KC's Age of Worms

Game Master Kobold Cleaver

Just what truly happened to Bucknard, the so-called expert on Kyuss, Dragotha, and the writhing doom?
Loot Sheet.


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RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

Okay, nevermind the above, apparently my math was very, very wrong.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7
DankeSean wrote:

I am kinda curious how this is intended to break down by design. Given that the crossbows have 5 bolts and require a full round action to reload, the only way to actually outscore Zeech here would be full attack round one, reload the partially empty clip on round 2, then full attack round three (like Farrukh did & I semi-copied). But, given that at this level even full BAB martials have 3 attacks tops, that means you could at best tie Zeech. You could squeeze in an extra shot with Rapid Shot (or a surreptitious haste, or Farrukh's stance or something similar...), but even then, given the damage limitations of crossbow bolts, you'd likely need to be a specialist in this particluar weapon to score a few extra points to beat that DR. Am I doing the math right here? Is this meant to be a near-unwinnable competition unless the party happens to have a Rapid Shot-using, repeating crossbow focused and specialized, full BAB type?

(Not complaining, because it probably is totally in Zeech's nature to set up a challenge only he could win, just wondering.)

Yeah, I mostly figure that it's designed as a "you probably can't win, but if you can, more power to you" encounter, if they even thought it out. A martial PC who's specced for archery, or especially for the crossbow, stands a decent shot—AC 17 is not that big a deal at your level. Then again, there was no Deadly Aim back in 3.5.

Actually, I'll note that the adventure doesn't include the stats for the corollanxes, so for all I know they just wanted me to run them with raven stats or something. Probably got cut to shave wordcount. I assumed the writer just screwed up and forgot the stats, but in reality I'll bet he just included corollanxes as a more fun kind of parrot to shoot and I made it harder than it had to be.


HP: 63/173, BR 24/30, APs 8/11; AC 27, T 11, FF 26; Fort +16 Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +16, Init +5 haste & stuff from eben

I'll be out of town and away from my PC this weekend. Don't expect anything from Cuetzpalli until Monday evening at the earliest.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Yeah, I mostly figure that it's designed as a "you probably can't win, but if you can, more power to you" encounter, if they even thought it out. A martial PC who's specced for archery, or especially for the crossbow, stands a decent shot—AC 17 is not that big a deal at your level. Then again, there was no Deadly Aim back in 3.5.

Actually, I'll note that the adventure doesn't include the stats for the corollanxes, so for all I know they just wanted me to run them with raven stats or something. Probably got cut to shave wordcount. I assumed the writer just screwed up and forgot the stats, but in reality I'll bet he just included corollanxes as a more fun kind of parrot to shoot and I made it harder than it had to be.

Yeah, it's not the AC 17 that made me scratch my head, it's more a question of the sheer number of shots required when most martials would get 6 shots max and 3/4 BAB types would get 4. (Actually, I'm not sure how Farrukh killed ten when he only took eight shots... unless we were figuring this wrong all along and didn't need to reload, and could just take a 'fresh' loaded crossbow each round?) That plus the DR (which, as you say, may not even have been accounted for when written) and the low damage potential of an (exotic) light repeating crossbow wielded by someone who isn't optimized for crossbowing just made it seem like a 'Zeech is scary, don't mess with him at your level just in case we need to hammer that point home' challenge.

Plus no buffs/discreetly cast buffs. Sheesh. Who wrote this adventure? Don't they know you DON'T give martials nice things?


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Yeah, the adventure's got some weird components to it, though I like the effort at making a social skills-focused Banquet still contain ways for the non-Charismatic characters in it to shine and help the party a little.


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 13 | 131/131 hp, Init +0, AC 31 (38 presently) [touch 23, FF 24], Fort +14*, Ref +7, Will +15; Perception +7
Active Buffs:
Resources:
Blessing 8/8 | Fervor 8/8 | Smites 6/6 | Rage 13/13 | Ki 8/8 | Action Points 11/11

...but doesn't this technically hurt the party?

Edit:

Just read the gameplay post.

Are we aware of these authority points? What do they represent?


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

They represent your reputation, in a very broad way. This Banquet has some of the most important movers and shakers in the city, so basically, doing well here improves your status in Alhaster.

