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Kirth Gersen's page

22,767 posts (23,506 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 12 aliases.


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the secret fire wrote:
Indeed, the Vancian magic system is basically set up to keep magic fresh and novel...if it's not just handed out like candy. The DM who lets his Wizard buy a scroll of Time Stop at the corner store has no one to blame but himself if his players don't experience any wonder in the face of such power.

Well, himself and the Core rules themselves, which explicitly hand out new spells like candy. Two free spells per level, plus dirt cheap scrolls (comparatively) per the rulebook prices, with easy availability in the corner store based on the settlement item limit guidelines printed right there in the book.

Yes, the DM can houserule all that otherwise. I just disagree that "blame the DM for following the rules" is necessarily a really good precedent to set.

Flawed wrote:
So again, why are you making a fighter with a lower dex than a barbarian? Why would you make comparison of two classes using the same stat array and call it fair comparison?

No one can afford to dump Dex, because it's a super-stat: Reflex saves, AC, and the all-important initiative. So, yes, I'd expect the barbarian's Dex to be just as good as the fighter's.

In this case, the relative importance of the stats for a melee fighter or a barbarian are more or less identical: Str > Con/Dex > Int/Wis >> Cha. However, the fighter actually needs a higher Int for Combat Expertise (since it's a prereq for so many other things), and he desperately needs a higher Wis to make up for his crippling Will save... so, in the long run, he has fewer points to put into Dex than does the barbarian.

So, unless your claim is that a higher point-buy for stat array is a fighter class feature, I think we're done with that line of argument.

"I'm a bouncer in a titty bar, Bill. If she wants to fight me, all she gotta do is come down to the club, start some s*%~, and we'll be in a fight."
"I know we haven't spoken for quite some time, and the last time we spoke wasn't the most pleasant. But you need to get over being mad at me, and start becoming afraid of [redacted], because she is coming, and she's coming to kill you. And unless you accept my assistance, I have no doubt she will succeed."
"I don't dodge guilt and I don't Jew out of paying my comeuppance."
"Can't we just forget the past?"
"That woman deserves her revenge, and we deserve to die... But then again, so does she. So, I guess we'll just see, won't we?"

Flawed wrote:
If every other class has a higher reflex save than a fighter you're doing something wrong. A class feature of fighters allows them to get more dex use while wearing armor. Why are you not using your class features and then claiming a class sucks. Max out your dex for your armor and see who has the lowest reflex save.

You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that max Dex from armor applies to Reflex saves. It does not. So, with the same stat array, the barbarian will have the same Reflex save, regardless of armor. The ranger's will be higher because of his good save progression, and the paladin's will be higher because of divine grace.

sunbeam wrote:
The real issue with this spell, at least in regards to previous versions of the game, is the removal of the "piece" of the thing to make a simulacrum of.

I strongly agree with this as well.

PRD wrote:
You can't create a simulacrum of a creature whose HD or levels exceed twice your caster level.

This, to me, would be addressed by the hard cap on CR of magic minions that I alluded to above. If you wanted to treat the simulacrum in your "cohort" slot, you're still at CR = yours -3. If it's a lesser minion, it would be even lower than that.

TOZ wrote:
You should learn Roll20. ;)

Blocked at work :(

P.S. Auris looks even better updated!

Auris Vector (CR 7)
Male human monk 6/fighter 1
Init +8; Senses sixth sense +2, uncanny dodge; Perception +12
Languages Common

AC 25, touch 19, flat-footed 18 (+4 Dex, +3 dodge, +2 insight, +2 natural, +4 armor)
hp 60 (7 HD; LW 30/HW 15)
Immune circumstance penalties
Saves Fort +6, Ref +9, Intu +7, Will +5; evasion, mettle

Spd 30 ft.
Melee +2 spiked chain +13/+8 (2d4+9) or unarmed +13/+8 (1d4+9/19-20 plus 2d6)
Face 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with chain)
Base Atk +7; CMB +11 (grapple, trip +15); CMD 24 (28 vs. grapple, trip, etc.)
Special Atks ki attack +2, weapon form +3
Ki Powers Known (CL 6th, capacity 3rd)
2nd (1/day)—cure moderate wounds (self only)
1st (4/day)—daze (Strike; 9 HD max., DC 13), inertial armor
0 (at will)—accelerated movement, feather fall, guidance, sudden jump

Attributes Str 11, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 11
SQ favored class (monk); ascetic warrior
Feats Adaptability (B), Canny Defense (B), Combat Expertise (B), Deflect Arrows (B), Dodge (B), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (B)(spiked chain, unarmed), Improved Initiative, Improved Grapple, Improved Trip, Serenity (B), Sixth Sense (B), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics (7/+14), Athletics (1/+4), Bluff (3/+6), Concentration (6/+9), Endurance (7/+11), Handle Animal (1/+4), Heal (2/+7), Knowledge (Warfare) (1/+4), Perception (7/+12), Stealth (6/+13), Survival (1/+6)

Equipment cold iron spiked chain (ignores deflection bonus to AC), amulet of natural armor +2

“If you have a complaint, I suggest you submit it through our email system. I’d be happy to refer you to our website.”
--Gustavo Fring

Those are all good suggestions, but they constitute a fairly long laundry list.

  • I would certainly retain your guidelines regarding SLAs and so on, as you've stated them. Indeed, I'd like to see a general rule that no creature gets SLAs that are of a level disproportionate to the monster's CR, but that's a different story.

  • I'd maybe handle hp, damage, attributes, etc. by rebuilding the monster (using the "creating monsters" guidelines in the Bestiary) as a critter of 1/2 the CR of the original.

  • Most importantly, I'd set a standard rule limiting the total CR (and not HD) worth of "magic minions" you can control, including created undead, summoned monsters, and simulacra -- along the lines of what the Leadership feat allows. This alone would cut down drastically on abuse of planar binding and spammed summon nature's allies, as well as prohibiting the "army of simulacra."

  • "One must learn to be rich. To be poor, anyone can manage."
    --Gustavo Fring

    On the way to the rustic cabin with the still, they are ambushed by crossbow fire; Sheraviel, caught off guard, is incapacitated, and Auris charges the nearby hill, with magical support from Agun, and manages to grapple the sniper (the mountain man they'd encountered earlier) long enough for the others to gain the hill and kill him, also slaying his pack of half-rabid mongrel dogs. Agun remarks, "In the future, let's NEVER walk on the road unless we know all the bad guys are dead!" -- advice the party follows carefully thereafter.

    The group is battered, wounded, and in bad shape when they finally arrive in Hylore. There, they learn that Cal Styler has been found and arrested in the meantime; with the evidence they acquired from the lime pit, he is convicted and executed. With Monk's projects interrupted and his house and laboratories destroyed, Sheraviel feels they have completed their mission, despite the fact that Monk is technically still MIA.

    Cadogan, however, takes Monk's escape as a personal affront. Re-opening the Quicklime building as his new headquarters, Cadogan quickly establishes something of a criminal network of his own, "borrowing" Mr. C's "soldiers" in exchange for providing the boss a handsome cut of the profits, and retaining Joachim as his lieutenant and emissary to the Olidammarites. Most of his activities, while otherwise profitable, center on the cultivation of contacts in Camberlin, and on the location of the fugitive Monk.

    DM's Notes: I've mentioned that all of the players were DMs in their own right, with their own games; that being the case, scheduling conflicts were inevitable. Silverhair, having his hands full and then some DMing his own games, had announced prior to this adventure that this had become the case for him (my understanding was that he was DMing more than one weekly game himself). As the adventure was written, the Syndicate counterattacks the party as they're being investigated/attacked. I therefore picked Rim as their target because it seemed like an internally-consistent way of accounting for his PC not being present thereafter (having a different player's PC potentially killed and having them take over Rim in that instance would have been do-able, but not as simple overall). No offense to Silverhair was intended; he was (and is) an excellent player and DM.

    For similar reasons, Jess Door also resigned as a player after this adventure, leaving Sheraviel to be played by the remainder of the group.

    "Monk," as a druid/monk, was a test of the revised mutliclassing options available in our house rules; he proved more successful than I had anticipated, meaning that I could probably have made his CR equal to the average party character level + 2 or 3 (as opposed to ACL+4) and still had him be a credible opponent. His escape set him up nicely as a recurring villain, however, which I hadn't intended but wasn't too upset about!

