Chapter One: Thorn Within
"So point your fingers, Point right at me;
Noon rings twelve strikes on the great bell of the Grangoban, towering tall over the city of Suir - tradepost, military city, metropolis, and last leg of the first line of defense of northern Galadae against potential aggression and assault from the lands of Anhur. Despite the hint of impending threat, there is no brooding melancholy nor fearful hush over this city. High noon is a bustling, busy, noisy time of day as in any major metropolis, a vast swarm of activity milling about its many streets, market-goers and soldiers and travelers and simple passersby coming and going, living and loving, dreaming and doing. Were it not for the occasional sight of passing troops marking in formation as they move from base to base or go about their daily drills, it'd be easy to forget that the threat of war was only a few hours away, should someone choose to make the first move.
All is not peaceful, though, and that's where you've come in. Whatever your reason, you've found yourself in Suir, looking for work. The flyer from the military caught your eye: a simple bounty hunt, kidnapping, or search and rescue, it seems. Without enough information to discern which and no description of the missing, you've been forced to attend the scheduled meeting to glean more information. Noonturn, on the nineteenth of Ianuwary, at one of the military installations sprinkled across the city, Station Dair.
Dair is little different from any other Galad urban outpost: A large ring of buildings, some inventory, some barracks, some various training quarters, around a wide field used for drills, skirmishes, and the like, with a sturdy wall of stone and iron around its borders to prevent accidental or intentional civilian presence, patrolled by armed troops in groups of three to keep an eye out for too-curious flying passersby. For those familiar with the local timeline, Dair was constructed twenty-four years prior, after military forces being moved north to reinforce the border began to swell over the resources of the prior three stations. A fifth was built some nine years later, but none since, and the flow of volunteers and conscripts alike has slowed to where no excess appears needed.
The only entrance by ground to Station Dair is a single gate on the north side of the west wall. It is to here that your directions sent you, and a mention or a copy of the request flyer is enough for the attendants there to allow you entrance... albeit escorted by a soldier called, requiring a wait of a few minutes. Led in, you passed several barracks and training chambers before being escorted into a meeting and consultation area with a moderate-sized waiting room. Several simple chairs are arranged around a large wooden central table, where several pitchers of water and empty glasses have been left waiting for you.
You are left here in the company of other adventurers, bounty hunters, or would-be do-gooders, likely here for the same reason you are, with only a word of, "The Captain will be with you all shortly" from your escorts. Any attempts to leave the room are met by two armed soldiers stationed just outside, who ask you politely but forcefully to return to the waiting room until the Captain arrives.
"And now the dreams and waking screams that ever last the night;
Link to the player info document, for easy reference. Apologies again that it's so big, I tried to narrow it down as much as I could without losing too much necessary information. Be sure to read the racial sections - some of the core races (mainly elves and dwarves, sorry Tordek/BT!) have had their core flavor changed for the setting.
Campaign Starting Information:
The sun is a legend, its light long forgotten. The moon a myth, empty and vain. The cycles and patterns they established, more habit or tradition than fact. Years, months, days are as they are only because they always have been.
The year, such as it is, is 887 SA. Which stands for “Surface Abandoned”. 887 years - or so the sages have reckoned - since the Above was devastated by the Catastrophe, driving the survivors deep below ground. None - even the long-lived elves, ael, dwarves, or arachnes - still live that remember that world firsthand, but the earliest years of exile below were filled with the records of the escapees. They tell stories of devastation and loss, cities reduced to ash in seconds, magic setting the sky aflame, summer turning to winter in an instant, people turning to stone or smoke or water on the spot, or - worse - warping into insane, hungry monstrosities and devouring their friends, family, and countrymen without hesitation.
This is where you were born, grew up, lived, learned, and worked all your life, never having once seen the surface in anything more than books and paintings. Such dangers are lost to you except as part of history - now, you simply have to deal with warring neighbors, natural dangers, the occasional earthquake, rampant lycanthropy, lurking unchecked vampirism, and the hidden dangers of the dark imprisoned within the stone.
You're an adventurer, tradesperson, wanderer, or whatever you choose to call yourself, currently located in Galadae. You've had some historical success, a few minor adventures of your own or with friends and allies you've since parted ways with, and gotten some practice under your belt (hence your characters beginning at Level 2). You are in Suir, a city in northern Galadae. You're looking for work or money, bored and looking for adventure or entertainment, or perhaps feel it your civic duty to assist the powers that be when a notice for help catches your eye at a local inn, tavern, bulletin board, or waystation:
Wanted: Adventurers, Bounty-Hunters, and/or Trackers to locate and return missing person. Meet Captain Milton at Station Dair on 19 Ianuwary 887 at Noonturn for details. Payment offered.
Thanks to the Grangoban, the massive clocktower erected in the center of Suir, knowing the current time is far from difficult, and any native of the city can point you in the direction of the various troop stations on request, so finding your way to your destination is simple. Station Dair is a secondary facility for Galad soldiers - a training hall, medical facility, and fallback point should ground be lost against the Anhuri in the conflicts along the northern border. Thankfully it has been years since the Sand Empire gained ground so swiftly, so you do not fear having to worry about a sudden influx of wounded or retreating soldiers during your meeting.
Further information about the city, the region, the ongoing Galad-Anhuri conflict, or other world details can be ascertained with appropriate knowledge checks, gather information, and such like.
Our story begins with your arrival at Station Dair. An aide ushers you into a large, spacious waiting room with several chairs and couches as you arrive, informs you that Captain Milton will be arriving shortly, thanks you for your patience, and returns to his post.
"Have come ye now to seek the wise
'Tis boots much smaller than thy own
A most intriguing tale, is it not? And merely the beginning thereof, penned centuries before even I set foot upon this lowly earth. One might declare such things prophecy; in my time however it has become foolish to place too much stock in the ideals of such preliminary declarations. Everyone knows the tales of kings and tyrants undone by prophecy, when had the word of divination been discarded and ignored all would have passed without incident or notice. No, most prophecy is merely a skillful maneuvering of the mind into predictable, expected patterns and a series of desired reactions... or a hidden message that all things have been put in place, arranged in advance, to give the impression to the unlearned, unaware, or unobservant that mystical precognitive power rests within the hands of the declarer. Such is the case in this tale.
But I get ahead of myself.
Some of you may know who I am, by reputation or rumor if nothing more. Many of you do not. Allow me to explain for the uninitiated and clarify for the marginally aware. I am The Informant. A sage, much like Vafthruthnir of old, keeper of knowledge, learner of legends and lore, giver and seeker of information.
What's that, you say? My name? Such information is highly prized, my guest, and all things come with a price. No, spare your coin; I only accept payment in such triflings for information of equal value and availability. Gold, for all its assigned worth, is plentiful enough that it passes through the hands of all of us from time to time, some more than others. Information, knowledge, truth, however... these have true value. Rarity, indeed, shared only sparsely and available to few, and as a merchant of the highest caliber I will accept only something of equal worth for that which I wish to distribute. Sometimes a favor, sometimes a task, sometimes a secret of equivalent value. My price? Nay, not the method by which I work. Rather, name your own price, curious one, and I shall determine if it be significant.
But we may attend to such business at a later time. For now, we are distracted from my true purpose here. My title you have, and it shall have to suffice for now.
The strange events of the past year have demanded answers from across the lands and over the seas, as far as the Isles of Senkaku and yes even the distant shores of Wachara and Teremvor. And the blame lies at our dear kingdom's feet, and dare we blame them? For the lands to the north have no king, answer to no lord, and did the storms of vengeance not sweep through our forests and our plains, ravaging the land and scarring the sky? But no, the blame is not ours to bear. Thus have I been summoned before the queen and court, to provide our questioners with the answers they so seek.
For knowledge is my business, and it is business I do well.
Still yourselves. The tale is long, and there is much to tell. We shall return to the mysteries of Vafthruthnir in time. His name shall mean much, you shall soon see, but more important are names with which a sparing few of you will be familiar, and the rest no more so than that of a long-ancient giant sage. This is a tale far more recent, for it begins no more than a trifling few years ago, at the closing of the year, in a village of our very own - a tiny hamlet upon the border of our lands, neighbor to Sentara of the Elves, a little place called Somerset.
It is here that we begin the tale of Fimbulwinter, the Storm of Storms.
To avoid taking over Magical Beast's thread, I'll just move this discussion over here. Sorry for the derail MB!
So as stated in the prior topic, my players have voted four-to-one to scrap mass combat entirely. Which, I don't blame them. Any mass combat system complex enough to be interesting will likely be a pain in the neck for us to learn, and the extremely simplistic one packaged with Kingmaker/Book of the River Kings doesn't have the detail and complexity wanted by the one player who wants mass combat and is sluggish and boring for the rest of the group.
What they'd rather have is a system in which they get to be the superheroes that Pathfinder PCs level 5+ are supposed to be - shock troops and one-wo/men armies who can stand their ground against entire hordes of lesser opponents. And, for situations over even their head, the option and opportunity to find, mentor, and train NPCs with similar superior potential to fight alongside them in the "small army" of their kingdom.
