Adventure Path Reign of Winter

Game Master Lareg

Maps
Winterthrone
Travel


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The Exchange

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Female Human Unchained Rogue/6 |HP:45/45|AC21,F16,T16|F+4,R+10,W+3|Init+6|SPD30|PER +9|ACRO +13|APPRAISE +6|BLUFF +12|CLIMB+5|DIPLO +7|DIS DEV +18|DISG +6|ESC ART +11|INTIM +7|KNOW(dung) +5|KNOW(Local) +5|PERF +6|SENSE MOT +5|SLEIGHT +8|STEALTH +12|SWIM +5|UMD+11

As my companions will tell you, posting daily will not usually be an issue for me. :) However, I think it would be a lot to expect of a GM since you have so much more to do and keep track of, and there's certainly no reason to rush this and burn you out. If we had a narrative update 2-3 times a week, with appropriate RP from NPCs on more of a daily basis, that would be amazing.

On the healer front, the easiest way to handle that short term would be to say that Hace our Life Oracle decided to stick around for a little while as an NPC, at least while we work or recruiting a new healer. We're about to move into the city of Whitethrone and meet the local resistance leader -- story wise, that seems like a perfect chance to introduce us to an Irrissen-themed new character, either as a liaison to the movement or as someone with parallel goals who happens to be coming along at the same time.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

Like my party members I shouldn't have any issues posting once a day. Keeping Hace until we get to Whitethrone sounds like a good idea. The city presents a better chance to swap things around then the fishing village. Getting some RP interactions from NPCs would be great. Nadya basically didn't exist.

For bringing someone in, my roommate was mentioning he had an idea for a Shaman he was wanting to play. I could check and see if he would be interested.

@GM Lareg One thing I wanted to bring up, I'd like to keep Hace's animal companion Izzy around as a group pet. It doesn't need stats or to fight or anything, I've just had a lot of fun treating a crocodile in a sweater like a dog.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Gameplay thread updated. And off we go. Let me know what your roommate is thinking. We'll figure out something for Izzy, thanks for the heads up.


Male Human (Ulfen) Fighter 5, HP: 63/63, AC: 24, FF: 22, Touch: 12, CMB +9 CMD 21, Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +5/7, Cold Resistance 2, Initiative +2, Warrior Spirit 2/2

I'll be honest the Society play stuff I'm not concerned about. I was getting a bit thrown by it as this is the only interaction I've had with it. I'm not 100% sure of the gear situation to be honest I've picked up a nice cloak and upgraded his armour to breastplate but he's a level 5 fighter. I'm a bit shaky on how much money he actually has.

Also to highlight Bulvi is cursed, he has a cursed ring of regeneration and as I understand it is taking +1d4 damage whenever he takes damage. I'm hopeful we can remove the curse sooner or later.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

Roommate is definitely interested in playing. We spitballed some ideas last night and he is thinking a Tengu Shaman with the Mammoth spirit. I'll have him post some character stuff.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Awesome. Have them post in recruitment and we'll go from there. Thank you.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

Roommate will have his character posted tonight. What wealth should he build for? Taking a quick look at the party looks like we have about 4k each but not sure if everyone's loot is up to date.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Standard wealth for level. I haven't had a chance to review all PC specifics so if things need to be evened out after the fact I can do that with items found in game.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Not sure I'll have access to changing things up with the campaign thread with the holiday. For now I will aim to include links in my GM profile and in post when I make them. Will update campaign specifics once I can. I'll see how much of that I can get set during my lunch hour. Will have a chance for fuller updates this evening. Posting will slow tomorrow / Thursday but still plan to get at least one post / day.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger / 6th | HP:53/53 | AC:17 T:15 FF:13 | CMB:7 CMD:22 | Saves F:+6 R:+10 W:+4 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +12| Gravity Bow (x3)

Maka, unless I missed something, the dude with the stick has not attacked Ringeirr, at least not yet...plus I think we started about 130 feet away...

