"Sure, Nim, that sounds good to me." Anton had hoped that getting off the island would allow them to relax -- and yet here they were, having another private council, just like so many times before. "Languages aren't my forte, but I do know several, and I love libraries. I'd be happy to help with any research." The halfling stretches. At least we're clean. That's different. "What about their offer to buy the rubbings and copies of the spells? I'd be fine with that."
Close. Bottom line: everyone but Mihai can claim and/or spend up to 8870 gp right now, with more later.
Tragershen's Azlanti scroll case can be sold for 250 gp, not 125 gp, so the grand total is 56,100 gp and change. That makes 9350 gp each, so with 100gp in spending money, Mihai is 2400 gp over budget. He basically owes us each 480 gp, so the rest of us only have 8870 gp to work with for now. However, we're about to come into some money, so feel free to go right up to that line.
Also, there's 6.52 gp left over, which I'd like to carry forward to a future split that's just cash, to make this one a little simpler.
Also also, I think that I will unclaim the handy haversack and take the lesser bracers of archery instead, putting Anton at 8054.5 gp worth.
We only have the one handy haversack, but if I can't resize the +1 chain shirt, then I might just get a masterwork backpack instead.
Also, Mihai is over his share by about two thousand -- largely because of his exceptional armor -- but I'd hate to sell it (or his headband, or his circlet). What should we do? Give him an advance on a future loot split? Some other option?
ETA: To answer an unrelated question, we have two identical ioun stones.
This is not including expendables. Values are converted to half price for convenience. I'm exhausted and will not do any more on this tonight.
Coins, Gems, Jewelry & Art
Grand Total: 55,981.52 gp
So, I'll do a preliminary split today.
DM Stephen wrote:
Can someone summarize the party wealth for each person and figure out who gets what out of the coin?
I've been waiting for the answers to my questions. If I just knew for sure how much Mihai's armor is worth and what kind Corb has, then I could at least make a start.
Anton accepts the rubies from Armivor Glaur and gives a moderate bow in modest appreciation. "Thank you. That will help us prepare an expedition, if we're able to figure it out. I'm afraid I don't even know what help we need, since I couldn't make heads or tails of it."
"If I may, I'd like to introduce Grolik. He's a unique individual, and has expressed interest in joining the Pathfinders. I'm confident that you would find each other useful, but... we kind of got off on the wrong foot... and while I changed my mind about him, not everyone did. If you would be so kind as to find someplace else for him to stay, it would be much appreciated. He likes high places; perhaps a rooftop terrace?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
A few notes:
There appears to be a discrepancy. I have Corb down as getting mithral chainmail from the treasure pit, but he has it listed as a +1 mithral chain shirt, which is worth less. That would change my calculations. (Sorry if this was already addressed; I do my best to keep the loot log updated, but some things slip past me, apparently.)
Speaking of things slipping past me, for some reason I thought that Corb had the amulet of natural armor + 1, but apparently that was all in my head. I've updated the owners on the loot log to account for claims and declaims.
Also, I'm thinking that maybe Aedalis would like Yarzoth's waterproof scroll tube (worth 250 gp) that can hold 20 scrolls? Tragershen already has an Azlanti scroll tube, and Mihai already has a mithral one.
DM Stephen wrote:
You can sell everything that no one wants, although Anton might take the bracers now at half price.
I haven't decided yet whether to stick with the sling staff or switch to a bow. The disadvantage of the sling staff is that it would take two feats to load as a free action; the advantage is that it would do more damage with higher Str (such as from rage). The disadvantage of the bow is that it can't be used to melee; the advantage is that more things work with it as written (including Launch Trap), no DM fiat required.
Also, I noticed that we have a +1 chain shirt (from the Nightvoice) that no one is using. How much would it cost to have it re-sized? (Is that even possible?) I might've asked that before, but I don't remember.
8668.92 gp total in coins, gems & jewelry (not including Aeshamara's locket)
87,597 gp in non-coin non-consumables (not including the TBD values listed above)
+ 8068.92 gp coins
For the purposes of this comparison, take half off the listed price of any items that you're keeping from what we already have.
