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Rigor Rictus' Carrion Crown - Game Thread

Game Master LastNameOnEarth

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That would explain why this disappeared from my campaign tab. Wouldn't want to lose this. I have surgery in the morning and have the next three days off while I'm recovering/on strong painkillers, so I'll be doing a lot of posting over the next few days. I'll try to remember to proof-read everything before I post, but if something doesn't make sense, blame it on the drugs.

Male Half-Elf/Kellid 3 Barbarian Wild Rager/Totem Warrior/1 Fighter Two-Handed Fighter

Last time I took strong pain killers I went weeeeeee for 8 hrs straight.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Again Kirill? What happened this time? One of your innumerable injuries get more than the usual infection? Sometimes I think you're a walking accident. Hope all these recent medical problems aren't being too severe on your finances.

Ah, well. Best wishes for your recovery.

It is an ongoing solution to a semi-permanent health issue that needs regular addressing. I was in surgery for less than 4 hours and was conscious for most of it (through heavy use of local anesthetics); quick, simple, and out-patient. As a heads up, I may disappear briefly on/around the 30th for another procedure, and then again 3 to 4 weeks after that (which has yet to be scheduled depending on how the 30th goes). Hopefully only another 4ish times before I'm finally in the clear.

Anyway, I don't work again until Friday evening while "recovering" I'd probably be fine being back tomorrow night-it was that minor of an operation. Luckily I have a borrowed laptop and a shaky internet connection to post with (not the most reliable of machines, but as long as I can keep connected to the internet long enough to post I should be entertained).

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Well, I wish you a speedy recovery, and a successful next procedure.

To everyone else, I'll try to post tonight, but my wee little dwarfling isn't going for this divided attention thing. I need to be rocking and walking her and nothing else, so we'll have to see. If I can't pull it off, I should be able to post in the morning.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Kirill and anyone else stll lurking, I'm headed ti bed, so I'll catch you tomorrow.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Trinam? We haven't heard from you in a while. Is Carol Silverkin still participating?

I do not think he has posted at all lately. Maybe stuff came up?

A killer GM with a killer smile.

I checked his other aliases and he has been on as recently as Jan 10, so hopefully he'll check in soon. T'would be a shame to lose him.

Trinam has had numerous suspicious absences lately...

I like to imagine that he is really a super hero and is saving us from intergalatic, apocalyptic struggles we can't even being to comprehend.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

It appears that Trinam has indeed dropped out of the game. I talked to him a bit on the Rise of the Runelords game Kirill runs, and e said that he would get back to me if he still wanted to play. As he hasn't, I'm going to presume that he's out.

As we still have 5 PC's, I'm not planning on recruiting anyone to that spot. We also have Kendra and Zhan acting as group members, giving the party the power of a 7 member group, which should be plenty.

There have been a few slow patches in posting here lately, has this just been real life interfering, or is there something different I should be doing with the game. I am always interested in feed-back, so let me know if you see any opportunities for improvement.

Male Half-Elf/Kellid 3 Barbarian Wild Rager/Totem Warrior/1 Fighter Two-Handed Fighter

I built Agnar to hit things, not really climb so why, I have been quiet.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

That's all good Agnar. Plenty of things to hit coming up inside!

Sorry about the disappearance- I've been around but distracted. I should have something up in all of my games tomorrow. Monday I have another appointment and may or may not be on depending on when I'm released. But should be back on Tuesday.

I've been down with some troubling news from/about the (maybe still) fiance so I haven't been much in the mood to game- or really much of anything (I rescheduled my surgery for this morning for Wednesday because I really don't want to go anywhere). I'm going to try to ramp back up my speed; it is just hard to keep the heart in it at the moment.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Sorry to hear that Ringtail. I hope everything works out for the best. As always, real life comes first, so don't worry too much about us.

Male Human Ranger (Shapeshifter) 3 { AC 13 | 18 of 35 hp }

Yeah, don't worry about all this. Hang in there!

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Any feedback on the maps? Are they clear, and does using this kind of map add anything to the game for you?

Male Half-Elf/Kellid 3 Barbarian Wild Rager/Totem Warrior/1 Fighter Two-Handed Fighter

The maps are great, I am thinking of using it for my game.

