Devil-spawn and Demon-taint: A Fiendish Take on Skull & Shackles (Inactive)

Game Master Mark Sweetman

Press-ganged to serve aboard the Wormwood, the crew with the outsider's touch must struggle to stay alive long enough to sate their desire for revenge...

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Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Sort of the back and forth. With my high Wis, 1 or 2 levels of monk at some point give a big boost to armor and eliminates the need for actual armor, also give a few free feats (Dodge & Improved Grapple) which would be very beneficial in wildshape. And evasion is never bad to have.

There are a pile of other spells, Barkskin, Aspect of the Bear, which help with AC/CMD/CMB. Not sure how it will work, but Wildshaping into a whale and then bullrushing a ship could lead to some interesting fun.

Well, I am still open to thoughts. If the Aquatic Druid was not stuck with the Druid Level -2 on Wildshape, it would make decisions much easier.

VC - Sydney, Australia

Once again, you need to decide which druid you are. An aquatic Druid is not a meatstick, or rather it is a subpar choice for that role.

Web 1/1

She's been operating pretty well in both roles so far. This is the time where things start to make switch-hitting harder though.

I'd recommend ignoring armor all together in favor of things that stick around when you Wildshape (rings of protection, Gloves of Dexterity) Eventually, get your hands on Wild Armor.

The lowest form of Wild armor costs 16,000, so it's a bit out of our price range right now, but in two levels you could reasonably have a set.

Rhino Hide is +2 armor with an additional enchantment. By subtracting the cost of a +2 enchantment (4000), and the cost of Masterwork Hide Armor (165), we can come up with how much the "charge bonus" part of the enchantment costs (it's 1000 gp).

So, tack on an extra 1000 gp to any kind of armor you want and it becomes "rhino" armor.

Your mid-game end-goal armor should probably be something like +1 Wild Rhino Dragonhide Agile Breastplate. (18,100 gp)

Also, Monk's Robes grant a small AC bonus and would stay while Wild Shaped.

The reason for all this is because two levels of Monk is going to get you a +4 or 5 AC boost at most. You're better off keeping your caster progression and picking up a 3x per day Ring of Mage Armor or something.

Basically, there's nothing Monk can get you that you can't get with a fairly small cash investment.

VC - Sydney, Australia

1000gp applied to any armour is a bit too cheap though, being able to add 10d6 any time you pounce for a bargain price attached to any armour you want is awesome; I think the only thing that caps Rhino is that it is a specific armour - and that it is linked to a suboptimal choice.

10d6 is amazing value for the money.

Web 1/1

Mathematically, that is the cost of the enchantment.

I think the real problem is adding 2d6 to every attack during a charge. That is clearly not what the armor is intended to do, and the literal interpretation of the rules is dubious at best.

My solution would just be to say "It only counts for your primary attack of the Pounce (usually a bite)"

1000 gold is still a good value for the extra 2d6 damage, but it isn't in any way over-powered.

VC - Sydney, Australia

Unfortunately the pounce issue is the prevailing belief on how the armour works. If it was only on a single attack on a pounce/charge that would be ok, but even saying primary attack will have people stating that claws bites and rakes are primary not secondary - despite the intention being primary = main.

If it was 1000 for a situational 2d6 it would still be better than most enchantments for the money, but not gamebreaking. When its 1000 for 10d6 it is utterly amazing. The same reason Bracers of the Falcon got thrown from PFS play.

Web 1/1

Exactly. Which is why my vote would be to disallow the +10d6 version.

The bonus damage should apply to one attack during the pounce action. Done.

Minor Crab-beast

Obisyth - the AC from being a monk really is no better than just wearing armor. And as others have pointed out it gimps your Druidic progression by delaying everything else for two levels.

For Rhino hide - I'd only let it work on a single attack in a charge, specifically the first attack made during the charge/pounce. Whale hide doesn't ring in my head for a charging attack though - so if you do buy it, just keep it as Rhino hide.
I'd also feel strongly towards buying it as written. It could be subsequently further enchanted, but would need to buy the base version as a minimum.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

All, ok, here is a possible option. Not sure how balanced it is, but it was something that DM VoV allowed in another campaign, but a campaign which was primarily martial arts focused.

