1/2 Orc Barbarian
Billy Boson (Drunk NPC with charts to tower)
How did they meet? I said that the group met while performing dangerous odd jobs for gold. On their last job as caravan guards they ended up in New Port. The Aereth map has this adventure listed but no town so I made one up. After getting equipment in town they ended up at The Blade & Bottle to grab a drink. That's when a drunken sailor bumps into their table and spins a yarn about a giant black pearl in a tower under the sea.
This is a small group with two newbies so I gave them each a healing potion. Playing a drunken pirate was a lot of laughs. Using Billy's (stealing a) boat to row out to the tower and trying to read the chart was a challenge. Even the Barbarian tried to puzzle it out.
When a half sober Billy guides the party to the tower they discover that someone else is already there. Caution is thrown to the wind and they storm the tower. Drunk pirates left to guard the door rush them and two trip and fall (Nat. 1's). The Barbarian and his axe are making short work of the pirates when he loses his grip on the blood soaked handle and nearly throws it off the tower and into the ocean (another Nat. 1). After the battle the rogue opens the door.
The candle room was strange to them. Finding their names in the book was a head scratcher. I don't think they ever connected the candles with the names. They toyed with crossing out a name to see if anything happened, but the dwarf (who failed every arcane knowledge roll he made in the tower) said they should not touch anything.
Moving to the stairs the Barbarian got to jump (he put max points in this and wanted to jump whenever possible) the gap and made it fine. They tied a rope to the dwarf and gave the other end to the barbarian. The dwarf hit the stair trap and fell. The rogue jumped the gap no problem. I forgot all about the animated fetishes here and never ended up not using them.
The portal room was no problem. They spilled a couple of drops of blood from a wound and the Barbarian went through. The pirates got a free whack and the fight was on. The rogue ended up coming through to help after a round. The dwarf was scared to go and the portal closed on the next round. After the battle a HP was used here. The dwarf finally shows up.
This room was fun. The players tried several rituals that they came up with (guided by the dwarf's failed arcane knowledge rolls
) to try and make something happen here. After the smoke cleared they took the bowl and abandoned the rest.
The boatman and the money was no problem but they only gave one coin each. I think this is what almost 100% of people would do. They were a little puzzled when he dropped the coins over the side of the boat halfway through the trip.
Meeting Savage Quenn was fun. I changed his weapons to two black cursed short swords based on a Paizo item card that I had. I had a card for each sword so I made Quenn a dual wielding fighter. I just did it on the fly and didn't worry about stats because I wanted him to die so the players could get their hands on the black blades. The whisker sword just seemed goofy to me (sorry Harley). After a couple of rounds of negotiations and maneuvering for a better spot in case of a fight they decided to work together. The rogue triggered the blade trap while trying to pick the door lock. When this happened the pirates attacked. Quenn's cursed blade ended up killing him. Lord Harry (his right) is a +1 vicious short sword. The Blade let out an earsplitting scream when sucking the life force out of Quenn and the Barbarian. Old scratch (his left) is a +1 wounding short sword. The blades names are slang names for the devil. No one caught this. The cursed blades only function when the moon is full. The Rogue couldn't wait to use these swords even after Quenn's death. The next full moon could be the Rogue's last
Another HP for the Barbarian here.
This room seems deadly at first but ended up being super easy. The group just ran to the next door and the Rogue picked the lock. Round one search room, R2 move to door 1-9, R3 Rogue triggers trap on Nat.1 and falls, R4 water falls Dwarf and 1/2 orc move to find rogue dieing, R5 HP to revive Rogue, R6 picks lock, R7 move to next room and close door. I dropped the +1 armor from here. They already got two +1 swords earlier.
The bridge ended up being dramatic with the players trying to run across one by one and avoid the boatman's oar. Lots of balance checks. The dwarf chucked a handful of coins at the boat and ran across so I let him go while I tried to stop laughing. I just couldn't shake the image of a terrified dwarven wizard trying to run across this rickety bridge throwing handfuls of coppers over the side.
The tomb was also easy They took 20 to search and found everything. Gems for the portals missing eyes was easy to puzzle out. To the wizards horror (NOOOO!!!) the Barbarian put the crown on as soon as he got his hands on it . Nothing happened. The wizard spent the next several minutes telling the 1/2 orc (who wasn't listening at all while admiring his cool new crown) all about what could have gone wrong. They find the secret door and spend several rounds trying to keep it open. Just as I was about to break it so they would move on they finally give up. I wasn't sure why but they really wanted that door left open.
Through the portal replace eyes and through that portal to the finale. The players are stumped. The Barbarian grabs a snake to see if it's poisonous. Yes he really said that. The gods must lookout for idiots because he rolled a Nat. 20 for handle animal. He has no idea what it is survival check not so good. Everyone else yells, Throw it back! Throw it back you fool! No one is going in the water they are stumped. Finally they want to swing across on a rope and grapple. To move things along I fudge rolls and say it works. The Barbarian swings across and showing some brains stands on the head of the statue when pulling the pearl out of the dragons mouth. Even though he avoided the water crushing him I wasn't sure how he was going to swing back across with out a running start. He had also tied the rope off before grabbing the pearl. Thinking quick the wizard casts magic missile targetting the rope near the bottom. I gave him this moment and said that it worked perfectly. I ruled that about mid swing the water rose up and he would have to swim the rest. Meanwhile the rogue put blood on the symbol to open the portal and swam through. the wizard followed close behind and a round later (after a couple of snake bites) the 1/2 orc came through. The portal shut down stopping the water flooding for now.
They wasted no time running up to the top. Only the rogue stopped long enough to try and grab the book. After triggering the trap (and having the dwarf yell down for him to Just leave the damb book! ) he climbed up as well. Just to build up the drama of the tower flooding I had Billy and the boats nowhere in sight. The WTF! look on their faces was priceless. I live for those moments as a DM.
Anyway I had Billy row in just as the water was rising up around their knees. We ended things here with them rowing back to New Port.
I tried to keep this short.