WotW: A Knot of Thorns The Second Parchment

Game Master Xzaral

Way of the Wicked by Fire Mountain Games

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

I think we want to kill the crew and get the boats to shore so we can unload our treasure and other goodies. Then we can get the boats back out into deep water and torch them. I don't think we want to leave a semi-burned hulk in shallow water.


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

Good points.


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

Okay, so plan number three. Any ideas on how to convince Odenkirk to bring them along side each other?


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 sure Price can come up with something.


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

Depending on where they intend on landing us, there might be limited space. We'll have to see. I can't think of any good reasons why we need to be brought together, off the top of my head.


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

Interestingly, there's a girl who sits in front of me in a math class I'm taking who's 4'11. When she walks by me and I sit up straight, i'm taller than her. I'm only 6 foot.

At 6'8, Xanos is a foot and a half taller than Gwyn. he might still be taller than her when he sits down. :)


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

Huh, I'm 6' to 6'1 and I have a cousin about 4'11 and I'm a little shorter than she is standing while I'm sitting. Guess my proportions are different.

Poor Gwyn, still has to look up at everybody even if she's the only one standing. :)


King of Talingarde

I'll update when I get home this afternoon.


let's try to have our group split up (per boat) decided by then so King Mark can kick this thing forward into sme more fun. :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

Well, I think we pretty much have to have Xanos and Gwyn on the same boat.


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

Jumping off point for the discussion of who should go where...

Odenkirk's Boat
---------------
Cain
Kalina
Price
Shulme

Second Boat
-----------
Gwyn
Teon
Xanos
Slave

I could see an argument for swapping Teon and Shulme... particularly if Shulme wants to get in on the Xanos/Gwyn chat. :) I know Teon wants to...


Agreed. So the question is, should we be trying to get all on one boat? Which would probably require some social finessing to keep suspicions low.

Or do we split up? In which case, how do we want to do that? Same as before? And who goes on Odenkirk's boat? (I'd suggest at least Price there, for obvious reasons)


dang.. ninja'd.

I was gonna say that grouping looks slanted, but I guess we do want to be heavy on the Odenkirk boat.

Xanos, do you think you're going to be better used against Odenkirk or against a large group of sailors?


The other problem with Price's suggestion that I can see is that we have both healers on one boat. As much as I think we need to weight our teams to make sure we can take Odenkirk, I don't want to lose any team members on the other boat... so having some on-demand healing is key – at least in my book.

So if we moved Shulme over to the second boat (to make sure Price can do her Odenkirk to maximize our ambush capabilities), we need to bring someone over to keep our numbers up against Odenkirk. Bringing Teon (with no other personnel changes) means they're a little light on melee beef on the second boat.


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

Yep... that's why I placed Teon over there - as a serious beef factor. I think we are going to have to pick our poison and any solution is going to have some risk. The other option might be:

Odenkirk's Boat
---------------
Cain
Price
Teon
Slave

Second Boat
-----------
Gwyn
Kalina
Shulme
Xanos

And let's be clear, there isn't any 'problem' with my suggestion... it is an 'opportunity' for you to excel in the face of a challenge. :D That's right... Corp-Speak is EVIL.


Outsider (AC: 22|12|20- For:+5| Rex:+6| Wil:+7- Per:+2Init:+3)

I think that with the proper use of spells, Xanos summons, Teons buffing himself, the Xanos, Gwyn and Teon could take the one boat. Maybe give us the slave. Xanos can heal the slave and Teon can heal himself. May be Fargo can even throw down a summon before summoning Teon.

Teon takes all the attention, starting ripping people apart, Gwyn slips behind them, kissing them to sleep and Xanos uses spells to tilt the odds.


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

It doesn't really matter what boat I'm on. My spells all have decent range.

Slave is in the box Xanos is sitting on so you'll want to plan in advance to get him onboard the other boat. He's been ordered to obey all of you, so just decide who's going to babysit him before you turn him loose. He's mindless but I do run him with a fair degree of inherent malevolence. Badly worded commands could get unexpected results.


Oof... then let's definitely not put Cain in charge of him. Blind leading the blind and what-not. Or would it be brainless leading the brainless in that case? :D

Do we want to try Price's first suggestion? If so, do we have any cure potions we can load the 2nd boat team up with?


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

OK, guys, here is a rough sketch of a plan, trying to give us the advantage. Feel free to poke holes, suggest variants, or suggest something better.

Normally, I'd try to have Price seduce the captain below decks so we can get him in an unfavorable position - read as buck nekkid and weaponless - and then proceed to slaughter him before taking the crew. Problem is, we've got no below-decks. So the ruse has to be something that allows us to buff, position ourselves, and support the team on the other ship without freaking out the crew. So here's a way to hopefully do that.

We sail across the lake, Price becoming more frowny and agitated in front of the captain. She approaches him and asks him to bring the boats closer together so our team can have an 'over the water' pow-wow.

We have a conversation in the crew's hearing - no codes. Price kvetches about the deal with the Bugbears being too easy, not trusting it, having a bad feeling about the whole situation, and worried about landing and unloading their goods on an allegedly isolated beach. Maybe it is a setup, maybe it is nothing. She (or someone else) proposes that the team stages a Normandy invasion to secure the beach and check things out before we fully land - an aggressive recon mission to be sure we aren't running into anything. And to keep us ready for danger, we ask the captain to bring our boats in as close together as he reasonably can at the landing site so we can't be split on the beach.

If all goes well, as we approach the beach, teams on both boats gear up, buff up, and get to the front of the boats like we are going to storm the beaches. If Xanos, who doesn't act like a front-liner, decides to stay further back, etc. for a better tactical advantage - that works for me. It might even be a chance to preemptively get Slave out of his box. Point being, to sell it, we'll need some front-liners in the bow. Price will try finagle a 'kiss for luck' from the Captain somewhere up in the bow. If it works, after she enjoys the kiss, her next action will be to try stoving in his skull and then the mayhem and slaughter begins.

Sadly, I've got no CLW potions, Cain.


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

Just out of curiosity, has anyone seen Shulme or Jakes recently? I haven't seen them for a while in game.


Haven't heard from either of them. I guess it'd be good to know if they're still in.

I like the plan, Price. It's better than anything I've come up with.

Don't love the idea of leaving our wizard on his own, but I guess it's his call what he wants to do.

It sounds like it's your intention, Price, but I'd love to try to get a round or two of us getting to focus-fire Odenkirk before he can bring his lackeys into the equation. He hits hard enough to be a serious threat, and he showed he could take some damage and keep on ticking against those water-creatures.

My gut says he's a barbarian of some flavor; if he is, does anyone have any ideas on keeping him from raging on us? (I only have some flavor text Mark threw out in that same fight to inform that guess, though… so I could be wrong.)

If we go this route, then I'm going to wait til the last second, then drink a potion of Enlarge Person (and simultaneously shift into were-wolf form – hoping it'll be misconstrued as a function of the potion), then bust a violent move on our boy Odk.

Also, King Mark, it'd be awesome if – when you put the map up – I could tell which sailors are human and which aren't... favored enemy bonus.

---

regarding resources, I have no Cure potions, either. However, I do have:

3 potions of Enlarge Person (1 of which i'll likely be using), anyone else want one?
1 Oil of magic Weapon (anyone want/need this?)
3 Tanglefoot bags
1 Alchemist's Fire
3 Thunderstones


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 have a CLW potion you can have. It's actually in a pouch with some alchemical gear on a belt around Slave's waist.

A Net and a couple Tanglefoot bags would help against 'Kirk. Being entangled at 1/2 movement is a pretty big problem for a melee character.

Start on him with Debuffs and ranged attacks. Give the net's lead rope to Slave or tie it off around the mast. Even if he breaks free he's still wasted a round doing it.


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

Yeah, my hope is, while his stunned crew watches, we group slaughter Odenkirk. It's a pity, really, I rather liked him. :) As Price (that black-hearted b*@#!) would blithely say "Ah well, if you want an omelet, you've got to break a few eggs."

I know Xanos is devious enough to come up with his own 'fun' so I didn't want to be too prescriptive on what everyone is doing. You guys know your characters best. For Price, I plan on doing a Bless on our group as well as rolling out my Judgment which I've held as a card up my sleeve until this moment. It should be good for a crew-wide rampage.


The potion wasn't for me, but for your team, in case we can't get a healer to you if you should need it.

the fact that I don't actually have one is just another hurrah! to my ever-present lack of forethought. :)

Do we want to re-allocate the net for the time being? Or would you rather hold onto it to put it to best use? (you certainly made excellent use of it against the fish)


Not that i think we should be able to dictate your resources, Xanos. Obviously you should put it to best use if you'd prefer.

Mostly i'm just putting keystrokes to my thoughts.


King of Talingarde

Quick phone post. Remember, the boats just unloaded a few tons of weapons.


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 is a team player at heart. My stuff is your stuff. :)


That's how I view it, too, but I hate to assume everyone is that way... and I hate to get caught talking about how other people should use thier stuff.

Just seems like bad form.


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 game, Xanos might have something to say about it. Here in discussion, don't worry about it. I'll let you know if I have different ideas.


