Wax Golem

Aubrey the Malformed's page

Organized Play Member. 9,725 posts (29,092 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters. 18 aliases.


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Delmar:

Spoiler:
The sound of the pounding waves is in Delmar's ears as he drifts through fugue-like dreams of darkness and cold. A bitter chill has sunk into his body and he shivers convulsively. Something grabs his shoulders and arms. He coughs and realises that actually he isn't dreaming. Somehow he has made it to the shore.

He is lying flat on his back and he can feel a bed of shifting pebbles through the wet fabric of his coat. Someone or something lifts him, his trailing feet rattling the shingle as he is dragged up a slope. He hears voices speaking in an unfamiliar language. Then a voice speaks clearly, though with a strong accent, in the Common Tongue of the Empire. "Do not worry, stranger. You belong to the Goddess now." A heavy blow to the side of the head plunges Delmar back into unconsciousness.

Still not dead yet, though...

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Suddenly your shoes EXPLODE!

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

I forgot about that - I'm getting predictable. I'll have to choose some other mode of transport next time. Though I have done an airship crash before as well...


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therealthom wrote:
Do we want a team meeting a few days before embarking? And do we want to do that IC or OOC?

What are you, adventurers or project managers? Next thing, you'll be using Agile methodology.


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A tentacle emerges from the waves and plucks Blythe from the deck, dragging her to a water doom. If only she had waited to have dinner with the captain the night before, she wouldn't have been on deck feeling peckish.

"Kraken's early today," remarks one of the crew.

Cedric shrugs and eats the bread. It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good, he concludes.


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The gold-painted figurehead is almost obscured by foam as the prow of the warship is heaved upwards upon a crashing wave. The sky churns with dark clouds and the wind drives spray and snow across the deck. On either side rise the sheer grey walls of the fjord, and the sea is choked with ice floes, shattered timbers and the floating corpses of sailors. Two more ships, murky silhouettes in the storm, list heavily as they founder. Icicles hang from their masts and rigging, decks awash as they succumb to the mountainous waters.

The dragon fills the sky, ivory wings spread wide, dwarfing the surviving fighting ship beneath it. Its head bears a crown of slender horns, a thin membrane pocked with holes and tears stretched between them. For a face it has a brutal scarred muzzle filled with irregular fangs, white spattered with the crimson blood of men. Sunken eyes glitter with malice. Despite its enormous size it twists its pale body sinuously as it turns in the air to make a final pass, tail slicing like a whip. The crew of the ship cower, awaiting their doom.

All except one. On the fo’c’sle is one man, by the gold braid on the shoulders of his navy greatcoat a senior officer. His dark hair is plastered to his forehead but his face is calm and his gaze intent as he crouches by a ballista, aiming upwards at the looming beast, hand on the lever ready to loose the bolt as he waits for it to draw closer...

The painting is certainly impressive in its way, its huge size giving it an epic sweep, even if it provides a somewhat idealised and heroic vision of battle. It dominates the wall above the fireplace in the drawing room of Lord Elveden’s townhouse. Here the group has gathered, summoned by his missive and the promise of gainful employment, and now waiting for their host to arrive.

Knowledge (Nobility), DC 10:

Spoiler:
Lord Elveden is one of the richest men in the Empire, descended from one of the old families but also with close connections to the Church.

If you got 15 or more on your Knowledge (Nobility) check:

Spoiler:
Lord Elveden generally has a reputation for fair but shrewd dealing. He is a widower, with a son and a daughter who are both coming of age. He gives generously to many charitable endeavours.

Knowledge (History), DC 10:

Spoiler:
This is a well-known painting, popularly known as “The Battle of Skull Beach”. It depicts the battle when an Imperial flotilla slew a dragon to annex the Isles of Allam to the Empire.

If you got 15 or more on your Knowledge (History) check:

Spoiler:
The correct title of the painting is “Bishop-Commodore Elveden defeats the dragon Injarjok at the Battle of Skull Beach”. The battle took place about fifty years ago, when the flotilla led by Commodore Elveden killed the dragon and annexed the Isles to the Empire. The painting was commissioned by the Church to commemorate the victory and serve as a moral lesson to the followers of the Diktats. This is probably a copy since the original would be in a military cathedral.

If you got 20 or more on your Knowledge (History) check:

Spoiler:
Commodore Elveden’s expedition was largely tasked with slaying Injarjok. The dragon was an occasional menace to shipping in the Northern Ocean and increasing Imperial presence in the north led ultimately to the conflict. The task force was equipped with powerful ballistae and dragon-slaying harpoons but, nonetheless, the battle was in many ways a disaster. The sheer power of the dragon had been woefully underestimated by the Admiralty and all but two of the seven ships in the flotilla were destroyed. However, Elveden himself managed to slay the dragon with an enchanted ballista bolt and then claim the Isles for the Empire, securing for himself a place in the pantheon of Imperial heroes.

