Lord Snow wrote:
I can't see why ninja is not a archetype or prestige class, and cavalier barely had a reason to exist in the first place, making me really confused about the Samurai, given that it's basically a cavalier.
This has come up several times in this thread, and it keeps making me facepalm. So let me get this off my chest:
The ninja is, in fact, an archetype for rogues.
The samurai is, in fact, an archetype for cavaliers.
Please, everybody, stop saying "they should have been an archetype." They are.
Wind Chime wrote:
The Monk has higher saves, higher skills and similar AB.
He also has about 3 points less AC, about 11 fewer hit points and either does 3 points less damage per shot or is at -2 to hit, depending on whether he's using Deadly Aim or not - and you're using a Zen archer to do it, generally agreed to be one of the strongest overall archetypes out there. You are doing a spectacularly bad job of demonstrating a loss of "combat prowess" here.
Wind Chime wrote:
The point is that whilst Fighters can be good outside of combat they will almost always be inferior to an equally invested non-fighter and they give up quite a bit of combat prowess ( at least in the early levels) to be so.
No, the point, as has been repeated several times, is not to compare the fighter to other classes, it's to point out that fighters can be built quite easily to do things out of combat while maintaining combat effectiveness. Comparisons to other classes are completely irrelevant.
Except that any such build, you could replace Fighter with Commoner, and it would achieve those same ends with the same effectiveness.
Really? You can make a strong fighter with out of combat usefulness with a commoner? I'd like to see that build, honestly.
And he's going to need it, because he's going to get hit. A lot. With a Dex penalty and no shield? Maybe if we were comparing builds of a less suicidal nature?
Spending less on it? Really? I don't recall paladins getting a class-based Charisma boost; assuming we're talking point buy, you're using the same set of resources that the fighter is, and he can get the same set of stats your paladin has too. And his non-class-based feats? Can do pretty much all the same things you're talking about. Iron Will, Alertness, Skill Focus: UMD - he's got the feats to spare, why not? Everything he needs to do his job, everything he needs to be a fighter, is already covered by the class stuff, so there's nothing stopping him.
I think you're looking at it backwards, though. The point is not that the fighter gets class abilities to do stuff out of combat. The point is that the fighter gets all the resources they need to do stuff in combat from their class - so they have all their other resources free to do whatever they want with them.
Barbarians and bards have to dedicate some of their feats - you know, the things "everybody gets," including commoners - to their in-combat job. Fighters don't. You can make an extremely effective combatant with only the bonus feats a fighter gets and weapon training. So all the other stuff? That's resources they can put wherever they want.
Galt and Rahadoum both seem like they could be showing signs of that kind of Illuminati-style manipulation. Rahadoum in particular strikes me as an intriguing possibility, as the aboleths likely would prefer humanity spend their worship on something less complicating than the gods...
So I've decided that I can manage one more PbP, I think, and I wanted to try something higher level (since APs take seemingly forever to get into the midlevels, let alone anything higher). As a result, I'm opening up recruitment for a PbP of Cult of the Ebon Destroyers. I'm looking for 5 players, no more, and will be choosing on the basis of player enthusiasm, party balance, interesting roleplaying and character background (that list's pretty much in order). Submissions should include race, class(es) and levels (including archetypes or prestige classes), alignment and general character concept, but need not be full builds.
Your characters cannot be native to Jalmeray (they can be from pretty much anywhere else, however), but should have some reason to be sailing on the Fare Winds, a merchant vessel sailing to Niswan, the capital of Jalmeray, from Absalom (and before it, Katapesh) and scheduled to put into port just in time for Niswan's famous Festival of Colors.
Here are my usual chargen rules for PbPs, modified for this particular game:
* 20 pt buy (with level advancements as usual, of course)
I am not automatically opposed to non-standard races, but I tend to lean a little harder on them than most other rules options. Consider them by-approval-only, but please feel free to ask. Of course, as noted above, archetypes from the Advanced Race Guide are fair game for any race I choose to allow in the game. Ultimate Equipment is also open for use essentially without restriction.
Anybody have questions or comments, shout 'em out!
When I consider how my light is spentEre half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
Pretty sure his ego has a mount of its own, too. Maybe a packhorse as well to carry all its extra weight.
