I have been back to solo gaming the last couple of days. I am taking a break from Elite Dangerous for a while and started solo rpging again. I know I have a couple of loose ends to tie up. Ash’s adventure testing 13th Age, that startet two years ago is not finished yet and I really should continue my Edge of the Empire campaign. Hopefully I will get to it but the last session I played was Pathfinder, I was itching for some good old fantasy rpging. As always, I played a Rogue, the Unchained variant, and instead of the skill system I imported the background system from 13th Age which I find nice and lean and it requires no bookkeeping. Anything else is pretty much Pathfinder, but I played in the Nentir Vale setting from 4th Edition.

I want to try something new, just to get the session reports out there: I will post the session pretty much as I typed them, no editing. That of course means there will be typos, there will be wrong tenses and cases and jumping between tenses (but bear in mind that English is not my native language) and not all of the mechanics and behind the scenes checks are in the post, because some of them are on scrap paper. Mostly the combats. But still…

So here I started out writing prose, then reverted back to short notes, some prose in between etc.

Oh, and since Pathfinder is designed to be played by a party of four but I always play only one character halfway between the session I decided to give myself four times the hitpoints to be able to fight challenges designed for a party of four heroes (also, for cinematic purposes).  So here is an unpolished and raw session report, concluding one story arc that was created just by interpreting random idea generator results:

Adventure 1 – completed 15.03.2016

The hero at the end of the adventure:

Reo, medium male human rogue 2 (Swashbuckler archetype)

Str 12, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 16

Init +5, HP 15 (60), AC 18 (masterwork chain shirt, masterwork buckler), Speed 6

Fort +0, Ref +6, Will +0

Attacks (base attack bonus +1):
rapier +6/1d6+1
dagger +4/1d4+1
sword cane +4/1d6+1
composite shortbow +4/1d6+1
unarmed strike +4/1d3+1

Special Abilities:
Sneak Attack +1d6, Finesse training, Evasion, proficient with swordcane (archtetype feature)

Feats:
Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (rapier)

Rogue Talents:
Combat Trick (gained Weapon Focus)

Traits:
Reactionary (+2 Init), Fast-Talker (+1 on bluff checks)

Backgrounds:
disinherited son of a minor noble family + 3
fast-talking well connected man of the streets +4
daring swashbuckling fencer +3

Skill checks:
1d20 + ability modifier + level + background bonus

Gear:
masterwork chain shirt (-1 check penalty), masterwork buckler, masterwork rapier, dagger, adventurer’s pack (backpack, blanket, bedroll, crowbar, grappling hook and rope, 5x torch, 5x trail rations, mess kit, soap, waterskin, whetstone, chalk, fishing hook and line, flint and steel, sewing needle and yarn, signal whistle, skinning knife), thieves’ tools, 10 potions of cure light wounds (1d8+1) in a special belt for easy access, noble’s outfit, swordcane

Gold:
155 gp

XP: 3000

Rules note:
Whenever a yes/no question is asked, roll d% to determine the outcome, if you roll doubles generate a random event by drawing from a poker card deck:
Hearts = NPC interaction/social encounter
Clubs = trap/obstacle/setback
Spades: combat
Diamonds: treasure/benefit/boon

Nentir Vale – Fallcrest:

I just arrived here after I had to leave Winterhaven in somewhat of a hurry, due to a slight misunderstanding. My funds are low so I need a little income. Let’s visit a tavern and ask around, maybe someone needs somebody for a job?

Gather Information (Influence): failure.

I try my best and put on my nicest smile but since I am new here and nowbody has seen me around before, I am out of luck. Maybe I have more luck gambling a little bit. I take a look around, nobody is gambling at the moment, but maybe somebody is interested. I will ask around…(Influence check: success) and manage to convince some farmer to throw a few dice with me. I will bet 2 gold pieces, that would leave me with one gold left for the night, just in case. Turns out that was a wise decision, since I lost (50/50 odds, lost).

Oh well, time to turn in for the night. I spend my last gold coin to get a nice room, a delicious meal and a hot bath in my room. A well deserved treat after the long journey on foot. Before I turn in I prepare my room in the usual manner, barring the door and using the washing bowl as a makeshift alarm should anybody force open the door. Tomorrow I will try again to get some work.

