GM Jhaeman's The Dark Menagerie

Game Master Jhaeman

Thornkeep: The Dark Menagerie

Maps & Handouts


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Discussion Thread


Please make sure the usual stats are in your character headers, and let me know if anything is situational (e.g., "I get an extra +2 to Perception checks in murky water.")

If there's anything really weird or complicated about your character that you want to explain, please feel free to do so here.

Most of you already have pictures for your PCs, but if you don't, please add one in.

The Maps & Handouts slides are now up and there's a map of Thornkeep to give you an idea of how it's laid out.

Thanks everyone--we'll start the briefing tomorrow.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

@GM I forget to add a Wand of Heightened Awareness purchase in my last scenario, so my starting Prestige is 2 lower.


Ah, okay--can you update the check-in sheet in the Recruitment thread? That's where I'll turn when I go to fill in the Chronicles. Thanks.


Oh, and very sorry regarding the name. I blame poor eyesight and font that makes an "m" confusable for "rn"!


Should we be role playing our shopping experience or should we simply post what we would like to buy, do our spell preparations and start the adventure tomorrow? It is your game so please tell us how you would like to roll? I am good with either choice.


That's a good question, thanks.

I ran the first three parts of Thornkeep on tabletop, and I role-played out interactions with the locals because it helps to give the flavour of the town and keeps the module from being pure dungeon exploration. On the other hand, role-playing can take longer in PbP and I don't want people to get bored. So I'm happy to be guided by the preferences of the group.

For now, let's say that if you post "I run out, buy XYX, and come back" we'll assume that happens automatically off-screen. If you post "I'm going to head over to that local apothecary and see if she has anything interesting for sale", I'll take that as an invitation to add some local colour and role-playing opportunities.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

As this a module and should take longer than a normal scenario, right? I'm all for speeding this up.


Fair enough. Everyone, Please do any other purchases or preparations you need, and I’ll post the “you’ve reached the dungeon” message on Wednesday morning.

Grand Lodge

Male Gnome Inquis 6| HP 40 | AC 20; Tch 12; FF 19 | F +6; R +4; W +9 | CMB +4; CMD 15 | Speed 15 ft | Init +5 | Stealth +1 | Perc +15 Inquisitor 6

I'm sorry. I was out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday and under the weather yesterday. I'm OK.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

Is our GM still alive?


Still alive--I promised I'd get us started on Wednesday, and today is Wednesday morning (where I live, anyway!). Post will be up in moment in the Gameplay thread.


@GM Jhaeman - I did not think about that. I am so used to North American time zones here. I just assumed. :-)

I will put up my overnight spells but skip any purchases with my post latter tonight.


No worries, if you still need to buy something, please do so.

I (hopefully) fixed the map so it's editable and you can place your minis.


Thanks GM. I did. I am happy to get started in earnest. :)

Grand Lodge

Perform Rounds: 22/25 Gnome Bard/6 AC 19 {T 13, FF 17} HP: 34/34/ | Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +5; +4 | Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

So, just a quick word on tactics.

For a 'fight', I will usually begin Fiery Gaze Round 1, followed by Obscuring Mist Round 2. If we are ambushed, caught of guard, out positioned or other disadvantageous situation, I may reverse the order.

I understand that may throw off some tactics, but I am looking out for the party. If you have some objection or reservation, let's discuss it here before it comes up. Happy to hold off on the Mist if it is going to hinder whatever cool thing you do.

We may also want to set up a SoP for handling common situations. Detect Magic on doors/suspicious things, Perceptions checks on doors for traps, things of that nature. Thoughts?


If you want to Fiery Gaze round 1 and then Obscuring Mist round 2 it should work most of the time as the party can be within 30' of you and not be hindered by the mist.


It will be important from this point forward to have everyone's tokens on the map, including pets/companions/familiars, etc. (Slide 5). If a token isn't already on Slide 2 as well, could you please add it there along with a label? It'll make it easier for everyone to see who is who when things get going.

Grand Lodge

Male Gnome Inquis 6| HP 40 | AC 20; Tch 12; FF 19 | F +6; R +4; W +9 | CMB +4; CMD 15 | Speed 15 ft | Init +5 | Stealth +1 | Perc +15 Inquisitor 6

I'm going on a church group retreat in the mountains this weekend and might not have wifi. please bot me as needed.


Regarding searching for traps, just like with purchasing goods, I'll leave this up to you guys. If you want to roll for particular 10x10 squares, that's fine by me. If you'd like to Take 10 and have me assume you search as you go, that's fine too.

