WotW: A Knot of Thorns The Second Parchment

Game Master Xzaral

Way of the Wicked by Fire Mountain Games

Roll20

Battlemat


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Yep. Jakes is right. THe holidays are the holidays. Don't feel pressured on our account.

Though I do eagerly await the forwarding of the game. :D


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

Me too. I have a triton-shaped pinata that I'm just itching to get candy out of.


King of Talingarde

Good news!! I'm about to update my games.

Bad news!! If anyone is interested though, my brother decided to prove that a person can fall off a roof and land on their head, on concrete, and survive it. So I figured that was probably a 6 on the 1d6 roll for him, and he's got some decent HP for a first level character.

He is fine, discharged from the hospital and everything. Gave us all a pretty good scare, and he's gonna be in pain for awhile. And I can't smack him in the back of the head for doing stupid stuff for awhile too. Nice to be able to laugh about it now, could have been way worse.


King of Talingarde

FYI, doing the update in phases.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

Make sure your brother knows that head injuries get better, but they never really go away. Surviving a head wound significantly ups the odds of permanent damage or death from similar injuries that might happen in the future.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

Well s&~%. I thought it was a Touch spell. That makes it *way* less useful.

Retcon- Xanos cast True Strike on himself. Slave attacks the elemental that crit Xanos.


I was wondering about that. Yah, True Strike is a weird little spell. I still wanna find a game to play a sorc/rogue hybrid who's basically a sniper. I'm sure it's been played to death; it just seems so fun. :D


Also, I like how this crew thinks. Price is cooking mermen while Xanos is lassoing their casters. This is good stuff.

And sorry to hear about your brother, Xz, but glad he's okay. Was he putting up lights? Or just futzin around?


Male Probably human Computer Scientist 1/ Character Synthesizer 20/ Crazy 99

Yikes, Glad everything is alright.


King of Talingarde

Working, tearing off shingles in preparation to put on a new roof. Not his first time falling off a roof either, though last time his landing wasn't so bad. Also not his first head injury either, though this one was probably closer to being real bad. Danger prone brat.


HP 21 | AC/T/FF 14/12/12 | CMD 17 | F+3 / R+3 / W+8 | Init +6; PER +10 | Image

There are three rules to Roofing Club...

1. We never talk about Roofing Club
2. Never roof if you are a klutz
3. If you are a klutz - TIE OFF!

I'm glad your brother is all right and save a slap upside the head for me when he is recovered.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

I'm pretty sure Shulme said he was going to be away for a bit, and Fargo's still AWOL too. I think that's everyone for this round.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

I'm pretty sure that nets have a max range of 10' because that's how long their lead rope is. Without the rope, or with a longer one, it think it would have a 10' range increment. (like a lasso, which as near as I can tell is mechanically identical to a net, but with a different max range).

I'm fine with moving to the edge, so it doesn't matter much, but I thought I'd ask for opinions on nets with longer ropes (or none, if you don't care about yanking them around)


I don't know... hadn't really ever considered it. It makes sense, but I don't know if that's why it has that 10 ft limit or not.

And Fargo is up again?


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

In the last round, Xanos moved and threw his net. Slave pulled it as a full round action.

Did we haul in a triton, or do we have to do more hauling this round?


King of Talingarde

One more round, and um yea, I accidentally moved him. I caught and added in a new post, but barnacles this is a confusing combat with all these NPCs in it. If it were a home game, I'd just roll a handful of dice and be like, "Um yea, the sailors trade blows with the fishmen." Maybe drop a guy, lol.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

yeah, I do that too. In big battles NPCs and enemy mooks are basically set dressing. I only mechanically model the important stuff.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

How far down do these boats sit in the water? How far away is Gwyn?


King of Talingarde

Only a couple feet lie below the surface, and the ships are fairly low (think viking Karvi). She's just off the side of the ship in the water at this point, the dolphins battering her from surface level and below.


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

Phew, thank goodness I put ranks in Climb and Swim. I thought Gwyn was totally screwed.

Well she still may be, I think trying to climb out of the water provokes.


King of Talingarde

For what it's worth Gwyn, I'm rooting for you! Doesn't mean I'll mess with the dice or anything, but still ;p

And sadly yes it does provoke.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

Is helping Gwyn out of the water a move action or a standard (or a non-action since it looks like she didn't really need my help anyway)?


King of Talingarde

I'm using a DC 10 on the ship, so Xanos's help was needed. Since it's aiding another, it's a standard action. I hadn't typed in she had failed and was editing it in when it seems the three of us made some posts. So if it's confusing, actions as I understand it.

Gwyn: Move to sheathe weapons, Standard to climb ship
Xanos: Standard to aid Gwyn
Dolphins: AoO to be jerks, cause dolphins are jerks


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

I'll say. Poor Gwyn's down to 4 HP.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

Got it, thanks.


Gwyndolin Maulsen wrote:
I'll say. Poor Gwyn's down to 4 HP.

But she's alive and in the boat... which is a win in this situation. :D


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

oh yes, but I'm just waiting for his malevolence to have one of those crossbow wielding tritons take a shot at the little rogue and drop her to the negatives.

Which brings up a point, If Gwyn keeps getting smacked around, she's very likely going to die. If that happens, would it be possible for Xanos to raise her as a vampire?

And on the the front of making Gwyn more effective while staying out of harm's way, I was thinking about having Gwyn take a few of the archery feats and invest a talent into getting long bow proficiency. Would you guys consider this a worth-while idea, or should I stick to TWF?


Vampire Gwyn?! lol. awesome... adn only ups the creep-factor. :)

Regarding ranged. Um, it's really feat thirsty... which is painful for any rogue. If I were in your shoes, and wanted to do the same thing, I'd probably do it like this. Your low strength means bows aren't ideal... no matter what bow you use, you take a penalty because your strength score is low. A crossbow, however, you can use regardless of your strength, and you're already proficient. So I'd probably use a light crossbow, and just let your sneak attack damage by the bulk o f your actual damage.

Considering feats, I'd only really suggest you need Precise Shot to get going. That being two feats needed (Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot), you can't get Precise until level 5. That being said, you could either take a level of fighter for the bump to HP and fort saves (at the expense of some skill points and delaying rogue class features), or just use your Rogue Talent @ level 4 to take Combat Trick: Point-Blank Shot.


Also, it's generally more difficult to gain sneak attack at range... i'll see if I can think of any solutions.


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

My plan was similar to what you said. Rogue Talent for the proficiency and then a level of fighter for the feats. Gwyn's sneaky enough that I think she can get within the 30 feet, and Cain can be right there to protect her while she gets her knives out.

She'd have to stay away from Composite bows, but I was planning on using the fourth level stat increase to up her strength to 10, so she could still get one, but the extra 10ft of range is not worth the extra 25gp in my mind.

Crossbows could work, but the problem I have with them is you can't fire as fast as a longbow, unless you have rapid reload. This is mainly a personal taste thing.

I could save a feat by taking fighter and get longbow proficiency that way. Hmm, I'll have to think about it.


King of Talingarde

In one of the later books (IV I think), there is an alternate path to vampirism discussed that helps stage it out to allow a character to walk that path while at the same time maintaining power level approximate to the PCs. The problem is if I recall correctly it involves taking a series of feats to meet this requirement (five of them total I believe).

I had only glanced at the rules briefly as my home group kinda freaked out at the idea of spending five feats for vampirism when lichdom only takes 120,000gp and a bunch of spells (and 11th level).

Not saying I'll allow it or anything as of yet either, but I'll definitely discuss it.


Oof... 5 feats does seem steep. Then again... vampirism is a pretty stout template.


King of Talingarde

If I recall, it was something like 3 feats was equivalent to normal vampirism and 5 was slightly stronger version, but that could be an incomplete memory recollection. I'll look it up tonight to see what people think.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

That sounds completely idiotic.

The Lich template is essentially a 120k magic item with a feat requirement of Craft Wonderous Item.

I recommend treating Vampirism the same way. I'd make it less costly because it's a less powerful template. It could even be done in cumulative costs so it would grow in power at appropriate levels. Vampires are supposed to start out weak anyway. I could see a basic cost of some kind of transfusion or elixer that would turn her into a vampire costing a few thousand gp, then additional more expensive treatments to advance her abilities.

Basically, gwyn would convert her treasure allotment into inherent abilities at the cost of some rather crippling weaknesses.

To me, treating templates as treasure makes way more sense than any kind of feat tax or level adjustment.


