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DM Sez: You and your opponent struggle and strain against each other, but even with your might, you can't hoist him!
DM Means: I don't care if you have Greater Grapple, a +6 Belt of Giant's Strength, and Throw Anything, you're not gonna start Golarion's space program by hurling the bard into the sun. And even if you could, he's not gonna reach the sun in six seconds, I don't care what the rules for thrown weapons say.
Amy the Alchemist: Good thing I learned how to make incendiary bombs after all that business with the drow! ^_^ (tosses a bomb)
.....Yeah. They actually went ahead and pulled this on me.
Basically, the group whom I've been giving rather hilariously insulting obituaries about in the Jade Regent Obituaries thread finally managed to get the aid of the Three Monkeys, and a nice discount on top of it for killing Sikutsu Senaka's evil brother (albeit just by marching up to his manor with the monk shouting "Yo! I'm comin' ta kill ya!" then... comin' ta kill him.) The money they made for selling O-Sayumi's samisen of oracular vision helped them, too. (Gotta love major cities and their one-stop 24-hour Ye Olde Pawnne Shoppes, huh?)
So. They easily buy the aid of the Emerald Branch ninja clan, and use the Shinobi Fuhonsen to buy the Black Lotus's aid (their choice was "the ninja clan that's kinda sketchy, and the ninja clan that is sketchy!" "You know, we are all ninja. By definition, all of us are sketchy...")
Two clans down, they pays the Shadow Dragons their ten thousand gold koku, expecting their aid.
Shadow Dragon Rep: This isn't enough.
So. I initially have him Dimension Door out, but the group, Pan Li's player in particular, don't want me to DM BS our about-to-be-ex representative of a clan of elite merciless killers that might or might not be led by a sovereign dragon's whims out of harm's way. They wants a fight.
Considering the party is 13th level, and the poor bastard representing the Shadow Dragons is a 7th-level ninja, he is going to be easily killed.
Any way I can salvage this situation, like have the Shadow Dragons become a thorn in the party's side in Book Six? Boost the Shadow Dragon's combat levels up so he can provide a more-or-less fair fight? Or just have the other two ninja clan representatives dispose of the body and say "Well, that was stupid of him. Zazazaza (head nodding). Now the Dragons will need a new mouthpiece."
You know, reading those deaths makes me kinda weird because the biggest threat to my party in Jade Regent... is my party in Jade Regent.
Anyway, I'm back, baby!!!
Name: Huda Mann
.....What?: No. Really. We killed a character because he lost the character sheet. That, and he really didn't like playing him anymore anyway.
So How'd You Manage This: The group set sail for the manor of the evil incestuous pearl merchant Chang Ling, and were accosted by two dragon turtles I hastily reskinned as giant Magikarp-esque... giant carp. They slew the giant fish, despite not being able to trip or sneak attack them, so I guess a challenging fight counts as a challenging fight.
When Suddenly: When we picked Jade Regent up months later, we had the aforementioned realizations about Huda. He made a replacement kitsune sorcerer named Tadaka, so I have to finagle a way to shoehorn this replacement in without resorting to "I HAVE TO GO NOW. MY HOME PLANE NEEDS ME. (doot doot do doot) NOTE: HUDA DIED ON THE WAY BACK TO HIS HOME PLANE." So I come up with "As you continue your journey to the manor house, you notice one of the giant Magikarp isn't as dead as you thought it was!!"
The giant Magikarp leapt over the raft, with a battle cry of "Karrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp~" and caught Huda in its mouth before disappearing back underwater. I described a lot of bubbles billowing to the top of the water.
Then a lot of blood.
Megumi, the oracle: Oh my God! He still had the Decanter of Endless Sake on him!! D:
Finally, the Magikarp floated to the top of the lake, stone cold dead, followed by what was left of Huda. The group mourned him for nearly a second, then started to loot what useful stuff they could.
Pan Li, the Monk/Fighter: Wait a minute, he was wearing chain mail. Shouldn't he sink to the bottom of the lake?
Excalipoor: At first glace, this seems like a +3 keen holy longsword... but as you bring it in contact with your foe, the realization that that bastard Gilgamesh tricked you kicks in.
Regardless of critical hits, effects such as Smite Evil, the wielder's Strength modifier, whether he uses Excalipoor as a one- or two-handed weapon, or positive energy resistance/vulnerability, Excalipoor always does exactly 1 damage to its target. This damage bypasses any damage and/or energy resistance the target has, and may not be healed with fast healing or regeneration.
If Excalipoor is thrown, it does damage as a +3 keen holy longsword.
No. No you can not, and if your character actually tries the Bag O' Rats strategy, he deserves to be in one of the obituary threads with the cause of death "Tried to exploit the rat sack one too many times, throat torn out by rat." =p
...I should probably add one of those "pick on something your own CR" rules like the gunslinger has to Treat Wounds.
It is sort of an odd thing. What you would like to do is only be able to heal damage from the last fight you were in. However, no one wants to keep track of that. In a way, the project is doomed to failure unless you want to get some kind of magical conceit in (and sort of limit it to uses per day or something).
Nah, it's less "all the damage from last fight" and more "the one hit point you lost in this fight when the goblin stabbed you in the foot, and about eight hit points you lost last fight when Skullcrusher Kiljarian tried to cave your helmet in while you were still wearing it." It could be much, much worse. It could be like Shadowrun Returns's healing, where Heal only repaired the very last injury you took (so if you take 45 damage from an unlucky assault rifle critical, and get grazed by an Ares Predator shot for 3 damage, you're not getting as much health back as you'd like!)
The intent, really, is to take some of the slack off the cleric so he can use the almighty godly powers he (allegedly) has instead of burning all his prepared spells on Cure Wounds. (I say it that way because the group I game with thinks that's all clerics do, apparently.)
Maybe they could just heal 1d12+wis every hour treating someone starting at lv 2? Multiply it all by x2 at level 4 and then x3 at level 6 and so on.Then let him treat multiple allies at once eventually. I think resource-less healing with a caveat (needing an hour or so of down time) is not such a stupid idea given how cheap level 1 cure light wounds wands are.
This sounds something like 13th Age. I do loves me some 13th Age, so I'll have to check how Heal worked in that again.
DISCLAIMER: Cure Light Wounds are cheap, but Lesser Vigor wands are more cost-effective!
If you can find a copy of the Investigator playtest, maybe use that as the base? Like you could use your inspiration points to effectively cast heal spells and call it an "inspired fix". Take out the talents and I think everything fits together quite well.
I have the Advanced Class Guide playtest, actually! Love the arcanist! Under the impression that the investigator's inspiration points should scale either like d20 Modern's action points (roll more d6s as you gain levels) or Fifth Edition's fighter superiority dice (roll larger dice as you gain levels.) I should probably mention that on the Investigator thread.
.....Hmm. Maybe, just maybe, something inspiration-esque could fuel Treat Wounds. Maybe.
I'm actually kinda surprised that my craptacular nonmagical healer class got this much attention!
Anyway, the entire genesis of this class is, hilariously/weirdly enough, the Buck Rogers XXVc roleplaying game-- specifically, the Genesis version of Countdown to Doomsday, where one of the available character classes was, indeed, Medic. (The pen and paper version of XXVc, incidentally, says that a party from XXVc can easily kick the living crap out of an AD&D 2e party, despite using the almost exact same rules, so your mileage may vary.)
The XXVc Medic was quite literally the only person who could restore hit points (after combat, which is where I kinda cribbed the mechanic from.) One of the medics in my playthrough of the Genesis game, despite having AD&D's equivalent of the poor BAB progression, actually kills people better than one of the warriors in the group (mostly because I let the game run one combat on autopilot, and said warrior tried to use a frag grenade as a melee weapon. Let's just say that he killed the guy he hit with it, and leave it at that.)