And it only technically hurts the party if you fail to mollify the Prince afterward.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Speaking of weird elements in this adventure, I realized at the last second that this encounter (which is flawed to begin with) flat-out doesn't work as presented. It's supposed to be cockatrices, but in 3.5, cockatrices just had a save-or-die bite effect. In Pathfinder, it's save against 1d4 Dex damage. To a bunch of cats. You can do the math on that one. The basilisks-with-helmets thing is a last-minute change and you shouldn't overthink it too much.

In general, though, this encounter is an odd one and I won't take it personally if we ask to just skim past it. It's one of those encounters that would probably work better around a gaming table on a Saturday night.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

By the way, how did the party divvy up the gear you found down below? Is anyone wearing anything from it tonight?


Action Points: 4/11|Bombs: 20/20|Female Undine (Formerly Yugoloth-Spawn Tiefling) Alchemist (Chirurgeon) 13|HP: 86/70 (105/89)|AC: 22(33)/14(19)/19(23)|Saves: +13 Fort (+19 vs. Poison), +16 Ref, +11 Will (+1 vs. Enchantments)|Initiative: +3|Perception: +17

I don't think we're wearing anything from that trove.

At least, I know Carina's not.


HP: 63/173, BR 24/30, APs 8/11; AC 27, T 11, FF 26; Fort +16 Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +16, Init +5 haste & stuff from eben

I don't think I am either.


Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 13 | 131/131 hp, Init +0, AC 31 (38 presently) [touch 23, FF 24], Fort +14*, Ref +7, Will +15; Perception +7
Active Buffs:
Resources:
Blessing 8/8 | Fervor 8/8 | Smites 6/6 | Rage 13/13 | Ki 8/8 | Action Points 11/11

I don't think any of the items stood out as immediately useful.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

I guess nobody took me up on the Hello Kitty ring dare?

Liberty's Edge

Male Underpowered Warrior 1

No, Astraden didn't take any of it.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Sorry about the repeated delays—I'm distracted with work and school right now, having bit off a bit more than I can chew once again, but I'll aim for a post this Thursday or Friday.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

I would kill five ants for some air conditioning in these dorms. Let's try for tomorrow morning. I'm dying today.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

So Patriot Prayer's coming to our campus today. For those not on the West Coast and as immersed in this b~+#&&%$ as I have to be, they're one of those right-wing groups that bring weapons to rallies and try to start fights with whoever's available. Patriot Prayer itself is sort of messy and technically has pretty "standard" Trumpian views. Someone might be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt on this and fault overzealous counterprotesters, and, whatever, I don't care. The fact is, they're a rallying locus for neonazi groups who like a presentable organization to hide behind, and there's a pretty easily-spotted pattern of hate crimes following them around wherever they go. There are conservatives we could have invited without Gibson's reputation or fanbase.

I go for nightly walks in the grove outside the dorms, and tonight I'm going to have to consider wearing jeans and a men's t-shirt so I can pass as a cis dude just in case some of Gibson's fans are still hanging around looking for a fight. And that's assuming they don't get one today. It's a bad idea to invite them to a small college town—and let them rally in the same building that houses our resource centers for reproductive health and queer students—but who am I to question the wisdom of the College Republicans?*

So there's been a lot of prep around trying to make sure the inevitable counterprotest efforts don't clash with guys who like to bring guns onto rooftops and wave Confederate flags in black people's faces. I haven't even been thinking about the game, or my homework, for that matter.

Pardon the politics. This isn't so much a "sorry I'm gonna be busy" post as a "I have no idea to what extent this is going to escalate so I might or might not be posting very little for a day or so" post. It's also a rant. That's probably obvious. Who the heck even has time for this in Dead Week?

*I know, I know, I'm being partisan. The one time I went to the College Democrats, though, one of the four members was a pretty standard libertarian who joined us because the College Republicans, which would've been his first choice, were too "wacko" on social issues for him.


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Action Points: 4/11|Bombs: 20/20|Female Undine (Formerly Yugoloth-Spawn Tiefling) Alchemist (Chirurgeon) 13|HP: 86/70 (105/89)|AC: 22(33)/14(19)/19(23)|Saves: +13 Fort (+19 vs. Poison), +16 Ref, +11 Will (+1 vs. Enchantments)|Initiative: +3|Perception: +17

Oh dear.

Please stay safe--we'll still be here when everything settles down for you.


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In the hopes of cheering you up a smidge in a s!%&ty situation, I had a sensible chuckle at the idea of how deadly Eben's Doppelganger could have been in Hall of Harsh Reflections earlier today if some of the Ultimate Intrigue spells and such had been available at the time.

Hollow Heroism in particular springs to mind.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

Fun spell! That's kinda what he did anyway, albeit nonmagically, more like 'I pretend to cast this spell on them, but KC, remember to deduct the bonuses they think they're getting from every roll they make, nyah hah hah.'
The extra penalty it gives woulda been nice, though.

Liberty's Edge

Male Underpowered Warrior 1

Hey folks, KC's been feverish with a flu for like a week now and probably won't be able to post for a bit longer.


Action Points: 4/11|Bombs: 20/20|Female Undine (Formerly Yugoloth-Spawn Tiefling) Alchemist (Chirurgeon) 13|HP: 86/70 (105/89)|AC: 22(33)/14(19)/19(23)|Saves: +13 Fort (+19 vs. Poison), +16 Ref, +11 Will (+1 vs. Enchantments)|Initiative: +3|Perception: +17

Oh, that sucks. Here's hoping things get better soon.


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F Smurfold Twitterer 7

The fever's broken, so all that's left now is a cold—really I'm mainly just bogged down recovering from it, catching up on work (and PbPs), and resettling after the move off the dorms. In funnier news, I got super distracted today reorganizing all my Dragon magazines only to realize I forgot an entire box. I'm gonna get a post up tomorrow!

To Summarize The Kerfuffle:
The whole alt-right thing went about as well as could be expected—it's a rough day when I catch myself telling people, "Look, I'd be fine if the speaker was, like, Jordan Peterson or something." No major violence, but the speaker brought his own people, and they had a lot of fun photographing counterprotesters and trying desperately to provoke fights. A few guys almost took the bait, but the antifa folks we'd brought in were smart and always just silently stepped in the way and refused to move whenever things started escalating. Peace prevailed. No milkshakes were thrown. It was fairly small overall, with maybe 40 people protesting, 40 people in attendance at Gibson's talk, and up to a dozen people who came with Gibson to stir up trouble.

I'm not gonna lie, it was a pretty horrid time. There's a special kind of discomfort to learning how many people on campus are really okay with this kind of thing. Gibson's people pretty much zeroed in on two camps to harass and photograph—the socially awkward students who could give good Cringe Video material, and anybody who could be clocked as trans. And I came down with a fever literally the morning of the protest, so, yeah, the last couple weeks were fun.

(I say "no major violence" because aside from counterprotesters getting shoved/groped in attempts to provoke them, the one real event was the trans dude who'd organized the counterprotest getting hit pretty bad by an opening glass door. It's not the sort of thing anyone bothered to report, and accidents happen, but I'm not going to pretend I take an impartial stance. We knew the guy who opened the door, and he knew who he hit, and we all knew why it happened. But you can't be seen to make a fuss about "a door bumped into someone and hurt his arm".)


Action Points: 4/11|Bombs: 20/20|Female Undine (Formerly Yugoloth-Spawn Tiefling) Alchemist (Chirurgeon) 13|HP: 86/70 (105/89)|AC: 22(33)/14(19)/19(23)|Saves: +13 Fort (+19 vs. Poison), +16 Ref, +11 Will (+1 vs. Enchantments)|Initiative: +3|Perception: +17

So, did I fail the save? I mean, I rolled a Natural 1, so I'm assuming I did anyway.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Didn't the spoiler include the DC? It was 16, I think. And yes, a natural 1 fails.


Alhaster Map; Zeech's Table

Sorry, the last couple days kept running away from me. I'll make a post Sunday.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
and they had a lot of fun photographing counterprotesters and trying desperately to provoke fights

The guy who was photographing people, by the way, was Andy Ngo, who's been in the news lately. He came with the other alt-right inciters, and was specifically trying to get photos of individuals. He came right up to me, wearing these big reflective shades, and took a half-dozen photos of me without ever saying a word. His girlfriend was going up to people trying to make friends and get people's phone numbers and home addresses.

I'm not interested in whether it was right or wrong to punch him, but he's not a damn journalist, and anyone who peddles that idea should be looked at with heavy scrutiny. Andy Ngo did his best to intimidate protesters at our event, and my uninformed guess is that he was doing the same in Portland and someone got stupid. That's the last I'm gonna say about all of this.