Male Human Ranger (Shapeshifter) 3 { AC 13 | 18 of 35 hp }

Map looks great - I use the same thing in my campaign.

In a spoiler for length:
I owe you all both an apology and an explanation for my extended and unannounced absence. It was insensitive and honestly just rude of me to neglect the responsibilities I willingly took one when deciding to run/play-in these games. I’ve had the time and I should have spent the few minutes necessary to let everyone know what was going on and why I was disappearing and I didn’t; and that was wrong of me. You are all great, friendly players- you deserve better that to be left hanging on my whim, but I’d like to continue running my games if you will let me. I am truly sorry for my selfish behavior and hope that you’ll accept my apology and not think less of me even though I’m aware that this is not my first unexpected hiatus.

As to why I’ve been gone it will be easier for me to just copy and paste an email I sent to player inquiring as to whether or not I was all right after about a week’s absence.

Player’s email to me wrote:
You doing okay, bud?
My response wrote:
Yeah; just buried in life. I've had some free time and have been meaning to get over to the Paizo boards (realizing just now that it has been nearly a week since I've visited, and longer since I've actually done anything), I just haven't had the effort, I guess, for lack of a better word. I've been trying to sort out finances what with taxes being altered by a wage garnishment and medical bills that are piling up from procedure after procedure. I was also recently sent an email from my fiance who was feeling guilty- apparently he cheated on me twice, once 2 years ago and again several weeks ago and wanted to get it out and apologize, which honestly I would have preferred to have been lied to and spent the rest of life ignorant of the matter. If it wasn't enough the most recent instance fell on the week that my dog died (I keep it at my parent's house since my newest apartment doesn't allow them; they foster abused animals and one got into fight with him and he didn't survive the encounter). A stroke claimed my grandmother a couple days later. For my fiance to finalize his immigration we need to have all of our papers signed and done with come the middle of April, but in light of this recent revelation I'm not 100% sure what I want. If I decide this is it for us I've wasted 4 years (a significant time investment for me) and a ton of money and ruin his chances at indefinite leave visa. If not I have to learn to deal, for pretty much ever; it is all very emotionally and mentally draining when added together.

I’ve only added to my troubles by taking on another roommate about a week ago; a friend and coworker who was more or less kicked out of his place and though he is a good guy things have become a bigger hassle than I expected. My goal is for everything to return to some semblance of normality soon. I have a busy couple of days ahead of me, but I should be able to get things sorted out enough that I’d be able to resume a regular posting schedule by Sunday or Monday evening (if you’ll still have me). I know my excuses are poor- we all have life to deal with, but suffice it to say that I’m very embarrassed about how I’ve handled recent matters.


Male Human Ranger (Shapeshifter) 3 { AC 13 | 18 of 35 hp }

Ouch! When it rains, it pours! I'm sorry you're having such a rough time, but hopefully things will settle out for you soon!

A killer GM with a killer smile.

That's it for the description of the room, unless someone wishes to do something. Waiting on your actions.

Male Human Ranger (Shapeshifter) 3 { AC 13 | 18 of 35 hp }

Sorry for the delay - I feel like I'm kinda pushing the rope here. Val will continue moving and searching, but I was hoping for more inputs from my comrades.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

I know what you mean... Yoohoo... anyone else there?

Ok, a post on entering the room is forthcoming.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Ember and I are discussing a point of the rules. If you are interested feel free to read. If not, don't worry.:

Rigor Rictus wrote:
Haunts can be defused by overpowering them with positive energy, but only before they fully manifest. Once they do manifest, they often become immune to positive energy.
Ember V wrote:
That is different than what I've read about haunts. I read that haunts are always vunerable to positive energy, but can have other weaknesses as well. There is some sort of check to know what the weakness of a haunt is, but I'm not sure what that check is, which is why I'm rolling religion; I figure that clerics of Pharasma should know something about haunts and how to deal with them.

The above is based on my reading of the Haunt rules in the GM's Guide (pg 242, reprinted here, and here.) I have not run haunts before this campaign, and so I am basing my descriptions based on my reading of the rules. Readings of rules can be ambiguous, so I am always open to hearing and considering other interpretations.

