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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8. Organized Play Member. 139 posts (385 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 6 aliases.

31st Pharast 4713

Two weeks on the road, through the farmlands of Rostland. It’s still cold at this time of year but the first signs of spring are on their way. The land is turning green. The worst of the snows are over and, despite the persistent drizzle that has followed you since you left Nivatka’s Crossing six days ago, you can feel life returning to the world after the harsh northern winter.

The journey has been uneventful. From Restov you travelled west and south, passing through tiny hamlets and the small town at the crossing of the River Shrike. It was here that Maegar Varn’s men turned south a week previously, marching into the Nomen Heights. Onward you travelled, passing the mountains to the south, finally leaving them behind as you approached the Greenbelt.

Rostland, Brevoy and civilisation recedes into the distance as you near your initial destination – your entry point to the wild lands. A small trading post on the South Rostland Road sits at the northerly edge of the Greenbelt. Run by an old Rostlander named Oleg Leventon, it is the last outpost of Brevic influence before the vast wilderness opens up before you.

The sun is just dipping below the horizon as you approach the trading post. Through the rain, you can just make out the rooftops of a number of structures within the sturdy, fifteen foot, wooden walls. The solid looking gates are firmly shut but a large bell hangs from a rope outside.

Guys, when you've created your PCs post something here as that alias.

When you're all present and correct (and when I say correct, I'm looking at you INdran), we'll start.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

EDIT FROM THE JUDGES: Please read this information about playtesting these encounters. We've also added hyperlinks from the encounter's short stat blocks to the full stat blocks in the PRD so you have the information you need to run the encounter.

Crimsondale Villa
A once idyllic country retreat, Crimsondale Villa has lain in ruins for decades. Surrounded by vineyards on the slopes of the hills north of Woodsedge, the villa was the private bolt hole of Baron Loric Jurard before his execution by patriotic citizens during The Red Revolution. The Baron was murdered in his own dining room and his body left to burn as the villa was set alight around him. A sometime affiliate of Cold Hearth Lodge, the villa contains the ashen remnants of the Baron’s trophies – three preserved chimera heads cling to the dining room walls and a unicorn’s horn lies amid the wreckage.
Baron Loric was a cruel and elitist man. Legendary for his short temper, he beat his servants frequently and treated his wife with contempt. He often used the villa as the base for his many affairs with the servant girls he employed. The surrounding hillside has many shallow graves that contain the bones of mistresses that displeased him and were quietly removed from his life. On the night of his death, Loric’s wife discovered the Baron with his latest dalliance, the servant girl Yvette. In a fit of rage, he beat Lady Jurard with his bull whip and locked her in the wine cellar. Before he could return to where Yvette was hiding upstairs, the mob was upon him and the house was ablaze. Yvette died in the fire and Lady Jurard died days later, still in the locked cellar.
The Haunting of Crimsondale(CR 6 or 9)
Rushing through the overgrown vineyards, the mob howls for blood. Two young women flee from their pursuers, exhausted by their efforts and ready to collapse. As they reach the refuge of the abandoned villa and push the door closed behind them, the light of a fire flickers into life on the second floor.

Vena Estaranth is the daughter of a noble émigré, returned to Galt to fight against the excesses of the Revolutionary and the Gray Gardeners. Teaming up with Ana Milos, a commoner disgusted by the actions of her compatriots, the pair has been working alongside the PCs to undermine the violent policies of the local citizens’ council through acts of sabotage and counter-propaganda.
The PCs, Vena and Ana had planned to hijack a shipment of revolutionary pamphlets on the road outside Woodsedge. The attempt went awry when ruffians working for the local council stumbled over Vena and Ana and gave chase. The PCs set off in hot pursuit and the chase has led them to the doors of Crimsondale Villa. Vena and Ana have just set foot inside and closed the doors behind them (they are at locations D and E). The mob has separated, half of them attempting to enter through the main doors (at point F) and the others making for the windows (points G). The PCs gave pursuit and have just arrived in the grounds at point L.
All squares outside the villa are considered difficult terrain due to the overgrown vegetation. All doors and walls are fragile and have half the number of hit points they would normally have. Rubble within the building represents remnants of long damaged furniture and is considered difficult terrain and provides cover.

Low tier (CR 6):
Baron Loric Jurard, Variant Ghost CR 2 LINK
XP 600
hp 73 (Bestiary p144)
Weaknesses: If both haunts in the villa are neutralised, Loric descends into the ground beneath the villa (below whichever square he happens to be on at the time) and falls into a torpor until at least one haunt is reset. If both haunts are destroyed, so is Loric.
Other special rules: Loric is cursed with a particular impotency as a ghost and has only one attack power, Malevolence, which he can only use on targets he believes to be of noble bearing (this includes any character wearing clothing at least as expensive as a courtier’s outfit or metal armour that is kept well polished. The GM may determine other characters as having an air of nobility as appropriate. Vena Estaranth is always deemed to be noble in Loric’s eyes and he attempts to take control of her if no appropriate PC is nearby). Loric will not attack noble characters after successfully using his Malevolence power, but will attack all commoners. He attacks nearby ruffians first as they remind him of his own murderers. He will attack other characters if he cannot reach any ruffians.
The Baron’s body lies amongst the rubble in the dining room at point H. His bones are charred but a DC 15 Heal check reveals he actually died from a very sharp blade stroke to the neck. His skull lies several feet from his body at point J.

Ruffians - Foot Soldiers (6) CR 4 LINK
Watch Guard
XP 135 each
hp 8 each (Gamemastery Guide p265)

Vena Estaranth - Noble Scion CR 2 LINK
Seelah, Human Paladin
XP 600
hp 20 (Gamemastery Guide p288)

Ana Milos – Half-elf Barmaid CR 1/2 LINK
Half-Elf Cleric
XP 200
hp 7 (Gamemastery Guide p302)

High Tier (CR 9):
Baron Loric Jurard, Variant Ghost CR 2 LINK
XP 600
hp 73 (Bestiary p144)
Weaknesses and special rules: As above.

Ruffians - Guard (7) CR 7 LINK
Watch Guard
XP 400 each
hp 19 each (Gamemastery Guide p260)

Vena Estaranth - Noble Scion CR 2 LINK
Seelah, Human Paladin
XP 600
hp 20 (Gamemastery Guide p288)

Ana Milos - Barmaid CR 1/2 LINK
Half-Elf Cleric
XP 200
hp 7 (Gamemastery Guide p302)

Yvette CR 2 LINK
XP 600
NE haunt (10 ft. by 5 ft. area of burned bones); persistent
Caster Level 2nd
Notice Perception DC 10 (to hear crackling of flames and quiet, pained cries for help after event 3 has happened)
hp 9; Weaknesswater deals 1d4 damage per gallon (or part thereof) to the haunt; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 week
EffectWhen this haunt is triggered, a blackened and burned female form appears, wreathed in flame and screaming for help. Gobbets of flame fly from the burning figure as a scorching ray spell (+2 ranged touch, 4d6 fire) each round at the range listed for that spell.
DestructionThe bones must be removed from area 6 (scattered across points A) and given a proper burial.

Lady Jurard CR 1 LINK
XP 400
NE haunt (5ft. by 5ft. doorway); persistent
Caster Level 1st
Notice Perception DC 10 (to hear sobbing and knocking on the door after event 2 below has occurred)
hp 4; Trigger touch; Reset 1 week
EffectWhen trapdoor B is opened, an emaciated figure lunges forward desperately, screaming for help. This has the effect of a cause fear spell (save DC 11) on the character who opened the door. She remains there screaming and crying for help as long as the haunt remains active.
DestructionThe bones must be removed from the stairs in area 8 and given a proper burial.

Vena takes up a position blocking the hall at point C, while Ana rushes up the stairs towards the light in room 6, calling out for help. Half the ruffians attack Vena, the others move to climb through windows at points G. The ruffians attempt to kill the two women, turning on any PCs that come near.
During the battle the following ghostly manifestations occur, beginning at the start of the first round after a PC enters the villa. They happen one per round in the following order, but if event 4 is triggered, it takes precedence over any other event which is postponed until the following round.
Event 1
The villa is suddenly illuminated by ghostly torches in wall sconces and filled with the noise of manly laughter, the barking of hunting dogs and the smell of cooked meats.
Event 2
The lights go out suddenly and the sound of vicious whipping is heard throughout the building, accompanied by harsh laughter and female pleas for help. A ghostly figment of a middle aged woman well-dressed in the fashion of 40 years ago, rushes through the building, pursued by a tall, aristocratic man with a bull-whip, before disappearing into the darkness.
Event 3
The smell of burning fills the building and crackles of flame turn into roars. The room fills with smoke, affecting the room as an obscuring mist spell for one round. Cries of pain are heard throughout the building.
The first round following the triggering of either haunt
The ghost of Baron Loric appears at point C or as near as possible. A tall middle-aged aristocrat, with a cruel and arrogant look on his face and clutching a bull-whip, the Baron is dripping blood from a wound that extends around the circumference of his neck. He immediately moves to take control of the nearest aristocratic character and begins to attack any non-noble within sight.
The unicorn horn
A relic of one of Loric’s hunts, a unicorn horn lies amongst the rubble at point K. Loric will not approach within 10 ft. of any character holding the horn.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