Alhaster Map; Zeech's Table

Here's to that being the last novel-sized post I write for this freaking installment.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

The craziest thing about Balabar Smenk is that he's described in The Whispering Cairn as Chaotic Neutral, though I don't think I ever even bothered to portray him as morally gray (they definitely only wrote it that way to prevent overzealous paladin problems). I guess you could read him all sorts of ways. Anyways, some internet problems threw me off my groove, but I do want to move onto the dessert course tomorrow.

I apologize if anyone felt like scenes got rushed past or conversations got brushed off—I've mostly gotten the sense that people want this to be Done, so my inclination has been to err on the side of "hurry things along".

Hokay. So I should probably out with this now.

Kinda coming clean here, I get the impression that certain kinds of complaints PCs make are occasionally meant to be sort of meta-jabs at the adventure overall—and the way it's being run. I've seen a lot of them in this adventure in particular (understandable, considering the messiness and incredible over-length), and it's sort of getting to the point where I literally don't want to write posts because I feel like some players just are not having fun with what I try to write up for them. And because I put off writing posts, the adventure goes on longer, and longer, and whoops, this has now been the longest installment and nobody's actually having fun at all.

It's perfectly possible that every single "ugh ffs why are we even here"-type remark a PC makes is purely 100% in-character and doesn't reflect any OOC commentary. It's totally possible I'm just letting insecurities and projection color how I read posts. Heck, maybe I just had one or two real comments like that and now I'm just hypersensitive to them. All I know is that, rationally or not, a lot of the time nowadays I don't feel like anyone actually likes this game. It's one of a number of "writing projects" I work on these days, but one where I almost never get to know whether I'm doing an alright job or if people are just sticking around because, "Hell, we've been here this long and I like my PC."

I get that all this is probably going to sound dramatic, but I've been running this game for five years now and lately I've just had a lot of lows around the sense that some of my players are just absolutely bored stiff at best. I understand that Prince of Redhand has been rough on everyone, but I also literally don't think I can keep doing this if the next installment is going to carry the same edge.

Because I do enjoy this game very much at its high points (hell, Farrukh's speech to Zeech was a high point of this adventure, IMO, and arguably even of his character arc overall), I obviously have no wish to end it. I have a lot of plans for the next few adventures. I just need to know that we're all still on-board, and I need to be able to trust that if there are problems, they're dealt with openly, so that this game doesn't end up feeling like the 2016 Thanksgiving Dinner That Won't End.


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I'm finding this part of the installment to be pretty interesting, actually. It's a neat change of pace from the usual for most games, especially Adventure Paths. It's a similar kind of fresh air to the trial from book 2 of Carrion Crown.

The rest of this installment was kind of meh, but there were up spots, and down spots are to be expected in an adventure this lengthy.

As to the game as a whole, this is frequently the best game I've ever played in, and I look forward to updates on it quite a lot, even if I can't respond immediately. I literally would not have made a new account save that this game existed and I wanted any chance to keep playing in it.

PbPs and writing in general leads to that kind of insecurity, I think. When I could regularly update Orphans (minor self-shill for a project I'll be continuing Soon TM) I'd immediately start nitpicking the chapter after every update and regretting every line I ever ended a chapter on the most. Particularly since of the 10 or so readers I had (who are probably gone now, but c'est la vie) nobody ever really commented.

It's kind of the curse of any creative endeavor: people generally don't chime in unprompted to say they LIKE something, only to say the opposite. Which is a flaw all people everywhere pretty much share.

I think you're doing a good job, and if I thought otherwise I'd bring something up, like I recently did for another game a friend of mine is running.

Edit: Didn't see your PM until after this. To reiterate, all of that is in character and mostly due to me being unable to think of a proper response, not meant to be a dig at your GMing or handling of NPCs.

I can see how it'd come off that way on a re-read of it, but it wasn't my intent, and I'm sorry if it came through like that. My natural writing tone is pretty abrasive (which is something I've been trying to work on the last couple of years), so if I zap out a post quickly it sometimes comes out as unintentionally snide-seeming.


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HP: 63/173, BR 24/30, APs 8/11; AC 27, T 11, FF 26; Fort +16 Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +16, Init +5 haste & stuff from eben

I can only speak for myself.

I like the game, I want to see the end of the adventure. I think you're a great writer KC, and a good DM as well.

Due to the (at times) prolific posting rates of this group, my own varying RL busy level, my varying PBP load over the years, and the RP chops of some of the party; I've purposefully written Cuetzpalli over time to be socially awkward, mostly quiet, and dumb enough to never figure out what to do next on his own. That was more of a defensive measure on my part in response to not being able to keep up with the posting and RP at times. Now I feel like his character traits are pretty well set and I don't want to change them much.

Because of that history, I don't enjoy RP segments as much as combats/dungeon delves in this game. I also feel like this whole installment or whatever was poorly written. Seems like they wrote an entire AP book length thing to give the PCs one clue about what to do next. Or maybe it feels that way because of PBP time dialation. I dunno. But, until the end part of the feast we've barely touched on anything Age of Worms related, and I as a player have no idea why we're even here or what we're trying to accomplish. Since Cuetzpalli was never the face or the pusher-forward of what we're doing, I haven't paid as much attention to all the NPCs and social plots over the years as I probably should have. It's my fault for not remembering, but, five year game, lots of other PBPs and games to remember the plots of, sometimes slow updates, etc.

So for me, personally, I'm just waiting for us to get past this part that makes no sense to me and seems to be a total diversion from the Age of Worms plot we were following before. I'm sticking around through this installment because I love the game, and want to see the end of the game. All I know is we came here to find an archmage (Bucknard?) and iirc talk to Lashonna. We've been here for months and months of RL time, and in that period I've completely forgotten what we were even doing in game before we came to this town. I am fully willing to stick around until we get past this segment, but you are correct KC in that it's not doing much for me. The longer we're stuck here, the more I forget about what's happening in the plot, and the more homework I have going back to find and read old posts to figure out what's going on.

However, I don't think it's really an issue if I/Cuetzpalli don't know what's going on - Eben does. As long as we get through this segment, I'm happy to continue playing Cuetzpalli as I have been - mostly RPing with the party, doing occasional dumb things, and enjoying the roll-play when we get on the grid. It seems like others in the group are enjoying this social stuff, which is good.

TL,DR: I really like the game and am fully committed to playing as long as it is running. However, I think this part is somewhat boring because I can't remember/didn't pay attention to the finer details of the plot and am playing a character who isn't socially oriented. Even when I don't personally contribute a whole lot I still enjoy reading other people's posts. It's not that big of a deal for me to wait/participate as I can. The best thing for the game in my mind would be much more frequent updates. That would help keep the game fresh in my mind and keep the plot rolling forward. If you don't have time to update it more often KC I understand, but updating more would make it easier to get more into posting in this game frequently again. It would also get us through this not the greatest for everyone installment faster.

I will refrain from any more passive aggressive dinner stories. I know it's hard to put your writing out there, especially if you feel like people aren't enjoying it. I keep starting novels and then never finishing them because I'm too hard on myself and think no one would like them. You write well, please do it more. Just don't be insulted if Cuetzpalli doesn't do much more than hit things with his sword, it's not a comment on your writing, it's just the way things have evolved for him. Any comments I've made jabbing at the adventure are at the choice of the writers in creating this installment, not at our wonderful DM.


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Male Suel Sacred Fist/Godling 13 | 131/131 hp, Init +0, AC 31 (38 presently) [touch 23, FF 24], Fort +14*, Ref +7, Will +15; Perception +7
Active Buffs:
Resources:
Blessing 8/8 | Fervor 8/8 | Smites 6/6 | Rage 13/13 | Ki 8/8 | Action Points 11/11

I would make an excuse about my father and grandmother passing away last year but I know we're all dealing with our own real-life drama.

I don't know if I was part of the perceived passive-aggressive complaints that have lead to you feeling discouraged, but I apologize if I was and I apologize for otherwise being a mediocre contributor in this chapter of the AP. I've got a bunch of feedback on this book but that probably isn't helpful right now. You're a great writer KC and I'm sure between your own insights and the points from others, you'll be able to parse what has been genuine in-character reaction, what's players chafing at this chapter's story, and things to generally avoid moving forward. If I'm wrong and you want me to get more specific, I'm happy to elaborate.

In any case, I'm still really excited about this AP and playing with all of you. I won't be disappointed when this chapter is behind us but I've also always been a believer in the idea that not every character needs to be engaged with every bit of content. There's nothing wrong with some characters taking a backseat for a bit when the story calls for it. At a certain point, I gathered that Alhaster was going to be an Eben and Astradan-focused story. There's nothing wrong with that.

