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So, finally gotten around to it.
Rushlight Tournament and an Epic Twist:
So the session begins with the invitation to the Rushlight Tournament as well as the general laying out of the rules. Pondering on who participates in which event, the team chose Kiriv as the one for the archery contest, King Vesket of the Lizardfolk to chop the logs, Sage to do the boast and finally Wilda for the joust. They checked how things were going on in general, and then set out towards the festival grounds themselves.
As they arrive, they of course go see the king himself, though they are understandably wary of him after hearing of his enmity with Brevoy and figuring that might lead to problems later on for their county. However, they decide not to cause trouble there and then, though Vesket likened Irovetti to a court jester which was almost caused an unwanted scene. Either way, the tournament went pretty smoothly from then on. Kiriv won the archery contest after a tie-breaker, and the cheater was caught red-handed. Vesket easily beat the rest of the competition when it came down to chopping wood with an axe. Sage got to a good third place in the boast, and Wilda beat the joust but was injured by Villamor during their round in the ring.
This led to her showing up and actually tossing the gauntlet at Irovetti's feet during the award ceremony, a move that Sage and the others were not anticipating. While Irovetti shrugged it off at first, the crowd began to see him as buckling down as Vesket and others joined on goading him into accepting the challenge. He chooses to have Villamor duel Wilda. Lucky criticals and Smite Evil gave the victory to the Paladin, and Villamor yielded. Irovetti had a bit of a breakdown due to such, and called the Greenbelt County leaders barbarians. Sage was enraged by this. He swiftly and loudly denounced Irovetti, calling him out on the hypocrisy of first denying a knight the right to an honorable duel after humiliating them, and then having the gall to call said paladin (and her allies) barbaric when things don't go his way. The crowd was about to seize Irovetti after the speech riled it up, but Irovetti took a Wand out from a hidden pocket and was about to Teleport away. Sage and Irovetti rolled Initiative.
Sage won on Initiative and cast Hold Person, and Irovetti...
...rolled a 1 on his Will Save.
That changed everything. The king was captured, the part I was hoping would run for a few sessions ended there and then, and his troops were quickly rallied and defeated, with Pitax itself being given time to restore itself to how it was before the tyrant showed up to cause trouble. The session ended with a return to the county, news of Varnhold disappearing suddenly and the player characters pondering what to do with the fallen king who's now their hostage. And yeah, to think a few twists and turns caused by NPC reactions and a lucky (or unlucky) roll made the campaign take such a dramatic turn. I was at first vexed that it didn't go the way I planned, but then I figured it's even more exciting this way. All I need to do is try and recalibrate the rate at which I should hand out EXP, as Irovetti's capture gave them an instant level up. I'm sure I will figure something out, and I am very much looking forward to the next session since I have more twists and turns in mind, especially regarding Drelev and Vordakai.
Sorry about the length of this. Also, I wonder what you guys think of what happened. XD
So, Kingmaker as of last session...
...we finished off Rivers Run Red now (story below) and are going to move to the next part, though I have a surprise in store for the group in that regard.
Anyway, the session starts with the four heroes looking at the damage caused by the monster that had run amok while they were taking care of the trolls and other threats in the south. From what they were told by the local populace, a giant owlbear had gone on a rampage around Stagshelm for some reason, only to retreat south soon after. The casualties were buried and repairs on damaged holdings were started immediately.
Meanwhile, the players give chase to the beast and find the large cavern filled with filth and mushrooms, contending with a few violet fungi before the giant owlbear itself emerges to attack them. After a fight where Sage would have died (again) had Ciaran not staggered the owlbear with a well-timed Frigid Touch spell, they investigate the rest of the cavern, finding some dead bodies, a cursed ring with some nymph hair woven into it and starving owlbear cub next to its dead mother, which they later gave to the local druids. The lair itself was given for the kobolds to expand upon, possibly giving them a second lair to work with given some time and effort.
Returning to the capital and restoring peace there, they then begin to take care of other distributions of land among the races that live in their territory, the old lair of the trolls being given to the local dwarves and gnomes (though the kobolds objected to this decision at first) while the lizardfolk have considered expanding their territory to the nearby swamps, west of their village. The kobolds still reside in their own area for the most part, though the expedition sent south to the owlbear's lair cleaned up all the waste from there and are already working on the designs of a more complex tunnel system, which is eventually going to connect to the Sootscale caverns to the north.