Random Encounter? Yes, draw poker card: 8 of diamonds, some kind of boon or treasure, I interpret the result as a job opportunity.

I wake up in the middle of the night. Was that a scream? What’s that noise? Somebody tried to scream, a woman! There is a struggle next door! I quickly grab my rapier and a dagger and dash into the hallway. I stop at the next door, listening. Yes, there is definitely a struggle going on. The door is locked, of course…I don’t have time to lose, I try to slam the door open with my shoulder. Ouch! It’s no use, it won’t move (Strength check, failure).

“Stay out of my business!” A rough drunken voice shouts from behind the door.
“Help! Please….ggghhh.” A woman’s voice is suddenly silenced.

I have to take the longer route, over the balcony, through the window. I hurry. I quickly put the dagger in my mouth to have at least one hand free to climb and leap over to the other balcony. To short! (Athletics check, fail) I miss the ledge but thank the gods I manage to grab a hold at the last moment (Reflex save, success).

Cursing under my breath I pull myself up and try to open the balcony door…it is open as expected and I leap into the room. A drunken guy, from the looks a simple untrained laborer, tries to force himself onto a good looking woman. He is so occupied he didn’t notice me. I grab him by the shoulder and jerk him towards me, turning him around in the process. “Get off her!” my fist connects hard with his jaw (unarmed strike for 2 damage, 2 hp left) and the drunkjard tumbles backwards. “You will regret this!” he scowls and jumps at me but I gracefully dodge out of the way using his momentum to try to kick him against the wall but I was a tad to slow. I underestimated his momentum and take a blow to the side but quickly catch my breath. I return the favor with a backfist slam. He is caught off guard, slams against the wall and goes down, knocked out.

I quickly search the man for valuables but don’t find anything. I then turn my attention to the woman who indeed is very attractive (89%). She has long brown hair, almond shaped eyes and a slender body.

“Do you know this guy?”

“No, I just saw him down in the common room before I went to my room. That jerk was staring at me all the time. He must have followed me upstairs.”

I put on my charming smile: “Well, I can’t argue with the man’s taste.”

She blushes slightly and smiles. I must admit, I didn’t think that standard line would work.

Note: rolled doubles, random event (zero dice images): evil wizard who has a score to settle with the merchant has found out about the daughter’s visit and set plans in motion to capture here

“Well thank you. You seem like a gentleman, coming so galantly to my rescue. So what do we do with him?”

“We throw him out.” I pick the man up and lower him over the balcony down into the street. I want to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself so I lower him down with my outstreched arms before I let go. I locked the balcony door behind me. (100 XP)

“So tell me, what brings a nice lady like you into a tavern like this?”

She tells me that she is a merchant’s daughter and has been send to Fallcrest on behalf of her father to inspect the local mills belonging to the family business. The rates at which they grind wheat have dropped somewhat and several malfunctions have been reported. She is here to ensure that operations run smooth again.

“What a coincidence. I just came to Fallcrest too, looking for work. Maybe we can help each other out. What do you say, I will be your escort while you are in Fallcrest, accompany you on your business and fend off any unwanted attention and you in turn pay me.”

She looks at me, obviously thinking.

“Well, I am in your debt no doubt…and like I said you seem to be a nice gentleman. Ok, agreed. You are officially hired as my bodyguard. We leave after breakfast tomorrow.”

“I am looking forward to it. Have a good night.”

Just for show I leave the room over the balcony…more gracefully this time…and go back to sleep.

The next morning I make sure that I am properly dressed and trimmed and everything. I pack my gear, put on my light chain shirt underneath a loose fitting long-sleeved shirt, strap on my belt with rapier and dagger and head downstairs into the common room. My new boss was already sitting at a table, a cup of hot coffee in front of her. A maiden serves a loaf of freshly baked bread. I take a seat.

“Good morning. I just realized we haven’t even introduced ourselves. I am Reo, nice to meet you.”

“I am Alika, nice to meet you, too.” she smiles and seems to be in a good mood.

I brought up the issue of my payment and she offered me 8 gold pieces for one day of service. Not bad for a job that seems to be easy money in the company of a beautiful woman, so I accepted. It feels good to have some coins back in my pocket.

