DM Barcas - The Carrion Crown

Game Master Isaac Duplechain

In the mists of the haunted nation of Ustalav, a dark conspiracy stirs. The death of a trusted mentor is the first clue that will lead to the gates of death, and beyond.


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Azuk'ai wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

I don't know if you noticed this, but the Player's Guide actually had a specific blurb about playing full-blooded Orcs in this AP :)


The only problem is of course that you'll suffer a lot from stigmatization; and probably outright violence against your person. At least until you can afford a hat of disguise. ;)


Yeah. Also as nice as +4 Str is, we're pretty good on high strength characters as it is and you'd have to deal with the -2 to all mental scores and the light sensitivity.

On the other hand, I think we've already spent too much time telling you what to play so I say if you want to do it and the DM allows it, go wild.


It's fine by me if you can make it work, though there are some steep disadvantages to deal with.


I've been reading the Discussion threads for the various books in this AP and am getting more and more pumped as I go. One thing that I found interesting in the thread about the final book is that Tar-Baphon won't actually be making an appearance in the AP, but will be pretty much the "you lose" result if we're not able to foil the villains' plans.

I feel pretty good about this as the more I've been reading about the guy, the more I've been trying to figure how someone strong enough to kill a minor god would work as the boss for level 17 or 18 characters. It sounds like he's more likely to actually be something like CR 40 and will be statted out once paizo figures out their Epic level rules. This also helps with my background as I was really hoping to have past-Duron be more than just 15th level or something when he got utterly demolished by the Whispering Tyrant so now I can feel comfortable having been 20th level or something before and still being completley out-classed by Tar-Baphon :)

In other news, party recap!

Dúron Avantara: NG Male Elf Conjurer
Melk Besonders: LG Male Human Monk of the Empty Lotus
Azuk'ai: CG Half?-Orc Urban Ranger
Aydan Mishnok: CG Human Barbarian
Wesh Theron: NG Human Cougar Shaman
Marilwenn "Runyon" Galadruinnon: CG Elf Alchemist

Things are looking good (in more ways than one!)


I suspect he'll be mostly de-powered as a result of his imprisonment, down to a "mere" CR 20-25. He probably was CR 30 or more beforehand.

Sovereign Court

It really depends how he is built, I've run and played in a lot of epic games and I find you can quite easily go into epic levels with a villain if you avoid epic spellcasting.

You could build Mr Whispers as say a Fighter 20, Sorcerer 10, Oracle 10, Mystic Theurge 10. A 20th level party could probably take on such a foe, with action economy giving them a big advantage.

A CR 25 enemy would need either some very powerful minions or epic level spellcasting imo.


I vote for one of the CGs to become a LG - for great balance!


Pshhh LG is for suckers :P


Male

When back under last night, went to work and came home worse than I was so I'm taking it easy for the weekend. Don't know how I'll be at posting so don't wait up, at least not for too long...

Sovereign Court

So who is going to volunteer to run The Jade Regent? :) Just read over the overview of the AP and it sounds pretty nifty.

Dark Archive

DM Barcas,

I didn't know where else to ask this. I have not played in a PbP before but would like to. I am currently DMing Curse of the Crimson Throne on-line over map tools but never get to play. Would it be possible for me to join your game? I will check back here for your answer. Thank you for your time. Sorry if this is in the wrong place.


Well, I never opened this game up to the public for submissions. This group is from my Kingmaker game on the boards. They are an amazing group, pretty much the epitome of PBP quality.

Tell you what: I won't say 'no' out of hand without giving you a chance. It takes a lot of guts to make an approach like that, and I respect that. Go read part of the Kingmaker thread (or any of Downrightamazed 3 games). If you feel that style of play and writing is right for you, post a quick writing sample, responding to the scenario below in character of who you'd want to play in here. Also post a general character idea, though it doesn't need to be 100% statted out. Once you've done so, the players can respond with their thoughts here and vote via emailing me. I'll be a tiebreaker if necessary.

