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3ppT: 3/26 Recap

Friday, March 27, 2015
So, last night we started our new adventure, "The Midnight Mirror" by Sam Zeitlin. The party consists of:

  • Avarlene Tertheniel - the elven Battlelord made a recurring appearance for "The Midnight Mirror", bringing skilled coordination and deadly archery back to the table.
  • Thurlavald Turnipnose - this gnome Metamorph was so cool, I couldn't let him wither unplayed, so he was recovered from the "Twin Crossings" reject pile and given a second chance.
  • Morek Twiceborn - this forgeborn Tactician from Dreamscarred Press' "Ultimate Psionics" was both the party's communications hub thanks to his Collective Telepathy, and their thug, dropping the big hits with amazing accuracy thanks to his Roshan's inevitable strike power. I learned two things from Morek: Tacticians rock, and forgeborn are not the best race for the class. I brought it together, but it's a good thing Morek doesn't need to worry about the later game and leveling up, because there's all of like two Strategies that don't rely on Charisma.
  • Watler - this ratfolk Momenta was a last minute add to the line-up; there was supposed to be a fetchling synergist, but while I was working on Watler for another project, I realized he really needed to be part of this group.
The adventure, set in Paizo's own Golarion, starts when the party is hired by the influential Tiboros family of Nisroch in Nidal. Their daughter Anya married into a noble family, the Borois, in the rural barony of Karpad, and had a daughter two months ago. Her regular communications suddenly ceased without explanation though, and the Tiboros' are desperate to have some word of her, offering the party 5,000 gold for information on her condition and the cause behind her unexpected silence.

The party traveled to Karpad, quickly discovering that things were worse than they could have expected. The town was in the grip of two disasters: a string of disappearances, and a vicious plague dubbed "Tallowthroat" that causes wicked goiters to swell in the throat, eventually erupting and causing death. Some of  the human segment of the population has become convinced that the fetchling minority is responsible, and tensions run high. The party decided to head straight to Boroi Manor to get whatever information they could about Anya. Anya herself was there to greet them, revealing that her communications had stopped since all post out of the city had been halted due to the tallowthroat disease. While revealing some concerns about her husband's increasing paranoia, Anya offers to pay the party on top of whatever her parents offered if they can help uncover the source of the disappearances and the plague. Allowing their curiosity to get the better of them, the party accepts.

The party's first stop is to speak to Anya's husband, Baron Stepan Boroi, suspecting that the reports of his paranoia and the town's problems might be connected. While the party was unable to drag any meaningful information from the recalcitrant baron, they did uncover one disturbing clue: the baron Stepan Boroi was a man without a shadow.

As the party left the manor with this unsettling revelation percolating in their minds, a loud disturbance from the town's central square drew their attention. The group quickly discovered that a lynch mob of humans, led by the head watchman Lucian Groy, were in the process of dispensing mob justice to a family of fetchling farmers (say that 10 times fast!). Quickly discerning that Lucian had little (see no) foundation for his accusations and was more than half-mad from tallowthroat and the recent disappearance of his daughter, the party attempted to diffuse the situation. Lucian was having none of it though, and when Thurlavald attempted to use his climb speed and long, viney tendrils to snatch the fetchling family to safety, Lucian finally snapped, attacking Morek and the rest of the crew. The other townspeople dispersed as a fierce battle ensued. Lucian was successfully subdued by a magical sleep arrow from Watler, but not before Morek and Watler contracted tallowthroat themselves.

The party returned a battered and subdued Lucian to his home, and Watler was able to track Lucian's missing daughter to the town's chandlery. Exploring the chandlery, the party discovered a wax golem (quickly subdued), the chandler dead with her throat burst open, and a pair of undead shadows lurking nearby. Avarlene took severe strength damage during the fight with the shadows, but her friends divided as much of her gear as possible amongst themselves (with Watler using his Pack Mule ability to shoulder the lion's share) and she was able to hobble on. Discovering a hidden trap door (complete with trap), the party headed down into the chandlery floor. The candle shop had been converted into a bloody temple, with Ilquis, an evil fey known as a lurker in light, was sacrificing townsfolk in vile rituals to summon his allies over from the First World. Before the party could move against him, Ilquis declared that his activities were sanctioned by the baron himself, and demanded the party leave. The party wavered momentarily, but spying Lucian's daughter encase up to her neck in a vat of wax, they decided to risk the baron's ire if Ilquis' words proved true and attacked the evil fey. Ilquist moved quicker than they could imagine, hurling a blast of light into Morek's eyes and blinding him! As the rest of the group quickly arrayed themselves for battle, a pair of unfortunate townsfolk dominated by Ilquis' magic lurched forward to attack... And then the store closed! We'll be finishing the adventure next Thursday, so stay tuned!

