it will probably ensure Zenobia tears his head off and shoves up his wrinkled, mummified arse.

Zenobia does need to tap Asrian with a Wand of Restoration, first, to remove her Fatigued condition.

Zenobia: I’m sure that wand will be useful on our wedding night, too.

The last golem still under Hakotep’s control chooses this moment to go berserk. Not ideal, but probably more useful than letting Hakotep keep hold of its leash. Hakotep finds himself in a not-very-good position.

Hakotep I: Who let a sphinx in here??
Nemat OoC: He’s currently being attacked by a sphinx, a tomb guardian, an angry archaeologist, one of his own golems, and... A ninja?
Zenobia OoC: Garlic Woman.
Nemat OoC: And there's a gnoll up the back there that’s carrying a symbol of Sarenrae???

Hakotep attempts to retreat, despite all the rubble. We, of course, are still flying.

Zenobia: Flee and die a coward!

And die he does, as Nemat descends on him like the wrath of God. Which as an Inquisitor of Wadjet, he is, since no Pharoah rules without Wadjet's blessing. He ends the Forgotten Pharaoh in his own throne room.

Nemat: In the name of Wadjet, I deny your rule!
Zenobia: May the mercy of Sarenrae guide you to your final rest, whatever rest you deserve.

Presumably, the next few hours will be spent sending the rest of his undead minions after their master, making absolutely sure Hakotep can’t come back, and then getting on with our personal plans.

Zenobia: Four funerals and a wedding.
Onka: I’ll have to make you a house.
Zenobia: We can get one in Wati easily enough.
Nemat: Just give it chicken legs.
Onka: There’s a perfectly good flying pyramid available - one previous owner.

We grab Hakotep’s remains and leave the golems to their crazed devices.

Zenobia’s player: It’s a bit strange that it’s clay golems that go berserk - historically speaking those were the most reliable golems.

GM: The fact that you’re going backwards through the rest of the rooms makes most of the traps redundant.
Zenobia’s player: Good.
Nemat’s Player: Sorry, not sorry.

We do run into one of Hakotep’s generals.Riding a chariot at 100kph along the roof of a large chamber. So it’s more likely she’s going to run into us.

Asrian: Hold, general! There is no need for us to fight!

She doesn’t seem amenable. The Wall of Stone Tef-Naju creates in front of her isn’t very amenable to being hit at 100kph either. Being hit by Sarenrae’s Tactical Nuke (Sunburst) probably even less so. Further, Onka’s mecha suit is mostly immune to her attacks, especially since his poppets keep opening and closing the firing hatches. But at least Asrian gave General Tarawet a chance - maybe Zenobia’s morals are rubbing off on her. In the end it’s some offensive Healing that takes Terawet down, but it’s Nemat not Zenobia that does it.

We still have to find Hakotep’s wife, the cultist.

Nemat: She’s going to be a problem in her own right.
Zenobia: And I don’t want her crashing the wedding.
Onka: That’s why you put a permanent Symbol of Healing on the venue.

One of the other guardians accuses us of being intruders, but we confuse it briefly by pointing out that we’re leaving the throne room. Unfortunately it still attacks and constricts our new gynosphinx ally. And starts dehydrating everybody nearby. And regenerates as fast as we can hurt it. And has horrible spells.

Nemat OoC: I think we’ve found the Secret Boss of this level.

Thankfully, Onka can banish it to an extradimensional Maze it will be too stupid for solve for 10 minutes, given us a chance to heal up and Restore ourselves, and prepare our best attacks for the moment it reappears. But even with the prep time, we’re extremely lucky that Zenobia offensive Heal does 150HP damage and Onka’s Acid Arrow finishes it for good. It’s probably just as well we went after Hakotep first, because some of his underlings are a lot more dangerous than he was.

Of course, Nemat’s extensive knowledge of good burial practice does tell us that the only way to put Hakotep to permanent rest is to restore him to his sarcophagus, along with all his assorted parts, so with any luck will find that somewhere down here too.

Zenobia: It would be amusing if we think we’re leaving the pyramid and we actually stumble across his tomb chamber by mistake.

One possible hidden chamber is protected by a riddle. The obvious answer doesn’t work, surprisingly - when you live in a country like Osiria, that’s been having riddle contests for thousands of years, the old classics tend to be pretty well known. Happily, we have a sphinx in the party.

Onka: Hey, Mohebi, do you know this one?

Onka: Let’s do our usual thing and go through the wall.
Nemat: We haven’t got this far by using doors.

Zenobia looks like she’s going to seek parley with the next bunch of undead, but pauses.

Zenobia: Do you think gnolls can be redeemed?
Nemat: Of course.
Asrian: You’re not an undead monster.
Zenobia: Many people would say my kind are monsters. And we’ve given undead a chance before.
Nemat: The Undead we have parleyed with before were undead through no fault of their own - these individuals willingly chose their path.
Zenobia: I see. It’s not that they were born monsters, but chose to become them.
Nemat: Monsters aren’t born
Zenobia: *twitch*
Nemat: Well, goblins. But most ‘monsters’ simply need an opportunity to learn a better path.
Zenobia: As I did. I see. You have relieved many of my concerns, friend Nemat.

There’s another alchemical barrier, which Onka investigates.

Onka OoC: Well, I can tell what it is by taste but I am now dead.

