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Samnell's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 4,896 posts (5,368 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 10 aliases.


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Gay Male Inhuman

Froggy ACs: 18, T16, F15
Wall climb DC: 10

Round 1
Bavmorda consulted the spirits and they whispered to her that a blindheim lurked ahead. They were dumb beasts, but could strike men blind with their searing gaze.

"I cannot enter, and still permit room for the warriors. Gwalhur. go," she said, bidding her wolf advance.

Owen followed after the wolf and came upon their foe. "A giant frog? Now I've seen everything. Or is it a toad? Toads are on land, right?"

The frog had no answer for them save its burning gaze, which flashed forward to bathe Owen, Rikal, and Karek in its fell light. Rikal's world vanished into a painful red haze while Owen and Karek cast their eyes down just in time to spare themselves. The creature surged forward, biting Karek's leg and tearing his stomach with a claw. The warrior came near to losing consciousness and blood suddenly rushed free of him.

Karek is at 0 hp and disabled, so only an attack or a move for him until he's better.

Rules Stuff:

It's a magical beast, so we're looking at arcana.

Gwalhur climb: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19 he's up
Owen climb: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24 ditto

Fort DC 15
Karek: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Owen: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Rikal: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13 Rikal is blinded for one hour. I've marked him with a closed eye mask icon to note it.

And a full attack for Karek
Bite: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Claw: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Damage: 1d3 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Claw: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Damage: 1d3 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Bite and 1 claw for 12 damage. Yowza. Disabled:

A character with 0 hit points, or one who has negative hit points but has become stable and conscious, is disabled. A disabled character may take a single move action or standard action each round (but not both, nor can he take full-round actions, but he can still take swift, immediate, and free actions). He moves at half speed. Taking move actions doesn't risk further injury, but performing any standard action (or any other action the GM deems strenuous, including some free actions such as casting a Quicken Spell spell) deals 1 point of damage after the completion of the act. Unless the action increased the disabled character's hit points, he is now in negative hit points and dying.

Order is Rikal, Bavmorda, Owen, Froggy, Karek, Chotka, Izaak. The party's up, starting with Karek.

Gay Male Inhuman
Theran, Clan Silverlight wrote:
Did we get any money? I think I missed it if we did.

Virtual gearing goes up to the 5th level standard. You can define it as things recovered from foes or rewards from Irabeth or Galfrey if you'd like.

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
The half-elf, platinum medallion of faith glowing, looks around and her eyes fall upon Elistan. Doubt no more, Elistan. But believe. The gods are among us.

Elistan looked thoughtfully at the tree.

"There is much work to be done. Many wounds to heal," he said, half to himself. "Would you let me study the Disks?"

Gay Male Inhuman
Jakun Stormhoof wrote:

While Jakun respects the Dragonlord, he does not revere him and has no desire to see his Temple.

Instead he seeks the elf that Par-Salian bade him to ask for, Arduin.

Laurana gave Jakun excellent directions, taking him straight to a modest house toward the edge of Qualinost. As he drew near, the door opened of its own accord to admit the minotaur to a book-stuffed study where an elf in white robes was hast at work bidding books to fly from their shelves and into three trunks that floated silently a foot off the floor. As Jakun stepped in, a silver service floated to him and offered up sweetmeats and wine.

"Forgive me my lack of hospitality, Brother in Art. My diviniations were bent toward other visitors."

Finished up Many Thousands Gone. This is how it works: Berlin has three generations of enslaved people. These aren't literal generations, but they are consecutive in time. The Charter generation are the very first slaves in mainland North America. The Plantation generation are the ones who follow and experience the plantation revolution. The Revolutionary generation are the ones around for the American Revolution. Each of these has a part of the book devoted to it.

Then you have four regions: the Chesapeake, the Lower South, the North, and Louisiana, basically. Each region has a chapter in each part which attempts to cover all the things about slavery in that region.

Then you have major events and agricultural trends that play out radically differently in each section. Then you have distinctions between old school Atlantic Creoles, locally born slaves, and recent imports. In Louisiana, add an established class of free people of color AND a selection of Haitian diaspora free people of color AND their slaves. In the Lower South, Louisiana, and just a little bit in the Chesapeake, add maroon communities. In the Lower South and Louisiana, add Spanish and French colonial policy. Everywhere add the slave's personal economy. In the North add in distinctions between well-off free blacks and poor free blacks and between those who see respectability in white society and those who reject it. Then throw in distinctions between created African (not African polities, general African invented over here) and African-American identities. Layer multiple racial theories on top.

It's really complicated. Each chapter could have easily made for a long book and some of them feel like they are one. There's so much going on that it's ridiculously good and gets almost impossible to follow just from having so many moving parts. And it stops at about 1800. And I did not have near the grounding in colonial-era slavery to follow it all, but that's ok because almost nobody did at the time. Most American slavery studies focus on the nineteenth century and the colonial people were usually not interested in looking because, hey, that's nineteenth century content. Particularly for a certain type of revolutionary-era historian, it's also historiographically inconvenient.

Fried my noodle enough on that for just now, so I picked up Elizabeth Pryor Brown's Reading the Man, which claims it's not a biography but is sort of a biography of Robert Lee. It's just organized as a series of chronological letters by him and his intimates, many of which Brown used for the first time, which she quotes in full (usually) and then analyzes. My benchmark this summer for reading has been one chapter a day. I did about six or seven yesterday, including a lengthy prologue, and another three today.

That prologue was worth reading, but a certain point it turns into a historian gushing about sources and that's enchanting reading for maybe a page or two. She uses rather more than a page or two.

