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Tiressia

Poldaran's page

412 posts. No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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Neo2151 wrote:

Re: Bloodrager - My problems with bloodrager is that it's spell list is awful and unpolished (compare and contrast lvl 3 and lvl 4 lists) and I'm not sure if the "bloodline" works for the prereq (I guess it'd be a GM call).

[Ideally Bloodrager would be my first choice, but they just really dropped the ball on it's spell lists. :( ]

Yeah, Bloodrager spell lists are just awful. But in my opinion, if you want to be an up close and personal fighter with a ton of HP and the ability to up your Breath/Noxious Bite DCs, gain more rage rounds(not to mention having 8 more rounds from class levels than the proposed Barb/Sorc split) and wear medium armor, it's worth the lack of reasonably decent spells if your party has another arcane caster to cover it.

As it is, you'll already be down 4 caster levels if you're going with the proposed split, which puts you at fifth level spells at level 15, which is a bit of a downside for a non-BR build(plus you'll be down a couple BAB).

While you're talking to the GM about things that work with other things, ask if a Robe of Arcane Heritage works with Bloodragers. If not, that's a huge mark against that suggestion. It's a cheap way to add two to your Noxious Bite DC and 4d6 to your breath.


Belabras wrote:
What about just straight Bloodrager into DD?

That's certainly one option that shouldn't be overlooked, assuming its bloodlines play properly with the DD. Spellcasting is a bit diminished, but beyond that, it's a rather nice option.

Neo2151 wrote:
I suppose my biggest concern is I don't want to go the minimum on Cha since it sets my breath DC, but I wanna focus primarily on melee and use spellcasting as a fallback.

The thing to remember with the breath weapon is that you get so very few uses of it per day. With Sorcerous Bloodstrike and a bit of luck with some blasting, you can regain a use, if you're willing to consider that option.

Also, if you were to go Bloodrager, unless it has been changed in the upcoming release, I think your Breath Weapon DC keys off your Con. And since Noxious Bite and Bloodrage both have durations that are tied to your Con...

At which point, I would probably go with something like 14 10 16 10 10 14 and throw the floating points into either Con or Str. Your spellcasting would be a bit diminished(not to mention that Form of the Dragon would only come from your DD SLA), but beyond that, I think it would make for an amazingly decent front liner(one who can wear medium armor without it affect spellcasting, btw), with 2-3 more HP per level than your earlier PB listed while maintaining good breath weapon DC.

With that one, you would need to go eldritch heritage if you wanted the Abyssal Str bonus, but that's fine. I'd use Focused Study at first level as a human to get the required skill focus and two bonus ones(acquired at 8th and 16th levels).


Neo2151 wrote:

How would you GM a Dragon attacking your party?

That's essentially the playstyle I'm shooting for (if possible). :)
So, initial reliance on Nat Weapons and Breath Attack, reinforced by spells (buffs mainly, but also some DD and utility - avoiding debuffs and SoS/SoD).

Depends on the terrain and the dragon, really. I've had a red dragon the party met in the field that relied completely on ranged spells and flyby attacks, a black dragon who grappled a foe, pulled it under the swamp and tried to drown it and a white dragon that more or less went toe to toe with the party because they cornered it in its lair.

Ultimately, I'd build for buffs and blasts if I were building a DD. Blasts would be used for large groups of foes and buffs for allowing me to go toe to toe with solo encounters. Buffs don't require much in the way of feats, while blasts do, so that part is okay. I'd see what combat feats you need to make melee work like you want and go from there.

If you have enough spare feats after that to make blasting worthwhile, it might be worth considering Wiz(Admix)1, Sorc(Xblood Draconic/Orc)1, Martial Class 3 -> DD.

If not, it might be worth using a couple feats instead to go Wiz(Transmutation)1, Sorc(Xblood Draconic/Pit Touched?)1, Martial Class 3 -> DD with Eldritch Heritaging an Abyssal. This would be a more melee-focused way of doing it. I built a similar DD as a sub boss once and he was fairly brutal in melee.


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Dragon78 wrote:
I want sci-fi in my pathfinder, not "syfy";)

Oh, I don't know about that...

Sharknado DC 22
Mansquito DC 12
Lorenzo Lamas DC "Whatever the hell the plot demands"

Dragon78 wrote:
I wish august would hurry up and get here.

I know, right? Between this and my vacation first week of August, this has felt like the longest July ever.


Zwordsman wrote:
a note about the lower casting stat, is that at 14 cha, you coudln't cast some higher level spells if you intended to get there eventually, nor have as many castings of it.

You can make up for the worst of that with a headband, but you'll definitely be seeing a hit to save DCs. If the plan is to focus on summons, buffs or spells without DCs(enervate could be a good one later in the game), then it'll probably be okay.

Blasting as a whole might be a problem. It's generally feat intensive to be really good at it.

Re: Crossblooded. This is what I would do. Take one level of Sorcerer. Crossblooded Draconic and something else useful. Abyssal, probably, though Orc gets the strength boost AND a bonus to damage spells, so that might be better. Then go wizard as the primary casting class. That way, you aren't hurt by the reduced spells portion of crossblooded. Since Wizards get spells a level earlier than sorcerers, new levels will open up when they would have anyway.

Then pick a school power that helps even with only one level in it. Admixture for blasting, divination for always acting in the surprise round, or Transmutation so that your point buy can have an odd number in a physical stat and still be at an even number. Heck, do the wizard level before the sorcerer level so that you can flat out dump Cha(well, maybe keep it at 11 for some extra 1st level spells) early on and not care, thus getting a major skill bonus by focusing on Int. And the best part is that it saves three feats over using Eldritch Heritage to get the Abyssal strength bonus, for the low price of a will save penalty(which is somewhat mitigated by having two first level caster classes).


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
One thing I like to do for DD is go half elf for the free skill focus

From a mechanical perspective, you could also go human and turn your one bonus feat into three skill focus feats.


Nosdarb wrote:
The lack of loot, and the penalty to sale prices, has been one of my major complaints.

There's actually a fairly decent amount of loot in the first chapter, if your party can find it.

If the enemies get away, then you will lose out on several really valuable items early on(and, if you're not prepared for it, lucky or skilled, one particular foe will likely get away with an item worth 8k gold early on). And if you're not checking everywhere for hidden items with a decent perception score, you'll likely miss a number of others.

I'm not sure what you mean by "penalty to sale prices", though. Unless you've gone and pissed off

Spoiler:
Shayliss' dad
I'm wondering if you're talking about something the GM put in on his own.


thejeff wrote:
Flight still renders castles pretty stupid.

Not necessarily. Enough guards and the occasional flying monster is perhaps a minor problem, but the castle is still relatively useful against opposing armies.


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NobodysHome wrote:
Poldaran wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
Not only that, but every major bad guy has a compelling back story that you can reveal in bits and pieces to the players, making the PCs sympathize with the bad guys even as they're exterminating them.

I remember reading a certain diary and just feeling like a complete ass for having killed that character.

I'm still debating bloodless yet horrifying punishment for someone in her backstory, assuming my GM lets me get away with it. Or ever preps the next adventure so we can return to town where I can consider doing it.

The very first "tears around the table" moment in our campaign was when she fell unconscious and our drow(!!) paladin of Sarenrae cradled her in her arms and made a beautiful speech about how, if it hadn't been for HER adoptive father and the teachings of Sarenrae, it would most likely have been her in that position. Then cleanly executed her. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

And that was for a bad guy!

That makes me wish we had found out more about her before killing her. You just made me flash back to reading Summer Knight.