Scenario: The vampire looms over you, no longer making the effort to hide his fangs. His eyes are like two bottomless wells, boring into your mind with their intensity. "Funny little mortal," he says, his Ustalavic accent thicker than before. "You shouldn't have come here, not during the night. Here, at this hour, I am a god and you are an insect at my mercy. Give yourself to me willingly and I will allow you to serve me for eternity. Defy me and you will not live to see your precious sun again." Pressed against the wall, your hands find the stake tucked in the back of your pants. You have one chance before the undead nobleman tears your throat out and drinks deeply of your blood.

Last question: did you vote for me in RPGSuperstar 2011?


Female Elf Alchemist 2
DM Barcas wrote:
Last question: did you vote for me in RPGSuperstar 2011?

Oh, snap.


Male Human Barbarian 1
Marilwenn "Runyon" Galadruinnon wrote:
DM Barcas wrote:
Last question: did you vote for me in RPGSuperstar 2011?
Oh, snap.

Haha! Magnificent!

Dark Archive

I appreciate you giving me an audition of sorts. To answer your last question, no I did not vote for you. I completely forgot to vote. Just thought I would be honest. Congratulations on your success though. I am not sure of the format in which you wanted the requested information so I will start with character basics, then go into a bit of back story and finish with my response to the scenario you have presented to me.

Khair (pronounced Ky-ear) Borzoo NG Human (Kelish descent) Cleric of Sarenrae Hails from Qadira originally.

Personality and Appearance:

He stands just under six feet tall with soft brown hair cut short enough not to be in his way in a fight, dark soulful eyes and an easy smile. He has a beautiful light copper tint to his skin, a product of his faith, and well-toned muscles from his years of training with a scimitar. In the presence of friends, his flock or generally good people Khair is a soft spoken polite young man easily likable and friendly. But when faced with evil (particularly supernatural evil creatures such as undead or evil outsiders) he fights with a righteous fury so fierce others swear he is possessed by Sarenrae herself.

Background:

Born the second son of minor Qudiran nobles Khair always knew he would not be heir to his father's station. He made his peace with it at an uncharacteristically early age and asked to be sent to train at the church of Sarenrae and ultimately become a priest. He looked forward to the day he would complete his training and come back as an advisor to his brother and bring much honor upon his family. Upon returning from his completed training he found his ancestral home in ruins. His brother had squandered away all of his father's money and had gone missing. To date all attempts he has made to contact him both magic and mundane have failed...

(Did not know if you wanted me to tie him into Ustalav just yet so it at that left)

Response to scenario provided:

Panic claws at the edges of Khair's mind. Reading about a vampire in a book was definitely not the same as encountering one in person. With effort Khair forces the panic down. With this new calm comes a plan. "God?” Khair chuckles. “You are no god. I should know. I have a close personal relationship with one. You are just a mere creature to be destroyed.” With that, Khair swings the stake around in a wide arc designed to distract the monster while slipping his treasured Ankh out with the other hand. "Let the healing power of the sun burn out the darkness." Khair says quickly as he forces the power of his connection with Sarenrae through his holy symbol. (channel positive energy)

If there is anything else you would like me to do don't hesitate to ask. I could not figure out how to do the bold letters for when Khair was speaking out loud. Also, from your instructions and what I read on the other PbP forums you directed me too, I was under the impression I was only supposed to describe my actions and had no control over the vampire. If I was wrong about that please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you all and even if the vote does not go my way, I still enjoyed the experience and will try to find another game. (Although I won't lie, I really want to play in this one). Thanks again for this opportunity.


Some concerns from my side: I am hesitant to share XP by expanding the group. A party of 7 would also require extensive effort on the side of DM Barcas to re-populate the encounters which are designed with a much smaller party in mind.

Finally, with a new AP starting up now - there should be several pbps that start along with it. And if really desperate, Disinherited Knight will have no trouble getting to play in the Living Pathfinder pbps. I think Verik plays in them, he could offer more details.

