Last night I ran Pathfinder for my in-person group. They were all expecting a game of Skull & Shackles but I decided to use the one week break from last week to have a break from that Adventure Path and go back to the characters who had completed Serpent Skull Adventure Path. It was time for me to implement my “Mythic” campaign for the group and offer them something new and less plotted out for the group.
I framed their past year and one day that lead to a dream which I will detail in a moment. Seroquel/Hank the Alchemist/Master Chymist had spent the year building up the land of Smugglers Shiv as a training ground for new Pathfinders. He had organised a series of creatures to inhabit the island and also improved the buildings on the island. The adventure saw him readying the area for his very first group of Pathfinder trainees to test.
|Seleca back in play!|
Seleca the Cavalier had stayed at the vastly decaying city of Saventh Yhi to take over the role of the Pathfinders. She had married her love (the Captain of the guard) Vantor and settled in the city proper. Largely the city had been decaying at such a rate though that there was little left to do apart from track down and kill a Hezrou demon that was causing problems and protect the last remaining standing major building (Savith’s tomb) even though it could collapse any day as it had been badly damaged.
Kaleb (Monk/Cleric) had spent his time meditating on the issue of destroying the skull of Ydersius and created himself a custom built temple to Irori to do this in. It sat at the very top of the highest mountain in the Border Wall range south of his home country. He eschewed any creature comforts and spent his entire time considering such options. The best option that he could come up with was that the solution lay not in the material plane as it was an area of play for the Gods and they would need to seek a solution of weapon from somewhere in the planar realms that would actually damage the skull.
Finally, Janthir (Rogue/Sorcerer/Arcane Trickster) had fled to Absalom with the skull in a portable hole. there he had been performing experiments to see if there were anything he could manufacture or do that would effect the skull. Although he had wanted to hide the skull elsewhere he knew that to let it out of his sight would mean that it were possible others would find it and take it. He ins tea kept it with him and over the year he had begun to watch his body start to take on scales so much so that one year and a day since they had taken the head from Ydersius himself his body was covered on the left side by reptilian scales and his bone structure was beginning to form to take on more of a serpent folk form. His tongue was even beginning to split in his mout and his jaw beginning to broaden to be more snake like.
Then they all had the following dream that each saw from their own perspective. It seemed incredibly real and upsetting to them.
|It feels damn good to be back designing something new 🙂|
You feel yourself moving through a cramped tunnel made of ruins and debris. A pick works tirelessly ahead of you fighting back the bits of beautiful marble that once filled this glorious stair. In time the pick breaks through into a well lit room and from the hole you look into a large, almost untouched chamber. On the floor of the chamber a large sun detailed in gold leaf was lacquered over and at the centre of the sun sat a dais that had a mummified body on top of it. the body was that of a female in leather armour that was an ancient style. Her features were shrivelled and her face was unidentifiable but the shock of red hair that came from the head was identification enough. You feel like you know her. At the far end of the room, toward the area at the bottom of the mummies feet is a large set of brass doors. There is some kind of identifying marks in the door but they seem to shift when you concentrate on them.
Leaping from the hole you walk to the body and spy a torc around the corpses neck. A scaled hand reaches out and pulls it from her neck. The torc fills your vision and you see a female hand grasp it, then the hand of a celestial being and finally a hand stained with alchemist liquids. You pull and the torc breaks with a great force knocking you to your back. You look up and see a ghost emerge from the corpse. A mighty Azlanti Warrioress looks at you and goes to speak. As she does you wake in a sweat.
It is important to note that Janthir also saw vision of a maul striking Ydersius’ skull and shattering it. The next day Janthir teleported to Kaleb, then Seroquel and finally to Seleca to find out what it meant. The group began bickering like it was old times which made me smile and eventually they decided to go see if there were any scriptures or books in Savith’s tomb that spoke of other ways to destroy the skull. They made it into the tomb and found a lot of rubble, much like the dream. Seroquel burrowed up through the rubble and came to the topmost portion of the tower which was a collection of treasures Savith had won in her life, amongst it was a Deck of Many Things which the party failed to identify but had a strong suspicion of.
|Very little dice rolling last night, just a lot of
Turning their attention back to the tomb they went downward and found a room, exactly like their dream. By and large the same things that happened in the dream came true here and the ghost of Savith herself rose to welcome the adventurers and stated that it must be because the threat of Ydersius was again at hand. But to be sure that they were the ones who should fight it they must face the test.