Spoiler:
“Wait. You don't understand. I just wanted it to stop. Wanted the hurting to stop."
I smoothed a bloodied lock of hair from her eyes and felt very tired as I said, "The only people who never hurt are dead."
The light died out of her eyes, her breath slowing. She whispered, barely audible, "I don't understand."
I answered, "I don't either."
A tear slid from her eye and mixed with the blood.
Then she died.”


NobodysHome wrote:
Not only that, but every major bad guy has a compelling back story that you can reveal in bits and pieces to the players, making the PCs sympathize with the bad guys even as they're exterminating them.

I remember reading a certain diary and just feeling like a complete ass for having killed that character.

I'm still debating bloodless yet horrifying punishment for someone in her backstory, assuming my GM lets me get away with it. Or ever preps the next adventure so we can return to town where I can consider doing it.


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Odraude wrote:
So in doing some world building, I'm trying to think of a good reason why the gods and goddesses of the setting wouldn't interfere with the universe. I'm looking for something else besides a pact of non-interference or an overdeity that prevents them from interfering. Some reason why an evil god doesn't destroy good worlds, or a good god doesn't smite evil themselves. Any suggestions?

While similar to an overdeity, one consideration might be that there's something in this universe that the gods fear. Something they once put to sleep, or imprisoned. Because of this, they are very worried that full on interference might make enough noise to wake this thing, which would be bad.

This thing could be an elemental force or the awareness of the universe itself. Something so powerful that it eats gods for breakfast. Hell, waking it may have absolutely no repercussions for the mortals in the universe, but for the gods themselves, it could be their very end.


jimibones83 wrote:
i feel like cartman waiting for the wii to come out waiting for this book and iron gods to hit the shelf

If your phone rings and someone claiming to be you tells you not to freeze yourself, you might want to listen.


BlackOuroboros wrote:
Continual flame provides a cheap means of keeping an area lit at all times.

Assuming we aren't paying a premium to the caster, just the cost of the spell:

One Continual Flame casting costs as much as five thousand torches. While it makes much more sense in the long run, how many people living day to day in that kind of society would think that far ahead when they could instead spend much less now on the torches they need for the immediate future? And that's assuming that we're talking about someone who has that kind of wealth just lying around. I'd suspect that most people are somewhere in the Destitute(0gp/month), Poor(3gp/month) and Average(10gp/month) brackets and likely would have a very hard time justifying something like that.

Continual Flames illuminating your home almost certainly seem like they'd be a sign of opulence. And that's one of the cheaper things you've mentioned.

That isn't to say that there aren't things that could be done, but they'd be specific to a particular locale. A city whose streets are lit by continual flames due to someone binding a lantern archon or enlisting the services of an archon-blooded aasimar in helping protect the citizens would not at all be outside of the realm of possibility, but to say that the average home or small business would have that kind of thing is to miss just how out of the ordinary adventurer wealth really is.


Tels wrote:
Pessimistic it may be, but people are more likely to remember the times they got bad service, than the times they got good service and they will focus on the bad.

Not all that pessimistic. It makes sense.


Tels wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
Tels wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Kodyax wrote:
Well, we'll see when I can get this locally. It's not a question of if I'll be getting this but when.
Retail release date for our Technology Guide is August 14th.
True, but not all local retailers carry it then. My local store usually doesn't get the book until I bug them to order it for me. Then, every time it comes in, other people come and buy all the copies so I have to wait longer :(
Wait. You bug them to order it for you, but they don't put a copy aside for you when it arrives? That seems kind of ridiculous.

The store won't hold things as a matter of policy because they've been burned by unreliable people in the past. The owner of the store is my best friends uncle, also a close friend of mine, but, despite that, he won't hold things for me.

Which is exactly what I expect of him. I don't want him playing favorite for myself or anyone else because it just lowers the integrity of the store. If they are going to introduce a store policy, then it needs to apply to every one, or it might as well not apply to any one.

Would they be willing to hold it if you pre-paid them for it? Or is that also not an option?


VirtualAdept0 wrote:

I could really use any good tips for making each session my players and I have be fun, relatively open ended, but not too open ended that side quests prevent the story from moving forward.

I've never been very good at making my campaign worlds feel alive. So how do you set up each scenario for your homebrew campaigns?

On my first campaign, I just kinda winged it. I'd discuss the campaign out of game with my friends to find out what they liked and work to incorporate more of it. This time, I'm still doing that, but I'm trying to follow the advice from Brewer's guides in order to shore up weaknesses I noted in my first campaign.

So far, I like where it's going, though I still have some issues with my implementation of the ideas, but that'll work out better as I get more practice. They might be worth a read for you.


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Tels wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Krystin wrote:
I've got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I've got whosits and whatsits galore. You want thingamabobs? I've got twenty. But who cares? No big deal. I want moooooore...

I wanna be where the robots are! I wanna see, wanna see 'em fightin'.

Flyin' around on those (Whad'ya call 'em?) oh - hoverjets...

Using your feet, you don't get too far; warp-drives are required for travel and freedom.

Flying along through - what's that word again? Spaaace!

Up off the land, up off the sea; up where you can't take the sky from me!
We'll all be free, we'll never be... Part of their world!

I love this board.

hashtag Augustgetheresoon.


NobodysHome wrote:
Clap. Clap. Clap. Well-played, Riding Bull!

I think you missed out on a great opportunity to combine your avatar with a "Dun dun DUUUNNNN!".

But indeed. That was kinda awesome.


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
Samy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And yes, you can have a +1 laser pistol, and all of the implications beyond that.
+1 returning grenade??

Seems kind of useless if it returns, it'll blow up next to you no matter how far you throw it :P

Actually that could be a good cursed item

+1 backbiting grenade. :)
At least it isn't a dreaded light grenade.

I love that movie.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
And yes, you can have a +1 laser pistol, and all of the implications beyond that.

WTB "Hurry up already August!" emoticon.


DoomedPaladin01 wrote:
How does romance between deities and other outsiders even work with mortals? What's the view of other outsiders on such unions? Are offspring automatically demi-gods?

I don't have it handy, but didn't the mythic book(or maybe it was the smaller quests book?) touch on offspring of deities and whatnot?


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MagusJanus wrote:
The book would also have to focus on the individual marriage customs of each culture and how cross-culture marriages work. And, it would be quite lovely to see how the resulting images!

Of everything mentioned thus far, that's the thing I'd most like to see. That one wouldn't even necessarily need to go in a full on Romance book. It could instead go into something like "Festivals of the Inner Sea" or something like that, detailing holiday traditions, milestone celebrations and whatnot.

Though I'd be down for a Romance book carrying that stuff instead.


Mikaze wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Buying out sucks if you give high value items to the party. Give the players an item a level or 2 ahead of the curve and suddenly no one has the cash to pay the rest of the party.

My Jade Regent GM(Asurasan here on the boards) told me one particularly nasty horror story he read about that happening in another JR game.

Yeah, any system like this would need to be handled with extreme care.

If you virtualized the gold, such that each person had an independent pool of it, that would probably mitigate the issue. For every 1 gold in value of items you have, your pool goes down 1 "gold". Then for every item someone else keeps, your pool goes up by your share of the value. Then, when you need to decide who gets something, you look at who has the highest pool and they get first dibs on it, since by nature of having the highest virtual pool, they've gotten the least treasure.

To avoid confusion, we can call this virtual pool of gold something different. Since a lot of treasure comes from killing dragons and other monsters, we should reference that. Perhaps, Dragons Killed something or other. Points, maybe. Dragons Killed Points? Nah, that's clunky. Dragon Kill Points. Much better. We could even shorten it to DKP for simplicity.

And when someone does something silly like throwing a fireball at a red dragon, the group leader could deduct fifty DKP for their stupidity. Heaven help you if you accidentally aggro the whelp cave, because that kind of mistake isn't even remotely imaginable.