    The group continues their exploration of the manse, finding the remainder of the ground level to be relatively innocuous. When they descend a set of stone stairs to the basement, however, things get a bit weirder.

    In a small cell at the base of the stairs is a cloaked figure sitting at a desk; this proves to be a trained carnivorous ape, Robert E. Howard-style, that leaps up and attempts to rend Sheraviel. Sheraviel's guard keeps the thing off her long enough for Cadogan's vicious sneak attacks to slay the thing, and the party moves on to a large workroom occupying most of the rest of the basement. Here there is a large cauldron, a gold-bladed sickle, a large amount of herbs and other plants, and evidence of one or more half-completed magical projects. An insane-looking man is working there; looking up at the party's approach, he attacks unarmed, his assault forcing the party on the defensive -- this is evidently "Monk," of whom Phil was so terrified. A spinning kick leaves Cadogan heavily wounded, and Auris, stepping forward, appears to have met his match.

    With Agun and Shaleh assisting Sheraviel and Auris, the tide of the battle quickly turns, and Monk quickly retreats into a root cellar, the floor of which is a maze of spike growth that slows pursuit. Turning a corner to avoid Shaleh's arrows, he conjures a wall of fire to block the party's approach; by the time Sherviel dispels the wall with her sword, Monk has taken the form of a snake and fled through a small hole in the wall.

    The party returns upstairs. Night has fallen and something very large and multi-legged seems to be on the roof, trying to get in; the party bars the shutters, performs first aid on Cadogan, and anxiously waits until dawn, whereupon the presence on the roof disappears. Departing cautiously, they set the house afire in several places and burn it to the ground before starting back to Hylore.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    So, let's shoot for leveling complete by Monday, November 3 -- unless you guys need more time than that. I'm available to assist, make recommendations, etc. -- no question is too basic! No request is too outlandish!

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Vomit Guy wrote:

    Cadogan wrote:
    You forgot I slipped her my ring of invisibility ;-)

    For all the good it did her... a captain of the guard without a permanent see invisibility (or at least high Perception and Blind-Fighting) isn't much of a guard captain, after all!

    Ideally, I'd think you'd want the game mechanics to inexorably lead to the types of stories you're trying to tell. The old Victory Games "James Bond 007" game did this perfectly -- some of the mechanics were incredibly wonky, but if you actually followed the rules, you pretty much always ended up with an experience that seemed like it came right out of a James Bond movie. In that case, the mechanics meshed seamlessly with the flavor.

    In the case of Pathfinder, the mechanics don't really lead to the stories that the APs describe, and so on; you often end up having to work against them to get the story to work. That's not Paizo's fault by a long shot -- I love their adventures, I just feel that starting with 3.5 edition wasn't the best mechanical chassis to tell them with, because it too often leads places where the APs don't go.

    In a perfect world, the mechanics would work with the precision and power of a mechanical bull, with no part out of place and no malfunctions and no O&M needed, and the flavor over them would be so seemless that you'd think you were looking at a real animal. Unfortunately, no such high-fantasy RPG has ever been designed that I know of.

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Game Master Scotty wrote:
    I have to play twenty questions to get absolutely any anything out of my spawn.

    It's often the same with Mrs. Gersen, except she's a full adult. She's just Southern -- they take a direct question as some kind of attack on them, and get all defensive-like. To get any actual information, you have to hem and haw around the question for a good 20 minutes and hope that they eventually let slip what you wanted to know. It's frustrating, but not restricted to teenagers.


    Me: "Where do you want to eat?"
    Her (stiffening angrily at the direct question): "I don't know, where do you want to go?"
    Me: "Uh, how about Vietnamese?"
    Her (curtly): "We had that yesterday."
    Me: "Thai? You seem to like that."
    Her: "I don't feel like it."
    Me: "Burgers?"
    Her: "Too meaty."
    Me: "Okay, do you have any suggestions?"
    Her: "Maybe something with more vegetables."
    Me: "French?"
    Her: "No."
    Me: "Are you trying to tell me you want to eat at that horrible vegan place again?"
    Her: "Maybe."
    Me: "Maybe meaning yes, or maybe meaning maybe?"
    Her: "Let's just go there, okay?!"
    Me: "Okay -- but why not just tell me that in the first place?"
    Her: "I didn't like the way you asked."

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Jaegr "Knock Knock" wrote:
    Maybe back at Fenrift I finally got it fitted correctly?

    That's exactly the sort of in-game justification that makes the system work.

    I had a total of one (1) low-magic campaign that actually worked. And it had a lot of house rules to make it possible:

    (1) E10, so nobody reaches 11th level, and there are no 6th+ level spells. Teleport is an incredible magical feat, mastered only by the greatest "magical technicians."
    (2) No permanent magic items, but potions and wands were OK.
    (3) Humans only.
    (4) No "monsters" other than human NPCs and various real-life animals.
    (5) Heavily investigation-themed, to make skills seem more important.

    None of the other D&D-based efforts I've seen have been particularly successful.

    In the shed, Cadogan's quick reflexes allow him to avoid a bite from a rattlesnake hidden under some burlap sacks. Nailed to the wall, with silver nails, are three emaciated housecats; with an eerie thrill, Agun notices that they don't cast shadows. The nails have an aura of necromancy. Feeling this is something best attended to, they dispel magic on the nails and pull them, setting the cats free. There is nothing else of interest in the shed except for mundane tools and drying herbs.

    Around the back of the manse is a pit containing a lime pool. Probing in the pool reveals a number of calcified skeletal remains -- including one with a valueless locket identified as one habitually worn by Paternoster. The party has their hard physical evidence, if only they can make the arrests.

    Inside the house, the party encounters Otto Gerraint. His familiar -- a full-sized winter wolf -- attacks them; slaying this, they manage to kill Otto as well, despite Cadogan fighting against them half the time from Otto's confusion spell. Agun makes a quip about the legality of posthumous arrests, but Sheraviel simply shrugs and says, "It's a lot easier this way for everyone."

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Jaegr "Knock Knock" wrote:
    So as a dwarf I do not need to lower it to 0? Or do you want to keep it at ACP 0 (Like say the extra bonuses to Dodge Feat.)

    Like with all the house rules, I propose a vote on it, with me abstaining except in the case of a tie.

    Should evasion work with:
    (A) Light or no armor only (no exceptions)
    (B) Any armor reduced to -0 armor check penalty
    (C) Any armor, if you retain your full movement speed in it
    (D) Any armor, no restrictions
    (E) Other?

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Jaegr "Knock Knock" wrote:
    In what way can I use my numen to reduce my ACP to 0?

    Chapter 6, "Numerical Bonuses." Masterwork armor cost is for -1 ACP; to reduce it by -3 instead, the cost would be 3^2 * that price modifier. You can fool around with any armor properties you like (AC bonus, weight, etc.) in this manner. Some examples are given in the "Special Materials" section, but that's all they are -- examples, not the total scope of what you can do.

    I'm a grognard in terms of most of my D&D experience -- mostly 1st edition AD&D, some Holmes/Moldvay basic, etc. -- going back to 1979 or so. But I find my attitudes on what makes a good game, and what makes good game mastering, have changed quite a bit in the intervening decades.

    DMs used to roll behind a screen. I don't anymore -- what's good for the goose is good for the gander. My players are mature enough not to metagame it, and that's good enough for me.

    DMs used to be all-powerful, making up rules on the spot, overriding rules at whim, blasting the PCs of any player who objected with "ethereal mummies" or whatever. These days I far prefer to be a referee or facilitator, not a dictator.

    DMs used to use prominent NPCs to railroad adventures. See above for that.

    Alignment used to be a pretty big thing. I downplay it to the point of near-irrelevance now.

    Ubiquitous metagaming used to be the name of the game, as houstonderek alluded -- indeed, it was an integral part of playing the game. In-game riddles were solved by the players actually solving riddles. Most skills didn't exist in the early games, so it was all about telling the DM what you were doing, which meant that, if the player was into rock climbing, he could glaze the DM's eyes with talk about pitons and stuff, and all his PCs could climb -- regardless of their stats. I'm kind of glad that's gone now.