Given how often two particular components have been mentioned in this thread, I'd like to point out that every few days, hundreds of imps and pseudodragons get together and beat the snot out of each other in the skies over Korvosa.
How hard do you suppose it is to get dragon's scales or devil's blood under those circumstances?
(In other words, just because you think something should be rare doesn't actually mean it is.)
Actually, I would probably allow it - in ways that would make it a nonoptimal choice. Like, cure light is a 2nd level spell when researched by a wizard, cure moderate is 3rd, cure serious is 5th and cure critical is 6th. So, yeah, you can get it if you want to... but you now understand why no one ever bothers.
I will buy Distant Worlds and two Remarkable Races of your choice for the first three posters that want them.
Fun fact: in the entirety of the Core Classes section of the NPC Codex (I didn't bother searching the other chapters, though I'd encourage someone else to do so if they want to take the time), there is precisely one instance of an NPC explicitly using Spring Attack and Vital Strike - technically it's Improved Vital Strike - together. There are two other places where the phrasing is ambiguous (the text says they use Vital Strike and Spring Attack, but doesn't necessarily state they are using them at the same time). That's it.
Keep working that molehill, it'll be a mountain someday, I'm sure.
Can you please explain to me why Pyromaniac Mage have also ~13 starting Int?
Well, the first and biggest thing you're missing is that he didn't have Int 13 to start with. He had Int 17. (Int 15 + 2 points from racial + 1 point from advancement + 4 from headband = 22, which is what he has.) Instead, he appears to have raised his Wisdom from 8 to 9 and either his Con or his Dex from 13 to 14 during his level advancement.
However, even if you were right, you'd still be wrong, because Int 13 is not what you get when you start with a 13 and then add a +2 from racial modifiers. You get Int 15. You see, there is a school of thought that says every bonus needs to go to your main ability score for maximum effectiveness - but there is another school of thought that says "a floating +2 bonus means I can have fewer dump stats, giving a broader range of talents!" None of the NPCs you've cited would have begun their careers at 1st level with less than a 15 in their casting stat; several, however, were made to have 15s or even 16s elsewhere, as part of their concept. This is not a flaw. Particularly given the CR guidelines mentioned elsewhere in this thread, it might well have made for sense for the writers to step away from mono-focused stat advancement, to make sure the NPC was better rounded mechanically and not overstep their CR levels too far on one particular measurement, particularly if it resulted in them going too far below it in another.
That doesn't say you can buy them, though, man. Just how much they're worth if you find them in a treasure.
Yes it's logical, and yes you can probably do it in most games, but partially-charged wands being available for sale is just as much houseruling as commissioning items is. (That is, the rules don't explicitly cover it, but they tell you how much it would cost if they did cover it, it's logical it would be available, so you can do it = perfectly valid and supportable houserule.)
The description of the character used he throughout, despite him having already put on the girdle of opposite gender.
Yeah, as cool as that character is, I'm not sure he quite qualifies for the term "transgender" as it is usually meant, because there's no evidence he was suffering from gender dysphoria before he put the girdle on. This is another spot where fantasy games open up gender spaces that the real world has no need for - we have no means by which one could easily change sexes, nor any means by which the transition could be readily reversed, so we don't have a way to really discuss a gender space where "I'm totally cool with the sex I was born with but I find I enjoy life more as the other one" applies. It's certainly cool that he gives us some means to put TG issues out there, but we should be aware of the distinctions as well as the similarities.
Tybus' second strike is much, much more effective than his first, as he quite simply slits the throat of the goblin in front of him, who topples lifeless to the ground. Lamsfel's strikes against the wolf are almost as effective - although not quite mortal, it is clear the animal has no fight left in it as the elf's blades stab deep into its hide. Gan tears into the wolf in front of Tybus with his teeth and claws, displaying shocking ferocity for a man of his age and general demeanor - the wolf dies with speed, and the Tian mystic steps forward to deliver one final slash with a claw to the only goblin still fighting.
Callomeleth still to go. Currently, Tristan, Gan and Tybus all threaten the last surviving goblin, whose mount is at 0 hp and staggered.
N N 959 wrote:
1. There is no requirement to have a caster level.
If you have no caster level, you are not a caster. That is, in fact, what having a caster level means. Having a "caster level" is equivalent to having levels in a spellcasting class. A paladin with 1-3 levels has no levels in a casting class, and thus cannot cast spells any more than a fighter can. In fact, the PRD specifically says "This is the case even for a character who can't actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin."
N N 959 wrote:
2. The lack of a caster level means something is not present. It does not mean it is undefined. If an amount of something is not present, mathematically, it is zero when factored into an equation.
Do you actually know what happens when you put an undefined variable into an equation? I'll give you a hint: it's not treated as a zero.
Tybus withdraws a small wand from the halfling's pack, and after careful examination, determines that it is a wand of mending with 43 charges left.
Careful examination of Walthus' body determines that he was slain by the spear that Gan now holds; however, after death his body was partially drained of blood through a series of small, triangle-shaped wounds, as though he were pierced by a tiny, three-pointed lance. (It reminds Tristan of leech wounds, to some extent.) The body still holds the faintest traces of heat, and probably died within the last quarter hour. Walthus' body also wears a small, simply-made holy symbol of Desna, which confirms Gan's vague recollection of the halfling's preferred faith.
Assuming Callomeleth performs a suitable rite and you give Proudstump a burial, is there anything else you would like to do before you move on?
Gan Liang wrote:
This is actually a change from 3.5 to Pathfinder - in PF, celestial and fiendish animals gain no points in Intelligence and speak no languages unless they could already do so. Thus, while summon monster says you can command your minion to undertake tasks if you can communicate with it, the only way to communicate with a celestial eagle is to use speak with animals; knowing Celestial doesn't do any good. It's still just a bird. On the other hand, you can use Handle Animal, and even do so untrained (it seems pretty reasonable to treat a summoned monster as "tame" for this purpose), to try to get it to do something for you.
"I've no idea," Callomeleth said as he pushed his way past the group towards the bridge's arch. "But we weren't its first victims." He rushed underneath the bridge, heading for the small, still form he had seen facedown in the water. He prayed it to be a goblin that had chanced upon this faceless horror; the alternatives were too terrible to contemplate.
The elven cleric rushes forward, but he discovers his prayers were, in this case, in vain. The figure looks at first to be a human child, but he sees the bare, hairy feet, and realizes it is an adult halfling. As the man's face is in the water and he is not moving, Callomeleth knows he cannot hope for the halfling to still be alive, and indeed as he gets closer he sees the man's right side has been pierced through, probably by the shapechanger's spear. He wears a jacket, sturdy trousers and a homespun shirt, with what looks like a camping pack on his back.
Just on the off chance the creature was undead - Knowledge (religion): 1d20+4.
It was not undead.
The spear is masterwork. The shapechanger is still wearing the same clothes it had on as "Parrick," and it did have a belt pouch and a small work knife. The pouch contains what looks like a potion bottle.
The thing already moved away from Gan in order to break the flank, so no additional avoidance is necessary on his part.
The shapechanger suffers a massive wound from Tristan's blade and a nasty slice from Tybus' cutlass, although Lamsfel's swords and the summoned eagle Gane brings to the fray cannot seem to find its flesh as it dodges and weaves. One claw almost seems to catch it, but its rubbery flesh seems as resilient as chain links, and the talon accomplishes nothing more than to draw a line down its shoulder.
Turning its face (?) toward Tristan, the aberration launches a open-handed slap at the ranger. Slam attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9, damage 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7. Tristan pulls his head back quickly, and what might have been a jaw-shattering blow instead does nothing more than send a breeze through his hair.
You guys are up again.
At least it was a max channel... Also, Lamsfel's done all the work on moving for a flank, so Tristan needn't bother with the 5 ft step.
Seeing itself start to get surrounded, the thing that called itself Parrick Martheson tilts its head up as though looking at Gan, although how it does so without eyes is not clear. Suddenly, its arms lengthen to what seems an impossible length, and it stabs up at him with its spear despite the distance between them.
Sneak attacks for everyone! Also, apparently this thing has a 10 ft reach. On the other hand, Tomodachi is effectively giving Gan cover against the attack, so he does have a +4 bonus to AC against the spear despite being flat-footed.
Spear attack: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23, damage 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13 plus 2d6 ⇒ (1, 5) = 6 sneak attack.
As soon as the strike is finished, the thing drops the spear and takes a step to one side, trying to keep from being surrounded. 5 ft move away from you and to the right, directly in front of Tristan - that means the flank is broken, although a single move from Lamsfel or coordinated 5 ft steps from both Tristan and Lamsfel together can restore it.
The gnome considers the matter for a moment, her good eye sweeping up and down Artevious' expression. "You know," she says, not answering him directly, "I've spent the last three days trying to figure out if you're serious. There's those what say gnomes are strange, and I admit we certainly can be, but you! You, sir, would make a Port Peril carnival look like a bunch of Bleached Irori nuns. So I've been trying to figure you out. Are you insane? On some kind of drugs? Do you have visions, like one of those sea-oracles I've heard tell of?" She laughs softly, and there is a note of sadness in it. "In the end, I suppose, it doesn't really matter - you sail with the wind you've got, am I right? And right now, you're the only ones tacking 'gainst Scourge and Plugg, let alone Harrigan. So yeah, crazy man, I'll lend a hand to your inept Andoren friend. And if you decide you want help with something else, something more... decisive... well, I'll lend a hand right quick with that as well."
Giffer is now friendly.
"Parrick"'s initiative: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
The hunter, only a couple steps away from Tybus when Callomeleth shouts, suddenly grimaces and tightens his grip on his spear. For an instant, his expression is a rictus of pain, but the expression seems to flow, melt, and collapse in on itself, his tanned skin darkening and turning a rubbery, leather-like black, like cooling tar. In a second, the man's face is completely gone, replaced - along with every inch of visible skin - with the same disgusting-looking black hide. No facial features break the undulating surface of the thing's head, but it seems to have no trouble discerning where Tybus is as it lunges at him with its spear.
Knowledge (dungeoneering), DC 14:
This is a "faceless stalker," a shapeshifting assassin occasionally found in swamps and marshy areas all along the Avistani coast.
"Parrick"'s spear attack: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28, damage 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13 plus 2d6 ⇒ (3, 3) = 6 sneak attack.
Tristan, Lasmfel and Callomeleth can take actions now - this is a surprise round, though, so a single move or standard action only. Tybus, Gan: you can roll your initiatives, but you'll not be acting until next round. The creature is within a 5 ft step of Tybus, Tristan and Tomodachi (and in melee, for the purposes of ranged penalties, obviously), and all the rest of you can reach it in a single move action. The path is wide enough to accomodate movement without serious impairment, but your tight grouping on the path means there aren't really any clear charge lanes on this side of the thing.
"Going goblin hunting, eh?" the man says, rising to his feet and approaching Tybus. "Haven't seen any of the blighters around myself, but I'm sure you'll have no trouble with them. Name's Parrick Martheson, hunter and fisherman extraordinaire." He offers his hand.
Sense Motive, DC 20:
Though he is trying to hide it, there is a nervousness in the man's actions that does not seem justified by your situation. Also, you ae reasonably certain he is lying about one or more things in that last sentence, although you are not absolutely sure which ones.
Roll initiative. You are not surprised.
Perception or Hunting (you can roll both), DC 20:
There is a blood trail and some crushed and bent grass leading from where the man was crouched to the shadows underneath the bridge. It is difficult to say for certain, but it looks like there is a small, child-sized humanoid figure lying facedown near the water in the darkness.
Roll initiative. You are not surprised.
It does appear human.
The figure looks up suddenly at Tybus' words, clearly surprised - it is a man in his late thirties, weatherbeaten but in generally good shape, wearing a basic tunic and trousers. Other than his spear, he does not appear armed or armored. "Who-" the man says, then blinks in surprise at the well-equipped band in front of him. "Who are you?" he finishes, apparently having forgotten his previous task in his startlement.
The first part of the trail cuts down a sharp incline, a 40-foot tall set of steep bluffs that mark off the edges of the marsh proper. Once it reaches the marsh itself, the trail weaves from one dry patch to another, traveling something that could almost be described as the opposite of a straight line. Were it not for the path and Tristan's wilderness survival skills, you would likely be lost in minutes.
After perhaps half a mile of hiking, the path reaches a broad, rotted-looking bridge over one of the dozens of branches of the Soggy River that twine through the marsh. A long figure kneels beside the stream, holding a finely-made spear and staring into the water intently.
Josh Shrader wrote:
Lawful alignment, medium armor proficiency, either Warrior Priest or Arcane Armor Training, Intimidate 2 ranks, Knowledge (planes) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.
Which, interestingly, kinda puts the screws to magus builds. Gotta waste a feat on AAT, which you entirely do not need...
This. Is how you do. Prestige Classes.
Just amazing, amazing stuff.
Even the ones I'm not personally excited about are mechanically well done. And the ones I am excited about... wahoo!
Part One: The Brinewall Legacy
The 1st of Desnus, 4711 AR
Today is the celebration of the Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint, but the traditional joy and festivities that day normally brings have been shrouded in sorrow and loss. Where a burst of swallowtail butterflies would normally have been released to mark the occasion in a swirl of color and movement, dark clouds and a relentless, unwavering rain have instead painted the world in shades of grey and muddy brown. You stand among the crowd near the Sandpoint Cathedral, but you are not here to listen to speeches from local notables or partake in free food from the town’s many taverns; rather, you are here to remember and mourn the loss of one of Sandpoint’s most well-known and respected members: Niska Mvashti. Madame Mvashti’s death wasn’t unexpected, but she was a fixture in the town, and the large Varisian minority in Sandpoint considered her their spokesperson, if not necessarily their leader. Her funeral is large and well-attended, with most of the town’s most important people in attendance.
"Death is a transformation," says young Father Zantus, the Cathedral’s priest. He wears a broad-brimmed hat to keep the rain off of his face, but streams of water still course down his cheeks. "On this of all days we can remember that. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly and embarks on a wondrous new journey, a new spirit of beauty far beyond anything it might have once imagined. Likewise, we can say with confidence that Niska Mvashti has also begun her last and greatest journey, walking alongside Desna herself amidst the stars."
Among those who make up the crowd around you, you can pick out several familiar faces: Kendra Deverin, still Sandpoint’s mayor after running unopposed in the last election; Sheriff Belor Hemlock, with his new wife Kaye (the owner of the town’s only brothel); Titus Scarnetti, owner of the town’s largest lumber mill, who looks like he would rather be dancing with the Sandpoint Devil than be here; and more. A few in particular, though, stand out. Near the speaking platform, Ameiko Kaijitsu hovers protectively over Sandru Vhiski and Madame Mvashti’s daughter, Koya. Sandru was practically raised by Koya Mvashti, and the death of the matriarch has unsurprisingly hit them both quite hard. On Ameiko’s other side, looking saddened but oddly serene, is Shalelu Andosana, who has not been back to Sandpoint since shortly after the raid on Thistletop 4 years ago.
As the service ends, Ameiko leaves the others behind for a moment and moves through the crowd, speaking quietly for a few minutes with the mourners in her path before moving on, until she finds each of you. "It’s good to see you again, my friend," she says solemnly, wiping the rain out of her eyes. "If you have time, there’s a wake planned shortly at the Rusty Dragon. I’d love you to come."
What is the schtick of the pit fighter in general?
In brief terms, you can imagine them as the barbarian version of the gladiator fighter archetype. Performance combat meets rage, including a neat ability to rage without spending rounds of rage as long as the crowd is on your side.
Also, I WANT TO PLAY A CHAMPION OF IRORI SO BADLY. Mikaze, you are going to be very happy.
So... an AP where the whole party has to be elven paladins of Iomedae, exploring the new demiplane where Treerazer has begun to rebuild his extraplanar fortress? I'm in!
Higher ground is worth another +1 to your attack, but it's still a miss.
Tristan's swing is also forced aside by some strange mystic force allowing a second try at the Knowledge (arcana) check above. Orik, clearly not comfortable with the savage blow he took from Nualia's blade, shifts to a more defensive position before striking out again. Orik's fighting defensively this time: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19, damage 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9. Even with his shield raised, though, the mercenary's attack is quite effective, opening a wound on Nualia's sword arm this time.
Roaring in anger, the aasimar reaches out her left hand, which is suddenly surrounded by a sickening, unnatural purplish glow. Touch attack on Orik: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24, damage 2d6 ⇒ (6, 3) = 9. Orik's Fort save: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14. The fiendish claw does not rend Orik's flesh, but rather horrific pustules and vile sores erupt across his body, gushing blood. Orik's face pales in pain, though he seems to be barely holding onto his self-possession. Poor guy's down to 5 hp, even after Hrakar's channeling, but at least he's not shaken. I'll get another map up tomorrow morning, but you guys can take your actions before then if you like.
Lamsfel's first strike dives toward Nualia's open midriff, but just before the blade would connect, he feels... something... twist his wrist, forcing the blade away.
Knowledge (arcana), DC 21:
She's apparently protected by a protection from good spell.
The first arrow is wide again, but the second notches Nualia's left leg, just above the knee; the wound seems pretty superficial, however, and the aasimar pays little attention to it.
Halgor moves to H4.
Tybus Elhezen wrote:
Tybus attempts to maneuver to reach Nualia, hopefully staying out of her reach at the same time. If he can take a 5-foot step he will, or he will move through D1 to get to C1.
Gan Liang wrote:
Nualia's Will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11Tybus's strike is off the mark, possibly thrown off by the quick step he had to take before reaching Nualia, but Gan's curse seems to be more effective. On her other side, Tristan easily jumps up onto the altar, though he finds Nualia tantalizingly distant, even for his lengthy blade. Effective result is that Tristan is also "squeezing" atop the altar, but that's because he's going to have to reach out dangerously far to be able to hit her. On the other hand, he does have the higher ground advantage now. What's his plan?
Battle map: Round Zero
Lamsfel approaches the door, murmuring the blasphemous phrase, and although he feels a quick prickle of magic over his skin, the trap does not activate. With a quick tug, the elf pulls the door open and steps aside, allowing Orik to run in, leading the rest of the group as they spill through the door.
Within, you find yourselves confronted with a chapel to Lamashtu carved from the very stone of the island itself. Fonts containing frothy dark water sit to the north and south of the entrance to the room, and twin banks of stone pillars run the length of the long chamber. At the western end, shallow stairs rise to a platform about two feet off the ground. The walls surrounding this platform are lit by hanging braziers that emit glowing red smoke, giving the place an unnerving crimson lighting that throws the bas-relief carvings of countless monsters feasting on fleeing humans into lurid display.
A black marble altar stone, its surface heaped with ashes and bone fragments, squats before a ten-foot-tall statue. The sculpture depicts a very pregnant but otherwise shapely naked woman who wields a kukri in each taloned hand and has a long reptilian tail, bird-like taloned feet, and the snarling head of a three-eyed jackal with a forked tongue. Its left kukri flickers with fiery orange light while the right one glows with a cold blue radiance.
Standing to the right of the statue is a tall, athletic looking woman with dark hair and piercing violet eyes. She would be beautiful, but her left arm has been transformed into a red-scaled, wicked-looking claw, and her stomach - deliberately bared by modifying the breastplate she wears - is crossed with a set of deep scars that look almost like a taloned hand tried to scoop out her womb through the skin. In her right, still-human-looking hand, she holds a gleaming bastard sword. The woman glares across the length of the room at you, and the canine-looking beast that crouches next to her growls menacingly. "And here you are," she says loudly. "The 'Heroes of Sandpoint.' And... Orik, too." She shakes her head. "Again and again I am betrayed. I should have expected no less." She takes a long look at Lamsfel, and a small smile crosses her face. "Why have you come, then? To save your pathetic town from the sanctifying flames?"
Spellcraft, DC 16:
The "long look" was a spell-like ability: detect good, to be precise. Cast as a move action, much quicker than is usually possible.
Knowledge (nature), DC 11:
The dog-like beast, the thing that "laughs," as Orik put it, is a hyena, a hunter of the Garundi savannahs, but rare in Avistan, which is likely why he did not recognize it. It is not an ordinary hyena, as it looks twisted... unnatural.
Knowledge (planes), DC 11:
The animal standing next to Nualia is not an ordinary beast, but is in fact from another plane. It shows all the characteristics of being fiendish, warped by the effects of the Realms Below.
Has anyone ever tried using 1 roll for an entire group? The GM rolls 4d6 drop lowest 6 times, and everyone uses the same array of stats that generates? Might be an interesting experiment...
My "official" answer to that is Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 14. But I think the question's basically irrelevant, because you're coming at it backwards. No one is arguing you can't develop a concept to fit a random roll. The issue is that, with a random roll, you can't develop a concept until after you see the rolls...
Even the "I roll nothing lower than 15" stuff can be. Right now in one of my PbPs I'm playing a completely unlikable ass. I gave him Cha 7 on purpose and with malice aforethought. He'd've felt 'wrong' as a Cha 15 character, for all that it would have saved me a feat (Intimidating Prowess).
I'm good with the idea that you can bring things back together.
The mercenary looks at the floor, frowning. "...Yeah," he finally admits. "Makes me look even more like an idiot, eh? Bloody hells." He shakes his head, looking resigned. "I can't tell you much more than I already have. I think the only thing I haven't mentioned is Nualia's... pet. She says it's an emissary from Lamashtu, and the thing looks evil enough for me to believe it. It's a dog or wolf or something - I really don't know, I'm not much for animals that aren't horses. But it looks like it climbed up out of Hell itself. And it... laughs." He shudders. "Whatever it is, she keeps it with her all the time, so I'd bet it's in there with her."
The woman laughs viciously. "I know what you did to Tsuto, monster, you and the rest of these assassins," she replies. "Kill me if you're going to - maybe I'll see him then."
Some people don't believe you when you say the sky is blue. Lyrie is one of those people.
"Well, I imagine from the way you're going, you'll see for yourself soon enough, but the short version is, somehow Nualia's managed to start a transformation into a demon. After the raid on Sandpoint, Tsuto came back with the body of some priest, and I got the impression it was somebody who used to be important to Nualia. Whoever it was, she burnt the body on the altar to Lamashtu in the chapel, and when she came out she was... different. Her arm had gotten all scaly and red, and it's got some serious claws to boot. Her plan was - maybe still is, though if you're down here, I suppose you've already managed to do a fair amount to mess things up - the plan was to raid Sandpoint again, but much much bigger, burn the whole place to the ground in Lamashtu's name. In theory, I guess, once that happened, she'd finish her transformation, become something else... whatever that might mean. I'm no demonologist, you'd have to ask somebody else.
"I don't think you'll be able to stop her short of, well, killing her. She's b@@$#+# crazy, and driven to boot. If you've wrecked as much of Thistletop as you must have to be here, you've slowed her down - but she'll keep looking for another way. Lyrie, though... she's like me, a merc, though she's not the sword type. Nualia brought her in to study the history of this place, and its past as a Lamashtu temple. The stockade up top used to be some kind of, I dunno, monastery or something, and Nualia thinks it has some special connection to Lamashtu as a result. That's why the Thistletop tribe's always been top dogs around here. Lyrie's been looking for ways to strengthen that link. I don't think she buys into Nualia's plans, but I don't think she really cares if they happen either. She'd probably just take lots of notes. She's cold, and I've got the frostbite to prove it."
You don't have time for a full "read" on her, but you'd say her attitude toward you is indifferent at the moment.
By the time the day's work is done and the sun making its way toward the western horizon, Scourge and Plugg have looked over most of your work with nothing more than sour grunts, but Scourge looks at the areas of the deck where Evril has been mopping and scraping with his holystone and grins nastily. "Piss-poor work here, ye foul layabout! That's three more lashes fer ye, top the two I owe ye from this mornin'! Best ye learn right quick ta work yer best, laddie, or I might have to get... nasty..." He laughs, in clear anticipation of that moment.