Silent Saturn wrote:
I wish there were a way to search the PRD (or SRD) for all spells with the Force descriptior...

I think this'll do it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
chaoseffect wrote:
If you're actually a person of note, you always have your soul to bargain with to get an awesome demon/devil/daemon butler.

He would have to be simply one HELL of a butler. And whenever a problem arose, be it legion of angry angels, mortal assassins, or simply you having misplaced one of your cufflinks, he would solve it. For if he couldn't do that much for his master, what kind of butler would he be, really?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Edit: SpaceNinja'd by Poldaran.

Ironically, space ninjas probably would wear skinsuits.


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Dustin Ashe wrote:
I also wonder whether there's some in-world technological reason the space suit has to be corset-tight. That looks really uncomfortable and restrictive. I mean, all things being equal, why would anyone wear a suit that tight to adventure in?

It would only be restrictive assuming it wasn't an extremely flexible material, maybe beyond what we currently can make. Body-tight skinsuits have a history in sci-fi. There have even been discussions of using them IRL.

http://www.space.com/24301-astronaut-skinsuit-soothes-space-backaches.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_activity_suit

Quote:
The potential for greater mobility and simpler operation with a space activity suit make it an attractive choice for fiction, where flexibility of use can be a boon to plot development.

That isn't saying that maybe it's not a little too tight, but then again, skinsuits in fiction generally are, regardless of gender.


Peet wrote:
I don't really think it especially matters whether the dagger can be sold in Magnimar or not; it's only a two day walk away so if the party wants to sell it there they could. But even assuming someone wants it for their familiar (and this doesn't require going to Korvosa; there are plenty of people in Magnimar with familiars) it is still an outside shot at best.

Sure, you don't have to have it go to Korvosa, it just seemed that with all the Imps, it would make sense for it to be more likely that someone there would have the funds and the silliness to do so.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
powered armor

No, these aren't tears.

I just have something in my eye.


Tomi Heikkinen wrote:
Game-wise, we're infiltrating Fort Rannick at the moment.

We just did that one a couple weeks ago. At a game every 3 weeks(if we're lucky), you'll likely pull ahead rather quickly. I am glad for that lag between sessions and postings meaning that at least it will be a bit before your posted story catches up to where I can no longer read it as it's posted.


We found a merchant in Magnimar with contacts in Korvosa and pointed out that one of those rich students down that way might want it for his familiar.

In order to circumvent future issues like this, my GM is allowing me to create a spell that allows my wizard to break down magic items to use as materials for making new ones. It might be worth having a crafter in town who can do the same.


Damn. Not who I thought it would be. I rather liked that character. Also, at the rate you're going, you're going to pass where we are and I won't be able to keep reading. :(


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alleran wrote:
Sounds like a Dresden Files relationship concept (between wizards and technology).

It's fluid in Dresden Files. It probably interfered with black powder at one point. It's mentioned that in olden times, magic tended to make flames burn odd colors and curdle milk in a wizard's presence.


This could change some things I have planned in two campaigns in most interesting ways. Dotting to remind myself to pre-order it when I have money.


I allow one scroll in a specially designed quick access pocket per character. But, as a double edged sword, if you can get to it easily, so can your foe, which means that if I throw a monster whose MO involves using Steal checks in combat, you might lose your scroll if you get unlucky on my roll to designate what s/he's gonna steal.


OP wrote:
Here is a quick break down. Our party of 4 has no way of casting teleport, but we have a ship that if you cast teleport into this magical device, it allows the ship to travel between these jump points. It is a home brew world that pathfinder and 3.5 in some ways are being mixed. Our party composition is as follows, a warlock 8, a rogue/bard/whatever 9, cleric/paladin 9(no travel domain), ranger/fighter 9. The question is i a low magic campaign where casters of our level and higher are extremwly rare, how could we possibly get the teleport spell or scrolls of teleport. Open to suggestions!

Any possibility of befriending, hiring or enslaving one of the several outsiders with it as an SLA? I know it's usually "self only" for them, but it might work for the ship.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Why do you need to Craft to get a Sleeves of Many Garments?

Can you not buy it?

At their price, I'd almost have a set for everyone in the party by around level 3 or something if I anticipated ever needing specialty outfits. Definitely no real need to save the little bit of gold by crafting.


Tomi Heikkinen wrote:
... and fumbling his first attack, which the narrator did not see ;)

Unreliable narrator is the best part of first person limited viewpoint.


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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Poldaran wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:

As for the moon, the fact that...

** spoiler omitted **
...pretty much makes pureblooded Azlanti statistically near impossible.
Where can I find out more about the part under the spoiler? It sounds like it it has the potential to make for an awesome side quest for a campaign I'm currently running.
It is originally mentioned in Distant Worlds if I remember correctly. Moonscar is actually a fair distance away from the Azlanti prison if I remember correctly. Of course, given that the individual in question has access to Shantaks & on a semi-regular basis uses them to fly to Golarion, even the other side of the moon isn't really much more than 'down the block' as it were...

Awesome. Thanks for the info you guys.

Now, if anyone was disturbed by some maniacal cackling out of nowhere, I apologize.


Sadism, religion and plant monsters?

Spoiler:
You spent most of the next morning helping build noise makers to set all across the narrow peninsula so that no one could sneak around behind your camp. You didn’t have to help deploy them, that was work for the lesser folk around you. Let them sweat in the jungle. You just helped make them.

Late in the morning, you and your group of companions, if you can call them that, decided to set off looking for more resources or perhaps a way off of the island. It wasn’t long before you spotted yet another wrecked ship. It was smashed on a smaller island off the coast of the main island. From the distance, you could only just make out the name on the side.

“Tears of Grog,” one of the others said aloud. That’s a stupid name. Stupid broken ship. You decided it wasn’t worth your time for someone to swim across. The water looked treacherous and the ship looked old and decaying. Even if it hadn’t already been looted, what could you expect to find inside, maggoty hard-tack and a few bottles of the swill that ship hands call alcohol? Yeah, forget that.

You continued along, eventually coming to a clearing. It almost looked like someone had set up another base camp there, long ago. In the clearing lay three skeletons. Jazier checked for magic since it wasn’t unreasonable to suspect the possibility of necromancy by some of the locals. He found none, but someone spotted something strange on one of the corpses.

Upon further inspection, Paco recognized it as a kind of fungus. Now you were even more wary of approaching these things any closer than the fifteen or twenty feet away that you currently had between you and the corpses. Still, you could see the wheels turning in the heads of those with you. They wanted a closer look, for whatever reason. And as much as you hated to admit it, your chances of survival were higher if they were alive. That meant you needed to come up with a solution that didn’t get you all killed.

It didn’t take long for you to suggest sending in Belkross. After all, if he died, you could just bring him back tomorrow. It was fine. But you needed an excuse that would satisfy the others, so you said something about Belkross having encountered things like this in his younger days, so he would be the best bet to handle this without being harmed.

One of the others handed Belkross a torch and suggested he burn the corpses once he was sure that they were otherwise safe. Then, bit by bit, he inched his way forward. You wish you could say you were surprised when the skeletons got up, but you really weren’t. You’d even had your bow in hand, ready just in case.

The first foe went down rather quickly. Your first arrow hit it with a wet sound, completely unlike bone, but you didn’t have time to think about that, though you thought it looked like the skeleton was composed of numerous vines. Instead you just kept attacking. After the first fell, Belkross shouted for everyone to get distance from the corpse. Sure enough, it erupted in a cloud of spores moments later.

