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Tarrasque

CrazyHedgehog's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,632 posts (2,342 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 6 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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The Exchange

You move on from the scene of the fight beside the river, taking your prisoners with you. Trying to locate a place to make camp, you find that the dancers were telling the truth at least in part, as you find a simple, clean hut beside the river not far from where you met them.

Amongst the gear the dancers possessed, you recover three blowguns, a total of 24 darts, three gourds containing 15 doses of blue whinnis poison, finely wrought obsidian knives, three whips, three woven amulets with tribal and spirit markings, three sets of ornamental bracers which match the amulets, spell component pouches, and each with a set of quills and ink - you think they might be tattooing sets.

The following day, you are able to break the powerful charms holding Yekskya and the dancer Osumare in thrall to the demoness. Yekskya is a little sheepish about his actions during the previous day's fight. Osumare explains that she and the other two Zenj spirit dancers, Masoze and Alala, often dwell in the wilderness to commune with the spirits of the land. Not long ago they were approached by the woman calling herself Zakkiya - the demoness you know as Mellistra. She offered to teach them secret rituals which would allow them to draw closer to their totem spirits, and enchanted with the charismatic woman they readily agreed. When she revealed her true nature to them, they were horrified but were unable to break the hold she had on them.

Osumare asks that you let her go. At one time, she may have been persuaded to perform a ritual to summon your own totem spirits, a more powerful version of the ritual that Nkechi conducted with some of you. Now, with the death of her sister priestesses, she wishes to be allowed to return to the wild and seek atonement. Both she and Yekskya glance over to where you are holding Mellistra, bound and gagged. The demoness is conscious now, and glares at you with cold hatred. Quinta are you still seeking her true name?

The Exchange

You have Yekskya and the dancer named Osumare surrounded, but they still seem ensorcelled and willing to leap to support the succubus, Mellistra. She lies on the ground, senseless. Nkechi suggests tying them all up.

Sorry it's been slow, things have been busy. It's too late for a long post at the moment, but I'm going to move things on. I'd say you've defeated Mellistra, so calculating XP you all go up to Level 6 - hurrah! I think I'll not get to post the next update until Saturday evening, so take the time to level up your characters (you too Yekskya!) and if you want to do any more RP to finish up this encounter. I was thinking you've had enough time wandering in the wilderness so I've been ready to move you on, but I couldn't resist an opportunity to have Mellistra stick her nose into things again. Next stop, Tazion!

The Exchange

Round 2
Helaku pulls out his wand and sends a shimmering missile at the lion. It seems to connect with the ghostly lion, eliciting an enraged roar. 3 points damage.

Shaylar fires a quick arrow at the spectre. It's form wavers a bit as the arrow passes through it and clatters off the far wall, you're not sure if it really felt that attack. [/ooc] 2 points damage. [/ooc]

Sorry it's been a bit of a gap, extra work and family commitments have eaten up my time. Should hopefully get better after next week when kids finish school, thanks for hanging in there. Everyone's up.

Initiative

24 - Helaku
12 - Shaylar & Fang
10 - ghost brute lion
9 - Leonar
5 - Aleste
3 - Ambrose

========

GM rolls:

Shaylar ranged 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
damage 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
lion 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
damage 1d6 ⇒ 3

The Exchange

Round 9 continued
At the sound of Quinta's commanding voice, Osumare and Yekskya stay their blades. Both look conflicted, borne out of a compulsion to aid the succubus that wars with their native spirits. But in the end, they lower their arms.

The dire boar looks ready to gore Yekskya, circling round the fighter. It keeps its distance, but snorts angrily.

[ooc] Yekskya, still there? Go ahead and make another Will save to break the domination and get your character back! You get a +2 bonus to the save. [ooc]

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

=======

GM rolls:

Osumare Will 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Yeks Will 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14

The Exchange

Round 1 continued
Leonar holds back, staring at the spectral lion that seems half engulfed by the stone wall. Aleste holds back as well, owing to the confines of the tunnel.

Despite being attacked by the ghost, Ambrose doesn't shrink back from it. Instead he lunges forward with his sword. The magical blade does seem to connect with the ethereal entity after a fashion, slicing off a wispy portion of its outline. It doesn't seem to react to the blow in the same way as mortals, but you reckon it's done some damage at least. It's incorporeal nature lessens the impact of your blow, but takes 5 points damage plus 2 points cold damage.

Round 2
Helaku up!

Initiative

24 - Helaku
12 - Shaylar & Fang
10 - ghost brute lion
9 - Leonar
5 - Aleste
3 - Ambrose

The Exchange

Round 8 continued
Zaghigoth commands his animal companions to take Yeskya down - gently. The boar attempts to sweep the fighter off his feet, but the Mwangi attempts to hold the boar back with a sweep of his blade. Yeks attack of opportunity. The sword chops down with a swoosh but the boar has already moved, its tusks catching Yekskya's ankle and bowling him over. His sword goes flying while Oshok'arr settles a heavy foot on his chest to keep the archer on the ground. Yekskya might have had the strength to throw off the dinosaur, but in his sickened state he is held fast.

Zaghigoth lopes forward, trying to get into position to tackle the remaining dancer in much the same way. A standard move puts you in a position to try your tackle/pin next round.

Round 9
Krolmnite too heads in the direction of the running duel between Rowena and the Zenj spirit dancer, Osumare. Finally, throwing caution to the wind Rowena throws the weight of her skill and experience in swordplay into the attack. Not worried about pulling her punches, she drives four inches of blade into the woman's chest. 6 points damage.

Yekskya struggles feebly against Oshok'arr's pin. She obliges by settling a bit more weight on him.

Nkechi moves to Mellista's side and produces a bit of hemp rope, which he uses to try to bind her hands and wrists.

Quinta!

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

======

GM rolls:

Yeks AoO 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
damage 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (6, 1) + 4 = 11

The Exchange

Round 8

Krolmnite stays his blade, bending to check that Mellistra is truly unconscious. Could it really be that easy?

Rowena lunges with her rapier, trying her best to knock out the remaining dancer Osumare with a blow to the side of her head. It's awkward though and she misses her opportunity.

Yeskya still seems ensorcelled. Too late to help the succubus, he rams his sword into the side of celestial boar. It didn't seem to be expecting that attack at all, and the blade inflicts a terrible gaping wound. Hits for 12 points damage.

Shouting on you to deal with the dancer Osumare, Quinta places her rapier at Mellistra's throat. She appears to be unconscious, but she might be listening. In any case, she doesn't respond, lying limp at your feet. The dire boar looks set to trample over her. At her words, Nkechi makes his way over to help Rowena deal with the dancer.

Despite being surrounded and outmatched, the remaining dancer Osumare fights with abandon, viciously thrusting her knife at anyone who comes close. She seems desperate to reach Mellistra and tries to push Rowena back so that she can move closer to the downed demoness.

Back down the initiative order to Zaghigoth (and friends).

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

=======

GM rolls:

Osumare 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Yekskya melee 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
damage 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (5, 3) + 4 = 12

The Exchange

Lion's Path - Round 1

Helaku:

This lion bounding at you looks like a type of incorporeal spirit known as a ghost brute. Perhaps not as powerful as the ghost of an intelligent being, but still dangerous. Since it has no terrestrial form, it is difficult to hit properly without the aid of magic.

Drifting as far off the ground as the tunnel's ceiling would allow (not much), Helaku has good line of sight of the spectral lion. He pulls out his wand of magic missiles and sends one at the enemy. The bolt of force hits the lion square in the chest. You think it may have wounded the ghost creature in some way. 4 points damage to the lion.

Despite the cramped quarters, Shaylar takes aim with his favoured weapon. He snaps off two quick arrows as the lion rushes towards you; both hit, somehow absorbed by the ghostly figure. Total of 5 points damage with two successful hits.

The lion bounds up and takes a swipe at Ambrose. Fortunately the cavalier has time to twist out of the way. The lion's paw misses him and disappears into the side of the tunnel.

Leonar up!

Initiative

24 - Helaku
12 - Shaylar & Fang
10 - ghost brute lion
9 - Leonar
5 - Aleste
3 - Ambrose

========

GM screen:

Shaylar ranged 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (5) + 14 = 19
damage 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Shaylar ranged 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
damage 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
lion 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
damage 1d6 ⇒ 1

The Exchange

Sorry again for absence, RL took over for a few days and for some reason it just took ages to get back into the swing of things.

