Martin Hit Points break down:
Lvl 1:10 (Capped at lvl 1)
Lvl 2:+6 (D10/2 = 5.5)
Lvl 1: None
Lvl 2: Skill
Lvl 3: Skill
Lvl 4: HP +1
Lvl 5: HP +1
lvl 6: None
lvl 7: Hp +1
HD+ FC = 43+3 = 46
Con: 2*7 = +14
HD+FC+Con = 43+3+14= 60 hp
Lvl 1:2 (2 from Paladin, -2 from int but min 1, +1 from human)
Lvl 2:6 (6-2, +1 FC, +1 Human)
Lvl 3:6 (6-2, +1 FC, +1 Human)
Lvl 4:6 (6-1, +1 Human)
Lvl 5:6 (6-1, +1 Human)
lvl 6:2 (2-1, +1 Human)
lvl 7:6 (6-1, +1 Human)
Current: 28, so shortchanged myself 6 skill points
Hascya is taking a third level of witch.
HP 60 -> 68 (figure listed in posts is max HP when raging)
+1 to Fort and Ref saves
Spells learned: Delay poison, Fog cloud
Feat: Alacritous Cogitation (Complete Mage)
Twohey gains +1 natural armor
Skill ranks: Diplomacy, Knowledge(Nature), Spellcraft, Ride
Hey, I just wanted to open this up for discussion. It's not meant to be an indictment against anyone, but I'm a little furstrated with the campaign right now and wanted to see how other people felt. I really enjoy playing DND with this group and really want to continue on, but have some concerns, and wanted to hear your guy's thoughts about them so we can work towards having an awesome play environment.
I really enjoyed the first half of the campaign. I was excited to have the quest of stopping the gold crest army, and we were able to explore that narrative from a couple of different directions. I felt like we had a clear goal, and were able to work towards that as players and while we were not ultimately successful, our actions had a clear impact on the storyline and the outcomes of the story(forest fires and goblin faux pas, and goldcrest invasions). Additionally, the resulting fight with the assassins, and the last minute save of the king, were very cool story branches and helped really expand on Martin's role playing.
In juxtaposition to the first half of the story, I've felt very lost in this latest chapter. While we initially set out to discover the root of the assassination attempt on the king, I felt like rather then answer that question, or clarify the problem involved we have instead made the situation more gray.
As a player, I've felt like my actions have had very little impact on the story line past leaving the king the first time. While we made a mistake at the tower, it wasn't very clear how we could have done a better job there, what information we really gained, or the role of anyone involved. Additionally, while we moved onto another city to find a mysterious unexplained zombie apocalypse with the assassins instead acting as heroes/ insisting on their righteousness. I feel like I currently have no understanding of who the enemy is, and am filled with some serious questions like:
Who is the enemy?
How is the enemy connected to the war?
What are their motivations and goals, and why are they attempting to assassinate the king?
Are they in fact attempting to assassinate the king?
Are they actually evil, as they saved a city?
How can I effect a plan, if there is a plan, when I don't know where it begins, ends or what it relates to?
Who has hired this fleet?
What power induced the zombie apocalypse on the city?
Other than being refugees, why should I help them, and why do they favor silverkeep over goldcrest?
While it appears that other armies are making actions, why has silver keep officially done nothing ever in this war?
Who is the snake empire, and what role does their sword play in this, and to what end was it stolen?
Who was the abomination that made Jamros unable to talk, and why was it there, and what impact does it have on the story?
As you can see, I have several questions about the plot line and fundamentally don't understand what is going on. While we have gone over some of these before, I feel like I am really missing out on the bigger picture in this game and as such, I have no understanding of how my character can take actions that effect the world other then be screwed by the litany of mysterious forces that seemed to be arrayed against him.
Let's look at this new intrigue in the market as an example. While it is a cool player encounter, and I like it, I'm having trouble understanding it's place in the broader picture. I actually have no way of knowing who these people represent. Goldcrest, Carron, The snake empire, Milea, or are they in fact who they claim to be? Are these in fact all representing one larger force? If so, again to what end? As such, the meaning of the interaction is really lost on me, other than reminding me once again that I don't understand what is happening in the game. Should I have thrown him in jail? Should I have killed him on the spot? Did I win by not resolving the situation violently? I don't really understand whats at stake and how my choices impacted the campaign, other than vaguely knowing that Silverkeep would probably not fair well in a riot situation. On the otherhand, if these were war criminals, maybe I should have arrested them. Again, I don't really know.
They also make a reference to some recent killings. Ok, sounds interesting. As a player what connection should I be making with this? I know that we are at war, so is this connected to a plot as indicated by Martin's speech to the people? Well, they are guards though, so does this have to do with the recent King's paranoia? But I know that Milea is capable of holding people, and therefore also probably dominating people, so is this a continued plot of the assassins? In a normal dnd game, this would be an adventure hook to start a quest looking for a murderer within the guards, which maybe this is relating to, and if so Martin would be very interested because it would have to do with his back story, but this in turn raises more questions about the war. Because Martin is now part of the war effort, can he take time to investigate these murders? While all of these are possibilities, I don't really have a good way of discerning which is more plausible as I don't understand any of the forces at play and as a result will probably ignore the comment unless forced/asked to do otherwise.
In short, I'm very confused right now. While this isn't a problem in and of itself ( I can see the benefit of keeping players in the dark), I don't really know what my character can do to even begin to clear up this confusion, nor do I understand the impact of my character's actions on the game world. As a result, I really feel like I lack any form of efficacy in this campaign right now, and as such am not finding it to be the most enjoyable of experiences. I officially have no understanding of how my character can improve the world state in any capacity, even in the slightest, and ultimately that is what it comes down to. I don't feel like I have any form of positive impact on the game right now, and that's really what is frustrating rather than the lack of knowledge.
BUT THERE IS HOPE! We are at the start of what looks like a new story arc, and have a chance to really improve on this lack of knowledge! I don't know if the other players are feeling this way, but we have the opportunity right now to reshape the campaign such that our characters can actually have a role in the story! Ultimately this is what I'm looking for in the campaign. I'm really excited to see this story unfold, and to find out how the campaign pans out, but I just wanted to voice my opinion on where I am with the game right now, and let air some of my frustrations. I think this campaign can be really great, and I know it started that way, but I think we've really lost track.
I'm really interested in hearing what you guys think, and how you feel about the campaign/ the play group dynamics.
I'll try to answer what I can without giving too much away.
"Who is the enemy?"
There are several hostile people and factions, but the true big bad has yet to be revealed. They've been foreshadowed and their presence is being felt throughout this story, but they won't make their first true appearance for a little while yet. You have encountered a few of their agents, however.
"How is the enemy connected to the war?"
Indirectly. The war between Silverkeep and Goldcrest is but a symptom of the true enemy's plot. Not for nothing did I name this campaign "Unrest in Atlus."
"What are their motivations and goals, and why did they try to assassinate the king?"
That will be made clear in time.
"Are they in fact attempting to assassinate the king?"
Yes and no.
"Are they actually evil, as they saved a city?"
Nerissa (black haired elven woman with a penchant for incapacitating Martin) is not the true big bad, and she is not an evil character. She is an antagonist, but there's something much bigger afoot than her actions.
The true big bads are absolutely, unquestionably evil, and were behind the threat to that city.
"How can I effect a plan, if there is a plan, when I don't know where it begins, ends or what it relates to?"
Think on your feet.
"Who has hired this fleet?"
The fleet was composed of ships from Carron. The reasons for their actions will be revealed shortly (as in, as soon as you guys meet with the king). Suffice to say for now, however, that they are acting in response to on-page happenings.
"What power induced the zombie apocalypse on the city?"
An agent of the true big bads.
"Other than being refugees, why should I help them, and why do they favor silverkeep over goldcrest?"
Assuming you mean the folks aboard the ships after their city was overrun by undead, they favored Silverkeep because you lot helped them survive the undead. Had adventurers from Goldcrest helped them instead, they would have been pro-Goldcrest. The incentive for helping them reach Silverkeep was that they had advanced ships and basic firearms, which could have helped Silverkeep expand its sphere of influence. This was never explicitly stated, but I thought that was implicit.
"While it appears that other armies are making actions, why has silver keep officially done nothing ever in this war?"
They have. The in-story reason Silverkeep needed adventurers at the very beginning was that the army they had on defense lost to Goldcrest's attacking army. Silverkeep sacked the city of Goldcrest itself. This happened offscreen because in my experience, having player characters fight in pike formations and the like isn't as interesting as having them free to run around and act independently.
"Why hasn't Silverkeep sent a fleet to deal with Carron?"
There are no satellite communications or imaging technologies in this world. Information travels as quickly as the person, horse, ship, or magic spell carrying it does. Carron sent a fleet out very quickly and without much warning. Silverkeep will respond, but that response hasn't happened on page yet. Also remember that Silverkeep just got through a war with Goldcrest - their forces are tired and depleted, and the city doesn't have many warships available.
Additionally, Silverkeep vs Goldcrest and Silverkeep vs Carron are two separate fights. Carron was not officially allied with Goldcrest, and has only now openly moved against your city. Silverkeep hasn't had time to really prepare to fight again. Again, remember that the current time is not even one month since the campaign began.
"Who is the snake empire, and what role does their sword play in this, and to what end was it stolen?"
The snake (serpentfolk, actually) empire ruled much of the world about 5000 years ago. They worshipped the true big bads and got wiped out by them. They were very evil. The sword is a very powerful artifact, and it was stolen by the dice rolls (I didn't really expect the monkeys to manage a disarm against you). Once he acquired it, however, it was in character for the caster in the tower to keep it, however.
More will be revealed about the serpentfolk and their empire, I promise.
"Who was the abomination that made Jamros unable to talk, and why was it there, and what impact does it have on the story?"
A very powerful fey creature who will have a bigger impact later on. It was introduced early because I needed some way to free you guys from the Goldcrest soldiers, and having it slaughter them to get to Jamros and curse him made the most sense at the time. It acted as vengeance for the forest Jamros burned down, but pitting the CR 15 critter against the imprisoned 3rd-level party would be unsporting, so I had it curse the halfling instead. It is the "tongue stalker beast" that got mentioned very early on.
Part of the reason the second chapter was such a shambles was that you guys kept running away from what I had planned. When you guys stole the eagles and fled from Carron, that threw most of my plans out the window. I repurposed the undead-infested city plan to happen earlier than expected (I originally designed that to happen at 8th level in Silverkeep, though you would have caught it much earlier in the undead-ification process and could have prevented it). I chose to use it in Westwend because I didn't have anything planned for that city originally. It was just sort of there on the map.
With you guys avoiding the huge amount of stuff that was supposed to happen in Carron, I needed some way of overtly introducing the threat of the true big bads and cast some doubt on Nerissa's nature. Thus, Westwend got a wightpocalypse with Nerissa acting to oppose it.
Following that event, I figured that "the party has more information. They probably want to get back to Silverkeep to follow up on their information gains. Let's give them a ship, but the folks who own the ship (the survivors) want protection from their arch-nemesis, Carron. I'll have them help the party get back to Silverkeep in exchange for a promise that the party will help them resettle elsewhere safely." Remember that Nerissa's big spell killed all the undead and living beings left unprotected, including all of Westwend's farms. The city was effectively rendered uninhabitable.
As for the fleet issue, Carron is one of the three naval superpowers in the world. I designed it to function as the city state everyone treads carefully around for the region around Garen's Gulf. One potential storyline involves allying the neighboring nations to break Carron's power. The encounters with their fleet were very winnable, especially after Daren tricked them into sending away most of their heavy ships. I had planned for one of those two ships that got ahead of you to take serious damage from the Dragon known to be in those waters, and for you guys to fight off the other one. The rest of your fleet would make a narrow but successful escape from their fleet due to the dragon's interference. In exchange, Silverkeep would get the Westwend refugees' expertise with firearms and advanced ships, all while further enhancing your party's reputation for heroism. At least, that's how I expected things to go down.
