Shelyn

Dawning Aegis's page

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NobodysHome wrote:
Seriously? Please Get It Together, People, played 05-Sep-2018

While I was out because I was wiped from a long day, I feel like the sluggish progress is really getting to me. After several attempts at the same fortress(due to the delays over the summer, we've been at it almost the entire year), I am getting sick of feeling like we are constantly being set back fight after fight, only to get what feels like very little. The lack of investment in the story as characters has been painful(I know in the past that has been because of my terrible in-person roleplay) because it makes the tough long fights feel empty and hollow. The last three sessions were incredibly spread out in terms of time, and so far they resulted in us getting to the sublevel, killing a few guards, killing most of the morlocks who could help us, and killing a few naga. I'm honestly at the end of my patience with Serpent's Skull. I don't know if the final fight will be worth it.

I am frustrated, I know NobodysHome is frustrated, I know the Impii are frustrated, the only people who seem to care anymore is Mr. Stereotype and his father, and Bacon Boy. I don't see how either of them enjoy it, when there isn't much to do in story and they keep tactically getting in the way of the party.


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NobodysHome wrote:

Well, as Talky becomes more aware that, at the moment, the group's primary shortcomings are the players themselves, he's trying to take a more active leadership role.

Unfortunately, as he's learning, leadership takes a lot of experience in diplomacy, or you end up stomping all over everyone else's toes. Which is especially likely to generate grar among teenagers.

On the other hand, it's hard to blame him when Round 1 was, quite literally:
Voren: I declare that once the rest of the party moves in, I'll follow.
(The intent being to have the casters stay back and let the front-line fighters in first)
Athelya: I declare that I'll follow the rest of the party.
Malek: I declare that I'll follow the rest of the party.

So yep, Malek stood there licking his eyeballs for no reason while Voren and Athelya lost their turns because they'd been waiting on him.

Hard to blame Talky for getting testy when that's what happens when he's not ordering the other people around...

This session in general opened my eyes to the issues I have with our run of Serpent's Skull: in the wake of several players and failed roleplay attempts on my part, the game has become a massive tactics fest, where the party feels like one character rather than it being made up of characters. This has made me feel like our characters are just pools of "capable of doing XYZ damage, control, healing, etc.," and thus there is no ownership or stake in the characters. Right now, it is just pure tactics.

Now, I see three general approaches on how to handle the tactics:

1. Walk in without planning or thinking. This doesn't work and it wastes time. We become a disorganized, jumbled mess where everyone is ineffective and frustrated.

2. Be domineering and impatient. Micromanage and control everyone to the square and attack. It is quick, easy to do, but it frustrates the people whose characters are being controlled. I did this last session and it created a game experience that was toxic. To me, this is worse than having everyone be a disorganized mess(and it degenerated to this through a pure focus on tactics and limited time).

3. Be diplomatic and careful. Discuss the plan, what people should do, and general tactics. This assures that we get things done while keeping everyone happy, but it takes time. Sometimes entire sessions, and sometimes you put more time into it than what you get.

Looking back at the last session, I had thought out what should be done beforehand, and didn't share what that would be. It was a case of "I know what WE are doing." After the game, I had felt terrible because even Impus Major remarked at how it was just me playing the game.

To everyone else who plays, I apologize for my behavior during that session. It dragged the game down and only created more impatience and frustration around the game(while my behavior was birthed from my own impatience).

All in all, I feel like I was controlling because I've become impatient with the game, mainly because I have no stake in the story as a character or player, and we had already burned through more than half of 2018 stuck on this fortress. Unless there was some radical changes to our players(which is not going to happen overnight), a massive change to our characters and our stake in the story(which is very late to do and very difficult at that(not to mention that it would be a large project I wouldn't want to put on Nobody'sHome)), or we reached the conclusion/climax of Serpent's Skull rapidly, I doubt that our interest in SS will last.

Around half the table has lost interest with Serpent's SKull. I don't know why the other half hasn't. It might be a good idea to have a discussion with the table about it at the time of a session, so that we can hear what people want, what's missing for them, etc.


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Vanykrye wrote:

Casters also don't have to cast something every round. Don't look at me like that. They really don't. Yes, there are plenty of people who will tell you otherwise, and some of them are quite vocal about it. That won't be me. Sometimes all they need to do is 1-2 rounds of the right spells and let the martials take care of the rest. Sometimes they don't really need to do even that much. I've seen fights completely turned upside down just from one spell, and everything else the caster did, while nice, was not necessary for victory.

Sure, there are fights where you need to unleash everything you have. Those are usually called boss fights. Not we're-running-through-a-hallway-dealing-with-what-are-supposed-to-be-mooks fights.

That's something I've come to find as I play Narlock. Most of the time all she needs to do is start playing, maybe Grease, and Vanish. I have buffs like Cat's Grace and Good Hope, but otherwise almost every spell I take is to fill some niche the party doesn't have.

This is mostly because NH's long time Bard player was around while I was making Narlock, resulting in a lot of spells and feats I wouldn't have otherwise taken.


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Mangenorn wrote:
Sorry to disappoint.

Oh, I don't think anything of it. If anything, she's an Azlanti embryo or something silly, which would explain why there was a level 11 Bard in a Tribe being ruled by a Bard of lower level(although I guess NH's machinations made the Radiant Muse way more powerful).


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Mangenorn wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Hmmm. Azlanti as a race have +2 to all ability scores, but that would mean that Narlock was built on 4 points... When calculating her ability scores as a normal human (+2 to Cha) then it fits 15 points buy.
That's only for ancient Azlanti, last of which was Aroden (barring GM fiat for whatever plot reason). Human(Azlanti) is an ethnicity, much like Human(Ulfen). It only gives an extra language (Azlanti, obviously) and an excuse to have purple eyes with a roleplay requirement for mononymy (aka, having just one name).

At first, because we were too lazy to mess around in Hero Labs, NobodysHome and I agreed that Narlock would be Azlanti since she was a native of the Sacred Serpent and they were in Saventh-Yhi. Would she actually be considered Azlanti?


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NobodysHome wrote:

Well, everybody's happy 'til that thing gets in its full-round attack on Kwai Chang. At that point I think it'll be fair to say that everyone except Kwai Chang will be happy.

But hey, Athelya has Breath of Life!

I'm honestly more scared if we keep standing in the same position because we're in reach of that darn cyclops.


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NobodysHome wrote:
Impus Major has trusted Bacon Boy with loot distribution...

Wait, I thought I was Bacon Boy...

The reason I bring this up is because I don't manage the funds. I opted for consumables because at times it seemed like we needed them.


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NobodysHome wrote:

Preaching to the choir, my friend. My 10th-level Life Oracle wouldn't go into combat at under a 36 (two Magic Vestments and a Shield of Faith work wonders). At 5th level my rogue was dancing around the battlefield at 28. Our Jade Regent crowd sport ACs of 40+ around the table. So yeah, the party's aversion to AC is a bit baffling.

Voren does have Barkskin, and there's an occasional Protection from Evil floating about, but for the most part all their money's going towards rezzes and scrolls. I've added around 150k-200k in extra loot already, and it all evaporated (again).

I figure once they finish the snake fortress I'll do another leveling.

I'm not part of the choir, and it's kind of hard to grasp how you get that high of an AC, let alone have enough room to provide other resources to the party after that. Tanget's item suggestions only give +6, and the only way I see us actually getting anywhere is new party members. That would require players to willingly give up their characters.


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Tangent101 wrote:

It's not just your group.

This was the ACs of my Level 17 group that just killed off Special K.

And mind you, this is when fully buffed. They NEVER buffed to this level in the past.

Sorceress: AC 28, Touch 20
Cleric: AC 29, Touch 16
Ranger: AC 31, Touch 22
Eldritch Warrior: AC 31, Touch 18

The ONLY character with a high AC was the NPC Swashbuckler/Arcane Trickster. AC: 55, Touch 33. Only was hit on a Natural 20 at the end.

At level 15, this was their ACs
Sorceress: 23/15
Cleric: 29/16
Ranger: 25/18
EK: 28/15
Swash/AT: 46/25

This is also with uber-high rolled stats. If they were a 15-point build, then knock 2 off of those ACs. They just never bothered beefing up their armor.

How do you get that much AC? It seems like an insane amount from what I usually see.

Then again, I haven't really ever played a proper high-level Pathfinder game.


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NobodysHome wrote:
Seannoss wrote:

There is an adjusted creature size chart on page 212 that shifts a huge creature to medium first and adjusts the physical stats.

PS: your listed PCs seem to have really low ACs for characters of their level. Our 7th level PCs have ACs between 23 and 27 before buffs in Hell's Rebels.

Let me put it this way: At 4th level my rogue halfling was at AC 22 standing still, and 28 moving (the good old Mobility and Total Defense combo), in a "no wealth" game (no items over 1000 gp).

So yeah, the group isn't even trying...

Honestly, I don't know how you even get that much AC without spells/magical armor. Considering that we're never really able to buy armor because we spend so much money on scrolls and revives, it would take a massive change in the group, to the point of revamping our (supposed) full casters.


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Tacticslion wrote:

Can I just say, I really want your bard to rally all their allies into a big clump, point at the fortress, and make a speech with the line, “Mr. <Spoiler>, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL~!”

I mean, it would result in a massive and near-immediate slaughter, but still.

(Its because walls are their greatest enemy.)

Unfortunately, instead of some great speech, we ended up getting a scouting mission with a few close calls and dumb choices, but overall success.

So like the rest of the AP.


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Mangenorn wrote:
Looks like we're getting reruns of Charu-ka fights, but without Malek dominated all the time.

To be honest, I think there's something everyone in our group needs to work on. Some are more obvious, like Athelya's spell choice, but I know I trash talk all the time(ranging from the other players to the AP itself). It might be good to have another revisit of, "What can everyone improve on?" since we've just been having fiasco after fiasco.


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Drejk wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
"Will Malek succeed on his withdrawal attempt, or will the last undying member of the party finally perish?"
NOOOO! NOT MALEK!

There's nothing to fear! The (arguably) best 5th-level Bard spell is here!


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NobodysHome wrote:

Seriously, Black Tentacles would end this combat in a round, but they don't have it. Pits, or grease, or spikes, or anything might help. My hope is that Kwai Chang sacrifices himself to trip a whole slew of them so the party can retreat and come up with a better plan than, "Send Malek and Bara in and see what happens when they hit a horde of hard-hitting mooks".

But a bunch of CR 8 fighters should barely be a speed bump for a 14th-level party. I think they're going to kill some PCs.

Can we send Voren and Athelya to their death and out of nowhere have a wizard and a cleric replace them?


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NobodysHome wrote:


  • Next they made Bara invisible, gave her a potion of Fly, and flew to the tail entrance. They made excellent perception checks and heard a lot of movement a couple hundred feet in.
  • Completely ignoring, "You hear a lot of movement" = "Bad way to sneak in", they moved offshore, buffed, and then had Bara try to rip the portcullis upwards. Needless to say, this made noise. Noise that the +16 to their Perception roll "alert" guards easily heard.
  • Y'know, if I had an ancient fortress that had a chunk of wall missing, I'd at least post a sentry to alert someone if there were enemies teleporting in or something. But NOPE, there was apparently supposed to be no one there.

    I have an actual complaint about this being inconsistent with the logic and strategy behind every other enemy we have faced up to this point, but we also stayed in the place where we could hear people running through the halls.

    I think our logic was that we were already where we were, and I have no more 3rd level spells after using a bunch of Dimension Doors. I am also vehement about saving our resources(we have two scrolls of greater teleport to get back to the surface just in case).


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    The Sideromancer wrote:
    Wait, fortresses usually have walls. Are you sure the party can hold up?

    I give it thirty minutes for us to figure out how to get inside the fortress.


    GM_Beernorg wrote:

    LOL...don't let Bara hear you say that Dawning, she understands stuff better now.

    But...more to the point...she eats things just as well as before....

    Bara is one lady you do NOT want to fashion shame....especially if her tummy is rumbling.

    I should consider that she is a giant frog monster. In fact, now that I think about it, Narlock should be terrified of the Froghemoth since she must've heard horror stories about it...


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    Our Great Overlord and Grand Poobah of All Things Bacon wrote:
    bara has a hat

    It's not a pretty one.


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    I know that this isn't related to the game, but since NobodysHome touched on it, I wanted to mention that I actually had been having a terrible week leading up to that night. A shout-out to NobodysHome and Impus Major for creating space and listening to me rant on about my problems. And to the rest of the guys in the group since all of them showed concern in their own way(yes, even you Voren). You nerds are the best.

    Something funny did happen that night, which was me expressing frustration that Inspire Competence didn't affect me. I realize now that the reason for this is that Bards are the best class and others are just lacking in being useful.


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    I will boldly (and rightfully) claim the title of biggest Star Wars nerd in our group. I heard horror stories about the Holiday Special, so
    I made sure to bring something so that I didn't have to just sit there and watch it. Although I ended up watching it anyway and turning the room into MST3K.


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    pad300 wrote:
    A Froghemoth is no joke against non-optimized, non-magic item shopping characters...

    She is a joke though. Look how many hilarious moments she has brought us!


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    GM_Beernorg wrote:

    Bara t-shirts..?!

    It could and should be a thing!

    Spreadshirt exists. I'd wear it if everyone else would.


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    I'm mortified. Honestly. I was expecting that we were going to go into this with clear heads and get through problems a bit easier.

    I am sorely mistaken.


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    pad300 wrote:


    NobodysHome wrote:


    So in Book 5 I'm biting the bullet and upping the encounter CRs by 2, as I should have been doing ever since the party hit 6 people. And the first encounter went very well: It was challenging, but not particularly deadly. The only reason Kwai Chang died was that the rest of the party left him hung out to dry. So more "lack of teamwork" than "the monsters were too hard".

    We'll see how the rest of the book plays out.

    Dawning Aegis asked why they have been successful so far - now your getting closer to having the "expected" difficulty level, and the first encounter has resulted in a dead PC...

    That was due to our lack of attention and Kwai Cheng not using Abundant Step. As I said, we just need to think more tactfully and considerately.


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    pad300 wrote:

    As an honest answer, count the PC's:

    Kwai Chang
    Athelya
    Hooken
    Narlock
    Voren
    Malek
    (and Bara)

    6 PC's, and a highly potent NPC asset, and I think I've forgotten one. I'm guessing that your PCs are more than 15 pt buy for stats. (if you need an explanation of point buy, see HERE ).

    I don't think Nobody's Home is adjusting the encounters from the ones in the book. The book is intended to be a challenge for a group of 4 PC's made with 15 pt buy, with "average" players.

    I figure that as a group got roughly twice the potential "power" of the group the adventure path is intended to challenge. Which is why your lot is still alive. However, you kids need to raise your game - this could get a lot nastier quickly...

    We have a ninja who is rare there. I don't remember his name on here, but his presence is not much more than comic relief. I heard from NobodysHome that he maxes out the HP on the creatures due to us having a large party. And to be honest, from where we were, we have improved by miles. Now it's some actual thinking(like knowing the enemies would plan something) rather than saying "maybe we should cast Protection from Evil."


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    Mangenorn wrote:

    I'd say attrition in the early stages. You could always make more characters to die easily on the early levels.

    I'm not much of a fan of Bara, but I'm looking forward to seeing you all handle what comes after this.

    Rangers being broken is the current reason for your success, by all appearances.

    Aw, c'mon! Without Bara they'd be at least half a book farther along!

    Most... disruptive... "gift"... EVER!

    Also amazingly useful. Kinda...at least we don't have to deal with all the bodies.


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    Hey guys, Talky McTalkTalk/Narlock here, I wanted to ask a question to everyone:

    For all our silly misadventures and dumb choices, why do you think we made it so far?

    Rangers being broken?
    The GM taking over at just the right moments?
    Bards?
    Bara, the Blushing Froghemoth?
    Drunken Ninjas?
    (Please say Bards)


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    Oh, tonight's session answered the age-old question: "How can you possibly have the complete drop on a bad guy and STILL give him the total combat advantage?"

    The answer comes tomorrow, in a rather hilarious session (at least from the GM's point of view).

    Though it's a bittersweet "win". They're finally fully buffing the paladin and sending her into the water with Yog'Oltha, and I'm not betting on him in THAT fight...

    EDIT: Favorite moment: I seemed to be the only one tracking who had what buffs, so Templari went running into the water before anyone cast Touch of the Sea on her. I was "nice". I let her get waist-deep before realizing that she was about to sink like a stone...

    A GLORIOUS, BLUE AND GOLD STONE OF HOLINESS AND BUFFS


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    Mister T, Lich wrote:
    NobodysHome wrote:
    Supperman wrote:
    They really, really hate that lich.

    But if you think he's going to be carrying his phylactery on a convenient neck chain when he finally returns...

    I pity the fool that thinks they can f+#! with my Phylactery!

    "What's your prediction for the fight when they're all level 16 and Templai can actually move quickly?"

    "Prediction? Pain."


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    What's awesome to me is that the kids have a 2-week break to decide how they're going to deal with all the politics.

    During previous breaks, they've always included me in on the discussion.

    This time, someone consciously removed me from the recipient list.

    Cunning they're getting, my little imps...

    We haven't even talked though, so we still aren't cunning.


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    Supperman wrote:
    Maybe Templari is responsible. She's been a snake the whole time!

    Snakes...


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    What to do, what to do, what to do?

    1. Roll Templari's equivalent of Hooken's perception

    2. PURGE THE HERETICS
    3. Have Kwai Cheng do what he does best.


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    It's pretty good now, but depending on her behavior it may eventually transform into a Holy Avenger

    What can I do so that this may happen, O' gracious overlord?


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    NobodysHome wrote:


    True story: Just before Monday's game, I was saying something disparaging about the French, and one of the kids (in a "Berkeley kids" way) said, "You can't say that! That's racist!"

    I replied, "Oh, they're nothing but a bunch of feelthy, steenking, surrender-monkeys!" just as Kwai Chang's player walked in the front door (Mr. Stereotype's dad).

    "Oh, talking about the French, are we?" was all he needed to ask! :-P

    I use the "That's Racist" card MAKING FUN of at Berkeley Kids.


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    Well, today I've decided that I'm going to retire the Serpent's Skull game and just switch over to 100% Ponyfinder.

    It just seems like the right thing to do.

    I got excited for a moment. >:(


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    Xethos wrote:
    my first reaction when i saw the question asking what her name was my first though was to reply "JOHN CENA!!!!" however i wanted to keep my friends. speaking of which on that list of angel names one of them is maalik.

    Never leave friends for dank memes.


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    Our Great Overlord and Grand Poobah of All Things Bacon wrote:
    And when I was going to set up an avatar I noticed that Talky made "Iomidae" a gender.

    "Faith knows no gender, Voren."

    I'd also like to quote myself from last game:"Templari's words are not mine, because Templari isn't a 15-year-old boy with ADD and hormones rampaging through his body."

    And the Muse's name should be "Pectus Aurea." After using the powers of Google Translate, 'Golden Breast(Comes from the Muse's liberal lack of use of clothing)' into Latin got 'pectus aurea,' and then translated back into English, 'heart of gold.'


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    Tacticslion wrote:


    Fortunately she has a lot of hit points! Besides, it can't be that much damage! Templari's like, 5'9" at most, and even the largest goblin baby, can't be more than, like a foot! That's less than 10 feet! That's how that works, right?!

    (That anyrism might cause some problems, though...)

    Templari is 6'5"


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    NobodysHome wrote:

    Well, the GM finally succumbed to the nastiness that's been going around. I think it says something that I had the day off from work yesterday, and could have done anything I felt like, but an hour of Rift while lying in bed was too exhausting for me, so I mostly just napped.

    I love my players. They asked, "Can't you run it remotely?"

    Er... when I can't even play a video game while lying in bed, I just don't see running a game...

    Anyway, updates next week!

    You didn't say you were playing video games...


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    Xethos wrote:
    i looked Vrykolakas up. CR 10, undead, energy drain, disease. I think that our one group must have brought a box full of rabbit feet and 4 leaf clovers, enough glue to hold down every salt shakers for a five mile radius, planned for our attack to take place on the 6 months after Friday the 13th, and broken off the bigger end of 7 wishbones. Its the only logical explanation.

    CR 10 Undead with Energy Drain and disease. "Undead" is almost music to Templari's ears, we have so much money that whoever caught bubonic plague could be cured when we got to camp, and our two people who would dare to venture so close to such a beast would be Templari/Malek, and Malek has an amazing Fort save while Templari is immune to diseases. The one round the Vrykolakas did anything was to the person who did a quarter of his hit-points(guess who) and then scraped one level off that I got back the same night.

    Then again, I did almost do a double critical.


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    Update coming soon. Expect a Vrykolakas and the parting with a rat who the party only knew about for 30 minutes.


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    Supperman wrote:


    Seriously though, welcome to the forum. Templari is pretty cool, why did you decide to make her a Nagaji?

    When I made her a few months ago I was mostly thinking of races that give Strength/Con+Cha, because our team lacked a dedicated tank(Malek slightly works, but he gets rather useless whenever he gets dominated). Otherwise, Templari is one of my SWTOR characters, a Female Togruta Jedi Knight. I wanted to pick a rather exotic race to sorta emulate that. Now that I'm giving her some story, I saw some use for the servitor race.


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    Supperman wrote:
    Hi Morning Shield. Welcome to the forum!

    >:(

    inb4 MLP OC


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    As a bit of a side note, I have been busy writing Templari's backstory. Below I'll leave a short sentence to what the events I want to do are about:
    1.) Birth
    2.) Starting to train as a Paladin
    3.) Told of her father's past, as well as her mother's.
    4.) Use Commune with Dead to speak with her dead mother
    5.) Templari becoming more aware and disconnected of her rare race(nagaji)
    6.) Templari meeting another nagaji, and then helping nagaji refugees find homes
    7.) Knighted as a Paladin of Iomedae
    8.) Mother tells her to go to an island close Azlant, where her father is buried
    9.) Some details about her quest(generally level 1-4)
    10.) Arriving in a low-density nagaji city, visits father's tomb and his spirit becomes her 5th level Divine Bond.
    11.) Few years later, word of the quest for Saventh-Yhi reaches the Iomedae Church, and a Level 7 Templari is sent to investigate.

    There will be a lot more life when I get to writing the first few parts, but when that is done I will most likely share an anon version for anyone on the thread to read.


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    Tacticslion wrote:

    Welcome!

    We're all chatterboxes here, so it should work out just fine!

    Thanks for the welcome! I am loving some of your ideas(including playing a hot bard(unlike many of the other teens 'round the table, I know that I'm in the time of my life where sex is rampant)). I think there are three main reasons I am so talkative in our game:

    1.) ADD
    2.) Grew up in a house of people who listened to my ramblings.
    3.) I'm playing D&D with my friends who are all silly in their own way(for the Inheritor's sake, one of our party members is a grippli barbarian) and have one of the best DMs I know. Of course I'll end up talking my head off.


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    NobodysHome wrote:
    wow. Once they all learned I was posting nastiness about them they're swarming!

    Don't worry, I'm don't mind my misadventures being posted online. I honestly am pretty happy people can see us do silly stuff.


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    Greetings all. I am Talky McTalkTalk, in-game as Narmina/Templari. I have debated about getting on this forum, and have spent LITERALLY WEEKS procrastinating before doing it in a few minutes. And thus, here I am to leave little comments about our misadventures.

    Should be fun.