The battle is named after Skull Beach, the strand beneath the cliffside cave where Injarjok made his lair. The dragon made a habit of a twisted form of trophy-taking, devouring the bodies of sacrifices and other unfortunate victims and tossing their more-or-less intact heads from his lair down on to the beach. After the many years of the dragon’s occupation, a massive pile of skulls had built up above the high tide line. The Inotian sailors named the area Skull Beach when they finally landed after defeating the beast. Stories tell of how they had to wade knee-deep through the skulls before they could climb the cliff and loot the dragon hoard.

Bishop-Commodore Elveden was the current Lord Elveden’s grandfather. He died several decades ago and is buried in the Hall of Heroes.

Also, if you got 10 or more on your Knowledge (History) check, you may try a Knowledge (Geography) check, DC 10:

Spoiler:
The Isles of Allam are an archipelago of islands in the Northern Ocean, and are the most northerly of the territories of the Inotian Empire. The capital is Port Elveden.

If you got 15 or more on your Knowledge (Geography) check:

Spoiler:
The Isles are extremely mountainous with very little land for agriculture, with several of the peaks bearing snow year-round. The weather is typically severe with cool and brief summers and long, freezing, dark and stormy winters. However, they sit close to bountiful fishing grounds and, in particular, the migration routes of the great northern toothed whales. Consequently, they are a major supplier of whale oil, ambergris and other cetacean-derived products to the Empire. The Isles are also rich in mineral wealth. The Empire transports indentured prisoners to the Isles dig the mines and man the whale rendering plants.

If you got 20 or more on your Knowledge (Geography) check:

Also, if you got 10 or more on your Knowledge (History) check, you may try a Knowledge (Local) check, DC 15:

Spoiler:
The Allam Islanders have largely not accepted the ways of the Empire and instead cling to their old traditions. They are primarily fisherfolk, speaking their own language.

If you got 20 or more on your Knowledge (Local) check:

Spoiler:
The populations of the native Allam Islanders has fallen by half since the Empire annexed the islands, primarily due to epidemics. Many islanders also suffer from alcoholic intoxication, despite it being illegal to sell alcohol to a native. They have little to do with the Inotians who administer the Isles, and as are not considered suitable for working in the mines or other commercial enterprises they are largely left alone in their poverty.

Also, if you got 10 or more on your Knowledge (Local) check, you may try a Knowledge (Religion) check, DC 10:

Spoiler:
The Old Gods are strong in the Isles of Allam, with few of the natives taking up the Diktats.

If you got 15 or more on your Knowledge (Religion) check:

Spoiler:
The dragon Injarjok was worshipped by the islanders and ruled the Isles as a living god for hundreds of years until he was slain by Commodore Elveden.

If you got 20 or more on your Knowledge (Religion) check:

Spoiler:
Injarjok was considered an avatar of Siku, the islanders’ goddess of the northern sea. She is a capricious and cruel goddess of storms and darkness who was propitiated more than worshipped by the islanders. With the death of the dragon, the islanders largely turned to more benevolent local gods.

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

OK, going for two tables:

Table 1
SS's orc bloodrager (complete)
Mittean's human monk/kensai (complete)
Nevynxxx's human alchemist (complete)
natloz's gnome arcanist (complete)
therealthom's human fighter/bard
Vatnisse's human fighter

Table 2
Tenro's human alchemist
mellowgoth's human warpriest (complete)
FS's elf mutagen fighter (complete)
PR's elf shifter (mostly complete)
Aadvark's arcanist

I figured, if the parties seem too big, I can just take the gloves off and whittle them down a little bit...

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Alright, we have another late entrant - Vatnisse is joining our merry throng. This means I will have to rejig the tables and increase them to three, since as I said above this doesn't work so well if the group is very mob-handed. Did I invite too many people? But what was I to do, when I had so many great players I wanted to play with? I guess next time I will have to kill some of you before we get to this stage.

Anyway, a bit of a recap of the thread for Vatnisse's benefit. The characters are an existing group of adventurers of decent reputation, being hired by a noble for a job. The setting is homebrew, the details are here. This is a low-to-moderate magic setting, so magic is relatively rare but hardly unheard of. The intention for this is to be a bit gritty, not all magic carpets and reality warping magics. The Empire is clearly a big deal and most PC backgrounds will have to consider where they stand with respect to it. Non-humans are known but also relatively rare - most people are humans. Don't worry so much about party balance, a good spread of skills in the party is more important.

