And now for some mini walls of text. These are intended to keep the game moving in the PbP format.
Once your character is complete please make 1 initiative roll. This roll will be used in the first combat when it starts. As soon as that fight is over I will ask for a new init roll to be used in the next combat. This will make it so player/monster order is known well in advance of the fights so we don't have to delay waiting for anyone to roll.
Once your character is complete please also make 3 knowledge rolls for each knowledge skill you are trained in. These will be used as you encounter monsters and ask that 'What is in the world is that thing and how dangerous is it?' question. I will apply these automatically at each encounter and ask for more rolls as needed in advance.
Once your character is complete make 5 perception rolls. These rolls will be used for hidden perception rolls when I know there is something you might notice, but don't want to announce it unless someone actually succeeds. These will not be used if you role play something and so "I investigate the whats-it" - in those cases just do a perception roll for your character at the time you are searching, studying, etc, whatever it is.
Last of all when stating actions your character is taking, when possible add an alternative action as well. Eg, don't just state I whack orc 1. State I whack orc 1, unless he is dead, then I whack orc 2 instead. Or, don't state, I listen at the door. Instead state, I listen at the door, here is my perception roll, if I don't hear anything I open the door.
Realizing that the barkeep may very well throw him out if he doesn't show some coin, Warren throws a few copper pieces onto the table and asks for a bowl of soup (If he does not have soup Warren instead requests some soft bread). He proceeds to eat it slowly and silently, doing his best to get rid of his pounding headache.
Cedric rubs his head, groggy from the long and unintended sleep. He takes a moment to take in his surroundings. Seeing the proprietor, he stands up and extends his hand.
"I'm terribly sorry for the intrusion, sir. I'm not precisely sure how I ended up here, but I assure you I did not mean to take advantage of your hospitality. Please, take some coin for any trouble I've caused."
Diplomacy to put the man at ease:1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
He hands the man five silver pieces. If the man seems amiable after the apology and payment, Cedric orders a small meal and sits at the bar. If he still seems upset, Cedric apologizes again and exits the establishment.
Still waiting for Heligar to post in here, but I expect she will be ready tomorrow, so going to start things happening here. I'll be posting some tomorrow but won't be around Sunday.
The shade of the tavern provides little relief from the heat of the day. The last few hours with your drug induced nausea have been wretched ones, fortunately the illness has passed. The tavern is an old building, that judging from the section of ceiling sporting new wooden planks nailed down alongside old weathered boards has undergone some recent renovation. A sign over the door labels the place as 'The Last Hope', but the smell of sweat and alcohol makes one wonder what one might hope for in a place like this.
With the sickness having passed though you find yourself famished and thirsty. The menu doesn't offer much in the way of food, but the smell of beef and potato stew wafting in from the kitchen does seem promising. Or you may order some bread and cheese. A wide selection of drinks is available, something for every discerning taste.
Standard equipment list prices for any food or drink you buy. The food is of common quality, so 3sp for a meal.
A dozen local patrons sit scattered around the spacious room, some playing dice, a few whispering quietly, and others bursting into occasional fits of laughter. Given it is only late afternoon you suspect these don't represent Gumlat's best and finest citizens. Probably not their bravest either, a few have glanced at your group in a somewhat unfriendly manner, but none have found the courage to come near the tables you have claimed.
Sanders, the spindly proprietor, brightens considerably once he sees some coin start rolling in, his hands quickly scooping in the coins. He chats with Cedric a moment, “Lot of strange folk been coming through here of late. We don't need all of that lot 'round here. They should move right on through without stopping if you ask me. To many mouths to feed what with the drought and all.” Realizing who he is talking to he backpedals a bit, ”Not you of course, I mean...” he trails off.
"Heeyaaa!", a loud whoop from one of the dice players. "Who's next?" He looks uncertainly in your direction.
The front door swings open as a gnome comes in off the street, his clothes worn and ragged, his face is one of weariness, his short cut black hair in disarray. Sanders looks over at the new comer and chuckles a brief moment, then calls out loudly, “Derig, you find that buried treasure you've been looking for yet?” Many of the locals burst into raucous laughter. Derig slumps a bit and meanders over to a table in a corner of the tavern, trying to avoid looking directly at anyone.
Cedric chuckles good-naturedly in response to the 'strange folk' comment.
"No offense taken, we didn't mean to stop here anyhow, and I'm sure we'll move on fairly soon. Speaking of strange folk though, you didn't happen to see or meet a man by the name of Bendon pass through or near here with his caravan? He's a rather short and portly fellow, black hair and a short beard. Any ideas?"
Cedric gives any other information and physical characteristics he knows about Bendon. He doesn't pay attention to the gnome for the time being, more interested in figuring out where the hell Bendon went. Under his cheerful exterior, he's extremely ticked off.
