Toilday, 19 Erastus, 4710:
There is little to report of the day. It was spent mostly in study and training. It rained again, which I am quickly growing tired of. Why can this island not follow sensible weather patterns like we had in Oppara?
In any case, I am bone weary and tired, and now that I am back in my cabin, freed from the disguise of being Daemor, and the responsibility of making decisions for our makeshift colony which has been thrust upon me.
Alaric suggested that, as much as the Golden Bow has made a comfortable home, it may be time to move our camp further south into the island so that we could continue to explore without wasting several days in travel just to get word back to the other castaways. He is correct, but I am loathe to give up this relative safety and comfort. The other wrecks we have found are no match for this vessel, and moving everything again seems intolerable.
Regardless, tomorrow will find us once again venturing out from camp to explore more of the island.
Is it too much to say that at this point, I wish either a ship would pass by to rescue us, or that some calamity might strike which would simply wipe us out?
If you were here, you would have words for me about how a child of the Trias family should have been raised better, and filled with a never surrender spirit. This would no doubt be further proof of what a disappointment I no doubt am to you. But at this point, I no longer care. I still retain the discipline to not spend the night indulging in Cayden’s blessings, despite that we have kept all of the bottles hidden within my cabin. Getting drunk to the point of oblivion is enticing.
But… this is not how you raised me. Instead, I will close this journal, practice my footwork, repeat the mantras Jask taught me, and go to sleep. No doubt this sense of desperation will pass with a good night’s sleep.
Moonday, 18 Erastus, 4710:
Cayden take me for a fool for expecting anything to be easy. In the middle of the night, we were attacked by four feral-looking men, carrying broken scimitars and frothing with murderous rage. Their bodies were heavily scarred, and after we killed three of them, the fourth ran off. Examining the corpses, we could see that all three were misshapen in form, and the scarring included patterns of pentagrams. We are uncertain if these were the same people who set the snare trap I uncovered yesterday, but we are fairly confident that they are the former sailors of the Bearded Harpy, and the inhabitants of what Maesae has affectionately dubbed “Camp Teeth.”
The battle was short, and I took the final watch after, finishing watch in time for me to prepare my spells for the day. With the light of the sun displacing the glow of the sea, and no sign of Kinkarian’s shade, we boarded the Brine Demon.
Maesae went below decks while I went to the captain’s quarters. There, I found the skeleton of what we assume to be Kinkarian, based on his mode of dress, his location, and the stump that ended at his wrist. In his remaining bony hand, there was a darkwood coffer, which was locked, although that proved no obstacle to Alaric.
I suppose there may be some benefit to associating with a man with a past as disreputable as Alaric – although I am more determined than ever that he should only ever know me as Daemor. I do not think Adria would find him to be nearly as respectful.
Within the coffer we discovered a stack of ledgers and journals, including the Captain’s logs, but also detailing information which reinforced the tales that Jask had told us of his innocence and how he had been arrested unjustly (although I did not know this at the time. I simply took the papers to read once we returned to base camp). Additionally, there was a dagger of fine craftsmanship (and which I later determined to be magical. We passed it to Alaric, since he seems to be the one of us who is in most need of some additional martial support), and a gold locket.
Opening the locket, it contained the portrait of a half-elven woman of surpassing beauty, her hair long and red. The portrait bore the name Ashmara.
I must confess that the image in this locket filled me with longing. Here was a woman who was of half-elven descent, like me. Based on her mode of dress, she was likely also of a noble family. Her hair was not unlike my own when I still wore it long. Yet unlike me, she did not seem to bear the shame of her mixed blood. Nor was she forced to put aside feminine dress. I can only wonder if her relationship with her father is better than the one I have with you. I cannot say why, but I felt compelled to take the locket to wear, telling my companions that it reminded me of my “sister” Adria.
Meanwhile, Maesae confirmed that the interior of the Brine Demon had been torn to shreds, and that the ship was a mere husk below decks. So, we chose to continue to make our way back to the Golden Bow.
Our going went somewhat slower, as Drogar suggested that our overnight “guests” had likely followed our tracks from the campsite (or perhaps the trap). Using his expertise, we took the time to obscure our tracks as we went, and so it took us nearly three hours before we came across another shipwreck, this time also a small pirate vessel entitled the Bloody Doll. Once more, there was little of note on board the ship, but it does serve as another landmark to navigate the island by.
Our trip back to camp was delayed again by heat, and by the insistent rains that coincided with the hottest part of the day. But once we moved on, we were able to make our way back to camp. I know not what the others did immediately upon returning to camp, but I quickly retired to my quarters to strip out of my clothing and air it out after camping it in it and my armor for three days straight.
When I emerged from my cabin, I discovered that Helana had some conversation with Aerys that apparently involved the berries from the Viper Nettles. Whatever passed between them, it was enough that as we sat around the fire for dinner, Aerys joined us, appearing friendly for the first time since she had boarded the Jenivere. She had with her a notebook which contained her unfinished epic “The Abendego Cantos.” I have never been much of a scholar of poetry or storytelling, but from the little bit I read, it appeared to be quite good. Maesae was instantly taken with it, insisting that Aerys allow her to read it at length, which Aerys agreed to.
As Maesae devoured the poetry (and we all devoured a meal of fang-bird and fruit), I perused the papers from the Brine Demon, hoping to learn more of this Ashmara. Kinkarian did not include much personal detail within his logs, so sadly there was little to be learned there, however this was how I discovered the evidence of Jask’s innocence. I shared this knowledge with the Garundi priest of Nethys, and he was almost embarrassingly grateful. He offered to share with us a series of mantras and chants he knows which allow one to concentrate on spell-casting even in the midst of battle, an offer that I believe Helana will take him up on, as will I.
We are all in agreement that after three days away from camp, we are happy to take a day away from exploration, and so I believe that will be all that lies before us on the morrow, with Helana and I working with Jask, Maesae reading Aery’s manuscript, and Alaric and Drogar doing… well, whatever it is they wish to do with a day not spent venturing to the unexplored portions of the isle.
Sunday, 17 Erastus, 4710:
Sunday, 17 Erastus, 4710
As we woke this morning, we found ourselves on the heels of a dilemma. Should we continue to follow the tracks leading further into the center of the isle, or did we wish to continue with the methodical approach of exploring the coastline? We decided that the tracks were too good of a lead to let go, and so we followed them away from the river, climbing a ridge and continuing to follow the tracks until we found a trail that ran from the northwest to the southeast. Drogar quickly established that we would not be able to follow the tracks of Kovacs and Ieana because this was a well-travelled trail. This is both disturbing and reassuring at the same time – reassuring because it was the first sign that we were not the only intelligent, bipedal life on this island, but disturbing because of course men are far more dangerous than unintelligent undead and monsters.
We decided to take the trail to the south, expecting to find our way to the coastline, and sure enough we eventually did. Unfortunately, we did not do so before I managed to find further evidence of humanoids in the form of a snare trap which pulled me up until a tree where I slammed against several sharpened wooden spikes. The encounter was a painful one, but more embarrassing than harmful ultimately.
At the trail’s end, we found an abandoned campsite that included a partially completed wooden shack. The shack held its own disturbing discoveries in the form of a pentagram painted on the wall, with human teeth embedded within its pattern. Helana examined it from a religious perspective while I examined it from an arcane one, and to the best of our knowledge, whoever created these symbols did not actually have any knowledge of magic, but wanted to create the image that they did. Searching the camp for anything slightly less disturbing we did come across some coins, a potion of magical healing, and scraps of paper that seemed to come from the ship’s log of a vessel known as the Bearded Harpy.