The Exchange

Really sorry for delay in an update. I was so keen to play out the conclusion to this scenario, but real life took over for a few days and it's taken ages to get caught up with things. So much for Mellistra's clean getaway!

The Exchange

Round 7 continued
Quinta's spiders spin their deadly webs. The first spider casts another net of spider silk over Mellistra, but doesn't do much more to impede her than the strands that are already hampering her movement. The second spider is more fortunate, the webs doing more to anchor her to the spot. She's really getting bogged down now. Going to apply penalties of two entanglement effects.

Lastly, Quinta uses her potent voice. A sonic scream buffets the succubus, causing her to whimper in pain and misery. Failed Fort save, taking full damage and dazed for one round.

Rowena may be taking care not to kill the dancer Osumare, but the dancer is taking no such care with her. She flicks forward with her knife, and would have skewered the half-elf but her blade was turned by Rowena's armor.

Mellistra cries out. "Please, please! I surrender! I'm sorry I hurt you"

Which is when Zaghigoth's summoned dire boar barrels into her trampling her form into the dust. The beautiful demoness' form looks crumpled in the dust, unconscious but you see she is breathing in short gasps. The boar hits and damage is just enough to put her into minuses!

Over to Krolmnite, and have Cat's actions thanks. One dancer left and Yekskya still mind controlled

No change to map.

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya/Mellistra
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

======

GM screen:

Mellistra Fort 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Osumare melee 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3

The Exchange

The Lion's Path

You move on. Summoning light you move into the twisting tunnel, Ambrose taking the lead with blade ready and Leonar following close behind, alert for any traps or mischief. Shaylar coves them with his bow with Aleste and Helaku brings up the rear, invisible and treading as silently as possible. Fang follows, but the wolf seems to find this structure strange and unnatural. That's how I interpreted your marching order, but if different let me know.

You only penetrate a few paces into the tunnel when the spectral form of a lion emerges at a pounce from one of the tunnel walls and charges towards you! You can make out few details apart from its outline, it seems bathed in a cold blue light and somewhat insubstantial, much like the leonine forms that you had seen prowling around the outside of the edifice. This one though seems wholly focused on you.

Despite its unusual appearance and charge at you down the confined space, none of you are caught off guard so no surprise round. Helaku and Shaylar manage to get in attacks first.

Map

Initiative

24 - Helaku
12 - Shaylar & Fang
10 - ghost brute lion
9 - Leonar
5 - Aleste
3 - Ambrose

========

GM rolls:

Shaylar Perception 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31
Ambrose Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
lion stealth 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Ambrose init 1d20 ⇒ 3
Helaku init 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Leonar init 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Shaylar init 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
lion init 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Aleste init 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

The Exchange

It's been a few days travel across the Thornwaste, so you have had a rest since reviving Helaku. However, the ragged terrain of the wastes have injured and slowed some of you up, so that Helaku, Shaylar and Fang are at half movement, as are a couple of your horses.

Leonar moves to the front of the group, looking around for anything out of sorts. Nothing stands out, but then at the last moment his eyes alight on a large bracelet, a simple string of seven night-black pearls. It rests at the edge of the monster's bedding. The pearls look extremely valuable, but the item has an unholy air about it.

As the druid bends closer to examine it, he notices something else. A faint breath of wind seems to be blowing the dust along the floor. He traces the movement to a bare wall at the back of the chamber. There must be a passage behind! He gropes about, and finds a hidden latch. With a sigh, a large panel along the wall slides open. Behind it yawns a long, ten-foot wide hallway that seems to slowly curl upwards as it disappears into the darkness.

The Exchange

Updated Map
I realized the celestial dire boar was a bit larger than I was giving him space for on the map. Also Yekskya's free of Zag's sickening entangle spell.

The Exchange

Round 6 continued
Zaghigoth's animal allies push forward to hem in Mellistra. This is a golden opportunity with her entangled in the spider's sticky strands. The summoned great boar squeals as its razor tusks raker her arms and belly - it's a grievous wound! Oshok'arr follows suit, but her thumb spike serves to part some of the webbing. Zaghigoth attempts a spell to wreathe the succubus in faerie flame, but the spell is defeated by her innate magical defences. 24 points damage from the boar's gore. Ouch!

Round 7
At this point Krolmnite comes barrelling into the fray. Greatsword swinging, the paladin roars with righteous fury as he cleaves another gaping wound across her chest and shoulder. Mellistra cries out in true pain and alarm now. Wow! 11 points damage, she is in danger now of being hewn in two.

Rowena continues to harry Osumare. She doesn't land any hits, but she keeps the dancer from creating any more mischief.

With a final burst of strength, Yekskya breaks free of the plants that were binding him. He strides away from them and brandishes his sword, a flat expression on his face. He still seems to be suffering from the sickening sap and thorns of the entangling plants.

Nkechi presses his attack with his trident. The wizened old mystic scores a lucky hit, but amongst her other wounds Mellistra hardly seems to notice it. Damage dealt didn't quite beat her damage resistance.

"Enough!" Hampered as she is by the webbing, the succubus variously known as Mellistra, Zakkiya, and Lani tries move out of reach of her enemies. She summons a quick spell, addressing you just before completing it. All humour and guile are gone form her face now. "You've had your fun, but we'll have to finish this another time." You see that she's managed to position herself out of reach of paladin, priest, and dinosaur. As she utters a final command to complete her spell, both celestial spider and dire boar beside her leap on the succubus. The spider misses, but the boar manages another ripping gore with its tusks. The pain of the attack puts her off her casting, and the spell fails! The demoness looks around in shock and pain. Five foot step for Mellistra, puts her just out of reach of Krolmnite, Nkechi, and Oshok'arr. She takes her chances with attacks of opportunity from the boar and spider as she casts greater teleport, for her trouble she takes a hit from the boar for 22 points damage. Her concentration check was stupendous despite the penalty for being entangled, but it wasn't enough when the damage dealt from the injury was added to the DC.

Quinta up!

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya/Mellistra
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

=======

GM screen:

Cat melee 1d20 + 7 - 4 ⇒ (8) + 7 - 4 = 11
damage 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Yeks Escape Artist 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Nkechi trident 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
damage 1d8 ⇒ 3
Mellistra concentration 1d20 + 12 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 12 + 8 = 35
dire boar gore 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (15) + 13 = 28
damage 2d6 + 18 ⇒ (1, 3) + 18 = 22
spider bite 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
damage 1d6 ⇒ 1

The Exchange

You could coax Smoke up the stairs and into the lair, but there wouldn't be a lot of room to maneuver. Even less if you were in the saddle.

With caution Leonar and Ambrose make their way up the steps and into the monster's lair. It stinks. There's a messy carcass in one corner, probably it's last meal. The two take time to effect some healing magic.

Helaku is nowhere to be seen. He floats up the stairs and steps lightly onto the landing. The sorcerer looks around the chamber for any clues, but nothing springs to mind.

Shaylar follows the lion shaman and Lion of Brindol, sword drawn. He takes a guarded stance, eyes sharp for any trouble. Fang hovers on the steps, clearly reluctant to go any further. The wolf growls every time one of the strange leonine apparitions appears.

=======

GM rolls:

Shaylar Perception 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (5) + 13 = 18

The Exchange

Round 6 continued

Krolmnite sprints forward with all he has, swinging his greatsword at Mellistra with great might. With a devilish gleam she sweeps her wings forward, seeping dust into the gnome's face. His blade swings wide and grinds into the ground. A 1! Tough luck.

Having dispatched Alala, Rowena dashes forward to try to cut off Osumare. She heeds Quinta's cries and simply tries to pin the woman down rather than disable or kill her.

Yekskya bends his will and his muscle to breaking free of the vegetation binding and sickening him. It's no use, he slumps down as his strength leaves him.

Nkechi dodges around Krolmnite, trying not to get in the way of his blade. He helps to hedge in Mellistra, trying to impale her with his trident. She easily bats the weapon away, unimpressed.

Mellistra seems disdainful in engaging in melee, but she does so now. She lashes out, her long nails like claws that dig deep into the boar's hide. Her first strike hits AC 18 for 2 points damage, and her second hits AC 26 for 6 points damage.