However, highlights:
Lee had an older half-brother, Harry IV. His old man was Harry III, the Revolutionary War general/historian/broke-ass dude that left the country to escape his creditors. (He also had hot wax poured in his eyes.) Harry IV was a married man, lived in a plantation house with really steep, high front steps. (Lee was born there.) One of his kids took a tumble down them and died. His wife took up laudanum. Harry IV found this oh-so-boring. He had a young ward, a girl in her teens. By what a letter calls "some dark art" he seduced her.

She got pregnant. She gave birth. The newborn was found dead in an outbuilding. They don't say he killed the baby, but everybody thought so. Harry IV's ward was also a relation of his, though the Lees are super-into marrying cousins, to the point where they crack jokes about it, so that's not totally unusual. Massive scandal. Dude eventually decamps from Virginia, goes west, and becomes a speechwriter for Jackson. When he comes back he defends his past conduct by quibbling over just what the technical definition of incest is. (He was functionally and legally her father when he did this, though he wasn't so genetically.) He's such a ridiculous bastard that he's instantly my favorite Lee and I think they should do a TV series based on his exploits to bring back trashy 80s soap operas.

RE Lee writes in one of his letters that it's important that his daughter stop stripping naked her dolls. Another one details things he's doing out in Missouri to try to redirect the Mississippi. The project failed in part because people from Illinois set up cannons and started shooting at the works. It's the wrong part of Illinois and probably not close to the kind of thing he would do, but I want a fanfic where Lincoln was manning one of the guns.

Lee was partnered on that mission with Montgomery Meigs. Meigs is the guy who requisitioned Arlington (the Custis estate that Lee partially grew up on and had inherited, slaves and all) and turned it into a cemetery. Mary Lee, in residence before the building's capture early in the war, bailed in advance of the soldiers and buried her father's massive collection of Washington's papers. After the war she found out her trunks were not waterproof.

Gay Male Inhuman

The Temple of E'li was an open structure, archways surrounding a huge, leafless tree that grew up and through the roof. A dozen elves, a few in white robes, stood quietly about in contemplation or speaking softly to one another. All fell silent when Mariel prayed.

The instant the sound of the Revered Daughter's words faded, a warm, sweet breeze washed through the building. The sounds of Qualinost faded away and the sound grew, words in elvish emerging half-heard from it: prayers, supplications, protests, rage, despair. Soft words gave way to hard, rising to a shouting chorus that ended half-spoken. A terrible, watching silence filled the air for a small eternity. All the elves fell to their knees, the white-robed covering their faces.

Then the wind came again, blowing from without and carrying bright green leaves veined with gold. They flew past, all somehow brushing Mariel as they flew up in a whirlwind about the bare tree. Silence, no longer watching, gave way to the sounds of Qualinost without and the tree stood thickly adorned with leaves again.

All about, elves wept.

Gay Male Inhuman

Almost a week passes, which the crusaders spend much of in finding survivors of Kenabres' fall and bringing them to Defender's Heart and other strong places. Then the much-battered, veteran army of Mendev marches into Kenabres by the thousands. Queen Galfrey rode at their head.

Mere hours after she arrived, a liveried herald found the destroyers of the wardstone shard.

"Distinguished crusaders, you are summoned to the presence of Her Majesty at your earliest convenience to give a full and right accounting of your deeds in this place."

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
The halfelf will journey to one of the temples of Paladine. She will thank the Speaker for his hospitality and gracious permission to visit. Perhaps my Lord Gilthanas will accompany me? she ask the elf lord.

Gilthanas assented and soon he and Mariel and anybody else who wants to come found themselves at the Temples. They stood facing one another across a wide, semicircular plaza. There the quartz turned a midnight blue color, marked by near-liquid sunbursts in the shape of the star signs of the Gods of Light. Each star was linked to the next by silvery lines so fine and subtle that the eye could almost miss them. Only from a small spot where a disk of green-veined quartz rested in the very center of it all could the entire panoply be seen. Elistan stood there now, ignoring the elves giving him rather hostile looks as they passed and staring thoughtfully at the designs.

Gay Male Inhuman
Caitlyn Weissman wrote:

Caitlyn nods and adds sweetly, in passable elvish, "I would be honored to see the city I've heard sung so much about by the bards. I can see why they are moved so, to my eye Qualinost has ethereal beautify blessed by the sun's warm embrace and in harmony with nature."

[dice=Diplomacy]1d20+12 Not that it's really needed but things might be easier if the Elflord saw them in a positive light.

Solostaran inclined his head politely, though Caitlyn saw a few heads turn ever so slightly at her pronunciation.

Gay Male Inhuman

This is going up in the campaign info momentarily, but I also want to drop it here to both call attention and invite discussion.

I’ve spent a little bit thinking about this and going back over my initial thoughts on mythic, which could only be prospective. Now the time is upon us and I’ve had four levels to get used to gestalt. I have the strong sense that it’s made you a bit tougher, but mostly on the defense and in versatility. Action economy in particular mitigates against it being a straight doubling of power. All that’s fine, but I wrote my original mythic nerfs with the assumption that it would be far more chunky than it is. As such, I was overly conservative. This replaces the previous capsule version with something more robust.

On Revisions
Of necessity, these modifications are permanent works in progress. None of us can foresee just how things will play out. The rules as experienced always differ from what they look like on paper. I hope that if you feel something is too good, or that I’ve cut it so close to the bone that it’s not worth it at all, you’ll let me know and we can reconsider. Likewise if it emerges that something plays like that despite looking fine in theory. It might be the case that some stuff isn’t recoverable, but I really don’t want to take all your toys away and make this feel like any other vanilla game.

Just from a time and energy standpoint, I don’t think it’s feasible to go through Mythic Adventures and pick everything apart bit by bit. But I will look at the universal mythic stuff up front, and other abilities as they enter the game to at least give a heads-up where things look problematic.

