Recently we started a new campaign with my players using the Jade Regent Adventure Path, so I decided to do something I haven’t done in years : to write an online campaign journal about our gaming sessions. Hopefully I can provide updates in every 2-3 weeks on the matter.
I hope I could keep it interesting while also using our campaign as an example for some Game Master decisions and problem solving. For the later I will include notes when and why I’ve taken an action as a GM and I will tell to you how is it affected the campaign (and my player’s overall happiness)
Of course, the journal will be FULL with spoilers, so if you plan to play through the campaign then maybe you should stop reading now.
I created a Google Site for the campaign which is available on this link. As you see there is a lots of things not already uploaded to the site, but I hope I could upload everything in several days.
For the first session I assembled five players. You may take a look at their characters here, including (almost) complete character sheets.
– Antonia is a half-elf alchemist. Maybe she is the most judicious character in the party, which is good news, considering she is carrying around a lots of explosives. As she is now low on money, she joined Sandru’s caravan as a healer to earn some money to finance her alchemical researches.
– Erik Fornisson is a brutal viking warrior who like little else above journeys and fighting. He embodies the honor and loyalty of his forefathers proudly. The life of a caravan guard on dangerous roads is quite fitting for him, and he is always eager to prove his worth as a mercenary.
– Graeln is a cleric of Sareanea who lost most of his family to a raid when he was just a child. At first he couldn’t think of anything else but revenge, but the teachings of the priests completely changed him. He is changed that much that now he is a pacifist, using force only in self defense or against obviously destructive or evil opponents.
– Kumiko Asuka’s family had to left Minkai decades ago when they were accused to support a rebel movement. Her parents mostly abandoned the “old ways”, but Kumiko always wanted to return to their family’s homeland and bring honor to their family’s name. Trained by his grandfather about the way of the samurai, she left her parents for a more adventurous life. She’s now trying to collect enough money to travel to Tian Xia through the sea.
– Tenjin Daron already had an adventurous life when he arrived to Sandpoint. As a partly Tian Xian descent he had an interesting time in Brevoy, trying to honor the ancient traditions he barely knows while training as an Aldori Swordlord. He spend most of his life on the road, exploring both the world and himself.
First Gaming Session – The Brinewall Legacy part 1
The characters met each other at Sandpoint, where the local Sheriff was looking for help. The Licktoad Goblins, a local tribe living in the dangerous Brinestump Marsh is started to attack caravans along the road, and if it wasn’t bad enough they somehow acquired a lots of pyrotechnics. Their attack caused a lots of financial damage thanks to frightened animals and fires caused by their toys. Now it was the player’s job to solve the problem : stop the attacks, and to find out what or who is the source of the pyrotechnics the goblins use.
After packing their equipment and food for the journey the players decided that they don’t want to go blindly into the marsh, so they decided to looking for Warthus, a halfing ranger, the self-appointed defender of the area. It seems that it was a good idea, as an encounter with the Soggy River Monster showed how horrid creatures are living in the marsh. Arriving at Warthus’s house they started to talk with the ranger (or at least they thought he is Warthus) but it seemed strange that he don’t know that much that he should. The fact that he was bitten by his own snakes seemed even stranger. However everything became clear when the “ranger” revealed to be an impostor, a faceless stalker !
Thankfully, after the players successfully killed the stalker they were able to find the real Warthus in a hidden room. He was eager to help the adventurers with information (including the place of the goblin camp) and he offered his magical cloak (a +1 Cloak of Resistance) for saving his life.
The camp of the Licktoad Goblins was in an abandoned village, deep in the marsh. When the adventurers arrived there they was surprised to find the guard towers empty, and recognize the signs of some recent combat. They decided to look around in the seemingly abandoned buildings, but then the goblins attacked ! That was a really chaotic battle, with goblins trying as insane tactics as no sane man would do, and shooting fireworks left and right. But no matter how brave the goblins was the players were able to overcome them, capturing one of the Licktoads, a warrior named Puka in the process.
Puka was the bravest and most effective from the attacking goblins, who standed his ground even when the others retreated. He was able to single-handedly hold back Kumiko and Erik, even disarming Erik once, ad wounding him with his own battleaxe ! After his capture in combat he provided information to the players about the recent event what happened there, but back on that later.
There is one thing left to do in the village : to storm the hideout of the goblin Chief Gutwad in a barred house. While the chief was an effective combatant and wounded several adventurers seriously they finally took him down and captured him. After he recovered he was interrogated and left to go, but his weapons and armor was confiscated.
What the players know now, and where to go ?
After speaking with the two goblins the adventurers received two interesting information :
– The fireworks are from two abandoned shipwrecks in the marsh. A recovered chest suggest that they may had a Tian Xian origin.
– The recent battle in the village was against a group of undead, who came after some treasure the goblins “liberated” from their cave. After they got back their treasures they left the village
The players are planning to look after both information.
GM Notes : Puka
Puka started to be a nameless goblin NPC from the Licktoad Tribe, just like any other goblin in the village. His effectiveness was coming from good rolls with my d20, rather than better statistics than his brethren.
He now has the chance to become a full-time NPC for two reasons : because the goblin fight was so memorable, and Puka was as brave, that one of the players (Kumiko’s player) decided to try to persuade the goblin to join the adventurers as a cohort. She want the goblin around because it’s amusing, not as a primary front-line fighter or as an NPC party member.
As a GM I could say simply “No” for an idea like this, but I think it’s an interesting idea, and we find some reasons for Puka to join in, if the player could persuade him. First, Kumiko was one of the few adventurers who didn’t wanted to kill him fter his capture. Second, with the Licktoads largely gone, joining some powerful adventurers could offer some protection, a very intersting new life, even if they killed several of his tribe. And third, the strange humans even offered him his chief’s old armor (which is pretty vaulable and shiny), so maybe other treasures are on the way.
So as a Game Master I let my players try it. It could turn out to be a very bad idea for them as goblins are far from reliable. But why not ? I already decided : if Puka join in, I “retcon” him from a simple level 1 Warrior (see Bestiary) to a level 1 fighter with the Cad archetype, and int 13 (as he is obviously brighter than his brethren… and it’s open the way for some very fitting combat feats to)
So now, we are here. In the next session the adventurers could find out the secrets of the undead, the shipwrecks… and the local tavern owner.
For the complete campaign journal you should visit this link to the campaign’s Google site.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros