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Douglas Muir 406's page

9,263 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Takka of the Toad wrote:
"When will it be fixed? ...and how do you know? Who are you? Are you... is this real? Or am I simply... imagining this...?"

Is courage real, or do you imagine it? Is honor? The great voice is calm. It is kind, but there is an undertone of steely resolve. You are known to me, Takka. Now you are like a half-grown slurk, still stumbling on new legs, gasping for breath in the strange world beyond the water's edge. But if you grow straight and strong, you may leap very far indeed.

Despair is a tool of the enemy. Do not fall to it. As long as you walk the path of righteousness, the gift of hope shall always be yours. Never abandon it.

Be true.

There is a sound like a vast beautiful chord of music. The Wardstone seems to resonate and sing with it. (With the faintest hint of dissonance... around the crack, the evil green light dances and flickers.) It ascends on itself, harmonic upon harmonic, until your eyes sting and your heart swells with the crystalline perfection and beauty of it.

It is still ringing in your ears as you awake.

No hit. The -4 on nonlethal attacks isn't helping...

Spellcraft: Spiritual Weapon.

The doors are still open.

I started my PBP campaign by... well, you can find it over here. This may not be to everyone's taste, but the players who survived seem to be liking it.

Doug M.

It's a dream, so things are strange. You can only do so many things, if you do anything at all... Do you want to

Talk to the voice;
Look around for the source of the voice;
Go closer to the stone and examine it; or,
Do nothing, just bask in the stone's wonderful aura of Law and Good.

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Takka of the Toad

Takka sleep on a bed of straw on the floor. (For kobolds, this is luxury.) Tonight his sleep is restless; grief still gnaws at him, and he misses the comforting presence of Sleek. Still, eventually deeper sleep comes...

The Wardstone is a tall, slender pyramid, very slightly curved like a great claw or hook. It is taller than a man, twice the height of a kobold. It is made of some unknown marble-like stone, tremendously hard and durable. Three metal bands encircle it. Runes of power are incised into them.

The mere presence of the Wardstone is immensely comforting. You can feel the arcane energies around it, immensely powerful yet held in perfect tension. Pure law and pure benevolence suffuse the air. It is like being in the presence of a stern but loving parent. The wardstone is the kindly teacher who will help you earn your grade, the dutiful priest, the honest cop on the beat. It is order and light. Against the festering horrors of the Worldwound, it holds the blade of Law. You could stand here and soak in its wonderful presence for hours, and you are sure you'd be better for it.

But all is not perfect here. You notice a small crack near the base of the Wardstone. That by itself is alarming. But the crack seems... active. It seems to crawl a little in your vision, and there is a faint green glow or flicker that seems to come and go. Seeing this fills you with a deep unease. The Stone should not be cracked, and there's something very bad and wrong about that green light.

The demons attacked it, let by their Storm King, says a great calm voice. They failed. The Wardstone was damaged, but the damage has been contained. Repairs are under way. Soon it will be intact again.

Relief floods through you. It will be all right!

Balek Nine-fingered wrote:
Balek joins his fellows as the Guard breaks up the situation, but he makes sure to give a kind word and a coin to Molly first.

Duly noted. 1d100 ⇒ 38

Osei Otieno wrote:
DMDM: How many days to the Armasse celebration?

It's the day after tomorrow.

Whoops. Well, he's striking for nonlethal damage anyways...

1d20 ⇒ 5

Okay, you parry the glowing blade with your quarterstaff. Now: try to talk him down, counterattack, or get the hell out?

Haruka Shiraboshi wrote:

Haruka draws her Quaterstaff and takes a defensive stace, putting empahsis on its defensive nature.

"I will defend myself and my friend should you attack or try to imprison us. Staying here as we are right now, till the head priest or someone to fetch him arrives, would be acceptable."

How is that different from being imprisoned...? But okay. You don't want me to roll low, here.

Will the jumpy priest do something foolish? 1d100 ⇒ 9
Will Laurine? 1d100 ⇒ 77

1d100 ⇒ 40

The priest gestures, and a glowing golden scimitar appears in the air before you. "I cannot allow you to leave! This woman clearly needs to be exorcised, and you may have been infected as well. Stay!"

Sarenrae is actually a perfectly nice deity -- you just got a priest who's unusually jumpy. Possibly the poor fellow has been fighting demons and is suffering from PTSD. On the other hand, it's also possible that he's just a complete jerkbutt.

Welp, looks like Osei's course of studies will be interrupted for a while -- at a minimum, until Master Quednys cools down. Which might take some time; he's not used to wet-nosed apprentices asking him to explain himself. Meanwhile, you'll have to retreat as best you can, ears burning (and eyebrows possibly literally smoldering, if Quednys really gets going).

In other news,

Osei only:

The Marquis will be *delighted* to meet with you! He will be escorting his daughter to the Armasse celebration. Come, walk with him, and perhaps we can have a nice cup of tea.

Osei Otieno wrote:

"I mean no disrespect, Master Quednys, but I am curious: You do not speak with the Marquis? Why impose that artificial limitation on our efforts at such a threshold, instead of another?"

He pretty much already explained himself. You need to make a DC 15 Diplomacy check now, or he's going to quite lose his temper.

Crazy Molly toddles off in yet a third. "SEE YA LATER LIZARD LAD!!"

1d100 ⇒ 74

"All right, break it up!" The Watch has arrived.

The crowd is encouraged to move along in one direction, and the three adventurers in another.

The bad things about nonlethal damage are (1) it doesn't stack with real damage, and (2) there are a bunch of things that are immune to it. The good thing about nonlethal damage is that it renders foes unconscious instead of killing them. Which means you can still kill them at your leisure, but you also get a bunch of options -- capture, interrogation, ransom, you name it.

Since lethal and nonlethal damage don't stack, the key to success is that *everyone* should be dealing nonlethal damage. So: is it possible to build a party around this concept? Obviously this would be a pretty suboptimal build for a PC party in most campaigns, but it could be interesting in some situations. And a nonlethal-optimized group of NPCs could be excellent recurring opponents: they don't kill the PCs, they just knock them out, take their stuff, and bring them in to face the Duke's justice...

Rogue types: the sap adept, sap master, and knockout artist feats are the way to go here. As noted recently, with these feats it's not too hard to build a character that can do ~40 points of nonlethal with a single SA at 4th level.

Melee types: at low levels, the bludgeoner or stage combatant feats and/or the blade of mercy trait. At higher levels, a merciful magical weapon. Either way, the enforcer feat (free intimidate check when you deal nonlethal) is a must.

Casters: it's a fairly short list of useful spells... touch of mercy, admonishing ray (a must-have), pain strike, and that's about it. You want the Merciful Spell feat, or a metamagic rod (protip: these are surprisingly cheap.) Otherwise, casters in this party are more about enchantment, control, and buffing.


Doug M.

Haruka Shiraboshi wrote:

Haruka doesn't think that he is lying, but her main concern right now is Laurines wellbeing (around the worldwound paranoia is a survival skill)

The priest doesn't seem evil so much as undertrained and/or distracted.

11 on Diplomacy? Laurine is pausing, obviously about to fly. The priest is raising his hands to cast some sort of spell...

Laughter and hooting.

Monsters and the crazy lady!

Yeah, eating that stuff'll put a shine on your scales, all right!

Who needs demons when you've got stale garbage rolls?

The crowd is laughing, but there's a nervous, angry undertone to it. Kenabres is a lawful town, but OTOH living by the Worldwound can make people edgy and quick to lash out.

IMS, the tongue graft grants +8 to Perception. That's pretty nice.

Also, this seems like the sort of thing that I as a DM would roleplay the hell out of. You get a demonic graft, on hand I'd be liberal in the good stuff you get from it -- not just a claw attack, but +2 to grapple checks! And +2 to intimidate evil creatures! And, I don't know, maybe now you understand Abyssal!

But on the other hand you also get weird bestial impulses, strange dreams, voices whispering in your ears, or even the graft suddenly acting on its own sometimes a la Doctor Strangelove's arm. (If you never saw the movie, his arm was usually paralyzed, but would sometimes rise up and try to strangle him.) Will saves galore!

No, those things aren't RAW. You have a piece of a demon grafted on to you, man. RAW is just a starting point now.

Doug M.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Also add in Knockout Artist to add another 1 damage for every die rolled. And then take bleeding attack to add a point of bleed damage for every die rolled.

Knockout Artist seems like the feeble cousin of Sap Adept -- +1 damage / die instead of +2. I guess if you're going to specialize in nonlethal damage it's decent enough; at 4th level you could be doing 7d6+18+Str nonlethal. That would average over 40 points / hit, enough to take down most foes you'd encounter at 4th level.

An interesting question is whether Bleeding Attack would combine with a nonlethal SA. Would it be, like, internal bleeding from the bruising? And would the bleed damage be nonlethal or lethal? Is there a ruling on this?

Doug M.

Chess Pwn wrote:

Well if you're already going levels of rogue you can go scout, At lv4 if you charge they are flat footed. Combo with pummeling charge style and you're good.

Charge + Scout and Knife Master archetypes. IIUC, that second level of Brawler will let you charge and flurry with both bare hands and knives? So at 5th level you could charge and flurry for either 2X 7d6+12+Str nonlethal, or 2X d4+3d8+Str lethal. Not amazing, but not too bad either.

Doug M.

Look, it's eating Crazy Molly's garbage!

Yeah, they're scavengers... they'll eat anything...

(Actually, it's a reasonably okay day-old slightly squashed sticky bun.)

Thinking about it:

1 Snake Striker Brawler, Sap Adept -> 2d6+2+Str nonlethal on an unarmed SA

2 Rogue-> 3d6+4+Str nonlethal on an unarmed SA

3 Rogue

4 Rogue, Sap Master -> 7d6+12+Str nonlethal on SAs against a flatfooted opponent

5 Brawler -> flurry for two attacks 7d6+12+Str nonlethal each


Doug M.

Falcar wrote:
Sap adept and sap master will double the dice rolled and add an extra point of damage per die. But you must deal Non lethal so that's a down side for most situation.

Hey, *enough* nonlethal will get the job done... Here's a problem, though: while sap adept gives you +1/die on all SAs, sap master only gives you the double dice on attacks where the enemy is caught flat footed (i.e., not on flanking attacks).

Also, point of clarification: both these feats work with any bludgeoning attack. If we've dipped Brawler, then unarmed attacks count as bludgeoning -- right?

Doug M.


A moderately squashed, unquestionably sticky bun with a few withered raisins is held up in triumph. (A snicker runs through the assembled crowd.)

"THERE THAT'LL PUT A SHINE ON YER SCALES!" Crazy Molly watches you expectantly.

Osei Otieno wrote:

"I agree the spell might have ruinous consequence if miscast. It seems diabolical in nature - what about speaking with the Marquis?"

<Bardic Performance>Probe, probe, probe Quednys' prejudices!

Quednys frowns. "I would advise most strongly against any professional conversation with any fiend-worshipper! And that goes double for the Marquis! Whatever his arcane skills, he is a devil-summoner and a willing tool of Hell!"

He leans over the desk, a vein throbbing in his bald forehead. "His loathsome masters attempt to pervert the Crusade with donations of their tainted gold and 'companies' of 'volunteers', but the truth is they are every bit as vile as the demons! Do not be deceived! We would be better off if every Chelaxian were driven out of Kenabres at sword's point! To fall to the festering chaos of the Abyss or the iron slavery of the Nine Hells -- there is no difference!

"Evil is evil! Take heed!"

Dip one level of Snakebite Striker Brawler = 1 SA die, +1 BAB
Five levels of Rogue = 3 SA dice, +3 BAB
Dip one level of assassin = 1 SA die
Dip one level of Red Mantis = 1 SA die

You now have an 8th level character that hits for six dice of SA damage. Of course, you've somewhat ganked your BAB (it's a rather miserable +4) but you do have a pretty respectable suite of abilities and should be generally a playable character. Mind, if you're strictly going for SA *damage* instead of SA dice, you might want to avoid the Red Mantis so that you can go Knife Master archetype instead. That would give you 5 eight-sided dice of SA at 7th level; at 8th level you'd have the same five dice, but +5 BAB.

So, three related questions. (1) What's the maximum number of SA dice you could pile on by 20th level? (2) What's the maximum amount of SA *damage* you could plausibly do, assuming Knife Master and appropriate rogue talents? (3) Assume you want to build a SA-damage based character who is still reasonably playable. What would be a high SA damage build that wouldn't suck?

Doug M.


Takka of the Toad wrote:

Stepping forward, he looked about, trying address as many who would listen as possible. "Please... I ask your aid. I will leave Kenabres in a week, if not sooner. But before doing so... I simply wish to speak to the silver dragon, Terendelev. If I am truly the monster you think I am, she will see through any ruse of mine and crush me with one claw. I know she protects this city... please... I just want to speak with her once..."

As I can't make a Kn. Local check on my own, I shall resort to diplomacy to hopefully get the info.



"Nobody sees the Great Silver Lady except the highest and holiest lords and commanders!"

"Like she'd talk to a little... creature like you!"


A gathering crowd watches with amusement.

Crazy Molly is a plump human female who haunts Kenabres' central square, usually selling stale buns and baked goods. (A local bakery lets her have day-old stuff as charity, and people buy them either to give her a copper, because they're really hungry, or to make her go away.)

