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Organized Play Member. 103 posts (259 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character. 9 aliases.

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From a mechanical perspective, Tsuto as a Monk allows him to Flurry for multiple, lower damage attacks. This makes him a threat to a full level 1 party without getting swamped by action priority, but not likely to just nuke down a PC or two off the top with a lucky crit.

Lore-wise, Tsuto was raised outside of the Kaijitsu household. Off the top of my head (and without digging in and searching through sourcebooks) I believe he was raised in the Turandarok Academy, which serves as both school and orphanage. While the headmaster there is a Wizard/Rogue, I believe there's a connection between him and the current or past owner of the House of Blue Stone. If I'm remembering correctly, then it's not outside the pale that Tsuto received some 'troubled kid' lessons to try and give him some discipline.

I might be wrong though. Tsuto also ran away from home and spent time in the seedier places around Varisia, and in particular Magnimar - his journey was the flip side of Ameiko, who left and lived the 'good adventurer' life. His skill with fists and feet could be more of a Brawler thing, it just wouldn't be a published class until years after RotRL rereleased it's anniversary edition.

As for bringing him over to 2e, I can't really comment as I haven't looked into the system, sorry.

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Glad I could help, and these seems like some good plans!

One thing I'll note for interest sake is that I really like that you've been fleshing out the Pazuzu/Lamashtu side, but don't forget that theirs is not a 2-way fight.

Pazuzu has another deadly rival in the Empyreal Lord Ylimancha as they fight over the souls of all things that fly, who also happens to be a patron lord of Magnimar. (Campaign Setting: Chronicle of the Righteous, p28 for more info)

Lamashtu has multiple enemies, but of particular note in the campaign already being Desna (Lamashtu stole the Beast domain from Desna's god-mentor, which caused his death).

If any of your PCs are good-leaning, having one of these deities take interest in them as the war between Pazuzu and Lamashtu ramps up will give you an in on giving the party some divine inspiration in what's important to them.

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Wow. Ok, there's some real mental gymnastics going around with your players.

First, something to consider is whether the Players/PCs are lying - are they just trying to draw out enemies, and you as the DM have not been informed this is their intent? This is an important piece of information, and sometimes you as a DM need to know the players 'secret plans' so that you can best help them achieve things instead of just frustrate them.

This being said, here are some 'how to progress' thoughts.

1) Lucretia and Xanesha were rivals, and naturally evil. It's up to you how much your Lucretia might feel a desire for vengeance or revenge at the death of her sister. My suggestion would be that she is amused more than anything - there 'heros' defeated her sister and are now trying to side with her. It's a delicious last laugh against Xanesha.

2) Mokmurian is the servant of Karzoug, and Karzoug has given him orders and goals. I don't think Mok actually needs to meet the heros yet in person - it might be worthwhile for Mok and Luc to enact a magical ritual to allow them to speak, and the PCs to see an Illusion Mok briefly (I'm thinking like the giant Snoak head in Force Awakens). This gives them a chance to see a next-tier enemy, and hear orders passed directly from the End Boss. The PCs learn the chain of command in the enemy forces, and get to hear how uncaring Mok, and Luc, are for the lives they are about to reap.

3) If the PCs still side with Lucretia, and based on their guesses, she reveals some but not all of her plans. She reveals that the Ogres who have the Fort are under her nominal control, but they are trouble to manage sometimes and bumbling oafs. I can't think of a great way to say it now, but in general she should ask the PCs to prove themselves by going and cleaning out the Trolls who are causing problems up on Skull's Crossing. If they do this, it makes it much easier for the ogres to finish the breaking of the dam to wipe out the town. If the PCs go through with killing off the Trolls, Luc can send them to meet Barl Breakbones up in the Kreeg Clanhold. They can learn the same info from him that they would have if they were to fight and capture him alive. If the PCs are in, the other 'nameless' Stone Giant can approach them that Barl is delaying Mok's plans because he likes being overlord here too much. If they were to handle him and take over, this giant would speak for them and Mok would be pleased.

At this point, if the PCs are going all in on joining the return of Karzoug, you can keep moving through the adventure nominally but from the other side - after the flood, Lucretia leaves to take up her sister's work in Magnimar, while the PCs are to follow the Stone Giant, the Hags and their ogre army to meet Mok. When they are nearly there, they receive orders to join Teraktinus on the assault on Sandpoint. If they go through with the attack, now they are firmly on the side of evil. They go back to Jorgenfist with the raiding army and get to see the place as a series of social encounters instead of combat.

Once there, they can explore the Black Tower (the only place unclaimed by Mok). After a variety of social encounters, Mok receives word from Karzoug (the PCs see Karzoug's illusion message/discussion with Mok) and sends these heros to unlock Runeforge to bring back his servants who should have been safe in the Vault of Greed (they can explore more if they want, and since Ordikon is mad you can either change it to a social encounter or play it as written.)

After they return they find out Mok has marched on the southern cities with his army, starting with subjugating Magnimar. He's left an NPC servant (Lucretia, or maybe the hags) to escort the PCs and whoever they ahve brought back from Runeforge to Xin Shalast, to witness the return of the Runelord and provide him information on the lands of mortals he will soon dominate.

They go, they see Shalast, they enter the Spires, they are even brought into the Pinnacle/Eye to speak with Karzoug prior to his return. He activates the Runewell and enters the world (or the Leng device screws him over, your choice.)

At any point the PCs could balk/turn on their new 'allies' and the adventure can go back to the way it was written. If the PCs go through to the very end and then when faced with Karzoug try and kill him; well, they skipped a bunch of content and are probably under leveled, but they can give it a shot. It wouldn't be impossible.

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Just realized I posted about this in my own thread, but didn't add it to the tally here. This is PC Death #7 in my campaign.