At dusk, the crew gathers on deck for what you all quickly learn is a nightly tradition: the "Bloody Hour," where the day's punishments are administered. Though Eleuterio and especially Evril are also due for lashings tonight, the centerpiece of the event occurs first. A relatively skinny man wearing thick manacles on his wrists is brought up by a pair of sailors from the bilges, which double as the Wormwood's brig. The human scowls around at the crew members who have gathered as Captain Harrigan crosses the deck to stand in front of him. "You, Jakes Magpie," shouts the captain, his voice carrying through the sea air, "have been caught stealing from an officer of this ship, and have confessed to your crime. As such, I now pronounce your sentence: you are to be keelhauled slow, and I expect we'll just toss whatever's left to the sharks. Mr. Plugg! Carry out the sentence!" With the help of Mr. Scourge, Plugg ties Magpie, still manacled, to a rope that loops under the ship's keel. Scourge throws Magpie overboard, and Scourge begins slowly pulling on the rope's other end, dragging Magpie's body across the razor-sharp barnacles that encrust the Wormwood's hull.
Perception, DC 15:
It is more than a little unsettling to see the barely-contained joy Plugg in particular seems to feel at inflicting this punishment.
It takes more than a minute for the body to appear in the water on the far side of the hull, and what is left is only barely recognizable as having once been a human being - it is a bloody mass of flensed flesh, and you can only hope he drowned sometime fairly quickly. True to his word, Harrigan orders the ragged remnants of Jakes Magpie thrown to the sharks.
Heal, DC 15:
Magpie likely suffered about 24 hit points' worth of wounds, and he did in fact drown - though probably not before he'd taken that majority of that damage.
Those talking to Orik:
The mercenary looks around at the figures looming over him and lets out a quiet oath. "This is Riddleport all over again..." he says, half to himself. Shaking his head, he looks at Tybus. "You're a sailor," he begins. "Surely you've been in a situation before, with too much money and the wrong kind of pretty face? I signed on because Nualia offered me platinum to be her 'bodyguard,' not that I've seen that she needs one. Woman can take care of herself - now more than ever, I'd say. But then there was Lyrie... and I didn't learn my lesson from the last time something like this happened." He sighs.
"Frankly, this entire thing scares the piss out of me, and I'm not ashamed to say so. I'm a sellsword, not a demon-worshipper, and all the damn goblins just make the situation worse. The sociopathic hobgoblin, that freak Tsuto... and now Nualia's actually started becoming a demon herself. If it weren't for Lyrie, I'd've left days ago, as soon as she got her new arm. And now it's bitten me in the ass. Again. Well, ask your questions; I'll tell you whatever you want."
The barefoot woman laughs again at Artevious' words, but her amusement gives way to first incredulity and then a kind of pitying admiration as she realizes he is entirely in earnest. "My names's Samms Toppins," she introduces herself, "but everyone calls me 'Barefoot Samms,' since I never wear shoes. Don't see the point in 'em, up here." She and Artevious spend much of the day swapping stories amidst the rigging, and as the afternoon turns toward sunset Artevious has learned much of Samms' history and she has heard nearly all of the plots of the various Pirate de Possoin novels. (She too had never heard of them before Artevious began his tales, but it was to be expected: a fisherman's wife from the Sodden Lands would hardly be likely to have a refined literary sensibility.)
And with that amazing Diplomacy roll, Samms has gone all the way past friendly to helpful, earning you all 50 XP in the process! Excellent work, sir!
Down in the galley, Fishguts and Eleuterio have managed to put together most of an evening's meal for the crew, though it is basically just a large, watery stew. Fishguts has been drinking steadily all day, but as the afternoon comes to a close, the door on the far side of the galley opens and a tall, unusually skinny half-orc woman steps out, carrying a small barrel of rum. The woman has a vicious scar across her throat and an array of sharp axes around her belt. She grins toothily at Fishguts, with what seems like genuine affection, and expression that the cook returns. "Who's this?" the woman asks in a scratchy voice, eyeing Eleuterio with curiosity, but no animoisty that he can see.
"Shmy new cooksh-met, Lou," slurs Fishguts in reply. "Lou, thishish Cut-Throat Grok, th'shipsh pursher." He beams, adding, "Shesh meh besht fren... beshies Black-'earted Bezhebel, o'coursh..."
Grok turns her toothy grin on Eleuterio. "Well then, like as not we'll be seeing a lot of each other. Stop by some time if you need anything. I've generally got something for just about any itch you might need scratched." She winks overly broadly, then roars with hacking laughter, that Fishguts smilingly joins in on.
Grok's picture - the last of the crew with artwork - has been added to the Campaign Info page...