With that the brass doors opened and beyond it a withered undead corpse shambled out with a large mace and scythes on its back. Hanging from its neck was a holy symbol of Ydersius and the battle ensued. In reality what this creature was a Mythic Lich slightly altered. The alteration was I changed the DR 15/ Bludgeoning and Epic and Magic to 15/ Bludgeoning and Epic. I thought simply allowing a plus one dagger was an insult for the loch so I got rid of it (my bad!). I wanted this to be an epic battle where the players came very close to death but eventually triumphed. Plans and actuality rarely meet though.
The lich with its mythic initiative easily beat the players and decided to soften them up with a super powered Mythic Flame Strike but of course all the players had evasion and got awesome lucky rolls so it was Seleca and her cohort that (only ones without evasion) got a little singed. Seleca charged in and hit the creature, doing a reasonable amount of damage but then she failed her saving throw and became paralysed. Janthir shot a few arrows but missed and then Kaleb ran in. Hitting with the first blow he got a critical hit on the lich causing it to be dazed for d4 rounds. Of course he rolled a 4. But Kaleb also became dazed.
Seroquel started to build himself up in power as the cohort of Seleca moved in and cast Freedom of movement on her leader and thus negating the paralysis for the duration of the spell. Seleca does horrendous amounts of damage and with four rounds of being dazed it was a matter of time only before the lich hit the ground on the third round. They had passed the test with barely a sweat. Oh well, the paralysis is permanent so the Freedom of Movements on Seleca and Kaleb will wear off and they will be statues again and I will get my giggle.
|As much as rules heavy games cop a beating at times I do
love a game of Pathfinder!
Anyhow, from this point Savith had the players uncover three weird egg like chalices. She had them crack them open and drink down the contents. This was the point of ascension and I discussed with them about what being mythic was about. I was ready to call the game as there were decisions to be made and it was a good time when someone asked if they wanted to play with the cards (being the Deck of Many Things).
Now I had forgotten to bring cards with me so I was very thankful to find out there was a Deck of Many Things app for the iPhone! I downloaded it and Janthir grasped the deck and stated he would draw two cards. The first that he drew was the Balance card and he needed to change his alignment immediately and drastically. His alignment was previously Chaotic Good so I gave him the option of true Neutral or Lawful Evil. He took the true Neutral option. Next card he drew was the Idiot card and he immediately lost 2 intelligence but got the option to pick again. He decided to go again and his final pick was the Skull card and a Dread Wraith appeared which he fought singlehandedly and defeated it without being hit. Poor Janthir was upset though as none of the picks had been positive.
|Don’t mess with a Deck of Many Things people!
Image by Woraya Chotikul, legalese at bottom of page
The other player to decide to take it on was Seroquel/Hank who bravely called out five cards. The first card was the Comet which states if the next creature you and your party encounter you fight single handedly and win you can immediately level up! Janthir would have spouted obscenities at this I am sure if he weren’t fighting a Dread Wraith at the time. The next draw saw Hank pick the Euryale card which gave him a permanent -1 to all saving throws. Next card was the Comet again! So he had two battles up his sleeve and two instant levels. A bit of discussion was had here and we decided that it should be two different battles, not one and level up twice. The next card was the Skull which caused a Dread Wraith to appear. A battle started and Seroquel/Hank won (and immediately levelled to 18th level) but did get hit and drained for 8 constitutions. The final and fifth card was Talons card and instantly Hank was stripped of all his magic items as they simply vanished. We were not sure if that should include the Deck of Many Things so I have left it with him for the time being.
The game ended there! Next week will see us beginning the game with all of them Mythic beings. It is an exciting time for the game as we move into the first ever mythic area. I am really enthused for this and can’t wait. Keep rolling!
The image of Tarot cards above is the work of Woraya Chotikul and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence