For Love and Role-Playing

It’s Valentines day, my first in Japan, and there’s a buzz in the office. All around me men are getting boxes of chocolates from the female staff. Even I’ve got some sitting on my desk, and I got cookies from my wife’s students on the walk in. In Japan, Valentines day is about girls and women giving chocolates to friends. In the West, we focus on our love relationships. Love (and friendship) has many faces, but it’s essence is universal.

 

Role-playing too, is becoming increasingly universal. While I’d guess that most games come from the United States, places like Europe and Asia have developed their fair share of systems and even Africa has a number of systems to it’s credit. But hold on a moment. Am I comparing LOVE to role-playing? Sure, many people love the game, but really? Hear me out…

 

I think generally we only think of love in a limited way, throwing friendship from the definition. I’m coming from the position that friendship is just a kind of none romantic love, but to make it simpler I’ll just refer to friendship from here on out. Role-playing is about fun, first and foremost. It’s also about social contract, the spoken and unspoken rules of how we interact at the table. Because of social contract, role-playing can be a really good place to build friendships. A photo from some of my role-playing buddies back home was a good reminder to me of just how meaningful the friendships we build through playing can be. We invest in each others lives through this strange game and real bonds are formed.

 

But role-playing has caused it’s fair share of broken friendships. Enough stories float around of bad games. At the core of this problem, I think, is social contract again, or lack thereof. Both GM’s and players need to work hard to communicate their likes, dislikes and fears. Everyone needs to listen too. By the very nature of the game, it works best when everyone works together. Are we, as GM’s and players, really listening to what everyone else is saying when we sit down to play. Are we hearing the concerns voiced in a joke, or the worry behind a question. Are we reading body language? Are we failing a spot check on fears?

 

This Valentines day, let’s love like God intended, looking past ourselves and to the feelings of others. Let’s build better friendships and a better game.

Sentinels Watching – Not All The Rats Are In The Sewers

 

Pathfinder Compatability Logo

Compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game requires the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from Paizo Publishing, LLC. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Paizo Publishing, LLC does not guarantee compatibility, and does not endorse this product.

Pathfinder is a registered trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility Logo are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility for more information on the compatibility license.

Pathfinder and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under license. See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

This content produced in terms of the Open Game License, a copy of which is available here.

Some map textures thanks to Wikidepia and May Ang.

Rules

This is the final instalment in our four part series, which started with chapter one, continued with chapter two and chapter three last week, and now comes to its climactic end. Be sure to read those posts before you continue with this one.

If you captured Lazar you can now pump him for information. Make an intimidate check of DC 10. If you succeed read the block below.

“Agh! Stop! stop!” Lazar squeals, his good eye wide with terror. “I’ll tell you everything.” He squirms uncomfortably, trying to inch away from you, but ready to talk. He details to you how he and his men were hired by a group known as the Sentinels, a secret organisation who offered a good reward in gold to bring Rotham to them. Lazar never actually met with anyone from the group, but he was to take Rotham under cover of darkness to the Sentinel Inn, where he supposes the organisation gets their name. He suggests that if you want more answers you’ll need to go poke around there.

If you get nothing from Lazar you can head out of the sewer, meeting up again with Rotham if you left him behind. Rothams own investigations have lead him to suspect something going on at the Sentinel Inn, and he’ll want to strike there now. You have an hour to rest up before heading out again. Any prisoners are locked up near the exit to the sewers.

 

The Sentinel Inn

The Sentinel Inn is a nondescript building within the main walls of the city. It is old but reasonably kept, possibly one of the oldest buildings in South Fort.

The Sentinel Inn Map
Download and print this map for todays adventure.

 

The adventure plays out like a mini dungeon map. There are three possible entrances into the inn, and these are listed below. You can try any and all entrances until you get in, then follow the numbered map below.

 

Breaking and Entering

You can try getting in through the front door, the stable doors or through the chimney, since there’s no fire rising from it. The Sentinel Inn is a two story building but all the windows are too small to fit through, even for small characters.

 

The Front Door

This is a double good wooden door, and is currently locked. Through a small window you can see an empty hallway beyond the doors. A Disable Device DC of 21 is required to get through the lock. Getting through the door brings you to room 2.

 

The Stable Doors

The stable has double doors on both sides of it, except that the Northern doors are blocked on the outside by a pile of crates, barrels and other discarded items. You can make a stealth check (DC 8 ) and a perception check (DC 14) to find a small hole through the crates which any small character can sneak through. If you fail the stealth check the crates clatter to the ground, possibly alerting occupants of the inn, but you can still use the hole if you find it, leading to room 1. The Southern door is a simple door with a lock (Disable Device DC 20). You can attempt to break down the door with your shoulder (DC 15 Strength Check). However, you can hear the sound of horses on the inside of the stables. Getting through the door brings you to room 1.

 

The Chimney

The chimney is large enough for a person to climb through, except that reaching it will be difficult. To climb up to the roof requires a DC 10 Climb check and you must make a second check of DC 15 to climb down on the inside of the chimney. If you have any rope you can reduce the DC to 10. If you fail you take D6 wounds from the fall (we’ll assume you fall from half way up of the 20 foot climb. Success brings you to room 2.

 

Inside the Inn

Refer to this map and read each room description given below once you enter it. If at any point you wish to leave the inn you can go to entry 7 below.

 

Sentinel Mini Map
Map Reference. See the corresponding entries below.

 

Room 1 – The Stables

The room is dark but you can see that two horses are stabled here. If you made a noise coming in they are stamping, snorting and generally making a noise. You can make a Handle Animal check, DC 10, to silence both animals (roll once). Otherwise, after three rounds two men come to see what’s happening and you’ll have to fight them, whether or not your still in the stables.

You can search the room (DC 10) to find 30′ of rope. A door leads from this room into room 2.

 

Room 2 – The Passage

This room is quiet. If you came in through the chimney or search the chimney make a DC 12 Perception check. If you’re successful you find a roll of papers in a leather tube. The papers are blank way-bills similar to the one found in the bandits lair.

Doors from this room lead into rooms 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6. You can also leave via the main doors or through the chimney if you wish. The stairs lead up to the second story which is a series of empty guest rooms, all completely bare except for bed racks.

 

Room 3 – The Book Cook

The door to this room is locked (DC 20). It’s a good wooden door. You cannot see anything through the key hole, something is covering it, but you can hear someone moving about inside. If you manage to bash the door down in one round or pick the lock you get a surprise round against the occupant of the room. If not, or if you broke down the main doors to the inn, you find him standing ready for you. Otherwise this grey haired, portly man, is sitting at his desk, writing in a journal. You can attack him or threaten him. If you fight him, use the stats for Dominic Gladstone below, he attempts to run, but will fight if you have him cornered. If you wish to threaten him make an intimidate check at DC 10. If you fail he calls out and a henchman arrives in 3 rounds. If you succeed he hands you a journal, explaining that he wants only to live and this book contains all the evidence you will need to put the sentinels away for a long time.

If you search the room you find 100 gold pieces in a locked strong box. The lock is DC 25 and the hardness of the box is 8 with 60 hit points and a break DC of 25. The key is around Dominic’s neck.

From this room you can go back to room 2.

 

Room 4 – Guard Room

The door to this room is open and you can see movement inside. If you pass a stealth check (DC 10) and didn’t alert the horses in room 1, you can take a surprise round against the occupants of this room. There are 3 henchmen in this room, – 1 for everyone you have already faced.

Searching the room turns up some fine clothing worth 12 gold pieces.

From this room you can go back to room 2.

 

Room 5 – Master Mind

This door is open and ajar. You cannot see anyone from where you stand but you can tell that the room bends around out of sight.

If you’ve had no combat in the inn so far, and if you didn’t make any noise entering you get a surprise round on the occupant of this room, who is working at his desk with his back to you. Otherwise he is hiding on his bed in the darkness, make a perception check (DC 12) or he surprises you. He makes a single attack and then flees through the window and onto the roof. You can follow him with a DC 10 climb check.

Once on the roof go to the final showdown below.

 

Room 6 – We Paid To Be Left Alone

The door to this room is locked. It’s a simple wooden door with a lock DC of 19. Looking through the key hole you can the dim light of candles and you can hear giggles coming from within. If you get inside read the passage that follows.

A fat man with a thinning hair line and rosy cheeks is tickling a woman with elaborately styled hair, who squirms around and then freezes when she sees you, letting out a loud scream. “What’s the meaning of this?” the man shouts, “we paid to be left alone!”
It’s obvious these two will not be getting in your way, so you make your apologies and close the door as best as you can when you leave.

This room leads back to 2.

 

The Final Showdown

It has started to rain outside and as you climb up onto the roof Cedric turns to Rotham and spits out in loathing “So Rotham, you found me. Well done, but now what? You won’t get any medals for this.”
“I’m not after medals Wolfheart, I’m after rats like you!” Rotham draws his sword and aims it at Cedric. “I think it’s time you came clean.”

The rain has made the steep slate roof slippery and treacherous. If anyone is hit make a reflex save to avoid falling (DC 10). If you fall make a further DC 10 save to grab onto the gutter or take 2d6 damage from the fall. Cedric aims to knock you or Rotham off the roof, switching his attacks between the two of you. Once you have played three rounds of combat read the block below.

There is a flash of light and your night vision is robbed from you. You blink to clear your vision, the rain driving into your eyes making it no easier. When you finally clear your vision you see that Cedric has disappeared, leaving behind a burn mark on the roof and smoke that drifts up into the rain filled sky.

If you manage to defeat Cedric before he escapes, well done. You have completed the mission successfully. If not, if he managed to escape, well then that is an adventure for another day. You’ve still uncovered major goings on in South Fort, and helped Rotham in no small way. Well done adventurer. If you were defeated then hopefully some other hero will be along shortly to avenge you, perhaps another character played by you!

 

NPC’s

Sentinel Henchman

Human Gangster Thug, Lawful Evil

STR    15 (+2)            CON     12 (+1)            WIS      10 (+0)

DEX    11 (+0)            INT      9 (-1)               CHA      8 (-1)

Offence

Bastard sword (Melee): +4 to hit, 1d10 + 2 Damage (19-20/x2).

Defence

AC: 10 (touch 10, flat-footed 10)                HP: 11
Fort: +3                     Ref: +0                        Will:+0

Skills: Intimidate +3.

Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword) and Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword).

Inventory: Bastard sword, 2d6 gold pieces.

Tactics: These guys are all about dealing damage, but hit them enough (6 or more damage) and they will run away.

 

Dominic Gladstone

Human Counterfeiter, Chaotic Neutral

STR    10 (+0)            CON     11 (+0)            WIS      8(-1)

DEX    12 (+1)            INT      15 (+2)               CHA      9 (-1)

Offence

Mwk Dagger (Melee): +1 to hit, 1d4 Damage (19-20/x2).

Defence

AC: 11 (touch 11, flat-footed 10)                HP: 8
Fort: +0                     Ref: +1                        Will:+1

Skills: Appraise +6, Bluff +3, Craft (Forge Documents) +9, Knowledge (Local) +6, Knowledge (Nobility) +6, Linguistics +6, Sense Motive +3, Sleight of Hand +5.

Feats: Run and Skill Focus (Craft – Forge Documents).

Inventory: Mwk Dagger, 5d6 gold pieces.

Tactics: If attacked Dominic will try to run away.

 

Cedric Wolfheart

Human Guardsman and Traitor, Lawful Evil

STR    11 (+1)            CON     12 (+1)            WIS      9(-1)

DEX    15 (+2)            INT      10 (+0)               CHA      8 (-1)

Offence

MWK Long sword (Melee): +3 to hit, 1d6 + 1 Damage (19-20/x2).
Light Crossbow (Ranged): +3 to hit, 1d8 + 2 Damage (19-20/x2).

Defence

AC: 13 (touch 13, flat-footed 12)                HP: 15
Fort: +0                     Ref: +1                        Will:+1

Skills: Appraise +4, Bluff +4, Perception +3, Sense Motive +3, Climb +2.

Feats: Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot.

Inventory: Blue Coat, MWK Long sword, Leather Armour, Light Crossbow (15 bolts), 15 gold pieces.

Tactics: Cedric tries to surprise attack anyone who enters his room, then flees through the window, climbing up to the roof (DC 10 climb check).

 

THE END

Well, that’s the end of the solo campaign, for now. Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Keep an eye open for the PDF version coming soon that will include higher quality maps, more adventure option and the final battle with Wolfheart and his magic wielding accomplice.

Sentinels Watching – The Bandits Lair

Well, it’s just about 2012 as I write this, but never fear, I’m about to get into the spirit of New Years Eve. I can’t believe a whole year has flown past. Anyway, I’ll leave that for another post. For now, the next installment of our exciting solo campaign. Enjoy.

Pathfinder Compatability Logo

 

 

Compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game requires the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from Paizo Publishing, LLC. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Paizo Publishing, LLC does not guarantee compatibility, and does not endorse this product.

Pathfinder is a registered trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility Logo are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility for more information on the compatibility license.

Pathfinder and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under license. See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

This content produced in terms of the Open Game License, a copy of which is available here.

Some map textures thanks to Wikidepia and May Ang.

Rules

Sentinels Watching is a mini solo campaign using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for a level one (1) character. Everything is provided here so you can jump straight in, or, if you want to run this game for a player, there’s enough here to get you started.

This is the third instalment in our exciting adventure in the city of South Fort. If you haven’t already played through the first scene, please head there now. The second chapter can be found here, and you’ll need to play that for this post to make any sense.

 

Chapter 3 – The Bandits Lair

You arrive at a dimly lit tunnel, with candles burning on the tops of crates that are obviously from old plunder. They appear empty and some have rotted through from the damp air. There is no guard posted at the entrance of what must be the bandits lair, and you have time to organize a surprise attack. should you wish. Make a stealth check at DC 9. If you succeed you get a surprise round in your favor when the combat begins.

The lair is a simple affair, set up in a dry stone cistern of the sewers. A small fire burns in a pit, warming the contents of a battered pot and providing a flickering light in the room. A table made from tressels and planks of rotting wood takes up the center of the room. On top of the table are spilt the contents of a broken chest, a mass of gold pieces, a necklace of pearls on a silver chain and some crumpled papers. Six chairs sit on either side of the table, two of which are occupied by dirty, travel stained men, the others are empty. On the far side of the table, on a ledge of stone, sits a gaudy throne of yellow painted wood, in which an ugly, angry man sits arguing with those below him, spittle flying from his lips. An ugly scar covers the left side of his face and his ruined eye, while his good eye seems ready to pop out with rage.

You may attack at now, or if you have passed the stealth check, you can listen in. If you are listen to the conversation read the block below.

 “I don’t care Dungie, things are bad enough, we lose that bloody Blue Coat and now you rob someone under the protection of the bloody Sentinels. They’ll skin us alive they will. Tell me, Dungie, who employs us?”

A shorter man with a leather skull cap and nervous sweat dripping down his forehead answers “The… the… the Sentinals do, but I…”

The man on the throne cuts him off. “Really Dungie, you’re not as stupid as you look. Let’s just hope we can fix this mess before it gets any worse. Where are all the others?”

At this point something catches the man on the thrones ear and he holds up a hand for silence. Now’s the time to fight.

 

Play the encounter out as a normal combat encounter, using the map below. You get to roll for the bandits and Rotham as well, use the listings in posts one and post two of this campaign. There are two bandits and their leader, each who start on a section of the map with a chair. The bandits react to your attack by getting between you and their leader, and if you are with Rotham they divide their attack between the two of you. Their leader, Lazar, shouts directions to his men and every second turn throws various objects at you or Rotham (Roll to decide who he targets). They fight until they can all safely escape, or if the two bandits fall Lazar will give up, pleading for his life, so that you or Rotham can manacle him. If anyone escapes you can continue the chase into the sewers as you see fit.

The Bandits Lair
Click here to download the full sized map.

 

The Merchants Treasure

The loot on the table belonged to a merchant, who you now suppose has new use for his treasure for the amount of blood on the broken chest. There are 40 gold pieces and the silver and pearl necklace is worth 100 gp. The papers contain letters and cargo manifests, mostly detailing cargo of linens and silks from the Southern Pirate Ports. One letter stands out though and is reproduced below, it is dated from some two days ago.

 

The next part of the adventure is here, check it out for more exciting action.

Merchants Waybill
A crumpled piece of paper, perhaps a clue.

 

NPC’s

Use the bandit listing from last week for the bandits at the table.

Lazar (xp 200)

Human Bandit Leader, Chaotic Evil

STR    11 (+0)            CON     12 (+1)            WIS      9 (-1)

DEX    13 (+1)            INT      10 (+0)            CHA      10 (+0)

Offence

Longsword (Melee): +1 to hit, 1d6 + 1 Damage.
Throw bottle (Ranged): -2 to hit, range is 10 foot, d3 damage.

Defence

AC: 14 (touch 14, flat-footed 13)                HP: 11
Fort: +3                     Ref: +1                        Will: -1

Skills: Intimidate +4, Diplomacy +1.

Feats: Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot.

Inventory: Studded Leather Armour, club, longsword, dagger and 3d6 gold pieces.

Tactics: Lazar throws his dagger when he’s sure he’ll get a kill, otherwise he picks up bottles littering the table and the area around his throne.

 

The quest isn’t over just yet. Continue the fight for justice in Chapter 4, the final scene. For more information on Avernos, the setting of Sentinels Watching, head over here.

Sentinels Watching – Smells Like Rat

Merry Christmas everybody! I’m currently enjoying a ride through Naha, Okinawa, with my wife Julia and have a quick moment to post the next instalment of the adventure. I hope you’re enjoying it, leave a comment and let me know.

Pathfinder Compatability Logo

 Legal

 

Compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game requires the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from Paizo Publishing, LLC. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Paizo Publishing, LLC does not guarantee compatibility, and does not endorse this product.

Pathfinder is a registered trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility Logo are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility for more information on the compatibility license.

Pathfinder and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under license. See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

This content produced in terms of the Open Game License, a copy of which is available here.

 

Rules

Sentinels Watching is a mini solo campaign using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for a level one (1) character. Everything is provided here so you can jump straight in, or, if you want to run this game for a player, there’s enough here to get you started.

This is the second instalment in our exciting adventure in the city of South Fort. If you haven’t already played through the first scene, please see last weeks post.

Scene 2 – Smells Like Rat

Once the brawl is over you can get aquainted with Rotham. If you were defeated you awake with a throbbing skull and a swollen eye one hour later, with Rotham dumping cold water over you to revive you. You heal 2 hit points of non-lethal damage per character level for the 2 hours of rest you get before things move on again.

Rotham is glad to see you again, and even happier that you responded so quickly to his message. He explains that he has discovered the hideout of some bandits. Their lair is in the sewers. Furthermore, he suspects they have ties to a larger crime syndicate within the town and may have some corrupt Blue Coats in their pay. “You see,” he continues, “they were on to me. The bandits captured me and took me to their lair. I was lucky to escape and I want to hit back before they have too much time to recover. So that’s why I need your help, I need someone I can trust. I should be able to find them again easily enough, but I need more hands if I’m going to bring them in. Their leader, Lazar, should be worth a fair reward.”

You know Rotham rather well. He’s an old friend that you met through a master of yours and he’s been very good to you in the past. Rotham offers you 25 gold coins for each criminal you help bring to justice. He will also supply you with extra gear for the task ahead.

