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Mystic Theurge

nogoodscallywag's page

FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 456 posts (613 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 10 Pathfinder Society characters. 3 aliases.


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Grand Lodge

Began 3 September 2016.

6 Players

Carolyn- Arya, Elf Fighter (Archer)
Paul- Drizzt, Dark Elf Ranger
Haley- Rhovyn, Half-Elf Ranger
Aaron- Ismur, Human Fighter
Zac- Arjin, Human Rogue
Terry- Human Investigator

This initial post will be most of Chapter One.



2 April 4730

The waters moving slowly out towards the Arcadian Ocean glinted with the evening sun which lay down a hot blanket of light on the back of Arya’s neck and arms. As the ship she rode sailed west towards the island of Nuat, Arya watched the city of Azir shrink in the distance.

The ship’s captain, a straightforward man named Alizandru Kovack, had made the stop at the Godless Port to pick up a few passengers headed south and purchase extra supplies. Arya had watched as the captain spoke with several men at the dock. She thought it strange the stop was so short. The large wooden crates had the words
painted on them, and none of the crew disembarked.

Boarding in Azir was a cousin of hers- of sorts. A Dark Elf. She’d seen her Dark Elf brethren before, but never singularly. In her homeland of Kyonin, the Dark Elves sometimes raid into the surface lands from Below. The elves had captured several Dark Elves during a raid when she was younger. They were defiant and evil, but occasionally had heard tales of rogue Dark Elves who, through magic or sheer force of will, could withstand the Sun and the calling of evil.

She hoped the Dark Elf boarding the Jenivere was such a person. He certainly didn’t appear to be one. He wore a dark cloak with the hood up, but the Captain forced him to show his face before boarding. The Dark Elf did so reluctantly, but the Captain waved him on.

The Dark Elf would join a ship that already had a myriad passenger list. Arya had boarded the Jenivere in Corentyn. Cheliax did not suit her. She stayed only a month before finding a post on a pole about finding adventure and lost cities in the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse. Arya preferred to visit the deserts of northern Garund, but no expeditions were set for the heat of the summer. Instead, she chose the rainforests of the Expanse.

Boarding with her in Corentyn were other adventurers who also answered the call for a jungle exploration. Rhovyn Fangwood and Arjin Tain from Nirmathas were excited to get out of war-torn Nirmathas and help find lost cities in the hot, humid nether regions of Golarion. Arya could tell immediately that Rhovyn had elven and human blood. Arjin looked like he had a trick up his sleeve. Just before the Jenivere left port, another adventurer came running down the docks, his pack flailing behind him, pants partially down, and a woman chasing him from behind. The fellow looked as if he’d freshly jumped ship from a raiding boat out of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings.

The woman caught up to him, hugging him and crying for him not to leave her. He shrugged her off and said something to the point of their tryst being only one night and he had business to attend to. When he finally boarded, he glanced at Arya and mumbled something about crazy women.

Other passengers included merchants from Varisia heading to Sargava to set up trading businesses; a fellow from Nidal who was creepy and quiet, but had a strangely charismatic smile and bearing; a woman and her husband from Andoren who had boarded with her from Almas; and several other folks coming and going for family reasons. The crew consisted of your average run-of-the-mill crew for a brig merchant ship- with its
that for the past several years, Captain Kovack has made the western run between Magnimar and Eleder in Sargava to the south and then back with few complications, despite the fact that his route carries him through waters controlled by the piratical Free Captains of the Shackles, brushes with the eternal winds of the Eye of Abendego, and into periodic conflicts with the Nidalese navy.

Of the four other passengers who were noteworthy was Gelik, a Gnome who somehow kept his clothing spotless and pressed, who also led the evening entertainment. A woman, who looked like she could be a ship’s captain herself, came out of her cabin only to retrieve dinner. Arya believe her name to be Miss Mavato, as the cook called her. A Tian man who liked to sit on the bow of the ship during the morning and evening often joined by a pretty red-head with a strange tattoo on her back named Sasha for stories.

So it was with this motely crew the Jenivere struck out south-west from Azir, heading towards Sargarva, where several adventurers sought to make some gold exploring the wilderness.

Once passed the Island of Nuat, the Jenivere bore straight west in order to pass north of Mediogalti Island, then bear south to avoid the Eye of Abendego. When Arya asked about this storm, Alton, the First Mate, described it as a vicious hurricane which did not move. Arya couldn’t understand how a hurricane simply stayed put, and Alton explained the Eye appeared in 4606 AR in what was then known as the Abendego Gulf. Although the exact cause of its appearance is unknown, it came into being after three weeks of tempest following the death of the god Aroden, and remains as the greatest physical evidence of the event. The cook, overhearing the story, said if the Jenivere were to sail through the storm, the foremasts would break and fly straight up Gelik’s Gnomish ass.

Not wishing such a thing to happen to the Gnome, who retorted the cook’s insult with the “size of his main mast,” Arya was glad to avoid the area. Sasha, the woman with the strange tattoo, on the other hand, was not. While most passengers stood abovedecks during the passage of Mediogalti Island, she remained below. The half-elf from Nirmathis and the Dark Elf managed to strike up a conversation with her as the ship sailed westward and then south.

Sasha loved to talk, but didn’t waste words on trivial matters. She also laughed at everything. Literally, everything was funny to her. Every now and then, she would laugh so loud and hard that people began to wonder if she was b#+#@~* crazy. Rhovyn wasn’t afraid to engage the red-head, however, and plopped down next to her. Rhovyn wondered about where Sasha was going and where she’d come from, but didn’t think the opportunity right to ask such questions. She did laugh and carry-on with Sasha, though, and the two enjoyed their time together.

After boarding, the Dark Elf went to the assigned cabin. He didn’t care to speak with anyone. Entering, he looked it over. He’d paid good money to get a cabin of his own. He’d been on a boat before, but the space was small. He checked beneath the blanket on the hammock and peered out the small porthole window. He unloaded his pack and sat down on the floor, laying his twin scimitars on the ground beside him. He unclipped his crossbow from his pack and began fiddling with the firing mechanism. The crossbow was special- it could fire underwater, and he had used it on the shores of the Winding Way in the Eternal Oasis of Rahadoum to catch many a crocodile before he left.

Although he didn’t really care what people thought of him, he did notice the lack of stares as he boarded. Generally, the presence of a Dark Elf strikes fear into people. Apparently, ships bound for Sargava were full of worldly people.

He considered himself a worldly person, especially by his heritage's standards. He had escaped- yes, escaped- from the World Below many years ago. He did not have the evil that resided in his kin. Neither did he have the resourcefulness, either. He had shunned his people, only to be shunned and run out of Azir when he breached into the Bright World.

He thought back to when he first set eyes upon what the surface-dwellers called the Sun. His retinas nearly turned to ash in his head, but the warmth of the rays buoyed him. He had emerged from a cave in the Napsune Mountains and made his way across a desert, following the brightest star in the sky which did not move. He had originally followed the brightest object in the night sky, but wound up right where he began. He soon figured out that like the Sun, the White Lady in the night sky moved, too. Surface-dwellers called her the Moon.

He had reached a river, then followed it west until he came upon scattered villages. He knew better than to walk into the middle of town and ask for work, so he disguised himself and spoke in the Common tongue which he copied off a surface-dwelling merchant years back.

The guise worked, because he ended up living in Azir for a year before the city-folk found out he was a Dark Elf. The city guard came to arrest him for practicing dark magic and worship of demons and other evil things. He fled in the night, walking south once passed the outlying regions of Azir. He was young, very young.

Fonder memories came to the fore- starving and exhausted, he leaned against a beautiful, large tree, which he gave himself up to, ready to perish. He awoke the next morning to the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen, one so beautiful it made his heart hurt.

He smiled at the thought. Now, years later, he was somewhat accepted. However, he was leaving Azir for good- there was nothing left for him there. It was time to strike out and make a fortune for himself. He wanted companionship, but didn’t
it. Growing up in the Night Below, companionship didn’t exist. However, he wanted to pay it forward, for his heart was good. He wanted to represent those who took him in- the magical fey with which elves share a common ancestry. But he also wanted adventure, and adventure never came alone- not for long, anyway. His fey friends thought adventure was just turning a rabbit’s fur bright pink or tripping a traveller. Drizzt wanted to hone his skills, wanted to hone his body into a machine for fighting. He wanted to master the art of the two blades he wielded, so that if need be, his new companions would be protected. Perhaps someone on this very ship was to be his travelling companion on his adventures into the jungles of the Mwangi Expanse.

Rhovyn was born in the Laughing Jungle of Sargava, but during her teenage years moved to the Southern Fangwood, on the Merideth River. She was born to an Elven woman and a human father. Her father was an expert Ranger, a profession which she picked up at an early age. Her family moved to the Nirmathas city of Tamran, which has a history unlike any other. The city of Tamran is a ramshackle city, especially for the capital city of a nation. It is built on piers and pilings over the marshlands at the mouth of the Marideth River, where it meets the banks of Lake Encarthan. The city is connected by a web of bridges, ramps and causeways, and a flotilla of barges and skiffs, and all of the buildings are made from wood. Due to the fact Tamran is still standing after its violent history it is seen as a symbol of Nirmathas tenacity and resourcefulness.

The history of Nirmathas as an independent nation goes back less than a century. Before that it was part of the province and later the nation of Molthune. Before gaining independence, Nirmathas was seen as just another resource-heavy province ripe for harvesting, first by Taldor, then later Cheliax, and finally Molthune, a country with which Nirmathis is constantly at war. It is this war which drove Rhovyn to seek adventure in the farthest-away place she could get to.

A childhood friend, Arjin Tain, and her always spoke about adventure. Arjin would always go on little adventures without her; her family was very protective of her. However, after obtaining official training from the Nirmathis military, Rhovyn thought she could handle anything Arjin could. So the two set off to Corentyn after finding a posted handbill about adventure in the jungles of Sargava. It would also give Rhovyn a chance to see her birthplace again.

After boarding the Jenivere in Corentyn, Rhovyn watched as several other adventure-seekers boarded at Azir. One caught her eye- a red head named Sasha. Rhovyn wasn’t sure what it was about her, but Sasha exuded a confidence which was attractive. After several days of observing, Rhovyn decided to make a move. Sasha was being “courted” by many others aboard the ship, but Rhovyn knew once Sasha got to know her, the others would go away.

Rhovyn was quick to make friends with other passengers- Arya, who rivaled Rhovyn’s own skill with the bow and arrow; the Dark Elf who’s name she found was Drizzt; Ismur, who took a liking to Rhovyn and likewise- Rhovyn has witnessed the pantsless run; and Arjin.

Ismur liked everyone- literally, every woman aboard the ship. Rhovyn watched humorously as Ismur tried to put the moves on nearly every female on the ship and get shot down every single time. Ismur, however, didn’t think it funny. He just wanted companionship was all. As the group of five coalesced, they began to see Ismur as a strong ally, although his strength lay in his quickness with his dual longswords.

When passengers found out Ismur Wolfbear was from Osirion, a betting game took place on how a Garundi man (arab) who looked like a raider from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings wielding two longswords with quick speed came to be aboard a vessel heading to Sargava. Ismur just shrugged and said “I’m bored.” Drizzt won that bet.

Rhovyn’s friend, Arjin, was excited to board the ship and head into the jungles searching for lost cities and treasure. He leaned on the rails the first few days, saying little. Every now and then he would rub the brand on his hand, or reach up unconsciously to touch a ring which hung around his neck.

