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hallowsinder's page

137 posts (2,082 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 13 aliases.




Ayup.


Act One:Fires of Damnation

~~ Outskirts of Umok ~~

"Would you mind carrying that for me, Max, m'boy?" A harried little gnome asks of his much taller companion, pointing at a large kit of herbal remedies, alchemical medicines, and mystical potions. The gnome in question is old Cydonius Shortstone, an elder with purple hair slowly silvering in color as age begins to show it self. Of course, as all self respecting male gnomes, Cydonius has a VERY nice hat.

"I'm afraid your relatives haven't improved at all over the last week. We've got to find out what's wrong." Cydonius is referring to how a run of plague seems to be infecting the rabbit communities that Umok uses as scouts to forewarn of goblin attack. Finishing packing up his own things, consisting of many Gnomish books on the subject of rabbit care and diseases. "We'll need to go straight to the source! Onwards, to great justice!" Cydonius dramatically as he can shoves open the door with his cane and begins heading even further towards the Chitterwood, towards one of the major rabbit warrens near the surface.

~~ Estate Hills of Saringallow ~~

I can always tell when a bad case is gonna start. Not that I'm some kinda smart guy, it's just that bad cases always start badly. So, a hysterical broad stumbles in on the arm of my good friend Pellius, who is fortunately also carrying my better friend, Pellius' wine collection. After a few drinks all around, to comfort the poor damsel, I assure you, she tells me her husbands been murdered. I sigh. Nothing new in Saringallow. A damned town named after a lynching brought on by ritual sacrifices stationed between two hellknight garrisons is about as peaceful as you'd expect.

So, so far, I'm thinking eh, not too bad. I know the gal's husband worked with the local Chelaxian Escort service, and not the fun kind, the "We're rightly scared of this town because it's named for killing us" kind. He probably killed somebody's brother on the job and then they came for revenge. Not exactly fun, but it's a case and it's my job.

And then the crime scene. When the victim's blood has been used to author a whole new scripture all over the walls in what must be some kinda cultist language I've never seen before, well.. It's gonna be a bad case. I personally don't have any great desire to read what is obviously cultist ravings, but it's the only clue I have. No murder weapon, no suspects, no evidence save for whatever crazy crazy has written down. Only one thing to do, knock on the front door of the best linguist in town, Natty Tulnov, and see if he likes seeing his good friend Detective Dekker and his better friend, Dekker's subcontractor form complete with down payment.


Ever feel like the whole party dynamic crimps your style? The fact that if you wander into an encounter alone you'll probably get butchered because it's designed for the whole party to be there? So everyone has to travel in a tight knit group all facing every direction, back to back?

This will be an experimental campaign set in Isger, where your enemies will not form a polite schedule so that if the party moves from point A-to-B-to-C-to-D, you will stop each and every nefarious scheme. No, the party will need to be able to go mobile, split up into groups of one or two, investigate multiple leads simultaneously, and fight a broad war. Though there will be the occasional boss fight everyone teams up for, those will be broadcast well in advance.

Character Creation:
Level 3, any and all classes (as long as you can link me a copy if it's 3rd party)
Stats:25 point buy
Traits: 3, with an additional rewarded per level based on roleplaying. I allow up to two drawbacks (but my definition of what is a drawback is a bit stricter. Many written drawbacks have almost 0 mechanical impact), and once you have a trait in every category, you can begin taking 2 in each category, so on, so forth.
Standard Wealth: Max 75% spent on permanent items.
You get a Bonus Feat per level. Yes, per level, so you start with three free bonus feats. I strongly prefer you spend these broadening the range of situations your character can handle rather than tricking one pony all the way out.

I appreciate ties to Isger in your character, but as long as you demonstrate a general knowledge of at least a few places and things there, I'm good.

Seeing as the party will only bring the whole band together for real threats, you are very free to make characters that would normally not get along well with others, as you'll only work with others when there's a really good reason (devils are raining from the sky, so I don't care if you're a worm that walks and I'm a paladin, help please.)

That said, every character needs to be decent at investigating and people skills of some kind, as while there are straight up combat missions, they will have clues to an overarching mystery (or three), and you can't rely on the person who picked Investigator being there to help you.

Starting Time:
When your character is finished.

No really. If someone posts a viable character within 5 minutes, I'll start working on the IC post and discussion, and that character will get to begin one of the threads of investigation.


So, I have a character who has just made a bargain with a powerful being (who is NOT a friend) to be Resurrected into a new, more powerful form. (aka, he wanted to switch from Bard to Magus while retaining character continuity, instead of just making a new character.)

He's a black-blade magus, and I was thinking maybe rather than a normal black-blade, this one is actually powered by a part of the soul of a fallen employer (a relatively affable* lich whom the characters liked a lot). Between the two of them, they have NG vs NE personalities, but they share a lot of the same goals. They both want to kill the guy who was responsible for said resurrection.

I was thinking this show itself as a sort of berserk-mode where, when, some time later when he's in danger**, the special powers of the sword (randomly rolled at will-sixth level spell for the intelligent item power.. It was a very good roll) the lich temporarily takes over with lots of black aura rawr stuff.

Later on he can figure out whether he wants to negotiate with the lich's soul, or coexist, or find a way to exert dominance (ego rules or whatnot), or purge him.

What do you guys think? I think it would be kinda epic and the player might enjoy it, but on the other hand, taking control out of the players hands, even temporarily, is VERY dangerous. And having an intelligent sword that has dramatic alignment differences as a class feature might just be too annoying. On the flipside, if it's too easy for the player to get that power boost at no downside, the other players might feel the player well, got a free power boost.

*but still quite evil

**as in "oh crap, I'm under 20 hp with no defensive/escape abilities left" sort of danger, not everyday adventurer danger.


I'm a better optimizer than my players in the campaign.

One of the players came to ask my help with how to build a dex based character, I helped him out (well, technically I showed him an Aldori Swordlord guide and helped out a little).

That character rocked in combat compared to the others, and after a recent near TPK (incited by said optimized character betraying the party during a fight with a strong caster, but it's a neutral campaign and the character had been going evil, so to be expected and no hard feelings, the players had fun quoting "Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal"), everyone who died is asking me to design the crunch for each of their new characters, just giving me the concepts.

For example, one wants a sword-caster (getting a magus), another wants a darth maul-weapon style Paladin Ninja, and the last wants a guy who transforms into mechanical monsters (refluffing the druid earth element wild shapes is my current tack, though if anyone else has better advice for that, it'd be nice).

Is this a bad thing? I'm a bit worried about the one remaining character who doesn't have me optimizing them, especially seeing that character's main saving grace was providing really awesome but weirdly specific buffs to a character who is no longer alive, and is barely cohort worthy at anything else.


It's all there in the title.


I've got a Ranger who has just taken a dip in Monk. And, I was wondering if there were any options for taking off a breastplate in one round in combat, in-case he ran up against something that used primarily touch attacks.


Yar, discussion goes here!

Let's keep the main thread tidy! Move any OOC over to here before you lose the ability to edit.

1st post OOC:

*You guys

**Additional information, the portal hall is below the court, which has the majority of its room on either side of the hall, with bridges over the open ceiling portal hall. It's like some shopping malls that are built that way. The stair up is opposite the throne across the court.

***More information, you guys don't have to answer, but if you do not wish to, just post in the discussion to skip you. Let's keep this thread tidy. Also, try and keep your responses verbal, I'm not aiming to extend this scene into a combat.

****MOAR INFORMATION! The Count Visage is inspired by: Turbolover's rendition of Dr.Wily in Act II: the Hounds by the Protomen, a good friend of mine, and the avatar picture I grabbed.

*****God, I love information. By the way, these ******* notes will be moved to the discussion page after about 45 minutes.


"The guests mill around, trying to find out why they've been invited, why they accepted, where the host is, and what the point of this all is." A whisper through the court. Many keen ears caught it.

"Well, I'm not one to disappoint my guests, so let me answer half of those questions."

"Good evening, my lovelies!" An echoing voice crashed throughout the court of madness, as the Count Visage materialized out of shadow, standing upon his throne, one foot on the armrest, the other in the air, as he leaned against top of the throne with one arm, cane stuffed in the crook of that arm.

He wore a garment almost resembling a zoot suit, though in garish purple, a silver chain, and a black shirt and band across his hat. Wild white hair and a dreadful palor of the skin, he somehow managed to have that strange charisma of brilliant madman.

"How do I look?" He said with an overlarge smirk that looked like one side of his face was grinning while the other was blank, except for the expressive eyes, which gazed down into the portal hall of the court**, down at where the players* were assembled.


Summary:

Alright, first things first, this thread is not designed to be entirely serious. The title should tip you off. However, while I hope the roleplay I hope it spawns will have many jokes in it, it itself not a joke. I fully intend to DM this.

Character Creation will be full of cheese. The rules are yours, do as you please. /rhyming Bane voice
3rd level, with lots of crazy leeway. All sorts of race/class restrictions dropped, extra money, prestige classes from level 1.

The setting will be a realm created by a presumed madman, with portals connected to many other realms. He has invited your characters to provide "entertainment" for the day, as he and the guests and the courts watch on while you are sent on various missions. Between missions, you may mingle with the invited guests and the court and perhaps even the host himself.

All DM stuff on missions will be presented in the form of Count Visage commentating on the action.

Things you may do even if you are not accepted into the adventuring party:

Design worlds, missions, bad guys for those missions, adversaries attempting to attack the Court or otherwise interrupt the festivities, make characters who are attending the festivities and spectating.

Yeah, even if you come in late, I'll be accepting people for these roles at any time. Got a random cheesy bad guy you always wanted to run against your players but didn't? Run it by me, and if I ok it, you may attack the party or do whatever it is you were gonna do.

You can also do these things if you are IN the party. But I certainly don't expect it. It would be improper of me to expect you to design who you have to fight.

The Setting:

Each of the characters have been invited to the Court of Madness, a not-particularly-creatively named realm of a, well, we're pretty sure he's mad or very good at bluffing, Count Visage. The invitations were sent across the worlds to people the Count Visage found "interesting", and your character was sent an invitation to serve as part of the entertainment for the day, in return for lavish reward.

Though some might be insulted by such an invitation, the Count has "interesting" values of entertainment. He may say the entertainment to be provided by your character is to slaughter all the other entertainers in whatever way you desire, so long as each of them trusts you before the end, or perhaps it is to save a village from evil goblins. You get to choose, and may keep it a secret.

The Court of Madness itself is connected to many worlds, and if you wish, you may design some of them and suggest missions.

You may also create characters who were invited to the event proper, but, know that they may not be the focus of the story. I will always be accepting these "spectator" characters, so you may simply jump in with such a character if you wish, even if you are not one of the PCs.

Character Creation:

I advise you do not work too hard, and not to plan for the future too much. This will not be an epic in length, unless things go really, really well, and we get an awesome team with good synergy and come up with good plot hooks.

With my college semester winding down, come two weeks, I will have a LOT of time on my hands if things go well and we decide to continue, but, if not, I would be happy to end the game after 1-2 levels with material I have ready to customize to the party.

Any alignment and goal. You can have the goal of backstabbing your allies for the heck of it. However, it would be considerably more cool if you want to do it for some awesome reason, so try and come up with one to make a cool story with which to console your mourning fellow players. :P

All races. You may use any ability score modifier (by which I mean, +2 to any stat, or +2 to a phys and ment, and -2 to another) for any race, and any race may use another race's favored class bonus if it makes sense in a mechanical sense. No fluff explanation required, but it could be cool. Custom races are fine, just give me a good easy to read analysis on if you think that's cool.

You may apply templates to yourself, so if you want to be an advanced half-fiend Barbarian 1, god help whoever gets hit by your 36 strength modifier.

Level 3

All classes have all entry restrictions dropped except..

If the class requires a certain amount of some class feature, then you must have that class feature. If it requires sneak attack dice, you must have at least 1d6 sneak attack dice. If it requires spellcasting, you must be able to cast at least level 1 spells of the required type. If it requires skills, you must have at least one rank in at least half of the skills required. If it requires BaB, you must have at least 1 point of BaB.

I may vet specific cases (such as nerfing your shadow slightly (str damage from 1d6 to 2 if you go Shadowdancer 3) presuming someone gets perhaps a particularly troublesome ability from their prestige classing with this.

Anything from Paizo on d20pfsrd is fair game (presuming there isn't something in serious and obvious need of errata), and any 3rd party sources can be cleared by me and I will probably give you the go ahead.

Your Ability Scores are whatever you think you need to pull off your build. If you set your scores far above the other players, I will give them boosts to compensate.

10,000 gold to start, any choice of items. (aka, you can spend your entire budget on one item.)

No traits, unless you get that feat that gives you 2, in which, anything is fair game, stack and take multiple of the same category to your hearts content. No requirements on any trait.

The only thing I ask as far as background/personality/ext is "why is your character interesting (to us and to the Count)", "why did your character accept", and anything else is just gravy. If you want to keep your things a secret, PM me.


The party is level 11/12.

Here are the problems.

We have a Sorcerer, who while still doing all the good caster battle-field control, also throws out +2 damage per die CL 18 empowered intensified fireballs.