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger / 6th | HP:53/53 | AC:17 T:15 FF:13 | CMB:7 CMD:22 | Saves F:+6 R:+10 W:+4 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +12| Gravity Bow (x3)

Maka, disregard, I obviously can’t read...somehow missed he’d been knocked out...I’m getting old...


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Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Campaign passed to me now. I'll work on swapping things over this weekend.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

Cool beans. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

Everyone have a good Holiday?


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

A little to much fun around the house this weekend. A good holiday and nice break before the long haul ahead. Didn't have a chance to update the campaign, but plan to this week.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

Fun is one of the better things to have too much of. My holiday was good but I was sick over the weekend. My mom runs a foster home and I caught something from the kids when I visited.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

That doesn't sound fun. Kids are good for strengthening ones immune system.


Male NG Psychic Searcher Oracle 5 | HP 38/38 | AC 20 T 15 FF 15 | CMB +3, CMD 16 | F: +4, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: -2 | Perc: +4, SM: +8 | Speed 30ft || Darkvision 60ft || Spells: Oracle 1st 2/8 Oracle 2nd 0/5 | Inspiration: 6/7 | Active conditions:

Glad you guys found another GM to take over so you can keep playing!

I see you already have control of the thread (never got Paizo to do that for me). Can you mark GM Zer0darkfire – Hace – Issalissk as inactive? Thank you!


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Will do.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Been working on old laptop that my son uses much of the day. Plenty of working computers so no worries about posting, just wanted to get it updated for him in time for his birthday tomorrow. On the last step so should be able to tweak map and post after his party tomorrow.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

@GM Lareg Have you had a chance to look over Tezuzu's entry? Feel free to let him or me know if you have any questions or concerns.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Maka, thank you for following up on that. I totally missed the post in recruitment. Not sure how that happened. I'll be sure to catch up on that.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Replied to Maka's roommate. Character is fine. I am a little concerned about access to a dedicated healer so let me know what you all think about that.

The Exchange

Female Human Unchained Rogue/6 |HP:45/45|AC21,F16,T16|F+4,R+10,W+3|Init+6|SPD30|PER +9|ACRO +13|APPRAISE +6|BLUFF +12|CLIMB+5|DIPLO +7|DIS DEV +18|DISG +6|ESC ART +11|INTIM +7|KNOW(dung) +5|KNOW(Local) +5|PERF +6|SENSE MOT +5|SLEIGHT +8|STEALTH +12|SWIM +5|UMD+11

what is your concern?


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

From what I'm seeing there won't be a character that has much in the way of healing. Wand use will be about it. Just wanted to make sure you all were comfortable with that.

The Exchange

Female Human Unchained Rogue/6 |HP:45/45|AC21,F16,T16|F+4,R+10,W+3|Init+6|SPD30|PER +9|ACRO +13|APPRAISE +6|BLUFF +12|CLIMB+5|DIPLO +7|DIS DEV +18|DISG +6|ESC ART +11|INTIM +7|KNOW(dung) +5|KNOW(Local) +5|PERF +6|SENSE MOT +5|SLEIGHT +8|STEALTH +12|SWIM +5|UMD+11

Oh, I see. Yeah, I agree, what the party needs is a divine caster that can heal. Findurel and Quasit can already use a wand of CLW. Maybe the character could be tweaked into a shaman with a Life spirit?


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

The shaman build has life for the wondering spirit for some additional support spells and channel energy so it definitely has some healing. Maybe swap Chant for the healing hex if we still think it needs a boost?


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Maybe @Tezuzu can chime in. I'd like to let characters remain as they are if possible. A character tweak is fine if Tezuzu is ok with that.

I have some other ideas, but wanted to see what you all thought.


Male Tengu Monk 1 / Shaman 5 | HP: 37/37 NL: 0/37| AC: 17(D:21) Touch: 16(D:20) FF: 15 CMD: 23(D:27)| Fort: 4 Ref: 8 Will: 9 | Initiative: 2 Perception: 14(LL Vision) | CPE:2/2 PS: 4/4 SF: 2/2

If that's my cue, I should say hello and chime in.

