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Much better, thanks. I've been feeling almost normal today (which is good because I have to go back to work tomorrow). I'll be able to start posting again tomorrow.
I believe it's because orcs/goblins/kobolds are humanoids and single-hit-die humanoids don't get racial hit dice. Mites, however, are fey and so get a racial hit die even when it's only 1. That said, I suspect the meta-reason for that rule is exactly what you said--that 1-HD humanoids (which include humans, elves, etc.) are more likely to be used as characters.
Increasing Int would also mean reworking his skills. However, I'm tempted to go with option A. Could be fun. :)
Javell DeLeon wrote:
Joana's inventing a language for time travel. Either that or she's been reading Riddley Walker. :)
And, oh yes, it's me! Hi!
I'll have a fuller update on my status soon, but it looks like I'll be joining this little group. I'm trying to decide between the two extra characters, Bisbee or Smuz, but I can't quite decide which one yet. They both look like a lot of fun!
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Douena finds no evidence of any traps on the door. The vines are relatively easy to brush aside and the door is unlocked.
The stairs are quite steep, needing to ascend 100 feet over a horizontal distance a fraction of that amount. As such, it is a tiring climb. The main staircase ends at the tier just below the top, where a vine-covered door allows entrance into the building. The door is marked with the same types of images that are carved into the rest of the ziggurat.
A smaller flight of stairs to the side ascends the final 10 feet to the very top where the spire then rises another 100 ft in the air. The view from the top of ziggurat is breath-taking. To the north, east, and south, the lake and city spread out, and for the first time, you are able to truly realise just how big this city really is. To the west and beyond the city in the other directions, thick jungle spreads out across the remainder of the valley and up the valley walls.
From this vantage point, you are able to make note of several things in and about the city. At the southwest corner of this ziggurat, there appears to have been a subsidence in the ground and a sinkhole has opened up. A few blocks to the northeast, you can see figures moving cautiously over the bridge where Douena left her arcane mark. Further out, you can easily place the positions of the other six giant ziggurats with their equally tall spires rising into the sky.
You can see that a total of four bridges lead to the islands in the centre of the lake, but only one of them (the most northerly one) looks intact enough to cross easily.
To the far south of the city, there is a smaller lark of much darker water than the central lake.
And here and there, throughout the city, you can occasionally make out tiny figures moving about. The city is definitely not uninhabited.
Full City Map
Joana's correct. The pentagonal building in the water and the ziggurat are separate buildings. You are currently at the foot of the ziggurat on the north side.
I mentioned the building in the water as a place you caught notice of on the way to the ziggurat, though perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been.
Leaving the creatures behind on the other side of the bridge, you continue on towards the giant ziggurat, which towers over everything in this vicinity. The only other building of note that you spot is a pentagonal building to the east, rising out of the waters of the lake. You get the impression that it was originally built on dry ground, but the lake has expanded around it. Surprisingly, no plant life appears to have grown along the building's walls.
The ziggurat rises at least 100 feet and the stone spire on top of it rises another 100 feet or so. The sides of the ziggurat's tiers are carved with images of mounds of treasure and merchants trading wares. A grand staircase ascends the north side all the way to the top.
"Ha!" Pezock exclaims. "What did I tell you? Treasure!"
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The creatures don't make any move towards you as you cautiously pass by the building. You see the one on the roof shift position slightly to keep watching you as you move away, but otherwise, they remain still.
"I don't trust having them behind us," Pezock grumbles as you walk on.
A block or so further along, you cross a small bridge over the canal. As you reach the other side, Mahjik and Pezock catch sight of several creatures darting across an open space back on the previous side of the canal and then back under cover. Although he does not get a particularly good look at them and he also didn't get a particularly good look at the ones hiding by the building covered in skulls, Mahjik is fairly certain these are the same type of creatures, if not the exact same ones. They are tall humanoids with long arms. They appear to be following the party.
Douena Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (4) + 13 = 17
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (2) + 13 = 15
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21
Random Encounter 20%: 1d100 ⇒ 81 -- no encounter
The six of you (I'm assuming Makoa goes along too) head southwards further into the city, leaving the others to finish with the campsite. Although the buildings in this area of the city are in the same style as those in the area you entered, these ones seem more prone to overgrowth from the jungle. Many of them have moss and vines growing on their walls. The ground is also somewhat muddy as the nearby canal seems to have overflowed in the recent past.