Red Mountain Devil wrote:
You want to scarrr me to fool these humans?
"Yes, it's a harmless bit of magic. See, I have one of my own!" Anton shows a tattoo of an open shackle on a broken chain. "But it's common to brand slaves, so we could maybe pass you off as one. A little deception to avoid causing a riot, since this city has so many people." He tries to think of a good analogy. "As many as the pebbles on a beach, but with weapons, and prone to attack what they fear. Even if you're stronger than a pebble -- stronger than a dozen dozen pebbles -- the whole beach could still bury you. Like a hornet's nest, it's better to avoid stirring it up in the first place."
Values To Be Determined
Probably Left Behind
Not including consumables, Anton has 8100 gp worth -- but most of that is his armor, and the ability score increase at level 4 bumped his Dex bonus over its max. Also, a +1 chain shirt wouldn't have an armor check penalty (with his Armor Expert trait), so he wouldn't have to choose between leaving it on and maximizing his ability to disarm a trap. It looks like a good change to me, even though it's technically trading down.
If the handy haversack is unsized, then I'd like it. I think I can get Anton's weight down to Light. (But if it's Medium or someone else just wants it more, that's fine.)
The rope of climbing is too tempting to pass up. No way Anton would let that just get sold to some merchant.
Should I start making a shopping list? There are some other things that I'd like that we didn't find, starting with an ioun torch...
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10 Success
Mihai Soarta wrote:
As Eleder begins to loom out of the horizon, Mihai casts a glance at the Red Mountain Devil before sighing and gathering his companions. "A bond formed in our exile is not easily broken... I know that my path did not start where yours did... but our wagons dig mostly upon the same wheel ruts now. The Harrow... it is inconstant, but has given me guidance enough to know that the words we carried from the isle are of import... would you allow me to walk at your sides a little longer... so that we might illuminate their meaning?"
Anton beams. "I'm glad you feel that way! I agree whole-heartedly. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, but I have a feeling that Yarzoth's notes and the temple rubbings will lead us to more secrets. Indeed, unless she was star-born, there's an entire race hiding somewhere!"
Mihai Soarta wrote:
Mihai listens to Tragershen's sage advice and once they are deposited at the whaler's gates he makes his position clear "I will walk with Pezcock into the town if he wishes... but I shall not stand beside the om dat draculai not use words to barter for it's safety. If you wish to do so it will not be with my help."
Anton nods respectfully. "I wouldn't expect you to. I spent some time among the Ijo on the northern side of the bay -- long story -- and I'm quite familiar with this city. I'll see if Briga at the Sargava Club knows of any Pathfinders in town, so that I can arrange a meeting; I need to talk to them anyway about Larissia..." He stops and addresses Corbius's rapier. "Uh... This could be a little awkward. What do you want me tell them? And what word to your family?"
Okay, I think I have the party loot log fully updated. Notes:
We left the gold, silver and copper in the treasure pit to go back for later, and we actually have a block and tackle (found very early on), so it's potentially retrievable. I'll try and add all the new stuff and the items from the temple safe room to the loot log tonight.
I will be flying back home across the country on Saturday, and then my posting will be more consistent. My sister's baby is healthy, calm, and strong, and I'm glad that I was able to spend the last couple of weeks helping out -- but I'm also looking forward to getting back into my usual routines with my proper setup. ;)
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Anton muses, "Actually... the Pathfinders might be a good idea. This was originally a Pathfinder-commissioned mission -- at least for some of us -- and I owe them a report anyway, since their agent... well... a black hooded king cobra snuck up on us." He holds up Larissia's wayfinder. "So I can introduce you."
The well-armed halfling clears his throat awkwardly. "But just so you know, off this island, it's best not to mention when you're refraining from killing someone. They could perceive it as a threat and decide to kill you first, but without letting you know their intent. It's generally good to refrain -- and it's polite to be discreet about it."
