Murdock made a skunk thief. There were no issues with his character.
Chris made a tauren druid and while some of the options he picked looked over-the-top (a 'dragonne' companion and a race with +4 strength) he was also able to make his character without any trouble following the rules. As far as I know.
Keith wanted to use one of his pregenerated characters that he had lying around. First, he picked a fighter/mage hybrid base class that worked sort of like the fighter/mage prestige class only without losing any caster levels or BAB, and with arcane strike which effectively replicates the fighter's weapon specialization. A more careful examination did show that they got the *bard* spell progression, though, which made them... grudgingly acceptable. But after getting me to allow the class he decided to play a summoner instead.
Then, there was the California contingent. Lazar... wanted to play a horse. I still don't know why. Not an anthro horse -- a horse. But a horse with class levels. We eventually worked something out but it was SUCH a pain. x.x And he kept asking for more exceptions or sneaking them into the character sheet and hoping I didn't notice. *During the game* he asked if he could have a bigger bonus to strength by dropping his charisma further. Gaaah.
He also, during the 'let's actually play' session instead of the 'let's make characters' session, introduced another person ('Joe') to play the game remotely, who wanted to play a 6 HD minotaur with three class levels (alongside all the 3rd level characters). "There's no concept of ECL, and the back of the bestiary says that minotaur is one of the monsters players can' play." The monster PC options aren't in the SRD and I don't actually have the pathfinder bestiary, but one of the players had a PDF and we looked it up -- basically, you can do that *if* you take the monster's CR as 'monstrous humanoid' levels. So, no. He switched to a tauren instead, and we were able to actually start.
Note that I didn't mention Joe's class. That's because at 3rd level he has three of them.
Oh, and everyone's using this RIDICULOUSLY HORRIBLE automated character sheet that does everything automatically, inconveniently, and wrong. Except Keith.
But anyway, after one and a half sessions of character generation and/or arguing about the system, we were ready to start.
The party met up in a tavern. They'd all received invitations to the Hogger School of Woodcraft and Wizardry [not its actual name] to take the qualification exam to become licensed adventurers, which would give them the right to kill things and take their stuff in Orcish lands. They were supposed to meet up with Seargent Hastings who'd direct them further.
The Sergeant was at the bar, getting drunk and growling at the crowd of other wannabe adventurers who were trying to get him to tell them where to go next. One annoying squirrel kept asking him over and over, ignoring his growls... one Orc in expensive looking armor 'charmed' or possibly bribed him into giving him a piece of paper, then asked if anyone wanted to join his team. "Orcs only, of course -- I refuse to consort with the lesser races." Eventually, he managed to hire enough orcs to fill out his group, and left for the next step.
Pony (the horse) had not received an invitation, and was supposed to be tied up outside, but he walked up to the bar anyway and asked for a map-or-whatever. Since Lazar rolled a natural 20 [he didn't roll less than a 13 the whole night -- it looks like he has an ordinary case of 'rolling the dice from another state' syndrome, last seen the last time someone tried to play D+D over IM] he managed not to push the orc all the way to hostile, given his -6 in diplomacy [he took ranks].
His rider [Murdock's character, Alex] had no trouble getting a map from the orc, at which point Pony stole it and... tried to figure out how to open it without hands. He handed it to Skullfist [Joe's tauren whateverthefuck] who he'd been talking to randomly, who opened it up to reveal that, yes, it was a map. A deliberately confusing map.
Lilia [the summoner] was a 12 year old girl, there with her mother, and the orc gave her a map because [she made her diplomacy check and] he wanted to see a 12 year old girl try to take the test. Ironhoof [the druid] also had no trouble getting a map legitimately.
The squirrel tried to convince them to take him along, but they weren't having any of that. Somehow, he managed to make a racial slur against orcs and was challenged to single combat [in Klingon] at which point he ran away, with some orcs in pursuit.
The adventurers decided to go as a group, since apparently that was allowed. At the first crossroads, everyone interpreted the map to say 'go right' except for the horse who wanted to go left and refused to change his mind no matter what. So they left him behind and headed the other way, and he galloped up after them, saying that he was still sure they were wrong but protecting his friend [Alex] was more important than finishing the test.
Suddenly, wolves appeared -- one wolf for each member of the party. One FIENDISH wolf. Lilia, as a summoner, could tell that it was specifically one summoned fiendish wolf. Alex one-shot the one on Skullfist, and while the others bit and tore at the party a bit they were mostly horrifically outmatched and died and vanished -- even though when Ironhoof called in his animal companion, another wolf was summoned to fight it.
[The CR system is *so* broken in 3.5, and pathfinder only made it worse; 6 CR 1 wolves should have been EL 5 -- a difficult fight for the party. These were fiendish wolves with enhanced stats, and it was still not a difficult fight.]
Victorious, they heard an ear-piercing shriek from behind them, and ran back to find the squirrel unconscious and bleeding, with another summoned wolf standing over him. They chased it off and Ironhoof brought him conscious, but intimidated him into running back to town instead of following them.
Then, they got lost. Luckily, they couldn't get very lost because the path through the wood wasn't very long, and they *did* catch sight of the tower that they'd been directed towards -- but they were in a ravine behind the tower, where it looked like the people in the tower dumped all their garbage. That garbage including 'dead bodies', some of which still had armor and weapons. Loot?
Alex snuck close enough to get a look at the pile, and saw that there *was* some loot, but it was guarded by a swarm of 'squidgies'. Squidgies never scared off any real adventurer, though, so Pony and Ironhoof started wading through the thirty feet of mud surrounding the pile, while Alex and Ironhoof found perches on the ravine wall [which was steep but not very rocky] up above the pile, and Lilia... stayed back on shore.
When the mud elementals appeared to try to drag the party down as they poured lamp oil on the amoeba swarms, Ironhoof gloated that he'd seen it coming. He hadn't thought to *warn* them, though. Luckily, the party's luck was more than a match for the elementals' terrain advantage, and it was the swarms' auto-damage and splash from their own alchemist's fire that did most of the damage to the party. It *was* enough damage that Pony had to run away, at least, but even when Mama elemental appeared to avenge her babies, the party as a whole was not threatened.
[Supposedly, this was an EL 6 encounter, with terrain favoring the enemy... I guess it was a *little* harder for them...]
With the obvious enemies routed or on fire, the party decided to search through hte trash pile for anything of value.
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