Greetings to all yall.

So as to healing, It's true my character won't stack up to a cleric or have the number of spell slots as an oracle to spam cure spells. What I do have as of now is wondering spirit dedicated to the healing spirit. So I should be able to lay down 2d6 channel positive energies twice daily which will scale up by level. I could make use of goodberry since each casting duration is good for multiple days to gather a small supply. I'm pretty content keeping a spell slot open on my 1st and 2nd level spells that I can spend outside of combat to fill with a cure spell or whatever else might be needed if we have a short rest to let me prep it. The life spirit will also grant me a slot to use for lesser restoration and at later levels I'll get access to breath of life and heal. Of course there's remove curse, disease, blindness/deafness, and poison as per usual support for a divine caster as well.

I'm always up for dedicating more spell slots towards healing should organically story driven experiences make it clear character wise we could use it if we're getting too beat up. I'd also strongly consider the healing hex next time I get a hex if we're struggling.

My focus in in combat would be melee support with an emphasis on debuffing by misfortune hexing, dazing, blinding, strength draining, fatiguing, ect. Ideally helping prevent damage from occurring. So I'm definitely more of a bad touch birdy than a dedicated healer, but can pick up a sizeable chunk of the healing burden.

If the GM has an NPC ally to pick up some more of that slack in mind that would probably help a lot too.

Skimming through the gameplay thread you all seem like a fine group. I'd be delighted if you'd have me. If ya have any ideas for character crunch or roleplay stuff I'm always happy to hear them.


At invitation from the GM, I'd like to see if you guys would want me to join back in.

I've been slightly concerned about pacing. I can post nearly every day, but my work schedule is still as chaotic and full as ever, sp I'm not confident in my ability to not miss a day here and there. I cam understand how that might be issue for some, so here I am to see what your guy's opinion on the matter is, amd whether you'd want me (I've got thick skin, so critique away if you have reservations, I won't mind).

And of course, Selena can add some secondary healing support.


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

Thank you for popping in Selena. I'd welcome all who have played with Selena previously to post here or PM me directly with their thoughts.

As I've told Selena, my plan is to bring in Tezuzu and get the group established back on book before considering brining Selena in. I very much want to hear from the group before any such decisions are made.


Male Tengu Monk 1 / Shaman 5 | HP: 37/37 NL: 0/37| AC: 17(D:21) Touch: 16(D:20) FF: 15 CMD: 23(D:27)| Fort: 4 Ref: 8 Will: 9 | Initiative: 2 Perception: 14(LL Vision) | CPE:2/2 PS: 4/4 SF: 2/2

I’ve got stoneskin as well. So I’m not terribly bothered if the consensus is that 6 or 7 players is a bit of a crowd.

My job necessitates a lot of downtime so I should be fine posting often enough.

I’ll keep an eye out for what y’all decide.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger / 6th | HP:53/53 | AC:17 T:15 FF:13 | CMB:7 CMD:22 | Saves F:+6 R:+10 W:+4 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +12| Gravity Bow (x3)

Welcome, Tezuzu, your character looks good to me!

And Fin would be happy to have Selena join us once again...


Maps: Winterthrone -Travel

For now the plan is to move forward with you Tezuzu. I'll give you a clear que in the game thread so you'll know to chime in.

We'll continue discussion in terms of Selena returning and I'll make a call once you are settled and the party is back on book.


Female Aasimar Kineticist 5/UC Monk 1 | HP: 55/55 NL: 5/55 Burn: 1/6 | AC: 24(D:28) Touch: 19(D:23) FF: 19 CMD: 24(D:28)| Fort: 9 Ref: 10 Will: 6 | Resistance - Acid:7, Cold:7, Electric:7, Fire: 2+(2*Burn) | Initiative: 4 Perception: 12(LL Vision, Darkvision 60ft)

I for one don't have any issues bringing Selena in. She left after the ice tower right? Be fun to find out what she has been up to.


Male Human (Ulfen) Fighter 5, HP: 63/63, AC: 24, FF: 22, Touch: 12, CMB +9 CMD 21, Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +5/7, Cold Resistance 2, Initiative +2, Warrior Spirit 2/2

As long as it's very plainly on the cards that like before this is an existing party. When you have an existing party you need to bend a bit to it with the character. Last time Selena kept trying to steer the party in certain directions.

Things were getting a bit tense before OOC, lets not sugar coat it.

Selena Snoe Yelizaveta wrote:
Is there some reason everyone is pretending this is an rpg? Cause so far, everyone is acting like this is a combat game that just happens to have a story stringing the battles together. And that is really making me so very [blueberrying] irritated. I don't sign up to play rpgs so I can play combat games. I have 4e for that. I can get that anywhere. No, I want some real and actual roleplaying. Why can't people just understand the difference and advertise accordingly.

...not that I didn't get frustrated myself. If Selena wants back in I can live with that but everyone including her should have their eyes open. Hopefully it works out for everyone. Worst case it's worth a shot and I hope Selena finds things less frustrating this time.


I had a lot going on then, and mostly was just a last straw case that day. Few play truly rpg style, kinda impossible with an AP anyway really, I realize that and usually just ignore it. That said, I really shouldn't have vented it here in any case.

Dark Archive

NG Female Kitsune Sorcerer 5 | Speed 30 ft. | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | hp 35/37 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4 | Init +2 | Percep +2 | CMD 13 | Spells per day used: lvl1 0/8 lvl2 0/5 | Conditions: none

Maybe you can elaborate a little bit about what you mean by "truly rpg style".

For the most part I think that this group does a lot of RP. However, we are also willing to follow the rails to a large degree. That seems to be the point of an AP. There is a decent amount of room for players to make different decisions but ultimately it is a preset story and the GM needs to steer the team in that direction, or utterly abandon the AP.

I am fine with Selena coming back in but I don't want a bunch of OOC tension and strife. You know how this group plays and if that still works for you then great!


Quote:
Maybe you can elaborate a little bit about what you mean by "truly rpg style".

A long and complicated answer, kinda outside the topic as well, so I'll answer inside spoiler. Those interested can read, but keeps it out of the way as well.

Spoiler:

RP, as in talking in character is not at all the point. I only call it a "true RPG" as I don't really have a better thing to call it. Gygax also saw the distinction between playing the rules and playing the game, and according to him, playing the rules was not playing the game, so as the Creator, his idea of what the game is I think warrents the title of the "true game" even if rare in modern times.

There are two fundemental aspects to a "true RPG" vs what most folks do, narrative agency and agency focus.

Narrative agency, this is the railroad vs sandbox, but it isn't just the large scale, it is also small stuff too.

For example, in one game I needed to eliminate a certificate at the registration office. I had the excuse and reason to see the certificate, but of course destroying it was another matter. So With my plan known, I bought paper and then cast silent image on it before going in, then once I saw the real certificate I intended to adjust my image to match, then hand back the illusioned paper, but the GM ignored it, didn't say no, just ignored it. His reasoning was that the book didn't tell him how to handle it so he didn't allow it. This is a lack of narrative agency just as much as following rails from encounter to encounter.

Having rails makes it not a "true RPG" though still fun, since a "true RPG" is entirely about narrative agency.

Agency focus is the tricky part, most don't ever grasp it, hut all the time I'm trying to improve my explanation of it.

In a computer game, such as Baldur's Gate, you go into a tavern and see tables. But what can you do with tables? Nothing. You can't break a leg off for a makeshift club, nor light it on fire, nor flip it on it's side for cover, nor move it to block a door.

Basically, in the computer game, you have the form and the function as two separate things. A table might look like a table and be called a table, but functionally, it is just a low wall. Function is unrelated to form.

This becomes so normal for players, that they don't even think twice about it, they just learn everything has two sides, form and function, then talk about things according to form, but act and make choices according to function.