Here is the original post/thread: Unbinding the Fetters

The proposed "Domain" had no spells, but a number of unarmed/monkish abilities.

DM - Voice of the Voiceless - a little over 2 years ago wrote:

How about:

'Needs a Better Name' Domain:

'Ability the First': gain Unarmed Strike progression as per monk

'Ability the Second': gain 10ft enhancement bonuses to speed at 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th (basically as per monk but 1 level slower)

'Ability the Third': @4th level, unarmed strikes or natural attacks (when wildshaped) count as magic. @16th count as adamantine.

'Ability the Fourth': @6th level, can add Wis to AC - but only when not wearing armor

'Ability the Fifth': @12th level, can use unarmed damage instead of natural weapon damage

Note: No domain spells are supplied and this domain does not provide any additional spell slots.

The final character was slightly altered from this - as can be seen in the above linked OOC. Here is Gorak if anyone wants to see the actual character.

Any thoughts about this are appreciated. I like the idea of a martial focused druid and Obi has been sort of playing that direction anyway.

VC - Sydney, Australia

My initial impression is that it would be crazy good when shapechanged.

The thing that balances wildshape is the notion that your natural attacks are tricky to use when cutting through DR - having an L6 Druid that can punch out a couple of hundred damage a round already (Alcheringa) I would be wary about making a Druid 'better' at it.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Really until adamantine kicks in at high levels, it is essentially just the Eldrich claws feat. As I am not Lawful, the aligned would not apply.

Amulet of mighty fists would also work for the DR.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Any other thoughts or considerations on my previous posts about a martial druid?

Web 1/1

I had a longer reply that seems to have been eaten.

This gist of it is that I crunched some numbers. The later level abilities, specifically the one that lets you sub monk damage for natural attack damage, is prone to some really ridiculous combinations.

Imagine Wildshaping into a Huge Octopus. Normally, it has 8 attacks per round that do 1d4+2. With your BaB and unarmed strike damage, you'd end up with 16 attacks a round that deal about 2d6+10 damage each, all with a free Grab attempt, at a 20' natural reach (and there's a Bite attack too). The damage average seems way higher than a normal 12th level character is usually able to do.

In a regular campaign not many druids change into Octopai, except that in this campaign an Octopus is exactly the sort of thing you'd probably want to change into.

This campaign might not go that far, so it might be a moot point, but my general impression is that the combination of Monk abilities and Wildshape makes for some pretty powerful combinations.

Whether or not they're overpowered is Voice's call to make.

Web 1/1

I was thinking on this a little more and something occurred to me.

Spells are usually a the more powerful option when it comes to ability choices. There's a good reason why it's generally considered a bad idea to multiclass away from any full caster class.

The thing is that most spells don't really scale well. There's a few buffing spells and utility spells that are always good, but when it comes to combat options like damage spells, save-or-sucks, or summon spells, you pretty much always want to be using your top teir spells or the enemies you face are probably going to make their saves, or just not care about the piddly effects.

These abilities are similar to combat spells in that they are going to be the primary go-to for kicking butt.

The main difference is that all of these abilities get better as you go up in level. The spells you normally would get wouldn't (not as much anyway).

The best comparison I can think of is imagine if this domain, instead of granting monk abilities, granted a bunch of pretty good combat spells that didn't have the usual level caps.

I don't know if it's overpowered, but it is definitely really good.

VC - Sydney, Australia

That's sort of where I was seeing it - it can get into crazy sauce land.

Alternately you just become and Octopus anyway and get 'Overland Flight'/Flying ability and now you are a flying octopus with all of the above

Minor Crab-beast

The original domain was for a very different campaign and character and was from a DM that didn't have quite as much system knowledge as I do now.

I'd agree that the monk damage progression would be broken-sauce on reflection - especially when you play into size increases and pounce and octopudlian shenanigans.

With expeditious retreat and a greater magic fang and some decent wooden armor - that takes care of the rest of the bonuses the domain would have granted.

I still think there'd be better utility for a character by taking a regular domain (via filling out some spell choices and giving extra spell slots).

Web 1/1

Voice, it's seems like it's my lot in life to make your job more complicated. Here's my prep list. I would have gotten to it sooner, but I've been sick as hell and brain dead.

I'm concerned about Pilk being able to wrest control of my Undead from me, so I'm going with a very different strategy than usual.

