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DM Alexander Kilcoyne's Sargavan Saga

Game Master Alexander Kilcoyne

"What is this place? Puzzles in Azlant, more magic than you see in a year in Absalom. Wheels literally within wheels. Bound demons and wax golems? The expense must have been enormous. But why? To what end?"

Jakob

Kingdom Rules | SRD Reference | Pyramid, Level 1 | Pyramid, Level 2 |


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Your Humble Narrator

Tebati is correct, I just forgot to move Qhude's initiative.


Your Humble Narrator

So, waiting on Kieran. I'll probably take his action if I don't see a post tomorrow.


DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Why don't you carry a spell component pouch eh, eh!?!?

Honestly, my real life group has always handwaved any kind of spell-casting materials, and I naively assumed that cleric spells all had a Divine Focus. Most do, but now that I'm actually paying attention, there are some significant few that require Material or Focus components in addition to a holy symbol. Most germanely, she shouldn't have been able to cast shield of faith in the battle against the Freeman Brotherhood without a parchment with a holy text written on it. (Really? Most low-level clerics cast shield of faith at least daily, and it's a Material component, not a Focus, so it gets consumed. That's a lot of parchments with holy texts to be carrying around, even if they're the size of fortune-cookie fortunes.)

Assuming we don't all get killed or sacrificed to demons or sold into slavery here, any chance she could assemble a do-it-yourself spell component pouch out of spare materials around the caravan, at least for shield of faith purposes? Just a little sack of dirt and hand-written fortune cookie slips about Shimye-Magalla? ;)


Your Humble Narrator

Sounds reasonable to me, but only for those two spells. You'll probably be able to get a new pouch at the base camp, or possibly Freehold.


I'm tempted to take Eschew Materials just so Ansha doesn't have to touch bat guano to cast fireball.


Then Ansha could give Tebati her spell component pouch!

Nah, she'd still charge for it -- and probably mark it up for being a genuine elven-made pouch in the latest fashion straight from Kyonin. :)


"This is an extremely rare elven-craft pouch of the highest quality! It's almost magical in its own right! But for you--because we're friends, dear Tebati--I'll sell it to you for the low, low price of 50 gold coins!"

In actuality, it's probably a pouch she picked up in Crown's End well after she left Kyonin.


Well, they've got masterwork everything else. Why not a masterwork spell component pouch? If you use it as an improvised weapon to hit someone with, it adds a +1 enhancement bonus to the attack roll, and the armor check penalty for carrying it is lessened by one! Plus, you get a +2 circumstance bonus to Spellcraft checks!


Really, the spell component pouch violates the suspension of disbelief more than anything else in the game. For the cost of 5 gp and at the weight of 2 lbs, it supposedly contains infinite amounts of wool (a Material component, not a Focus, so it's used up every time daze is cast), infinite fireflies (Material component of light, which gets cast over and over several times a day), a piece of copper wire, a brass key, a clear prism, a miniature cloak, a infinite amount of butter, a piece of cured leather, infinite amounts of horse hair, a tiny bag and small candle, and infinite pieces of string and bits of wood. And that's just for my first-level conjuror's spellbook! Higher level mages have a lot more tiny bits of trash than that in there! And yet, despite the fact that the pouch is not extradimensional or magical in any way, you can immediately discern the difference between the infinite pinches of dirt and the infinite amounts of fine sand and pull out the right thing as a free action, when pulling one thing out of a bag that only has one thing in it is a move action!

You can't even explain it as being magic, because it's mundane. They really should have made it a magical item like a mini-handy haversack that's only good to cast spells with, except then low-level mages couldn't afford it. Or just stop with the ridiculous little doll-house accessories required as material components and foci. :P


Your Humble Narrator

Well, it used to be tracked in greater detail in earlier editions. To be honest, i'd happily just give all prepared casters Eschew Materials, so they need only track components that have a GP cost.


And it got handwaved a lot more, too. Honestly, that's the whole point of the mystical-magical spell component pouch: because it got ridiculous to be on level 16 of the Great Megadungeon of Infinite Random Rooms and have to trek all the way back outside every day or two to pick mistletoe and catch a live firefly.