Quinta cracks her whip and bang! Osumare is taken down hard. Before she can rise, one of Quinta's summoned spiders throws a strand of sticky webbing at her, but the wily dancer rolls out of the way. The other spider slings a glob of webbing at Mellistra, and entangles the demoness.

Back to Zaghigoth, Krolmnite, Rowena.

Updated Map

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya/Mellistra
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

=========

GM rolls:

Cat melee 1d20 + 7 - 4 ⇒ (5) + 7 - 4 = 8
damage 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Yekskya Escape Artist 1d20 + 3 - 2 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 3 - 2 - 2 = 1
Nkechi trident 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
damage 1d8 ⇒ 2
Mellistra claw 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
damage 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Mellistra claw 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
damage 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6

The Exchange

Round 6

With the other dancers for the most part dealt with, Krolmnite turns his attention on the succubus. The shapechanger. The trickster. The one who impersonated his dear Lani and nearly led them to ruin in battle against not one, but two green dragons. Time had come for a reckoning.

He stomps towards the fight, with the demoness surrounded by the gnome's allies. Sword in hand, he shoves at an alabaster leg of one of Quinta's summoned spiders, causing it to scuttle out of the way. He ducks under a low swing of Oshok'arr's tail, and pushes Nkechi aside. By the time he is in melee range, he is running as fast as his gnomish legs can carry him. With an almighty cry to Smiad and to Iomedae he brings retribution to Mellistra.

Krolm with your last post it seemed to me you were still working out your strategy, so I was holding off on writing an update and also to give Rowena a chance to post. But Krolm on re-reading your post it seemed pretty clear what you were after seemed a charge action, which would put you in melee range this round. This seems an important moment for the doughty paladin, so I'll let you make your own attack rolls. Go get her!

The Exchange

Shaylar steps to where the corpse of the monster has tumbled down the steps in a heap. He draws his enchanted longsword and with a practiced eye slices into a vulnerable area beneath the large scales protecting its chest. He cuts slowly and deliberately to avoid bringing any more harm to Ambrose. Eventually, he creates a sizeable tear that penetrates to the creature's gullet, and there you find Ambrose Harrowfield.

The cavalier's absolutely coated in stinking bile and what may even be the monster's last meal, but he's alive. Shaylar extends a hand and helps him to climb out. As you work, spectral lion shapes whiz overhead, disappearing into the stone edifice.

Helaku are you keeping invisible after the fight? Let me know if you all stop to take any other actions before pressing on.

The steps lead up into a large chamber with rough-hewn walls and a domed ceiling rising fifteen feet overhead. To the north is heaped a large amount of crushed nettles and briars, arranged in some sort of nest, while to the south lies a massive mound of bones. The area smells strangely musty and acrid.

Varanthian's Lair

The Exchange

Sorry guys, I posted an update last week but just realized that it's not taken. I'm wondering if I had clicked on Preview instead of Submit. A shame, I thought it was a good end to an epic combat. I'll attempt a rewrite just now, the upshot is I can incorporate Boomsmurf's own rolls for Shaylar in the rewrite.

Lion's Walk - Round 2 continued

Crushed within the suffocating confines of the monster's stomach, Ambrose tries to find a way out of this latest predicament. If only he had a short blade to hand to cut his way out! He tries to haul himself back up the creature's throat instead, but the going is too slippery to find purchase. From the outside, the creature looks a bit ill from indigestion at eating a fully-armored meal. Haste does indeed contribute to Ambrose's CMB, but the many-legged behir has crazy combat maneuver ratings.

Round 3
Helaku is still shrouded in invisibility. He casts another spell and grins as he can see the magic affecting the monster despite its spell resistance. Its neck arcs and its head hangs low as a brooding torpor hangs over it.

Shaylar continues firing a hail of arrows at the monster. Many bounce off its hardened scales, but two bite especially deep into its vitals. At the same time, Leonar unsleashes a flame strike that also bursts through its weakened arcane defences to burn its side. The creature collapses with a heavy crash that covers you all in a cloud of dust and stone chips. The corpse lolls on its side, revealing a bulge in its chest where Ambrose must be.

Two hits from Shaylar and Leonar's flame strike (even with fire resistance) are enough to take it down. Well done! Varanthian had a fearsome number of hit points and a plethora of special defences. Will you be able to get Ambrose out of there?

The Exchange

I certainly hope so!

The Exchange

Round 5 continued
The Zenj dancer Osumare finally manages to wriggle free of the spider's webbing. She takes a few steps clear of both Rowena and Quinta, refocusing on the fight. Standard action to break free, so five foot step to the left.

Oshok'arr shakes off Mellistra's charms. The dinosaur thrusts a thumb spike at the succubus but is shoved aside. The iguanadon takes a step back, allowing Zaghigoth's summoned boar to charge in to the fray. Mellistra yelps as she tries to dodge the boar's razor tusks, her wings beating furiously to carry her out of reach. The demoness is almost wholly surrounded now by creatures red in tooth and claw. Alas, as far as I can see just a caster level 3 scroll. Which is a pity, as the attack roll was just a whisker shy of a solid hit. I kept looking at it to see if the situation garnered another +1 from somewhere. To get the boar into a position to charge and also flank against Mellistra I placed it opposite one of Quinta's spiders.

Round 6
@Krolmnite: 30 feet from Mellistra at the moment, with various allies in between. I agree, it was Masoze's choice to keep fighting even though she was down.

Updated map here - at last!

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

========

GM rolls:

dancer 3 E Artist 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25

The Exchange

It seemed to be more malware than active hacking, but I wasn't wanting to chance it until I could figure out how to get it uninstalled. I think it's all been removed now, but it's not a nice feeling, no. And I keep checking accounts to look for any strange activity.

The Exchange

Round 4 continued
Quinta is a veteran arcane duellist, and easily shrugs off Osumare's magical attack. As it is, the woman's casting is severely hindered by the spider webbing hemming her in. Quite right, Osumare won't be taking any five-foot steps. She was also needing to make a concentration check for that Daze spell, which she subsequently failed.

Zaghigoth focuses on summoning aid to the fight, while Oshok'arr presses her attack against the succubus. Her thumb spike sails over Mellistra's head, but the dinosaur looks to be holding her attaention.

Round 5
Krolmnite turns to regard the dancer Masoze, trying to sever his tendons from where she is lying on the ground. Not wanting to leave a threat behind him, he chops down with his heavy blade into her back. She doesn't move again. 10 points damage and she's dying again and nearly away. Do paladins fight enemies when they're down?

Rowena circles Alala, feinting with her rapier. Finally, she moves in for the kill, sliding past the dancer's knife hand and skewering Alala in the stomach. The woman slides slowly off your blade, her eyes locked on yours for a moment before she lurches sideways to sprawl on the ground. 4 points damage and that takes another dancer down.

Yekskya battles on, trying to keep Quinta's summoned spider away from the succubus. He's bound too tightly though by Zaghigoth's entangling spell, and too ill from its venomous thorns. He struggles to hit anything, let alone the dancing spider.

Nkechi's ire burns towards the demoness. He beseeches another spell from Gozreh, enchanting his trident. It becomes suffused with a golden glow.

Mellistra/Zakkiya takes a step back, out of reach of Oshok'arr's attacks. Her eyes flash as she tries to get the dinosaur's attention. "I think we've fought enough, haven't we? Why can't we be friends?" Zag, please can you make a Will save against DC 22 for Oshok'arr to avoid the effects of a Charm Monster spell. She gets a +5 to the attempt as she's been in combat with the succubus.

Quinta's two summoned spiders close in on Mellistra, one breaking free of the vegetation that had been binding it. One of them leaps onto Mellistra's back, trying to bite her. Before it can do so she bats it away, and the big spider lands roughly on the ground. The other spider tosses a silken net at the demoness, but the cast falls just short. I figured with the other two spirit dancers down and Osumare aleady entangled Mellistra would be your next target. With Alala down, you can amend your own attack if you want to, Quinta.

Still struggling to get maps uploaded but will do so.

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Quinta
9 - Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

======

GM rolls:

Yeks melee 1d20 + 8 - 2 - 2 ⇒ (3) + 8 - 2 - 2 = 7
damage 2d6 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (3, 3) + 4 - 2 = 8

The Exchange

Sorry for absence, my computer was hacked earlier this week and I didn't want to use it online until I could get it sorted. Unfortunately all my game materials were on the computer too. I'll try and get a post up today, if I can't manage now then later on this evening.