Drizzt stayed quiet for the most part, but looked hard at Sasha one day on deck. He nudged Arjin, asking him if he knew what Sasha’s tattoo was. Arjin said he was pretty sure it was the symbol for Achaekek, the god of assassins, and the patron god of the Red Mantis assassins based on the island of Mediogalti, which they were just passing. His symbol is a pair of mantis claws depicted as if in prayer. Ismur then told what he knew about the Red Mantis assassins. The Red Mantis are one of the most feared organizations in all of Golarion. This order of professional assassins can be distinguished by their trademark bright red and black, light armor, serrated blades (such as the sawtooth sabre), and frightful mantis masks which grant them both an enhanced sense of sight and a terrifying visage. Drizzt was intrigued and approached her.

It was then that Drizzt noticed another attribute of Sasha- she was missing her pinky finger. When Rhovyn came on deck, Drizzt decided to ask Sasha about those things. Rhovyn, Drizzt, and Sasha talked for a long while, and they found out that Sasha Nevah is a daughter of the Red Mantis, yet while she shows great promise—she’s a natural fighter, takes pride in her grace, and delights in violence— she’ll never make it as an assassin because of her insatiable curiosity and rebellious streak. Had her mother not been a highly regarded member of the Red Mantis, Sasha would have doubtless met with a tragic accident years ago she said. Sasha has little interest in joining the Mantis, as she rankles at even the thought of following orders. Her mother was angry and sent her to Sargava to “assist with Mantis interests in Eleder,” and while this task is not technically exile, her mother has certainly made it clear that if she returns to Ilizmagorti, she’ll
never leave it again. Sasha understood what her mother meant (especially after she severed one of Sasha’s fingers to drive home the warning), but rather than dwell on the fact that her mother
threatened her life, she sees this as an opportunity to meet new people, hone or fighting skills, and find treasure.

A week later, the Jenivere shifted course back east after passing the Shackles, of which the leaders of Shackles society are the Free Captains. Most command only a ship or two, but the most powerful each control one of the region’s ports and/or islands and make up the Pirate Council. The leader of the council is Kerdak Bonefist, the Hurricane King. Alton said the Jenivere would have been welcomed there, but time would be lost if they made the stop, so the ship bore east until reaching the coast of the Kaava Lands. The Jenivere sailed south from there, then turned east one final time into Desperation Bay, heading for Eleder in Sargava.

Two days out from Eleder, the Captain announced a grand dinner to be planned by the cook-the last dinner before reaching Eleder. All the stops would be pulled out, since the voyage thus far had been without issue.

As the passengers and select crew sat down to eat and drink and be merry, none of the adventuring party knew what was in store for them.

When Arya began to feel lightheaded, she wondered if she’d drunk her wine too quickly. Ismur was already five beers in and didn’t realize he was about to pass out. Drizzt had been drinking a Chelaxian whiskey he has siphoned off out of a barrel in the hold, but chalked hs bad feeling up to seasickness. Rhovyn was enjoying herself and thought she simply overdone it the past few days, while Arjin thought it may be the excitement of the coming adventure. None of the group could do anything before passing out quickly; before the darkness overcame them, however, they saw all the passengers were affected, as well as the few crew members eating, too.

Ismur awoke with a pounding headache and upset stomach. Bright light bleached his sight. The sounds of low waves reached his ears. Then a pinch and pressure on his leg. When his eyes focus, he realized he was staring up at a blue, cloudless sky. He lay on something...and he was wet. He again felt pressure on his leg and looked down. His heart jumped into his throat has a strange scorpion-like creature backed up a step at his movement. Gods, he thought, that thing is as big as dog! Ismur leapt to his feet and the creature lunged with a pincer. Ismur dodged it, stepping backwards. He grabbed for his longsword at his hip, thankful it was still there. He drew it and slashed the pincer off. The water scorpion lowered and flipped its tail at Ismur, missing him by inches. Ismur used his forward momentum to skewer the creature through the mouth. Goo poured out as it died.

Ismur then heard clattering and chittering to his right and left. He looked around and saw the beach strewn with bodies and debris- and several more scorpion creatures, some dragging bodies into the water, some feasting on the beach.

Ismur scanned the beach for his friends. He spotted Arya waking up; Arjin was nearby but not moving; Drizzt was nowhere to be found nearby, while Rhovyn was sprawled out further down the beach. Ismur gave Arjin a swift kick to the butt which woke him instantly.

Arjin, wondering what was going on, quickly came to realize one of the creatures was about the grab him. He kicked it in the face, causing it to withdraw and grab a lifeless, drowned body instead. Ismur yelled, “Find the others!”

Arya was standing at this point, trying in vain to kick one of the creatures away from her. A pincer nipped her leg, causing a mean gash. She grabbed it and moved back while a now woken Drizzt sliced both pincers off it. Rhovyn was slowly rising when Ismur got to her. Arjin made quick work of the remaining creatures.

The group stood and surveyed the scene. Four others were recovering from whatever had affected them and were making their way towards the group. Sasha, Aerys, Gelik, and Ishirou joined the group, which then discussed what had happened.

It was pretty clear the Jenivere had wrecked. Pieces of the ship were all over the shore, and the group recognized other passengers and crew. They quickly checked the other bodies for signs of life. Rhovyn suggested the bodies be buried immediately before more creatures came to feast. After a quick burial with sand and rocks, the group searched the shore for belongings. All they had on them were the items they had during the dinner. It was nothing fancy, and nobody had cumbersome armor, so they all wore their usual adventuring gear.

They nearly all panicked because their packs were gone, but Drizzt found them stacked haphazardly nearby. He had also found footprints in the sand leading back into the ocean. By his reckoning, it was ten o’clock in the morning. They must have been out since dinner yesterday.

Ismur made the observation that when he awoke, it appeared that someone had dragged them onto the beach from the water. Many bodies were not accounted for on beach, including the Captain and his Varisian scholar friend.

Arjin spoke everyone’s fear first. “Um, we better make shelter and find food, fast.” Drizzt agreed and said these scorpion creatures should be fine to eat. Drizzt and Arjin began chopping up the creatures while Arjin began to boil seawater. He knew the salt content would be dangerous, but it would be fine today until the found a freshwater source.

The survivors kept close and quiet. Ishirou said nothing at all, clearly bothered by what had happened. Sasha and Aerys tried over the evening to figure out where they were, and Gelik tried to keep spirits up by telling tales of treasure.

That night, Aerys was certain they had landed on the Island of Smuggler’s Shiv, a day from Eleder. Smuggler’s Shiv is a notorious island north of Eleder. It’s not shown on most maps, but is rightfully feared by those who ply the waters of Desperation Bay. The island is named not only for the knife-like shape of its coastline, but for its uncanny habit of wrecking ships that draw too near—mostly smugglers eager to avoid detection by Sargava’s navy. It’s commonly believed that the shores of Smuggler’s Shiv are haunted by the ghosts and ghouls of the sailors who have died on the jagged rocks and reefs surrounding the island. These rumors are supported by reports of
several failed attempts to establish long-lasting colonies on the remote island. When Sargava was first settled, Chelish engineers erected a lighthouse on the Shiv’s southwest shore. The light
was intended to warn approaching ships of the dangerous waters and, eventually, was to have been the first building in a small colony. The light and all plans for colonization were abandoned just before completion amid rumors of curses, haunts, and cannibalism. Drizzt showed the party must be on the northern part of the island, and Aerys agreed they were likely on the “blade” of the island. Arjin suggested heading south the very next day to find the lighthouse, but one of Arya’s maps, while not showing Smuggler’s Shiv, did give brief details about the eastern side of the island being mountainous and impassable. Ismur suggested following the beach until no more passage could be made, then go into the interior of the island. Rumors hold that a group of shipwrecked Chelish soldiers, survivors of an attempted Thrune invasion of Sargava
some 70 years ago, were stranded on the island. The rumors claim that they degenerated into a cannibalistic society, and that their descendants scour the isle’s shores for shipwreck victims to add to their meals. But Ismur was undaunted by Aerys’ warning.

The group did not sleep much that night. They did eat well, however, and their spirits rose as they planned what to do next. During Drizzt’s night watch, he saw the waves crashing on the shores of Smuggler’s Shiv become infused with an eerie greenish radiance, almost as if the surf were
glowing. He sneaked over to the other watcher, Ishirou, who spotted a brighter glow churning in the water and moving just under the surface in directions other than the motion of the surf. They woke Rhovyn who catches a brief glimpse of a ghostly humanoid shape thrashing in the water, disappearing within seconds. The rest of the night was sleepless for them.

The group was awoken from fitful sleep by an intense downpour of rain. Their makeshift shelters leaked, but their fires were still lit. The rain lasted about twenty minutes, and the sun heated the area. Everyone was thirsty, and it was decided they needed to find a freshwater source before anything else. They strengthened their camp while Drizzt and Arjin set out alone into the interior.

While they were away, the rest of the group built a shoddy patchwork of bulwarks against the ocean in case the water scorpions came again. Breakfast consisted of a full belly of crab meat and coconut water. However, the oppressive humidity quickly took a toll on everyone. Throughout the heat of the day, most people stayed under their shelters.

Rhovyn still had her large tent in her pack, and used that as a central location for the camp. Her and Sasha used a portion of it for their sleeping quarters. Other smaller tents and crude huts were set up for everyone else. Ismur approached Sasha and asked if she wanted to stay in his hut. He told it her it was beachside and winked. Sasha thanked him for his hospitality but broke the news to him that she would be staying with Rhovyn. Gelik skipped over and said Ismur can stay with him, spanked Ismur on the ass cheek, and skipped away.

When evening arrived, Drizzt noticed the four other people were not contributing as much as the core group. Ishirou sat looking depressed; Gelik cracked jokes all the time and kept his clothing spotless and nice; Aerys looked dour and snapped at everyone; and Sasha seemed to be having a good time rather than acknowledging their circumstances. Arjin approached Aerys to inquire about her “story,” and was given a reply, “None of your business.” Muttering under his breath, he walked away.

That night Drizzt and Arjin returned. They had not found any source of freshwater. They would try again tomorrow. The green glow in the surf appeared again, but no one saw the strange form thrashing around.

During Rhovyn’s watch, two strangers approached. One had manacles on his wrists and barely any clothing, an older Mwangi man while the other looked like he had just washed up on shore but had adventuring gear on. That man introduced himself as Shalimar and said his ship had wrecked and he was in need of help. The black man, Jask Derindi, said he was a prisoner about the ship Jenivere.

The group was astounded- they had no idea there was a prisoner aboard the ship. They asked how he managed to survive the event and if he knew anything. They took him in and quickly warmed to the man, who said he was a Cleric of Nethys. He explained that Ancient Osiriani texts tell of a God-King whose mastery of magic allowed him to gain unparalleled power. With these abilities he became a god by seeing all that transpired on all planes. However, this omnipresent knowledge also drove him irreparably mad. This dual-edged nature of magic is cherished by his followers and is epitomized in his apotheosis. Nethys is the God of Magic, and without him Magic would not be. After eating and coming to trust the party, Jask tells his tale. Jask was once employed by the Sargavan government, but when he uncovered evidence of corruption involving illicit deals with the Free Captains of the Shackles, Jask confronted his superior, only to be betrayed and framed for the same crimes. Faced with imprisonment, Jask fled all the way to Corentyn, where he lived a modest life as a scribe for a decade. He’d thought his enemies in Sargava had forgotten him, but then a Sargavan agent caught up with him and put him in
irons. The agent handed Jask over to the captain of the Jenivere with instructions to return Jask to Sargava for trial. He woke up on the beach near the wrecked Jenivere.

