Neil Spicer wrote:
One can rarely find the fey, even when you're actively looking for them. More often than not, it's they who find you. And when they do, that doesn't always end well. So, it's not like no one is looking. It's just that they've been charmed and led off to parts unknown once they find them. Or warped and twisted by some strange fey magic so they can't relay what they've seen or experienced. :->
See, this man knows his stuff. Course, now that means we've to do something about that.
You're talking to a guy who doesn't like libraries.
It's less logic and more that chaos and logic must by their very natures occasionally cross paths. Stopped clocks and all, yeeessss.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've an appointment to gnarfle the tzazz ghmin aflarc.
Spent the majority of the evening doing Kingdom Building (which involved a lot of random item rolling, as the group has a Market and a Caster Tower now) and catching up with my ex-roommate in the army, who's stateside one leave until either today or tomorrow. So admittedly wasn't much for foruming last night >_>
The black raven wrote:
It gives me a bittersweet feeling. Because this very happy ending, that is so important to Elan, will never happen for real.
The Oracle did say he (specifically) would get A Happy Ending though. Perhaps not this 100% Everything Is Right With The World Now Happy Ending, but we at least know things turn out well for Elan (and, presumably, Haley since any Happy Ending for Elan will require a happy Haley).
Makes sense, since in addition to being super-savvy about the cliches and expectations of the game world, he's also got the highest Will save of the bunch - no surprise that when prompted with something in the illusion that doesn't fit he'd make his second save. (Even with a Wisdom penalty, he'd still be better off than the slower progression of a Ranger, Rogue, or Fighter unless one of them had obscenely high Wis for their class.)
Celestial Healer wrote:
I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, my 2cp.
Richard "Hamster" Hammond wrote:
I repainted it. I think it will be much more efficient over here, and that poor rabbit won't know what hit him when he runs straight into that wall.... oh ho ho ho, I AM a genius!
The dress rehearsal was, surprisingly enough, for a live audience and despite the lack of being informed of such in advance we managed to stumble through with minimal disruptions or errors, earning very little abuse from the observing crowd (who had come ready and armed with rotten fruit and other unpleasantries, so thank all the Avatars for that) and a less-scathing-than-usual backhanded compliment from our Chair Commander. We were given the rest of the evening to ourselves and informed to be at the Nightshade Theatre promptly two hours after noon, two hours prior to the intended curtain-rise time. Like always, we retreated to Mack's for the evening; shortly after arriving Anzara managed to weasel her way past him and into his back room, where Mack promptly shut her in... then discovered she'd taken up cooking for him there. Her meals weren't bad at all, either. If the adventuring life doesn't work out for her in the long run she could make a decent living as a chef, I think... but don't tell her that, priestesses of war gods tend not to like the suggestion that they set down their swords.
Other than a sharp-tongued and suspiciously-humored barb from Thesing upon our arrival - masked under an oily pleasantness that was enough on its own to put me on edge, we've known Thesing long enough to know he doesn't play nice unless he expects to gain something from it - everything appeared ready to go. We had a last-minute pep talk with Millech and Calesenica, and were notably unnerved further when Robahl returned pale-faced from speaking with a man with a dastardly-looking goatee. He informed us that the man would be providing the "monstrous entertainment" for the night's performance, but little else. And I swear when he said it Thesing's grin doubled in width until it almost could have severed his head clean through and popped off the top half. Nevertheless, the show must go on, as they say. The curtain rose and we had no choice (that wouldn't get us murdered by Robahl or ruin our long-term plans) but to perform and do our best to stay alive.
The first few acts were, compared to what was to come, fairly mundane. The first was nothing but dialogue, the second involved Anzara whipping Felix while he was strapped to a large rotating wheel, and the third involved handing out skin-burrowing worms to all of us then having us slice and pry them free with knives; luckily between acts while the curtain was down Anzara was able to tend to some of our wounds without going against her character's role as a torturer by handing out healing magic. The fourth involved Calesenica's character being tossed into the metaphorical fires with the four of us, and the lot of us being hauled inside a gigantic glass lizard-thing filled with acid. Thankfully between my rope, Anzara's claws, and Felix and Martin's natural agility and nimbleness, we were able to escape mostly unscathed, though that length of rope is going to be useless for anything in the future.