Now, the exact same thing happens in tabletop games, even though you don't actually need to. People act and make choices according to rules and in a very gamey way, despite the fact that they don't have to. In a tabletop game, players can actually break a leg off of a table for a makeshift club, but because no rules mention it, no one does utmost even when it'd be helpful.

This distinction between form and function goes deeper and more subtlely. Enemies are not seen as people, as characters, as having motivations and reasons, unless those things are specifically called out and had attention drawn to them. Hence the cliche of PCs being murderhobos. This is so common because players just accept treating enemies that way and ignoring the "reality" behind them, both on part of GMs not having enemies act like it, and players not acting like it, much the same way as tables being functionally nothing more than low walls in Baldur's Gatekeeper it just gets accepted as the "function" of enemies.

A good counter example here is actually Lareg's portrayal of the thugs you just finished handling. GM Lareg implies you are off book, yet his enemies still had a motivation for acting beyond "they're bad guys!" and had them act appropriately, and drew attention to it as well.

Another example of this distinction is with traps. Do you encounter a DC 15 poison dart trap? Or do you encounter a tripwire going into a wall, a wall that a quick search discovers has several small holes in it above the tripwire? The first is just the mechanics, a functional trap, the latter is a trap in form and is functionally hidden.

Then is the dealing with the trap. A player that sees function and form separately goes straight to the skill check, cause what else is there? A player in a "true RPG" however, can't and doesn't simply rely on a skill check, rather thinks about the objects and situation at hand more completely, and considers things like taking a table and propping it in front of the holes to block the darts, requiring no check to disable the trap, except maybe to avoid tripping on the wire early, a dex check rather than disable device.

Do you see how the second way interacts with the world, both from GM to player and player to action, as a whole, complete, and total world, instead of just the rules and according to rules? In "true RPG" style, rules are not even required, they are shorthand for communicating more specifically (since you need more detail and specific understanding than passively reading a story) and adding uncertainty and risk, thus, rules as language more than game.

Most players however, see rules and immediately take from their experiences with computers/boardgames, and see everything in double, as their function and form separately, and act accordingly, talking about things according to form, making choices according to function.

There is one group I played shortly with that actually explicitly separates their characters from their character sheet descriptions, citing in between encounters as the RP time where you play the character, and encounters as the game time where you play the character sheet, and even got angry with me because my arcane caster couldn't identify potions, what they saw as a primary job for the arcane role, which no one bothered mentioning because "only a total newb doesn't know that." According to them, the roles have very specific expectations, and individual variation came into play with how you met those expectations rather than in crafting a character.

I've played in 3 campaigns that I'd classify as "true RPG" experiences, and they were lightyears more satisfying than anything else I've ever played, though some games were closer than others.

I'm the guy that breaks spells. I've used spells in creative ways that really explains why Create spells take so long (so they can't be cast in combat) and why many spells have some vague restrictions, like prestidigitation "except not anything that causes dmg, ruin concentration," etc.

I've used shape stone to flatten people, obscuring mist and silent image to fake a tower being on fire (making the guards easy and unprepared prey), and other similar things precisely because I don't think in terms of rules, but in terms of the narrative world, including the psychology and emotions of the fictional inhabitants, both friendly and not. (heck, my characters are like simulations in my mind, and I feel a shadow of what they feel. I felt Selena's dismay at the attack on the tower, I didn't simply choose it.)

---
I've come to suspect that there is more to this than understanding or perspective due to certain studies in psychology and similarities I see in many players in this regard.

I suspect this ingrained psychological aspect is why so many players play the rules (as several who have confirmed understanding the distinction, have stated that they just don't feel "comfortable" playing that way. Notice the word comfortable, not preference nor like, they are uncomfortable.), and why houserules are acceptable to most everyone, but not on-the-fly rulings.


