Eagle Knight of Andoran

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1,937 posts. Alias of Doomed Hero.


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I'll look Window up, thanks Faelyn.

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Another crazy weekend that I'm still catching up from. I'll have an update up tomorrow.

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At this point there have been three of the glass orbs picked up. I'd like to know who's carrying them and how.

They are about the size of softballs. I had Talas stuff the one from the water down the back of his pants while he climbed but that isn't going to be a long term solution. They are glass and all of you are wet. Handling these things is a little tricky.

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Round 21

Talas landed in a crouch just after Garridan made his way though weaving as the barrage of spinning clubs began.

Both of you avoided the AoOs from moving, but it still gets it's own attacks against you.

Attacks vs Garridan: 1d3 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Attacks vs Talas: 1d3 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0

Club vs. Garridan: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Club vs. Garridan: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

The anchor pin in one of the pulleys snapped sending one of the clubs careening off into the water. The second to last square of the gauntlet now has one less club. It's a good place to stop if you have to.

Eythil continued his Climb with Ariela hauling at the top: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 4 + 2 = 15. He made it nearly to the top of the rope, close enough for Ariela to pull him the rest of the way up. Eythil panted on his back on the platform for a moment.

Ok, new intentions from Ari and Eythil.

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Super busy this weekend. Expect an update tomorrow.

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Garridan Teskarova wrote:
Does it look as if there's a way to go underneath the apparatus and "monkeybar" the platform?

No. It looks like the platform is made specifically to prevent that. The wood is sanded very smooth and the edges are rounded to prevent easy hand-holds.

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I'd like intentions from all of you so I can push another montage forward again.

Talas, you've made the jump check, and exactly made the DC of the Balance check. You've used 15 feet of movement, but only actually moved 5 feet, so I'll call your Jump a 5' adjust. If you'd like to move more than that I'll need another Acro check to avoid AoOs.

The rest of you, how are you planning on proceeding?

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It is a series of springs and ropes with pulleys. You're betting it's probably enchanted to keep up the movement without any loss of energy over time, or something like that.

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The clubs are essentially spinning and wrapping around the arches, so being on top of them wouldn't save you from being swung at. It would just mean you'd be jumping from 3 inch rounded beam to three inch rounded beam while being swung at. It's possible, but it wouldn't really make things easier.

Ari, yes. A single acro check per move action. Note that acro checks for AoOs are made at 1/2 movement.

Talas, the arches are only 5 feet apart, so that roll is enough to make a standing jump, but they are only 3 inches wide. That's a very hard balance check, especially when being swung at. I'll allow it, but you'll need to give me a Balance check for landing on the second beam.

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Round 19

Talas steadied himself and scurried up the rope nearly to the top. Climb, Aid x2: 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 4 + 2 + 2 = 16 Garridan called down to Ariela to let go and then hauled Talas the rest of the way up by simply heaving on the rope Garridan's 'lift off ground' is enough to cover Talas' weight. Talas pulled himself up the rest of the way and came to rest sitting on the edge of the platform. The rope splashed down to Ariela and she was halfway up it before the others had a chance to look down. Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16

Eythil took a few steps down the narrow beam to try to get some momentum for his jump. Jump!: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10. Instead of clearing the distance he ended up canonball-flailing down into the drink.

"Not bad." Darian said from the viewing balcony. "Good splash."

Vedic scoffed and Thedra shook her head. "That kid has the worst luck when it comes to trying to jump over water..."

Round 20

Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16 Ariela hauled herself to the top of the platform, helped to her feet by Garridan as Talas took a look at the door. Garridan pointed out the faint seem around the handle's fitting. It was definitely a mechanical trap.

Disable Device: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21

"The whole thing is designed to come free." he said. "The hinges aren't real, look. The door doesn't actually open this direction. It's a push door disguised as a pull door."

Talas clicked the latch without pulling on the handle and gave the door a shove. It swung open easily.

Eythil pushed off the bottom and surfaced with a gasp. He was right next to the rope so he grabbed it and hung on, willing his heart to slow down. Awful fragments of memory started seeping in, so he did the only thing he could think of. He pulled on the rope. Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5 The water did not want to let him free. The rope slipped out of his hands. He grabbed it again.

"You sure it was a good idea having them go through this before doing something about that one's memory issues?" Vedic asked, clearly concerned. "He just came out of the Styx."

"We can't just cram any old skills into his head. We have to know what his aptitudes are first. This is an aptitude test." Darian said, as though that were self-evident.

"So what are his aptitudes?" Vedic asked dryly.

"So far, he pays attention to how things are put together, prioritizes helping his companions above making things easier on himself, and keeps pushing forward even when he knows he can't succeed." Darian said.

"Also falling. Let's not forget that." Vedic sighed.

"That too." Darian smiled.

