WotW: A Knot of Thorns The Second Parchment

Game Master Xzaral

Way of the Wicked by Fire Mountain Games

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Fargo Drinog wrote:
Rangers and Wizards both get the Darkvision spell.

True, but again Cain won't gain access to that until level 10 or 11. I hate to rely on other characters casting that on me every time we want to use that tactic.

Though I guess eventually I could off-set that request by purchasing the necessary Pearl of Power and giving it to whomever I want to cast it on me every time.


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

Oh, I wasn't suggesting Shulme become the de-facto party healer. Price has and will keep her CLW spell. What I was thinking was, given the opposition we'll face, do we need to make sure we have redundant CMWs in addition to CLWs or would her CLW (paired up with Shulme's CLW and CMW) be 'good enough' for healing for the moment so she should spend her first two 2nd level spells on items on the short list? So Hold Person and Spiritual Weapon, for instance.

Xanos wrote:
Don't worry about fighting paladins. Just don't target them with spells that allow saves.

LOL. Man, I always worry about fighting Paladins and other BBGGs (Big Bad Good Guys). That's why I take a mix of buffs, debuffs, and funsy spells that make the opposition unhappy even if they do save. Sadly, Price isn't rolling in those sorts of spells. So for Paladins my plans are treachery, ensnarement, overwhelming firepower, and dropping buildings on them.

Shulme wrote:
More melee damage is probably overkill

You say that like its a bad thing. :) But I take your point.


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

For my second level spells I am taking Summon Eidelon and Haste. The first shores up what is probably my biggest weakness and the second is Haste.


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

Haste is one of the sexiest spells in the book. Price might have to bed Fargo as a reward for that spell choice. :D


Well that seems harsh... not worth punishing the poor fella. :D

But for reals, golf clap for Fargo getting Haste for us?


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 would do an evil laugh but that tends to scare people.

(Note that this is the RL me we're talking about. The best Gwyn could do is a manic giggle.)


HP 21 | AC/T/FF 14/12/12 | CMD 17 | F+3 / R+3 / W+8 | Init +6; PER +10 | Image
Cain... wrote:
Well that seems harsh... not worth punishing the poor fella. :D

As a minion of Hell, Price is required to torment everyone. :p


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

I am impressed. I didn't realise that Summoners get Haste at 2nd and they are the only class to pull that off. That is a clutch advantage.


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

It is just one more way summoners rock. There spell list is great for the most part.


let me preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I love the fact that we're about to have early Haste for our team.

... this is one of the reasons I have a beef with the Summoner class, though. And I think one of the reasons they are one of the front-line classes in terms of all-around power level.

That said. I can't wait for you to bust that out on our victims. :D


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

I think they are probably the strongest 3/4 BAB class. They are also better at filling multiple rolls than anything else. They are beatable though as long as they are built according to the rules.


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

The issue isn't that they are overpowered. Any class can match them if built right. The issue is that most classes only have a small number of optimal builds. Summoners have a lot, so they are harder to make bad choices with. That makes them seem overpowered to people who aren't very good at optimization.

(that wasn't a dig at you, Cain. Promise.)


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

And because of the complexity of building an Eidelon, it is easy to screw up and make the more powerful than they should be. The first guy to play one at my RL table kept having is Eidelon doing things he could not. Couple that with the fact we had not figured out that Enlarge person is now a full round cast and he was one shotting everything. It does not help that he always rolls horribly well and had an 18 strength on a standard summoner.


Well, I've certainly never claimed to be any kind of decent at optimizing, and I certainly don't claim to be the smartest guy around (heck, I'm probably not even near the smartest guy in this group), but here are the things I don't like about the Summoner.

First of all, they're a spontaneous arcane caster with a surprisingly robust spell list who has early access to a few of the game's most effective spells. Haste is pretty much the headliner here, but they also gain access to a slew of summoning spells in addition to summoning SLA's (yes, i realize you can't use this in conjunction with the Eidelon, but those abilities are powerful on thier own). So while they'll never match the wizard in terms of arcane diversity, they're certainly not lacking for it, and they can choose which of those things to cast on the fly (unlike your friendly neighborhood god-wizard). Obviously this also comes with it the whole SAD thing, which means they can attain some pretty serious DC's on the spells they choose to cast.

Secondly, they have a class ability pet who's fully customizable. Whether you think it's overly complex or not, you're like a druid who can pick and choose all his favorite parts of the best animal companions and bake it into one awesome pet. Oh wait, he can also pick up spells to allow him to customize his pet on the fly if he finds himself in a spot where his eidelon can't succeed in any given encounter? Yah, I'm sure that was a necessary addition to the class.

These two things together make up most of why I have my knee-jerk eye roll at the Summoner class. But then it was decided that this class needed to be a 3/4 bab caster class, as well.

