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Ryuko's Forging of a Kingdom (Inactive)

Game Master Ryuko

Watch five intrepid adventurers bring the whole of the Stolen Lands to civility.


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That's how I've heard it. But Kata is leaving it to the others to decide how to execute. Her vote would be executions by rope and fair combat, but she doesn't really care since she feels we've determined which are repentant and which are not.


Male Human Paladin 2

Fight for the old Varisian. Let Anton give him a weapon of Anton's choice..

Hang the other two, either from a nearby tree or from the roof beam of the stable. If they prefer to die by the sword Arkady is willing to be the executioner.


Back. Ok, in my out of character post I used slave as short hand not to cause 21st century people to react reflexively to it. Note Anton never said slave he said bondsman. I don't want to talk long about this but 'slavery' i.e. forced labor or else as punishment for crimes is legal in the USA and most nation today. Famous example the over publicised Lindsey Lohan, for a week or so every month she must do unpleasant labor in a morgue or go to jail for most of a year. This is the sentence by the state of California, it's quite likely a harsher one would have been given in most others. That is a form of slavery. Do you think it unjust? Don't react to a word I used in out of character commentary, please.

As to the laws of Brevoy they are up to the game master. Anton knows only what he has seen in the Capital and Temple and on the lands of relations. I'm making a few assumptions here.

That the law of Brevoy is of, by, and for the Noble Lords of the Land, commoners are to shut up and do what they are told or else.

That Brevoy is not all that well-ordered a realm. The law is mostly vague and very flexible, much depends on the specific lord or judge.

That authority and responsibility are, as completely as possible, intertwined.

If this and what I have Anton say next are not what the DM approves of course I'll revise, it's his call.

Sounds good to me but someone must stand for the mute. I'll give the Varisian his own blade. Make it clear it's an execution, his victory does not absolve him, this is to offer him the grace of Gorum in his afterlife.


Male Human Paladin 2

Arkady would probably take the two terms as interchangeable -- serfdom in Brevoy is unpleasant but is a long way from the slave markets of, say, Katapesh or Cheliax. Plus he's not much exposed at all to court life. He's generally reacting here like " I am a noble, not a thrall; people I take into my device are free to enter it or decline." without finely parsing distinct types of thralldom.

I, on the other hand, take your point quite clearly. I also generally agree with your take on Brevoy -- my mental model for it is rather a cross between historical Poland and fantasy Westeros, with a lot of lowlevel nitty gritty stuff and less High Fantasy.


Male Human Paladin 2

And boy, am I surprised to find myself playing Arkady as quite so stick-in-the mud. Limited mental horizons, maybe, or perhaps lack of legal training. Or just callow youth. I happen to largely agree with Anton here, but Arkady has real trouble seeing why or how anyone else gets to interfere with _his_ sworn man (or even with one who's currently in training). If Devlin wants to swear oath and sign according to Anton's suggestions, Arkady will agree -- as customarily interpreted, his family's oath covers much the same sort of thing anyway, except the "...and loyalty to my heirs" part, but he'll swear the way his family has always sworn.

I'm really trying to play him without the stick up the ass, but maybe being a Brevoy noble has something of the same effect...


Polish and Russian nobility yes exactly, even by their times standards, were very, very, narrow-minded. I see Anton as having a one-track mind but with a wide gauge, brought up near the royal court and very high nobility. He's young too and not legal trained, though I hope to pick up Knowledge(Local) next level. I am portraying it as he has witnessed examples in action. And he is way more cynical about courts, nobles, and lawyers than Arkady. But Anton is still a high noble and will think and act that way most of the time.

Also I like how this is turning out, Anton is a simple soul really - Half-Orc Warrior Priest with Big Sword. The twist is that he is a high noble raised (shoved down the throat off) at or near the courts of the house and king. Already that twist generate complexity not easy to forseee.