Following that was when things became more unpleasant. Act Five began with the five of us being offered red eggs to eat, which in the story of the play were supposed to cause us to "birth" devilish clones of our souls or some such. What ended up happening was we retched up the noxious concoction that the eggs were made of, then our backstage "provider" summoned up a batch of devils - Lemures, according to Tlav - for us to fight. And while the little slimy pests were resilient against ice and fire, they were less so against electricity, and I was able to wound a few of them in my opening barrage. After that, not wanting to expend too much of my magic too soon, I stuck to firing lesser rays from a distance, with Calesenica and a retching Anzara crowding behind me until the latter recovered and could get back into the fray, while Martin bashed one senseless with his blade and Felix danced around the others that had surrounded him, able to keep up with the warrior's assault only because his silver dagger could pierce their hides better than Martin's plain steel longsword. (In retrospect, I should have probably offered my silver knife to Martin, I wasn't doing anything with it, and it might have sped the process along nicely.) We eventually vanquished the little blackguards, and the play continued without more than a moment's hesitation.
Act Six was, easily, the worst of all. After a long set of dialogue - where I got so caught up in doing my character's main tirade that I ended up rolling over a few of Felix's lines, to the disdain of the audience - we were thrust into the final combat of the play: two skeletal trolls! The beasts shrugged off my lightning blast that had nearly dissolved the Lemures, and one nearly tore Martin in half in its opening salvo. Thankfully after that Anzara threw in-character behavior to the wind and tossed out some much-needed healing magic, mending most of the warrior's injuries and blasting the skeletons with positive energy, then waded into the melee with her mace while I switched to acid missiles and Felix picked at them with his crossbow as best he could, and Calesenica - unarmed throughout the entire play, and apparently not informed as to the extent of the threat to her person on-stage - hiding behind the two of us the whole time. Other than that one close call for Martin, we thankfully made it through that last fight unscathed.
Act Seven was the play's denouement, and Delour finally appeared as Nyx herself to deliver justice to Thesing's Haanderthan - and it wasn't hard to tell that His Greatness's screams of rage were completely out of character as the Fat Lady dragged him to the trapdoor at the stage's center and descended into the understudy chambers below. At that point, it was best the play was over anyway: the lot of us were exhausted, most of my magic spent and I'm sure Anzara wasn't much better off, Martin was still somewhat injured and... well, Felix seemed fine, though he was complaining about wasting his fire-bolts. Martin, Felix, and I bid our co-stars farewell and headed to Mack's as usual, though Anzara went her own way, saying she "needed to hit something".
Thank the Aspects that's over. Now we just have to go to the after-party... and rob our host, of course.
Why did I accept this job again?
If you want Kobolds as low-level dangers or underdog troublemakers in the vein that they are as monsters, Paizo's stats work fine for them. Clever thinking and use of their low-level abilities can still pull out Tucker's Kobolds type situations after all.
However, I didn't want them in that role for my world, I wanted them to be one of the civilized races, respected and recognized for their skills, doubly so when I gave them complete hold of the "semi-subterranean, mining-and-crafting focused community culture" role that normally Dwarves filled and moved the latter to the pirates-and-sailors niche. Once I'd done that, they really did need to be on-par with the core races, at the very least, and a respectable race statistically to keep up with their lore as a respectable race culturally and historically.
Do you run more toward Game of Thrones, or My Little Pathfinder?
Given most everyone in my group has almost zero love for GoT, it's no surprise we lean somewhat heavily in the opposite direction. The game is for the most part lighthearted, without being a candy-coated cheer romp... or if it is, there's something less pleasant beneath the sugar coating, kind of like a tootsie-roll pop with the tootsie roll being some slumbering nightmare creature. I would very, very rarely give anything in my games above a PG rating.