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As dark as the shadows it clings to, this spindly, sharp-clawed creature waits patiently for its prey. The air around it laden with despair, its forked tongue flickers, ready to envelop its victim and steal their very hope and joy.
Laru CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Medium fey
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +16
Aura despair (30 ft., DC 17)
----- Defense -----
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+6 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 78 (12d6+36)
Fort +7, Ref +14, Will +9
Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity; DR 10/cold iron
Weaknesses light sensitivity
----- Offense -----
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +12 (1d6+4), tongue +10 (1d8+2 plus grab)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tongue)
Special Attacks constrict (tongue, 1d8 Cha drain), strangle
----- Statistics -----
Str 18, Dex 23, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 4
Base Atk +6; CMB +10 (+14 grapple); CMD 26
Feats Acrobatic Steps, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Nimble Moves, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +21, Climb +27 Escape Artist +21, Knowledge (nature) +16, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Stealth +21 (+25 in dim light); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in dim light
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan
----- Ecology -----
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
----- Special Abilities -----
Aura of Despair (Su) This ability continually duplicates the effect of the spell crushing despair, except it affects a 30 ft. radius centered on the Laru. The save DC is Wisdom-based.
Charisma Drain (Su) The Laru’s constriction ability inflicts 1d8 points of Charisma drain each round it is maintained. Each time a creature is drained by this attack, the Laru gains 5 temporary hit points. Any creature drained to Charisma 0 by this attack falls into a coma and cannot recover lost Charisma by anything other than magical means.
Strangle (Ex) A creature that is grappled by a Laru cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Legends say that the Laru were once creatures of life and love. Inquisitive fey, they were fascinated by the overlapping of the First World and Shadow Plane. They explored further and stayed longer in the deepest parts of that dark domain and returned tainted with negative energy. The Laru are now pitiful beings. They long for the feeling of joy in their hearts and resort to stealing the emotions of others to satisfy, however briefly, their craving for love.

Standing 7 feet tall but incredibly thin with dark grey skin, the Laru is often mistaken for an undead horror. The tainted creature drains all positive emotions from its surroundings, creating a feeling of hopelessness and despair in all who come near it. This is often the only clue one receives before an attack, for the Laru is a creature of the shadows.

The Laru prefers solitary prey. It stalks for days those individuals that show great emotion or creativity, patiently waiting for a moment when they are alone. Its strangling tongue prevents its target from crying out as it leeches all joy and hope from the stricken creature. As the victim slips into a coma, the Laru fleetingly experiences what it is to be happy once more.

Laru prowl mortal and fey communities, seeking signs of laughter and delight. They are drawn to great festivals and celebrations where joy and happiness are easy to find. Every time they feed, a Laru is reminded of what it has lost and it longs for more. Once a Laru has struck in a community it is never long before a second victim is found.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

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Anointed Choir of the Rapture
Alignment: CE
Headquarters: Cassomir, Taldor
Leader: High Chorister Calliana
Structure: Blasphemous choir
Scope: National
Resources: Roseheart Hall; Network of initiated choristers

A rising faction in the Taldan church of Shelyn, the Anointed Choir of the Rapture is directed by the succubus Calliana, in covert service to the Demon Lord, Sifkesh. The Choir, based at Roseheart Hall, is formed around the impossibly beautiful singing voice of an 18 year old girl, Rayna Tellos. Said to be gifted by Shelyn herself, Rayna’s voice bestows a euphoric ecstasy on all mortal hearts that hear it. The succubi who comprise the rest of the Choir are not mortal however, and their accompanying harmony of corruption seeds lustful urges into the enraptured souls of the flock before them. High Chorister Calliana delights in these appetites, driving the faithful to the limits of depravity in Shelyn’s name.