You can decide to leave Rotham behind, and if you do read the section marked Lone Blade, otherwise read the section headed Lawmakers below.

Lone Blade

Rotham has marked out the route on a piece of cloth for you?It is not a very good map, but it will help. At this point Rotham leaves and you’re on your own.

Lawmakers

Rotham hands you a lantern with enough oil for two hours. He also offers you the following items, take what you want you wish.

  • A long sword
  • A dagger
  • A sling and 15 pellets
  • 50’ of hemp rope
  • 3 Sacks
  • A pair of manacles

He also gives you a potion of Cure Light Wounds, telling you to save it for an emergency. If you get into combat, play Rotham as you would your own character. He acts on his own initiative round and follows your orders.

 

Navigating the Sewer

The tunnels are pitch black and it is a dark, moonless night outside, so you’ll have to use a source of light to see, see the “Vision and Light” section in the Additional Rules of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Download the tiles from the Lunatic Labyrinth and print them out, preferably on card stock, or laminate the sheet and cut out each tile. Lay them out randomly in front of you with the start and end tiles on opposite corners of the map. Use a counter to mark your position (if Rotham is with you he stays with you, so only one token is enough).

You move through the maze one tile at a time, spending “rotations” to navigate the mass of tunnels and pipes in that section. Each rotation lets you rotate a map tile by a quarter turn left or right.  The actual sewer is not moving, this is just an abstraction to make solo play more interesting.

You gain the following number of free rotations:

  • If Rotham is with you +4
  • On a successful Knowledge Dungeoneering check of DC 16 +3
  • Having Rothams map +2
  • Magical sight +2
  • Using a pet or familiar that is small, tiny or fine to scout for you, assuming it can, then +2

You must subtract the following penalties:

  • Being blind or without a light source -4

Total up and use any free rotations whenever you wish, while any negative rotations must be played out on the start tile.

Time spent in the sewer brings a chance of encountering bandits or other inhabitants of the sewer: on each rotation and each move to a new tile, roll a d100 and consult the table below. Free rotations don’t require a roll, as a result of good navigation.

(d100) Sewer Encounter Table

1-90: Nothing but you and the sewer rats.

91: You find some barrels, roll on the treasure table.

92-94: You hear claws scraping on the sewer floor and turn to see a dire rat scrambling after you.

95: You find some open crates, roll on the treasure table.

96-98: You hear a shout and someone comes running at you from the darkness brandishing a club. It’s a bandit.

99: You find some sacks, obviously loot gathered by the bandits, roll on the treasure table.

100: See Old Tom below. *

 

(d10) Bandits Loot Table

  1. 5 coppers worth of goods.
  2. A map of this section of the sewer, +2 rotations.
  3. 3 pieces of quartz, worth 3d6 silver each.
  4. A tarnished dagger, still good but only worth 2 silver.
  5. 5 arrows.
  6. 10 silver pieces
  7. 3 gold worth of linens.
  8. 5 gp worth of trade goods.
  9. 10 gp worth of art items.
  10. 10 gp and 2 more rolls

 

Old Tom

Old Tom can only be found once. An old beggar who lives in the sewer near a drain from the richer part of town. Tom lives on a platform where the rats can’t reach him and has been ignored by the bandits. Make a Diplomacy check when you meet him, DC 12. If you pass he explains the way through the next section of the sewers, giving you +3 rotations. If you wish to attack Tom you must make a DC 15 climb check to get onto his platform as he tries to beat you down with his gnarled walking stick.

Once you’ve made it through the maze of the sewers you arrive at a dimly lit tunnel, with candles burning on the tops of crates of old plunder, the crates appear empty and some have rotted through from the damp air. You can hear the sound of arguing up ahead…

Head over to the next post for an exciting encounter with the bandit chief and a whole new map.

 

NPC’s

Bandit (xp 200)

Human Bandit, Chaotic Neutral

STR 12 (+1) CON 12 (+1) WIS 10 (+0)

DEX 9 (-1) INT 10 (+0) CHA 10 (+0)

Offence

Club (Melee): +2 to hit, 1d6 + 1 Damage.

Defence

AC: 16 (touch 9, flat-footed 15) HP: 11
Fort: +3 Ref: -1 Will: +2

Skills: Stealth +1, Knowledge Local +1, Perception +1.

Feats: Dodge

Inventory: Scale mail, club, torch, 1d6gp.

Tactics: Flees after receiving 5 or more wounds.

 

Dire Rat

See the Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game Bestiary™.

Tactics: Flees after receiving 3 or more wounds.
The quest isn’t over just yet. Continue the fight for justice in Chapter 3. For more information on Avernos, the setting of Sentinels Watching, head over here.

Sentinels Watching – Old Friends and New Bruises

 

 Pathfinder Compatability Logo

Legal

Compatibility with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game requires the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from Paizo Publishing, LLC. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Paizo Publishing, LLC does not guarantee compatibility, and does not endorse this product.

Pathfinder is a registered trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility Logo are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatibility License. See http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility for more information on the compatibility license.

