The Finer Points of Diplomacy

Last nights game started with a bout of diplomacy and became the largest session of actual non-combat role playing the characters have faced since the start of the Serpent Skull adventure path.  I walked away from the game earlier than normal (it normally runs very late) but the players were invigorated and fully into the story.  They role played well and were rewarded well for the session with an average of about 66000 experience being awarded for the session.

The players finally finished their work in the great maze coming away with the “Weapon” they were looking for.  I will not list here exactly what that “weapon” is as they are still not 100% sure what it is and I would also not want to put any spoilers in the posts for future players of the path.  Regardless of what it is, they are beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle together and see the patterns converge to a last seasoned push to the finale.

Seleca: Cavalier extroadinaire…

I have to say that I am now very happy with the choice of character that my daughter took, regardless of it being a Cavalier which was the one class specifically mentioned as not advisable for the campaign.  The good news is she is playing a heavily armoured martial female who is the most accomplished warrior in the group.  Due to the story contained in this adventure path the players find out about a hero that shares exactly the same traits as my daughter’s character and it provides a nice underpinning attachment to the original story.  So much so, in fact, that NPC’s are beginning to revere her for her apparent similarities to the stories that they have now uncovered.  Also, she is the most diplomatic (skill wise) out of the party and is beginning to lead the negotiations to form an army.

Last night saw the group realise the fact that they needed to build an army to take on the major denizens of the under city they have been exploring and it lead to some excellent roleplaying around the table. Firstly, the group attempted to convince a vampiric race to flock to their banner. They were told that they would join at the cost of 100 slaves to torture and feed on which set the players back.  However the Cavalier stepped forward and accepted a counter offer from the leader who agreed to a trial by combat.  If the Cavalier won the Vampiric race would join immediately, but if the leader of the Vampiric faction won they would join and the 100 slaves would be provide, with the Cavalier being the first of those to join the slaves ranks.

That deal set up what promised to be an epic battle.  The pair were evenly matched and the battle was joined.  We gathered around the table and the Cavalier charged in.  The Vampire leader struck back, hitting, missing and then critically fumbling, falling to the ground prone.  Challenged and poorly defended the Cavalier hit with her first two hits of the next round to cause the leader to crumble and cede for fear of his life.  A bit of an anti-climactic battle from my point of view but a resounding success for the players.

The next stop was to ensure the support of another degenerate race in the under city and then back to the surface city to get things in order.  The players had not been above ground for some time and there was a good deal of catching up in camp to be done and various items to be sold and purchased.  Amongst this the monk who is also a cleric of the God of knowledge was approached individually by a native with an artifact of a long lost soul.  To cut a long story short it evolved into a situation where the monk suffered an attempted assassination and failing a save against a greater slaying arrow (although he had the hit points to survive).  The truth of this shocked the group to the core.  It was a game changer, their opponents were able to be born in their form making everyone a possible enemy in the camp around them.  Many of the players are now more than a little paranoid about all that surround them now.

To finish the night the group managed to have the native tribe that they are camped near join them, despite their leader having a bit of a down day.  They circumnavigated a lot of the written requirements of the module by offering up artistic items and items that represented them instead of all providing pure art.  After all, the players have long been supporting this group and have helped them as often as they have been helped by them.

The second faction above ground that they have had the most history with was the Red Mantis and the party finished the night on a high with the Cavalier again using her fantastic diplomacy and the fact that one of her companions waltzed into the middle of the camp without any of the red mantis noticing that he was even present.

It was a great night of role playing and it was marvellous to see the group coming together and finally putting some of the final puzzle together.  It was also great to see the shock on the players as they heard of the assassination attempt and realised that they all had been under surveillance.  Not only that, it could be anyone in the camp or the surrounds that can attack at any time!  Or was it just the singular assassin?  The paranoia levels have started to rise.  The group truly is on the downhill ride to the finish of this module and adventure path.  Can they hold it together and eliminate the threat below or will the world again fall into another era of darkness and slavery.

Only our heroes can determine this question. They have stood firm against the threats so far but is the threat to much?  Stay tuned to the blog and find out…

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