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30
Nevynxxx wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

OK, just to get the ball rolling, here's a link to a little bit of information on the setting. It's mostly broad-brush stuff to help create a character, rather than detailing the location for the adventure.

A note on the setting.

Do you mind if I wiki-fy that so we can add to it as we go?

No problem at all.

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Dear reader

Because life has rather caught up with me after eleven or so years, I can no longer sustain my games here on Paizo. So this game (and the others) will henceforth be closed.

However, in case you are wondering what actually I had in mind, I will provide a brief synopsis of what might have happened if the campaign had progressed. It will get vaguer as things go on, as the details haven’t been worked out in advance, only the overall themes. So…

Our heroes are currently battling in Newthrone to find Trinkis, the pilot for the Crimson Eagle, as the population’s brains have been fried into homicidal mania by an overloaded Inspired monolith. However, assuming they overcame their adversaries (possibly including Helkashtai lurking by the monolith) and got Trinkis back, they could leave Newthrone and head on to Port Regal. There they would be able to pick up a chart, possibly paying for it with a favour, that would let them navigate their way to Sarlona. This would be a cross-polar trip, with possible attacks, unpleasant weather, and awesome views, to the northernmost tip of Sarlona. There they would re-provision and consider the trip southwards to Adar at the opposite end of Sarlona. Quite how that would pan out would depend on which way they decided to go – I had nothing planned other than a very vague notion of travels through hostile territory while being hunted by Inspired deaths squads. This section would probably have been quite lengthy, even if I pass over it here in a paragraph.

Assuming they reached Adar, by hook or by crook, they would be taken to one of the monastery-fortresses to consult with the kalashtar elders. The dragonshard fragments the PCs hold contain the fragmented mind of Goshasanan, the lost prophet of the quori who joined with the Adarans to become the kalashtar. But in order to find out what he may know, he needs to be freed. Because his mind is mixed up with several others, it needs to extracted separated and then put back together. The kalashtar elders have a way of doing this via the Sensorium, a demi-plane/mental projection construct, accessed via psionic ritual, into which the various personality fragments can be placed, filtered and sorted (I had something a bit like the Matrix from Dr Who in mind). However, it requires minds to enter the Sensorium, where thought is made real, to carry this out. This would be the PCs, who would encounter both the fragments of Goshasanan and those of the other personalities mixed in there – an angel and a rakshasa (it was these three personalities which were imprinted on the three warforged – Faith, Darkheart and 773 – in the original Project Prosper experiments). They would need to defeat the rakshasa and free the angel and Goshasanan. Goshasanan would then be able to meld with a willing Adaran volunteer outside the Sensorium and finish the journey he started thousands of years previously.

Once freed and reassembled, Goshasanan would be able to impart the knowledge he has held. Dal Quor goes through various cataclysmic changes every few thousand years which destroys and completely reforms its inhabitants. The quori are keen to avoid this fate and have been planning an invasion of the Material Plane for thousands of years so they can escape. These plans are now well advanced and would be very hard to stop at this point. However, Goshasanan has discovered a way to trigger the cataclysm early. This would require the PCs to enter Dal Quor and slay the Dreaming Dark. But how to reach Dal Quor, which is supposedly cut off from the Material Plane so that planar travel is impossible? However, the kalashtar and the quori first manifested in Sarlona for a reason…

Mount Korrandar is the tallest mountain in Adar (and possibly the whole of Eberron) perpetually shrouded in a magical storm and guarded by blue dragons who repel all attempts to reach the summit, and marks the site of imprisonment of a rakshasa raja. This raja slumbers and dreams, and the power of its dreaming mind acts as a conduit to Dal Quor. Hence the mountain conceals a portal, via the rajas dreams, to Dal Quor. Of course, to use the portal means that, first, the mountain must be climbed – no small matter given the storm. Then, the guardians must be evaded – blue dragons (plural) and their lightning elemental servitors that attack from the cover of the rain, snow and gales. Then, finally, the summit is reached and they find the portal.

On entering the PCs find a sort of antechamber, a reproduction of the Cloud Citadel restaurant plucked from their minds, where they find a facsimile of Karile d’Cannith eating from an empty plate. This is the final guardian, a blue dragon spirit bound to the portal, who explains that to enter Dal Quor they will need to enter the twisted mind of sleeping raja and traverse that semi-real landscape before they reach Dal Quor. If they are willing and understand the risks, they are simply permitted to enter. The mind of the rakshasa conjures a hideous version of Sharn, filled with traps and monsters and lit by a perpetual blood-red sunset. Eventually they would face the avatar of the raja itself, a hideous child filled with malice. Defeating it unblocks the route onwards to Dal Quor.