For purposes of buff tracking, I'm going to assume you've been in here for about a minute (examining the helmet, searching the hallway and a couple of sets of doors for traps, conversation, etc.).

I won't be able to post again until tomorrow, so I'm going to assume the door to the north is opened (since there are no traps on it) and describe what you see. I've moved your tokens into the hallway, but if you would have stayed behind or want to reposition, please do so. To speed things up, I'll probably generally move tokens together as a group between encounters unless you tell me you'd prefer otherwise.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)
GM Jhaeman wrote:

Regarding searching for traps, just like with purchasing goods, I'll leave this up to you guys. If you want to roll for particular 10x10 squares, that's fine by me. If you'd like to Take 10 and have me assume you search as you go, that's fine too.

Yeah, this is kind of where the game stumbles. I recall stories of players at local game stores carrying a sign that says, "I am searching for traps."

If everyone is considered to make one roll and one move action, and Bom can Take 10 for a 23 with HA, then I think that might catch a few traps (if there are any).

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

@gm did my knowledge checks on the snake and ooze reveal anything? On the ooze I am wanting to know what type of weapons work against it.


For the record, minor correction that didn't impact anything but could later: the ooze should not have gotten a bonus for flanking on the snake, because the latter has all-around vision (though so far your PCs don't know that).

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

Bom wants to know if his weapons will dissolve if he attacks the ooze.

Grand Lodge

Male Gnome Inquis 6| HP 40 | AC 20; Tch 12; FF 19 | F +6; R +4; W +9 | CMB +4; CMD 15 | Speed 15 ft | Init +5 | Stealth +1 | Perc +15 Inquisitor 6

I'm back. Thanks for botting me.


Bom:
Nope, your weapons will be fine.


I am just waiting on the GM to post some answers to my questions. I am hoping that maybe we might be able to talk to the two headed snake.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

So what's the plan exactly?


It really depends on how intelligent the snake is and if we can communicate with it. The fact that the Ooze is attacking the snake is an interesting dynamic and is helping to lead me down this line of reasoning.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

What do you want Bom to do?


Just hold on. It will be pretty obvious if we can talk to it. I think that the answer is probably no but I want to find out first.

Grand Lodge

I will have a post up in a couple of hours.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

@GM - While there is no RAW on this topic, I have always considered the dice rolls (really the modifiers) of creature attacks/damage to convey IC knowledge to the characters. In other words, when you watch someone fight or play a sport, you can see their skill. The only way for the player to get this is from seeing the modifiers on the dice. A high attack/damage modifier signifies skil/str/precision with a weapon. So I will look at the GM rolls to get a sense of how dangerous these creatures would appear to Bom. For instance, Bom gets the sense the snake is more likely to hit him than the ooze.

Just wanted to make sure you're okay with that and if there are rolls you don't want me to see, perhaps put them as "Secret GM rolls" and I'll know now to look.


The Ooze is CR 2 so the martial characters should be able to deal with it easily enough. No need for more magic.


Thanks Bom. I always roll attack and damage rolls openly at the table, so players can make of them what they will. That's a good suggestion about putting "Secret GM Rolls" if there's anything I'd prefer players not to see.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

@TEAM -

Wondering if those who are providing buffs can make sure and have a Buff spoiler on their posts so we know what buffs are active. As it stands, I am seeing an Inspire for +1/+1 from Hal and a Bless. Is there another Inspire active? I want to make sure I am adding them all in there.

Grand Lodge

Perform Rounds: 22/25 Gnome Bard/6 AC 19 {T 13, FF 17} HP: 34/34/ | Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +5; +4 | Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

Song of the Fiery Gaze allows you to see through smoke/fog/steam and the like. As none of those are currently present in our environment, there is no benefit from it. If I were to drop Obscuring Mist, then you would be able to see normally.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

@Hal, so is Hal a Tiger of some sort? The picture is a tiger but I wasn't aware of a tiger race in the game.

Grand Lodge

AC:30 T:19 F:29| HP 66/66 | CMD:27 | F:+11 R:+5 W:+12 | Init:+1 | Perc: +21, |
Vocab:
Yes,no,big,stick,ears,truth,magic,here,good,bad,go,ok,danger,person,stop,he lp,5w's,maybe,up,down

Gm can you provide a little more detail I'm a bit confused. Dat is underground I have total cover. No line of effect, no line of sight. Dat also was detecting outsiders before he moved would the creature have been detected?