The group asks where the Jenivere is and he promises to take them in the morning. Drizzt says there are certainly still supplies left on the ship. He also hopes the group can help him find a ship called the Brine Demon. One of the incriminating papers he found so long ago indicated that one of his superior’s contacts in the Shackles was a man named Avret Kinkarian. Kinkarian’s ship, the Brine Demon, reputedly wrecked here on Smuggler’s Shiv. He knows it’s a long shot, but Jask would love to track the ship down and explore the wreck on the off chance there could be more
evidence somewhere aboard to prove his innocence.

That morning, the group finds the Jenivere. Even a cursory glance is enough to confirm that the Jenivere will never sail again. Only the fortuitous presence of a sharp ridge of rock near the side of the sheer cliff wall has prevented the wreck from sinking entirely into the sea, for only the ship’s stern seems to have survived the wreck. This portion is wedged at an angle between the cliff and the rocks, and each wave shakes and tosses the wreck alarmingly. It won’t be long before the
constant pounding of the waves dislodges the wreck and allows the hungry sea to claim the last of this once-fine ship. Aerys suggests reaching the Jenivere from land is easiest at low tide, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

The group swims out to the Jenivere, but Ismur encounters trouble. He cannot swim well but is excellent at wading, so he remains in the water and eventually goes back to shore while the rest of the party goes into the remains of the Jenivere. The other four- Aerys, Sasha, Ishirou, and Gelik remained at base camp.

Aboard the Jenivere, all that survives are the upper decks, a portion of the captain’s cabin, and on the mid-deck, the larder, a supply room, and the brig and galley. Although the Jenivere’s only lifeboat at first seems to be missing, the fate of this smaller boat becomes clear—it was washed up between the ship and the cliff and was crushed by the action of the waves smashing the Jenivere against the cliff side. Part of the lifeboat’s bow still lolls about in the surf, attached to a protruding timber by a thick rope, as if someone had moored the boat to the wreck. The wreck is not completely abandoned, as one of the scorpion creatures was trying to get to the body of First Mate Alton Devers. It becomes apparent that Alton was the one of rescued the passengers, but he apparently perished by stings from the water scorpion.

Suspicion soon fell on the Captain and his Varisian Scholar friend, Ieana. The captain’s cabin is a wreck—a jagged hole in the side has allowed most of the room’s contents to spill out into the surf and wash away. The group does find supplies (including a bottle of brandy which Arya takes) and the captain’s log.

An examination of this log reveals that the Jenivere’s captain seemed to be suffering from some sort of madness that grew over the course of the ship’s final voyage. Earlier entries from previous voyages are precise in recording progress and events along the way, as are entries from the first two-thirds of this last trip. Yet as one reads further, the more recent the entries get, the less common they become—in some cases, several days are missing entries. What entries do appear are strangely short, focusing more and more on one of the passengers—the Varisian scholar Ieana, with whom the captain seems to have become obsessed. Several entries are nothing more
than poorly written love poems to Ieana, while others bemoan Captain Kovack’s inability to please her or catch her attention. Near the end, the entries begin to take on a more ominous tone with the captain starting to complain that other members of the crew are eyeing “his Ieana.” In particular, he suspects his first mate is in love with her, and writes several times about how he wishes Alton would just “have an accident.” The final entry is perhaps the most disturbing, for in
it the captain writes of how he’s changed course for Smuggler’s Shiv at Ieana’s request. He hopes that the two of them can make a home on the remote island, but also notes that the crew are growing increasingly agitated at the ship’s new course. The captain muses that “something may need to be done about the crew” if their suspicions get any worse.

The next day, Drizzt and Arjin set out again. Arjin came back early carrying waterskins full of fresh water. He had found a small stream about an hour’s walk. He grabbed more containers and asked Aerys if she wanted to join him this time. She gave him the stink eye and he replied, “OK then.”

The next several days went this way, with Drizzt and Arjin scouting south down the shoreline. One night they decided to travel together and spend the night to extend their recon. That night, Arjin heard the distinct flapping of wings very close by. He and Drizzt did not find anything of note. When they returned to camp, they told the group of their encounter. The group at base camp also had a story- Arya had a dream.

She was back aboard the Jenivere, bent over the railing being seasick. After her latest bout of retching, she slumped back and see the rest of the passengers and crew are on deck as well, all of them sick save for the captain and the quiet Varisian scholar Ieana. She whispers in the captain’s ear, then gives him a kiss on the cheek. At that point the captain holds up a wooden
soup spoon, and she realizes that she’s holding one as well. Everyone has a spoon. The ship is sinking, and the only way to stop it is to bail out the hold with her spoon! She works feverishly, but the waters keep rushing in. Just before she wakes, she can see monstrous things with pincers in the water trying to claw their way into the ship.

3 May 4730

The group spends their second week trying to plan how to get off the island. Morale is low; they’ve been accosted by poisonous snakes, hungry plants, and a swarm of ants. Sasha decides to make Rhovyn the unofficial leader of the group, and Aerys syas she’d like to be leader, too. Aerys mentions a vote-off. Rhovyn wins and becomes the leader, but Aerys still makes comments about her poor leadership.

5 May 4730

This night, Drizzt has a dream. He’s sitting down in the galley aboard the Jenivere, getting ready for a meal. The ship’s cook has given a steaming bowl of soup, but he drops his spoon. He sees that the deck below is covered with seawater up to his ankles, and his dropped spoon has sunk into the water and washed out to sea through a hole. He is forced to lift your delicious bowl of soup to his lips and drink. But something big goes into his mouth as he does so, and he feels a sharp bite on his tongue. He drops the bowl, only to reveal a serpent had hidden in his soup that
now dangles from his tongue as it chews furiously. He start awake, biting his own tongue in an attempt to bite through the snake’s body.

The next night, while he and Arjin are traveling south again for recon, they find the blood-drained body of a giant rat or a monkey tangled in the branches of a tree. Footprints of some best are few in the area, and they believe it must be flying.

On the way back, Drizzt sees two shining, red eyes in the bushes nearby, which disappear when he moves. They check the area to find the same footprints as were around the dead monkey.

The next night, the sound of large wings passes overhead—and suddenly the body of a goat, most of the blood drained from its broken body, falls into the middle of their fire with a crash! They prepare for battle yet none comes.

On the last night before reaching base camp, they are attacked by a winged creature, twice their size. It wounds both of them with claws before they manage to wound it, causing it to fly away with a screech.

When they arrive back and relate their tale, the camp has had another nightmare. Ismur dreamed
He was in a rowboat on the open ocean at night. Sitting across him, rowing the boat, is First
Mate Alton. He’s obviously dead, with the wounds and stings his body displays on the wreck of the Jenivere, but still he rows. Eventually, the boat reaches an island covered with snakes. Alton waits as Ismur exits the boat, standing ankledeep in snakes, and then he turns and rows back out to sea, Ismur assumes off to look for more survivors to ferry to shore. But Alton never returns, and Ismur wakes up just as the snakes start to bite.

9 May 4730
Under Rhovyn’s leadership, roles begin to develop and the group coalesces. Morale rises as taks are assigned and executed. Jask becomes the healer, curing minor injuries with his skill, caring for sick people, and using his cure spells for major injuries. Gelik becomes the entertainer-in-chief, and organizes activities during the evening to bolster morale and keep it high. Even Aerys begins to soften up, despite Arya’s claims that she stole her bottle of brandy. Aerys begins to draw up plans for building a raft of some sort, but is afraid anything they build will not be able to withstand the waves. Sasha is proving to be a capable fighter and trains the group how to act quickly before your enemy has a chance to act. Ishirou is still his dour self, but his combat prowess has proven him to be the best combatant in the group, wielding his katana with deadly precision.

The choice is made to abandon camp and head south. Well supplied and well fed, the group begins their journey.

During their journey, they come across several shipwrecks, each time trying to make their way across the water for supplies. About half the ships have undead on them, skeletons or zombies hungry for living flesh. Ismur still has trouble swimming, but somehow finds on the beach a pair of swim fins, never used and still tied together from the manufacturer. He hugs them and puts them on his belt.

The group finds the Brine Demon, the ship Jask was hoping for. They’ve found it late, and decide to go in the morning. That night, the group hears coming from the waves near the ship, “Alas my Aeshemara!” They keep a vigilant nightwatch and go to the ship in the morning. There are a few supplies, including a locket with a woman’s picture in it which Rhovyn takes.

From here, the group turns west into the interior. That same day they encounter tracks, a pair of them, deducing them to belong to the Captain and Ieana. They head inland further and reach a dirt path which they think belongs to the cannibals. However, the tracks cross the path and pick back up, heading west, which the group follows.

The tracks lead west across a river and then south, following the shoreline of an immense bay, across which the party can see a large mountain. After a day of tracking, the tracks cut west again where they meet up with another pathway. This time, the tracks cease and cannot be followed on the path. The party decides to go north along the path.

The path winds through a 10-foot-wide gulch here, flanked on either side by steep 50-foot-high slopes. Not quite vertical cliffs, these slopes host numerous scraggly plants and a number of hanging vines. Arjin, though careful, nonetheless trips a snare, grabbing his ankle and flinging him into the air upside down. This has happened before, and Gelik laughs, but this time an enemy comes out of the bushes and attacks. A native to the island, wielding club, charges the closest person- Rhovyn. The group springs into action, Arjin cutting himself down and joining the fight to knock the man unconscious rather than kill him. Soon the man collapses and is tied up. The group wants answers.

But he man isn’t forthcoming, answering Rhovyn’s questions with smiles and lip-licking. They assume he’s one of the cannibals. They continue north and reach another bay, this one much larger than the previous one. They can see the curved part of the island to the north which they feel is the “blade” of the island they started on. They debate what to do about the prisoner. Rhovyn says if we can’t get information from him, to kill him. Ismur and Drizzt say maybe we should let him go, but Arjin and Ismur wonder if he’ll come back and attack or at least warn more cannibals. Rhovyn is convinced to tie the man up to a tree and leave him there rather than kill him outright. However, the man begins screaming and cursing as they walk away. Sasha ends the discussion by grabbing Rhovyn’s staff and bludgeoning the man’s brains out.

The group spends the night on the shore. The next morning, they spot a series of partially ruined nests made out of palm fronds and driftwood. A large number of broken sawtooth sabres and daggers lie scattered about here. They uncover a dagger still in its protective leather scabbard under a mound of toppled driftwood. The dagger’s blade is etched with a pair of crossed
praying mantis claws—the mark of the Red Mantis.

Before heading back south, Arjin spots a giant crab on the shore and the group decides to avoid it.

The group heads south on the path. They reach a fork, with the path splitting west and east and take the eastern path. They reach a rope bridge which spans a river, crossing it to take the path that leads up into the dense foliage of the large mountain. While on an overlook, they spot a temple buried under the dense canopy, its top poking through on the south shoreline, not far from the path they were on two days ago. They also spot near their current position a large wooden-staked wall and decide to turn around and come back the way they came.

Backtracking takes several days and they reach the split again, this time moving west. They reach another split in the path, this time going north and continuing west. They remain on the western path until it veers south. The group decides to get off the path and make it to the western shore instead. They do so because in the distance they can see an incredibly large tree, and Drizzt says he has a good feeling about it.

When they reach it, a single, immense banyan tree grows atop this hill, surrounded by a smaller grove of trees that seem almost like supplicants gathered around a revered elder to bask in the wisdom of the ages. Drizzt begins to speak Sylvan, in ways to alert any fey which he believes to be nearby. A beautifl Dryad appears out of the tree, smiling at Drizzt and asks him how he came to know their language. He explains to her- and the group- that he was raised by fey, and tells the tale of their journeys thus far. The Dryad, Aycenia, is the only one of her kind on Smuggler’s Shiv.