    Back in my day, immersive role-play began somewhere around 6th level. Most PCs didn't live that long, so we didn't even name them until then. For example, I used to name every thief character "Thug." The one who finally lived to 6th level I tried to name "Snidely Whiplash," but the DM refused to allow it. And most "dungeons" didn't have much of a story -- just a bunch of rooms with monsters, traps, and treasure -- so the whole game was mostly about overcoming challenges and collecting loot. Yeah, some groups layered a bunch of story on top of that, but it wasn't an integral part of the modules or anything.

    No one banned "full casters" (and wizards were the only 9-level casters, back then) because most PCs who didn't die retired at 10th level or so. The AD&D rules also had level limits for most races for most classes, so even if the human wizard could keep playing, for example, the rest of the party would be capped out by then anyway.


    My experiences were not universal for every group, as there was a lot of variation from table to table, but they held for most of the games I was in.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Jaegr "Knock Knock" wrote:
    Kirth, did you make a decision on the Evasion Fighter feat and the limitations in heavier armor. Will it work with ACP 0 for instance? I plan on taking it, but if I need to get my ACP to 0 then I will wait until i get it there.

    Argh, my fault entirely -- dropped the ball while holding my new daughter! I'm thinking something like this: the base ability specifies "light or no armor," which translates generally to full movement speed while armored. So, for the sake of consistency, how about a fighter can use it as long as he/she has full movement speed in armor? Granted, that means dwarves will pretty much always get it, but outside of that, it should pretty much work as intended.

    (Even if we stuck with ACP -0, you'd have -6 for plate armor, less 1 for Endurance ranks, less two more for armor training, less another one for mwk armor. Using the mojo/numen gain for leveling, you could potentially upgrade your armor to lower the ACP by 2 more and still not have to wait.)

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Fenrift nods slowly. Examining the egg himself, he is temporarily stunned, as Cricket had been, but pulls himself together.

    DC 29: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29

    "If not a lich in fact, then I'd say at the least, he's hidden his soul in the egg. Therefore, when we defeat him, we must destroy the egg as well, or all our efforts will have been for naught. I cannot carry the thing and do that task and still fight him myself at the same time; nor can I trust any others here to do so -- although they are doughty warriors as far as that goes, and loyal, it would be too easy for the enemy to steal their minds or, more simply, steal the egg. Your group recovered the thing and brought it here -- through some amount of inconvenience, it seems -- implying a level of cunning and dedication above the ordinary. I'd have you do the same at Skarn Keep, if you're willing."

    Although he speaks with his usual deadpan assurance, you notice that he has pointedly not mentioned his daughter, either by name or by circumstance. You take that as a mark of how affected by her loss he is.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Caspian Barefoot wrote:
    Hypnotisim tops out at 2d4 HD (scary! should be ok for mooks though)

    Good point! Let's maybe make it 2d4 +1/level, so that it stays useful?

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    One of Fenrift's soldiers hands Caspian an instrument, saying, "You kin keep this'n I just made. I still got my Uncle Cletus' box, so no worries on my account, li'l feller."

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Cricket the Sexy Goblin Druid wrote:
    I'm guessing that Gleed is dead, in which case Cricket says some prayers to Old Mother Tree. If he isn't, Cricket uses some of his cure light wounds spells.

    Gleed stabilize:

    DC 23: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
    DC 24: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
    DC 25: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
    DC 26: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
    DC 27: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8

    Gleed is right at the gates of death's door (-12 hp) when you stabilize him. It will take a number of CLW spells to get him to the point where he can walk.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Caspian Barefoot wrote:
    Question for Kirth: Can I swap out a bonus spell or am I stuck with those?

    The bonus spells are generally fixed, but if you have something in mind that's more appropriate given the story so far I'm potentially open to making an exception.

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

  • I have no problem with players who prefer the tactical part of the game to the role-playing part.*
  • I have no problem with players who prefer the role-playing part of the game to the tactical part.*
  • I have no problem with players who want to try out different races/classes/whatever.
  • I have no problem with players who stick to the basic races/classes.
  • I have no problem with players who min-max (unless no one else is doing so).
  • I have no problem with players who don't min-max (unless everyone else is doing so).
  • I have no problem with players who are silly or crack a lot of jokes.
  • I have no problem with players who are generally serious.