It’s Nemat’s Tombsight that saves us again, because it makes it quite difficult for any kind of undead to sneak up on us. At least the undead in question is intelligent enough to be sneaky, which makes an interesting change. Most of Hakotep’s minions aren’t exactly subtle. Although this one is not exactly as threatening as Imhotep’s sandstorm form from the movie.

Zenobia: He’s an itty-bitty little sandstorm.
GM: He is, he’s Small.
Zenobia OoC: Does anybody have a DustBuster?

Zenobia: Well, it’s intelligent enough to sneak up on us.
Nemat: Which doesn’t necessarily mean much - it’s not intelligent enough to realise that sneaking up on this party is a bad idea.

He’s certainly wildly outmatched by opponents that can walk in and out of the walls at will, or bunker down inside nearly impregnable armour, or blast them with Positive Energy around corners. Being mostly composed of dust would appear to leave him quite flammable, too, at least once Zenobia’s Channel Positive Energy is applied. A few items are acquired that would probably have been quite useful if we’d gone through the pyramid in the order the creators intended.

Zenobia: Well, at least it will be an interesting curio for the museum…they won’t be able to Clone Hakotep from this, will they?
Asrian: I think they require a pound of flesh for that. But it all ends up with pitchforks and torches.

At least we find the right sarcophagus, eventually.

Zenobia: Do we have any way to properly record the moment? We are sending the Forgotten Pharaoh to his final rest. Anybody want to say anything?
Asrian: I have some final words - let me check for traps first.
Onka: Are those your final words?

They might well have been her final words if she hadn’t been that cautious. The Pharaoh spared no expense on this room. Of course we have enough excavating equipment on us, including block and tackle and animated ropes, to set off the traps without danger to us. Time to refill that fancy coffin with a mixed assortment of Pharaoh-bits.

Zenobia: Any last words?
Asrian: Good riddance you stupid loser.
Zenobia: … fair enough.

We do have one problem - Onka seems really, really, REALLY reluctant to take off the Mummy’s Mask. At least until he uses his four-leafed clover.

Nemat: I was going to cast Remove Curse.
Asrian: I was just going to sleight-of-hand it off him.
Zenobia: You okay there, friend?
Onka: Like I wasn’t prepared for that - I made an anti-possession amulet the week we got the mask.

GM: The Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh now covers the visage of the one for whom it was fashioned 6,000 years ago. For a moment, all is silent in the crypt. Then, light seems to flicker within the mask’s sightless eyes before slowly expanding to cover its entire golden surface.
A ghostly figure rises above the pharaoh’s dead body—Hakotep as he appeared at the height of his reign: strong, determined, and ruthless. His eyes glare at the Covenant of Wati in pure contempt. But then the form begins to dissipate, lose shape, and slowly blow away like rings of smoke in a breeze. Faint whispers of diminishing protest drift about the crypt, until they too disappear, leaving only the silence of a grave.
At long last, the soul of the Sky Pharaoh passes on into the afterlife and the judgment that awaits there. And as the apparition fades away -
Zenobia: We catch a glimpse of a long line of people putting on brass knuckles?
Nemat: No no, a set of scales, and a feather. We know he’s going to fail, but he still gets tested.

There IS an unearthly, blood-curdling scream from somewhere in the pyramid the moment Hakotep disperses for good.

Onka OoC: Right, let’s go find his wife and get a Level Up.
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/3/2021 at 4:33 AM, Drhoz said:
Pathfinder - The Mummy's Mask - Boss Fight
We've reached the culmination of the entire campaign - one last level of the Sky Pharaoh's pyramid, and a confrontation with the cruel undead ruler himself. It's probably a good point to take stock of our abilities and resources. Over the last three years of play we've gone from 1st level to 16th Lvl Mixed Combat Archeologists, and would probably be even more experienced (and scarred) if we didn't keep avoiding side quests and obstacles, and using diplomacy instead of weapons.

Nemat Merituzat, AKA Nemat of Valat: Now very much an Inquisitor of Wadjet, and more than enough power to back up his support of the Old Pantheon. Popular combat tactics include growing to enormous size and enchanting his weapon of choice with whatever Aspects are going to make his target most unhappy.

Onka the Half-orc Spell Sage: His mastery of magical theory and animated constructs has probably saved our lives more than once, given we went into the campaign armed to face undead and keep running into assorted golems, living statues, and automata. Still wearing the eponymous Mummy’s Mask, which contains Hakotep’s ka and hopefully won’t lead to any issues later.

Asrian al-Adjir: Has had a bunch of mental adjustments over the past couple of years. She's fallen in love, gained a new level of determination to protect her loved ones, and her body image issues have, through the encouragement of her friends and lover, been significantly reduced. She has also taken her art of combat to levels she has never conceived of before, and reached the pinnacle of her mystic abilities. She isn't quite sure what she's going to do now, aside from marrying Zenobia.

Zenobia the Gnoll: Still firmly faithful to the Cleansing Light, Sarenrae, although under increasing stress every time she sees her fiance and found family put themselves in harm’s way. Does have some plans for after the wedding, assuming she can keep everybody alive until then.

We’ve amassed a large number of useful magical items, some acquired, some created to order by Onka in his hyperbolic time chamber, and some purchased on quick teleportation trips back to town. And we can use Portable Holes, Create Constructs, Summon Planar Ally, and Summon Monsters, to get all our allies and Hakotep’s disgruntled former employees together and accrue more. And if the Sky Pharaoh is one of those undead that regenerate, we have some 100 needles designed to stop assassination victims coming back to complain. With any luck we now outnumber anybody left in the Pyramid, and Hakotep will roll over to avoid a much-deserved beatdown.