Well, it certainly supports the Royals Who Actually Do Something trope. =)
While this saves me having to learn a new mechanical system, it also requires me to replace the mass combat sections of the story with massive fields of mook soldiers, preferably with a handful of superior general "boss fights" for the party to actually have difficulty with after mowing through or fireballing down the mass of enemy forces. From what I remember, the places where Mass Combat is a big thing are in Chapter 4 (where there's some barbarian gangs, if I recall?) and Chapter 5 (versus Pitax).
For the Barbarians, I'm heavily considering just using the 3.5 Mob Template to create massive enemy swarms for the party to fight. For Pitax though, they're more likely to have regimented soldiers who will hold the lines and fight in a more traditional warfare manner. By this point, also, Irovetti (or in my game, Havelock) would be well aware of the party's shock trooper techniques and have prepared ways to face off against it, either trying to overwhelm them with sheer numbers or to face them with equally-few but superior forces of his own.
Thoughts? And any scenes I missed?
By suggestion of this thread, here is where I shall be displaying some of my ideas for magically-potent versions of ancient animals.
Amorphous Elasmosaurs are seafaring predators who evolved from lesser common plesiosaurs due to frequent exposure to elemental energies, often due to their hunting grounds or lairs being near a rift to the Elemental Plane of Water. They have developed the ability to dissolve their bodies into liquid form, mimicking the elementals from which their power is inherited, and hunt stealthily through the water near-invisible and unheard as they pursue prey, then reverting back to their natural form to attack - these Elasmosaurs almost universally prefer the taste of live prey, and always fight in their natural form unless on the hunt or forced to take elemental shape.
In areas with a high population of Amorphous Elasmosaurs, especially if there are large levels of competition among packs or within a pack to establish an alpha, it is extremely common to see Amorphous Elasmosaurs with a second neck and head replacing their tail, due to two of the creatures accidentally or deliberately retaking physical form while in the same location and merging. These Elasmosaurs have the Amphisbaena template in addition to the extra abilities of the statblock above.
Hello SS folks =)
After nearly four years of hiatus, I've decided I want to run Savage Tide again. However, save two of my players I have a completely new group these days, and the chances of gathering up the remains of my old one - even after the coming year or so it will take to finish the Kingmaker game I'm in the middle of - are slim to none, so I've decided with the approval of the two players who remain to restart STAP from the beginning.
Unfortunately, my last group was halfway through The Lightless Depths - at level 10, and halfway through the plot - when the game I ran back in 2008 finally died out. So that's six chapters of STAP that, while some things might be different, would still be pretty repetitive to the two returning players. To keep it interesting for the people who have run through this bit before, I decided I'd use another adventure to insert new plot threads, new dungeons, new NPCs allied and enemy alike, and possibly shore up some parts of the plot. As the title suggests, I obviously decided to go with Serpent's Skull. (Skulls and Shackles was actually my first choice, given the shared pirate theme, but one of my players has expressed repeated eagerness to run that one, so I decided I wouldn't steal it from him.)
So I'd like this thread to be collective advice for merging the two. Fleshing out weak encounters in both plots, fitting things together, interweaving the various details. There's a good bit of fortune in that there's already some bit of a decent-sized snake theme in STAP - a few Yuan-Ti are encountered in early chapters, building up toward Serpents of Scuttlecove - and it doesn't take much reflavoring to paint Demogorgon as a major patron of the snake people, now even superior to Ydersius since the latter's decline. It also allows me to move STAP's plot out of Greyhawk, where I ran it previously, and into my own homebrew setting, something I'm really enjoying converting over for my current Kingmaker game.
Here's the basic ideas I have so far for plotting things out:
1. Run There Is No Honor as normal. Maybe replace some of the Lotus Dragons with Yuan-Ti.
Any advice would be appreciated! I also posted this over in the STAP forum, so hoping to get input from both sets of players and GMs in the long meantime between now and when I actually begin running this again. Greatly looking forward to it, and would like to use all that time to make these two plots work together as well as possible. =)
Looks like the links for "last post in this thread" and the link that goes to each individual post (under the "x hours x minutes ago" or "date and time" text on the right of each post, next to Edit/Reply/Flag) have vanished some time within the past ~30 minutes. Gary, what button did you click now?? ;)
EDIT: And now they're back. Huh. Nevermind then?
Dual Path feat specifies that the character gets both of the first-level abilities of their respective paths, but makes no mention of the final 10th-tier ability. Does this mean they only get the ability from their base path? Or is it missing some text that should say they get both, choose one of the two, or something else?
I'm about to start a PbP in my homebrew setting, in which one of my players will be playing a Paladin of Hades (who in my world is LN, to stave off impending alignment questions). Said player is looking for a replacement idea for her Divine Bond mount besides a horse. Given her patron and the character's love of all things fuzzy, a Cerberus Pup was the obvious answer.
Since Divine Bond already says "as a Druid's animal companion of the Paladin's level", the easiest way to manage the base creature is to start with the stats of a Dog or Wolf companion (probably Wolf, since it starts at Medium and moves up to Large; I can't imagine a Cerberus Pup as anything smaller than Medium, personally) and add another two Bite attacks. Then as she levels, give it weakened versions of the actual Cerberus's special abilities (fear howl, petrifying gaze, poison breath) instead of the normal progression of the Paladin mount (Celestial template, SR) or some of the Druid companion abilities.
Note the Paladin will not actually be riding the Pup much, given her skirmishy, Spring Attack-based fighting style; it'll be more a companion, flanker, and fighting partner.
I'm not guessing you know much about my neck of the woods, so I suppose I'll fill you in. Westcrown's the name of my home, and it was once a pretty prosperous place. Best and biggest port on Olympia's east coast; I guess "crown of the west" came from us being west of Wachara, where most of our ship traffic comes from... what's left of it, anyway. We're tucked along the northeastern corner of Olympia, nestled with the plains to the south and southwest, the ocean to the east, the Titans to the north, and the Sentara Wood and its Elven hideaways to the northwest. Used to be a prime location for ocean travel and trade: ships bound west from Galadae, Olorunium, Iomrall, Naltaskar, heck even the Northlanders send the occasional longship and I've seen one of Anhur's black galleys in my life. Sure, not much trade from Senkaku, but they tend to sail through to Osprey Harbor on the other side of the continent rather than come 'round the Titans' southern island tail to reach us... or Port Haven.
Yeah, Port Haven. That's where everything went wrong for Westcrown. About 200 years ago, give or take, the now-near-legendary Heroes of Haven showed up. They weren't from Port Haven, originally, not a one of 'em. Two were Elves, one from Sentara - from a small town not too far from Westcrown, even, she was - and the other from somewhere in Denvushain, the desert kingdom to the Titans' west. The third was a Dwarf, a seafarer whose homeland was the ocean; only the aspects know where he was born. The other three were human, two from a small town a few days' ride southwest of us called Lake Miaabre, and the third from the royal city of Olympia itself. They were just a bunch of adventurers, really, nothing too special about them to start with; the eventual leader, a half-elf named Amelia Delaer, apparently had a little royal blood in her, and after the big war they were involved in she got crowned queen, since the Yuan-Ti killed off the king at the time as well as all his heirs, and this was apparently better in the eyes of the gods than letting the nobles squabble for the throne. She and her husband, one of the other Heroes named Ezekiel Morwen, are the grandparents of the currently-reigning queen. But that's not the point of this, really.
The Heroes did some pretty amazing stuff. After all, they were successful adventurers and they did participate in one of the biggest wars Olympia's ever seen, as well as a ton of connected and equally awe-inspiring events and battles. The rise of Ratach of Pale Keep, the hobgoblin warlord, and Halaganda Baneglaive, the orcish witch-queen? The Yuan-Ti incursion? The Ghost Ship? The ascension of Ssnethra, Exalted of Nidhoggar? The awakening of the Third Child of Perdition, Tarrasque? And that's just the quick summary version. So yeah, they did a lot. They certainly earned their reputation. Not begrudging them that. They did a lot of good.
By the way, you can thank Tlavyn for getting all those names right. Without his help, I'd never remember half of this historical stuff. I don't have a head for these kinds of details. Who's Tlavyn? Oh, he's the wizard who lives in this coin I have. Don't tell too many people about him though, he doesn't care for the publicity. Sometimes he borrows my brain. It's a bit uncomfortable - I kind of just float along behind him while he's in control of me - but more often than not it's worth the inconvenience. Most of the time though he just tells me the answers to questions I never had the education to learn. I'm a sorcerer, see. I understand the language of magic, the words just kind of fade into my head, but I don't know the theory behind it or any of the history. Tlavyn knows all that stuff, though, and most of the time is eager to share. Most of the time.
Anyway. The Heroes did a lot of heroic stuff. I'm not gonna get into any more details because I don't know them, and I don't wanna hand the reins over to Tlavyn for THAT long, because he'll tell the whole damn story. But after they finished off Ssnethra and her armies and put the Tarrasque back to sleep, they mostly retired - the five survivors of the six, anyway - back at Port Haven. At the time it was just a small fishing village along the southern Olympian coast, and really didn't have any major traffic or trade there, as a lot of ships didn't want to risk the reefs east of the town and the mountains' descending isles to the west. The Heroes - who of course got their name from the place, having headquartered themselves there even before it got popular - settled there, and poured almost all their adventuring wealth into the city, building it up into a major trading city and port almost overnight. Between the sudden growth, location (despite the dangers around, it's closer to Olympia than we are in Westcrown, and Haven's harbor itself is much safer than the surrounding aquatic terrain), and fame of being connected to the Heroes, trade suddenly shifting emphatically southward. And in the echoes, Westcrown started to decline.