Name of PCs: Azarbod
Class/Level: Bloodrager 7
Adventure: Skinsaw Murders
Catalyst: Shadowclock Fight
Story: The party, duped into heading to the Shadowclock by Justice Ironbriar as his allies (they told him he was enchanted and left him to his own devices to get it dispelled, giving him time to plan), assaulted the building and were shocked to be confronted by an undead version of Nualia standing on the interior stairs. She warned them to leave, but they didn't listen and charged in along with their City Watch (actually Skinsaw cultists) allies. Azarbod, on Round 1 of combat, buffed himself with Blur and Haste while bloodraging and ran in passed the screening line of Watch/Cultist meatshields to stand directly in front of the 'large, slowly standing shape' in the back corner. It was the Scarecrow, who crit with his scythe, a x4 weapon. Azarbod dropped beyond negative Con due to losing his Rage hp when he went unconscious.

He will likely be revived, if his party live through Xanesha...

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Remember it's not your job as the GM/DM to come up with answers to all the problems the PCs face. Sometimes you need to just let them run into a problem like this and get creative on their own rather than offering them possible answers.

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One Night, Second Session

Well, Tuesday was the second session of my 'One Night Only' Shadowclock encounter. Suffice it to say, my players did not exactly exceed my expectations...

We left off with the Bloodrager dead, all of the Skinsaw Cult (including Ironbriar and a returned Tsuto) dead, and most of Xanesha's forces (Scarecrow and Faceless Stalkers) dead except for Nualia (who was captured in a Create Pit spell, with a Web spell over top of it), and a couple of Faceless Stalkers way up at the top of the tower.

Of the living PCs, the Wizard and the Swashbuckler were focused on trying to capture Nualia, the Hunter was mourning his deceased wolf, and the Slayer was sprinting up the stairs to the top of the tower. As we started the session, the Hunter decided to follow the Slayer.

That's right folks, we've got a perfectly split party.

The Swashbuckler in particular wants to capture Nualia to try and get more information out of her, and the Wizard is going along. Because we have multiple spells running with Round timers (and Revenant Nualia is healing 3 per round, not that the PCs have had a chance to notice this), we're in Initiative. This Downstairs Pair spend pretty much the next 3.5 hours of game time in combat rounds trying different ways to suppress Nualia. The Wizard burns all of his spell slots making more Pits (3 more pits were made, Nualia failed the saves on all but one of them to fall in) and other suppression tactics.

Trying to gently suggest that this might not be the best course of action, she responds to all of their questions and prompts with varying degrees of the following:

- It doesn't matter if you kill me and all of her other servants, my Mistress above will deal with you herself if she must
- You should probably take the body of my brother and leave (aka. her half-brother the Bloodrager. She is an intelligent/advanced Revenant and regrets her last battle with her only living kin (that shen knows of), and would rather see him ressurected as the Wizard says he will do. Them leaving would serve her orders of Xanesha to deal with the intruders).
- I will not stop

Finally, after about 15-18 combat rounds, between a Black Tentacles spell from the Wizard and some grapple/pin checks from the Swashbuckler, they get Nualia tied up and gagged. During their fight they realized she doesn't bleed properly and is healing, so they use some discarded swords from the fight to stab her through the gut and pin her to a wall.

They then spent about 12 minutes searching all the bodies and collecting all the magic items on the ground floor. This is quite a haul and they pile it up.

Then they realize that their allies haven't come back down from above, and the Wizard says he's pretty much useless at this point - all he has left is a Feather Fall spell. The Swashbuckler is feeling drained too (she's out of Pinache). They aren't sure what to do...

Meanwhile, UPSTAIRS
The Slayer is a few floors of stairs ahead of the hunter, and gets to the top first. He one-shots one of the two Faceless Stalkers who were dropping bells on people with a crit. He then duels the other one on the wooden scaffolding, taking his first hit since Book 2 started (and only losing Temp HP from his Sihedron Medallion).

The Hunter catches up, and together they climb out onto the outer scaffolding and see they can get into either a small room that leads onto the next floor (please, I beg inside my head, do this and delay your progress a bit), or they see a hole in the shingled roof they need to climb/acrobatics up to, where they see light spilling out into the dark of night.

They skip the room, and climb up.

They find, in Xanesha's Chamber, a beautiful woman who invites them to join her in her silk and pillows lounging area at the foot of the black angel statue that tops the Shadowclock. They do so, the Slayer sitting down and asking for her story, while the Hunter remains a bit more on edge but also enters deep into the room.

Xanesha has cast Major Image to create the human version of herself, and Ventriloquism to speak through it. She is currently clinging to the upper rafters of this room with her Climb speed (snake tail), and the Slayer sees her drop out of Inivisibility to reach out and touch the Hunter for some Wis drain to open combat.

The PCs split their rolls for the first couple of rounds - they do great on saves, beating the Medusa Mask and a Deep Slumber, but also can't break a 10 on the die to hit. Xanesha catches the Hunter in her second and final Deep Slumber spell, then turns to the Slayer and catches him with a Charm Monster on her following turn.

I had the room go dark as the players were no longer aware of what was going on up there, and this was occuring concurrent to the Nualia fight downstairs, which was wrapping up.

So it went dark, and THEN the Downstairs PCs decided to spend time collecting loot.

Overall, I was not intending this session to be the second in a row that was pretty much ALL combat rounds. I am super glad the Bloodrager was away on his honeymoon and didn't show up expecting to get a resurrection any time soon, cause he would have been waiting for another full session.

In game, since they stepped up to the Shadowclock, it's only been about 15 minutes.

I've got 1 PC dead, 2 PCs captured by a Lamia Matriarch, and 2 PCs tapped for resources and unaware of what is waiting above. Yikes.