Zenobia: Lets find him, talk him down, and resolve all this peacefully.
Onka OoC: Spoken like a true Sarenite who will be going last in the initiative order.

It seems unlikely that anybody else in the party will GIVE Zenobia a chance to parley with the Final Boss. Even assuming we survive that long - the gynosphinx that Nemat summons with a request for assistance has a LONG list of Hakotep’s most favoured minions and monsters that we haven’t encountered yet. Zenobia’s face becomes increasingly aghast at the recitation of horrors.

We descend into the horrible depths, with superhero landings. This might have been unwise given Onka is back in his Ancient Osiriani Mecha Suit.

Zenobia: This big crack in the floor wasn’t from you landing, was it?

We’ve landed in what appears to be some kind of engine room, possibly, although one of the engines is broken and spewing pink smoke. There’s also some kind of spirit engineer, who appears to be a tad cranky with Hakotep, and a bit cranky with the state of the pyramid.

Ghost: I take it you’re here to take the Pharaoh ‘out’.
Onka: Absolutely.
Asrian: That’s the plan.
Zenobia: I keep suggesting we talk to him first but they don’t agree.
Nemat: Not This Time!

Nemat: We need to put him down and send him on to his reward.
Onka: I think you mean his Just Desserts.

She’s a Shory Engineer.

Nemat: But the Shory are long dead.
Asrian & Zenobia: So’s she.

She’s also Jeshura’s sister, and had been murdered by her, so it’s just as well we didn’t bring Jeshura into the pyramid for the final fight. Zenobia nearly blabs that we know her, until Asrian shuts her up.

Zenobia: Would you like us to help you on to your final rest?
Shory Engineer: I wouldn’t mind seeing my husbands again. Assuming they weren’t too stupid to find the door to the afterlife.
Onka: Part of me wants to bottle her and take her home with me.

We’ll probably have to destroy the pyramid’s power source to release her ghost. We press on - using the door in the other direction we intended, on the ghost’s recommendation - she designed the pyramid after all.

Shory Engineer: Have fun storming the castle.

We do the obvious thing, and try to go through the wall instead. It turns out the designers of the traps thought of the obvious thing too, and a Symbol of Insanity goes off.

Shory Engineer: I wouldn’t do that if I w- oh dear.

It also appears that the ghost’s information is out of date - the short corridor beyond is lined with sealed chambers, that Nemat can check for undead without even opening the doors. That doesn’t stop him drilling holes in said doors to check. It would appear that one chamber has a teleportation circle, but there’s no safe way to check where it goes, and while the spell in question prevents teleportation anywhere innately dangerous, there’s still plenty of ways they can kill you.

Zenobia: Such as onto a frictionless floor overlooking a chasm?
Nemat: Or just to a point several miles above the ground.

On the other hand we still have Overland Flight going. Still probably wiser to check the other corridors first.

Zenobia: I wonder how that gynosphinx does her make-up, with paws.
Nemat: Prestidigitation.
Onka: Maybe she’s born with it.
Nemat: Maybe it’s Maybelline.

GM: This next bit was supposed to be a cool reveal, but you WOULD summon somebody with Legend Lore.
Zenobia OoC: We always do our research first. It’s like having a high Library Use skill in Call of Cthulhu.

The next chamber contains that Herald of Hakotep we’re run into before - although it appears her rather attractive appearance in those previous meetings was because she was wearing somebody else’s skin as a costume. She doesn’t look nearly as appealing now, unless you like flayed corpses. We’re not about to kinkshame you.

Ain-Mekh: It was my belief we would meet again. Welcome to the workshop of Anubis - Anubis as he should be. Soldiers of the Sky Pharaoh! Slay these intruders so that we might add their numbers to our strength!

Zenobia OoC: My go now?
Nemat OoC: What? No, it’s Asrian’s turn - you’re merely engaged, you’re not a single organism yet.
Zenobia OoC: We’re only joined at the hips sometimes.*lewd smile*

Asrian casts Wall of Sound across the room - which is especially effective since the herald’s back-up archers keep setting it off again and hurting their boss more. We very probably could have killed her by throwing handfuls of pebbles through the barrier.

GM: At this rate she’s going to be killed by her own henchmen.
Nemat: Par for the course with us.

Zenobia OoC: That herald of Hakotep frightened my fiance. So, hopefully the boundless love and mercy of Sarenrae will render her down to her constituent atoms.*Channel Ray of Positive Energy, with added Sun’s Blessing and Beacon of Faith*

Onka: I wish wizards had some kind of magical sleeve we could pull Rods and Wands out of as needed.
Nemat: We do, it’s the Wizard’s Golfbag. Also known as the Efficient Quiver.

In the end we barely need to do anything to her henchmen - they follow their previous orders and march straight through the Wall of Sound and blow themselves to pieces.

Asrian: That spell was a lot more effective than I thought it would be. Not that I’m complaining.

Among the valuables we sieve out the debris are a couple of interesting spell scrolls. Some of them rendered illegible because of exploded pickled viscera, but Prestidigitation deals with that problem instantly. The next chamber is knee-deep in mummified bodies, more bodies hanging from chains, hieroglyphs apparently drawn in blood, and ominous glowing sigils.

Zenobia: … can we NOT go through this room?

