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I am aware that Davos and Morbar are both away at the moment
Morbar moves up beside Jon and Cara at the doorway. His hands twist anxiously on the handle of Dawnbreaker. Davos, meanwhile makes sure that his wand and components are to hand. He doesn't want to get caught unawares again, not after the tree. That damned tree...
Round 1 - Enemy
What was that...? a voice hisses in the fog. Over there, it sounded like it was coming form the forge!
You begin to hear the sound of several individuals moving around the back of the building.
Round 2 - Heroes
I know quite a few people have mentioned this is Avatar inspired but am I the only one who instantly thought of Full Metal Alchemist in reading this class?
The pyrokineticist may as well be called Roy Mustang - Flame Alchemist for me :D
I think the class is somewhere in limbo at the moment. I think we all agree we love the concept but it seems to lack the raw damage output of a fighter or archer or any of the utility of, say, an actual alchemist who has a similar chassis.
Would 4 levels of psychic spell casting be too much?
The rooms to both east and west are indescript in nature. One was probably a bedroom, the other a kitchen. Little now remains to confirm that however.
The rest of the party moves in.
There doesn't appear to be any threats nor items of value.
As you search the forge you begin to hear noises outside in the street beyond the front door. They seem some distance away at the moment but there is definite movement.
Probably worth doing this is rounds.
Round 1 - Heroes
I can't update the map until tonight but assume you are all within a single movement of the front or back door, whichever you prefer to exit.
Sebastian waits until he can hear the front door to the forge open with an alarming creak. Then, he himself slips in through the back door which seems to be in better repair and, quiet as a mouse he enters the darkened building.
The forge itself is on his left as he enters and has clearly seen no use for many years. A layer of dust and ash has settled over what furniture remains with several workbenches and a tool rack mostly still intact though any tools that remain are long since serviceable.
Doors lead off to the east and west but he can see his comrades enter through the front door and all remains quiet.
Since Kinetic Blade doesn't call out an action I am assuming it is Free since you are intended to be able to attack iteratively with it.
How does this interact with traditional melee feats such as weapon focus, power attack, vital strike etc? I recognise that none of those would apply on a blast that is ranged touch to begin with since it retains that quality in melee weapon form, nor can you add strength to damage.
It seems like a huge design change to veer away from burn now but I think a pool of points similar to a magus with which to augment would probably have been simpler and less debilitating for the character.
The move action reduction in burn will help so I will report back having actually played the mechanic, this is all based on first impressions for me.
That.. is... awesome.
Having said that a 9th level will be doing something like 5d6+5+6 damage (before burn) once a round, which isn't a huge amount of damage in comparison to, say, a full attacking two hander fighter.
I know that's comparing apples and oranges but without playing one yet I'm trying to see where these guys fit on the power curve.
This class takes a whole lot of things I loved from the 3.5 warlock and, if anything, improves on them.
I really like the burn mechanic as it is. You can use it to do huge amounts of damage with certain infusions or add debilitating effects, but you might just overdo things and literally burn yourself out.
4+INT skills would be the biggest thing I would look to change personally though I am yet to go into it in depth.
Overall, great job.
The farm and outbuildings are practically destroyed,having been burnt out years ago.
The mist has deepened into a thick fog that obscures your vision beyond about forty feet bur Sebastian does spot many criss crossing tracks of hoof and paw and boot in the field between the farm and the town proper.
Most seem to be leading to a small building with a thick, stone chimney, most likely a blacksmiths forge.
It is impossible to see deeper into town through the fog though it all seems desperately quiet.
After a melancholy breakfast, the party sets off once more, following the tracks across the plains of Ardeal for mile after mile though the mist makes this a frustrating and difficult task.
Between the mist and the mud and the lack of discernable landmarks, the journey takes near double the time it should have but eventually, toward dusk, you close in on the area marked as Feldgrau on Jon's map.
Knowledge history DC 15:
Toward the end of Bastoi's forced occupation of Ardeal almost 2 decades ago, Count Aericnein Neska's troops spent a night in the small town of Fledgrau. when they pulled out the next morning, they repaid the town for it's hospitality by butchering it's citizens and putting Feldgrau to the torch.
On the outskirts of the town stand the ruins of a small farmhouse and two outbuildings, their roofs long collapsed, exposing splintered frames of grey timber. Beyond, a sodden unsown field stretches to the shattered town of Feldgrau.
The barren earth is scattered with muddy trenches and covered with a perpetual wash of low, swirling fog. Dead trees, like pale and wiry skeletons, grasp at the gray skies, casting their long, ghostly shadows over the crumbling ruins.
The party settle in the old farmhouse.
Eventually one by one they fall asleep to the gentle drumming of rain on the roof. In more than one place the rain pours in through holes in the thatch, once dripping irritatingly on Morbar's foot until he gathers himself with a curse and repositions to the corner. The wind blows through the broken shingles and sounds like the whispering of ghosts. The place feels full of ghosts...
You drift off and are welcomed only by dark dreams and desperate thoughts of what is to come.
You find yourself in a dark room. Or is it a room? Perhaps it is nothing at all.