Although challenging in its own way, and satisfying in a sense, porting the skiff doesn't require any decisions that Anton would call "interesting". No moral quandries, and no intellectual rewards. So, he listens with interest to the others' reports. "I don't know about how to destroy evil altars, aside from hitting them really hard over and over. But I have an idea about what to offer Grolik in exchange for the reflector: acceptance." He waves a hand like brushing a cobweb away. "I know, I know, hear me out."
"You wouldn't have to like him. You would just have to not threaten him. We can offer to teach him how to be dignified and welcoming to visitors, so that he can get respect without force or the threat of force. About the customs and histories of the different cultures that are likely to land here. I think it's possible that he could be a good host, keeping the lighthouse lit so that ships could avoid the reefs, and keeping any future castaways from descending into savagery. But for that he would have to be civilized first."
Aid Another (Linguistics): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Anton glances over the notes to see if he has anything to add, but he can't make heads or tails of them. Instead, he volunteers to search the remaining shipwrecks, including the boat at the bottom of the bay near the temple. "You know me. I love exploring new places and finding all their secrets!" He winks but it's true. "Aerys, would you like to come?"
AFAIK, Tragershen is the only one with Knowledge (engineering).
I don't want to mix four classes. I just don't care how many classes it takes, as long as the result is consistent with how I see the character.
He's a scout, he's a soldier, he's a diplomat with a mount (with hot dice and waves over his pony), and he's become very angry (and even gone a little primitive) in the hard times since their ship was sunk. Makes sense to me.
Excellent argument! :) Honestly, it's a relief to finally hash this out with someone else, and not just in my own head. I've thought a lot about the fact that Anton can't compete in melee with Corbius or Nim, and that the group is short on ranged firepower. This is what I concluded.
1. Tactically, Anton doesn't have to do as much damage as those two powerhouses. He just has to do too much to ignore, like in the battle with Ieana (exactly as I planned). Also, he can do a little battlefield control with his reach weapon -- like how he destroyed two dark clerics' holy symbols in a row.
2. Strategically, Anton has other things to add in terms of forewarnings from scouting, perils avoided by disarming traps, things like that.
3. Ranged attacks will be most needed when the opponents just can't be reached right away, in which case Precise Shot (and even Improved) probably won't matter that much. So never mind.
My whole goal here is to try and be the best team player that I can be, so I am absolutely open to contrary perspectives.
Anton, Mihai, and Corbius mist through the tiny entry to the X-shaped safe room. The intrepid halfling bids the others take cover, just before he attempts the magical trap. "I don't know what will happen. Try to stay out of the way if it blows." He then attempts to erase part of a particular magical rune with some chalk, turning a rather deadly word into a harmless one. He feels a sense of serenity as he does it, as if his hands are guided by halflings of old. Or priests of today, he thinks. Desna isn't the only one who knows about luck.
Disabling the magical trap:
Disable Device (with backpack and breastplate left behind): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Bit o' Luck: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 22
Mihai Soarta wrote:
I'm not going to comment more as I don't think you're really open to it...
I appreciate your constructive criticism, I really do. If I don't seem really open to your conclusion, it's just because I've spent many hours researching and pondering and researching and pondering and back again.
DM Stephen made it clear at leveling to 2nd that it was my last rebuild. And I've done enough research since then to know that what makes archer builds effective are primarily Precise Shot and Rapid Shot, followed by Improved Precise Shot.
And rangers with the archery style can get IPS at 6th! So, it would only take three more levels of ranger to be able (at level 7) to shoot multiple shots into melee, even past other characters. That's pretty good.
But then the character with the best AC in the party would forgo being effective up front. It isn't just about Anton. It's about the group. I need to make them want to swing at me, which means getting up in their grill and seeming so dangerous that they can't just ignore me.
That's what all that squeezing into a square hole is all about. And with rage and a belt and Power Attack, he can have +12 to 2h melee damage. Next level.
Yeah, great, an archer with -4 to hit from shooting into melee, and another -4 from soft cover. Wow. Awesome.
And he doesn't even have the Warslinger racial trait to reload a sling as a free action, having taken Swift as Shadows instead.
My top priority for when we finally get back to some semblance of civilization is to get a belt of giant strength +2. Doesn't matter if Nim wants his, I'll just buy another at full price. It's the only way that I can see to make this character work.
Excellent question. To answer it, I have to show you what I'm trying to emulate. That's my 2nd-level PFS character, who's a @#$%ing badass. So there are two questions: what roles does Anton already fill well, and what does he need to fill his other roles as well?
Anton is a Perception monster, and can Stealth at full speed without penalty. He also has trapfinding, and the concomitant ability to disable magical traps. So he's definitely rogue-like.
However, he's weak for a switch-hitter, and doesn't have the right foundation for one. A well-built switch-hitting ranger would go with high Strength, and then use the ranger feats (that you don't have to meet the prereqs for) to get the ranged stuff.
So. What to do? There are several things that Anton needs.
1a. Why barbarian? For more damage and speed. It became glaringly clear that it didn't matter how good Anton's armor was if no one bothered to swing at him, because he wasn't really a threat. Also, it doesn't matter what you can do, if you can't maneuver into the right position to do it in time.
1b. So what else? As long as he's going barbarian, there are other benefits. Being able to not be caught flat-footed, and eventually not be flanked (except by higher-level rogues). Gaining access to game-changing abilities like No Escape and Scent.
2a. Why fighter (phalanx soldier)? For more feats. He needs Power Attack and Quick Draw to be an effective switch-hitter; and with such a high Dex (and propensity for using a reach weapon), it would be crazy not to get Combat Reflexes.
2b. So what else? One other benefit is being able to use a polearm one-handed with a shield, so he can bump his AC up even more. There's also a bonus to CMD against certain combat maneuvers (which Small characters have a problem with).
3a. Why cavalier (beast rider, emissary, and order of the dragon)? For more feats, greater mobility, and an Animal Companion. He would get Mounted Combat and the ability to move at full speed in medium armor. Plus with the Horse Master feat, his mount would be as good as a ranger's (but not a druid's, since our DM ruled it down to character level - 3).
3b. So what else? The challenge ability gives cavaliers a rather significant bonus to damage (which is Anton's weakness) against the Big Bad, and the Order of the Dragon would also make his Aid Another more effective.
4a. What about ranger (trapper)? In the short run, he would just lose out on getting a small bump to his Fortitude save, Reflex save, tracking, wild empathy, and trapfinding.
4b. So what else not? He also wouldn't get ranger traps (which I'd like to see in action), a +2 bonus against humans (the bastards), an archery style feat (without having to meet the prereqs), moving through undergrowth at full speed, tracking at full speed, a +2 bonus in cities, evading attacks on successful Reflex saves, a +2 bonus against undead (the fiends), another archery style feat, a +2 bonus to hit the Big Bad, and the ability to Stealth in jungles and cities without cover or concealment. For example.
Speaking of character development:
I've been wanting to give you some kind of "heads up" about where I'm going with Anton and why, since it's a little different. I now have a much better understanding of both the Pathfinder rules and Anton's role in the group. The question is basically how to fill a switch-hitter ranger's role, without actually being one (since I didn't know what I was doing).
The answer that I have worked out is super-multi-classing. Taking ranger, barbarian, fighter (phalanx soldier?), and cavalier (beast rider, emissary, and order of the dragon?) all up to at least 3rd level each, with the Horse Master feat from UC tentatively approved at character level - 3. It's going to be a bit of a climb, with some strategic switching back and forth to advance in a balanced way, but it'll be worth it.
And I just might still have a surprise for you down the line, if we survive long enough. ;)
Anton explains what he found to the others. "It would be unwise for me to try to disarm it right now. Some other day, after we've all rested, Mihai has more healing power available, and he and Aedalis can both grant their different boons of good fortune. For now, let's return to our camp."
I think there was general consensus to rejoin the castaways.
"It will just take a few minutes to explore the living chamber properly, and then we can be reasonably confident of no nasty surprises later." Anton does it again, hoping that someone follows him this time, and re-solidifies inside the chamber.
