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218 posts. Alias of Cyrad (RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16).


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That works for me. Thank you!


When I ordered the subscription for Secrets of Magic last week, the special edition of the book was not an available option in the special edition subscription. Now it is.

Is there any possibility my rulebook subscription can be changed to the special edition rulebook subscription so I can get the special edition of Secrets of Magic?

Thank you.


The Big Bads own an entire nation in the distance that currently isn't in good shape. Their objective is to silence a dangerous secret from the party and prevent the party's allied minor demigoddess from getting vengeance upon them. Up until this point, their plan has been to hurt the party's loved ones or give them other more important problems to worry about. However, all it has done was make the party more determined to stop them.

From your pitched ideas, I'm starting to brainstorm something. Perhaps as a back up plan if the battle went awry, the Negative Energy Plane portal is designed so it unleashes an enormous world-threatening monstrosity. If the party fails to deal with it immediately, not only will it threaten countless lives across the Inner Sea but also the party will be blamed for unleashing it. And after the party and their allies are wounded and exhausted from killing it, the bad guys (after recovering from the previous fight) swoop in for the final kill. Depending on how the party plays it out, some of the bad guys might think this plan has gone too far and betray the others.


The party is level 20 with a few mythic tiers. Team Big Bad set up a horrible trap by opening a portal to the Negative Energy Plane (as a homage to Tar Baphon's trap for Aroden). However, despite having every advantage, Team Big Bad still suffered a humiliating defeat that makes it clear they have little chance to defeat them.

What should I have the Big Bads do? Should they just give up and attempt to make peace?


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RyanH wrote:
As part of the test you have to beat a better version of yourself... or technically, someone that is "More of what you are." For the typical person it's their character with mythic levels. For Cayden Cailean, it was someone that was MORE drunk.

That's a pretty cool idea. Makes me think of the scene in Final Fantasy 4 when Cecil becomes a paladin and has to defeat a much more powerful version of his dark knight self. I did consider a "conquer yourself" test where they fight a more powerful version of themselves or an alternate version based on their past. For example, one PC was studying to be an oracle until her parents were murdered and she fled the country to become a magus. Her test might require her to fight an oracle with 8th level spells.


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In my 4-year-still-going campaign, I learned the Big Bad had sufficiently terrified the party of level 16s that one of them now believes her only hope of stopping the Big Bad is to take the Test of the Starstone. The other party members are reluctant but agree to take the test together if she decides to go through with it.

The problem is that with how I envision the Test, this mission is essentially suicidal. But I don't want to shut down the idea either. The party does have a demigoddess as an ally, but the goddess's presence on the Material Plane is extremely fragile and she can't do much to help.


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These are some awesome suggestions. Especially by DominusMegadeus. I'm trying to embrace the fun big stakes stuff in high level play.

In my campaign, each of Razmir's Visions has a title and runs some aspect of his nation or represents an advising council of some subject. The three most feared Visions are the Vision of War (commander-in-chief of Razmir's military), the Vision of Arcana (Razmir's head mage), and the Vision of Faith (the head of Razmir's church). These three are Razmir's closest advisers. So far, the party has only indirectly interacted with the Vision of Arcana, who fought them using dominated followers, simulacrums, or constructs as a proxy.

The party that killed the goddess consisted of six people. I haven't totally figured out all of their classes, but I decided they should have a cleric and a monk at the very least. They might have a wizard and/or maybe a psychic class like a mesmerist. The monk was the one that dealt the killing blow on the goddess. Still-living members of the party are probably around 16th-17th level by now.

One of the six currently has their soul trapped inside of a soul gem. This is actually how the party found out about Razmir's secret -- this man has Razmir's face. During the battle that resulted in the goddess's death, the goddess disintegrated one of the evil adventurers and trapped his soul into a gem. The evil party wasn't aware of the second component of this spell and assumed the goddess had utterly destroyed their companion. The PCs saw a vision of the events that led up to the goddess's death and were rather shocked to see that "Razmir" not only did not kill the goddess but also did not survive the fight. After the goddess was reborn, she took the soul gem and interrogated the contained spirit, who never heard of Razmir and seemed completely oblivious that his face serves as the symbol of an religion and nation.