My own issue with the medic, dead levels aside, is this: What does the medic, this Pathfinder with the combat might of a lowly sorcerer or wizard, skilled in the healing arts, actually do in combat? Even a sorcerer or wizard has ways of helping to kill opponents.
I do like some of the ideas in the thread so far, and I'll try to see where they can fit the best.
This is why I originally said "yeah, I don't think a nonmagical healer would work!" =p (that, and too many dead levels.)
Incidentally, Gunsmith, I looked up the Healer class. This is the first time I have ever seen the Healer, and I've been playing D&D for eleven years. (I have heard of it, though, so I guess it was like some kind of bogeyman among my group.)
About a month or so ago, I started working on the Book of Nine Cheese, which was nine classes that, to me, seemed to have a particular niche ability that's not commonly seen in Pathfinder.
One of these classes was the Medic, which I made mostly because I think the Heal skill is really undervalued. If you're relying on magic or psionic healing, there isn't much need for mundane healing. The medic's goal is to keep her allies in good health, even if she isn't a spellcaster.
The problem: I just can't quite think of any additional abilities for this class. There's a few dead levels. =/
There they go again. The fighter has so many arrows sticking out of him he resembles a pincushion, the wizard’s trying to keep his composure despite the acid burns that cover his body, and the thief’s busy trying to hold her insides in with the one arm that wasn't ruined by combat. But that’s fine. You’re here for them. Under your skilled care, your friends will be up and at them in no time-- at least, until the next battle.
Role: (words about the medic’s role)
Hit Die: d6
The medic’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (local, nature, planes, religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier
Table 6: The Medic
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The medic is proficient with all simple weapons and light armor.
Treat Wounds: The medic can only use one treat wounds ability at the end of a combat. If she has more than one ability, she can choose which one to use.
Treat Light Wounds (Ex): At 1st level, the medic can make a DC 20 Heal check at the end of a combat. If the check is successful, the medic can restore 1d8 hit points +1 per medic level (maximum +5) to up to six patients. The medic can choose whether or not to include herself in this treatment. It takes one minute of work to perform this treatment.
Treat Moderate Wounds (Ex): As Treat Light Wounds, except it restores 2d8 hit points +1 per medic level (maximum +10), and it takes three minutes of work to perform this treatment.
Mercy (Su): At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a medic can select one mercy. Each mercy adds an effect to the medic’s Treat Wounds ability. Whenever the medic uses Treat Wounds to heal damage to one or more targets, the target(s) also receive the additional effects from all of the mercies possessed by the medic. A mercy can remove a condition caused by a curse, disease, or poison without curing the affliction. Such conditions return after 1 hour unless the mercy actually removes the affliction that causes the condition.
At 3rd level, the medic can select from the following initial mercies.
At 6th level, a medic adds the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected.
At 9th level, a medic adds the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected.
At 12th level, a medic adds the following mercies to the list of those that can be selected.
These abilities are cumulative. For example, a 12th level medic's treat wounds ability heals up to 4d8+12 points of damage and might also cure fatigued and exhausted conditions as well as removing diseases and neutralizing poisons. Once a condition or spell effect is chosen, it can't be changed.
Treat Serious Wounds (Ex): As Treat Light Wounds, except it requires a DC 25 Heal check, restores 3d8 hit points +1 per medic level (maximum +15), and it takes five minutes of work to perform this treatment.
Treat Critical Wounds (Ex): As Treat Serious Wounds, except it restores 4d8 hit points +1 per medic level (maximum +20), and it takes ten minutes of work to perform this treatment. If the medic includes herself as a patient when using this treatment, she takes a -5 penalty to the Heal check.
Minor Medical Miracle (Ex): At 10th level, the medic can save a character who has reached -Constitution hit points. If the medic can tend to a character who’s been dead for three rounds or less, she can make a DC 30 Heal check. If the check succeeds, the dead character can make a DC 15 Fortitude save to stabilize and be restored to 0 hit points. If either the check or the Fortitude save fail, the character is beyond help.
Medical Miracle (Ex): At 20th level, the medic can save a character who has reached -Constitution hit points. If the medic can tend to a character who’s been dead for three minutes or less, she can make a DC 40 Heal check. If the check succeeds, the dead character can make a DC 20 Fortitude save to stabilize and be restored to 1d6 hit points. If either the check or the Fortitude save fail, the character is beyond help.
Dead Levels: 2, 4, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 19. Yeesh.
Magic shouldn't be just a rote set of incantations, gestures, and rituals designed to consistently and safely produce the same effects with the same ingredients. To me, being a mage should be less about "[yawn] Slay Living, [yawn] Fireball, [yawn] Summon Monster IX, [bored] Power Word Kill, I have trivialized the combat for the day" and more about "holy dog carp u guyz i can totally set teh orc army on fire liek a Christmas tree but it might kill us all! Should I do it anyway TOO LATE!!! i already made the thaumaturgy!! XD"
......All right, maybe that's a little too extreme, but my point is that magic should be:
*Powerful- mages should be rightly feared for their powerful magic.
So how do we make mages the powerful/feared/likely to get screwed over?
Option 1 - It Only Hurts When I Cast
Option 2 - Maybe I Should Visit the Acadamae More Often
This should not be something easily mitigated by other effects- the Constitution injury can only be healed by time, not magic; the accidentally summoned elementals do not give an experience reward; the mage doesn't go for his stock of wands and scrolls- when he's cut off for 1d8 hours, the flow of mana means he's out of the spellcasting fight for one to eight hours.
Option 3 - Burn ALL the Books
Alternately, you could borrow the class, uh, "feature" the maho-tsukai from Oriental Adventures has (which requires your character to be corrupted by insanity/darkness already). Every time you gain a level, you have to make a Will save to avoid taking another maho-tsukai level (and thus further condemning yourself to whatever tarrasque-filled eternity of agony your character's earning!)
Air0r: Blue mages might be best served either doing a DC 15 + twice spell level-or-so Spellcraft check (for spells/spell-like abilities.) Not too sure about supernatural abilities, but I think a blue mage should have some kind of way to access those. (Of course, the problem is, does our domino-masked mage cap his spells known like a sorcerer? Add them to his grimoire like a wizard? Does he even use Vancian magic?)
Excaliburproxy: You know, I forgot Dark Knights were in FFX-2! And wow, they actually get more stuff than Cecil did! (Never played FF11 so I can't exactly judge that game's Dark Knight abilities.)
Oooh. HP fuels dark knight spells. "Y sure you can cast Inflict Critical Wounds, Malebolgius! That'll be nine hit points, boyo. >=(" (and to avoid the whole "Burning HP to attack! Heal meeeee!!" effect, those HP don't come back for a while. And I realize this is hypocritical of me, considering I hate ability score damage/drain but don't mind Max HP damage.) I'll check out the dark knight stuff when I get more time. =D
Gunsmith: I know, it's all meager and needs more, I just wanted to get what I had before I forgot/got sidetracked with a microlite20 thing I'm doing. Besides, it's more of a "what do *I* want out of my elfgames that Wizards and Paizo just aren't giving me?" situation. (That and I'm kinda stuck at the end of the barrel with a couple classes at the moment. =p)
After reading through the entire reprint of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, I kinda realized that all the Sailor Guardians are the worst D&D party ever. Every single one of them is an extremely-specialized sorcerer (Sailor Mercury only learned ice-based spells, Sailor Mars only learned fire-based, &c.) with a few exceptions:
Sailor Moon: Multiclassed sorcerer/cleric (her holy symbol is the Silver Crystal. So... technically, she's a cleric of herself?)
Sailors Jupiter and Uranus: Multiclassed sorcerer/monk.
Tuxedo Mask: Considering the smoke bombs he has in the manga, I think he's actually a multiclass alchemist/fighter (with Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Thrown Roses.)
Gunsmith Paladin wrote:
I typed the about-to-be-renamed luckster out at 1:15 in the morning, I'm entitled to a few stinkers. =p
(But seriously, he's now the gambler.)