Male Human Paladin 2

And Arkady is also a simple soul: a country noble (i.e. dirt-poor with nothing but a tabard and a lance and a horse and his pride) who happens to have been called to be a paladin not very long ago. As you say, "complexity not easy to foresee." He's not being sticky because he's a paladin (if anything that opens him up and makes him more humane). He knows evil exists (he can sense it!), but he's not cynical at all. Probably should be. He knows local court stuff fairly well, and small-unit cavalry and military tactics (but only the simple stuff -- he could handle a scouting party of 10 but not a company of 100), and how to fight.

As far as skills go, I plan to max out Ride (shining knight and all that) and Diplomacy (mostly for leadership skills, he'll need advisors for Bluff and Sense Motive and Knowledge and the full set of negotiation skills), and then use favored class bonuses to get at least one rank in other useful skills. (I know optimizers recommend hit points for tanks, but optimizers seldom realize just how often entire situations can be handled or bypassed by relatively easy skill rolls.) Handle Animal, Knowledge (nobility), maybe more ranks in Survival since I suspect we'll want more of it in the wilderness -- at any rate, enough to aid someone who knows what they're doing, or have a chance to make DC 15-20 rolls.


Kata will certainly have a different view. In her mind, both Devlin and the mute have shown their repentance. No need for oaths, certainly no need for paperwork. If they betray us, they die. If they side with us, may they live long and prosperous lives.


Male Human Paladin 2

Arkady's view is that if you just let them go, what will stop them from drifting into banditry again? Give them an alternative, and assure them they won't be thrown away when the job is over. An oath binds two ways, after all.

And we will need guards and soldiers for the work ahead. Particularly if you're planning to make your fortune by becoming a noble in the new lands. Arkady is looking ahead.

(And back. He's mostly just trying to replicate his type of society because he thinks it's the best way to live. It's the way he was brought up, after all, so it must be the right way.)


Kheldon where do you see this going? Help me.

Help, Calling all DM's and players, Please tell me how Anton doesn't kill Kheldon right now? As a player I want to make a few points clear.
Anton does not want to kill the mute, he accepts that the repentance is begun at least.
The charter that we all have charges us to enforce the laws of Brevoy, how do we do that?
All the talk about oaths and the power of family is about how, under the laws of Brevoy, do we get other noble/judges to recognize our judgments as binding, not kill people but to protect them from being killed, lawfully, by someone else.
If we don't kill anyone what happens to Oleg and his lovely wife?
Since the battle Kheldon's one suggestion is about how to deceive Happs, which Akady and Marcus shot down at once and Anton is unthrilled with, everything else has been obstruction, most unhelpful.
The only one Anton really wants dead is Happs, some of the others, well it seems needed to kill them, to protect Oleg and Svetlana, and we need to get the other bandits before they rally and attack.
We do not have the resource to be nice, as Marcus pointed out. Anton argued we had enough to at least try a little. Marcus is likely right and Anton wrong.
We need to decide here who lives and dies of those in our power, call it a court, call it a lynching, if we do nothing innocents die.
If we don't kill all the bandits, and doesn't let them all go free, then some die and some live by our judgement. Do we have the right to do it? Who knows? Who cares? In the position we are in we have to do something and that is a judgement, by right or by might.
Anton's cool with 'Might makes right' that is his God's creed, rule by the weight of his sword is OK, so why object? Either Brevic law stands or River Kingdoms custom, either way he can do what he wants, mostly, and is more restrained by Brevoy law than River Kingdom's customs.
Marcus is the one that wants paperwork, Anton sees the potential, given his family, but doesn't really care.
All these points have already been made by someone, in character already, what more is there to talk about?

Anton's not the type to back down from such a challenge, especially from an outlander.

Oh and all of this, from a players point of view, has gone on too long, let's get this done and move on.


Male Shadeling Shadowcaster Wizard 5(Shadow Subscool)/Veiled Illusionist 1

Anton,
check you PM.


It is time to move on and if we don't want interparty conflict everyone needs to move a little toward the middle. A little conflict is good and creates interest. Too much will break up the game.

