|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
The injured man, still holding his wounds and leaned up against a stack of boxes, protests his innocence. "It wasn't me! It was..." his eyes go wide as Valleria's shield slams into the face of her would-be attacker, breaking his neck and killing him instantly.
"...well, it *was* him." he says with a gulp.
The thug battling Wilhelm sneers at the man. "You stinking coward! I'll gut you myself you worthless--"
Wilhelm's spear cuts the rest of his threat short, skewering the man through the chest.
Meanwhile, Morrigan slips a knife into the man who attacked Corian, drawing Kossrani's attention.
"Just you wait your turn, girl. I'll be with you soon enough."
23: Ignati attacks, dealing 4 points of damage to the man in front of him.
21: Voreni skewers Kossrani between the plates of his armor, dealing 4 points of damage. Feeling his own wounds beginning to take hold, Voreni then unleashes the electrical charge of his shield spell, shocking himself in the process and sending tendrils of eletrical energy all around.
16: Wilhelm's spear slides under the thug's guard, just barely missing the man's flank. The thug smiles and readies his counter-attack.
13: Valleria moves in on Kossrani and swings her shield in a wide arc, catching the dwarf off-guard and dealing 6 points of damage.
10: Morrigan blasts her attacker with a chilling ray of magic, turning his flesh brittle withered momentarily, and dealing 3 points of damage.
09: Corian follows up on Valleria's attack with his own mace swing, but Kossrani raises his shield and bats away his swing.
08: Kossrani turns his attention from the weakened Voreni back to his original foe, and strikes to cleave Corian's head from his shoulders.
05: Seeing that his expected adversary was drawn elsewhere, the wary thug pursues Valleria and moves in to flank her with Kossrani. Without even sparing a glance, she raises her shield against his strike and catches it.
Another thug, having avoided Wilhelm's spear, now moves into range for a counter-attack. Sadly, he is not equal to the task.
Scorched with lightning, a thug snarls at Voreni, but looking at the poor man barely standing, he wises up and moves in to flank Corian with Kossrani. His mace smashes into Corian with a loud, sickening crack, dealing 7 points of damage to the priest.
Lastly, the other scorched thug circles around Ignati to avoid being flanked, and presses his own attack. The bloody, scorching wounds he has received from Ignati and Voreni seem to only fuel the hatred of his strike. He drives his mace into Ignati's arm for 5 points of damage.
The week has been pretty crazy over here too. Family emergency; everyone's okay for now, but it's a bit stressful.
I've had my eye on Hell's Vengeance for a while, and I've been wanting to try out an AP with 15 point buy. No promises, but if I can get things settled on my end, I'll throw my hat into the ring :)
Would something like this possibly work? Level 1 Sylph Mindblade
AC: 15 (17 vs nonmagical ranged), w/Shield 19/21
Alternate Racial Traits:
Focusing on spells that are either ranged control spells or self-buffs. I've seen suggestions elsewhere to use Artful Dodge to qualify for DEX-based feats, but I don't think dumping DEX on a character who can only wear light armor and doesn't play well with shields is a great idea.
The Mindblade Magus Archetype from Occult Adventures casts Psychic spells, and has an ability that replaces the Magus' Improved Spell Combat ability. This, combined with the quirk of Psychic spells that raises Concentration check DCs by +10, seems to imply that Mindblades have a much more diffiuclt time succeeding at Spell Combat than a regular Magus would.
Is this intentional? Are there any ways to mitigate this, besides the obvious (Combat Casting feat, pumping INT)? Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't seem like the Mindblade gains much in exchange for this disability, since spontaneously making their weapons magical is an ability that Maguses have as well.
The Mesmerist's page in the Occult Adventures section has a misaligned "Mesmerist Spells Known" table, that makes it look as if the Mesmerist, at first level, knows 4 1st level spells, 2 2nd level spells (which he can't cast), and no entry whatsoever for 0-level knacks.
Neinty Nein wrote:
The River Kingdoms are a pretty rough and tumble place; kingdoms rapidly come and go, and kings/nobles tend to be the sort of men who can keep what they hold by force. With your character's dad being a military man, I imagine there being some tension between a strong, martial man and his bookish, studious son who relies on a muscular half-orc to protect him.