I imagine many people here, judging from the things in this thread, would find my games too PG-lite and too "unrealistic" for their tastes. I don't like gritty, grungy storylines. I like kitchen sink fantasy where you throw near everything in, so fantasy purists would be turned off from the get-go. I like resurrection magic, it keeps me from having to keep working people in and out of the story, and lets the plot continue on without having to get all the new characters caught up to speed, while allowing me to still have the threat of lethal consequences in and out of combat.
My major inspirations are as follows:
The last two sessions of my Kingmaker game had the party "entertaining" Puck, who I played as an amalgam of Brent Spiner's Puck from Gargoyles, Tom Hiddelson's Loki, and Coyote from Gunnerkrigg Court.
There's two ways we can take this, one that my group is VERY into and one that my group is very NOT into.
In the sense of in regards to real-world politics, we drop them at the door. I've had to berate a couple of my players at one time or another for trying to bring up real-world politics stuff in-game, because that stuff just leads to nothing good, especially when the entire group is not on the same political wavelength. But frankly, I'd be 100% happy if that exclusion extended beyond the game; I just don't have the authority to enforce it outside of GM context. I don't like real-world politics.
In-game politics, on the other hand, we tend to get pretty into. Kind of a necessity in our current Kingmaker game for obvious reasons.
Regarding sexual matters?
Almost zero. Heck, we almost never even have romances - PC-to-PC or PC-to-NPC. It's never come up, and probably never will.
Grittiness is at extreme low. I don't like those kinds of settings.
I tend to be a pretty lethal GM. I don't go out of my way to PC-kill, but I don't fudge the dice to spare the dead, either. That said, I am - as stated above - 100% for Rez magic. Besides keeping the cast together for the continued flow of the plot, there's fun that can be had with reincarnate shenanigans. I've never understood the mindset of "resurrection negates the fear of death". Maybe I've just never been able to play in a group that had enough spare cash on-hand to drop a rez diamond every other day if needed. When someone's died in my KM group, it's usually been a mad scramble to get back to the druid in time, scrape up the necessary gold (the party was well behind WBL for quite some time, this has since been mostly rectified), and see what weird critter the deceased comes back as this time.
Any other aspects?
I want settings that are less humanocentric. The "standard six" races of human, elf, halfling, dwarf, gnome, and orc are less than half of the major civilized species in my own homebrew setting. The others range from half-humanoids (Naga, Arachnes, a harpy-like race, etc.) to anthropomorphics (Catfolk, Lizardfolk, a wolf-folk race, an insectoid humanoid race, etc.) to various fey species. It has always struck me as bizarre that in fantastical settings, all of the "civilized" and "accepted" races were basically just, in appearance at least, humans with different basic physiques. There's nothing fantastical about that, to me.
I've equal love for Big Damn Heroes games as I do for Magnificent Bastard evil games. I don't particularly care for MurderHobo style play, but if my players run that way and they're willing to roll with the consequences, I'm cool with it. MurderHoboes that survive the first few backfires of their plans tend to either learn the error of their ways or get more Magnificent about their methods, in my experience. My current KM game is all-neutral save one (one LN, two TN, one CN, one CE); the upcoming Savage Tide game to follow has a Paladin and a CG Pirate as planned cast members, while the Crimson Throne game I'll be running after that (yeah, I tend to plan my games wayyyy in advance >_>) has a Bard of unknown alignment and an Antipaladin on the docket. So we tend to swing back and forth.
Its just a side effect of our decision to put up with inanity like this and deal with it on an individual level rather than trusting the government with the ability to do something about it.
And as I said in my last post, that's not power I'm ever going to be comfortable with our rulers having.
Sessions Twenty-Five and Twenty-Six
Oh-hohohohoho!!! What a delightfully entertaining batch this little team has turned out to be!!