Things went downhill from there pretty fast. The rulers soured bad, people started dabbling in things better left untouched. Devils started being called in, or coming in on their own, offering deals and barters and whatever the heck else Devils do. It turned bad quick. By the time I was born, it was bad enough that we'd seceded from Olympia in every manner but officially; as far as I know no one in Westcrown reports to the royal family or the governors, and our governor is more like our king, or queen, or whatever we have. Crime shot up into the mountaintops, but at the same time the hammer of the law came down HARD. Order by force became the rule of the day. If you could operate within the letter of the law, you could get away with anything, and organized, neat, tidy criminal activity thrived, while commonfolk would get hounded by brute thug guards and worse for the smallest accidental infraction.
Needless to say, life in Westcrown is less than pleasant.
My name's Gwyn. Gwyn Vanderbilt. Sorceress, detective, vigilante, and occasionally magical consultant for the branches of the local watch who aren't up to their ears in corruption. I've been here for about seven years, making my living working odd jobs, mostly investigating murders, thefts, and disappearances. That's what I do. It's not much, but it's helped... at least, it's helped my clients. When I don't run into a wall, that is. One usually thrown up by either the powers-that-be or the powers underneath.
I'm running into a lot more of those lately, though. And it's getting worse. Something's rotten in Westcrown, and it's getting more and more rancid as time passes. I'm going to do what I always do - get to the bottom of things. All I need is a clue about where to look first...
Requesting some help from the folks here for a project of mine. I'm looking for some songs with winter, cold, ice, etc. themed titles. The song itself doesn't have to be so much about winter, just the title. Here's the short list I have so far:
Specifically requesting no rap, pop, or country songs, not a fan. Rock, metal, symphonic, orchestral, or other instrumental preferred. Links appreciated. Thanks in advance =)
Open your music player of choice, add all your music, hit "shuffle", and hit next.
Setting - "Power" by Helloween
Backstory - "Black in the Burn" by MasterPlan
Philosophy - "III Ways to Epica" by Kamelot
Strix (Black Wings) charlatan rogue (Disciples of the Lie) who's a military assassin (Ghost Division) in a war campaign (Power). Partnered with a gladiator (Into the Arena). Plagued by nightmares (Bad Dreams) but a strong believer in fate (The Prophecy). Atheist/misotheist after multiple bad life experiences s/he blamed on God/s (III Ways to Epica). Badly scorned and with dead family/loved ones (Black in the Burn, Dead Boy's Poem).
Setting - "The Coming Curse" by Iced Earth
Backstory - "Blizzard on a Broken Mirror" by Avantasia
Philosophy - "The Land of Hope and Glory" by Turisas
Aasimar (Kind-Hearted Light) Artificer/Engineer (Rocket Ride) in a Ravenloft-ish, nightmarish horror setting with an impending apocalypse (The Coming Curse), digging up secrets and treasures (Dark Chest of Wonders) accompanied by a reformed villain (Up Through the Ashes).
Knows the Antichrist is coming and preparing to oppose him (When Stars Collide), but is elderly and will soon have to hand over leadership of the rebel force to a younger subordinate (The Last Amazing Greys). Has a history of failure and heartbreak (Blizzard on a Broken Mirror). Despite all this has bright hopes for the future (Land of Hope and Glory).
Setting - "Higher on Fire" by Dream Evil
Backstory - "The Art of War" by Sabaton
Philosophy - "The Sun is in Your Hands" by MasterPlan
A high-powered, magic-heavy campaign (Higher on Fire), where a Fey (Avantasia) Crossblooded Infernal/Boreal Sorcerer (The Black Halo) who struggles against their own internal fiendish nature (Fiddle of Time). Accompanied by a highly-intelligent but narcissistic Alchemist (Center of the Universe).
An ex-soldier who has seen much of the horrors of war (The Art of War) and is prone to using overwhelming force even when not necessary (Nuclear Attack). Is jaded and distrustful of ruling powers (Blinded No More) and wants nothing to do with the system, preferring to act on their own initiative and play by their own rules (I Want Out). Believes everyone can forge their own path and decide their own destiny, rulers, fate, gods, devils, and anything else be damned (The Sun is in Your Hands).
Setting - "Turn the Page" by Blind Guardian
Backstory - "Bring the Hammer Down" by HammerFall
Philosophy - "Something for the Ages" by HammerFall
Dhampir (Rose for the Dead) Witch (The Coming Curse) in a Wheel of Time campaign (Turn the Page). Betrayed by lovers and masters alike (Dark Saga), her lone loyal companion is a shadow-touched, phantom- and fiend-haunted dream mage (The Lucid Door).
A crusader despite her strangeness (Bring the Hammer Down), and in spite of multiple betrayals and disappointments still remains loyal to her cause and her leaders (Love is Blind): she sees this as the only way to make up for sins of her past (What Have You Done?). She wants to leave behind a memorable legacy (Something for the Ages), despite the fact that she will live a long, probably unpleasant life in defiance of dark powers (Forever is a Long Time).
Setting - "Between Two Worlds" by HammerFall
Backstory - "Windrider" by Ensiferum
Philosophy - "Till the Last Man Falls" by Turisas
Planar Campaign (Between Two Worlds). A Strix (Ride the Sky) Vivisectionist (The Butcher) is right-hand to a deposed prince fighting to reclaim his throne (In Flames You Burn). She has no real place in the world (Windrider) and is frequently struck by wanderlust (Wander), and may well be very insane (Drop of Fuel) and otherwise just bizarre (Gothic Christmas).
Regardless she is determined and loyal (Till the Last Man Falls) and never gives up (Spirit Never Dies).
My setting is plagued by a species of pseudo-Lovecraftian, semi-alien sound/music-based creatures known as the Dark Song. I'm not feeling particularly verbose tonight so I'll save further overall flavor explanations for by request, while detailing out the basics for each statblock.
CR 1 : XP 400
CN Tiny Ooze [Chaotic, Sonic, Songspawn]
Accent (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, a Sedicesimo can unleash a pulse of sound from its body that deals 1d6 points of sonic damage to all creatures within 5 feet. Any creature damaged by the accent must make a DC 11 Fortitude save or be deafened for 1 round.
Silence Aversion (Ex) Notes cannot enter silence effects; if the spell is cast with one inside its range, it is shunted to the nearest square outside the border, and are pushed away from its edge as if bull rushed (no CMB check necessary) if the AoE attempts to move into or through their space. If silence is cast on a Sedicesimo and it fails its Will save, the spell deals 1 point of untyped damage per caster level to the Sedicesimo before ending completely.
Song (Ex) Dark Song are composed of living sound. They are immune to all sound-based effects. If a Songspawn takes sonic damage, it forgoes any saving throw and is healed by 1 hit point for every 2 points of damage the attack would have dealt as if it had failed its saving throw. It is immune to any effects caused by a sonic effect, such as deafening. Dark Song use their Constitution rather than their Wisdom for Perception checks, and gain a bonus on Perception equal to double their hit dice. They are immune to Wisdom damage or drain.
Tie (Su) Notes can bond together and combine into stronger, larger Note types. Two Notes must be of the same type to tie, and the process takes a standard action. Two Sedicesimo can combine, transforming into a single Ottavo with the combined hit point total of the two Sedicesimo or an Ottavo's maximum hit points, whichever is less.
That took stupidly longer than it should and I didn't even get the flavor text done. Bluh. I'll try to get the rest of the Notes - Ottavo, Quarto, Mezzo, and Tutto - statted up tomorrow, then get started on the other, sentient Song after.
So in my homebrew setting, one of the races I've added is an insectoid race I've called Entomorphs. Some details in the spoiler below.
Entomorphs are a race of insectoid demihumans who dwell primarily in the plains, swamps, and foothills, well away from civilized society, shunned for their alien appearance and unusual method of origin.
The original Entomorphs were not created or born, but rather changed. In these same regions in which they dwell, there exists an insect known as the Entonyd, which resembles a small, violet-grey grasshopper or locust with a thin scorpion tail and gripping claws on its foremost limbs. The origin of the Entonyd is unknown, but it is theorized to be connected to the magical catastrophe of ages past, in which mighty empires attempted to emulate the gods and craft new life forms to serve them; it was this catastrophe that - in theory - created the likes of Doppelgangers, lycanthropy, mimics, and other creatures of shape-changing nature. If true, the Entonyd is an unpleasant but undeniably connected result of that dread magic, for its most potent trait is its ability to enter a symbiosis with another creature and to metamorphose it into a form more like its own, bonding with it completely in body and sometimes in mind.
Entonyds are small, weak creatures on their own, but they live in dangerous regions where local predators, natural dangers, and other factors provide them plenty of "prey" for their sights. When an Entonyd encounters a suitable host that is either helpless, unconscious, willing, or otherwise incapable of escaping from or removing the insect before it can do its work, it attaches to the creature and injects its venom, then burrows its legs into the skin, attaching to the nerves within, preferably along the spine or at the base of the skull. The venom causes the creature to grow weak, lethargic, and eventually to surrender to inescapable sleep, at which point it begins expelling a thick liquid silk from its pores (or other method by which the creature sweats/releases internal fluids other than urinating) which in a matter of hours cocoons the victim in place and fastens hard to any nearby surfaces when it dries.
Once the cocoon is formed, the metamorphosis begins. The creature's hair, if it possessed any, falls out and is replaced by thinner, more sensitive fibers. Its skin, hide, shell, or other outer covering hardens into a tough exoskeleton, its bones within melting and being dissipated to provide the base material for the outer shell. Eyes are dissolved and reconstructed in compound form. Antennae, a third pair of limbs (for most four-limbed creatures), and wings (for some) grow. Last of all, the nervous system is rewired, connecting the victim to the hivemind. Once the process is complete, the newborn Entomorph emerges from its cocoon and answers the call of its instincts - to seek out the nearest hive, or establish one as a queen and begin creating Entonyds to seek victims from which to create workers and drones.
Most Entomorphs of this sort are converted from animal or magical beast stock, and almost none survive the transformation with their mental faculties intact. However, a few rare occasions have seen various humanoids taken (with no visible difference save a few minor variations in build, post-transformation), and within those occasions are those where the metamorphosis, at least in mind, is incomplete or nonexistent. These Entomorphs retain their intellect, memories, personality, and most importantly capacity for individual thought, severed - at least in part - from the Entonyd/Entomorph hiveminds. Strangely, once changed, these free-willed Entomorphs can breed true - while not in the bulk amounts of larval spawn as a mindless queen, nor can they spawn Entonyds, but they can perpetuate their own species through natural birth. Young natural-born Entomorphs are born from eggs, hatch as grub-like larva, then cocoon themselves after a year and emerge in a wingless (or venomless, in the case of those with the alternate racial trait) Nymph stage that lasts about fifteen years, after which they grow a thicker exoskeleton and the remainder of their racial traits as they reach adulthood. It is these rare few that will make up the entirety of PC Entomorphs, and the ones I want to work on.
So... this thread is for the purposes of actually putting stats to these guys, so that if a player plays one (potentially by choice, but just as likely due to reincarnate) I can pass them out the necessary building blocks for a character sheet.
Here's what I have so far, though this is of course subject to change per recommendations:
Obviously this would need to be eyeballed with the aid of the ARG, shooting for something not too high above the standard races (or on par with them, if possible). I'm just not sure where to find all the stuff or what to price some of this at, so I look to people who might be more familiar with the book than I. As well as anything that looks to be over/underrepresented or needs tweaking. Thoughts welcome =)
It usually only happens when the thread gets moved, so I'm guessing that something in the database/URL/other relevant info no longer recognizes it as the original thread that was hidden. But there's been a few times recently I've found threads I knew I hid popping up again in their original locations, and sit there wondering "Did I misclick and hide the wrong thread? *unhides threads, sorts through greyed topics* No, nothing in there I didn't intend to hide... huh. *rehides everything, hides original thread again*"
I figure it's just overload from the politics season, but a heads-up probably couldn't hurt.
Started noticing posts just up and vanishing a few minutes after I post them, or not showing up at all after submission. Anyone else getting this? They still show up in my post history in my profile, but not in their respective threads.
Given all the Fey influence in Kingmaker, I've been poking at the idea of retooling the later parts slightly. The biggest difference being setting-related: rather than having the First World and the Eldest, my world has the more traditional Summer and Winter Courts and the Wyldfae in-between. So I've been trying to revamp the core plot to take that more into consideration.
Here's what I have so far:
1. Nyrissa is a noble of the Summer Court.
It also means that for her to be focusing so much on the Stolen Lands and her plans there, there has to be something in the land that would be beneficial to Summer for her to present it to Titania (in place of the Eldest) to appease her. For this I'll be borrowing Gentleman's idea of Nyrissa's Stolen Ambition. This also answers why Winter would be in competition for the region: if Winter can prevent Nyrissa from reclaiming her Ambition, that's preventing a major potential power-grab by Summer, even if they can't claim it for themselves.
This also provides the PCs an opportunity to ally with Winter, a dangerous but possibly alluring prospect that might help them in the short-term but cost them in the long run.
The main question I have yet to ask is who stripped Nyrissa of her Love and Ambition in the first place, and why. Should it remain another noble above her station, and thus the punishment be handed down from Titania herself? Should it have been a dalliance across the lines of conflict with a Winter consort, and if so who caught them - her Summer superiors or his/her Winter ones? Or could it have simply been a cruel act by a Winter foe or a Summer rival looking to torment her for some reason? Up for suggestions.
2. Fey and Eldritch Horrors Don't (Usually) Mix.
I'm going to use Candlemere as sort of a "restraining bolt" put in place by a Winter agent, to prevent or at least slow Nyrissa's attempts to claim the land; said agent may still be in the tower somewhere, driven mad and/or warped by the experience had while performing the task given them and their proximity to the Old One's presence. Yog-Sothoth of course has no oppositions to his worship being spread, even by fey (who of course he doesn't consider near as much an enemy as they consider him and his kind), and now that he's here his presence is somewhat loathe to leave, and in fact may well be spreading.
This will leave the PCs in a bit of a conundrum, once they find out what's going on: if they brave the tower, they can (attempt to) cease the spread of the unnatural presence. However, unbeknownst to them, doing so will rid the Stolen Lands of Yog-Sothoth's taint, allowing Nyrissa to accelerate her plans. This could also be taken as a sleight against Winter, who might send a representative to demand reparations for costing them a significant foothold in the conflict.
3. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Puck!
I plan for him to start tormenting the party in the next couple of chapters. Thinking of perhaps having Perlivash and Tyg share a few tales of the Puck's endeavors, to introduce the party to their ideal of a master prankster, then have Puck himself take an interest in the party after they actually succeed in starting something in the Stolen Lands where so many more have failed. Any ideas of things for him to pull would be much appreciated.
That's it for now, but any other random ideas or extrapolation would be much appreciated.
Two sessions ago my party (Spellscar Oracle, Bladebound Magus, and True Primitive Barbarian) gutted Tuskgutter, and while heading back to the Thorn River Camp (which they had just prior "liberated" from Kressle's control and taken "command" of the surviving bandits there, who were quick to surrender when the Stag Lord's rep had her skull caved in) happened to stumble across a Shambling Mound, which they'd been fearful of encountering ever since the Sootscale Kobolds had alerted them to the existence of the thing after coming across some trails. Being level 3, they of course fled like the dickens.
Last session the Oracle and Barbarian stumbled across a Will-o-Wisp while hunting for breakfast the following morning. It managed to lead them on a merry chase through the woods before looping back to the camp, killing a bandit, and severely wounding the Barbarian... before the Oracle managed to crit it with an eldritch bolt (Su, and thus ignoring its magic immunity) and deliver a suggestion via crit card (at which it rolled a 3 on its Will save -_-). Her suggestion? "Go fight something more challenging", and pointing off to the south where the Shambler was when it asked where. Probably shortly after it would have found the Shambler, the suggestion effect would have worn off.
So now we have a tiny flying creature that delivers electric damage with a touch attack hanging out in the same vicinity as an enormous, low-touch-AC creature that gets stronger if you hit it with electricity. And yes, now the combination is on the random encounter chart for that part of the woods.
Before they run into it though, I want them to get some hints that their plan of setting two of the only three things they've encountered thus far that they couldn't beat or negotiate with (the third being a pair of trolls they ran from four or five sessions back) against each other did not pan out as they intended. A few plots of scorched earth, some trees that look like they've been struck by lightning and are rapidly rotting, things like that. Any thoughts?
Tatya here is a Witch, a Halfling, and in a party with two Humans; a pack animal and mount was a must, simple as that. Enter Grom, her big, friendly, loyal Siberian Husky. The campaign just ended its fifth session and the party just leveled up from 2nd (our usual starting point) to 3rd, and Grom has gone from being a simple loot hauler and method by which Tatya can keep up with the rest of the party to a welcome and helpful member of the party - he tripped the boss opponent we'd been sent to deal with last session twice, was at the head of pursuit when the guy bolted, and with some encouragement managed to pin the guy down so the Gunslinger and Monk could surround him and pummel him into unconsciousness. (A fight in which Tatya, thanks to her slower running speed and needing to stop to cast, was having difficulty keeping up until the last couple of rounds; she had to dismount at the beginning of combat to douse the flames she'd caught, and thus couldn't remount and keep up.)
Sadly, Grom is - statistically - nothing more than your standard 50gp, 13 HP, 13 AC, CR1 riding dog. Meaning that he's got perhaps another level, maybe two, before he starts becoming significantly less helpful in combat... and maybe a level or two after that where his existence is under constant threat by being in our companionship. After completing this latest task, Tatya will probably be able to afford barding for him, which she has been considering purchasing for some time now; but that will only help him for so long.
