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Kirth Gersen's page

23,204 posts (23,957 including aliases). 8 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 12 aliases.


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M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Jym shrugs mentally -- not ringing a bell with him.
A Knowledge (Warfare) check is also permissible.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

The man shakes his head. "To be honest, Lavinia hasn't ever had us to dinner. As for chores, I have no idea what you highborn lordlings do. I'm Tolin, by the way" (gesturing at the others) "We're the Jade Ravens -- perhaps you've heard of us?"

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Scotland was on my bucket list as well! Hope you have a great trip -- look forward to hearing about it.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Jym Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Human guy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

With Jym's quick comment, the man's face reddens, and everyone in the room is instantly aware of the social shift -- as if Jym is the master and the armored man one of the servants.

His faux pas cost him. From a starting attitude of Unfriendly (-10 to your Diplomacy), the guy will now act Helpful towards you (difference of +5 between checks), if you give him an opening to save face. Alternatively, if you keep laying into him, you can easily shift his reaction to Hostile (-10).

While the others stand aghast, wondering if Auris has been destroyed, Cadogan snaps, "Don't just stand there! Come on!" and drinks the water himself, also turning to smoke and being sucked into the tube. Shaleh thinks this may be a another deathtrap, but Agun, thinking fast, says, "No, I think they're simply gaseous. Even if they're trapped somewhere else, it's probably better if we stick together." He quickly fills his canteen, then, with a resigned sigh, he drinks the water as well and follows, as does Shaleh.

Passing in gaseous form through a narrow tube, the party can faintly hear an eerie tune, produced by their passage. There are one or two branches; Cadogan and Auris, in the lead, sense a bluff -- the side-paths at the entrance were all death traps, so Cadogan assumes the straight path here will be the same, with one of the side paths open (Cadogan is too vain to think that the builders would out-think him with a double-bluff). Accordingly, they follow one of the side tubes, with their two companions nervously following.

They re-coalsce into their solid forms in a hallway. Ignoring a small room to the side that appears to contain boats, they walk straight ahead into a hude central chamber with four exits. The mosaic tiling on the floor gives way to a great circle of pale white stone. Agun, having grown up underground, senses that this white stone is part of a larger rock underlying the pyramid himself. Walking up to the stone, motions the others back and lays a hand on it, concentrating; he is stunned for a moment, reeling, then speaks:

"Let's not walk on this, okay? It has powerful magic, and it's probably best not to activate it until we know what it does."

Stepping carefully around it, Cadogan says, "Straight - side - straight... time for another side path?" With no way of knowing if this "logic" makes any sense (even Agun is stumped), the others follow.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

As you arrive at the Vanderboren estate, Jym opens the gate for you and escorts you inside. (Sorry, Jym, for presuming on your actions -- if for some reason you decide NOT to let someone in, let us know!) Inside, you see a number of people already in the hall: a jaunty male half-elf in leather armor, festooned with daggers; a dark-skinned hill dwarf with a sour expression, dressed in green and brown robes and holding a spear; an attractive but haughty-looking woman in purple robes, with a crescent moon tattoo on one cheeck; and a tall, handsome human in a breastplate, with a bastard sword slung across his back.

DC 12 Knowledge: Warfare to identify them


You've seen them around the place a lot lately, meeting with Lavinia, but she hasn't said who they are.

The man in the breastplate seems quite alert. Almost as soon as you walk in, he says, "Hmmm. You must be the help Levinia's bringing in to do the chores. Best of luck to ya!"

Ignoring the three other short side-corridors, the party instead elects to open a great set of bronze double doors, after Shaleh ascertains that they are not trapped and succeeds in picking the lock. Past them is a room containing a shallow, misty pool; it's unclear how the liquid, over millenia in such a dry climate, has not evaporated (Agun, smirking, says, "It's magic, dummy!").