I would suggest that Anton and Marcus begin to realize that we're not in Brevoy any longer. Given their lawful natures, they, along with Arkady are going to need to exert order, but that may require different techniques than they are used to.

Kheldor and Kata, both chaotic, are going to need to learn that some order is necessary. Maybe they don't personally care about the law as long as long as it is not overly abusive of individual freedoms and greater good prevails, but they're going to need to learn that it is important to other characters.

I've just posted to refocus us on the next task at hand. If you don't like it, we can try another approach, but I think we need to wrap this and move on.


Per your PM I think you have a point about Anton being played too lawfully, a discussion about laws and rights made too early. Still don't get all the other objections but I'll try to do something different. I really don't want to get into a fight with you, it's just a game. And sorry about the Kheldor/Kheldon thing I more thinking about what to say than the names I terrible at them in real life. I think I have the way out for now though. I might point out Arakdy and Marcus are really Lawful though.


Male Human Paladin 2

Anton seems to waffle between being all-Gorum-battle and all-legal-hairsplitting, which I suppose isn't an impossible personality type but it does make it hard to decide how to argue with him. (Arkady is getting very confused by now.)

For Arkady, getting the forms correct is important (which is why he swears the oath he does in the form he does), but you decide _what_ to do based on what's right and then you do the forms correctly to let everyone know exactly what you're doing. He knows commonly practiced Brevic law (though not fine details) but little about the River Kingdoms.

On the other hand, this area isn't really part of either realm, we're the guys on the ground and have to do the job, and the charter gives us enough legal cover for a lot of basic stuff. We aren't a formal court but there _aren't_ formal courts out here; in wild lands bandits are the enemy of all and group self-defense _is_ the law.

I'm also not sure why Kheldor is worried about Anton killing the mute here. Didn't we all already agree to let him live? Nobody's arguing for Happs, the old Varisian, or the rapist/murderer. Nobody's objecting to sparing Devlin (though I'm sure Marcus has some under his hat), and I'm not hearing anyone arguing that the mute is anything other than Kheldor's responsibility. So what is Kheldor thinking?

(This gets Arkady -- and his player -- _really_ confused. Either I'm seriously missing/misunderstanding something, or Kheldor is.)


For all intents and purposes, Marcus is Abadar's representative in this expedition. He has some legal training but is willing to listen to reason but will fall back into Abadar's teachings as a first port of call.

His call for contracts is to cover both parties from any wrongdoing; Anton has the right of it that without formal contractual obligation any Brevic lawman or noble could feasibly execute Devlin on the spot, although that would take some mean-news on the part of Ryuko :P

Marcus isn't someone who thinks people can't repent but it must come willingly, and not at the point of a sword. Devlin appears to be taking the correct steps, and we'll see with regards the mute.

As for how I see Marcus developing, I was going to go for Inquisitor but I didn't put points into his wisdom. Instead, I'm going to pick up Wizard (diviner) and look to become the Kingdom's spymaster.

Edit: Oh, it appears that I can get detect lies through Alchemist. Rogue/Alchemist it is then! Must be the only one in the Church of Abadar.


Spent some time looking into various builds this morning, and I've decided instead that I'm going to simply stick with Rogue.

Looking at the future, I'm trying to decide which talents I want to invest in. I'm considering the following:

Level 2: Camouflage
- Marcus is liable to wind up acting as the party scout, after all, and this imparts a +4 bonus to his Stealth score.

Level 4: Black Market Connections
- I'm taking this as a team talent. I treat each settlement as one size larger for the purposes of determining the gp limit of the base value of items for sale. With a successful Diplomacy check, I can treat the settlement as two sizes larger.

I'm taking BMC using the trade aspect of Abadar, but I'm aware that I need to balance it against the lawful aspect. Therefore, I'm going to restrict myself to the more lawful magical items.


Male Human Paladin 2

Fast Stealth might be useful as well, especially for sneaking around in big wide outdoor areas.


