The Savage Tide

Way back in 2009 when I was living in San Diego, California, I started to DM the Savage Tide Adventure Path (STAP) with my gaming group, then consisting of two other people. One of them rolled up a ranger, the other a druid. “No big deal,” says I. I decided that they might need some roguey-ness and perhaps some arcane spellcasting, and I landed on the idea of a gestalt character to kill two birds with one NPC. I picked the iconic sorcerer of the Adventure Path as inspiration for my new character.

At the time, I was still a Forgotten Realms fan, and both of the guys in the group preferred it over Greyhawk, so we created our characters and set the game in the Realms. I was obsessed with Iggwilv at the time, so Oloma was an Iggwilv clone who eventually received the Blood of the Witch Queen feat when the last issue of Dragon magazine came out (retconned to have it since 1st level, of course). Thus, a rogue/wizard was born. To add a little oomph, I made her a half-succubus and beefed up her stats. Oh, and she was evil. Man! If I was a player trying to come up with this girl as a first level character I would have been slapped! As it was, I was in good with the DM, and those two guys needed the extra help and comic relief that Oloma provided.

Eventually we switched the game from 3.5 to the new Pathfinder beta rules. The Edition Wars were being fought on numerous fronts, though I stayed well away from them (in fact, I mostly left the online community as a result). Oloma was changed from a wizard to a sorcerer to try that out, and her roguey-ness wasn’t as necessary going further so I retconned her to be a normal character with one Rogue level, instead of a gestalt character.

We played these characters through the STAP until the end of the 5th adventure “Tides of Dread,” when the Crimson Fleet pirates attacked Farshore. After that I went on a military deployment and eventually moved out of the city and our game dissolved. For years I wondered what would have happened if we had continued that game to its conclusion. Now that I haven’t been gaming for a number of years, owing to the fact that I don’t have a group in my current town, I’ve really been aching for a game. My thoughts again turned to the Savage Tide and I hit on a capital idea: what if I DM and play the final battle between the heroes and Demogorgon? As the DM, I knew how the story would play out, but I didn’t know if the PC’s could actually defeat Demogorgon. After advancing the characters to 20th level I’m still not sure! He looks really tough.

Speaking of advancement, I wasn’t entirely certain of Damien the Ranger or Adolan the Druid’s stats. I still had my character sheet for Oloma so it was easy to push her to 20th level. I decided to cut Damien out of whole cloth, and I killed off Adolan. His player actually had stopped playing him by the last adventure, in favor of a new character he called Jim Darkmagic. He was well received by the other player, who translated a ton of Chuck Norris jokes into Jim Darkmagic jokes. It would be 7 years later that I realized that Jim Darkmagic was a character of Penny Arcade fame and that my old player had created a character based on an apparently popular character of whom I was completely unaware.

So now I had Oloma and Damien, a sorcerer and a ranger, and I needed a few more characters. I decided on a male elf fighter, a female Zindian cleric, and Zan, the half-elf rogue from the Jade Ravens. In my new variant of the adventure (that is, the one that didn’t actually happen IRL) the Jade Ravens were tortured and murdered by the Seventh Coil in the adventure “Serpents of Scuttlecove,” with the exception of Zan. Zan joined the group to avenge the death of his friends and ended up staying as a useful member of the Sea Wyvern crew. I decided the other two were rescued from the vile clutches of the Crimson Fleet during the rest of the adventure. More on them later.

With my cast complete, I spent an entire Saturday rolling up 20th level characters. That’s not something I have a lot of experience in, since the majority of our games ended by around 5th level (I considered it a good thing if we managed to make it to 7th level), so it took me a while. I’ve got the characters, and I’ve got Demogorgon, now I’m ready to roll!

Tune in next time to see the cast!