After breakfast we left the tavern and headed towards the riverside, where the family’s mills are located.

under surveillance? no, but random event (77): wererat knife fighter and thief’s guild member wants to kidnap merchants daughter for ransom (inspired by zero dice images)

Unfortunately we have to pass through the undercity to get to the docks where the mills and silos are located. I know from experience, that these areas tend to be rough and tumble.
And sure enough: As we turned into a small alleyway a vicious looking wererat with a long knife in one hand and a whip in the other hand steps onto the streets and hisses:
“Look what weeeeeeeee havvvve got heeeeeeeeree. A nice and juuicy pussy. Come heeeeeere.”

I quickly shove Alika behind me and draw my rapier. “Leave to live another day scum.” I did my best to intimidate him and from what I could guess I succeeded. He seemed somewhat shaken (-2 to rolls for two rounds) and not so sure of himself. I used this opening to attack!

I landed a few severe thrusts with my rapier, the wererat was bleeding. I had this one won, or so I thought. I didn’t pay attention for a split second and he got underneath my armor, ramming his knife into my chest up to the hilt. I went down, everything went black.

I woke up in a bed, my gear was on a chair next to the bed and I was bandaged. Alika was sitting at my bedside and a man who from the looks was a healer. He told Alika that I would live and left (Reo at 5 hp).
Alika explained what happened. After I went down she stepped in and killed the wererat with her dagger. She knows a few tricks of her own and the wererat was so badly wounded from my thrusts that he could barely stand. She then brought me into this tavern and send for a healer, an old business aquaintance, who patched me up. I apalogized for not being a better bodyguard but she assured me that it was fine, I did most of the work so she was able to finish him off. I had the uneasy feeling that we had made enemies here, but I kept that to myself. Alika ordered another night of bedrest and the next day after breakfast we continued on our business (at 6 hp).

We got to the mills without further incidents. I waited outside while Alika was conducting the inspection. Afterwards she told me we had to go see some blacksmiths and carpenters. We would find those in a better part of town. I escorted her there.

Encounter wizard’s henchmen? Yes.

club +1/1d4+1, AC 12, HP 1, Init +0, 4 henchmen

However, we didn’t get there without further trouble. While passing again through a small alley our way was cut off by four thugs, who appeared from the side and blocked our path. I managed to kill one of them but I was then knocked out from one of the thugs. (-1 hp, but only nonleathal damage). When I woke up I was at the guard house, and there was no sign of Alika. I was questioned by the guards and told them the whole story, that I was hired as a bodyguard by Alika, a merchantwoman, to escort her on some business inspections. Apparently Alika never arrived at our destination and was missing! They must have abducted her! (100 XP) I have to find her. Even though I was still hurting I had no time to lose and hit the streets. Somebody must know something!

Gather Information (DC 20): failure, noticed? Yes. combat in tavern with ruffians:

2 ruffians:
+2/1d6+1, AC 11, HP 1, Init +1, hired by wizard to get rid of troublemakers

Reo winst the fight (2 hp left) and manages to extract information (200 XP):
Alika was captured by mad evil wizard who has a mansion at the outskirts of the city. She was brought there. He has a score to settle with her family.

After I learned this vital information I hurried back to the mill where Alika made her inspection. I demanded to see the man in charge of the operations here, the local foreman or overseer.

They believed me and I was taken to the local manager of operations. I told him what I learned, that Alika was kidnapped by thugs who work for a wizard who lives in a mansion at the outskirts of the city. I also told him that I will get her out if he provided me with enough money to get some additional supplies. I needed healing potions, a composite shortbow and thieves’ tools for now. Event though he was reluctant the manager provided me with enough money to buy everything I needed. Before sunset I was ready. I packed my gear, checked my weapons, sharpened my blade and headed for the mansion.

Encounter on the way? Yes.

I was crossing the bridge that led to the upper city as suddenly a pair of stirges sweeped down on me! Those suckers are out for blood!

win, down to 3 hp, gain 400 xp, Level Up! After level-up back to 9 hp (from 15). Hitpoints now 54 (from 60)

I managed to fight them off but I was badly wounded and lost a lot of blood. As the bleeding finally stopped I felt weak. A few deep breaths and my head was clear again. No time to lose. A short while later I arrived at the mansion.

