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Honestly, I'm not sure who is even here at this point. Maybe we should all post to check in and see where we are...

Based on their size and features, these would appear to be some sort of troll, probably cave trolls . They are undersized as trolls go. They are definitely undead, some sort of wights. Infused with necromantic energy that makes them stronger, tougher, and faster than most undead. Like all wights, their touch will drain the life energy of anyone they touch. Given their speed and the many vicious attacks of trolls (claw, claw, bite), this is a truly dangerous opponent.

Torvi Stonesinger wrote:

Torvi smiles at the prospect of a fight.

You appear to be using specific linguistics with respect to these opponents, can Torvi take a guess as to race, based on the accent, speech patterns, etc?


In case it wasn't clear, I was just trying to write them as dumb.

Sorry, you are often more on top of things than I am. Who is the Jones connecting Dark Matter and Roxxon?

You are being hailed:
Alien vessel, this is the Earth vessel Atlantis We are in need of assistance. Re-spond. Alien vessel, this is the Earth vessel Atlantis. Respond please.

Waiting on T'Karra to make the check above.

Jok'kem wrote:

The Vulcan, seeing that there is a lull in the active danger, will attempt to inspire and help coordinate the actions taking place on the bridge to generate momentum so that all can be successful


If I take that to be Direct, then you generate two Momentum for others to use.

The stairwell, simply carved rather than ornate, brings you 60 feet lower than the floor of the mine above. Here the ceiling and floor are rougher than the upper level. This was more recently a working mine, and had not been finished as a space for living and commerce. The ceiling is roughly 20 feet above, though it is only roughly vaulted and supported by functional but not ornate ribs along the walls.

More importantly at the moment, there are two 9 foot tall figures, long nosed and reeking of decay. They were once trolls of some sort, though not quite the kind you are familiar with. But now, their entrails hang out, and their abdomens do not seem to be healing the rents therein.

"Look, dwarves it be. The master ha not supped on dwarves for a time. We catch they and bring to the master. He happy be."

At the last moment, Torvi realizes that the grammar reflects a simplistic version of the language of giants. Whatever these creatures are, they are unlikely to be towering intellects.

I'm happy for you guys to progress as you think the story warrants. Let's do two power points. This might represent an upgrade, but could just as easily be explained as bringing rusty skills/powers online.

I think you are fine on the basics of your combat build, the mooks just keep crushing their rolls. And I think we want to maintain some noir tropes of you guys having a tough time and getting beat up.

I am absolutely loving this scene, and I don't want to hurry it along at all, so once you decide what direction you want to head, I can think of a few options, of course feel free to go your own direction:

1. Directly try to observe Negative and/or his men.
2. Pursue information in the Roxxon direction. Did they continue research into the Zero Matter? Do they have files somewhere?
3. The previously discussed facility that Dottie might know about?
4. I can toss you a direction from the Manfredis.

The show isn't great yet, but has potential. Reports about ratings aren't promising, but at the same time it is on Sunday night against some stiff competition. I imagine streaming matters to the CW as much as ratings.

Birds of Prey derail:
I'd love to see a legit series of Birds of Prey where the focus is the Gal in the chair (Barbara, of course) and maybe Helena and a Canary or two. I don't love what they've done with Canary on Arrow, but whatever. I remember an issue of of BoP where something was going sideways and Barbara called in Power Girl to just zip through and fix it. She is in the book for like three panels, but just seeing Barbara leveraging her connections was fun.

"No, driver, we stay here. You go. These halls belong Balam. We happy raise weapon 'gainst you."

"There are many temples here devoted to the sssscaled gods, Grrrrak. And I am but one of their attendants. But be careful. We do not serve soft skins."

Nice stuff.

"Ah, there are more of you?! How delightful! More pilgrims!"

As Ordrax move back up the mound of rubble and through the small opening, he finds that Ysseras is waiting for him on the other side.

The rest of you see a kobold enter from the opening into the jungle.

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So glad Digger stepped to this. I've been waiting for this moment since character creation.

The strange creature looks you over, glancing at your clothes, provisions, and general lack of goods, and says, "Nothing you seem to have. Inspesion passed for you. Go on. Go on. Safe travels. You pay toll when come back."

Once they have crossed the troll bridge, you soon enter a forest of leafless birch trees, and after half a day of travel, the city of Whitethrone comes into sight. You have a choice here. There are shantytowns east of the city known as the Fishcamps, but there is also the road straight into the city.

The city of Whitethrone is built high atop cliffs overlooking Glacier Lake. The cliffs make fishing in the city impractical, so Whitethrone’s fishing industry is carried out in small shantytowns a few miles east of the city. Life is hard and desperate in these small communities, but there is less direct oppression from the Winter Guard (and the Iron Guard before it).

You have a reasonable chance of talking your way into the city with your silver tongues, or you can probably link up with someone in the fishtowns who can get you in. Which one is more appealing? This is info that Tallak could convey, but at this point I think he is an NPC guide and not a PC.

Iverna appears at Snorri's side, "Of course. No svirfneblin in the holy halls of dwarves, but we are completely welcome to delve the depths looking for raised dead and those who raise them."

At 1-3 The main shaft ends at a set of stairs that descend into the stone. The stone stairs are in perfect condition, as if they were crafted this morning. As you descend with your typical lack of stealth, a deep gravelly voice drifts up from below...

"Who comes from above? Tru-gala, have your forgotten your oath to guard the upper reaches? Or are you some bold newcomers? Speak, or die in my crushing grip."

As the Actium exits the shuttlebay, it is mostly protected by the "shadow" of the Bastion, the lee side, as it were. Still, the ship bucks in the was of gravitons from the massive tractor generators orbiting the two planets.

Three successes at the Helm will suffice for piloting.

T'Karra should make a Difficulty 3 Reason+Engineering Task to optimize the output of the fusion/impulse engines and fine tune the thrust vectoring from the thruster. The impulse engines of a runabout are not, of course, meant to move a starship.

Gareb can make a Difficulty 3 Reason+Science Task to continue to match and counter the output of the tractor beams with the main deflector. The wave changes continuously as your distance increases, so it requires constant maintenance.

Given Dr. Macleod's Attributes and Disciplines, I think it would be appropriate for him to handle this order:

The Captain studies a display screen on the arm of his chair. [b]"Dr. MacLeod, I understand that you are also skilled in weapons systems. Please take the tactical console and fire phasers at one of the systems that is engaging us. Mr. th'Chiaquis, if the good Dr. is successful, please factor that into your calculations.

Difficulty 3 Daring+Security Task for Dr. Macleod.

Jok'kem, this would be a place where you could take a Commanding Officer Task on one of the Tasks above. CREATE ADVANTAGE: While not unique to commanding officers (this Task is listed on p. 221), it is particularly useful for characters in command, and normally uses one of Control, Insight, or Reason, plus Command, to perform the Task Difficulty 2, success creates an Advantage). DIRECT: The CO provides clear, concise orders. Choose one other officer currently on the bridge; that officer attempts a single Task, determined by the CO. the CO assists this Task using the Command skill. This action may be used once per scene by each character who has access to it. RALLY: The CO inspires and coordinates the crew, attempting a Presence + Command Task with a Difficulty of 0; this Task is specifically to generate Momentum, either to use straight away or to save for the group.

The Atlantisshakes and shudders as you draw it slowly from the mouth of the wormhole. The bridge of the Valiant shakes as though it might fly apart. Gravitic distortions from within the wormhole threaten to tear the fabric of space around you.

Finally, the two ships come to rest outside of the anomaly.

This takes you away from the planet. Use the Helm actions on page 228 to determine how much power this takes, between 1 and 3 depending on how far from the wormhole you want to be.

As far as Dottie can tell (and she can tell pretty well) no one is on her heels. Someone might have followed Frank, perhaps, but for them moment it seems like Duke's is in the clear. You are free to regroup and figure out next steps.

Fast tracking this a bit, 12, 13, 14, 15 are essentially empty delves. These areas were mined, and show signs of more recent habitation by the monsters that lived here. But now they are empty other than of filth and gnawed bones.

Under the assault of hammer, axe, iron ball, and raw elemental power, the unnatural creature crumples to the stone. A cursory examination reveals that the creature shows signs of carving, biting, and gnawing. This may have been a food source for the other creatures before its horrible resurrection.

Or, even worse, possibly after...

I apologize for missing a couple of days. Lots of sickness in my life.

Jok'kem wrote:
I should have said useless

Jok'kem, what is it that you want your character to do? What function do you want to have in the party? The rules tend to put Command crew in an almost Bard-like way, creating advantages, granting bonuses, aiding. If that isn't what you want to be doing, I'm fine with some rebuilding. We have some roles that aren't currently filled.

I'm fine with some number jiggering or rebuilding. I want you to play a character that is fun to play.

Jok'kem wrote:
I should have said useless

Let's take this to Discussion.

Lt. Commander Kestra wrote:
Kestra says, "Aren't our transporters working? We can do a point to point transport to get me into the Actium and get under way. We definitely need to get the Warp systems on line as well."