Perhaps the boy's mother was a stronger influence on him during his childhood? With his father away from home defending their king's lands from the aggressions of their neighbors, it would follow that the mother would traditionally run the house and see to the child's education. She would see herself as a civilizing influence on the militaristic culture of the area, and likely imported art, furniture, and even tutors from a more posh location, such as Absalom or Taldor. She also seems likely to be the person who hired the bodyguard, and gave the young man his snobbishness.
She has always been concerned for his safety, and was unwilling to let him go off to study magic, for fear that he might be attacked on the road by their rivals and held for ransom. Instead, she hired a foreign tutor to see to his magic studies. Probably someone she would see as exotic...an Osiriani magical scholar, or an expatriate from Minkai. This would also explain where your high-INT Wizard learned those extra starting languages. The tutor is likely a positive father-figure for the boy.
So why would this son of privilege leave his ivory tower, where everything he wants is brought to him?
Because of his father. His father, a self-made man, who earned everything that your character has ever had with the sweat of his brow and the blood of his enemies. His father, who seldom hides his disdain for his son's foppishness. His father, who thinks that skill with steel is what defines a man, more than any eldritch power that can be gleaned from dusty tomes and foreign teachers.
You adventure to prove, as much to yourself as to him, that you can survive beyond the walls of his protection. That you can build, with your own wits, a life even greater than what he has made with mere strength of arms. You will go out into the world and make a name for yourself, until even your father must admit that you are a worthy...no, superior, son.
EDIT: I see that I am too late. Nice work on your own backstory, hope this was at least an entertaining read.
Round 2 Summary
23: Ignati's attack misses, as the thug nimbly weaves to the side.
21: Voreni drinks his potion of Shockshield (AC is now 17) and readies himself for any incoming attacks.
16: Wilhelm misses with his initial thrust, then moves back to protect Morrigan, his eyes scanning the area for potential targets.
13: Valleria steps between two more of the thugs, knocking one off his feet with a swipe of her shield that leaves him a bloodied heap on the floor, then stabs another in the side with her shortsword. He winces in pain and doubles over, laying his weapon on the ground to surrender (he's the white square on the map).
10: Morrigan casts shield on herself from a scroll.
09: Corian's mace, empowered by his goddess, strikes a solid blow against Kossrani, who glares at him menacingly. In response to Corian's instructions to the rest of the group, Kossrani replies "You do realize that I can hear you, right?"
08: Kossrani side-steps behind Voreni and attacks with his mace, flanking with one of the thugs. Sadly, it does not avail him, as Voreni easily dodges the attack.
05: One of the thugs moves in on Wilhelm, but immediately takes a spear through the chest and falls to the ground. Behind him, two others seem taken aback by how suddenly he dropped, and begin circling around, skirting at the edge of his spear's range. One moves toward the surrendering man, shouting at him to pick up his weapon and readying an attack (bright red square), while the other moves in on Morrigan, successfully hitting her for 8 points of damage:
The thug flanking with Kossrani also attacks Voreni. Thanks to the distraction caused by Kossrani, he slams his mace into Voreni's back for 8 points of damage.
Another moves up to confront Corian in defense of Kossrani, but cannot pierce the cleric's strong defenses.
IMO, the problem isn't that healing the party is boring, it's that Clerics, as a class, don't really develop much over time. In a game that is as much about building your character as playing it, Clerics get no bonus feats, make all of their class decisions (all two of them) at first level, and despite being designed with melee in mind, have a horribly limited list of weapon proficiencies (Simple, and maybe one more, assuming you didn't pick a god who favors a simple weapon...which many of them do).
Two different Oracles of Flame might play completely differently, with one breathing fire all over the place and the other one imbuing his weapon with flame and zooming around the battlefield with extra move speed.
Every Witch is potentially different, based on what hexes they choose, what patron spells they get, etc.
Of all of the classes capable of healing, only the Cleric is trapped in the same build from level 1 until retirement. Their only respite are the 1 per 3 levels character feats that everyone else gets. It's an outdated class design that really should have been addressed in Pathfinder Unchained, IMO.
Round 1 Summary
23: Ignati draws his rapier and drinks an extract
21: Voreni draws his rapier and an extract
16: Wilhelm begins to Inspire Courage in his allies.