Pathfinder and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC, and are used under license. See paizo.com/pathfinderRPG for more information on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

This content produced in terms of the Open Game License, a copy of which is available here.

Some map textures thanks to Wikidepia and May Ang.

 

Let’s Play

Sentinels Watching is a mini solo campaign using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for a level one (1) character. Everything is provided here so you can jump straight in, or, if you want to run this game for a player, there’s enough here to get you started.

Welcome to the first of a four part mini solo campaign series. That’s right, instead of just talking about role-playing, we’re going to jump in and play. All you need is the usual dice, pencil and paper and a copy of the Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook™ and Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game Bestiary™. Learn more about the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game at paizo.com. Grid paper, map tiles and miniatures will all be useful, and I’m throwing in an A4 grid map from the upcoming PDF release of this adventure that you can print out for the main encounter location.

 

How to Play

For the most part, this solo campaign uses the rules printed in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core rulebook, with some additional mechanics to allow for the fact that there’s no GM. These extra rules provide a level of abstraction that should make solo play more fun.  Since there is no GM, you need to judge difficult situations that may arise. If in doubt, check the rules, make a choice, but have fun.

Additional rules are given in each weekly post.

 

Scene 1 – The Pewter Tankard Tavern

 

Your story begins in a busy tavern on the outskirts of South Fort, a popular trading town. The Pewter Tankard is a popular haunt for merchants, travellers and locals keen on hearing stories from faraway lands. The Pewter Tankard sits at the end of a dark alley behind a run-down smithy and a general store, squashed up against the defensive wall that runs around the main part of town. The tavern itself is warm and friendly, with a bustle of customers – most weather stained and rough – but generally easy going and affable.

 

You’ve come in answer to a letter from a good friend of yours, Rotham, who is a member of the Blue Capes, the City Guard of South Fort.

 

Rothams Letter
View Rotham’s Letter.

Rotham isn’t around, so you have a few options while you wait.

  1. You can talk to various bar patrons.
  2. You can have a meal or a drink.
  3. You can listen to the banter.

 

You have enough time to do any and all of the above. Choose what you want to do then check your results below:

  1. Make a Diplomacy check. Read the entries below for all the numbers that are equal to or below your result.
    10: Regulars of the bar know Rotham and they have no idea where he is. They seem reluctant to talk about his profession.
    14: It seems Rotham has been missing for several days.
    18: There are rumours, and this is mentioned in hushed tones, that he was on an important case, and it had led him to the sewers.
    20: You manage to convince the regulars that you’re Rotham’s friend, and a friend of Rotham is a friend of the Tankard. You get a free beer and a +1 to attack rolls and tests in the Tankard while you are on friendly terms with everyone.
  2. The menu is simple, but the offerings are of the best quality.
    Beer                   6 cp                              Pub Stew            3 sp
    Whiskey           2 sp                              Fresh Bread      2 cp
  3. The general banter of the room revolves around the unseasonably warm autumn weather, a merchant caravan that was attacked by bandits earlier in the day, and the beer – a new batch that Erland Prewland, the bar keep, brewed himself.

Drinking Rules:
For every drink you have after the first, make a Fortitude save of DC10, with a cumulative -1 for every additional drink after that. If you fail, you take a -2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. Failure by more than 5 leaves you unconscious for D4 hours (in which case you can skip right to the next chapter.)

You’re still waiting for Rotham when an overly “refreshed” man starts trying to pick a fight with you. He’s not listening to reason, and making ridiculous comments about your mother. You can try talk him down (Diplomacy DC 10), in which case, his inevitable first punch does half damage. On the other hand, you can try ignoring him, although he’s not ignoring you. The last resort is just to punch him first. Fight him with your fists or improvised weapons. Download and print the map below for this encounter. Drawing a weapon or using magic will mean you’ll have to deal with the town guard, D3 +1 guards arriving in 5 rounds from when you act in such a way. After the first two rounds of combat a man dressed in rags that smell of damp sewers and smoke enters the Tankard. He jumps right into the melee and you must pass a DC 12 Perception check to realize it’s actually your friend Rotham (which you can make each round). While Rotham doesn’t swing blows at you, after you attack him he will use his Combat Expertise feat each round, giving him a +1 to AC and -1 to hit. You must split your attacks between the two until you realize your error. The crowd is loud and you cannot hear Rothams shouts to you in the heat of the brawl. See the “Unarmed Combat” and “Non-lethal Damage” sections in the “Combat” chapter of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

 

The Pewter Tankard
Download the full A4 map.

If either you or the brawler is knocked out, make a record of everyone’s status and check back here next week for chapter 2.

 

NPC’s

Morton Horthax

Human Bar Brawler, Commoner, Chaotic Neutral

STR    15 (+2)            CON     12 (+1)            WIS      10 (+0)

DEX    11 (+0)            INT       9 (-1)             CHA      8 (-1)

Offence
CMD: 12    CMB: +2    BAB: +0
Punch (Melee): +2 to hit, 1d3 +2 non-lethal damage.