Even if it was merely the site of a major industrial necromancy accident, we can avoid it using Tef-naju’s Stone Shaping abilities, and we don’t even have to go all the way through in one go - letting Nemat use his Tombsight through a now paper-thin wall will help avoid any surprises. In fact, whoever is on the other side of the wall is going to be more surprised when we bypass half the pyramid. In fact, since Tef-Naju has unlimited uses of Stone Shape and the pyramid’s engineers can’t have installed Symbols of Insanity EVERYWHERE, we can install our own secret tunnels inside every wall, like a party of heavily armed termites.

Asrian: More like a worm through an apple.

And with a Silence spell up nobody is going to hear us tunneling away and drilling spyholes. Localised Silence will also be useful if we have to use Wall of Sound again. The power of the undead and constructs Nemat can detect strongly suggests we’re about to burst out of the wall right behind Hakotep’s throne. Alternatively, Asrian can just roll a coin enchanted with Magnifying Chime out into the room and do even more damage. Although we might have to back off in a hurry since after a few rounds of Chime the walls and ceilings are going to be coming down too.

The GM has gone rather quiet.

Nemat’s Player: Well, I’m going to go get a drink while the GM works out how much damage that did.
Asrian’s player: Me too.
Zenobia OoC: So Mr. GM, how many weeks of play have we just bypassed?
GM: No. Comment.

Especially if we use the Limited Wish scroll to ensure Hakotep fails his Spell Resistance check.

Zenobia: I’m glad I thought of that.
Nemat, Asrian, etc:*pleased agreement*
Zenobia’s Player: Hooray! Zoidberg is useful.

Chiming Coin: womWomWOMWOMMWOMM!!WOMMM!!!!!!
Nemat: You might want to come over here, Zenobia.
Onka OoC: ‘Does this sound like thermonuclear detonation to you?’

Nemat: I don’t know how they expected us to deal with this, but I’m glad we did it this way.
Onka: Make of me still wants to have cast Magnifying Chime on the Mech suit and march it into the room. ‘You still want your mask back?’
Nemat: But it would still take damage.
Onka: Nope - the spell radiates out.
Nemat: Good point.
Onka: ‘Ok, everybody budge in here with me.’

Four rounds later stone is starting to crack, but it’s not until the 5th round that Hakotep figures out what’s happening. But the effect is now wide enough that he can’t flee around the edges and get away.

Nemet: See, I told you the throne room was through there - once you’re seen enough Ancient Osirion architecture it gets a bit predictable.

GM: I can’t believe you cast this at 16th Level.
Onka: Be glad it wasn’t me casting it or it would be Level 20 with my Spell Sage feats.
Zenobia: I wonder if this is going to flood the throne room with lava from the fire level.
Onka’s player: Well we can always do it again - we can use Hero Points to restore the spell slot.
GM: What?? WHAT????
Asrian’s player: And I still have 6th Level slots free anyway.

Alas, his throne room is large enough that if he cowers right in a corner he’ll only be affected by the final round of damage.

Zenobia: Well, at least we made him hide in a corner.
Hakotep The First: I am the Sky Pharoah, master of the worl- what’s that noise?

Hakotep’s throne room is thoroughly trashed. Unfortunately, our tunnel is revealed as well, so sniping the Sky Pharoah in the back of the head with a Greater Arrow of Undead Slaying, through another spyhole, is probably off the table. Alas, his four golems are all the clay variety, and completely undamaged by sonic effects, and are immune to most other magics well. On the other hand, Clay Golems are also notorious for going berserk mid-battle, and half the golems have already gone berserk and started attacking the splinters of Hakotep's throne since there was no other target in sight when Hakotep realised how much trouble he was in. In fact, Hakotep doesn’t even know we’re there until HE staggers past the hole.

Zenobia: I guess this is where we found out what the Ancient Osiriani for WTF???? Is.

Hakotep stares down the tunnel, completely ignoring Tef-Naju, Mohebi the sphinx, and our entire party, with the exception of the Bronze Sentinel mecha suit that Onka has been piloting for months now, and within which Onka is still wearing the Mummy’s Mask that the entire campaign is named after.

Hakotep I:*snarls* My Ka!*casts Meteor Swarm*

Which may have been a mistake on his part since he’s in range of his own fireball, but doesn’t help us in the slightest.

GM: The guy had a super-impressive speech he was going to say from his throne, but NOOO, you had to throw a coin at him.

Onka: I’m surprised he uses clay golems - actually, no I’m not, he has a history of bad decisions. He was blessed by the Bad Decision Fairy when he was born.

One of those bad decisions was choosing to stand between us, and one of the Clay Golems that Onka just assumed control of. Targeting Asrian with a Boneshatter spell was probably a bad decision too, since it will probably ensure Zenobia tears his head off and shoves up his wrinkled, mummified arse.

Zenobia does need to tap Asrian with a Wand of Restoration, first, to remove her Fatigued condition.

Zenobia: I’m sure that wand will be useful on our wedding night, too.

The last golem still under Hakotep’s control chooses this moment to go berserk. Not ideal, but probably more useful than letting Hakotep keep hold of its leash. Hakotep finds himself in a not-very-good position.

Hakotep I: Who let a sphinx in here??
Nemat OoC: He’s currently being attacked by a sphinx, a tomb guardian, an angry archaeologist, one of his own golems, and... A ninja?
Zenobia OoC: Garlic Woman.
Nemat OoC: And there's a gnoll up the back there that’s carrying a symbol of Sarenrae???

Hakotep attempts to retreat, despite all the rubble. We, of course, are still flying.