"Goldcrest, Carron, The snake empire, Milea, or are they in fact who they claim to be? Are these in fact all representing one larger force?"
Milea is a spy for Goldcrest, but she is a different character than Nerissa. Nerissa is the black haired elven woman who incapacitates Martin every time they meet. Milea is the blonde human woman Pygrado hated so much. Otherwise, these are all separate forces.
RE: Goldcrest and Carron. Goldcrest (via Milea) hired mercenaries from Carron, but without any commitment from Carron itself. Think of it like real-world renaissance armies. During the thirty years war, darn near everyone hired Swiss pikemen because they were some of the best mercenary troops in Europe. These contracts came with little or no backing from Switzerland's leaders, and Switzerland itself did not choose its alliances based on who hired individual bands of its soldiers. That's how Carron views its halfling mercenaries. Other folks can hire them to fight, but the city of Carron remains officially neutral in these contracts. That stuff remains the private business of the halflings, so long as doing so does not interfere with Carron's own goals.
Are they who they claim to be?
Maybe, maybe not. It varies from person to person. There's a lot more to Milea and Nerissa than meets the eye, but you'll find out about them in time.
This new arc:
This is the first stage in the new chapter. This encounter's purpose is to set up what's been going on in Silverkeep in your absence, and to start off the hooks for this next bit. There are multiple hooks available. As for how you resolve this situation, that's up to you. There is no right or wrong answer, but for every choice you make there are consequences (good and/or bad). Most of these consequences are pretty common sense, really. If you start butchering folks, you might find yourself facing angry mobs in Silverkeep. If you arrest him, something else may result. If you talk the crowd down, something else.
Actions, Outcomes, and Influence:
Your actions absolutely have an effect in the world. You haven't seen all of the effects because you've been running away from what I've had planned in the last chapter. Your actions in the halflings' tower (and what Pygrado did in the solo session I ran to wrap up his storyline) are directly responsible for Carron's fleet attacking you. Had you not aided the refugees in the tower, they would have been overrun by undead. Had you seen them safely past Carron's fleet they would have landed in Silverkeep, called you heroes, and given Silverkeep's military a big leg up via firearms and shipbuilding techniques.
In this campaign, I try to provide a true open world setting. Your actions do have consequences, and there are a ton of people and factions to interact with (most of whom have their own goals and personalities). If you want to sit in Silverkeep and play politics, you can. If you want to figure out what's up with Nerissa, you can. If you want to run around starting forest fires and wars, you can (and did). There will always be a great many things you can do. Part of the reason for the muddled second chapter was that you guys took the back door into Carron and did what was intended as a mid-late story encounter as the first encounter and then booked it out of that city. I was playing catch-up and trying to work in the main developments as best I could. Hence the jumbled mess. I hope that sheds some light on this campaign.
I really enjoy playing DND with this group and really want to continue on, but have some concerns, and wanted to hear your guy's thoughts about them so we can work towards having an awesome play environment.
I feel like I currently have no understanding of who the enemy is, and am filled with some serious questions like:Who is the enemy?
How is the enemy connected to the war?
What are their motivations and goals, and why...
This doesn't bother me so much. I feel like it's a world with ambiguities and questions, rather than a straightforward "kill the guys with green skin." I just want to make sure we'll get the answers at some point.
While we made a mistake at the tower, it wasn't very clear how we could have done a better job there, what information we really gained, or the role of anyone involved.
This is indicative of the concerns that I have with this game. I feel like the situations we're up against are often too open-ended. I understand the challenge as a GM of providing a solution (or multiple solutions) to the characters without making it seem like a railroad, and wanting to give them creative space, but I feel like we're often up against situations much bigger than ourselves. We're 3-5 people--we can't destroy an entire fleet, overrun an army, diffuse a war. Especially this last situation on the boats: it felt like you laid the situation in front of us and said "what do you do?" and we were like "I have no f'ing clue. We just didn't have the resources to deal with it."
