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Monday, November 3, 2014

Chronicles of a Pathfinder GM, part 1

Gods, it's been a long time since I posted here.  But I'm in a writer-y mood, so I shall post a bit of stories as a GM.

For the past year, I have been running Pathfinder for my group of players, which consist of my wife, my brother, my brother-in-law, and a friend or two.  We have had 3 campaigns during this time-frame: 2 of which were Pathfinder, and one attempt at Shadowrun (that didn't go so well...)

The original run of Pathfinder used a few different modules.  My players were all newbies, save one, so this made things... interesting.  The party included a ninja, a magus, a paladin, a rogue, and my wife playing a ranger by the name of Paul Jourgensen (he was a lumberjack, too).  The best stories of this campaign involved Paul.

So the party were traveling to a small mock-up dungeon for the newbie adventurers (a dungeon that by terrible plot twist was infested with undead), and during their first night camping out, they were attacked by wolves.  Nothing special - combat ended almost as quickly as it started.  But Paul surprised me with his actions afterwards.  "Can I skin the wolf?"  I have my wife roll it, which ends in a crap roll.  It was her response after that that was surprising: "Is the head alright?"  "Yeah...?"  "I put the head on my head.  It's a hat now!"

So envision, if you will, a lumberjack with a chopped off wolf head as a hat.  This became a running joke...

This campaign brought many firsts for me, including running my first dragon encounter.  And it was a random encounter one.  My friend from work, playing the magus, figured it'd be a great idea to wander off on his own.  Mind you, he had been doing a lot of stupid things recently, and had a bit of odd sense of humor, so half of the party had no problem of him going off on his own.  But the ninja figured it'd be wise to follow him.  So I rolled for a random encounter, and got a young green dragon.  I giggled to myself as the magus failed his perception checks to see the dragon.  And before he knew it - the two of them were running as fast as they could back to the rest of the party with a small dragon chasing them.  Eventually, the party killed the dragon (using Paul's falcon companion, Scruffledink Fogglesworth).

Later in the campaign, I had my first player kill ever.  While this wasn't my first time running, I usually do not try to kill off characters.  The party were fighting a golden golem that radiated heat - had concealment, spell resistance, damage reduction, everything that a GM would want to fuck up a party.  The party surrounded the golem and whittled away at it HP, as it wailed back upon them.  This was already entertaining for me.  The magus drops below 0 and hits the dirt.  The ninja gets him back up with a potion, bringing him to 0 HP and staggered.

Now, I don't know about you, but my first plan of action normally would be retreat and heal.  But our magus player wasn't particularly bright.  No - he attacks!  And he drops again into negatives.  Whatever, I think - but it gets better.  Thankfully, he stabilizes on his own, and they all think he'll survive the fight.  Until they destroy the golem and it self-destructs.  Paladin drops into the negatives and the magus dies right out.

What followed this was the magus's player running a few sessions, to give me a break.  These were referred to by my players as 'Whore Island'.  Because that's exactly what it was.  With demons.  And devils.  And I'm sure there would've been a Kyton or three, if he knew what those were.  I still face palm about the whole thing to this day.  Barely had a chance to enjoy playing my gunslinging alchemist...

More next time, on my current campaign.  Maybe.  Not too many good stories there.