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

Well, I was throwing out there as an alternative to having to roll another character if Gwyn bites it. Thorn is a high level cleric, but personality-wise, I doubt he'd raise Gwyn if she died. Raise dead is a 5th level spell and Price is the only one that may be able to cast it and even then I'm not sure it's on the Inquisitor spell list. even if it is, We'd be in the teens, a long way from now.

Besides that I think it'd be interesting to see how Gwyn would react. There are a few characters that I play that their actions come naturally to me, and Gwyn's one of them. It's those characters that I'm not sure what they'd do until they're in the situation, and those are my favorites.

As for how Gywn becomes a vampire, I thought that Xanos casting create undead on her could turn her into a fledgling vampire, all of the weaknesses, only a few perks. As the APL increases, the vampiric abilities wouldn't throw the power curve off as much. I guess it'd be something like Cain's situation at the moment.

Speaking of which, he has a point, Gwyn as a vampire would be even creepier than she is now. Imagine what she could have done to poor Timeon with some of the abilities a vamp has. >:)


King of Talingarde

I sent Gwyn a link with the information (it's from book V actually). If anyone else wants to see it, let me know and I'll send it your way as well. I didn't just want to post a link completely publicly or anything like that.

I do understand your concerns, Xanos. I was not saying this was the only path, but just one presented in the adventure itself. I'm more than willing to work out what people want to do and how to do it, and this method is indeed feat intensive.

Gwyn, look it over and let me know what you think. If you don't like it, we can look at something else. Of course, you'll need to die first anyway, hehehe.


Percep +4. Init +8 -- Hp 50/50. AC 18, t12, ff16. Fort+4, Ref+4, Will+6

Update:

Computer problems are partly sorted out. Should be fully sorted out shortly. In any case, back in black!


Hey! Welcome back, Shulme. Good to see you, and looking forward to when you're back to 100%.


King of Talingarde

I agree with that statement, welcome back! As you can see, this combat is still going on, but I did almost dolphin kill Gwyn! I'll have to add that to my PC kill card, if I manage to finish the job.


And yet this stupid Triton N continues to suck water... grrrrr.....


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

Hey Shulme! You almost missed the excitement.

I like the progression, but I don't think tying it to feats was the best idea. Like I said, Gwyn would not pursue vampirism on her own. As a player, I thought it was a neat way to work around the problem of not having a Cleric that could get Gwyn raised.

Hmm. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea, but the feat progression is a little steep, and I think waiting for two levels is a bit too long.

Ah, I need to get some school stuff done, pardon the stream of consciousness post.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

If I remember right, we kind of had this discussion at the beginning of the game when Cain was asking about playing a werewolf. I remember all of us being unanimous in the "we don't mind a slight power disparity" camp.

So far, I've noticed that all of us are capable, but no one is especially optimized. We all seem to be very willing to sacrifice a bit of potential ability for style and theme. No one overshadows anyone else, even though a few of us probably have the potential to.

Based on what we've seen so far, Cain in hybrid form is about on par with Teon (right now at least things may change in later levels)

In my experience templates, even the powerful ones, are only really an issue in the early game. By about level 6 things start to even out a lot. By level 10 the difference between a ranger and a werewolf ranger is really pretty trivial.

I'd like to cast my official vote for PC templates of all kinds to be handled the same way we're handling Cain's, i.e., on a case by case basis of GM adjudication rather than any attempt at "balance tax".

Other Thoughts on Vampirism:

It would be interesting to introduce Vampirism in sort of the opposite way we've been handling Cain's Lycanthropy. Right now Cain drinks a potion to shapeshift (making his transformations into a trackable resource, which is a great idea since it adds an interesting tactical choice for him)

For Gwyn, it would be interesting to treat vampirism kind of like the affliction it was in Dracula, where the transformation was slow and maddening. Gwyn could have some kind of daily potion or injection which would reduce/remove her cravings and subdue all her vampiric weaknesses and strengths, so she could still go outside during the day as an essentially normal person. She'd have the core benefits of being Undead, but nothing else, and best of all, she'd be able to maintain control over herself.

Blood could temporarily counteract some of the effects of the elixer, meaning that in order to "power up" (like Cain does when he shapeshifts), Gwyn would have to actually spend an action in combat to feed on someone. The duration/magnitude of her power boost could be based on how much blood she drinks or something like that.