At the same time, Kiriv has begun training some of the kobold soldiers in the arts of a gunslinger while Sage had taken time to help those of a more sorcerous bent with their spells as well as keeping track of the progress his two apprentices Euphemia and Tatiana have made. Oruda spent his time sparring with his clansmen, while Ciaran practiced his martial prowess alongside his casting. Eventually, the party took some time to craft magic items with the help of Sage. While the items were completed in time, a minor mishap happened when the wizard was crafting a Headband of Vast Intelligence for Ciaran, as the item ended up cursed. Rolling on the curse tables, the item led to the magus ending up from male to female. Ciaran herself found this to be merely a mild annoyance, so it's not sure if she plans to change back or not once a Remove Curse spell is found.
Our party is now debating a commission for a picture of this mishap.
Yeah, same kind of law here in Finland too.
What's the point of a protest if you have to ask for a permit to do so?
Better late than never!
The size, strength and generally aggressive temperament of a minotaur makes raising one an increasingly dangerous endeavor which may require multiple caretakers and a lot of preparations, all of which will pay off if all goes as planned. As they tend to form communities with a clear pecking order, it is highly advised that a given caretaker takes the top rank in the eyes of a minotaur before a situation can turn violent. Once the hierarchy has been set, the minotaur should be raised to slowly shed away this world-view of "the strong and the weak" in favor of a more egalitarian one as well as one less focused on the use of brute force.
Making use of the minotaur's fascination with complexity is highly reccomended, as a more intellectually inclined individual could spend quite a lot of time debating the nature of a riddle or solving a difficult puzzle. However, one should always have some healthy outlets for aggression nearby due to the general temper of the beings. Failing to solve a problem can lead to frustration, a feeling that a minotaur is likely to vent out with violence if the issue is not addressed early.
As many minotaurs have shown sympathy to beasts of burden, giving an individual the responsibility over a herd of cattle or sheep has been used as a way to give the minotaur both a way to spend time productively as well as teach it about coming to the defense of those in need. Where a normal shepherd would stand little chance shielding his sheep from a hungry wolf pack, a minotaur would have a much easier time doing so. These links to livestock also make both Rowdrosh and Erastil attractive options as deities for a minotaur, even more so if the individual has been raised in a more rural environment where their worship is common.
Since minotaurs are known for their great strength as well as a nearly supernatural degree of cunning, raising one to be an artisan of some sort is an easy way to giving one a chance to be accepted in a given society. Anything from carpentry to locksmithing can put both the brawn and the brain of a minotaur to good use, which in turn gives people all the more reason to receive them well. Those not content with staying in one place for extended periods of time work well as guides, bodyguards or even couriers, as it is more or less impossible for a minotaur to get lost. This trait all but ensures that they find themselves in the right place sooner than later.
When it comes to religion, Chadali is one of the best choices for a minotaur to venerate, as her followers are free to ponder over the complex maze that is life while setting themselves on the path of good. The fact that her favored servants include half-celestial minotaurs reinforces this link the race has to her. Another good option is Sarenrae, as her faith is generally suited well to giving the "monsters" a second chance and the passion of her followers translates well to a minotaur's mindset. Kurgess is a great replacement for Erastil or Rowdrosh in more urban settings, as his followers are taught to compete in a healthy manner and to use their power to protect others instead of using it to rule over them. Those who believe strongly in freedom but have been taught not to misuse their talents sometimes turn to the worship of Cayden Cailean or Desna instead, the choice mostly depending on individual tastes. Mentions of Lamashtu and Baphomet are to be avoided except in the most exceptional situations.
Is it really the Fighter that's the threat, if that's the case?
The threat level of a decked out BBEG Fighter drops significantly after you Sunder or use some other method of breaking his armor and weapons. BBEG Wizards do not have this problem, since they rely mostly on their spells. Also, someone mentioned giving the BBEG an Artifact to fix the problem. Isn't that just a way of saying that the idea doesn't work without some form of DM Fiat?
And yeah, I have less problems with a Rogue, Ranger, Barbarian or Anti-Paladin being a BBEG. Forgot to say that earlier.
