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The “Trippin’ Balls” Monster Template

Let’s say, for no particular reason, that you wanted a way to represent a monster that had ingested a vast amount of narcotic stimulants. The poor thing is almost certainly going to die, but until then it is high as the Abyss and in a drug-induced frenzy that makes it dangerous and unpredictable.

In short, it’s Trippin’ Balls.

So, here’s a template to add to any monster you like to represent one that is Trippin’ Balls. It should work in 5e, Level Up, Pathfinder 1e, Pathfinder 2e, and Starfinder.

(Art by Mosaic)

Trippin’ Balls

Confused in Combat: While it can decide what to do out of combat (though as GM, feel free to have it decide to do some dumb stuff), in combat or similar stressful situations, it’s confused. Like, the Confused condition confused. This condition is permanent in combat as long as the monster is Trippin’ Balls.

Eight-Ball: Whenever the Trippin’ Balls creature rolls an 8 or 18 on a d20 roll, it immediately gets an extra action (even if it’s not its turn), which is dictated by the Confused condition.

Fearless and Furious: The creature is immune to emotion, fear, and demoralize effects. Anytime it has to make a Strength-, Constitution-, Wisdom, or Charisma-based ability check, skill check, or saving throw, it rolls twice and takes the better result. Any time it has to make a Dexterity- or Intelligence-based ability check, skill check, or saving throw, it rolls twice and takes the worse result.

Also, when dealing damage, it adds 1d6, +1d6 per full 5 levels or challenge rating it has

That’s Not Good For You: The creature has half its normal Hit Points (half its Stamina Points too, for Starfinder). However, it has temporary Hit Points equal to double the number of points lost due to this ability. It begins each combat with a full set of temp HP, but each time it’s encountered reduce the number of temp HP it gets by 10% of its original total. 

If it takes additional narcotics, the creature’s temporary HP are reset to full, and it’s true Hit Points are reduced by 10% of its maximum. If it’s HP are reduced to 0, it gets 1d4 more rounds of actions, then its heart explodes and it dies.

I have a Patreon. It helps me carve out the time needed to create these blog posts, and is a great way to let me know what kind of content you enjoy. If you’d like to see more more rules inspired by movies, or system-agnostic worldbuilding, game industry essays, fiction, game design articles, worldbuilding tips, or whatever!, try joining for just a few bucks and month and letting me know!

Now On Patreon: Companion Feats for PF2

As I run my Gatekeepers campaign for PF2, the player running a ranger with a bear companion (“Brogue,” who is beloved by the team) and I are learning the Companion rules together.

Sometimes, we both think there ought to be an option to expand the existing options, such as with a feat.

Two of those feats are now up at my Patreon.

(Art by grandfailure)

Those feats (and all Tuesday and Thursday posts) is currently exclusive to my Patreon. When we raise my Patreon to $1,500/month, I’ll go back to making all my weekly posts double posts here and on my blog. (And at 1,000/month, I’ll go back to including Thursday posts here on the free blog.)

At the $1,500 goal, I’ll also create and maintain Starfinder and 5e article Index Pages for my Patrons, with links to all my 5e and Starfinder blog and Patreon content.

(However, my #Dungeon23 project, Into the Tomb Lands, is also at my Patreon and free to all! And as of this writing, we’re up to 3 encounters.)

Simple Stance Feats for Pathfinder 2nd Edition

One of the things that evolved in PF1 was “Stances,” special kinds of combat options you could only use one of at a time. They were a neat idea, but were implemented haphazardly over years of expansions (in some cases under my watch, on books I was the developer for).

Similarly, there were weapon traits in PF1, but many of them were inherited from the previous version of the game, and others were added 9again, in some cases under my watch) in ways that may not have been as consistent as they should have been.

For PF2, the Pathfinder Design Team made stances and weapon traits a core part of the game, and gave them a much more uniform (and compiled) core set of rules in the core rulebook.