Defence
AC: 11                                    HP: 7
Fort: +1                     Ref: +0                        Will: +0

Skills: Profession (Mason): 2

Feats

Weapon Proficiency: Unarmed Strike
Dodge
Catch Off-Guard (Morton uses this feat if  his life is in danger.)

Inventory: Morton has 3 gold pieces, a pouch of cheap tobacco and artisans clothing.

 

Rotham

Human Guardsman, Fighter 1, Lawful Neutral.

STR      14 (+2)                        CON     13 (+1)                        WIS      13 (+1)

DEX      12 (+1)                        INT       16 (+3)                       CHA      12 (+1)

Offence
Punch (Melee): +3 to hit, 1d3+2 non-lethal damage.
Long sword (Melee): +3 to hit, 1d8+2 (19-20/x2)

Defence
AC: 15                                    HP: 11
Fort: +2                     Ref: +0                        Will: +0

Skills
Climb 6, Handle Animal 5, Knowledge (Engineering) 7, Ride 5, Survival 5 and Swim 6.

Feats

Combat Expertise
Improved Disarm
Combat Reflexes

Inventory: Long sword, blue cape of rank, manacles and a Potion of Cure Light Wounds.

 

The quest isn’t over just yet. Continue the fight for justice in Chapter 2. For more information on Avernos, the setting of Sentinels Watching, head over here. I’m indebted to the help I’ve gained from users on www.rpg.net, especially wraithform, AlCook and Kredoc who all contributed in some way to this adventure series, thanks guys!

 

Avernos – A Land of Adventure

Dreamers

This is for the dreamers
The ones who see big things in small places
The ones who hope for better days
While making the most of now.

This is for everyone who ever had monsters under their beds
Or saw dragons in the clouds
Or fought a swashbuckling duel with their shadow
Or flew over rooftops in their dreams.

You may think you’re strange
Others may mock you
But you have something desirable
You have imagination

You have greatness
And adventure
You have hope
And you have dreams.

 

Avernos

Over the last two months I’ve been hard at work thinking, planning and building on the campaign world that had it’s birth around 2009 with my first convention module. In the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting a full adventure for solo play set in this world, so I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the main locations and aspects of the world. I’m hoping you’ll join me for many adventures in the world of Avernos.

 NOTE: Avernos means “the land we have”. For the race of man this means the land they were given, the land they fight for and the earth upon which they will make their last stand.

 

The Age of Alliance

Avernos is a land at war. The Nations of the Alliance stand with their backs to the wall while evil stalks the land, baying at the gates of humanity, baying for blood. Holding the thinning strings of the existence of the Alliance Nations together is the Alliance, a treaty between men, elves, dwarves and other races less populous races who hope for peace.  The Alliance is controlled by kings known as the Alliance Kings, rulers and representatives from each of the good races. The war, and its course, is governed by these kings.

 

The Very Jaws of the Abyss

In the centre of the lands once dominated by men, dwarves and elves, rises up a ring of mountains known as The Jaws, a ragged range of rock that encircles a might chasm, the very pits of the Abyss. From here all manner of foul creature issues forth to assault the lands, directed by a greater evil known only as The Tyrant. It is the will of the Tyrant that the lives of men, elves and dwarves should be extinguished forever, and forgotten for all time.

 

South Fort

Like a might bastion against the ravages of evil, South Fort stands, a citadel alone in the Wilderlands. Brave men and women stand watch against the terrors creeping in from the West, and heroes rise and fall in mighty battles against those who would crush man below their clawed feet.

 

Rats in the Sewers, Rats in the Streets

For all the greatness of South Fort, from its gleaming white walls to the impressive towers known as the Sentinels, the heart of South Fort is as black and corrupt as the rat infested sewers below it. Secret criminal organisations ply their trade with stolen money and a warm hand shake, while their agents stalk the alleys and close lanes, a cold blade hidden with a hearty greeting.

 

The Misty City and the Hidden Lands

The corruption of humanity is well known to the Dwarves, who sigh and continue their fight against evil, from their hidden fortress of the Misty City in the Jaws, looking always to Elves for aid, but their aid does not come. The Hidden Lands of the elves are almost forgotten, a distant thought of those who honour the Alliance with words but seldom with action.

 

Days of Darkness, Dawn of Heroes

These are dark days indeed, and Avernos has few days left. Avernos calls for heroes. Who will answer the call? Will it be unpredictable men, or the silent elves, the grim dwarves, the mysterious people of the rocks, the outcast half casts, the strange gnomes, or will hope come from the very races that would oppress the races of the Alliance. All this is for you to decide, for it’s your world to explore and it is you who will write the great sagas of the age.

 

Leave a comment and tell me what you think, I’m interested to hear your thoughts and ideas. Be sure to check out the first part of our solo campaign, Sentinels Watching.

Writing up a storm

It has been a busy month writing wise, it’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short and I’ve been plugging away at my first novel. The reason I’m telling you this is because I’m learning loads about writing that I think will extend to preparing good sessions for your players.