Although we had come to the end of the trail, we still had some distance left to travel before we came to the coastline. Once we did, we could see that there was a somewhat narrow channel which led to more land, which tracked with what we expected from the map we had found aboard the Jenivere. Looking across the channel, we were able to see a rust-red mountain off in the distance. Perhaps the top of the mountain would be a good vantage point to scout the rest of the island – or perhaps to try to signal to a passing ship.
We decided that we would press on through the heat of the day and we began to travel back up the coastline heading back to our home on the Golden Bow. As we traveled, we noted a ship that was on another one of the tiny islands that surround Smuggler’s Shiv. Since it was low tide, we waded across to the ship, which turned out to be the Beaded Harpy, allowing Alaric and Drogar – who were suffering from the heat – to rest in the shade of the ship while Maesae, Helana and I went aboard. Maesae scouted into the ships interior. She found little of note, other than some additional coin, another potion of healing, and an enchanted shield. I was able to identify the heavy steel shield as one bearing a significant defensive enchantment. Alaric was unable to use it, and the heavy nature of the shield made it incompatible with Drogar’s archery, Maesae’s gunplay, or my use of Rondelero, so Helana laid claim to the shield. She may or may not choose to continue to wield it, but it made sense for her to have it for the time being.
Once the heat passed, we waded back across to the “mainland” and continued north. Just as the Cayden-damned rains started again, we found another island with another ship – this time a ship of Dwarven make titled the Wind War – at least according to Helana, who apparently speaks the tongue of the dwarves. I am realizing that I have perhaps been remiss in my studying of other languages. I prefer to speak Taldane whenever possible, and of course I know a smattering of Elvish, the language of the Mwangi, and of course Azlanti, which you insisted I study. But knowledge of additional languages would no doubt be useful as I make my way in this world.
Returning to the matters of the day, this channel was a bit deeper, and we did not have the benefit of low-tide, so we had to string a rope across the channel to allow Alaric to make his way across. Helana showed a remarkable aptitude for the sea, swimming almost as one born to it. The dwarven vessel gave up a finely crafted axe of dwarf craftsmanship, and Maesae was able to scavenge some additional usable gunpowder, but otherwise we found little of note aboard.
Our journey continued, and we encountered a pirate vessel wrecked on the shore called the Scallywag. This ship had clearly been on the island for some time, and was rotted to the core, so it served as nothing more than a landmark on the map. Oh, it is worth noting that I have been carrying the map with us to note the various locations we have encountered something of note.
We continued on, getting nearer to our camp, but realizing that we would not be able to make it back in one day’s travel, we began to look for a place to bed down for the night, when we came across a ship that was no doubt magnificent at one time. The ship bore the name the Brine Demon, and the bronze demonic figurehead, coated in verdigris though it was, quickly told us why. This ship was trapped between the cliff sides and a reef, and from the exterior, it seemed to still be solid.
Although it has been some six years since the Brine Demon had been seen on the seas of Golarion, all of the sailors on the Jenivere or on my previous postings knew much of Captain Averit Kinkarian. The man was known for being a fearsome combatant, vicious when there was need for it, but not unnecessarily bloodthirsty. We considered for a moment that if he had been marooned on the Smuggler’s Shiv, it was entirely possible that he now ruled the island.
We chose not to try to board the ship since the sun was setting, and instead made camp nearby, which proved to be wise. Once the sun set, the sea began to glow once more. But this time, the ghostly apparition we saw was not the unknown woman, but was instead a man with a hook for a hand, dressed in sailor’s finery. We suspect this to be the spectre of Kinkarian. He did not take notice of us, instead walking the surface of the sea, muttering words that only he could hear.
I go to bed early tonight, choosing to take the final watch of the night, and jotting my thoughts down now by the glow of my Ioun torch as we cook a meager dinner. I am optimistic about what we might find in the morning.
Starday, 16 Erastus, 4710:
Today was a bit more interesting than the past few have been. The exploration party had determined that we wanted to get a little further today – at a minimum to the cove on the eastern side of the island. As such we packed a few of the additional supplies for our exploration today, including the smaller tent. As the rest of us packed our supplies, Helana made another attempt to befriend Ishirou – which is probably wise. Having everyone on the same team will go a long way towards our collective survival. She didn’t manage much more than to sit next to him during breakfast, but at least he didn’t move away from her. So… progress?
Sasha announced that her intent for the day was to train “Buddy” as she named the dimorphodon.
For our journey, we started south to the cove, and as we came to it we found an abandoned campsite that seemed to be several days old. Within the remnants of the campsite we found several items that were much less of a surprise than they probably should have been. Namely, we found traces of Captain Kovacs and Ieana’s presence in the form of his hat and several Varisian scarves of the style she was seen to wear. Additionally, we found tracks that probably belonged to the couple which led to the interior of the jungle. Although I wished to continue to track along the coastline, this was too tempting a lead to abandon. If we can locate Kovacs and Ieana perhaps we can get an answer to the questions of why we were poisoned and abandoned on this island, along with why he allowed the Jenivere to be wrecked.
There was a moment where Alaric tried to put Kovacs’ hat on my head, and although it was a decent fit, the taunts about Captain Daemor immediately put me off. I’ve no wish to command a group of men. I’m happy taking lead when no one else is willing to for our survival, but leadership should fall to the eldest child of a noble family, which I am not. Besides, they want to make Daemor Captain – not Adria. I cannot assume leadership when they don’t even know who I am.
In any case, we decided to struggle through the heat of the day to continue to follow the tracks into the jungle. The tracks eventually came to a thorny grove which Alaric was able to identify as Viper Nettles. Within the thicket of the nettles, he noticed a grove of their berries – berries which apparently have medicinal use. They are useful for curing illness, and apparently are especially useful when it comes to fighting the illness that comes with overcoming addiction. Although most of us got scratched up by the thorns, we were able to resist the venom of the nettles. Maesae, who is far and away the most nimble of us all, was able to reach into the interior and retrieve a large number of the berries, which will be a welcome addition to our medical stores.
The river forked near the nettle patch, and following Drogar’s lead, we followed the westernmost fork. As we traveled, Helana continued to serve as our unofficial counselor as she got Alaric talking about his favorite topic – namely himself. He revealed that his family name is Caravetti. Apparently they are a large merchant family from Varisia. Father, I wonder if it is possible that you have had dealings with this family? He revealed that they largely trade in textiles, and that he was headed to Sargava on family business of some sort, although he had mostly tried to avoid being drawn into family business.
I can’t imagine what that would be like.
As we followed the river, we came across a rather disturbing discovery. Or rather, they came across us. Specifically, we fought a small number of undead humans. Although we didn’t take the time to examine them closely, I can only imagine that these are the remnants of some of the other shipwrecked crews. Although we took some wounds, they were relatively easily disposed of, and healing was quickly accomplished through Helana’s devotions to the lady of the Graves, and my own use of Diavolos Epoulosi. The more disturbing element was that the zombies could represent our own eventual fates. It seems that there are greater dangers within the interior of the island, but if there is hope of rescue, I suspect it lies there as well.
Additionally, we came across a man-sized spider, which was similarly easily dispatched, but also serves as a warning to the greater threats that may be within the island.
Finally, we came to the river’s end, so we made our camp there. Again, I have taken the first watch, which so far has been quiet. Rain is beginning to fall, so I shall end my writing here for the night. Although is it wrong that I find it disquieting to now be camped near a body of water that does not glow?