So, of course, I want to play with them… in this case by combining them. Stances have the limitation you can only use one at a time (unless you’re a 20th level monk who picks just the right feat), and weapon traits have the limitation that they are only on some weapons so it can be impossible to get some combinations of traits. But with this Simple Stance feat, you can get access to traits not on your weapon, at the cost of having to set yourself into a stance (taking an action) and not being able to benefit from another stance at the same time.

(Art by warmtail)

Simple Stances [Feat 1]
[Class varies, see below]

Select two of the simple stances below which list your class, you gain access to these stances. When you meet one of these stances’ requirements you can enter that stance with the Enter Stance action. While in that stance, you may choose to add the weapon trait the stance is named for to weapons noted in the stance’s requirements. For example, a rogue can select agile stance, and when wielding a single 1-handed melee weapon and having the other hand free, the rogue may choose to add the agile trait to that weapon. If you take this feat as a monk class feat, you may also add the trait to any unarmed attack you make, and may replace any requirement with being able to make an unarmed attack.

Enter Stance [1-action]
You enter a stance you know through the simple stance feat. You may also Step.

Agile Stance [Bard][Magus][Monk][Fighter][Investigator][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding a single 1-handed melee weapon and your other hand is free.

Backstabber Stance [Monk][Fighter][Investigator][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding an agile or finesse weapon.

Backswing Stance [Barbarian][Fighter]
Requirement You are wielding a a 1-handed weapon that has the two hands trait, and are using 2 hands.

Concussive Stance [Fighter][Rogue]
Requirement You are wielding a versatile weapon that deals bludgeoning or piercing damage.

Disarm Stance [Magus][Fighter][Investigator][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are in light armor or unarmored.

Fatal Stance [Barbarian][Champion][Fighter][Ranger][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding a deadly weapon. Your fatal die size is based on the original weapon’s deadly die size, and the weapons loses its deadly trait while you are in this stance. If the weapon’s damage die is already the same size or greater than the new fatal die size, do not change the weapon’s damage die size (though it still adds a die of damage as normal for the fatal trait).

Original Deadly Die Size/New Fatal Die Size
1d6 or less/1d8

Finesse Stance [Bard][Magus][Monk][Fighter][Investigator][Ranger][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding a melee weapon of 1 or less bulk.

Forceful Stance [Barbarian][Monk][Fighter][Ranger]
Requirement You are wielding a melee weapon that does not have the deadly or fatal traits.

Grapple Stance [Bard][Fighter][Ranger][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding a weapon from the flail group, or that has “whip” in its name.

Hampering Stance [Barbarian][Monk][Fighter]
Requirement You are wielding a two-handed melee weapon, or one with reach.

Parry Stance [Champion][Monk][Fighter][Ranger][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding a shield or two weapons.

Shove Stance [Champion][Fighter]
Requirement You are wielding a shield.

Sweep Stance [Fighter][Ranger][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding two melee weapons.

Trip Stance [Bard][Fighter][Investigator][Rogue][Swashbuckler]
Requirement You are wielding a reach weapon, a weapon from the flail group, or that has “whip” in its name.

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Now On Patreon: Fighter Critical Specialization Feats

One of the interesting additions of Pathfinder 2nd Ed is critical specialization effects. While there are lots of PC options built around accessing them, I haven’t noticed any built around modifying how they work. Which, of course, made me want to create some.

Being better with criticals definitely feels weapon master/fighter themed. I could see creating a Weapon master archetype, but for now I’ve just created them as fighter class feats for Pathfinder 2nd ed over on my Patreon. Since I need to raise the funding level of my Patreon, until I get more backers all Thursday posts are Patreon exclusive.

However, once my Patreon funding level hits $1,000/month, I’ll go back to posting my Thursday posts free for all to see here, AND I’ll create and maintain an index page of all my PF2 articles for Patrons, so they can easily access all my online PF2 content!

