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The Sideshow S1|13: Makin’ Bacon

Jason recaps the events from Three Ring Adventure S1|13: This Little Piggy Became Roast Beef.

We pick up this week’s episode in the aftermath of the fight against the mephits, and we’re going to finally learn the identity of the voice that was calling for help. Turns out it’s the family from the mill – they’re a little worse for wear, but not life-threatening condition… mostly just tired, hungry, and dehydrated.

And then things get weird with an oddly involved session of Golarion Theology 101, as the priests decide to get up in Ateran’s face about their faith, and Hap doubles down by asking about other gods that might work for her.

I have to admit, I would’ve been eaten alive by this roleplay. In the intro, Steve talks about having to think on his feet because the players know the lore better than him, but he would NOT have had that issue with me. If I’m being honest, I’ve always been fairly indifferent toward the theology side of Pathfinder. For me, the gods are the mechanism that makes divine casters go, but I have to admit I don’t really dig deep on the lore. I know Cayden Cailean is a fairly easy god to live with because he likes to party, I think I end up choosing Desna a lot because “travelers” and “adventurers” sound like similar concepts and because Neutral Good doesn’t box me in as much, I know generally which ones are good gods and bad gods, but that’s pretty much it for me. Heck, playing a Gorum-worshiper in Iron Gods was a big step forward for me, though even for that, I borrowed aggressively from Klingons in figuring out how to play Ezrik. If there’s ever a test on this stuff, I’m screwed.

Don’t get me wrong. The players roleplayed all of this well… I’m just saying I would’ve been lost. It’s like that one Jeopardy! category you wouldn’t possibly stand a chance in.

Next, we get into some transitional activities – searching the barn, healing up (with the help of the clergy), and such. The bedroll with rat droppings clearly locks this down as Rat-Head’s base of operations. The big revelation here is the additional two skin-suits. They seem like a couple of worshipers of Gozreh, or at least what’s left of them, but their holy symbols are a little “off”, whatever significance that has. So are the druids working WITH Rat-Head or against Rat-Head? Are the skins victims of someone trying to STOP Rat-Head, or were there accomplices using the skins to do some sort of infiltration of the druidic order? Still more questions than answers at this point. (Though there were storms moving through the area while I was listening, so there were places where I wasn’t hearing well – if there’s something glaringly obvious I missed… mea culpa.)

I did like the trick of sneaking the rescued family holy water to make sure they weren’t bad guys in waiting. That kinda cracked me up. Do we know if holy water is supposed to taste any different in the Pathfinder universe? Does it have a hint of citrus? Minty freshness? It’s probably somewhere in Gods and Magic… THIS IS WHAT I GET FOR NOT STUDYING.

After the party digs around, the adventure continues into the apple orchard, where we find the family of boars. It’s a fairly straightforward fight, so rather than a blow-by-blow, I’m mostly left with random impressions.

First, maybe I’m tuned into it because I’m playing a druid in Black Lodge, but boy a druid would’ve been handy for this encounter. Wild Empathy! It would’ve given them an immediate chance to make the boars less aggressive. Would that have been enough to get around the fight? Not sure, but it would’ve been nice to try. But then again, to poke holes in my own argument: Wild Empathy isn’t THAT great because it’s keyed to both a skill (Diplomacy) and an ability score (Charisma) that druids aren’t likely to feature heavily in their builds. So maybe it’s not THAT game-changing.

There’s also the silly but obvious question… where exactly WOULD one want to get gored by a boar? The phrase “wouldn’t want to get gored there” implies there’s an ideal location for being impaled. I’ll open the floor for discussion.

The other thing I noticed… this is the second game where we’ve had a wild boar that led to a post-game pig roast (Plaguestone also had one). I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but one I found amusing. I guess the folks at Paizo like their BBQ or something. Still not as bad as their propensity to murder dwarves to serve as an inciting event, but methinks someone at Paizo has a thing for ribs.

And of course, there’s a return of Ferocity, which is fast becoming one of the Most Annoying Skills All-Stars. Though this time, whether by luck or better tactics, the team was able to manage their attacks in such a way that they still had attacks left even after the boars burned their reaction for the round. The weakness of Ferocity is that it only matters if the creature survives until their next turn. In Plaguestone, the orcs tended to drop on the last attack of the round, so they’d get another round out of it; this time around, the players got pretty good luck on that front.

So the boars are beaten, we find another dead body – this time a gnome with a little bit of treasure on him – and it’s time to wrap things up for the day. Hap burns through some healing spells, and the group carries their well-earned ribfest back to camp. We have a brief Theology Redux conversation between Hap and “Dad” – though I actually thought Hap expressing doubts about the whole adventurer’s life was a nice roleplay touch on Loren’s part — and it’s time to call it a session.

Will the great investigation continue or will it finally be time to get back to circus work? I guess we’ll find out next time. In the meantime, feel free to drop by Discord or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.