Cool. So, other than the big question of Kalina and Shulme's presence, are we in general agreement about just using Price's original suggestion?

As well as that plan?


HP 21 | AC/T/FF 14/12/12 | CMD 17 | F+3 / R+3 / W+8 | Init +6; PER +10 | Image
King Markadian V wrote:
Remember, the boats just unloaded a few tons of weapons.

Might need to tweak the cross-ship conversation to adjust for this fact. I thought we still had some materials we were off-loading, aside from our Yutak treasure and Slave's box.


Male Half Elf (AC: 15|11|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3| Wil:+5- Per:+2Init:+3)

I like the plan. I also want to make sure we loot anything of value before we burn the ships.


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 still don't like it because I don't really like having to double-cross Odenkirk.

In my head I have this idea of Xanos and Price convincing him to allow himself to die so he could be brought back later for revenge against Thorn for putting us all in this position.


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

That's why Speak with Dead is so cool. How about we kill him and bury him someplace safe. Later on, we can come back and do a little Speak with Dead Q&A with him and give him the option of coming back? He can agree to it or not. If we don't kill him first, we run the risk of getting jacked up by him and his crew, not to mention failing our mission and pissing off Thorn.


King of Talingarde

Waiting to confirm that all agree before pushing on. Just give me a heads up.

Also I'm going to be PMing Kalina and Shulme to see what's up. Shulme was experiencing problems before, possibly still ongoing.


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

This plan sounds good. I'm in!


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 was definitely going to Speak With Dead and explain the situation. No burial needed. I can just Decompose his corpse and keep the bones. A complete human skeleton weighs about 15 pounds.


Male Half Elf (AC: 15|11|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3| Wil:+5- Per:+2Init:+3)

I agree. I suddenly want Odenkirks skull for a hand puppet.


King of Talingarde

Xanos and Gwyn:
All right, here's my thoughts as of present on Gwyn's initial transformation.

The way I see it, the first thought about being a vampire is about being undead. Now undead traits, in and of themselves, are very powerful. There's A LOT of immunities that would be given to someone undead. There's also penalties with it, the first being healing. So weighing it against each other, I do think giving the Undead template itself won't be imbalanced alone to be a penalty. So the first item is the undead traits. Now, I can't find it specifically listed outside the vampire template, but this will include Charisma to hit points instead of Constitution. I've listed undead traits below.

Undead Traits (Ex) wrote:
Undead are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless). Undead are not subject to ability drain, energy drain, or nonlethal damage. Undead are immune to damage or penalties to their physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects. Undead are not at risk of death from massive damage.

The next item is light. I figure to have Gwyn Dazzled in sunlight.

These would be constantly present effects given her undead nature. I thought about giving a bonus to looking human still, but this is weighed against the circlet's of disguise, so no bonus.

Now I like the idea of gaining strength by drinking blood. I believe it fits with the image. So here's my thoughts. Gwyn will gain the ability to drink blood as the Blood Drain ability.

Blood Drain (Su): wrote:
A vampire can suck blood from a grappled opponent; if the vampire establishes or maintains a pin, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage. The vampire heals 5 hit points or gains 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) each round it drains blood.

While under the influence of this blood, Gwyn gains the following:

  • +2 Natural Armor Bonus
  • Darkvision 60'
  • +2 Strength, Dexterity and Charisma
  • +2 Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive and Stealth
  • DR 3/Silver or Magic

This bonus lasts for 1 minute/level.

In addition, you can prepare a concoction that simulates these effects. Preparing such a concoction requires 1 hour and a living intelligent creature to be killed in it's preparation. You can only have 1 such concoction prepared at a time, and it's effects last 1 minute per level.

Let me know if this makes sense or if there's any questions, as well as thoughts, concerns, ideas.


King of Talingarde
Cain... wrote:
Also, King Mark, it'd be awesome if – when you put the map up – I could tell which sailors are human and which aren't... favored enemy bonus.

Just as a note, all the sailors are human in this group at present.


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

King Mark the GM and Xanos:
It makes sense to me. Then again, I lack the system mastery that most have. I'll be changing the layout of Gwyn's sheet, since I doubt Hero Lab is going to allow me to do this piecemeal, and I have a format that works pretty well.


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

Cain & Teon:
I just wanted to be like the cool kids and pass secret notes too. :p


King of Talingarde

Link to the boats

Here's a link to the boats docked for you to setup where you all are at. I've placed Odenkirk and his men.


King of Talingarde

Jesus, Hannibal Lechter, and the Great Gazoo:
EXPLOSIVE RUNES!!!


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

Ffaehiienvla?:
Ah, my eyes!