After relating their tale, Aycenia says the Thrunefang cannibals avoid this region. Aycenia does not recall how she came to be on the island, only that she has dwelt here for many ages. She remembers when the Thrune’s Fang castaways first came to the island, when the first Sargavan
colonists began building the lighthouse, and even earlier times. Yet she also knows that she is a newcomer to Smuggler’s Shiv, for she can feel through her tree’s roots that even more ancient secrets and creatures lie under the soil of this island, but Aycenia does not know what or where these areas are. What she does know is that part of her realm is suffering a hideous blight. She can sense the foul intrusion on the “Silent Island” to the north, but is relatively powerless to do anything about it, for she fears what the fungal blight might do to her even if she were brave enough to abandon her tree to handle the situation herself. Aycenia offers to aid the group if they can travel to the island and rid the place of its colorless curse. In reward for this service, Aycenia
not only promises to allow them to rest here as often as they wish. Aycenia knows much about the island’s inhabitants and tells the PCs about how the cannibals came to the island 70-some years ago.

She tells them the large mountain is called the Red Mountain which holds an evil monstrous flying creature and where the cannibal camp is. In return for their help, she will also try and seek out answers for where Captain Kovack and Ieana went.

The party heads north along the shore the next day after reaching the western limits of the island.

They reach the two islands known as the Silent Island. The bigger one beyond the first holds the greater landmass and blight. This bleak island stands out to anyone who casts her gaze to the west, for whereas the rest of Smuggler’s Shiv is a luscious green and a riot of jungle sounds, this island is a silent gray scar on the horizon. From afar, the island may look as if it is covered with trees, but up close the “trees” are revealed to be foul gray stalks of fibrous fungus, growing up into the air almost like stalagmites in a cave. Between these weird stalks, the “undergrowth” consists of thick wiry tangles of lichens and gray fungus, all growing on a foul-smelling muddy surface. With the exception of the waves crashing along the beaches, the island is eerily silent. The fungus that grows on this island is difficult to identify, but Drizzt’s underdark knowledge of fungi allows him to deduce similarities to various strains of fungi and mushrooms that normally grow in the upper reaches of the Darklands, yet none of the fungal growths on the Silent Island have caps like proper mushrooms. The fungus tends to wriggle and ripple even when there’s no breeze to
stir its filaments and dangling sheets.

While traversing the island, they are accosted by a group of small foliage-like men. Ismur describes them as Vegypygmies, and they attack on sight. The group makes quick work of the creatures and continue to find a smaller island connected by strange cords.

An ancient wreck lies wedged between a pair of rocks here, yet despite its age, the ruined sailing ship at first seems in relatively good condition. The ship has no color to its lines, and is completely covered in a layer of soft gray mold. Even its sails appear fully intact, although what hangs from the spars is not canvas but sheets of thick, pale fungus. Several thick ropes of fungus connect the ship’s upper deck to the island almost like crude rope bridges. Gelik recognizes this derelict is the wreck of the Nightvoice, a large Pathfinder Society exploration vessel that originally hailed from Almas. The Nightvoice mysteriously vanished on an attempted voyage around the southern coast of Garund.

The thick fungus ropes that bridge the shore and the ship were used to make the 60-foot crossing to the wreck. The party reaches the ship and enters to find a horrific factory of sorts. The Nightvoice’s cargo hold is a hideous scene—the skeletal remains of the ship’s crew lie enshrined here. In all there are 19 bodies here, each consisting of a mound of bones caked over with mold; each sits amid a small circle of personal objects, teeth, coins, bits of jewelry, and other objects that
the crewmember valued in life. The vegepygmies honor these bodies as their “birth corpses” in a crude form of ancestor worship. While many of the objects scattered around the skeletons have long since rotted or rusted away, a search of the hold reveals a moldy ship’s log. The pages are badly damaged by mold, identifies the ship as the Nightvoice, and relates the cause of the crew’s fate and, eventually, the captain’s decision to “carry the blasphemous pod up to the top of a rock spire to the east of this island” in an attempt to hide it away from the prying eyes of humanity.

Beyond the ship is a small outcropping of an island. A fifty-foot-high pillar of fungus-covered rock thrusts up from the surf here, angling away from the main body of the larger island to the west. The rock is connected to the main island by thick tangles of fibrous fungus, perhaps providing a way to cross the churning surf below. As with the fungus strands,, the fungus ropes are used to make the 90-foot crossing to the pillar. Near the top of the rocky spire on the northern face, obscured from the sun and 40 feet above the sea below, is a cave mouth. Numerous strange offerings lie around the cave mouth— brightly colored seashells, bits of polished stone, and many bones and skulls. The opening leads 15 feet inside the pillar through several thick curtains of
fungus to a 30-foot-diameter cavern.

Ismur is hit twice, but the teamwork under Rhovyn’s leadership prevails and quickly downs the creature. Within minutes, the entire island’s fungal population begins to dim and whither. Drizzt says the fungus is dying and should be gone within days.

Completing the Dryad’s task, they head back. When they arrive, they tell the tales of the fungi’s defeat. The Dryad is happy and relates that two individuals made their way from the north part of the island to the pathway belonging to the cannibals, then turned south and entered the cannibal camp. The group prepares for that day, but wants to check out a ship they saw off the coast near the western shore. They travel there and swim across to the ship, finding more supplies. However, the trip was not without cost.

An Octopus saw the group and attacked. It grabbed Gelik, who could not swim well, and dragged him down into the depths. The group waiting anxiously for any sign, but they were not strong enough to fend off such a creature. Gelik was gone. They returned to the Dryad somberly.

Aerys became quite sick. Jask said she does not have a disease, and Aerys admitted angrily she was an alcoholic. She was going through severe withdrawals. The Dryad said there were Viper Nettles nearby which produced an effect which would alleviate her symptoms. Arjin decided to go out and gather some, bringing them back and getting a thank you from Aerys. Not yet fully recovered, however, she stayed behind with Shalimar, Ishirou, and Sasha while the others went to the cannibal camp.

Arriving at the camp, they immediately see the large lighthouse. The Thrunefang camp consists of several large wooden huts with palm-frond roofs arranged in a small clearing in the jungle in the shadow of the stone lighthouse. The group has entered the area from the north, opposite the path. They see one hut and a woman who appears to be a spellcaster of sorts go into it. They decide to ambush her.

She dies in the fight, her monkey companion making enough noise to draw the attention of several savages. Arya remains outside the hut, doing her best to keep them at bay with her bow and arrows. Drizzt remains outside, fighting in melee with them. Rhovyn and Ismur fight the witch and her backups inside the hut, while Arjin remains outside trying to draw attention away from the commotion.

Drizzt and Arjin nearly die, and although the witch was killed, Rhovyn and Ismur are no match for the cannibals and their clubs. Arya does her best and gets Arjin and Drizzt away from the hut, but they are not able to save Rhovyn and Ismur without healing and help. They flee back to the Dryad, hoping the cannibals with leave them to age before eating them, giving the group time to get back.

Rhovyn and Ismur awake naked, tied to poles, in the large stone building attached to the lighthouse. Rhovyn breaks the rope binding her hands, then wakes Ismur up and sets him free. Without looking for their items, they flee into the night. The Dryad warns the party that their friends have escaped, and Drizzt and Arjin hurriedly meet them several hours later, guiding them back to the Dryad’s tree where they are healed.

The group plans out their next move, deciding to attack en masse with everything they’ve got. There ultimate goal is to find the captain and Ieana. If they can get in quietly they will. However, the cannibals figure the group would come back, and send out scouts to detect their return. Scouts do indeed see that group returning to attack, and prepare the camp.

When the group reaches the camp, they find it abandoned. They sneak into the larger stone building and are then ambushed from several points. The cannibals are brutal in their attacks. Aerys takes several wounds to the head and collapses. Drizzt and Arya flee out the back and climb onto the roof to attack with bows. Ismur, Sasha, Ishirou, Jask, Rhovyn, and Arjin remain inside, fighting closely. Ismur is knocked unconcious, and Rhovyn is nearly killed. Arjin is knocked unconcious and Jask has his head split open by a solid club strike, dying instantly.

Sasha fends off the remaining cannibals inside while Drizzt and Arya kill what remains outside. After the battles, the group finds that Aerys has died from her wounds.

After burying them under stones, the group searches the camp. Rather than travel back to the Dryad, they decide to stay there and finish the search the next day. However, during the night, a ghost appears out of the campfire and accosts Rhovyn.

He screams to her about his beloved Aeshamara , calling her and her companions scoundrels and demands the return of his beloved. They back up in fear but recognize he is not moving to attack. He appears as a nearly skeletal form, his bare bones picked clean by the fish and crabs, yet he still wears his dripping coat and tricorn hat. One of his hands is a gleaming metal hook, and his whole insubstantial form constantly drips with cold, brackish seawater. They deduce he wants the locket Rhovyn found, but she does not have it- it was taken by the cannibals when she was captured.

During the day’s search, they did not find their equipment, but they promise the ghost they will get it. He next day they find it and await his return at night. Judging correctly he will appear anywhere on the island as long as there is a campfire, they decide to go back to the Dryad for healing. The ghost does not appear that night, nor in consecutive nights. Nothing untoward happens, though, so the group decides to explore what remains of the northern part of the island.

The group is attacked by flying dinosaurs, but they are quickly dispatched and the next tracked down. Sasha, in her love for all baby animals, adopts a baby Dimorphodon with the help of Rhovyn.

After exploring the remaining portion of the “blade,” they decide to investigate the giant crab. The waves crash against a narrow beach of white sand, swirling around an immense red and orange crab the size of a small house that crouches on spiny legs. As they approach, the crab’s arms begin to move up and down and the pincers open and close, the crab moaning like a dying man. After studying it for a minute, Shalimar realizes it’s not a real crab, but some sort of construct, yet not one under any magical control or nature. They shout at the crab that they are friendly. Eventually, a Tengu walks out waving a Sawtooth Sabre, yelling to leave his home.

They parley with him. This crab is in fact the home of an eccentric tengu named Pezock—the last remaining survivor of the Crow’s Tooth and has since been rigged with a number of ropes and pulleys scavenged from shipwrecks. This complex contraption allows Pezock to pull and tug ropes to give his home the semblance of life—the crab’s pincers rise and fall, its legs twitch, and its stalked eyes wriggle and shift. The ferocious facade is really rather unsettling to see, especially when Pezock begins making hideous shrieking sounds that the crab’s cavernous interior amplifies into low-pitched moans not unlike that of a dying man.

Pezock has come to love the island and the tengu invites them into his cramped home for a lunch of poorly smoked sculpin and raw sea urchins. Pezock is grateful for conversation, and points out that talking to real people is so much more rewarding than talking to fish and sea birds and the ghosts in the surf, none of whom are particularly talkative. He has no interest in leaving his home. Pezock doesn’t particularly fear the cannibals (“What worry do I have from human cannibals? They eat humans! Even though I bet I taste delicious!”). If asked about his magic sawtooth sabre, Pezock waxes nostalgic and almost teary eyed, talking about how he was given the sword by his close friend, the captain of the Crow’s Tooth. The sabre’s all he has to remember poor Captain
Eraka Zoventai now, and he periodically stops to pet it and whisper promises of wetting it in cannibal blood some day.