At the moment, the PCs doesn't feel any pressing desire to go on the offensive. The goddess is patient and prefers to build up her avatar's power and conduct investigation of the party that killed her before making her move. While she has godly powers, she's considerably weaker than she was prior to her death. This works in Razmir's advantage as he has time to plan.

Red Mantis assassins might not be a good idea. Not only are they extremely costly, but also if they catch wind of Razmir's ruse, they could just as easily turn on him.


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Throughout my 3-year campaign, Razmiri faithful have proven their mantle as villains. Now almost 15th level, my players have recently completed a long adventure to procure a dangerous artifact before Razmiran does and used the artifact to resurrect a (potentially evil) dead god, who revealed a rather scandalous secret about Razmir. The question is, what would Razmir's next move be?

Background
In my campaign, holy scripture and history books describe that Razmir killed an obscure, minor demigod as one of the crucial steps towards his divinity. Now 50 years later, a fragment of that god haunted one of the party members, who live in a dusty town in Andoran.

After several adventures where the party thwarted evil plans of Razmir's faithful and even stopped a Razmiri invasion of Sevenarches, the god tasked the party with uniting three pieces of a dangerous artifact (Gluttonous Tome) in order to resurrect her. Razmir became aware of this and sent armies and assassins to beat them to the punch, but the party ultimately succeeded.

When the god was resurrected in a weakened child form, she revealed information that suggests Razmir may not actually exist and that he may just be a false figurehead created by a party of adventuring conmen that have now grown old and powerful -- the real people who killed the demigod in the first place.

The god that Razmir supposedly killed is now resurrected. The party now believes they know some of Razmir's darkest secrets. The gluttonous tome used to resurrect her is now locked up in Andoran's capital. Attempts to kill the party with military force and demonize the party politically have failed. The resurrected god is now biding her time to allow her weakened avatar to gain strength before enacting her revenge. Razmir is aware of all of this.

Now, I need to figure out what exactly would he do.


Hm, I see. I like the idea that they become part of the dragon. Maybe killing the dragon frees the souls.


Umbral dragons are unique in that they can devour incorporeal undead, like ghosts and spectres. However, incorporeal undead are essentially souls and ghosts eaten by them do not manifest again. Wouldn't that mean that when an umbral dragon eats a ghost, they're eating the individual's soul and destroying it?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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The party actually made themselves out to be quite heroic in the face of all the eldritch events, the dead rising from the grave crying out that they await the resurrection of their glorious master. But now the government has sent their best soldiers to escort the party to the capital and make their case why the government should allow them to resurrect the dead god.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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I think the players have played well enough that the government will likely not arrest them. However, the government might take the artifact away and prohibit them from resurrecting the god, which is something the party would not like.


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So many good suggestions!

Okay, here's what's going on now.

1. I decided that in the past few months, the Andoran government has silently sent agents to investigate the validity of the rumors. Initial investigations and preliminary research into the god definitely raises some alarm, so the government has dispatched an adventuring party to look into the matters more closely.

2. The hired mercenaries have done work for the government in the past and also know the PC party very well. Though now allies, the mercenaries came to blows with the party over misunderstandings in the past and want to avoid that happening again above all else. They couldn't get much information from the party about the god resurrection. However, from casual conversation, they learned that the party procured the dangerous artifacts for all the right reasons and did so to prevent an enemy from getting them. The mercenaries now trust the party and genuinely believe they mean no harm, even if they seem to be playing with something very dangerous.

3. In the last session, an ominous storm began to loom over the party's home town and create lightning of negative energy. The mercenaries revealed to the party that these storms have been happening throughout the nation and always seemed to flow to this location. The lightning in this particular storm has caused the dead to rise from the grave and chant that they wish to bare witness to the dead god's return. Mainwhile, undead giants wade through the sea towards the town and eldritch planar creatures stalk the streets, killing villagers. The party is now trying to save as many lives as possible.

