Wednesday, April 21, 2010

[Pathfinder RPG] The Puddles, Session 1

The Corvis Monkey Troupe played a game of Pathfinder last friday. MW wanted to give it a try and ran the game in the island city of Absalom, in the Puddles - a destitute area of the city.

We started at 2nd level and CM played a fiddle-playing Half Orc Sorcerer named Algernon Grogbar, TE played his brother Makoa, a Half Orc ex-slave gladiator Fighter, and GM played Myles Laycock, a Human Fighter with a rifle, a hunting dog named Rex and a mysterious past (don't they all?). Unfortunately, XO was unable to make the game, so I don't know what his PC will be.

I played Philo Greenwald and the amazing Charley Midnight the dancing Spider. Philo (rhymes with High-Low) is a Bard/Druid circus performer with a giant spider as an animal companion. I played him as a cheerfully amoral murdering sociopath from Galt and had a great time. When I brought up the animal companion being a giant spider, MW went for it because the Puddles has a well-known freak show/circus and that sort of act fit very well.

The game started with Death stalking the Puddles. A murderer, who the neighborhood nicknamed Spring-Heeled Jack, was keeping most everyone inside during the day and night. His murders were as gruesome as they were unexpected. Sure, the Puddles has it's own level of crime - the city Watch refused to go there except in force - but this range and frequency of murder was beyond the pale. Trade was suffering, people were scared and the neighborhood was all bottled up, ready to explode into extreme violence.

Which is why the bar fight started. Philo and Algernon, who formed the band Halfing and Orc, were playing their set in the Soggy Bottom Tavern, deep in the Puddles. With the circus closed down due to the murders, Philo was trying to make some money. Makoa and Myles were there as well, mixing it up with two humans, brothers Burgin and Burke. Mugs, fists and chairs flew through the air, contacting faces, stomachs and heads. Steam was being released, but not enough.

But enough for some. In the free-for-all, the tavernmaster Amergin shot into the air with one of the barrels of his scattergun and told everyone to knock it off. Sick of being scared and seeing what it was doing to business, he offered 8 gold per person to whoever brought the body of Spring-Heeled Jack to him (much to the disgust of his wife Molly).

Burgin and Burke got their crew together, including a dangerous Gnome named Fagin (some sort of magic-user, according to Vridash), boasted they'd get Spring-Heeled Jack. Philo, Algernon, Makoa, Myles, and a gnome bootmaker named Argus formed the second posse. Taking the time to stop by their digs, an old abandoned building that they'd fixed up and habitated, the crew armed themselves and Philo brought along Charley while Myles brought Rex.

In a neat bit of roleplaying, Philo managed to convince Algernon that Charley Midnight the dancing Spider watched him and told Philo things about him (my Bluff roll of 19 vs. CM's Sense Motive roll of 4!). "He's always watching me, with those 8 eyes!" When Charley joined the group, Algernon succeeded in Intimidating him and Charley backed down behind Philo, which prompted another bit - Charley got a third of the Halfling and Orc band proceeds 'cause he was the manager.

The group stepped out into the cold, fog-shrouded streets and wandered around. Philo cast Dancing Lights to help with seeing in the fog and dark (on a side note, Pathfinder allows characters to cast 0-level spells, cantrips, as often as they like - which makes Dancing Lights with it's four torch-equivalent lights an excellent choice).

Spotting a fast-moving figure, we gave chase. It fled to the rooftops and we followed along the street, with Myles taking a shot at it with his rifle (but missing) as it leaped between buildings. We decided to follow it by rooftop as well (and avoid the muck and water in the streets) and climbed a nearby scaffolding. During the climb, Algernon failed but Charley used his webbing to save him from the fall, while Myles tried to help Makoa up as well (Makoa still managed to fall).

Over the rooftops and through the Puddles we went, finally arriving at an old, collapsed and partially submerged building. With Makoa in the lead and Charley and Philo on his shoulders, the party entered the building into the water and muck. The figure we'd been following turned out to be a lizard folk and we managed to parlay with it and it's small tribe without violence. For exchange of no death and some food, the lizard folk fellow named Sh'tak lead us to the latest victim of Spring-Heeled Jack.

Sh'tak turned out to be an escaped slave, much like Makoa (gladiators were often pitted against lizard folk) and Philo managed to develop a contact with the lizard folk - they'd work for food and Philo had a few ideas for future enterprise.

The lizard folk Sh'tak lead them to a refuse-strewn alley with the latest dead - Burgin was torn and eviscerated. After relieving the body of his purse and dagger, the group discovered some clues: the tongue was missing (a first for Spring-Heeled Jack), Burgin didn't have a chance to draw steel, and wasn't robbed (except by us).

Around the corner came his crew! Burke immediately thought we'd done the deed (in actuality, Philo had been joking about murdering the two all evening with Algernon) but we managed to convince Fagin that we'd stumbled upon the scene a short time ago. There was a test of wills between Burke and Fagin, and (as anticipated), Fagin won.

Joining forces (but not fully trusting each other), we told them the clues we'd found. Philo handed over the dagger and purse, confident that Burke would be dead soon and we'd have both purses and daggers later on. Argus the gnome bootmaker examined Spring-Heeled Jack's boot prints in the alley and gave additional clues about them. Some blood spots were found on the walls 15 and 25 feet up by Charley, showing us that Spring-Heeled Jack leaped up the side of the building. But nothing was found of the murderer.

The session ended with both groups walking away, vowing to work together to finish Spring-Heeled Jack but several party members were convinced that the trouble between the two groups would end badly (for them). On our way home, Charley Midnight rode on Algernon's back. CM took this in stride, even mentioning that Charley had saved Algernon from falling.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Unfortunately, due to spam, I have set up comment moderation. I will review and approve your comment as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.