Darius’s intial reaction is to flee from the tide of vermin but the words of inspiration help the young tiefling find his courage.
Stepping forward, he weaves his fingers together and speaks a formulae aloud. ”Brimstone for potency… Charcoal for longevity… I think I’ve got it!”
”Stand still Mister Orc!”
Burning an arcane point to bump caster level.
Burning Hands DC 15: 3d4 ⇒ (4, 1, 3) = 8
There is no good solution. Allowing Crane Style into your game has rapidly brought you to the end of what I call 'The Deos Theory'. In short, allowing players unhindered optimization will inevitably bring you the problem you have now - there's no way to challenge the overpowered character without crushing everyone else or singling him out with custom-made encounters that will leave him frustrated.
In short, the only real solution is to talk to him about it. See if he'll consider rebuilding or accepting a blanket nerf to crane style. I suggest taking away the attack deflect but leaving the fighting defensively bonus in place.
Crane Style is overpowered. Anyone that says otherwise is ignorant of its function in actual play. Even in the theoretical scenario where the party fights nothing but dragons with 8 attacks that always hit, the crane styler is still bounds ahead of a non-crane styler. In my current highest level game (17th) I'm still waiting for the 'sweet spot' where crane style loses its luster.
Life in Riddleport, though lacking the glamor and posterity you grew up with, has been good. Its brigands have a certain kind of honor that make them endearing and among them even your exotic appearance seems to go unnoticed.
During the past few months you’ve taken work where you can find it, usually as a guard under the employ of one of Riddleport’s crime lords. Often, this brought you into conflict with that crime lord’s rivals. These encounters are usually one part thrilling and two parts hazardous but have given you plenty of opportunities to practice your growing newfound magical talents.
Recently, your new life came under fire when you were cornered in one of Riddleports dark alleys by a striking woman in red leathers. Despite her beauty, she carried an air of danger and menace.
She explained that she represented a guild of bounty hunters – the Red Mantis - and that she’d been hired by your father to slay you but that ultimately you were a small fry in the sea of bounties available in Riddleport. In exchange for aid with another mark, she’d arrange for you to be forgotten and your new life could continue as it was. Having little choice, you reluctantly agreed.
The target is Clegg Zincher, one of Riddleports more publicly known crimelords. He’s known for organizing the city’s unskilling laborers but he also has a big role in Riddleport’s arenas and fighting pits. Two years ago he killed a group of men loyal to Korvosa’s queen. That error is catching up to him now.
She explained that targeting Zincher in Riddleport cleanly would be next to impossible but that he would be leaving with a group of his most trusted men to dig for sky iron on the Devil’s Elbow. Your job would be to ingratiate yourself with Zincher, learn as much as possible about his operations, and then capture or kill him while he was isolated.
I suppose I should talk a little about myself.
I'm a regular on these boards and have been for a few years. I play in several games and DM a few of my own. I was a part of the Skull and Shackles PBP that finished the entire AP in four months. I'm probably one of the most consistent players around. I work at an office and have a smart phone so posting regularly is never a problem.
Appario Lind wrote:
Not cool bro.
I actually like this part of the change. The gamer mentality of 'we need to check every room for loot' always felt super meta-gamey to me.
Now players focus on the story and the mission. There's no more searching random rooms for their faction mission after finding the stair leading down to the BBEG.
Like Second Darkness, it's kind of a bait and switch thematically.
Second Darkness starts in Riddleport with the PCs in the employ of a down-on-his-luck crimelord and ends up being a quest to help the elves save the world from drow. This is jarring and hard to build character motivations around.
Council of Thieves has similar problems. People go into it assuming that it's going to be about a resistance group taking Westcrown and striking back against Thrune but ultimately it's about keeping a usurper infernal element from taking over and maintaining the status quo.
Now, both of these APs are still a blast - I've gotten 2/3 the way through CoT and am midway through the first book of Second Darkness - but for players and DM going in expecting one thing, it's disappointing to get the other.
Heh, not quite. All she said was to visit the campfire thread and introduce myself.