Ah, but of course, proper introductions must be levied first - anything less would hardly be polite, and The Puck is many things but never a poor guest... or host, in this case! For The Puck indeed am I, Robyn Goodfellow, herald and jester of Summer's court, companion of Oberon and minister to Our Beloved Queen, trickster of tricksters, storied bard and dashing rogue extraordinaire. But certainly you've come not to hear me speak of myself for times on end... so on with the show, as they say!
I've been watching this particular batch of mortals - some now significantly less mortal than others! - for quite some time now with keen interest, and no doubt they've heard much of my exploits, if the beloved adoration toward myself of their little forest friends is any indication. When at last their trepidations following the visit of Her Dourness were concluded and they set eyes to the road once more, how joyed was I to learn that their intended destination was none other than one of my favorite haunts, the Forest of Infinite Shrouds, or as it is known among mortals the Mazewood. Patience prevailed and I managed to restrain myself from introductions until I was prepared to serve as a suitable host and guide of my part-time demesne, but I only have so much of such and as night fell while they rested at my doorstep I couldn't wait another moment and invited them in whilst most of them slept. This of course caused a teensy bit of disruption and flailing about in midnight panic as they attempted to wriggle free an exit from the wood's grasp... but heehee! No such luck! Even the erstwhile dragon attempted to fly free, only for the perplexing aura of this mad place to send him careening back toward the ground without realizing he'd changed directions midair.
The Huntress, come morn, was all too excited and eager to explore after finding herself within my realm, while Her Majesty and the Grumpy Guardian were in a bit too much of a hurry to leave for my taste. I set myself to entertaining them, appearing incognito a few times to direct them toward interesting paths and conversing whenever it seemed most amusing. They soon reached the bridge of Grilgruk the troll, who demanded a toll of a child's first tears or hairs from a hundred maidens to cross; after trying to convince the recently-reborn Snake Soldier to shed a tear - the first of his newborn body - with no success, the Huntress instead bartered a drop of something that should not be, which the eager troll accepted - stoppered in a glass arrowhead with a toadstool from his own foot - and allowed them to cross.
It was not long after this that the Thorns halted their passage; I suggested instead that they take the opposite path, leading them into the Honeycomb Pools. Delightfully curious, the Huntress found herself pulled into one of the hives (after pursuing my severed head - apparently owls can only rotate so many times before it just pops off!) and was offered the prestigious position of Queen by the eager denizens. Meanwhile I chose that time to fully reveal myself to my guests, informing them of my generous hospitality and requesting the much-due entertainment I had expected from their visit. Prompting the Serpent to strike the Witchknife was hardly child's play, and amusing as it was to see his weapons deflate upon striking he seemed somehow disappointed. The Duchess herself attempted to flee - how rude, leaving when the party's just begun! - but I generously and gently escorted her back to the celebration, just in time for the Forester to return, having convinced the Nobility of the Below that her own hive could not do without her guidance.
After some time further of inquiry and entertainment, I saluted my guests for the wonderful entertainment they had provided and began to hand out due gifts, soliciting requests as necessary. The Lady asked for a tale, inquiring as to the nature of the mysterious trinket she pursued, Briar; likewise the Magely Malcontent demanded information pertinent to the origin of his own blade. The stories blended together so well, I couldn't resist but to share them together; I located and identified the mark of our Fair Lady Cordelia hidden amidst the crimson claymore's hilt, and deigned to declare that the blade had been created to destroy a twin or counterpart, and to seek battle until its foe was discovered. Alas, it seems this was information he already knew? Perhaps he should have learned to phrase his inquiries more specifically! Hohohoho!
That story segued into the tale of Briar too well to surpass; why, perhaps it might have been Briar itself the bloody blade was made to hunt! I told the heartbreaking tale of the nymph Nyrissa, an ancient child of Summer, beautiful and beloved, and how she shared love and lust freely with a noble of grand standing; however, as unchained as love is among we fey, we are no less unrestrained when it comes to jealousy, and the young nymphling found herself at the fierce end of her noble lover's bride's wrath. Poor Nyrissa was devastated, forgotten and lost, but her blazing love could not be so swiftly diminished; such a burning brand could only be reshaped, and love so fierce could have fit no form so firmly than to be reforged into a weapon unbreakable. Thus was Briar born, but alas, in the eons that followed the sword of love was lost, discarded somewhere along the way and disappeared into the ages. Where it was now, not even the Queens might know... but after all, such was the Maiden's quest to find it! If I had all the answers, the game would be over far too soon, would it not?
