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cynarion's Carrion Crown PbP

Game Master cynarion

Professor Lorrimor, the renowned investigator and arcanist, has died. You came to his home in the town of Ravengro to pay your respects, but quickly discovered there was more to the wily old man's death than met the eye...


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Hi everyone! Welcome to the discussion thread.

I want to do something that I believe is actually a bit unconventional here, and that’s to skip the character introductions entirely in the gameplay thread. I plan to start this campaign in media res, and nothing bogs down the start of a campaign more than a lengthy period where everyone exchanges pleasantries and says “so, how did you get that scar on your face?” while sipping tea (or guzzling beer).

Now, although the first post in the gameplay thread will get you smack into the middle of the plot, I don’t want to deprive any of you of an opportunity to roleplay your meetings, if that’s what you’d like to do.

So this thread is serving double duty—both as a generic discussion thread and as host to any in-character roleplaying you would like to do as the eight of you are all together for the first time, the night before Professor Lorrimor’s funeral. I will set the scene in the post below, and then it’s up to you guys to chat away to one another; NPCs don’t need to be involved unless you have a specific need for them.

So go for your life, and I look forward to reading your conversations—without worrying that we’re never going to get the plot of the game going. : ) If you like, you can even take this opportunity to do some in-character adjustments of your background to take your companions’ backgrounds into account, and/or adjust your characters’ mechanics.

I will come back later today with some questions for you on the mechanics of your individual characters, where appropriate. Until then, feel free to let me know if you have any questions, or if there’s anything you’re planning on changing about your character.

I'll also talk then about the PbP conventions I plan to adopt, and get your feedback.

Thanks!
—Mike


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

8:15pm, Gozran 27, 4711; Ravengro, Ustalav
An unseasonable chill snakes into the room and twines around your ankles as another Ravengrian enters the taproom at The Outward Inn. The newly arrived man eyes you speculatively for a moment

Perception DC 10:
—especially those of you who aren’t human—
before making his way across the unvarnished floorboards to sit at a table in the opposite corner with several others, all of whom have been making furtive glances in your direction all evening.

Which is to be expected, really. With a population of only around three hundred, Ravengro is hardly a metropolis. From what you’ve seen so far, there’s not much more for the locals to do than tend their fields and fish in Lake Lias, so the arrival of eight strangers in town is something of an event. Making things even more intriguing is the fact that you’re all here for the funeral of Professor Petros Lorrimor, renowned investigator and arcanist and—for varying reasons—a hero to each of you. His burial is to be held at the Restlands just outside town tomorrow morning.

Sense Motive DC 15:
You are beginning to discover, however, that the locals felt quite conflicted about the old man. While many profess their admiration for him as a scholar and celebrity in his own right in his native Ustalav, you sense that many locals are relived he is dead, as though his presence somehow made them uncomfortable.

Your brief meeting with Professor Lorrimor’s daughter Kendra earlier today showed a young woman whose father was taken by Pharasma before she was ready to let him go. She put on a brave face, but no amount of makeup or bravery could hide her bloodshot and puffy eyes. She seemed grateful that anyone had come at all, and pressed all of you into service as pallbearers before excusing herself to attend to some other detail of her father’s unexpected funeral. She was too preoccupied to realise that only six of you will even fit around the coffin, leaving two of you to walk in front or behind as you please.

And so here you are, crammed into a corner with two tables drawn together to fit all of you around, the threadbare upholstery on the chairs becoming rapidly uncomfortable as the evening wears on. Few words have been exchanged so far, but your hostess—a friendly Ravengrian woman named Sarianna Vai—has just recharged your drinks. At the very least, you need to decide who will act as pallbearers in the morning—and it might as well be over and done with…


F Half orc Sorcerer 1

Perception 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (11) - 1 = 10 Sense Motive 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (18) - 1 = 17

Flori puts her weapons in her bag and casts prestidigitation on herself before going in, and also on the wildflowers she collected on her way here. She hadn't spent much time with the professor, but he's made an impression on her. She was still a little puzzled as to what impression she could have made on him to be so remembered.

I can help carry him, Flori says, looking at the varied folks who've shown up. I'm tall enough.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Sense Motive 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

Lem nods in greeting at the staring man before turning to his companions.

I will walk in front of the casket, if you please. Just as I lead the way to the professor's corporeal resting place, Lady Luck will show him the way in the afterlife.

After he receives his drink, he stops Sarianna and says:

My lady, I have some food I would like to provide for the good people of Ravengro. It is modest fare, but it will keep an empty belly full. Do you know where I might find someone to assist me with this?

Lem also needs a place to stable his donkey, Cloverleaf, and his wagon, but I assume this has already transpired.