I think at this point, the government would bring out the hardcore divination magic and take serious action. Though, uses of the commune spell to inquiry about the god would likely divide opinions even further.


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Why not amnesia or some kind of spellblight?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

When designing, I typically debate with myself between two or more approaches. So, I create a draft of each approach and then get my pit crew's impressions of it. Based on how they felt about them, I make a decision. For example, let's say I can't decide between designs A, B, or C. So I write a draft for each of them and ask which one they like the best. This can make me think of a new approach that uses a combination of the existing ones based on their reactions.

However, I gain the biggest benefit from merely forcing myself to create concrete drafts of multiple approaches. This alone often shows me which design choices might work and which ones aren't viable. I think this is the most important use of your pit crew -- making sure you always have something to show for the time you spend. Navel-gazing rarely gets you very far, especially when you have a deadline.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Bah, it sucks being in EST sometimes!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

I spent all week writing my post-mortem. I recommend everyone else doing the same, especially now that our Top 8 has a few days to breathe. This is something I've taken to doing from my exposure to the indie video game dev scene. It's always good to reflect on completed projects to learn and get a sense of closure before moving on to the next one.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

I thank everyone for taking the time to respond to my entry.

For those who haven't seen me around before, I am a software engineer who moonlights as an indie game developer and got into tabletop game development in order to build my game design skills. When I'm not working on my puzzle platformer Displacement, I write free Pathfinder RPG content and serve as an active member of the homebrew forum. My work includes the runari race based on the characters of my indie computer game and the artiforged , a base class that takes a setting-neutral approach to creating a cyborg-like character.

So what went behind the creation of the valemask?

Inspiration: I consider polymorph and transformation as a fascinating design space that seems surprisingly unexplored in D&D and Pathfinder. The selection of polymorph spells seem utterly bizarre and incomplete. At 9th level, you can permanently turn a dragon into a chicken, but you can only turn a man into an elf for a few minutes. Similarly, until recently, the only hostile polymorph effects were save-or-die spells like the ubituquous baleful polymorph spell. There's much more that could be done here.

Design Goals: I wanted to create a monster with a hostile polymorph effect that was not a save or die effect. I did not want the effect to be completely disabling. In fact, I thought it would be interesting if it had some advantages as well.

Implementation: I tried several methods of a polymorph effect, but ultimately liked the gradual application better with each disability also granting a benefit. This added tension and played well with the monster kiting with ranged attacks and using Stealth to prolong the fight. I decided against giving the creature damage reduction in order to make sure the polymorphed victim's natural attacks don't become completely ineffective.

It made perfect sense that this monster would be a fey, but I needed to answer the important question of why a creature would polymorph their enemies into anything less than totally crippling. I conjured the narrative of a race of little fey hunters that use polymorph magic to cheat at their own hunting game ("First World Logic" I like to call it). The valemasks carry a spark of the First World that constantly shifts their form and allows them to temporarily mutate nearby plants. As a result, they wear masks to reveal their identity rather than to conceal it. They gain personal satisfaction from downing creatures larger than themselves. Dinoasaurs are the holy grail of scary creatures to down, but they are rare -- or more accurately, don't exist in the Darkmoon Vale, which was a mistake on my part. With humanoid settlements growing nearer to their hunting grounds and beasts becoming more difficult to track, using their curse to exploit a loophole in their hunting game became ever more attractive.

Statting high level fey is fairly difficult due to the low base attack bonus that reduces their number of attacks and makes some feats inaccesible. To fill the gap and round out the creature's combat options, I added a net attack and some net feats so they have a melee option. This also utilized the high Strength I needed to give the creature to make their archery attacks effective.

In the moments leading to the deadline, I watched my wordcount carefully. Unfortunately, much of the work and communication of the monster's tactic had to be cut from the monster due to wordcount. Though, this did force me to improvise. An earlier version of Wild Snap Trap acted as a magical explosive that made plants grow and exposed creatures to Touch of the Wild. I simplified the mechanic by simply turning a plant into a bear trap, which played well with the valemask's polymorphic theme.