To make sure I'm setting up google docs correctly and everyone will be able to see the maps. Let me know if you can't open it for some reason. Feel free to enter your name next to one of the empty tables, at the bar, or just outside the door, to indicate where you are located.
As Alma goes to speak to the gnome Warren finishes his meal and steps up behind him. Upon hearing the paladin's words Warren chuckles quietly and gives the man a friendly slap on the back.
"Oh come on Alma--We all know how much you like treasure, but can't you give the man a break? He barely got back; give him some time to settle down. Just because we suddenly find ourselves unemployed does not mean you need to immediately jump at the prospect of cash."
Turning to Derig, Warren continues "I apologize for the rudeness of my friend, he isn't the most charismatic of fellows.
Although I must admit that I myself am curious to hear your story. Perhaps after you have had a bite to eat you could tell it to us?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Sense Motive for his response: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Clouds roll over the Yoke and a new gust blasts over the ridge from below. Bells tinkle. A little boy frolics in the pen with the goats, making a mess of himself. A father's distant laughter in the late sunshine. Dark clouds loom. A horn echoes off the mountain wall. She arrives with a bucket of cold water from the stream, her strong arms flexed. The pen is empty. The laughter now lost in the howling of wind over the ridge.
Heligar opens her groggy eyes and coughs slightly. She remains there staring at the table glumly until she notices the proprieter scowling at her. She motions to him "An ale - some soup". She gets up to stretch...and in spite of her haggard condition - bags under her eyes - she still has plenty of highlander vigour and beauty. Checking her pouch for funds she grimaces ...not much left.
Derig startles at the sound of the chair moving as Alma seats himself, his head snapping up and eyes opening. His eyes dart furtively towards Sanders at the mention of being among friends.
Sizing up Alma in his shining plate he seems unsure of himself, and beckons the paladin the closer and gestures for the inquisitor to take a seat.
He speaks in a low voice, not quite a whisper, but glancing nervously towards the locals frequently as he speaks. "A few months back I found some writing left by my grandfather as I was going through his things. He made passing mention of a fort in this region he sometimes frequented. I've never known of any such fort in these parts, but my curiosity was roused. I've been searching for it though, and I think I've found it." His shoulders slump. "But I can't get in, the doors are stuck fast."
He pauses as a bar maid places the bowl of soup generously provided him and begins consuming it. He fidgets as if uncomfortable. "Maybe... maybe I could hire you to help me?" His eyes look over the engraving of a rose over the left breast in the paladins armor. "I... I could trust you, a paladin of the Mithril Rose." He licks his lips as if unsure though.
You sense no evil in the gnome.
The gnome appears to be quite nervous, stuttering at times and frequently looking away from you and Alma to look at the other people in the room.
Out the window behind the gnome you see a man in medium armor dismounting from a horse in the middle of the street. Normally you wouldn't think much of this otherwise rather ordinary sight, but you can tell that he has a large wound on his left arm. The sleeve of that arm is rolled up and he is favoring the arm as he dismounts. He stalks off grimly down another street and disappears from view.
The local grins up at Markov and passes him a pair of five worn dice and a dice cup.
"Betting starts at two silver and bidding is in increments of two or more. You get three rolls of your dice. Each player takes their initial roll and bids, calls, checks, or drops. After everyone is done bidding you may take your second roll by re-rolling as many or few of your dice as you wish. Another round of bidding, then we do the third roll and winner takes the pot."
"Five of a kind beats all, with the eyes low and the sixes high. Followed by four of a kind, full house, straight, three of a kind, two pair, single pair, and high die. First player rotates for the next round."
One of the other men sitting at the table stands and comments "My luck has run dry Stan, I'm out for the day." And he moves over to one of the other tables to chat with some of the other men.
Stan and the other man each toss their two silver into the middle of the table and roll their dice in turn.
Your turn to roll Markov. Any other players who want to join in the game feel free to roll as well.
For everyone, we don't need to wait for the dice games to 'finish' to continue the story line. We can continue to move forward with whatever else on the assumption the dice games are in compressed time and don't actually interfere with other things going on.
Alma shoots a warning glance at Warren. Alma turns back to Derig. "You have heard of the Mithril Rose? I was unsure that the light had made it out this far. Regardless, you are correct that you can trust me. And though Warren is rough around the edges, you can trust him as well. In fact, should you hire us, we will both pay 10% of that sum to the orphanage in honor of Iomedae." Alma looks over at Warren with a slight smirk. " Isn't that right Warren?".