It occurs to me also that we are now one week into our forced residency of the island. One week ago, we sat down to dinner aboard the Jenivere. I can’t imagine that anyone other than Kovacs, Ieana and whoever was impersonating the cook knew what was in store for us all.
Disturbing thoughts before sleep. But nothing that the daughter of Lord Petrianus Trias cannot bear.
Fireday, 15 Erastus, 4710:
There is not much to record regarding today. The majority of the day was spent packing up the old camp and claiming our new “home” aboard the Golden Bow. Shockingly, everyone assisted with the move to some extent or another – although Aerys was resistant. I did not anticipate feeling a pang of regret at leaving our camp behind, but after five days making it our home, there was the slightest sense of regret and loss as we moved on.
Helana has proven to be quite the counselor and confidant. She was able to coax a little more information out of Aerys, confirming that she is indeed addicted to Cayden’s Blessing – making the need to hide the alcohol even more paramount now that we are hiding it in the same place that we are now residing in. Helana even managed to get a chuckle out of Gelik, and incline him towards being a bit friendlier (and hopefully a bit more useful).
Oh! It bears noting that in addition to dry conditions and shelter from the elements there is an additional benefit that has come from relocating to the Golden Bow – namely that the ship provides enough private rooms for each of us to have some privacy within camp. For the first time in months, I was able to close a door, strip off my armor, air out my clothing and just be Adria again. There was far too much to be accomplished for me to waste much time in this indulgence, but it still felt wonderfully freeing to unbind my breasts and speak with my own voice even for a short period of time.
With the availability of a crow’s nest, we have split the watches so that myself and Maesae take the first watch, with the young Tian woman watching from in the crow’s nest, Drogar and Helana taking middle watch, since they both seem able to see fine in the dark, and then Gelik and Alaric taking the final watch, although Sasha has expressed a willingness to do so.
Our watch is nearly done, and as much as I’ve grown used to seeing the sea glow at night, I will not miss leaving it behind for the darkness of my private quarters.
Name: Deka Itro
The Gory Details:
Way back during "The Half Dead City", the party was able to dispatch the Burning Hands. Idori was killed in the fight, Azaz and Khelru were unconscious, as was Velriana. The party woke Khelru, and negotiated a surrender/escape for Khelru and Azaz. But Deka decided to slit Velriana's throat, saying as she did so "May Pharasma judge you as fairly as you deserve."
Cut to "Empty Graves," and as the party are making their way out of Shardizad's lair, Velriana struck them, taking advantage of their distraction at having successfully negotiated with the dragon for the piece of the Elegaic Compass.
The first round of combat had rogue facing off with Velriana, although Velriana's baleful shriek sent her running. And then Velriana saw Deka.
One charge action later, Velriana had her hands around the Tiefling Occultist's throat. And while the rest of the party beat on her rapidly, Velriana's CMB was so much higher than Deka's CMD (she literally could only fail to maintain the grab by rolling a one) that Deka quickly succumbed. 1d8+7+4 plus 1d6+7+4 each round she maintained the grapple was just brutal.)
And that is the story of how I murdered my 12-year-old daughter's character in three rounds while the rest of the party just basically watched. (The Hunter couldn't make a to-hit roll to save her life, or to save Deka's as the case may be, and the Paladin who could only move 40' a round was 60' away when the fight started, so she didn't get there in time - and the Rogue was cowering in fear for 4 rounds from the baleful shriek.
Oathday, 14 Erastus 4710:
Once again the evening watch was quiet, although the abysmal summer rains returned again last night, and stayed with us for much of our day. Despite the rains, we decided to explore the north shore of the shiv again, following it to the east this time. Drogar remained behind at camp to assist with guarding and hunting for food. (Drogar's player couldn't make this session.)
Within a short time, we came across an Orcish ship named the Tears of Grog on one of the small islands just off the coast. This ship was thoroughly damaged and rotted away – to the point that both Helena and Alaric fell through its floorboards. We were able to find little of value onboard this vessel, although there were a few potions of some note including a potion that imparts divine protection, and one of invisibility. Since this was early in the morning, we continued to venture on, coming across another nest of fang-lizards. It was empty at the time, although when we returned to our base camp the creatures came and attacked us, and we dispatched them without much in the way of difficulty between blades, arrows and bullets.
Truthfully, I have grown to regret needing to fight and kill these creatures. They are simple beasts and predators, and their deaths make us safer, but they are also not doing anything wrong. I wish that we had some sort of divine caster capable of speaking with beasts who could possibly negotiate a peace with these animals. Or perhaps he could summon up a ship to take us away from this place?
I know, deal with what lies before you, not with wishes and hopes. You would not wish me to spend time longing for resources we do not have, but instead to make do with the resources that are available. Would that you were here to admonish me personally.
We had already decided that we did not wish to make much more progress this day, both because of the rains and since Maesae needed time to perform her alchemy, but before the heat of the day overtook us we decided to press on a little further, since our map showed us that there were two additional small islands nearby, and we wished to check those for possible shipwrecks as well.
Indeed, this proved to be fortunate, since the third such rock contained an elvish ship named the Golden Bow. I have no fondness for elves, as you well know, but I have to admire that this ship was protected by their magic, and as such was mostly intact. It will still never be seaworthy again, but it does remain sturdy, with little rot of the boards or even of the sails and rigging. Boarding it, we heard movement within the hull, and upon sending Maesae in to scout out the ship, we encountered quite a dangerous creature – a barghest! We were fortunate, because the beast seemed to have taken ill. It was unable to use much of its native magical powers, and when Helena channeled the might of the Lady of Graves through her blade she was able to quickly cut the creature down.
There was not much in the way of useful supplies on board, but there was a great deal of Cayden-be-praised wine and spirits, including several bottles of Wasp Mead. We are somewhat torn about what to do with these supplies. I do not wish to hoard resources away from the other castaways, but at the same time we feared bringing large quantities of alcohol into the camp – especially with two castaways who have done nothing to assist the survival of the camp. I would hate to give them an excuse to sit and drink all the day.
An additional complication – and one that I curse myself for not noticing earlier – was that the others in our “exploration party” have noted that Aerys is showing signs of being a sot. Perhaps she is trying to overcome this, or perhaps she has simply been deprived of opportunities to drink. In either case, bringing large amounts of wine and spirits into her presence seems… unwise.
We have also, unfortunately, seemed to have explored as far as we can hope to while staying within a day’s travel of our base camp. As much as I would hate to make steady use of an elven vessel, we may need to discuss the possibility of moving our base camp to the ship while we continue to explore the southern parts of the island, and eventually move into the interior.
This will be something to discuss with the other castaways once the morning comes. I have spent the afternoon since we returned to the camp watching Maesae perform her alchemy and continuing to study the spellbook. I go to sleep now, awaiting my turn performing the final watch of the night.
Wealday, 13 Erastus, 4710:
The watch last night was quiet, although the disconcerting behavior of the ocean remained. Oddly, I think it would disturb me more should the sea not glow at night at this point.
Our day was spent trying to complete the plan that we attempted on Toilday, with cutting through the jungle again and then making our way to the west, along the inner coast of the shiv. Partway towards the tip we encountered another nest of the fang-lizards which was empty at the time. Shortly past that nest we found that the heat of the day was too much for us to endure and so we made a temporary camp again. This nearly proved disastrous to us, for within the jungle we encountered a horde of rabid bats that seemed intent on devouring us. We fled but were saved – ironically – by the very same fang-lizards we have had so many encounters with since we wrecked.
We realized that we were very poorly equipped for dealing with this kind of threat. Since Cayden was kind enough to spare us, I will not ignore his lesson. From this day forward, we leave with flasks of flammable oil which Maesae can throw and I can ignite with the spell Spitha (Spark). I am told that there are spells which can spray fire out from the caster – I shall have to continue to examine his spellbook to see if I can find that spell within its pages.
One thing of note was that Maesae was able to locate several rocks that she believes she can synthesize to create more of the powder which powers her firearm. As I understand it, this is an alchemical process, and therefore distinct from the material components used for some spells, but it is easier for me to think of it in those terms. She says that with some time she should be able to create another score or so doses of the powder. She melted down some of the flatware from the Jenivere to create additional shot as well. This is a welcome development – her pistol is a valuable resource for our continued survival.
We completed our examination of the southern coast of the shiv with no further incidents. Several of our members have taken ill, and while Jaks and Helena have been able to tend to their illness, I am sorely concerned for my health. As such, I will spend less time each night reading, and instead try to conserve my strength and get adequate rest. I am finishing my watch shift now, so I shall end this entry here. Sleep well, Father.
Toilday, 12 Erastus, 4710:
Today has been momentous for several reasons. Overnight things were not terribly dissimilar. The sea again had an unnatural glow, and while I did not witness any apparitions this time, others reported seeing them during their watch. I am apprehensive about these spectres, but there seems to be little we can do about them, so until such time as they pose a threat to us, I will do my best to ignore them. Our camp was again attacked by wild creatures overnight, but it is hardly worth chronicling every battle against a rat or spider within this journal’s pages.
More importantly, overnight was the first time we had experienced rain on this island, and I am just thrilled to report that the rains are absolutely torrential here on this island. I am so eager to spend weeks, months or years here I cannot possibly say.
While I do not wish to notate every injury or fight we experience, one thing I must note is that in our battle with the dimorphodons yesterday, one was able to bite into Alaric, its venom sapping his strength. A nights rest was not quite enough to bring him back up to snuff, and so we were forced to use one of the potions we had found aboard the Jenivere. It could not be helped, and I in no way resent the use of the potion on Alaric, because we do need to keep all of our members in the best fighting shape possible. However, it still pains me each time we are forced to use up a non-renewable resource. Helena’s healing magics replenish each day, but potions and scrolls? Who knows when we might be able to find more of those? And a resource used up now may be something we find ourselves sorely wishing for in a few weeks.
In the morning we decided we would cut through the interior of the jungle to the inner curve of the shiv and follow it along to the tip on the other side, however it turned out that Cayden had other plans for us. As we made our way out of the jungle interior we came across another dimorphodon nest, although in this case there was an adult female and an infant dimorphodon – perfect for Sasha’s request. We dispatched the mother and then returned the infant back to camp.
Sasha was pleased enough by our “gift” that she shared some of the fighting secrets she had learned from the Red Mantis Assassins. Although it took most of the day practicing to try to incorporate the tricks she showed me with the far superior art of Rondelero, I believe that I was able to master several maneuvers which should help me strike first in a battle. Sadly, that took most of the day to accomplish, so we were not able to complete much more in terms of exploring our island prison.
However, all of this pales in comparison to the details of how we were able to bring back the dimorphodon to Sasha. Namely I was able to bring the use of the spell Ouranio Toxo (Color Spray) to bear, the colored rays blinding and paralyzing the mother long enough for us to swiftly dispatch the creature. While I would hardly claim to be a master wizard, Father, I feel confident that now that I have been able to take this first step on the path of magic my skills will only grow. The combination of spellcraft and swordplay will make me more than a match for my Sire
I shall therefore cut this entry somewhat short, for although today has been momentous in many ways – there was little that we accomplished. I finish writing this as I wait to take my turn providing a watch over our camp for the night, although I must confess to being eager to continue to tease out new spells from the spellbook. Aside from the simple spells which are known to nearly every wizard and which could be learned on the streets of Oppara, I have successfully deciphered five of the spells within the book. I already mentioned that I have mastered Ouranio Toxo, the casting of a spray of rainbow colored light. In addition, I think I have successfully deciphered Diavolos Epoulosi (Infernal Healing), which channels the regenerative properties of infernal creatures into a person and Aspida (Shield) a simple defensive spell. Finally, there is Oxy Afi and Astrapi Afi (Shocking Grasp and Corosive Touch), two offensive spells which let me either transmit acid or electricity through my touch.
I have also learned to send some of my mystical ability into my blade, which should make my weapon more deadly in my hands. I believe that with time I will be able to actually channel a spell through the weapon itself. I shall have to continue to experiment with this principle, because I confess that this is a skill I dearly wish to master.
You would not approve of me using magic, I know. But I have already resigned myself to the fact that I will never be the daughter you wanted. What does it matter that I will not be the pure warrior you would hope for or that Daemor no doubt would have been? When I present my Sire’s head to you, perhaps you will finally accept me for who I am.
A point that might be lost - Adria is going by the name Daemor, but Daemor is also the name of her older half-brother who died as an infant. The depression of Daemor's death is what drove Adria's mother into the arms of her elven lover.
We play roughly bi-weekly, but I am not separating these journals by session, instead they will be separated by the in-game dates. They are being written by Adria each night during her time on watch.
Moonday, 11 Erastus, 4710:
It has been an eventful day. Last night, after completing my writing in this journal, during the watches, Drogar woke us to show that the sea was glowing. Beyond this, there was a spectral figure floating above the bay! The figure did not seem directly malevolent, but simply beckoned to us. Sasha swam out to see the figure, upon which time it vanished. I do not like this ill omen, but I also do not believe in spending energy fearing those things we cannot do anything about.
As a side note, when I spoke words of caution, Sasha angrily retorted “Who made you Captain?” Her words troubled me more than I care to admit. I do not want to rule over any one, and it both saddens and angers me that Sasha is taking my actions as such. I believe in decisive action, and will take it. I told her as much when we returned to camp this evening, but I do not know if I will be able to overcome her clear irritation with me.
Later in the evening, as I held watch with Maesae, our camp was attacked by a small pack of poisonous vipers. They were fairly easily dispatched, but it troubled me that several of our number – namely Ishirou and Gelik – made no efforts to defend the camp. I try not to depend on anyone but myself, but it is disconcerting that we may be stuck with two castaways who will do nothing to assist the survival of the others.
Well, allow me to correct myself. Gelik has appointed himself our camp entertainer. Cayden be praised.
Others have proven more helpful. Jask has agreed to be the camp medic, Aerys has offered to be a guard for the camp while others of us explore Smuggler’s Shiv, while Sasha has volunteered to hunt. Her hunting may leave a little to be desired, as she flushed out a small group of dire rats this morning while seeking more edible prey, but at least she wants to be of use.
Ishioru? Remains useless.
But as previously mentioned, we have begun exploring the isle. Through examination of the map, we have determined that we are along the northern coast of the Shiv. While this in theory means that we are more easily locatable for eventual rescue, it does mean that we have the entirety of the island to the south to explore. Alaric, Droagar, Helena, Maesae and myself began our exploration, heading west along the tip of the shiv. Not too far from our camp, we came across another shipwreck – this one beached along the shore, unlike the Jenivere which was smashed against the rocks and cliff side.