Cadogan, with his positive experiences with magic pools and fountains, is quick to suggest they drink. Shaleh is a bit hesitant, and Agun is adamantly against this idea, not wanting his leg to turn back into a crocodile. Auris, after his experience with the beetles, is anxious to avoid any side corridors; he also knows he is more resistant to most poisons and curses than most men. Nodding to Cadogan, he boldly strides up to the pool and takes a drink, before Shaleh can stop him.

He is about to shrug and remark on the lack of effects when his form swirls and his body turns to mist, which is quickly sucked into a small hole in the wall and vanishes from sight...

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

1d20 - 1 ⇒ (8) - 1 = 7 As far as Jym can tell, Uro's information regarding egg-laying in tropical birds is gospel. However, Uro is a little mixed up regarding species, and might be confusing these birds' mating habits with those of some other birds he likes to eat.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

LOL! I was griping once about having to wait for a DVD for something that wasn't available for streaming on Netflix, and my friend Frankie was all like, "A DVD? How quaint!" I didn't have the balls to admit I still own a VHS player, too...

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Giving you a hard time about Anime is never difficult for me!
But, yeah, no volume here at work -- I'll listen to it at home, where the speakers work. Mrs Gersen will probably want to watch the whole series.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Character inspiration here.

Ugh. You just had to link that, didn't you -- knowing as you did that it would make me want to claw my own eyes out? ;P

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jaelithe wrote:
Heh. Heard that one years ago.

Yeah, in the '80s, I always hated Emo Philips' stage persona, but his jokes were usually good. A couple others:

Emo Philips wrote:

When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bike.

Then I realised, the Lord doesn't work that way.
So I just stole one and asked Him to forgive me ... and I got it!

And one for the LDS among us:

Emo Philips wrote:

A Mormon told me that they don't drink coffee.

I said, "A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits."
He said, "Like what?"
I said, "Well, it keeps you from being Mormon ..."

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
Jam412 wrote:
I could swear that I saw a feat that gave you +1 to a physical ability score and then another +1 per 4 levels. I can't seem to find it now. Does anybody remember seeing that?

Check out Strength Training, Stamina Training, and Agility Training, under "General Feats." They're all +1 enhancement bonus per 3 ranks in relevant skill.

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Jaelithe wrote:
A damaging fissure in the famed friendship between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien occurred when Lewis converted to Christianity, but joined the Protestant Church of England rather than the Roman Catholic Church, the latter of which Tolkien was an eminent member.
Emo Philips wrote:

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

Agun's stone shape spell creates the entrance the party needs in order to evade the shaven-headed Bailakashi monk enforcers of the dig site. Inside, they almost immediately encounter a 4-armed ape, covered in glowing hieroglyphs, which bellows and charges; slaying the beast without being grappled and dismembered requires nice timing and deadly aim on their part. Less than half a minute later, the party is partway down the corridor and hears a roar from behind them; where the 4-armed corpse was, now a gigantic lion, also covered in the same glowing hieroglyphs, readies itself to pounce. Agun, recognizing the thing at last as a curse rather than a real monster, dispels it, and the group continues on their way.

The first room they come to appears to be empty except for four pillars, carved with screaming faces. As they enter the room, Cadogan and Auris are suddenly covered in plagues of devouring beetles, somehow invisible and silent, that have swarmed out of the carven mouths. Most people would be stripped to the bone in seconds, but both Cadogan and Auris have reflexes far beyond the normal, and are able to miraculously twist, leap, and evade free from the worst of the onslaught, while Agun and Shelah use flaming oil to destroy the beetles (again trusting their companions' reflexes to spare them from the flames).

Shaleh apologizes, offering to go ahead from then on in order to search for traps, and the others happily agree.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Jym, simply by taking 10 on Diplomacy, ends up with a check of 18, which is way high enough to know all of this DC 10 trivia. In fact, he can even recommend against accidentally wearing the Vanderboren family colors, how to address the children (titles), etc.

For me, it's slightly different for modern mystery stories, insofar as stuff like cell phones, DNA forensics, and GPS/satellite surveillance tend to make a difference in how things "should" play out.