Evinye kept getting hit by the vine-like tendrils that made up the plant creatures. You’re not sure if it was the way she kept moaning in pain or the hard crack of the vines upon soft flesh, but you found yourself enjoying that far more than you thought you should have. You don’t think it was unique because it was her who was being hit, just the fact that someone was being hit.

After all three were down, your companions began searching the camp, careful to stay out of the spore clouds. Jazier located a captain’s logbook. Thumbing through it, he realized it belonged to the captain of the “Tears of Grog”. They had been infected with some kind of fungus which killed them, eventually turning them into those things you had fought. You had at least learned one further danger of the island.

While the others were investigating, suddenly Belkross call out a warning. He rushed forward and got between you and the jungle. Within seconds, small humanoid plant creatures rushed out. They died quickly to your combined might, though Jazier discovered that his lightning magic doesn’t work very well against them.

Paco and Jazier managed to use a jar to secure one of the spore glands from one fallen plant creature in hopes that it would prove a useful weapon if we ran across any cannibals. It seemed like a bit of a risk, but it was one you were willing to let them take. It was their hide, not yours.

You began to smell the coming of the daily afternoon rains, so you found a good place to weather the storm. Belkross held your parasol over you while the others sought their own shelter. Paco fell asleep immediately. Meanwhile, Siegfried spent a couple hours trying to convince you of the value of finding a god to worship. You figured he had a particular one in mind, though he never specified.

Nonetheless, he did make a few good points. Perhaps your safety would be augmented by finding a deity. You started considering finding one that offered a good benefits package while not requiring you to do anything that would be detrimental to your safety. You really don’t have that many things you wouldn’t do to protect yourself, so it didn’t hurt to keep an open mind.

Paco woke up from a nightmare. Some more random crap about spoons and this one included a snake. He even bit his tongue upon waking. His pain was fairly amusing, especially that accent of his combined with his tongue injury.

Once the rains let up, you set off on a return trip to camp. The first thing you planned to do when you got back was to have Belkross check your hair for parasites. You were really getting tired of this stupid jungle.


Dragonchess Player wrote:

As for the moon, the fact that...

Spoiler:
it's ruled by a succubus and her half-fiendish offspring who raid Golarion, as well as any surviving moon colonies, for mates

...pretty much makes pureblooded Azlanti statistically near impossible.

Where can I find out more about the part under the spoiler? It sounds like it it has the potential to make for an awesome side quest for a campaign I'm currently running.


Peet wrote:
Poldaran wrote:
If you're set on giving things that have an Asian flavor, then I'm inclined to suggest an Origami Swarm. It's magical, but it's also relatively cheap and could certainly be considered to have an Asian flavor. I also just think that they're really cool.

Thanks, Poldaran, this is a really good suggestion.

Peet

Glad you liked it. Just be aware that if they decide to use it at Thistletop, it has a decent potential to give them a massive advantage in just about any single fight there, except maybe

Spoiler:
the Shadows and Malfeshnekor(I don't think it'll get past his DR)
. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a "get out of bad luck free" card, at least theoretically, in any but the aforementioned fights. Unless they use it incorrectly and it swarms the party instead. :P

Speaking of

Spoiler:
Malfeshnekor
, now may be a good time to hook them up with a couple oils of
Spoiler:
Magic Weapon
if they haven't already made provisions to prepare for that specific kind of DR yet, since Ameiko's feeling generous. Maybe not enough for the whole party, but a couple of them could be useful.

Unless, of course, you want them to learn the DR lesson in the

Spoiler:
Catacombs of Wrath
first.

Edit: For the record, I don't think I'm fond of how spoiler tags auto-create a new line.


Peet wrote:

Eastern weapons and armor don't work for the rogue (he won't be proficient in them) so I'm struggling with what to give the rogue.

Any ideas, guys?

If you're set on giving things that have an Asian flavor, then I'm inclined to suggest an Origami Swarm. It's magical, but it's also relatively cheap and could certainly be considered to have an Asian flavor. I also just think that they're really cool. Another thought might be a few potions(or a wand with a few charges remaining) of Vanish(CL2, perhaps?).

If you don't want to go the consumables route, you could also give a weapon like a shortbow an eastern flavor. Describe it as being ornate and having her family's crest on it or something? Or maybe a set of Sleeves of Many Garments(or a custom slotless version thereof) that only produce clothing with an Asian look?


CaroRose wrote:

Ok so I'm more dotting so I don't lose track of this Journal. I just have to say though that I'm really loving it. I've laughed out loud a few times, and having played through the first book myself, I love how your group has met with the various challenges.

I'm trying to get my group more into writing the campaign journals from the players point of view. The story is yours after all.

I'm trying to keep my roommates on our once a week rotating schedule once more so that I can get back to doing at least one of these a month. Keeping my fingers crossed.

As far as getting people to write journals, I really don't know the secret. Heck, I can barely get the other players to level their characters before a session. :P


The Battle of Fort Rannick:

Spoiler:
“Demons run when a good man goes to war
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war.”

To say that my mental state had been in flux would be something of an understatement. I was a stiff breeze away from a full on breakdown. But I didn’t have time to indulge in madness. We had work to do and a fort to retake. So I did what I could. I took the part of me that was terrified and I shoved it into a little ball and walled it off in my mind.

In my mind, as I shoved the other me into its little cell, I spoke to it. “We are not in danger. We are the danger! A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of us? No. we are the one who knocks!”

Back in the real world, a voice next to me spoke. “You’re g&$@@%n right.”

Slowly, I turned to face the sound of the voice. I knew he wasn’t there, but still he was. “Heisenberg,” I said. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m just here to help you do what needs to be done. You should prepare your spells.”

“Yeah, I know.” So Heisenberg was the little devil on my shoulder. Or was he the angel? I don’t know anymore. I’m not sure I want to know.

I began studying my spellbook, locking into my mind every spell for combat that I could. I started with the easiest ones, the ones I call “Level 1” spells. All spells can be classified by their power level, the school of magic they fall under, but I find it easiest to classify spells by how many pages in my spellbook they take up. It’s a bit simplistic, but it works well enough.

As I began reviewing my strongest spells, those that take up four pages each, Heisenberg spoke up. “You and I both know you have a spell that can make sure you get everyone home safely. Prepare it.”

“That magic is evil,” I protested. “I only learned it for dire circumstances.”

“Is this not dire enough for you?”

Dammit. He was right. “Fine. Today we play hard ball.”

“Friendship dies and true love lies
Night will fall and the dark will rise
When a good man goes to war.”

I heard another voice. “One of the things covert operatives have to give up is the idea of a fair fight. Spies aren't trained to fight fair. Spies are trained to win.” For an empty room, this place sure was getting crowded. I turned to face the other advisor, Michael Westen.

“This isn’t about fair,” I said. “This is about doing something unsavory because it is necessary.” He nodded approvingly.

“Demons run, but count the cost
The battle's won, but the child is lost
When a good man goes to war.”

“You have someone to protect,” a third voice said. “But will they need protection from you, once you start down this road?” Dexter effing Morgan. Now there were three. But which was the angel, which was the devil and which was the monster? Were these more than just hallucinated advisors? Were they representing the paths before me? Were they who I might become?

“I hope not,” was all I could respond. Then they were gone. For now, at least.

But for today’s battle, the choice had been made. I would turn their strength against them, and would make it even more than what they had used on us in the process. All it would cost me was a bit of my life’s blood and use of some black magic. Today, a good man was going to war. However, would I still be a good man tomorrow?

If it meant destroying the ogres and preventing what had happened to people at the Graul’s farm from happening again, I could live with the risk. It was the senseless brutality of it all that got to me. I mean, I understand torturing someone to gain information. I don’t believe it works, but at least there’s a goal I can relate to. But this was something more. It was evil. Torture for torture’s sake. If I had to commit a genocide so thorough that ogres became nothing more than a legend in this part of the world to prevent it from happening again, then maybe that would be okay.