One building, in particular stands out as you walk along the streets, your destination still a ways off. This low, one-storey building is almost completely overgrown by thick vines and surrounded by a forest of sharp stakes on which have been impaled numerous small simian skulls. Full skeletons, held together by strips of flesh and sinew, hang from stakes higher on the building's walls.
As you approach closer to the building, most of you spot a hint of movement on the building's roof (only Douena doesn't notice). Something is crouched low, using the vines as cover.
"Seems we have company," Pezock says quietly with a grin. "There are a couple more hiding to the sides of the building as well."
The figure makes no aggressive moves right away. Its intention--for the moment, at least--seems to be to watch.
Douena Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (2) + 13 = 15
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (11) + 13 = 24
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (14) + 13 = 27
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
Lorenz looks over as Douena and Pezock start wandering off and Urza follows them. "Uh... Should we go with them?" he asks the others. "It could be dangerous. They might need help."
"Ishirou and I could use some help securing the inn," Sasha says as she passes by him.
"Oh, uh, sure," Lorenz replies, and follows her.
"Makoa, Mahjik, Tar'kanas," Jask calls, "why don't you accompany Douena, Pezock, and Urza? The rest of us can handle things back here."
What you do next is pretty much entirely up to you at this point. Amivor Glaur did talk of laying claim to the city, but he really didn't have any idea the scale of the city or just what that would entail.
Exploring the city and finding suitable artifacts, as Dax suggest, is certainly one option you can take. And once you start to explore a bit, a few other options may present themselves... :)
I was wondering when I wrote it out whether the party actually had Knowledge (history). I should have double-checked. Jask does not have Knowledge (history). Neither do the other NPCs with you. The person you really need is Gelik. :P
But luckily, as I pointed out, there are other ways to uncover the knowledge.
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Can we tell from the architecture/decor if this city was inhabited by humans or snake-people or vampires or what? Any sign of a temple that we can distinguish?
Based on the architecture and furniture, the buildings were definitely constructed for use by humanoids of Medium size, and most likely human-like humanoids--it's unlikely they were inhabited by serpentfolk or other reptilian humanoids. With closer examination, you can determine more information.
Knowledge (history) DC 12:
The architectural style definitely resembles the Azlanti style, meaning that this was likely originally an Azlanti city.
A closer look at the carvings on the buildings' walls shows that the intricate geometric designs and pictures seem to tell stories. With lengthy study, it should be possible to work out details about the people who built the city and their histories by studying the designs.
In game terms, after every full day of uninterrupted study of the designs, you may make a DC 20 Knowledge (history) check to uncover information about the city. These checks may be repeated (provided you spend another full day of study for each check). After every successful check, the DC for further checks in the same district of the city increases by 2. You need to move to a new district of the city to reset the DC to 20. There are seven main districts to the city (one for each spire). The suburb you are in now counts as part of the northern district, the spire for which is to the northeast (and not currently visible on the map). You are right at the southern edge of the district.
Note: There are other ways to uncover secrets of the city for those who don't relish the idea of studying carvings for days on end. You'll have to find those methods out by exploring the city some more.
"But what if there's nobody here?" Lorenz says. "Couldn't we then stay in a mansion? It would be nicer than an inn. And we won't know if anyone's in them unless we check first."
"I doubt mansion is the right word," Jask says. "Wrong architectural style."
Lorenz shrugs. "Well, whatever the equivalent is. Mahjik used the word first."
You begin moving about the area, examining the various buildings for appropriate places to set up camp. Up close, the walls of the buildings are carved with intricate designs, all remarkably well preserved. Intricate statues grace the grounds of some of the buildings. Sneaking inside the buildings, Douena discovers that the interior walls are carved with the same kinds of designs. Every building seems to have its own unique designs--all in the same style, but each building depicting different things. The interiors of the buildings contain remnants of furniture, although not as well preserved as the buildings themselves. Any fabrics have rotted away, but wood, clay, and stone objects remain. She finds no living things in any of these buildings.