The dark Varisian man, his head and arms covered with a burnoose that does little to hide his scarred face, dips his stubbly chin in response to the half-orc woman - accepting a position as another pallbearer.

Tired of the uncomfortable chair and the local scrutiny, Rajuna stands and stretches the kinks from his back before leaning against the wall nearby. He surreptitiously watches the men at the other table who seem to have more than a casual interest in the newcomers. A lifetime of caution governs his decision.

Could be nothing, but perhaps not..

Perception 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Sense Motive 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15


F Half orc Sorcerer 1

At the tavern, Flori beckons to the halfling and the Varisian to sit with her. It's clear they're not locals and here for the funeral, and she wouldn't mind chatting a bit to pass the time, with the men staring at them so. She was used to it, being from Ustalav and knowing the region, but their insularity was still a bit discomfiting.

That was kind of you to offer the food like that, she says to the halfling.

I think Kendra was overwhelmed, losing her pa so suddenly. Poor thing...


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Lem Longbarrow wrote:
Lem also needs a place to stable his donkey, Cloverleaf, and his wagon, but I assume this has already transpired.

Yep; Cloverleaf is in a little lean-to around the back of The Outward Inn which--although cramped--is nice and clean. The boy who took him seemed to know what he was doing.

The wagon is over near a small copse of birch trees just a few dozen yards south of the Inn. Sarianna even supplied Lem with an oiled canvas cover for the wagon, explaining that the heavy fog at this time of year can settle into and warp the timbers if you're not too careful.


female human expert
Lem Longbarrow wrote:

After he receives his drink, he stops Sarianna and says:

My lady, I have some food I would like to provide for the good people of Ravengro. It is modest fare, but it will keep an empty belly full. Do you know where I might find someone to assist me with this?

Sarianna's mouth quirks upwards as she pours Lem's drink.

I think you'll find that everyone in Ravengro does a fine job of looking after themselves for food, Master Longbarrow. Between our fields and Lake Lias, we have all we need--and we do tend to like it that way, to tell the truth. She eye's Lem's clothing, with Desna's symbol presumably prominent upon it. It's spirituality that you may find some of us lack--but then, it's not my place to go telling stories to strangers now, is it? Still, if you feel it's important, you could always take your alms to the Temple of Pharasma; Father Grimburrow is who you'd want to see there.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:

Tired of the uncomfortable chair and the local scrutiny, Rajuna stands and stretches the kinks from his back before leaning against the wall nearby. He surreptitiously watches the men at the other table who seem to have more than a casual interest in the newcomers. A lifetime of caution governs his decision.

Could be nothing, but perhaps not..

Rajuna:
While the men are indeed keenly interested in the group and Professor Lorrimor's funeral, they don't appear to mean any physical harm. You get the impression they aren't terribly keen on the Professor's work--you hear the words 'dark arts' bandied around several times as you're listening, and one of the men even rubs his chest self-consciously from time to time--you can see the ragged pink edge of a freshly healed scar poking out his collar as his clothing shifts.

Rajuna only (unless he relates what he saw); Knowledge (local) DC 15:
The man is likely rubbing at a scar-ward, gained as part of a ritual to protect him from lycanthropes. The protection offered by scar-wards is debatable, but it's possible some practitioners may be able to actually effect some kind of protection.


Hey folks, sorry to be quiet for so long today; things have got ugly with our tender submission so I'll be working later (and harder!) than usual. I should be able to check in again tonight--in around 7-8 hours from now. I'll talk about more mundane stuff then. : )


From his perch against the wall, Rajuna refuses the offered chair with a staying palm and a small, polite, smile. "Perhaps later, Miss."


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Yep, Lem's armor and clothing loudly broadcast his worship of Desna

The halfling turns to the hostess:

Thanks for your assistance. Perhaps I can do some good here after all. Tell me, what good does it do to feed the body when we starve the spirit?

He smiles, so as not to make his comments sound too judgemental.

Upon hearing Flori's remark, his smile fades:

Was the professor's death sudden? I haven't spoken with him in some time, and I know he was getting on in years. Have you heard anything about the manner of his death?


{HP9/19 | AC16 T12 FF14 CMD 16 | F/R/W 4/2/3} Female Samsaran Bladebound Magus 2

Rose barely spared the man a glance. She had become used to strange looks, not just here, but she could feel in many lives previous. The half-remembered memories told her over time she would simply get used to it, but that was then, and not who she was now. She chose not to look, to take from her previous lives, but it still upset her.

Rose looked among the group of people who had gathered for Professor Lorrimor's passing. She appeared to be the youngest amongst them, though she knew it was quite possible she was older than any of them. Another facet of her life she had become accustomed to, the few friends she had made growing up and moving on while she herself seemed to hardly age. If not for her letters with the Professor, she was not certain she would have had anyone she could call a friend left by now.