That might be a little extreme. Even in my fear and anger, I couldn’t hold the entire species accountable for the acts of some. But we were going to slaughter all of those that had been a party to the assault on Fort Rannick. Their culpability was certain. We would show them what happens to those who harm the innocent. Not torture. They would be killed, their bones would be ground to dust then scattered to the four winds so that it would take an act of a legendary cleric or a deity to bring them back, and they would be no more. Harming the innocent would mean being ended. That wasn’t monstrous. It was just something that had to be done.

I wish I could allow someone else to do this work, but I was passing this judgment, so it falls to me to at least be a party to holding the executioner’s axe. It’s been said that if you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.

But why was I passing the judgment? Why did I feel like it was my responsibility? Noblesse Oblige? Was that it? Because I had been taken into a noble family, did I feel like I had a responsibility to protect those who were below me in social rank? I don’t know. That doesn’t feel like it fits. I’m not a noble knight obliged to protect the peasants, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a part of Aurora’s motivation.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a wizard. I have the power to make a change, so I’m obligated to make a change? That’s not who I was before. Sure, I would throw a few bucks the Salvation Army’s way every year at Christmas, but I could have done more, certainly with less effort than what I was doing now required. Have I grown up? Have I taken it as my responsibility to change things in front of me?

I don’t know. It seems more likely that I’m simply doing it because by removing the monsters before me, I would be able to sleep better tomorrow than I had today. It’s a simple motivation and it fits everything I know about myself. Alucard believed that it takes a man to slay a monster, so if I must be a man and slay the monsters that keep me up at night, then so be it.

It’s either that or go back to snuggling with my security blankie, and I haven’t done that since I was four. Still, I worry. “Paint stripes on a toad, he does not become a tiger.” Am I a toad with stripes? Or am I a tiger who is just learning to roar?

Whatever I am, I spend way too much time on introspection, too much time bemoaning my situation. Now is the time for action. Grar.

We met up with Jakardros and his men that morning and set off. The skies were overcast and threatening to unleash a downpour upon us, though we managed to remain dry for most of the journey to the fort. Aside from Paulie, who was feeling, and I quote, “FABULOUS!” today, the general demeanor of the group was fairly grim, though determined.

We reached the fort sometime in the late morning, having made good time. From our spot in the woods, we could see the fort fairly well but were fairly sure that the ogres within couldn’t see us. Fort Rannick had seen better days. One of the gates looked like it would be impossible to open, and the walls showed signs of damage from fighting.

Jak drew up a map in the dirt and we began trying to figure out a plan of attack. The fort was built into a mountainside. The walls weren’t so high as to be insurmountable. In fact, the outer walls weren’t all that high at all, only about fifteen feet. Lenn at least would be able to scale them with little trouble. Hell, with the battle damage, we might even be able to pull one down and bypass the gates entirely.

There were two bridges across the river that encircled the man-made walls, one to the south and the other to the east of the fort, fairly close to the two main gates and we would have to cross several hundred yards of open terrain to cross them. It would be fairly difficult to do this without being seen. What we needed was a good distraction.

We weren’t without assets and opportunities, however. Orik would arrive shortly, so we would have a relatively large force, perhaps enough to try a full frontal assault. Jak also knew that there were several structures within that could be brought down as distractions to cover the movements of a team working within. I also knew that while the eastern gate wouldn’t open, it wouldn’t take much force to just knock it down.

Vale, Geo and Shalelu did some scouting while we planned. When they returned, Vale reported that there appeared to be a cave behind the waterfall near the southern gate. Jak suddenly remembered that there was a hidden tunnel into the fort through the caves, but warned that it was full of something called shocker lizards. Because of course it was. But that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. They hated the smoke of a substance called bitterbark, so we might be able to use the cave’s natural airflow to fill the tunnel with smoke and send them scurrying into the fort as a further distraction.

Geo pulled me aside and warned me that there was a lake near the southern gate that was filled with the maimed and bloated corpses of many who had fallen defending the fort. He was concerned since I had shown such aversion to the ogres’ handiwork at the Graul farm. I thanked him, but considered the tactical possibilities that might provide. Perhaps I had an alternative way of dealing with the lizards.

In the end, though, I decided against my idea. A three pronged attack would likely be the best option. If that included lizards swarming as well, so much the better. We began gathering bitterbark while we waited, since we would need a lot of it. Around mid-afternoon, it began to rain.

Once Orik arrived sometime around dusk, we began going over the plan. It involved three groups. The first, which was comprised of Orik’s unit, I codenamed Hammer. Hammer’s job was to pound on the eastern gate, drawing attention and bringing it down. They were to engage and kill as many ogres as possible, falling back when things looked like they might get dangerous. We provided them with our mounts to help facilitate their escape.

The second group, which I dubbed Sickle, would be a five person force tasked with infiltrating the fort proper and slicing the head off the enemy force. This certainly meant taking out the ogres in charge, but I hoped it would give us a shot at Lucrecia as well.

The third group, which I dubbed Star, would be comprised of Shalelu and the three Black Arrows. They would begin by smoking out the shocker lizards, then follow the open path through the south gate that Sickle would leave. One of their number would use a couple IEDs that Geo and I whipped up using some gunpowder from Orik and other supplies to blow the southern bridge, forcing any ogres who escaped to swim through the rain gorged river or go through Orik’s crew. Once the bridge was blown, that person would join up with Orik while the others began looking for targets of opportunity and chances to make distractions. Jakardros was to use his own discretion on what targets to hit.

Since ogres, much like onions, can see in the dark, we decided to wait until just after sunrise to attack. That way, the sun would be at Orik’s back, making it harder for the enemy to shoot at his men. Don’t look at me like that. You and I both know onions are simply biding their time until they spring up from the ground en masse and take their brutal revenge on their human oppressors. Don’t believe me? Try leaving one in the back of your fridge for six months.

While the rest set up camp, I sat down and began working on a scroll. I needed one extra spell for the following day and had the materials I needed on hand to make what I would need. I also wanted to keep from dwelling on the next day’s battle.

The nightmares that night weren’t too horrible. Not as bad as they had been, at least. I mean, I kept dying, but all the deaths were clean deaths. Arrow to the throat, cleaved in two by an ogre hook… nothing too drawn out.

At dawn, we struck camp and set out. Aurora was hesitant to leave Starbrite, but she knew that Orik’s team probably had the least risky job, so ultimately wished the horse luck and we set off.

Geo had been kind in describing the scene at the lake. It was ungodly what they had done to these poor people’s corpses. I swore I would make them pay.

Once we heard the sound of Orik’s assault beginning, I cast a few spells and Geo drank one of his concoctions, then he, Lenn and I went over the wall next to the south gate. Lenn climbed while Geo and I, both invisible, flew. Within a matter of moments, the pair of ogres still at the gate were slain and the gate was open.

We made our way quickly to a spot under the rickety old barracks, which Jak had called a “Fire Hazard”. I think he was being kind. I’m pretty sure the heat of a fart would be all it would take to set that dried out bundle of tinder ablaze.

Geo crept inside to look for surviving Black Arrows, but instead found nearly a dozen sleeping ogres. We quietly barricaded the door and set the building on fire before continuing onward, past the nearby cookhouse, which was little more than a roof supported by a few pillars.

I won’t describe what was cooking in fires of the cookhouse, but I will tell you that the smoke was disturbingly flavorful. If we weren’t careful, I suspected Lenn would be interrogating their chef before the end of the day, trying to find out what seasonings the monster used.

