One Thousand And One Nightmares

Game Master John M Baker

High adventure in the lands of Katapesh and beyond!

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Might go eccentric... go Human.

My entry should be up tonight. Halfling thief type... never played one before. :)

stormraven wrote:
I was actually thinking a reformed Gnoll Ranger (now CG) who retains his old Humanoid (Human) Favored Enemy. It seemed thematically appropriate.

Maybe it's meta-gaming, but I'd thought you may encounter more Gnoll baddies that Human. Eh.

I'd thought, "a reformed Gnoll, who becomes a Ranger and targets his old 'friends'..." He knows and is intimate with their cultural tendencies, habits, anatomy, desires, etc... fears.

Biblical, Cain, brother kills brother...

Javi the Wasp is ready. (This is Eben theQuiet's submission.)

Local-grown halfling up-and-coming "entrepreneur"… cut-purse, rumor monger, roof-runner, and all-around "little guy who can get stuff". Not to mention a bit of a known dare-devil. He's done a little bit of it all. Well, except honest work.

Background, writeup, and crunch are on the profile. Just let me know if you have any questions.

A note on the ninja class:
I like the ninja class mechanics, but I'd really prefer to play him as a rogue who'll be learning a few "tricks" (the ki stuff like Vanishing Trick or Shadow Clones). It just fits the whole arabian nights thing so well (at least I think… I'm only somewhat familiar with the genre), though I'm interested in learning more. :)

I'd also love to reflavor his Asian-themed weapons as more appropriate to the campaign. I love the mechanics of the wakazashi, but I'd like Javi to feel much more local, so if it could simply be a wicked curved blade, that's awesome with me. And shuriken can be little handleless throwing knives, etc. I'd also be open to simply shifting his proficiencies to more local weaponry if you'd prefer… kukris, daggers, etc. Let me know what you think about all of this.

Hmm, I like the premise, but I have no idea what character to pick.

The shrewd mercenary that is not afraid of messing up your face if you cross him.

A "catwoman-esque" rogue that will rob anyone of anything for the right price.

Or perhaps a mad Oracle.

Decisions, decisions.

On the subject of character sheets, would something like in this profile work?

Hey it's Hawkwen. Here is my Catfolk Bard (Dervish Dancer) submission. I use Hero Lab, so let me know if you need changes to profile style.

Hassan Ahmed wrote:
stormraven wrote:
I was actually thinking a reformed Gnoll Ranger (now CG) who retains his old Humanoid (Human) Favored Enemy. It seemed thematically appropriate.

Maybe it's meta-gaming, but I'd thought you may encounter more Gnoll baddies that Human. Eh.

I'd thought, "a reformed Gnoll, who becomes a Ranger and targets his old 'friends'..." He knows and is intimate with their cultural tendencies, habits, anatomy, desires, etc... fears.

Biblical, Cain, brother kills brother...

I'm not one for using meta-logic on character choices. Since the character starts as an evil gnoll ranger, his choice of Favored Enemy would be made at that point. So Humans makes sense. His next FE could certainly be Gnolls to represent his shift in loyalties.

Here is the background for the character, a Suli bard. I wrestled with archetype choices and finally realized that the straight up class probably best serves the pure "storyteller" bard in the Katapeshi (Indian) tradition. Alternatively, if you deem that the Thunder Striker archetype can be co-opted for Osirion tradition instead of Shoanti, that might be fitting, too. If reading between the lines of the background story requires some elaboration, I can offer it. But I think it stands well on its own. (He is Suli, does not known he is Suli, father was a "snake oil salesman", meaning he only knows that because his mother told him so and it was a convenient excuse for a father who was never around, etc.)

Character sheet crunch is done, but the background is a bit more important at this point. I will upload the character sheet to the profile tomorrow.

Once upon a time, in the years when man looked to the heavens and saw his own reflection, Sun and Moon fell in love. Each had been very lonely for a very long time; Sun, who yearned to be close to man, drove him into the shadows. Lotus and Tree withered and fled on Wind's back across the sea. Moon had taken many lovers and begotten many children whom she kept close, hanging each one in the nighttime sky yet never letting any outshine her, such was Moon's vanity. Moon's children were always visible to her, but cold, and silent.

In the time of the changing of the seasons, Sun arose to find Moon in the sky.

Why do you weep, Moon? asked Sun.
For I am not loved, answered Moon, and she wept tears that marred her pale face.
Your tears are shame, consoled Sun, he turned his back upon the world and embraced her to hide the scars her tears carved. The world went black, and man crept from the shadows to see them lay together. They sung praises and drank from great gourds of wine and celebrated on that night when Panchatantra Sandhi was born.