We have an Aldori Swordlord/Monk, who has an AC in the mid 30s (when he's not doing his fight defensively at no penalty for extra AC), and the ability to negate one attack on himself per round, combined with crazy good saves.

We have a rogue, who has an unbeatable stealth check(+38 I think it is?), and generally does about 150-ish damage when he gets the jump on his foe. Which is every single fight.

The other two players spend all their time buffing, healing, and condition removal, but are otherwise harmless and easy targets. One's a healing/crappy spell/reduntant and sub-par rapier Godling, the other is a healing/crappy archetype bard who is about as deadly as a commoner offensively.

So, I'm trying to prep an adventure by tomorrow, and I'm running into difficulties finding level appropriate challenges in a hurry, that can survive a single round against our characters, without completely negating their attacks.

Any suggestions? Wouldn't mind shelling out some cash if there's a highly recommended module you think might work.


I've been DMing a 11th level adventure, and I've provided the much needed arcane caster role with a DMPC. (We've got a bard who refuses to do anything but heal, sing, and plink away with a mwk longbow, an aldori swordlord/monk, a (deceased) aldori swordlord/duelist, a rogue, and my sorcerer)

So far, the players have been pretty satisfied with the DMPC. He contributes those hastes and fly spells, and then blasts away with fireballs after the buffs are up. He's throwing CL 14, intensified empowered fireballs with +2 damage per die, but, because we've mostly been up against fire resistant/high SR enemies, only about one in three fireballs does anything and the rest of the party gets time to shine.

However, one character got killed when he let himself get convinced by Bard* to help her take out Takaral*, whom three of the other party members had sided with. A platoon's worth of angels and skellies clashed, and at the end of the day, that character and everyone but the party and a cloud giant skeleton Takaral had hidden his phylactery in was dead(or dead again).

Now, I've allowed players to use most players to use 3rd party stuff, if it's on d20pfsrd. The new character for the player whose character died is an adept godling.. Who gives my DMPC +4 CL if he's standing within 60 ft of her.

I'm worried this might make my DMPC too strong. Opinions?

*see Nethys on pathfinder wiki.


Say a red dragon sorcerer casts an empowered scorching hands for 5d4+5. Do I multiply the result by 1.5 before or after adding the +5?


So, last session, the entire party got kited to death by a sorcerer one level higher than the APL who ran along the rooftops raining down scorching rays.

Then we all had a long discussion about where we wanted to go with the campaign.

We decided to come up with reasons that our characters would have the determination to come back to life when they could head off to their eternal paradises. So each person came up with a reason, Paladin has to slay 1000 evil creatures with his blade to undo a curse upon his wife, Barbarian looks to find the truth behind a conspiracy in the family, and the Sorcerer isn't still exactly sure.

So, we had each of them talk to their respective man upstairs and ask to be brought back to life. Man upstairs says, "Prove your worth by cutting your path through hell to a hell-gate. I'll give you the ride there."

So, session ends with dramatic fiery scene of a valley in hell with the giant looming gate on the other end.

Then I get a call that the groups coming over in about 17 hours. I intend to sleep between now and then, and I'm pretty slow at creating adventures.

Anybody know some good suitable adventure pdfs on paizo or something that I could buy/download and use to help DM the adventure. I'd like something a little more refined than "Uh.. Ok, you've beaten the CR appropriate devils... Maybe some Fire and Earth Elementals?"


So, I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but currently, all my encounters are soliciting the same exact tactics from the party.

Level Six party of Sorcerer, Bard, Paladin, Barbarian, no archetypes used.

If there are few enemies:
Sorcerer and Bard spend two rounds casting stacking buffs (generally Bull's Strength and Haste from Sorc, Heroism and Inspire Courage from bard), on Paladin (if enemies vulnerable to smite) or the Barbarian otherwise.

Paladin/Barbarian proceeds to annihilate everything, with their attack bonuses clear off the RNG and power attacking with two handed weapons for 30+ damage per attack.

I generally have to resort to CR 12+ monster's raw stats if I want to provide a melee challenge, and those monsters generally have spells/other specials that can eliminate the entire party in a single round if used.

If there are a large group of enemies not immune to fire:
Fireball. Just Fireball. Over and over again, while everyone else pretends to contribute/heals the sorcerer.

Anyone have some advice for how to provide some interesting challenges for them?

Edit: Just in case you were wondering, seeing that's a 6th level sorcerer with seemingly two third level spells, he's been making good use of scrolls.


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