I see this last piece playing out something like this:

Designer 1: "I don't know" he holds up his creation that cherry picks his favorite pieces of the sorcerer, wizard, and druid, "It just feels like there's more that can be done here."

Designer 2: (Not really paying attention) "Maybe more hit points?"

Designer 1: "Yah, that's the ticket!"

--

None of this is meant to be a bag on you, Fargo. I love having one on our team. But when I step back and consider it from a "comparing it to the other PC options" standpoint, he stands at the forefront in terms of wrecking-ball potential.

I've never claimed he's unbeatable. And yes, there's pretty much a really strong version of any class, but in my opinion, it's far, far easier to make this guy smash through encounters like so many Lincoln Logs than it is for other classes out there (save for a specific few).


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 with you on the customizable pet thing. That is the main component that sets the class apart and makes Druids cry.

Of course, I've been arguing that pets need to be more complex and interesting for about 15 years, so rather than an eyeroll, I'm the guy shouting "finally!".

I think the a way to make the other classes feel less shafted by the existence of the Summoner is to give all classes with Animal Companion the option of making it work the same way the Antipaladin's does. It adds versatility, has the same power level and is extremely simple to implement.


King of Talingarde

I actually agree quite a bit with Xanos's view on the Eidolon. I like having options and versatility in my characters. In fact, dirty little secret here, but I prefer point based systems over level based ones because of this. My favorite all time system is Big Eyes Small Mouth because I like anime, and I like customization. On the other hand my home group is full of optimizers, so I know what point based systems can do.

Funny but unrelated incident:
One of my friends in giant robot game I was running built a weapon that the backblast would level a planet. It was actually better to turn around and shoot at the ground since the main weapon didn't blow up planets. And this was by taking an unusual combination of FLAWS!

The biggest issue I have with the summoner is certain spells on their list and when they get them. I like having the early access to haste, but making it 2nd level was a pain in my opinion. And Stoneskin as a 3rd level spell for them? Even worse since now you can make potions of it (except in PFS).

The summoner monster ability is actually stronger than the eidolon in my mind as well. Sure, the eidolon is strong and customizable, but the SLA is a Standard Action (not full round), lasts 1 minute/level (instead of 1 round/level), and the list is, well, it's good. You can usually find something to fit the situation.

Now here's a couple reasons I really enjoy the summoner.

1) I like to reskin things to fit what I like. One character I made that I want to try out was a valkyrie concept on a pegasus mount. Going by it has been tough though to build. The summoner is my plan. The eidolon would start off quadraped and pony-like (yea yea, no MLP references please), and eventually evolve into a full pegasus-esque creature. The actual summoner would be the combatant, using spells as blessings instead. The summon monster SLAs would be summoning forth the souls of the dead to aid in combat (the fact that they were not human was a WIP idea).

2) Rydia from FF IV. Probably one of my favorite characters out of any game I've played. Now the best reason, but it's there.


Percep +4. Init +8 -- Hp 50/50. AC 18, t12, ff16. Fort+4, Ref+4, Will+6
Price wrote:
Oh, I wasn't suggesting Shulme become the de-facto party healer. Price has and will keep her CLW spell. What I was thinking was, given the opposition we'll face, do we need to make sure we have redundant CMWs in addition to CLWs or would her CLW (paired up with Shulme's CLW and CMW) be 'good enough' for healing for the moment so she should spend her first two 2nd level spells on items on the short list? So Hold Person and Spiritual Weapon, for instance.

A potential alternative to spending a spell slot on it is picking up a scroll for emergencies. At this level a scroll is about as good as the real deal, and assuming we keep our collective act together, situations that would require both of us to be CMWing each round should be relatively rare.

On darkvision, scrolls might be the cheapest way to achieve this as well at this level for those who don't have it. I'd be willing to cover the costs to scribe it into Xanos's spellbook so that he could craft some half price scrolls for people. 75 gp a pop is a lot cheaper than potions.

Speaking of darkness as well, though, I am eventually going to pick up the deeper version so the regular version might become redundant at that point for Price.

And, heh, haste is such an awesome spell.


Oh, I do love the versatility of the Synthesist concept. I would love to play a guy who is just a normal schmuck, but can call in the power of an arch-angel.

I just don't think the power levels line up very well with some of the existing classes.

Like I said before, I'm thoroughly enjoying having one on our team, though. Watching him tank through everyone is awesome... having him drops mega-buffs on me before i get to wade in with him? MEGA AWESOME!

Yes, I think I'll have that cake and eat it too!


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

Heck, I forgot he had reach for his claws until I was working on leveling him today


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

Fargo singing (wait for the chorus...)


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

Hit points!

1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7


Okay, i've decided to go ahead and take the level of Barbarian @ 4th. I didn't see a good reason to wait considering i'm only taking the single-level dip.

My attribute boost will go into Con, which will affect my HP pool.

HP = 33 (current hp w/ new con bonus factored in) + 1d6 + 6 + 1 (con mod)
33 + 1d6 + 6 + 1 ⇒ 33 + (6) + 6 + 1 = 46


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

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn... those are some HPs Cain!

@ Shulme - great point about scrolls of CMW... eesh, now I really gotta think how I want to play it.


And regarding that last fight. I just want to make sure we're all on the same page as players (if you don't want to get too much into any hidden character agendas, that's fine).

From what I could tell, we were only ever considering NOT kiling Odenkirk and the guys who can possibly help us understand the thing with the water buckets (was that covered in a spoiler? I don't really know what we're talking about there). The general consensus was to go ahead and off Odenkirk, with the possibility of somehow res'ing him if he agrees to be 'our man'. Then, i'm assuming we'll lose the water-bucket informants as soon as we have our information.

Is that about right? I had Cain continue the slaughter, but it seemed like some other characters had some hesitations. I'd rather avoid misunderstanding as players, at least.


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

Yeah, I think 'no survivors' is the gameplan. Odenkirk was too dangerous to leave alive; we can quiz his lackeys. The advantage here being that Price can honestly tell Thorn that Odenkirk is dead and that we killed him... regardless of whether we raise him later in some capacity. :) Gotta stick to the letter of our agreement.

Also, I believe Thorn wanted a total slatewipe of the crew and we've given him that. Even the guy we interrogate is going to be compost afterwards. Aside from making sure we've fulfilled our duty to Thorn - in case we are being observed - Price, as part of her judgment thing, declared she wouldn't let anyone live... and she's a woman of her word.


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

No survivors sounds good.

In other news, Shulme is all leveled up.


Regarding gear.

If no one else wants them, I'll happily take those throwing axes.


Also, is someone tracking all the gold and "group loot" we have been picking up?


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

Fargo is mostly leveled, just need to double check a couple of things and then put it in the stat block. My stat increase went to Int, so I no longer have a penalty. I finally have skill points, which will probably be important in the direction I am thinking about taking the character. Hint: Mark, how do you feel about Liches.


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

Sheesh! I'm clearly behind on the level-up process. I'll get on that!

Fargo, the first girl that broke Mark's heart was a lich... so it just brings up painful memories for him. :p


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

<-- already headed that way. Been discussing it with Mark off and on since day 1.


Cain is levelled, though I'm trying to figure out how to drop in a rank of Profession: Sailor given our recent voyage. :)


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

Hey, you are what you eat, right? Presto! Wolf down a few sailors and you are one!

Maybe we should go in as a few unrelated merchants who traveled along the road together for safety. That way we are 'familiar' with each other but clearly have our own interests.

Price, can certainly pass as a wandering seamstress and/or merchant.


: Raises hand :

Merchant guard. That way I don't have to bluff on any situation... ever. "Listen, jack-ass! I just go where they pay me to go and beat the sh!t outta folk who get in our way... or ask nosey questions."

I like it.


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

Traveling puppeteer


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

LOL. That is sick... I love it. :)

OK, getting to work on updating Price fully since it seems I'm playing catch-up here... Big Money... mama needs a new pair of shoes...

1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 Yes!


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

Shulme and I can pretend to be traveling priests. We could even perform funerary rites and sermons that subtly drive people way from their gods. We don't have to disguise ourselves much, but we should probably do something about the various runes we are covered in.


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

I think the crowns of disguise take care of that.

Price is updated.


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 left his at Thorn's mansion. He doesn't trust it and hasn't ever used it. I'll come up with another way.


Xz, something just occurred to me. Cain can't speak when in werewolf form. Can I (and anyone interested) drop a rank into Linguistics to pick up Sign Language?

That way I don't have to try to pantomime... as much fun as that would be.


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

Maybe he sounds like Scooby-Doo when he talks?

:She adds helpfully: :p


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'll make you one of these. It's 1,000 gp.

It doesn't have to be a collar. If I'm making it custom, it can fill any slot you want it to.


While that is a kind offer, if Xz is okay with the sign language, I'll still take that. :)

Though if we do go that route, a collar may not be a bad idea. :D


Though a voice-enabling bow-tie does sound completely awesome.


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

It would be fun for Intimidation purposes.

"Hey, little red riding hood..."

I have my doubts whether a lycanthrope could use the bow-tie in Hybrid form at all.