The key passage is this:

When a haunt is triggered, its effects manifest at initiative rank 10 in a surprise round. All characters in the haunt’s proximity can attempt to notice the haunt at the start of this surprise round by making a notice check). All haunts detect life sources and trigger as a result of the approach of or contact with living creatures, but some haunts can be tricked by effects like hide from undead or invisibility. On the surprise round in which a haunt manifests, positive energy applied to the haunt (via channeled energy, cure spells, and the like) can damage the haunt’s hit points (a haunt never gains a Will save to lessen the damage done by such effects, and attacks that require a successful attack roll to work must strike AC 10 in order to affect the haunt and not merely the physical structure it inhabits). Unless the haunt has an unusual weakness, no other form of attack can reduce its hit points. If the haunt is reduced to 0 hit points by positive energy, it is neutralized— if this occurs before the haunt takes its action at initiative rank 10, its effect does not occur.

The Haunt Siphon also mentions that it can only be used in the round the haunt manifests, which appears consistent with the above interpretation.

I admit, that this restriction makes the Haunt's difficult to defuse, as after the initial round you would either have to flee the haunt and wait for it to reset, or find its other weakness. I have searched through the rules forums and have been unable to find clarification on this point. The forums do mention a few people's takes on how other information about haunts should be gleaned, as this information is also omitted from the description.

You could argue that while it talks about the haunt only taking damage during the initial round, this is intended to refer only to keeping the haunt from manifesting, and that continued damage from positive energy in later round is implied, though I have found no where that indicates that this explicitly.

The way I read the rules, most haunts are single-round trap-like events. If you can cause enough positive energy damage to defeat it before its initiative 10 turn, the event doesn't happen. The gray area is in persistent haunts, which last longer than the immediate event...

GM Guide wrote:
hp: This lists the haunt's effective hit points for the purposes of resolving positive energy damage. A haunt's hit points are equal to twice its CR, except in the case of a persistent haunt, in which case its hit points are equal to its CR × 4.5 (round fractions down).

Now, while it doesn't specify anywhere that positive energy will still damage haunts after they manifest, persistent haunts gain many more hit points, so the assumption (IMO) is that they can still be neutralized after the surprise round.

Does that make sense?

A killer GM with a killer smile.

The point about the difference between instant and persistent Haunts is a good one. If you assume the rules are written describing only the former, it makes it more plausible as to why the the mention of continued vulnerability to positive energy is omitted.

We will use that rule, as I believe it does conform to what appears to be the Rules as Intended even if it is not clear from the Rules as Written.

As for the second half of Ember's question, on how she might learn more about the haunts, I would say that haunts are rare enough, and obscure enough that while you're Religion roll would let you know that haunts often have additional weaknesses, it would take a very high roll to be able to discern the weakness of a specific haunt. (DC 20 + CR of the haunt for instance). The players may also attempt to figure out a weakness through trial and error, such as Valachi's idea to douse the furnace (something burning) with water (though it was apparent that you'd have needed a lot of water). Using opposing elements, etc, is often a reasonable guess. If you have insider (player) knowledge of the haunts and know their weaknesses, please show restraint in being the one to suggest the idea, unless you are sure it is very obvious.

The other way to learn more about the haunts would be by finding a way to communicate with the haunt itself.

| HP: 27/27 | AC: 17 (T:11 , FF: 16 ) | CMD: 15 | F +6 | R +2 | W +7 | Init +3 | Per +6 | Channel: 7/7

Rigor Rictus.
I looked in someplace I shouldn't have (truth is, it was back when the AP was new, and I thought I wouldn't ever be in it. Most of the details are forgotten now).
Anyway, the writer (Brandon Hodges) came out and explained the haunt rules.
DM ONLY-Haunts
I recall him explaining that persistant haunts could be damaged on subsequent rounds.
I recall him saying something about how haunts weaknesses could be discovered by knowledge checks (but I don't know which checks, because it's been a while since I read that thread, and while I could find it again, I'm not reading it).

A killer GM with a killer smile.

I've noticed a major slow down in posting lately. Is there any feedback anyone would like to offer in order to help things move along?

The ability to interact with the spirits of a haunt and ask questions was one of the suggestions on how to allow players to defuse haunts, but if you are finding this method too boring, we can gloss over the details, or find another method of addressing these points. Thoughts?