News of the Professor's passing was a surprise. When she received the letter, she had realized just how long had passed since she herself had last written him. Not a surprise, her own judgement was suffering the faults of youth, a trying time she recalled in every life.

Little effort was required for her to convince her adoptive parents to attend the funeral. While still young, she was mature for her age. As well she had proved adept at mastering skills both martial and arcane, capable of defending herself as needed.

Thus she found herself now, sitting at The Outward Inn in the company of others who once knew the Professor, discussing who was to carry his body to it's rest. She knew she should feel more sympathy than she did, if not for herself than for others around her. But to Rose, this was just another step. She did manage to keep her own opinions silent. And she knew she would miss the Professor, regardless.

Hearing the halfling's question, her ears perk up slightly. She too hadn't heard how the Professor had passed on. "I must confess, I too haven't had contact with the Professor recently. Any knews would be most appreciated."

Rolls:

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 13
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 15


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

For the benefit of those who might wish to respond to Lem, there wasn't anything in the summons you received to suggest anything particular about the Professor's demise. All very standard stuff: Kendra Lorrimor requests the honour of your presence at the funeral of the late lamented Petros Lorrimor, her father, to be held on Gozran 28 4711 in Ravengro, Ustalav etc. The summons did say that you were mentioned in the Professor's will and that the reading of the will could not take place until you were all assembled in Ravengro. I will see about compiling the actual text of the summons for you tonight.


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Male Human Oracle 2

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19

Walter sits meekly amongst the patchwork group sitting and speaking about Professor Lorrimor, listening but not weighing in with his own opinions, far too amazed at the group he found himself sitting in proximity to. The mannish half-orc woman, the diminutive man, the strange blue girl with pale white eyes... strange! But with the same mote of fear came curiosity, but not bravery, so he sat still and quiet and listened to everyone else speak while he could.

He found his gaze traveling to the people around them, at the tavern, sometimes catching glances. He wondered if they knew he didn't belong at the table, that he was just sitting with the other funeral goers, he wasn't really with them, just with them for now. He wondered if it was right to think that. These were all of the Professor's friends, after all.

In the second of silence, he speaks out: "He was fine, or, well, he wrote like he was fine. He never said anything about something being wrong. Maybe it was just his time?"

(I'm really curious if Flori actually looks like a man in drag. I just need to know before we continue. >_>;)


The scarred Varisian sips his drink and casually observes the table of overly curious locals for another minute. Rajuna puts his half-finished drink down in front of an empty chair. "I'll be back." He strolls out of the taproom only to return a few minutes later... and takes the chair attended by his drink.

Raj casts his glance quickly to the table of observers and then back to the other funeral attendees before pitching his voice low, just for the immediate table. "Superstitious lot."

DM:
Are they watching anyone specifically at the table? Given that the scar-ward could be considered proof against lycanthropes and Raj has fang scars... is that fellow looking at Raj more than the others? Or does he seem to be warding off evil 'in general'? Raj will test the theory by observing them as he walks out to see if he garners far more attention than any of the others.

Knowledge: Local 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21


Hey folks. Nothing further tonight; I'll be back in the morning. Sleep beckons.


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Ill have a proper opening post up in a few hours.


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

DM:
So how much would Karrik have known of Kendra Lorrimor? I'm assuming they would have at least known of each other, if not have met a few times. Given that, does Karrik know much of her personality? Her reputation? How did she/would she have treated him?

Perception 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (20) + 0 = 20
Sense Motive 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14.
Wow… not bad, considering. :)

The blast of cold air from the door is ignored by the strange half-orc in the same way that he's ignored most of the other evening's happenings in the Outward Inn. For over an hour the half-orc has sat quietly brooding at the table of strangers, a raw mask of dark emotions resting heavily on his thick, grey orcish features. His crisply-pressed, expensively-made clothes are jarring in their context -- both in their appearance on his rough, beastial frame and in this rustic, small-town dive. On the table in front of him sit a well-kept black bowler hat and a glass of dark wine… untouched since it was ordered but for a single, thick-fingered tap he gives the side of the glass every minute or so. If he finds any answers in the dance and ripple of the wine, his face doesn't betray them.

Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
Raj casts his glance quickly to the table of observers and then back to the other funeral attendees before pitching his voice low, just for the immediate table. "Superstitious lot."