What I'm thinking I'm going to do is move up the timeline on the Swashbucklers next encounter with the Calistrian faith - her last encounter was trying to sneak onto the Dome of the Savoured Sting grounds to get in and visit their temple prostitutes. She was caught and rebuffed by Ayamyra, the head Cleric, as she saw off the Calistrian city patrol for the night.

Start of next session I think Ayamyra and two of her Rogue toughs are going to come in the front door. Word of a strange procession of City Watch moving through the city reached her, and how they came to Underbridge, and she'll have come to investigate. They can tell her the story, and she can mention how this seems a worthy cause for sweet revenge in the eyes of Calistria.

Ayamyra can heal up any damage the Wizard and Swashbuckler have taken, and then will accompany them up the Shadowclock looking for this 'Mistress' and their silent allies. She'll leave the toughs downstairs watching over the captured Nualia (who will probably escape). Having a Level 7 Cleric (her official stats) should give them the boost they need - especially if she can break one or both of the captured PCs from their Charm Monster.

If they survive the fight (I haven't decided if the Will 'O Wisp minion will be up there or not, I didn't drop it in when just the 2 were there), she'll also prove a valuable contact when dealing with the fall out of them killing a Justice of the city. Likely her vouching for the PCs will get them an 'expedited exile' instead of a formal court date and getting sent down to the Hells. And on a more personal note, the Swashbuckler will gain two things: entrance in to see the Calistrian temple-prostitutes (I feel like I need to point out this is a female player playing a female swashbuckler who is so obsessed with getting into exclusive brothels), as well as an invitation into the mysteries of the Calistrian faith (perhaps getting her to build towards the Enchanting Courtesan prestige class).

The 'Exile' will likely be a cover up and for show. The PCs will be 'invited' to a meeting with the Mayor, who is pretty much an a-hole power broker, but when afterwards they meet with his Secretary they'll get paid in platinum the bounties for solving the ongoing murders, and uncovering a secret evil cult in the city, and he'll mention that the Mayor has need of folks like them, and for all that is ill favor is dangerous, he also pays generously to those who perform favours at his request. This should give the PCs more reason to leave Magnimar and return to Sandpoint (heading towards a Reincarnation for the Bloodrager from Madame Mvashti, who they know can do it, as well as their upcoming downtime (I'm thinking 2-3 months of winter)) but also leave open the hook for going up to Fort Rannick once their downtime is over.

Speaking of Sandpoint! Things have also been developing there while the PCs have been gone. Event 1 - the surviving Ghouls that the party missed ganged up and started attacking farmsteads again. Shalelu, having returned to the area, was doing what she could but returned to town hoping that the heroes were still there. She, Hemlock and Ameiko (as the most powerful noble in the region and a former adventurer) were trying to figure out what to do when Caizarlu, a wizard, approached them claiming to be a White Necormancer - he'd been tracking the Ghoul movements and had found their lair. All he needed was some protection while he enacted a ritual and he could banish the evil souls for good. With farmers dying by the day (and joining the pack), Ameiko and Shalelu set out the next day with him. Caizarlu uses Grayst Seville as a 'divining rod' to bring them to the mouth of a cave out in the foothills and begins his ritual, and the Ghouls attack, but it turns out his ritual is to gain control over them and not just banish them, cause he's Evil. Ameiko and Shalelu manage to kill the Necromancer and many of the ghouls, but some escape. (As you can see, the party didn't encounter Caizarlu and didn't clean up the issue of Grayst during their investigation - they were actually very polite at Habes Sanatorium).

Event 2, depending on how long the PCs take to get back to town, is that Father Zantus and some accolytes will try and cleanse the Misgivings with... not great success.

Finally, for this rambling post, the Bloodrager player's play-by-post 'in heaven' scene has progressed slowly but he has now been taken by Barchiel the Astral Deva through the void and to the gates of Nirvana. Barchiel pressed on him the dissapointment that the Bloodrager had opted to kill his sister isntead of redeem her. He did the 'my d-' slip but the Bloodrager didn't pry. The Bloodrager did, however, agree to try and redeem her if he could. Barchiel then told him that they were at the gates awaiting the time that his companions should resurrect him, and that his soul was to be distilled and sent back 'catalyzed'.

The Bloodrager asked what, if anything, he could be shown while they waited. Barchiel looked out into the Void of blackness outside the gates of Nirvana and spoke of the dangers out there, then he slipped into a prophetic moment and said the following, "The Well continues to fill, and though you have touched one of it's puddles and stoppered it's feeding as the beaver dams a stream, still the river flows and rips essence from souls destined for judgement. He left the City of Gold as Doom fell upon the world, his ill-advised deals damning his already thrice-damned soul but also the world he left behind - his rise will spell empire or calamity. Many are the secrets to defeat him, hidden in pockets and bubbles set apart, but woe befall the hero that would ignore the unpublished knowledge held in a Tower of Black."

Most of this is just vague reference to Xin, the Runewells feeding on souls and the City of Gold (which he saw the relief of in Thistletop). Empire or Calamity refers to the fact that if the Runewell fills and can power his return, he'll either come back and begin a new empire or the Denizens of Leng will betray him and open a gateway for them to tear into the material realm. Finally, the Tower of Black is obviously the Black Tower coming up in Book 4.

Unless the Bloodrager tries to pry further about something interesting, their conversation will get cut short and I'll move him on to a brief vision of Soralyon and then helping re-roll his character into his new angelic (azata) form.

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I mean, to be totally fair, all we can talk about is what is cannon in the sourcebooks/material. Your game, and your GM, certainly also have their OWN cannon to what Magnimar and the rest of the setting is/has/was.

I'd make sure to be talking with them about these things and working together to build something. We on the boards don't know what material your GM is using, what they're changing, or how they might be willing to adapt to your desired backstory.

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You've pretty much nailed the subplot on the head, Mudfoot.

If I go with it, that'll probably come up during downtime after Book 3 so that by the time the end of Book 4 comes around they have an angry Wizard after them to make use of any knowledge they murderhobo past, and eventually he'll probably trail them into Book 5.

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I just realized my last post didn't include what small update I could give.

The Bloodrager player has begun an online play-by-post scenario in Pharasma's Boneyard, waiting in the dozen-mile line of souls outside of Pharasma's tower of judgement. A Nosoi (though he doesn't know what it is) flew up and started questioning him about who he is, because it's records are confused - this was caused by his quick reincarnation before he was 'processed' the last time he was in the Boneyard. This is also offering him a chance to ask questions (which he isn't doing yet).

Once the Nosoi is done, it'll leave and allow the Astral Deva Barchiel to approach and scoop him out of line.

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Well, the session happened.


Scene-setting early went well. Everyone bought into it. I got to intro some new PC tokens I made, including an Enlarged version of the Bloodrager and a Large version of the Hunter's wolf companion. The party was all-in on Ironbriar's plans and reasoning, loved him bringing his SWAT team. Secretly-Tsuto approached the Wizard to say hello, surprised to see him and not expecting his Aasimar Bane Knuckle Dusters to be done. The Wizard was thrilled to see him and gave him the Dusters without being asked.

The Wizard magically smashed the front doors open and the party + 7 'guards' went in. The Nualia reveal was fantastic. At first the party thought SHE was Xanesha, or a Skinsaw Man, or even 'the Reaper Man' (Ironbriar) and got a nice short info dump that cleared up some things, left lingering questions, and most importantly directed the players that; 1) Xanesha was waiting above, and 2) Xanesha served a greater master, who Nualia was also bound to now.

The Hunter, when Nualia gave several warnings and knocked an arrow to her bow, initiated combat.

Round 1 the front line of the party knew 'a large something was stirring in the back corner under the stairs, slowly standing up'. The Guards spread out, cutting off the 3 Faceless Stalkers from the side rooms and initiating a back and forth combat that would last most of the next 8 combat rounds. Nualia takes some ranged hits from the Hunter/Slayer and the Swashbuckler hits her with a Tanglefoot bag after she casts her self-buffs. The Wizard runs into the middle of all his allies and casts Darkness, covering pretty much everyone. Half the party has Darkvision and can see through it, the other half begin stumbling around.

The Bloodrager Rages with Blur, then casts Haste on himself and runs past his meat shield guards and stands next to the 'big thing in the corner', which has it's initiative next. It stands up, revealing the Scarecrow.

The Scarecrow strikes. Crit. Scythes are x4. 84 damage because I had already worked out average damage for all NPC attacks to speed up combat (22 NPCs in the combat, even with grouped Init, was gonna be real slow if I had to math every damage roll). The Bloodrager, Round 1, goes from full to beyond negative Con because he loses his Max HP bonus from raging when he gets KO'd.


The Wizard says, "Don't worry, he has rich friends. I'll bring him back." He intends to get him to a temple to have someone cast Raise Dead.

Round 2 the Swashbuckler is now toe to toe with the Scarecrow while most of the rest of the party is dealing with Darkness or taking more shots at Nualia/the Faceless Stalkers. The Wizard casts Acid Pit under the Scarecrow.

The Scarecrow is standing over top of the Bloodragers body.

They both fall into the Acid Pit. The Bloodragers body begins melting. The Swashbuckler jumps in, acrobating to land on the Scarecrows shoulders/head.

Round 3 the Bell Trap is triggered above, smashing some of the 'guards' and the Swashbuckler leaps out of the way. The Bell, which landed next to the Pit, slides and covers the hole, trapping in the Swashbuckler, the Scarecrow and the Bloodragers body. Darkness is dispelled. The group Slayer chases Nualia up the stairs, as she retreats out of sight of his bow. That chase will last a couple more rounds. Wounds are being dealt all around but no one is going down.

Round 4 the Swashbuckler kills the Scarecrow after the Scarecrow can't slam her. She's still trapped under the Bell. The Wizard goes to help, and hearing no combat casts Shrink Object on the bell and dispels the Acid Pit, leaving the maimed Scarecrow body, the 2/3rd dissolved Bloodrager body (no more Raise Dead, to get him back it'll need to be Reincarnate or Resurrection), and the Swashbuckler prone on the ground.

Having heard the slam of the bell, Ironbriar looks in the front door.

Round 5 another Bell drops, slamming into the Hunter's large wolf, injuring it. Ironbriar whistles sharply inside and outside the tower. All of the Guards take a full round action to toss aside their Watch cloaks and helmets, revealing their Skinsaw Cult robes, donning their Skinsaw Masks and brandishing razors.

The Players freaked out at this point, especially when I replaced all of the Watch minis with the Cult minis. Info started dropping into place as they realized Ironbriar was the cult leader.

Tsuto steps in next to Ironbriar. Another wave of 'Oh, f!!%'. It was delicious. 6 more guards are outside the doorway, also in cult gear.

The Wizard, next to the Swashbuckler and surrounded by 4 of the now revealed cultists, casts Fly and goes straight up, stopping the Slayer from continuing the chase Nualia (who is at about 1/3 health but slowly regening since she is a Revenant with Regen 3/fire.) He turns back to the fight below and begins picking off cultists. He ends up with a fairly high kill count since he is out of reach and can see most of the battlefield. This turn he picks off 3 of the 4 cultists around the Swashbuckler since they were already wounded from the first Bell.