(Art by grandfailure)

Spell Slot Expansion Class Feats for Pathfinder 2nd ed

So in Pathfinder 2e gaining some additional spellcasting options is pretty straightforward — pick up the Multiclass Dedication feat for any full spellcasting class other than your base class, and then start grabbing Spellcasting feats as they become available. Of course that gets you spells from another class, rather than your own, and it requires you pick up a Dedication feat first. But when it comes to gaining more spell slots for your own class, your only real option is Cantrip Expansion. But cantrip Expansion is very similar to the Spellcasting dedication feats, in that it gives you access to two extra cantrips.

So, let’s compare the Cantrip Expansion feat to the Wizard Dedication feat:


Feat 2
Bard Cleric Magus Oracle Psychic Sorcerer Witch Wizard

A greater understanding of your magic broadens your range of simple spells.
Prepared Caster (Cleric, Wizard, etc.): You can prepare two additional cantrips each day.
Spontaneous Caster (Bard, Sorcerer, etc.): Add two additional cantrips from your spell list to your repertoire.

Feat 2

Archetype Dedication Multiclass
Prerequisites Intelligence 14
You cast spells like a wizard, gaining a spellbook with four common arcane cantrips of your choice. You gain the Cast a Spell activity. You can prepare two cantrips each day from your spellbook. You’re trained in arcane spell attack rolls and spell DCs. Your key spellcasting ability for wizard archetype spells is Int, and they are arcane wizard spells. You become trained in Arcana; if you were already trained in Arcana, you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. Select one arcane school of magic; you don’t gain any abilities from your choice of school.
Special You can’t select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the wizard archetype.


So we can see from this that the Wizard Dedication feat gives you much more than the cantrip Expansion feat — but both add 2 cantrips per day to your total spell output. Now, there are potentially good and valid reasons for the Dedication feat to give you more, the biggest one being that as a dedication feat once you take it, you are temporarily locked out of other dedication feats, while Cantrip Expansion leaves you free to still pick up an archetype if you wish to.

So, using this as the power level baseline, we can create other Expansion feats as class feats by comparing them to Sorcerer/Wizard archetype feats of the same level. That gives us a clear blueprint for Spell Slot Expansion class feats, which like Cantrip Expansion) become class feats for all the spellcasting classes.

(Art by warmtail)

Basic Spell Slot Expansion Feat 4
Bard Cleric Magus Oracle Psychic Sorcerer Witch Wizard

A greater understanding of your magic broadens your range of more complex spells.
You gain an additional 1st-level spell slot. You gain an additional 2nd-level spell slot when your class level reaches 6th, and an additional 3rd-level spell slot when your class level reaches 8th.

Spell Breadth Feat 8
Bard Cleric Magus Oracle Psychic Sorcerer Witch Wizard

Prerequisites Basic Spell Slot Expansion
A greater understanding of your magic broadens your range of more complex spells.
You can cast more spells each day. Increase the spell slots you gain from your class by 1 for each spell level other than your two highest class spell slots.

Expert Spell Slot Expansion Feat 12
Bard Cleric Magus Oracle Psychic Sorcerer Witch Wizard

Prerequisites Basic Spell Slot Expansion
A greater understanding of your magic broadens your range of even more complex spells.
You gain an additional 4th-level spell slot. You gain an additional 5th-level spell slot when your class level reaches 14th, and an additional 6th-level spell slot when your class level reaches 16th.

Master Spell Slot Expansion Feat 18
Bard Cleric Magus Oracle Psychic Sorcerer Witch Wizard

Prerequisites Basic Spell Slot Expansion, Expert Spell Slot Expansion
A greater understanding of your magic broadens your range of extremely complex spells.
You gain an additional 7th-level spell slot. You gain an additional 8th-level spell slot when your class level reaches 20th.

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Now On Patreon: Shield Feats for PF2

I’m currently running a PF2 campaign (Gatekeepers, you can find the index here), and preparing to be on a PF2 actual play podcast (more info on that closer to time, likely early next year). This has me thinking about PF2 feats, how they are constructed, and what they are supposed to do.