Male Tengu Monk 1 / Shaman 5 | HP: 37/37 NL: 0/37| AC: 17(D:21) Touch: 16(D:20) FF: 15 CMD: 23(D:27)| Fort: 4 Ref: 8 Will: 9 | Initiative: 2 Perception: 14(LL Vision) | CPE:2/2 PS: 4/4 SF: 2/2

Happy holidays everyone. It's a pleasure to join yall off the back end of your hotsprings episode. Reading though the gameplay thread has been interesting. Started off pretty rough with a party death on page three, yikes. Those shocker lizards were positively sadistic too. Hopefully my tenure lasts a bit longer than 3 pages.

Just wanted to wish everyone well for the holidays. I imagine posting will slow down a bit for a couple days.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger / 6th | HP:53/53 | AC:17 T:15 FF:13 | CMB:7 CMD:22 | Saves F:+6 R:+10 W:+4 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +12| Gravity Bow (x3)

Welcome aboard Tezuzu! Yeah it was tough sledding all through the first book...aside from the two deaths, we had numerous other encounters where all but one or two were knocked out and had to be stabilized. Think we’ve just about all been knocked out at one time or another...

Merry Christmas everyone!


First christmas homeless, first day off in months, just woke up. The sleep was divine. Now to go play three dragon ante with the family.

So, Merry Christmas folks.

Or as Irrisan natives say, Happy Hassle-time! :)
Have fun hassling your loved ones.:D

Dark Archive

NG Female Kitsune Sorcerer 5 | Speed 30 ft. | AC 16, T 12, FF 14 | hp 35/37 | Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4 | Init +2 | Percep +2 | CMD 13 | Spells per day used: lvl1 0/8 lvl2 0/5 | Conditions: none

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Selena, read your long posting on RP and it looks interesting. I hope to have time to respond in the next couple of days.

The Exchange

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Female Human Unchained Rogue/6 |HP:45/45|AC21,F16,T16|F+4,R+10,W+3|Init+6|SPD30|PER +9|ACRO +13|APPRAISE +6|BLUFF +12|CLIMB+5|DIPLO +7|DIS DEV +18|DISG +6|ESC ART +11|INTIM +7|KNOW(dung) +5|KNOW(Local) +5|PERF +6|SENSE MOT +5|SLEIGHT +8|STEALTH +12|SWIM +5|UMD+11

That night, in a dream…

She looked down at the bonfire from her perch in the tree. The men were playing a slow, swaying beat on their drums and their sticks, and the mellow wail of the flute meandered and yearned about the clearing. An old woman was sitting on the near side of the circle, facing away; all Mina could see was her long rope of gray hair tied into a loose braid by a single leather string. The old woman sat cross-legged, her arms resting on her legs, palms upward. And she began to sing… a long, low keening note that began to break and wobble and swing about, like wind chimes in a gathering breeze. The melody began to form — it was strange and ancient sounding, a powerful and melancholy yearning, always starting with that same keening low note, then moving outward in strange new directions, like ripples from a thrown pebble. The drums gathered power, faster and louder now, and the old woman’s strange sighing song mounted in strength and intensity, rising in volume sometimes to a near shriek that cut through the night air, swirling and dancing with the flying embers from the fire.

Mina’s breath caught at the beauty of it.

Then the dancer came forward into the circle. It was her mother. She was younger — raven-haired and slim, dressed in colorful silks, her hands and neck adorned with silver and gold, her eyes made large by the dark make-up about them. Her arms moved like cobras, bending and turning with delicate precision as her torso swayed back and forth like a supple young tree. Her face was abandoned to ecstasy. And still the keening, wailing song and the low pounding of the beat and wild, alien trill from the flute. Her hips began to gather up the music now, and she began to stride and spin slowly about the fire, her body now moving like the flames themselves.

“What is it? What is that dance called?” came a voice behind her.

“It’s the Yulunga. The Spirit Dance.” answered Mina, still watching intently. “It’s a Varisian folk thing. She does it well, don’t you think? I always thought so.”

“What does it mean?”

“Beats me. Does anything Varisian mean anything?”

“It means something to her.” said the voice. “And to the singer. Can’t you tell? Can’t you hear it?”