Here things get really sketchy, as I hadn’t thought this bit through in any real detail. However, I had in mind the PC recruiting an army from the dreaming minds of the Material Plane, perhaps including NPCs and PC from the earlier parts of the campaign. It probably would have included a final reckoning of some sort with Fourgri, their quori nemesis. This army would clash with quori armies, driving towards the centre of Dal Quor and the final confrontation with the Dreaming Dark, a creature/thing of vast size and evil. Its defeat (hopefully) would cause the turning of the cycle of Dal Quor and the destruction and renewal of the plane.

One last thing – would the PCs be able to get out of Dal Quor before its destruction of would their heroism save Eberron while at the same time dooming themselves? I honestly never really decided, and would have wanted to take the temperature of the feelings from the players before making that decision. But part of me thought that everyone in Eberron dreaming the same dream, with the PCs deeds perhaps imprinted as half-remembered memories when they woke, and perhaps shaping the new Dal Quor to be a less hostile place, might be a fitting end to the campaign.


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You don't all have to think of using blinkers (or blinders) individually, I assume that you will consider telling one another. Otherwise Camlo will be ridden off a cliff and Alwyn will go, "Eh, wouldn't have done it that way myself."


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I run four games here, and now on three the parties have split, so I'm really running seven games. How do I get myself into these things?


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Alwyn needs to consider that he can Wind Walk four people, including himself - that's not the whole party, nevermind the NPCs. So trying to gather everyone around him will not be the ideal solution. Likewise, for those who have got away, going back to participate in the Wind Walk is a bit pointless unless Alwyn intends to abandon those who are not Wind Walk-ing (which might cause me some problems as DM) since you will have to travel at the speed of the slowest. So if you are gone, I suggest you stay gone. The main impediment are Ivori's and Alwyn's horses, but if they just run in the right direction they should be able to get them. I appreciate I am steering you a little but we don't want to play this out unnecessarily given that all the PCs are actually outside the fort, Wind Walk is not a solution for the whole party, and going back to the fort you have just escaped from is a bit daft.

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Hve fun - hopefully I can get the rest of the players back in the game by then!


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Oh dear...


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Mendevian spelling.


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Sol Calondor wrote:
So if Mulluq stayed up all night in vigil (in that pretty awesome post), was he in the dream? And if so did her worship tell him to put a sock in it?

It may come to that.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Jiri reloads and fires his crossbow at Electric Eye's target.

1d20 + 4 - 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 - 4 = 6 to hit, damage 1d8 ⇒ 4


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Kira touches the rod to the stone. The result is instantaneous - the stone explodes in a rush of golden light and the sound of celestial voices raised in joyful song. The impact knocks the adventurers from their feet and leaves them stunned, but even as it does so it heals their wounds and leaves them refreshed.

All damage is healed, all spells and abilities are regained as if you have had a full night's rest. 800xp each.

As they lie there, the adventurers are transfixed by visions. Many of these things they have not seen before, yet they inherently understand their import. First, they see the first wardstone being erected in the Kite in Kenabres in a ritual involving the aid of the Hand of the Inheritor, the herald of Iomedae - a golden, winged angel with a halo of small swords around his head; an event which happened soon after the Second Crusade began.

Next, they see a young man - they realise it is a 20-year-old Hulrun, erstwhile leader of Kenbres whose mortal shell they destroyed outside the Grey Garrison - leading the burning of dozens of supposed “witches” in the courtyard of the Kite before the wardstone. This happening launched the Second Crusade.

Then the balor Khorramzadeh the Storm King materialises before them, leading the brazen attack on Kenabres which started the Fourth Crusade. The Storm King manages to strike a resounding blow with his sword against the wardstone, which suffers only the tiniest of cracks as the balor’s sword shatters. Khorramzadeh is then attacked and forced to flee when the silver dragon Terendelev furiously attacks him.

Next they see Irabeth chasing a burly dwarven man, who they realise is Staunton Vhane. Both are heavily wounded, and as Staunton backs against the wardstone, smoke rises and he screams in pain. He ducks to avoid one of Irabeth’s blows, then manages to smash her knee with his hammer, dropping her to the ground. Staunton seems ready to deliver a death blow, but the sound of approaching soldiers forces him instead to back away and summon a fiendish giant wasp that he swiftly mounts and then flies away to the north, abandoning Kenabres.

