The young ladies showed up ready to play, but I wanted to make sure they were learning the mechanics, so we reviewed what we learned last time then discussed Skills and Abilities in more detail. This was made a little more difficult because it was obvious that they just wanted to get into the action. Well, they bore with me well enough and soon we got into the meat of the second Beginner Box Bash adventure: Relics (http://paizo.com/products/btpy8q4o). They were still using the pre-rolled characters but I made them switch to broaden their understanding of each one; Amelia: Rogue, Sabina: Cleric, Beth: Fighter, Evie: Wizard, NPC: Fighter.
They enjoyed the adventure set up (and I got to enjoy freaking them out a bit by changing my voice for each NPC) but they were anxious to get to the main room. There, they encountered the puzzle of how to get across the 20’ wide pit that spanned the room. Columns that filled most of the pit stood level with the floor, but the seemingly magical runes carved into each column gave them pause.
The rogue decided to experiment and was startled - and then delighted - when the rune began to glow yellow when she stepped on a column. She stepped off, then back on again and the rune’s glow changed to orange. Just to see how far it would go, she stepped off and back on one more time. As the rune’s glow became a bright red, the column shuddered and began to swiftly sink downward (“like a super-fast elevator”). The rogue was too startled to quickly jump to safety, so she dropped along with the column. When the column abruptly stopped halfway down the 40’ to the bottom of the pit, the unprepared rogue bounced off of the small platform to land 20’ below, dislocating her shoulder and badly banging up her knees (6 HP damage from her 9 starting HP). She took it in stride and waited for the rest of the party to figure out what to do next.
The pattern now being understood, the party determined that they could each get across to the other side by taking a different path, but owing to the now missing column, one of them would not be able to return along a complete path (especially since the cleric had also experimented on another of the columns). The wizard realized that if one of them could jump over a space, then they would all be able to return. The rogue thought she would be able to make that jump easily - especially of she were healed - so the party proceeded with that plan, each crossing over to the other side. The rogue successfully shimmied between two columns to get to the other side of the pit where she was pulled up by the fighters using some rope from their packs.
After the cleric healed the rogue, the party examined the thrones and surrounding area. Through careful observation and a lot of effort (Yay, Perception and a few Strength checks!), the party quickly determined that the thrones could be lifted and moved, each revealing the artifact that they were sent to retrieve. This was somewhat confusing as they were told there was only one artifact. More looking around and some careful consideration later and understanding of history (Perception and Knowledge: History checks) revealed that the relief carvings behind the thrones contained clues pointing to one of the artifacts being a fake.
At this point, a small gang of thieves that the party had been warned about entered the room and offered to let the party live if they turned over the artifact. Immediately, the wizard suggested they give the thieves the fake artifact (the gang failed their Perception checks to hear this detail). The party ‘reluctantly’ wrapped the (fake) artifact carefully and tossed it over the rune-marked columns. The leader of the gang examined the artifact - finding it to his liking - and briefly thought about shooting crossbows at the party, but instead chose to forbid the party from following for several minutes (threatening them with a ‘hail of arrows’ if they should leave within a short while after the thieves left). The party wisely waited until the thieves were well and gone before leaving - the rogue deftly running and flipping over the empty space on her return path across the pit. They then hustled off to rendezvous with their employer, who thanked them and paid them the promised coin.
When all was said and done, the players all had smiles on their faces and wanted to play some more, but alas, it was time for our guests to head home. They settled for the promise of creating their own characters when we meet again in a couple weeks. That will probably take the entire two hours, so we won’t be adventuring, but it’ll be worth it to give the young ladies characters all their own.