Some say she was once a Crusader who lost her mind in an encounter with demons. Others say that's just made-up dramatics; she's just a crazy old lady. (Certainly Kenabres, outpost on the edge of the Worldwound, is a somewhat stressful place. If you were a little unstable to begin with...) In any event, she's taken an interest in Takka before, following him around, calling him "lizard lad" and "mini-Crusader man" while babbling about anything and everything.

Crazy Molly yells a lot. It's not clear if this is because she's deaf, or because she just likes yelling.

Takka of the Toad

As Takka stands in the square, a familar voice accosts him.


It's Crazy Molly.

Balek Nine-fingered wrote:
"You made the same choice they did," he tells her. "To go in to rescue others. Do you not still think the demons are worth fighting, and the ones you risked your life to save, worth preserving for the fight?" He pauses to consider her reactions. "How can one appeal from a tribunal?"

"I have no interest in appealing," says Nurrah quietly. "As for fighting... I lost everything I was fighting for. I'm done with this mad Crusade. Only one thing remains for me here." She gives you a long, appraising look. It isn't hostile, but the message is clear: Don't get in my way.

She turns and walks away.

Osei Otieno wrote:
Osei pens Infernal Healing into his spellbook - [dice=Spellcraft]1d20+7 against DC 16.

Done! Do note the material component, though. Not something you're going to easily find around here...

Osei will offer a light overview of his thought process and ask if Master Quednys thinks it's a valid piece of arcana, leaving a small but key piece of information out of the spell matrix that Quednys will obviously see. He will withhold further discussion (and not mention spoiler issue) until he gets a read on his instructor's reaction.

Quednys notes the omission and corrects it at length. "...summing up columns A and W, we see that the most likely outcome is that the spell will have no effect. The second most likely is that you will give yourself a raging fever combined with a magical aura of malevolence, without in any way healing your injuries."

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

The Temple of Sarenrae is of course open at all hours. It's fairly small -- Sarenrae is well regarded, but Iomedae and Abadar have many more worshippers here. But is there anyone here who can help you...?

1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

1d20 ⇒ 2

There's a senior cleric in residence, but...

"It appears the woman has been infected by some sort of demonic influence! She must be quarantined and placed under observation until a proper exorcism can be performed. You, too may have been infected. Stay here!"

You don't need a Sense Motive to tell that Laurine is ready to bolt out the door. What do you do?

And meanwhile...

As you go out, the crowd murmurs.

Another orc... just like that big gal. Yeah, they say he...

...lizard man. I heard of them. They sneak around and cut throats at night. No idea what they were thinking when they...

...just what you'd expect...

...can't trust...



"Corporal Nurrah, this tribunal finds you guilty of assaulting a fellow Crusader. Our judgment is that -- "

"I resign from the Crusade."

Takka of the Toad wrote:
...wait. Terendelev! Of course! He had 7 days to remain in Kenabres. He had time. If knighthood would not find him, he would go to it! "Sir Constantine! Master Balek! Please, I have to know something! Where can I find her Scalyship, the silver dragon Terendelev? I... I have to speak with her! Somehow, I must!"

Knowledge [local] check.

Osei Otieno wrote:
He turns back into the austere, cold study. "Would there be any way to obtain quarters here, or nearby the library? I feel that traveling from the Temple would just distract me from my focus and waste valuable time. And I'm not exactly the most popular there ... " Osei rolls up a sleeve to show a sample of the runic tattoos covering his body.

"Heh. Indeed, we have quarters for exactly this purpose. Simple, but they should suffice." Whether getting this sort of special treatment will make you even less popular... well, I doubt Osei cares at this point.


First lessons:

[dice=Intelligence Check]1d20+3 Booyah.


1) After several days, you've pieced together the essential elements of a new spell! Select a first or second level spell with the evil descriptor, and add it to your spellbook.


Osei only:
You believe you've found a true name -- not of a demon, but of a devil. Some horrible creature called a barbed devil. The name was hidden cleverly, in an anagram unlocked by a literary reference, but you think you've managed to figure it out.

Of course, you'd need Lesser Planar Binding (a 5th level spell) to actually make use of this. Assuming you'd ever do such a thing, that is. Or is there some other way to use it? Or, on the other hand, you've heard that sometimes clever outsiders may plant false "true names" as traps... If only you could talk to someone knowledgeable about devils and devil-summoning!

Do you want to discuss your discoveries with Master Quednys?

In practice, there are two ways to stay in Kenabres. One is to join the Mendevian Army. (Remember, the Crusaders are guests in the nation of Mendev, which happens to border the Worldwound.) However, the Mendevians are unlikely to take a half-orc and would certainly not accept a kobold.

