GM Brunoreturns' Shattered Star

Game Master brunoreturns

Venture Captain Sheila Heidmarch needs your help to recover a lost field agent.

Do you have what it takes to serve the Pathfinder Society and save the world?

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Silver Crusade

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Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

Ha. New Zealand has only 5 cases at present, but that number will likely head upwards soon. Nevertheless, a hobbit never refuses visitors - especially on party business.


Shattered Star Maps

I'm finding it really hard to actually challenge you guys with combats so far.

Honestly, that coincides with my recollection of Book 1 when I played through it, outside of a few specific combats.

If my prior experiences are anything to go by, Book 2 should make adventuring quite a bit more challenging, so don't start resting on your laurels.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9
GM Brunoreturns wrote:

I'm finding it really hard to actually challenge you guys with combats so far.

Honestly, that coincides with my recollection of Book 1 when I played through it, outside of a few specific combats.

If my prior experiences are anything to go by, Book 2 should make adventuring quite a bit more challenging, so don't start resting on your laurels.

Have you played the Reign of Winter AP? We're just about through with Book 2 but Book 1 was brutal. Two PCs were killed, one in the very first encounter, and there were 3 or 4 fights that were very close to a TPK; several fights ended with all but one or two PCs knocked out and dying. I think all of us were knocked at at one time or another during book 1. One of our players dropped out saying this book was actively trying to kill us...two others dropped of as well...

Book 2 hasn't been as bad although one PC did die towards the end...but it seemed more of a freak occurrence. The ROW AP's been lots of fun but book 1 was absolutely brutal...


Shattered Star Maps

Yes, I have, in a home campaign. That GM was especially harsh, but the AP itself was insane.

Everyone in the party died multiple times.

My dhampir inquisitor avoided it for a long time, but eventually got one-shot insta-killed by a charging triceratops.

Reincarnated as a freaking kobold, which is when I started to lose it.

Once you get to WhiteThrone, forget about it, it is just a long stretch of people dying left and right, perhaps for the rest of the AP.

The carnage was one thing, but the story itself eventually made us lose interest. I personally wanted to feel heroic and there is just no heroism available in that AP.


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

Hmm... ROW's going to be my next live campaign after the pirate-themed one wraps up later this year (assuming the coronavirus-based switch to Discord doesn't slow things down too badly). I even have a Dancing Hut miniature!

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

Well New Zealand just effectively upped the global border closure ante, and while the borders aren’t necessarily closed, as of midnight on Sunday (that’s 3hrs from now), all visitors coming to New Zealand must self-isolate for 2 weeks.

You’re still welcome to come, but please sit over THERE.

I leave you with a lovely Reddit post to give you an idea of what you’d be doing with your time.

Come on Down Under-er!!


Shattered Star Maps

Visitor are REQUIRED to SELF isolate? That's pretty close to an oxymoron. Certainly better than closing borders to everyone except the UK, though. Why them?

I still think the world is overreacting, unless the virus is a whole lot worse than governments are letting on. If it were, I don't think it could be kept under wraps at this point.

With schools closed, I feel fortunate my kids are old enough that they can be left alone at home once in a while and I don't have to worry too much. Wife is also allowed to work from home most of the time, so that is also a bonus.

In my estimation, H1N1 was a worse virus and we didn't need to close borders or cancel sports seasons. (60 million cases and 12 thousand deaths in the US alone). All these steps are simply spreading things out over a longer time period, IMO.


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Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

[rant]I’m pretty sure spreading things over a longer time is the point. The percentage of cases requiring hospitalization is around 15%. If too many people get sick all at once, they start filling up hospital beds, then hallways, then the parking lots, and we’ve all seen that movie too many times not to know how it ends for them. If hospital beds aren’t available, as has been the case in northern Italy, the people who need them are much more likely to die. The reason to spread out infections is to keep the load on hospitals manageable.

Also, the H1N1 epidemic spanned nearly two years. In that time, 12,000 deaths divided by 60,000,000 cases is a fatality rate of 0.02%. WHO estimates the fatality rate of COVID19 as 3.4%; even assuming it is more like 1% outside of China - or even 0.5% - that would be 50-100x worse.[/rant]


Shattered Star Maps

The majority of cases being reported are the ones that require hospitalization. Otherwise people just think they have the flu. The mortality rate is going to go down once a larger sample size is available.

Maybe still higher than influenza, but then again we know influenza, have a reasonably effective vaccine, and treatments for severe cases.

H1N1 is still around, by the way, as a seasonal "flu".

I am a realist who deals with the world as it is. I'm not going to panic over a new virus that is essentially just the flu.


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

I see it very much like Brunoreturns does. And I wonder how much of this is to kill the economy prior to the election no matter how much financial pain you cause yourself and others.


Shattered Star Maps

I'm not going to conspiracy theory levels, I just don't see a reason to panic.

The US media does not have the power to create a world wide panic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

Jesus christ on a cracker, does anyone genuinely think the covid-19 outbreak or the response to it is a plot to "kill the economy"?

Some friends of mine work at the state capital, and they attended a hearing on Thursday about the current CDC estimates. Over a 12-month period the estimate right now is 96 million cases, with 4.8 million hospital admissions and about half a million deaths. Obviously some demographics are at much greater risk than others, but covid-19 is very evidently worse than H1N1 given the information we have available now. And that's using estimates significantly lower than the ones Barkot quoted from WHO.

And a successful countermeasure puts people in a rhetorical bind after the fact. If everyone adopts social distancing and there aren't several hundred thousand deaths, is that because the naysayers were right or because as a society we took steps to prevent the worst-case scenario? I don't know, but I have irl friend and family who are immunocompromised to I'll do what I can to limit exposure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

If anyone's interested, I added two images from that hearing to the campaign maps, last slide.

First image is the source for those case/hospitalization/fatality numbers, and the second is a chart comparing two different cities' illness & death numbers from the Spanish Flu outbreak. The flatter line is a city that cancelled public events, the spike is one that didn't. Social distancing works!

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

I know that the current discussion that we are having has been triggered by my report of what is currently happening on my country, so it is on me - I own that.

There are certain comments being made that seem to hit a bit below the line of questioning people’s held beliefs. I don’t enjoy those comments.

I’d like to get back to the game with this awesome group, please.


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

Let me take that blame, Squint. I went there. This is our escape. Back to the game!


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

You have a PM, Sir Squint. I never check that and assume the same of others.


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

I think I started it, actually - happy to go back to the game, though.


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)
GM wrote:
I'm finding it really hard to actually challenge you guys with combats so far.

I have noticed many modules that do you that way. They lull you in with easy encounters and when you begin to feel invincible and you drop your guard...


Shattered Star Maps

We're all about as close to friends as you can get on a forum, so it is natural for us to start talking about current events in the manner of friends.

Friends can disagree on things and not take lasting offense, and I hope that is true here as well.

I take my share of the blame (and a bit more for being the forum "moderator").

Thank you for helping us to find our way back to the game, Squint.


Shattered Star Maps

I appreciate all of you for staying active through this trying period.

Most of my other games have ground to a halt. (I honestly expected the opposite with everyone staying home.)

BTW: Social distancing is my daily lifestyle anyways. I even drink my coffee out of a mug that says "This is a beautiful day to leave me alone."


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

I am beginning to suspect they all post at work and now they are not there. Or, it is worse than we thought and now its just the two of us. echo


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

I have been working at home since Friday, and I’ve been absolutely hammered with work. A combination of hitting a busy stretch anyway and everything taking just a little longer, I think.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

I’m still going into work as they’re only letting those over 60 and/or with compromised immune systems work from home. However, that’s likely to change soon as we got the first confirmed positive in our county this morning and it’s a healthcare worker; looks like it’s travel related but the person was likely in close contact with a good many locals after catching it as they shut down all the Medstops here till further notice...


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

We just started work from home today, and tax season + b!~*%!@ crazy market volatility has meant a lot of mandatory OT. It's been bananas, apparently the market has forgotten that swings of less than a thousand points are possible!


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

You sound like my daughter, Rei. She does accounting, event planning, and estate management for the stars out of Nashville. Same complaint, but her company wants everyone on site to this day. BoD questioned that decision and they were quelled. My daughter sent me a facebook (or something else) post of a 24 year old she knows that contracted covid-19 in Starkville, MS. You can only guess how bad the medical treatment was in that area. How it got there is another question. She all but died in front of them with the most painful experience imaginable. I can link it to you if you are interested. The second post I have seen as to how bad it can be. Media folks seem to test positive and then never develop a fever. We still have no idea what we are up against.


BUFFS: none CONDITIONS: none LN Arcane-Duelist3 l 24/24hp l F +2, R +6, W +3 l AC16; T12; FF14 l Ini +5 l CMB +2 CMD15 l Perc +10 SM +8 l Active Conditions: none

I'm very sorry to hear about your daughter's friend, Deric. That's a horrible way to go, especially for someone so young.


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

The girl survived. She was throwing up blood and her face was swollen and painful. Her chest was cramping. The medical care was a joke. Basically an IV, Just getting info out there.


Shattered Star Maps

That doesn't sound like covid-19. Perhaps it exacerbated an underlying condition (perhaps undiagnosed)?

That appears to be what is happening in the majority of deaths so far.

Regardless, glad she was young and strong enough to overcome.


Shattered Star Maps

My company actually somehow convinced our contracting representative to let us work from home. I had been sure that eventually my office building was going to get closed down and that we just wouldn't be allowed to work. That's what happens during every snow "storm".

Fortunately, we got permission for a couple of people to try it out late last week and early this week. Now the entire team has been home.

I think I could actually get used to this work from home thing. I didn't have high hopes. I've worked from home before on different contracts for brief periods of time and found it hard to get motivated.

This time, though, I feel more productive than ever, and the team has been producing well. I can get up later. There is no traffic to deal with. No dumb office politics. Nobody refusing to clean up their messes in the kitchen.

My wife also did an awesome job establishing a routine for the kids that is keeping them sane and engaged.

Of course, eventually the code I develop needs to actually get deployed and those networks aren't accessible from outside computers. Not sure how that is going to work as I got word today that they might actually be closing our facility down.


Shattered Star Maps

Plus, I get to disinfect myself with Irish Whiskey and nobody cares :)

Got a bottle of Proper 12 last week, and it is gooooood...


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

I do almost all of my work remotely. Super productive. Have worked on PCs and servers in three parts of the state concurrently. Motivation is not an issue as I am self employed and must keep everyone happy.

Heard they were closing 78 liquor stores in my area. Guess where I went today. Have almost 2 gallons of Kentucky Bourbon on hand.


Shattered Star Maps

Closing liquor stores? How are we supposed to disinfect with people hoarding soap and bleach?

Panic buying has been rather insane this last week. I'll be glad when people stop worrying about grocery stores closing down.


Male CG Half-Orc (Shaman's Apprentice) Oracle (Seeker) 3 | HP: 24/24 | AC 19 T 12 FF 17 | CMB: +4, CMD: 16 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +2 | Init: +2 | Perc: +5 (darkvision), SM: +3 | Shield ON | Speed 30/20 | longsword +4 (1d8+2/19-20), silver light mace +4 (1d6+2), whip +4 (1d3+2 nonlethal), light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20) | Spells: 1st 4/6| *Active: poisoned (-1 Dex dmg)

Heh. One of the only bright spots on the Stay the F#@~ Home Order our Governor signed yesterday (effective this evening) is that liquor stores (and cannabis dispensaries) are included on the list of "Essential Businesses and Operations" permitted to remain open.

I'd have been busy this week anyway, but working from home everything takes just a little longer - I have fewer reference materials at hand, can't just stick my head into a coworker's office to ask a question, etc. So while I've surprised myself at how productive I've been, I haven't gotten quite as much done as I'd like. But we're all working through the same issues and I think next week will be easier.

My dry cleaner is going to go broke if I stick with t-shirts and jeans instead of suits for any length of time, though.

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9
GM Brunoreturns wrote:
Panic buying has been rather insane this last week.

Dude, you're not kidding...we go hiking in the Grand Canyon every couple of years or so. Was looking at the place where we order dehydrated and freeze dried food for our camping/hiking trips; we're not going this year, just wanted to see if they're faring any better than the grocery stores. They are out of stock of everything. Panicking is off the charts...while this coronavirus is bad, it is not the bubonic plague or ebola…

I'm reminded of a quote from the Pogo comic strip (by Walt Kelly) back in the 70's:

We have met the enemy and he is us...

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

Love me some Pogo!

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

Me too, Squint. I miss a lot of those old comic strips...Pogo, Doonesbury, Peanuts, Bloom County, The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes…and I’m sure I’ve missed a few others...

Grand Lodge

Male Elf CG / UC Rogue / 3rd | HP:24/24 | AC:18 T:15 FF:13| CMB:3 CMD:18| Saves F:+2 R:+8 W:+2 (+2 vs enchantments) | Init:+7 | Per: +9

I'm pretty ignorant on scroll use and who/what level can cast 'em, but this is what was on the d20 site about the spell:

Water Breathing

School transmutation; Level alchemist 3, bloodrager 3, cleric/oracle 3, druid 3, magus 3, psychic 3, shaman 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, summoner/unchained summoner 3; Domain water 3; Elemental School water 3

Silver Crusade

Male Halfling Summoner (Unchained) 3 | hp 25/25 | AC 15 (t11; ff13) CMD 15 (ff13) | init +6 | F* +3 R* +3 W* +2 (*+2 vs fear) | Perc +1 SM -1 | Speed 15 |

That’s weird. I use the PFRPG rd app and when I pop in ‘water breathing’, it doesn’t tell me that it’s a summoner Spell. However, when I look up the unchained summoner Spell list, it is listed there as a 3rd Level Spell. Weird.


Human Fighter (Two Handed) 3, |HP 31/31| AC 24/20-11-19| Init +7| Perc +1| F+5, R+2, W+1 (Dex -1) CMB +8 (+9 sunder); CMD 19 (20 vs sunder)

I am beginning to believe these rules are particularly susceptible to the Mandela Effect.

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