But there is something in that eternity of darkness. Whispers and dark words. But captivating and enticing all the same.
You cannot make out what they say but the meaning is clear enough. Yet another of you almost falls. Why struggle, so? When there is a chance to save this world? When there is another Way...?
When morning dawns it is with a weak and milky light that barely penetrates the thick mist that has settled on all the land. The region looks more bleak and desperate than even the day before but at least in the dim light the tracks Jon found are clearer, of several hooved creatures and a single humanoid. The tracks show they left in a hurry and the humanoid seems to walk in staggering steps and is bare on one foot.
There are the prints of several heavy humanoids still present in the dust of the farmhouse.
From the spattering of blood on the floor and wall, you think it likely that someone was hung from the chain and beaten, though there is no evidence of a body being left behind.
Outside, the prints have been obliterated by your battle with the hangman tree, though a patch of churned up mud some distance from the farmhouse suggests that an earlier fight with the tree took place as well. In fact, now that you have time to look at it up close, the tree bears many ugly gouges and scratches that could only have been made by claws.
Jon discovers sets of hoof prints leading away from the farmhouse to the south east, though oddly the tracks are bipedal and not that of a horse.
DMPC for Cara, keep this rolling.
The tree shifts slowly but steadily out of sight and the young woman curses as she sees Davos lowered into the trees' bulk.
We have to do something! she cries. It's going to kill him!
She rushes forward so she can see the trunk the thing, even if it is only through the crack of the door.
Please don't let me miss...
Shot 1: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22 Hit
The shot doesn't hit solidly in the trunk but rather slices wide of centre, but still gouging a deep chunk out of the tree. She can't say for certain but she is sure a shudder runs through the creature.
Round 4 - Enemy
The tree shambles further away from the farmhouse, but three vines lash out at Morbar as it does so.
Vine 1, Morbar: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14 Miss
The vines slash out at Morbar. ONe curls around the handle of his hammer but he wrenches it away while the others lash harmlessly against the steel of his armor.
The rain continues to slam down producing an odd percussion on Morbar's armor. His blood rushes in his ears and he can hear Sebastian and Markus and Cara all screaming at him, all urging him to save their friend. The wind in the branches of the Hangman Tree, blowing through the bones of the skeletons that hang there, whistles a high pitched cry.
But through all that, all he can hear is Davos.
The elf... normally so quiet... so reserved... cries out in agony as the tree's bulk twists and shifts.
Within the trunk Davos is hurled one side and then the other. The walls of the innards convulse around him and he can feel an immense pressure building in his head. His mind begins to roar in agony and revulsion as the thing crushes him and soon his voice joins it. He screams, not knowing if anyone can hear him but with a final twist, his neck snaps at an impossible angle, cutting off his scream forever.
Swallow Whole auto damage, Davos: 2d6 + 7 ⇒ (4, 2) + 7 = 13
Davos ends the round on -15 and Dead
Round 4 - Heroes
As Jon remains oblivious to the immediate danger his friends are in, Sebastian and Cara take the fight to the huge tree-creature. The monk's second attempt at scorching the creature is successful as several branches catch in a blaze whilst Cara's arrows thud into it's thick trunk, their effectiveness impossible to judge.
Markus does his best to keep Davos alive by bursting forth with positive energy whilst Morbar hurls himself into harm's way in order to save the elf. As he charges in however one of the vines catches him by the throat and he finds himself choking and clawing at it.
Round 3 - Enemy
Standard action = Swallow Whole, Grapple free action constrict on Morbar and Davos, Move action to move back ten feet.
The tree lowers Davos' helpless form into a hollow within it's trunk where he is battered by it's internal digestion system and hurled about in sticky sap.
Releasing Morbar from it's grip, it moves slowly backward along the side of the house to the east.
It is now out of sight of everyone except Sebastian. Morbar is no longer grappled.
Constrict damage on Morbar and Davos: 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Swallow whole damage on Davos: 2d6 + 7 ⇒ (6, 5) + 7 = 18
Round 3 - Heroes
As Morbar charges in, a second vine from the tree lashes out.
AOO, Morbar, Vine slam: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (15) + 12 = 27 Hit
Just like Davos, the vine wraps around Morbar's throat, instantly cutting off his air supply and digging into the soft flesh.
Morbar is also now grappled
Davos, read the knowledge check above. You didn’t know anything in addition
Cara looks on in horror as Davos is hauled from his feet and cries out a warning and call to arms to the rest of the team.
Begin Inspire Courage for +2 to hit and Damage
Sebastian unleashes his chi and watches as the roaring dragons wash over the tree but incredibly, it does not even appear singed. He looks down at his hands in disbelief as the attack seemed to have no effect at all!
Markus rushes to Davos’ aid, calling on the power of Desna to grant him a chance at escape. He begins to glow with a pale purple light and manages to slip out of the vine, taking a huge gulp of breath as he does so. He scrambles backward, almost defenceless against the massive thing but does not account for just how long those vines are. As he crawls away, eyes wide and red with burst blood vessels, the thing lashes out again:
AOO, Davos, Vine slam: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (12) + 12 = 24 Hit
Round 2 – Enemy
With the elf back in it’s clutches, the tree begins once more to reel him in like a fish on a hook, the vine ever tighter around his throat.