Post-Mortem: It's obvious from the judges's analysis and voter's questions about the monster that the wordcount margin proved highly detrimental to my entry. I watched my wordcount carefully. However, I realized too late that Paizo's system does not use the same wordcount algorithm as my word processor. My entry clocks at 591 words in my wordprocessor, but Paizo's system says 512 words. I never use the submission form during the design process due to RPG Superstar's history of contestants disqualifying themselves after accidentally submitting an incomplete entry.

Far too exhausted so close to the deadline to add an extra 70-80 words that might muck up the entry with mistakes, I submitted it anyway. Quite infuriating as I could have used that to add more lore to the description, which could have told the monster's motivations, hunting strategies, and other aspects originally cut from the entry that would better communicate my design decisions. I can't completely blame the technical problems -- even with my illusory wordcount, I should have focused more on the lore than the mechanics.

I'm happy that the valmask captured the imaginations of some of the voters, and I appreciate the feedback everyone provided. In closing of my Season 9 run, I offer the following gift I've drawn to honor those who followed me throughout this competition.

LINK

Thank you and best luck to the Top 8!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

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I really liked the 50-word description because it establishes context, which is absolutely vital to designing maps for published adventures. Without context, it might as well just be a flip map.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

This is a competition to write a published module. Almost every module introduces a new type of monster that needed a write up from the ground up. NPCs either don't need full write ups or can be written as having a combination of class levels. I'm sure this is a factor as well.

In addition, as Mikko points out, playing out an NPC/villain's actions through an encounter or adventure does a better job of characterizing them than listing their background or motivations. Action defines character.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

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JPSTOD, I love seeing new faces wanting an active role in the community. However, RPG Superstar's community thrives on self-improvement for the purpose of producing professional work. People get involved with hopes of getting jobs in the industry as designers, developers, cartographers, authors, etc. Showing a piece of work and admitting you couldn't be bothered to finish it or put more effort does not really align with the attitude of RPG Superstar. I'd love to see something from you that really shows your A-game.

Also, flip maps don't have a scale or compass rose because they're not designed to map a specific location. Flip maps function as battlemaps for GMs to reuse across campaigns. Flip maps have a different purpose than maps you find in published adventures.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

In that case, I'm not really sure what feedback you're looking for, JPSTOD.

If cartography's more up your alley than game design, I can help with that. If you want to make maps that really stand out, don't limit yourself to a single tool. After finishing work in Campaign Cartographer, try exporting it to Photoshop and painting over it to add details and features that would be difficult to achieve with CC3. This would also help eliminate that busy "generated" look CC or dundjinni maps tend to have. I do illustration and use many different software applications for my work.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Well done, my fellow RPG Superstar contestants. You have defeated me in glorious battle, but don't let my blood dull your blades! The toughest challenges await you.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

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I hope you feel better. I know what it's like to have something like that knock the creative energy out of ya. I had tooth pain during the map round and got my tooth pulled so I wouldn't have to spend the day of the deadline in pain.


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I just thought of something else. Zealots of other dead gods might come knocking at the party's door...or busting it down and taking the artifact for themselves.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

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Make sure you guys actually do this in PM. Don't post the requests in this thread!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Oh right. Thanks for clarifying that.


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They're in Andoran, so probably everything done by committee and then handled off to a division that handles the affairs?

Having a god reborn in Andoran borders kind of adds an interesting wrinkle to their religious tolerance policy. I can see that the god's moral ambiguity might cause people to feel divided in whether to stop or allow the resurrection. On one hand, they risk an evil god getting reborn. On the other hand, they risk grossly violating one of their society's most valued tenets in a historical way.


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Those are some good suggestions. I like the idea of the government calling a celestial.

And no, I definitely do not want to flatout screw over the party. I want to present a challenging/intriguing scenario that the party will have to maneuver and could potentially twist into their favor. To do so, I need to get a good idea what the government of their home nation might do. The party has a good relationship with the governor of their hometown, but the enemy might have a few federal government officials in their pocket.