Male Half-Elf/Kellid 3 Barbarian Wild Rager/Totem Warrior/1 Fighter Two-Handed Fighter

I have just been busy with class, and my focus list keeps not showing all my threads.

I've noticed a slow down in ALL campaigns recently, so I think its not just this one... maybe Spring, ME3, daylight savings... I don't know?

I enjoy the interacting idea - its much less frustrating (so far) than just randomly trying things, which would go way too slow in a PbP game anyway.

Another suggestion for dungeon crawling, if you're comfortable with it, is using 'dungeon crawl mode' or 'flex-time', which I've seen and used in PbP to speed things along by resolving rooms in parallel. If you're not familiar, I can explain in more detail.

I don't know the CC adventures, so if Harrowstone relies on a specific sequence of events, then the above probably won't work.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Perhaps some more detail on 'dungeon crawl mode' or 'flex time' as you name them. I have GM'd a great deal in person, but this is my first PbP.

Well, basically... PbP is obviously much slower in interraction timing than an in-person game. Which is fine, but if you try to run dungeons the same way, it can become drawn out and tedious. For example:

DM: You enter the next room. It is empty but there are three doors - east, west and north. Which do you take?

<< 2 weeks pass as players deliberate and decide... >>

Players: We go west!

DM: Its a broom closet. Next?

<< More time spent in decision... >>

Now, all that would take about 1 minute in a live game, as your group has more intuitive awareness of what's going on, and the feedback is instantaneous. Running dungeons in PbP like that can be crippling.

I stole the flex-time and dungeon crawl mode ideas from Kyrademon's JR PbP, and it seemed to work really well for them. It has been great in my own PbP!

Flex-time is when you run separate events in parallel. It is understood that they are not happening at the same time, but generally the circumstances allow you to be a bit fuzzy with the timeline to make it work. Players can participate in all flex-time threads, unless its specified otherwise (i.e., "after everyone leaves the room, I..."). Using flex-time helps advance multiple plot threads at the same time, so that the whole group isn't waiting around for one player to finish before moving sequentially on to the next one.

Obviously, playing stuff in sequence is a must at certain times. DM caveat sets when flex-time is active and when its off. If a combat or significant encounter arises, its off until that event is concluded.

Dungeon Crawl Mode is kind of an extension of flex-time. In my campaign, I post descriptions for a number of rooms all at once. I follow a logical flow through the dungeon, and a standard expectation for searching, etc. I'll describe each room normally, and also pass any information that would be found with a Take 10 Perception check search. After several rooms are posted, the players can declare if they wish to do more thorough examination, interact, or ignore (in the case of the broom closets). If an encounter comes up, we resolve the combat but then we can resume threads on the other rooms. After those are played out or they move on, I'll post another set of rooms.

It sounds confusing, but makes more sense once you see it in action. Check out my game thread for an example:


Female Human Master Summoner 4 (AC: 16 [T: 12 /F: 14]; CMD 15; HP: 17/23; F+0, R+3, W+6 [+8 vs Fear]; Init: +2; Perc: +2)

Sorry, off work for a week for the kid's spring break, and my comp is being a pain (keeps shutting off, and not starting right). I will be posting more regularly when I get back to work starting this coming Sun night.

So, ummm... our old DM is starting a new CC game. Huh.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Huh. That's odd. Wonder why he didn't drop in here.

IDK, I guess since he gave you the con, didn't feel comfortable asking for it back?

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Yah, I PM'd him, and that's pretty much what he said, that he felt that we'd given him enough chances that he didn't feel right asking for another. Oh, well. Hope he has fun with the new game.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

As there has been no sign of Kirill, though he had expressed interest in returning to the game, and Silverkin decided to back out, I am wondering if we should consider looking for recruits again.

Active characters include Delia, Ember, Valachi, and Agnar. A summoner, a cleric, a ranger, and a barbarian. While I think this is a balanced group that can handle the challenges represented in this AP, I wonder if a couple more players might help increase the pace (extra postings) as well as help out the investigative aspect of this AP. A rogue, bard, or dare I say an Inquisitor would be very helpful I believe.

One option is to recruit while we are in town for a (brief?) break, while another would be to wait until the end of this Adventure, and recruit before moving on to Book 2 (after Harrowstone is completed), though that will likely be a few months in real time.


