Warning: There are a ton of spoilers in here. If you plan on playing the Kingmaker adventure path I recommend skipping the actual play part of this actual play.
Any sane person would probably say that opening sign ups for games at your convention and playing Pathfinder at the same time is a stupid idea. And they would be right.
For most of this game I was responding to tweets, texts, emails, calls, FB posts, blog comments, and who knows what else, as sign ups open and registrations poured in. For the most part that was actually fine, except that a new system update requires me to specifically designate that a ticket must take up a minimum of 1 space, otherwise it will allow a booking to take up 0 spaces in a game once the game is full. For example if Jackson is running a game with 4 spaces, and then say six people try to sign up, all six get in, the system just says the last two have 0 spaces.
Yeah, that didn’t fly. Fortunately, I was alerted to it quickly, was able to prevent it from happening any more, and then painstakingly went through each game to find overbookings and dropped the folks with 0 spaces. Luckily there weren’t too many of those.
But this isn’t an actual whining report, it’s an actual play report, so here’s the game!
Before game starts in earnest, Dennis has been having us spend some time to build up the world around us. In our case it’s the Aldori family, and those connected to it. Here was our family tree:
New NPCs Created
Edward Aldori – Merrowyn’s father and defender lost causes. Edward is a lawyer (read: dualist) who long should have retired or become a judge, but neither of those are an option. He fight with mace and board, lowly armaments for lowly cases. Edward defends those in civil disputes regarding labor and property. Many of his clients don’t have the money to pay him, but he does the work just the same. Edward lost his right eye in a particularly brutal duel years ago.
Pietro Sellemius – First born son of Lord Mayor Isoeph Sellemius. He is known as a self entitled braggart and all around general ass. Five years ago, Pietro’s reputation suffered a mighty smear. He had stumbled across Merrowyn Aldori, while she was in the course of negotiating a business deal with a half orc smuggler with a rare legal cargo to sell. Pietro mocked and cat called the young Merrowyn, till finally she knocked him sprawling from his horse and into the mud. Merrowyn proceeded to give him a trashing he has never forgotten. When Pietro attempted to draw his sword, Merrowyn disarmed him and snapped his sword across her knee and dropped the remains of the sword down into the mud with Pietro.
Governess Glorianna – has raised no less than three generations of House Aldori. While definitely in her twilight years, her presence is still felt in House Aldori, among noble and commoner alike. Counted among her many talents is: bookkeeper, midwife, administrator and alchemist. She is the grandmother of the stalwart Aldori adventuring servant, Tad.
Luca Strozzi – One of House Strozzi’s rising stars. He is a skilled duelist and orator. He is heavily involved in the politics of Rostlandic nationalism. He was recently married to a noble lady from the Issian House Lebeda. His new bride is a beautiful noblewoman named, Larissa. Their marriage was a considerable political achievement for House Strozzi. The arranged marriage came as surprise to Miquela Aldori, his childhood friend and long distance companion in love.
Rudolfo Aldori – A lad of 10 years. His mother died in childbirth and his father,Giovanni, is away for extended periods of time, as he is a sailor on a merchant ship. Rudolfo chafes in living under the implications of the Aldori name. He being raised by the Aldori House as a whole and he has gone through phases of running away, lying and stealing. Currently, he finds solace in working with animals. He has taken a liking to the newly arrived addition to House Aldori, Elara the druid.
Ugo Sordello – Not a son that most would count among House Sordello’s best and brightest. A swordsman of middling skill, no head for business and a talent for poetry, that would give a Vogon pause. His only lasting mark on his House was when he proclaimed his love for Donna Aldori. This raised considerable strife for him among his House, as they are the most vocal and determined of House Aldori detractors. His years of lovelorn melancholy are legendary, in certain circles, and he has taken quite an interest in the newest member of House Aldori, Elara Aldori.
After the setup we got to play…
The Daughters of Aldori returned to Oleg’s camp to find (to their surprise) it was occupied! A guard stood on top of the wall and called out to them as they approached to identify themslves. Merrowny’s retort was simply “You’re late”, his response of “Better me than you” began the playful relationship of Merrowyn and Markus the Mouth!
The guard Oleg sent for had finally arrived, and with them some word from Rostov. Kasten Garess and his mercenary band the Fearsome Badgers took the Lord Mayor’s coin and agreed to guard the trading post against banditry. Seeing that the Aldori had already done some of that work for him, he gladly paid them a bounty of 800 gold, but was otherwise tight-lipped about his job and his past.
Svetlana was quite please we returned and even offered a generous payment for the moon radishes, so that she could make Oleg’s favorite dish…to which of course he grunted!