13: Valleria draws her weapon and begins to study the movements of her adversary.
10: Morrigan casts Color Spray, but it appears that her intended targets may not have been looking very closely, or perhaps simply got lucky.
09: Corian draws his heavy mace and strikes at Kossrani, his blow ringing against the dwarf's heavy armor harmlessly.
08: Kossrani steps forward and swings heavily at Corian, but instead only damages the wall behind him.
05: Thugs begin to pour in from the back room in response to the noise; three enter the primary room, while their companions begin to do battle.
One moves in to attack the now-visible Morrigan, but she deftly moves aside.
Another tries to take the initiative against Valleria, but she patiently sidesteps and prepares to counterattack!
A third tries to brain Voreni with his mace, but is expertly parried by the agile Chelaxian.
A fourth swings true, slipping behind Ignati's alchemical shield and striking him in the chest for 5 points of damage.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
"I've already shown you the facilities and the product. What's this really all abo--" Kossrani pauses for a moment and turns, just in time to see the rear door swing open all by itself. The dwarf seems to almost turn red with rage.
"Bloody hell it's a trick! On 'em lads, and get that invisible one!"
Kossrani Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Wilhelm, closely examining the salt workers, notes that while they look wretched and visibly uncomfortable, they are not wearing chains, bear no brands or other slave markings, and look like they are eating adequately. Working in a salt pit is hot, dry, uncomfortable work that only the desperately poor would take on, but these folks do not appear to be slaves or prisoners.
Morrigan, please make a stealth roll, including the invisibility bonus, but with a -5 penalty to "quietly" open the door and slip through to the back room.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Kossrani frowns, and is clearly beginning to lose his patience. "The pit is heated by coal furnaces; didn't you see the chimneys outside? Anyway, demand has been heavy lately, so we don't have that large of a stockpile. Not much to see back there. The last overseer of this place was too soft on the workers; I'll have that problem sorted very soon. I'm your only local source for salt in this area, and if you import you'll be paying Barzilai's import tariffs. If you'd rather toss your money into Thrune's coffers than buy local, that's no concern of mine. Now are you buying, or what?"
Meanwhile, Morrigan manages to successfully duck behind a broken-down wagon in the front office and cast Invisibility.
Kossrani gives a small, quiet sigh of annoyance, then motions for you to follow him as he leads you over to the large, circular salt drying pit. As you stand with him on the small dock that extends over the pit, you can feel a dry heat radiating from below that seems to suck the moisture from your skin.
"This is the salt pit. We dump the wet salt in here, and as it dries we have workers turning the salt to ensure that it dries evenly. When it's done, they back it into these buckets and send it up, and we pack it into sacks." He gestures to the men working below in the pits. They are a miserable-looking lot, their faces contorted with a mixture of fatigue and what appears to be genuine pain.
Moving back into the main office, he opens one of the double doors at the back of the room and gestures inside, but doesn't go in.
"This is our storage room, where we store the salt while it awaits delivery. My boys deliver on a weekly basis, and that's included in the price of your salt. That's really all there is to it." he says, allowing the door to swing closed.
"Now, what is it you need? Table salt? Rock salt?"
Sense Motive Again: 1d20 ⇒ 4
"Wait here, I'll go tell Kossrani you're here." he says, briskly walking into the back office. A few minutes later, a muscular dwarf dressed in armor emblazoned with the star of Asmodeus emerges from the back office area. His hair is a fiery red, and his beard reaches down nearly to his waist. He looks over the group with the dispassionate stare of a practiced killer.
"Mister Vashnarstill, I presume. I hear you're in the market for some salt."
Lou looks at Corian with a sneer. "Naw, I'd say he's about average for one of you lot. I just ain't fond of him, that's all."
"Lou isn't fond of much of anyone except barmaids, and that's only if they're bringing him a pint." adds the younger man.
Inside the building, you see a large round drying chamber to the right, and an open area with a few scattered tables and a broken wagon. Men are playing cards at one of the tables, but pause to look up at you when you step inside. One of the men, a tall, broad-shouldered Tiefling with broken horns, addresses you.
"What's your business here?"