Ironbriar casts Confusion using his Reaper Mask, targeting the Hunter (I single-targeted instead of AoE). He fails the save.

Round 6, Nualia turns around and starts coming back down the stairs. The Slayer keeps up his volleys on the combat below. The Wizard drops a Pit outside the main doors, catching two of the next wave of cultists while 4 jump over and enter the fight.

Tsuto, not realizing the implications of the Hunter (and closest PC) being Confused, starts beating on him, as do a couple of Cultists. The Hunter drops his bow and pulls his never-used +1 sword and misses (he could attack since they attacked him). Ironbriar tries to Confuse the Wizard, who easily beats the DC. The Swashbuckler closes with Ironbriar.

Round 7. Another (the last) Bell Trap, clearing out some cultists/Stalkers and hurting the animal companion again. Nualia keeps moving down. The Slayer asks what is going on and if she wants a temporary alliance. She snarls and tells him what's up is betrayal. He takes this as a yes and keeps firing below, clearing out mooks.

Tsuto and some cultists keep hitting the Hunter and he's down to 1 hp. The hunter retaliates, dealing 20 damage to Tsuto with a surprise crit (his max is 46hp after advanced and a level).

Ironbriar gets off a Hold Person on the Swashbuckler. The Wizard casts Burning Disarm from a wand on Ironbriar's buckler, which is strapped on, so he needs to take the damage.

Round 8. Nualia takes one step and vaults over the handrail of the stairs, 3-point landing in between Tsuto and a cultist that just climbed out of the Pit near the door. Tsuto turns and immediately recognizes her. "My love! They said you were dead!" He reaches out to caress her face. She grabs Tsuto with her black demon claw and slices him across the chest, dealing 20 points of damage. She then slams him with her Revenant ability, dealing 6 damage and giving him a negative level. Tsuto shrivels a bit and she drops his corpse.

Meanwhile, while mooks are dropping left and right, the Hunter rolls 'attack closest creature' on his confusion chart. The closest creature is his animal companion. He spins and strikes, dealing enough damage to bring his wolf to -3 hp. The Wizard flies down and uses a CLW wand to heal it, it wakes back up at 2hp.

Ironbriar begins a summoning spell, intending to summon a pair of Lemures as meatshields. The Swashbuckler steps up and cuts him badly. The Slayer ends the job, punching a pair of arrows through his face. Ironbriar is dead.

Round 9. Nualia duels with two of the last cultists. The Slayer and the Swashbuckler put down the rest of the mooks. Nualia backs away towards the door, not running but defensive. The Wizard points out she's now on the edge of the Pit. Oops. She fails her save, falls in. The Wizard casts Web over the top.

While this is going on the Hunter rolls hot again, and needs to strike the nearest creature. It's his pet again. He crits. OOPS. His pet is at -18hp, with a Con of 19. It roles to Death Save, fails. It bleeds out and dies.

Session ends with the Hunter snapping out of his confusion and realizing what he's done, the Wizard intending to blast Nualia in the pit (she killed the last cultist down there pretty quick), the Swashbuckler distraught over everything, and the Slayer running up the stairs of the Shadow Clock to find whoever was dropping Bells on them (it's 2 Faceless Stalkers).

The session went 3.5 hours, almost all just in the combat. I think I dropped all the secrets and info I wanted, the players were jazzed about finding some answers and opening up bigger questions.

When my players Die in game I keep coming back to them in Init and do death scenes - usually they see a sea of stars (souls) around them, then get sucked into a light to Pharasma's plane where they join one of many lines of dead heading to her Tower of Judgement. He witnessed an Angel coming and taking away a soul, and then a Devil escorted by Esoboks claiming other souls. By the last few rounds I was trying to speed along the combat since we were past our usual play time so I promised him some non-session written content.

All this being said, I felt REALLY BAD killing him in the first round of what I knew was going to be a long combat. I didn't account for the Rage-HP drop when I told him I crit and the damage. I figured he might be KO'd and knew there was some available healing. Usually I would have gotten him to jaeger an enemy or ally, but with all the secrets I was dropping, and the fact that I had built some pretty intense cheat sheets that had multiple NPC stats/tactics on them, I couldn't do that.

Right now he's talking about rolling a Kinetecist, but the party is planning on doing what they can to resurrect him. As mentioned above, the Bloodrager was reincarnated earlier in the campaign from Human to Aasimar. I'm thinking of possibly pushing this further another step, but need to talk to him first.

I've introduced the possibility, and have done the conversion work, to integrate Matt Colville/MCDM's Strongholds and Followers into the game, and the Bloodrager was interested so I built out a bunch of possible follower charts for him. One of the top-tier 'Special Allies' was going to be an Astral Deva (Bestiary 1, messenger angels with scrolls that contain prophecies) - initially I was going to have him approach bearing the tidings of his Empyreal Lord master as a force for good in the region, and promise to watch the Bloodrager better than he had his own daughter - because the Astral Deva is Nualias father, having bedded a mortal woman to try and bring about the fragment of a prophecy on his scroll about an angel-child born of his mother that would protect from an impending great menace (the return of Xin, of course.) The Astral Deva Ef'd up, and fate produced the child anyway, who would only become an 'angel-child' when reincarnated after his first trial against evil.

All of this backstory, which the player doesn't know I've crafted since it was only meant to come up with some high rolls on random charts IF he invested in a stronghold, could be pushed forward timeline wise.

The Astral Deva could have an encounter with the Bloodrager's soul, picking him out of the line for Pharasma's judgement and telling him some of the info (hint at the prophecy, and the importance to the Empyreal Lord that he not be thrown away so lightly in his material domain (Magnimar) - they can't just send his soul back though, it needs to be enacted by his friends on the material plane.