To the west, past a small batch of trees, you find a small group of buildings separated from the rest, on of which is a small step pyramid. One of the other buildings in this section may have once been an inn or tavern--at the very least it's large and has multiple rooms, and could well be a good place to set up base.
To the east, the trees part and you get a much better view of the city proper, sprawling out majestically around a central lake. It's clear that the area you have entered by must be some sort of suburb, as the rest of the city is filled with larger buildings, bigger sculptures, and lots of pyramids. The things that most draw your eyes, however, are immensely tall spires that rise from the tops of already immensely tall ziggurats. Although you cannot see the whole city from where you are, you can see these spires rising up above everything else. There are seven of them altogether, spread out around the city.
Two spires are relatively close to you. One is to the south and looks relatively easy to get to. The other is on an island in the central lake and may be a bit tougher to get to. There are bridges, but they don't look in a good state of repair. The next closest spire is to the north-east. The remaining spires are on the far side of the lake.
Other notable things near to you include a series of canals near the lake. The canals still carry water, but the land around them is not currently cultivated. Eight small ziggurats line the canals.
Do you think they do hardbacks when they run out of paperbacks to sell? At this point I wouldn't put it past them to pull something like that. >.>
This one does seem to coincide with the original volumes being either out of print or very nearly out of print, so it's possible that plays a role in the decision. I guess the best way to find out is to buy out all the copies of one of the other APs and see if they do a hardcover of it. Anyone got a whole lot of money they don't need? ;)
Um, when did Douena become the new Godzilla? Just curious. I will say she's not nearly as terrifying. Well... maybe a little bit. ;)
Makoa Wolf'sKin wrote:
Unless the luck/bad luck is size proportionate...
Yeah, I figured there'd be jokes about giant-sized Douena. :)
I just needed something to represent the party. I've expanded the map of the city as much as Roll20 will let me. To put everyone's individual token on there at scale would make everyone so small you wouldn't be able to tell who was who. So I went with one token to represent all of you.
I suppose I could have gone with Pezock...
"This way then!" Pezock declares and begins marching overland towards the buildings.
The land descends a little into a small valley, shallow enough that the tops of single-storey buildings still rise over the top. The buildings are clearly old and weathered, but look in remarkably good condition given how old the city supposedly is. It looks as though this may have once been a residential section of town. Several streets criss-cross through the buildings, and near to where you arrive, there is a wider open area that may have once been a market square.
It's very quiet here, apart from the sounds of your own movements and that of the warm, humid wind blowing softly.
Random Encounter 10%: 1d100 ⇒ 18 -- no encounter
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I realized as I was preparing the latest post that I got things backwards on the map in that battle. You should have been entering from the opposite side and going to the right side. It's not a big deal though. We'll just pretend north was to the bottom of that map and then everything works just fine. :)
Now that you're out of combat, it's possible to take 10 to cross the river, which just about everyone will succeed on (DC 12). People like Mahjik can easily help those who don't quite succeed by taking 10 (like Shokambe, who only gets an 11 by taking 10 on Acrobatics).
Due to the slipperiness, it takes a minute or so to get everyone across the to the other side of the river where you can continue on your way. The path on this side is starting to look more and more like a road, complete with paving stones.
After only a few minutes of travel, the trees to the south of you thin. In the distance (maybe half a miles or so), you can make out the tops of buildings peaking above a shallow valley. It's difficult to tell much about them, but at the very least, they are intact. The road continues following the river eastwards towards a thicker patch of jungle.
"Could that be Saventh-Yhi?" Lorenz says, pointing towards the buildings. "Have we actually made it?"
"I'd say there's a strong possibility," Shokambe replies. "The road doesn't seem to go that way, though."
Crocodile #4 Fortitude: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17 -- pass
Mahjik's incredible leap leaves him standing precariously on the side of the opposite cliff. Still, he slams his foot into the back of the crocodile. It doesn't succeed in stunning the beast, but it does heavily hurt it.
Bolts of energy then spring from Urza's hand to collide with #4, finishing it off.
Lorenz composite longbow at #3: 1d20 + 12 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 12 + 1 = 25 -- hit
Lorenz moves along the trail part way down the cliff to get a better shot at the remaining crocodile. He fires of a single arrow that finds its mark in the animal's head. The crocodile releases its grip on Pezock and goes still.