We reached the main door of the fort. We could hear some fighting within as the ogres dealt with the shocker lizards. Lenn braced his shoulder against the door and began pushing with all his might. His eyes bulged with the strain. It looked like he was going to hurt himself, so I stepped up. “Lenn, the hinges go the other way. You need to pull.”

He stopped pushing. “Oh. I knew that,” he said, a little too loudly, before heaving the door the correct way, nearly yanking it off of its hinges.

Thankfully, the ogres inside didn’t hear us. We slipped inside undetected and began our thorough search. We didn’t want to risk missing any ogres and it would be nice to find something that might assist us against them.

Our first fight was against a pair of ogres who were engrossed in playing with human armor. Each of them was wearing something far too tight for it. The battle was quick, fierce and not nearly as loud as it could have been.

Shortly after that, we ran across a quartet of ogres fighting over a hollowed out horse’s head that each wanted to wear as a hat. The room they were in had two entrances, so we caught them in a pincer and made similarly short work of them. For some reason, Lenn hung onto the horse head.

There were a number of guest quarters that looked ransacked, but were thankfully free of the ogre filth that permeated much of the rest of the large stone building. The ogres had also done a number on the fort’s library. I’d suspect that they were wiping their asses with the books, but I don’t think ogres bother with such hygienic practices.

As we inspected the kitchen, which had a number of bodyparts lying about, I came to the inevitable conclusion that this was going to be just like the Graul farm. Feigning illness, I slipped out of the room and returned to where we had slain the four ogres.

Normally this type of magic required valuable onyx, but I had another option. I took my dagger in hand and offered my own blood as fuel for the spells I would cast. I almost cried out in pain as the magic tore at my life’s blood. I then reached out and touched the corpses of the two closest ogres.

Their skin bubbled and boiled before melting away, leaving only a pair of skeletons, which immediately burst into flame and rose to their feet, looking at me to command them. I cast the spell again and animated the remaining two corpses. “Wait here,” I told them. “I will call out for you when I need you.”

I escaped the stifling heat of the room and returned to the others, carefully hiding the wound to my palm. “You okay?” Aurora asked.

“I’m fine,” I said. “Did you find anything?”

“All that was left is a barrel of pickled fish. We suspect that ogres simply don’t like the stuff.”

Great. Now I just needed to find a way to weaponize that and we’d all be saved! “Alright,” I said, dismissing the idea. “Let’s continue.”

Geo peeked in another room and returned. “There’s a lone ogre in there. It looks more dangerous than normal,” he added.

I had to think of something. “I saw something in the library we might be able to use,” I said.

None of them questioned me, just heading to the library. “So, what can we use?” Paulie asked.

“A clear path in the hallway,” I replied. “Wait here a moment.” I popped out and ordered one of the burning skeletons to attack the ogre we had found, then went back into the library.

“What’s going on?” Aurora asked.

We heard the sound of fighting. “Wait for it,” I said, casting a spell to increase my allies’ speed. “Ring around the rosies. Pocket full of posies. Ashes, ashes, they all fall DOWN!” Nothing happened. “Damn, that would have been great if I had managed to pull off proper timing, but it –“ I was cut off by the sound of a small explosion. “Charge!” I said, flinging open the door. The others did as I said.

We made quick work of the burned ogre, but it was still a tough fight. Aurora took a mighty blow, but her armor saved her from the worst of it. Afterward, Paulie healed her and tended to the wound on my hand and we continued our search.

We peered down a stairwell and spotted an ogre dying at the bottom of the stairs. He had been swarmed by the shocker lizards. We put a few arrows in him to be sure he was dead and then proceeded upstairs, but not before I ordered the skeletons to guard the hallway.

Upon seeing the skeletons, Aurora gave me an accusing look. “What did you do?” she asked.

“What I had to,” I replied softly. She didn’t say anything further, but the look she gave me told me that this conversation wasn’t over.

The second floor hallway was lined with antlers, likely trophies from the hunt. The ogres had decorated them with trophies of their own, and each antler held assorted human viscera. They also drew a three eyed jackal for some reason. Don’t ask me.

Geo peered into the nearest room. Closing it softly, he made the hand signs for “Single extremely large ogre” and “Creepy Human Taxidermy”.

It really bothers me that we even have to have a hand signal for “Creepy Human Taxidermy”.

I made the hand signal for “Attack Pattern Alpha”, which is our go to plan of attack. The others nodded and we prepared. Geo drank a potion while Lenn and Aurora readied to charge. I flung open the door and unleashed a blinding burst of magical light. The fourteen foot tall ogre within cried out in surprise. He hadn’t been quick enough and was now blind.

The others ran in and flanked him, then began laying into him with mighty swings while Paulie and I set up to support with arrows and spells. I even hit the enemy with a tanglefoot bag, further weakening his ability to strike back or escape.

He struck Aurora hard, and I distinctly caught the sound of a magical bane weapon as it did. This one was probably attuned to harm humans.

Geo struck at his back. With two quick slashes of his dagger, he opened a hole in the foe’s side. Then his four tentacles thrust into the hole. With a quick yank, Geo now had a giant ogre kidney and the ogre was missing one. The monster tried to cry out in pain, but a blow of Lenn’s axe caught him in the throat and he cried out no more. I won’t go into detail about his “artistic” handiwork. I looked away as soon as he was dead.

Paulie tended to Aurora’s wound once more and we continued our search. The next room contained a number of corpses hanging from the ceiling. Someone was draining out the blood. Geo told us that it looked like they were less than a day old. If we had attacked yesterday, we might have saved them. I asked him not to tell Jakardros that as we cut them down.

In the back of my mind, the part of me I had locked up was hyperventilating.

After setting the bodies respectfully on the floor, we searched around and found a number of maps. We figured they might be useful, so we took them. I would make copies and maybe we could sell them later.

Geo informed us that the next room contained a pair of ogres. One was a female and the other was a male with a metal jaw. I didn’t want to think too long about the implications of either of those, so we once again went with “Attack Pattern Alpha”, bursting into the room, blinding one of the foes – the woman looked away quick enough – and began another quick and dirty fight.

The ogress was a spellcaster, likely a sorceress. She tried to protect herself by surrounding herself in mirror images. She wasn’t counting on a volley of arrows from Paulie and Aurora’s flurry of attacks. Paulie removed a couple images and Aurora’s strikes destroyed the rest. It took almost no time to end her life after that. Meanwhile, Geo and Lenn easily slew the ogre with the metal jaw.

The room had once been the commander’s room. Much of the room had been torn apart by ogres, but Geo found a hidden cache. Inside was some stuff that suggested that the commander had been wooing a nymph out in the Shimmerglens. I hung on to the lock of nymph hair in case we needed to scry to find her, but decided Jakardros could have all the god-awful poetry. I’m not sure if White Willow is a person or a place, but the captain owed it an apology.

We went out onto the outer landing to survey the area. Fighting was going heavily in our favor. We would have control of the fort within the hour. But one thing bothered me. Where was Lucrecia?

I didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

“You have proven most interesting!” A voice said, coming from a nearby battle damaged statue. “My master cannot wait to meet you. Soon, you shall have to deal with the mighty Mokmurian!” And then there was laughing.

As she spoke, I quickly chanted the cantrip that would allow me to sense magical auras. The spell she was using was one I recognized. I had dubbed it “Ventriloquism”. It has a proper name, but I can never remember the proper names of spells, preferring my simple nicknames. Most importantly, the range on it put her within a hundred yards of us.

I looked around frantically as I cast another spell. “Lucrecia is trying to escape!” my voice boomed, magically enhanced and likely audible over a mile away. “One thousand gold to anyone who stops her and brings me her head!”