In a world where a Wizard beyond level 8 can pretty much pose a major threat to entire armies of Fighters, a BBEG who happens to be a member of a non-casting class just isn't a viable threat. Decking him in powerful gear isn't exactly an option either, since the best gear is magical and thus subject to the effects of an Anti-Magic Field. Toss one over his/her head, and your BBEG just turned into a glorified version of the cannon fodder you've been beating down throughout the campaign.
Umbriere Moonwhisper wrote:
Yeah, a restraining order on this Aaron guy sounds good considering he might be stalking your group outside the game, too. Seriously, this guy shouldn't just be kicked out of the store you hang out at. He should be put into some kind of mental institution, because he's clearly off his fat rocker. Either that, or prison. This guy's clearly been doing his fair share of damage to the people around him (whether it be broken chairs or minds disturbed by his harassement), and he should pay for all of it. How nobody has done anything about him for that long is beyond me.
Freehold DM wrote:
I keep a mixed bag, creating my own deities while also taking old ones and giving them my own spin.
Implying my personal view on the condition of our species is just a phase that will pass is pretty rude, you know. I find the people who think we're the best thing to ever come to existence rather obnoxious myself, but rather than mock them by claiming their view to be a phase (which is an ad hominem anyway), I instead present arguments to counter their views. I also find it hilarious when some people get upset about the fact that humans are animals too, and not this chosen glorious master race some random God handpicked as the rulers of this world and those beyond. Aside from the way our brain is structured and our capacity for destruction (both towards the environment as well as towards animals of all kinds), we're not really that different from the rest of the beings living on this planet.
Considering that even clones and identical twins of people differ from each other, aren't we all special snowflakes in real life anyway?
Different is not a synonym to special. However, on some days I consider human and evil to be synonyms, and seems Zarus from 3.5e D&D agrees.
Speak all you want about human spirit and other virtues that make you people prefer humanocentric settings. I will just go back to reading about all the atrocities we have committed against one another and against other beings that live on this planet while you do so. For people like me, who find humanity to be scum of the Earth (and considering history, can you really blame me?), the fantasy of a humanoid species (or even non-humanoid one) with an intelligence but vastly different way of thinking (for better or for worse) is massively more appealing than playing D&D the same way I "play" real life.
I usually let my misanthropy drown among other thoughts, but threads like these just bring it all back up again.
I don't get it. What is the problem of humans being the dominant or most widespread race in the setting?
Because the people around me who approve of humanocentric settings are often very elitist about it.
Also, I feel it to be self-delusional to assume that humans are the glorious master race in a world where there are races that do things better than humans ever could, like the average orc easily overpowering a human, a dwarf (or a gnome) being more durable or elves out-doing humanity when it comes to magic as well as having the luxury of outliving them.
Those who throw the "humans breed faster" argument usually forget that both orcs and hobgoblins (the latter of which are just as smart as humans or sometimes even more so) breed faster and are both very expansionist, which would lead to the national borders on the maps being very different if people who write settings didn't play favourites or come up with some Deus Ex Machina to save humanity all the time. At least with Golarion the god of humanity is dead and gone, so a steady downhill for humanity (which in turn will put the other races in the spotlight they deserve) wouldn't really be out of the question with all these things considered.
Power Attack and Combat Maneuver Feats got nerfed. I wouldn't say that martials got more powerful.
As an example, Improved Trip gave +4 to Trip attempts as well as a Free Action melee attack back in 3.5e, you know.
I would have taken a time out to resolve the situation out of game, preferably without ending the session there and then. But, since you pretty much took something he wanted and showed it off to his face while saying he can't have it, you kinda asked for it. I would have never let it come to that myself, because it's just plain unfair to do that to your players.
That is something I am going to explore in the story, actually~
The fact that some people didn't understand that I was joking makes me sad.
Also, this thread makes me feel like the questions of Lawful vs Chaotic never come up in a given campaign. One would think that they're more important in a topic like this due to free will being a major factor here and all, but instead people turn this into a Good vs Evil debate for the most part. Lastly, if the side who says that robbing free will (even temporarily) or altering a disposition of someone is so horribly evil would be right in this, then the enchantment school of magic should be treated as far more evil than necromancy ever was. Some of the arguments used here just don't add up to me.