Back on the platform, Talas, Ari and Garridan looked through the door. The walkway on the other side had a series of arches along it that they would need to pass though to get to the other side. On each arch was an array of spring-and-rope powered spinning clubs that ratcheted up and then fired off to swing down at anything under the arch in an incomprehensible pattern.

The gauntlet of spinning clubs is essentially a series of Attacks of Opportunity if you move through their squares. The corridor is 35 feet long. You will take 1 AoO for each 5 feet you move. The Gauntlet has a CMD of 20 for the purposes of Acrobatics checks, and it will take 1d3-1 attacks against you on it's turn no matter where you are along the path. If you choose to 5' adjust, you can avoid AoOs, but you cannot avoid the attacks. There are 7 club-arches and they are each are made of fairly sturdy wood and a rope-based gear system. They could be sundered or disabled but I'm not going to give away the difficulty without some further rolls.

Intentions? Feel free to talk to each other.

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Of course. Lets keep moving.

Round 17

Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 Eythil finally managed to turn all the way back around and scurry back to the narrow beam opposite Garridan's platform. He pulled himself onto it and reached down for the knot.

Ariela and Talas treaded water down below, waiting for their way up.

Round 18

Eythil worked the rope clear and dropped it. It swung down, splashing near the two swimmers, hanging from the middle of the platform above. Garridan knelt down next to the rope, reaching down to help grab the climbers as they came up.

Talas was needed up top so he went first. Ariela held the rope to steady it.

Climb, Aid Another x2, DC 15: 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 4 + 2 + 2 = 12

The rope wasn't knotted, and he didn't have anything to brace his feet on, so he didn't get far at first.

Eythil, would you like to try to jump the gap, drop down into the water to wait your turn climbing the rope, or something else?

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No equipment. The door's handle is slightly seperated from the door. It looks like it might come free if pulled. You aren't sure what would happen after that.

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Looks mechanical. Pretty sure Garridan can't even detect magical traps.

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By my estimate, that first montage post was about 9 posts worth of actions, so we're already about caught up again based on how fast we've been moving. I like the way this feels. Hopefully I'll be able to rapidly outstrip our previous pace.

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Round 15

Eythil looked at the rope and called down to Ariela. "Hold on, I'm going to try to lower this!"

Ari treaded water for a while as Eythil pulled himself back the way he'd come on the rope. Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5 Turning around was tricky. he nearly fell.

Meanwhile, Garridan examined the door in front of him. Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23 he noticed something odd about the entire handle mechanism. He wasn't sure what it did, but he was pretty sure it was dangerous. Where the heck was Talas?

Beneath the water, Talas pulled his shirt off and twisted it up.

Round 16

Ariela watched from below as Eythil continued his battle with the rope, but was still recovering from nearly falling. Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

Talas grabbed the orb and stuffed his shirt down the hole beneath it, then kicked off the bottom to surface.

Garridan, I'd like you to post a Round 16 action, or tell me what you'd like to do now that you've found the trap on the door. I'll continue the montage once I have that info.

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Alright, lets get this thing moving again.

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Unexpectedly busy yesterday and today. I should have time to push this forward tomorrow.

Action summary so far-

Garridan: get through the door

Eythil: lower the rope.

Talas: plug the hole, take the orb, head for the rope

Ariela: ??

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I have no idea how that happened. Guardian was on the map twice also. I've fixed things.

From where he hung not he rope, Eythil took a look at how it was attached to the two platforms.

There was a two-pronged metal "fork" attached to the side of the wooden platform, it's curved tines pointing upward. The rope was knotted at both ends. Each knot sat in the notch of the fork. It looked like it could be easily pulled up out of the fork, but he couldn't do it while he was hanging from it.

It would also be a problem to detach the rope from the platform Garridan was on. If he wanted the rope to lead up to the right side of the platform, the rope would have to be attached at the opposite side, and then the person who detached the rope would need to be able to jump the twenty foot gap, or jump into the water and climb up the rope themselves.

All that make sense? Mage Hand could also work to detach the knot on the opposite side.

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Somehow I missed that Ariela had posted her action. Weird.

Ok, lets kick off this montage thingy.

I want everyone to give me some short term goals (it can be more than one if you want). I'll do the rolling and move things forward to the point that I need a new goal from someone. At that point, anyone else's goals can be adjusted and I'll keep going.

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Ariela, why don't you post your Round 14 action, and then I'll kick off the montage stuff with round 15.

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It's an issue I have with the system itself. There's a huge difference between my ability to create a narrative during scenes that require a lot of mechanics and scenes that don't. The early part of the game was (largely) mechanics-free. I was trying to get through things as fast as possible to get on to the meat of the story (which was intended to be this stuff).