As a result, I’ve released a set of shield-themed feats for F2 over on my Patreon. Since I need to raise the funding level of my Patreon, until I get more backers all Tuesday posts are Patreon exclusive.

But, there IS another set of shield feats I’ve already done for PF2, which you can access for free here.

(Sometimes you really want to get your shield up! Art by Nyothep,)

Class Paragon: An Archetype for Pathfinder 2nd edition

One common and popular Pathfinder 2e optional rule is the “free archetype,” which gives characters a free feat they can use for archetypes at 2nd level (and every even level thereafter), which they can only use for archetype feats. This makes it easy and appealing to pick up an archetype that can expand your options and bring depth to your character build.

It also makes it mandatory.

If someone just wanted to be a rogue, in a Free Archetype campaign, their choices are to violate that desire, or to ignore 10 free feats over 20 levels and be notably less powerful than their allies. Now, it’s simplicity itself to allow a character to take additional class feats the qualify for in place of archetype feats… but that isn’t really equivalent. The breadth and access to totally new and unrelated powers granted by archetypes are more than just extra feat slots. It has a broadening effect on an entire character build, and if a player wants to match that while remaining with a single class, it takes slightly more complex rules.

For that purpose, I offer up the Class Paragon. This is an archetype is designed ONLY for use in campaigns with the free archetype optional rules, to allow characters that opt to still remain within the realm of a single class to gain the same kind of benefit, in time picking up abilities from within the class that normally wouldn’t be available to them.

(Art by warmtail)

Class Paragon

Rather than spending time to learn abilities outside your core competency, you have devoted yourself to mastering a single path. In time, you will have a depth of tricks few in your chosen line of action can master.

Class Paragon Dedication Feat 2

Archetype Dedication
Prerequisites: Levels in only one class, no multiclass archetype feats
You gain a 1st-level or 2nd-level class feat, and become trained in one skill of your choice.

Basic Paragon Training Feat 4

You gain a 1st-level or 2nd-level class feat.

Advanced Paragon Training Feat 6

You gain a class feat with a level no greater than half your class level.
Special: You can select this feat up to five times.

Skill Mastery Feat 8

Increase your proficiency rank in one of your skills from expert to master and in another of your skills from trained to expert. You gain a skill feat associated with one of the skills you chose.
Special: You can select this feat up to five times.

Class Paragon Mastery Feat 10

You gain an additional class feature of your class, or an advantage with abilities gained through your class and class feats, as detailed below. You gain the benefits of any selected additional feature that would be granted to a character of half your class level, and gains additional benefits as appropriate as your effective class level for these features increases. Any time a benefit you grant you a skill proficiency level you already have, you may become proficient in one additional skill.
Alchemist: Select an additional research field.
Barbarian: Select an additional instinct.
Bard: Select an additional muse. You also add another focus point to your focus pool, which can expand your focus pool to 4 points if you would have 3 without this feat.
Champion: Select an additional cause. Your alignment need not match this cause exactly, but you must have at least 1 element in common.
Cleric: Select an additional doctrine.
Druid: Select an additional druidic order. You also add another focus point to your focus pool, which can expand your focus pool to 4 points if you would have 3 without this feat.
Fighter: Select an additional weapon group for weapon mastery. At 13th level, you also select an additional weapon group for weapon legend. At 20th level, you gain a +1 bonus to all attacks with weapons you have legendary proficiency with.
Gunslinger: Select an additional way.
Inventor: Select an additional innovation.
Investigator: Select an additional methodology.
Magus: Select an additional hybrid study.
Monk: You gain one bonus stance feat for which you meet the prerequisites. Select one stance which may be on you just gained with this feat). You can enter this stance when you roll for initiative by expending 1 focus point. You can also enter into a new stance while already in another stance without ending the previous stance, as long as one of the two stances is your selected stance, by expending 1 focus point. Each subsequent round you must either end one of the stances, or expend another focus point. You also add another focus point to your focus pool, which can expand your focus pool to 4 points if you would have 3 without this feat.
Oracle: Select an additional mystery. You can choose to also gain its associated curse, or not. You can change this decision each time you gain an oracle level.
Psychic: Select an additional conscious mind.
Ranger: Select an additional hunter’s edge.
Rogue: Select an additional racket.
Sorcerer: Select an additional bloodline.
Summoner: The manifest eidolon action takes you only 2 actions. Additionally, you gain a second eidolon (built as if you were a summoner of half your actual summoner level). You can only have one eidolon summoned at a time, but may summon either eidolon whenever you use the manifest eidolon action. If you already had an eidolon manifested when you do this, it immediately disappears as if you had dismissed it.
Swashbuckler: You select an additional style.
Thaumaturge: You select an additional implement, which functions as a first implement for a thaumaturge of half your class level.
Witch: You gain the hex cantrip and granted spell of an additional patron theme of your choice. You also add another focus point to your focus pool, which can expand your focus pool to 4 points if you would have 3 without this feat. At 15th level, you gain an additional witch focus spell of your choice.
Wizard: Select an additional arcane thesis. At 15th level, select another additional arcane thesis.


