Daily Archives: July 15, 2010

Pathfinder Session 2- Behind the Scenes- Mouseguarding

One Pissed Off Mouse

I’ve been excited to write this post all week. Quite a bit happened in our Pathfinder Session (Post 1, Post 2, and Post 3).

Today I’m going to focus on the behind the scenes info today (which is something I will be doing regularly now that I’m posting the session recaps on Obsidian Portal).

Last week I talked at length about “Mouseguarding” in DnD/Pathfinder (Hell or any game for that matter), and was able to try it out in my Sunday Pathfinder game. It went remarkably well and I am excited to try it again.

So not only did I incorporate the Twist/Complication/Condition Mechanic from Mouse Guard, but also the Goals Mechanic.

I have to say that this was awesome! Something really cool happened. Normally when I give my players a free “sandbox” like moment, some of them don’t really know what to do, or really don’t have the desire to stray from the main storyline very much.

I explained every player needed to choose a goal that complimented the main story goal and gave my players few minutes to think.

Yet this mechanic allowed them to add a goal to the adventure that was theirs and that they wanted to accomplish. This is something I will use every session now and I think it is something my players will enjoy and become better at more detailed goals once they get more accustomed to the mechanic.

Here is what they came up with:

After a few more minutes discussion it is decided that the 2 Rangers left, and the town guard will tighten security at the gates and two guards will go circle the outside wall. G-4683 offers to accompany them.

Leo is going to write a letter to his father, explaining the fate of James, and to Armoren Byranthos informing him of the situation.

Pharmakia wants to see Yessa Chen, the villages local Sooth-Sayer, and see if she can aid in shedding any light on the towns dreams.

Herger decides that the best course of action is to take a nap and see if he himself can experience one of the dreams the people have been having.

Laila decides to scout around the town and see if there is anything particularly useful that will be helpful (or valuable to steal).

You can read it in depth in Part 2 of the Recap. All of this was unplanned and improv and went really smoothly. It seemed everyone had quite a bit o’ fun.

Now moving on to Complications/Twists/Conditions.

This is from Laila’s adventure in Part 2-

She moved around the room and found that one of the pictures on the wall was hiding a safe. She began to pick at the lock when her pin broke. She started at the nub of the metal when the door opened. She whirled around and saw a female scooting in backwards quietly and closed the door slowly. When the woman turned around, she cried out, “What are you doing in here?!”

“Your father sent me in here to look for something. He said there was something important in the study.” Laila muttered unconvincingly.

This was really hilarious because when Sam (Laila) was sneaking about the room Elmer (Leo) said, oh if she fails a good twist would be the Mayor’s daughter walked in. Everyone laughed and Sam kept saying, “That’s not funny! Don’t jinx me!”

So when Laila attempted to pick the lock of the safe hidden behind the portrait, she rolled a 1. I cracked an evil smile and explained what is posted above. Sam just looked at everyone, “I hate you. I hate all of you.” It was good fun!

When Herger set to accomplish his goal of attempting to experience the dreams that the people of Iyopen were having he failed and I naturally started telling him that he was unable to have a dream and to try again. Then I caught myself mid sentence and realized that I was being a naughty GM and not in a good whips and chains and paddles sort of way…

I was keeping John (Herger) from having fun and accomplishing something cool. So I decided that he would indeed have his dream, but I would give him the tired (Fatigued) condition.

With a start Herger woke up groggy and disorientated.

Which he cursed me for, since it was -2 Dex/Str and it pretty much hindered his fighting ability as a sorcerer. Oh well can’t win em all.

Going for Fun and Cool

Pharmakia walks over to the wishing well and looks at the coins in the water. She looks back at the group, while unfastening her prayer blanket from around her shoulders. “I’m going to see the fountain.” She lays out her blanket, her gris-gris, and lights some incense. She bows her head and goes silent as the group gathers around her. She lifts her head up and her eyes fly open, milky white and unseeing.

The sound of wind and rushing water fills Pharmakia’s ears. Everything appears blurred and moving slow. She sees silhouette figures appearing in front of the fountain, dropping in a coin and wishing for something; “I wish my daddy would play with me.”, “Please let me wife get better.”

A figure walks up to the fountain and seems to stop for a few moments, head bowed. “Please let my husband return safely.” Then she tosses three coins in the fountain. Suddenly Pharmakia’s vision lifts her up and she is looking down into the fountain at the three coins tossed in by the woman, they glitter for a moment and then blood starts to leak from them, coloring all the water red.

Pharmakia’s eyes suddenly return to normal, “Something bad has happened,” she whispers quietly.

When Angie (Pharmakia) came up with this idea, pretty much everyone said that it was a really cool idea. However they are all level 1 and it isn’t like a Witch or any other class has any powers for this sort of thing. I caught myself before I said it, but I almost said, “Well you aren’t strong enough, so there isn’t really anything you can do.”

Instead I told her to make a Spellcraft Roll DC 15 to see if anything happened and started planning contingencies for if she failed her roll. Angie passed her roll however and the adventure moved along smoothly.

The session was quite a bit of fun. Everyone did something really creative and accomplished their goals.

Coming up tomorrow: Mouseguarding Pathfinder- Beliefs and Instincts.