An investigation will surely show that the party is meddling with something dangerous. The party means well, but even they aren't entirely sure of the dead god's alignment. The god's remnants seem enigmatic but somewhat benign -- at least to the party. She even occasionally grants the party gifts, such as a reflavored Aviary of Spirits, when the party does something that pleases her. The god definitely stinks of bad juju as a piece of her spirit possessing the magus's blackblade occasionally steals the soul of a slain evil enemy. The party believes the god wants to become resurrected onto the Material Plane and get revenge on those that killed her and her followers decades ago.

A government paladin might be an interesting idea. The party hasn't encountered one yet despite this campaign lasting years. The paladins in my campaign are generally not Lawful Stupid and an experienced paladin knows that getting an accurate alignment reading takes some skill and patience.


The investigation would definitely show that something is up, though the party is fairly charismatic.


In my campaign, enemies are spreading rumors that the party is resurrecting a dead evil god using a dangerous artifact. The rumors do not go completely unfounded. The party does seek to bring back an eldritch god-like spirit and they do possess a dangerous artifact, hoping that the spirit's quest will earn them a powerful ally. When the enemy accuses them of these misdeeds, the party jokingly doesn't deny it.

The question is, how would a government (like Andoran) respond to these rumors within their borders? Would the government dismiss them? Would they arrest the party? How'd they do it when the party is well known to have great power (14th level)? Would the government respond if the weather changes and omnious eldritch events begin occurring around the major cities, centered on the party's home town?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Thank you, Judges. I genuinely appreciate your honest analyses.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Matthew Morris wrote:
Unless there is a good reason not to, have your item's function compliment its form. Usually, swords should do hit-y things! Armor should be protective. Playing against this can be interesting, but run your design by some friends and make sure that the form of your item doesn't seem arbitrary.

I always encourage this piece of advice. Especially true for wondrous items. It really amps up the item's cool factor.


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Submitted!


Mark Seifter wrote:
David Neilson wrote:
Be weird if you got the ability to be a summoned creature.

Don't knock it til you tried it!

Also, just noticed that this one has both Anthony and Linda as freelancers. Boston Lodge unite?

Oh gosh. Someone--anyone--working on this. Please make this be a thing. Please!

League of Legends campaign anyone?


I'd love to hear more information. So this is an open call for item submissions from those who entered RPG Superstar? We have to wait until the first round is over before submitting?


Ah, I thought of a way! The disease can't spread through animals. However, the betrayer could baleful polymorph infected elves into easily portable animals to smuggle them out of the kingdom.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Omnitricks wrote:
Norgorber’s Noose

For a moment there, I thought it said "Norgorber's Nose" and was "ew..."


The disease doesn't really spread through animals, though. Blargh.


An escort mission does seem like the best way so far.

Actually, I never thought of undead carrying the disease before. The kingdom's leaders wouldn't expect that either


None of the PCs are elves and don't have elves as close friends. I imagine there's a quantine camp on the tainted holy lands full of diseased elves doomed to die, but it would be heavily guarded and difficult to get to.


I'm running into writer's block in my campaign.

An empire is invading a kingdom in order to help a band of elves reclaim their holy land. What the elves don't know is that a highly contagious, magical disease lethal to elves has tainted their sacred land. The kingdom's mage leaders have spent hundreds of years forbidding elves from their domain while trying to find a cure. However,the kingdom is now most vulnerable due to the empire's invasion.

I have two questions to figure out.

1) How can I involve the PCs in this plot? The PCs hate the empire. While they certainly helped the kingdom, the kingdom's leaders feel reluctant to reveal the secret around the disease.

2) How does the empire plan to spread the disease? Smuggle an allied elf in? Maybe the empire bribed a dragon to betray the kingdom?


I've stumbled into a writer's block concerning an adventure involving Razmiran invading Sevenarches. I'm wondering if someone can help me out.