Tatya has had Grom as a companion only slightly less time than her cat familiar, but Ksusha's survivability is significantly greater: as a familiar she advances with Tatya, plus her smaller size and Stealth score allow her to hide when danger arises, something Grom can't do as well. And out-of-character, I as a player have to admit to becoming attached to the big pup, and after the last session I estimate the party's thinking likewise.
Long story short: what are my options for helping my pet, mount, and companion get a bit of survivability beyond the first five levels? I'm the only caster in the party, but we now work for a rather influential NPC patron who might be able to get us in touch with someone using a spell list other than the Witch's if needed; beyond the obvious low-level solution of masterwork/enchanted barding and potions/oils of magic fang/GMF, I can't think of much. Awaken plus spending a feat on Leadership might be an option, Tatya has 18 CHA (yay rolling for stats + halfling bonus), but I don't know how feasible it would be nor whether or not the GM would allow it (I'll ask though). Any suggestions would be appreciated. =)
If you're a player in my games, shoo! =)
Okay. So planning out the plot for one of my current games, I'd wanted to have a little otherworldly involvement and after rereading some decided to go with Tsathoggua, mostly because of his connection to the underworlds of N'kai, Yoth, and K'n-yan and how the plot plays with the ideas of those oddly-skied realms.
So what would be some good Tsath-themed baddies to scatter throughout the campaign at all levels? Boggards are an obvious answer for the lowest ranges, given the frog theme, and can have class levels stacked onto them to be a threat at any level if necessary. Voormis and formless spawn are a must, but as far as I know there aren't stats for them yet... unless they're in one of the later Bestiaries? Any other suggestions come to the sinister minds of my fellow cultists?
The "hide thread" option has been an amazing function for keeping my irritation at certain portions of the forum down. Any chance that a "hide/ignore user" function can be implemented as well? Sometimes you don't want to leave a discussion completely but just be able to ignore That One Guy who seems to be there for the purpose of only irritating people, and while he isn't doing anything truly worthy of being flagged but you'd rather just not have to deal with him.
Dunno how much trouble or effort this would entail but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. Thanks!
Okay. So maybe I had a little too much vodka.
I really don't remember how it got started. Mel and I, we just go our own way, mind our own business most of the time, ya? Normally we don't cause a lot of problems, we're both the type, we like to be left on our own, not too fond of getting a lot of attention. We try not to make trouble, offer a little help when we see it needed, and hope people are nice enough to pay us for the assistance or at least give us a warm, dry place to stay for the night, out of the snow and wind and rain.
But the last thing I remember was running from mounties, cutting loose the ship, and sailing off as fast as we could out into the uncharted yonder, drunk out of my gourd. Pretty sure Mel was drunk too. And maybe Grom. Ksusha I remember very clearly was sober, and she made it quite obvious the next morning that she was not happy with this arrangement.
We lost track of how long we sailed. Neither of us are seawomen. I lived most of my early life in a forest village, and both of us have been wanderers - on land mind - for years. We've handled floods, blizzards, landslides, mud bogs, swamps, forests, even frozen deserts, but never spent more time in the water than crossing a river or lake.
Eventually we found land, thank the ages. We don't know how far we are from home, and the ship is gone. They call this land Orage, and speak the language of the distant southerners - a place I have never visited and only know the language of through intense study on a whim years ago.
At least I still have plenty of vodka left... I think I am going to need it.
Starting Kingmaker tonight, after a week delay from the original intended start date due to a missing player. And as per usual I'm converting it over to my own homebrew setting rather than playing in Golarion.
Most of the minutiae doesn't require much tweaking - I found an appropriate place on my map to stick the Stolen Lands and logical locations for the Greenbelt's neighbors, and altering the situation with Brevoy to fit my campaign wasn't too hard though I did have to fudge a few things. The trickiest part I've found thus far is finding deities to match up with the Golarion patheon.
My setting uses a combination of the Olympian (Greco-Roman), Asgardian (Norse), and Sumerian (Babylonian-Assyrian) pantheons, along with a few others who won't be appearing in this adventure due to the distance of their prominent lands from the Stolen Lands region. Some of the conversions have been pretty obvious from the get-go: Gorum is obviously Ares, Inanna/Ishtar, or Thor; Gozreh becomes Gaia and Aether; Erastil is either Artemis or Freyr for the hunting aspect or Hestia or Frigga for the home-and-hearth aspect (enjoy the irony there folks).
A few of the others are a bit tricker, Gyronna for example comes to mind, I can't think of an outright parallel in any of the pantheons for "patron of spurned and deceitful lovers". (Though I might be ditching most of the Gyronna stuff for Old Gods stuff, as recommended in one of the threads, a parallel would still be welcome if one comes to mind.) Any recommendations for the deities who play a major part in the Kingmaker storyline?
Started up a PnP campaign not too long ago and have been tinkering away slowly at the mechanics the past few weeks. Most of the stuff I know my way around despite being rather out of practice with gaming for a year and a half or so, but there's one rather important plot NPC I need who I can't seem to figure out the best way to stat.
She's a friendly, pleasant young lady the party is going to meet either at the end of this chapter or the beginning of the next. The initial reaction of the party should be positive, likewise most NPCs should respond to her the same way.
She's also in town - and will end up traveling across the entire setting, through the course of the campaign - to preach on the impending end of the world. Happily though - to her, it's an event of great joy, and she's trying to convince as many willing people as possible to join her in traveling to the Next World when the time comes.
She is convinced that the world is about to go through a phase of ascension - as she claims has occurred several times before, four to be precise, making the next world the Fifth World - and that it cannot be stopped as it is merely the natural progression of events. Sadly (to her), the mass majority of people will be deceived by "the gods of this realm" (who can't travel to the next world themselves, being bound to this existence and doomed to fade when it does as the gods of the three worlds before did, and are jealous that those who are mortals in this World will become renown, progenitors, or even gods in their own right in the Next World) or too tied to their lives in this reality to make the journey; nevertheless she is determined to take as many as she can and lead the way into a new existence when the time is right.
So the catch - I can't find a good way to build her that fits what I have in mind.
I want her to be charismatic, very good at talking to people, and have some level of combat capability. Paladin is not an option, she's very much not Lawful. So the obvious answers are Bard, Sorcerer, or Oracle, off the top of my head, though there might be other ideas as well. Bard isn't quite what I'm going for, I'm thinking something more mystical, but there might be an archetype I'm not familiar with that fits the bill.
She isn't Evil - in fact, I'd honestly debate making her Good, despite being an antagonist/villain - however she is somewhat naive and innocent. I'd prefer it if her power did not have an "Evil" source (ex: Infernal/Abyssal Sorc bloodline, etc.) but if that's what works best for getting the mechanics to back up the concept I can work with it, possibly by simply retooling the flavor.
Much of her belief system is based on the Navajo creation myths, primarily the transitions between the Worlds of existence. It's not an exact match, as I've changed the nature of the passages from world to world and some other things to better fit the mythologies and history I have in place for my setting already, but I linked it because it is where I got the idea for her intents and it might prove useful in helping come up with a mechanical interpretation for her.
Thanks in advance!
My band of soaks, my den of dissolutes,
Welcome, Monsieur, sit yourself down,
Master of the house, doling out the charm,
Master of the house, keeper of the zoo,
After a few years of silence it's time for Orthos to run a campaign again! (Well technically I'm running two, but the other is a PbP so it's not really suitable to being recorded here... though I might come back and put up summaries as chapters are completed. =D ) With a new batch of suckers... I mean players... and a shiny new Kingmaker game we are all ready to go.
The major change is that my game will not be set in Golarion; rather, I'll be using my homebrew setting Finiens, specifically the eastern continent of Wachara, as the stage. The Stolen Lands are an untamed wedge of territory planted on the western side of the barony of Olorunium, whose feuding lords are in turmoil following a recent war with their easterly neighbor Galadae and the secession of a region on their border that formed the new independent territory of Naltaskar. Seeking to solidify their claim to the barony seat, the lords and Vanguard of House Alvaris have commissioned groups to expand westward, intending to seize the previously-unholdable Stolen Lands from the barbaric, tribal Northlands that surround their western and northwestern borders. As per standard, the players will be the fourth such chartered unit, en route to Olag's Trading Post in the Greenbelt.
The party is still in creation, slightly, but I do have their basic composition confirmed:
They seem to be all a heavy Chaotic Neutral bent, no Good in the party (yet, but I doubt the Druid will be) but no Evil either (yet). So in time we might have a little anarchic fun with this batch of nutcases.
Said first session will be this Thursday evening. Obviously the party members are all traveling together and familiar with each other prior to the campaign's beginning, and as per usual in my games are beginning at Level 2 rather than the standard 1 for Kingmaker; the events have been adjusted accordingly.
Wish them luck... they'll need it. >=}
AKA Proof one of my players is insane. (Well we all are but this is a specific instance.)
She's working on a Trickery Cleric and noticed they get Ethereal Jaunt as a bonus spell. She's also noticed EJ lets you pass through living things while ethereal. So in her twisted mind, the obvious next question is "What happens when I stop being ethereal while my hand is in the monster's skull?"
By RAW, all that happens is that she takes damage and gets shunted aside. Seems a little odd that the creature wouldn't be damaged though. Thoughts?
