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Douglas Muir 406's page

9,276 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Takka of the Toad wrote:

Sergeant Kir looked terrible. Takka could tell, though why exactly wasn't obvious to him. "Sergeant...? Ah, Sergeant, please, I need help. I know you must be busy, but... I... I think something terrible is about to happen to the Wardstone... or, it may already have happened!"

Takka explains his dream to Kir and pauses every so often to make sure this is registering with him.

After a minute or so, it's pretty clear that it's not. Kir is...

reaction roll: 1d20 ⇒ 11

...not hostile, but he's not really engaging with what you're saying. "I... am sorry for your troubles, kobold. But I have troubles of my own. I need..." he pauses and seems to think for a moment, "...I need... a drink. Of something... really strong. Several of them. I need to be completely..." He shakes his head. "Anyway. Don't listen to dreams, kobold, and for all gods' sake don't try to follow them. That way, madness lies."

He turns and walks away.

Do you

-- run after him and try to continue the conversation?
-- shake your head, let him go, and continue on to Irabeth's? or,
-- throw up your hands, go hom and go back to bed?

Create Pit + Hydraulic Shove (or a bull's rush maneuver, or anything else that pushes)

Doug M.

Okay, moving towards the end of this part. Still to resolve: Haruka and Laurine at the temple, Takka's conversation with Kir and/or Irabeth, and anything Balek wants to do or say with the other Sarkorans (optional). Rather than playing these out in great detail, you may provide a general description of what you want to do. ("My main goal is to keep Laurine safe," "I just want to talk to somebody," or whatever.)

Kir is in bad shape. Really, really bad shape. He's lost weight, there are dark hollows under his eyes, and he walks like a man who's just been kicked in the gut. Takka isn't normally the most sensitive of souls, (1) but misery and despair are fairly radiating off of the Sergeant.

He turns slowly and stares down at the kobold. He looks completely distracted and a little confused. "Private... Takka? What...?"

(1)No Sense Motive and a 10 Wisdom: I would model that as Takka is a decent sort who means well, but he doesn't have a lot of natural empathy. Maybe he's a little self-centered, or maybe it's because he's a reptile. (2)

(2) Okay, probably kobolds aren't reptiles but some sort of hot-blooded archosaur, like dinosaurs.

Takka of the Toad wrote:
"...Sergeant Kir! Please! Wait! I need your help! Please, you must hear me out!" Takka called out, hoping to draw his attention. No, he might not believe him. He may not even want to look at Takka. But the kobold had to tell someone about this. He had to let people know his fears...

1d20 ⇒ 20

Huh! That was an untrained Sense Motive check. Well...

Thinking about Erastil, it occurs to me that his clerics probably follow a fairly simple, practical set of rules. (See also.)

The discussion is of Armasse events. Some are violent, like the jousts and games, and injuries are not unknown. So it's wise to prepare spells of healing and prevention. Also, while prejudice against ethnic Sarkorans has died down considerably in the last decade, one should keep an eye out; folk will be drinking, and the young and foolish may be... young and foolish. So walk around, pay attention, and keep your wits about you; have a beer now for the day's work if you like, but otherwise leave it at that until the festival tents are struck.

Father Cadwale is the senior Leftover. Lame and blind in one eye, he is still a competent and practical leader. When the discussion is done, he'll do a short divination and then bless you all and turn you loose.

Balek Nine Fingers

Armasse Morning.

The Sarkorians in Kenabres tend not to identify themselves as such. In the early days of the Second Crusade, a group of demons got inside the city's defenses by disgusing themselves as Sarkorian refugees. They nearly brought Kenabres down, and killed many in the attempt. The result was a reaction against ethnic Sarkorians, which reached horrible extremes during the Third Crusade. Those who remained in the city afterwards have mostly kept their heads down and have tried to blend.

Similarly, the organized Sarkorian clergy of Erastil... aren't, very. For a lawful deity, Erastil is relatively uninterested in hierarchy and formality. "Know your place, do your duty, and follow tradition" pretty much covers it. That goes double for the Sarkorians, who don't even have a formal temple as such.

That said, there are small gatherings of the clergy on important days. The group in Sarkoris has the self-deprecating nickname "The Leftovers", because most of the more senior priests moved on deeper into Mendev. The Leftovers -- just half a dozen or so -- gather at a wooden table in the courtyard of a house that's owned by one of the faithful. There are no complex rituals; prayer beneath the open sky followed by a simple meal suffices.

Seriously, wow. That's some effort on your part!


Takka of the Toad wrote:
Takka growled, pulling himself to his feet once more and hobbling as quickly as he could move. "Lady Irabeth... I have to find Lady Irabeth..!"

1d100 ⇒ 25

For the Commander of the Eagle Watch, Irabeth lives in very plain and simple lodgings: a small townhouse in the Gate District. It's past midnight now, so the streets are mostly empty. Mostly: not entirely. As Takka trots anxiously down the street, he passes someone coming the other way. It's Sergeant Kir.

Kir looks very distracted. If you don't call out to him, he'll probably walk right past you.

Armasse is one of the biggest celebrations of the year, and it's about as close to a Mardi Gras as a fairly strait-laced Lawful Good town under military rule can get. Originally, it was a ceremony at which knights chose squires, and squires were promoted to be knights. But it's grown, and now it's basically a big city-wide party that includes jousting competitions, mock duels, battle reenactments, you name it. It's a welcome distraction from the daily grind -- tedium punctuated by horror -- of being on the front line of the war.

While Armasse is city-wide, the most exciting and interesting stuff will be happening at Clydwell Square, in the city center in front of the great cathedral. (Osei, that's where you will be.)

Takka of the Toad wrote:
Hobbling out to the front of the wood shed, Takka paused. Who would listen to him? How could he persuade anyone to listen to him? It seemed insurmountable to him... but he had to try. Perhaps... someone he knew would give him a chance...?...

Nurrah is not there. It was the little apartment she shared with Benno, so... she's cleared out her stuff and moved on.

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.

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