Noticing the commotion of the gambling. Alma speaking to Markov loud enough for him to hear. " Markov my friend, why do you play that devil's game? One cannot expect to get what he seeks when it causes others to lose out to chance. Better to put in a hard days work and earn your reward." Shaking his head in disgust Alma mutters under his breath, "Why does this town let in the corruption so easily, first it is gambling, next it will be murder in the streets. I will have to see if we can remove this corruption before its too late."
Markov chuckles at the paladins words. "Oh Alma, I'm just having a little fun, and if you remember we did work hard and look where that got us. Poisoned and right where we are now, and not a copper made. I might have better luck with the dice."
Male Elf Cleric 9: AC 24, Hit Points 52/52, Perception +16, Initiative +3
Feeling mentally refreshed, but now hungry and thoughtful, I return to the inn and ask for some of that stew, then I take it over to where Alma and Warren are sitting with the bedraggled gnome: Room for one more?
I sit with them: So, where have we ended up? Still near Coran?
"Well, if we are to arrive in this town as strangers, declare our moral superiority, and start telling these good people how to run their lives, where should we start? Those men laughed at your gnome friend, perhaps we should flog them?"
Dropping 3 silvers for her meal reluctantly, Heligar hears the gnome conversing with Alma and Warren. She moves her way to their table.
I couldn't help but overhear. So if there is some money to be made, little gentleman, I might be interested in your scheme. Please tell us more...although I would like you to explain what it is that makes it so ..unbelievable.. to the other folks in here? My name sir, is Heligar.I can vouch for these men too, even if they look silly.
His hat still pulled down over his eyes, Rufus sips his ale, not paying much attention to his surroundings. His pounding headache finally subsiding, he decides to to finally join the conversation. Taking his hat off and laying it on the table, he nods in agreement to Irina.
"I know you've got that "holier-than-thou" disposition, good friends, and I do understand it, I truly do. But as Irina said, we are here to make friends, and more importantly, find Bendon. I do hope he has a good explanation..." His voice trails off as another headache shoots through him, and he slowly massages his temple.
Looking at where "Hotshot" is sitting. Hey "Hotshot", why don't you join us in this "devil's game" and let the others crowd the gnome. Who knows maybe this'll solve you light pouch problem."
Markov turns back towards the dice players.
Acknowledging Irina and Rufus, "Its not that I am telling them what to think, I am only helping them know how to. " Looking over at Malawyn, with a flash of anger showing in his forhead. "Bendon must be found. He must be brought to justice. We can worry about the other iniquities later."
At the possible mention of flogging the volume of noise in the room drops a couple of notches. One of the locals, his face pale as a ghost, stands and moves to speak with Irina. "We didn't really mean anything by it miss, we 'as just having a little harmless fun." How bows awkwardly and fails miserably at trying to act casual at leaving the establishment. As the door closes behind him you can hear the pounding of feet fading away in the distance. That brings another round of laughter from those remaining, though it is a bit more subdued then before.
Derig's face pales slightly as both Malaswyn, Hotshot, and Heligar crowd in around the table. He shrinks back into his chair as though trying to hide from all the attention. His eyes stopping briefly on Heligar seemingly awed by her. A brief glance in Sanders direction, "They think I'm crazy. Everyone said my pa was crazy too." He looks down at his feet and continues quietly so only those a the table can hear. "Maybe I am crazy. I don't know if there is any treasure. I couldn't open the door. The wood was all warped and twisted. I suppose surrounded by the marsh all this time it would be." He seems to shudder thinking of the swamp. He looks up at Alma, eyes pleading and wild, a touch of moisture in them. "I have to prove I'm not crazy. I only have a hundred gold I could pay you. But.. but if their is a treasure you could each have a share of it."
I'm going to make a minor change to the dice game rules so that it will flow a bit faster, you will raise, check, or fold (drop) at the same time you do your re-roll. Bid first, then re-roll.
Current Pot: 14sp Current bid: 4sp
Stan looks over the rolls of Bill and Markov. "I'll raise it 4 silver." He keeps his three 3's and re-rolls his other two dice.
3, 3, 3
1d6 ⇒ 5 1d6 ⇒ 1
He groans quietly as he sees no improvement for his score.
Bill calls his 4 silver, "Come on full house."
5, 5, 2, 2
1d6 ⇒ 4
Markovs turn again, still holding the high roll with three 4's.
Ignoring the babble in the tavern around you a couple of other words make their way through the fog. "...impossible....five days...". And the sound of wagons and horses moving away at a reckless speed.
Thinking too himself, "Well I do like mazes". Leaning back in his chair observing his companions interest. "I think we should help our friend out here. And I would recommend that we not take his 100 gold, as he clearly needs it for clothing and food. Especially considering that there is bound to be vast amounts of riches if we are able to open the door that has prevent Derig from going further. Are we agreed?"