I'm caging up Mr. Haight in hopes of being able to Command some of Pilk's crew.

I'm dropping some of my usual Summon spells in favor of Protection and Buff spells. The breakdown is below.

All of our crew will be armed with bludgeoning and slashing weapons (since we don't know exactly what kind of undead we'll be facing. The most dextrous crewmen will be given nets (NWP penalty be damned. It's a touch attack)

We know that Pilk is coming for the living crew. That lets us set some of the conditions of the fight. Most undead are seven kinds of stupid. I'm banking that at least a few of Pilk's crew will be that sort. The day before the attack, Nachi and I are going to rig the main deck with as many net-traps as we can, setting them so that crewmen can pull a belaying pin to release a line and yank up a net (hopefully with an attacker or two in it).

The main hold will be emptied as much as possible, and the hatch on the main deck will be opened (with the guard rails removed). The strongest crewmen will be assigned in groups who's job it will be just to Aid Another Bull Rush boarders into the open hatch and down into the main hold.

The party will go after Pilk. My undead will stay behind to protect the living crew. The crew will do their best to net and bull rush undead, working in teams to buy time, and running away and/or climbing the rigging to stay away from Pilk's forces as much as possible.

Web 1/1

Spells Cast Before Combat

Guidance (+ competence bonus to 1 roll)
Resistance (+1 Resistance bonus to saves)
Virtue (+1 temp hp)
Defending Bone (DR5/Bludgeoning (25 hp worth of damage)
Eagle's Splendor (from potion)
Magic Circle Against Evil

Bless (+1 Morale bonus on attacks and Fear saves)
Protection From Evil, Communal (main party + Sandra)(+2 Resistance bonus to AC and Fear saves)
Prayer (+1 Luck bonus to Attacks, Damage, Saves, and Skill Checks)
Hide From Undead (main party, plus Sandra)

Party Buff Summery
+2 Attack, +1 Damage, +1 Saves, +4 vs Fear, +1 Skill checks, +2 AC

Crew Buff Summery
+2 Attack, +1 Damage, +1 Saves, +2 vs Fear, +1 Skill checks

Minor Crab-beast

Although Deader has a stated Alignment of TN... I'd have to think that by explicity Golarion standards he's NE. Creation of undead is an evil act by RAW - and that's basically his stick. I'm going to have to say no to the protection from evil and magic circle - as they carry the good descriptor. And his alignment as written should be revised to

Guidance, Resistance, Virtue, Eagle's Splendor will all have effectively 1 minute durations - which would be very difficult to judge combined with the somewhat flexible nature of the opposing ship's approach. The first three are infinitely reappliable... so fine - but you'll need to apply the Eagle's Splendor using an in-combat action.

Defending Bone is technically listed as a spell given to Pharasmin worshippers... so doubtful by RAI it'd be available to an unrepentant undead creator. That being said - spell looks fine, so no issues.

Hide from Undead vs issuing commands to your own undead? - one supposes commands could be given prior to hiding - but you need to be careful there as you won't be able to speak to them thereafter.

As to the crew vs crew battle - my intent was to sideline that primarily to prevent epic quantities of d20s being rolled. Depiction of tactics is fine and will play in - but the main thrust of the fight will be party vs Pilk (with a few groupies).

Web 1/1

No problem on Eagle's Splendor. Hopefully I'll be able to get it off during a surprise round or something.

I'll leave myself out of the Hide From Undead list.

As for the alignment stuff, this gets into territory where I have a little beef witht he system. Deader is really more Chaotic Neutral than anything else. He's definitely not evil, regardless of what the spell descriptor says. Casting it doesn't make you evil, and being evil isn't a requirement for the spell. It is an evil act, but neutral people (and even good people) can sometimes do bad things without changing alignment. Alignment is a guideline, not a straightjacket. At worst I'd need an Atonement spell if I had a god that cared. Likewise with Protection From Evil. It's a Good spell, but that doesn't mean I have to be Good to cast it. Sometimes I do good things, sometimes I do bad things. Most of the time, I just do things. That's what makes me Neutral. It's not about some kind of Karmic balance. It's about self-interest and the willingness to use every single tool on the table.