Well, here I am!
I'm a regular poster in several games and I'm running a few. I'm semi-famous for the Skull and Shackles PBP that I co-DMed/played in that finished the whole AP in four months. I generally prefer to play melee/tank characters but I wouldn't mind a chance to try out a caster of some kind.
I've suffered the worst-case-scenario clearly-wrong DM rules call from a DM at Gencon before. It sucks. In addition, it's expensive.
I DM quite a bit myself and I consider myself very well versed in Pathfinder rules/mechanics. Even so, I get stuff wrong and encourage people to call me out if they believe me to be wrong. A world where the DM is above reproach is much worse than one where DM's have to live in fear of internet judgement.
After donning the crown, which instantly takes the form of a shaped piece of blue-green coral, Kal's able to use its power to guild the Lucre through the walls of the hidden cave and out into the open air.
Outside, the battle is still fiercely underway, both the forces Bonefist and the party's allied fleet refusing to yield ground.
Once ships see the changing of the Lucre's flag, the fighting quickly ends. Most lower their own flags as a sign of submission while a few others break off and head out to sea. Cries of the new Hurricane King's name is rapidly picked up among the pirate crews.
"All hail Kal Seaborn, Hurricane King!"
The following day, Kal Seaborne is sworn in as the Hurricane King. In a few words, he pledges to hold the safety of the Shackles and its waters above all others and ensure its people remain free. The council of pirate lords approves of their new king and welcomes him with open arms.
Wealthy beyond words and powerful both personally and politically, the party goes their own way for a time...
In the months to come, Kal settles in to the responsibilities that come with his new title. The Shackles is a perilous place and more than a couple attempts at coups start up not soon after he's sworn in. Worse still, rumors of a growing Chelish movement to mobilize the entire navy to avenge one of Thrune's daughters is heard on the water. It seems Druvalia Thrune isn't the last the Shackles will see of the devil-bound empire.
Luthor returns home, eager to show his father that ulfen sea-reaving isn't a dead tradition. Luthor's father, the jarl of a small northern village as proud of his son as any ulfen could be, welcomes his son home with open arms only to be berated by his tiny tian wife about tracking snow into the lodge. Luthor's father gives him a new task, track down and slay a linnhorm for his coming wedding anniversary.
Flush with arcane power and with nearly a ship full of eager suitors, Opal tracks down her retired father with news of the things she's accomplished. Her father, ever the cruel man even in his waning years, demands she share fortune and when she refuses, challenges her to a duel. With a broken heart, the sorceress easily dispatches the old man. After the smoke clears, she's approached by her mother. Finally freed of the old pirate's tyranny, the bound elemental begs her daughter to free her and more - to come with her to the elemental realm. Opal clasps her mother's hands and whispers her answer.
With the coin and fame from helping Kal rise to Hurricane King, Chubwart is easily able to build his power - despite his goblin status (or everyone else's not-goblin status). Before long he has a fleet of his own (The Longshank Biter, The Saucy Elf, and Chub's Finest, etc). Rumors abound that the goblin is considering a coup of his own for the Hurricane Crown.
Zirul goes into business with Omara Culverin, the garundi sniper, to develop firearms for the new Hurricane King. Surprisingly, chemistry isn't so different from biology and the Doctor's expertise grows to include the up-and-coming Black Powder. He even begins to dabble in the 'bombs' others in his profession always seem to going on about.
Wealthy and powerful enough to command a ship of his own, Bjorkus heads out to Kortos to find his people and the family that abandoned him at birth. His father, a massive bull and the clan's chieftain, apologizes for nothing but is visibly impressed when Bjorkus puts his harem on display. The elder minotaur admits his fault and offers Bjorkus a place within their labyrinthine home but the young bull declines. His place was on sea now and his crew was family. With a heart free of regrets, Bjorkus returns to the sea and a life of piracy. Rumors are he's working with one of his ladies, former Pathfinder Alhazrah, to get work as a free agent for the infamous Society.
After five years, each member of the party receives a summons from Kal Seaborne - the Hurricane King.