The General Intent of These Classes
The Gunner - Think like Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2. Or if you've never played FFX2, think a gunslinger/monk hybrid. You flurry with guns.
The Karateka - The karateka's intended to be an alternate class for the monk, one more focused on unarmed fighting and using ki. Karateka ki can be used to wholeness of body (just like a monk!), gain fast movement (like a monk!), or even charge up a hadouken (and yes, you're allowed to make the hand motions and shout "Kame-hame-hame-hadouken!" as you charge it.)
The Luckster - Life's quite a gamble, isn't it? The luckster's all about, unsurprisingly, luck. He can spend luck points to alter the results of any d20 roll he doesn't particularly like (so long as it affects him) and with more levels, can affect damage rolls.
The Medium - This is supposed to be like the Shaman class from Shadowrun Returns, where you used consumable fetishes or concentrated hotspots to summon elementals. You only get to have one out at a time, and the longer it's out, the more likely it is to shrug off your control and return to its elemental plane (or become a free spirit and start bludgeoning everything within line of sight to death, so I hope you've got a good Charisma XD!)
The Sentinel - He's big. He's dumb. He's tough. He can take the hits like a champ. The sentinel's intent is to be a bodyguard for the party, offering a shield bonus to adjacent allies, switching places with them, taking hits for them, and having armor be Damage Reduction as well as protection. Debated giving him a d12 Hit Die, then I realized that's just plain silly.
The Thaumaturgist - This is intended to be an alternate class for the arcanist, which I realize isn't even finalized yet, but whatever. I like the class as it is. Anyway, the thaumaturgist has access to (almost) all of the arcanist's arcane exploits from the word go, and those are its "spells" instead of actually using the wizard spell list. He gets an arcane pool (just like the arcanist) and in the event that he blows his arcane pool and needs more in a hurry, he can burn his own hit points for mana! (WARNING: Mana burn may result in serious injury and/or instant agonized death.)
The Ideas That Didn't Quite Make It
The Medic - As much as I would love this to be false, the Heal skill is always going to be outstripped by Cure Light/Moderate/Serious/Critical Wounds. Could have adapted some ideas from Buck Rogers XXVc's medic class and the d20 Modern dedicated hero/field medic combo, though. Hmm. Maybe.
The Shapeshifter - As the name says. Didn't make it because, well, that's already the druid's shtick.
So, here comes the ramblings of a very tired, bored man:
Arcanist: At first glance, arcanists play like the mage from the D&D5 playtest. This is not a complaint. The complaint is that despite being a hybrid sorcerer/specialist wizard, you get none of the wizard specialization abilities nor permanent access to her sorcerer bloodline abilities. Having to split Blood Focus on what's essentially Spell Focus (Specialized School) or using something that you should already have access to is just not something I want in a class.
Bloodrager: I actually kinda like this. Having magus spells but only while raging is a pretty reasonable tradeoff for less HP and having your rage powers chosen for you (by alternate universe sorcerer bloodlines, it seems!) I only think that bloodrage should be (2 + Con mod) rounds/day and have spellcasting available from first level, but I was never too good at that Precious Thing called "game balance."
Brawler: I, uh... Wasn't there already a fighter archetype that let you fight unarmed reasonably well? This loses the fighter's weapon training in exchange for maneuver training. I don't really like maneuvers, and I would really prefer the +X to hit/damage bonus to fisticuffsmanship over, say, tripping someone or pushing them away or playing Monkey Snatches the Peach. The class plays like a tougher, armored monk, but I just want a monk class that can hadouken someone with ki, or run on walls/water, or can move their speed and flurry like Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star.
Hunter: "It's like the druid and the ranger combined to form a new class... called the druid." This is a druid with less spells. You can easily excise what little ranger aspects the hunter has in exchange for boosting Animal Focus's duration and/or uses per day, but at the same time, this could easily have been a druid archetype.
Investigator: My best friend said "Investigators feel more like Jack the Ripper than Sherlock Holmes" when he looked over this, and I gotta agree with him. I didn't know investigators enjoyed stabbing people in the back, or had experience crafting and using deadly poisons. The common complaint about this that I've seen, both here and on Something Awful, is that investigators make the rogue obsolete, and I can understand why- sneak attack and rogue talents belong to the rogue, and yet another class poaches those. Inspiration to improve d20 rolls is interesting, but I don't think you should have to blow an investigator talent (or, Heaven forbid, a precious feat!) to improve the +1d6 you get. You should get more/bigger dice as you level, I think.
Shaman: I was expecting something like a Shadowrun Returns shaman, where you can summon elementals and have them fight for you. Instead, we got this. It's an oracle that's not shackled with its curse. Replacing the curse is the wandering spirit, which looks to me like an oracle mystery you can just swap every day if you want (in addition to your permanent mystery/spirit). Spirit choices influence your choice of hexes, but I don't see why you can't also pick hexes from the basic witch's hex menu. The flavor's interesting, I'll give it that.
Skald: It's a bardbarian!! Singing your allies into a berserker rage is interesting from a flavor point of view, but I would prefer the bard's singing to actually help me (why is it "accept a crappier barbarian rage, or get nothing at all?" Also, glad to see that the "unconscious targets are willing targets" rule that lets you get teleported or married while unconscious also lets you get enraged through music!) I'm just not enjoying this mechanically. Bards get more useful music, and barbarians get a more potent rage.
Slayer: It's a ranger! With less hit points and trading spells for sneak attack! Why wasn't this a ranger archetype?
Swashbuckler: It's a gunslinger that trades guns for rapiers. Some of the deeds are interesting, but I don't think this can do anything a fighter can't already do. And if you're using rapiers as a fighter, why are you a fighter?
Warpriest: Don't we already have a cleric/fighter combination? I think it's called the paladin? Why would I play a warpriest which is just a paladin without its iconic Smite Evil ability? Could I just play a cleric and call myself Battlepope instead? Why can't we have a class called Battlepope?
Slayer and hunter, in the opinion of One Fan, could be better served as archetypes for their base classes, instead of twenty-level new classes.
My main issue is with the swashbuckler, the warpriest, the skald, and the brawler, and it's a big issue: What do these classes do that makes them stand out from the gunslinger/fighter, or the cleric/fighter, or the bard/barbarian, or the fighter/monk? In my eyes, they just seem mashed together in a melange of "eh, this looks fine enough to me."
I just don't understand what the hell happened. Three years ago, we got the alchemist, cavalier, inquisitor, oracle, summoner, and witch. Two years ago, we got the magus. Those classes were awesome. They were unique (aside from magus supplanting the eldritch knight, but who actually uses prestige classes?) They had their own distinct feel and playstyle, and it was wonderful. Why can't we have anything like that in Advanced Class Guide?
Why can't we have a monk that's like Sabin from Final Fantasy VI, who can suplex the damn tarrasque?
Why can't we have a class called the sentinel, whose sole job is to take the beating for the party and draw aggro and say "Hey! You! Hit me! Attacking me's a lose/lose game!"
Why can't we have a psionicist class, who can manifest a few psionic powers infinitely, but at great personal risk of head explosion or psychic nosebleeding?
Why can't we have a class that can summon elemental beasts from nature, and control them at the risk of having them escape control or turn on their controllers?
It's stuff like that that I want in my D&D, and my Pathfinder.
From our group's Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition game the other night. Our group consists of:
A Tremere ghoul who's learning the basics of hedge wizardry and Thaumaturgy (Described by the GM as "A @*&%ing teenager...")
We need to go question a Toreador about a recent murder, but we're having problems trying to get past the security guard in her apartment. The most horrifying thing comes out of our ghoul's mouth.
Tremere Ghoul: But... but it's Anne's birthday!
I suppose this is a bad time to mention my Crimson Throne character, who the DM foolishly allowed to have a Large Mercurial Greatsword (plus Monkey Grip and XWP: Mercurial Greatswords.)