The Exchange

Sorry for absence, my computer was hacked earlier this week and I didn't want to use it online until I could get it sorted. Unfortunately all my game materials were on the computer too. I'll try and get a post up today, if I can't manage now then later on this evening.

The Exchange

The Lion's Walk - Round 2
Helaku is reminded by recent events of his mortality. He summons magical power and turns himself invisible. He shuffles towards one of the lion edifice's massive stone paws, where he guesses there is less risk of being squashed by the huge monster. He finds himself standing near Fang, and the wolf's ears angle towards him, vaguely aware of the sorcerer's presence. Put you 25 feet from the behir's current position.

Shaylar's hands are a blur as he sends a blinding hail of arrows at the foe. All hit, but all apart from one bounces off its incredibly tough hide. That arrow seems to have made an impression, and the thing's tail lashes violently as it scratches at it with one of its many legs. 5 points damage.

Leonar hurls another ball of fire at the monster. It arcs up and then down, landing just at its feet. Just shy this time of a successful ranged touch.

Aleste uses his hastened abilities to drink an extract. He then lobs a bomb at the side of the creature. It explodes to great effect, bringing a satisfied smile to the alchemist's face. 23 points damage.

The monster presses its attack against Ambrose, its jaws closing with inexorable pressure. Then with a quick scoop, it gulps down the cavalier into its iron guts! Made a CMB check to swallow whole, with a result of 41. 18 points damage, still alive with the grappled condition, can attempt to cut your way out, or try to escape the grapple by climbing back up to the creature's mouth - sounds unpleasant either way.

Everyone up.

Updated Map

Initiative
27 - Helaku
25 - Shaylar
22 - Leonar
20 - Aleste
20 - Varanthian
11 - Ambrose

=========

GM rolls:

Aleste RTA 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
damage 4d6 + 6 ⇒ (6, 1, 4, 6) + 6 = 23
Varan 1d20 + 24 ⇒ (17) + 24 = 41
damage 2d6 + 11 ⇒ (4, 3) + 11 = 18

The Exchange

D'oh. How easily the mind forgets. When I posted on Tuesday it had been a really long day. Let's crack on.

The Fiend Unmasked - Round 4 continued
Dominated by Zakkiya, Yekskya watches for any threats to her and focuses in on Quinta's celestial spider. Without even thinking of breaking free of the plants entangling him or the nausea he's feeling from their sickly sweet poison, he attempts to lash out with his sword. His steel blade manages to hack away some foliage, but slices just short of hitting the spider. Just missed a hit by one, taking into account penalties for being sickened and entangled.

Almost against his will, Nkechi nudges forward, grasping his holy symbol and calling upon Gozreh's hand. He responds to Zakkiya's suggestion for healing by channeling positive energy towards those around him, including the lead dancer. What wounds she had received close up, as do your own. Even Masoze, who was starting to bleed out, opens her eyes from where she lies prone at Krolmnite's feet. Your guide shakes his head, as if he's unsure of what he's just done. I don't think any of you have been wounded, but Quinta, Yekskya, and Oshok'arr are all in the radius of Nkechi's positive energy channel and so can receive up to 5 hit points back.

Zakkiya's smile is a malevolent gleam. She winks as her body begins to twist and reform, growing wings and a whip-thin tail. Her features become more familiar, a visage you haven't seen since your encounter with the two green dragons. Mellistra! Or so one of the dragons named her. The succubus' true identity is anyone's guess. Lani? Zakkiya? Suddenly she lashes out with fury at Oshok'arr, returning the blow that she had received with two claw attacks that leave bloody gouges across the iguanadon's snout. 6 hit points damage to Oshok'arr.

Quinta completes her summoning spell and another spider appears, so close to Rowena it makes her jump in surprise. It spins and throws another web, this time at Osumare, the sticky filaments wrap all around her and threaten to drag her to the ground. O's entangled.

Quinta follows up her success with another spell, this one aimed at Alala. The woman stops dancing abruptly and clutches her ears - you think you can see blood oozing out from her burst eardrums. She can barely keep her feet. 3 points damage to Alala, and is dazed and on her last legs.

Alala thrusts a knife at Rowena, but the blade is easily turned away by her rapier. Krolmnite is watching on when he feels something scrabbling at his boot. Masoze, lying prone ion th eground, is determined to see continue her attack as she tries to stab the gnome with her own knife from her prone position.

Likewise Osumare is surprised by the spider's appearance and takes a step back. She waves her fingers and aims a spell at Quinta. It threatens to throw the singer off her game. Quinta please can you make a Will saving throw against DC 16, to avoid being dazed for a round.

Okay I think that's us caught up. I'm having trouble uploading map at the moment but no major changes.

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Quinta
9 - Alala, Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

========

GM rolls:

Yeks melee 1d20 + 8 - 2 - 2 ⇒ (11) + 8 - 2 - 2 = 15
damage 2d6 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (1, 5) + 4 - 2 = 8
channel 3d6 ⇒ (2, 2, 1) = 5
1d100 ⇒ 55
Zak 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
damage 1d6 ⇒ 4
Zak 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29
damage 1d6 ⇒ 2
dancer 1 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
dancer 1 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
dancer 2 1d20 + 2 - 4 ⇒ (6) + 2 - 4 = 4
damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
dancer 3 [dice] 1d20

The Exchange

Spirit Dancers - Round 3 continued
Zaghigoth twirls his spear and a swirling swash of shimmering light bursts right in front of one of the dancers, Alala. The woman staggers as light dances before her eyes but her vision seems to be clearing, and she doesn't seem otherwise harmed by the effects of the spell. Sorry Zag, just couldn't quite see how you'd catch the two of them in a 10ft radius. Alala made her Reflex save so is instead dazzled for 2 rounds, and doesn't take damage from the spell. [/ooc]

Oshok'arr lunges forward towards Zakkiya, lashing out with a thumbspike. The iguanadon catches her on the chin and the woman is nearly thrown. But she must be made of rock, because despite the force of the blow she just has a light graze on her chin. A good hit, but she has some damage reduction.

Round 3
Krolmnite marches forward and swings at the dazzled Alala. She can't put up much of a defense, and reels from the hit. She's bleeding pretty badly, but something seems to be compelling her to fight on. 8 points damage to her, she's in a bad way.

Rowena tumbles so as to catch Alala between her rapier and Krolmnite's blade. Standing on the bank, Rowena jabs with her slim sword but the blade tangles in the folds of the dancer's shift. Not quite a hit but in a good position now for flanking.

[ooc] Yekskya up! Quinta thanks for your post, will get both in next post.

Updated Map

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Quinta
9 - Alala, Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

========

GM rolls:

dancer 1 Reflex 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18

The Exchange

And here it is: Updated Battle Map

The Exchange

Werner:

I'm really sorry to hear, you and yours have been having a really rough time of things. From experience, that's really difficult, my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family, take all the time you need.

Spirit Dancers - Round 3
Rowena takes advantage of an opportunity as Masoze draws her knife, and stabs the dancer in the chest with her rapier. Surprised, the woman crumples to the ground, dropping the knife. Spurred on, Rowena leaps to Quinta's aid with a strike to the first dancer Alala. Her thin blade bites deep, and her strong mind seems to have resisted Zakkiya's seductive charms. Two successful hits including the AoO from the previous round, the three points damage are enough to take down Masoze, so moved you on to the next closest adversary.

Having sized up the situation, Krolmnite decides to enter the fray after observing that Zakkiya and nearest dancer Osumare don't seem to have been caught up in Zaghigoth's entanglement spell. He lunges at Masoze but Rowena takes her down with her rapier, so the gnome turns on the other dancer, Alala. He takes a swing but Alala springs out of the way almost playfully, only to be stung by Rowena's blade (see above). It looked like the conditions for your held action were to wait and see the results of Zag's spell, so technically I think that puts you at the top of the initiative order for this round, but we had Cat's attack of opportunity to resolve, so I thought it easiest to write up her two attacks together and then yours. Initiative is a strange thing, but I reckon Rowena's and Krolmnite's attacks happen about the same time anyway.