    I screen my players in advance, and run games for people I like. That means we're all playing together, me included. So it's not up to me to dictate their likes/dislikes.


    In all honesty, in my experience, I generally find that the tactical people are also heavy into role-playing, and that the people who don't care about the mechanics also don't care much about the rest of the game, either. But that's a point for another thread.

  • 6 people marked this as a favorite.

    My family moved a lot when I was a kid. One time we were looking at potential new houses, my little brother stopped us all in the kitchen and said, "Mom! We can't live here! This house is haunted!"

    The realtor turned white as a sheet and stammered, "How could he know that? There was a murder here once!!!"

    I didn't have the heart to tell her that my brother had said the exact same thing about every house we ever looked at.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Back at the keep, you notice troops marshalling. Miralda, with a shout of glee, runs over to a scraggly-looking elf -- from the looks of him half wood elf and half high elf -- and greets him with an enthusiasm that implies some sort of romantic relationship.

    On his part, Count Fenrift greets you with what passes for great enthusiasm on his part -- he invites you to his private office and pours each member of the party a pewter vessel of finely aged and peated whiskey from his personal stock, and asks you for a debriefing.

    "Kelgan, were it not for your missive, I would have already marched on Skarn Keep. I trust you bring news that makes the delay worthwile?"

    While updating Fenrift and resting at the keep, you all feel very good about the completion of a very dangerous sequence of events in Wolvishton. Time to level up!

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Otis, still grinning at the missed shots from Kelgan and Wyvurn, flails his arms at Jaegr:

    1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 221d6 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 121d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 251d6 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12

    Thankfully, the mighty dwarf's armor is proof against these attacks, and Jaegr makes a powerful counterstroke with his pick; the incredible power of the blow leaves the monster reeling, in perfect position for Wyvurn's hurtling tackle. The scarred hobgoblin knocks both himself and Otis into the rushing water; Otis, helpless, washes downstream and is quickly lost from view.

    Cricket asks the grasses to stop entangling, and you all make it across the ford without incident. Indeed, the remainder of the trip to Fenrift Keep is almost anticlimactic after that.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    In my home campaign, I made hill dwarves something like Sicilian-style bandits; they prey on humans and elves who pass through their "territory" without paying "tribute." The ones who emigrate to human and elven lands end up in ghettos like the flashback scenes with DeNiro in Godfather II.

    Gruumash . wrote:
    Orc Minion 21 I think we should go a kill a few elves to show how awesome we are what do ya think?

    Pointless and tawdry displays like that are not awesome. What would be awesome is transforming elves into something you could be proud to kill, without it being pointless and tawdry. That would be awesome.

    Continuing on the trail, the group soon reaches the Quicklime house: a sturdy structure of wooden timbers and shakes, with a slate roof and an external lean-to shed. To one side are the remains of a gigantic wicker crow, mostly burned, and the remnants seared; under it is a large pile of black ash. Sifty the ash idly, Agun encounters a metallic object -- which, when cleaned off, proves to be an adamantine glaive head.

    Further, more careful sifting reveals a set of charred bones, noteably missing a second bicuspid.

    The party has found St. Rim and his glaive, but his relic tooth is missing...

    Even Sheraviel is moved to sympathy for the stricken Cadogan, although she shows it less than Agun, whose sarcanstic quips now have an undertone of pathos that one would have previouly thought impossible. Cadogan pulls himself together mostly by means of anger: obviously it was Styler's fault, for dragging Mackinay into a life of crime; obviously it was Quicklime's fault, what happened to her; obviously Styler, Otto, and the mysterious "Monk" must pay for what happened to her. With grim purpose, he proposes an immediate trip to Camberlin County, and the others agree -- without Mackinay as a witness, physical evidence will be needed, and Styler is still at large. Sheraviel leaves word with Fenneval to put the word out for Styler's arrest and detainment; Sheraviel, Agun, Cadogan, Auris, and Shaleh go looking for Rim.

    Unfortunmately, Rim is not to be found in any of his usual spots -- the tavern near the monastery; the hill dwarf quarter of the city; the newly-constructed church to his goddess. Cadogan is almost feverish with eagerness to go, and Sheraviel doesn't want the trail to get cold, so with regret, they proceed into the Andoor Mountains without Rim.