Pezock asks the PCs if they’re with the other two new people he’s recently seen on the island. If asked for a description, Pezock describes two humans matching the descriptions of Captain Kovack of the Jenivere and the Varisian scholar Ieana. Pezock didn’t approach the two, but he can confirm that the Varisian was obviously the leader, giving curt orders to the other as they
made their way along the jungle trail toward the south.

When the party questioned him further on the sword, he becomes agitated, explaining calmly about his honor. When Shalimar presses him again, he becomes angry, telling everyone to get out, that his honor is not to be questioned. Further questioning for Shalimar leads the tengu to rise and prepare for combat before Rhovyn steps in and calms things down, and everyone leaves.

Pezock yells to not return or they will all die.

After heading back south and following the looping path into the middle of the island, they find a river and cross it. An overgrown jungle path leads to a small clearing where a partially collapsed hut stands on the banks of a gurgling stream. The hut itself seems to have been made from a combination of driftwood and tree trunks, with a roof of wide leaves and strips of rotten canvas sail. The front door to the hut hangs partially ajar. Dozens of bones and skulls—quite obviously of
human origin—decorate the hut and the surrounding area, each bearing numerous nicks and scratches. An inspection of the large amount of bones here reveals that there must be several
dozen dead bodies represented. The markings on the bones are identified as having been left by stone knives and, in some cases, human teeth. There was old journal that spoke about “Mother Thrunefang.”

Grand Lodge

In RAW for Alchemist, "An alchemist can study a wizard's spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains."

Does this extend to the investigator as well? If so, are the rules on cost the same as a wizard copying?

Grand Lodge

Thank you, Murdock, for your enlightening answer.

First, this particular scenario has not been covered.

Second, I'm the GM. And forgive me if I want to get it right.

Third, yes, I actually want rules lawyers to chime in, otherwise, as a GM I would have just said, "I'm the GM, deal with it." I wanted to know what others thought on the particular situation of dueling commands.

Fourth, lawyers don't always get paid, it's called "pro bono."


Grand Lodge

Ahhh Charm Person, that wonderful first level spell that players love to abuse, and the spell that leaves GMs floundering in its ambiguity. I bring it up again because I think it's important to hash out certain characteristics of the spell itself, and because there was a certain scenario in my game over the weekend in which none of the previous threads have touched upon with Charm Person.

I think it is important to note that the Charm Spell does not remove the influence of the charmed creature's allies; neither does it force the charmed to act right away with whatever he was convinced to do, especially if it means danger to him or his actual allies.

I think the overarching issue with the spell is the word "convince" in the description. If this were given more clarification, especially as to how long the convincing takes and what someone can be convinced of- with some sort of numbers provided, or at least a deferment to another rule set, like diplo- the charm spell would be much better understood.

I'd appreciate a civil discussion about this, much like lawyers do with laws. Please don't say it's up to the GM, that's not what we're looking at this for. Obviously, a GM has the final rule, but we'd like to hammer out some details to make the Charm Spell fair for everyone- or at least seem fair.

Here are the facts concerning the above scenario and questions. Relevant RAW included.

Charm Person:

Charm Person
School enchantment (charm) [mind-affecting]
Casting Time 1 standard action
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
This charm makes a humanoid creature regard you as its trusted friend and ally (treat the target's attitude as friendly). If the creature is currently being threatened or attacked by you or your allies, however, it receives a +5 bonus on its saving throw.

The spell does not enable you to control the charmed person as if it were an automaton, but it perceives your words and actions in the most favorable way. You can try to give the subject orders, but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do anything it wouldn't ordinarily do. (Retries are not allowed.) An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing. Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the charmed person breaks the spell. You must speak the person's language to communicate your commands, or else be good at pantomiming.

Charm/Compulsion Rules:

Charm and Compulsion

Many abilities and spells can cloud the minds of characters and monsters, leaving them unable to tell friend from foe—or worse yet, deceiving them into thinking that their former friends are now their worst enemies. Two general types of enchantments affect characters and creatures: charms and compulsions.

Charming another creature gives the charming character the ability to befriend and suggest courses of action to his minion, but the servitude is not absolute or mindless. Charms of this type include the various charm spells and some monster abilities. Essentially, a charmed character retains free will but makes choices according to a skewed view of the world.

A charmed creature doesn't gain any magical ability to understand his new friend's language. A charmed character retains his original alignment and allegiances, generally with the exception that he now regards the charming creature as a dear friend and will give great weight to his suggestions and directions.

A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend, and even then he uses the least lethal means at his disposal as long as these tactics show any possibility of success (just as he would in a fight with an actual friend).

A charmed character is entitled to an opposed Charisma check against his master in order to resist instructions or commands that would make him do something he wouldn't normally do even for a close friend. If he succeeds, he decides not to go along with that order but remains charmed.

A charmed character never obeys a command that is obviously suicidal or grievously harmful to him.

If the charming creature commands his minion to do something that the influenced character would be violently opposed to, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to break free of the influence altogether.

A charmed character who is openly attacked by the creature who charmed him or by that creature's apparent allies is automatically freed of the spell or effect.

Compulsion is a different matter altogether. A compulsion overrides the subject's free will in some way or simply changes the way the subject's mind works. A charm makes the subject a friend of the caster; a compulsion makes the subject obey the caster.

Regardless of whether a character is charmed or compelled, he does not volunteer information or tactics that his master doesn't ask for.

Serious people:

Jiggy RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32: "...charm person is all but useless in combat, unless you have a very well-coordinated team and have pre-planned tactics for making it work." (

BigNorseWolf: "They're probably morally opposed to killing their mother: in that case it CAN"T be done with this spell, charisma check or not." (

Ross Byers RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32: "That charisma check is there for things like 'abandon your post' to a guard. Not for 'murder your best friend'." .... "Being a 'trusted friend and ally' doesn't make the target automatically ignorant of the consequences of their actions. I'm not going to commit murder for anyone, no matter how good of a friend they are. If for nothing else, because I don't want to get hung." (


Charm person makes a humanoid "friendly" to you, as per the rules found in the Diplomacy skill, but it also allows you to issue orders to the target, making an opposed Charisma check to convince the target to do something that it would not normally do. How does that work?

The charm person spell (and charm monster by extension) makes the target your friend. It will treat you kindly (although maybe not your allies) and will generally help you as long as your interests align. This is mostly in the purview of the GM. If you ask the creature to do something that it would not normally do (in relation to your friendship), that is when the opposed Charisma check comes into play. For example, if you use charm person to befriend an orc, the orc might share his grog with you and talk with you about the upcoming raid on a nearby settlement. If you asked him to help you fight some skeletons, he might very well lend a hand. If you asked him to help you till a field, however, you might need to make that check to convince him to do it.

That about wraps it up for this week. Keep those questions coming.

Jason Bulmahn

Special Spell Effects:

Many special spell effects are handled according to the school of the spells in question. Certain other special spell features are found across spell schools.


Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don't harm anyone.

1. The trolls have a commander, a bard, who has not charmed them. However, he treats them very well, and they would die for this commander (they would not necessarily die for the king). The bard as "authority" over the trolls as their commander, and they have no reason to disobey orders given.

2. During the battle(one in which trolls have been killed already), a PC charms one of the trolls. During the charm, he states to the troll "prevent the bard from casting spells." QUESTIONs:
a. Is the action of this order a free action?
b. Is preventing their commander from casting spells an act which would "it wouldn't normally do?"
c. Would the order to prevent his commander from casting spells be a "suicidal or obviously harmful act?"
d. The PC believes (and conflicting RAW and FAQ info may support) that all the PC needs to do to "convince" the troll to prevent his commander from casting spells is an opposed charisma check. In essence, the PC believes an opposed charisma check is sufficient to force the troll to do anything the PC wants, because of the magic of the charm spell and the way it is written. The FAQ on this i also ridiculously vague, but Buhlman's sentence about making a check to kill one's family holds some weight.
e. If indeed "convincing" is needed, how long does it take to "convince?" A free action? Other methods of convincing or interacting to influence like Diplo and Intimidate require conversation and attention, which take more than one round. Is the ability check in the instance of this spell (an opposed Charisma check) simply a free action to speak and thus "convince," or does the act of "convincing" take more than a free action? Or is the act of "convincing" a longer action with the result of an opposed charisma check at the end?
f. Do the Diplomacy rules on making a request come into play with this spell?

Make a Request:
If a creature’s attitude toward you is at least indifferent, you can make requests of the creature. This is an additional Diplomacy check, using the creature’s current attitude to determine the base DC, with one of the following modifiers. Once a creature’s attitude has shifted to helpful, the creature gives in to most requests without a check, unless the request is against its nature or puts it in serious peril. Some requests automatically fail if the request goes against the creature’s values or its nature, subject to GM discretion.

3. The troll cannot act on anything requested by the PC until it is that troll's turn.

4. On the troll's turn, the bard commander orders the troll to abandon his post on the wall and return to a different area of the fort.
a. The commander, during any other time, doesn't have to make any roll whatsoever to have the troll obey an order. The commander is the troll's superior.
b. The troll sees the PC as a "trusted friend and ally." The troll also sees the commander as a "trusted friend and ally," but also sees the commander as his leader and an authority figure. Remember, the troll is not charmed by the bard commander and would die for him.

5. The troll now has two conflicting orders. One request/order from the PC to take an action against his own commander, the other given by that commander to vacate the area and go to a different area of the battlefield.
a. Let's say the FAQ and RAW do indeed allow the PC, with a successful opposed charisma check, to force the troll to go ahead and prevent the troll's bard commander from casting spells.
b. As above in a., the PC has issued an order which the troll must heed. However, the commander has also issued an order, and the commander never has to roll to issue an order as that troll's commander.
c. The trolls has two opposing orders, one given by a trusted friend and ally who's convinced him with opposed charisma checks (between the PC and troll) to take action against his own commander. The other order is from that commander, who needs no check, to withdraw to another area. Both characters would be successful in asserting their will. However, which will (request/order) will the troll heed? I would think that the commander's orders hold more weight than the PC's, because the bard commander never has to roll to issue an order like this.
d. If anything, the troll commander’s order may seem better than other alternatives, because if he assaults his own commander there will no doubt be repercussions, but if he doesn't listen to his PC friend, he could upset him. So removing himself from the area may be the best way out.

I believe the scenario would play out like this:

The troll sees the PC has a friend. It likewise keeps seeing the bard commander as its authority figure and friend. When given the order by the PC to prevent its friend and commander from casting spells, it thinks, "damn, stop my commander? I'll surely be punished for insubordination. The friends of my new PC friend have also killed some of my fellow troll friends, so I'm not sure what is going on. Uh oh, my commander is yelling an order again. Perhaps I should just prevent him from casting spells and reason with him to not hurt my new PC friend." Or turning to the new friend for clarification, needs some "convincing." (Which would take more than a free action)

But- the bard commander isn't casting spells, and it's the troll's turn, so the commander issues an order to relocate. The troll thinks, "well, my commander isn't casting spells at the moment, and he gave me an order. That order doesn't harm my new PC friend in any way, so I'll obey the order from my commander and do my duty."

Thus, the troll would relocate to the new position so ordered by the commander- it obeys his order while at the same time still holding the new PC friend in safety for not attacking the new PC friend or doing something that may cause harm.

Remember Charm Person isa level 1 spell shouldn't force the troll to disobey its commander, because the charm spell has no influence whatsoever on the bard commander's authoritative influence on the troll.

Here’s how it should work out:

PC casts Charm Person as a standard action on the troll who fails saving throw. Uses free action to say, "Stop those casters behind you from casting their spells."