Extra Actions and Defense Overrides
I am still very wary of things that grant piles more actions in combat and/or override fairly regular defensive abilities. Abilities like that should be special and at least a little bit dear. They should also not stack with themselves very often, if at all. These abilities are cool and do make sense as beyond the impossible wahoo befitting legendary heroes, but there’s a balance between that and trying to still have a game that feels fun on both sides of the screens.

Super-Short Summary I de-nerfed some stuff, junked the slow mythic power recovery, and generally made things a bit cheaper to use but not quite as cheap as written.


Base Mythic Abilities

Amazing Initiative This ability grants you an additional move or attack action and does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions. If you opt for an additional attack, it’s at your highest bonus just like an extra attack from haste would be.

Mythic Saving Throws This ability costs 1 mythic power to use, which you can spend as an immediate action after the result of the failed save is known. At Tier 10, it no longer requires an action or expenditure of mythic power.

Base Path Abilities
The name for these is different for each path. They’re the three options you pick among when you first start a mythic path. Since they’re so core to the path, I’m going to give each option a quick look.

Archmage Arcana
*Arcane Surge: The spell you cast without spending slots or spells/day takes its normal casting time. The abilities to force two rolls and taking the lower for the target’s save and to roll twice to overcome spell resistance each cost an additional point of mythic power. This ability costs 2 mythic power to use.
*Mage Strike: This ability does not bypass damage reduction and does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions.
*Wild Arcana: This ability costs 2 mythic power to use plus 1 for every two spell levels, metamagic inclusive, rounded down. (So 2 for a 1st level spell, 3 for a 2nd or 3rd, 4 for a 4th or 5th, etc). It also requires the spell’s normal casting time.

Champion’s Strike
*Distant Barrage: The extra attack does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions and the attack does not ignore damage reduction. This ability costs 2 mythic power.
*Fleet Charge: This ability requires a move action to use, does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions, and the attack does not ignore damage reduction. This ability costs 3 mythic power.
*Sudden Strike: This ability does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions and does not bypass damage reduction.

Guardian’s Call
*Absorb Blow: No changes
*Beast’s Fury: This ability functions as does sudden strike, except that it’s applied to an animal companion, bonded mount, cohort, etc.
*Sudden Block: The melee attack granted by this power does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions and does not bypass damage reduction. This ability costs 2 mythic power.

Divine Surge
*Beast’s Fury: As the Guardian ability.
*Inspired Spell: This ability functions as Wild Arcana
*Recalled Blessing: This ability functions as Arcane Surge

Marshal’s Order
*Advance: This ability costs 1 mythic power per ally granted an extra move action. You can choose which allies within the area are included. Using this ability is a move action for the Marshal.
*Decisive Strike: This ability functions as sudden strike, except that it’s granted to an ally. This ability costs 2 mythic power.
*Rally: No changes.

Trickster Attack
*Deadly Throw: This ability does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions. This ability costs 2 mythic power.
*Fleet Charge: As the Champion ability
*Surprise Strike: This ability costs 2 mythic power to use, does not stack with other mythic abilities that grant extra actions, and the attack does not bypass damage reduction.

I haven't looked at the individual path abilities you've picked out yet, but will do so as soon as I've got them all to do as a set.

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
If I may, Great Speaker, have permission to visit the old temples to E'li and Quen Illumini, or even to address the Senate

"You have my leave to visit the sanctuaries," Solostaran said. "But step lightly. Your revelation will not come easily to some."

"The Senate decides who it will hear. It is not my right to promise you audience, but I will raise the question."

You guys have a few hours to do whatever you like in Qualinost.

Gay Male Inhuman

Froggy ACs: 18, T16, F15
Wall climb DC: 10

Round 1
Karek didn't recognize the froglike creature before him, but he knew it was flesh and blood. He swung his axe hard but the creature ducked under his blade. Hearing Karek's cry, Rikal raced up the ledge and plunged into the tunnel.

Rules Stuff:

The frog is a magical beast, no love from dungeoneering.
Rikal's climb: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

Order is Rikal, Bavmorda, Owen, Froggy, Karek, Chotka, Izaak. The party's up, starting with Bavs.

Gay Male Inhuman
Rikal Elkhorn wrote:

Hearing Karek's war cry, Rikal immediately rushes forward, climbing the ledge and running down the passageway.

Not sure what action it is to get up the ledge. I moved as far as I think I can get this round. If I did not move the maximum (or moved too far) let me know.

[ooc]It's a move action and needs a DC 10 Climb check. I handwaved it for Karek and Owen because the precise time didn't matter then.

Gay Male Inhuman

Froggy ACs: 18, T16, F15
Wall climb DC: 10

Surprise Round: Only Karek aware
Karek stepped forward to examine the dead half-orc as Owen climbed to the top of the ledge. Just as he bent down to look at the body, Karek heard stones dislodged ahead of him. He looked up to see a grotesque, froglike creature as tall as a dwarf with huge, bulging eyes. They flared blinding bright, searing Karek's eyes for an instant before he could turn away. A moment more and he'd have been struck blind!

Rules Stuff:

Percs. Only Karek and Owen are up where they have a chance to see/hear.
Owen: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 And Karek's is 21.

Stealth: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 Bugger. Froggy still has init, though.

Surprise round. The bad guy steps around the corner and turns on the lights. Only Karek is in range. Fort DC 15.

Karek: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13 dammit, he can still see. Unfair!

Inits then.
Bavmorda: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Chotka: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Izzak: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Karek: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Owen: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Rikal: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14

Froggy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

Order is Rikal, Bavmorda, Owen, Froggy, Karek, Chotka, Izaak. Karek's up, then round 1 begins with the party.

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
Great Speaker, before you leave, there is something you must see. Something that has not been seen in Qualinost since the Age of Might she says holding out her medallion of faith.