The other would be to join a mercenary company -- Mendev employs several of these, with financial support from countries who prefer to send gold rather than men to fight the demons. The good news is, these guys aren't very discriminating; they'd probably accept you! The bad news is... um, these guys aren't very discriminating. Mercenaries who are willing to sign up to fight demons tend to be a bit, shall we say, rough and tumble.

Finally, note that if you're planning an appeal, a thunderous denunciation of the tribunal might not be the way to go. Just sayin'.

"Sir Constantine Godalming and Takka, self-styled of the Toad! It is the judgment of this tribunal that you are guilty of willfully disobeying the orders of your lawful superior; and that, in doing so, you endangered the lives of your comrades.

"You are hereby discharged from the Crusade. You may appeal this discharge to the Commandant; otherwise, you must depart the city of Kenabres within seven days."

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Master Quednys smiles. "Ah, the zeal of youth. Very well! I believe I can assemble a schedule of studies that you may find interesting..."

A word on the Library. It's as much a museum or private collection as a library, with a lot of demon skulls and awful things floating in jars. The severed wing of a vrock demon is nailed over the door (there's a story), so wizards and scholars who spend much time at the Library get the nickname "Blackwings".

Haruka Shiraboshi wrote:

if the temple is reasonably close

"good, next we should go to a temple of Sarenrae, they will be able to help you " says the miko still speaking in a clamming tone.

Your earlier nat 20 on Diplomacy is still in effect, so she'll come with you. The two of you walk through the streets of Kenabres, Laurine holding on to your arm. (Okay, clutching your arm.)

It's a foggy night in autumn, but the streets are kept clean and are well lit -- Kenabres is unusual in that it has streets lit by Continual Flame spells. (In theory, any city with a few advanced spellcasters around could manage this. In practice, few do. But Kenabres has an unsually high number of wizard and clerics in the population, and is run with military efficiency.)

The Temple of Sarenrae is of course open at all hours. It's fairly small -- Sarenrae is well regarded, but Iomedae and Abadar have many more worshippers here. But is there anyone here who can help you...?

When I roll percentile dice to see if something happens, the rule is 'if there is an X percent chance of something happening, then it happens on a 1 through X'. So, if I'm rolling a miss chance for concealment, it's a miss on a 1-20. Anyway, rolling now to see if there's a cleric present who can help; you'd want me to roll low. 1d100 ⇒ 32

Balek Nine-fingered wrote:
Am I able to get in to the hearing?

You can be present; your testimony has not been called for.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Master Quednys smiles. "Ah, the zeal of youth. Very well! I believe I can assemble a schedule of studies that you may find interesting..."

You're going to have an interesting time of it, because even with Master Quednys' patronage you'll only be allowed to check books out for 24 hours. So you have to read and take notes fast, on top of all your other duties.

That said, for his first set of assignments you get to roll an Int check. (A 15 will give you something, and a 20 would give you something more.)

Saturday was an all-night flight, home Sunday morning.

Sunday was "Daddy's home!"

Monday was the first normal-ish day, but still suffering from that all-nighter, plus continued "Daddy's home!"

Today was a work day (there's a 100+ page report to be finalized and edited), plus had to unload and stack a cord of wood, because we live in the countryside here in Germany.

TLDR: the last couple of weeks have been busy and distracting, and have jolted me out of my DMing groove. And, fair cop, I've been giving the new kids more of my limited time and attention.

More soon!

Osei Otieno wrote:
"Master Quednys - I wish to know all."

Master Quednys smiles. "Ah, the zeal of youth. Very well! I believe I can assemble a schedule of studies that you may find interesting..."


I'm boarding the red-eye Lufthansa flight from Beirut to Frankfurt. You're not forgotten!

Complete tangent: Zombieland, while by no means a great movie, is a perfectly good one, and is recommended.

I note that certain alignments are overrepresented, especially LE and CE. There's not much for LG, NG or CN. This may be random, mind -- this list is dominated by CR 4 and 5 creatures.

Doug M.

However did we forget the orsheval?

Orsheval [CR 4, SR 15, Will +5, Cha 10] -- It's an intelligent, glowing, Lawful Neutral metal horse. You call up one of these guys if you're Lawful Anything, and if you (or your cohort, or another party member) feel like riding around on a metal horse that glows, talks, and can dimension door once per day. The LPB list doesn't actually have a lot of mounts: this guy and the nightmare are pretty much it, and the orsheval is a lot more tractable than the nightmare. In Golarion they're servants of Abadar, so make sure you're not using it for banditry or anything else that would tend to tear down civilization.

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