Yekskya moves to stand beside the lead dancer Zakkiya. The entangling foliage writhes and twists about his legs as well, the spiky thorns and choking vapors claw at him, but the archer stands adamant with sword and bow ready to defend the woman. Oh dear! Sure I can NPC Yeks just now if you want while he's under the influence of the spell, thought I'd give you the choice. In any case, looks like he's not going anywhere for the moment.

Nkechi plants his feet and calls upon the aid of Gozreh. There's a brief rumble of thunder overhead and a jolt of lightning crashes down on Zakkiya. She looks a bit surprised at feeling the zap, but hardly wounded. She wags a finger at the wizened little guide, speaking in Common. "Nkechi, you naughty, naughty boy. I am going to have to punish you for that!" Nkechi looks utterly shocked, both because his spell failed, but also that she seemed to know his name.

Zakkiya barks once more at Nkechi, a harder edge creeping into her voice: "Cast some healing, priest!" Despite himself, Nkechi reaches for his wooden holy symbol. The woman meanwhile tries to pick her way out of the area of entangling vegetation. Nkechi will act on his next round.

Quinta finishes her summoning spell and the air behind Zakkiya blurs and forms into a golden-hued spider. It clatters amongst the thorns, but the foliage wraps around its arachnid legs and poisonous thorns dig into its chitinous frame. However, Zaghigoth's spell doesn't stop it from spitting a glob of webbing over Zakkiya. She seems genuinely surprised by the spider's appearance, as the sticky web falls over her and hinders her movements. Quinta keeps swaying and spinning, as well as keeping up her summoning song. More summoned beasties to come! Unfortunately by appearing in the midst of the entanglement, the spider became entangled and sickened by the thorns, but Zakkiya is successfully entangled.

The dancer competing with Quinta, Alala, leaps a few steps back out of the way of Rowena and Krolmnite. She brings up her blowpipe and blows another dart at Rowena. Fortunately the sprightly half-elf dodges out of the way.

The other dancer, Osumare, draws a dagger as she fights her way out of the grasping plants. She finds herself in striking distance of Quinta and takes a swipe at the singer. Her lunge is ill-timed however, and the dagger goes skittering away. Rolled natural 1.

Zaghigoth up!

Having trouble uploading a new map at the moment but will as soon as the site's back up. In the meantime, a summary: Osumare is in melee range of Quinta, but currently unarmed. Only Yekskya and the spider are currently in Zag's entangled spell. Alala is 5 feet from Cat and Krolm.

Initiative
27 - Krolmnite - after held action
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Quinta
9 - Alala, Osumare
8 - Zaghigoth

=======

DM rolls:

Nkechi CL check 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
3d6 ⇒ (2, 1, 2) = 5
Nkechi Will 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
spider Reflex 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
spider Fort 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
dancer 1 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
dancer 3 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3

The Exchange

The Ghostlord's Demesne - Round 1 continued

Ambrose struggles against the vice-like grip of the creature's jaws. The weight of the teeth grinding against his armor is intense, but he jabs forward with the long blade of his bastard sword again and again. Striking at the neck and throat, he scores two good hits. The monster doesn't seem inclined to let him go just yet. More alarming, it seems to just shrug off the cold magic of Ambrose's frost blade. Stupendous rolls! Your first and third attacks hit, but are just shy of confirming criticals. Still grappled.

Round 2 - Helaku up and Leonar, Shaylar got your post thanks.

Initiative
27 - Helaku
25 - Shaylar
22 - Leonar
20 - Aleste
20 - Varanthian
11 - Ambrose

The Exchange

Spirit Dancers - Round 2 continued
Krolmnite holds off, weapon ready, as he spies Zaghigoth call on the jungle spirits and begin weaving a spell. He looks up at the action unfolding before him.

Zaghigoth completes his summoning, and a wide swath of bull grass around Zakkiya and Osumare begins to grow and wrap around their ankles and legs. As the grass does so it thickens and forms buds that instantly turn into wickedly sharp thorns. Osumare, already dancing about, manages to dance away from the entangling grasses, as does Zakkiya but she is pricked by some of the thorns. She begins coughing, and a look of genuine anger and malice now crosses her face. "You should not have done that, Stormbile." Both targets passed their Reflex saves, though Zakkiya failed her Fortitude save, currently sickened.

Meanwhile Zaghigoth sends Oshok'arr into the fracas. The dinosaur charges forward towards the Masoze as she tries to dodge Rowena's rapier thrusts. The iguanadon punches forward drives one thumb spike deep into the dancer's chest. A good hit, 13 points damage to Masoze.

On to Round 3!

Updated Map

Initiative
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Quinta
9 - Alala, Masoze, Osumare
9 - Krolmnite
8 - Zaghigoth

=========

GM rolls:

Osumare Reflex 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Zakkiya Reflex 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Osumare Fort 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Zakkiya Fort 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

The Exchange

@Shaylar: No worries, wanted to give you a chance to dice yourself, looks like you were on a roll. ;)

The Ghostlord's Demesne - Round 1

Helaku dodges, anticipating another blast from the behir. He casts a spell to hasten his allies - taking this beast down as fast as possible seems to be the best defense. That +1 attacks, +1 AC, extra attack with full attack. +30 move could come in handy.

Speeded up, Shaylar retaliates for the lightning attack on Leonar by snapping off several arrows in quick succession. His bow sings a deadly song as two arrows sink deep. It makes for a big target so the elf's third arrow hits as well, but it bounces off the monster's scaled hide. Fang growls at the enemy but holds his ground. 16 points damage to the behir.

Leonar, rattled by the jolt of electricity, summons a ball of fire and hurls it at the beast. His aim is true, but just as the flame is about to hit flesh, it dissipates into thin air! Failed against spell resistance by the smallest of margins.

Aleste rushes up to one of the skeletal lion statues and takes cover, sparing the briefest of glances at it to make sure it's not going to come to life and attack him. He draws one of his vials and hurls it at the enemy. On contact it bursts and engulfs the monster in flame. It's been wounded and seems enraged, but you somehow sense the attack hasn't done as much damage as it should have. 7 points fire damage.

The behir thunders down the stone steps and lays into Ambrose. The Lion of Brindol puts up a brave defense but one massive claw reaches out and rakes across him, slashing armor and flesh alike. And another claw! Finally, it bends its head and snatches the cavalier in its jaws! Successful bite and two claw attacks causing a total damage of 37 points and you are held in its jaws - combat maneuver result of 34.

At the sight of the monster, the horses bolt into the coming storm, apart from Smoke. The warhorse rears up in challenge, ready for a fight.

Ambrose and everyone up! It's only a lizard!

Updated Map

Initiative
27 - Helaku
25 - Shaylar
22 - Leonar
20 - Aleste
20 - Varanthian
11 - Ambrose

========

GM rolls:

Leonar CL check 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Aleste 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
damage 4d6 + 3 ⇒ (3, 4, 5, 2) + 3 = 17
V bite 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (17) + 17 = 34
damage 2d6 + 11 ⇒ (4, 1) + 11 = 16
V claw 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24
damage 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
V claw 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
damage 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
V grapple 1d20 + 24 ⇒ (10) + 24 = 34

The Exchange

Spirit Dancers - Round 2

Seeing Hskoro crumple to the ground and concerned that she might be the next target, Rowena turns on the Zenj spirit dancer closest to her. In a blur her rapier darts in and out, inflicting a stinging stripe on the woman's arm. 2 points damage to the dancer that felled Hskoro.

Yekskya is acting unpredictably. At first he is charging into the fray, arrow and bow in hand. Just as he arrives in the clearing however, he stops in mid stride as he responds to the lady Zakkiya's seductive invitation. Seeing his response, she croons, "Defend me, my brave warrior! Don't allow them to attack me." Yeskya, I'm assuming protecting the woman doesn't conflict with your usual nature? She hasn't explicitly said, but tactically I reckon it would occur to a fighter to move closer to shield her from attacks - you could do so this round.

Zakkiya turns her attention to Rowena. "Please, lay your weapon down. Cease your attacks." She speaks in a soft, lulling voice of entreaty. Cat please make a Will save against DC 21 to avoid falling victim to a Suggestion spell and being compelled to do as she asks. It is an enchantment, so Rowena should be able to employ her half-elven saving throw bonus. Quinta - in this case I'm not sure that your counterdance will provide the same protection to Rowena as it won't disrupt Zakkiya's spellcasting in the same way a sonic performance would.