I kept looking. Where was she? “In any kind of an emergency situation an operative’s greatest enemy is panic. The spike of adrenaline, the increased blood pressure and the loss of any sense of time can make it impossible to think clearly at exactly the time you need a clear head the most. In those moments it takes all your training, all your will power to pull yourself back from the brink.” I once again saw Michael Westen standing next to me. “You prepared something special for her, didn’t you?”

That was right. I took a deep breath and cast another spell, one I had prepared in case we encountered her. Xanesha had used magic to turn invisible. It was reasonable that Lucrecia might as well.

The spell active, I looked around. I spotted her nearly to the crest of the cliffs above. Without thinking, one of my wands was in my hand and I unleashed a couple force bolts at her, the only magic I had left with the kind of reach I needed to hit her.

She laughed as she escaped over the ridge and I cursed, my voice still booming. I hadn’t been quick enough. I hadn’t planned enough. I had failed.

I sighed and released the magic that allowed me to be so loud. “Come on,” I said to the others. “Let’s keep searching the fort. There may still be other ogres hanging around to work out my frustration on.”

Naturally, there weren’t any up in the lone tower. All we found up there was a bell whose clapper had been replaced with a corpse. You might think a corpse would make a poor replacement, but the ogres had strapped a metal helmet on him, so it’s possible it was at least a passable substitute. We decided we would cut him down later and decided to head to the basement.

We carefully stepped over the corpse of the ogre we’d put a few arrows into earlier as we made our way downstairs. As we brought magical light into the room, we heard several sounds, as though something were pulling back from the light. I even heard a soft, fearful whimper.

Geo was the first to make out what was in the darkness before us. “There are survivors!” he shouted. “Kyle, get over here! We need light!”

I moved forward and saw several figures in cells flinching away from the light. The poor wretches looked battered and malnourished. Their eyes were uncomprehending, seemingly unable to recognize us as friends. How long had they been held here? What horrors had been inflicted on these poor people? Before we could help them, we would need to calm them. I began singing a lullaby Nerina had taught me years ago.

The soothing music visibly calmed them and Geo approached the bars of the cell. “We’re here to rescue you,” he said softly. “Jakardros is outside mopping up the last of the ogres. The fort is secure.” He motioned to Lenn. “Open the door.”

Lenn took a moment to study the door, then shrugged and kicked it, breaking the hinges. The door crashed down with a loud bang, startling the people within. With the door no longer in the way, Paulie stepped forward and began helping Geo tend to the people’s wounds.

While they were occupied, I began looking around the rest of the room. One section was filled with silk curtains and pillows. It reminded me of one of those harem rooms you see in movies. More than anything, though, I noticed that there was no scent of ogre filth down here. For some reason or another, they had restrained their natural tendencies down here. It was almost as if…

“This was where Lucrecia was staying,” I said. I began looking around more intently. There were papers strewn everywhere, mostly business papers related to the Paradise, but there was also a single ornate scroll case lying in a corner.

I crossed the room and opened the case. Within was a parchment with the title “Those who’ve agreed to grant their greed to the Master’s need.” Beneath were a number of names, including Kaven’s. Everyone on the list was marked for death. And Lucrecia had left the list behind. Why? Why would she leave something so important behind? Unless…

I began cursing in seven languages. We had been so close. If we had come in through the tunnel, we would have had her. But we had outsmarted ourselves. Sending in the shocker lizards had given her time to escape. If we had just checked the basement before going upstairs, we still might have gotten her! But she had escaped!

I screamed in incoherent rage and began punching the stone wall with all my might, oblivious to the pain it caused. Someone came up behind me. They were talking, but I couldn’t hear them. The pounding of my pulse was too loud in my ears to hear anything but my own screams of rage.

As I pulled back for another blow, someone grabbed my arm. Furious, I spun around and swung as hard as I could with my metal gauntleted fist. Aurora deflected the blow easily and kicked my feet out from under me. I fell onto several of the pillows on the floor, dragging her down with me.

Let me tell you something. That armor she wears is heavy. As she landed on me, it knocked the air from me. Tears of frustration welled up and I began sobbing. Pinned by the deceptively strong woman, it was all I could do. I was vaguely aware of the pain in my hand beginning to subside and when I looked over, Paulie was there, wand in hand.

I began to calm a bit, though I was still hyperventilating, and Aurora let me up. I sat there, cupping my hands over my mouth. I was incredibly embarrassed, but thankfully, no one said anything about it. “Jakardros said there was something dangerous in the tunnels,” Aurora said, softly patting my back. “Since we’re down here, let’s go take care of it.”

I nodded and we decided to go looking. Sure enough, we found an old crypt and were attacked by a specter. With magical weapons, bolts of force and channeled positive energy, it never stood a chance against us.

Once we were done, we returned everything in the crypt to its proper resting place, since it was likely someone disturbing the bones had unleashed the specter, then headed back. The freed prisoners had finished the sausages Lenn had left with them and I finally got a good look at them. There were a few more than half a dozen Black Arrows: five men, three women. There was also one other, an unconscious man not wearing their uniform, just simple traveler’s clothes.

I asked one of the others about the unconscious man. They told me he had come to the fort just before the attack, asking about some nearby ruins that no one at the fort had heard of. That was suspicious, so I searched the man’s pockets. He only had one item on him, a small notebook with a familiar logo on it.

“He’s a Pathfinder,” I said, holding back the urge to spit in disgust. The Society and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. Mostly, though, it’s a personal grudge I have over them not allowing me to access their library in Absalom.

But it meant he likely wasn’t involved with Lucrecia’s people. His arrival here probably was just a coincidence. I thumbed through the notebook, but could make neither heads nor tails of it. It appeared to be written in some kind of cipher. Given enough time, I was sure I could crack it, but we had other things to do. I could easily enough just enchant the Pathfinder when he woke up and convince him to translate it for me. I don’t like using magic to subvert people’s wills, at least not unless they’re enemy combatants, but there was a part of me starting to think it could be important. After all, I had just gotten two new pieces to the puzzle. Maybe I was starting to see the bigger picture.

After my earlier outburst, I think it unnerved everyone a bit when I began laughing out of nowhere. “EUREKA!” I shouted, a bit too enthusiastically. “It all makes sense!”

Several of my companions exchanged a worried look. “What makes sense, Kyle?” Aurora finally asked.

“Why would Lucrecia take Fort Rannick? Because she doesn’t want the Black Arrows interfering with whatever she has planned. The list said ‘Need’. Not ‘wish’, not ‘desire’, but ‘need’. If I’m right and there is a Vault of Greed that they’re trying to open it to get whatever is inside, then it’s more than just simple treasure. It’s something vital to their goal. So why take Fort Rannick? Because it’s near the Vault! It can’t be coincidence that a Pathfinder is here looking into a nearby ruin. It has to be Thassilonian. If we can get there, maybe we can solve the puzzle and get in, allowing us to deny our foes access to what they seek. After all, Nuallia couldn’t solve the puzzle holding back Malfeshnekor, but we did.

“And if not, maybe we don’t need to open the vault and take what’s inside. Maybe all we need to do is set a few charges and collapse the mountain on it. Either way we do it, we win!” I looked at Paulie. “Let me know as soon as he wakes. We should probably make these ruins our number one priority.” I thought for a moment. “Well, after securing the fort.”

Our attack had started just after dawn and we had completely secured Fort Rannick somewhere around ten in the morning. Having decided to wait on the Pathfinder, we spent much of the rest of the day on cleanup. Ogre corpses were tossed into a pile by my skeletons and burned. Once that task was done, I destroyed the skeletons.

Some of the soldiers began cleaning up debris while the hot sorceress from Orik’s unit and I used our magic to scour filth from the floors, walls and ceilings. There would be no beds available today, but at least we would have clean shelter.

