Sorry about the gap; the last few days have been very busy and sleep has been at something of a premium.
So I played in that Pathfinder game I mentioned a day or two back. Yarga Midgaardsson and his merry metal band went on a journey to the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, converted to Pathfinder from 4th Edition D&D.
However, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
Because it was a one-shot game, there was a lot of character optimization and not as much characterization at first- when the DM asked everyone to tell the table about their characters, there was a lot of hemming and hawing along with looking around waiting for someone else to speak up- except for Josh (the friend-of-a-friend, and the reason for the game), who had been planning his character for 3 months or so.
In my own defense, I was ready, but to paraphrase Shakespeare, I hesitated when I saw others hesitate.
Darla Bratwood was a half-orc with recessive genes who eventually went off on her own to become an adventurer. She ended up in a kind of crummy town in the middle of a swamp, and would occasionally go out and do Adventurer Things there.
The rest of the table was still kind of stymied at this point, so I jumped in. Darla was on an adventure in the swamp one day, when she heard music coming from the swamps towards her. A hulking, scale-covered figure wearing a spiked breastplate and carrying what looked like a cross between a greataxe and a guitar emerged from the vegetation. This unlikely creature began exhorting the glory of Metal. Darla wasn’t exactly sure what Yarga meant, and sometimes it even seemed like he didn’t know, but he proved to be a boon companion in the days to come- he would play on that strange weapon of his and she’d get totally amped.
In short order, the other players latched onto this idea and became members of Yarga’s band without me even trying to suggest it- I figured I would just be playing this goofball dragon-man who played annoying-but-helpful music, but within moments, people were allotting leftover skill points to Perform skills and explaining their roles in the band:
- Zaigan, aasimar oracle of Desna, cursed by her to waste away but never die, was our very gothy front man. He would sing in Celestial about the futility of life and the inevitability of death (everyone’s but his), while Yarga would try to keep the songs a little more upbeat and focused on being Metal. Zaigan also had an addiction to positive energy, which we figured would cause the band to eventually break up.
- IRL (pronounced “Earl”) Bear, an oread Bear Shaman druid, was our pyrotechnics expert, truning into a bear mid-concert and casting flame spells, because that’s totally metal.
- Spiros Wegan, the Wind in the Stone, was a dwarven monk who we found living on a beach one day, and everyone knows dwarves have a thing for metal. He was a passable drummer; he could keep the beat most times, but not much else.
- Vane, human inquisitor, sort of latched onto our band after her village was destroyed by vampires and werewolves working together (who knew!) She saw the band as her surrogate family more than anything else, but Yarga still saw her as a Metal Warrior.
Anyhow, our manager had gone missing, and we were approached by a halfling whose interests intersected with ours. He gave Zaigan a scarab of some kind (it saved his life at least once), and the rest of us a map. Having been handed The Adventure, we decided on our band name (names like “Velvet Chuul” and “Adamantine Juggernaut” were bandied about, but when we found ourselves in front of a crowd, we ended up with the name “Deeper Darkness“), and then went adventuring.
We wandered around a dungeon for awhile, filling out the track list of our first album (Metallicide) as we went. Each track was based on something that happened in-game, and dutifully recorded by John. The explanations for the track names will give away what happened, so I’ll put them at the bottom. Highlights included being betrayed by a giant crab, Darla getting dominated by a vampire, and water being the most deadly part of the dungeon.
Then we ran afoul of a beholder.
The beholder only wanted us to break a rune that was keeping it prisoner in the room we found it in, but having already been betrayed by the crab (it sent a pretty nasty vampire to kill us after we spared it) and knowing that the beholder would probably kill us out of principle even if the crab had been honorable, we declined and tried to outrun it.
A few eye rays later, Yarga was asleep, then petrified. The rest of the party made it out, except for IRL, who was stuck on the far side. IRL tried a few tricks to circumvent the room, but the accursed nature of the dungeon prevented her from doing it. Ginally, the party decided they’d rest and then fight the beholder on the next day, telling IRL that they would come back for her. We had also looted a break enchantment scroll along with a raise dead scroll from a nereid, so the plan was to steal Yarga’s petrified body and give IRL enough time to run through, if we couldn’t kill the beholder.
A dramatic battle ensued. Darla’s mighty shield bashing and a well-placed fire snake by IRL finished the creature, but the beholder disintegrated Yarga’s body as a last spiteful act.
However, the reincarnate spell just requires the remains of a creature, regardless of their condition, and Yarga came back to life as a (confused, naked) dwarf.
- Your Great Might (Pull It Out) (the crab taunted us about our “great might”)
- Ghostbane Dirge (we were attacked by ghosts)
- Keep Swinging
- Stonewall Bite (A rock wall sprayed us with acid when we moved a rock blocking the path)
- Crackin’ the Shell (we killed the crab after it betrayed us)
- Burn the Sand (we were attacked by a vampire that turned to sand as a defensive tactic; IRL set the sand on fire with her mighty bear paws)
- Jacking Her Twice (Darla got into a slugfest with a water nymph)
- The Red and the Black (we ended up in a large room with a mural of a war between two sides- red and black)
- Down to the Top (an eerie spectral vision taunted us with directions that didn’t make sense)
- Poison Basement (deep track mix) (the lower level of the dungeon poisoned us whenever we weren’t actively trying to kill something)
- TPK I (the beholder combat was pretty brutal; I’m still not sure how we didn’t all die)
- Form of Stone, Heart of Metal (Yarga Memorial Track)
- Tin Can Instrumental (there was an insult at one of the bosses of the dungeon; he got called “tin-can shitface” or something like that)
- TPK II (The Eyes Have It) (I predicted that the beholder would finish us off)
- Yarga the Dragon Dwarf (Dust to Dust, Metal to Metal)