Still weaving and dancing, Quinta turns her attentions on one of the woman wielding blowpipes, Masoze. The Zenj suddenly cringes in response to shrieking in her ear that only she can hear. However, the woman seems to have experience with magical attacks, and soon shrugs it off. A look of genuine anger crosses her features. Made a successful save, took 3 points sonic damage.

The singer trying hardest to entrance Quinta and Rowena with her dancing begins a complicated move that draws the eyes. Arms, legs, they're everywhere! It's bewildering. She makes an especial effort to befuddle Quinta. Please make another Will save against DC 16 to avoid succumbing to a Lesser Confusion spell and being compelled to attack Rowena (result 96 - attack nearest creature) on your next action.

The second singer, still stinging from Rowena's strike, tries to dodge further rapier thrusts and draw a knife. She slides to the left and waves her blade wildly, trying to keep Cat at bay. Dancer takes a 5 foot step and tries to draw weapon, if Rowena hasn't been compelled to drop her weapon she gets an attack of opportunity. The dancer attacks but no hits. The third dancer shoots another blowdart, aiming for the back of Rowena's head. She misses.

Ok, this post has been a long time in coming! Been a crazy week. Krolmnite and Zaghigoth up next, but everyone go on and post.

Updated Map

Initiative
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Hskoro
13 - Quinta
9 - Alala, Masoze, Osumare
9 - Krolmnite
8 - Zaghigoth

=========

GM rolls:

dancer 2 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
1d100 ⇒ 96
dancer 2 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
damage 1d4 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
dancer 3 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
damage 1d2 ⇒ 1

The Exchange

That's right Shaylar. If you want to make the extra roll, I'm working on the next post just now so will try to post it up tomorrow. Don't forget to add the bonus to attack rolls from the haste spell.

The Exchange

Spirit Dancers - Round 1
@Quinta: Looking at the description for countersong, it explicitly says it only works against sonic attacks. However since you are using perform (dance) against an opponent also using the same skill, I think that will fly.

The dancer's legs become mesmerizing, and Quinta and Rowena can feel their minds starting to drift. The lead dancer, standing stationary, begins to smile. But Quinta has some fancy footwork of her own, and soon it's her movements that are drawing the attention. The change in focus helps both the women to shake off the enchantment and put the dancers on a wrong footing. Cat draws her rapier and takes a defensive stance, trying to assess the situation.

Yekskya draws a cold iron arrow to his bow and runs forward, followed by Nkechi and Hskoro. The skirt the river and the boulders and crash through the long grass.

The lead dancer smiles at the new arrivals. "Welcome. So glad you can join us!" She laughs, at as she says join us Yekskya feels a strange tug on his will, drawing him towards the woman. How could Quinta and Rowena have called out for help? This woman is not threat! Yekskya, please make a Will save against DC23. Failure means you are dominated and stand beside the dancer and protect her to the best of your ability.

The other three dancers continue to circle Rowena and Quinta. Suddenly one of the dancers pulls up a slim tube and breathes sharply into one end. Quinta can feel the sigh of a blowdart hissing past her ear. Another targets the newcomers and hits Hskoro. The nagaji halts in his tracks, and before he can reach for the dart stuck in his neck, he collapses to the ground in a heap. The third dancer continues her dance while attempting a different attack against Quinta. She ululates and the strength of her voice hits the opera singer with force, threatening to cloud her mind. Quinta please if you can make a Will save against DC 16. Failure means you suffer from a lesser confusion spell. However, in this instance I roll a ... 15, so you can act normally this next round anyway.

Krolmnite and Zaghigoth follow after the others, Oshok'arr not far away bellowing and hooting. As he runs, Zaghigoth beseeches the spirits and casts a spell on the iguanadon.

Back up to the top of the round.

Battle Map

Initiative
27 - Rowena
24 - Yekskya
17 - Nkechi
14 - Zakkiya
13 - Hskoro
13 - Quinta
9 - Alala, Masoze, Osumare
9 - Krolmnite
8 - Zaghigoth

========

GM rolls:

Krolm init 1d20 ⇒ 9
Quinta init 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Rowena init 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Yek init 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Zag init 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Nkechi init 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Hskoro init 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
dancer 2 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
damage 1d2 ⇒ 2
dancer 3 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
damage 1d2 ⇒ 2
Hskoro Fort 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
1d100 ⇒ 15

The Exchange

The Ghostlord's Demesne

That's right Ambrose, looks like you and Smoke are good by the time you reach the lair. Leonar's fine, and it looks like Helaku and Cayenne are unfortunately a bit slowed up. No word from Shaylar, so I'll make some rolls for him and move things on.

The Thornwaste is a real pest. It seems like everywhere you go jagged shrubs shroud the landscape. By the end of the four days that it takes to cross the wasteland, most of you have been hobbled at one point or another by the thorns and briars. Leonar seems to have no trouble with the terrain, and Smoke and Ambrose are fortunately encased in armor which helps to ward off the thorns. Helaku seems to have more trouble, Cayenne pulls up lame, and Shaylar and his companions have similar troubles. OK, I made a few rolls for Shaylar, Fang and Dapples, unfortunately nearly all failures. So I have following moving at half speed at the moment: Helaku, Cayenne, Shaylar, Fang, and Dapples.

Bizarrely, as you approach you can make out dozens of translucent lionlike shapes flying and capering about the massive lion's head and body. The shapes sometimes even pass through its stony surface to emerge in a different spot.

A flash of lightning tears across the eastern sky as the stone lion stares into the approaching storm. A good time to get under cover! You approach warily, experience telling you to be prepared for some type of ambush. However, you don't see anything stalking you outside, and your eyes find it difficult to pierce the impenetrable gloom outside.

You bring the horses under the stone head of the lion; that should at least provide some shelter from the elements, flanked by massive stone paws. A worn stone path leads between the great paws to a low stone ramp, which climbs up to an impressive archway in the lion's chest. Two basalt statues of skeletal lions facing each other on either side of that arch, as if passing judgment upon those who travel between them.

It's not until you take your first steps up the stairs leading into the structure that you sense the first signs of danger. A rumble of thunder is echoed by a throaty rumble from within. Suddenly a massive reptilian shape bursts from the darkness. At first glance it could be a dragon, with wings, horns, and glistening purple scales. Yet its serpentine body is borne by six pairs of strong legs and it fairly seems to crackle with energy and dark malevolence. It stalks down the steps and spits a bolt of lightning at Leonar! The rest of you scatter and draw your weapons.

Firstly, from your descriptions it didn't sound as if any stealth was happening but if anyone was intending to sneak into or around the building, go ahead and make your rolls now. Having checked your Perception scores, the monster made an impressive Stealth check for such a large creature, so it manages to get in a sneak attack. Leonar, make a Reflex save, the DC is 21, to avoid taking 28 points electricity damage. A successful save means you only take 14 points damage. After the surprise round, it's Helaku, Shaylar, and Leonar up first to deliver some payback.

DC 20 Knowledge (arcana) check:

This huge monster, easily identified by its six pairs of powerful legs, is a behir. It's conjectured that they are distantly related to blue dragons, especially since both employ a powerful lightning blast breath weapon. However, this specimen seems different from the norm. Perhaps it is tainted with fiendish blood? In any case, it will be immune to electrical attacks and in addition to its breath weapon relies on its terrible bite and powerful grappling.

DC 20 Knowledge (planes) check:

This huge monster, whatever it might be, has been fiendish blood running through its veins. It seems to be a powerful type of outsider, called to this plane, perhaps even born here. Like other devils, it has resistance to most types of energy attacks and mundane attacks, and likely has spell resistance too. Expect it to have magical attacks as well.