Sovereign Court

I'm with Melk I'm afraid, anymore than 6 and I think a game suffers badly for it, and I would hate to loose any of our current contingent. Definitely an impressive writing sample though. I don't doubt that there will be many Carrion Crown games starting up shortly - remember the first installment has not even shipped yet - so I am sure you will have no trouble getting into a game.

If you are interested in getting into PBP, Living Pathfinder on EnWorld is a good place to start. One of the main problems with PBPs is reliability, and LPF solves this by allowing you to make a character who can interchange between adventures, and having a judge in place for each adventure - so if your DM vanishes the judge takes over and once the adventure finishes you can move onto a different one with the same character.

I will admit that as an inclusive community rather than a selective one the standard of RP is nowhere near that of DM Baracas's Kingmaker game - but then honestly that's the best PBP I've been in by a wide margin - but there are a lot of very good RPers involved. Its good fun, and its nice to be able to do short burst adventures and carry on the character.

If you are interested take a look at the LPF wiki HERE.


I'm on the fence here.

Pros: We could use a cleric. Nice post and he had the courage to step forward and ask.

Cons: 7th player makes for a huge group. Danger of a slow game, less xp and more clutter for the DM to sift through.

I'm going to stay neutral on this and cast a blank vote.


Male Human Barbarian 1

If I was a good PBP GM I would offer to run you a game Disinherited, but I don't translate to an electronic medium well.

I'm still learning, and great GM's like Barcas and DRA help me get better, but I just don't have the time/confidence to run a game at the mo.

Like sigz I'm on the fence, I hate to exclude you, but the game just isn't built for that many people except for rare cases, and Carrion Crown seems to be a more typical AP than Kingmaker.


Perhaps DM Barcas sees time to run an additional pbp?


Male Human Barbarian 1

That's a harsh ask! :D

He's already going to be running two intense ones, at least, and keeping the world safe in his RL time!


Speaking of, I picked up two extra late-night shifts (last night and tonight), so I won't have time for a non-phone post until Sunday night at the earliest.

You know that daycare fire that made the news? That's in my district. I'm quite thankful that I was off duty on that day, as it was pretty traumatic for those who went. I also don't understand firefighters and their willingness to run into a burning building, though they likely don't understand our willingness to run towards gunfire. Different skillsets, I guess.

Sovereign Court

Yes on a purely selfish note hands of our DM! lol.

I hope that fire was not too serious? Sounds harrowing whatever the damage, extra cash at least - hope you get good overtime.

Dark Archive

I understand that DM, I used to be in the Army. Now I am just a college student :) I can see the vote probably is not going to go my way. Which I can understand, 7 is a lot (I am about to start my Maptools Kingmaker with 6). Verik, thank you for the suggestion about Living Pathfinder but I am not interested in non-Golarion settings. Hopefully, you will consider me in the future if you have an opening. And if you want me to play an npc for a scene or do anything involving prep work for this campaign I would be honored and I hope my sample speaks for my ability. I am going to watch and read this thread and your in character one as well. If you want to contact me, just say so on this thread. Btw, is it ok if I post here from time-to-time?


Four children died and the daycare operator fled the country to avoid prosecution. It's a pretty rough deal. The fire wasn't serious, but she left the kids alone. Being babies and toddlers, they couldn't escape. Really terrible situation.


@DM Barcas: that's horrible!

@Disinherited: ah, I thought Living Pathfinder was Golarion based. I understand the reservation.


Male
DM Barcas wrote:
Four children died and the daycare operator fled the country to avoid prosecution. It's a pretty rough deal. The fire wasn't serious, but she left the kids alone. Being babies and toddlers, they couldn't escape. Really terrible situation.

christ


DM Barcas wrote:
Four children died and the daycare operator fled the country to avoid prosecution. It's a pretty rough deal. The fire wasn't serious, but she left the kids alone. Being babies and toddlers, they couldn't escape. Really terrible situation.

Wow, that is bad.

I'm going to join the vote of keeping the cap at 6 players, though I appreciate the effort! Definitely follow along and if we lose anyone I'm certain Barcas will keep you in mind as an alternate. I'm currently running two other games, but those are maxed out at five players which is the most I like to run. I'll keep you in mind as an alternate for those as well though!

Sovereign Court

Oh, wow, that's horrible...

On Living Pathfinder, yes its a shame its not Golorion based, we did ask if we could use the setting, but were turned down - not really sure why, but might be a copyright issue.

Dark Archive

DM Barcas wrote:
Four children died and the daycare operator fled the country to avoid prosecution. It's a pretty rough deal. The fire wasn't serious, but she left the kids alone. Being babies and toddlers, they couldn't escape. Really terrible situation.

He posted this literally as I posted mine. His appeared first and I did not see it before posting mine. That is a terribly situation and I hope they are able to catch the daycare operator.

Sovereign Court

+1


Male Human Barbarian 1

There are feew more reprehensible criminals than those who harm or allow harm to come to children, especially children so young. The damage done to those poor children's families is irreparable and my heart goes out to them.


The story of Aliana (El-EIJ-na) Layleaf, Azuk'ai's mother;

On a dark, stormy night some 15 years ago a woman stumbled into Ravengro clutching a crying baby in her arms. Banging desperately on the doors of every house she passed she was met only with silence by their inhabitants. The populace, only too aware of the horrors that stalked the night, refused to open their doors after darkness had fallen, forcing her to spent the night outside roaming the streets of Ravengro till dawn. Come dawn the citizens un-barred their doors to go about their day, shuddering at the sounds of the passing night they welcomed the warm comfort of the sun. Stepping to the streets they discovered the woman huddled under an effigy of Pharasma carved into a wall off the main road. Wet and cold she shivered and muttered in a fever, clutching a rag-wraped baby in her arms. Jumping to the peple who found her, Joab the butcher and Vernon his apprentice, rushed her to the temple and raised the mayor. Prying the baby from her arms the priests striped her off her clothes and set to cleaning her. What transpired in those rooms is still not spoken of to this day.

Peeling of layer after layer of dirt-caked clothing revealed to the priests a scrawny and mis-treated figure of a half-elven woman. Formerly quiet heavy-set she was now half-starved, bruised and bloodied, her nose broken in two places, three crakced ribs and a fractured jaw her face swollen and mangled beyound recognition. Unclothing the baby revealed worse. A broad boned half-elven toddler of not one year, it's soft pink skin riddled with fresh angry scaring from head to foot. The scarring was obviously intentional, ritualistic even, depicting suns, moons, fangs and claws mixed in with crude runes recognized as orcish symbols. The mother, cought in a fever, could provide no answers at present so the priests quietly shooed away curiosity seekers and, closing their doors, set to cleaning the wounds of both mother and babe with both salve and prayer.

Although the babe seemed fine, showing little sign of discomfort at it's scarring and taking to food with good vigor, the priests did not expect the woman to live, breaking her fever in two days Aliana proved her fortitude. Withdrawn at first, confused at waking up in a bed and screaming for her baby, she guardedly told her tale to the priests. Traveling as part of a caravan headed for Tamrivena on the southern border of Lorzeri with her husband and friends they had come under assault by an orcish raiding party. Carrying goods destined for sale as the lords of Lorzeri had called another Great Hunt with it's accociated festivities the caravan was a fat prize for the orcs, ladden with goods and ample slaves for the taking.

Her husband killed, herself beaten and unconcious, the orcs had taken her babe and intended to throw it on the fire for sacrifice to some unspeakable god of their kind. Unable to act as they had carved up the boy with their ritual markings she had been alone and unatended when she woke. Spotting her child on the grass a few feet from her the orcs had set to gathering up the slaves and making a fire. Crawling on her hands and knees she somehow managed to snatch up the child and escape the proceedings. She ran and she ran, for how long she had no idea, and now she woke up here.

Releying her story in a cold voice the priests shivered and nodded their accent despite obvious discrepencies in her story. To the priest eyes, trained healers, it was obvious that the scarring on the child was at least two weeks old, fresh, but healed over. The bruising of the woman, who revealed her name as Aliana Layleaf, shoved various stages of healing, some yellow and purple, others black with yet others still red. It could be explained away with her stumbling in the dark but the priests were sure theyr shape indicated that she had been beaten, often and heavily. But they reasoned that her story was her own and they had no right to intrude on her so they left her story as it was. Telling others bits and pieces but never airing their concerns to anyone but the mayor who agreed with their assessments and, he too, decided to let it lie despite never hearing of any caravan raid near the area she described that could fit into the timeframe she provided.

The truth, however, is an entierly diffent story and known fully only by herself and those involved. Azuk'ai only ever learned it bit by bit, and only ever in glimpses.


The story of Aliana (El-EIJ-na) Layleaf, Azuk'ai's mother part 2;

Having nowhere else to go Aliana integrated herself as best she could into Ravengro's society. Beeing cautious and suspicious in a coutious and suspicious society didn't help to win her much favor though and she still has few friends and none that could be called close. Instead she spent her energies on raising Azuk'ai in the best elven resemblance she could manage despite his destructive and violent nature.

The truth of her story is that she was indeed captured by an orcish raiding party but her captivity was far longer than the mere hours she told of, her time with her enslaver was closer to a year. Beeing enslaved to a powerfull orcish warrior she was quickly impregnated and as such was kept close by his other wives and the rest of his clan. The pregnancy resulted in the birth of Azuk'ai, a single smooth-skinned babe born to that powerfull warrior. Shocking at first his apearance and the fact that he was the sole babe born in that litter became tha cause for great celebration for the tribe. The babe was marked for greatness! He had defeated and devoured all his siblings while still in the womb! His looks did not matter, they would mark him, scar and pierce him! He would be great! After the celebrations died down Aliana had her chance. Colecting her babe, who had shown anger, not fear, at the pain caused to it the previous night, she planted a dagger in her mates eye and ran into the dawn. Runing and running for days without count she somehow avoided the resulting hunt sent after her. Wandering through the blasted plains of the Hold of Belkzen she miraculously had arrived on a dark and stormy night to the streets of Ravengro.


Female Elf Alchemist 2

Nice work, mate! Dig it.


Background:
Azuk'ai is the only child of the half-elf Aliene born in bondage to the orc warrior Toruk of the Skull Eater Clan who lurk in and around Whisperfell Pass, preying on Ustalav. Beeing the sole child born to that inception Azuk'ai was ritualisticly scarred only a few months old. His mother escaped with him during the morning after the ritual and made it to Ravengro where he was raised and lives.

His mother tried to raise him with elven principals but his blood would out. Growing up incredibly fast, reachin full maturity at the age of 15, coupled with his hot orc blood caused many a clash with both his peers and his mother who tried to home-school him in the hopes of raising out his vile blood. In that regard she was only moderately successfull, always troublesome as a child she revealed his heritage to him in an heated argument when he was 10.

Devastated at the revelation Azuk'ai became more recluse and took to the streets more often, staying out late and avoiding contact with most people. Coming to terms with the information in a few days of sulking he returned home to his mother and vowed he would try to restrain himself for her, locking up his impulsive nature he struggles with it to this day.

Outwardly calming down after that he actually grew wiser and paid better attention to the lessons presented by his mother, though he had little interest in most of them. Having found solace in the streets he braved them more often than he had, getting to know the locals by reputation and sight.

Growing up quickly in the next two years he grew big enough to train with the militia, partaking in sparring and archery were much better suited to Azuk'ai's tastes. But an event, and a man, that would shape his life were soon to arrive in his life.

Skulking the streets one night Azuk'ai ran upon a creature rumaging through what apeared to be some trash in an alley. Observing it for some time the creature came to notice him and Azuk'ai saw a ghoul chewing on the corpse of a bum. Furious at beeing interupted the ghoul whent after Azuk'ai who by some miraculous maner escaped it, running blindly through the night untill he made it to concecrated grounds, but not with out the ghoul clawing him once.

It was accociated to his elven heritage that Azuk'ai had resisted the paralizes but he knew better, he had survived through sheer luck.

The event drew the attention of Professor Lorrimor, a prominent citizen of Ravengro, and his warm fatherly manner warmed Azuk'ai to him and he actually ended up confiding his true heritage to him wich led to them keeping in touch and the professor helping him out several times, including aiding him with practical information regarding the killing of undead.

The event led to Azuk'ai developing a deep hatred toward things undead and also a deeper understanding of the dangers presented on the streets of Ravengro during the night. After theese events Azuk'ai spent many nights hunting the things that hunt in the night.


Personality/Beliefs::
Azuk'ai, like most Utalavians, holds a dim outlook to life. Suspicion and paranoia are deeply integrated into his very beeing and trust is somthing of a faraway dream. Nevertheless he strives to make good of himself and hates to see people suffer, seeing himself as the unoficial undead hunter of Ravengro.


Thanks. Just needed to ger her out before I could get him out.

But Azuk'ai's ready as he'll ever be. (Unless I get flamed to hotly;)


Looks good to me.


Cool.


Looks good to me. My only question is:

Azuk'ai sounds like an orc name rather than an Elven one. Did his mother have a secondary name for him? If so, how did he come to using his true orcish name? Alternately I suppose my interpretation of racial names could be flawed in which case never mind :P

Dark Archive

DM Barcus,

I am just making sure you saw my post with offers to help out anyway I can be it stepping in for a player that needs to drop, playing an npc for you for a scene, or even helping with prep work. I am not in any kind of play-by-post game at all and would love to be involved with this one (if even just to follow the story) :) I know you are a busy man but if you have plans to start another or anything like that, I would like to be considered for it.
Also, if you could give me just a little feedback on my "audition" that would be great. I know I would really enjoy playing pathfinder in this medium with the right group (like this one). Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I have been lurking since my last post on Saturday as I like the level of conversation and the chance to read good material (like Azuk'ai's back story and such). I wish I could get all of my players to go to that length in my map tools game.
That is all from me for now. If I am making myself a nuisance, I apologize. I never really knew this type of play (certainly not at this level of quality) existed til around Friday. :)


I actually thought your post was quite good. The biggest issue is that the party would be too large. (Six can be hard to wrangle on its own.)

I first tried unsuccessfully to join a PbP, so I started my Star Wars game instead. The experience made it a lot easier to get into and create good PbPs later.

Dark Archive

Thank you for your quick input and advice. I do not wish to run another game at this time, I really want to play (preferably in one of yours). I will hang out and keep up with what has been going on in this game as I know it will be entertaining. If you want me to do anything or need to get in touch with me, just post it here and I will respond. If you don't mind, I will post here if I have something relevant to add to the conversation. I ask that you merely keep me in mind for the future be it npc or as a player spot. Thanks again for your advice and friendliness. I'll be watching :) ... but not in a creepy way.

Sovereign Court

The PDF is apparently accessible now! Can't wait to get started!


I must not be in the first set of shipments. I'll tell you when I get it.


Dúron wrote:

Looks good to me. My only question is:

Azuk'ai sounds like an orc name rather than an Elven one. Did his mother have a secondary name for him? If so, how did he come to using his true orcish name? Alternately I suppose my interpretation of racial names could be flawed in which case never mind :P

Good question. It's true Azuk is an orcish name and I added the 'ai to elven it up. Bt I actually selected the name before I came to terms with using Veiled Vileness for first level. Now I've posted so much with the alias I cant change the name so I'll have to figure out why he's using an orcish name...


I got it :) (well, the shipment is made, so I got the PDF access, along with the awesome new campaign setting!)


Are you gonna read it? If so, I gotta make lots of changes.

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