Male Shadeling Shadowcaster Wizard 5(Shadow Subscool)/Veiled Illusionist 1

Also, I'll definitely be picking up spells that will supplement your abilities, as while Kheldor won't be a true scout, he will lean that way with spells and actions when possible.


Anyway, onwards! :)


Waffling, yep guilty as charged, my bad, got caught up in it and did some bad role-playing, promise to do better. Let's go on.


Yes, onwards!

Will also be trying to compliment others with selection of hexes and spells. Haven't plotted it all out yet.

I suspect Kata is going to be going toward Grand Diplomat (with the Intelligence option) or Magister. I'm leaning toward Grand Diplomat.


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

Apologies for not posting today, I see we had a bit of drama but it looks smoothed over, which is good. I will have a few significant posts up when I get off work.


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

Alright everyone. Firstly: Anton's summary of the Brevic state is pretty much spot on. There are a few codified laws, but overall it's controlled by your personal fuedal lord.

Secondly: I think we need to move forward, assuming that the mute will be taken care of without the need for someone to "Sponsor" him right now. If there is an issue later your characters can re-open the discussion.

Thirdly: So everyone is riding their horses toward the camp, then stopping nearby and making camp?


Male Human Paladin 2

Just a housekeeping note: anyone taking anything else from the loot? So far we have:

Kata with two alchemist's fires

Arkady with studded leather, mwk comp longbow (+2 Str) and 40 arrows. As nobody objected to this, Arkady will update profile accordingly. He'll add his leather armor into the pile (share and share alike in times of need, says Erastil, and this is likely to be a time of need for a long while.)

Anyone else? (I don't offhand see anything else terribly important, but we're riding out the gates now). We do take the bandits' rations along with us since a day out, at least a day back, and maybe some exploration time on the way back will need a bit mroe food than my Survival roll can likely provide.


Those all sound good and I'm hoping we might be able to either sell anything we need to Oleg or have him sell it for us.


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

Oleg will accept any items you don't need and give you a running tab at the Trading Post. Oleg can get you anything you'd like in time, though it will take around a week (for normal goods) and 2-3 times that for for exotic goods. He has a few things on hand if any of your characters would like to check upon returning.


Arkady rises a good point, how shift-able are services to the gods taking in account their interests and the circumstances? Can Arkady start services in the dark, finish enough before dawn to allow for a dawn attack or is services that restore spell/abilities held to a strict schedule?


Male Human Paladin 2

I seem to be turning into our tactical coordinator here -- just keep in mind that Arkady is quite willing to listen to suggestions, and ready to change his plan if a better one comes along. He's a leader, not a tyrant. (Or at least he's trying to be. Good in his sphere, but a bit limited.) I _don't_ want to squash gameplay by other characters!


You're doing fine. Kata is taking a little bit of a back seat to planning this one because of the reaction last time. She wants to be sure those of you that seek glory in hand to hand battle get a chance. She's happy with the role to try to take out the lookouts and then support in combat.


Male Human Paladin 2

Kata and Anton both may be confusing Arkady with one of Iomedae's glory-hounds ;) Erastil scorns such spotlight-hogging -- he's into effectiveness, defending the community with minimal losses. Still a paladin, so not descending into dishonorable menas (no point in protecting the community if the way you do it turns into Cheliax or something), but being as effective as he can.

(Whether or not he picks the most effective route, well, that's another question. Right now he's slightly worried about getting defeated in detail...)


Male Human Paladin 2

Query: it's still pre-dawn, so how are the bandits seeing us in the shadowy forest? Shouldn't there at least be a miss chance for arrows?

(Not asking for any changes at this point, since Arkady getting hit twice is well within the odds even for a 20% miss chance, and one of them could be a half-elf or have low-light vision some other way... just wondering if it was taken into account.)


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

You're quite right Arkady, I hadn't thought to keep up with that. I will in the future.

