Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Monk's Uncle's Key and not the Monkey's Uncle

5 adventurers -- a half-orc rogue brute, a halfling female rogue, a large human barbarian, an elvan wizard, and a half-elf druid.

"My uncle, a fellow monk, has gone missing.  He was hired to identify an artifact found by a group of local miners.  If you could find out what has happened I can offer a generous reward.  Most imprtantly, my uncle has a key of great importance to our monastery.  If you can find it, it is important.  You will know my uncle Traylon by his short round stature, his balding head, and the bright sun embroidered on his robes."

The group of beginners (level 3) found their way into the mine entrance, an old cave.  Unfortunately it was in use by a group of wolves that attacked the group.  The group overcame them quickly before the wolves injured their party.

A few steps down the corridor found a storage room.  The barbarian, Rondo, rushed in without hesitation and found large stones falling from the ceiling clobbering his noggin.  A couple of potions put him right as the half-orc rogue, lovingly called "The Bat", braced the ceiling.  A locked chest proved too much challenge for The Bat, but Sinda, the wizard recovered a wooden sword from the room.

The group pulled together and started through the next room towards a large metal mine lift, only to be ambushed by a rust monster.  The barbarian, not knowing the creature, struck it with his great sword, which quickly dropped to rust.  All the group fled into the lift, except for the druid.  The attacking rust monster struck the lift, dropping the part some 40 feet to a lower level.  The druid joined them, climbing down the wall.

Below they found a flooded room with several dead bodies.  The half-orc and wizard attempted to cross the river but were swept up by the current.  Two ogres appeared from nowhere ready to fish the party out of the water for supper.  Fighting killed the rust monster, buts ogres fight their way.  The barbarian swims the river, pulling the other two too close to one of the ogres.  The half-orc is attacked, but the wizard finds the body of uncle with key and gear and a golden staff.

Unfortunately, the adventure stops here, as the players disband.

Still the DM dreams the ending.  The party slowly fights off the ogres with the help of the barbarian using a wooden sword provided by the wizard.  Once the smoke clears, the group reassembles and the wizard examines the staff.  "Press 3" the inscription says and she does, plucking at the 3 gems on the staff.  A dragon appears, green and acidic, and in a bad mood.  The party begins fleeing, but 2 drop before they reach the lift tunnel.  2 more drop on the climb to the top.  The remaining barbarian crawls his way out of the dungeon with no loot, no key, no uncle, and barely alive to tell the tale of the wizard who was smart but not wise.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pathfinder and Herolab

So we're making the transition to Pathfinder.  To make things easier, I decided to invest in Herolab for Pathfinder.  With secondary licenses, I was able to make it available on multiple computers so the girls can work on their own character sheets without having to dig through tons of books.  Here are my first impressions of Herolab:

Positive:

  • Always being updated
  • Extensive content
  • Thorough.  For example, it is easy to generate companion animals
  • D20 integration in Pathfinder so I don't have to leave everything old behind
  • Nice looking character sheets
  • Lots of options for including / excluding extra content (like the Advanced Players Guide)
Negative
  • Out of the box, it didn't set the starting gold properly for the level.   I had to look it up.
  • The portrait view cuts off the picture even though the character sheet doesn't.
  • The dossier thing looks like it makes me print everything separately (spell description separate from character sheet).  Not really my preference.  Would rather print everything at once.
  • No real easy way to preconfigure all the options I needed across multiple machines.  Would be great if it would use the internet to synchronize.
  • I don't like the update page.  It doesn't seem to make it obvious what needs updated.
One qualifier I should add is that I am just getting started with Herolab.  I haven't read the manual fully yet, so this review may change as I get to know Herolab better.

Overall I think Herolab is going to make our Pathfinder experience a lot more fun and give the players a lot more opportunity to explore what characters they can make.