As the affliction progresses, the elixer would stop working, but she'd learn more control over her cravings, allowing an in-game justification for her slow growth in power.

Any thoughts?


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

So how does she contract vampirism in the first place? The only two ways I see to do it involve a deus ex machina (vampire attacks her in her sleep and gets a nip) or the motivations of a character (Xanos experiments on her). I'm not a big fan of the first, unless Mark wants to hype it up and foreshadow it, and I'm not sure the second fits Xanos' Personality or motivations. That would be up to you Doomed Hero, you know him better than I do. Though I do think it fits right in with the whole evil party thing. "Hmmm, I need a test subject. Oh, there's one travelling with me." I know that PvP is one of the things that's a problem with evil campaigns, but I think this falls into the gray area and as a player I would be amused if Xanos did do it.

Ultimately, it's up to the GM and I'll follow what he says.


King of Talingarde

To clarify on the mechanics aspect, I was just presenting the option given in the AP. It is only one option and I just wanted to have all said options laid out. I do agree it is feat intensive though.

That said it doesn't look like that option is in high demand, so we'll shelve it and look at other options. The way you have it laid out Xanos is a pretty good one, and more on the lines of what I'd like to see. I do enjoy the blood draining to gain powers part most definitely.

I have some thoughts, but I'm gonna wait 'til morning to post 'em so I can work them out as I try to sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RP wise, there are other options besides those listed. One within the AP itself doesn't occur until much later, but I can present an earlier idea if you so desire (I'm actually already working out the details in my head). This would be outside Xanos directly doing the work, but may involve him helping you. This is of course if Gwyn survives this fight.


Female Half-elf Bard 1/Unchained Rogue 3 HP: 20/20 AC 14/10/14: F+2, R +9, W+6 (+2 vs. Enchantments), Per:+18, Init: +10

Which is far from given.

Any crossbows aboard?


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

Xanos would definitely be willing to turn you into vampire. His philosophy is complicated, but basically if you choose it, he'd help.


Percep +4. Init +8 -- Hp 50/50. AC 18, t12, ff16. Fort+4, Ref+4, Will+6
Xanos wrote:
Thoughts?

Sure. Mechanics wise, it's worth noting that the vampire template grants more bonuses and powerful special abilities than any other template I can think of off the top of my head. So it is definitely worth handling with care. That said, with a few exceptions most of the abilities are in the realm of slight power disparities rather than large ones. Being able to turn into a bat or summon wolves is not going to break anything.

The eye-raising parts of the vampire template, in power terms and of course IMO, would be the following:

Undead immunities, fast healing 5, dominate, create spawn.

The rest is mostly just a pile of numbers or minor abilities. +6 natural armor or +8 to a bunch of skills or whatever is well within the realm of ordinary buff spells or items.

Anyway -

The benefit of feats is that the power increase gets staggered out and can be paused at any convenient point. The downside, of course, is that the PC ends up not being able to do cool featy things because all their feats are dedicated to vampirism.

So... why not just give them as bonus feats? Whenever Mark wants/something ingame happens to warrant it, award the next feat along the vampirism line as a bonus feat to the person in question.

Quote:
Any crossbows aboard?

I have one that I have so far rarely used. I can't really offer it to you at the moment since you don't speak Aklo, though. Feel free to ask.


HP 27/35, Temp HP 0, 3 str damage, AC: 11, Fort +02/ Ref +2 / Will +6, Perception:+5 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50. Active Effects: Fox's Cunning

I really wish we got more of Shulme's in combat creepy-language-babbling. I really like that.


King of Talingarde

All right, I'm going to give Fargo until tomorrow morning to post. If I don't hear from him then, I'll go ahead and DMPC him.

Also at this point, haven't heard from him in awhile. I'm going to send him a PM. Not sure if this has to do with the storm or just holidays, hoping he's okay. But if I don't hear back, I plan to put his character on hiatus for awhile. Still working out how to do so story wise (got an idea on it) but looking for other's opinions before I do so. Feel free to PM if you want.


I PM'd him a couple of weeks ago and didn't get a response. Though the sum total of my PM was, "hey, you there? you're up in Wicked"

... not exactly a lot for him to respond to. :)

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