Just for reference, this particular sword was a 12', 34# sword that did 3d6+(1.5 Str) damage, with a 20/Q critical modifier. He was literally the only person in the entire continent who could safely use it.
Corey the DM: The group sees a man with a guitar enter the town saloon. Booke, that's you. What do you do?
Booke: (mimics taking out the guitar) Ohhhhhhhhhh... o/` I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener...
Corey: ........Make a Perform check. At -20.
Booke: (rolls) I got a -5.
Corey: They start booing.
My best character would be Kyle Surlent, my character from Curse of the Crimson Throne, and is now referred to as "Kyle Surlent, Destroyer of Campaign." The things my DM said about him, repeatedly, are along the lines of:
-I never should have allowed that &@#%ing sword. (A Large mercurial greatsword from Arms and Equipment Guide, which I think was eventually a Large +4 Keen Mercurial Greatsword, or "The 34-pound, thirteen-foot-long kill-stick." Thanks to the campaign taking long enough to go from release date to publishing the Advanced Player's Guide with the Furious Focus feat, Kyle basically wound up threatening massive damage saves Power Attacking during his full attack.)
-I never should have allowed those classes. (Crusader from Tome of Battle, or, according to the filename, The Book! of NINE Cheese~!, multiclassed into a modified version of the Holy Liberator from Complete Divine. Immunity to charm/compulsion effects, plus smite evil and smite chaos made the last two books fun.)
-I hate you and Kyle and I wish both of you were dead. (Because I wound up doing about as much damage with martial maneuvers as Vaeryl, our elven cancer mage, did with his DARK ELDRITCH MAGICKS. Did I mention that our CotCT party was completely %&^@ed up in more ways than usual? Because our CotCT party was pretty %*&@ed up.)
-...Damn it, Snorb. (Remember what I said about Smite Evil, 34-pound greatswords that are taller than two humans, and martial magic? Remember how there's a magic sword that is the only thing that can kill Ileosa at the end of Crimson Throne? Guess who wound up critical hitting Ileosa with a quadruple-damage Large mercurial greatsword that was channeling martial magic? Kyle did. Fun fact: 12d6+160+8d8 Slashing damage, max results explode, did enough damage to bring Ileosa from full health to -Constitution score. That STILL didn't kill her. It took Shadfrar the Barbarian giving her a coup de grace with the magic Ileosabane sword to finish her off.)
He got a Large blue dragon to die of massive damage and made a +4 Belt of Physical Might out of its hide. He soloed a danse macabre. He survived the Harrow Deck of Many Things magicing him to the Elemental Plane of Air. He then survived a demon sending him to Hell by saying "I wish you'd all go to Hell!" He TKOed Ileosa Arabasti on the luckiest critical hit of all time. He survived (accidentally) marrying Amiri (yes, that Amiri) and fathering a child with her. Kyle was *(^&@(%ing awesome.
Years later, when one of the players rebuilt his CotCT character to appear in another campaign (and take advantage of Ultimate Magic/Combat/Equipment/Advanced Racial Guide), I offered to rebuild Kyle so he wasn't as broken.
EDIT: Huh, didn't think that word would get censored.
Last week. Our group's Jade Regent game where the party seems to want to make me the DM suffer.
The group, after an accursedly-long journey through the Western Wall Mountains (book 3) and a really pointless journey through the Forest of Spirits that I ultimately literally fast-forwarded them through (book 4) they finally reach civilization. Ronin are met, plot is partially dumped, and the group goes on to storm the bandits' fortress while Jiro and his men keep the remainder busy.
(A sidenote: I don't care what it says in the damn book about aggroing the entire bandit camp and sending them after the party, Tito Leati evidently never had a ninja with Greater Invisibility and Sap Mastery in his party, nor did he have a vanara monk with Lunge, Greater Trip, Combat Reflexes, and Vicious Stomp. I do. They could ditch the other party members and take the whole rest of the damn adventure path themselves.)
So the bandits are getting butchered by the wave, the weretiger is knocked the hell out by said ninja, the druid is equally unconscious, and then I get to the bandits' leader. I look at the name.
I look again.
I say "Hell no. I'm calling him anything else but that."
The party asks me what I mean.
I start to say "I'll think of something else," but then I say, "You know what? I should have made a bard to go along with him. Coming out of the fortress with his eight guards, you see a man with a jian and a wooden shield sort of prance into the courtyard, as if he were riding a horse. He is wearing an ugly blue surcoat over his leather armor, and a pair of smoked goggles cover his eyes."
The Party: ?????
Then I show the group the stat block for Gangasum, who I keep insisting on calling Gangnam Style.
Yes, we did the entire fight against him while the song was playing.
Yes, he did yell at the oracle's ass. (Her ass was mad.)
Yes, the ninja and the monk trivialized him, too. But I succeeded.
I made the Gangnam Style dance canon in our world.
Not only is my Dex too low for proper shield bashing, I'm using a tower shield. You, me, and Harvey the Wonder Cleric are a literal wall. =p
McGann is 17 years older than when he was on the show, but they can explain that as the Eighth Doctor living for centuries after his appearance in the TV movie and before his regeneration during the Time War. I think it's impractical to bring back any of the older Doctors.
Actually, they can bring back Paul McGann easily- one of the Big Finish audio dramas had a new picture of him included, and he had his real hair (not the wig he had in the movie.)
More interestingly, he's no longer wearing the Wild Bill Hickok costume from the TV movie. He's wearing what looks like the Ninth Doctor's jacket and slacks.
(The picture in question is here: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbbwaaglao1qha1hwo1_500.jpg)
I know there was a small book that suggested some favored enemies, I just don't have access to it at the moment. (I think it suggested undead, monstrous humanoids, animals, and outsiders eventually?)
And I revised the build slightly.
1. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
So after much waffling between a cleric (whom I affectionately called BATTLEPOPE) and ranger (tentatively called Rangest) I'm gonna go ranger for Reign of Winter.
Any good ideas for favored enemies? (I'm going Infiltrator Ranger.)
Also, my planned feat build is:
1. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Ishikawa's Purse was the awesome gold throwing as shruken item loved it...
Thank you! Never saw it come up in the voting on my end... I was assuming the whole time "whelp, looks like the 'only monks or ninja with Flurry of Stars can use this' is gonna kill it!" But I'm glad you liked it, Solspiral!
Orthos: It was named after Ishikawa Goemon, a Japanese folk hero who was famous for throwing money like shuriken.
You know, our friend left the game between sessions due to moving issues. I don't quite think this warrants an obituary, but there's nobody to play his character, so...
Name: Mike's Fifth Character Whose Name Eludes Me
Uh...: So I promised that as he left the game, I would give his fifth character an obituary that measured up/mocked him, just like I gave Duster Ross, Hadji Abobo, Fhen Fan, and Mokiyama before. He's gone through more characters than Doctor Who has.
Hide Behind the Pile of Dead Characters: So, his new character. A nezumi who was forced to leave Ordu-Agahei with the group's new healer, Megumi Ito. She's an oracle with the curse that causes her to break everything she touches, so she uses a broken Staff of Healing as her weapon. OJ Simpson jokes get made repeatedly. This is not Mike's new character. Mike's character is a nezumi wizard, who the group finds wandering in the Forest of Spirits and claims to be a guide. Very skeptical, the group takes him along anyway. He and Miyaro soon lead the party to to/shame the party into visiting the House of Withering Blossoms.
Moving On: So, the group goes through the first few levels of the House of Withered Blossoms, setting off (almost) every trap on the way over. The areneas are busy watching the group fight on, and they notice the grates in the ceiling. It is realized that the nezumi is the only one small enough to fit through them, so he "wins" the chance to investigate the next level.
Welco Metot Henex Tlevel: He reports back that "there's webs! Lots of webs!" right before he is beset upon by 48 araneas.
Forty-eight!?: I rolled really well on those Mirror Image castings. I get to see Mike's "D8" face and his character is nearly killed trying to squeeze back through to the party.
End of session.