So, I need to shill for my Patreon. The time I take to write these posts is paid for my people paying me as little as $3 a month. I very much prefer making the vast majority of these posts publicly available, but right now my Patreon is not bringing in as much as I need to cover the time my blog takes up.

So, beginning this week and until my Patreon hits a higher benchmark, my Tuesday and Thursday posts are going to be Patreon-exclusive. At $1k/month, I’ll go back to having Thursday posts be public, and at $1500/month, I’ll go back to all my posts being public. I hate having to close some of my content, and I know a lot of people are in tight circumstances (and I get it), but the reality is I need to either cut back on the time taken on these blogs, or have my Patreon grow. Rather than cut back immediately, I’m trying to encourage more people to join my Patreon, in the hopes that can benefit everyone.

Gatekeeper’s Campaign for PF2, Session 2 (Part 3)

Part three of my Game Session 2 notes for my Gatekeeper’s campaign for PF2 (part one here, and part two here). The articles at the Gatekeeper Index can remind you of all the characters, backstory, rules changes, and setup, if you want a refresher.

The PCs gather at Pottage’s Tottage, and briefly update each other on their experiences of the day. Then they go inside and, to their relief, Pottage is in fact present and willing to explain what’s going on… such as he knows it.

Pottage reveals to the PCs that while he was indeed a foundling, he was found with a trunk of possessions that Nana Cutthroat kept for him until he was a young teen, when she gave it over to him. He discovered in the trunk a family journal, which claimed his family had been moving back and forth between Tidegate and the Continent for generations, trying to solve the mystery of “The Five.”

According to that tome and the research he has done since, every generation 5 people of different backgrounds who happen to be in Tidegate are drawn together, seem to begin to engage in a mystery of some kind, and then are cursed, killed, or disappear. A few generations ago one was a member of his family, and his line has been trying to figure out what is going on ever since. Often the deaths appear to be part of something ritualistic, though it’s not always at the hands of Bloodletters. Different groups, from lone wizards to wicked gollusks, have seemed intent on killing The Five each generation.

So Pottage doesn’t know what is going on, but seeing 5 of them suddenly falling into strange events he was immediately convinced they were this generations example of an event that has ben going on for at least 200 years (since the Continental Empire absorbed Khetonnia and destroyed Eirsyus). He’s spent his whole adult life preparing to help whoever the 5 turned out to be, and now the time has come. He’s been trying to learn all he can and though he has snippets — for example, the Underhill Grove is supposedly a place or group that can aid the Five, but he doesn’t know anything else about it — the core of what causes the Five to be drawn together, and who then destroys them, and why, is still a mystery to him.