Others worked at gathering up the bodies of the fallen and digging graves for proper burial. Lenn worked tirelessly, digging over a dozen graves in a single afternoon. With his efforts and the work of several others, there were enough graves for all of the bodies we could find.

Jakardros was thankful that some people had been saved and was interested in our findings in the captain’s quarters. He hoped that maybe the man had been out visiting the nymph when the attack had occurred and had survived. We promised that if the Pathfinder didn’t wake up by the next morning, we’d look into that first.

Early in the afternoon, Aurora and I had a fight about my use of necromancy. She was rightly concerned by my use of black magic. I admitted to her that there was danger there. The risk wasn’t that the magic was evil, but that the power it offered was intoxicating. If I came to rely on it, it would be easier and easier to use until it was my first choice. I couldn’t risk that, so I promised to only use it in dire circumstances. She was still angry and we didn’t speak for much of the rest of the day.

At dusk, with clouds in the sky and a falling drizzle threatening to turn into a downpour, they held a funeral procession for all the fallen. I watched from up on the second floor landing as each was laid to rest. From my vantage point, I heard someone comment that there should be music, so I pulled out my violin and played. I knew several hymns I had learned on Golarion, but didn’t want to offend anyone, so I stuck with a traditional funeral hymn from the church of Pharasma, goddess of death. It felt like a pretty neutral choice. I then followed it up with “Amazing Grace”, figuring no one would likely get offended by a song they didn’t know.

After I had finished playing, I was aware that everyone had been watching my performance intently. I somberly nodded to Magrim Emberaxe once I had finished and he began the funeral rites. From nearby, I heard Applejack whinny and turned to see what was going on. One of the soldiers had rushed over to calm her, but I saw where she was looking.

I followed her gaze. Up on one of the outer walls across from me stood a winged woman clad in silver-gray armor. The armor didn’t really show any of her features, but I know a woman when I see one. The plate armor was adorned with skulls and her open-faced helmet didn’t reveal even a single feature. It was preternaturally still. I almost thought it was a statue until it cocked its head at me, a gesture of curiosity, and I saw the glowing light of its two red eyes.

I had seen the figure before, in the woods, but this was the first time I had gotten so clear a look at it. There was a part at the back of my mind that said I knew what it was, but try as I might, I couldn’t recall. I didn’t sense any malice from it, just curiosity. I glanced away to see if anyone else had noticed it. No one appeared to have seen it. When I turned back, it was gone. I decided not to tell anyone. I mean, they never believed me before, why should they now?

That night, Aurora and I apologized for what we had said to each other earlier in the day. We ended up sharing one of the guest quarters with a couple soldiers. We slept in our rather large tent while they just lay on bedrolls on the other side of the room. I woke up after two hours and considered going off to see if the sorceress was interested in some company, but decided to just get some more rest, even if magic made it unnecessary.

Morning would come all too soon, and with it, more challenges.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:


It's the one you actually can't use Lesser Restoration to recover from, genius.

"Some attacks or special abilities cause ability damage or drain, reducing the designated ability score by the listed amount. Ability damage can be healed naturally. Ability drain is permanent and can only be restored through magic."

Am I missing something?

Doug M.

Lesser Restoration wrote:
It does not restore permanent ability drain.

You need regular or greater restoration to remove drain.


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Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Your own gender, are you male or female?

Male, though I've always felt that I could have been just as happy with who I was if I had been born female and often spend time imagining what it would have been like. As such, I tend to choose female avatars in video games when the option is available.

Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Your sexuality?

Straight, though if I were hit by an alien spacecraft and killed, but then they brought me back but had to turn me into a woman because they had no way of bringing me back as a man, I'd imagine I would probably end up Bi.

Spoiler:
I know that scenario was convoluted, but I wanted to make an anime reference.
Mystic_Snowfang wrote:
Characters you've had. Their sexes, ages, sexualities, attractivness level and what sort of attractive they are? Tomboyish girls, manly men, pretty boys, super lovely curvaicious ladies.

Currently (relatively) active characters:

-A male wizard of about 30 years of age who is very much into women, but has also been one on at least one occasion. He is more or less a crossover of a stereotypical "Hollywood Geek" and "The Charmer": very attractive(if this were an anime, he'd have bishie sparkles), intelligent, knowledge about a wide variety of media and more than a little lucky in the short-term romance department, though his few attempts making a lasting connection with a woman have all fallen through.

-A recovered alcoholic female knight in her mid-twenties who is an utter badass on the field of battle. She's straight, but while she's comfortable with the opposite sex on a platonic level, but has no idea how to act on a romantic one. Complicated further by the fact that everyone she's ever gotten close to has died. She is very attractive, especially to the wizard mentioned above. She also has a scar across her left eye(the eye was regenerated with magic, but the scar remains). For most other people around her, it is a bit disfiguring and detracts from her beauty, but for others, it isn't.

-An amoral young(~18) female summoner whose sexuality I haven't really decided on. It's not terribly important to the concept, to be honest. Definitely attractive, but in a "yeah, she'll definitely cut out your spleen if it serves her purposes" kind of way.

-The eidolon for the summoner above. He's a bipedal humanoid-form masquerading as a grizzled tiefling mercenary. Definitely a manly man. Could probably fit in fairly well with the cast if they made "The Expendables 22: Golarion Boogaloo". Not terribly attractive, though.

-A scholarly gentleman oracle in his late middle age with an air of soft-spoken nobility and refinement. Has aged like a fine wine and probably turns quite a few heads when he walks through town. Walks with a limp and carries a (sword)cane. Ended up on the adventure when he set out to find and protect his niece(the summoner, though she doesn't know that they're related).

Character concepts I'm hoping to play eventually(though I'd settle for more regular games on my current campaigns):

-Katana-wielding female dhampir inquisitor. Neither terribly attractive nor unattractive physically, but is fairly charming. Bisexual. Still in the works, haven't fleshed her out much beyond that. Probably won't until I see an opportunity to play her on the horizon.

-Male gunslinger/paladin. Was incredibly handsome once, but years of slaying evil creatures have left him too scarred to see it now. Straight but celibate. Haven't fleshed him out much beyond that. If we ever finish Runelords, he and the dhampir will be my characters for the Carrion Crown that the GM is planning to run afterwards.


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Third Mind wrote:
A lot of good points here as well, especially about the aggro aspect. My DM may target me out of the group as he only "defenseless target standing in the open" if there were a lot of minions, but I think you're right especially when it comes to solo enemies.

If that's a concern, make yourself look more threatening. Give your character a scar and an eyepatch. Pick up some kind of strength buff and call it out as making your muscles bigger. Wear spiked gauntlets stained with blood. Practice snarling. Have another party member tell you to hang back at the beginning of the fight, in full view of the opposition, because "remember what Lord Garamin said. He's not paying full bounty for any more corpses whose limbs have been splintered from being used as to beat their former owners to death."

That should, theoretically, keep the minions off of you until you can just spend the whole fight invisible casting no spells that end the effect.


Tomi Heikkinen wrote:
Poldaran wrote:
Riding Bull wrote:
And give him ideas how he can keep the story going when a certain ranger dies? ;)
Some deity gives the soul of the ranger a task to follow and chronicle the deeds of his former party in order to make up for something or other he did?
That must be one hella evil deity since it's a s#~% job watching these guys fumble their way forward from one encounter to another even when alive.. :D

Or maybe it's his just reward for that thing he did. He remembers what he did.

Pepperidge Farm also remembers.


Riding Bull wrote:
And give him ideas how he can keep the story going when a certain ranger dies? ;)

Some deity gives the soul of the ranger a task to follow and chronicle the deeds of his former party in order to make up for something or other he did?

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