Next Session: Mike's no longer in the game, so the first thing that happens is the nezumi is about to say something. Before he says in my voice, "I HAVE TO GO NOW. MY HOME PLANE NEEDS ME," something reaches through the gratings, latches onto the nezumi's head, and pulls him (very forcefully!) through the gratings. I call for Perception checks, and everyone gets to hear "what sounds like a nezumi wizard getting ripped in half."
So His Next Character?: (sweatdrop)
I can't decide how to PSN-style them, so... Xbox 360-style.
I *Crawl* Down the Corridor
Dammit, Who Has the Most Hit Points?
You're Gonna Sneak Attack With a Ballista?
I Cast a Spell
I Attack the Darkness
Rip and Tear
Save That Die!
You Need a 23 on a Twenty-Sided Die
OhhHhHHHHHHhhhh, OH! Fumble!!
Way to @$#%ing Kill Me, Dude
Join the Scout Service, They Said
Holy Crap Your Not Serious Are You
You know, I had this really boss obituary typed up, and right as I post it, they decide to run maintenance on the boards and that just completely obliterated what I had written.
We Haven't Played This Game In A Freaking Month: We make towards the totally creepy eeeeeeevil mansion that the Whispering Way was headed to in the swamps outside Illmarsh. After Tash, our satyr druid, turns into an earth elemental and goes burrowing into the stables "like Bugs Bunny," he reports that the house was probably abandoned. THUNDERcles~! decides that we must storm the house, and he makes the decision by kicking in the portico door. There is a chorus of "No! Stop!! You fool!!", "Wait! We should plan this out first before we bust in the door!", "Too late! He already *bash!*ed in the door!", and from our DM, "...What the hell is a portico?"
An Outdoor Porch Leading In To Your House: Well, whatever it is, the door leading in looks like a warforged put his right foot through it. He looks around and ascertains that it is all clear. That's when the ticks show up.
Spoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon: Ticks do Constitution damage through their blood drain special, but we as players don't know if warforged can actually be blood drained. Turns out, "Do you have a Constitution score?" means "You can be blood drained." The following conversation happens:
THUNDERcles~!: HA HA HA! DO NOT WORRY, INSECTS CANNOT STOP THE MIGHTY THUNDERCLES~!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH OH GOD MY BODY IS COMPLETELY FILLED WITH TICKS!!
Tactical Espionage Inaction: Tash's wolf immediately drags Tash out of harm's way, while I introduce the ticks (and our unfortunately-positioned warforged) to my Burning Hands spell. "Unfortunately" is the important word here, because my Burning Hands spell that sounds like a blunderbuss because I'm all for thematic spell flavoring is somehow Reflex-halved by one of my two targets. (Hint: It wasn't the robot.) Our witch, seeing the lack of success on my part with Burning Hands, follows up with... Burning Hands. Guess which target halved that.
It Still Wasn't The Robot: THUNDERcles~! somehow manages to fail his Fort save to not be distracted. Another round starts, and Tash summons a magma elemental. I use my arcane pool to get Burning Hands back, and try again to light these ticks on fire like miniature Christmas trees. I should note at the third "Well, the ticks made their save!" I ultimately wound up doing more damage to THUNDERcles~! than I did to the ticks. I wisely decide to back up and allow the party to help out. The ticks, no longer satisfied with munching on a giant made out of starmetal, obsidian, and silver, decide to add Rosalina (the witch) and the magma elemental (the poblano pepper) to the menu.
It Tastes Like Burning: Round three. The ticks finally finish off THUNDERcles~! after a second failed Fortitude save to avoid distraction. I find out that a) magma elementals are immune to fire damage, b) Tick swarms are REALLY good at dodging, and c) I should start throwing more Fortitude save effects at these guys when I run Jade Regent again, considering how cursed we are at making these things. Eventually, the ticks get Rosalina also, a second magma elemental is summoned, and I blow through five arcane pool points to keep Burning Hands these ticks until they all finally die. I mourn the picked-clean skeleton that was Rosalina for four seconds before I mourn the picked-clean suit of heavy plate mail that was THUNDERcles~!.
Something (Bad) Happens As A Result of Magic: I go through the warforged's itempack and grab his money. As Tash mentions that he can't fix THUNDERcles~!, he can revive Rosalina. ("You mean on the cheap, or the right way?" as I touch my holy symbol of Numina. "Look," Tash replies, unconcerned that I'm nowhere near enough of a high-level magus/cleric to Raise Dead. "Just help me get a thousand gold together so I can get the supplies to cast Reincarnate.") Supplies are bought, Reincarnate is cast, and Rosalina comes back as an elf ("Tash, you screwed it up! Rosie's an elf now!" "He didn't screw up! I'm alive!"). I wonder if we can repurpose THUNDERcles~!'s body as a suit of armor now.
You know, I wish I didn't have to post so many of my own characters' obituaries.
Name: Nial Landen
Explain!: Way, way back in the second session of the game, the whole damn party managed to catch filth fever. I was the only one stuck with it four sessions later.
Oh, It's Such a Low Difficulty: You try making a Difficulty 12 Fortitude save when your base save is 0 and keeps going down because you keep failing saves.
Things Get Worse For the Bard: So further under the great bridge, we run into a giant black widow spider the size of a car. It gets Advokat, my character's best friend, and the dwarf somehow manages to fail his save against the poison despite a) dwarfitude, b) having a Constitution and a saving throw worth a damn, and c) being a dwarf. Fortunately, the way we're all lined up in the tunnel allows this to happen:
You Copypastaed: Yeah. It didn't quite happen like that, but that's the gist of it.
So That Spider: So the spider attacks me, and knocks me unconscious. Good news: I stabilize. Bad news: My crippled Fortitude save earns me Constitution damage from poison. Did I mention that I'm already low enough as it is thanks to this @$%*!&#ing filth fever I've had for over a months' worth of sessions thanks to my inability to roll more than an 11 on s d20?
The Mercy Kill: So, finally, finally, the black widow poison finally does enough Constitution damage to kill off my bard. This is what I get for having 10 Constitution.
Oh, and they killed the spider after I drop dead. My friend who plays Advokat says of this whole affair, "Y'know, this was a @$&#ing brilliant idea that @#% noblewoman had! 'Oh! Let's hire a thug, a lawyer, a private eye, a peasant with a sling, and a halfling and hope they can find the most powerful artifact in the world! THIS IS A GREAT IDEA!'"
Name: Kara of Rain and Thunder
Race: Human Barbarian
Origins: I originally said to my friend running this that she's from our world's equivalent of Australia due to her badassitude, so... what the hell. The Satan's Armpit Desert in another friend's part of our world which we pretty much said was Dark Sun.
Adventure: Tempest Rising (sort of.)
Location: The Wreckers.
Cause of Death: My sister!!!
Your Character's Sister?: No, my sister! D:
Things Went Off the Rails Already: When we started tonight, Mike the DM couldn't find the book. When the book was found, and our place in the adventure recovered and re-briefed, he added in some of the stuff he came up with.
Yay Homebrew!: I should have worried a bit when I saw him making a ninth-level wizard. Particularly when her ninth-level feat was "I Have An Extra Fifth-Level Wizard Spell Slot."
Ohh God: We didn't think that much of it at first as we debated just how exactly we were going to get a holy golden relic of the Passionate Tempest, considering we have one ship and don't want to tear the hell out of it on the Wreckers. This is the only time my character is ever accused of having a good idea when I say, "Kara thinks we should just put out back to sea, find another boat, kill everyone on it, and wreck that one instead. Kara likes killing things."
The Plan In Action: We come across a white ship with monks on a religious pilgrimage. We attack because, well, we're all kinda jerks. Mike the DM mentions as we close the distance that the monk in the crows' nest is the only one armed (with a bow) and I immediately go white.
Me: Oh, $@#+! He has a bow?!
Four Rounds of Flurry-of-Failure Later: We have a boat. And we orphaned the little girl who was aboard the monks' ship, which Kara (sort of) adopts. Sort of.
The Part Where Things Go Pear-Shaped: We get the monks' white ship through the shoals in the Wreckers successfully, as far as "tear the living hell out of the bottom of the boat thanks to this @*&*@%ing coral" goes. Then comes six shortboats full of mooks, which takes our sorcerer two rounds to cook with Lightning Bolt.
The Problem: That ninth-level wizard that replaced whatever we were actually supposed to fight here drops a Mind Fog on us. Failing that was not in my best interest, but what the hell. I'm the only one who can see in the fog thanks to my barbarian archetype, and the -10 penalty to my Will save ensues my guaranteed failure on anything mind-affecting.
The Guaranteed Failure On Anything Mind-Affecting: "Kill your friends!" and a Dominate Person spell. Roll 1d20-3, and I want to tear our gunslinger apart with my scythe. I am not very successful, and decide to turn my attention on our druid, who for some reason, has 15 Defense at 7th level.
The Gnome Fights Unfairly: He orders his crocodile to go after me after it's apparent that I want to kill everyone not named Kara. His last orders to his crocodile are "Muriel!! Kill!!!" before he fails two consecutive saves on Phantasmal Killer.
Jesu Christo, Uno Crocodillo: That bastard tears the hell out of Kara, and my sister's character decides to try and take me out of the fight.
My Sister: Okay, I'm nearby. I'm gonna use my shortsword and my humanbane trident.
And she brings it on. She critical hits on the trident (one of three hits) and I go from 42 HP to -27. Getting knocked the hell out ends my rage, which puts me at -41. Kara dies as she lived- screaming in utter incomprehensible rage at the heavens.
The Replacement Tricorne Hat-Filler: A qinggong monk. We were given one free revival, which the entire surviving crew decided to give to Eustice the druid. I'm not particularly upset, mostly because I actually don't believe in reviving characters and I said, "Kara's happy now. She's in the Hunting Grounds, and she's enjoying her new weapon- the M-280 automatic rocket rifle."
The current party for us, considering all of the original members died hilariously, is:
Tash (Satyr Druid 9) - Formerly had an awakened shapechanging roc named Birdie for his animal companion, but Birdie unfortunately got wasted by Vrood Circle of Deathing him. He now has an awakened shapechanging wolf named Roan.
Rosalita (Human Witch 9) - Niece of the professor from Trial of the Beast. She is, amazingly, the morality chain for our next party member...
THUNDERcles~! (Warforged Fighter 8/Paladin of Numina 1) - Created as a bodyguard by the professor to protect Rosalita, THUNDERcles~! is interpreting this as "taking her hostage and dragging her along in our quest." Started as a heroic sociopath who wanted to murder everything that was not us with his glaive, but actually went from chaotic neutral to lawful good on the spot when his (best, only) friend died to the same Circle of Death. Calls Rosalita "Millstone" a lot.
Rita Imito (Magus 6/Cleric of Numina 3) - Me! Has been very favorably (by me) compared to the Mystic Knight from Final Fantasy V. Has Broad Study (Cleric) as a magus arcana after realizing:
This one... this is a story of a deceased character and the tale that led to his replacement, true to the best of my recall.
Name: Sain Golus
Wait, That's It?: Yes. Nothing to see here.
You Sure: Totally. Go read some other thread.
Wasn't Sain Your Character?: ..................yes
Bwahahahaha XD: ;_;
What Happened: After tearing through the skeletons outside Vrood's hideout, we confront the bastard himself. He Cloudkills us and we quickly find out that warforged aren't affected by it. The fight goes on, he goes invisible, attacks our witch, and finally decides to go Circle of Death on us.
Tash the druid's animal companion bit it on the spot, as did Sain. Turns out paladins aren't quite the unkillable juggernauts I thought they were in the Pathfinder Society days.
The Aftermath: The warforged, a CN heroic sociopath glaive fighter named THUNDERcles~! (yes, the punctuation is part of his name as far as I'm concerned) is allowed to immediately switch alignment to LG and take a paladin level. (As we described his stats, "Accidental Paladin~!") He immediately decides "SAIN WOULD WANT NOTHING MORE THAN TO HEROICALLY SLAY THE EVIL WEREWOLVES BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL EVIL!!!!" Said werewolves all Smite Good the Smiting Evil warforged, melee ensues, and The Group: 5, Werewolves: 1 (Tash's summoned cyclops heroically died fighting, but I love how his player said "Okay, I'm summoning him right here. Great Cleave, and I'm using his ability. Natural 20, rolling to confirm that critical hit!!")
I Guess PRPG Needs Cyberpsychosis Rules?: Tash spends a week "mourning" the death of Birdie (read: mating with a female werewolf) while Rosalina (the witch) and THUNDERcles~! wait for him. During this time, THUNDERcles~! hallucinates that he's seeing Sain and assumes that he's being visited from beyond the grave.
"Sain": No, no, I assure you, I'm only in your head. By the way, not that I mind, but why is there a half-naked Miss Joylene on my lap? (Joylene is the replacement for Kendra.)
Naturally, this degenerated into the others coming up with their version of Sain, including a Carmen Miranda-esque sain named Sainorita. Amazingly, this is pertinent.
Once Tash rejoins the group with his new wolf, Roan, they need to get information as to where the Whispering Way will strike next. Our DM leads him to a magic shop run by...
Booke: Okay, Snorb, what's your character's name?
So the group now has Rita, a magus/cleric who has impressed THUNDERcles~! by actually having a background, unlike Rosalina the witch. I tell him in-character about how I can channel spells through my falcata...
THUNDERcles~!: BUT... YOU ARE A SPELLCASTER!
Yep. It's one of those threads, and I get the (dis?)honor of starting things off. So time for one in my (hopefully?) legendary style!
Our group consisted of, at this point-
Advokat Scroogestone: A middle-aged dwarf lawyer/inquisitor whose great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and brother all "mysteriously hanged themselves." His only surviving family are his nephews Borist, Dorist, and Yorist, who screwed him out of his inheritance and got him exiled from the mountainhomes. He talks about "wanting to follow in me father's footsteps."
Pawevl: That's not how it's written on his character sheet, but I don't think the message board actually has a Polish character font, so it's getting typed as it's pronounced. Anyway, he's a human summoner with a bipedal eidolon named Ace. Pawevl freeloads upon the offices of Landen and Scroogestone's Investigation and Legalities daily.
Zora: A human crossbow ranger who has not only managed to lose two crossbows in as many sessions, but impressed us by fumbling on her very first attack roll and shooting a crossbow bolt into a mahogany wall. Yes, that joke from The Hunger Games was made.
Patrick: An about-to-be-deceased human knife fighter who loved daggers. In the very first session, he managed to piss off the Szarni to the point where they had him beaten up and robbed. Twice. He freeloaded on our detective business, too. He was utterly hilarious, as is his player.
Franklin Cohen: A human sorcerer who we found in the Tower Girls' privy. He arcane marks every piece of treasure we come across. His player is awesome. He is awesome.
So About That Patrick...: After getting beaten, stripped of our gear, and forced to equip an entire party for 115 gold (a surprisingly easy task!) we get our stuff back and beat some more foes. This is the point where Patrick, for reasons forgotten, spits on Advokat's beard. Advokat flies into a rage and starts old-man-whomping on Patrick with his cane while Patrick power attacks (with daggers!) trying to carve up the dwarf. Patrick loses the fight, to my surprise.
You Don't Really Think I'd End It There, Did You?: After healing our psychotic fighter back up, we fight some more opponents. Then he reminds the dwarf of how he spat on his beard. Advokat once again goes into Old Man Asskicker Mode and beats on Patrick while Patrick tries to award himself two ears and a beard. Patrick loses that fight, too. This is around the time where we found the illusory wall that hides an arch overlooking the sea.
They Got Along Swimmingly: Patrick's unconscious carcass is dragged over to the arch, with me trying to talk Advokat out of throwing him into the sea the entire time. Advokat uses his lawyering ability to explain that not only was it self-defense both times, he struck a Dwarven Advokat of Justice, and must be punished. His punishment: A 200' fall into water. All involved were cool with this (and laughing at it.)
We're back, baby! And with a loooong post!
Name: Mei Ling
....I Can't Wait to Hear This: So after an excruciatingly long trek through the Wall of the World (which took a couple months in-game and out), Pan Li's Repeatedly-Renamed Traveling Freak Show/Pawn Shoppe/Funeral Procession/Rock Band finally made it to Book Four and the city of Ordu-Agahei. Chua lets them in, and I expect the party's stay in their first actual city since the city of Tsai Tseng half a year ago to go like this:
DAY ONE: Party rock~ [BIT DO BIT DO BEE-WEEEET x4 or x5]
That's Probably Not How The Song Goes: And it's not how the festival went, either. It was more like-
(A digression: Mokiyama's player, Mike, played him with a completely hilariously one-sided love for Pan Li. Pan Li is a vanara. Mokiyama is a kitsune. Have fun with that mental image.)
Party Not So Hearty: So, after Pan Li wrestles awesomely, Qi demonstrates that she's not the best mounted archer, and Mokiyama unintentionally wins a horse race while frozen in absolute terror the entire time, the group informs Prince Batislar Dakkar that they must be going now. And so, Ordu-Aganhei is closed to them, and while they make ready to leave, I spring the ninja ambush on them. Mei is hit during a critical hit-filled fight and starts bleeding profusely.
You Know You Only Get to Finesse Katanas in D&D Next, Right?: I know, and attack rolls were adjusted quickly. Getting back on track...
That Bleeding Diviner: So, Mei immediately starts complaining about wanting to be healed so she'll stop bleeding. Mokiyama heals everyone else in the group who needs it. While Pan Li is busy freeing Suishen from its resting place in the street (there were a lot of fumbles, too...) Mei starts alternately complaining/guzzling healing potions. And then Mokiyama forms a plan. An eeeeeeeeeevil plan.
The Plan: I go Ixgnot on Mei Ling during the night while Qi's out. Stealth Check 23
Ixgnot?: A chrysmal named Ixgnot snuck onto the caravan during the Storm Tower run. It mostly annoyed Mokiyama, and one night while everyone was asleep, he coup-de-graced it into crystalline pieces.
Why Nobody Stopped This: Most of the other PCs and important NPCs were asleep. Qi was sneaking back into Ordu-Aganhei to steal some scrolls in the hopes that one of them was a Regenerate scroll. An errant critical hit cost her a couple fingers during the ninja battle.
While the Ninja's Away: Mokiyama enacts his sinister plan, Mei fails the Perception check to hear Mokiyama, Mei's skull is utterly crushed by the mace. For good measure, the kitsune stabs Mei's flattened face with one of the katanas picked up in the ninja battle. Qi returns to the caravan just in time to hear the mace thudding into Mei's head, but thinks nothing of it.
And Then: The next morning, Mokiyama's handiwork is discovered, some old-fashioned forensicology is called up, the realization that swords don't leave baseball-sized bruises or crush skulls is made, and Jai-Li (the Ameiko replacement) asks everyone (with help of Charm Person) if they killed Mei. Mokiyama, the only character on the caravan with a bludgeoning weapon, resists Charm Person, and when asked if he's hiding something, replied "I'm hiding MANY things!" When directly asked, "Mokiyama, did you murder Mei Ling?" he replied, "Well... define 'murder!'" This earned him a Greater Trip/Vicious Stomp from Pan Li, and an invisible sap sneak attack from Qi.
Frontier Justice: A tribunal is called, consisting of Pan Li, Sandru, and Jai-Li, where they decide they can't just exile Mokiyama- the prince of Ordu-Aganhei hates him, and if it's known he killed Mei (the prince's obsession), he'd be executed. The consensus: Seppuku. Jai-Li's boyfriend Makoto goes and grabs a tree branch, where this conversation takes place:
Pan Li: Doesn't he use a sword for this?
For Honor/Honour: Mokiyama impales himself on the bokken, and voluntarily fails the Fortitude save to not die.
What Now?: The replacement characters are a Lawful Good samurai and either an oracle or druid. I hope they know what kind of mess they're inheriting.
Having already had our asses whomped twice by Whip Girl in book one, my character (a very respectful-of-women Detective Bard) pretty much said this when it comes to his "I hate to be violent against women..." stance:
"When it applies to her? No. Not really. Not this time."
Considering two of the other party members said the third defeat's signaling their retirement (and our recent defeat led us to a shoestring budget of 115 gold sovereigns to equip the entire party- thank God I stashed a garnet in my character's office XD) I think this is justified.
Ah, the initiative thread!
Last month, I was working on a d20 remake as part of a contest on Something Awful, and I had initiative as a skill for all five (yes, five!) classes in-game. It worked just like Saga Edition/4e: Roll a d20, add your Wisdom modifier, add half your character level, add 5 if you're trained, add another 5 if you have Skill Focus (Initiative.)
(Yeah, I kinda realize that if you luck out in character creation, this gives you +15 Initiative at first level. I enjoy having characters go first in combat. =p)
You know, I'm not too sure what to say about this one, really.
Name: Caravan Combat
Races: In this particular case, eight hoarfrost spirits.
Origin: Redmond, Washington
Adventure: The Hungry Storm
Location: Somewhere between the Storm Tower and Ul-Alcorn.
Cause of Death: Utter bull$@#&.
This Is Awfully Meta: Yeah. It is.
So What Happened: After three sessions, the group finally leaves the Storm Tower, and I'm amazed that they didn't go in just to go kill the chrysmals and loot the good stuff they had. The party's on their way, and I roll a random encounter for the very first day's travel out.
Nothing the Party Can't Handle, Right?: If they were on foot, then yeah. Nothing they can't handle.
So the Utter Bull$@%& You Promised: ...If I can answer "What's the caravan's Defense?" with "Okay. 'Don't roll a one.'" and "How much Health does the caravan have?" with "D: D: D:" maybe I should take a nice long look at the math involved in caravan combat. I roll an attack, and I actually say "Hell no. No. $#&# this, I'm not rolling 8d8+4. That's way too much."
Indeed: I know. My best friend insists I roll it anyway, and the caravan takes 38 damage. The caravan makes a second attack roll, and deals middling damage. I should not taunt the party with "Oh, $@%&, son! They only have one hundred Health left!" I roll again, and the caravan (which had a total of 70 Health to begin with) is two-shotted. Everyone involved, myself included, agree that this is utter B.S. and should not happen at all.
The Part Where We Pull a Prince of Persia: We look at the caravan rules and see that there's rules for retreating. A successful Security check is made in the replacement second round of combat, and I sum it up with "Okay, you guys are all terrified, but safe. Pan Li's safe, Qi's safe, Huda's safe, Mei Ling's safe, Mokiyama's safe, Jai-Li's safe, Makoto's safe, Sandru's safe. You're all safe but scared out of your minds. I won't bore you with the details of your miraculous escape from the hoarfrost spirits you could have easily wasted man-to-man, and I'm never running caravan combat ever again."
Because My Group Loves It So Much: I choke on my words when I realize the next encounter is Dead Man's Dome. I remain true to my word and turn it into what I think was a pretty decent melee combat.
Oh, God. One from last night.
Name: Captain The Drow Pirate Ro'Byrts
Race: .....Look up. (HINT: It sure as hell ain't a samsaran.)
Origins: The Underdark.
Adventure: Raiders of the Fever Sea
Location: Storming the Tower near Port Peril.
Cause of Death: Racial, uh, "feature" gone horribly horribly wrong.