Solostaran looked politely at the medallion. "I have not seen such a thing since the Night of Doom," he said, very restrained. "I do not doubt you, Revered Daughter, and I hope the true gods will preserve us. I will bring this news to the Senate as well."

Gay Male Inhuman
Thistletorp Babblebrook wrote:

Thistletorp listens to Gilthanas' tale, and a dark cloud passes over the kender's face. For once, he is neithe perky nor cheerful, his hands grip tightly about imaginary swords, and tears trail down his face.

But the moment passes, and he returns to his usual bubbly self. Hiya! I'm Thistletorp babblebrook, Pleased to meetcha! he bounds forward to the Lord Speaker, and stock as our his hand.

The Speaker of the Suns took Thistletorp's hand with great ceremony, and gracefully took a gem-encrusted ring back from the kender's other hand. "You have my gratitude for ensuring the safety of my ring," he said.

"You have brought to us grave tidings," Solostaran said. "But the Speaker of the Suns is not a king, who demands all obey. On my own behalf I grant to you the hospitality of the Elvenhome, but I must consult with the Senate on these weighty questions. It is, as you said," he nodded respectfully at Caitlyn. "Not a peril we face with great hope. None have battled dragons even in the living memory of my people. I will confer with the Senate and call you to audience when we have finished. Until then, my daughter will see to your hospitality."

The beautiful elf woman came forward, smiling brightly.

"I am Lauralanthalasa. Please let me see to your needs," she said.

Gay Male Inhuman

With Rikaal's light at his back, Karek climbed the wall with ease and found himself looking down a low-ceiling cavern thick with stalactites and stalagmites. In the distance, he saw the body of a half-orc sprawled on the ground.

And it's revealed on the map.

Gay Male Inhuman
Karek Redhand wrote:
What is the light level?

I assumed you had lights out. If not, it's pitch black.

Gay Male Inhuman

Doubt Izaak would take longer than Chotka did.
Izaak's Fort: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18

Breathing Timer: 5:48
Mostly with ease, but instead with difficulty in Chotka's case, the sworn band swum through the foul-smelling waters. They emerged dripping in a tunnel where the water ran only two feet deep, just enough to make for a foul-smelling trudge on submerged rock. They found dry land in a damp cave with slick walls, the calm water winding off to the east, past a soot-scarred beach. A ledge, five feet high, stood over the beach. Several stalagmites rose there, giving teeth to the tunnel that vanished into the darkness beyond.

And the map's updated.

Gay Male Inhuman
Blink Vala wrote:
So, just to clarify, if I used my Sudden Strike, which would normally cost 1 use of mythic power and lets me make an additional attack as a swift action, it will cost 5 Mythic Points to use?

Yes. You've got 5 to spend now, which makes it a little prohibitive (possibly too much so? it's your full day's mythic fun), but mythic power goes up like this:


That would be one sudden strike now, but then two at 4th, and... Yeah that's pretty pitiful. I still think 1 is probably too generous, considering I almost always let the party choose their battles and when to withdraw so there's less reason to save power for later. With the cost at 1 per you basically get the best of haste for the length of a typical battle, which may be the only one you have in the day.

Second thought, let's split the difference here and err just slightly on the side of caution. Extra attack style abilities have a base cost of 3 mythic power. That lets you have one use right now and still have a few points left over for surges.

That sound reasonable to everyone?

Gay Male Inhuman

This is belated because I forgot. But here's a reminder for the old guard and possible news for the new players that I'm doing a little mythic houseruling. These were very much theorycrafted out and subject to revision if things like rocket tag get too bad or if they end up being too restrictive. The idea here is to avoid the game completely breaking down, not to make things more grindy and remove all the fun of mythic. If things change, you will of course have the chance to rearrange your PCs. If something here right now

Mythic Houserules
Mythic power will regenerate at the rate of 1d4 points per day. Completing a mythic trial will grant an immediate additional recovery roll.

Abilities that give you additional actions do not stack with one another. You can only have one extra of action per round. When you can buy an extra action, it will cost you 5 mythic power and at least a swift action, possibly more depending on the ability.

The “cast any spell on your class spell list for free” abilities will cost you a swift action to expend the mythic power. They further cost 1 mythic power per spell level. If compatible with metamagic, the cost is determined by the spell’s adjusted level rather than its base. They also require the normal action necessary to cast the spell. These are over and above any restrictions in the text.

You can get off more than one spell per round by metamagic, or by casting spells which already permit it, but not by use of mythic abilities.

Abilities that bypass energy immunities and damage resistance, except for a paladin's smite, will not do so but will retain any other functions.

Abilities, notably mythic power attack and vital strike, which allow you to multiply your damage modifiers do not do so.

And the old crit rule that everybody forgot about, myself included, but becomes relevant in conjunction with all this:

Oh, crit!
When you confirm a critical hit, you do not roll twice and multiply your non-precision damage modifiers. (Those are things like a STR or weapon bonus.) Instead, a crit translates into an automatic maximum damage roll, to which you add your modifiers as normal. If your crit multiplier is greater than x2, you get 50% more weapon damage per point. So x2 gives the base 100%, x3 brings you to 150%, x4 to 200%, etc.

Feedback welcome, as always.

Gay Male Inhuman

Sorry this was a bit late in coming. RL intervened last night.

A pair of gilded doors swung open, soundless, to a chamber that seemed to reach well beyond what the walls of the Tower of the Sun would permit. White marble made the floor and walls, inlaid with silver veins that looked natural to the stone. High windows admitted sunlight and fresh air. Elflords in all their finery stood in attendance, all about a marble dais. There a pale throne with its back carved in a great sunburst floated just high enough off the ground to see the gap between it and the dais. Golden light shone from beneath it, caught by the sunburst to draw all eyes to the elder elf who sat the throne. He wore a resplendent yellow robe and, alone of all the elves present, silver marked his hair.