The whole idea behind Deader is that he serves a force outside of any kind of standard morality. I really wouldn't want to nail him down as evil. He genuinely cares for his crew. He just doesn't see what the big deal is about the distinction between alive and dead.

Minor Crab-beast

Deader - rephrasing what you've written, I know you want to both have the cake, eat it and then go back for ice-cream. I'm not comfortable with every single rule being bent in your favor.

Undead = evil, and the amount of time Deader spends dominating / creating and playing with them, he is evil in alignment because of that.

Morality is a different discussion.

Web 1/1

Alright. Even if Deader is evil, that still doesn't mean he can't use Protection From Evil. Evil people can cast Good spells, especially if it's in their best intrests to do so.

Unless you think it's a spell that Deader's Gods can't/won't grant. Then it stops being an argument about mechanics and becomes about the overall nature of those gods. If that's the stance you want to take on it, I'm fine with it. I just don't like the notion that the alignment of a spell has anything to do with the alignment of a person.

(I have a bone to pick with the entirety of how the alignment system intersects with game mechanics. The mechanics shouldn't ever dictate what forces motivate my character. It should be the other way around.)

VC - Sydney, Australia

Where I think the alignment of a spell and the alignment of a caster might have a relationship is when the source of the spell is a deity - why would a good god grant an evil spell and vice versa? Neutrals deities might be a different story, but then the amount of time one spends playing with negative energy might tilt an alignment in that positive energy might not work properly - like magnets.

Web 1/1

A good god wouldn't grant an evil spell. That's definitely true.

An evil god with a particular code of conduct or cause would probably not grant a good spell.

Any other neutral or evil god would probably have no reason to care about the alignment of the spells as long as their ends were being served.

Minor Crab-beast

Deader's correct - the granting of spells is tied to the deity's alignment. Which is where a TN deity basically says Take all the spells... while ones of a diametric deity would be restricted by their god.

Where Deader's case is more indistinct is that his chosen deity isn't defined or represented in any way shape or form. And essentially by implying that it's true neutral, Deader gets to cherry pick from any and every spell there.

I'd disagree with the interpretation Any other neutral or evil god would probably have no reason to care about the alignment of the spells as long as their ends were being served.

It's not a choice in my head, it's part of the fiber of the deity itself. Asmodeus can't grant a good spell, because his influence doesn't spread to that portion of divine power. It's anathema to his power, and he can't do it.

Web 1/1

Deader's Deity is actually a Pantheon.

The idea behind the Great Old Ones is that we are inconsequential to them. They don't care at all about us.

Deader is a part of their plans somehow, and linked to them, but he's pretty much left to his own devices.

The dark tapestry is evil, sort of, but it's evil in the same way that a virus is evil, or a black hole. It's the evil of stepping on bugs you don't really notice are underfoot, or swatting at mosquitoes who annoy you. It's evil without intention.

The Dark Tapestry's plans and motivations have nothing to do with morality, or the souls of the living, or corruption or redemption. They don't really have anything to do with people at all.

But they might have to do with the completely destruction of the entire world, because it was in the way of their nice view of the cosmos behind it.

It comes down to who Deader really is. In my head, it works like this (though I'd be fine with Voice having a different idea): The only Old One who cares about people at all is Nyarlathotep, who is a sort of changeling god.

In my head, Deader is a former servant of Pharasma who was infected with a fragment of Nyarlathotep, now endlessly living out various lives, pretty much out of sheer curiosity and a desire to figure out what is up with these strange little people.

The thing is that humanity, at it's most fundamental level, hinges on the balance between life and death, and what a person decides to do to influence that balance.

The further away from that concept you get, the less you're going to have in touch with humanity (which is why Necromancers are universally creepy. They might not be as evil as a priest of asmodeus, but they're practically always going to be more disturbing)

So Deader is a guy who likes people, loves life, and doesn't really understand living.

Which is why I say he's not evil. It has to do with the fact that he's genuinely not malicious. He just doesn't look at certain concepts with the same respect or revulsion that everyone else does.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Ok, how is this for a modified druid which does most of what I am interested in, without unbalancing things.

Water Domain (modified)
--> All water domain spells
--> At 1st Level - gains a swim speed equal to 1/2 of land speed. This swim speed increases by 5' at 4th and every 4 levels thereafter, but cannot be greater than the druid's land speed.
--> At 9th level, an aquatic druid gains the aquatic subtype, the amphibious trait, and a swim speed equal to her land speed.

--> Due to the close tie with water, and the general unmaneuverability of armor in water, the druid has learned to sense motion in nearby water with an almost preternatural speed. As such, the druid adds his or her Wisdom bonus to all AC. This bonus also increase as does a monk's AC, but one level behind. This bonus is loss if the druid wears any armor or uses a shield.
--> This replaces Trackless Step and Resist Nature's Lure.

I do not think that this is overpowered, but it gives me what I like about both a monk level and the aquatic druid (although the swimming and aquatic subtype are probably useless since I will probably be a fish or shark when in the water anyway.

Web 1/1

That looks pretty good to me. It keeps things simple, which makes balance comparisons easier.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

I meant to type "sense nearby water or in the moisture in the air" to indicate that the wisdom is not just limited to when I am in the water. Just wanted to note that if there are any questions.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

As a note, I will be at CarnageCon this weekend, so my posting is likely to be light.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

If anyone else has any thoughts about this last modified domain, please let me know. If it sounds ok, I will try to update my character before I take off for the Con this weekend.

Minor Crab-beast

I know y'all are waiting on me in the game thread, and it shall be up... eventually. Had a slammed week at work and fractured kiddie sleep patterns, plus a bit of mental wanderings to a degree. Weekend should hopefully freshen me up and get me back on track.

Obisyth - it's a no to swapping in Control Weather (asked in PM). I see that solidly in Air / Wind territory rather than water.

I don't really see the point in the granting of the aquatic and amphibious subtypes, when all you're really after is the ability to breathe water? - just take that with a 1 min/level/day duration usable in 1 min increments.

The swim speed incrementing slowly is strange - just make it 1/2 land speed at 1st, then full land speed at 8th.

The fluff you've put around the Wis to AC ability doesn't make sense... unless you're looking to limit it to time in the water... which you're not. Wis to AC is fine, though I'm still not 100% sold on the increments as levels raise... Take it as you've stated it and we'll see how things pan out once wild shaping Natural Armor bonuses weigh in.


Great Old Ones in Golarion show up in Faiths of Corruption and apart from two of them, all offer the Evil domain. Nyarlathotep himself is stated as CE. Semantics aside, that's the kicker mechanically when it comes to access to spell types and what not.

Web 1/1

However you want to do it is fine with me. It changes some things about the character, but I can work with that. Being Evil in Pathfinder has more to do with broader intent than action. I don't have to have Deader suddenly treating everyone like crap just because his alignment has suddenly changed from what I thought it was.

As for the mythos gods in golarion, I know James Jacobs is a big fan, but whoever stated out the various deities clearly didn't know the source material well. The Old Ones should all be Neutral Evil (with the possible exception of Azathoth because he's insane and effectively mindless).

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Sounds good. At a con this weekend, will try to update it by Monday.

Minor Crab-beast


At least one of you (if not more) know that there was recently what I would call an incident in my Reign of Winter PbP involving myself, some others and Shifty - of which the explicit details are unimportant... but it has given me a lot of food for thought and issues to digest.

At the heart of the matter is trust. For me to function properly as a DM I need to have a degree of understanding that you guys in essence trust that I'm doing my job properly - unbiased, with respect to but not slavish adherence to the subject matter and a critical eye to creating a challenging and enjoyable environment for you guys to adventure in.

After many posts and PMs exchanged after what happened... and a couple of days spent in thought... I'm not sure that I have Shifty's trust anymore. It's not that there was a blowup - Doomed Hero will attest that sh1t happens sometimes (read drinking misadventure early on in Steel Wolves) and that after grinding away at it a little things even out and we get to a point where we can move on... but in this case I don't think I've gotten there. Despite numerous posts, PMs and apologies from my side - I don't feel that I've been able to get things smoothed out. Most importantly... I don't think that my DM'ing style is either good enough or clean enough to prevent something similar occurring in the future.

So with that in mind... I've regretfully come to the decision that I'm going to shut this PbP down as well. It sucks for all concerned, and it is in some ways a truly cowardly choice - but at the end of the day we're all here to have fun and escape some of the conflict that we have thrown at us constantly in the 'real' world... and I'm not confident I'll be able to do that.

Many thanks to all for the memories created here and shared over the last 18 months, and I will no doubt see you all around the boards still.


Male Changeling Fighter 1, Monk 1, Rogue 1, Ranger 1, Actor 5

Voice, I don't know the details of what happened, but I do know that the drinking scene in Steel Wolves weighed on me for a long time. I was reactionary, and at the time the game was new enough that I became aggressive. You deserved the benefit of the doubt and I didn't give it to you because I didn't know you.

I do now, and I regret that incident. I'm really glad that you were willing to continue that game, and give me another chance in this one.

In the time that we've played together, you have become my favorite GM on these boards. Your style is flexible and descriptive, and your dedication to the story is completely top-notch. I'm sorry about whatever happened with Shifty. That's really unfortunate. Maybe he'll calm down after a while, like I did. Maybe he won't. I know from experience that you have done all you could to work with him while still maintaining the integrity of your vision as GM.

Please don't let this experience undermine your confidence in yourself.

If you feel the need to shut the game down, or just take a break for a while, do it. I'm sure everyone in your various groups will understand.

If you ever decide to pick this game up again, I'll still be around. Even if I'm the only one left, I'd be willing to play with you.

You have definitely earned my trust.

VC - Sydney, Australia

Fair enough and I thought that this was probably going to be the case.

So a hella long post to wrap up - because hey you deserve it.

I apologise to the other players here that the musical differences between DMVoV and I have spilled over and affected a group of people who really had nothing to do with the situation – its ironic that you guys don’t have a game, whilst the people that were the catalysts of the situation do.

I’ll just put it out there so its clear where I point the finger and where I feel I was shafted as a player.

Some time ago, in game, we were put in a ‘roleplay’ situation not unlike the sort that come up in S&S, basically our dark and dour Vikings got caught up in a position that was essentially no win. I tried to turn that situation around (I was the ONLY person who did so) and given the vast limitations of the character I couldn’t do it solo. What was curious is that the rest of the party had a chance to do something in game, and to a man, not one decided to change the outcome – they let nature take its course. It was obvious where this was going.

And it did.

That’s fine, attacks dogs went off the leash and we did our job.
Moments later, however, a player took it upon themselves to come in and start attacking myself and one of the other players and posted up a few statements deriding our playstyle, made some claims about our historical actions, and told us what sort of campaign it was - and had a right dig.

Some words went back and forth between us, where I took apart the actual history, went back and broke down sequences of events, and the player retracted their position – I can only surmise that being fairly casual they might have missed a few posts or that given the uberfymenow character I had that managed to kill things very effectively left them with the vision that finishing up fights was the same as starting them or whatever – but thats speculation. Unfortunately the response at the time was a backing down with what amounted to a ‘fine you are right’ and an accusation of me being a bad winner about it. It also came with a ‘just you wait’ rider.

Then another poster came on board and said they felt like the original poster did.

So I asked about that, then they said it wasn’t about us, then they started going straight into attack attack attack, but being ultra-dishonest and trollish in their dealings. They’d state their position and then when called on it would deny they just said it and start making personal attacks.

All of this, by the way, was about shaping of the game – their position was they felt being a bad guy was wrecking their game – that this player should be given the right to use their diplomacy skills etc – which would be fine, but then in game they didn’t do it.

As a party we had a prickly bunch who actually built in RP the party dynamics, we had used OOC to try build a cohesive full bodied party experience, because it is essential to making a disparate party work – uch like we did in S&S where we had a completely reprehensible bunch, but always maintained good relationships because we had tacit ooc agreements whilst forging in game reasons for it to work well – we RP’d out our party dynamics. Except in the other game we had two players simply try hijack the party and scream blue murder in OOC to get their way. No warning mind, no ‘hey guys were struggling here’ – nope, just straight in with the personal attacks.
Ironically no diplomacy first, just in with the blades, like the badwrongfun they accused our characters of in game.

Anyway, as a player and a GM, I have never ever entertained the concept of ‘giving a person a chance to shine’. I see that fair and square as the responsibility of each player to take the initiative and shine through on their own strengths – I don’t feel I should be manufacturing a stage and a spotlight for them, they should simply step up and shine on the weight of their own merit.

As an aside, it was a bloody Viking campaign, stated clearly on the application, dark, bloody, messy.
Then they wanted to play classic good guys and stuff. It would be like a new player in S&S rolling a Paladin and then trying to tell us we were ruining S&S with our wicked ways.

So why did DMVoV and I have a problem?

Way back in the wayback, we had a different incident where the canny Orc (my character) simply rolled over an identified enemy without talking to it first, the party didn’t know that at the time, but he’d picked they were being tricked and trapped and went in on the fluffy sheep – they just didn’t know it was actually really a wolf playing dress ups. They screamed and screeched about the bad orc being nasty (which I pointed out I had asked for a party leader, asked for instructions, and after no one wanted to provide either, the orc went off on his own decisions) and their screaming and screeching con-incided with DMVoV making a significant change in RAW that saw my character get slammed pretty badly. As far as I was concerned, the RAW should have provided me certain information, I was given certain information, made my decisions and acted on that information, and was then surprised to find out to my (significant, fight-losing detriment) that the information was wrong – not because of a failed roll or unforseen enemy strategy (I play a hard and fast game, some days you simply get outplayed or the dice burn you) but because the GM decided that the RAW wasn’t fun and he’d decided to do something else.

So the wrap up of that had some good points, it turned out the Orc had indeed identified the enemy (although people felt that using Diplomacy was going to net us a lot of answers, highly doubtful – why do people seem to think that a Diplomacy roll is a game changer?) and we managed to get some party cohesion and the leadership I had asked for. I expressed my disappointment at the way I found out that RAW was no longer RAW, and that I had built my character around a concept that was now apparently significantly changed. We did get to an accord though and moved on.

What was left unresolved though was that:

People cried their upset in OOC and then;
There was a change of RAW and tricksiness that worked to my significant disadvantage and tipped things decisively against me.

Chance or co-incidence aside, there was a protest, and then moments later an in game effect.

So fast forward in time and here we are again.
The new NPC, the chances for Diplomacy passed upon IN GAME, things going south fast and the IN GAME posts was that they were letting it – we end up in a bad position I had tried to move away from but now it was dice down.

When it was all too late and things were kicking off – that's when they complained in OOC, but by that stage it was already underway, there was little choice but to see it through.

Given the highly charged background there was obviously a significant inter-party weight placed on this particular encounter. Things had gone badly, and now we had the ‘bad guys’ off fighting an NPC that we were being accused of setting up for a murdering – although as pointed out above – was accepted as being an untrue portrayal of events.

Notwithstanding, there we were.

But in what I saw as a complete repeat of the earlier encounter, I was now being handed changes to RAW that simply put, advantaged the enemy. Maybe it was to make us earn our keep or whatever, but I rolled on through the loss of my advantageous hand and the levelling of a playing field – that's cool lets go, but it appeared to be once again favouring the NPC at his expense and in response to OOC complaints.

Unfortunately where things came to finally derail and where the ‘trust’ was lost was that I had raised the point of the NPC’s armament in the ingame thread chat – we were trying to nut the tactics on the fly – we hadn’t been TOLD of any weapons, but I thought it was worth raising. We then go engage to find the enemy now moved a couple of rounds ahead of us (dunno how) and so seeing an unarmed enemy I decide a combat maneuver is in order – gives us lots of options if she falls – to take her out, take her captive, etc – she gets dealt a really bad hand that allows us some flex, but I made the point once again about checking for weapons BEFORE committing the act (as eating an AOO at L2 can be really bad news – lose your action AND get injured, terrible terrible stuff) and post a plan B if she was able to counter – I thought it was crystal clear what was going on. And then I ate an AOO, turns out she had claws that do D6 damage – apparently we had missed that. In the next post I complained that this was cheesy, but it was upheld.

Now this move changed the whole encounter, it was enormously decisive in its resolution – a combat loser right then and there – not because of bad dice, botched rolls, bad guys being prepared or my carelessness, but by what the GM described as ‘GM sneakiness’ and a self described ‘cheap shot’.

The way I saw it though was that once again I had an uncanny position where, in a charged ‘political’ environment, the GM had just favoured an NPC at my significant loss whilst a chorus of tears was being shed in the peanut gallery by disgruntled players. It was an (almost) exact repeat of history – that a fight changing outcome was lumped on me, and that the complaining players could smugly sit back and “I told you so” and that now I was at their mercy as I was dying in the snow.