Maintain grapple: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (5) + 20 = 25 Success
Standard action = maintain grapple. Free grapple action = pull. Free action = Constrict for damage
Davos is wrenched up off his feet by the vine, hauled in the air to hang besides the skeletons that already decorate the tree’s branches. He kicks uselessly and thrashes to no avail. His vision begins to cloud over as he continues to be savagely strangled to death.
Davos is now ten feet up in the air, hanging from the tree
Round 2 – Heroes
The hangman tree prefers to lie in wait near remote forest tracks and game trails, waiting for victims to wander by. These carnivorous plants are incredibly patient, and can wait for months in a single location for food to approach. When prey does draw near, the tree's vines lash like striking snakes. The tree often uses its pull ability to hoist grappled foes 10 to 15 feet in the air so that they are out of reach of allies while they slowly strangle. The tree generally only swallows one foe whole at a time, letting its other captured victims dangle and ripen until it is ready to feed on them.
Spell resistance, grab and strangle
Morbar: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Average = 15.1
Hangman Tree: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Enemy acts first
Round 1 - Enemy
Hangman Tree, maintain, Davos: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (5) + 20 = 25 Success
Davos is inexorably pulled along the floor of the farmhouse, He gasps and struggles and digs his finger nails into the floor boards as he is hauled away only to leave deep gouges before the nail on his middle and forefingers snap off with a spurt of blood.
Round 1 - Heroes
Jon and Morbar:
At the end of your turn, you may attempt another Will save vs DC 20 to shrug off the spores
Jon pushes into the next room with the others close behind. Like the living area, this second room, probably at one time a kitchen, has fallen long since to degradation.
There is no furniture remaining, only a length of rusted chain that hangs looped around an exposed ceiling beam. Beneath the chain a spattering of blood here and there and a single boot of soft leather. It looks like it was high quality but now split and torn. Though certainly not new, it doesn't appear to be of the same age as the house.
As Jon and Markus investigate, you suddenly hear a wrenching sound like that of a tree falling.
From the other room, you hear Davos suddenly gasp and choke and spin around to see a length of vine twisted and viscously digging into his neck.
Surprise Round - Enemy
Partial charge and vine slam
Vine slam, Dvaos: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
The vine whips around Davos' neck and hauls him from his feet. Choking and grasping at it, he is pulled slowly toward the doorway!
Davos is now grappled, prone and strangled. Strangled means he cannot breathe whilst being grappled and cannot cast any spell that requires a verbal component
Davos: 1d20 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 8 + 4 = 23 Pass
Sebastian, Markus and Cara spin around at the sound and see the massive tree from beside the farmhouse has shifted position. It has pulled itself out of the ground and moved on root-like legs to the doorway where it's vines whip out to slash at the party. water sprays from it's branches as it does so, the bodies swinging ever more furiously.
Incredibly, Jon and Morbar do not pay any heed, but continue investigating the old kitchen.
Jon and Morbar:
You are both hallucinating. This plant emits invisible spores that cause you to perceive reality differently. This is why you saw the bodies as wolves and not skeletons and why you also simply do not register that the fight is happening. This effect lasts for 2d6 ⇒ (1, 1) = 2 minutes and during that time you are completely passive toward the tree, believing it to be normal and that no one is in danger. Every round it attacks an ally however you can roll another save to shake off the effects of the hallucinogen and if you are attacked you get a +4 to this save
The farmhouse leans uneasily, it's weathered planks straining to keep the fragile shell of peeling paint and crackled shingles upright.
Looking in through the window, Sebastian can see the house appears bare save for some old, rotten furniture. A hearth on the east wall doesn't look to have been lit in years and though he sees no sign of occupation, there is a persistent scratching from somewhere in the house.
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Jon, Cara, Davos, Morbar:
The wolves hanging from the tree are twisted and monstrous looking things, with overlong arms and patches of ragged red fur. They have row upon row of razor sharp teeth, as might a shark, and cloven hooves where their rear claws should be.
Markus and Sebastian:
As you get closer to the farmhouse, you realise that the bodies hanging in the tree are not wolves at all, or at least not any more. They are humanoid skeletons and the wind whistles slightly as it blows through their exposed bones
As you approach you can see that the bodies are indeed that of werewolves, though from which tribe, it is impossible to tell.
The bodies twist and sway gently from ropes tied to the tree, tongues lolling from their decomposing heads.
You approach the farmhouse from the rear, there doesn't appear to be an entrance on this side.
After the fraught discussion, the party awakens the next day to find the weather has not improved. If anything, it has grown worse as the rain has now been joined by a shroud of low mist that hangs over everything and hampers your vision to just a few hundred feet
Never the less, you press on, the horses by now filthy with mud and none of you faring much better as you slop through large tracks of sodden field.
Some way in the distance, just at the edge of your vision in the mist, you see the outline of a solitary farmhouse with an enormous tree growing beside it.
Perception DC 20:
There appears to be about half a dozen bodies hanging from the tree, listing gently in the breeze