Also, if any of my players are reading this, please remind me to take more pictures (or take them yourselves and send them to me!) so we can add them to the blog posts. This is a lot of text that could use some smiling faces and pictures of sad or amazing die rolls to break up the text : )

3ppT: 3/19 Recap

Thursday, March 26, 2015
I have to start by apologizing; unfortunately between job hunting, wedding planning, and various other mandatory activities, I didn't get last week's articles up in a timely manner, so now you're getting last week's recap and this week's recap, one right after the other.

Last week we ended up finishing the Twin Crossings adventure, with our original cast of characters returning (though the role of Avarlene was played by a new player, as the previous was unable to make it in). For reference, that's Avarlene the Battlelord, Gruff the Shadow Assassin, and Morgan the Magi.

Pary Hard: Killing them Hilariously

 From the ludicrous scenarios of No Time to Explain to the chaotic races of Speedrunners, Tinybuild is known for having games with interesting premises. With this in mind, I was not surprised by what I saw in the announcement of Party Hard. The best way I can describe it is an absurd retro Hitman with a touch of Monaco. If Bullfrog's "Theme" series had made a murder based game (Theme Hospital doesn't count), the result would have looked much like this.

The Ocelot Room: My Children and Minecraft

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
In their world
cows graze in caves,
squid swim beneath the ice
of frozen mountain ponds.
Rough dunes are pock-marked by
small tunnels leading far beneath the surface.
Here, a square sun sets and rises
on high towers of glowing stone.
My daughters live here.
The tunnels were their first excursions into the earth
the mountain squid
remnants of forgotten experiments.
The monolithic towers built
so each knew where the other was
until they numbered so many
as to become indistinguishable as one tree from another.
The eldest wears diamonds as armor,
builds houses on precious stone as would Tolkien's dwarves.
The youngest sleeps beneath the dark roof of her bedrock home.
Above the bed, a window
opens on a room full
of wild cats, ocelots.
Her ocelot room.
Together, they explore jungles
tame wolves and horses
trade goods with villagers
raise chickens and cows
Tomorrow they will search the desert for treasures
scour caves for lost cattle
and fish for squid in the mountains
And be back in time for dinner
where they will smirkingly tell me
of the fish that made housecats
of ocelots.

Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD - If it's not too late, don't waste your money

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Normally I'm the kind of person who, if I don't have anything positive to say about a game, just doesn't say anything. It's not really worth my time to write about a game I don't care about, right? But Final Fantasy Type-0 is terrible, and I really feel it's only fair to let you know. This game was actually so bad, I had to wait a day to write about it, because yesterday afternoon I actually wanted to title this post "Type 0: a crappy game from crappy people who want you to waste your money on crappy things". My grumpiness was compounded somewhat by the fact that all the big review sites like IGN and Gamespot are giving this game glowing reviews that it frankly doesn't deserve, which led to me wasting money. Okay, enough venting, let me get into this.

Tales From The Borderlands Episode 2: Atlas Mugged

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Look, it's really difficult to write episode reviews without giving away too much of the story. I'll do my best to be vague here, but it's up to you all to play the game. Telltale has seldom let me down, and the second episode of Tales From the Borderlands really delivers. Everything that I thought might have been missing from the first episode has been filled out really well this time around.

3PPT: 3/19/15

Sunday, March 15, 2015
Just a reminder that this week, Third-Party Thursdays will once again be hosted by The Game Wizard - Blue Sky Hobbies. We'll most likely be wrapping up last week's adventure, though we've got some alternative options in place in the event that this week's attendance exceeds our main table capacity. Just like last week, I'll be posting a game recap Friday following the event.

The theme of our follow up adventure, slated for 3/26/15, is "Teamwork is Key" featuring a selection of teamwork based pregens from Dreamscarred Press' Ultimate Psionics and Path of War, as well as Amora Games' Liber Influxus Communis. Just like last time, anyone who shows up an hour before the event is welcome to use the table copies of either book to create their own custom character! If you already own either book, our character creation rules are pretty simple:

  • Classes must be chosen from one of our featured 3pp sourcebooks: Ultimate Psionics, Path of War, or Liber Influxus Communis.
  • Characters will be created starting at 4th level, though characters must be able to qualify for all feats at the level they would be gained.
  • 25 point buy for attribute scores, no scores higher than 18 or lower than 8 before applying racial modifiers.
  • Races chosen from the standard options presented in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook as well as fetchlings, with alternate racial traits from the Advanced Race Guide allowed. All races presented in Ultimate Psionics are also available.
  • Equipment purchased using standard Wealth By Level rules. 
  • Crafting feats disallowed (currently we're just not supporting the kind of continuity necessary to support them).
  • Allowed sourcebooks: Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Advanced Player's Guide, Advanced Race Guide (core races and fetchlings only), Ultimate Psionics, Path of War, and Liber Influxus Communis.

The heroes will be tasked with uncovering the mystery of The Midnight Mirror, a highly reviewed adventure from the 2011 winner of Paizo's RPG Superstar contest, Sam Zeitlin. I'll be posting a follow up article on Sunday, 3/22/15 with more details on the adventure and our pregen heroes.

Thanks for reading everyone, and I'm looking forward to seeing you there!