guards? yes
front and back? yes

-sneaking around to survey the area: 21, success, Reo is not noticed as he scouts the perimeter
-create diversion: throw burning torch into the stables (DC 15): fail (14), Reo misses the stable by a few inches, the torch lands on the lawn, noticed by guards? Yes. One guard comes to investigate, finds torch.
-Reo hides behind a neighboring building, guard alerts other guards, puts perimeter on alert, a squad of three guards starts a patrol and inspects the fence.
-as soon as the patrol passed him, Reo tries to climb the fence (DC 12): success
-he swiftly lands on his feet and dashes for the shadows of the stable wall, pressing himself flat against the wall
-do the guards relax a bit and go back to their normal routine? (30%) yes!
-after a while the patrols stop and the guards go back to regular duty, Reo sneaks to the eastern wall of the mansion (DC 15): success, 15, on the point
-Reo presses himself flat againt the eastern wall, looks for an open window (35%) No and random event: NPC negative, atagonise dispute (the guards start fighting with each other)
-Suddenly a lot of noise comes from the backside of the mansion, the guards are insulting and shouting at each other!
-Do the other guards come to intervene? (50%) Nope, they stay put. Lucky me.
-Reo figures that’s his chance to get onto the roof. Climb with rope (DC 10): 20, success, he quickly and swiftly climbs up and pulls the rope up.
-checks roof for some sort of entry into the mansion (40%): 16, yes, locked? (50%): 61, nope, lucky me
-Reo finds a small trapdoor that leads into the mansion, it doesn’t seem to be locked. Reo pauses a moment to listen: he doesn’t hear anything (and nothing is there). He opens the trapdoor and lowers himself into the mansion.
-He seems to be in some sort of storage room. One door leads out of the room. Reo heads for the door and listens: success (21), all is quiet.
-Reo opens the door and sneaks into a hallway. Five more doors lead from the main hallway into other rooms. Stairs lead down to the ground floor.
-Is Alika locked away on this floor? (25%): 29, nope, but close
-Reo quickly listens at every door and opens the ones that are unlocked. He doesn’t find Alika here but two doors were locked. He didn’t try to open them.
-Reo instead sneaks down the stairs, pausing halfway to peek at the lower level. Two guards were standing guard at the main entrance and one guard was patrolling the main hallway were several large windows were located.
-He had to take out the single guard quickly and silently while he was out of sight from the others, not an easy task.
-Reo prepared his composite shortbow and waited for the right moment. He then tried to slip past the guards at the entrance. Failure!
-Halt! Who are you?! Stop!
-So much for the element of surprise, roll initiative! Reo wins initiative!
-Reo quickly turns around and draws back on his bow with one fluid motion. He shoots and misses…
-Combat: Reo is engaged with all three and flanked.
-Guards: Init +0, AC 15, hp 13, +4 longsword/1d10+1
-Reo wins the fierce battle by bluffing and feinting and using precise thrusts. He quickly drinks two healing potions, +21 hp, now at 31 hp.
-quickly drinks the last potion, +10 hp, now at 41 hp
-did he draw attention from the other guards? (80%): 37, yes, through the large windows he sees the other guards from the backside hurrying towards the windows. One of them blows a signal whistle.
-Reo curses under his breath and heads towards the windows himself, shortbow in hand. He tries to get a shot of before they arrive at the windows.
-He is quicker than the guards and fires a shot. The shot misses and a few seconds later the guards climb through the windows.
-Combat! +270 XP Reo wins but is down to 18 hp. Does he manage to go down the stairs before the guards from the front arrive? (40%) Yes!
-Reo jumps down the stairs that lead into the cellar. In the cellar are several cells, Alika is locked up in one of them. Reo tries to pick the lock with his thieves tools (DC 20): failure
-In this moment the guards from the outside scramble down the stairs. Get him!
-2x Guards: Init +0, AC 15, hp 13, +4 longsword/1d10+1
-Roll initiative! Reo goes first. Fierce battle! Reo wins but is down to 1 hp. tries once again to pick the lock. Rolled a 19! Yes!
“Quick mylady, get out of here. I am in bad shape and don’t know how many guards he has left. He grabs her and dashes toward the stairs.
Encounter the wizard? (25%): No, lucky me (73).
-Reo and Alika escape by the skin of their teeth. They alert the first squad of city guards they come across. Alika tells the story of her abduction. The city guards will investigate the matter.
-Reo and Alika make it back to Alika’s mill. End of quest.
-Alika thanks him and rewards him with 1500 gold pieces. Increase XP to 3000.