Then they see a beautiful demonic woman with a long thin tail, clawed hands, and curling horns protruding from where her eyes should be and realise this is Minhago, ruler of Raliscrad in the Worldwound. She places the wardstone fragment in this room and the woman they just slew, Jeslyn, uses a wish granted by Minagho to create the cage around it before Minagho teleports away.

They then see a vision of an event they know will now never happen — a beautiful woman with bat-like wings, a horned brow and glowing red eyes, Areelu Vorlesh, the creator of the Worldwound herself - using a deep purple crystal the size of a human’s head to corrupt the fragment, causing the entire border to flash with nauseating mauve fire that devastates the border cities and transforms countless crusaders into half-fiend slaves of the Worldwound.

The visions fade and the adventurers groggily get up. Suddenly a semi-transparent image of Areelu Vorlesh appears in the room with them. Her face is suffused with anger. “This only delays your kind’s extinction. But at least I can take steps to hasten your own,” she snarls. She opens her arms wide and a rift in space suddenly tears open. Through it they can see a demonic host massing on an Abyssal plain and preparing to surge through.

But the energy from the destruction of the wardstone still infuses them and unbidden it rushes outwards towards the tear. With a crash the rift closes and the feedback rips at Vorlesh, pummelling her body and shredding her wings before her image abruptly disappears. But a group of six slime-cpovered demons have already stumbled through the gap and into the room, looking for mayhem.

A lot to take in there. Roll initiative.


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The Depths

"We have a few more items, fairly standard kit." He takes out small wooden box the size and shape of a book. He flips it open and inside are liquid-filled tablets of various colours. "We call these ampoules. They contain the distilled essence of different potions and extracts but are smaller and easier to conceal. You can pop one in your mouth and then bite down on it later, so it can take affect as and when you need it."

Basically, an ampoule is a potion. Sticking one in your mouth is a standard action which provokes an AoO, but that doesn't activate it. Activating one is an immediate action which does not provoke an AoO. You can keep a single unactivated ampoule in your mouth indefinitely (within reason) and an ampoule hidden in your mouth gives you a +20 to your Sleight of Hand checks to conceal it should you be searched. Each of you gets one box. Each contains the following:
3 x antitoxin
3 x Vanish (CL 5)
3 x Heroism (CL 5)
3 x Cure Moderate Wounds (Repair Moderate Damage for Cole) (CL 5)
1 x Tongues (CL 5)
1 x Expeditious Retreat (CL 5)
1 x Reduce Person (CL 5)
1 x Jump (CL 5)

"We also have this - it might come in handy for communications." Qadnis hands Nalverren a wand.

It's a fully charged Wand of Sending.

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30
Nalverren wrote:

owned:

250 gp masterwork chain shirt
150 gp masterwork large steel shield
750 gp two potions of Cure Serious Wounds
100 gp two oils of Magic Weapon
2000 gp Ring of Protection +1
1800 gp Reagent (from skull bombs)

No value:
Alchemist's Kit
Formula Book (no additional formulae have been purchased)
Filter Hood

sell:
+15.0 gp Shortbow
+22.5 gp Sword Cane
+12.5 gp Studded Leather
+30.0 gp Common Thieves' Tools

Total value thus far: 5050 kept + 80 sold = 5130

Purchase list: 27,870 max
300 gp Thieves' Ring
250 gp Sleeves of Many Garments
250 gp Traveler's Any-Tool
4000 gp +2 on my armor
4000 gp +2 on the shield
2500 gp Bag of Holding (Type I)
6500 gp Reagents to create Cannith Goggles (lesser)
2800 gp Infinite Scrollcase

3450 gp Reagents for Craft List

21,250 gp so far

CRAFT LIST:
1100 gp Dedicated Wright (2 days) require GM approval
1100 gp Furtive Filcher (2 days) require GM approval
1250 gp Iron Defender (2 days) require GM approval

bedtime for me, more to follow tomorrow

Posting this up for Nalverren - you've largely chosen your stuff already. It was about eighteen months ago so maybe you forgot.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

"Gah! F$&!'s sake!" Jiri grits his teeth as the blood drips down his arm, but he pulls out his crossbow and loads it.

The Exchange

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

OK, I've had a look. I haven't gone through the crunch in exhaustive detail, but that's not really my concern at this stage. Right now the party is losing Janosz, the resident machine gun, 'Healbot' Rodergo and the party's generalist wizard in the shape of Ezreal. In the frame we have a 'half-drow' kalashtar telepath, a kalashtar monk, and a warforged inquisitor/artificer

The kalashtar have relatively straightforward motivations and potential entrances to the campaign - all kalashtar hate the Dreaming Dark, have been fighting it for millennia, and since the party are well known to the kalashtar hierarchy can be introduced that way. It's not mind-bogglingly subtle, but it works. Mintash has the most straightforward backstory, having been born in Adar and currently living in Khorvaire. Vaisyrharath has a Xendrik angle and his backstory is a bit more exotic, but is otherwise similar. Both could contribute usefully to the party.