Boarding the ship, Maesae and Helena fell through the floorboards to the lower deck, where they discovered that this ship had become a nest for a trio of cave fishers. The battle was difficult, but we triumphed. I remain impressed with Helena’s skill with her spear and the deadly potential of Maesae’s gun. I was unable to witness it directly, but apparently Drogar is quite adept with a bow. I am growing a certain degree of respect for the hobgoblin.
The ship, which we learned was named the Tattooed Lady, made a decent shelter for us at midday, because we came to realize just how hot this island is capable of getting. I have never been so far south in the Inner Sea, and never expected to be so when not aboard a ship with the breeze of the ocean at my back. I fear that the heat may soon dictate decisions about my attire which may end up raising questions about “Daemor” that Adria would prefer left unanswered.
We stayed in the lee of the ship until midday when the temperatures cooled, and then continued on until we stumbled across a nest of fang birds (which I was informed are more properly named dimorphodons). These winged predators determined that we were apparently a threat to them and attacked. Maesae disposed of two with her pistol while I dispatched the other two with your falcata. Alaric and Drogar contributed to the battle as well with blade and bow, while Helena’s slower movement kept her from being able to contribute much. I feel that the five of us are beginning to come together as a fighting unit, although I am still unsure how much I should trust them.
We finished our exploration along the coastline and were able to ascertain that the map seems to be fairly accurate, and with some time to compare landmarks to those on the map, we have a sense of the scale. That will help us to begin to make plans for deeper explorations of the map.
We returned to camp shortly after dark during which time we found Sasha standing guard. Her hunt had procured some monkeys, which combined with the cave fisher meat we brought back represents a nice addition to our food stores. I was able to speak with her some then, and began to try to patch things over some. We are at least agreed that we are more concerned about seeing everyone do their best to keep the entirety of the survivors alive. She seems to share my disdain for Gelik and Ishioru. Before she retired for the night, I told her of what we had discovered, and she expressed an interest in having a dimorphodon to train. I told her that if we encountered one we would endeavor to bring it back to her alive.
It is now my watch, and I write this before I turn my attention back to my Sire’s spellbook. I know you would not approve, but I feel that I am close to being able to understand the workings of the magic within. The rudimentary spellcraft I learned back home in Oppara (Adria has the Wealthy Dabbler Trait) has given me enough of an understanding that I believe I can prepare at least the simplest spells within its pages. I fully intend to take the time tomorrow morning after a night’s rest to prepare some of those spells.
I've been writing these for my PC in a Serpent's Skull campaign, and thought I'd share them here (since I can't share them with the other PCs in the campaign just yet).
This has been written entirely in-character by my PC, Adria Trias, a Half-Elf fighter/magus who is the bastard daughter of a minor noble from Taldor. She has all kinds of family issues, as you'll probably note from her references to her sire who she wants to kill, and the constant note of disapproval she imagines from her father. This is her journal, but she writes it as if it was being read by her father. It's also worth pointing out that at the campaign start, Adria was a crew member of the Jenivere, and in hiding about her true name and gender.
Our PCs consist of Adria, Kita Maesae (Tien Half-Elf Gunslinger/Swashbuckler), Helana Striker (Aasmir Oracle/Paladin), Alaric (Human Investigator), and Drogar (Hobgoblin Ranger).
Sunday, 10 Erastus, 4710:
It pains me to have a day unchronicled within this journal, however with the events of the previous evening, it could hardly be helped.
Last night, Captain Kovacs ordered a feast to be held for all of the passengers on the ship as well as the crew. Despite my natural reluctance to socialize, I followed orders as you had instructed me to do and ate with the passengers. The meal was good – nothing to compare with the fare that would have been made back home, but certainly better than I had gotten used to on the ship. Following the meal, I went above deck to take the night’s watch. I watched as Drogar fell out of the crow’s nest – unconscious and I thought dead - when I found myself overtaken with the same unnatural sleep.
Waking up this morning, I found myself on a beach with several of the passengers from Jenivere, although I was the only member of the crew. We were set upon by a series of creatures that Helena later told me were called eurypterids. Four of us awakened and fought them off before myself or any of the other survivors were too severely injured.
It is, at this point, that I feel I must tell you of the passengers of the ship who I now find myself forced to regard as companions.
First, there is Aerys Mavato. Although this woman is a half-elf, she has shown no signs of the odious behavior common to elves. She is trim and athletic look, wears armor, and shows signs of being competent in a battle. Indeed, her first act upon boarding the Jenivere was to smash Dodrick Hart in his stupid face when the dolt had the nerve to suggest that she could bunk with him. I do not know if it would be wise to trust her with my true identity, but I feel that she and I would find we had much in common.
As you well know, I never took to the arts of courtly intrigue or romance, much to your chagrin. Alaric, on the other hand, seems born to them. I have already grown tired of his tales of his romantic conquests, and find the man to be tiresome. On the other hand, unlike some of the others on the island, he has shown a willingness to take risks and perform actions in service to the good of all, he is competent with a bow, and he does seem to have some useful knowledge.
The same cannot be said for Gelik Aberwhinge. This troublesome gnome fancies himself an entertainer (more on that later) but has shown a mean streak in his manner of speech. He has not proven himself to be particularly helpful in our present circumstances, and while duty demands that I protect him as I would any of the other castaways, I will confess that I would not shed tears over his demise.
I want to know more about the woman who identifies herself as Helena Striker. She is tall – close in stature to my own height, and of a not dissimilar build. However, she seems to regard herself as a holy woman, dedicated to the god Pharasma. I am not overly familiar with the religious practices of the Lady of Graves, having focused my religious instruction – such as it was – on the principles of Cayden. However, in addition to her skill as a warrior, she also seems to possess significant healing magics. That said, she does not perform the rites of the priesthood, leading me to believe that she must be one of those touched by the gods to be an oracle.
I have little opinion on the man named Ishirou. He seems unkempt and undisciplined, unhelpful to the survival of the group, and overall to be little more use than Gelik.
You would not approve of me consorting with criminals, but then you have approved of little that I have done over these past twenty-seven years. And so I feel no shame in my feelings towards Jask Derindi, a man who came aboard the Jenivere as a prisoner, bound for Sargava. This Garundi man has held himself with honor and composure, and I feel no guilt over the fact that we freed him and returned to him his possessions which were found on board the wreckage of the Jenivere. Helena mentioned that Jask is a priest in service to Nethys. Perhaps he would be able to help me continue to decipher the spellbook that you took off my Sire the night that he fled?
As long as we are on the uncomfortable subject of elves, we should discuss Maesae. Another woman of half-elven decent (strange that there should be three of them among the survivors), this short woman seems to have Tian ancestry. She wields both a katana and a “pistol.” Her skill with the katana is nothing to speak of, although I note that she wields it in a single hand. With my limited experience with that weapon, it is most often used in a two-handed fashion – and therefore incompatible with the graceful art of Rondelero. Perhaps she would be more effective if she would hold it that way? Of course, that would prevent her from using her “pistol.” The weapon seems effective enough, although it is unmistakably loud. She’s helpful and friendly, willing to put herself into danger, so much like Aerys, I will try not to hold her half-eleven status against her.
Finally, there is Sasha. This red-headed woman is impulsive and has somehow found herself to be missing a portion of one of her fingers. She also bears the mark of the Red Mantis between her shoulder-blades, a fact that was unknown to me while aboard the ship, but was revealed after we awoke on the shore. I do not know much about the order, but I know better than to speak to her about it. She bears cautious watching, but she would likely be of use in a battle.