Eventually we realized that Kasten was none other than a noble of House Garess brought low because of his love for a weaver’s daughter. Kasten has paid greatly for his folly, and doesn’t like to talk about it! He did however, offer a bounty on one that betrayed him. Falbrim Sneeg, a former Badger himself, was due to carry their payment back to camp but instead ran off with hit for himself. Kasten wanted him back alive, preferably.
After selling the loot collected from the bandits, and returning Oleg his furs (but alas not Svetlana her ring), the Aldori restocked their camp supplies and headed back out into the Stolen Lands.
Old Man Bokken
Early on, we stumbled upon an old hermit’s den. It was filthy and stinky, and his manners reminded us of how Oleg would act if he didn’t have Svetlana around to rein him in, but we shared a meal with him just the same.
Bokken mostly complained about bout things, but in the middle of it all he informed us that he could make potions, was looking for fang berries, and wanted use to find his brother, who had cut off one of his fingers (and we can’t imagine why).
Shambling Hell No
In another region of plains we saw a mound shambling in the distance… and we stayed WAY THE HELL CLEAR OF IT!
While traveling into the low hills we found a stash, presumably belonging to a wizard. In it was:
A masterwork dagger
A wand… which we discovered was of Burning Hands (woo hoo)
A plain silver ring, not Svetlana’s alas.
A moldy spellbook with 6 arcane spells. Perhaps we can sell this to an enterprising wizard!
A gold mine!
Yeah, exactly. There aren’t good words to describe finding a gold mine, because usually saying “this is a gold mine” is a euphemism for incredible luck and fortune. Well, that’s what we found, yep, and abandoned gold mine, with veins of gold still visible in our lantern light! DIBS!
Toll Bridge, Interrupted
When we came to the Shrike River, we found the remnants of an old toll bridge, along with a sign saying passing was 5cp, and a bell to ring for service. Out of amusement Merrowyn rang the bell.
And then we faced the undead!
Right out of the river, with water draining from him like a human colander, walked a creature of nightmares… as well, toll crossing. In a panic Merrowyn threw a silver on the ground at his feet, which the undead abomination studied for a moment, and then… shrugged. “Not really interested in that any more.” He said in a voice that was surprisingly gentle. We asked what he did want, and was told the Stag’s Lord’s body.
Well, that’s simple enough. Seems like he’s one bandit lord that’s gotta die.
This Mite be a problem
In one stretch of land we found a great sycamore tree, and under it a warren. Elara noticed signs of fey being present, so we tried to bribe them out of their warren with sweet treats. That earned Tad (who was far away) a spear in the arse, from the Mites who were returning home. We dispatched the small group easily and after identifying them as the vermin of the fey world, set to exterminating them.
We set a giant fire in the base of the warren, to smoke them out, but when the fire had burned down and none poured out of their wholes, we ventured it to find them… and find them we did. ON A GIANT TICK!
A giant tick that TRIED TO EAT MIQUELA! Battle was done. Without much trouble we cut them down and found they had a kobold prisioner named Mik Mek. Just as we were trying to get to know him better, Miquela discovered a whole in the ground with A GIANT WHIPTAIL CENTIPEDE.
More violence was done and we looted gold and an Ivory statue of a demon god from their lair.
We also met Mik Mek, the much smarter than you’d expect Kobold. He told us of his clan, the Sootscale, and of their theological divide. What, Kobolds arguing over theology? This was awesome. We really didn’t like the sound of demon gods and all that balderdash, so we agreed to go back with him, try to win over the favor of his chief, and defeat the interloper Tartuk!
With rations running low, we tightened our belt and headed south!
2726 XP (2nd level, legit!)
Masterwork Dagger (302g)
Wander of Burning Hands (13 charges) (390g)
Silver Ring (75g)
Moldy spellbook with 6 arcane spells
Ivory statue of demon god (250g)
1000gp bank note (from last session)
800gp bounty for Bandits
250gp reward for moon radishes
Svetlana’s silver wedding ring
The mercenary band deserter (4 masterwork weapons)
Fang berry bushel to Boken “old man” (Deal on potions)
Stag Lord’s body – “Safe” passage across the river.
Thoughts on this game
The setup phases we do at the beginning of the game are great. Dennis is really coaching us through bringing the game to life. I think right now we’re still mostly concerned wit things like leveling and magic items, but the more we develop and become attached to our family, the more relationships are going to matter in the game.
There was a point where Tad revealed some of his skills and I thought we got all up in his business way too fast. I’m excited to see Tad’s character unfold. Also, I plan to mercilessly tease Miquela about his crush on her.
Kobold theology is awesome. It kind of reminded me that Merrowny is a follower of Gorum, and she’s really not a fan of false gods.