The Moon is not a good mother. Panchatantra tried to hang him in the sky as she did all of his brothers and sisters, but his light was too strong, and shone with all the fire of his father, Sun. Panchatantra fell in love with man. Whereas his father and mother admired the valleys, the oceans, the fields and the mountains, Panchatantra admired the cities man build, the vessels he built to cross the oceans, how they manicured the fields and conquered the mountains.

He cried out to man to say hello, but many were asleep, and those who did not sleep could not hear him, so far away was he. So he shone brighter and brighter and brighter until they began to notice him, to point to him, to build temples with great windows through which he could peer, and scrawled maps around his celestial journey.

Moon became envious of Panchatantra's light and man's love for him.

Do not tempt man so! she scolded. Someday he will fly and claim our home is his own.
I would welcome him! Panchatantra sparkled.
You wish to be with man? Then eat this, my son. And she fed him a single olive, which she had plucked from the first olive tree that ever grew on the top of the first mountain that ever formed when the world was young and she was not yet small and frail with age.

Panchatantra swallowed the olive, but the pit took root in his guts. He grew arms and legs and the weight of a soul. He was too heavy for the sky, and plummeted to the earth in a halo of fire.

There he landed in the desert, long ago scorched barren by his father. The sand thought him dead, and so began to devour him, but wise Serpent knew better. It struck him and filled his veins with fiery venom, enough to make his heart beat.

Who are you? Panchatantra asked.
I am Serpent, and you are now my son, Serpent hissed.
I am Sun's son, Panchatantra protested, but Serpent's ruby eyes glistened like quartz.
It is my blood in your veins. This means you are mine. It is the way of mankind. Now you will learn from me.

And so wise Serpent taught Panchatantra many things: how to move upon his belly, and how to coil and rise to full height. It amazed Panchatantra how mankind could have such a wildly different viewpoint of the same creature: upon his belly, he was overlooked, disregarded, unseen; but coiled and tall as the faraway pine, he was feared, and chilled man to the bone.

Serpent soon demanded Panchatantra do something for him. He asked Panchatantra to tell his story.

Why do you not tell them? You are wise.
I have no words, only hisses. And I am either ignored or feared. To tell the truest and greatest story, one must also be loved. I can never be loved.
You say the same things as my mother.
And with reason, Panchatantra. For we were once lovers, and my many sons and daughters nest in the heavens where you used to live. You can be loved by the people. Go and love them and be loved by them and tell my story.

So Panchatantra told many stories of wise Serpent: how he once drank an entire lake, crossed the desert, and vomited the lake into a well to save a village; how he was tricked by an evil king to be his scepter, but tricked him in return by fooling the king into letting him be his crown, where he whispered into his ear the many things he must do to absolve himself of wickedness, and once this was done, how Serpent struck him once, in the left eye, granting him a swift and painless death; how wise Serpent came to be known as wise, too.

Panchatantra liked the telling of stories. He met many people and many creatures and many things. He once ate a handful of dirt and bit a worm in half, and when he looked into the belly of the worm he had bitten in half, he saw the universe and all of the beast-headed gods of the desert therein, each one a heart pumping not blood but the worship of generations of people through the worm's body. He also wrestled Crocodile and won, and made Crocodile tell him the story of how the River Sphinx went dry and was filled again by the tears of mothers who had drowned their children in those same waters.

Then he met a strange man who breathed blue smoke from a pipe of blown glass and colored beads. This strange man told him to seek the strangest of all creatures if he wanted a truly good story. The kind of story that can work miracles.

What kind of miracles? asked Panchatantra.
Breaking a man's heart, and mending a woman's, the man said. A story that can turn peasants into princes, or reduce Sultanates to sand. A story that can make man believe.
Believe in what?

The man told him to seek Yin Hu, but not to go to her without being able to barter a good story in return. So Panchatantra told him the story of how he was born. That he was the son of an oil salesman and a midwife, that he came from a poor neighborhood where the children played with whatever animals that could catch, or with sticks and rocks, because toys were unknown to them; he told the man of how he often went to school by hiding beneath the schoolhouse and listening to the lessons. He told him that he was often very frightened of how terrible people could be to one another, and that he was a poor man who told stories to make a living.

Bah! the man spat blue smoke in Panchatantra's face. That is not a story. Yin Hu will not deal with the son of a snake oil salesman, a knowledge thief, a coward and a bleeding heart.
Then whom will she barter with, stranger?
I will tell you. Once upon a time, in the years when man looked to the heavens and saw his own reflection

With your permission, I submit my background - If I am required to submit my crunch prior to being selected please let me know, but I will be making a LN Gnoll Magus by the name of Za'to Lago.