The swarthy Varisian's words brings him out of his brooding. Years of the Professor's advice and mentoring flash through Karrik's mind, but his raw emotions get the better of him and he barks out a low, rumbling laugh. "Superstitious, indeed. Superstitious and ignorant to be most accurate." He shakes his head, wiping one grey, meaty hand across his face as he leans forward with a sigh. "That was rude. I beg your pardons. It has been a challenging few days." His black, beady eyes unfocus for a breath's span as he unconsciously fingers the funeral invitation peeking out of his coat pocket. The moment passes, and he looks around at everyone, really seeing them for the first time. Fiori gets a squinty-eyed double-look, but not necessarily of the pleasant variety. Then his eyes finish their circuit, "I am Karrik. The Professor was my… employer, and I will be one of his bearers." There's a hint of a challenge on his final statement, as if he dares anyone to test his right to be a part of the Professor's final moments in the world.

Walter Vheist wrote:
In the second of silence, Walter speaks out: "He was fine, or, well, he wrote like he was fine. He never said anything about something being wrong. Maybe it was just his time?"

Karrik nods, still tapping the side of his wine, "He seemed in good health when last I saw him as well. I just can not believe it was simply 'his time'…"


F Half orc Sorcerer 1
Walter Vheist wrote:
(I'm really curious if Flori actually looks like a man in drag. I just need to know before we continue. >_>;)

No. She's very feminine-looking for a half-orc. Like this NSFW imagery. Just no "pretty" half orcs in the avatars! They all look like Karrik (Ewww!).


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
sense motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Wow...the inquisitor's super senses kick in right away

Theron's clothing and armor mark him as a follower of Iomedae

Theron glances up even before the blast of cold air hits him and he finds himself quickly taking measure of the new arrival. A moment later he shakes his head, forces himself calm down and take another sip of his drink. He has been on edge ever since he entered the town. Oddly enough, he has found that he feels more at ease among his present company. Perhaps it is because they are in the same situation that he is in.

Though he remained silent for most of the evening, as people began to volunteer to be pallbearers Theron added in, "I can be one of the professor's pallbearers. However, I won't deprive anyone who knew the man better than I of this task. We only met once."

Karrik wrote:
Karrik nods, still tapping the side of his wine, "He seemed in good health when last I saw him as well. I just can not believe it was simply 'his time'…"

"I don't know what the professor's state of health was, nor have I heard anything about what happened to him." Theron adds. "All I know is that something seems off about all this. I wish that I had been here earlier, because I may have been able to see if any foul deeds lead to this. It is likely to be too late for a proper investigation now." A moment after saying this Theron wonders if he has said too much considering that they are all going to be attending a funeral and pushes his drink a bit to the side.


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Looks at Rajuna... looks at Theron... um... I realize you guys both follow Iomedae, but seriously... this could get confusing.

EDIT: Aaaaaaaaah... that's easier on my brain. Thanks, Theron. :)


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Karrik wrote:

Looks at Rajuna... looks at Theron... um... I realize you guys both follow Iomedae, but seriously... this could get confusing.

EDIT: Aaaaaaaaah... that's easier on my brain. Thanks, Theron. :)

Haha, I must have been choosing my new avatar as you posted this or something ;)


Karrik wrote:
Looks at Rajuna... looks at Theron... um... I realize you guys both follow Iomedae, but seriously...

You little meta-gamer... there is nothing about Raj that indicates his affiliation with Iomedae. :p


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Well, for a second there you two were twins. But I promise not to use the information in-character until Rajuna has professed his undying support to his deity. :D


:) You'll be waiting a long time to hear that. Raj is a quiet worshipper.

Karrik wrote:
For over an hour the half-orc has sat quietly brooding at the table of strangers, a raw mask of dark emotions resting heavily on his thick, grey orcish features.

Used to working with less savory sorts and reserved by nature, Raj is comfortable with the leaden silence projected by the finely dressed half-orc. He considers the old adage: A brooding Orc rarely carries good news.

Karrik wrote:
Then his eyes finish their circuit, "I am Karrik. The Professor was my... employer, and I will be one of his bearers."

Raj nods an acknowledgment, "Rajuna. We've met in passing though you may not recall it. Fine hat." The last is a compliment not an attempt at irony or humor. His own clothes look utilitarian and natty in comparison.

Karrik wrote:
The swarthy Varisian's words brings him out of his brooding. Years of the Professor's advice and mentoring flash through Karrik's mind, but his raw emotions get the better of him and he barks out a low, rumbling laugh. "Superstitious, indeed. Superstitious and ignorant to be most accurate."

Raj's eyes never leave the half-orc's, even as he refers to the table of gawking locals, "Yes, but there is more. The pock-marked man, second from the left. He's touching his chest - a lot. He's got a fresh scar-ward there, just beneath his collar. Generally, that's to protect from werewolves and the like. And those boys have thrown the words 'dark arts' around more than a few times while we've been here. Seems they don't think too much of Doc's work."