When Dumas tells you that Edmund Dantes' father met with Napoleon in 1814, you don't envision him carrying an i-phone. But when MacDonald tells you, "Just yesterday, I was thinking how much I hate what's happening in Florida lately," it's a little different.

P.S. Love Dumas! I read TCoMC, unabridged, in two nights.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

OK, play is open! See HERE.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3


Lavinia Vanderboren wrote:
Greetings, and I trust this missive finds you in good health. My name is Lavinia Vanderboren and I humbly request your attendance at dinner at my estate on Festival Street and Blue Skink Lane tomorrow evening. I think that I can present an opportunity uniquely suited to your skills. Please inform the carrier of this letter of your response to this invitation, and I hope to be speaking to you soon.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3


You're currently a guest at the Vanderboren estate. The Vanderborens are old acquantances in the noble district who recently suffered a terrible tragedy: a month ago, Lord Verik and Lady Larissa Vanderboren were killed in a fire. You're helping their children, Lavinia and Vanthus, with the funeral arrangements; this allows you to build up considerable social captial with the family, while incidently keeping you out of the way of Felton Lidu. You've been left to pay off various funeral expenses out of petty cash, and Lavinia asks you to pass a note to two of the vendors: the tailor (a halfling sailor, in port for the fall), and the dove-releaser (who proves to be a hulking half-orc monster). You have access to the spoilers for Tombrose and Uro, below.


The rains have been heavy this summer, and with the typhoons blowing in fall, the Sea Reaper is in port for some time -- which is fine with you, as you've personal concerns that are pre-occupying your attention. Specifically, it seems you have magic powers, and learning their extent and nature seems like a priority. In the meantime, a fellow's got to eat, and your skill at needlecraft has gotten you an easy gig for some quick change: you're sewing shrouds for two human nobles who recently died in a fire. It's creepy work, but it occupies only a fraction of your time, and keeps you in porridge while you conjure oceanic effects from nothing. You haven't met the nobles' surviving children; so far, all your coordination has been through a halfling they know, a friendly fellow named Jym Withawye who seems to be handling most of the mundane details for them. When he pays you, he also passes you a note from the daughter (see below).


You've just fulfilled an unusual commission, capturing a flock of brightly-colored tropical birds to be released at the funeral of a pair of local nobles who died recently. You were in luck; heavy rains kept them roosting and asleep in a tree, so you needed only climb up and net them in their sleep, rather than trying to track them through the jungle. You drop off the birds at the gates of their estate in the Noble District, feeling like everyone in the district is staring at you uneasily, and are looking forward to collecting your pay and getting back to the forest. A charming halfling meets you at the gate, makes an obvious effort to put you at your ease, and hands you your coins, along with a sealed note.


You have just fought in the Champions District arena again -- it's the only time you really feel like yourself. Your opponent was a stong mercenary corporal, but your supernatural defenses and a quick low sweep of your scythe ended the match almost before it began -- as he tumbled to the wet sand, you showed how easily you could cut his throat, then reversed the scythe, offering the handle to help him up, as courtesy in battle is ever part of your creed. Grinning in the pouring rain, he offers his hand and congratulates you on your victory.

After the match, you receive a note from a courier, sealed in a watertight pouch, and wonder whether it's another arena challenge. In any event, you aim to get indoors and dry off first, before the battle-eupohoria wears off.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Ready to start! I'll spoiler everyone's opening.

On a whim, I'm re-reading John D. MacDonald's Darker Than Amber. For a novel written in 1966, the story is holding up surprisingly well so far.

Myth Lord wrote:
Kamaitachi also have some wind-based abilities and mirror images probably.

Gust of wind and mirror image are 2nd level spells, which CR 3 casters can easily have.

In fact, the sample penanggalen has 0-3rd level spells.

Fergie wrote:
US statistics about race

All of those are, I think, quite telling -- with the exception of "75% of white Americans have only white friends." That looks damning on the surface of it, until you also read that "65% of black Americans reported only having black friends." The difference isn't really statistically-significant, at that point.