The elder elf beamed at the arrival of Gilthanas and Porthios, rising from his throne to embrace them. He barely released each before an elf-maid of surpassing beauty flew their arms, throwing aside all decorum.

"My sons! I thought I would never meet you again in this world," the elder elf spared a moment to look at each before his expression sobered. "Gilthanas, what of your raid?"

Gilthanas bowed his head, "Lord Speaker, I have failed. We traveled in stealth southward as was palnned, yet fate had us meet a northbound army of the Dragon Highlord. I was struck upon my head and fell into a ravine, thinking that to be the end of my days."

"I woke later and found tracks which marked a path to Solace. I thought to free my elves, who the army must have taken. Instead I found Solace taken, the vallenwoods razed."

Gasps rang through the chamber, the sharpest from the young elf. Gilthanas continued, voice pained, "I found my companions in the square, lashed to stakes made from the vallenwood. A red dragon flew above and the army forced the humans of Solace into a wide ring about them. The dragon landed and upon its back, a man with a beast mask rode. He spoke, naming himself Verminaard, Dragon Highlord. He demanded obedience of all who heard, and warned of his wrath."

"The dragon then breathed flame, so hot that it seemed to touch those far from the elves. They were taken, screaming in the dragonfire. The sight of it drove me to madness. I rushed forth to end their misery and was taken. These humans, minotaurs, and the kender came with Porthios to my rescue."

Gay Male Inhuman
Ljos wrote:
Where might I find the mass combat rules? Is it the same stuff from Kingmaker? This will inform on my.

Here you go.

Gay Male Inhuman

Izaak? Bavmorda?

Gay Male Inhuman

Army Stuff

We're getting to the point where your PCs will be put in charge of an army. Then there's some mass combat as you get from A to B. That involves you piloting around army statblocks to mash against my army statblocks. I'm not the biggest fan of this. It's a little weird that you just got these cool powers and then they're abstracted out into the mass combat rules, plus I suspect it's inherently less fun to play armies than play your PCs.

Here are some alternatives. Please let me know what you think.

1) Armies? Shmarmies! We basically drop the army element and have the crusaders as an elite band which hits the plot points and gets the RP fun in encounters inspired by the army clashes. These could include things like raiding camps to kill enemy leaders, destroying supply dumps, etc. Basically you'd go special forces.

2) Do it in the background. You would lead a small army and there would be challenges related to keeping it together, provisioned, etc but for the most part this is flavor text. The army might be tasked with things like Irabeth's people were doing vs. the Gray Garrison: distractions that let the party get their adventure on. It would also serve as a kind of moving home base. We would probably keep the army supply minigame, since it's not that intrusive.

3) Save it for the really good stuff There would be actual army battles, but they would be kept to a minimum. Most probably I would keep them back entirely until we got to the part where you lay siege to a fortress, possibly with a few training wheels exercises before that to get us used to the rules.

4) As it is written, so mote it be. I am not a huge fan of the army stuff, but maybe you are. If you are really into that, I'm willing to oblige. It's not my first choice, but the game's for all of us and I have literally unlimited other ways to have fun whilst playing. Running army battles would by no means ruin things for me.

5) Something you think up and insert here.

However it goes, once you seize the place you're meant to seize an army would appear to consolidate the win. There's a crusade on, after all. :)

Gay Male Inhuman
Jakun Stormhoof wrote:
Jakun nods to the Elflord, he too is anxious to meet the leader of the elves, perhaps they will help where the mages did not. The thought of it makes him frown but he shakes his head and snorts, "Lord Porthios, where can the refugees stay? This Theros will need rest after such a traumatic wound".

"Arrangements are already being made. We will keep them together and you can see them again as soon as the Speaker of the Sun dismisses you," Porthios said, looking slightly irritated.

He's kind of a dick. :)

Samnell wrote:
Now it's The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, because I've read sections of it a few times over but never done the whole book and I love me some Eric Foner.

Wrapped that up. Good but frustrating because I've been over this turf a lot before and I read it right after another Foner, so it felt a bit samey.

Now on to Ira Berlin's Many Thousands Gone, which is all about the first two centuries of slavery in North America. It's so good.

Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:
Yridhrennor holds the rod aloft. Question her still, I will do what needs be done.. He gulps And extends the rod outward as he walks towards the ward stone. May the gods preserve and protect my soul. he whispers almost reverently as he touches the rod to the wardstone

Will DC 23: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (5) + 12 = 17

The rod touched the wardstone and it emitted a painful keening. The rod grew hot in Yridhrennor's hands and the stone flared with light. The keening swelled and the stone exploded in a brilliant flash of golden light. The keening gave way to a triumphant angelic chorus, discord replaced by a stroke of perfect harmony equal parts song and the sound of clashing steel as the stone shattered, razor-sharp shards ripping through the cage containing and the pedestal both rested on. The shards ripped through Jeslyn, tearing her to pieces even as they parted around the crusaders.

Damage to Jeslyn: 20d6 ⇒ (1, 4, 6, 5, 5, 1, 2, 2, 1, 3, 3, 2, 6, 6, 2, 6, 4, 3, 4, 3) = 69 She's very dead.

In the wardstone's absence, a void pulsed for an instant before gleaming light filled it, filled the room, filled the world with a boundless, electric might that exploded through the crusader's bodies. Wounds boiled away. Sore muscles melted away. Minds cleared. Minds teemed with spells once more.

The whole of Mendev spread out before the crusaders, a pure expanse of green and brown dotted with castles. The Worldwound coiled and pulsed to its side, pressing hard against each castle. Where its tendrils stretched forth, thousands of demons raged in a boiling horde. The golden light spread north and south from Kenabres, flashing to brilliance at each castle. Demons burned by the thousand.

Then the Kite stood tall again, a full wardstone standing inert within. Priests and wizards -Yridhrennor recognized his father, Steave several long-dead comrades- cooperated in a great working of magic, bringing runes to life in a circle about the stone. A golden, winged angel crowned with a halo of swords appeared above the stone, floating gracefully down and placing his hand on the stone. The runed circle blazed brilliant, streams of liquid light pouring from each rune and up through the air to gather in the angel's hand just where it touched the stone. Then the angel raised his other hand aloft, palm open. Seven silver blades appeared in the air, and seven of the celebrants stepped forward, grimly resolved and lips moving in prayer, as the blades struck. Silver ran them through the heart and the tips of each blade ground in hard stone behind the celebrants as they fell back with the force of the blow. Their bodies shone and prismatic light rushed from their hearts up the blades and into the angel's open hand. He brought it down with the other, both touching the wardstone, and it came to life with a steady, bright glow.

Lord Mayor Halrun as a young man standing before the Kite, in sight of the glowing wardstone. In the courtyard stood twoscore stakes, piled high with wood. Two people were lashed to each. He made a soundless denunciation and the flames rose, engulfing the condemned.

The Storm King roared, throwing aside crusaders and reaping lives by the dozen with his great, black blade. He tore through the courtyard, into the Kite. The wardstone flared bright and his lured red and black flames vanished. Gleaming cracks appeared in his fiendish skin, dripping ichor that cut pits in the flagstones. Khorramzadeh slowed, bending forward and striding like a man fighting a mighty wind. He hurled his blade aloft and brought it crashing down on the wardstone. Abyssal steel struck a spiderweb of cracks in the wardstone, each leaking light, as it shattered. The silver bulk of Terendelev rushed out of the depths of the Kite, overbearing the balor and throwing him back.

Irabeth chased after a burly dwarf, following him into the courtyard and in sight of the wardstone. Both bore many wounds. Her furious assault drove him back, back, every step nearer the cracked wardstone. Finally she drove him against it and his flesh burned. He howled silently and struck with wild desperation. His hammer came down on Irabeth's knee, shattering it and driving her to the ground. He raised the hammer to finish the Eagle Knight, but then turned and started at something unseen. Snarling, he backed away from the half-orc and spoke the words of a spell. An abyss-twisted wasp of great size appeared and he mounted the creature, fleeing Kenabres.

A beautiful demonic woman with a long, thin tail, clawed hands, and curling horns instead of eyes, placed the wardstone fragment on its pedestal, within its cage. A towering, four-armed demon, horned and vaguely canine, stood with her. Jeslyn lurked in the shadows, on the very edge of view.

A seductive demoness, horned and winged, her breasts bare, wavered in and out, parts of her solid and others translucent, as she held a deep purple crystal the size of a human head. He pulsed with a nauseating mauve light as she touched it to the wardstone fragment. The fragment keened and she thrust the crystal hard into it. The stones merged and mauve fire exploded from the stone and across the border, spreading from Kenabres. It bathed the armies of crusaders, twisting their bodies and filling their eyes with hellish light. The battles paused for a moment, then the crusaders joined the demonic horde to wash across Mendev.

Then the crusaders stood in the Gray Garrison again. The wavering demoness from the last vision stood before them, translucent but very much present. Her red eyes bored into theirs and she spoke in a sultry snarl:

"This only delays your kind's extinction. But at least I can take steps to hasten your own."

She raised her hand and a terrible might filled the room, the whole Abyss yawning open before them down to its unimaginable, infinite bottom. By all rights, it should have snuffed the brief candles of their lives countless times over, but the crusaders felt the fell magic pass through them without touching, something golden brilliant within them sovereign against it. "The death throes of your wardstone seem to be protecting you from my magic. No matter, it will not save you from my slaves!"

She threw her arms wide and the air tore, creating a purple-limned rift. A score of emaciated babau poured into the room and beyond them spread an endless tide of rushing demons: vrocks, glabrezu, even a marilith in the distance all turned toward them.

The might within the crusaders pulsed forth and a huge sword appeared, a bursting sun for its hilt and starfire for a blade. It drove forth and impaled the translucent demoness and the rift in the air alike. Solar flame consumed the demoness' wings and she creamed in agony as the rift snapped shut. Her image melted away, leaving only a score of babau to face the crusaders.

They struck with all the fury of the Abyss, employing every cunning strategem they knew, twisting through shadows and slipping between spaces, all for naught against the roused might of the crusaders. Neither Abyssal steel nor claw could touch them, nor fiendish magic slow their course. One by one, the crusaders slew each.

And you are fifth level, plus you've got a mythic tier.

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
The half-elf will do her best to make herself presentable, trying to take the stains off her robes and her appearance one befitting meeting the ruler of her father's people.

Are you just doing what you can as you go or do you want to take time to freshen up? Porthios is fine with either.

Gay Male Inhuman

You can keep RPing. Just setting the next scene out for when you're ready.

Breathing Timer: 5:50

Ten minutes later, the sworn band found themselves at the Weeping Pool. It stood in the very shadow of Black Hill, at a still pond. The water had a bitter, rotting stink to it and nothing grew near where it touched the ground. From all they had heard, a tunnel and cave lay somewhere beneath its surface.

Swim DC 10 to navigate the water. Once you get down there (successful check) the tunnel is obvious. It's a 45 foot swim (same DC) to get you through the tunnel and back up to air. You can take 10 if you want. A successful check is good for a round's swimming movement. You also need Fort Save, DC 11 for exposure to the water too. On failure, you're sickened for for 1 minute after you emerge.

Re: the timer. I'm not going to account for every second or work out round for round everything done. Consider this a close enough count with a little wiggle room.

Gay Male Inhuman

Porthios led the way through the forest, pine, aspen, and elvewien pressing tight on all sides. Only the elves and Thistletorp never had cause to duck low or push aside a branch. The elflord set a demanding pace, making few allowances for the infirmities of his charges.

After several hours, the path ended at a massive cliff of dark granite. Pines marched to its very base, where the stone ascended arrow-straight for near to a mile. A fringe of green jutted out from the top, bespeaking the forest above.

Porthios took the refugees and companions along the base of the cliff, toward a constant roar. They came to the foot of a tremendous waterfall, which threw up a cloud of mist and cut a deep, clear pool at its bottom. He stepped nimbly from rock to rock across it, slipping into a darkened hollow behind the cascade. There a steep stair ascended, cut clean from the rock and turning on itself as it ascended with the waterfall always to one side and just out of reach. The high steps ought to have made for an arduous climb, but instead each tread seemed step than the last until they came out at last on the high plateau of Elvenhome. Tree trunks shined ivory white and the scent of moss filled the air. A trail spread with needles opened before Porthois, which surely had not been there moments before.

Autumn Harvest 24 (Day 13)

From there, it took the better part of two days to reach the forest's heart. The path did not run quite straight, but was very level and free from obstructions. It ended at a deep chasm. Blankets of moss coated both sides of the hundred foot wide gap. Billowing mists rose from below. A narrow footbridge crossed the span, its beams intricately carved aspen.

"Qualinost is protected on all sides by these barriers, but they will be little help against the Dragonarmies," Gilthanas said.

Across the bridge, slim towers appeared through the aspens. Porthios walked with a spring in his step now, bringing them to where the forest thinned before the spires and arches of Qualinost. It was a small city by human standards, its bounds marched by four towers joined together with slender arches, all of silver in a fine chain that shone in the sunlight. A high tower of burnished gold dominated the city, gleaming with a whirling, sparkling pattern that seemed alive to the point that the tower itself might move.

Wide, quartz-lined avenues curved about, working their way around trees and dappled with green-tinted light. Most of the grand buildings were of the same material, and even aspen beams had gold and silver inlays to catch the light. The structures grew more up than out, rising gracefully among the trees.

And everywhere, elves and their children rushed about with large bundles, bound for the high tower or moving in between buildings. The only ones not so engaged stood in arms, silver blades and armor shining. The new arrivals, especially Mittens and Jakun, drew all eyes. Few were welcoming.

"My elves will see to your charges," Porthios said to the companions. "But we should make at once for the Tower of the Sun, where our father will hear your news."

Gay Male Inhuman
Thistletorp Babblebrook wrote:
Thistletorp perks up, his pockets overflowing with lost items that wandered in. The gods are real. We saw them. And a dragon.

"I'd call that kender tales, but I saw the dragon myself," Elistan said. "Still, I just don't see..." He shook his head sadly. "However it is, it's saved a life."

Gay Male Inhuman

"You're all set to go now," Joram said. "Bring him back, even if he's dead. We need Khonnir."

Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:

This shard of stone can be used to make the other ward stones a potent weapon by the of the demons. We

We were sent here to destroy it. We must keep the ward stones from the demons. Regardless of her mad musings, we must remember that.

You have a rod of cancellation entrusted to you to use against the wardstone, by the way. A touch should do it.

Gay Male Inhuman

Seeing no objections, Joram produced a small assembly of bronze gears and springs from his apron. He approached Karek with deliberation, adjusted his gears, wound a spring, and spoke a prayer that sounded equal part words and the din of wheels and gears spinning over the instrument.

"Now I'll need for you to just open your mouth. You might feel the goddess' touch when the blessing takes effect, but it will do you no harm."

Unless he says to stop...

Joram held the instrument up to Karek's lips and it sprang forward in a smooth, sharp motion. A metallic mist entered his mouth and nose and he heard whispers surround him for an interminable moment before falling silent again.

It'll be the same for everyone.

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:

Elistan, did any of the Seeker gods ever answer our prayers? Did they cure anyone? No. Paladine and his consort Mishakel have heard the outcry of their people and have answered. It was not they who abandoned us but we who, in our hubris, turned from them. Like good parents dealing with spoiled children, which we behaved as,waited for our hour of greatest need. That time is now.

Diplomacy 1d20+16

"That is why we seek still," Elistan said. It was what Seekers were supposed to say. He sounded unconvinced. "What you say may be true, but who of the generations passed since the Cataclysm deserved to be chastised so?"

"This is not the time for theological speculation," Porthios said. "We must go, a much larger force is miles away and drawing near."

Gay Male Inhuman
Blink Vala wrote:
"Then tell us what you know of Vorlesh, please," Blink said calmly. "And about her chosen agents in this venture, who is in the city, and what they can do."

"They're all gone by now. We're what's left to mind the stone. You killed Faxon and the rest." Ljos saw a half dozen faces rush past in quick succession, each dead.

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:
Elistan, I was chosen by Paladine, the Platinum Father to be his herald. He works through me to bring both his word and his power back now that the need is so great. I was a member of the Seekers faith but chastised for being both half elf and woman. I desired something so much more and.Holy Paladine heard my prayer. I have something I have never.had in my life before, peace.

"You know the gods turned from us. I admire your commitment to the past, but it simply must be a new god," Elistan said, clearly not convinced himself.

Gay Male Inhuman
Yridhrennor Arahaelon wrote:

[dice=Knowledge arcana check]1d20+18

[dice=aid another from familiar]1d20+5

Yridhrennor knows that something using a wardstone to strike at others is possible. They're all linked together by the magic that first created them and the crusaders' present mission is to destroy one, which will destroy the lot of them, in order to deny the Abyss the opportunity to use the standing network for far more nefarious ends. But nothing Jeslyn's said is specific enough to say more.