TL;DR: I didn't love this chapter of the AP but that's ultimately fine. I'm excited about the AP still and excited to continuing playing with you.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

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KC, I feel like I might be responsible for some of the perceived digs at you, just because, well, I do take a certain meta-narrative approach to Eben's speech and thoughts sometimes, so it's very likely at some point I'll have written something along the lines of 'wow, this past hour felt like six months' or what have you. That's absolutely not ever intended as mockery or disparagement, at best it's meant to be a gentle joshing elbow in your ribs. Regardless, I apologize if any slight was felt and I'll try and watch myself in the future.

I can't say how much I appreciate the effort you put into this AP- even if it doesn't always run at pace, it runs smoothly and wickedly fun. Put it this way: I don't even play any other PbPs, haven't really looked and don't have much interest. But, regardless of my general disinteest in other games, I have a maritime-themed character or two created just in case, in some far off day in the future when AoW ends, you decide to keep on the pre-PF AP front and start up a 'KC's Savage Tide' game.

Liberty's Edge

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Male Underpowered Warrior 1

I think for me the issue has been a massive change in lifestyle in the last two years. When I lived in the US, I had to be online to talk to my girlfriend, and it fit pretty well to have other stuff to do online in between messages. I was also going to school or part-time employed, meaning I had a lot more time on my hands than I do now working full-time. Now when I come home I just want to turn off my brain and watch TV. I want to be a good poster, but I don't get much joy out of it any more - not because of the way the game is run, but because of the way I interact with the game now. I have to set aside time to read the posts and make a response, and that kinda makes it into a writing chore similar to what you described, KC.*

Responding to Feral - I didn't actually want this to be an "Astraden-focused" story. I think we had fun in Diamond Lake and the Free City because we were all engaged with roleplay, both with each other and with the NPCs. Sometimes the pace was too fast, but the consequence was people feeling that they didn't get to post, not that they didn't know what to post. I don't fault you guys for focusing on other stuff when you needed to, but I do think we need to recapture that spirit of the first few books. I want to feel like we're all working together to keep things interesting. Then hopefully there's less load on Eben and Astraden (which for me, at least, means more fun).

And yeah, maybe things are dragging a little in this installment, and some of the general motivations for not just fighting Zeech are kinda lacking - but I still think it's an interesting installment, and I like all the touches you've been putting in, KC. The overall adventure just may not fit the group's current situation.

*One thing that I'd like to suggest is for someone to take over running Zalamandra. It has been fun playing her, but I still don't feel like I'm playing true to her character, and I don't have enough time to run both her and Astraden. Having two different relatively socially competent characters active in a roleplaying situation is dragging me down more than if I was just running Astraden.


Action Points: 4/11|Bombs: 20/20|Female Undine (Formerly Yugoloth-Spawn Tiefling) Alchemist (Chirurgeon) 13|HP: 86/70 (105/89)|AC: 22(33)/14(19)/19(23)|Saves: +13 Fort (+19 vs. Poison), +16 Ref, +11 Will (+1 vs. Enchantments)|Initiative: +3|Perception: +17

You've been doing a great job, KC. I like the changes you've made to the dinner party.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

I appreciate the reassurances, all. Sorry they were necessary, but I do feel a lot better about things now. A few responses/thoughts:

Cuetzpalli wrote:
I don't think it's really an issue if I/Cuetzpalli don't know what's going on - Eben does.

I feel like this is the unofficial motto of this campaign sometimes. I would never expect any player to pay perfect attention for five years (one of which was spent in Alhaster), but I do appreciate DankeSean's impressive commitment. I do a lot of dumb obtuse foreshadowing, and I obviously love it when players pick up on it later. :P

Storm Dragon wrote:
PbPs and writing in general leads to that kind of insecurity, I think. When I could regularly update Orphans (minor self-shill for a project I'll be continuing Soon TM) I'd immediately start nitpicking the chapter after every update and regretting every line I ever ended a chapter on the most. Particularly since of the 10 or so readers I had (who are probably gone now, but c'est la vie) nobody ever really commented.

I feel this. It's kind of the curse of an online game, too—not that we don't get the anxieties in real life gaming, but less visual/auditory feedback means even less certainty.