Pierce feels a bit like a missed opportunity - it seemed a bit of a no-brainer to consider a warforged character as the party are currently in a fortress full of warforged, all worshippers of a Lawful Good crusading deity, which would otherwise seem an ideal way to introduce and motivate a warforged character. However, Pierce isn't there but in Sharn. He's been to Sarlona and tangled with the Dreaming Dark, but his reason for getting involved with the party doesn't connect to that but instead to Gelb (who has, for the avoidance of doubt, had his brains eaten). There are a series of references to NPCs that are unconnected to the story (except Jendry). His motivation to deal with the Dreaming Dark doesn't seem all that strong either. Ordinarily I'd simply work on the backstory with you, but this is more of a beauty contest.

That said, we've had three PCs drop out and we have had three suggested replacements. It makes my life a bit easier if we keep numbers similar, since I can keep my plans for encounters the same (ahahahahaha! oh, such lovely encounters... ahem). The two kalashtar PCs don't need any work and can be introduced more or less as described in their backstories. I think Pierce needs a bit of work to iron out the various bits and pieces of which I am not fond and to bring him closer to the plot and improve his motivations, but other than that he is a worthwhile character.

So, everyone's a winner - isn't that great?


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We'll assume you spend a day or two recovering (not that you can heal naturally in the Mournlands) and divvying up the loot.

In the aftermath of the rout, the items left behind by the fleeing army are gathered up and distributed. Darkheart's forces left considerable booty behind and use it to bolster their position. But they remain beleaguered.

Rodergo, Lightbringer, Janosz and Ezreal approach the others.

"We have been considering the situation here," says Lightbringer. "I understand the urgency of the quest to defeat the Dreaming Dark, but I fear this cannot be mine any longer. My calling is to remain here to advise Bludgeon and bring this army to the Silver Flame This is a battle for the soul of the warforged race - my race - against the evil of the Lord of Blades, and I cannot put that aside. And our situation here is still so precarious that I could not in conscience leave them now."

Rodergo nods. "In the end, my first calling has to be to the Silver Flame and those who follow it. Without support, these brave warforged will in the end fall to the Lord of Blades. His forces are simply more numerous. So I have agreed to lead an embassy to Thrane on behalf of Bludgeon and Lightbringer, to rally forces to support their position here. I don't know if my intervention will help - I don't think I'm flavour of the month with the cardinals - but perhaps my notoriety will help publicise the cause."

"Dolurrh," growls Janosz, "Perhaps even the gnome idiot and his news rag might come in handy. And I can't let Rod just walk into that snake pit alone. I might not have much in the way of diplomatic skills, but maybe I can help keep him alive."

"It won't be like that in Flamekeep," replies Rodergo testily.

"It's always like that wherever we go," counters Janosz.

"It was my dream that brought us here," says Ezreal. "This is not the end, I can feel it. I have to find out how this will end. Though I'll admit I'm surprised that I'm involved in trying to help a group of Silver Flame worshippers to survive."


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Sorry, where is the map?

"Perhaps we should check out those rooms we left behind, see if there's anything useful before we rush off and get ourselves killed?" growls Jirrik acidly.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Sorry, been distracted by other things.

Jirrik, who had been hanging around at the back, takes aim at the fleeing kobold, his darkvision allowing him to track it as it runs.

Crossbow
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19 to hit, damage 1d8 ⇒ 4

He's a little disappointed as Dev's bolt of lightning hits it first.

The Exchange

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Glasses for the win. Hope you feel better soon.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Jiri raises his crossbow, waiting for the action to start.

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Life events are the main thing which impacts on PbP playing. I think all of us have experienced this to a greater or lesser degree. But while RPGing is a great hobby, in the end we need to make a living. You have to do what's right for you, especially where there will be people relying on you.


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Yes.

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Wow, didn't realize you were suffering such travails. Stay strong.

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Not sure I mentioned Dungeon 185, so don't worry about it.

OK, Me'mori and Atsu, let's take our deliberations to the Discussion thread and say hello to the others there.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2
Dev Blake wrote:
"Never know what you'll need in a place like this, eh there Bomb-Bomb?"

"Pretty sure I don't need you wittering in my ear," growls Jiri.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Perception 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 7 + 2 = 21

"Look, the door's here," whispers Jiri, tracing the outline. "Let me see if I can get it open."

Disable Device 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18

Maybe someone can assist...?


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8 Plus another 2 if Stonecunning is relevant.

Pfft, forget about it - we may never find this door.

Jiri's assistance is more of a distraction than a help.

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The one I remember reading was The Hobbit. But as I considered it 'science-fiction' at the time (I had never heard of the term 'fantasy) I suspect I must have read other stuff before that. I also read the Narnia stuff around that time as well ('A Horse and his Boy' was my favorite of those). My older brother was into science fiction and that probably shaped my literary tastes.


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KILL THEM!

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Saw it last night.

Spoiler:
I just wonder how the First Order have come to dominate the galaxy if they are so incompetent, though. The destruction of the dreadnought at the beginning seemed quite avoidable if they'd had support ships in attendance so a lone x-wing couldn't wreak the havoc that it did. Or that it had no weapons to, like, pick off fighters, given that they would hardly have been a novel threat by that time (y'know, two deathstars blown up, for example). Or (following on from that theme) building giant ships with a single point where, if you drop a spanner in there, the whole thing blows up. I guess it was only matched by the military idiocy of the Rebellion.

But other than that, I enjoyed it. Liked the twist at the end. Liked the scenes with Luke. I liked it wasn't an entirely flagrant remake of a previous film (previous episode, I'm looking at you) and carved out some new ground. Interested to see where they go with it for the next episode.


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Illes dredges back into old Varisian folklore. He vaguely remembers a tale involving the evil ruler of a lost kingdom, a wizard whose castle was in the Mountains of Bone far to the west. The hero battles the wizard, causing his castle to fall and sink under the sea. Assuming this isn't some apocryphal tale and contains some grain of ancient truth, it suggests that these mountains probably sank under the waves as a result of Earthfall, along with a large chunk of the rest of Thassilon.

"Have considered asking Brodert Quink?" asks Father Xanthus. "He's made quite a study of ancient Thassilon."

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Hi, everyone! As a disclaimer, I'm gathering feedback for what will either be a video essay or a blog post regarding the races of Eberron, so only post here if you're okay being quoted or referenced. I will not mention names unless you specifically state you're okay with your username being used.

How do you run the races of Eberron?

Eberron, Magitek-Roaring 20s-Pulp-Political Commentary mashup that it is, contains four brand-new races of note: The Kalashtar, the Shifter, the Changeling, and the Warforged. I have a few questions regarding their usage.

Note that these questions apply to GMs and their NPCs, not just players and their PCs. Thank you very much!

1. Which of these races are frequently featured when you play Eberron? Which tend to be neglected, and why?

2. Do all of the races feel like they have a place within the setting? Which races feel best-situated, and which races feel the least at-home?

3. Are there any races you don't know what to do with?

4. Do you think all of these races would play just as well outside the setting?

5. Favorite race? Any you've never played that you wish you had?

6. Least favorite race?

7. Do any of these races primarily get used as PCs? Do any of them primarily get used as NPCs?

8. Is there any non-Eberron specific race (halfling, goblin, elf, etc) that you primarily play in Eberron, because you like its Eberron flavor the best?

9. Overall, what is your opinion on Eberron's handling of the playable races?

1. Kalashtar are a key NPC race in one of my online Eberron games. Warforged are also a significant anatognist race, as well as there being a warforged PC in the party. We also had a kalashtar PC but he was felt to be a bit weak and was replaced with a good old-fashioned dwarven cleric.

We also have a changeling PC and a fairly major antagonist NPC too. That said, they seem a bit tricky to handle in-game as PCs - it probably hard to get much out of them in a game which is combat-heavy, for example, given that their abilities are very non-combat-oriented, and what they can do will probably be ruined by the fighter in the party who cannot sneak, bluff or disguise. They may work better as NPCs. They also don't have much of a 'culture' as such, or historical role. They are just there.

The shifters hardly figure - I forget about them a bit, to be honest, as they don't have as much backstory or attention paid to them in game (I remember that the Forge of War supplement talked about elves coming out of the Eldeen Reaches to fight - elves don't live in the Eldeen Reaches, shifters do, so if WotC can't even remember about them...). That said, Eldeen might figure in something I'm working on, so shifters might have more of a role there. I've also had some very minor shifter NPCs in the past, mainly as a bit of Eberron tokenism.

2. They all have their places and seem well-integrated into the setting to me. You could probably lose the changelings and notice that the least.

3. No, they all seem fine to me. You can probably think up something to do with all of them if you tried for five minutes.

4. Yes, I think so. Warforged are probably most interesting in the setting, and the same with kalashtar, as they have some hefty setting-related baggage to go with them. the other two races have less and therefore would probably transfer more easily. But again, it doesn't require a massive feat of imagination to think up some sort of backstory for all of them in another setting.