ADDENDUM: The entire party is now asking about doing so with weapons rather than a limb, thus circumventing the damage they would take. So add that onto the theorizing as well. >_>
Gotta love it when players do something the DM never expected. The full story is spoilered for those who don't want to read or don't care about the background behind why I'm making this request.
One of the players in my game is playing A'Reth Guar'Dian, a warforged Crusader|Cavalier gestalt. He has the Adamantine Body feat (or at least I think that's the name); it gives him DR 2/adamantine, and due to the rules regarding DR and natural weapons I ruled that his warforged slam attack is adamantine as well. He has taken heavy advantage of this repeatedly by using his character effectively as a wrecking ball, but never more so than the stunt he pulled last night.
The group is in Golismorga in "The Lightless Depths", and just defeated the Neh-thalggu Scion in Tlaloc's Crater. A'Reth was rather unharmed by the fight - the Brain Collector was invisible and flying, so the meleers spent the entire fight attacking it with arrows and thus didn't get caught by most of its counterattacks - so while the rest of the group recuperated, healed up, and rested in a Secure Shelter (the cleric and psion were almost out of magic, and the psion had died during the fight) A'Reth decided to scout around... or more accurately up. He'd acquired the Boots of Levitation from someone (Olangru I think) and between their at-will activation, his unwounded state, and warforged's lack of need for rest decided to spend the night upward bound.
After getting a good look around Golismorga and finding the ziggurat, wouldn't you know it he found the tunnel carved by Tlaloc's Tear being sent down and followed it up. He then reaches the stone circle blockading the top of the entrance in Thanaclan and beats his way to it, intentionally doing only minimum damage with his slam (since adamantine ignores hardness) so that he only grinds off stone powder rather than sending chunks of rock careening down into Golismorga and possibly hitting his friends. He then emerged out onto the surface and found himself in an ancient Olman temple.
TL;DR version: A'Reth skipped ahead to halfway through "City of Broken Idols" and is now at the pyramid of Tlaloc (area 25 I think). He's been engaged by four Skinwalkers - which I didn't yet have statted up in my conversion to suit gestalt + high-powered 3.5/PF hybrid, so I called the session at the beginning of that battle - but I'm pretty sure he's going to head back down into Golismorga and resume the adventure there.
What's my issue then? The Skinwalkers have now been thoroughly informed that someone is causing trouble down in Golismorga and is very likely to head their way next, and will make due preparations for when the group comes to the Taboo Island. I'm looking for suggestions as to how they can fortify themselves against assault - preparing both for an attack by land and a raiding party to come up through the Temple of Tlaloc like A'Reth did in the first place.
Chapter 1: Under the Ice
Welcome to Jasper.
It's not large, not as towns go: a mostly-circular settlement that can be walked the entire circumference in under an hour, and crossing directly through take only a few minutes if you're not stopped by anything or anyone along the way. As a trade village, though, Jasper survives by persuading passers-by to stop, and this is a task at which they succeed very well.
Entering along one of the roads that passes through Jasper places you right along the trading route, and the town's shops and stores line the streets with the residential buildings further back. Many of the buildings are expectantly adorned with signs portraying their wares to the interested eye; which of these they catch first is of course based on by which way they enter the town. Those arriving from the northeast - from Grendar - will see the smoke billowing from the chimney of the dark stone building with little decor or excess simply marked as "Xen's Forge".
Those who enter from the northwest - from Luminienne - are greeted by a short, stocky building without title or decoration save a gemmed butterfly hanging over the door, a holy symbol of Desna marking the building as a small shrine. Across the trade road from this is a small hut from which flickering lights occasionally ensue; a stone half the height of an average human has been set out in front of it, and bears carvings that flicker with light during the day proclaiming the hut as a store, "Arcana and Alchemy by Tathviel". Whatever runic script or spell the owner has placed on the stone, as soon as the sun sets it grows dull, suggesting the store will not respond to inquiries by night.
Those who journey from the south - from the lands beyond the ice - see several stores along the main road, most bearing simple names such as "Goods and Supplies" or "Orran's Kennel", but occasionally with hints of the wit and humor required for a merchant to draw attention and succeed in a far larger town with names like "Horse Sense" for a stable and supply store.
What is likely to draw the attention of all, though, is the building located at the very center of town, at the point where the two trade roads meet, clearly visible from all three entrances. This building marks the northern end of the trade road arriving from the south, and the "halfway stop" of the road traveling east to west from Grendar to Luminienne. The largest building in Jasper bar none, the two-story inn and tavern marked as "The Brawny Grizzly" is the crowning point of Jasper, the most identifiable and famous building in the entire town. Every non-resident who spends more than a day in the area generally finds residence in the Grizzly: unless you have family or friends willing to lend you a spot on their floor in Jasper, it's the only place that has room for travelers, merchants, and adventurers passing through.
It is midmorning, shortly after 9 AM. A caravan, bound for Grendar in two days, arrived late yesterday evening. Either you arrived with them, traveling for the safety of company and companionship, or came separate either recently or some time ago, or you have just arrived today. Whatever your reasons, whatever your origin, your travels have brought you to here, now. This is Jasper of the Frostfell.
Here your story truly begins.
After quite a long time - seven years, gaaaaaaaaah! - of being nothing more than an idea in my head, I'm finally starting to bring my story concept, Random Encounter, to life. I'm waaaaaaaaaay too excited and yeah having trouble putting this into good words.
Not a lot to show at the moment, but the first batch of character sketches is up for view at our host website, Foxtail Studios. Will come back and post an update when the story is about to start, but in the meantime there are a few strips of my artist's gag-a-strip side comic on the website for your perusal if you so desire.
I'll shut up now :) Comments welcome and appreciated.
The frozen north is an unforgiving land, regardless of the place from which you hail. The bitter cold and the feral landscape make life difficult for even the hardiest of mortal men and women. Yet something has drawn you here.
Perhaps it is the thrill of adventure, the chance to test yourself against the fiercest of terrestrial elements. Perhaps this is only a start, and once you have mastered the frostfell you will turn your eyes on mastery of crueler climates. No stronger natural hazards nor crueler beasts can be found than the feral wasteland of the Barren.
Perhaps it is curiosity. As strange as they are the northlands are worlds of mystery, in many ways different from every other place on the world, and to witness their wonder, their splendor, their horror is only truly comprehensible once you have done so firsthand.
Perhaps it is wealth that calls you. After all, it was only a short sixty years ago that the first successful group of miners and explorers into this territory found rich veins beneath the permafrost and have been extracting iron, copper, precious metals, and gems from the lands around the now-large city of Grendar for the years since. How do you think the trading post of Jasper came by its name?
Perhaps you wish to face the darkness that hides here. You are not alone; beyond Grendar lies Fort Ragnarok, where a recently gathered group of warriors and heroes referring to themselves as the Glacier Knights have built their headquarters within the past generation. They seek to bring order, safety, and freedom to the wilds of the frostfell, and welcome all bearing sword, spell, or skill who share their vision.
For now, though, your travels have brought you here. Jasper, a crossroads of the only two major "roads" in the Barren - one leading to Grendar to the northeast and the other crossing the wildlands of the Barren to stretch toward Luminienne far to the northwest - and the primary trade route back to the more hospitable south. Once simply an intersection, within a few years after Grendar's walls were constructed a small village had sprung up about these roads, and in the generation since has grown into a respectable-sized trading village.
Welcome to the Frostfell. Dress warmly.
The story begins in the trading post of Jasper, just above the frostfell line, and nearly all of the story is associated with the surrounding countryside. However, it's not attributed to any particular setting, and could theoretically get plopped down anywhere: somewhere frosty other than Irrisen in Golarion, somewhere on the Great Glacier or Spine of the World in Faerun, along the Black Ice Lands in Greyhawk, etc. etc. etc.
TL;DR version: The greater world setting is less important to me as DM than the local setting, which can be placed in an appropriate climate in any world, so I leave it to my players as to which setting they'd prefer to play in. So feel free to toss in your personal preferences.
Okay, now game rules. There's basically three ways we can do this, as far as rules go:
1. PF Core ~ Pathfinder material only. Core book, Bestiary, APG. Easily the simplest method.
2. Anything Goes ~ My IRL group's normal play style, but I know some players on these forums don't care for it :P Any 3.5 material is available, with some tweaks by the DM to bring things to Pathfinder standard; this may be anything from simply adjusting the Hit Die and skills to improving/nerfing class abilities. If we go with this let me know what class(es) you'd be interested in and I'll get back to you here with the requisite changes.
3. PF/3.5 Limited ~ Pathfinder material plus a limited list of 3.5 races and classes, and certain feats/spells/etc. available on DM approval. I can post the list if requested, and/or I can take requests from players.
Once we've decided those two above, we're pretty much ready to go, though there are a few details that would probably be best to hash out. Of course, if you have any questions feel free to shoot them this way. :)
Does Freedom of Movement negate the effects of Stand Still/Stem the Tide (under Order of the Shield abilities)? By my reading it does, as FoM allows the affected character "to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell". However my player thinks it shouldn't let the enemy continue movement. I houseruled it for the night (we were in the middle of a rather big boss fight) with the note to look into it and the text is kind of annoyingly vague. Thoughts?