Zenobia: Flee and die a coward!

And die he does, as Nemat descends on him like the wrath of God. Which as an Inquisitor of Wadjet, he is, since no Pharoah rules without Wadjet's blessing. He ends the Forgotten Pharaoh in his own throne room.

Nemat: In the name of Wadjet, I deny your rule!
Zenobia: May the mercy of Sarenrae guide you to your final rest, whatever rest you deserve.

Presumably, the next few hours will be spent sending the rest of his undead minions after their master, making absolutely sure Hakotep can’t come back, and then getting on with our personal plans.

Zenobia: Four funerals and a wedding.
Onka: I’ll have to make you a house.
Zenobia: We can get one in Wati easily enough.
Nemat: Just give it chicken legs.
Onka: There’s a perfectly good flying pyramid available - one previous owner.

We grab Hakotep’s remains and leave the golems to their crazed devices.

Zenobia’s player: It’s a bit strange that it’s clay golems that go berserk - historically speaking those were the most reliable golems.

GM: The fact that you’re going backwards through the rest of the rooms makes most of the traps redundant.
Zenobia’s player: Good.
Nemat’s Player: Sorry, not sorry.

We do run into one of Hakotep’s generals.Riding a chariot at 100kph along the roof of a large chamber. So it’s more likely she’s going to run into us.

Asrian: Hold, general! There is no need for us to fight!

She doesn’t seem amenable. The Wall of Stone Tef-Naju creates in front of her isn’t very amenable to being hit at 100kph either. Being hit by Sarenrae’s Tactical Nuke (Sunburst) probably even less so. Further, Onka’s mecha suit is mostly immune to her attacks, especially since his poppets keep opening and closing the firing hatches. But at least Asrian gave General Tarawet a chance - maybe Zenobia’s morals are rubbing off on her. In the end it’s some offensive Healing that takes Terawet down, but it’s Nemat not Zenobia that does it.

We still have to find Hakotep’s wife, the cultist.

Nemat: She’s going to be a problem in her own right.
Zenobia: And I don’t want her crashing the wedding.
Onka: That’s why you put a permanent Symbol of Healing on the venue.

One of the other guardians accuses us of being intruders, but we confuse it briefly by pointing out that we’re leaving the throne room. Unfortunately it still attacks and constricts our new gynosphinx ally. And starts dehydrating everybody nearby. And regenerates as fast as we can hurt it. And has horrible spells.

Nemat OoC: I think we’ve found the Secret Boss of this level.

Thankfully, Onka can banish it to an extradimensional Maze it will be too stupid for solve for 10 minutes, given us a chance to heal up and Restore ourselves, and prepare our best attacks for the moment it reappears. But even with the prep time, we’re extremely lucky that Zenobia offensive Heal does 150HP damage and Onka’s Acid Arrow finishes it for good. It’s probably just as well we went after Hakotep first, because some of his underlings are a lot more dangerous than he was.

Of course, Nemat’s extensive knowledge of good burial practice does tell us that the only way to put Hakotep to permanent rest is to restore him to his sarcophagus, along with all his assorted parts, so with any luck will find that somewhere down here too.

Zenobia: It would be amusing if we think we’re leaving the pyramid and we actually stumble across his tomb chamber by mistake.

One possible hidden chamber is protected by a riddle. The obvious answer doesn’t work, surprisingly - when you live in a country like Osiria, that’s been having riddle contests for thousands of years, the old classics tend to be pretty well known. Happily, we have a sphinx in the party.

Onka: Hey, Mohebi, do you know this one?

Onka: Let’s do our usual thing and go through the wall.
Nemat: We haven’t got this far by using doors.

Zenobia looks like she’s going to seek parley with the next bunch of undead, but pauses.

Zenobia: Do you think gnolls can be redeemed?
Nemat: Of course.
Asrian: You’re not an undead monster.
Zenobia: Many people would say my kind are monsters. And we’ve given undead a chance before.
Nemat: The Undead we have parleyed with before were undead through no fault of their own - these individuals willingly chose their path.
Zenobia: I see. It’s not that they were born monsters, but chose to become them.
Nemat: Monsters aren’t born
Zenobia: *twitch*
Nemat: Well, goblins. But most ‘monsters’ simply need an opportunity to learn a better path.
Zenobia: As I did. I see. You have relieved many of my concerns, friend Nemat.

There’s another alchemical barrier, which Onka investigates.

Onka OoC: Well, I can tell what it is by taste but I am now dead.

It’s Nemat’s Tombsight that saves us again, because it makes it quite difficult for any kind of undead to sneak up on us. At least the undead in question is intelligent enough to be sneaky, which makes an interesting change. Most of Hakotep’s minions aren’t exactly subtle. Although this one is not exactly as threatening as Imhotep’s sandstorm form from the movie.

Zenobia: He’s an itty-bitty little sandstorm.
GM: He is, he’s Small.
Zenobia OoC: Does anybody have a DustBuster?

Zenobia: Well, it’s intelligent enough to sneak up on us.
Nemat: Which doesn’t necessarily mean much - it’s not intelligent enough to realise that sneaking up on this party is a bad idea.

He’s certainly wildly outmatched by opponents that can walk in and out of the walls at will, or bunker down inside nearly impregnable armour, or blast them with Positive Energy around corners. Being mostly composed of dust would appear to leave him quite flammable, too, at least once Zenobia’s Channel Positive Energy is applied. A few items are acquired that would probably have been quite useful if we’d gone through the pyramid in the order the creators intended.