There's Got To Be A Story Behind This: So, after raiding the Pellaen treasure ship I mentioned in the last post, we come across the replacement for Livia- Paul, the brother of George Anger Hawkins from above, and he's a Pellaen knight. This means "revolver." (A digression: When asked to describe his character, he starts to show us a character picture and our DM says "No. Bad Player. TELL us about your character, not 'show me Rudy Roughknight's picture.'" He eventually came up with "Well, I have blue hair." And that's it. Mike the DM actually does the Jean-Luc Picard facepalm, and I almost say "No @$&*. Ami Mizuno has blue hair. Rei Ayanami has blue hair. Naoto Shirogane has blue hair. BE MORE DESCRIPTIVE.")
Digressing D: : Oh. Yeah. Sorry. Anyway, after a harrowing adventure on the GHOOOOOOOST SHIIIIIIP (read: wasting a bunch of undead in three rounds and my character turning the ship's bell into a gong with her bare hands) we pull in to Port Peril and decide to raid that tower.
Several Rounds of Rum Later: The Nightclaw makes way for that tower, and when we get there, we give the mooks inside enough time to make ready for us. Turns out picking at a lock for a couple minutes, threatening to shove a gnome through an arrow slit, and scything through a door in barbarian rage kinda makes noise and alerts whoever's on the other side of where you're trying to B&E.
A Murderin' We Went: My sister's half orc wades into combat, I become a whirring circle of gory death, the gnome sends his crocodile in to thin things out, our new gunslinger actually does a competent job, and Ro does awesomely setting me up for a Butterfly Sting. Then...
DISASTERIFFIC: A lucky critical hit from one of the mooks not only drops Ro to -14 health, but also drops his Constitution to 6. ("I was dead anyway!" he said. "I only had 11 Con! D:") Our druid moves in with a Cure Moderate Wounds spell at the ready. The realization kicks in as he casts it on Ro that drow have spell resistance. "But Snorb!" I hear you say through the internets. "You can turn off spell resistance as a standard action!" All well and good, but when you get polymorphed from "Dual-cutlassing drow with a kick-ass pirate crew" to "Lifeless humanoid-shaped piece of inert matter bleeding all over the masonry," you can't really do much of anything besides expire (messily.)
So, 'Bout That Spell Resistance: At fifth level, Ro has 11 spell resistance. Our gnome needs to roll a 6 or higher on the caster level check to save the Drow Pirate Ro'Byrts. "No problem!" says his player.
He rolls a 4. The Drow Pirate Ro'Byrts becomes the Stone-Cold Dead Drow Pirate Ro'Byrts.
Well, Gee, I Really Guess That Sucks: The party avenges Ro's death, and we come to the realization afterwards that my sister's character is now the captain. When the tower's mistress offers us the resources to have Ro revived, New Captain Gramross muses this, then says "We should revive him. But he's not the captain anymore." Then we all change our minds and say "Naaah." Going through his pockets doesn't make us feel any better- all Ro had was four Pellaen gold points.
So His Replacement?: I'm sworn to secrecy on that one, except for him being totally awesome.
...And no, he's not going to be the captain.
Race: Changeling Water Elemental-Bloodline Sorcerer
Origins: I have no idea. She was described as "looking like that girl from The Ring," so... your guess is as good as mine here.
Adventure: Raiders of the Fever Sea
Location: At sea, appropriately enough.
Cause of Death: Negative experience with a friend-or-idol decision.
.....What?: Our valiant crew, now staffed with a druid we picked up to replace Jayce, decides "You know, we really need to work on building our reputation as pirates." We are given a choice: either go after some rink-a-dink barely defended cargo ship, or The Big One- a Pellaen treasure ship complete with man-o-war guard. This ship is stocked to the brim with gold and gems, but heavily defended.
Obvious Choice Was Obvious: So after ambushing the ship from behind at night, we board. Unfortunately for someone in this combat, the escort ship decides to grapple and board the treasure ship. That sucker ain't going anywhere. We find out that the treasure ship is captained in name only by a former player character of mine, George Anger Hawkins. (Yes, that is his real name. Just imagine Daffy Duck with rogue levels and that's George.) He calls his beautiful first mate/sex wench Isabella for a conference which went "Wench- conference! Undo your top more. Okay, now what the @$%! is going on?! We got boarded?! Kill everyone on that ship! And the other ship, too- they sucked at not getting boarded!"
An...y...ways...: So after mutilating our way across the treasure ship and the guard ship (with me roleplaying both Kara, my barbarian, and George, the Pellaen diplomat with serious mental health issues) Isabella boards our ship. She attacks Livia with a Lightning Bolt spell, and Ringu no onna goes down.
Doesn't That Mean "Woman of The Ring?": Probably, but my Japanese is eluding me massively.
So What Happened Next?: Isabella, realizing that she's the only one with any capability of fighting back, makes an offer: She gets away with the treasure ship, and Livia doesn't receive a second dose of Lightning Bolt.
Totally Worth It: The Drow Captain Ro'Byrts says "All right!" as do the rest of us. Chaotic Evil Me implies that not only am I cool with Livia being reduced to a greasy smear on our deck, I would totally help her out. Mike the DM rolls damage, I suddenly get reminded of how easily Sailor Jupiter curbstomped Nephrite in the Sailor Moon manga, Livia bites the green weiner at -35 health.
On The Plus Side: We got about 7 Plunder out of the deal, George Anger Hawkins' magic rapier, leather armor, Belt of Dexterity, and Isabella's Brine Rapier, Headband of Alluring Charisma, and Amulet of Natural Armor. And Ro gets Isabella handily delivered to his bedchamber for a few hours.
Oh Boy.: Too bad for Ro that Isabella took some poison and died, but not before revealing the treasure map tattooed on her back. The druid casts Make Treasure Map, and we realize we have a castle to storm.
So What's The Next Character?: A Pellaen gunslinger who left the Diplomantic Corps. He looks like Rudy Roughknight from Wild Arms 1, and has a feat that basically lets him make pistol ammo dirt cheap(er than usual.)
Hey, there! Snorb here! You may remember me from my extremely sarcastic and insulting Jade Regent party obituaries! Well, I'm just a player in Skull and Shackles, but I get to (per DM request) write the obituaries for this one! And I'm pleased to announce our party's first Skull and Shackles death!
Race: Human Oracle of the Waves
Origins: Cheliax, on the Pellean mainland.
Adventure: The Wormwood Mutiny
Location: The island whose name eludes me, so... umm... Gilligan's Island. Yeah.
Cause of Death: Devilfish
I Hope This Isn't Sushi Related: Not in the traditional sense, no.
So What Happened: In our effort to rescue our slightly-renamed cleric of Besmara and Captain Harrigan's ex-cabin girl from a couple of grendylous and THE WHALE, we ran into her guardian, the dreaded devilfish. He claims that he wants to "give us the mark of his queen" before he lets us have an audience with her. Good ol' Jayce willingly and cheerfully saunters right on up on his peg leg, walking across the water, to meet (the devilfish, certain death).
Only An Idiot Would Fall For That: Suuuuuure did. P.T. Barnum once said that there's a sucker born every minute, and this was that sucker.
What Happened Next: Not surprisingly, Jayce gets grappled by the devilfish. Hilariously, the tentacle attack that grapples Jayce is a critical hit that dealt Strength damage and broke his good leg. (Gotta enjoy the Lame curse combined with a peg leg.) Fortunately, there is a half-orc cavalier with a flintlock pistol, a drow swashbuckler dual-wielding cutlasses, a water elemental-blooded sorcerer, and my perpetually ticked-off CE barbarian with her scythe standing by to make some sashimi out of this truly ugly fish.
Surely This Valiant Band of Badasses Can Save Him: I'm writing this obituary, so... let's just say Jayce didn't quite win the initiative roll. What we hear next is...
Mike the DM: Okay, Booke, the devilfish is gonna pop you into its mouth with its SAVAGE BIIIIITE. (rolls) Ohh dear. The, uh, devilfish threatens a critical hit on an 18 or higher...