Za'to Lago was born in Dog Town, one of the filthy and more overcrowded districts of the greatcity of Katapesh. His father, Zabbir Lago, was a member of a raider band that often ventured far outside the city to capture new products for the slave markets. As such, the patriarch of the Lago family was not often home and when he was Za'to and his seven siblings fought for the rarely given attention of their father. Za'to Lago's mother tried to to keep her brood in line as well as well provided for, but far too often she fell short and the children did as they pleased or fended for themselves.

The chaotic situation of his childhood had a profound effect on Za'to, causing the brilliant young gnoll to reject the chaos and might makes right mentality so common in his people and instead embrace the strict laws of orderly society. At age ten he left his home and never returned, finding a place within a monestic order of Abadar which viewed themselves as the protectors of Katapesh's unqiue culture and civilization. The uncommon intelligence of Za'to allowed the young gnoll to rise within the monastic order and in time he was indoctrinated into the secrets of the Kensai.

Za'To pledged his life to Abadar and his personal quest to bring civilization, culture, and the order of Abadar to his people - by the end of his Khopesh if necessary. He knows the monumental challenges before him and must pray that his commitment does not waver.

Base Crunch:

Full Name: Za'to Lago
Race Gnoll (Katapesh Civilized)
Classes/Levels: Kensei (magus) 1
Gender: Male
Size: Medium Height: 6'4 Weight: 207
Age: 19
Alignment LN
Deity: Abadar
Location: Katapesh, Katapesh
Languages Osiriani, Gnoll, Ancient Osiriani, Kelish, Dwarven
Occupation: Servant of Abadar

Strength 16 (14+2)
Dexterity 12
Constitution 12 (10+2)
Intelligence 17
Wisdom 10
Charisma 8 (10-2)

Combat Stats:
Init +1 (+1 Dex)
Move: 30'

Gnoll Racial Features: Medium Size, 30' move, Darkvision 60', +1 Natural Armor, Desert Raider (+4 con/fort for exhaustion and fatigue), Carrion Feeder (+2 fort saves vs diseases and ingested poisons, +2 survival to find food for myself)

Feats: My level 1 feat with be combat expertise. Plus weapon focus in Khopesh that the class feature gives me.

class skills are: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

I have 5 at first level -- Know Arcane, Know Dungeoneering, Spellcraft, Ride, Craft (either weapons or Alchemy

Spells: I will have six 1st level spells to start - these will likely be: Shield, Shocking grasp, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon, Mount, Grease

I will of course update this further with every detail if needed.

Scarab Sages

Going through the apps:

lifeisaparody: Sorry to lose you, great to hear from you!

Rowan Keeganson: Got enough to work with, here. No CMB, no equipment, but that's easily fixable.

Jericho Fiendaxe: Looks good, but the background needs a few tweaks to put you in Katapesh instead of the Shackles.

Mindy Panotti: Missing equipment, but the basics are there.

Kitchikez: I like what I see so far! Flesh it out.

Delphina: Looking good. I'd like to see her as a human, but there's nothing that looks to be a problem otherwise.

Shaggar: Complete application, Terrific, no questions!

Monty Hail: Also complete, no questions!

Maw'ud alWawi: Missing equipment, animal companion, and background/appearance. Looks quite interesting so far!

Javi the Wasp: No problem on refluffing the ninja, it will work just fine. Still needs equipment.

AdamWarnock: The Luca Shatterstone format will work.

Delahmbra Praxios: Looks complete, nothing bothering me.

Panchatantra Sandhi: Beautiful story! Beautiful! Looking forward to the crunch.

Za'to Lago: Background and base crunch are good, finish it out.

A lot of good, strong applications! I'll keep things open until Wednesday, 6PM EST.

No problem, if chosen I will easily tweak my background to place Jericho in Katapesh. Actually he could have escaped Ollo on a ship taking him directly to Katapesh, instead of other parts of Shackles.

DM InVinoVeritas wrote:

Going through the apps:

Maw'ud alWawi: Missing equipment, animal companion, and background/appearance. Looks quite interesting so far!

No animal companion until 4th level. Working on the rest.

Fleshed out and ready for review. Hope he passes muster, and good luck to everyone!

DM InVinoVeritas wrote:
Javi the Wasp: No problem on refluffing the ninja, it will work just fine. Still needs equipment.

Gear purchased and updated into the profile. Also I realized my stat purchase was 2 below 20, so his wisdom is now 12.

Should be ready for review/audit. Let me know if there are any more concerns/questions. :)

Hey Za'to Lago, I was curious about the other gnoll at this party and happened to check your crunch. Hopefully I'm not speaking out of turn but I think your gnoll -2 goes to INT not CHA. Naturally, if IIV amended that requirement for you - please ignore me.

Go gnolls! :)

I went off the revised stats he linked for gnolls in the introduction.

IVV wrote:
For the gnoll, we will use John Mangrum's version. Note that they get -2 Int, NOT -2 Cha.

He revised the revised 'Mangrum' version a bit. I almost got tripped up on that one myself.

He revised the revision?!

... insanity! :D


Stop the madness!

Darth Veritus wrote:
Pray I do not alter it further...

Would Non-Chalant Thuggery, help a Cutpurse's snatch and grab?

Updated Mindy with equipment and physical description.

Character sheet is now in the profile. If selected for the game I will format it in the style that is acceptable and most easy for you to follow updates. Hero Lab is just so damned convenient.

I found myself falling more and more in love with the Thundercaller archetype even though it specifically relates to the Shoanti on Avistan rather than in our neck of the woods. However, a bard who was a lightning-aspected Suli and who had the Thundercaller archetype seemed very fitting to me, especially since it is a class that he would have to grow into with the discovery of his heritage.

If you are wondering about the 1st level spell choice and the trait, they have a synthesis that I feel defines this character: a storyteller who not only loves to tell stories, but who believes in their power to teach and to change the way people perceive the world. Hence there are times when, in order to impart a lesson to someone in a story that he believes they need to understand, he may cast Sow Thoughts as part of the Spellsong (weaving it seamlessly into the telling of the story so that it becomes difficult to tell a spell is even being cast) in order to simply let the message of the story sink into the mind of the listener.

The game as presented in the original post gave me a sense of magical realism (a stunted gnoll woman who shows up in the great bazaar and apparently has something for everyone...for a price?) so that's what I was shooting for with this character application.

I have two more questions.
1. Do you have anything against the rich parents trait?
2. I'm planning on playing a Rogue. Would it be okay to switch proficiency with a rapier to proficiency with a scimitar? It does slashing damage instead of piercing and is 5 gp cheaper, but that's all that's different.

Appearance, Background and Equipment are now complete. Maw"ud alWawi is now ready.

Good luck to everyone!

Thanks for the help. Sorry, been really sick the last week.

I'm not sure how to outfit the guy for, well, anything. What's common to buy prior to starting?

Scarab Sages

Sorry I didn't respond yesterday, I worked for 14 hours straight. I will get to questions this evening, and I'm adding a day to my deadline to make it up to you all.

Excellent. Sorry to hear about the long day, but glad to hear you're nearly ready to rock. :D

Eesh. That's a long day. Gotta hate pre-holiday work craziness.

And WOOT on getting this game rolling! (Whoever makes the cut)

DM InVinoVeritas is that true? If so, I may need to modify my stats some... it is going to be difficult to even get to intelligence 16 if there is a -2 applied. I might have to modify into a Monk or Cleric of Abadar, not something I am too keen to do.

Shadow Lodge

It's true! Check out the discussion beneath Mangrum's post. Even he makes the change.

Rich Parents is fine. Nonchalant Thuggery is more for aggression, and being seen by third parties. So mugging, yes, pocket picking, no. You know? I'll allow it, but remember that the bonus is to Bluff only, and not to Stealth.

I don't have a problem with changing out a rapier for a scimitar for theme, but I do have a problem with it for back-dooring into Dervish Dance. What's your plan?

Is Dervish Dance even an option? I thought it was't on the PRD. THat was certainly one of the first things I checked for Javi, but thought it was illegal per the campaign guidelines.

EDIT: not that i'm really looking to change at this point.. .just looking for clarification.

Darth Veritas wrote:
It's true!


Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

Ooooohhhh... that's a link! Took me a second.

Clearly, I need to put some dancing ants around my links or somethin!

Scarab Sages

Nope, no Dervish Dance, but I figure it's best to say so at the start.

Agreed. And good to know. Thanks.

Dervish Dance is precisely what I'm after... Will wait til level 2, pick up proficiency.

I may need to retool my character idea. I'll keep you updated. I hate to abandon the Magus idea, but I am not sure how feasible the character will be (compared with the rest of the party) with stats of 16, 12, 12, 15, 10, 10. <-- The fifteen being the base stat the class draws from. If I drop the dex to 10 and the con to 8 (10 after race mod) I can eek out a 16 in intelligence, which isn't terrible.


A 16 in Int only get you and extra skill point and and extra spell in your spell book right now. It adds an extra 3rd Lvl spell, but you've got awhile before that is in issue. You could always raise Int. at Lvl 4

Well, you're trying to play against your weakness, so a human magus will always have a leg up on you mechanically. But here's what is do if i just really wanted to play a gnoll magus.

str 17 :: 7 (+2 racial)
dex 12 :: 2
con 12 :: 0 (+2 racial)
int 15 :: 13 (-2 racial)
wis 10 :: 0
cha 8 :: -2

Your spell DC's are only ever going to be okay, but that's not as much a weakness as you'd think. Just focus on buffing or spell-striking, direct-damage spells (namely Shocking Grasp using the standard Magical Lineage/Intensified Spell combo). You'll have the trickiness of having low AC, few spell slots, and a poor concentration check through the low levels. The Shield Spell can help with the first, but takes up precious spell slots (though scrolls can mitigate this a bit), and taking Combat Casting at 1st or 3rd level can help with the latter (though I hear it becomes a wasted feat at higher levels).

That's the best i got. What can i sa? Your concept plays smack into your desired race's weakness.

I can honestly say that it was for theme. I was not planning on taking dervish dance.

Reviewing applicants, I see rogues and roguish dudes... Enjoy gents!

Scarab Sages

Applications are closed now, and I am reviewing the sheets. I will post selections later tonight, and award campaign traits.

Hey, very exciting! I can't wait to see the results.

Good luck everyone!

Ominous drum roll...

Scarab Sages

All right, here are the choices! You made it tough, and I kept going back and forth between different characters.

The party will be:


Shaggar's Trait: Nightstall Enforcer:
The sinister Nightstalls are considered lawless by many, but in truth, they are as legal as the local baker. They too receive protection, if in a rougher form. The enforcers, members of a group called the Dusk, are known by reputation.

Shaggar receives +2 trait bonuses to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks when speaking with shopkeepers and patrons in the Nightstalls. Shaggar is also automatically successful at detecting hidden messages in Bluffs between Nightstall shopkeepers and patrons.

Javi the Wasp

Javi's Trait: Touched by Fate:
For reasons beyond the understanding of mortal men, there is reason for you to be here, at this place, at this time. Fate smiles on you.

Javi receives a +1 trait bonus to Will saves and Sleight of Hand checks.

Maw"ud alWawi

Maw'ud's Trait: Agent of Ramakhet:
The bitter nobleman who took you in is Ramakhet, claiming kinship to an ancient lineage in Osirion. He has entrusted Maw"ud with a task: seek out Yin Hu in the Nightstalls, and ask her for a certain special bottle. She will know which bottle it must be.

Ramakhet provides Maw"ud with four Potions of Cure Light Wounds, a Potion of Heroism, and promises further riches upon completion of the task.


Kitchikez's Trait: In the Employ of Yin Hu:
Yin Hu found you recently, and made a quick bargain with you: she will feed and protect you, for your service of six months. In the time past, you have learned how to be a nomad among the hustle and bustle of the city, and of how to be ready to sell or move at a moment's notice.

Kitchikez receives a free skill rank each in Sense Motive and Appraise. He also receives a +2 Stealth or Bluff bonus for hiding caravans and tents, and a +1 Stealth bonus for hiding in crowds.

Delahmbra Praxios

Delahmbra's Trait: Desert Explorer:
You have searched high and low for your kin, and have found your way into hidden places throughout the desert during your searches. Running low on funds, you think that this pretty bottle you found out in the desert might fetch a nice price, and you have heard the name of a person who will give you an honest value for it: Yin Hu.

Delahmbra starts play with an ornate bottle found in a small chamber out in the desert--he forgets where. He also gains a free rank in Survival, Survival is a class skill for him, and he may have a total number of ranks in Survival equal to one greater than his character level. He gains a +1 bonus to Perception checks for spotting things in the distance.

Panchatantra Sandhi

Panchatantra's Trait: Paying A Debt:
You know to seek out Yin Hu. You have stories to bring her, services to perform... remittance to receive. A strange man with a strange pipe has dispatched you, and wishes for you to hear a story from her. He says that the story will free him from what he must do for Yin Hu.

From the stories to hear and tell, Panchatantra receives a free rank in each of Knowledge(History) and Knowledge(Planes), and a +1 trait bonus to both skills. He receives a +1 trait bonus to the DC for attempts to Fascinate.

Thank you, everyone for your interest! I'll start a Discussion for the PCs so that we can make sure everything is in order for the characters.

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