Zenobia: Well, at least it will be an interesting curio for the museum…they won’t be able to Clone Hakotep from this, will they?
Asrian: I think they require a pound of flesh for that. But it all ends up with pitchforks and torches.

At least we find the right sarcophagus, eventually.

Zenobia: Do we have any way to properly record the moment? We are sending the Forgotten Pharaoh to his final rest. Anybody want to say anything?
Asrian: I have some final words - let me check for traps first.
Onka: Are those your final words?

They might well have been her final words if she hadn’t been that cautious. The Pharaoh spared no expense on this room. Of course we have enough excavating equipment on us, including block and tackle and animated ropes, to set off the traps without danger to us. Time to refill that fancy coffin with a mixed assortment of Pharaoh-bits.

Zenobia: Any last words?
Asrian: Good riddance you stupid loser.
Zenobia: … fair enough.

We do have one problem - Onka seems really, really, REALLY reluctant to take off the Mummy’s Mask. At least until he uses his four-leafed clover.

Nemat: I was going to cast Remove Curse.
Asrian: I was just going to sleight-of-hand it off him.
Zenobia: You okay there, friend?
Onka: Like I wasn’t prepared for that - I made an anti-possession amulet the week we got the mask.

GM: The Mask of the Forgotten Pharaoh now covers the visage of the one for whom it was fashioned 6,000 years ago. For a moment, all is silent in the crypt. Then, light seems to flicker within the mask’s sightless eyes before slowly expanding to cover its entire golden surface.
A ghostly figure rises above the pharaoh’s dead body—Hakotep as he appeared at the height of his reign: strong, determined, and ruthless. His eyes glare at the Covenant of Wati in pure contempt. But then the form begins to dissipate, lose shape, and slowly blow away like rings of smoke in a breeze. Faint whispers of diminishing protest drift about the crypt, until they too disappear, leaving only the silence of a grave.
At long last, the soul of the Sky Pharaoh passes on into the afterlife and the judgment that awaits there. And as the apparition fades away -
Zenobia: We catch a glimpse of a long line of people putting on brass knuckles?
Nemat: No no, a set of scales, and a feather. We know he’s going to fail, but he still gets tested.

There IS an unearthly, blood-curdling scream from somewhere in the pyramid the moment Hakotep disperses for good.

Onka OoC: Right, let’s go find his wife and get a Level Up.

Your party was so much smarter than ours. Good job. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Pathfinder : The Mummy's Mask - Finale
Zenobia’s player: Anyway, that was my bad day - let’s see if we can give Hakotep’s widow Neferuset a bad day of her own.
Asrian’s player: Double widow.
Zenobia’s player: True, they were both already undead.

Nemat: It occurs to me that to accomplish my future plans I need to seek an audience with the legitimate Pharaoh.
Onka: I don’t think that will be a problem - we just saved his entire kingdom.
Nemat: But I need to get his permission to take possession of an Osirion landmark.
Zenobia: Ubet’s Folly at Wati? Cheap at half the price, I should think. He’ll probably be grateful you don’t want more.

Asrian uses Hero’s Feast to buff us all.

Onka: It shouldn’t take us more than two hours to deal with her.
Zenobia: Unless she comes looking to see what happened to her husband.
Asrian: True, she might show up while we’re eating.
GM: A Teleportation circle opens in front of you.
Zenobia: While we’re having breakfast?
GM: Yes.
Zenobia OoC: I’ll delete those temporary hit points then.
GM: Nothing comes through the circle.
Nemat: Ah, it’s an invitation. Which I choose to ignore until we’ve finished the feast.
Zenobia OoC: I’ll put those temporary hit points back on again.
Onka: Pass the chicken.

THEN we go through the teleport circle - even if Neferuset has a small army waiting at the other side, our chances are still actually pretty good. We’ve curbstomped nearly everything else they’ve thrown at us. There’s a disturbing amount of fresh blood and older gore splashed around the chambers beyond, but the decorations and statuary are all Ancient Osirion themed. Which is a bit odd, given we know Neferuset was a devotee of the entities of the Outer Dark, rather than the more familiar gods - even if those more familiar gods include Set, who should be Chaotic enough for anybody.

Zenobia: I certainly hope they didn’t collect the friends we left outside the pyramid to provide that blood.

It’s certainly easy enough to get past some of the defences, once Onka identifies them, when they’re too stupid to realise we’re walking past them just because we put a paper-thin wall in the way.

Nemat OoC: It helps that we have three librarians in the party, instead of murder-hoboes.

It also helps that we’re too paranoid to follow blood trails to where they end suddenly in the middle of a corridor. Instead we use Tombsight to identify what is probably Neferuset’s chamber off to the side.

Asrian: Time for another Magnifying Chime.
Zenobia: Do you want me to snipe her in the back of the head with the Greater Arrow of Undead Slaying as well?

Zenobia’s player: Just another reason why this module needs more wandering monsters - if they had wandering monsters we wouldn’t have TIME to do things like this.

Most of the chamber beyond the one we just reduced to rubble is filled with magical darkness. Queen Neferuset seems a bit upset with us, although the Dark Ones apparently predicted most of what happened today, although were a bit vague on the details.