Whether the players get a Resurrection or Reincarnation spell cast, I'm thinking the Bloodrager's body bursts into radiant light and disappears, and a new being forms - he's gone from Aasimar to full, if minor, Angel. This could either be a nerfed form with his current Bloodrager levels (the rest of the party will have levelled to 8, so he'll still be 7 but have some Angel abilities he can choose to 'level' in to gain more), or he could be CR7 and shed his Bloodrager class and begin leveling as a Kineticist if that's what he wants to move on to.

If I take this route, I have three possible celestial beings I've pinpointed as being possible build-points - a nerfed form of the Movanic Angel from Bestiary 2 (NG CR10, serve as infantry, suits if he stays Bloodrager), a nerfed Legion Archon from Bestiary 3 (LG CR7, also serve as infantry, fits as a natural progression visually/physically), or a Yamah Azata from Bestiary 6 (CG CR5, best one to build a Kineticist off of since he can grab 3 levels off the hop, the 'markings' can mirror his current Arcane Bloodline markings, and being an Azata fits with the Magnimar/Empyreal Lord influence.)

So yeah. The session happened. They still need to deal with pit-trapped Nualia, they have an ally and an animal companion to resurrect, and Xanesha is till lurking at the top of the Shadow Clock... for now...

And now that I think about it, if there's Resurrection Shenanigans happening at the same time the Wolf gets raised, I could do something with that too....

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I agree that five deaths is more than I would have wanted to see, but I have a few mitigating factors:

1) The Players asked for hard-mode, and no DM fiat saves. I'm not scaling the encounters to be any harder (and they practically ran through the first half of Skinsaw Murders), but my enemies are relatively intelligent.

2) Almost all the players were unhappy with their early characters, claiming them to 'not be fun to roleplay.' They wanted to reroll characters and were perfectly happy to go that route (see: Richards death).

3) Only two of the deaths were actually in combat encounters, the rest are self-caused. I'm hoping this doesn't remain a trend because I'm getting tired of coming up with new ways to manipulate future books to new backstories.

I am a little worried about Xanesha, but the Paladin's new character is a Wizard who wants to 'buy' patronage from the group by gifting them some items he's created - this gives me the chance to hand out some loot to replace stuff the party has done dumb stuff with (handed over Nualia's body still wearing the +1 breastplate, buried the rogue in +1 hide that the rogue never even wore, purposefully sitting on magic weapons in their bags as backups to their non-magic bows for ranged characters). They are also, in a short downtime in between Misgivings and Magnimar, starting to branch out into some adapted Strongholds and Followers rules (MCDM/Matt Colville's rules for 5e) that will give a couple of them some extra power once those are finished.

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*Goblin paints himself yellow*

"I'm a your God!"

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I'd agree with Lazyclownfish, there are a few of us very actively seeking games right now (aka. the Thursty-for-RP bunch) and many more who already have a number of games they are comfortable with and only peek in to a more select number of recruitment threads.

Personally, I'm in one strong game right now and would love to add 1-2 more concurrent because that's what I can handle while DMing offline. The other side of the coin is that it is frequently a numbers game on whether you get chosen for a PbP game or not; most campaigns that are starting up get 15+ submissions and are only looking for 5ish players. Popular APs/Interesting conversions, using Gestalt or Spheres of Power rules and any number of other things can draw an even larger crowd of applicants so us Thurstys (who often are also full of character ideas) apply broadly to things that interest them and don't get too heartbroken if we aren't picked up.

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Hey all,

I'm currently looking to mine some general encounter ideas and concepts for a SciFi hex map. Similar to how a fantasy map might have 'goblin warrens' or 'Abandoned Watchtower,' I am prepping this hex map with various encounters and dungeons with up to Encounter Level 6. If anyone has suggestions (particularly for dungeon themes) they would be very much appreciated - and as a start, here are some of the things on my map for inspiration and your own use.

-Locker's Reach: A stretch of asteroid belt haunted by the pirates of Dominik's Locker (wandering space barge HQ)
- Earthen Spur: Segment of asteroid belt populated by Earth Elementals riled up by the nearby...
- Roboto Manufacto Automato: An automated robot manufacturing plant that is currently mining the corpse of an immense earth elemental for minerals
- Hulk Warzone: A pair of large Space Hulks (ancient ruined ships), one populated by Undead and one by the 'Bone Shiv' space goblin tribe, who are at war.
- Formian Expansion: A low-level zone of Formians with an asteroid 'subhive'
- Formian Hive: The higher-level main hive
- Biosphere: An ancient biosphere, this one filled with tribal Maraqouis
- Silent Tomb: The tomb of... someone, protected by automated weapons and robots.
- The Warrens: Warring tribes of feral Ysoki, one main warren and two minor warrens spread through a densely-packed asteroid section.
- Pocket-Dimension Portal: A portal in space leading to a 'torn' pocket dimension infested with Akata and Driftdead
- Smuggler Armory: A small depot for Drow arms smugglers.
- Vile Monastery: A space station monastery of evil Contemplatives
- Hesper Techzone: An unknown Hesper has built himself a technological stronghold in the void and is building something.

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M TN Human Fighter (Two-Weapon Warrior) 1 |HP: 5/12 AC: 18(+2vGoblinoid)(T:12, FF:16)|CMB +4, CMD: 15|Fort +4; Ref +2; Will +2; (+2 v Fear effects)|Init +2|Percep +2, SM +2, Bluff -1, Diplo -1 |Speed 30ft|Active Conditions: None

Bent over his mug of ale, Elrik had the distinct feeling of frustration as Aubrin stood up loudly to tell another one of her tales. Just like festival days themselves, he could remember enjoying her stories but now they seemed so unnatural. They way she told them, it wasn't the way things really happened out in the world. Not for normal people at least, and probably not for her either.

