"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Monday, January 11, 2010

2E Rise of the Runelords - Session 4

Note that there are spoilers for Paizo's Rise of the Runelord adventure path.

Session 4 - The Missing Key

This adventure happened on November 22nd and featured:

- Kobb “One Tusk”, the half-orc mercenary,
- Toran Stargazer, the young thief from Magnimar,
- Asreal Nom, the savage human ranger, and
- Vardinil, the elven fighter/magic-user.

Summary: While making preparations to re-enter the caves under the glassworks, the party encounters a different problem and hands out some vigilante justice.

I. Getting Ready: Session 4 began with the party splitting up and heading to various places in Sandpoint to take care of a few things before returning to the caves. Kobb remained at the Rusty Dragon Inn to have breakfast, Goalrath finished his morning devotions and met Kobb at the inn, Asreal went to the apothecary to find a remedy to the bad dreams he has been having and to help him sleep, Vardinil, after memorizing his spells, went to the village's academy and met the headmaster who is a former adventurer and mage to seek help with identifying some of the items the party has found, and Toran first went to the jeweller about buying a present for Shayliss and then went to a small shrine attended by a learned monk to try to find out some information about Sandpoint's history.

II. The Break-In: On his way to meet the others, Toran saw two ragged looking thugs ransacking the locksmith's shop. He quickly retreated to a shadowed spot to keep and eye on the thugs. When the dwarf locksmith arrived, he began shouting for the town guard and the thugs fled the scene. Toran darted after them, keeping far enough away not to be spotted but close enough to tail them. After the thugs fled into a disreputable tavern, Toran went and got the rest of the party and then returned to the tavern to try to find the two thugs.

III. A Chase on the Docks: Being unsuccessful finding the two thugs in the tavern, the party went out the backdoor and out onto the docks directly behind the tavern. After a few moments of investigating, the party spooked a nearby half-orc who quickly tried to flee. Jumping from dock, to barge, to boat, the chase ended with the half-orc turning and fighting the party. After the half-orc pushed a couple of party members off of the barge they were fighting on, the party decided that trying to capture him would be too difficult so the battle ended with the half-orc dead, a few party members soaking wet, and a number of dock workings looking on.

After explaining what had happened to the town guard, the party returned to the locksmith's shop, where Volioker, the locksmith, asked for their help to recover the only thing of any importance to locksmith that was stolen - a plain copper key.

IV. The Hideout of the Green Daggers: Following a clue they recovered from the dead half-orc, the party found an abandoned manor that was now being used as a hideout for small upstart gang of thieves, the Green Daggers. Many of the thieves were dead or dying from a "blinding sickness". After defeating a number of thieves and the thief/magic-user leader, the party found a number of clues indicating that the thieves started to get sick about two weeks ago. They were recently hired by a cleric of Nethys (god of magic) to recover a copper key from the locksmith shop in return for a cure for the blinding sickness. The cleric had picked up the key that morning left a number of doses of the cure but the doses don't seem to be working. The party also discovered a ledger detailing a transaction where the gang bought a charmed giant bird and then sold it to "Aspis".

Body Count: The half-orc on the docks, a couple of Green Dagger thieves that ambushed them in the hideout, a pair of identical twin halflings that used potions of invisibility to get the jump on the party, and Cyrathas, the elven leader of the Green Daggers.

Treasure: Most of what the party recovered was the possessions of Cyrathas, the leader of the Green Daggers.

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DM Notes:
This was the first major diversion from Paizo's Rise of the Runelord's AP. I have been throwing some other hooks at the party but they have been so focused on Nualia's plot that this is the first one they have taken. I used the adventure from Dungeon #114 - Mad God's Key and adapted it for Sandpoint. I think it went well. It also allowed me to throw out a hook for Asreal's player to do some stuff related to his background (the giant hawk).

Conversion of the Mad God's Key
a 3.5E adventure from Dungeon #114

I typically use a very simple conversion process for NPCs to adapt a 3.5E adventure for my 2E campaign.

At low levels I keep the hit points as given in the published adventure. I higher levels I take between 50% and 75% of the given hit points.
I determined Hit Dice by dividing the hit points by 5. I then round up or down depending on how things are going or how evil I feel.
Thaco was calculated as 20-Hit Dice
For the most part AC = 20 - 3.5E AC, however if it is important I actually calculate based on the 2E rules.
And special abilities are approximated.

For example, the final encounter we had in session 4 was against Cyrathas, an elven mulitclassed rogue 1/sorcerer 2. So I wanted him to have some thief abilities and be able to cast magic-user spells.
He had 13 hp as given in the adventure

HD = 13 / 5 rounded up = 3
Thaco = 20-3 = 17
His AC was given as 15 so I used 20-15=5

Special abilities:
I used the base thieve abilities for a 1st level thief as printed on my 2E DM screen and didn't worry about making any racial or dexterity based adjustments.

For spells, in the adventure he has Burning Hands, Shield and a bunch of 0-level spells. So I just kept both of the 1st level spells as they have 2E equivalents and used Cantrip to replace the 0-level spells.

For magic items, I used the 2E equivalents for what he had in the published adventure.

Did all of this add up to a 1st level thief / 2nd level magic-user? Not exactly but he used a magic wand (Grease) to great effect, lost his Burning Hands spell when he was hit while trying to cast it, lit a pool of lantern oil on fire by knocking over a torch using Cantrip, drank a potion of healing and generally made for a fun encounter.

If you have Dungeon #114, my quick and dirty conversions resulted in the following encounters:

Chapter 1:
The Looted Locksmith - didn't convert as the two thugs fled and were not fought.

Barge End & Wharf Chase - lots of DEX and STR checks jumping from docks, barges and boats. Irontusk (AC 6, HD 4, hp 20, club & studded leather). He was killed - lots of explaining to do to the town guard!

Chapter 2:
G2 - Stirges (from the monsterous manual)
G4 - replaced Krenshar with a guard dog that was quickly made friendly by the Ranger
G9 - the Diseased Green Dagger Junior Gang Members were not converted because they were not fought.
G10 - Daylin (Half-elf, AC 5, HD 1, hp 5, shortsword & leather armour, level 1 thief skills) - he successfully hid in shadows and hit with a sneak attack on the Elven Fighter/Magic-user.
G11 - Spiked Iron Sphere trap - save vs magic wand or take 2d6 damage - this hit the thief after he opened the door without checking for traps. Fun!
G13 - Dalta Gwyn (AC I misread it in the adventure and used an AC of 7, HD 3, hp 13, shortsword, light crossbow, leather armour) and Collapsing Stairway trap - save vs breath weapon or fall taking 2d6 damage - the trap was sprung by Kobb the half-orc and he was severely hurt. More fun!
G19 - Tisa and Risa (twin halflings, AC 4, HD 1, hp 6, shortsword & leather armour) I gave each of them a potion of invisibility that they used just before the party came into the room. After the battle, Asrael the Ranger fell down one of the pit traps (save vs breath weapon or fall down to the 1st level and take 1d6 damage).
G21 - Cyrathas (conversion above).

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