When the troll's turn arrives, the commander bard says, as a free action, "Return to your post immediately! You are to execute order 4." (Order 4 is simply return to the inner fort doorway and protect the entrance at all costs). However, the PC then uses his free action, repeating his request/order to stop the casters from casting spells.

At the moment, the two casters (including the bard commander) are not casting any spells. The troll now has his action, but conflicting requests. He wouldn't normally take action against his bard commander. At this point, per the rules "All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks," the opposed charisma check made by the PC would automatically fail, because the act of stopping his commander from casting spells is offensive. End of issue.

However, let's say the request by the PC is "you need to retreat to a safer location, like back to your barracks" vs. the commander's order to move to the doorway. The troll has two requests. With a successful opposed charisma check, the PC can convince the troll that moving to the barracks is a good idea.

This "convincing" isn't a magical compulsion. The act of an opposed check is not imparting a magical will onto the troll. However, the act of convincing, if successful, would lead the troll to believe returning to the barracks is likely a good idea. The player playing the PC should then interact with the troll. However, this cannot be done as a free action, because the troll may have questions about why returning to the barracks is better than obeying a command from his captain. It would take at least a round or two for the opposed charisma check roll AFTER the PC interacts with the troll, just like a diplomacy check (in fact, the spell details in the FAQ: Charm person makes a humanoid "friendly" to you, as per the rules found in the Diplomacy skill). But what happens in the meantime? Combat is happening, the troll gets more orders. Just like with diplomacy, the two people must be engaged in conversation in order for the troll to be convinced. Since the spell does not state what an opposed charisma check entails, the convincing takes longer than a free action, but the check can still be made at the end of that interaction. But if the troll is given an order by his commander, it would simply follow that order and tell the PC friend he'll get back to him in a bit...

Final musings:

Would the troll get another chance to save v. the charm spell when given a command, before or after an order is given, with regard to keeping his commander from casting spells?

Charm person should be rewritten to be a special Diplomacy check.

Or in the least, in order to "convince..." per the charm spell, the above scenario could play out like this: Troll gets both orders, and being from a friend and another from a commander, may question the friend- "Dear friend, why would I stop my commander from casting spells? That would cause me some problem after the battle!" The charmed person isn't struck dumb, and doesn't have to act immediately on the friend's (PC) demand, right? I don't think he does. In Bulmahn's example in FAQ, surely the attempt to "convince" per the charm spell someone to kill their family would take at least a few minutes of persuasion, right? I would bet my long GM/DM "career" on the fact that since Charm Person is a first level spell, succeeding an opposed Charisma check does not in any way force the charmed person to act immediately after a simple free action opposed check.

Along the same lines, when someone wants to do a Diplomacy check, I've always made the PC actually talk to me (or the NPC) as though they were trying to convince. Based on what they said, I'd apply bonuses or penalties to the roll. A Diplo roll isn't just a flick of the wrist- the person playing the PC must speak, at least. Perhaps the opposed Charisma check should be done in the same way. Nothing says the GM must allow the player to roll a diplo check and be done with it; in fact, GMs I've played with always make someone at least talk. I think it's the same way with opposed charisma checks in the charm spell. The spell says in order to convince, an opposed roll is needed. OK, fine, well, the player also has to speak and say how they are trying to convince. The GM can then apply modifiers just like a diplo or other such check.

Grand Lodge

Sindenky, you are right, the bard commander is just authoritative.

However, the charm spell does not in any way remove the bard commander's ability to issue an order.

Grand Lodge

Sindenky wrote:
The troll would not normally go against its commanders orders. The orders of his friend go against the orders of his commander, so i would have the player and Troll make opposed checks. The bards skill has nothing to do with it at all.

This is obvious, but what happens when the PC wins the opposed check with the troll? The spell doesn't remove the bard commander's influence.

Grand Lodge

Thanks for the answers. I pulled out some relevant information from RAW on:

Charm and Compulsion

Charming another creature gives the charming character the ability to befriend and suggest courses of action to his minion, but the servitude is not absolute or mindless.

A charmed character retains his original alignment and allegiances,

A charmed character fights his former allies only if they threaten his new friend

Compulsion is a different matter altogether. A compulsion overrides the subject's free will in some way or simply changes the way the subject's mind works. A charm makes the subject a friend of the caster; a compulsion makes the subject obey the caster.

Grand Lodge

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Really wish Charm Person could be hammered out better for combat situations for clarification purposes rather then simply saying "let GM decide."

Here's the scenario:

A PC is confronting a troll and its commander, a Bard.

The PC puts Charm Monster on the troll and tells it to prevent the Bard from casting spells.

On the Troll's turn, the Bard, being the commander, orders the troll to a different area.

Who does the troll obey?

I'm of the opinion that the troll will obey the orders of its commander, because, well, he's its commander and the allied PC is just his friend. An opposed Charisma check to make the troll stop the Bard from spellcasting isn't necessarily needed, either, because stopping the Bard from spellcasting could be a simple hand on the mouth or something- the troll thinking he wants to stop his friends from fighting each other. However, one friend is more than that, it's his commander, and disobeying a direct order will have consequences.

If there is a check to be made between the bard commander and the pc caster, then what would that check be? As per the spell, the caster has to make charisma check vs. troll, but for the commander to give orders, he never has to make any checks.

So where in the rules does it hint at an opposed check between caster and bard? If there is a hint somewhere, then what check is made? Does a diplo or intimidate check become options?

I did see Buhlman's FAQ where he stated, " but killing loved ones is probably always going to require a check." Seems to me this may have been a mistake, but it wasn't corrected or clarified very well, so for now I'll use what he says.

Charm Person can make people kill their allies with a simple opposed Charisma check.

How long does it take to "convince" a charmed creature to do something it wouldn't normally do? Can you simply issue an order to "kill your commander" in one sentence, or does this require a several-round interaction process?

Grand Lodge

A group of PCs want to take control of a dead enemy Cavalier's mount.

I cannot for the life of me find rules on this. Surely the mount would not have all of the same abilities which it possessed while a companion of the Cavalier.

I just can't find anything which explains how to handle this situation.

Grand Lodge **

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The Good

First, as usual, great job by Paizo on organizing the event. Getting everything set up and integrating thousands of players with hundreds of events is one mighty task.

Mustering….wow. We never had to wait in line, not once, ever. Tables had plenty of room, events started with good timing, everything was clear and concise.

BigNorseWolf made me laugh so hard I nearly wet myself in Abducted in Aether.

It’s always good to see faces and put them to names we hear. Nice to see Paizo staff folks interacting. Shouldn’t just be for Paizo Con!

The products Paizo keeps putting out are great. I hope Starfinder doesn’t take away from Pathfinder.

I also did not have to strain to hear my GM or the HQ announcers, and I usually do, AND I’m legit 50% deaf!

Please take the rest of these opinions as just that; trivial things I thought I’d share, my opinions that only matter as much as the next one.

The Meh

The Specials: I was just not excited with the specials this year. I’m a fan of pregens and using them at GenCon, but not more than once. Pregens take time to look over and get a feel for. Often, one or two players at the table are unhappy or not satisfied with the pregen they end up with (if they come out on the losing end of some sort of tiebreaker). Players don’t get a good grasp on their pregens because, frankly, the game needs to be started, and it’s a lot to take on at once, especially if you’re a newish player. Unless I can choose which pregen I’m playing, I’ll likely not be playing pregens again.

The Saturday night special was disappointing. Our GM was not prepared at all. I don’t know whether he didn’t get his information in time or if he simply didn’t prep, but I think the first part of the adventure, which I will not spoil, could have been a blast if done correctly.

The Friday night special was not as exciting as usual, either. Didn’t seem like much excitement among the crowd, but I could certainly be misinterpreting. I think the format of gameplay is getting old.

The poor GMs have so much to prep and cover for that I feel sorry for them. Luckily, our group knew what they were doing and we all survived. Perhaps one of my favorite times playing a game in and of itself. It’s funny how the best games become the ones with the highest pucker factor and near certainty of death. Too, the pre-recording of the speech is a plus, and the words on the screen a plus, too. It would have been cool to have some more graphics, though.

Mustering was great, but I had a couple of new people ask me how to get in the game. They didn’t realize the banners above their head were the iconics they were supposed to stand under- they couldn’t see them without stepping further into the room.

Yes, the room is very cold, always has been always will be. I hate it. But I bring clothing. And I remember in 2015 when the AC wasn’t working, and I’ll take being cold.

The Bad

3 of the games I played in were ‘un-fun’ because of poor GMs- I actually wished for the time to go by. Some people are just not meant to GM, while others appeared not to have prepped at all. Too bad there isn’t some sort of simple rating system for GMs that took out player death bias and basic complainers. I realize we can just email the PFS Guild folks but I hesitate to complain by name dropping because the GM may have legitimately one bad game, and I’d hate to have to complain this way based on one game. Any other ideas? One, and I know it may be difficult, but that shouldn’t stop Paizo, is to get the GMs their adventures earlier than they have been. I would also bet the GMs running the specials would get worse ratings.

Time change: I was ok with the time changes when I first saw the schedule. But then I was experiencing the time changes. I don’t like them. There is virtually no chance I’ll play a morning game now. With evening games pushed to 8pm and ending around 1230a/1a, this neutralizes any chance of staying rested and healthy for the entirety of the Con.

The first seeker arc was only offered in the morning. Boooo.

The Hope

I hope Paizo can supplant Wizards for top RPG soon. I’d also like to see Paizo take over GenCon and the role Wizards once held, putting up statues and such.

Format change for specials. Expensive slot, boon not that great, not as exciting, repetitive encounters, and late completion = seriously considering not repeating.

Being a min/maxer, I had a surprisingly fun and pleasant time playing more roleplaying/non-combat encounters than I did combat ones! Whodathunkit? Good GMs make all the difference. In fact, a player at our table died, but he had so much fun he said it was worth it.

Odds and ends

@Gary Bush comments are certainly valid to this thread because they involve the Con… I’ll say this: Following rules is one thing, but taking up people’s time, when they’ve paid, is nonsense. If the rules are being skirted a bit which result in player’s being happy and having fun, this is what matters, not strict adherence to the “law.” Now of course, if there is obvious cheating which hurts others’ experience, that’s another matter entirely.

@JamesRisner: I’d like to know the player’s tally of the time changes. They count, too.

To finish, the new time slots- at least for me and my group of 4- will have us ceasing all the morning games. Of course, if the specials aren’t up to par with the price and reward if successful, we skip those and do the morning and afternoon games! However, since the dealer hall closes at 6pm (ridiculously) that means our dealer hall time has to be in the morning before our afternoon game, and since we commute (live nearby) the late completion of night game makes this routine very difficult.

How to fix this? I dunno. GMs are asked a lot of, and I personally don’t want to sit at a table with a hangry GM! Maybe more could be done for them like ordering in food, or staggering games, whatever.

Bob, the only “right” solution is one that maximizes both player and GM happiness in the experience, otherwise we have nothing and everything ends. If players aren’t buying tickets because of times, that’s a problem. If GMs are able to get at least one decent meal (carbs, protein, veges), that’s a problem.

@bignorsewolf: regarding food and snacks, I hear girl scout cookies make good snacks.

Grand Lodge **

Is it possible to let us know what race/type the pre-generated characters will be for Pathfinder Society Special #7-99: Through Maelstrom Rift?

I would like to at least have correct minis for the table!

Grand Lodge

I think I know the answer, but I wanted to get clarification.

Can the Returning Weapon spell be placed on a melee weapon, giving the returning ability to that melee weapon? The spell does not say it cannot be placed on a melee weapon, but it does say the spell acts as returning weapon quality.

Obviously, the returning weapon quality says it can only be placed on a thrown weapon.

I just wanted to make certain the spell was not granting this to a melee weapon despite the returning quality decription.

Grand Lodge **

Will the new season player's guide for PFS be out soon?

Grand Lodge

I've failed my CON check and am now unconscious.

Grand Lodge

James Risner wrote:


When exactly can I activate Arcane Shield?

Arcane Shield wrote:
Benefit: As a immediate action, you can sacrifice a prepared spell or unused spell slot of 1st level or higher and gain a deflection bonus to AC equal to the level of the spell or spell slot you sacrificed for 1 round. 0-level spells may not be sacrificed in this manner.

Can it be after hit but before damage?

** spoiler omitted **

Another good question, but since combat isn't done in phases, and the RAW say a hit and damage occur at same time, then the shield cannot be activated after the hit has occurred.

James Risner wrote:
Ragoz wrote:
Spells which do not have a separate event like rays do not have an additional opportunity afterward to cast EFS and still be protected because the effect and targeting have occurred.

This isn't satisfactorily settled in the rules for some, so please click the FAQ on this post.

This is like saying climate change is false because 1% of scientists say it is despite 99% saying it's true.

But I'd also argue that if 25% of this community are unsure about the ruling, the devs should FAQ it.

Undone wrote:

I feel like his argument is similar to the aqueous sphere+Hideous laughter interaction. "It doesn't explicitly say you drown!" but you do because you are laughing under water. People don't always know the implications of rules they create but that doesn't mean they function differently.

You don't stop breathing while laughing, just like singers don't stop breathing while singing.

Grand Lodge

Gulthor wrote:

At any time means at any time.

At any time from *this* time forward, that is. Says nothing about going into the past, even if that past is one second.

Grand Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

1) How fast is an immediate action? Can it interrupt things?

2) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow Fireall bead, cone of cold, ray? Is it slow enough for the EFS to block?

3) Is there any time between a targeting spell picking a target and the spell being in effect? Do they have a harry potter esque bolt or stunner? Is the visual effect created by the FAQ on spellcasting around the target as well as the caster?

Good questions, but combat isn't based on phases or time in this manner. I remember these sorts of truth tables during my 2ed. days.

Undone wrote:

Immediate actions exist to "Counter" actions after they have been performed. To negate an action. Falling, full attacks, doesn't matter.

No. Immediate action says nothing at all about countering anything. it says nothing at all about past actions or time travel. With your logic, you can counter an action last week. Sorry no.

Grand Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
What time is between monday and tuesday?

This question is not helpful...the immediate action doesn't disrupt another's action inherently; it only allows the person using the action to take an action (however the action taken could act in an interupting way).

It's like going back in's just impossible. Once something is done, it's done, and nothing can change it. So if an enemy resolves their spell before the player chooses to take his immediate action, then the spell has already been resolved.

Grand Lodge

Undone wrote:

Feather fall is an immediate action. It interrupts falling.

No, Feather Fall does not interrupt "falling." You are still falling while Feather Fall is activated. The falling is just at a much slower and safer pace.

Xellrael wrote:

Example A: Larry the Lich starts casting enervation. Walter the wizard identifies it using spellcraft. As the spell resolves, the Lich points at Walter and "a black ray of negative energy" streaks toward him. Walter casts emergency force sphere to block the ray. The ray shield combat feat could save a PC from enervation, so I believe Walter should get a chance to cast EFS.

Example B: Larry the Lich starts casting greater dispel magic. Walter the wizard identifies it using spellcraft. Walter waits to find out who Larry is going to target. Greater dispel magic resolves, and Walter gets his 3 highest level buffs dispelled. Walter doesn't find out that he's the target till it's too late, so I believe he should not get a chance to cast EFS.

Both of your examples are correct.

I think it's pretty simple- immediate action rule says these actions can be "taken at any time."

Grand Lodge **

Mark Stratton wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:

Please, why are the Seeker arcs only available during the 800am slots?

Makes it very difficult for people to play the special the night before (which will end around 1) and get up and play the 800am game. Yes, it's a bit whiny, but it would seem that such a symbolic set of scenarios would be more accessible.

The blog post already answered your question:

"After much deliberation and because they have the potential to run long, we scheduled the new Seeker Arc, "All for Immortality" across the morning slots."

Emphasis mine.

Emphasis does not explain why a 2pm start time is not possible.

Grand Lodge **

Please, why are the Seeker arcs only available during the 800am slots?

Makes it very difficult for people to play the special the night before (which will end around 1) and get up and play the 800am game. Yes, it's a bit whiny, but it would seem that such a symbolic set of scenarios would be more accessible.

Grand Lodge **

Bob Jonquet wrote:

Based on A LOT of feedback on slot lengths, having enough time to run properly, etc. the decision was made to extend the slot times slightly.

    AM slot is 8am-1pm
    MID slot is 2pm-7pm
    PM slot is 8pm-1am

This should allow a bit more time to experience the scenario, complete paperwork, clean up/clear the table for the next slot, and set up at a new table, as well as providing time to grab food, use the restroom, etc. Yes, it might mean a tad less sleep for some, but we hope it will improve the gaming experience overall. Depending on how the specials are written and presented, we may not need to be in the room until 1am, but we wanted to be prepared nonetheless.

I'm simply not able to play until 1:00a and be back by 730a to play again later in the morning :( I've got a drive of about 45 minutes each way. That's OK though, we'll see how the 800pm start time works out, should give us a bit more time to eat and see other things. I'm ok with it. Especially when the Specials (more on this below) always seemed crammed and hurried to start (didn't really start until 730 or so anyway) and finished hurriedly, too.

The lack of previous season scenarios this year is again disappointing for those of us who are not able to play elsewhere. Also, a special each night using pregens really cuts down character leveling. I know we still get credit for it, but that's one adventure without our own character. Add all 3 nights and Sunday, and that's an entire level +1 XP. A lot when the cap for play is pretty much 12-13. On the other hand, it does let us experience a new class we may not have played otherwise, and perhaps even take some risks we wouldn't have otherwise taken.

Grand Lodge **

wow, that really means no 800am games now!

Grand Lodge **

I see the Specials for every night will begin at 800p now instead of 700p. Does that mean they will still end by midnight?

Grand Lodge

Thanks wraithstrike, this is exactly what I thought and was confirmed by another person who is "in the know."

The situation was this: A moon-beast was fighting PCs. PC was 200 feet away from Beast, in broad daylight. PC argued beast could not "see" the PC because the beast had blindsight.

The beast can indeed "see."

Grand Lodge

CampinCarl9127 wrote:

You're overthinking this.

nogoodscallywag wrote:
That's what I'm saying; creatures have a general ability to "see" ---IN THIS CASE it is PERCEIVE--- beyond their listed special ability.

Really? I would love to know where that actually is stated, because as I once heard.

nogoodscallywag wrote:
Fluff text is not RAW.

Campin, uh...check out any stat block. None of them list the ability to perceive in regular daylight, it's common sense. "Sense." Remember- perception is the combination of multiple senses.

Sah wrote:
Yeah, that was my point. There is, like Carl said, nothing but fluff for most creatures to be able to see. The skeleton is not called out as being blind outside of darkvision, so it's not.

Yes, Moon Beast says nothing about not being called out as being blind! It's an aberration, and must have some other form of perception.

Plus, it has telepathy at 300 feet, which I have no idea how that works. Does that mean it can pinpoint the location of any thinking creature within range? Or just know there is a thinking creature within range?

Grand Lodge

That's what I'm saying; creatures have a general ability to "see" ---IN THIS CASE it is PERCEIVE--- beyond their listed special ability.

Grand Lodge

The real issue lies in the "Perception" and senses of beings in the rules. Perception is the conglomeration of all the senses a being possesses, from vision with eyesight which see light waves, sound produced by sound waves (ears), vibrations on skin, presence of spirit, energy, whatever the case may be for the being.

That's why invisibility doesn't effect just vision- it gives a bonus to Stealth generally- it doesn't say it gives a bonus to "being seen with organs that detect light." Perception is all senses; some creatures have more senses than normal humans.

Grand Lodge

Please point out where where the Beast is "blind." It does not exist.

The real issue lies in the "Perception" and senses of beings in the rules. Perception is the conglomeration of all the senses a being possesses, from vision with eyesight which see light waves, sound produced by sound waves (ears), vibrations on skin, presence of spirit, energy, whatever the case may be for the being.

That's why invisibility doesn't effect just vision- it gives a bonus to Stealth generally- it doesn't say it gives a bonus to "being seen with organs that detect light." Perception is all senses; some creatures have more senses than normal humans.

If you argue the skeleton can "see" but the Beast cannot, your argument is illogical. Neither possesses the organs which can detect light. This is a game where magic rules and it's fantasy, so who knows how a skeleton "sees?" All creatures can "perceive" a general distance in whatever forms they can actually perceive. Some have extra "sensory" perception like blindsense, blindsight , darkvision, etc.

Grand Lodge

A skeleton has only bones. It has no eyes or other sensory organs. It has Darkvision 60ft.

Does that mean if the skeleton is in broad daylight on a flat plain, the skeleton cannot see at all, even in inch in front of it?

How about a Moon Beast with Blindsight 90ft. If it is on the same flat plain, can it only see everything within 90ft? Meaning everything beyond 90ft is blurred or dimmed or simply non-percievable?

If so, it would seem that the same holds for the skeleton above, then. Trying to figure out if we've been doing undead wrong who have to physical eyes to see and who do not have any other "visions."

In Vision and Light, it says, "In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly." But the word "see" can't possibly be applied to all creatures, unless "see" equals "perceive." Like perception encompasses all senses, not just vision.

The Moon Beast (below) does, however, have Telepathy 300ft. Does this give him the ability to know *where* a being is within 300ft, or merely that a being is within 300ft?

XP 12,800
CE Large aberration
Init +7; Senses blindsight 90 ft.; Perception +21

AC 25, touch 13, flat-footed 21 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 133 (14d8+70)
Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +15
Defensive Abilities amorphous; DR 10/piercing or slashing; Immune cold, gaze attacks, illusions, poison; Resist electricity 30; SR 22

Speed 50 ft., climb 20 ft.; air walk
Melee 2 claws +15 (1d6+6), 4 tentacles +11 (1d6+3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rend (2 tentacles, 1d6+9 plus Wisdom drain)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +18)
Constant—air walk
At will—detect thoughts (DC 19)
3/day—charm monster (DC 21), dispel magic, dominate person (DC 22), shadow conjuration (DC 21), shadow evocation (DC 22), veil (DC 23)
1/day—confusion (DC 21), major image (DC 20), mirage arcana (DC 22), plane shift (self only)

Str 22, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 19, Wis 18, Cha 25
Base Atk +10; CMB +17; CMD 31
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Climb +14, Diplomacy +14, Intimidate +24, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (planes) +18, Perception +21, Sense Motive +18, Spellcraft +21, Stealth +24, Use Magic Device +21; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth
Languages Aklo (cannot speak); telepathy 300 ft.
SQ compression, no breath

Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or cabal (3–5)
Treasure double

Wisdom Drain (Su) A creature that takes rend damage from a moon-beast must succeed at a DC 22 Will save or take 1d4 points of Wisdom drain. A moon-beast heals 5 points of damage for each point of Wisdom it drains in this manner. If it drains a victim to 0 Wisdom, the moon-beast gains the effects of a heal spell. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Moon-beasts have no voice or eyes, yet they "see" more than most and can project their thoughts into the very minds of those they wish to communicate with. These monstrosities hail not from any physical moon, but rather from the shared satellite of all slumbering minds in the Dimension of Dream beyond the wall of sleep. Here, the moon-beasts raise stone cities on the oily shores of night-black seas found upon the dark side of the dreaming moon, from which they launch long, dark galleys crewed by not-quite-human slaves that sail through the void of space down to the seas of the Dimension of Dream to seek new slaves and stranger, more sinister wares.