The worker doesn't exactly look up, but he nods and jerks his head towards the entrance. He appears to be in his 40s with a stout, heavy build, barrel chest, and thick fingers. A greasy black moustache covers most of his mouth.
"You'll be wantin' to speak with Kossrani, he's in charge now, 'ol Scaletti weren't payin' his taxes and the Thrunes came for him a few weeks ago. Dumb sod tried to fight off the Dottari, gut himself split right down the middle. Now Kossrani runs this place." he says, huffing while he and his partners lug another load of wet salt down the road. He pauses for a moment to rest.
"You can't miss him, he's a dwarf, red hair and beard, Asmodean. Kind of an a*&$@++, really."
"Don't let him hear you say that, Lou" says one of the other men, a younger, lanky man with scruffy whiskers.
"If that bloody dwarf don't like what I got to say he can lug this salt up here by his damn self!" says the first man, and he turns to spit, as if to emphasize his point before picking up the load again.
Arriving at the Salt Works by day, you find an aging, salt-stained building just outside the "Salt Gate" in Old Kintargo. As it is still daytime, workers are present, transporting wet salt from the brine springs to the South into the salt works for processing. If the workers notice your group (and your weapons), they appear to be keeping it to themselves, averting their eyes from your gaze and keeping a respectful distance.
Morrigan's Detect Magic spell, after a period of reflection, reveals a dim magical aura surrounding the paper.
Corian's Sift reveals no additional details (Sift is used to closely examine things that are far away; it's not much help when you're close enough to examine normally, I'm afraid).
Rexus frowns. "Well, I guess that leaves us with heat and lemon juice."
The night's watches pass largely without incident; Morgar is initially reluctant to being sequestered in the Wasp's Nest, but remains cowed by Wilhelm's intimidating presence.
Faint pipe music is heard during the night, but searches for the culprit are unsuccessful. In the morning, Rexus looks in on your group, looking a bit perplexed.
"So, it's a little weird, but I've found an odd discrepancy in these papers that I've been trying to decode. This paper here..." he says, holding up a sheet of richly textured vellum that appears completely blank, "...doesn't match any of the rest of the papers, and I can't find anything written on it either. It makes no sense; everything in that coffer had a purpose, but this...it just doesn't match. How did it get in there?"
Morgar shrinks away from Wilhelm's withering gaze, his mouth trembling as he stumbles for a reply. Bacon bares his teeth at the man menacingly.
"Someone was killed? Oh no, I never wanted for...look, there's this voice, I know it sounds crazy, but there's a voice down here that speaks to me sometimes, last time it was a rat, and it won't leave me alone until I do what it says..."
Over the course of the next day or two, you approach each of the Silver Ravens' supporters to have Bacon sniff them and compare with the scrap of cloth. The process is long, and a bit awkward, but with delicate care (please elect someone to make a Diplomacy check) you can smooth things over with everyone and convey how important this is to group security.
Near the end of the second day, Bacon squeals accusingly at a young man named Morgar Manthai. He chuckles and pats the pig on the head.
"Hahaha, he must smell my lunch on my hands. Everyone loves my mom's garlic sauce!"
If you intend to interrogat Morgar, please make a separate diplomacy or intimidate check.
After a thorough search of the Wasp's Nest, the group finds no hidden assailant, but you do take note of the following:
- An increased number of rats in the area.
- A scrap of clothing near the collapsed wall, likely torn from whoever performed the sabotage.
- A tiny set of pan pipes hidden in a small nest lined with old clothing and straw.
Wilhelm examines the wall, his familiarity with stonework drawing his attention to a group of small markings consistent with stoneworking tools. This would appear to have been caused intentionally.
Meanwhile, Korva lays a hand on Treep's shoulder to comfort her. "Thank you for your offer, Ignati, but we should tend to her ourselves. We will carry her out the back way and burn the body outside of town."
"We came as soon as we heard the crash. We've had some of the Ravens' supporters down here, but I think we're the only ones down here right now--"
Korva's voice cuts off suddenly as Voreni, aided by Ignati, manages to lift the largest chunks of the rubble away, revealing the crushed remains of Maggie, one of her sisters. Korva, Jay, and Treep choke back their sobs and rush forward to check on her, searching for some sign of life, but it's a lost cause. Maggie is dead.