We can assume Tar'kanas's attack was with the shock bow if you like. I notice I never specified whether there was a Strength adjustment for the bow. It should be +3 like his non-magical bow, so he doesn't lose anything by switching to the magical one.
Tar'kanas hit once, so I'll roll a single electricity die for the attack. He'll also gain an extra point to damage for the +1 enhancement.
Tar'kanas fires several arrows at the crocodile holding Pezock. Only one of them breaks through the tough hide, sinking deep into the crocodile's back, discharging a jolt of electricity at the same time. The crocodile looks heavily injured now.
Jask and Shokambe delay.
Next Up: Mahjik, Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou, Untari (subject to delayed action), Pezock, Tar'kanas, Jask (subject to delayed action), Shokambe (subject to delayed action).
Yeah, the shock bow went to Tar'kanas. Looking back, it looks like you never identified the headband from that treasure. There have been a few days since finding them that Urza could have made additional attempts. Jask can help as well, so I'll assume by now you've identified it. Now I just have to remind myself what it was...
Oh yes. Headband of Wisdom +2.
Douena Trestleben wrote:
Croc 4 has already taken an AoO on Makoa so she's hoping it can't snap at her as well, and if Croc 3 is grappling Pezock, it either can't take an AoO or has to take a -20 to maintain the grapple, by my understanding. If she makes it past, it will open up space for someone else to get into melee with Croc 4.
You understand correctly. :)
While #4's attention is focused on Makoa and #3's on Pezock, Douena hurries between them along the slick bridges and rocks, moving nimbly despite the slippery conditions.
Sasha Acrobatics: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 7 + 1 = 16 -- success
Sasha takes advantage of both her extra speed and the opening Douena has left, to hurry down the trail and out onto the rocks. She pulls out her rapier as she moves and as soon as she comes in reach of #4, she lunges at it.
Sasha rapier at #4: 1d20 + 11 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 11 + 1 = 17 -- miss
Unfortunately, she cannot pierce its touch hide. She takes a moment direct Alton to #3.
Alton bite at #3: 1d20 + 10 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 10 + 1 = 22 -- hit
Alton dutifully responds by flying straight towards the crocodile and biting at its side. His teeth find their mark, but only leave a small cut.
Next Up: Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe (subject to delayed action), Mahjik, Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou, Untari (subject to delayed action), Pezock.
Pezock Escape Artist: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (5) + 13 = 18 -- fail
Pezock attempts to wriggle free of Crocodile #3's grip, but it simply has too tight a hold on him.
Next Up: Douena, Sasha, Alton, Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe (subject to delayed action), Mahjik, Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou, Untari (subject to delayed action), Pezock.
Makoa's Acrobatics check is enough to allow him to move, but not enough to avoid an AoO.
Crocodile #4 bite AoO at Makoa: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25 -- hit
Makoa moves along the slippery surface, trying to avoid snapping jaws attacking him. However, he is not successful. The jaws of #4 snap at his legs and feet, scraping at them and drawing a streak of blood. Enraged, Makoa brings his axe down at the crocodile and making a cut along its neck. You didn't actually specify whether you were attacking #4 or #3 (just "nearby" and they both qualify for that). I've applied the damage to #4 since that's the one he tried to avoid the AoO from.
Ishirou Climb: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12 -- fail, but doesn't fall
With the crocodiles closest to him now floating downriver and the others, Ishirou tries to make his way along the side of the cliff to the trail near Douena. Unfortunately, his foots slips as he starts out and he almost falls into the water. He is able to grab hold of the side and steady himself, but he is unfortunately unable to make any further progress for the moment.
Next Up: Untari, Pezock, Douena, Sasha (subject to delayed action), Alton, Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe (subject to delayed action), Mahjik, Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou.
As Joana mentioned in the OOC thread, Mahjik is actually before Urza so won't have the haste on him yet. However, it really doesn't make a difference. You forgot the +1 from the prayer, so that balances the bonuses out (not that it would have made a difference anyway), and he doesn't need the extra speed to get where he's going. Of course, the prayer effect also applies to his damage, boosting that to a total of 13.
Crocodile #1 Fortitude: 1d20 + 8 - 1 ⇒ (6) + 8 - 1 = 13 -- fail (Not that it matters since the damage will take it down anyway.)
