Monday, July 6, 2015

Iron Gods (Backwards) The Story So Far (Part I)

This week I wrap up the second adventure of Iron Gods, Lords of Rust. I'll be trying to do session summaries starting with the first session of the next adventure, The Choking Tower. This post will be relatively spoiler free and covers the party composition and how I tried to lay the groundwork for adapting the adventure path. The next posts in this series will summarize what the party did in Fires of Creation and Lords of Rust.

As I said in an earlier post, the adventure path was written with the idea that the PCs would be opposed to the Technic League but I was already committed to a Technic League game when I decided to run it. Furthermore, I didn't have access to the entire adventure path when I started, so I couldn't really assess what changes I would need to make to run it "backwards". I did have Fires of Creation and it was clear I could just invert some of the party's goals and have them be operating as covert operatives of the League.

The PCs

The players made their four magi and used race and archetype to differentiate them:
  • Todd made Modok, a male N Android Magus (Bladedroid, Kensai). For purposes of preserving my sanity "Modok" is the Hallit word for the Purple Poppy Mallow (it might also be a Taldane acronym for Machine Organism Designed Only For Killing but if it is that's because the gnome who named him has a weird sense of humor). Modok is currently a Magus (Bladedroid, Kensai)/7
  • Kevin made Tebryn Vonnarc, a male LE Drow Magus (Eldritch Scion, Spelldancer). Tebreyn is currently a Magus (Eldritch Scion, Spelldancer)/7
  • Victor made Ankul Bitor, a male NE Ratfolk Magus/4  Rogue/2 Alchemist (Vivisectionist)/1
  • Chelsea made Dagna Skyforge, a female CN Dwarf Magus (Soulforger). Dagna is currently a Magus (Soulforger)/7

The Patrons 

For each PC I created a Technic League Captain to be their sponsoring patron
  • Modok is technically property, so he has an owner rather than a patron, but Quelzandi Verdinangban, a male CN Gnome Alchemist/7 Technomancer/7 (yes I know that this might not be technically legal since extracts don't count as "spells" but it doesn't seem to break anything either) treats him like an agent rather than a slave. Captain Verdinangban is a very old gnome, who is totally not up to something, and definitely doesn't have any kind of long term scheme in the works based on some ulterior motive that he totally doesn't have.
  • Tebyrn's patron is Maristhiel Ascendari, a female CE Elf Sorceror (Fae Bloodline)/12. Captain Ascedari is a hedonistic sybarite, who is amused by having a drow minion, and is on all of the drugs.
  • Ankul Bitor's Patron is Baggocio Thune  a male LE Human (Chelaxian) Wizard (Spellslinger)/3 Cleric of Zon-Kuthon (Torture, Kyton) /3 Mystic Theurge/7. Captain Thune sees himself as an information broker and runs a parallel intelligence organization to Merisk Kauffaun's.
  • Dagna's patron is also Captain Verdinangban who has assigned her to act as Modok's keeper.

The Backstories

  • Modok woke up one day inside Silver Mount (the largest chunk of the starship that littered Numeria with technological dungeons) clutching the broken hilt of a sword (Androids "renew" when they die, rebuilt by their nanites with a new soul). He climbed out of the dungeon and into Starfall, where he was claimed by Verdinangban (who did some modifications to his sword, which of course have nothing to do with any kind of ulterior motive or any kind of long term scheme). When the sword finally "awoke" at 3rd level the AI running on it identified itself as "Balance" and seems obsessed with correcting some "error"
  • Tebyrn is the First Son of House Vonnarc, his sister Alicavniss had received a prophecy from their patron demon goddess Areshkagal that he would be her undoing, and a household servant faked Tebryn's death and stole him away. He has grown up with the goal of returning to Zirnakaynin and claiming his sister's place (after getting a sex change somehow or another, of course). He has joined the Technic League with the plan of eventually taking it over and using an army of robots to overthrow his sister.
  • Ankul Bitor is a native of Chesed (or maybe the nearby ratfolk Chitterhome) and a member of the Chapel of Rent Flesh, the Zon Kuthon cult there. He joined the Technic League in order to get more parts of his body cut off and replaced with cybernetics. Also for the suffering, for um ... reasons? Zon-Kuthon sure is a weird religion.
  • Dagna is a native of Torch who joined the Technic League in order to have better access to all the cool technology. Also probably to blow stuff up. 

The Hooks

The goal of all of this was to set up some motivations that would allow me to exploit the fractious nature of the League so I could still use the Adventure Path when the PCs are supposed to be opposing  Ozmyn Zaidow.
  • Balance's "error" may in fact be a very significant antagonist in the Adventure Path.
  • A long term scheme that Captain Verdingangban is totally not up to because he is a harmless old man.
  • Tebryn's goal of overthrowing Ozmyn Zaidow for to steal his robot army.
  • Captain Ascendari doesn't actually care who is in charge of the League so long as she gets the best stuff.
  • Thune will try to be a neutral party in any internal struggle, selling information to the highest bidder and backing the winner openly only when it is forgone. He also is ultimately loyal to the Prince in Chains rather than Zaidow or the League.

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