Sorry about that posts from today. I'm sure that the confusion it's my fault and started there. This mornings post was garbage word salad. I'm sick and was posting from my phone which is not a great combo for me.

Series of actions turn into a small earth elemental, activate spirt sense,

Spirit Sense:

At 1st level, a menhir savant can detect the presence of undead; fey; outsiders; and astral, ethereal, or incorporeal creatures. This ability functions like detect undead, and the druid detects all of these creatures rather than trying to detect one kind.

then start moving over


I think I'm confused about what you're doing. If you're actively burrowing, the stone (1 ft) or dirt (3 ft) will block detection abilities. If you're emerging in order to look into the next room, you'll be visible. You wouldn't be able to detect the outsider from the next room because it was flying high above the cliffs.

But all that being said, if the 9 points of damage seems unfair, we can ret-con.

Grand Lodge

AC:30 T:19 F:29| HP 66/66 | CMD:27 | F:+11 R:+5 W:+12 | Init:+1 | Perc: +21, |
Vocab:
Yes,no,big,stick,ears,truth,magic,here,good,bad,go,ok,danger,person,stop,he lp,5w's,maybe,up,down

Naw I'm not worried about the damage there is a strong group of pathfinders here.

The idea, though not clearly stated, was to earthglide (a word autocorrect seems not to like) just below the surface and just depend on the detection ability to look for auras. Staying completely hidden. Like I said it's my bad for not stating things clearly don't cold medicine and post.

If the creature can close for outside of 60ft and get an attack that ok with me.


Thanks, I understand better now. And no worries about the cold--I've definitely been there myself! But yeah, I'd say that if Dat is earth-gliding and getting the benefit of total cover, the detection abilities would be blocked by the stone around him.

Grand Lodge

AC:30 T:19 F:29| HP 66/66 | CMD:27 | F:+11 R:+5 W:+12 | Init:+1 | Perc: +21, |
Vocab:
Yes,no,big,stick,ears,truth,magic,here,good,bad,go,ok,danger,person,stop,he lp,5w's,maybe,up,down

Ok cool. Updated his stat line for his wild shaped AC. The attack misses when my character sheet is up-to-date. I that as ok compromise?

I have come across that ruling before and I will happily accept it. MY rationale is that cones start at the corner of the square you occupy so you can be underground and have emanate from the surface but honestly I can see it being ruled either way.

Thanks for being understand should be more on top of things now.


Ok, sounds good! We'll say the attack missed, and you can go ahead and have your turn and then I'll roll initiative for everyone else.


Very impressive illustration for a creature that went down so quickly.


Ha, yes. Thornkeep is known to be quite variable in terms of difficulty, and we might have just landed on a cakewalk level :)

Grand Lodge

AC:30 T:19 F:29| HP 66/66 | CMD:27 | F:+11 R:+5 W:+12 | Init:+1 | Perc: +21, |
Vocab:
Yes,no,big,stick,ears,truth,magic,here,good,bad,go,ok,danger,person,stop,he lp,5w's,maybe,up,down

Dat only survived the level 1 nonsense fight through pure luck.


Xilt had a hard time on his last adventure through the Half-Flight Path. The encounters were tough with a CR 10 creature in a tier 6-7 boss fight so I appreciate an easy adventure now and again.

Grand Lodge

Active:
Boots of Friendly Terrrain (Underground) Longstrider 1h, Shield Companion 1h, Mage Armor (Uflur) 1h, Heightened Awareness 10m
Human (Ulfen) 43870-4 | Ranger 6 | AC 21 T 12 FF 19 | HP 58 / 58| F +8 R +8 W +6 | Init +5* | Perc +13*; Survival +13*; Dipl. +9; Handle Comp. +15 Ulfur (Animal Companion) | init +3; Perc +4 | HP 49 (HD6) | AC 25 T:16 FF:22 CMD 20| F:+8; R:+8; W:+2 | Bite +6 (1d6+3)

I haven't done any Thornkeep, but I've heard that some level are just plain unfair. I read some reviews of this module and people said it was doable. However, it's been my experience that a lot of difficulty parties can have in any scenario is often a function of party composition and poor decision making. It's important not to get sloppy.


As an aside, apologies that the grid has the big "Sample" on it--it was the best I could find online. I own the book and flip-mats as hard copies because I got them on clearance a while back, and I didn't want to undo my savings by forking over the extra dough for PDFs!

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