Neferuset: You have defiled our throne. You have killed the true Pharoah of Osirion. You have murdered my beloved Hakotep... I wished that this would not be so for centuries... but the dark ones already foretold this fate for my husband... On you, however.. they are frustratingly vague in their whispers...For they are too occupied with their coming arrival to this world. You shall pay for your transgressions here, "Covenant of Wati". For even should you succeed, and you will not, the Old Ones WILL return, and not even the GODS shall be saved! So Meet the Inhabitants of Oblivion, blasphemers. Experience a taste of the Void's cold embrace!

Her minions certainly have a lot of tentacles, and not much else recognisable as terrestrial anatomy.

Zenobia: It’s ironic that these things hail from the lightless void - because that end of the chamber is about to light up like the surface of the Sun. Sunburst. It’s the duty of our faith to bring light to dark places, but it’s not usually this literal.

Nemat: I bring my morningstar down on her head and don’t stop until I hit the floor.

Zenobia: It’s amazing how less stressed I feel, now the entire Hakotep dynasty is dead. I think the last thing we need to do here, before we collect our friends outside and go report to the relevant authorities, is tell that ghost in the engine room the good news?
Nemat: She probably already knows.
Zenobia: Do we still want to blow up the engine room with another Magnifying Chime?
Onka: Trashing the engine room is the kind of plan that comes with the description ‘Minimum Safe Distance’

He has a point - it won’t be easy to get out of the pyramid in ten rounds. Of course, we can just Summon a wood golem and tell IT to set off the chime in an hour. And there’s still the 15 lesser pyramids we shut down remotely. Do we hand over control to the legitimate ruler of Osirion? Asrian instead insists we fly them into the Eye of Abendego and crash them there, although Nemat insists we keep one for study.

Nemat: I agree with Asrian on this - we need to NOT give the Pharaoh a fleet of flying pyramids.
Asrian: As much as I love my country, I don’t want it to be the world.
Nemat: And giving the Pharaoh a fleet of flying pyramids is called ‘empire building’.

Jeshura, the pairaka, decides to go her own way after we meet her outside.

GM: She intends to go on a long journey of self-discovery.
Zenobia: If you ever want advice and a friendly ear, come find us in Wati.
Asrian: And if she comes and causes problems I’ll cut her head off.

Ruby Prince Khemet III, the Forthbringer: I wish to reward you with titles matching your accomplishments!
Nemat: *starts to cackle disturbingly*

Zenobia just wants to expand the hospital at Wati, so her friends talk her into accepting a writ to expand the temple of Sarenrae into a major temple. They point out that she is probably the most powerful Sarenite in the country now, and certainly qualifies as a High Priest. As for her fiance...

Asrian: Hereditary Princess of Wati and the surrounding countryside.
Nemat: … it only had a governor before.
Asrian: And now it’s a principality. And I’ll have the authority to raze that f***ing Necropolis.
Nemat: So the upcoming wedding is a royal one.
Zenobia: And I’m going to have to completely reorganise it! Now I’m stressed again!
Asrian: No dear, we’ll have people for that.

Nemat requests a Writ of High Justice - Asrian can give him that old fortress herself, now she’s a princess.

Onka: Sorry, I was a bit distracted wondering where Asrian is going to put her palace. I’d like a writ of free passage across Osirion and beyond, so I may travel as Onka the Wanderer.
Asrian: Onka the Seeker of Truth.
Onka: I like that better.

And if he phrases the writ properly he can start a travelling order of suitable scholars.

Nemat: Good, you can help me eliminate that Nethyrite cult.

Nemat: Onka, I need you to brew a particular potion - two doses. She did ask to be a hereditary princess and this way they’ll have options.

The wedding of Zenobia and Asrian is spectacular, and given the size of the guest list we’ll have to hold it in the capitol, especially since Asrian is royalty now. She invites most of the friends we made over the last few years (it’s not like Zenobia intends to invite any of her relatives). And Asrian even goes unveiled for the ceremony, although Zenobia does have to hold her hand reassuringly for the whole thing.

GM: The ceremony is beautiful, Zenobia and Asrian exchange their vows, and kiss, and the Black Dome dominating the Sothis skyline cracks open and a monstrous beetle hundreds of feet long emerges from the earth underneath it.
Nemat: What? WHAT?
Asrian: *sigh* Timing...

Freeze-frame as Asrian draws her sword from under her dress and the Covenant of Wati turn to face this new threat...
 
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The way it was phrased, it sounded like that was part of the ceremony, like how could you have a beautiful wedding without a scarab to symbolize Ra's journey across the sky?  Of course, since it's a royal wedding, we got you a reaaaally big scarab...

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15 hours ago, DusterBoy said:

Clearly, the fun never stops. Not even for a wedding. 

 

Nice cliffhanger, DrHoz

 I was wondering why the GM was so keen on having the wedding in the capitol...

11 hours ago, Opal said:

The way it was phrased, it sounded like that was part of the ceremony, like how could you have a beautiful wedding without a scarab to symbolize Ra's journey across the sky?  Of course, since it's a royal wedding, we got you a reaaaally big scarab...

Maybe, but also a neat cliffhanger ending for the campaign :)

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Characters for the next campaign - In Hell's Bright Shadow

 

Civilla Alazario: Changeling scholar and arcanist with occult ties beyond the material world. The family Alazario (motto: Sword or pen, we conquer all) have branches all over the former Chellish empire, and scions of the House include a Pirate Captain of the Shackles. The core branches are loyal to House Thrune, but heavy influence from the Varisian branch in Magnimar causes internal conflict. The Alazarios live their lives by 5 questions and the 4th - Who do you serve and who do you trust? - weighs heavily on Civilla's mind.