    Following a map, the group finds the hiking more difficult in places than they had envisioned, and at one point comes upon a wall of fire blocking the trail: a group of ravens looks down from a nearby fir tree, and as they approach, a set of bipedal, man-sized, black-feathered monsters comes bounding down the nearby slope, cawing horribly and springing to attack! Agun recognizes these as "dire corbies," although he suspects that these particular specimens were magically summoned, rather than captured in the underworld. After a brief and unspectacular combat, the party slays these monsters; all but one of the watching raven flees, and Agun discharges his crossbow at the remaining one -- prompting a baleful glare on its part as it, too, flies away. Simply waiting for a period of time is suffifienct to get past the wall of fire, which sputters out after a minute or so.

    Continuing into the mountains, they find Camberlin County to be everything that Cadogan had initially caricatured it as: "rural" and "squalid" both come to mind. Emerging into a clearing amond the maple and hickory, they find a ramshackle shack, with rubble in the yard and an obvious still. A large, hardbitten mountain man accosts them and, seeing Sheraviel's cloak, accuses them of being royal tax collectors; he threatens to sic his pack of dogs on them, and the party quickly moves on.

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Reading Egil's Saga out loud to newborn Baby Gersen seems to calm her down a lot, so that's been my only reading for the past couple of days. She became very annoyed when Bard died, and seems none too happy with the death of Thorolf.

    Luckily, the genealogies of the people of Iceland put her right to sleep.

    Calvin Styler isn't at home in the ritzy downtown penthouse, but Clarissa Mackinay is. Sheraviel, holding her at sword point, announces her arrest; Cadogan, using every ounce of silver in his tongue, quickly changes her status from "accessory to murder" to "material witness,"
    and she is brought in, supposedly to bear testimony against Styler, once he's found and arrested.

    At the guard barracks, Cadogan's persuasion is overruled, and Mackinay is booked as an accessory. Although physical evidence other than the (admittedly circumstantial) ledgers would strengthen the case against her, magical means can often elicit the truth. Knowing this, Cadogan carefully cuts her bonds, out of sight of the others, using his often-practiced but seldomly-used skill at sleight of hand. Sheraviel leaves the room to fetch Captain Fenneval, Cadogan unobtrusively jams the door open, and Mackinay flees down the corridor.

    Cadogan pauses to get a cup of coffee, so that he can claim to have been unaware of her escape, and then follows down the corridor. Agun, Auris, and Shaleh, present at this time and interested in the proceedings, are behind him. Turning the corner, Cadogan sees Fenneval approaching, trailed by Sheraviel. Clarissa attempts to slip past them, finds there is insufficient room in the corridor, grabs a nearby unlit torch, and attempts to knock Fenneval down with it in order to get past him. Fast as a striking snake, Fenneval's rapier is suddenly in his hand, and suddenly through Clarissa's body -- and then, much, much more slowly, her body crumples to the floor. Cadogan, almost as if in sympathy, does likewise, and lets out a low wail; Mackinay is silent.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Count 25 - Otis finishes movement, coalesces.
    Count 20 - Jaegr catches up to Cricket & Miri.
    Count 19 - Wyvurn fires arrow.
    Count 13 - Cricket casts entanglement; Miralda attempts a spell (see below).
    Count 9 - Caspian.
    Count 4 - Kelgan.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Wyvurn, still concealed, carefully draws a bead and fires at the vampire's heart. Unfortunately, either from concern for his companions or because the vampire is still partly gaseous, the arrow fails to find its mark.

    Cricket, finding himself the subject of the vampire's gaze, quickly entangles the monster.

    Reflex: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28

    Still coalescing from his gaseous form, and with reflexes hyped up from his vampiric state, Otis has no problem avoiding the tangling grasses.

    12 people marked this as a favorite.

    She's here! Small, but eating a lot. We call her "Cora the Conqueror"!

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    There's a ford -- right behind the pale, grinning shape.

    Baby Gersen here -- posting may be quite limited for a few days!

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
    Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
    Congratulations on the little Gersen!