Now, a quick question to all of you. Kingmaker is significantly about exploration of an untamed land, and the sandbox is about to open up to you, meaning that you will get to go out in the directions you want. That does, unfortunately, make for a lot of work for me.

So my question to you: Shall we play it as originally intended? Or give me a bit of a break and play a slightly rules-lite version of exploring?

The rules-lite version would be simpler, I would assume that you were starting at the top and going back and forth south until you hit the borders or tell me that you will be heading to a particular place. Up to you guys.


Male Weremonkey Rogue/Ranger/Trickster

As I am pretty much totally unfamiliar with this AP, I'm not entirely sure what you're asking.

I mean, I'd like to engage in some of the sandboxyness, but not to the extent that it becomes a burden for you.

Beyond that, I guess I need more info maybe to give a better answer.


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

Essentially there is a large map, which I could theoretically attempt to play around with in order to show which hexes are explored and which ones you are in and which ones have various landmarks etc. etc.

However... that's gonna be a lot of time in crummy photo editing software. I still intend to give you a map of the landmarks and such, but essentially I'm asking if we could simplify the exploration to "And now you head on to the next hex" Instead of "Which direction would you like to go now?" and then 20-40 posts of debate about it. Of course you'd still be free to head towards something you hear about or know about (like the Mite Lair you currently have a vague idea of) but just a bit less control. Just my thought to cut down on my work, but I'll press on if everyone would prefer.


Male Weremonkey Rogue/Ranger/Trickster

Oh f*#k that!, I agree with your suggestion. We can have important discussions OOC about what to do, but yea, your idea seems much simpler, easier and hopefully, much quicker.


Male Human Paladin 2

I agree. We might want a map occasionally, but unless we want to go somewhere specific, just assume that we're systematically exploring.


I have a little different twist that I think is consistent with simplifying your workload. There are a few major encounters with a variety of lesser ones. I think you could probably introduce some of the major ones as you have with the bandits, Stag Lord, and mites and let us explore them as we wish. Drop the smaller ones in on our way there as you like. Once we've worked through all the ones you want to throw at us, consider the area explored.


Or you can have one of us act as cartographer. I'm more than happy to take up that particular flag for just now as I have DMed the first book already and will take some of the work from you.


I'll roll with whatever people want; a bit of foreshadowing, and a general statement of we explore this or that way: i.e we explore all hexes west of Oleg's or all the way towards the mites, would give a little influence of the players on events. But really an area either will or won't have something, for those that don't, a quick statement of 'You rode through a forest hex and found nothing interesting' is fine. A map can be useful to give a feeling of making progress, as Nostrus is willing, that would be a useful bonus. Do what you need to do though Ryuko, DMing is hard anything we can do to help is fine by me.


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

Well if you're willing Nostrus I'll be glad to see you doing a map, but it seems everyone is fine with vague directions and such.


Meh, I have the PDF of Book One and a tool with which I can easily cover up the hexes we haven't explored. It will be handy to keep a record of where we have and haven't been.


Male Human Paladin 2

Arkady is just not good at complicated bluff situations. Inspiring leadership, yes; double-think, no.

Then again, maybe the fact that he's taking Kheldor and Kata seriously will inspire Kressle to do the same.


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

SHAMELESS SELF-PLUG!!

Since I can't seem to get anyone interested otherwise.

Ryuko's Mystery Murder Tour!


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

Frump frump frump
Weekend slump


Appreciate the invite Ryuko, but I've got a bit too much on my plate right now.


Male Human Paladin 2

What Kata said.


Which hexes have we already explored?


Male Human Super Cruel DM 10

You have explored only Olegs hex and the one two to the bottom left (southwest for this though the map has an odd north we'll be treating the top of the map as north.) There is one unexplored hex in between.


Male Human Paladin 2

We can probably explore the hex between on the way back, though I suspect that depends on exactly what we decide to do at the bandit camp.


Sorry for being away all week, work has been crazy and I've had personal stuff going on. Will catch up over the weekend.

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