It is worth noting that there was one additional passenger aboard the ship – a Varisian woman named Ieana. Rumor had it that she might be the true owner of the Jenivere, or perhaps was simply Captain Kovac’s secret lover. There were no signs of her, or any of her belongings, on the shore.
As previously mentioned, four of us (Alaric, Helena, Maesae and myself) awoke while we were being attacked by the eurypterids. The others did not awaken until after the battle. Upon comparing experiences, we discovered that we had all likely been drugged during the feast, yet we had each been ferried to the island by… someone? (Later evidence suggested it was Alton Devers, the mate aboard the Jenivere). Similarly, most of our personal possessions and some basic survival gear had been placed upon the beach. The supplies were most welcome, but we quickly realized that we needed more. We were able to see the wreckage of the Jenivere not far from the beach where we had landed, and so the four of us who had originally awoken made way to examine the wreck.
Aboard the wreckage of the Jenivere, we did in fact find a significant amount of additional supplies, although to my dismay I discovered that my personal belongings that were not already in my backpack were lost to the sea. This is not overly concerning in terms of our survival, but does leave me feeling adrift. I have kept a sturdy grip on your blade and buckler, but within the chest was the dress and jewelry you provided for my ill-fated wedding day. Yes, the wedding never occurred, and I fled, but I kept those reminders. They were gifts from you, after all. Yet now they, along with the book chronicling our family’s history, lie at the bottom of the inner sea.
However, this journal is no place for sentimentality, so allow me to continue. The other things that we discovered aboard the Jenivere are significantly more troubling, and need to be documented. First, there was the body of First Mate Alton Devers. He had fallen prey in part to the sting of another one of the eurypterids, but had also been stabbed several times by a rapier. We dispatched the creature that had killed the man – I always respected him as a ship’s officer, and it did me good to know that it was at end of my blade that the eurypterid fell, but we are still unsure about who stabbed Devers.
More troubling was the body of the cook. Not only was he dead, but he seemed to have been dead for several days. This, of course, is in defiance of the fact that the cook himself served us during our final meal on the ship. Even more curious, the cook seemed to have been killed by the venomous bite of a serpent – but a man-sized serpent. There are now some suspicions that among our number there is a viper – perhaps literally.
We returned with the supplies and set up a base camp. Upon examination of the maps and charts found in Captain Kovac’s wrecked cabin, we have determined that we are on an island known as Smuggler’s Shiv. This was further borne out by my examination of the Captain’s Log. Kovacs was a troubled man. His early entries in the log are mundane and simple recordings of the ship’s progress, but as time goes on, his recordings become less regular, and start focusing less on the duties of the ship’s captain, and instead are focused on the passengers. More precisely, they are focused on Ieana. The log details the Captain’s growing interest in her, including several love poems that I would be embarrassed to transcribe here. The entries continue to get more harried and irregular, and in them the Captain discusses mistrusting members of the crew, especially Devers, and their attempts to romantically entwine themselves with “his” Ieana. Just as disturbing, it seems that the Captain made the choice to head for Smuggler’s Shiv so he and Ieana could start a new life together. How this, the poisoning of the crew and passengers, our safe transport onto the shore, and what Devers’ role in all this exactly tie together is still to be determined, but we are beginning to get a picture of it all.
One last note before I turn my attention back to my Sire’s spellbook for the night. I feel that I have gotten close to being able to decipher its pages. The dabblings in magic I had undertaken back home may have finally paid off. Before we set up the watch for the night, we were found by one additional member of the crew. A hobgoblin known as Drogar, who I had thought to have perished from his fall out of the crow’s nest, seems to also have washed ashore, and the sounds of Maesae’s hand-cannon drew him to us. It is good that I am not the only one of the ship’s crew to survive (although we cannot discount the possibility that Ieana and Captain Kovacs are somewhere on the island). I am uncomfortable finding myself thrust into the position where I am largely leading the survivors as we attempt to survive. I would prefer to step aside and let others make the decisions, however until someone else steps up, I was taught to take decisive action when I saw what needed to be done. In the absence of someone else to give orders, what else is the daughter of Lord Petrianus Trias to do?
Warped Savant wrote:
My players had a 25 point buy, anything in an actual Paizo published book permitted. We ended up with a Tiefling Occultist, a Half-Elf Hunter, a Half-Elf Paladin, and a Gnome Rogue (not-Unchained) who is about to multi-class into Wizard with the goal of becoming an Arcane Trickster.
We haven't adjusted any of the encounter difficulties yet, and so far they've had plenty of challenge with the encounters as written.
Urath DM wrote:
Regarding the Tieflings, the Paladin may harbor some in-character bigotry about them, but Tieflings are no more inherently Evil than Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Halflings, etc. are... or than Aasimars are automatically Good.
In fact, if the PCs are stuck on the idea that being a Tiefling automatically makes one Evil, and that being an Aasimar automatically makes one good, they're going to be in for some rude surprises very soon.
I just started listening to (on the recommendation of FIND THE PATH), THE HIDEOUS LAUGHTER Podcast, who are working on Carrion Crown.
I'm only two episodes in, but I've been enjoying it a great deal so far.
Bonus for me is that they're located in my hometown, so I might run into them someday at one of the local game stores.
I definitely appreciate the warning. The player has actually opted for an Occultist over a Psychic, and I've given her ample warning that she shouldn't expect to be mind-controlling and charming her way through fights. So far, she's taken Conjuration and Divination as her two Implement Schools, with the plan to move to Abjuration and Evocation next - so she's well prepared for that.
They don't have a lot that will prepare them for swarms yet - I'm hoping that the Summon Swarm trap will be a good wake-up call for them there.
I don't have too much experience with Psychics but you'll fight a lot of Undead which tend to be either mindless or resistant to mental effects. Along with a few constructs. So he might be getting the short end of the stick.
I've made sure to stress this to her, and she plans to take the Will of the Dead Pherenic amplification (which allows her mind-affecting powers to affect undead) and also to have a good focus on telekinetic abilities that aren't mind-affecting. But I appreciate the warning.
I'm about to start a new group through the Mummy's Mask AP, and they're working on building their characters.
I have three out of four players who have their character ideas pretty well flushed out:
1) An Aasimir Psychic who is a native of Wati.
And my fourth player currently has no firm ideas.
Any ideas of weaknesses that the team could use shoring up in for me to direct her? We've got a pretty decent broad-based of magic (at least if properly buttressed through scrolls and wands) between the Psychic, the Hunter (who can use a lot of the more common Divine magic through items) and once she starts getting there, the Arcane Trickster.
The main thing I can see as a weakness is a meat shield/fighter type.
Any advice from people who have gone through the AP?
From my observations of my daughter over the years, I'd say that GM Rendal's write-up seems pretty inline with her behavior.
She's currently in my RotR campaign as a Wizard/Swashbuckler/Eldritch Knight, and wants her character to have Autism just like she does. I may propose that racial trait to her.
So, what I've been doing is a little different. Especially because a lot of the maps floating around - as awesome as they are - don't have a battle grid on them.
So, what I do is set up an Excel file with 1" columns and 1" rows, and turn all gridlines on.
Then I import the image of the battle map. This is easy if you have an older version of Excel, because you can directly manipulate the image. If you have a more recent version of Excel, you need to draw a shape, then use the image of the battle map as the fill of the shape.
Then it's just a matter of stretching it out and (in my case) setting the transparency to about 30% so the gridlines show through.