Most of my PbP games involve a lot of experimentation with how to make the format work. I like to explore tropes I find problematic and see if I can find ways to still use them. I had a lot of success when I tried having the party run around with higher level characters without having the party feel overshadowed. I think success was mixed when I tried to simulate a sporting event. This series of skill-challenges is clearly not working as well.

I'm thinking the round by round structure is the biggest issue. Perhaps a partial-montage?

I'm thinking that if the players give me a character goal, I can make a bunch of rolls and just describe what happens until the next challenge is revealed, how long that takes to get to, and where the players are when that happens. Then we repeat that after the players give me new character goals in response to the new challenge.

What does everyone think?

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That's fair. This game has moved very slowly. A large part of that is my own fault. I can only move as fast as life and my own motivation allow. Fall and winter tend to be extremely busy for me. I've been trying to rebuild the momentum that was lost over the last few months. I feel I've been having mixed success there.

The other thing I think is slowing the game down is the nature of PbP dungeon crawls (which is basically what the obstacle course is). I think I nderestimated how difficult this course would be when I designed it.

Pulling your shirt off and stuffing it in the hole is a great solution, and sounds like roughly a full round action to me. I'll allow it if you want to go with that.

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The Disable Device table is pretty clear. Disarm a trap is 2d4 rounds.

This trap is pretty simple and I reward creativity in most cases. Plugging the hole with something else is all it would take, so normally I'd allow it to be a full round action to do something like pull out a handkerchief and stuff it down the hole. In this case it's not quite as simple because Talas doesn't have any gear with him. So while the trap itself is simple, the situation is pretty complex, being that you are disarming a trap underwater without tools. That's not a 6 second situation.

I'm open to any argument to the contrary or creative faster solution.

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Disable Device Time: 2d4 ⇒ (2, 4) = 6

Using round 14 to search for traps, that puts your disable attempt starting on round 15 and finishing on round 21. I'll tell you what you see as far as the trap goes. You can spend the 6 rounds incrementally describing how you disable the trap. Since we know your role, we'll assume whatever you describe works.

Talas started to pull the orb up out of it's shallow indentation and noticed that the orb was plugging a hole. when he lifted it a small wisp of dark blue liquid started to cloud the water. He quickly put the orb back and started thinking of how to defeat the trap...

Everyone else, can I get your Round 14 actions?

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Sure. There is a trap of some kind. It looks like it will trigger when the orb is moved.

Disable Device, DC 14

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Has everyone moved themselves on the map?

Garridan stood up and took a look around. From he previous platform he hadn't been able to get a good look at the wall he now stood in front of. It was a wooden door. It stood in the center of a wall barring entry to the rest of the course.

Talas swam to the orb at the bottom of the pool. It sat in a shallow indentation in the floor. It had a small symbol engraved in it's glass surface.

Linguistics 15, or Sylvan:

The marking is in the language of the Fey. It means "winter" or "cold"


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We seem to be stalled. Guardian and Ariella, you two are both up in round 12.

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Talas Arduinn wrote:
If a 14 does it, that puts him dead above the orb, but I haven't moved his letter on the map since I'm not sure how difficult the water is.

Standard swim rules apply. It's DC 10 water. You are able to swim 1/2 your move speed as a full round action. So, 15 feet.

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Round 12

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That's it, Gar. You made it 20 feet. Next round you'll be able to get off the rope and onto the next landing (no roll needed for that, but you will be prone).

Ari, you're up for round 11.

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Round 11!

Garridan, I don't think you took a round 10 action. You just asked a question. Take 2 actions if you like.

Talas swam to the middle of the water beneath the course.

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Sure, Garridan. That sounds fine. It's still a crawling pace, but slightly faster than a hang-crawl (5' per move action).

Ariela and Talas plunged into the clear, cool water.

Ari, Perception DC 15:

Another of the small orbs is nearby in the water with you. see the map.

I've moved everyone on the map. Ari and Talas are in the water ten feet below. Garridan, you are right next to the slack line. Eythil, you are behind him. You'll need to move 5 feet on the balance beam to get to the rope.

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Traveling tonight and tomorrow. I'll have an update up on Monday.

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Sheesh. That does seem a bit absurd.

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I have placed everyone on the map. Ariela is in the lead with 5 feet further to go on the beam.

Ariela and Garridan could see the end of the narrow beam ahead of them. It ended at a small platform with a rope suspended over a drop down to the water below. The rope was tied off on a platform on the other side.

Perception DC 15:

It looks like there is another glass sphere over there.

You can either slackline walk across it with a DC 30 Acro check, or you can make a DC 20 climb check to go hand over hand below. The third option is to hook your legs over the rope and pull yourself along underneath, moving at only 5 feet a round with a DC 5 Climb check.

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The ball...

...does nothing.

Round 10!