Male Half-Elf/Kellid 3 Barbarian Wild Rager/Totem Warrior/1 Fighter Two-Handed Fighter

I say while in town.

I don't mind doing that now, if we're going to be short players. I know it's easy running Zhan AND the NPCs!

A killer GM with a killer smile.

We do not HAVE to recruit more members, it simply has seemed to me that we could use them. The AP is balanced for four characters, and so if you are satisfied with the status quo, please say so. However, while I prefer a smaller group for a RL game, 4 feels pretty small in a PbP, and I think I would personally prefer 6.

Please tell me if you feel we need additional players or not, in addition to when you would like to see them.

And Nomadicc, you are correct. I am trying to run the NPCs conservatively, so they do not over shine the players. With three NPCs and four players, I could start running away with things on my own. Particularly if I ran Zhan as he was intended. Riff, however is a level 1 warrior, and will not be with the group much longer.

Zhan was designed as an investigator and leader type for a group, but neither of those is a good place to have an NPC. If he investigates everything, then the story could unravel on its own, and that would be boring for the players. The same for leader, unless he is done as a Gandalf type, which is hard to do, and does not really fit this situation. At the moment, I see him leaving after Harrowstone to investigate a different angle of the overarching story than the main story of the second book.

Female Human Master Summoner 4 (AC: 16 [T: 12 /F: 14]; CMD 15; HP: 17/23; F+0, R+3, W+6 [+8 vs Fear]; Init: +2; Perc: +2)

I think if we recruit, then while we are in town would be a good time, because just the dinner invitation alone could take a bit to get through. Since town is all little personal type stuff, a new player probably wouldn't miss out on key story points, and could be ready to go as we reenter the prison.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

My impression is that the group is in favor of recruiting, and in favor of getting them together now. As a result, I'll be making up a recruitment thread in short order. If you have any friends you'd like to recommend, feel free.

We'll be leveling to 3rd shortly (upon our next rest), so start thinking about what you would like to do with your third level feats etc. but don't change you character sheets yet, as the changes will not be in effect yet for interactions at the party.

As a result of this, I'll be recruiting for 2 third level characters. Any requests on what kind of classes would be the most useful?

I believe we could use a skill monkey, which could be a Rogue, a Bard, or an Inquisitor. Traps are not a common element in this campaign, so a rogue is not strictly necessary. A wizard might be effective as well, considering the groups present composition.

Female Human Master Summoner 4 (AC: 16 [T: 12 /F: 14]; CMD 15; HP: 17/23; F+0, R+3, W+6 [+8 vs Fear]; Init: +2; Perc: +2)

I do have a friend that has been asking to let him know when there was an opening in any of the games I was involved in. He is new to PbP, but we have played TT together for about 8 years, and he is game-savvy.

A killer GM with a killer smile.

Sounds excellent. Please invite him or her to join us then. If they are available, please let me know how long it would take them to get an account set up, character built, etc.

The character creation rules will be:

Core Book races preferred, though I'll hear concepts for characters that belong to the Monsters as PC races. As many of these races are more powerful on average, I may impose some sort of penalty to help equalize them with core races (Loosing a feat or being forced to take 1 level of an NPC class are common examples).

20 point buy
Max HP at level one, half+1 for each additional level
Level 3
1000 gp starting wealth (to keep them somewhat even with the group)
Two traits. One of these may be a CC campaign trait, but at this point I'm not going to enforce all PC's having to be friend's of Lorimor, particularly as we have already used the "I was late for the funeral" riff.

Male Human Ranger (Shapeshifter) 3 { AC 13 | 18 of 35 hp }

I've also got a friend who may be interested. He's got a lot of experience with D&D/PF and knows his way around the boards. How do you want to work this coin flip (unless we add 2)?

A killer GM with a killer smile.

I was thinking two additions anyway. I heard back from Ringtail, and he reported he was likely going to unable to commit to posting regularly with Kirill, so we'll likely be phasing him out.

Go ahead and invite your friend. Please let me know what they are thinking of playing, and coordinate with Delia and her friend where appropriate to help us to maintain diversity and a balanced group.

Male Human Ranger (Shapeshifter) 3 { AC 13 | 18 of 35 hp }

Copy - he's on the road this weekend but said he should be able to have a character together around Monday...

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