If you are reading this, I am either dead in the line of duty and this tome has fallen into your possession - in which case I plead with you to seek out my companions if they still live and complete the task we have devoted ourselves to - or I have completed my mission and this completed work is now available for perusal among the other such various tomes in our library.
In either case, what follows is not a tale for the faint of heart.
My name is Darktower Zhaorae. I am an Illumian, the Living Word Made Flesh. The closest thing I have to a family is my cabal, who dwell in the Darktower Crucible on the Astral Plane, preparing warriors for the nigh-endless battles against the Gith who centuries ago ransacked our cities and destroyed many of our greatest treasures. I am a knight, a Crusader, and would seek to become a Paladin should the Ruby Goddess find it in her favor.
The future ahead of me - of constant warfare and vengeance - is not for the tame of heart or mind. Thus, after our basic training was completed, my companions (or siblings, I could call them) and I were transported to the Material Plane. Our last word from our superiors was the command to travel the world, experience and grow and strengthen ourselves; once we had gained the power to return to the Crucible of our own skill we would have proved our readiness to join the cabal at war.
The location on the Material where we found ourselves deposited was a few miles from a small village known as Diamond Lake. With only our basic supplies and a few gold worth between the three of us, we resolved to put ourselves to work as work could be found in this little hamlet until enough wealth could be amassed for us to move beyond its borders and survive the journey.
We underestimated the power of this village to entangle those who would dwell within its borders. Work was scarce and money scarcer, and so far we've only been able to make enough to survive. We had laid claim to a small abandoned building with a collapsed upper story shortly after our arrival, and been troubled little by the locals even after they grew used to our presence, likely due to us being able to easily disguise ourselves as Humans.
In the weeks since, we have been searching earnestly for a means by which to wrestle free of this place's relentless grasp, and now we think we may have found it. One of my siblings has heard of an abandoned mine referred to as the Whispering Cairn, and that strange things have been known to occur there; though the tunnels in this place for the most part have long gone dry, something of this rumor seems to have struck a chord in all of us, and for the time being we have placed our hopes upon its words.
Knowing the three of us would stand little chance against any active dangers that may reside within the cairn, we have sought out aid from some of the locals who might be trustworthy. I met a vagrant priest with no particular devotion to any one power, searching for substance for his faith while also trying to work his way out of this trap, at one of the local shrines; while the young Halfling has little physical combat skill his healing capabilities will serve to aid us well.
One of my companions has also acquired the partnership of another traveler, of who I know little other than his purpose here involves gambling debts owed to one of my siblings. I do not see this ending well.
The two newcomers, my two siblings and myself have arranged to meet at our shelter in shortly under a week to begin our plans for investigation of the cairn and the beginnings of our escape from wretched Diamond Lake.
This vine is a bright, vibrant green. The majority of the plant has been woven into the shape of a glove or gauntlet, worn on its user/host's hand of choice. A blood-red flower blooms on the back of the hand. Where the glove ends, the vine winds back around their arm and up under their clothing; should the clothing be removed it can be seen that the vine has taken up root in the user's back.
Capable of sustaining itself in a symbiotic relationship with a host that can provide it with flesh to root itself into and blood to feed off of, the plant reciprocates by responding to mental and empathic signals from its host. This allows the vines that make up the "glove" to extend, warp, twist, and otherwise shape themselves into forms the host desires - usually weapons, sometimes coated in the plant's toxins. In return for a stable source of nutrition, mobility, and defense, the plant provides its host with the means to protect themselves.
I asked my roommate to help design a unique weapon for a fey assassin in a non-RPG story I'm working on; this is what he came up with, and I have to admit I like it. A lot. So now I'm curious how to stat it. It's part creature, part status (though heck knows what), and part weapon. Really not sure what to do, heh.
If you have Steam already installed you can also go directly to the Portal page there and download.
Dunno if anyone here would be interested, or if they are would not already have the game, but figured it couldn't hurt to share the news. :)
So my group is coming up on the end of "Here There Be Monsters" and a couple of my players, as seems to be the pattern in my campaign at the end of every chapter, want to change characters. Since my party composition has shaken up considerably in the first four chapters - three deaths and about twice that in people changing characters for one reason or another - I suggested just having the characters pursue Rebuild Quests (Players' Handbook 2) instead of having to remove current party members and replace them with new faces. Given the sandbox nature of "Tides of Dread" I figured it would be the easiest place to put such sidequests - the players would only need to keep playing their current characters for two or three more sessions then could undergo a sidequest to obtain their new build.
So... any suggestions where might be appropriate? I have a Summoner|Alchemist rebuilding into a Sorcerer|Warlock or Sorcerer|Dragonfire Adept (he hasn't decided yet) and a Sorcerer|Oracle rebuilding to a Witch|Bard with Draconic Heritage feats. Was thinking of putting one through something around Zotzilaha's place, but hadn't come to any definite decisions yet. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
Just a quick scan through this forum's topic list brings up these eye-catchers:
"Is American exceptionalism a myth?"
And that's only about halfway down. Frankly, I've come to the conclusion that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. (Nessus, to be precise.) Given the doom-and-gloom nature of news reporting that's unsurprising, and likely inaccurate - there's about half that much of threads with titles like "Good things" and "Parade of Hope" and of course "FAWTL"
No, what's surprised me is the feeling I have in response to the constant projection of imminent doom. It's not fear, it's not worry, it's not even apathy.
To be perfectly honest, I'm starting to think I'd be happier if everything suddenly went to pieces. Sure, there'd be no more internet, no more video games, no more MP3s, no more movies, no more books... and truth be told I'm fine by that. Maybe getting rid of those avenues will put some of the endless arguments to death.
Let it go. Let it all collapse. Let it BURN. Good bloody gorram riddance.
Then what? I dunno. Start from scratch I guess. The human race, I'm thinking, needs to be thrown back into the dark ages for a while. Maybe we have it good - too good. Or maybe that's not the right thing. I don't know.
All I know is the idea of everything I know, everything I understand, everything I see every day not being here tomorrow is not a thought that terrifies or worries me anymore. At the very least I would simply be apathetic, simply wouldn't care; at the most I'd be ecstatic.
Maybe I've lost it. Maybe too much fantasy reading and gaming has finally snapped something and I'm suffering a schism from reality. Frankly, I'd be just fine with that. I've started thinking within the past few years that I was born in the wrong time, wrong place, wrong reality anyway. Good riddance.
Or maybe this is simply the other side of despair.
I've had this idea bouncing about in my head for a few years now. I've run a nonlinear storyline loosely based on it as an on-and-off thing on a Neverwinter Nights server. But now I'm unemployed and sitting at home bored and want something to do with my time, and think this might be a good way to kill some of that.
Basically I want to write a campaign guide. Starting from 1st level, extending somewhere into the teens or perhaps even all the way to 20. Understandably this is a very ambitious project and I'm somewhat unsure where exactly to start. So I throw myself to the wolves for some basic advice. What necessities I need, some resources that might be helpful, or perhaps "We don't know what the frak you want, give us more information".
Who knows, if it doesn't end up looking like crap when I'm done with it I might do something with it....
EbonFyre and I have been working on updating her latest character to Pathfinder standard; as most of us know the Healer class was one of the most lackluster in 3.5 so we did what we could to try and amp it up a bit to bring it a little more playability. Credit where credit is due, most of the work is hers. Feedback is appreciated.
Alignment: any good
Skills: Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (religion), Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Survival
1st level: BAB 0, Fort: +2, Ref: 0, Will: +2; Special: Orisons, Spellcasting, Healing Hands, Spontaneous Casting (cure), Healing Wave (1d6)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Healers are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor. Additionally, a healer who uses metal armor or any kind of shield is severely hampered. The armor of a healer is restricted by traditional oaths, not simply training. A healer knows how to wear light metal armor and could become proficient with medium or heavy armor, but wearing metal armor or bearing a shield would violate her oath and suppress her healer powers. Her ethos requires a certain vulnerability that allows her to more fully empathize with those in their care. A healer who uses prohibited armor is unable to cast healer spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class features while doing so and for 24 hours after the armor is taken off.
Spells: A healer casts divine spells (the same type of spells available to clerics), which are drawn from the healer spell list given below. A healer must choose and prepare her spells in advance (see below).
To prepare or cast a spell, a healer must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell’s level (Wis 10 for 0-level spells, Wis 11 for 1st level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a healer’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the healer’s Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a healer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on the table above. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score.
Spontaneous Casting: A healer can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that she did not prepare ahead of time. The healer can “lose” any prepared spell that is not an orison in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with “cure” in its name).
Healing Hands: Whenever a healer casts a spell that cures hit point damage, she adds her Charisma modifier to the amount of damage healed. This bonus applies only to spells of the healing subschool that she casts as a healer, not to those that she may have by virtue of levels in another class.
This bonus improves to two times her Charisma modifier at level 10.
Skill Focus (Heal): A healer’s focused training grants her this bonus feat at 2nd level. If she already has that feat, she may choose a different one.
Healing Wave: A healer can release a wave of healing energy by channeling the power of her faith. Healing Wave causes a burst that affects all living creatures in a 30 foot radius centered on the healer. The amount healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two healer levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures healed by healing wave cannot exceed their maximum hit point total--all excess healing is lost. A healer may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
This ability counts as Channel Energy (positive) for the purposes of qualifying for prestige classes or feats.