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The sphere was a little larger than a fist. It looked like it was made of smoked glass in greys and dark blues, like a storm cloud. Etched into it's surface was a stylized symbol of a lightning bolt. It sat on the beam in a small divot clearly designed to keep it from rolling around.

Aside from the precariousness of it's perch, Talas could not find anything dangerous about it.

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The ball sits on the beam, easily stepped over by the nimble Ariela. It does nothing as she passes.

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Eythil and Talas managed to get up the wall with a little help. They stood on the raised platform looking at the next challenge. After what they had just gone though, it almost seemed insulting.

A zig-zagging beam six inches wide separated them from the next decent sized patch of ground. Resting in the middle of the beam was another of the white balls Talas had noticed earlier when he was underwater.

The beam is 35 feet long and has a few right angle bends in it. A DC 15 Balance check will traverse it (standard balance rules). Or, if you want to you can scotch along it by straddling it, which requires a DC 10 Climb check (1/4 movement). Last option is a 30 foot long jump without a running start, in case anyone has a Jump spell up their sleeves or something like that.

As before, failure by more than 5 puts you into the water below, but you'll need to go back to the unstable walkway to get out and climb the wall again.

Round 9!

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Hope everyone had a fun holiday. The party is up for Round 8.

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It was me. I have posted a few versions of that list around the boards.

You can find the current list I work with in the "General House Rules" area of this Alias. It isn't as big an overhaul as I think Martials need, but it is an easily work-able list of changes that are easy to convince a group to try.

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Round 8!

Darian's brows were furrowed with concern as he watched Eythil scramble on his hands and knees slowly across the wobbly platform. "Well, he's still pushing forward. Not fast, but still going."

"They aren't going to set any records." Vedic said flatly.

Thedra backhanded Vedic in the shoulder. "That kid's been through a lot in the last two days. Cut him some slack."

"No." Vedic said. "The multiverse is dangerous, judgmental and unforgiving. We won't be doing him any favors by 'cutting him some slack.'"

I'm going to assume Garridan and Ariela spent last round's actions providing Aid Another checks for Eythil and Talas. When you make your climb checks, go ahead and add the Aid bonus.

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Crawling is two rounds. Anyone have anything they'd like to do during Rounds 6 and 7?

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I'll let you move with him, using your past experience on boats and river docks to help counterbalance his movement.

Eythil, go ahead with your roll, including Talas' Aid Another.

Talas, once Eythil moves, feel free to move yourself on the map as well. We will abstract it as though both of you had moved at the same time.

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Talas tried to help Eythil climb out once he broke the surface, but Eythil was still too panicked to cooperated. He was scrambling, clawing at the tilting platform, and managed finally to drag himself up and roll onto his back, gasping.

That was a fun and unexpected bit of character drama. Nicely done, Eythil.

Round 6

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Darian interrupted the beginning of Vedic's story. "Is that one alright?" he said, watching Eythil fight to keep his limbs under control, then fall back into the water. "This shouldn't be that hard."

"The water." Vedic responded. "He is panicking. Seems confused by it though, which is odd."

"Not that odd." Thedra said shaking her head. "He took a swim in the Styx, remember. That's not a normal kind of fear. He might not remember much of it it, but he's still having a reaction."

Vedic nodded. "He doesn't know enough anymore to realize what fear is, or where it is coming from. Impressive that he's not just curling into an unresponsive ball."

"Should we stop the exercise?" Thedra asked.

Darian thought for a moment then shook his head. "He's still pushing though it. As long as he still has fight in him, we should let him fight."

Garridan, Ariela, you are up.

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Talas nimbly moved across the platform, ending up at the base of the wall.

Round 5!

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Back at the observation deck, Thedra grinned at the progress of the Apprentices. "Things are looking a bit better. That wobbly walkway is a surprisingly mean trick."

Darian smiled. "Stole the design from a Grippli village. It was one of their defenses. Worked on Vedic twice."

Vedic looked pained. "They were Boggards, not Grippli."

Darian shrugged. "Their architecture was more memorable than what flavor of angry frog they were."

"Are we telling embarrassing stories from our youth now? Is it my turn." Vedic said with overly exaggerated friendliness.

Darian cleared his throat. "...this isn't something I can pull rank and weasel out of, is it?"

Thedra and Vedic replied simultaneously. "No."

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Garridan helped Ariela up the wall, then the pair watched Talas helped Eythil haul himself out of the water and back onto the unsteady platform.

Talas, you still have an action this round.

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Garridan jumps and scrambles a bit as he hauls himself up the lip. Ariela doesn't quite make the same progress.

Meanwhile, Talas moves along the platform, takes a knee to steady himself and reaches out to help Eythil.

Round 4

Eythil, you gain a +2 bonus on your check to climb out of the water. Guardian, you'll need to spend your next action on an Aid Another to help Ari climb up.

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