You can access the transporters from here, or order someone in a transporter room to do so. You are probably better off with T'Karra than with using Crew Support. You are beaming a target not on a transporter pad, and since no one is on the Runabout operating that pad, that is a total of +2 to the Difficulty. So you are looking at a Difficulty 4 Control+Engineering Task assisted by ship Sensors+Engineering. You can Succeed at Cost if you fail, but that will be a high cost.

Kestra, I'm not sure if that was for RP or real clarification, but I think what they are suggesting is that you use the deflector dish from the ship while the Actium tractors it backwards out of the system.

Dr. Daniel MacLeod wrote:

Sorry I haven't posted, I was confused.

But yeah, I think the open-ended "find your own solution" approach is fantastic in a live game, but it seems hard to process in PbP. I think it can be done, I think we just need to retrain ourselves a bit. On a MUSH, I wouldn't have hesitated to bounce partial ideas around, but for some reason, in this format, I felt like a failure — as if I wasn't properly moving things forward — if I didn't have a full solution to suggest. Back and forth brainstorming seems harder to wrap my brain around in this format.

I see what you are saying. I think the way to fix that is to lean into the failure, potential for failure, or half formed idea. Lots of RPGs leave little room for failure. A failed disable device check can wound, main, or kill you. But for the most part, STA is more forgiving and encouraging. You can succeed even if you fail, just with some consequences. Usually, if you aren't sure of something but you have an idea, you can make a medical or science sort of check to get some more information. And you can always poke around on Memory Alpha if you just want a hint at how something might work. It is a tricky system narratively. I've never gotten to play it at a table, but I imagine with Momentum and Threat tokens and ideas flying across the table it would be a lot of fun.

Overall, you guys are a little more trepidatious than you need to be. I am entirely likely to embrace your ideas to move the story forward. I teach (among other things) improv for a living, so I'm all about "Yes, and..."

I apologize for disappearing for a couple days. I've been ill.

That drains 1 Power. Ship is now at 7 Power.

The tractor beam lances out in blue from the Valiant, grasping the Atlantis in a firm grip of gravitons. The two ships are now conjoined by force, though the Valiant shakes from the effects of the wormhole.

Now what? And sorry for missing a couple of days. Caught some sort of plague at school.

I suspect there are a few problems at fault. What the writers of the scenario are going for is something like the TNG episode ".Booby Trap." The ship is stuck in a dangerous situation and the solution is not just blasting your way out, but first seeking a state of stability and then trying to engineer a way out of the problem. The scenario's 3rd act, where we are now, says, "The characters must decide how to break free now." But this is such a different paradigm to adventure design compared to the Pathfinder/D&D paradigm, that I think it causes paralysis. This game really lets you make up your own solutions, and I think that is intimidating to you as players. Obviously, I'm willing to take some of the credit for failing to communicate all of this.

"Considering the gravitic distortions coming from the wormhole, I'm not sure we can even target a tractor beam, which, as you know, is a manipulation of gravitons. But we can certainly try..."

I guess we are lost here. I'm not sure how to get things back on track.

Round 2

The creature cries out in a terrible honk-hiss, it turns toward Snorri in a flurry of teeth and claws.

Bite: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Foreclaws: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Foreclaws: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Talons: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Talons: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15

Foreclaw reroll: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12

Bite damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Foreclaw damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Foreclaw damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

Erebos moves past Glenda and Dasur. A ray of glowing energy lances from his outstretched finger.

Disrupt Undead: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Disrupt Undead damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4

"If you need a name, you may call me Ysseras. I am but a humble tender of this place. A keeper. I did not intend to sneak up on you. I suppose after all this time being poked and prodded by the soft skins, I have taken to moving quietly."

As you watch the bridge, something you took to be a large flat rock in the stream shifts and then rises up, water flowing down a set of long ears, a broad flat nose, and a shaggy beard. An oversized man shaped figure rises from the water on the other side of the bridge and takes its place drippingly on the other side. It takes notice of you in the distance and calls out. "INSPESION! Come to for INSPESION! Show us yer wares!"

"Then what brings you to this long forsaken place? No Scalykin have passed this way in an age."

"Probably be here for a while, give Lou a call. He'll be able to make sure we can keep in touch."

Sense Motive 20:
Joe letting you go, and telling you he will be here for a while, is probably meant as a test to see who you might go talking to.

Garrett reroutes power to the engines, restoring nominal function. Thoss turns the ship to the starboard, leaving the minefield to port between you and the wormhole. You can now clearly make out the Atlantis.

He picks up the phone, an antique black rotary phone. He dials nothing, but simply waits. To you, he says, "Let's see what we can get rolling. Dolores? Take this down, Dolores. I need to see Carmine. Got something here for him to look at. I need a pig's ear. And I need you to deliver the dry cleaninghe emphasizes cleaning rather than dryto that bar, Bohannon's...Yes, that's the one."

He turns back to you, "That should get some balls rolling. Carmine is an engineer, or sorts. If you can produce or retrieve this mask, he can take a look at it. See where it might have come from. We'll get a police scanner to see if anything is afoot, and we'll put some heat on the Dogs. Let this Negative we are laying down."


Tovi smashes the dorn-dergar into the creature, but Snorri's axe fails to connect as the creature bobs its head out of the way.

This is a primitive creature animated by necromantic energy, a small predator. In game terms, it is a fast zombie deinonychus

Is Tallak still with us? We haven't heard from him for a while.

As Thoss dodges the ancient Romulan mines, the tachyons from your scan spread out into the system. Suddenly, the wormhole doubles in size, filling the viewscreen with swirling blue energy patterns.

The only damage for the moment is to the engines, which can function, just at the +1 Difficulty mentioned above.

"We can monitor the police well enough, but we don't really need to listen to them. They'll call us if there is trouble. I can reach out."

He moves toward the phone.

T'Karra manipulates the output from the deflector dish, creating a standing graviton wave that provides almost perfect interference with the tractor beams from the planetary satellite systems. The ship ceases its shudders and quiet settles across the bridge.

The problem now, of course, is that the ship is pointed at the satellites, its main deflector cancelling their effects. You can't exactly fly backwards at impulse speeds, and the warp engines are still offline.

Given no other plans, I'm going to take Dasur's plan.

You make your way down the carefully crafted hall. It opens to your left in another shaped stone hall, and to your right with another rough delve. This room looks to be long emptied of any valuable ore, but there is something here.

You see a two legged reptilian creature the height of a human, it's eyes gazing at you through the darkness. The flesh has peeled away from its jaw, and several of its ribs protrude from rotten flesh. As it sees you approach, it turns toward you and hisses in a strange, birdlike whistle.

Dasur Initiative: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Glenda Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Snorri Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Torvi Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5

Apparently, all of you go before it can.

Ordrax Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Stealth: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (20) + 14 = 34

Ordrax is just noticing that the statue is wearing a real leather belt when he is surprised to hear a voice to his right.

"Quite a sight, isn't he. Terrible what was done to this place. Are you a pilgrim, scaly-kin?"

Turning to the voice, you see a cloaked, red-scaled kobold in a cloak, holding a long wooden staff.

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kevin_video wrote:
GM SuperTumbler wrote:
Kevin_video, since you are still checking this thread: I know that somewhere you put together resources for finishing the campaign, but I can't seem to find it. I'm running a PbP that is getting close to the end of book 2. I have some good plans for moving forward, but I'd love to find your take again.

That took me a bit. I had to find my blog and make sure all the links still worked. It's been three years since I wrote it, and it had been three years since the KS ended that forced me to do so.

Everything still works, including links, so I'll just leave it here. I closed my blog a while ago due to lack of interest from others and Tumblr being jerks with how everything violated their ToS, so I just stopped altogether.

Hope what I've got there helps you out.

Thanks for your help, Kevin video. Your generosity to an unknown stranger on the internet is awesome. For what it's worth, I've bought everything I can find that you have contributed to.

A large statue of a lizard-faced man sits on a pedestal at the north end of this small shrine. The statue’s arms and legs are missing, and deep scratches have been gouged into its face. Pieces of broken stone, rotting plant matter, and other assorted rubbish lie in heaps on the floor of this room. The smell of rot is particularly strong here.

Rubble slides from the top of the pile in both directions as Ordrax makes his way into the gap.

Your Escape Artist check is plenty to get through the gap.

Erebos sniffs, possibly derisively. "The answer to everything isn't dwarves. I think this barrier is newer. There is something moving around inside. Something penned in. Possibly the creatures that lived here were defending themselves from something, or keeping some sort of foodstock."

Right, what do we want to do?

2 damage with shields down results in a breach.

Breach: 1d20 ⇒ 5 Engines damage. Whenever the Engines system suffers one or more Breaches, it disrupts those functions temporarily. The ship loses 2 Power immediately. Further, until the internal systems officer (or someone in engineering) performs the Restore Minor Action, all Tasks assisted by the ship’s Engines, or which have a Power requirement, increase in both Difficulty and Complication Range by 1.

That is effectively the beginning of ship combat, though there isn't much to combat, exactly. You can still take starship combat actions. Everyone should have a turn before the mines can act again.

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