Moon-beasts are slavers, first and foremost. They use their spell-like abilities to curb rebellion or to quickly gain minions, but much prefer using physical and mental regimens of torment and reconditioning to break the spirit of their captives. They often work with the denizens of Leng, a metaphysically nearby dimension of nightmare and madness, although as often as not these planar neighbors serve the moon-beasts merely as slaves.

Worshipers of ageless entities from beyond the stars, moon-beasts are often compelled to travel to the Material Plane for strange and frightening causes, not the least of which is gathering suitable sacrifices for their mysterious and demanding lords.

A moon-beast is 9 feet long and weighs 800 pounds.

Grand Lodge

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A skeleton has only bones. It has no eyes or other sensory organs. It has Darkvision 60ft.

Does that mean if the skeleton is in broad daylight on a flat plain, the skeleton cannot see at all, even in inch in front of it?

How about a Moon Beast with Blindsight 90ft. If it is on the same flat plain, can it only see everything within 90ft? Meaning everything beyond 90ft is blurred or dimmed or simply non-percievable?

If so, it would seem that the same holds for the skeleton above, then. Trying to figure out if we've been doing undead wrong who have to physical eyes to see and who do not have any other "visions."

In Vision and Light, it says, "In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly." But the word "see" can't possibly be applied to all creatures, unless "see" equals "perceive." Like perception encompasses all senses, not just vision.

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Sennje wrote:

Unless otherwise stated I would assume they have normal sight.

The moon beast is blind as you can read in its fluff text and can therefor not perceive beyond 90 ft possibly with an exception of creatures with a mind due to its telepathy 300 ft, but that is a whole other discussion, but I would assume the skeleton can see just like a dwarf or something similar, if you say that doesn't make sense I say it is like how it moves without muscles "a wizard did it".

Fluff text is not RAW.

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A skeleton has only bones. It has no eyes or other sensory organs. It has Darkvision 60ft.

Does that mean if the skeleton is in broad daylight on a flat plain, the skeleton cannot see at all, even in inch in front of it?

How about a Moon Beast with Blindsight 90ft. If it is on the same flat plain, can it only see everything within 90ft? Meaning everything beyond 90ft is blurred or dimmed or simply non-percievable?

If so, it would seem that the same holds for the skeleton above, then. Trying to figure out if we've been doing undead wrong who have to physical eyes to see and who do not have any other "visions."

In Vision and Light, it says, "In an area of bright light, all characters can see clearly." But the word "see" can't possibly be applied to all creatures, unless "see" equals "perceive." Like perception encompasses all senses, not just vision.

Grand Lodge **

Ragoz wrote:
The Masked Ferret wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Or do you mean *faints*?
I think it worked guys.

YES! Thought it would take a shorter time to get that one.

Grand Lodge **


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bigrig107 wrote:

I don't see how people can think that death would get rid of Permanent spells.

Spells have a very specific order of operations, which we can look at to know how they work.
Caster chooses spell he wants to cast -> caster chooses elligible targets -> spell goes off, effect of spell happens -> at end of duration (and not before, unless it's dispelled/dismissed), spell stops working.
Nothing in that order says that permanent spells ever have to check the target at any point after the first time you check the targets' eligibility to have the spell cast on them.

For example, Changestaff. Instantaneous duration, but as soon as you cast the spell, the target is no longer a "specially prepared quarterstaff", and thus is not able to be targeted by Changestaff.
But, common sense tells us that we don't have to check the ability of the target after the spell has been cast. A spell cast on a legal target, no matter the specific spell in question, will always be in effect as long as the duration has not ended.

So why would death change anything?
Permanent Enlarge Person, cast on you while you were living, enlarges yourself to one size category larger. When you die, there is no rule that says you must immediately check all spells active against your new non-living condition.
There is, however, specific rules that say when spells end: at the end of their duration.

And Permanent spells are, well, permanent. No reason to think otherwise.

So, by extension and logic, a body that has naturally disintegrated still has a spell effect on it?

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The Archive wrote:

There's nothing in the rules that says spells end early because of death. As well, these are permanent effects we're talking about. This is stuff that has to be dispelled to cease. They should be sticking around. Dying doesn't cast dispel magic on everything affecting you.

And on top of that, we do know that magical effects don't by default go away on death. Otherwise, we probably would not see it specified that a lycanthrope reverts to its original form on death, or that the subject of the polymorph spell also reverts on death in 3.5.

There's also that whole issue of Breath of Life not working with the "dead body = object" thing.

And really, if it were to be true, don't you think that it would be explicitly mentioned somewhere to be true? It's a pretty glaring omission.

So what happens if the target of the perm spell is removed from reality? For example, the target dies, and over the hundreds of years the body is simply and naturally disintegrated? Surely the perm spell is no longer on the target. If so, then you'd be saying the perm spell rests on the target's soul, or something similar.

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Wondering if this is doable...

A hallway ten feet wide. Can a large creature squeeze through the hall on only 5 feet? For instance, an Orb of the Void is on one side of the hallway occupying once square. Can the person, who is large, bypass it by squeezing onto the opposite side of the hall?

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An Ogre, large, polymorphs into a human, medium.

Does the Ogres gear, which includes large armor and clothing, change size, too?

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The scene is a tight tunnel, 5 ft. wide, 5 ft. tall ceilings.

PC 1, in front, is invisible. PC 2, behind PC 1, is visible.

Enemy throws a javelin at PC 2, because he can see PC 2 but not PC 1.

What happens to the javelin?

Does it hit PC 1, or have a chance to hit and damage?

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I'm hoping Reiko's chain is silenced!

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Gray Goo goes inside the opponent's body; Seifter mentioned if the Goo is inside, and the PC teleports, the Goo goes with the PC.

Would the same apply to the PC who has Goo inside him and then turns incorporeal? Would the Goo- inside the PC- become incorporeal, too?

Show Goo:

Gray Goo CR 14
XP 38,400
N Fine construct (swarm)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +13


AC 29, touch 29, flat-footed 18 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 size)
hp 123 (19d10+19)
Fort +8, Ref +18, Will +8
Defensive Abilities dispersion, swarm traits; Immune construct traits, weapon damage


Speed fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (6d6 plus dismantle and distraction)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks dismantle, distraction (DC 21), infest


Str 1, Dex 30, Con —, Int 5, Wis 10, Cha 1
Base Atk +19; CMB —; CMD —
Feats Ability Focus (distraction), Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Lightning Stance, Mobility, Toughness, Wind Stance
Skills Fly +26, Perception +13, Stealth +32 (+42 when dispersed); Racial Modifiers +10 Stealth when dispersed
Languages Common (can't speak)


Dismantle (Ex)

Creatures damaged by a gray goo must succeed at a DC 19 Reflex save or a random piece of their equipment takes the same amount of damage, determined as though the target rolled a natural 1 on a saving throw, using the rules for items surviving after a saving throw. In addition, unattended objects in the area of a gray goo take damage if the swarm chooses to harm them. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Dispersion (Ex)

As an immediate action, a gray goo can disperse, spreading itself across a cube-shaped area 30 feet on a side. While dispersed, the goo deals no damage and can't use its other special abilities until it reforms. A dispersed gray goo can hide in plain sight (as a ranger in her favored terrain) with a +10 bonus on its Stealth checks and doesn't take additional damage from area effects for being a swarm. It takes 2 rounds for a dispersed gray goo to reform.

Infest (Ex)

As a standard action, a gray goo can infest a Medium or larger creature (Fortitude DC 21 negates), including constructs and undead. The gray goo moves inside the creature's body, dealing double its normal damage to its host each round. It can't use its dismantle ability while infesting a creature. A host reduced to 0 hit points while infested by a gray goo is reduced to dust and destroyed (similar to disintegrate). A gray goo infesting a host can be expelled by any effect that cures disease, with a disease save equal to this ability's DC. The save DC is Constitutionbased and includes a +2 racial bonus.

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Gray Goo


Infest (Ex)

As a standard action, a gray goo can infest a Medium or larger creature (Fortitude DC 21 negates), including constructs and undead. The gray goo moves inside the creature's body, dealing double its normal damage to its host each round. It can't use its dismantle ability while infesting a creature. A host reduced to 0 hit points while infested by a gray goo is reduced to dust and destroyed (similar to disintegrate). A gray goo infesting a host can be expelled by any effect that cures disease, with a disease save equal to this ability's DC. The save DC is Constitution based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Grand Lodge

Hey Mark!

Question concerning incorporeality.

A PC has Gray Goo inside him; the PC activates his Spectral Shroud to become incorporeal.

Is the Gray Goo- inside the PC- also incorporeal?

And, how about the gear? If the sword the PC has is ghost-touched, he may use it against corporeal enemies, correct? Otherwise, no ghost touch means no attacking with that weapon?

Grand Lodge

Ok, the PC has a Spectral Shroud, which turns PC incorporeal.

Would that mean upon activation the PC could move away from the Goo? PC argues the Goo would not be incorporeal.

Grand Lodge

PC has Gray Goo inside him. Can he use teleport to get away, meaning he teleports while the grey goo remains in the space he was in, or does the goo go with him since it's inside him?

Grand Lodge

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Hi Mark:

Does Freedom of Movement negate any other conditions besides those listed in the spell description?

Freedom of Movement-

"...move and attack normally...even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web... grappl[ing] the target automatically fail...automatically succeeds on any combat maneuver checks and Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin...move and attack normally while underwater,"

For instance, players argue that even mental impediments like being stunned should be negated by FOM. They base this on the phrase in the description "[can] move and attack normally...even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement"

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Avoron, I'm thinking you're correct. It seems to me to be a direct impediment due to magic effecting the PC.

With FOM the listed conditions would obviously be covered, but for further reference if the movement impediment is indirect then FOM would not work?

Grand Lodge

But is the magic effecting the weapon, or the PC?

The dazed condition can be said to impede movement, too, but I'd argue FOM doesn't work with that.

At first I thought it may be the weapon is locked in place (it is) and the reason the strength check saving throw is to break away from the weapon.

For instance, the PC's cloak is pinned through with the weapon which goes into the ground. So the save here is made to tear away; but that wouldn't make too much sense, either, because ripped a cloak seems a lot easier than a DC 30.

For those thinking FOM doesn't work on anchoring, I'd like to point out that Anchoring is not only effecting the weapon, but the target, too, because it says the weapon prevents it from moving. The weapon itself cannot possibly do this, so magic is indeed involved. If it were only the weapon, the DC, it would seem to me, would be variable.

Now, also, another point is can't the target simply grasp the pinned weapon and turn off the function? I'd say no, as the magic has already been activated by the user and can only be turned off by the original user; otherwise the ability would be completely pointless. Plus, the ability uses the Immovable Rod functionality, which states only the "owner" may de-/activate.

But if it was magic that was effecting the PC, why wouldn't a magic saving throw be required, rather than a Strength save?

Of course, we could get into the mess of what "magically impedes movement" and FOM.

Grand Lodge

How does Freedom of Movement interact with anchoring weapons?

For instance, an enemy with an anchoring weapon uses it on a PC who has Freedom of Movement.

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