The Unfortunate Traveler Report

General Summary

Four people from widely different backgrounds all find themselves in the common room of the Bugbear's Head Inn on an autumn evening - drawn there by the reputation the Inn has for being a gathering place for adventurers in the Feywood - both experienced groups and those just starting this challenging life.

There's Anskar Hedgehopper, a halfling whose family tree holds an interesting secret - a secret that manifests in Anskar's fits of rage and abnormal strength. Anskar knew the quiet village life wasn't for him; he's hoping to find his place in the world.

The elf Cynliala Lanliss from the plains north of the Feywood sits near the fire with a glass of wine in her hand and her wolf companion Aerel curled up at her feet. If the truth be told, she has always been more comfortable living, tracking, and hunting in the wild than dealing with other folk.

The human Jaxon Stokes looks around the common room approvingly. A former owner/barkeep of a tavern in Dryad Falls, he's here because a fire destroyed his family's tavern - leaving him and his aging parents with no source of income. Adventuring seemed the quickest way to correct that, and the fact that he's spent much spare time "training" with a retired dwarven adventurer has given him some basic fighting skill.

And then there's Kuqi, a goblin tinker/crafter whose most recent fascination is alchemy. Kuqi wants to experience everything that Cartyrion has to offer - all at once if possible. Adventuring is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and discover new and fascinating things.

The first evening in the Inn is uneventful for the four, there are a few other patrons in the place, including what appears to be an experienced adventuring group. Several who are apparently "regulars" - either family of the inn owners, or the folks that run the smithy, grain mill, and brewery/distillery across the road. A merchant selling metalware - pots and knives - provides a moment of entertainment as he tries to seel his wares to the halfling woman who runs the kitchen at the Inn. It is a pleasant evening, and even the late appearance of a disheveled stranger, who clearly has been in some sort of altercation, doesn't register as foreboding.

But things are a bit more somber the next morning. The stranger died during the night, apparentlys succumbing to whatever wounds or ailments or both that had been afflicting him. Since the merchant and other adventurers had already left early in the morning, the four are recruited to help Theodric deal with the corpse now occupying one of his cabins. The stranger is buried in a small plot across the stream from the Inn's vegetable gardens, a plot which already is marked with the graves of a few unfortunates who were either found dead on the roads nearby or who succumbed to wounds while at the Inn. After this somber task, the party settles in for one more day of relaxation in the Inn, and even enjoy an evening of Ellabeth Pinnman's lute and singing.

Shortly after midnight, however, their sleep is shattered when Frix, the Inn's handy-gob, runs through the building with shouts of "Monster!". Grabbing weapons and heading outside, the four follow the sounds of fists pounding on wood to come across a creature attempting to break into the home of the halflings that work at the Inn. It takes a moment for the group to realize this creature appears to be the stranger that they buried earlier that day! It has been transformed into an undead abomination - a ghoul - and it was now hungrily eyeing the four would-be adventurers.

While Cynliala loosed a few arrows and set her wolf Aerel upon the creature, Jaxon warily approached with shield and axe held ready, and Kuqi advanced to get a better look at the creature, it was the fearless halfling Anskar that simply waded into battle. This was almost quite costly, as it was only the intervention of the Fates that kept the halfling from succumbing to the paralyzing effect of the ghoul's raking claws. With the combined efforts of the entire party, the undead creature was defeated.

There was immediate concern, though, that such a creature doesn not simply materialize - its appearance meant that there was another about somewhere - another that had infected this poor traveler in the first place. With the blessing of Tugreth, who was looking after the Inn while Theodric traveled to a nearby town to purchase supplies, the group carefully examined the belongings of the unfortunate traveler. They discovered his notebook, which spoke of an experiment involving Zombies that apparently went terribly wrong. Of great importance, though, was the realization that there was a farm within a day or so of the Inn where this traveler had created - and abandoned - at least one zombie and one ghoul - a ghoul which attacked its creator. The arrival of another traveler in the morning confirmed their fears, but also helped Tugreth pinpoint where the threat could be found.