The nice thing about doing this in Excel is that when I print it (I don't have access to a large-format printer), it automatically cuts the image into tiles, and the gridlines make it relatively easy to line the pieces up.
Ignoring mechanics for flavor is nice and all if you don't care about them. We do. We also care about the flavor of a kid being weaker physically than an adult. All we're asking is ideas for balancing the penalties somehow, preferably in a way that makes sense for a kid.
Well, you're starting off with a total of -6 to ability scores. That's a huge thing to balance. If you're not willing to handwave the ability scores, then yeah, clearly younger characters have a massive disadvantage. As written? There isn't really much that can offset that.
Do you use Hero Points? Maybe young characters earn Hero Points faster. That was the balancing mechanic used in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG to balance Heroes and White Hats. I'd suggest that if adults start with one HP, kids start with 3. That would help.
Another option could simply be XP. Kids are sponges - they learn FAST. As adults, we don't learn as quickly. So, maybe the kid characters earn XP at 2x or even 3x as quickly as the adults?
I'm very much in agreement with Val'bryn2. In my Rise of the Runelords game, my daughter wanted to play a spellcaster who was also adept with a sword.
Our party already has a Magus, so I wanted to steer her towards something other than that. When I mentioned the Eldritch Knight Prestige class, her eyes lit up and she said "That. That's what I want."
Our party is currently Level 6, so her character is a Swashbuckler 1/Wizard 5. But she doesn't tell people that. "I'm a squire to Ser Allistair Smythe, and an apprentice to Hoblien the Revered. I'm an Eldritch Knight in training."
Once she hits level 7, she plans to jump into Eldritch Knight and never look back, meaning she'll be a Swashbuckler 1/Wizard 5/Eldritch Knight 1.
On paper, that looks like two dips. But it absolutely isn't. And in some ways, she's more restricted than she would be as either a Wizard 7 (she'd have 4th level spells!) or a Swashbuckler 7. But it absolutely fits her character concept.
All of which is a long way to say "Dipping isn't always about power gaming. Sometimes it's the only way to build a concept." And the good folks at Paizo wouldn't have made multi-classing easier than it was in 3.5 if being able to multi-class wasn't intended.
I think part of it is going to depend on how you play it.
If the invading force is invading - not fleeing, not asking for help, but coming in to the new space weapons drawn and killing people and taking their stuff - then the fact that they're refugees is kind of incidental.
Their motivation becomes understandable, but they're still wrong, and while the adventurers may decide to go back to the homeland to stop the greater evil, the adventurers shouldn't feel bad about killing them.
Now, if you want the PCs to attack them and then find out they're refugees without them attacking first? Then you definitely need to tread lightly. Perhaps the PCs hear rumors that there is an Orc horde massing, and they decide to go stop them before they get to the town/city the PCs are defending. In which case, assuming the PCs do any sort of scouting at all, make sure to stress how much the "invading" force doesn't seem to be invading.
Call out the fact that they seem downtrodden. Call out that they have children with them. Make a point that there may be some of them openly carrying weaponry, but some of them are not. Emphasize that they aren't beating war drums or chanting, with eagerness for the fight and bloodlust in their eyes, but that they are plodding, talking in low voices if at all, eyes cast down.
If the PCs attack the second type of group, they deserve the guilt for slaughtering refugees. But if you start them off with the invading force hungry for blood, and then try to say "Well, they were refugees," expect the PCs to be unsympathetic.
Talek & Luna wrote:
The Pathfinder Paladin is NOT a warrior with Judeo-Christian values. The Pathfinder Paladin is a Lawful Good warrior who follows a code written in the book and (in PFS or in 2e) follows one of the deities in their campaign setting.
For most of the people playing, that isn't a setting that includes an Abrhamic deity.
Seelah is a Paladin of Iomedae. She isn't a Christian warrior.
A very good example of a high charisma charachter absolutely not being the leader would be Elan, from Order of The Stick. Hes far more charismatic then Roy, by a mile. (Id estimate 3-5 points) but hes not the leader because despite being able to inspire people...he wouldnt know what to do with followers if he had them. Also he doesnt want the responsibility.
Or from pop culture, look at the bridge crew of the Enterprise-D from ST:TNG.
Picard is a charismatic guy, but is he more charismatic than Riker? Or than Troi? I don't think so, but he is unquestionably the leader.
A high charisma does not always make you a leader. It can, absolutely, but it doesn't have to. A high charisma just means you have a strong force of personality, which may or may not manifest in terms of being likable.
A common trope in stories is dragons who shapeshift to appear human for large periods of time to disguise themselves and move among humans.
On on Earth do you manage this in Pathfinder? Unless I'm missing something, Dragons can polymorph self 3/day, and at a caster level of 16, that lets them do it for 16 minutes.
48 minutes is not long enough to pull off a long term deception.
A few other things:
1) Start at Level 1. Yeah, this is the weakest part in an adventurer's career. Yeah, even a fight with a handful of goblins can be a problem. But it's also the easiest time to learn - both for you as the GM, and for your players.
2) The Beginner's Box has a really lovely introductory adventure. It's not too complicated, it's written to walk you through everything, it includes great examples of traps, encounters that require saving throws, skill checks, places where diplomacy can be the better choice than combat, and even ends with a dragon fight. I highly encourage you to start with that. But there are plenty of other great Level 1 modules that can get you going too. "Crypt of the Everflame" is a nice one off the top of my head.
3) Accept that you will make mistakes. Don't let the fear of making mistakes stop you from jumping in and trying. I don't know a single GM who has never made the wrong call - either in terms of rules or just a story decision. But if you keep going, you'll keep having fun. And as long as your players are reasonable, you can always mea culpa and say "Whoops, remember back in Session 1 when you fought that wraith and he got an attack of opportunity against the cleric trying to touch attack him with cure light wounds? I goofed. He shouldn't have gotten that because she counted as being armed. My bad. We won't do that in the future."
Usually mistakes average out in terms of being for or against the party, so as long as you're not afraid to admit your mistakes, your players will understand.
Oh, absolutely. If I wanted her to return, I could justify it.
I don't. The party killed her - they don't get the benefit of having her whittle down her killer. My sadness about her death isn't enough to want to give them her aid in the future. :)
And I completely agree about the fact that they could have been in real trouble for splitting up that much. Fortunately for them, they had been pretty thorough in clearing out three of those four floors. They did run into some trouble in the basement for blindly charging after the revenant with all of the different movement speeds and states of readiness that the party had.
The party druid did get knocked to -6 HP by the Revenant. And the halfling who was left behind was left behind with no light sources.
I can't remember if the PF version of that monster rejuvenates just like the original (A)D&D version does. If it does rejuvenate, then she'll be back in 24 hours ... possibly with an axe to grind with the party (but not as much as she has with her dear old hubby).
Alas, the Pathfinder version does not rejuvenate (at least not in the standard version of it listed in the Bestiary).
I don't have a problem with them putting her to rest. If anything, it just means that things will be harder for them when they come up against her target. I was a little sad that I didn't get to have her mess them up more once they kept getting in her way and she finally decided "Fine, I'll kill you first."
The crazy part for me was more having the party split across four different battle maps.
This past weekend, my party was on session two of their exploration of the Misgivings. They decided to explore up before going down.
They got face to face with Iesha, crying into her mirror, wherein the overzealous Magus decided she would immediately cast Disrupt Undead on the Revenant, breaking her from her self-revulsion.