Not only is this now a really bad card to be dealt as a player, it gave them significant amounts of moral authority to insist that their way was the right way, backed with the GM endorsement.
They had also stated the campaign was a certain way (ie not Vikings etc) and as the GM had said nothing contrary to their position, and indeed seemed to be tipping the NPC’s cheap shots and trickiness, it simply appeared to be endorsing their views.

In the light of that, and in the light of not wishing to participate in a campaign that was now pandering to casual players who weren’t contributing in game – and against the terms we signed up under – I wasn’t interested in continuing on. Games rely on strong players driving the campaign forward, you need regular posters who can set a pace, you don’t have the luxury of taking a week to work out if you want to post a Diplo check then come back in a week to see what happened – AP’s require strong play rates to complete. I don’t want to be captive to a party of casuals who wished to manifestly change the game and have it reset to their pace.

Now as it turned out, the original person who complained later pointed out that they realised they were wrong and it wasn’t their intent to go down this path, they actually made it clear there wasn’t a grudge but they were frustrated. We could have sorted it in game or wherever but that’s how it panned out. It would have gone a long way to fixing things had they just said ‘Soz bro, mybad’ in the OOC chat, but that’s neither here nor there by now.

What finally broke it for me was the admission it was a cheap shot/tricksiness – first up as a player, I am always ok with narrative changes to a game. I get that sometimes an NPC is vital to something else and so they ‘magically get away’ or something – but I really take umbrage to it being so heavily at my expense, and I get outraged when it wasn’t for a story need, but what appears to be the mollification of other players who chose not to resolve things in game or out of game, but by instead asking the GM to play Dad and come resolve their dispute in the sandpit. Especially players I don’t respect as people – catty dishonesty is poor form. Have some gonads and make a stand.

I thought we had made it clear that I really don’t appreciate tricksiness or cheapshots like that, and don’t understand why, if not done as a punishment, was it done?
I don’t mind being outplayed, outrolled, outsmarted, whatever – well played and to the victor go the spoils.

I do ask for a level playing field and an even (unbiased) chance.

We can grind through every other detail and I can apply benefits of doubt (even given the enormous co-incidence) however what doubt is there when the other person actually states they shafted you? And especially during a significant game/party defining watershed moment is reached.

That’s the part that went unresolved.

Why was the level playing field and even chance denied?

Sorry about the loss for all of us.

I still like GMVoV as a person, and still consider the chap a friend, I like his GM style in the main and was really enjoying the fruits of some in game labours and some well built RP outcomes – that a bunch of murderers and thugs went and just charmed the way through The Rock was excellent, that we actually use our brains and our full range of skills is testament to our abilities as players and GMVoV did an excellent job of providing us the rich tapestry to weave our magic within – and that would have taken a ton of effort – props to him for doing so.

I had hoped that the calibre of players in Reign of Winter would be of equal measure and they too would be able to engage strong party roleplay – especially considering we had a couple of people with good pedigree for doing so, but one or two bad apples spoiled it.

It is a shame that it came to be that way, but I can see how we have ended up here, I just thought I owed you guys the benefit of an explanation as the loss is equally attributed to me.

Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

I am sorry to see this campaign end. I have enjoyed playing with you all and as with Doomed Hero, I expect to be around for some time to come, so should there be any interest in resurrecting this campaign, I will be here.

I do hope that Shifty and DM VoV work through this as both are great and prolific players who I have enjoyed interacting with both IC and OOC in multiple campaigns.

AC 16/12/14 HP 13/21 F+1 R+8 W+3 Init +4 Per+4

Ah, so very sorry to see it end. I'll miss this batch of characters. One day Nachni will have her revenge, but that will be another tale.

All of you know me to be a long-timer as well. I'll see you all around. I truly hope things mend between Voice and Shifty as I love playing with you both.

Minor Crab-beast

Appreciate the words all and can confirm that there is nothing 'broken' between Shifty and I. I'll be happily continuing on in the games where I am a fellow PC with him.

Shutting this down does open up a potential hole in my DM schedule - that I'll no doubt get around to filling at some point eventually. Probably after the holiday silly season though.

I shall see y'all around the boards - and I'll shift this PbP into inactive now.

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