The Toy wrote:
...confers the ability of speech upon an animal. If the wearer is a non-magical natural beast, the collar grants the ability to speak and understand Common. It does not, however, increase the beast’s Intelligence. On other creatures, it prevents the wearer from speaking or understanding Common.
The Bestiary wrote:

Werewolf (Hybrid Form)

Medium humanoid (human, shapechanger)

It seems to me you'd nominally be considered an 'animal' only in Wolf form. Of course, I don't see anything that says a werewolf can't speak in hybrid form... at least not in the d20pfsrd. It says they understand Common in hybrid form and there isn't a parenthetical "(but can't speak)" like there are with some other monster descriptions. If it were me, I'd probably say Hybrids can speak unless there is some errata at Paizo that says otherwise... which I might ignore anyway. :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

HPs: 1d5 + 5 - 1 ⇒ (3) + 5 - 1 = 7 And Gwyn is only slightly less squishy


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

OK, questions for Mark:

1) Have we opened Kargeld's lockbox? If not, let's have Gwyn and/or Cain check it for traps before we do.

2) Given the size of the town we are approaching - will it look suspicious if we do a whole bunch of buying and selling? Does this town get a lot of merchant traffic?

3) Will selling arms and armor raise eyebrows? What about if we wash off the bloodstains? :D

3) (If we have any guess at this instead of having to get into town to suss out the situation) Can we purchase big ticket items - magical goodies and whatnot here? If we can, can it be done inconspicuously or will it set jaws wagging and gossips clucking?

Here's my first thought, guys. Much as I'd love to unload all these goods and go on an occult buying streak - we may have to hold off on most of that if it will bring us too much attention. If Mark is inclined to say it won't be a problem - we can go hog wild.

We may want to go overland, get close to town, and then send in just a couple of people to recon the situation, see how much attention strangers draw, if it's a backwater or a major hub.

I'm loving the idea of us being strangers traveling together for safety... with a couple of different merchants, porters, guards, a holy man or two, however y'all want to go with that. We just need to figure out which goods we can safely hock, which we have to hide, and who is going to be a merchant of what.


Oh, i was all caught up on the anatomy of a werewolf (or at least what I imagine it to be), but I guess a gravelly, sometimes hard to understand voice would be fine.

Nevermind, then. :)


I'll wait to hear Xz's answers; they reflect my own concerns.


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

If we can hock the weapons/armor safely in town... I've got a possible angle.

Milla Odenbrand (Price's alias), a gentle and plain soul, comes to town with - embarrassing enough - a slightly battered collection of armor and weapons she is looking to pawn off for any reasonable offer. It turns out that her much absent and reprobate father was some sort of ruffian or possibly - dare we say it - a brigand. He was a burden to Milla more than anything else and drank her out of house and home before drinking himself to death. The 'inheritance' he passed along to poor Milla were the tainted tools of his mysterious trade.

Trying to rebuild her business as a humble seamstress, Milla decided to sell the equipment, hoping to make a fresh start. Having no luck selling her goods close to home in XXXXXX (it being inland and quite safe), she has trudged to Aldencross thinking that perhaps the fine soldiers and people who live in the shadows of danger (as evidenced by the watch-tower between civilization and savagery at Balentyne) might put the equipment to good use. Her dream is to make enough money on the sale to afford a small shop and bolts of cloth to take up as a seamstress again.

To do this right, we'll need to build Price a sledge or something to drag the goods to work the pity angle.

Advantages:
1. A woman 'down on her luck' selling gear like this will draw less questions than a man.

2. The sob story and her lugging the gear may get local sympathy and open some doors. Hopefully it will give her a chance to get close to the men at Balentyne and the soldiers in Aldencross, trying to sell her wares. A 'simple' woman might make the naive assumption that soldiers would want her gear, right? And clearly her heart is in the right place. :)

3. If it works out well, the soldiers will take pity on her and at least give her a chance to rest a little bit before sending her packing. Hopefully, she'll see or run into our major good guys and learn something.

4. Now, let's say I sell this junk. Maybe I can rent a shop space in Aldencross and open up a seamstress shop for the next few weeks. It could be a good place for periodic meetings while I tailor clothes for the other PCs. *wink* Also, if any of the soldiers or high-up military types have girls... I might be able to glean some info from them.

=============================

We'll need someone else to play another, obviously more savvy merchant. No loser is going to be selling ivory - so it has to be someone who can really play the part. (Fargo maybe?) This merchant is going to roll into town with hired guards and porters (Cain/Kalina). Milla was 'allowed' to tag along with his group on the road out of a sense of pity for the woman.

Just spit-balling here. We'll need to weave stories for the rest of the team to explain them and hopefully put them in positions to learn important stuff. Gwyn could be looking for work as a maid or the like. Maybe the mucky-mucks at Balentyne need their clothes washed and they like looking at pretty girls. Xanos, as he suggested, could be an itinerant Priest. If two priests seems like too many and Shulme fancies being the hot-shot merchant, then Fargo and Gwyn could be a young married couple trying to find work in Aldencross.

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