I think it just combined here with the awareness that I did draw this adventure out way too long—what was meant to be a little "let's make sure they see the good side of Alhaster and uncover some hints and mysteries about the Age of Worms" turned into a huge thing where even I had to remind myself sometimes of why you came here. I should have skipped more scenes instead of RPing them, and I didn't think to do that. I knew I'd messed up and didn't know how to fix it, and that sort of coagulated into a certainty that the game had alienated its players past repair.

Tanith wrote:
I would make an excuse about my father and grandmother passing away last year but I know we're all dealing with our own real-life drama.

Yeah, especially regarding "why aren't people posting more", you have nothing to apologize for. Everyone has our hands full. I personally just need to stop getting into the Procrastination Shame Spiral, but I always assume that players have valid reasons for not posting or being 100% engaged with the plot at all times.

You will have to recite the names of all 24 of the aranea lady's children at the end of AP, though, to avoid being devoured by the Dreaded Laramie. I hope I made it clear how important that scene was.

DankeSean wrote:
Regardless, I apologize if any slight was felt and I'll try and watch myself in the future.

I do enjoy the gags, usually, and I think Eben's style is a good fit for the way I write these posts up. Like I said, this installment saw me get a lot more insecure because I myself knew that I was letting things get out of control.

Honestly, would that I'd just skipped all the "prep for the Banquet" stuff so I could've focused more on expanding the Banquet itself. Some of these characters matter more than others.

DankeSean wrote:
But, regardless of my general disinteest in other games, I have a maritime-themed character or two created just in case, in some far off day in the future when AoW ends, you decide to keep on the pre-PF AP front and start up a 'KC's Savage Tide' game.

It's definitely on my list, if I'm up to it! I like the "continuity" Shackled City/Age of Worms/Savage Tide have together. It'd be fun to run a game set 5-15 years after this one. Assuming you all don't, you know, lose.

Gark the Goblin wrote:

I have to set aside time to read the posts and make a response, and that kinda makes it into a writing chore similar to what you described, KC.*

*One thing that I'd like to suggest is for someone to take over running Zalamandra. It has been fun playing her, but I still don't feel like I'm playing true to her character, and I don't have enough time to run both her and Astraden. Having two different relatively socially competent characters active in a roleplaying situation is dragging me down more than if I was just running Astraden.

Yeah, the problems of not being Constantly Online, I guess. As for Zalamandra, it's tricky because she's honestly a complex character and it's hard to have her as the cohort. She was a PC in her own right at one point. But I can take over playing her.

Carina Viera wrote:

You've been doing a great job, KC. I like the changes you've made to the dinner party.

The installment is a tricky one because a lot of it does feel like it doesn't really matter, and it sort of gets away with that because it's not written to be long. I tried to change a lot of it to make it feel more relevant, which ended up making it a lot longer and didn't quite work out as I'd hoped. Foreshadowing for Zyrxog (Cuetzpalli noticing a Zyrxoggy smell by the old ruins, only for me to realize he didn't know Zyrxog at all!), for Carina's Other Half, for your cool ghoul friend, Smenk, Filge and Mahuudril, and, of course, everything in Sinner's Sanctum—of it all, I feel like the acid wraith you fought at Ilthane's lair was one of the only major modifications that worked alright. I'm glad Balabar Smenk has worked out alright, too, because he's been waiting in the wings for a very long time. :P

We're almost to the end. I might even glaze past the dancing, if we want. Of course, there's a current problem you're facing that the finest chef in Alhaster couldn't glaze over.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

I HAD TO DO IT.

When comedy gold falls into your lap, you DON'T say no.

Apologies if this means we have to kill everyone in Alhaster now.


HP: 63/173, BR 24/30, APs 8/11; AC 27, T 11, FF 26; Fort +16 Ref +9, Will +12; Perception +16, Init +5 haste & stuff from eben

Cool, I'm glad you're not going to let the self-doubt goblins get you. We have to finish this bad boy, and only you can lead us there great Kobold one.


Alhaster Map; Zeech's Table

The adventure actually states that if a PC manages to lighten the mood with a Perform (comedy) check, they get a point of Authority. I'm inclined to just give this one to Eben, since he basically willingly threw himself on the spikes to save the kitchen staff and for some reason he has no ranks in Comedy.