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

Gwyn, Mark:
I think some of the things you've presented are a bit too powerful for our level. I'd like to give her somewhere to go as this progresses.

Let's break it down-

Undead Traits
I think she shouldn't be fully undead right off the bat. In most Vampire lore, that's quite a process to get to. It also comes with a lot of limitations, as you've mentioned. Xanos would not be wanting to heap those on her. He's not really into trading one set of shackles for another. Getting rid of the Undead traits (save for Charisma to HP) for now would go a long ways toward power-balancing this, and give her things to slowly gain as she becomes more and more vamp-y. Maybe every level she could gain one of those undead immunities, or something.

Vampirism and Blood Drinking
We discussed earlier that Xanos could be infecting her with a weak form of Vampirism, and giving her a daily serum that would mostly suppress it, getting rid of the cravings and fever and delirium and stuff. (this has the built in plot-hook of "if Gwyn doesn't get her shot when the sun comes up, she starts to go pretty nuts"

Instead of giving her something to boost the affliction, how if the act of drinking blood suppresses Xanos' serum, letting the Vampirism manifest more greatly for a while.

While in this state her Vamp weaknesses should probably get more pronounced as well. Maybe something like "While Blood Drunk, you become Sickened if you are ever in sunlight for a number of sequential rounds more than your Charisma modifier."

Blood Concoction
I'm not sure about this, mostly because Vampires need fresh blood (IMO). It's more interesting to me if she actually has to drink from someone to get the buffs, rather than just downing a potion. Maybe eventually Xanos could learn to preserve the vitality in the blood, but I think that's another thing we want to work towards in game, not give right off the bat.

Mechanically, all this is very similar to what you've presented, but a little weaker and (I think) more thematically interesting.

So, all told, Gwyn would be getting:

Dazzled in Sunlight (gonna need Sunglasses)
* Sickened if in Sunlight while Blood Drunk

Charisma to HP instead of Constitution

Bite Attack (can only be delivered to pinned, willing or helpless target)
Deals 1d4 Con Damage, gives Gwyn the Blood Drunk condition

Blood Drunk
+2 Natural Armor Bonus
Darkvision 60'
+2 Strength, Dexterity and Charisma
+2 Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive and Stealth
DR 3/Silver or Magic
Lasts 1 minute per level.

As the affliction progresses and Gwyn gains levels, these bonuses will get more expansive.

The idea behind this is that Xanos helps her slowly learn to control the disease. Ideally, in the end he'd be wanting to try to create a new kind of vampire that isn't so chained to their bloodlust.

What do you think?


King of Talingarde

Xanos, Gwyn:

Arguing against a PC power increase, a sure sign I underestimated an ability.

My biggest issue with that is specifically related to how often Gwyn would be able to pull it off. Pinning a target during combat can be difficult, and by the time it gets to that the combat will be mostly over. Unless focusing on down and not dead combatants. That was my thoughts behind the concoction.

I do like the sickened in Sunlight during blood drunk though.

Gwyn, thoughts?


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

Price is on the board...
If someone could flank Odenkirk it would be much appreciated.

Mark, will we be able to get any buffing rounds before combat begins? And just let me know when you want me to 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

Mark, Gwyn:

Why not allow her to carry vials of blood on her? Say they go "inert" after a day or two (so they can't really be stockpiled).

To keep her from just constantly drinking blood to maintain the buff, we just say that if she drinks blood more than once in a given day she becomes Blood Sick, the benefits of drinking blood don't last nearly as long (rounds per level instead of hours), and when she is not under the effects of being Blood Drunk, she suffers terrible withdrawls and cravings for more blood, making her Sickened until she can get another serum from Xanos.

As for the Serum, it's supposed to lessen the effects of vampirism, so maybe it can only be made during the first hours of daylight and must be taken quickly after being made.

On any day that she doesn't get her Serum, she will become Blood Sick immediately following being Blood Drunk.

Basically, the Serum can fight off the withdrawls and cravings once per day.

What do you think?


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

Mark and Xanos:
As I said before, I lack the system mastery of most of the people here. I'm fine with what you and Xanos have proposed, and I like the whole "Gwyn goes crazy if she doesn't take her medicine" deal. It's interesting. Mechanically, I think that Gwyn's power level wouldn't be too much right now if we went with Xanos' idea.

I like the mechanics behind it, they're fairly simple and given Gwyn's stats, not too overpowered, especially since she needs a feat to be able to have a hope of pinning someone at the moment. I love the story possibilities that open up with it. I'm all for it if you think it's fine.

Now, I've got to answer Xanos' Question.

EDIT: I'm taking a position by OM4 We do get a surprise round, right? I've got 2d6 of SA begging to be used. >:)

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