And, his shop turns out to be full of secret compartments and hidden shelves. This is where he keeps his tools, tomes, and supplies, since he spends most of his time here watching over his store. Pottage notes that there was no sign of the “new girl” Chandra Chase (who Averill and Morgan ran into), but his personal chambers above the shop, and his locked valuables storage, and his basement deep storage, and his small warehouse were all thoroughly searched and left disheveled, but there’s no sign anyone found his hidden spaces in his open-to-everyone storefront.

Jaedyn suddenly asks if Chandra was the kind of “too gorgeous for it to be normal” that might mark her as a gollusk, and while no one is sure, the idea is bookmarked for later.

Pottage can’t explain the 7-legged spider that grabbed him, though he can say it appeared to be laying in wait for him. He was trying to sneak in the back way of his shop, when he and then his employee Mac where grabbed, poisoned, and wrapped up. Upon hearing about the stranger with a lock in its forehead and red motes for eyes, he notes is sounds like a wight, and was dressed in fashion common in Eirsyus roughly 200 years ago. When shown the coins Nambra grabbed (which the wight spent), Pottage pulls out of of his secret draws which has a book on local Numismatics, and confirms they are of an old Eirysus city-state from the last days of those realms before the Continental Empire crushed them. They have only been seen in recent years in old Eirysus graves.

There is, he notes, an old Eirysus burial ground roughly a day north at the southern tip of the eastern edge of the Wildwood. Upon consulting a map, Morgan confirms that was the direction the giant spider dashed off to when it fled out of town. Although they can’t be as perceive, Jaedyn and Holly also note the wight seemed to be going that way when it turns into smoke.

The PCs agree they are going to go check out the old Eirysus burial grounds, to see if they can find more info. They want to leave in the morning, but Pottage suggests they get out of town now, before the town council can decide to order them to stay here until things are all sorted out. The group decides to go to Morgan’s father’s farm, one of many within a couple hours of Tidegate, stay there for the night, and set out at first light. Pottage promises to do more research about the giant spider and the sigil on its back, and the wight.

The PCs make it safely to Morgan’s father’s farm, where those who have never been before are a bit surprised by its architecture. The entire farm is walled with a stone wall taller than a typical human, which is rare but not unknown, and the main farmhouse and neighboring barn are stone with slate roofs. It is known Morgan’s father left the island years ago, before Morgan was born, because his original home burned down, so mostly his sturdy, stone construction is attributed to that (and, perhaps, the adventuring money he made while he was gone). The farmhouse is big enough that 20 could live there long-term, and 100 people shelter in it, but it’s just home to Morgan and his father at the moment. It has 2 indoor baths with copper water tanks you can heat with a fire, a huge kitchen, and apparently multiple cellars with extensive emergency supplies.

(Morgan’s Fathers House… sorta. The roof should be slate tiles, and wall taller, the gate sturdier, and the windows all narrower and with heavy shutters. But, you know, other than that… Art by Midge9282)

Hearing that they might be tracking a wight, Morgan’s father does two things. First, he tells them if they run into a wight, they should run immediately. Secondly, he gives them a glass bottle totally wrapped in a wicker cover. he says it’s Vingarian Brandy – from Vingarie, on the Continent. Supposedly helps with level loss and doom from contact with undead (“brings warmth back into your soul”). He doesn’t know if it’s true, but it seems worth trying if they get in trouble.

The next day the PCs head north. Since there is no path or road directly to the burial grounds, they must us exploration activities to arrive without getting lost or delayed. Everyone is able to do so except Averill, who just shrugs and follows along when he thinks north is one direction, and everyone else believes it’s the exact opposite way.

Late in the day, the group is attacked by a volkyr — a vicious creature that looks like a cross between a wolf and a wolverine and has flat, all-black eyes. Local lore claims volkyr are reincarnated evil spirits –not born nor breeding like typical animals, but fel souls of mortals that step full-grown out of unlit places to cause pain and misery. The creature begins the fight with a charge, and nearly drops Morgan in a single blow. But the group is able to fight it off, and afterward patch up Morgan.