The impact on the door, the explosion of sound and splinters of wood that flew clear to the back of the room and scatted across the table, shot Elrik to his feet and his eyes darting around in shock. Adrenaline coursed through him, his vision starting to tunnel as panic gripped at his chest, clung to his throat.

The cries of the wounded.
The battle cry of the enemy.

Time seemed to dilate around Elrik as he stood and he looked across the room over the heads and shoulders of the patrons to the dark portal of the front door and the two hobgoblins shoving their way through the splintered remains of the door. Hobgoblins, heavily armored, wickedly barbed blades swinging wildly as they pushed against the shields of the front rank. 'Keep the line, don't let them break through,' an officer yells.

Two were already inside. How many more were coming? The doorway was the only choke point, the only way to stem the tide.

Elrik felt like vomiting, the bile rising in his throat, lofted by the few sips of ale he had taken. Maybe this would have been easier if he had gotten drunk quickly. The first step was the hardest, forcing himself forward. Towards dangers. Towards the front. 'Come on you weasel,' Torgus roared. 'You want them in our homes, you want them in our women? Little half-hobgoblins clutching the skirts of your mothers and your sisters because you couldn't keep them out of Nirmathas? Get to the front!'

An elf Elrik vaguely recognized stepped forward, unslinging his bow and almost immediately getting slashed across the chest by one of the hobgoblins. The other went after a woman, a stranger here for the festival, and stabbed her through.

"Nirmathas! For Nirmathas!" Elrik shouted, shoving his way passed tables and scattered chairs and pulling his sword from it's sheath and the shield from it's place on his back, rounding the hearth to find Aubrin on the floor, choking on her own blood. There was no time to help her, at least not yet. Reaching out, Elrik used his shield-hand grab the red-scarfed woman in front of him who seemed to be frozen in fear, yanking her back and out of the way. "Nirmathas! Hold the gap! Hold the gap!" he screamed again, the roar of a thousand soldiers ringing in his ears as he stared into the beady black eyes of the hobgoblins in front of him.

Move: Assumed difficult terrain to get through, 30ft should bring me to beside Aubrin/behind the village lady. Drew Sword/Quickdraw Shield as part of move.
Standard: Hope it's ok to grab and yank the woman in front of me out of the way. If she resists Unarmed Grab: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14 to try and move her.
Swift: None
AC is currently 18 v Hobgoblins

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M TN Human Fighter (Two-Weapon Warrior) 1 |HP: 5/12 AC: 18(+2vGoblinoid)(T:12, FF:16)|CMB +4, CMD: 15|Fort +4; Ref +2; Will +2; (+2 v Fear effects)|Init +2|Percep +2, SM +2, Bluff -1, Diplo -1 |Speed 30ft|Active Conditions: None

When Elrik had come in from one of the fields south of town, covered in sweat and the dust of farm work, he felt like he had entered into a strange new world. Colors and laughter and people crammed all over the place, 'out and about.' Market Festival, he finally realized, stopped at the head of one particularly busy street. I forgot.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he remembered liking Market Festival. He remembered liking all of the festival days in town. Now they just seemed... unnecessary wasn't the right word. Maybe unearned. Too much. Avoiding the busy street, Elrik turned and shrugged the strap of his shield higher on his shoulder as he took the longer, darker route between the houses. It was better than the business of the street. Quieter, too.

Part of him wanted to go straight home, wash his face and hands and collapse into bed until later in the night when most people would be inside and he could go pull some cool water out of the well near his cottage in peace. He'd been promising himself an ale all day though, working himself up to go to the Taproot as he worked the field, churning the unplanted earth to ready it for seeding next year. I can do this, he thought. It's just a few more people. It's just one ale.

It wasn't just a few more people. Two or three of them had turned smiles his way, though more of them gave him a sidelong glance and maybe a whisper to their neighbor. Most ignored him altogether, busy with their revelries and the storytelling. He sat down awkwardly at one corner of the bar, squeezed in between a trio of out-of-town revelers and an older couple listening intently to Aubrin the Green. Elrik waved halfheartedly to the brunette barmaid to get her attention and silently ordered a pint. She smiled at him and he saw the pity in her eyes. He swallowed the dryness in his mouth.

She slid the pint in front of him and he put a silver mark on the counter, enough to cover the drink and a tip. She's pretty, he thought, trying to remember her name. He couldn't, and he didn't feel up to doing anything about her being pretty. What good would I be for her, anyways?

Elrik wrapped both hands around the pint and took a deep breath, the cool feeling of the tankard in his hand and the smell of the ale filling his nose and lungs. Then the room erupted with laughter, a dozen or more voices all bursting at once, and Elrik winced and ducked low to the bar, looking around in a panic. Sheepishly he looked down at himself, at the wet slosh of beer down his front from grabbing the tankard in one hand and pulling it back and ready to strike at the danger. The invisible, not-real danger.

Forcing his body to relax, Elrik took deep breaths. The pity was in her eyes again. Was she smiling or smirking? Elrik muttered a general apology as he stood up from the bar stool, and then another to the out-of-towner he knocked with the shield on his back. He looked for a dark corner of the room he could tuck himself in to, maybe wrap himself up in the shadows and just let them swallow him. Or at least some place to put the tankard down. His hand was still clutching it close and tight by the handle, his arm tense. Maybe this was too many people.

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Still need to try out your 'cast (I've been doing the rounds finding the Starfinder startups that I enjoy), but I've definitely got some scripts for you. I'd record them too but mic quality isn't great right now. Here's a couple now, and I'll throw up some more later.

