Adventuring in the Shadow of the Demon Lord, part 1

This past Friday, we were down a couple of players, so we had decided that Paul would run his game. He then thought he might be late getting to the session, so asked Taylor to bring something. That something was his new book, Shadow of the Demon Lord, and we set to make characters.

We delved into the quick but immersive character creation and had everything done within probably fifteen minutes, with Taylor walking three of us through the process. Other than your race, rolls determine everything about your character, but none of us felt like we ended up with a bad character in the end. The gear and traits provided by these rolls really set up who you are when circumstances or decision forces you to adventure/survive in the world, and we were able to pick up on the cues we were given and roleplay fun characters. The feel of the characters is definitely reminiscent of Warhammer Fantasy, which was a nice change of pace from our usual Golarion-based characters in the Pathfinder games. In the end, we ended up with a Goblin, a Dwarf, and a small Clockwork that could fly, each with their own quirks and professions.

Taylor had actually written a homebrew scenario for our trail run of the game, setting us accompanying a caravan to a distant city. The caravan was attacked at about the midway point and the three PCs were taken by the assailants and placed in a cell in a stone building. My Goblin (whose name was Poop - a name suggested in the race section, I might add) and Paul's Dwarf (I don't remember the names of his or Angela's characters, sorry) were able to rattle the rusted bars of the cell loose and make good our escape with our clockwork friend. A guard heard us and burst through the door, brandishing a sickle.

We took down this guard (a Cultist from the book) and made it further in, toward what we expected was the way out. Upon climbing up a ladder to a trapdoor, we encountered more Cultists and explored some other doors leading off from this area. One was filled with the viscera of several bodies that had been flayed, dissected, or otherwise experimented on. The opposite door had mold and slime and my goblin trekked in to look for anything useful, turning up a goblet and some delicious soggy apples!

I can't recall if this was on the same level, but we also found a room wherein the caravan master we had been traveling with was strung up with chains that were stretching his shoulders and hips as far as they could go. The mechanism was set up with pulleys and the weight was balanced on a narrow metal bar. Angela's Clockwork flew in and inspected the mechanism and reported how it worked to the Dwarf and Goblin, at which point the Dwarf moved in, triggering a tripwire and unbalancing the weight and pulling the poor human apart before our eyes. The Dwarf gained a point of insanity for the realization that he was the reason behind the man's death.

Upon climbing up further, we entered a chamber with a Cultist that was performing a ritual. We tried to speak to her, but she did nothing but berate us and scream for our heads, then soundly thumped us once the Dwarf was targeted by a powerful spell and my Goblin suffered a spell crit sending me to 0 maximum health.

Thus ended the careers of those adventurers, but we had only spent two hours in character creation and playing the adventure to the point where we wiped. David had shown up by then, and we decided to play out a second adventure, which I volunteered to run to familiarize myself with the system.

That's for the next post, though!

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