    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Cricket and Miralda make it to the river, with Jaegr right behind them. (Wyvurn is actually already there, but they don't see him.) As Cricket uses his darkvision to look for the best crossing point, some of the mist over the riverbank coalesces into a big, ungainly humanoid shape. Cricket can make out a large man with a boyish, vacuous face, dressed in woodsman's clothes. He has a bow and quiver of arrows on his back, but is facing you unarmed. Even under colorless darkvision, his skin looks very pale. In his half-open mouth you can make out fangs.

    Jaegr, by virtue of his slower movement, is 40 ft. back. Kelgan and Caspian lost a round covering, and are another 40 ft. behind Jaegr.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Wyvurn creeps swiftly and soundlessly towards the river. It seems impossible that someone could keep to cover and avoid stepping on branches and leaves, and still move so swiftly, but to the ugly hobgoblin it's nearly second nature. It bothers him, however, that he hasn't caught a single glance of their assailant yet. He gets the sense that something isn't right, that maybe he's not reckoning on some factor.

    Undone wrote:
    I don't understand why people think there is a problem with the magic system. If you want a specific type of adventure adjust experience accordingly. Adventures change drastically as you gain power just as in real life the struggles of a man who lifts boxes while interesting are fairly different from that of a multinational executive.

    To me, that's not the problem. My problem is that one class is James Bond, who has a cover as a multinational executive, who is also the greatest computer hacker in the world. His "equal partner" is a paraplegic who struggles to lift boxes, and can't do anything else.

    That's a great setup if the executive is Chris Tucker, and the box guy is played by Chris Farley for comic relief. It's a terrible setup if the executive is Tom Cruise and the box guy is played by Daniel Craig and the movie is supposed to be a serious action/spy flick.

    From the shore side, the fancy house on the Bay is part of a stuffy gated community of high elf gentry, Arbor Grove Estates, with strictly-controlled access. Rather than pick the lock on the gate in broad daylight, the party hires a boat and uses it to check out the house from the water. It looks quite nice, with a nice big balcony overlooking the bay. It also has an occupant who closely matches the description the PCs received for Otto Geraint -- a middle-aged human, bald and heavyset, with a glowering expression. As Sheraviel can attest, the place would cost something like triple what he made over the entire course of his career, so handsome unrecorded payoffs are fairly certain. Cadogan pulls out a crossbow; Sheraviel puts her hand out and lowers it, saying, "We want to put them all off-guard, not just stage a frontal assault. We need to know who else is involved and what their capabilities are."

    As it turns out, Sheraviel has some talent at art. The other Guardsmen assume she's trying to emulate Daressa of Corilaine, a master painter, but her motives are far more pragmatic -- given an eidetic memory, it's often useful to be able to re-create for others what you can already see so clearly. In any event, she puts that talent to work, creating an elaborate poster, which she then copies a dozen times. She affixes the original to the gates of Arbor Grove Estates; it reads:

    Sheraviel wrote:

    LORD GERAINT and the Quicklime Group PRESENT

    The first annual WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!
    Humans and gnomes will be in attendance, and a rumored half-orc special guest!
    START: Friday 6 pm; End: Sunday ?
    PLACE: Lord Geraint's Mansion
    Beer, wine, and elf girls!

    She directs Rim to destroy the lock on the gate using his adamantine glaive; the party then posts the copies of the flyer in strategic locations around the city.

    "That might annoy him," she says. "So now it's time to look in on Cal." Cadogan grins. "How much you want to bet he's in the swanky pad downtown?"

    DM's Note: Jess door actually drew up the poster while we were playing, resulting in unanimous applause from myself and the other players, and in a hero point for Sheraviel. Who says Craft (fine arts) skill is a waste?

    blahpers wrote:
    If you can make a game that is well-balanced (by your standards) and in every other way at least as good as Pathfinder (by everyone's standards), then please do so I can play it! It's never been done, so you should make a killing.

    Have you ever played what TOZ called "Kirthfinder"? It's free.

    M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

    Starting round 3 - Wyvurn can take 2 turns since he missed the last one

    There is a pause, during which time no further shots are fired.

    1d20 + 20 + 4 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 20 + 4 + 5 = 48

    You definitely don't hear anyone moving on the ridge, though, which is somewhat disturbing.

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