The Ghostlord's Lair

Battle Map

Initiative
27 - Helaku
25 - Shaylar
22 - Leonar
20 - Aleste
20 - Varanthian
11 - Ambrose

========

GM rolls:

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Aleste Reflex 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
AR 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
AR 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
AR 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Shaylar Reflex 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12
SR 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
SR 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
SR 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
Aleste Perception 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
Ambrose Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Helaku Percept 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Leonar Percept 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 22
Shaylar Percept 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22
Fang Percept 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Dapples Percept 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Cayenne 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Fang Reflex 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
FR 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
FR 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
FR 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Dapples 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
DR 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
DR 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
DR 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25
electricity damage 7d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 3, 4, 6, 2, 5) = 28
1d4 ⇒ 4
Ambrose init 1d20 ⇒ 11
Helaku init 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Leonar init 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Shaylar init 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Aleste init 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
1d2 ⇒ 2

The Exchange

The rolls to avoid the thorns represent a whole day. So the hit point damage may be incidental, but the movement penalty persists for 24 hours as your feet and/or legs are injured by the pernicious thorns. Ambrose, if you could roll for yourself as well. Each of you probably would be protected for the most part while mounted, but you would need to dismount at least once throughout the day, and these thorns seem to be everywhere.

With the lion-shaped edifice, it certainly does seem like a place that a lion shaman like yourself would feel at home. Do you want to approach in daylight or wait until nightfall?

The Exchange

Spoilers galore!

The Girls:

The leader of the women smiles broadly at Quinta's response. Her voice carries equally loudly "There is no need! Please, we would be delighted to have your company. And, we can offer you a boon. As spirit dancers we can awaken your totem spirits, provide you with much protection against the dangers of the wild. Alala, Masoze, Olumare! Please, provide our friends with a demonstration." The three young women circle round Quinta and Rowena, as they begin to sing in a complex harmony and chant. The layers of song weave in and out with each other. However, it is their dancing that is truly hypnotic. The lithe Mwangi women leap and writhe, in turns embodying graceful gazelles, fierce lions, and stately elephants. You find it difficult to tear your gaze away. Please can you make a Will save against DC 16...

Quinta:

Quinta Spellcraft: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
The women's song, though entrancing, is mundane. But their dance! Their movements resonate with a bardic talent much like your own, weaving a Charm Person-like spell. [ooc] Since you stated you were going to prepare a countersong in the event they turn hostile, I'd say that Quinta is able to start her countersong just as they begin to sing and dance, but bear in mind that their bardic performance is visual-based, rather than audible-based.

Rowena:

Rowena Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Your sharp half-elven eyes take in all the details. These women are almost unworldly beautiful and alluring, particularly their leader. It's odd, you are certain you have never met this woman before but in some odd, disconcerting way she seems familiar, if only you could place your finger on it.

The Boys:

From across the way, Quinta's voice drifts towards you: "What a charming offer, simply charming. Ah, but we have not a guest-gift! Nor fine clothes to wear as a token of respect for our hosts... What to do, what to do?" along with the same richly-accented voice's rejoinder: "There is no need! Please, we would be delighted to have your company. And, we can offer you a boon. As spirit dancers we can awaken your totem spirits, provide you with much protection against the dangers of the wild. Alala, Masoze, Olumare! Please, provide our friends with a demonstration."

What commences is a song, surely sung by at least two or three voices but the way they interplay with each other it sounds like many more. It sounds beautiful, and Nkechi gets more and more excited. "Spirit dancers! They call to the spirits of the land, just as you do, friend Zaghigoth. What you saw in Kalabuto is just a sham in comparison."

Anyone, DC 10 Intelligence check:

Spirit dancers? That sounds like those sacred spirit dancers you saw in the Shrunken Head Tavern in Kalabuto. There, they were just dancing, but this, this could be real!

========

GM rolls:

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

The Exchange

The Thornwaste

Fortunately, the night proves uneventful, affording you the opportunity to rest and recover, nursing back Helaku, Fang and even Cayenne. Feel free to continue role-playing your conversation if you wish, but I'll move things along a bit. Also, a judicious use of six charges of Leonar's CLW wand would bring Fang and Cayenne back near to full strength.

The following day you begin to head into the Thornwaste. For those of you not native to Elsir Vale, you've certainly become acquainted with the region's geography. You've braved the tangled tracks of the Witchwood, and the flooded reaches of the Blackfens, but none of that has prepared you for these desolate wastes. Even the Wyrmsmoke Mountains to the north are more densely populated, if only by goblins and their kin. A maze of broken hills, briar-choked ravines, and thistle-clogged fissures, even with horses it's a real slog. Worse, the countless thistles and thorns have a way of working themselves through armor and clothing. Overland movement rates are reduced by half. Also please if everyone can make a Reflex save against DC 15 to avoid taking 2 points of damage from these thorns. A failed save also means that movement speeds are reduced by half, the same as if you had stepped on caltrops. Please also roll for any horses or wolves under your control as well, though if anyone has a natural armor bonus of at least +3, the woodland stride ability, or at least 5 ranks of Survival, you can avoid having to make the dice rolls altogether.

You feel fortunate that you do not have any encounters while traversing this forlorn landscape. Instead, you feel choked with dust, and even your water begins to taste like ash after a while. The going is slow, but after four days you discover the Ghostlord's lair, atop a low, barren mesa. The imposing structure is shaped roughly like a crouching lion, as if ready to pounce on a nearby hill. The cyclopean monolith is composed of a dull tawny stone. It looks to be about two hundred forty feet in lenth, and the top of its maned head rises over eighty feet from the ground. There seems to be some sort of hollow between the lion's front paws, in the area bordered by its chest. Likewise, hints of a dark cave are apparent in its gaping jaws. Dark clouds fill the sky, and the rumble of thunder rolls over the land.

How would you like to proceed?

The Ghostlord's Lair

========

GM rolls:

1d100 ⇒ 70
1d100 ⇒ 35
1d100 ⇒ 45
1d100 ⇒ 96
1d4 ⇒ 2
1d100 ⇒ 71
1d100 ⇒ 90
1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23
CLW 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
CLW 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
CLW 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
CLW 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
CLW 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
CLW 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

The Exchange

Spirit Dancers
Well, alright then.

The Girls:
Quietly, Quinta and Rowena step forward to greet the strangers. Stepping around the boulders and parting the brush, the two ladies meet an unexpected sight. Four scantily clad Mwangi women, of Zenj extraction, drying in the sun as they reach for their clothing. Their abundant flesh is covered in tribal tattoos, and savage fetishes hang low from their necks. They smile warmly in greeting, especially one woman who from the others' deference you infer to be their leader. The woman with a knowing smile and long, dark red hair bound in thick dreadlocks.

"Well, hello there," she says in a deep, resonant voice. Unlike Quinta, she responds in Common. "Please, do join us. Are you travelling alone? You look to be a long way from home. If that is the case, then you must join us for a meal, our home is near by."

The other women nod encouragement and welcome as the finish shrugging in to their clothes. The lead woman in particular, dons a striking lion-skin cloak. They certainly seem friendly enough.

The Boys:
You watch as Quinta and Rowena head off in the direction of the voices. A moment later you can hear faintly, a rich voice speaking in clear but accented Common: "Well, hello there. Please, do join us. Are you travelling alone? You look to be a long way from home. If that is the case, then you must join us for a meal, our home is near by."

Listening to the voices, Nkechi perks up. "It just sounds like some local women. Perhaps they have just come to the river to draw water? I don't know of any hostile tribes here beyond Eloko lands; we should be careful, but it is the custom to accept hospitality."

Hskoro, stalking back and forth as he waits for word that Quinta is alright, doesn't look quite convinced. "Zaghigoth's right. You people seem to stumble from one mess into another. I think I'll keep my spear close to hand."

========

GM rolls:

Quinta 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Rowena 1d20 ⇒ 5

The Exchange

Ssss slithers away through the undergrowth...

Quinta:

Through your empathic link, you sense Ssss's curiosity. No danger. Through Ssss you sense humanoids like yourself - does that mean they are human? You sense the snake's surprise as it realizes that one of the figures is aware of the serpent...

...and a few moments later you hear an alluring female voice calling out first in Mwangi and then in Common. "Hello? Is there someone there? Please, do not be alarmed. The water is quite safe here, we've just been bathing. Just give us a moment, as we dress." The laughter subsides gently, and you hear figures wading from the water to the near bank. The boulders still obscure your view. Ssss comes back to Quinta and coils at her feet.