Healing Techniques: As a healer gains experience, she learns a number of techniques that increase her healing abilities. Starting at 2nd level, a healer gains one healing technique. She gains an additional technique for every 2 levels of healer attained after 2nd level. A healer cannot select an individual technique more than once.
Cleanse Blindness: The healer gains the ability to cleanse blindness a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier, as if casting a remove blindness/deafness spell.
Cleanse Disease: The healer gains the ability to cleanse disease a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier, as if casting a remove disease spell.
Cleanse Fear: The healer gains the ability to cleanse fear a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier, as if casting a remove fear spell.
Cleanse Mind: The healer gains the ability to remove any charm effect a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier as a standard action.
Cleanse Paralysis: The healer gains the ability to cleanse paralysis a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier, as if casting the remove paralysis spell.
Cleanse Poison: The healer gains the ability to cleanse poison a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier, as if casting a neutralize poison spell.
Healer's Grace: When the healer casts any spell that cures hit point damage, she can choose to grant the subject a +1 sacred bonus for every 4 class levels to Saving Throws (minimum +1). This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the healer's Charisma modifier. This ability can be used 3 times per day + her Charisma modifier.
Healer's Protection: The healer gains the ability to protect her charges. When the healer casts any spell that cures hit point damage, she can choose to grant the subject a +1 sacred bonus for every 4 class levels to Armor Class (minimum +1). This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the healer's Charisma modifier. This ability can be used 3 times per day + her Charisma modifier.
Lingering Vitality: A healer with this ability is able to increase their healing effects over time. When the healer casts any spell that cures hit point damage, she can choose to grant the subject Fast Healing 1. This effect lasts 10 rounds plus 1 round per level, to a maximum of 15 rounds. This ability can be used 3 times a day + her Charisma modifier.
Practiced Healer: The healer is gains a +2 sacred bonus to caster level when using healing spells.
Rapid Healing: The healer gains the ability to reduce the casting time of her healing spells. The healer is able to cast any spell that cures hit point damage as a move action. This ability can be used 3 times a day + her Charisma modifier.
Selective Healing Wave: The healer gains the ability to target her healing wave. This ability allows the healer to select which targets within range are affected by her Healing Wave.
Touch of Healing: The healer gains the ability to channel divine healing with just a touch. As a standard action, the healer can heal 3 points of damage per caster level to a maximum of 30 points. You can use this ability only on a target that has been reduced to one-half or fewer of its total hit points. The effect ends once you've healed the subject up to half its normal maximum hit points. This ability has no effect on creatures that can't be healed by cure spells.
Effortless Healing: At 7th level, a healer has learned to cast spells of the healing subschool with minimal effort. She may cast such spells without provoking attacks of opportunity. This ability applies only to spells of the healing subschool that she casts as a healer, not to those that she may have by virtue of levels in another class.
Unicorn Companion: When a healer attains 8th level, the deities recognize her devotion and grant her a celestial unicorn companion as her mount and aide. The unicorn, a symbol of healing and purity, serves the healer willingly and unswervingly.
Once per day, as a full-round action, the healer may magically call her companion from the celestial realms in which it resides. The companion immediately appears adjacent to the healer and remains for 2 hours per healer level. It may be dismissed at any time as a free action. The companion is the same creature each time it is called, though the healer may release a particular companion from service to gain a companion of a different kind. Each time the companion is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The companion also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a companion is a conjuration (calling) effect.
Advanced Techniques: At 10th level, and every two levels thereafter, a healer can choose one of the following advanced techniques in place of a healing technique.
Aura of Protection: The healer can emit a 30-foot aura of protection for a number of rounds per day equal to her healer level. She and her allies within this aura gain a +1 deflection bonus to AC and resistance 5 against all elements (acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic). The deflection bonus increases by +1 for every five healer levels you possess beyond 10th. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Cleanse Spirit: A healer gains the ability to restore a creature to health a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier, as if casting a greater restoration spell.
Cleanse Petrification: A healer gains the ability to restore a petrified creature to health a number of times per day equal to 1 + her Charisma modifier, as if casting a stone to flesh spell.
Empowered Healing: All of the healer's cure spells are treated as if they were empowered, increasing the amount of damage healed by half (+50%). This does not stack with the Empower Spell metamagic feat.
Expand Wave: Healing wave gains the range of a 60 foot radius.
Extra Wave: The healer gains additional uses of Healing Wave. She can now use Healing wave 6 times per day + her Charisma modifier.
Healer's Blessing: When the healer casts any spell that cures hit point damage, she can choose to grant the subject damage reduction of 1/- for every 4 levels of healer. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the healer's Charisma modifier. This ability can be used 3 times per day + her Charisma modifier.
Improved Touch of Healing: Functions as the healing technique Touch of Healing, except that the maximum amount of damage healed is 60 points.
Ranged Healing: The healer gains the ability to restore a creature to health from a distance. Any healing spell with the range of touch becomes a ranged touch spell with the range of close (25 feet + 5 ft per 2 caster levels).
Swift Healing: The healer gains the ability to reduce the casting time of her healing spells. The healer is able to cast any spell that cures hit point damage as a swift action. This ability can be used 3 times a day + her Charisma modifier.
New Limb: At 15th level, a healer gains the ability to regrow a creature’s lost or damaged body part once per day, as if casting a regenerate spell.
New Life: Once per week, a 20th-level healer can bring a dead creature back to life, as if casting a true resurrection spell.
Healer Spell List
Orisons (0 Level Spells): Create Water, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Light, Mending, Purify Food & Drink, Read Magic, Resistance, Stabilize
1st Level: bless water, cure light wounds, deathwatch, delay disease, goodberry, healthful rest, ironguts, protection from evil, remove fear, remove paralysis, resurgence, sanctuary, speak with animals, lesser vigor
2nd Level: bear's endurance, calm emotions, cure moderate wounds, delay poison, gentle repose, mass lesser vigor, remove blindness/deafness, remove disease, resist energy, lesser restoration, status, summon elysian thrush, vigor
3rd Level: close wounds, consecrate, create food and water, cure serious wounds, greater resistance, magic circle against evil, mass resurgence, neutralize poison, protection from energy, remove curse, restoration, safety
4th Level: cure critical wounds, death ward, delay death, freedom of movement, greater status, mass cure light wounds, negative energy protection, panacea, planar ally (lesser), revenance, sheltered vitality, spell immunity
5th Level: atonement, break enchantment, breath of life, dance of the unicorn, hallow, life's grace, mass cure moderate wounds, raise dead, stone to flesh, spell resistance, true seeing, greater vigor
6th Level: greater resistance, greater restoration, heal, heroes’ feast, mass bear's endurance, mass cure serious wounds, mass restoration, planar ally, regenerate, vigorous circle
7th Level: aura of vitality, fortunate fate, mass cure critical wounds, refuge, renewal pact, repulsion, resurrection
8th Level: discern location, greater planar ally, greater spell immunity, holy aura, mass death ward, mass heal
9th Level: foresight, gate, miracle, true resurrection, undeath's eternal foe
Have you ever put your players through a scene, event, or even an entire campaign where the only proper response any could conjure was simply "What in the blazes was THAT!?" In my group we call this a "WTF!? Moment" or "WTF!? Award". And this thread is for cataloging, sharing, and comparing them. :)
I just got one tonight. I'm running Savage Tide, we're in the latter half of "The Bullywug Gambit": the party's employer's manor is under attack by frogmen and they're rushing to come to her rescue. One room along the path is described as a laundry room, where two Bullywugs are sorting through the silks in the hampers there. The guide says they fight to the death to protect it, but the first person to enter the room simply ran through to the other side and shouted "Sorry for the intrusion!" so they didn't attack. Apparently describing frogmen picking through laundry half-buried in sheets and discarded clothes and with certain garments equipped in incorrect ways was too much for some of my players, and after the laughter subsided I was given my "just" reward.
So, some time ago I picked up some of the 3rd-party OGL stuff from Malhavoc Press... specifically Hyperconscious and When The Sky Falls. A lot of the stuff is weird, some is interesting, some is useless, as it is with nearly every product, really. But I've been intrigued with the whole "Dark Plea" storyline introduced in these two books. A web search just redirects me to those books, and Wiki only gives it a passing mention in Bruce Cordell's article. Any place I can find more information on it? Other books published that feature it or anything like that?
Thanks again in advance :)
Since my group's games are scheduled and catalogued over forums, I post a summary at the beginning of every chapter. Back way back with Bastion of Broken Souls, each chapter was accompanied by a short quote that suited the situation; I personally thought that was pretty freakin' awesome and decided to do it for STAP. I have a few already done, but I'm curious if anyone has any suggestions for the ones I've forgotten, or better ones for any of the ones I've already chosen.
"There Is No Honor"
"The Bullywug Gambit"
"The Sea Wyvern's Wake"
"Here There Be Monsters"
"Tides of Dread"
"The Lightless Depths"
"City of Broken Idols"
"Serpents of Scuttlecove"
"Into the Maw"
"Wells of Darkness"
"Enemies of My Enemy"
"Prince of Demons"