5. Warforged.

6. Shifter or changeling. On balance, probably changeling, as they have such a specific skill-set.

7. See above.

8. I like what Eberron has done with the other races. I particularly like what it has done with the goblinids. I DM'ed a face-to-face campaign where a PC was a hobgoblin prince and that was fun, and goblinoid politics figured quite heavily. Another PC was an Aerenal elf. I tend to DM so I don't really get to 'play' in Eberron, though I have played a goblin cleric of the Silver Flame briefly.

9. Eberron is my favorite setting, so I like it a lot. They've turned things sideways without throwing stuff out, so the 'standard' races are flavourful but not bizarre. The new races, especially the warforged and the kalashtar, say quite a lot abut the setting in terms of their origins and place in the world, and so feel quite integral. The shifters and the changelings are less so, but ther are still good and playable races.

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The TV shows are probably better scripted and develop the story better, but the special effects will probably be even worse than the movies. Brian Donlevy's performance as an American Quatermass 1 is generally considered inferior to the TV one. I also understand that Quatermass 2 the TV series is better than the film, as the TV contains sly digs at British bureaucracy which are absent from the movie. I also believe that one of the Quatermass serials was redone very recently with modern actors, done as live in the studio as the originals would have been, in celebration of the BBC's 75th (I think) anniversary. There was also a 70s Quatermass with John Mills, but I understand that one isn't considered all that good (there's no movie version of that one).

That all said, I have only seen the movies, though I have seen them all (i.e. all three). I enjoyed them in their slightly creaky way, as they are fairly intelligent and have some very good moments (Sid James, latterly a very famous comic actor, getting murdered in Quatermass 2, for example; that film also has a really quite nasty moment towards the end, although done off-camera). So I would imagine it might be a case of watching both and seeing which you prefer.

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Vic's post from Thursday suggests this might be ongoing for a while.

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No, I am getting logged out too.

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While I only saw the (incoherent) movie, I'm told that the TV version of Dune was much better. So there is a precedent for the subsequent TV version to be better.

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

You take your time. Our lives change and posting sometimes becomes both more difficult and maybe less important or motivating than it was before, and it can become more of a chore that a pleasure. If you have other stresses or demands on your time, it can be difficult to work up the inspiration that used to come easily before. I've been there and I know how you feel.

If it helps, you can try this. First off, don't feel guilty - that can just stress you out about the situation and make it harder to clear you mind and focus on what you actually want to post. Don't be hard on yourself when there are probably more important things to do, like remain employed and so on. Second, remember that you are always welcome in my games, and I'm sure everyone else's. We all have rough patches.

Third, don't look at all the games in which you need to post as a single entity which you need to address in a single sitting - break it down game by game, do some one day, others another, and so on. If it means you end up posting on a game every few days or so it's better than not posting at all due to inspirational paralysis. I haven't returned to my previous levels of posting and I suspect I won't, but while the games are progressing slower it doesn't really seem to be a problem. Plus, other players have their own issues and can't post so much anymore either. It's simply life evolving (I mean, I was a single man when the Eberron game started, I had my tenth anniversary this year and my son is now seven). Fourth (at least for the games you run) maybe just sit down when you have a quiet moment and plan things out - that's quite good fun, and I find inspiration comes more easily if you have a framework to hang it on. And it makes me enjoy the game a bit more without feeling under pressure and remember why I like playing it in the first place.

And fifth, consider whether there are some games you might want to consider leaving (hopefully none of mine, but that's your decision and one I would totally respect) so you can focus on the ones you really like the best. For example, I ended the Dark Sun game as I didn't feel the attachment to it that I did to the others.

So chill. You need to find an accommodation posting and with the way life is right now. You'll get there if you have the desire. After a rocky patch I'm renewed in my enthusiasm for the games, but it required me to appreciate that things change and I don't have the freedom I used to. And it took a bit of work, gradually working my way back in rather than feeling I had to fix it in one go. I hope you work it out and feel better about it soon.


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Jirrik hangs back, letting the heroes up the ladder first.

Delay until after everyone who's actually going up, then he will go up himself.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23

"Watch out above - something's stirring!"

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No peeking, please Rarely Accountant 2/Auditor 4/Waster 30

Pfft. Ever had a character jump off a cliff to dive-bomb a wyvern in flight below? No? I thought not.


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M Dwarf Alchemist (Crypt Breaker/Trap Breaker) 2

Jerrik doesn't take the proffered hand. "Jirrik Jaederl, tomb-robber."

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