Alazario.jpg.8999b068ab26be4f4af44db6d9d1a85a.jpg

 

Rajira: A Vishkanya, exotic humanoids with a proficiency for poisons. Since she’s also a Rogue, and devotee of the goddess of lust and revenge, woe betide anybody that attracts her ire. 

 

rajira-yuan_ti_by_annahelme_dc3lyir-pre.thumb.jpg.c3f379e949d59659453b05fba3436478.jpg

 

Ayva Romanya: Half-Elf Tattooed Sorcerer. Her earliest years are a mystery but at a young age she was taken as a slave by Dwarven followers of Droskar the dark smith. She took to the life of toil like a fish to water, honing her craft as she grew. When her 'Parents' mysteriously went to the Dark Furnace early she set out on her own, keeping her joy of 'frivolous' painting as her comfort. "Adventure and toil awaits!"

 

SeekPng.com_elves-png_8179953_-_Ayva_Romanya.thumb.png.403dfd8706d26c8a1b094bbe877a8e6b.png

 

Terzo Porcinus: An over-the-hill bard, who used to be highly experienced but lost most of those skills because he hasn’t actually worked in years, on top of two decades of wine for breakfast. If the Pickled Ham industry ever needs a mascot, Terzo is their man. 

 

Terzo.jpg.60f9e8aba093acb9b6a3c7cadc5082a8.jpg

 

In Hell’s Bright Shadow is set in Kintargo, a city in the nation of Cheliax. The Chelish government (diabolists all) has a minor problem at the moment - a growing uprising at the other end of the country, so Kintargo is currently under martial law, specifically the law of one Inquisitor Barzillai Thrune.

 

Terzo: You do have to wonder what Thrune was thinking when he came to a city where the two main pastimes are opera, and muttering about overthrowing the government - and he bans the opera. 
 

(You also have to wonder what the writers were thinking when they created a country that is clearly supposed to be Fantasy Italy, and made the state religion devil-worship.)

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Drhoz said:

Fantasy Italy, and made the state religion devil-worship

They might've been thinking "Lucrecia Borgia" or that it would be ironic in the hipster sense...

...but, the idea of the church being secretly Satanic is a mainstay of anti-Catholic intolerance, and that kind of thing can creep into a fictional depiction unconsciously...

...kinda like the whole Male Gaze thing may have done with the character concepts and illos of the PCs.

6 hours ago, Drhoz said:

 I was wondering why the GM was so keen on having the wedding in the capitol...

Maybe, but also a neat cliffhanger ending for the campaign :)

Just in terms of sentence structure, I mean.  IDK why stuff like that hits me, it's obvious what he meant, of course.

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8 hours ago, Drhoz said:

You also have to wonder what the writers were thinking when they created a country that is clearly supposed to be Fantasy Italy, and made the state religion devil-worship.

 

 

That sounds like a very large number of Protestants I know.

 

On the other hand, they can take you to the Catholic church's own records and show you centuries of that church proudly engaging in the mass executions of adherents to their own particular segment of Protestantism.

 

So I tend to take an agnostic stand on which churches engage in devil-worship or not.

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On 6/1/2021 at 2:08 AM, Opal said:

...kinda like the whole Male Gaze thing may have done with the character concepts and illos of the PCs.

 

I'll grant you that on the illustrations, a fact that I often lament when I'm trying to source illustrations. But I'm curious as to where you feel the Male Gaze applies to Civilla and Ayva's concepts. Genuinely asking, because I don't see it but will admit to possibly being unable to see past some cultural conditioning. (BTW: I'm Civilla's player, so I really would like to know what triggered any alarm bells.)

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On 6/3/2021 at 10:07 PM, Weldun said:

where you feel the Male Gaze applies to Civilla and Ayva's concepts.

I was mainly thinking of the guy - there's hot fantasy art of guys out there (and there's always romance novel covers), but his concept was being old and dissipated.

And, yes, those two are less on the nose than an exotic worshipper of a lust goddess - but they're still a tattooed (former) slavegirl and a shapeshifter.  Civilla also gets points for protagonist potential and hints of an internal life, tho.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Opal said:

Civilla also gets points for protagonist potential and hints of an internal life, tho.

 

 

Thank you. I have the advantage of having already sketched out the family's internal politics through two other characters and campaigns, so considering where she fits in amongst that and how it relates to the campaign was fairly simple. 
As a side note, Changelings in Pathfinder aren't shapeshifters, but the offspring of hags who are then left with humanoids (usually humans) to be raised. (https://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Changeling)

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46 minutes ago, Weldun said:

Changelings in Pathfinder aren't shapeshifters, but the offspring of hags who are then left with humanoids

Closer to the traditional meaning, nice.

 

And, thanks for doubling my knowledge of Pathfinder. ;) I didn't even realize they weren't playing 3.5 D&D.

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I'm running a new Champions campaign, and it's set in a world where superpowers are brand new (no legacy heroes or villains etc.)

 

I'm introducing a new criminal organization, and it's based on something someone here posted (but the search function doesn't seem to want to work for me right now, so I can't give proper credit.  My apologies)  It's called V-Corps.

 

I explain that the V-Corp agents aren't carrying normal weapons, armor, and other gear, but that they have "special weapons, armor, and gear."  

 

One of the players turns to me and says, "So it's their swag?"  At my confused expression, he says, "Special Weapons, Armor, and Gear.  SWAG."

 

I laughed and said, "well, if they weren't calling it that before, they are now!"

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