A Tiny Little Frozen Village

Game Master Goddity

Five brave adventurers vs the mysteries of a disappearing wizard
Kegan's House


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Name: Morsel
Race: Tiefling
Mechanical build: Symbiat, telekinetic burglar/trap disabler, and party support with buffs and dextrous combat maneuvers

Backstory + Faction:
Puberty was a confusing time, because two very notable things happened simultaneously. One, The Thing in Her Head showed up, accompanied by waves of pain, and started talking to her, mocking and hungry and impatient to devour this new Morsel. Second, her horns started to grow in, her tongue elongated and split to resemble a serpent’s, and scaled, barbed tail grew from her backside. For her parents, the keepers of the Frozen Dream inn, this was a bit much. Luckily, running an inn full of treasure seekers, troublemakers, and wanderers meant that several of them could easily identify the problem: the innkeepers’ daughter was a tiefling.

Unfortunately, that didn't explain why she could no longer remember her name (instead going by what The Thing called her: its next Morsel), why she could move things without touching them, or why she could convince the cellar rats to steal sweets for her. Many in Issen blamed the fey, or orcish hexes, or dangerous stray magic leaking from Kagen’s mansion, or all three. All Morsel knew was that The Thing in Her Head, for all its posturing and hunger, its alien presence was bound to her and its power manifested through her. Their relationship blossomed into one of a tyrannical (but ultimately impotent and annoying) mentor and an exasperated (though quick witted) pupil. Whatever its origin, The Thing was undeniably knowledgeable. It knew the language and ways of vermin, of things that scuttled and hid, crawled and scavenged, wriggled and schemed, from the humble cockroach to nightmarish beasts covered in eyes and membranous wings that The Thing would mentally show Morsel. She found that if she could learn to think like The Thing, to articulate the opportunism and survival of verminous existence, she could draw on its otherworldly power.

Although Morsel’s parents grew from wary to accepting of their daughter’s strange new state, the townsfolk were less accepting. Her adolescence consisted of fighting dirty against the other village kids who taunted her, siccing all manner of bugs on the people who spat at her, and stealing from the superstitious merchants passing through town who openly stared at her. Life became unbearable - for Morsel, for the townsfolk, for The Thing - and soon she snuck off with a band of adventurers leaving her parents’ inn for opportunities on the horizon. She traveled to warmer places, offering her skills as a professional rat to all sorts. She smuggled contraband, she burgled lavish houses, she raided caravans, she worked with “adventurers” who were little more than glorified grave robbers. Always, though, her travels would lead her back to Issen, where she stayed at the Frozen Dream like the other . Something was different, this time, though. Call it a knack for sensing opportunity, but Morsel felt in her gut (and egged on by The Thing) that her next step was to check out Kagen’s place. The old man had left around the same time that she had for the first time, but he had never returned. Though the place was dripping in defensive magic, Morsel felt sure she could find a way past. Maybe the old man would have some information about why The Thing in Her Head had shown up. And if not, hey, the stuff in there was bound to be worth something.

As far as faction is concerned, the Adventurers seems appropriate despite Morsel technically being from Issen. For her casting tradition, I'm thinking a variation on the “beast charming” tradition. Instead of Perform, though, I was thinking the background skill Artistry (Philosophy) to represent tapping into alien ways of thinking to use her sphere talents.

Personal item idea: The bones of a two-headed rat, through which Morsel communicates more deeply with The Thing in Her Head. I'm thinking the bones can be used as magical thieves’ tools, negating the disable device penalty on the Flair and Finesse talents of the Telekinesis sphere. Maybe they also give her a sixth sense for trouble, and grant something like the rogue’s trap spotter talent? And at higher levels it can allow me to get past magical barriers or some such.

For traits, how do you feel about me taking Trap Finder?

Trap Finder:
Forgotten dungeons and ancient tombs have always held an appeal for you, and you’ve never been able to resist the urge to delve into these lost sites in search of knowledge, treasure, or both. You may not have received any formal training in the roguish arts, but you’ve nonetheless become skilled at spotting and disabling hidden traps. The tombs of of the necropolis, just opened for exploration, seem like the perfect place to put your skills to the test.

Benefit(s): You gain a +1 trait bonus on Disable Device checks, and that skill is always a class skill for you. In addition, you can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps, like a rogue.

It’s technically from Mummy’s Mask, and the flavor seems to fit except for the last bit - change the desert tomb to the wizard’s mansion, of course. I figure it seems silly to try to infiltrate a magically warded house if I can’t actually disarm magical traps.


Cool, I've been looking for a chance to try out the spheres of power rules.

I'd love to play a teleportation specialist, probably a Magus (So Warp and destruction spheres iirc). Not sure what special item I would have, I'll think about that one.

Background wise, such a specialised character would not normally be a townie, unless they went away for training and have now returned. "Local boy makes good" might be an interesting trope to play, and given his training and his awareness of Kagen he would naturally have an interest in finding out what he could.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thurin Foehammer wrote:

I highly recommend:

(1) Trait Heritage Weapon for Weapon Proficiency Butchering Axe
(2) Str 19-20 (easy as an orc)
(3) Rock that 3d6 damage x3 crit oversized axe
http://archivesofnethys.com/EquipmentWeaponsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Butcherin g%20axe

Thanks Thurin! That is neat. I'd been thinking sword and board, but that fits the build well.

@BBEGM
The Equipment Sphere Orc Heritage Talent has
"You gain proficiency with the battle axe, dire flail, falchion, flail, greataxe, handaxe, heavy flail, orc double axe, orc skull ram, spiked chain, and throwing axe.".
It doesn't mention the Butchering Axe. Should that be one of the Orcish weapons?
BBEGM wrote:
Sorry about the hobgoblin confusion! Oops. Don't worry about overlapping character roles too much, it doesn't bother me. I quite like the concept.

My fault - when I reread the post I realised I'd made a mistake.

Sorry - when you say you like the concept, I'm not sure if you mean the orc or the fae version? Let me be blunt; which one fits the game better?

BBEGM wrote:


Your questions:
They arrived around 15 years ago, shortly after their big defeat. Before that, the townsfolk knew of them, but preferred to think of them as mythical. The orcs thought of the villagers as 'soft'.

Hmmm. That might make Hob a bit older than I intended. On the other hand if Wayland had bonded with him by that point he might have been the one to give the land to the Orcs.

BBEGM wrote:


You can have all those points of cannon. They're either really appropriate or scarily similar to something I already have in my notes.

Awesome :)

BBEGM wrote:


Go for the half price. It'll be useful for the party to have a crafter around, as magic items will be limited. Kat set a precedent for owning property, so you can have a farm and apprentices. I have a rough copy of the town map (not to scale or anything) I'd been scrawling notes on. Let me edit it to contain no spoilers, and then I'll post it for you guys.

Uh... I don't want to spoil that answer, which I love, but the Backsmith bonus is building things faster and cheaper. Depending on the item, whether it's magical, the exact build, if we can scavenge components as we go, etc Hob can in theory craft mundane items (slowly) for 15%, and wondrous items for 27%. More likely 25% and 35%.


No, Weapon Familiarity doesn’t cover butchering axe, hence the trait.

But! It does include the Orc Hornbow!

http://www.archivesofnethys.com/EquipmentWeaponsDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Hornb ow,%20orc


Big Bad Evil GM wrote:

I quite like it! It's creative. Don't worry about the statblock too much, I'll be accepting people based on backstories and character concepts. You can have both boons with those 3 drawbacks. Addictive casting is nasty, so it balances.

Your companion is a fey of some sort? I can come up...

Yeah! I can't wait to be addicted to wild magic! The feat synergies are crazy. I just had to get my feet wet with the spheres system to get an idea of what's possible. For the focus, I think Ganzorig believes them to be a fey. I think I could keep that hidden if need be. I've been hunting through monster manuals and they're almost exclusively humanoid, which I wasn't expecting. I think I'm most attracted to the idea of an ijiraq as a shapechanger. Not that it would change shape as a feature of the character, but so Ganzorig could obliviously have a cool skulldog mount, and they would be a cool enemy if we part ways. Some ideas, especially about what would or would not go unnoticed in the town would be helpful. I think something Ganzorig has to actively hide in town would be interesting, especially with a 'destroy all wild magic' guy in the party.

Looking at it from the other side of the options, I was hoping for a quadruped or serpent for a mount because gnomes are slow, but my eyes did linger on the orb. A will-o-wisp would make sense. A humanoid would be interesting as a personal tank with some illusory clones. The form options are endless... Which I think is why I was seeking input.


In reviewing my build, I think I may want to swap out a couple of talents. Most of it's good -- I definitely want Nature and Life, as those suit the character concept. But the other part of her suite of abilities should be buffing people, and the more I look at it, the less the Fate sphere looks like the way to go. At least at low levels.

So I think I'd like to swap the Fate sphere and the Truth (word) talent for Protection with the Energy Resistance talent. She'll still be pretty squishy, but I'm less worried about surviving to level 4.

EDIT: Also I think it would be pretty cool to be a glassworker who can get fire resistance. She can sculpt molten glass with her bare hands! :-D


mechaPoet wrote:

Name: Morsel

Race: Tiefling
Mechanical build: Symbiat, telekinetic burglar/trap disabler, and party support with buffs and dextrous combat maneuvers

** spoiler omitted **...

Trait approved. You're quite correct about the flavour. All seems well.


Harakani wrote:


Sorry - when you say you like the concept, I'm not sure if you mean the orc or the fae version? Let me be blunt; which one fits the game better?

Uh... I don't want to spoil that answer, which I love, but the Backsmith bonus is building things faster and cheaper. Depending on the item, whether it's magical, the exact build, if we can scavenge components as we go, etc Hob can in theory craft mundane items (slowly) for 15%, and wondrous items for 27%. More likely 25% and 35%.

Truthfully, I like the orc slightly better, but can make either fit the game without difficulty.

And it becomes apparent I haven't done my homework! Well, as long as you don't abuse it too much it'll be fine. I'll allow the crafting at first, and if it becomes a problem I'll ask you to stop using it, which may involve allowing you to change major details on your character sheet if needed.


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Ganzorig wrote:
Big Bad Evil GM wrote:

I quite like it! It's creative. Don't worry about the statblock too much, I'll be accepting people based on backstories and character concepts. You can have both boons with those 3 drawbacks. Addictive casting is nasty, so it balances.

Your companion is a fey of some sort? I can come up...

Yeah! I can't wait to be addicted to wild magic! The feat synergies are crazy. I just had to get my feet wet with the spheres system to get an idea of what's possible. For the focus, I think Ganzorig believes them to be a fey. I think I could keep that hidden if need be. I've been hunting through monster manuals and they're almost exclusively humanoid, which I wasn't expecting. I think I'm most attracted to the idea of an ijiraq as a shapechanger. Not that it would change shape as a feature of the character, but so Ganzorig could obliviously have a cool skulldog mount, and they would be a cool enemy if we part ways. Some ideas, especially about what would or would not go unnoticed in the town would be helpful. I think something Ganzorig has to actively hide in town would be interesting, especially with a 'destroy all wild magic' guy in the party.

Looking at it from the other side of the options, I was hoping for a quadruped or serpent for a mount because gnomes are slow, but my eyes did linger on the orb. A will-o-wisp would make sense. A humanoid would be interesting as a personal tank with some illusory clones. The form options are endless... Which I think is why I was seeking input.

In general, anything not humanoid or very similar to a natural animal will attract attention. Something with a skull for a head, or a will-o-wisp will for sure be treated with suspicion. I definitely support the addition of an interesting potential enemy NPC.

I quite like the 'cool skulldog mount' concept. An ijiraq seems appropriate, perhaps built with transformative for the shapeshifting? I'm really busy today, but I can dig into this more tomorrow.


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Spheres also has an Armorist
http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/armorist#toc61

With Whitesmith archetype
http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/whitesmith

Can summon weapons and armor, plus can enchant them. At lvl5 can also enchant party member’s Equipment.

Just throwing it out there if Crafting is an issue. Combine it with VMC Wizard, and take the valet familiar archetype. The familiar will have “Cooperative Crafter” feat, which doubles Crafting Speed.

So you still have a smith, only who uses fey nature spirits to craft faster than any normal man could. Can also all on said spirit(s) to summon and enchant Equipment.

Would make for a flavorful orc Smith.


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I think I have enough options to set a closing deadline. Recruitment ends on Friday July 5th at Midnight. I'll consider my options over the weekend.

I do not require statblocks for acceptance. Only a backstory. Any unfinished character sheets will have a few days to be completed, with assistance from me and any other players who want to help. With that in mind, the following people I feel have given enough of a backstory to be considered.

Thurin Foehammer, dwarven mage hunter by Grumbaki
Tobin, ancient shapeshifter by Vrog Skyweaver
Katsanóron Vazrasti, plant person healer by Tinalles
Hob, orc blacksmith by Harakani (Unless you decide on the fey angle)
Ganzorig, gnome mystic by BastianQuinn
Morsel, tiefling thief by MechaPoet


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Big Bad Evil GM wrote:
Harakani wrote:


Sorry - when you say you like the concept, I'm not sure if you mean the orc or the fae version? Let me be blunt; which one fits the game better?

Uh... I don't want to spoil that answer, which I love, but the Backsmith bonus is building things faster and cheaper. Depending on the item, whether it's magical, the exact build, if we can scavenge components as we go, etc Hob can in theory craft mundane items (slowly) for 15%, and wondrous items for 27%. More likely 25% and 35%.

Truthfully, I like the orc slightly better, but can make either fit the game without difficulty.

And it becomes apparent I haven't done my homework! Well, as long as you don't abuse it too much it'll be fine. I'll allow the crafting at first, and if it becomes a problem I'll ask you to stop using it, which may involve allowing you to change major details on your character sheet if needed.

I think it'll be okay, so long as we are careful with the pre-requisites. Honestly, I'm interested to see. If it's an issue I'm happy to rebuild.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thurin Foehammer wrote:

Spheres also has an Armorist

http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/armorist#toc61

With Whitesmith archetype
http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/whitesmith

Can summon weapons and armor, plus can enchant them. At lvl5 can also enchant party member’s Equipment.

Just throwing it out there if Crafting is an issue. Combine it with VMC Wizard, and take the valet familiar archetype. The familiar will have “Cooperative Crafter” feat, which doubles Crafting Speed.

So you still have a smith, only who uses fey nature spirits to craft faster than any normal man could. Can also all on said spirit(s) to summon and enchant Equipment.

Would make for a flavorful orc Smith.

Absolutely. I'm already running a simple Enhancement Incanter in another game, and at level 4 he persistently keeps the entire group's equipment at +3, and any important attributes at +4.

Hmm, BBEGM: One of the suggestions I remember reading in Spheres of Might was being wary when anyone had more than half their talents in one sphere. My GM for the incanter felt like in retrospect that might have been good for Spheres of Power as well.


Really? Why is that? It’s my first time using spheres.

And for a mageknight, don’t they only get 1 Sphere and a handful of talents? Just making sure my build and build path is right


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some of the talents are enhancers.
The more enhancers you have, the more you are invested in a sphere.
The more invested you are in a sphere, the more useful enhancers are.
Turns into a vicious circle, where you only do one thing, but do it really well.
I remember reading it in the spheres of might beta thing and going "Huh." On the other hand, having looked around a bit I cannot now find it, and the spheres look to have rewritten so they don't stack so much anymore.

I know when I was building my Incanter it was just that when I levelled and chose a talent, they were the talents I thought I'd use the most.

Now I am actively trying to push into a different Sphere for a while.


That's part of the reason why I took three different spheres -- I haven't played with Spheres before, but it looks like super-specialization lets you get super strong in one area quite quickly.

Well, that and because Nature was important for the character concept. I might have gone with just two if it weren't for that.

EDIT: For kicks, I decided to look at what Katsanóron would look like if she only took Life Sphere talents. At level 3, for two spell points, she could Cure 5d8+3 damage on two targets within Close range. The same spell -- with no extra spell point expenditure -- would also remove confused, dazed, blindness, deafness, and have a reasonable chance of curing all poisons and diseases. Oh, and she could remove all ability drain and temporary negative levels on one target for 1 sp.

I will definitely be taking more Life sphere talents if selected for this game, but I'm going to try and space them out a bit.


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@BBEGM: Any chance I could trouble you for a little additional information on your Orcs? Are they the same as the writeup in default Pathfinder? Axes & Anger?


Harakani wrote:
Hmm, BBEGM: One of the suggestions I remember reading in Spheres of Might was being wary when anyone had more than half their talents in one sphere. My GM for the incanter felt like in retrospect that might have been good for Spheres of Power as well.

Good advice. I'll keep it in mind.

I tend towards the GMing style of 'try everything once', which means I'll be very lenient until I've seen it in action. I also haven't looked deeply at anyone's character sheet yet, to not colour my opinions of them.


So I’m sticking with life. Because I’m Weaponizing it.

Lvl1: Restore Ability can dispel magic...including the enemy’s. Changed my second talent to Clarified Strike (“As a standard action, you may make a single ranged or melee attack coupled with a Life sphere ability. If the attack hits, the creature is also affected by your Life ability.”) Now he can really hunt mages by hitting them with his hammer!

Lvl4: Can heal himself by hitting enemies with his hammer.

Lvl6: Can hurt enemies with his cute spells. Goes well with clarified strike!

Lvl8: Ranged Healing. Hit an enemy and range heal or hurt someone!

Lvl 10: Greater Healing. The first spell buff.

————

Makes for a pretty unique character, I think. Very focused design on hunting mages and being Martial in nature.


Things I'm excited for, given the build I've made so far:

Hella Disguise. Illusory touch, sound, and manipulate aura mean I can use my exceptional disguise skill to make stuff look and sound like other stuff, and not smell like magic the whole time, so as far as most folk know, Ganzorig just rides a normal dog. (Illusionary Disguise would give a +10 to this, and might be my next talent. I wasn't sure if hiding the aura might be more important.)

Kage Bushin no Jutsu: Create a +7 to attack, 15 AC combat clone which can deal 7 damage. If I took Complex Illusion I could do multiples, but they'd all poof the first time one got hit. Easier to use the Fey Adept's class feature and the gnome's favored class feature to pump up rounds of illusion past concentration and the maintain with move tradition feature, and create multiple separate clones! (I'm guessing these would give the tank a % dodge chance)

Wild Magic: a base 10% chance anytime I use a Spell Point, I can choose to bump that to 100% to use an unlearned talent. Twice per day (so far) I can roll Wild Magic twice and pick, and once per day I can add or subtract 1d6 to the final result. Best of all, the Illusion wild magic table is the most fun wild magic table.

Level 6: my illusions gain minor effects from other spheres.

Performance-Comedy: yup.


Harakani wrote:
@BBEGM: Any chance I could trouble you for a little additional information on your Orcs? Are they the same as the writeup in default Pathfinder? Axes & Anger?

Typed from a phone, I apologize for any typos.

They value strengh as much as Paizo, but are also a little more kinder. This group are very 'druidy', and use shapeshifting and nature magic. This led to the townsfolk thinking of them as werewolves. Of course, they also use shapes such as bears, birds, and seals. These orcs were native to this area befoe it was settled by humans. They value strength both in spirit and body, loyalty, and are surprisingly intelligent. Orc children are raised communally to become hunters, with the tradional axes and other large weapons. Their weapons were forged ages ago, and are passed down the generations and treasured carefully as they no longer have access to a forge. At least, they didn't before Hob.

The tribe was about 100 strong and nomadic. They roamed far and wide, always on the move. Roughly fifteen years ago, they found 'The Spirit Wolf', a massive white wolf blessed with power over nature that began agressively hunting them. This ended in a climactic battle that left a majority of the tribe dead. Ever since, they've meekly been hiding at the edge of town and waiting to grow their number. Most villagers barely tolerate them.

I think the best analogy would be the orcs from Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, if you've ever read it.

If you want to use a half orc stat block to represent a full blooded orc, that's fine. Or if you wanted to look at rotating the ability scores around.


Thurin doesn't have hatred (orcs, goblinoids). But in general, what are dwarven-orc relations like?


Thurin Foehammer wrote:
Thurin doesn't have hatred (orcs, goblinoids). But in general, what are dwarven-orc relations like?

They're alright. The orcs were natives of Lyi before the exodus, and as such remain suspicious of any of the newcomers. However, this particular band hasn't met any dwarves. Their only source of contact with other humanoids is the village. As far as they're concerned, Thurin is just a shorter human with a big beard.

Dwarves in general haven't met many orcs, but respect stories of their strength. Of course, individual disagreements are possible, and Thurin could well have encountered orc bandits or have another reason to dislike orcs. Otherwise, they're just like any other group of people.


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Good to know! Thank you.

Given how you describe orcs, I can see them possessing a culture worth respecting. Rather than being the usual bloodthirsty idiots they are portrayed as.


Alright, hopefully in before the bell. I need to clean some things up, and somehow I need to hit a few more points in the backstory, but here is Hob.


Hob Smith wrote:
Alright, hopefully in before the bell. I need to clean some things up, and somehow I need to hit a few more points in the backstory, but here is Hob.

12 hours to go.


Based on post time stamps and math, I deduce that BBEGM must be in America's Central time zone. Which is nice to know, I was wondering.


Getting close to decision/start time...


Katsanóron Vazrasti wrote:
Based on post time stamps and math, I deduce that BBEGM must be in America's Central time zone. Which is nice to know, I was wondering.

You can really tell I'm a first time PBP GM, huh? Lesson learned: time zones. I'll remember that for next time. Yes, that's my time zone.


And we're done!

I know I said 4 at the start, but all of the applications were really compelling and as much as I hate GMing for more than 4, I'll make it work. I'll take the following 5 characters:

Thurin Foehammer, dwarven mage hunter by Grumbaki
Katsanóron Vazrasti, plant person healer by Tinalles
Hob, orc blacksmith by Harakani
Ganzorig, gnome mystic by BastianQuinn
Morsel, tiefling thief by MechaPoet

Come say hi in the discussion thread!


Good luck guys!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Great job, everyone. And if I'm not in this game with you, hopefully I'll see you in another one. c:

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