“It’s a con. Like everything Varisian. Manufactured passion. They’re all in love with tragic beauty, they love the drama of it. But none of it is real.”

“How do you know?”

“I know her. That’s my mother.”

A hand touched her shoulder. “She was younger then. Passion might have been real for her once.”

The dancer was spinning now, wildly, lost in the rapture of the strange pulsing music, the old woman had raised her hands and was practically yelling out her song now. Everyone was swaying in time to the dancer’s hips, which still kept the time even as the feet spun her like a top.

“Who’s the old woman?” asked the voice.

Mina was watching the dancer. She shook her head, but heard herself say — “My grandmother.”

“But you’ve never met your grandmother.”

“No… no she died before we came to Varisia.“

“Why are you up here? Go speak with her. Wouldn’t you like to know her?”

Mina shook her head. “No. I’ve heard the stories. She was a witch, they said. Look, she’s casting a spell on them all right now.”

“Or maybe she’d just love her grandchild.”

Mina shook her head again, still watching the wild dance. “No.” she answered quietly.

“Such a pity… Crone, Mother— but no Maiden? Why are you ruining it?”

That got her. She turned and looked back at the voice. It was Alexia. “I’m no maiden, trust me.”

She wasn’t in a tree any more. Now they were on a rooftop in Cassomir. Somehow she knew she was supposed to be keeping a watch, making sure no one interrupted the deal Colin and Nardo were doing in the building across the road.

Alexia was sitting beside her, smiling, pretty. She was playing with her lovely hair. “Still it was a nice dance. Can you do it? The Yulunga?”

“No.”

“Why not? You must have seen your mother do it dozens of times.”

“She told me I was too young. It’s not a girl’s dance… not a virgin’s dance, if you take my point.”

“I thought you weren’t a maiden?”

Mina snorted and shook her head, then began to pick at her nails. “I was when I ran away.”

They sat in silence, enjoying the night air and the smell of the chimney fires. An owl whooed in a long, low keening note from somewhere nearby.

“It was nice of you to take my name.” said Alexia. “A dead girl likes to be remembered.”

Mina looked up at her. She was still playing with her hair, but now it was falling out in clumps into her withered fingers. Her pretty face was pale and sunken, her eye sockets hollow. A thick black liquid leaked from her nose and lips. A wind caught her hair and dress, lazily playing with it — a smell of lilacs wafted from her. Mina could only stare, horrified, her heart pounding hard.

The empty eyes faced her. “Why did you leave? All you wanted was to be free. What could be freer than the life they had? No laws, no country, not even a permanent home. It was perfect. No attachments, no one to care for, just embers in the wind.” And the embers from the bonfire blew up behind her from the street below.

“I wanted more. I couldn’t just be … that.”

“You had more.” said another voice. And there was Nevar sitting beside her. And now Alexia was dead, lying limp and twisted on the rooftop, still and silent in a pool of her own blood, just like at the Hunter Lodge.

Mina grabbed his hand. It was cold. “Nevar. I’m so sorry. Please believe me. I want you back.” She rubbed his hand to warm it, and blew on it. “I wanted you more than anything.”

He took his cold hand from hers and laid it on her cheek, his dark eyes looking down tenderly into hers. The bright pale light of the moon was on his face.

“From the first moment I saw you, I said to myself ‘she’s the one, that’s the one I love’. I remember just looking at you like a rabbit charmed by a snake, my eyes tracing the lines of your collarbone as it left your shirt, moving along the curve of your neck and along the soft edge of your jaw. The vision flowing like blood under your smooth, perfect skin. And then you smiled and you looked at me, and I couldn’t breathe. Mina… you were going to make me a better man. You were my lifeline out of darkness. And you threw it away. For a beer and a smile.”

Her eyes filled. There was nothing to say. She could only shake her head and mouth the words.

“Is this the freedom you wanted? Do you want to be looking for the exit of every place you come to? Is everyone you meet just tomorrow’s memory? Why did you leave? What are you looking for?” he said.