Anton looks at Mihai with a ghost of a smile. "Well, I'd rather have some backup just in case. If nothing else, someone to mist back out and tell everyone that I've been swallowed by a crazy eye/mouth blob thing, so that they can help. Because you never know around here."
"I would have to become solid to explore the living quarters properly. I think that the carving with blood on its lips is the way to get back out. I just wanted to let you all know what I was going to do and see if anyone else wants to come with, or if there are any requests, such as for making sketches or taking notes."
Although sorely tempted to take physical form and explore properly, Anton reminds himself that the others tend to get upset for some reason when he takes risks on his own without consulting them. He floats back down into the main chamber and toward the bars, doing his best to keep track of the passage of time compared to how long the others said the gaseous form should last.
I've been in a place in my life lately where I haven't much felt like writing, but I'm optimistic that it will get better. I'll try to be a little more assertive -- but at the same time I'm afraid of railroading people in a direction that their characters wouldn't go, just because I happen to have more time for posting that week.
As they learn more about the cult and its aims, Anton sees the wisdom of Tragershen's point. "Ah, I see. The altar is primarily a source of power for those with evil intent. Very well, we should destroy it. But first, I would like to use it and the statue to explore where we can't: first the hole in the ceiling and then, if time permits, past the bars. I would much rather be a surprise than receive one. Then we can go get some food and rest."
"As for Grollik, I have no issue with him; I think that he was poorly socialized by the barbarous former inhabitants of this island, and it would do him good to have peaceful interactions with civilized folk. Heck, even I'm a better influence than a savage cannibal, ghoul priestess, fungal godling, dark dryad, exploitative harpy, or megalomaniacal serpentfolk." He winks and prepares to touch blood to the lips of the statue, as had been explained to him.
Anton looks rather blank at Aedalis's suggestion. "But why? This altar provides blood freely. I think it would be great if its bounty could be used by those who would sacrifice people instead. It could keep innocents alive. Is there something intrinsically wrong with it? I don't really 'get' magic."
Horrified at the explanation that the dolls contain bound souls, Anton prepares a ritual of freedom. Wearing Nora's iron holy symbol of Desna openly, he cites passages from The Eight Scrolls, which he knows fairly well (though his copy sank with Clopper and the ship). Praying for them to find good luck in their travels, the devout halfling breaks the porcelein prisons with his hammer.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Anton scratches his head in puzzlement at the strange behavior of dinoNim. "I think he's saying that maybe Wicewakan and I should go and rest? But I think he also wants to do something with the altar and statue? I suppose that if Tragershen is right, I could use the statue's power to explore that hole in the ceiling." He looks a little dubious, but surprisingly game for someone who was near the brink of death just a couple of hours ago.
The clever halfling finishes his careful inspection of the altar. "Yep, no secret compartments. Just solid stone with a blood fountain."
At Mihai's query, Anton bows gratefully. "Thank you again for your healing. I think that we've explored everything else except for the pit of bones near the entry."
Perception: Take 20 + 13 = 33 (+2 vs. monstrous humanoids, +2 in the jungle, +1 vs. traps)
Anton nods. "Of course. With the way that it seems to be creating blood, I suspect that the altar is the artifact, but it's better not to make assumptions." He looks it over carefully.
With Ieana and her skeletal retinue defeated, the anger that had sustained Anton leaks away. Bruises show through where he isn't covered in his own blood, and the halfling leans heavily on his polearm, still standing protectively over Wicewakan's still form.
Round 5, Init 16
SA: Attack Ieana (AF, IC): 1d20 + 8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 8 + 1 + 1 = 22
DM Stephen wrote:
Anton bares his teeth in a fierce grin. "How about I pay you the same as Nylithati?" He appears to think that this is a witty comeback, which implies that he is not entirely rational at the moment. The reptilian skeleton that he's ignoring claws him savagely, and the halfling coughs up blood. "Like this." He stabs at the snake-headed spellcaster with his spear-headed polearm.