Ignati quietly asks around about the Saltworks situation; as it turns out, Laria is quite familiar with the situation.
"Yeah, they grabbed Forvian Crowe and his boys about a week ago, got 'em held at the Sallix Salt Works. Forvian is a decent enough guy, and he trains his mercs well - not a bad guy to have as an ally, if you catch my meaning. From what I hear the guards are all mercs as well - no Asmodeans or Dottari there, so I the blowback shouldn't be too bad. Still, I'd be careful if I were you--"
You are both interrupted by the sound of a loud crash that shakes the ground beneath you. Laria vaults over the bar and runs towards the storage cellar.
"That sounds like it came from the Wasp Nest. C'mon!"
Morning finally arrives; sleep wasn't easy in the cramped interior of Zea's flat, so you may want to recover back at the Longroads Cafe.
Ignati does recall the location of the Salt Works, and it's possible that more information could be gathered at the cafe, or through other contacts on the street.
The cafe seems more or less as it has previously, with a bustling morning crowd of students and regulars. Laria smiles broadly when you arrive and greets you, carefully sliding a small envelope to Voreni.
"This came for you; I found it last night while I was cleaning up, it's addressed to the Silver Ravens." she whispers.
When at last you are all rested and can read over the letter together, you find the following:
You are not alone in your fears for the nest we share, but for now, my Flock and I must remain quiet and hidden. The time will soon come when we must meet, but until then, keep building your contacts and resources. Do not rush into opposition against our common enemy. The time to retake Kintargo will come, but to strike too soon will be to lose the war before it even begins. Recruit. Prepare. Remain strong in your patience. We shall speak soon.
-- The Rose of Kintargo
Zea lives in a small, single-room flat in a building that looks like someone converted a single-family house into an apartment building. There is a small stove in the corner, and a small storage area beneath the floorboards act as her pantry. She retrieves a bottle of some type of spirits from the pantry along with a block of hard cheese and offers it to everyone.
"This is uh, just a temporary spot for me. Sorry if the place is a bit of a mess" she says, pouring the liquor into wooden cups and passing a dull knife around along with the cheese.
Once you're all settled in and talking, she begins to answer your questions.
"Shensen? Of course I've heard of Shensen, everyone has! Nobody has seen her in weeks, though. I bet the Thrunies picked her up. Happened to a lot of people, actually. The way I hear it, Barzilai hired mercenaries for a lot of this work, because he doesn't trust all of the Dottari. Those Chelish Citizens Group thugs are always walking around here like they own the place, but they always get scarce after dark. Cowards. Oh, and there's some other group of mercs he hired, I heard they kidnapped some independent mercenaries and have been holding them over at the old Salt Works. I can't imagine why, though."
Back at the makeshift morgue, Zea declines to inspect the child's body, but thanks you all profusely for your help in bringing the killings to an end.
Two less-squeamish Tieflings, who normally burn the bodies here, take the young tieflings remains and, after a brief prayer, place them into the furnace.
Zea then offers to put you all up in her flat until the curfew has expired.
"After all you've done to help us, it'd be a shame if the Dottari got to you on your way home."
Sorry about the lack of updates during the weekend; it was busier than I expected. I can, however, offer the following movie reviews:
Zootopia: Perfect mix of kid-friendly and palatable to adults. Valuable lesson for children regarding the complexities of living in a diverse community and not falling into a pattern of judging other people by stereotypes. Great setting, almost guaranteed to get a sequel.
The Brothers Grimsby: Really, really funny. For love of god, do not take your kids (or your parents, for that matter). Breaks new ground in scatological comedy, if that's you're kind of thing.
Deciphering the runes would require more expertise than even your combined efforts can apply, but it would seem that this child was used in some kind of ritual, perhaps intended to bring these foul creatures into Kintargo. Who would do such a thing, and why, isn't clear. Moreover, the trail appears quite cold.
Anyone examining the area who speaks Aklo may make a Linguistics check.
Sadly, there are many street children in the Devil's Nursery, and few if any are reported to authorities. Upon retrieving the body, you find that Wilhelm's grim prediction was correct: the child is certainly dead, and their body has been carved with strange, alien runes. All of the teeth are missing, and the face is severely disfigured, making identification nearly impossible.