This was followed up by two different party members trying to talk Iesha down, since by this point they were quite sympathetic to her from what they had seen in the haunts. A natural 2 and a natural 3 later, and Iesha was attacking the entire party. But she still wanted to get to Aldern more than to fight the adventurers, so she let out her baleful shriek to try to get them cowering so she could move past. More than half the party failed to save against fear, including all of those directly blocking her way, so she began to make her way down the stairs.
A chase ensued, during which they followed their target down from the attic, down the second floor, down the first floor, and into the basement (which they had not yet explored).
Between the different things delaying them, and the fact that one of those who had been delayed was the Halfling with a move of 20', I had four different combat maps spread across my dining room table during the session before they all caught up together in the basement.
Sadly, two well-placed blows from an Undead Bane Great-Axe in the hands of the party Brawler, and then a natural 20 on the shot from the party Gunslinger meant that, even with Iesha's hefty amount of HP and damage reduction, she died the True Death only feet away from the catacombs where she could reunite with her murderous husband/
I like the Verminous Hunter archetype. I'll swing that by her - as well as the Eidolon idea.
She's not too committed to any part of it other than "giant spider mount for a small creature," so having more varied options is a good thing. She's currently playing a Catfolk druid with a lion animal companion, which is why I've tried to avoid that particular option.
The Summoner or the Hunter are both pretty different from what she's been doing though, so she might dig either one.
Oh, please understand that I want her to be able to ride Lucas. I'm just trying to figure out the best way within the rules to let her do that and have fun.
I have absolutely no problem just letting her play a small Cavalier
I'm just trying to figure out if there's a better way to let her get the experience she wants (small creature riding the giant spider) than that.
My daughter is looking at creating a back-up character for our RotR game, and somehow got into her head the idea that she wants to play a small-sized creature who rides a giant spider.
Preferably a hairy spider that she can boost the Charisma of and name Lucas.
Any suggestions for the best way for her to do this? As a back-up character, she'd be brought in at sixth level and start with suggested WBL in gear and gold.
I was vaguely considering a Goblin Cavalier, but I can't see a way to give her a Giant Spider as her mount.
My two daughters started playing TTRPGs when they were 7 and 10. My now eleven-year old younger daughter has been to GenCon with me twice, is a member of the PFS, and both daughters (the eldest is now 13) are a part of my monthly Rise of the Runelords campaign.
If I end up playing the Playtest, they will absolutely be a part of my playtest group.
We just started Rise of the Runelords a year ago. We're almost done with book two. I figure I've got at least three years left of this campaign. We're not going to switch midway through - why would we?
I have friends who I've been playing a long-running GURPS Supers game with. That campaign, all told, is over twenty years old. We're still using GURPS 3e. And have no intention of switching.
Your books are still your books. You and your friends can still play whatever version of the game you want to play.
So, to be fair, the exact question was
Who remembers the story about the completely normal average guy with the team of superheroes who never got better or stronger or developed any powers that eventually allowed them to contribute equally? Yeah...no.
And there were several distinct examples of that provided. Whether you remember them or not isn't the question, there are lots of people who do.
But that's not the same thing as the question of "Can that everyman character compete in a TTRPG on equal footing with more capable heroes?"
And the short answer is that in Pathfinder, as written, no, they cannot. There are other RPGs that do provide those kinds of characters ways that they are extremely valuable to the table (the previously mentioned "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" RPG had several very cool mechanics that could only be used by the "White Hat" players, which gave a reason why you wanted some of them at the table and not just "Heroes,") but Pathfinder does not.
And so, yeah, if everyone else is trying to create mechanically competitive characters and one person brings the 11 Intelligence Wizard to the table, then as a GM, it is very reasonable to pull that person aside and ask what their plan is, and how they can make sure that they're contributing equally to the party.
Or if everyone is trying to make those sub-optimal characters to see how well they can do as a party, then you're fine.
But that wasn't the question I was responding to. I was only answering the question of "Who remembers the story of the Joe nobody who hangs out with heroes?" And I provided an answer, which is that lots of people do.
I guess it all depends what you want from having the Gold Dragon arrive to assist.
Do you want a cut scene? Then do that. Have the two dragons fly up to where the party can't really affect them and describe the fight. (Do not sit and roll dice for it if you're going to do it that way.)
Do you want the fight to play out but with the Gold Dragon substantially altering the balance of power? Then do it that way. Note that the Gold Dragon doesn't have to be as powerful as the Adult Gold Dragon printed in the Bestiary. Lower HD, have the dragon be affected by a curse, or heck, just make the Gold Dragon's dice rolls be lower than they should be (works better if you roll behind a screen.) Or does it even have to be an Adult Gold Dragon?
You have plenty of options, it all just really depends on what you want to have happen.
Who remembers the story about the completely normal average guy with the team of superheroes who never got better or stronger or developed any powers that eventually allowed them to contribute equally? Yeah...no.
You mean Johnny Thunder or Snapper Carr or Jimmy Olsen or Rick Jones? (Or in cartoons, Snarf in Thundercats?) Yeah, who remembers that guy?
So you're calling fighting a desperate battle without a weapon or falling "not a GOTCHA"?
If you set it up so that there is no other option? Sure, it's a Gotcha. That wasn't what I described. I described a scene where the flow of battle had gone such that the Paladin's weapon had been sundered (a not wholly untypical tactic in many printed modules/APs), the other allies had been downed and, at that moment, the closest available weapon was envenomed.
The Paladin has lots of options. Unarmed combat (with Smite Evil). Take the actions to go to another downed ally who is further away to get a different weapon. Or to pick up the envenomed weapons *knowing* the consequences.
You mean, GMs working with their players? GMs who make the assumption that the character knows the basics of their profession and not penalizing the player for having gaps in that knowledge?
That's crazy talk!
In all seriousness, so much this. And this is why I don't understand the "Paladin falls" threads. Because a Paladin falling shouldn't ever be a matter of the GM tricking the PC. A Paladin falling should be a matter of player choice. And if the player doesn't know the class well enough, that's when the GM should step in and gently remind them "Hey, you do realize that what you're about to do is against your code. You can still do it, of course, but it goes against what you've been training for your entire lifetime."
I love those kind of role-playing-based strictures and codes and seeing players forced to make decisions based around them. But I want to see GMs and PCs working together to make interesting stories about those decisions. Not tricking the PC. "Oh, you grabbed a weapon and you didn't know it was poisoned. You fall," but "Sir Galavrin, you find yourself in a desperate position. Your sword has been shattered by your foe. Your companions lay around you, fallen and perhaps dying. Within reach is the envenomed blade of your traveling companion, an assassin by trade. Picking it up and using it may be your best chance to strike down this Ogre who you have been tracking. But you know, deep in your heart, that using a weapon that has been poisoned is against everything Iomedae stands for. You have to make a choice. What do you do?"
That's not a trick. That's not a gotcha. That's the way the tide of the battle has turned, and has put the PC in a tough position. It's an interesting moment. But the GM have to make sure that the player understands the possible ramifications of the different choices.
Its kind of incredible really to think that if you went in pushing for the opposite of what you thought you would be more likely to sway people to your side
My friends and I have a phrase that I think applies. "People who I wish didn't agree with me." The times where you see someone who you know is so caustic in their arguments that you really wish they didn't take your side in a disagreement.
Not the first time it's been proposed, and while I'm all in favor of it (having grown used to it from Mutants & Masterminds, which ditched ability scores with their third edition), it's a bit of a sacred cow, and one that the folks from Paizo have already said that they aren't interested in killing.