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Dungeon Kobold wrote:
The adventure actually states that if a PC manages to lighten the mood with a Perform (comedy) check, they get a point of Authority. I'm inclined to just give this one to Eben, since he basically willingly threw himself on the spikes to save the kitchen staff and for some reason he has no ranks in Comedy.

Well, I have a few ranks, maybe. Eben's just a goofball, though.

(I think the actual metagamey reason way back when was that I was looking ahead to Versatile Performance and had figured that Intimidate was a skill of other people in the group, and as the new kind on the block, wanted to bring some expertise to something that otherwise wasn't well-covered, and hey, Disguise was available.)

(I think I've used mundane disguises twice in this entire campaign? I may not be the best at making long term decisions.)


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Of all the "replicable with spells" skills, I sometimes think we underrate just how bad Disguise has it.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

KC, would this non-core, non-official magic item (or a reskinned version of it, possibly) be something I could purchase/have commissioned?


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Yeah, the shell was actually what Lowri's working on. I was half-thinking about her working with Mahuudril to find a special pair of shells in the Nyr Dyv, or the like, that can be forged and enchanted. Lowri can make Wondrous Items.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, the shell was actually what Lowri's working on. I was half-thinking about her working with Mahuudril to find a special pair of shells in the Nyr Dyv, or the like, that can be forged and enchanted. Lowri can make Wondrous Items.

Oh, well, that changes things! (I suppose I was trying to think of an appropriately in-character way to ask 'what feats do you have, and hey, any ranks in UMD or Spellcraft?')

If I bought a bunch of scrolls of sending and spent six days hanging out with Lowri while she's working on an item and casting the spell daily for her use, that would get around the spellcasting requirement, right?


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

The requirement just gives her a +5 to the DC. And not to rain on a parade, but you might not have much time after this installment. I did say, a year ago, that Redhand might be your last moment of downtime for a while.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
The requirement just gives her a +5 to the DC.

True, but if she had a caster with her she could ignore that +5 and instead apply the +5 to DC to double the crafting speed. (She could take both, of course, but I don't know how feasible a 23 DC would be.) And a spellcaster daily casting crafter's fortune on her would negate even that penalty, allowing her to do the project in three days time at the normal DC.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
And not to rain on a parade, but you might not have much time after this installment. I did say, a year ago, that Redhand might be your last moment of downtime for a while.

Well, hey, a year ago I didn't have a convenient party-aligned NPC with crafting feats in the vicinity!

Ah, RPG romance, where 'NPC girlfriend' turns into 'personal workshop' at the drop of a hat. Isn't it sweet?

Okay, if we're unlikely to have three days post-feast to do a fun, collaborative couples crafting project, I'll revert back to the original question of whether a set of the shells is something I'd be able to buy in Alhaster, Greyhawk, or Magepoint. (And then ferry back and forth with the transportation NPC Zalamandra.)

Liberty's Edge

Male Underpowered Warrior 1

Anyone got time to dig up the prophecies Farrukh's referring to? I honestly don't know which ones we think have been prevented and which ones have/may come to pass.

Edit: nvm, found it in the campaign info.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

A few days is probably fine, Eben—I must've misread and thought you said a week. I mostly want to be sure you aren't taking downtime for granted so nobody plans for a whole lot.

And yeah, of all the prophecies, those are the two that haven't been fulfilled—even though Tenser originally speculated that the latter was about you guys stopping Loris Raknian from destroying Greyhawk.

"Tripartite spirit" has obviously been connected to the whole Ebon Triad/Ebon Aspect thing, though you might want to reflect on what you've learned of the Ebon Triad this adventure when considering that whole interpretation.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Not to distort the timeline, but it's safe to assume, here, that everyone is able to be present for this conversation with Lashonna—that it's held once everyone has finished dancing and wandered out to join the rest of the party.


F Smurfold Twitterer 7

Here's the last time you talked to your buddy Tenser about the prophecy.

Farrukh wrote:
"You're telling me this isn't preferable to having to deal with Flycatcher nasally whining craziness?"

Also, as long as I'm reading back, I should probably acknowledge right now that the adventure does state explicitly that if the PCs spare Flycatcher, he follows you around on every adventure afterwards, mostly just dipping in from the Shadow Plane to give cool quips and funny one-liners like "Fly-catch you later!" and "Talk about silkworms!" So the Marquis was definitely the right call.

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