Mahjik's fist slams heavily into the snout of crocodile #1 with a loud crunch. The snout actually bends out of shape from the power of the attack. The crocodile is left floating where it is, moving only with the flow of the water.
Urza Sha'rahad wrote:
I haven't moved him back a full 15 ft, since he would have to leave the trail and climb to do that. I've instead moved him back to where Mahjik was before moving. Makoa and Lorenz are too far apart to affect both, so it'll go to Sasha instead of Lorenz.
Urza backs away and casts a spell. Several party members are imbued with supernatural speed.
Lorenz composite longbow, Rapid Shot 1: 1d20 + 12 - 2 ⇒ (1) + 12 - 2 = 11 -- miss
Lorenz grabs an arrow and fires at #2. The shot goes very wide and hits the cliff on the other side. He then fires a 2nd shot, which goes nearly as wide. Cursing, he grabs a 3rd arrow and fires. This time, the arrow goes straight into the back of the crocodiles head, burying itself deep. The crocodile goes still. Lorenz then moves a short distance along the trail (5-ft step).
Crocodile #3 bite at Pezock: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19 -- hit
Crocodile #3 swings its tail and snaps at Pezock, both blows hitting the tengu. Its teeth sink into Pezock's side and grab hold of him.
Meanwhile, #4 pushes its way under the bridges and between the rocks until its on the other side of Pezock. Double move, via squeezing. Pezock is grapple so can't take an AoO.
Next Up: Makoa, Ishirou, Untari (subject to delayed action), Pezock, Douena, Sasha (subject to delayed action), Alton, Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe (subject to delayed action), Mahjik, Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles.
Tar'kanas's arrow rebounds off the crocodile's tough hide without penetrating it.
Jask moves forward on the trail a little (5-ft step) and calls out to Nethys to grant the party assistance. Casts prayer. The non-level aspect of this map annoyingly skews the distances between characters. Pezock and crocodiles #3 and #4 are out of range, but it effects everyone else. Party members gain a +1 luck bonus to attack, damage, saves, and skill checks. Crocodiles #1 and #2 take a -1 penalty to the same rolls.
Next Up: Mahjik, Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou, Untari (subject to delayed action), Pezock, Douena, Sasha (subject to delayed action), Alton, Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe (subject to delayed action).
Douena's mace smacks into the crocodile's snout with a loud crunch. The beast is looking very injured now (if Pezock hadn't done minimum damage, Douena's attack might just have taken this crocodile out).
Sasha calls out to Alton to attack the same crocodile whilst delaying herself. Alton responds by diving down at the crocodile.
Alton bite at #2, charge: 1d20 + 10 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 10 + 2 = 14 -- miss
Unfortunately, the crocodile rolls aside just before Alton's teeth manage to get it.
Next Up: Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe, Mahjik (subject to readied action), Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou, Untari (subject to delayed action), Pezock, Douena, Sasha (subject to delayed action), Alton.
Pezock sawtooth sabre at #2: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28 -- hit
Pezock swings at crocodile #2, making a small cut along its snout, but not penetrating very deeply. He scowls and, noting that he's currently flanked, scowls again. Then he carefully moves 5-ft to reposition himself (not a 5-ft step due to the conditions).
Pezock Acrobatics to move and avoid AoO: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (16) + 13 = 29 -- success
Pezock carefully steps onto the next rock while avoiding retaliation from the two crocodiles.
Next Up: Douena, Sasha, Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe, Alton (subject to delayed action), Mahjik (subject to readied action), Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou, Untari (subject to delayed action), Pezock.
Makoa successfully casts a spell to help protect Douena.
Ishirou Climb: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
Meanwhile, Ishirou moves up the path a short distance (to between Jask and Shokambe), then leaves the trail and begins climbing down the slope to a short distance above the river's edge. (Relative heights are unfortunately completely unclear on the map. Although Ishirou is now in the square to Mahjik's top right, he is also about 15 ft lower down than Mahjik.)
Next Up: Untari, Pezock, Douena, Sasha, Tar'kanas, Jask, Shokambe, Alton (subject to delayed action), Mahjik (subject to readied action), Urza, Lorenz, Crocodiles, Makoa, Ishirou