By then, it’s dusk, and the party decides to camp and continue on to the burial grounds in the morning.

End of Part 3.


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Gatekeeper’s Campaign for PF2, Session 2 (Part 2)

Part two of my Game Session 2 notes for my Gatekeeper’s campaign for PF2 (part one here). The articles at the Gatekeeper Index can remind you of all the characters, backstory, rules changes, and setup, if you want a refresher.

Morgan quickly climbs up to the top of Pottage’s Tottage, and sees a Large spider with a face he realizes matches the one he saw looking over the edge. It has struggling people-sized silk bundles webbed to its hind legs, a bright red sigil on its back, and seems to naturally have just 7 legs (4 on the left, 3 on the right). The spider sees him, covers itself in a fog cloud that moves with it, and jumps away to another roof. Morgan follows town protocol by raising an alarm (screaming “MONSTER! GIANT SPIDER!”), and goes after it. (Chase Rules)

Averill tries to follow from the ground and raise the alarm.

Meanwhile, the PCs at the Smoke Pine Taven are passing out food bundles. The system is simple, a line forms by the counter. Everyone throws down a couple of copper and gets a bundle. But Jaedyn sees a figure she does not know, who is wearing a cloak, completely covering their hands with its edge and totally covering their head with its hood. While it’s not unusual for shy strangers to come in off a ship, one being that covered is odd and with the recent weirdness makes Jaedyn suspicious. She opts to hand it a food bundle in a way that causes it to fall at the last second, hoping to get the creature to look up to grab it. (Thievery check) This succeeds, and she sees it has a desiccated face, a lock built into its forehead (like the front of a padlock), and it’s eyes are hollow black pits, with tiny bright red motes of light far, far back within the eye sockets.

It hisses at her, and runs to exist the Smoke Pine.

Jaedyn throws a knife in an effort to pin its hood to a wall so it is jerked back and its face is revealed. She succeeds, and the whole cloak comes off. The desiccated creature flees out into the street. Holly grabs its food and runs after it. Nambra takes this opportunity to conceal herself from anyone in the Smoke Pine, especially the cats. Jaedyn grabs the dropped cloak, the runs after Holly.

Holly wants to get ahead of the fleeing figure (Chase Rules), and eventually does so. She offers it the food pack, saying it’s done nothing wrong. It crouches and replies “Give me your BLOOD!” Taken aback, Holly refuses, and the creature turns into smoke and flies away faster than be followed.

It begins to rain.

Morgan is chasing the jumping cloud of fog that has a giant spider in it, while Aervill tries to rally people in the streets below. Eventually Morgan catches up to it and, since the fog is made of water vapor, tries to access his water powers (sending a hero point) to dispel it. that succeeds, and the spider creature seems surprised. Getting a better look at it, Morgan sees it has a black collar around its neck, with inward-bent hooks that dig at the spider’s flesh and cause trails of smoke to trail upward from the contact. Morgan tries to access his water powers again, succeeds, and uses them to form curved blades of ice that cut the collar free of the spider creature.

The spider gasps, drops the two figures strapped to its legs, looks at Morgan and chokes out “You’re in DANGER!” Then, it flees.

Morgan cuts the two figures loose, discovering they are Pottage and Mac. He and Averill get back together, and Pottage comes to enough to say he’d like his return to be kept secret for now. Morgan and Averill agree, and happen to mention the new woman working at the Tottage, Chandra Chase, didn’t know he was back yet. Pottage is concern because he hasn’t hired anyone new, and doesn’t know a Chandra. Pottage promises to meet them in a bit at the Tottage, but asks if and can they get Mac to Hexer Helaina, since he’s not recovering as fast. They agree, and while Morgan takes Mac to Hellaina, he sends Averill to go get Jaedyn, Holly, and Nambra and bring them to the Tottage as well.

Nambra, as it happens, noticed the two coins the desiccated figure used to buy food looked different from any others she’s seen, and exchanges them for two coins of her own. Holly and Jaedyn come back in, noting the figure disappeared. Nana Cutthroat comes up to them and hears the description, and says it sounds like a wight. She is asked if wights are common in Tidegate, and affirms they are not. There was one wight captain who couldn’t set foot off his ship that used to come to port now and then, and they allowed it, but it turned out he had a plot to have his ship carried by millions of tiny crabs, and then a holy knight from the Continental Empire showed up and destroyed him.

But, Nana Cutthroat notes, this cloak seems older than that. She gives it a deep sniff, then suddenly says she must talk to the council, and rushed off into the rain, with the cloak.

And just then, Averill shows up, and explains why they should go to the Tottage.

End Part 2.


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Gatekeeper’s Campaign for PF2, Session 2 (Part 1)

As long as there is interest, I’ll keep posting Game Session notes for my Gatekeepers game for PF2. Due to work, illness, holidays, and one players dedication to seeing a single specific college football game every year (Bedlam), it’s been a long time since session 1.

The articles at the Gatekeeper Index can remind you of all the characters, backstory, rules changes, and setup, if you want a refresher.

The day after taking Hexer Hellaina to the ruined tower outside of town, the PCs want to go talk to Pottage, since he seemed to know what was going on. But, they discover, while they were out all day with Hellaina, the Town Council sent Pottage to Seagrace, to bring the Duchess of tides a report on the recent events around Tidegate. It’s expected to be a week or so round trip. Pottage is often sent on such trips, as he has people he trusts to run his store without him (Pottage’s Tottage), has no other official duties in town, lacks family that might need him, and is younger than other councilors who might otherwise be free to make the trip.

The PCs go about their lives. Holly spends time focusing on the strange new elemental energy she accessed n the first session. So does Morgan, though he does so through the sword exercises his ex-adventurer father taught him. Jaedyn practices with the amazing rapier Nana Cutthroat seems to have just had sitting around to give her. Nambra hunts. Averill puts in extra shifts as a telekinetic dock worker.

It remains an unusually stormy fall.

After a week the PCs get together at the Smoke Pine Taven, and discuss what to do. Pottage should be back now, but no one has seen him. Several PCs notice that Guster, one of the most stand-offish of the semiferal cats that hang around the Smoke Pine stays near Holly, which is unusual. He is also recently well-brushed, and that’s unusual. He’s the same cat that sat on Holly in Session 1 when the PCs warmed by the fireplace in the common room. The PCs wonder if he is a spy for a local witch?

With a major storm threatening, they decide to have Averill and Morgan go to Pottage’s Tottage to see if he’s back, or if his employees have an eta. Meanwhile, the storm looks to have winds strong enough to blow cinders back into the homes of people with simple, cheap chimneys. That means lots of folks will be coming to the Smoke Pine to grab packs of food wrapped in cheesecloth, so they can eat cooked food but close the flue on their fireplaces for the storm, so the other PCs stick around to see if Guster eventually leaves the Smoke Pine, so they can follow him.

Upon arriving at Pottage’s Tottage, Averill and Morgan see Mac, a human who works for Pottage and is famous for moving and talking slowly, battening down the window shutters. The front door is open, so they go in, and encounter a gorgeous young woman they have never seen before. She says her name is Chandra Chace, is very friendly, and says Pottage hasn’t returned yet. So, the two PCs head back out… and Morgan notices he’s hearing shutters around the back of the building bang continuously in the wind. Mac should be able to secure a shutter quickly, so the fact this is still banging is weird. Morgan finds Mac’s prints in the soft earth around the shop, and follows them around to the back where they lead up to the banging shutter and just… stop.

Morgan looks up at the top of the shop, and for a spilt second sees a lumpy, hair-covered face with two giant round black eyes and… fangs? But the face, twice the size of a human’s, ducks back behind the ridgeline of the roof just as Morgan spots it.

End Part 1. I’ll get to part Two tomorrow.


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