The party agreed to travel to the Williamson farmstead to see what was going on. Arriving there near dusk, they found the farmhouse oddly quiet. Calling out to the house resulted in two zombies coming through the door, lumbering toward the party and the smell of fresh meat. These were quickly dispatched. Examining the home, the party discovered the grisly remains of three younger humans - a teen and two children - that the two zombies (or more?) had been feasting upon. The bodies and body parts of the zombies and their meal were collected and cremated in a fire behind the farmhouse before the party barricaded themselves inside the home for the evening.

The next morning, realizing they had yet to come across the two "creations" of the Inn's unforunate traveler, they decided to explore the family burial plot that was described in the traveler's notebook. Alert for more undead, the party was able to detect two more ghouls lurking in the woods brtween the farmhouse and the burial plot and dealt with them swiftly. Examining the still corpses after defeating them, it appeared these two were brothers, but neither was the ghoul marked by the greivous injury mentioned in the traveler's notebook.

A little farther through the woods, the group arrived at the burial plot. Across the clearing marked with stone grave markers was the standing form of another creature next to two freshly dug holes - a creature whose chest was visibly crushed. This was the zombie from the traveler's notebook. Jaxon headed foward to deal with it. Anskar was a bit more wary, skirting the edge of the clearing to get a better angle to use his sling. Unfortunately, his attention on the zombie meant that he did not detect the Ghoul which leapt at him from the woods. Once more, the Fatesa intervened, allowing Anskar to shrug off the paralyzing effects of the ghoul's claws.

Anskar, Kuqi, and Cynliala quickly dealt with the ghoul, while Jaxon advanced and made short work of the zombie with his dwarven waraxe. But as the group surveyed the now quiet scene - taking in the sight of more piles of glistening, cracked bones that suggested earlier "meals" for the undead, the sound of a twig snapping behind them caused the party to turn. There was one more ghoul - this one appeared a bit misshapen, as if one of its arms and shoulders was separating from the rest of the body. This was the ghoul that had infected the unfortunate traveler. The concerted efforts of the party ensured it would infect nobody again. (Or would it?!)

The corpses of the undead were gathered along with the remains of their meals. All were cremated, and the ashes of all were interred with respect in the family's burial plot. As the group inspected the area looking for remains, they came across a few other items that had belonged to either the traveler or the unfortunate Williamson family members. Finally, not wishing to leave the four horses and several cattle to die of neglect, the party made use of the tack and harness found by the house and, slowly but surely, managed to herd the cattle down the road to the Inn with the use of the horses and carts left by the farmhouse. The owners of the Inn would know who to contact about the livestock, or would make good use of them.

As a thanks for dealing with this local threat, the group, which had been promised three days room and board in response for their efforts, was instead given the use of one of the large cabins for a week, along with breakfasts and dinners during that week. They decided to accept; they would use the time to get to know each other better. Perhaps they could form an adventuring party like the one they saw that first night in the inn? They seemed to work together well enough. Only time would tell.

Rewards Granted

Total Loot / Rewards:

  • Coins collected from various encounters, or discovered in farmhouse: 14gp, 38sp, 22cp (18.02gp total value)
  • A blank Runestone carried by the Unfortunate Traveler. Tugreth will offer 3gp for this.
  • A dagger with a +1 Potency Crystal Talisman carried by a Ghoul in the forest between the farmhouse and the graveyard
  • A +1 Dagger found on the ground near the open graves in the graveyard.
  • An Everburning Torch found on the ground near the open graves in the graveyard.
  • One week's room and board at the Inn: use of a large cabin, breakfasts and dinners in the common room.

Missions/Quests Completed

This was a "one-shot" adventure, designed to allow first level adventurers to "meet" in game and form a party, and to allow players new to the Pathfinder system become familiar with combat, conditions, and afflictions.


  • The Party was formed.
  • The party experienced combat, dealing with ghouls and zombies in four separate encounters.


  • The party did not get a chance to fully interact with the NPCs in the Inn. The permanent NPCs are intended to be resources for a party starting out in campaign mode; it wasn't important to do this in a one-shot. (But if we're going to keep these characters going, they need to know a bit more about Tugreth and the gnomes especially.
  • The party did not get a chance to see how afflictions like Paralysis are resolved, due to the intervention of the viewing audience who allowed rerolls of the key failed Saving Throws.
  • Because the session ended, we did not get a chance to see how Ghoul Fever works either, but we'll need to if we're extending the characters!

Character(s) interacted with

Theodric PinnmanFighter

Owner of the Bugbear's Head Inn, he tells of being a former mercenary before retiring to a life as an innkeeper with his wife. That wife, Branwyne, is away hunting. it is she that puts all the meat on the tables at the Inn; Theodric is more the "merchant" type who negotiates with regional farmers for everything else the Inn needs.

Ellabeth Pinnman

Entertainer / server at the Bugbear's Head Inn. Her musical skills have been known in the past to help control unruly crowds at the inn.

Tugreth Oakbraid

Regular at the Bugbear's Head Inn; subs for Theodric as needed. Lives across the road and runs a smithy there with his apprentice son. He also provides limited services and goods to adventurers (see post on the Inn Bulletin Board). Tugreth can do low-end rune work on weapons and armor (for the nominal fee), and will purchase some low-end weapons and armor acquired as loot.

Wyzbirrit Knunkett

The gnome alchemist is a regular at the Bugbear's Head Inn. He lives across the road with spouse Maydillbass Ginball and runs the grain mill. Wyzbirrit loves to build "things".

Maydillbass Ginball

The gnomish alchemist spouse of Wyzbirrit, she is also a master brewer and distiller. Maydillbass is responsible for the ales and spirits sold in the Inn. She also makes a few permanent healing elixirs available to adventurers -- see her bulletin board notice.

Agilbert Oldbuck

The halfling semi-retired farmer who tends the small vegetable and herb patches behind the Inn, and spends much of his day in the common room conversing with his friends Tugreth, Wyzbirret, and Theodric.

Clotilde Oldbuck

The halfling cook at the Bugbear's Head Inn - and an excellent cook at that! Lives behind the Inn amid its vegetable gardens with spouse Agilbert and a few children.


The goblin handy-person who just sort of showed up at the Inn one day, and never left. He does odd jobs around the place, fetches tools, etc. in exchange for meals and a place to live. He's quite happy with the arrangement.


The session was streamed on Twitch, and the stream viewers were given the opportunity to exchange 400 Channel Reward Points for a "Hero Point" - forcing either the GM or a player to re-roll dice. This feature was used a total of 23 times during the session, though a few were simultaneous "doubles" calling for rerolls of the same outcome.

Most of these were used to reroll attacks or damage by the party members. There were two notable "other" uses though:
  • A reroll of Anskar's Fortitude Save after being struck by the Unfortunate Traveler Ghoul behind the Inn. The original roll would have left him paralyzed.
  • Yet another reroll of an Anskar Fortitude Save after being struck by one of the Ghouls in the Williamson graveyard. Again, paralysis was avoided.

There was one Fortitude Save that was failed and NOT rerolled: after Anskar was bitten (rather than claw-raked) by the last Ghoul's jaws, he failed his Save and there were no calls for rerolls. As a result, Anskar has Ghoul Fever, and we'll have to figure out what this means going forward!
ASC One-Shots
Report Date
30 Oct 2020
Primary Location
Secondary Location
Session Date
29 Oct, 2020
(link to be provided)

Cover image: The Inn from the Bridge over Daphinia's Stream by RPGDinosaurBob (with Flowscape)


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