It's still a very sad statistic, but it's the only one that's not clearly a direct result of bias against blacks.

All the others DO point directly at that bias, however.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fergurg wrote:
But you know what Rosa Parks didn't do? She didn't yell, "Burn this b~*$* down!"

What she did say was, "It was not pre-arranged. It just happened that the driver made a demand and I just didn't feel like obeying his demand."

So what she did was more along the lines of not getting out of the street while holding some cheap cigars...

Oh, wait.

I guess the bus driver should have shot her, right?

Myth Lord wrote:
Kamaitachi can also fly, so should that be higher CR?

By legend, the Kamaitachi can fly, have sickle-like claws that deal bleeding wounds, and can suck blood. In game terms, we could give them a fly speed, and the "bleed" special attack, and the "blood drain" universal monster ability. All of these are consistent with things a Penanggalen (B3) can do; the example penanggalen is CR 5, so it need not be any higher than that (although it probably shouldn't be much lower, either).

Myth Lord wrote:
I just can't imag[ine] something that moves so fast being killed or being beaten.

Again, CR is a measure only in terms of game mechanics. It has nothing to do with how you personally imagine it. The game rules model "fast" in terms of a bonus to AC, initiative, and Reflex saves (for Dex) and/or in terms of a greater number of squares moved on the critter's turn. In the case of the quickling, they decided he was so fast he'd also get a modest miss chance, evasion, and uncanny dodge, like a 4th level rogue (CR 3) has. These bonuses are all quantifiable. The rules do not model fast as "not being beaten."

If you want to talk stuff other than rules, and what you imagine in terms of flavor, that's fine, but don't mix CR into that discussion, because the two are noncompatible. That's like me saying "The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters tall," and you reply "Well, I can't imagine that it's less than 384 million. It would be cooler/awesomer/more realistic if it went all the way to the moon!" Maybe it would be, but that's not what 324 meters actually means, numerically-speaking.

Myth Lord wrote:
Speed wins over power in many cases. They should have been over CR10.

The quickling is "a small fairy who can move really fast." Paizo has (correctly, IMHO) put it at about CR 3 -- one of these things will absolutely waste a strong orc or even a number of orcs, but ultimately isn't in the same league as beings who can teleport, fly all day, and cast area-affect death spells (which are all things that CR 10 NPCs are capable of).

CR is explicitly a measure of comparative threat in mechanical game terms, not a measure of how cool or awesome you think the flavor text is.

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Looking at Bestiaries 2-4, I admit I'm left kind of feeling unhappy about what seems like pointless inflation or "ramping up" of HD/CR for what are otherwise very basic, low-level monsters.

For example, the swan maiden (B4) is a woman with some minor SLAs who can turn into a swan. We could easily fulfill that concept at CR 2, and then use sorcerer class levels (for example) to get a more powerful one with better magic. Instead, the "baseline" swan maiden was pegged at CR 6 and 10 HD, making it unusable until much later in the campaign, because you can't just subtract levels from the one statted.

Likewise, the adlet (B3) is, in essence, an anthropomorphic winter wolf. That concept works just fine at CR 5 and 6 HD or so, but doesn't really have enough going for it to warrant the need for CR 10 and 15 HD. (We could start with a basic CR 5 one and add the Advanced simple template and some HD to make a more powerful one, if needed, but the reverse is not true.)

In contrast, the adaro (B3) is a shark-man with poison and rage. It's a simple concept, and it's a simple monster. They have it CR 3 and 4 HD, which seems just about right for that package. Again, if we want a more powerful shark-man, we can simply add HD/templates/class levels and we're good to go.


So, is there like a quota on CR or something, and if there aren't enough higher CR monsters in a given Bestiary, low-CR ones are simply given bigger numbers (in terms of AC, hp, and attacks) until they seem higher?