Gay Male Inhuman

Rebuilding/Replacing PCs and Language Stuff

This has come up a bit in two venues, so probably a good idea to make it clear where I'm coming from. Easy stuff first: You can totally do that. It's no fun to be stuck with a PC that isn't working out for you or doesn't fit in the game like you thought they would. Basically just give me a heads-up and we can get going on it. The simplest way to handle a switch at this point would be to just say that the new PC was with the sworn band all along. Since I'm confident you all get the flavor I'm aiming for here, I'm open to being a little more liberal with class choices and such too.

With regard to the language thing, it's meant to be a flavor piece rather than a controlling interest. If it's become onerous, you can suddenly meet a lot more bilingual NPCs. The goal isn't to mostly shut anybody out of RP. Let me know if it's an issue.

Gay Male Inhuman
Owen Ninefingers wrote:

Just to double check on the language: HeroLabs gives me Common and Hallit. I've just been assuming that Common turns into Taldane but on reflection I don't have an int bonus and I think I only have two languages because of my ethnic background. Under our language rules do I only speak Hallit?

I may need to be a little less vocal from now on.

It would be Hallit, strictly speaking, but you can keep both if you like.

Gay Male Inhuman
Steave Rojerz wrote:
"Jeslyn, what should we not do? What are doing to the stone?"

"You should not kill me," Jeslyn said. Ljos sensed dozens of half-formed scenarios where Jeslyn died at their hands, or at the handsof demons. She preferred the crusaders. "Vorlesh is doing something big, don't know what but it's supposed to destroy all the stones." Ljos saw castles exploding like the wardstone in Kenabres had and hordes of demons racing across Mendev.

Gay Male Inhuman
Karek Redhand wrote:
Karek sighs as no one else speaks. "Greetings. We are here to search for Khonnir Bhaine. We seek Joram for the magic that will let us breath water for this reason."


"Best be alongnow," the old man said, dismissing the others. They went.

"I'm Joram. If you're truly of a mind to bring back Bhaine, then I have that magic for you. Mind now, the Whisperer in Bronze's rites might not be the kind of thing you folks are accustomed to. Nothing I'd do will put you under any obligation to her or steal away your spirits. Those are just my- I mean, that's not so. Just so there's no misunderstanding."

He took a quick count of the sworn band.

"I can handle the lot of you. With my dilator you'll breathe water whenever you need to for six hours, but not a tick more. Something to keep in mind."

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:

After she makes her plea to Porthios the half elf will approach Gilthanas and speaking in Elven My Lord Gilthanas, how came you to Solace and to be captured?

Seeing a familiar face in Elistan she will then approach him Elistan, I do not know if you remember me but I am Mariel Uth Kaldar, a former devotee of the Seekers. What happened?

Elistan sighed, "I knew your face, but not your name. Forgive me. The dragons, wicked men, and their goblins took Solace. The vallenwoods burned and they brought many of the houses to the ground for their own use. Even the Inn of Last Home. I was there consulting with Theocrat Hedrick when they arrived. He brought hobgoblins to seize me himself."

"You say you are a former member of the Faith. Is your miracle not the doing of the new gods?"

Gay Male Inhuman
Mariel Uth Kaldar wrote:

My Lord Porthios, in mercy, we cannot leave these people here or abandon them to the mountains. They will die out there as surely as under the rule of the red dragons which destroyed Solace. Elves should be better than this.

Diplomacy 1d20+16

That'll do it. Going to squeeze in a little characterization along the way. :)

Porthios considered Mariel's words, but ignored Jakun entirely.

"They are many mouths to feed and will slow us. My people cannot afford the delay or the drain on our resources. It was for Gilthanas that we came, to save him from his folly. If compassion alone guided me, I would bring all under the branches of Elvenhome, but affairs of state do not bent to the whims of the heart."

"It was not folly to spy the movements of our enemies," Gilthanas said. "Brother, you know I am no friend to humans. I saw many of them with the enemy, as well as the goblins and the rest. But if Qualinesti can bear the aid of two minotaurs, then it can suffer a few score humans."

Porthios stood silent, eyes hard as he considered. "Very well, but we cannot tarry and they must walk or carry their own. No roads mar the forest."

Gay Male Inhuman
Caitlyn Weissman wrote:
"Theros!" Caitlyn cried, "I didn't recognize you at first, what happened?! Who did this to you? Are momma and Papa OK? We saw smoke from far away and feared the worst." her voice trails off as she struggles with powerful emotion.

Theros did not stir.

"Best to let him rest, child," Seeker Elistan said. "He refused to make weapons for the draconians, so they took his forging arm."

Gay Male Inhuman

The crusaders thoroughly secured Jeslyn and deprived her of all her useful or dangerous oddments.

"I'm guarding the stone. It doesn't matter now, Bunixil will be back soon. When Vorlesh finishes..." she broke into hysterical laughter.

Gay Male Inhuman
Ljos wrote:

Just tell me when this curse is over. Actually, on that note


Do I know what she hit me with? Oo, not with that roll...

The curse will last until removed. There's a caster with the firepower to do it back at your base.

Gay Male Inhuman

Giosue snapped to attention with the rest, strictly correct. Without preamble, he gave his report.

Gay Male Inhuman

The blue surcoated elf bowed his head and whispered a prayer.

"I am Gilthanas," he said when he finished. "And if I know those arrows, my brother Porthios can't be far."

Porthios, cleaning his blade, walked up to the wagon. Gilthanas ignored his arrival.

"You must come with us to Qualinost. My father will want to hear the news."

"You are right that we should go," Porthios said. "Others may come upon us if we linger."

The older man in Seeker robes Elistan came respectfully to the wagon.

"Elflord," he said, bowing his head. "We all owe you our thanks and our lives."

"It was not for your sake that we came," Porthios said. "Take your people into the mountains. They will be safe there."

You can find friends and family on the wagons if you like.

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