Submission One: Mega Monstercraft Rally

Announcer: ATTENTION ALL SENTIENT BEINGS. ATTENTION ALL SENTIENT BEINGS. This Fourthday prepare to have your eyes, ears and vestigial sensory appendages OBLITERATED. Likkle Finigan's Starship Overhaul and the Akitonian Embassy are proud to present MEGA MONSTERCRAFT MAYHEM only at the Stardust Memorial Arena featuring all your favorite 'craft including TAZDINGO TASERFACE, DEVILDROP and new from Eox, current champion 'craft BONE TOWN. Don't miss out on seeing the SMASH 'EM, MASH 'EM MAYHEM as well as Fogtown's fifth annual Hard Gases Dehydrated Jerky festival. Tickets start at only FIFTEEN CREDS and can be picked up on TickSticker or at any Shirreen Joe's Fried Fowl eatery on Station. The first 300 beings through the gate receive a Fogtown Aromatic Ale for FREE! FOURTHDAY, FOURTHDAY, FOURTHDAY! BE THERE!

Submission Two: Wang and Schischaisch Law Firm

"Lawyer" One (deadpan): My name is Harold Richard Wang.

"Lawyer" Two, Shirren: And I am Schect Schischaisch

"Lawyer" One (deadpan): And we are the founders and co-presidents of Wang, Schischaisch and Associates Law Firm.

"Lawyer" Two, Shirren: Between the two of us alone we have nearly 30 years of experience with legal situations.

"Lawyer" One (deadpan): Have you or someone you know been affected by Starship Insurance underpayment, been injured in an accident involving tricky non-sentient bio-organisms and lost one or more appendages, or perhaps are embroiled in a tricky divorce settlement with assets in multiple demiplanes?

"Lawyer" Two, Shirren: We can help!

"Lawyer" One (deadpan): We at Wang, Schischaisch and Associates can help you with these legal needs, and more!

"Lawyer" Two, Shirren: Contact us on the Stationnet, or find our offices in Arm Three, right next to Docking Bay 29C.

"Lawyer" One (deadpan): Don't be worried, don't be scared. Wang and Schischaisch will solve all your affairs.

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I have no idea if it's viable yet as I've barely looked at mystic - but dear lord I love this concept. Great idea.

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I love the chart above from @Porridge, and I think when you consider the economics of 'normal' Pact World peoples the prices in the chart make sense. A Tier 1/2 starship costs 2,300 credits, while a 'regular joe' lvl 5 space miner npc would make something along the lines of...

(5 Profession ranks + 3 trained class skill + 3 ability = 11, take 10 for 21, double for wage roll = 42 credits/week)

... 2,184 credits a year. Someone scrimping and saving still won't be able to afford that new car starship in a year due to living expenses, but with a Abadarcorp loan or saving for a few years they can.

My stumbling block on using the Porridge WBL chart is how it lines up next to the seemingly random costs (and level reqs) of other equipment. A Tier 1/2 fighter (such as the Necroglider from the CRB) by the chart costs 2,300 credits - seemingly a fitting amount considering they could be mass produced and appear to be a TIE Fighter equivalent when it comes to appearing in the AP.

A Tactical Knife (which is a level 6 basic melee weapon) costs 6,000 credits. That means a knife without any magic properties but is nicely made (what happened to masterwork?) costs more than two TIEs Necrogliders. And this isn't even restricted to whether we use the Porridge WBL chart. That knife is also worth slightly less (200 credits) than a full Police Cruiser (lvl 4) vehicle.

Just writing up this post has me reconsidering how to price items on the core weapon/equipment lists because some of them simply make no sense beyond artificial balancing decisions.

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Thanks for all the responses folks, while I'm not overjoyed at all of the answers I definitely am happier than I was before some of my facts were clarified.

The responses to this thread I take immense issue with are the thoughts concerning how 'life total' healing seems to be viewed as a non-dynamic gameplay element.

I firmly believe that a healer should ABSOLUTELY be able to put out heals-per-second similar to another character's Damage-per-second if they are of equal XP and skill. Now, in saying that I should point out that as Damage abilities are increased on a healer, that equality should certainly skew, but in a pure Damage vs. pure Healing situation they should be on par. Why? Well why should someone be able to simply out damage my healing?

The necessity of planning around healers in group PvP is the same as the necessity of targeting down Crowd Controllers is the same as bursting down casters before armored tanks is the same as kiting opposing melee. Saying that healers are the be-all and end-all tactics in PvP is just false.

I'm a former WoW guy too, but I think I had a very different experience than most people. I was second in command of a (fully active) 500 person World PvP guild during BC and Wrath expansions, so before Guild Perks and the rush for large guild numbers. I've sacked the Stormwind trade district with less than 30 brothers during peak server time. I've slain the 4 Alliance leaders in under 30 minutes, I've kept the Alliance from winning the weekly Fishing tournies for over a year and I've fought over every territory possible in that game. I've participated in everything from a fast escalation after a single gank to leading hundreds of Horde players, guild and non-guild alike, across multiple raid groups into battle-line combat against an equal number of Alliance.

I didn't do these things because I had better healers, or more healers. Whether it's two on two or 100 on 100, there is ALWAYS more to gameplay than just who has more heals. Thinking that ONE variable of a complex system demands all attention be payed to it is both simplifying and aggrandizing what Healers are.

When it comes down to it, if one side has 2 DPS and the other has 1 DPS and 1 Healer, they should still remain even because a Healer should have the opportunity to be as effective at their chosen playstyle as a Caster or a Melee damage dealer. If the 2 dps side feel they need to punch the Healer first, then fine, the Healer/Dps side might decide to kill the caster on the other side first too.

I hope none of this has come across as aggressive as it probably has, but there are few things in gaming that I have a passion for and I've seen WAY too many games with crappy Healing mechanics that I just don't want PFO to go the same way without my having said my two cents.