The Shackles faces a danger unlike anything we've faced before. I need your help. Bring everything you can.
And that marks the end of the AP. I hope everyone had fun!
The same way you watch day time television, or go to Starbucks, or read a Harry Potter book. You just do. None of these things should conflict with your faith.
When I was ~14 my mom brought my church's pastor in for an intervetion because she thought tabletop RPGs were a tool of the devil and taking me down a path of evil. Over about a half an hour she described the hobby in extreme detail. After she was done she looked to Pastor Verny expecting some righteous vindication.
He responded something like this:
Pastor: Is he doing drugs?
Pastor: Is he hanging out with the wrong crowd?
Pastor: How are his grades?
Pastor: Is he doing his chores?
Pastor: Then what's the problem?
Mom: I... He... Nothing I guess.
No, I mean like the option to decline credit for playing a scenario in the interest of playing it again and getting a better experience or a system to report hostile DMs or players.
Reporting to a Venture Captain isn't a good solution as, in my experience, Venture Captains are just as likely to be part of the problem.
Chubs is still around in-character and welcome to come back whenever he has time.
No, that gold does not include Opal's winnings. She gets another 2100 gold from her gambling.
I figured as much. I'm as blissfully unconcerned out-of-character as Krunch is. He's not high enough level (or smart enough) to be paranoid.
I'm kind of bummed that the world as a whole has taken a turn for the higher fantasy/power level lately. I may be mistaken but I recall Golarion being billed as more Westeros and less Faerun originally, yet with each canon/lore release the general power level goes up. Some of the last APs have been especially egregious.
Suddenly there's level 11 barbarians and level 13 wizards running around as mook encounters? Where are these people coming from?
Dizzy from blood loss, Skaar tries to quickly survey the scene.
The girls are down and bleeding, maybe dead.
I'm hurt. Blood... so much blood.
This bastard is too quick. I'll never be able to bring him down before he carves me up again.
Strapped to Aurelia's back, Rorn's greataxe suddenly caught the big orc's eye. Skaar had sworn off weapons, they reminded too much of the past he was trying to forget, but he had to do something or he was going to fail... again.
Tearing the axe free from the unconscious Aurelia, the hulking orc roars wordlessly before stepping forward and swinging the deadly weapon in a screaming arc.
Masterwork Greataxe: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Confirming: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
"You know how this life is. A pirate has to be fierce to survive but that doesn't mean he can't be fair. Those two had their chances, more than someone like Harrigan would have given them. The goblin is strange but he has honor."
Bjorkus studied the woman again before resuming his duties ushering the crew in Opal's direction, lingering on those legs she seemed to be so proud of.
"Now that we're not enemies, we should get to know each other - tonight below decks. I can learn about your experience and you can see what's been keeping Tilly and the Besmaran priestess coming back night after night."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Go Versatile Performance!
I'd be a terrible woman.
This was my morning (~30 minutes from waking up to leaving the house).
2 minutes - Put on shoes, go outside and turn on the sprinklers to water the sod
*Leave the House*
There's no time for waking up Red!
Powered by his pain, Pirknok's weapon slams into the murderous goblin, splitting him in half and splattering the adjacent wall of foliage with gore.
Some cried for me. Others asked for loved ones. Others still begged for me to take their enemies first. I do not choose favorites mortal. My duty began before even the Shoanti. I was old when this world was young.
The beast increases the pressure on Pirknok's torso and the popping sound of ribs splintering under the bear's unyielding strength fills the air.
Grapple for Damage: 1d20 + 5 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 5 + 12 = 19
Is this how you will meet Death? Blaming me for your losses and failures? How is that worthy? How is that Shoanti?
Tanrov fumes as he pins the Mage to the ground and beats him senseless with his big fists. Ares recovers thanks to Amira's channeling and climbs to his hooves. The bull encourages the young shoanti by snorting and stamping his hooves.
"That's for burning us with fire!"
"That's for having your thugs stab Ares!"
"That's for hiding indoors!"