Likewise the Serpentine Servitor sought the answer to a question internal, and allowed me a glimpse into his secluded mind to acquire the information necessary to ascertain his answer. Hohohohoho, little did he know just how close he was... but yet not close enough to take hold of that which he sought! No, no, there was time still yet until that day was to come, but a glorious day it would be to watch! The Indecisive Dragon decided to parley his payment for a favor to be fulfilled at a later date; I of course agreed, performing favors to mortals can be so entertaining! But to ensure the debt would be paid, I marked him with my emblem - that way I would be always watching and listening, ready to receive his summons when the time came.
The Huntress, though, made her request reticent, and oh the delight such a simple supplication brought to me! Such was a greater price than such simple entertainment could afford, and immediately I began my search for proper payment to be procured; an old obstacle hidden deep within my demesne, however, proved the very solution I could exploit. After all, such problem-solving is what these adventuresome sorts do! I provided the exit back to the world of mortality, as has been requested, but surely curiosity overwon caution and, prompted by yours truly, the ever-inquisitive travelers journeyed deeper into the catacombed wood.
Beyond the ruins and the Ever-Regrowing Stump (which is a tale unto itself, but pity, none willing to offer gifts further to hear it! Not even a tale for a tale!) they came across the Witchlight's prison - the box of light that contained a radiance from far beyond the stars. It had come to these lands as all such creatures do, to spread the madness of its alien song and feed upon the life and energy of mortal man, beast, and flora alike. They seemed content to leave it be, and - as per my advice earlier - knocked twice upon the grey tree that served as its tombstone (a tree long ago devoured of vibrancy by the very prisoner it marked) before following the resulting glimmer of light beyond.
There they found the Prison of Greylight, where the mad Lurkers - exiles from the World's Shadow and the unspoken Dark Court that dwells there - who worshiped the Witchlight were being held. It wasn't but a few seconds before my guests took note of the cracks in the prison and noted their escape would be imminent; when they expressed interest in slaying the little beasties, I gladly obliged by shattering the prison to allow them to have at the lot. I released the Witchlight as well, which arrived a few moments later, much to their distaste, but a few furious slashes from the Samurai, javelins from the drago-lin, and a torrent from the Duchess finished the spectral shades before it could do much harm. They then picked off the remaining Lurkers, dismissing the light they summoned to blind the guests in their frenzy, until down to the last two... which attempted to escape, only to be chased down and chomped by the swift saurian soldier.
Secure in her payment in full, I proceeded to deliver my due to the Dweller in Darkness - a kiss of severance from her scion, opening the bonds of form and initiating the metamorphosis into a creature heretofore unknown to the three realms, Wyld and unbound as per her desires. The changes were gradual over the following days as they departed my demesne and began the journey back toward their dominion. On the first her skin darkened, shifting from the alabaster of the undead to the warm brown-light of tree's heartwood, her hair from ebon black to the warmth of autumn's red. On the second roots took hold in her spine and shoulders, her ears established their elven ascent, and the eager hunger of a plant's drive for light and life set root within her heart as bone unbidden gave way to wood. On the third her flora budded, beginning the growth of the cloak of leaves and moss that would forever adorn her shoulders, unnaturally swiftly moving from spring green to autumn radiance, and the growth of the powerful vine that would forever serve her as a useful third limb. By the time she arrived back at their dwelling place, the transformation was complete, the daughter of the dead born living was no more and the first child of the black forest risen from the grave of her skin!
Elegy Medvyed wrote:
Dying isn't fun! Usually.