=======

GM rolls:

Ssss Stealth 1d20 + 15 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 15 + 4 = 26
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Perception 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (7) + 21 = 28
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (13) + 13 = 26
1d20 + 27 ⇒ (4) + 27 = 31
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

The Exchange

Pleased to have Helaku back in the land of the living, you take care of the bodies of the two farmers and travel further on to find a place to camp for the night. Somewhere defensible, and you keep a strong watch through the night in the expectation that you will be attacked again. You manage to find a rocky bluff that should help to keep anything from sneaking up on you from most directions, and a strong fire helps to guard the only approach.

As you recount the day's events, Aleste sits, brooding. Eventually he kicks his foot in agitation, striking one of the logs jutting from the fire. "We were betrayed! They must have known we were traveling that way. They were expecting us, I'm sure of it. But how could anyone know?"

Next time - The Ghostlord's Lair!

The Exchange

I'm pretty open regarding the feat. I have a few ideas myself, but it's your feat so wanted to see if you had anything particular in mind. We'll see what comes along in the meantime. Aleste's still kicking around as well, I didn't see a natural exit for him at this juncture, and as you say he's been useful to keep around.

The Exchange

Ambrose, are you still considering taking Leadership as a 9th level feat? Did you have any thoughts as to what kind of character you were going to take on as a cohort?

Also Shaylar, I was reading through Animal Archive and came across this feat - Boon Companion. I think it had a different name in D&D, but thought it might provide a boost for Fang since he often seems to end up in close combat. Animal Archive also has animal companion archetypes, some of which sounded like they might suit your wolf.

The Exchange

Leonar pulls the staff of life and stands over his fallen friend. The white oak is carved to resemble braided bands of holly and oak boughs, twisted around a unicorn's horn at the end. Intricate carvings of the cycle of life and death hint at its power. The lion shaman stands over dead sorcerer roars a summons to the spirits of the land to awaken the power of the staff. At first nothing happens, but then Aleste comes forward and grasps the staff as well. Between the two, the staff suddenly erupts and crackles as red motes of arcane energy arc between the staff and Helaku. You don't realize you are holding your breath until Helaku suddenly gasps for air, filling his lungs. The sorcerer sits up, groggy, staring back at the rest of you!

I wasn't worried about you all being able to use the staff as I thought raise dead was on the druid spell list - not! Aleste was able to help out with a timely UMD check. Helaku's back - hurrah! - with unfortunately two negative levels as a circumstance of the spell. Currently with 8 hit points. The spell used up five charges out of seven on the wand, meaning it can cast Heal twice before needing recharged - Heal is a druid spell luckily.

Also wanted to point out that Fang and Cayenne were both taken down during the fight. Both stabilized, but are still into negative hit points.

GM rolls:

Cayenne stabilize Round 6 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Fang stabilize Round 7 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
Cayenne stabilize Round 7 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Aleste UMD 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24

The Exchange

Quinta:

The creature you encountered was likely a shadow demon. A dangerous adversary, immune to cold, electricity, and poison and incorporeal to boot. However, it's most dangerous ability is its ability to possess mortal beings. Sometimes, when a particularly envious and evil mortal soul is pulled into the Abyss, it is transformed, split apart and combined with other souls until what emerges is little more than jealous malevolence without the impediment of a physical body. It's difficult to say, but you would wager that it hadn't been summoned by the succubus that you encountered, rather was a lurking spirit waiting to waylay the unwary.

@Zaghigoth: It's difficult to make out over the sounds of splashing water and laughing, but you reckon the voices are speaking Mwangi. They're not speaking about anything of great import, just seem to be enjoying themselves.

Drawing closer, the voices seem to be coming from just out of sight, in a pool around a few enormous boulders. There is quite a lot of brush around the river here, you ought to be able to sneak closer for a peek, if you wanted to.

The Exchange

Round 7 continued
Leonar uses his nature powers to summon a feral leopard. As quick as thought the leopard appears and leaps at the enemy. The dragon-warrior brings its falchion down in a cleaving cut, the leopard takes some damage but pounces and digs its claws deep. The dragonspawn makes an attack of opportunity with its improved reach, cutting the leopard for 12 points damage. The leopard scores two successful claw attacks, dealing 14 points damage.

Shaylar turns and looses two arrows at the dragon-warrior. The first strikes a mortal blow, hitting it in the throat. Shaylar's second arrow hits it in the heart, and the warrior goes down! Ambrose's sword is already slicing down as well, and hews the dragon-warrior's head even as the body begins to shrink back to its regular size. Shaylar scores a critical hit with first arrow and another hit with his second, for a total 37 points damage. Ambrose's attacks would have scored a killing blow as well. Victory!

You check the bodies of the two people tied up by the farmhouse, unfortunately they're both dead. Alas, so is Helaku. Aleste looks up from his place beside the sorcerer's body. "I'm sorry, there was nothing I could do. He's dead."

Is Leonar going to use the staff? Otherwise Aleste could try, with a UMD attempt.

Examining the bodies, you find the following items of note: four plain looking but well-made falchions (masterwork). Eight javelins, two potions of green liquid, eight potions of amber liquid, four potions with a rubber stopper, four potions in small glass vials, and two further potions in metal bottles. These were recovered from the four dragonspawn warriors. From the five hobgoblins you also retrieve five longswords of craftsmanship similar to the falchions (masterwork), five composite longbows with a tight pull (+1 Str), five suits of chainmail armor and heavy steel shields.

Daylight is fast fading, and you consider whether to press on or to shelter in the farm cottage or nearby for the night.

Spellcraft DC 17:

Two potions of Cure Moderate Wounds.

Spellcraft DC 17:

Eight potions of Invisibility.

Spellcraft DC 16:

Four potions of Jump.

Spellcraft DC 16:

Four potions of Pass without Trace.

Spellcraft DC 16:

Two potions of Protection from Good.

=========

GM rolls:

dragonspawn AoO 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27
damage 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (4, 5) + 3 = 12

The Exchange

Oh yes, Hskoro's lucky save to disbelieve and communication grants you all a +4 bonus to your own saves, if that changes how the shadow evoked fireball affects you.

What was that thing? That battle took a lot out of you. Zaghigoth provides some healing to Quinta, bringing her back to consciousness after succumbing to that fireball effect. Nkechi kneels beside her as well and calls upon the power of Gozreh and the jungle wilds to bestow more healing upon the spellcasting diva. Hskoro looks aggrieved that Quinta has come to harm, and after making sure that she is alright takes up a defensive stance, keeping watch for the group. Nkechi casts cure serious wounds to heal Quinta 21 hit points, I think that just brings you nearly back to full strength? The Tempest asks if anyone else is in need of healing as well.

After a minute or two, Cat returns to the scene, followed a few moments later by Oshok'arr. They are out of breath, having been running full pelt. The iguanadon sniffs the gorilla's stiff corpse apprehensively. Welcome back Cat and Werner.

Anyone want to linger here? I'll begin sketching out the next leg of the journey, but if anyone wants to do any further exploration or roleplay here at the clearing please feel free.

Wary of any further threats lurking in the shadows, you move on. You make your way through the jungle, and despite the dangers, Nkechi proves to be a resourceful guide and teacher regarding what to watch out for. At one stage, your Mwangi guide points out signs that Eloko headhunters have crossed your path, vicious gnomish cannibals. You give the area a wide berth. Apart from that, you encounter wild animals but for the next couple weeks you suffer no real threats. A welcome relief to be sure, allowing you all time for respite on this gruelling trek. You get a break, nearly twenty days without any random encounters! You have pushed yourselves hard though, in that time covering nearly 400 miles.

Eventually the trees thin out again as you leave the Screaming Jungle to follow the river across the Korir Plains. At this point, the river widens and becomes fast and shallow, no more than a few feet deep. The surrounding vegetation consists almost entirely of reeds, mangroves, lotuses, and other water plants. The dappled sunlight is wonderful after the dark confines of the jungle. Along the way, you don't encounter any of the other parties racing to reach Tazion, but now and again you do spot evidence that other bands of wayfarers have been travelling the same paths as yourselves.

At one point, you pause alongside the river for a rest, replenishing your water supply. Most of you slowly become aware of the sound of splashing water from nearby, and laughing and chatter.

========

GM rolls:

CSW 3d8 + 5 ⇒ (8, 3, 5) + 5 = 21
Hskoro Percept 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Krolm Percept 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Quinta Percept 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Rowena Percept 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Yeks Percept 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Zag Percept 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
Hskoro Percept 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Nkechi Percept 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19

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