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Andostre -- Yes, casters end up "paying" less for most [Stances] in terms of action economy, because they can't move while casting anyway. But, yeah, some of those feats are pretty situational, so there's that.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Uro -- Yep! Correctamundo.
And, yeah, 2d8 upgrades to 3d8. In real life, I'd make it 4d6 because that's easier to roll, so you'd be able to pick which, in this case.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
Andostre wrote:
Are we waiting on anyone to start?

TOZ is still missing a background, but I suppose that means I can just make one up for him.... (evil DM face)

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Wait... where is the 2d8 for your greataxe coming from?

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Fenrift nods sharply, begins calling to his troops, commanding them to various positions. Slingers begin moving forward, looking to get a clear shot at the skeletons.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fergurg wrote:
I do agree that there is a high number motivated by racism. I just don't believe that racism is the default answer to shootings, and many people do, even after proof is shown otherwise.

OK, next question: granted that it is less than 100%, what percentage of police shootings motivated by racism is acceptable to you? I think that's what the source of strife is here -- most people would answer "zero" rather than merely "any is okay because we know it's not 100%."

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

For gaining a follower? No roll needed. Or is "that post" something else?

I've simply replaced "weapon training" with a flat +1/2 level bonus to weapon damage. It's simple, easy to keep track of, and puts fighters ahead of the game in terms of damage output without the need for specialization.

I've been doing it that way for years and haven't found it to be overpowered -- especially past very low levels.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would also move AWAY from weapon specialization, instead of towards it. Rather than seeing earlier and more powerful specialization, I'd like to see more general benefits that extend to ANY weapon the fighter uses.

My 2 cp: "Piledriver" is WAY too open-ended, in that not all conditions are created equal. Notice how paladins, for example, can use mercy to remove more powerful conditions as they level; I'd use that for reference. Otherwise everyone will just pick "dead" or "destroyed" as the condition and be done with it.

Making them pick also creates fighters with signature moves, which is always fun.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

I love the general info line!
If everyone would track their max/current hp that way, it would be a huge help.
Likewise, keeping your Perception bonus there would be a plus, for the purpose of static checks.

How did this thread turn into a Trekkie convention?

It's worth noting that in David Morrell's source novel, the veteran protagonist is shot to death at the end.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I think the always on option works better for her, so I'll go with that.

I like it because it's one less situational thing to track. ;)

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Uro -- Always happy to.

AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (-1 Dex, +2 insight, +4 armor)
Raging: 17, touch 13, flat-footed 17
BAB +1; CMB +5; CMD 16
Raging: CMB +6 (+1 BAB +5 Str +0 Dex); CMD 19 (10 + CMB + 3 canny defense, per discussion above)
Saves are good.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Shaping up nicely!

Intuition is Wis-based (+0 class, -1 Wis = -1 total)
Will is Cha-based (+2 class, +2 Cha = +4 total)
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 armor)
Melee scythe +3 (2d4+4/x4)
CMB +3 (trip +5); CMD 14

You can decide if you want the standard shield of faith spell (which can be cast on others) or a personal (only) shield of faith that you cast in the morning and stays "on" for the rest of the day (AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 16).

1 person marked this as a favorite.
David M Mallon wrote:
The place was a boomtown up until the Romans sacked Carthage.

One of my best friends is from Carthage. It's the only place I know of where a murder defendant had to be tried out of town because none of his peers would convict him.

M Goblin Beer Snob 1/Freethinker 3

Ooh... that doesn't make an awful lot of sense, does it. Lemme look at it. Due to no one ever playing one before, a lot of the PrPal issues haven't been brought up yet, much less ironed out.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

1. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
2. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
3. Taking Care of Business (1990)
4. Caddyshack (1980)
5. Debbie Does Dallas (1978)
6. The Naked Gun (1988)
7. A Shot in the Dark (1964)
8. Airplane! (1980)
9. Red Riding trilogy (2009)
10. Gone In 60 Seconds (1974)

List subject to change depending on my mood at the time.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ever been up around Phoenecia, NY? I stopped for coffee at a place called "Diner." It was next to a building marked "Post Office;" they were the only two public buildings in sight.

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