Structure and Leadership

High Chorister Calliana directs the actions of the Anointed Choir and controls all access to Rayna, who is entirely in her power. Her succubi choristers are themselves all breathtaking singers, able to compliment Rayna’s voice, yet debasing the holy words. Calliana has placed small cells of initiated mortal choristers in Shelyn’s temples across Taldor, spreading the corrupting song of the Choir to all parts of her church in the old empire.


Calliana plans to corrupt the Taldan church to the core, filling all devout souls with unnatural lust. Only when an individual’s defilement is complete does she reveal the extent of their blasphemy, driving the lost soul to suicide and into the clutches of Sifkesh. The succubi are careful not to allow too many deaths or disappearances at any one time or place, picking off souls one by one and glorying in each horror-filled revelation. Calliana dreams of uniting the church in one, great, orgiastic frenzy dedicated to Shelyn, destroying the name of the Eternal Rose and damning her faithful to the abyss.

Public Perception

The Anointed Choir is universally loved in Cassomir, bringing joy and happiness to all. The scandalous thoughts and obscene acts that come to audiences in the days following a performance have not yet been linked to the beauty of Rayna’s song. Calliana’s grip on her demonic choristers is strong for now but if the attention of the inquisition is drawn on them by any recklessness, her control of the Choir may start to slip.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 8

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Elixir of Resurgent Flame
Aura moderate conjuration and evocation; CL 5th
Slot -; Price 2,500 gp; Weight -
Drinking this smoldering red liquid, sacred to the god Nethys, results in searing pain as numinous power courses through the drinker’s body, boiling the blood and causing the skin to smoke and burn from within. The drinker is sickened for one round before the pain is soothed by an invigorating flood of cool energy. The drinker is left with blackened scorch marks on their skin in the shape of archaic runes for flame and succor. These symbols may appear anywhere on the body but the right side of the drinker’s face is always terribly burned in honor of The All-Seeing Eye. The runes grant the drinker access to several words of power for the next 24 hours, after which all burns fade away.

Three times each, as an oracle (CL 5), the drinker may use the burning flash and lesser cure effect words, with the personal or selected target words. If the drinker is already a wordcaster they may also add burning flash and lesser cure to their list of words known for the next 24 hours.

For the duration, the drinker can combine fire and healing effect words into one wordspell, deciding at the point of casting whether to make it destructive or rejuvenating. If the wordspell is destructive, any points of healing granted by the healing word are converted to fire damage with an effect identical to the fire word. If the wordspell is rejuvenating, all fire damage is instead converted into healing. If either word would normally grant a saving throw, the consequences of the save apply to all effect words.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, burning hands, cure light wounds; Cost 1,250 gp

Hi all,

I'm planning on bringing in a new character to a long running game and I'm looking at a Dwarf Fighter/Witch/Eldritch Knight. I'm starting at level 16 so there's plenty of room to play around. I'd like some ideas for jazzing the guy up. I want him to be sinister and scary, without being (totally) evil. It does not need to be optimal (it's not that kind of game). Let's just say I want him to be flavourful, but effective.

The basic concept is that the dwarf, Vaskar, was a mercenary warrior who, impressed by his fighter/sorcerer companion's skillful synergy of melee and magical abilities, decided to learn the ways of wizardry. His innate dwarven resistance to magic stymied his attempts until he was approached by the raven familiar of a dark mage he had slain, who proposed an agreement. He would teach Vaskar magic in return for a share of any spoils his new powers granted him. The raven has since been revealed to be polymorphed mephit (probably a shadow mephit) and the pair have been led down a gradually darkening path.

So, I'm currently thinking Fighter 1/Witch 10/Ek 5. Ten levels of witch gives me major hexes which I quite like (especially retribution), but I could be convinced to drop it to eight levels (I want the upgraded evil eye). I'm intending to have a shadow patron (like the mephit), but could be persuaded otherwise. I realise strength would probably be a better bet for combat, but shadow is spooky and that suits me well.

The game is heavily house-ruled, the key thing being that I can cast spells in whatever armour I'm proficient in. I want to hold my own in melee, so heavy armour, shield and dwarven war-axe (or similar) are key paraphernalia.

So what feats/spells/hexes and items would compliment the character. Nifty combos (feats that go well with certain spells, for example) are especially welcome.

Any ideas welcome!