Male Human Oracle 2
Flori the Fabulous wrote:
Walter Vheist wrote:
(I'm really curious if Flori actually looks like a man in drag. I just need to know before we continue. >_>;)
No. She's very feminine-looking for a half-orc. Like this NSFW imagery. Just no "pretty" half orcs in the avatars! They all look like Karrik (Ewww!).

You're the one who linked the video, I'm just the one going off what I saw!

Quote:
Karrik nods, still tapping the side of his wine, "He seemed in good health when last I saw him as well. I just can not believe it was simply 'his time'…"

"The lady comes for all of us," Walter said, quietly, and drew his finger around his heart in a spiral-- Pharasma's holy symbol.

Quote:

Theron's clothing and armor mark him as a follower of Iomedae.

"I don't know what the professor's state of health was, nor have I heard anything about what happened to him." Theron adds. "All I know is that something seems off about all this. I wish that I had been here earlier, because I may have been able to see if any foul deeds lead to this. It is likely to be too late for a proper investigation now." A moment after saying this Theron wonders if he has said too much considering that they are all going to be attending a funeral and pushes his drink a bit to the side.

Walter wasn't able to quite place the man, but for now, simply assumed that he was a crusader from Lastwall, a knight of Vigil who kept watch over the eternal seal at Gallowspire and fought off the invading orcish hordes of Belkzen, and became quiet when he spoke. He mentioned wanting to investigate-- an autopsy?-- and Walter felt indignant for a second.

"I don't think, um," he said, and re-tried his statement. "It's against, um," and then just let it pass, taking a drink of water before a new thought broke. "Did... the Professor have any enemies?" he asked-- legitimately curious if anyone knew.


F Half orc Sorcerer 1
Walter Vheist wrote:


You're the one who linked the video, I'm just the one going off what I saw!

Just kidding. I thought it was funny.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Walter Vheist wrote:
"I don't think, um," he said, and re-tried his statement. "It's against, um," and then just let it pass, taking a drink of water before a new thought broke. "Did...the Professor have any enemies?" ...he asked-- legitimately curious if anyone knew.

Let's see if Theron notices the misunderstanding, hah. Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15 Hmm, I guess that would be enough to get the idea at least?

"I didn't mean to imply anything disrespectful." Theron adds quickly. "As for whether or not the Professor had enemies, well..."

Theron glanced around to make sure no locals would overhear him and riled up, and lowered his voice a bit. "Some of the locals were actually afraid of the professor because of his studies in arcane magic. Truth be told, I don't think they would have done anything themselves, but fear can do strange things to people."


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

The summons you received a few weeks ago reads as follows:

Summons to Professor Lorrimor's Funeral wrote:

Miss Kendra Lorrimor kindly requests your presence at the funeral of her late lamented father, Professor Petros Lorrimor, in Ravengro, Canterwall, Ustalav, on the 28th day of Gozran this year 4711.

It is with regret that I write to inform you of the death of Professor Petros Lorrimor, respected lecturer and investigator, late of Lepidstadt University, retired to the town of Ravengro in 4696.

Petros was a dear man to me and while his journeys took him far and wide, I was not always privy to the meaning behind them, or in fact to the nature of the relationship he shared with you.

However, his will does name you as a beneficiary, and indeed it cannot be read until you and several others have arrived in Ravengro.

I trust you will make way with all haste here to Ravengro to celebrate the life of a man much loved by his daughter, and whose contribution to Ustalav was surely much greater than anyone knows.

Cordially,
Kendra A. Lorrimor (Miss)


female human expert
Lem Longbarrow wrote:

The halfling turns to the hostess:

Thanks for your assistance. Perhaps I can do some good here after all. Tell me, what good does it do to feed the body when we starve the spirit?

He smiles, so as not to make his comments sound too judgemental.

Upon hearing Flori's remark, his smile fades:

Was the professor's death sudden? I haven't spoken with him in some time, and I know he was getting on in years. Have you heard anything about the manner of his death?

Indeed Master Longbarrow, I should think that a man rich in food but poor in spirit is the worse off, wouldn't you agree? Sarianna replies. As for the Professor's death, there are all sorts of rumours flying around, but you would do well to pay them no mind. The Professor was a good man,--at this remark she glances pointedly in the direction of the men at the other table--and I will be there tomorrow to see he is put to rest with the proper respect.

With that, she turns and heads back to the bar to polish glasses that look an awful lot like they are already pristine. You're not sure, but it seems from time to time as she reaches up to put a glass away, she might be touching her polishing cloth to the corner of an eye.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:

The scarred Varisian sips his drink and casually observes the table of overly curious locals for another minute. Rajuna puts his half-finished drink down in front of an empty chair. "I'll be back." He strolls out of the taproom only to return a few minutes later... and takes the chair attended by his drink.

Raj casts his glance quickly to the table of observers and then back to the other funeral attendees before pitching his voice low, just for the immediate table. "Superstitious lot."

** spoiler omitted **

Knowledge: Local 1d20+5

Raj:
Their attention appears to primarily be focused on Karrik and Flori. It's probably the usual Ustalavic prejudice against half-orcs coming to the fore, what with Belkzen being right on their western border. When Raj gets up and comes back, he occasions no more attention than he would expect to get as the only person moving around in the room. As for the guy with the scar-ward, he's much younger (early 20s) than the others at the table (late 40s), and is probably just self-conscious about his recent self-mutilation, and wondering whether he will have to call upon it sooner rather than later. Might be the older but more fanciful men at the table filling his head with tales...

mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Walter Vheist wrote:

Walter wasn't able to quite place the man, but for now, simply assumed that he was a crusader from Lastwall, a knight of Vigil who kept watch over the eternal seal at Gallowspire and fought off the invading orcish hordes of Belkzen, and became quiet when he spoke. He mentioned wanting to investigate-- an autopsy?-- and Walter felt indignant for a second.

"I don't think, um," he said, and re-tried his statement. "It's against, um," and then just let it pass, taking a drink of water before a new thought broke. "Did... the Professor have any enemies?" he asked-- legitimately curious if anyone knew.

Those of you who experienced time with the Professor while he was actively investigating something will know he certainly had more than a few enemies, but they were typically short-term ones. He would foil a murder plot here, investigate a cult there, and when all was said and done, the perpetrators faced justice and the Professor moved on with his life. He didn't have any nemeses or the like. But...

Theron Adrezi wrote:
Theron paused for a moment and glanced around to make sure no locals would overhear him and riled up, and lowered his voice a bit. "Some of the residents of this town seem to have the wrong idea about what the professor's studies were about and were afraid of him. You know how people in Ustalav are suspicious arcane magic. I don't think they would have done anything themselves, but you never know. Fear can cause people to do odd things."

...there were certainly plenty of people around who felt his work was suspicious and were fearful of him. Karrik said it best when he said they were ignorant; we always fear what we don't understand. And as Yoda said, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering... ; )


This is going along nicely so far. : )

A bit of housekeeping is below--I welcome your feedback.

Initiative
I will roll initiative for all combatants at the beginning of each encounter. Rather than having everyone take an action at their own initiative score, I intend to take the average for each side, and then have all PCs and allies go off one initiative step while all enemies go off another single initiative step. If there's ever a tie, the PCs go first. Combat basically becomes a team sport.

I will make exceptions for boss battles--I intend to run those like a normal encounter in a face-to-face game, because they are more deserving of grandeur and attention.

The general idea behind this convention is to prevent combat bogging down when someone's unable to take their turn, for whatever reason. All the PCs can attack in whatever order they like when it is the PC Team's turn.

What this does mean is that the initiative steps used--being averaged--are going to skew towards the middle, but the same applies to the bad guys, so I expect it will even out; I will roll individual initiative for each bad guy and then give them an average just like I do with the PCs.

Combat Rounds
Generally, each combat round will last no more than 24 hours real-time. I expect to close off each round at approximately 7am AEDT. If you haven't taken your turn by then, I will take it for you--generally, continuing whatever action you were doing last round. If I take your turn, I will not use any consumables (including spells) or significantly change your disposition (e.g. make you drop your sword and take out your bow).

Of course, there's nothing to stop us from getting through rounds faster than one per day if the opportunity arises. I will only close off a round at 7am if a full 24 hours have passed since the round began.

Weekends will be different; I don't expect I will be posting much on weekends and I don't expect you to either. Rounds that begin at 7am on a Friday will most usually end at 7am on the following Monday.

Skill Rolls
You've already seen a few spoilered skill roll DCs in this thread--that's how I intend to approach them most of the time. Sometimes, though, if I think it's important for a player not to know the result they got on their dice (e.g. some Sense Motive checks) I will roll for you and spoiler the result. This means sometimes I may end up re-rolling your roll.

I don't expect this to happen often, though.

Spoilers
I am not a hard-ass about spoilers. If you want to read them, go ahead. In return, I trust you not to make use of the meta-game knowledge you gain from reading them. Regardless of chronological age, I would like to think we can all act like grown-ups, so do what you will. Of course, if you prefer not to read the spoilers, that's cool too. : )

Profiles & Mechanics
I have not yet had the time to go through each of your profiles in detail and look for mechanical errors. I will do so this week. I am also not planning on being a hard-ass about everyone having their profile done identically--if I can't find what I need easily on your profile I may ask you to move some stuff around, but that's something I will manage by exception rather than making up some sort of rule.

###

That's it, I think. Happy to hear your thoughts, or any other advice you'd like to give.

--Mike


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Hmm, those rules\guidelines sound good to me. :D


{HP9/19 | AC16 T12 FF14 CMD 16 | F/R/W 4/2/3} Female Samsaran Bladebound Magus 2

All looks pretty standard. Do we need to keep track of XP or are you going to level us as story appropriate?


Seems fine to me.


DAPPER HALF-ORC MAGUS

Those rules are all good with me. :)
And I second the XP question - with a further suggestion that if you want us to track XP, we pick an official "XP tracker".. (read: I tend to be a poor XP tracker).

When the Varisian man identifies himself, Karrik squints at him sideways for a few seconds before it clicks into place, "Ah… the dive in that back-woods town two years ago. What was the name of it? It doesn't really matter, I guess. The Professor and I met you there to discuss some business, if I recall. I remember the Professor was really happy with how all that went down." It's obvious from his tone that the Professor's respect for Rajuna's skills puts him in a very positive light in Karrik's mind.

At the conversation of the locals, the Professor, and the Professor's potential enemies, Karrik settles back. His eyes flash over at the local man rubbing his chest, "I can't imagine anyone in this tiny town would amount to much of an enemy to the Professor." He looks over at Walter, "And I have to agree with… um… I don't believe I caught your name. Or at least where I think he was going. I haven't heard anything to make me suspect there is any foul play here. At least not yet."

At the human woman's kind words about the Professor's goodness and her assurance that she will be in attendance at the funeral, Karrik nods thankfully then raises his glass to her words.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

I'm good with all the rules, and I agree that it would be best if one person kept track of XP. I also like just telling the PCs when to level up when it best fits the story, which eliminates XP tracking entirely.

How do you feel about us leaving instructions in advance? Like, if I know pretty much what I'd like to do but I know I won't have computer availability at the time of the next update, could I post what I'd like to do mechanically and add the details later to not slow things down?


Rose Springdawn wrote:
All looks pretty standard. Do we need to keep track of XP or are you going to level us as story appropriate?

If nobody has any objections, I'll happily track your XP on the campaign information tab. Since it's actually impossible for anyone to miss a 'session' in this format, there won't be any problems with anyone getting out of step with regard to XP. : )

Lem Longbarrow wrote:
I also like just telling the PCs when to level up when it best fits the story, which eliminates XP tracking entirely.

I understand that viewpoint, but I like being able to give out rewards for extraordinary stuff. You do something cool, you get extra XP (and usually in-game rewards).

Lem Longbarrow wrote:
How do you feel about us leaving instructions in advance? Like, if I know pretty much what I'd like to do but I know I won't have computer availability at the time of the next update, could I post what I'd like to do mechanically and add the details later to not slow things down?

Sounds fine to me. : ) If you're happy for me to add the details I can do that too--as in you might just leave instructions that "I want to climb up to the top of the tower, then try to sneak up on the bad guy and push him off the edge." Then depending on what circumstances are like, I'll make your Climb, Stealth and bull rush checks for you as appropriate for the circumstances at the time. Such a series of actions might take say 4-6 rounds, and involve a fluid set of circumstances (maybe the bad guy summons a flying monster that harrasses you while you're climbing the tower?), and if you're not available for any of that time I can handle it for you.

Make sense? : )


{HP9/19 | AC16 T12 FF14 CMD 16 | F/R/W 4/2/3} Female Samsaran Bladebound Magus 2

The talk of foul play and the Professor causes a memory to arise, from when she first met the Professor, a literal lifetime ago. Her hand involuntary goes to her neck for a moment as she recalls the incident.

Wishing to change the subject, she speaks up, "We could spend all evening speculating, but we will come no closer for our purpose. I doubt many of us will be getting a good rest this evening," she glances at the other group, "but we should finish deciding who else will walk with the casket first. By the way, my name is Rose."


The fang-slashed Varisian casts eyes on Rose. "An honor, Miss Rose. Call me Raj... as for the funeral, perhaps you could follow the casket and be ready to comfort Doc's daughter?" He seems unsure and immediately turns to a more comfortable subject. His shifts his gaze to Karrik, "Drumcliff - that was the town."


Male Human Oracle 2

"Walter," he said, introducing himself to Karrik-- and to everyone else-- but his introduction was quiet and slipped under the rest of the conversation. When being a pallbearer came up again, he spoke: "I'd like to carry him, if no one else minds... but, that's, well, if I can." He glanced around the table-- he would have easily won the award for smallest and skinniest out of everyone at the table had it not been for the halfling cheating at the contest.

He'd heard of Karrik, from the Professor, and had heard of others he was trying to place now as he watched. He wondered how many people the Professor had met over his life, and how many of them hadn't been able to make in time for the funeral.


Male Human Oracle 2

Since we can discuss party mechanics, I'd just like to ask a few questions about some of the party members-- since I know it breaks my groove up when I'm reading a post that mis-interprets my character's appearance, as I'm sure it did for Dave when I misattributed the "mannish" trait to Flori, I'm just making sure I've got these things down pat real quick before I end up calling someone purple or something like that.

Rose: Is your current incarnation 37 years old? You are the crazy pale blue white iris appearance attributed to Samsarans in the Dragon Empires' book, right?

Lem: Skinny... or fat?

Theron: White varisian or dark varisian? I'm assuming white.

If anyone has any questions for me or any of their own I think this is the place to put them.

Also, I hope noone minds that I am liberally cribbing my editing style from everyone else. Learning to play as we go here, following the lead. :)


You might say the 'editing style' on this board is 'Open Source'... so crib away! :)

I, too, would like a physical description of Rose - unless her avatar pic is close enough to be accurate.


Walter Vheist wrote:
"Walter," he said, introducing himself to Karrik-- and to everyone else-- but his introduction was quiet and slipped under the rest of the conversation. When being a pallbearer came up again, he spoke: "I'd like to carry him, if no one else minds... but, that's, well, if I can."

The young man's under vocalized announcement doesn't escape notice. Raj nods politely, "Greetings, Walter. There will be space for your hands on the casket."

Raj glances at the one man at the table who hasn't shared a word - the well-armed and armored warrior. He taps the man's chair lightly with a booted foot, trying to draw a look, or better yet, a comment.

Paging Dragomir... Dragomir Vuk... Please contact your party at the white courtesy phone. :)


{HP9/19 | AC16 T12 FF14 CMD 16 | F/R/W 4/2/3} Female Samsaran Bladebound Magus 2

I seem to have trouble including a physical description. I apologize for this and will remedy now. I'll remedy that. It's a bit rushed, I'll try to clean it up tonight when I get home.

The young girl before you stands 5'8", with long black hair that travels almost to her waist. The majority of it is pulled back, though enough is left hanging to cover a portion of her face. Her skin appears a pale, a strange color to it, which upon closer inspection is makeup in an attempt to hide her true pale-blue skin color. Her eyes are often downcast, but every so often she looks up to speak, and her eyes are a shocking solid white. In her attire she wears a full necked clothing, long of sleeve, either a blouse laced in the front with a full length skirt when in casual attire, or a simple tunic and trousers with sturdy boots if she expects trouble. In either she also wears a long hooded coak, capable of closing in front as needed. An oddity is that she also wears gloves upon her hands to cover as much of her skin as possible so as to attract as little attention as possible.


Rose Springdawn wrote:

I seem to have trouble including a physical description. I apologize for this and will remedy now. I'll remedy that. It's a bit rushed, I'll try to clean it up tonight when I get home.

The young girl before you stands 5'8", with long black hair that travels almost to her waist. The majority of it is pulled back, though enough is left hanging to cover a portion of her face. Her skin appears a pale, a strange color to it, which upon closer inspection is makeup in an attempt to hide her true pale-blue skin color. Her eyes are often downcast, but every so often she looks up to speak, and her eyes are a shocking solid white. In her attire she wears a full necked clothing, long of sleeve, either a blouse laced in the front with a full length skirt when in casual attire, or a simple tunic and trousers with sturdy boots if she expects trouble. In either she also wears a long hooded coak, capable of closing in front as needed. An oddity is that she also wears gloves upon her hands to cover as much of her skin as possible so as to attract as little attention as possible.

Gratzi! Now I know for sure that Walter is also the shortest member of the party. xD Except for Lem, who continues to cheat at the contest.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Walter Vheist wrote:

Theron: White varisian or dark varisian? I'm assuming white.

I was going for dark varisian, but since I couldn't find a pic to go with it that I liked... Theron is more on the white side ;)

Hmm, this reminds me, I also need to come up with a good physical description for Theron. I'll see about putting together a more detailed version, but here's the short one:

Theron is a light skinned varisian male who stands about 5'10'' in height with slightly unkept dark hair. While he appears physically fit, he doesn't seem terribly strong and dresses for mobility to make up for this: he wears only traveler's clothes and studded leather armor for protection. Even though he carries a longsword, the sword does not appear to be as heavily used as his longbow. Several holy symbols of Iomedae adorn his weapons and armor.

You know, I wonder if inquisitors are supposed to have some sort of 'badge' that they can put on that identifies them? Not that Theron would be wearing it right now.


Rajuna Two-Fangs wrote:
Paging Dragomir... Dragomir Vuk... Please contact your party at the white courtesy phone. :)

Heh. I sent Helaman a PM to see if I can raise him. No sign yet, but it's early days. We'll see if he can make it. : )

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