Campaign Background:
Thanks to spies and bribing a green dragon that lurks in the Wilewood of Sevenarches, Razmir learned that Oakstewards are hiding the source of a terrible disease that can potentially wipe out the elven race. If the disease spreads, Razmir cripples the neighboring nation with the most power to hinder his conquest across the River Kingdoms while painting himself a hero and the Oakstewards as the monsters that tore the elven race asunder.

After conquering Tymon, Razmir sent an army to invade Sevenarches, using propaganda that he wishes to help the elves reclaim their holy land. Kyonin obviously don't believe this, but choose to take advantage of the situation noneoftheless, sending a force on the other side of Sevenarches. With two invading organized armies to contend with, the oakstewards now have their hands full. What they may-or-may not know is that the entire invasion is merely a diversion for Razmir to find a way to find the source of the disease and spread it.

Using an amphibeous alchemical ship, the party traveled to Sevenarches in hopes of asking the oakstewards for a favor (one of the party members needs a regeneration). However, they took an unexpected route right through the Thinlands and into the heart of Razmiran invasion. They managed to halt the invasion's momentum and kill two gorgas the Razmirans were using as bioweapons, temporarily saving a small farming town in the process. The party now plans to head to the capital of Sevenarches where they expect to find a cure for the party member that needs a regeneration and get a bigger picture of what's going on.

Now I have the following questions to figure out for this plot.
1) How will Razmir spread the disease? And how he will do it in a way that the oakstewards and the fey cannot easily handle it? The obvious solution seems to sneak a few elves into Seven Arches and send them to Kyonin. Some of my ideas involve maybe involve a green dragon that Razmir bribed into betraying the oakstewards. I imagine there might be a diseased elf concentration camp as well inside of the Seven Arches.

2) How can I involve the players in this? What can I have them do that the oakstewards and the fey can't do themselves? They're 11th level and have a land ship. While not entirely interested in fighting a war, the party hates Razmirans and will gladly do anything to make life a living hell for Razmir's faithful.


I'm having a little bit of writer's block in the current story arc related to Razmir and the Sevenarches. I'm not sure how to get to a certain point and involve the players in the big plot.

Spoiler:

Thanks to spies and bribing a green dragon that lurks in the Wilewood of Sevenarches, Razmir learned that Oakstewards are hiding the source of a terrible disease that can potentially wipe out the elven race. If the disease spreads, Razmir cripples the neighboring nation with the most power to hinder his conquest across the River Kingdoms while painting himself a hero and the Oakstewards as the monsters that tore the elven race asunder.

After conquering Tymon, Razmir sent an army to invade Sevenarches, using propaganda that he wishes to help the elves reclaim their holy land. Kyonin obviously don't believe this, but choose to take advantage of the situation noneoftheless, sending a force on the other side of Sevenarches. With two invading organized armies to contend with, the oakstewards now have their hands full. What they may-or-may not know is that the entire invasion is merely a diversion for Razmir to find a way to find the source of the disease and spread it.

Using an amphibeous alchemical ship, the party traveled to Sevenarches in hopes of asking the oakstewards for a favor (one of the party members needs a regeneration). However, they took an unexpected route right through the Thinlands and into the heart of Razmiran invasion. They managed to halt the invasion's momentum and kill two gorgas the Razmirans were using as bioweapons, temporarily saving a small farming town in the process. The party now plans to head to the capital of Sevenarches where they expect to find a cure for the party member that needs a regeneration and get a bigger picture of what's going on.

Now I have the following questions to figure out for this plot.
1) How will Razmir spread the disease? And how he will do it in a way that the oakstewards and the fey can easily handle it? The obvious solution seems to sneak a few elves into Seven Arches and send them to Kyonin. Some of my ideas involve maybe involve a green dragon that Razmir bribed into betraying the oakstewards. I imagine there might be a diseased elf concentration camp as well inside of the Seven Arches.