And then his face was dead like Alexia’s had been. They were sitting in the snow, in front of a dark, empty cave. His cold dead hand was stroking her cheek. A scream caught in her throat. She was held, unable to move. His slack jaw hung open, but the words kept coming.

“I wanted you to know I died without you. Stabbed in the belly in a crypt, bled slowly to death. Just a few hours ago. I wanted you to know so you wouldn’t have to come looking for me. It’s too late. I died alone. I’m glad I’m dead.”

He placed his dead hand on her belly. It was swollen with child. “Lie to her and tell her you loved me. Like you lied to me.”

She shoved him away suddenly, and he vanished in a whirl of snow. And as the snow settled, there stood Thora.

“Mother?” said the child, as her grandmother’s form emerged from the skirling snow, long, wild grey hair blowing to obscure her face, long-nailed hands reaching out and clutching at the child’s shoulders from behind. And Mina felt the same claws grab her own shoulders.

And she woke up, soaked in sweat.


Excellent scene, as alwsys. :)

Grand Lodge

Male Elf Ranger / 6th | HP:53/53 | AC:17 T:15 FF:13 | CMB:7 CMD:22 | Saves F:+6 R:+10 W:+4 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +12| Gravity Bow (x3)

Yeah, that was most excellent, Q. Nice touch taking Alexia as an alias...dang, that was a long time ago...maybe I should’ve chosen Yu Khan as my fake name...

One question though...was Nevar a half-Orc? ;)


Male Tengu Monk 1 / Shaman 5 | HP: 37/37 NL: 0/37| AC: 17(D:21) Touch: 16(D:20) FF: 15 CMD: 23(D:27)| Fort: 4 Ref: 8 Will: 9 | Initiative: 2 Perception: 14(LL Vision) | CPE:2/2 PS: 4/4 SF: 2/2

That was a good read, Q. I hope you all have enjoyed the meet & greet of my character. If any of you have any spells from the shaman spell list you want prepared I leave two slots open every morning of both 1st and 2nd level let me know. They are there for requests or to turn into cure spells outside of combat.

Hope everyone had a pleasant holiday.


Foxes seem to be popular with this group. My familiar is also a fox, a fox named Winter. :)


Sakitu wrote:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Selena, read your long posting on RP and it looks interesting. I hope to have time to respond in the next couple of days.

Oh on this,

Spoiler:

I just watched this vid,
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RyTQ5-SQYTo

And while it isn't directly about games, near the end he talks about infinite games vs finite games and how the thinking is different between them and that difference leads to problems.

It really resonated with me as that rather describes how I often feel playing rpgs, I often feel like everyone is playing a finite game, sure they expect the campaign to continue, but they look at obstacles, whether combat, social, or trap/environmental, as finite games. They want stable perfectly predefined rules (rather than rulings where the gm has to make a judgement call) and they play to win by beating the obstacle.

https://www.nateliason.com/notes/finite-infinite-games-james-carse
"The rules of a finite game are like the rules of a debate, infinite game, like language. The rules of a debate dictate how the debate ends, the rules of language ensure language continues."

Especially this, I see lots of this,
"Finite players avoid surprise and try to plan around them, infinite players expect to be surprised and continue their play in pursuit of it."


Male Tengu Monk 1 / Shaman 5 | HP: 37/37 NL: 0/37| AC: 17(D:21) Touch: 16(D:20) FF: 15 CMD: 23(D:27)| Fort: 4 Ref: 8 Will: 9 | Initiative: 2 Perception: 14(LL Vision) | CPE:2/2 PS: 4/4 SF: 2/2

Mine is named after a 19th century Chinese pirate queen. Foxes being in my top tier of familiars on cool factor alone not withstanding, I would be a liar if I said it being tiny and starting with 9 strength didn't play a small role in my pick. The wise and playful fox fits the bill personality wise for the character and is exceptional for my specific character mechanics under the hood. I could've gone with doubling up on the bird theme, but that seemed a bit too obvious.

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