We keep being in these situations where we're vastly outnumber, vastly outgunned, and have no choice but to hit the big "Cancel Quest" button.
That said, I'm still having a good time with this game and really do want to continue it. I think the flip-side of all these questions is a lot of potential for development, and I'm excited to learn about what's really going on.
But I think we should try to accelerate this development. If this all so far was the introductory arc to introduce us to the real threat -- well, it's been like 15 months. We should try to focus more on the main plot -- whatever it turns out to be -- and not do as many sidequests.
. I feel like the situations we're up against are often too open-ended. I understand the challenge as a GM of providing a solution (or multiple solutions) to the characters without making it seem like a railroad, and wanting to give them creative space, but I feel like we're often up against situations much bigger than ourselves. We're 3-5 people--we can't destroy an entire fleet, overrun an army, diffuse a war. Especially this last situation on the boats: it felt like you laid the situation in front of us and said "what do you do?" and we were like "I have no f'ing clue. We just didn't have the resources to deal with it."
Ya, I feel like this is a good point. As a side note, I want to apologize for my earlier post. I was under a lot of real life stress, and it kinda burst through dnd stuff, so I came off a bit too strong. While I was indeed frustrated with the plot, I think I was too adamant about it, and wanted to apologize for that.
Lvl 8- +1 Ranger lvl:
+1 All saves
+6 (D10 HD) +1 (favored Class)+2 hp(con) = 69 HP total
+1 Handle Animal
Combat Style Feat:
Shield Master (no two weapon fighting on shield, +enh. to atks/dmg from shield)
+2 Nat Armr.
+4 Con. (hp = 71)
Hascya - Don't forget that Twohey's total HP also improve. By my calculations, he should be at 39 total HP now. Also, as this is an even level, you actually gain 9 HP, not 8. You get 4 from your con modifier, as well as 4 + 1 from the Ashlands Seeker prestige class (.5d8+1 HP). This should put you at 79 HP outside of rage, and 87 in rage.
I'm really sorry to do this, and particularly in the middle of combat, but I'm just absolutely swamped right now, and I just don't have the time to keep up with this game or regularly play live sessions. I'm really enjoying how it's gone the past few sessions, and I want to come back, but I'm going to have to take a leave of absence. Probably until the end of the quarter (March 20) but possibly until my candidacy (May 15). Chris, I give you permission to NPC Hascya until he can gracefully leave the scene, and I'll let you guys know when I can come back, either as Hascya or as another character.
Thanks for understanding, and I'll catch you on the other side of this trainwreck of a few months.
Hascya level up! Also, I'm going to tentatively put my return to this game around 3/23. Thanks all for your patience.
Taking a level of Ashlands Seeker.
BAB +1 (iterative attacks, y'all!), CMB/CMD +1
Channel Spirit Form:
At 2nd level, Ashlands Seekers establish a mystical connection with the spirits of the simple creatures of the forest or field. Once per day, an Ashlands Seeker may spend 1 hour meditating to manifest one of the special qualities detailed below. This special quality remains for 1 day or until the Brightness Seeker changes form or dismisses it.
Bite and claws (1d6 points of damage each)
Blindsense 30 ft. (sound-based, like a bat)
Darkvision 60 ft.
Temperature-adapted (as endure elements)
Thick hide (+3 natural armor bonus to AC)
Waterborn (swim speed 40 ft., can breathe water and air)
Wings (average maneuverability, fly speed 40 ft.)
Unless otherwise noted, Hascya will manifest thick hide (reflected in stats)
At 2nd Level, an Ashlands Seeker understands the magical effects produced by creatures as extensions of their spirits. He gets a +4 bonus on saves against Supernatural abilities.
Feat: Vital Strike
Skills (1 each): Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledege(Planes), Spellcraft,
You should actually get 2 skill points. Base for DoS = 2, -1 for int mod, +1 from being human.
Basically, a human character never receives fewer than 2 skill points upon leveling up. No matter their intelligence modifier, characters always gain at least one skill point upon leveling up. Humans gain a racial bonus that provides an additional skill point.
Everything else looks good.