2) How can I involve the players in this? What can I have them do that the oakstewards and the fey can't do themselves? They're 11th level and have a land ship. While not entirely interested in fighting a war, the party hates Razmirans and will gladly do anything to make life a living hell for Razmir's faithful.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Curaigh wrote:
Keeping it private is usually enough. Collaboration is not allowed, so make sure you have a solid idea before you start critiquing.

To what extent can we give and take suggestions? You can take and give suggestions between your pit crew as long as they're not actually writing out any parts that end up in your entry?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Curaigh wrote:
FWIW I found my home crew not as helpful as I needed. As we game together what seemed like a good idea is based on a number of house rules or rules assumptions. Hmmm... maybe it is more their critique worked like a house rule. Also they are not aware of the common pitfalls in RPGSS. SiC, safe adventuring, monster-maker, game (balance?)-breakers, and a +2 skill bonus all seemed like good ideas to them. I start with my home group, to know what kernal of an idea strikes the most fancy. Then I throw the developed idea out to my RPGSS critique circle for the next couple of passes. The penultimate pass comes from my home group too. They will often be able to find things...

A home crew is good to see what ideas excite them, but not so much for creating a refined item. They don't understand the high expectations of the competition as this is not merely a contest for making cool items. It's a contest to prove you got the skills necessary to be a professional game designer.

I'm trying to encourage one of my friends to give it a shot, but the contest intimidates him.


My players are about to steal an artifact from a Razmiran museum. Though I pictured the museum more-so a tourist trap or some retired noble's collection than a proper tribute to the Living God, what exhibits would you expect to be there? I originally thought to structure the museum so there's an exhibit for each of Razmir's 31 steps to divinity, but that would require figuring out each individual step!


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wraithstrike wrote:

Actually the problem is that people can't accept nonmagical people doing extraordinary things. They limit bar is set much lower in people's minds.

See how much people "love" Tome of Battle. -_-

This. I find it interesting that the Alexandrian mentioned in this article that the peak of realistic human perfection is level 5. In other words, the greatest of people in our real world equate to the skill and power level of a 5th level character. You see this effect in martials. For nearly all martial classes, 5th level is usually when the class gets their last interesting class feature.


Wheatley wrote:
I don't much like the looks of this, mate.

And for your next test, we look into the effects of transferring the consciousness of an intelligent item into that of a rune-carved vegetable.


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The city I'm homebrewing does not hold executions or imprison criminals. Instead, criminals are sent to a large, windowless arcane research facility where the city's patriarch resides. Here, criminals are subject to spells, creatures, traps, and magical substances that the facility has developed or conducted research for. Though surprisingly humane to the test subjects, the facility assigns the most dangerous chambers to the worst criminals, which are not expected to survive. Wards and sigils loaded with spells handle much of the facility's automation and some sigils enable the administrators to scry on the progress of the tests.

Here's a few of my test chambers. Perhaps you can think of some as well?

Weighted Ooze Chamber
The chamber has a minor obstacle course where the party must deliver a beacon to the goal. However, weighted oozes drip from the ceiling, which try to adhere to the party. While the oozes are harmless, they weigh 30 pounds and encumber the PCs. PCs carrying more than a heavy load risk suffocation. The oozes dissolve after one hour or when the party completes the goal.

Shunting Chamber
When the party arrives to the center of this chamber, the floor elevates 30 feet. An enchanted cube teleports every round onto the space of the nearest party member, shunting them towards the edge of the platform and dealing 1d6 damage. The party advances if they manage to bull rush the cube off the ledge.

Gaseous Form Chamber
This chamber is designed to test the properties of a person while in gaseous form. Each subject is given a potion of gaseous form and must navigate through a maze of wind sigils that blow the subjects in given directions (similar to Team Rocket’s maze in Pokemon). The chamber has several hazards, including rotating blades and heat fields.

Mimic Shape Chamber
This chamber tests the effectiveness of a new spell: mimic shape, which grants the subjects the ability to use a mimic’s mimic object ability for 30 minutes. Each subject is given a potion of this spell and must navigate through a maze while a very dangerous and perceptive creature hunts them down.

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