There were more stringent training rules to level up too, iirc, and my group always ignored those, too. Most of the old 2e campaigns I was in involved leaving civilization at level one and coming back at level something-teen, if ever, because the DM didn't want to deal with running NPCs or the consequences of the party having some form of back-up or safety zone. Hence, everything got handwaved: spell components, rations, water, especially encumbrance, as there was nowhere to liquidate treasure or bank coins but no one was willing to leave them behind, either. So everyone was running around with 6 weapons and 5 shields and 2 or 3 sets of armor and thousands of coins all in their "backpack" somehow, in the hopes that eventually we'd make it back to somewhere where it had any value. Which we never did, because the DM was just making stuff up as he went along and had no real end-game in mind so the campaigns never ended. We just got bored with them and eventually quit. :)


Your Humble Narrator
Joana wrote:

There were more stringent training rules to level up too, iirc, and my group always ignored those, too.

I've always been a fan of this. It really hurts my versimilitude to have players suddenly 'ding', especially wizards. Whenever possible I enforce downtime to level and i've yet to be persuaded its a bad idea.


It's a nice idea, but it depends on having breaks at opportune moments of the story. It's a lot easier to implement if you level up at plot-determined times than if you stick to XP-for-beating-encounters. The only Paizo AP I've DMed makes it impossible, though, as the party is working against the clock for most of Second Darkness. For instance, all but the first two wandering-monster encounters in book 3 take place during one desperate battle that explicitly docks the PCs if they take time to sleep, let alone take ten days off to train, but they're still expected to level up twice.


Your Humble Narrator

Yeah, well i'm quite new to running AP's. I was running homebrew many years before I touched an AP or a module so thats never been a huge problem for me to make sure theres enough time for downtime.


Paizo APs just aren't written with the assumption there's going to be downtime available every time the PCs gain a level. Take Mythril's game, for instance: We leveled up while looking for Ameiko. If we took a week off to level, Ameiko would probably die, but if we didn't level, from what I hear about the BBEG in Burnt Offerings, we'd have a TPK. (Might anyway, considering how far below Wealth by Level we are. :P) It's much easier planning your own campaign and allowing for such things than trying to squeeze downtime and a safe location to train into a Paizo plotline. Kingmaker is sandboxy, so it's probably not that difficult, but the story-driven ones tend not to leave the PCs a lot of time to breathe. (Did we have downtime in LoF to level? I don't remember now; I know we had a year off at the end of the first book, but I don't remember having time to train during it. And, of course, Red Hand of Doom is a race against the clock the whole way.)


Your Humble Narrator

Depends on the AP. Kingmaker is ideal for it. But yeah, many AP's and modules are not. When I run those I often have to put aside my dislike of the 'ding' mechanic.


The second and fifth modules of LoF are basically one huge dungeon which leaves absolutely no time to stop and level. And the first module does have a time limit imposed on it, though it can easily be handwaived by the DM.

Kingmaker seems to be the only one (that I've had any experience with anyway) that allows for some downtime to level.


Your Humble Narrator

One of the reasons I prefer running my own games to AP's ;). With the exception of Kingmaker. That AP was pretty much what brought me to these forums.


Joana wrote:
Paizo APs just aren't written with the assumption there's going to be downtime available every time the PCs gain a level. Take Mythril's game, for instance: We leveled up while looking for Ameiko. If we took a week off to level, Ameiko would probably die, but if we didn't level, from what I hear about the BBEG in Burnt Offerings, we'd have a TPK. (Might anyway, considering how far below Wealth by Level we are. :P) It's much easier planning your own campaign and allowing for such things than trying to squeeze downtime and a safe location to train into a Paizo plotline. Kingmaker is sandboxy, so it's probably not that difficult, but the story-driven ones tend not to leave the PCs a lot of time to breathe. (Did we have downtime in LoF to level? I don't remember now; I know we had a year off at the end of the first book, but I don't remember having time to train during it. And, of course, Red Hand of Doom is a race against the clock the whole way.)

Nope. I like time to train going back to 1st edition but looked at the levelling points for LOF and decided it wasnt worth even trying.


DM Dan E wrote:
I like time to train going back to 1st edition but looked at the levelling points for LOF and decided it wasnt worth even trying.

Yeah, too many of them come down to "after fighting their way through his minions, the PCs should level up just before entering the BBEG's inner sanctum." (Actually, now that I think of it, the whole premise of Crypt of the Everflame is based on the PCs leveling up in-dungeon.)

Personally, it seems odd to me for PCs to blow through a level in a matter of days. I prefer a slower progression that moves them toward "epic" over a full adventuring career, not less than a year. But published modules assume a quicker level-up process. Even the APs that take place over several years do so in quick bursts of encounters that level you up several times, interspersed with off-periods of months to years in which you don't progress at all.


DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Well, it used to be tracked in greater detail in earlier editions. To be honest, i'd happily just give all prepared casters Eschew Materials, so they need only track components that have a GP cost.

So....does this mean I don't have to wave around bat guano and sulfur to cast fireball at level 5?


Yeah, he kind of threw that out there that he would without actually saying he will, didn't he? ;)

Worth noting that oracles don't get Eschew Materials, though, so it's not just a prepared-caster issue.


He did. But I'd much rather not spend a feat on something so utterly useless as Eschew Materials if I can help it. I mean, it replaces a 5gp item. That's not worth a feat to me. Even if I might feel like I'm forced to take it for RP reasons. (My home group tends to ignore material component costs in general, including the really expensive ones like granite powder and diamond dust for stoneskin. It's the components for limited wish and its big brother, and miracle and the resurrection-type spells that we actually pay attention to. And even then, it's a non-issue...because our DM throws ridiculous amounts of money at us by the time we're out of the 7-10 range.


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

Qhude is getting a sense of impending dread...


Your Humble Narrator
Qhude wrote:
Qhude is getting a sense of impending dread...

Hi, welcome to DM AK's games :).

(My KM group seems to expect TPK in about 60% of their encounters lately.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Qhude wrote:
Qhude is getting a sense of impending dread...

Hi, welcome to DM AK's games :).

(My KM group seems to expect TPK in about 60% of their encounters lately.)

...and beware if you drop out of the game: Your PC will be liable to a particularly gruesome fate!

So far I've seen literally torn in half by a random monster encounter, reanimated as an undead to be hacked to pieces by your former allies, blinded by a burning-hot poker putting your eyes out, driven insane to spend the rest of your days in a Ustalavan asylum, and possessed by a malign spirit to the point where you're confused about your own identity. And one of those was his own PC! :)

EDIT: Oh, and I forgot the guy eaten by the gibbering mouther!


And then there's poor Picklebeard.

But we don't talk about him any more....

*shudder*


I'm not sure anyone knows what happens to someone who declines an invitation from the Grand Custodian. ;)


Did anyone else notice that they finally seem to have given us Private Message capability on the forums?


Happened on Groundhog Day. :)


Figures. I'm always the last to know!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

They also added tagging for avatar pics. Now if only they'd add more halflings...


Male Human

Sorry for not posting guys, but it has been a very tiring couple of weeks. I should be back to a more normal rate of posts come tomorrow.

Kieran will indeed be waiting for Tebati before he acts, so he may do so accordingly depending on whether she finds herself at risk or not. Although I should think something like that is doubtful considering the distances involved, nevertheless one never knows as DMs are wily bast... err, bug... I mean, fellows. Yes, fellows... :-P


AK, is it windy or still? I'm wondering about the efficacy of an obscuring mist in the given conditions. Also, the cover the group of Bandu is breaking for: is that the pile of rocks at Q-V 49-54?


Ansha wrote:
Figures. I'm always the last to know!

Hope you're happy; that song has been in my head all day. :P


I have to admit that that buoys my spirits. ;)


Your Humble Narrator
Joana wrote:
AK, is it windy or still? I'm wondering about the efficacy of an obscuring mist in the given conditions. Also, the cover the group of Bandu is breaking for: is that the pile of rocks at Q-V 49-54?

Not particularly windy, obscuring mist won't disperse early.

And yup, seems they are making a beeline for the rocks.


Qhude wrote:
15/23 HP - Qhude started at 21/23 today due to addiction Con penalty

Mark, by my reckoning, the 9 points of damage you took since this point in the battle were all nonlethal, so you should be at 15/23 with 9 nonlethal damage, right? You might want to keep track of lethal and nonlethal damage separately, as when you drop from nonlethal damage depends on your remaining hp from lethal damage. Also, when you're healed, lethal and nonlethal damage heal at the same time. Also, it makes your party cleric have to do less math in her head. :)

Btw, if that 2 hps of flayleaf addiction penalty turns out to be the deciding factor in this battle, Tebati will never let Qhude forget it. ;)


Male Human (Mwangi - Bas'o tribe) Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist archetype) 4

My bad - have read up on lethal vs non-lethal damage and now know the errors of my ways. I was assuming they were additive, but they are not.

Will correct the figures in my next post - 15/23 HP (9 non-lethal)

If the 2hps of flayleaf penalty does tip the battle - I would want Tebati to not let him forget it :)


Male Human (Ijo) Monk 4 (Zen Archer)
Joana wrote:
Ansha wrote:
Figures. I'm always the last to know!
Hope you're happy; that song has been in my head all day. :P

There are thousands of worse songs to be hung up on, says the big Del Amitri fan.


Sooooo...do I get to assume I have Eschew Materials for free, or no?


Your Humble Narrator

I haven't given it enough thought yet. Worried i'm missing some implication of that change.


Gotcha. I can't really imagine what implication you could be missing, though. You still need the materials for any component that costs over a couple of gold. It really does just replace a 5gp item...at the cost of a feat.


Your Humble Narrator

I swear I posted this already but its not showing up so again :)-

And when you turn into a dragon?


That's an awfully long way off. I think a more immediate 'unintended consequence' would be that a spellcaster can't be deprived of the ability to cast any spell they've memorized by having their spell component pouch stolen or confiscated. But in the hypothetical scenario where you turn into a dragon: 1) with Eschew Materials, you can cast any spell you've prepared, in addition to your dragon form's abilities; or 2) without Eschew Materials, you can still cast a number of the spell's you've prepared, but not all of them--despite this, you still have the abilities of a dragon. With some prior preparation, you could also keep a dragon-sized spell component pouch.


Your Humble Narrator

If i'm going to target a wizard in that way, or indeed if an intelligent character in the game world is going to target him/her, the spellbook is a more logical target rather tha a 5GP pouch.

So I think I am happy to treat every caster for this game as having Eschew Materials, at least for now. Remember its components with a 1GP cost or less only that are exempt, and it doesn't apply to you when under the effects of a Polymorph spell, except Alter Self and Disguise Self.

So essentially, its really just a fluff change- if you want to cast as a dragon or something without hands to pull out of a pouch, take the actual feat. I expect some nice descriptive spell casts to compensate anyway :).

Consider this a trial run- i'm not going to include this in my house rules withour further thought and time.


DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
If i'm going to target a wizard in that way, or indeed if an intelligent character in the game world is going to target him/her, the spellbook is a more logical target rather tha a 5GP pouch.

Works for a wizard, and you can target the holy symbol for a cleric. What about bards and oracles, though? Can't stop Jakob from casting. ;)

Of course, I notice Jakob doesn't have a spell component pouch either. Oracles don't need a Divine Focus, but they do need Material and Focus components. Most of his spells don't have them, but he needs wool or wax for ghost sound. (Wonder if there are sheep on his new land?)

This new ruling probably means Tebati should have taken the time to cast shield of faith at some point. No time now. :)


Male Human Haunted Nature Oracle 4 (Ac 20 Cmd 20 Will+4 Ref+2 Fort+4)

Ghost sound is my only spell that needs a component and I frankly forgot about it. I suppose there would be wax or wool among the caravan stores. Have to track some down later. Hmmm most of my curse added spells have material components/foci. I may need to get a pouch at some point.


N'bellocq wrote:
Joana wrote:
Ansha wrote:
Figures. I'm always the last to know!
Hope you're happy; that song has been in my head all day. :P
There are thousands of worse songs to be hung up on, says the big Del Amitri fan.

Meowzebub, my roommate never liked that song once she realized the twist in the last line that kept it from being another pining-for-a-lost-love song. Personally, I liked it better for the surprise. :)

Pretty sure I had the single, back when they still sold cassette singles. And "Roll to Me," which is just catchy as all get-out.


My wife is the same way. I love the twist, but she thinks he is a jerk so why listen to the song.

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