Make Notes

I have a tendency to put words down without thinking about what I’m actually saying. It’s not a good plan. Make notes and plan out everything, even if the planning is where you leave things. And let’s face it, planning is all you need. Good GM’s have a good outline, even if that’s all kept in their heads.

Keep it all

Don’t throw your ideas away, you can often rework something to use later. Some of my favorite scenes so far have been from my own noted that I reworked as dialogue into the text.

Cut the boring stuff

Don’t force the characters to work through boring stuff.

Keep on keeping on

You might have a lot of prep to do and a load of things waiting. Do what you can when you can.

Have fun

If you’re not enjoying it then your players probably won’t. Take a break or change things up to keep it fun.

Do you have any thoughts? Share them below.

Role playing on the super cheap.

I’m going to tell you a little secret, you don’t need all the crap. All the books, figures, maps, expansions, subscriptions and who knows what else. In fact, role-playing is one of the cheapest hobbies out there, second only to watching paint dry, and much more fun.

You’ve probably seen the paragraph in your favourite game core rule book entitled “What you need to play the game.” It probably mentions a pencil and scrap paper, dice and the book the text is printed in, with a copy of some of the main books for the Game Master (GM) and a book of baddies. This has been the trend with a number of books, but some publishers have offered the whole game in one book, such as Mouse Guard, Warhammer FRP and many indie games. These companies usually offer a number of additional books to help you expand the game, but generally you can get by without them. Some games, including some really good ones, are absolutely free. Just google Pokethulhu and download a copy of the rules, it’s a great system that can be adapted to play in any setting.

You will need to buy dice, and role-players are pretty grumpy when it comes to sharing their dice, so be sure to buy your own set. I don’t think there’s such a thing as good or bad dice, roll them hard enough and you’ll eventually roll high. I recommend getting a set including at least a D4, D8, two different coloured D10’s, a D12 and a D20. Anything else is superfluous. For the D6’s I recommend getting a set of board game dice in a few colours, which you can take from Monopoly, because who plays Monopoly since Settlers of Catan came out anyway?

Another neat trick about dice that will save you some cash, but generally slows down play is to use a D6 to make up the rolls of less common dice:
D4: roll a D6 but refill any result of 5 or 6.
D8: roll for odds or evens, then roll as you did for the D4, multiplying the result by 2 if you rolled evens.
D10: roll for odds and evens, then roll again and reroll any sixes. 1-5 is your result if you got odds, 6-10 if you got evens. Use this method to roll up D100’s as usual.
D12: roll for odds and evens, then a roll of the D6 is 1-6 for odds and 7-12 for evens.
D20: roll like you would a D10 above, but with an extra roll to decide if it’s a result from 1-10 or 11-20. This is quite a hassle, but a neat party trick. I’d recommend you get a D20 though, it’s like a sign that you’re a role-player, an open minded individual who sees the world in full colour and not just as little game pieces on a fold out game board.

As for the rest, there is so much free stuff out there that you can get deep into the hobby without much overhead. Still, I’d like to say that I’m all for supporting the game developers and publishing houses that sweat blood so we can play better games. As a writer I have some idea of the effort that goes into brining quality to the table, and it isn’t cheap. You can support them without breaking the bank by buying digital versions of your favorite games from places like Drive Thru RPG.

It’s NaNoWriMo month so I’m back to the trenches. Let me know what tips you have for saving hard earned cash and especially any free RPG’s you’d like to recommend.

Getting Mappy!

Today I’m going to give you some quick insights into map making, so you can make your location and encounter maps even more awesome.

 

Planning

Good planning is the key. Draw out a rough map of what you want in pencil, so that you can change it as you go. You’ll usually find that as you draw the map out certain things become apparent, such as a door which needs to be moved for better access or a room that is just too small for its use. Once you have the basic design, redraw the map on grid paper using an appropriate scale, you’ll find it’s helpful to refer to your rough map to get everything to fit nicely. Flesh out your map with details and make note on what you’re creating, such as who were the origional inhabitants of the place and how special features operate. Knowing what each room is used for will help you add details that make the room more alive.

Bringing it to the Table

There are a number of ways you can bring your map to the table. You might use a dry-erase board or you might want to use map tiles or draw out your map on grid paper if you want to use it as a battle map. If you’re going to use the map as a handout, a good idea is to make a GM only copy with notes and secret doors marked on it, and another players copy that only shows what the PC’s would see.

Reuse ‘Em

Seriously, as a GM you’ll be creating loads of content, and you should re-use everything, even if it’s just keeping notes on what works and what doesn’t work so you can recreate something later. As a writer of role-playing content I’ve seen the benefit of re-using something to get a better something and the time saving can be huge.

Remember that nothing exists in a void (unless you’re designing a room in a void), and there should be reasons for everything. Details like furniture, tools and even waste add meaning and make a map more real.

Do you have any map tips? Share them with us by leaving a comment below.

Tell Thrilling Tales

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss