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Pathfinder City of Perfect Strangers Part 1 Post-Mortem: Crushin’ Lads and Rats

YO NERDS,

This post is literally 2 months overdue, but since my condo I hope to all the gods in the heavens will hopefully be ready in a few weeks, I think it’s about time to summarize the events that have transpired.

Overall, this post is going to be pretty brief, since the module’s kind of gear-deficient starting out.

Firstly, here were the big complaints I got:

– The personal quests, while kind of cool, dragged on for non-participants.

– People kind of just assumed stuff during battle and didn’t coordinate, e.g. if someone wants flanking damage, they didn’t coordinate with another to assume position.

The personal quests were kind of a lark to get people seeing more of Kaer Maga and a bit of a test for me to see if I could weave some of the City of Strangers supplement and make new NPCs. They did kind of drag on for non-participants though, so what I’m thinking about doing for the start of the second module (not for the rest of the first part which we’re still on) is actually do a group-wide side quest, like investigating a bounty or a mini-dungeon. I think that’ll give me and you guys a chance to encounter classes we generally don’t go up against or play as.

For the second thing, I’d just say that if you want to do something like flank it’ll be great if you worked in-character and said something like, “HEY SO-AND-SO GET BEHIND THIS LICH AND WE’LL GET THE DROP ON EM'” or something. If you want something in battle, speak up is what I’m saying.

Second, here is the brief summary of the events:

The party had been staying at the Starry Night Inn in Kaer Maga with the Church of Pharasma footing the bill. They receive an invitation from a merchant named Tom Morrow the 3rd (grandson of the clownish zombie Svilennius controlled) asking for help with a minor caravan escort job. In addition, the note had a handwritten sentence from a Captain of the Duskwardens telling the group that they should take the job.

The job was fairly straightforward on the face of things–help the Duskwardens who were undermanned by the turf war in the Oriat district escort the caravan up the Halflight Path–but then the Captain reveals that they need the party for something else. Apparently, a group of people colloquially referred to as the “Shadow Lodge” has been impersonating Pathfinders and buying up a raft of magical items in Kaer Maga and elsewhere. The Duskwardens (among possibly other factions in the city) feel that if these psuedo-Pathfinders get too strong, then it may bring the wrath of real Pathfinders, if not the incensed armies of places like Korvosa, down upon Kaer Maga.

They task the party with going to a merchant named Collgardie’s house, as he was the one who first found out about these fake Pathfinders. On the way back up the Path though, a sophisticated cave-in trap blocks the party in a cavern with a set of goblins and a goblin shaman. The party emerges victorious, and notices that A) the trap is way too clever for goblins, and B) the goblins themselves were carrying potions marked with a strange symbol.

The party makes their way back to town, and after taking care of some side business, decide to visit Collgardie’s house. They find, however, that Collgardie’s been murdered, and a group of goons attack using strange weapons like stingchucks (skulls filled with vermin). After felling a few of the goons, one goon exclaims that the party was the one that murdered Collgardie and after some back and forth banter everyone stands down.

Clearly confused, the goons explain that they were there on the orders of a Besel Ardoc of the Ardoc family, an economically powerful golem merchant in the city who was a personal friend of Collgardie’s. The goons then go on to say that the party should seek out Ardoc.

As they explore the city and talk to the locals, the party finds out a few pieces of information about Ardoc, namely, he likes to drink and he travels with a contingent of powerful iron golems, but this isn’t enough information yet.

Third, the side missions:

– (Eric) Grifflebore Stuzen was contacted by a paladin of the Church of Iomedae in Korvosa to help maintain the secret information lines that the Church uses to keep tabs on things in Kaer Maga. This involved going to the Strapping Lad Social Club and delivering a coded message to a “Miss” Flowers, informing “her” that one of “her” boys revealed crucial information.

When the spy (named Bernard) was cornered by the blonde pig-tailed, pink sundress-wearing clay golem bouncer named Bubbles, the spy escaped via the rooftops. He confronts Grifflebore in an alley and attacks, but gets brutally beat down by Grifflebore’s paladin training and hammer.

The Church of Iomedae receives word about Grifflebore’s actions, and awards him a badge that can help with negotiation (or intimidation).

– (Enoch) Shania Casa was given a letter by an antiquarian in Kaer Maga who needed help identifying a magical stone that was purported to be related to the Pillars of Dream, a mysterious landmark in Kaer Maga that causes people to fall asleep. When Shania fell asleep between the Pillars, she dreamed that she was below Kaer Maga’s surface in a sadistic prison that straps people to chairs and causes them to have visions of horrible things. The object given by the antiquarian was revealed to be part of one of those chairs, knocked loose from the attacking forces of a creature known only as Anamnesis.

As the horrific shambling corpses of the prison helped Shania get free, several undead guards attempted to block the way out of the prison. Shania summoned a pony (!) and rode past them to get free.

Waking up back above ground, Shania goes back to the antiquarian and reveals the true nature of the item. The antiquarian was clearly shaken, but awards Shania a wand of Burning Hands and a tuning fork used for identifying magical items.

– (Jack) Gunnar was contacted by an excitable halfling archer (and amateur fletcher) named Adelard from the Warren district that saw him buy his composite longbow. Adelard needed some help fighting some sort of rat lurking in the sewers that had been vexing the halflings of the district for a while.

Gunnar accepts, and makes his way to a culvert where the rat had been sighted. He easily defeats a dire rat that had been lurking there, but Adelard surprises him by saying that the rat he killed has ‘only one head.’ A two-headed mutant rat bursts through the culvert wall and attacks. Eschewing his bow, Gunnar brings out his lucerne hammer to face the hideous creature. Drawing upon some hidden well of strength, Gunnar fatally smashes the huge rat into the wall, killing it instantly.

Gunnar goes back to Adelard, who is clearly pleased and impressed that the problem’s been dealt with. Adelard then rewards Gunnar with a quiver full of arrows he had been working on.

– (Steven) Elorin is contacted by the tengu rogues, whom the party had encountered in the Godsmouth Ossuary, who are asking for help retrieving a ledger held by Collgardie. The tengu wanted to give up adventuring after their disastrous time in the Ossuary, so they decided to open a shop. They believed that having Collgardie’s ledger would help them negotiate for better wholesale prices, so they tasked Elorin (who they correct guess to be a thief) with stealing it.

While in Collgardie’s house, Elorin comes upon a strange chest that looks to be the hiding place of the ledger, and finds out that the chest is in fact a Four-Trick-Trap Chest, a chest designed to administer deadly poison to those not intelligent enough to complete its questions. Elorin manages to pass enough of the tests to get the ledger and bring it to the Drinking Crow, a tengu bar.

The tengu are so pleased that they give Elorin a bag of junk they cobbled together, which includeda valuable loupe that hones trapfinding.

– (Bob) Someone from the Church of Sarenrae contacts Valeria to help search for several obsidian artifacts that have been favored by goblins in Kaer Maga. The artifacts seem to be idols relating to the four goblin Hero-Gods, and they seem to grant extra power to the goblins’ foul abilities.

The first artifact seemed to be in the possession of the shaman that ambushed the party in the Halflight Path. Valeria bartered for the second with a creepy old woman in the Ankar-Te district. A pathetic juggling goblin possessed the third artifact and sold it for a pittance to Valeria.

Rumor has it that the fourth was sold to a group of armor-clad goblins not longago.

Fourth, ok so maybe this post isn’t too brief but whatever here’s the loot:


– a raft of Cure Light Wounds potions

– a box of fine cigars (unappraised)

– a bottle of Cramshire’s Special Reserve Vintage wine (unappraised)

Recently, denizens of Kaer Maga’s underworld have been made aware of a certain purportedly “Ultimate” guide to equipment, and have started to outfit themselves and their stashes accordingly.

Finally, challenges:

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